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Life in 2016

Reflections of 2016

December 30, 2016

December 27, 2016

December 21,2016

December 6, 2016

December 5, 2016

December 3, 2016

December 1, 2016

November 28, 2016

November 27, 2016

November 26, 2016

November 20, 2016

November 18, 2016

November 8, 2016

Reflections of 2016

Can you believe that this year is almost gone? I can’t but I am ready to start 2017 with a fresh, positive, and energized outlook. I know in my heart that this new year will be better than last year. I also know that God has some truly amazing things in store for me and my family. I can’t wait to see what He has planned for us in the upcoming months!

We have been through alot this past year. The year started off really rocky. There had been some nasty rumors and gossip that caused us to leave our church and lose contact with some people. It was also filled with some nasty messages, hateful comments, and posts from people who chose to believe the rumors.

I’ve learned to forgive even if you don’t feel that they deserve forgiveness. Forgiveness lets you move on and heal from the pain.

My oldest daughter finished up boot camp and then DD17 and DS21 took a road trip to Missouri to bring her back home. Then we had a lot planning to do for DD19’s wedding. It was really hard to stay strong for my kids and my family but I refused to let the chaos and nastiness get me down.

I filed for divorce after being separated for nearly 2 years. It was a painful and difficult decision that I prayed a lot over. It was not the outcome I wanted but it was what needed to be done at the time to protect my family and myself from his behaviors and actions. We have come a long way since then and are working to be the best parents we can be to our children.

I am learning to be content in whatever situation I am in and wherever I may be. I will change the things I can change, focus my attention on God, and let Him handle the things I have no control over.

Our family got larger with the additions of a niece and a nephew, both of which I absolutely adore. There was a camping trip where I got to go salt water fishing for the first time and I loved every minute of it. This was a welcome relief prior to the stresses of the wedding where we had last minute changes that threatened to ruin the whole thing. I am pleased to say that it was a success and it is now a beautiful memory for us to cherish.

During those stressful times I found out who my true friends were and became closer to my best friend. She really came through for me when I needed her. I had another friend who also came through and was a lifesaver, quite literally, and he was the calm in my storm on a few occasions.

There was a brief romance where my already tender heart was shredded and ripped apart. This was harder on me than my divorce as it came at me unexpectedly and then it was over without any warning or explanation. I lost someone who I considered to be one of my best friends with the end of that relationship. I know that my questions will continue to go unanswered and I know that there would never be anyway to get back what it was that we had. It still brings tears to my eyes but I do treasure the moments we had.

I am learning that it is much easier not to question God when something happens but rather to embrace it and trust that He knows best. 

Then I attempted online dating which I quickly learned wasn’t for me. I did meet a couple of really nice people and I went on a couple of dates but we didn’t really click. I quickly found that dating by text is not for me either. I need to be able to see the person and hear their voice. I want to know that they are not a figment of my imagination. I did make a friend through the dating site and we still text on a semi-regular basis.

We had another camping trip where I took the five kids and myself. It was an adventure that we all enjoyed and thankfully survived. There was moment that I wasn’t sure if I would make it as I had fallen in the river. Luckily I had a life vest on and I was able to stay calm until someone was able to reach me. The crazy thing was that he was able to walk out to me but I was just a little bit too short to reach the bottom.I think I swallowed my yearly quota of river water that day.

I’ve had many more episodes of the gossip mill. There were days and weeks that I felt I should just write a soap opera about my life. I finally realized that the problem wasn’t really with me but with the ones who were starting and spreading the rumors. This was a big turning point for me and the way I handled the stress and drama from those situations. I also had some painful revelations about family and friends.

Then there was the flu bug that hit us around Thanksgiving. I was upset that we were not able to visit with family but fortunately God did give me the strength and supplies to make our own impromptu dinner. I wasn’t able to eat but I made up for that at Christmas dinner with my daughter and son-in-law. That was definitely a dinner to remember as the police showed up twice!

I have learned to be ready to receive a blessing at any moment and any time.

These are just some of the ups and downs of my past year. There have been a lot of firsts like the salt water fishing, a low country boil (I actually had twice this year), and online dating. I can say that I have lived, loved, been loved, and have been truly blessed. Life has taught me a lot about myself, relationships, and God’s will for my life. There have been many surprises, good and bad, but all in all it was a wonderful year.

I hope you can also look back on the past year and see what has happened. Take a moment to reflect on what you’ve experienced and then think about what you want to experience in the 2017. I pray that each and every one of you will be blessed abundantly in the upcoming year. I pray that God will touch your lives and supply your needs, whatever they may be.

