Wednesday, April 29, 2009

My Mom part 2

My last blog about my mom was the first time that I didn't "publicize" my blog on my facebook or email my friends to say, "I have posted a new blog". I ask myself why this one is so different. I think its because I feel vulnerable for some reason. Its also because this is a piece of my life that is not settled. This is one relationship in my life that I am not sure that laying all the cards on the table (i.e. expressing yourself and bringing up things that need to be brought up in order to have some sense of closure or peace) would be helpful.. In fact I have done that a few times in years past, with my mom and the result is always the same. She is angry. She is a victim. She is hateful. She can make the situation a lot worse than it was in the first place. I have been there, done that and have way to many tee-shirts.

In all honesty I don't even know who my mom is anymore. I am not sure I ever really did. Its not that I want to blame her or accuse her or even that I am mad or hurt by her. I have forgiven her. I have moved forward in my life. Who she has chosen to be in the past five years, is nothing at all like the mom that I even thought I knew. Its very complicated. I love her and respect her as my mother but I have had to learn how to put up healthy boundary's, forgive, let go and move forward. It has not been a easy journey, but it has given me hope.
I am in awe that God has placed my brother, his father and their family, in my life. To have these puzzle pieces (photos and memories) about her past has helped me in many ways. I realize there are always two sides to every story and I am not saying that my mom was the "bad guy" in each relationship. I am sure there is more in each of her relationships that I know nothing about. I am grateful to have the little pieces that I have now.
From all that I have learned over the past two years with my own therapy, I recognize that my mom's wounds go deep. Probably deeper than I even want to think about. That has given me compassion for her. I had to come to a place in life where I needed to recognize the line of someone else's responsibility and choices and that of my own. Its not my job to make everyone happy nor is it my fault if someone I love makes a decision or a choice that I disagree with or if it brings about negative or destructive consequences. I can still love my mom, forgive her, and have compassion for her, but I have learned that I do not have to dance the dance with her.

I want to encourage you if you have a relationship with someone who is struggling with addictions, anger, or mental illness, it is ok to have healthy boundary's. I feel like I could go on and on with this topic and maybe I will on another blog, but for now I want to end with the word....Hope (the photo is of my mom and me- I was 4 months old...the other is a photo of my mom and me the last time I saw her)

Thursday, April 23, 2009

My Mom...part 1

My mom has been on my mind lately and I don't know why. I thought if I blogged my thoughts it would help me figure it out. We have a very unusual relationship. We live several states away and it has been four or five years since I last saw her. The last few years we have only talked on the phone on birthdays or holidays. This has a lot to do with the boundaries I had to put up. I struggle with what I want to say because I have said so much already in my book. I also have things on my mind that I did not talk about in my book. As I finished writing my book I was given a giant puzzle piece that involves my mom.

Some of you know this and some may not, a few months ago I found my half brother. I had not seen nor heard from in 30 yrs. We have the same mother but different fathers. The way it came about was, in my eyes, a miracle. I had been quietly searching for him for at least 20 yrs. I say quietly because we never talk about things in our family especially things that have to do with the past or confrontations. Things get put under the rug and never get dealt with or resolved.
On a whim I asked a very wise and helpful friend if he knew how I could try to locate my brother through the high school alumni site he helps maintain and oversee. Within hours he and another wonderful wise friend found information for me to contact my brother and informed me that I had been mispelling his last name, all these years by one letter. (*Thank you Larry and Shirley, I will forever be grateful)

My brother is three years older than me. My mom and his dad married when my mom was 15 and she had my brother when she was 16 yrs old. Two years later she left her husband and my brother and met my dad. She became pregnant with me almost as soon as they started dating. They decided to get married July 1965. I was born March 1966. My mom was 18 years old.
Without saying everything that I cover in my book, in a quick nutshell....she and my dad divorced when I was five years old. Although they had a rough start to their marriage they were both committed to one another, in love and were looking forward to being a family. The end of their five year marriage was a different picture, it was filled with adultery, accusations, alcoholism, deception, anger and sadness.

