Friday, November 7, 2014

Mom Fort

It's official. I.am.going.to.flip.my.you-know-what! I have to accept the fact that my days are filled with the desires and needs of practically everyone else before mine. Some days I process and approach this well, today is not one of those days. 

There just comes a point when the tone of my day is set by an early hour , like 8a.m. , and you realize 1. I'm outnumbered 2. This what not what I had envisioned for my life, nor is it what was promised 3. People can talk all day long but until they LIVE it day in and day out , every hour , all year , just shhhhh!

A mom is a mom and we are all somehow bound together by that single common fiber. But I'll tell you this right now , sometimes , in fact most times , it's not all rainbows and unicorns and mommy and me classes and precious baby talk. Having one child is a blessing but I having had one and forward, it's not the same as multiple children. The sibling rivalry (and comeradery)piece is missing and after 3, I think the amount of work increases exponentially! 

Motherhood is a sieve , and drain that adheres to no hours and sends you down a wormhole of despair and helplessness sometimes. I've worked outside the home and it is easier and definitely more tangibly rewarding.  If you have a husband to do it alongside you , although that opens up a can of worms , bravo. But some don't. I love the movie Jerry Maguire. There is a point where he says " I am out here for you. You don't know what it's like to be ME out here for YOU. It is an up-at-dawn, pride-swallowing siege that I will never fully tell you about, ok? ". Sounds like motherhood. 

Sometimes the pertinent yet mundane is all I can handle : changing toilet paper rolls ( a super power that apparently never develops in adolescence) setting appointments, going to the appointments , shopping for food with a screaming infant who has discovered how to screech like a velociraptor in attempts to communicate and several other children who have their input as well, checking out with the employee who hates their job to return home to dirty dishes in the sink and trails of random shoes and toys and mystery food on the floor you just cleaned crunching under my feet. Then, there's the pressure of school work and the endless activity rat race. 

Needless to say I get so sick and tired of asking for help that the extra stuff becomes even more annoying. My kitchen this morning was mayhem accentuated by a screaming 7 month old. I am convinced that this is a sound that only exasperates mothers. And yet, this is the time my daughter decides to drop a stack of bowls while I'm trying to get some vitamins for one who is looking like he's getting sick. My other daughter was sneezing all over the table , yelling at one who is home from school today for the billionth time this year to pick up the screaming baby . He did and bumped his head standing up. For the love of everything that is holy. 

Meanwhile I receive a text from my eldest 
What the hell am I supposed to do with THAT!? This awakens the spiritual and intellectual in me. Now I am riddled with anxiety, pissed at humanity and expected not to show it. So. Should I take this threat seriously and have him come home ? Do I teach him faith and trust? 

There used to be a time where my mornings were a quiet cup of coffee and time to myself to even shower, put on make up ,watch the "friendly "news  or anything. Then it was off to work . This was even possible two children deep. Now it's up to THIS three ring circus and crappy, obnoxious kid shows. 

I just wish I could some days do like the kids and quite frankly many others in my life do. Just be emotionally and physically responsible to myself. I love them I do and anyone that knows me knows this. But by 9 a.m. today I'm ready to go upstairs , close the door and hide. More than that, I'd like to take all of my pillows and blankets and build an impenetrable,sound-proof fort of my own, complete with a guiltless $4 latte. A mom fort. A sit on my bed ,undisturbed with my laptop and latte, and watch or read something that isn't trying to cleverly teach the ABC's and trigonometry to toddlers, by myself, mom fort. 

Here's something else moms know though, if we do that , it's another mess to clean up and there will be bigger ones if "they" are left too long unsupervised. So it's steady on with the rest of the daily expectations in the hopes the worst challenges were reserved for this morning . 

Monday, November 3, 2014

Things I no longer respond to

Through the course of my life I've heard some things over and over again to the point that I'd prefer to rip my ears off and throw them at the speaker. Of course that would freak them out, especially when out of the mouth of babes , but whether written or spoken , here are some phrases I refuse to respond to , neither by facial, written nor verbal expression .

1. "What's for dinner?" - I'll explain. First of all these people have never missed  a dinner outside of illness or freewill. Believe it or not , I cook . A TON. This is also aggravating because it's not as innocent of a question as it seems. It's  an  attempt to open negotiations as to how much is required to be eaten to qualifyfor dessert, or to try to ask for something different despite its obvious preparations . Also, as a general rule , this question has already been asked (yes by the same child )  and answered numerous times. 

2. "Oh he/she's so cute. How old ?... Oh wow he /she is so little/tiny/small. Was he/she premature?" . Yes in fact , 9 months premature (huge eye roll) Seriously , I 'm aware of my children's growth , I'm their mother! All of my babies were very small , it's a little thing called genetics and yes some were premature. But, thanks for instilling concern in me and acting like my child is not up to "community standard. " Gee whiz people. In case you didn't notice , I'm small too. 

3. "Wow. Looks like you have your hands full. "  Really? How so ? Do people reach this conclusion by simply noting I'm outnumbered? My children are generally calm, collected,well behaved ,helpful and cooperative in public. This is more than I can say for some of the children 's behavior I've witnessed. I've seen things. They leave me traumatized. 

4. "Oh, let me transfer you to that department for assistance on that."    This one is a real pain , generally because somehow , inevitably the call will just be hung up and lost in the "transfer". Also ,please , I've seen these call centers, quit acting like that "department " couldn't just involve handing the person next to you the phone.

5. "I'm sorry you feel that way " a.k.a " As long as you think so." Condescending and just indicates that there is a lack of empathy , there is no true heartfelt apology intended or expected in the near future . If you say this AS an apology , well, it's not one and the problem is going to hang around. 

6. "I don't know how you do it all. " Everyday. "How?" Or do you mean "WHY? " I do it. I touched on this in a previous post , because I have no choice generally and because somewhere along the line someone else has decided they don't need to. If I don't do it, trust no one will. As for why, I can tell you it's not for the "thank you " parade! 

7. From teachers , generally in a Fall email :" ... Please make sure your child has a coat." Don't these people work with or HAVE children? Duh. They swear we don't try ?  It goes something like this , EVERY morning .
 "Everyone bring a coat it's going to be cold today." 
"I can't find mine" 
"Well you had it yesterday " 
"I'm not cold" 
"Please just in case you never know if you will be later or outside later, especially here ."
"I never get cold" 
(And this direction of call and answer banters back and forth times the number of children leaving the home ) 
I've even tried " Just humor me , you make me look like an idiot parent when you show up without a coat". 
This conversation is similar to the "please don't wear shorts in the winter " one. 
So inevitably , one will bring her coat to be obedient and then will forget to bring it home because she wasn't cold . The rest will bring them and leave them in the car, including the one that couldn't find theirs( because they never brought it OUT of the car) . 

