Sunday, June 29, 2008

An Interesting Comment....

A question was asked...

What do you do when you want to forgive someone so you can have a "normal" relationship with them but they don't want to change their behavior so you just find yourself being hurt over and over again?

I didn't want to just leave a quick answer in the comments box and I am not sure I have the right answer either. So here's the question "What do you think?"

This one is hard. With my own personal family situation I have had to distance myself from them for a period of time (unfortunately by their own choosing) because they would not agree to healthy boundaries. Because of the emotional and verbal stuff being slung around, my husband and I felt it was necessary to put some healthy boundaries in place. My family has since left us for a period of time feeling those boundaries are not fair or right. I highly recommend healthy boundaries for individuals who verbally, physically or emotionally are abusive. Right now I cannot have a "normal" relationship with my parents because of their choice not to move forward and heal themselves, but that circumstance maybe to the one extreme. I have just let people, who tend to be abrasive and hurtful, know I will not continue a conversation if they continue going in certain directions. I also have let them know we cannot meet if you continue to act in this manner. What I have found to be effective in my own walk is to let them know exactly what it is that they are doing to hurt me and that I would like to continue this relationship but it needs to be in a healthy way. This can be tricky in the sense that you must receive your own healing to be able to express this through love and not your current pain.

I forgive my family a lot. I have forgiven them for many things and daily I usually have to forgive them for something else. My forgiveness will not make them change or change my situation but it will release me from the destruction of bitterness and hate. I choose to heal and receive truth but that doesn't automatically change our relationship. It's so hard to answer. I guess my greatest advice would be that your forgiveness will not change them but it will set you free and you will have to do it over and over and over again. Depending on how much the person is hurting you, you may want to seek counsel (friends, spouse, Pastor, mentors) to see what you can do to put healthy boundaries in place for your sake and possibly you children's or marriage. Well that's all I have to say about that. Probably Dr. Phill could give you better advice. So any other thoughts about this?

Friday, June 27, 2008

Has Your Butt Ever Whistled?

The other day my kids and I had a great laugh. It has been a long week and I have been really tired. I put my cell phone in my back jeans pocket while I was working around the house. I lost track of where it got to because I was so pre-occupied.

My phone began to ring. My husbands ring tone is a whistling song (you know someone actually whistling to a tune). In my franticness I couldn't find it, then one of my boys said "Mom your butt is whistling." "Excuse me!" He started to snicker. I reached back to my rear pocket and felt my phone. I realized yes my butt was indeed whistling from my cell phone. With that I seriously looked at him and then we all broke into laughter. You know that fall on the floor, roll around until your sides hurt laughter. So has anyone else's butt ever whistled before?

Stuck In the Mud Part II

Finding the Lord in our pain and pain filled memories is key to receiving the Father's truth. If we allow ourselves to become overwhelmed by our pain then many times we hear distorted truth. The Lord's truth filters through the pain and our interpretation of it is by how we feel. I found the Father there standing beside me. His arm was wrapped around my shoulders tightly. Trying to sort through the myriad of emotions was hard. I felt rejection, worthlessness and deep seated anger towards my mom. How could a mom tell that to her child? How could she treat me like that? All I could think of was my 3 boys and how devastated I would be to make them feel like that. So the Lord asked me to forgive my mom. The first step was to release and forgive my mom before we could move forward.

I didn't want to. I wanted to hold on to that anger as if my
unforgivness would some how cause her pain. I honestly wanted her to hurt as badly as I did. Then quietly as if the Father was whispering through the hatred He asked me "May I show you how I see your mom?" His gentle, quiet voice broke through the hurricane of emotions. I felt a soothing breeze and knew with the Lord by my side it would be safe. So I agreed.

With that the monster I had distorted my mother into disappeared and I saw I young child. I recognized her immediately from old photos. It was my mom. She was sad and alone. Now let me make this clear before I explain what happened. I don't know if these are factual events in my moms life but I do know that the Lord showed me pictorial representations of my moms own pain. Some of the events are factual, I just don't know if all of them are.

