Inside 

I’m the type of person that, unless I’m forced into something, I generally bring my heart with me. Unless I HAVE to absolutely do something, I’m rarely ever fake. I will give you ME…flaws, wackiness, & all. I value having others laugh & feel loved. By nature I’m a server, I like to take care of & tend to people, the only draw back is accesive abuse of my kindness. 

When I walk into an environment that requires part of me for an extended period of time, I put what I’m able into it & it becomes a personal matter of the heart. If I can be somewhat comfortable around you, were set for the long haul. Over the years & through many experiences of my own, I’m aware of what others may want, need, & eagerly avoid. Most of my life, when I came across something about someone I didn’t like, it became a phobia for me to never posses such quality or participate in such actions. 

I’m quite seasoned for my age, as with most I left a past that many would never guess or fathom, BUT learning from mistakes turns them into lessons!! That took years of walking through, what I labeled as “shame”, before I could truly stand on believing that. But between my raising up as a child, the environment I was surrounded by, & my life journeys, I’d like to think I’m an open minded person. I like to be real & true. I invite others to do the same, whether to me or to someone else. I believe in safe zones, though I’m guilty of not practicing what I encourage or preach. I do tend to have people come to me with secrets & issues, assuming they have total confidence in confidentiality  with me. 

I enjoy educating myself & researching, furthering knowledge is a drive for myself. Very rarely do I voice opinions & feelings with wrongly stated facts. I’ve never liked anyone to tell me what to do, so I can imagine that this seemingly “grasp of control” stems from that. People steer others wrong & a lot of people have no idea what they are facing or discussing, much less even attempting to pay attention. Though my life, trusting has usually always failed me. As a result, I take it upon myself to cross reference sources & come to my own conclusion. 

There’s alot of “I’s” written here. But the truth is that my whole life has been a process of making me who I am & putting me in a better position to discover the true God OUTSIDE of religion & to grow in Him & strive to be the light to others. Kingdom growth will follow once a person is true to what & who God says they are. I could never be right where I am, possessing more joy than ever before, had God not patiently waited for me & met me where I was & began directing me to sources that would encourage me to break the chains & bondage that religion has put on my life. Though I grew up in church, I honestly feel like it was more a veneer than anything. I am now walking more in TRUTH, learning of things I’ve never heard of before. All of this has fueled me to begin transforming into a Child of God placed here for Kingdom work. 
I’m not saying I’m perfect, only Jesus is. I’m ridiculously flawed, but I’m saved & loved by The Sovereign God of Life itself. With every mess up & fall down & step back, I learn more & more to correct myself & truck on. My heart had been hardened by the world, but God renews me often & put a heart of flesh in me, which empowers me with the ability to GIVE more of my heart to others that surround me & cross my path.  

Writing this has brought me full circle. Yes, I give my heart & my attention to all my works..why I ask..because I am a steward of Jesus Christ. I give & more often I hurt as a result. Frustration & aggravation & feeling taken for granted fill me, but not fuel me as much as it used to. I watch the dying, I hold the crying, I sit with the shattered, I walk into emotionally rough situations & events. WHY??? 

BECAUSE I AM THE BODY OF CHRIST & CHRIST ABIDES IN ME!!!!! 

It’s not me, it’s Christ IN & THROUGH me. That’s why. People need love & light. In my life experiences, I know that all to well. There is power in love & truth. LOVE covers a multitude of sins. 

I am who I am & do what I do, because that is my role in God’s purpose & plan & on His agenda for me. 

Mom or Glorified Babysitter?

To define a mother, a person could actually take many meanings from the word. 

  • bring up (a child) with care and affection.
  • look after kindly and protectively, sometimes excessively so.
  • give birth to
  • a woman in relation to her child or children.
  • an extreme example or very large specimen of something
  • an elderly woman.

Mothers are women who inhabit or perform the role of bearing some relation to their children, who may or may not be their biological offspring. Thus, dependent on the context, women can be considered mothers by virtue of having given birth & by raising their child(ren).  


Mother can often apply to a woman other than the biological parent, especially if she fulfills the main social role in raising the child. 

    Biblically:

    The Greek word philoteknos appears in reference to mothers loving their children. This word represents a special kind of “mother love.” The idea that flows out of this word is that of caring for our children, nurturing them, affectionately embracing them, meeting their needs, and tenderly befriending each one as a unique gift from the hand of God. 

    Being a mother is a very important role that the Lord chooses to give to many women. Those whom the Lord blesses to be mothers should take the responsibility seriously. Mothers have a unique and crucial role in the lives of their children. Motherhood is not a chore or unpleasant task. Mothers also play an ongoing role in the lives of their children, whether they are adolescents, teenagers, young adults, or even adults with children of their own. While the role of motherhood must change and develop, the love, care, nurture, and encouragement a mother gives should never cease.

    Several things are commanded of Christian mothers in God’s Word:

    • Availability – morning, noon, and night (Deuteronomy 6:6-7)
    • Involvement – interacting, discussing, thinking, and processing life together (Ephesians 6:4)
    • Teaching – the Scriptures and a biblical worldview (Psalm 78:5-6; Deuteronomy 4:10; Ephesians 6:4)
    • Training – helping a child to develop skills and discover his/her strengths (Proverbs 22:6) and spiritual gifts (Romans 12:3-8 and 1 Corinthians 12)
    • Discipline – teaching the fear of the Lord, drawing the line consistently, lovingly, firmly (Ephesians 6:4; Hebrews 12:5-11; Proverbs 13:24; 19:18; 22:15; 23:13-14; 29:15-17)
    • Nurture – providing an environment of constant verbal support, freedom to fail, acceptance, affection, unconditional love (Titus 2:4; 2 Timothy 1:7; Ephesians 4:29-32; 5:1-2; Galatians 5:22; 1 Peter 3:8-9)
    • Modeling with Integrity – living what you say, being a model from which a child can learn by “catching” the essence of godly living (Deuteronomy 4:9, 15, 23; Proverbs 10:9; 11:3; Psalm 37:18, 37).


    By all the above, I am a legit mother of 6! 2 biological girls & 4 bonus boys. I researched the context of the previous from various different sites, finding both worldly & biblical directions of this universal & all covering word. This is for my fellow Step/Bonus/Extra/Other mom’s out there that struggle from time to time. 

