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Showing posts from 2010

AM

My mother claimed AM as her best friend. She had a daughter (R), four months younger than me. R did everything first, before me. And I think most everything I did (softball, gymnastics, tap & ballet, Girl Scouts…), I did because R was doing it. I had a rough time with jealousy over the talented and able and beautiful younger "sister", that wasn't my sister. We were friends by circumstance more than choice… and my mother was constantly referring to us as being "like sisters: playing happily one moment, fighting the next and ready to take on anyone who offends the other…" true or not, I believed it :)
Anyway…
AM was like a second mom or favored aunt to me. She was kind and caring, but with standards and expectations, I think, higher than my mother's.
She tricked me into eating mushrooms one night. I don't know how she was motivated to dice those things so small, but she had the victory when she told me I had eaten them in my spaghetti and liked it n…

My widow ladies…

I had a small collection of widow ladies, who were wonderful.
Faithful to the Lord, served wherever and however they could.
I already mentioned GA, but there was DB, EW, MB, & FS.
There was one, WP, who I never got to know at all. But she was the one who stood out my first day at CBC (besides Grandma Lady). I don't think I'll ever forget the welcoming smile on her face and the hug she gave me that day. It truly felt like she thought I was some long lost granddaughter who had returned home. After I moved away, I continued to send birthday cards to many of the people there, and after I sent her a card, she wrote me a note asking me to keep in touch, which I did until she passed away.
That one small act of kindness spoke volumes. When I think about it… though I wasn't one of hers, I was a child (of the King) who had wandered far away… and I was welcomed back warmly, with love, God just used her to demonstrate that love to me. He is so awesome.
DB, was a dear sweet la…

The third Mrs. G…

My Third Mrs. G.
My first impression of her was not as warm and welcoming as some… perhaps more along the line of intimidating :). I'm not sure if it was that was because I sensed something or sensed something that wasn't there :). I was a teen with an attitude toward Baptists, getting ready to visit a Baptist church… she may have not been too excited to be giving me a ride to church for a number of reasons. Like she worked with teens and could spot an attitude a mile away, and she didn't care to deal with attitude-even when she had to lol. Or maybe she hadn't been informed that the lady we were invited by was bringing two extra people with her that morning. And maybe, just maybe I took her quietness personally and she was glad to see visitors, but just didn't talk much. Or maybe a combination of all three, or maybe something totally different…
I don't think it took long for me to see someone I liked in Mrs. G. She was obviously real-she was what she was and i…

LG

This Mrs. G is a sweet and dear lady. My friend JT and I spent many hours on the phone with her. She always had time to talk or listen when we called and often invited me to sit with her in church. We were in the choir together and it seems we may have worked at the school together.
Mrs. G. was, like many of "My People", sort of a grandma figure… though I wouldn't think she is old enough to be my grandma… maybe more like an aunt lol.
She was so classy and kind and quiet… I wanted to be like that :). For some reason she chose to invest her time and energy in me. Mostly in the ways listed above.
She made my 21st birthday memorable in a pleasant way. She (and Mr. G.) had JT and me over for dinner for our birthdays (because our bdays are 16 days apart). I had never had anyone invite me over to their house for dinner before! How special!
She and her Mr. had lots of stories about their past, before and shortly after their salvation. Stories that I took to heart, heeding…

JLG

The first of at least three I claim as "MY Mrs. G."

I first met her in Kindergarten. I had been held back a year in preschool because of going off medication. The preschool teacher was the wife of the principal at the elementary school (how small town… but it was L.A.!), and she took the time to teach me what I would need to know to go straight into first grade.

Mrs. G. Had the "joy" of testing me for three days to see if I was really ready for first grade. I was :). I remember she had to keep pulling me back into focus, because I was not interested in the testing, I wanted to be at recess with the other kids!

After moving on to first grade, I still saw Mrs. G. everyday because she was the teacher that worked in the cafeteria before school and at lunch. She used to get so frustrated with me because I was always the last child eating.

Not sure how it happened that my mother got her to babysit me in the second grade, when mother was making too much money for the stat…

RA

One of the sweetest memories I have of my childhood is the beautiful RA. She had the prettiest silvery white hair I have ever seen, and a smile to match.
RA and her husband gave my mother and me a ride home from church ever service. She worked in the nursery at least every Sunday morning. They babysat me overnight more than once (one of those times they told me I wore out their TV. Apparently, after I left it died, she said "it wasn't used to being watched so much." lol. I did watch A LOT of TV, a great escape)… She made the best Strawberry Shortcake! They took us under their wing, like family they didn't have… most importantly… I know she loved me!
RA always had a smile and a silly poem about me for me every time I saw her (probably not too hard… May is easy to rhyme…. ). I still have my purple and white doll she gave me, my kids play with it now…
Most of what I learned from her/them was from watching them live the life of a Christian… loving people, meeting n…

G.A.

