Giving Gratefully

My daily devotional was about giving with a loving heart.  It never occurred to me that you would give with anything less; but after reading the entire thing, I can see that some would feel less than happy to give.

Me?  I’m a happy, loving giver.  I see something that I know someone will like and I get it and give it, so that I can see their joy that I was thinking of them.  Some people feel they have to give out of obligation.  Not me.  If I don’t have it in me to give a gift, I don’t.  Though, I am mostly a giver, no matter the circumstances.

For example:  I’m preparing for a “Grinchmas” Party on the 22nd.  It’s the last day of school before break and a half day.  Since it’s a half day, I’m making lunch for about 7 kids and I’ve shopped to find the perfect gift for each of them.  I’m decorating the house “Grinchy” and have not only planned the meal; but games and a movie.  The kids are looking forward to it.

The gifts were carefully researched with their likes in mind and I have to say, I do not believe anyone will be disappointed.  At least I hope not. 😀

I’ve always believed it was better to give than receive and have loved finding and giving the perfect gift for those I love.  As a matter of fact, I’ve made and given gifts to at least one person each month of this year.  I began the year with what I called “The Year of RAK”.  I painted, made jewelry or crocheted items for just about everyone on my Facebook friends list.  I made two large blankets and several baby blankets.  I’ve also crocheted three blankets for charity.  I love giving.

BTW, RAK is “random acts of kindness” and were gifts I gave anonymously to friends with a note that said to pay it forward.  It was the best year ever!!!!  I loved seeing them post their joy at a surprise gift from a “stranger” as they said Thank you to “whoever” sent it.  I did it locally and distance.  I’ve enjoyed every little bit of it.  I absolutely loved the satisfaction of giving to them and making them smile.  I even had two friends say it was a blessing to receive on a not so nice kind of day.  😀

I, personally, feel that giving a gift is not an obligation; but a privilege to show someone how much you think of them.  If I don’t think enough of the person to give them a gift, I don’t.  It’s that simple.  If it feels like an obligation, I skip it.  I want to be a joyful giver.  I want my gift to mean something to them and me.

So, remember this holiday season, that it is love in the giving or it’s an impersonal token of obligation. 😦  Hopefully, joyful giving is the win!

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Faith it ’til you make it

It’s been over a year now since God gave me a vision of my future.  It’s been a long, hard year for me.  BUT, I persist.  So many times I’ve struggled and wanted to quit and so many times, I’ve come back in faith that what He showed me is meant to be.

Faith in God is not easy.  It is a balancing act on a tight rope, strung between two trees over a canyon.  I’d be lying if I said otherwise.  I believe wholeheartedly in my Lord and Savior that this vision will come to pass.  And yet…….

I struggle!  Yup.  The enemy will whisper in my ear that I’m not good enough.  He starts that whole, “Did God REALLY give you that vision or were you daydreaming?”  Slowly, doubt creeps in and I have a meltdown of godly proportions.

However, the enemy fails, EVERY TIME!   That he does.  You see, when I’m in doubt, I pray!  I pray long and hard.  I pray out my heartache.  I pray for my brokenhearted desire to know that what God has told me is true.  I ask for proof.  I ask for a sign.  I ask when.  I ask how.  I ask where.  And HE answers me!!!  EVERY TIME!!!

I got to asking so many times if God was sure it was going to be this particular person in my life that everywhere I turned, his name was there.  I spent a month seeing this man’s name everywhere I read, saw, watched, and heard.  I couldn’t not see his name.  Multiple times a day, when I least expected it.  As a matter of fact, God stuck me between two boys on a school band competition trip that had this man’s name and I interacted with them all day long.  LOL!

I asked how.  God sent me a dream that showed me “how”.  I stumble in my walk and He lifts me up, dusts me off, and sets me right back on the path again.  I prayed a prayer for His will and I received instruction the next day, along with my intendeds name.  God is good!!!

At present, I’m working on getting closer to the Holy Spirit.  He dwells within me, so I need to be more attentive to His needs and desires.  I need to hear His voice clearer so that I do not grieve Him in anyway.  I want to be a better me so that He is glorified by me.