 

 

 

It’s Natalie not Octomom

I’m sure most of us remember the story about “Octomom’. The single mother of 6 who underwent IVF and gave birth to octuplets. There was a ton of media coverage and backlash on anyone involved in the controversy. It raised a lot of questions about a lot of different issues that I am not going to get into.

What I do want to point out is that she is in the news again, in a more positive light. She is using her experience for the good and so many of us can learn a lot from her transformation.

She admits that she had turned to stripping, pornography, and adult films to earn income to support her family. She has also admitted to being addicted to Xanax. She was receiving public assistance, which is not a bad thing, but failed to report the earnings she had made. This caused her some legal problems.

Think about the situation she was in. Can you imagine what she was going through? Can you imagine the shame and disgust that must have went through her mind at times? This could’ve have been part of the reasoning for the drug addiction. Can you imagine not having anyone to support you during such a hard time? She had so much negative publicity surrounding her that it was probably hard to find a ‘decent’ job.

As a mom of many I can only imagine how overwhelmed she must’ve felt at sometimes. I have six kiddos underfoot all day, I have had as many as eleven at one when I was fostering. From some of the articles I’ve read she didn’t seem to have a lot of support coming in. She was also going through family issues and dealing with the death of her mother.

She seems to feel that she deserved at least some of the judgement and negative publicity she received but she decided she didn’t want that to haunt her family. She has apparently decided to make some big life changes. I, for one, am encouraged to see this. She also owns up and accepts responsibility for the bad choices she has made and she doesn’t want her past to be a reflection on her children’s futures.

She has left the adult film industry and is now working as a counselor. She is still receiving some public assistance but is trying to better herself. I admire her for going public about her struggles and especially for admitting what she has done and not placing the blame on others.

I also admire and respect the fact that she has not put her children (at least to my knowledge) in the spotlight and has tried to protect them from as much of the negativity as she could. I know that being a single parent is hard and being a single parent to 14 must be extremely hard. When you are constantly surrounded by negativity and drama that does put an almost unbearable weight on your shoulders.

For all those moms (or anyone else) who are feeling down and discouraged please don’t give up! Sometimes we have to hit rock bottom before we ever look up to see where we are. Just remember to take it one step at a time and keep pushing forward. Don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it. It takes a strong person to admit they need help and to ask for it. If someone offers to help then please don’t push them away.

Always remember that GOD loves you! Nothing you have done, are doing, or will do can separate you from His love!

You may also like to read:

Turning I Can’ts into I Cans

God uses cracked pots

We need mentors

Open Doors

 

Additional credit to:

‘It’s haunted us’: Octomom Nadya Suleman changed her name and found a regular job in effort to escape criticism for having 14 kids while on government help 

‘I WAS ADDICTED TO XANAX’

It’s true, I went to a bar!

I’m not perfect. And who knows how many times I’ve fallen short. We all fall short. That’s the amazing thing about the grace of God.’- Tim Tebow

If you have read some of my previous posts then you may understand this quote. I have been dealing with a lot of gossip and rumors for a while now. Some of the rumors have some truth to it and some of them are just outright lies.

I will admit to anything I’ve done. I won’t lie and try to cover it up. In fact, maybe sometimes I am too honest about what I have and have not done. I’ve always asked people to come to me if they have questions about anything in my past. Well, unfortunately there are some people who don’t do that and would rather try to publicly humiliate me.

The past few weeks have been really bad for me as someone spread a lot of rumors about a night out that I had with my best friend. We went to a bar, yes a bar, and we had a good time. By good time I mean we enjoyed the music and we talked. We talked a lot about everything. Our marriages, our children, our pasts, our regrets, and the opportunities that may come our way in our futures.

We did not go bar hopping as people have claimed. Nor did we go to pick up anyone, in fact we didn’t even talk to any males that were there. We were simply there to get away from some of the stresses at home and to talk. Yes, I know there are probably other places we could’ve went but we did enjoy the music there the time we had been before.

Gasp! Yes, I just admitted that we went to the bar another time before this one. Again we did not go bar hopping or to pick anyone up. We ate some dinner together and enjoyed the music. (Yes, we did have a couple of drinks.)

That time we did talk to a few members of the opposite sex only because they had come to talk to us. There were no long or inappropriate conversations with anyone else and we did not dance with anyone. We didn’t even accept any drink offers, not even from the bouncer.

