New Year, New Word, New Blog

Happy New Year!! 2013 was either the worst year I've ever lived or the best depending on what I focus on. I am choosing to focus on the good because this year I've never felt more loved, or understood how important godly relationships are in my life. In November, when my son went missing, I thought my heart would just break in two. I have never hurt like I did when I thought he was dead. Hearing things like 'we're calling in the homicide team' are things I'm still getting over. Thankfully we had a happy ending, but it's far from being over. What I also experienced that night was community. I had someone that never left my side, people that came to tend to my other kids, text messages from people I hadn't talked to since our church split/scattered. I had emails. In short, I had the body of Christ. What I learned was we need others. I'm a pretty independent woman and I'd like to think I can do anything without the help of others, but that isn't how we were created. In the garden of Eden, Adam was created and everything was perfect. No sin in the world. He had everything he could ask for, yet something was missing. That is when God created a helpmate. We were created for relationship... with God and with others.

That brings me to my next thing...

 I've been thinking a lot about what I wanted my 'one word' for the year to be for 2014. I've decided on the word intentional for many reasons. I want to live my life with purpose not just with myself, but with my finances, with my relationships, I want to be the body of Christ to others. I want to get outside myself and reach out to those hurting. I want to invite that person to dinner that lives alone or doesn't have family. What may be leftovers for me could be the only home cooked meal they have. I want to remember significant dates so people will know someone cared enough to remember. I want to listen more so I'll know the needs of those around me. I want to give more. A simple smile, a word, a hug, sharing a verse with someone on my heart means the world to someone hurting. I want to reach out to a hurting world and show the love of Christ. I want to see past the 'I'm fine' or the fake smiles and remind someone they matter. I want to overuse the words I love you.

I want to be more intentional.

I want to challenge you as well. Open a door for someone. Smile at a stranger. Pick up the bill for that young couple or elderly person sitting alone. Mow your neighbors lawn. Give someone a card just because. Write more letters this year. Love more.

Happy 2014!!!


Sooo, it's been a year and a half since I have blogged. Some of you will be shocked by what I am about to share. Some already know and some are 'praying' it's just a phase....I am going to share from my heart so hopefully people will understand where I am coming from and maybe be more tolerant to those around them.

I guess you could call this my "coming out" story.

I want to start by saying I LOVE the Lord! I KNOW I am saved and I KNOW God created me this way. I am secure in my salvation. That is NOT up for debate. I am tired of trying to defend my position. It is between God and me. End of story.

Some wonder how I could have been married to a man for so long knowing I was a lesbian...well, let me explain because my story is not that uncommon. It is pounded into us from an early age that it is wrong to be gay and it's a sin so many of us push those feelings down.

When I was about twelve I noticed all of my friends were boy crazy. I always wondered why I wasn't. I could care less about the teen idols. In fact, I had a poster of Farrah Fawcett on my wall in the famous red bathing suit lol I should have known...

I am pretty sure I have shared this before, but I was a bus kid and I attended an Independent Fundamentalist Baptist Church. Not bashing the denomination but they are very legalistic and there was NO WAY my being a lesbian would ever be accepted. I did share with my youth pastor that I was not attracted to boys. His explanation was something about everyone had their cross to bear and some were born with a predisposition to alcoholism but couldn't act on it. I walked away thinking "ok I was born with these feelings but they are wrong and I can't ever act on them". Honestly, I thought it would just be that easy. I could just 'decide' I wasn't gay and be ok with that. I lived in denial for a long time.

My other hearts desire was to be a mom, so I found someone that I loved and I knew would make pretty babies:-) We had three gorgeous children and I thought I was happy. Wait. I WAS happy with the mom part, I was born to be a mother:-) Oh, I probably could have stayed married but I never really would have been fulfilled. For the long time readers, you KNOW I didn't leave him because I was gay. I NEVER wanted my kids to grow up in a broken home. I wanted the happy family with the white picket fence. I believe in the whole women should be submissive role. I embraced it. Plus my feelings were a 'sin' right? I could never live as a lesbian. My family would disown me. My kids would hate me. I was scared I would go to hell. So many crazy feelings and thoughts.

