We are officially a 501(c)(3) organization

we have been working hard for the past year, building our numbers, networking with people who want to be involved, getting ready; while waiting for our tax exempt status to go through…we are now officially a 501 (c)(3) organization and now we can really start working for God. Let us know how/if you would like to get involved. For those of you that don’t know what this means…the biggest thing is that anyone who donates to us (time, money, services, etc.)you can claim your donation on your income tax. It is not legal to claim donations to any non-profit; they must be a 501(c)organization to be tax deductible.

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Growing Up #1

Do
Things we are told
and
Experiences we have had
Growing up
Make us who we are?
Every person on earth is a unique person. No two people are the same. We all look different, we all think different and we all process the things that happen in our life different. I believe everyone has some sort of concept that your past helps contribute to the person you become, however I am not sure everyone realizes to what degree that statement is true. I believe the things we are told and the experiences we have, growing up can make us or break us. We are all unique creations of God and therefore, it is unfair to judge anyone for who they are.
Have you ever thought how two people can grow up in a certain situation and yet grow up to be totally different? Have you ever noticed that even identical twins are different in many ways? Two children who grew up in the same home with the same type of love and experiences will grow up and have totally different memories of their childhood.
To think of this is a miracle, however it is also very sad. I say it is sad because although, we all want to be recognized for the person we are, we tend to judge others for who they are or are not. We judge without knowing the things there were told or the experiences they had growing up. Maybe if we took time to realize this, we could be more understanding of other’s situations. Think about your own life and the things that have affected you. Some of the words spoken or actions taken you may not even realize had such an impact on the way you think or react to certain situations today. It may have been a negative word spoken to you as a young child that was reinforced as the years went by. It may have been a certain action that happened, maybe you didn’t know all the circumstances and therefore saw that action as something other than what it was. Your mind has processed these words and/or actions and has been reinforced by similar words or actions throughout the years…Now your heart feels the pain when the something triggers that deep rooted emotion that has grown with you as you have grown. If those emotions were built over time due to something that someone else was responsible for, you may be trying to resolve the emotions you carry without even realizing it. You may be looking for someone else to help you heal from the hurt you have carried for so long. Until you can look into yourself to see where the hurt began, you may not ever be able to resolve it. Just as it is unfair for others to judge you for the person you have become, it is unfair for us to judge others due to the pain we keep within ourselves. In most cases it is our pain and we try to make it theirs by holding them accountable for the actions or words that they say that in turn cause us pain. In reality it is our pain and our decision to hold onto that pain.
Do
We hold onto pain and hurt
In our minds and heart
To make us the people we are now?

