Second Chances

This blog originally started out as a personal blog that I used to document my adventures as a single mother who couldn't help but believe that she would find her 'Perfect Man' when pigs flew.

Eventually those little piggies suited up and took off on a brand new adventure when I met and married my husband.  Jason and I have been married since 2010.  The readers that had followed me along my journey as a single mother were so excited to see how life played out in this new chapter.  Adventure awaited, unfortunately, we were all very disappointed.  Following the wedding and those early months as newlyweds, my blogging all but stopped.

My writing was too real for some of my new family and friends; the way I displayed my imperfections and personality were not well received across the board.  I would get comments or Jason would get text messages.  I took many posts down in anger and hurt.  I was tempted to post many more in the cloud of those same emotions.  It got to the point that every post I made, I asked my husband to screen it for things that could possibly upset those individuals.  Some posts never made it past draft form, others underwent multiple revisions.  Despite the "all clear" I would get from Jason before posting, inevitably there would be ugliness.  The irony was that other people could write the same things on their blogs or express the same sentiments and it would be thoughtful or funny...but if it was me posting it, it was embarrassing, insulting, or unacceptable.

As an introvert, my social group lived inside my computer screen.  I was well-connected into several online communities, whether it was a private diary site, my blog, social media, instant messengers, or group emails.  I had friends that I shared life with continually.  And they shared life with me.  So when I stopped writing, I also stopped connecting.  And my circle was reduced to family, coworkers, and a very small dusting of "real life" friends.  The coworker situation was contemptuous from time to time.  I worked in more than one office where I had to set special audiences to prevent coworkers from seeing some of my updates.  The more they knew about you, the more they could use to hurt or manipulate you.  I had enough hurt without dealing with that.  So I set up limits there, too.

With this new marriage where two became one, the math didn't seem to be carrying over for me socially, I now had this huge social division:  people who accepted me and people who did not.  Never before had that latter group become so loud and so in-my-face.  Looking back, I don't know now that it was because they were really doing or saying as much as it felt that they were, but rather that the things they were saying and doing just hurt that deeply.

Over time my soul became too burdened by this.  When people decide they don't like you—for whatever reason—they will find fault in anything you do.  And boy did they!  So with time, I just stopped writing.  The joy was gone.  My readership had left because I didn't update anymore.  What was the point?

The problem was that when I stopped writing and sharing, I started to suffer because of it.  I became cynical and even more sarcastic.  I have since struggled with sleep issues and anxiety.  I've wandered deep into and gotten lost in Angry Mom/Angry Wife territory on more than one occasion.  I figured it was just a season I would need to get through.  

With time, some of the hurtful relationships that caused me to stop writing became less hurtful.  With more time, they've become almost friendly.  But every time I would think, "I need to start writing again," I would think of those individuals and know that those relationships might suffer or regress.  And that wasn't worth it.

Until I realized that I was more important to myself than that and I deserve better than that.  I was suffering mentally and emotionally because I had voluntarily given up on something healthy for me just because a handful of people didn't like it.  Who does that?  I wouldn't give up things that made my body health just because others were critical, so why was I giving up things that kept my inner me happy?  Why were they more important to me than was?  

And that was the catalyst.  

That sealed it.  

So, I'm back.  

Me and all of my over-sharing, sarcastic, too-much-information, too-little-filter, sometimes-you'll-laugh, sometimes-you'll-get-your-feelings-hurt, but-I'll-always-be-honest-with-you glory.  

It's not my fault

I have a collection of quotes that I've been saving since I was in seventh grade.  More than twenty years and thousands and thousands of quotes and this morning I heard my new Favorite Quote Ever.




There.  Maybe that conveys how much I love this quote.

Because this quote applies to any person in any situation.  It applies to families, churches, communities, neighborhoods, friends, countries...from the smallest collective of people all the way up to the largest—each of us can apply this quote.
"This may not be our fault, but as a faith-based community, it is our problem."
How good is that!!!

And for all the easily-offendables,  if you want to simplify it to just community, it still applies.

As a family, we constantly have outside circumstances that affect us and what better response to teach our children than this?

This may not be our fault, but as a family, it is our problem.

This concept and mindset is SO GOOD to me because it's accepting that yes, I am a part of this group and yes, I am willing to do the work that needs to be done because this collective of people in this group—my family, my church, my community, my country, or the global-community as a whole—matter to me and they deserve help in making things right and making things better.

This concept screams integrity to me and you all know that it's my hope to become the kind of person where this word, Integrity, would be one of the predominant themes you would see at my funeral.

