Guest Bloggers

Liebster Recipient: Sovann Pen

Sovann is one of 11 Noteworthy Bloggers I listed in my Liebster award post. He opted to answer the questions and submit them to Human In Recovery.

Here are his responses:

1) Is your blog personal or professional and what is its primary focus and/or topic? Personally professional on counseling, marriage and parenting.

2) Do you have a YouTube channel or podcast? If so, please provide the title or link. No podcast yet but I’d like to do a podcast to encourage families, especially those who do foster care and adoption, in the future. I love talking with people and learning from them about their marriages and families.

3) Are you a contributing blogger/writer elsewhere? No (Does Facebook count?)

4) What is the most valuable, free product/app/service you have found as a blogger?

Definitely Facebook and Facebook groups. It’s fun to be a part of groups with kindred spirits who share and write about similar topics.

5) What piece of information or advice would you have found invaluable as a beginning blogger? Jeff Goins’ blog and You Are A Writer ebook, join his My 500 words FB group and/or take his Intentional Blogging or Tribe Writers course and listen to his podcast The Portfolio Life for inspiration. Michael Hyatt’s Platform and Donald Miller’s StoryBrand books are helpful too.

6) What social media sites do use use for public interaction and how do we connect to you? On twitter @sovannpen and FB at A New Day Counseling Center. I also invite you to subscribe to my blog at http://www.sovannpen.com

7) Are you an introvert, extrovert, or an ambivert (both to varying degrees) extrovert but not life-of-the-party, center-of-attention variety. I like to read and spend time on my own praying too.

8) What core value do you try to live by?

Love God and love others. That and the belief that redemption and healing are possible.

9) If you had to choose an anthem song, what would it be? Can I choose two? Right now, This Is Me from The Greatest Showman, a great song and movie and So Will I (100 billion X)

10) If you had to choose, would you consider yourself an advocate or activist?

Advocate. An advocate for grace and empathy and being brave.

11) What is your favorite quote?

This week it’s: “The opposite of joy is not sadness. It’s hopelessness.” (I’ve seen it attributed to Allistar Begg and Timothy Keller)

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The Liebster Award: Celebrating noteworthy bloggers

I have been blogging here at Human In Recovery, on and off, since December 2011. During that time I have participated in The Ultimate Blog Challenge, as I am doing this month.

Something which seems to happen during these challenges is bloggers giving each other blogging awards. These awards build community and networks. It boosts traffic and is an opportunity for bloggers to connect to a greater audience. It’s a way build their platform.

I have been nominated for the Liebster Award, both when I participated in my first UBC (read about it here) and again during this cycle, by Vidya Tiru at Lady in Read Writes (read about it here).

The Liebster’s criteria and process has evolved over the past five years. Here’s the details of its current incarnation:

  • Acknowledge the blog(s) that gave it to you and display the award
  • Answer the 11 questions that the blogger gives you
  • Give 11 random facts about yourself
  • Nominate 11 blogs and notify them of their nomination
  • Give the bloggers 11 questions to answer

I will name 11 noteworthy blogs to explore. However, I am not requiring or expecting a Liebster acceptance post.

Noteworthy blogs:
Marc Alan Schelske, “a writer, speaker, hobbyist theologian, recovering fundamentalist, tea drinker & motorcycle rider.”
http://www.marcalanschelske.com/

Sean Paul Mahoney, “a writer, playwright, blogger, tweeter, critic, podcaster and smartass for hire.” https://seanologues.com/

Sarah Fader, “the CEO and Founder of Stigma Fighters, a non-profit organization that encourages individuals with mental illness to share their personal stories. “ http://www.sarahfader.com/

Dan, “Having written his whole life, he blogs because he has to write…he can’t help it.” https://dan4kent.wordpress.com/

Mary, “a music lover who finally got off her duff (or on it, I suppose) and started sharing her opinions about music.” https://myelectronicjukebox.wordpress.com/

Robert Kennedy III, he loves “helping people create hope, generate excitement and belief in their capacity to change lives, starting with their own.” http://www.robertkennedy3.com/

Steve Austin, “focuses on everyday faith, mental wellness, and embracing wonder to encourage, educate, and empower audiences from every walk of life.http://iamsteveaustin.net/

