On which I reflect on 2007....

The thought of writing something reflecting on the past year and how wonderful it was, how much I learned, etc. etc. has crossed my mind several times. Unfortunately, I couldn't think of a single thing to say along those lines. *sigh* Truth is that this past year pretty much sucked. Sucked ass actually and I am plenty happy to see it go.

2007 brought alot of arguing, drama, heartache, more financial trouble and health issues. It also reaffirmed to me that I still suck at picking men. At a much-older-than-my-years-35, I am still way too naive, trusting and forgiving for my own good--no, I still haven't totally learned that life lesson yet. I love the idea of being married--of being a team--of the give and take of it all. Too bad for me that I seem to have voluntarily taken on a situation that still leaves me feeling like a team of ONE and it's all me giving and him taking. It's not lost on me how negative I've been lately...believe me, I get it and sometimes I even get on my own nerves--but it is what it is and either my marriage/life will get better with time, God's help and Scotts medication....or it will get better with time, God's help and enough medication for me so that I just don't care how rotten things are anymore! What also sucks is that I'm only partially kidding.

I find that even on the good days when things are peaceful and nice...it's still not enough. This isn't what I want. I'm totally willing to take the blame for it because he is obviously who he is, whether I saw it at first or not. I can't ask him to become someone different...that would be impossible. Oh, I can ask him to manage himself better, but that's exactly what I'm getting at...even when he's managed better, it's still not what I want. Yeah, I know the whole "you're just expecting too much...love is a decision...on and on ad nauseum", but I can't believe this is what I got myself into. I want someone who engages me, seduces me, laughs at my jokes, makes me laugh at theirs. Someone who is up on current events or knows something about culture. I want someone who is willing to *cough, cough* work for a living.

Does all of this make me a witch? Maybe. I'm willing to own that though. I'm only part-way through this thing called life and, therefore have a looooong way to go honey! I don't want to stay this way. I want to be with someone who, if God-forbid they left, would leave my life with such a gaping hole I would have trouble recovering. That's what I thought I had...but I acted to quickly.

Needless to say I have decided that (warning...corny cliche coming up!) I'm gonna be GREAT IN '08! LOL...yeah I know, I shouldn't have gone there...but I sooo did! lol It's going to be great because either it's going to get better...oh, so much better! (which honestly is my prayer...I love Scott, I don't want to see him gone) Or it's going to get worse and then better...because this is the deciding year. This is the year that will tell me what my future will look like with a new and improved, medicated husband. Please Lord let it be better.

On top of all that ugly relationship stuff, I'm going back to school in two weeks (cause I don't have enough on my plate right?). Hopefully it won't be too hard though. It's all online through Indiana Wesleyan University. It's an 18 month program and the only clinical I have is in like the last month or so when I have to shadow a manager at work. YAY ME!! When I was checking into signing up for a similar program through University of Akron, there were a ton of prerequisites (lots more chemistry and biology...blah!, foreign languages and phys ed--yeah right!), whereas this program has NO prereq's. WOOT WOOT!

I just got the official ok from the doc to come off of my chemo...which is great since I took myself off about a month ago anyways. :) The side effects were just too much and I didn't feel it was doing any good anyways. He agreed and said that he thinks the key to getting my lupus under control right now is: decreased stress and anxiety and increased quality of sleep. So since I couldn't leave Scott at the doctors office, he gave me pills to bring home. lol He gave me a stronger anti-depressant, some anxiety medication for when I need it and a different (stronger) med to help me sleep. I haven't taken the last two much because I don't want to be drooling on my keyboard from being so stoned, but it's nice to know that I have them if I need them.

This year has seen me grow closer to some of my friends (including some wonderful new ones) and grow distant from some of my old friends. My hair got a little shorter and my butt got a little bigger. I grew a little closer to the Lord and got back to meditating (which I have let slip a little, but am immediately going to fix that--I hope). I finally got that pesky ex-husband out of my house and I agreed to temporarily "see how it goes" with my son going with him...so far, not so bad, espcially on this end. Much more peaceful. I've started researching my family tree and learned some really fascinating things. I ACTUALLY STARTED WRITING A BOOK (finally!) and it's going pretty well. I've determined to get published (in some capacity...even if only some magazine articles) this coming year.

