Friday, November 20, 2015

Thanksgiving Colors, A Cornacopia of Love.

     Ms. Proctor sat in the crowd of others enjoying their early Thanksgiving dinner. I loved watching the display of artistic people gather in a church setting, all in one place. I felt comfortable and my heart warmed as I cozied up in conversation of days we had spent together in the past. Ms. Proctor sat at my own home around the Thanksgiving dining room table, over a decade ago, telling me that she wanted the part of the turkey that went over the fence last.  That still makes me giggle. And we laughed last night over the such. I love Ms. Proctor, who now resides in a nursing home. Gathering with her and the others did my heart good and kick started my holiday spirit with thankfulness.
     The church we ate at opens their doors to everyone. Every color. Every mental ability or lack of it. Not one person turned their head in shock as someone of a different color sat next to the opposite. Each person there accepted the next for who they were. Nothing less and nothing more. Special needs, physical challenges, or the less fortunate common man all together with smiles and gratefulness. It was an absolutely beautiful cornucopia of God made masterpieces.
      My heart gets bothered when I think of separation in churches or any organization. I used this phrase when my children where little, "No one got to choose their color", Ya know what, I think somewhere along the line I might just have some other color embedded in my soul. God just made me that way. And I love it.
      I loved the hugs that Ms. Proctor gave me at that fine paper plate dinner last night. She is at one end of the rainbow and I am on the other yet we met in the middle. Black and white became a beautiful colorless craftsmanship. Built with the strength of God that took absolutely no effort of either of us. I bet we would have been bestest friends if we were kids.
      I know that I can't paint the eyes of others. I can't force anyone to become color blind. I just pray that they can see deep enough into the eyes of another human to see their heart. The same Holy Spirit that dwells in a white Christian dwells in the red, yellow, black and brown. The same God who helped the lame to walk  helps those who call their walkers their Cadillac. And the same Jesus who listens to the clear words of a man on their knees hears the cries of the man who can't speak clearly.
     As this holiday progresses, I pray that we find thankfulness in each other, that we care enough to pray for each other, help each other and find love for each other. May we, like the fall leaves, lay our colors to the ground and shed our pride so that our true colors display His Love.
     Happy Thanksgiving. I pray yours, maybe, is actually an absolutely colorful one.
God Bless us everyone.

Monday, August 17, 2015

Polygraph Test, Telling the Truth about Abuse

The judge ordered that stupid polygraph machine to be hooked up to me. Wires and pads were placed around many areas of my 14 year old body. I trembled in fear. I didn't mind telling the truth. I didn't have anything to hide. I wasn't afraid of failing that test. What I did fear though was what the results would do. It would make my mom and step dad even more furious at me. I don't think they ever stopped being angry.
Questions flew at me about being sexually abused. The administrator of the test asked the same questions over and over again but each time it was worded differently. I was't blind, deaf or dumb to the trickery. I had a story to tell and the story didn't change throughout any of the interrogation,( I mean investigation).
I failed it. Right at the end. I failed that test. I messed the entire thing up with one simple question, " Is that all that happened to you?". My heart raced and pierced my chest. I held my breath and huffed,  "YES."  They removed the wires from my body. My social worker, who was watching everything from the other side of the two way mirror that hung in the room, let me know I did well. But, I indeed I failed the last question.
I could only tell part of the story. I could not deal with the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Heck, 37 years past that day and I still have more stories to tell. Bits and pieces seep through my memory and stays like an unwanted guest. I am not sure when the pages of my story will finally come to an end. But I am ready for it to.
I will share the pages of my life with snippets of this chapter and that chapter.  Words on the pages often run together. Maybe I look at them too long. Sometimes it smears from salty water droplets that fall from my eyes. I can't seem to close the book all the way either. I guess there is more to read. More to Write. More to share.
If I get hooked up to one of those machines today. I probably will fail the last question again. But then again, it depends on who ordered the test.

We all have a story to share. And when we are ready, we can share it. If not, we can keep that story under lock and key of the heart. Only when ready will I answer the last question or any other. Polygraph. The truth lies within each of us. The ugly truth of abuse... within ourselves waits to escape, honestly.

