Feb 172016
 

The holes in my soul have been pulled battered raw and the words to speak are choked up in my throat causing me to drown on tears and fears while listening to my heart thump erratic and watch my veins pulse, begging for that crimson regret, orgasmic release.

Peace.

I am free. Maybe I should have started with that. Yet, at this time of year the bondage that once held me so tight grips my ankles and wrists with their phantom chains and life turns into fight or flight. My dreams are overwhelmed with the need to escape and I have to check the pill bottles and my wrists when I wake up to see if I had acted or if it was just another nightmare.

All I want to do is be productive. Check things off of the to-do list and go on with life like those 5 years never happened, it has been 11 years since my escape after all, but the thoughts don’t ever go away. Too many memories tied to that place.

While I yearn to write and vacuum and simply live my brain doesn’t want to remember and argues with my body to give in and sleep.

Random questions have been asked this week. How deep are my veins? Have I ever hit one? How much of ____ is lethal? I am not suicidal, on the contrary actually, I am really happy to be alive for the first time, yet those morbid thoughts from the past creep into my mind and I wonder how much grace God gifted me to keep me here -healthy, alive.

I may still be shot full of holes that penetrate my soul and scar tissue and scabs definitely cover some of those broken raw wounds, but my story isn’t finished. Isn’t told.

This year I don’t want to simply survive. I need to thrive.

And by His grace and through His love, I will.

Jan 202016
 

Standing at the kitchen sink washing dishes while my girl reads to me the lost chapter she is writing for The Giver for her English class and I can’t help but think how much like me she really is. Only, this sweet child doesn’t know how to type very well and is growing increasingly frustrated because her typing isn’t able to stay caught up to the story in her head, giving her a case of writers’ block, which, I am definitely familiar with. I put the last dish to dry and wiped my hands and went and sat beside her at the table and read what she had, her paragraph cut short mid-way through and her having no clue where she was going with that thought because typing had hindered her.

I lean in close and she pushes her computer over to me and the story springs back to life, only this time my fingers are the ones bouncing up and down off the keys and she says to me with a bit of amazement in her voice “how do you type like that?” and she leans down real close with her face nearly on the table and her eyes staring horizontal across my fingers as they tap away and she watches me type, like she had never seen me do it in the 13 years she has walked this jagged line.

Within a few minutes her story is complete and she is proof-reading it, looking for spelling and grammar mistakes before I transfer it to my computer where software will do that. She edited away like she had done it a thousand times and deleted the odd sentence or paragraph that didn’t really make much sense and then I transferred it over to my laptop for a run through the software and to print.

I have been doing a lot of dishes lately. Yeah I know, I am a mom and that’s what we all say. But really, my mom normally does the washing up but I have been doing it the past month or so. There are a couple of reasons, one being that I really hate having dirty dishes in the sink and beggars can’t be choosers… I absolutely hate having to clean the sink to grab a glass of water or to fill the kettle but a family of five does that to you, even with a dishwasher, so I have been purposing to stay on top of the dishes just so I can save my sanity.

But you see something happened when I started doing the dishes. The girl child, she started sitting at the table while I do them. She comes out of her room and sits and chats, about everything and anything and that is the BEST REASON EVER to do dishes! She puts things away for me too which is also helpful, but praise the Good Lord for the 20 minutes a few times a day that she comes out and is simply with me. I enjoy our time together. I had no clue that we would grow our relationship over dirty dishes. Had I known, I would have started doing them more often a long time ago!

I am definitely a mom in the minority when it comes to having her kids do chores. They don’t have any designated chores. Why? Because they go to school from 8-4 and have homework when they get in and I don’t work outside the home and I would rather my children go to bed at a decent hour and worry less about chores and more about getting a good education, focusing on their grades. They help when they are asked and they often offer, which is fun because I get to see where they really enjoy doing things and where they don’t.

If my kids had chores I wouldn’t know that my son likes to work outside with my dad, especially when it comes to working on the tractor or anything with tools. I wouldn’t know that my daughter likes to cook, especially for me, and that she has a servants’ heart and takes great care in the things she prepares and how they look and taste, because once it becomes a chore, we treat it like a chore and school is a big enough chore for them right now and I absolutely love seeing what they have created or found while doing what they truly enjoy.

FYI my daughter is a bit OCD and does her own laundry on weekends and puts it away. Her bed is either completely unmade without a bottom sheet or made to the point you are scared to wrinkle it. My son is not a clean freak and is quite messy. He needs help cleaning his room and getting those types of things done because he has no clue how to even start, but if you say a wall needs built he’s in there like a dirty old sock (is that still a saying?) ready to help out!