Overall, I would say that the arch of 2007 went something like this: disappointment, anger and betrayal--> drama and crisis--> coming back to my own and getting centered again. Continuing on my own journey and saying "this is the direction I'm headed...I would love for you to come with me. If not, God bless you, but I'm still going on my own."

I hope you all have a wonderful 2008 right along with me...full of growth, renewal and joy...not just happiness, but JOY.

Gods peace,




Christmas blessings

I'm overcome today with how lucky I am to be a Christian and how lucky I am to "get it." I get it. There are so many who don't. They wander around this world in ignorance to the most priceless, precious gift that has been given to them. This gift sits there in the "unclaimed funds" box because they've never come to claim it. It saddens me...but it also makes my heart swell with the gratitude that I have to God and every life circumstance that he has placed me in or allowed to come my way...for without every one of them I very well may have been one of those lifeless, wandering people. But to him and through him and from him are all things...thank you Lord. You know every stepping stone that you've placed before me...my parents broken marriages and my moms remarriage to Ken. Without him I would have never (probably) gone to church. For every person at Tower Baptist Church...without their witness and testimony I may have never gotten saved. For my faithful youth leaders...especially Debby (I still don't know how to not call her "Mrs. Stearns" lol)...without her and her godly advice who knows how many more careless mistakes I may have made. To my pastor (who you are lucky enough to be spending Christmas with now)...for showing me what a man who has a heart for God looks like. To my Soapie...without her I would have never known as a teenager what it meant to be on fire for God and what it looked like to praise him.

All of the broken marriages, heartache, illness, money troubles....they have all led me to where I am today...a woman, who used to be a girl, who one step at a time has developed an eternal, nourishing, loving relationship with a heavenly father who plucked me from the pits of hell at the age of 15. Now, no matter what troubles come my way, I know what my future holds (in the big picture anyways).

My wish for the coming year is that I would have a bigger burden for souls.....I want to have a renewed boldness when it comes to telling people about him and how much he loves them. May I be a better wife, mother, friend, child, relative, employee, coworker...and most importantly, may I be a better child to Him.

"Take me, make me, break me...I am pierced" are lyrics to one of my favorite songs. Those lyrics remind me of another set of lyrics I heard recently that said "we all have to be cracked...that's how the light gets in." Once upon a time I prayed and wished to be unbroken, but not anymore, because to be unbroken would mean there was no crack for the light to get in. He is faithful to heal. He is the lover of my soul.

On this holiday in particular I am always reminded of how so many people in the world wish they could have a Christmas with no Christ. Christians are the one minority that it's still ok to bash and in-turn so many of us tend to keep our lips zipped when we shouldn't...and unfortunately, some of us run our mouths in inappropriate ways and end up giving all Christians a bad name. In my opinion that's RELIGION...not CHRISTIANITY. If you've ever been turned off by an experience like that...by someone who would rather smack you with their Bible than grab you and hug you, then this is for you. If only for this one moment out of all the moments in your whole life, would you please take just a second to consider what I have to say?

There is a God who loves you...not in theory, as some abstract thing out there...but as a living person loving you. He knew who you were before he even created the world and he knew every shady, crappy thing that you would ever do...and he loved you anyways. He loved you so much that the thought of you spending eternity away from him was too much for him to bear, and so he came to be the sacrifice for your sin that you could never afford. It's paid for! All you have to do is ask for it.

The thing about Jesus is...he's such a gentleman that he will never force himself into your life...he gives us free will and lets us make whatever decision we want. So he sits there waiting and hoping that someday...oh someday! Someday maybe you'll ask him in! This is about a relationship...not rules. Whoever tells you it's about a bunch of legalistic rules is off the mark. Once you have the relationship, there might be some things you want to change, but it's never about the rules. It's about the LOVE. He loves you. Period. And he wants you to love him too.

If you're unsure about it, that's ok. Talk to him and tell him that...he already knows anyways. If you're mad at him...tell him that, because he already knows that too. All praying is is talking to him. Tell him you want to know him, but are unsure...or are hurt and angry. Ask him to change it and show you the truth...because he will. Don't you want that anger to soften? Don't you want to know for sure? In your heart of hearts you know that you do...even if you never admit it out loud.

