Blood is not thicker than water

Why are two people completely different when they were brought up the same why and why through the same truama. My truama made me into who I am today. It has made me into a person who is caring, compassionate and sensitive to those who are suffering and in pain. It’s given me huge insights into others that are caught in truama and it has helped me be able to educate those that miss signs of children in truama. I’m drawn to people that are being bullied or isolated from others. I wear my heart on my sleeve. I stand in the gap for those that can’t stand there.

I used to think this was a burden but now I see it as a way to help those that don’t know or understand. Truama comes in all different shapes and sizes. Truama hurts but I believe with the right help and support systems you can turn your entire life around. I’m a walking testimony to that. I still have to this day people that stand around me and surround me with encouragement, love and support me. For those of you who have read my memoirs I have sought out help to deal with my past and to finally come to a peace about it. I will never fully understand why what happened to my brother and I but I no longer am haunted by my past.

That being said I don’t think I would be alive today if I hadn’t worked so much on myself to free myself of those memories. I finally am happy in my life and learning everyday what JOY is. I choose freedom but my sibling did not. He choose to walk away from what happened and not deal with how it made him feel as a child/adult. He’s never dealt with any of it. Instead he’s set his life up so that he’s always in charge and nothing and nobody can ever beat him down.

I’ve always tried to have my sibling be proud of me and have him love me but he as long as I’ve known him has treated me badly. For years and years I put up with it and just went along with him treating me like crap. I’m the last year or so since my marriage ending I realized that I have put up with my sibling bullying me. Then when he was stressed or as something going on in my life he started yelling at me in front of my family. Both times I told him to stop and that it was no ok to treat me how he was treating me.

I set boundaries with him and told him I expected to be treated better not how you’ve treated me all these years. In the last year I see my dad in him something I’ve never seen before but now I’m in a healthy place. I see he’s become the person he hates. My mom says it’s because of his past. I tell her well I have the exact past and I am nothing like my sibling. I tell her that’s an excuse and he’s chosen not to deal with his past.

What bothers me so much about it is last night he casually came up to me and told me that the lives I do for my new business are so halarious and that him and his wife laughed so much as I did the videos. He critiqued it bit by bit and asked when I would be doing more. That’s cruel what he did. He used something that I’m working on and trashed it to no end. I remained quiet and said nothing. That hurt that now my sister in law is involved in it as well. Does it make you feel better about yourself if you trash your family? I can’t ever imagine treating anyone like that.

Obviously my sibling doesn’t care how or what he says to hurt me. Just because we are related that shouldn’t make any difference. I realized last night that he’s never going to change but I can choose not to be around someone like that. I’m Standing on the principal that blood is not thicker than water and that I remove myself from this relationship. I would not have him in my life if he wasn’t my sibling but I’m done with him treating me like this. It’s a decision I should have made a long time ago. Standing up to bullies no matter how hard it is. I hope and pray he changes for his sake but until that day I don’t want him in my life. I’ve worked way to hard to keep that out of my life. Standing up for what you believe in is hard but even harder when it’s family.

Hope for Christmas

This is so beautifully written I wanted to share it with you all. It’s written by Holley Gerth from her blog.

Hope for Christmas and always: darkness has been defeated.

The news drifts in from the other room as I sit at my desk and try to write. Heartbreaking headlines. Scary statistics. Pessimistic predictions. It seems peace is nowhere to be found on this planet and the night is anything but silent. Feeling overwhelmed and helpless I silently ask, “Lord, what do You want me to do about all of this?” And it seems I hear a quiet whisper within my heart: “The only way to get rid of darkness is to add more light.”

As much as we’d like to, we can’t go after darkness directly. We can only crowd it out with something better and brighter. Jesus said, “You are the light of the world” (Matthew 5:14). He lives within us and wants to shine through us. Here are three ways we can let that happen this Christmas season.

The only way to get rid of darkness is to add more light.

First, we shine when we are kind. Just visit any shopping center and it’s easy to sense the pressure and stress this time of year brings. Smiles are a hard-to-find item. Fuses are short. Lines are long. By simply treating those we interact with in a considerate way we can brighten someone’s day. Jesus said, “By this all people will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another” (John 13:35).

We also radiate when we are real. One of my favorite Christmas decorations is a mosaic candle holder. When a candle is placed inside it, all the broken pieces multiply and spread the light. The seemingly imperfect places in our lives and hearts can do the same. We don’t need to have it all together. We just need to say, “Jesus, please use all of me for Your glory.”

