Tag Archives: single parenting

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

God Bless the Child…

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Beloved,

I have been totally absent from WordPress as of late.  The truth is, I have been totally absent from life as of late.  And for the love of God, I honestly started  this blog to inspire people and help them find healing!  That’s what my vision was. And  so lo and behold, would you look at what’s happened?  It’s been all about me.  It’s been YOU that have constantly encouraged and inspired me.  It’s like this:

One day Jesus was teaching, and Pharisees (bastards…ooops!) and teachers of the law were sitting there. They had come from every village of Galilee and from Judea and Jerusalem. And the power of the Lord was with Jesus to heal the sick. Some men came carrying a paralyzed man on a mat and tried to take him into the house to lay him before Jesus. When they could not find a way to do this because of the crowd, they went up on the roof and lowered him on his mat through the tiles into the middle of the crowd, right in front of Jesus.  -Luke 5:17-19

You see, that’s me…the sick one; the paralyzed one.  I’ve got some pretty phenomenal, devoted friends (like you) who have been carrying my mat for a while now.  While I am so thankful to have that kind of love in my life, I am starting to feel kind of shitty and ashamed.  I don’t want anyone to have to carry my mat anymore.  I really don’t.  I want to be able to carry my own and I want to carry yours, for a change.

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I’m having a rough time right now.  Not surprised, are ya?  It’s the same song I’ve been singing for a little while now…  My circumstances have been hard to bear, but Sunday evening, something happened that truly devastated me to the core, something I’ll write about later.    This week our cell phones were shut off, my power was shut off, and my car has been grounded with nary a drop of gasoline in it.  I got my food stamps this week, so Praise God, we have food to eat, but mind you, I feel like insane white trash every time I swipe that card.  I’m so embarrassed.  Today, I had to borrow a large sum of money from one of my oldest and dearest friends to get “one” of the medications that I’m out of.  And while I’m bitching about everything else, I might as well tell you that I’ve run out of clean underwear and have been going commando for two solid days.  

Now while all of that was the gospel truth, I have to be honest with you.  I don’t want you feeling sorry for me, friend.  What you absolutely have to know if that Ava Elizabeth Wisdom is by no means a victim.  A victim is an innocent person who bad things just happen to.  The victim doesn’t choose to be a victim…it’s out of the realm of their control.

I am not a victim by any stretch of the imagination.  Granted, my childhood sucked ass, like countless other people’s have, but I have to be real with you and confess that I’ve made far to many bad choices in my lifetime.  Most of those choices were made out of pain I didn’t understand and a secret, yet overwhelming desperation to be loved…but there came a time in my life where I knew right from wrong and chose wrong anyway.  

I guess you could say I have always been an experiential learner.  I used to never listen to wise counsel.  I was a rebel to the core, always hiding behind my furious, unbridled anger.  I was hellbent to feel something real…even it was only agonizing emotional pain.  

As a kid I had been violently ignored, ridiculed, and rejected by someone whose affection, approval, and attention I now realize I needed as much as I needed food and water at the time.  However, and I am truly ashamed to report this now, “I think I was pretty successful at making him pay the price for the years of hurt I endured.”  Mind you, I swear to God that I didn’t ever want to hurt him the way he hurt me (or my mom)… not then and not now could I live with myself if I ever (knowingly) hurt that man.  But I will say, I tore his ass up pretty good when I came barreling into my teenage years like a meth-induced bat out of Hades.    Holy God Almighty!  I was the worst, most impossible teenager in the entire world.  Historically, I don’t think anyone in all of North America could have ever compared to me.  Come to think of it, I don’t imagine South America or Africa could have held a candle to me either.

Now in my defense, I do believe want to go on record here and say that I wholeheartedly subscribe to the epistemological theory of tabula rasa.  Notwithstanding, of course, the powerful role that genetics play in our lives.  I do think that we are products of both nature and nurture.  But riddle me this, Batman…

Journey with me for just a minute to the land of make-believe.  Let’s pretend a child is born with a fully-functioning brain (God knows I was not!).  No pathology exists in this child’s brain…  Grandpa wasn’t an alcoholic and didn’t wasn’t out chasin’ women in the honky-tonks, Mom wasn’t bipolar, schizophrenic, nor did she have a history of panic attacks, or the slightest trace of Borderline Personality Disorder…  Daddy hadn’t done  any time in the pen for cooking up bathtub crank either … No family history of pedophilia, and no one’s great-great-great-great grandmother worked a whore in a brothel.  You hear me?  This kid’s brain is legit.  There are no genetic defects.  So, fundamentally, we’re talking about  a quintessential, genetic apotheosis here… (we’re still pretending)

So suppose that  a child is born with this remarkable brain and that she has no genetic predispositions to anything other than

1) Prolific beauty

2)Wicked intelligence…and

3) The disposition of Mother Teresa (mixed with a the slightest bit of my modern-day charisma and savoir faire-Just kidding!).  

Imagine, that someone had this perfect brain.  Now let’s shift gears a bit, shall we?

Imagine that, even though this darling creature is genetically perfect in every way, her mother becomes unhappy with the progression of her potty training and decides to glue her hands to a wall…and beat her…almost to the edge of death (we’re not pretending anymore).

So what about that?  And while we know that there is most likely no chance of the existence of the aforementioned brain that I dreamed up just now, genetically speaking, we do know  FOR CERTAIN that recently, 23-year Elizabeth Escalona, beat her baby girl so severely that there wasn’t a spot on her tiny little body that wasn’t bruised or bleeding.  She pulverized her little girl until the child entered a coma.  Mind you, this didn’t happen in Liechtenstein, Mozambique, or in the South Sandwich Islands that lie off the coast of  freaking Antarctica.  No.  It happened about 30 miles from my home in Dallas, Texas.

I TRUST God to provide SOME sort of healing to this beautiful, precious little girl…  But come on.  How will her little, human heart ever understand or make sense of the fact that her own mother hurt her like this.  

Friends I am very verbose.  As you may have noted by now, I am never at a loss for words.  But what happened to this little girl…  Well, I’ve got the words to talk about what happened…  It’s just that for once I am using what little self-discipline I possess to not write about this more than I have already.  Truly, I want you to know that I have played this scenario out in my head, far too many times.  I am a very visual person and I am also wildly analytic.  

All things considered, let’s just say that my mind has considered all things in regards to this little girl’s case.  I am aghast.  I am veritably horrified and afraid to let my children walk out of my front door.  What kind of depraved world do we live in, people?  What mind could even contrive such an atrocity.  Moreover, what monstrous soul could carry a thing like this out.  

Here’s the thing.  “Glue doesn’t dry instantly.”  It would have taken more than a minute for the glue to dry.  That’s all I’m going to say about that.  If you choose to follow my haunting, gruesome train of thought then I’ll let you go there without any help from me.  I’m just saying, the mother didn’t just snap.  Too much time elapsed to say this wasn’t premeditated, at least in some minute way.

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Now, back to the notion of tabula rasa.  You should know that I do think genetic factors play a substantial role into the development of a human being but I emphatically lean way more toward the nurture side of the nature vs. nurture debate.  I believe that children-being perfect, innocent gifts from God-are born with a relatively blank state.  It’s also worth mentioning that I was a Psychology major in college.  I’ve studied this issue to no end and hold firm to my beliefs.

