Faithful Blogging Prompt #25

Faithful Blogging Prompt #25:  Do you keep a gratitude journal?
~I don’t anymore and I think that is something I need to start doing again. To start it, I thought I would see how many things I could think of that I am grateful for. Here they are…

  1. My son
  2. God
  3. Jesus Christ
  4. My fiance/Riley’s dad
  5. Both sides of our familiesthankGodforJesus
  6. Faith
  7. Love
  8. My cat
  9. Being able to read and write
  10. Blogging
  11. Christmas
  12. How good Riley’s health is
  13. To have a place to live
  14. That I was able to buy my son some Christmas gifts
  15. To have a camera to capture the wonderful memories of my son’s childhood
  16. That my son is not being abused
  17. For the days I’m not depressed or anxious
  18. For the nights that I sleep well without nightmares
  19. For all of the times I have without a flashback of my abuse
  20. Every time I see Riley smile or…
  21. hear him laugh
  22. Every time I smile or…
  23. laugh
  24. Writing poetry
  25. To be alive
  26. To be saved by God!
  27. To not be using drugs anymore
  28. For good doctors
  29. Because Riley is such a happy baby
  30. We were able to buy gifts for other people in our families, too
  31. We don’t go hungry
  32. God is always near me, I am never alone
  33. Healing is beginning to take place inside of my heart, mind and soul
  34. We have heat to keep us warm
  35. We have clothes on our backs
  36. The Holy Spirit
  37. Meeting new people and making new friends, even when the friendships don’t last
  38. Being a strong woman
  39. For the family I don’t see often
  40. For the wonderful memories I have of me and my grandmother before she passed away
  41. For the Bible
  42. That the Lord is my Father
  43. Poetry
  44. Notebooks
  45. Journals
  46. Pens
  47. My laptop computer
  48. My iPod
  49. Applications that help me keep my thoughts organized on my iPod
  50. Applications for Christians on my iPod

Faithful Blogging Prompt #67:

god

Who has been the greatest influence in your spiritual life?

I have had several people who have been great influences in my spiritual life and I am lucky enough to continue to have more, even to this day which is a very good thing for me because I always need that. The first person that became a great influence in my spiritual life, other than my mom, was a friend of our family’s (who I will call Ralph). He was a preacher, or associate-preacher at our church. Him, his wife, and children were always very nice and I looked up to them. They always seemed happy. I did not know them well at the time, being so young, and we left that church for a while. I started visiting the church again as a teenager with one of my best friends and became very active in the youth group. Ralph was now the main pastor. The youth group went on outings, trips and  church camp. I began to see how extremely dedicated he was to the Lord and to his family and the church. This was encouraging to me since I did not have a dad in my life that showed those characteristics. I had been hurt by most of the men in my life and Ralph seemed to be one of the first men that did not want to hurt me. I did not continue to attend his church, yet I still knew that if I ever needed anything, he would be there for me. When that time came and I started to have serious questions about why my dad abused me and how my dad was still able to preach in a church and claim to believe in God, then say he didn’t believe in Him at all, I wrote Ralph a letter asking him these things. I was searching for these answers from anyone and everyone I thought might be able to help me. He wrote me back and tried to explain his beliefs about the situations and mainly what the Bible had to say about them. When my dad committed suicide, his funeral was on my fourteenth birthday. My mom was told that she was not welcome at my father’s funeral. Ralph volunteered to take me and my brother to the funeral and be there to support us. That meant the world to me. Ralph eventually quit pastoring the church to start a ministry. He visited with my grandma when she was dying from cancer and she decided to turn her life over to God because of these visits and discussions they had. I volunteered with his ministry and was able to spend quite a bit of time with him. I learned more about who he was and that he, like everyone else, had his own trials and struggles that he had dealt with in life, yet it seemed that his faith in God never wavered and that was amazing to me at the time. I had been so angry at God and so confused and Ralph helped me to understand, in a loving way, that even though I was a sinner and angry at God, God would still love me. He was able to show me through his own life, how God works. I still made many mistakes after my time volunteering and had a lot of anger, but I know that was the beginning of my spiritual journey and the reason I am where I am able to be today. I know that God sends people into our lives for all kinds of reasons. Ralph became a father figure to me and showed me that not all father’s hurt their daughters. He showed me that it was okay to trust and have faith in God because God would never, ever hurt me.

