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. ❤

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.

World Gone Mad

From the NFL taking a knee, the current hatred of the President and everyone offended by any and everybody that doesn’t agree with them, this world has fallen into sheer madness.  I never thought I’d see the day when it was okay to report news that is half truths, personal attacks and complete dishonesty.  SMH!

If you are not happy with someone or want to hurt someone, whip out your phone, record them and send it viral.  There is no such thing as privacy anymore and you never know when even the most innocent actions are recorded and sent viral.

She’s too fat.  He’s too skinny.  Look at all those tattoos!  What a monster!!  Body shaming, sexual disorientation and GMO’s turning food into crap, it’s a wonder we’re all still alive.  Add to that the fact that when someone cries out for help, they turn the victim into a predator who asked for it and we wonder why our children are confused, inconsiderate brats.

Good is bad, bad is good and even the most innocent of gestures are turned into civil rights violations, we’re heading straight to hell.

I posted on Facebook about my unhappiness with the NFL’s protest to take a knee in the workplace.  I am a retired US Marine and I am offended by the way “million dollar babies” are taking a knee on the field and not doing anything about the problem when they’re off the field.  A friend was quick to point out that a veteran was the one who gave the suggestion to Colin in the first place.  I DON’T CARE!  It was wrong no matter who suggested it and that it continues is just going to kill their franchise in the end.

Am I supposed to feel shamed that a vet was the one who made the suggestion?  Hell no!  Is my opinion less valuable than yours?  Hell no!  Wrong is wrong.  If I am making money off of you, for entertainment purposes, I will entertain.  My opinion has no baring.  Further, if I was working at McDonalds and you ordered a hamburger and I’m a vegan, do I have the right to tell you that I will not serve you?  Hell no!  My job is to provide a service, not lecture you on how offended I am that you eat meat.

In the same spirit, once I clock out, I can protest up the street in the meat packing district about how killing animals for food is bad.  I am no longer on the job, getting paid; but out in the world, sharing my dislike.

We’re the laughing stock of the world.  Our country has always been known as the land of opportunity; but what opportunity do you have when everything is considered offensive?  We were founded on freedom.  You want to worship God, go ahead.  You want to worship satan?  Go ahead.  You want to voice an opinion?  Go for it.  You want to own a gun?  You can.

The problem we face today, however; is that people want us to conform to where they come from, their traditions or religion.   Or people want us to surrender our weapons.  Your opinion is invalid if it doesn’t match that of the minor elite.

My cousin loves to voice her opinion on everything.  Lord help the person who makes a negative comment on her comment, she’ll go postal on them.  She’s a staunch believer that her voice counts.  She faces bullies on the internet with regularity.  (I think she may even thrive on it, LOL!)

I am sadden by this country and this world.  We’re quick to judge, unforgiving and want our cake and to eat it, too.  I fear we’re on a crash course to implosion and all I can do is pray that God blesses and saves us from ourselves.

I fear for the fate of this nation and world.  Kiddie porn, rape, abuse, sex slaves and more are on the rise and we’re powerless to do a thing about it.  Offensive behavior is the norm and destruction is everywhere.  We don’t build up, we tear down.  Makes me want to become a mountain hermit.

Only God can help us now.

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………………..