He is making perfect sense out of a perfectly senseless, messed up life!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving – a lesson well learned!

I awoke this morning thinking that I should share some kind of thanksgiving writing with my blog followers. I know that many of you are from countries other than the USA and are not celebrating Thanksgiving today, but I do believe that all of us, no matter what our life is like, have something to be thankful for today so I believe that every day can be a Thanksgiving day.

I do, truly, love you all with the love of Christ as He has so given me the grace to do so. I, by no means, wish to discount what you each may be going through. *1 Thess. 5:18 (NKJV) “in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.“

As I awoke and thought about this, this true story from my life that I’ve wanted to share came to mind. Between 1992 and 2001, I worked at a hospital in Ohio. For the first four years, my main job was in the emergency room. I officially worked through the admitting office but on third shift there were two of us on duty and we worked in the emergency room, registering the emergency room patients, while admitting mostly emergency room patients. I also picked up hours on other shifts through the emergency room. That was sure some job that I will never forget.

We had just horrendous nights. There were nights that we’d go the entire shift without even getting a bathroom break. And, amidst this mayhem, my co-workers would many times be tired to the point of tears. That is why I’ve been so anxious to share my experiences there because through them God surely kept me from tears. For one, please check out my blog post about prayer (http://somethingbyjuliana.blogspot.com/2010/06/power-of-prayer-two-miraculous-accounts.html) and, the way I learned to handle all that I saw I’ll reflect upon in couple of ways. At first I so thought that I just couldn’t handle seeing all the pain but it came to mind for me to start praying for the people that came into be treated. This ALWAYS helped me in return.

Then, I learned to think of this: that no matter how bad of a night I was having, that most of them were probably having a worse night.

I can honestly share that in the more than 22 years since I rededicated my life to the Lord, I do not know of even one day where I have ceased to thank and praise Him. I just always have known in my heart that even if I don’t feel like praising Him or giving Him thanks that He rewards this surrender. The act of doing it makes me feel more like doing it. I’ve always heard that God inhabits the praises of His people but I didn’t know the exact reference so I did a search for it at Google.com which I have shared the link below if you would like to know more in regards to this.


*Phil. 4:6
“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;”

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

God's Comfort - Psalm 27

I woke up at 2:54 am, then again at 3:21 and I gave up and got up. Lately our pastor told us that if we had trouble sleeping that we should get up and read the Bible and Satan will let us go to sleep (I loved that). So, I came to my computer to read the Bible and post a few scriptures on Facebook.

I looked up a few familiar scriptures in "The Message", a version that had been introduced to me lately by my teacher in my ladies' class on Sunday mornings before church. This version puts things in today's words. I still love the New King James Version but I like comparing scriptures. I came to my favorite Psalm, Psalm 27, which God used in me to keep me afloat in 1988 after being arrested and rededicating my life to Him. I was so distraught that I sat at my desk in tears, daily. I felt like my world was crumbling and I was going off the deep end! In the early hours of this morning, I read this and cried again! So profound considering how God has changed me so drastically in this 22 years since. I can so see it as a prayer that I prayed those 22 years ago.

*Psalm 27 (The Message)

Psalm 27
A David Psalm
1 Light, space, zest— that's God!
So, with him on my side I'm fearless,
afraid of no one and nothing.

2 When vandal hordes ride down
ready to eat me alive,
Those bullies and toughs
fall flat on their faces.

3 When besieged,
I'm calm as a baby.
When all hell breaks loose,
I'm collected and cool.

4 I'm asking God for one thing,
only one thing:
To live with him in his house
my whole life long.
I'll contemplate his beauty;
I'll study at his feet.

5 That's the only quiet, secure place
in a noisy world,
The perfect getaway,
far from the buzz of traffic.

6 God holds me head and shoulders
above all who try to pull me down.
I'm headed for his place to offer anthems
that will raise the roof!
Already I'm singing God-songs;
I'm making music to God.

7-9 Listen, God, I'm calling at the top of my lungs:
"Be good to me! Answer me!"
When my heart whispered, "Seek God,"
my whole being replied,
"I'm seeking him!"
Don't hide from me now!

9-10 You've always been right there for me;
don't turn your back on me now.
Don't throw me out, don't abandon me;
you've always kept the door open.
My father and mother walked out and left me,
but God took me in.

11-12 Point me down your highway, God;
direct me along a well-lighted street;
show my enemies whose side you're on.
Don't throw me to the dogs,
those liars who are out to get me,
filling the air with their threats.

13-14 I'm sure now I'll see God's goodness
in the exuberant earth.
Stay with God!
Take heart. Don't quit.
I'll say it again:
Stay with God.

