Liberty-anne

Even though we were over 3,000 miles away from my family, I have to say that NC was an amazing place to live. I made friends fast and we had found a church we loved and I got to know the woman. I’m still friends with many of them today. As I’ve said before Southerns are very outgoing friendly people. Luke promised me a dog when we lived here and after doing some research we found a lady who bred golden retrievers who lived down the bottom of the mountain. We became fast friends with her. We’d go visit her and she often had puppies in her kitchen. I would go for puppy snuggles and love. Golden puppies are the best. I was on the list for a puppy unfortunately the dog I was waiting for a puppy from was not pregnant. I knew at some stage I’d get a dog.

One day Mary called me and said a lady had golden puppies she had used one of Mary’s dogs as a stud. Mary came with me and we picked the pick of the litter. The day arrived when we brought home our puppy. I named her Liberty-anne. Oh my gosh I was in love and so was everyone who met her. I never owned a dog before so we found a place I could train her at. Two of the ladies I met there I still keep in touch with them. I learned lots of great things. Liberty was an amazing sensitive dog and later when I was really depressed she helped me so much be able to just get out of bed each day. She just knew I needed her. Liberty was there when I was lonely for my family. I never saw them in five years. That’s a long time not to see them.

Even though I had tons of friends I was lonely for my family. Things were getting harder and harder in my marriage and it seemed like we constantly moved from place to place. After 4 years in NC Luke felt we were supposed to move to Washington State and look after a ranch. I didn’t realize it was a ranch so isolated from everyone and so many of our friends in NC felt that we were not supposed to go. It was hard to get up and leave all that I knew. The ranch was beautiful yes and we had a nice place to live but it was far away from a town and people. That was one of the hardest moves we had made so far. Thank goodness I had Liberty. She was my saving grace.

Gratitude

Despite all that is going on around me I have so much to be grateful for. I’m trying to live every day grateful for what I have in my life. I have many great things in my life. This weekend I shared my Easter with my family. It was so good to hang out with all of them. My brother, sister in law and my nephew came from the mainland and we all got together a couple of times and then had Easter dinner Sunday night. It was so good to be able to all be together. It’s tough with my step dad having dementia it makes our family times special. As he deteriorates it’s tough on all of us. My nephew is now 16 and learning to drive. He towers over me and I adore him. He’s got the same funny sense of humor my brother and I have.

I’m so grateful for my friends. I have friends that I’ve had since I was a teenager and in my 20’s to ones I’ve made in the last year. Each one is special to me. One of my core friends is one I’ve worked with in the same daycare. I see her often and we get on so well, probably because we think the same way and have gone through similar things. Then I have my other core friends who I love so much and because of Covid I’ve not seen them much but we pick up where we have left off before. We lift up each other, we encourage each other and we pray for each other. We are there through thick and thin. I’m so blessed to have each of them in my life. God has blessed me with many great people both in Canada and the USA. I have many American friends whom I love so much and wish I lived closer to them. Some of them live in NC and s some of them live in Oregon.

I’m blessed to know many awesome people from Crystal peaks youth ranch. That’s my home away from home. There are amazing people who work there and run the ranch there. I hate the miles that separate us. I love the people that don’t work at the ranch and love to hang out with them. I miss them so much I’ve not been back to Oregon in 3 years.

I’m blessed to have my childhood friends who live in Ireland. My best childhood friend is coming here next week on a cruise ship with her husband and I’m going to spend the day with them. I’ve not seen them in 11 years. I’m blessed to have made friends at my school. One of them is new this school year and I adore her. It makes school a fun to be.

I’m blessed that I have a great place to live. It’s my own little house and I love having more space again. I’m blessed that I have a great church with many good people in it. I’m blessed to have a crazy labradoodle who often makes me laugh and a rabbit. I’m blessed to know a group of women who are my Life group and they live in the US and one of the gals in Canada. Last year I got to meet her and her son. These women are a life line to me and there for me no matter what. I love each of them.

I’m blessed that I get to come back and be on staff in September and that there are funds for my job. I love my job and I love getting to know all the kindergarten children. I work at an awesome school and for that I’m so blessed and grateful.

No matter what you may be going through there is always something to be grateful for. What are you grateful for in your life? ❤️

Someone I look up to

Recently I found out that one of my good friends her cancer has spread. The news was not what anyone wanted to hear. This friend is an amazing woman one I cherish very much. Her strength and her outlook on life is amazing and the first time she had cancer I stood in awe at how she led her life. I know her strength is from her faith and it’s tough watching someone you love struggle. I look up to this gal she has no idea how the stands she choose in her marriage helped me be able to stand in mine as well. She did the right thing even though it was so hard on her children. She chose the healthy path. I watched her make it on her own financially. We had many conversations. It’s hard to do what’s healthy for us but without her stand I would not have been able to get out of a marriage that was hard in so many ways.

