Choices

I have this problem which I’ve been fighting for years. I have this bad habit of putting on a mask with a smile, not so much to prevent others from seeing my emotions, how I’m feeling, protecting myself, or any of the other more common reasons. I do it because I really don’t want for others to worry about me.

I’ve been so strong for so long, I often feel if I let another in to know how or what I’m feeling, I would be unnecessarily burdening them with issues they don’t need on their plates as well. It is an unfortunate, yet obvious, double bladed knife as it leaves me in a position of feeling completely alone in any trials or struggles I’m facing.

I know I’m not alone because I always have God, but there are times when I’d love to ask for prayer, but don’t want others to worry…even though I know the more prayers going up by honest to goodness prayer warriors would be awesome.

So that’s a face, a choice, I consciously use daily. With my family, friends, when I was still employed, most of my coworkers. 

And I have realized lately how that is an act of omission, which, in turn, is a lie. I do my best to be as honest as humanly possible, but to realize how much I have been dishonest has a hold on my heart which only He can remove.

It is a choice to awaken each day with a positive and prayerful outlook on the day, or with a negative and fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants outlook. It is a choice to prioritize you life or to live within the reigns of chaos. It is a choice to have faith and live by that faith just as it is a choice to have no spiritual compass at all.

And as I type this, I also have the choice to stay on my path and keep my eyes focused on what He has planned for me. This means I need to stop with the masks, I need to stop with the excuses, and I need to push through regardless, because I don’t know how much time I have left.

Since having this Spirit led realization, it made it crystal clear about how I truly haven’t really been following anything well. I have become lax in nearly all I do. I have lost my flame and now have only  few flickers of it remaining. Thankfully, I haven’t allowed it to go out completely as it’s much easier to fan a flame to make it larger than to start fresh.

It’s truly a great idea to write down, with date, prayers. especially when you’re asking for Him to do a work in you rather than in another, and when you’re truly sincere about it. Then, just wait. If you truly meant the request and have been following through in your actions along with drawing closer to Him by delving in His Word, it is much easier to actually *hear* what He wants us to *listen* to.

And it is currently my choice to get off this thing and catch upp on some of my reading, as I’m falling a bit behind.

Until then, Be Blessed!

~ J

❤ ❤ ❤

Book Club / Review

I have decided there isn’t as much reading in the world, with physical or virtual books, and this makes me sad. It also disheartens me the amount of books I have, both spiritual and fiction, I haven’t even read half of them.

This will be the section for my current book and the review I’ll be doing on it. My goal is 1-2 chapters a week, but it also depends upon the size of the chapters as I really want to get as much meat out of it as I can.

You are more than welcome to join with me on both the reading and the review. I plan to have a syllabus of which books I plan to read and the order in which I plan to do so.

I believe it would be wonderful for you to accompany me on this journey.

There will be a syllabus so all who would like to participate will be able to do so on their own. There will then be a time to discuss what we’ve read and absorbed, and, if applicable, along with how we can, or are currently, applying the teachings in our lives. There will also be a section where questions will be discussed.

The theme as discussed above is the beginning template for how reviews will work unless the need to be tweaked arises. I would appreciate any thoughts and constructive comments to allow for this site to improve.

I do thank you in advance, and until then, be blessed!

~ J

❤ ❤ ❤

Expected Date of Reopening

The current expected date of reopening the revamped blog is set for Monday, October 3, 2016. As you can see, the title and the background/theme of the blog has changed, but the web address has not. There will be other new changes as well, that I am very happy with.

Thank you for your continued patience!

Until then, be blessed!

~  J

❤ ❤ ❤

How I got to here…

This post is to hopefully raise awareness about this. I am not in any way trying to put down, or hurt any feelings. This is how I went from an abusive marriage to my life today…cliff notes version.

It does have to do with the fall of the American Family. I’m not going to get into my thoughts on why it has happened, just that it has, and how it’s affecting the children who are then becoming adults.

I, myself, am at a loss for words with regard to the justice system. I was very blessed to be a stay at home mother for most of my marriage. It was only once all three children were in school full-time that I began to look for means of helping with the financial support of the household. While my ex made fairly good money, we didn’t live beyond our means, as I tried to keep costs very minimal, yet we seemed to always be short, so I wanted to help with that.

Unfortunately, any money I made was basically eaten up by monthly parking rents, fuel, and the after-school care. But it got me out of the house, and I was able to meet new people. It was here when I met a strong godly-man who was able to help me on my then recently found path back to Christ and God. Eventually though, costs of nearly everything rose and I was in the hole with any pay I received. It actually worked out, because it was a temp contract position that was finishing anyhow.

