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The power of love

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I have made a list of every way Adam has shown me to date, that he is still with me, with all of us. Those of us who knew him, know he was never afraid to love, to protect those he loved, and to express it openly, so everything I’m sharing probably will not come as any surprise.

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The second before Adam took his last breath, I saw a gold light, as if it was right behind my forehead. I remember he was looking at something beautiful. I climbed on him, looked right into his eyes, and I saw it. This glow, contained so much love I cant put it into words without crying for joy. I’ve called it love-light since then. I dont know if it was him as he was passing through me on his way out, or if he was showing me what he saw. But that was his last “I love you.” At least I thought it would be.

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24 hours after he died, he spoke to me in my head. I was picking out his funeral clothes, and planned on bringing just his red button up shirt, because he had no slacks, and the funeral home said they had some donated slacks that would fit him. As I was leaving with his red shirt, he started pinging my head, he was very serious about me bringing his black jeans. he was being so obnoxious that I had to laugh at myself and I told him outloud, “OK FINE, I will bring your black jeans.” i went back and got his black jeans, and when i got to the funeral home i knew why he wanted them so bad. the donated slacks they had him in were these wooly old green things from world war two, lol…..

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3 days after he died, I was asleep in our bed and just waking up, and he brushed against my foot. In life, this was quite a common occurrence because our bedroom opening was so small, and inevitably one of us would brush against the other no matter how hard we tried not to wake up the other when the bladder called. Im so comforted by that small action, because in order for him to have brushed up against my foot as he was “getting out of the bed”, he had to have been laying behind me.

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A week after he died, he was comforting his mother, rubbing her shoulders as she sobbed.

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The day of his funeral, as his grandmother watched it live on Facebook from several states away, he sat beside her on her couch, causing the couch to have an indentation where his butt was, she also felt him rubbing her back, and knew he was trying to comfort her.

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3 days after his funeral when it was my moving day, he put the trailers slide-out back in. The slide out had been broken for 4 years, but when it was time to put it back in, it began running and working normally. This required hundreds of pounds of pressure through an electrical system that had been destroyed by flooding in 2013.

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That same day, he turned the hitch lift on, again this system was destroyed in 2013 by the flood, not even a direct battery jump with cables could start this thing, yet it came right on when it was time to move. I also felt him in my hands as I put my hands on the wheel of our truck and backed it up to the trailer. I got the hitch hooked while backing up on the first try, that is something neither of us was ever capable of doing when he was alive.

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Just the complete lack of problems on my travel from Missouri to Virginia, and the freaking odds, the synchronicity of running into our high school classmate Lin Doak (Little Ozzy) in Knoxville. Adam had always said that if Lin’s band had made its way to the St. Louis area, we would catch his show. As I was driving through Knoxville, I happened to catch the radio ad for his one night only performance there in town that was starting JUST as I was driving through that area, so of course I stopped and went to the concert. I rocked my ass off for 3 hours, and knew Adam was right there with me.

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The first evening I was at my mothers house, trying to settle in, still in shock from everything, he appeared in full apparition standing at the foot of my bed. My mom had just left the room. We had been looking at all of his photos, and she told me she knew Adam was the only man I ever truly loved. When I saw him, I only saw him for a split second, but it was enough, and I cried so hard but I needed to do that…

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I went hiking my third day in Virginia, to beautiful Belle Isle in Richmond. The river was so high it was white water, but I still decided to walk the tops of the boulders, right over the water, and get a good view. I felt Adam walking right behind me and in my feet. I knew without a doubt where to step on the rocks in order to be safe.

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Thse first few nights at moms, for about two weeks, he was turning on the lights, lighting the electric candle. Soon as I would step in the room, blink, it would come on. I knew he was welcoming me home.

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Not long after the candle-lighting began, the psychic medium John Edward channeled him on a live facebook video. Thousands of people were watching and commenting at lightening speed, but some how he saw my one line comment, and spoke to me about the things Adam was doing to show me he is still around and that nothing had changed, except he was now out of his sick body and able to do all these things he had always wanted to do before (like fix the electric slide out and the electric hitch).

