One True Love ~The Gift I Treasure

 

After 17 year of marriage, it seems that Valentine’s Day may be losing it’s luster and pazazz.  Or, it could just be the chaotic and busy lives we’ve been journeying through recently!  Living life with four children, jobs, and endless appointments is inevitably time consuming!  Regardless, of the busyness our lives take, there’s one thing that never changes… My love for my Valentine, my husband, lover, and best friend!

I’ve learned so much about {love} in 17 years of marriage!  Most importantly, I’ve come to understand that true love isn’t always butterflies, smiles, flirting, gifts, romantic dinners, or long romantic talks.  Happy marriages certainly consist of all these wonderful aspects, just not everyday!  There are conflicts, disagreements, moments of irritability, and busyness!

True love is more than romance and butterflies…

 

What is True Love

True love is … comfort.

Sitting in a room together… Enjoying your lovers presence… Even when your not talking… Just “being” together!

True love is… unconditional.

Knowing despite your irritable moods and heated debates, the marriage is stable, strong, and secure!

True love is… fun.

Knowing each other so well, you make one another laugh with ease… even the familiar joking that leads to only a smile!

True love is… silly.

Being able to let down your guard and be goofy together.

True love is.. dreaming together.

Knowing one another’s dreams, goals, and aspirations.

Working behind the scenes to bring those dreams to fruition… wishing and wanting the best for the love of your life.

True love is… familiar.

Knowing one another intimately and feeling complete together.  Whether, just sitting in a room or having an intimate conversation.

True love is… self-sacrificing.

Putting the other’s needs, wants, and dreams first… And selflessly giving and serving for the needs of each other.

True love is… forgiveness.

Talking, making-up, and {never} holding a grudge.

True love is… A gift.

Having your soul mate… living, walking, and dreaming beside you everyday.

True love is.. Rare.

This kind of {forever} love is not common in our world today… Experiencing love so intimately and deeply is something to cherish and behold.

True love is… True.

It’s knowing… nothing can separate your bond, your marriage, or your love!  Knowing regardless of the circumstances surrounding you… your love is strong enough to carry you through!

 

Mathew 19:6 “So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

Mark 10:9 “Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

Mathew 19:5 “‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’?”

“You have captured my heart, my treasure, my bride. You hold it hostage with one glance of your eyes, with a single jewel of your necklace.”  —Song of Solomon 4:9

“Scarcely had I passed them when I found the one my heart loves. I held him and would not let him go till I had brought him to my mother’s house, to the room of the one who conceived me.”  —Song of Solomon 3:4

“Your love delights me, my treasure, my bride. Your love is better than wine, your perfume more fragrant than spices.”  —Song of Solomon 4:10

“You are so handsome, my love, pleasing beyond words!”  —Song of Solomon 1:16

“Kiss me and kiss me again, for your love is sweeter than wine.”  —Song of Solomon 1:2
Dearest Robert,

Happy Valentines Day!  You are my one true love!  My familiar place!  My place of comfort & joy!  The one I behold and cherish!  The one I thank God for every single day!  We are better… together!  Together we are silly, goofy, and serious!  Our love is a dream come true!  It’s passionate, familiar, forgiving, and all things good! Although, I get easily distracted {as you know all too well} and often caught up in life’s chaotic moments… I know how truly blessed I am to be loved by you!  I thank God for the beautiful and rare gift of… our marriage!  Robert, Our love is …. true!

Love Always & Forever,

Your’s truly,

Crystal {your bride and biggest fan}

Infinite Seasons 


“This too shall pass!” We’ve all heard the quote. Have you ever experienced, what seemed to be an “infinite season”? A season of heartache and trial that drudgingly seemed to go on and on? These are the times in our lives that not only test our faith, but when the trial is over, we find our faith is stronger and deeper. We’ve all experienced unanswered prayers, resulting in trials that last longer than we feel we can manage.  We’ve endured moments that take our breath away, from the hurt felt within. I don’t know about you, but personally, these times challenge me in ways that causes me to ponder quitting, giving up, and occasionally leave me  questioning “If God really loves me?”  I know right! How can we fervent and devout believers in God, ever doubt his unconditional love for his children? It seems God was well aware that his beloved children would encounter difficult, painful, and heart breaking periods that would cause us to question our faith.  
Praise God, he knew we would need a way to hear his promises, love, and tender care for his children..  
In His word “The Bible” we find these intimate life giving words…
Psalm 23:1-6 (KJV) “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.”
Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.”
2 Corinthians 12:9-10 “But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

