Wednesday, December 31, 2014

My Last 2014

Yep, the last day of 2014. I figured I should say something...but what?

This has been a year of physical trials. Especially for some of my issues, body issues, physical findings while examining a different physical dilemma and an impending diagnosis. Hard, hard and more hard. At some point this shall pass, we know God is faithful and trustworthy and we are depending on him for rest, help, answers and strength. We will have some sort of victory. I can feel it and I believe it. And despite the diagnosis, we will love and support the ones who need it.

Also I should say, I am in love with my children, I feel adored by my husband, I am more than grateful for getting to home school my boys and be at home with them.
I still have the blessings of best friends and wonderful in-laws. 
My sister and I got to see each other after 5 years of not being face to face.

I will be going into 2015 a bit changed. So good not to be stagnant in my walk with the Lord or who I am becoming...
Goodbye 2014. 
(A few beautiful things from this year)
Please don't copy photos without permission

I made this ornament for my tree this year.

Playing with my food.

A birthday request I couldn't resist so I piped Hulk and Darth Maul...interesting combo, I know.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

15 years!

Today, it is exactly 14 days until Christmas and I am celebrating 15 years of marriage with my sweet hubby!

Several moves, a career change, babies, deaths, surgeries and staying home have all been a portion of our journey together. What a wonderful ride it has been!

A recent photo of us on an adventure.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Thoughts on F Words

I warn you that if you do not know me, I use humor to often tackle difficult subjects like this post...

The background 
This coming January, a few women and I have been asked to give a testimony on forgiveness at one of the MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) groups where I live. Of course, I've been praying and pondering on how to approach such a sensitive topic.
 Well, my thinking led to how strong emotions erupt when speaking about forgiving and my mind wondered to other "f" words who conjure similar reactions...

The point hopefully
See if this list of F-words make you wince or evoke a bad memory (If you feel nothing, you might be a psychopath. Just saying).

Feminine (ugh, right)
Fashion (I grew up wearing 80's clothes)
Fumble (including the football term)
Foreign or Foreigner
So how did you do? 

Oh, there's more annoying or negative "f" words. Perhaps you even thought of one I missed, but you get my point. Some of those words are just downright painful for me. See the words in bold.
So this got me wondering if these words alone bother me, does it mean I need work on forgiveness?

No, actually that is a terrible myth. Forgiveness rarely leads to instant restoration of a relationship. Sometimes a relationship has to be severed for safety, but sometimes it is only temporarily. Forgiveness never means that the emotions disappear or even the memories. 
I am no expert so how can I write this to you as truth? I grew up in a hard family with a lot of different kinds of abuse, and that is only the beginning of my journey of extending mercy, forgiveness and grace. I could write a year of blog posts on who or what I have forgiven, but that isn't what I need to share today.

God wants me to share this...forgiveness never ends. It runs deep and overflows daily. It is a choice. And without meaning to sound truly frees us of hurt. Frees us from bitterness and resentment. It liberates us to focus on healing, on moving onto what God wants to do in and for us. Yes, sometimes forgiving is super easy, other times near impossible, but only happens when we surrender the hurt, the unfairness, the person or circumstance to God, our Father...the ONLY one who truly understands and experienced the greatest act of pardoning. 

He knows what happened, he has seen what was done, he knows if we were at fault (which leads to natural consequences) and he allowed it to happen whether we were a victim or a perpetrator. 
Yet, the Lord promises deliverance and restoring if we trust him. 
It is worth it, I promise!

Happily linking up today with wonderful sisters in Christ here:

Monday, November 24, 2014

When 1 Thessalonians 5:18 resonates...

We all know it's that time of year where Turkeys have no idea their fate and families cook gobs of food and regret the leftovers. However, I am NOT going to write another T-day blog post or tell you the thousandth thing I am thankful for...besides that would be way too obvious and easy.
I have a rebellious streak anyways.
Right now, I am suspended between feeling grateful and feeling grumpy to the point that writing about this is the safest way to deal with this dangling dilemma. And I need to face it.