I don't do resolutions.  I always have a list of goals in my head that I'd like to work toward but I don't put them on a time-table or hold off until the new year to commit to action on them, but it's January and it's still so early in the year that I think I'll make an exception.

This will be my goal this year.

In the big and the little issues that I run into each day, I will train myself with this response.

This may not be my fault, but as a Christian, it is my problem.

When my kids come home in bad moods or have problems with others that are affecting them, I will remember

This may not be my fault, but as their Mama, it is my problem.

Us Mamas do that already, don't we?  Why not apply that elsewhere!

We have homeless living in our cities, we have children living in filth and abuse, we have elderly who can't afford the medicine that they need, we have a nation that is crippled by fear, anxiety, and misinformation.

This may not be my fault, but it is my problem.

I hope you'll read these words and let them into your heart, too.  This is the mindset that will get us over that hill.  This is the mindset that can reconcile differences.  This is the mindset that can make us great again.  Whatever is affecting you or those around you, close the gap between you, stop looking at them as someone you don't know or don't like or don't have anything in common with, they're a part of this community with you.

Their issues may not be your fault, but it is your problem.  

Let's step up and find a way to fix it together.

Through All of It

This week has been a hard week.

So many of my friends and family and even just acquaintances or strangers I see on social media have been struggling this week. There's hurt and there's sickness and there's death and there's just so much pain in the lives of others.

As I was getting ready for work this morning, Colton Dixon's Through All of It was playing through my head and there was such a conflict of feeling in my heart as I listened to it.  This song is one of my heart songs.  A heart song, for me, is a song that just connects to me at any point of my life, no matter what I'm going through.  Sometimes I hear my heart songs and I sing them with joy at the top of my lungs and am grateful for all that God has given me and done for me.  Other times I sing them with a heart full of hurt for whatever trial I'm going through.  Take Farther Along, for instance.  Sometimes I'm the one singing "Cheer up my brother", and sometimes I'm the one being reminded "we'll understand it all by and by".

But it's always interesting to me how the words of these songs can have different meanings, depending on my life's circumstances.

I have won
I have lost
I've got it right sometimes,
but sometimes I did not.
Life's been a journey—
I've seen joy, I've seen regret—
oh but you have been My God
through all of it.

Today as I hear that, I wanted to close my eyes sing it as an anthem of praise for God's care for me.  But I overwhelmingly felt it in my heart as a prayer and a cry for God's mercy and peace for others.  Because too many of you are hurting right now.  And it seems selfish to sing it any other way.

When I was in college I heard a sermon that connected with me.  It was preached out of Psalms 57, which was written as David fled Saul and hid in a cave.  At the beginning of this chapter David is crying out to God and telling God of his troubles and his fears and his worries.  But by the end he is singing praise for God and his faithfulness.  David was still hiding in the cave even as he praised God, but he knew that God would be beside him because He had always been beside him.

In this sermon, the preacher made the statement that everyone we know is either going into a cave, in a cave, or coming out of a cave.  Such is life.  Hard times abound and if we're not dealing with them, it's because we've just dealt with them or we're about to.

But here's the thing, these hard times that we go through—this pain and difficulty that you are facing right now—this is your story.

This is your story.

This is the testimony that God is giving you to share with others in their hard times.  Today's challenge is also tomorrow's reminder that you've got this.

You've got this.

Not only are you stronger than you think, not only do you have so many loved ones giving you all of their strength and support, but you also have the strength of The Almighty behind you.

As constant and continual as the difficulties are, God is even more so.  He literally is our Champion.  He fought and died for us even though we are not and never will be deserving of such love and sacrifice.  In the big and the little and even the unknown, God's got this.

God's got this.

He won't fail you, and even though it may seem that He's far away sometimes, He is always there.  He's never been late.  He's never left you alone.  He's never given up on you.  Don't give up on Him.

Don't give up on Him.

Right now, you're hurting and you're overwhelmed and you're doing your best to trust him; you're reminding yourself of His Faithfulness.  Take a breath.  Close your eyes.  Listen to this song.  Find peace in it because soon enough you will be singing it to others.  God's going to get you through this.

And this is who You are
more constant than the stars up in the sky
all these years of my life, I,
I look back and I see You
right now I still do,
and I'm always going to.
You have been my God through all of it

So be strong and courageous! 
Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. 
For the LORD your God will personally go ahead of you. 
He will neither fail you nor abandon you.
Deuteronomy 31:6 (NLT)

More than you realize

I've been seeing the same few ads on Facebook lately.  They're not interesting, they're not relevant, and they are getting kind of annoying after seeing them over and over again.

