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Beautifully Broken and Blended

Last night my middle son asked me a question that I should have been prepared for, but was honestly thrown back by.
He asked me about his dad. He said he was confused about the fact that daddy is not his “real dad” and that some guy he’s never seen but once or twice on a computer screen is. He wondered if that made a difference between him and his younger sibling who is me and my husband’s mutual son. He said it made him sad and confused as to why daddy couldn’t be his daddy.

You see, I was previously married and it was in that marriage that I had my older three children. I was pregnant with my middle son when I got divorced and I haven’t seen my ex-husband in 8 years. I tried for a long time to keep in contact and get him to see the kids, but it just never seemed to work out. We had a very domestically abusive relationship and he was still trying to be very controlling. It was his way or the highway and since my priority was to keep the kids safe, I just couldn’t give in to his guidelines. He choose to move on with his life and after a few years of trying to get him to come see them, I decided to move on with mine as well.

I remarried when my middle son was a small toddler and he came to know my husband as daddy. It wasn’t until he was about 5 years old that my ex decided to come back in the picture and after 2 video chats, he disappeared again. It was a hard hit for our family because my husband and I had to explain to our little boy that he was in fact someone else’s son, even though daddy loves him like his own and he was in fact his daddy by every other definition. He didn’t seem to understand it at the time, but we knew the day would come.
We walked through Walmart last night and my face was in complete shock and fear as he came with question after question. What could I say? What made this come up now? Are my two older kids feeling any way about this as well? Do they think there’s favoritism going on with our youngest? How do I stop the hurt and confusion?

I came home and laid in bed asking God for guidance. I wanted to be so careful in how I dealt with this so I wouldn’t cause any more pain or confusion. I prayed for my husband and all of the kids. My husband puts his heart and soul into our family and I didn’t want him to be hurt as well. You see, even in this God saw fit to marry two people who know what it is to be in blended families. Both my husband and I grew up with step dads and have had various experiences both good and bad. We were both very much blessed with the daddys (step-dads) we have and we understand what it is to have two dads. The only difference is, we both met and got to know our biologicals as we call it. My middle son didn’t get that chance apart from a 5 minute conversation.

I fell asleep and God began to minister to my spirit. He’s continuing to do so even now as I write this blog. He gave me a few instructions that I wanted to share as I know I’m only one of so many who has and will experience this.

  • Don’t ignore this. Face this head on and deal with it so it doesn’t grow into something deeper that will take longer to heal from.
  • Be honest, but don’t bash. Be honest as to what happened without bashing the other parent. We all make our own decisions and whether we agree or not, we have to respect that.
  • Let your kids (and spouse) feel. Let them feel how they feel and show them you’re there for them no matter what.
  • Take time to talk with your kids. Not just when they’re upset or sad, but generally and consistently.
  • Spend one on one time with them. This is vital especially when you have more than one child. They can feel like their invisible or drowning in the flood of kids. Make time to spend with each one individually like going for ice cream, taking a walk, anything really. Just you and them.
  • Let your spouse take time with them as well. Allow them to have time to grow a relationship that will build the bond as well.
  • Reassure your children that none of it is their fault and they are LOVED by the people who are in their lives every day! None of us are given the chance to pick and choose our parents nor is it our fault if they choose to leave or stay away.
  • Give them time. It takes time to heal and move forward from an absent parent. It also takes time for your spouse to deal with the ups and downs or the children’s feelings. Allow them the time to get through it and move forward.
  • And lastly, pray….pray….PRAY! Pray for your spouse and children. Pray WITH them as well. It’s not just the couples that pray together, but a family that prays together, STAY TOGETHER.

Being a blended family has been far from easy,but it’s also been a blessing to me. It was my rainbow of hope that even though things didn’t go as planned in the beginning, God made it so that both my children and I could have a blessed life with an amazing, incredible man of God.

Whether you’re a single mom or remarried and in a blended family, know that God is always there to guide you in life’s decisions. He will never leave or forsake not just you, but your spouse, your children…your entire household.

Be encouraged today knowing God has already gone ahead and made it all right for you and your home. Things may get frustrating, sad, or confusing, but ALL THINGS work together for the good of them who love God and who are called according to His purpose.