As I mentioned, I have a half brother that I knew nothing about until I was around the age of eight. One day I was feeling very sad and missing my mom (my dad had physical custody of me and I was only allowed to see my mom twice a year, at this time in my life), my dad tried to comfort me but when he recognized it was not working he decided to tell me my mom was not the great mom that I thought she was...according to him she had abandoned me just like she had my brother....I looked at him very confused and then he said, "its time you know....your momma was married before she married me and she had a baby boy. She left him. She abandoned him". I remember feeling angry at my dad because I just knew he was lying. He swore it was true. Fast forward two years and I am visiting my mom and step dad (she married for a 3rd time right after her divorce from my dad was final) for my usual summer two week visit. That is a visit that is etched in my mind forever. That is when my mom told me I did have a older brother. He had located her and wanted to meet her. They arranged it so that I could also meet him.

I dealt with a lot of guilt for not believing my dad in the first place. I also dealt with a lot of other emotions as I realized my mom may not be the mom I thought she was. I will fast forward this to tell you we had contact with my brother for a little over year or so and then as quickly as it started it just ended. No one said why or what happened and I never asked, I some how knew not to.

I was overjoyed when I recently connected with my brother. I have felt he was a missing puzzle piece in my life. We continue to talk and email back and forth as we slowly get to know one another.

An unexpected gift in this, is that I have now become friends with my brothers father. I would have never guessed this in a million years. I know he would not have either. Through his stories, memories and the many photos he has shared with me I have pieced together more of who my mom is or at least who she was.

Some of the things I have realized about her are that the three men in her life who she was married to-they all loved her deeply. They all three fell hard for her. They thought she was beautiful. I also think they all wanted to make her world better. She came from a very hard background and her family life was very sad. All three relationships had lots of drama but they each have kept parts of her i.e photos and memories of the good times. They all have said at different times that she was a hard worker, not afraid to do what needed to be done. She was a good cook. She was clean and neat and orderly. She loved to laugh. She was beautiful. She loved to be around people. She loved to have a good time. She could be kind and generous. There are other things as well, she was very jealous and always suspicious. She accused each of them of infidelity. According to two she cheated on them while she accused them of cheating on her. Drinking and arguments seemed to be very prevalent in each relationship. The end of all three relationships were filled with anger, accusations, deceit, and a lot of sadness.

Over the years my mom has shared bits and pieces of each relationship, some of her stories match up with each of the theirs but most do not. There seems to me, to be enough consistency and patterns in all three relationships that I lean towards not believing her story's. I do not think my mom is lying or making things up, I think she really believes all of the things she has said over the years. It took me years to figure this out. I am still trying to figure some things out and find out who my mom really is. What I do know is that the things that are mentioned about her are all true and exactly how I know her to be as well. TO BE CONTINUED...... (the photo is of my mom and dad in 1965 right before she became pregant with me)

Saturday, April 18, 2009

A Promise

As a child the word promise did not have a lot of meaning because if you wanted to lie on a promise all you had to do was cross your finger's behind your back and that somehow took away the fact that you just lied. That sounds so foolish now, but I know, as a child, there was a time or two that I took advantage of that concept. Later on in life, as a teenager, when I moved from my dad's home into my moms home, there was the ultimate understanding that you can never ever lie on a promise. If you did the consequences would be severe. Which is kind of interesting when you see the full picture of my relationship with my mom and all that has unfolded over the years. Even with all that has taken place within my life, especially regarding my mom, I have incorporated this concept of making the word promise be the ultimate word. I have told both of my children its always better to tell the truth and risk getting in a little trouble, versus tell a lie and get into A LOT of trouble. In our home if you want to get directly to the bottom of a matter, all you have to do is ask the person, do you promise. As far as I know no one has ever broken a promise in our family. There has been a time or two when there has been some definite hesitation and tears being faced with the word. While, I have never said there would be a severe consequence for a broken promise, I have talked about letting your yes be yes and your no be no, and about being a person of character and integrity. The draw back to this family value is that my children have learned the hard way a lot kids (and even some adults) do not support or practice this in their own life.
My daughter has recently received a promise ring. It has been interesting to hear some of the comments from friends and family. Several people have asked what does a promise ring mean? To my husband and me, it means this is a young man of integrity, character and one who desires to do the right thing by God, Lauren, her family, and his parents. According to Lauren this is the next official step in their relationship. It is a promise for engagement. We all know they are looking towards engagement and marriage but they both want him to officially ask our permission before he places an engagement ring on her finger. While this may seem old fashioned or maybe to much for some, for me this is a prayer and a dream come true. I am thrilled she has a promise ring, especially because of what we value the word promise to mean in our family.

