All The Christmas Stuff

It was now January second, 2011. With the holidays now over for another year, we began the task of cleaning up all the stuff, and packing it away for next year. But after what happened with the lights, (see previous post,) I did not want to even start, without praying first.

“Dear Jesus,” I said in my prayer place, “please let us know if there are other things we need to get rid of, besides not lighting the Christmas lights during the winter solstice. Is there something else that we would be better off not having? I don’t want anything unclean in my house. I don’t want anything that the demons could use to enter and attack us with! Please Lord! Gift us with a spiritually clean camp for us to live in!”

I paused for several moments, waiting for a response, but all was silent.

“Oh Lord, You know my heart. You know it is for You. You know that I desire to serve You with all that I am. I live for You. You alone are why I am still here. Please. LET ME KNOW.”

Silence still greeted me. I sensed that I should begin my work. So I rose and went out to begin disassembling the Christmas decorations.

I began by removing all the ornaments on the Christmas tree, and putting them back in the huge ornament storage box. I was half way done with the ornaments, when I noticed that my hands had begun to burn, as if I had touched a caustic chemical somehow, and was having a reaction to it.

I wondered if it was from the box of new unbreakable plastic bulbs that we had opened and added to our tree this year. There was probably some chemical on them that was irritating my skin. I set them aside in their original packing, and made a note to not use them next year, just in case.

I went to wash my hands, and I applied some hand cream that had always worked before to calm down a chemical reaction on my skin.

But this time, there was no difference. My hands still burned as before.

I went back to my work, figuring that the lotion just needed more time to do its job.

I switched from working on the tree, to packing up the advent wreath. But the burning on my hands just became worse.

Suddenly, one of my kids came up to me and exclaimed “Mom! What have you been touching?! Your hands are just COVERED with thick, black, smoke!”

So I told the child what I had been doing, and that my hands were very much in pain.

“Mom,” This child responded to me, “I can’t even SEE your own hands at all! All I see is a ball of thick black swirling smoke at the end of each of your arms!”

I stopped what I was doing. I realized then, that the pain in my hands must be spiritual, and not physical. But then my heart began to ache as well, for I had just begun to realize, what this now meant.

All those Christmas tree ornaments! The advent wreath! The Lord was letting us know, that they were tainted, unclean!

Our family then gathered to discuss what this meant, and what should now be done. Everyone agreed that we needed to get rid of the stuff that was spiritually tainted.

My husband agreed to get rid of the holiday lights, for if he could no longer use them during the days of winter solstice, (December 21st through the 26th,) then they were not worth all the trouble of putting them up and taking them down every year.

The kids felt that if they could not have the lights on the Christmas tree, then they no longer wanted to put up the Christmas tree. Too much work, for little reward. (I had to agree with them; the Christmas tree lights are what made it all so beautiful and special. Without the lights, it seemed like just another tree that was in our house.) The kids did not like having to get under the tree to water it, and hated the influx of creepy (and even dangerous) spiders that surfaced shortly after it was first brought in. Pine needles got into everything and were a daily mess to sweep up.

“We could get a fake tree, if you wanted to try that,” I said to them.

But no one wanted to go through the bother.

“It’s o.k.,” said one of my kids. “We don’t have to have a tree.”

Another one piped up, “As long as we can still have the presents!” Then the thought of the alternative must have come into this child’s mind, for the child then quickly added, “We can still have presents, right mom?”

“I’m not prepared to make that kind of a decision right now. I’m still trying to come to terms with having no tree!”

They seemed to understand this, (they could see that I was shaken and very upset,) so they left their present questions for a later time.

No one questioned the vision of this particular child; this child is the one that can see into that unseen world, like most people can see each other. This child sees the demons and casts them out in the name of Jesus. This child sees and converses with the angels, and is filled with the Holy Spirit. Often times, this child was the one to give us warnings of evil that was coming our way, and we were able to avoid and prevent great tragedy because of it. We have learned not to ignore this child’s visions.

