Sunday, November 1, 2015

Nanowrimo Day 1

Progressing along...
When land was no longer in sight, she threw down the anchor and penned these words:

The vast, great sea. My companions and me.

Away from "all them". Watching 3 dolphins swim.

God's greatest creation! A sea-life formation!

So thankful to visit, a place so exquisite.

Careful not to intrude, silently subdued.

Respecting the ocean, her boat rocked in slow-motion.

Nanowrimo Begins!

Enjoying Nanowrimo so far!!! Here's a sample from my first chapter:

Piper chose to live a life with her only invested relationship being with Jesus. Right or wrong,  she knew the consequences, and willingly accepted them. She had no firm foundation to build from since her primary relationship in her formative years. Dysfunction was all she had known, and at this point in her life, she was done with pain and suffering. She only needs Jesus.

Sunday morning, Piper was secretly glad it was raining as she had a valid reason not to attend church today. She thankfully has been blessed to have the opportunity to spend her days writing,  and today she is starting writing on her latest book. Piper couldn't comfortably read fictional materials, or even watch movies, without feeling guilty for 'wasting her time'. Rather, her career as a psychotherapist included writing for psychology journals and technical papers based on research. Major life changes motivated Piper to give herself a break, and put her creative self in charge. For the next month, she would allow her imagination to flow on paper as she savored living on a boat with her cat and dog.

Nanowrimo 2015

And I'm off... having no idea where this is going. Nanowrimo - 113 words down, 49, 887 remaining.  Starting from scratch.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Faith and Football

I'm wondering how Jesus sees us Christians who cause people to turn from Him. I'm in no way comparing Jesus to FSU. But I do see how life applies to my faith. FSU finally lost a football game, and you can feel it in the air. I woke up feeling like someone died. I love my Seminoles, and I get angry when people who didn't go to the school who beat us bad mouth us. If you went to Georgia Tech, congratulations. Otherwise, don't tease me about our loss. It reminds me of non invested people gloat when a Christian falls. They tend to mock Christianity, accusing the Body of Christ as hypocrisy. That's not cool. But when your heart is rooted in Someone, words hurt, yet with the Spirit's power, you pray and love the naysayers. After all, Jesus wins the Ultimate Championship, and I'm on His team.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Pure Love

Circumstances have challenged my belief that being fulfilled indepently is of the greatest of self-actualization levels. Being alone defies societal norms. Perhaps many people avoid independent status because they can't get past the pressures of being part of a couple. Despite my high education level, I continue to get that pitiful stare with, "... but not even a boyfriend?"

The patronizing assumptions stopped bothering me years ago. In fact, I take pride in my independence and savor my freedom. My mind, days, life doesn't include the necessity of considering anyone else. I thought I had reached the social pinnacle, until now.

As much courage as it takes to face life alone, the true challenge is living a self-determined quality of life while welcoming another person unconditionally. Life gets messy. Jealousy, insecurity, compromising, forgiveness, understanding, stability become necessary, consistent  ingredients. To allow someone in your heart takes the utmost vulnerability.  Initially, for a long duration, I fought it.

I lost.

My walls have been broken, tests all passed, and I've surrendered. He's so precious, I haven't shared details about him with anyone. I love him like I've never thought possible. Never could I considered promising to stay by someone until death occurs... until now.

Words are insignificant. Nothing can describe the level I've achieved. It's forever. With him, it's forever. I love him. I trust him. He adds vibrance to my life. He makes me laugh, smile, think, excel, and live.

Without hesitation, I vow to be his... 'til death due us part.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Choosing Quality of Life

The option to choose... that is the secret to a quality of life. Once you become able to support yourself, your life is what you make it. Don't blame your past (parents, upbringing, socioeconomic status), don't blame your present situation/circumstances... your life is determined by you, and you alone. It is that simple.

I'll share a few personal examples how I went from a poverty stricken, homeless victim of several sexual abusers, most of them admittedly my fault because as a flawed, crippled, worthless child who was constant reminded what a burden she was... that was all I knew. My childhood formed my identity. I believed I was lucky to be fed, clothed, talked to, never mind loved. I lived by beliefs such as Jesus would punish me if I messed up, I owed my life to my mother for keeping me from an institution, whoever did me a favor, I was forever indebted to them... and the preferred commerce, even at 8 years old, was sex. That was all I was good for.

Thirty years later, I still lived by these beliefs, except one major change: my personal relationship with Jesus. Faith. Faith changed my life.

Suddenly, I wasn't willing to be a whore anymore. When told my heat would only be fixed if I performed oral sex, and I had no where to go in the 20 degree weather, I prayed. God told me exchanging sex for services wasn't what he wanted for me. He wouldn't tell me where to go or what to do, but I knew the story of Abraham in Genesis who moved when instructed by the Lord.

So I moved into my car with my cat, refusing to use sex as commerce. Life was hard for months and years after, but I walked by faith.

Four years have passed. My beliefs have changed. My body is God's temple- it is sacred. It is not mine. No one touches it or abuses it any more.

I'm a child of God. People who are burdened by me or don't have time for me are still loved and forgiven by me, but my energy goes toward those who respect me and actively love me. Relatives are merely blood-connected; family is unconditional love connected.

And once you make Jesus Lord of your life, He takes care of you. There is no need to worry. Stay near to Jesus, and He will show you where to go. Just like watching a rivalry football game, it's best not to watch... don't get upset at the details. Don't waste your time or energy. Give it to God. Give problems to God. Don't worry while waiting for the final score. Use that time praising Him, helping others.

My life is the best it has ever been. My childhood never changed. The history of sexual abuse is still there. But because my faith has changed, God has given me a life better than I ever dreamed.

The secret to a self-determined quality of life is to take control and make decisions. My decision was to make Jesus Lord of my life. And I'm eternally grateful.

