Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Just a Mom...........

(I am sure my sister is sick of hearing this one - haha)

My little sister is 4 years younger than I am.  I remember visiting my Mom at Memorial Hospital after she gave birth to her. I can remember the day my Mom brought her home for me. I remember the smell of her skin, the softness of it and how I always wanted to hold her or be by her. I believe this is one of the interactions which made me always want to be a Mom. My Mom tells me when I was little, people would ask me what I wanted to be when I grow up and I would always say "A Mom". High hopes huh? I didn't aspire to be a lawyer, a doctor or anything else. Just a Mom.

Now I am 42 years old and my first baby is graduating from high school in June. Now, "just a mom" feels like I was a doctor, a defense attorney, a nurse, a chauffeur, a chef, an event planner, teacher and police officer! 

I was his defense attorney when a kid at his grade school bit him in the neck. I marched him back to school and had him tell the teacher. I had to defend him for crying out loud.

I was his police officer and tried to save him when he was 8 weeks old. I pulled off to the side of the road to get the mail at our house way out in the country. There was black ice on the road and I heard a truck coming fast. It didn't see my lights I guess and I could hear him slam on his breaks and now he was sliding toward the car. The car I just got out of and left my 8 week old newborn inside.  I ran behind the car and in front of the truck waving my hands saying "no, no, no, no" as if I could do something, right?  When I realized this wouldn't work, I took off running into the field because I didn't know where the car would be pushed and what if it hit me? Can you imagine how this looked? Probably hilarious!!

I was his doctor when we went through different medications for GERD when he was just 3 years old. One medication he took he started running around crying telling me he had bugs all over him. The doctor in me said to stop the medication. We did. I was his doctor when the doctors told me he wasn't allergic to milk. I knew what was going on. I was his mother and he was just inside me for 9 months, sheesh! 18 months of age and they sent us to UW to get tested and sure enough he was extremely allergic to milk, cheese, eggs and lettuce.  HA HA lettuce? Yeah, I know weird. 

I was his nurse when he would have the flu. I would wake up before he got sick, every time before he even woke up, and then I would go to him. He would start to throw up and I would put my hands out like I was going to catch it? What the heck? I'm a little weird I know. I would nurse him back to health with cuddles, hugs, kisses and I never cared if I got sick too.  It just didn't matter. Yes, I was sick a lot when he was little but it was all worth it.

His chauffer,you all get it, Moms are always the chauffeurs right?

Yes, I was his chef. I solely breastfed him till he was 14 months old and it counts, so there. I will never forget his face the first time I fed him the baby food called garden vegetables, he loved them! And I can make an awesome pasta. Its all I've got but hey, I was still his chef! 

I was his teacher when I bought him Hooked on Phonics Jr and taught him how to read at 4 years old.

I was his event planner when every birthday came around.  Or when we had kids come over to play, we always had fun things planned. 

The best job I've ever had "just a mom". I was paid far more than any lawyer, doctor, nurse or teacher could be paid. I was paid with love, the best hugs, the best smiles in the world, happy belly laughing and so many more non-monetary gifts he gave to this Mom. It made me happy just to be around him. I love him what can I say?

I'm sure all parents feel this way about their children.

What amazes me - God feels this same way about us! His love is beyond anything we can ever imagine. His love fights off the arrows I throw at myself, when I'm depressed.  When I am following Him and doing what He is asking of me and something happens, a negative thought or doubt creeps in, He fights it off! He just did it for me yesterday. He is everything to us, and what we are to our children....but, EVEN MORE! We'll never realize just how much until we see Him again and even then we will never be able to love how He loves us.

I often think of Jesus up there on the cross and His mother at His feet crying. She knew it was God's will. Could I have done it if I knew it was God's will? Um, no, I know I couldn't. 

I think in my life, I have let the world influence me far too many times and put God to the side but not anymore. 

His love does not mean I will never have depressed days again but it does mean they'll be few and far between. It does not mean He has made me perfect because I am human and will always make mistakes. His love does mean I'm forgiven and it is the exact reason He was on the cross for me. Yes, for me and you! He knows us just how we know our children but even better. He knows our hearts, our thoughts, our names and every single hair on our head. He made us. We are His children, all of us.

His love to me means I will always have a defender of bullies. I will always be loved.  I will never be alone again. The more days I am with Him, reading His book, listening to His word and staying focused on Him.....I feel more peace coming into my life and if you have ever been depressed then you know how good this feels. I see the positive in people now. I see the love coming from people's actions to one another. I hear the kind words people speak. I want to return His love to others. I want to live now, which is remarkable in and of itself. I cannot stop smiling. I could have never done this on my own and you don't have to either.
Praise the Lord.

