No More Decisions today, please.

Recently our family went through a terrible tragedy.  It landed one of our daughters in the hospital 24/7 caring for her son.  While he received excellent care we are not the type of people who can leave a loved one in the hospital alone while we go take care of food, showering and such.

We’ve had many conversations about those days in the hospital.  I am grateful I was able to be there for her to run the ‘Ronald McDonald’ floor and get a shower in.  I am extremely grateful for all of the help she received from her extended family, church family and friends.

One of ways that could possibly help others in the future is instead of asking “What can I do?” or “What can I bring you to eat?”  During times of crisis the people we are trying to help are so busy making life and death decisions that asking them to make more decisions is crippling.  It is more helpful to say- Can I bring you Mexican food or a Chicken dinner?  A choice is easier to make than a decision.  Instead of “What can i do to help?”  Say I am driving by your house- can I feed the animals? or I will be near the hospital today- can I bring you clean clothes?  Each of us has different relationships with the people going through the crisis- so offer what type of help you are capable of giving, instead of giving them yet another decision to make.

We are so grateful our crisis ended with healing and to witness the power of God always leaves me awestruck.  We serve a mighty God who loves us endlessly that is still moving the mountains in our lives.  Thank you to all of the kind loving people who reached out and helped our daughter and her family.

 

 

Life threw another curve ball

Hello Pen and Paper,

I received a horrible telephone call Monday night.  I knew I had to put things on hold and get there to help one of our children.  I called my husband and said we are leaving when I get home- get ready.

Mental Health issues have been no stranger to this family.  My brother committed suicide in 1991.  He left behind his sweet 5 year old son and the rest of us wishing we had done more, wanting to know what we did wrong.  Should I have done this?  Would that have made a difference.  The words of my nephew still make me cry today, “Why didn’t Daddy knowloved him enough to stay alive?”

Sadly that wasn’t enough when I attempted suicide.  And to those whom I hurt, please know it was never because you didn’t love me ‘enough’.  I just didn’t want to hurt anymore.  The emotional pain was more than I could handle any longer.  I am grateful I did not succeed.  I am happy that I’ve been part of your lives and traveling this journey we call life.  I apologize for hurting you.

#suicideawareness will be my focus for now.  I want to be the change that I so desperately need to see in our world.  I’ve used anti-depressants, I’ve ‘graduated’ from Mental Health counseling and I still struggle with mental health issues.  I have tools to help me and I utilized all of them this last week.  I don’t ever want to see another person I love, like or even hate hurt like our family hurt this last week.

I will not tell their story.  They deserve the respect to tell their story.  I am grateful beyond words that the God we serve brought us a walking, talking living miracle.  Praise God for answering the prayers of our family- biological, church and adopted.

While finding my path to the creation of a Suicide Awareness group- I’ve found many good websites with great information.  I am disappointed because we still don’t have the answers of how to stop this.  You know- if I break my arm it hangs there funny and even if I don’t notice it broken other people do and get me the necessary help.  Then it has a cast and everyone KNOWS she has a broken arm.  But when my mind begins to root into itself finding every despicable thing about me and broadcast it across my personal widescreen monitor- no can see it.  No one can turn it off and say don’t watch that.  No one can hear my inner voice that says “you are in the way- just get out of here” on repeat.  I am the only one that hears my mind saying ‘you aren’t good enough’ over and over again.  So things spiral out of control and downward.

But with the help of Mental Health counselors I’ve found one of my many tools is God and His word.

2 Corinthians 10:5 New International Version (NIV)

We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

So when my inner demons begin telling me I am not enough I take that thought captive and I declare that I am enough.  God sent his son to die for me because I was enough.  I refuse to listen to this demon anymore and instead I think on all good things.

Philippians 4:8 New International Version (NIV)

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Sometimes the things I find to think about are around me and not me- but they are good and shut up the demons.

 

If you struggle with mental health and need someone to talk to; I am willing to listen.  I don’t have the answers.  I care.  I love everyone.  I want to help.  I want to be the change that helps you live one more day, one more hour, one more minute until the hurt subsides and you can resume.

This last week hit me so hard that I will be getting the semicolon tattoo.  My daughters asked me if I wanted to do this together a few years ago and I turned them down.  I was ashamed of me and it hurt too much to think that my daughters had ever been suicidal.  It doesn’t hurt any less today- but I am no longer ashamed.  I am an open book.  If something I have experienced will help someone else I want you to know anything and everything about my life.