Friday, October 16, 2015

My First Love

I found a photo from 2 years ago, my ex-boyfriend, Jeff. So much has changed...life is funny. We discussed living together (I refuse to marry), it would've solved all my financial problems. He wanted me to stay home and write. He tried. He really tried. Started reading the Bible for me. But I couldn't give up my dependence on Jesus. I resented the time our dates stole from my quiet time. He spoiled me. Swept me away to Longboat Key for my birthday weekend, where he took me to expensive restaurants, bought me clothes, my beloved Sperry's... romantic walks on an isolated beach... but it wasn't enough. I guess I'm too nonconforming... I only wanted my Jesus. The way I met Jeff was like a dream... bonfire...cold night...mutual friends, yet strangers... he asked me to dance... Sting was singing "When We Dance"... everybody faded into a fog. I was smitten. Two hours passed with us slow dancing, every so often, friends would say romance was in the air... we ignored them. Fourteen months later, I moved to Tallahassee. He has visited me a couple times, I've gone to visit him... but I went back to my First Love - Jesus, and never looked back. (from autobiography manuscript).

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Desires of Our Hearts

I'm newly a fan of Gabriel Byrne . I recently discovered his acting, and he is a brilliant man.

Why am I writing about this? Because I found a healthy escape instead of spiraling down into the pit of self-destruction.

Everyone has ways to escape life's realities, when you cannot take any more stress. Since childhood, writing has been my escape. I've been gifted with a creative imagination, in fact, it's been a main survival tool.

Being a writer can be solace for my mental health. When my muse is flowing, there's a vivid fantasy land going on inside my head. My dream is to live on a boat, alone with my cat and golden retriever, on the ocean away from civilization. I've lived alone since I was 22 and have had to fight staying in my home all day. Writing, reading, praying, Bible study... those are my daily needs.

As a therapist AND as a member of God's family, I know how isolating is frowned upon. I get sick of hearing about the need to get out, socialize, blah, blah, blah. Leave me alone with the ponders in my head!

Recently, my health has declined significantly as I experience middle age. I fall a lot, can't control my bowels, have severe panic attacks, etc. After much prayer, I believe God is telling me it's okay to isolate, to live like a Baptist nun, on one condition: I share His love with others.

He has blessed me with an insatiable thirst for His Word, along with an understanding of how to apply Scripture to life today. The more quiet time I spend with Him, the more writing I share from His insights, the less time I have to go out.

Last year, he moved me away from my childhood home. I started over in my college city, joined a new church, made new friends, and have a whole wonderful life! I still cannot grasp THIS IS REAL. I'M A FULL TIME WRITER. I no longer have guilt for being a hermit.

The funny thing is, my church and friends support me for who I am instead of pressuring me to "get out more". Even the writer's group I joined tell me come to meetings whenever I want. We keep in touch on Facebook.

So today I am working on my Christian Fiction manuscript where Gabriel Byrne is the protagonist. Basically, I'm daydreaming about being in private practice, using my expertise in psychology as research, advocating for disabilities... in Nantucket... I'm working. Alone.

Life is better than I've ever dreamed or imagined. I truly never wanted to marry or have kids. My heart's desire has been being like Emily Dickinson - a reclusive writer. God has given me the desires of my heart... and so much more.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

God's Timing

My ceiling has been leaking so I had to put my clothes in a pile after I became homeless 5 yrs ago. I lost all my furniture. They fixed my ceiling yesterday, and I just got a text someone found me a dresser!!! THAT IS GOD, NO COINCIDENCE - GOD!!!! All glory to God!

I can't believe how great God is! For my new old friends, I lived out of my car in 2011 and LOST EVERYTHING I had worked so hard to get... praise God, I have everything I need. I have Jesus!

Most of the stuff I have my ex boyfriend bought me, futon, bed, clothes. But he wasn't a Christian... so God took over as my provider, Jehovah-Jireh. The 2nd time in my life a man wanted to take care of all my needs. The second time in my life I broke up and trusted My Great Provider.

Sooooooo happy! I still thank God for a bed and shelter with heat every day. Homelessness puts things into perspective, including friends who love unconditionally. THANK YOU, LORD, FOR MY LIFE IN TALLAHASSEE...

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Faith and Football

Florida State is the niche I searched for my entire childhood. Intellectual discussions, research, actively living to make the world a better place, no segregation, no racism... a commonality of thinking for oneself and always bettering oneself. When I attended FSU, for the first time ever, I felt like I fit in... I had found the family I never had.

As soon as I could, I moved back to my beloved Tallahassee. They say you can't go home.  They are wrong. I AM home.

Last night, my school played in one of our state rivalries. I usually watch on TV while working on a manuscript. Last night was different. I am passionate about my alumnus and the team we were playing ALWAYS bullies my team. When you dedicate so much of yourself to a school, you are loyal to anything related to the university.

I've learned my triggers. Last night, I didn't watch because I knew details would enrage me. I've learned to let God take control in ALL areas of my life, even college football. It's more than a game. It's loyalty.  Details about triggers  upset me for days after, in addition to having less than love for the opponents. This goes for my future, my career, my everyday life... whatever I'm passionate about... I knew watching the game would trigger me. Not watching, not wanting to know play by play, is not the healthiest use of my time.

The game started at 8pm... I stayed away from all updates. At midnight, I woke up and checked the score. Game over. No yelling at TV, no spike in blood pressure... it was taken care of without my involvement.

This is an example of how I've changed the past few years. I practice active faith, leave details to God,  and find ways to personally glorify God. I trust Him. He has never let me down before. Things don't always go my way. My team doesn't always win. But that's alright. With Jesus, I'm on the victory team.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Peace and Light for Believers

Meditating on "peace"- reading 1 Thessalonians 5:3, which says "while people are saying,  "Peace and safety,' destruction will come on them suddenly..." - scary. Verses like this are why we must read scripture in context of where it appears in the Word. Skeptics use examples like this to claim the Bible contradicts itself, which it does not. Here Paul is speaking of those living in the darkness. Christians are children of the light. (as verse 5 continues).