Daniela Pesconi-Arthur, Founder and editor of The Might Women ezine is “a Brazilian who adopted Wales as “home”’
http://www.themightywomen.com/

Martha DeMeo “writes product and book reviews” at http://themarthareview.com/

Sovann Penis a licensed professional counselor, who loves “counseling because it offers healing and freedom” by “helping families with parenting challenges and with the stresses of communication, conflict and disconnection in marriage.”
http://www.sovannpen.com/

Steven Shomler, a Pyrocatalyst, Author, Culinary Storyteller, Consultant, Entrepreneur & Speaker
https://www.stevenshomler.com/

If they choose to participate, here are my questions:

1. Is your blog personal or professional and what is its primary focus and/or topic?

2. Do you have a YouTube channel or podcast? If so, please provide the title or link.

3. Are you a contributing blogger/writer elsewhere?

4. What is the most valuable, free product/app/service you have found as a blogger?

5. What piece of information or advice would you have found invaluable as a beginning blogger?

6. What social media sites do use use for public interaction and how do we connect to you?

7. Are you an introvert, extrovert, or an ambivert (both to varying degrees)?

8. What core value do you try to live by?

9. If you had to choose an anthem song, what would it be? If possible, please provide a YouTube link.

10. If you had to choose, would you consider yourself an advocate or activist?

11. What is your favorite quote?

Now, for those interested, we enter the “All About Me” part.

* If you could take a vacation anywhere in the world, where would it be?
Australia

* What is your favorite food to eat?
Depends on the moment.

* What advice would you give your younger self if you could go back in time ten years?
This line from the song, Dear Younger Me, says it all: “do I go deep and try to change the choices that you’ll make ‘cause they’re choices that made me.” What I want to say would change my life in unimaginable ways. However, it would also cost me my youngest child and my grandchildren. So, I have no advice, just, “you’ll get through this, too.”

* What would be the first thing you’d do if you won the lottery?
Pay off my student loan.

* Night owl or early bird?
There’s a difference?

* What superpower would you like to have?
The ability to clone myself and experience the memories of all the clones while they share each other’s and mine.

* Your favorite way to relax?
Water aerobics or swimming followed by a soak in the hot tub, chatting with the people around me.

* eBook or the printed book or audio book or no books at all?
If conditions allow a book at all, paper.

* What four words would you use to describe yourself?
Survivor, empathetic, committed, wounded

* Who is the most influential person in your life?
Currently it is my youngest daughter, in the sense that pretty much all my decisions and conditions are made with her in mind and affected by her.

* Do you make resolutions? If yes, what is your top resolution for 2018?
Not anymore. However, my personal goal is to transition my eating to be primarily whole food, plant-based by 2019.

11 random facts about me:

1. I am a 48 year old grandmother of three.

2. I have three children ages 31, 24, 9.

3. I am parenting a child who experiences the world through the Autism Spectrum.

4. My 31 year old stopped being legally my child in 2012. He went through an adoption process, as an adult, and legally became another mother’s child. Our estrangement has been reconciled.

5. I earned two diplomas and a GED.

6. I have the debt of one who earned a Bachelors degree.

7. I have no college degrees.

8. I have experienced two major nervous breakdowns.

9. I have a Bipolar brain impacted by PTSD.

10. I am married but have not seen my husband since December 12, 1988.

11. I am half Mexican.

Where did April go?

Here it is the final day on the calendar for the month of April 2013. How did it reach the end of April so fast? Where did April go?

I signed up at the last minute to participate in my fourth Ultimate Blog Challenge. I wishy washed, hemmed and hawed for a few minutes before I decided to go for it. I had been going through a difficult season with intermittent episodes of the fugue-like state that tends to accompany the depression that lives in me. I suspect it tends to rise up when there’s too much stress and anxiety over circumstances outside of my control – usually financial troubles and the people I love having difficulties coping with their lives – are often my triggers to this state. So, signing up for The Ultimate Blog Challenge a fourth time seemed like it could be just the thing to help keep me writing and focused on the present. The other sides to that were that I could completely stress out on not being able to keep up and/or just bail halfway through because other things were taking priority. However, I bit the bullet and signed up anyway.