I am so blessed to see some of the Proverbs 31 woman come out in me and to be able to, prayerfully, be a good influence to my children.

My daughter said tonight that her favorite song is inappropriate and my response was “sin is often easier, but it isn’t better.” I left her to think on that. Maybe we all need to think on that.

Nov 192015
 

I didn’t just dwell on the past, I lived there, for years and years and even more years and sometimes when I am not careful to be present my mind slips right on back into the black and abusive abyss, haunting my thoughts both day and night.

There is no one way to move forward though, no way to get over the PTSD. I take meds, a LOT of meds. I have actually posted pictures of my meds on Instagram because of how disgusted I am in having to take them, but they are what allows for me to be focused enough on the present and the future that I can actually live with my past. They free me from the phantom chains and release me into the loving arms of God.

For a long time I would dwell on the fact that suicide attempts never worked and “God never wanted me back” or “God won’t even take me, nobody wants me”. Somewhere along the jagged, slippery road I have realized that He is the only One who ALWAYS wants me. ALWAYS loves me. Even at my worst. Even when I have sat there bleeding out and overdosed He breathed life into my lungs and told me it wasn’t my time and He planted seeds of purpose that the meds have allowed to finally grow!

I was raised Catholic. I always had at least a Bible or two around and I had read through it in it’s entirety several times before I was done middle school. Yet, I didn’t dwell on the words or let the Word dwell in me. I didn’t allow God’s love to flow into me even though I had accepted Him as my Lord and Saviour. I knew the words on the pages, and the pages knew me, but we had little connection.

I look back now and I see that hell on earth and I know without a doubt that had I not went through all of that I wouldn’t be where I am spiritually today. I wouldn’t be blessed to be able to say “I understand”. I wouldn’t be able to listen with an emphatic ear or pray from my heart words that bring a world of welled up tears.

I have felt like Job and even used Job 3 as a suicide note. You see how distorted the Bible can become in the mind of someone who is completely undone? Now I feel more like those who were in the lineage of Jesus, right back to Genesis –the Beginning. Where polygamy and sin ultimately led to David and from the stump of Jesse we received Jesus!! I feel like that, like all of my ugly-sin is sending out shoots and new life and growth.

I am not healed, but I am whole.

When I feel like my life is less than, I know that God will use those moments to give me a more than opportunity. Will I go down in some great book centuries old? Not likely, BUT that doesn’t mean I shouldn’t turn life around and be an example to the people I interact with and impact every day.

I will not only dwell in His home forever, but forever He will dwell in me!

Oct 212015
 

Today Jen from Faith Mustard Seed and a group from her church hopped on a plane to go over to Cambodia for 10 days. She sent out a document to all of us and asked us to fill out a time to pray for them each day. Pray that they are doing well, staying safe, and of course reaching many with the gospel! If you could take time each day and just say a quick prayer for all missionaries that would be wonderful!

I watched War Room the other day. At first I thought “this doesn’t apply to me because I am not married” then as I continued to watch I found myself saying “Amen” and “Hallelujah” and before I knew it I was looking around trying to figure out where I could set up my own war room!! A place for me to kick Satan out of my life and for me to invite God and scripture and all that is good IN.

Last night I journaled like I do in one way or another most days, but after the first paragraph my journaling turned into a prayer and not a prayer that I would normally write, not one that started with “Heavenly Father…” no… instead my prayer was flowing from me and likely only made sense to God!

Father please enter this home and cast Satan out. Remove the negativity that comes and replace it with Your unconditional love. Stand guard over my parents and children and protect them from pain and death!

I cast you out Satan. I cast you out of my thoughts. I refuse to allow you to plant your evil seeds of doubt! Jesus Christ fills me! The Holy Spirit surrounds me and God the Father casts you down into the pits of hell from which you came!

Jesus, You are my Protector. My Father. The One who loves. Your Spirit bright and True. My Saviour.

I chose to follow You each and every day of my life Jesus! Thank You for breathing the Holy Spirit into me every moment of every day!

~Amen

Oct 132015
 

Today was more of the same old, hanging out online, checking emails, reading, chatting with my mom, waiting for the clouds to clear and the sun to poke through –which it did, and for a change –waiting for the telephone/internet guy to come sometime after 8am. He showed up around 3pm and was here about an hour. He is pretty confident everything is fixed and going to work well now but only time will tell and he said he would follow up in a few days.

Have you ever had to wait for someone all day like that? I must’ve checked the time every ten minutes feeling like hours had passed without him arrival. Feelings of being forgotten about or missed ran through my head and then I would look and it was only noon. Time stood still.

