It’s gonna be ok, I’ve got this….

I’ve written about this before but wanted to write about it again. Eagles are very significant in my life. When things look really grim or things are tough, God always sends me a bald eagle to remind me that it’s ok and He’s got this. I’ve not seen a bald eagle for months now. Today I was driving down the highway to go visit my parents and all of a sudden a see a bird flying towards me. I look and I was thinking it’s probably just a raven. It keeps flying towards me and I see it’s white head. It’s a bald eagle. I’m thrilled because it’s all going to be ok. God’s got this and this is my reminder. Every time I see them I feel this surreal peace come across me.

One of my favorite verses in the Bible is Isaiah 40:31 , “But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” We all have up’s and downs in our lives. Even though things in my life seem never ending I see God’s hand in it all. I see Him using others to help and yes it will all be ok. Trials part of our growth and growth is good. Growth is healthy. Next time you have a trial how does God show you that it’s going to be ok. Does he show you a physical sign or use people to help you? Thank you Lord for bringing peace back into my life again.

Survival skills – Memoirs

After we were taken to Ireland my dad he met a woman who looked after us while he worked. She became our stepmom. At first things were good, she looked out for us and was nice to my brother and I. Then when she started having her own kids she didn’t want much to do with us. We started getting locked in our bedrooms for long periods of time. I used to watch the children playing outside on their bikes. All I could do was watch. My brother his bedroom was across the landing and we used to play up there and when we’d hear the door open we’d run into our rooms.

We were often beaten and the hardest thing I still remember is watching your brother been hit with a belt and not being able to do anything about it. We both never knew why we were beaten but it went on for years and years. We moved around a fair bit as well and when your in your room for whole summers and you finally get out. I remember the neighbourhood children asking me who I was and when I told them that’s my house. They told me no it’s not we’ve been in your house you can’t live there. I would be allowed out but something always happened so I was back in my room.

To survive I would play cards with myself dealing out all the hands like I was playing with many people. I would do that for hours. I would read lots of books and imagine I was in them all away from this horrible life. As time went on not only was I beaten everyday but I was also starved. The worst feeling in the world is when your tummy is so hungry. I had to do things to stop that pain. The only way to survive that is having God take that feeling away.

I would go to school every day with a peanut Butter sandwich on stale bread that stuck to the roof of your mouth and a limp carrot stick. On the way to school I would throw out the lunch. When I got school I would come in when the kids where out playing at recess I would go into kids classes that were not mine and open up the kids lunches and take out one thing from each lunch. Then I would go into my room and put them in my back pack. I had the greatest lunches. I would do it the next days but never the same classroom. I never got caught thank goodness but when your hungry and need to eat you have to be creative. I also would steal change from my dads coat pockets so I could buy food. I would also steal from the store but after getting caught and my dad was called. I stopped doing that.

People helped me out which I will write about in another post. Again people I think knew that something was not right in my home because I had many opportunities to eat and people provided opportunities for me. For that I’m externally grateful. When your hungry you need to eat and if you have to steal to get it then that’s what you need to do. I have good survival skills for a young girl. You had to have them to survive this world.

I never felt safe as a child and I trusted no one. People always let me down but I did have people I could trust. I never spoke out about what was happening in my home because I’m sure nobody would believe it or my dad would find out and I knew what that meant. I tried to for in with everyone else but that’s hard. I also know that if your hungry learning is out of the question. I used to beat the kids up at school to get attention. Any attention was better than nothing. Kids can be brutal. I had a best friend Karen. Her and I remain friends to this day. Her and I did Everything together. My sister also was my best friend and we did so much together. I had some good people in my life.

Why do we wait to reach out to God?

Been wrestling with an issue for the last couple of months. I seem to get nowhere with it. I finally laid it down at Jesus’ feet. I can’t do this anymore. I need your help. I did this last week because I’m exhausted. I have surrendered it all to the Lord. What makes no sense to me is why did I wait so long to surrender this to Him. When I gave to Him, I would take it back as my own. Without God we can do nothing. With God we can conquer all things. Why do we often wait until we can’t do something or we become so desperate? Why couldn’t I just go to Him when this issue came up?