I did not successfully complete the challenge this time by completing 30 posts in 30 days for the month of April 2013. According to my WordPress calendar, this will be my 22nd post on this blog in April. Considering March there were only 8 posts, I’ll take it as a considerable improvement. I also posted three times on my new blog over on Glipho.com. So, between the two locations, a total of 25 new posts published for the month of April. Just five posts short of the goal? I’ll take it and celebrate that I got that close.

I owe thanks to several other bloggers for jumping in and agreeing to guest post this month. I hope they will do so again in the future. I owe them a debt of gratitude for contributing here and bearing with my learning curve in the midst of my own personal brand of crazy that sometimes may have made it seem as though I was less invested than I truly am in having them partner with me and collaborate on what is happening here at Human In Recovery. In order of appearance I want to thank the following:

  • Gary Walter, a fellow member of the Dream Stoker Nation group I joined last month, shared a recent post of his, Insipid Fear: his childhood encounter with coyotes and the life lessons he’s learned in how to cope with the fear that creeps and invades our lives against our will.  Clicking on his name will take you to his site.
  • Robert Kennedy III, another new acquaintance from the Dream Stoker Nation, shared about What To Do When It Spins Out of Control. He has a new e-book coming out soon, 28 Days to a New Me. There is a corresponding Facebook page and an accountability and support group geared toward helping people transform their lives through setting and committing to doable goals and being accountable with others for following through. I’m signed up for the one that starts tomorrow and just committed to providing proof that I’m exercising – ruh roh!

Last, but by no means least

  •  Sara Lomas, one of my modern and recent heroines, talked about being Approximately Functional today when she shared her personal story about moving through the dark and getting to hope. You can find her words and art on her blog, Laments and Lullabies.

Making the decision to bring guest bloggers onto Human In Recovery was one of the best decisions I think I’ve ever made. It has increased my learning curve and challenged some beliefs I have had about myself and what I am capable of. I have managed to figure out how to be okay with being different in how I am able to follow through and follow up on things. I no longer think of myself as a “flake” when life happens and I am unable to meet an internal goal or external commitment. This gracious group of people gave me grace and acceptance, helping me to realize that I am more capable than I often give myself credit for. This is a huge shift for me and I’m still processing it.

I was welcomed by my friend, Marc Schelske, when he put out an open invitation to writers who have been connected with the church community he pastors. After I posted my introduction to the group, his response took my breath away and I couldn’t stop the tears for a minute.

“Even with all the chaos of your journey, I’ve always found you to be thoughtful and deep.”

It was simply stated as part of his welcome and encouragement to my inclusion in the group. But, it broke apart something inside of me, I didn’t realize I was still holding onto. This projected image of myself as I figured he and others have seen me over the years: a scattered, chaotic, unstable woman who is inconsistant and incapable of following through on anything for any length of time. I’ve never told him this is what I assumed he and others thought of me. It seemed too risky; either they would be on target and I would have confirmation of my lifelong loser status or I would have given him cause to see me as the crazy lady I believed he already saw.

I know that part of recovery is reaching the point where what others think of you no longer has the power to determine your self esteem. However, to have that part of me, a core part of myself that has been denied for so long, validated by someone I value and respect, has been significant for me.

Other good things have been happening or starting to happen and the fact that I am open to them and capable of recognizing them brings me to the understanding that April 2013 may have whizzed right on by without me taking too much notice of the time passing. However, it has been a full and fulfilling month setting me up for an equally exciting and adventurous May.

Approximately Functional

My bloggy friend, Sara, from Laments and Lullabies, has graciously agreed to guest post today and share her story. Many thanks to this strong, talented, and spirited woman who so eloquently describes her journey from The Dark into hope. The details are different, but we share the same story, I just think she  tells it better. Thank you Sara.

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I have a touch of the crazies. Though no hard diagnosis of a chronic mental health concern has been made (bipolar II has been discussed but not confirmed, among others), what is for certain is I suffered a major depressive episode after the birth of my daughter more than three years ago. Essentially, fairly common (unfortunately) postpartum depression overstayed and squatted in my brain, stinking up the place and destroying  property. It brought its friend Crippling Anxiety along for the ride. I’ve always been prone to significant dips into The Dark, but in my life before marriage and children, it was easier to manage. I had developed coping skills that suited my lifestyle but transferred poorly to my new life. I could no longer hide in bed for a few days until it passed. Nor could I pick up and leave town to clear my head. I had a marriage and a tiny human to nurture, and I didn’t know how to do any of it.

