Saturday, December 12, 2015

Pardon the interruption

I've been quiet lately. Honestly, I haven't been motivated. 'Tis the season I guess.

Why am I breaking my silence now? Well, because I need to say this out loud.

One of my biggest fears is losing my husband. I have had vivid dreams of such. That The Mayor has realized just how crazy I am and can't take it anymore.

It's been quite a while since I've had those types of dreams. Until recently. The past 2 days I have had nightmares of this loss. These dreams are debilitating. I wake up feeling the dread. It crushes my chest.

I must have really been dreaming last night. When I woke up, The Mayor asked if I had had bad dreams. He said I was crying in my sleep.

I know that these dreams are simply the enemy's way of trying to get me to doubt my marriage and the bond that we have.

The enemy has been working overtime lately. My feelings and thoughts of self-doubt have been running rampant. Loser wife, terrible mother, failure as a woman, not having a job, not helping around the house. Add the fact that Christmas is an emotional time for me (since it was the last time I saw my father alive) and I am a mess. But that's how the enemy tries to hold me down. If I get into my head and believe the lies he's telling me then I will crawl in a hole and hide.

By voicing what has been going on, I am removing its power over me. I will NOT allow it to have power.

My husband loves me exactly the way I am.
My children appreciate the time I spend with them.
I will remember the wonderful memories of Christmas with my father.
God will provide the job He wants me to have. I need to be patient.

I will NOT believe the lies.

Many blessings,

Monday, October 19, 2015

Back in time -- September 20, 1992

I haven't spoken to D since Wednesday! Oh well - things weren't mean to be.
I went to the shore for the day with this guy, J. He works at High Spirits with me. I have been wanting to go with him since I met him; did today.
I had SO much fun! We went & visited his nieces. Then later, we went to the boardwalk, went to the aquarium, he won me a stuffed bat. Then, when he dropped me off, he kissed me! :)
The best part is he wants to see me on either Wednesday or Thursday - after classes. :)
Then on October 10, we are going on a midnight cruise around Manhattan. :)
Now I am just waiting for his call - so I know he got home alright. :)
I am SO happy.

And here I am, 5 days after my last entry and I have once again found ANOTHER guy I am so madly in love with. Thinking he could be the one. I mean, he took me to meet his family. Total marriage material - right?
I was so lost. Searching. Still the desperation jumps off the pages. If only I had put this much effort into my relationship with God.
One thing I can say is that every step of the way, God was there. Wanting me to run to Him. He was running to me. I was just too busy to see it. But years later, He welcomed me with open arms.
He will do that for you.

Many blessings,

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

And now.... September 15, 1992

September 15, 1992 
D & I have finally gotten a chance to fall in love again, but neither of us will let it happen. I mean - I would love for us to get back together, but I am afraid I'll get hurt. He wants to get back, but is afraid it won't work out because my parents do not like him. I am willing to be with him even at the expense of losing my family; they love me & will eventually accept my decision. Maybe this is just a second chance to be with each other & not to fall in love. I guess I'll just have to wait to find out. 
Lately, he's been a little distant. I don't know why. I'm not hooked on him in a big way -- I can control it. Maybe he just wants to forget everything, but he has to let me know what's up. I cannot keep guessing. I've beeped him 2x & he has not called me back yet. Either he's asleep or he just doesn't want to return my call. It is possible that he has his beeper on silence and can't hear it. WHATEVER! Now he can call me. 
What's going on!?!?!?
It just saddens me to see how far I was willing to go to have a relationship. In this case, this was an extremely toxic relationship. Even when we dated, D and I were turbulent. I was a naive young woman and he was an older guy. He used to tease me that I lived in "Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood" compared to where he grew up. Even though we had only dated 9 months in 1989, my life was upside down. There were so many red flags that I ignored.  I was truly blinded by the 'need' of being loved by someone.

Once again, this entry shows just how far I was willing to go to be loved by a man. I was willing to walk away from my family to be with an abusive man.

I'm not placing all of the blame with D. Hardly. If memory serves me, I pursued him. You can read that he was playing games with me by not contacting me yet I sat by waiting. I would have waited days. He may have strung me along, but I wasn't willing to walk away. I didn't have the self-esteem.

What would I say to this Allison?

Allison - please know that you are a beautiful young woman worth so much more than this man. You shouldn't be the one to pursue; you should be the one that is pursued. A real man.... a real man will pursue you. Will want to capture your heart and hold on to it for dear life. Not play games with it.
In the course of 6 years, you were sexually assaulted by 5 different men. You need to heal... mentally & emotionally. Take the time to heal. 

Here I am in 2015 finally healed from all of the pain. My goal in sharing these entries is to help others heal from their pain. They don't need to wait 20+ years to heal. They can start the process now. God has done amazing things in my life. Healing my broken heart. He can do the same for you.

Many blessings,

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Heading back to August 18, 1992

August 18, 1992
I spend some time with L last night. Quality time alone. Something we both needed together. We just kind of watched tv, cuddled, kissed and comforted. It's such a great feeling to be cared for by someone other than your parents.
Even though the only relationship we truly share is a deep friendship, sometimes we are helpful as brief companions. I care for him so deeply - there's nothing I wouldn't do for him. We support each other; if we disagree, we let the other know. I believe this is the beginning of an adult friendship. 

Oh, this was the furthest thing from an adult friendship. Once again, here I am trying to use intimacy as a way to make a guy like me. I mean, if I'm willing to 'put out' he'll fall in love with me, right? WRONG!!!