So today I just clicked "Hide Ad" to get rid of it and noticed that Facebook had a message where I could change my advertising settings.

Always one to give feedback, I clicked on the link and I was amazed to see how much Facebook had learned about me.  I'm Tech-Savy so I know that every app I connect to my Facebook Account teaches them a little bit more about me.  I also know how much my computer tells Facebook about me every time I access their website from my phone or computer.

So I was completely unsurprised to see myself in the following categories:

          Gmail Users (my logon is a gmail address, so that was a given)
          Primary OS Windows 10
          WiFi Connection
          All iOS Devices
          3G (US)
          Primary Browser: Chrome

I thought it was interesting, but—again—not surprising that I was in these groups:
          iPad Air 2
          iPhone 5S
          All Mobile Devices
          Smartphone Owners

And given that I had it listed on my profile, I wasn't surprised to see current and past employers and schools listed on this page, too.

The things that did surprise me, though, are the things that I never even considered that a company would keep tabs on or take time to get to know about me.

Lifestyle & Culture

          (08-12 Years) Parents with Preteens
          (01-02 Years) Parents with Toddlers
          Away from hometown
          Away from family
          US Politics (Very Conservative)
          Likely to Engage in Politics (Conservative)
          Photo Uploaders
          Technology early adopters
          Family Based Households

News & Entertainment

          The Big Bang Theory
          Science Fiction Convention
          Fan Convention


          Nathan Fillion (Well of course, has he ever made a bad show?)

Travel, Places & Events

Here Facebook has made note of the town that I live in, the county that I live in, and even the fact that I live in the county seat.

As both a millennial and someone who piddles and fiddles around with gadgets and technology, I'm not at all surprised that tabs are being kept on us.  Knowing that every little decision we make can be used in advertising and marketing doesn't at all surprise me, but seeing the categories that I've been lumped into just simply based on what I share, like and comment on...that kinda brings things home to me.

And it makes me think about my witness as a Christian, too.

I'm grateful and proud that some of my labels are "Christianity" and "Very Conservative" and "Family Based Households".  How humiliating would it be if my labels were associated with inappropriate websites or secret behaviors?  What if Facebook was telling advertisers things about me that I wouldn't even tell my closest friends?  How would I feel if I stood before everyone I knew and had that list scrolling behind me for everyone to read?  I didn't find anything embarassing on mine...but I also didn't have a Facebook page back before I was a mom.  My teen years weren't documented on social media.  A good portion of my mistakes (thankfully) haven't been immortalized through the internet.

What would our kids marketing tags say?  What will they say when they're our age?

Maybe now is a good time to stop thinking about what to say on Facebook and start thinking about what our Facebook says about us...

The Basic Package

It's almost 4 AM.  I need someone to call Samuel L. Jackson and have him come read a very particular (albeit an inappropriate) book to my eight month old.

What's the problem?

Apparently he thinks Mama's nighttime services run like a day-spa where he can choose from a menu selection and I have to perform to his whim.

And he wants the Platinum Plus package where I have to stand with feet spread shoulders width apart and pivot at the waist (absolutely NO rocking or bouncing is allowed) while patting his bottom in 6/8 time at a moderate tempo and allowing him to slap me in the face so that he can keep himself awake.  And no putting him back in the crib. With the Platinum Plus package you're not allowed to lay him down, you must continue on for either the entirety of the night or until he decides he's tired of being held.  You'll know this by the board-straight plank he'll do as he shrieks at you.

You want the Platinum Plus package, kid?  Fork over a few weeks of uninterrupted sleep to work off the sleep debt you've created and I'll give you the Platinum Plus package with a contented smile.

Otherwise you get the Basic Package which consists of me sitting in the rocker holding you and giving you an occasional pat on the bottom as needed.  No face slapping, no shrieking, and no planking because the service is unacceptable.  Oh and once you're back to sleep, you sleep in the crib and not on me.

There's a phrase your brother brought home when he was younger:
"You get what you get and you don't throw a fit."

Learn it.  You'll be hearing it a lot while you live with me.

#ThisIsMyStory | In His Arms

When I was in college I heard a sermon preached out of Psalms 57.  That chapter of Psalms is a song of David from when he had fled from Saul and hid in a cave.  He was in this cave fearing for his life and his future and he cried out to God.  His cries to God turned into praise for God.

