Category Archives: Kids

Nostalgia and a Longing for Simpler Days…

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Dear Friends,

My oldest son, Jeremiah is having some intense emotional struggle right now that I am not even up for writing about.  If you wouldn’t mind, I sure would like to humbly ask that you pray for him; he is 16.

 

Tonight I was going to leave a video on the wall of his Facebook to cheer my boy up and inspire him.  This song always made me giggle and I simply love the message.  Add to that, I’ve been over the moon for Frank Sinatra for as long as I can remember.  I love his music.  Of course, I love old-school music in general.  My favorites include Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, and Nat King Cole, just to name a few.

 

I’d like you to view the following video and note how it somehow lifts your spirits, regardless of what kind of mood you’re in:

 

 

Now, riddle me this, Batman? How can one be in a depressed or anxious state of mind and hear this song without smiling and feeling just a little bit better than you did before you heard it? And how profound is the message of this song?

 

This snappy, upbeat tune was introduced in the movie, “A Hole in the Head” starring the late, great Frank Sinatra, circa 1959! We are talking about 54 years ago!  One must reflect on the simplicity of the world during those times; which were inarguably just not that long ago.

 

I grieve for my beloved America, as we seem to be given over to abundant chaos and such confusingly busy lifestyles that we, much more often times than not, miss out on the simple things in life; the most important and the most eternal things.

 

 Unmanageable stress is literally subtracting years from our lives.  MOST importantly, our children, many living in low-income, single-parent homes are confused and brokenhearted to say the very least.

 

Once upon a time we yearned for scientific progress, which to me, simply equated to us having access to more luxurious “things” and “things” that we thought would make our lives more convenient and somehow more valuable. Well, that certainly has worked out well for us, hasn’t it?

Oh, how I really do miss the old days.  I miss the old console TV sets that had rabbit ears and only a few channels; the ones you had to get out of your seat and turn the dial until you found a program you wanted to watch or could get reception on.  I miss my Disco 8-track tapes, and my cardboard box of a portable record player that played 45’s  and LP’s (33’s). 

 

 

 I miss playing outside, getting dirty, drinking from the water house, peeing on the side of the house so you didn’t have to go in your house and take a chance of getting hounded by your folks about something, and  I sure did enjoy catching crawdads in the creek behind my house.  I miss those things and so much more.

 

More than anything, I miss the family time we all shared day in and day out.  I miss those sit-down, delicious, gravy-invested dinners we shared as a family “at the kitchen table.”  I miss waking up early every Sunday morning to the smell of my grandmother’s cookin’, which literally made me jump right of bed; I was somehow seduced by the aroma of breakfast. 

 

We did the same things every Sunday.  We had our yummy, Southern breakfast, got dressed nicely, hopped in the car, and went to Sunday School “and” church.  I never tried to negotiate with my grandmother about going to church nor did I ever complain and tell her I was too tired to go.  It was part of our established routine.  It’s just what we did.  And after church my grandmother either “fixed” an extravagant lunch or we went to eat at Furr’s Cafeteria.  Mind you, retail stores and most businesses were closed on Sundays then.  Today, Chick-Fil-A is the only business that I can honestly think of that unapologetically closes on Sundays because of the corporations unshakable faith, values, and public desire to please God.

 

Yes, I miss those simpler days.  Praise God, I have so many memories to cherish.  I’m thankful for these beautiful memories and for my Godly upbringing! What about you? 

 

Do you think that as we move closer and closer to end times that the world is becoming increasing dark, chaotic, and depraved or is this all in my head?  I’d love to hear your feedback and opinions (that’s my polite way of telling you that you’d better chime in! lol!)

All my love,

Ava

drinking from the hose

kid peeing outside

tire swing

catching crawdaddies

dirty kids

mud pies

ice cream truck

sprinkler

family prayer

big wheel

The Sky Is Falling…

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It’s been well over 70 days since I’ve written.  I know this because I’ve been counting the days…one day at a time.  I’ve wanted…no, I’ve needed to write but my fingers have just been paralyzed.  I guess things really got hard back on October 21st.  I tried to write about that day but to date, what I did write is unfinished and is just looming in my drafts folder.

I have loved writing on this darn blog.  I have come to believe that no one truly cares about anyone nowadays, but somehow you all….strangers to my world…have managed to make me feel so significant, so valued, and so loved.  I will never be able to thank you enough for that.

I don’t even know what to say…and I don’t even know if anything that I say really matters.  But I hope that somehow I can touch your heart and let you know that you are loved… I love you.  Even though most of us have never met, we are all brothers in sisters in the Body of Christ… We are family and we will someday get to spend eternity together.  So you matter to me…  You matter so much.