When our marriage ended I was beyond heartbroken. It was more than just a divorce to me. It was the end of my dream of having the "normal" family. So I focused on raising my children and continued putting my feelings aside. I was getting pretty good at it. When my friends started encouraging me to date I thought I would try. I went on ONE date after my divorce. I ended up crying all the way home. It wasn't him, he was the perfect gentlemen. He prayed before the date and he treated me like a lady. Everything I thought I wanted in a man. It was me, I was attracted to women and always had been. I made the decision that I would just be alone. I wasn't going to date again. Ever.

THEN...I met a woman that I had an instant attraction too. The feeling was mutual. It felt right and not one time did I feel guilty for my feelings. It felt normal. It felt so right. I never loved my ex the way I loved her. There was a heart connection that I still can't explain. I knew at that moment I couldn't continue living a lie. For reasons I don't want to get into in such a public forum we can never be a couple BUT that love gave me the courage to be truthful about who *I* am.

Sooooo I came out of the closet.

First, to the people I worked with...then I started making friends with other lesbians.
I finally got the courage to share with my closest friends to see how the people that 'love me the most' would react. Needless to say they were SHOCKED. One started crying and had to hang up with me. Things haven't been the same with any of them. They say how much they love me but they will never accept my lifestyle choices. I know it was a shock, but I am the same person I have always been. I am still Barbie. I still love people with all my heart. I would still do anything for my friends. The only thing that changed was I accepted who God made me to be.

Sadly, I lost a LOT of friends over this. It isn't something I just up and decided. It was so hard for me. I wish that people would understand that rather than jump to judgement. I keep hearing "seek God"..well, I DID! I researched the scriptures and prayed. I even went to a couple of women in the church for guidance. How can I feel these things and they not feel wrong? Why did I not feel guilty?? Was I being deceived? They prayed and sent me text messages and scriptures. Nothing made the feelings go away. I am who I am. It took almost a year but I have accepted that and I am proud of the person God made me. The only thing that hurts is the attitudes of my friends. It still hurts to hear "I will always love YOU, but I can never accept your lifestyle choice"....well, first it wasn't a choice and secondly, it is who I am. You canNOT separate the two. It doesn't define me but it's a part of me.

I have been very open with discussing this and the scriptures. I even emailed with my former pastor until he made the discussion personal. I was not made gay because of things that have happened to me. I was more than willing to discuss actual scriptures until he said I just hated men. I have two boys I am raising. I do NOT hate men. I am just not attracted to them. People feel that because they disagree with homosexuality that they have the right to judge. Well, God judges, the Holy Spirit convicts, and we are just called to love. We don't walk around to people in the church and call them out on things we think are sin. I have never heard someone go to another woman in the church and say "I will always love you, but I will not accept your gossiping. I just can't. God says its wrong so therefore, I have to point it out"...NOBODY does that. If you feel it is wrong, pray. Don't make the people that you feel need God the most, not feel welcome in the church. By your words you think we need God the most, so why aren't you doing everything to get the word in me instead of making me feel like an outsider. Loving someone even when you disagree with them is way more powerful than judgement. There is so much more to my story, but that's a start:-) I hope that by sharing this not only will people understand it better, but hopefully be more accepting to things they don't understand. We are a normal family. Mom just happens to be gay:-)


Court again....

I know I haven't really blogged since Jesi went to be with Jesus but today there is so much on my heart that I am trying to sort through. I also haven't blogged because I wanted to make sure that God gets the glory and I am not just whining about life. This is such a small matter in the grand scheme of things and there are people I am praying for that are going through things unimaginable so this seems so very small...nevertheless this my life right now. Don't worry I haven't forgotten that God can make ALL things good and even in the bad stuff I will be blessed exceedingly and abundantly above all I can ask:-) I do believe that and I have lived it but I also know how overwhelmed I am at times. I guess a little background is needed. Last year my ex lost his job and didn't pay any child support for several months. I knew in my heart that God would take care of us but I also knew that my faith needed works and so I ended up working more than one job. God gave me a verse during that time because my flesh so wanted to call their Dad and tell him what he was doing to us...
God gave me this

Exodus 14:14 (The Message)14 God will fight the battle for you. And you? You keep your mouths shut!"

