The Leeches of Wrath: Spiritual Bloodsuckers

Leech

Image Credit: Stones

We’ve heard the term leech used in many different ways. Typically we envision those slimy, wormy looking predators whose sucker pierces into the skin of their unsuspecting victims and begin to literally suck the lifeblood out of them. Another description we have heard about leeches are individuals who exploit, extort or sponge off of others for their personal gain.

When one’s heart meditates on quieting the distractions of a particular challenge they may be facing, their peace seems to be interrupted at the most inopportune time creating an intense amount of anxiousness that leaves them fearful and feeling exhausted. It seems like every ounce of energy is siphoned from their body, as worry begins to take over and exploit their spiritual peace. I know, because more often than I care to admit, at times I found myself in the same predicament.

Although we try to do the very best we can with what we have, once you know you’ve done all you could do, and you’ve given your very best, what more can you do? You beat yourself up over a myriad of scenarios that play out in your mind about this and that, and still, you find no relief or peace, at least not immediately. But fear, anxiousness, and worriation are nothing more than spiritual leeches. They suck your peace, joy, and energy as if you were sucking a drink through a straw.

Spiritual leeches have a remarkable ability to corrupt and drain your inner peace in no time at all. For me, my reliance is on my faith in God as I journey through the dark valleys of uncertainty. At times I have put much emphasis on depending entirely on myself and my overwhelm sends me into a tailspin to some low places. I feel inadequate and defeated. I search for immediate answers and solutions to my dilemmas, and as much as I feel I am worthy of a quick response from God, it doesn’t come until I surrender to the humility and quietude in my spirit, by allowing my faith to be strengthened.

In my state of weakness, confusion, and disappointments I find myself in situations that feel unfair and brutal. In my valley experiences, I learned to surrender to the lessons God is teaching me with patience, trust, and faith. I have learned that in my journey through the shadows of some very dark places, albeit difficult, this is where I grow, become stronger and puncture the life out of the dangerous suckers in those spiritual leeches (even those within my closest circles).

Ultimately, victory is mine! Once you’ve done the best you can with what you have, and you have given the best you’ve got, all you can do is rise and stand, or sometimes sit quietly for the peace and answers you seek. What’s for you is for you and what’s for me is for me. We may not get all that we think we deserve, but I truly believe God will give you what you need.

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In Search of the WOW Factor

Exotic Bird

George Hodan – Victoria Crowned Pigeon (Goura Victoria)

Think about those things that make you go “WOW.”

Boulder, Sequoia Park

TBridget Mac – Huge boulder at Sequoia Park, making a tunnel

My WOW has certainly evolved over the years. What I wowed about as a child is different from my wow as a teen. My wow as an adult continues to evolve into wows of simple, overlooked, awe-inspiring treasures.

Jezebel Butterfly

Jean Beaufort – Common Jezebel Butterfly on a Marigold

Sometimes we look for those over-the-top, extravagant, mindblowing creations and miss the spectacular “wows” and “whoa’s” that appear before our very eyes.

Lava, Volcano

Jean Beaufort – Flowing Hot Lava from a Volcano

Sometimes those wows can naturally depict the image of an ironsmith’s workshop through the flow of firebreathing lava.

Banyan Tree

Andrew Schmidt – Large, Banyan tree outside the zoo entrance in Kapiolani Park, Honolulu, HI

Or our wows can stem from gazing at the artistry of a banyan tree whose aerial branch roots cascade downward to build a village of intimate shelters.

ocean, lighthouse, birds

Karen Arnold – Sunset over the ocean with lighthouse, birds, and grass

Even in the midst of great storms our senses are zeroing in on mindboggling wow moments that teach priceless lessons! Sometimes those lessons are simple, tranquil and breathtaking moments. Moments that make you go ‘WOW!”

Ageism: The New Otherism to Fight

senior citizens

Peter Griffin

I’ve dealt with racism, sexism and other relative ‘isms’ that discriminate against people due to their differences (physical, mental, or cultural) that do not fit the standardized norm of the prejudicial status quo. How unfortunate because so many people with such mindsets miss out on some amazing opportunities for continued and gratifying lifelong lessons.