When we are real, others are drawn to us. And that gives us the opportunity to brighten their lives with encouragement. I’ve attended a Christmas Eve candlelight service several times. At the end a single flame is lit and then passed from one person to another. That’s what encouragement does in our world. Every thoughtful word or act is a spark that can spread farther than we might ever realize.

Most importantly, we shine because we keep Jesus first. No matter what anyone may say, He is still the reason for the season—and the reason for the light within us. Our Savior knows there will always be news headlines like the ones I heard. They existed the night He was born as a baby in Bethlehem and will continue until He comes again. But He also knows that because of what He did on the cross and through His resurrection the darkness has already been defeated.

So every time we see a Christmas light this year let’s remember this invitation and celebration: “Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord shines over you” (Isaiah 60:1). The darkness will not last forever. The light always wins in the end. And we can all make this world a little brighter wherever we are today.

What’s one small way you can brighten someone’s day this Christmas season?


Reflect: What’s one small way you can brighten someone’s day this Christmas?

Free Download: Do you need hope this holiday season? Download Holley’s FREE “Hope for the Holidays” sampler, featuring 21 devotions specifically for this time of year.

Hope for the Holidays form

Listen: Looking for an encouraging podcast to listen to while traveling for the holidays? Join myself, Suzie Eller, and Jennifer Watson for More Than Small Talk. (We just passed one million downloads!)

Learn: I’ve added bonus content to the 7 Ways to Thrive as an Introvert Course! If you’re an introvert and you want to not only embrace who you are but also become all you’re created to be, this is for you.

How do you say goodbye……..

How do you say goodbye to a close friend, a friend who I’ve known most of my life? How do you do life without them……. As I reflect on her life with mine I see a wise woman a woman not afraid to do the right things no matter how hard they seem. I love this woman so much and there are four of us who hang out together. We go on road trips every year and have fun and laugh and share everything with each other. We are bonded and have lots of things in common. My love of rabbits developed with this woman. We both would go to the shows and stay overnight in a hotel and we showed and bred many rabbits along the way.

We have so many awesome memories which I love but I can’t imagine life without this woman. She’s still got so many more years ahead of her. I’ve had her since my 20’s when Larry and I got to know her and her family. We’ve been there for her children who now are in their 20’s. We have been with her through thick and thin. I love that 4 of us hang out and love each others company. It doesn’t seem fair that her life will be taken short. I hate cancer so much.

I’m trying to bring joy into our last weeks /months. We don’t know how much time she has left but whatever it is we will stand with her in this. Today driving home I saw an eagle which always means that God has this and I don’t have to worry. Thank goodness I know what God does have this no matter what. I’m trying to see God in this and watching your friend suffer is horrible so going home at least she’s no longer in pain. Also because she’s going to heaven I will see her again. That will be a glorious day. Obviously God wants her before us for a reason so we must trust he’s got a plan. Not the one I like. I feel peace since last week so that is good. For now I will cherish the time I have left with her. Don’t take your life for granted because you never know how much time you have left none of us do.

Hedge of protection

This past week I saw what happens when you pray over a home. Larry and I lived in a home for 13 years together. Before we ever moved in Larry walked the perimeter of the property and inside it. I still do that pray over the homes I rent now. After Larry left I remained in the home and lived there for two more years before the house got sold. I prayed for the new owners as they would take up living in that house we had called home. I loved that house it was small but it holds lots of memories for Larry and I.

A couple days last week we had lots of wind and the home is surrounded by large Oak trees. Some of those trees have been there for a long time. That was on the weekend. On the Monday I was in the ER and my old neighbour Jim sent me some photos. I could tell it was my old house and I was so surprised what I was looking at. Its hard to tell in photos what is going on.

As you can tell from the photos it looked like one of the Oak trees had fallen down but I’m still not comprehending what happened. I can tell it’s one of the large ones that’s in the neighbours on the other side and then realised it’s one of those massive ones that’s fallen down. They are so tall and huge and you can tell by the roots in the ground. I’m stunned so it came down and looks like it’s fallen on their shed and part of it on the roof. I still had no idea.

A couple of days later I dropped my dog off at Jim’s house and I get a text from the lady who now owns the house with her Husband their small child and her father in law. He lives downstairs in the suite that Larry built. He was home when the tree went down. The tree fell right between both homes it crushed the fence and their deck that Larry built and caved in the roof in the side. The grandpa was home when it happened but his life was spared and the tree did not come near his suite.

