Friday, December 31, 2010

Jana's Challenge

I am using the year 2010 for this suggestion from Jana.
One Thorn -  My counselor moved out of state.  
Two Roses - 1. I am working at a job I love with an amazing coworker that is a privileged to get to know.  2. I had a great thanksgiving with friends and family.  
Three Rosebuds - 1. I am looking forward to working with my new counselor.  2.  I am excited about my goal to improve my strengths this year. 3. Our son's wedding with another addition of a daughter in our family. 

Wonderful Idea

I am always on the look out for great ideas to help on a day to day basis.  I heard part of this idea before but I didn't understand how it worked in a family situation.  Jana explains the concept with a great example from her family.  
Thanks Jana for sharing your style and words that make this a workable part of living.  My kids have left home but I think I can use this to evaluate my own day.  It seems on the darkest days there is a bit of brightness and on the happiest days there will be a bit of frustration. Acknowledging both allows me to have a better accounting of my day.  The rosebuds is an addition I hadn't heard before.  I like that part because it brings to mind those things that I am looking forward to doing.  Over all it will be an amazing way to keep in touch with what I feel about each day.   

I love the quote, "We can mourn because Rose bushes have Thorns, or rejoice because Thorn bushes have Roses."  I saw one quote place that attributed this to Pres. Lincoln.  I had this as a poster up in my room when I was a teenager. 
Thank you to everyone that reads my blog and a special thanks to those that encourage me to keep going.  Hope everyone enjoys a Happy New Year and an Awesome 2011.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Change the essence of Resolutions

Change, sometimes, massive change is the very essence of resolutions, repentance, and counseling.  I learned something interesting in Toast Masters when one of the members gave a speech about the book:

This book shared the information that people faced with the 'Change or Die' message from their doctor, they won't change.  So the book talks extensively what a person has to do to decide to change.  
Over seven years ago I gave the threat come to marriage counseling or else.  I went thinking that all the counselor needed to do was teach us how to communicate and magically our problems would be solved and we would go on our merry way.  KavinCoach disillusioned me in very short order.  There is nothing more humbling than going to counseling and finding out I was the problem.  Not only was I the problem, I was a big problem.  Part of PTSD is your mind blanks out the sections of your life that your emotions can't handle.  For me, that was most of my childhood and a lot more besides.  My choice was Change or self destruct.  At first I was going to change for my husband.  KavinCoach shook his head, the change had to come because I wanted a better life.  KavinCoach presented the concept of thriving.  Change so I could thrive had to be done because I wanted to thrive.  No external motivation would be sufficient to take me through the hurdles he knew I was going to have to stagger over.  I didn't fully grasp the task I was undertaking or the shear terror I would enter to unlock my past and move forward into thriving.  I did have the art of putting one foot in front of the other down to a refined science.  When things would get bad, I knew how to behave.  I just don't have a clue on how to thrive in a day to day regular type environment.  It was like being a combat soldier in full battle gear in down town Phoenix.  I just was so out of step of everything.  I have made many changes in my way of functioning.  My bewilderment comes from feeling like I have changed so much but so much remains the same.  I think this year I want to give myself the gift of acceptance of who I am now.  Explore my new understanding and way of functioning.  I suspect part of being a teenager is exploring my strengths and finding out what can I do now.  For so long the emphasis was correcting what I couldn't do.  I think this year will be an exploration of what I can do.  I am enjoying my new job but found out the program will be phased out by the end of next year.  Do I want to sharpen my skills in video and other areas of multimedia program or do I want to use my time to strengthen my photography skills?  Or do I want to get back into doing the computer side and become a computer tech again?  I wonder what a year of trying out my strengths will look like?  Things I know I am good at include photographs, touch up photos, explaining to others how to touch up photos, printing photos, being a grandma, writing, writing with my photographs the possibilities of a year of gaining strength really appeals to me.  My daughter told me about a book that specifically talks about working on your strengths.  I need to find out the name of that book again.  I think 2011 is going to be an awesome year.      

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Snowball Effect

One of the things I notice I do is lump things all together to create monstrous snowballs that seem to fill my vision and convince me the task of thriving is impossible.  PTSD is a big problem but some times I add ordinary problems to the PTSD lump and create more limitations than really exist.  Making and keeping resolutions seemed hopeless before integration since each personality had their own agenda.  After integration I didn't improve so I chalked it up to PTSD.  This year I have sat back and re-evaluted the whole process of setting goals, making resolutions (New Years or otherwise) and how to keep them. Like anything else if I don't know something I look around at what other people wrote on the idea.  This year my inspiration came from other bloggers and my awesome sister.

Deena collected a bunch of New Year resolutions quotes and posted them on her sight:

I think that one that caught my attention most was the one by Unknown  ~

A New Year’s resolution is something that goes in one year and out the other.  

I am not special in my struggle to make and keep New Year resolutions.  I am realizing that I need to stop snowballing PTSD with struggles with resolutions.  Different problems require different solutions.  

The next blogger that added her insight was Simply Diane.  I enjoy her insights and humor.  Check out her suggestion of choosing 3 words to guide your year:

I think her idea to use single words as guidelines gives the latitude needed to cope with what each year can toss at you.  

The third suggestion comes from my awesome sister.  We enjoy walking and talking about all sorts of things.  She decided a while ago that each new year she would give gifts to herself that would effect the next year.  One of the gifts she talked about was the gift of "improved health."  Experiencing life long health problems do not give her the option of perfect health but she decided that she could improve what she could and strengthen her body.  This past year I have noticed an improvement.  Several years ago, we both nearly collapsed doing the 5K Komen Race for the Cure walk.  Now, I am hard pressed to keep up with her for any 5 K walk.  I am impressed by her improvement and the concept of giving a gift to myself.    

