Thursday

An Unexpected Gift

My husband and I attend this marvelous church in the Central Florida area and we've been participating in this weekly class called MCU, which stands for Marriage Care University. I highly recommend it. It's helped us grow closer and more tolerable of each other. :) They gave us an assignment last week to rate about 100 different activities. Out of all of these activities we had to find 20 that we would start doing together. There were a bunch on there that we already do, like, go to the movies; go out to dinner; take a walk. But there were quite a lot that we just don't do together. We've discovered that we'd both be interested in taking ballroom dancing classes. Who knew?!? We've also discovered we'd like to attend more concerts and plays. But there were three things in particular that we decided we'd start doing first. My husband's more of an outdoor guy where as I'm more of an air conditioned loving, indoor kind of gal. This is Florida after all. Since he's always doing the indoor things that I like, I chose to start with outdoor activities. First, we'd start with tennis. I knew he wanted to play tennis with me because he sprang this on me in the middle of summer when it was 100* in the shade. I said I would but it would have to wait until fall/winter when it's only 80* in the shade. So today we played our first "game" of tennis. I say "game" because it only lasted 30 minutes and I was just so happy to hit it over the net and be able to return the ball to him once or twice. Baby steps people. Baby steps. The next thing we were going to do was buy new roller blades and go rollerblading together. This was something we used to do together 20+ years ago B.C...aka...Before Children. The third thing we decided to do was to buy bicycles and go bike riding. Now if you've followed my blog for sometime you're probably thinking, "Buy bicycles? Why would she need to buy bicycles? Doesn't she already own a bike from 2012 when she did that bicycle awareness thing?" Yes, I did own a bicycle. It was my pride and joy. Long story short...I was hit by a truck when I was a teenager while riding my bike and as a result of that trauma and the trauma that followed, I couldn't work up the nerve to ride a bicycle for the longest time. Finally, 20 years later, I bought a $100 cruiser bike from Walmart and that was the first bicycle I rode since that horrible, life altering day when I was a teen. I decked that thing out. I put a basket on it. There was a water bottle holder, a speedometer, and even a portable tire pump that hooked right onto the bike frame. I loved that bike. 

                           Look! Here it is! Oooh Aaah!



                   AND THEN IT WAS STOLEN!!!!!  

I was heartbroken. Whoever stole my cheap Walmart bike had to walk right past my way more expensive road bike to get to it. It was horrible. That happened 2 years ago and I've kept putting off buying a new one until this week when we decided we'd start riding bikes together. Now we just needed to find the time to buy 2 new bikes and 2 pairs of roller blades, which you wouldn't think would be that difficult, but if you knew my husband at all you'd understand. He can't just go to a store and buy something. He has to do hours, sometimes weeks of research to find out which ones got the best reviews and which ones are the best for the right price. I'm exhausted just thinking about how exhausted I'm going to be by the time we get these things. Lo and behold, not even 24 hours later, my mother texts me and asks me if I'd be interested in her bicycle. She said she doesn't use it anymore and it's just taking up space. Can you believe that?!? It's like she knew I decided to buy a new bike. Of course, I'm going to share it with my 20 year old who recently totaled her brand new car, but that's another story for another time.
So, thanks Mom for gifting me with your bicycle. We will definitely put it to good use.

"A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed." Proverbs 11:25



♫"On the road again..."♫ 

Tuesday

Letter to an Abuser

As you may know, I run a support group at my church for women who have been sexually abused or assaulted called Beyond the Silence. In this group, one of the many difficult things that we do is write a letter to our abusers. We don't give it to them. We write it for ourselves. We write it because while naming and describing the evil done to us does not ensure automatic personal healing, it does however provide clarity. If it is not defined, named or described, then it remains hidden. Telling the truth about sexual assault by acknowledging the traumatic experience is one important aspect of healing. The only way to move from denial, isolation, and self-protection is to look honestly at the assault that has been committed. Healing begins when the secret is disclosed and the shackles of silence are broken. I say this letter is for ourselves because, while confronting your abuser may seem like the right thing to do, it is different for each person. For some it might be a great thing to do. They may confront their abuser, receive an apology, and feel a sense of freedom or closure. However, for others, confrontation may only worsen the effects of the assault. For example, I wrote a letter to the man who kidnapped me but I didn't give it to him because I know that he isn't remorseful. Confronting him probably won't lead to an apology, but I don't need one from him. Would it be amazing if he suddenly was remorseful and sincerely apologized? Yes! But I don't need it to move on and continue my healing. That is something that every survivor must come to realize someday in order to continue their healing as well.