He loves you today, and so do I. God bless every single one of you this Christmas...may the reality of what this holiday is really about sink into your heart and may you never be the same after today. :)

~Merry Christmas~


My Corkia

Ok, I've gotta get over this! *tear, sniff* My baby is about to turn SIXTEEN! (I couldn't figure out if I should put a smiley face or a sad face after that, so I guess I'll leave it blank.) Well, she's not my baby--she's my first baby. She's been the source of many a blog, many pains in my butt and alot of laughter...and she's becoming a woman. *more tears, more sniffs* Man the cliche's flying through my mind! "time flies", "they grow so fast".... all that stuff you hear and roll your eyes at until it's standing there smacking you in the face with a calendar screaming, "fool wake up!" Time has flown and she has grown so fast.

I was planning on blogging on her tonight, but for a different reason that I'll get to in a little bit. When looking through her pictures I was looking through the critical mom eye and thinking things like "girl, you need to put those boobies away for real! Oh, you're getting grounded for that one!"--then one of them just reached up and grabbed me. I'm talking instant tears. Total visceral reaction. Oh my God...she's almost grown. She's almost grown. She's almost grown. For all intents and purposes, she is grown. This is most definitely an "extra grace needed" moment.

She's been babysitting lately. I've always had my excuses (I could always come up with something) as to why I wouldn't let her do this earlier, but I have to admit what the whole world already knew...I have (in ways, at least) been so over-protective of her, wanting to hold her tight in my hand and fight her tooth-and-nail for every inch of freedom and independence she gets. Truth is, these kids are my life. I never thought there was any truth to that before, but actually it's complete truth. No matter what else or who else I had going on in my life, these four little ones have been the only earthly things keeping me grounded and alive. They have kept me working when I felt like sleeping, they have kept me from committing suicide when I was that low, and it was because of them....because of her that I finally got out of the worst relationship of my life (too late unfortunately).

As much as I love silence now, what will I actually do when my house is quiet for good? As I'm writing this, my three little women are in the kitchen baking Christmas cookies...without me. They've taken what I've taught them over the years and they're applying it. They don't need me. That's something to be proud of, for sure...but oh God how it breaks my heart! I'm hiding in my office so they don't see me crying because I never want to hinder their independence or let them know that I'm anything but proud of them for moments like this...but the searing reality of it is that if feels like my heart is being wrenched from my chest with the heavy thought of in a few short years one of them leaving. Then another. Then another. Then another. What will I do then? Who will I be? I know that life goes on, I should be proud, blah blah blah...I know, I know. I've comforted many people with those same lines before...but those weren't my kids leaving. I get it now.

Have I done enough? Have I taught them well enough? Will they stay in church? Will they remain chaste, finish college, build good credit? Only time will tell I suppose, but today was a really good lesson for my Corky. I thought I was going to have to go into work late and cleared that with my boss, then found out Scott was supposed to come home tonight so I had to call off work so I could go get him. Turns out he probably won't get out until tomorrow and so at first I was regretting the whole calling off thing. I already know I'm going to get written up for it, but as it turns out I wouldn't trade it for the world--I'd do it all over again.

Like I was saying earlier, Courtney has been babysitting lately and being the generous soul she has always been she has been burning with desire to go Christmas shopping and spend her money on everyone but herself. At first I was irritated and wishing she would just let me freakin' relax for one night but soon became grateful for the huge lesson I was about to observe.

First of all, let me explain that I've always had my kids do some errand running...not necessarily out of laziness on my part (well ok, sometimes it is...but not always! lol), but more out of teaching them how to go do things and not be afraid. When I became an adult I was afraid of EVERYTHING. I usually hid it well, but I tended to stay in my house all the time, or not want to speak in public, etc. I was afraid of everything that I didn't know well because I never wanted to look stupid or have to ask a question. So I tend to give them a list in the grocery store parking lot and say "now go get it." I don't want them to live their lives in fear--I want them to grab life by the reins and ride it for all they can get out of it.

Anyways... secretly biting my nails, I dropped Courtney off at the mall with her two little sisters to buy my Christmas gift and managed to repeat "please watch them close! And hold their hands!" about twenty times before they got out of the car. I thought it was kind of amusing that the look of glee and excitement on Courtney's face had totally changed upon exiting the store! haha She's so much like me it cracks me up! She can't hide what she's thinking or feeling for the life of her...no such thing as a poker face in this family! lol So she opens the car door, brow furrowed and exclaims, "MAN! HOW THE HECK DOES MONEY GO SO STUPID FAST??? WHAT'S THE SENSE IN WORKING SO MUCH WHEN YOU'RE BROKE BY THE END OF THE DAY ANYWAYS??? IT'S SO FREAKIN' STUPID!!! UGGGHHHH!!!!"

