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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

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