2 Corinthians 4:16-18 “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”
2 Corinthians 4:8-9 “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.”
James 1:2-4 “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”
The Bible is full of verses that encourage us in our times of struggle, pain, and weakness. This is not a coincidence! God created his children and the master knows his creation intricately and intimately! He knew our every hurt, emotion, and need.  
Are you like me today, losing hope in the midst of a heart breaking situation? Is there a difficult season in your life? A season you’ve cried out to God to resolve? And yet, the struggle endures!  
What is your infinite season of suffering?  

A terminal loved one?
A struggling child?

A hopeless marriage?

A financial crisis?

The struggles and trials on Earth are not only inevitable, but often a common occurrence for every human on Earth.
Is there hope? 
Always… No matter how bleak and hopeless the difficult seasons in life may be. We must not lose hope, there is always hope!  
We may not get our answer today or tomorrow, or even next year!  Eventually we will have answers to life’s struggles, even if it’s after we get to Heaven. 
However, let me tell you from personal experience, even in the midst of the longest struggle, God offers comfort, miracles, and reassurance of His presence along the journey!
Never have I struggled through a difficult period in my life, when I couldn’t look back on the other side, and acknowledge his presence and love in the midst of the trial. Actually, looking back it is obvious that God always showed up, in the midst of the most trying and difficult moments along the strenuous journey!  
Friends, if your in a difficult place today! If you’re struggling with losing hope? If you’re thinking you can’t endure another moment, another day, another minute? I’ve been there! In fact, I’m there now!
Let me speak into your weary heart and into my own weary and broken heart… 
God is real! He truly cares and loves his children unconditionally! You are not alone, even if you feel lost,  afraid, and left out in the dark alone.  
Let’s try something together.  A little experiment…  
Ready?  Take your eyes off the problem, the heart wrenching circumstance, the sick family member, the financial burden, the failing relationship,  the struggling child…  Now… look up to Heaven! Feel the pangs of peace wash over your soul. Cry out to God!  Tell him your heart is breaking, tell him you need him, tell him you can’t handle the pain in life right now, and tell him of your fears.  

After all, He already knows how your feeling! He knows your fear! Your pain! He knows that your struggle is real!
Dear friend, he’s waiting for you to call out to him! His arms are open wide! He’s ready to catch you!  
In all honesty, I’m at a point along this difficult journey when I feel I’m about to collapse under the pressure, pain, and uncertainty of the life’s tribulations.
I don’t know about you, but… I’d much rather fall into the loving arms of God! Wouldn’t you?
Together let’s…

Lift our arms to Heaven!
Lift our voices to the Father!

Lay down our pride and admit the struggle is more than we can carry alone!

Allow God to come into our hearts, into the most broken and fearful recesses of our heart!

Allow him to heal!

Allow him to show off a little!

Trust him to carry our pain!

Come on friends, don’t hesitate!  Lay it all, all of it, the pain, the fear, the anger, the hurt, the loneliness and hand it over to the maker of Heaven and Earth.  

He alone can carry our pain!
He alone can turn our pain into rejoicing!  

Friend, Today I want to take a moment to pray with you, to pray for me.  
Dearest Heavenly Father, You know the deepest recesses of our heart! You know how much our heart is breaking! Lord, you know we need you! Lord, please come! In the midst of this difficult season, on this long journey, please be our guide! We need you Father! This world is scary! It’s big! It’s overwhelming! It’s more than our measly human lives can manage! Lord, be our strength in our weakness! Be our hope in the midst of hopelessness! Be our Savior, in the midst of this trial! We need a Savior!  Not only once, but sometimes every day! Lord, we trust you! Even when we feel helpless and lost! We will trust you! Thank you Lord for being there to catch us! To lift us up!  Lord, thank you for loving us!  Thank you for your word!  The life giving, soul cleansing, and heart renewing words of the Bible!  Thank you for being there to catch us when we fall!  Lord, we love you!  We trust you, even when our worlds seem dark, scary, and lonely!  We trust this in your promises to save, heal, and comfort!  We love you Lord!  We thank you Lord!  

Your beloved daughter, Crystal 

Disliked

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Am I the only woman in the world  whose felt “disliked” at times?   I’m being honest here, I need to know…  Am I the only woman who struggles with concerns of whether people like me?

