Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Identity theft and recovery

Still processing so much from my trip to Minnesota and what all those things really mean to me.  For years I have been wondering who I was outside of wife and mother.  I allowed myself to be defined by circumstances and people.  I was only listening to the negative things in my life.  I would listen to the self beratement and the echoes of the past.  I never thought I lived in the past, but apparently I did.  I had allowed the evil one to steal my identity.  He is the ultimate in identity theft.  I lost so much of those years.  It has taken me 40 years to recover from the theft. 

For the first time I have been able to look up the people on facebook that used to bully me and instead of being angry I am thankful.  I am so thankful that God did not allow me to be part of that group of kids and live the lives that they are living.  I am thankful I am not a single mother with two or three kids, barhopping, hoping to find the next Mr. Right.  I am thankful that my identity is given to me by Christ and I am not searching because I have already found the answer.  I no longer am angry.  I pity them and the paths they took.  I used to want them to contact me and apologize.  Now I don't care.  I don't need their apologies.  The apologies just don't matter.  Those things are gone.  Left behind.  I truly do forgive them.  Not because they care about my forgiveness, not because they deserve my forgiveness but because I deserve to forgive them.  Protecting my heart is so much more important than harboring anger. 

I went to counseling today for the first time.  It was pretty incredible.  When I was speaking to her I was realizing the healing that the Lord has been giving.  I was noticing that I am recovering my identity.  The purpose in me going to counseling is to gain knowledge and tools to keep moving forward in the progress I have been making.  I don't want to go back to the things of the past.  I don't want to have my identity stolen again.  I don't want my comfort zone to be back to the size of a pea.  I want to move forward.  I also need to figure out how to see my mother face to face and deal with her in a healthy way.  According to the counselor, I am most of the way there.  God did it without help.  Like he ever needs help.  But my God is so big that I didn't have to go to years of counseling and therapies and medications to bring me healing.  He did it His way in His time.  It all started with an unexpected journey. 

I am noticing the small things.  I can receive compliments and truly believe them.  I am holding my head up a little higher and looking people more in the eye.  I am feeling more of a confidence then I had before.  I am thankful for who I am.  I am also looking forward to Christ making me a better me.  Since I have recovered my identity from the clutches of the enemy, I am learning who I am in Christ.  I am finding the gifts He has graciously given to me.  So who am I?  What gifts has Christ given me?  I am a friend, I love to listen to others and encourage them.  I love to rejoice in their victories and pray with them through the bad.  God has chosen to bless me as an encourager.  I can see positive things in everyone.  I like to give people the benefit of the doubt.  If you are ever feeling down and need encouragement, please call me, I would love to tell you some really great things about you.  God has blessed me with other gifts as well.  I have gifts He has given me and He gave them to me so that He CAN use them.  I just had to get out of the way. 

Monday, September 24, 2012

love in action, get over it and who defines me?

     This last month has been difficult but amazing all at the same time.  Never have I been stretched so far and put so far out of my comfort zone.  I have also learned so much more about myself then I could ever imagine.  Three weeks ago a very sweet, wonderful, kind man that I love very much (has been a father to me over the years) sent me a text telling me that his wife (whom I also love) was taken to the hospice house and was dying from cancer.  He said he hadn't included my phone number in the list but apparently God wanted me to know that information.  It wasn't that he was trying to keep it from me, but rather we had gone our own ways over the last decade.  We now live halfway across the country from each other and lived our own lives.  Unfortunately it happens.  Anyway, I digress.  After receiving this text I was extremely upset.  A friend asked me how I was doing that Sunday and I cried.  I spoke to her and told her the situation with my friend/mentor/foster mom Jan.  That evening an email came with a plane ticket attached.  I was on my way home to say goodbye.

For anyone that knows me well, knows that I struggle with anxiety quite badly at times.  So packing a bag and getting on a bus, then multiple planes, then renting a car and driving 3 hours by myself would have sent me into a full blown panic attack (well there was a small one involved).  The point of the matter is if I had had time to think too much I would have backed out.  I would have backed out of an opportunity to tell someone who was very important to me how I felt about her and say goodbye while she could still hear me.  Those friends that got together and sent me home were love in action.  That is my new vocabulary phrase.  Love in action.  I want to be love in action as I have certainly received love in action many times. 

When I finally had finished the getting there, I met up with my friend/mentor/foster dad Jim.  It was like time had stood still.  We hugged and I was right back in the family as though I had always been there.  I was able to tell Jan what I went there to tell her.  How much I loved her, how much she meant to me, how she had affected my life, and how much I would miss her.  I was also privy to some very intimate family moments.  They hurt so much but were so beautiful all at the same time.  I was able to share so much of the last part of her life.  I was able to recognize just how much these people meant to me.  God gives us our parents, but when those parents choose not to be the parents that God intended them to be, He fills in the gaps.  This couple filled in the gaps in my life.  They loved me always, they cared, they supported me spiritually, financially at times, emotionally, and sometimes Jim even went to bat for me against my own mother.  They were LOVE IN ACTION.  And I will always be grateful for their unselfishness and kindness and love. 