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Just a day before the one month mark, Adam sent out a mental message to 16 different people who knew us, all at once, urging them to contact me, because he had to tell me something big was going to happen that day. Some of those 16 said they didnt know why, but they felt very strongly that Adam wanted to remind me that he loved me and that he was still with me, and some flat out gave me personal messages from him with information that they could not have known without him telling them after he died, but all had the undertone of “somethings coming, be ready”. As it turned out, the new husband of our friend passed away that day without any warning. Adam knew that her sudden loss would retrigger my own feelings of hopelessness and remind me of my sudden loss. He wanted me to know that he was right there with me before I got the phone call.

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One Sunday when I was at church feeling disconnected from everything, I asked him to give me a message, I wanted to know if he still loved me, felt me, needed me, because in my current state I was so hurt I could not feel him. Being so lost without him, my brain felt like it was burning, at that time, I had constant headaches…he opened the bible to Song of Solomon 6:3, “I am my lover’s and my lover is mine.” I gave a yelp of love, and my headache vanished.

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Not long after that, I went hiking just before dusk. There was a couple with a large, unleashed dog coming out of the woods just as I was going in, and I felt a twinge of anxiety about this dog. I love dogs, but I was mauled by one in childhood, so I do have that fear. Instantly, Adam was with me. I saw him out of the corner of my right eye for a split second, and he was nose to nose with this dog, petting it, smiling and telling the man “Nice dog”, and then he caught up with me, and by that time I was under the trees, and didnt see him. But it was enough… and that time you could tell, he was SO healthy and full of life! All the pain, worry, fear, regret, anything and everything that could’ve weighed him down in life, was gone.

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7 weeks after he was gone, he appeared in a photo. I still use it as my facebook profile picture. His face shows up inside the black shirt hes wearing in the background framed photo that Im leaning against. As I was about to snap that picture, I had just thought how awful it felt to have to take a picture alone, without him in it, my heart was breaking, I so wanted him to be in it with me like all our pictures. He responded by showing up. Of course his ghost appearance is wearing shades and he’s got that Adam Carr smile, the one where you know…he’s privy to stuff we don’t yet know..he had that look on his face in life. No matter what, you just knew that he knew ‚̧

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About one week ago, he lowered the rails at a train crossing in order to protect me from an oncoming idiot driver. No train in sight, the ding-ding-ding-ding alarm had just gone off, the rails had dropped and I just had to wait for 5 minutes. I could almost feel Adam standing in the road in front of the truck, looking at me saying “Just wait….” and when the rails finally lifted, out comes this driver coming at me from behind some trees, going way to fast, swerving all over. I would’ve hit that guy.

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Two nights ago I dreamed of him, he spoke to me. I woke up knowing he will always love me, always protect me and show me the truth.

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Knowing Adam, I know he feels that connection to everyone he knew and loved. If you knew him and he changed your perspective on life, even if you only knew him for a day, he has probably checked up on you. I am so touched by the people who have messaged me, who tell me how he got them to believe in their self, to choose to not give up, to be courageous and live their dreams, to fight for whats right, to find the good, not because its in everything, but because even though its in everything, it’s so hard to find.. That is a force of love that death can’t stop.

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Editing August 15, 2017 to add the incident at work last night.

I was at work tonight and we had a lady come in, quite explosive and angry about a sandwich made wrong. She was extremely loud, screaming for a solid 5 minutes threatening the person who made her sandwich. She had already gotten her refund and new food to replace the food that was made wrong, and by this time she was just staying around to be belligerent. All of us were a bit rattled, and wanting to help break the tension. We really wanted her to just finish her rant and go away, but instead she was getting closer and closer to jumping over the counter and attacking the sandwich maker. That’s where Adam stepped in.