I saw this sad little girl being rejected by her own mother and father. It was so heartbreaking. She was a beautiful little girl but very evident that she felt nothing but disgust for herself. She had been abused and hurt. Her innocence taken from her early in life. My mom was a twin. Her twin sister had
Spinabifida. She passed away at 16 but was severely disabled from birth. The enormous weight this little girl carried from all this pain practically pulled her shoulders down, slumping her over. Then the Father looked into my eyes. Tears were streaming out of both our eyes and He asked me "Now how do you feel about your mom?" I felt horrible. My stomached turned with the knowledge that I had allowed my pain to distort her into a monster, when in reality she is a hurting child just like me. He then asked me what I wanted to do. Without hesitation I ran to that little girl and hugged her. Over and over again through the sobs I told her I was sorry and asked her to forgive me. I acknowledged the truth that she never meant to hurt me, she just didn't know what to do. The little girl crawled into my lap and we sat in our tears for some time. The Father finally tapped me on my shoulder and told me it was time to go.

I left the little girl, who was happy now and playing and returned to my own memory. There I saw a different woman. I woman filled with pain and heartache. She was trying to protect me in some way. Maybe she felt afraid for me, I don't know. All I know was she honestly wasn't trying to hurt me, she just didn't know any better. I looked on and released and forgave my mom. The pain of rejection and worthlessness also left. I knew the truth was my mom was trying her best to help me not reject me. Even though it was not a good way to help me her heart was trying it's best to love. When someone has never been shown healthy, pure love, how can I expect them to give healthy, pure love. Her intention was to love me she just had never been taught what love really looks like.

My pain of worthlessness fled too. I began to see the truth that my mom never thought I was fat or ugly she was just reacting out of her own pain. If she sees herself as worthless, then all she can offer me is worthlessness. The Lord showed me another significant memory where my mom would always pinch my sister and my upper arms for a fat test. Again instead of the pain overwhelming me this time I felt compassion. I wondered had this happened to my mom? Without me speaking aloud the Father responded "Yes. She learned this from her mom."

The night ended and I saw Jesus and me standing on the other side of the mud puddle. Do I think the healing is all done and I am good to go? No, I know life is a journey and there maybe other areas in my life I need to see people as God sees them. I personally know I need to revisit some Dad issues. Will I get mad at my mom or dad still? Probably. As long as we are still on this earth pain will be inevitable. I am just glad to know I don't have to get stuck in it any more. I may sink in a bit here and there but I have the promise from the Lord He will help me up again. I can say that looking in the mirror is different now. I don't feel bad looking at myself. I need to probably start speaking some truth over myself frequently. The Father brought
tremendous healing but part of my distorted image is how many lies I spoke over myself. With this new freedom from my healing I can now begin to speak the truth.

So there you have it the REAL me. I struggle, I get my feelings hurt but I want to live life. My husband tells me a lot that I intimidate people because of my realness. I hope not. I hope I inspire people because of my realness. I would rather someone choose to not like me because they don't like the real me than someone not like me because of who I pretend to be.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Just Some Summer Pic's

I was not able to finish writing part 11 of my Stuck in the Mud post, so here are some random summer pic's for today.
A Fishy Tale
Shaggy & Rocker with their catch of the day.
Shaggy caught a Brown Trout and Rocker caught
a Small Mouth Bass.

Oh no! I don't think he wants to be dinner.

Of course the best part is filleting the fish. You have got to
love all the blood & guts stuff.

Almost ready for dinner.

Now, we can eat. Yumm!!

The Cast & Crew

Rocker with his newly casted arm.To find out why
he has a cast click here.

The official signing of the cast.

A little pick-me-up for any broken bone.

Ice cream & Jesus. All the world needs to heal.

Sonforce Academy VBS 2008

Shaggy & his robot.

Drama King & his robot.