2 Corinthians 4:4 says "the god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers,  so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ..."

Praise God once we make Him Lord of our lives, He opens our eyes to the Light, which is Christ!

Living in the Light gives us genuine peace.

*excerpt from upcoming devotional, "Falling Into Grace".

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Habakkuk 3:19

Habakkuk 3:19- "The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,  he enables me to tread on the heights."

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Deflating

Maybe it's depression.
Lethargic succession.
Not feeling despair
A true blessing there!

Exhausted and tired.
Isolation desired.
Leave me alone,
Accept and condone.

Give me space and time.
I'm losing my mind.
Don't mean to offend,
Merely need time to mend.

Great Article for the Lost

God Help Me http://www.allaboutgod.com/god-help-me.htm (Share from CM Browser)

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

July Manuscript

July is done. A verse a day leading to a yearly devotional. A verse per day that the Holy Spirit gives me, then a brief synopsis of how to apply it to your life, with related Scripture. Example - I believed I was supposed to witness to a person who was leading me into temptation, my Sunday School class told me stay away from that person. God gave me a Proverb how a way seems right to man, but in the end, leads to death. So I wrote about the importance of meeting together in Christian fellowship, Godly counsel, flee from temptation, all with related Scripture versus. The devotional should be published in Spring 2017.


Saturday, July 18, 2015

Poem - Enemy Knocking on my Door

The enemy's knocking at my door
Asking me if I want some more
Just as I try to turn away
He reminds me of games we use to play.
My demon depression suddenly appears,
Welcoming the enemy I've fought for years.
Darkening my heart, telling me lies-
The master of sin... smiles in disquise.
Old wounds burst open, bitterness grows,
My weakness strengthens - he sees, he knows.
Needing my God to settle the score,
The enemy's knocking at my door.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Rebel Flag

Me versus my relatives and childhood friends- this flag thing will be something we agree to disagree about. We all grew up with Rebel flags. I just have 2 things to say. 1. Jesus said if something like food causes others to stumble, don't eat it. 2. Symbolism. - a cross means different things to different people. Atheist wear crosses because they mean something different to them 3.*I'm adding one. If you judge someone by skin color, I am now retarded to you. You can't generalize and group people.

 It's not even worth getting upset about. Believe what you want. Live like you want. Value and judge what you want. We live in a fallen world.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

What Truly Matters

Forcing myself to sit and write without any set agenda except to write. My purpose is to write. I am a writer. I am writing.

"Since you died with Christ to the elemental spiritual forces of this world, why, as though you still belonged to this world, do you submit to its rules: Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch"?  - Colossians 2:20,21.

Life changes when you become a Christian. Since college, on my day planner, I daily write "WHAT TRULY MATTERS?" as a reminder life is precious. I'm especially realizing this as I reread my old journals and find I recorded stupid stuff like what my crush wore to school each day. Or some kid laughed when I fell. Thirty years later, who cares? What will happen today that seems so devastating to you, yet in 6 months, you won't even remember it? Do you watch the latest episode of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills? Or do you make a handmade card for your dear friend with cancer? Do you stay in bed, wallowing in bitterness? Or do you force yourself to write articles on ways God has blessed you?

What truly matters? Live on purpose. Find your passions and live them.

How do you want to be remembered? Let me share my list with you:
* Jesus is real to me. I feel Him in my presence. I have never questioned His existence. I believe all the hardships that happen in my life are signs He believes I will always follow Him. For those familiar with Job, I believe God has given Satan permission to "mess with me" because God knows I am strong enough in my faith that I can face anything with Christ. I hope I am not letting Him down.
* I am a fighter. Yes, I have multiple limitations which hem me in, but I believe many of them are to keep me from temptation. When I was homeless, if I didn't have cerebral palsy, who knows what I would have done for money. But because I see CP as a strike against men's attractions to me, certain options are off the table. AT THE SAME TIME, God showed me I don't give myself enough credit when I refused to sell myself to have heat and a safe place to live. God instilled morals in me.
* I also want to be remembered as a someone who never took people's kindness for granted. So many people have helped me, loved me, kept me going on when they didn't have to. I always pray God will bless them beyond belief since I have no way to express my gratitude.
* And I want to be seen as someone who, while she needed a little help, she did all she could to make her own way without taking handouts. God has given me so many gifts to use to bless others, and I want to do just that.
*Finally, I want to be remembered as a writer - recluse who loves the ocean, away from crowds and worldly distractions. This, I admit, can be for selfish reasons. I'm an advocate to the core, and when I see people being unfairly treated, I have difficulty balancing my role without personalize the circumstances. Then that steals my peace and interferes greatly with my health.

That is my list to guide me in my day to day activities. I don't do things as the world does. I don't float passively in the lazy river of society. I have died to the flesh and live for Christ.

Remember that.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Agoraphobia

Some stole the last 2 years' registration stickers off my car tags. I called the tag office to tell them I mailed in a replacement form 2 weeks ago and never received a replacement. The lady said, “Why can't you just come in and get one?".

She really didn't want to know the answer to that. I told her "thank you" and left it at that.

I am not exaggerating when I say leaving my safe apartment freaks me out like I'm going out into war and someone is going to attack me from behind bushes. Agoraphobia rules my life. Sometimes I have PTSD, Crohns, and depression in addition to the Agoraphobia! I have bowel incontinence weekly. Sounds miserable, doesn't it?

It's not as long as I can stay home and read and write all day. I'm very happy - the happiest I've ever been!
But traumatic events have taught me your closest friends and family can betray you...seriously leaving you homeless and alone.

Since my incident, I have moved to my favorite city, joined a extraordinary new church, met some awesome people in a writer's group and am establishing a couple great friendships. I write from home and do my best to keep to myself. I'm much, much better.

I spend hours upon hours reading my Bible, which gives me great comfort. God provides peace beyond understanding... especially within my locked apartment.