Senior Citizen

Thomas Scarborough

Now, I had no idea, nor was I prepared for the new injustice, the new type of discrimination to fight…ageism. What I was educated for or capable of doing in my 20’s and 30’s and even 40’s are probably some things I am no longer able to do as much of or have outgrown (mostly fast-paced stuff). With the maturity of my body, I acknowledge that my mind and spirit has intensified with wisdom, compassion, and an increased desire to learn and teach.

Senior Citizen

Venita Oberholster

While I, along with so many others are finding ourselves faced with this new type of narrow-mindedness, people like me are not ready to be ‘put out to pasture.’ The consciousness regarding the increase of innovation, educational and technological advancements in the 50+ population are undervalued and underappreciated.

Senior Citizen

Marina Shemesh

Don’t let the gray hair fool ya. Age ain’t nothing but a number, but experience, on the other hand, has membership privileges that are far more precious than a pot of gold. Perhaps, instead of judging by appearance and age, sit down and strike up a conversation that may prove to be critical and instrumental to your growth, development, and survival. Our resumes are pretty impressive and our aptitude and fortitude just might blow you away.

When the old adage suggests, “Don’t judge a book by its cover,” then don’t!

Old Book, Discrimination

Anna Langova

It’s in the Storm That We Pay Attention

Storms, Life's Storms

George Hodan

In the approach or in the midst of a storm, our awareness antennas go up and we pay attention to the least little thing. During days when the sun is shining, the sky is blue, the clouds are a perfect opulent shade of milk-white, and the temperature is ideal, we get caught up in moments of either self-gratification or nonobservance of treasured details that surround us.

When there is an oncoming storm (hurricane, tornado, snowstorm, etc.) however, we zero in on the forecasts of local weather reports from meteorologists updating us on weather and climate changes. This helps us to prepare for the possibility of a shift to the worst case scenario in preparation for our safety.

We are glued to the TV, radio, Internet, Smartphones or any other broadcasting devices to give us the latest updates from the weather service. We pay attention to wind gusts, water surges and any other facet the eye of the storm may bring.

As we look at life, our lives and the lives of others whether in our community, city, state, nation, country or continent, we pay little attention to those important details that affect the health, welfare, and lives of so many others outside our circle. It seems as if it doesn’t affect us personally, then there is no need to care. Yet, like the weather-related and natural storms occurring throughout the seasons, just as the reach of the storm has a domino effect that affects the lives of hundreds and thousands of people, the same applies to the storms occurring in the lives of other people having an adverse and residual effect on us.

As we band together during natural disasters or other crises that impact our lives and that of our communities, so must we be cognizant of those challenging ‘details’ others experience that could be the epicenter of a massively destructive personal storm headed our way. It’s sad that it takes a storm for us to pay attention to the very things that mean the most to us, which we miss when they’re gone or destroyed.

Make These Easy Caramel Apple Pie Cookies on Food Porn Friday

Dessert, cincyshopper.com, Caramel Apple Pie Cookies, National Apple Month, Apples

Image Credit: Cincyshopper.com

Since September is National Apple Month, I looked for a recipe that was slightly different than other apple-inspired recipes I featured previously on Food Porn Friday. This simple, fun and delicious recipe for Caramel Apple Pie Cookies is from the kitchen of Jen at CincyShopper.com.

This scrump-delicious dessert cookie resembles a mini apple pie. Now wouldn’t that be one surprising treat to include on a dessert platter when you serve your guests for your fall afternoon tea party? Well, wait no more. Grab your refrigerated pie crust, sugar, nutmeg, eggs, apple pie filling, and caramel topping, then click here to get Jen’s instructions for making this easy, tasty dessert treat. These caramel apple cookies just might keep the doctor away….or not! While you’re visiting CincyShopper.com, be sure to check out some other delightful recipes Jen is serving up in their kitchen.

#HappyNationalAppleMonth on #FoodPornFriday!

His Window to the World is a Place of Contentment

Window, Dog

Image Credit: George Hodan

Cramer sat in the same corner looking through the same window every morning. This was his world. Every day he watched stoically as the view changed outside, whether he was aware of the changes or not. From this spot, he was content.

Looking out through the window to the world around you, how do the nuances of change affect your spirit?