Stained canvases

It’s not a pretty painting in my eyes. The canvas was stained from years of painting, scraped away, then repainted. Now I lost the grip I had keeping it from being scraped away again. The stain of those I loved is still fresh now as new strokes of color are being laid down. I know the stains like imprints on my heart, will always be beneath the surface-they can’t be removed. But the painting must continue, this new scene unfolding.

My new normal…. To say it’s easy being single and alone is mild but it’s more difficult when you aren’t forgetting those behind you (not running away). I am trying my hardest to come to terms with this. I’m told intentions aren’t good enough and indeed it is hope that keeps the spark in my life. It’s just still ….so painful. The rejection hurt but letting go of a bond….I never thought life could hurt so much. But part of my healing has to be me letting go. So I am starting over. I’m discovering the balance and understanding boundaries and realizing how healthy I am becoming alone. Trying to do it slowly feels like a fire burning me alive. I just need an end to the pain like ripping off a bandaid and waiting is a slow torture that reminds me every moment that it is Christ that pulls me through this life-I can overcome this trial because He has promised me He is with me. God has told us in His Word that He has a hope and a future with good for us…even if it’s not until I die.

Life is worth Living

Here I am working on homework again; homework that constantly challenges my thoughts on life, crime, Justice, and passion. When everything boils down, I’m not afraid to die…not afraid to make a stand for what is truth. Knowing the background of criminal justice and understanding it from a Christian perspective is sort of similar to having become a foster (and adoptive) parent. Even when life is rough, like really crazy and tough, you keep thriving. Life is so crazy: unfair, yes, but HE said HE would take our burdens. It is something I constantly fall back on. Man I would be a mess with my Heavenly Father and His forgiveness. 

I’m often told I have a big heart. Huh, it isn’t bigger than any other’s, but really, it’s been a broken mess for the last decade. Losing children and not being able to see them every day is heartbreak that I could have turned around and blamed on God-especially because wasn’t it He who their dad used to take them away and his so called Christian lawyer that took every good and amazing trait God gave me and twisted it to make me seem like a bad person? The one who couldn’t admit that in his heart he’d been committing the same crime for which I committed once in flesh when HE looks at all sin as equal. And yet, when my friends ask why and how can God allow innocent children like Victoria Martin, to be brutally murdered, “a child who needs protection,” I can say that it is HE who is protecting soooo much more. No that doesn’t mean there are hazards or ones who He’s allowed to slip through. For one, we don’t know HIS plan, and for two, HE may have known how badly this child needed to go HOME to be with HIM. There are no tears or pains in heaven. This is practically Hell at least for some…certainly was for Victoria. My heart hurts for her and the acts committed by those who God gave to protect her wereunfathomable. 

One of my deepest struggles is being able to give myself over completely to HIM. It’s possible though, and when I allowed God to break me totally this year, He blessed me with a business and a renewed determination to reach for the passions He’s given me. I first was passionate about teens and wanting to start a business havingsometging to do with them…but Spokane had a teen program, so it didn’t make sense to my friends and family. God knew that. He had plans for me in New Mexico…one of the most notorious criminal playgrounds in the USA. I never thought that growing up with so much protection and then learning how bad the world really was would lead me into a mission of learning the law and enforcing it, but with humility. 

The greatest thing I want everyone to see in my life is the mercy. The fact that I’m just as imperfect as the criminals and that the only thing that sets me apart is the other fact that God lives in me…shining through the broken heart He so graciously allowed me to have (I consider it a privilege). So yeah, my life is super hard to get through sometimes. I don’t WANT to deal with my broken heart. I don’t LIKE scrounging for the money to pay bills. But ha-life is about relationships and others AND I promised God when He physically and spiritually brought me back to life almost 9 years ago, that this life was HIS. He only gave me passion and the next step in each way of my path and even when I tried to veer away, He’s stayed by and pulled me back. I know I NEED Christ like I need air-more! But I already died in the hands of violence and defending truth once, so I am willing to take that chance of dying that way again (as an officer) and I KNOW that I am living the life He’s gifted me with to the fullest and as transparent as possible. You can not look at what I’ve been through and not see HIS handiwork! It’s just too much. 

Anyway, here is a song that struck a chord in me today:

It’s  “Life Is Worth Living” by Justin Bieber (hey, he has been through a lot and is also a product of grace). 

Ended up on a crossroad

Try to figure out which way to go

It’s like you’re stuck on a treadmill

Running in the same place

You got your hazard lights on now

Hoping that somebody would slow down

Praying for a miracle

Who’ll show you grace?