8. "Trust me". Yeah , just no. Unless you've established trust with me I've learned the hard way that fewer people can be trusted than can be . At least this has been my experience to present... I hope I'm blessed enough to someday experience a rebirth of the trust of my youth .

9. Any conversation attempted through the door while I'm taking a shower. Or going to the bathroom . Nothing can summons a full fledged emergency like my need to take a shower.  It seems like EVERYTHING has a heightened sense of urgency and  simply cannot wait until it  can be condensed  into the  ten minutes most people get to themselves. The funny thing is , they KNOW I can't hear a word they're saying. But  , without fail, they will sit on the other side of the door ( muttering through the wood and  the sound of running water) and repeat the same phrase over  and over , each time  increasing in volume .. It slips their mind that louder is not always clearer. There's no beacon to attract children like a closed bathroom door. Or a telephone on the ear.

10. "I can't find .... (Fill in the blank) From backpacks, to dance bags, shoes, laptop... I've heard them all. In all of my years as a parent I've learned that if I'm to be responsible for literally everything else, these are not my problems. Unless I was the last person to have something in my possession there's no way to know where their things are. Believe me, after all of the food trash stashed behind the sofas, and inside out socks in the Ficus tree, the locations are endless. They've improved a bit on this as well because they are realizing they have to be responsible for certain aspects of themselves... And please I'm looking for my own keys and phone lol

This leads into my new unfavorite:
"Can you please pick that up/ put that away ? "
11. "That's not mine." Great. I didn't ask you if it was yours , I asked you pick it up.There was a time I'd play along and ask "whose is it then?". This is a terrible mistake, any experienced mom knows what's coming. NO ONE claims the items as theirs and why? Because then they know they'll be expected to pick it up! I was appalled by the ownerless items always about and more annoyed by the blank stares trying to get a little help . My response became , "well fine if it's no one's , it's mine and I don't want it, I have plenty of stuff. So I'll throw it away" . FYI this proved ineffective for my children because they then would rally together outside of my presence, identify the owner amongst themselves and retrieve it for the guilty sibling from the trash. I called it "belonging hauntings", throwing  something away only to trip on it again two days later... 


I'm still thinking lol I'm sure I'll add more to this list as I hear them, so I'll consider this a progressive entry... 




Sunday, November 2, 2014

Now I lay me down to not sleep - family, spiritual


There has been so much going on in our lives. I remember when I had my first son, watching that monitor that tracks contractions ;their frequency and intensity. The machine logged them as they came and went with a busy little inked needle to paper similar to a lie detector test. I wish I would have saved at least one of those printouts! The peaks began small and were reached gradually and they were moderately uncomfortable, then they would slowly subside and taper off to a resting point. As baby time drew nearer I noticed that the peaks would reach a higher plateau more drastically , would hover at an excruciating point of pain and then slowly return to a place where I could catch my breath. I certainly recall this process vividly because I had opted (yes I said opted) for no anesthesia or pain management. Yes. I was crazy.  I just tried to breathe through those bad boys. Don't worry, I wised up eventually and noticed they don't give out trophies for drug -free labor and delivery for my future babies.

At any rate, our family is being tested for sure and so what isn't happening around is a consistent amount of sleep and a decent amount of uncharacteristic general disruption. I have no doubts while we all have our own hearts and minds , we are wrestling with the same heart and mind meditations.

That monitor's documentation of my contractions offers a certain parallel to the peaks and valleys in our lives, the basic "emotional roller coaster". 

We have good days and not so favorite days like many others. It's life. Part we didn't ask for and was impressed upon us (thus the angry days) and part just circumstances, and then even further , we are watching many struggle alongside us! And we ALL want to help everyone . But how to help everyone if you can barely help yourselves, you know? 

One of the hardest things to watch is children 's hearts being pained. In a recent study I've been learning as much as I'd like to be the author of our stories, I'm not, there's a better One to be in control.

And lately yes, just as recorded with my contractions , the rising and falling seem to be growing closer together and to more extremes. Just as it was difficult in that situation, it's almost impossible to catch my breath! And then I get annoyed. 

After another thankless and ridiculous , rocky morning, I was able to listen to a service that spoke to my soul. If you consult the wrong maps you're going to get lost ! And I know what's truth and I was encouraged today that I was NOT placed on this earth to serve myself. My position of observing the theory of altruism by far is honorable and right. Just like the serpent tried to convince Eve( successfully by the way , thus the reason I had to be hooked up to a contraction monitor during painful labor, thanks for THAT curse lol) that what she knew was right could be avoided, people have been trying to convince me that it's possible to act outside of faith  and receive blessings. I was being told that my worth was conditional and I was dispensible and where I turned was of no value. 

This is the same message my children received. But then after my frustration this morning, I hear a series, appropriately entitled "#SELFIE" . One of the main points was "the Real Destination of a Self-Centered Life" . The pastor mentioned a twist on the way people have allowed self -seeking to become so prevelant as evident in that old phrase "He who dies with the most toys ,wins." He pointed out ,that while it's ok to have stuff, there's a problem when stuff has us and becomes the ruler in our lives. Then we lose sight of what we were supposed to be focused on. In truth," he who dies with the most toys, still dies." Whoa. Today was one of the most powerful messages I've heard in a long time. 

http://messages.jfc.org/messages/selfie/selfie-week1.html

I was in a valley this morning and He scooped me up and sort of kicked me through the uprights at the top of the peak ! Then I heard it , I am not living a selfish life , that's where my rant from earlier in the day came. It was born of anger and frustration for sacrificing for others only for the message to return to me that I'm not worth sacrificing FOR. It's been a life theme for me and it extends from there down to my children . We are definitely better than that . Collectively , we understand living what we proclaim. There is absolutely no point in saying one thing and acting another. Even my young children get that. But what happened more importantly, is that my feelings were validated and quite obviously the exact same point I was reaching was stated more eloquently and less emotionally and that is not by mistake. 

What I'm seeing in my children is exactly what is to be expected from the way we had been regarded. And nothing can negate these feelings.  Mentally taxing. 

