Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Follow Fest 2014

I happened across this blog hop today and thought it looked like fun. From what I read, this is a hop to meet other bloggers and you post only once during the week.  I'm so busy that this could really work for me!  Visit Melissa's blog for more details.


Mrs. Sexy (I have a real name too but I don't use it on social media - for now.)

Fiction or nonfiction?


What genres do you write?

I can't think of another category I would fit in other than nonfiction. 
I write about my life, past and present. 
Writing and sharing what I write is somewhat of a coping mechanism as well as sharpening the writing skills. 

Are you published?


Do you do anything in addition to writing?

I enjoy videography and went to school for it but am not doing too much with that currently.
I spend a lot of time at home taking care of the kids and the house.  
I currently just got cast in Anne of Green Gables as Marilla Cuthbert.  This should be interesting.

Tell us a little about yourself.

I am mom of a blended family which has it's many challenges. I feel like I can always smell a dirty diaper even when I can't actually find one. I like the idea of knitting but can't seem to finish any project I start.  I'm wondering if crochet will be better. 

I grew up living in the suburbs but now I live in the country in an old farm house with lots of ways for field mice to get in.  I'm not an animal person but at home there are 3 dogs, 1 turtle, 2 cats, 1 rooster and 8 chickens. The turtle is the only one who gets to live in the house.  

What are you reading right now?

Anne of Green Gables - I'm looking for insights into Marilla's character.
What Were You Expecting? - It's a marriage book for Sunday School.

Which authors influenced you the most?

Uummmm...I can think of favorite books...But really, I don't read enough. 

Where can people connect with you?

Twitter @5Hearts1Family
Email: 5 Hearts One Family (at) gmail (dot) com

Do you have a newsletter?

No.  I'm really not very fancy. 

Is there anything else you’d like us to know?

I have never guest posted and am open to the idea.
I have had one guest post on my blog: Mr. Sexy. My husband.  It's great.  Read it: Broken Bondage 

I'm just a wife and mom who blogs about the ups and downs that come our way. Sometimes it's very personal.  Sometimes it's not.  Sometimes I cross a line that shouldn't be crossed.  Other times I walk right up to it. 

I hope to publish something somewhere someday.

Monday, September 22, 2014

A Process of Healing

Open wounds still hurt.

I have wondered why some things still keep me up at night in a frustrated trance. Perhaps it's because the wound(s) never really healed.  In fact, that makes a lot of sense.

Yet, how can I heal when the wound is being hit again and again and again? Band aids get ripped off in my sleep.  In other instances, my poor choices start the bleeding all over again. I'm at fault as much as anyone.  In fact, perhaps I'm the most at fault - if not the only one.

I am in charge of me, my emotions and my actions.  Nothing comes from my mouth that I didn't really want to say somewhere deep down in my sinful nature.

I still feel the twinge from lost and hurt relationships. While I know that God can heal what is broken, it feels that, in the world I live in, what is broken will stay broken.  I alone can only do so much.

I believe in a church family.  There have been times when that family cut me down, once again preventing a wound to heal. I lost faith in people.  I doubted goodness that might come from church.  I felt eyes on me everywhere.  Watching.  Waiting for an excuse to call me out on the mistakes I was bound to make.

Do you know what that's like?  To live in fear of who you thought was closest to you?  It's a constant battle.  Do I smile or appear stoic? Do I sit here or there? Should I speak or save it for the comfort of my own home? Should I break down in front of everyone or continue to shove the torment deep inside to appear put together?  Hopefully, if done right, the eyes will stop watching... One day...

Fear.  Rejection.  I know the meaning of these words all to well.  They are the open wounds that continue to bleed.

Yet somehow, my faith prevails today. My faith in the goodness of people is being renewed.  This wasn't my idea.  I didn't try to accept the goodness of others.  In fact, I was ready to deny it.

It's just that God has His Perfect Timing.  Last year, when we moved into the woods, I wasn't ready to be openly vulnerable again.  I don't know why God isolated me.  But He new better than I or Mr. Sexy.  What we needed was time and space to grow in our marriage and in our family. Our marriage still isn't everything it can be although it has deepened tremendously. Our family is still in pieces.

But we're trying.  We're working.  We're moving forward.

It makes no sense that I should once again open myself up to people in church and show them the scum that I see inside myself.  But I am doing it.  It's wonderfully painful.

Eyes will continue to watch - even if it's just from a distance.  I will not make good choices all the time.  In fact, I made some not so great ones already this morning.

But for some reason, I'm able to once again try to move forward.

I want the wounds to heal.  I want my marriage to be all that it can be.  I want my family to be whole.

Friday, September 19, 2014

I'm holding onto...