After thinking about all the possibilities, recognizing my own major problems and challenges, and looking forward to a year of smiling, dancing, singing and laughing the year has some real possibilities. I think for the next couple of days I am going to ponder which gifts I want to give to myself in this New and Wonderful year of 2011.  

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Another year passing

Age brings wisdom, or age shows up alone, You never know!

Quote I found while looking through old post from KavinCoach.  One of the things KavinCoach said would happen to every person was everyone went through being a teenager.  He gave me a detailed description of a teenager and he accurately described what all my children went through.  It was a wild time especially when 5 of them were teenagers all at once.  After KavinCoach finished his description I wondered why he was telling me all about being a teenager since all my kids had grown.  Comprehension finally dawned on me.  I went through the teen years without ever being a teenager.  I was horrified at the thought that I would still have to be a teenager.  Are you kidding me?  (My granddaughter loves to say this.)  Well, I now consider myself a 13 year old with 40 years experience.  Like all teenagers, I am exploring relationships.  The progress this year is I have a great relationships with all my grandkids.  I loved it in when our 20 month old grandson saw me and ran towards me then about 5 feet away turned around and backed up until I could pick him up and set him on my lap.  Christmas day we played with their toys and had a grand time.  My own kids I enjoy sitting down and visiting.  They are such amazing people and have brought other amazing people into our lives through marriages and friendships.  I am in awe of the wonderful relationships I have with my kids and grandkids.  This year marked a wedding, a baby born, and an engagement so our family is expanding.  I discovered a long time ago that my heart expands with it.  I am thankful this year at the wonderful growth in our family.  I just hope being a teenager now will go REALLY quickly.      

Monday, December 27, 2010

Evaluating the year

Years ago I gave up making New Years resolution since by January 7th I usually broken every one of them.  I tried setting goals but that doesn't seem to work for me either.  I tried and failed almost every organizing, goal setting, get on the right track program that has ever been invented.   Until 7 years ago, I was told and believed that I just didn't have staying power or determination or what ever it takes to get things done.  Then I started counseling.  My world was turned upside down and inside out.  What I believed about myself, my past, and everything I knew was rearranged.  This was not a bad thing.  I was totally messed up and had no idea what was wrong until KavinCoach let me know there was more to life than surviving ~ there is a thing called THRIVING.  For the past 2 years I have been integrated, I still struggle with setting goals, being organized, or getting things done.  I really thought that with integration I would become a fully functioning Type A personality.  It didn't happen.  I am fully integrated but after 2 years I am still trying to figure out what makes me tick.  Talking to my new counselor I reviewed a list of life goals I had written in high school.  To my astonishment, I have achieved over half my goals.  I also learned this year that I have a great deal of determination that is how I finished my degree after 30 years of school while raising 6 kids, I wrote a book and 2 blogs, and integrated.  I am learning with more research about PTSD and dissociation that integration is a really big thing.  I am so used to being told that my goals are not of value I didn't recognize them as being of value or worth.  upsi wrote in her blog today about having her own feelings.  ( She landed right in the middle of why I was so discouraged today.  I keep trying to be someone else to satisfy another person.  Living life as a multiple never allowed me to figure out what I wanted or felt.  The very essence of switching to a different personality was to be able to cope with someone else's standard.  As I evaluate this year, I need to consider what is important to me.  So for review one, I am excited about staying integrated for another year and learning more about thriving.  I had events this year that put me through enough stress that if I was going to go back to switching I would have done it.  (In fact, there were a few days I really wished I could have switched but I didn't.)  Sometimes maintaining a goal I already accomplished is important.  For me, maintaining integration is one of my successes this year.  

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Simple Truths Video

"For it matters not, how much we own, the cars...the house...the cash. What matters most is how we live and love and how we spend our dash."

-An excerpt from The Dash by Linda Ellis

Video sharing from The Dash.

This video is from Simple Truths and they will ask for your email address.  Nice thing about them is just close the close box if you don't want to be on their emailing list.  I enjoy their messages and hope some day to buy a book or 2 of my favorites.  Just not right now.  This week after Christmas is my time to reflect on the year.  The Dash is a nice way to introduce this weeks thoughts.  Enjoy. 

Christmas continues

Sent by a dear friend:

Christmas knows no time or boundaries.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christ Was Love

 I found one of my favorite Christmas Stories and it is copyrighted so I added a link to the story.  I first read it in an email but I try to honor the copyright of those stories that are listed that way. 

I also wanted to add my own thoughts on Christ.  Kind of long and not really Christmasy.  If you read my book you will recognize the writing since this is from my book We Are One.