Rocker & his robot he built with his Friend M.
The hallways were decorated with homemade robots.
As you can tell taken the day before Rocker broke his arm.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Stuck In the Mud

We all need a touch from the Lord. We all need to hear His truth spoken over our lives. Whether we have come from amazing Godly households or from completely dysfunctional families we need God's truth. Lately the Lord has been allowing some ugly things to rise to the surface in my life. This is a big indicator He wants to deal with me. Usually I can push it down enough to get by, but then He grabs a hold of it and sticks it right in my face.

This time was no exception, however instead of sticking it in my face I got stuck in it. I have written in my past posts that I have a really terrible self image. This comes from years of lies that were placed in my life as a young girl. Lies like I'm not pretty or I'm fat and my self image was based off of how others viewed me. Mainly the world view of beauty. No matter how much my dear friends encourage me or my loving husband adores me I see my self as in a Carnival like mirror. I literally see something other than what I am.

Last night I came to the point of sitting down with the Father and getting His truth on the matter. I don't know why but I wanted to share this journey with others. Not to explain more heartaches of my past but to show God's redemptive power. If any thing I want to encouraged others that His truth is only an arm's length away. He is reaching down to you, will you just reach out to Him?

My Knight sat with me and began to pray about why I was feeling so stuck. Emotionally and spiritually I felt as though I was at a stand still, not moving forward. The Lord showed me this picture of a huge, deep mud puddle and I was knee deep in the middle. The more I moved the further I sank into the depths of this puddle. Jesus was first a fair distance off on the edge of the puddle. So I stopped struggling and watched as He walked out towards me, right on top of the mud without sinking. He came directly to me and held out His right hand. The Holy Spirit explained to me that the right hand signifies strength and asked me this question "Are you going to let My strength set you free?" So without to much thought (that was kind of a no brainer) I reached up and grabbed His hand. He pulled me out without any difficulty. We then stood together on the mud puddle. Jesus then asked me how I wanted to get out of there? I looked at Jesus trying to understand His question. Why was He asking me? Shouldn't He just tell me? He is God you know. But He waited patiently for me to respond. "How can I get out of here?" I inquired. He said I can wait until the mud hardens and walk off by myself or I can allow Him to help me walk on the mud. Hummmm? Why 2 options? Was He setting me up to pick the wrong answer and then leave me stranded there?

No, He simply stated that in life we have many options and not all are wrong or bad. Sometimes, we have multiple good choices and He allows us to pick. But...and I mean big BUT...the Holy Spirit asked me what is the Fathers heart in this matter. He told me I can always seek the Father to find out what His heart desires before choosing on my own. So I asked "Father what is your desire?" I heard Him tell me "I will wait with you if you choose to allow the mud to harden or you can put all your trust in Me and we can walk together. If we walk off together it will be quicker but it might be harder for you, for you will want to fall on your own understanding at times and sink back in. I will be there to lift you gaze back upon me but it will be the more difficult route. In the end though, you will be stronger and we will have not lost any time. Waiting is easier and it is not a wrong choice but in the end you will not have grown as much and it will take more time."

I looked into His deep blue eye's and gazed at the vastness of the universe. In those moments I connected with His heart and chose to walk with Him, conscious of the difficulties ahead. So we walked. At that moment I was led to a memory of myself when I was just a girl, maybe 12 or 13. My mom asked me to take diet pills so I could lose weight. The funny, but sad thing was I was not over weight at all. The tears welled up and I began to realize why the Lord said this way was hard. I began to sink as I lost track of the Father and began to be sucked down into my pain and the lies that were now swirling around me. All I could do was begin to look for Him again.... to be continued.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Lyme's Disease Update

Drama King is doing really well physically, with his recovery. His bull's eye rash has completely disappeared and the lymph nodes are noticeably shrinking in size. He has also not complained about his joints being achy in a while and you can touch his hair and scalp without pain.

