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!

Aug 152016
 

Why I write is definitely linked to my past. As many of you may know from hanging around through my ups and my intense downs I have been through a TON in my short life. Most of which was very traumatic. I suffer greatly from PTSD and a boat load of the side affects it comes with, like depression, severe anxiety, insomnia, suicidal thoughts, panic, and even self harm.

I have seen a dozen doctors/therapists/counsellors and I am on about a dozen different medications, all of which to help calm me down and hopefully help me to prevent the above symptoms, from getting worse than they are on a “normal” day.

However, along the broken-road I started to ask these very people who were set out to help me how they grew up, what their trauma’s are and I was shocked and felt more alone than ever when EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM told me that they have no experience with trauma but they are “trained to help trauma victims.”

One recommended after the loss of a baby that I go be like a “deer” and grieve in the woods for a few hours, literally shake it off and move on because that’s what animals are born to do. Just shake it off.

Unfortunately, I am not a deer, and unfortunately, I have been in a stopped vehicle while watching a gopher panic as it’s dead spouse lay in the middle of our highway, watching him run back and forth not quite sure what to do, trauma and sadness in the gophers eyes. Finally as he realized we weren’t going to hurt him he grabbed up the one he loved and pulled her crushed body off to the side of the road and into the woods. I am guessing he didn’t shake it off, he was too shaken up.

My heart broke for him as I sat there with a stream of tears remembering my own losses pouring down my cheeks.

I started to write. Not because I felt like what I had to say was of any importance, but because keeping it all in was literally killing me. My heart with an irraddic beat and requiring meds, my body shutting down, the blood stained razor adding another scar or two or three almost nightly. I needed to get the thoughts out of my head, whether they made sense or not.

Years later I call this a brain dump. Where I just open up a word document and let the words flow with no rhyme or reason, or I open a page in my journal and do the same. It’s unfortunate that most of my writings and ramblings are inspired or prompted by pain but it’s my hope and my prayer that in sharing my intimate thoughts, fears, frustration and deep love for Christ that someone who is sitting in a similar situation may find hope, or comfort in knowing they aren’t alone.

Their doctor may never have lost a baby or been raped, or experienced a trauma that they are willing to share, but I am, and its sad and scary how many have reached out to me to tell me they have been raped too, so many men have told me they were abused as a child after reading my words, some of whom claim they have never told anyone. I love that my hurt is allowing other people to hand their pain over and share in it and be understood rather than feeling alone and lost.

I believe the statistics are that 1 in 3 women are sexually abused at some point and 1 in 10 men. Of course those numbers aren’t accurate because they are based on what’s reported and I can sadly say that it is more like 9/10 people have been sexually assaulted or abused in some form at some point in their lives, whether it was a full fledged rape, molestation or something that made them feel uncomfortable, the line was crossed and 90% is simply too high.

Yet I am eager to learn and to listen and to offer guidance when the person asks.

So I write not only to cleanse my own brain of the pain that has plagued my soul since I was that 12 year old cold in the snow, but I write for those who have never shared and for those who have never been hurt and want to understand what they can do to support the ones in their lives who have been hurt.

I write because it protects me from myself.

I write because it’s a documentation of where I have been and where I never plan to go again.

I write because it’s my pained poetry, a tortured prayer where I know that God can see my soul through the blackness that often covers my heart and He can and will provide me with peace.


Mar 102016
 

I close my eyes and imagine that I am anywhere but inside of my own head. The thoughts violently swirling around to a past that I have never been able to forget and the news of this girl missing hitting me in the gut the way a tornado aims right at a trailer park.

I was only 9 years old when my cousin went missing. He walked out the door and said something to his sister and something just wasn’t right, he got into a white pickup truck that the police never looked for and didn’t care to find. It was easier to just stamp the cause of death as a suicide.

Three days we roamed the town, the yard, the gravel pits behind. Calling his name in a worry that everyone felt but no one cared to admit. Deep down we knew he wasn’t going to be found alive.

The police searched the area and searched again. On that third day they found his body at the bottom of a cliff. His cause of death was blunt force to the head, his shoe torn, his stomach empty and he was still warm, he had only died a few hours before. Suicide.

All these years later and it still doesn’t sit right. A 16 year old boy taken off for three days without any food or water with a hundred houses within the area he was found all with unlocked doors and a convenience store right next door. I have been to the brink of suicide, it didn’t take me 3 days to plot or plan, it didn’t involve any thought at all.