During this sermon, the preacher made the statement that no matter who you are, this Psalm applies to your life.  You're either going into a cave, you're in a cave, or you're coming out of a cave.

Everyone has at least one cave or "dark time" in their lives. Some of us have several. And sometimes we have really dark times; these are usually the ones that change your life. Not just in how you live your life, but how you remember it. It divides time into what happened before and what happened after.

A Tale of a Thousand X-Rays

Shortly after I heard this sermon preached, I entered into the Frequent Flyer Program at my Doctor's Office (my apologies to the nurses at Ty's schools, it would seem he comes by it honestly).  I can't remember the order that my injuries or ailments happened, but I remember that it all began in November of 2001.  One visit was for a shoulder that I had hurt in horseplay with friends.  Another was for a cold turned infection.  And then one morning when I was rolling over to turn off my alarm clock, I experienced a loud pop and a shock of pain in my chest, just above my heart.

I had several doctor visits including x-rays but there was some trouble getting a good view on the issue.  Thankfully my Doctor wasn't a doctor that was content to give his best guess, you could tell that he wanted to make sure that he knew what the issue was.  On February 27th of that year, my grandfather's birthday, I had a bone-scan that revealed a bright, vibrant unknown something in the same area that I had experienced the pain and popping.  Right over my heart.

I asked the tech what that was usually indicative of.  If he said anything other than the word 'tumor', I never heard it.  I spent the rest of the day and that night in a terrible emotional state.  There were tears and prayers and prayers and tears.  It was the most alone I had ever felt.  I knew God was hearing my prayers, but I need confirmation that he was listening.

The following day, on my sister's birthday, my doctor called me personally to let me know that it wasn't a tumor, it was arthritis.  Apparently one side of my ribs had grown slightly longer than the other side which left my sternum off-set at an angle.  The loud popping noise I felt when I had rolled over to turn off my alarm clock was one of my ribs dislocating.  He also advised me that this may be an issue I might deal with in the future as well, and he was right.  The area that showed up on the bone-scan was arthritis surrounding the dislocated rib.

And that day, with a much lighter heart, I cried and I prayed and I prayed and I cried.  And I was grateful that I wouldn't have to shave my head or lose my hair.  (It would seem that one's mind tends to get carried away in these situations...)

I thought my Doctors' visits were finally coming to a conclusion, but in March I had a four-wheeler roll back on me as I was crossing a creek that had been rutted up pretty badly.  The next day my left hand was several glove-sizes bigger and the skin was a variety of colors, so off to the Doctor I went.  Problem was, I had another doctor appointment that day with a back specialist in the opposite direction.  I was examined, x-rayed, and eventually casted just in time to leave there, go home, and get in the car with my mom who was taking me to the other doctor appointment.

That doctor, upon checking out my brand new blue cast and viewing my recent history and issues, recommended that I be locked into a padded room for my own protection.

A Life Changed

Just as my own medical problems started to subside, we received a phone call early one Sunday morning.  My cousin Jerrid, who was my age, had been in a wreck and had been life-flighted to Wichita, KS.  As information would unfold, he had been driving too fast in a souped up car and less-than-ideal road conditions.  When he lost control the vehicle vaulted end-over-end numerous times.  He was ejected onto the hood of the car as it had vaulted.  His back was broken, we knew this, but we didn't know what the long-term result of that injury would be but we were hopeful.

Since we were two states away, we waited anxiously for phone calls and updates.  While fearing for his life, I also began to fear for Jerrid's future.  What would life look like for him on the other side of this?  His life was irrevocably changed.  And then we got a call that gave hope to the situation.

"Jerrid was saved."

My precious grandmother sat down with him and was able to lead him to The Lord.

Once Jerrid was in more stable condition, I was able to talk to him on the phone.  We hadn't talked in ages.  Though we were close in age and enjoyed each other on the occasions that we were both at our grandparents house for the holidays at the same time (something that happened less and less often as we got older), we had never maintained a closeness.

Thankfully, that would change.

A Cousin is a Forever Friend

Following his wreck, we talked on the phone daily.  He would tell me about his day at the hospital and what flavors of yogurt he had that day.  Cherry was his favorite.  He promised me that when we made it up to see him he would save a cup of cherry yogurt just for me, I didn't tell him that I hated yogurt.  It was during this time that he started calling me 'Turbo'.  Daily he would tell me he loved me, and I the same.  The weekend after his wreck, we were able to drive from south-central Arkansas through Oklahoma and up to Wichita.  When we got there I was given the biggest smile, a strained hug...and a cup of cherry yogurt that I ate with a happy heart and without complaint.