One last thought...I have a little book called God's Promises for Women. Its a reference book that has hundreds and hundreds of Bible verses that tell of promises that God has made to us. I have used this book so much that some of the pages are loose. One of my favorite promises is Hebrews 10:23 "Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful". I realize we are all human and at some point in our life we may faced broken promises or maybe we have even broken promises, while there is always forgiveness, we can hold tightly to the fact that God never crosses His fingers, he is incapable of lying... "He who promised is faithful".

Friday, April 17, 2009

Doing what you know you should do....

Not many people know this, but I wear glasses. I know its not that big of a deal but I have never liked wearing them. I only have to wear them for driving, and since I don't really drive outside of my general area a lot, I don't wear them at all. A few months ago I went to a friends house that I had not been to before. It was dark and I got lost. I couldn't read the street signs. I eventually found my way there after stopping at a gas station and finding out that I had passed the street a few miles back. I was mad at myself because I knew that I needed new glasses and I was way over due for an eye exam. I let my pride get in the way. I thought I knew better.

I finally made an appointment. According to the doctor I not only need new glasses but I need bi-focals! I am a little concerned about this as I have many friends who also have bifocals, some have adjusted well and some have not. The good news is that the inside and outside of my eyes are healthy. The bad news is I am not a candidate for contacts.

I keep going back to the fact that I knew I was suppose to be wearing glasses and I was not. I also knew that I was long over due for an eye exam. I am sure when I finally order and receive my new glasses, I will wonder why it took me so long to do what I know I needed to do By putting off and ignoring the facts, it did not change anything. I could have put myself in a much worse situation than simply getting lost. My pride got in the way. I think we are all guilty of this at different times in our life. Sometimes it's hard to do the right thing, even when its for our benefit. I hope I can say I have learned my lesson, but knowing me I am sure something else will come up, but hopefully I will remember its always better to do what I know I need to do, and just do it!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Hopes And Dreams For My Baby

My daughter is almost 21 yrs old. I don't know how she got to be so old because I am only 27 myself. OK, truth be told I am 43. In all seriousness I am proud of my age, honestly I like who I am today. It has been a journey for me, much like everyone else, but there is something to be said for growing older and understanding life more.

As my children continue to age and mature I find myself thinking about topics that I had dreamt about in years past, but never really focused much on them, because they were my hopes and dreams for when my babies got older. The time has come, as I feel myself filling my mind and heart with certain hopes and dreams, especially for my daughter. My daughter is my oldest child. When I think about her I confess, like most mothers I am filled with motherly pride and love for her. I have loved her since the very moment I thought I was pregnant with her (and that is true for my son as well). I have loved her through good times, sad times and even bad times. I have loved her even in the midst of her prodigal daughter journey. I wont even pretend that was a easy time to love her, it wasn't, but I did. At certain times in that season, even though I loved her I wanted to seriously hurt her. Not in an abusive way but in a way that said GIRL WHAT ARE YOU THINKING? HOW COULD YOU DO THESE THINGS TO YOURSELF...WHY?! WHY?! WHY?! I did manage (by Gods grace-not my flesh) to get the message across to her and without having laid one single hand on her. Once again the whole story is in my book so I wont repeat it here. God is good and He continued to call her back until she answered. Well, more like until she got caught, but she will tell you herself, she was glad she got caught, she was tired of running and tired of all the empty promises of the world.