John 8:32 NIV  Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Surrender the Anger. Giving it Up to God.

Ya wanna know what breaks my heart? To see people so filled up with anger because of something that happened so long ago. Children who are abused have every reason in the world to be mad. Innocence was stripped away from them. They lost control. Big brothers and big sisters end up feeling responsible for little siblings being abuse and hatred grows. Adult survivors of child abuse of any kind can grow cold and bitter.

 I have seen results of pain festering due to that ever so strong helplessness. I witness people feeling like under no circumstances will anyone ever win. And by no means will they allow themselves to be on the losing end of abuse again. Hatred boils at the memory and those hurt victims will go to all self resources to never be victimized again. Not by anyone. Not in anyway. To see that much anger makes me...ANGRY.
 And ya wanna know something else? I get it. I understand that need to be on the offensive side. Defense is over for some. It becomes time to fight until the others beg for mercy or cower. At times, it appears that these "fighters" will never cave. Heck, I don't want to cave either. 
 But who I want to surrender to is a whole different identity. Yes, I will fight like my life depended on it to not go back to those abusive times. I will give my all to navigate against anyone who makes me or any helpless child feel threatened like that. Yet, I have and will continue to surrender.
I do not give up the fight. The white flag of defeat isn't going to wave. I just let someone else take over. The leader over this war is superior to any of my plans, my thoughts or those horrid hurtful memories. I could never face this alone. I could speak with another until I am blue in the face. I can heal areas in my life, and I have, through therapy. But nothing, no one, ever, ever, EVER  compares to the soldier that fights this war with me and for me. I quit  putting myself out on the battle zone.  Instead I dropped to my knees and bowed to relinquish responsibility. 

Ephesians 6:12 New International Version
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

The battle that abused children and surviving adults face is not that of the flesh. Its against dark powers.  It's not something we can physically go to war with. No wonder we feel powerless. Let me tell you though, there is strength in that kneeling surrender. 

It took me too many years of pain through fighting in the dark. It was not until I let Light in on the subject that I gained even the smallest amount of control. Looking back, I see decades of wasted energy. Looking forward I see the rewards of letting my heart Soldier help me to find defeat.

I will continue to go into battle for any victim, survivor and overcomer. But it is not only my energy or strength that can help. It is that of God, through His son, Jesus, and through the power of the Holy Spirit that supplies the durability and endurance. He supplies the will. God is my protector. He shields me from the snares of those evil powers. He brings me through depressions and lifts me to stand high on the mountain tops of my well fought life. Nothing I had ever done on my own helped in my recovery battle like that of the Lord. And never ever will I ever find another to trust in like I do Him.

Jesus brings peace daily. How unbelievable it still seems for me to not be filled with such anger. When I finally gave in to God, He gave the war zones in my spirit a sense of security. Daily I let Him fight the crusade. It's easier on the heart, mind, soul and body. Knowing in my know-er that I was too tired to do this on my own, giving into giving up brought peace to the war.

The gift of God's shelter is yours to hide behind. He can be your safeguard. I don't care how much tough skin the years have grown on you. It doesn't matter how cold you allowed your heart to grow. And never will it matter that you might be "found out" with a white flag or surrender to Jesus. Allowing Him to go before you is much easier than to trudge and shove your way into these evil principalities.

If you are one of the many hurting and anger filled victims, I am praying for you. May God be your most useful weapon. May His strength be found in your weakness. God bless you as you lay down the hurt and pick up the "PEACEs." 

Lord I need You.




Thursday, May 14, 2015


Josiah Rodgers

With permission from my very dear friend, Paula Kaplan Rodgers, I share this blog spot. Her story touched my heart and I wanted to share it with yours.