So we have changed it up in a purposeful effort to seek every level of protection for ourselves. We are going to follow the right course for our mental, physical and spiritual health , and in sowing in that we will reap great fruit.

The kids and I are working on personal "Sankalpas" to access G-d's truth about ourselves throughout the day and as we prepare for bed , it's becoming quite a project but every little thing helps. 

Every night I lie down with intention. I reflect on the day , I identify my struggles and strengths,and then check them with a devotional or something of that effect. Or I'll receive it in a message or while at rest as I did today :-) I pray for each of my children and then generally enter my wormhole of prayers as people are placed on my heart. "Pray without ceasing" no joke. I pray for my children's friends and future spouses, and I have been following actual prayer calendars. 

Regardless, even on my worst days my children see me engaged FOR them and it seems to be helping . Perfect parent I am not , or person for that matter. But, present and seeking solutions for them before myself , in practically every way absolutely! It may be demonstrated that I'm / we're not worth sacrificing or fighting for but we already have received the gift of the sacrifice that by far surpasses anything here on Earth! 

Back to my little reference to the contractions. It's called labor for a reason, because it requires work and definitely focus . The good news is after that darn monitor ,which actually became my nemesis , finally quit charting the mountainous measurements, it was because the blessing had arrived! "Fruits of my  labor...." That's good stuff:-) 

Projects

I just looked at the calendar and realized I need to plug away at about a million things! Soon it will be the holidays and then it's "deuces" as Kam says from there! I've already had the discussion that there won't be really Christmas presents this year as they had been accustomed to in the past just based on finances and how much they actually cost already! My "anointed " daughter says, " that's ok, Christmas and all of the holidays aren't about presents anyway. We don't need anything anyway" . Arrrgggghh of course that makes you want to get them all everything! Then she says , " maybe Santa will bring us something". Sigh. Lol, she is working this Santa angle I'm sure for a number of reasons this year, and she's even found  a phone number to call him and make requests. These girls are exhausting. My other daughter did the same with the tooth fairy, locating a website that assigns a tooth fairy and all correspondences which are sometimes multiple times a day , are to be managed by yours truly. Curse Google somedays. 

So now virtual tooth fairy and Santa has been added to my "daily occupations "list . We've been making crafts,cooking, making gifts and volunteering endlessly and I know that come December I'm going to be walking zombie. 


I've been working on a couple of books. It's taking forever, mainly because one involves developing recipes . It's actually been quite cathartic and family-centered which was the entire point of the book. The other is more of a spiritual book( I know shocker). I figure I might as well be writing if I'm going to be sitting and waiting for children, and not sleeping. 

I 'm going to begin placing excerpts in my blog too as well as a ton of things I have in the makings. , so it's going to be all over the place ( still lol). I'm sorry if it bores anyone but , part of the purpose of my blog is to thought organize and have a simple place to reference , Pinterest is ok too, heaven knows I spend time on there! It's good time spent though, I'm finding I'm actually going back and doing the things I've pinned, so I consider it a win ! 


Default parent how about only...

Warning. This is going to be a crusty post because it's 11:20 a.m.and I'm already tired , I've been all over the place, broken up two sibling arguments, adhered to everyone else's schedule and I am pissed. So Bitter Betty coming at you..I have already been up for over 4 hours and slept for probably 3, 2 soundly. 

I have come to the conclusion that people believe this is how I really desired to live my life .  Don't get me wrong, I love my children and I couldn't imagine my life without the contribution each one of the makes to our family. But it is absolutely no secret that I was the teenage girl that boldly stated I didn't want to have children. Again, I wouldn't give up any one of my children today but my point is I was just a selfish teenager. I'm an adult now and I made choices and it seems I'm the only person willing to follow through consistently and unconditionally . 

I'm sick and tired of people now looking at me functioning primarily in "single mom land " with all of my children and saying things like, " I don't know how you do it, I have a hard time and I only have (enter number of children they have less than me here ) ". Mmmm hmm and a husband . 

I'm sure that no one makes these comments with the intention of insulting me in any way, I wish to be clear about that! However, here's the long and short of it. I do what I do because I have no fricking choice , because this life was decided by me by OTHER PEOPLE. And it pisses me off.  People have hollered ,lied and cheated their ways  out of my life and my children's lives and managed to go their separate self-fulfilling ways, because clearly they were more important. 

My new favorite statement is "you should take some time to yourself and not deny yourself so much". Lol, like snorting lol, well, I think there's plenty of THAT going around . And if I entertain that notion, who is going to run this show?  Thinking back , I cannot remember that last time I haven't gone to bathroom hurriedly because there was a child screaming , nor can I recall a shower where there wasn't some negotiation occurring with a child through the closed door, all muffled by the sound of the water running. 

Let's just do the math, I have been seemingly pregnant or nursing for nearly 20 years and that in itself is limiting and a large sacrifice. 

To these kids I'm full-time mom, chaffeur, nurturer, counselor, chef, grocery shopper , scheduler , party host, birthday present wrapper, emotional and physical injury healer, spiritual leader , allergist and it goes on and on. I know every detail about every single one of them. That only comes by being immersed in parenthood. 

Oh and I know , "nobody said you had to have so many children". I'm here to tell you that's a crock. I WAS asked to have these children and it was NEVER supposed to be done solo, in fact it was promised it wouldn't be and it was never intended to be part time. That's the truth and I don't care who can make excuses for what. 

Parenting is a full time job and anyone who says otherwise , is not a parent. The.end. Do people think there has ever come a day where I wake up and NOT want to be a mom? Well that's an unfair question . There have been a few, but I still remain the person that didn't change her mind about commitments and I still do it all whether it feels good or not , whether I'm happy , sad or indifferent. What I haven't been found doing is entertaining myself . Very simply because it's not my season any longer . I never walked out on my marriages or my children and therefore my family. 

I'm not even going to bother to get "all preachy " and talk about G-d. Because I don't want to and the truth is some things are just common sense and HUMAN issues. It is a good thing it's Sunday though so I can listen to a spiritual perspective fairly soon.

That's another thing. I don't choose a faith and make a conscience effort to access it in my thoughts and actions to pretend to be perfect. I do it to be better . That's it. So people can dismiss and criticize all they want. 

As I'm ranting, I'm trying to pinpoint the catalyst of my current state of mind. I'm realizing it stems from my daughter telling me how disappointed she was in adults placing their own feelings before a child's. "Mom I'm really sad, I really wanted ---- to be at my birthday". That's it. This birthday celebration was months ago. And she's STILL upset. So adults break promises to my children and I'm always left here punished and having to re-establish their worth. It's wrong by any form of measurement . It's bullshit. Pardon my french. 