Time to Forgive #16

It’s time to Let Go
Completely
From our thoughts and our heart
It’s time to Let Go
Completely
So we can move forward
To forgive someone is sometimes easier said than done.
What is it to forgive someone? I have been hurt physically & emotionally. It will take a lot for me to get over all the hurt that I had to endure and yet I must find a way to forgive. It is very easy to see or feel how much someone hurts us, however we may not always see or feel how much we also have hurt others. Maybe if we could understand where our hurt comes from, it would be easier to forgive. If we could find a way to let go completely we would be able to move forward.
My husband and I didn’t communicate to each other and that caused us both to jump to conclusions based on our past. We didn’t love ourselves enough to be honest about our own hearts and feelings. We didn’t allow ourselves to become one because we both held on to our past hurt so much. By holding onto those past hurts we let ourselves experience the hurt over and over again instead of allowing us to heal together. We were our own worst enemies. We knew we had something special because God brought us together to help each other. We knew that we had gone through the same things and therefore should be able to understand each other. We should have been able to help each other and yet we let our own feelings cause us the pain we tried so hard to avoid. My husband and I experienced a selfish -kind of hurt. I say that because we were too concerned about ourselves rather than being concerned about each other. This selfish hurt caused us to not let go and therefore, we could not move forward. The sad thing about it is that we caused our own problems by being selfish. He did not cause my hurt and I did not cause his hurt, we were both responsible for our own hurt.
How could we ever forgive each other if we were not willing to let go of the hurt we had built up inside ourselves? In order to forgive others we must first look in the mirror and see who we are. Are we holding onto hurt feelings and holding someone else responsible for our feelings? Everyone has a past and our past makes us who we are, however our past is just that…”our past”…it is not our future. I had to look inside myself to find what drives the force of forgiveness for me personally. I had to look within myself to find the peace in my heart that allowed me to forgive. My life consisted of many experiences which I held on to. Some of those experiences were good and some were bad. I realized that by holding on to those experiences, they had a part in developing me as a person. I choose how to categorize each experience and how to let each experience shape my life. Because, we as humans, tend to dwell on the bad or negative, I allowed those bad and negative experiences to control my inner self. I don’t think we realize when we do this. I don’t think we even realize that it is our choice how we live. We are in control of our self no one else can control what is in us…only we have that control. I had to realize this to understand how to forgive. My husband was not responsible for the feelings I had. Those feelings were in me long before I even met him. My feelings of insecurity, my feelings of being unloved, my feelings of having no self esteem were my choices. It was my choice to allow my feelings to be confirmed by his words or actions. It was my choice to allow him to affect my life in a negative way. What happened to me…was not me. I had always tried to live my life in a positive way. One of the main beliefs I lived by was that everything in life is a gift from God. Everything is an experience that God has allowed us to have. You do not know the reason, however at the very base we were given each experience to learn from and possibly to use to help someone else in the future who may also go through the same experience. I lost this belief, because I choose to. I was not strong enough within myself to realize what I was allowing to happen. I had to look within myself to be able to forgive myself enough to let go of the choices I kept buried in my heart. I had to let go of the bad choices I was allowing to control my life and my feelings. I had to accept that my choices are mine…no one else’s. To understand the unique person that God made me to be, allowed me to not only accept myself as a beautiful creation of God, I was also able to forgive myself and accept my own choices. By accepting my self, I can accept that my husband is his own person also….an equally beautiful creation of God who was allowed his own unique choices (good or bad). In realizing this, I realized that my husband is responsible for his own choices and I don’t have to allow his choice to affect me in a negative way. The story I have expressed was from my heart, however it is not a true story in that it was not only my heart that was involved. My husband went through his own types of pains and hurts. My husband was also a victim of my choices. My husband deserves the right to be who God created him to be without judgment or blame from me or anyone else. Just as I became the person I became, he also became the person he became due to his past and the very hard and unique challenges he had to experience. No one can say that either he; nor I was more or less to blame… we are who we are because God made us this way. God has a reason for each of us, that is why he created us each as a unique individual. I am blessed and able to accept and love myself and my husband as the unique and blessed people that God has created us to be. I am a perfect creation of God and so is my husband; that is the reason God brought us together… for each other. For me to forgive was to find peace within myself through Christ. To forgive I had to replace the hurt in my heart with Love.
I forgive because I accept the blessings God has given us as individuals.
Maybe to forgive others
means
to be able to forgive ourselves;
and now in front of the world…
I proclaim
To my Husband…..
Donell,
I forgive you!
Can you forgive me?

Marriage #15

Love between two people
Commitment between two people
Two people becoming one
How do I know if I am married or not?
Is marriage when two have united through their hearts;
With God as their witness?
Or
Is Marriage when two people have a piece of paper, saying they are married?

What is marriage? There are many who would question this due to questions surrounding gay marriage. I have another reason to question this. Mine is very personal. Mine has religious as well as legal ramifications.

This is my religious dilemma:

When I married I insisted on getting married in a church because this was something I believed strongly in. When I married I took my vows very seriously. The circumstances surrounding my marriage were a bit unusual and this added to the strong beliefs behind my marriage. I had known my husband for only a month and a half via phone conversations. I flew to St Louis to meet him and we got married the same day. We knew, in our hearts, that God had brought us together. Due to my past, I prayed from the moment I stepped off the airplane, while standing in line at the court and up until the time I said “I DO” at the church. I prayed that God would watch over us and I asked to be led to do God’s will; if this was his will that he would bless us in this marriage ceremony. I prayed and I prayed and we were married. I went into this marriage knowing that I made my vows with God as my witness. I believed in my vows till death do us part. I believed in my vows for better or worse, in sickness and in health, for richer or for poorer…….I believed and I promised to fulfill these vows.
Do these vows hold true In God’s eyes if my marriage was filled with abuse and adultery against me?
Do these vows hold true if the marriage was not valid in a legal sense?
No one can ever imagine or guess the events that will happen in their life. No one can be prepared for every twist and turn life offers. Shortly after my marriage I learned that my husband was a crack addict. I learned this through the trials my life was faced with. The addiction caused my husband to do many things that are totally against what the Bible says a marriage should be. My husband became abusive; physically, emotionally and verbally. My husband stole from me to pay for his addiction. My husband cheated on me on a regular basis with prostitutes. These are all things that the Bible talks against. Adultery and abuse are both reasons for divorce. The Bible talks about not associating with people like this. The Bible says a person who commits adultery will not be accepted into the kingdom of heaven. The Bible says if you commit adultery you ruin your life. The Bible says very specifically what love is and there is no way that the things my husband did to me would be considered love. And yet, the Bible also says a wife is to submit to her husband. The Bible says we are to forgive 70 X’s 7 times. I believe in God’s word…I believe I am to strive to be as Jesus was. If someone asks for forgiveness and forgives others as he would want to be forgiven; if someone repents and accepts Jesus into his life; if that someone is born again as a new creature of God, do all his past sins matter? Should they matter to anyone if God has forgiven and Only God can judge?