Leaving home is when I have major health issues. It takes everything I have to walk out my door.

So this morning is a major frustration. I went to the office only to be told I needed to file a police report. No sticker. I left my home for nothing. Now, I'm worried about driving out of town in a few weeks without a current registration sticker on my car for fear a cop will pull me over. Knowing me, I'll forget I have no registration ticket and have a panic attack when I see the flashing blue lights behind me.

Welcome to agoraphobia.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Word Count

I rock.

Fifteen words until I meet my goal,
Gotta draw within and take control.
I'm a writer, so I must write.
Generate words day and night.
Put on to paper what I think and feel.
Leave a legacy, make dreams real.
It's okay to be a loner, even a bit crazy.
But I'm not a quitter, and I'm sure not lazy.
The world will be better because of books I write,
There...I met my word count tonight.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Unconditional Love

They need me. Giving up is not an option. Fighting for them is all I can do energy wise. When I cannot take care of myself, I must relentlessly take care of Addy and Jireh. Though I feel unbearable weight crushing my entire being, I must take care of them. I cannot let them down. They love me, trust me, enjoy me. I don't get a day off from being their mom. I am literally always there for them - in sickness and health. Their's and mine. Never will I leave them. Never will I allow anyone to hurt them. You have to go through me to get to them. Hurting them with a vaccination - I know is for their good. I will allow that. Fencing them from a viscous enemy, I will "hem them in" for their protection. I will prevent them from eating poisonous foods, no matter how tempted they are to follow their desire to taste. Despite their curiosity, I will not let them wander out of my sight because I know the evil and harm that is out there. They can get angry at my restrictions. They can try to test my resolve. But they will not win, because I am their mother who would do anything for their well-being. I want only the best for them.

With me, they will never hunger.
With me, they will never be homeless.
With me, they will always be protected.
With me, they will always be loved.

They are my children.

We are God's children. Imagine how He cares for us.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Current Issues


You know, sometimes you have to let go of people who do nothing but bring you down. Sometimes we need to reevaluate our lives and take inventory of things that bring us down. Like protecting children from adult issues, we need to protect ourselves from triggers. People can tell us infinitely where there are negative influences in our lives and we often shrug then off, believing they are overreacting, when in reality, the triggers make us overreact. Get rid of negativity in your life! Fill your heart and mind with joyful, peaceful things.

I woke up this morning, made the mistake of watching the news and reading Facebook before having quiet time with Jesus. BIG MISTAKE.

Instead of praising Jesus and glorifying Him, I'm having chest pain after the following comments... God needs to come first... all the time.

I'm going there. A relative and I are fighting again because she belittles me for not being racist. I told her. "If you're gonna judge someone by the color of the skin because of the race's majority, you need to consider me mentally retarded because most people with cerebral palsy are mentally retarded!" She no longer is speaking to me.

I cannot count the number of people who tell me stop talking to my family. I think it's time I listen before I have another nervous breakdown.  Talking to her gives me chest pains.

I knew I shouldn't have watched the Duggar interview. I need to get rid of my TV. Changed my whole mood. The dad said they didn't feel the need to report it because parents aren't "mandatory reporters". Let me in a room with those parents for 15 minutes! The boy told the dad THREE times he did this. He knew it was wrong and wanted help.

What if the dad is a pedophile? Of course they wouldn't report it if an uncle or someone molested the boy!

WHY DIDN'T THEY GET THAT BOY OUT OF THE HOUSE THE MINUTE HE CONFESSED? Those girls will never be the same.

Breathe. Think dolphins and whales and the ocean. I don't know how people have kids. I really dont. If someone hurt Jireh or Addy... I would be in jail. I know that.

God did not create Bruce Jenner to be a woman. Society and sin is what messes people up! Sin is the result of free will. As far as judging, I haven't gotten that far yet. I'm responding to someone saying God made Bruce have an identity disorder. Bullcrap.

Isn't Christianity based on love and acceptance?" Yes, and grace and forgiveness. This isn't about hate. This is about accountability. If I disrespect a cop, I deserve to be held accountable for the sake of civility and righteousness.

I'm done. No more rants. All I know is Jesus needs to come back soon.
I'm gonna have a stroke if I don't calm down.

Maybe Facebook is no longer for me. I truly think I need to make some major changes in my life.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Draft Mumbo Jumbo

Just going to start writing words on paper, resisting my desire to stay in bed.

Don't know if I can handle that counseling job and I want it so bad. It's mine if I want it. I am sick of agoraphobia and feel God is giving me my life back but I'm so scared. Like Jesus said to the cripple man, "DO you want to get well?" I do!

Triggers and agoraphobia are controlling me so I got out my journal and brainstormed affirmative statements. Living with agoraphobia, anxiety and PTSD is no way to live. I want to live abundantly and joyfully,  reaching my full potential. Helping others, making the world a better place, giving back in ways people have given me.  Agoraphobia has to leave. It's hindering my dreams and limiting my aspirations. I want more. I'm not done living. There is still so much I want to do... the past has to get out of the way of my future.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Life Changes

A few days ago, I was accepted into a Writer's Accountability Group. The honor and joy it brought was through the roof. The season of life I am in is better than I've experienced ever and it keeps getting better. The possibilities opening up to me are incredibly challenging. The contrast from the recent years of my life versus now is beyond description. I went from rock bottom where it literally pained me to living in my favorite city in the world. I left the abusive environment where I had spent most of my life, left all the traumatic memories, and probably most prominently, I left my abusers. I am safe for the first time in my life.

Childhood wasn't safe, yet I didn't know any better. I knew I was being hurt, I told people I was being hurt, it felt wrong, dirty, disgusting... yet I was never validated. When you're a child, and your parent tells you your feelings are irrational... you believe your parent. Not only with that incident, I learned not to trust my feelings. Imagine touching a hot stove and burning your finger. It hurts! Yet you are told by someone you respect, "oh, you're fine. That didn't hurt...".