Here's the story:
    Over the past 3 years, I have grown in my gratitude, become more mindful of when I am taking something or someone for granted and making sure I check my heart for sincerity here. I don't want to live with ingratitude for what God did and has done for me and not be thankful for the generosity of Him and other people. I want to be a woman who understands/acknowledges the blessings, grace and goodness she has received and to cherish those.

This would be easier if I weren't human and could be content in all situations...
So guess what happens to sneak itself into my life recently?
 1Thessalonians 5:18. 
"Give thanks in all circumstances for this is God's will for you."

I'll admit that the first time I read this (a few plus years back) that I stumbled,
but I am not desiring to take this verse out of context. I don't believe that God is asking us to be thankful for bad being in the middle of a stomach bug or miscarriage or some horrific news and to be honest, I don't think I have 100% sincerely given thanks in these past circumstances: A suicide, my mom's sudden death, and some abuse.  
I see this verse as personal to each individual. Gratefulness just can't be bought or forced. We have to get there through God working in our hearts in the situations that are his "will for" us.

Am I alone though in wanting a break from the molding, the shaping...the metamorphosis of thy heart?
See, two in my family are waiting for a diagnosis.  Probably not life threatening as long as they have the right type, but nonetheless a syndrome that has affected and will affect their lives.
One half of my heart is grateful because a diagnosis is an answer! It reveals, clarifies, and explains so much. Unfortunately, depending on the diagnosis, it could be downright scary and well, waiting is part of the game and I ain't so grateful for that...waiting is stressful. Yet, in the waiting, we continue to grow in the patience arena. However, this syndrome is a change in our family with limitations, proneness to not so fun stuff and well it will be our fifth major transition since we moved to Grand Junction 3 years ago! Ugh, transitions are just plain tough.

Do you see my conundrum? My heart swings back and forth from thank you and no thank you.
Well, I never said I wasn't a work in progress!

When all of this comes to light, I do believe we will see healing, I have faith we will make it through.
In the meantime, would you pray for our family?  

Happily linking up here:

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Sometimes remembering is the best gift to give...

He came home with a fall-colored plant of Gerbera Daisies and mint-chocolate ice cream. His gifts a gesture that He remembered. One simple act practically overshadowing the years (eight thus far) of grief that still plague my heart every time October 29th comes around. I will always miss my mom.

I know I cannot really explain thoroughly how just remembering is the best gift to give. Sure, listening is supportive and kind words are too, but just the acknowledgement itself speaks life into my soul; communicating love and selfless care.

She lives in Oregon and her schedule is full, yet she still managed to text me and tell me she was thinking of me. She was praying for my heart today.  Again...remembering.

If you haven't experienced great loss and grief, then what I am writing will be hard to understand. However, I can tell you that a day will come (unfortunately) when a loss of some kind will knock your heart out of your chest. I only hope you have someone to love you amidst your pain. 

I pray someone will remember for you too.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Stop the platitudes!

    Her response to my concerns for my family solicited a perturbed reaction inside. She is supposedly my friend.  She could have not said anything or "I'm sorry," but instead she slapped my feelings with a neat package of platitudes..."God is faithful, God is with you, try not to worry."

When did what we struggle with equate with struggling with God or our faith?

My struggles right now are not with God or what he can do or whether he is faithful. 
I am simply demonstrating a normal human response of empathy. 
Yes, I am a bit worried. Yes, I don't want those I care about to hear the dreaded, "There's nothing we can do for you." That will be hard on them and hard for me because I care about how this is going to affect them. 
We need to stop the platitudes!! 
 We need to be careful not to convey the message that struggling is not okay or a sign that someone needs to be spiritually rescued.
 In my experience, Christians are the worst at throwing religious statements in the name of God, but these are often inappropriate responses to someones pain, loss, or trial. These platitudes minimize others' concerns or hurt, make assumptions about the state of one's thoughts and feelings and communicate (whether intentional or not) insensitivity. Yes, the statement, God is faithful is very true, but may have nothing to do with what a person is working through.