I am NOT looking for pity or attention and I want you to know that I am NOT a victim.  I just want to put that disclaimer out there before I write anymore.  However, I want you to know that, for me, the sky IS falling.  My life has been a house of cards and somehow I have always managed to hold everything together and give the illusion that I was happy and complete.  I wore that mask so well for so long.  The house of cards is falling down.  I’m afraid I’ve run out of tricks.  My charade is up and at this point, it seems everyone knows that I am a joke.

I was a Psychology major and I minored in Counseling.  I know the DSM-IV-TR quite well.  I was on a research team with graduate students and have devoted my life, and my studies to studying human behavior, especially since my Mother’s suicide.  In my studies I gravitated more toward abnormal psychology, and have always had a deep interest and passion for the ugly part of psyc….the pathology, I guess you could say.  Also, I’ve spent years studying the human brain and have become very knowledgeable in the neuro-psyc part of things…  I wholeheartedly believe that the human brain is the last, great, uncharted frontier in the realm of Science.  There is SO much that we don’t yet know… And I pray that Science will progress in a direction that takes a more physical approach to human behavior and issues of mental health. 

I have pondered the Nature vs. Nurture debate deeply.  I have researched it well… and have personally arrived at the conclusion that it’s both.  However, I would tend to say that the “nurture” part of things has the greatest impact.  In essence, I subscribe quite a bit to John Locke’s theory of Tabula Rasa, which as you probably know means that we are born a blank slate.  I know that this isn’t entirely true, but I think it’s mostly true.

I think babies are the closest thing to Heaven… Really, I think this about ALL children in general.  There is nothing more pure and precious than a childNothing.  And I know that Jesus Himself feels the exact same way. 

I can‘t make sense of the world we’re living in these days.  What happened at Sandy Hook Elementary has greatly affected me.  But the reality is that children are abused in a myriad of fashions all over the globe… constantly.  What’s more, most of the time they are abused, neglected, and/or abandoned by the people who were supposed to love them the most… and to protect them with every fiber of their being. 

The world is a nasty, depraved place and honestly, I don‘t know why we continue to have children knowing full well that we are living in End Times.  I compare my generation to my kid’s…and to my Mother’s…and for GOD sakes, my precious Grandparent’s.  It unraveling and changing so fast that I can hardly process it.  Our country, which WAS founded on GOD has, I’m afraid, become an abomination to Him as I KNOW it has become an abomination to the rest of the world.  I fear that God’s blessing is vanishing from our land…  He flooded the world once and I have to wonder, “Was it even half as depraved now as it was then?”  I ponder Bible stories that my grandmother used to tell me about Sodom and Gomorrah… but see, I know NOW that those weren’t just “stories“.  Do we as a nation think that we are invincible from God Himself?  Jonah tried to outrun God and he wound up in the belly of a whale.  How much longer is God going to tolerate the depravity of our culture?  I just really wonder.

I am not well right now.  I fear that I may be losing my mind somehow.  I am absolutely terrified beyond words, but I am finding that I have not been able to escape this perpetual downward spiral that I am wildly riding.  My depression is beyond anything I could explain…and probably beyond anything anyone would be able to understand.  I feel powerless and I feel utterly paralyzed.  I have no idea what tomorrow will bring, but for me, hope is just not on the horizon.  I’m trying to fight but I’m very weak and I’m very tired.  My whole life has been a fight.  I will be 40 in January and NEVER in my wildest dreams could I have EVER imagine that I would be here.  I’m embarrassed, I’m morbidly humiliated, and shame and guilt are just killing me.

I have somehow managed to isolate myself from the world and the outcome has not been good.  The ONLY hope that I have is in Jesus,  but for the LIFE of me I cannot feel Him right now.  I am reduced to an absolute shell of the vibrant, charismatic woman I once was…  I don’t have much left.  So with every ounce of my soul I humbly beg that you pray for me and my boys.  Please intercede in my weakness.  Please beg God to help me survive and see my way out of all this.  I want you to know that I love my children more than anything on this Earth.  They are the reason I draw breath…  They are my whole entire world and I am so afraid that I am somehow failing them.  GOD HELP ME!

I have honestly never felt this way in my entire life and again, I’m just overtaken with complete terror.  There is a neuro doc whose primary practice is in San Francisco.  His name is Dr. Daniel Amen.  I have followed his work for years and know some incredibly reputable people who deeply believe in his work.  His clinic does brain scans that give CONCRETE answers to what is going on with a patient’s mental health.  That‘s what I want…of course I could never afford it.  But still,  I want CONCRETE answers.  Something is totally NOT right with my freaking brain.  I adore my counselor and my doctors too but diagnosing  neurological problems are really just a hit or miss….or a trial and error kind of thing.  I’m SICK of that. 