Proverbs 3: 5-6 says ” Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.” This verse clearly states that we must trust with ALL OF OUR HEARTS ❤️and lean NOT on our own understanding. God always makes our paths straight. If I know this so well why do I always take the bumpy, twisty road. This past week after giving it to God and fully surrendering it to Him, I heard something that only can give me Hope in this messy situation. Someone spoke out for me and now its got some wheels turning. I see that as God’s hand at work. I believe that God is working through this in His way not my way. I’m impatient because I want it now and God uses all our situations for His glory.

Today I feel blessed that no matter where I am God hears our prayers. When we call our to Him, He is there for us no matter what. I don’t have to worry anymore about anything because He’s got this and every other thing in my life. There are so many promises God has given us. Won’t you reach out to Him today and let Him know what is happening for you. Surrender it all to Him. What I need to Remember is not to lose focus or Hope on things that aren’t of him. Distraction from where I’m going and His plan for me. All the rest of it will work it’s self out. Thank you Lord.

Resilience

Today I had an opportunity to go up to Camp Imadene it’s about an hour and a half away. It so beautiful there, so peaceful the camp is on a lake. There is something about being up there that makes you feel closer to God. It was just a day trip but a trip that I needed. I feel refreshed. I met a bunch of people that I’d never met before and got to know more people. Two of the young gals come to my school each day and do after school care. That’s cool so I did tell them I would stop and say hi.

Lake Cowichan is very special place for me because my inlaws used to take us for lunch to a local restaurant when my father in law was alive and that town makes me feel closer to him. My inlaws owned a big home on the other side of lake Cowichan for a long time. I miss those times a lot. Towards the end of the retreat we got to break up into small groups and hear people’s testimonies. It’s amazing that no matter what people go through in their lives how resilient they can become. I love how God was working in people’s lives and had His hand on each person through hard times. The Spirit is an amazing thing and how much stronger each person is today because of what they went through.

The photographs above are of me and my sister. I’ve not seen her in a very long time but I still remember how much we had fun together. I don’t know if it’s ever possible for us to reunite. That makes me sad because I think about her and know that she’s been told a bunch of lies about me. I hope one day we can reunite. We did everything together her and I. We were the best of friends her and I. No matter what you go through in life some of our toughest trials make us the strongest.

Not giving up no matter what……

I’ve been listening to Craig Groeschel’s book on Winning the war in your mind. One of things I just heard was how hard it was for him to do preaching well. He felt God wanted him to be a pastor but at every turn he was told by people that they hoped he had something else to fall back on. At seminary he went through it and at the end was not ordained because they felt he fell short. He never gave up because God told him again that’s what he wanted him to do. Pastor Craig is an amazing awesome speaker. He speaks the truth, he speaks with his whole heart and he speaks about topics others shy away from. He takes about feeling huge shame and failure in his past. He talks about finally not listening to those lies that Satan tells us we are not good enough and will not succeed.

I related to so much of what Pastor Craig said. I felt that I was supposed to get into Early Childhood Education and help out young children. I took the course and because I was so terribly shy I failed my first practicum it was too much. I’m turn I failed my course and I watched my whole graduation class graduate without me. I was devestated and felt that it was true what I was told as a child that I would never amount to anything. I still felt God pushing me in that direction. I worked out in the field for a year until I could go back to school and complete my practicums. I passed with flying colors and graduated with a whole other class. That extra year helped me so much and helped me be the educator that I am today.

If I had Believed the lies that I was not good enough and that shame and unworthiness then I would never have followed my dreams. I’ve been told that I’m an awesome educator. What I found in my job was I could relate to those who felt alone or had trauma. God used what I had been through to give me a huge compassion for all children. I became an advocate for those who could not speak out for themselves. I did the hard thing but the right thing to protect the children. I fought against those lies. I became stronger and in the end I won.

Satan will tell you so many lies and as people we need to believe in our passions even if people tell us this will never happen. This book I would recommend to everyone. Pastor Craig is a huge success in the Christian world. His church is through Life Church. I’ve listened to him for about six years now and I belong to a life group filled with awesome Godly woman who we just do life together. Never ever give up on what you believe your supposed to do.