Dear Heavenly Father,  I’ve seen you move mountains in my life more than once.  I’ve seen you bring change in ways only you were capable of.  Father we need you today to help us stomp out suicide.  Please guide my steps and create through me a safe place for people to turn to in their time of need.  Thank you God for bringing us our miracles last week.  May your Glory shine through our family forever more.  AMEN

Chiari Malformation

One of my daughters was diagnosed with Chiari Malformation earlier this year.  While I will always support my children throughout their lives I didn’t want to believe this diagnosis.  There was part of me that felt if I didn’t claim this diagnosis it would not be true and therefore go away.

It hasn’t gone away.  It appears that she does have this.  In my ignorance I thought it was a ‘new’ disease that soon we would hear how wrong the doctors were about it.  Let’s be honest that happens more than it should!

September is Chiari Malformation awareness month.  When I saw our daughter post that on Facebook I decided it was time for me to become more aware.  It was time I learned about this and if there is anything I can do to help or make life better in anyway.  I am proud to say I have learned a lot.  It is not a ‘new’ disease.  It was first discovered in 1890.  Obviously medicine has improved greatly since then but it does not seem as much improved on curing this malformation.

Our daughter was born prematurely.  2 months early and had to spend nearly that entire 2 months in NICU.  We got her home and had a near ‘SIDS’ death with her 3 days later.  She had to wear an apnea monitor until she was 3 years old because she would stop breathing every time she fell asleep.  She had many respiratory issues throughout her childhood.  I heard so many times -it isn’t presenting like Asthma but it seems to respond to Asthma treatments.  Well now that she is an adult and heard that same statement more than once with hospitalizations for respiratory distress, we are wondering- She never has really responded with easier breathing until the doctors get steroids into her body.  We are wondering if the steroids decrease the swelling of the Chiari Malformation, which then in turns decreases the respiratory distress.

I don’t know if we will get the answers to these questions.  I’ve looked for ways to decrease her respiratory distress since the day she was born.  She spent the first 10 days in an enclosed incubator with oxygen and I could only put a gloved hand inside to touch her. The studies show that most Chiari Malformation is a birth defect.  So here this tiny baby was helpless and all of the tests for the next 3 decades didn’t get to the root of her ailment.

Our daughter is NOT defective!  She is bright, beautiful, Christian, a wife, a mother, lover of animals, business owner, author, aunt, cousin, brainiac and more.  Our daughter is NOT Chiari Malformation.  She might have this but it does not define who she is.  We serve a Big God that handles big problems.  We will follow where God leads and find joy, love, peace, hope and more.

#chiariinformation #chiarisupport #lovemychildren #GodisGood

8 years is too long

I had a heart wrenching conversation last week.  I try to be a shoulder for those who need to talk.  I’ve always been at a loss for words and learned years ago most people are wanting to talk things out- not have me offer wisdom, which is great because I am always at a loss of what I should say.

I felt the hurt that he felt in what he told me.  I felt the loss that he felt in his words.  There is no way to heal that hurt or fill that loss.  I know this person always believes the best in every one.  Sometimes he believes blindly which usually is a blessing to those he believes in.

This time it was not a blessing to a little girl.  This time he left one person drowning while he was trying to save another.  I am glad that my words failed me again.  I have spent many nights without rest trying to understand his choice.  I am grateful that he made what I consider the right choice at the end of his eight years, but I am sick to my stomach that it took him eight years to throw a life line to a little girl.

I don’t understand how anyone makes the choice to stand by an adult and leave a little girl drowning with no one to lift her out of her hurt, her loss.  Eight years is too long to leave a child without hope.

I know he has spent many sleepless nights and countless hours in prayer looking for wisdom and guidance on all of his decisions.  He is human and will make mistakes.  His judgment is not always accurate.  I am working hard at finding the path to forgiveness of his mistake.

But I was that little girl that no one helped.  I was the little girl victimized by grown men from the time I was 6 years old.  I was never thrown a life line.  I grew up as a victim and lived as a victim for many years.  I battle Mental Health issues daily from what was done to me.  I pray no one ever goes through what I went through- yet here is another little girl left alone with trusted adults who knew and didn’t help!

Left to drown for 8 years before someone finally did something.  Too little too late.  I pray for her daily.  I pray that God holds her close everyday and never allows anyone to harm her ever again.

World please wake up!  There are evil people doing evil things.  When you know someone is being harmed you MUST stand up for the victim!  Quit standing up for the bully!  Why do you think by helping the bully you help the victim?  You DON’T.  When you help the bully you tell the bully he/she is okay and keep doing what it is that is destroying their victim!  If you help the victim, you tell the victim they are worthy, you tell the bully NO!  I don’t understand why this is so hard for you to understand.

I am going to end this blog with a prayer for all of us.

Dear Heavenly Father,

We need you.  We plead that you help each of us recognize and call out bullies.  Teach us to help victims and strengthen our faith to serve you well.  Teach us to stop helping the bullies and to start helping the victims, daily.

I love you, God.  Please help me be the change I want to see in our world.  Thank you for blessing me with live, love and laughter.

In the name of your precious Son, Jesus Christ

AMEN

 

Mom’s make mistakes- It is OKAY!!

I’ve pondered many things posted in my last blog and keep coming back to why didn’t I help my oldest daughter when she was floundering?  Why didn’t I help my youngest daughter overcome the discomfort of being in our home?  There were many reasons that lead up to my failure to help my children.  I am sharing my personal insights in hopes that it will help someone struggling and make their life a little more simple.

When God blessed me with these beautiful baby girls I was certain God picked the wrong person.  They were so perfect.  I was so inadequate.  How could I ever be good enough to be their Mother.  I believed that I was evil and undeserving of anything good.  While I wasn’t diagnosed with mental illness until many years later I believe my mental illness began when I was forced to have an abortion when I was only 16 years old.

It is interesting as I write this blog- I have believed as long as I can remember that each and every child born is a gift from God.  I believe that God blesses the unions of people with a child.  But in my own life I thought God made a mistake.  He didn’t bless me- he cursed these babies by placing them with me.  That is one of the things I learned thru my mental health counseling.  I do not know if others who suffer from mental illness turn things around like that, but I do.  When my mind begins to degrade me, I’ve finally learned to grab that thought and rebuke it.

2 Corinthians 10:5 (KJV)

 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

From 1985 through 1999 I felt as thought I was a fake.  I didn’t know how to be a Mom.  Most of everything I did was best guessing at what I thought a good parent would do.  I did not have an example in my life to mimic and improve on.  I did the opposite of what I had done to me as I grew up and without having my identity in Christ I didn’t know if I was doing anything right.  So I felt I was a fraud.

We were arrested on Nov 19, 1999.  I have blogged and written lots about this so I urge you to look through my blog for the details on the arrest if you are interested in that.  What I figured out while pondering my last blog was that with FELON written in neon lights over my head I no longer could pretend anymore.  Now everyone knew how bad and evil I was.

So I gave up my job of being the mother of two beautiful perfect daughters.  They deserved better than me.  They are better than I am.  I have no right to tell them what to do.  I was arrested in front of them.  I had to plan on them living with someone other than me.  I was by own judge, jury and executioner.

It is the biggest mistake I made.  I let them down.  No one ever told me, Mothers make mistakes.  Bad things happen in life.  God doesn’t give up on us.  He chose us.  We are valuable to God- every single one of us is valuable.

Luke 12:7 KVJ  But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows.

It was through this devastating event that I began to find my identity in Christ.  I wish I had found my identity before I became a mother.  I would have done a much better job.  More importantly I would have not given up.  To my daughters, I apologize for quitting when you needed me the most.  I am so proud of each of you.  You’ve grown up to be amazing young mothers, ladies, sisters, friends, daughters, Christians, business owners and more.  I pray for your strength and wisdom every day.

Satan is working hard every minute of every day to destroy people, families and life as we know it.  He knows our weaknesses and he uses every trick possible to break each and every one of us.  He succeeded in my life for a little while.

I am grateful for the angels in our lives.  There were so many seen and unseen that helped in numerous ways.  Some brought food.  Some brought encouragement.  Others brought bibles and insisted on studies.  Others brought our family into a church and held our hands through countless emergencies.  There were many people who dropped us like hot potatoes but God brought better people into our lives and helped us.  God I apologize to you and ask for your forgiveness that I didn’t recognize it sooner.  Thank you God for loving this weird little family so much you didn’t give up even when I did.

So to you Mothers and Fathers out there, brothers, sisters, friends, okay- to EVERYONE!!  Life gets rough sometimes- but don’t give up.  Keep reaching for the stars until you find God and then keep reaching so that you will have your own relationship with the Creator of this amazing world!  Even when you get knocked down- don’t give up.  If you can’t fight back, let someone fight for you.  Angels, keep up the good work.

Matthew 25:23  New International Version
“His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’

Melodramatic

I am copying from a FB post made:

Demons got mad as Hell when I started binding Religious and other Satanic Strongmen over the area at The Rifle, Co Fair Grounds where I held a Christian Concert Outreach today in the middle of their Rodeo Fair.
A man was yelling to shoot me and kill me. Cops removed him.
Fair Venders vociferously told the Promoter to shut me down during my concert and later said that they wouldn’t pay their vendor fees because they are atheists and Witches and Obama supporters and my anti Obama comments and anti Trans Gender Bathroom comments were hate speech.
The 2 hour event was advertised as a “Faith Event”.
What were they expecting, average lukewarm church babble ?
I know I’m on track when the demons start screeching.
America is in a spiritual war; good vs evil.
God will prevail.

This speaker was VERY Melodramatic.  I am the promoter that demanded he be removed.  I met with him for a breakfast meeting as was told he would be singing and usually gave his testimony of how he went from a drunken sinner to a christian.

I did not hear his words- but the outcry of his removal did reach me.  I stormed the arena and he said a closing prayer and left.  Then for hours I heard of the hate that he spewed and saw how many left because of him.  One person has said that he feels he wasn’t politically correct, but that he was right in calling people out in their sin.

This breaks my heart.  God has NEVER once called me out in my sin.  He has loved me, exactly where I am at.  He has NEVER given up on me or felt He had to insult me to get me to listen.  I am hard headed and spend more time arguing that we should do it MY way- but God still loves me and NEVER spews hate at me.

We are in a spiritual battle- and it has always been good vs evil.  But if I were going to break it down simple and not spend thousands of words to explain where we are in my eyes it would be this:  When Jesus was alive the ONLY good was in Israel.  The ONLY people going to heaven were the Jews that had not sinned.  Jesus loved the WORLD so much He chose to be born as a human, die, be buried and risen as the Savior of the WORLD.  There is more good than evil today.  Good is world wide- not just in Israel.

I believe we misunderstand what Jesus did for us.  I believe we try to apply our rules to Jesus followers and in doing this we misrepresent God.  God tells us to love the sinner and hate the sin.  When you spew the hate that this speaker did- it is NOT loving the sinner.  I attend more Faith Events than the average citizen and this is the first one that the speaker needed to be removed.

I pray that God forgives you for your melodramatic speaking.  I pray that He convicts you to love your neighbor.  I pray God continues to grow me, guide me and strengthen me.

Breast Cancer Awareness

October has been Breast Cancer Awareness month for many years.  I’ve often promoted it through my own social media.  I try to be wise and share good information with other people about many subjects.  I never thought I needed to be checked for breast cancer.  NO ONE in my family has ever had cancer of any kind.  So I am safe, right?

I had my first ever mammogram in October of 2015.  Kind of a fluke actually.  My husband and I went in to get current vaccinations to go on vacation abroad.  Dr Elwood stated I needed to get a mammogram for a multitude of reasons.  My husband needs hernia surgery and they have been running him thru all kinds of tests including a full cardio workup to make sure he can handle surgery.  We have been very busy with working and getting all of his appointments in.  I didn’t have the time to get in for a mammogram.

Then the Drs office called and told me I had to get it done before her order expired.  So I made the time.  The technicians were great.  They were kind and patient.  Squish boob one…… Squish boob two…… They let me know that sometimes they have to call me back for better pictures but not to worry if I get that phone call.

I got that phone call.  The lady on the other end of the phone said that they need to look at boob two again.  They are not sure about the first pictures.  Well we had a hard time getting that picture anyway- the first time somehow I got my chin into the picture.  So I didn’t worry.  I went in and the technician was amazing.  She got the boob squished (more than enough) and took pictures.  Got the machine repositioned and squished boob two yet again…..  No chin in these pictures!  Ready for going onto work.  The technician asks me to wait while the radiologist makes sure of the images.  Says don’t get dressed yet.  She leaves the room.  I pace.  I sit.  I play games on my phone.  She knocks and comes in and brings in “the doctor”.

He was very nice.  He shook my hand and introduced himself.  (I have NO idea what his name is).  He showed me the mammogram and the spots that are called ‘calcifications’.  They might be nothing.  Breasts sometimes have them because they are milk producing glands he tells me.  But the calcifications are also indicators of cancer.  We need to biopsy your breast.

He then explained they will insert a needle that will scoop out a tissue sample that will be analyzed.  He stated that they will put in a titanium clip or marker.  He said typically the biopsy removes all of the spot and they will use the marker to locate the spot for a lumpectomy or if that is not needed the marker will let them know my breast produces calcifications in this spot and they do not need to worry about it.

So they tell me I can get dressed and Susan will get me the next appointment.  No rush they tell me.  I can go on vacation and as long as I take care of with in two months it will all be fine.  I get dressed and Susan takes me to Lindsay who starts giving me appointment options.  We will do the biopsy the day my husband and I leave on vacation.  I knew it would cause me undue concern to put it off.

I’ve been through a gamuet of emotions.  I let my daughters both know, cause you know they have breasts too.  I realized then in part of the information I have tried to share over the last few years is that men can get breast cancer too.  I’ve had a tinge of fear, but I refuse to live in fear.  Fear is not from God and I try my hardest to walk with God in everything I do.  So I am trusting God to walk with me thru this.