Friday, May 3, 2013

Poems by Kara Coats

In honor of the event Choose Healing  on June 7th and 8th in Peytonsville, TN (click here for more information) my friend Kara Coats has written two poems.  

If you have abortion in your past and you have felt the affects of regret, guilt, shame, please know there is hope!  

There we were
Sitting in that office
Waiting our turn
Afraid to be there
Afraid to leave
Afraid to make a choice
Afraid not to

Maybe it was pride or selfishness or even
Someone else’s idea
But, for whatever reason
We were there

We went in together
And I came out alone
More alone than I have ever been
That feeling has never left me
Your memory is still with me
And it never leaves my heart
I have even tried to leave it behind
Filling myself with emptiness and lies
And there you are
Quietly rolling down my cheek
I miss you

If I could go back
I would carry you out of there and never leave you!
I would stand up to anyone trying to tell us
What to do and say no!
I would hold you in my arms
And I would keep you safe from harm
And we would be together
And I would wipe away your tears

Kara Coats 2013

He Was a Daddy
Maybe he insisted it be done
Maybe he allowed it to be done
Maybe he tried to stop it from being done
Or maybe he was given no choice and
It was already done
He was a daddy

Maybe he panicked
Maybe he caved
Maybe he stood up and said, “Don’t do this thing!”
Or maybe he didn’t even know til it was
Too late that he was a daddy

What if he could go back and change what happened?
What would he change?
The beginning?
The middle?
The end?

The truth is he can’t change even one small thing
And the truth is one small being did not
Get the chance to make memories on this earth
But he will never forget
He was a daddy

His heart reminds him of what never got to be
His head reminds him of what might have been
But his Heavenly Father reminds him that
Heaven is forever
And he IS a daddy

Kara Coats 2013

One day at a time, one moment at a time, there is always HOPE

Are You One of the 54,559,615 ? I am.

With 54,559,615 abortions performed from 1973-2011 chances are, you or someone you know, has made that choice. When we made that choice we had no idea the impact it would have, even years later. That choice has the ability to affect our marriages, our parenting, our friendships, and most importantly our relationship with God. 

Sometimes the choice isn't ours; someone else has made the choice and there is an obligation to follow through, even if you don't want to.  Sometimes, the choice is ours and we convince our self this is the best decision for all concerned.  Sometimes, the choice is made out of fear; fear that everyone will know, fear that you will never finish school, fear of what everyone else will think, or fear of disappointing someone. Maybe you didn't want her to make that choice, and she did anyway.  Maybe you didn't know there was a choice to make until after it was made. It doesn't matter your reason because the bottom line is the same...the cost was much more than we ever expected.  Sometimes we begin to pay the price right away and sometimes we may not start paying until years later. 

If you are one of the 54,559,615 (plus) men or women that have been allowing the guilt and shame of abortion to control and affect your relationships, your choices, or your emotions, know that you are not alone.

Join me on June 7th and 8th at Peytonsville Church in Thompson Station, TN.  This event is for men and women.  This is a safe place where you will be treated with respect and confidentiality. During the event you will  hear stories from those who have walked in your shoes. You will have the opportunity to take a step towards healing through the different topics and sessions we will offer.  There is hope! 

Come just as you are...the choice is yours

Choose Healing

 (*if you are unable to attend and are carrying guilt and shame over the choice of abortion and are ready to move forward, please email me and I will send you information and resources that can start your journey towards freedom! ) 

In Jesus we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace.  Ephesians 1:7

One day at a time, one moment at a time, there is always HOPE!  

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Past Choices and the Power of Forgiveness

January 22, 2013 marked forty years since abortion became legal in the United States.  This December, will mark thirty two years ago, since my first abortion.  This is not something I am proud about, nor is it something I would choose ever again. 

When I speak on the topic of Forgiveness I share my testimony on abortion and learning to walk through forgiving others, forgiving myself, and learning to accept God's forgiveness.

I had the opportunity to share a little bit of my testimony on this topic during the morning show on 94Fm The Fish. Here are the links to the two breaks we did.  Sharing with Doug and Jaci on The Fish part 1 and Sharing with Doug and Jaci on The Fish part 2

During the interview I mention a retreat I went on with a small group of women who also had abortion in their past.   If you have abortion in your past, I highly recommend attending this retreat or a similar program.  Click here for more information on this retreat.

Because of my ministry and writing style, the blogs I write always have a personal touch from my experiences, things I have learned, or a subject that has touched my heart in some way.  In February 2011, I posted a blog about being pro-life but having abortion in my past, if you missed it here is the direct link for that blog I am Pro Life but...

Here is another link to a blog I wrote in February 2012, titled Life After Abortion.

One final thought...If you are in the middle Tennessee area I would like to invite you to a FREE event on March 16, 2013.  This is an all day conference for women...A Time to Hope; A Time to Heal.
Please click here for the Website and here for the Facebook Event Page

As always...One Day at a Time, One Moment at a Time, There is Always Hope!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

A Sneak Peek Into My Private Journal...My Top Seven Goals For 2013

A Sneak peek into my private journal:

2013!  My how fast the years seem to pass.  When I  graduated high school in 1984,  I recall thinking how far away the year 2000 seemed at the time.  Now to consider we have surpassed that year by thirteen additional years, amazes me.  It seems the older I get the faster time tends to go by. 

At the beginning of every New Year many people take time to make resolutions for the coming year. Over the years I have had good intentions to fulfill my resolutions, although it always seems to end up being the same resolution that I failed at succeeding the year before. 

I have decided to take a new approach!  I have set seven realistic goals for 2013.

My Top Seven Goals For 2013

1.  Accept the aging process. It is a given, that as I edge closer to fifty, that wrinkles, sagging skin, gray hair, and a few other unwanted age related issues will continue to invade my body.  While I am certainly not ready to give in completely, I will continue to do what I can to feel good about myself, while accepting the changes (instead of complaining and feeling depressed). Trying to maintain a balance!

2. Be diligent with taking care of my body.  This includes taking vitamins, walking, and getting proper sleep. Also, following through with the program at Blue Sky MD that has helped me with hormone issues, weight loss, and in the process of these two programs, they discovered I have Hypothyroidism , and they are working with me to regulate this. 

3. Be more aware of red flags and place boundaries where they are needed. Even though I speak on this topic it is an on going process and for each red flag or boundary I face, another one seems to be just around the corner. 

4. Finish the revisions and additions to my book A Scarlet Cord of Hope. The revision and addition process is taking me longer than it did to first publish my book!  :)

5. Pursue God with heart felt passion and confidence. There is always room to grow in my relationship with God! To truly pursue with passion takes intentional effort, commitment, and diligence. It is easy to let the distractions of the world interrupt my pursuit.  As my ministry grows and God allows me to share HOPE- I pray that I never speak, write, or share in my flesh.  My heart desires to serve God in all that I do. I want to share all that I have found; mercy, grace, forgiveness, and HOPE!

6. Love and serve my family well. To desire to love and serve your family seems like a "no brainer", however, when  I am tired,  irritated, or not quite feeling loved and served, it is certainly more challenging.  My goal is in spite of my feelings, I will desire to love and serve my family well under any and all circumstances.   

7.  Be consistent in what I do.  I have created an ENewsletter, a blog, have continued working on revisions, and have a heart felt desire for another book! I have also created new speaking topics and updated ones I have. While I thoroughly LOVE all of this  I recognize I can't do it all. My day only has so many hours that I can devote to sitting in my office :) So, for a season, I will put my ENewsletter on hold, set a goal to blog a minimum of one time a month, and once I finish the three new speaking topics (Boundaries, Abortion and Healing, and a specific topic regarding Mother/Daughter relationships) I WILL be consistent in finishing my revisions and look forward to what WordCraft Publishing can do as my new publisher!  I am also excited to see 2013 starting out strong with speaking events! 

I pray that God continue to use my scarlet cord for His Glory and purpose and that I will be obedient and diligent in all that the Lord has for me in 2013!

As always....One day at a time, One moment at a time, There is always HOPE!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Would You Like To Blog Hop With Me?

Today my blog is part of something bigger than usual. Last week, Alecia Roberts invited me to be part of a blog hop called The Next Big Thing. I was not familiar with doing a blog hop, but I decided to try it because it is an opportunity for me to bless other authors.

The purpose is to help readers discover the next great book or author; i.e., the one they will be compelled to read or the author whose work they simply can’t put down.

Check out Alecia's latest book and blog:

Another part of this blog hop involves me answering ten questions about my book A Scarlet Cord of Hope...My Journey Through Guilt, Shame, and Fear to Hope

Ten Questions With Sheryl Griffin:

What is the title of your book? A Scarlet Cord of Hope...My Journey Through Guilt, Shame, and Fear to Hope

Where did the idea come from for the book? For a long time I felt as if I had a scarlet cord wrapped around my neck that seemed to label or identify who I was through the things I went through and choices I made in the past. In 2007, after my diagnosis of ptsd (post traumatic stress disorder) along with panic and anxiety I began my journey of hope and I wanted to share the hope that I found with others.

What genre does your book fall under? Memoir/Nonfiction/Inspirational

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition? Wow, I have never considered this before and its hard for me to even think of anyone. I asked my husband and he said, I should have Helen Hunt play my character (only because he likes her!) and his character would have to be George Clooney (only because he recently got his hair cut like his, although my husband is 6'6 so George would probably have to wear shoe lifts-lol)

What is a one-sentence synopsis of your book? Struggling with guilt, shame, and fear since my childhood I have now found hope...hope for today, hope for tomorrow, and even hope from my past!

Is your book self-published or represented by an agency? Originally it was self-published through Published by Westview, and now as I am going through a revision process (adding more detail- much has happened since the end of my book and I am also adding a small group discussion question section that can be done in a small group or on your own) this revision will be published through WordCrafts Publishing

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript? Less than six months

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?  There are a lot of memoir's that deal with certain aspects that my book does, however, I feel as though my book is unique because of the many areas that I share openly with readers: alcoholic parents, abortions, abuse, divorce, guilt, shame, and fear issues, all of this and more wrapped up in the end with the hope of God's mercy, grace, and forgiveness. I also have a section at the end of each chapter called What I Know Now which takes the reader through things I have learned, insights, facts, tools, scriptures, among other things. Also with the upcoming addition of Small Group Questions at the end of each chapter, this will  lead the reader into a deeper understanding of their patterns, behaviors, thoughts, or beliefs and ultimately towards the one true HOPE...Jesus Christ. 

Who or What inspired you to write this book? I never thought I would be a writer or a speaker, however, God has opened this door and I have obediently walked through it feeling like Moses...very under qualified.  My book came about from the journaling that my doctor suggested I do. I was trying to piece together why I made certain choices in my life and why I allowed others to dictate what I did or did not do. I wanted to get at the root of all of my guilt, shame, and fear issues.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest? While not every reader will identify with my entire story there are elements in my book that everyone at some point in their life can relate to. We all have a past and some of us have allowed guilt, shame, or fear to keep us in bondage and  that hinders our walk with God, our relationship with our spouse or family, and makes us want to keep "the mask" on. I have boldly taken "the mask" off and my hearts desire is to share the HOPE that I have found! 

Next week take the opportunity to hop over to the blogs of the following authors. These authors have been a blessings to me and I am sure you will enjoy them as well.

Monica Schmelter is an author, speaker, and Christian Television Network Host


Jan Balzer an author, speaker, and life coach

Beth Jones an author, speaker, and life coach 

Glenn Garvin author, speaker, and vice president of camps at Royal Kids Camps


One moment at a time, one day at a time, there is always HOPE!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Do You Have Faith Like Mary? The Top Five Lessons We Can Learn From Mary's Faith

And the angel said to her, "Do not be afraid Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold you will conceive in your womb  and bear a son and you shall name Him Jesus  ~Luke 1:30-31

In order to fully appreciate this scripture and what it meant to Mary, we need to dig a little deeper and look at the all of the surrounding circumstances of that time.  In Biblical times, Jewish authorities determined that marriages could take place when a boy was thirteen years old and a girl as young as twelve. Often parents arranged marriages and typically a boys parents would select  their sons bride, not just based on if they thought they would be compatible, but also how well they thought of her family.  This would hopefully ensure a successful marriage and family relationship.

Once the parents agreed on a marriage the young man and young girl would become betrothed.  A betrothal was stronger than what we now refer to as an engagement.  To break a betrothal you had to actually go through a divorce. A betrothal contract was as binding as a marriage.  To be granted a divorce (or to break your betrothal contract) the husband was the only one who could be granted that privilege.  If the husband (or the betrothed young man) died that was the only way a wife (or betrothed young girl) could be relieved of her legal marriage commitment.

Another fact was that the young girl had to be a virgin on the actual wedding night. A betrothal contract did not give permission for premarital sex. While there is nothing new under the sun and things that are going on today were certainly going on in Biblical times, there was more priority placed on waiting until marriage and the value of what the covenant of marriage meant between two people.

We know that Mary and Joseph's family must have agreed upon their betrothal and marriage.  And even though the Bible doesn't tell us the exact age of Mary and Joseph, we can assume that they were in the age range of twelve to thirteen, as was the custom in their day. 

We also know that Mary (according to Luke 1:38) was considered a bondslave of the Lord.  The Greek word for bondslave (doulous) speaks of one who serves with disregard of her own interests. We also know Mary was raised in a home that served God and her parents must have taught her scripture, because in Luke 1:46-56, Mary is quoting  fifteen discernible quotations from the Old Testament.  This could only be possible if she was familiar with Gods word. 

As we put these pieces together you begin to see the incredible faith Mary had to have when the angel told her she would become pregnant and have a son. The only question she asks is, "How can this be, since I am a virgin?"  She never once argued with the angel, asking what will my family think of me?  What will Joseph or his family think?  According to that time frame and culture women who were pregnant before the marriage ceremony were shunned and considered an outcast by the town and even family members. The groom and the bride were looked down upon.  Mary also knew that Joesph would know it was impossible for him to be the father since they had not had sex. The consequence for a betrothed woman getting caught with another man or becoming pregnant by another man, the betrothed husband could have her stoned to death or give her a divorce.

Mary never seems to consider another option; she could have simply told everyone she was raped. The custom in those days was if a woman was raped and became pregnant the towns people, as well as family, would then come around and support her without question.  

Mary's faith was so strong and bold that when the angel answered her only question, saying that the Holy Spirit would come upon her and the power of the Most High would overshadow her, and for that reason the holy offspring shall be called,  "the Son of God" and then  the angel  reminds Mary, that nothing is impossible with God,  Mary responds with an absolute acceptance saying, "If it's Gods will, may it be". 

Mary never wavers in her faith not even when Joseph, not wanting to have her stoned, considered discreetly divorcing her, that is until an angel appeared to him in a dream. The angel told him not to be afraid and to take Mary as his wife, and that the child within her was conceived through the Holy Spirit. After this, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him to do and he kept her as a virgin until she gave birth to Jesus.

Mary and Joseph's faith remained strong and they never wavered, questioned, or doubted God's purpose and plan for their life. I pray that I can attain the same faith as Mary, even within my day to day life and especially when I am faced with challenges or difficulties.

The top five lessons we can take away from Mary's  faith
  1. Live a life worthy of Christ (like a bondslave of God)
  2. If you were not (or are not) in a home that has given you a foundation of faith it's never too late to start today
  3. Make reading the Bible a priority in your life
  4. Believe with all your heart that God's word is truth
  5. Be willing to stand up and be bold for your faith even when everything around you seems to be in question

One day at a time, One moment at a time, There is always HOPE!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Answered Prayer...

Never give up praying and hoping for those you love! 

This past week God answered a prayer that has been on my heart for many years.  As you may know, several years ago, I was able to locate my older brother after not knowing what happened to him almost thirty years ago.  During our initial conversations we talked about the possibility of him coming to visit my family in Tennessee.  Neither of us knew if or when that may happen.

My prayer and hearts desire was answered last week!  My brother was able to spend four days with us!  It was an amazing time for me and my family.  We laughed, cried, reminisced, and filled in blanks for each other about our lives.  It was also a time of reconciliation and closure for him and another family member, for which I am grateful to have played a small part in.  He left Tennessee with his heart full and headed to one last stop before he goes back home to California.  His last stop was to visit another family member that he desired a heart felt connection with.  It appears that his hearts desires have come true!

I am amazed at how God has orchestrated this entire situation.  "For such a time as this," heart is full and rejoicing at the reality of watching a redeemed situation unfold before my eyes and heart. It gives me courage to continue to live in hope.

One day at a time, one moment at a time, there is always HOPE!

Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find ; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. Matthew 7:7-8

This is the confidence which we have before Him, that, if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.  1John 5:14

Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you will abound in hope by the power of the Holy SpiritRomans 15:13

If you have a story about an answered prayer for a family member I would love to hear from you!