One thing I have learned is that intimacy is something that should be special. Not something given away to anyone who may be remotely interested. Why you ask? Biblically, God intended sex to be between 1 man and 1 woman who are married to each other. It's more than just a physical connection. That's mere minutes... but there is also an emotional connection; a spiritual connection. Those connections last a lifetime. You don't forget them. Every time you give yourself away to someone that isn't your spouse, you lose a piece of yourself. A piece you can't get back.

Dear one..... protect your heart! Please! I can't beg you enough. Your heart... your body is worth more than diamonds. Not something that should be taken lightly. Love yourself. Believe me. There is someone out there for you that God has set aside.

In the years since this entry, I have learned to look at myself through the lens of God. He sees me as special. Beautiful. Worth dying for. Trust me, I don't always see myself this way.  Sometimes I have more good days and sometimes I have more bad days, but when I can see myself through His Eyes, all of the hurt and pain that you read in my journal entries goes away. He heals my broken heart & binds up my wounds (Psalm 147:3).

We (me & you) don't have to suffer in shame. I can hold my head up high regardless of what my past is. He wipes away the past. Picture a chalkboard (or a dry-erase board for the younger generation). You write on it and then you can completely erase what you've written. Never to be seen again. God's redemption is just like that.

Many blessings,

Friday, September 25, 2015

Back in time - August 16, 1992

August 16, 1992

Never before have I felt for a guy the way I do for L. It's hard to explain. I love being with him. Everything about him; wonderful. He's been a friend, a companion & a lover; each aspect was just as committed.
When I need a hug or a shoulder to cry on, he's there for me. When I just want to hang out, there he is. When I yearn to be with someone in a physical way, once again, he is there.
I wonder if this is just a fling or if it will turn into something that is experienced by adults.

 I'll admit. L was a really nice guy. I met him through a guy I had met at college. From the start, he was straight forward with his intentions. Of course, I thought I could change his mind. We were friends. I wanted more. Clearly I thought he may have been a contender as a husband.

Again, my insecurity and self-loathing came in to play and I did anything and everything to keep him interested. I compromised who I was as a woman. He innocently used me. I say innocently because I don't think it was his intention. He was simply being a guy taking what a girl was willing to give him. The average guy doesn't turn down a sure thing. Yet for me, each time tore away at my heart more and more. A little piece of my soul was destroyed.

Looking back, this was one of the lowest times in my life. Emotionally, mentally, spiritually. It had been a year since my ex had sexually assaulted me and just a few months since another guy & his friend took turns raping me. These guys abused me in such a devastating way. At this point, I had absolutely NO love for myself. I was looking for love, but I was also looking for a way to erase those memories. If I could replace those memories with better ones maybe I'd be ok. But I wasn't. You can't erase memories - especially memories of rape. Those memories are always with you. You won't have flashbacks forever however I will always remember.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Back in time - August 15, 1992

August 15, 1992
Sometimes I wonder if I have already met my future husband or if he is still to come into my life. Is it possible that I might marry someone I already know? Will I ever meet my future husband?
There are many times I feel as if I am ready to settle down and get married, but then I realize that I am not even finished with my education. I know soon I will meet my Mr. Right, but until then..... 
Dear 20-year old Allison,

Oh honey. If you only knew what was in store for you. I know you're hurting and feel lonely. I wish you would have focused more on your education and less on wanting to finding a guy. You put all of your self-worth into the prospect of being 'saved' by love. Getting married doesn't make life easier. It adds another level of complications. Don't get me wrong. Marriage is wonderful, but it takes a lot of work. Work that you just weren't prepared for. The love of a guy doesn't make you whole. It won't fill the void that you have in your life; in your heart. The only person who can fully fill that void is your Heavenly Father. By seeing yourself through His eyes, you gain such self-worth. God loves you more than you can understand. He loves you so much He died for you. He wants nothing more but for you to be happy. He has great plans for you.

What is so ironic is that your future husband was someone you already knew. Since you were 15-years old. The reunion was a God thing. That's the only way I can describe it. A few months after this date, you prayed to God for the first time in a long time and asked God for a 2nd chance with C. Saying that you would do whatever it took to make the relationship work. You hadn't heard from C in 3 years so the possibility of a reunion was almost impossible. Yet 3 days after your prayer, C called you out of the blue.

Love, 43-year old Allison

Many blessings,

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Going back in time - August 13, 1992

Like I said the other day, my next few posts will be journal entries from my childhood. Please keep that in mind when reading them. Know that the reason I am being so transparent with my journal is to show young women that having a man to love you isn't what brings happiness. There's so much more to life than finding a guy. Any names - besides my own - will be shortened to the first initial only.

August 13, 1992
I'm still in love with my ex-boyfriend, D. I want so much to be back with him, but he just won't allow it. He says he doesn't love me that way anymore. I know he does, he's just scared! I am sure my family is a big factor, since they do not even want me to talk to him (after what he did to me). But I forgive him for assaulting me. I trust him again. I think I just want to be with him because I have no one and he gives me a familiar comfort & adoration that I am lacking in my life right now.

This is the first entry in this particular journal. It was written over 23 years ago. My heart just breaks for the young woman on these pages. She was so desperate for love and attention that she was willing to go back to a guy who hurt her - physically, mentally, emotionally & sexually. It had to have been such a low place in her life. The self hate, self loathing is so evident especially in this one entry.

When I look back at this entry I am just so saddened that I was in a place that low. That I cared so little about myself & my self-respect that I was willing to put myself in harm's way. I pray that this entry and those that follow will be read by whoever needs to read them. That God uses this for good in someone else's life. If there is a young woman out there, feeling the same way I want God to reveal himself to them. That the only love that should be pursued is the love of a Heavenly Father.