So I leave it with this. If you wish to lie or half truth people , at least own that as a part of your being and suffer your own consequences. 

Yes I do deserve just as much consideration as the next person, but the rules change as we become adults . I do deserve to do for myself, but not at the expense of other people's emotions and mental stability . Anyone saying things to selfish people like " as long as you're happy" are idiots. Only a portion of that statement is true. The fundamental right of the "pursuit of happiness" that this nation was built upon was based on the premise that it didn't infringe upon the rights of others. I saw this picture awhile ago and found it to be very true so I searched for it. I agree. 


Thursday, October 30, 2014

Cheating-Life, Religious, Spiritual

What does it mean to women when it's revealed their spouse has consistently in some form or fashion sought some sort of pleasure outside of their relationship ?  Cheating comes in many forms :chatting, texting, emailing  flirting, dating sites...it can cost you many things and can only be undone by true reconciliation and G-d's grace. Sorry has to mean sorry and has to demonstrate repentance .   A quote from Dr. Phil McGraw " cheating is doing things you wouldn't do in the presence of your significant other". Admittedly society has become very lackadaisical in this regard lending itself to gray areas that did not exist before .I had a conversation with a person who had struggled with pornography , etc. I'm making a note for myself for future reference as it seems to be a topic of concern. All forms leave women feeling broken and inferior , and unwanted and unimportant. As an encouragement to women when the facts point to infidelity , the odd phone activity,  hotel room bookings etc. and seeking strip clubs and anything outside your relationship, not all men try to justify these behaviors and it is a reflection on their hearts and not your value. Social networking also adds an element that if used irresponsibly can open the wrong doors . Regardless of the struggle G-d does have a position and it's in the side of faithfulness and "staying focused on what is good" . G-d wants better for you , and me . Harsh truth. Anyone that claims differently has been deceived by the evil one and will never experience the anointing G-d has for their lives and relationships . Here's a conversation with a heart transformed by G-d to a woman he lost ,  quite a departure from trite excuses and dismissal, even justification. Mature and accountable . It is honorable in its transparency and most certainly from a man that chooses to walk with G-d and not with some of the fallen views of modern day society.

"Let me tell you something,  you are perfect,  and if I didn't see that then,  it's my loss (and it had been my loss) and if someone didn't see that in you,  then it's their loss too"

"I'm not perfect" 

"You are fearfully and wonderfully made,  and I delight in you (but God delights in you more)"

"At all and I can't and don't want to be 
I see what you are saying,  I am certainly not perfect but what I desire is for Him to welcome me in His arms and say,  "well done. ""

"The struggle with pornography (at any level) has nothing to do with you.  Realize that and accept it.  It has everything to do with (his) walk with God
To answer your question,  what do I think it does to women... I think it tears at the very fabric of what Good intended to create with sexuality (especially marriage).  It puts up an unrealistic expectation of what love and sex should be and will not allow a woman to live up to that fantasy. It makes the woman feel unimportant and undesirable and at the same time build a wall between a man and woman.
As a man who has learned a few things in his life,  that's how I feel.  I hope that helps.  
To reiterate...  The struggle with pornography has nothing to do with you.  Realize that and accept it.  It has everything to do with (his) walk with God" 

Men , learn from good men. Women too if it's your struggle. If you don't wish to hear from women in your life , better to listen to G-d and men who have lost . 
It's not worth the spiritual and other real world battles and what it can cost you. There are tangible character witnesses on Earth , and moreso Heaven. No one can shield themselves from the long arm of God's law. Clearly some are able to be moved by God's conviction and seek to rise above complacency and status quo be better . 

Pastor Mark Driscill outlines the process of departing from forgiveness which (involving only the conflicted party) and reconciliation (involving the offender(s) and the party injured. 

STEP 1: CONVICTION

God made us with a conscience to guide our decision making through life and to make us feel convicted when we do wrong. God the Holy Spirit shines the light of grace on our sin, exposing it for what it is, calling us and helping us move to repentance (John 16:8–11; 1 Thess. 1:5; Jude 1:15). The Holy Spirit often does his convicting work through other Christians who love us enough to ask about junk they see in our lives. Conviction is an essential step to exposing sin for what it is so we can be free from enslavement to sin.

STEP 2: CONFESSION

As the Holy Spirit convicts us of sin and renews our mind, we must then name our sin as God does and accept the truth that we have sinned. Confession means agreeing with God and telling the truth about who we are and what we have done. Confession includes naming our sin to Jesus and anyone else we have sinned against, or who may have been affected by our sin.
James 5:16 teaches us it is best to confess sin to faithful Christians who will pray for us and help us grow in holiness.

STEP 3: REPENTANCE

The heart of repentance is changing your mind about who is god in your life. When we sin, we are worshiping someone or something else as a false god and functional savior. In repentance we turn from those false gods back to the true and living God of the Bible, who alone loved us enough to die for our sin and freedom.
This means a deep change of values occurs, and we change our mind about what we deem important. Then there will be a heart-sourced change of behavior. We must learn to repent continually by turning our face to Jesus and turning our back on sin.
Repentance is not trying to manage our sin, but rather putting it to death before it puts us to death. Colossians 3:5 says it perfectly: “Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.”
True repentance is among the greatest gifts given to us because of Jesus’ work on the cross for our sins. In it we find our humility, joy, forgiveness, hope, redemption, perspective, identity, and future.

STEP 4: RESTITUTION

When we sin, we are also stealing from other people. This may include actual property or such things as trust, love, and intimacy. The Bible is clear that our redemption is a gift of grace from Jesus alone to be received by us through personal faith in him (Eph. 2:8–9). The result of this gift of salvation is a new heart that loves Jesus, is humble, and leads to an ongoing life of good works (Eph. 2:10)—not so that Jesus will redeem us, but because he has.
These good works will include our seeking to make restitution for all we have done, whether directly or indirectly, to damage others. Because we love people at a heart level, we want to restore what we took. Parts of the Bible, such as Exodus 22:1–17 and Numbers 5:5–10, speak of this kind of repayment, and men like the rich people in Nehemiah as well as Zacchaeus in the New Testament modeled it when they repaid the people they had stolen from (Luke 19:8).