What I Would Change About The World-Writing Prompt

fondoTecno

This is another great writing prompt I found at www.plinky.com

If you could wake up tomorrow and find that one thing had changed about the world, what would you have that one thing be?

I would stop all child abuse:

We all know that abuse is wrong and that it is a terrible thing, but those are very general statements. We hear those statements mostly from people who haven’t ever experienced it in their lives, either personally or inside their own families. This is becoming extremely rare now though. I am not sure what the actual statistics are now and they are not completely accurate because there are still many cases that are never reported but more and more children are being abused than most people would think is even possible.

It goes a lot deeper than child abuse just being wrong and terrible though. Any type of abuse to a child, whether it be neglect, physical, sexual or verbal abuse changes who these children are and doesn’t give them a chance to become who they would have been otherwise. Their innocence is taken away from them. They do not get the chance to experience the world in the same way that a child who has not been abused does. If you ask an adult who was abused as a child what they remember from their childhood, I am guessing that some of their biggest memories and emotions would be fear, anger and pain instead of toys, birthday parties and summertime fun.

I want to be clear though. I am NOT saying that a child who has been abused can not or will not grow up to be a wonderful, successful person and it doesn’t make it okay for them to grow up and become a criminal or a drug addict, etc. I did NOT have an excuse to use drugs and become the addict that I was because I was abused as a child. That was still a choice I made as an adult and even though I write about both issues on my blog, I want to make it clear to anyone who visits it that my intention is not to link the two together in any sort of way to make an excuse for my behavior.

However, what I experienced as a child was not my fault and not my choice just as it is not any child’s fault or choice. It is hard for children to understand that and that is another reason as to how abuse changes who they are. These children suffer from false guilt and this guilt can last a lifetime for some. It doesn’t matter how many times they are told that its not their fault, they will feel like it is. That is the way a child’s mind works. How could we expect anything different? Imagine how confusing it even is for adults who are abused. Now think about how much more confusing it must be for a child.

Since there is child abuse in the world, I think we should have stronger punishments for it. My father only spent one year in jail because he agreed to a plea agreement and he was protected while he spent his time there because he had been a police officer a few years before he was convicted. He was also granted work release, even though he still didn’t pay his support to my mom. After he was released from jail, our county did not follow through with part of the plea agreement, which was for him to be in intense counseling and to not be around any other children until I turned eighteen-years old. He quit counseling and I know that he spent time around my younger cousins. He was getting ready to go back to jail for something unrelated when we were told he took his life.

That is just a small example of how I personally believe our system makes mistakes. Child molesters spend very little time in jail and continue to commit hideous crimes. A drug addict gets convicted of using drugs and can get sentenced to several years in prison, not just jail. I personally see a problem with this. If I could, this would definitely be changes I would make in the world.

 

My Letter to a Reader of My Blog-A Writing Prompt

After finding and using my first writing prompt, I decided to try it again so I did a search on Google. I found this writing prompt, along with several other amazing prompts at www.plinky.com

Who do you picture reading your blog? Write them a letter.

Hello. I am so glad to hear that you have been reading my blog. First of all, I want to thank you. I hope you have not found it disturbing or upsetting in any way. I know that you have had many similar experiences and for me, that can sometimes trigger memories and even flashbacks of unhappier times. I also know that for me, reading about or hearing from someone who has been where I have been in life and came out on the other side of it in a positive way encourages me. Every time I hear a recovery story from an addict or from an abuse survivor, I feel so much hope inside of me. It just reaffirms what I have found in my life and that is that there is a way out and that our lives can improve. That does not mean that everything is perfect but it means that we don’t have to stay feeling like we are living in the pits of hell either. I hope I can also be of some encouragement to you and anyone else that might read this blog. I also hope that I might encourage you to grow closer to God. Read your Bible, find someone you know that is also a Christian to talk to and ask them some questions. Talk to God like you would a friend. Ask for His help. Let your emotions out when you talk to Him. Something I have done many times after someone suggested it to me is picturing me sitting on Jesus’ lap with His arms wrapped around me. Sometimes I just talk, sometimes I cry and sometimes I laugh. I can literally feel His presence when I do this. These are just some suggestions of some things you might try if you want to. If you ever need or want someone to talk to, feel free to email me. I promise not to post or share any information that you may give me. I will continue to pray for you. Thank you again for taking time out of your life to read what I feel and write about. God Bless.

20121128-173446.jpg