But this! Surely there was some mistake! All those Christmas tree ornaments? Ugh! I simply could not face such a loss, so I went into denial.

“Maybe there are some Christmas ornaments that we CAN keep,” I said to the others. “Maybe we should see which ones are tainted, and which ones are not.”

The others nodded in agreement.

So the kids and I began to go through each item, to discern if it was clean enough to keep or not.

Some were easy for the kids to discern; they were quick to point out those right away. But by the end of the day, my hands throbbed with burning pain, and it began to be too painful to touch anything else.

So I called for a break, and asked this particular child (the one who has such strong visions,) to come and help me bless my hands.

I did not even bother to wash my hands this time with soap and water, for I knew it was spiritual and not physical. THE MOMENT THE BLESSED OLIVE OIL TOUCHED MY ACHING HANDS, THE BURNING AND PAIN SUBSIDED!

The child looked at my hands and said, “The black smoke is all gone now Mom.”

I gave a great sigh of relief.

I then looked back upon all the things that we had gone through, and realized with a sinking heart, that it made up quite a big pile of stuff. There was not even one Christmas tree ornament that was able to be saved.

I went back to my God in prayer, and told Him how sad I was, about all the tainted items. I then asked Him what He wanted us to do with it.

“Wait. Just set it aside and wait till you go though all the Christmas stuff.”

But I knew what the end of these things would be. I knew in my heart, that He wanted us to get rid of all of it. I just didn’t know if He would want us to pass it through the fire, and then break it all up into little pieces.

We had done such, (as Acts 19:19 describes,) to smaller amounts that were unclean and found to be tainted idols, but never to such a large amount of stuff. Even with the smaller items, we found that it left the ground a dangerous mess, with shards of broken pottery, glass, and metal pieces that were too hard to fully remove from the fire pit. The thought of smashing all those glass bulbs was a bit much for me to bear. I imagined the mess it would make and dreaded it.

“Don’t think of that right now,” He told me. “Just work on going through all the stuff.”

As usual, the Lord was right.

It took us almost two weeks, to go through all the Christmas stuff. It was heart wrenchingly painful, for we found that most of it too, was tainted.

Several times I broke down crying, when I’d realize that something precious to me was actually tainted and needed to be removed.

Anything that had a Christmas logo on it, was seen as having that thick, black smoke on it. Santa, reindeer, elves, holly, holly berries, bulbs, ornaments, a string of lights, the phrase ‘Merry Christmas’, red and green ribbons, presents, wreaths, anything with Yule Tide written on it; it was all tainted with the spirit of Christmas.

I think the most surprising of all the stuff, was the baby Jesus statues. The Roman Catholic ones that had the hands and arms molded into their odd positions, (reminding me of the hands and fingers of the Buddha god statue,) were the ones that had the darkest black smoke around them. The one that had a picture of a simple baby on it, only had a grayish fog surrounding it. Madonna and child statues and pictures, especially the ones with the halo in back of their heads, were among the worst.

I thought of all the money that these things were worth, (some of this stuff had yet to even be opened!,) and that perhaps we should just sell them to someone else, but I cringed at the thought of being responsible for giving such tainted items to another. I didn’t want that on my conscience, not at any price!

Oh but the things that were hardest for me to give up, were the priceless heirlooms that had been handed down to me from my family. At least three generations of stuff. The table cloth painted and embroidered with holly leaves and berries by the kids great grandmother, The placemat, kitchen appliance covers, and stuffed centerpiece, all patterned with a huge Christmas swan (or goose) that had been sewn up by my mother for our family, the ceramic creche my mother had formed for us in her ceramics class, complete with real gold highlights painted on the figurines. This alone had cost her several hundred dollars, just to add real gold to the statues. Even the Christmas ornament made by my great grandmother’s hands had to go. All was tainted with the spirit of Christmas. The hardest one of all to let go of, was a small little manger set that I had grown up with. It held so many memories for me. The pull to keep it was very great! But every time I would touch it, my hands would start to burn again. I knew in my heart that I had to let it go.