One of my coworkers had made a large cup of vanilla frosty and then immediately put it on top of the frosty machine (because after it was made the customer decided they wanted chocolate, go figure), and then she walked away to take care of some other things, we were very busy. No one was within range of touching the cup, the machine, or even the wall near the machine. And SWOOP, cup is picked up and does a fantastic somersault, and splat goes the frosty contents on the floor. This was witnessed by the whole crew and by a few people in the lobby including this woman who was screaming. Then almost immediately after, FLIP, goes a whole pile of paper take out bags from the shelf. One of my coworkers is a younger female, she is getting freaked by the second burst of objects being tossed. She said “What is going on in here tonight?” I’m standing calm and not saying anything, of course. I know its Adam defusing this woman from becoming a bomb and hurting someone. Then, a tall stack of plastic cups falls over, off the counter and into the lobby next to this woman. The woman stops her ranting and yells “This place is haunted, fuck THIS, I am outta here”.

Crisis over.

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The throat energy center

bluethroatThe throat energy center deals with expression in every form. There are two sides to expression. Giving and receiving.

Giving is when we send energy out to others. We do that by speaking, writing, singing, playing an instrument, building with our hands, building with the mind, dancing, even in how we dress ourselves. Expression leaves behind solid proof of its existence. Think about how many times every day we send energy out to others. The ability to send comes from the root. It takes confidence, independent behavior, and personal strength to express yourself with honesty. That’s half the picture.

The other half, is receiving energy back. Anyone who reads what an author has written, hears what a musician has composed, played, and recorded, reflects on a painting or form of any kind created by an artist, admires the integrity of a newly made building – is sending energy back to the one who designed it, the one who birthed it. Unlike the material solidarity of the created work, energy sent back to the creator has no solid proof of existence. It does not exist in the 3rd dimension. Its 4th and 5th dimensional, transcending higher as we evolve. This is the ability of the crown of the soul.

Sometimes when we give, we end up feeling drained. Kind of like no one is giving back to us. For whatever reason, we feel safer in the thought that love is not present, so we block out the presence of the unseen, unheard energy sent back to us. This feeling can accompany being spiritually drained, losing your desire to create, and can develop into apathy, numbness, the need for physical proof or its not real. That feeling is real, but we are never alone, even when we want it to be.

In the same manner, the creator can adore the spiritual feedback so much that they get high on the presence of love. The mind expands to allow the unseen and unheard to activate all of the senses, and the senses blend, you feel connected to everything and everyone, the Oneness becomes euphoric. That feeling of Oneness is real, but we are never completely One.

So we learn lessons of love, taught by the self, through daily expression.

Spiritual Q&A

Yesterday I began a video blog so that I can have a much needed Q&A with people who have sent me questions on various spiritual topics. I printed them all up and have them in my lap at the moment. There is enough for 10 episodes of just Q&A ūüôā

Teaching metaphysics , I’ve done that for years. My aunt and grandmother before me, did that for years. Having this opportunity to reach out in this media form, is humbling. It strikes many chords in this open soul. No matter what the topic of discussion is, I would like for people to walk away from me knowing that we continuously learn to love others. That is the entire purpose of living. There are some people who take what someone says as gospel, that scares me. There is a healthy need to dive into the unseen, unreached corners of your world, to question everything.

If you would like to submit a question of a spiritual nature in a future episode, contact me on www.facebook.com/cjb1970

Tunnel Vision

A year ago, Adam had a stroke after surviving hypothermia, during a flash flood in the dead of winter. Since then, he has struggled daily to eat. The stroke left him weak on the left side of his entire body and caused his throat to partially collapse. I’ve watched him slowly dwindle away over the past 12 months. For the last three months Adam was very sick. Dropping weight much faster and unable to eat at all, he became so weak and frail that I was able to pick him up, despite him being half a foot taller than me. He couldn’t shower or dress alone. I didn’t know it but, I was doing more than lifting him up in my arms. I was carrying his spirit with me. He was dying. Unable to feed himself, losing precious nutrients and struggling to breathe, he couldn’t recharge his own life force. As his partner, I began to channel my own energy into him. The sicker he got, the stronger my focus became, until keeping him alive became so much of a focus it turned into tunnel vision.