STEP 5: RECONCILIATION

Once the previous steps have been undertaken, the sin that separated people is forgiven and taken away by Jesus with the hope that they can be brought back together in a loving and trusting relationship. No matter what, if we commit ourselves to the lifelong pursuit of the above gospel process, then reconciliation with others is possible in this life. However, trust, friendship, and relationship are restored only upon confession of sin; they are the fruit of repentance.
Confession and repentance involve: (1) real acknowledgment of the offense; (2) remorse (beyond “I’m sorry I got caught”) for the pain it caused; (3) restitution where appropriate; and (4) renewal of character and lifestyle.
Trust is always lessened or destroyed when sin is glossed over or “forgotten” without restoration. Such spiritual denial subverts forgiveness and reconciliation.

A FINAL WORD

It almost goes without saying that this is a very difficult process. Even when all parties involved are working hard to ease the impact of sin, the bruising and pain sometimes make restoration impossible.
If you, or those involved in the disruption of your relationship through sin, fail to work through the process in good faith, restoration is impossible. But by God’s grace, even if it does not occur on earth, we have the promise that it will happen in heaven if those involved are Christians. If they're not that's an entirely different salvation issue .
G-d is good and here is His truth : (Robert Driskell) 
"Adultery is not only a sin against one’s mate, but an attack on the sanctity of marriage, and a course of conduct that can cause havoc in many people’s lives.  Adultery is also most importantly a sin against God.
Marital failures, and many other destructive conditions, exist because of sin.  They exist because humans have decided that their way is better than God’s way.  They have decided that fulfilling their desires is more important than obeying and glorifying the Creator/Sustainer of the universe.  Nevertheless, the Christian must learn what the Bible says about adultery in order to see it the way God sees it.  Only when we change our views to line up with God’s views can we live the full, blessed life He has waiting for us.

In the Old Testament, God Declared Adultery to be a sin Deserving Death

When God set apart a nation to be His special people, He gave them a set of basic guidelines for living.  They were the basis for every other law He would give them.  These laws were a written record of the way God expects His people to behave.  The seventh commandment God gave His people was, “You shall not commit adultery” (Exodus 20:14).  God knew that the heart of humankind would naturally seek to fulfill every desire it experienced.  God gave these laws to make His holy standards clear.
God viewed adultery as being a sin so terrible that it was punishable by death.  “If a man commits adultery with the wife of his neighbor, both the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death” (Leviticus 20:10; cf. Deuteronomy 22:22).  If we ever think that God takes adultery, or any other sin, lightly, we should remember what penalties and punishments He assigned to them.

Adultery is not just an outward action

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’  But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:27-28). This tells us that adultery can take place within the heart [mind] and is just as sinful as an outward act. The sin of the mind may not affect as many other people, families, and friends as the outward physical act, but it is still a sinful affront to the holiness of God. This applies to the prevalence of pornography in our culture.  Often claimed to be a ‘victimless offense’, the damage pornography does to the heart of the one involved in it, and often to those around him/her, can be just as devastating.  Pornography and adultery often go hand in hand.

Adultery can keep you out of the Kingdom of God

In First Corinthians 6:9-10, the apostle Paul lists some sins that, if continued in without confession and repentance, will prevent the practitioner from entering God’s kingdom, “Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God?  Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy..nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God”.  Included in this list is the sin of adultery.  This further emphasizes how serious God views this sin.  He knew the devastating effects adultery has on individuals and families and He wanted to protect us from that heartbreak.  He still feels the same today."

As I say frequently," hope the temporary satisfaction or fix is worth the eternal price." 

Monday, October 27, 2014

Our fam's Halloween - family, Halloween, world religions

Ok. So it's that time of year where my children and I get pummeled as to why we don't celebrate Halloween. I'm an adult and I can take the challenges by adults , my adolescent counter parts however cannot in some instances, so we search for balance. 

We all here in the U.S. have embraced a number of cultures, races, creeds and spiritual foundations over the years since the birth of our nation; the proverbial "melting pot." So we have adopted an overall culture under a number of fascinating influences. 

I have no problem raising my children to be set aside from certain behaviors and observances that have been deemed "acceptable" and the norm for years. 

Let me be clear, I was raised in a different faith base than the one I chose (or better called me) but ironically neither support the celebration of Halloween. I was able to make all of these costume plans with my friends and go trick or treating , some years it was fun, most years we froze our butts off in costumes not conducive to the changing seasons. We never got THAT much candy ! Then I'd have to dump it, you all know the drill, check for pins and razor blades..... Puncture holes, nothing homemade. This was all thanks to a select few crazies... NOW the crazies seem more abundant as are the possible "ingredients". The  world looks different from when I was a child . Needless to say , my richest childhood memories had nothingto do with trick or treating. Just because things are done certain ways for so long doesn't necessarily mean it's fundamentally right. Many parents have left and are leaving poor legacies for their children because old habits die hard. This is a conscience effort for me! 

So I've heard now " I feel sorry for your kids that they don't get to do that ." I have in the past allowed them to wear historical costumes or dress up for functions that allowed costumes at celebrations that are alternatives to the observing a holiday that in its simplest historical breakdown is pagan and honoring of a Celtic god of death Samhaih and his release of evil spirits and ghouls and so on. For the majority of monotheistic religions, that alone should end the conversation. These include the big ones, Judaism,Christianity and Islam. I could cite from the books of each religion, but my research on all world religions took me years and trust me you don't want to read all of the findings and religious doctrines . I'll keep it pretty simple . Believers in each know their teachings and if you don't , time to study! 

I'm not an extremist and I'm not alone. That being said, I don't want to make myself crazy trying to be a "perfect religious , do gooder " or whatever other names I've been called. But regardless of the basis of an individual 'a religious beliefs. If you consider yourself faithful to whichever belief system you claim why is one unofficial holiday so influential? For our family there are some spiritual issues in play. 

Why bother with all of the praying, fasting, observing and asking for favor all year long to discredit it annually?  I want my children to understand and value this one thing. The importance of faithfulness. For our family, the ghouls and gherish images and honoring of dark principalities are not for us and it's not of our faith. And if it's not of our faith , why would we participate just for the sake of good times? 

In some cultures they like to wrestle and play with Cobras , lol anyone who knows me knows how much I cannot stand snakes, so even this analogy makes my skin crawl . But it's dangerous! A person's entire existence can end in one poor judgment! Such it is the case for each religion , all trying to obtain their respective eternities . If they want to play , play. But until I pass by I'd prefer the snake in its basket lol 

For those claiming faiths in a single god , there's no room for idols or acknowledgment of any others by definition. These include money, hobbies , anything that takes from faith. 

