Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Piercing Gaze

All it takes is that look
A piercing gaze
Silent anger and disappointment
Years before it was different
In the beginning it was simple
Love came naturally
Disappointment crept in as
the years pass on
Bitterness and judgement
taints you view
Day after day I walk on eggshells
Trying my best not to get that stare
I long for the days when closeness was there
Back when the tears came from joy
Each day passes and I continue to pray
That we will be close again some day

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Emergency Bag & Secondary Supplies

B.O.B. stands for Bug-Out-Bag and it's designed to be your go-to bag when things get nasty. It's designed to keep you stocked for 24-48 hours while you assess your current situation. I made this up for my mom since she's out in the boonies and I want her to be safe just in case the weather gets bad.

You also want to have a box filled with extra supplies and food along with any secondary supplies. This is more so designed if there were to be a terrible disaster and you needed more than just 2 days of supplies. You add your own clothing, toothbrush, toothpaste, OTC meds, prescription meds, forks, spoons, knives. Most people also have duct tape, paper towels, tweezers, a bulb syringe, sunblock, bug spray, sewing kit, and a medicine cup that can be added as well.

Momma's Bag

First Aid Kit 
- Medical Tape
- Gauze Pads
- Gauze Rolls
- Cotton Balls
- Antibiotic Cream
- Cold Packs
- Hydrocortisone Cream
- ACE Bandage
- Thermometer
- Assorted Bandages
- Disposable Gloves
- Q Tips
- Eye Pads

2 Ponchos
1 Bottle Tylenol
1 Bottle Aspirin
1 Deodorant
2 3-Pks Batteries
1 Bottle Hand Sanitizer
1 Container Wylers Drink Mix
2 Boxes Instant Chicken Soup Mix
1 Bag Banana Chips
1 Pkg. Baby Wipes
2 Water Bottles
1 Flashlight
1 Pkg. P.B. & Cheese Crackers
2 Bags Trail Mix
1 Pkg. Saltines
1 can Tuna Fish
1 can Chicken
1 box Granola Bars
1 3-Pk Cup O' Noodles
1 Bag Sugar-Free Candy

 Secondary Supplies
a.k.a. Momma's Box

Red Medical Supply Box:
- 1 bottle Antacid pills
- 1 bottle multi vites
- 1 bottle antihistamine pills
- 12 cough drops
- 1 hand sanitizer
- Q Tips
- 8 Packets of Electrolyte Mix
- 1 tube A&D ointment
- extra bandages & gauze
- 1 pkg gas meds
- 1 pkg pepto bismuth
- 1 pkg laxative tablets
- 1 pkg heartburn medications
- 1 bottle eye drops
- 1 pkg anti-diarrhea meds

1 Tarp
1 Rope
1 10-Pack Matches
2 Rolls T.P.
1 bottle Iodine
1 bottle Hydrogen Peroxide
1 bottle Alcohol
1 bottle witch hazel
1 box trash bags
1 box ziplock bags
1 box aluminum foil
1 3-Pack Lighters
1 can opener
2 bottles pedialyte
1 bottle saline
1 box alcohol pads
2 jars petroleum jelly
2 bars soap
1 pkg sanitary wipes
2 pkgs disposable wipes
1 deodorant
1 3-Pk Bungee Cords
2 Box Cutters

What I Spent & Where I Got It

Green Bag - $5.33 @ The Salvation Army
First Aid Kit (clear box in B.O.B.) $5.35 @ Big Lots
Blue Tarp (in Momma's Box) $4.28 @ Big Lots
Red Fishing Box $.50 @ Garage Sale
T.P & Cotton Balls from my house
Everything Else $100.58 (94 Items) @ The Dollar Tree

Monday, June 11, 2012

First Aid Kit - The Mother Load!

