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. ❤

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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

 

 

 

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.

Autumn Dreams

Ah, Autumn, how I miss the smell, the crisp air, the crunch of leaves under foot, a light sweater and the beautiful colors.  I sometimes wish I was still up north, enjoying the season in it’s full glory.

I used to love to hike in the mountains and enjoy the Autumn in all it’s splendor.  I love it so much and is truly the only thing I miss about this time of year.  I remember when I was pregnant with my son and we didn’t know if he was a boy or girl yet.  We picked two names.  If a girl, she was to be Autumn Hope.  But, alas, he was not a girl and his name is perfect for him.

It’s only 3 days until we celebrate his 18th birthday.  I can hardly believe that he will be 18.  The years seem to have flown by so quickly. I still reminisce about the joyous times we’ve spent together.  He’s been my miracle since birth and I have enjoyed every moment of it I’ve spent with him.  I am incredibly blessed by God to have been chosen to be his mother.  He turns 18 and 6 days later, I turn 49.  Best birthday present ever! ❤

Last night at church, our Pastor discussed Matthew 25:14-29 — The Parable of the Talents.  In this parable, three men are given talents from their overseer to take care of while he was away.  The 1st man was given 5 talents and multiplied it to 10.  The next was given two and multiplied it to 4.  The final man received only one and he buried and hoarded it, not doing a single thing.  Upon the overseers return, he congratulated the two investors and chastised the sloth, casting him out.

As we reviewed the scripture, we began to understand it.  God gives us each talents.  We are all unique, we are all in receipt of abilities that are ours alone and we are to use them to glorify God.  Because, sometimes, we are the only person who is seen by others as God in the flesh.

I took a “Spiritual Gifts” test to figure out what God had given me to use in this world for His glory.  I received giving, caring and mercy as my top 3 gifts.  (These were far above the other gifts you can receive) I have to say, they were pretty obvious to me, even before the test; but to have it confirmed, was a pleasant surprise.

As I reflect on my life, I see these gifts in so many parts of it.  I’ve always felt it is better to give than to receive.  I take great delight in giving things to people and watching their joy and happiness unfold.  I’m also a natural care giver.  I feel my best when I am able to take care of people and ensure their well being and happiness.  As for mercy, I have always forgiven others much more than they deserve.  It’s why my ex-husband told close friends of our years that he could sh*t all over me and I’d always take him back.  <sigh>

I do it all for Him, and still, I cannot do enough for Him.  It is just not possible.

It’s been a strange few weeks.  For some reason, the Lord is surrounding me with the name of my “love”.  I chaperoned my son’s competition a few weeks back and there were 3 boys with his name, sitting and speaking with me.  I turn on the t.v. and I hear both his given name and nickname, which is not a common one.  I hear it on the radio.  I’ve encountered several while out and about in stores, the mechanics, at the VA,  and on.  It is so weird; but also mysterious as to why I am being bombarded with his name.

November will be 2 years since we’ve reconnected.  In 2015, his name popped into my mind, unexpectedly, while driving home after dropping my son at school.  This has happened to me with various friends I’ve know and usually after I reminisce about them, I forget them again and move on.  Not this time.  Three days later, I am still thinking of him and I decide to look him up on Facebook.  He’s the first choice and I check him out and decide to friend him.  He immediately connects and I move on.  Nope, still there.  UGH!  So, I send him a message.  He had pneumonia, so I tell him I’m praying for him to get better quickly and I’m sure he doesn’t remember me at all.  Low & behold, he not only remembers me; but looked for me on more than one occasion; but to no avail.  LOL!  Spelling my name is a bitch. LOL!  No one gets it right.  So we chat several times over the next year.  He dates a woman, I pray for his relationship.  It ends, I pray for his heartbreak.  Until last November.

November 2016 is when I get the vision of him in church during prayer.  It shocks, it disturbs and scares me.  I come home from church, deeply upset and after an hour of contemplation, I message him angrily and tell him I don’t appreciate his invading my God time, etc.  He finds it funny, I don’t.  I pray about it and God let’s me know His plan and his involvement in it.  I’m in shock.

