Mar 182017
 

I sat there at the table in the rec center with a pencil borrowed from my child and the back of my grocery list, jotting down two poems in about 10 minutes while dealing with people inquiring about what we were doing there. I was just the chaperone as this was the kids gig, but I answered questions and handed out free things just the same.

The nausea is still plaguing me whenever it feels like it and the exhaustion and fatigue are definitely assaulting me. Vivid dreams in full colour are sticking with me through the days and laughing until I am crying or crying until I am laughing are also becoming a new normal.

But, today, the words flowed from me in a poetic prose that I had missed. The pain and sadness that lives deep within my soul, was eager to hit the slip of paper and is currently tucked inside my wallet. As I read the words aloud to the child who loves to listen to rap and lyrics full of suffering and pain I heard the words “that’s deep and really good. If I didn’t know you, it would almost be scary, almost.”

You see, I have a dark side, a side riddled with past pains, abuse, rape, physical and emotional neglect and loss. My dark side often finds its way out when its pen on paper, never rehearsed or even edited, just the need to hold a pen to paper and write the words that flow, whatever they may be.

I often wonder to myself, how do people who don’t write deal with their dark side? Surely, I am not the only one who has this. Certainly, I am not the only one with a tumultuous past.

I believe in God. I believe I am redeemed. I believe that Christ has already bore my sins and that I am saved. I believe that my faith is more than sufficient and yet I am human and the darkness still lives within the broken cracks of my once shattered soul. You see, you can glue a mirror back together, no matter how many pieces, but the reflection will never be the same. While Christ is the glue that strengthens me, and has rescued me from the past, it doesn’t mean the past never happened.

I love deeply and wholly with all that I am. I don’t trust easily. I break often. I hide the pain behind a smile. I am content in just ‘being’ and in knowing that the present doesn’t last forever and that what comes tomorrow will be history the following day. I’ve learned that I have to be my own best friend so that I can live the life God would have me lead.

Mar 052017
 

I’m all alone, when the sun, goes down
What I wouldn’t give, to have someone around
The nights are endless, and dreams, are few
But when they come, well they never come true
And so it goes
No one even knows, the pain behind the smile
How all the while I’m cryin’
SAVE ME…..SOMEONE SAVE ME
SAVE ME…..SOMEONE SAVE ME
‘CAUSE I’VE BEEN SAVIN’ MYSELF FOR HER TOO LONG’
IT’S TIME I’M MOVIN’ ON
Won’t you save me?
Too many memories in this, old town
My face turned up to meet the rain..the rain that’s fallin’ down
Let it come
And so it goes
That no one even knows, the pain behind the smile
How all the while I’m dyin’
SAVE ME…..SOMEONE SAVE ME
SAVE ME…..SOMEONE SAVE ME
‘CAUSE I’VE BEEN SAVIN’ MYSELF FOR HER TOO LONG’
IT’S TIME I’M MOVIN’ ON
Won’t you save me?
Are you gonna be the one to make it right, or am I only dreamin’
Baby am I dreamin’?……Am I dreamin’?
No one even knows, the pain behind the smile
Whoooooh…baby, baby, baby, baby-they don’t know
They don’t know…that I’m cryin’ all the while
All the while
Somebody save me….save me
Save me……somebody save me (Mm Mm)
Save me…..save me
Save me…….someone save me
‘Cause I’ve been saving myself for her too long
It’s time I’m movin’ on
Won’t you save me….save me
Can’t you see…..that I’ve been lonely?

 

This weekend was a crazy one, lots of random things happened, and the one I least expected was seeing a message on Facebook saying that a girl I had talked to the night before was in ICU and wasn’t likely to make it, followed quickly by the announcement of her death.

I guess I was one of the last to talk to her as her brother reached out to me, which I am grateful for, unfortunately, I couldn’t tell him she was in a bad state the night before or that she seemed to be depressed or in a frame of mind that would make me think that our conversation was one that would be our last.