The mother-load of all first aid kits! Que the Star Wars music. :-)

In today's time, unfortunately we are in a place where bacteria are becoming resistant to certain antibiotics. Whether we wish to blame the doctor's for their part in over-prescribing antibiotics or even the livestock raising community for pumping animals full of antibiotics, the end result is the same. We are screwed if we continue down this path. For example, we have a bug out there called MRSA and it's a nasty little bugger that requires really strong antibiotics. But, did you know that Manuka Honey (from New Zealand) has proven strong enough to destroy it? It would be alot easier to simply apply the honey which will destroy MRSA and other bacteria like staph but we are fed the lies that natural remedies aren't any good.

What we need to do is take a multi-prong approach to dealing with certain medical issues. If we start out using homeopathic methods, we give our bodies the opportunity to use it's natural defenses in combination with a potent forumula to slow or stop things completely. It also gives us more time to watch and see if a wound/bacteria/etc. responds favorably before you need to go a level or two up.

Homeopathic First Aid Medicines

Apis Mellifica
Nux Vomica
Rhus Tox

Herbal First Aid Medicines

Aloe Vera Gel
Arnica Gel
Calendula Gel
Chamomile Tea Bags
Citronella Insect Repellant
Echinacea Extract
Elderberry Extract
Eleuthero Extract
Eucalyptus Essential Oil
Ginger Capsules 
Ginger, Crystallized
Goldenseal Capsules
Grindelia Spray (look under Poison Ivy/Oak Sprays - read ingredients!)
Lavender Essential Oil
Laxative Tea Bags
Manuka Honey (New Zealand Honey)
Peppermint Essential Oil
Peppermint Tea Bags
Valerian Tincture
Witch Hazel Extract

Conventional First Aid Supplies

Adhesive Tape
OTC Antibiotic Ointment
Antiseptic Solutions/Towelettes
Cold/Hot Packs
Cotton Balls/Swabs
Disposable Gloves
Duct Tape (you really never know)
Gauze Pads (including non-stick)
First Aid Book/Manual 
Petroleum Jelly 
Plastic Ziplock Bags
Safety Pins
Small Scissors
Regular Soap
Waterless Hand Sanitizer
Saline Solution
Bulb Syringe (to suck out liquid from nostrils or flush out wounds)
Hydrogen Peroxide
Alcohol or Swabs/Pads
Activated Charcoal
Anti-Diarrhea Medication
Anti-Histamine Medicine
Aspirin and Non Aspirin Pain Relievers
Calamine Lotion
Hydrocortisone Cream
Non-Prescription Medicine (for entire family)
Prescription Medication (for entire family)
Syringe or Medicine Cup
Auto-Injection Epinephrine (for those who have allergic attacks)
Povidone-Iodine Liquid
ACE Bandage
Bandaids (Assorted Sizes)
Butterfly Closures 
Ducolax (Pedialax for Children)
CPR Mask
Eye Pads
Splint Materials
Colloidal Silver
Anti-Acid Pills
New Package of Needles & Thread (it sounds gross but you never know, be prepared!)
First Degree (only for minor burns)
Earloop Surgical Masks
Prescription Antibiotics *
Prescription Painkiller *
Silver Sulfadiazine *

I understand that the list is huge but there's a reason for everything on here. Normally, I've said that it's a good idea to figure out what you need based on how big your family is. However, one discovery I've made is that you can never have to many bandaids, butterfly closures, gauze pads/rolls, or disposable gloves. My son was ran over back in November and despite having a stockpile of these supplies (excluding butterfly closures) I had to restock my supplies four or five times. Now I understand my son's wounds were pretty intense but that's what your preparing for, those moments that are coming down the road which will stretch you and your supplie. Always be prepared for the unexpected. In regards to the Maxi-Pads, you can use these like super absorbent coverings for wounds as well as their intended use. You can also soak them in water, put them in a freezer and use them in a multitude of ways.  In regards to the items marked with an asterisk, these items can only be given by a prescription from your doctors, some people are able to request small prescriptions for their first aid kit but don't count on it. Silver Sulfadizine is a miracle cream that we used on my son to repair the damage to his body that was equal to second or third degree burns. Needless to say, it's a wonderful thing to have on hand just in case.