My dilemma is compounded by legal matters.

I have been married for four years now. Even through all the trials, we have tried to work together. Out of nowhere I receive a call from my husband’s first wife. They are not divorced….which means I am not married…or am I? Does it make a difference that he was not a husband to me even when we believed ourselves to be married? Does it make a difference that my husband has asked God for forgiveness and I truly believe that God will judge me to the same extend I judge others? In my mind, I must forgive and not judge my husband just as I would ask God (and my husband) to forgive me. I am not married legally, however, the question remains………am I married in God’s eyes?
When I said my vows to my husband, I said them believing them to be true and from my heart.

Marriage; a covenant
In God’s house with God as our witness.
Marriage; with vows
between us two, from our hearts with God’s blessings.
Are we married in Christ
Under God’s Rule

Reflections #14

Reflections
Is Love Blind
Or do we choose to see only what we want
I can see clearly now

We all have to look in the mirror to see ourselves. Sometimes we do not see what others see. We see what we believe about ourselves not necessarily what is real. Sometimes we see what our mind tells us and sometimes we see what our heart tells us; our self-image may be a mixture of both.
The story I have told is very ‘one-sided’ in many ways. It tells of the hurt I felt. This hurt was real to me, however it does not tell of the hurt I caused that was just as real to my husband. When I face my judgment day, I will have to account for every word I spoke and ever thing I did. I have to reflect on me because this is the only way I can heal.
When I look back I cannot believe some of the things I did. This was not me. I say that, I believe this, and I know it to be true; so why can’t I accept the same from my husband? Why can’t I accept that the things he did were not who he really is? I must accept this just as I ask him to accept me for who I am…who I truly am even through the things I did.
I yelled and I cursed…..oh how I yelled. I said hateful and hurtful things. I was selfish and controlling. At the time, I would have argued each of these admissions. At the time, I would have believed I was doing the right thing. I know now that I caused my husband to hurt in many ways also. I must admit my faults. The first is that I did not respect him as my husband; I did things that belittled him. I had been a single mom for 20 years and had only my son to turn to. This became a habit for me and I didn’t realize the hurt it caused my husband. If there was something to be done; I would instantly say “let me ask (my son)” I should not have done this, I should have asked and accepted my husband’s word and opinion. Another variation of this is that he would say something and I would not acknowledge that he said it until I heard the same thing from someone else. By doing this I made him feel like I was not listening and I didn’t put any importance to what he said; it made him feel like I cared what others thought or said more than what he thought or said. I should have known this because I felt the same way. I have a very bad habit of talking…and talking…and talking…This caused many pains. First it made my husband feel like I was treating him like a child. It is not uncommon for me to say something several different ways and many times over. I did not mean to make him feel like a child, this is something I really need to work on because not only did this cause my husband pain; I was also causing some of my own pain. My husband would tend to “tune me out” after a while or after my story was repeating and this would make me feel like he was not listening or like he didn’t care what I had to say when in reality I was saying the same things over and over again.
The next fault of mine is that I was very controlling. I had to have everything my way because if I controlled the way things were, I would be sure they were done correctly. I was so used to doing everything for myself and my children. In my mind I had to do everything to be sure all was taken care of; I had to be sure all problems were solved. Because of my mind set, I took charge in every situation and did not allow my husband to be the “man of the family”. My mind had convinced me that I was taking care of him. I would nag about everything; thinking that I was just making sure everything was getting done. The Bible says it is Better to live out in the desert than with a nagging, complaining wife. Proverbs 21:19 & Proverbs 27:15 says An endless dripping on a rainy day and a nagging wife are alike. This was me and I had no idea I was hurting him and I was not acting like his wife. I was being a mom like I have always been. He didn’t need a mom he needed a wife.
One of the faults that I hate about myself the most is in the things that came out of my mouth. It is still hard for me to believe that I cursed the way I did. I had not ever cursed like this before in my life. I not only cursed, I said some very hurtful and hateful things. I told my husband he was a crack-head whore, I told my husband that I hated him. There is no way for me to say I am sorry for the words that came out of my mouth.
The guilt I feel for the ugly words I said and the way I acted will haunt me forever….who am I to complain about the names he called me when I did the same to him? Who am I to judge him when I will have to stand before God for the things I did to him?
Stop … Think … Reflect
Only God can judge
We are all unique in the way God made us
Stop and see who you are before you judge others
Think and Thank God for all of our differences
No one is perfect … we all have faults