His only hurdle now is the antibiotic he is currently taking. One of the side effects of the medication is diarrhea and vomiting. He started throwing up this past Friday evening and we thought maybe he picked up a stomach bug some where, but now we are realizing a pattern with his upset stomach and he has also begun battling daily with diarrhea. We are coming to the realization that this is caused by the prolong use of the antibiotic. There is not much we can do. Children under the age of 8 do not have any other choice for medications with Lyme's and the antibiotic must be finished for the treatment to be successful. So we just have to hold on another 9 more days to finish his treatment. As long as there is no significant weight loss or other signs we will have to deal with the diarrhea and occasional vomiting/nausea. Please continue to pray for Drama King as you think of him this month. He doesn't show a lot of out ward signs or symptoms but he has been struggling this month as he battles this nasty bacterial infection. We are just standing for complete healing and restoration of his little body.

Sunday, June 22, 2008


What American accent do you have?
Your Result: The Midland

"You have a Midland accent" is just another way of saying "you don't have an accent." You probably are from the Midland (Pennsylvania, southern Ohio, southern Indiana, southern Illinois, and Missouri) but then for all we know you could be from Florida or Charleston or one of those big southern cities like Atlanta or Dallas. You have a good voice for TV and radio.

The Inland North


The Northeast

The South

The West


North Central

What American accent do you have?
Quiz Created on GoToQuiz

Not sure about the results. I grew up in South Jersey which makes me sound nothing like those from North Jersey. My mom was a stickler about pronunciation so I might not have a real recognizable accent at all. My father was also big into public speaking so as I entered many Public Speaking competitions as a teen, both my mom and dad coached me to not have a really strong accent. They told me if I ever wanted to be in PR or radio, television I could not have a noticeable accent. I guess this test proves they were correct to some degree and they successfully striped me of any accent. However, coming from South Jersey I still can't say Lancaster correctly and people automatically know I am not from PA. So there you have it. I guess if you know me and have heard me speak you can leave a comment and let me know your thoughts. I just can't tell if I have an accent or not. :)

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Nothing Says Summer Like A Trip To the ER!

What started out as an innocent trip to violin lessons ended in a dash to the ER. I had to take Shaggy over to the middle school for his summer music program this morning. He goes 3 times a week for 45 minutes. There's not much to do out by the middle school and 45 minutes isn't enough time to run out for anything so Drama King, Rocker and I usually just hang out. The boys play on my cell phone or we go to a near by park.

Today I wanted to finish a good book I have been reading and not do much because we then had to head over to church for VBS right after practice. My cell phone died within 5 minutes of the wait and the boys got rambunctious. They asked to get out and run around so I suggested a walk. We headed down a walking path that circled a neighboring elementary school when the boys discovered a playground. Without warning the burst off down the path and were climbing the equipment. I sat down on the playground and watched as they happily expelled energy. DK decided to climb up a climbing wall so I meandered over to cover for him. 2 years ago Shaggy fell off of one at school and broke his leg.

As I carefully watched DK I heard Rocker yell to me "Watch this mommy," thump! Blood curdling screaming came from my little boy. Unlike other mom's who probably would have rushed to his side I gingerly walk over doubting the whole dramatic scene. I ask him what hurts and he really wasn't telling me, he just said all over. You have to understand this kid screams when I cut his toe nails. I finally began to think something might be wrong and headed back to the van with the two of them. After assessing the situation I just thought maybe he sprained his wrist. He could still move everything but there was significant swelling. I gathered the rest of my posy and headed to the church. I knew with VBS they had two nurses on hand. I was going to ask them what they thought. I finally settled Rocker down and the screaming stopped. We prayed in the van and he was able to find Jesus kneeling next to him hugging him.

When we got to the church the nurse thought I should take him to the ER. So we headed out and to the ER. We prayed for Supernatural favor and quickness. They took us right in and got Rocker x-rayed. By 10am we found out in fact he broke both his bones in his left arm below the wrist. The doctors asked when this happened and I had to explain it was about 8:30 this morning. She asked me half serious/half joking "who takes their kids to a playground at 8:30 in the morning?" I just answered "that would be me."

