Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Because He Loves Me (To Be Heard)

When you envision your life, is it what you're living? Are you doing the things you thought you would?

Several days ago I started this painting. I express myself through art. I was in the feels. Emotions can be painful sometimes. You know when you hear a song & it takes you a to a place where you use to be? Or when you hear a song and it takes you to where you are? Are you ultimately happy where you are?

I've been going on and on about balance this year.  I made it my goal to balance myself, my life, my responsibilities. I can't say that somewhere along the way my balance shifted because honestly, I've never experienced balance in my life. I've always, for as far back as I can remember, been unbalanced.

I'm experiencing a whole new life. A life reformed. A life without drugs. Without alcohol. A life with boundaries. YES! Boundaries. No, boundaries are HUGE deal. Maybe you're normal & you've always had them in your life. I've not & I'm learning that's okay because I get to learn now.

I am who God makes me on the daily. Not everyone will love me, but He does, and for that, I am eternally grateful.

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 
- Matthew 22:37 (NIV)

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Awakening (To Be Heard)

Four-something o'clock this morning my beautiful eight month old little lady woke me up. She was hungry. It was time for food. As I made my way to the kitchen, she's almost sang herself back to sleep. 

I picked her up, snuggled her close, we rocked, and she drank until the milk was gone. Back to bed she went. 

Over the last six months, give or take, my anxiety has been off-the-chain high. The older I get, the more I have found myself battling mental illness.

There, I said it, I struggle with mental illness.

I've never actually said that actual statement before; outloud anyway. No one wants to associate themselves as being mentally ill, do they? I mean, I have never wanted to. 

With growing older, less of the things that use to matter, actually matter anymore. I aim more towards personal growth in Christ, than measurement of worldly successes. Not everyone would agree that best for them, but we're not all the same, are we?

Last Saturday, the Lord spoke to me. He's trying to grow me. He's trying to show me. 

His conviction lays heavy on my heart. He wants all of me. Not just what I am willing to give. Everything. He wants to saturate every area of my life.

As I laid Laurel back down for bed, my usual is to get "10 more minutes" before I've got to get up. This morning, it just so happened, God didn't want me to sleep in.

I put Awaken Essential Oil on my wrists & settled in for some eye-opening Yoga. As I practiced, my goal was to release, relax, and be present in the moment. 

Today, my aim is to be present. 

For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. - 1 John 5:4

Sunday, January 7, 2018

Sunday Feels (10 Years CLEAN!)

Man, I feel good today. 

Don't you just love it when you can say that? Some days, moments, months, heck, even years can feel impossible. Yes, I said years. 

The first year I was clean, I didn't think that I would make it through it. I was so overwhelmed with life. I got clean when I found out I was six weeks pregnant. Blah, blah, blah. You've probably already heard my story. I feel like such a broken record sometimes. I feel like people get tired of hearing it & start nodding off mid-sentence. Oh good grief, here she goes again. Ewww. 

Let's fast forward a piece. I would make a fast forward sound but I don't know how to spell it. 

Oh look, SHINY!  

I cannot stop it. My husband asks me, "do you even try?" Nope,  I gave up trying to change me. At least the things that I love. I love the spastic part about me. I like to call it spontaneity. Yes, we'll go with spontaneity. 

Geez, I get sidetracked. I sat here for an hour looking through old burnt discs for a photo of me before, when I was in my addiction. There is this specific photo that I'm looking for & I think I inadvertently deleted it & have no copies of it. 

Here's the funny part. There's always a funny part. I was smiling so big in that picture. You would think I was so happy. Sure, in that very moment, I was. The black under my eyes was awful. I don't know how long I had been awake & there is no way I could tell you how long it had been since I'd eaten. 

I was extremely unhealthy. I was smoking, eating, drinking, snorting, breathing meth. How could I not be unhealthy? I was unhealthy, insecure, mean, vindictive, and spiteful. I was a liar. I lied to myself, my family. I was thin. That's was an important factor to me, to be thin. Sad, isn't it? Straight truth, nothing but. It didn't matter that I was slowly killing myself, sometimes quicker; just depended on how much money I had to blow. No pun intended. Harharhar. At least I can joke about it now. 

I wasn't always able to joke about it. When I first got clean, I didn't want to talk about it with anyone. I was embarrassed, ashamed, and a number of other adjectives. 

I felt like everyone was judging me. Living in a small town is hard sometimes. Everybody knows everybody and not everybody's kind, Christian or not. People love to see people fail and when you know everybody it's hard to escape the judgement. No, I'm not that naive to think it doesn't happen everywhere, I know that it does. This is just my story; no one else's.