I went to pick up a box that I had left behind when I moved that’s why she had text me. I thought I’d look and see what had happened to their home. They had, had someone come in and cut up the tree but the front yard looked like an Earthquake had hit it. I stood in shock as the deck was gone except for the landing that the stairs was once on and the deck still attached to the house. I felt sick in my gut and all these memories came back. I used to sit in that deck and think of one of those trees ever fell down it would do a lot of damage.

So many things are God’s divine intervention. The family were not home except for the grandpa and he never heard it. His suite was protected. Even though it crushed their new shed, the fence, their deck and their grill all that can be replaced. The other divine thing was it fell between the two homes. The people on the other side their kids bedrooms are all on that side and they were all home sleeping. It crushed their deck and part of the roof they were protected. So even though we moved out of that home it still was protected by the Lord. That’s truly amazing. I love the couple who moved into the home and I’m so glad that they are ok.

Marriage – memoirs

Not all of my marriage was bad in fact I had an opportunity to travel all over the USA and I got to live in some awesome amazing places where I met incredibly people who I’m still friends with today. I got to see some of the most beautiful countryside. I’ve been across the US twice from where I live in Canada. I’ve been to Washington, Idaho, Montana loved it there especially the town of Sheridan, North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illnois, Kentucky, Tennessee to North Carolina. It took us a week to drive there but I got to see so much of the country and I loved it. The second time we did it I had my golden retriever Libertyanne with us. As we got each state line we tied her up to the post and took her photo.

On the way back we drove through Kentucky. I loved that State as it’s got piles of horse stables. A horse state, Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma,New Mexico and Arizona. Colorado and Utah were two of my very favorite states. So beautiful in different ways. I loved Utah with Arches and we got to go in some tours where they had restored small villages. The salt flats in Utah were awesome and went on for miles and miles. We got to see wild horses on the side of the road and Colorado was magnificent. Loved the snow capped mountains. We went through California and up to Oregon.

We were going to Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch for a 4 day session where you learn how to set up your own ranch. At this ranch they rescue horses and team them up with children. There are over 200 of these ranches all over the world now. The high desert has become my second home and the ranch is my family. I love that place so much and have met awesome people that I still am friends with.

I’m so glad I got to see so many places and meet some of the nicest people I’ve ever met in my life. The USA is a beautiful country. I’m so glad I got to see so much of the Country. That’s why the US is close to my heart ♥️

God still does heal……

I know that God can heal anybody he wants to. We have seen all those amazing stories in the Bible and he’s raised people from the dead. I love those stories so much. I’ve watched God do amazing things with people I know. One of my friends who was an amazing singer. A year ago right near Easter she had a brain aneurism and was in coma. The doctors called in her family to tell them to come and say goodbye to her. People from all over the world came together and prayed for her to wake up out of her coma. The longer she remained in it the chances of survival stacked against her. The chorus in that song was very fitting to her circumstances.

There ain’t no grave

Gonna hold my body down

There ain’t no grave

Gonna hold my body down.

When I hear that trumpet sound

I’m gonna rise up outta the ground

There ain’t no grave

Gonna hold my body down.

Even though this song was about Jesus in the grave before he rose from the grave on the third day. It applied to what was happening to Lici. I listened to this song which she sang with Travis Cottrell everyday morning and night and prayed for her to wake. Right before Lici had her brain anuresrum she was singing with CeCe Winans on her album Believe. Both songs were so powerful in her healing.

Not only did she wake up but she went through intense therapy and was told that she would make a full recovery. It was hard but she stuck to it and a few months ago was reconciled with her beloved daughter whom she had been separated for a year. The doctors and specialists were in awe about her recovery according to them she should have been dead. God healed her body and even though she can’t sing like she used to I believe with my whole heart she will sing again. Miracles do happen.

When I feel discouraged with my best friend who has breast cancer I am reminded that God is A God of miracles. I’ve started listening to Ain’t no grave by Travis Cottrell and Elicia Brown as a reminder that God has my friend no matter what. I’ve seen other miracles that God has done and I believe in the power of prayer. Many are praying for her and when you read this blog I hope that you will pray for her as well.

Matthew 11:28-30

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.”

Matthew 9:20-22

” And behold, a woman who had suffered from a discharge of blood for twelve years came up behind him and touched the fringe of his garment, for she said to herself, If I only touch his garment, I will be made well. Jesus turned, and seeing her he said, Take heart, daughter; your faith has made you well. And instantly the woman was made well. “

So many great stories. A reminder that no matter what God has this under His control and He loves both of these women so much and they both are loved by so many. That is super humbling to me. God continues to use both of these woman and He will walk by them everyday for their faith and never giving up no matter what. I love that.

The simplicity of life

Children see things so simply that we often miss as adults. We tend to always be in a hurry for the next thing, rushing from place to place. We forget about slowing down. I spent this weekend with my dad. He has dementia and each time I go and spend time with him, I see things that I realize that if I didn’t go through this with him I would miss. I realized this weekend he sees things in such a simple lense. He sees things that if I didn’t slowdown I would miss. I love how he sees the world.

Even though it’s really hard to watch a member of your family go through dementia. This weekend was fantastic. He’s on a medication that has been upped a bit so it helps with his anxiety and helps him focus more on things. He doesn’t get as fixated on things and it’s the most clear headed I’ve seen him in a long time. He’s still the same guy and he’s funny we laugh often. Last night he called me kid that’s what he called me when I was a teenager.

Many who know me, know that my real dad was a monster and never was there for me ever. B has known me since I was 14 and he’s the best father. I love my times with him and now seeing the world through his eyes. It’s simple and not rushed, it’s a gift and each time I’m with him I learn so many things. So next time you feel rushed slow down and see what is out there. Be curious about the world out there. I guess that’s why there’s a saying it there “Stop and smell the roses.”

Trauma in children

Trauma comes in all different sizes. This is the definition I found on google Trauma is the lasting emotional response that often results from living through a distressing event. Experiencing a traumatic event can harm a person’s sense of safety, sense of self, and ability to regulate emotions and navigate relationships.

Trauma effects every part of our being. Sometimes we get stuck emotionally at the age maybe where the truama began. Our brains don’t function normally. Our bodies kick into survival mode. Flight, fight or freeze. In that moment our brain works hard to fend off whatever we think is a threat. Trauma changes the way we feel, act or think in situations. For me trust was huge because people often hurt me even when they thought they were helping me.

Trauma’s Impact on Brain Development

Exposure to chronic, prolonged traumatic experiences has the potential to alter children’s brains, which may cause longer-term effects in areas such as:

  • Attachment: Trouble with relationships, boundaries, empathy, and social isolation
  • Physical Health: Impaired sensorimotor development, coordination problems, increased medical problems, and somatic symptoms
  • Emotional Regulation: Difficulty identifying or labeling feelings and communicating needs
  • Dissociation: Altered states of consciousness, amnesia, impaired memory
  • Cognitive Ability: Problems with focus, learning, processing new information, language development, planning and orientation to time and space
  • Self-Concept: Lack of consistent sense of self, body image issues, low self-esteem,shame and guilt
  • Behavioral Control: Difficulty controlling impulses, oppositional behavior, aggression, disrupted sleep and eating patterns, trauma re-enactment

Source: Cook, et al, 2005

School was next to impossible for me to learn. For me it was my freedom from my nightmare at home. People who don’t know or have never experienced trauma have no idea why a child is acting out in class. They may be violent, low in ademics, impulsive, angry, or withdrawn or have other symptoms. How can we look at the whole child and see that maybe they have come from trauma. Every child is unique in their own way but children from trauma are extra special. One of the only good things that’s comes from my trauma as a kid is that I see children who have trauma in their lives. I’m drawn to them and I understand what and how they feel.

Children are not going to sit down and learn in a classroom. They fight for survival they bolt when they feel they cannot control their lives. Running is easier then facing the scary thing. Imagine coming to school for your first time you’ve never left your home that’s all you know. Then you discover that through a lot of trust the people you see everyday they make you feel like you’ve never felt before. What is that feeling? That feeling is called love. Before you trust anyone you own lash out at people hurting them. As a kid you model what you see at home. That you thought was your normal but you slowly realize that is not normal at all. Nobody else does that.

Trying to get a child in trauma to learn is next to impossible with no trust. I was so low in my schooling way below all the children. For me I was always hungry so you can’t concentrate on work if your stomach growls so much. I love my school because we have many programs that our children can get food from. No child is ever hungry. So next time a child is acting up in your class it could be for many reasons. Taking that time to figure out out it makes a world of difference for everyone. ❤️

Standing up for what is right…

After being bullied as a kid for years from so many people and into my adult life. I don’t understand if you’ve been abused why people think they can continue to pick on me. One thing I did learn was that I now can stand up for what is right and stand up for myself. I’m no longer that child or teen that can’t stick up for themselves or defend themselves. It’s almost like we get a target on our backs. I hate it so much and as an adult have had to set really clear boundaries with people in my life.

I don’t want people in my life that treat me badly so I cut them out of my life. Life is too short to have to deal with drama but what do you do when someone in your family is doing that to you. I find it interesting that this family member said they would never be like our dad but last night and many other nights I realized that’s he’s just like our dad. He’s been stressed and when he’s stressed he takes it out on me for the most stupid things. They are not worth freaking out about. Our dad used to do the same things he’d freak out and yell at us as kids and then beat us. This family member does not hit me but those words of verbal abuse are brutal. Last night I was told that I manipulate others so much to get what I want. Really because anybody who knows me that’s not how they would describe me.

I stood up for myself and they freaked out more at me yelling and screaming at me. The words hurt and what I’ve learned about verbal abuse is it sticks with you for a long time. He won’t apologize and my mom says it’s because of how they grew up. Really because I grew up the same way and I never ever have treated someone like that when I’m upset. This person has a choice and this is what they are choosing. Today it was like nothing happened last night. They were all nice and great and giving me a hug. That’s what abusers do smooth over and pretend it never happened until the next time.

There will be no next time because I’m done with the verbal abuse no more dinners no more family things. It saddens me so much but if I don’t do this, this abuse continues. I put up with so much verbal abuse in my life. It has to stop sometime so I’m going to stop it. It’s hard to stand up to those who treat you badly but if you don’t they will continue to abuse you.

After leading the life I had I have zero tolerance for bullying for adults or children. I’m so glad that I’m healthy now and can see when this is happening and remove myself from it. It’s very empowering and helps me to help others. You do not have to be around people like that family or not. I’ve worked so hard in my life to keep out toxic people and no matter how hard it is I will continue to do it. I so appreciate all the people I have in my life who love and support me and have helped me become the strong woman I am today.

Spiritual Abuse

Religious abuse is abuse administered under the guise of religion, including harassment or humiliation, which may result in psychological trauma. Religious abuse may also include misuse of religion for selfish, secular, or ideological ends such as the abuse of a clerical position. Wikipedia

This is what Wikipedia says about the definition of Spiritual Abuse. I experienced Spiritual Abuse in my marriage for 19 years. I had no idea what it was I only know how it felt each time it happened. How can anyone decide it’s ok to tell you or anyone what you are doing wrong in your life. Nobody has that right to tell you that. What made it worse was being told God told me to tell you this…. This past weekend a gal reached out to a bible study group I’m involved in. A pastor she knows wrote her an email about her life and her boyfriend’s. He judged them both so much and said because of how he saw their lives that they were never saved and that her boyfriend never went to heaven when he died. This person was devestated because they both had a relationship with God and this shattered her world. She was left totally devestated not only for her loss of her boyfriend but for her faith as well. She felt defeated and now really lost.

I read the pastor’s email. He’s been a Pastor for 45 years and his words were so harsh and to me that’s not the God I know. He talked about how you can’t sin and be saved. Really because we all sin. I was angry that he told her that and how many other people has he counselled the same stuff. I was able to share my story with her admit living with a man who used Spiritual abuse for his gain and I often would think how is it that God tells you to condemn others when you need to take the plank out of your own eye. He’s not in my life anymore but he still counsels people in what they are doing wrong in their lives. I told her to look at her own heart what did she feel. She told me that she has a relationship with God. Then I told her to stand on what she believes because nobody can take that away from you.

We all are held accountable to God and He knows our hearts. This pastor is so wrong in his thinking. This poor woman was so discouraged and told us tonight that she didn’t know what would have happened if I had not intervened on Sunday. I’m so glad she was willing to listen. No wonder people run from what they think God may be from what someone has misled them to believe. Words hurt no matter who tells you them. People like this just continue ripping people to shreds saying that God told them to tell you that.

God’s words in His scriptures are our truths. Don’t let anybody tell you that your not God enough or that your not saved or someone you love is not going to heaven. Be wise and seek out counsel from people you trust. Watch out for false prophets they come when you least expect it. They deceive you and make you think you are the worst person in the world and that your so bad unless you do what they ask.

Like I’ve said before abuse comes in all forms and each one is so damaging as the next one. It’s taken me years to get over this part of my life. It’s hard for me to talk about but I’m so glad God used my testimony to help this woman on Sunday. She is loved and God has always been right beside her and now even more in her grief. ❤️