Something in me had been set in motion. It was like life support. I went to work, but a part of me stayed home with Adam. I went to sleep, but part of me stayed awake, because he couldn’t sleep. If I did see flashes of energy, it was always somehow connected to his organs. There was constant cleansing going on, but never enough. Then around the middle of January, everything came to a head. Like a big puss blister, the filth that was killing him emerged.

January 15th he asked me to take him to the ER. He had been extremely thirsty for a month, so much that I wondered if he could be diabetic. He had been coughing up fluid and struggling to breathe for about a week, and then vomiting without any nausea those last two days. His whole body violently shook, as if he would convulse any moment. His skin turned grayish yellow. He was immediately taken back, assessed, and the ER doctor sent him to get a chest x-ray and a CT scan of his abdomen. The news was the worst. The doctor told him he would die soon. He had pneumonia, pancreatitis, colitis, was in heart failure, having a heart attack. All of the organs in his abdomen were already shut down. He was expected to die during the night, within hours.

For some reason, we were both very calm when we got that news. Adam, shaking so bad he could barely sit up, told the doctor in emaciated, short breaths “I’m not going to die.” It was in his eyes. Despite everything, a small light. The hospital staff recognized that light. They wanted him to live as much as he did. As much as I did.

In less than 2 hours, he was admitted to the ICU, started on fluids and given insulin by IV, because his pancreas had shut down. He had an 800 blood sugar. They started him on two IV antibiotics, because his white blood cell count was extremely high. They gave him an injection of heparin in his abdomen. His vitals stabilized, but were showing signs of severe cardiac distress. His heart and lungs, still filled with fluid, were now trying to do the job of everything in his body. Even his brain stopped working like it should have. Sometime around 1 am, he started talking gibberish, randomly putting words together to make a sentence. I could see in his eyes, he knew very clearly what he was trying to say, but what was coming out made no sense. “Did we win?” “December mirage 12.” “78 omelet taco.” He told me about seeing two people in the corner of the ICU room – a woman and a man. No one was physically there, but I do not doubt he saw two people who were watching and waiting for him. Adam had one foot in this world and the other in the next. He had a choice – to be at peace and cross over, or to live and fight a great fight. Either way, those angels were there for him, and they stayed there all night.

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At around 2 am, he couldn’t talk anymore. He mumbled, sticking out his tongue and rolling it around. He was still clearly thinking. His eyes told me that he was still in there, so despite his actions, I wasn’t afraid for him. To be honest, I was completely calm. This was like watching the end, and then a rebirth. Like watching a caterpillar transform into a butterfly. It made me think about what goes on inside a butterfly’s cocoon… it’s safe for a time, hidden from the world, but then the time comes for great change. How it must hurt for soft tissue to transform into knuckled appendages…to grow wings and antennae, in the muck and mucus that is feeding you when you are trapped, unable to breathe. It is a process that must be so painful…agonizing, but necessary for the morphing creature within the shell to unfold, break free, breath new air in new lungs, to be more aware of its place in the world, and then escape. It was like that for Adam, and I think on some level, he was aware of everything.

For a few hours between 2 am and 6 am, Adam completely lost his regal, philosophical, musically talented, culturally enriched, and beautiful mind. I kept a vigil as he lost the words to communicate. He kept his eyes on me, until his body slipped into a coma at about sunrise January 16th. This was the time for his rejuvenation. Ultimate rest, for the shedding of the killing filth. I dozed off on the couch in his room when his eyes closed, and slept two hours.

At around 8 am, the ER staff came up to the ICU and quietly checked in on my sleeping beloved. They were amazed at his strength. One woman cried tears of joy with me. Even as he still slept, we both knew Adam had new life. During his deep sleep, his organs started working again. One that first day, his pancreas started to work, then his liver, then his kidneys, stomach, and finally his intestines.

