Friday, November 20, 2015

My Life Cliff Notes Version..............

My first childhood memory is being molested by my father. Shocking I know but that is where my memory of my story begins. The real beginning of my story I don't have any memories of but it goes something like this....I was born in Oklahoma City on a August day that was over 100 degrees. My parents were married and I had an older sister and an older brother. My older sister is 8 years older and my brother died before he was born. When I was four years old, I become a big sister. My parents were Catholic. We regularly attended a local Catholic church. There was a point when my mom reached out the Father/pastor of the church and told him of our situation. He advised her to stay married as divorce wasn't permitted in the church. One day I remember my dad was beating my mom. I knew I didn't want to be caught in that so I ran and hid. I went under my bed and pushed as many clothes and toys as to build a wall on the edge of my bed. In case my mom or dad came looking for me and they looked under my bed, they would just see toys. I remember laying under that bed making myself and God a promise that if I survived, my kids would NEVER know what I felt as a child. I remember feeling like someone was under that bed with me that day. There wasn't actual body or person but a presence. Years later I realized that Jesus was there. I don't know why he didn't stop that madness in our house but He was there. He has been right by my side every step of my story. I don't know why God allowed all of that to happen to me. I believe He had the power to stop it. He just didn't. In high school and college I really struggled with why a loving God didn't stop that abuse. How could He watch His child go through that? For the most part I have moved on from the questioning why to just having faith that those situations made me who I am today. I know so much of my story and life has been redeemed for His glory. My father left when I was eight. I am grateful he bailed out on us. If he hadn't, I am not sure what would or could have happened. He was abusive in every way. He sexual assaulted us, beat us but mostly our mom and verbally abused us too. He left behind a lot of confusion, fear and pain. He also left flash backed and nightmares. During the time my parents divorced, my mom became ill with aggressive ovarian cancer. Somewhere in the divorce and cancer, a local Baptist church tried to take us in. We began to go there. I never felt comfortable. I noticed the whispering as I passed by those church ladies and the finger pointing. I never really knew why I felt others could tell I was different. Maybe it was the hurt in my eyes. While I felt like I looked like everyone else, I knew on the inside I was completely different. At the time I didn't know what it was that made me so different, now I know it was called SHAME. The dictionary defines shames as a feeling of regret, dishonor or disgrace. Those are more parting gifts my dad left - shame, guilt, and disgrace. I allowed them to take up the broken space in my heart. After all I believe we are all broken and in such of a savior. Some people find a savior in a bottle or cigarette. Some in the back seat of a car parked in the dark or he bed of someone who isn't their spouse. Sometimes we allow bitterness, guilt and regret to creep into our hearts and take that space that was designed for a savior. I needed a savior and didn't even know it.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

November 15, 2012

Nothing could prepare me for this day! My nephew M and sister asked me to accompany my other nephew B to view T's body. T was 51 and passed in his sleep 4 days earlier. B was out of town at the time his dad T passed. T was my brother in law of 24 years. 24 years that is along time. I have so few memories of my sister before T. I loved and hated T. There are things I admired about him and things I despised. Jesus, how I wish I told T more of the things I admired. I wish he knew how I longed to be a better cook because of him. Actually the first cook in our family according to him. He said more than once that I was the only sister who could boil water. He made it look so damn easy. I wish he knew that I understood that he wasn't a perfect husband or father but I also knew that he gave it his best shot. I wish I'd told him we all are human. When they asked me to go, I didn't hesitant to say yes. When I heard about his passing and learned that most of the family had the option to see him one final time to say their goodbyes, I was sad that I didn't have the opportunity. This was my time. I needed and wanted that closure. Some finality. The period at the end of sentence or chapter in a book. Not to mention B was my adult nephew but some how he is still that little guy that lived with me and my family when I was still in junior high and he was a baby in diapers. I literally watched this kid grown up from diapers and bottles to marriage, kids, and divorce. Oh how he means more to me than just a nephew. Although he is grown and has handled things I can't imagine, I could NOT bear him going alone. No one or nothing could have prepared me for that day. The appointment to view was at 10 am. I wasn't exactly sure where we were going so we got there way early. As we pulled up to the light brown building with a flat roof, there wasn't anything special or flashy. Very industrial. No marking except for the address "2424." I was hoping and praying this was the right place. Two different online maps showed that address at different places. As we started to get out of the car, dread rushed over me. What will I see? T's soul had left that body four days earlier but I know a few things about science and decomposing. What will I say? What's the appropriate response? I have never read or even heard of a book or newspaper column that explains this situation. No Dear Abby advice. Nothing. I am on my own. Put on my big girl pants and wing it. Even though deep down I am a chicken. A coward. Not equipped for much of what life throws at me. Oh no what will I see inside this building? Will I be able to forget it? The front door was a typical glass door most businesses have. The only thing different is this one was mirrored and locked. We pushed a intercom button. After what seems like 20 minutes a balding skinny man opened the door and asked if we were there for the viewing. As we followed the man inside, I was desperately scanning the room trying to get a sense of what to expect. Oh no can I change my mind? Should I ask B if he changed his? Is that rude? The man told us to sit and let them get ready. We sat down on a leather couch. The air smelled like bleach. As soon as we sat B laid his head on my shoulder. Oh yes God I can do this. I can hold. I can love. I can comfort. My flesh wanted to run yet my heart wanted closure and be a rock for my family. The man came back and said they were ready. By ready, he meant T was on a sterile metal table draped with a blue blanket. His head was laying on a white sterile pillow without a pillow case. Now it was personal I could see his face. There laid T. There was no doubt. Out of respect and privacy for my family I'll spare the detailed description. Part of me was glad I was able to see him. There laid T's body (I believe he spirit and heart were long gone. What I was viewing was his earthy vehicle. His heavenly body is perfect and not deteriorating from his MD.) None the less, he was a son, father, husband, friend, uncle, cousin, and the list goes on but now at the end of that list is dead. In another room I could heard two men talking about a delivery. I assume it was a body they were dropping off. It was clear from what I saw that this was a place where they also cremated bodies. This was just another day at the office for these two men. Yet, here I am with my nephew viewing T. T was special to someone. Special to his family, friends, wife, neighbors and to God. That is when it all became too much for me. Here I am with B and that body is his dad's. It as a hard reality. I tried to find my happy place. Which for me is humor. If only I could laugh I'd feel better. Nothing seemed funny. What should I say? What should I do? What is an appropriate response? All I could manage was to hug B and rub his back. Is that enough? Dear God this child is hurting. Help me help him. Who failed to teach me what to do in this situation? Why didn't they? Do others have this experience or I am one of a chosen few? Dear God, why oh why did you choose me? I am NOT equipped. You have way too much faith in me. Eventually B and I left, we found our way to get something to drink. We chatted and talked about old times and even laughter found me again. I dropped B back off at his home. Strangely life went on as it always does. As I reflect back on that day, there still aren't any answers and far too many questions. The only thing I do know is that God is in control. His ways aren't mine. Even though it doesn't make sense, I believe He has a plan and He knew me while I was in my mother's womb. I know I am not worthy to be a light in the dark for my family but my God is and I don't know how or why but I do know He planned my crazy life for a purpose. He created me perfectly for my life and situations. He created and adores T and B too. I pray they both feel that love. B from here on Earth and T along the streets paved with gold and without any pain.