I'm aware that these seem like an overwhelming amount of things to purchase, but remember there may come a day when you need these and don't have them. You can NOT count on others to provide for your family, even the government will have their hands full when natural disasters strike. Plan ahead for the rough days ahead.

Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, nurse or medical professional. All lists have been compiled based on information off various websites, books and what I myself have. All prescription medications must be prescribed by a physician. 

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Learning from Life's Hardships

In the heat of the moment, we tend to hate all the difficult things we may be going through but I think most will agree that once the storm has passed and that beautiful clear sky is shown, it becomes all too apparent that it was worth it. I hope some of my experiences can help get you through your moments.

Firstly, you can't save or rescue anyone from the life they have chosen. You can pray for them, with them and even speak gospel to them but change comes through a stirring of the spirit in combination with a softening of the heart and an opening of the eyes. No matter how desperately you desire to "fix" them and make their life more "Godly", it's not your job. If God can make the very mountains tremble at his name, then he most certainly  can shake a sinful person to their core.

I say this because I've had many times of experiencing this and it caused great pain and grief. It's so hard to watch someone make the same decisions over and over again. Maybe you have a friend who always seems to date abusive guys and try as you may, you constantly try to convince her to leave the relationship and pursue someone who truly has their best interest at heart. Maybe your friend even allows you to slip in a little gospel mention during these times. It's still ultimately her decision to return to the same personality type. This situation brings to mind Proverbs 26:11 which says "As a dog returns to it's vomit, so a fool repeats his folly".

Please pray for those people in your life that you know aren't walking an upright life. It doesn't matter if it's porn addiction, sex, drugs, chain smoking, alcohol or any other addiction, our Father can break those chains. He is capable of crushing our chains. Believe that he can set you free or whoever it is that comes to you mind. Weep for them. Intercede for them. Your not just twiddling your thumbs but are seeking your Father in heaven to intervene with their stronghold.

This brings me to another area that caused me such great pain and discouragement. When I was a younger Christian, my husband desperately wanted to be involved in some form of evangelical outreach even if it were just a simple bible study. So, here I was being presented with the reality that we were being elbowed (or so it felt that way for me) into holding a bible study in our little neighborhood. To say the least, I was not pleased with this. Numerous times I was told that we as Christians are expected to do outreach to the unsaved and that this type of event was normal. It wasn't normal for someone who spent most of their life cooped up and kept away from the harsh realities outside my front yard.

What may be "normal" for one Christian just might not be normal for the other. But at this time my husband was enthusiastic about the whole idea and I saw it as an opportunity to cook and play host to those who didn't know God. I really had no freaking clue what I was getting myself involved in. I wished that I had a time machine so that I could go back to the mere moments of saying yes to the bible study. Why? Because I would like to have kicked myself square in the ass. A boot to the rear would have saved me such pain and suffering. What I went through over the next two or so years, was some of the worst experiences of my life. I put myself out there to try and care for others and got used as if I were of little value. It's not a rarity for us to be treated badly, in fact we are told that we are going to be treated that way, thanks to knowing Christ.

I know I sound as if I'm trying to discourage outreach and involvement into ministry but in truth, I just want you to know exactly what you are getting involved in. This isn't some fairy tale where everything goes smoothly and perfectly. Probe your heart before you jump at the opportunity to get involved within a ministry. Do you have some baggage that perhaps needs to be dealt with beforehand? Do you just desire to find a group of people to fit into? Are you seeking praise and attention for your good deeds? Dig deep into your heart and ask God to reveal any false intentions or ideas. Take your time and see where God would lead you to be involved. And don't be discouraged if it takes awhile before God reveals to you where you should go because he may be prepping you during that time to deal with some nasty stuff in the near future.