Luke 12:7

The Message (MSG)
6-7 “What’s the price of two or three pet canaries? Some loose change, right? But God never overlooks a single one. And he pays even greater attention to you, down to the last detail—even numbering the hairs on your head! So don’t be intimidated by all this bully talk. You’re worth more than a million canaries.

Saturday, April 26, 2014


My hometown is Yakima, WA.  There is a great church there called Morningstar Church.
(I secretly pray to God to lead us back to Yakima, somehow, someway - just so we can be a part of what they are doing. These people will love you just like Christ does!)

Just this morning, I was listening to one of their sermons titled "What do you see" and it 's subtitle is "How do you see problems".  Michahn said "what the enemy was trying to use to destroy you, God is gonna use the very same thing to heal you." In my life, He is doing just that. He is healing me and giving me the strength to talk about it to possibly help others.

There were many people and certain events which helped lead us to the Lord and Morningstar Church was definitely an integral part.  My little sister attends the church and was telling us such great things about it. We were in town visiting her family one weekend and she asked us to go one Saturday night.  We went.  We liked what the Pastor had to say. He is a great speaker and so in love with Christ and it’s so obvious. He and his wife are real people; they have had real problems as everyone does. He tells people about their struggles and how far they have come with Christ.

So we left church and were amazed at how real he was and how easily he spoke about his struggles. He wasn't embarrassed by them. It was real and I thought to myself, "If God loves Micahn, then He loves us too - no matter what we have done." We were not proud of ourselves, that’s for sure and I also thought,, "I could never tell people what I have done like Micahn did. I am so ashamed." I was still at the point of believing what the adversary was telling me about myself.

My husband and I both downloaded the app and started to listen to their sermons. I highly recommend doing this.  I listened to them at work, on my way home and as much as I could. When one sermon would end, I would anxiously await the next.  There is so much hope in his messages and that is what I was searching for.
Christ kept talking through the sermons and I heard what He was saying. We both heard the messages but we weren't quite to the point of letting the hurts and shame go - we kept holding on. Why? Well because it was familiar and really, "How could anyone love us when we've done what we have?" We didn't love ourselves, how could anyone else?

When I look back now over my life I realize He has been showing me and telling me so many things and I just didn't realize it. A lot of it came from conversations with my sister late at night. Her and her family loved us through it all. They loved us exactly how Jesus does - unconditionally. 

Left to right:
Me, age 4, Dad 31, My sister Newborn

He spoke through so many sermons and I even heard His voice in music. I still hear Him - He isn't leaving me. I'm keeping Him as close as possible.
I heard this song the other day on my way to work. It's so true and I love when He speaks to me.

Marvelous Light = Ellie Holcomb, lyrics

I'm not who I once was
Defined by all the things I've done
Afraid my shame would be exposed
Afraid of really being known
But then you gave my heart a home
So I walked out of the darkness and into the light
From fear of shame into a hope of life
Mercy called my name and right away to fly
Out of the darkness and into the light

Are you listening to Him or are you listening to what you believe the world thinks of you?

Listen to Him, it is the only way to go. He will set you free!!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Do you do this, too?

I've been starting my days off with reading a daily devotional or certain bible studies on my phone through the Bible App.  I've been filling my days with Christian music while working and trying to stay away from negativity and things that wouldn't honor God i.e., certain movies, certain music & no cussing! I can tell you now, I never used to believe this would help me.  I WAS WRONG! I have been wrong in all my beliefs and God is showing me just how wrong I was. 

I work as a Closer/Funder for a mortgage company. Sometimes people write letters of explanations in regards to their circumstances, to possibly have an UW give an exception on something they are asking of the borrowers. Today, I read a letter of explanation and it just about dropped me down into depression again.  This family was asking for an exception on something and their reasoning broke my heart.  A family of 4 small children, dad and a Mom (6 years younger than me) was recently diagnosed with stage IV colon cancer and going into chemotherapy tomorrow. So, they asked for an exception and a rush on getting the docs out. They wanted an exception for their current house they are leasing but haven't gotten someone to rent it quite yet.  They want to move into a larger home so family can stay with them as the Mom is going through chemotherapy. I started looking around the file and putting myself in the family's position asking myself  "How would I feel, how would my children feel, what would my husband do, will she have very much longer to live and to even enjoy her children and this house?"