I love the times we went to rabbit shows and stayed in a hotel together. Rabbits tied us together and when I got into breeding my friend was always there to help me with my rabbits. We both work in the same field with children and my friend is awesome with children. I love her heart. When circumstances came up and our friendship ended for a few years she was the first one to want to try and be friends again. Our friendship became stronger then ever.

One of my favorite things to do is we all pile into another friends van and we head up island. We all get on so well together and have much to talk and laugh about. We stop for lunch and then we go to an amazing thrift shop and spend a couple of hours in there finding all these treasures that people once owned. Sometimes we go to the beach or we find more stores to shop in. We drive back home and stop for dinner on the way home and get home late but feels so good to just be together. There are four of us that hang out together. All of these gals are my best friends. Each of them has a strength that they bring to the group. I love these woman with all my heart.♥️ I’m blessed to have them in my life and I wanted them to know that. We all will be there for each other in this journey we call life.

Swannanoa Christian Ministry

Living in the USA I had to do something to keep myself busy. I could not legally work. A girl from church told me that I could volunteer with a ministry in town. They collected donations from other churches and gave food, clothing and other services to families. I decided to join up and volunteer. Swannanoa Christian Ministry ended up being a life saver for me. I got in so well and volunteered for 3 years. I loved this place so much and met some awesome people which I still keep in touch with today.

https://www.svcmblackmountain.org/https://www.svcmblackmountain.org/

I provided a link about what they do because it explains it better than I can in here. They get tons of donations from other churches and people who drop off clothing etc. As a volunteer I worked 3 times a week sorting through donations. I storted through clothing, shoes, sheets and towels and household items. For items that we couldn’t use they for shipped to a country that could use them and we only keep seasonal clothing the rest for shipped to places where it was winter or summer depending on what season we were in.

Volunteers were young to older and the mornings I was on I made friends fast with people and we had fun. Two of the gals I worked with lots for put on sheets as there was so many. I joined their team and we were known as the linen sisters. The fun we had both were retired and they wanted to still do something. We often laughed so hard our sides hurt. I loved these women and we’d be sorting clothing and either Jan or Alice would dress up in clothes and parade around the ministry. We always laughed so much. Last year Alice passed away and I was saddened by that. I still keep in touch with Jan. We are still known as the linen sisters.

One day I was sorting through a bag of donations and all of a sudden I let out a huge scream and the volunteers came over to see what I screaming about and inside my black garbage bag was a dead mouse. The things you’d find in your donation bags. People who left valuables in pockets and the ministry would have to track them down. We got tons of donations of people who had died. Even though we had fun there. It was sad to see the people who came in looking for help. Lots of families who needed food or clothing. Homeless Vets who needed a helping hand or the woman whose kids or themselves who were sick and had to find up their homes to pay for medical treatment.

We have no idea how lucky we are in Canada because we would never lose our home to pay for medical. I was able to pray with people especially a woman who was caught in addiction. She yelled at me but she was detoxing and it scared her and I was able to share how God had healed me from alcoholism. God uses our stories and it helps others. That’s why I share my story through my blog because if it helps one person then it’s all worth it. Those were the best three years of my life working in a humble ministry helping others. It was such an amazing experience and God used it. I was sad when I had to leave. I had the greatest memories. It made my time in NC be the best time. I still smile when I think of the People and the fun I had.

Not taking one day for granted

If God decided to take you home today or tomorrow or whenever it’s your time to go. Would you be ready? Would you have done what you were expected to do on this earth. Yesterday one of my best friends was in a car accident. Without thinking yesterday she called me. I picked up the phone and heard someone ask her “Are you ok and do you need to go to the hospital? I heard her said no. I tried calling back and no answer. A couple of minutes later I clued in that she must have been in a car accident. I text her and asked and she said yes and I asked if I could help her and she said a mutual friend was coming to get her. For seven hours yesterday I had no idea what was happening other then she was at the hospital getting checked out. I could not go and sit with her because the hospital was full of people visitors were not allowed in. I had to wait and trust that she was ok. I immediately sent out messages to all my prayer warrior friends to pray.

God looked after her yesterday because that accident could have gone so wrong in so many ways. She walked out of her truck that was totalled and she was given a clear bill of health from the doctors. All she got was a small bruise on her knee. She was very shaken up but that’s not surprising. Angels were looking out for her yesterday. I had to trust last night she was ok. After she was ok physically I was so Thankful that she lived. I realized that I have not told her in a while how much I love her and that how important our friendship is to me.