Numerous times during this cleansing, I would stop, and go into my private prayer place, and ask the Lord if there was some way I could still keep some of the items.

But He would usually tell me no.

“But Lord!” I pleaded with Him, “I’ve gotten rid of so much stuff already! Would it really hurt to just keep a few things to remember it all by?”

And He would often answer me with a question of His own.

“How many doorways for demons would you like to keep in your home?”

Or these ones that really got in to the heart of the matter.

“Will you not follow Me, ma petite? Can’t you trust Me? Are you not Mine?”

These last questions would cause me to fall at His feet in surrender, and then return to the sorting.

But I still cried. For days it was as if I was in mourning. It took me a while to say goodbye to all the stuff. I know this sounds silly. I am ashamed to admit that I mourned the loss of these things. But morn them I did. And the Lord, in all His mighty patience, remained there right beside me, as I cried, mourned their loss, and then continued on until the next great heirloom triggered that retaining emotion within me. Then the whole process would start up all over again.

He never forced me to give up any of it. I knew I had the choice to keep it. But I also knew my God, which meant that if He wanted me to give it up, then there was a very good reason for Him to do so, and I simply needed to let go and put my trust in Him.

Finally, all the items had been sorted. All that was left, was some rolls of Christmas paper and ribbons in solid colors (and with no holiday printings on it,) a few greeting cards that had only pictures of snow flakes on them, and some guest hand towels, that had been cut off at one end, where a holiday design had once been embroidered upon it. These towels would now be used as kitchen rags.

Both my hands and my heart were exhausted.

As I sealed up the last of the huge boxes of Christmas items, I felt the Lord tell me what we were to do with them.

“Throw them out.”

“You mean we don’t have to burn it all in our fire pit?” (I was greatly relieved to hear this!)

“No.”

“But Lord,” I replied, “Our garbage can is already overflowing!” Then I thought of an alternative. “Can we bring the stuff down to the garbage dump?”

“Yes. Close the boxes up, and label their outsides as ‘GARBAGE’, and then take them down to the local dump.”

That Saturday morning, the stuff was tossed into the city dump. There, it would be added into a big pile of other people’s garbage, crushed into a very small block, and then finally burned in a huge furnace.

The remains of history totaling almost over one hundred years of family Christmases, (and at least a thousand dollars worth or more of stuff,) had just been removed from our house.

*

(And yes, in case you were wondering, our family still exchanges presents with each other. We now celebrate the Feast of Dedication. For eight nights, we each share a miracle or answered prayer from our own life, light the (7 candle) menorah, read scripture out loud, play board games with each other, and open up presents. Remembering God’s miracles in our lives has rekindled our faith in Him, and serves as a reminder to re-dedicate ourselves -a living temple,- back to Him. So far, no demonic attacks upon our family have taken place from celebrating this holy day, and great peace is experienced during this time, especially while the menorah is lit.)

To Jesus Christ goes all Glory! Thank you Jesus Christ of Nazareth!!

* * * *

Down To The Water’s Edge

Another memorable dream….
I was a young girl,
thirteen almost fourteen years old,
At home with my brothers,
One who was around five,
And the other one
Was still an infant.

Our parents were away
For a day or so,
(maybe longer?,)
On a business trip
Of some kind.

We did o.k. by ourselves,
And were used to
These short, periodical times
When they would leave
And come back a few days later
(At the most,)
And then envelope us
in their strong love for us.

I walked out
Into our back yard,
And down to the lake
That bordered it.

A thick cement wall
Had been built years ago
Between the lake & the houses
That banked up to it,
To serve as a protection
Against any rising waters
That may happen
In the future.
Over the years,
The water in the lake
had slowly risen
and was now held back
all the time, by the wall.

I stood next to the wall,
Looking over the lake,
Now quiet and peaceful,
With barely a ripple
Upon its smooth surface.
Willow branches,
Green with their foliage, 
Leaned over the water,
Casting its color
Into the water.