If we feel uncomfortable supporting someone's battle, then we need to be honest and tell them. We may even need to stay away from them. We need to be careful not to assume anything or say things that will only make a difficult matter worse!

Whatever we choose, we need to practice saying little with sensitivity.

P.S.  Yes, I have forgiven my friend. Yes, I am extending grace. Right now, I am deciding with God's wisdom whether I should tell her how what she did hurt me.

Linking up today with a true sisterhood: 

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

How to Fight the Pillar of Salt Phenomenon

There's that moment when it comes into my mind's eye...a fleeting memory of regret or sadness at what was lost. I used to reside there for hours without realizing how distracting and crippling this choice was or how it made excuses for me so I could play the victim.
I used to really LIVE in the past and it stole so much from the present. So much.

Around the time I attended college, I became aware of my choice and began to seek God's to move on, desiring for Him to empower me, to heal me from the past, but also to help me forgive myself as well as others.

S-L-O-W-L-Y, I began to release all of the past I had been gripping so hard that my fingers bled, but I was determined to gain victory.

Then, I recently read in the Bible about Lot's wife and how her loyalty seemed divided between the town, Sodom (that God was about to destroy) and the mercy God was giving her family and her by sparing them from this destruction. 
See, she looked back. 
And the cost was her life.
 She became a pillar of salt.
I have been there.  I have looked backed...guilty of what if 's and only if I's. Like Lot's wife, disobedient, content in the familiar and stuck like a salt statue. I call this the Pillar of Salt phenomenon. When my comfort zone is more important than obeying. When I ride the past like a merry-go-round. 

We can fight this. It isn't easy, ya'll! I still have to shoo at the pillar pest and play tug-of-war with my mind and heart.  Christ's death and resurrection was real, is real and we need to start living life based on who we follow (Jesus) and what we believe.  
So, how? No, I am not saying that our past is bad, or not important or that God never uses it for His glory. We need to say no to letting our past choke us.
It ain't simple.  
Some of you really understand that truth. 
Christ's showed us that our past mistakes, broken relationships, etc. ended with His death. Let's walk in freedom one day at a time together!  
You are not alone. PLEASE write in the comments if you would like for me to pray for you and or want to talk more on this. Or go to "contact me" and shoot me an email.

*The inspiration for this post came from the book,Women of the Bible, a one-year devotional study of women in scripture by Ann Spangler and Jean E.Syswerda.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

I had a Dry Run

I had a dry run of writing so I have not posted since April. So sorry fellow followers. Can you forgive me (said with cute, blink, blink eyeballs)?

I was also busy finishing up home schooling two sweet boys and preparing for summer.

I have been debating back and forth about whether I should continue my blog. I have stories to tell, but I keep waiting for an answer from God...should I share them here or put them in a book to entertain and encourage others?

One of my dreams (coupled with a collection of experiences worth telling) is to either speak about or write these stories. Only to whom? To the masses or to a smaller audience? Besides, who am I? It isn't like my stories are better than most, but they itch in my brain and tug at my heart to not keep them all to myself.

DEAR READER...PLEASE give me your opinion, thoughts, and if God is using you to help me, please share with me. I would greatly appreciate it!!!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

When your the key that doesn't fit

(Story by Dionne Adkison)
  The story and art idea owned by me. Please don't copy, share or distribute without permission.

    Shaking hands with the locks they were created for, all of the keys matched their counterpart except for one. A slender, silver key-without fancy and void of its pair. There it lay, all alone and without purpose.

What could one do with a key that didn't have a lock to open? Toss it, I suppose. Well, now that would be unkind wouldn't it?  After all, whoever heard of making a key just to make one?
Yet, why keep something so out of place and useless?

The caring owner of all the keys, out of compassion I guess, kept the silver key. Inside an abandon drawer, it sat. And sat. And SAT. Unused, ignored, and forgotten. 

Alas, a young woman found her grandfather's junk drawer. She discovered the antique key and gently moved it back and forth in her dainty hands. With no lock to open, the key became a piece in the art work the young woman created. She smiled that her art was complete.

In a tiny, modern gallery, people pointed and pondered the silver key among the golden-laced earring, a red high heel, a black and white die, half a heart, and a salt shaker. Until a hunched over older woman purchased the work and put it in her tea room. Each day she smiled at the unpaired pieces that the artist so perfectly matched.

Often, I struggle to NOT feel like this key...out of place and abandoned. The reality is, I was abandoned often in my childhood. As an adult, on many occasions, I feel awkward among my peers.
Sure, it is easier to blame myself. To speak lies into my head, "I am the weird one. I need to be different." At times, I have made it the other person or group's fault. They are insecure. They have issues. Only God really knows the truth of the matter. I just wish he would let me in on it.

Perhaps, that's the point-I am not supposed to be in on it. Seems cruel. At least to me. Yet, I know my being in the dark is a way God keeps me dependent on him. I need to be dependent on him in this life. After all, he is my defender, my healer, and the one who saves me from my own false perceptions. Thank goodness!

If I have learned anything in my 20 year relationship with the Lord...
Sometimes the very purpose 
of our hurt or alienated feelings are simply to bless others.

This is what I need to remember: it isn't all about me!

Linking up today with Jen at SOli Deo Gloria. Join us here

Thursday, March 27, 2014

The Best Breakfast ever...a recipe too and vegan friendly.

Okay, you might disagree. 
Let me tell ya though that in the right quantities, it is healthy, full of nutrition, satisfying and packs a powerful burst of energy...great for post-workout meal. I promise I AM NOT selling any product.
No gimmicks. No diet platform.

Ever since we figured out the foods causing my hubby to feel bad and get headaches, it has changed the way we view food.  We are trying to budget more whole, homemade foods...does anyone have some energy to spare so I can find the strength (okay, time too and patience to knead bread dough) to make more from scratch items?

So what is in my best breakfast ever? See below...

So here are some pictures of my yummy breakfast:
Nuts, fruit, protein powder and either flax or chia seeds (I used chia seeds here) makes a very healthy breakfast or post-workout meal. So tasty. You can also use a small amount of milk/soy/almond milk or you can add plain or lowfat/low sugar yogurt of your choice as well.

My favorite nuts to use are slivered almonds. I put some cashews in this bowl.       

*Power packed Breakfast By Dionne Adkison

1 1/2 cups of varied fruit
1/2 cup of nuts
one scoop or tablespoon of protein powder (vegans can use soy)
1 Tbsp of chia or flax seed (you can use powder instead)
OPTIONAL: Add in a 1/4 cup of your favorite yogurt or milk (nondairy soy, coconut or almond for a vegan friendly version

1) Mix any combination of your favorite fruit. I always include a half a banana with assorted berries, but I have in a pinch put together apples or pears with bananas too when berries were not in season or expensive. Oooh, try Kiwi with bananas and strawberries. Yuh-um.

2)Add in any form of nuts you like. My favorites are almonds and cashews...together or separate. However, peanuts with bananas and blueberries is awwwwesome. Try Walnuts too.

3)Next add protein or whey...depends if you are vegetarian or vegan.

4. Toss in some chia or flax seeds and you have a power-packed, densely nutritious meal.

*You get fiber, vitamins, minerals, protein, omega 3's, good carbs, natural fruit sugar that won't spike your blood sugar and just enough calories to stave off morning stomach gurgles. 

Now, go enjoy this hearty meal...your body will thank you!!!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

What is more precious than gold?

He tells me to close my eyes. I had just returned from having a woman squeeze my tatas with a vice grip as if she was expecting juice from them. You would think that with today's technology, someone could suggest a kinder way of checking for cancer in my bumps. Next time, I think I will negotiate an ultrasound and cat-scan.  Back to hubby-he hands me a special treat to celebrate my first mammogram. I gasp, then laugh. On a purple plate, two scoops of vanilla ice cream are sandwiched between two graham crackers with slices of strawberries and red hots facing out like headlights. 
Chew on that mental picture...

My youngest son gives me at least thirty pecks on my cheek with a doubly hard hug. Then, he proudly exclaims, "That was the hardest hug-EVER!"

My first born son and I giggle as he gets me with a pillow because he has figured out that this is what you do when you love can playfully tease. And I adore the banter between us.  

When I was in college, I used my engagement ring as a model for creating a sculpture. My art piece is a thin, three dimensional metal circle with metal prongs holding a white rock so elegantly on a red, crushed-velvet pillow. The ring art symbolized getting married, the commitment and the promise to come.  Yet, it wasn't the diamond or the shiny gold that was valuable. It was what it meant for my future. Now, the ring is a permanent fixture in my life, my garden-like the beauty of vowing to love my husband forever...
Check out the escapee-a metal mouse (top right).

And what is more precious than gold..?  These moments of bliss with my family.

 Prompt#3-a blog inspired by the word gold. 
Linking up today at Mama's Losin It...for a bit of inspirational writing  Go here.

Monday, February 24, 2014

The Thickets: A tale of setting boundaries.

Once upon a time when miles of forest still existed, lived the Thickets. A small family in a small house deep in the heart of the trees. Each day, the Thickets gave thanks for what they had and rarely wanted more. Even a crumb was thought of and given so kindly to the little injured bird who called the Oak tree to the right of the cottage home.
    The Thickets made do with what they had, foraging, hunting, preserving and not wasting anything. They had no mailbox, cell phone, T.V., or even a computer. If they desired to converse with neighbors, they had to walk the crooked path that followed the creek and meet in person.

One day, Mrs. Thicket was feeling lonely. All the other thickets had gone exploring to find something new and Mrs. Thicket really needed to share her heart. She decided to follow the crooked path parallel to the creek to see if she would run into Mrs. Ravine or Ms. Birch, but she didn't. Where was everyone? I usually run into someone eventually, she thought. She strode a few miles farther to the vast meadow just beyond the forest and began to descend down the hill.
       She gasped when she saw the strangest trees and the chaos before her. Each tree seemed blue-gray with the sky painted on them. There were people everywhere rushing to and fro, but they were not speaking to one another nor were they even looking at each other. Instead, she noticed strange, rectangular objects of various sizes in their hands. Everyone was intently interested in these odd items. So much so that they would look up for a mere second to not bump into one another, but they would quickly return to the creature attached to their hands.
Mrs. Thicket saw Ms. Birch and gently tapped her shoulder only to be halted with Ms. Birch's pointy finger. Mrs. Thicket waited and waited and waited. She sighed. She was losing patience. She did not understand what was so much more important than a friend that she should have to wait to even be acknowledged. Finally, Ms. Birch looked up and said, "Oh, hi Ann. I am so sorry, but I must really get back home. Maybe I can text you tomorrow?"
  "Text", Ann asked? Before Ann could get a straight answer, Ms. Birch was already heading back to the forest. Feeling confused and noticing the beautiful, red sky approaching, Mrs. Thicket knew she needed to get home since she didn't bring a candle to light her way.
When she arrived home, Ann's eyes widened in disbelief! There in her quiet home, was Mr. Thicket and her two children dragging and punching their fingers across those rectangular thing-a-ma-bobs!!
No one looked up to greet her. It was if she was invisible. She thought to herself, I am going to get to the bottom of this. I will not be ignored.
     She raised her voice with frustration, "What is going on?" The other Thickets jumped and looked up quickly at mama.
    Mr. Thicket said, "Oh, hi dear. Look what we found today in the woods. Mr. Ravine called them cell phones and they have this interesting ability called, internet. We can communicate with people without ever having to walk and talk to them in person. Isn't that great?"
Ann didn't want to lose her temper so with firm compassion she said, "No, it is not great. I feel sad that when trying to communicate with my friend, Ms. Birch or my family, I was barely acknowledged. Today, just beyond the meadow I saw the most terrible and tragic truth. I witnessed people dismissing each other. Children playing on these contraptions instead of dressing up their dolls, or making forts or building sleeping bags from leaves for caterpillars. I saw people not even stopping to see the most gorgeous sunset!"