He started talking and making sense at around 9 am. His vitals, and consistent blood tests showed a one step forward, two steps back kind of progress. Blood sugars came down on their own, and then went up, and then down again. His liver enzymes came down, and went up again, and came back down. His white blood cell count was coming down, blood pressure starting coming down, pulse came down, and by midday, the urge to urinate (not in a bottle but in a toilet) miraculously got him up. Through it all, the nurses kept a vigil, giving heparin, insulin now “as needed”, and changing the IV bags of fluid and antibiotics. He was able to eat and keep down a clear liquid diet on the second day, and then full liquids, and then he started to feel hunger, and wanted to eat solids. He asked to be weighed, wondering how much weight he had lost in the past year. He weighed in at 133. That means he lost 56 pounds. I remember walking the ICU halls that day, looking for a nurse to fix an IV occlusion that I couldn’t fix, passing by patients in those other rooms…my mind registered that they all had one eerie¬†thing in common with Adam. Their skin was grayish yellow.

By this time, his progress became lightening fast. By the end of the second day in ICU, his pancreas was working at 100% without insulin, his liver was working at about 80%, his skin was quickly returning to a normal hue, and he was transferred to a recovery room on the 4th floor where he would stay until discharged.

While on the 4th floor, Adam received three “banana bags” of vitamins and minerals. The IV antibiotics were continued until the last minute on his last day (January 20th), just to make sure the bacteria that caused his pneumonia was completely obliterated. His liver enzymes slowly came down. By day 3 he was asking to be wheeled outside for some fresh air. By day 4, he was walking the hospital floor at least three times a day. and by day 5 when he was discharged, he was walking every few hours or so around the clock.

 

When he was being discharged, the ER staff again came up to meet him, and shake his hand. For Adam, this was the first time he remembered seeing them since he was in their care. I don’t know how to say thank you for saving his life. To the dr’s, nurses, the people who prayed for him like warriors, some of them our friends and family, and some who don’t even know him personally. That to me is the sign of true love – to give without condition or expectation. The miracle continues, as he is now eating, with a vigorous appetite, able to swallow much better now than he has in a year, and he’s regaining weight. He was given extra time. We were given extra time. Here’s to new life…

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Love them – thats a pretty simple command

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There was a time, not too long ago, when I would reread that verse and say in prayer, “Dude, You have got to be kidding me.” Because how could I do anything without grumbling? I was so hurt. I felt so used and betrayed.

Allowing God to shine through you is something supernatural that happens naturally, when you’re looking at life through Heaven’s eyes. ¬†As people, we get our feelings hurt. We like to place other people into social molds, here on Earth. ¬†We need measurement and approval to know worth and value. ¬†As children of God, we know our Worth, and that forgiveness, healing, and salvation is equally available to everyone. That being said, as children of God, we don’t have to live in fear of being sized up according to our physical limitations, or of where we live, what we drive, what we do to pay the bills, how we’re dressed, and we don’t have to live in fear of loving others – no matter their social status or limitations. Love is given to us equally. To give love equally, we just have to be a little brave, and see beyond what the world sees. It’s OK to do that.

Don’t worry. Every now and then, you’re still going to get hurt and disappointed. ¬†People will still not trust you, and occasionally will act out in ways that remind us of our differences, but we’re still all loved equally.

Hope for the birds in the ‘Doves Nest’

I never went to a rehab center, but it wasn’t because I shouldn’t have. It’s because no one knew there was a need. Not even when I needed it most. I saw the segment on this bible study I’ve been doing for a month, and I want you ladies to know, you’re always on my mind. ¬†You’ve probably heard the reference to the Bible verse many times by now (Matthew 6:25-30), about how God loves everyone, and He provides what ever we need – He even protects and provides for the sparrow, such a tiny creature that seems insignificant and overlooked by people, but never by their Creator. ¬†That was how I felt when I was doing drugs. Insignificant and overlooked by people, and I couldn’t trust God enough to see Him as my Creator back then.