I felt bad, but couldn't help laughing at her which ticked her off even more. lol So I say, "so what did you get me???" And she growls, "NOTHING! I was broke by the time I bought everyone else's gifts!"

"Oh, I see how you are! Buy the whole world a gift except for the one person who is driving you all over God's green earth and actually gave BIRTH to you!"

"I didn't know I was going to be broke so fast! And quit worrying, I still have SOME set back that I planned on saving." She spit out with tears in her eyes. I comforted her by reminding her that I was only kidding and that she didn't have to get me anything...I appreciated the thought and all the hard work she's been doing. Then I go on teasing her by asking her where she's taking us out to eat. :) I tell her that my gift can be her running into the hospital for me and getting our free turkey...out of wanting to teach her independence, of course! (ok, total lie...this one was complete laziness!) She comes bounding out of the hospital swinging that turkey by the rope handle ready to knock someone down and I can see that she's still disappointed and ticked off about the money. So I tease her some more and remind her that I'm hungry and want her to take me out to eat.HAHAHA Yeah, I crack myself up! *snicker, snort* :)

Then my little girl went above and beyond and although she was still battling with the pouty attitude she asked if I could stop at the grocery store for her and when she came out she had bought supplies to help the girls make Christmas cookies tonight. Yep...first sign of laughter turning into "awww!" tears. Then she says, "what did you want to eat mom?". As I remind her that I was only kidding with her, that I was going to cook dinner when we got home, she insisted that we stop at Dairy Queen so that she could get everyone some food. At first I kind of argued with her about it telling her that she did not need to spend her money on this, that I was just kidding and we didin't need anything...but she wouldn't hear it. She then asks the girls what kind of blizzard they want for dessert! I remind her that if she thinks her money went fast in the mall, her head's gonna spin after this! I tell her that I just bought ice cream at home and her response was, "yeah, well that's not dairy queen! These girls have been so good and patient...they need a reward." And she proceeded to buy everyone dinner and dessert.

I took this opportunity to talk to her at length about money and finances...and still ribbed her alot about it, throwing in things like "are you sure you don't want to go anywhere else? You wanna stop and fill up my gas tank too money bags?" lol She wasn't amused. I reminded her that she has to keep a good attitude, because if she pouts about this kind of stuff it negates all of the good intention and blessing that she's trying to put out there. Then I tell her just how proud I am of her and how happy she makes me. I then exlaim, "I'M SOOOOO BLOGGING ABOUT YOU TONIGHT!!!" :)

Her response was, "AS LONG AS I DON'T HAVE TO PAY FOR IT." heehee

As much trouble as she has had here and there, she really is such a good girl. All of my girls are, but she was my guinea pig! lol She was the test batch....and she's turning out pretty darned good. I'm so proud of her and am so happy that she is who she is. I love her so much and have reminded her countless times over the years that she is the one that God chose to make me a mom....that's a special thing and she will always have a special place in my soul.

Happy sweet....strike that, make it sassy sixteen my Courtney "Corky Corkia"..... I love you to the moon and back ( a couple of times!). May you live a long, happy, peaceful, prosperous life full of wonderful (but not too harsh) lessons and opportunities. You make me smile...even when I don't want to. You are beautiful inside and out (you better thank your lucky sauce you took after me!!! lol) and you have God's fingerprints all over you.

Be sweet, make good decisions, moisturize twice a day and don't forget to floss. Never buy a boy a gift before he buys you one and pray as often as you can...constantly actually. Don't be afraid to put color on your walls and always pay your bills on time...it keeps your credit good and gives you a good testimony. Always befriend the person who is new or being made fun of. Don't automatically fall for the "hot" guy...he'll probably be the fastest to break your heart. Don't over-do your eyeliner, don't over-pluck your eyebrows and wash your hands as often as possible. Never pass the sink without taking a drink, wipe front to back and stay away from tartar-control toothpaste (you know it splits the corners of your mouth open). Stay OUT of that freakin' tanning bed...no SERIOUSLY...stay out of it! Smile as much as you can....with your eyes and not just your mouth. Stay sweet, but stay sassy. Never be with a boy who doesn't appreciate your sense of humor and never forget where you came from. You come from some strong women honey...if you get knocked down, you get right back up! If you need help, ask for it and make sure to forgive. Don't forget, but do forgive.

