Did I Hear You Right?

D2300766-D046-4D4D-9397-E890752A4E3AThis morning as I was walking with my walking buddy, we discussed how when we did not have two nickels to rub together, as they say, when young and starting out on our own, that someone helped us.  Today, we have not forgotten the person or their kindness, not to mention the expense.  Paying forward now is what we do and hopefully the trend continues.

It was nice to think of that this morning and remember the rough periods but also that my Christian walk and my prayer life developed in those times.

I was in my early twenties and living at home with my FADC724E-F7D5-49B9-91F7-D3380F3717C8parents still, which was fine then.  Our telephone rang, I answered and it was a lady we know stating her rental house was available.  Great, I’ll tell my bother and sister-in-law was my thought.  As I walked up to the finished attic that served as my living room and bedroom, I kept hearing, ‘It’s for you.’  Each time, it was if I could turn around and see somebody standing and saying ‘It’s for you.’  A little spooky.  Those words would not leave.

1777A712-8114-4C68-A8EC-8558DC3B8D68Okay, fine! I called the lady back and inquired about the small, shotgun-type house and, of course, her husband had the time to show it to me right then. So, I went to look at it.  I picked it apart in my mind of what it needed, did not have and built my case to show the Lord it was not for me. No doubt, He knew I would try to prove Him wrong.

The biggest things were that there were no appliances (stove, refrigerator, washer/dryer).  Nope, not for me.  The old, ugly disgusting carpet was beyond my comprehension of dealing with. Nope, nasty.

It was that same week, my brother and sister-in-law moved to a new place, not this house.  I come home and the garage door was open and my mother, a clean freak, was cleaning a stove and refrigerator to store away until needed. Of course, my mouth dropped and as told her what had just happened.  It’s for me.

Everything lined up that I needed to start housekeeping.991C4B29-1B9C-460C-AF91-8E0B99285539

As for the carpet, my aging neighbor had new carpet put in that week, too, and had the old brought down to our garage for me.  Not knowing what was happening but because years before, I told her I like it.  The garage filled up with everything I needed with no effort, but cleaning and moving.

This little house was mine to rent for a small amount and the owners paid for paint, new locks, etc., and another room of carpet because they knew it was for me and I would take care of it.  It’s for me!  I loved that little house and lived there seven years.  I grew up spiritually in that house and learned to trust the Lord and my faith flourished.

Listen for His Voice.  Trust the Lord and He will do exceedingly, abundantly all things. Remember what He has done for you.  What an Awesome God we have.

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Let Me Finish, Please!

C9F8A983-5BB4-4A18-9CB0-85F985DD35C0So much to say and to interject but I keep getting interrupted. Seriously! What gives? Am I not important? Are my comments not of importance? Sometimes I feel invisible and not seen or heard.867C00A7-A039-4719-AA6C-7B147C1EA052

This past weekend, I noticed this more than usual. It happens often but it got on my last nerve although I held it together and soon just shook my head, as it happened yet again. No wonder I am a quiet person and often felt insignificant in life.

I was with my sister last weekend, who lives about four hours away, so we were together all weekend. I love those weekends until she shuts me down in our conversations. I know our time is limited but geez Louise. Talking and laughing, we do a lot and to get it all in or out of our system seemed to be the case. We are both older so time is definitely limited. Faye is sixteen years older than I am but when we are together, we can shop, go and do, just not as long.

Still, I would start talking and then she would, over and over, interrupt me. I give up. I am patient but on the inside at times I found myself screaming, 336D8D78-1CC9-483C-95FB-81A271F5B2B4listen to me as I am not finished talking. I just move on and forget my information or story, who cares, is my attitude.  Maybe I am boring but still she doesn’t know me truly but this has been my life. Nobody really knows me. Perhaps this is why I like to write.

Anyway, I found it interesting and somewhat funny that when I met with my present counselor on the following Tuesday, he did the same, interrupted me. Good gravy!  It’s my counseling session, let me talk as I am not finished talking and telling whatever I was mentioning to him. That session was odd but usually they flow well. Was it me or was it him?

While I see another counselor also on Thursday, which is a whole other story that I can write about, of seeing two counselors. In that session, I did talk a lot and I probably had her head swimming although she said she was following me. We both laughed. I told her that my former counselor would be so proud of me for talking so much, as I was always quiet for the most part, listening and grasping her words and wisdom and rightfully so. I grew in those four years of counseling sessions, as I needed direction and healing in many areas and it was not always easy. Not that I am not growing now because I am but it is different with both counselors, and I am okay with that, as it is a transitional period for me, I feel. It’s all good, actually pretty nice. They are both awesome and I feel blessed to have them help me move forward, it is like accelerated counseling.

