You Were Made For More…

“I know the second that I came into this earth
I was made for more than heels & rocking cute designer skirts
I got a voice and though I’m scared
I feel my words carry worth
In my darkest valleys
I could see the sun above my earth
Reaching down just to rescue me from my insecurity
All of the abuse my step-father did when I was weak
Way too young to know that I should open up my mouth to speak
Now I see, all the years I lost trying find some peace
And when my father died I swore it was the end of me
But Jesus gave me hope beyond the pain of what my eyes could see
Now I stand a daughter of a Father who won’t ever sleep
Truth has spoken and now that truth is here to set you free”

Above is an excerpt from “Darkest ValleyGroup 1 Crew

Thanks Group1 Crew for sharing such healing and honest words.

This is taken from one of my favorite groups to listen to when I need a pick me up.  This one happens to be more serious and the words above strike a painful spot in my heart.  I know the feelings that those words speak and I work tirelessly to make sure my girl has a different song to sing when she grows up.  Give your girls and boys another song to sing.

She was made for more! So were you!

Is your song different than it once was?  Is it a song filled with hope?  It can be.  You were made for so much more!  Blessings!

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Abandoned

Abandoned, alone, what do I do?  My heart is beating so fast, what do I do?  It has been so long since she left.  I need help but no one is here and I don’t know what to do.  She is crying and won’t stop and I am scared that somethings really wrong.  She has needed a new diaper for so long and I don’t have a new one.  I tried to clean it but it isn’t helping.  She has red streaks going down her legs and her tears just wont stop coming.  God what do I do?  Something calms my heart for just a second, something brings peace.

“Sis you stay here, I will be back soon.  I am gonna go call dad.  He will come and he will know what to do.  Please don’t cry no more.  I love you!  Just play with your baby.  I will be back.”  As I kiss her head goodbye I feel how hot she is.  Fear jumps forward into my throat again and my heart beats faster.  I feel like I might be sick.

I turn and leave before I can change my mind.  It scares me to leave her alone but I have to call dad!  There is that peace again.  I am her big brother and it is my job to take care of her.  Where is mom?  Why isn’t she back yet?  I hate when she leaves us like this!

It is a warm sunny day outside and I am scared as I walk up the alleyway looking for houses that might let me use their phone.  It is a scary neighborhood and we don’t belong here.  Mom left us at a friends house but they haven’t been home for a couple days.  I just start asking people if they got a phone and it takes a while before someone lets me in to use their phone.  As I walk into their home my heart jumps into my chest again.  What if they are really bad people?!  That peace fills me again and I wonder if it is God.  I call my dad as fast as I can because I know he will help and I am right.  He is on his way.

I run all the way back to where my sister is and go inside and scoop her up.  She is still crying and must have been so scared but seeing me seems to make it all better.  I hold her tight and realize how bad she smells, nausea washes over me.  I must have not noticed before because we were together in this small home for so long, or maybe I just blocked it out but the smell is putrid.  I notice now though and it makes me want to be sick.

This is not the first time I have been abandoned, we have been abandoned.  It has happened before, many times.  My mom works a lot and likes to party a lot too so sometimes she leaves us with different people.  Some people are ok, others are scary.  This time the people just disappeared.  Maybe they were with mom.  I wish she would come back.