And finally, my most recent revelation came from my new found hobby of gardening. This week I noticed that some of my squash plants looked rather sad and for some reason had stopped producing flowers. I leaned down to take noticed that there was some disgusting puree looking substance at the base of a few of them. I decided to sacrifice one just so that I could get a better view of what was going on inside. I split the plant open with my knife to discover a nasty fat caterpillar inside and that puree substance was in fact it's poop. So, I promptly inspected every squash plant and removed any plants that looked as though they were infected. I lost about four or five yellow squash plants and about 2-3 zucchini plants.

To say that I was crushed is an understatement. I think the final crushing blow was to read that instead of uprooting the plants, I could simply slice them open with a box cutter, remove the bug and then cover the slit with soil. I took a hearty look at my garden and just wanted to say "I Give Up!". My plants have been attacked by Volkswagen sized caterpillars, massive grasshopers exposed to chemical waste and voracious moths. I have worked so hard and all I wanted to do was provide food for my family and friends like that Proverbs 31 chick.

It was at that very moment I realized something so deeply important. Chris and I wanted to purchase a huge piece of property and start a Christian community that provides it's own sustenance as well as being able to sell off extra produce. If I just spent the money and ran into this venture without seeing what farming was really like, it would have been a total waste. Despite the size of my little garden it provides me with a harsh reality that farmers accept every single day. You never know what life will bring you. "Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you'll get". Boy, ain't that sure true. I learned a harsh lesson about squash growing but I did so in a small scale.

So my darlings, count those times as blessings! Those little painful moments are tough to swallow but God always allows for us to learn something.  Keep trudging forward in life because you never know what good might be just around the corner. 

1 Peter 4:12-13
"Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery trial when it comes upon you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. But rejoice insofar as you share Christ's sufferings, that you may also rejoice and be glad when his glory is revealed.

Romans 8:28
"And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose."

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Does God Really Know What He's Doing?

Sometimes, I can't help but wonder if the Lord knew what he was doing when he allowed me to get married and conceive three kids. See, I struggle with this because I don't have a past where I was trained for this. No, I was trained for something else but it wasn't wife or motherhood. I am the child of two ex-Army vets who have a hate-to-love and love-to-hate relationship. My childhood is made up of memories where I feared my parents wrath more than I respected or loved them. I don't remember being encouraged, receiving hugs, kisses nor a caring embrace.

I was the eldest and so more was piled on me. I did the washing, drying and folding of the laundry, cooked many meals, cleaned bedrooms, and was responsible for sweeping the hard floors and vacuuming the carpets. I honestly wonder if so much was put on kids back in the old days or maybe they had more. I just know that I felt more like a maid than a child growing up with normal responsibilities. And yet, despite all that I've gone through (see previous post), I am learning to be thankful that I suffered less than many other kids out there. I survived.

I feel so inept at being not only a wife but a mother. The memories I have are never of my parents loving each other with a Godly, deep passion but constant bickering, yelling, cursing, screaming, objects being thrown and full on tantrums. I bet you didn't know a full grown adult could through a tantrum, did ya? But I assure you, I saw quite a few. In my parents defense, I don't think they knew what it meant to be parents because they themselves didn't know what Godly parenting looked like. My mother was the daughter of an ex-Army father and stern mother. With my father, he was the son of an emotionless, non-affectionate ex-Navy father and a mother who was a singer at the Officers Club here in J'ville. Both my parents received a good portion of abuse and brought that baggage into marriage.

Awhile back, I believe it was a sermon or a video I was watching that touched on the topic of what they refer to as generational sin. To give you an idea, this is the same concept as the sin of Adam and Eve that still taints our human DNA many generations down the line. My grandparents had no freakin' clue what it meant to be parents, my parents had no idea and now here I am. But the speaker made an important realization which brought me some much needed comfort. Despite the sobering reality of generational sin, those of us covered by the blood of Christ are freed so that we can chose not to follow in the footsteps of our predecessors.

