Posts from the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Missing You

Missing You

 

Sadness overwhelming me,

The absence of your heart…

Your smile…

Your spirit…

Threatens to surpass my will to breathe.

 

War wages in my heart, my mind

My soul.

Competing for top billing,

Anger, regret, grief, and guilt.

 

I’m guilty.

 

I’m bleeding out of every pore,

Screaming at the top of my lungs,

No one hears, no one sees.

Smiles that cannot reach my eyes.

 

Missing you is

– has always been,

My life’s career.

Can’t stop now.

Tax Time

So, I just did my taxes. I use TurboTax™ – we’ve used it for years and it always seems to work pretty well, so why mess with what ain’t broke, right?

I didn’t really expect it to be a heart-wrenching experience, though.  Guess I should have realized that the program would ask about Meghan right off the bat, but I didn’t.  So that was hard.

And then, we get to the end, and my PIN from last year was a number associated with “Dick,” formerly known as the man I loved.  Sigh.

Thank you, TurboTax™, for the double whammy this morning.

In other news, The Walking Dead returns for the second half of season three today…woohoo!  I’ve been watching old episodes all weekend, so I am definitely ready. The bad news is TWD and Downton Abbey are on at the same time.  Boo, hiss, but thank goodness for my DVR!

Just out of curiosity, which would you watch, while the other DVRs?

 

 

Promises, promises

writingI miss blogging.

I know this might seem like a weird statement, considering you’re reading these words ON MY BLOG, but I really don’t write that much of anything – except discussion posts and papers for school – anymore and I am finding that I really, really miss it.

I used to have this really cool blog…man, it was nice.  I taught myself HTML, made my own graphics, updated nearly daily, and had an actual community of bloggers who read and commented on my pages as I read and commented on their pages.  It was just terrific.  And then a stupid man – who we shall, for the purposes of *this* blog, just call “Dick” – got peeved off about some of my blog content (the parts that talked about him) and a whole chaotic mess ensued, causing me to just delete the whole damn blog out of frustration.  Sigh.

Now, I have this shiny, barely-used WordPress blog, and I don’t seem to know what to do with it.  I write infrequently, and when I do write…well, the last few posts have been painful to re-read.  I don’t know that I’m in any better of a headspace now than I was the last time I posted…in fact, it may even be worse.  So, really…what’s the odds of anyone even wanting to read anything here, anyway?

I guess we’ll find out.  I plan to start writing at least three or four times a week, even if it’s nothing else but posting some pictures of my dog.  Likewise, I am going to start commenting and reading others’ blogs on a more regular basis, and maybe I can find that comfy sense of online community again, too.  I can’t promise to always be entertaining, or interesting, or even sane, but I do promise to write.

 

From Another Angle: The Accused

The newest POTSC Never Beyond poster is of a Catholic priest.  The issue is sexual child abuse.  Can we forgive these transgressions?  How far is too far when we’re talking about radical grace and forgiveness?  Who deserves it?  Who doesn’t?  Is anyone just absolutely beyond grace altogether?

These are the questions POTSC is asking us me to answer this week.  And I find that I definitely have something to say on the subject.

I have never been sexually abused.  I come at this question from another angle altogether…from that of the accused.

Long story short, my ex-husband was sentenced to twenty years in prison (to serve eleven) for a sexual offense that I believe he was innocent of.  He recently maxed out – meaning he was not paroled, but released at the maximum date the judge allowed, after 11 years – and is now attempting to put his life together.  Regardless of actual guilt or innocence, our justice system deemed him guilty, and so he must live the rest of his life with the stigma of that guilt.