As women, we’re raised to be the nurturing half of a family. ¬†We’re expected to put our feelings last, and that to think of ourselves before anyone else is a sin. ¬†That’s a recipe for disaster, especially when you’re raised in a home where addiction is the quick escape to your miseries. ¬†I was drinking hard liquor by the time I was 14 and smoking dope by that age, and doing it daily by the time I was a junior in high school – and still performing great in all my classes, so no one had a clue. ¬†I’m pretty shocked now, as I look back, being a mother now of three daughters, that even though I was also – at that tender age – dating multiple sexual partners and enjoying every minute of it, that no one thought that might be a silent scream for help as well. I shouldn’t be too shocked, after all, no one knew that I was being raped when I was in preschool by my uncle either. No one cared when I tried to kill myself at age 17, because for some reason the 32 pills I swallowed had no affect on my body. ¬†I simply took about a 2 hour nap, and woke up with a headache I’ll never forget as long as I live. I swear I could hear my grandmother on Mom’s side, talking to me as I woke up, telling me that I was going to be alright and that she was watching over me, telling me she understood how I felt and that she had carried those same burdens when she was my age. She died when I was 11.

I just wanted to tell you all at the Dove’s Nest, that I’m praying for your recovery and your future, and for the past to be just that – a part of you that has passed, and left there. You shall overcome, because God is molding you into a Greater Being, taking the worst and creating cornerstones for a well rounded individual with a heart of gold, who can stand up against any evil knowing you are never without Jesus Christ.

I don’t know if any of you ladies are from the South (capitalized cause, it’s an attitude we have), but this song by Dolly Parton, recorded many years back when George Bush Sr was still President, for 20 years has given me so much hope.

Your friend in Tennessee, Carolyn.

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Becoming a “foster parent”

In every situation, God speaks to us. That’s what I find, anyway. ¬†It’s the littlest things, you know? Where grace can be easily found, if you are willing to just do what God puts in your heart. ¬†Sometimes that takes a little courage. It may be especially scary when times are tough and finances, food, and everything you have is in such small amounts. The good news is, all you need is a big heart. God will provide all of our needs when we put our faith and trust in Him (Matthew 6:25-26).

5 days ago, we received some very sad news about some friends of ours who we had not seen in about 8 months. A married couple. ¬†They were our neighbors when we lived in that campground, just ten feet from us. We shared meals together every day, spent time in each others homes every day, and our dogs became best friends, despite both of their breeds (Chihuahua and Jack Russell) making each territorial and dominant. ¬†Our friends became very lost after we moved….they separated, and recently got back together, except during the course of their split, the woman had become a meth addict, even cooking it herself. Her husband took her back knowing that, and within just 3 days of her return, they were busted for making meth, right there in their tiny trailer home.

My husband and I were both shocked. ¬†Everyone we knew from that campground was texting us or contacting us on Facebook to tell us the news. The sheriff, fire department, haz mat team had come, had taken the mans truck, tools, trailer, ripping out all their belongs, hosing down the couple, burning a great deal of things. It was very scary. I’m a little glad I wasn’t there to see it. ¬†Once we got over the shock of the news, both my husband and I immediately thought “What about their dog?” What had happened to her? ¬†Where was she? God was putting a thought in both our hearts: Help Shotzi.

I started asking around. It turns out that at the time of the bust, one of the neighbors there in the campground acted very quickly and grabbed the Jack Russell ¬†mix while the house was being stripped and the couple was being arrested, so she wasn’t in the pound. ¬†She couldn’t keep the dog because she can’t even afford to pay her rent and feed herself. I immediately drove the 45 minute trip to where we used to live and picked up Shotzi. I was worried about bills on the way. Worried about gas money, about the long wait til the next pay day when I could stock the fridge and pantry. ¬†I was listening to K-LOVE, the radio station my car radio stays on 24/7. The female DJ was talking between songs about how, no matter what the situation is in your life right now, God is the Great Provider. I needed that reminder! I knew everything would some how be OK and that this was what God wanted us to do. All we had to do was answer the call, and trust in the process and give it to Him.

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When I first saw her, she immediately remembered me, even though we hadn’t seen her in 8 months! She greeted me with a thousand licks. She was visibly shaken. Her eyes echoed the loss and confusion of not knowing what was happening, why she lost her family. Unlike her normal self, she was docile and malaise. I knew it was from exposure to the meth fumes. It had been 3 days at that point. ¬†During our ride home, I talked to her as if she could talk back to me. I told her how sad I was to hear about what had happened, and how I knew her family could find some peace knowing that she would be staying at our home for how ever long they couldn’t be with her, even if that meant years. I know Shotzi knew I was there to help her. She gratefully crawled in my lap as I drove home, wanting nothing more than to be as close as she could to something she knew was safe.