Children come to us as these magnificent, blank canvases.  I love that about them.  Children captivate me.  I love them more than life itself.  Their pure, unfettered view of the world and their simple, but sometimes magical expressions of faith rock me to my core.  And have you ever noticed that a child will never debate you on the existence of God?  Never.  They’re wired to believe in what they can’t see nor even begin to understand.  Of course, I think kids are incredibly connected with supernatural things…and the Divine.  They just believe…   It’s magical to witness the faith of a child.  

With that, I don’t mind shifting my gears a bit and letting you know that I’m mad as hell right now.  I’ve been mad as hell for days.  Perhaps, you haven’t sensed my anger up to now… But don’t be fooled.  My lips have been clinched for days and I’m ready to fight.  I’m not kidding, I’m really angry and really on edge right now. I’m sick and freakin’ tired of the maladies that exist in our fallen world and I’m even more tired of the effect that they have on our children.  And at the risk of sounding like a crybaby pee-pee pants, I’m really pissed off about the things that happened to me when I was a child.  It wasn’t fair.  And I still have to fight tooth and nail every day to maintain my sanity and to give my kids any kind of normal life.  I’m bitter about that.  I just feel like things are coming into perspective for me and I am starting to see things for what they are.  

I’m not going to write about this now (I will later) but I got into a bar fight on Sunday.  I’ve never done something like this.  Something happened…something I can’t talk about now.  Long story short, this big ol’ , manly gal, who truly looked like Beth, Dog the Bounty Hunter’s wife was bullying me.  I was devastated about something that had just happened and she was there to make a complete fool of me and capitalize on my pain.  Now, I’m not a big girl by any stretch of the imagination.  And yes, I was wearing an argyle sweater, some skinny jeans, a cute little headband, and some gold metallic ballerina flats…  It was a biker bar and I suppose I stuck out like a sore thumb, particularly as tears were streaming down my face.  So Big Mama got up in my grill.  I mean, y’all, she really got up in my grill.  

NOTE TO SELF: Think before you engage in hand-to-hand combat! 

She was cursing at me and then I guess she shoved me really hard in my chest.  After she made contact with me… After she put her damn hands on me, it was over.  I was like a Pitbull on PCP with a side of bath salts.  It took several men to break up the brawl.  It’s like all my fury just showed up all at once.  I was told her face was messed up after the incident.  I mean, I didn’t break her nose or anything like that, but I did put a pretty good smack-down on the old broad which was, I think, was a complete shocker to everyone who looked on. Mind you, I hadn’t had a single sip of alcohol.  As a matter of fact, I had just got up from a little nap.  But when she hit me,  I felt like an untamed beast.  I am super lucky because 1) I didn’t have so much as a scratch on me, and 2) I was merely thrown out of the bar and the police weren’t called.  I would have definitely gone to jail if the police had been called.  God was really looking out for me…  Lesson learned, Ava.  

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On a softer less Hell’s Angels-like note, the picture below is me at my 2nd birthday party.  In this picture you can tell I was blissfully happy.  I was living out my little slice of Camelot but I didn’t know it at the time.  All the world was as it should have been for me.  You can’t fake a smile like that!   Who could have known that my perfect little world was about to change forever?  Who could have predicted that the Utopian bubble that I had been flourishing in was going to rupture in less than one year?

Friend, take a second to study my little face.  I was so innocent.  I was so pure.  In overwhelming contrast of how I am today, I was very quiet.  I was also very dainty and delicate.  I was shy and incredibly modest.  Not so much like the career stripper I’d later become.  I guess I always did know how to work a crowd at a birthday party!

   

Nowadays, there are people I know who’d swear that I actually possess a pair of testicles.  I can neither confirm nor deny these suspicions.  What I can say though is that “if I did“, you can bet that they’d be mammoth in size.

I want to make jokes and laugh the heartache away but the truth is, I grieve for the little girl in the picture above…as if she weren’t me at all.  She’s so far gone now, but I remember her.  I remember that she wanted to actually be Wonder Woman.  I remember that when her sisters took a nap-every day-that she would run game with her mom, pretending to be napping too…  In reality she’d quietly go into her room, close the door behind her, and go straight to the bottom drawer of her nightstand.  That bottom drawer contained an exorbitant amount of the most amazing make-up you’d ever bear witness to.  

It was with that make-up that she… “I” would daily transform myself into a beautiful, enchanting princess who had a life like the one I once knew.  A life before the isolation.  Sometimes I would pretend to be a lovely, graceful ballerina.  I would open the top to my cardboard music box and then emulate the little, plastic ballerina by spinning.  I’d spin around and around and around…  I don’t really remember where it was I would go in my head when I was little.  I just know that it was a place where I was happy.  It was a place where I was loved the way my grandmother and grandfather had loved me before my mom got remarried…back when my life was perfect…  Back when my dresses were adorned with like, 500 gazillion  jingle bells that were carefully sewn in just for me… Back when I was the center of my grandparent’s world and nothing else mattered.  

You see, my mom wasn’t able to take care of me when she first had me.  I suppose she was really young and she had  a lot of past hurts and traumas that she had to work through.   So, I lived with my grandparents.  I was the center of their entire existence.  And they were the center of mine…  

My biological father had split when his tenacious sperm cell burrowed its way into my mother’s unprotected egg.    Men tend to fall asleep after they blow their load (it’s actually called the refractory period) and I suspect that my biological dad could have dozed off during the early stages of my meiosis.  But of this I’m certain: the chromosomes hadn’t even had time to split and migrate to opposite ends of the nuclear envelope when that dude jetted and threw us the deuces and all but yelled out, “Peace out, biatches!!” People, I’m talking, the dude left the state to avoid being my dad.  

I wonder if he knew then that he was throwing me to the wolves.  If he had have known, would he have given a rat’s ass?  Nah.  Probably not.  He was a famous DJ in the Dallas area at the time; a hippie with a cult-like following of women.  I think my mother was outside of her damn mind getting involved with him!  He was a wealthy kid from a conservative, VERY Catholic family.  I guess they wouldn’t have mixed well with us.  

My grandaddy was a deacon in the Southern Baptist Church and my grandmother thought that people who raised their hands during worship were loco (I was raised thinking the term  Charismatic mean demonic or something).  She could have never gotten jiggy with confessionals, Hail Mary’s, and incense burning of any sort.  

And as far as I was concerned, the Virgin Mary was the coolest, most honorable chick on the planet.  It’s not like God would have ever chosen me to bear His only Son.  But dude, Mary was certainly all that.  I can’t wait to meet her when I come home to Heaven… But she was just a human.  I’m not going to pray to her.  Yeah, so I guess our families weren’t meant to blend.

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So back to my tabula rasa hoopla and ballyhoo…  I said all “that” so that I can reemphasize that I BELIEVE that  “I” was born a blank slate… a pure-white empty canvas.  I experienced things in my childhood that even those closest to me don’t know today.  But for fuck’s sake….WHY?  Why did these things happen to me when I was just a sweet, trusting, open-hearted little girl.  I’m so mad!  And I’m not feeling sorry for myself because the little girl who I’m defending doesn’t in any way feel like me.  I don’t know where she ended and I began.  