And, the *New King James Version:

Psalm 27
A Psalm of David.
1 The LORD is my light and my salvation;
Whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the strength of my life;
Of whom shall I be afraid?
2 When the wicked came against me
To eat up my flesh,
My enemies and foes,
They stumbled and fell.
3 Though an army may encamp against me,
My heart shall not fear;
Though war may rise against me,
In this I will be confident.

4 One thing I have desired of the LORD,
That will I seek:
That I may dwell in the house of the LORD
All the days of my life,
To behold the beauty of the LORD,
And to inquire in His temple.
5 For in the time of trouble
He shall hide me in His pavilion;
In the secret place of His tabernacle
He shall hide me;
He shall set me high upon a rock.

6 And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me;
Therefore I will offer sacrifices of joy in His tabernacle;
I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the LORD.

7 Hear, O LORD, when I cry with my voice!
Have mercy also upon me, and answer me.
8 When You said, “Seek My face,”
My heart said to You, “Your face, LORD, I will seek.”
9 Do not hide Your face from me;
Do not turn Your servant away in anger;
You have been my help;
Do not leave me nor forsake me,
O God of my salvation.
10 When my father and my mother forsake me,
Then the LORD will take care of me.

11 Teach me Your way, O LORD,
And lead me in a smooth path, because of my enemies.
12 Do not deliver me to the will of my adversaries;
For false witnesses have risen against me,
And such as breathe out violence.
13 I would have lost heart, unless I had believed
That I would see the goodness of the LORD
In the land of the living.

14 Wait on the LORD;
Be of good courage,
And He shall strengthen your heart;
Wait, I say, on the LORD!

Find your favorites in all different versions at http://www.biblegateway.com/

Saturday, November 13, 2010

James 1:5 – My Answer

*James 1:5 (NKJV) “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.”

The Lord knows that I’ve been trying to analyze my life in my head over and over and over and over some more! That is my ADD brain, always going seemingly 90 miles an hour, going and going! I was teased at work in Ohio that I was like the “Energizer Bunny”. And, on top of that, many times, I’ve asked the Lord for wisdom that I might comprehend and share it with others. I’ve even prayed for His words to share this as it is not easy for me to explain. I have shared it with one friend, but she knows my quirks and I’m sure she half uses her own analytical mind to figure out what I mean! So, if any of you read this and have trouble understanding it, please do not hesitate to pray for wisdom and/or to message me, if you’d like!

It is my belief that if I’m able to share my peculiarities with you that it may put some understanding into your life’s meaning. Life is just “weird” and I was surprised to see how weird mine was, but still quite thankful to God for saving me in this way. I think, it may be more readily understandable if I take you through it a bit more chronologically.

I was adopted at 18 days old. I was told that I spent the first 18 days in a hospital. In 1960 when I was born, not much was known about bonding. So, I started off supposedly thinking that I was born to be alone (rejected and abandoned at birth). My adoptive mother told me that I only cried when I was hungry, which was all the time (10 lb. 8 oz. bouncing baby, too). I also didn’t like being held. Wow, did all of this make sense for someone with intimacy issues, weight problems, and a nearly life-long acceptance problem!

Thank the Lord for His leading me to a class on a book called “The Search for Significance: Seeing Your True Worth Through God’s Eyes” by Robert S. McGee (
http://www.amazon.com/Search-Significance-Seeing-Worth-Through/dp/0849944244). I went through a class on this book two times and would do it again. I learned things through this book that I wasn’t taught in nine years with a Psychologist. I would highly recommend getting this book. If you E-Bay, I’ve seen it on www.ebay.com very inexpensively. To tell you the truth, this helped take care of most of the wisdom regarding my life, except for why was I called a right brain person when it seemed to me that I was left brained and so mathematical in my make up? …and I was quite confused about this!

After reading this, I see it is more correct in thinking that I was for a time, more dominated by my left brain. To explain: When I was ten years old, my folks were told by my art teacher that they should encourage my art due to a recent painting I had done. This teacher saw potential in me. My folks didn’t believe that being an artist was the proper way to go so they discouraged this (although, mother being a piano teacher, I took 11 years of piano lessons). Only more recently did I put together all that happened at my age of 10 years old. My father started drinking regularly and so did I. I also took more and more mathematical oriented classes and only basic art that I had to take for credit. I had succumbed to peer-pressure and the direction of my parents.

(Sadly, even though a crafter from a small child, I never did discover my love of art until after I rededicated my life to the Lord in 1988).

In 2001, when the illness I’d contracted became very evident, I typed an estimated 120 words per minute. I had taken on the job training in radiological transcription so I could work part time hours making similar money and go back to school to become a Paramedic. I loved medicine! And, due to the predominance of my left brain, I’d worked in the social services doing primarily left brained work for the most part of 25 years.