Until next time, Be Blessed

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He Cares..

This evening I came home from work with a mind full from work.  I took some time to talk to my kids and ask them how their day went and one by one they went down the line of every detail they could remember.  Probably one of the times I look forward to most in my day apart from simply seeing my family.

As the kids got themselves showered and changed for bed, my oldest son came back to tell me about how his substitute teacher had an emotional breakdown during the class.  He chuckled and acted like she was being ultra sensitive to something so small.

I let him finish telling the story and then took the time to explain that it was probably the last straw for her after weeks of dealing with various classes that had been misbehaving for weeks with this poor substitute.

He didn’t fully get what I was trying to teach him, so I stopped trying to explain it and I took time to pray with him.  We prayed for his teacher as well as the students.  That God would comfort her and give her strength and also that God would teach the students to respect and love everyone they come into contact with because they never know what’s happening in their lives.

When the prayer was over I explained that no one ever knows what people are going through behind closed doors and that “small thing” could truly be what brings them to their breaking point.

So many of us are going through things that no one knows about.  We smile and act the part because we’re ashamed or simply want to look the part, but we’re really fighting some real battles behind the scenes.

Tonight as you check in to your nightly routine I want to speak a word of encouragement over you.  Better yet, I want to remind us all of something.

As you tuck your kids in tonight to then cry as you stay up late cleaning..

As you sit up in bed with tears in your eyes or even angrily wondering what’s gone wrong in your marriage…

As you lay on your side choking down tears so your spouse doesn’t hear you cry yourself to sleep yet another night..

As you go to your hiding spot to find those pills that will help you feel numb enough to sleep through the night so you can forget about your troubles..

As you sneak that one good drink so you can look past the fact that you’re surrounded by so many, but feel so alone and unloved..

As you spend another night battling thoughts of depression, anger, suicide, and insecurity….

Know and understand this.

GOD KNOWS.

He sees every tear

He hears every prayer...even the silent ones

He feels every pain..you know, the ones that make you feel like your heart is going to burst out of your chest…the ones you swallow back down to avoid giving into the truth.

He’s not ignoring you, I promise. He’s molding you.

He’s not trying to make you give up, He’s strengthening you.

He’s not trying to kill you, He’s trying to birth something in you.

It’s through nights like these that God shows us what He’s placed in us. 

So press through..

Cry it out..

Scream if you have to..

Write, pray, and/or listen to some worship..

Read the Word or listen to some Word on your phone..

Allow it to break you to your core so God can make you..

God sees you…He hears you….He feels every pain and hears every silent prayer through your tears…

Most of all…

He Cares.

Until next time,

I pray a sweet, peaceful sleep.

Be Blessed

 

The In-between

In-between. Being situated somewhere between two extremes or recognized categories. Intermediate.

As of the new year, my husband and I have been in an in-between state.  We made some decisions that placed us once again in that space where we’re not sure the next step God has for us, yet we’re sure going back is not His will or an option.

The thing about this in-between space is that unless you’re rooted and focused on God first and foremost, you can get lost.

A lot of people get lost during this time.

We have our high times where God speaks to us daily and through so many people and we feel amazing.  We get so excited about the promises and strive daily to get closer to that finish line, but we always seem to take one step forward and two steps back.

That’s our first extreme.  David gets anointed King, Moses gets the word of the promised land, Abraham and Sarah are told they will bear a child.  We all have those high moments.  But what happens when the noise dies down, people get tired of waiting for the curtain to open and everyone walks away leaving us all alone?

What happens in that space when we feel like we’ve been abandoned and we begin to wonder if any of it was real? The in-between place.

That’s where we’ve been.  That place where we don’t know our left from our right. Where God is taking us in this foreign land, or even what we’re doing in this present day.

I’ve had plenty of mornings where I woke up asking God, What’s next?  Feeling complacent and a bit curious. He gives me the same answer each time but the difference between this time and the many in-between times before is that I have grown to be quite okay with it.

His answer, you ask? Just enjoy the process.  I’ve got something big coming.