Writing this letter to your abuser is never easy. Many women find it too difficult to do. Even though they're writing it only for themselves to read, they're still reliving details from their pasts that they've desperately kept hidden for a long time. One of the women in my group wrote a letter to her abuser and she gave me permission to share it with you. I hope it touches your heart the way it did mine.



Emily,
It has taken me 34 years to be able to deal with the pieces of broken glass you left me with. To be able to look in the mirror and not hate what I see; not hate how I feel; not be suspicious of everyone who tried to hug me, to love me or be my friend. It's sad to think that you may not remember what you did. I cannot fathom that a predator like you would forget the pleasure you found when you sexually assaulted my sister and I at the ages of 8 and 10. Now that I am a mother of four I have thought back to when they were 8 and 10 and it made me sick to the core of my being that someone could look at them in the perverse and unnatural way you looked at us. I couldn't bear the thought of what you did to us being done to them. But enough of that. This letter is to share some very important information with you. If you'll understand or even care is irrelevant, but I need to return to you what you left me with back in 1980; back in my sister's bedroom, on the bottom bunk of their bunk beds as you muffled my cries with your nasty hand.  
I return to you the shame, feelings of unworthiness, anger, bitterness, sexual dysfunction, fear of the dark, fear of intimacy, and self-loathing. These feelings have now been replaced. My spirit, my body, and my heart now speak a language that is foreign to you.....strength.
I return to you the 100 billion tears I've shed; the 100 billion sleepless nights; the 100 billion thoughts of hate towards you and replace them with steps towards being made whole and feeling free.
I also return to you the pain and angst that penetrated the core of my being every day. That made me question everything and everyone; which left me trusting no one and hating my future because I couldn't see anything but your face smirking at me.

I return to you that ache that sat in my womb at the thought of someone doing to my kids what you did to me.
Now that I've returned all these things to you, I am also going to give you something; something that isn't for you Emily, but for me.....forgiveness. Forgiveness because although I am working on being a better me, I cannot do this without exorcising this hate I have for you. It's been the cancer that has gone undetected and undiagnosed for years. It's the cancer which almost ended my life on many occasions. But I have found the perfect physician who offered me a cure. His name is Jesus Christ and His cure for my disease is forgiveness. You should make an appointment with Him and ask Him to forgive you too. Maybe then, when your time comes, you won't rot in Hell with the other pedophiles and sexual predators. Make no mistake, I would love to see you squirm and suffer; to hear you scream and know that no one is coming to your aid; to see what your life would be like after an experience like that, but, because of you, I've been brought to a place with some amazing survivors. With a group of women who have endured and who aren't willing to let people like you destroy our futures. I've learned that everyone isn't cruel; that I'm not abnormal; that I'm not meant to be a shell taking up space.
Writing this letter to you is me making the assumption that you're literate and capable of recognizing and admitting what you did to me and my little sister. But it is also my way of saying goodbye to your unwelcome existence in my life. I'm learning to pick up my mat and walk by faith, one step at a time.
Anne
Daughter of a King

Thank you Anne for letting me share your letter. And, yes, all that's dead inside can be reborn...even if you're worn.

"But you be strong and do not lose courage, for there is reward for your work." - 2 Chronicles 15:7



 

WORN by Tenth Avenue North


♥ Diana
(aka Jurney Eve)

Monday

Forgiveness-The Prisoner That it Really Frees is You

Forgiving someone who's done you wrong is one of the hardest things to do. I know because I've done it. 