I sit down with my sister and just wait for my dad.  Peace…   I can tell God is with me, comforting me.   God loves me even when those that are supposed to love me forget.  Because of Him, I can cuddle up with my sister and love her and forget the reasons I was afraid.  Once I was abandoned, but now… I am now saved.  Peace…

~~~~~

This story is based on a true story that was told through the eyes of a frightened little boy that grew up too fast. This kind of thing happens all to often.  I hope this inspires you to see and do two things.  First, see the pain in children’s eyes… it’s there.  Help them. Don’t ignore it.  Second, if that kind of pain lingers in your heart from long ago like it does mine, remember, there is one who will never abandon you and He will always love you.  Let Him love you the way you should have been.

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month #SAAM

April is Sexual Assault Awareness month and I want to encourage you to participate in Denim Day!

 SweetSouthernGirl

What is Denim Day?

In 1999 an Italian Supreme Court overturned the conviction of a 45 year old driving instructor for the rape of his 18 year old student. The reason cited was the girl’s clothing. It was determined that because she wore blue jeans the instructor could not have removed them without assistance, therefore she must have consented. People everywhere were outraged and within hours prominent women within the legal community were walking the courthouse in blue jeans to protest the decision. Since that time Denim Day in LA and the USA was born. Peace Over Violence, the agency behind Denim Day, centers this campaign around the fact that a woman’s choice of clothing is no excuse for rape.

Sexual assault is one of those things that goes on the back burner.  No one wants to talk about it.  But it happens to our daughters and sons, brothers and sisters and our mothers and fathers.  It is happening regardless if we talk about it or not.

The Facts!

Here are some grim facts for you.  According to the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network:

  • 54% of sexual assaults are never reported and 97% of rapists will never spend a day in jail.  (How sad and how very wrong.)
  • Every two minutes someone is sexually assaulted in the United States alone.
  • There is about 207,754 victims 12 years or older sexually assaulted each year.
  • 44% of victims are under the age of 18 and 80% are under the age of 30.
  • 1 out of every 6 women will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime.
  • 1 out of every 33 men are sexually assaulted in their lifetime.  (This isn’t something that just happens to women.)
  • 2/3rds of sexual assaults are committed by someone known to the victim and 38% are friends or acquaintances.
  • Victims of sexual assault are 3 times more likely to suffer from depression, 6 times more likely to suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, 13 times more likely to abuse alcohol, 26 times more likely to abuse drugs, and 4 times more likely to contemplate suicide.

We need to change things and bring awareness to everyone about this devastating act of violence.  Will you get involved?

How do I participate?

It is easy. Wear Blue Jeans on April 24th and talk to people about the spirit of Denim Day.  Post a picture of yourself wearing blue jeans and post about Sexual Assault Awareness on April 24th. Display the button in your post and link-up to show support! To link up go to Secrets of a Sweet Southern Girl’s website and follow her instructions.

Don’t forget to link up!

Come Out of the Shadows

I was having my devotional time yesterday and felt a deep sadness for things I felt I lost in my past because of things either done to me or things I saw around me.  As I mourned some things the Lord put this in my heart and I put it to pen and now it is here.  I share it with you because I know there are others out there with the same struggles and I believe this was meant for you too.  God bless each of you!

shadows

My girl, you are who you are because I created you to be that way.  And my precious daughter, you are good.  I love how I created you and never want you to change.  Every little quirk, every passion, every tear that falls for the broken, I put them there.  I love all those parts and pieces about you.  Oh how I love you!

Your pain and suffering is from the past and happened because your parents and others made bad choices, and you have had to deal with the fallout of their choices.  It was not my desire that you went through what you did, those were not the choices I would have made for you. But I can make all things work for My Glory and you can see such beautiful fruit as a result of My work in you.  The fallout you feel is not yours to deal with.  It is mine, give it to me.  I can turn water into wine.

How?

Come out of the shadows child and share it with your sister’s in Christ, with as many as will listen who know my name and are safe.  When you share the pain you feel with others it empties some of the  disease that fills you and allows me space to clean up the mess.  It allows me space to fill you up with my powerful Spirit and give you new life, a life you could have never imagined.  It will bring others into healing as well.  Your pain will bring life to many around you.

Remember… You are mine… I created you… I love you more than any other person will ever have the capacity to… the enemy of your soul tried to destroy you… I would not let him… I AM your God!  Come out of the shadows loved one and be… filled up… made new… fully restored… fully mine.

Dark Halls

Credit: Richard Baxter

I am so lost.  Weeping inside the dark is all I have anymore.  So much has come and gone and all that is left is the rubble in my heart, the shattered pictures of my past cloud and overtake the halls of my mind.  Nothing is the same anymore.