I was pregnant. I was going to be a mother. Oh my gosh, I was terrified to be a mother. What if I turned out like my mother; absent? That's all the room she gets in this post because this isn't about her. She gets no glory for me being clean for a decade. Zero.

Only God gets the glory for His. He and He alone, set me free!  

If I tried to say that getting clean was as easy as reading some inspirational quote that motivates you to make it happen, I'd be lying. That's a complete load of garbage. Getting clean isn't easy. If it were easy, everyone would do it. Nobody would use drugs. We'd all be skipping through a field of daisies, happily, hand-in-hand. 

I think I took that a bit far. That's me, the envelope pusher. At least it's not dope pusher. 

Don't get me wrong, everybody's journey is different, but there's likely to be some speed bumps; no pun intended.  I'm pretty punny today.

Alright so, I figured I'd go with some things that I've learned over the past ten years and maybe I won't get too off-topic. Oh, that was funny. I'm very likely to get off-topic. It's in my nature.

When I first got clean, I was so scared I'd lose all my friends. I did. All of them. I don't hang out with any of those people anymore. The expression, "all you have to do is change everything," was spot on for me. 

Here's what I learned:

1. Those people weren't my friends to begin with. They just needed someone to do dope with & share my dope with them. Yup. Go on and marinate on that for a minute. BOOYAH. 

2. Some folks gonna forget where they came from. That's okay, let them. The only way out is through. Sometimes it takes a lot more time to get through when you don't want to face things. They are not your responsibility; YOU ARE. It took me a minute to learn that one. 

3. "People will be people," are the words of my handsome husband, Andy. I use to want to cut him when he said that. Bleck. Just plan 'ole poke his eyeballs out for being so evolved. Yuck. Perfect people get on my nerves. Here's the truth bomb: HE'S RIGHT. They will. So what. Let them be. 

4. People pleasing is the pits. Stop it as quick as you can. It's not a good thing. It's a flaw. I'm still learning this one. 

5. You have to set boundaries & STICK WITH THEM. Not everyone will like the clean you & that's okay. They don't have to. I found out I like myself so much more when I'm not around people who project their insecurities & hatred for self onto me. 

Don't feel guilty about that. Some people just aren't your people. When you use, you tend to mix and match with all kinds of folks because you've got drugs in common. When you no longer have drugs in common, you find out who your friends are. QUICK. 

Okay, so there's five things. Those, of course, are not the only five but I'll have to stop now because this has taken me the course of a day to get this written & if I don't post soon, I won't get it finished. I'm a super starter, but finisher? I'm still working on that.

I'm working on me. Well, He's working in me much more than what I'm doing, just as long as I let Him. 

Seriously people. Choose Him. He will  see you through. Let Him.

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭11:28‬ ‭KJV‬‬

Monday, January 1, 2018

Thanks---For the Memories (To Be Heard)

The things we think can be funny sometimes. 

My Gramma gave me this ornament years ago. I think when Owen was a baby. At first I thought, 'gosh this thing is big with its chunky velour box. I really don't want it, but I'll take it anyway.'

No, I didn't say any of this to her because honestly, it's absolutely awful even to think it, but I did. 

She always gave me stuff when I came to visit; always. Sometimes, just because she only had a bit of room in her one bedroom apartment & needed to free up some space. Sometimes she picked it up on the bench in lobby that people shared stuff on because she thought of me. Sometimes she needed me to put it in her shed. 

They say it gets easier but sometimes it just doesn't. I mean sure, time passes and all that jazz, but the impression that someone leaves in your life after they're gone can only be filled with Jesus. 

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. - ‭‭Matthew‬ ‭11:28‬ ‭KJV‬‬

Monday, December 4, 2017

Aiming High to Jesus

How great is our God. I say this with tears in my eyes & a weight gone from my shoulders. There is one thing that I know for certain: God is in control. When I relinquish control to Him, is when I am able to flourish. 

For years I have been praying. And recently, He answered me. He gave me peace in my soul. I cannot express, there are no words to describe what depending on Him has done for me; to me. 

I am free. 

He set me free. Praise God. He set me free. He broke the bonds of prison for me. I'm glory bound my Jesus to see. Glory to God, He set me free. 

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Chasing Rabbits (To Be Heard)

As I fumble through this life, I notice time passes more quickly than ever before once I stop rushing to move it. When I stand with the Son, I know He'll protect me from myself. The self in me isn't where I'd like to be in my walk with Him, but if nothing's changes, nothing changes. 

We can talk about what we're going to do all day long, but in the end, have we done what would make God give us an "atta boy"? Smokey use to say that all the time. It's been seven years since he left this earth & I'd like to believe I'll see him again someday but honestly, I don't know if he was saved. When he died, I wasn't. I didn't ever share what it meant to be saved with him because I didn't know what it meant myself. 