While I was home, I was able to spend some time with my father and visit my childhood home.  I was able to face some inner demons that I had been allowing to torment me and tell me lies about who I was.  When I found the house, there was nothing I recognized.  I wouldn't have found it had my father not been with me.  I felt the Lord just telling me, "see it has changed, nothing is the same.  Just as it has changed, so have you.  You are not that little girl.  You are not who they said you were.  You are not who those bullies said you were.  you are not who your mother said you were, you are not who your father says you are.  Time to let it go."  Comfort came over me and I felt a load of weight lifted from my heart.  In essence God was telling me it was time to get over it. 

I stayed with my cousin and we were able to have long conversations well into the wee hours of the morning.  (made me way too tired but you only live once!)  We talked about all kinds of things.  The conversation did drift to family things.  I had some deep desires for my father to behave a certain way and to feel some sort of anger on my behalf towards my mother.  I wanted him to call her and yell at her and tell her off and defend me.  Because he refused to do this, I had some anger towards him as well.  My cousin in all her social working wisdom gave me some perspective.  That my father very well had some attachment disorders.  He is physiologically incapable of doing that for me.  Once again a weight was lifted and I felt the Lord peeling back the layers of my heart and telling me to get over it.

All in all after the trip was done I had put in 3500 miles on a airplane, 800 miles on a rental car, and 100 miles on a bus.  I traveled half the length of Minnesota, half the length of Wisconsin and been places I have never been before and I did it physically all by myself. (God was with me all the way).  I drove to my other cousins house without my gps working (I am usually terrified of getting lost) and showed up at a house that I wasn't sure if it was hers.  I knocked on a door and heard a voice say come in.  I went in, not knowing if it was her house or not.  Thankfully it was!  My comfort zone had no end apparently! 

Coming home was a bit difficult to try and find my place again and process everything that I had seen or done for that short 5 days.  Tears came for my friend/loved one Jan as she had passed away to be with Lord the friday morning I was heading home.  I went home silently crying the entire trip.  I just prayed that no one would talk to me on the plane and they didn't.  Since I have been home for the last two weeks, the Lord has continued to reveal so much more to me about this trip and what it really meant to me.

It meant healing, it meant a higher self esteem.  It meant stop listening to the lies about myself.  I went to church that sunday and my friends that had sent me on my journey of a lifetime hugged me, kissed me, told me they loved me.  One of them even said, "you are so worth it"  Really?  I was worthy?  Yes, I was worthy.  No more listening to lies.  I am worth it.  Once again, they were love in action.  I was loved, appreciated, cared about and worthy of their kindness and love.  WOW, totally blown away. 

This sunday the sermon was about how we view or define ourselves.  I really feel that this was the complete message from the Lord on what I was to get from this trip.  I am NOT defined by my childhood and how the bullies at school treated me.  Time to let it go.  I am NOT defined by my mother.  I am NOT who she says I am.  I am strong, I am worthy, I am loved, I am cared for.  The ONLY one that defines me is Christ.  I am who HE says I am.  Those other things are life experiences but no longer define me.  I can choose to shrink and allow the evil one to tear me down with his lies.  But I choose to be strong, I choose to listen to God.  I choose to let Him tell me who I am.  I know who I want to be.  I want to be love in action like my friends Jim and Jan and my friends here at church.  I want to stand tall and tell the devil to shut his mouth.  I want to have confidence in who God tells me I am.  I am done with negativity, I am done with the lies being told to me.  I will stand strong, I will press on!

  Now to find the end of my comfort zone.  I am still wondering where that is.  I will let you know.  Hopefully it is way bigger than it was before.  :)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

