Life is Like a Biscuit

Have you ever had a really good homemade biscuit?  One with flaky white layers that the butter just drips across when you pull it apart.  It's light and airy and makes your mouth water just considering how to eat it without devouring in one bite.  

It took me years to learn how to make good biscuits.  I had so many failed attempts.  My husband would roll his eyes when I said we were having home made biscuits with dinner.   Most often, they would be hard as rocks, hockey pucks or some other disc like object.  But when I learned how to be gentle with the dough, life changed.  They were light, fluffy and tasty.  I didn't know I had been too hard and intense when kneading the biscuit dough.  Life is hard and intense much of the time.  We get beat up and pushed down often.  When this happens to children they learn to mistrust their feelings.  They never develop a healthy intuition. As an adult, I have spent years developing these things that  I should have learned as a child.  It has taken repeated effort, intention and hard work.  I have had to revisit situations with the help of trained adults to interpret them with truth.  My recipe for life started with everything, I mean everything, being my fault.  Being blamed for things that were not my fault as a child made me hard and  intense as an adult. I also lost my childhood to the desires and needs of sick people around me. Which made me determined not to come apart.  

As a result, I have been forced to unpack layer after layer of lies that I believed about myself.  It has hurt more than I can say and sent me reeling more times than I care to admit.  I have also had to unpack lies about the people around me growing up, those who were charged with my care.  People who should have helped build me up, berated me and tore me down, often daily.   

As I am learning to be more gentle with myself I am learning to appreciate different things in life. Simple things, like a delicious biscuit dripping with butter.  I am learning that life can pile things on us, but we can choose to take our pain apart and face it.  In doing so, we can heal layer after layer. As Kelly Clarkson sings allow others to piece by piece fill the holes burned in our soul.  So Forest Gump's mother says that life is like a box of chocolates.  I say life is like a biscuit.  It can be hard and dry,  but when we learn to be gentle with ourselves, it can be light, airy and bring smiles to my face. 

I say life is like a biscuit. It can be hard and dry, but when we learn to be gentle with ourselves, it can be light, airy and bring smiles to my face..png

Pain- A Prelude to Provision

 Pain can have a purpose.  Sometimes it is due to the bad decisions of other people.  At times, it is a result of our own bad decisions.  Death, destruction, divorce, disease, and despair all have one thing in common.  They often drive us to the end of ourselves. Abraham Lincoln once said,  "I have been driven to my knees many times by the overwhelming conviction that I had nowhere else to go." 

Life can be overwhelming and when it is, we often realize just how powerless we really are. I am not saying the divine, or the cosmos or karma cause pain to teach us this.  I am saying that a natural result of pain is the knowledge that life is larger than what we can explain. Pain can drive us deep into ourselves and deep into the divine.  We can emerge stronger and more resilient. Pain is often a prelude to provision.  

I remember when I found out my brother had died.  We had been estranged for most all our adult lives.  The next day, I sat in the office of a co-worker and recounted things that had happened in our family.  I cried more that day than I had ever cried over my family.  She cried with me and told me how strong I was.  I didn't feel strong.  I felt damned.  My whole life my family had dictated how I could or could not interact with them.  Always I felt like I had no way to go that seemed right.  No way that resulted in my peace, in freedom or with my feeling love from them.  In that time of pain, I could not see how God was making a provision for my healing. But He was.  

If you are feeling pain today, I encourage you to sit with it. To feel it, don't try to stuff it away. Allow it to penetrate your heart and soul.  In doing so, you may feel worse before you feel better. Today or tomorrow may not be the day that the pain starts to subside.  But the day will come when you feel it a little less.  Pain pushes us to know ourselves better, to know the divine better, to pause and ponder what truly matters.  Pain can propel us down a different path than the one we have been on.  

Be encouraged today that while we don't understand why we hurt, we all face pain of some kind.  That means we are not alone, it is not unique to you or me.  It is not unique to Jesus either.  He felt pain, more than I can comprehend.  But in his pain, he held onto the fact that his purpose was our freedom.  I don't know what the purpose is to the pain in my life or in yours.  I do know that without the pain that has been in my life, I wouldn't know how much I needed the Healer. 

Change a Law or Change a Life...Is There A Better Way to Spend Big Dollars?

This week marked the anniversary of Roe V. Wade. Abortion is a topic that seems to divide our nation, even dividing families and friends.  I hear much about the need to overturn this decision in our court system.  Many people voted for our current president because he stated he was pro-life.  That fit their desire to have a pro-life president in hopes of overturning this law.  My view this week is a different view.  Why do we need to overturn this law? I am sure many have valid reasons and may decide to educate me on them.  