For those of you who aren't familiar with my story, I was kidnapped by a stranger when I was 17 years old. It took me a very, very long time to forgive that man, but with God's help I finally did

Just to give you some perspective on how long it took me to truly forgive; I was kidnapped in 1991 and I didn't forgive him, I mean truly forgive him until 2007. It took me 16 years to forgive the man who kidnapped me, sexually assaulted me and tried to murder me. 

I must have said "I forgive him" about a dozen times before 2007 but the hurt was always there proving to me that I hadn't, even though I wanted to. I tried. Over and over again I would pray and ask God to help me forgive that man but over and over again I found myself bound up with all the pain of my assault that I hadn't dealt with yet. It wasn't until I started releasing that pain that I started experiencing forgiveness.

"Total forgiveness is a choice. It is not a feeling-at least not at first-but rather an act of the will."

I had made a choice to forgive and that's the first step. You've got to want to forgive the person who's wronged you. And maybe, like me, you'll have to forgive over and over again until you "feel" like you've forgiven. Maybe you're holding onto something that's keeping you from truly forgiving, like I was. I was holding onto my memories of my assault. I was keeping them locked up tight inside of me. But I've learned that you've got to let "it" out so you can let God in.

Forgiveness doesn't mean forgetting. It doesn't condone that person's actions against you and it's never as easy as you think it's gonna be.

Today, I'm going to take my forgiveness one step further by praying for the man who kidnapped me. This is actually something I've been doing for some time now but today I feel led to really focus on him. Maybe this sounds strange to you but I know that only through God will this man be healed. Only by experiencing Christ's love will he be free of the demons that have ruled his heart for so long. So, if you feel compelled to pray with me, I ask that you say this prayer with me now.

"Dear Jesus. I lift up my perpetrator to you. I ask that you touch his heart; surround him with your presence and love. I ask that You extend Your grace and mercy to him. Let him know that I forgive him. For every wrong he's committed against me, I forgive him. I pray that one day soon he'll come to know and love You the way I do. I give thanks in advance for everything You're doing in my life and in his life and in everyone's life that has been touched by this sin. In Jesus' name I pray...Amen"



Forgiveness

It's the hardest thing to give away
And the last thing on your mind today
It always goes to those that don't deserve

It's the opposite of how you feel
When the pain they caused is just too real
It takes everything you have just to say the word...

Forgiveness

It flies in the face of all your pride
It moves away the mad inside
It's always anger's own worst enemy
Even when the jury and the judge
Say you gotta right to hold a grudge
It's the whisper in your ear saying 'Set It Free'

Forgiveness
 
Show me how to love the unlovable
Show me how to reach the unreachable
Help me now to do the impossible

Forgiveness
 
It'll clear the bitterness away
It can even set a prisoner free
There is no end to what it's power can do
So, let it go and be amazed
By what you see through eyes of grace
The prisoner that it really frees is you

Forgiveness
 
I want to finally set it free
So show me how to see what Your mercy sees
Help me now to give what You gave to me
 
Forgiveness

BY MATTHEW WEST


Thank you.

♥ Diana
(aka Jurney Eve)

Friday

Glee Tackles Sexual Violence

Glee, FOX's hit show, has done it again, tackling an issue important to teens: sexual abuse and assault. 

In this week's episode, two glee club members — one male and one female — disclose that they are survivors of sexual violence. Working with RAINN, Glee stars Becca Tobin and Blake Jenner filmed a PSA for the National Sexual Assault Hotline, which Fox aired at the end of the episode.

The episode, "Lights Out," is timely, with the Steubenville case still in the news and new reports about teens that have committed suicide following sexual assaults in Canada and Los Angeles. The recent spotlight on the correlation between sexual assault and suicide emphasizes the importance of survivors getting help from the National Sexual Assault Hotline (800-656-HOPE or online.rainn.org).

Glee has been celebrated for taking on important social issues relevant to teens. Since its debut in 2009, the show has tackled topics such as bullying, mental illness, LGBT issues and now sexual assault. Every two minutes, someone in the U.S. is sexually assaulted; nearly half of all victims are under the age of 18. Survivors of sexual violence are at higher risk for suffering from mental health issues such as depression, PTSD, self-harm, substance use and eating disorders.
Glee, which has single-handedly made glee clubs "cool" again, has won a Golden Globe Award and a Peabody Award. The series enjoys critical acclaim, a die-hard fan base, two Grammy Award nominations, two platinum and three gold albums, more than 43 million songs and 12 million albums sold worldwide, two sold-out concert tours, a 3D movie, four Emmy Awards and three Golden Globes, including the award for Best Television Series — Comedy or Musical.