She is my friend. I miss her smile her laugh…
She told me once she didn't understand what she ever did to acquire me as a friend. She really didn't do anything, but be a friend to me. She always had a smile and a hug. She had a listening ear and more than that she shared herself, stories of her life, experiences… thankful reminiscences of the way life happened and how God always provided and guided her way…
She invited me to sit with her sometimes in church. And was glad to have me join the 60+ class on outings and ride with her…
She didn't necessarily agree with the strict standards of conformity that some in our church held to, yet and had the ability to laugh off the differences and still accept and love others even if they didn't agree with her…
I saw a realness. She was who she was, comfortable with herself, and wasn't about to change simply to please those around her.
What an amazing thing! To be so confident in Lord, to be so sure of who He wants you to be…
I am not really sure how to do what I want to do here… I want to recognize God's use of people in my life with the understanding it is Him in and through them (even if they are not "His"- He can and does use the unsaved for His purposes too), not so much them and who or what or how great they are. I learned long ago even our heroes can fall from their pedestals, only God is great and mighty and He does great things through the inadequate and weak. I was thinking about trying to do this in a chronological order, but too many over lap and is difficult then to sort it all out, so I have decided to start with the one who is on my heart today… and let God lead me through the many others in the same way…All of "my people" pass through my heart and mind almost daily… I am so thankful for them all! So many have gone to be with the Lord, many are still here and though I don't write or call like I should, I see most of them on Facebook, and I pray for them all regula…
Well, I've been thinking and praying about what to do now. The story has pretty much caught up to life… well two years behind right now…
There are some other cool things that have happened like reconnections made with people…
But I am thinking… maybe I will take a while and share about different people that have been used by God in my life. I have shared some big things that people have done, but there are a lot of little things… influences and impressions made that helped me choose the direction I took… the little things that people do without realizing how big a difference they make…
Still praying about it… about if and who and how-in a particular order or just random as things come to mind… so if you are a committed reader who want more to read… pray with me for guidance, because I want the focus of this to be on God and His work in the lives of people. Thanks…
Brad was able to take a week off with the arrival of each of our children. Which was nice…gave me the ability to rest as much as possible and gave him more opportunity to bond with them.
Brad's project when he returned to work after BK was born was to build a utility trailer for the church. A nice thing because he was building at the house, so even though he was back at work, he was still at home.
On his first day officially back at work Brad was in the garage working, the kids were sleeping and I decided it was a good time to shower and dress so I went into the bedroom. I heard the drill Brad was using stop suddenly and he made a noise… couldn't tell what it was, maybe he made a mistake or something and was upset, or maybe he forgot something… but whatever I didn't think much of it. A few minutes later the doorbell rang. "Grumble, grumble, grumble… couldn't Brad have talked to whoever it is?". It was Brad,"I need to take myself to the ER." he sai…

Romans 8:28

" And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose."

I was in Sunday School a few weeks ago, it was just me and the teacher that morning, and this verse came up… a memory was sparked, I can't remember if I shared it or not… I think it would be good to share… as a testimony to God's ability and trustworthiness.

I remember sharing how the sermon on 1 Samuel 16, clearly spoke to me about it being time to leave home. Every answer I had the preacher brought up and answered… but my reality was that even though I was willing to go and wanted out, I had no way to leave… I had to wait for God to open the door before I could run through it.
Well, shortly after that message came one on Romans 8:28. This time I wasn't "arguing" the same way. I knew God could work anything out the way He wanted, but I still needed to believe it in my heart of hearts. The things the preacher was saying wi…

I am noxious?

She told me once, many years ago…probably 15 or 16 years ago (OK, I understand to some that may not be "many", but that IS almost 1/2 my life ago!)… she said, "You are noxious, not obnoxious, just… noxious.". That left me pondering off and on ever since…. The thought crosses my mind, I think about it, and leave puzzled to return to the idea again later… until tonight, I think I may have figured it out… OK, I am slow, I have excuses why my brain doesn't work so well :)

Noxious… something that is noxious (like fumes) is noticed by everyone in the room, it fills the space and cannot be ignored. It may offend some and send them away. But it cannot be ignored and is hard to forget… and even if it is unseen everyone knows it's there… because noxious is strong and bold, perhaps intimidating?

Sort of blows my attempt at invisibility out of the water… though I will still work at it :)

Noxious am I?

I have wondered for so long, compliment or not? I have officially de…
When BK was born…
I had been having a lot of pre-labor and we were assured that the real thing wouldn't start at 5 minutes apart. Well, I woke at 6:00 Monday June 9 with contractions 5 minutes apart, but I had been dreaming that I was in labor. I woke Brad and told him what was going on… he said,"let's wait and see. Get up andover around a little and see if it stops". Well, that made things worse. Brad still didn't believe me and was sure they were going to stop. Around 9:30 he decided maybe it could be the real thing. Contractions were to about 3 minutes apart at 10:30 and he decided maybe we should call the sitter and go on over to the hospital… so he went and took a shower! He called the sitter first, she arrived as he was getting out of the shower and we finally left the house about 11:30. We got to the hospital at 12 noon. The nurses said I was too calm :). They sent me to my room and after 10 or 15 minutes with no nurse, Brad called for one, who calmly sai…
As soon as I knew baby #2 was going to be a girl I knew exactly what I wanted her name to be! BK… B- for Grandma Lady, and K-for the Mom-Type-Person. Now I know some of you know Mom Lady's name to be SG, but S is her middle name :)
Brad was all for K as the middle name but it took some talking (and a heart-sharing e-mail) to convince him to go with B for the first name.
When we told Grandpa Man what we wanted to name BK… I never saw him so close to tears.
Mom lady was, surprised that we wanted to pass her name to our child, and even promised to not be offended if we changed our minds.
I did also choose to add my middle name to the baby's name, giving her two middle names, and making her the sixth generation May (through the mothers). That is kind of cool, not something I was sure I wanted to break.
The day before my family arrived for their visit, we found out baby #2 was on the way. I really didn't want to know for sure until after they left, but Brad wanted to know. So, I took the hpt, and went and got the blood test… he was right, that explained the sudden loss of my energy.
On that Wednesday night after church, we took my mother with us to McDonald's as that was part of our usual routine. Brad's mother was with us, too, so we decided to tell our mothers together. My mother instead of being happy for us responded with," How did your grandmother know already?" that was surprising to us since we only had confirmation that morning.
Instead of making a church wide announcement, this time we decided to share with a few an see how long it took for news to spread. I was given a baby shower gift of 30 homemade dinners (lasted us 3 months!) when I had T, and the two ladies who made the meals said they would do it again if I had another baby. So, went to one of …
We also found out that the chronic eczema that T had as an infant was probably caused by a reaction to peanut butter in my diet coming to him through breast milk. I lived on PB&J when nursing him… yummy! I still miss peanut butter :(
We were told he would probably outgrow the milk and soy allergies by the time he was two (which he did), the peanut allergy was only a 10% chance of being outgrown, but because he did not have the respiratory reaction he had a higher chance of being part of that 10%.
We have discovered some good substitutes, but we miss peanut butter!