I am a stay at home mom and my kids are in school so really the day should have been pretty basic and like any other but that added intrusion of the wait really wore me out and wore on my nerves. I had to dig deep and be patient, after tweeting the company for being slow, which I did {hopefully} rectify when I tweeted them thanking them for their service and for the thorough job that their technician did.

As Christians though, aren’t we always in a time of wait or of counting? Waiting for the second coming and wondering at every turn if this is it, if the signs we are seeing are in fact Biblical. Waiting as we count down the days to Christmas through Advent, then to Easter through Lent and so on. When you add in back to school, weekends, schools out, holidays, and other things we are always waiting, always counting and planning and never truly mastering patience because if we were practicing the virtue of patience we wouldn’t need to do the counting or have an emotional response to whatever is coming next, we would humbly live each day the way we live every day and simply trust in God’s timing rather than in that of our clocks and calendars. We would probably even realize we are enjoying things a whole lot more.

Yet, even as that stay at home mom it is impossible to toss the clock and live by feel alone because the world is a scheduled place and we have to plan for what comes even though we know that God always provides.

His provision and my laziness can often go hand in hand, I can easily say that I don’t need a garden or to go to the store for food because God will provide, and while it is doubtful we would starve to death God IS providing for us by giving us the ability to grow food and the money to pick up groceries and even if we don’t have the money He has given us social services that will help us get through the thick of it.

The ant and the grasshopper has always been a wonderful parable, both secular and biblically speaking. The grasshopper is out and plays all the time and then finds comes winter that there is no food stores and the ant worked all summer –hard, and has an abundance.

I don’t want to be either. I want to be a beautiful hybrid of the two. I want to work when I need to and enjoy life at the same time. I don’t want all work and no play or all play and no work. God created me to be a balanced being and when I lean too far one way it topples everything else over.

Do you relate to the ant or the grasshopper? Are you always in a phase of waiting? Some days it feels like I am an airplane set in a holding pattern, waiting… just waiting.

Oct 122015
 

Yeah so yesterday I didn’t write and I took a rest. I have been taking a lot of rests lately. Things are making me exhausted right now. The fall is always hard for me to navigate and I know I am doing a million times better than I have in previous years but I still can’t get out of the rut of things from the past. The fall represents miscarriages and losses and deaths and simply, pain.

Looking outside and seeing the falling leaves and the grey sky and blowing cold rain doesn’t help to ease the depressing feelings that rain down on the inside and threaten to drown my soul. I light candles each day to remind me of God’s light. The flick-flickering of a candle steadfast just like the One who saves.

Life has brought me a lot of storms along the way, from murders and death to living losses and everything in between. I haven’t had it easy and sometimes I feel like I have lived 1000 lives and maybe it’s because I have.

I think it is fair to describe my life as one storm after another or even one storm that just doesn’t end.

It is Thanksgiving weekend here in Canada. I have a lot to be thankful for. Thousands of things on the list that grows a little more each night as I snuggle into my warm blankets and write.

This year Thanksgiving dinner was different. It was at my aunt’s house for the first time ever and while snug we all fit, wine was drank and juice boxes passed around –before we found the wine that is. Beer from the local brewery was tasted and when I asked my brother if I could have a sip from his glass he said what he has said every year since he learned to talk “if you don’t backwash”.

Yeah, sometimes family never changes and most of the time that is a welcome thing to have. Same houses, same toys, same games played with cousins. Same dishes to look forward to and dread making and wondering how you got stuck with something expensive and difficult when someone else brought the rolls.

Yet, it doesn’t matter, none of it. None of the cost or lack of seats or place settings because we are together and together is where we need to be. Tonight, as we had our own family dinner the power went out just before anything was able to reach the stove. The only thing cooked was the ham. My son, brother and dad made themselves ham sandwiches because there was nothing else but salad made and the lack of power and the abundance of LED lights and candles made everything perfectly imperfect and right.

Because if everything stayed the same, if the lights never went out and there weren’t bumps in the road causing fractures and cracks we would have nothing to be grateful for. Nothing to cause us to want to pull near to the One who holds life’s map. Sure we missed a good portion of the Blue Jays game but instead we got to talk and just be in the presence of each other in the present and then suddenly aside from God you are realizing that He has given you the greatest gift –family.

So, maybe I have missed writing for a day or two, but that’s okay because I was creating memories and my computer was having a long nap. The wax of the candles has went down a few inches this past week and tomorrow the epic saga of the internet being down several times a day will continue and maybe come to an end as I wait on the company to finally fix it.