We all have freewill , and in our freedom to choose , we choose to honor light and positive influences. Since no one seems to be racing TOWARDS death skipping and humming, I guess that the god of Death isn't all that he's cracked up to be lol

What are alternatives? They are vast, some have fellowship with fall recipes and family and friends. Observers of Judaism can redirect this type of celebration for Purim, some Christian churches offer games and activities , Muslim communities have joined to offer alternate celebrations . 

It's a different world today than what I grew up with and now also stating the obvious there are more ways to be harmful and seemingly more "crazies" . Or is it just me? Lol 

So that's the not so long and not so short of it. Our family decision not to celebrate something comes from the same place as to why we DO celebrate others . Our faith and historical and spiritual basis of our faith. 

No I don't want my children to be treated like outcasts, and that's happened , trust me. But I do know that I do want their relationships in life to be rich in authentic relationships , something I muddled up for myself many times. In this, their moral fiber and character will be woven . And when the tapestry is complete , at least people can say they are trustworthy and faithful. I think faith is a beautiful and life giving "thing". I've never heard someone say, "well I'm no longer friends with them because they're faithful " or a spouse say "I don't love my spouse because they are faithful and loyal". I have however seen the prices conversely paid. 

If my children could dress up as anything they wanted it would always pale in comparison to wearing their hearts on their sleeves! This is a beacon for who they are as people and how they'll be trusted "Where we stare , we steer" -Lisa Turkeurst. Good and bad ! Sometimes it's so easy to focus on portions of the road we think are important, but take our  focus off the right thing or things , and we're looking at the business end of a cliff, sharp rocks at the bottom and everything :-) 





 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Letter from a Child of Divorce viral video helping people make excuses ? "G-d takes the marriage covenant (or agreement) seriously, even when we do not."

I've seen this video a number of times and find it to tug at heart strings for sure, but I am astounded to see how recently  it is being used to excuse selfish adult decisions and misinterpret the intended message by the supporting organization that I am VERY familiar with 


Below  the video feed for this message it reads "The statistics are staggering: over 63% of children live in a single parent home. Each year over 1 million children will see their parents get divorced, which is three times the number just 50 years ago. The effect it has on children is far reaching and the letter he reads is powerful and heartbreaking. " Yet, the message is becoming skewed for self serving points. I find it insulting and aggravating that people think that lasting effects on children can be talked out of for casual choices to abandon marriage vows. If you are offended by G-d and His Word, I wouldn't read further. I don't mean to sound "preachy" but rather VERY intentional . 

I have been divorced and fought long and hard to SAVE my marriageS even when I was counseled by my pastor that I had Biblical basis to protect myself and my children. I have written about this in previous posts and I know I'm in the minority with my loyalties.  At least most can humor me that it was never intended by G-d for people to search for reasons to quit but rather to trust in His reasons to stay and selflessly WORK. Most of the best things in life are rewards for hard work . Blessings are no exception! 

The truth is this videomessage does not excuse the epidemic of divorce and was not meant to be used as a reactive tool. It is promoted on numerous Christian -based sites as a precautionary or preventive message for honoring marriage and staying married.  As the staggering statistics mounts there is a truth. The Bible is clear that G-d does not support or smile upon divorce and the effects it has on children are just a starting point. Further, it offers only these two reasons accepted for reasons to divorce :
"Beyond that....there are a couple of circumstances in which G-d releases a couple from the lifelong covenant of marriage:
  • In the case of consistent, unrepentant immorality (abuse , sexual immorality, infidelity /cheating) 
  • When an unbelieving spouse deserts a believer."
Additionally Dennis Rainey's excerpt here shows Biblical standpoint. 


"It should not be surprising that G-d declares, in Malachi 2:16, "I hate divorce!" And why does He hate divorce? One reason is that marriage is meant to be a special covenant between a man, a woman, and their G-d.

The vows I shared with Barbara went like this:

I, Dennis, take you, Barbara, to be my lawful wedded wife. I promise and covenant, before G-d and these witnesses, to be your loving and faithful husband; to stand by you in riches and in poverty, in joy and in sorrow, in sickness and in health, forsaking all others, as long as we both shall live."

When we spoke these words, Barbara and I weren't agreeing to provide some personal services via a contract that could be terminated if one of us defaulted. Instead, we were entering into a covenant—the same type of sacred obligation that G-d made with His children on several momentous occasions, such as with Noah after the flood.

Any covenant—including the marriage covenant—is a binding, weighty obligation. In Proverbs 20:25 we read, "It is a trap for a man to dedicate something rashly and only later to consider his vows" (NIV). Deuteronomy 23:23 says, "You shall be careful to perform what goes out from your lips, just as you have voluntarily vowed to the Lord your God what you have promised." Jesus said that "every careless word that men shall speak, they shall render account for it in the day of judgment" (Matthew 12:36).

G-d takes the wedding covenant seriously, even when we do not.

G-d's purposes for marriage

Another reason G-d hates divorce is because it tears at the very heart of G-d's redemptive plan for the world. It is interesting to note the conversation between Jesus and the Pharisees in Matthew 19:3-9. When the Pharisees ask, "Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any reason at all?'' Jesus answers by pointing them to G-d's purposes for marriage:

And He answered and said, "Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning MADE THEM MALE AND FEMALE, and said, "FOR THIS REASON A MAN SHALL LEAVE HIS FATHER AND MOTHER AND BE JOINED TO HIS WIFE, AND THE TWO SHALL BECOME ONE FLESH'? "So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.'"


This video was shared by an organization called The Child of Divorce. It is not their mission to excuse divorce but to raise awareness of the actual long term negative effects of children of divorce based on clinical studies as a deterrent , preventative measure. They are maintaining that children are mental victims BECAUSE of divorce .  Clearly  no child would be able to articulate the full effects of divorce as a child as portrayed here . They are developmentally incapable of processing adult issues. They are by nature egocentric and feel their circumstances are directly related to themselves,their behavior and their worth. It takes several years to manifest for many and well into adulthood. There is a caveat in dismissing the seriousness of divorce. Perhaps the increase in the rate , is due to the inability for people to swallow pride and teach their children the importance of integrity and honoring their vows. Agreeably there are instances that warrant divorce especially when endangerment is involved but assuredly these are not today's common causes. Choosing divorce outside of Biblical reasons for personal freedoms automatically places children in the middle and in a lifelong uphill battle and is nothing short of negligent . I LIVE with the reprecussions daily and I was not the party to violate my vows in any of the instances. I was the one who TRULY put my children first, before they were born, during the marriageS and now after. 