I love you my sweetie girl.

~Mom xoxoxo


4 fireme-en, 3 paramedics, 2 police officers and a guy that they call fire chief.......

I guess that title is our family anthem right now. It's our version of the 12 days of Christmas aka the days of life with Scott.

I came out to ask Scott to be quiet because he was (as usual) manic and still up at 3 in the morning. To my surprise, he wasn't drilling on anything...he had been sneezing. lol So, I said "God bless you" and went back to bed. An hour later the bedroom door flies open and he comes flying in, startling me awake. I say "What are you doing?"

"I found their power supply..." *very slurred, almost incoherent speech* Then he starts litterally trying to pull the closet door apart....pulling and wrenching at all the wood trying to bust the door apart.

"What the hell are you doing???" *more angry now and jumping out of bed*

"I'm getting at their power supply" *he stops and shines a flashlight into the closet and moves his head trying to peer around God-only-know-what he's seeing in his mind.

"What medication have you taken?"

"What are you talking about???" *incoherent*

I go into the office and look for his pill boxes (that we just filled and set out). They're empty, having been dumped out on his desk and only a few various pills are left scattered on the desk....and several pills that I can't identify. I ask him several times what pills those are and he stumbles around pretending to look in imaginary places that only he can see. I finally give up on him and grap all of his pill bottles and the containers and head to the bedroom. I lock the door behind me just in case.

Needless to say he was way too stoned on what overdose he took to think about bothering me...he could barely handle himself and whatever imaginary world he was in. I sat on the bed and the pill containers that had been full for the week were now totally empty. I had a couple of pills that were laying on the desk (like I said...several of them that I don't recognize). I start filling back up the slots to see what we have and almost everything's gone. EVERYTHING. Even brand new scripts that we just got were 3/4 gone.

I go back out to check on him and he's leaning on the counter with his head hung...I'm wondering if he's sleeping but I can hear him still talking to himself. I then hear water running and look in the bathroom and he had left the sink running and it was overflowing. So I clean that up and go call the Nord Center's crisis line. They take all of the information and tell me to ask him if it would be ok to go get checked out medically (yeah right). So I do and he mumbles "I guess so." So I have to hang up and call 911....something I'm really freakin tired of having to do....this is ridiculous! But I digress...I tell them what happened and what the Nord Center said and after asking me basic questions they ask me things like "is he breathing?" I respond "well, for now anyways...he's pretty far gone and I don't know what he took or how much."

By this time they have me on a 3-way call between the ambulance and the police station. The officer asks me name, I tell her and she says......"ooooooh. *cricket cricket* this is Scott." *DUM-DUM-DUMMMMMMM* (Cue the scary music). Yeah, I guess they know him now. So they decide to send their officers out here too....and the fire department. It was a big party....me in my robe with bed-head, 4 firemen, their fire chief, 3 (or more) paramedics, and a few cops...all in my dining room at 4:30 am. I'm trying to "shoosh" this crowd with not much luck because I can only imagine how scared my kids would be walking out into this mess. I can only imagine what my neighbors think seeing (all with flashing lights on mind you!) a few cop cruisers, firetruck, police chiefs truck and an ambulance surrounding my house. *rolling eyes*

I'm trying to get Scott dressed like a baby because he can't even do that he's so looped. So about four of them held him up while he pretty much drug his feet out of the house trying to walk but unable to.

The hospital is supposed to call me when they know something. The one thing he was able to get out coherently was "you aren't coming with me?" I simply responded "No. I have a family to take care of Scott." And they took him away.

He looked so hurt by that, but I feel "too bad!" My life is going to QUIT stopping whenever he does something STUPID like this. He's sick, yes. But he has every capability and resource to manage it well and fankly, he should be EMBARRASSED to let people know that he's not managing himself well. I told him yesterday, "you don't want to make a name for yourself in these hospitals Scott....IT'S NOT NORMAL TO HAVE TO GO IN FOR PSYCH EVALUATION OVER AND OVER AND OVER. MANAGE YOURSELF!!! GET IT RIGHT!!! BE STABLE!!!!" He thinks I'm unsympathetic, and maybe he's right. I'm willing to stand with you and assist you as you take care of yourself, but I'm not going to coddle a co-dependent, lazy, won't-manage-himself grown-ass man! Handle your shit!!!! Unfortunately that's become one of my mantras lately.....HANDLE YOUR SHIT!!!

