Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Conflict is Everywhere

As human beings in this world, there is truly conflict everywhere.  The only time you will not face conflict is if you live in a mountain cabin miles from everywhere and do not speak to anyone or phone anyone and stay off of facebook, twitter and other social media.  Then you will just have yourself to deal with  and that is usually pretty easy to deal with.

But how do you truly handle conflict? Do you spend days, weeks, months griping and complaining about a situation at work or do you approach your supervisor and ask how to fix the situation?  If you have a conflict or disagreement with your child's teacher or the school administrator do you go to facebook and tell it on a county concerns page or do you deal with it privately and lots of prayer?

Remember, everything you do and say is heard and seen by your children and their friends and other people you associate with.  I know when I was going through the worst of my recent separation and divorce I had a certain few people that I could truly "let it all out" around and I have others in my life that I chose to put on a fake smile and say, "I am ok and things are getting better".  I did my best to keep it off of facebook and I am thankful today that it is all behind me (the healing is far from over, but the divorce is final).

Our children are innocent and we need to do as much as possible to keep them that way. After my 1st divorce, I did the best I could at not bashing or speaking bad about their father in front of them. It was very difficult at times when there was no child support coming in and I was working two jobs to make ends meet. I am not ashamed to tell you that I often got groceries from my parents house to feed my children. I had many nights where I cried myself to sleep at night because I was alone with two little ones to raise and did not know how on earth I was going to survive.  I usually griped about my situation with my ex at the office where thankfully I had caring co-workers who didn't mind listening and pointed me toward happier things to focus on.

I did not always agree with my child's teachers over the years but I rarely said this to my children. I taught them both to respect authority. There were a couple of teachers I could name even now that were very stressful all year long but I never allowed my child to bash the teacher or the school or stay home cause they had a bad day the day before.  I taught them to do the right thing even when the teacher did not. I will always be thankful for the teachers that blessed me and my children in those years.Thankfully, in most cases, they were blessed by teachers who fed into them the love of learning and lifelong education.

I don't care who the conflict is with, nothing is solved by making it public on social media. You are making yourself look like a chronic complainer/whiner and that is not professional by any definition.  You are inviting others to join in the conflict with you and that makes it a bigger conflict with everyone you tell in confidence because they usually tell 2-3 people as well. 

The Bible tells us to deal with our conflicts with other Christians privately and within the church if at all possible and this way it will be solved quicker in most cases. Consider praying first before sharing your anger with others in the coming days. I pray you are safe today and every day and you have a peaceful Wednesday. Domestic Violence Hotline - 1.800.799.SAFE (7233)

Friday, February 21, 2014

Many faces of Therapy

When I say the word therapy many things come to mind. In my mind's eye I see a counselor's office, a doctor's office, physical therapy or just friend therapy.  There are many ways to heal from your wounds and you have to find the way that helps you best.

There is nothing wrong with seeking out a counselor or therapist to help get you through rough times and I have tried everything over the years.  It took me years to trust my closest friends (or the ones I would let inside my barriers) with what I have really been through.

I have friends that have been through similar situations that can totally relate and I have friends that are great listeners and can empathize with me even though they have not lived through the extent of my experiences.  This is where Christian friends and a female support group became so important to me.

I knew in July of 2012, I was gonna need some angels here on earth to talk me through quite a bit and I reached out to one months before I ever moved back and she is always there to listen, tells me to "Just Breathe and Pray" constantly. I have not been able to talk to my mom and I really didn't want to dump my troubles on my daughter and I didn't want to bother my sisters either cause they were living their own lives.  So I leaned heavily on my church friends and pastor and they have helped me see what I needed to see and helped me through some very rough times.

Last week, while I was avoiding anything that looked like a Valentine, I was also searching my mind for someone else who needed a night out and messaged a friend of mine.  We had a great night catching up at a local place and it was really good to just sit and talk about life and how far we have come. 

Earlier this week another friend asked me to go with her to visit a local museum that neither of us had ever been to. That was a blessed night to walk the exhibits, sit and talk and truly be real with each other.  So while Nashville was getting rainy weather and high winds we were helping each other heal at the museum.

So today I want to say thank you to all my friends who lift me up and listen to me and I offer the same therapy back to you. Just call or text me and we will keep holding each other up no matter what we are facing.  

Deep down in your heart you know you have a few people close by that you can truly be honest with and share your life struggles with. Pray about it first if you are uncertain but I pray for you to find a friend to listen to you and help hold you up as I have. 

I would truly be lost without all my friends whether they live close by or there are miles between us. Every person who was walked this path with me has helped me in some way and You mean the world to me.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Be Gentle

Today I learned that my storage unit was a lot like my wounded heart. It is messy but it is all mine.

I have had this storage unit since X2 moved me back here to TN in July of 2012.  It's almost like a ghost of that U-Haul and him are still there watching me when I go there to get equipment or get rid of a piece of furniture. I have to go and get out of there or I risk getting sad and depressed because of all the history, memories and lost dreams that are there.  I see nothing but memories and heartache in that storage unit.