I slept on the floor of the hospital room that night.  If you could say I slept.  He had a scare earlier that day before we got there.  His lungs had filled with fluid and one of his chest tubes had come out and it had obviously been a serious situation.  There was a little device on the side of the bed next to where I was sleeping that was measuring the fluid being pulled from his lungs.  I stared at it all night long and listened for the sound of his breathing.  When he got quiet, I got worried.

We spent the weekend at the hospital with him and I was grateful to see him smile and laugh and put on a brave face.  But it was challenging to leave.

We continued to talk almost daily and my plans began to change around how I could help him.  He was eventually released from the hospital to a rehabilitation facility that taught him the ins and outs of his life after the wreck in his new Kawasaki Green wheelchair (his favorite color).  He was focused on getting back on the right path.  He had never completed high school and so he set his hopes on getting his GED and wanted to go to college after that.  He just wasn't sure what he wanted to do.  My major was Computer Information Systems and he really started to think in that direction.  His whole life he had been taking things apart just to see how they worked, he was innately curious. More than once he mentioned me coming to Kansas.  He would be finishing his GED around the same time I finished college.  I could work on my Masters at the same time that he earned a degree and then we could go into business together.

That conversation kept coming up.  The closer I got to graduation, the more I considered it.  It would be a great new adventure for me out on my own, but it would also help him.  It would give him some independence while still having family to help him.

A Summer of Memories

In the summer of 2003, I made a decision that was so unlike me.  Little Miss Responsible quit her job, gave up her apartment, and drove to Kansas for the summer.  It was one of the best decisions that I'll never regret.  My aunt and uncle will never know how deeply I appreciate and how grateful I am to them that they allowed me to stay with them that summer.  As a self-focused twenty-something I never took the time to adequately express my gratitude to them.  Now I'll never be able to put words to it.

The trip was around 550 miles, one-way.  If I remember right, it took somewhere in the neighborhood of 11 or 12 hours at that time.  In the weeks leading up to my summer adventure I had burned more than a dozen CDs of music.  I made the drive with my music turned up almost as loudly as I was singing.  I was within two hours of my destination when I started to think about what I wanted that summer to mean to me.  I wanted to change lives.  I wanted everyone I met to feel like they were a better person because they met me.  I wanted to add value to the lives of others.

I don't know that I was successful because I was the recipient of those things.  Through my family I made friends with people throughout the community.  I spent hours just driving around Kansas and falling in love with the openness and the beauty of where they lived.  I was able to spend valuable time with my aunt, my uncle, and my cousins.  I made memories that I would never have had otherwise.  I had intended, when I started planning the trip, to go to Kansas and explore the idea of Grad School and helping Jerrid through the next phase of his life.  By the end of summer, I could tell that Jerrid would be just fine whether I was there or not.  He had friends and he had a girlfriend and he had a support system.  I could still consider Grad School (I still had another year left to complete my degree), but it wasn't a decision I would have to make right then.

Some Unexpected News

As I came back to Arkansas and started back to school, Jerrid and I still kept in contact regularly.  He started college and seemed to be making new friends.  We both seemed to be getting busier and busier with college.  Instead of talking a few times a week, it was often once a week.  And then it was every few weeks.  And then it was December and it had been a month since I'd last talked to Jerrid.  I was driving home from visiting a college friend that had graduated earlier that year.  It was an ungodly hour and I kept thinking about Jerrid.  I needed to call him.  I was tempted to call him right then.  It had been too long since we talked and the last time I had talked to him he was devastated because his girlfriend had broken up with him.  I almost called him in the middle of the night.  I knew there was a good chance he would still be awake (he was very much a night owl) and on the off chance that I woke him up, I was sure he would forgive me.  But I didn't.  I didn't want to chance waking him up.

The next morning, on Sunday, December 14, 2003, I got up and was getting ready for church like I always do.  My parents had been up and around.  I didn't realize at the time that they weren't getting ready for church.  It would have struck me as odd if I'd realized it.  When I came downstairs my Daddy stopped me and with a serious face told me he needed to talk to me.

Now this did strike me as odd.  My fun-loving Daddy is seldom serious, which is why I initially suspected that he was about to pull some joke or prank on me.  When he told me that Jerrid had killed himself, it took a moment for it to sink in.  My initial thought was, 'That's not funny, why would he joke about that!'  And then I knew he would never joke about that.