When T was about 11 months old, my mother, uncle and grandmother came to visit. My grandmother decided to announce she was coming to see her great-grandson, and she was bringing her daughter to see her first grandchild because if "I don't see to it, it will never happen!"… she is probably right, but that was hardly her sole motivation.
My mother and I (&Brad) got along fine (she stayed at our house …

T's Allergies

Before the ice cream cake and hives incident, if T was eating yogurt and it touched his skin he would get a little blotchy… that would also happen if he ate crackers or cheerios. No big deal, it went away when we washed him off, I just assumed he had sensitive skin.
Well shortly after the ice cream cake incident, I gave him two Ritz crackers with peanut butter on them… a snack to occupy him while I fixed dinner. A few moments after I gave it to him I looked of at him and he was rubbing his eyes and face and he was red and splotchy, but the splotches were bumpy like they had been after the ice cream cake. I still didn't think too much of it, I washed him off and took the peanut butter away… but it kept getting worse. So I called Brad. He came home and called T's doctor in the way. When Brad got home we scooped T up and took him to the doctor we were half way there before the nurse called back.
They gave T benedryl, then gave him an injection of benedryl and gave us several di…

Grandma Lady…

Probably the hardest thing about T's birth was the passing of my Grandma Lady four months before…
She was so excited to know he was coming, and would have been so excited to see him. But the Lord knows best, even when we don't understand.

We went to visit Grandma & Grandpa K not long before they left for the last trip they took to Indiana together… the most memorable part if that visit… she told me they were proud of me… of ME!! I smiled and said something dumb like, "I know". But I still have a hard time believing it! Proud of me?!? For what? I haven't done anything but follow God's lead as best as I could, one step, one day at a time… I have only come as far as I have because of what God has chosen to do with me.

Anyway. They went to Indiana to visit their daughter. They went camping IN A TENT! They went and did some other things she had been wanting to do… she was so excited and enjoying herself so much, but she was having trouble with losing her …
After T was born it took me a while still to believe it was really real that WE had a baby! He was two weeks old and it all of a sudden hit me…" he needs me for everything". Whoa. What a responsibility! How did I of all people earn such a privilege? And how was I going to meet the challenge?? God in His goodness quickly reminded me "For with Christ nothing shall be impossible" (interestingly that was the first Bible verse he memorized in Sunday school!)
Our church family was a blessing, the first five days after T was born, different ladies brought us dinner. After that I still didn't have to cook for close to three months! Two of the ladies in our church, for a baby shower gift, gave us 30 frozen meals. Most of those meals actually gave us two dinners and me a lunch, plus Brad cooked pretty regularly on his day off… this person who really doesn't care to cook got very spoiled :)
Those same two ladies also took it upon themselves to insist on helping me w…
He found a picture of a baby asleep on or near an open Bible and a lullaby CD. He had me sit with him at the sound-booth and told me to push the play button on the CD player when Pastor was ready to sing the first song (he knew that would get Pastor's attention lol), and instead of putting the words to the song up he displayed the picture with the words "Arriving November 2006". No name or other identifying information :). It worked great. One of the missionary wives was expecting a baby in May, so Pastor said," NO Brad! You got it wrong!" lol. Brad said,"No, I don't, believe me,". "Well, who is it then?" we just sat and smiled. Our few informed people kept their mouths closed with big smiles, and finally one of the deacons guessed that it might be us. Pastor said,"NOWAY!", Brad replied,"yeah-way!" and the room erupted in excitement. One lady (who calls herself grandma to our kids) stood on her pew and gave us two thu…
First we had to tell Brad's family. We went to the store and bought his mother a little photo album that said "Grandma's Brag Book" on it. It took her a few minutes to realize the "hint", probably because she had already been a grandma for several years… lol. She was very excited, of course once she figured out what was going on. Then we went over and told Brad's brother Nd family. After that we had two other visits to make. The first stop was Grandma Lady and Grandpa Man. Then on the way to the last stop we called Brad's sister (She was living in Missouri). When she answered the phone, she guessed why we were calling, but refused to believe us when we told her she was right. :) then weasel our fourth stop. A couple we KNEW had been praying diligently for eight years! She was so excited when we told her she literally jumped off of the couch and across the room to hug me in a single bound!! LOL. Scary kinda to a excitable creature like myself =]. W…
