Sunday Musings

Once again, I’m suffering from double ear infections.  UGH!  Every time I get one, I think back to the pediatrician who told my mother that my ear pain was psychosomatic and all I wanted was attention at the age of 13 and how she took it as gospel.  This is the same doctor who told my mother that my sister, at the age of 8, was insecure because she still slept with a teddy bear and that her stomach pains (which was a blocked intestine) was all in her head.  After hearing this, my mother took her x-rays and medical records to the ER in another county and was diagnosed immediately with the blockage and was told they caught it in time before it killed her. So, her believing this quack was an insult.  Because of it, I never complained again and kept my pain to myself.  It wasn’t worth the fight.

Anyway, I’m forever suffering from them.  When my son was a baby, I discussed it with his pediatrician, who told me that I shouldn’t have them either.  UGH!  Not everyone is the same.  It’s why I think I’ve had Lupus a lot longer than  when my diagnosis came in 2007.  It would explain a lot of other ailments over the years.

I’ve binge watched several shows on Netflix.  Just watched “6 Souls”, “The Five” and “The Fall” over the four days.  They were a little intense.   I’m a police show junky.

I’m worried about my son.  College, leaving home, etc.  He’s 18; but very naïve.  I’ve been letting him drive home from school daily.  I wanted to get him lessons; but at $70 an hour, I just can’t afford it.  So, we’re on our way to doing it slowly.  I just hope his confidence grows; because at present, he’s still very nervous.

I’m needing a new place to live.  I know that when the child support runs out, I’ll not be able to afford this place anymore.  A friend shared a link to some cute cottages; but at present, they’re not even built. They are going to be built in an area that I would not move to due to the high crime rate also, so Nope!  Since it’s “Snow Bird” season, rentals are not easy to find, so I’ll have to start looking during the March/April time period.

I’ve begun working the AV at church and still have my nose in the bible by doing a bible study of Philippians and reading the book, “Girls With Swords” by Lisa Bevere.  I’m hoping that God will reveal where He wants me to go and how He is going to get me there.  I’m feeling a bit lost right now and I just have to keep taking baby steps in hopes that it is the right direction.

I am so broken these days.  I can only hope to recover.  Hurt and heartache are no stranger to me.  I just feel like I’m drowning in it all the time.

Between heartache and illness, I’m just so tired of being sick and tired.

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13 Reasons Why: Part 2

So, I have just spent the last 3 days watching the Netflix Series, “13 Reasons Why” based on the book by Jay Asher.  My original post can be found here.  Again, I warn you — “SPOILER ALERT!”

Based on the novel, it is a bit different in that it adds details that were not part of the book, such as the way those involved now interacted once each one received the tapes for listening.  It also involves a lawsuit involving Hannah Baker’s parents, in which they are suing the school because she was bullied.

It all starts with Clay Jenson, the 11th tape, who receives the 13 sides (7 tapes) in which Hannah Baker tells what has led her to take her own life.   In this version, Clay gets all kinds of grief from the others involved; because the young man has a conscience and a good moral code and standard.  After each tape, he confronts the antagonist with their part and causes them to all begin to question their roles in the end of this young woman’s life.

Let me tell you something.  It is not fun to be bullied.  It is not fun to be teased for being different and it’s not fun to be beaten up or raped.  Your actions have consequences.  What you do, you are accountable for and responsible for the fall out.  Life does not give you an easy way out when you have wronged another.  You may not see it right away; but eventually, it comes around.

Young men have to be crystal clear on getting a YES before having sex, because rape is a horrible thing.  Of course, a man can also be raped and the same rule applies.

The ripple effect.  When one action leads to another, bringing on another, etc. resulting in an end action that could have been prevented or maybe having a lasting effect on another.  You see, we’re all ripples and we effect the lives of all of those around us.  I have a bad day.  I run into someone and lose my temper with them, causing them to have their own ruined day and the effect moves ever onward.  OR  Someone having a bad day, runs into me and I decide to NOT allow it to ruin my day.  It can go either way.

Eg. Several years ago, my neighbor’s son parked his car on the street, and while I was backing out of the driveway, I hit the door and dented it.  I immediately contacted the neighbor of the incident.  He was upset; but understood, accidents happen. His son parked it illegally and there wasn’t enough room for me to back up; but I was still in the wrong and admitted it.  The police came and we were both faulted for the incident.  However, my neighbor’s wife was another story.  She came out, ranting and raving about it, calling me names, making me more upset about making an error in judgment.

Anyway, I digress.  The 13 episodes, based on the book, sent a powerful message and I would recommend it, if you read the books or not.  It’s a powerful story; but it makes a person think and consider their actions.  I hope that those who watch it, know that they have other options in this life.  Suicide is not an option.

Teens, especially, are vulnerable.  Hormones, emotions gone wild, not understanding or knowing how to talk about what is going on, fear, embarrassment, a multitude of reasons we adults can’t remember feeling “way back then” will assault a young mind into believing that they are unworthy, too far gone, afraid, whatever!!!  The worst thing, is being lost and alone.