If you or someone you know has been sexually assaulted, it’s never too late to get help. Talk to someone who understands what you're going through. Visit online.rainn.org to chat one-on-one with a RAINN staff member 24/7.

Learn how to help a loved one affected by sexual assault here.
“Like” Glee on Facebook and download the Facebook Fan Page app. Follow the series on Twitter @GLEEonFOX and join the discussion at #glee.

About Glee GLEE is a musical comedy about a group of ambitious and talented kids who escape the harsh realities of high school by joining a glee club where they find strength, acceptance and, ultimately, their voice.

About RAINN
RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) is the nation’s largest anti-sexual violence organization and was named one of “America’s 100 Best Charities” by Worth magazine. RAINN created and operates the National Sexual Assault Hotlines (800.656.HOPE and online.rainn.org) in partnership with more than 1,100 local rape crisis centers across the country and operates the DoD Safe Helpline for the Department of Defense. The hotlines have helped more than 1.8 million people since 1994. RAINN also carries out programs to prevent sexual violence, help victims and ensure that rapists are brought to justice. For more information about RAINN, please visit rainn.org.

 ARTICLE TAKEN FROM WWW.RAINN.ORG


You Go Glee!
You make me proud to be a Gleek!


♥ Diana
   (aka Jurney Eve)

Tuesday

Diana Oakley's Story
VIDEO MADE BY JEREMY HARMSEN

God I Need You Now

 Are you struggling with something right now and you feel like you keep praying and praying but nothing seems to be happening? How many times have you cried out, "God please take this!"?

 Most of us are standing at a road we didn't plan but that doesn't mean we should give up. I know from experience that when we pray to God sometimes He answers with a 'Yes', sometimes He answers with a 'No' and sometimes He says, 'Not yet.' 

I don't know why God does the things He does but I trust Him and I know that He knows what's best for me...and what's best for you. Please don't stop reaching for Him. 

"He has made everything beautiful in its time."
 Ecclesiastes 3:11



Need You Now - by Plumb

VIDEO MADE BY BRENTON BECK


♥ Diana

Saturday

Never Forgotten - Andrea Gail Parsons

I've always been a firm believer that the Lord works in mysterious ways. He brings people into our lives for reasons that sometimes only He knows.When I first heard Josette Howard's story, I knew she was one of those people. I felt an instant connection to her and I couldn't shake the feeling that we were meant to cross paths. 

I had known Josette for about a year before she told me that 19 years ago, her baby sister, Andrea Gail Parsons, who was 10 at the time, had gone "missing". She told me that even though it had been 19 years, her and her mom have never stopped looking for Andrea. They've never given up hope. 

Josette's story unleashed an array of emotions in me, some of which I wasn't expecting to feel. I still can't exactly describe them all to you but I'll try.

I feel sad, of course. I want to comfort her family. I want to hug them and do things for them, like bake cupcakes and dumb trivial things that probably wouldn't help them but would make me feel better for some reason.

Strangely, I feel like I've shared something with Andrea. Like, we shared the same fears.

I wonder what would've happened if I never escaped my abductor. Would my family have continued to look for me after 19 years? Would the police have given up on finding me or would they keep investigating, like they did for Andrea?

A part of me feels happy and comforted by the fact that no one gave up on Andrea. No one forgot her even after all these years. I imagine it must have been tempting at times to just close the book and accept that she was gone and move on with your life but no one did that.

Her body has never been recovered and they never arrested anyone for the crime...until this weekend. Someone has finally been arrested for the kidnapping and murder of Andrea Gail Parsons.  Here's an article that was written on Friday, November 30, 2012.

 ♥

"Major questions about the 1993 disappearance of 10-year-old Andrea Parsons remained unanswered Friday after a judge denied bond for the felon charged with kidnapping and killing the girl — questions including how detectives cracked the nearly 20-year-old case and where Andrea’s body could be.

During the 3-minute bond hearing, Martin County sheriff’s Detective Yesenia Carde, the lead detective in the case, said Chester Duane Price, arrested on Thursday for Parson’s murder and kidnapping, partnered with Claude Davis, long the prime suspect in the case, to abduct the girl outside the Port Salerno store where she had purchased potato chips and candy on July 11, 1993. Parsons bit Price on the hand as he forced her into a van, Carde said. The next morning, the men disposed of her body, the detective said.

Carde offered no clues as to how detectives were able to link Price to the crime, and prosecutors were equally cautious. Chief Assistant State Attorney Thomas Bakkedahl, said the Martin County grand jury that indicted Price met five times in the last two months and reviewed over 22,000 pages of investigators’ reports and hours of videos. Most homicide cases take about a half-day to present to the grand jury, Bakkedahl said. “There was an extreme amount of information,” he said.

Bakkedahl confirmed that Price was not given immunity before he appeared before the grand jury, a request that many suspects make before testifying. Also on the grand jury witness list: Davis, 77, who was arrested in 1994 on a false imprisonment charge but never tried. Davis, who now lives in a mobile home park in Stuart, has never been charged with murder in the case, but his initial arrest raises questions now as to whether his constitutional protection against double-jeopardy would prevent prosecutors from charging him now.

Parson’s mother also testified, along with at least six detectives — some now retired — and William Snyder, Martin County’s Sheriff-elect. The grand jury also heard testimony from Price’s step-father, Billy Brewer. In May 2003 Brewer unsuccessfully tried to get a restraining order against Price, saying his step-son rarely worked and when he did, he spent the money on crack cocaine. Why prosecutors asked Brewer to testify before the grand jury remains a mystery for now.

Price, most recently living in Haleyville, Ala., has an extensive criminal history with arrests dating to 1991, the sheriff’s office said. He voluntarily returned to the area to give testimony to the grand jury, sheriff’s spokeswoman Rhonda Irons said. At a news conference Thursday, retiring Martin County Sheriff Robert Crowder — also sheriff at the time of Parsons’ disappearance — said that a team of detectives was assigned last year to conduct a further review of evidence collected in the case.
“The resolve to find Andrea and get answers surrounding the circumstances of her disappearance has never wavered,” he said. More arrests are possible, Crowder said.

The investigation originally focused on Davis, a neighbor of Andrea’s, after he told investigators several stories of what happened. He initially told investigators that he saw several men stuff Andrea into a van the night she disappeared. Later, in secretly tape-recorded conversations, he told a close friend he had visions of Andrea being killed and dumped in the woods. Finally, Davis went to sheriff’s detectives and told them he remembered the truth – that Andrea died accidentally while collecting aluminum cans with him and that he left her body in a trash bin.

In 2000, Davis received a nine-year prison sentence in an unrelated case, but he was released from prison in 2003 and returned to Martin County. On Thursday, Crowder said Price and Davis knew each other, but declined to give more details. However, court records show Price was arrested in October 2009 and charged with assaulting Davis. The charge was later dropped.

Andrea’s disappearance on July 11, 1993 gained national attention. The case was featured on television shows such as America’s Most Wanted, and a Nancy Grace special episode “Nancy Grace: America’s Missing” that aired in February 2011.

Andrea was reported missing after she left her house in a mobile home community on Southeast Ebbtide Avenue shortly before 6 p.m. Her mother, Linda, was at work and Linda’s boyfriend at the time, Pat Daniels, was home with Andrea. Daniels told investigators that he was watching a program on The Discovery Channel and Andrea was bored. Andrea was given permission to go visit a friend and walk to the store.

Neighbors described how Andrea waved as she strolled along Commerce Avenue, then cut across the parking lot to Port Salerno Grocery. She bought two bags of potato chips and some candy. Daniels told investigators that he began to worry about Andrea as it grew darker outside. The family had no telephone and Daniels had no access to a car, so he scoured the neighborhood on foot.

