Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Resting in Trust

Starting over is difficult no matter who you are or what your status may be.

Starting over and giving a new person a chance to hurt your heart is very difficult when you have been abused, mis-treated and hurt for many years over several relationships.

I lived in fear for years that if/when I took the time to make plans an hour from home with old friends that I would have to make sure the kids were situated and that my spouse at the time was "okay" with me being out of the house for a while.

If I dared to stay too long then it was nothing out of the ordinary for him to take off on his own trip to see his friends and cancelling any plans we might have had as a couple or family that evening. This happened over and over and I always apologized and became more and more of a hermit. This became such a life habit for me that I never left the house for more than 2 hours at a time and always while he was at work.

I was not allowed to go out after work or stop somewhere on the way home. My job was to go to work, rush home, fix his dinner, iron his uniform and keep the house straight so he was "in a good mood" to go to work. I basically stopped having a life and had to beg for any time away from home.

I even quit doing my PartyLite shows away from our home county so that I would not be far away.  It took me years to wake up and see how he was controlling me and the double standard that was in play. It was completely normal for him to go off with his friends, take off for the weekend or go out after his shift was over and do whatever he wanted. And if I questioned where he was or got worried about him, I was told I was being crazy and I was in the wrong and again forced to apologize to keep the peace at the house.

Thankfully this extremely abusive and toxic relationship is behind me and a part of my past.

This all came to my mind while driving this weekend. An old friend from elementary school was in the Middle TN area and I was going to get to at least have lunch with her and catch up. I was so excited.

It dawned on me Friday night that David was not angry or upset that I was going to spend time with an old friend. He was happy for me! His only concern was the drive time and told me to have a great visit with my friend. This was a huge eye opener for me and just one of many reasons I can relax and just be myself at this point in my life.

All of the plans got changed up on Saturday with my friend Martha, but we did get to meet and have lunch after all these years of not seeing each other since 1984.So at the end of Saturday, I had seen my friend and was home relaxing when David got home from work. His day had been crazy but once he got home, he got to relax and turn off the business for a while.

I am so blessed and thankful that I am in a great place these days. Life is not perfect, but we are going through it day by day together knowing we have each other's back no matter what life throws at us.

I am so glad I took the chance to trust someone again and let someone in my life, my heart and to see the raw, real Maryann.

Keep believing and trusting God to take care of you because He will take care of you always (if you let him in).

If you are in danger, seek help by calling 1-800-799-7233 or your local shelter. There is always help, but you have to swallow your pride and ASK for the help! Many of the volunteers at shelters, have been where you are and will listen and help you.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Leaving Home

As many people graduate high school and college and make plans to move forward with their lives, many of them are moving to new places for jobs waiting for them.

Leaving home is hard to do. I did not want to go to MTSU or leave Mt. Juliet when my senior year was coming to an end. I actually wanted to go far away to another college further than an hour's drive from home. I eventually relented and attended MTSU that first year as a raw freshman and lived on campus.

I yearned to move away and be on my own, not having a clue how hard that would be or what my early 20's had in store for me.

I would live on Ft. Clayton in the Republic of Panama for a couple of years and have my son while living in a foreign country in 1991. I would end up returning to TN end of 1991 with 2 small children and a divorce in my future.

In the 25 years since I returned from Panama to Tennessee, Middle Tennessee has been like part of a rubber band constantly pulling me back to the area I grew up in. Even for the 9 months I lived in Georgia, I kept calling Tennessee home. It just never felt like home there even though I made great friends while living there, I knew I was not destined to stay there.

Whether you are leaving home, changing jobs or making other life changes, it is all difficult. I have often heard the first step is the hardest and that is pretty true. But it also takes quite a huge dose of determination to stay on track to complete the changes you have started.

Setting goals on a goal chart is easy, Sticking to them when life gets in the way, the car breaks down, the AC goes out or someone has a health scare, is one of the toughest things to do.

6 years ago today my son graduated high school in Spanish Fork, Utah. He is currently in Utah and will most likely stay there for a few more years. I miss him terribly and make sure he knows he can call anytime and I will listen always.

Even if you are leaving home, you don't have to leave your hopes and dreams. Often they will change and grow with you as you experience life.

Take care and be sure to stay in contact with those 'back home' as much as possible. Don't forget your roots, but don't be afraid to fly your own path either.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Sadness and Courage

In the past 2-3 days I have heard of a 2 year old having health issues and it looks like heart failure and her parents sit and anxiously wait for the next word from their cardiologist.  Another lady I know just got word that she has yet another brain tumor but the doctor's believe they can extract it because they caught it very early. And another family I know was told this morning that they must move and they have no where to go.