Well, I got to three weeks late… and feeling blah, worse than usual (or at least the "new usual"). So I snuck off to the far side of town, to a store we rarely went to and where we never saw anybody we knew… and bought a pregnancy test. I waited until Brad left for work, and took the test. I didn't have to wait at all the result was clear immediately. I literally jumped in surprise, shock, fear… not joy! The first thought…"it's gotta come out!! Yikes!" (I know I am strange. lol). Just as I was absorbing this new reality, I heard The garage door open, and Brad talking to somebody. So I went to the garage and called him in. When he finished, he came in and I showed him the hpt. His first response,"I want a blood test.". He refused to believe it could be true until we had the blood test confirm it.
So I called the doctor's office on and they said,"the hpt is so accurate it can be believed, if it says you are, then you are". They agre…
The products were an incredible blessing! I was suddenly able to live without pushing myself every step of the way. It didn't hurt to get hugs… it didn't hurt to wear my clothes! I actually could honestly say "great!" when asked "how are you?"… I can still remember how surprised I was the day I realized I didn't hurt anywhere, even my head was pain free! How exciting!!
My monthly cycles continued at a perfect 28 days. I was taking comfort in the predictability of them. Our marriage had reached that crutial moment at seven years… and Brad's mother was vying hard for more and more of his attention. I was pretty sure I was glad we didn't have kids at the moment, and even though I wasn't on any kind of birth control.
God had different plans…
After nine months of perfect, predictable cycles, I was late. I didn't think a whole lot of it at first. I was a little confused, but I figured there wasn't much to get hopeful about. I was havi…
I took the products. In four days my fibro fog lifted… I don't really know how to describe it, but the haze was gone. I have not had a headache out me in bed since (five and a half years!!), but it did more than fix my headaches and my pain and fatigue and all the fibro symptoms… it took away the PCOS symptoms! My cycles that would fluctuate from 4-12 weeks, suddenly, instantly snapped into a perfect, predictable 28 days. Whoa. No hopes! God seemed to make it clear, no kids!
Brad noticed a change ine right away, too. I had energy. I was able to get and keep the house clean. The headaches were less, and I was more cheery. Feeling like I had been is very discouraging. When I came to the end of the products I was afraid to quit them, so I had to tell Brad. He said he thought it was just the arrival of warmer weather. LOL. But he was willing to figure out a way to afford to keep me on this stuff.
The following March the Parent-type-people came for a visit and Mom-Lady went to a ladies Bible conference with our church in Portland. We went to the mall while we were there and found two really great deals on jumpers with matching tops, of course we bought them… we dressed alike both days, and of course were teased a little for it (in good fun, nothing mean), then the Gs went on to Washington to visit her brother. When they came back thru and went to church with us… she was told they didn't recognize her because we were not dressed the same! LOL. Anyway. During that visit Mom G. Shared about this nutritional product that she had heard about. It sounded too good to be true. It had helped fix any and every problem from Alzheimers to wrinkles… a glyconutrient?? When she told us about it, she hadn't tried it yet, but was going to start on it as soon as they got home. Brad was convinced it was a scam, but I was courious… if it could help with the fibromyalgia just a little, mayb…
S.G. Amazed me! She sent me to her bed during the day, so I could lock my grandmother out. I didn't feel comfortable doing that at first, but grandma got a chance and came to my bedside and started screaming in my face… whispers hurt when migraine attacks, she had me in tears! So I started locking the door. When my grandmother realized the door was locked, she started calling my friends names, for locking me up so she couldn't see me… I'd laugh, but it is so sad. Grandma managed to get herself kicked out of my friends' home. And she decided to take the greyhound bus to visit her friends in L.A. Then she had another friend come from BHC to pick up her van and go get her and take her home. My friends were going to take me to catch my plane in Havasu, but then we thought we'd get it changed to P.S., but the headache wouldn't break (after 300 dollars in meds), so the "Mom" called Brad and told him he HAD to come get me. It took some convincing, but he cam…
I begged Brad to come with us… he refused.