I often loved
To come here,
Down to the water’s edge.
It was such a peaceful place
To rest and think.

 This time,
I could see that the water was up
Almost to the edge of the wall.
It had come up to this height
Once or twice before,
But never as high
As I noticed it was now.
The amount of water surprised me,
For the storm that had just passed through
A few hours before,
Had reportedly not dumped
that much water onto the land.
Where was it coming from?
What would happen to us
If it rose so high
That it overflowed?

I remembered well
What happened
To the city of New Orleans,
And how their wall
Was breeched by the lake waters
Right after a big storm.
What would we do
If that happened here?
We would have to grab
What we could,
And get ourselves
To higher ground.

As these thoughts
Went through my mind,
My eyes watched the water line
Creep upwards ever so slowly,
Like a big plastic pool 
being filled up with water
from the garden hose.
Its movement was undetectable
By just looking at it;
One had to stare at it,
To see its upward flow.
It was now almost
To the top of the wall.
Would it choose to overflow now,
When my parents were away?

As I pushed the thought away,
I watched the water
Crest and flow over the wall,
Slowly at first, but quickly gaining
in momentum, volume, and strength.

I turned and ran back to the house,
Yelling out to my brother
That the water had breeched the levy,
And that he had to grab what he could
For we would have to run to safety,
Onto higher ground.

I wrenched open the back door,
Ran to the room
Where my baby brother lay
Still sleeping in his crib,
Grabbed his bedding, diaper bag,
Formula, and teddy,
And ran back out into the hallway
Where my other brother
Had gathered up some food,
Blankets, and a small survival kit,
And dumped them all
Into a big canvas bag.

We could hear our horse outside
Still locked up in his little barn,
Neighing with excitement and fear,
 As he tried to break free
From his holding.

I ran outside as fast as I could
to where he was,
quickly unleashed his tethers,
and threw a saddle upon him.
I didn’t even have the time
To secure it upon his back,
For the water had now risen
To just a few feet from us.

I jumped up upon the horse,
whispered the usual comforts
Into his flickering ears,
And spurred him back to the house.

My other brother
Had gathered together
All he could,
And now stood there
At the foot of the driveway,
Three bags of stuff,
And our baby brother
Snug in his carry cradle,
All sitting in his favorite
Red rider wagon.
He had hooked up
A harness of sorts
To the wagon,
And while I reached down
To grab my baby brother,
He secured the wagon
To the horse with strong rope.
I then reached down to him
With my one free hand,
And together we hoisted him up
To sit right behind me.

We turned to look back
At the house,
Hoping to see that the water
Had stopped rising,
And that we would
not have to leave.
But instead,
Our house was now surrounded
By the rising waters,
And was steadily advancing
To where we stood.

So with a breath of goodbye
To the house we grew up in,
We boldly moved forward,
Praying that God
would protect and lead us
with His Holy Spirit,
into His safety
and onto higher ground. 

We traveled for many days,
As the land behind us
Was swallowed up
By the rising waters.
We tried to warn others
But they would laugh at us.
When the water rushed in,
We would turn our eyes
Away from them,
For we refused
to watch them die.
(We knew we could do nothing
To help them, once the water
Began to swallow them up.)

The government
Would set up road blocks
Refusing to let people pass.
They rounded them up instead,
And sent them away from here.
We did not want
To go with them,
For we knew
That they were not to be trusted,
And would insist
On splitting us up.
They also believed
That I was too young
To care for a baby,
So we knew they
Would take our baby brother
From us, and we would never
see him again.
(We knew we had just lost
Our parents;
Loosing each other
Would be too much for us to take.)

We stumbled upon
One of these road blocks,
And in an effort to escape
From them, we turned
And went into a thick forest,
Making our way through it,
Till we came upon
A shallow dirt road.

We followed this road
For a short while,
Till we came to a coach
Being pulled by a team of horses.