I didn’t feel the need to post about these outings as they were outings with my best friend. I didn’t realize that these outings would become such a big deal to so many other people. It wasn’t that I was hiding the fact that we went out, as anyone who mentioned it to me knows, but I never felt that it was something that needed to be publicized. We don’t make it a habit to go out to bars and I never imagined that this would’ve been such a big mess.

I don’t like people who hide things. We’re not perfect, we all have things that people might not like to see, and I like to show my faults.’ – Grace Jones

We are often times so afraid to admit things we have done for fear of what others might say or do when they find out. I have come to learn that in this day and age there is almost nothing that is done in secret and everything will be found out in one way or another. The thing is that God already knows what we did or didn’t do.

When I have done something wrong He will convict me just as He does for everyone else. We are the ones who will decide whether to repent or not and to turn from whatever it is that we are being convicted of. It is not our place to judge one another for what they have done or haven’t done.

And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? – Matthew 7:3

So I apologize if I’ve misled anyone to think I was perfect or that I am not human and I don’t make mistakes. I am flesh and blood and make mistakes just like everyone else. I try to learn from those mistakes and I also try not to repeat them.

If you have something that you have been judged for then take it to God. Ask for His wisdom and guidance about the matter. Remember that it is best to be honest about it in the beginning. If you try to hide it then others will just try to hold it over your head. They may even start making personal attacks on you and your character. Please remember that nothing you have done can separate you from God’s love.

Related articles:

November 18, 2016

Turning I Can’ts into I Cans

Who Am I?

November 20, 2016

Today is a good day! God is so good! He has blessed me far more than I ever deserved to be blessed.

I still have things swarming around that bother me but I know He is using all of these things (good and bad) to shape me into a better person. It may hurt a little now but if I just trust Him this pain will be nothing more than a faint memory in the near future.

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. -Romans 8:28

We are to praise Him always, in the good times and in the bad. It is easy to praise Him when things are going good but it can be a test of faith to keep the praises going when things are tough.

(A Psalm of David, when he changed his behaviour before Abimelech; who drove him away, and he departed.) I will bless the LORD at all times: his praise shall continually be in my mouth. My soul shall make her boast in the LORD: the humble shall hear thereof, and be glad. O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together. I sought the LORD, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears. – Psalm 34:1-4

So how is your day going? What are you thankful for? Take minute right now not to ask for anything but just to thank God for His blessings on you and your family.

For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.

– 2 Corinthians 4:17-18

November 18, 2016

This week has been hard, really hard. It has been painful and upsetting. I have been dealing with a lot of gossip and rumors for what seems like an eternity. Every time things get bad I have tried to find the source to no avail. However there has always been one person in the center of it who wants to know everything.

This person is a family member. This person is someone I should be able to trust to look out for my best interests and well being. I don’t know how anyone could constantly want to keep stirring up trouble for others, especially those who are close to them.

It seems that every time things are going well for me or my family then the rumors start. If my attention seems to be going to someone other than this person then the rumors start. If I seem to be having too much fun or enjoying life too much then the rumors start.

I always seem to be the last person to hear about it. Then when things get really bad someone will let me know what they’ve heard. Then it always seems that there have been previous tales that no one wanted to mention but considering the latest news they feel the need to mention them. This time it has been said that some of the rumors can not be repeated and that everyone knows I would not have done what was said.

The pain from this can get almost unbearable and can cut through my soul like a knife. When I hear the rumors I know that it is someone close to me and that breaks my heart. My heart has been broken so many times in just the past few months that it is scarred more than you can imagine.

It leaves a person afraid to trust anyone. I don’t have many close friends because of this. I don’t want to possibly drag anyone else into this constant drama that I am dealing with on regular basis.

When confronted this person does not seem to have any remorse for the damage and pain they have inflicted on me, my family, and others around us. They deny any knowledge of who could be responsible or why they would be doing it. They always pass the blame on to others and say it is because of jealousy. They can build a convincing case against anyone.

The sad thing is that this person can also convince others that the gossip they spread is true. The rumors have gotten outrageous and out of control lately. I had chosen to ignore them thinking that the ‘do nothing’ approach would quiet the storm. It only seemed to make it worse and this person redirected their attacks on me.

There is usually a bit of truth to the gossip they tell, as is usually the case with gossip. However they embellish the stories and take them way out of proportion. They intentionally add details to hurt others and to cause people to question one another’s true character and morals.

This week, as in times before, these rumors and lies have caused major misunderstandings between my ex husband and myself. It has taken us a long time to get to the friendly place we have been at lately but now that relationship is strained again. This in turn has affected our children as he has not come to visit them or to take our little birthday girl out to dinner.