The burnt shirt

I am not a dramatic person, I don't like drama. Overly dramatic people can get on my nerves. It must be because I am INFJ. Not sure. But that being said, a couple weeks ago I went to a Dee Brestin seminar at our church and had a marvelous time. She did this little drama which she thought was hokey and frankly so did I, that is until this evening. The little drama was about this woman who burned a hole in her silk shirt. She takes it to a friend and shows her and the friend gives her sympathy and comfort. Tells her that she isn't alone that we have all done something like that before and it was ok. Well when the womans husband come home she is still upset and tells him what has happened. He then puts on his glasses and reads the label on the shirt and proceeds to tell her how to use the iron properly. NOT HELPING!!!! She storms off and the husband wonders why! A typical man woman stand off. Tonight I have been having an emotional storm. I feel worthless as a mother, I feel like I am floundering and that I am defeated. My children will do nothing but bicker. The oldest one (the teenage wannabe) is a girl and her mouth gets going and she forgets that she is actually capable of closing it! The middle one is an instigator with his little brother. He tries to parent and push the little guy around, which backfires and causes fights. He is also on the lazy side. I feel like I have to walk him through everything in his life, like he can't do anything or figure anything out on his own. I know he is highly intellegent, for heavens sake, he skipped a grade in school! The youngest, well he could make me do a blog just on him. He is a piece of work. Some days he makes me want to retire from the mom business and go to some tropical paradise and sip pina coladas and forget about how hard motherhood is. Sometimes I wonder if they are really this crazy right now or maybe I am?? It is hard to know.

I tried to talk it through with my husband tonight. I may as well have been talking to a houseplant for as much as he helped me. I already feel defeated like I have done it all wrong. So as I am explaining how I am feeling and how the kids have been behaving, we had a burnt shirt moment. Right out of the skit. He looked at me over the top of his glasses and proceeded to tell me how to use the iron (meaning I must be doing something wrong). OUCH. So now not only do I feel like I am apparently doing something wrong if I can't keep my youngest from misbehaving, lying, ruining things, running crazy. Now my husband who is really just trying to fix what he feels is my problem is sending me the same message. I have screwed up. He was NOT helping. I couldn't get it through to him how I was feeling. I just felt lost. I shut him out. Not sure what else to do. I could see that he was trying to help, but I couldn't tell him how. Total loss. I just went to the bedroom and cried. I still feel that way. all upset and not sure what to do with it or who to talk to about it. So I am blogging and just hoping that getting it down in writing will make it feel better. I guess part of me might be glad that not many people read this because it is a lot of personal things.

Some days I just feel alone in it. Like I am the only parent and the only one that sees what is going on. I need a mother. Even at 37 I need a mom. I wish that I could have a spiritual mom that I could call and get some advice, even if that was a kick in the butt. Sometimes we all need that. Okay this is probably not getting me anywhere so I am going to bed.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Another day....

I decided that I really wanted to blog today and I am not sure why. No great thoughts have come into my head. There is nothing pressing on my heart other than it is another day. I guess that in and of itself is important. It IS another day. Another day to be thankful for what I have, another day to spend with the people I love. It is another day to breathe in fresh air and be glad there is no snow yet. It is another day to behold the beauty that the Lord has put around us.

I woke up this morning feeling a little grumbly and wanted coffee instead of my usual tea. But alas after months of not being used, I came to realize that my coffee maker had not been emptied of the coffee grounds. MOLD ewwwwwwwwwww. Another day to be thankful that there seems to be a Dunkin Donuts on every corner here in New England. I threw a sweater on over my pj's (I was wearing sweats) and drove to DD for a wonderful Pumpkin coffee. It is my favorite sweater. I have received many compliments on it. My sister has asked me if she could have it. I might will it to her if I die soon. My dear husband calls it my blanket with sleeves. The snuggies have nothing on this sweater. Coffee in hand I snuggle on the couch and listen to the sounds of James Taylor and Otis Redding on Pandora. A blessed hour of quiet as my daughter does homework on the computer and my sons are outside playing in the leaves. Another thing to be thankful for.

I know I have so much to thank God for. He has blessed me above all I could have imagined. Many people are suffering around the world, some of them are my friends. As I have lived my charmed little life I haven't seen into the lives of my friends (those that I haven't had current contact with.) Friends that have lost jobs. Friends have been ill, or they have lost loved ones. I have a friend that was arrested for child abuse. I have a friend that made a mess of her life with drugs and lost her children. Now she is finding her way back. All while I whine about something comparatively little. Brandon Heath's song, Give Me Your Eyes, has spoken to me. I don't think that I could handle having God's eyes. I think the pain of humanity would destroy me, but I would like it if God would help me to see people with his compassion and grace and mercy. Meanwhile I live my sweet little life and thank God even more for just another day..........

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


By all accounts I adore my children. They really are a blessing to me. But sometimes I wonder why that blessing can feel like a bane. Was life really easier before kids? I guess the answer to that one is yes it was easier. But was it really as rewarding? No way! I hear people talk about the best times of their lives was when they were single without children, college age living the high life. Is that really the best times of our lives? It isn't mine. I loved being in Florida with all my girls just about living at the beach and having a good time. It wasn't the best times of my life so far though. I would say that the best times are now, the ones that I am living today. A day at the beach with my bestest friend ever, doesn't compare to a fun day with the little ones wrapped in my arms watching a movie in our jammies. Even on days when I would like to sell them to the gypsies (like today) I wouldn't change my life.