    Its stuff that being a Step Parent can be one of the hardest positions in the parenting realm. Blended families have a high divorce rate…as goes without need of explanation. I, personally, have a BLENDED Family.  

    As with any aspect of life, there are good times & bad & with the right perspective, the good far outweighs the bad. But like anyone would know, when the bad is present, the struggle is real. At the end of the day, you are no one as far as some are concerned. The privilege of being spoken to, on those days, are either forced, pried, or nonexistent. But you hide your hurt so no one can see. “No need to take it personal.” 

    *One thing that is a must to remember, is that God entrusted YOU to help raise these kids. YOU were the one chosen to be placed in their lives. Yes, people differ from each other. Not many function identical from the next. We are on different playing fields & that’s expected. All have different backgrounds of childhood that bring them to certain places in their parenting & just life in general. Remember, it’s not you! The fight is not of flesh, but of the spiritual realms. 

     School, responsibility, accountability, manners, truth telling & respect are all important things to me, as when I was growing up, it was instilled as such. So to sit back & be a spectator, isn’t fun or humorous. I like to have some sense of control over things or people that are in my care for even a slight time, that’s my down fall. Not a control freak by any means, but to have to watch some things & not be able to truly act, yet want to intervene but can’t..kills me. Then if my intuition becomes correct over time, it hurts me more because i had no power to try my hand in altering the outcome. I tend to pay attention to my children & their actions even if I’m not in close proximity. My parents & family had a constant watch over us. The world has changed greatly so my trust of it diminished even more. I don’t allow my kids to walk alone to places, or do things they haven’t shown the responsibility to handle. You earn your trust, you pull your weight. Not much was handed to me. I knew and know the value of a penny. I knew the importance of school work & how it came 1st, never allowed to battle with material things, taught church & social edicate. The apparent majority of society has lost standards…what a shame.  But such is life. 

    I have limited parenting abilities with 3/4 of my kids as often the 50/50 custody isn’t realistic due to many factors & there’s several days where that is a huge lump of frustration. I’m asked or I assume I’m asked to play a part in raising these children, but that’s not a for serious request in all truth. So I’m having to remind myself that God & prayer hold more power & control than I ever could fathom. I will continue to raise my girls & parent them, I will strive to be a model parent/mom/spiritual guide for the boys. I will remind myself to be in constant prayer for my entire surroundings & I will trust God. 

    Though I often feel defeated, hopeless, like part of me wants to callous or put up a wall, no matter how much I’m dying inside remembering that God is ALL SUFFICIENT is a MUST. Only God must be sought for empowerment, strength, & intercessory. Give it to Him & attempt not to stress or give into the urge to want to quit. The fruit of loves labor’s & perseverance may not be seen in the near future, but one day it will come. Even if it’s a mere glisten, it will bear itself. God is in control. Not us. & that  must never be forgotten. 

    Lord Help me! I need you!

      I am Processing….

       This was 1st titled, “I am a Hypocrite” but pondering that title left me increasingly leery of that selection. Like the word “Pride”, society has it’s immediate 1 direction definition & rarely is aware of the complexion of its entirety. So to prevent immediate judgement without reading, I chose to remove the title that would judge this “book” by the cover. So allow me to start here….

      I am a Hypocrite. 

      Webster dictionary defines Hypocrisy as, “a feigning to be what one is not or to believe what one does not :  behavior that contradicts what one claims to believe or feel.”

      Also put, It’s a pretense of having a virtuous character. It is moral or religious beliefs or principles, etc, that one does not really possess.

      “To walk in hypocrisy is to forget God has met us where we are, that he has pulled us out of the muck and the mire, & that we are all in process (as the gospel teaches)”

      I grew up understanding this term in a religious church atmosphere, so to hear the “Reliance” sermon from The Village Church’s Pastor Matt Chandler, it definitely shook a few things. In a different perspective of this word, a perspective we don’t usually highlight under the term, being as When we refuse to walk in the type of community that can support us, hear us, and encourage us, hypocrisy will flourish.” 

      I, for one, am very guilty of giving others advice & ministering when in all actuality sometimes I’m finding myself needing to heed my own words. Hypocrisy possibly flourishes due to us “rarely willing to have the type of relationships that will expose where we’re blind.” (Differently put, “A failure to walk in community in a way that reveals what is really going on in our hearts, minds, & lives.”)  I am a person that feels it to be difficult to go to people & open to my weaknesses, doubts, & all of the like when there become bumps in my road. I treasure having the blessing to “sit in the trenches” with others & help them out…only I don’t allow others to do the same for me. Allowing myself to be the cheese that stands alone only ferments aggravation inside & outwardly my husband feels the difference.  Once I am personally aware of this, I strongly dislike myself for the position I’ve allowed myself to fall in. When I’m walking in more of flesh than spirit, I’m facing the old me & my head is crammed with anger waiting & wanting to explode. When I’m more in the Spirit, mountains move & peace & joy exude me. 

      “It’s okay to…not be okay. You just can’t
      stay there.”  

      Pity parties aren’t my forte, so I guess subconsciously I go to that conclusion of self mentally on the occasions when opening begins. I was raised with the, tears don’t fix it, mentality & it stuck pretty well. I don’t see any of the previous statements in others that approach me for encouragement though. I truly am my own worst critic. 

      On the contrary, I am deeply intrigued by people’s personal stories. I’m a soul digger, looking deep to the root of why things are as so. Never any judgement of any sort, but approached with understanding & openness. I believe the church body could benefit from being more transparent, but I become a stalemate. If you chose to listen, I’ll tell you my story, my testimony, but my current mental battles…probably not. 

      “There’s not really an avenue in which being privatized in your faith is going to be beneficial to you.” 

      I have questions, doubts, times where God seems far off in the distance, times when I can’t see what He’s doing & why he chose ME to do it. At times like so, I typically become quiet in flesh & spirit. I call out to God in those times, yet i know I can do a better job at prioritising my time with Him & the manner it’s done. There are also many periods where silence overcomes in all realms of my person. 

      “Doubt & struggle should not be viewed as weakness among the people of God; they
      should be viewed as part of the journey.”