This morning over coffee I was reflecting on life and was thinking of God took me home tomorrow would I be ready to go home. Would I have done everything I needed to do in this earth. I realized that I live a life that is full of love for everyone no matter who they are or what color their skin is. The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control…” I have joy in my life and try to find joy in all things. I often feel the peace of God in my life which peace only comes from Him. I try to patient with everyone especially the children I work with. Sometimes I need more help with this. Kindness is showing others how you care for them in all situations. Generosity I’m generous with my time for others and love giving others gifts. I have huge faith because of what I endured as a child and have seen many miracles in the Lord. I’m still working on gentleness and self control.

I would like to think I would be ready. I told my friend today that God has not finished your story yet and she agreed. Give your family an extra hug tonight or tomorrow and tell them how much you love and appreciate them. When this happens it puts life into perspective and I realize how precious every day is. I don’t want to take advantage of any day. I want to live my life to the fullest everyday. Thank you Lord for keeping my friend safe yesterday. ❤️

Bullying others

This has been on my mind so I thought I’d write about it. I always try to see the best in others. I’m gracious, compassion and understanding. Recently I’ve been in a situation where I’ve bent over backwards for people and given them piles of grace. I don’t think most people would have put up with a lot of what I have had to do. I’m wondering why people think when your nice to them do they want to take advantage of you. Why are they only nice to you when they want something and then turn really ugly when they speak out ? It’s taken me a long time to trust people from all the crap I went through as a kid. I don’t want to change who I have become but certainly don’t want to have to be the brunt of ugliness. Why do these people think it’s ok to treat others like this?

It’s not ok to bully others into what you want for them. I had heard stories about this person and I listened to them and now after what I have experienced I see truth to what they said. I asked my pastor recently why people treat others like this and he told me ” Unfortunately miserable people is often the norm.” I can’t imagine treating anybody like this and being nice and sweet and then becoming almost a different person when it came to their family. This behaviour reminds me of my stepmom. Also you have no idea when the next crazy thing will happen.

No matter what has happened I’ve risen above it and have prayed for them and their family. I imagine they will continue to behave that to others but that’s not my concern. I won’t be around it anymore. I love how God meets our needs and knows exactly what we need. I don’t need toxic relationships in my life. I need those who are kind, caring, understanding and compassionate. Those who love others and those who lift me up. Bullying happens way to much in our society and I hate that especially the vulnerable get caught in it. Bullying will only stop when people speak out about it. ❤️

Change

I’ve have had so much change in the last three years since my husband left. Change used to be scary for me but I have realized that i can make decisions like everyone else. My husband used to make all of them. When he left I felt lost because now I had to figure what I needed. I realized I’m never alone in any decision I make because I have God and He always looks after me. In the three since L left I’ve brought a car, packed up and downsized a whole home and moved and now six months later I’m moving again. I realized the home I’m in now was just a stepping stone to my new home. In two weeks I move closer to my parents and almost back in the same community that I came to when I moved from Ireland. When I moved last summer I was not ready to move out of my community. I had lived here for thirteen and a half years. I needed rest, peace and time to adjust to not being married and all that happened there.

Change used to freak me out because of the unknown and being married to someone who controlled a lot of my life. I was scared would I be able to make the right decisions. I have a lot of people in my life who care and love me and they all pulled up beside me and I have grown and flourished so much. I’m learning who is Sarah? I always had low self esteem and felt unsure but I’m finding that I can make great decisions and in two weeks I’m moving to my new home. It’s a separate house on the property of another home. It’s right in the middle of all the places I go to now. I can bring my rabbit and my dog and it’s quiet and peaceful. I can’t wait to see the adventures I will experience. The best thing is I’m really happy with my life and love simplicity.

So no matter what you’ve been through in your life. Don’t ever second guess yourself. You can do anything you set your mind to you don’t need a man or a woman to define who you are. You are perfect just the way you are.

Reflections

I never imagined three and half years ago when I decided to blog that it would explode into lots of people reading what I wrote. It was just me writing about a few things in my life. English especially writing was hard for me for a long time so writing a blog was not what I ever imagined. I always had written journals and had lots and lots of them. I then found blogging was therapeutic and for years and years I wrestled with writing a book about my life but that never ever happened. Last year I decided that maybe I would write my memoirs on my blog and I could choose what I wrote about. I realized that the story needed a voice and even though its been hard to write at times, if it helped one person who read it then it was worth it. I never imagined how many people read it now and it has helped people and I know the timing on this pendemic was the right time to share. It’s sad when I connect with people who have lost their faith and given up on what was once important to them. They just are living life with no purpose. That’s hard. I want people to know that when though things have been really hard and tough and times where I wanted to give up and die that I’ve never given up on anything and that I will fight for things that are wrong in this world. I stand continually in the gap for others who are treated wrongly or bullied.