I actually blogged about it here
So over the year I did keep my mouth shut. The only contact we had was when he texted me about the kids and my answers were always short and to the point. I also was able to start saving things that will work to my advantage later...can't go into that just yet but eventually I will share how God was able to direct my steps:-) Anyway, the ex was eventually garnished and I was able to only work 2 jobs and I still do. We have managed to find a schedule that allows me the maximum time with my children and they are still able to do extracurricular activities such as academic athletes, orchestra, worship team etc It isn't always easy though and more often than not I am exhausted beyond measure. So imagine my surprise when *I was served papers to appear in child support court!! I had 3 weeks to get a lawyer and prepare a case..a bogus case!! He owes ME and he is taking ME to court??!! He is saying that he didn't miss any payments but that is so NOT true and the truth will come out tomorrow. The day after I was served the visiting preacher actually preached on this verse and it was the confirmation I needed to get through the last few weeks. I am not sure what tomorrow will look like but I still know WHO holds tomorrow. I am resting in that fact. I was rereading the verse which is so fitting to me because I have often said Oklahoma was my promised land. The verse is from that story:-) Anyway, today I read the verse right before it..

Exodus 14:13-14 (New International Version)
13 Moses answered the people, "Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. 14 The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still."

So tomorrow I WILL stand firm and see the deliverance of the Lord!! Praise God for that!! I know we will be ok no matter what happens and honestly
I am only praying for Gods will and my children's hearts. I don't need revenge because God is fighting this battle for me. He will take care of us because we are His children. My flesh may want something different but fortunately I don't have to live by feelings lol I can live by truth. I just hope and pray this part is OVER for good! One of my hopes in moving to Oklahoma was the divorce wouldn't be messy but I guess that is unrealistic after two decades with someone. sigh. Anyway, long story short...pray?? please?? :-)


busy busy busy lol

Angela asked in the comments how I was doing and mentioned my friend Jesi. I will get back to Jesi....I haven't blogged in forever because my life is crazy busy. I know what's new?? lol
Well, here ya go....

I got a promotion and changed schools so things have changed there. More money but more responsibility and longer hours. I am still working my second job because I had to buy another vehicle since the accident and I HATE debt. This is my 'new to me' Jeep...Her name is Faith:-) Isn't she pretty?? I am so thankful that God made a way where there seemed to be none and I was able to get a great deal and a 6yr warranty:-) YAY no more car repairs for me lol I am still in physical therapy from the car accident so I have to fit in a couple of appts every week to get worked on...so not fun! I am having an MRI on my hip this week so hopefully we can get some answers and finish this part...I am ready to move on!!...I am way too busy for appts every week!

My children are doing great in school!! Here they are...

My daughter decided she wanted to play violin so she is taking lessons for that. Now I will have two children making noise...I mean music...in my home:-) I actually fixed up an area in the garage for them lol My middle child is an artist and thankfully that doesn't require noise lol...here is a picture he drew..this isn't very recent but it was the only one I had on the computer:-) he is 12...so doesn't get it from me!! not at all!!!

Ok on to Jesi...I am still in denial

I know I asked on here several times for prayers for my friend, Jesi. She was diagnosed with cancer 3 yrs ago and lost her battle last Friday. She leaves behind 3 beautiful children ages 3, 5 and 11 along with her husband. She was 33. Cancer isn't fair and it doesn't care that you have children. Jesi was an amazing friend and someone I will dearly miss. My life is better having known her...please take some time and read about her here...Jesica's Journey You will not regreat it!! Jesi was real and loved Jesus...what better combination could you ask for? :-)


Life is certainly never dull around here....