      “The Holy Spirit is at work inside you, doing the work of sanctification with you to make you more & more like Jesus. When you forget these two things are true about you…first, that you’re a sinner in need of grace &, second, that you are in process…you will turn your back on the very freeing reality that God has already outed you as not being there yet.”
      There is no perfect person & no perfect church & THANK The Good Lord for THAT!! I’m sure I’d manage to mess something up, I’m a messy person, flawed, stubborn, PRAISE Jesus that He is the ONLY to withhold perfection. But because of Jesus, God sees me as something I don’t see myself as. But He loves me. So much so…The Bible has so much to say about how we’re to walk with one another in our doubts.

        ▪Ecclesiastes 4:9-12▪ 
      “Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls & has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him–a threefold cord is not quickly broken.” 

      “This is Solomon’s way of saying there should always be someone in the trench of life with you. There should be at least one who knows everything about you; at least one who knows what you’re thinking, what you’re currently wrestling with, what you currently have on your plate, where you
      feel you currently are in regard to margin. There should always be at least one!”

      ▪Proverbs 27:17▪”Iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.”

        Fire, Hammer, Sparks. THAT’S how iron sharpens iron.

      ▪Hebrews 3:13▪ “But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called ‘today,’ that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.” 

      “Nobody just falls off the cliff of
      belief. They wrestle. They’re quiet about it. They don’t let anyone in.”

        “The text here says we should know one another to the point that we’re able to exhort one another,
      encourage one another, as long as it’s called “today.” Why? Because there is a very real chance we’ll be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin. How can we be encouraged in our weaknesses if no one
      knows we’re weak? And how can we be exhorted in our doubts if no one knows we’re wrestling with doubt? ”

      The quiet wrestling times, like anyone, I have personal conversations with myself…if not with God…about how I feel or what is going on. I leave myself solo or fully rely on God & blare it all to Him. Which to me, I imagine that to be the better option. Some times I know I’m wrong because those are times I want/need someone to just listen. To have a few pray for me & lead me with words of encouragement that are Biblical..that would truly be the better route. 

       “Relationships with others that
      are built around knowing, walking with, & following hard after Jesus Christ are difficult to find.” This is difficult to explain what I feel with this due to having a loving church family that would become anything that was needed. I tell others, our job is to bear each other’s burdens. Yet again from the receptive point rather than the communicative. “Doubt isn’t weakness. Quit trying to carry it on your own. If the disciples had to say, “Help my unbelief,” what makes you think you’re stronger than they are? What a prayer from the people. “Help my unbelief. I’m trying to believe. Help me.” 

      “What leads people out of  hypocrisy is an ongoing reminder that they’re in need of grace, that they have no secrets, that God already knows, & that sanctification is a process.” How well that “P” word presents itself often. Yet it is truth. Often a painful process as well, uncomfortable to say the least but never in vain. Grace is an obsession to myself. So much awe by this gift. What a good God we have that no matter what we tell or don’t tell, He still reins supreme & He always makes ways. PRAISE Him for His ways…The Way. Always meeting us where we are. 

      “So what do we do with hypocrisy? Well, I think you have to be on your guard, & I think you have to learn to preach the gospel to yourself. Just walk in what he has already said is true about you. You’re a sinner in need of grace. Don’t try to be more than you are.” 

      “You’re never going to grow in your knowledge of the Word of God if you pretend you already know the Word of God & become too proud to seek help for it. It becomes a necessity that we be honest. It becomes a necessity that we say, “I need help.” Your hypocrisy, your lying, your pretending to be more than you are… You might have fooled us, but you most definitely have not fooled God.” 

      Yet more words to heed in my soul. Thank The Good Lord for His process.  

       

       Legacy…

      How have you lived life thus far?  Up til now, what would friends, family, acquaintances, & strangers speak about you?  Have you ever wondered what kind of path you pave for others (especially your children), if you live what you preach, or abide by the “Golden Rule”?

      3 deaths & funerals in an 8 month span of time has been the story for my home. Facing death as a spectator, a loved one, a family member is an act that can ring one dry. Questions are presented, resentments arise, division & truth rush in the small cracks of any doubt that exists. Power shows the raw self in all its glory. If you want to know the realness of a person, wait til someone close or dear passes. Steer clear of vultures & give them no handle in your emotions or they will pick your bones clean. So many life lessons can be taught & learnt in one of lifes most bittersweet acts. 

      At the end, when you are spoken about to the gathering congregation, what do you think would be said upon reflection of your life? Will they have to exaggerate on areas in order to milk any dignity or integrity of your life sum? Will there be 2 sided stories or misrepresentation of how you truly were? Or will peices of people’s hearts have a small void at the loss of your earthly body?

      The last 3 funerals we have attended have had stories from all spectrums. Some truth over saw one, yet selfish ambitions surfaced during this process. False stories over glorified another beyond familiar recognition, along with some of the same selfish mannerisms as previous. But the next one stood out & made me think. 

      I listened to stories of my husband’s grandma. Seeing responses of others, it was easy enough to understand them as true retells of her personality, her heart, her reputation & everything she was. Everyone was in agreement to the recap of this woman’s life, every story was consistent with the other. This woman lived a true life of Love for the Lord  & a love for people. Chasing her love of the Lord in church & hymns & daily living, this woman inspired me even in death. 

      Then I began to wonder, what will people say when my time ends? Will I carry myself well enough in front of my children to show them strength to persevere no matter what comes, or the power of Love that cures all wounds?  Will I have taught them that it’s the simple things in life that mean the most, that money can’t buy happiness & material possessions rot away?

      I want to live a life that reflects beauty. A life that pulls perspective change out of people, one that helps to gain new visions of how reality is preseved. I want to show others how the simple things are really what makes life. To see the majestic beauty in a passing butterfly, a landing ladybug, the whisper of the wind, to posses the ability to look up, down, around & with out a doubt see God’s marvelous work, to see His Grace all around. I hope I portray the speechless love that is in a garden, how life can be made or broken with the powerful finger tips of self. To lay example how soft & kind words can sprout a seed planted deep in the dark & usher it to its glory & purpose that God made it for. I pray that when the day comes & they seek my presence that they immediately know that they will find me in the nature creations of God.  

      Pick up any cherry drink & sit by the shore as you stare off into the never ending horizon of the miraculous body of water that stays in the boundary God tells it to… breath in the serenity of its views. Lay on a lush grass filled ground on a sunny dry day & soak the sun, listen to Jesus music or just be… such peace in simplicity.  Pass a smile, a compliment &/or a blessing on to another…there’s much satisfaction in being the change.  Gladly offer your time & self to others, lend a hand or a shoulder, but humble yourself & give of what you are able & even stretch that a bit further, for everything belongs to God. He sees you & your heart but do these things joyfully. There is immense pleasure in acts of selflessness. 