Just since his release there is a laundry list of the obstacles he has run into (and this is only a fraction of the issues he has had to confront):

  • Finding a place to live.  Because of his date of conviction, the new sex offense living and working laws don’t require him to live 1,000 feet away from schools, churches, daycares, or bus stops, nor is actually prohibited from living in a home with a child present…but he still struggled to find a place to live.
  • When he did finally find somewhere to go, the field probation officers who came to his mom’s house (where his sister and her family were also living) in the middle of the night scared his family to death and threatened to call DFCS on his sister.
  • He can’t find a job to save his life.  The Department of Labor supposedly has a program in place to help people in his situation, but that was a joke…the person running the class he was required to take advised him that “convicted child molesters don’t belong anywhere but in prison.”  This happened in a room full of other people who were NOT convicted anythings…mostly 30-something women looking to find work to feed their families.  Needless to say, he walked out of the class in utter shame and humiliation.
  • Not being able to find work doesn’t mean that he is absolved of having to pay his fines and fees, though.  No, those monies are still very much expected every month, with the penalty for even one month’s nonpayment being a potential return to prison for nine more years.
  • His own family has turned against him…the one person – a cousin – who was willing to put him to work so that he can pay the exorbitant fines and fees he is now subject to has been prohibited from continuing to help him by his mother…my ex’s aunt.  Nice, huh?
  • He is required as a part of his probation terms to take a sex offender class that can last anywhere from 3-18 months, based on the outcome of an assessment that he has to arrange and pay for (to the tune of anywhere from $150-450!).  The top place his probation officer recommended he do the assessment and class through also happens to be the “clinic” run by the same forensic psychologist whose testimony helped to convict him.

It breaks my heart every time I speak with him.  The blows do not ever stop coming.  I pray grace and healing for him every single day of my life, but I honestly do not see how his life will ever get any easier.  For all intent and purpose, he is a societal monster.  A pariah.

Do I hate that women and children all over the world are sexually abused?  Yes, of course, I do.  I desperately hope and pray that someday there will be no more sexual abuse of anyone in this world.  But.

But.

I cannot help but forever have my image of the abuser tainted by the heartache that I know they endure.  Lepers in the Bible are treated better than convicted sex offenders, if my ex’s example is the norm.

So, yes, I can forgive the abuser.  Reading the outcries of the bloggers and POTSC’ers and Grace Mobbers who have shared their stories through this campaign this week hurts my soul.  I cry for every one of them and I pray with every breath in my body that each of them will find solace and peace.  But with the same breath, I forgive their abusers.

[This post is part of People of the Second Chance’s Never Beyond poster campaign.  Who would you give a second chance?]

Happy Birthday!

On July 23rd, 1976 my best friend was born.

Growing up, we didn’t always get along – but that’s just sisters, right? We argued, fussed, and fought, at times, like cats and dogs.

We ignored advice from our parents to be nice to each other – “One day you’re going to APPRECIATE your sister!”

After high school, I kind of went my own way (a dark and somewhat depressing way, which really does not need to be discussed here), while she went hers. Oh, we spoke and spent time together, of course, and hopefully she knew what she meant to me, but in those days I was a bit of a mess, so I’m sure it was difficult for anyone close to me to believe I cared.

In the last ten years or so, we’ve grown exponentially closer; the last two years, though, have really proven out our parents’ early admonition. I truly do appreciate my sister. Beyond that, I cherish her – her spirit, her light, her laughter, and her heart.

There is no one in the whole entire world who understands me better than she does. With my sister, I am able to share the truth of my soul.

I am her biggest fan – she is my sissy-pooh, my best friend, my confidante, my ride-or-die chick.

I could go on for days, but she likes bullet points. Let me just end by saying…

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MISSY! I LOVE YOU!

My thoughts on Casey Anthony

The country’s collective jaw dropped this week as a jury of her peers acquitted Casey Marie Anthony of all charges related to the murder of her 2-year-old daughter, Caylee.  In the aftermath of what may prove to be the most polarizing verdict since OJ many Americans are left wondering not only at the extent to which our judicial system is broken, but also how little Caylee Anthony will ever find justice.

There are simple answer to each of these questions, though both are difficult to swallow: the system is irrevocably broken, and there will likely never be justice for Caylee.

To the people who say that the prosecution did not prove that Casey killed her daughter, I ask only this:  how are you able to so completely suspend your common sense and what you know to be true about human behavior?

Did the defense offer other “possible” scenarios to create reasonable doubt?  I do not believe it did.  I believe it definitely offered up alternate scenarios, but I would not define them as “possible” ones.

Common sense tells us that a child cannot accidentally drown in an above-ground pool and then “wash up” fifteen house down the road, wrapped in a blanket, in a laundry bag, with duct tape on her face…six months later.

It is unfortunate that we are a nation of avid CSI, Law & Order, and NCIS fans.  I believe that the Casey Anthony jury was waiting for that singular “Perry Mason” moment – when some expert whips out a vital piece of evidence at exactly the right moment, incontrovertibly tying the defendant to the crime.

The sad news is that the evidence in this case spent at least four months in a swamp, under water for at least part of that time, leaving little for the experts to work with.

What really disturbs me is that when juror #3 deigned to speak to the public, the main complaint was that “the prosecution didn’t prove how Caylee was killed.”

Is this how the jury decided to acquit Casey Anthony?

If a jury could only convict with “smoking gun” evidence, and never on circumstantial evidence, then our jails and prisons would not be bursting at the seams.  The same would hold true if, as one person insisted, all convictions based on circumstantial evidence were overturned on appeal.

Another blogger that I respect posted on how we as Christians would receive Casey Anthony in our churches on Sunday morning.  The comments on that post were largely positive and encouraging, with the main theme being that of love and acceptance and forgiveness, which is as it should be.

Sure, there were some negative comments, too, which were almost immediately vanquished by others admonishing the negative Nancies to remember that they are not without sin and that we never know the true heart of those sitting in our churches.  True…all true.

On one hand, our hearts are broken for the lost life of little Caylee Anthony; on the other, our hearts must surely break for the brokenness that obviously exists within the remaining members of the Anthony family.

I have no way of knowing Casey Anthony’s heart of hearts.  I do, however, know that my God views Casey Anthony’s life and soul to be just as valuable to His Kingdom as my own.  I also know that my Creator is a God of second chances and I have no doubt that he deems Casey to be just as worthy of another chance as he did me.

Does that sit well with me?  Honestly…no.

But I have to accept it, even though I also believe straight to the core of my being that Casey Anthony defied man’s laws and murdered her beautiful little girl – and then lied her ass off to cover it up – I have to accept it because I have accepted that same forgiveness and grace for myself.

Catalyst

I found out today that I am definitely going to be able to attend Catalyst this October in Atlanta.  I wasn’t sure if finances were going to allow for it, as I won’t have any money until later in the year.  Luckily for me, my mother loves me and agreed to front me the money for my Catalyst ticket.  I am so blessed!

What is Catalyst, you ask?  Well, Merriam Webster defines “catalyst” as “an agent that provokes or speeds significant change or action.”   That is exactly what Catalyst the conference does.  It is a three-day love-and-leadership fest among 13,000 young, open-minded, innovative Christians from around the country.  There are amazing speakers over the second and third day, such as:

  • Andy Stanley, Pastor of North Point Community Church
  • Dave Ramsey, Author, Radio and TV Host
  • Francis Chan, Author of Crazy Love
  • Joel Houston, of Hillsong
  • Blake Mycoskie, Founder, TOMS Shoes

Additionally, on the first day, there are Labs.  The Labs have even more phenomenal speakers, including:

  • Margaret Feinberg, Author, Scouting the Divine (which she gave free copies of to everyone in attendance at Catalyst ’09)
  • Jon Acuff, Author and writer of the blog, Stuff Christians Like
  • Lecrae Moore, Hip-hop artist and founder of LifeReach Ministries
  • Mike Foster, Co-founder of People of the Second Chance

It’s not all just motivational speakers, though.  There is absolutely nothing boring or staid about Catalyst.  There are periods of worship that would move and inspire the hardest heart you’ve ever known.  There is humor and excitement and personal stories shared by real people in real ways.

There are also vendors galore, with interesting products and services available – and they aren’t afraid of giving away freebies!

Catalyst is October 5-7, 2011, at Gwinnett Center Arena in Lawrenceville, GA.  If you are planning to go, let me know!  Maybe we can meet up there!

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