I love that four years ago I joined the school district to work with children. School was my only safe place growing up and the day I went to the school office to apply. As I sat in the office waiting for an interview. It felt like home. I love that I can understand and have compassion and understanding for those children who seem to fit nowhere. I know that feeling. I see the children that play alone, feel horrible about who they are and the ones that have tough times for whatever reason. I love the school I’m in because the children are seen they matter to each of us. I have insight about trauma and abuse.

When I get overwhelmed or maxed out in life I get sick. That’s my body’s way of telling me it’s too much. It’s a lot better now but I used to sick a lot. My body is very sensitive to change and things out of my control. I think part of that is my PTSD. This recent move again in my life triggers massive stress and now a cold. I listen to my body and then I bounce back. It’s hard for people sometimes to understand but if you knew all the things I’ve been through you’d understand. My body will shut down. I used to get really sick and get infections and my body would shut down and it was scary. As years have gone by now I’m lucky I just get a cold or a mild illness. I often think having a very sensitive body is a curse but I realized it’s how your body reacts things in life. I read a book called When your body keeps score and it talks about this and it helped me understand why sickness comes and how your body protects you. It’s very fascinating.

The blog I wrote last night was hard to write. It’s hard for me to write about my marriage and yes it had great parts in it but I’ve shyed away from writing about Spiritual Abuse. I do know now that when I got married I was very vulnerable and looking for love but because I had no idea what love was and coming from my background and past my experiences were messed up. I know Luke loved me but he had a lot of control on my life. I used a lot of my survival skills in my marriage to survive. Even though he’s been gone for almost three years the best thing he could have done was left. I’m now learning about who I am. I realized that I can do many things without him or anybody. I’m not defined by a man. I’m really happy I’m my life with my labradoodle Zeke and my rabbit Jonas. I’m happy and content on my own and I have many awesome great friends who support me and I have an amazing job. I’m learning who Sarah is. I’m really liking what I see. I’ve learned a lot of great skills of how to deal with things that come my way and most of all I have a God who looks after me no matter what.

Living in the Black Mountains

If you’ve never lived in the Southern USA it’s quite an experience one that I will never forget. People are so friendly and welcoming it doesn’t matter where you are from. People are so laid back and mountain time is nothing like one ever seen in the West. I’ve lived in neighbourhoods and you sometimes have no idea who your neighbours are and they may not ever say hi to you. In the South your neighborhoods are like part of your family. One of the neighbourhoods we lived in people came by and brought us dinner all we had to supply was plates and we quickly realized paper plates were it. People sit on their porches and wave as you drive by. Southern hospitality is the best.

We lived in four different homes in 4 years seemed like we’d get settled in and have to move because all the homes we were in except the last one were sold. Each move we lived still in the same town of Black mountain. It’s a beautiful  quaint town full of great stores and restaurants. It’s surrounded by the black mountains. This is from Wikipedia ” The range takes its name from the dark appearance of the red spruce and Fraser fir trees that form a spruce-fir forest on the upper slopes which contrasts with the brown (during winter) or lighter green (during the growing season) appearance of the deciduous trees at lower elevations.”

Black mountain is part of the Blue Ridge. The most scenic parkway is called the Blue Ridge Parkway. From Wikipedia  ” Blue Ridge, also called Blue Ridge Mountains, segment of the Appalachian Mountains in the United States. The mountains extend southwestward for 615 miles (990 km) from Carlisle, Pennsylvania, through parts of Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina, to Mount Oglethorpe, Georgia.” Its beautiful with all the mountains, the wild rodos which grow really high, the wildlife, the tunnels, and waterfalls. It’s spectacular and well worth a trip if you’ve never been there.

Black mountain is about 15 miles from Asheville, NC a city filled with art, folk music and artists. At the time we lived there it was one of the Top five Cities to live in in the USA. 🇺🇸 I met many different people that I’m still friends with today. Black mountain well always be my home away from home. God puts people in your life for a reason. I have my friends from the church that Luke and I attended, friends I made at dog training classes, friends I made at the Christian ministry I volunteered at in Black mountain and friends who still own a business in Black mountain. Luke worked for these people in their business and I got to know his wife well. We had lots of great adventures in NC and it was a great place to live.

T

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