Their owner cursed us
And warned us off his land,
Saying that he did not want
Any government overflow
To come upon his land.

“We’re trying to escape
From the arms of the government;
This is why we have stumbled
Upon your land!”

The older man
Made no move or sound,
So I tried another tactic.

“Please sir, I have
my little brother with me,
and an infant to care for
as well. Please, could we
seek shelter on your land,
till the government
passes by?”

At this, the old man frowned.
“Where are your parents?
They should be with you,
And caring for the baby!”

“Our parents
Are no longer with us, sir.
It is just me and my two brothers.”

I watched the mans face
As his eyes narrowed.
“Just how old are you, girl?”

When I told him,
He harrumphed,
And gruffly told us
To follow him.

He led us to his home,
Where others spilled out
To see us.

The family was large,
Made up of extended family,
And several children.
They believed it was best
To live off the land
And have nothing to do
With others, outside of their family.

We stayed there,
For several days.
The old man’s wife
Seemed to take to us
And we found ourselves
Soon included
Into their family.

When I figured
The government
Had passed,
I went to pack up our stuff,
But the mom and dad
Encouraged us to stay.

“What do you have
To go to?” the old man asked me.
“Why could you not stay here
With us? Come,” he said.
“Stay at least for a while longer…”

Well, we stayed with them,
For several years.

The closer I was
To becoming eighteen,
The more I sensed from my Lord,
That we should move on.

Then one day,
I had a dream
Where the Lord told me
That this area where we were now,
Would soon be destroyed
By the rising flood waters,
Just as our home was.

I tried to warn
The mom and the old man,
But they scoffed at the thought
That there really was such a thing
As a God. That would give
Such an important message
To someone as young as I.

“You don’t need to come up
With an excuse to leave you know,”
The mother snapped at me.
“Just leave.”

So me and my older brother
Gathered up all our stuff,
And I had snuggled my little brother
(now about five years old or so,)
Onto the little red wagon,
Into all the blankets and pillows,
So he would be comfortable
During our trip.

We took off,
And was not too far down the lane,
When a cry arose up behind us,
And they came chasing after us.

The mom and dad then accused me,
Of kidnapping their new baby.

I assured them that we did not,
But they soon found their baby
Nestled in amongst the blankets
That I had placed my own baby brother in
Just a short while ago.

I panicked, and began
To search for my baby brother,
But soon found him,
Hiding away in their baby’s crib.

He told us then,
That he had switched
Himself with their baby,
Cause he did not want
To go with us.
He wanted to stay with them instead.

I cried then, for I was shaken up
From the thought, that I almost took
The wrong child along with us,
And that may have been
Against the will of my God.

My crying, appeased
the mom and dad somewhat,
and so they then once again,
offered for us to stay with them.

We refused, reminding them again,
Of my dream. WE then asked them
To come with us,
But they refused my offer
With haughty distain.

When we tried to leave again,
Our little brother put up
a big temper tantrum,
and insisted that he stay
with them.

He told us then,
That we weren’t his
brother and sister anymore,
“these are my brothers and sisters,”
He said, pointing to all
the other children around him.
“And this is my mom and dad,” he said,
Pointing to the old man and his wife.

No matter what we said,
He refused to go with us. 

Both our hearts ached then,
For we realized that there was no way
To keep him with us
When he really didn’t want to,
And to leave him behind,
Meant that he would die
Along with all the others.

So with VERY sad hearts,
We turned and left.

A few days later,
As we made our way
Along the ridge
Of the mountain top,
We looked down
Into the valley
Where their house lay,
And watched
As the waters rushed in
And ripped their house
Off its foundation,
And crushed it down
into broken bits of board.

With our hearts breaking,
We realized, that there were
no survivors.

We cried
For the loss of our own brother,
And even for the loss
Of the others.

We then, slowly and sadly,
continued on our way.
I then woke up.