The Illness: On January 24, 2001, an MRI of the brain was conducted and brain lesions were found. The largest (2 cm.) lesion was in my left frontal lobe (the left cerebral cortex). Among other things, my mathematical skills were extremely stifled for more than two years. Subsequent happenings were that my right cerebral cortex is now dominant and growing with my IQ becoming even higher than before the illness.

One thing I remember my psychologist telling me back in the early part of the 1980’s (when I was in my early 20’s) is that I was a right brained person (partially misunderstood by both he and I). Here I was in professions where I used primarily my left brain, but in many ways I showed that my right brain should be dominant (no wonder I was confused most of my life). And, also, he had explained to me that right brained people tended to have more emotional problems (bingo)…i.e., Van Gogh cutting off his ear.

Back to James 1:5 and praying for wisdom. I fully believe, now, that God kept me alive during those years of extreme alcohol and drug usage combined with severe emotional problems. He kept my predominance in my left brain to keep me from “jumping”. To keep me from going over the edge! For those of you who have not read my book or some of my previous writings, I experienced several suicide attempts with subsequent hospitalizations for depression and on and on, which led to the nine years of weekly psychologist appointments. All of the above led to my arrest for selling drugs with rededication to the Lord and final imprisonment (where I learned to know Him).

(And, I came out of prison in March of 1990 and was married in December of 1990 (still happily married to the same man)).

I realized my love for art, but at this time I was 30 years old and had only been trained for office work (Business Administration/Marketing in college) so that is what I continued to pursue.

Now, I know why my reactions to art were so extreme! Joe took me to several art exhibits, which truly touched my soul. As my love of art deepened I learned to do faux painting in my own home. My love of art was released in my decorating (and a little in needlework design and implementation). During a trip to Chicago and an exhibit at the Art Institute there I saw Renoir’s Two Sisters (On the Terrace) from across a room and by the time I’d walked over to it I had tears streaming down my face.

In 1995, I was struck down with complications from a fall from a roof in 1980 where I crushed a vertebra. It had calcified and was pressing into my spinal cord causing weakness of internal organs and the outward appearance of near loss of the use of my left leg. I was told if I did not have an extremely experimental surgery that I would surely be in a wheelchair in diapers in the very near future. Almost needless to say, I had the surgery. I was told that I would be off work for 6-9 months and in a body brace for 6.5 months. I was back working in 4.5 months in the brace. I learned, then, that God may let you go through something but He may still bring about healing more quickly.

I knew in my heart at that time that I was supposed to go back to work part-time and pursue something more creative on a part-time basis. But, I did not. I did slow down a little, but I went right back to working a part-time position but picking up more hours on the same or other shifts at the hospital. And, also back to the decorating or little needlework jobs on the side while watching TV.

There are many, many things I’ve learned from the illness that befell me in 2001…Countless! I can look back now, these 9 years later as I am still going through recovery and say that I wouldn’t change a thing! I endured with a much, much deeper relationship with our dear heavenly Papa! I could not put down in words all the ways that He has touched my heart and taught me things I did not know! One thing for sure is, that I am now that right brained person that He created me to be. I am an artist and a writer and I live in one of the most beautiful areas on earth (please check out my other writings). I fully believe that the world disabled me but God enabled me for so much more than I was doing before. And, with this…I’ll leave you with my future blog entries to read!

If you want to find out about your right/left brain predominance please check out the following link (Please note that this test is primarily geared towards artists – you can do a right brain vs. left brain search at
http://www.google.com/ and find a test for non-artists.

I had to laugh when I took this. My findings were: "You answered 16 items out of 20 as right brained. Your score is 80%. Your right brain is strongly dominant. "

What made me laugh even more was that nearly all the questions that I answered as left brain were primarily effected by my husband. *2 Corinthians 8:13-15 (NKJV) “For I do not mean that others should be eased and you burdened; but by an equality, that now at this time your abundance may supply their lack, that their abundance also may supply your lack—that there may be equality. As it is written, “He who gathered much had nothing left over, and he who gathered little had no lack.”

May God bless you even in some small way from reading this blog entry. Please share either in the comments below, or message me at:

*2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (NKJV) “And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Three Crosses and a Dove - 2010

A few weeks ago a major miracle in my life from a long, long time ago came to mind that I had not shared with most of my friends since. I was a bit shocked that I’d neglected this so I prayed for God’s reminder through His Holy Spirit. I even asked for Him to give me something to help me remember. (One residual side effect from the CNS Vasculitis is memory loss so I’ve learned to pray for God to be my memory. Trusting in that is how I get by! I have to rest in the idea that if I don’t remember, that God is taking care of it.)