Get that? Despite being told that it's in our human nature to be or do something, we actually get the option to choose. For example, we choose what we are going to eat that day. We choose what to wear. It means that yes you will be tempted more than others. But are you on the front lines fighting, ignoring the incoming like a fool or cowering in the back? I have a choice not to abuse my children. I have a choice not to be like my parents or grandparents.

Now, I'm sure the imagery I give is that I hate my parents. In fact, I love my mom! She's been there when my husband didn't understand or "get me" as a person. Heck, I'd beat the hell out of anyone who messed with my momma - that's how much I love her. My father on the other hand is someone I keep at a distance because he still walks the same path he did when I was a kid. The only difference being that he can't strike me now that I'm older and married. I really lucked out when I ended up marrying a man who doesn't bully women nor physically abuse them.

Despite knowing that I don't have to give in doesn't make it come easier. I still end up yelling at my kids a few times during the week, get over stimulated by their energy, and get overwhelmed by their noise. And I'm sure one day when I'm old and gray I'll miss the conversations of my kids, but for now I really enjoy the silent moments to myself. I've even had to put the kids in their room just so I can take a deep breath and gather my thoughts. I know there are other women and men out there who are in the same boat I am. We have Christians who tell us that we just need to read the bible and it will fix us right up. Perhaps you've been the unhappy recipient that's been told you don't have a strong enough faith. How's that for bolstering your hope? Christians who have been Christians for so long, tend to forget that they didn't start out "perfect" and that they will never be "perfect" in their earthly bodies.

As someone who just started gardening, I feel the need to use a plant analogy here. Sanctification is very much like the growing of a seed. Seeds don't start out looking like anything really but rather an ordinary little thing. But over time as the germination process pushes on it sprouts roots that continuously grow until it reaches full maturity whereby it produces fruit. Sanctification, much like growing produce, doesn't produce fruit over night. I promise you that you ain't gonna wake up perfect after salvation nor any day after that. It takes a bucket load of patience and time for things to change. Yes, God can work miracles but in my experience it seems like God designed sanctification as a slow process. A process that allows us to undo our ways of thinking and become a true new creation.  How could we learn if not by going through the ebbing and flowing that is life?

From my view point, I think it's completely normal to have struggles. I'd think you were some kind of weirdo if you didn't at least have some small struggle each day. It's whether or not we fight or take flight. I promise you that you will still give in to those temptations. But you know what? God is there to help you grow a little stronger each day so that you can put up a bigger battle next time temptation presents itself.

Be sure to find someone you can confide in. I'm not talking about the person that you put on a facade for. I'm talking about the person who knows your a sinner but still loves you anyway. Join a supportive church and attend their local home/care group. Attend men's or women's accountability meetings. Email me or someone you trust to be honest with. Just don't sit there and allow your thinking to make you feel like your all alone in this. Your not alone - there are many out there just like you.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Where are we?

It's been a long time since I've wrote on my blog but have been so busy with life I haven't made myself be dedicated to site down and use this resource to help me vent and over come some of the things I've gone through since the last posting.

I'm still a very lucky mother to three children, Dominic (now 6), John Paul (now 4) and wee Princess Shiloh (now 2) who keep me very busy. I've taken on the scary massive task of homeschooling my eldest son and as of the end of this year, John Paul will join the ranks. There are certainly days when I'm tempted to put them both in public school and say, "To hell with the home school frustrations". But as someone who came out of the sludge that is the public school system, I think I'd like to keep my kids from being exposed to inappropriate content. On top of that, you never know when some disrespectful kid will come to school with a gun to "take down" the bullies. It's just not safe. Heck, I fear for the teachers themselves and the innocent children who are exposed to all that junk.

