Maybe, Just Maybe

Four years. 

At first I thought that my actions insured the consequence of my having to rely solely on myself to survive. I believed that getting a divorce meant God could (or would) not bless me, support me, or assist me, but then he caused things to fall into place (behind the scenes) when I would run into obstacles, enabling me to overcome and move forward.
Because of these occurrences, I adjusted my thinking to accept that God allowed the rain to fall on the just and the unjust – But there was something else. 

He was carrying me. 
I was blinded by pain and I knew it. 

I couldn’t see where I was going. I was stumbling on the path, yet He was there for those blind years, leading, guiding, showing me which way to turn when I came up against a wall. 
Little by little, God has continued to draw me closer, and I have learned that He still wants relationship with this broken woman, which blows me away. I’m still smudged with soot on the inside of me, like a fireplace chimney.

When I first found the Lord, my life changed dramatically. I wanted to do great things for Him, big big things, but I didn’t do great things at all, in fact, my life was something I was often ashamed of.

What if…

What if I, like Sarah, tried to make things happen in my own strength due to my own natural reasoning, instead of simply living and obeying God while allowing Him to do what He has always done,

Bring it to pass –
In His way

In His Time

By His Spirit.

Do I understand God’s grace spilling onto my life?

No, nor do I advise going through a divorce to learn about His unconditional love, and faithfulness,

But I marvel as He continues to call me even still.

It causes flickers of hope to ignite within my depths that maybe, just maybe, God’s original plan for my life will be realized just yet.

– leah

Defunding Planned Parenthood

Have you called your senator, yet?
I did.
Session begins at 2pm.

I told the staff member this:
“I am calling to share my point of view as a citizen. Planned Parenthood has spun out of control. I do not think they should be funded by tax dollars. If private organizations want to keep it afloat with donations, that’s one thing, but to take taxes from people who do not support them is not right.
I’m asking my senator to vote to defund PP.”

Planned Parenthood has dehumanized our most vulnerable citizens.
The developing human in a womb.

They have developed techniques to preserve organs and tissues in the unborn child while aborting their healthy development so that they can be sold to the highest bidder, WHILE they take money from women surrendering to the heinous procedure.

Do you think the child lies still during the procedure?
Do you think a child pulled out of the womb, feet first, for a partial birth abortion is lying quietly between its mothers legs?

No!
It isn’t!
It’s moving and struggling and squirming around until the doctor punctures its skull and vacuums its brain out of the opening.
😥

Women are traumatized.
They harden their hearts at first,
But the memories haunt them.

Your tax dollars at work, ladies and gentlemen.

You have a chance to say something today.

God forgive you if you blow it off.

http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm?OrderBy=state

– leah

Celie…I can taste your tears.

Numb.
I am numb.

When I do feel,
It is pain.
Which rushes in like ocean waves
And slam into me,
Then ebb away
Until again,
I am numb.

My fingers have no feeling.
They are sticks extending from my palms.
My tongue can taste no food.
A useless organ taking up space
In my mouth.
It’s in the way.

You are gone.

Your bed is empty.
Your voice…not here.
Your sense of humor,
absent.
YourFaceYourLaughYourSmell…

Not.
Here.

I am alive,
But do not live.
I breathe.
But don’t know why.

The fruit of my body is absent.

What God has given,
Man has taken away.

And left me numb.

Celie,
Celie, I know what you felt
When your father took your children.

That maddening
Sickening
Powerless
Weight
Of emptiness in your arms.

When selfish forces
Thrust
Myopic will
On one
More
Victim.

Celie…
Someone’s crying.
Is it you?
Or me?
Or both of us?

Celie,
I can hear
And taste
Your tears.

Leah

Root Them Out

Today’s thoughts. 

I face painted a twin boy, once, whose twin had died.
He was four or five.
His mother told me in whispers that the brother died as a result of blunt force trauma to the head.
His father in prison.
He hit the child too hard in anger.

It is difficult to convey the turmoil and struggle for control as I painted the boy whose brother was killed,
trying to smile and be light-hearted while mom whispered a nightmarish story into my ear.

What they asked me to paint was the brother’s name on his arm. 
I did my job,
Compartmentalizing the horror, jamming my reaction into a box and shoving it down to contemplate later while I smiled and talked to the child whose arm was cradled in my hand.
The child condemned to a life without his twin by one angry man who blew it.

Ask Yourself, about the people in your charge…
– What type of person removes the blossom of a flower from its stem to crush the petals?
– What person cultivates a garden only to destroy it in a fit of temper?
Mommies?
Daddies?
When you are angry, how do you behave?
Husbands?
Wives?
How do you cultivate your garden?

God gave Adam a garden and he told him to care for it.
God has given one to you, too.
It is full of roses in bloom, dogwood trees with flowering branches, tulips and snapdragons and hardy mums…
How do you treat your loved ones when you’re angry?

Do you assault them?
With hands?
With words?
With shouting?

Consider the hard things today.
Look at yourself today.
Do not hide from You.

And remove the weeds you uncover.
Ruthlessly pull them out of the soil that is yours to care for. 
The health of your garden depends on it.

Seek the Master Gardener for assistance. 
Then rise up and walk.