You see, nothing big comes without a process. When movies are made, yes there are actors who come and act out each scene, but when the scenes are done being recorded, those actors are in that in-between stage.  They’re not filming. They simply go back to their lives until the technical crew finishes the editing process in preparation for the final cut that will be seen on premiere night.

That’s where we’re at.  The only difference is instead of a movie being edited, God is taking the time to edit and mold us so we can be ready for the premiere

You see, this dreaded in-between stage is in fact the most important part of our lives.  Our premiere night means nothing if the scenes weren’t edited and formatted for perfection.  Just like our lives and our ministries.

God has greatness that He has instilled within us, but unless we go through the process, we won’t be ready for the premiere showing.  We can’t skimp on the process and expect to sell out in the box office.  That would just make us bootlegs.

Today I’m praying for everyone in the process.  I’m praying strength, wisdom, peace, and a sound mind.  The process is never easy, but man, it is SO WORTH IT!

You’ll have days where you won’t know your left from your right, but as long as you know Who to look up to, you’re all good.

Stay focused, choose peace, stay at God’s feet, don’t get lost, and most of all…enjoy it! Why? Because God’s got some great things in store for you and if you let Him, He’ll plan the best premiere this world has ever seen!

Until next time, Be Blessed and enjoy the in-between!

BIG NEWS!!

Today I am SO EXCITED to announce the release of my newest book!!! I couldn’t see myself ending the very first month of the year any other way!!

This was something the Lord laid on my heart during my family’s cross country transition.  As I was studying the book of Esther, I began to write and the more I wrote, the more I realized God was unlocking my first study!

God showed me a lot throughout this study about myself and it really helped me to prepare for what was to come and I’m sure what is STILL to come!

I decided to make the corresponding videos on YouTube so that they were free and available for everyone anywhere they choose to study.  This is an amazing study for individuals, groups, families and coworkers! There is so much God is wanting to show women right now and it truly is time for us to stop letting the world dictate who we are and walk in the anointing that God has planted inside of us!

I pray you will all be blessed by this study and my videos of my own personal testimony as well.

Best Dad Ever

Simply click on the picture of the book to be directed to Amazon to purchase the study and the link to my YouTube can be found on my blog’s homepage.  Feel free to leave a review on of how God moved in your life through this study!

Until the next study, Be Blessed!!

A Testimony of Prayer

Today I wanted to share a testimony I’ve had in my heart for months.  It’s something I’ve been taught, but was given the opportunity to see it upfront and personally in the last few weeks and I just can’t keep it to myself.

Thanksgiving of last year while going through our own stuff within my family and moving situation, I was given the opportunity to work as an aide on school buses.

I was nervous about this job because I’ve never worked in this field and I wasn’t sure what to expect. Then when I came in for my first day and found out that I was starting on the special needs bus, I became even more nervous because I had no experience in dealing with special needs children and I didn’t want to make any mistakes.

The first week and a half went well.  There are only a small handful of kids on these buses since they require more attention and so far I was doing well with them.  In fact, I loved being on that bus. It really gave me an inside view of how loving and incredibly smart they are.

Then one morning I came in and was asked to sub for a monitor who was out sick.  It was crazy because as people began to come in and hear which bus I would be on that day, they all kept saying, Good luck with that one!

What did they mean? Why was I going to need luck? Now I’m freaking out!

I got on the bus, met the driver, and we started our route.  The driver was real sweet and so far, the children were the cutest little humans.  As we finished our second school, we took a quick break and she pulled me aside for a pep talk.

She began to explain that the next route we had included a little girl who had some behavioral issues.  Her behavior was so bad that she had to wear a four point body harness and get hooked to the bus seat just to keep her in the seat and from hurting herself and others.  Yea….I started looking around for the cameras because this had to be a joke!

We get to this little girl’s house and sure enough, we had to put this harness on her and clip her into the seat.  A HARNESS PEOPLE! The school she attended was out of the area and it took 30-40 minutes on the highway to get her there.  This little girl proceeded to kick, scream, scratch, curse, spit, and expose herself THE ENTIRE RIDE. She attempted to take her harness off a few times and I had to physically hold her down so I could get the harness back on all while she continued to attack me in all ways possible.

I was mortified.