Had a couple dollars and a quarter tank of gas

With a long journey ahead

Seen a truck pull over

God sent an angel to help you out

He gave you direction

Showed you how to read a map

With a long journey ahead

Said it ain’t over

Oh, even in the midst of doubt
Life is worth living

Life is worth living, so live another day

The meaning of forgiveness

People make mistakes, doesn’t mean you have to give in

Life is worth living again


Relationship on a ski slope

Avalanche comin’ down slow

Do we have enough time to salvage this love?

Feels like a blizzard in April

‘Cause my heart is just that cold

Skating on thin ice

But it’s strong enough to hold us up

Seen her scream and holler

Put us both on blast

Tearing each other down

When I thought it was over

God sent us an angel to help us out

He gave us direction, showed us how to make it last

For that long journey ahead

Said it ain’t ever over

Oh, even in the midst of doubt


Life is worth living

Life is worth living, so live another day

The meaning of forgiveness

People make mistakes, doesn’t mean you have to give in

Life is worth living again

Life is worth living again


What I’d give for my affection

Is a different perception

From what the world may see

They try to crucify me

I ain’t perfect, won’t deny

My reputation’s on the line

So I’m working on a better me


Life is worth living

Life is worth living, so live another day

The meaning of forgiveness

People make mistakes

Only God can judge me

Life is worth living again

Another day

Life is worth living again

Aha! You saw it, didn’t you?! He says “people make mistakes, only God can judge me…” And you’re thinking he’s using that as an excuse? Um, no! Stop that! Stop judging! See? Unless you haven’t ever had any sins or “mistakes” in your life, you can not “throw stones” (judge). No one is perfect. It’s our human nature to judge and blame. We need to learn to accept responsibility and be repentant for only our own actions. I guess I say this because I’m still judged. Even my ex husband still tries to make me feel guilty when it’s he who played dirty in court and tried to turn false accusations on me to get our kids. Why have I not fought this? Because even if my kids don’t see it, I know God did…and He is the only who matters to me. Has it hurt? Oh my goodness! When my old church let him help and lead kids and told me I couldn’t, because of what “I’d done” and then allowed his girlfriend who left her husband for him to help, what a slap! But you see? People judge! God doesn’t and even then He reminded me that no one could keep using that against me. It was like the one mark I couldn’t escape, and it was so hard because I even tried to reconcile and was rejected. I gave my baby up for adoption because I knew it was best for him and the older kids’ dad even said I was taking the easy way out-that I should have to live with my mistakes. :/ A child deserves nothing but the best and I hope my kids know that I have put them first even if it’s not until they read this some day. I was told that my child conceived out of wedlock would get to see his dad who went to prison for what he did to me, who wanted him to grow up and kill his “white” brother. I was told I wanted to stay with this man when in reality, he told me every gruesome way he would kill my dad in front of me if I ever left him. So, yeah, I made decisions on what I thought would be best and the consequences of my sin are real but I would have never understood God’s grace like I do now. Like I said, each of us is sinful-no one is perfect. We don’t know God’s plan for each one of us. All we can do is walk with God, one step at a time. 

Life is worth living again.

Betraying Myself

"My demons mock me as I walk in the cold from class with tears stinging my eyes."

I haven’t written much lately. I have been so consumed with school and my business and family. I don’t know who actually reads my blogs or not nor do I really care as long as in the end some good can come of it. Sometimes I write what I do just to get things off my chest-like my blog is my best friend. I know, I can tell God and heh, believe you me I certainly do tell Him…many times. I cry to Him and yell it out, sometimes begging Him, and always praising Him. Of course, how my life has turned out isn’t His fault but all good is in spite of me and in His glory.

Rambling tonight already…

Basically, I heard this song awhile back from one of my foster kids. It hit a chord with me, especially now this time of year when I feel alone, or at least away from my own parents, and siblings. I’m not necessarily close to any of them. In fact, I have a few friends out there who have stuck with me through everything and lately, things aren’t going well for them. Maybe everyone goes through these feelings of wishing life was something it wasn’t-like a memory mixed with fantasy, because of course, I’m sure in my memory, I’m forgetting all the bleak and dark moments I’ve been through.

My main professor in my major (Criminal Justice) accurately pegged me as having anxiety the other day. He said I spend too much time over-thinking sometimes, especially about the past and the future and that I need to spend more time in the present. Haha, I know that I don’t spend time wishing I could change the past or create some fantasy-filled future though. I do look back on those connections I’ve had in my life and the why as well as the meaning and impact on who I am as a person. Without each person who has been in my life, I would not be this living, breathing, constantly-breaking, yet stronger than super-glue, kind of human being. I am capable. I am strong. I am courageous. But I fall, I fail in my weaknesses, giving into my fear so often. It’s like I’m this walking betrayal of myself; an oxymoron in every way.