Are we sharing what it means to be saved with others?  How life can end in the blink of an eye & we all need to be ready? 

Life flies by and before we know it, we'll be regretting things, if we're not careful. Did I spend enough quality time with my kids? Quality and quantity are two different things, ya know. Sometimes I get wrapped up in quantity, that I forget all about quality. 

The same thing goes for presence & presents, these two can get mixed up in a jiffy. Last time my mother and I had a conservation was three years ago this December,  & I told her that we would rather have her presence than her presents. Needless to say, that cut pretty deep & she hung up on me. At that point, I could have pinched her head off for bailing out on my guys again. 

Our oldest is nine years old & she's met him once, his almost five year old brother once when he was three months old & she doesn't even know that I have a six month old little girl. It's sad, but true. 

I'm not even sure why I'm sharing all of this, honestly. I see people post all the time on social media about their mother's and how they miss them. I don't have that. I've never really had a relationship with mine because she's always chosen herself, or a relationship. 

I acted like it didn't matter when I was a teenager because I was "coming into my own"--whatever that expression really means--and didn't know what to do with all the emotions that I was experiencing. 

That's one of the big reasons that I started using drugs. I wanted to escape from all of the "stuff". Whew, "stuff" is such a loaded word used in this sentence. Baggage is a better word. Baggage should never be a word that someone uses to describe their childhood, but unfortunately, that's what I got from mine. 

It's taken me a lifetime and many hours of therapy to understand that the lack of relationship that my mother has with me, is not my fault. I did not make her choose to absent in  my life. Thank you EMDR and, of course, Margaret. She helped save me from myself couple of years ago.

This post is a perfect example of how my mind works. I start with one thing and bounce from thing to thing. I suppose I just needed to chase rabbits today. Until next time...

Monday, October 16, 2017

I'm Not Waiting Another Minute [To Let it Go]

As I sit here rocking this beautiful baby of mine, I'm reminded of what I have to be grateful for. 

Most of the time, she won't go to sleep unless I'm holding her or rocking her & for those of you reading this, I get tired of you saying she's spoiled. 

She's cherished. She is loved. She is adored. I don't remember being "spoiled" at all as a child & I want my babies to know & remember that they are cherished, loved, and adored. If that is what you see spoiled as, then yes, that's what all of my children are. So you can stand down because I won't stop loving or showing them love because you don't agree with the way I do.

Thank the Lord this PPD is easing off a bit. It still comes in waves & I get manic & have major anxiety here and there at the most in opportune times , but at least it's not as overwhelming as it once was. Life is a process. I'm just trying to work through it the best way I know how. 

I am grateful for this life. No, I don't have all the answers but I'm working side-by-side with the Lord on the answers that work best for our family. 

I am grateful that God sees fit for me to work with young ladies in recovery from drugs & alcohol. I would have never thought I would be doing anything of the such, but here I am letting God lead me. 

Yesterday in Church, He spoke a Word to me. I absolutely love that expression because it means I'm listening. I don't always listen. I hear Him, but I don't always listen. He's been speaking to me regarding an issue for what seems like an eternity & yesterday, it registered: "Let it Go". 

Can that be anymore clear? I was invited to Homecoming at a local church in my area that I have "ties" so-to-speak with & the  guest speaker was on point. God spoke right directly to me through this man. I didn't stick around to gab. I threw my hand up and out the door I went. I had to get home & feed the baby. 

He spoke to me & said, let these things go that you're holding on to. It's time. No, I'm not delusional, people. If you're Christian, God speaks & you either obey or ignore; you decide. Conviction tends to convince you eventually if you want to hee-haw around like I've been doing.

I've been overwhelmed by one big thing. I don't have a church home. Please don't get me wrong, I feel welcome everywhere I go, but I have not yet found the place where I want to move my letter. I feel sure that I will know. The reason I feel sure is because I was absolutely certain when I joined my former church on April 17th, 2011. I knew exactly where I wanted to be. For reasons beyond my control, the church is no longer & yesterday, I let it go. 


It has consumed me with angst for almost three years, when we decided we would no longer have Sunday service. I felt like the Israelites wandering around out in the wilderness. 

Not anymore. I'm free. I'm free to visit wherever my heart leads me. I'm free to see where God needs me. Since I chose Him, He has set me free repeatedly. 

"The Lord has been so good to me, 
He set my captive spirit free,
Old things are passed away,
Ever since that blessed day."
-I'm in a New World (hymn)

I wanted to head in an altogether different direction with this post but the Lord apparently had this direction. 

Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord and He shall lift you up. --- James 4:10