Thank you for taking a moment to take a glimpse into my life.

Many blessings,

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Diary of a young girl

One of the bonuses of having to clean out my father's house was coming across my diaries from childhood - tween & teen years. Probably even into my 20's.

Reading my written words brings back so many memories... some good and some not so good. What it has done was ignite something inside of me for today's girls/young women.

What does that mean?

It means I am going to share my diary entries on social media. Here on this blog.

Not only will I share them, I'll comment on them too.

I was a hurting young woman. One so desperate to be loved by a guy that she was willing to compromise herself. I freely gave my heart to any guy that came along. So many were 'THE ONE'.

I want our young women to see what teen love is like. Why they should allow a guy to pursue them. Not to be the one to pursue.

It's going to be an interesting experiment. I'm looking forward to sharing. Not because I want anyone's sympathy, but simply because I want ladies to know they aren't alone. They aren't the first to feel the way they do and they won't be the last.

Here we go!

Many blessings,

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Back to school - 2015

Today marked back to school for my crew. Songbird had the last first day of school - she's a senior. Cool Breeze started his sophomore year. It's an exciting time at our house.

However each school year always brings in that little twinkling of doubt. Am I doing the right thing by sending my children to public school? Should I be homeschooling? This doubt started years ago when a 'friend' stated "What kind of Christian mother are you that you aren't homeschooling". That statement obviously injured our friendship.

The Mayor and I sought out wise counsel shortly thereafter. I mean, we don't want to do the wrong thing. Thankfully our wise pastor told us that he has never seen "Thou shalt home school" anywhere in the Bible. We were good.

I am a big believer in public schools. Are there bad public schools? Of course. But there are also some great ones out there. As parents, it is OUR job to advocate for our children. Don't like something - do something about it. Don't get me wrong. I am not against homeschooling. What works for one family may not work for another. I have the utmost respect for families who do home school. I know that I am not organized enough to do it.

Getting back to today. As my children left, I wondered - 'should I be homeschooling?' Every time I ask myself that question, God always gives me a clear answer - NO. My children are exactly where they are supposed to be. Each year He reveals this answer through the teachers they get. Once again, He did that today.

I can rest a little easier this year.

Many blessings,

Thursday, July 23, 2015

What is a hero?

Herohero (masculine or gender-neutral) or heroine (feminine) (Ancient Greekἥρωςhḗrōs) is a person or character who, in the face of danger and adversity or from a position of weakness, displays couragebravery or self-sacrifice—that is, heroism—for some greater good; a man or woman of distinguished courage or ability, admired for his/her brave deeds and noble qualities. (definition from Wikipedia)


This past week, businessman & Republican presidential hopeful, Donald Trump stated in an interview that Senator John McCain, former Vietnam POW, is not a hero. He's not a hero because he was captured.

John McCain's response was that he didn't considered himself a hero either. That Trump was right. That those he served under in the war were the real heroes.

As the daughter of a Vietnam vet, I am all too familiar with how vets view themselves. I have never met one that considered himself a hero. He simply went and did a job. He served his country because of the love of his country. He's not a hero.

My father was injured during the war, earning a Purple Heart. However, he turned it down because he didn't do anything to earn it. He had seen so many friends severely injured and even die that to him. his injury wasn't anything big. He was simply doing his job.

Trump is wrong though.... I feel as though any man or woman that is in the military is automatically a hero - whether we are at war or at peace. They are signing up to put their lives on the line so that the rest of us can live comfortably in our homes with all of our freedoms.

Mr. Trump - I am a conservative Republican, but I am also the daughter of a Vietnam vet. I can assure you that from this day forward you will NOT ever get my vote. Even if you get the nomination, I still will not vote for you. That doesn't mean I'd vote for your  opponent. I'd rather write in a candidate's name than to cast my vote for you.

The next year is going to be an interesting one. Mud slinging at its finest. 

Many blessings,

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Another new chapter

One thing I'll say, God's been keeping me on my toes. That's for sure!

God closed the door (for now) for me going back to dispatching. I am unusually at peace with that. I mean, I did ask Him to give me a big YES/NO and He certainly did that.

So what am I doing now? After taking a few months off, I have decided to go back to school to be a medical assistant. One thing the past few months off has done has made me realized just how much I enjoy being with my family. Not that I didn't like it before, but being home at a decent hour, being to have dinner with them on a regular basis, not having to work nights, weekends, holidays, etc.... it's a nice feeling. I'm only in week 3 of 12, so I still have a while to go.

What else is new?

After working on myself for the past year, I have decided to not to return to student ministries at my church. Actually God made that decision for me. I had already spoken to a friend at church about returning and the wheels were put in motion. Then God spoke. I mean SPOKE. Nothing like lying in bed at 5 in the morning and hearing in your soul God say "You're place is next to your husband in big church". That'll get your attention. So, after some talking and thinking I told them that I was not returning. Again - total peace.

It's amazing how much peace you can have when you're moving along with God's plan. Normally I'd be a barrel of nerves, second guessing each decision. Yet now, no second guessing. I know that I'm going where God is leading.

So, what about Mending Hearts?

It's still out there... still a work in progress. I'm feeling that stirring in my soul. God's planning something. Right now I feel Him leading me to start a teen study using And The Bride Wore White by Dannah Gresh. I have a facility. Now I just need to make sure its the right direction. I'll keep you updated.

That's all for now. Just a little bit of everything. I'm loving it though.