The only girl who’s felt less than, in a world focused on popularity, beauty, and perfection?

A woman in the community, a woman in the church, a mother, a family member, and the wife of a hardworking man.

As much as I admit it, there are times this fear of being disliked, causes me considerable distress.  I try my best to be liked, to please everyone, to be this amazing, popular, loved, and perfect woman.  Yet, my efforts seem fruitless!  I’m simply chasing after the wind. Ecclesiastes 1:14 “I have seen all the things that are done under the sun; all of them are meaningless, a chasing after the wind.”

This aspiring for perfection thing, is simply leaving me feeling inadequate and less than.  I when I stop to really think about my inadequacies, my efforts prove futile.  Simply because, I am not perfect.  I wasn’t created to be perfect!  God created me, knowing I wasn’t going to be perfect, knowing I would fail, and at times I fail miserably.  I’m pretty sure he also knew I’d often times feel less than.  Could he have allowed these feelings?  As a means of ensuring I’d fully understand that he alone is able to fully understand and comfort my heart?  

Am I the only woman who fails to achieve the goals set before me?  The only person who goes to bed after a long day, questioning whether I made those around me happy?  Whether I made a difference in someone’s life?  Whether I built or hurt relationships? Whether my children went to bed feeling loved and cherished?  Whether my husband felt respected and loved?  Whether the women in my church and community call me friend?

All these emotions!  All these expectations!  All these fears!

I start each day rolling out of bed, a morning person, I am not.  I wake my four children and begin the familiar process of getting them ready for school.  During our morning routines, on most days, my children are not happy with me!  They hate it when I wake them from their warm beds, they yell, “No!  I am tired, you’re making me miserable!  Why do you have to do this to me?”  This grumbling often continues until I kiss their foreheads, as they walk onto the bus.  Again, disliked!  Like all husbands and wives, we have our moment’s when we get on each other’s nerves, and fail to meet the other’s expectations.  Again, disliked!  Standing at the check out line, an old man in front gives me a dirty look, apparently not thrilled with the fact I decided to have children.  I walk into the church, notice women chatting and laughing in groups all around me, and at times I feel left out.  Again, disliked!  The hardest days, are the days when I feel disliked by God.  When prayers, go unanswered.  Desires of my heart, withheld.  Pain within my heart, remains.  Again, disliked!

In my heart, I try to hold it together!  I read the scriptures, I read mommy blogs, I read better yourself books, and I pray. On most days, I handle life’s challenges quite well!  Yet, I have days when I struggle!  I allow myself to wallow in my pain for a period of time, until the ache becomes more than I can tolerate. God whispers into my heart, “Stop, listening to lies from the Devil!  Start, listening to me!  Tell me how you’re feeling!”

When life’s difficulties seem unbearable, I cry out to the Father!  As God speaks into my soul, I feel pain’s tightened grip, release.  The hovering gray cloud above my head, offers a glimpse of light.  Satan’s lie, telling me I’m  disliked slowly fades away.  This lie that began the entire debacle, is met by God himself!  Suddenly, the truth of God’s love for his daughter, prevails!

Trust me, I am well aware that there will be and are people in my life who dislike me. People, who may never like me, regardless of my efforts.  I realize, there will continue to be days when my children dislike me!  Days when my beloved husband dislikes me! Days when ladies within my community and at my church dislike me.

Hearing the still small voice of God within my soul, changes my heart, offers me a fresh perspective.  The heaviness within my heart is filled with love, peace, and comfort.

Suddenly, the fear of whether this world likes me, is no longer a concern.

I know that I am truly loved and liked, by the most amazing person who ever walked this Earth, Jesus.  I am loved by the creator of this world!

My heart is at peace!

You see, in my pain, in my wandering…  I was reminded of the truth, I am not the only person who’s walked this earth who’s felt disliked, unloved, and unappreciated!

Jesus, God’s son, experienced the same hurt!  He understands my pain, because he personally felt the world’s agony and rejection.  Isaiah 53:3 “He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.”

If the only perfect man who ever walked the soil of this earth, was despised, rejected, and held in low esteem; than my efforts to be well-liked by this world are certainly fruitless!

I no longer care about the popularity of the world!

I care about pleasing God!

I determine to spend time getting to know the only one who can sustain my soul.

My Heavenly Father!

 

Help From Heaven

This afternoon driving home from an appointment, I was thinking and praying about the many stressors in my life recently.  As tears filled my eyes, I quietly prayed, “Lord, I need to hear from you.  Can you send me a word through a song?  I need to hear a word from you!”  Immediately after I prayed this prayer, I turned up “The Message” on the radio and Matt Redman’s “Help From Heaven” immediately started from the beginning.  Wow!  God really came through!  Take a moment to listen to this song, especially if your feeling overwhelmed and stressed in life.  There’s one thing I know for sure,  “Heaven is closer than we know!  In fact, Christ lives inside my heart!  He’s always there and ready to reach down and help his children!”  In a matter of minutes, the state of my heart changed from deeply overwhelmed to hopeful!

Psalm 34:6

This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him And saved him out of all his troubles.

 

 

 

 

 

Lessons Learned From Little House on the Prairie

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In this day and age, it has become increasingly difficult to find wholesome television shows and movies.  As a mother, I am cautious of television and have been continually let down with most of the choices available currently for families and children.  My husband grew up watching old shows with his parents and thus, he has a great love for the classics. Therefore, before our children could walk, he introduced them to many of the old shows.  As family, we watch more old classics, than current and popular television shows. Our children are quite familiar with shows such as, The Andy Griffith Show, Flipper, Leave It To Beaver, Alf, and several other shows from generations before their time.  In addition, they’re even familiar with old television actors, such as The Three Stooges, Fred Estaire, Ginger Rogers and Charlie Chaplain.  I find it very strange, when I hear of children, teenagers, and even young adults who have never heard of these old shows and actors.  I have to remind myself, that we are in fact the minority.  Few people in today’s society appreciate the wholesome messages from the shows and movies of the past.

Recently, I purchased the first season of “The Little House on the Prairie”.  The entire family is watching the show together, from beginning to end.  We watched a beautiful episode tonight, Laura and Mary  were to speak in front of their peers and parents, and share an essay they wrote for school.  Not only did the show bring tears to my eyes, but it convicted my mother’s heart.   In the show, Carolyn the mother, saw a beautiful fabric in the local store.  She struggled with the decision to buy herself something special, but ultimately decided to purchase the material to make herself a dress.  The evening before the girls were to speak in front of the school and all the parents, Mary told her mother she was afraid the other students would laugh at her and not like essay.  Carolyn held her daughter tight and her heart broke for her daughter’s fears.  Carolyn stayed up into the wee hours of the night, working on a special project.  The next day, as the girls were getting dressed, she gave each girl a special dress made from the material she purchased for herself.  The girls were touched deeply, as was I.  Mary’s wrote her essay about her mother.  She discussed how hard-working her mother was, shared how she sacrificed for her family, and told the story of how her mother made them each a special dress out of material she purchased for herself.  As I listened to the essay, I was deeply touched and even more convicted by the profound words spoken.  Mary spoke wonderful accolades about her mother and my heart was convicted.  I realized the importance of being a kind and loving mother.  The past several days, I have been short-tempered, ill mannered, lacking grace, and I was certainly no Carolyn Ingles.  I was convicted of the importance of a mother’s love and how absolutely essential it is to show devout love to my children.  In addition, I was reminded that my children need me to be an example of Christ’s love to their little hearts.

Conviction was a strange feeling and a feeling I haven’t felt in quite awhile.  Let’s be honest, conviction isn’t something we experience often in this day and age.  The world tells us, “If it feels good do it!  If it feels bad, well then “who cares”!  It’s all about me!”  The world tells us to shrug off conviction and move onto… “Whatever makes you happy!”  I admit, tonight my heart needed to be convicted!  I am thankful for this old show and the wonderful lessons taught in each and every episode.  I am thankful that tonight I was reminded of what is most important in life, God, my husband, and my children.

Today, I was blessed with the ability to go back into the past for one hour.  Within that hour, I escaped from today’s anxiety and realized how truly blessed I am.

What are you waiting for?  Go watch yourself some good old “Little House on the Prairie”!

The Future of the Past is Today

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Today I write from a place in the past, not looking into the future, but recognizing the present.

Looking into the past I recall…

A young woman eager to marry.

A positive sign on a test, indicating “soon to be a mother”.

A little red headed baby boy, the first to call me momma”.

A young mother overwhelmed with the present.

A fatigued mother from years of sleep deprivation.

An eager mother, praying I would make it through another day.

A mother feeling such guilt, she cries herself to sleep.

A poor wife and mother living in inefficient square footage.

A tired momma watching little boys grow and picturing future prospects almost impossible.

A time when thoughts of major milestones seemed too far off.

A mother who learned early, that prayer is the greatest tool in a her toolbox.

 

Today, I write the thoughts of today with still so much future ahead, and realizing the future of the past is today.

 

I know what 16 years of marriage looks and feels like.

I know the fear of watching your first child walk into a junior high and a high school

I know the bittersweet emotions, realizing the second oldest boy is following the leader.

I know the fear of sitting next to the bedside of ill children.

I know the definition of true empathy, as a mother watchers her children experience crushing dreams and consequences of mistakes.

I know all the fear of watching that one child with the wildest hair, test boundaries.

I know the depth of a mother’s love, no matter what the offense, the love never fades.

I know the frustration of deep ridden sibling rivalry.

I know that bittersweet feeling, when those children stand taller, stronger, and more mature.

I know the fear of knowing there is only 3 full years left before your oldest child heads to college.

I know the fear of watching your baby turn into a little girl.

I know the sadness felt watching your baby grow up and knowing there will never be another.

I know the guilt a mother feels, as she looks back over the years, and knows there was so much more she could’ve and should’ve done.

I know the love, joy, fear, frustration, anger, and concern of a seasoned mother.

 

I am a seasoned mother who understands all too well, the surreal emotions of recognizing the past is the present.

 

 

 

Privileged… I Am!

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Today I deactivated my FB account!  If you know me, you know this is a {big} deal!  I have friends from all over the world, very close friends, and utilize FB as a means of keeping in touch with long distance friends and family.  Over the past several months I’ve noticed a feeling of discontentment in my heart.  I’ve payed close attention to this feeling and have noticed these discontented emotions are worse after scrolling through my newsfeed.  Today, I received a personal message via instant messenger, and it became clear immediately;  “Facebook is actually feeding hate, judgement, resentment, anger, and discontentment amongst people!”  To be fair, I will rephrase this to, people are using “social media” as a means of feeding hate, resentment, anger, and discontentment in people’s lives and in relationships.  After receiving and replying to this particular message, I began thinking, “The way people communicate with others on social media, is nothing like they’d communicate in person.”  Due to the lack of physical proximity in a conversation, people are more likely to attack someone for their beliefs, call someone out in a rude manner, not know someone personally, and are entirely less likely to filter communication and words.

The 2016 election just took place 3 days ago and a true and unexpected {miracle} took place;  Donald J. Trump became the president elect over the well known life-long politician Hillary Clinton.  The republicans basically won the White House, from president to the senate, and the house!  This is huge!  For evangelicals “like myself”, this is a {huge} prayer answered!  Unfortunately, Hillary Clinton supporters were lead to believe by the mainstream media and biased polls, that she’d win by a landslide!  Yet, God had other plans and Donald Trump won the presidency of the United States of America, in a political miracle few have seen in their lifetimes.  As you can imagine, like many other relieved and excited evangelicals, my Facebook posts have predominantly focused on this wonderful achievement by Donald Trump, his campaign, and the Americans whom voted him in!  Unfortunately, what is stealing the focus of the media, isn’t Donald Trump’s miraculous win, or his plans for America’s future; The center of the news media rests on the liberal millennials evil attacks on our nation!  Videos of hatred, violence, burning cities, burning of the American flag, people screaming obscene and horrendous words at Trump and his supporters, and an absolute disregard for America.  The most upsetting aspect is the manner in which universities and other liberal entities are coddling these {overly} upset Hillary supporters, which is only fueling anger, rather than shutting down these outrageous behaviors!  In my frustration with violence and hatred, I made a statement via a Facebook post,  “Time to get back to work!  Life’s what happens when you have other plans!  When Obama won twice, those against him didn’t completely come unglued and begin rioting, burning cities and flags, or standing in streets with obscene signage, all while screaming and causing a ruckus within cities.  Time to put this behind you for the sake of our nation and handle disappointments like adults.  I know all to well what it feels like to have your presidential campaign lose an election, as we lost to Obama 2 times, and have spent 8 years being hushed, disregarded, and having anti-christian policies shoved down our throats.  However, I prayed, and endured!  Life is 10% what happens to you and 90 % how you react!  Stop being cry babies and go back to class!”  This was the post that fueled a young woman to send me a private message via Facebook.