In November 2011, our family was walking down the road and three out of four of us avoided getting hit but John Paul was the one who ended up being fully ran over by an SUV. God was so merciful to watch out for my John Paul. In fact, if it wasn't for him falling just before the SUV ran over him, he would be most likely dead now. God has preserved this child's life, my other children and my life as well. In the blink of an eye he could have allowed almost an entire family to perish but didn't. Dominic and Shiloh sustained minor injuries to their knee's from falling but John sustained injuries from his back down to his knee's. What a strong kid he is! He's had numerous visits to our Pedatricians (Progessive Pediatrics), Urologist (Dr. Mark Barazza), Chiropractor (Dr. Alan Nathans) and a Pediatric Orthopedic Physician (Dr. Eric Shirley). He still has scar tissue on his back and left thigh but hopefully being a male means that he won't grow up and be vain about it. Here's hoping that he won't anyway.

Not too long after that Chris had to get an appendectomy because of some malfunctioning plumbing (teehee). It wasn't a long recovery but it was really a struggle for me because only month's prior my kids and self came very close to death. It certainly added onto the stress and inflamed my PTSD.

We then had a check up on Shiloh's heart to see if the patch had continued to hold and see how the valve was doing. We were given good news that in fact the patch was fine but that the valve still had a minimal leak and would need a follow-up in 2 more years. So, yay that she's good for now but the future is still so uncertain. Add another nail in my stress coffin because I know that 2 years down the road it could be a very real problem that we will have to face.

So, then not long after that I have a freakin' seizure. We had the ambulance take me to the E.R. at Baptist Downtown and discharge me within about 30 minutes. I was diagnosed with something called a "Pseudo Seizure". What the heck is that you wonder? It's a fake seizure that's real. Yeah, I didn't come up with the science nor the name. Supposedly, if you don't deal with your anxiety and get help, it will apparently manifest into a type of seizure. I was sent home with anti-nausea pills and instructions to see a therapist.

So, after a few more minor health sputters I get around to investigating PTSD. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. It's a mouthful, right? So, as if having ADD and OCD weren't bad, I get to add in a huge cupful of PTSD to my mental health repertoire. At that point, I'm just to the point of not caring if God takes me. Depression hits pretty hard and I'm to the point where I've already accepted the very real possibility that I'm gonna be a prescription druggie for the rest of my life. Why? Because people who have PTSD are told that they need strong drugs that they will most likely never come off of. The medical community is so darn POSITIVE and HAPPY! Never say never!

After doing some intense research (i.e. google - gotta love 'em!), I come upon numerous sites that seem to connect military and PTSD. Well, I'm not military, so they couldn't possibly be useful to me right? Wrong! I'm the kid of two ex-Army soldiers, so I know the lifestyle and mentality pretty freakin' well. The booze, women, drugs, sex, and porn addiction. Did I mention the booze and drugs? Okay! Well, I peruse a few websites and find commentary between soldiers. "I'd rather go have a few beers with men who have gone through what I've been through. Not sit in some office and talk some college kid whose knowledge comes from a book, not life experience. " That's me! Okay, that's me minus the nasty beer part. Foul yeasty smelling liquid. Yargh! But a light bulb came on and I realized that I didn't have the personality to do therapy. Ignore the fact that you have to pay about $50/$100 an hr just to yammer on about your malfunctioning mental health. Screw that! I had to find some alternative so that I could find a way to keep off the drugs while still functioning around the house. I got three kids to take care of so I can't pop some pill that might slow me down.

While I was shopping around for an alternative solution to PTSD, I came about the term "Horticulture Therapy". Oh, Lord, not another therapy to try and subdue us mentally damaged people. But the horticulture part intrigued me and after quite a bit of reading I decided that it must have merit if soldiers with PTSD are healing. The reality is that they are far worse off than I am. These guys go through hell and come out with both physical and mental scars that most doctor's don't really know how to handle. They've seen their brother's die right next to them and wonder why their brother died but they lived. It's really not fair for them to go through those kind of thoughts. I wish I could scoop them up like little kids and just hug each one, because it must be so hard for them. On top of that, many end up coming back to no girlfriend, lost friendships, and so much less than before they left. I might not be in the military but I'd buy those guys a beer any day, just so they knew there was someone out there that gave a damn.