Now you’ve experiencing a lot of unfocused, overly emotional, senseless rambling up until this point.  Hang with me.  If you blew through this post praying that it would end, “That’s OK”.  If you don’t hear anything, hear the rest of this, please.

ALL of the unholy shit that I experienced is NOTHING compared to what some of these other children are going through RIGHT now.  My childhood was marred and maimed by pain, rejection, and abandonment.  However, the reality that I must face is that my life was a freakin’ Marti Gras compared to some of these babies out there in the world right now.  And don’t think they’re far away from you.  The child next door to you could be going through hell right now and you might never know it.

Oh my God!  I want to scream!  I want to kick the living shit out of that mean and nasty bar whore again and I want to scream at the top of my lungs!

I know I can’t go back and save myself, but oh God, I CAN do something for them.  I can help a hurting child today.  It’s so easy to do.  

So (at long last) I end by saying, “God bless the child…”  God bless the child who is suffering in silence.  God bless the child who is alone; that invisible little soul.  God bless the child who is injured or molested by the hands that are supposed to love and protect her.  God bless the child who cries alone in the dark.  God bless the child who is terrified and completely overcome with fear.  God bless the child who doesn’t have enough food to eat.  God bless the child who is cold tonight.  And God bless the child who is only 8-years old and is feeling the weight of being the protector and head of his household because his dad left!  God bless the child…  

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You know, I think to myself, even Adolf Hitler was a baby at one time.  I don’t care what anyone says, he was not born with a bloodthirsty aptitude and a desire to kill millions of innocent people.  I will argue that with anyone all day long.  

What if his early years were different somehow?  Mind you, I’m not saying that he wasn’t a monster as an adult.  There is this invisible line when your childhood ends and your adulthood beings.  That age is different for each and every one of us I suppose.  I think it’s the moment that you consciously accept who you are and what’s happened to you…to the child you once were.  That’s healthy.  But NEVER is it healthy to just accept your circumstances like a punk bitch and say, “It is what it is.  This is just the card that life dealt me.”  Hell no.  That’s not what you do.  You FIGHT…. you FIGHT to get back what was unfairly taken from you.

Look, I’ve come to realize that as much as I hurt for the little girl who was once me…there’s not a damn thing I can do to change the past.  I can’t build a time machine and travel back through the years and stop anything that happened nor can I protect myself,  my sisters, or my Mom.  I would have already done that if it were possible.  

But even though I’m getting old I have learned something profound.  Some would say my epiphanies have come too late in life.  After all, in my head I believe that I am on the cusp of menopause.  Plus, not that long ago I literally had to pull a coarse, gray whisker from my face…  

Anyway, in all seriousness, here’s the message of my heart: While I can’t go back and heal my own heart… And while I can’t go back and save the innocent little girl that I was once was, I can still find complete healing and experience total reformation with the help of my Lord and Savior.  Do you know how?  By loving kids today…  By loving all of them emphatically, like my very life depends on it.  I suppose in a way it does.

I have a particular calling and some crazy gift with emotionally disturbed, broken teenagers.  I can affect so much change in their lives.  I know because I’ve done it.  But I’ve been so depressed and out of touch that I haven’t done it lately.  I’m changing that tomorrow….

What’s YOUR calling when it comes to children?  Your calling may be with boys… or maybe just with girls…  You may identify best with a particular age group.  But please listen to me… I literally beg each and every one of you to find just one child… Find just one child and pour out your love into one of their darling little lives.  

If you’re a man, PLEASE hear me.  I believe that the obvious demise in the state of our nation has everything to do with the breakdown of the traditional, American family.  In Rick Warren’s book, “The Purpose Driven Life,” I remember vaguely that he said that love was spelled like this: T-I-M-E.   How do we expect a large majority of our fatherless children to lead anyone or anything when they simply have no leaders in their lives to model?  And don’t any of you overzealous single mom’s get up in my grill and start telling me that your kids are fine without a dad.  Bullshit.  I’m tough as nails and I love my kids with a burning, fervent passion.  I have tried to be everything to my boys.  But there is one thing I cannot seem to be: their DAD.

As males and females we each bring unique attributes to the table when it comes to parenting our children.  But we are different.  God did not create a woman to raise her children alone.  Conversely, God didn’t create a man to raise his children alone either.  We need each other   More than anything, our kids need us.  

If you’re like me, you can’t change your circumstances.  I’d LOVE for a knight to ride up on a white horse and save me from the world.  Well, no such knight nor anyone clad in anything that remotely resembles any kind of armor or even aluminum foil has come to call.  Granted, I sleep with a box fan on, so I wouldn’t hear if he came at night.  But there’d at least be traces of horse dung or something.  Right?  He’d leave me a note?   Aye, aye, aye…. I joke, but the truth is, he’s never come.  And I can’t bank on the fact that he ever will.

But about these kids….DO SOMETHING.  Please.  Pray…give it to God.  Ask Him to bring a child into your life that needs you…  Who knows, friend… just the tiniest effort on your part may change their world forever and ever and ever.  It’s easy to love your own children.  But I dare you to branch out and find a child who you didn’t know existed.  Pour out some of that love you have…  I PROMISE you that, even though, you may change a life, YOUR life will be the life that is transformed.

All my love,

Ava

PS….To Arlene, I’m sorry if the curse words burned your eyes.  To Diane, I know you get it…  Now talk to Arlene for me!  LOL!


 

Beauty From Ashes: How God Killed Two Birds With One Stone, Part II

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By now I was in my final year of college and still a single mom; Jeremiah was now 8 years-old. I could see the finish line! I was almost there. The University of North Texas was an hour’s drive for, which was too far given my heavy involvement in my research and whatnot.  So, that spring Jeremiah and I loaded up and moved to Denton, Texas to be near UNT. It was the furthest I had ever lived away from home.  I felt like I had set out on some brave new adventure. It was just the boy and me. I had worked hard for years in school and together, Jeremiah and I were about to conquer the world!

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I remember that time in my life well.  I was living solely on financial aid.  I wasn’t even getting any child support at that time because Jeremiah’s father was in jail.  We had food stamps and Jeremiah was on Medicaid.  I saw welfare as a means to an end.  I didn’t feel bad nor did I feel embarrassed about being where I was at the time.  I swiped my Lone Star card with pride!

Since I didn’t have health insurance, I found out that I qualified for a plan through the county hospital.  One afternoon I was at one of the local clinics…having my lady parts inspected. I was actually there to get an IUD. It had been forever since I was on the pill and I certainly didn’t want to wind up back in the abortion clinic for God’s sake. I knew that I was playing Russian roulette. I knew I had to do something.

My ob/gyn agreed that the IUD was a good option for me. We set up an appointment for me to come back in and have it installed the following month. I remember that it was during that visit that I complained to my doctor about my breast implants. I had had two breast augmentations at the time, one in 1995 and the other in 1997. The doctor who performed my surgery in 1997 almost ruined my entire world and my rockin’ hot bod.   When I woke up from that surgery I discovered that he had made my breasts the size of Dolly Parton’s. I’m not kidding you; I was a teeny-tiny stick figure at the time. I was 5’5″, 120 pounds and that quack had put 850 cc’s in each of my breasts. I felt like a freak show. I felt like Frankentitty.