I know I have mentioned on here how MUCH I love the people in my church and how amazing my friends are so I have to share this week with ya....
Wednesday I was supposed to meet a friend for lunch and shopping when I was hit turning onto her street. The girl that hit me was a 17yo unlicensed driver and was driving a minivan. She hit the rear of my car going about 50mph spinning my car out of control. I only stopped when the rear of my car hit a curb and I lost a tire. I was terrified. Honestly I didn't even know what to do so I found my cell and hit last call. I left a crazy message with a friend saying I was in an accident. Anyway, we ended up talking and I told her what happened...in a confused daze..the poor thing! lol The girl I was going to see came running and her neighbor I AM (not) - Natalie Witcher showed up. My other friend, Merci, lived two streets over so she was there also. By the time the fire dept got me out and the ambulance took me to the hospital I had a whole bunch of people praying!! Prayer works people!! I was in the ER surrounded by love. This was written by one of the men in the church about the incident.
Spontaneous Expressions of Community
I saw an example of community yesterday. One of the ladies of our church was involved in a car accident and was taken by ambulance to the emergency room. We got word at the church of the accident, and I went quickly to see about her. When I got there, four women, three of whom were from our church, were already there. They were large and in charge. They were friends of the injured lady and were there, crying, laughing, and talking, but mostly caring.I was completely unnecessary, and it was awesome.No one was waiting for a pastor to appear to determine if anyone cared. No one waited for a career minister to pray and to begin to meet needs. No program was alerted. Women who have developed close relationship through fellowship and discipleship were displaying community without a conscious thought. When the doctor delivered the prognosis of lots of soreness but nothing broken, the ladies had a plan to take her home, see to her children's needs, prepare food, and help with any other issues that would arrive until insurance kicked in.You ladies already know who you are and you are awesome. I was completely impressed and blessed by your spontaneous expression of community in the emergency room yesterday. Bravo to you all.
That is the love I was shown. The friend I called on the phone is very dear to me and she went to tell my children what happened and take them to her house to swim. I knew she would keep them calm and when it happened all I wanted was for someone to get my children. Lots of things go through your head in an accident. When I left the ER one person brought me home, one shopped for groceries, one picked up my meds and there were people in place to take my kids to church. It was amazing. I was still sick from the meds and trauma so one of the ladies stayed with me so I wasn't alone. Today I had a migraine from the neck spasms so I was taken back to the hospital for different drugs and more tests...again people were just there and my kids were taken care of! Meals are in place, people are here and mostly importantly people are praying. I don't know what I am going to do about another car but I am sure God has a plan. He is taking care of me through His people right now so there is no room for doubt:-) I am sure God is smiling down on His people right now because THIS is the body of Christ in action. This is love people...this is ministry! And I am so blessed to be a part of it...so blessed.


Sooooo it started like any other week....