As this year has gone by, this man and I have had several conversations in which he teases me, leads me on and then disappears from communication for months.  Drives me insane.  Now, I’ve read several articles that state if a man shows no interest, move on.  I have tried.  I pray daily.  I ask God for clarification.  Each time, God answers: “Stay faithful to Me, the plan and the man.”  So I do.

So, here I am.  Still faithful to my Lord, His plan and the man. 😀  Only God knows how this will come to fruition; because He is the author of this love story.  ❤

My son has only 2 more weeks until the end of Marching Band season.  Not sure if the new Band Director is going to be doing Indoor Drumline this year or not.  We shall see.  Because of Hurricane Irma, the band is not motivated at all.  They seem to have lost their mojo for performing.  My son and his friends, who usually love it, seem down and ready for it to end.

I’m almost hoping we don’t have Indoor; but we shall see.  I found out he is graduating on May 19th at 10am and I’m happy for him.  Looking forward to him to do so and also missing the fact that he’s going to go to college at the same time.  So proud of him, though.

And time marches on………………..

Blessings and such

Last week, after dropping my son off at school, I turned onto my street and came to a stop.  Why?  Bunnies.  There were 3 of them blocking the road.  Wouldn’t move, so I had to get out of the car and shoo them out of harms way.  Yesterday, it was ducks!  Couple of weeks ago, it was ibis.  I am blessed to live in an area where I can see so many animals living free.

Yesterday, I was doubly blessed.  I’d gone to the VA for a dental appointment and as usual, afterwards I was in misery due to my TMJ and Trigeminal Neuralgia.  I was paying more attention to my pain and getting home to take more Tylenol than I was anything else when I spotted a police car and instantly knew I was in trouble.  Yup, that’s right, I was speeding.  UGH!!!  I pulled over and the officer asked if I knew why he pulled me over and of course, I admitted my sin.  No sense playing the innocence game, we both knew what I’d done.

Barely holding myself together, I handed him all my paperwork and waited for the ticket we both knew I deserved.  He walked away and I bowed my head.  “Dear Lord, help me.  I know I am in the wrong; but please have mercy on me.  Amen.”  Moments after I raised my head, I saw the officer was returning to me.  “This is your lucky day.  The printer just broke in my car and I can’t give you a ticket.  Slow down and have a nice day.”

I thanked him.  Tears sprang into my eyes.  I looked up and praised God for His mercies.  Prayer is not always instant gratification.  Sometimes it’s a hard lesson, won over time.  Sometimes they’re not answered in the way we think they should be.

Isaiah 55:8-9 New King James Version “For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord“For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.”

Scripture tells us that we don’t know how or why God does what He does, just that He knows better than we do.  Sometimes that “no” is for our own good.  Though I regret nothing in my life, I sometimes wish I’d heeded His warning by listening to my “gut feeling” instead of ignoring that voice.

Over the last year, I’ve grown in ways I never imagined and it is all because I’ve tuned into the voice of my Lord.  He speaks to me in so many ways as to open up my heart, my mind, and my dependence on Him for all things.  Because I have done this, I see the blessings He bestows on me in the smallest and largest of ways.  I see God in the details.  I see His hands all over my life.

He has firmly closed doors I was still willing to walk through.  He has opened doors and gently push me through them in order to give me more.  He has spoken volumes to me when I’ve asked Him to lead me and show me.

Last night, my son and I attended the Memorial Service of a dear friend.  She passed after 73 years of love and kindness in service to the Lord.  When we first met her, she and her husband were the greeters at our church.  Each Sunday, they would open the doors, welcome us in and hand us a bulletin.

I shared a wonderful story about her with those in attendance about our 1st Cub Scout Sunday with our new church.  I had called up our Pastor and spoke with him about Cub Scout Sunday and asked him what my son could do for our church on that day.  He assigned my son to Judy and an instant bond grew between the two.  In the last few years, she’s been absent from our service; but not from our hearts.  An injury, followed by several mini strokes, kept her from rejoicing in the Lord with us; but she was never far from our hearts.  We celebrated her life last night and shared our stories about her and wished her Godspeed.  This lovely lady is home with our Lord, greeting everyone  welcome at the Pearly gates.