Here's an actual testimony from an adult who was a child of divorce who was asked to share her INNER thoughts at a conference people were attending to protect their marriages, struggles her parents never knew she battled, it's applicable as it addresses her life stages from a mature , experienced perspective :

http://nationalmarriage.com/2012/06/the-product-of-divorce/


I have children representing varying ages who can definitely, wholeheartedly agree with each and every stage and points made . If more people didn't dismiss the effects , there may be more of an effort to do the work to cultivate their marriages thus putting their children first before themselves , before quitting and chalking it up to simple minded excuses and the assumption contrary to facts that children can process anything relatively close to what adults can.  I am incredulous how dismissive it is to expect such a thing , ADULTS can hardly handle it!   Choosing divorce for social and convenience are not condoned by G-d, that is the unfortunate fact , marriage is created by Him for reasons endless books of the Bible address. 


This may no longer be the popular opinion , but look around lately. Neither has the importance of the focus of G-d. 



Sunday, October 19, 2014

Dedication

Right off the bat I can, as usual ,hear the song "Turn, Turn ,Turn" by the Byrds (?maybe?) , and it was a hit in its day when they cleverly assigned a tune to the lengthy verse from Ecclesiastes (3:2-9). Of course the Bible doesn't have the "turn, turn , turn " in it. "To everything there is a season," indicating that life is going to have good and bad seasons . I guess this is a topic I've always known and accepted and so it's sensible to me not the chasing happiness only all of my days. Maybe that song helped! 

Greysonn's dedication raised many questions with my kiddos about what dedication is , of course they don't remember this process quite obviously because they were newborns and extremely young when it occurred for their siblings since they were born very close together .

We talked about the word dedication and found it to mean "a strong and expressed loyalty to someone or something". In this case it would be to G-d. Throughout the Bible it is expressed the roles of man, woman, husband, wife, child and parent. This particular affirms the faith of the family and the acceptance of parental responsibility . 

" The best passage for discussion is Deuteronomy 6:4-7. First, it commands parents to love God; if they truly wish for their child to one day love and follow God, their lives must be an example. This is a good time to query parents about their own personal relationship with Christ.

Second, Deuteronomy makes clear that the duty of teaching children belongs to parents; Sunday schools can provide weekly instruction, but parents must seize the teachable moments that arise throughout life. Explain the value of prayer (for example, repetitious prayers like "Now I lay me down to sleep . . .") at meal times and before bed. Urge them to read aloud Bible stories for devotions. Give them practical ideas they can implement into their daily family routines." -Ted Weis 

Deuteronomy 6:4-7 calls adults to be faithful to G-d first, following His commands and then to raise His children the same. 

""Hear O Israel: The Lord our God is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on their children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up."

Dedication and commitment have been a beacon for me for my children and in fact all of my relationships. As I've been told that I am not enough of a person to be offered dedication , I do find  it interesting that it doesn't extends to my children since they, just as everyone else's children are an extension of me not only by birthing them but by raising them. They are a reflection of my heart, my soul and my daily efforts regardless of any circumstance. I don't wish to over-idealize them but I have children that still despite daily struggles ,pressures and temptations , are servant hearted , and on a positive track to be men and women of integrity. They are and will be trusted , they are loving and genuine and give with no self serving motives. And none of it is by mistake. So , even at my lowest I can rest in the assurance that my sole efforts are not coming back empty. So my heart must be somehow producing good, genuine fruit. 

It still by no means is a place devoid of frustration and anger and loneliness. Regardless of innumerable reasons, we are not living with the full family support G-d intended. 

I remember the very first praise song I sang from stage , was I believe an arrangement by the then exceedingly talented music director. And that's an understatement. He was "stupid talented" . It was a bluesy,swing kind of thing "Give, and it will come back to you , good measure , pressed down , shaken together ruuuuuunning over ". You can't hear me singing it but sadder still is the fact that you couldn't see this director during rehearsals have this mini dance choreography whenever we said "pressed down , shaken together and ruuuuuning over" . (Luke 6) His shimmying was comical. 

I've come to realize that music has always been a large part of my life and that the vast majority of my Bible memorization is because of someone cleverly placing the verses to music. 

I've grown so disappointed by the condition of humanity, so many turning their backs on the very foundation out country especially was built upon. Choosing the flesh over G-d. Even the longest lifetime has no bearing on the true length of eternity. So I'll muddle through knowing no temporary solution is worth an ETERNAL problem. Rudeness, dishonesty, unfaithfulness , selfishness. I read a quote the other day that said , "Selfish people often mistake selfishness for strength ; it takes no talent ,no intelligence,no self-control,no effort to sacrifice others for your ego." So basically contadictory to the fruits of the spirit . 

Anyone that has known me knows my walk and efforts well and probably also know, oddly enough I never wanted to have children. And yet I have so many! I wanted to perform and travel like in my youth and I'd still love to be doing that now. G-d had a plan for me and I can trust in him so much too because now I know this is far more important. While I have been left behind to take on the daily tasks outlined for me in the Bible alone and am only found to have worth as a mother , I keep thinking of the little lights that are running around .They are "heck bent" on being important to someone and everyone and willing to give their hearts into everything. These kids request us serve and stop every time we see a homeless person. Their innocence and pure hearts full my soul and just when I want to hop the first plane out of here , God sends the right smile or right words from the depths of their souls. So I'm here , and despite all of the work I pour into them during waking and sleeping hours ( which lately seem one and the same), I'm seeing the reward for my dedication . 

Today's message focused on reaping what we sow. In all aspects , good and bad. And planting nothing also reaps absolutely nothing. 

G-d reminded me of this cute site I set up for Aemilia a few years ago, where I was able to read books to her online. I hope the link works . This story is the "Little Red Hen", some may remember it from childhood with a trifold message on reaping what you sow, work ethic (DEDICATION to a cause ) and the benefits or as some may say blessings for perseverance ,sacrifice and commitment. This is how I feel about my children too ! 

I hope the link works it's a fun story to revisit , it's me reading :-) if not just copy and paste it "old school " 

http://www.zoodles.com/en-US/parent/books/the-little-red-hen/readings/5bd63794-99e0-4935-b625-7ba144aefa7a/preview





Saturday, October 11, 2014

Psalm 23:3 and forward

"He guides me along the right paths
    for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk
    through the darkest valley,[a]
I will fear no evil,
    for you are with me" 


Today's message was a refreshing take on a verse I learned and memorized in my childhood . It's always interesting to see how the same verse can resonate differently at varying stages of my life. I'm sure this isn't specific to me. Of course back then , first grade , I had no real idea what I was memorizing. Or why. 