5 minutes of unedited writing on the topic: hold

Starts NOW:

I like to hold on to things.  If I'm not careful, I could become quite a pack rat. However right now I'm thinking more of the internal things I hold on to.  And if I were to take the time to think, I wonder how much of a pack rat I am. 

I like to hold on to what I feel will give me power.  Bitterness. Pride. Anger. Those are only a few of my areas.  Yup, MY areas. I'm gettin' real over here. 

So what happens when I hold onto these - let's just call it what it is - sins? What happens in my heart? What comes out of my mouth?  How do I see the world? What are my hands doing? 

Nothing postive, I'll tell you that much. 

I'm not alone in holding onto these things.  We all do it to some degree, am I right?  Or am I puffing smoke?  (too much caffeine this morning I think) It's frustrating to me when I give in to satan's lies of power. What do I really want with power anyways? What am I going to do with it?  Nothing positive, that's for sure. 

There is a reason God has the ultimate power.  It's interesting to me that the same sinful desires of Adam and Eve are still so extremely relevant today.  In my own life.  And probably in other people's lives as well. 

That 5 minutes flew by fast!  I feel like it's messy but oh well.  Life is messy.  We are messy. That's part of the fun, right?

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

A Helping Hand

Over the weekend I had the opportunity to practice something called: Letting it go.  Feel free to break out in song.

There will always be somebody who thinks they know how to better parent my kids.  Heck, I have probably had that same thought about you.  (Just keepin it real people.) Truth is, parenting is one of those hot topics. It often feels like there is one right way to do things and many wrong ways.  Now tie in the special needs kids.  There is ALWAYS better parenting techniques for them.

Michael wanted to skate at the fair and it was a much better deal than the rides.  Mr. Sexy and I had no desire to skate ourselves so we rented the two kids skates and set them free.

After a few minutes this is what we were watching:

In these moments it appears they had given up.  It's over.  It's too hard.  I'm stuck.  I can't do it. 

But just give it time...

Michael was right back up and across the rink.

Falling the whole way.

Marie, on the other hand, stayed in her same general position.

Now, Mr. Sexy and I had made the parental decision to give both kids free reign to skate and fall as they pleased.

This meant Michael might end up with a bruised tail bone and Marie would most likely not get much farther than the above picture.

We knew this.  And we were fine with this.  We were looking forward to seeing how both kids did with this small amount of freedom.

A stranger, however, seemed to have different thoughts.

Before getting skates I had stopped to admire the purses and skirts a lady had made with ties.  Only ties. The kind of ties men wear to church or to work or on picture day.  She seemed to price them reasonably and if I had the money I may have bought one just because they were so unique.

Well, that same lady didn't waste much time in approaching us as we stood and laughed and pointed at our dorky kids who didn't know how to roller skate.

"Would you like me to go out there and help her?" the lady asked.  "Her," being Marie, obviously.

It felt like a random request that made no sense to me.

"No, she's okay," I said.

This lady seemed to feel very strongly about her request: "Well, she isn't moving." And she looked at Mr. Sexy and I with a stern, disapproving face.

Well, my pulse quickened and I felt warmth creep up my face so I replied in my syrupy-sweet-voice, "No she's fine. Thank you."

You should all be impressed I said "thank you."  But keep in mind it was a firm "thank you."  The kind that said the conversation was over.

The lady gave us another look, telling us we could go out there without skates and help her if we wanted.

Nod of the head.  Turn away.  Face burning.  Tongue bitten.


I. Hate. That.

I know that people tend to feel sorry for Marie - especially with horrible parents who give her the opportunities to experience life  on her own! She has spent most of her life being led into activities by adults to such a degree that she prefers adults to peers.

So, while my face cooled off and I laughed at Michael for crashing once again, I saw our parenting strategy flourish.

This is the kind of interactions Marie needs.  She doesn't need another adult who wants to rescue her.  She needs someone her own size to invite her into the adventures of life. Then it's up to Marie to decide what to do next.  This time, she took a friend's hand and ventured into the scary sea of a roller skating rink.

Marie left her comfort zone and hung on for dear life.  Literally. 

Have you ever skated with someone who doesn't know how?  Especially one that's your size or close to it?  Simply getting Marie from sitting on the bench to the rink took all my muscles as she simply leaned back into me with all her body weight.  

I should have videoed the skating.  It was like watching Bambi. 

This was Marie's first and only fall of the day.  From what we could see on the sidelines, she refused to get back up even with the help of her new friend.  Her friend retrieved the learning-to-skate-thing for Marie, helped her up into it, and skated off.  

Again, a great thing for Marie to learn.  

Marie had a friend who wanted to help her.  Then Marie decided she didn't want to continue.  So Marie lost that friend. 

Marie actually did figure out how to move around on her own.  It took her a bit but she ended up on the other side of the rink and then came all the way back when it was time to go.  