Bottom line. It messes you up. Bad. And in a long term, disruptive way.

I am writing this on my cell phone in a bed with a horrible migraine. Side note: I have no idea why these words are being underlined, but I'm determined to continue writing so I'll try to fix it later. I'm trying to meet my word goal for the day so I keep writing.

Back to my initial thoughts, I don't want to - how can I put this- I don't want to make my writing all about me. I want to use my experiences to relate to readers, in combination with my psychology background, in hopes or educating people. 

Bottom line- we only know what we experience. We can't compare our degree of pain with others because, for example, if you've never been homeless, you will never fully appreciate a warm, safe bed. I will never take a safe warm bed for granted again because I haven't always had it.

Believe it or not, there are long term effects of even temporary homeslessness. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder often replaces the homelessness situation. There's always a fear if you've been homeless before, it can happen again. That sticks in the back of your head. Plus, you don't want to leave your home because you fear your home won't be there when you come back. And you don't trust people, because the people who allowed you to be homeless before would likely allow you to be homeless again.

All this to say, everyone is fighting their own battles. Life is hard. Make a resolve to press on. Don't give up.I'm letting God lead my writing, feeling He has brought me this far to help others. Not sure how much I will personally share, particularly because the more I share, the more psychosomatic illnesses I acquire. 

Which leads me back to the purpose of this blog. I know why I am in bed hiding under the covers writing this. One word- Trigger. When I told someone I was being sexually abused in middle school, I was told it was normal. All kids play doctor. I saw something on TV today that, well, sent me into a tail spin. I've known this on some level, but hearing this today... I'm questioning my whole life. I'll try attaching the video below.

If you are a child being molested, know it is not normal. I know it's hard to talk about and even harder to get someone to believe you... but if you tell a doctor or a therapist, by law, they must report it. Please, get help.




Friday, May 29, 2015

Faith is What Produces Works.

"Faith is what produces works"

This statement is in my Bible Lexicon. Faith is what produces works. I keep repeating this in hopes of believing what it means. Sadly, I don't believe it yet.

Unwavering faith is an enemy of mine. On one hand, my faith is my lifeline. My Jesus is everything. He is my Strength.

But here I am, doubting my abilities, when obviously they're not my abilities at all! They are His. They are gifts and talents He loans me to bless others. Yet I feel too inadequate to share. Even more so, my flesh feels I have no talent.

Do you realize the guilt stemming from that confession? Basically, not only are my actions indicative of my being ungrateful for the gifts God has given me, my responses (or lack of) reveal I don't have enough confidence in these gifts to present them publicly!

I am allowing my low self-esteem to trump not only God's Truth, but my obedience to God's promises. I am giving in to the enemy. That changes right now.

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me! All things! In order to be most focused on God, we must take our focus off ourselves.

Phillipians 2:13 says, "For it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose."

Ask God for faith, which He will gladly provide, and work. Glorify Him. He gives us all we need to have an abundant life. He offers, but doesn't force us to take. We have free will. Graciously accept what He is giving you, share those gifts with others, and give God all the glory.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

I'm Here To Stay

Yesterday, I made the official commitment to be a writer. I’ve written since I was a child, yet it has always been as a hobby or quick money maker, or an occasional letter venting to a loved recipient. But now, I am taking the plunge, claiming writing as my primary profession. What that means is I spend the majority of my days writing. Not researching, not procrastinating, but writing. Sure, I will still research and procrastinate, but not as much as I write. Getting words on paper is my job, my passion, my calling.

This is not going to be as easy as I am making it sound, I know. I’m going to be discouraged, feel like a phony, believe I am wasting my time, want to watch one more Bravo TV show, take a nap, and so on. People are going to tell me my writing is crap, publishers will throw my manuscripts in the trash without a second glance, and most times I will feel my writing is in vain. But that won’t stop me. Not anymore.

Previously, I debated whether or not to include my faith in my writing. Including faith-based content weeds out nonbelievers, and I want as many readers as I can get! But now, there is something more important than the quantity of readers; and that is the quality of my writing. Since writing is the expression of the heart, I cannot leave out my core… my strength… my peace… my everything, and that is Jesus Christ. I’ll respect readers’ beliefs without sacrificing my own. I am nothing without Christ. Literally, nothing! As you learn my history, you will realize the sincere truth in those words. Four years ago, I stayed in bed 22 hours per day. At one point, I was homeless. That same year, I was hospitalized 2 weeks per month for three months in a row. And the story goes on and on. Now, I am the happiest and healthiest I’ve ever been in my 45 years of life. It’s nothing short of a miracle. It is nothing short of my Lord Jesus Christ. So if reading about Him offends you, my writing is not for you. My life purpose is to glorify Him.


If you decide to be my reader, I can assure you of comedy, inspiration, lots of pictures, obsessive discussions about my cat and golden retriever, a tad of Cher preoccupation, passionate and intellectual views on health conditions, especially mental health, struggles and triumphs of addiction, and so much more. Give me a month. Read my blog for a month. I have a feeling you’re gonna like and learn what you read. If you don’t, it’s okay. Tell me I’m a horrible writer. Tell me I have no talent. Bash me, insult me… but you won’t break me. I’m a writer. That is my calling, and I have committed to answer for the rest of my life.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Depression is a Blessing

I'll admit, for the first time since I moved to Tallahassee, I crashed. I was in bed all day yesterday clinically depressed. I am only admitting this to show depression doesn't ever go away. I wasn't suicidal or anything, just could not get out of bed. I ignored phone calls because I wasn't THAT bad. This past week was too much for me. Too much social interaction. For instance, I felt guilty for not going on that date because maybe he wanted me to tell him why I am always reading the Bible. I still feel guilty about not being in church since Easter. Guilt, guilt, guilt. But after finally reaching out to Cathy, I believe I need to hold on to what God keeps telling me- He wants me for Himself right now. No distractions. He is preparing me for the next season. In conclusion, no more will I woe about all my health issues. I will embrace them as blessings the remind me I need to not feel guilty for staying home. I need to. I will block out the world and commune with Jesus...