Earlier in the week I was on a mission to track down the source, once again. I made several calls and sent a few texts. I finally came to one conclusion after talking to many different people. That conclusion was that the person who I had confronted about the situation before was indeed the one who started the gossip yet again. Granted, each and every individual who passed on the gossip is guilty too, but this person is in my house everyday.

I have struggled a lot this week to treat this individual in respectable way. I want to scream and yell at them. I want them to experience the hurt and pain they have caused me. They saw me in tears Sunday night when I learned of the rumors. They listened when I explained part of what was going on and yet they showed no emotions, no remorse, nothing. They immediately pointed the finger at a person I hadn’t talked to more than once in the past few months.

I admit I have been a bit cold towards this person this week. I admit I don’t know how to handle this situation. I have prayed and prayed and prayed. I pray when he comes in the door, when he sits and watches TV, when he leaves, even when he isn’t here. I pray that God will give me wisdom when I speak to him and that he will give me the words to say. I pray that he will give me the strength to get through each and every day because I know that it will get easier as the days go by. This is a lesson I have learned so many times just this past year.

Do you know what has kept me from acting out towards this person? Love. I love this person and I could not cause them the pain and hurt that they have caused me. I know God loves this person too. God loves me and He has shown me that love time and time again. I have to pray when it is hard that He will help m continue to show His love, mercy, and grace. That He will not let my light be dimmed by this situation.

When we truly love someone we want the best for them, even if it hurts us. We share in their joys and triumphs. We grieve with them when they are hurt or have lost something important. We encourage the ones we love and we do our best to build them up and support them. Even if we have the chance to expose their flaws and shortcomings, we don’t if  we truly love them.

I pray that God will touch his heart and help him see what he is doing. He doesn’t just do it to me but to everyone around him. I pray for God to help me to forgive him but also that God will help me not to give him an opportunity to spread any more lies about me. His lies have caused major misunderstandings with a close friend of mine also. I have pretty much given up on repairing that friendship and have left it in God’s hands. I pray that God will build a hedge around me, my family, and my friends to protect us from this gossiper.

I also pray that God will keep reminding me that it is Satan who is working through this person to get to me. I am trying my best to remember that and it makes me pray even harder for this person.

I keep reminding myself that nothing that happens today can separate me from God’s love or God’s will for me. He loves me no matter what has been said and He knows me. He knows where my heart is and He knows what I’ve done or not done. In the end that is all that really matters.

Turning I Can’ts into I Cans

As I stand at the kitchen island I have a million thoughts going through my head. I’m sipping my hot coffee while waiting for the muffins to finish and watching the kids play patiently. This post came to my mind and it was originally meant to give ways to encourage your children to do things when they feel that they can’t do things. Continue reading Turning I Can’ts into I Cans

God uses cracked pots

And the vessel that he made of clay was marred in the hand of the potter: so he made it again another vessel, as seemed good to the potter to make it.  -Jeremiah 18:4

I know that often times we get caught up in things we believe we ought to be doing, the way we should look, or where we should be in life. Sometimes we wonder if we are too damaged or flawed to be of use anymore or to be able to do what we need to do. Maybe we have things in our past that we are not proud of, things that have chipped away at our self confidence, esteem and maybe even our reputation. Continue reading God uses cracked pots

Beware of the Jezebels

Recently I was doing a study on being a help meet. I have done this same study before when I was married and I just needed something to occupy my mind. I figured it wouldn’t hurt to refresh myself on it in the event that the good Lord may send someone my way.

As I was reading there was a section on Jezebel. It concerned me greatly because of recent events going on around us.You can read more about her in 1 Kings. There is also mention of her in Revelation 2:20. (As I write this I am referring to Jezebel as a woman but men can also have this evil spirit within them too.)

She will prey on people who are smart and intelligent. She will want to be friends with those in power like the pastor, the boss, or other people with positions of leadership and power. She will gradually corrupt their visions and thoughts. She will poison them and everyone around them. She can and will destroy them and everything around them. This includes marriages, families and churches.

She will prey on those who are weak. She will find weaknesses where there seem to be none. She may start out as being a follower to these individuals only to assert her power over them at a later time. She will use her followers like puppets to spread her poison throughout.

Jezebel will often appear to be a very spiritual person. She will appear to be more religiously devoted than others and will often claim to be inspired by God, a prophetess. People will follow her advice only to find themselves deceived in the end.