I can only hope that I will be as fondly remembered as she is by us all.  I want to be a blessing to those I know and meet, just like Judy.  ❤

Freedom

Tonight I went downtown to “Bike Night” and saw Lita Ford in concert.  Had a fabulous time and as I was driving home, it occurred to me that in the last year, I have truly enjoyed the freedom of not having to ask someone’s permission to do things and have them say no or to say yes and then upon the day’s arrival, force me to cancel my plans, leaving me disappointed.

I can hardly believe it took me a year to realize I am finally free!  I’m free of controlling men.  I can come and go as I please.  After spending the last 22 years with 2 different men who controlled my every move, I am free to do as I please, when I please, with whomever I please.

WOW!  I am amazed.  After all this time, I’ve finally realized that I owe nothing to anyone.

I always believed that a couple should share everything and respect each other and love each other and treasure each other.  In relationships where one partner is completely controlling of the other, you don’t get these same freedoms, love or respect.  You become a virtual slave to the other person and their needs are all that is important.  Even though I’ve completed some intense therapy, I have only just now realized the extent to which I was controlled.  I am so grateful that I am no longer in such situations.  YEAH!!

Knowing that God is bringing me my next relationship and it will be blessed by Him, I have no fear that I will have to worry about that again.  God is directing me toward His plan for my life and I have to say that it is greatly anticipated and looked forward to.

I’m keeping busy while I wait for this plan.  I’ve been crocheting blankets for Boggy Creek Summer Camp, which children with brain tumors and cancer attend yearly.  This camp gives each camper a blanket and teddy bear to keep.  So far, I’ve made two and am working on the 3rd.  I also am working on two other blankets for friends having babies in December & January.

I’m busy with my son’s Senior year of HS as well.  He got his Sr. portraits taken and the cost about floored me!!!  YIKES!!!  I didn’t really like them, either.  He has about 3 weeks left of Marching Band and the time seems to be just sailing by.  He’s working on his college audition videos with several boys from band and is making progress.  So proud of him.

I’ve lost 19 lbs in the last month and am happy with my progress.  I’m steadily getting my life in order.  I’ve got to downsize more and I am waiting until it is a bit cooler to start again.  UGH!  It’s still so incredibly hot.

I miss living up north sometimes.  I miss the leaves changing, the crisp smell of autumn air and the crunch of leaves under foot.   I miss hiking in the woods or up the mountains.  <sigh>

My grandfather passed away this week.  It’s been 18 years since my grandmothers passed, within one week of each other, while I was pregnant with my son.  My grandfather suffered with dementia for the last few years and it is truly a blessing that he has gone home to our Lord.  I know my NC family is grieving his loss.  It hurts that I will no longer get to see him; but I will one day, when I leave this world.  He will be greatly missed. ❤

Most of the missed hurricane days from school are going to be made up before the new year, with only a few days after the new year comes to finish it up.  My son will be graduating on May 19th at 10 am and my parents told me that they’re planning a cruise right after with my cousin, who’s twins will be graduating on the 17th of May, so we may tag along if the price is right.

My world is finally settling into a new normal.  I’m learning to be me again.  I’m who I am again.  Living my life, raising my son, taking care of my pups and loving the new freedom I’ve regained.

Life is good. ❤

 

Not My America

It’s a sad day here in the USA.  It seems that the whole country has gone mad.  It is no longer “My America” any longer.

My America is beautiful.  We’re diverse, we’re proud, we’re free and we’re grateful to those who paved the way.  My America is color blind, kind and gives a helping hand.  My America salutes the flag, kneels before God and stands proud to claim to be American.

Growing up in America, I was raised in a small town in New York with only one traffic light, best friends who were black, Puerto Rican and Jewish, went to church on Sunday at our local Catholic church and even attended more than one Saturday evening in the Synagogue, worshiping with my best friend, Heather.