Many blessings,

Sunday, May 17, 2015

A message from Dad

My dad has been gone for 21 months now. Some days its easier and some days its like he just passed. I know that grief is a process; a lengthy process.

My sisters often talk about how they dream about our father. Or they get little nudges from him.

I haven't experienced any of that. I wish I did. I would love to see him just 1 more time or hear his voice again. Sure I have pictures and a recording, but that's not the same. It's not personal.

Today at church, we closed with a song. It's an oldie but a goody: Because He Lives by Bill Gaither. We're talking old school hymn which isn't typical for our church. Yet as I read those words on the screen, it was like I saw them for the first time. I mean REALLY saw them. Those words spoke right to my soul. So deep. So powerful.

And exactly the message I needed to hear from my Dad.

"And then one day, I'll cross the river,
I'll fight life's final war with pain;
And then, as death gives way to victory,
I'll see the lights of glory and I'll know He lives!"
-- Because He Lives, Bill Gaither

What powerful imagery! As my father took his final breaths, he saw glory. God's glory. Greeted by the Heavenly hosts. Can you imagine the scene before him? Pearly gates, streets of gold & God's love. That's what we as Christians look forward to. 

I know I will be reunited with my dad again... when it's my turn to "cross the river". And he'll be there on the other side with open arms waiting for me.

God, thank you for the reminder. Thank you for the sweet message from my beloved daddy. It was able to heal my heart just a little bit more.

Many blessings,

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Prom, jealousy & pride

About a week ago, Songbird went to the junior/senior prom. I still can't believe that I am old enough to have a child going to prom. I mean, didn't I just go to MY prom?

It was a lot of fun getting her ready. Trying on dresses, picking out shoes. Hair, makeup, corsage. I don't remember there being all that much to take care of, but it was 25 years ago. Clearly my memory is fading.

One of the most special moments of her prom was just before she was getting ready to leave. Songbird decided she was just going to meet up with friends at the prom. The Mayor decided he wanted to make sure she had at least 1 dance.

As she came out of her room looking stunning, he asked her to dance.

Not just any dance.... but to "Cinderella" by Steven Curtis Chapman.

Ladies, if I didn't love my husband before.... he certainly managed to capture my heart all over again.

There we were in our kitchen, watching daddy and daughter dance and I had a pang of jealousy. Jealousy because my daughter was getting the relationship with her father that I had always longed for with mine. Soon my jealousy passed and I swelled with pride. My husband was being the father that God has called him to be. I can't ask for anything more. In that very moment, I was so happy for my daughter because she was experiencing a little piece of Heaven.

Many blessings,

Saturday, April 4, 2015


This weekend signifies the most important events in Christianity.... the resurrection of Jesus.

In my earlier years, especially as a parent, I bought into the commercialism of the holiday. Easter Bunny, egg hunts, baskets, pretty dresses. Bunnies, baby chicks. I'm not saying that's wrong. I still think those things are fun. I'm sad that my kids are 'too old' for the fun of the holiday.

It's been in the past few years, that I've really thought about what Easter signifies. When I think about that I am knocked down a few pegs. Off my high horse.

There certainly is reason to celebrate, but not for the reasons society thinks.

Easter weekend signifies the death and RESURRECTION of the Son of God. Sent to this earth to endure horrific suffering he didn't deserve all because God loves us.

We are sad because Jesus had to face death on the cross. I cry if I stub my toe too hard. I can't imagine having large nails driven into my hands & feet while I am coherent. Think about the beating he received PRIOR to his crucifixion. He didn't have an epidural. No Narco, Lortab. Nothing.... just straight on pain.

He hung on that cross, being shamed for the world to see. He was being made an example. And for what? For me. For you. For people who never think twice about the suffering he went through. He went into the pits of Hell. The world wept for his death.... his followers wept for his death. We should weep for his death.

Yet 3 days later - and I'm not going to debate whether it was a Sunday or a Monday or maybe even a Wednesday. But 3 days later, the tomb was empty. There was no body. The cloths that he was covered in were in that dark tomb, but Jesus was no where to be found.

That moment in time..... what a moment!  If they didn't think he was the Messiah before that; now they knew!!!

Christians around the world celebrate the resurrection of our Savior that day 2000 years ago. That moment in time gives us hope that we will forever be with God in Heaven. That God really does love us. His Son was blameless, but willingly succumbed to God's will to prove that love.

I am humbled because there isn't a moment in my life where I even remotely deserve that gift. None of us do. That's the beauty of grace & forgiveness. We don't deserve it, but he still offers it to us.

We just need to take that gift.....

Many blessings,

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Behind the mask

Recently, I was involved in a women's study at church. I signed up and was randomly put at a table to with 9 other women; 8 of whom were strangers.

We studied the book of James for 5 weeks. Really dug deep into the meat of the scripture.

As you know, I don't do well with new situations. I hate having to put myself out there. Sure once I get acclimated I'm fine. But its getting to that point that scares me. I mean, what if people don't like me? What if I say the wrong thing? What if I live in the 'wrong' part of the county? What if I don't drive the right car?

What if? What if? What if?

Let me tell you - those "what if"s can drive a person crazy!!!!

Clearly we all signed up for this group because we were interested in learning more about our Savior. There you go - a common interest.

As the weeks went by, not only did we learn more about James, his message and his brother, Jesus, but we slowly dropped our masks. I wasn't the only one. All of us came in feeling like we needed to be this 'perfect' woman who had it all together. So strong in our faith. Biblical scholar.