She wouldn't have had those rich experiences without the helping hand of a peer. 

Friday, September 12, 2014

Am I ready?

I am about to write for five uninterrupted minutes on the prompt, ready.  I will re-read it when I'm done and will probably fix the silly typos I always make but I will not edit the content - regardless of how messy it feels.  I hope you like it!

The plan has always been: Have two kids together then adopt one.  That was the plan.  It is the plan...We had the one baby together.  That's Denai.  She is my favorite Denai!  She is way to cute and already "works it" with both of us to get what she wants.  Oh dear.  So, naturally, there should be another baby in the works. 

But am I ready? 

Honestly, I'm not sure I was ready for Denai.  We got pregnant because of my scheduled plans. But it worked.  I got pregnant right on schedule.  So I suppose God was in that.  So I should continue with my schedule ... and see if God honors that as well?

I just don't know.  

See, while I'm still in my twenties, well, let's just say Mr. Sexy isn't getting any younger (love you babe;).  Not that he is too concerned about age anyways.  He is awesome like that. 

I just don't feel ready for another baby like I thought I felt ready for Denai.  

I have three kids.  One I share custodoy, the other I don't but we have our issues, and then there's the baby who already battles me with a stubbrnness I know well.  

I want Denai to have a sibling who is closer to her age.  I am reminded of that when other tiny people come around to play. 

But, another baby?  Another round of diapers?  My body not being my own? Hiding the glass of wine I will enjoy over my pregnant belly? The threat of not having alone-selfish-mommy time? 



Wednesday, September 10, 2014

True or false?

More specifically, is the Bible true?  Or is it just a bunch of old and somewhat interesting stories?  Are some stores true and the rest fabricated? 

Mr. Sexy and I rented the new movie, Noah, over the weekend.  It was different than I expected in some ways.  It was better in others.  I'm glad I knew to start the movie with an open mind of someone else's interpretation of the Noah's Ark story. I understand the need/desire to change details or fill in the gaps in order to make a film a blockbuster. 

There are three main things I walked away with after watching. 

1. Some of the details were obviously not in line with the original story.  Other details, well, who knows?  It's sometimes fun to let our imaginations put the pieces together. 

2. Noah and his family were human.  Disgustingly human, even.  You will have to see the movie yourself to see why I use the term, "disgustingly human." 

3. Hollywood's version of Bible stories will generally not be shown to my kids until they know the true story well enough to know the difference between truth and imagination. 

This then begs the question, is the story of Noah true at all?  If not, what about the rest of the stories? Can we decided that some stories are too far fetched but the others could possibly have happened? 

I grew up with all the famous Bible stories and characters. Eventually I got to a point when I had to decide if it was true or not. Jonah being swallowed by a whale and surviving?  Two of every single animal on a boat with the one "perfect" family left while everyone else was essentially murdered?  A father ready to murder his own son?  Incest? Even now, as I make this list, I am thinking of how much the world hasn't changed.  The problems, at their core, remain the same. 

I have decided that the Bible is true from beginning to end with everything in the middle. I have not yet been able to justify that Noah's story would be made up and Jesus' story was not. I have to believe all of it or none of it.  When I tried to pick what I wanted to believe as truth, I tried to disregard what I didn't want to hear. But in the end, I couldn't justify that kind of faith.  In fact, that wasn't faith at all. 

The Bible is complicated.  The stories are difficult to understand. I still struggle with the "why's." Some of the stories I would rather not know because I can't imagine what it would have been like.  But it's all part of history.  It's God's story to us, for us and about us. 

I have been enjoying Hollywood's portrayal of the stories I grew up with and I hope the trend continues. As imperfect as their portrayals might be, I enjoy seeing "perfect" Bible story characters I have heard about my whole life becoming human and therefore, more relate-able. 

Monday, September 1, 2014

Broken Bondage

Mr. Sexy
Mr. Sexy and I got married three years ago. As time moved forward, Mr. Sexy moved slower and complained more. I could see the pain when he went to pick up our baby girl. Life struggles were being written on his face as his under eyes darkened and tension rarely left him. This tension would, at times, spin out of control. We both made choices we now regret. 

After three years of marriage, he is a changed man. 

My new term for him is, "bouncy."  He smiles more and laughs easier. He now sleeps through the night - although he still tends to snore. His thinking is clear and he can smell the flowers he brings home for me as well as the weird musty smell in our mini van. He picks me up without wincing in pain and will rub my back until I fall asleep. This is the man I married.  

His story starts now: 

I lay there breathing heavy in a cold sweat; my mind, lost in a terror tormenting my soul. While my eyes move rapidly I hear the taunts and laughter of others berating me with insults of how pathetic and worthless I am. I awake in a panic, fighting through the fog, trying to discover if that horror is just another dream, or are my secrets now exposed to the world.