Jeremiah - 29:11 NIV "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

Sixteen years ago, today, God oversaw the delivery of the gift he had for our family, Josiah. As I reflect back to that day, really that week, if I was a gambler then I'd say the odds were against us for best outcome. At some point during delivery my placenta tore and Josiah was in distress. My oxygen levels were low to the point that I would fall asleep while trying to deliver and they would awaken me to push. Finally, they gave me oxygen and got Josiah out. His Apgar scores were low and he was unable to cry. They immediately began working on him w/in hours he had been transported to CHKD. I had not even held him yet. What results in death in many cases (placenta abratia), did not have that grip on Josiah. Instead he recovered quickly and by day 4 of his CHKD stay the doctors discharged him home in perfect health. The story doesn't end there - on that day we had the second event that could have been fatal and deeply tragic. Kristin and Katlin (with the help of Keri) had bought the wooden stork to be put in our front yard to announce the birth of Josiah. We went outside to take a picture in front of the stork. In what seemed like a finally orchestrated moment, Katlin walked in front of Josiah (who was in my arms) when a car passed by and shot a high-powered BB gun. That BB hit and penetrated into Katlin's back. We were so blessed - the ER doctor told us had that BB had hit just a little bit higher or over, Katlin could have been paralyzed or even had died. Instead it was superficial. If Katlin had not been where she was in that moment, the BB would have hit Josiah and he would not have survived it.
This has been one pattern I have witnessed in Josiah’s life. There have been obstacles that he should not be able to get over, and yet time and time again he has achieved success despite the obstacle. He never consider the obstacle as one. For example: Josiah was born with my gift of music – those of you who know me realizes that although I can sing okay, sort of, with somebody, there would never be a time that I could sing solo. Josiah never saw himself as a singer without potential; instead he set goals that were higher than I could ever imagine he would reach. Those of you who know Josiah have seen him realize this dream on stage time and time again, most recently in the role of Joseph in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.
Academically, the same thing. Josiah was gifted with a strong brain. At the same time he was gifted with my gross motor and fine motor skills. We always saw his strength academically and then one day we received the results of a test we had done for the gifted program and it showed his percentile in visual perception was very low – skewing the results of the test. Wow! We knew he had suffered from tremendous headaches almost daily. We had taken him for different tests through the years. The physicians were unable to find anything wrong. The administrators of the test suggested we send him to Dr. Westcott, an eye therapist. There we learned Josiah had an eye tracking problem. A year of therapy strengthen those muscles and he went from reading 10 minutes a day before getting a headache to reading 1,000 pages a week if he wanted to. Josiah never saw himself as having any learning problems or reading issues. He just took life one day at a time achieving the high goals he set for himself.
See the pattern? There is a phrase – what Satan meant for evil, God meant for good. Life doesn’t come easy for Josiah, in the same way it doesn’t come easy for any of us. But Josiah doesn’t look at himself as one with limitations or handicaps. Instead, he sees life as an opportunity and there is nothing that he sets his mind on that he cannot achieve. God has blessed him with this gift.
I love my son! I thank God for all 16 years – and look forward too many more.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Brooklyn's Heaven

In Honor of Relay for Life and the American Cancer Society, I dedicate this blog to John Crew, written on a facebook post by his daughter, Cait Crew.  God bless her and her daughter Brooklyn on both cloudy and clear days and through tear stained moments.

When my daddy first died we were trying to figure out a way to explain where heaven is to Brooklyn. We told her PopPop was way up in the clouds. I will never forget the first clear sky day we had after he died. We were riding in the car to school, she was looking out all the windows then burst into tears. I asked her what was wrong, she told me there were no clouds and she didn't know where her PopPop was. I tried to explain again about heaven.........this morning as we were riding to school she looked very sad. I asked her what was wrong and she said there were no clouds in the sky so PopPop was not so close today. I lost it and tears just came down my face as I tried to explain he is always close. She asked me was I crying because I missed him and I told her yes. She said mommy it's OK I'm crying too. When I looked in the rear view mirror at her I could see the hurt stream down her face in tears. It is hard to watch your baby hurt and know there is nothing to ease that pain. I reminded her how lucky we were to even have a PopPop and that he would always be with us. She asked me how did I know he would always be with us.......and I told her I knew because he promised he would.
Missing my daddy- Cait Crew

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

The Man With The Cross, "Just Call me Paul"

We had to stop. Inquiring hearts wanted to ask." WHY?" "Pick up your cross and follow Me." ..."What is your name?"... " Just call me Paul." He would give no credit to himself. Walking from Tulsa Oklahoma,"Paul" has just reached 1600 miles as he reached the middle of Mill Spring, N.C. He felt called to share the Gospel in this way. He started in October of 2013 when he surrendered his life totally to the Lord. Paul will stay in Columbus tonight and then head to the Harley Davidson rally in Spartanburg, S.C. this Saturday where he will join other Crusaders for Jesus. 
(exit 78 off Interstate 85.) 