Jesus Christ, My Savior

I have hesitated sharing my belief in Jesus Christ because from the few times I have talked about it to people, they felt confused by how I see Him.  I know that artist around the world try to show that Christ is deity by painting Him slightly isolated, brightly lit, and pristine.  I have no intention to imply that He is anything less than this.  My definition of Christ is more than this.  If you think about a shepherd looking for lost lambs, the shepherd does not come back neat and tidy with a perfectly clean lamb on his shoulders.  Lost lambs are stuck in muddy waters, caught in the brambles, or hidden amongst treacherous cliffs.  For the shepherd to extricate the lamb he is going to get dirty, scratched, and bruised extricating the sheep from its perilous position.  My picture of Christ is such an image with a triumphant smile, and the lost lamb on His shoulders with no thought as to the damage to Himself to retrieve the lost lamb.   
I was once asked, “Why did Christ need to suffer in Gethsemane?”  My thought was that He needed to go to Hell and back so He would know where to find me.  Because of His suffering I can never say, “Christ does not understand my pain.”  Any other person that has not experienced what I have, I can say you don’t understand my pain.  Christ has suffered more than I can comprehend.  Christ understands my pain.  He understands my grief.  He understands my fear.  One of my deterrents from committing suicide was my belief that I would have to come before my Savior and tell him that Earth life was too hard.  He knows what man is capable of doing to one another.  I would feel so small before His presence, if I had to tell Him I ended my life because life is too painful. 
Christ is the center of my life.  He didn’t stop bad things from happening; He helped me to survive the bad things that others did.  I am blessed daily in so many ways, many little things that let me know that He is aware of me.  The actions of others He does not prevent.  I believe this is because we are each given agency to choose how we will act and He does not take that away.  I believe that any mess created by human behavior Heavenly Father with Jesus Christ can create something good out of the negative.  A simple comparison is manure nurtures flowers. Oversimplified by far, but it does give a general idea of something good from something that can smell so bad. Through the bad things, I never walk alone.  I sometimes feel alone, but if I can start a prayer in my heart I will feel His love.  The poem “Footprints In the Sand” by Mary Stevenson illustrates this feeling. When I look at my life and I seem to see only one set of foot prints that is when He carried me.
He is also why I can be around people from my past and present that have hurt me.  People are human and make mistakes.  I am going to get hurt.  I have been told that I should forgive and forget.  But if I do this I won’t learn, I will be hurt the same way again.  I do believe that I can forgive and let Christ deal with the rest.  I can learn to protect myself from hurtful people.  Some people I can negotiate a different relationship, others are just the way they are and I decide if I want to be around them, then there is a small group that their intent is to harm others, I stay away.  The man that hurt me as a child fits in this last category.  I learned along my life path that if I don’t forgive it is like taking rat poison, and hoping the other person will die.  So, how do I forgive this man?  The damage he did is extreme.  I came to a peaceful place by knowing two things.  One, he is dead and can no longer hurt other children.  The other is that I can heal from the damage.  If he repents, the memories I have will be taken care of by Christ.  If he does not repent, Christ will stand beside me as I will be a witness in the final judgment as to what he did.  Christ will decide his punishment not me.  I do believe that it was just that the man did spend time in jail for what he did to another child.  The laws of the land to protect children are to be upheld.  I am not sorry he was imprisoned.  I figure that was time when he couldn’t hurt more children.  I do not know his emotional state, or have any understanding why he did what he did.  I only know that if Christ can forgive him his sins, then I have the same opportunity of forgiveness.  I know first hand man’s inhumanity to man.  I also know first hand Christ’s love for me.                      

Friday, December 24, 2010

Sent by a friend

This is why candy canes are all made the same.  As you watch do not click on  anything (except "Start") as it will automatically flip for you. Enjoy

Click here: Candy Cane Legend Christmas Card ~ AngelRays    Christmas Greetings E  Cards

Christmas Remembered

I love Christmas.  It is a time of lights, decorations, sneaking around doing secret random acts of kindness, stories, and a feeling of peace.  Much of my childhood is forgotten in a dark murky ugliness that I don't like messing around remembering except for Christmas.  Some people would say it was the gifts that were special but most of the time I knew what I was getting ~ clothes.  I love trying to find the perfect gift that the other person really enjoys.  I felt real gladness in my heart when I watched my children trying to do the same thing.  They appreciated the gifts they received but the real excitement could they find that gift to bring tears of joy to someone else.  The hunt is on.  Not every year is that perfect gift found but there are plenty of years that the perfect gift given from the heart changes a relationship for the better.  I created a box to preserve the precious memories that are good.  I try now to make more of those precious memories for my children to hold in their hearts.  This may not be a perfect World but every so often we can touch each others heart in a warm, positive way.  May this Christmas season find gifts of love under your tree and in your heart.   


Thursday, December 23, 2010


One of my favorite stories about being on Santa's team:

Sent to me by a special friend: 
"The Christmas Miracle" took place in December 1997, according to Susan Leonard who wrote the story based on a first hand account from her husband, Mark R. Leonard who is a professional Santa Claus.  This was verified on a Fact or Fiction website.

I was blessed with a comment that shares the correct website and information for this beautiful story: 
Hi, I'm Susan Leonard, author of this story. Thanks for posting it and crediting it.

The story can be found in original form on my own blog:

"The Christmas Miracle" © 1995-2011
written by Susan Morton Leonard, as told to her by her husband, Mark Leonard aka Santa Mark

Hope you have a very blessed Christmas!

Three years ago, a little boy and his grandmother came to see Santa at Mayfair Mall in Wisconsin . The child climbed up on his lap, holding a picture of a little girl. "Who is this?" asked Santa, smiling.

"Your friend?" Your sister?

"Yes, Santa," he replied. "My sister, Sarah, who is very sick," he said sadly.

Santa glanced over at the grandmother who was waiting nearby, and saw her dabbing her eyes with a tissue.

"She wanted to come with me to see you, oh, so very much, Santa!" the child exclaimed. "She misses you," he added softly.

Santa tried to be cheerful and encouraged a smile to the boy's face, asking him what he wanted Santa to bring him for Christmas.

When they finished their visit, the Grandmother came over to help the child off his lap, and started to say something to Santa, but halted.

"What is it?" Santa asked warmly.

"Well, I know it's really too much to ask you, Santa, but ..." the old woman began, shooing her grandson over to one of Santa's elves to collect the little gift which Santa gave all his young visitors.

"The girl in the photograph .. my granddaughter .. well, you see she has leukemia and isn't expected to make it even through the holidays," she said through tear-filled eyes. "Is there any way, Santa ... any possible way that you could come see Sarah? That's all she's asked for, for Christmas, is to see Santa."