What happened to my mother HAUNTS me each and every day.  Her depression was real, but no one, INCLUDING AND ESPECIALLY  ME ever took her seriously until she was dead.  She lay in her bed for THREE whole days before anyone even found her.  I will NEVER forget what she looked like.  She has the SADDEST look on her face.  My mother was an incredible, beautiful woman but something happened and when she began to deteriorate it  seemed, to me, to happened really fast.  I take this shit seriously and I wish to GOD that the rest of society would too!!  This isn’t something we can just sweep under the damn rug people.  Look, the Sandy Hook incident would more than likely have never happened if someone would have reached out to that young man and taken his issues seriously.

I thank you for giving me a venue to express my heart…  And I thank you in advance for your prayers.  Jesus is not just MY only answer… He is YOUR only answer as well.  Keep your eyes FIXED on Him.  Recognize that He does NOT make rules so that He can be a buzz-kill or because He is just very bossy.  God gives us rules to protect us from our stupid selves!!!  When we disobey Him and veer out in our own direction we are blindly veering out from underneath His Almighty protection.  We just cannot afford to do that anymore, can we?

All my love,

Ava

Lord, do not rebuke me in your anger
or discipline me in your wrath.
Have mercy on me, Lord, for I am faint;
heal me, Lord, for my bones are in agony.
 My soul is in deep anguish.
How long, Lord, how long?

 Turn, Lord, and deliver me;
    save me because of your unfailing love.
 Among the dead no one proclaims your name.
    Who praises you from the grave?

 I am worn out from my groaning.

All night long I flood my bed with weeping
    and drench my couch with tears.
 My eyes grow weak with sorrow;
    they fail because of all my foes.

 Away from me, all you who do evil,
    for the Lord has heard my weeping.
The Lord has heard my cry for mercy;
    the Lord accepts my prayer.
 All my enemies will be overwhelmed with shame and anguish;
    they will turn back and suddenly be put to shame.

-Psalm 6

WHY?

WHY?

Really?  WHY???

Really? WHY???

On Hungry Birds and Guided Missiles…

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“Mom, we don’t have anything to eat.”

“Mom, I’m hungry.”

“Mom, can you go to Sonic?”

“Mom, what’s for dinner?”

“Mom, when are you going to the grocery store?”

Jeremiah & Jonah

The photo above is quite befitting as I picture Jeremiah on the left; he needs a haircut so bad.  We had an appointment this evening but I checked my banking account and learned that the $1.50 Diet Coke that I swiped my card for at work overdrew my damn account.  Ugh!  When will it end?  No gas, no groceries, bills coming at me from every angle…  It’s hard living this way.  Sufficed to say, I am terrified.

I’m not teaching anymore…at least for a while.  I have gone back to work for a major airline.  Since September 11th, we have taken a huge hit, so it’s been almost impossible to get back on with the company as they simply have not been hiring.  I was extremely happy there when I worked there 12 years ago, so I was thrilled to see a job opening and therefore applied for it immediately.  

I prayed about teaching, which had been a huge source of stress for me for a plethora of reasons.  I had been so anxious and had no peace in my heart whatsoever.  I prayed and “totally” put the situation at the foot of the cross.  You can surrender to Christ with your mouth…saying it is one thing; but I surrendered to Christ with my soul–every ounce of it.  When I did He gave me an inexplicable peace–a peace I hadn’t felt in a long time–and miraculously, doors started to open and doors that needed to be closed, became closed.

Ideally, I’d like to get into teaching at the airline I work for and possibly be involved in curriculum and development.  It’s a faith walk right now though.  I am just going where God leads me.  Still I am afraid.  

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again, “I do not want my children to suffer for bad choices that I have made in the past.”  A while back a passage of scripture popped out at me from the 54th chapter of Isaiah:

For the Lord has called you like a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit,

Like a youthful wife when you were refused.

For a mere moment I have forsaken you, but with great mercies I will gather you.

With a little wrath I hid My face from you for a moment;

But with everlasting kindness I will have mercy on you.

This is like the waters of Noah to me; 

For as I have sworn that the waters of Noah would no long cover the earth,

So I have sworn that I will not be angry with you, nor rebuke you.

For the mountains shall depart and the hills be removed,

But My kindness shall not depart from you.

Nor shall My covenant of peace be removed.

O you afflicted one, tossed with the tempest and not comforted,

Behold I will lay your stones with colorful gems,

And lay your foundations with sapphires.

I will make your pinnacles of rubies, your gates of crystal,

And your walls of precious stones.

All your children shall be taught by the Lord,

And great shall be the peace of your children.

In righteousness you shall be established;

You shall be far from oppression, for you shall not fear;

And from terror, for it shall not come near you.