He praised God for a comfortable winter because Church Builders of Gaffney put him up through the winter.I look forward to reading "Paul's" blog at It was nice to listen to this man of God, telling us with his whole heart, about how great God is and about the Love of Jesus Christ.He told my son to read his Bible. D.J. took that to heart. We prayed at the road side as cars passed by.Another person stopped and gave him a fresh drink and shook his hand, thanked him and blessed him.

It was the second time today that I saw "Jesus with skin on." Pick up your cross and Follow me." It couldn't get any clearer than that. May we never be ashamed of Jesus who loved us enough to die...for us.

Luke 9:23-26 New International Version (NIV)
 Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self? Whoever is ashamed of me
and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.

Dear Lord, I pray a simple prayer, please help me carry the cross to follow you.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

When I Call You Mine


Parents looked into their new baby's eyes for the very first time, smelled the skin of  the tiny newborn, counted each finger and toe and knew for the first time..."This is mine"

"It's up to me  to protect you, to make you feel secure, to feed you, to hold you when you cry." The baby doesn't know yet that he trusts you, depends on you but most of all he loves you. Their instinct tells them, " they are mine" And that bond grows through the years, even through difficult days, skinned knees, first loves, and first break ups.

 Parents learn to depend on their child too for reassurance that just maybe they did something right. Children  need to hear praise,too, for the task they attempted and succeeded in. They have so much in common, the ones we call " Mine"

Then comes a day when that all grown up child finds some one else to call "Mine'. But now its more like ..."Mine..all Mine'.  One day they will decide to take what was "theirs" to have and to hold from this day forward. He will protect her with shelter and she will make sure he is fed. They can not imagine a love greater than this. Until they, too have the awesome pleasure of looking into the eyes of the infant they will call "Mine ". And the cycle will begin again. Blessed. Loved. Treasured and "Mine" 

May God bless you with the love...that once was "MINE" and share it with each other. I freely give it to you. I love you grown up child of mine.

I wrote that about 5 years ago for my daughter's wedding. Today I read it as a letter from God. Let's take a minute to paraphrase it as if God wrote it to you.

" My child, as I look into your eyes, count each finger and toe and smell the sweetness of your tender skin, I know you are Mine.
I will protect you, secure you and feed you. I will always be there for you when you smile and when you cry. You don't know it yet but as you grow you will find you can trust in me always.You can depend on this promise. You are mine and You can call me your Yours. We will bond and grow through all of your years even in the difficult days that will break your heart. Those days break mine too.

I know I can  depend on you for I already know that you will help me grow my kingdom. I will reassure you that this is pleasing to Me. I will reward you and accept you. You will grow in your relationship with me.  As you love to hear praises, so do I. We have this in common, little ones I call mine.

When I send the Groom to come and get you, you will find no greater love, My bride. You will be with me from that day forward. I will shelter you the My mansion I have prepared for you. You can not fathom such a Love. We will one day have the joy of looking into each others eyes. We will call each other Mine. Blessed and loved.

Until then I bless you with My unconditional love. Share it with each other. Its free for you to  keep and free to give away. I love you growing child of Mine.

Forever each others,
Your Father

The Spirit and the Bride

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

I Washed My Hands in Dirty Water

Wet grass and dirt stuck to my shoes as I walked the dogs after the rain. I picked up a muddy rock and threw it with all the energy I had into the woods. Frustration had filled my bones. Why again does someone have to judge another? Why do I have to repeatedly hear the garbage and  the fued that travels back and forth between two of my family members? Family Fued. It's isn't a game show. No one wins.