My thought is this.  Alcohol is illegal for people under the age of 21.  That didn't stop me from consuming alcohol, I began to drink at the age of 13.  Speeding is illegal but people do it all the time.  Think about it.  What would make more of an impact, making abortion illegal or educating the women facing the choice?  When I say educate, I mean true education, medical, scientific and psychological. All sides of the issue.  Post Abortion Syndrome was never discussed with me at either of the abortion clinics I went to. No discussion about emotional baggage or PTSD.  There was no discussion about risks and complications.  There were people who held up signs at one of them about abortion being murder, which did nothing to educate me.  It just made me think they were radical and angry. I was numb to them.

What would be different if the pro-life movement spent more money in local communities? Providing resources for pregnancy resource centers and educating women with good unbiased information.  I am not sure but I think it would matter.  I think women are smart.  We need good information to make good choices.  There should be pregnancy resource centers in every area.   They should be as well funded as Planned Parenthood. Then there could be more counselors, nurses, and doctors doing the educating.  There could be more connecting women who don’t want children but are carrying one, with women who can’t have them but desperately desire a child.   The possibilities are endless.

When demand drops, supply lessens.  That is simple economics.  Yet too often this issue of abortion is tied to dollars.  Politicians come and go, the question I am raising is where is the most impact going to be felt?  Changing the law or educating and helping the women affected by the law? 

I love people on both sides of this discussion. Many women would carry their babies if they knew they had the money to do so. Some would place for adoption some would parent.  Seeing all the people at this year’s march, made me think.  Many of my friends who go to Washington are active in their local communities if there is a pregnancy resource center there.  Imagine if each person at the march this year all did help one woman in an unplanned pregnancy, what an impact on our nation that would be. 

 

 

 

Change a Law or Change a Life...Is There A Better Way to Spend Big Dollars?

This week marked the anniversary of Roe V. Wade. Abortion is a topic that seems to divide our nation, even dividing families and friends.  I hear much about the need to overturn this decision in our court system.  Many people voted for our current president because he stated he was pro-life.  That fit their desire to have a pro-life president in hopes of overturning this law.  My view this week is a different view.  Why do we need to overturn this law? I am sure many have valid reasons and may decide to educate me on them.  

My thought is this.  Alcohol is illegal for people under the age of 21.  That didn't stop me from consuming alcohol, I began to drink at the age of 13.  Speeding is illegal but people do it all the time.  Think about it.  What would make more of an impact, making abortion illegal or educating the women facing the choice?  When I say educate, I mean true education, medical, scientific and psychological. All sides of the issue.  Post Abortion Syndrome was never discussed with me at either of the abortion clinics I went to. No discussion about emotional baggage or PTSD.  There was no discussion about risks and complications.  There were people who held up signs at one of them about abortion being murder, which did nothing to educate me.  It just made me think they were radical and angry. I was numb to them.

What would be different if the pro-life movement spent more money in local communities? Providing resources for pregnancy resource centers and educating women with good unbiased information.  I am not sure but I think it would matter.  I think women are smart.  We need good information to make good choices.  There should be pregnancy resource centers in every area.   They should be as well funded as Planned Parenthood. Then there could be more counselors, nurses, and doctors doing the educating.  There could be more connecting women who don’t want children but are carrying one, with women who can’t have them but desperately desire a child.   The possibilities are endless.

When demand drops, supply lessens.  That is simple economics.  Yet too often this issue of abortion is tied to dollars.  Politicians come and go, the question I am raising is where is the most impact going to be felt?  Changing the law or educating and helping the women affected by the law? 

I love people on both sides of this discussion. Many women would carry their babies if they knew they had the money to do so. Some would place for adoption some would parent.  Seeing all the people at this year’s march, made me think.  Many of my friends who go to Washington are active in their local communities if there is a pregnancy resource center there.  Imagine if each person at the march this year all did help one woman in an unplanned pregnancy, what an impact on our nation that would be. 

 

 

 

Change a Law or Change a Life...Is There A Better Way to Spend Big Dollars?

This week marked the anniversary of Roe V. Wade. Abortion is a topic that seems to divide our nation, even dividing families and friends.  I hear much about the need to overturn this decision in our court system.  Many people voted for our current president because he stated he was pro-life.  That fit their desire to have a pro-life president in hopes of overturning this law.  My view this week is a different view.  Why do we need to overturn this law? I am sure many have valid reasons and may decide to educate me on them.  