Funny, but I remember when my parents took us as kids, through personality tests, I would always be almost identically strong in two areas and they were always seemingly polar opposites. How. Is. That. Possible? I thought, secretly, I must be schizophrenic or something. I always felt like I needed to hide part of who I was because I would seem crazy. Now I embrace my crazy and reflect inwardly on who I am and if there is a deficit somewhere that I can “fix” so that I don’t keep repeating my mistakes in life. Trying is what I do, to a fault. I don’t give up easily, despite being accused of that in marriage several times. I have learned SO much about me these past few years and especially this last year. It’s like every year for the past few years, I feel like I have figured myself out the most. Clearly I am a crazy and complex person-I don’t know how the pieces even fit together. It’s like God dumped out the pieces of a dried up desert and watered them, forcing them to soften and fill in the cracks, connecting into one entity: me.

So how do I keep going seeming like I am this walking contradiction of myself? Am I soft and vulnerable on the inside and tough on the outside? Well, I disagree. I don’t care about the exterior as much, although sometimes I make myself up all pretty. I couldn’t survive the harsh world around me, and the lashings that life has dealt me without being strong inside. My outer shell betrays me-sometimes showing my soft and empathetic heart. My heart is molten and bleeds, erupting in more love than I want to show. But my mind is skilled and tricks me into questioning my feet and where they wander, seeking justice, and truth in all that I do. Is it possible to be a caring person and be in law enforcement? The violence in my past-being beat and raped, then re-victimized in the trauma center is something I still have to face and get over. I have still haven’t written about what happened in 2013, which indicates to me, as a writer, that I haven’t faced it and put it behind me as well as I was able to do with the past.

My demons mock me as I walk in the cold from class with tears stinging my eyes. These insolent “children” who haven’t experienced loss or trauma as I have, that laugh and make light of the rape scenario our lab class is going through. Like tiny needles tapping the rawness of what I went through. The assault I experienced wasn’t the only loss I suffered. Waking up in tiny fragments of time and space and screaming in my head for my daughter, with no one paying any attention to me, not knowing if she was okay. Being told they were keeping my clothing as evidence, what little I had left of being cut off of me. Pounding in my head with searing pain, unable to move or speak-just let tears roll down. My internal anguish from the heartbreak I had just suffered, having my family torn apart, was far worse than not knowing what happened to me when I blacked out-when I was almost killed. The irony of my first ride in a helicopter being me laying strapped down to a hard surface, vibrating my throbbing head against it as I was lifted to a larger scale hospital. Then laying on the large table with a bright light above it. I felt like I had been abducted by aliens, only the ones photographing every inch of my naked and vulnerable body were human. The rape kit inconclusive and the speculations of the deep laceration into my forearm from a knife. The MRI flew by in between blackouts and concluded that I had suffered an unstable spine injury and wouldn’t be able to do anything on my own for awhile-only, all I had was my 4 year old daughter, who I had found out had slept through the whole home invasion (even through the alarm I was able to hit) and found by police in her bed.

I am convinced that had I not gone through a domestic violent relationship, given a child for adoption, left for dead in a hotel room trying to stand up for what I believe, not had cancer, or any of the other less extreme trials in my life that God has slowly strengthened me through, I couldn’t have gone through all this so easily. I did move away, and so facing it wasn’t the same as if I had stayed and advocated for myself. But it drove me to chase after my kids in the town where their dad had moved to. I realized my life has flashed one too many times before my eyes and that I need to spend the rest of it giving to my kids and to those around them who can make it safer and better for them. I am strong and I am a fighter-I will get through whatever God helps me with.

So, here I sit, contemplating why I feel like I’m one soldier in my battle, realizing that even if my life can impact just one person, then my life was not in vain. I am not going to betray who I am and choose the soft sweeter side above the rugged-edged, wild and determined side of who I am. I am going to embrace my past and help anyone who has walked the steps I have with love, showing them that in Christ, all things are possible.

 

Lightning

It happens in the least expected way-the calm and then the sudden burst of energy ensuing complacency. It’s like the wall of apathy built around oneself slowly deteriorates and then someone penetrates that protective barrier. The disruption is a fast and sudden onset of rage and emotion all at once.