By week 4, we dropped the masks, started to really reveal who we are. Scared, hurting women so desperately in need of our Savior's love. We each have a story. Not the identical story, but a powerful story nonetheless. It was in 1 women's vulnerability that we were all able to find comfort and peace. Not because she had it worse that us, but because she put a voice to the feelings.

Last night was our last meeting..... it was bittersweet. I really enjoyed diving into the book of James. Great stuff in there... So poignant for my life RIGHT NOW (don't you love how God does that?). I got exactly what I wanted out of the study - a better understanding of God. What I didn't expect in 5 short weeks was a bond with these ladies. A bond so important that we want to continue together.

People always say "Oh, God brought us together" and I do believe that, but this group is truly the definition of that. One lady was assigned to a different table and accidentally sat with us. We kept her the entire time because she was where she was supposed to be.

Getting back to the masks..... we all hide behind them. Some more than others. I find that it is SO much easier for me to be transparent here on my blog. You can't see me. You may not even know me personally. This is safe. Yet to be transparent in real life, the 1st time you meet someone. Frightening!!! However, this experience has challenged me to not hide behind a mask at first meeting. It's scary to put myself out there. Yet I'm hoping it'll be freeing too.

Here's to removing the mask and being myself.

Many blessings,

Sunday, March 15, 2015

And yet another new chapter

Back in November I lost my job.

I was devastated.

Recently, I applied & interviewed with a different county.

While waiting, I asked God for direction. If He wanted me to continue to pursue dispatching, then I wanted a clear sign. If it was time to move on, then I needed a clear sign.

This week I got my sign.

I looks like it's time to move on.

And I'm ok with that. I actually have a peace.

Will I miss the chaos & adrenaline of dispatching? YES!
Will I miss the camaraderie with my fellow dispatchers? YES!
Will I miss having to work weekends, nights, holidays? Eh - it's part of the job. I knew it going in, but I know that my family will be much happier.

That brings me to a crossroads. What do I do with my life now?

I honestly thought that I was going to 'retire' from dispatching. That was a final career. Maybe one day I will. But right now, where I am, that's not in my immediate future.

I had a moment of "I'm a failure"... but then I realized that I asked God for clarity and He gave me what I asked for.

Today, during worship, I gave it all over to Him. Fully laid it at His feet. I know He has great plans for me. I've been in a state of "Be Still". Now its time for action. I have options.

Do I become a substitute teacher for my local school district? Should I study to be a dental tech? What about working from home doing data entry/book keeping?

Over the next few days I'll be marinating on those options to making a choice. Whatever my choice is, I know that God had a hand in it and is leading me.

I haven't felt this free in a LONG time. It feels good.

Many blessings,

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Giveaway time!!!

I'm curious to see who actually reads my blog. So I decided to have a giveaway.

What's on the line?

Your very own copy of the recently released "Pulling Back the Shades" by Dr Juli Slattery & Dannah Gresh.

What the what? 

With the ongoing hype going on about 50 Shades of Gray, Dr. Slattery & Dannah Gresh teamed up to reveal why erotica is so appealing to women. Even to Christian women. This book gives insight to the phenomenon of the book series & movie.

What do you have to do to be entered? Simple really. Just leave a comment below. That's it. You can say hi, introduce yourself. Write a paragraph or just a simple sentence.

I will leave the contest up for 1 week. A winner will be chosen at random. The winner will have their choice of a e-book OR a hard copy of the book.

For more information about the book, visit Pulling Back the Shades.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Pardon the interruption

Have no fear. I'll get back to Allie's Rules shortly. I just needed to get a few things off of my chest.

For quite a while now, I have felt disconnected from people. I know its because I haven't done much of anything to cultivate or nurture friendships/relationships that God has placed in my life. I've been trying to be more mindful of it. Actually make an effort to seek people out. Get together. Meet for coffee/breakfast/lunch. It's a bit of a stretch for me. It's not that I don't like having friends. It's just very difficult to put myself out there. Regardless of whether we already have an established friendship of some sort. It's a fear of rejection. That eventually the person will realize how crazy I am and just want to walk away.

So, to push my limits I joined a women's study of the book of James. This way, I get out of the house, meet with other ladies AND study the Bible. I'm actually looking forward to it. Of course, it starts in 2 days. We'll see how I am when Wednesday actually gets here.

The Mayor & I joined a couple's small group. This is the 1st time in MANY years that we have simply been in a small group. It's an interesting group. We've only met a handful of times, so we're just getting to know one another. Yet I feel hopeful. I feel hopeful that we may have found people to go through life with. One of the most difficult things about losing my father was not having a support system ready & waiting.

I'm still unemployed. I'm ok with it though. I've gotten used to being a stay-at-home mom. There are days where I'm going crazy staring at my 4 walls. Then there are the days where I don't want to go back to work. At least not back to a rigid schedule. Ultimately, I want to go back to work. I'd love to get back to dispatching. God is in control.

In the meantime, I'm enjoying the time I do have with my family; cooking for them, being home when the kids get home from school. It was a blessing to be home with the family during the holidays.

I'm looking forward to what God has planned. 2014 was a crazy year. 2015 seems to be better.

Many blessings,

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Allie's Rules - 8 thru 11

I've actually enjoyed reviewing Allie's list & seeing how it could have impacted my life. It saddens me that young Allison endured so much hurt. Yet I know that those events, while traumatic & hurtful, molded me into the woman I am today.

8. If your girls gets broken up with, go buy her a stuffed animal, a blanket, candy, and lots and lots of ice cream. (Other gifts are acceptable.)