I don't say this lightly....Praise God! we are out of that season. I suppose being on this side of things for a while now, I would go through it all over again, knowing the outcome that I know now. Although at the time, in the midst of that season, I doubt I would agree with that statement. Time heals all wounds and actions speak louder than words. My daughter has proven over and over her repentant heart, her desire to put God first, her love for family and herself. She is not perfect by any means but the growth and maturity is her fruit. I see it, hear and feel it in her. Its real.

Without telling to much more about her, I would like to tell you that she has a serious boyfriend. They have taken things slow and steady. They have made a point to get to know each other first and foremost and have kept God in the forefront.
This is the topic of reflection for me...because of their age, their desires and the seriousness of the relationship I find myself asking...what do I hope and dream for her for the future. I have even wondered to myself...what did my mom and dad want for me? what were the dreams and hopes for them from their parents. What about my mother in law...I know she loves me but what were her dreams and hopes for her son. What kind of woman did she dream of for a daughter in law.
Most of these things I did not find or act upon in my first marriage (to my daughters father) but I am very happy to say I was blessed to find these things in my husband Doug. Doug and I will celebrate 13 years in May.

1. I hope she always keeps God first and a priority in her own life (as well as in marriage)

2. I hope she never ignores a "red flag"...they usually never change color

3. I hope she knows that she knows, who she has chosen to marry

4. I hope she marries her true love

5. I hope they will both have open communication lines-even when it would be easier to cut the line

6. I hope her husband will be a man of integrity and honor

7. I hope she will be her husbands true love

8. I hope she always remembers that as she leaves to cleave, we are still here and will always be

9. I hope her husband shares many laughs with her and holds her tightly through the hard times.
10. I hope she is never afraid of her husband

11. I hope her husband never feels the need to intimidate or control her

12. I hope she trusts the man she marries with her whole heart in all areas of life
13. I hope he is truly a man after Gods heart

14. I hope he is man of self control

15. I hope he is a man who can embrace and accept us as her family

16. I hope he is man who accepts responsibility

17. I hope he is man who is willing to work hard for his family but knows the balance of keeping family his priority

18. I hope he is wonderful husband and an amazing father

19. I hope he leads the family by prayer and example

20. I hope that she and her future husband love and serve each other well through out their life time together
I am sure I will add more to the list as more qualities come into my is not about looking for perfection, its about character traits, attitudes, actions, and heart motive.
My own experience has shown me those are things you can not settle for less on.
In case you are wondering I showed this blog to my daughter before I published it. She 100% approved it.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Moment I Fell Through The Attic

The above title is a true story that happened to me yesterday. As you can tell since I am able to type I am OK. Before I tell you my story I thought you might be interested to know that after my husband realized I was OK, he googled "my wife fell through the attic" and came up with several blogs and photos of very similar story's. So, unfortunately this wont be a new story but maybe I can put a twist on it that will make you think about things in your own life or maybe you will find the hope you are looking for.

I had decided to go up to the attic and retrieve some boxes for some items that I decided to put away for a season. We have lived in our home almost nine years and I have gone up to the attic at least 3 or 4 times a year, especially at Christmas time. Our attic is not finished so there are sheets of plywood all over. I have never thought twice about walking around up there or lugging boxes around while I'm up there.