When Grandma and I got to Buttonwillow, CA. She called her friend in L.A., who we were supposed to visit next, and she wasn't expecting us for another week! She was not going to pay to stay in a hotel for a week. She had nowhere else to go, but home. I wasn't going to BHC for a week and then drive back to L.A., and then back to BHC! But I had some WONDERFUL friends in YV. They had given me a key to their home because Brad's sister and I had been there so much, and I knew they would welcome us, even if they were not expecting us. So I called S&B.G.

I don't think my grandmother could believe I had friends that were that available to me. Then S.G. made the "mistake" of complimenting me by saying I was "the daughter of their heart", that was probably the sweetest thing anybody had ever said about me… but I cringed, because I knew she said it to the WRONG person. My mistake was going someplace I felt so at h…
By the time we had been in our new house a few months. I was miserable! Physically, which lead to mentally. I have fibromyalgia, for those who don't know imagine full body aching, the feel of your clothes either makes your skin sting or they feel so heavy it is hard to carry the weight of wearing them. To that add migraines, hypoglycemia, IBS, RLS, chronic fatigue, recurring UTIs, a fogginess that makes it difficult to think, or process information… naturally feeling like this leads to discouragement, and depression (though not anything like I had had in the past!)… though I did wonder what the point was. I was 29 and ladies in my church 40 years older were running circles around me… that is depressing too!!
I would sleep until 10am. Eat breakfast. Rest. Psych my self up to go empty the dishwasher, have a snack for lunch and go take a nap in order to have the energy to fix dinner.
And then my grandmother decided she wanted to come for a visit. We thought that would be OK. She wa…
We had excepted the fact that it was going to be us and the dog. Maybe God had a plan, a ministry that would be better for us to not have kids? I had heard of a ministry to missionary "kids" that I thought was way cool, and when I told Brad about it, he really liked the idea, too. The idea is a lot of these kids grow up in other countries, with different customs and then they turn 18 and head to America for college and the rest of life… and some of them really struggle with culture shock. Our idea (stolen from a missionary I heard on a deputation trip with Brad's sister), was to offer our missionaries' (the ones our church supports) kids a home to come to, to help them adjust. Give them some guidance as they adjust to new customs and ideals of this unique (and wonderful!) country. But instead all our missionaries started taking a year furlough to help their own kids adjust-a better idea…
So we decided well, it must be just us and the dog.
Then the dog died! So we r…
The trailer wasn't ours, we were on the church's property… not exactly a stable environment for a homestudy. So that got put on hold. We expected to be in the trailer for about 12 weeks, but there were complications. The lot wouldn't fit the house plan the builder agreed to build on it. So we agreed to go two story. Still the house wouldn't fit. He told is the problem was an electrical box (for the whole neighborhood) we could either unsigned the contract and resign for a different house in a different location, or we could wait three more months for our house (that was three months in waiting and ground still hadn't been broken. When I discovered he was trying to get us to get a smaller house than we originally agreed to for the same money, I decided I could wait indefinitely. He didn't want to have to pay the electric company to move that box, so he made another offer for a house in another subdivision. These houses were compare-able in size to the one he ag…
We went through the emotional roller coaster that came with the fertility drugs two more times (Brad said they turned me into Dracula… LOL). Each time waiting longer than the time before, before getting a home test and calling the doctor because the hpt was negative… the last time I was 12 weeks late, sick, sore and feeling exactly like my pregnant friend was complaining about feeling. When I got to the dr office the nurse seemed as hopeful as I felt… and I knew by the look on her face what the result was. The doctor called in a perscrpiton for a drug to start my cycle (I don't think I ever used them, all it ever took was a visit to the doctor), and I went home. I was OK until Brad got home, then I fell apart. It felt like someone had reached in and pulled my stomach straight out of my body. I was devastated. I told Brad I couldn't do it anymore. I was done.
We went back to the doctor at my usual annual exam and he said,"If you aren't interested in the next step, the…
That summer Brad spent his time doing camps and fireworks, but after VBS I spent my summer on the road with his sister. Much more enjoyable than sitting at home alone for four weeks of summer. We met some great people and had some memorable experiences… like turtles under our bed, teaching cats to fly… and a few other things that might fall under TMI. LOL.
By the end of the year, my cycles had still not regulated off of the bc pills, so the doctor recommended fertility drugs. I can honestly say I was not really at peace with the idea, but Brad seemed OK with it, so we went for it. The doctor called in the prescription on, I think, Christmas eve and I was supposed to start on the meds the next day (& the pharmacy would be closed), so we had to wait at the pharmacy until they got all their communications figured out between themselves and the doctor and the insurance company… which made us late to meet with Brad's family that evening. I HATE to be late! And somebody made a smar…
Even though I went home with Brad, I still heard plenty from my grandmother. Not only was I supposed to "deal with it" because what happened to me was "no big deal" and "it happens to everyone", but it was my fault my mother married him because she just wanted me to have a daddy, and the radio station didn't have to announce his arrest all day long… and I am sure she holds me personally responsible for whoever it was that egged my mother's mailbox after the news report of his arrest.
I refused to accept any of those lies. That just made grandma more angry… oh well. :)
In the fall Brad's sister was called into full time missions, and needed a travel buddy. I was excited to go! I didn't go on all the trips, but I took dibbs on the southwest… my favorites:California, Arizona, and other places I really wanted to see…
Plus, if we did go to AZ, we could stop and say hi to my mother and grandmother while passing thru…
Brad and I also decided at…
Before we left to help my mother move, I told Grandma Lady our plan… she advised against staying. She knew the influence my grandmother had on me, AND it was our first anniversary I was going to miss!! "I know, but Brad really thinks it would be a good thing to do." GL:"But he doesn't know your grandma!" :) she was right, I knew it, but what to do??
While in YV, we shared our plan with the Gs (we were staying with them), and they STRONGLY advised against me staying in BHC after Brad left for home,"It's one thing to have your husband with you, and another to be alone."
I also talked to Mrs.A, while in YV and she also encouraged me to not stay with my grandma and mother, but go home,"You belong with your husband. Especially on your first anniversary."
I know how they all prayed!
When it came to the moment of Brad's departure I melted down. I begged him to not leave me there. I was suddenly overwhelmed with the reality as nasty as she …
Well, we went to help my mother move. Somebody had had a tantrum or two in my room, then it appeared have become a catch all for garbage that wasn't sent to the dump. The rest of the house was worse… I couldn't remember living so filthy, but maybe dwelling in it all my life made it not so noticeable. But was BAD. And she had packed maybe 10 or 12 boxes and was supposed to be moving in like two or three days…???
We got the few treasures I wanted, got her necessities and threw everything else away. I know some of the stuff that we sent to the dump made my stepfather furious when he returned, but she claimed she wasn't taking him back and that stuff needed to go anyway! Ewe!! When we got to BHC and my grandmother… she was syrupy sweet to Brad, but as soon as he wasn't around she was telling me "who hasn't been molested?' that's just something you deal with., Somebody is lying I will find out who it is.". Etc. Etc. Etc. "I hope you will keep in …
Our perfect little plan: wait two years have baby #1, wait another year or two and have baby #2, stay in house #1 for about 5 years then upsize to one a little bigger… and live happily ever after. LOL. That might have been our perfect little picture, but it obviously was not God's truly perfect plan…

Before we married I went to see a gynecologist to get birthcontrol and to see what damage may have been done by the abuse I had endured. There was no damage (though, we did later become aware of an STD), but I was diagnosed with PCOS. Easy to treat with birthcontrol pills, and the effects and risks caused by it are reduced by the regulating of cycles that comes with bc and pregnancy can help make the symptoms of PCOS subside, too. No worries then… bc pills for now and we'll see from there.

Then my stepfather got arrested, my mother decided to move, but she needed help, AND she said if I didn't come get my perfect dog she was going to put her to sleep!!