This so wasn't funny at the time but I guess I have to find the humor in everything...I can laugh today but last week NOT. SO. MUCH! So it starts out like most and that is with me having a very full week... I love hanging out with friends and I don't care if we are just running errands I enjoy them a LOT:-) So Monday morn I dropped off my middle child at camp and I notice one of the ladies looked overwhelmed. I quickly remembered that her dh is in the military and away right now...oh and this is how single I am!!! I was thinking how hard it must be for her while he is away with all of those kids! lol like *I* had some man to help me lol Soooo we decide to do coffee and I am going to see what I can do to fix this...I am a fixer...she is young but has a problem with her hips so yardwork is painful for her.... so YAY I can fix this!! I LOVE mowing!! on the way back to her house the waterpump in her van goes out...she is having a bad day! So I start on the yard....It was getting late by the time we finished so we decided to make a night of it and have a slumber party! She has an Emily that is MY Emily's age so we ate and watched movies till all hours of the night. The next day I left and went to lunch with another friend and the week still seemed to be going well...I was SO SORE from the yard but it was all good. Wednesday morning I decide we need an oil change and it is ladies day so I go...when it came time to restart my car it wouldn't start. In the bay!! All of these men are looking at me and I am thinking WTHeck lol It was running fine just a minute ago! Finally I get it started and I drive to autozone to have them run a check. In my head it sounded like the alternator. It tested with bad diodes but we couldn't test the starter since the car was having issues starting. Once I got it started I went straight home and got the Explorer...oh wait did I tell ya'll my car was hit the week before? Instead of getting a rental and costing the insurance company I used my friends Explorer that I quickly named Dora.. They had left town so I still had it and I tm'd my friend and told her I was going to use it to pick up a new alternator to put in my car. Yes I said *I* was going to put it in. I also had to squeeze in a Dr appt and ice cream cuz I bribed myself to go lol...then I came home and tm'd my youth pastor to tell him I wouldn't be at church and arrange rides for my kids who do NOT understand missing church!...I put it in and all is well except the car is now CLICKING...ok THAT sound is the starter! Dangit!! BUT the alternator had bad diodes so HOW IS IT POSSIBLE THAT BOTH WENT OUT? Apparently it IS because they DID! TOGETHER! I am NOT getting under the car with MY jack in my slanted driveway so I get my neighbor and we negotiate a price. After he takes out the starter we take it to get a new one and I make them test BOTH of the ones that were just removed and they really were both bad! Only ME lol So he puts the starter in and we go for a test drive...only NOW my battery light is glowing. Not good. So Thursday morn I drive back to Pep Boys (I bought one part at AZ and one at PB) and they test the car. The alternator I JUST PUT IN wasn't good!! So I do what any grown up does...I cry...in the middle of Pep Boys because I AM A GIRL lol Actually that is what I said. My friend tm me about something totally different and I tell her I am crying in PB. Sooo her dh calls me and asks what he can do to fix this...I tell him NOTHING will fix the fact that I once again have to remove and put in an alternator. He offers to pay them or do it himself cuz my friends are awesome like that but I say no because I am stubborn like that;-) I tell him to make yesterday go away and he totally makes me laugh because he started praying for the day before to disappear....I finish my breakdown and Pep Boys offers to go get another one from another store for ME to put in again. I am not happy but what can I do?? My friends dh offers to put it in that night but I figured I can do it even if I didn't want to. I just need to suck it up and deal. I go home and decide that if I HAVE to do it I am not only going to put it in but I will cook dinner at the same time...yes, that was my fit lol So I do both and when I start it up the battery light is blinking...okay that isn't any better!! So now I realize I am going to miss the Bible study that night because I have to figure this out...not happy! I take it BACK to PB and they run a test again and this time they decide the regulator in the alternator is bad...AGAIN I have a bad alternator!! AGAIN I have to change it!! No tears this time because now it doesn't seem real. How is this possible?? My friend tm me to let me know her dh will put it in at 7pm and I tell her that I already did and it is BAD! AGAIN!! She tells me to park my car and we will go eat Thai food lol Food makes everything better:-) PB agrees that they will get me a part on Friday and THEY will put it in...so with that and dinner with someone that makes me laugh I am ok:-) God is good and He always puts the right people in my life even if they lecture me about not accepting help. Friday morning I call PB and ask what time is a good time because I have a party to attend that evening. They have now changed their mind and decide to give me my money back...which means I will STILL have to go buy another alternator and put it in MYSELF. AND since they were the cheapest this was now going to cost me MORE money! I had already spent close to $500 by this time!! I ask him what changed and he gives me some story about how he believes it is my pigtail...I think he was surprised that I knew what that was and I ask him how I could have 3 different problems that were NOT related to the CONNECTOR?!! he starts talking over me and I shut down and tell him I will call him back...really what I meant was I will find a man to call you and make you do what you said lol UGH nobody is home so I have to do this myself. I do NOT do confrontation well! I drove up there and had to find a voice that I really don't have. I kept telling them to quit talking to me like I was some girl when the day before I stood there crying telling them I was a girl lol BUT I was NOT being unreasonable so after they realized I was not backing down they agreed to put in a new alternator. This one works:-) Sooo after many hours, several hundred dollars, a new starter and 3 alternators later my car is working! So what could I possibly find to be thankful in this story???

I totally forgot I was single when I offered to help someone else since their dh was gone...when you get outside yourself to help others you forget where you are at!! I was thinking how could she do it when I forgot *I do it everyday alone...well, not alone but without a man:-)
physically I am still able to do things like yard work...
it did cost me almost $500 BUT I HAD IT which is nothing short of a miracle since my ex owes me almost $4000.
I could actually do the repair myself and I didn't even charge myself labor:-)
My neighbor was reasonable with his labor cost for the starter.
I had another vehicle to drive so I was never stranded.
I found out I can demand something without being rude. I do have a voice.
I have wonderful friends that could make me laugh in the middle of it all.
I missed the Bible study but two of the women stopped by that night and brought me coffee and sang to me:-)
I know that I truly AM blessed and although none of what happened was ideal... I am ok. It wasn't easy and I did fall apart..in the middle of a pep boys!!! BUT I am human...I have emotions and I guess it is ok to use them lol
I am a work in progress but at least I haven't stopped trying:-)

I AM a child of God and I am ALWAYS thankful for that!
My kids are the most amazing kids on the earth and I wouldn't trade them for anything. My oldest son even gave me a pep talk about how God always takes care of us while I was choking back tears. My middle one came home from camp on Friday and made the whole situation funny by making fun of me crying lol He is soooo funny!!! And my baby girl is just so responsible that she made sure things were getting done while I played mechanic:-) Seee I AM blessed if I just don't focus on the bad stuff!