Thank God I am not the same person I was five years ago.

So if you made it this far in my writing of this blog, thank you. You let me finish. lol  I do enjoy laughter and hope this made you smile.  F95EC62A-46DB-443A-BF27-1452BB4CD7E7

Hope you have a wonderful day.

8E5CE35F-578B-4D3F-986C-8000175D2679Most importantly…                                                                    He knows my voice and He knows your voice.

 

 

The Singing Stops

E4A8B0EB-0790-4BE7-88F1-FC5DC2C6B87BTonight as I am home alone and in my kitchen cleaning as I am getting ready to leave town for the weekend, I sing and there is joy. Joy, not just because I am leaving for a few days but not inhibited or embarrassed. Nobody is here to hear or see me. Typical of my life. I feel freedom when alone.

D3B9CFB2-506A-4139-B618-E2B2065945E5Remembering tonight though, mostly my Mom through my own singing. As a small child, I would hear her sing, whistle or hum as she cleaned and smelling the freshness of our home. I always enjoyed that, as there was peace 29EE2683-4E8C-4D69-9090-14B575152DD3and happiness and it was felt. As a child, I would swing on my old metal swing set in the back, side yard with my neighboring girlfriend and we would sing as loud as possible. Nothing held us back, no embarrassment or care in the world. Happy times.

Crazy enough, not long after, I remember thinking that there is no more singing in our home. Of course, I did not know why not or reasons behind that thought but I knew enough that things changed. It was like a switch turned off the happiness to unhappiness. Children do notice and sense things. They may not understand the dynamics but are aware, I feel.

Just as in my own life and marriage, I am singing tonight because he is not home. Once he walks in the door, I become quiet once again and the doldrums return. Sad.

I know in my own situation, I have been made to feel stupid and ugly or have the eyes look at me with no expression of joy and complete blankness, no joy or delight to spark in return. Perhaps the Aspergers in play or rude behavior in action, I do not know. It happened the other day, in fact, and literally made me cringe. I determined that day, I would not let that pull me down.

Don’t worry, I have been patient and I am but I am also working to get myself healthy enough in many ways. Thank God for my counselors past and present. Most importantly, the Lord knows my name and where I am. In my hope and anticipation, He knows where I am going.

Knowing the singing stopped in my childhood, the same in my children’s lives in our home. I feel so bad about that for them and can get downright sad and feel guilty to allow it to happen but it did. I have no doubt they felt the unhappiness in our home turn off just as I did. I stayed for them and while some say it is best to go ahead and divorce, not in my case, as the outcome would not be what it was. I pushed through and made our home as stable as possible. Having them, pushed me to remain in my right mind although many days I questioned it.

10C5E00A-03B8-4D2E-AFD7-D5D7023BEA10It is my hope that one day they will call me blessed.

My parents are deceased. Tonight as I had all of this on my mind, I would love to talk to Mom and ask her just why her singing stopped. No doubt, my Dad did or said something to cause that divide. Just as my husband did. Probably not the same but enough to break her heart as it did mine. Living as husband and wife and the love stops, you just exist.5A13D819-183F-4F63-84E6-D29E0DE2891B

With this or in any situation, marriage or others, we have a choice of how to handle it all. My parents chose alcohol to deal with life. Sadly, that pushed this young little girl to figure out life for herself. One thing I did learn through that ordeal, is that I did not want alcohol to rule my life or be present in our home. Still, without alcohol, my children had to deal with some matters I am sure on their own, but I was there for them loved them with hugs and all the support I could muster up while struggling within.

So many wives stay in relationships due to financial reasons. My friend and I call this the BOAT (Because Others Are There). Many around you and me, in relationships, are struggling but wear a mask making it all appear good. Sad again.

All I can say is that I/we have to depend upon the Lord. He knows how my marriage issues affected them and that He keep watch on them. Just like He kept watch over me from my parent’s marriage issues.

Thankfully, I am moving forward and becoming healthier in all areas and feel life and joy within that I haven’t for so many years. Happiness replacing unhappiness. I will sing a new song of praise.

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Struggle in the Dirt

9D1F1378-C217-4A2F-8027-1D2A65C7114FIt was about a week ago, as I spoke with my counselor, it got a little deeper in our session than normal. Still, we are becoming familiar with one another and I like that but digging deep gets to the rich soil that is there. Plowing up some old hurts and present issues to bring healing and the joy of blooming where you are, where I am.