Only a fool would turn to the most precious items in their life and destroy them in a fit of temper.

Let’s not be that fool.

The hard things.
The ugly things.
Face them.
Acknowledge them.
And Root. Them. Out.

– Leah

No Man Gets To Break You

I received communication today full of accusations regarding my divorce.

The accusations stated blatantly that I did not care about my children. They accused me of not putting them first when my marriage was in dire straits.
Of course the accusations were from a soul whose mind bore a one-sided perspective.

I cared about my children.
Of course I cared.
The main reason I stayed in the twenty-one year situation was for their sake.
Every storm weathered, every desire denied, every tearful night endured, every sacrifice made, every price paid was for my children.

Until my soul was almost shattered beyond repair like the windshield that bore the brunt of his most recent outburst of anger.

I lived in fear.
I lived alone.
I had no mate.
I had a master.

Like the woman in an airplane who puts the oxygen mask over her mouth before helping others, I did what I needed to do to stay alive so that my children would have a healthy mother.
I didn’t want them visiting me in a hospital unit.
I didn’t want them visiting me in a long-term mental health facility.
I didn’t want them laying flowers near a headstone with my name on it.

Yes.
I left.

I offered a six-month plan,
One that preserved sanity and postponed a permanent divorce situation.
The plan was rejected three times in one evening.
The door was closed.

Ladies who endure domestic violence for the sake of your children, this is what I learned:

You are building a glass house for your family.
When it breaks, everyone will bleed.
If you are fortunate, you will be able to prevent them from bleeding to death.
But the scars will show.

Your “mate” may never embrace the blame for wounding those who were in his charge.
He may play the victim whose spouse left him.
He could point a finger and accuse, “You didn’t love them, me, us, enough to stay.”.
Even if he does admit at least half of the blame, it is quite likely that you will be accused of not forgiving him.
It will not matter how many times you’ve forgiven him before.
If this occurs you must make yourself deaf to it and this is why:
Because no man gets to break you and then blame you for being broken.

No man gets to break you and then blame you for wounding your progeny when you leave to preserve your sanity.

No man gets to break you and then act like he is the victim.

Do you hear me?

No man gets to break you.

Look at your children and ask yourself,
What are they seeing?
What are they hearing?
What are they learning?

If you love your children, you will not subject them to negative images that will never leave their memories.
If you love your children you will remove them from the environment if it drains life from a soul.
Look in the mirror and ask yourself if you would allow your child’s mate to treat them as you are currently being treated.
Answer all of these questions honestly, and then do what is right for your family.

You do not want to live in a house made of glass.

You can clean up the mess when it shatters,
But you will always see the scars.
And try as you might,
You will not be able to remove every bloodstain.

-leah

“We Are Going To Be Together!”

This morning on the radio, I listened as the staff surprised a mother and her children with Christmas gifts.
Their story:
They lost the father/husband to cancer a while back. If it wasn’t tragic enough that this family had to bury the daddy, their mother was diagnosed with cancer.
Though she fought it valiantly – it began taking over – so the doctors tried new radical treatments as a last ditch effort.
It failed.
This woman had to sit down with her children and inform them that they only had a couple of months together.
This is their last Christmas with their mother.
They will leave Michigan to live in Georgia with their aunt upon her passing, leaving behind everything, the only life they’ve ever known and their mommy and daddy.

I’m bawling.
I’m bawling in the car in a parking lot.
We drive past homes every day of our lives. And we don’t stop to think about the stories being lived behind those front doors.

As I was driving down Telegraph Road last week I noticed a home with a front door painted a soft yellow, and it was so homey and welcoming that I thought, “I think I will paint my door a distinct color like that when I have an actual house.”

But I didn’t think about the people inside or even offer a prayer that God watch over them and keep them.
Why not?
Prayer is effortless.

This Holiday season, I strongly urge you to look outward and away from yourself and material things.
During the parties, during the holiday dinners and gatherings, just ENJOY EACH OTHER.

My twenty-one year old daughter – when she telephoned me to inform me that she and her brother put their dollars together so that she could come home for Christmas – blurted something out in her excitement that stayed with me.

“I don’t even care about presents, Mom! We are going to be together!”

Yes, baby.
“We are going to be together.”

Leadership

There were times, I am sure, when Fletcher Christian regretted his decision.
Captain Bligh must have made things so miserable, that Christian felt he had no other recourse.
He is remembered and quoted as saying, “I am in hell. I am in hell.”  on that mutinous night.

The diverse outcomes were ruinous for many.

It reminds me of one of the ropes you would find on a great ship like the Bounty.
A gigantic thing made of many cords tightly wound together.
Braided into eachother…
Bonded.

Let them begin to fray.
Allow outside forces to break them down.
Do not care for the crucial tool properly, and as it begins to come apart from itself – As strands are loosed from one another – you will be left with a useless tangled mess.

Good leaders know how to keep each crucial piece connected to its brother.

Other leaders….
They may seem equipped for the job, but if you listen closely, you may hear one or more who serve beneath them crying in the night,
“I am in hell. I am in hell.”

image
Unity. Many pieces wound together to create an item of substantial utility.