We had SO MUCH in common!

Both of my breast implants had become encapsulated. Further, I wanted a full reconstruction done but didn’t have an extra $8000 lying around to make it happen. As I discussed it with my doctor that day, we came to the conclusion that because of the encapsulations, the county hospital just might afford me a full reconstruction for almost no charge. It was brilliant.

Much to my surprise, after I left the doctor’s office and was in my car, my cell phone rang. It was the doctor. I had just walked out of her office. She was calling to tell me that she was canceling the appointment for the insertion of the IUD. We’d have to put it off one more month because she wanted me to have an MRI on my breasts. She informed me that she didn’t want any metal in my body during the procedure; apparently the copper wire from the IUD might interfere with the results of my MRI. Although I wanted the IUD, I wanted a new boob job more! And plus, what was one more month going to hurt? I had managed to not get pregnant for over 4 years! I was close to graduation… I would soon be ditching the horrendously enormous tits… I had it all planned out!

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It had been a while since I’d talked to Jake. He was mad at me for something stupid and had been giving me the silent treatment for some time. But again, I wasn’t trippin’. While Jake was a phenomenal creature and had everything going for him, I had quite a bit going for me too. As a matter of fact, God had performed a miracle for me. I was wholly dependent on my financial aid to take care of Jeremiah and me, but during the summer of 2004, for some reason, I wasn’t able to qualify. Wouldn’t you know it, God showed up just in time? I applied for and was one of 9 people from around the United States to be selected as a National Science Foundation (NSF) Scholar. I would be paid over $3000 for both summer sessions to do research (something I loved doing anyway)! I had financial assistance for Jeremiah’s childcare and the campus was just one mile from our new place. The stars were managing to line up for me and my boy! Our dreams were coming true!

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One lovely spring afternoon I was strolling through the campus when I saw something odd. It was enormous and there was a crowd gathered around whatever it was but I could not make it out. About two-stories in size, at first glance I thought it was a giant McDonald’s menu. My curiosity led me toward the massive structure. There was something going and for some reason, my curiosity was piquing out of control. When I got closer this is what I saw:

There were guards around the exhibit. Debates were heating up everywhere. This pro-life exhibit was definitely ruffling some feathers.

When it comes to abortion, you can’t straddle the fence. You are either pro-choice or pro-life. I thought I was somewhere in between at the time, but in reality, I guess I would have to had classified myself as pro-choice. Ultimately, I felt that that if abortion weren’t legal that women would be getting killed in back-alley butcher shops trying to get abortions.

For whatever reason, I felt compelled to walk up and talk to one of the volunteers who was sitting outside the gates of the exhibit. I am not one to push my views on others; you will scarcely find me debating about sensitive issues.

I remember the girl that I spoke with, although I couldn’t tell you her name. She looked really sweet and had a natural, gentle beauty that seemed to define her. I remember she had a tiny cross necklace on. It was evident to me, because of her demeanor alone, that she was a Christian, although this was not a Christian exhibit. We talked for a little bit and I took in the exhibit. As we talked, I opened up to her about my past abortion, something I never spoke about. She didn’t say too much. She just listened to me talk. Somehow or another I felt the Hand of God during that encounter with the volunteer. I had never asked for forgiveness for having an abortion, and I sure as heck didn’t have an ounce of repentance in me for the whole ordeal. But when I walked away from the exhibit, I did. I can’t explain it. It wasn’t guilt or shame… It was just a beautiful conviction… A renewal of my spirit… After walking away from the exhibit I felt I was seeing the world with a different set of eyes. I didn’t know I needed any healing, but I felt healed in some cosmic way.

As a matter of fact, I felt so transformed that afterward I met up with some of my best friends to tell them about my experience. We were all scholars on a particular research team at the university. All of them were amazing girls, but in hindsight, I noticed that these gals were liberal as hell. I say that with a chuckle because I loved them all (and still love them all) so much. They were my sisters, but they were also modern-day hippies.

I shared with the girls what I had experienced, which opened a discussion. For the first time ever I found myself taking a stance against abortion. I had known so many girls, particularly from my stripper days, who seriously used abortion as a form of birth control. I’m not a judgmental person, but I’m also not ok with the fact that you’ve had 8 abortions. I learned that day that I did consider an unborn child a human life. I acknowledged it had a soul. Something changed in me that day.

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Things were great in my life. I had the best kid in the universe, I had escaped stripperdom, I was about to—against ALL odds—graduate from college, with honors. I mean, life was good and the wind was at my back. I was sure I could do anything at that point. As a matter of fact, I was a Psychology major and I had just made the decision to stay in school and get my doctorate. I was going to be a clinical psychologist!

Wouldn’t you know something had to happen to rain on my parade? I mean, damn… I hadn’t been keeping track of my periods in quite some time, but I had this feeling that it had been a good while since I had had one. I waited… I waited some more, but the mofo never came. So I did what any girl would do, I took a pregnancy test.

Actually, I took many pregnancy tests. Wouldn’t you know that all of them were POSITIVE??? I felt like I was having an out-of-body experience as I read the results over and over and over. It was surreal, and I felt as if I had just been hit by a locomotive.

This was bad… I mean, this was really, really, really bad. I felt like a trapped rat as I began to mentally explore my options.

I had always told everyone that I met that I was a single mother. My mother was a single mother, so I saw single mom’s as strong, heroic women. What I didn’t tell anyone was that I felt like I had cheated Mother Nature somehow with Jeremiah.

There could not have been an easier child to raise. Oh my word, that child was a Lamb of God. Plus, I had managed to escape the karma that my mother had always cursed me with. I had it coming bad for being such a wretched teenager. What in God’s green earth was I going to do now?

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Was I the girl I was in 2000 when I had my last abortion?  No.  Absolutely not.  And was it an accident that the doctor had cancelled my appointment to get the IUD or that I had seen and been transformed by the exhibit?  No.  Absolutely not.

God had touched my life.  He had prepared me for this.  I was having this child.  There was no doubt about it.  I didn’t have a clue how I was going to pull it off, but I would make it…somehow.

But what about Jake?  I had to tell him.  So on May 4th, 2004, I sent Jake the following email:

Jake,

You and I really need to talk. If you choose, I can write you a letter, but I think it may be better to talk to you in person.  That’s just my gut feeling; I may be wrong.  I have a final in the morning at 10:30 and won’t be available until tomorrow, after this test.  If you choose to delete my message and not reply in anyway that is your choice, but be warned that you are making a big mistake.  Again, this is not some tactic…this is “really” serious.  I don’t have time for games.