Santa blinked and swallowed hard and told the woman to leave information with his elves as to where Sarah was, and he would see what he could do. Santa thought of little else the rest of that afternoon. He knew what he had to do. "What if it were MY child lying in that hospital bed, dying," he thought with a sinking heart, "this is the least I can do."
When Santa finished visiting with all the boys and girls that evening, he retrieved from his helper the name of the hospital where Sarah was staying. He asked the assistant location manager how to get to Children's Hospital.
"Why?" Rick asked, with a puzzled look on his face.
Santa relayed to him the conversation with Sarah's grandmother earlier that day. "C'mon .... I'll take you there," Rick said softly.

Rick drove them to the hospital and came inside with Santa. They found out which room Sarah was in.

A pale Rick said he would wait out in the hall.

Santa quietly peeked into the room through the half-closed door and saw little Sarah on the bed. The room was full of what appeared to be her family; there was the Grandmother and the girl's brother he had met earlier that day.

A woman whom he guessed was Sarah's mother stood by the bed, gently pushing Sarah's thin hair off her forehead, and another woman who he discovered later was Sarah's aunt, sat in a chair near the bed with a weary, sad look on her face. They were talking quietly, and Santa could sense the warmth and closeness of the family, and their love and concern for Sarah.
Taking a deep breath, and forcing a smile on his face, Santa entered the room, bellowing a hearty, "Ho, ho, ho!"
"Santa!" shrieked little Sarah weakly, as she tried to escape her bed and run to him, IV tubes intact.
Santa rushed to her side and gave her a warm hug. A child the tender age of his own son -- 9 years old -- gazed up at him with wonder and excitement. Her skin was pale and her short tresses bore telltale bald patches from the effects of chemotherapy. But all he saw when he looked at her was a pair of huge, blue eyes. His heart melted, and he had to force himself to choke back tears.
Though his eyes were riveted upon Sarah's face, he could hear the gasps and quiet sobbing of the women in the room. As he and Sarah began talking, the family crept quietly to the bedside one by one, squeezing Santa's shoulder or his hand gratefully, whispering "thank you" as they gazed sincerely at him with shining eyes.
Santa and Sarah talked and talked, and she told him excitedly all the toys she wanted for Christmas, assuring him she'd been a very good girl that year. As their time together dwindled, Santa felt led in his spirit to pray for Sarah, and asked for permission from the girl's mother. She nodded in agreement and the entire family circled around Sarah's bed, holding hands. Santa looked intensely at Sarah and asked her if she believed in angels. "Oh , yes, Santa ... I do!" she exclaimed.

"Well, I'm going to ask that angels watch over you," he said. Laying one hand on the child's head, Santa closed his eyes and prayed. He asked that God touch little Sarah, and heal her body from this disease. He asked that angels minister to her, watch and keep her. And when he finished praying, still with eyes closed, he started singing softly, "Silent Night, Holy Night - all is calm, all is bright."

The family joined in, still holding hands, smiling at Sarah, and crying tears of hope, tears of joy for this moment, as Sarah beamed at them all. When the song ended, Santa sat on the side of the bed again and held Sarah's frail, small hands in his own.

"Now, Sarah," he said authoritatively, "you have a job to do, and that is to concentrate on getting well. I want you to have fun playing with your friends this summer, and I expect to see you at my house at Mayfair Mall this time next year!" He knew it was risky proclaiming that, to this little girl who had terminal cancer, but he "had" to. He had to give her the greatest gift he could -- not dolls or games or toys -- but the gift of HOPE.

"Yes, Santa!" Sarah exclaimed, her eyes bright.
He leaned down and kissed her on the forehead and left the room.
Out in the hall, the minute Santa's eyes met Rick's, a look passed between them and they wept unashamed. Sarah's mother and grandmother slipped out of the room quickly and rushed to Santa's side to thank him.
"My only child is the same age as Sarah," he explained quietly. "This is the least I could do." They nodded with understanding and hugged him.
One year later, Santa Mark was again back on the set in Milwaukee for his six-week, seasonal job which he so loves to do. Several weeks went by and then one day a child came up to sit on his lap.

"Hi, Santa! Remember me?!"

"Of course, I do," Santa proclaimed (as he always does), smiling down at her. After all, the secret to being a "good" Santa is to always make each child feel as if they are the "only" child in the world at that moment.

"You came to see me in the hospital last year!" Santa's jaw dropped. Tears immediately sprang in his eyes, and he grabbed this little miracle and held her to his chest. "Sarah!" he exclaimed. He scarcely recognized her, for her hair was long and silky and her cheeks were rosy -- much different from the little girl he had visited just a year before. He looked over and saw Sarah's mother and grandmother in the sidelines smiling and waving and wiping their eyes.

That was the best Christmas ever for Santa Claus.

He had witnessed --and been blessed to be instrumental in bringing about -- this miracle of hope. This precious little child was healed. Cancer-free. Alive and well. He silently looked up to Heaven and humbly whispered, "Thank you, Father. ' Tis a very, Merry Christmas!" If you believe in miracles you will pass this on. I did!! Just remove all visible e-mail addresses before you forward.


I cried & am not ashamed of it.......

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


Hot Lava Momma over at Plot Mommas posted a link to this video of David Bowie and Bing Crosby:

A Little Child Shall Lead Them

~ A Baby's Hug ~

We were the only family with children in the restaurant. I sat Erik in a high chair and noticed everyone was quietly sitting and talking. Suddenly, Erik squealed with glee and said, 'Hi.' He pounded his fat baby hands on the high chair tray. His eyes were crinkled in laughter and his mouth was bared in a toothless grin, as he wriggled and giggled with merriment.