I emailed the Loan Officer and told her I will be praying for the family and I intend to tell our bible study group about this family (not their names of course) and we will all be praying. I also asked for her to let me know when God performs His miracle on her because I do believe it will happen. The loan officer replied with "God has had His hand in this from the beginning." I loved seeing her response. I'm trying to go out of my comfort zone and talk about Christ any chance I can get and I'm fearful I could possibly lose my job over doing so. Not with these lovely ladies who I work with.....I'm so very blessed and I had no idea they were believers. I was pleasantly surprised.

Normally, I would have lost a day to thinking about this family, most likely crying about this family and taking this pain home & holding it close to my heart.  This time, it didn't happen.  This time I immediately gave it to God and said "God, your plans are far better than we know and even if your miracle is to take her to Heaven to be with you, then so be it. I won't be sad because you are good, your love is the best and you know all"

His way feels so much better than my own.  I didn't cry. I didn't keep the pain close to my heart. I just prayed about it when I thought about their family and trusted God. Period. Nothing more. That simple.

Just now, I opened up one of my daily devotionals and it is in regards to this exact same situation.  It says, "April 22nd, Listen to me continually. I have much to communicate to you, so many people and situations in need of prayer. I am training you to set your mind on Me more and more, tuning out distractions through the help of My Spirit. Walk with me in holy trust, responding to My initiative rather than trying to make things fit your plans. I died to set you free, and that includes freedom from compulsive planning. When your mind spins with a multitude of thoughts, you cannot hear My voice.A mind preoccupied with planning pays homage to the idol of control. Turn from this idolatry back to Me. Listen to Me and live abundantly." Jesus calling by Sarah Young.

I am now set free and living abundantly all because of Christ's love for me. All because I stopped talking, planning and worrying. Instead I'm listening and looking all around to see God's plan.  All because now His love for me is the only thing I put my worth in. What I wear, what my hair looks like, if I have make-up on, how skinny or large I am...NONE OF IT MATTERS anymore. He has made me complete. I'm sticking with Him. He's my guy always and forever. His love is so good, I want you to feel it too - so I will share. Just try it.......

In Him ,

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Amazing love

  From the time I can remember, I always wanted to grow up and be just like my Dad. He was not a big man in stature but had a big voice.  He was funny but not perfect. He made a lot of mistakes and so have I.  He was a good athlete, and had a lot of friends. I started playing sports when I was 5 years old, tee-ball. He was always supportive of me playing sports and was my coach several times. I always felt like he was "there" physically but not emotionally. Emotionally, he was distant. My Mom said when he returned from Vietnam he was a different person.  He rarely showed us his emotions. I can remember one time my entire life seeing him cry and it was because of one of MY mistakes. In the family meeting he said, "you think you are so bad? You have no idea of the things I have had to do." he was referencing Vietnam and he broke down in front of everyone. We never spoke about it again. Saying it now makes me really sad. Growing up, I always thought he was a hero because of his time in Vietnam. I tried many times to have him tell me what he did over there, or to tell me about his job.  I never got him to tell me anything, other than the night he broke down. He lived with this sadness his entire life and never spoke to anyone about it.

My Dad's health was not the best. My personal belief is because of all his sadness he never dealt with. He had heart issues and some non-cancerous tumors on his adrenal glands, as well as diverticulitis which ruptured his colon. He had to have a colostomy and 2 years later went into the hospital to have the tumors removed along with the colostomy reversed.

He was out of the hospital 1 week and returned to the hospital. I remember him telling the doctor "Doc this feels just like when I had a bad bout of diverticulitis" he kept throwing up and he looked awful. He was in and out of a coma and surgeries for 12 weeks before they said there was no longer any hope for him. He was septic due to the sutures from the reversal of the colostomy coming undone.

The last time I spoke with him was September 11, 2001. I asked him if he saw what was going on with the planes running into buildings he said yes and it was obvious he didn't really want to talk. So I just told him I loved him and missed him. I've never felt the same anguish over the attacks of 9-11 because I was living in my own hell at the time. The person I looked up to, who was a lot of things to me - was dying. I felt nothing when I was invited to a social gathering at the local mormon ward.  All the women were crying,talking and crying for a long time, I felt nothing.  I remember thinking to myself, don't you all realize my own father is dying right now? Silly, I know.

When my Dad died October 12, 2001, it forever changed my life.  At the time, I was 30 years old with two small children, living in Utah. We had just moved to Utah August 1st, 2001. 