Now, after a year and a half of cognitive behaviour therapy, a stint as an outpatient in something called “Day Hospital” (think day camp for people with enough crazy to function poorly, but not enough to be fully hospitalized or monitored), and a promiscuous stretch with a myriad of meds, I’m feeling more stable, more functional, more human again. I can do things like leave the house and bathe myself regularly, which, if you have any experience with depression and anxiety, are not things to be taken for granted.

The most remarkable sign that I am recovering well (do we ever fully recover, or do we, like former alcoholics, always have to work at it?) is how I’m facing stressful triggers. Everyone has stress in their life, but for people with depression and/or anxiety, even the smallest things can knock us down, activating all kinds of maladapted behaviour (my go-to is total withdrawal/shutting down/disassociation and dermatillomania). My family and I have dealt with some pretty serious stressors lately which include, but are not limited to; job losses, illness, financial insecurity, and custody battles. There was a time when all this would have nearly destroyed me.

My greatest triumph, as of late, is staying sane during these trials (more or less). Yes, I’ve had a few melt-downs, a few moments or days of hopelessness, anger, sadness, and debilitating panic, but they are not my constant companions. There has been a sea of change within me, and I owe it, for the most part, to three things: the availability of help when I needed it; my ability to accept help; and my support network, a.k.a. friends, family, and the scads of mental health professionals I’ve seen in the last couple years.

I’m extremely fortunate that, living in Canada, every service has been provided for free. Even my meds are heavily subsidized. Without this safety net, I don’t think I would be in such a good place now. More specifically, I have worked with cognitive behaviour therapy and my gifted social worker/counsellor to rewire by brain, altering destructive thought patterns and behaviours and learning new ways to handle capital “L” Life.

I was invited to guest post here to share how I’ve managed to deal with the poop/fan combo. Partly, I’ve undone things like catastrophic, black and white, and automatic thinking. In short, my habit was to jump to worst case scenario for EVERYTHING. My daughter didn’t eat her veggies? She’s going to suffer brain damage or possibly death by malnutrition. My husband and I had an argument? Our marriage is doomed and my whole life is a lie. You get the gist. For many people, this seems ludicrous. For people like me, this is normal . . . so normal that we don’t even realize that other people DON’T think this way. Dealing with this junk every minute of every day erodes the spirit and the mind. Being unshackled from it is more than liberating, it’s life changing. Now, when I catch the flu, I just eat more super food and ride it out. Thoughts of ebola and pandemics might float through but they are not The Truth anymore, and I can recognize that. I suppose that’s how I’m getting through life right now. I still argue with my husband sometimes, but I know that we are a strong couple, best friends, and a great team. We have survived worse, and for once in my life, I can imagine the other side, beyond the difficult present. They call it hope, and it’s new to me.

In fact, that might be the quintessential difference between coping and not. Hope is simply not available to those of us swallowed by The Dark. It is the ultimate cruelty of depression and anxiety. Retrieving hope, or discovering it for the first time perhaps, is how people keep moving forward. I reckon that destructive behaviours like addiction (booze, drugs, sex, gambling, food, bad relationships, etc.) don’t create hope, but they temporarily and artificially release us from the oppression of hopelessness. Nobody finds meaning in a bottle of vodka, but meaninglessness takes a short vacation. People like me need to learn, sometimes late in life, how to hope. Sadly, many don’t, and they cannot teach it to their children. Sometimes, we lose the hopeless souls forever.

Many things I neglect which would help me even more include doing more for myself, getting more exercise, making more art, and spending less time in front of a screen . . . I don’t have any definitive tips or tricks on how to go from “I can’t do this anymore” to “I’ll get through this.”  Certainly nothing that hasn’t been said. What I DO know is I’ve come from a place where the future was either impossible or horrible, to a present, where I’m pretty damned tired of the BS that keeps visiting me and my family, but I’m not giving up. It’s something I hope for all those who need it.