God might make the way, but faith is an action that requires MOTION. He heals someone and tells them to TAKE UP YOUR MAT AND WALK (action!), heals the blind and tells them to GO WASH THEIR EYES (action!). He never said to keep on laying there in the same sick position you've always been in and let other people cater to your lazy butt....no!!! HANDLE YOUR SHIT!!! (my words, not Jesus' obviously. lol)

So I sit here exhausted after the few hours of sleep that I got wondering once again what to do now. I'm praying that they keep him for a while. I really don't even care if he misses Christmas...that's really ok with me. I need the peace here and the angst gone. COME WELL OR DON'T COME AT ALL. (my other mantra).



Eyes upward!

It never fails to humble and amaze me when I see God move others to perform random acts of kindness and charity. On this fifth anniversary of the day that my ex-husband was arrested for hurting my child (and whole family) I was reminded in an amazing way that God still loves me and provides for me. Just as he did five years ago, he used all the people around me to help me when I needed it most. Let me share....

It's no secret that money has been tight lately. Much tighter than normal, actually. Last month when all the "stuff" was going on here in our lives I had to call off several times from work (for various reasons). At the time I just shrugged my shoulders in acceptance and muttered a simple "ok Lord, you've gotta provide" kind of prayer. Since then the belt has squeezed tighter and tighter and I've been starting to pray harder and harder.

Today I got irritated with Scott because he had taken $40.00 out of the bank to go buy a few very basic groceries...because we had NOTHING. No joke. Old mother Hubbard had nothing on me honey! lol I snapped at him that now everything was going to bounce in the checking account and he snapped at me asking what did I expect him to do then because we had NO food. I knew he was right and I wasn't really snapping at him because he did wrong, but out of stress and exasperation.

On the way to work I was praying about it, and while I never doubt God (because we have never starved before!) I still knew that it was getting to "that" point...we needed help! So I was praying and asking God to please help us and saying that I knew he would...he promised that he would...and he always has before. The thought had crossed my mind of how nice it would be to find money laying around somewhere, then I felt guilty because that meant someone else would have to lose it for me to find it. I thought GREAT!! Now I have GUILT for a hypothetical finding of money!! LOL So I kept praying and was saying something along the lines of how I didn't want anyone else to suffer by losing any money for me to find, but I knew God was capable of dropping it right there on the ground for me to find. PLEASE LORD, JUST DROP SOME IN THE PARKING LOT...I PROMISE I'LL FIND IT AND LOOK FOR IT. Ok, I recognize how crazy that sounds...but if you've ever been bordering on desperate I'm sure you get it.

So I get out of my car at the hospital and with full faith I just KNOW that there will be some money laying there for me. God KNOWS that I need it! I walk towards the building while looking between every single car and in every single snow bank for money laying around...don't you know there was none?

So I walk into the building chastising myself for being so ridiculous and stupid that I would honestly believe God woul just put money there for me to find and I go about my shift.

About half-way through my shift my phone rings. Our secretary is on the other end and in a serious tone of voice says "I need you to come back to 2 south right away." Ok, that was weird...it must be really serious. I just say "I'll be right there", and I literally run up the stairs and book it towards my floor. I arrive totally short of breath and see her just sitting there. I yell down the hall "what's going on??? is everything ok???" She just smiles at me.

As I approach the desk, she holds an envelope up for me that has my name on it. It's obvious that I'm confused so she says, "every year our unit chooses someone to sponsor for the holidays and this year we chose you." Even now my eyes are burning hot with tears and my chin is quivering thinking about it. Before she can even get the words out I burst into tears and run around the desk and throw myself on her sobbing. I start gushing about how much this was needed and appreciated...she has no idea, blah blah blah. I sit down and keep crying--it's near impossible to compose myself as I'm deep into the heavy cry by now.

Here it was....my miracle. She said, "WELL AREN'T YOU GOING TO OPEN IT???" And I just laid my hand on top of it and shook my head "no" while continuing to cry. I said, "I don't have to. I know it's whatever I need." *Cue even heavier crying* By this point she's crying with me and says, "come on...open it." So I do and there's a $100.00 gift card to Giant Eagle (our local grocery store) and a $100.00 gift card to Kohls (a local department store). This group of seven or eight women had pulled together to bless my family for no reason at all other than because I am. I didn't have to earn it, beg for it, steal it...just because God moved on their hearts to bless me.