Death does weird things in a family, especially if the family is dysfunctional.  I know every family is dysfunctional to some extent....but you throw death in the mix and it turns crazy. I believe it is because every person deals with it in their own way and is pretty selfish about how they go about doing so. No, I wasn't perfect either but I just tried to keep to myself and stay out of everyone's business....I was trying to deal with my own issues, on my own. 

At the time, I'm not even sure I called on God to help me? I can't recall if I did but I did believe there was a reason for his death, I just didn't know what it was yet.

For the 1st 6 months after his death, I didn't sleep at night. The minute I laid my head down, my mind would start from the day of "there is no hope" from the doctors, to the drive home to Utah, 1 week later. I replayed the events in my head night after night. I finally went to the doctor and he gave me some anti-depressants. I didn't want to tell anyone, I was ashamed I couldn't do it on my own. I would see other people dealing with death and not needing meds to cope. Why was I such a wienie? Why couldn't I be like everyone else. 

The fact I was comparing myself to others, was the start of my demise down some really dark holes of depression. In 2004, I heard myself saying "Just do yourself in. Your kids could use someone better than you. You will always feel this way and life will never change. You only have a part time job and have made nothing of yourself" I thought about how I would do it and I thought about it a lot. At the time, the only reason I didn't do it was because of a close family friend who ended her life the same way and I felt such intense pain for the children left behind. I loved their family and used to babysit the kids, so we spent a lot of time together. I couldn't leave my children. I loved them so, so much and I just kept trying my hardest to fight the demons, on my own.

In 2010, I found my life in a situation I hadn't planned for myself and the demons were back. I was in the car, in the garage hearing myself say those things again, over and over. I refer to it as slipping deeply into a deep dark hole and trying to claw your way out of the hole. All along, being afraid to look over your shoulder for fear you might just give in and not be able to take it one more day. 

People,I'm here to tell you this pain is physical, all consuming and affects every aspect of your life. Your relationships with your family, co-workers and friends. The pain is real.

After the last episode in 2010, I literally ran back to the doctor for anti-depressants AGAIN. I knew at this point, I wanted to stay alive for my husband to be, our children, my sister and her family.

We have to stop stereotyping the mentally ill as crazy. I consider myself mentally ill from the depression and I need to stop calling myself crazy. It doesn't help the situation. If I wasn't so ashamed at the time, maybe I could have talked with someone about it? I holed it up inside of me and kept it to myself, which did nothing for the deep dark hole I was in.

I believe God wants us to fellowship with people, to help us through these difficult times. To not keep them to ourselves because if we do, we are NOT helping anyone.  

If I can help one person to feel open enough to talk with people about their depression, anxiety or other mental illness - then my prayers will be answered.  I don't want others to feel how I felt. 

I know now I am God's daughter 1st and foremost.  He loves me like no other person ever would or could. He is the only man who will never fail me. He will always be there for me, through everything. I have faith in Him to give my Dad's death over to Him, knowing He has all the answers. 

I just needed to call on Him and believe in Him to get me through it.

Now I surrender daily to Him to help me with this depression. I have faith in Him to know He will not let me get the best of myself. He has already saved me from myself on many occasions. I am so thankful for His unconditional love and letting me learn the hard stuff on my own. If He would have picked me up every step of the way, I would have never learned.  

I will never let go of Him. 

My heart is for Jesus. He leads me now. if He has done this for me, He will do this for anyone. If you need help finding Him, ask me and I'll help direct you to where He is.....He will save you and make you whole. He will set you free!

Now, I see beauty in everything, everyone and everywhere I look.  My dark shades are off. I don't want to hide anymore and everything is brighter. I know He has a purpose for my life and I wanna walk with Him. I feel like a completely different person. I am so blessed. I am so loved. He is my Dad and He feels the same way about you!!  Even with all your sins, your deep darkest secrets. He doesn't care, He just wants a relationship with you.  What have you got to lose? I promise you nothing!

What do you think we could do to help people more?

Do you believe there is a stereotype we place on mental illness?

Thank you everyone for reading my blog.  My story ends happily and I know yours will too!


Monday, April 14, 2014

What I learned at the NCWA conference

Ok, get this……..

My husband Jason and I started a Financial Peace University course on February 9th; I have to tell you this to lead up to this amazing story of Surrendering to Christ.

We were saved February 23rd but that is another awesome story I’ll tell you about another time.