As I close tonight I am filled with hope. Hope in the Lord. Hope in the future. Hope for tomorrow. Hope. It is a powerful four letter word that begins with the Father.

As we hope in the Lord
We will gain our strength
We will run for miles
We will stand up straight
We will not grow weary
We will not grow faint
On the wings of an eagle we will rise
~Isaiah 40:31~

Oct 072015
 

Yeah, there are those days where you want nothing more than to pull your child tight and close and never let them out of your sight or even out of the house again but you have to put your brave face on and reassure them that God has them and send them on their way because if you don’t get back up on that horse and ride you may pull into yourself and always be afraid.

Yesterday the phone rang several times with calls from my dad, upset and out of town, wondering if the kids were okay. You see, the radio, that big bad that breaks news that shouldn’t be broken until all the pieces are known, it went and told my dad while he was up on the bush roads in a semi doing his job that there was a gunman at my daughters school and that all the schools, well 6 anyway, were on lockdown and that they were doing an area search looking for…. Something.

So I went to that radio’s website to check the news and yeah, a 17 year old and another were in police custody and yeah it was because of a reported gun but everyone was safe and the lock down was still going on and they didn’t explain why.

I sat tight and prayed that my kids would remain save, that all the kids would, and that the officers and everyone would remain in control because really the only One with any control in those hours was God, and I couldn’t have been more thankful. I prayed that the other parents would remain calm and stay home where they wouldn’t further drain this small towns policing while they were doing whatever it was they had to do.

Then, I saw it, the police had finished and the schools were no longer on lock down, with only an hour left until they would be home I waited instead of running down to pick them up, but oh how I wanted to.

My son said that his teacher told them what was going on, which is something they aren’t supposed to do, but when you have a class full of 11 year olds who can be really hyper and disobedient when locked in a room with the shades drawn and told to sit on the floor and stay quiet for a small eternity you have to tell them the truth. You have to make the decision and tell them that this isn’t a drill, that they had been practicing for this moment since they started school at age 4 and now they had to use what they had learned and stay away from the windows and door and stay quiet because someone had a gun and they didn’t know anything more.

My daughter said that the school day started off normally, and then they were suddenly under a code red lock down. Meaning, even if you are in the washroom you lock the doors and you hide –for however long the code is going. She had friends who were locked in the washroom and had no clue what was going on. My daughter knew though, she knew that a 17 year old had come into the school and threatened the Vice Principle with a gun. She knew that the VP did what a lifetime of practice taught him to do and he managed to get the 17 year old and the weapon out of the school and the school locked down without getting himself or anyone else hurt. She knew that the police were there and that two people were arrested and she knew that the reason the police lingered was because they couldn’t find the gun.

When they did find it? It turned out to be a pellet gun, which yes of course it can kill, and it can instill fear like any pistol can and the mental wounds are often deeper than that of any calibre bullet can cause. My heart was happy though, the person with the gun had been arrested almost immediately and the gun was found later in the day in the walking trails outside of the schools. Everyone was safe. No one took a bullet. No one fired a gun. Everyone was alive.

And in that moment when the “news” broke that the lock downs were over and the police had left the schools a sweet hallelujah rolled from my lips as a tear rolled from my eye and the words “Thank You” stopped choked in my throat and I knew that the love of God could hear me even though I couldn’t speak.

Today, I think back on yesterday, which honestly seems like a very long time ago, and I wonder if this is what God the Father felt when He knew what Jesus, His only son, was going through and was going to go through with His skin still on. It had to be done. It had to be a lesson given and a lesson learned. It had to be fulfilled so that you and I could be saved from the bullet even if it hits us head on. Jesus wept, I wept too, and I am sure there were a bunch of weeping kids at the high school who weren’t sure if this was it or if it was all okay.

When Jesus inhaled deep on the cross and then exhaled that final breath, I surmise that is exactly how we all felt yesterday when the lock down ended, we could finally exhale – and though it wasn’t while hanging on the cross or while taking our final breaths, it was in a sense exhaling the old so that the new could begin because after something like yesterday the next moments don’t feel or look the same. Love has a way of staying the same while everything else changes and you pull in a little closer and you smell your child in and you squeeze a little tighter and you hand them back to God because He is the One who entrusted you to care for them and I have to trust Him right back.

I have learned a lot about love in the last 24 hours. I have learned a lot about life. I have learned that a single moment that doesn’t even make national news or past the local radio can change your perspective on life.

Jesus wept.
~John 11:35~

 

 

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