She couldn't take a…
Not sure anybody else but me would have Christmas colors for her Easter time wedding… but I have never claimed to be normal! Besides that gave the ladies I asked to decorate a challenge. They liked to shop! And they met the challenge and did a beautiful job!!
I wanted to invite close to everybody in YV church to the wedding, but I was afraid my parents and grandmother would find out and show up. So I only invited the two couples I was closest to, and I asked them to participate in the day. I asked the one to oversee the receipt of gifts and the other was my Matron of Honor (because she was/is 33 years older than me, several people thought that was cool. lol)
The wedding only had one glitch… the pastor had planned to have "Whatever Lola Wants Lola Gets" interrupt the recessional as we were leaving the sanctuary… the tape player malfunctioned. For that I am thankful… he still got to play it at the reception, but I am not too sure I would have appreciated that surprise.
The …
Grandma Lady knew my plan was to quit work two weeks before the wedding and just focus on the last minute stuff… but by the end of Febraury she was starting to worry that I might not make it. My headaches were bad! Lasting longer and longer all the time and hurting worse and worse… I remember asking Brad if I could borrow a gun for a moment because if I could get something in to that most painful spot… maybe it would help. Not rational thinking… a bullet might have relieved my pain, but it wouldn't have given me the outcome I was looking for. Anyway. They were BAD, and the grandmother in her was worried, so she offered to let me come back, to quit my job three weeks early, and come back to their house rent-free and just relax and do nothing until the wedding. I jumped at it!! Maybe too quickly, I think I may have hurt the feelings of the wife of the people I was staying with. I was desperate to get a break from my headaches, and I knew out at the Ks I had had that relief.
The day…
Well, since I am backing up in my story, you know I didn't have to return home. :)

Another "K" couple were available for God's use in my life and offered to let me rent a room from them for the same price the grandparent people were charging! God is good!!

I have migraines. I had them pretty severe in YV. But they went away completely during the year at gma & gps Ks. When I moved to my new home they started up again. My diet changed and included more "triggers", the hours I worked wreaked havoc with my sleep patterns, they had all florescent lighting in their home, and part of me wonders if I am not allergic to something in the air in the woods surrounding their home, and the altitude was a little different… I know the barometric levels makes a difference! But whatever the problem was I had a rough time… plus aside from the stress of dealing with my stepfather and waiting for the police to act, after December 21, we were planning a wedding and having a …
We were married in 1999, and we had our perfect little plan all figured out.

Someone once said,"If you want to hear God laugh, just tell him your plans." God has a plan, if we want what He wants we have to be willing to change our minds, plans and goals to match His… even when we "know" we are right!

Brad was able to buy a newly constructed house before we married… was finished and ready to move in three weeks before our wedding… hmm. Maybe I'll back up and start back a bit further…

In February of 1998, I was still with the Ks. Grandpa Man came to me and said they believed it was time for me to start learning to make and keep a budget. And as part of showing me how to do that they also wanted me to start paying some rent. That was fine with me, I was surprised that they hadn't said something sooner…. Then in August they came and said I was going to have to try to find another place to live. Grandma Lady's blood pressure was acting up and she thought may…
I need to be clear about something… I haven't gone back and read this, I might one day, but I don't feel the need right now, but I know I haven't put a lot of emphasis on Scripture or what I was learning in church or Sunday School. I guess that is because it was such a part of life the things I was learning and growing……… life just happened.
The one portion of scripture I claimed and held on to the tightest was Psalm 37… when I was working at the school in in YV the kids in our class had to memorize the first 5 verses… having 22 kids repeat the same thing to you over and over everyday, sort of pounds it in there… a beautiful promise at a very dark moment in time… exactly what I needed.
Aside from the message from 1 Samuel 16 that I told you about earlier, I don't know that I can give you any other SPECIFIC scripture references. As I learned and grew, under the influence of BK, LG, SG and others, I started, because of their encouragement, to read my Bible every day (…
The end of that drama ended just about 10 years ago. Yet it seems at least ten times longer than that. There is so much more detail… the little things people did that meant so much…

In order to come to Oregon, do the responsible thing concerning my stepfather, to just move forward with life… I had to choose what God had for me regardless of what anyone else thought. I had to not only say I was willing to walk away from my mother (who seemed to need somebody to protect her), had to be willing to do it. And because I was willing He made me able because I kept my focus on Him… and He has blessed me! I have always had a mother figure to turn to when I needed it. And the cool thing about that my moms change with my needs… he knows what I am going to need and when and he draws different relationships closer for those moments that are perfect fit for that "moment". That is why I call them my "Mom of the Moment" because even if it fits for years (like the current one has),…
I was excited! Overjoyed! He was in jail!

The excitement was short-lived. B.K. (not Grandma Lady, the other one) asked me a question and pointed out a scripture that took me to my knees. It was made obvious to me that I was rejoicing in my stepfather's punishment rather than simply praising God and being thankful for being safe and able to do what He required.

I wasn't certain that was true so I prayed that if that was my attiude, vengeance instead of justice… then for the Lord to make that obvious to me, I wanted Him to be glorified.

My stepfather spent a whopping 30 days in jail. He got off because it was 12 months and three days from when I reported until he was arrested… the statute of limitations had run out.

During that 30 days we went down to YV and helped my mother move to BHC, near my grandmother. When we moved her I told her if he ever came back into her life, I would be gone. She said OK… as soon as he was released he was welcomed back by her.

She made the choice fo…
When I contacted the detective here, he was surprised to hear I hadn't heard anything since the previous September, when we went in to make the phone call to my stepfather. He said he would call LAPD and see what was going on.
He called back a while later and said, somehow my stuff got kind of lost in the shuffle. It got set aside. The person who knew about it missed it because someone else didn't know what it was and set it aside and said nothing about it. They found the recording of the phone call and the paper work from my initial report and they were hoping I hadn't relit the fire under them too late.
The detective in L.A. Contacted me for her own collecting of information. She said they would make the arrest soon, but she couldn't say exactly when because they had to Co-ordinate with San Bernardino County, since he was living there and part of the abuse happened there. They had to decide what was going to happen where. So I was left waiting again, but at least I…
We went to Victoria, Canada for our honeymoon. The alternator died on the trip north. It was raining, we had to take a detour because of road construction, and we couldn't use the wipers or headlights… Brad got very frustrated… once he decided we weren't going to make it to the ferry in time he relaxed a little. The second battery of the trip died just as we pulled up to the door of the hotel in Port Angeles. I don't know how he got the car started to get it on the ferry, but he did and we drove straight to the hotel in Victoria, and left it parked for four of the five days we were there, opting to walk everywhere instead. Then the last day Brad decided to go ahead and get the car fixed, so we could go to Buchart Gardens.