I looked around and saw the source of his merriment. It was a man whose pants were baggy with a zipper at half-mast and his toes poked out of would-be shoes. His shirt was dirty and his hair was uncombed and unwashed. His whiskers were too short to be called a beard and his nose was so varicose it looked like a road map.  We were too far from him to smell, but I was sure he smelled.  
His hands waved and flapped on loose wrists. 'Hi there, baby; hi there, big boy. I see ya, buster,' the man said to Erik.

My husband and I exchanged looks, 'What do we do?' Erik continued to laugh and answer, 'Hi.'

Everyone in the restaurant noticed and looked at us and then at the man. The old geezer was creating a nuisance with my beautiful baby.  Our meal came and the man began shouting from across the room, 'Do ya patty cake? Do you know peek-a-boo? Hey, look, he knows peek- a-boo.'

Nobody thought the old man was cute. He was obviously drunk.  My husband and I were embarrassed.  We ate in silence; all except for Erik, who was running through his repertoire for the admiring skid-row bum, who in turn, reciprocated with his cute comments.  We finally got through the meal and headed for the door. My husband went to pay the check and told me to meet him in the parking lot.

The old man sat poised between me and the door. 'Lord, just let me out of here before he speaks to me or Erik,' I prayed. As I drew closer to the man, I turned my back trying to sidestep him and avoid any air he might be breathing. As I did, Erik leaned over my arm, reaching with both arms in a baby's 'pick-me-up' position. Before I could stop him, Erik had propelled himself from my arms to the man.

Suddenly a very old smelly man and a very young baby consummated their love and kinship. Erik in an act of total trust, love, and submission laid his tiny head upon the man's ragged shoulder. The man's eyes closed, and I saw tears hover beneath his lashes.  His aged hands full of grime, pain, and hard labor, cradled my baby's bottom and stroked his back. No two beings have ever loved so deeply for so short a time.

I stood awestruck. The old man rocked and cradled Erik in his arms and his eyes opened and set squarely on mine. He said in a firm commanding voice, 'You take care of this baby.'

Somehow I managed, 'I will,' from a throat that contained a stone.

He pried Erik from his chest, lovingly and longingly, as though he were in pain. I received my baby, and the man said, 'God bless you, ma'am, you've given me my Christmas gift.'

I said nothing more than a muttered thanks. With Erik in my arms, I ran for the car. My husband was wondering why I was crying and holding Erik so tightly, and why I was saying, 'My God, my God, forgive me.'

I had just witnessed Christ's love shown through the innocence of a tiny child who saw no sin, who made no judgment; a child who saw a soul, and a mother who saw a suit of clothes.

I was a Christian who was blind, holding a child who was not. I felt it was God asking, 'Are you willing to share your son for a moment?' when He shared His for all eternity.

The ragged old man, unwittingly, had reminded me, 'To enter the Kingdom of God , we must become as little children.'

If this has blessed you, please bless others by sending it on. Sometimes, it takes a child to remind us of what is really important.

Remember who we are, where we came from and, most importantly, how we feel about others. The clothes on our back or the car that we drive or the house that we live in does not define us at all;
it is how you treat your fellow man that identifies who you are.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Christmas Carols

I love Christmas Carols.  A few favorites.

Silent Monks Singing Halleluja

Opera Company "Hallelujah!" Random Act of Culture 


 Ten Amusing Christmas Carols For the Psychologically Challenged

  1. Multiple Personality Disorder - We Three Queens Disoriented Are ...
  2. Schizophrenia - Do You Hear What I Hear, the Voices, the Voices?
  3. Amnesia - I Don't Remember If I'll be Home for Christmas.
  4. Paranoid - Santa Claus Is Coming To Town To Get Us.
  5. Narcissistic Personality Disorder - Hark the Herald Angels Sing About Me.
  6. Borderline Personality Disorder - You Better Watch Out, You Better not Shout, I'm Gonna Cry, and I'll not Tell You Why.
  7. Agoraphobia - I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day But Wouldn't Leave My House.
  8. Oppositional Defiant Disorder - I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus So I Burned Down the House
  9. Attention Deficit Disorder - Silent night, Holy oooh look at the-it's snowing-can I have a chocolate-why is France so far away?
  10. Social Anxiety Disorder - Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas While I Sit Here and Hyperventilate
 If anyone asks, yes, I have a twisted sense of humor.  I also believe firmly that is no fun being crazy if I can't have fun with it.  

    Monday, December 20, 2010

    Big Wheel Truck Stop

    One of the first things I ever enjoyed about email was the really cool stories sent to me from friends that knew I love really cool stories.   My favorite stories come from Christmas time sharing.  This story is not officially 'proven' but I have lived places where I have met people just like these in the story.  I have no problem believing that someone did this somewhere for someone and made a difference in their lives.