God really doesn’t work in such mysterious ways.

Being at home full-time again was actually helpful for all involved, and there were a couple of us who had gotten pretty ill and was on bedrest for some time. Eventually, I was diagnosed with MS, but after my own research and changes within my lifestyle (which also was helping the entire family), I began feeling well enough, though my disease was still progressing.

Though he was physically present, and a decent provider, he wasn’t with us.

And it had always been that way. I just continued to pray that He would soften his heart and bring him to see his family as a unit who not only loved and cared about him, but needed him as the head of the household. There was so much distance. He was annoyed by everything. Nothing was ever good enough. The children were considered by him to be a nuisance. His infidelity continued. His physical, emotional and verbal abuse toward everyone was becoming worse.

Walking on eggshells, waiting to see how his mood was.

I was so frustrated with myself because I promised myself I would never get into this type of relationship again, and here I was 14 years later, in the longest abusive relationship of my life, outside of my father (which, happily, I can say, is a more positive dad-daughter relationship!). How did I allow it to get as far as it did for as long as it did? Will damage be worse for the children’s emotional well-being by leaving, or by staying?

I continued to pray for guidance. I didn’t believe in divorce. I didn’t want my children to go through what my sister’s and I had to witness and deal with from our parents’ divorces. I continued to feel compelled to filing for separation, but I didn’t think God would seriously encourage that. Until one afternoon, my ex completely wigged out. He began his drinking early afternoon.

My oldest had moved out a couple months before this happened. At the age of 17. He was angry with me because I wasn’t able to stop his step-father. I had a couple of restraining orders against him because of how he treated my son, but also because of things he had said to me…his anger…I had legitimate fear of the man. But he had been emotionally abusing me and mentally destroying me for so many years, I was weak, and I wasn’t strong in the Word. I tried to do what I can. I had even gone to my previous pastor’s for help, to no avail.

I wasn’t going to lose another child because of the abuse. I was done.

At that time I truly had zero clue how I was going to get through this. I didn’t have any income of my own (I had only recently began my Herbalife business), no resources, no place to go (I had been living on my own from my parents since I was 16), no help from the state or government (I had already been denied Disability and SSI at this point).

The place we were living in had our lease good only until that April. I was worried, because with no money, and having relied upon my husband for his financial support, which he knew and liked to hold against me, I really had no place to go, and didn’t want to have to bring my kids with me to a shelter. I had to do that with my mom and sisters when I was in my early teens, and it was really tough.

My mom came through and to the rescue!

She had just purchased a duplex with my sister, and although each unit was a 2 bdrm, my mom offered her second bedroom to the children and I. She also had been living on her own for quite some time, though she has stayed with both myself and my oldest sister for periods of her transition time.

Or did she?

It was a tight and uncomfortable situation for all. My mom became verbally and emotionally abusive toward my children and myself. I was saving every dime I could and looking for places near the kids schools I would be able to afford. I didn’t want to bring my children from one abusive environment to another.

And now years later…

So many ups and downs. Allowing myself to get back into old, and bad, habits and to give in to Satan’s temptation. Falling flat on my face. Believing and trusting in God to provide, which He always has and always will. But as soon as things were going good, I would literally become so “busy” and focused on every other aspect of my life, except where it counted.

Each time I have “taken a break” from being in His Word, whether from busy-ness or illness, I began to lose touch with Him. And then, of course, His blessings to me began to slowly fade away…because my acting faith was laying down on the job.

Sometimes it takes multiple times of doing the same wrong thing, just getting slightly different negative results, before we finally stop, think, reflect, pray, and realize, how absolutely lost we truly are in the world without His presence near and within us.

It’s time for a  permanent, and positive change.

I’m done with getting knocked down a few pedestals more each time I put every one and every thing above Him. You’d think I would have learned by now, and hopefully this time it’ll stick and stay with me, within my heart and soul, for my remaining days on this planet.

Realize how blessed you truly are. I certainly have. And honestly, things look so much more beautiful when you look at the smallest of things as the blessings they are.

~J

Romans 12:2 “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”

Back home in Vermont

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I can’t believe it’s been a month already! I am so sorry for having been away for so long, but unfortunately, I was having computer and wifi issues. I am currently up in Vermont on vacation…by myself! The kids didn’t want to have to unplug while being up here, so they chose to stay home, and their father is staying with them.

This trip truly has been amazing so far. I’ve been up here for about 10 days and plan to be up here for another 8. While I do miss my kiddos, I haven’t had to deal with any symptoms since being up here, which is always a good thing. I have been able to visit with both family, and this time, more friends than the usual one or two I meet up with while visiting.