      Find God in all you do. 

      Don’t take even the smallest things for granted, nothing is guaranteed so don’t allow it to slip through your hands unappreciated. Know the value things hold but know that material things don’t possess more value than things of the heart & soul. Seek God & your identity in Him, seek your worth in His view. Please, above all else, don’t let this world harden you or cause a detour, the most magnificent part of your life is having a true relationship with our Father God. Drop religion & open the Bible, talk to Him from every depth of your soul, be real..he knows all & can’t be fooled anyway. God desires a relationship with you. You are His creation, I encourage you to be born again as His child. Seek & love Him with childlike faith & love. Seeking Him in all you do will forever promise we will meet again & you will never be alone. Jesus will never leave you not matter what you feel about the matter, He is always always there. Submit to God, walk in His will, in this you will do mighty things. Listen to old hymns & you will hear my roots & my heart. 

      Always remember, God is the most important part of life…always. 

      I pray that I am able to be a beckon of light & inspiration for people, properly  embodying strength & grace. I know my children & family will see my worst, but in my worst I hope they see more perseverance, more reaching deep within to keep walking through storms, troubles, & trials. That God in me shines as the pillar He is that keeps me upright & living life with joy & peace. 

      This is my wish & prayer for all who know me & will come into my life in the times to come. Therefore, though I’m sure there will be backsliding & stumbles, I chose to strive to leave my very own legacy. One that rocks multitudes. 

      Ashes-Final Chapter

      I want to stretch myself further with the rest of my ash making in order to put full spectrum to God’s Grace. Know & understand that I don’t like pity nor do i typically like many people knowing my business. Especially since I carried it with much shame for years. I don’t like attention drawn in manners like this but what I’m doing is an act of Faith because I know God is calling me & asking me to do this..no matter the reluctance I would prefer to act on. 

      The end of 06 & beginning of 07 I was living with my Nanny & helping her take care of my grandfather. Paw would pass away on his birthday with Nanny, My Mom, & myself in the room with him. What a bittersweet moment to literally watch life leave a body. After that, enter family & if anyone truly knows, we don’t get along at all. So during this whole death, burial, & will process, I was at my wits end. I had ran into an old friend of mine during the death process so he was aware of the situation. He had offered to get an apartment just as friends. I had to get out before I lost it. & the story picks up here. 

      This venture would contain a boy with facial hair who lacked the will, drive, & capacity to carry the attributes of a real man. Narcissistic, over dramatic, self gloryifing dead weight would be a proper description as holding a job was the last of the abilities possed. (This person he turned into AFTER we married..since we had a kid together..)Defaulting on a house, popping hot on a DISA drug test haulting any possible jobs that he could obtain with his specific trade, failing to get any different form of income. Not being an active father but choosing to hang out & party with friends. & a ton of pot smoking.  Moving us out of state as the “only answer” after 2 vehicles vandalized  (act of personal vindeta..he would never admit though a LOT of people had begun to dislike him). Once out of state…still unable to keep a job though he claimed he was an asset to every company he was with. Moving around at least once a year, still self glorifying & selfish & not even marginally worth being called a father. Continuing to be a great fibber. Soon the finances would shift to my shoulders, all the while pulling rabbits out of a hat to get resources to continuously keep lights on & food around. I would work the mid shift. Hating him for me having to leave my girls to work 2-10 shift. Him failing miserably at his self proclaimed “stay at home dad” movement as my oldest daughter was forced to attend to her sister for all her needs while “stay at home dad” sat around on the couch watching tv or sleeping & smoking pot. Emilee did everything & yet she got all the blame for everything as well, when it came to him. Eventually,  though I loved my job working with developmentally disabled clients, his stupid acts of immaturity would get me fired. He would also get what he deserved from our neighbors, whom the girls & i loved like no other, by getting the snot beat out of him. He made many enemies by his actions & well just by being him. Made it extremely difficult for me but some chose to stay around due to intense love for the girls & i. Through all of this time we had a million fights, the girls would cry & yell for us to stop. He even had the guts to hit me a few times & throw things at me. After what I had gone through previous, no one was gonna hit me without repercussions. The results…i won & over powered those fights. My shoulder would bust a tv screen & he would blame it on a ball. He was a pathetic excuse of a man. He would consume all of my prescription meds, use all of our money on pot (marijuana was his love. He stole it from people, cheated then out of it & etc. Yes I smoked too, but it didn’t consume me. There’s a difference between a pothead & a weed smoker. Recreational differs from compulsion), lie, sell things behind my back to get what he wanted..like a treadmill that I used that was gifted to be, got him a dog that I had to take care of. It came to the point that I would refuse be home if he was, so the girls & i were always outside on trails, parks, doing anything that was free, which was easy in a community friendly area.  Blah, blah, blah, fighting, miserable life, hate him, miserable life, more fights, more struggles to make a life for my girls & to keep some normalcy for them, he would massively steal from stores like Wal-Mart & have my girls assist, blah, blah, blah… 

      Then my family would help us move back to Texas since he successfully burned a whole slew of bridges in 3 short years. My nanny opened her house to us &  helped him pay off fines so he could get his Tx drivers licence in order to obtain a job. She made him mad one day & he dented & scratched her car & tore her car antenna off & tore up her canvas folding chair she used to sit & watch the birds with. Still never got off his butt even though I warned him to straighten up when we got back or I was done. (Did I mention that as he was driving the Uhaul on an uphill unguarded switch back MOUNTAIN road with Emilee as passenger, he was loading a bowl of pot & swerved toward the straight drop of the road) The lack of changing his ways had my Nanny telling me we had 2 more weeks & we needed to leave. She would refuse to allow a good for nothing leach off of her any longer. He was not acting as a man should, especially in her eyes. Either he go & we stay or we all had to go. So, October 2013 I told him to get out. He would soon hold a glock to his head, which I should never have taken it away..not like he had the guts to do anything, he wanted pitty, but I only thought of the potential mess id have to clean up. He supposedly stayed 2 weeks in his car that was in default  (as well was the bank account that he overdrafted as much as he could) & he called & bugged MY friends with his sob story asking for a place to stay. Many turned him down & called me immediately. 