Hope doesn't solve my problems, but at least my problems won't win.

Hope doesn’t solve my problems, but at least my problems won’t win.

What To Do When It Spins Out Of Control

Image credit: commons.wikimedia.org

Image credit: commons.wikimedia.org

My name is Robert Kennedy and I blog on my personal site at RobertKennedy3.com.  Kina spoke with me last week about guest posting and we came up with an idea to post about technology (my sweet spot) and how we can use that when life overwhelms us a bit.  I had some REALLY good ideas and then……I started to write.  Things were not making sense and my mind just began to wander a bit.   And you know what?  I let it wander.  I did.  You just have to do that sometimes.  What you will read below is what came out of that mental meander.

Life happens!  It really does.  And guess what, there is nothing you can do about it.  Did that statement make you feel out of control or WHAT?  That feeling of seeing what is coming but never being totally able to self-correct is probably one of the scariest things for most.

I remember when I was about 22, I had purchased my first car, a green Ford Escort GT.  Yep, gotta have the GT.  A boy’s gotta have a bit of speed, you know.  Anyway, my parents went out of town for the weekend and one Saturday morning, it was just me and my brothers at home.  It was snowing outside but, I decided that I wanted to go for a ride to a friend’s house.  We had been working on an original song and I wanted to go finish it.  Awesome!  Packed the keyboard in the trunk, a Korg M1 for those of you that are into music and remember those, closed the trunk and took off.  Although it was snowing and a bit slippery, I decided to take a back road that I had taken many times.  This road was blessed with a few corners that took some skill even when it was dry.  But, of course my youthful vigor didn’t believe in danger.  Or maybe, I believed in it, but just didn’t believe it affected me personally.

So, off I went down this road and happened to see a friend coming in the opposite direction.  We both stopped and chatted for a moment.  She told me to watch the roads because the hills ahead were a little challenging.  I flippantly said, “Yeah dude” as I waved my hand out the window.  About a half mile up the road, I noted a car coming towards me.  However, due to the snow, this driver was doing what most other drivers were doing in this weather…following the tracks that had already been made by the other vehicles that had driven that path.  Here’s the issue.  Those tracks were in the CENTER OF THE ROAD!!  So, as we got closer, one of us was going to have to move over to the side to let the other pass safely.  We were coming closer and I could see the tension in her face.  It was now like a slow motion movie…literally.  Well, that was mostly because it was snowing and we were driving slowly.  I decided to pull to the right side of the road because I was doing my duty to take care of my GT!  She passed me and we locked eyes in slow motion, like a Quentin Tarantino movie.  Scratch that.  Maybe she didn’t look at me.  Oh that’s right, she was a bit nervous so her hands were pretty tightly wrapped around the steering wheel.

You’re reading this and wondering when the OUT OF CONTROL part comes.  Right now.  As I passed the other vehicle, there was a corner ahead.  It wasn’t a full 90 degree corner or turn.  It was just the natural bend of a road, one that required me to make a left adjustment with my wheel.  I turned it to the left and as the road straightened, I turned it back to the right.  Normally, when I return my steering wheel to the straight up position, the car follows along and corrects its path.  On this particular day, the car (yes, I’ll blame the car) chose not to follow the steering wheel.  The car never straightened up.  We entered a glide that felt strangely surreal and peaceful and yet scared me out of my wits.  I was relaxed at first but I could feel my body beginning to tense.  They taught me never to steer against the skid.  They told me to remain calm.  They told me not to panic.  They told me slowly steer out of it.  They told me…..

BANG!!!  That tree just wouldn’t get out of the way no matter how much I yelled.  Since I was now forcefully stopped, I figured I would get out of the car.  Pain took over and I fell!  Everything was a blur. The police came.  The ambulance came.  The EMT’s said they were going to have to cut my coat off.  I yelled, “NOOOOOO”.  I’d worked two weeks to buy that coat from Wilson’s Leather!  I’d lost the GT.  I wasn’t going to lose the leather, too.  I had to regain control!  I had to have SOMETHING!  Bruised sternum, bruised clavicle.  I had to grab for something!  I needed a lifeline.  I needed to own something at that moment.  They were NOT going to take my coat!  I remember that feeling right now.  It brought me peace.