I went home after that morning route in a panic. What did I get myself into?! I looked up at God like, I can’t do this! 

Then He said it.  That dreaded word that has haunted me since I stepped foot in Arizona.

ASSIGNMENT.

AGH!!!!! Why God?! Why does THIS have to be an assignment??

God spoke swiftly and clearly.  Because she needs you. You have to pray for her.  It’s  not about you. It’s about that little girl.

I’m not gonna lie…I wanted to just stay home in hopes they would fire me for not going back for afternoon route, but I knew I needed to do this.  So, I prayed, cleaned my face, and made my way back for the afternoon route.

That afternoon, she started to act up and I began to silently pray.  She got a few good hits and kicks in, but as time went by she began to calm down.  I began to talk to her and ask her about school and what she learned. She still cursed, but she began to answer me back and we started having a conversation.  Towards the end of the trip, she asked if I could sing her a song and we both began to sing a song together.

When we dropped her home, my heart sunk.  It was the most fulfilling feeling in the world to get through that ride.

We got back to the bus yard, I clocked out and went home feeling accomplished and drained.  I got up the next day and anointed my family and myself.  I felt led to rub the excess oil on my work id and hoodie.  I wasn’t sure why, but I felt to do it, so I did.

When I got to work, I found out I was subbing again on the same bus.  I got on the bus and when we got to the little girl’s home, she remembered my name and said good morning.  The ride was quiet and we talked on and off the entire time.  She asked to wear my badge and hoodie and I let her.  I was reminded  about the oil that morning and it all made sense. Both the morning and afternoon rides went smoothly and I was in complete aw of God.

When I got back to the bus yard, my boss asked to speak with me and the driver.  He mentioned how the driver had great reviews about me and how I did with the little girl.  They were so impressed that they asked me to stay long as the other monitor came so he could observe.

I made it clear to my boss who is a believer as well that it was by no means me who was doing this great thing, but God who was leading me and guiding me every step of the way.  I knew it was not by my own power at all that this was happening, because if it were up to me, I would have left the first day!

Weeks went by and I continued to pray for this little girl as well as her home.  God began to show me things happening in her life and I went in to fight on her behalf as the Lord led me.

There were times where I began to doubt the power of prayer and stopped praying for her through a break that we had and God showed me very quickly what happens when we choose to give up praying for someone. We got back from break and it was like day one all over again.

I went in harder in prayer after that and never stopped.  Her behavior improved more and more to the point of her very family raving about how much she’s changed.

God taught me a lot about prayer throughout this experience.  He showed me that there are a lot of people who need prayer. Not everyone has been blessed with family members who know how to pray. There are people who have no one and God places us in their lives to be that someone for them.

So many times we back away from people who treat us wrong and act out, but when we really take a look at them and take time to seek God concerning them, we learn that they’ve been placed in our lives so we can be a blessing to them and not just run away from them like everyone else has.

Today I believe God wants us to reflect on those people we consider to be challenges in our lives.  Are we looking at them as our enemies, or are we asking God what our assignment is with them.  God never makes mistakes with whom He places in our lives. Everyone in our lives are there for a purpose.  Our job is to pray and ask God what our assignment is concerning them and to fulfill it.

Here’s to fulfilled assignments and new adventures!

Until next time, Be Blessed Everyone

 

 

 

 

A Word for 2018

This morning as I was praying and reading my Bible, the Lord deposited a word into my spirit to share. I pray you will watch the video and be blessed by it in Jesus name. As I’ve been saying, this year is going to be EPIC!! Love you all!

Until the next letter or word, Be Blessed!

A Letter to my Son on his Birthday

One thing God made very clear during our transition from South Carolina to Arizona was that we would find healing in the desert.  In the very dry place of the valley, God would bring healing and breathe a new wind of life into our bones from which we would be able to minister to others.

As the new year has come in, God has begun to confront me with people and issues of my past that I’ve had to come to terms with.  One of them being myself and the decisions I made as well as the position I placed myself and others in due to those decisions.

How fitting that God would have me to start with my oldest of four children on his 14th birthday.  As I went throughout my day, I began to write my son a letter.  The more I wrote, the more my heart began to crack open like a shell and spill out things I wish I could have told him years ago, but felt he was too young to hear.