      Following that, he brought alot of turmoil to my family. ALOT!!! Alot of anger, rage, then apologies would be his cycle. Hacking into my accounts, numerous emails, phone calls, etc would be some of the means of his cycle.  Prior to his current wife, he had shacked up with some crazy women, whom I rightfully didn’t feel safe having my daughter around. 1 of the chicks would get pregnant with his daughter that he would deny up til paternity testing that would reveal he was lying again. Then another wacked out person that was equally unsafe for Ella, but I had no other choice but to allow Ella go be around them, though she hated it & cried every time. I know he bashed me to others, claiming I was denying him his daughter, but believe me that even though he’s a burden in my life, my daughter was my concern. His actions justified my decisions. 

      He would soon get married to the next chick & as usual have a glorifying story behind everything he said. Now his wife is living the life I once was a prisoner of. 10 yrs younger than him & pregnant this poor girl faces the same things.  & still, he can’t keep a job therefore Ella’s child support is as unstable as our life together was. & same story with their housing. 

      It is a constant up & down struggle. If I was a single mom doing It all on my own, reliance on his duty to partially do his part would be the dumbest mistake & would tank us. But no matter what insane choices I make, God always holds the net. My reliance isn’t on this person, but on God. God has put forth a stand up man that WANTS to take care of Ella & raise her appropriately. One who is active in her life & doesn’t hold a “party house” atmosphere. A child needs someone to do life with, not to kiss their butt, & one should not have to be forced to speak in 3rd person in order for the title of daddy to exist. In my opinion & experience,  daddy is earned. 

      I’ve made a mess of my life, & I’ve lived in shame for a very long time. I don’t regret the fact I have my girls one bit. I have been a single mom for a long time. Holding everything together & cleaning up everyone’s messes while packing dead weight. But now, God has given me rest. He is shining His Grace so brightly that I can’t deny what it is. I am now married to my best friend. & this man has never once not put my girls in consideration. He has sacrificed for them, provided for them, loved them as if they were his own. My husband is the absolute proof of God’s love & Grace. I did my life my way & you can see the mess I’ve made. BUT GOD took the ashes of ashes & mastered this new life that I live. I’m ever so grateful for this rest & love. I never thought i/we would ever experience something like this. 

      I had given up. I was done. Men were stupid & useless & it was going to be the girls & me..for life. No more crap. I laid down reality to all who tried to walk in. Sean & i both said only friends status, nothing more, relationships are stupid & worthless. Mind you, I still don’t trust many women or men, but the friendship Sean & i had flourished. We began with God as our 1st conversation & our bond grew from there. He kept me from lashing out on Ella’s dad..somehow he kept me calm. He became my best friend. He alone was able to walk through walls I had put up. He walked with me through my divorce & all the ridiculous things that was pulled & spoken after….&…well…currently too. 

      I know see God reveal & answer prayers that I long gave up on & even forgotten. Sean & i grow in God together. The whole time in Colorado, I was seeking God..books, notebooks & my bible had notes & pleads to God. It seemed like I was trying to ignite a light with no oxygen. But Sean is far from selfish. He is the epitome of a man. God turned my insane, messy, jacked up, shameful life into something beyond what my mind can even still comprehend. Every day I’m learning & comprehending exactly what it means & feels like to be loved. For the 1st time I have someone other than my parents actually support & encourage me. Sean & i are a great team, he provides what I can’t & vice versa. With Sean & my little big family, nothing from my past crosses my mind & i don’t feel shame. 

      I walked through the fire, that is what makes myself & my relationship different. I’m not my past, but my past has helped make me. & given where I’m at now I’m life..I’d do it all over again if I had to. 

      (The strength of my relationship is so much a pivotal point in my life that I am now over 2 years of tobacco free. What once was a control issue because controlling one’s of past chastised me & griped at me to quite & well, more. But with Sean, I was able to release that sense of needing that controlling factor of my life & i quite. I have since lost a desire to need to take a stand for control because there’s no need. God has control. & in that I surrender gratefully) 

      *The following insert is an odd placement but couldn’t find a proper place*

      (Before I had Ella, I would go into preterm labor at 24 weeks on 8.11.07 with twin boys due to TTTS. That in itself is a long story. But i lost them regardless of my efforts to save them, from placental ablation to complete bed rest, nothing helped. I believe they were alive upon delivery, but due to my own severe compilations following their birth, i was unable to know for sure.)

      Shining Light in the Dark 

      I am a survivor of Domestic Violence. Here is my story as best as I can remember & recall….

      2003-2006 became the darkest time of my life. With my oldest daughter being a few months old, it began. Emilee’s dad & I were on outs & i became a very afraid 18 yr old single mom to be. I was fresh back home from being released from Ft Leonard Wood days away from basic training, almost all my processing complete when my 1st SGT pulled me aside & declared that MEPS didn’t catch my pregnancy. Yea, what a shock & let down at the time. The military was my dream & i never prepared for anything else. This headstrong girl suddenly was weak with fear. I gained the attention of a Specialist on his way to Korea. All I thought was Tri-care insurance & travel, military life without being in myself. Yea… 

      At 1st it started out as a slap in the face over a petty argument. I obviously was judged to be wrong. At this time I was strongly persuaded to visit some of his family in Illinois. This is also where he left me as he went back to Korea to finish his tour. While we were There around his family, there were faces shot to me when, for whatever reason, my actions weren’t of great pleasure. He was very sly & slick with his words & actions. He could charm a snake. 