7A434994-C26D-4812-93D1-F0240CB5F9DBI know this all sounds so flowery.  Not in the beginning though because there is dirt and lots of it to contend with in life. The big, bad and ugly parts that are buried. You know how it goes, the seed is dropped in the dirt, watering and sprouts begin to develop and soon the stems with flower buds and flowers. Season after season, this can happen. Just as in life, we go through seasons.

As we discussed some issues, we mentioned and discussed abandonment. A common thread in my counseling sessions throughout the years along with my blogging, as it had such an impact on me.

My former counselor of four years was one that saw me 7177A8D1-60B1-4C48-89A6-C99539B65E87in the dirt, plowed and plowed to get me ready for seed and growth. It was not a small undertaking by her at all, it was orchestrated by God. He knew I needed her when I did and allowed us to work together for all of those years.

Today or now as I meet with my counselors, it comes easier and I feel joy. It is not that I did not feel joy with my former counselor, I did at times but she had to do a lot of forceful digging to get deep with me and in my heart of hurts and issues. Many times I wanted to quit growing. The rebellious part of me asking why do I have to go through this.  Many times feeling and saying I don’t want to do this. Deep down though, I knew in order to feel life later, I had to and continue.  Even though I am older, I have more life to live before I die and the previous ones proved to zap life from me. Nobody really ever cared enough to know me and understand me, as she did.  Healing comes when heard and understood. To dig deep was not easy for me nor for her.  Most counseling sessions ended with me being overwhelmed and emotionally spent.  I remember well dealing with it all, trying to make sense of it all for a good twenty-four hours, if not more, each week. We would do it all again the following week.

Now the sense of joy felt is that I understand myself better, she opened my eyes to many areas that proved to cause confusion in my life from childhood, marriage and just in life itself.

Each session enriched the soil within my life. Today, I feel joy because of just that. I have grown through the dirt and standing tall, most days. Other days, maybe peeking out at the sky and others I feel a bloom about ready to pop with new life. How exciting.C8C1C887-908C-442A-91BA-F711DA3A4F90

The counselors I have now are watering the dirt, the seed and sprouts and stems and at times, flower bulbs. I did not say flowers. I still have a way to go but I feel the growth, the warmth of the sun and one day, the flower buds will burst open with beauty. Oh how I want that. In hopes that I can freely express myself to others that they know they are not alone, as in the struggles I have endured. We are to help one another. Our testimony just might be healing for another. The vulnerability frightens me a tad but the Lord will help me, I feel, when it is time. I’m patient, I have had to be in life, while in the dirt.

While we may feel hopeless in the darkness, hurt and alone, as in the dirt, the root system is growing and enabling strength to endure of what is to come.  Not all bad.  Trust the Lord because odds are, He has a plan.

I do not know what all of this will look like but the anticipation of it all is exciting. I have been truly blessed with my counselors. The Lord truly placed each one in my life to help me struggle through the dirt, wilt at times, push through, stand and get strong, form a leaf or two, OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAexperiencing a bud now and then, as I look forward to blooming and the flower burst into beauty.

Hope! There is more to the rest of my life and I want it.

How about you? Where are you in this growth process, in the dirt, standing and waiting to bud and bloom or are you wilting away and stuck in the dirt?

I was stuck for so long and the darkness about overtook me. I had to make a decision and if this is you, move forward. Try counseling, see a medical doctor for a blood workup as you just might be low in areas or need anti-depressants (and that is okay). Most importantly, trust the Lord and allow Him to touch your life and heal the heartache and broken pieces in your life.

When I was at this one pivotal point in counseling, my counselor’s advice before she left on vacation was for me to get in every altar call at church, have others pray for me and I did just that. Humbling experience but I did just that to move forward and it did. If you take one step, He will take two.

Whatever, do not remain stuck. I had a choice, you have a choice.

Get out of the dirt and bloom where you are planted. 🌸

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Isaiah 35:1-2 “Even the wilderness and desert will be glad in those days. The wasteland will rejoice and blossom with spring crocuses. Yes, there will be an abundance of flowers and singing and joy! The deserts will become as green as the mountains of Lebanon, as lovely as Mount Carmel or the plain of Sharon. There the Lord will display his glory, the splendor of our God.”