I don’t know from personal experience what it feels like to lose control mentally or emotionally.  But I do know what it feels like to have no control and know that you are headed for a big bang!  So, what do you do?  A coach of mine once told me that ‘everything you have done up to this moment has gotten you to where you are.’  So, the things that you are currently surrounded by, the things that are currently a part of your frame might not work in helping you to regain your composure and direction.  I have some things that I do when I am overwhelmed.  You may decide to use some of them if you choose.  But, here are some additional tips that may help in those out of control moments.

1. Recognize that I am out of control.

2. Step out of my current zone and physical location.

3. Do something new and different away from the normal distractions.  If I am around a computer all day, I get outside and take a walk.  I might go to the golf driving range or the batting cage (somewhere I can legally swing REALLY hard at things).

4. Place it in perspective, recognizing that as bad as it seems at the moment, there are SOME good moments for all of us.  Hang on to those!

5. Write it down.  Yeah, we’re bloggers but writing doesn’t necessarily come easy just because of that.  Yet, somehow, writing seems cathartic and provides a memoir so that in the good times, I can see where I’ve come from and in the bad times, I can see that I DID have some good times.

 

What techniques do YOU use when you feel out of control? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Guest Post: Insipid Fear

angry CoyoteNOTE: Gary Walter is one of the people I met after joining Dream Stoker Nation. I have only been following his journey for a brief period of time. Despite our short acquaintance, I have been encouraged by his pursuit of his dreams and by his writing. I believe you will be too. Enjoy.

This post originally appeared on Gary’s blog, here.

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Hardly noticeable at first, it starts small. You wonder what it is, so you strain to listen. Is it just your imagination, or is it real? Suddenly, you’re wide awake, listening to every creak and grown in the house. You wonder if you should be scared, or merely curious? You wonder if what you feel is normal, or if you should be very afraid.

Like a child lying in the dark, you are paralyzed by fear. What is it? What woke you up? No, there’s no intruder, and there is no critter, the voices you hear are in your heart. Imagination? Maybe. Real? Yes. Are you anxious? Absolutely. And afraid. Yet, here in the grasp of your warm bed, there is nothing you can do about these fears. The fears are real – the circumstances that created them, well, maybe you just misinterpreted them. Yes, maybe there is no reason to be afraid – but then again, you are.

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At the age of 14 we visited my great-aunt and uncle in San Bernardino, California. During the Winter months they rented a mobile home in a park that catered to retired folks. I thought it would be fun to sleep on the deck in the warm California Winter. Shortly after midnight I woke up to the sound of coyotes. They yipped, they barked, and they growled. The ferocious beasts were on the move – and they weren’t far away – maybe within a block or two of where I lay in my sleeping bag.

I was terrified – certain that they were coming after me.

I was terrified – certain that they were coming after me. Their predatory noises got louder and I grew more and more terrified. I was scared to even breathe. The door into the house was just three feet away, but I was afraid the terrible coyotes would get me. I lay very still for the next half hour – listening as the coyotes attacked a neighbor’s pet dog (we learned the next day) and unable to move.

Since that night, I’ve learned that coyotes are relatively harmless and I’ve often encountered them in the wild. I’ve even stood next to wild wolves in the Alaskan Wilderness. But too many times, I experienced similar fears in the middle of the night. Often, like with the coyotes, those fears turn out to have no basis in fact or reason. Some situation, circumstance, or event in my life triggers the fear – and it’s usually too big and too ethereal for me to solve at 3:00 am. I am relegated to tossing, turning, and panicking.

It’s an unholy fear – one not based on anything tangible or credible. I cite the Serenity Prayer, I read encouraging scripture, and I cry out for relief. It’s a generational curse, passed on by family and ancestors who went before me. It is irrational, unreasonable, and not worth the effort – but it is real, it is stupefying and paralyzing.