April 3rd and 4th we sold two old phones of the kids’ and made $200.00, then a broken phone we sold we made $50.00….so we had $250.00 at home just sitting around waiting for us to decide what to do with it…..if you know anything about Dave Ramsey you’ll know we were waiting to see what envelope we were going to put it in.

We started the bible study (I didn’t even really want to start because I was afraid the women in there would be nothing like me and all done up with make-up and nice clothes, you know what I mean?) on March 27th.  Well, I had to fight myself to get myself there because I felt like God was leading me to GO but my depression was trying to win, too!

We went and we loved it.  And we have met the greatest people so far! We love them all!  At this point I haven’t mentioned my book to anyone other than my husband and my sister and her husband.  I felt a little ashamed still of my issues and for fear of rejection; I didn’t want to say much to anyone.  For some reason out of my mouth on the 6th of April, I told our friend Kerri who runs the bible study, I wanted to write a book to help women and young girls to not go down the road I did.  She says there is a writing conference coming up and she would text her friend who runs another bible study Tuesday night (which was the 8th) and I should go because one of the ladies, who help to put the conference on, would be at the bible study.  I reluctantly said yes and then was kicking myself every day until Tuesday night at 6:10 when I needed to leave……I fought myself because I still felt like God wanted me there but I was really unsure as to why and I was afraid I would run into women again who were nothing like me?  I met two published authors there; the bible study was all women and SO GREAT! The women were all so very nice. The conference was $179.00 and seemed like so much money to me! I had totally forgotten about the phone money but Jason reminded me and said we should use it for me to go. He was SO supportive, it was amazing….God kept leading me and I kept surrendering myself every day.

So I kept praying to God every day, if He wanted me there, He would make it work – I had no anxiety and was not going to worry over it.  “God, if you want me there, have my boss say it’s ok for me to have Friday off” because the money had fallen into place it was all coming together but this one last thing would be His answer to me.
My boss gave me the day off and I said ok, He wants me there.

Again, the morning of the conference I was afraid because of my story and I was in fear of judgment but I had NO idea what was in store for me because I had never been to anything like this at all…..except for the conference my sister and I went to 1 year ago when again it blurted out of my mouth “I want to write a book” When it comes out of my mouth I think to myself, “Who is this person saying this? You can barely speak correctly who do you think you are? Why would you be able to write a book? No one will want to read it, ever and then everyone in Yakima will know exactly just how bad of a person you are. Family would never want to be around you after they read what you write about!” So the adversary keeps trying to get me to believe him and I refuse, and just keep listening and surrendering every day to my Father! I often wonder why this is working now when I have had so many chances to surrender to Him and I thought I was but this time it is completely different…nothing compares to this.

If I said the conference was amazing it would be about 1/8th of what it really was to me.  God kept speaking to me, through so many people and everywhere I looked and heard, He was telling me things.

I told an excerpt of my story to EVERYONE!!! 
You have to have a “catch” when you pitch to Agent’s and God helped me come up with one in a matter of 20 minutes. I didn't know I would have to do this and I had no idea what to expect when attending this conference. I just knew Christ was leading me and I wanted to obey. I was so nervous of the judgment that would be placed on me but He kept telling me to do it and I took a chance on Him.

After my first day I went home to Jason and was talking about everything. He said honey maybe you will someday be a public speaker for God. I said “it will never happen” and then the very next day I got up in front of everyone because God told me to! I said “this is not me so I’m a little nervous. My husband and I were saved on February 23rd and everyone here at the conference has been such a blessing and I want to thank everyone.”The key speaker was Davis Bunn and he spoke after me and mentioned me, saying he was very proud of my courage and if you think this is wonderful you just wait, you are in for the ride of your life, this is just the beginning
Again, to me his comment was straight from God……telling me the exact same thing.  Everyone there was so encouraging, loving and helpful, some pushing me to write the book and one nice lady pushing me to go up on stage and say whatever it was I wanted to say.

What I learned at the conference and these last several weeks:

    To no longer judge women on what I think they will think of me and whether or not we will have the same interests
   I must surrender to God every single day and sometimes every single hour.
3 Trust myself when I hear the Holy Spirit encouraging me to live for Christ and tell everyone.
4 I need to continue to step out of my comfort zone for God to grow in His love.

This is my 1st ever blog post.  Please give me some Grace J  I’m not the best grammatically but I love Christ and I’m going to tell everyone about Him!

Praise the Lord.

My new friend in Christ has the Photo credit: