“Ashes”

when I think about death
one word comes to me…
“paralyzing”

paralyzing to the one who passed
because life on this earth
ceased

paralyzing to the one left behind
where life seems to only happen
in the mind

why is my mom’s death
paralyzing my life?

most mornings
I find it hard to “move”
I can “think” about doing things all morning
but the action seems
invisible

when people say “how are you?”
my first thought is “my mom died”
I don’t SAY it
but it’s there
not haunting me
but reminding me

I just feel
p.a.r.a.l.y.z.e.d.

when it’s time for work
I get in robot mode and show up
when it’s time for flags
I lay there and stare

why is that?
am I morning?
am I tired?
is this grieving?

that’s why I’m writing
I’m hoping to clear the way
for motivation to enter in
for flags to get done
for accomplishments to happen

maybe it’s good
my mom and I weren’t that close
I can’t imagine how that’d be if we were
but that’s the paralyzing part

when my mom died
the hope of ever becoming closer
died with her

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“Someday”

my heart
is meant
to be captured

how do I know?

whenever the scent
of a man
shows interest
I swoon

a weakness like that
wouldn’t exist
if
my heart
wasn’t meant
to be captured

“New Generation”

by Nathan’s age: 15
I had already been having sex and was drinking
by Carolyn’s age: 19
I had already had one abortion, one child, and was married
by Katie’s age: 25
I had been stripping/selling my body…jail…divorce
by Kyle’s age: 28
I had quit dancing but was way strung out in so many ways

at age 32
I found God
at age 33
I found sobriety
at age 37
I found my worth
at age 42
I found true freedom

almost on a daily basis
I’m reminded how I’ve changed the course
my kids are nothing like
who I used to be
and are growing more into
what I’m like now
yet still holding on
to their own uniqueness

I never have to worry
about my kids turning out like who I was
because I walked into that church at 32
it changed their lives
it changed my life
and in the end
it helped change the lives of others
because I stay on this path with God

My Past Makes Me a Whore?

I just saw a disturbing post. It was about a woman who has “a past,” and because of “her past,” they’re calling her a whore.

As much as I wanted to defend her, I couldn’t because political bullying is intense, so I’ll speak in my own defense.

According to this post that I saw…
My past makes me a whore

I used to be a stripper
That makes me a whore
I used to sell my body
I’m not one to be honored
My one-night-stands are countless
I must be a slut

You see
I know that’s not true
But why do people spew it?
Why do they tear down the present
With the past?

I know I’m a woman of integrity
Who deserves to be honored
The past will NEVER define me
Nor should it define anyone else

A Different Kind of Mother

Not everyone
had this loving support
from a mother growing up

No, there are some moms out there
who did only one thing…give birth
yet that’s the most important thing needed
to create a possible legacy

Yesterday, I heard this really good sermon
about being nurtured through childhood
yet a couldn’t relate
it was a beautiful sermon for others though

But the similarities were hidden
in the mother I am today
I’ve become “my own” through God
and I love all my kids very well

Each one thinks they’re my favorite
because each knows how special they are
to me and to God

My Latest Breakdown

Last night, on my drive home from work, I had the worst breakdown yet.

I “could” tell you what led up to it, but that’s not the type of person I am, so I’ll only explain what I went through.

In the car, I was listening to “The Greatest Showman” soundtrack, which I often do because I LOVE it. Anyway, during the second song, I began to cry deeply, not because of the lyrics but because of my mom’s death (I’m assuming).

I was crying so hard, I could barely see, but I couldn’t seem to pull over. The thought came to me, but my foot wouldn’t reach out for the break, and my cruise control was set on seventy two mph, so I did my best to keep the wheel straight and drove.

At one point, I was so scared, I cried out through my wailing, “I DON’T WANNA DIE!” and asked Holy Spirit to help me drive. Obviously, He did because I made it home safely.

All I wanted to do was make it home.

Just like any other job, sometimes, you have your bad days, and yesterday was a bad day at work. From being talked to about something out of my control to being talked at through… It was, almost, unbearable.

Without Jesus, I don’t know how I would’ve handled it all. I really don’t understand how people live without Him. I would never choose to go back to that life.

But my breakdown…it was so intense. During it, I cried out a few things:

“WHY ARE PEOPLE SO MEAN!”
“WHAT’S WRONG WITH ME?”
“I CAN’T HANDLE THIS”
“WHAT’S WRONG WITH ME?”
etc.

I’m so glad God was there with me. Had I not known that, I doubt I’d be here writing right now.

In the past, I’ve never really given grief too much thought, and now that I’m dancing with it, I look forward to the times when we sit out a song or two. MAYBE, someday, I’ll understand it, but for now, I’ll just live through it.

“Delete”

sometimes people hear what they want to hear
and only see what they want to see

words can be damaging
whether spoken or written
and when people speak or write from darkness
it’s a conduit for pain

I can’t imagine being mean to someone
who just lost a loved one
but honestly
I bet it happens all the time

my heart goes out to all those affected
by other people’s opinions
during times of mourning

whether your mourning the loss of your mother
or maybe mourning the loss of a friendship
an ability
a dream
an opportunity

just like grief has no boundaries
neither does loss
and both are individually tailored
to fit one’s internal wiring

thank God for those who stand with you
and fight for you
because if it was up to me alone right now
I wouldn’t be writing this

I’d be cowering away somewhere
afraid to speak
afraid to write
afraid to reach out for help

what other people think of me
is NONE of my business
I truly believe that
and God’s giving me plenty opportunities
to prove how I believe

the good thing about darkness being spread
through written words is
they only have power
if you read them

“Happy Endings”

she lives her life in light
glancing at the darkness behind her

if she never shares where she’s been
they’ll never know where she’s come from
what God’s brought her through

living can be as simple as sharing
sharing can be as simple as living

boldness comes through the piercing of the heart
with the love of heaven striking through

love
not sex
but love

God is love
love is God

how long had she been confused?
years and years
tormenting her body
her heart
her mind

but one moment in time
changed the course she was on
and slowly but surely
it developed

a relationship with Him
living in Him
for Him
to Him

HE’s the one who wooed her to church
HE’s the one who listened to her prayers
it was HIM who led her to AA
through the steps
clearing the way for HIM
to enter in entirely

and all along the way
as she made mistakes
He waited lovingly with arms opened wide
embracing her as she returned
loving her deeply through it all

why?
why did God put up with her? she wondered
and in gentle moments He explained

“I know what the ending looks like” He said
“who you are isn’t who you’ll be”

THAT keeps Him patient
THAT keeps Him constant
THAT keeps her holding on
for what she’ll truly be

Be Vulnerable!

Do you know a reason why relationships are important? Because we have the opportunity to LEARN from each other’s mistakes, and the good thing about learning from other people’s mistakes is that the consequences don’t affect you.

I can’t even tell you how many girls come into the treatment center with the thought of stripping for a living, and then they hear my story and change their minds. Do you know how powerful that is!

We have the power to change people’s minds from losing their lives to darkness!

Never be afraid to be vulnerable and share where you’ve been because it might save someone’s life around you. Not everybody will live through the pain you’ve endured.