We had some difficulty with my comfort because of the abuse from my stepfather. Poor Brad had to deal with things for months/years…

Anyway. Overall it is still what we both consider our best vacation ever… we both just had fun doing whatever, whenever. …
On the eighth day of Christmas… it was the one year anniversary of our first date. I had moved out of the Ks house in August (3 days short of a full year in their home) and moved in with some other Ks. Anyway.
Brad kicked his mom and sister out of the house and fixed me dinner. He had a dozen roses on the table when he brought me to the house. We had a very nice meal complete with dessert. We watched the movie "The Preacher's Wife". Then he proposed. Obviously I said yes. Then he gave me my 8th day present… a ring holder. So when he took me home (after the people I was staying with were asleep), I left the roses and the ring holder on the kitchen counter for them to find in the morning. :). The only one who knew when Brad was going to ask was Mr. Grandpa Man, he said," because it's the longest night of the year."
We decided to marry on Brad's parents' anniversary. That gave us about four months. Do you know it is very difficult to find winter color…
Not talking to my family wasn't too hard, since most communication had been stopped already…
I remember sitting at the counter after having a phone conversation with someone and Grandma Lady was there, she said something to me about it will work out and be fine. I could honestly tell her,"I know. It like I can tell I am in a tunnel and I can see the other end, I just need to get there." (that would be the peace that passes all understanding!!)
Life went on…
Brad and I continued dating. Only going out after church, since church days were the only days I had off. For my birthday that year I was invited to Brad's. His sister had made steak fondue. And the family invited a few friends over, too. Brad bought me a large Teddy bear with a ladybug on it's paw. I had seen it when we were out shopping, I thought it was so cute. Anyway, the people at the party wanted me to tear the bear apart because they just knew a ring had to be in it somewhere… they were wrong, I knew i…
It was already my intention to go to the police, but Mr.B. Made sure to encourage me to do it, pointing out I probably wasn't my stepfather's only victim, and now that I was gone and not returning, he probably had someone new , and it was my responsibility to speak up, do that and hopefully nobody else would get hurt. Wow. I knew all that. I agreed with all that. Having heard someone else say it, made it SO much more urgent.
So we set up a time to go to the police department and I made the initial report and the detective set up a time for us to come back and see if we could make a phone call and record it.
On Sept. 10,1999, Brad went with me to make that phone call. I don't remember much of what was said. I remember lots of "I'm sorrys", I know I was on speaker phone to start and asked him to take me off of speaker, and that my mother was sitting right there in the same room thru the whole conversation. He admitted things, he said he knew he didn't ha…
Brad took me home, or followed me home, after our talk, and we went in the house. I can still see Grandma K on the couch and Grandpa in his glider rocker doing the crossword in the newspaper. I finally got the words together and spit them out… it seemed kind of anti-climactic. Not sure what I expected, but the reply was: Grandma Lady," I know it. Doesn't surprise me at all. Just couldn't do anything without proof." Grandpa Man," Yeah. We kinda suspected it, but you never said anything to let us know for sure.". I think I expected them to be caught completely off guard, I thought I did a pretty good job keeping my secret… Hhmm… I guess not.

The next thing I did was call the Pastor in YV and let him know the truth and confessed I had lied on the paperwork I filled out to work at the school. Then I called B.&S.G (Mr.&Mrs.G) Mrs. G had the same reaction as the Ks. And the same excuse for not doing anything…

Then I called B.&L.G.(Mr.B & Mrs.L) An…
When we got in Pastor's office (Brad's at the time wasn't big enough for two people, lol), we sat down, I hemmed and hawed for a while, then I tried to say my problem was nothing and to nevermind, but he wouldn't settle for that and he wouldn't let me put it off until later… so finally I gathered what I had, and spit out the words,"my stepfather molested me." that was the first time I said it, outloud to anyone… including myself. I won't tell you Brad's initial verbal response, but it shocked me :). Then he went on to reassure me it wasn't my fault, I hadn't done anything wrong… God still saw me as innocent and pure… anyway. But now I had told somebody, and now I was responsible to go to the authorities. Yikes! Could I do this? I barely had the guts to tell Brad.

Well, I needed to tell others too. The Grandparent people needed to know. I was still in their home and who knew what kind of chaos would be headed our way… I felt I should let a …
Brad was the youth pastor of our church. Since we were dating, I got included in some of the teen activities.

One night after an activity in the summer, we took some kids with us to take a girl home who lived like 50 miles away. The girls we had with us were joking and teasing with eachother, then suddenly one leaned forward and asked Brad what he would say if I asked him to marry me. He said, he would say no, because he believed it was the man's place to ask that question. Then he was drawn into a conversation about the roles of each gender in a relationship… I love debates as much as he hates it (opposites, lol). Anyway.

After we dropped off all the teens and we started out toward my house, he asked me what I would say IF he asked me… "I dunno". I am not much for hypothetical questions.

But that got my brain thinking, I had some reality to deal with… that reality would be a problem if I were to get married and not say something.

I didn't know how I was going to say…
My grandpa Hank. He wasn't my grandpa, he was a close friend of my family most of my mother's life. He was probably the most stable force in our life, and he was skitzophrenic.