Lightning

You

Again at this game

Carrying on like it’s nothing

Playing in the field

While the clouds circle high

Darkening

As I focus on the predictable

The overhanging cliff I climb

The strength I know so well

Pulling myself up

Focusing on the goal

The dream I have

Knowing you will be there to catch me

And will meet me at the top

But I didn’t see the clouds lower

The pressure dropping

So consumed in my path

And the water pelting down

Not seeing you under me

Nor hearing the slow rumble overhead

Like my temper tantrum brewing

About to stomp my foot

Slam the door

And scream it out

And so it goes

Lightning strikes

Piercing all concentration

You stumble…

Falling

Hands failing

Loosening your grip on the ties that bind

And I slip

Rope running through quickly

Breath catching as I catch speed

And crash

Lightning strikes

Down the Path (from early 2013)

I found this today…something that I wrote to someone dear to me in early 2013, and thought I would share. It was written out of sadness and love that I had realized was lost, and about my pride and the many negatives of my personality. I was rock climbing during this time and saw the mistakes I had made. Interestingly enough, I tied in (quite obviously) my Pisces “fish” personality. I actually really admire how this poem so accurately reflects so much about me. I hope you enjoy it-slightly different than how I write now. 🙂

I see you standing
Waiting
For me to join you
I am strong
And hold my chin high
So I don’t break
Or show you the weakness
I hide
I love
And cry
A mix of emotions
Warring inside
I want to prove it
I want to fight
Or let go
But I can’t decide
Where to go.
You don’t catch me
Like a fish swimming free
Longing for you
I will elude your grasp
Until you know
You can’t have me
Or bear to lose me
Again.
Like a bird
I fly high
Searching for you
To call me
To your nest
I’ve spread my wings
And won’t land
Until I find
My heart again.
Like a butterfly,
I’ve transformed
Impossibly
To continue my short life
To show you beauty
A lasting impression
Before I disappear.
For I catch a glimpse
Of you
Fighting
To be you
Thinking I am there
By your side
But I’m still watching
You
Here down this path
Through fog and rain
Landslides of pain
Keeping apart
You and I
No compromise
Both stubbornly walking
In dreams
Sovereignly sleeping
Dreaming
Our own desires to be
Our destiny
And maybe
Paths cross
Maybe not
Where do I give
Where do I stand strong
In what
I believe
Who I am
What I feel
What I know
To remain
Me
An elusive fish
A free flying bird
A beautifully tragic butterfly
That will disappear
In her own way
As she waits
And watches
You
Down the path.

Portrait on the wall

The sun shines brightly

Grass green and flowers blooming

Picture perfect, portrait on the wall

We function well

Carrying on this disillusionment

And then one day

A glitch in our system

The facade falls from the frame

Shattering into a million pieces

Leaving behind the nakedness

Truth is life’s ugly

But we cover up our lives

With pretty things

Keeping our world full

Constant activity

Children and what looks like God

But what happens?

When the portrait’s facade falls away?

When life’s rawness revealing

Our imperfection to all

Comes into focus

Only One to know us

To pick up the pieces

And carry us through these hardships

Let everything go

Let it be real and imperfect

Cry and tell Him you’re hurting

And let Him work it out

Or you can

Buy another picture

Cover up the bleeding

And continue basking in the sun

Of your picture perfect life.

 

Life Uncut

Today I am writing out of grief. So many awful things happening in our society and one always thanks God for the family, home, comfortable life, or what not that they have and that it’s not “them.” But it is someone…. You may not know them personally but they are suffering more than you can imagine.

What if something happened to someone you knew-in your family? What would your reaction be and how would you handle it? I know it is unfair to ask this of my readers because quite honestly, until something significantly awful happens, it isn’t possible to gauge how one would react. We all have our own ways to cope.

Today is a day of coping. Something significant happened last week and it will forever affect our family. It’s one of those things that you want to just go on and pretend like everything is normal and okay but is it? Will it be? You know events in our lives don’t just disappear as if they never happened, as much as we try to make them. There is nothing that can recall this nor can anything be taken back and as a parent, I’m every emotion thinkable right now.