 

 

 

I Need Your Arms

F197C556-6FB8-49EA-A438-9FEA9947885CAll I can gather is that the emotional toil on my life has zapped me more than I thought.  The past two months of losses with animals, loved ones, turmoil with my child of worry and the unknown of what is before me.   Exhaustion with it all plus the heat and humidity where I live has caused a lack of energy.  Giving myself grace instead of feeling all down, depressed and lazy is a big step for me though.  I have been through a lot of ups and downs.  It’s okay to have some up and down days, too.

Still, I find that I have struggled with the need to be loved. Is that wrong though?  Understanding and grasping why those thoughts come and desire to be loved is part of my childhood, called Childhood Emotional Neglect (CEN). 612D9385-1AE5-45D1-A68A-A8F04AA06A92

While I was loved by being in the family, I was not loved or shown love through hugs or physical touch as a child should be given and a lack occurred in my emotions and how to acknowledge them.  Sad.  Realizing all this finally about four years ago after going through life and questioning what is wrong with me.  My former counselor was wise enough to recognize, help me see the pattern and how to notice what is happening in me when I get to the deep yearning of a motherly hug.  Mentally and emotionally inside, screaming, ‘please hug me.’  It usually points to the fact I am tired and now, exhausted.  I recognize and acknowledge now instead of letting this emotion of sadness of loneliness overtake me.  Apparently, I did learn from her.  She would be so proud.

0212DB89-3576-4696-9D57-D230B1A63FD8Instead of yearning for the motherly hugs from motherly figures around me or even from my counselor, which she gave me often upon leaving our session due to knowing my heart and feeling my basic heartache, I have turned more to the Lord.  Lord, hold me through this or I need your loving arms to wrap around me.  I need you. Hold me tight, don’t let go.  Perhaps learning while knowing, that was what He wanted from me anyway, which was to turn toward Him and allow His Love to fill my heart void of love.  No other can fill that void.

Oh, but years of having a deep desire to be held in an embrace of a motherly hug so tight that my emotions would drain from me was always present in my mind. 06A77E96-8D39-458E-8387-E0C4863D86EC

Throughout this process and understanding, the yearning for the love of motherly figures lessened.  Then to lose my wise, sweet counselor due to closing her counseling office,  I was beside myself and even angry at her with the way it ended.  Although, I am sure and have no doubt that she, too, needed the Love of God through the process and decisions made to close her practice.

Recently, questioning if I am grasping everything we discussed in counseling for years in this area of CEN, as I do not require the hugs nowadays or perhaps I have stuffed my feelings down more-so because I felt hurt yet again by another and especially by her, the one who understood me and knew me best next to God.  The walls we build to protect our heart from hurt, they can go up quickly. Pondering this for many months, probably both at times but when I realized I was calling on the Lord for His Arms to hold me, hug me and to feel His Love, that is exactly where I need to be. A2F942F1-4A41-4D61-88F9-D77DA177C0DFPeople, whether, friends, family, church, even counselors, etc., will let us down and hurt us.  Normal.  Our focus should be on God and know that He truly loves each one of us.  To truly grasp that from one growing up feeling unloved, just existing, and love not shown, it is easy to question.  Also normal.

He Loves Me!  He Loves You!  Isn’t that great!?

Grasp it, hold it and yearn and allow His Arms to hold you in whatever you are going through.

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Childhood Emotional Neglect – Dr. Jonice Webb https://drjonicewebb.com/

 

 

The Battle

89147F07-4824-4232-9126-8B1356ECBF98I feel the battle is on. A spiritual warfare that a mother will fight for her son (children), in my case a grown son, at that. My gut instinct for weeks proved right when an unexpected visit from me after much avoidance. My determination was to knock and stay at his door until he came home, opened the door or possibly call the police if need be.  Fear overwhelmed me for days, not knowing if I would find my son alive or dead, especially that night. Not what a mother needs to consider but was a possibility.

To finally have the door open after hesitation on his part, I was lost in emotion as I hugged him.  A mothers heart will do that, fall apart from happiness and even anger. As I sat next to him, saying what I felt, he promised to stay in touch but day after day, his word failed yet again.  As I sat next to him, he did not hesitate to lay his head on my shoulder.  He needed his mom just as much.  As we sat there talking, he shared just enough with me of what was he was dealing with due to pride and independence.

315095BC-9F72-4024-8A48-CD9E920035EBI just have to pray as tears flow still, fight the worry and thoughts that pop in my mind, as I try to trust the Lord fully.  But, Lord, PLEASE!