      Upon his arrival back to the states, he received orders to locate at Fort Polk, La. Here is where things would begin to escalate. We resided on base housing & i was allowed to make few friends. He would host parties, that prior & after it was a serious matter that I literally clean the town home immaculately, no exceptions. Toothbrush & Cinderella type of clean. Baseboards white glove test sorta thing. At 1st it was explained to be a military housing requirement, but it soon shown to be a ridiculous personal requirement of his that, if not obtained to perfection had it’s consequences. More so at this time was extreme degrading expressions. Worthless, useless,  unable to be adequate to run a household, to be a mother, a complete embarrassment, etc. I recall several holes in the wall where he missed my head by centimeters & in its stead, the wall took it for me. These holes the MP’s seen upon response to an urgent phone call my mom made when her & i were having a chat & we were suddenly interrupted to a line disconnect during a sudden screaming match between him & i. At this point he had gone AWOL. A total of 2 times he had gone AWOL, how he never got hit with consequences, I’ll never know but this would become a pattern…him always getting out seemingly scott free from his actions that would require otherwise. He pushed me down a story of stairs, since it was my fault he did that, his proposal to get him to forgive me was to set up a 3 some with 1 of the friends i was allowed to have. Obviously this never happened & that outcome was again my fault.  He would make a mess at his parties that had tons of alcohol (mustard stains walls if you didn’t know), he brought a total of 3 labs (yellow, black, & chocolate) which obviously all that they entailed was my added responsibility in a 2 bedroom town home that had a small excuse of a back “area”. Not even well enough to call a yard. One dog that seemed to be a kangaroo stuck in a dog’s body cause she would jump out of the yard, some how, almost everyday. & who’s problem do you think that became? There would be lengths of days he was nowhere to be found & never came home. I was never left with any money, so I learned to collect change I saw. Any laundry left overs & anything found was kept hidden away. No vehicle or means of transportation, Emilee & i had NOTHING At ALL!! Fortunately, there wasn’t tax at the on base gas station, so my toddler & i would walk to the closest gas station & purchase the slightest thing that a few quarters would cover. I mastered Mac & Cheese with no milk or butter. I made anything that I could work.  At this point I was hoping for orders for him to get deployed & not return.  He also got a book of checks that had my information on them, in which at the PX an entire book was cashed at $300 a check. There are 20-25 checks in 1 book. That’s  $6,000 to $7,500 of hot checks in MY name!!! (Later he would try to claim I forged his name on these checks, that in turn lead him to have a so called “warrant” for lying about that) Oh & who do you think had to pay the consequences for this check scam…Yep, ME!!  At 1 point, the truck I worked very hard to purchase & maintain..my 1999 Black Chevy Silverado..my baby, he would insist a trade in & not long after allow the “new” vehicle to “go back”.  He would eventually get discharged from the Army due to the 2nd AWOL & Cocaine in His system. & nothing was ever done or acknowledged about the violence. & believe me, people knew. 

      After Fort Polk, I think Anacoco, La was next. A short stint living in a trailer. He had worked with a rich man in town. A man that took care of Emilee & I. So much so, he believed this old rich man had thing for me, so it was encouraged to sleep with this man..which is another thing that never happened. This old man though, he did know that I was being verbally attacked often. I think he wanted to help me, but crazy enough,  I was accused of cheating with this old man. Yea, another pretty outcome & that cost him that under the table paying job. This would also result in the forcing of cashing my Gerber Life Insurance. 

      Next would be apartments in Deridder, La. This is where it would increase to more physical abuse. I would be locked out of the apartment numerous amounts of times while my child would be crying for me. I would again be declared useless, pathetic, the worst mom & person, etc. So much yelling the cops would be called several times. I recall him trying to bust the bedroom door in to get me. And another time, running to a near by person that I had JUST met, begging for help. That he locked me out & was hitting me, & etc. By the time we walked back to my apartment, I was made out to be some crazy, insane, & unstable person. I would go on to be pushed to work at a steak house restaurant called Double D’s. Not only, again, was I being “in trouble” for allegedly cheating  (which I have NEVER cheated in my life), but he would half way watch my child & 1 night the stupid dog jumped over my child in her walker and scratched her forehead. I knew then I would not leave my child alone with him again. We got in a lot of screaming matches & it was intense. I remember one time zoning out & taking either a knife or a screwdriver & drove it in my arm. I can’t tell you why, but I can tell you that just writing that for people to see is hard enough. Imagine the words & descriptions given to me after that. 

      I remember a lot of time spent with a guy named Buddy. He lived in a house that was so much into remodeling construction, that it was hard to really call it a house. He lived out in the sticks of Deridder & was Cajun behind Cajun. He was also a safe shelter for me. I was never accused of cheating with him & things where mellow when he was around. There were many nights of bonfires & beer & people. This 1 chick in particular called herself a red bone. Her name was LeAnn. She had super long hair, that’s all I remember about her appearance. She was always around, some nights when we slept at buddy’s, him & i would bed up in a futon & he always offered her room. Oddly she was always between us with her hair draped over the cushion & it fell onto the floor. She was always around him. There were other friends, Raymond I think was his name, & Raymond’s wife & kids. I recall one day being out there riding horses when a phone call came through his cell phone (which that bill ran past a grand & has been in collections) it was LeAnn. She had had a miscarriage with his kid. So that’s where he went one of the times he left with no warning. He was with her. Her son called him dad… Well, her miscarriage was my fault somehow. How did I not see me being treated lower than a dog? Somewhere in all of this, cocaine was brought into the picture. I don’t remember how or who. Maybe this was a reason for the hot checks at the PX. All I remember is him doing coke til his nose bled. I know I joined in on some, but not near as much as one would think. Not a fan of things up my nose. He also snorted Percocet & pills of the like. 