I know that without God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit, I’d have nothing.  I’d be nothing.  I can’t live without them.  I can’t.  Great is the one living inside of me than he who is living in the world.  1 John 4:4

My Savior thinks I’m to die for, so how can I be less than that for Him?

I recently took a “Gifts of the Spirit” test on Lifeway.  The test is designed to tell you what gifts you have received from the Spirit.  My gifts are Faith, Mercy and Giving.  Faith and Mercy scored equally on the test, followed by Giving just two points lower.  None of the other gifts scored as high.  When I read what each one is all about, I see this as how I’ve lived my life.  It makes sense and I only regret not knowing all of this sooner.

When I think of the time I put God on the shelf and lived for me, I see so much waste and loss.  And yet, God did bless me during this time as well and I couldn’t see it for the blinders I was wearing.

I recently spoke with my intended on Messenger.  By the end of our conversation, he told me I was special to him otherwise he’d never have looked for and found me.  He considers me a dear friend.  I am so touched by his words.  He also told me that he has improved in his overall well being and is getting closer to being wiser from his journey and in a better state of mind as he was before he was “broken”.

Ah, brokenness.  How we that suffer PTSD know that word well.  I must say, we never truly become unbroken, we just learn to live with it in a better way.  I’m so happy for him.  His journey has been long and hard, as I know mine has been; but what we are now is such a different individual that I believe we had to go through the storm in order to be stronger, wiser and more understanding.

I look forward to where this journey is taking me and how beautiful it will be. ❤

Wonders & Signs

God of Wonders: Experiencing God’s Voice Through Signs, Wonders, and Miracles by  Brian Guerin is a phenomenal book.  I just finished reading it and am wowed by what Mr. Guerin has revealed about our wonderful Father.

Reading this book will help you grow closer to God and enable you to open up to a whole new world of communication with Him through “signs & wonders”.  I highly recommend it.

We are all made, by God, for a purpose.  No one cares more for us than our Heavenly Father.  Following His purpose is the key to blessings.  God honors humility.  God keeps His promises, always!!!

Before the earth was even formed, our Father knew we’d be here and He knew the reason He wanted us to be here.  We were created for a purpose.  We are to follow the plan He has for our lives.  All we have to do is step out in faith.

Our highest purpose in life is to have a relationship with Abba, the Author and Finisher of our faith.  As we draw nearer to Him, we become more like Him, as He originally desired.

By making God, His voice, His presence, and plan your number one priority in all of life, you will begin to see and hear His voice.  Life is all about Jesus; loving Him, and making Him known.

God always looks at our hearts.  If you have a willing heart, and a desire to obey, He will gladly go out of His way to reiterate what He has told you by way of signs and wonders. If God promises you something, it is certain to be fulfilled.  There are conditions, though.  If you live a life of disobedience, you will not see the promise.  Obey and walk out His plan.

“If you pray for the Spirit of Wisdom and revelation to increase upon your life, a whole new dimension of His voice will open up to you and enlighten you to how often He has been speaking to you; but not heard.” (Brian Guerin)

He created the stars, hung them in the sky and calls them by name, and yet, He wants only for us to love Him, trust Him, know Him and worship Him.

Jeremiah 33:3 “Call to Me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.”  God wants us to seek Him through prayer and to experience new revelations of Him through His word and through the Holy Spirit.

1 Peter 5:6-7 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.   Isn’t that incredible? 

The love that we, as human, share is incomparable to that of the Love of God.  We love; because He loved us first, and He gave us free will to love Him or not.  For those who do love Him, He wants only to see you happy and successful.

Remember, God uses everything for His good.  We will walk in the valley.  We will stumble, fall and fail.  However; God will take that failure, fall or stumble and turn it around, strengthening us for the blessings to come.  He does not cause us to fail, He just uses the experience to improve us.

I cannot tell you how many times I have fallen.  I can tell you that while I was down on the ground I have used the time to pray to our Father for assistance.  I’ve seen the rainbow after the storm.  If we were meant to do it all alone, He’d not reach His hand out to help us.

Philippians 4:13  I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.