So there you have it. Summer kicks off with a bang and a thud. Poor guy I feel bad I wasn't a little more sympathetic at first. At one point in the van the drama was so over the top I started laughing to myself and now I feel so bad. I guess after raising 3 very active boys I am becoming a little too immune to this ER thing. So please keep us in prayer. We are not fairing to well this summer with Lyme's Disease and now broken bones.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Happy 6th Birthday DK!!!

Drama King turned 6 yesterday. Wow has time flown by! My baby is no longer a baby any more.
We just had a small family party. Drama King wanted a Transformers party so we went out and got the party supplies. Daddy was in charge of presents. You can tell by the gifts purchased. Let's see....

One very large Nerf gun about the same size he is and a new fishing pole. You can just barely see it standing in the corner behind DK in the last picture. He was thrilled with both of them and so was everyone else, especially with the gun. The boys (My Knight included) all thought it was funny to shot me while cleaning up after the festivities. They would shot me from across the room or pop out around a corner. I'm glad I come in handy as a great target. The day was filled with the pool (hence the red face in the picture) and ice cream cakes and goodies. Over all a great day to celebrate our beloved Drama King. Happy Birthday my love.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Power Of Praying Kids

You never know what exactly your children are absorbing in your home. They can easily pick up on your bad habit's without training and you wonder if anything is really getting through. This past weekend I realized that the most important parts of our parenting has gotten through in a powerful way.

We are not a perfect family. I don't have it all together. Our marriage isn't perfect either, but our family and my marriage are amazing. They are amazing because we have gone through so much together and battle for every inch of our freedom. So I guess I write all of that to let you know that we have the good, the bad and the ugly at times in our house. This past weekend was no exception.

There has been a lot of stress and anxiety in our house since my husbands return from over seas. Communication has been at an all time low and every one's feelings were getting hurt. By last Thursday night things escalated and we were having an ugly moment in the Livin' household. We were desperately trying to pack for our church's Family Camping Trip. Friday proved to be just as stressful and ugly. Things finally blew up over the phone between my Knight and I. We try never to argue in front of the kids learning early on that was not a good idea, so I shut myself in the bathroom with the phone. Like I really was hiding our argument from the kids. They were in the room next to me hearing every angry and bitter word we spoke.

They heard everything. Things got very ugly and words were spoken which I won't even pollute my computer with. I hung up and started to sob. After a few minutes of my toilet tantrum I realized someone was talking in the other room. Shaggy, Rocker and Drama King had gathered in the dinning room to discuss our current situation. This was their dialog...
Shaggy: "We have got to pray guys. We need to stop the devil from wreaking our family."
Rocker: "Yeh!! The Bible says where two or more are gathered God is in the middle of us."
Shaggy:" Well you and I make 2 and DK makes more so He's got to be here."
DK: "I am not good at praying. My prayers don't work."
Shaggy:"That's not true, your prayers are powerful and make the devil scared."
Rocker: "Lets pray. God please let mommy and daddy go together on the camp out and stop them from fighting."
Shaggy: "God, stop satan from messing with our family and heal mommy and daddy's heart so no one gets left out or they divorce."
DK: Praying in his God language.
Then all of them begin to pray in their God language (or some call it speaking in tongues, our kids just like to call it their God language)

So I felt the hand of God move on my heart and I crawled out of the bathroom and asked for forgiveness. We went to the grocery store for supplies and my Knight came home for our trip. We made up as the kids watched their prayers answered before their eyes. In the car I over heard Shaggy say "...see our prayers do work powerfully, God rocks!'

I realized trough all the "stuff" we have been through as a family they have learned the power of prayer. Not through daily devotional times or lecturing, but in our day to day walk with God. My kids have seen us pray. They have seen the power of God's healing through prayer. They learned one of the most important lessons we could teach as a parent and it wasn't through lectures but through doing. God does Rock!!!!

Sorry if I fell off any pedestals or shattered any one's picture of us being a perfect family. We're not and it doesn't bother me that people know it.:)

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Can I Bend Someone's Ear For A Minute?