The Thickets didn't defy the modern times by giving up their devices, but Mr. Thicket per Mrs. Thicket kind request, set specific boundaries that severely limited the days and amount of time on these modern phones. THEY NEVER missed another sunset after that!

Happily linking up with a great sisterhood: Soli Deo Gloria, come join us here

Friday, February 14, 2014

This Post says I love you in a whole new way!

Just when you think you are truly alone or no one notices you,
when you believe no one understands your struggle or hurts,
perhaps, you think no one is listening...

And then:

He paints this picture for you.

You hear, "Bring me your heart. Commit your way to me and trust me and I will make your righteousness reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun.
I see you and I know your struggles." Psalm 37:5-6

There IS a God who sees us- El Roi (El Raw-ee) 
the name Hagar the slave gave to him.

Happy Valentine's Day. May we see it differently today!

Thursday, February 13, 2014

My Valentines through the decades.

Tomorrow, my kids will be attending their first Valentine's Party ever, but not at a public school. It is at the church we attend. They are schooled at home. I always attended either a public or private school, but my family didn't go to church.
    This year, the boys and I made our Valentines for everyone. Good ol' card stock, wax paper and markers! No fancy Pinterest items here, but this idea is not mine...stole it off, you guessed it, the internet. Around 22 kids who are also home schooled will be getting what you see below.

When I was in school (I attended public school), we never made our own Valentine's cards. I remember buying our cards from the nearest grocery store. We were pretty poor, but my mom always managed to find the money to pay for those super impersonal cards and some off brand juice or cookies that we were asked to bring. But, hey, any  excuse to take an hour during school to ridiculously consume too much sugar as a kid was divine.

Gathering inspiration today from Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop. Go here to join!

Saturday, February 1, 2014

The Dinosaur...See it again Saturday

Welcome to see an old post/or photo again, Saturday! Enjoy below:

He decided to get into the picture!


Sunday, January 19, 2014

Too pooped to party-encouraging all those tired mommas!

Okay, anyone else ever feel like the Tasmanian Devil? Yet, when the spit noises and twirling fast like a mad woman are over, you feel dizzy and too pooped to party? My heart is full of a serving attitude and deep in me-this calling to lead, to sacrifice, to use my artistic gifts is a twisting tornado that begs to leave a loving imprint behind, but this momma needs to rest.

As much as I would love to convince you that I am Wonder Woman, I don't think you would buy it!
     There are just times in life when you really can't stop. You have said no to all you can, but little ones can't be neglected or feed themselves. Injured hubbies can't do the work. Laundry eventually has to be washed AND two birthdays of two precious sons beg to be celebrated.

Ever wonder how we do it? Where the energy or strength comes from?  It HAS to be the Lord. We must rely on him all times so we can do more than survive life...where we surf our Lord's "Energy and Love Wave as he guides us to his shore of rest.

Let us memorize the verse below and recite it each day!

 "O LORD, be gracious to us; we long for you. Be our strength every morning, our salvation in time of distress." -Isaiah 33:2

Friday, January 17, 2014

Six Word Fridays: Leap, sometimes you must bravely jump.

Joining Six Word Fridays for the first time:

My Memory Art six word fridays

Sometimes you just have to leap,
Close your eyes and bravely jump,
Trust in the Lord of All,
To catch you should you fail.
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