The whole time I sat there bawling all I could think of how I was hearing Gods voice in my head telling me that I was his child.....and I don't have to look in the gutter to find his help. I tend to think so little of myself and think I'm so undeserving that all I deserve is to scrape something out of the gutter and be grateful for it. But because of Christ...and only because of Christ...I am a child of the king. I have been adopted into the family and I am entitled to provision, protection and inheritance. Then God made me laugh because I heard him say, "and you don't have to look in the snow, girl! This is 2007...we have gift cards now!" lol Our God truly is an awesome God...and he is seldom early, but he is never late.

A new friend of mine had left a comment on one of my previous blogs today and she ended her comment with "Eyes upward!". My heart immediately sang in agreement and I thought that's right. Stop search every gutter for your blessing....EYES UPWARD!


An hour to live

Sitting here watching a recorded Oprah show with Allison & Shawnda it struck me when her guests were all talking about all that anyone really wants in this life is to feel heard and appreciated. At the end of our lives it's not the money, houses or anything else that matter--it's the people stuff. Last week in church my pastor said, "simply put, your life is the sum-total of your relationships." How true that is.

Alot of self-examination over the years and especially lately has reminded me that my relationships--overall--SUCK. I have a few close friends (my babes) that are loyal, caring and awesome friends, and my kids are wonderful...other than that, fuggedabout it! The truth of the matter is that I tend to be too accepting, I give myself away way too easily and I'm too forgiving (to a fault). Loyalty is my best--and my worst--assett. Unfortunately, the other ugly fact of the matter is that all my wonderful qualities are so seldom appreciated--or even noticed by the people in my life. As Oprah said, all I want is to be noticed, heard and appreciated.

I've held out hope after hope after hope that this will happen with certain people in my life--mainly my husband--and it never does. The saddest thing is that he thinks he's the best at doing this, but he's probably on the short-list of being the worst at it that I've ever met. I was so jealous of a woman I heard on tv that was talking about her husband who had died, and she said that she missed talking to him the most out of anything. She said that they used to talk for hours every morning about life and everything else and he was so interested in what she had to say. I asked myself, being someone who has so much to say and so many ideas, thoughts, insights and opinions...how did I pick someone to be my life partner who 1) doesn't converse 2) especially doesn't converse with ME 3) doesn't see who I am 4) could care less about finding out who I am 5) doesn't appreciate the fact that he would have pretty much no life at all if it weren't for me....etc, etc, etc.

It really saddens me that I feel that I get nothing from this relationship that I couldn't pay someone to provide for me. I can pay someone to cook sometimes, I can pay someone to do some occassional maintenance, I can pay someone to keep an eye on the kids three times a week when I go to work, etc. Anything substantial that I want and/or need from a life partner I don't get even a little bit. Communication...no. Physical affection...not much. Provision...not even a little bit. Understanding...doesn't even try. Leadership....yeah, right. Everything he promised me in the beginning was a sham. Every way that he represented himself to be was a lie. He doesn't see it...I don't even think he's capable of seeing it.

Normally I would never post a blog like this publicly, but truthfully I think only an act of God will make him see it because he could care less what I have to say. He just doesn't care.... so niether do I right now. Maybe him knowing that the world knows how he really is will convince him he needs to do better...but it will probably just give him another reason to say everything is my fault.

Today I drove from Cleveland to Dayton, which is normally a 3 1/2 hour trip. It ended up being a major blizzard on the way there, took us SIX AND A HALF and we saw 22..count them! 22 accidents on the way here. It was only by God's grace that we got here ok...no joke. Scott decided at the last minute that he "didn't feel like going" and let me drive through this crap by myself with all the kids...and didn't even call to check on us until after four hours (when as far as he knew I should have already been there). When Courtney told him I couldn't talk because I was driving through a blizzard...HE NEVER CALLED BACK TO CHECK ON US. AT ALL. That was the last straw...I was hurt, abandoned and PISSED. That showed me once and for all that if he's not facing getting something out of the situation he could care less about it. There's not a sacrificial bone in his body and he could care less what happened to us. When I said all of this to him, he denied it of course...but the die was cast. I know it, I feel it and I am closing down. It's been little by little lately, but today did it--I can feel the countdown has started.