Fathers Day Ramblings

I made it through another Fathers Day!! One day I will be able to say I made it through without tears but at this rate it may be on the OTHER side of heaven! Honestly I would love one Fathers Day where I didn't have to be reminded that we are a statistic or this is hard on the children. Omgosh I know it is! It's hard on me! Everyday that I have to give this back to God and go in His strength I remember that fact...BUT I am thankful that I had a handful of men that I was able to thank for the role they play in my children's lives. I am thankful that there are men that take my Daughter to a Daddy/Daughter dance,
my sons to ballgames, shooting guns, camping, etc...those are HUGE in my childrens lives. This year I was blessed with people that knew I had to work and would just come pick them up and take them somewhere! anywhere!!It is the little things that mean the most! My children will always remember the memories they are making and the friendships they are forming. They haven't complained one time about not going to Florida this summer and I don't think they miss it! That is a direct answer to prayer! We have also been blessed with friends that have pools;-)We have been swimming more times than I can count! And to little kids that were raised in Florida that seems to be important lol It's going to be another 100 degree day so these are good things! Aside from their pools I am just so blessed in the friendship department that I DO thank God daily for the people HE placed in my life.
Now for the rambling part lol This Sunday our church did a community event...we are known for them so they are always big! My gifting isn't planning and organization so I have always been someone on the "outside" of the event. I don't mind helping but the planning part is left to those who can plan. Trust me it isn't me! I wanted to plan a surprise birthday party and was in tears trying to plan around peoples vacation schedules, family events etc...it is NOT my gifting! I pulled it off as you can see from this pic but not without tears and God lolI have been called to come up along side those planning and be their cheerleaders lol that is MY comfort zone! Anyway, this year I caught a small glimpse of what goes into the planning. I watched someone spend 3 months of their life praying, stressing, making calls, handing out flyers, going to events etc...I watched them do it just because they are obedient and that is who they are.... When they went to places that nobody else would go because "good Christians" don't go there I was reminded of these verses...

1 Cor19-23Even though I am free of the demands and expectations of everyone, I have voluntarily become a servant to any and all in order to reach a wide range of people: religious, nonreligious, meticulous moralists, loose-living immoralists, the defeated, the demoralized—whoever. I didn't take on their way of life. I kept my bearings in Christ—but I entered their world and tried to experience things from their point of view. I've become just about every sort of servant there is in my attempts to lead those I meet into a God-saved life. I did all this because of the Message. I didn't just want to talk about it; I wanted to be in on it! ...

These verses became so much more to me. I saw them in action!
It made me ask some hard questions!
What are WE doing daily to reach those who don't ever step foot in a church?
are we going to places that nobody else would be seen in?
who is going to share the love of Christ with them if WE don't?
I saw an event that some may see as work become a labor of love...not something that people can see "hey I did this...look at all the work I did" but as something that was WAY bigger than we even know. I saw connections being made! I saw something beyond what we realize. There are people that worked on this that will never get the credit they deserve BUT I know in heaven they will see the full picture. They will see the lives that were reached. They will see the full impact! I am a people watcher so on Sunday I looked around and saw people that have never been to our church come because it looked like fun lol We had cars and motorcycles and free food! Who wouldn't want to come! But I wondered if when they came they felt the love that we have inside the church. I prayed that people would walk around and not just talk to their friends but look for new faces...will these people come back next week? I am not pointing fingers at ANYone because these are the questions I asked MYSELF. Did I spend too much time with MY friends and not enough reaching out?? This WAS an outreach so did we do our part?? I don't have the answers but it has been on my heart since Saturday night. Sure I prayed all night but did *I* follow through on what God wanted from His people?? what He wanted from ME??Just questions that I don't have answers for.....
Anyway, my prayer is those that worked behind the scenes will know how much of an impact they made for the kingdom....that those who didn't come will still feel that pull to come...for those that did come they will return and find outstretched arms. I pray that in ALL of this God will be glorified and not the people. That is what it was about...celebrating Fathers Day with the greatest Father there is:-)