Reflect and look inside yourself

Beginning of the End #13

The pressure builds
The disappointments mount
The disrespect grows
And yet it is usually something small that will put you over the edge
The last straw
How much hurt is one person supposed to take

The problems were getting worse. The drug use was getting worse and he was taking more money. He wrote out checks and signed my name which caused me to overdraw at the bank. He didn’t seem to care if I could pay the bills or not; all he cared about is his drug. His cheating with prostitutes was getting worse. The one thing that was better is that he hadn’t put his hands on me all this time. Now, that had also changed. I had made a comment about his cheating on me with prostitutes and he put his hands around my neck and started shaking me vigorously. He said it was because of my mouth….why couldn’t I keep my mouth shut. It is funny how these serious things were not what finally broke me. The beginning of the end was because he pawned his wedding ring. He had always told me that he would not take off his wedding ring for anything. Now I knew he cared more about his addictions than he cared about our marriage. To realize that he would spend money on drugs and other women and he would pawn his wedding ring to do that was the last final confirmation I needed to know our marriage was over. This was the most disrespectful thing he could have ever done to me.
I was numb to my feelings because it was easier to stay numb then to hurt.
His made some decisions that would change my heart forever. The final steps he took showed me that I couldn’t help him anymore. He didn’t want help. First he sold our Mac computer for an $85 rock. This computer had all our business information on it and it had all his music on it. His music was his life so for him to sell this showed me he didn’t care about anything anymore. The next thing he did was that he told me that he could get $750 for my camera. (He latter he told me he would not have taken it, I don’t believe this) I started taking my camera with me everywhere I went because I was afraid he would take it and this was the one and only thing I had left that meant anything to me. I was always on edge and couldn’t take living like this anymore so I finally agreed to give him the $750. I gave him all of my bill money. He said he would be gone for a minimum of three months. I asked him to not contact me. I told him to leave and not ever look back. The money didn’t matter as much as him leaving and not returning. No matter how much it hurt to see him go, I needed the hurt to go away. He used up the money in two days and came back to the house. I couldn’t believe he was back. I had finally convinced myself that I would be okay without him and I was prepared to be without him in my life. After a few days, I asked him what it would take for him to leave and not ever look back. He said for me to get him a ticket to his hometown and give him $300 spending cash. I borrowed the money, got him a flight and gave him the cash he asked for. Again, I asked that he leave and not ever look back.
I was done. I could finally breathe again and not have to worry about being hurt in any way…mentally, physically…or financially. With him gone, I could finally heal.
After only a couple of days he called me and was on his way home. Things did not go the way he expected in his home town. He learned that I was the only one who loved and cared about him…I couldn’t take it anymore.
When he got back he went straight to rehab. He had them pick him up at the airport and I didn’t even see him.
A week later, it was 2 am and I was asleep. I woke up suddenly because the light in my bedroom turned on. There he was standing at the foot of our bed. Shocked….I felt like I was going to pass out.
He was home for two weeks. It was during this time that I was in the process of trying to get my house re-financed. He showed me he could be a true husband. He helped me around the house; he cleaned and painted and showed me love and respect. I came home from work in the middle of the day and asked him if he was high. He held me so lovingly and promised me that he was not; he promised me that he would tell me if he got the urge. When I got home at lunch, he was high. This was the end; I asked him to leave and told him ONCE again I did not ever want to see him again. I told him if he was not gone by the time I got home after work, I would call his PO. I told him I didn’t want him hurt; I just wanted him gone and it was his decision on how he was going to leave. He said he would be gone and I locked the doors with him in the backyard. I got home from work and he was still in the back yard. I told him he needed to leave before the police got there and he would not leave. It took a couple of hours until he finally left; his PO and the police arrived and soon after found him sitting at a bus stop near our house.
The way he held me was the same as he did our first night in St. Louis when he told me I would not ever have to be afraid again. I didn’t think he could hurt me worse than he already had; this hug was the most disrespectful thing and the most hurtful feeling he could impose on me….the way we began is the way we would end…with a hug filled with so much love.

I have heard that God only gives you as much as he thinks you can handle
He must think awfully high of me
I really can’t handle this any more
Why God….Why