Sunday at church was a message I had been looking forward to: When God Doesn’t Make Sense. But as it turns out, the pastor’s message spoke right to me in what is going on. There were no silver linings-no fluffy feelings that all would “get better.” But the message was God’s purpose and how we don’t have to understand God’s plan to understand His purpose. He has a purpose in everything even every bad thing that happens. (You can catch the message here: http://www.life.church/watch/when-god-doesnt-make-sense/

Maybe God is allowing us to go through this to make us closer or is trying to make something clear to us through this, but whatever the case, He has a purpose and a plan and it is for good…no matter what we feel (painfully) or how much we do not understand. Pastor Craig, in his message, talked about the story of John the Baptist and how he asked Jesus for help and Jesus could have helped John but His purpose was elsewhere and in the end, John was beheaded. It is a gruesome story and not one of hope but one of understanding: God is bigger and greater and omnipotent, all-knowing. There will come a day that we have served God’s purpose here on earth and will be reunited with Him in heaven and although my temporal mom-ness is feeling distressed, angry, and hurting, I know that this is just that temporal.

Are there happy endings? Sometimes.  But knowing Christ isn’t a free and/or easy ride. It isn’t the easy thing, it’s oftentimes choosing what is harder and more challenging, because He said so. He grants us life…uncut and graphic.

Tonight

Every new dawn awakens with the sun
A bright future and a fresh start
The worries of the long night fading away
Melting away the fear once there
Each day means life and happiness
To those who care to awaken and celebrate
No matter what the darkness held
Even in spite of the pain
And with every heart beat growing stronger
The night feels less a weight
Until the morning and night blend so well
Never feeling dark and lonely again
Tonight is not yet there
I am hopeful but the light isn’t as the day
I am not troubled or in fear though
I know tomorrow will soon be here

Just a short and quick little poem after heart-searching with so much in my life right now going on at once. I keep being asked if I think I’m taking on too much. Nope, I am not. Never been more sure of some of these things as of anything in my life. Relating back to my rock climbing experiences, once you have embarked on a lead climb, you can’t just back up or change your mind. Trust me! I can’t remember the name of the climb, but it was at Taquitz in California. I decided to lead a decently difficult climb-we were about halfway up the side of this mountain already. (It was a 5 pitch (tiered for those of you who don’t know the lingo) climb and I was still fairly new at all this, but I was strong. (This was about May of 2013.) As I went up, I was told to keep veering to the right on…well…nothing but tiny little crimpholds and places my climbing shoes were barely sticking to as I smeared them on the wall. Then we realized I was doing a MUCH harder route (each pitch has various levels of difficulty) and haha…what could I do? I was leading. To go back or change my mind meant falling, and swinging. Not fun, especially when solid rock and gnarly branches await you. So, I made do. I sort of fumbled back, frightened, a different way than anything intended to climb, towards the route I should have been on. My partner who was belaying me couldn’t really help, even when he could see me, as if I fell, I was on lead and my nearest protection (which I had put in) was yards away. Of course, I had to get back to it at some point or my partner who followed would have to go the same messed up route I did and clean it (protection is special rock-climbing gear you place in the cracks where you can so that if you fall, it will hold you (if you placed it right)…catch you. And FYI, it basically when you fall, your distance is about double the distance you were from your last piece of protection…but your life is usually saved. Not to go off on too much more of a rabbit trail, but yes, at some point, the only way back onto the correct path was to purposely fall, which sucked mentally and I don;t recommend it without prior falling training.
The moral of the story is that with anything we do in life, obviously we should try to make sure we are on the correct path, but that is not always possible. Committing yourself to the path you take seems like the only logical option. You can’t go back once you have gone forward. There are going to be frightening times, but it gets easier, right? And someday this will all be over anyway. 😉 Yes, I realize falls happen here and there even though we do not usually intend for them to happen. BUT…making those commitments in life and working through them are so important.
Night? Morning? “I don’t understand,” you say? Well, you know how when you’re a kid, night and darkness is scary! You may have bad dreams. The thunder may scare you. Weird shadows and noises are scary. Everything just looms bigger and badder (that’s not a word, I know)! But when the morning arrives, you wake up and you’re wondering Wow! What was I so afraid of? Nothing seems as bad in the morning, right? Well, eventually, with practice, we learn that when we take things in stride and turn everything into a positive outlook, it makes those nights get brighter and less ominous. I will get there…and usually I am not up at midnight writing or thinking either. i had just read my last post as I had to edit and re post a portion of it and it got me to thinking. “This too shall pass” was my favorite saying as a teenager and young mom. Now, I can’t wait until tomorrow-to see what fun and exciting and challenging things await!
God may not have given YOU the ability to handle MY problems (which is why if you’re reading this and you know all I am taking on, you’re freaking out)! Funny thing is I don’t see them as problems! I see them as solutions to who I am…complicated little pieces of a large puzzle that is going to be unbelievable someday.
My perspective is sooo much different than most.
Have a good night everyone! 🙂