Ava

Much to my astonishment, I didn’t receive a reply.   This pissed me off, so I sent another email (this one not so delicate):

Jake,
Since you have chosen to completely ignore me I have no other choice but to tell you this way.  I have no desire to see you or speak to you about this.  My respect for you has gone out the window
It is the consensus of all who know about this that I have a “responsibility” to inform you.  Consider it done; it’s just ONE less thing I have to worry about.  I would have been a little more sensitive about telling you but you denied me (and yourself) that opportunity.
There is no possible way that you are not the father as you were the only person that I had sex with even close to the time of conception.  But don’t worry…the Attorney General’s office will provide a “complimentary” DNA testing when the time comes.  I found out a while ago and have taken several home tests and have seen my doctor.  My due date is the 29th of December.  I am not happy at all, I am very afraid; my nerves are more screwed up han you could even imagine.  However, I will continue to put my faith in the Lord and acknowlege that He doesn’t make mistakes.
Your selfishness, snobbery, and complete disregard for my feelings in general have absolutely blown me away.  If it weren’t for this issue, I would have “completely” written you off after you said such hateful things to me the last time I had contact with you, especially after I asked your forgiveness.  That is all I have to say to you.  I am “livid” with you Jake–you just have no idea. 
Ava

Ol’ boy still didn’t repond.  What was going on?  Weeks later I spoke to his brother.  His nonchalant attitude toward me told me that Jake must not have told him.  I was so confused.  Finally, I boldly let the cat out of the bag.  I, with a fierce barage of hormones cheering me on informed his brother that I was pregnant.  Further, I unloaded on his brother as to how furious I was that I had told Jake a month prior and that he had chosen to ignore me.  His brother’s response: “Let me call you right back.”  I knew he was calling Jake.

In no time, I received an email from Jake that read, “My brother says you have something to tell me.”  I wanted to write back and say, “Why yes, dipshit.  I certainly do.”  But I chose to take the high road.

As it turned out, he had blocked my email address.  Why, you ask?  Well this is the part that’s kind of humorous, I suppose.  Additionally, it’s a tad bit gross.

Since I was a child I have possessed an affinity for picking at things on the bodies of those I love.  Yes, I know it’s a sickness, but I’m a picker.  Each and every time my teenage son has a mild outbreak of acne on his face, my eyes light up….and he runs the other direction.  I’m not kidding, I honestly should have been a dermatologist.  Do you know how many videos on ruptured cysts and boil removals that I’ve watched on YouTube?  I would love to be able to do that and get paid for it.  The science of the human body; it’s fascinating to me.

To make a long story short, the last time I had had a rendezvous with Jake, he had a pervasive (awesome) cyst on his back.  Alrighty…so remember I was over the moon with my Berringer that night, so I advised him that I would help him. 

A day later I received a nasty email from Jake.  He informed me that the cyst was 10 times larger and that he was in serious pain.   He advised me that he wanted no further contact with me (lol). From there he blocked me.  So, he could have actually known about our baby earlier, were it not for that damned cyst (glorious as it was)!

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Although Jake has more than stepped up to the plate these days, he wasn’t so considerate before Jonah was born.  It was a devastatingly depressing, lonely 9 months and I was often sick.  As it turned out, I would not see Jake for a single day of my pregnancy.  I saw him the night of conception, and then I saw him the night his son was born.

So if you read my last 2 posts, you’d see that I lost a child to abortion on October 7, 2000.  Praise the Holy, Soverign name of the Almighty Lord that I didn’t lose this one!  On December 22, 2004, I delivered this little man:

I was severely depressed and unhappy when I was pregnant with him.  However, the moment I saw his beautiful face, I was in love.  I was absolutely, madly, head-over-heels in love!  This baby literally took my breath away.

I had Jonah between the Fall of ’04 and Spring of ’05 semesters.  I remember during the spring semester that I was taking an ancient literature class.  I have fond memories of bouncing Jonah around–while he was attached to my chest in one of those baby strap on things–reading “Gilgamesh” to him in a tone that was a little like Dr. Suess or “Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See?”  Raising two kids without a husband was not an easy task, but I proved to myself and everyone else that I could do it.  The road has been really hard, but it’s been absolutely worth the ride.  I’d do it all over again if I had to.

My extraordinary children, Jeremiah & Jonah

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I’d like to give props to the organization who boldly sets up exhibits like the ones you saw earlier on college campuses around the United States.  It may offend many.  However, it saved my baby.  It saved him.  I cannot help but collapse to my knees and praise Jesus for that.  My child could have very easily been a nameless angel, sent right straight back to God.  But he wasn’t

The name of the organization who I encountered on that beautiful, spring day in 2004 is Justice For All.  Many years ago I looked them up and sent them an email expressing my gratitude.  I sent with it a photo of Jonah.

Would you believe that the Executive Director, David Lee contacted me immediately.  He and his increidble posse asked to meet with us and take us to breakfast.  It was a wonderful time. 

Some people would call my friends whack jobs, or at best, extremists.  I don’t care.  You should have seen the look in their eyes when they met Jonah for the first time.  As a matter of fact, here’s what happened to the photo that I sent to the organization:

He became a little poster child for the organization.  The photo above was used on Facebook to promote the cause.  Out of “800” challenge causes, Justice for All placed 6th, raising over $25,000 in 2009.  My child has a purpose.  Every child has a purpose. 

I spoke with the Executive Director, David Lee on the phone today.  He told me that he’s been traveling all around teaching teens about abortion.  He said, “I want these kids to know about abortion before they’re even in a position to ever consider one.”  I found his words poetic.  I feel that this organization gets to the root of the root on this controversial issue.  They’re solid Christian people who are peaceful.  They don’t go around blowing up clinics. I feel like they give people the facts beforehand.  Because friend, I can say with absolute certainty that the abortion clinic that I went to in 2000 did not give me all the facts.  If you have a moment, please check out Justice for All’s webpage at http://www.jfaweb.org/HOME.html

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As for Jake and I, although we never went on on a date prior to Jonah being born, we became very close.  God killed two stubborn, hell-bent birds with one, single stone.  For me, he began a transformation in me that would eventually cause me to abandon my sexual promiscuity.  Further, through my relationship with Jake, I would learn my own self worth and how to begin to let go of a lifetime of crippling insecurity.

Jake is doing well now too.  He married a few years ago and is expecting another child within the next couple of weeks.  Through our experience together, Jake abandoned a deeply involved lifestyle of sexual addiction.  After Jonah was born, we began going to church together.  What’s more, Jake would eventually  accept Christ as his Savior and be baptized in my church.  To this day he still says that I am responsible for his salvation.  Do you know how much this means to me?  After all, he is the father of my son.

God can do inexplicable, aweinspiring things in our lives if we’ll just step back and let him have the reigns.  As humans, we carry so much unnecessary weight that we simply do not need to carry.  Jesus paid the price.  It is done.  We can put our worries and burdens at the foot of the Cross and leave them there.  If your situation seems impossible, I can tell you, mine did too.  Beloved, ALL things are possible with Christ Jesus.  Know that.  So whatever you’re carrying today, LET IT GO!  Surrender and give it to the Lord.  He will not fail you…He can’t. 

All my love,

Ava

Beauty From Ashes: How God Killed Two Birds With One Stone, Part 1

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Beloved,

If you were able to read my last two lengthy posts you are now privy to the fact that I lost a child to abortion on October 7, 2000.  Not ever having a fully repentant heart I never managed to abandon my lifestyle of sexual promiscuity.  Sex had become my painstakingly warped way to connect with a man.  It was my subconscious way of getting love, although it would inevitably always bring me emptiness, more loneliness, and a host of other maladies.