The boxes that I needed were in the far left corner of the attic. Part of that area has plywood and a few rectangle spots do not. As I was searching through the boxes I saw a box I needed a little further back, I stepped on the rectangle area that did not have plywood with my left foot, while my right foot was on a piece of plywood ....well, you can imagine what happened next....I remember hearing a crack and then faster than I realized I was doing the splits and my bottom hit a beam (very hard!) and my leg broke through the floor/dry wall, as my head hit a beam. I sat there a little dazed for a moment unsure of what just head hurt and my leg was dangling down into the garage... I think I was in shock. I remember thinking-"wow, I better get out of here and call Doug". Doug had gone to run a quick errand, Lauren was taking a nap and Garic was reading in his one heard anything. I called Doug and said, "I wanted you to know I just fell through the attic, but I am OK"....of course he said, "WHAT?!. I explained the story to him and then as I was telling him I realized how blessed I was that I didn't go all the way through. About this time Garic came out because he heard me talking to Doug and he looked at the hole and hugged me tightly and I asked him to pray over me, which he did. I thought I should call my mother in law, as she is nurse, to see if I should go to the hospital (part of me honestly was afraid because of the recent sad news of the actress Natasha Richardson who died due to a head injury). I couldn't seem to dial my mother in law's number correctly and then I felt it... a panic attack was coming on. Now I wont go into to much detail about my diagnoses, etc regarding panic and anxiety attacks because, well, its detailed in my book and I want you to read my book. Suffice it to say my symptoms start with severe nausea, rapid heart rate and generalized panic feeling. I honestly can not remember the exact last time I had a severe panic attack and needed to take medication. I know its been over a year. I have been able to "fend" them off with the tools in my basket but I know that if it gets to a certain point then I need to take the medication-this is all detailed in my book. I told Garic to go get Lauren. She helped me remember to use my tools. I am happy to say my tools worked and I was actually surprised because I was really feeling it. I still felt a little nauseated the rest of the night but it was manageable.

After we all realized I was OK and my mind and body were settling down, we started joking that now I had a new blog to write about and then my daughter Lauren said "you can write that, even if you're just straddling the fence, you will still get hurt" (she know this from personal experience, as do I, and I am sure a lot of you). When you allow yourself to put your guard down and put your foot on the other side, you never know when you might hear that crack sound and I guarantee, you will not be able to react as quickly and promptly as you think you will.

You may be so lucky that you don't fall but why take that chance? We are not guaranteed tomorrow. If you have straddled the fence (or as in my case had one foot planted on solid ground and the other on weak dry wall) whether you have fallen or not its never to late to get down or climb back over.
(this is the picture of the hole in the garage roof- now use your imagination and picture my leg dangling down the hole...I was wearing jeans and had on dark blue slippers)

Friday, April 10, 2009


Something is heavy on my heart at the moment. I received a comment on the blog I wrote about my dad. It was sent to my email. It was very encouraging but there was also a comment that has stuck in my head....."everyone has their vices but they don't always make you a bad person". I am assuming this person was referring to my dad's alcoholism. While I was very grateful for the encouragement, I also felt the need to say that while I agreed with that statement, I feel that "certain vices can get in the way of relationships".

Then I started thinking of all the vices around us...alcohol, drugs, tobacco, pornography, food, and I am sure you can even think of more. I was wondering if we could have healthy vices, so I decided to look up vices on and according to their site vices are:

An evil, degrading, or immoral practice or habit.
A serious moral failing.
Wicked or evil conduct or habits; corruption.
A slight personal failing; a foible: the vice of untidiness.
A flaw or imperfection; a defect.
Vice A character representing generalized or particular vice in English morality plays.
A jester or buffoon.
Sexual immorality, especially prostitution
An undesirable habit

Wow, that gives me a lot to consider in my own life...what kind of vices do I hold onto. I strongly believe that vices can affect relationships. I agree that vices don't make you a bad person...but it is obvious that certain vices are very unhealthy for you (and can greatly affect those who love and care about you). It depends on the vice and the relationship involved, but none the less, I am sure all of the above definitions have the power and ability to affect more than just the person using/doing the vice. It seems to me that vices have the ability to have a lot of power. A vice allows you NOT to deal directly with whatever it is that brought you to the vice in the first place. Vices are like band aides. They cover the wound but they can't fix the real problem.

My challenge to you....examine your life and see if you have any vices that could be affecting any relationships that you have. If so, I pray you have the courage to take the band aide off and deal directly with whatever brought you to the vice in the first place. This can be very hard and challenging, even scary for some of us... but the reward of renewed relationships and a tender heart will be worth it! ps as I was looking for a "cool" photo...I came across tools that are vices...interesting that the main purpose is to squeeze something together and hold it tightly

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Memories Of My Dad

Today I want to tell you about my dad. He passed away nine years ago in May. I never remember the exact day because I think subconsciously I don't want to grieve or remember on a particular day. I know it's within the first 9 days of May. I don't want to think about "that day" to much. Its hard to believe it has been nine years.