The Great Divide

And my heart stopped and my blood stilled and a dividing line was written across the pages of my life.

That was a moment that separated time.

Everything that happened before that moment wasn't just in a different chapter in my life, suddenly it felt like it was a different book.  That was all before Jerrid died.  I don't fully remember what happened in those particular moments almost twelve years ago.  What I do remember, and what this entire story has been all about, is what happened in the moments after my initial shock and response.

The Calm in the Storm

When I went back upstairs and into my room, I shut the door and I knelt at a chest that was at the foot of my bed.  I closed my eyes and I laid my head down on the chest and I wept.  There were no words.  I couldn't express any thoughts even in my head and so I just opened my heart up to God.  And in the silence and the depth of pain, I very clearly and very physically felt arms around me.  I'll never be able to explain the experience in any way that does it justice.  I was in His lap.  Had I opened my eyes at that moment, I would have fully expected to find myself in the lap of God with His arms wrapped around me.  As the hurt poured out of my heart, a comfort was being poured into it, too.

The year before when I cried and prayed and prayed and cried I had longed to know that God was listening to my words.  Here, in that moment, I had no words but there was absolutely no room for doubt that God heard everything my soul was pouring out to Him.

By grace alone, I composed myself and dressed in a t-shirt I had made and gotten signed by my Kansas friends and I went to church.  I couldn't tell you what that sermon was about that day.  I just remember the hugs and the hands held and the love and support given to me.  It was God's embrace in human form.

The Aftermath

It's been almost twelve years since we said goodbye to Jerrid.

I sobbed through the service.  My thoughtful aunt gave me one of his sweatshirts to hold and hug.  I slept with it almost every night for many years.  

There are some songs that I can't hear because it just hurts to think of everything Jerrid missed out on. All the promise and potential that he had ahead of him is gone.  And that hurts.  

But he's in God's Arms now.  And there is peace there and there is comfort there and there is love there. I know this. I've experienced this. I am both forever grateful for and forever changed by this.

If you or someone you know is struggling with depression or thoughts of suicide, please talk to someone.

You are not broken.  You are not a burden.  You are a valuable, wonderful person.  And each and every person has a future ahead of them that is worth living.  Life is hard and life hurts.  But it gets better.  It gets SO much better.

We want you there, in your future, to see that.  We want to share our joys with you and we want you to know that you will also have joys to share with us.  You don't have to suffer alone, we can share this together.

#ThisIsMyStory | Setting the Stage

For the most part, ever since I started blogging I've been an open book.  I don't often candy-coat or filter what I post on these pages, I am who I am, my life is my life, and my family is my family.  I don't measure any of it up to anyone else's standards.  I'm a real person and it's important to me that everyone know that I live a real life, not some illusion where my life seems more perfect than it actually is.  A perfect life is a boring life.

Mine has been far from boring.

I've been challenged to share my story.  The series that we're covering at church right now is called "This is My Story" and in it, we're studying others in scripture who have shared their story of how Christ changed their lives.  In this series we're being challenged to share our story and how Christ has worked in and changed our lives.

This presents a couple of problems for me.

Problem #1

There's not just one story where Christ has worked in or changed my life.  His fingerprints are on my whole life.  I was raised in a Christian home, so the path that lead me to The Lord began long before my own life began.

Problem #2

I'm not really a narrow-it-down kind of girl.  If I'm going to tell a story, I'm going to tell the whole story.  Which is why my original Life Story (Learning to Live With Me) was 15 pages long and more than 7,500 words.  If you read that blog before, pretend you haven't because there's probably going to be a bit of plagiarism going on in some parts of this.  (Hey, it's my work, I can steal it if I want to!)

Problem #3

I've not really 'put myself out there' in a big way in the past five years.  And while I've never written about it directly, I know that in order to accurately tell parts of my life story, at some point I will need to include details about this.  Like it or not—it's now a part of my story.  It will just take a great deal of thought and prayer to be able to put the old hurt into words that don't cause new hurt.  

So while this is something I've been convicted to do for the past few is also something that will take some time and some thought and definitely some prayer.  And I'm going to try to keep my words and heart open because it's not always the events or stories that we expect God to use that actually resonate with others in a way that benefits His plans.

My intention is to post 'chapters' of My Story, likely out of order, as I feel lead to.  The first one I have felt compelled to write is a very painful story for me.  Which is part of why I keep putting it off, that post will be authored with many tears.  But I know that God uses the darkness in our lives to illuminate the bright.  And that's why I'll be sharing that story soon.

Stay tuned...