I am a firm believer that men and women are wired quite differently when it comes to sex.  I am of the mind-set that men are more biologically driven and that the experience for them is almost entirely physical.  I’m not saying that men can’t experience love and sex at the same time.  There are always men who are exceptions to the rule (statiticians call them outliers).  I’m just saying that I think men are largely driven by physical urges, whereas for most well-adjusted women, it’s an emotional experience.

I’ll go on record here to say that I absolutely love sex.  I’m serious.  It’s a shame I’m not married, because I’d be a really good wife, if you know what I mean!  I don’t just love the physicality of having sex, I love the feeling of being that close to someone I love.  For this reason, I kind of feel like the universe has “Punked” me.  I mean, I hear about married women all the time who will not satisfy their husbands.  Or oftentimes, I hear of married couples who simply haven’t had sex with each other in years.

It drives me nuts that for me, a single women, sex is a sin that I commit inside my body, while for the married folk, it’s actually an act of worship unto the Lord.  Are you kidding me?  So here I am with all this drive and nothing to do with it at the present time.  And please, if you’re married don’t give me any advice on what to do with all this unused sexual energy.  There’s nothing you can say to make me think you understand.

If you’ve read Gary Chapman’s Book, “The Five Love Languages“, you’d know that Dr. Chapman has identified 5 love languages:

  • Acts of service

  • Gifts

  • Physical touch

  • Time

  • Words of affirmation

     

Well, I believe Dr. Chapman is right on the mark with his theories and research findings.  Now, can you guess what my #1 love language is?  If you guessed physical touch, you’d be dead on.  I’m off the charts.

Through sex with someone I love I feel an overwhelming sense of connectedness.  I feel mad love.  It’s a wholly cosmic, entirely spiritual experience for me.  But that’s with someone I love.  I’m proud to say that I am no longer a promiscuous girl.  Sex is too precious of a gift to give and I’m not giving this gift to just anyone.  Right now my stuff is on lockdown.

However, there was a time in my life where the opposite was true.  After my 4-year, abusive relationship ended with Jeremiah’s father in 1998, it was wheels off for me.  After a lifetime of inexplicable hurts and trauma experienced at the hands of those I had foolishly given myself to, I decided that I would turn my emotions off and just have sex like a man.  I decided that it was time for me to quit being so feelings-oriented and that I, like a man, would just divide and conquer.

I did this for some time.  It didn’t work out so well for me.  Regardless of how much I had hardened my heart, I wasn’t successful at being anyone other than the girl whom God had created me to be.  However, I learned that with enough drugs and alcohol I could numb myself quite well, ensuring that I could stay the course on my hell-bent, sexual binge.

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In 2002 I signed Jeremiah up for soccer.  He had just turned six years old and it was the first time he’d ever been involved in a team sport.  My intentions were pure!  It was at our first practice behind the elementary school that my own mother had attended that I saw him…  I was spellbound.

I would quickly find out that he was the assistant coach.  His name was Jake.  He was tall, had beautiful, thick dark hair, green eyes, and the absolute body of Adonis himself.  He was muscular and defined; you could have bounced a quarter of his perfectly round, alluring, bootylicious backside.  He reminded me of a Calvin Klein underwear model.  And he looked like he just might be a little bit naughty …

I looked at my sister and, like Babe Ruth pointing to center field–calling his home run in the 1932 World Series–I pointed to him, and confidently murmured to her, “I’ll bet you cash money, right now, that I will positively have him by the end of the season.”  I had named it and I had claimed it.  There was no stopping me at that point. 

It turned out that he was going through a divorce and that his son, only 8 days younger than Jeremiah had experienced so much upheaval during his parent’s  then pending divorce that he had ceased to function as a normal little boy.  None of the other kids on the team wanted anything to do with him.  At the age of 6 he was admitted into Special Education and would, for many years wear the damning label of Emotionally Disturbed.

I have always had a soft spot for maladapted children; they’re what I devoted my college years to studying.  Before I knew it his child and mine had bonded and I was either keeping both boys or Jake was keeping both of them.  Jake helped me by babysitting Jeremiah on several occasions when while I worked a part-time job.  I’d let his son spend the night with us and give Jake a much-needed break from time to time.  I’d like to say that it started out as innocent, but I know that, at least on a subconscious level, I had plans.

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There was a definite sexual tension between the two of us and it would be no time at all before we’d met in a motel room bringing to fruition our carnal, lustful desires.  I remember it like it was yesterday.  It was largely my idea, of course.  His brother watched the two boys, who were spending the night together at his house that night so we could meet up for a casual night of secretive passion and pleasure.

I wish I could say that it stopped there.  It didn’t.  Our meetings would inevitably continue for about two years.  They were usually late-night, spur of the moment affairs.  In most cases, I would drive over, slipping in under the cloak of darkness while his son was asleep.  I always enter his house through his dark garage, passing through his dark laundry room which led straight to his bedroom where sometimes, if I were lucky, there’d be music and a candle lit.  From there you can probably speculate what went on.  After the act, we’d spend quite a bit of time talking…about everything and anything.  We got along famously.

I don’t think I realized it at the time, but in spite of my best efforts to conduct myself like a man, my feelings may have begun to grow a little for Jake.  He was a responsible, professional man who made a great living at what he did.  He was laid-back and kind.  Add to that, he was a good father and was always wonderful to my son.  I tried to repress my feelings, but they’d keep popping up on me.  I think Jake picked up on them too, because he’d often make statements that let me know in no uncertain terms that he was in no way looking for a relationship.  What we had was just sex.

After a while he’d eventually disappear, not answering the phone nor returning any of my calls or texts.  And believe it or not, I honestly wasn’t trippin’.  I was a full-time student and was excelling in college.  I didn’t have time to pine over this guy, regardless of how great I perceived him to be.  He was emotionally unavailable.  I knew that full well, so I decided not to pursue something that I knew would lead to a dead-end road.  I had bigger fish to fry at the time.

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Eventually Jeremiah and I moved into a different apartment down the road from where we had lived when I was seeing Jake and where I had lived when my mom died.  It was time to move forward with our lives.

Fast forward to 2004 where one morning I was walking out to my vehicle to go to school.  I found a small note on my truck, tucked behind my windshield.  It was from him.  The note said that he didn’t have my number anymore (the bastard probably deleted it).  He left his phone number and requested that I call him.  Of course, I did.  And in a twisted sort of way, I suppose I was honored that he had sought me out.  Afterall, I don’t even know how he knew where I lived.

Jake and I picked right up where we’d left off.  However, the stifled feelings that I had for him, much to my chagrin, hadn’t gone away.   It seemed like out encounters became more frequent before they ceased altogher.  But I was somehow able to maintain my compsure and conduct myself like a man when I was in his presence.  Jake had a lot to offer, and I certainly liked him and was wildly attracted to him.  But somehow I had, with a lot of practice, managed to numb my heart.  When I look back now, I feel sad when I reflect on how desensitized I had actually become.