I don't like to complain but I feel as though I need to vent. You see I am working in our church's Royal Rangers program right now and I am very frustrated. See Royal Rangers is just not my thing, but because I have three boys who are in the program (my youngest will be joining the ranks this fall) it has to be my thing. My husband and I tag team in the teaching, however, with his crazy work schedule and getting called out of our Wed. night classes for other meetings I am usually left to teach.

I love the kids and seeing them succeed but what happens when you are volunteering because you have too? Does that matter or should you volunteer any way? To understand my frustration you have to know I am not a sit around watch everyone work kind of person. I do volunteer a lot. I just don't have any passion for this ministry. Frankly I do it because if we weren't involved there would be no Royal Rangers program at church and our boys would not have that opportunity. Some part of me wouldn't care if we didn't go to church every Wed. night because we are really involved in church in other ways, but I know my boys enjoy it and I don't want to hurt the boys involved who have put their time and effort into coming.

So I drudge through it every week. I photo copy, shop for supplies, keep track of badges, set up the lessons and give my husband the run down every Wednesday night, when ever he can teach, but I don't enjoy it. So what should I do or should I say what can I do? I can't quit because then my husband would quit too and we are the only teachers for Ranger Kids (K-2grade). I also can't find any other men who want to serve which I find very sad. Right now between myself and my good friend (who is also another mom) we are the main teachers for Ranger Kids and Discovery Kids(grades 3-6). So 2 moms hold down the Royal Ranger fort here and we are both becoming very burnt out. I know with my friend she also fills in with Missionettes when ever there is a need. So she gets pulled in two directions.

So any advice, suggestions or wisdom? I am really struggling with what to do. I will keep going for my kids sake because they are always worth the struggle but is that OK? Is it alright to keep doing something just for your kids even when it really should be someone else? UHHHGGG!!!

Thanks for letting me vent, I needed that.

You Know You Have to Clean Your Windows....

...when people ask you if you have antique leaded windows. Nope they just haven't been cleaned in a while. Well guess you know what I am doing today. :)

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Lyme's Disease

Well as summer starts officially for the Livin' family with school done today we also begin a battle. Drama King was diagnosed with Lyme's Disease today by our Pediatrician. The test results came back positive. He has a great prognosis but it still is hard realizing your youngest now needs to fight this horrible bacterial infection. The Doctor was surprised with how quickly we were able to determine something wasn't right.

After my Knight went on his missions trip we went to a friends house to stay for the duration of the trip. As the boys played in their backyard I found a deer tick in Drama Kings hair, embedded into the scalp. We were able to remove it successfully and began the weary vigil of watching and waiting. Lyme's Disease symptoms can take up to a month to detect. Thank the Lord he gave us wisdom and we began to pray. Not until this week did the symptoms begin to become visible. Today is exactly 3 weeks since the bite and the doctors were very happy to detect this so early on.

Now Drama King will under go 1 month of potent antibiotics and we are to keep a close eye on any other developing symptoms. I am glad we are starting the treatment now. We will continue to go out in the wilderness this summer but with added precautions. Just a note to other moms as I was telling the Doctor as we have camped regularly every year for the past 10 years we have never seen a deer tick. When we step into someones back yard we now are faced with Lyme's Disease. He said most reports of Lyme's is from people's own backyards. Hikers and outdoorsy people will be on the look out for them where as you let your guard down in your yard. So spray your kids when they go out. My husband and I always say that everything we camp with smells like smoke and bug spray. Now I will be more vigilant about spraying the boys for our yard. Please keep us in prayer over this next month. DK is doing great but the antibiotic is nasty tasting and the poor kid has to take it two times a day for a month. He tires really easily and is not himself, very cranky and irritable. He also complains that he is sore where the rash is. The Ped. said they were normal symptoms. It is also a non-formulary prescription which means the insurance is not helping us. We have to pay full price. Isn't that wonderful.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Another One Bites the Dust

Another awesome woman of God joins the blogging ranks. I guess I am a little biased as she is my spiritual, adopted "mom". Welcome her and send her lots of love at After His Heart.