Grrrr, I get so mad. I want to stick my fingers in my ears, stomp my feet and sing like a pouty child,  "I CAN'T HEAR YOU... BLAH... BLAH... BLAH !!!!

Billy Graham, "Anger breeds remorse in the heart, discord in the home and bitterness in the community."

Oh goodness how I was sick and tired of hearing the same garbage over and over and over again. "He said this" She's doing that!" Grrrr. I am not the middle man. That is not my job. Don't put me under these stresses. Can't you let go and let God be about his business?

Wait. I have said those exact words before. Let God be about His business. I think I have washed my hands in dirty water. 

Criswell Freeman, "If your temper gets the best of you ...then others see the worst in you."

God has heard my temper tantrum cries. He has heard me plea to him about fixing situations that I can not fix on my own. I have laid it at His feet, these things over and over and over again. Yet, my shoulders ache with tension because I still can not see the results that I expected, how I expected, when I expected. Did God not hear me the first time? Or was it that I did not trust in Him enough to do His business?

Today I feel like I stubbed my toe on that rock I threw and pain signals rings from the bottom of me to the very top of my head. Or maybe the muddy hands that threw the rock..aimed and threw the rock straight into this thick head of mine.

1 Pet 1:6-7 (Phi) This means tremendous joy to you, even though at present you may be temporarily harassed by all kinds of trials. This is no accident--it happens to prove your faith, which is infinitely more valuable than gold, and gold, as you know, even though it is ultimately perishable, must be purified by fire.

I was, more than once, told that I get to choose my battles. I get to decide what gets to me and what does not. Thinking on the family stress situation, I can choose to let God "throw the rocks" or take them in my own hands. Around her sometimes the rocks aren't rocks but boulders. I don't have the strength to pick them up. But I do have the choice to.

Today, I will let God be about His business and fix the things I can not fix and count it joy that I can release myself from the trials. 


Saturday, January 3, 2015

Bubbly, Bubbly, Bubbly.. Bubbling Over.

Mark 8:38 NIV If anyone is ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when He comes in His Father's glory with the holy angels.

 The pastor turned to his congregation and picked out a young girl,    "You are so bubbly. You were bubbling in the hall and you are still bubbling here. Bubbly Bubbly Bubbly. You just bubble over with the Holy Spirit. Just keep letting Him flow all over the place. Keep on bubbling. Bubbling, bubbling, bubbling." 

After visiting the service I went out to lunch with my friend. M.J. and I shared of where to Lord was leading us in our lives. I could just reach over an grab everyone of her words and tuck them in my heart. Bible studies. Witnessing. Counseling. Writing. Sharing. Ministries. Obeying. She was calm and excited all in one masterpiece of God. The more she talked the more I could feel the Holy Spirit bubbling all over the place.

There I was sitting across the table of grilled chicken and salads, sweet tea and yeast rolls and there, shown through her, were His "Bubbles" bubbling all over the place.  And there I was feeling like a container of bubbles with my lid being held on so tight, restricted, about to explode in anticipation of releasing those Holy Spirit bubbles. But I kept silent. Muted. 

Like those bubbles, it often takes the willingness of the hands of His people to reach in grab the wand and with intention make bubbles form. The solution is still the solution but the beauty is evident when shared and made known to others.

Are you intentionally sharing the Holy Spirit that is inside of you? Or perhaps have you noticed that you have been keeping the Holy Spirit pridefully and shamefully hidden?

If you have been as I have been, can we pray together today?

Dear Lord, You have said if I am ashamed of You then You will be ashamed of me. The last thing I would ever want is to be shameful in Your sight. Help me to put away my pride and let my outward actions show my inward feelings of You. Let me burst forth and bubble over showing my faith and trust in You. Help me Lord,  to be bubbly with the overflowing of You. Thank you , that we can share in the beauty of Your Holy Spirit openly and that one day, You too will show us to Your Father...with Joy.
May we continue to freely "bubble bubble bubble" with You.

(I found this cute little song.... I hope it brings you to bubble over with Joy too)