Sunday, February 6, 2011


Dear Lord,
THANK YOU for your mercy and grace. Today my heart felt heavy. Hurting for so many things done and said - years gone by and yet you met me. Oh how the devil really tried to side track my heart and mind but You were so ever faithful. I am so grateful for you and your untiring love and grace. Lord, oh please confront me all the days of my life. I know I don't have the strength to endure the cunning tricks and tests created by the enemy. I am so thankful that when I am at my weakest you remain steadfast. Thank you. I know I do not deserve your devotion but you give it anyway. All praise be to you.

Saturday, February 5, 2011


The cross it the pictures above is hanging in our home on the cross wall. The cross is homemade. Our family loves to hike at a park not far from our home. We went there right before Christmas and found these branches. After we arrived home, the cross was created and hung on our wall.

This cross represents so much to me. First of all, Jesus died on a rugged cross to save me from myself. He laid His life down for mine. Secondly, my family created this from materials found in one of our favorite parks. Over the course of the last two years, I have spent some great times in the park. I have prayed, cried, and spent quality time with my family there. I feel like it is a sacred place to me. Jesus always meets me there. Lastly, my family and I created it together. My daughter and I found the branches. My husband and son loaded in the car and nailed them together. My son and I wrapped the twine. My daughter, son and I hung them in the living room. It took all of us working together and it turned out absolutely beautiful.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Favorite Bible Verse

"Be still and know that I am God." Psalm 46:10

Be still and take all life has to offer. This verse reminds me no matter what happens in life God still sits on the throne. We need to praise Him in the good and bad. It is easier when things are good. When things aren't so good it is hard not to question God. However, He is still God and in control. He has a plan to prosper us and not harm us.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Divorce and Snow Storms

The last couple of days we have been snowed in our home. We received more than 10 inches of snow and for central Oklahoma that is alot. We are not really use to dealing with it. Well, we do deal with it. Everything shuts down and we all stay home.

During this unplanned break, I have been cleaning my office. I ran across something my daughter wrote. It is called Love is War. She talks about doing stuff we will later regret - some big or small. She refers to divorce as big. As I think about her writing, I am grateful that she at nine sees divorce as a regret. I am not judging anyone who is divorced, sometimes it is the best solution especially in abuse. However, I do feel that too many people rush into divorce thinking that if only they had someone new or if they didn't have to deal with the person their with's faults their life would be better.

I am not going to go into too much detail here, but I will tell you that my husband and I hit a really rough patch in our marriage a couple of years ago. Most people would have cut and ran. Quite frankly, it seemed it would be easier just to let him go. I won't pretend to think what he was thinking about it all but I am sure he probably felt the same way.

As I thought about us and our family and sought God's guidance, I really believed and later found in the Bible that God hates divorce. He hates families being broken up and torn apart. In the second chapter of Malachi, it states "I hate divorce, says the Lord God of Israel." God uses marriage and family to teach us about Him. As humans, we hurt the ones we love and we don't deserve their love or forgiveness but often we get it anyway. That is what Jesus did on the cross for us. We don't deserve it but He did it anyway.

If you are reading this and struggling with your spouse, read "Love and War" by John Eldredge. It is a great book that challenged and changed the way I viewed marriage. You will not be sorry you read it. I promise even if you don't feel like it, working on saving your marriage and family will not be time wasted no matter the outcome.

God does not promise us easy or perfect lives. However, He promises he will never leave us. I speak from experience when I say during those dark days when I felt my marriage and family ripped right out of my hands, He was there. I knew He held my tears in His hands. He had a plan. He has helped us restore our marriage. I am so grateful when I say that I never knew just how cool, strong, sexy, fun, and thoughtful a man my husband was. Now I am keenly aware of how much I adore him. I am thankful he is by my side and partner in this life.