When your heart gets broken you feel as if you are all alone. Remember, you thought that this person loved you. Chances are you thought it was going to be forever. Same goes for your girlfriend. Be there for her. Let her know that you are a shoulder to cry on. Someone she can count on.

Don't know what to say? Sometimes you don't have to say anything. Just know there is someone there to help pick her up when she's down is all that is needed. Knowing she isn't going through this hurt alone.

9. Pray, PRAY, PRAY! Don't ever forget how much you need God.

10. Have a quiet time. It may seem like a hassle, but it will help you stay close to God.

Again, I'm combining two. Prayer & quiet time also go hand in hand. God wants nothing more than to have a relationship with you. He loves you. He GAVE His Son for YOU!

Things are going good in your life - PRAY prayers of thanksgiving.
Things are rough in your life - PRAY prayers asking God's will be done.

No matter what you are going through in life, pray. Prayer is simply communication between you and God. Talk to Him the way you would talk to a friend. He wants to hear from you. That's where an established quiet time comes in.

Now if I'm honest - and I try to be - I struggle with quiet time. The thought of me sitting still makes my mind go numb. If I'm sitting still, I want to be sleeping. I need to find a place that instills a calming sense of peace so that I can focus. Heck - I've seriously considered my bedroom closet. But I know that quiet time will draw me close to Him. It's in those moments - moments of being still - that I feel closest to God.

Give your first moments of your day. Give your last moments of your day. Whenever it is, take those moments and give them to God. He deserves them - I'm reading that myself and will commit to you that I will make an effort too.

11. Be nice to your parents. They love you and want the best for you, so if you disagree with them, just realize they are a lot smarter than you... sorry about that.

As a mother, I can tell you that I want nothing but the best for my children. I don't want them to suffer or endure any of the heartache that I went through. As a parent, I sometimes have to make tough decisions. My parents had to make those tough decisions too. Looking back - it wasn't because they were trying to be mean or trying to make sure I didn't have any fun. They were looking out of me and guiding me so that I wouldn't get hurt.

How did mom & dad become smarter than you? Because they are older than you. They have lived a number of years longer than you. Which means they have experienced a lot of similar things that you have. They may not have made the same mistakes, but I can guarantee they know someone who did. They saw the pain that person endured. It's their way of protecting you. At some point, you will see that its all out of love.

I know. It's not easy. It's difficult to go against what your friends are doing. You will stand out. Guarding your heart is so important. Once it's broken, it is forever broken. It can be repaired, but those cracks will always be there.

Think of it this way:

Take a piece of paper. Completely smooth, right? That is your heart.
Now crumple up the paper into a ball. That is your heart once you've been hurt.
Now smooth the paper out again. Does it work? Nope - there are still wrinkles. That is your heart once it has been hurt. Sure- it's still a whole piece of paper, but you can see the damage that has been done.

Many blessings,

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Four - Seven (what?)

Welcome back! I took a day off to really think about these next few rules. To me, they go hand in hand. Especially #4 & #6. I'm going to go a little out of order since I believe those 2 should be together when it comes to my story.

4. Stay vertical/no buttons and zippers (or Velcro). In other words, set your boundaries and stick to them.

6. Be so so so so so so so SO SO SO SO careful who you date.

Now don't get me wrong, I think all of these rules go hand in hand. Some more than others. Yet instead of telling the same story twice (I don't want to sound like a broken record) I wanted to combine the 2. This way you can see just how important both of these rules are.

Early in my teen years, I made the decision to wait until marriage. Yep - I was to remain a virgin until my wedding night. That was a boundary I had decided up front and made sure that I let any guy who was interested in me. As much as I wanted a guy to 'love' me, I also knew that I did not want to waste my time with someone who didn't have the same values.

My first serious boyfriend was when I was 16. I had dated here & there, but not with anyone I thought I had a future with. Enter D.

D was older than me. Now that I think about it, I think he may have been a little older than he initially told me. D was the first guy to pursue me. Normally, I would pursue a guy I liked. D asked me out. I was on cloud 9.

Of course, I told him what my boundaries were. He wasn't too happy, but agreed. I now realize that I was a challenge for him. The perfect opportunity to lure a good girl.

Our relationship was rocky to say the least. He was very jealous. I wasn't allowed to talk to other guys. Eventually I stopped hanging out with friends because they were a 'bad influence'. He cheated. I took him back. I mean, he loved me. I must have done something wrong to make him stray. He made sure I knew that if only I would have $ex with him, he wouldn't need to cheat. This was the man I was going to marry.

After a particular useless fight, we broke up & stayed broken up. But the damage to my already fragile self-esteem was done. If someone who claimed to love me could treat me like that, then I must not be worth much. I mean, it was my fault he cheated. It was my fault he was always angry with me.

Enter D2 (different guy, same 1st initial).

D2 was slightly younger than me. He befriended me because he was attracted to one of my sisters and was hoping to use me to get a date. Yet, once again, I pursued a relationship with him. He told me time & time again that he didn't like me in that way, but I continued to stick it out. I could fix him. I could make him fall in love with me. I wouldn't repeat the same mistakes as I did with D. I decided that I would lose my virginity to D2.

For 3 years, I allowed D2 to treat me like a piece of meat. It wasn't romantic. Each time, my heart broke a little more. My self-esteem tanked. He wouldn't commit to me yet he didn't want me to be with anyone else. He never told me he loved me.... no, instead he would just say "DITTO" like from the movie "Ghost" with Patrick Swazy.

Ladies - NEVER EVER EVER accept "ditto" as a form of "I love you". Ditto is a cop-out! You are worth more than just that stupid phrase. You are worth loving!