When I got us home to our little trailer, she recognized it immediately, running up the steps to our door. She saw Adam and instantly rushed to him, giving her whimpers and woofs and chirping barks, telling him everything that had happened in the last few days. Her expression said “Ohhhhh my God, you would not believe what all has happened! You don’t smell the same but I don’t care!”

Lick-lick-lick-lick-lick-lick-lick.

Michi, our chihuahua was thrilled to have his girlfriend back. He seemed to understand without any explanation, that she was going to be a part of our little family, for however long she needed to be.

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I bathed her really good as soon as we got her settled in, to get the meth fumes off of her. They seeped from her skin for a few hours more, but by morning, she was smelling like a Jack Russell, using the bathroom normally and eating and drinking water normally, bouncing up and down, excited to go for walks and play fetch.

The first morning, waking up with her, I caught the most beautiful moment on camera, as Shotzi and Michi both seemed to share a deep conversation with Adam, who was still waking up.

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I think I know what Shotzi was saying. She was saying “Thank you.” Michi was saying “Dad, get up so I can have your nice, warm spot.” And thats what Michi did, as soon as Adam sat up.

We pray for our friends, that they will somehow find the healing they need through all that has happened.  We know the good they are capable of, and that everyone gets lost, and everyone makes mistakes.  I hope they can find peace knowing Shotzi is safe.

Giving comfort when the miracle doesn’t come

My story is not anything powerful or life changing. I’m a Christian who does not go to church. I’m not religious. I started this bible study because I don’t fit in anywhere, but I do know I need fellowship, and I would love it if it was with other Christian women, even if they do look at me like I’m a freak. I was a stay at home homeschooling mother of 4 children, who taught sunday school at church and vacation bible school, until 2 years ago when my (now ex) husband threw me out of our home after 17 years of marriage. ¬†Although I never lost my faith in God, I did feel a lot like Job. I never imagined anyone could hurt that much. God showed me different.

I’m a barista at a Starbucks kiosk inside of a major corporate grocery store. We’re open from 6 am to 9 pm everyday. Last night, at 9:20 pm, after me and the other closing employee finished closing up the Starbucks and as we were walking together to clock out and go home, we ran into an older woman who came in the grocery store with one sole intention – to get a Starbucks White Mocha Latte.

You could tell she had been crying. She was visibly WIPED…and when she saw that we were not only closed but getting ready to walk out, she started to sob, again. ¬†I calmly asked her what kind of drink she wanted, and she went into detail and said her son wanted a White Mocha, 120 degrees, no whip. ¬†She also told us that he was dying in the hospital right across the street. ¬†I don’t know if she meant he was dying that night or dying slowly, but I didn’t care. ¬†I looked at the other barista and looked at her, and knew God was asking me to go back, reopen the kiosk, reassemble the espresso machine and dirty up quite a few machine parts just to make this one drink. ¬†The other barista (the wife of a pastor) didn’t give me any verbal exchange, she just walked out the door. ¬†I told the woman, “I’ll do it.”

I went back, reassembled the espresso machine and white mocha pump and made her a Venti White Mocha, 120 degrees, no whip, and made her the Venti Dark roast coffee she asked for when we got there (having to grid fresh coffee for a pour over, since the pots were already washed and broken down). ¬†She didn’t go into much detail, but she broke down several times in those 5 minutes. I held her as I walked her over to the cash register in the grocery check out aisle so she could pay, since our register was already closed for the night.

She kept asking me why I went out of my way to reopen and make the drinks, did I know what it was like to watch my child die? ¬†I told her about my youngest child who lives with Type 1 Diabetes and how its almost killed her 7 times in her 12 years, but that no, I still had no idea what it was like. I had lost my four children in a custody battle, and in losing them, I grieved as if they had all died, because they were my entire life, but no I didn’t know what it was like…I didn’t have to know, all I knew was this mother was going to lose her precious child soon…probably a man who was the same age as my husband and myself. ¬†And that his dying wish was for something I could actually give him, and in doing so, bring some comfort to hopefully him and his mother, who wanted him to be out of pain and healed of the cancer.