I decided that if I couldn't afford to go to school and take classes on horticulture therapy, there had to be a way to emulate it. Usually, soldiers going through horticulture therapy have to physically be at a center for a period of time as they heal. I've got three kids, laundry to do, dishes to wash, a husband to be intimate with and other numerous crap loads of stuff going on. See? I can't just abandon all my responsibilities because of some malfunctioning circuit in my brain. So, I decided to take it in small steps and try a small bit of gardening. Now, the only gardening experience I have is from my parents making me walk through rows of squash and okra to harvest the veggies. Have you ever walked through rows of squash and okra? No? Let me enlighten you! It itches and hurts like crazy. No human in their right mind of child age wants to wear long sleeved shirts and pants in 90+ degree heat. Any bare skin that the spines on squash and okra touch, immediately itch for a good few hours. Yeah, learn from my experience and harvest the veggies yourself. Don't send a kid to do it! It's inhumane treatment, I tell you.

Oh yeah! I almost forgot! John Paul got a subpoena. We got to the court house to find out that it was in fact a big mistake on the part of whoever sends these things out. Because we all know a four year old is capable of understanding law. Yeah, so after going through a search of my bags, x-rayed, 2 bailiffs, and 1 police officer I'm asked if I'd like to stay and speak on John's behalf. Yeah, I want to speak on his behalf. I got a few colorful words I'd like to say to the man. But see, you can't cuss in court (that's a no-no) and I had an observant four year old child sitting at a table nearby as I spoke. So, I refrained from cussing the guy out for all he's worth and stuck to the plan of being calm and honest. I honestly wanted to find the nearest police baton and beat the living crap out of the guy until he apologized to John and our family for what he did. Okay, so I mentally envisioned beating the crap out of him while managing to "maintain". When you have children, you have to squash some desires of violence towards others while showing them what it means to be a God-fearing, law abiding parent. When the driver of the SUV got his chance to speak, I thought for sure he would apologize and admit he was speeding and in the wrong. Nope. In fact, he took the opportunity to lie to the judge and say that I was wearing black and that John Paul was in the road. His mother spoke up and said that she had never seen us walking my kids around the block before and that it was dark at night. I respectfully raised my hand, informed the judge that John was struck at approximately 6:23 and it was still very light out and that I was not wearing black. That it was only dark once the ambulance had drove away and the police filled out the report. They argued with the judge that they shouldn't have to pay the $250 because I had just received $50k in a settlement. I was so pleased with the judge because he pointed out that (A) the $50K had no matter in this particular case, (B) he wasn't giving him the maximum fine and (C) he could take the driver's course online at a library. Despite the attempts by the man to play the judge, he was officially sentenced a $250 fine and to do driver's ed. His mother and him, were so pissed off at us that not only one cop stood near us, but a bailiff and another police officer. When everything was over, one of the officer's pulled us to the side due to concern that him or his mom would try to harm us or start a fight. The whole event shook me and added to my growing stresses.

So, back to me becoming a gardener. Who would have thought I'd be willing to go through such vegetable trauma all over again? I can testify that within the first week, I felt different. A strange kind of different. I noticed that whereas in years prior I would have these merit-less fears of going places. I would sabotage any confidence before even getting close to the places where we normally went. Yet, one week after my gardening started I noticed that I would shove those thoughts away. "We can handle this. Let's do it!" Is that scientific evidence? Heck, no! But I've not sat in a chair blubbering about my past to some inexperienced college grad, nor am I on any psychedelic drugs. So, what other element could possibly have influenced this change? I'm truly convinced that it was gardening. At the time, I had even gone off every supplement except my normal chew-able vitamins.

I've found that I seem to be more at ease when actually doing the physical work involved in planting versus the up keep (i.e. watering and weeding). Something about the physical and mental focus needed to garden seems to bring healing. It really feels like I've thirsted for so long, searched out a source of refreshment and have fully come to a place where my thirst is quenched. God is moving in a way I can't explain.