As you can see, not sticking to my boundaries and choosing the wrong guy lead me down a path of self-destruction. Right now, think of what your relationship boundaries are going to be and write them down. When a guy starts showing interest in you, be upfront about your boundaries and stick with them. Do NOT compromise. If the guy really wants to be with you, he will respect those boundaries. Hopefully he will have the same or similar boundaries. But if he doesn't - RUN! You cannot change him sweetheart. Chances are he will be the one to change you.

This is one area of my life where I have the biggest regret. Something I will never get back. Something I wasn't able to give to my husband on our wedding day.

5. Have an accountability partner and be willing to tell HER everything.

Oh how I wish I had an accountability partner back then. I may have been able to avoid a lot of the mistakes I made.

Why HER? If you are a female, then your accountability partner should also be a female. If you are a guy, then they should be a guy. No gray lines. Besides, women understand women. This could be a friend, older sibling, leader from church, even your mom. But it is SO important to have one. Darkness hides in darkness but the light exposes it. Meaning, by telling someone you trust your 'secrets', the secrets won't be able to grab a hold of you.

7. If you're wondering if you should break up with him, break up with him.

So very true. Listen to your heart. I mean REALLY listen to your heart. In the beginning of my relationships with D & D2, I had that small voice telling me it wasn't a good idea. We date not to see how many guys we can collect, but in hopes that we will find a mate for life. Don't waste time with someone that isn't right for you.

So that's it... that's what I have to add to the rules today. Again, I share my story in hopes that you do not repeat my mistakes. Also, so that you can see how God has worked in my life. He took a broken young woman and healed her heart. He can do the same for you. He longs to heal your heart. All you need to do is ask Him.

Tune in for the next few rules

Many blessings,

Sunday, February 8, 2015

The first 3 rules......

Earlier I shared Allie's 20 Rules for High School.

Today, I want to go through some of the rules and share how knowing these rules when I was in high school could have impacted my life and what my teens years were really like.

1. Surround yourself with people who build you up, not people who tear you down.

You know the people we're talking about. The ones who say their your friend (maybe even your "best" friend) yet they continuously tell you your fat/ugly/stupid. They act embarrassed to be seen with you when you're at your worst.
Your friends should build you up - especially when you're down.
Looking back - I think I did have some good friends. I can think of one in particular who risked losing my friendship, but still chose to tell me that my boyfriend was cheating on me. That took a lot of love and courage. She took a chance by telling me something that would break my heart, but did it because she truly loved me.

2. Treat your kisses like you have a limited supply.

I've kissed a lot of frogs in my lifetime. I probably would have saved myself from a lot of pain if I was choosy with my kisses. Not every boy in your life is going to be special enough for your kisses. Always keep that in the back of your mind. You aren't going to want kissing to be just another 'thing' - like breathing.
Kisses are the start of intimacy. Intimacy is beautiful in the right relationship. Instead of worrying about kissing, focus on the person. Get to know them.

3. Guard your heart. Seriously... your heart is precious.

This rule screams at me. Your heart is a precious gemstone, not something you can get back once you give it away. Had I guarded my heart, I would have been spared so much hurt.
Because I didn't have a positive relationship with my father, I wanted desperately to be loved by any guy in my life. That means that any guy that remotely showed me attention, I 'fell in love'.
My childhood diary and poetry journal is riddled with my confessions of love. Love that wasn't real. I gave my heart away only to have it broken time & time again.
That broken heart shaped the early years of my marriage. It wasn't until after being married for several years that I truly gave my heart to my husband - the man who God made my heart for.
God healed my heart after years of my abuse of it so that I could gift it to my husband. And THAT has strengthened my married.
We don't realize that the decisions we make in our middle & high school years can/will have a profound impact on our adult lives.

I'm not sharing these to tell you what to do. I am simply sharing my life in hopes that you can learn from my mistakes.

And if you've already made similar mistakes, know that it isn't too late. God loves us no matter what! It doesn't matter what our past looks like, God sees us as His beautiful creation that He longs to have a relationship with.

To be continued........

Many blessings,

Allie's Rules for High School

I have been blessed with the opportunity to walk through middle school with an amazing group of young women. Ladies whom I love spending time with. While right now I am on a sabbatical, I try to keep up with what's going on in their lives.

I serve in Transit (my church's middle school ministry) because I remember how tough life was. Having someone - other than a parent - walk through life, speaking truth is KEY. If I can help just 1 of these precious gifts have a better middle school experience then its worth it.

One of the things that is so important for me to show these girls is that they are SO WORTH LOVING! It doesn't matter where they are in their life, they are worth being loved.

In August, my pastor's wife, Sandra, shared on her blog about a conversation she had with her teenage daughter. This young lady (she's 18), she felt compelled to share her 'rules' for high school with her small group.

While she created this list for her soon-to-be high school freshman girls, I truly believe this list is beneficial for ALL women - especially young girls. My middle school girls were given a bookmark with these 'rules' (thanks to one of the moms) and I just had to share them with you!

I won't even pretend to take credit for these rules.... but I do wish I had them in my life when I was in middle & high school. Over the next few days, I'll tackle a few of these rules & share how they could have helped me.