Today I want to share the first of a series of letters I am writing to various people in my life as God begins to bring complete healing in my life.

Ephraim,

I’ve waited years to write this letter and now that you’re a full-blown teenager, I feel now is a great time to do this.

I remember when I found out I was pregnant with you.  I didn’t know if I was excited or flat out scared!  You were my first baby and I had just gotten over this season of running away from life and so many mistakes I had made.  I knew the moment that test was positive a change had to be made and it started with me.  I refused to give you a miserable life because I wanted to play games.

I married your father 2 weeks before you were born.  I had a red lace dress and we wore rings I bought myself.  Growing up in a legalistic church made me ashamed to have a baby and not be married, so if marrying him gave you a “perfect” life, then so be it.  I barely knew him, but I could learn to love him and we could be a happy family.

Months later your sister came along and so did a lot of changes.  Domestic issues started and after a night in county jail and three weeks at Tata’s  house, I gave in to the suggestion to move to Alabama hoping things would get better.

I was wrong.  I’m sorry.

We spent 4 years in Alabama moving from place to place.  Some days were good, yet the bad days outweighed them as time went by.  I had a few times where I had the opportunity to leave.  Some times I did.  Other times just as quick as I left, I came right back.

I was insecure.  I was scared.  I was wrong.  I’m sorry.

I just want you to know, I heard and saw it all.  

Every time he called you stupid.  Every time he called you a fagot.  Every time he put his hands on  you because he hated how close you were to me.  I saw it. I did nothing out of fear.  I was wrong. I’m sorry.

There were nights I just knew he would come home and put an end to our suffering.  Other nights I prayed he would drink himself into oblivion and never return.  He always did though.  He was like that one chick in all those horror flicks that never seems to die.

The short time I worked and came home to various women in the  house.  I knew nothing good happened.  I knew you had to see something and it was confusing to you.  I’m sorry.

I had days where I even thought to end our misery myself, but the God in me kept me going.  He nudged me to pray more and more as time went by and I know for a fact God kept you and your sister hidden on many nights when things turned bad very quickly for me.

When I finally built up the strength to leave, I did everything I could to make it right for you.  From doctors to counselors, I made sure to get you and your sister the help you both needed to heal from all of it. You stuttered for years and with every sound, my heart broke.  Every doctors appointment and counseling session was a constant reminder of the abuse I allowed to happen for way too long which was why you dealt with speech issues and nightmares.

I’m sorry.  I was scared.  But God finally gave me the strength to leave.

With every nightmare, I grew stronger.  The sound of your stutter began to give me a strengthening anger to move forward and not look back.  With every memory and milestone, God began to cultivate a confidence in me to move forward.

God used you to do that and I thank you for that.

Thank you for continuously loving me in spite of the decisions I made. In spite of my fear.

Thank you for singing songs of worship and caressing my face as I cried sleeping on yet another floor, trying to get my life together….for you, your sister and myself.

Thank you for pressing and showing me what it is to succeed in spite of your past.

Your strength has inspired me more than you will ever know.

To look at you today and see an honor “gifted” student who hasn’t even made it to high school yet, but has already aced his ACTs is amazing.

The fact that you’ve made both nationals at the Lego’s competition and Debate team by 7th grade is astounding!

You started 8th grade and within 2 months mastered the trombone on time to play with the high school and winter concert.

You’re a YouTuber and aspiring tech geek to say the least, and stuttering is a distant memory for you.

Even though we haven’t seen him in 8 years now, you continue to press forward and reach for the stars.  You’ve accepted Daddy (Deric) as your own and love him as if he was your biological father and that means the world to me because it shows I finally did soemthing right!

When the Bible says “eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him,” (1 Corinthians 2:9) I know deep down in every fiber of my being that was for YOU.

You have an amazing heart and in spite of everything you’ve been through, you have come out victorious!

God has so much in store for you and as your mother, I will do everything in my power to cover you in prayer and be right by your side every step of the way.

Happy 14th birthday my love.  I can’t wait to see where God takes you this year!

Until next time, Be Blessed