Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Learning . . .

Up early this morning.  Spent a long night praying, thinking, wondering.  This journey is indeed a tough one but along the way, as I am led by the Holy Spirit to be transparent, many, many things are being shared with me about why I am "here" in this place and all the many, many things that God may want me to learn while I am here.  One of those things is the impact of unforgiveness on the physical body - not to mention my relationship with the Almighty.  I had a dear friend (who I KNOW is NOT the bravest of souls) share with me what she had been learning through a one on one Bible Study about forgivness.  This beautiful woman, who has had a MOUNTAIN of stuff to forgive in her life, was led by the Holy Spirit to share with me and I would like to say that was the first I was hearing of THAT message but, alas, it's not.  This is a message that has been resounding with me for weeks - possibly months and one I believe I ignore possibly to my very peril.  One day at home I heard a woman share how an unforgiving, angry spirit had actually caused her to gain weight.  She had witnessed and was sharing how letting go of her anger and unforgiveness had actually caused a change in her weight.  Now - I'm not sure I understand THAT completely but I can tell you, honestly, I know when my heart started to break and even though I didn't think I was angry about the situation - maybe I am.  I know that there are a number of other hurts - intentional wounds that I have had difficulty letting go of and it seems that when something comes up involving one of those wounds, it's like the wound is opened all over again.  The wound that just never gets a chance to heal and I am back in the same place again.  Needing to forgive, not understanding "why" I was wounded, maligned or transgressed against. 

I realize that not all of the issues on this journey are solely related to an unforgiving spirit but I believe carrying the wounds are making it that much harder to get better.  I have been considering more and more if I should just chuck it all and allow those powers that be to declare me "disabled" but I just can't go there.  I'm not going to let what God is allowing to happen become the very thing that keeps me from doing what HE would have me do with it. 

I read that those who are able to minister to others have themselves gone through a LOT to be able to give that gift and dear ones, I have had the privilege already of being in a place where God has used what I went through - in my life, my marriage, as a parent, daughter or friend to encourage and edify another.  I wouldn't have missed that for anything.  Although it is hard to remember that when it feels as though there is a big grey blanket over my head, my heart is racing for no apparent reason and all I can think of are the wounds, I KNOW I can do ALL things through Christ who strengthens me.  I CAN and will give glory to God and I will keep learning.  To forgive. To love. To let go.  To heal . . . on the journey, For His Glory.  For My Good. A2

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Grace. Mercy. Coffee

Like a lot of people, my first thought in the morning is "Just give me the coffee and no one gets hurt."  I have been indulging in the amazing healing elixir that I believe comes straight from the Heavens since I was, oh, four years old. Now, now, before you decide my precious Italian mother should get a good finger wagging, know this: "Kid coffee" in our house was warm milk with sugar and a splash of something vaguely reminiscent of what I NOW drink.  My mom's coffee was WAY different then - before we bought our own Kona or Columbia beans and ground them well.  Before we knew that "good" coffee actually had more than a tablespoon of grounds in a 10-cup pot.  Oh, well, live and learn.  I digress.

I am compelled by the Holy Spirit to take a journey and I am asking you, gentle reader, to take a journey with me.  I believe I am led to share with you my journey to, through and  hopefully out of depression, panic and anxiety disorder.  There are different opinions amongst my inner circle of trust as to when we actually "set out " on the journey but most in that circle know of it - at least in part as they are living the inadequacies of a physically and emotionally broken body. 

There is a lot to share and a lot I want to learn about all that God is allowing me to go through on this journey.  I feel a kinship with King David and Job  and understand truly what the Apostle Paul spoke about when he referred in the 2nd Letter to the Church at Corinth, Chapter 12, beginning in verse 7 to the thorn in his flesh that he had been given as a messenger from Satan - to keep him, essentially from getting "too big for his britches" about all the Good that Paul was allowed to be a part of.  Although Paul prayed (the scripture says that Paul BEGGED) for this "thorn" to be taken from Him, God, in verse 9 said to Paul each time "My gracious favor is all you need. My power works best in your weakness." So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may work through me."  Oh, my friends - I know that God's grace is sufficient as I can look back and see that His grace and His mercy have covered me, The Bear, the Man Cubs, our Daughter in Love and all of those we are privileged to have on the Journey with us.