Just a couple of weeks later, I stopped by a Christian bookstore and there sat my reminder in the clearance section. It wasn’t exact. I would have to use some of my creativity to make it work but it was inexpensive (right up my alley). For $5.00 I took it home and began my look for what I needed to make it work. I found one other part on E-Bay for 99 cents (actually paid nothing due to an E-Bay coupon for more than a dollar). And, I already had some sterling silver wire and a cord to hang it from.

This memory is of a time before I fully understood what an awesome relationship I could have with my creator. It was during an extremely rocky time in my life. It happened before I knew His peace; John 14:27 is my favorite Bible verse “Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” *After my arrest in 1988 and eventual rededication of my life to the Lord, my co-conspirator and I were out for a drive. He had rededicated his life, also. We spent many of our days together to follow (before prison) in God’s word or riding around, listening to Christian music. This time I remember listening to Petra’s song “Not of This World”. And, we looked up into the sky and saw just as clear as the nose on my face, three crosses and a dove in the clouds. We fully believed that it was God’s promise to us of His peace. Please see the photo below of my new reminder that I now keep hanging from my rear-view mirror. (Yesterday, I took a mini-break at the Sunshine Skyway’s rest area and noticed that I couldn’t find a more perfect place to take a photo for this writing.)

God has brought me to Florida (James 1:17 “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning.”) and given me so much of His peace that I can get through my days so much easier. Life isn’t perfect, of course. God gives me His peace. I once shared with my 87 year old mother who is in a nursing home that I could be sitting in a pile of dung, still praising the Lord, because of HIS PEACE. This world gives NO PEACE! And, He gave me a loving reminder of this and I’m sharing it with you!

I would like to share that if any of you ever have any questions, want to share something, or would just like to have someone to chat with, please don’t hesitate to message me! If you have a question that I can’t answer, I’ll find the answer for you! I welcome any and all inquires! If one of my blog posts particularly touches, please comment to me – I can use the encouragement…I can always use encouragement. Even though my faith is strong, I am still merely a human who has been given a gift in writing.

God bless you all!

*For more information please see my book “Beyond to Better Things” available at
http://www.amazon.com/Beyond-Better-Things-Tricia-Marie/dp/160703252X/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1228308095&sr=8-1 and/or you can read more of an explanation in my blog entry entitled “Testimony Written for Billy Burke Ministries” at http://somethingbyjuliana.blogspot.com/2010/07/testimony-written-for-billy-burke.html
UPDATE:  Just thought to share a song that was my most memorable from this time in my life!
May God bless you through my writing. If He has especially touched you in any way, please leave a comment below. Your comments are so very encouraging to me to help me to keep writing. Also, click on the “Uptweet” button on the above right and share! I pray you will keep coming back. I fully believe that my writing is by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit so if I am writing, there is someone that needs to read it! Maybe it’s you? Also, please be sure to share any questions you might have with me and if you would like to keep them personal (just between you and me) please don’t hesitate to e-mail me at juliana.pace@gmail.com. If I don’t know how to answer you, I will may every attempt to refer you to someone for more information. Thanks and may God bless all your days!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Volunteering - My First Day Back in the World - A Reflection - 2010

I just had my first day out in the world volunteering since I was disabled. January 28, 2001 was my last full day of work. I realized what a different perspective I had and thought that I should share it with all of you.

The other day I sat and talked with my husband about my art as he looked at my first encaustic painting which I hadn’t yet posted photos of to Facebook (left).   He actually liked my painting and was discussing with me about sharing it with others. He wondered how I might find out more info about exhibits, the art world, etc… in the area (moved here in 2005). I told him that it had crossed my mind several times about checking further into volunteering at the Sarasota Art Center. (I’d e-mailed and found out that they did use volunteers a few years ago but hadn’t felt strong enough yet to look into it further). This is one way that I truly have proven that God speaks to me time and time again. Something that I’ve been contemplating about, my husband comes up with a question that falls right into the whole concept (we work together as God intended that way). How better to find out more about the art world but to jump right into the middle of it?

The following Tuesday, I had a doc’s appt. in Sarasota so I decided to stop by the Art Center after and to my pleasant surprise the volunteer coordinator was available to see me. We spoke for a good half-hour or longer and when I left I’d been given two dates to volunteer.

I was ecstatic! I cried! I have volunteered through my church actually quite a few times in the last few years. That was amazing, too. But, this was my first time back in the world after almost 10 years. What an extraordinary feeling!

On Wednesday morning I volunteered for the first time. I loved it. I was there with 4 other volunteers doing a mailing. We gabbed and worked on just easy, trivial stuff. Most of them just wanting to get out of the house for a bit. I felt right at home.