I have looked for the light that burst through the darkness.  The light that holds together the days and pushes away the long devastating nights of hell.  I have looked inside my soul for a piece of something that used to be there, something that was good but have long since seen.

How many more times do I have to see the devastation of the past come forward and ruin what I have worked so hard to build?  Those moments in time that shatter a person are so strong that they echo forever on into the wild future, a future uncertain and as dark as the past.

How do I wake up?  How do I move out of its clutches and into the light?  How do I become what I was destined to be instead of this torn apart and molded piece of broken flesh and bone with nothing left to offer?

I am so lost.  The shattered halls of my life have nothing left for me; they are ruins, dark, ugly and dangerous.  They are death.

Beautiful

It is whispered into my ear soft and subtle, almost unheard.

Precious

What is this I keep hearing?  It is a foreign voice one not heard in ages.  One that was once trusted but now is barely remembered.

My Treasure

I am truly broken, I know that voice and have been avoiding it for so long I forgot how deeply affecting it can be.  The light… My heart is overwhelmed with the love that flows through those words.  How do I reconcile what He is saying and what I know about me, my life; my shattered, tattered life?

You are mine and I love you.  I knew you before you were born, I created you; knit you together and breathed life into you. I love everything about you.  I want your broken pieces.  I want your weeping heart, your shattered tears.  I want you.  I have given you a new home, one built on the Rock, one built to last, one more beautiful than anything you lost.  Come… Let me wipe away your tears and pick up the pieces. 

It all melts away, all that I have been seeing, hearing and feeling for so many years; the darkness.  The peace is overwhelming.  It is intoxicating.  Do I follow?  Oh I want to so much so I feel it overwhelming my soul.  What about the dark halls?  They are so familiar?  He beckons me…

Come…

The above was written for Free Write Friday from the image prompt  above using what is called stream of consciousness writing, no editing, no proofing just writing!

Post your submission with a comment and link to your blog on Kellie’s blog, post on twitter with the hashtag #FWF, Facebook and join the fun!

 

Freedom

Freedom

Definition:   Independence, license to do what one wants.

Is that really freedom?  License to do what one wants?  I don’t know.

I know I can do whatever I want, but sometimes doing what I want makes me miserable.  Lets take eating, if I overeat, I get a stomach ache, I get overweight, unhealthy… but boy did I want to have that extra piece of garlic bread!  I had freedom, but what it got me was a stomach ache and potentially becoming a slave to my stomach.

Slave… interesting word.  Can one persons freedom enslave someone else?  Lets look at child abuse.  My daughter has the freedom to live a life where she is loved, protected and nurtured.  And she does.  She has rights to her own body and no one better cross that line and take away her right to freedom from abuse.  Many are not so lucky though.  They live a life of abuse that no one seems to care about, or one that no one even knows about.

One could even say that the person abusing that child has the “freedom” to do so.  Everyone’s idea of abuse is different.  While mine may be this… “Anyone who violates a child’s body, mind or spirit with either physical, mental, spiritual or sexual abuse has violated that child’s freedom to live a life of safety and freedom from abuse.”  But I have heard it clearly said by many who in my opinion are just pure evil that children should be called lucky to have someone touch them in the way that they do.  Abuse, like all things is in the eye of the beholder.  And some eyes are much more evil than others.

When I think about FREEDOM it also makes me think about things I have lived through and about how I used to beg God to free me from those things.  I used to pray at night for God to stop my dad from drinking… from doing drugs… from raging with violence… from pointing guns and shouting and screaming.  I used to think all those prayers went unheard.  I mean, where was God, why didn’t HE save me?

But when one looks in the Word of God they see that clearly we have all been given the freedom of choice… I am allowed to live differently than my family before me… or the same.  Sadly many make the same choice their families have made for generations.  For me, I choose differently… I choose God’s way.

Where was God when I was filled with fear daily?  Why didn’t he stop my dad?  My dad was stopped.  He could have killed me on many occasions but just like Job, God allowed me to be put through fire for a purpose but the enemy was not allowed to take my life.  My dad was given the choice to be what his flesh wanted or to be what God wanted.  He chose his flesh… I was the receiver of that choice, but I was also protected!  My dad finally stopped drinking in the years before his death and our relationship was good, because God is good.  There was restoration.

Where was God when I was filled with fear?  Holding me tight, pulling me close, whispering in my ear that He has me… He is holding me… He is protecting me… He wont let go.  For me, God is my freedom.  Nothing else matters or even comes close.  There will be more bad things that happen in my life, it is guaranteed.  But God is my freedom to live through it no matter what happens, knowing that He will not let a hair on my head be touched unless it is for the best.  Living through what God let me live through has given me a perspective not many have and it has given me a love for hurting not many have.  That is a blessing.