    Angels at the truckstop

    In September 1960, I woke up one morning with six hungry babies and just 75 cents in my pocket. Their father was gone. The boys ranged from three months to seven years; their sister was two. Their Dad had never been much more than a presence they feared. Whenever they heard his tires crunch on the gravel driveway they would scramble to hide under their beds. He did manage to leave $15 a week to buy groceries. Now that he had decided to leave, there would be no more beatings, but no food either. If there was a welfare system in effect in southern Indiana at that time, I certainly knew nothing about it. I scrubbed the kids until they looked brand new and then put on my best homemade dress. I loaded them into the rusty old 51 Chevy and drove off to find a job. The seven of us went to every factory, store and restaurant in our small town. No luck. The kids stayed crammed into the car and tried to be quiet while I tried to convince whomever would listen that I was willing to learn or do anything. I had to have a job. Still no luck. The last place we went to, just a few miles out of town, was an old Root Beer Barrel drive-in that had been converted to a truck stop. It was called the Big Wheel. An old lady named Granny owned the place and she peeked out of the window from time to time at all those kids. She needed someone on the graveyard shift, 11 at night until seven in the morning. She paid 65 cents an hour and I could start that night. I raced home and called the teenager down the street that baby-sat for people. I bargained with her to come and sleep on my sofa for a dollar a night. She could arrive with her pajamas on and the kids would already be asleep. This seemed like a good arrangement to her, so we made a deal. That night when the little ones and I knelt to say our prayers we all thanked God for finding Mommy a job. And so I started at the Big Wheel. When I got home in the mornings I woke the baby-sitter up and sent her home with one dollar of my tip money--fully half of what I averaged every night. As the weeks went by, heating bills added a strain to my meager wage. The tires on the old Chevy had the consistency of penny balloons and began to leak. I had to fill them with air on the way to work and again every morning before I could go home. One bleak fall morning, I dragged myself to the car to go home and found four tires in the back seat. New tires! There was no note, no nothing, just those beautiful brand new tires. Had angels taken up residence in Indiana? I wondered. I made a deal with the local service station. In exchange for his mounting the new tires, I would clean up his office. I remember it took me a lot longer to scrub his floor than it did for him to do the tires. I was now working six nights instead of five and it still wasn't enough. Christmas was coming and I knew there would be no money for toys for the kids. I found a can of red paint and started repairing and painting some old toys. Then I hid them in the basement so there would be something for Santa to deliver on Christmas morning. Clothes were a worry too. I was sewing patches on top of patches on the boys pants and soon they would be too far gone to repair. On Christmas Eve the usual customers were drinking coffee in the Big Wheel. These were the truckers, Les, Frank, and Jim, and a state trooper named Joe. A few musicians were hanging around after a gig at the Legion and were dropping nickels in the pinball machine. The regulars all just sat around and talked through the wee hours of the morning and then left to get home before the sun! came up. When it was time for me to go home at seven o'clock on Christmas morning I hurried to the car. I was hoping the kids wouldn't wake up before I managed to get home and get the presents from the basement and place them under the tree. (We had cut down a small cedar tree by the side of the road down by the dump.) It was still dark and I couldn't see much, but there appeared to be some dark shadows in the car-or was that just a trick of the night? Something certainly looked different, but it was hard to tell what. When I reached the car I peered warily into one of the side windows. Then my jaw dropped in amazement. My old battered Chevy was filled full to the top with boxes of all shapes and sizes. I quickly opened the driver's side door, scrambled inside and kneeled in the front facing the back seat. Reaching back, I pulled off the lid of the top box. Inside was whole case of little blue jeans, sizes 2-10! I looked inside another box: It was full of shirts to go with the jeans. Then I peeked inside some of the other boxes: There was candy and nuts and bananas and bags of groceries. There was an enormous ham for baking, and canned vegetables and potatoes. There was pudding and Jell-O and cookies, pie filling and flour. There was a whole bag of laundry supplies and cleaning items. And there were five toy trucks and one beautiful little doll. As I drove back through empty streets as the sun slowly rose on most amazing Christmas Day of my life, I was sobbing with gratitude. And I will never forget the joy on the faces of my little ones that precious morning. Yes, there were angels in Indiana that long-ago December. And they all hung out at the Big Wheel truck stop. 

    Sunday, December 19, 2010

    No Room at the Inn

    Sometimes I suffer from "No Room at the Inn" syndrome.  Never heard of it?  Another name may be "Too busy" or "Over scheduled,"  do those sound more familiar?  I pack so much into the day that I pass out for sleep time at midnight then the alarm yanks me out of bed for another round of rush-rush, hurry-hurry, then look at the freaking long list of things I didn't do.  Bummed out, depressed that I failed another day.  No room for Christ in my life because there is "No room at the Inn."  Years ago I heard a story about a ruined Christmas pageant.  I found a copy on line and from what the page could track down the story is true, at least I hope so.

    It was the biggest night of the year in a little town called Cornwall. It was the night of the annual Christmas pageant. Since there are no nearby malls or cities to compete with, the pageant is packed out every year. It's an especially big deal for the children in town. They get to try out for the roles in the Christmas story, and everybody wants a part.

    Which leads us to the problem of Harold. Harold really wanted to be in the play, too, but he was ... well, he was kind of a slow and simple kid. The directors were ambivalent, I mean, they knew Harold would be crushed if he didn't have a part, but they were afraid he might mess up the town's magic moment. Finally, they decided to cast Harold as the innkeeper - the one who turns Mary and Joseph away the night Jesus is to be born. He only had only one line: "I'm sorry, we have no room." Well, no one could imagine what that one line was going to do to everyone's Christmas.

    The night of the pageant the church was packed, as usual. The set was in place, and in fact, it was an entire wall with scenes of Bethlehem painted on it, including the door of the inn where Harold would greet and then turn away the young Jewish travelers.

    Backstage, the angels were playing frisbee with their halos, the shepherds were waiting 'till the last minute to put on their annually laundered bathrobes, and Harold was being personally coached by the nervous directors. "Now remember, Harold, when Joseph says, 'Do you have a room for the night?' you say ... you say ..." Hesitantly, Harold said, "I'm sorry. We have no room." The directors looked at each other sort of hopefully. They'd done all they could.

    Well, the Christmas story unfolded according to plan - angels singing, Joseph's dream, you know, the trip to Bethlehem. Finally, Joseph and Mary arrived at the door of the Bethlehem Inn, looking appropriately tired, discussing whether the baby might come tonight. Joseph knocked on the inn door. Backstage, the directors were just out of sight, coaching Harold to open the door now. And wouldn't you know it - the door was stuck! The whole set shook; Harold tried to get that door open. When he finally did, Joseph asked his question on cue: "Do you have a room for the night?"