Now about maybe three or four month's ago I decided to take time away from church. Okay, I decided to stop attending until I could get to a place where I could handle being around others who lived their lives as if nothing ever went wrong. Who knows, maybe they just shrugged their shoulders, plastered on a big smile and kept repeating that God was in control. Yeah, that doesn't work for me. I struggle and I'm hoping that I'm not the only one that struggles. I'm not perfect and only Christ is perfect.

As an example, I still struggle with my bisexual or same-sex tendencies. There's just the very real reality that sex with a female is different then it is with a guy. I don't know how to put it in words, it just is. If I could try to define the difference, I would say with females it's more about comfort and feeling safe whereas with males they are more sexually aggressive and dominant. Heck, the truth is that words just can't describe the difference. I wish I could just come up with some great definition but I can't. I will say that being molested by a female at the tender age of 6, then sexually assaulted at about 9-10 by a grown male and then sexually assaulted again by a male at age 17, has left it's awful mark on me. I have come to recognize that I have no love feelings towards female's but I'd rather use them and lose them for my own pleasure. I vaguely recall my male cousins and Uncle's having that attitude towards women. That sex was their intended purpose, as well as child bearing and getting their man a sammich and beer. Dignity and respect are what men expect for themselves but not their female companion. If you doubt that belief, just notice the surplus of porn sites, videos, movies, stores and of course, the all mighty strip club. It's a good thing that God tells us we are cherished for more than our sexual parts because males tend to not say that, nor manifest that belief in their daily life.

One of my biggest temptations happened a few years back when an acquaintance of mine cheated on her husband with a female. At the time, her husband said it wasn't as big of a deal because it was a female and not a male. Two other male's agreed as well. In my little head I started to ponder the reality that if I returned to sex with women then it would be okay. Maybe I could get away with sex just once more with a female, because males viewed it as not really that bad. If they only knew what temptations their earthly views caused. I really had set about the idea that if I had the opportunity to do it just once more, I might go for it. I'm glad that I ignored their earthly thinking and focused on God's view point. Proverbs 26:11 says, "As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his folly." Have you ever tasted vomit? Of course you have, most people have up-chucked at least once in his/her life. Remember that disgusting, retched, acidic taste? I was tempted for a small period to return to a life that I now equate to that. God prevented me from returning to that even though people around me claimed that it wasn't "as bad as". I'm still not free from my temptations and still occasionally give into them mentally. But I always return to God knowing that his love isn't based on how good or bad I am but how good he is. How powerful Christ death and resurrection was.

Well, here's hoping that I become diligent in my blogging. I know I'm not the only person out there with a multitude of crap going on inside them so maybe something I blog will help them as I'm healing.

Friday, April 8, 2011

April 2011 Deals @ Native Sun

Upcoming Native Sun Events:

Saturday, April 9th - Local, Raw Foods Samples
Saturday, April 16th - Native Plant Sale & Free Bold Bean Coffee Samples
Saturday, April 23rd - 10% OFF All Groceries
Saturday, 30th - Local, Grass-Fed BBQ

Non-Coupon Deals:

Tree of Life All-Natural Cage Free Eggs $1.89 doz

Botanical Interest Organic Seeds 10% Off

Wild Planet Low Mercury Canned Tuna BOGO ($1.88 a can)

Coupon Deals:

Organic Valley Organic Butter 16oz $4.99
- $1.00/1 HERE
= $3.99

Rudi's Organic Double Fiber Bread 24oz $3.79
- $1.00/1 HERE
= $2.79

Seventh Generation 2x Free & Clear Laundry Detergent 100oz $13.99
- $1.50/1 HERE
= $12.49

Alexia Yukon Gold Hashed Browns 16oz $2.59
- 1.00/1 HERE
= $1.59

Cascadian Farms Organic Frozen Fruit 10oz 2/$7
- $.75/1 HERE
= $2.75

Country Choice Organic Sandwich Cookies $2.49
- 1.00/1 HERE
= $1.49