In the summer, we all swam in the lake and winters skating on that same lake.  We had numerous sleep overs, hikes up the mountain and overnight camping trips to various locations with the folks.  I’ve marched in many a Veteran’s and Memorial Day parades as a girl scout and attended more than one function at the local American Legion Post and our Elks Lodge.

I respected my elders and God forbid I gave them sass, because my Mom and Dad would find out and I’d be in deep waters.    I volunteered to help others.  I made regular visits to my grandparents and celebrated holidays like Christmas and Easter in school!  It did not matter that my best friends were white, black and of Indian descent, all that mattered to us was that we liked each other and had the same interests.

We were poor and I never even knew it.  We were on the Government Cheese program where the government brought the dairy surplus from farmers and gave it to those in need.  We got it monthly and even cut the mold off it to eat it when we had it for so long that it began to go bad.  I wore hand-me-downs from my cousins and most of them were male.  LOL!

I was bullied.  I was beaten up by both girls and boys.  I worked it out.  I liked everyone; but not everyone liked me.  My parents didn’t fight my battles, they made me do it myself.  They didn’t involve themselves in kid fight; because kids make up and parents are still angry and it’s over kid stuff.

We celebrated our differences; but we also joined together in our solidarity as Americans.  It is the old school, hometown values that made this country great.

Big Jim and Tiny were the local gay couple we all knew were gay and that you could call on them for help if you needed it.  They also had a cool steam engine in their front yard, which was so cool.  A good friend of the family, a man named Niles, was Jamaican and the darkest skinned man I ever knew and we called him “Uncle” because he was like an uncle to us kids.  We knew to be home by the time the street lights came on and we were hardly ever at home; but out playing and enjoying the fresh air.

If a person wore a uniform, they were an authority figure and we had better behave or we’d be in trouble.  We knew most of the town police and firemen.  They knew who we were, too.  We could walk or ride our bikes anywhere.  We were safe.  We were home.

It’s why I, myself, put on the uniform and served this great nation.  To protect and serve.  To honor what those who came before me had already established so that my children could enjoy the same rights as I did.  And yet, here I am, raising my son in a country I don’t even recognize.  I also have to state that in Sept & Oct 2016, I received a flag for two fallen Marines, both of which served Honorably and passed.

People are killing people for being different.  People are disrespectful to each other.  People are rude and self – centered, self – obsessed, and selfish.  People move to this country and think we need to change to fit into a mold of the country they left.  If it is so important to you to have your customs, why did you leave?  Why should I have to adopt your customs and values?

When I was stationed overseas, I had to adapt to their local customs and ways.  I didn’t go their expecting them to change their laws and customs to accommodate me.  I was expected to follow their ways.  As a matter of fact, everyone who does go to a foreign country in the military, has to go through a weeks worth of orientation before going to their commands so that no one can say they were unaware of local laws, customs and traditions.  Ignorance of the law is no excuse.

With all that has changed in the last 15 years or so, I’m not sure that we’re going to be able to bring this country back to it’s former glory.  It’s a shame.  Yes,  there are problems; but violence doesn’t help.  Protesting doesn’t help.  Treating people with disrespect doesn’t help.  We have to work together in order to work it out.

What I do know is all of this discord is tearing our nation apart.  I’m saddened and wanted so much more for my son.  I’m hurting for our children.  I’m hurting for the country I so love.  I’m hurting for those who are hurting.  I just want my country back.

I’m a Pittsburgh Steelers fan.  Today, not so much.  I was disappointed in the fact that they refrained from even entering the field for the National Anthem.  These men are paid to perform.  They are not a political organization.  They are overpriced showman.  It’s the same with actors/actresses.  They’re paid performers.  They make more than the average American does to entertain us.  Why are we giving them the power to do this?  We need to cut them off.

 

 

 

Irma & Faith

My son and I came through the storm wonderfully.  Minimal damages to the property.  My two plumeria trees have been bent, one so that the tree is lying down.  I can’t lift it up; but I do believe it can be salvaged and sent a pic to my lawn care guy.  Hopefully, he can get her upright again.  I also lost the mail box and the screens on the lanai.  No storm surges at my place and blessed beyond measure!!!!

We were without power for 28 hours.  Not bad.  We had no power for 15 days during Ivan in 2004, so this was a vast improvement. 😀   God bless the linemen for all they have done to get us back up and running again.  Grateful to God for all He did to save us.

As the storm approached us, the wind was wicked and wild.  On Saturday, I had friends tell me that I was committing suicide by staying.  No matter how many times I told them that the Lord was with me and that the Lord gave me a sense of peace and calm that I would be okay, they all thought me a fool.  I was so upset by what was said to me and not the storm.  I was hurt by those who couldn’t believe that I was in God’s hands and He was protecting me from harm.  I never doubted my Lord or His protection.

My son and I were not worried.  I’d never put my child or my animals in harms way.  I prayed continuously; but not in fear.  I prayed His word back to Him.  I prayed that He is my protector, my shelter from the storm, my rock, my strong fortress, my hope, my strength, the Creator whom I place my complete hope and faith in.  He hears and He provides.  He is an awesome God, who loves His people and when we put our trust in Him, His love is greater!

After the storm and I reported my safety to friends, I received a message that stated, “Your faith in the Lord is great.”  So, this friend drove with her family all the way up to PA.  Here I am in SWFL, the day after, lying on my bed and I send her a text.  “Can you bring me back a couple of cases of Birch Beer?”  “Sure!!!!”  I’m in HEAVEN!!!  So, it makes up for the whole, you’re gonna die by killing yourself thing. LOL!  Nothing like post storm, bed laying, birch beer dreaming, grateful to God for being safe, giggling to myself time!!!

A beautiful day outside today, as was yesterday.  Grateful to be safe and secure.  God is so wonderful.  I trust fully in Him.  He is my everything.  I couldn’t wait to share this testimony; because I have been walking with God since last November when he gave me a vision for my future and I have remained steadfast in my faith in Him.  I renewed my faith in Him in 2009 and have been faithful ever since.  I’ve prayed regularly since that time.  However, I have spent nearly the last year getting even closer to the Lord.   I have been growing my relationship with Him for a long time; but not as intensely as I have since November 2016.  My faith and trust and hope, in the Lord, are unshakable today!

So, I renew my faith in Him today, in gratitude and love.  I stand strong in the Lord.  I am the daughter of the one true King!  God is good, all the time!

I pray for quick recovery efforts by the state of Florida, as well as the state of Texas, after these 2 devastating storms.

Irma

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After living through a Cat 4 Typhon in Japan in 1992, Hurricane Ivan (Cat 5) in Pensacola in 2004 and Dennis (Cat 3) in 2005, I think I’m ready for Irma.  My son & I cleared the lanai, froze water in the freezer and have food, so we’re as ready as can be.  My landlord is coming to put up the shutters and we’ll be ready.  We live in a concrete block house, so I’m thinking the only thing may go is the roof.

Okay, bitch!  Let’s get this party started!!!!!!

Listening to music, singing my heart out and waiting.  And, we all know how much I hate to wait!!! LOL!

School’s been cancelled, my son is thrilled.  I’m in continuous prayer for our safety and the safety of the people who may be impacted by this storm.  My prayer is that the storm will keep moving eastward and zip on out into the Atlantic.  We can always hope.

I’m so hoping it won’t impact us; because on Sept. 24th I have tickets to Zac Brown Band in Tampa & I’d hate to have to miss it. 😦  Anyway, we shall see.  We shall see!

A week ago, I joined “Slimming World”.  It’s an online weight loss group with online meetings, accountability to a group and support when you need it.  I lost 11 lbs this past week.  Holy crap!  I’m sticking to it and have about 90 lbs to go.  Now, as long as I don’t got back on steroids, I should be able to do this.

The parental units are in Georgia, out of harms way.  Mother states the hotel is a fleabag; but at least they’re safe.  Her and the father are fighting; but I know it is because he lost a good friend on Friday and is just being his usual asshole self to everyone.  Not that he has a right to be an ass; but you know how it is.  He just can’t help himself.