This morning in my quiet time, I was directed to Psalm 42.  While I know deer pants for water and my morning human screams for COFFEE, more than anything I need to NEED the Almighty as I know that God and God alone has the grace sufficient to see me through every step of this journey.  Lamentations 3:23 reminds us that God's mercies are renewed afresh every day.  There are days dear ones that I cannot do more than move from one sleeping place to another and I need someone to remind me to drink water.  Other days, my feet hit the floor and Satan says "Uh, oh, she's up!"  I have nothing to offer you other than what I have learned and what I am learning but this one thing I know: God does not leave us here helpless.  He can heal.  He will heal, in His way, in His time, for His glory.  And thankfully, along the way, the deer get water.  And we get Jesus, grace sufficient for the thorns, daily renewing mercies. And coffee. Love you. A2

Scripture Reference Courtesy of

Monday, May 21, 2012

We Got This

A week ago today, very early in the morning, my husband who had gone into work prior to the start of his watch, began to text and call me.  He needed to let me know that there was a family in crisis - the family of one of our officers and things did not look good.  One of our day shift officers had gone in to wake up his wife and she was not responsive and not breathing.  Despite immediately beginning CPR and activating 9-1-1, the officer's wife was still not responsive.  An hour later, the officer was told that emergency and hospital personnel had not been able to revive his wife. She was gone.  A Daughter of the King had taken her last watch; responded to the last call and she was Home. 

I only had the privilege to meet this young lady one time but, in a week, I can tell you, she was doing what she could - in spite of years of chronic illness and pain, to live out the directive of Proverbs 31.  In spite of her fragile, pain-filled body, she and her husband had adopted not one, not two, but FOUR special needs children who now range in age from four to nine, two boys and two girls.  Stacey had another child from a previous marriage at a young age and he is now 18 and the very loving big brother to these little ones.

One of the first things I found truly amazing was that when our Officer returned home to his little ones, he shared with them that Mommy had gone home to heaven to be with Jesus and he prayed with his children.  Wow!! First and foremost, he set them to right thinkin' about where their mommy was.

I arrived at their home and in spite of what I know is incomparable sadness, there was a peace in the children and their daddy.  They know who their momma was and they know where she is now.  The Word of God tells us that "He who began a Good work in you . . . HE is ABLE to complete it!" Stacey began an amazing work in the life of her oldest son, in her marriage and in the lives of those four precious little ones that she and her husband CHOSE in SPITE of her chronic illness and physical pain.  Debilitating, disabling pain.  But her life and her home and her children are all a testimony to what was important to her.

So, this if for you Miss Stacey - anointed Daughter of the King.  You and I and other LEO spouses know that for each of our LEOs, shifts end.  Sometimes, the end of the shift comes in a way we didn't expect and that was the case last week.  The end of your shift, darling Stacey, came quietly and unexpectedly but I want you to know ma'am - we got this.  Your last call came and you responded.  Take rest in the arms of Jesus, sweetie. We, the other Daughters of the King will take it from here.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Not Even Embers

I love to garden.  Love the feeling that I somehow have even a small part in God's creation.  Fruit, veggies, plants, flowers.  Silk plants. (oh, wait, no part in those except the purchase).  Inasmuch as we live in the desert, my handsome hub tends to get a little overzealous with the watering and roses do NOT like overwatering.  We put in a new rose bush a few weeks ago with all kinds of promise and a week ago I went out and the stems and stalks were, well, rubbery.  Like asparagus when it has been over-steamed.   Yuck.  Multiple buds were just dying even before they opened. I tied up my precious plant and told the Hub "DO NOT WATER."  We're growing grass and other things and he can certainly water THAT stuff 'cuz the roses were plenty saturated.

So, all that being said  - three years ago, all that I thought my life would be, all the dreams that I had for myself, all that I thought God was directing me toward just, well, died.  Everything I thought was going to come to pass, any vision that I had for life was a pile of rubble.  Torched and hosed down without so much as an ember of the hope that had sustained me even through difficult days when our man-cubs and marriage were young and struggling.  This morning, as I am wont to do most days, I read the devotion from Proverbs 31 ( and learned that I am in the company of some fairly awesome women whose dreams had died.  I was reminded that God promises to give us beauty for ashes or, in my case, for dreams that have been so torched and drowned that not even an ember remains.  (I think my dreams had  become more like charcoal - capable of being reignited but otherwise, just a lifeless lump).   More than any other day over the past many (1,069 to be exact), I had hope.  A real reminder that God has not forgotten that He gave me dreams and desires and hopes and even if I don't know what He has planned for the pile of rubble I am right now, He DOES indeed have a plan.  He STILL has a purpose.  He still moves mountains and He can and WILL take the mess that is my life and allow me to be used for HIS glory.