I’d find out later that Jake was truly a sex addict.  It seems he was numb and desensitized too.  After his loco divorce, he never really commit to anyone–he was so mysterious and enticing–he didn’t have to.  As I look back now, 8 years later, I find myself supremely aware that both of us were on paths that would lead us straight to the gates of hell.

He was the cool, collected, quiet one.  He seemed purposeful and disciplined in everything he did.  I was the wild, talkative, impulsive one who would always wind up being as drunk as a fidler’s bitch when we’d meet up for our adult time.  After a while, it became pretty routine.  Again, we were both on hell paths at the time.  But from the outside he was able to maintain things in such a way that, to outsiders, he had it all together.  This was not the case, I assure you.

I remember one afternoon, we were both getting dressed when I said to him, “What would you ever do if you got someone pregnant?”  He promptly and intensely replied, “I’d cry.”  I laughed at him. And like I had done in the past, I once again made my disclaimer, well you know I’m not on any kind of birth control.”  He just seemed to shrug it off as if he were invinsible. 

The next time I’d see him, it would be late in the evening.  I had downed several of those mini-bottles of white zinfandel and was unbelievably lit.  I was so intoxicated in fact that I barely remember the events that went on that night.  I sort of remember that for some odd reason that he had gone to the bathroom to get a condom.  This was odd because we never used condoms before.  As my good fortune would have it, Jake was fresh out that night!

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

(please continue reading this post in, “Beauty From Ashes: How God Killed Two Birds With One Stone, Part 2)

“It Was Then That I Dragged You”: Footprints, Ava Style!

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I saw this cartoon on Facebook earlier today.  I cannot tell you how much it made me laugh!  In all seriousness though, I wonder what God goes through with me on a daily basis?  Do I wear him clean out from having to “drag” me down the road of life? 

Things are still tough right now.  Mind you, I never ask God things like, “Why are you punishing me, Lord.”  I honestly don’t think He is.  I firmly believe that He doesn’t operate that way.  Nothing could convince me otherwise. 

I wonder how many of you have read, “The Shack“, by William P. Young.  If you haven’t read it, you should definitely pick it up.  It’s one of the best books I’ve ever read in my life. 

I think that the book has been controversial amongst some Christians.  IT SHOULDN’T BE!  It is a fiction book, plain and simple.  In short, it’s about a man who experiences something so devastatingly tragic that, as a mother, I can hardly stand to think about it. 

It reminds me of the lyrics of Natalie Grant’s song, “Held”…  She sings:

Who told us we’d be rescued?  What has changed and why should we be saved from nightmares?  We’re asking why this happened to us to who have died to live.  It’s unfair.”   Then she begins singing the chorus, “This is what it means to be held, how it feels when the sacred it torn from your life..and you survive.  This is what it is to be loved, and to know that the promise was when everything feel…we’d be held.”

So let’s just say that the main character in the book is certainly held by God.  As a matter of fact, he has an encounter with the Trinity that is so aweinspiringly intense that it leaves the reader to wonder if the author of the book has some Divine insight into the mind of God that we don’t have.  Yes, this fiction book is so brilliantly written that it leaves the reader truly wondering if it is fiction or not.  The author personifies the Trinity with three, unsuspecting characters that, for me, demonstrate the magnanimous, overwhelming love that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit burn with for us. 

Again, it’s a fictitious work!  Mind you, the author never postulates having all the answers to the mystery of Godliness.  However, as a writer, I can appreciate a brilliant mind when stumble across a work like this.  And I will go on record to say that I think the plot is nothing short of brilliant.  The fact that one, little, human mind could conceive of such a story completely baffles me. 

I love this book because it veers away from the legalistic, Pharisaic views of some Christians that I have known (who have damaged my faith at times) and dares to attempt to explain the Agape love that the Lord has for us.  If you’ve read it you’ll know what I’m talking about.  If you haven’t read it, I urge you to. 

I also love this book because, even though it isn’t real, it drew me in closer to the precious heart of our God.  It is wonderous and full of imagination.  It helped solidify for me that God IS Abba…or, my Daddy. 

That being said, I once again would like to state that God is certainly not punishing me.  Rather, Ava Elizabeth Wisdom is just living out the consequences of many years of bad decisions.  You see, I recognize that God didn’t create His Word, His laws, or His commandments to be a buzz-kill or to rain on my lonely, little parade.  Rather, God gave me…and you rules so that He could merely protect us from ourselves. 

Again, I am reminded of another song.  In Tim McGraw song, “Grown Men Don’t Cry” he sings:

I pulled into the shopping center
And saw a little boy wrapped around the legs of his mother…
like ice cream melting they embraced
Years of bad decisions runnin’ down her face.
All mornin’ I’d been thinkin’ my life’s so hard…
they wore everything they own, livin’ in a car.
I wanted to tell ’em it would be ok
But I got just got in my suburban and I drove away…

You see, this is how I feel right now.  Except, I feel like a mother with TWO little boys wrapped around my legs.  And yes, every tear I cry represents the years of bad decisions that I’ve made.  Oh, how I don’t want my children to live in the wake of consequences that were meant for me.  I can take a smack-down pretty well…but this is getting too real, people.  As it stands, I don’t know how I’m going to buy them the much-needed school clothes that they need to start school this year.

I’m not having a pity party for myself over here; the pity party is for my two boys.  I wasted years of my life being a stripper and avoiding things in life that were uncomfortable for me.  I wanted the easy way back when I was younger and now I’m getting old and I fear I’ve run out of tricks.  I’m just so tired.  I want my boys to have the lives they deserve.  I chose them, for sure…but they didn’t get to choose me. 

Oh, if you had any idea how much I love my boys.  I’d die for them in a heartbeat.  I honestly would.  They are the reason I draw breath.  They are perfect gifts from God.  I just don’t want my babies to suffer for the lousy mistakes I’ve made in life.  And I am just overwhelmed with the feeling that ALL my mistakes are catching up to me right now.

Psalm 37 says, “I have never seen a righteous man forsaken, or his children begging bread.  That might bring me comfort…if I thought for one cotton-pickin’ second that I might actually be righteous.

Nevertheless, I know that God remembers the widow and the orphan.  And I have been told that the single mother is the modern-day widow.  I suppose the same applies for single daddy’s too.  He showed me this verse earlier in the year.  I may have already written about it, but I don’t care.  I’m going to write about it again.

From the book of Isaiah, in chapter 54…  God showed me this:

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

Like a youthful wife, when you were refused”, says your God.

“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”, says the Lord, your Redeemer.

“So have I sworn that I would 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”, says the Lord who has mercy on you.

“Oh, you afflicted one, tossed with tempest and not comforted,

Behold, I will lay your foundations with sapphires.

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

And all your walls of precious stones…

ALL OF 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 because of Me.

Whoever assembles against you shall fall for your sake.”

In that truly wonderous piece of scripture I feel like God is telling me that He knows that I have been rejected and forsaken.  He acknowledges my grief and sorrow and tells me that He isn’t going to leave me.  He tells me that, although I may not feel righteous, that He’s going to make me righteous… And above all, He assures me that my children will be taught by Him and that they will have great peace!  I PRAISE Him for that!