Many blessings,

So I present to you --- Allie's Rules for High School (shared with permission by Sandra Stanley)

  • Surround yourself with people who build you up, not people who tear you down.
  • Treat your kisses like you have a limited supply.
  • Guard your heart. Seriously… your heart is precious.
  • Stay vertical/no buttons and zippers (or Velcro). In other words, set your boundaries and stick to them.
  • Have an accountability partner and be willing to tell HER everything.
  • Be so so so so so so so SO SO SO SO careful who you date.
  • If you’re wondering if you should break up with him, break up with him.
  • If your girl gets broken up with, go buy her a stuffed animal, a blanket, candy, and lots and lots of ice cream. (Other gifts are acceptable.)
  • Pray, PRAY, PRAY! Don’t ever forget how much you need God.
  • Have a quiet time. It may seem like a hassle, but it will help you stay close to God.
  • Be nice to your parents. They love you and want the best for you, so if you disagree with them, just realize that they are a lot smarter than you…sorry about it.
  • If you find yourself lying to your parents/other adults in your life, backtrack and get out of that situation IMMEDIATELY. You are somewhere you do not want to be.
  • Never be afraid to say no. It’s better to be a wimp than dead.
  • When you fall on your face, get back up and keep moving (literally and figuratively).
  • Journal so you can look back and see what God has done in your life.
  • Even when you don’t want to, GO TO CHURCH!
  • If it’s not classy, don’t do it.
  • Don’t judge. Even when people are doing things you don’t agree with, show them love.
  • Pause before you speak… this will prevent a lot of problems.
  • Selfies are for faces.
  • Wednesday, February 4, 2015

    This & that

    I want to try to blog more frequently. I've got a lot going on in this crazy brain of mine. I may as well give it an escape.

    Sometimes I'll right on the fly - whatever comes to mind. I have a friend who wants to share some writing prompts with me, so you'll be privy to that adventure as well.

    Where to start?

    I'm trying really hard to "Be Still". I want to hear God. Reconnect with God in such a way that I allow Him to guide my life. To do that, I need to become more disciplined. I am hoping that an upcoming study at church on the book of James will give me the kick-start I need.


    I've been doing a lot of thinking about my father. I miss him. Yet as I see my husband & daughter interact, I get jealous. Jealous of the relationship that they have that I always wanted. The beam of pride on The Mayor's face as he sees his Songbird in her prom dress for the first time. That is something that I missed out on growing up. 

    I'm not saying my father wasn't proud of me. I am sure, in his own way, he was very proud of me. Yet I longed to have him tell me - just once.

    Don't feel sorry for me. My father did tell me how proud I made him. Proud of the woman I had become. Proud of the mother I was; the wife; the daughter. There isn't any doubt in my mind that my father was proud of me. I just didn't realize it when I was younger - during those formative years. 

    I don't begrudge my husband or my daughter for the positive relationship that they have. HARDLY!! I feel so blessed that my children have a wonderful father. Just one less hurt & disappointment they have to deal with as they grow up. The Mayor is a great example of what a father should be. Yes, he's flawed (we all are). He has tried his very best to be there for them. 


    There you have it. My craziness for today. My mind is all over the grid (as usual).

    Many blessings,

    Monday, February 2, 2015

    Being still

    This year, I decided to not make any real resolutions. Not that I don't think I need to change, but those changes shouldn't be relegated to just the beginning of the year.

    Instead, I chose to focus on Psalm 46:10 -- BE STILL AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD.

    It's hard for me to "be still". Yet the one thing I have learned these past 2 years, is that my life is chaotic when I don't focus on Him.

    This doesn't mean I just sit back, kick my feet up & relax. Hardly!! I have to pursue Him to hear Him. He's always there, talking. I just need to settle down and listen. Really listen.

    What He is trying to tell me?

    God is always there. A part of my life. He's always in control. It's up to me to relinquish MY control.

    And so that's where I am.... relinquishing my control.

    That's tough for me. But I know that God has my best interest in mind. I am a part of His plan.

    While I pursue a new job, I will also be working on getting Mending Hearts off the ground. It's at a stage where it is time to do something about it. There is too much hurt in this world.

    I'm letting God guide me; my marriage, my parenting, my friendships, my career. I'm just along for the ride. I look forward to what God has planned.

    Many blessings,

    Thursday, January 15, 2015

    Wrestling God

    I try to be transparent. With my blog. In my life. I think the reason I haven't written lately is because I don't want to be transparent. Being transparent means you have to look inside yourself and take an inventory.

    I don't like what I've seen.

    I have been wrestling with God for 16 months now. Since the death of my father. It's hard to even admit that. I've been trying to pretend all is right with my world. But it hasn't been.

    It doesn't matter why I've been wrestling with him or why I've been angry. What matters most is that I have been.

    During these months, I've noticed that my discernment has been "off".

    I have found that when I am not focusing on God, my life IS a little off. I made some not-so-smart decisions in life that caused me to lose my job. I've kept people at arms length. I've kept God at arms length.

    For the new year, I am jumping in with BOTH feet. Jumping into life. I'm not making resolutions as much as I am making life changes:

    1-  I'd like to find a women's Bible Study. I don't want a soccer mom/complain about my marriage bitch-fest. I want a group that delve into the Bible, lift each other up, praying for one another.

    2- I want to cultivate the relationships with people in my life. Instead of keeping them at arms length, I want to take a chance and put myself out there.

    3- When I get a new job, I am going to be MYSELF. Not some version of myself; a version that I think other people will like, but the person I truly am - regardless of what others think.

    4- This is the year for Mending Hearts. I need to stop being so afraid to be successful and just let it happen. It's not MY ministry. It's God's ministry using my story. I have to allow Him to work through me. So many people can be helped. This is what breaks my heart.

    This is a journey. The earth keeps spinning. Life keeps living. There's no such thing as stopping life. It continues whether you want it to or not. So - I plan on living the life that God has gifted me with.

    Many blessings,