He was a good man. Patient enough to put up with my grandmother. Generous enough to repeatedly help my mother. Kind enough to entertain me while my mother and grandmother went and did whatever. He always took me to lunch at least once when we would visit my grandma (he always lived within 30 minutes of drive time from my grandmother), and if possible, he took us to church on Sunday when visiting grandma. He came to at least three of my birthdays and taught me and my friends to play blackjack. Of all my family, I knew he loved me… now he was gone. That was Hard, plus the reality that I wasn't going to be able to attend his funeral… I still haven't been by his grave…

But in a way it was a relief, I didn't have to worry about him asking when I was going to return, or come see him again.
The Ks and their family went out of their way to make my birthday and holidays special. Good memories…

The New Year started rough. Both of the jobs I had ended with the end of the year. I applied every where I could think, except fast food. Was not gonna work at McDonadls!! No way…

Guess I had some pride to deal with because I had been saving money since I started working… I had enough to pay my few bills for two months. I actively searched for work, I didn't think (OK I knew) the Ks wouldn't have me stay with them without a job, even if they weren't charging me rent. They had high expectations of me…. I was down to 37.00 in my account, and I had to pay I think twice that for health insurance, plus I had car insurance, a car payment (to the Ks) and I had to put gas in my land yacht… freaking out would be an understatement. What was I Going to do? I couldn't stay if I didn't have a job. Guess I would have to go home and hear "I told you so…". So out of des…
"Obey… in the Lord". I knew that verse for as long as I could remember, but that last part was like a totally new concept… I never realized that to be a condition or guide. I always thought it meant obey and that was it. There was never an explanation before about if you need to choose who to obey, God or parents… it was always assumed God gave you these parents, so His will is for you to obey them. Getting the last three words of that verse to penetrate my braine and my heart was shocking, revolutionizing, freeing! I was able to let go, because the choices my mother was making were against God's will.
(Backing up a little)
Once I was in Oregon and my family knew where I was I got many harassing phone calls from my stepfather. After a few weeks (or maybe a few days… sometimes things feel a lot longer than they are) he called, cussed me and told the Ks that if they wanted me they could have me cuz they (parents) were done with me and didn't give a #%*@&$ any more. That was fine with me, but I knew it was just a game, trying to guilt me in to doing what they wanted. I don't remember how long it was after arriving in Oregon, but I eventually got the courage (with the support of those who loved me) to refuse my mother's phone calls. That was one of the hardest things I ever did… to say,"I don't want to talk to her.". But it was necessary, they were so heavily pouring on the guilt for me breaking my promises to return and accusing me of lying about my motives in leaving home, I could hardly handle it. It was making me a nervus wreck.
I was so encouraged my …
I was confused. Who would be calling me at nearly 9:30 at night? It was the Assistant Pastor? He wanted to know if I wanted to go with him to Sunday Dinner followed by some shopping in the cute little tourist trap town not too far from here. I said OK. Didn't know why… I had all the birthdays of everyone in the church. I knew he was too old for me, so it couldn't be a date! But He didn't know how young I was!
When I hung up the phone and told Grandma Lady who it was and what he wanted, she asked,"Like a date?", when I said no, she said,"Well, what then?". I had no idea!LOL
So that following Sunday, when I got to church several people commented on how nice I looked. Odd, I always dressed my best for church, and I'd worn that dress before…
We went to dinner at a very nice restaurant, the nicest I'd ever been to. When the check came… his credit card was rejected. LOL. But luckily, he had a second card to use :). Then we window shopped for a w…
I went to church here just like I did in YV-every time the doors were open and Prime Time meeting whenever I could. I was only 30 years too young, but I'd always been a Prime Timer, so why not… plus I got the invites here, too. My jobs were co-operative about me having Sundays and Wednesdays off.
Then in December there was a Young Adult Christmas party. As far as I knew, everyone in that class was married. I did not want to go and be the only single there, so I was gonna skip it. Well Grandma Lady wanted me to go, so she talked her grandson into going with me. Rather than viewing us as cousins doing something together everyone thought we were dating, I guess. This motivated one B.E. to get his act together. :)

From what his sister says, he grumbled all the way home about who was that guy and where did he come from???… LOL. He was just a poor guy doing his grandma a favor…
But like I said it motivated Brad. A few days later grandparents K. and I went to a Christmas open house at …
Just as I had convinced myself that as long as I was enduring the abuse, then nobody else was, I convinced myself that now that I was 900+ miles away I would be OK and I could ignore/forget what my stepfather is and what he did.
So, I started life new and fresh. Telling as little about where I came from as possible. We had fun with people asking if the K.s were my grandparents, I'd say "No. She's not my grandma, she's my Grandma Lady.". It was great fun to see the confusion on people's faces.
I brought my birthday card ministry with me… it was a great help in getting to know people. And since I went to the church office for my information, nobody knew I knew their birthday until I handed them a card… that was cool!
When I asked about getting a list of birthdays, the Assistant Pastor mentioned I could order cards through the church's bookstore, and save a few dollars. So I set up a time to stop and look at catalogs before work one day that week. He had…
I cut myself off from most of my people down in YV, but there were a few that convinced me to keep connected, because they didn't talk to my mother much, or were certain they could handle any questions she may ask them. One of these people was S.G.
Even though she had no problem with me leaving home, she didn't see it as a wise choice or timing (remember she didn't know the details of my life-even though we talked and/or saw each other everyday). I still have the letter, she knew home was bad, to go where I knew almost nobody, with no job and no way to get around on my own… there wasn't even a boyfriend there to be moving near. When I got the letter I called her and we talked… I don't remember what was said, but by the time we hung up, she was behind me 100%.
I wasn't cut off from very many for very long, it seems. My parents figured out really quickly and easily where I was. They started calling and harassing almost the very day I arrived in Oregon. He tried…