I really hope that he does something drastic and fast to cancel the countdown, because all I know is that I don't want to live like this. What I want is to be heard, appreciated...desired. Hell, I'd even settle for him USING my body once and a while! lol Dang, just do something!!! I'm tired and lonely. Watching that Oprah show tonight and being asked the question, "what would you do if you knew you only had an hour to live?" made me think. Would I want to spend it with my husband? I don't know...I don't think he'd miss me anyways. And that's sad. Really, really sad. I hope something changes...and it's been declared publicly now. Let's see what he does with it.


Litter bearer

Church was so good today. Exactly what I needed and then some! Scott didn't go--he was sick, of course. *rolling eyes* I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt and then I'm going to start kicking butt if it keeps happening. But anyways....

I felt through the whole service that it was a word JUST FOR ME....you know how that goes. But seriously, this was directly for me and it confirmed it when the pastor said something really powerful and stopped and said "And that is a special word for someone in this audience because I didn't say that to either of the other services...only here. So that it for someone where God is working in special areas in your life right now...he's speaking to you and you know who you are." Yep, I knew who I was.

The service started out after the praise music by one of the pastors coming up and talking very movingly about how he knows some of the people there have been in a battle for their lives lately and for the lives of their loved ones. AMEN TO THAT! He went on to talk about how important our job in the battle is. It's our JOB as fellow christians and family members to fight the battle and take care of the wounded. When you are in battle that strong NOTHING else matters except for saving the life of the wounded one. Time stops, money doesn't matter, food, shopping, none of it...only saving the life of the person that is under attack by the enemy. Then he said "Christians you need to stay STRONG! I can feel that someone in here has been going through this exact thing and you've literally been battling hell and demons for the life of your loved one! DON'T GET WEARY because the battle isn't over yet...but as long as God as SOMETHING to work with, he'll bring your miracle! He worked with the fish and the loaves and took care of every need...because he had SOMETHING to work with. You don't have to be perfect or even strong all the time...you just have to be able to give him something...your fait, your devotion, your willingness, your prayers...because the power isn't in the prayer--it's in the one who hears it!

By this point I was sobbing and in tears don't you know? lol All that kept crossing my mind through this whole sermon was the reserch I've been doing for one of my books lately on wwii medics. I've read story after story of the brave, strong medics being sent onto the battlefield over and over...not because they needed fixed, but because there was a fellow soldier out there who did. The leader sent them into battle to help the sick and wounded. They couldn't fix them...they could give them some medicine...then they had to help carry the wounded to the one who COULD fix them. The stretchers were called "litters" and the medics that carried them were called "litter bearers".

Hearing this and thinking about my home situation I kept being reminded the parrallels. God has placed me as a litter bearer so many times in my life! I'm tired Lord! lol But right now it's my job. I didn't pick it, it was appointed to me. My job is to see that man sick and under attack and help him get to where he can't get himself....to help and healing. I have to have faith enough for my entire family right now.

Thinking about all of this I was reminded of some pretty harsh things a friend of mine said to me the other night. I felt like I got spiritually sucker-punched by her. I respect her and love her, but know that she doesn't spend any time at all with me to know my home life or my personality very well. She ambushed me in the hallway at work and told me that she felt she was friend enough to tell me that I need to look at the fruit in my life and see that there isn't any and so obviously what I'm doing isn't working, because if I had any power in my life I wouldn't have this attack on my house and I would be able to speak in tongues. LOL yeah! I was so insulted thinking that she doesn't know anything about me, plus Allison reminded me that I DO have fruit in my life and that God sends these tests to refine us for HIS good. And that it says that he prunes those that he loves so that he can bear even more fruit.

I've been praying pretty hard about it and asking God if there was any truth to it, etc...and I've just been reminded over and over that I'm in battle right now...and I'm obediently doing what I should be doing. That's good enough for me! If God wants me to move, he'll tell me.

This blog didn't turn out to be anything like what I planned for it to be...but it's 4 in the morning and I'm tired and don't even know if any of this makes sense! lol So I'm calling it a night and going to bed. I love you all and appreciate you all too. My hearts desire is to touch, inspire and move as many people in my life towards Christ as I possibly can. As long as I'm still moving in that direction every day then I'm ok with myself. God rewards obedience...and I'm trying to do my best even when my flesh argues with me. That's about all I can do day after day.
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