      I’m not sure of how we came to Lumberton, but we did. I still hate that town to this day. Lumberton is when it for super bad & more physical happened. Somehow we landed this trailer on Longleaf. It shared a driveway with a smaller trailer. This would become our free cable provider & meth dealer. Most things would find it’s way to the pawn shop. In this town I would be pushed out of a moving vehicle, kicked a few times in my midsection while he was wearing steal toe boots, I would again many fat lips, most of the time I had an odd bruise somewhere on my body. A few times half of my face would be swollen & bruised, I’ve been head butted, punched, objects thrown at me. One time he threw a fork so hard at me that the imprint of it literally shown every part of the fork. I was always degraded to the lowest extreme..no one would ever want me, if it weren’t for him I’d have nothing, I’m unlovable & should consider myself lucky he wastes his time on me, etc. Emilee would dry my tears with the ears of her bunny she carried around. She was my angel & gave me so much. I prayed she’d never remember any of this & God heard & granted. I was locked out of the house for an entire day, I had to aide him on skipping out on an Aaron’s rent to own purchase, I had to help rub his feet. His cup could never be empty, his food had to be perfect. He would binge on meth. Yes, I smoked it too, I am guilty, but it never controlled my life. Kinda like “drink responsibly” sorta thing. He would force me to have sex with him…he raped me. He held me down & peed inside of me. I had abandoned my family. To him they where toxic. I had no way of washing clothes so their were piles of them. The county got called out about a dozen times. Nothing ever happened. I was stuck, a prisoner, hopeless. A day came where I wanted a way out. Having faith my mom would fight for emilee since she wasn’t his, I took actions into my own hands. I walked into the bathroom, opened up the shaving razor, removed a razor blade, & with great pressure…i did it. I still remember it like it was yesterday. I saw everything. I should have been successful but obviously God had other plans. He spit on me, called me names, etc. Same story as its been then I assume called the ambulance. When they got me in the back they asked me what my intention was..i was honest. After they fixed me up, they admitted me into mhmr. Getting out was easy. Maybe 24 hours in. Horrible night stay, so many screaming people. But I still kept my secret to myself. The reason for the purple bruise on my face…sleeping on my ring. When my mom & dad came to get me…it was that I ran into a door (a theory which i recently found out they tried out on themselves thus realizing I had a secret since this was an unobtainable mark to be given by a door). In addition to this event, my mom & aunt conspired together to get him arrested & save emilee, which after he got out he had arrived with the cops to mom’s house to get her back. Mom pleading with the cops saying what was going on but their hands were tied. Things went back to regular hell, I just added a scar to constantly remind me…and him. I recall leaving a message on my mom’s answering machine at 2 something in the morning whispering desperation for help. Dad knew better than to come running to help cause it would have caused me much more pain than portrayed in the message. But…one day…

      One day, he came home way late or early early in the morning. Claiming he was “dying” due to mixing alcohol, meth, & weed. So I called 911 or 211. Either way, they heard his threats & screaming in the background. Next thing i know Hardin County is busting in the door arresting him. 1 officer claimed he’s been waiting for this & that the county was charging him so I was in the clear from being blamed. I was finally given resources. Mom came, we left everything but a bag of clothes. This time they knew I wasn’t afraid & that I would walk away…alive..for the last time. 

      We went on to get a protective order, which was a load of crap. The paper had to be carried on me at all times & it wasn’t as restrictive as a restraining order. Needless to say, I didn’t feel protected. Pill bottles with meth residue was found in emilee’s diaper bag, the Korea “awards” would prove to be fake. His name plate was a crappy piece of whatever that was placed over the original & real name that wasn’t him. In fact, the more we uncovered, the more I realized that the entire last 3 yrs was a big fat lie. I don’t recall him trying to contact me. But I do recall 1 time I finally had the upper hand & i played him. I guess he had warrants & the cops found him with my help. He called me while he was hiding in a closet…the set up was successful. Then add on his threats to me (cops knew I was on the phone with him) & more charges were added. I don’t know what happened after that, I just know that for years I watched my back & looked over my shoulder. I still do, just not as bad. 

      He has used my identity, since he had my social security number, something that I’ve just dealt with because frankly, trying to file charges brings my name & possible location to him. So I’m good. He still uses my parents info for references & address for bills & such..we assume anyway due to mail & phone calls. One time I was contacted my a recent girl friend of his, guess what, he did the same to her. My name was still coming from his mouth & everything was my fault. Mom tries to track him on Facebook occasionally, to kinda see where he’s at. But this is a part of my life that I wish would just finally be at peace. 

      Sleeping became a joke. Every time I closed my eyes, instant replay took over. I could even feel the pain the next morning, like it had truly really happened. I was scared to close my eyes & as a result, I looked like a zombie. I even went into therapy sessions. How can you talk to someone who doesn’t understand, who hasn’t experienced it? You don’t, so I ended those sessions & instead built a pretty hefty wall. After that it was & still is easier for me to put up a wall & shut down than anything else. I am highly uncomfortable watching abuse on tv & i never know how I will react. 

      Years later I would get a tattoo to cover up my scar on my wrist that continued to scream in my face. Fittingly so, a stone cross with a clover vine is the beauty that would cover my ashes. This would be the beginning of God repainting my life. I haven’t made it easy for Him, but I can positively say this…i never looked back & asked where God was. I know for a fact that He stood in thay bathroom with me as blood was dripping from my desperate self. He took control. I know He did. I’ve rolled that day around in my head for years. I was done, desperate, needed away out of that hell, no one was there to help me or save me. I was on my own, to save myself…but God. He saved me. & He isn’t letting any of my trials & pain go for nothing. I spoke back then that I wanted to be an advocate for broken women then God shown me multiple times these last few present years. I will save someone. I will show God’s glorious Grace to others & shine His love. He never wished for any of that to happen to me, I have free will, I also have consequences of my actions as well. What I walked was not of His will but of my earthly desperation that landed in tragedy. But I’m not a victim. 

      I’m a survivor. I have survived domestic abuse. Physical. Emotional. Mental. Economical. I survived & i have told my story the best I remember. A story that I have NEVER told anyone. I’ve never talked about it, never. My mom is the one that knows the most & that’s not even a dent. I’ve hid this part of My life very well. I don’t seek pity from a soul, I seek to help, to educate, to save. All I want is to help others how i wasn’t helped. To encourage them to speak their truth to one who walked a similar path, to help shine the light of God to them & show them the truth behind it all regarding God. And above all, to show His Grace!!!! I’m proof!!! 

      Really Forgiven?

      Have you truly really forgiven the people that have crossed your life’s path & shaken you in 1 way or another?  Can you imagine Jesus Christ nailed to a tree, freshly beaten to an unrecognizable pulp, during it all being spit on, mocked, & ridiculed?  Now can you picture him up there, hanging on to His life, fulfilling prophecy, & FORGIVING EVERYONE!!!! “Forgive then for they know not what that do.”

      Jesus, sinless, perfect in all ways, God in the flesh, Savior of the world, came to experience life as we see & feel it. He came down, experienced every temptation, lived a life of a servant knowing His father was the creator of the world. Yet He was humble, average, not wealthy by any financial means. This man lived an honest life, loved all & served all, doing no wrong. Yet He was flogged & crucified in the middle of public view when the city was filled with travelers. Everything stripped from Him. Yet He forgave!!!!

      I want that power. I want to forgive any & all inequities cast in my life. 