Now we have a 16 year old girl in our town missing just like that. No sign or trace or reason. She went for a walk with friends and was last seen at 6pm on February 27th, the police aren’t saying a thing, every task force you can imagine has set up in a church in an effort to bring her home. Every pole, window, car has a photo of the young lady smiling. Her mother putting it out there that if you hurt her to please just call and let them know where she is so they can bring her home.

At least we had that with my cousin, the homecoming. Followed by the blue casket sitting at the front of the church. I remember it being made of steel. The church overly packed. My aunt sedated to get through. I’ve had to sit through funerals sedated to.

I trust that God knows where she is just like He did my cousin. I pray that He is keeping her safe and that she isn’t being hurt. I pray that the truth will be set free and that as a community we can go back to feeling safe. Because a girl falling off the face of the earth at 6pm just doesn’t sit right.

If you’ve read this far please share her photo and pray that she will be returned to her family, friends and our community. She deserves that.

Dec 272015
 

Picking a word for the year isn’t always the easiest task. Sometimes a bunch of words stick out to us. Two years ago Ann Voskamp touched me greatly with the word “eucharisteo” and that was my word for the year-without me even realizing it. I even bought the bracelet to wear to remind myself to give thanks and to live in thanks everyday.


Last year I had started so many things and never really finished anything properly. I was realizing that multitasking doesn’t always work and that I needed to finish things before jumping into a new one. I was creating chaos with unfinished projects and creating to-do lists a mile long that never got checked off. So, my 2015 word was “finish” as I just wanted to remind myself to commit and finish and to not over-commit to things because I want each project to get the best of me, rather than tiny pieces. My family deserves that, my pets deserve that, my home deserves that, I deserve that and most of all God deserves to be glorified by my actions -including my to-do lists!


For 2016 I have been looking around here and there trying to find the right word for me. I have seen so many awesome ones over the past year and I am always inspired by them. So, a few months back when I started to see the word “FOCUS” and remember that I had seen it I began to wonder if this was going to be my new word.


I have prayed over a new word and asked for God’s guidance and this word keeps finding me and sticking out like a sore thumb. I didn’t even realize that I was unfocused until recently when I was popping out of the #FMFParty chat and being sidetracked by everything from repotting plants, making snacks, and spending time with children. Over the past few days I have found this word in so many images and places and I have barely even been using any electronics because of the holidays. I am certain that this year God is telling me I need to “focus”.

Last year I also picked a verse for the year.

“All things are possible with God”
~Mark 10:27~

I haven’t picked a verse for this coming year yet. As some of you may know via Twitter, I began reading through the Bible chronologically about a month ago. I figure if I can stay relatively on track during the busiest time of the year than I have no excuse to quit during 2016. A TON of verses have been highlighted in my Bible already and I have also made several graphics that I have shared on Instagram and Facebook.

I am still praying about which verse I should really “focus” on for 2016 and have even wondered if my verse would stay the same!

Nov 072015
 

I am simply tired this fall. Emotionally. I don’t know how to rest the soul and stop the ever growing soul-holes.

It is like I finally fill in a hole and trust and then Satan comes and pokes a few more.

It is easy to feel like Job, like God has handed me to Satan just so he can test my faith, see if I will break.

Yet, I wonder how much more shattered I can be. Is Satan aiming for powdered glass? Maybe turning me back into the dust from which I came –dust in the wind.

I wish I could fix everyone and everything. Yet, I am falling fast and hard and I don’t even know how to fix myself.

The scars on my arms ache to be cracked open for the release that comes when the blood flows and yet –I don’t want Jon to be disappointed in me. No, scratch that, I don’t want to break this 2 year chain and disappoint myself, which doesn’t stop the scars from calling my name and begging for a home –a place of prominence on sin-laden flesh.

Loneliness creeps in like the dark-blankets the falls evening sky. Everything has changed. Everything stays the same. In my own pain/sorrow I still beg to die.

Why?

I see soo many who just want another day. Another year. Yet here I am wasting the time I do have out of fear, out of loss, out of…

I wish I wanted to live and I wish I took advantage of every moment and I just don’t know how. And part of me doesn’t want to know because if I learn then I have to figure out a way to move on and moving on means I might forget and I never want to forget because that will always bring me back to pain, as sure as the moon pulls in the oceans tide the pain will roll in on a wave.

Maybe Satan/evil lives in me and we are glued together –one in the same.