Head Down Amen

 

 

 

Getting Duped

Lo & Behold, I’ve been duped again.  A friend’s son contacted me about 2 weeks about not having any money to pay for some prescriptions.  Me, being me, I asked how much and sent it straight away.  It was so strange to be contacted by this young man, out of the blue; but as I cannot see anyone sick and in need, I let my caring, giving, merciful nature get the better of me and I did what any good mom would do.

You might be asking why his parents were not helping him out.  I got the sob story about his mother not working and his father not caring and not speaking to him, so I am even more of a dope!  He told me his dad works too much and didn’t have time for him and their relationship was strained.  UGH!

About a week later, he had gotten a ticket and needed to pay it right away, so I sent him $125.  Yes, I KNOW!!!  WTH???  Like I said, I’m a sucker for a sob story.  I genuinely felt sorry for the kid.  (Heck, he’s 19 and an adult)

So he contacts me earlier, about mid day (11/20) from the doctors office.  He’s still sick; but now he’s living in his truck at an RV parking lot at night.  He’s okay.  His mom and he had a fight and she kicked him out of the house.  He just lost his job, too and has “no one”.  He tells me he’s all alone.  I’m heartbroken!!

So, I quickly calculate how much money he will need to drive here.  He has a place with me; because I am not going to let him be homeless.  He agrees and says he’ll be on the road by 6 pm.  I wire the money and don’t hear from him.  I wait and message him again about 7 pm.  I check my phone, thinking he may be delayed and find out that the little monster blocked me from contacting him.

Realization comes upon me and I see that I AM A FOOL!!!  Such a fool!!!  “There’s a sucker born everyday!” — PT Barnum.

I almost resent my good nature.  I am humiliated.  I am ashamed.  I am the biggest fool.  This big heart of mine gets me into such trouble.  UGH!

I cried.  I am beyond hurt.  Then, I get mad.

I print/screened our conversations and sent them to his father and mother.  His father and I are friends from our Marine Corps days.  Never met his mom.  He lives with mom.  Chatted with his father. He tells me how the cow eats the cabbage.  Now he’s pissed.  He, also, sent him money for the medication.  He also just sent him money yesterday.  I feel terrible that I have upset my friend; but my motive was to warn him that his son is using his friend list to contact people for money.

His father assured me that it will be taken care of.  I have no doubt.  He is a very good man.  Never heard from the mother.  Whatever.  I felt horrible telling my friend; but I couldn’t let it go, not if he’s using people to get money with sob stories.

I’ve been used and abused this way before.  Think I’d learn, huh?  Nope.  Took in Marianne and her infant son.  Saved the baby’s life.  I got her hooked up with food stamps, Medicaid and care for the baby. After 4 months, she got mad that I wouldn’t let her deadbeat boyfriend stay with me, too, so she ran off.  No gratitude; but I felt good with God over taking her in.

Took in a friend’s daughter.  She was without a job, without a place to stay; but got hooked up with a friend, who couldn’t have both of them.  Kept the girl for 6 months, back and forth to school, clothes, books, computer, etc.  Found out the 14 year old girl was using my computer to exchange nude photos with other underage boys.  I freaked out, told her it was child pornography and she told me it wasn’t.  Showed her the FBI page about it, she told me I made it up.  Called her mother and sent her back to her.  I was not going to jail for some little girl disrespecting me in my own home.  Her mother took away her phone and didn’t let her have internet access any longer; but I was the a$$hole.

Had another friend who robbed me blind!  Then had the nerve to tell me that I was a bad friend.  LOL!

Oh and then there was the gal whose rent I paid for 4 months until I finally let her and her 4 sons move in with us and she destroyed my home.  Her oldest son slept in my sons room and after they left, I found so many empty food boxes and bags shoved under the bed, in the closet and on shelves and in the toy box.  Holes in the walls, too.  At the time they stayed with us, my son and ex both slept in our room and she and her boys used the couch and two other bedrooms.  The damage was expensive. SMH.

I could go on; but I don’t want to.  It’s too embarrassing.  <sigh>

Long Week

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What a week this has been.  My son had rehearsals 3 out of 5 days and performances on two nights.  He played drums for the Choir concert on Tuesday evening and then had a Jazz performance on Thursday evening.  We no sooner ended Marching season and have now begun Indoor Drumline, which doesn’t end until April.