Re-closing and rewashing twice in one night, and leaving a little bit later than normal, is worth being able to give comfort to someone who’s heart is breaking, ¬†especially when the miracle they want doesn’t come. #YesToGod

Happy Easter To My Children

ImageLast year was the first post-divorce Easter. It used to be my favorite holiday because one of my children has a birthday right before it and one has one right after. It was much harder last year than today, although I still can’t bring myself to celebrate the rising of my Lord and Savior.¬† I‚Äôve had two years now to adapt to parental alienation and to life – as if there is one – without my four children.

He may have won custody, and he may keep us from contacting each other, but he can never replace me with a new girlfriend or new family traditions.  I know that now. I guess that’s what I didn’t know last year, and since I can’t be with my children today or hear their voices, I decided to honor them by remembering our family traditions.

  • Waking up to squeals of delight as children found their Easter baskets at sunrise.
  • Homemade French toast and syrup for breakfast.
  • Dying boiled eggs and hiding them for the kids to find.
  • Making deviled eggs and tuna salad sandwiches from the ‚Äúfound‚ÄĚ eggs.
  • Visiting family or calling them on the phone.
  • Blowing bubbles outside in the sunshine
  • Looking for new four-leaf clovers, and finding caterpillars and budding flowers
  • Watching old Bible story movies.

To Amanda, Kaitlyn, Austin, and Katerina:

Mommy loves you all. You keep on growing. Develop your own opinions. They have merit. You will always be my babies. Nothing your father can do will ever change my love for you. Enjoy today. We will see each other and speak to each other on the first Saturday of the month, like every month, when we will have Easter on April 6th, and celebrate two of your birthdays.

Her Final Gift

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Grandma, circa 1945

On a humid Alabama day in July of 2010, my 87 year old grandmother had a severe stroke.¬† She had been suffering for the last few months with lung cancer, having never smoked a day in her life. I remember thinking that her lung cancer was unfair, especially since she was already a 40 year survivor of breast cancer. I also remember praying that her end would be merciful. Her father had ‚Äústroked out‚ÄĚ in the same manner she did, only he lived 2 years afterwards, and his long wait for freedom was agonizing. As it turned out, God was gracious enough to take my grandmother in 17 days.

¬†She¬†didn’t¬†know it, but during that time, she gave the family by her side a priceless treasure. ¬†There was a unique family reunion in what was by then, her death room. My aunt and I took shifts, watching over her as she transitioned with one foot in this world and the other already in the next. ¬†She would occasionally come to, and want to see or speak to certain members of the family. She had important things to say to all of us. The most special moments to me were when she called on family members who were already with her on the other side.

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Me and Grandpa right before his sudden death

¬†The majority of my deceased family had passed on some 30 years before, before I was a teenager. It had been a long time since I had been in their company.¬† Some had passed on when I was an adult, but I¬†didn’t¬†get to know them the way she did. None of them got to know my own children, so it made the reunions that much more special.

Most of these ascended conversations would take place for a few minutes right before sunrise. I remember the air would somehow change right as the sun would crest outside the window, and on more than one occasion her talks¬†wouldn’t¬†be finished, and she would call out to that person, as if suddenly they were gone. I would smile through silent tears and say, ‚ÄúIt‚Äôs OK, Grandma. He‚Äôll be back.‚ÄĚ She spoke to her husband, her brother, friends, in-laws, a nephew…the one person she¬†didn’t¬†seem to get to speak to for some reason, that she asked for repeatedly, was her own mother.

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My great-grandparents

My father told me that as soon she gave her last breath, the front screen door opened and shut. My aunt tells me she had a look of peace. She was surrounded by love, in her own home. I can’t think of a more peaceful way to go…

I like to think that when her spirit walked out the front door, that her mother, who she so longed to be with,  was walking her out and taking her to meet Jesus, who she loved her whole life.

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