As always the truth that good deeds don't always equate to immediate rewards and the reverse in the case of poor behavior... It's always uplifting to be lifted up ! 

I 'm finding people's hearts are more evident in their actions , especially as frequently as words come back empty. Something interesting is the consideration of how hardships ebb and flow throughout our lives. 

I ve heard trials referred to as pits, lows, valleys ... However it best illustrates ... 

"Every valley, every passing hill, makes me rally , (and )climb back up the hill" . Sage words in Nichole Nordeman's song "Brave" . And it's fitting because those that choose to go THROUGH the valley are the valiant . 

Today the pastor pointed out that those who avoid the valleys or storms and stand right outside of them , are the quitters, those who are too weak and unwilling to learn . 

If you journey the valley, as especially in my experience , the blessings are much larger at the peak. There were three cautions outlined today when found in a low point of life . 

1. Do not rebel and turn from G-d from the valley
2. Do not reside there 
3. Don't quit while in the valley- or that's where you will be held . Bleck. 

I needed to jot down these thoughts while fresh in my mind. 

And then came to me the old theory of "fight or flight " . I've heard it said that if you want to see a true person, see how they respond in times of struggle. Fight ,flight, perseverance or cowardice ? 

For some reason I am brought back to my school age years where there were those pivotal moments that are burned into your memory, where you know exactly where you were and what you were doing. For instance, my parents recall their detailed whereabouts when JFK was assassinated, I can remember the shocking developments of 9/11, and previously the Columbine High School shootings . Prior to that though I remember the media coverage of The Space Shuttle Challenger, there was such a build up of the crew and their backgrounds. 

I remember the teachers joining in the hallway and then the principal wheeling in the coveted tv cart which in most cases meant in class movie ! ( you oldies but goodies know what I'm talking about). 
G-d must've had His hand on this situation to offer us such background on the crew that we learned had exploded. He allowed us to empathize and feel a sense of commonality as they had been accurately portrayed as regular people. 

The reason I thought of this was I've been experiencing some real eye opening circumstances where true hearts are exposed . Christa Maccauliffe ( spelling?) was a school teacher blessed to be on board the Challenger excursion. There was a testimony I heard at some point that the crew recognized the imminent danger prior to the fatal explosion and mission recordings revealed the climate and final responses and thoughts as they knew they would not be returning to Earth and their families alive. It was stated that Christa MacCauliffe accepted her fate in grace and peace and could be heard reciting today's exact Psalm . Psalm 23 until the final incineration . It was recorded another female crew member on board chose a slew of profanities and hostilities . Her name evades my memory . Of course despite my investigating validity of the record, I NASA was unable to answer my call ;-) so for some of my contradictory consistent nay-sayers, knock your socks off . For everyone else, treat it as truth or a hypothetical antidote ...There are two points here . 1) when in the fire what is the true character ? Do you stand "outside the fire " like Garth Brooks said and 2) what is the legacy you are leaving ? There's a reason I remember Christa Maccauliffe's name and not the other woman's. Graceful, even for an adult whose recall is reaching back to grade school. 





Monday, October 6, 2014

No words to speak- my version of deep thoughts :-)

I've always been an "artsy fartsy" person. Longer than I've had my faith. So . I was the girl who would scream lyrics into a hairbrush with songs' bass-lines taking over the beating of my heart. And with tears pouring out of my eyes, I survived adolescence. 

I would "dance it out " (thanks Grey's Anatomy for coining the term for it). I painted disturbing and liberating images . Anything, for release and distraction .

I cannot even express the innumerable struggles I had growing up in my pretty suburban home, but it doesn't even matter much now. 

I've found myself in a pit lately where one day I sit at the bottom and let the menacing drops of my personal storm pelt and saturate me to the core. Then the next day in anger or perseverance , I muddy the underneath parts of my nails , scraping at the slippery and dirty walls trying to reach the light. Prayer, anger, anger at G-d, prayer, devotionals and then more hurt and anger. The next day, renewed strength and empowerment . Annoying I know. 

These days my smile is really a scream that is so loud it can only be heard in the depths of my own soul. 

In purging my home for life changes I came across my old and long "lost" iPod. Woo hoo! I spun (yes old iPod so I "spun" the menu )and saw something . I've been here before and my music selections emulated it. And I'm still alive to talk about it!?! I even surprised myself at the eclectic nature of my playlist. Secular and spiritual music collided and perplexed me in their commonality . They all had different foundations , but the same messages . Below are a few.. "Youtube " them if you dare to take the time for reflection today .

"Come on , come on, you've got to move on, this is not the 'you ' I know...I don't know, why it has to be this way and I don't know the cure. Please believe . Someone else has felt this before . " (We All Need Saving) 

"Young girl don't cry, I'll be right here when you're world starts to fall... Don't start forsaking yourself" .( The Voice Within) 

And now recently , as I struggle to see why I try so faithfully hard to reap few earthly rewards , the entire chart of " Try" -" put your make up on , get your nails done , curl your hair , run the the extra mile, keep it slim til they like you .." Most of those for me fell to the wayside in child rearing, but you get the gist. 

I hovered over and landed on the clip from the low budget and highly impactful movie clip from "Fireproof" based on the extraordinary book " The Love Dare". Watch it. Please . Over a million views ... All of those people can't be wrong to seek it? In fact, watch the movie in its entirety . 

Lol this movie stars Kirk Cameron... I had a full color life -sized poster of him doing a C Jump in a seemingly 80's " Members Only" snap tab neck and all of its now horrific 80's fashion sidekick accessories! This joined countless other boy group posters , I don't know how my OCD mom coped. I do recall my dad , upon entering my pre-teen room that has been freshly painted my then color du jour (lilac on three walls and one dark violet - gag) saying " WHAT are all these posters? Why didn't you save us some time and money and paint your room flesh colored ?". He was exaggerating of course , it was still modest but funny nonetheless. And I a clearly digress, lol. Clearly he departed from his smolder on "Growing Pains" to an honorable man with a heart for integrity and positive messages . 


Trust. I am singing all of the lyrics to these songs until the storm clouds open! But thank you for instilling me the love of art to see beauty when I'm not seeing it everywhere else!