    Harold froze. From backstage, a loud whisper: "I'm sorry. We have no room." And Harold mumbled, "I'm sorry. We have no room." And, with a little coaching, he shut the door. Well, the directors heaved a sigh of relief - prematurely. As Mary and Joseph disappeared into the night, the set suddenly started shaking again, and the door opened. Harold was back! And then, in an unrehearsed moment that folks would not soon forget, Harold went running after the young couple, shouting as loud as he could, "Wait! Wait! You can have my room!"

    My goal this year is to be able to say, "You can have my room."

    Saturday, December 18, 2010

    Seeking joy

    These past 2 months roughed me up a bit with major change, fears, increased nightmares, and general high levels of stress.  I also had some great highs meeting our new grandson, successful Thanksgiving, well cooked turkey, and other joys.  When I experience the darker lows I know there are people I can connect with that bring me back up to a happier level.  NikonSniper is one of those people.  He shares his joy of his little granddaughter over at his blog:

    Thursday, December 16, 2010

    Christmas challenges

    Many survivors of childhood abuse have a difficult time around Christmas, a holiday dedicated to families and closeness, expectations can run high and hidden wounds can reopen.  Some people find the holidays so bad all they want to do is run and hide.  Others run around frantically trying to catch up on what they missed.  Still others try something different, look for a new way to celebrate.  Sometimes I run across messages by someone who chooses to do this.  Check over at Ladyhawkhollow and meet someone I admire that is choosing to change her life because she can.

    Can always use hope...

    Sent to me by a friend - video is about 2 minutes.

    This will help you appreciate the good in people  - - -

    In 1907, a German Jewish family named Wertheim left Germany for London, where they acquired a new home and a new surname. Their son, now Sir Nicholas George Winton was born two years later.  
    In 1938, Winton by then a successful banker, was about to travel to Switzerland for a ski vacation when he changed his mind and headed for Prague instead to help a friend who was assisting refugees. There he single-handedly established an organization to aid Jewish children from Czechoslovakia separated from their families by the Nazis. From an improvised office in his hotel room he took advantage of a newly passed British law permitting entry into England of refugees younger than 17 if they had a place to stay and a warranty of 50 pounds sterling for a return ticket to their country of origin. Winton found homes for 669 children, many of whose parents perished in the death camps. 

     During the war he served as a pilot in the Royal Air Force.

    A short, but moving BBC video of a reunion Sir Nicholas, a robust 101, recently had with many of his “children.” 

    Wednesday, December 15, 2010


    A new supermarket opened in  Davenport, Iowa.  It has an automatic water mister to keep the produce fresh. Just before it  goes on, you hear the sound of distant thunder and the smell of fresh  rain.

    When you pass the milk cases, you hear cows mooing and you  experience the scent of fresh mown hay.

    In the meat department there is  the aroma of charcoal grilled steaks with onions.

    When you approach the  egg case, you hear hens cluck and cackle, and the air is filled with the  pleasing aroma of bacon and eggs frying.

    The bread department features  the tantalizing smell of fresh baked bread & cookies.  

    I don't buy toilet paper there  anymore.

    Tuesday, December 14, 2010

    Christmas Lights

    One of my favorite things about Christmas is the lights.  Outdoor lights, Christmas tree lights, indoor lights, at the Zoo lights, I love the little twinkly lights every where.  I still remember one of the energy crisis years where they asked everyone for 'Patriotic reasons' not to put up or use any Christmas lights.  I felt so sad.  The nights were so dark.  Now people have contests to see how many lights they can put up with out the neighbors suing them.  Here are some fun links to share:


    Monday, December 13, 2010


    Several years ago I didn't celebrate Christmas.  No tree, no decorations, not one Christmas Carol, zip, nada, nothing.  I made Scrooge seem down right jolly.  The source of my decision - I was PISSED.  I was so freaking angry at God I wanted nothing to do with celebrating Christ's birth.  So what was the source of my anger.  Some people assumed that I was angry at finding out that my wonderful childhood was a fantasy I made up since I couldn't remember my own.  Way different.  The year with no Christmas was the year I realized I was the worse thing that happened to my children.  Post Traumatic Stress Disorder with dissociation (DID or MPD) at a severe level is wickedly hard to live with and even harder when that person is your parent.  I felt that Christmas the terrible burden of knowing I really messed up as a mother.  My switching, inconsistencies, blackouts, health problems wrecked havoc on my family.  The grief I felt was profound.  I couldn't go back in time and give back my children's childhoods back to them.  Over time I learned what Christmas was all about.  The "Good News" of Christ birth.  What I messed up, Christ can put right.  My mistakes can be repaired.  By the following Christmas my anger diminished as I "Followed Him" and changed how I live.  This Christmas season I spent two weekends celebrating birthdays of grandchildren and daughter-in-law.  My children are amazing, thoughtful, fun people.  I am thankful that I am their mother.  Christmas is back at the top of my list of favorites.  Not because of the gifts but because of the Love.    