BUT, You Are NOT ALONE!!!  Someone loves you. Mom, dad, best friend, cousin, aunt, uncle, etc.  Someone out there loves you.  Just reach out.  Someone will take your hand and if, for some reason, you feel you can’t, call a hotline.  There IS help out there.

http://13reasonswhy.info  has resources to assist you!

Don’t give up!  YOU MATTER!!!

Addendum:  I’ve just read several articles from parents who are totally opposed to this movie and it’s book.   Reason?  It deals with a dead girl, who killed herself and that is NOT the way to deal with this subject and teens.  Or they say that it glamourizes suicide.  WOW!!! Really?

Okay, so several year ago, a teen in our town killed herself for the same reasons given in the book.   I know kids who were friends with this girl.  Kids that were upset, knew she was bullied and did nothing to help her.  The fall out from that suicide was horrible.  What did they do?  Counselors were available for those in need; but for the most part, it was a non-issue for the school district.  Oh and an anti-bully rally was had, with miserable attendance so as to have no real effect.

With that being said, I have to wonder what is the right approach to this subject?  We discuss the issue in school.  Most kids think it’s a joke.  They make fun of those who are on their films, posters and the stories when they leave the auditorium  I’ve seen it.  I’ve heard it.  What will it take to get through to teens?  I don’t have the right answers; but I do know that sometimes it takes a book and series like this one to wake people up.

I don’t have the answers.  What I do have is a desire to save the next person who wants to do so. Sometimes it is no ones fault.  Sometimes the fault lies with persons who a no longer in the picture.

I also know that the guilt of the survivors is hard.  When my friend tried to kill himself several years ago, he was suffering from the horrors of childhood, which he’d never fully dealt with and a 20 year marriage that went down the tubes, the still births of two daughters  and his 2 lives sons telling him to screw off.  That’s a lot of baggage for someone.  He attempted, I called the police and ambulance and then I was left with the repercussions.  In his mind, he was the victim and I had no reason to feel anything.  I did, though.  I suffered.

No matter the reasons, the hurt is long lasting.  We need to face this issue head on.  It happens.  It hurts all involved.  We need to wake up and IMO, this series/book does not glamorize suicide, it shows the fall out and how it leaves the people behind feeling.  We have to stop sheltering our kids; because we’re raising generations of people who are weaker and less able to handle everyday stress, let alone major crisis.

Wake up!

 

Movies, Madness & Mayhem

So happy that it’s fast approaching the new year.  I can only hope that life will keep getting better and better.

Went to see “Greatest Showman” last night with my son and a few of his friends.  Loved it, even though it is not even close to being a biographical story on P.T. Barnum’s life, it was, however; a great movie.  The music, singing and dancing were excellent.  I’d go see it a 2nd time for sure.  From beautiful clothes and scenery to the great acting, it was a beautiful movie.  It definitely was inspirational in that it encourages us to chase our dreams, no matter what anyone else thinks or feels.

As for the Lord and me, we’ve been trying to communicate to no avail.  I’ve been praying, asking and seeking; but I’m getting confusing replies and I’m sure that it will become clearer to me as time goes on; but at present, I’m hitting a few walls.  I’ve had two dreams on point, though they confused me greatly, I’ve received several picture clues as well; but I think I’m blocking them.  I’ve received several “MY plan, MY will, MY way” scriptures and I’m just hoping that I’ll figure it all out in time.  I think my upset from last week has me shut down on some levels and I have to let that go and continue on.  My heart is hurting; but I will carry on with the faith walk.

As for they mayhem, well, the dog is driving me nuts.  His bladder control problems are wrecking havoc all over the house and I just want to scream.  I know it’s not his fault; but it is messy and driving me nuts just the same.  I mop the floors daily.  As soon as I finish, I’m positive he waits until just then and he does it again.  UGH!

I’ve just finished John Bevere’s book, “Holy Spirit”.  Awesome book.  Loved it.  Can’t wait to start my next one, “Girls with a Sword” by his wife, Lisa Bevere.  I’ve listened to both of them speak on YouTube and am very impressed with their teachings on God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit.  I’m trying to grow closer to God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit in my faith walk.  I can only hope to get to the level these two people have reached.

I am currently sharing the job of Audio-Visual duties with another at my church.  Since we no longer have any children for “Kids Church”  I’m not teaching.  We have only 3 youth, who go to AWANA at another church on Wednesday night, so I don’t have duties for them, so I’ve been at a loss.  My dear friend has been doing the AV for years and I had the opportunity to do it for her a few weeks ago since she was unavailable.  Well, I so enjoyed it, I told her I’d love to join her in this duty.  She was overjoyed and I now feel I have renewed purpose in my church life.  So, we’re switching out weeks as needed.  When I have Indoor Drumline duty the end of January and twice in March, she’ll take it and other than that, we’ll have every other week.

I love to serve.  I like to feel useful and I know that this will be the best thing for me after the boy goes off to college.  YEAH!

Can’t wait to see what 2018 has in store for us all!

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.

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.

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………………..

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.