I blankly stare at the download on my computer screen and know I’ve been waiting hours for it to finish and there are still 80+ minutes left. For a download that probably won’t even work.

The blueberry wax melt smelling good and also a lot like wax. I am candle spoiled –if that’s a thing. Something about the flicking light, the melted aroma and the warmth that petite flame ignites.

I am tired. Worn. Weary.

Lord, help me, please…

Teach me, and I will be silent; make me understand how I have gone astray
~ Job 6:24~

Oct 282015
 

We use the word “hope” an awful lot today. I see it all the time. Like for reals.

“I hope you do well”

“I hope you feel better”

See what I mean? Yet, all of this hope is often false. It is just a way to be kind or to say something to fill in the blank spaces. What if we changed from hope though and switched to praying? What if all of those sentences filled with the false hope that we offer was turned to God who can actually do something about it?

“I pray you do well”

“I pray you feel better”

Doesn’t that just sound more purpose driven? More authentic even.


I know each year as we light the advent candles we have one to represent hope, one for joy, one for love and one for peace. Yet, in all of these instances we are placing the meaning on the excitement over the birth of Christ. Our hope, joy, love and desire for peace are very real in this instance, they aren’t just said to fill in a blank space, they aren’t used as a blanket statement. They are in fact a prayer in themselves as we seek the Christ Child on the road to CHRISTmas.

Sure, it is great to have dreams for things and even hope that we will achieve them, I often hope I don’t hit a deer or get a ticket or _____. BUT, Instead of hoping I could act in a way to ensure I won’t get a ticket, pray that I am kept safe as I drive and have an open conversation with God about my wants, needs, desires, and everything in between.

So, let’s stop hoping and start praying, because praying is the way to make our hopes come alive. Speak to God today and tomorrow too!!

Oct 232015
 

I was travelling down this path looking for God in every place I could think to search, starting with the Bible and books written on the Word of God and then of course in the people who follow him and the people who don’t and somewhere along the messy path of papers tossed, folded highlighted and carpeting the bed and floors I realized that I had entered the world of ministry without even meaning to.

I was ministering to people through my blog, through my words because others could relate to the broken truth that I have experienced in my life and somehow that made us soul sisters in more ways than simply having Christ in common. I realized that church can be right here on my computer screen, in a Facebook group and on Twitter on Thursday nights, it can be prayers in a holding embrace in the grocery store shared among friends, it is dropping my son off at Youth group and keeping my eyes on the road as he points out the stars in the sky and explains to me which are burnt out.

God became my everything and I realized He is everywhere, in everything and I was sharing the joy I had found, because surely if He is faithful to lowly me, then He will be faithful to everyone else who seeks Him too!

I realized though, that ministry isn’t all smiles, it carries a lot of burden, pain and tears. My prayer list is a mile long and everyday someone else gets added, something else needs my energy, my focus, my bringing it to God. People don’t always ask for prayer
–actually, most don’t,
but they still need to be prayed for.


Without any formal training I have been blessed to minister to new and old friends. I have cried tears when cancer came back and stole a mama away from her kids, I have lost sleep praying with tears running down my cheeks -for the family who just lost their child, I have wept and rejoiced over successful organ transplants and offered comfort when they weren’t. I have given my honest opinion when asked. I have lost more friends than I can count and I have suffered silently while standing strong.

I have listened to stories told by elderly widowers speaking of their wives and how they met, got married and raised each other and then I have watched those same people wither away into dementia and heart failure and eventual physical death.

I have stood vigil over the dying and held their cold hands and prayed. I have made coffee and snacks in makeshift kitchens set up in hospital rooms for family who refused to leave. I have slept in chairs, I have lost sleep and made myself physically ill just so I could help someone to know they are spiritually well.

Yet, somehow in ALL of this ugliness there is a light and that light is Christ and I trust that He is guiding me just right, like the lighthouse protecting ships from jagged rocks in rocky seas, God is there always, perfectly, for both you and me.

I fell into ministry for a reason and I have no clue where it will take me or when, but I trust that God already knows and that He will use me in the ways I need to be used and I will gladly serve Him diligently. Ministry isn’t a 9-5, and for me it doesn’t even pay in dollars, but knowing that I have helped soul-holes be filled in and have been the one appointed to be leaned on is a task I do not take lightly. He is my strength, my refuge. Because of seeds planted in me years ago, He has grown around me, roots strong and protecting my soul.

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