      As I lay here & my house is asleep, I find myself praying for a certain person close to me. Praying for protection of mind & heart. I shift my prayers, with difficulty, to the offender & cause behind this turmoil. Then I realize, I am holding on to years of past afflictions. Forgiving someone I haven’t seen in a decade held its hang ups, but eventually I did. Though if they ever appeared…id need God himself to manifest quickly. But to forgive someone that surfaces often, that’s a hard dose to take. Talk about horse pill times 10. 

      I know to let go of this will free a lot of weight off my shoulders that I’m not intended to carry. To let this go is to show God that I trust HIM enough to lay this down to His sovereign power. He knows the big picture. He knows His plans & how everything plays out. So why do I insist on keeping this for myself? Haven’t I learned that I suck at taking control of things? Look back at the 10 yrs I’ve taken control of my life..where did it leave me but in a pit of ashes with nothing. Haven’t I understood that if I surrender it all to God that He will take everything I hand over to Him & make those ashes into something spectacular? Something I could never conjure up myself. 

      I will learn now. Even if I have to remind myself every second. I WILL…I AM…changing my thinking. I am taking captive my thoughts. I will begin here. Aim small, miss small. Today I chose to hand my weakness to God. I shut this door forcing the devil to cease. He will no longer have a foothold on this. My God is almighty. He listens to me, He loves  me, He knows more than me. I chose to trust Him. & from here, from a very hard issue for me, the one that can fire me up to being the aggressive person that once was…i will grow better & stronger & more Christ like. 

      My life is better & a ton more peaceful in my soul when I’m channelled to the Prince of Peace. I’m love learning the attributes of God. I love learning & comprehending what & who I am in & through Christ. 

      Go find yourself. Remember how important grace is…

      A-1


      The road that was paved along your way to the current placement has the power to do many things to the soul. It can make you, define you, break or shatter you,or become a foundation upon where you stand. 

      God is the foundation of it ALL! We have the freedom & choice to build what ever type of shelter we wish, but we are not free of the consequences that result in our freedom to choose…no one is. We are ARE children of God & God remains the foundation of which life is built. Only, love by definition is a CHOICE, so God does not force anything on us, we must choose. We must choose to allow God to be the Master Carpenter that He is, in order to regain a shelter that doesn’t “hit rock bottom” every time the wind blows or Earth quakes. We have the ability to run a cycle such as this until we open any part of ourselves to The Spirit. Once we genuinely begin to seek, Grace shines more brightly & God rejoices with the highest of joy. 

      God has the power of all powers. He works great in our weakness & most importantly…He is infamous for turning ashes to beauty. He can take the biggest mess & turn it into something so incredibly unfathomable that it will blow your mind. Any moment is no greater moment to allow The Great I AM to work. Your ashes may be ashes of ashes of ashes, but don’t dismay..the creator of the entire world, the one who knows every name of every star, who knows the presice numbers of hair you have…He can utter a simple word, breathe a small breath & It Is Done. 

      If you chose this path, there is no promise to be easy or that you won’t have to try every single day. No, in fact this is a narrow path least traveled but it is a path that has it’s rewards, this is a journey that promises that you will never travel alone. Trials will still arise & “bad” days will still exist, there will be valleys & mountains, but as you learn to lean on The Heavenly Father & fervently seek Him, He will respond to you. Your entire  being will encompass peace, a peace that this world alone cannot give. 

      Working through the struggles will be a day to day task. God is in the business of renewal. You must enter your “shack” & work through yourself. This pain is often referred to as growing pains. Sometimes the yuck will creep up & surprise you, but that is merely God cleaning the muck & grimey darkness to make room for His light. It is worth the process & a process it most definitely is. A constant process of various discoveries, continuous attention & deepening faith & so so much more. 

      Life WITH Christ is full of endless possibilities. Life with Christ is beautiful. Rest assured that God IS tangible & very much real. Feel the wind on your skin, watch the butterfly flutter around, hear the birds sing. Heighten your senses, continuously seek The Lord & you WILL find Him & you WILL NOT be sorry for the time spent doing so. Allow God to help you, allow Him to LOVE you!!!! Discover your worth in Him & see yourself through His eyes. Rest assured that NOTHING you have gone through will go in vain & that The Heavenly Father knows the story of every tear…we are Highly Favored, Greatly Loved, & Incredibly Valued. 

      The Shack 

      Last night, the husband & I decided to make, what was supposed to be a dreary afternoon, into a different experience. We hit 2 movies, 1 after the other. We began with an action flick & ended with The Shack. 
      Now, I don’t watch much TV, so short of seeing the trailer for the 1st time last night due to my husband pulling it up for me, all I knew is from our Pastor speaking of it & my friends speaking of loving it & declaring it’s a must see. I wasn’t quite sure what was totally in store, other than my spirit telling me that i needed to see this…even if it meant being in the absolute 1st row…which is what happened. 
      Watching this movie had me hanging on to every scene. This movie covered so much of my inner turmoil of my soul that I found myself crying, ugly crying. Soul cleansing & yoke transferring. This seemingly became a pivotal point. 
      Anyone can attempt to conjure up their own mental picture upon reading & even compose opinions based on personal experience. I’ve read stories of the Bible, ran through it once, & grew up religion. I’ve searched for a tangible God during a 3 year out of state stint, I’ve fought off & through opposing forces that wrestled with me & my attempts every minute. This dark force would later become my EX husband. I would breakthrough in a contemporary church & eventually find myself seeking relationship with Christ vs religion. All with my own jagged interpretation of what God was. This movie pulled so much clarity to my soul & even held answers I’ve buried years ago. 
      From withholding effects of 3 years of rough physical, emotional, verbal, economical abuse…to fighting against “dark forces” to keep a functional home over my children’s heads & to provide life for them, not matter how minimal it was…to regularly battling inner & self battles to flow with the now life….I’d say it’s safe to say I still hold a lot of flaws & issues & my own “shacks” that I need to come to healing terms with. So to visually see & hear all that this movie holds was an awakening & shaking all in one. Gratefully received. It was truth that I knew was truth from The Great I AM, but brought to an easier more comprehensible level. A real level, an “in your face” type of message. & I’m thankful. 
      I’m grateful I listened to the urgency of my spirit. Nothing can heal better than God can. God spoke to me in every scene & He will to everyone that watches. This is truth. This is real life. This is filled with messages & it has left my husband & myself in awe. When God enters a place, He rocks the house. But when God is received & understood in His actions…NOTHING will ever be the same.