The Jazz performance was great.  His director singled him out and told about the song they were playing, “Drumming Man” which featured my son on the drums throughout.  Great piece and he did an incredible job.  He’s also stepped up and is subbing for our drummer at church, who had a stroke 3 weeks ago and is in rehab.  So proud of my boy. ❤

I went to the doctor on Friday due to this prolonged crap from Irma stirring up all kinds of garbage.  Gave me a more powerful antibiotic, two shots, singular and nasal spray.  Doctor told me I was full of fluid in my ears and my sinuses are swollen.  UGH!  So sick of this crap. 😦

My son and I went to see “Wonder” on Friday evening and it was pretty good.  He had read the book a while ago and was curious to see how good the movie was going to be.  He is now on my sh*t list.  He broke the cardinal law of taking me to the movies.  THE DOG DOES NOT DIE!  Anything can happen.  People can die, just don’t kill the dog.  Simple rule.  You’d think my kid would know better?  Nope.  Dog dies.  I lose it and he says, “Oops, Mom, I forgot.”  He’s grounded for the next few years!!!!!

After church last evening, we stopped at CVS.  We were in the Christmas aisle and I was playing with the musical animals.  One was doing a rocking rendition of Sleigh Bells and I was dancing.  Little did I know I was also being videoed and sent to my sons snap chat for all his friends to see.   Brat!  Though he got a lot of great responses to it like:  That is so your mom.  Aw, sweet!  She’s so much fun.   I’m not too upset, just caught off guard that he would do something like this.  SMH Gotta watch myself in public around this one.

We just got Netflix.  We’ve both binge watched “Stranger Things” and “Mindhunters”.  We like them both.  Not sure what the next thing will be.  We LOVE the new ABC show “The Good Doctor”.  He’s a big Freddie Highmore fan from “Charlie & the Chocolate Factory” and “Spiderwick Chronicles”.  He didn’t really care for “Bates Motel”, though.

I can only imagine what this current week will bring our way.

 

Suicide is not an option……

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I know I’ve mentioned it before; but in case you didn’t remember, I’ve escaped death 7 times.  Yup, that’s right.  Faced it, died, & survived.  God was not finished with me yet.  I still have work to do on this planet and despite living in immense amounts of pain, I still have a purpose.

It’s hard being me.  With a million and one reasons to die, I still live.  Take the Trigeminal Neuralgia.  It’s nickname is “The Suicide Disease” because it is listed as the most painful disease in the world.  This year marks my 25 year as a sufferer for 24/7 365 days of torment. That is more than 1/2 of my life.  It sucks.  A neurologist once commented on how surprised he was that I was still alive; because so many don’t last as long as I have with the severity that I suffer with it.

However, trying to end it all is not an option.  Even though I have been hurt by those who love me, I just can’t do the same to them.  Plus, I love my son too much to leave him with that kind of legacy.  Heck, shortly after being discharged for the TN, a friend of my sister’s killed himself.  This led to a discussion between my other sister and father about the subject.  My father said he’d never forgive the person who did it and my sister told him that the only one she would forgive is me.  She just couldn’t imagine living my life.  This knocked me for a loop.  They had no idea I had tried a year earlier and lived.  They had no idea that upon waking that I figured out that God had another purpose for me and ending my life was not one of them, this being his second time for saving me from death.

I remember when my friend tried and I called an ambulance for him.  I remember how much it hurt me that he tried to give up on his life.  He suffered terribly with PTSD and drank and overate and the list goes on.  His health deteriorated and he passed a year ago.  His attempt hit me hard.  He told me to “get over it”; because it had nothing to do with me.  I was not permitted to feel anything over this situation.  I was not permitted to do anything; but suffer silently.

That’s the thing.  When facing suicide, the person contemplating it doesn’t see anyone but themselves.   Some use it as a cry for help.  Some truly want to die.  Some want pity.  Some need attention.  Some succeed.  And some destroy those around them by leaving behind so many unanswered questions, guilt, heartbreak, nightmares, and more.