Over the years, the grief has eased, but I will always miss my dad. I will especially miss the relationship that I think we could have had now. Given the facts of where I am emotionally and spiritually and if he ever chose to stop drinking. I will always hold onto that dream in my heart.

I don't want to share to much because honestly, he is a major part of my book. What I do want to convey today are the things I miss or remember most about my dad. He was not perfect and our relationship was not always good, but in the midst of that there were good things.

Today I just want to focus on all the good times. I am sure if I was being judged by Simon Cowell from American Idol, he would say I was being indulgent and boorish. So, I understand if you skim this blog today.

Things I miss and remember about my dad: (not in any order)

1. Watching Creature Features as a child with him- feeling scared about the scary parts but feeling safe next to him

2. His smile and laugh

3. His passion for gardening. He always had a garden. He could grow ANYTHING

4. His amazing BBQ ribs

5. His country dinners (pinto beans, black eyed peas, fried okra, fried green tomatoes, southern green beans, cornbread..mmmmmm good!)

6. The way he always ate his corn bread-he dipped chunks of cornbread into his milk

7. The many times he would pull out his high school yearbooks and share story's with me about his high school days

8. Looking through the trunk that held memories and photos from many days gone by and listening to his stories about himself and other family members

9. The way he LOVED his grandkids....I especially miss this!

10. His willingness and sacrificial giving to any family member who called on him

11. His love for his southern roots and family

12. His sheer joy and happiness when I told him I was going to marry Doug

13. The day he proudly walked me down the aisle

14. How he loved Plant of the Apes (I remember crying after Doug and I went w/ friends to see to "new" Planet of the Apes at the movie theatre- thinking how I wish I could have taken my dad with us!)

15. His love of old country music, he especially loved Willie, Waylon, Kris, & Johnny

16. His excitement when Doug and I met Willie Nelson and had a autograph photo for him

17. The day my son was dad drove 2 1/2 hours to meet him...when I told him I was so happy to see him, his words were...."I wasn't missing out on this one" (my book explains this part)

18. The day he and my grandfather met Lauren for the 1st time (again my book explains this)

19. His devotion and love for his parents

20. His sweet tooth and love of peanut butter, ice cream and pecan pie

21. His dad was a GREAT cook

22. He always wore a hat- a baseball style hat

23. I remember when I got the message after church that my dad had died and I needed to come as quickly as I could....feeling in shock and not wanting to believe it. Even as we arrived I still couldn't completely accept it- then when they opened the room where his casket was- I saw him in the casket and tears filled my eyes and I cried out, "OH DAD!". I sit here crying as I remember that day... a day I wish I could erase but I know that he is in heaven. I know for a fact even in the midst of his alcoholism he accepted Christ-he believed and I know he is no longer suffering

24. I need to end this on a happy note....I need to believe my dad is looking down from Heaven surrounded by angels and the beauty we read about that is awaiting us in Heaven and I know he loves me and I know he is proud of me and I know he wishes the same things that I do with a knowing smile that someday we will see each other again.

ps the photo is one that my Aunt recently sent was taken in 1972-shortly after his divorce from my mom- he and my Aunt planned a family trip to Disneyland (me, my dad, my aunt & uncle and my favorite cousin Stacey!) In this photo we are in the airport and although it looks like I have 1 arm- I really have 2 but I was apparently being silly and I love the look on my face as my dad is pointing to my head asking me where is your arm

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

New name

I have decided to call my blog...A Scarlet Cord Of Hope. That is the title of my book. We all struggle with our own scarlet cords and we all need HOPE. I know for me, my own scarlet cord held me back from being the woman I am today. Isn't that just what the enemy wants. To hold us back....keep us immobilized. If we constantly live in a state of guilt, shame and fear, then we are frozen in many ways.