My thought is this.  Alcohol is illegal for people under the age of 21.  That didn't stop me from consuming alcohol, I began to drink at the age of 13.  Speeding is illegal but people do it all the time.  Think about it.  What would make more of an impact, making abortion illegal or educating the women facing the choice?  When I say educate, I mean true education, medical, scientific and psychological. All sides of the issue.  Post Abortion Syndrome was never discussed with me at either of the abortion clinics I went to. No discussion about emotional baggage or PTSD.  There was no discussion about risks and complications.  There were people who held up signs at one of them about abortion being murder, which did nothing to educate me.  It just made me think they were radical and angry. I was numb to them.

What would be different if the pro-life movement spent more money in local communities? Providing resources for pregnancy resource centers and educating women with good unbiased information.  I am not sure but I think it would matter.  I think women are smart.  We need good information to make good choices.  There should be pregnancy resource centers in every area.   They should be as well funded as Planned Parenthood. Then there could be more counselors, nurses, and doctors doing the educating.  There could be more connecting women who don’t want children but are carrying one, with women who can’t have them but desperately desire a child.   The possibilities are endless.

When demand drops, supply lessens.  That is simple economics.  Yet too often this issue of abortion is tied to dollars.  Politicians come and go, the question I am raising is where is the most impact going to be felt?  Changing the law or educating and helping the women affected by the law? 

I love people on both sides of this discussion. Many women would carry their babies if they knew they had the money to do so. Some would place for adoption some would parent.  Seeing all the people at this year’s march, made me think.  Many of my friends who go to Washington are active in their local communities if there is a pregnancy resource center there.  Imagine if each person at the march this year all did help one woman in an unplanned pregnancy, what an impact on our nation that would be. 

 

 

 

The Decision to Carry or Abort

To the women today who are making this decision please consider what I have to say.  I have been there, in more than one way.  I have decided to abort twice in my life.  I have decided to carry three times.  I was placed for adoption at birth myself forty-nine years ago.

What people don't often say is that every choice has consequences. Choosing not to carry doesn't change or remove that fact.  I do not judge you for where you are or the choices that you made or may make.  I feel sad for you because I fully know that no matter what choice you make, it will be with you for the rest of your life. I know the reality because I live it. 

My intention is not to scare you, bore you or change you.  My intention is, to be honest.  No matter which road you take, you will never be the same.  Some will tell you abortion is the easy way out.  That is never true.  At some point, maybe when you least expect it, the reality of the choice that you made will come back to you. I have sat with women who just found out they had cancer, I have had cancer.  One of the first things some say is, "I did this years ago it was a terrible thing to do.  Am I being punished for that?".  There are women have found out they can't conceive anymore.  They wonder is it punishment for the choice they made when they thought the time wasn't right.

Some will tell you carrying and parenting is the easy way out.  There is nothing easy about carrying and giving birth to a baby.  There is nothing easy about being a parent.  It can be rewarding, but it's not always.   Some will tell you that carrying and placing for adoption is easy.  Today there are more and more open adoptions, there are some good viable choices to be made.  Yet the reality is, not all are what you think they will be.  Some are, but not all are.  

So lest you think I am writing that there is no way out and life is full of gloom, let me make my point again.  No choice is without consequence.  I have sat with many women who chose abortion.  Almost always in a time of crisis, that is what comes to mind.  Is this because of what I did?  Often,  in a great season of life, those memories start coming back.  Maybe when you feel safe, or when are carrying a planned pregnancy. You may find yourself haunted by the choice you made to end the life growing inside of you.  If you carry and parent, there is almost always a time that comes when your heart feels broken.  Because as a parent, you love deeply and you hurt deeply.  No child is perfect, those times will come.  If you decide to become a birth mother you will have made the best choice you can make at the moment.  But that too can cause stress and trauma long term.  There are no guarantees.

In my life,  I have met many women on all sides and in all stages of this decision.  I have not met anyone who said I wish I wouldn't have chosen to give the life growing inside of me a chance.  I have, however, met many who live daily with the consequences of the choice they made. Not being able to deal with them in a healthy way.

So all I am saying is again, no choice is the easy choice.  My life has been a gift to me. It has been difficult.   I grew up in an abusive home and environment.  I had a terrible first marriage at a young age.  Yet the result of that was a lovely daughter that I wouldn't trade for anything.  Even with her a co-worker, who knew my situation, encouraged me to abort. I said no, hell no.  When faced with being a single mother and having another baby, I chose to not carry, twice.  I was not told there would be a consequence.  I heard it was my choice and the easiest choice.  Many nights, years later, I couldn't sleep because of what I had done.  I wanted to go find those people who told me that and slap them in the face. They lied. 