*  *  *  *

Ask Me

Another dream…

I am a very pretty woman,
With long wavy black hair,
And I’m married to a man
Who is just as good looking as me.
He’s tall and buff,
With muscles built up to the max.
Many men want me when they see me,
And try to reach me,
But my husband protects me from them.

Everywhere I go,
I see children, and then cry.
I love children.

My husband tries to seduce me,
And get me so carried away with passion
That we’d ‘forget’ to use
Protective birth control.
But I refuse him every time,
For I do not want another baby.
I’m afraid I’d end up killing it again.

We go to a party
Where there are lots of children.
I see one in mortal danger,
And manage to rescue it,
But then I break down and cry.

A cute little girl next to me,
Asks me why I am crying.
(After all, I saved the child.)
So I tell her about my boy,
And how God told me
To ask Him to save him,
to make the Bible claim to do so,
But I was too angry at my husband
And at God to do it.
I figured I would do so later.
But later became too late,
And he died.
He died because of me.

I left the party by myself after that.
My husband told me to wait,
And he’d go get our stuff & bring me home,
But I went ahead and took the car
by myself anyways.
(As I drove off, it looked as if he tried
To follow at a distance.)
I tried to drive home, but soon found
That I was now in the middle of a bad storm.
Freeway accidents abounded all around me,
But I skirted through them all confidently
And without a problem,
For I knew that God would
keep the way clear the way for me.

I soon found though,
that too many roads were washed out,
so I had to stop & walk through
old, sandy, and barren, hiking trails
that wove through the countryside,
and followed parallel
to the ocean’s edge.

My husband caught up with me,
And said “of course this way
Was the only way to go home.
Why did you think otherwise?”

So we walked together,
But I still managed to walk
A short ways from his side
On another path next to him,
For I was still too mad at him
For refusing to leave me alone,
And not respecting my wishes
To not have another baby.

Suddenly, my path veered off
The cliff edge, and into the ocean.

I turned to look behind me,
But the path I had just walked on
Had just washed away,
And the path before me
Was too soft to support any weight.
I tried my best to go forward,
But found I was loosing my footholds fast.

I wondered what I should do,
(take my chances with the ocean?
It didn’t look too deep where I was,)
But felt God telling me
To try and climb up the side
Of the small cliff on my hands and knees,
And that God would make the earth
firm enough for me.

I did as He suggested,
And found the ground was firm enough
(though it felt like gel,)
To support my weight.
So I climbed up in the direction
Of where I knew my husband to be.
When I reached the top,
I came to a stream,
Fast moving and growing
From all the storm water run-off.

I was going to walk further up
To see if I could cross over there,
But then my eyes caught sight
Of a still small child, alongside the stream,
Lying mostly underwater.

I went and got her,
And carried her up to her mom.
She had almond-shaped eyes
And beautiful straight, black, oriental hair.

I tried to use the Heimlich maneuver
To remove the water from her lungs,
And even though I did manage
to remove a good amount of it from her,
she still would not move.

So I started to cry again.

“No, no! Not again! Please not again!
Please Lord, not again! Don’t let
Another child in my arms
Die yet again!”

Just then, my eyes caught sight
Of a small heart-shaped pearl button,
That had fallen off her dress.
(It reminded me of those
Heart-shaped candies
That can be found
Around Valentine’s Day.)
This one, said “ASK ME.”

So I did.
I spoke the scripture out loud,
That lets me make a claim
Upon the Lord, and promises me
That I will receive it,
“in order to give glory to the Father.”

But still, nothing happened.

“Breathe for her,”
said the voice within.
So I did.
Once, and then twice,
And then me and the child’s mother
Both seen the child’s head move.

I was going to try for a third time,
just to make sure she’d have enough oxygen,
And bent over her again to do so,
But the girl suddenly held up her hand
And said “no more.”
She then wrinkled up her nose,
And said “you have bad breath!”

Me along with her mother
Burst out laughing.
I told the child then,
With a wry smile of my own,
That eating onions will do that…
We parted from them,
And slowly, with my husband,
We returned home.
I then woke up.

*  *  *  *