I sold some of my furniture and chose to go there today and thought we were only measuring the furniture. Well by the time we were ready to leave, my parents and I had loaded up that dresser in my parents SUV so it could be taken to my sister eventually.

Yes, there are boxes there falling apart, yes the boxes are in bad shape, but I don't care and I do not have the time or inclination to spend hours there organizing my past into cute little plastic bins for someone else who is OCD and finds fault with everything I do. What this person does not realize is that my heart and mind are still like those boxes and when you find fault with those boxes and that storage unit, you are finding fault with me.

So choose your words with kindness and don't badger me.  I am still hurting and wounded on the inside and you will never understand what I am going through unless you have been moved 'home' and dumped at a storage unit with little to no income in the hot summer sun. Being abandoned is something you don't readily get over like a skinned knee.

I am hurting pretty bad tonight but I will pick up the pieces again and be at work with a smile on my face ready to take on another day because I know my God does not find fault with me and I know he loves me no matter how messy my heart or life has been.

If you are in immediate danger please call 911 - Domestic Violence Hotline is 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).

Friday, February 14, 2014

Valentines

Remember in grade school where you bought a pack of paper valentine cards and the list of your classmates and spent time at the kitchen table writing everyone's name on a card whether you liked them or not?  I can still see in my mind's eye sitting at the kitchen table doing this very thing with my sister the week of Valentine's Day. Some years the school teacher would let us make a box at home and bring it in or sometimes we made them in school as a group project.  Either way, most of us ended up with a box/bag of little paper valentine's signed by all our classmates and some candy at the school party.

Then you get to Junior High and hope that cute guy from social studies knew you were alive and that he would spend 50 cents to send you a candygram during the week of Valentine's Day. High School was much the same for me watching the popular girls all get flowers on Valentine's Day from either their boyfriends or their parents. I didn't care who they got the flowers from, I just thought it was cool they got flowers and someone knew they were alive.

Now, here I am 43 years old and I consider my grandchildren my "Valentines" this year. There will not be anyone sending me flowers or candy for a while because I am single and thankful to be free to do as I please. Don't feel sorry for me and don't send me a cute little Valentine's Day message because I will delete it.  IF you only tell someone you love them on their birthday, a holiday or something else dictated by society, Is that really love? Or is it obligation?

I never got my children any major gifts on Valentine's Day. I bought them their cards for their class and we usually had some chocolate candy at the house on Happy Heart Day (which is what I called it). But we also spent 8 years of Valentine's weekend (or the timeframe around it) selling Girl Scout Cookies at the local grocery or discount store because I was a GS leader and it was the first weekend to get those cookies out of my living room. 

Be blessed and enjoy this day of love - but remember that you should show that love every day not just when the calendar tells you to :)

Much Prayer and blessings to each of you and please share the blog on your pages to spread the word about Domestic Violence and that you can get out of the situation. You are not alone!

Monday, February 10, 2014

Freedom

I wrote this poem today at the end of my workday. I am trying to put into words how I feel about holidays and Valentine's in general. It is raw, but it is me. 

Freedom is a state of mind for me this Valentine's week.
I am free from anyone making choices that I must accept.
I am free from anyone controlling where I go or who I speak to.
I am free to say or do whatever I please.

My choices may not be your choices and that is ok. Do not waste your time trying to correct me but instead love me where I am on my journey.  For I have not reached my destination but I have come a long way from where I started on July 23, 2012.

Cheer me on and pray for me to make the right decisions. I need all the positive Godly women in my life to surround me and hold me up.  I am not strong but I am a fighter.

I refuse to give up because if I give up then he wins and I will never allow either of them to win over me ever again.

Maryann Walker 2-10-2014

Choices, Actions & Consequences - God uses it all!

Yesterday's lesson was about Moses and how his choices led him to the wilderness. Even while leading the Israelites, he made mistakes that cost him the goal of walking into the promised land. So If such a mighty man of God was made to face his choices, we must expect the same. Let that sink in. Yes, You are free to make choices but every choice has a result and some have consequences from society and/or the law of the land.

I was a single parent at the age of 21 and I love my children but it was very difficult on them and me. My parents helped me but I have never referred to those years as rosy. I was blessed to land an office job and had insurance and a paycheck to keep myself and children afloat and in our own apartment. 

In 2012, I quit my job at the mall in Warner Robins, GA and moved back to Tennessee so that I was again in my safe place with my parents and family close by.  My 2nd marriage had just ended (well we were separated) and the emotions were ugly and raw and I took the first job I was offered.

This job was at a bookstore and I was pretty good on the register and didn't mind cleaning up at night but I hated the 'magazine offers' we had to offer to every customer that used a debit/credit card because in my opinion the 'offer' was a scam.  I was told that I was not selling enough memberships and they cut my hours and I left that job. 

Two weeks later, I would be offered a job at a local gas station making $7.75 an hour to run the register, clean inside, stock the shelves and even clean the bathrooms.  I hated having to clean the bathrooms because the public is mean and even teenage girls were making fun of those of us working there and called us stupid to our face.  It was a hard job to hold onto but I stayed there 3 months.