She will defend and become confrontational if accused of doing something. No matter how horrible, sick, or perverted the act she will never admit any wrongdoing and will never repent. She will justify everything she does by her ‘visions’ or by her spiritual insights. She will never show any true humility.

She will challenge authority figures and will attempt to be a leader in every situation. She will go to extremes to discredit the leaders and to cause them to fall. She will be very critical and judgmental and will be so convincing that others will fall victim to their lies and believe them as well. Jezebel will constantly eat away at their victim’s self confidence until there is nothing left. Jezebel will constantly play mind games and create situations that cause themselves to be the center of attention.

The Jezebel spirit is an extremely powerful demonic spirit of perversion, lust, manipulation, mind control, witchcraft and the occult. It can manifest itself in various forms such as lies, rumors, strife, adultery, fornication, homosexuality, competition, bitterness and hatred.

We can see these traits in many women of power. These women claim to be working for the good and may seem to be charming, friendly, trustworthy and generous but they will and have deceived us.

When we use them as role models we see our lives falling apart, our families, our marriages, our communities, our churches and our country will also fall apart.

When a Jezebel is in a position of leadership then she will bring shame to her position. She will cause the downfall of whatever endeavor she is involved in.

If a Jezebel is trying to control her marriage then it can be devastating. She will attack her husband’s role as head of the family. This spirit will undermine her husband and make him lose interest in his responsibility to his family. He will become distant with her and will not feel that he can trust her with his feelings.

Eventually it will cause all kinds of chaos and strife in the family. Parents and kids will constantly be fighting and arguing over everything. There will be no peace to be found.

If you can relate to any of these traits then you can begin by asking God to forgive you. Ask God to show you the way out of the darkness and he will begin to make the change.

If you see this in your church or somewhere around you then be prepared for a fight as this spirit is very powerful and it will take a great battle to rid this spirit.

Don’t feed the lizards!

Continue reading Don’t feed the lizards!

Taking out the trash.

Continue reading Taking out the trash.

Its Not About Me.

Original Blog Post July 12, 2016
Over the past few weeks I have had my feelings hurt quite a bit by someone close to me. I couldn’t understand what I had done to deserve the treatment I was receiving. It brought back so many painful childhood memories and was making me think about making some major life changes.
I didn’t confide in many people about how I was feeling and those people didn’t believe what was going on could be as bad as I felt it was until they saw it for their own eyes. Feeling justified in my feelings didn’t help anything. It didn’t change the behavior either.
Then things kind of blew up a few days ago. This person was being more annoying than ever. This person had to be the center of attention at ALL times. They demanded the attention and if they didn’t get it then they would make up something to get it. I kept feeling like I was being reprimanded for things that they imagined had happened. I noticed that problems were being instigated by these imaginary events. This person was becoming increasingly arrogant and rude to everyone around them.
Finally myself and someone else just told them that we were tired of it. Apparently one after another we let him know how we felt. Did that stop the behavior? No, because it got turned around that we were the ones with the problem. They were the innocent party in the whole mess and couldn’t understand why people were upset with them. Things were a bit tense for a bit but eventually cooled down.
I had lost my temper, which takes a lot, because this person kept accusing me of causing something. Finally after beating myself up over this I had enough. The next time they got in my face about it then I just told them to ‘Stop!’, and I walked away but I ended up looking like the dramatic one.
As I’ve thought about the events I realize that this has been an ongoing problem. When I was younger I never felt like anything I did was ever good enough. No matter what award or achievement I reached this person always had something to top it. No matter how much stuff this person has they always need more. If the neighbor gets something then they have to have one bigger and better too. (Even if they have 10 of them not being used already.) They were always quick to dole out criticism but angered if someone gave it back to them. These are just a few of the things that I have been reminded of.
As I’ve thought about the events I realize that this has been an ongoing problem. When I was younger I never felt like anything I did was ever good enough. No matter what award or achievement I reached this person always had something to top it. No matter how much stuff this person has they always need more. If the neighbor gets something then they have to have one bigger and better too. (Even if they have 10 of them not being used already.) They were always quick to dole out criticism but angered if someone gave it back to them. These are just a few of the things that I have been reminded of.
When it boils down to it this person is selfish and doesn’t truly care about the feelings of the people around them. They only look at what they can gain from being around others and don’t take into account how others will feel about being used.
This person was robbing me of my joy. I no longer wanted to even be around them. They even had me questioning my own memories about past events.
Well I say enough is enough. I refuse to be a doormat for the rude and degrading behaviors that have been going on lately. Is this going to be easy? Probably not, but I am determined that things will change or other changes will have to be made.