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Last week I was reading in Exodus about the Israelite people leaving Egypt. It’s amazing how new things can pop out of a familiar story. But three things struck me in this story:

  • God took them the wrong way. If they had taken the most direct route to the Promised Land, they would have immediately ran into the Philistines and He knew they weren’t prepared to do battle yet.
  • He deliberately had them “wander” in the desert. It’s been said, “All who wander are not lost.” This was certainly true of the Jewish people right after leaving Egypt. God had them wander to confuse the Egyptians.
  • The people were terrified. Despite all this direct intervention from God Himself, they feared death to the core.
  • God’s plan was executed with precision. The Jews were rescued, the Egyptians were defeated, and it turned out there was never a reason to fear. It was a plan instituted 400+ years earlier, and on this day, it all came together – miraculously.

(OK, four – but who’s counting?)

I experienced something very similar in the last couple of weeks. A plan that was coming together perfectly, for a role I am perfectly suited for, but as the conclusion neared, I, like the Jews, became paralyzed by fear. It was as if I was 14 years old and surrounded by killer coyotes again.

But unlike the past, I did not resort to dysfunctional behaviors or thoughts to hide from the fear. I didn’t deny the fear, I accepted it. I didn’t mask the fear with food, TV, or other insane addictions. I just sought the Lord, surrendered it to Him, and learned to be still in His presence.

I finally came to the point where I accepted death as an option. Would it be painful? Yes. Would I like it? Probably not. But I trusted God to do what was best.

Amazingly, miraculously, in the end, at just the right moment, God came through and I accepted the role that I’ve prepared for my whole life. Amen.

  • PS: Here’s my most recent experience with coyotes.

Guest Bloggers are on their way

In addition to the loss of a functional keyboard we’ve also been dealing with some incredibly tight finances as Keith has been experiencing one difficulty after another: co-drivers quitting (he’s on his second replacement since February – and this guy is making noises about quitting too), vehicular breakdowns, and bad weather shutting down various Interstates, and technology glitches of his own (load paperwork submitted didn’t get transmitted – no paperwork, no pay) . So far for April, his net pay has been less than $100.00.

So, that’s been a bit distracting.

LaLa and her Spirit Love have been frequent visitors – housemates, actually. Lots of good things, especially since Luna adores them both. But it’s a tiny space and they’re young people with a lot if passionate determination to be heard. So, yeah, distraction there as well.

Little miss Luna has also gotten more attention seeking since daddy went back out on the road. Which means a lot more demanding of my physical, emotional and mental presence.

Now, I’m sick. Luna is too. I thought (hoped, prayed, begged the universal powers that be) it was allergies. However, that was also something LaLa shared with us over the past couple of weeks. Now, the stuffy head, bleary eyes, dripping nose, scratchy throat, achiness, and fatigue are disrupting concentration.

[Cue The Beatles – A Little Help From My Friends]

A year ago or even six months ago, I would have just not posted and let all sorts of negativity build ups as I stewed in my own juices. Now, due to a lot of factors, which may appear in a future post, I have people who can help me out.

I’ve mentioned a couple if times now that I’m part of the Dream Stoker Nation.

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As a result, I’ve met some really great people with big hearts, dreams, and talent. I’m learning that:

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Success is easier achieved with help. There’s no rule that says you have to do it by yourself ~ Robert Kennedy III

Robert is a fellow Dream Stoker. He’s one who has volunteered to write a post. I’m really looking forward to what he has to say.

Uh oh. I just remembered that I forgot to call him to discuss his post. Ugh, stupid brain fog. I’ll send him a private message.

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I’ve also been learning this lesson over the last few months:

If God can resurrect a soul and restore a life in eternity, certainly it is nothing to re-implant a vision or creative idea. ~ Gary S Walter

Gary is another Dream Stoker whose faithful pursuit if his dreams is coming to fruition. He’ll be sharing from his blog. He has a way of making spiritual truths applicable and accessible – even if you don’t necessarily ascribe to Christianity or organized religion, what he writes and the way he writes is very relatable and relevant without being at all preachy or holier than thou. I like his work and you might too.

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Keith Addison is an “old” blogging pal from my first Ultimate Blog Challenge I participated in July 2012. He is also part of the Dream Stoker Nation and will be contributing a couple of different posts. The first has to do with an issue near and dear to his heart and his life: raising awareness and support for families with children experiencing undiagnosed genetic disorders.

Several others have also stepped forward and you will meet them too, all in good time.

Now, I’m going to go message Robert, take some meds, drink some fluids and get some rest.