I would love to say it’s been gorgeous out every day, because we have been experiencing quite a few storms lately. Some of them just appear out of nowhere, like the one last night, whereas the one the previous night had wind gusts of up to 60mph which caused some power brown-outs and brief outages in addition to fallen limbs and trees. What was nice about both is they lasted no more than an hour or two and cooled off the weather significantly in addition to decreasing the humidity.

It’s been nice though. I’ve never sofa surfed as I have this trip, and it’s wonderful! I literally came up here with $30, some non-perishables, my Herbalife, and a full tank of gas. Being able to have the time to visit with my friends and family for longer than just a quick 30 minutes has been glorious. I’ve been able to reach within and get myself back to being closer to Him, and to do some further soul searching, in addition to improving my health, even if only temporary.

edited_IMG_20160712_090246222_HDRMy great-nephew <8 weeks

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Prepared for anything…IMG_20160709_123108IMG_20160709_123152IMG_20160710_162308

ex-boyfriend, Rob, but still a great friend!IMG_20160710_192206

L – R: Niece Briana, Nephew Tommy, myself, and younger sister ShannaSnapchat-491294056949549364

Myself and My oldest niece, Ashleigh, who is also Mrs Vt International, 2015Snapchat-1385296201752309185

My brother in law, Steve. Also Ashleigh’s father and Astella & Rhoswen’s grandfather.

So this has been a fun trip. It’s nearly done, and once I’ve arrived back to Mass, I’m sure I’ll have plenty more pictures to share and upload. This truly has been such an amazing time for me. I haven’t been this relaxed in I honestly don’t remember how long. It’s been so wonderful to be able to visit with family and friends and not having to worry about whether or not I have to leave sooner rather than later because the children were bored. That’s not to say I don’t miss them, because I most certainly do, but I’ve been able to partake in more activities this time around and it has been wonderful.

Well, Since I am borrowing wifi at the moment, I should really start packing up and get moving to my next destination.

Be blessed! Thank you for being so patient in waiting for this post. ❤ ❤ ❤

Father’s Day

To all the Father’s, Dad’s, Daddy’s, Dada’s, Single Mother’s, Grandparents or other family members filling in that position, I hope that your day has been filled with blessings and you’ve been abounded with joy, laughter, and love.

But not everyone looks at this holiday, or day of recognition, as one of happiness and love. Not everyone has a family who could wish them a Happy Father’s Day or be able to spend the day with them. I took this into consideration on my walk this morning.

Something I’ve been trying to do in helping with the added weight from the prescriptions, is by really keeping active and doing at least 30 minutes of exercise a day. In the past two weeks, yesterday, I have lost 4.1 pounds. I still have at least another 15 to reach my goal, but I’m really more concerned with toning up, eating healthy and frequently, drinking plenty of water, and liking what I see in the mirror or how my clothes are fitting, rather than any numbers showing on the scale.

So on this walk, any male who I happened to pass by, or who had driven by, or whatever, I wished a Happy Father’s Day to them. All said thank you, except the one who may not have heard me as well. The last two really stood out in my mind.

Second to last man was walking to his vehicle. I wished him the Happy Father’s Day, and the way he responded sort of through me for a bit. He asked how I knew he was a father. At this time I told him that I truly didn’t know, but I wasn’t going to take the chance of him being one, but perhaps doesn’t have anyone to say it to him, or to spend with. That one never knows what anyone else is really going through, and so I just wanted him to know that someone was thinking about him.

The amount of gratitude and generosity in his thanks was humbling to me. He said it meant a lot to him, and I was so blessed to be able to do that for someone…A complete stranger in fact. I wished him a blessed and joyous remainder of his day and we waved good-bye and I continued on the remainder of my walk.

The next and last gentleman I spoke with was right around the corner. I wished him his Happy Father’s Day, and again, I was thanked generously. We spoke briefly about how beautiful a day it was out, and after a short bit, he thanked me for taking the time to converse with him.

I truly wasn’t doing anything grandiose or anything. I was taking my walk to better my health and mood (because exercise gives off endorphins which makes happiness), and was so blessed just by doing for some that I would want for others, myself included.

What is one simple act of kindness, such as pushing past your comfort zone of agoraphobia, you can do for others? That simple act can seriously multiply blessings not just to yourself and the ones you’re doing the kindness to, but it’s very possible it will point them in the direction to pay it forward.

Be blessed and joyous knowing you are loved beyond any condition.

~J