Kids frustrate me, make me want to pull my hair out in huge clumps and throw it at them! It has been a day of dirty laundry crumpled up in the CLEAN drawers of laundry. Toys jammed where they shouldn't be because someone was too lazy to put them in the right spot even though the right spot was only two feet away from the hiding hole. Dirty socks from one son crumpled up in the drawer of the other son. It has been a day of sass and attitude thrown at me by a teenage wannabe GIRL (of course). And a day of tears from a preteen son who whines and complains about why he has to show me his work in Math. And doesn't understand how he gets it but he just gets the answer but can't figure out the steps to get there. It has been a day of arguing between the children and me having to get them squared away. Do I want a break? YES! Do I really want them to go away? Maybe for a couple of hours, but never to the gypsies. I would miss them too much. I would miss my messy house and my crazy kids. I am sure that I would even miss the arguing, complaining and everything else that goes along with being a mom.

Over the last two years I have had to take jobs outside of my home and I hated it. I hated being away from them. I hated not being there for them. I just LOVE being a stay at home mom and a homeschooling mom, even with all the frustrations that it brings at times. I wouldn't want to be anywhere else. I know I live a very charmed and wonderful life. I wouldn't want it any other way. Sometimes I just need to remind myself of that. Especially on the days like today where there might be one or two bald spots. Honestly these really are the best days of my life and when they are gone I am sure going to miss them..........

Sunday, October 11, 2009


I have been feeling like no one is listening. Why is that? Why is it that I feel I must blog to get someone to hear me? I post a status change on facebook, no one notices. I talk to people and get interrupted all the time. I talk to my husband and he does something else at the same time. I reach out to have a conversation and get interrupted by others and other objects such as phones ringing and tv and even the computer. Am I that insignificant? Is anyone that insignificant? Do the things I say sound that stupid that no one wants to hear them? Why is it that I feel like I am the least important thing around here? I am not high maintenance. I just want to feel like someone actually is not going to be rude anymore and shut off the darn tv, close the stupid computer, or turn off the dang cell phone and look at me when I am talking to them and give me their undivided attention. It doesn't seem to be just my family and friends, but a wide rampant part of our culture. Listening has become a thing of the past. Now people pay to have someone listen to them. It is called a counselor. I am guilty of it too. I won't lay blame at everyone else. I do the same thing as well. I hate feeling this way though. Maybe this is God's way of helping me to become a better friend and a better listener.

We learned in Sunday school last week that God does not make us insignificant. I know that is true, but why then do we feel like we are? because that is the message that we send one another. We fill our lives with preoccupations of all kinds, sports, tv, cell phones, texting, facebooking......the list goes on and on. As these things fill the holes in our schedule, relationships and the feelings of others become less and less important to us. But I find it interesting that we aren't just robbing others, we are robbing ourselves of relationships. A great friendship is a treasure, a gem that you don't want to lose. But it takes both people to love one another and to LISTEN, to put those distractions away for a bit and to just look at them and make them feel important.

I just realized I do have a friend like that. What a blessing. My husband wonders why I love this friend. She is rough around the edges and can be brutally honest. But I love her all the same. She puts her distractions away and just listens. No matter what is going on in her life she puts it aside and listens. I get her full attention and she looks at me when we speak. She drops everything to be there for me when I need her. I do the same for her. I may not always agree with her and she with me, but we listen to each other. We share thoughts that men can't understand, we share feelings that we can't share with our husbands. I just don't get to spend enough time with her lately because she is now a working mom and I stay at home. I miss her all the time :( I just know that she is at a place in her life where she is doing what she has to do. Friends like that are hard to come by.

I think that now I am going to make the effort to be a better friend, to talk less and listen more and to put my distractions aside and look people in the eye and make them feel important. No one is insignificant. God tells us he loves us and we are more important then the birds in the air and the lillies in the field. He listens to us no matter what. I think that we should strive to be more like Christ. People were his focus, not on where he was going to go that day or what he was going to do, but to whom he was going to minister. We should be like Christ and focus on being there for each other, not on ourselves and how much we can get out of this life. The best thing we can do for ourselves is to be a blessing to others and make THEM feel significant!

Never thought.....

Never thought that I would take up blogging. It did seem like the next step for me to advance in the cyberworld. I figured what the heck, I can get out all these random things in my head that I want to tell people. In the written world you can get it all out without anything interrupting the thought process. It might be fun, it could be liberating or it could just be a big huge waste of my already limited time. Anyway I thought I would try it. If anyone cares to read or listen to me in my ramblings here, thank you.