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Writing Direction

My mom is truly a medical prodigy. We've had our problems (understatement) yet physicians consult with my mom with medical cases. She is truly gifted in anatomy and physiology... not so much neuropsychology, that's my area. Still, I'm book taught... she's gifted taught. So I called to tell her I feel fine, no anxiety, no depression...I'm good. The problem is I have lost control of my bowels twice this morning. Why? After a few questions, she figured it out. I was writing about the abuse Vietnam Veterans suffered, homeless vets, and homeless people with mental illnesses. Mom wisely told me all those things upset me. True. I'm trying to figure out God's will for my life. My mother wisely said, "Shelly, you know the Bible better than anyone I know. You are calmest and healthiest studying the Bible and spending time with Jesus. I think you should focus all your writing on Bible study."  Wow. I felt the Spirit wash over me at that moment. I had goosebumps all over my body. This felt prophetic. As of today, all of my writing will now be Biblical application for God's glory.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Commercial Break



Lots of writing projects stirring, good stuff, inspirational, revelational material, but my writing process keeps getting interrupted. Had to return my tablet twice in 2 weeks, learning, downloading, setting up, interacting with my ‘cloud’ (which freaks me out – the whole cloud stuff), etc. So I’ve many things started, and have to find my muse to get back to the mindset. But my desire to write is stronger than ever before as I am reading this book that confirmed God wants me using my gift of writing. So I am determined to blog every day. Today was emotional (on top of distracting) as my mom’s dog died… and everyone knows I am an awesome friend/counselor EXCEPT FOR LOSING A PET. That is out of my zone. I can’t. I can’t. My kitty, Seminole, died June 5, 2006 and it was losing a child, best friend, and companion all wrapped up in one. It changed me forever. Then, July 4, 2010, Zoey took her last breath… I was numb, paralyzed, sooo lost…. I am so much closer to animals than people. Now the thought of losing Addy, and, Jireh… oh my goodness. My world will crash!

Plus, I have this phobia of fire and started a little fire when cooking today. Has me uptight and emotional. The funny side of this was when I texted my brother:
Me: If my stove is off, can it still catch on fire?
Pause….
Him: Is this a trick question?
Me: No, I have this irrational fear or fire…
Him: If my refrigerator is running, will it fall down?
*I cracked up!

Anyway, that was my day… other than drooling over this book:

The Art of Whimsical Lettering
by Joanne Sharpe
Link: http://amzn.com/1620330741



And planning my character update along with Cher’s song, “Walk Alone”… this piece should be completed tomorrow…

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Revenge Continued

My previous blog entry discussed the importance of leaving room for God's wrath rather than acting on our feelings. Jacob remained calm when his daughter was raped, while her brothers attacked the rapist and his people. Commentaries lauded Jacob as doing the righteous thing due to surrounding circumstances.

Honestly, I would like to say I would respond like Jacob, rather like Jesus, and leave revenge to God. I hope in most situations, I would trust God's justice to prevail. However, if someone molests my niece, he'd better hope the police jail him before I get my hands on him... and if you hurt my cat or dog, I will not be sitting back, waiting to see God's wrath.

Thankfully, He only gives us what we can handle. He knows I would lose it in certain situations, so I believe He protects me from such circumstances. I also believe His mercy allows us to feel compassion for those who encounter similar problems. As it says in 1 Corinthians 1:4, Jesus comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort those in trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.

Despite our sincerest intentions, we are far from perfect... thankfully, God is perfect.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Genesis 31- To Be Continued

Genesis 34 - To Be Continued...

It is dangerous to judge one incident without considering external factors, such as history, culture, setting, and laws. Genesis 34 provides the perfect example. While writing lessons learned from God's Word, this chapter is one I keep flagging to 'come back and edit' since I can't wrap my head around 'the whole picture'.

Here are the facts of Genesis 34:
Jacob's daughter, Dinah, was raped by Shechem. When Jacob found out, he remained calm. But when Dinah's brothers, Simeon and Levi were told, they not only went after the man who raped their sister, they attacked his people as well!
Jacob had a fit because his family name had been tarnished. The brothers reacted out of love for their sister.

Again, I am having difficulty knowing where to go from here. Maybe words will come to me after I get a second cup of coffee... I can't get past Jacob's reaction, or lack of. His daughter was raped and he was worried about his family name?!  What about his daughter?!

Today I will give the right answer, the "we need to be like Jesus" answer. Bottom line as Christians... God wants us to leave room for His wrath, let Him take care of those who hurt you.

Romans 12:19 says,  "Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord."

Can you imagine how chaotic this a world would be if every person took the law into their own hands? Acted without knowing the bigger picture? Responded without regard to the infinite details involved with each side of the story?

God is All Knowing! God is merciful! God is Just. He can also help you with your anger, bitterness, and dare I include, hatred!

I admit, the sinful part of me has a much different answer. To be continued...

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Younger by Susan Munshower

Younger
Joined Amazon's Kindle program to "RE"Kindle my love for reading and help with my writing craft.
Chosen because it was a free promoted early release book. I never read fiction, much less mysteries. Thus book reminds me why.

Too many details. Felt like I was following a pinball bounce all over. The plot was Shonda Rhimes-like, but too many extraneous factors fighting for attention.

I enjoyed escaping into fiction, though. And look forward to reading a wider variety of books. Hopefully, they won't be as multifaceted as "Younger".

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Sometimes, an issue sticks in your head, pierces your heart, and you know you have to do something. This happened to me ten years ago with the Terri Schiavo case.