Honestly, I feel like that piece of scripture was written for no one else but me.  But that’s how God works.  And that’s how the Holy Spirit speaks.  I love that about our God…

You know, I think I was actually writing tonight so that I could bitch and complain about my circumstances.  Oddly, I don’t feel the need to do that now.  Writing is cathartic and just thinking about the Lord and being in His Word has given me some respite.  What’s more, I love all of you, my readers so very much!  I certainly don’t want to weigh you down with my burdens or my grumblings.   Just know that God loves me through you.  I am very fond of you all in the WordPress community.  And I sure am thankful for you too…

As I end tonight, I want to leave you with a photo of my Jonah and my little dog, Poppy.  Both have fallen asleep under my desk as I’ve been writing.  They look pretty dang peaceful.  Maybe I’m not the worst mom in the world after all! 

 

All my love,

Ava

PS…Please PRAY for my little family…I promise I will pray for you.  If you have specific prayer requests, I ask that you send them to me!  xoxoxoxoxoxo

Famous and Infamous People Raised in Broken Homes

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I was alarmed to find out that the following individuals were products of single parent homes:

  • BILLY THE KID
  • SIRHAN SIRHAN
  • ROBERT GRAYSMITH (ZODIAC SERIAL KILLER)
  • JACK THE RIPPER
  • JOHN WILKES BOOTH
  • CHARLES MANSON
  • SADDAM HUSSEIN
  • ADOLPH HITLER
  • MARC LEPINE (MASS MURDERER OF 14)
  • LEE HARVEY OSWALD
  • JEFFREY DAHMER
  • “MONSTER” CODY (L.A. CRIPS GANGLORD)

Obviously the aforementioned names are some of the worst in the history of mankind.  However, my research uncovered many, many more functional, famous people who were also products of broken homes.  Take a look:

Maya Angelou was sent to live with her grandparents when her parents’ marriage ended.

Oprah Winfrey was born to an unwed, teenager mother and sent to live with her grandparents.

Lance Armstrong never knew his birth father.

Notorious B.I.G. was abandoned by his father when he was 2.

Kate Beckinsale’s father died when she was 6.

Halle Berry was abandoned by her father when she was 4.

Mary J. Blige was abandoned by her father when she was 4.

Orlando Bloom’s died when he was 4.

Pierce Brosnan was abandoned by his father before his first birthday.

Mariah Carey had little contact with her father after her parents divorce when she was 3.

50 Cent never knew his father and lost his mother when he was 8.

Eric Clapton never knew his real father. He grew up thinking his grandparents were his parents and his mother his sister.

Bill Clinton lost his father in a car accident 3 months before he was born.

Stephen Colbert lost his father and two brothers in a plane crash when he was 10.

Sean Combs was 3 when his father was murdered

Jodie Foster grew up without a father; her parents separated before she was born.

Jamie Foxx was abandoned by both his parents and raised by his adopted grandparents.

Cary Grant grew up thinking his mother had abandoned him when she really was in a mental institution.

Adrian Grenier grew up not knowing who his father was.

Laird Hamilton was abandoned by his father when he was an infant.

Samuel L. Jackson only met his father twice during his life.

Jay-Z was abandoned by his father.

Alicia Keys grew up without a father.

Kid Cudi lost his father to cancer when he was 11.

Martin Lawrence rarely saw his father after his parents divorced when he was 8.

John Lennon grew up without a father and lost his mother when he was 17.

Jet Li lost his father when he was 2.

Lindsay Lohan grew up without a father while he was in prison.

Shelby Lynne lost her mother and father in a murder suicide when she was 17.

Madonna lost her mother to cancer when she was 5.

Paul McCartney lost his mother to cancer when he was 14.

Eva Mendes was raised by her single mother after her parents divorced.

Marilyn Monroe grew up without a father.

Demi Moore was abandoned by her father before she was born.

Eddie Murphy’s father was killed when he was just 8.

Jack Nicholson never knew his real father.

Shaquille O’Neal grew up without his birth father.

President Barack Obama met his father only once before he died in a car crash.

Clive Owen was abandoned by his father when he was 3.

Al Pacino grew up in his grandparents’ home with his mother.

Audrey Hepburn was sent to boarding school at age 5; at age 6 her father walked out.

Mariah Carey eventually became estranged from her father after her parents’ divorce when she was 3.

Guy Pearce lost his father in a work related accident when he was 8.

Mekhi Phifer never met his father.

Sarah Polley lost her mother to cancer when she was 11.

Ellen Pompeo lost her mother when she was 4.

Gabrielle Reece lost her father when she was 5.

Keanu Reeves was abandoned by his father when he was 13.

Julia Roberts lost her father when she was 10.

Alex Rodriguez was abandoned by his father when he was 7.

Ronaldinho lost his father from a heart attack when he was 8.

Jason Schwartzman lost his father to cancer when he was 13.

Tupac Shakur grew up not knowing his birth father while his stepfather went to prison when he was 2.

Anderson Silva was raised by his aunt.

Gene Simmons was abandoned by his father when he was 3.

David Spade was abandoned by his father.

Jon Stewart was raised primarily by his mother.

Barbra Streisand lost her father when she was 2.

Shania Twain was abandoned by her birth father.

Liv Tyler didn’t know who her birth father was until she was 9.

Raoul Wallenberg lost his father to cancer 3 months before he was born.

Orson Welles lost his mother when he was 11 and his father when he was 15.

Kanye West was abandoned by his father when he was 3.

And I “sure enough” was abandoned by my biological father the moment he found out my mother was carrying me…

 

I get that those who were raised in utter pathology and in absolute psychologically damaging circumstances are not necessarily always going to come out unscathed.  However, I like to think of the human spirit as tenacious in nature, and capable of overcoming seemingly insurmountable obstacles.  And after all, we all have choices.  For me, I wasn’t going to sit around complaining that life had dealt me a bad hand, and that there was no hope.  Which is why I hate the saying, “It is what it is.”

 

My childhood was incredibly painful and dysfunctional.  This is why you could frequently find me in the self-help section of my neighborhood bookstore since I was an adolescent.  I was reading self-help books since I was a young teen and voluntarily attending counseling, which I still do today.  I even have a hypnosis app on my iPhone for topics like “codependency” and “how to forget your ex”, for goodness sakes!  I was never satisfied with the status quo and have been pulling myself up by the bootstraps for as long as I can remember.  

 

You will never hear me utter the words, “That’s just how I am.”  Although I am still a work in progress, I believe that someday I will rise victoriously from the ashes.  And as far as this crazy generational cycle that is marked by the suicide of my beloved mother… I am fighting with every breath in me to say, “This ends here.”  

 

It was hard being a child of a single mother; and I know it’s hard for my children too, most of the time.  We may struggle financially, but we are rich beyond measure in the love department.  For me this is what matters most.  Some days I can barely find the strength to get out of bed.  But mark my words, “I can do all things through CHRIST who strengthens ME.” (Philippians 4:13) 

 

Sources:

http://www.notablebiographies.com/An-Ba/Angelou-Maya.html#b

http://oprah.about.com/od/oprahbiography/p/oprahchildhood.htm

http://www.audrey1.org/biography/16/audrey-hepburn-timeline-1929-1949

http://withoutafather.com/celebrities.php