Let’s talk about this personal message…  A well intended young woman sent me a message, basically stating, “As a counselor you should have more empathy and be more understanding to the those rioting (the acts of violence and hatred permeating the streets of this country, huh?).  It is important you understand the reason why people are so upset and not call them cry babies!  I  and other people are literally scared for our lives! ” (Although, nothing about Donald Trump being elected in the past 3 days, is sending a message that anyone’s lives are seriously in danger)  The most upsetting part of her message was,  in a nutshell, “Your a privileged white Christian middle class woman, who can’t possibly understand, because everything has always been easy for you.”  (These are just a few highlights of the message, it is not necessary to disclose the entire message.) Although, I don’t think she intended to attack me in so many personal areas of my life, my mothering, my career, my faith, and my ability to be empathetic, it certainly felt like an attack!  I responded to her message in the kindest way I possibly could, while also explaining that the evangelical community has experienced the same fears over the past 8 years.  I attempted in my response to her,  to bring some kind of peace to the situation.

As the day progressed, I thought about her words!  In particular, I thought about her comment regarding my being a “privileged white Christian middle class woman”.

This young lady only knows me from afar, we may have said a few words across the foyer at church, but she certainly doesn’t know me!  She doesn’t know my story!  You see, all she sees is me today, the happily married woman, married to an amazing Godly husband, with four of the cutest children in the world, carrying a Coach purse, a Bible, and a smile on my face!  Other than what she sees from the outside, she doesn’t know the story of my childhood abuse, my severe PTSD struggles from those first 16 years of abuse, nor the fact that I pretty much raised myself from childhood into adulthood!  She doesn’t know I had bruises on my body most of the time as a child, or the fact that my heart was bruised tremendously more than my body.  She doesn’t know that my step-father was the worst alcoholic.  Nor does she know that my step-father and my mother spent almost every night in a bar, into the wee hours of the morning.  She wasn’t there when I was only 5 years old and my 7 year old brother and I, put ourselves to bed every night and awaited for the sound of an intruder, or worse an overly drunk and uncontrollable step-father!  She doesn’t know that I was the youngest of 7 children and that I emotionally lost all my siblings to drug addiction.  And… she doesn’t even know that I sat in a hospital room and watched my sister leave this world at the young age of 38 from alcoholism, when I was only 20 years old.  She certainly doesn’t know that it took years to build a positive name for myself, rather than being prejudged by the sins of my family members.  She doesn’t know that I pretty much fought for everything I have in life!  She doesn’t know that I {literally} paid my own way through college, from food, shampoo, toiletries, and my own car payments and gas.  She doesn’t know the years I lay in bed, feeling alone and wanting nothing more than to kill myself to end the emptiness within my heart.  She doesn’t know that my biological father chose throughout my childhood and teenage years to want nothing to do with me, or that to this very day he still wants nothing to do with his daughter.  She doesn’t know that I accepted Christ at the age of 15 and without my faith, my life would have turned out much differently!  She doesn’t know that God literally saved me and plucked me out of an abusive and dysfunctional family.  She doesn’t know that my faith is my EVERYTHING!  She doesn’t know that without God and his love for a lost, battered, broken, and lonely little girl; I certainly wouldn’t be the “me” I am today… the middle age church going mother, who walks through the church with a smile on my face, a Coach bag hanging from my shoulder, a Bible in my hand, holding the hand of the most handsome and wonderful husband, and laughing at my 4 adorable children!  Unfortunately, she doesn’t know the sacrifices, pain, heartache, and sweat that went into becoming the woman she sees today.  She doesn’t know… does she?

My salvation story is extreme and literally saved my life!  When my faith is under attack by an anti-christian government, I will take a stand!  I refuse to allow the God who saved my soul, to be hindered by an agenda that seeks all tolerance, except tolerance of Christianity. This doesn’t make me a judgemental middle class white woman, who doesn’t understand privilege!  I understand privilege, all right!  I understand that the God who reigns in America, walked alongside me, paved the way for me, and is the reason I succeeded in my life and overcame the unfortunate events of the past.

Privileged in the world’s understanding… I was not!  Privileged in the eyes of the Heavenly father who loves me completely and saved my battered heart… I am!

Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me!”

Proverbs 16:3 “Commit to the Lord in all that you do, and he will establish your plans!”

Election 2016 – Violence & Hatred