Linda Parsons left work at Winn-Dixie at about 10 that evening and was stunned to discover he daughter missing. She drove through the neighborhood, stopping at the houses of Andrea’s friends. At 11 p.m., she called police.

As the 10-year-anniversary of Andrea’s disappearance approached, Linda said that she was still hopeful that her daughter would be found alive.

“I still think she’s alive out there somewhere. I have to believe that,” Linda said in a July 2003 interview with The Palm Beach Post.

Bakkedahl said on Friday he has no doubt that Andrea is dead but the fact that her remains have not been found should not pose any legal challenges. “I don’t need a body,” said Bakkedahl, who has worked on Andrea’s case for 18 years. “Trying a case without a body is mythically difficult but factually it’s not difficult.”

Neither Linda Russell Parsons nor her 31-year-old daughter Josette Howard or their extended family could be reached for comment. Linda Parsons posted stories about Price’s arrest on her Facebook page, which indicated mixed emotions about it.

“After 19 years, an arrest has finally happened in the abduction of my daughter. Everyone, please pray that this man tells us where Andrea is,” she wrote.

Bob Lowery, a senior executive at the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, said he hopes Parsons’ prayers are answered. But with the passage of so many years he said it wouldn’t be unusual if Andrea’s body is never recovered.

The center has worked on the case off and on for years. It prepared a photo to show what Andrea would look like as an adult. Both Russell, who lives in Niceville in Florida’s Panhandle, and Howard, who lives in the Orlando area, feature the photo of Andrea as a 10-year-old and as an adult on their Facebook pages.

In 2006, the center sent a team of retired police to Martin County to work with law enforcement officers, hoping to solve the case. Recently, it began collecting Andrea’s fingerprints, dental records and DNA so an identification could be made if her remains are found. The agency is collecting similar information about all of the children it is tracking, he said.

Center officials had heard rumors that an arrest was imminent, but nothing official, he said. “We’re very delighted to hear the news that there has been an arrest,” Lowery said.

While he said he can imagine Parsons’ desire to recover her daughter’s body, he said she can take solace that Andrea was never forgotten. “It’s got to be terrible that they can’t put the child to rest,” he said. “But I think she should be a bit grateful to know that even after 19 years you have a law enforcement agency that stayed engaged.”

And, he said, Davis’ arrest doesn’t change Andrea’s status for the center. Until her body is recovered, her photos will remain on the center’s web site.

“The search for the child continues even though law enforcement has made an arrest,” Lowery said. “She will always be a missing child until her remains are found.”

Staff researcher Michelle Quigley, staff writer Jane Musgrave and TCPalm.com contributed to this story.


"Andrea's story just went global...It's your time Lil sis...we will find you...might not be the way we want...but soon baby." 

- Josette Howard


Here's my small attempt to help Andrea's story "go global".

 
♥ Diana
 (aka Jurney Eve) 







Monday

Stop & Pray

Today I was saddened to hear about a cycling accident that happened in my neighborhood this weekend. A 53 year old man was struck and killed by a car while riding his bicycle in the bike lane. The car was driven by an 18 year old boy who was smoking synthetic marijuana while driving. And while I didn't know the man who was killed it doesn't stop the fact that this story has triggered feelings in me I didn't expect to feel. 

As some of you know, I was also struck by a car while riding my bicycle in the bike lane, although the person who hit me hit me on purpose in order to kidnap me. Because of what happened to me, I was afraid to even get back on a bicycle. It took me 20 years before I summoned enough courage to do it and even then I couldn't bring myself to ride in the bike lane. I have been riding my bike again for almost a year now and when I do, I ride it on the sidewalk. The only exception to that was on April 28, 2012 when I rode my bike in the 1st annual Ride to Reach event, which was inspired by my story. That was the only time I rode in the bike lane and I only did because I was accompanied by the East Side Cycling Club who rode alongside me and made me feel safe. When I hear this story, it reinforces my fear of the bike lane. Cyclists are so vulnerable compared to a car. One second of inattentiveness from a driver is all it takes. 

My heart goes out to the family of the man who was killed. 