Suicide is more than taking a life.  It is destroying those who love and care for you.  There is nothing so bad in this life that dying is the only answer!!!!  You will have your heart torn out of your chest, stomped on and left in the dirt by someone you love.  Time will heal your heart and God will fill in the gaps.  You will get fired.  You will lose a loved one.  You will crash your car, be homeless, have no money, or a million other tragedies and you can survive!

Several years ago, I came across a link to an article bearing a familiar name.  It was about a young Marine who was over in the Gulf and lost both legs.  On the page was a photo of the young man as a boy with his two sisters.  I took that picture.  It was one Thanksgiving over in Japan.  The beautiful, smiling face stared back at me and the memories of my time overseas, with this family, flashed before me.  I held that boy in my arms and read to him.  I baby sat him.  I worked with his dad.

As I read the article, I found out about what his community was doing for him as a disabled veteran.  His mother recalled how this young man was such a happy go lucky person and that despite this “setback” he was still that same guy.  The once 6′ 3″ man was now closer to half that tall, uses a wheelchair most of the time, is an encouragement to those he knows and to those he doesn’t.  What to some is a horrible disability, to him is a life.  He even visits other veterans and offers encouragement to them in their own situations.  I’m so impressed with this young man and even contacted him.

Suicide was NOT an option.  His wife and child believe this as well.

You will face tragedy, that is a sure thing.  You can and will survive.  So many times, I’ve reached out to God in conversation about the life I have led and why I had to go through so much heartache.  Though He gives no answers, I am comforted by the fact that He loves me so much that he won’t even allow me to die.  I am that important.

I have been hated by my parents and sisters.  I have been molested by a sick uncle.  I was forcibly raped and brutalized.  I was beaten and abused.  I have been cheated on by a man who “vowed” to love me forever.  He nearly killed me.  I have been lied to, ignored, verbally abused, and I am still here.  I have stared evil in the face and I am still here.  I have sacrificed my needs and wants to care for others who would never do the same for me.  I have saved lives and I have held the hands of those who slipped away from this life.  I have lived in hell and yet, I am still HERE!

After my failed attempt, I accepted that God has an important job for me here.  So, I thrived and survived all this world has thrown at me.  I have risen up out of the ashes of my past in order to show the world what triumph is.  I kneel at the foot of my Father’s throne and arise, wearing the full armor of the Lord so that I may battle the forces of evil.  I am a warrior!  I am the phoenix!  I am the SURVIVOR!!!

Suicide is NOT an option!

Unconditional Love

I love my son’s friends.  In his 18 years of life, he’s only had one “temporary” friend whom I did not like; because he was nothing but trouble.  His mother, unfortunately, encouraged it and I put an end to it.

I digress.

Yesterday, my son & 2 friends went to DQ with me.  We all sat together and talked for an hour about all they were going through as Seniors this year.  College essays, applications, dreams, goals and how to achieve them.  The one friend has completed all her applications and is in “wait” mode.  My son filled out two applications to his school of choice and the third friend is in the process of applying to several places.  She is stressed to the max.  Her mom is riding her butt to get it done.

As we sat and spoke of all these things, I couldn’t help but think back on all the times the four of us have gone to movies, to eat, did projects together and enjoyed each others company.  So many conversations between the four of us; but not just that.  They’ve been to my home, they’ve asked me for advice, they tell me they love me and they genuinely care about me as well as Ian.

I’m on all of their phones and have told them I would come get them, no matter the time or place, if they call.  No questions asked at that time; but we would discuss it later.  Hasn’t happened (yet) but they have the option.  I’ve always thought kids should have a “safe” place or person to talk with and try to be that person.

I’ve had kids tell me they wished I was their mom.  I’ve given hugs to those who needed it.  Been the shoulder to cry on when their heart is broken.  I’ve cheered them on and never let them feel that they weren’t the best and greatest person I’ve ever met.

I’ve celebrated victories with these friends of my sons.  I’ve celebrated birthdays with them.  I’ve offered encouragement, advice, love and correction.  I never lie to them, even if it hurts.   I’ve teased them, laughed at them and with them and my reward is more than I have ever thought possible, their love and affection.

When I was a little girl, I wanted to be a mom.  I wanted little people I could love.  At 16, I was told it was impossible.  For the next 14 years, I believed it.  Two miscarriages due to blocked fallopian tubes and only one intact after the 2nd fetus ruptured one, I never thought I’d see the day.  Then, God blessed me with my miracle and I have loved and cherished that child ever since.

Now, all these years later, I have more kids than I can count and am happier for it.  I get hugs.  I get love.  I get to watch them grow and learn and thrive.

Yesterday also marked an interesting text from a young man who is a friend’s son.  The poor kid is sick.  He’s graduated, has a job; but no insurance and was desperate to purchase his medication to get better.  He’s not allowed to go to work for the next 5 days and asked me for help.  I purchased the scripts and told him not to worry about it, just focus on getting better.  He couldn’t thank me enough.  For me, it was a no brainer.  I didn’t need to ask him about his parents involvement, doesn’t matter.  I asked him nothing, except who to call to pay the bill.  For whatever reason, I was the go to person and since I already consider this young man a son, I only needed to meet the need, not grill him.  He is an honest, smart, kind and sweet young man of integrity.  That was all I needed to know.

Last night also brought a fall.  My son’s dog, Tippy, is 12 years old.  He’s not long for this world.  He has lost bladder control and is shaky.  He has fatty tumors, a bad eye and grumpy on a lot of days due to pain of old age.  Last night, I slipped in a puddle.  I landed hard on my left hip and elbow.  My elbow has a knot on it and is bruised and scraped.  Yes, I was covered in pee.  (GROSS) and immediately took a shower.  Was not happy since I’d just done so and was wearing fresh, clean clothes for the night; but he can’t help it.  I’m debating if I need to take him to the vet for our last good–byes; but I’m not there yet and he is not suffering.  Just keep praying for him.

You see, I’ve got this problem.  I love unconditionally these kids and this dog.  I don’t see their flaws, only their potential.  I think if we had more people who encouraged and loved, despite who they are, what they are or how they look, we’d have less ugly in this world.  I pray for them and sometimes with them.  I just hope when I’m old and they are no longer in my life, that they’ll remember me for this.

Ah, memories

I was looking for a photo when I came across this document from 7/8/12 that when reading brought me straight back to the situation.  UGH!  Pain is such a huge part of my life; but then so was this friend.  Why do I always find the users and abusers?  At least they have never stolen my good heart. 😀 Here it is:

Blinding Pain

So, I am in the most pain I can imagine and I am wishing for death — any kind of relief I can get at this point. I just can’t even breath it is so bad. If my head exploded, I’d not be surprised at all. I am in agony.

Moans escape my lips without me even realizing they belong to me. I can not understand how it is that I am still alive. My stomach is rolling around like it is steps away from vomiting and I don’t know how the contents of my stomach are still intact. Why me?

Darkness surrounds my room and it is the only thing I am most grateful for at this point. I can not bear the thought of any light intruding on my eyes without blinding pain seeping further into my brain. It is like a nightmare and yet I am wide away because of the pain. Sleep is so elusive, there is only pain.

Anger and madness dwell here.

My friend comes to the house and further instigates a fight with me. I can’t defend myself against anything, defenses completely down; but he insists on being here. I hate him. I want to be left alone. I want to suffer in silence. I need the solitude; but No! He will not allow it. He will not leave. He has to talk to me. The noise is killing me. My ears as sensitive to sound as my eyes are to light.

Yet, he rattles on and on about nonsense. I can’t bear it; but still he prattles on. I am in AGONY! He is further hurting me with his endless litany of shit. How I hate him. He is drunk. He is a bastard. He does not care that I am in such pain, all that matters to him is himself. I hate his selfishness.

I beg him to leave. I order him to leave. I scream at him to leave and yet, there he sits, not a care in the world but himself, still talking, still ignoring me and still prattling on and on. Oh and I am the crazy one. I am just nuts. Screaming and carrying on the way I do.

HE HAS INVADED MY HOME AND I AM IN PAIN; BUT I AM THE CRAZY ONE!!! HE IS DISTURBING ME AND I AM CRAZY! HE WON’T LEAVE ME ALONE AND I AM CRAZY!