Back to the roses - the rubbery, overwatered, dyin' on the vine roses.  The bush is drying out and after reading this morning's encouragement, I went out to water the budding seed that hopefully will be grass and there it was.  One, beautiful, soft peachy-pink rose with the most heavenly smell ever!  Only one but it was enough.  God - the Almighty - knows how to grow roses and He CERTAINLY knows how to grow me.  I am a broken, battered, scarred woman. Just ashes but today, there was an ember.  A small warmth that I know can and will be stoked back into a flame that shines the love of Jesus.  Beauty for ashes where not even an ember could be found.
With His love, for His Glory - A2

Friday, April 27, 2012

New Moan Ee Yah!

Yuck.  I hate respiratory issues.  My disdain for all things respiratory puzzles most when I tell them that I have worked in a Level 1 trauma center.  yep.  I did.  Loved it.  Fast paced, on your feet, running. The respiratory stuff, however, was never my favorite thing to contend with.  Cannot tell you why - just isn't.  Heaven knows, as a Mommy, I have wiped my share of booger noses.  Even before that, in the babysitting trenches, LOTS of drippy noses.  Yuck.  As if the issues with my poor broken body weren't enough, I now have pneumonia (pr. new moan ee yah - sort of like NYUKE LEE IR not NOOK YOU LAR - just threw that in)!
We have been surrounded by dirt since we moved to The Mission and when you're already in overwhelm, the lawn is the LAST thing on the priority list.  Till the dirt makes you ill and ya gotta get grass.  So the Bear Hub, the oldest Man Cub and my Big Bro moved some composed cow poopie and added it to the back yard.  The rather big back yard and lo, and behold, THAT dirt has nasty ickies in it.  The bacterial, cause-pneumonia-kind.  Now, I have NEW MOAN EE YAH! Coughing, blowing, coughing, wheezing, chest-crushing, blah blah blah.  HOWEVER - I have great docs and I KNOW I'm gonna get better.  I keep sayin' I'm far too busy to be sick.  I am, really.  What I am reminded of, however, is that God is still God.  Our needs are met and I have an amazing husband, parents and friends.  Soup, tea, "frozen sock therapy," antibiotics, cough medicine and popsicles.  All designed to help me get well.  I am thankful, as well, that God has surrounded me with a peace, in spite of this illness, that He is working things for my good and all I have to truly do is rely on Him.  and I am.  Respiratory things don't gross HIM out.  Boy, that makes me feel better.
Love you (cough cough) with HIS love, For HIS glory! A2

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


I HATE scorpions.  hate 'em.  First sighting.  Laundry room.  Monday, April 23, 2012.  Time to call the bug ladies.  DIE EVIL SCORPIONS, DIE!!!!

nuff said.

Forgiving Even When They're Not Sorry

Oh, dear ones - that there could only be ONE hurdle in my life to jump.  Alas, there are MANY and forgiveness is the hardest.  Forgiving when the one who has hurt me isn't sorry.  I had the blessing of reading  the Five Love Languages of Apology and not only did this anointed writing teach me HOW to apologize, to truly be repentant but it taught me why "sorry" is NOT what I want to hear when my heart has been hurt, when angry words have been hurled my direction and when the sting of a bully's words resonate in my heart and mind many, many years later. 

When I recall the abuse, the attack, the threat at knife point, the suicide note filled with anger and vitriole at me and my dad left by my son's father.  I WANT SOMEONE TO TELL ME THEY ARE SORRY -  THAT THEY DIDN'T REALIZE THE HURT, THE PAIN, THE WOUND!!!!!  But I know that it is not coming.  And the hot tears run down my face again as if the wound had just occurred and the sting is still the same.