There are many out there suffering by the hands of others, child abuse is an epidemic, and slavery is growing in such leaps and bounds that it cannot be controlled in even the most humane areas like the U.S.  I pray each day that His freedom reaches those suffering, and for those causing the pain, I pray also for Gods salvation and if not that, then His wrath because only He knows our hearts deep down inside.

Please take the time to get involved in others lives, notice who is hurting, purpose to help them.  That is true Freedom.

This was written from a prompt from Free Write Friday.  The topic was “What does freedom mean to you?”  To join the writing prompt click the button below and it will take you to Free Write Friday’s page.

Also click the link or button and read all about this weeks topic, Human Trafficking.   Open your eyes.. Please help.

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To Homeschool or Not to Homeschool! (part 2)

Yesterday I wrote about how we came to the point where we felt we needed to do something different than school.  During the time of wondering how I could possibly help my daughter I was pouring my heart out to someone and they mentioned homeschooling.  I must admit when I first heard her speak of homeschooling fear overcame me.  “I am not qualified to teach daughter… I don’t even know how to start… My daughter would drive me crazy or I would drive her crazy… What in the world will happen to my daughter if I choose to do it?.. Won’t my daughter be scarred for life?..”  On and on the fear-filled questions went.  And I must also admit that those questions still come from time to time.

But as I researched the subject, literally spending hundreds of hours going to dozens of blogs, dozens of websites that were for and against homeschooling, and dozens of curriculum websites, not to mention speaking to people in person, I have found that everyone who makes this decision goes through the same kind of stress and worries when trying to come up with the right decision for their child and family.  That was a comfort.  What has been more comfort are the statistics I have found while doing my research.

Homeschooling with a View!

Homeschooling with a View!

If you look at the education aspect alone, homeschoolers test much higher on average than traditional school kids.  They transition into the non-school world much better and high ranked colleges are now recruiting homeschoolers because they work better on their own, have more original ideas and are more self-motivated.  They know how to learn and love it.  That was enough to get me to thinking more earnestly.

Then the next thing that I researched was how it would affect my family and its dynamics.  Would we get closer or would it drive a wedge between us.  That was exciting to read about as well because blog after blog, story after story, book after book all I found was that the bond between children and parents and siblings was strengthened and sealed on a deeper level than ever before.  It was a lifestyle, not just school.   I wanted that too!

Then there was the social aspect.  I have been asked many times, “How do you socialize your kids?”  Asking as if I have my daughter locked in the closet until it is time for school then shove her back in there after it is over.  Most homeschoolers are very social and very active, quite a bit more than the normal family.  And their activities revolve around kids of all ages as well as adults and people of all different lifestyle backgrounds.  In regular school, kids are stuck in a class of kids all the same age from the same area of town… homeschooling seemed to be better at teaching your child how to communicate and have fun in all kinds of situations (unless you of course locked them in the closet all day except when homeschooling).  😉

My daughter has learned how to play nice not only with kids her own age but older kids and younger ones.  She has learned how to have fun with seniors and adults of all ages.  She has helped feed the poor and do other kind things for people.  Not saying that kids in school don’t learn these things as well, just that homeschoolers do too and it can often be the focus.

When I started to see all the opportunities and possibilities, far more than I could share here, I started to get excited… very excited!  It wasn’t how I ever expected to feel when the word homeschooling was ever mentioned.

During this whole time we asked the Lord to weigh in on the subject.  Because without His leading where would we be? We knew that if we listen to God, researched wisely, made no rash decisions that we would be able to come to the right decision for our family.  God knows what is best for us, and He will guide our every path during this decision.  God has also given us very strong command to “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it” Proverbs 22:6.  It is our responsibility to make sure our kids learn, even and especially if they go to public school.  Homeschooling puts that responsibility square in your lap, and that can be a very good thing for our kids.

We have been homeschooling for just over a year now.  It was the best decision we ever made.  Our daughter is flourishing in school, she loves it!  She has friends, family and faith to fill her life.  And she can play in the snow all she wants, because I am the teacher and when I say schools over, it is!  Even if it is only 10:00am  😉

If you are thinking of homeschooling, remember that other people’s experiences are vital.  Research is a must.

Knowing your family is imperative.  But if you do not consult the Lord through it all, then you are flying by the seat of your pants.  You may end up doing the right thing, but not without a lot of stress, heartache and bumps that could have been avoided along the way.  I pray you are able to make the right decision for your family with God’s help.  If I can ever answer any questions I am more than happy to do my best.

Thank you for listening to our story.  God bless and have a wonderful New Year!!!