I confess it is hard to share openly about things of my past. While I do realize the past is the past and I do accept the forgiveness of Christ, its still a part of me. I have always said that while I did not have any serious consequences to some of my choices, I still have my memories. Sometimes I wish when we repent and move forward in life that we could also get a little eraser as well. On the other hand those memories have made me think twice about choices I have. Something our pastor once said regarding a boundary or a "fence"...."before you cross it you better check why the fence was there in the first place". Wise words!

Something very valuable that I have learned over the years of sharing my story with others is that we all have a scarlet cord (AKA skeletons in our closet) and the more I share, the more I realize I am not alone. Everyones cord is a little different but the point is no one is perfect and the more open we are with each other the more we can offer hope to each other. The subject matters I share in my book are definitely not easy to share. The more I share, the more I understand and the more freedom I seem to gain. A few chapters in my book deal with....alcoholism, divorce, sexual promiscuity, abortion, abuse (physical, emotional and verbal), family relationships, PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder), anxiety, and much more. Rest assured though, that it does have a "happy ending"...although I will always be stretching and growing and learning until my last breathe.

While I did not like the process that brought me to my healing and moving forward, I see why it had to happen the way it did. That process included severe panic attacks and anxiety. I thought I was dying. I have had to dig deep and it has been hard and scary at times. In the end though God is good and showed me very clearly through my writings that He was there all along. This is evident through the scriptures that I felt led to include in each chapter.

I hope that someday you will begin to see your scarlet cord as a reminder of the blood that Christ shed for you and that you have the ability to receive grace, mercy and forgiveness. The scarlet cord does not have to remind us of our past or fill our hearts and minds with shame, guilt and fear. It is a sign of a redeemed life!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Settling for less

The moment we drove up to the house we currently live in, eight years ago, I loved it. We had moved from CA to TN two years prior. I had grand ideas that we would be able to buy a big house and officially be homeowners. Although housing prices are much more affordable in TN than they are in CA, we still needed to wait. My husband was determined to look in a particular area of TN that I knew was well beyond our tiny budget. I thought we needed to look on the opposite side of town where it was more affordable. This is not necessarily something I wanted but I thought it was the only way to attain what we were looking for. The negative factors for that area, is that it is more "country" and not close to the interstate/freeway, or really anything for that matter. These were factors that my husband was not interested in. The area he wanted was more suburban and close to everything. I wanted that area also I just didn't think it would be possible. I am not kidding when I say we looked at the 15 houses in the entire town that were in our budget....then God stepped we were leaving a neighborhood after seeing a home (that was really tiny & in need of some repairs) we passed by a home that was not on our list....he wanted to stop and look as it had a Open House sign....I said to him as I got out of the car, "please don't take me in this house, it will only get my hopes up"...he assured me to not worry and said "lets just see". The instant we walked in I fell in love. Its not that it was grand or had any special features (it didn't). It was very basic 1600 sq ft built in the 80's, but compared to the other homes that were on our list this was a palace. The other homes were all in major need of repairs or they were to small for our family. While my husband has many talents home repairs is not one of them (nor is it mine). To make a long story short God literally opened the doors for us to purchase our first home. It was a miracle to say the least. I was willing to settle for less when God had more for us.

As I said I loved the house (I still do) but there was always something odd about the front room ceiling. *note the photo* . The front room has a large A frame ceiling but I noticed that on two sides the ceiling kind of had a bubble effect-like it was warped or something. From a distance its not noticeable but as you get closer it is. For 6 years I thought it was just the way the house is...maybe from settling or something. A few years into the home, I had tackled painting the front room and I didn't think twice about what caused the "defect"-I just painted over it. Then a year ago we had a painter come and give us an estimate on painting the kitchen (which still needs to be done) and I showed him the front room ceiling, wondering if anything could ever be done to fix it...after looking at it for a minute he had a huge smile across his face and said..."that's tape!" I started laughing....all this time I had assumed and accepted that this is just how it has to be and in reality all I needed to do was peel the tape off! Needless to say that was a year ago and its still up there because now my dilemma is if I take it off I will need to paint and I will need to paint the whole room again since its been 5 years since I painted originally.