As a mother, we have to cut the apron stings, which is normal and with mileage in between our homes, that was necessary. He is grown but he is still my boy.  It is probably a good thing with the distance but it feels as though he is a million miles away.  We each have our own life of work, commitments, etc., to tend to so I cannot helicopter parent him.  Of course, that is not normal.   I have to keep my faith in God.  So hard to do at times.

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Being a parent is such a blessing, all ages, but so hard at times.  God wants each of us to look to Him. Perhaps that is where we are in this matter, my son has to make a choice.

5F96671E-FD72-43F9-9232-BDCB2FD7134COf what I know with what is before him, he has to work through this.  I cannot do it for him.  We had a rough patch a few years back and he did get through it and learned a valuable lesson in the process.  That’s life and how it should be, and I was so proud of him.  I’m always proud but the anguish is overriding.  We are at the crossroads again, I feel.

Faith ▪️ Hope ▪️ Love

 

It’s So Me!

D2B8CE0C-1924-4D86-B084-6D5067FE9EDCYears have added to my life and shockingly a number I thought was just for old people. How did this happen?

All my life, until the last few years, I would dwell on and remember things I wish my age would let me forget. Memories of childhood, teenage years and as I matured remained like a video in my mind to keep me in shame and embarrassment. Knowing or feeling everyone remembered what happened and held it over my head.

Shame is an unpleasant self-conscious emotion typically associated with a negative evaluation of the self, withdrawal motivations, and feelings of distress, exposure, mistrust, powerlessness, and worthlessness.

At times, I tested those waters somewhat to see if others remembered and they did not or perhaps they did and not want to embarrass me further. Getting to the root, it was shame all these years to keep me from being me. Of course, I do not want to do crazy stuff but not be so reserved and fearful to mess up to where I am not fully enjoying life but I was.

12B44691-6594-4EBF-B36E-FCE619490429I saw this video the other day and as I watched it, I laughed and then cried. I could see me and relate to both, the little girl in the white/pink dress and navy blue dresses in that video. I wonder and I fear for each of those girls and if they will be affected as I was. I do not wish that torment on anyone.A0F98A0E-CD4B-458A-B0E0-54464EB25C71

Back when I was in kindergarten, I was off most of the time due to a serious illness but was thrown in the group at graduation, just pushed through, now I realize.  I can still remember walking through the door to the stage, where I sat and stood in fear wanting to escape.  I understand the shyness in the sweet girl wearing the white/pink dress hiding behind her stuffed animal.  I hurt for her as I watch this video. While I was not informed of what to do or expect for graduation, I froze in fear. Afterward, I was laughed and comments were made for years it seemed because I did just like her.  I hid the best I could.  I graduated kindergarten but failed in emotional coping skills.

While this video is funny, it is sad.  They are all so sweet. I wonder how this will affect both of them especially and also the others in the class since this video went viral.  It will always be out there to haunt them.

It was finally around my tenth grade, I pushed through and got more involved in activities, school and working part-time job.   I even joined the drill team with the band and enjoyed.  Today, realizing while thinking about all of this, I realized I fell back in my shy, withdrawn ways, hesitant to step out, too, after I was sick with pneumonia that year and had to be off school for a couple of weeks.  So that meant missing practice.  Silly me, I loved the Christmas song by Brenda Lee (Rocking Around the Christmas Tree) that the performance was to play and she was a favorite of mine.  In my thinking, my devotion of that for her.  Although, she did not know me from anybody, but I felt I could carry this music dance performance off.  Today, when I hear that song, I cringe.  I failed miserably during that performance but stayed on the floor during the dance doing my own thing. Pretty much like the girl in the blue dress. No doubt, attention was on me on the gymnasium floor doing my own crazy thing oblivious, just as this little girl.  In my case, no confidence at all.  I can still to this day remember my place on the floor, my thoughts of fear and thinking how can I run off this floor while swinging my arms to the music. Let me cringe for a moment.

Just up until a few years ago, this performance was on my mind way too much. Still. Embarrassed over something forty-two years ago.  I let it hinder me.  Realizing shame was to blame.  Shame covered me in many ways through my life but is slowly being ripped away.

Who cares.  No doubt each one of us has a similar story or incidents we would like to forget.  Hopefully, you have not carried shame around as long as I did.

I’m learning to shrug my shoulders a lot more nowadays.

Shake it off! Move on and enjoy life.

 

To watch the video, click on the link below.  I promise you, laughter will occur.

Dancing 5-Year-Old Steals Show At Pre-School Graduation And The Video Has Made Millions Smile