Years ago I clipped an article from the late Irma Bombeck.  Man, could that lady write!! She could make you laugh and cry in three sentences.  I think I read everything by her I could get my hands on yet, one article is still floating around here that I am sure is yellowed with age.  It is actually on paper! It is entitled "Children Put Their Faith in Apologies."  It's true.  They do.  And WE TEACH THEM TO.  I have taught my man-cubs, "Say you're sorry!"  "Apologize!" and it was never sufficient for them, after the age of, oh, TWO, to simply mutter the word "sowwy."  I wanted the man-cubs to understand that they had wronged another.  That there needed to be an acknowledgment.  A repentance.  And forgiveness.  IMMEDIATE forgiveness.  Why can we do this with our kids but no one else?  Because we birthed them and hence we KNOW how bent they are??? In the case of at least one of my cubs I KNOW THIS to be gospel.  Poor boys, they come by their imperfections SO honestly.  I gave them to them and I have NO choice but to forgive.  They ARE, after all, mine. 

My prayer, for me and for you is that we can truly forgive God's children even when they're not sorry.  I pray that we can ask God, as Ezekiel did, to take hearts of stone and turn them to hearts of flesh.  I am NOT good at this.  Pray for me???  I'll be praying for me, too.  And you.  With His Love - For His glory. A2

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


It's early April and this is not typically storm season here in the Valley of the big fire ball in the Sky HOWEVER, we're in for one.  Yeah, it's blowing and breezy and the sky is beautiful.  Storm? Really? The weather activities outside do NOT compel ME to want to run off to an office or cloister myself inside a mall working for panties (gotta remember the face time with the Princesses, tho - makes it all worth it). 

When we are Princesses in Training, we hear the word "storm" and immediately think of lightening, thunder, rain, maybe the loss of electricity.  Hmmmm . . . are the storms of life really that different?  The tears that we shed during life's tribulations - heaven knows I have cried enough of 'em to have watered SEVERAL lawns.  I'm young - compared to some but I have lived long enough to know that storms and tribulations and loss and death and grief and pain, well, it's gonna happen.  It's the quid-pro-quo of living.  While I am no theologian, I believe the Word of God and the Almighty has promised that we will have trials and suffering BUT we will NOT be destroyed (2 Corinthians 4, starting with verse 7). 

I can  assure you that NONE of the heartache that God has allowed to come to pass in my life has wrought my destruction.  Oh, no, pretty princesses.  Not at all.  Anything and everything has been for MY good.  For HIS glory.  Don't really understand it all but I KNOW it works. Some of my princess besties have gone through things that I have not and they can say the same of me.  But wherever we are on the journey, we are not alone.  We have a Savior who, when the burden just seems to heavy says "Come unto ME all you who labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest."  Our sweet Savior then goes on to say to us that when our burdens are too heavy we can have HIS.  Not only does He offer this (as if that wasn't enough) but we are then blessed with other Princesses to come alongside of us and travel with us, through whatever we're going through. 

Storms - tear stuff up, leave big messes in their wake, do damage that has to be repaired.  But each one leaves in its wake a stronger faith, strengthened relationships and the absolute certainty that even when we do know the purpose, we're gonna be okay.  Jesus promised that and because HE did, I claim it for you 'n me.

Whatever we're going through today - whatever is blowin' up stuff in your life - lash your heart to the King of Kings,  Then call me and we'll get the other princesses together and have princess time before the throne.  Then we'll have lunch.  Storms make me hungry!!!  Love you, with His love! A2

Tuesday, April 10, 2012


This "work of art" has been a long time coming.  A REALLY long time.  I am, as the title says, a daughter, wife, mother and friend.  But the greatest purpose in my life is to be a Daughter of the Almighty King, aka "Princess."  I am amazed at those "reality" shows that attempt to portray what "real" women do.  Lemme tell ya dear ones - I have NEVER seen one of THOSE precious princesses pick up poopies from a not-yet-house-trained foster puppy and quickly scrub the carpeting while dinner is cooking on the stove with yet ANOTHER load  of towels in the dryer.  All this while battling a chronic illness and being the wife of My Own Personal Police Officer ("MOPOPO"), aka Googly Bear.  We recently moved within four miles of my precious parents ("The Rents") and the nest may never be empty but we don't care.  Life is tough, God is faithful.  We ladies are HIS princesses and we are called to a royal, abundant life.  In spite of the many "hats" we wear, we are adorned with a crown by the King.  Join me on the journey that will someday take us Home to the Kingdom and allow me to encourage and be encouraged by you in the day-to-day of being daughter, mother, wife, friend and Princess.  Yours, On the Journey, For His Glory, For Our Good - A Squared