All of these things break my heart individually. Together, they overwhelm me. I do not have the money to help anyone of these people, but they are ALL on my heart and in my prayers today.

Some people have told me lately that I have it so good, why do I keep writing. I keep writing because I know someone out there is struggling with some issues and I know I am not alone in feeling overwhelmed.  I struggle daily with depression, anxiety, money worries and how I can help my adult children.

There are many celebrations to be had right now as well. Several people I know have children/grandchildren graduating high school or college and even kindergarten. I am so happy for each one of them.

My own parents celebrate 48 years of marriage on May 24th. That is a rare thing these days. My dad has 4 more treatments left on his chemo and has started doing a little substitute preaching again. I am happy for them in so many ways.

We are very stressed at the office these days, many of us are behind due to computer issues and systems not working for 2 weeks. With Year End ahead of us (end of June), we have to get all this work done while vendors and other employees and directors gripe about us as if they have never had computer shut downs before.

I am very happy for one co-worker who is moving on to a better paying job and will be closer to home. I will miss her a lot and plan to tell her that tomorrow.

It takes courage to face the days when you have no answers for those who come to you with their worries. I suggested /begged someone today to just sit and take care of their family and pray. It was all I could come up with.

I sit here on the front steps of the house with tears on my face as my sweetheart comes in from work asking me what's wrong. I hugged him tight and wiped my eyes and said I would tell him later.

If God be for us, who can be against us?  - this verse reminds me who is in ultimate control when we only see life completely out of control.

Please keep praying and keep walking and keep going to work. Don't give up, Don't give in and Don't ever forget you are loved !!

If you are in harm's way, please call 1-800-799-7233 and ask for help.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

A Cake and Time

My daughter Kourtney is an accomplished cake decorator. She baked and decorated her first cake for sale to a friend for a birthday when she was 15 or 16 years old. Best I can recall it was a beach scene on a 1/4 sheet cake.

Since then she has take Culinary Courses at Pellissippi State, worked for several grocery store bakeries to include Sam's Club, Food City and Publix. She has made nearly every birthday cake in our family for the past 5 years, made several wedding cakes and lots of cupcakes and this past year added cookies to her baked goods offerings.

She and I used to watch the Cake Challenges on Food Network and she has many bakers and cake decorators that she considers her inspirations. She has gotten very good at making figures out of fondant and just blows me away with her talent.

A few years ago, she was contacted by her father's current wife on facebook and her father has a facebook page as well.  Over the years, when she posts photos of her children, he would comment and they would talk back and forth.

Last week, I saw a message to my daughter from her father and it brought me to tears.  I was so happy for my daughter. She had made a Darth Vader cake and Storm Trooper cupcakes for a client and posted the pictures on facebook. Her father was a huge fan of the original Star Wars movies and he made some very favorable comments on her cake and fondant work.

I know there were years where there was not even a phone call between Kourtney and her father.
I do want my daughter to know that I am beyond happy for her having a talking relationship with her father and if my memory serves, she is also friends or at least in contact with her half-siblings out in Arizona.

Here is the cake and please know that if you are strong enough to be as forgiving as my daughter is, all things will heal in time.
And if you need a cake or dessert for an upcoming celebration and live in the Nashville/Dickson area, please search on facebook for Kourtney's Kakes and ask her to contact you.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Storage

We all have storage places. They may be on our property, in our minds or a paid storage unit for stuff that won't fit in our homes at this time.

One goal I have is to clean out my storage unit so I can eliminate that bill from my budget after this year.

So far, I have taken stuff to my new place, and we either merged it into the house supplies/decor or ended up giving it away.

I have very bad luck with holding yard sales and at this point, just want to give it all away. There are some items in that unit I want to keep but when I look at it all, I get overwhelmed with memories attached to somethings and then there are plenty of items there that are trash, too.

Isn't this kinda how our brains operate too?

We have things in our past that hurt us and instead of letting them go or forgiving the person, we stored that pain away on a shelf and let it fester, get dirty, make us angry and we take it out every now and then and rip open the scab and it hurts all over again.

Make a pact with yourself for good to get rid of the stuff in your mind (memories, tape recordings of painful verbal abuse, etc.) and get past it so you can have a clear thought and actually travel lighter.

When I can't get over pain in my mind from memories or hurtful things, I have to take it to God in prayer and he helps me let it go, or deal with it. Prayer will help us all.

Let's all empty our storage units and move forward!

Remember if you are holding on to your past, you cannot grab (or receive) the glorious future we have been promised!