I get angry. I feel I have the right. He, on the other hand, feels I have no right to my anger. I can’t believe his is so insensitive. –end–

Oh how I remember this night.  I’d crawled into bed to try and escape only to have my home, my bedroom and my life invaded, as if I had no right in the world to be in pain, to be upset, to be angry, to be me.

I’m so over letting people treat me badly.  I’m over being used.  I’m over being a door mat.  I just want to be free to be me.  If any man wants to be in my life, he has to treat me right.  I have always treated those I am involved with like Kings.  If they can’t treat me equally well, I’m sending them out the door.  I have learned that I am the daughter of  the King of Kings, and I deserve the best!

Every Little Thing

Yesterday was my sons last Marching  Band Competition in Lake Worth, FL.  We took a charter bus there and for 3 1/2 hours, we were not allowed to eat, drink or use the bathroom.  WTH!!!!!  By hour 2, I had to pee so bad and I was over the limit by the time we arrived.  I tell you, THAT was my 1st priority when we got there.

Oh and one of the girls in the band, while we were still at the high school, walked past where I was sitting and accidently hit me in the head with her Mellophonium case. I’ve got a lump and it hurts; but like I said, it was an accident.  I teased her the rest of the day about it.  Now, I’ve teased every kid in that band at one time or another.  They all know me; but for some reason, she has no sense of humor and got upset.  I told her that I was teasing and I had to apologize to her for having fun with it.

I love these kids.  I’ve told them on plenty of occasions that I do.  I’ve hugged more than half of them on more than one occasion, too.  I’ve tied shoes, I’ve zipped and unzipped jackets (in the back), helped them put in plumes and take them out.  I’ve bought snacks when no one else thought of it.  I’ve taken more than a few out, had them in my home for parties and meals and enjoyed being their biggest fan and cheerleader.

The competition was a lot of fun for all of us and the kids came in 2nd place in their division.  So happy.  Mom & Dad came up from Florida City to watch and stayed until 6 pm.  It all ended around 10:30 pm.   Worst part of the trip?  Stinky footed ride home. UGH!

Auditions for Indoor Drumline are on Thursday.   There show this year is called, “Breathe” and the kids voted between this and another one last Wednesday.  They are looking forward to starting the next “season” with this show.  I’m not sure when rehearsals start; but I do know that they’ll have the same 2 day rehearsal schedule.  My son has already memorized the audition piece and was playing it yesterday while waiting for the others to finish setting up so they could start warm-ups.  His teacher was impressed since they’d just gotten it the night before, after their last game of the season.

I drop off two band kids before we headed home at a bit after 1 am (2 am) LOL!  On the radio, while stopped at a traffic light is the new country song, “Every Little Thing” by Carly Pearce.  I’ve loved the song since I first heard it.  However, this time, it hit me hard.  Memories I didn’t want to remember came flooding back and tears stung my eyes.

“Every little thing
I remember every little thing
The high, the hurt, the shine, the sting
Of every little thing”

Even though I have left it all behind me, the mind still does random memory checks that flash before you like an unwanted movie, forcing you to see what you’d rather not.  I often wish I could just remove them from my mind so that I never have to review them again; but alas, it doesn’t work that way.  <sigh>

It’s a wonder my blog title is “Mind of a Mad Woman” because these memories are definitely what has made me as mad as a hatter can be.  LOL!  There is one thing I can say and that is the ride these last 49 years has been anything; but boring.

A friend asked me if I’d participate in his November Patriot Recognition.  I told him sure and that I’d get back to him.  I have to gather my thoughts and see what to reveal and what not to reveal. Ha, ha!

My birthday week, last week, was awesome.  Birthday Tuesday with dinner and cake.  Wednesday morning breakfast with my girlfriends in God.  Thursday lunch with one who could not make it to breakfast and Friday, spur of the moment Mexican dinner with same friend and another friend.  Great, great week!  So far, 49 is a great age. 😀

OH, and my son, he is not liking that he is now 18 and an adult. LOL!  He still wants to be a kid.  Speaking of which, he uploaded his auditions for his college application and submitted it for early admissions.  I told him I’ve prayed on it and believe it for a fact that he will get in.  Now, we wait to hear.  Not sweating it or stressing it; because there is no reason to, God’s got this.