I have feelings of anger toward the driver of the car. I find myself judging him and I have to remind myself not to. 

It's not my place to judge. 

I have strange feelings of empathy toward him as well because, unfortunately, I can somewhat relate to him. After I was kidnapped, I went through a very dark period of depression that lasted for years. As I mentioned in my book, I abused drugs and alcohol during that time and I made many, many bad choices. I'm not proud to say this, but I drove under the influence many times back then. It's only by God's grace that I didn't hurt anyone. I certainly could have. I can't imagine what this young man will have to live with for the rest of his life. 

His bad choice killed someone! 

No, I will not judge him. Instead I'll pray for him. And as I ride my bike today...on the sidewalk...I will pass by the spot where this tragic accident happened and I will stop and I will pray.









♥ Jurney    



Thursday

The Hardest Part of Parenting

You know? Before I became a mother, I always assumed that the baby stage would be the hardest stage of parenting for me. Mostly because I had no experience with babies. They intimidated me. They're so vulnerable. I was afraid I was going to break them. How would I get a shirt over their heads without snapping their necks?


As a matter of fact, my firstborn only wore items of clothing that didn't require over the head application until she seemed "sturdy" enough.

Other than their vulnerability, how was I supposed to know what they wanted? Everyone told me I would be able to tell the difference between a "hungry" cry and a "tired" cry but to me they all sounded the same. What if I couldn't tell the difference between a "hurt" cry and a "tired" cry and something bad happened?


I remember when I was pregnant with my firstborn, I called my best friend and cried about how scared I was of becoming a mother. I was so afraid I would do something wrong or I wouldn't be good enough. 

The day my oldest child started talking and could effectively tell me exactly why she was crying was one of the happiest days of my life. It alleviated so much stress for me. Now I didn't have to worry whether she was hurt or hungry because she could simply tell me. Things were "easy" for a few years after that and then came... 
Kindergarten.

Oh man! The day I had to "cut the cord" and release my baby girl into the hands of strangers was so hard! Letting her go and trusting others to love and protect her the way I had been doing for the last 4.5 years was one of the hardest things I have ever done. I remember literally feeling sick to my stomach with worry. And for that moment in time I thought, "This is the hardest part of parenting." But over time it got easier and I learned to love that stage. I loved watching her learn and make new friends. And the older she got, the more she developed into her own person. She's 16 now and I've had the privilege of watching her become an amazing young woman who has a heart for everyone. Who wants to right all of the world's wrongs and I am so proud of her. But, once again I find myself saying, "This is the hardest part of parenting." Right now, she's learning how to "cut the cord," so to speak, and I'm not ready. She's seeking more freedom and wanting new boundaries and I want to give those things to her but I'm having a hard time letting go. I'm trying. I really am but...

She can drive a car now for goodness sake!

It feels like she doesn't need me anymore but I have so much more to teach her. We have so much more to teach each other. 

I love you, baby! Please don't forget that no matter how old you get you will always fit in my arms and we will always need each other.



"Your baby blues
So full of wonder
Your curly cues
Your contagious smile
And as i watch
You start to grow up
All I can do is hold you tight


 Knowing clouds will rage and
Storms will race in
But you will be safe in my arms
Rains will pour down
Waves will crash all around
But you will be safe in my arms

Castles they might crumble
Dreams may not come true
But you are never all alone
Because I will always
Always love you"


-Plumb



 


♥ Jurney Eve




The Takeover Youth Conference 2012

Well, I have been quite the slacker lately with my blog, huh? Sorry about that.

Let's see...what do I have to tell you?

In June, I had an excellent opportunity to share my story and my message at The Takeover Youth Conference in Wauchula, Florida. It felt really amazing to be a part of something so inspirational. I was a little nervous about scaring the kids with my story but I think I did a good job of toning it down...a little...and focusing in on how God has worked in my life. There were quite a few teens who gave their heart to the Lord that day. I also met a lot of really cool people and I hope I get to work with them again.














I had such a great time at The Takeover Youth Conference. Thank you for making me feel so welcomed. It was truly my pleasure.












Jurney Eve