    Saturday, December 11, 2010

    A Penny

    I looked this up to see if I could find the author. Instead I found several different versions and one reference saying "by Georgy."  Georgy if you wrote and shared this - Thank you. 
     A PENNY
    You always hear the usual stories of pennies on the sidewalk being good luck, gifts from angels, etc.  This is the first time I've ever heard this twist on the story.  Gives you something to think about.
Several years ago, a friend of mine and her husband were invited to spend the weekend at the husband's employer's home. My friend, Arlene, was nervous about the weekend. The boss was very wealthy, with a fine home on the waterway, and cars costing more than her house.
The first day and evening went well, and Arlene was delighted to have this rare glimpse into how the very wealthy live. The husband's employer was quite generous as a host, and took them to the finest restaurants. Arlene knew she would never have the opportunity to indulge in this kind of extravagance again, so was enjoying herself immensely.
As the three of them were about to enter an exclusive restaurant that evening, the boss was walking slightly ahead of Arlene and her husband.  He stopped suddenly, looking down on the pavement for a long, silent moment.
Arlene wondered if she was supposed to pass him. There was nothing on the ground except a single darkened penny that someone had dropped, and a few cigarette butts.  Still silent, the man reached down and picked up the penny.
He held it up and smiled, then put it in his pocket as if he had found a great treasure. How absurd!  What need did this man have for a single penny? Why would he even take the time to stop and pick it up?
Throughout dinner, the entire scene nagged at her.  Finally, she could stand it no longer.  She casually mentioned that her daughter once had a coin collection, and asked if the penny he had found had been of some value.
A smile crept across the man's face as he reached into his pocket for the penny and held it out for her to see.  She had seen many pennies before!  What was the point of this?
'Look at it.' He said.  'Read what it says.'  She read the words 'United States of America'
    'No, not that; read further.'
    'One cent?'
    'No, keep reading.'
    'In God we Trust?'
‘And if I trust in God, the name of God is holy, even on a coin.  Whenever I find a coin, I see that inscription.  It is written on every single United States coin, but we never seem to notice it!  God drops a message right in front of me telling me to trust Him?  Who am I to pass it by?  When I see a coin, I pray, I stop to see if my trust IS in God at that moment.  I pick the coin up as a response to God; that I do trust in Him. For a short time, at least, I cherish it as if it were gold.  I think it is God's way of starting a conversation with me.  Lucky for me, God is patient and pennies are plentiful!’
When I was out shopping today, I found a penny on the sidewalk.  I stopped and picked it up, and realized that I had been worrying and fretting in my mind about things I cannot change.  I read the words, 'In God We Trust,' and had to laugh.  Yes, God, I get the message.
It seems that I have been finding an inordinate number of pennies in the last few months, but then, pennies are plentiful!  And, God is patient...

    Friday, December 10, 2010

    Massive change

    I am going to state this up front.  I hate change.  Good change - bad change - I don't care why change, I don't want to do it.  Then it happens and I cope and then I wonder why I was so worried.  Then I remember some of the more spectacular changes, like they day I was told, "You have cancer."  9 years clear of cancer and I still remember the gut wrenching terror of those words.  I have moved cross country several times.  For about 7 years, we moved every summer.  Each time learning to adapt to a new environment takes time for me.  I married a person that likes abrupt changes, instant answers and can walk into almost any situation and be comfortable.  That is not me.  For years, I could give the illusion of an abrupt change.  If you ever watch Sybil or are acquainted with a multiple personality, an emotional trigger can turn them instantly into a different person.  From my perspective, switching personality was the ultimate form of hiding from change even though I didn't know I did it.  Then integration happened.  I chose it.  I wanted to be healthy and healthy people do not switch personalities to hide from changes or consequences.  So now, I am faced with a massive change for me.  KavinCoach is moving to another place and job.  I am happy for him and hope the very best for him.  I can't switch to cope with this change for me.  I have now met several times with my new counselor.  Unsure, frightened, and wondering what am I looking for or waiting for...  I finally realized that for so many years I was told what to think, feel and be that the very concept of what do I want is difficult to wrap my mind around.  Today I finally figured out what I am trying to understand - do I actually want to talk to this new counselor?  KavinCoach was way different.  My husband and I went together for marriage counseling and I had no idea that I was the biggest problem.  Discussions started slowly.  Finding out I had no memory of my childhood gave me no clue as to what I was about to enter the toughest problem of my life.  Cancer was a piece of cake compared to what I learned in KavinCoach's office.  The bottom line is I want to continue to change into a healthy adult with all the responsibilities, choices, and challenges that go with that role.  I still have several really big holes in my understanding about life and how healthy adults behave.  I continue to need a second opinion that is healthy and not too close to the problems I face.  The new counselor seems willing to talk to me and has already made some excellent points that I need to consider in my every day life.  (I still tend to say I 'have' to do something when in reality I am choosing to do it.  He pointed out that this is a significant difference.  KavinCoach has told me the same thing.)  I realized today that I am at the peaceful place of seeing a massive change and feeling like I can move forward.  I will not curl up in a little ball and give up.  I will find this new path as interesting as the one I just left.  Massive change happens and I can cope with it.     

    Alphabet Poem

    This was sent to me by a reader.  
    Thank you for sharing.  

    ALTHOUGH THINGS ARE NOT PERFECT - Written by Cindy Blackmore, November 1994

    lthough things are not perfect 
     Because of trial or pain 
     Continue in thanksgiving 
     Do not begin to blame ...
    ven when the times are hard 
    ierce winds are bound to blow 
       God is forever able 
      Hold on to what you know 
      Imagine life without His love 
      Joy would cease to be 
      Keep thanking Him for all the things 
      Love imparts to thee 
      Move out of "Camp Complaining" 
      No weapon that is known 
      On earth can yield the power 
      Praise can do alone 
      Quit looking at the future 
      Redeem the time at hand 
      Start every day with worship 
      To "thank" is a command 
      Until we see Him coming 
      Victorious in the sky 
      We'll run the race with gratitude 
      Xalting God most high 
      Yes, there'll be good times and yes some will be bad, but... 
      Zion waits in glory...where none are ever sad!  Cindy has written over 1,000 poems and hundreds of devotionals.

    You may use this poem on your pages as long as you are not gaining financially by using it.