If you are in danger, ask for help - The Hotline is 1-800-799-7233

Friday, May 6, 2016

Mothers and Daughters

 Not everyone has a 'pretty relationship' with their mother.

Some don't even know their birth mother or their mother has passed away and they grieve for them daily.

Some call their mom every day and claim them as their best friend.

Please keep this in mind for the coming weekend.

As for myself, my children are grown and have families of their own.

I don't expect one single thing from them this weekend as I hope they spend time with their children and cherish those days.
These children are only little for a short while. I have 2 grandsons who will be in kindergarten this fall and that doesn't make me feel old.

It causes me to be thankful the boys are healthy and thriving when I also know of several moms this year who have lost little ones or their little ones are facing surgeries.

The other side of the coin is those women who for many reasons never had children and feel shame when everyone else is posting their children/grandchildren photos and gifts.

If your love is measured by the gifts you give your mother (or anyone for that matter), something is rotten in the relationship. Love should be unconditional.

Be gentle and definitely celebrate what you have and who is still in your life. 

Have a blessed weekend and look for a way to be a blessing to others.

There are mothers in the shelters all over the world today. Pray for them.
If you need assistance, call your police or the hotline at 1-800-799-7233









What are you teaching?

I am not a teacher, but when I was a little girl in the backyard writing on the chalkboard my dad installed inside the garage door for us, I sure planned to be one. I had my stuffed animals and barbies and my little sister sitting there listening to me teach whatever I came up with for the afternoon.

In fact, at one point, my sisters and I all three planned to be teachers.  I never finished college but somehow end up training others in nearly every job I have held from Girl Scout Leader/Trainer, State of Tennessee and PartyLite.

My middle sister Julie has a degree in Finance and worked for a while in her industry and banking.  She is currently a bookkeeper for their family business, a Young Living Consultant and she has her daughter in a homeschool co-op where she is one of the rotating teachers. She also teaches Sunday School at their church I believe.

My youngest sister Robin has the teaching degree, has received Teacher of the Year a few years ago, and is a 5th grade teacher at White Bluff Elementary for 14 years now. She has also been a Sunday School Teacher over the past few years.

My point in all this, is that we are all teachers. Our example teaches others whether we speak to them or not. We can inspire them or show them something they don't want to be.

Do your best to be yourself but be sure you are being the best example you can be. Someone is watching and you may never know who you are influencing with your words, actions and activities.

If you need assistance, please call your local shelter or 1-800-799-7233 for assistance.


Monday, May 2, 2016

Back to the Grind...

Today was my first day back in the office after a full week of vacation in Panama City Beach.

We had a wonderful trip! It was full of walking on the beach, a bit of fishing, deep sea fishing, a bit of sunburn, lots of seafood and waking up every morning to the sounds of the water crashing on the beach below. It was just gorgeous!

Friday the 29th, When I woke up to a foggy day and my sunburn giving me some pain, I realized that soon we would be packing to return to Tennessee, home and our jobs. This made me sad but at the same time, it made me so very thankful because I had not had a true vacation from 'homelife' in over 5 years.

I spent the weekend unpacking, putting stuff away, catching up the laundry, taking a couple of naps, going to church and taking some PartyLite orders from my end of the month customers.

This morning at work, we had to adjust to a new door entry system (name/photo badge required); an updated computer system that is slowly starting to work and allow us into the systems we need to access to complete our duties and just the regular Monday stuff.

Some folks around me chose to complain loudly all day... others just sat at their desk and did what they could trying not to be frustrated.

Currently, I am sitting at my desk wishing I had the courage to tell a certain complainer (generally grumpy person anyway) to be quiet and be glad she has a job period. But I know her well enough after 3 years in the office with her that she loves and thrives on complaining and who will complain with her. This is where I must daily exercise self-control and occasionally bite my tongue a few hundred times too. (Told you, I would be completely honest and that is NOT always pretty!!)

I don't always have a vacation at a certain time of the year, we have to save up and go when work allows us to get away. But I also know my moods well enough that even sitting outside on the porch watching the rain fall can calm my nerves immensely when the world/stuff is getting to me.

Take a break when you can and know that you can always pray for what you need. God will provide it. As most of you know, I love praise and worship music and it calms me when I am driving home on these crazy Nashville roads. So I am going to get myself home, sing along with the 94fm The Fish (www.94fmthefish.com) and enjoy my evening. I hope you do the same.

If you are in danger, please ask for assistance, call the hotline at 1-800-799-7233 and be safe my friends! Be sure and share the blog and facebook page to help and reach more men, and women who need to believe again.