Spent the morning cleaning house.  When I get to wanting to clean, I whip through my house like a tornado and everyone just backs away as I do what I have to do.  I was so busy doing other things this week, that it got away from me; but now that we’re back on the clean side of life, I’m happier. 😀

Life is good.

 

Super Carlin Brothers

Many people, especially teens, are familiar with YouTube and their many videos.  From anima to music and more, if it’s a video, you are likely to find it there.  It doesn’t matter what your interest is, you can search for it and likely find various videos in response to your query.  I’ve watched many crafting videos there to learn how to do many things.  It’s a super cool place to visit and can be very addicting as well.

Last year, as Marching Season came to an end and my son, no longer needing me to drive him to and from school after hours, as a typical teenage boy, spoke to me for a total of 5-10 minutes daily.  This included rides to and from school and while we ate dinner together.  To say I was feeling alone is an understatement.  Especially since the previous year and a half I’d spent taking care of a sick friend 24/7 and his passing left me with a lot of free time.

In typical teenage fashion, probably to get me off his back, he told me about how he loves to watch various YouTube videos and that there were a lot of channels there and I may find something of interest on it, since I was not into watching television all that much.

YouTube suggested a number of videos to watch, one of which was Super Carlin Brothers.  Super Carlin Brothers is two young men, who started a year long conversation with each other via video uploads in May of 2012.  What got me hooked on their channel was their love of Harry Potter and Pixar.

So began the journey to binge watch every video they made from day one to the present. LOL!  Who are the Super Carlin Brothers?  Two brothers from the Roanoke, VA area who were inspired by John & Hank Green to start to start their own YouTube channel and see where it would go.

Jonathan Carlin or “J” , the older brother, was super excited to be a new video maker and was very enthusiastic from day one.  All of his videos were intense and fun; because of his obvious love of doing them.

Ben Carlin, on the other hand, looked terrified for his first year or so.  He was not as comfortable as his older brother with the idea of making videos, let alone being put on the internet for anyone in the world to watch.  It made him seem vulnerable and sweet.

They also have a younger brother, Tyler, who has guest appeared in several videos; but is not a regular on the channel.

As the years began to pass, they became more and more invested in their channel and much better at the whole video posting world.  J has never lost his enthusiasm and Ben has become relaxed and more excited about being an internet celebrity.  I just love watching them.

You get to really know these guys well over the years as they tell so much about their personal lives.  J shared videos about getting engaged, married and is currently expecting his first child.  The viewers have all shared in these wonderful life events with him.

Ben owns an aquarium business in the area and has shared some of his “fish tales” on the channel.  You can even hear about his frustrations about Nemo & Dory making the business a bit harder; because kids began wanting tanks with fish similar to the fish in the movies.  I won’t spoil it; go see for yourself.  😀

You can check them out in this link:  SuperCarlinBrothers

Ben & J influenced another young YouTuber into making his own video channel.  I also got hooked on watching Seamus Gorman.  Seamus is from England and is also a theorist of the Pixar and Potter universe.  He actually came to the US about a week ago to meet Ben & J for the first time and collaborate on a few videos and theories with them.  It was great!!  You can check out Seamus Gorman’s channel in this link:  Seamus Gorman.

As I have watched all of the videos on both of these channels, I now have to wait each week for new material to come out.  That’s what happens when you binge watch things. LOL!  Of course, I’ve also gone back and re-watched some of them when I can’t remember what they were about by just the title.

These two channels have really made me rethink and re-watch movies I’d previously seen with different eyes as well as reexamine the HP books like never before.  I like things that make me think.  So, if you, like me, are looking for new takes on movies or want to visit various theories, check out their links.

I’m also a stalker, I mean fan, of theirs on Instagram.  J & Ben post a lot of their social lives on there daily.  I also follow J’s wife, who is adorable, as she shows off her baby bump and gets ready for the Super Carlin Baby to arrive.