 Recently, I learned I was conceived in rape.  I learned my birth mother has struggled with her decision to place me for years.   A decision she made because she feared she couldn' t care for me based on her circumstances.  She feared she couldn't look at me if I looked like my father. I also learned that God told her life was a gift and that I would do great things in my life.  It was hard for her to hear I grew up unloved. It was hard for me to see the effects of her choice to give me life on her. 

Consequences, every choice we make has them.  My question for the woman struggling today with this choice is this.  Which choice can you live with for the rest of your life? 

If my birth mother would have aborted me, I wouldn't be here to write this. Maybe there wouldn't be programs at our local cancer center that I helped create.  There are families on a Reservation that might not be homeowners if I had not been a part of that program. There are women who have heard my stories and it has changed them.  It has inspired them to share their stories to change others.  The world would also be without three incredible, powerful young women who call me mom.  There would be three less daughters in this world.  Three less business owners.  Three less artists and students.  Three less  strong young women who have the ability to change the world around them. 

 The choice you make today dictates what will happen in the rest of your life.    Consequences, life is full of them.  Please be informed, seek information and make decisions carefully.  It is worth educating yourself and making an educated thoughtful decision.  The rest of your life will be affected by the choice you make.  You are smart, you are strong, you are someone and you are carrying somebody. 

 

Talking About Trauma

     I have experienced quite a bit of trauma in my life. Some I talk about, some I do not. A friend asked me why I would write about growing up in abuse. My answer is first, it is healing to me. Second, maybe it will help someone know they are not alone. Third, I lived so much of my life afraid and I don't want to continue to do that.  

     What was I afraid of? Well, the list was long. I was afraid of people finding out. Afraid of it happening to those I love. I was afraid of telling my truth and others saying I was lying. Afraid of who I had become inside as a result of the trauma I experienced. Afraid I would never be enough. Afraid if I let any of what I was feeling out I would fall apart and never find wholeness.

     In society, especially in the church, I think we underestimate the effects of trauma. I believe this is true for both children and adults. From The Body Keeps Score, Bessel Van Der Kolk, M.D., states the following, "Trauma results in a fundamental reorganization of the way the mind and brain manage perceptions." This is no small statement. He goes on to discuss how it changes how we think and even our capacity to think. I see this in my own life. For years I thought I was crazy. Now I know I was traumatized.

     So why do we underestimate the effects of trauma? My working theory is because we too often choose to look away from hard things. It feels easier in the moment. The unresolved issues we bury never die, they just decay. We should instead be staring what we buried in the face. Do you remember as a child playing stare down with others? You stared at each other until one of you broke. I have chosen, over time and with a lot of help, to keep staring my trauma in the face until it breaks. I refuse to continue to react to things that have affected me. The way I approach this is by learning and educating myself. By talking, writing, sharing, growing and refusing to give in. I will continue as long as it takes. I am thinking that might be a while yet, but at the same time, I acknowledge I have journeyed past the point I started at. Many of my blog posts coming up will further address the effects of trauma. What I am learning. How I have seen them play out in my life and how I am learning to heal. My prayer? If even one person gains a greater measure of peace by joining me on this journey, that will be more than enough.

 

News, Nobodies and Nasty Times

It seems every time I turn on the television there are new allegations of inappropriate behavior against someone famous.  I offer some observations from inside my head regarding the news of late.  First, it is not just women who are the victims of inappropriate behavior.  Nor is it just men who are perpetrators.  Second, it is wonderful when people praise the bravery of those that come forward.  But with that, there is an implication that those who don't come forward are less than brave.  I have experienced first hand the judgment of those who don't understand when someone chooses never to come forward with formal allegations.  People expect happy endings, they expect right to win, but that is not always reality. There can be a lot of pressure on victims to do what someone else feels is the right thing. My question is always who gets to decide what the right thing is? Third, many of these cases would hold no water, get no press or ever make it to a newspaper or blog if the perpetrators or victims weren't famous. 

The times we live in are constantly changing but one thing stays the same.  News outlets want stories that sell, where are the stories about helping people heal from "inappropriate behavior" or "allegations"?  Where are the stories educating people about what the red flags are to stop it before it starts?  As a nation, we voted in a president who considers discussing grabbing a woman's private parts as locker room talk.  If you were on the opposing side, not so fast, your candidate tore down women who were "brave" enough to come forward. 

Here we are, in the midst of nasty times, with nasty leaders and people of power with their nasty laundry aired all over the evening news.  While everyday people fill every town holding stories of nastiness with limited or no resources for healing or any ability to bravely come forward.  Wake up America, we are better than this. I know we are, we just don't talk about it.