Here is the article I shared with Terri's family:

Thoughts on Terri
Listening to the latest court ruling on the Terri Schiavo case, I shook my
head in disbelief while feeling compassion for the Schiavo family. So many
things were happening that stillness and content were becoming distant
strangers to me. Terri was the least of my thoughts… or so I thought. Over
the next few days, something stirred inside me whenever I would think
about Terri. The stirring became stronger and was harder to dismiss as God
was working His plan. Seeds which had been planted, sown, and germinated
through knowledge and experiences were coming into fruition. Still, I
brushed aside the source and tried focusing on “more pressing issues” that
demanded my attention. (By ‘more pressing issues,’ I am referring to,
ironically enough, serving people with disabilities.)

But the stirring continued. Where were all of the disability rights
advocates? Where were my colleagues and the ‘experts’ that I collaborate
with on grant projects and technical papers? In hindsight, I am amazed at
how I was so disappointed in my peers’ lack of involvement that I
completely missed my own. Instead, I placed priority on meeting my annual
stats at the office, completing courses to renew my counseling licenses,
publishing my next children’s book, planning my keynote presentation for a
upcoming statewide conference… the nonnegotiable responsibilities of my
job. I was neglecting the duties of my spiritual job by being so consumed
with my vocational job.
        
Morning after morning, I spend my quiet times in prayer, asking
God to show me how I can bring Him glory with my life. Having been born with
cerebral palsy, I have repeatedly related to the Apostle Paul’s
experiences of finding strength from the thorn in his flesh. Whenever I
fall down (both literally and spiritually), God reminds me that He only
gives me what I can handle and I am positively amazed that He has so much
confidence in me. He repeatedly proves His sovereignty, when, through His
power alone, I draw on His strength to achieve the impossible. Lately, I
have been sensing that God is leading me to a new direction for my life.

Much like the blind man referred to in John 9, I believe my disability
has happened so that the work of God might be displayed in my life and
want to do what I can for this to happen. Little did I know that a woman
who had been viewed as worthless would change my life so profoundly by
propelling the stirring inside.
 
When the news came that Terri had passed away, my coworkers and I huddled
around the television commenting on how horrific the situation had become.
Although not everyone shared the same values, we were all disturbed at
some level that a woman had been denied food and water for nearly two
weeks. After a while, we each returned to our offices. I placed my hands
on the keyboard to complete an assessment, hearing casual interactions
outside my office regarding lunch plans and fashion trends. My fingers
would not move, but the stirring in my soul began simmering. For some
reason, I could not return to the immediacy of life.

My mind kept going back to Terri’s situation… how her brother was turned
away when he tried to see her during her final hours. I remembered how my
own brother, Mark, had driven across the state in his unreliable car, even
losing his job, to spend the allotted five minutes to see me when I was in
the hospital facing my own death. You need to get this assessment to the
boss… focus, Shelly. I remembered the nurse covering the phone receiver to
tell me Mark was on the phone, asking if I was refusing to talk with him
like I had the previous callers…time is passing, Shelly. You’re under a
deadline here! I remembered my heart melting when I put the receiver to my
ear and heard Mark say he wanted to come see me even though his boss said
he would be fired if he didn’t show up for work the next day. The
assessment, Shelly, finish the assessment! Having my brother at my side
during my darkest time of life is a memory I will always cherish. Terri
was denied that right. The stirring inside me was becoming heated now.
I don’t know if Terri was aware of what was happening around her. No one
can say with definite certainty what a person thinks and feels. But I do
know how frightening it is to realize the mother who nurtured me from
birth is powerless over my care. I remembered how the mother who, as a
child who I wanted at my side whenever I hurt, had no voice in what
happened to me… just like Terri’s mother. The person who claimed to have
loved me more than anyone in the world was refused access to me and told
she didn’t know what was in my best interest by people who had only known
me for a minute portion of my life. I thought of Terri and her mother…the
stirring was bubbling.

I thought of how people were saying Terri’s life was not worth saving as
if she could no longer contribute to society… yet she was the topic of
conversations and debates around the world. She has made more of an impact
in this world than the combination of the judges, politicians, and other
decision–makers who denied her parent’s appeals could ever hope … yet her
life was seen as worthless.

I remembered being told I wasn’t smart enough to go to college, and
couldn’t speak clear enough to be a psychotherapist. I remembered the
darkest period in my life when I wanted to die (even attempting to
override God’s plan for me to live), believing life had no meaning and I
couldn’t fight anymore. I had believed that surviving was impossible and
the thought of finding true happiness was unrealistic.

Then I remembered how the impossible and unrealistic had happened
repeatedly in my life.  How wrong they had been, how God’s plan prevailed
despite the so–called “experts” who insisted that there was no hope. How
naïve I had been seeing no use for my life, feeling too damaged to be His
servant. The stirring exploded.

I began weeping but wasn’t sure why. Emotions and thoughts flooded me so
heavily that I could not speak as I went outside to sit in my car, dodging
concerned coworkers who were asking if I was okay. I didn’t know why I had
become so emotional over a woman I had never even met and was confused,
embarrassed, but most of all… stirring.

Suddenly, finishing the assessment was no longer a priority. I needed to
‘be still and know that He is God.’ While knowing that He is everywhere, I
felt Him calling me, and I needed to go to Him. My first inclination was
to go to the top of a mountain. No, the stirring was too strong to wait
that long, so I wanted to go where I most frequently feel His strong
presence… Northland’s sanctuary.  I emailed Dave, a friend on the church
staff, and asked if people would think I was crazy if I went to the altar
and prayed.  He not only encouraged me to come but also warmly offered to
intercede if I needed him. He didn’t question my reasoning (which is more
than I can say for myself).

I didn’t know what I needed and still wasn’t even sure why I wanted to go
to the church, but I had to go where God was leading me.  Maybe it is
because whenever I am at Northland, I have a sense of peace and belonging.