OK, in all this rambling what is my point... my point is how easy it is for us to just accept things the way they are even if we are not happy with them, even if they don't line up with what we know is right. Sometimes we may examine the issue a little closer and still not see what it really is but then when someone else comes along and sees the truth of the situation and tells us how to "fix" the situation, we are still hesitant. It is often easier to simply acknowledge the issue but not deal with it. The truth of the situation is that if we would just deal with it as it is presented to us and choose not to live in a life filled with doubts and fears (and OK I will admit it even laziness) then we could all have "smooth ceilings".

I think that is where I am in my life now...after 2 1/2 years of therapy, grace and hard (emotional) work...I no longer want to see the defective ceiling when all along it was perfect underneath the tape. It has been hard work and a lot of effort on my part, but it has been so worth it. Although I am still not "there" in all areas of my life, its the first steps that keep you moving forward.

Something to consider.... is there something in your life right now that could easily be dealt with that you are putting off. If so I encourage you to face it head on with courage and determination. Don't settle for less when you can have more.

Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created things, shall separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:37-39

Thank you

Thank you for your encouragement and support! I am so excited...I feel like this has always been in me but I never felt qualified to reach out and try it. That is honestly how it started with my book. I began to journal then I felt led to writing out memories from early childhood, all the way to the present time, that led to putting it all in order, then wa-la I had a manuscript. I struggled a lot with self doubt (and why would God use me). I was not sure if this was purely for my own growth and understanding or if I was to share it with others. I sent my story to a woman who had reached out to me after my panic attacks and gave me her book. She was very affirming and encouraging. From there its been a process of prayer and faith. As long as God keeps opening doors I will continue to walk through them. I want to use this blog to grow as a writer and also reach out to those who have walked in similar shoes and who need HOPE. In my head I am still not a writer but a woman with a please don't let my lack of grammar, punctuation or wordiness, get in the way of any messages. :)
Thank you again for your encouragement and your time... I know there are a lot of other things to take up your time, so the very idea that you have chosen to read this...I am honored!

Monday, April 6, 2009

My 1st blog

Wow! Here I am in the land of "bloggers". I want to thank my wonderful husband for setting me up on this :)

I have no idea how often or exactly what I will be blogging about. I do know I felt led to start this and I know that it will be connected to my book.

I will start 1st with my journey for writing a book...

This is my first book. I did not start out to write a book. I began to journal at my doctor’s suggestion. I was on a quest to figure out why I made certain choices and decisions in my life. Specifically why I chose to marry a man who I knew had violent tendencies, and more than that, why did I stay for nine years. My doctor told me I was primed for that relationship. I did not fully understand what she meant by that, as my childhood was dysfunctional but never abusive. As I began to journal, I clearly saw certain patterns emerge early on in my life. Patterns of shame, guilt and fear. I began to see all of the missing puzzle pieces I felt I had in my life. Through my writing, I was able to put my puzzle together.

Shame, guilt, and fear, are all very real and identifiable emotions. Women often wear these emotions like a scarlet cord around their neck. While it can remain invisible to others, it is very visible to the individual. The scarlet cord can shape decisions for generations to come. In my book I tell of my own scarlet cord and the severe panic attack that led me to seek the help and freedom that I needed to move forward in my life emotionally and spiritually.
The goal of telling my personal story is to help others identify, acknowledge, and heal from feelings of shame, guilt, and fear. And more than that to know there is....Hope

I have finished my manuscript (although it still needs some editing) and I have officially completed a book proposal. Something that I feel very vulnerable about. You see I keep arguing with myself... I am not a writer, I am just a woman with a story to tell. I know that by doing this I am putting God in a box, but it shows that I still struggle with self esteem and confidence. OUCH! I thought I had moved reality I have, but I will always still be growing. I will never completely arrive until the day I see Jesus face to face. Its a process. Its one day at time. So, for now I will be content with what is in front of me... this blog! :) and my will be published one way or another with a publisher or by a self publishing company...that is up to God at this time... and either way I will be content.

I look forward to your input and comments... as I said the blogs will vary in subject but I would love to hear from you.