For many years this has been my nightmare.

What were my secrets?

Lust, worthlessness, pride, judgement and lack of self-control.

I will never forget the first time I discovered lust. I will also never forget the iron grip it had on me since I was a teen.

I am not able to recall where the feelings of self-doubt and worthlessness began, but I could sit here for days recounting stories of how those controlled me.

Racing thoughts threw blessings by others back into their faces as pride mastered my thoughts. 

I can do anything. 
I don't need any help. 
I hate you for helping me.

If you were in my range of vision, you were judged.

On a scale of 1 to 10, you are a 2 so I don't trust you. 
If you would exercise more you wouldn't be so fat and disgusting.
If only you took care of your body then I would listen to you.
I don't care if you are a child of God, you are ugly so I don't trust you.

On the other hand;

Wow, you are hot!
What do I have to do to get you to like me?
What do you want me to do? 
I will do anything for you because my preconceived judgement based on your outward appearances told me I can trust you.

Good or bad, I threw away all self control and put forth all my effort into anything and everything.

Eat, eat, and eat.
Play, play, and play.
Drink, drink and drink.
Work, work, and work.
Spend, spend and spend.
Sacrifice, sacrifice, and sacrifice.
Workout, workout, and workout.

To what end? It didn't matter. No limits. No boundaries. No wisdom.

Each one of these secrets - let's just call them what they are - sins, gave foothold in my life. Since before I can remember satan's mercenaries began to destroy me.

For many years I allowed the whispers of his demons to persuade my decisions and actions. But that wasn't enough for him. His mission was to kill and destroy me, not simply lead me down troubled paths.

I must give credit to the influence of my family and friends.  Even through my stupid life choices, they were the voice of God guiding me back on the right path. Because of this, the enemy had to get more drastic. The question was, if berating me daily wasn't going to destroy me, then what would?

My body.

I was in sports growing up and I remember being coached to breathe in through my nose and out my mouth. As a young man, my nose was so "clogged" I could never do this without gasping for air. Instead, I fought through the discomfort and did the best I could.

When I joined the Navy in 2002, they were determined to figure out why I couldn't breathe properly through my nose. Twelve years later the best they ever did was diagnose me with Chronic Sinusitis. I went through two surgeries and every ENT medication I could think of with no resolution.

So I decided to live with it.

It was my neck that was killing me.  No, it was my back. No, my hips. My hands. My ankles. Name a joint and it hurt. There were no triggers and no explanation. I went to specialists from Texas to California to Idaho to Washington. They all had the same response: *Shrug of shoulders.* I have given so much blood in lab tests that I am convinced they are cloning me! (OK not really). The pain at times would be so bad in my hands that the simple act of picking up my cell phone felt impossible.


More accurately, my lack of sleep. I was diagnosed with sleep apnea with no medical explanation behind it. On a good night, where I was absolutely exhausted, I would sleep for eight hours with only waking up five or six times. On a normal night I would sleep for six hours and wake up at least every hour - if not more. Some nights I would just give up and stare at the TV.  This had been going on for 15 years.  Coffee was my drug of choice.

Three years ago, my wife and I read the book Spiritual Warfare by Karl Payne. Everything changed. You can read about her experience in the post: Gear Up: We are in War. Recently Payne held a seminar at our home church; we almost didn't go, but what I discovered was that there may be more to my physical pain than the medical world could explain.

I had consistently lost battles with satan and his mercenaries.  I had given them footholds into my life, allowing them to wreak havoc in trying to destroy me.

It was time to fight with my Father's authority!

Weeks later I sat down in my pastor's office and we began to talk.  I was an open book.  There was nothing to hide because there was nothing to fear.

As he began to lay down the ground rules, my heart started to race and thoughts of mockery flooded my mind. Pastor instructed me to read Bible verses, establishing God's authority over satan. I had no idea what I was reading and assumed my mouth and voice were making the right sounds. The noises in my head flooded any chance of understanding the words on the page.

Pastor and I began to work through the process.  My mind quieted except when answering questions by our pastor directed to the tormentors. There was no imagination, no work on my part. I simply stated what I heard.

After cleaning house of all satan's mercenaries, I asked the Holy Spirit to fill any voids.

I was overwhelmed with joy and peace.


The joy was so pure, my eyes welled up with tears.

24 hours later I was still discovering little joys of life that I hadn't had in more years than I can remember.

Today, I can still breathe clearly.

Today,  I have no joint pain.

Today, I smiled remembering the dreams I had last night.

I know the fight isn't over.  I am developing tools to keep the ground I regained.

As a society we have become afraid to talk or even acknowledge the topic of spiritual warfare. I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that not only is it real, but with The Father on our side, we have nothing to fear, but only to rejoice.