Then my dad heard that Home Depot was hiring and I went for an interview and I got a cashier job paying more than the gas station and I was not going to have to do anything but help customers and ring up their purchases.  I loved my job at Home Depot and left there on good terms so that If I ever need it, I can return there for a part time job.  I am currently working in an office again as an accounts payable clerk doing work similar to what I did from 1992-2008 with state government.

I tell you about my 'work journey' to show you how with God's help I was able to work the ugliest job I ever had and still keep money coming in. We don't always have the glamorous jobs, but if we do the job we have currently to the best of our ability, we will be blessed. 

While Moses was tending Jethro's sheep, he would come in contact with the Burning Bush (Exodus 3). If you don't know the story of Moses, I will tell you that he was born to a Hebrew women and raised in the Egyptian palace and had been ostracized by both the Egyptians and the Hebrew because he didn't really fit with either of them.  The thought came to me yesterday during the lesson that Jethro had to teach Moses how to lead the sheep and that would come in handy later when Moses had to lead the Israelites in their wilderness.  God used the sheep to teach Moses lots of things he would need to know, but Moses probably didn't see that coming at the time.

Just keep in mind that no matter what you are facing today or this week or this month, God will use every lesson you learn and everything you have been through to make you into WHO he is planning for you to be.  Nothing is wasted with God!

If you are in immediate danger, please call 911 for help.  For a 24-hour National Domestic Violence Hotline, call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).

Friday, February 7, 2014

Which face are you wearing?

Are you the same person with the same attitudes, ways of speaking no matter who you are around?  I used to have many faces that I wore depending on the situation I was in at the time.

For example, I had a 'church face', 'work face', 'family face' and even a 'dealing with the ex' face up until the past couple of years.  I am learning that once you are healing from abuse, difficult marriages and a job you absolutely hate, you can merge all your 'faces' to be the person you truly are.  It is very difficult to be all kinds of people to those around you and it is not really healthy either.  My cousin said a couple years ago that us Walker Girls are pretty much WYSIWYG (which means what you see is what you get) type of people and at first I didn't agree with her, but now I totally whole-heartedly agree with her.

Make a list of all your 'faces' and work on which ones you want to get rid of or delve into a self-study to see why you have so many 'faces' at all.  Several of mine were part of my coping mechanism during the years of surviving and single motherhood and most of them I think I have tossed away. I was afraid to be myself at church and looking back now, I see how that hurt me in my journey to get closer to the Lord.  We must be real and transparent with God if we expect him to bless us. I mean, he knows everything anyway we truly cannot lie to him.


Today I just want to urge each of you to be true to who you are and choose your words. What you choose to say and do to others will determine your ability to increase at the office or at home.  If you want others to respect you, you must earn it.  Cussing a blue streak every day at the office doesn't get you a promotion and makes others around you very uncomfortable.  So today I am choosing to pray for my co-workers (all 8 of them) so that we can all get healthy again. Several of us have been sick with bronchitis, colds, walking pneumonia and none of us enjoying missing work because of illness.

I pray each of you have a warm safe place to lay your head and that you hold your loved ones close to you.  If you are in immediate danger, please call 911 for help.  For a 24-hour National Domestic Violence Hotline, call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233). 


Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Amazing Grace

Amazing Grace is a song that most people know some of the words to. Whether you grew up in church or not, you know the song and that the inspiration for it comes from the Book of Psalms.

I grew up in church and many of the older hymns are still in my memory banks. When I hear the music from the older hymns, it warms my heart because it brings back good memories. I always loved singing during church services. I don't care whether you are led by a choir with or without musical instruments, the music will move you and give you hope or lead you to pray.

This past Sunday morning, every song during worship reduced me to tears and this one is still playing over and over in my mind on a rainy Tuesday here at the office.

Here are the lyrics from the Chris Tomlin version of Amazing Grace (My Chains are Gone).

"Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)"


Amazing grace
How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost, but now I'm found
Was blind, but now I see

'Twas grace that taught my heart to fear
And grace my fears relieved
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed

My chains are gone
I've been set free
My God, my Savior has ransomed me
And like a flood His mercy reigns
Unending love, amazing grace

The Lord has promised good to me
His word my hope secures
He will my shield and portion be
As long as life endures

[2x]
My chains are gone
I've been set free
My God, my Savior has ransomed me
And like a flood His mercy reigns
Unending love, amazing grace

The earth shall soon dissolve like snow
The sun forbear to shine
But God, Who called me here below,
Will be forever mine.
Will be forever mine.
You are forever mine. 
 
Please remember that no matter what you are facing, God is there and waiting for you to talk to him about everything you are dealing with. It doesn't matter if you are a college student struggling with a class you don't 'get' or a mom with 4 kids who refuse to get along. God is there for all of us and will meet us where we are. Just reach out in prayer. 
 
If you are in a dangerous situation, there are ways out and ways to get help! If you are in immediate danger, please call 911 for help.  For a 24-hour National Domestic Violence Hotline, call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233).