We spoke about how we were doing, mentally. She had done some amazing things in the past year, leaving her husband and other toxic relationships, delivering a healthy baby (her third child), getting a job and being the caregiver and breadwinner and even trying to reconnect with family while seemingly getting a hold of her own demons. She lost around 50lbs and looked amazing. Her frown had turned to a smile and her cynicism had for the most part became a sort of comic relief rather than what appeared to be a distress call.

So, what went wrong?

The pain behind the smile.

That’s what went wrong.

We had spoke about how being happy was a frightening thing because when you deal with mental health issues there is often a crash after a bout of happiness. She said “it’s like you’re jinxing yourself”. She was dead about 18 hours later.

After talking to me her posts on Facebook stopped. She was a chronic poster but I thought nothing of it since I don’t use Facebook that often for searching through posts. I only noticed this afterwards.

I have spent the last 30ish hours wondering if our chat was her being happy because she had made the decision to end her life and felt free for the first time. Did she talk to me that night because she was in her own way saying goodbye?

I’ve known far too many people who have committed suicide. I’ve attempted it many times myself, but I have never been among the last to speak to someone before their demise. I can’t honestly say how I feel, shaken is about the only word that comes to mind.

At first, I was worried about her three sweet babies, what will happen to them? Who has them? Did they find her? What did they see? Will the older two remember her?

Then I felt a sadness within myself, not because she was gone, but because I will be missing out on having someone around who often understood the darker side. Who was eager to seek the Lord and often confused by it during times of struggle.

A quote I have on my Facebook talks about how when one commits suicide it is really the first time that they have taken hold of control of their lives. After experiencing suicides through my whole life, I still believe that.

“If I commit suicide, it will not be to destroy myself but to put myself back together again. Suicide will be for me only one means of violently reconquering myself, of brutally invading my being, of anticipating the unpredictable approaches of God. By suicide, I reintroduce my design in nature, I shall for the first time give things the shape of my will. ”
~Antonin Artaud~

Unfortunately, it’s a painful ending to those of us left to figure out the pieces, never mind pick them up. Then again, there never really is a good time to die, whether your 102 or 22… There really, never is “unfinished business.”

Sometimes, our stories become more powerful when we have a powerful departure from this earth into our heavenly realm. I believe that will be the truth for this dear lady. Because, “The dead are not lost to us. They speak to us everyday” -unknown

Feb 032017
 

The printer spitting out papers in booklet format as I prepare for Hello Mornings new study and while I wait on that I go to Amazon and download a couple of free thrillers to read. I feel like an oxymoron with God on one side and crime thrillers on the other.

I know these are the complexities of being human though. Working our brains. Enjoying what we do while keeping a safe balance to it all.

For some struggling to keep things in the “safety zone” is the struggle though. Overindulgence being catastrophic to their wellbeing as they violently swing from one extreme to the next, never placing their feet firmly on the middle ground, or even recognizing what the middle ground is.

The pile of books at my bedside include my planner, my new MEV Bible, Fear Fighting by Kelly Balarie and Mary’s Diary –Jesus Through His Mothers Eyes by Marilyn Friesen. The pile inside of my iPad tends to be where the other books go. The ones I love to read but don’t want to spend the money on because I know I will likely never read them again.

I feel like maybe I am not the only one who writes that has multiple books and multiple genres going at the same time. I used to be one who would sit down with a book and read it completely through before grabbing the next in the pile, I still do that with fiction, but I always have non-fiction and Christian books going too. And the Bible, I can read it front to back and never be finished with it!

I sing along to a Garth Brooks song and wonder how I never knew the song was his before. My mind in a constant state of multitasking while I try and avoid today’s latest news headlines, at least for now.

I wonder if the girlchild is up yet. She isn’t really a child anymore. At almost 15 she pretty much does everything for herself, except you know, cook, clean, pay bills, stay organized, etc; Pretty much a full on adult. -smiles-

Really, it’s not that I do much better. The water guy was in my house this morning for nearly three hours before knocking on my bedroom door to tell me he figured the water pressure was fixed now and that he was sorry for making the dog bark so much. I definitely don’t have this adulating thing down yet. Secretly, I hope that I never do.

I don’t want to stop running through empty parking lots and sliding on the ice or quit jumping off of snowbanks onto busy sidewalks in our small town. I don’t want to worry about singing the wrong lyrics to the song playing at the top of my lungs in a grocery store or walk in embarrassment and shame for being caught.

Maybe I have a bit of what I always called Peter Pan syndrome, the extreme desire to never grow up. I mean, yeah I have bills and I pay them, I have kids and responsibilities and a boyfriend who I love. I’ve never had a ticket and have done my best to stay on the right side, but there is no reason I have to give up my quirks because my age dictates I should.

Perhaps, we would all be a lot happier if we forgot the chores and laid in bed in our pj’s reading all day.

 

 The Promises of God Creative Journaling Bible is a double-column, widemargin Bible in the beautiful Modern English Version translation.  This unique Bible for craft enthusiasts is a wonderful resource for creative art journaling and coloring. Beautiful illustrations spread throughout the Bible, with both lined and blank margins, allow for a wide variety of creative uses. Scripture art is beautifully displayed on each of the sixtysix book introductions throughout the Bible, along with many other illustrations that can be colored to make the Bible customizable to your personality. Every page of Scripture features extra-wide 2.25” margins that include a variety of blank space, ruled lines, and illustrations for multiple creative uses. The 8-point font allows for comfortable reading, and the high quality off-white paper is optimal for creative art journaling.   

 
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We all live with fear. It hangs around, whispering in our ears, reminding us of all we can’t do or will never be. But that’s not the end of the story. We also have a God who draws close to say, Fear not. I am with you. This Spirit transforms us into fear fighters–women breaking free of trepidation to find bold dedication to God’s peace-, purpose- and joy-filled callings.

With remarkable compassion born from personal experience, Kelly Balarie shows women how to

· Cultivate unstoppable faith by harnessing God’s Word and promptings
· Pray panic-, blood pressure- and stress-reducing prayers to usher in lasting peace
· Discover clear and immediate action plans to exchange worry for God’s greatest gifts
· Implement daily bravery decrees to stand armed through the day
· Participate in a 12-week study guide to foster new courageous habits
 
Kelly pulls back the curtain of fear so you can find the beautiful woman God created you to be.
Kindle Edition: Check Amazon for Pricing Digital Only
Dear Diary
I am so frightened. Someone saw of my diary scrolls and wants to get them distributed.
They are from a strange, far away place and are asking to stick them on the Internet and do other queer things with them.
Did I even spell that odd word right? I have NO idea what they are talking about.
Oh I wish Jesus was here so I could ask His advice, but He floated up to Heaven in a cloud.

But…on the other hand, it was such a wonderful, yet often terrifying experience raising Jesus from a little boy and watching Him develop into a strong caring Man. He brought joy, healing and peace to so many people and yet they killed Him in the most awful way imaginable!Maybe I should let those strangers do whatever they think is best with my scrolls. It would be so nice if others could know how wonderful He really is. I sure hope no one in our village finds out, though, that I did something so outlandish! They’d never understand what happened to me.
Love, Mary

Kindle Edition: Check Amazon for Pricing Digital Only
Feb 022017
 

He sat there absorbed in his video game and me in my book and as the hours ticked by I could see he was holding his breath more often, afraid to breathe but trying to ignore the silence of the phone. No news is good news, right?

Finally, we laid down and slept for a few hours -smack in the afternoon and into the early evening, and his breathing relaxed, his stress slipped away as I watched him before dozing off myself.

When the phone rang it’s awful ringtone he shot out of bed like a cat, straight into the air and answered it quickly.

He held his breath when it was his dad and not his mom who said she would call when her surgery was over.

When his dad passed the phone to his mom the audible sigh of relief that escaped his body caused tears to roll down my cheeks, quickly swiped away by the blanket.

She was okay. He was okay. I was okay. We could breathe knowing his mama survived the surgery.

The holding your breath and doing your best to focus on the good and handing it to God thing seemed to be working through the day, it was a nice day, but lingering in the back of our minds was a part of our souls that just needed the know what God’s plan for us that day actually was.

Breathing out the negative and breathing in the relief felt fresh, new, amazing.

Suddenly we both wanted to eat and found ourselves thirsty, realizing we hadn’t done either all day as we did our best to stir our minds from the what-ifs.

It was only 2 days before that I was the strong one, standing on the stairs into the night speaking to his mama about her faith and her journey through the church, through life, and her telling me that I was reminding her to just trust God.

Why is it so much easier to say than do? Preach but not be preached to?

I hold my hands in reverence to the One who is in control of it all, whose plans I will never know until I am walking through them. To Him I give praise, because praise is deserved even in the darkest of days. Gratitude in the middle of chaos. He triumphs as I stumble. Picks me up when I fall. When the air is knocked from my soul, He breathes life back into me. CPR for the soul. The Bible my personal First Aid Kit!

Feb 022017
 

I go through the motions of the day like everyone else does while worrying about the everyday things like money and bills overdue and how I am going to find a way to pay them and then I place it all into God’s hands and do my best to continue, trusting that He has provisions for me and He will meet all my needs.

I am reminded of the Israelites wandering for forty years, given manna everyday and told never to take more than they need, or save any for later. Trust that the Lord will provide the next meal too.

A family that vlogs on YouTube who I began to follow over a year ago, because of a cleaning motivational video posted a life update today. The mom, Christy, was very upset as she sat in the car talking about her faith and her family and how their oldest son, 22 years old, passed away this week and that they have had to humble themselves before the Lord during this extremely difficult time, by having to start up a GoFundMe page just so they can pay for the funeral for their child that will be held this weekend.



And tears fall from my own eyes as I see how upset she is, how she knows to trust God but her heart is broken either way, how I have watched her shop thrift stores to care for her large family, how she has purposed to be more modest, shared her raw testimony and allows us in to her hectic homeschool life while working full time and still struggling to make ends meet.

My own anxieties and problems with money suddenly become trivial. Who cares about the credit card debt from years ago, at least I am not burying my child. My family is healthy. That could all change tonight or tomorrow or when the phone rings, but right now everyone is good and that is a blessing. That is todays manna. The sustenance that will sustain me, even if creditors are calling and threatening to ruin me, I cannot be ruined because Christ has me and he has my family and if/when something does happen, He will still stand firm and still give me exactly what I need as I need it.

Will Christy’s son be buried and have a lovely service? Yes! And, because of people who realize the need of this family who have put away a little bit here and there, Christy and her husband Jimmy SR will not have to worry about debt when they are mourning and looking for ways to be grateful and intentional.


We put so much value on “things” and “stuff” that when there is a tragedy like a young man, a child, passing away, our own lives are put into perspective and we strive to be more intentional and make the moments count. I don’t think anyone has ever lost someone and said they spent too much time with the person or have too many memories, rather people lose and then they feel guilt that they should have could have would have done more if only they knew.

In life, we rarely get to know any of these things ahead of time, but one thing is for certain, we are all on the same paths, regardless of time, and that is physical death. Our souls will rise and God will embrace. So, why don’t we live everyday like it is our last without having to be told we are dying?

My One Word for the year was “Intentional” and unfortunately it took someone passing away at a young age for my heart to shift to a place that reminds me to be more intentional with my children and family, and the ones I love.

God is absolutely amazing in allowing the negatives of our own lives, and the lives of others, to remind us of His Word and to live life to the fullest.

I ask that you pray for the Overlin family this coming week as they figure out what normal is as children of God and as parents to a son gone too soon. Placing their faith in Christ and knowing that their oldest boy is now sitting with the One Creator.

Live intentionally dear friends!

Jan 062017
 


I have been disconnected feeling for so many years, from myself, from others, and worst of all, from God. And, when I have had the opportunity to connect I have pulled away, recoiled like a snake stepped on whose only reflex is to tangle up on itself.

I have purposed this year with my OneWord365 to be “intentional”. How that is going to play out, I don’t know. But, I am excited to be intentional with my children, my parents, my boyfriend, and of course my relationship with Christ -my God.

The desire to connect to myself and to others, especially the One who created me, has overridden the desire to pull into myself and hide from the world the way I used to. I want to, no I need to, live life in the love that was ordained by Christ Himself when He spoke to us saying “And a new commandment I give to you, that you love one another as I have loved you…” He didn’t add in an “if, and, or, but, unless” etc to the command, so I am going to live with the intent to connect through Christ, to connect in love and to work at connecting with my soul and strive to reach my potential.

I love connecting with each of you every week as we flash-mob write. As we tweet about sports and justice and chocolate and ask for prayers. Connecting through our own words and the Word of God, the words in the books of our dear friends as they follow where they are to be lead.

I am excited to see who will join us this year and who I will connect with and what we will connect over, maybe a favorite dish, children the same age, mentors or a friendship that makes no sense to the naked eye but simply feels natural and right.

We all live with fear. It hangs around, whispering in our ears, reminding us of all we can’t do or will never be. But that’s not the end of the story. We also have a God who draws close to say, Fear not. I am with you. This Spirit transforms us into fear fighters–women breaking free of trepidation to find bold dedication to God’s peace-, purpose- and joy-filled callings.

With remarkable compassion born from personal experience, Kelly Balarie shows women how to

· Cultivate unstoppable faith by harnessing God’s Word and promptings
· Pray panic-, blood pressure- and stress-reducing prayers to usher in lasting peace
· Discover clear and immediate action plans to exchange worry for God’s greatest gifts
· Implement daily bravery decrees to stand armed through the day
· Participate in a 12-week study guide to foster new courageous habits
 
Kelly pulls back the curtain of fear so you can find the beautiful woman God created you to be.
$15.99 USD
Nov 102016
 

I often feel like an outcast, like I don’t have much in common with the Christian community or the secular community. I am a single mom who has lived through hell -literally. I struggle to see other families married and having kids and being on the same page and all of that when I am co-parenting with my own parents and I was a teen mom.


And yet, I feel like I belong at the same time because Christ didn’t accidentally make me fall in line with the people in my life, He didn’t cause me to check and email, stumble across a blog post or fall into a chapter in my Bible that spoke to me by accident.

No, He invited me in, even when I feel like the world may not want me, and I am learning that rejection is not only okay, but it is often necessary, because when we reject something that isn’t good for us, or are rejected by someone or something we thought was good for us, we are vulnerable and that vulnerability allows us to open up even further to prayer and to God’s love and plans for our lives -that is, if we allow Him in!

I no longer believe in coincidences. I believe that there is a reason for everything and while a LOT of those things have hurt and hurt really badly over the last weeks, I know without a shadow of a doubt that I am walking a path that the Light is guiding me down.


I am amazed by the kindness and care I have received. The things I have in common with people I never met and the quirks I have and that they have that blend us together and make us work.

I have spent a lifetime praying to a God that often doesn’t seem to answer and yet these moments of commonality and acceptance are like a big ole swat upside the head from the Father that loves beyond all, saying to me “Child, if you would just have some patience!”

Practicing patience as a virtue is hard when it’s something you weren’t born naturally doing, and yet because I was created in His image, just like you were, I know that it is something I can strive towards, I also know I will never be perfectly patient, or perfectly anything, other than His and I have learned that I shouldn’t strive for perfection, I should strive to be in the presence of the One who is always perfect!

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