Encouragement

People who know me well know that I love to encourage others. That’s one of my gifts. I watch people and then point out what I see in strengths in them. I do the same thing with our children. I often have a group of children around me. In this day and age we don’t hear enough encouraging things. This pendemic and all that comes with it drains us completely. When I start feeling like that especially at work. I call my retired principal friend and she helps me see the other side. Then I realize again that I’m supposed to be exactly where I am. My job is very rewarding but I feel drained from children that need so much.

Today we had a pro D day and again I was reminded with the speakers it’s not about me it’s about the children. The message I need to be sending to the children in my care is that no matter what is happening I’m there for you. I went back to how I felt about school because people cared about me they loved me and they were there no matter what. Children only learn when they trust their adults and feel safe. Through love, compassion and understanding those tough children will break down those barriers and things will get better. Instead of fighting things I can’t control today I realized again why I do what I do at school. It’s all about those children and their families.

When I feel discouraged God brings people into my life or today I heard more stories about people and their lives. It changes how I think for the better. It’s the same when we fight God on what He wants for us and we keep trying to fight against it and it makes us more frustrated or angry. We lose focus on the important things. I do believe I’m in this classroom for a reason even though it’s really tough sometimes. I’m out of my comfort zone and I don’t like it. I need to trust and stop being so hard on myself.

God puts us out of our comfort zone to shape us and so that we grow more. I’ve not liked it from the start but nobody is letting me do what I want to do they keep telling me what if I wasn’t there what would happen with the children. I then think further about how would it feel if someone didn’t want to work in a class because sometimes it’s really hard. It reflects back to me as a girl in a world that I didn’t fit in. What would have happened to me if one of those people that took me under their wing said they didn’t want to be with me because my life was so chaotic. Then it switches me back to being the woman who works with all the children no matter how Difficult they may be. I’m being selfish. The speaker today put it well ” ITS NOT ABOUT ME.” A great reminder.

Thank you so much ♥️

Thank you so much to all my readers. Yesterday I got a congratulations I had 100 readers. Today I have 101 signed up through word press. I do have more readers than that but not following me on here. I so appreciate all of you taking the time to read what I write. This started out as a simple blog and over the two years it’s grown into a passion for me. I love writing and I often write what God lays on my heart to write. Writing for me is therapeutic it’s an outlet to my feelings. I never imaged that people would want to read what I wrote.

Today my blog is a way for me to write my memoirs. A way for me to express my childhood in a non threatening way for me to do what I always wanted to bring Hope and Encouragement to others through my writing.

I love the blog world and I follow many of your blogs as well. Thanks again for all the support and I look forward to the many more things I will write and the people who follow me. 101 that’s a great accomplishment. 🙂 A story about that is that I never was good at English at all and I struggled lots at school. Writing was a huge weakness for me. For a long time I only wrote in my journals because I felt I was never good enough to write. The blog was a huge step out of my comfort zone. So glad I did it. It shows you that there is nothing you cannot do. Some of us just had to work harder at it. ♥️

On the run……memoirs

Back when I was taken me and my brother, the police did not see it as kidnapping. They told my mom that our dad had taken us on vacation and that we would be back soon. My mom knew that was not the case. Our dad took our passports including my mom’s so that she could not follow us. She searched and my grandfather hired a private investigator to find us.

What I find so crazy about this was we were right under my mom’s nose when she came looking for us at our dads parents home. My mom went there and demanded her in laws to tell her where we were. They lied and said they had not seen us. We were stashed at the neighbours house. My poor mother she was so close to finding us but so far away. Our dad he freaked out and left his Parents home and fled to Ireland. Again we were up rooted and brought to a strange country. I did hear shortly after moving to Ireland our dad met a woman who worked in a preschool who helped our dad out and looked after my brother and I. She later would become my stepmom.

That’s how my brother and I ended up in Ireland. We lived there for 12 years with no contact with our mom. I was so young I had no memory of her. I did know she existed as our dad told me why he left and she was an unfit mother. That makes me laugh because he was way more unfit. He would tell us that he did it because he loved us. Really because our lives were hellish and we were definitely not looked after.

My mom had to go on with her life without her children. I can’t imagine how she felt but she never forgot us. It was torture for her without her children. The only thing she could do was hope that we were being loved and looked after. My mom is an amazing woman that she could survive the loss of her children for 12 years.

The next part of the story may be hard and tough to read but it’s true facts I won’t go into huge details because it’s a lot to go through. It’s amazing despite the abuse how we both survived to talk about it and how it’s taken a long time for me to get to where I am today.