Indeed they shall surely assemble, but not of Me.

Whoever assembles against you shall fall for your sake.

Could that verse speak to my circumstances more?  I was astounded when I found that!  It’s like it was written just for me!  But that’s how the Word of God works!  

 With that, I’d like to think of my children like this, not like the picture above: 

 The psalmist tells us in Psalm 37 that he has never seen the righteous forsaken nor his children begging bread.  I know my kids are protected under the mighty wing of God (and praise the Lord they love Ramen noodles).  We’ll be alright because we are God’s children and He loves us in unfathomable ways.  And friend, YOU are His child too.  Whatever it is you are walking through, He’s gone before you.  Trust that.

And if you aren’t a Christian, it’s really easy to become one.  All you do is pray to your Father and tell Him that you believe in Him.  Tell Him that you simply cannot do it without Him.  Tell the Lord Jesus that you believe that He is the Son of God and invite Him to occupy your heart.  Admit that you’re a sinner and ask God to forgive you and wipe the slate clean.  He will, beloved.  He will wash you as white as snow.  

And don’t let any kind of sin that you are currently walking in prevent you from coming to Christ.  Come now.  He is gentle and patient and will clean you up little by little.  If you have a particular sin that you’re struggling to let go of he will slowly begin to change your heart so that you will want to break free from whatever bondage that you’re living in.  

I heard a story on the radio the other day that I thought was really cool.  It said that “guided” missiles aren’t “guided” toward their destination until after they’re launched.  

They have no destination until after they leave the launch pad.  Think of Jesus as the launcher, and yourself as the missile.  Baby, just GET LAUNCHED.  Get to the launchpad and GET LAUNCHED!  Once you invite Him to be your boss, He will fill you with love and acceptance.  He will then guide you toward your destination.

I think one of the biggest lies that Satan tells us that we’re too much of a mess to come to God NOW.  Don’t wait for the right time, friend.  We are all sinners and so it may never feel like the right time.  The time is now.  

And remember, Jesus himself didn’t run around with a bunch of people who had it all together.  He ran with whores, thieves, tax collectors, etc.  The great Apostle Paul was a murdered who murdered and persecuted slews of Christians before He surrendered His life to the Lord, and look who He became.

And look, I don’t know most of you.  So ask yourself this: “What does she have to gain by telling me this?  What is her agenda?”  I have nothing to gain and no agenda.  But if I don’t know you now, I’ll know you when we get to Heaven.  Because, if you accept Jesus, that’s exactly where you’ll be spending eternity.

I have been to the bottom of hell and back.  I could never deny the Lord.  I’ve felt his presence when everything else had been stripped away.  I am scared beyond measure at this time in my life, but the hope I have in Him carries me through.  Beloved, I can’t keep this love to myself.  It’s your too… All you have to do is ask.  If there is anything you need–prayer or otherwise–call on me.  I’m here for you, and so is God.

And friends, please pray for me and my precious kids.  We need a miracle right now…  

All my love,

Ava

A Faithful, Funny Family of Frazzled but Fortuitous Felines!

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“Mom, our family is like a cat.  We always land on our feet.” -Jonah, age 7

I often find that God speaks to us and gives us encouragement through people.  This always amazes me but when I comes from the mouth of  a child it simply knocks me off my feet!  Children are so innocent and untainted and therefore  provide us with a powerful connection to the heart of God.

Times are quite rough and uncertain for my little family and I at the present moment.  I have been overcome with fear in regards to our financial future as of late but am choosing to continue walking in absolute blind faith, knowing that God has never let me down before and that He surely isn’t going to do it now.

Today, out of the blue and completely unaware of our circumstances, Jonah crawled up next to me and said, “Mom, our family is like a cat.  We always land on our feet.”  Mind you, Jonah is just seven years old.  Most seven-year old children that I know don’t speak in clichés.  And if they do, I certainly don’t think they understand them.

But Jonah knew exactly what he was saying and I believe that my baby was simply acting as a vessel for the Lord.  It’s true, we do always land on our feet.  Why did it take a seven-year old child to remind me of this?

There is nothing more precious on this earth to me than my children.  I don’t want them to suffer for mistakes that I have made.  But God loves them as much as He loves me…and you.  God cannot withhold His love from us because He “is” love.  

Yes, we are like cats!  Though though our future is uncertain, we will prevail in the precious name of Jesus.  We always do.  We serve a Mighty God.  We are His beloved children and He is Abba , our Daddy.

Today I pray that you hear the voice of God and that you choose to let Him walk you through whatever it is that you feel you cannot do alone.  Friend, He is faithful…and quite adventuresome too!  Invite Him to be your Captain, and not your co-pilot.  He will take you to new heights and exceed your wildest expectations. 

All my love,

Ava