Most people there don’t even know my name, yet have influenced my life in
ways they will never know, including Vernon Rainwater. Whenever I picture
heaven, I imagine (among other things) a kingdom full of people like
Vernon who somehow illuminate the love of Jesus in the words they use,
music they play, and light they emit. I’ve never even met Vernon but I
frequently thank God for him and ask Him to bring more Vernon’s into my
life. Vernon and Dave are the kind of people who remind me what an honor
it is to be part of God’s family and how good He is.

My heart was racing as I drove toward the familiar yet unknown; I knew
where I was headed geographically, but not spiritually. When I got to the
parking lot, I made myself stop crying and wiped off my smeared mascara
before I walked into the lobby. When I asked for Dave, this sweet, gentle
lady asked, “Are you Shelly?” My eyes refilled with tears realizing that
he was expecting me. Somehow, it was more than Dave expecting me, it was
Jesus. I had arrived at where He was leading me… I began crying again so
the lady said I was welcomed to go into the sanctuary and wait for Dave.

With my vision blurred from tears and legs weak from emotions, I
symbolically walked the long aisle to the altar imagining Jesus welcoming
me there with open arms. Dave appeared close behind me, and without
speaking, put his arms around me just as Jesus did… and I wept. Despite
the enemy telling me I was making a fool of myself, I knew this was where
I needed to be.

After a few minutes, Dave prayed for me and reminded me I could go to the
prayer room if I didn’t want to be distracted. No, I needed to be at the
altar. After he left, I tried to listen to whatever God was saying to me.
I began to feel a tinge of doubt, wondering again why I was so emotional…
why was Terri’s death touching me so profoundly? Sure, others were upset
by her situation, yet they had not become consumed by it like I was. What
was God trying to tell me? Was I being ridiculous in believing He wanted
me to be at the altar when I could have just as easily prayed behind the
closed door of my office? After all, I would be more relaxed at my office
instead of in the huge sanctuary where I was likely to be interrupted at
any time. I began to doubt myself.

With uncertainty growing in my mind, I heard movement in the back of the
sanctuary and decided to go to the prayer room after all. When I stood up,
I looked to see what the noise was and felt chills when I realized it was
Vernon. He apologized for interrupting, said I was welcomed to stay (at
the altar), then quickly left.  I could almost see God smiling as He
brought one of the people I admire the most in at just the time I was
doubting His presence and knew that was God’s way of reassuring me that He
was right there with me. I smiled and told God how awesome He is and how
He has amazing ways of getting my attention. The verse about His thoughts
being higher than my thoughts came to mind, I turned to the scripture,
expecting the Holy Spirit to speak to me…, and He did.

Isaiah 55 begins with “Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters…”
I was comforted in knowing that Terri was no longer without water, and
quite possibly, she had been filled with the spring of water welling up to
eternal life. As I continued reading, God revealed to me that I needed to
continue searching and calling for Him, not trying to figure out answers
on my own. He reminded me that I am incapable of thinking as He thinks and
a major part of obedience is trusting where He leads instead of analyzing
the how’s and why’s of life.

I had wanted to be alone with God when I went to Northland, and I was for
a short time. But Dave introduced me around to others who, amazingly, gave
me peace, comfort, and security in addition to the unfathomable solace I
feel when I spend time alone with Him. Realizing the different people that
were used to make sense of my internal stirring reminded my why scripture
refers to the church as “the body of Christ.”

The following night, I was sharing my excitement with Sandie, a friend I
had recently met in Servanthood class. God had used her as a vessel to
speak to me several times and this night was no exception. I explained how
I was led to Isaiah 55 when I wanted to read the full context in which
verse 8 had been written. As I was describing the way God had been
undeniably telling me to come to Him (leading me to Northland to pray),
and how I was so spiritually thirsty in the way that Terri was physically
thirsty, Sandie silently read the rest of the chapter.

With uncertainty, I asked, “Do you think I am stretching it to believe
that Isaiah 55 is God confirming that He is calling me to do something
with my having cerebral palsy? I feel like He is revealing His plan for my
life, some kind of disability ministry for Northland or something, but I
don’t know what He’s saying.”  Sandie smiled confidently as she asked if I
had read the parts after verse 8. When I said no, she read me the rest of
the chapter adding emphasis at certain parts.

As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your
ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. As the rain and the snow come
down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and
making it bud and flourish… so is my word that goes out from my mouth: it
will not return to me empty, but accomplish what I desire and achieve the
purpose for which I sent it. You will go out in joy and be led forth in
peace….This will be for the Lord’s renown, for an everlasting sign, which
will not be destroyed.

Wow! Just as I felt Jesus in Dave’s arms and saw Jesus in Vernon’s
presence in the sanctuary, I heard Jesus in Sandie’s voice as she read
those words to me! I was ready to go out in joy, be lead forth in peace
and accomplish what He desires by sowing the seeds that Terri Schiavo has
planted. Instead of finding the answers I wanted, once again, God
had given me the answers I needed:

•        Every human life, regardless of man’s perceived ‘handicaps,’ is
valuable beyond comprehension and able to influence the entire world by planting
and sowing seeds for the Kingdom of God.

•        When He stirs a relentless passion in you, even if no one else
seems moved by a circumstance or event, you must follow it, follow Him. He put
the stirring inside you and most likely, you will only find peaceful
resolve when you are where He wants you to be.

•        We do not need to know the specifics, including the how’s and
why’s of life. Our job is to be open, receptive, willing, and trusting in order to
hear, know, and follow His plan for us.
 
•        Although there are geographical places where we can meditatively be
closer to Him, He truly is everywhere including the embrace of a friend,
the appearance of a role model, and the readings of a confidant.

•        We need to ask Him to reveal what issues are “pressing” and
nonnegotiable instead of prioritizing tasks by our own narrow vision of
what needs to be done. He sees the whole picture, the impact that one
person’s life can have throughout the ages. Ultimately, His purpose and
desire will be accomplished whether we foolishly live according to our own
understanding or obediently follow Him like trusting children.