Counting your blessings…

There is so much to be grateful for in our lives. I have realized that if you blink your life can pass you by quickly . This past Thursday and Friday night I spent time with my dad when my mom went away for her respite care. I came and did respite for my dad. I had not been in 6 months. That’s a long time especially when he has dementia. I noticed things we take for granted he can not do. Simple tasks no longer are simple for him. Where I noticed it hugely was when I met my mom and dad when I was out on Wednesday. My dad just followed my mom and I’m not sure he knew who I was. He was super quiet and detached.

It’s so hard to watch what dementia is doing to him. I feel sad and have shed a bunch of tears this weekend. My dad had a job he was so successful at and he managed a whole fleet of people. He was so outgoing and intelligent. If it had not being for him in my life I never would have been so successful in my own life. He’s not my real father by blood but he’s my dad in every way. He’s loved me and protected me and been there for me no matter what. I love him very much. I hate what dementia is doing to him and my family. My mom is slowly losing her husband and the man we knew.

Even though this is hard I love spending time with my dad and helping him and being with him. He’s got a great sense humor and he loves with his whole heart. On Friday night we watched America’s funniest videos and he loves animals so it was great to hear him laughing. I brought him a couple of magazines and his favorite one was 100 of the best photos of 2021. Everytime he picked it up out was new to him. So each time I would react like it was the first time I had seen it. Even the smallest things count so much. On Saturday morning I could not shake him out of the mode he was in so I went along with it. Whatever makes him happy. His whole life he’s been in the restaurant business. His dad owned a restaurant in Winnipeg called Ellett’s restaurant and my dad worked there from an early age. My dad had always worked with food in some way and he was in charge of all the food at BC ferries at one time before he retired. So he thought we were running a hotel he kept counting the beds in the house and saying that it was really sad it was just the two of us for breakfast. He asked how we were going to keep making money. He was so excited to make me breakfast. He eats bran flakes everyday and he cuts banana in a unique way and puts it on top. He made me some and he was so happy. I watched him as he made it and I realized that it’s all routine he’s done this over and over in his life that’s why he can remember some things and not others.

He thought I was a guest at the hotel. He has a lot of people who come and look after him when my mom goes out so he was looking for them. He often tells me that his home is not his but when I tell him it is his home he then remembers that it is. My mom has lots of photos all over the house for him to look at and as soon as he sees them he knows who they are and where they are. Visual is so important. So each time I’m with him I count those blessings and are blessed to spend time with him. ❤️

Writing my memoirs

I know one of my other posts I said I was ready to continue my memoirs. My counselor and I discussed the roadblocks that continually come up and she asked me why I wanted to write them. Originally I wanted to write them to expose the people who hurt me. Then after forgiving them both I wanted people to know that no matter what you’ve gone through in your life that there is Hope and Redemption. I still feel that but I’m not wanting to write my memoirs in book form. To protect my identity which I would have to do and the stress of writing seems to defeat the purpose of writing.

I started writing it on my blog and I love that idea because I already encourage others with what I write. It also pulls off all that pressure from me and a blog is less threatening to me. On my blog I can choose who reads my blog yes it’s public but my name is not on it. I love my blog community so I’m going to write my memoirs on here. The way I started writing them is different then how I usually write but it’s a very different piece of writing. One of my friends told me that writing is not all about books anymore and blogs are what lots of people read.

This pulls so much pressure off me and I can still write the story about my life and people can still feel that hope and encouragement. The title of my blog ” BEAUTY FROM ASHES” is the title I wanted for the book. I was a little girl who came from a horrific past the ashes to a beautiful woman who God healed.  Isaiah 61:3 “…to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair”. Beauty from Ashes. … What a beautiful verse.

I want my readers to know that life was tough for me but through the Lord I was restored. In this day and age there is so much dispair, addiction and hopelessness. The pendemic made it worse. There is a way out and there is that Hope. I lived it and had to make hard decisions and choices in my life, but I am who I am today because of my past. This is a story about a young girl the obstacles she had. How she survived and how God walked with her throughout it all. This girl is a survivor, she found people who walked along side her and guided her through. As you come along side me I pray that God is the one glorified in this story.