I Remember…

Dear My Past Abuser,

I remember I fell for you right away. Almost like a spell was cast over me. I hung on to every word you said, I believed you when nobody else did. I remember the times when we were not able to be together and you would tell me the sweetest things on the phone, and make me laugh. I also remember the times, out of the clear blue sky you cussed me out for something so stupid. I took the blame, I apologized to you right away. I would tell myself, he is hurting and I know it will get better.

I remember when I had our first baby and I understood that you were in the Army so you couldn’t be there. I was sad, but never mad at you. All I wanted was for us to be together and to be a family. I remember when we got married, I was so happy and I knew, that even though we were such a young couple, we would beat the odds. I knew I was going to break the cycle in my family. I knew my marriage would last. I knew my baby would have his parents together. I remember when we finally got to move into our first place as a family. I felt amazing. But then I remember that I said something to you one night and until this day I cannot remember what it was exactly. When I said it though, I was feeding our son and you then grabbed that box of pizza and threw it at me and started to scream at me. I remember you then grabbed a hanger and stood over me, while I was still feeding your child, and you told me, you would beat the s*** out of me. I remember looking into your eyes, wondering what did I say, what did I do to unleash such a demon?? Right after that, I remember you stormed upstairs and grabbed all of my clothes and your sons clothes and threw them outside and screamed for me to get the f*** out. You said you hated me and once again told me to leave. It was right around CHristmas time. I did as you asked and packed up our 4 month old, called my mom for money, I then called a cab and got in and headed to the Syracuse, NY train station, where I would journey a near 3,000 miles to get home to San Jose. It took us 4 days. Traveling with your son was not easy.

I also remember, you called me and my family over and over, crying and apologizing and begging for me to come back. We spent our first Christmas apart and you were alone. You told me you would never hurt me again, that you were sorry and that you would get help. I believed and stuck up for you and shortly packed my bags and caught the first flight back to NY with our soon to be 5 month old and a bun in the oven, which I did not know at the time.

Weeks and months went by and you were on your best behavior. You were such a gentleman and you took care of me when ever I had morning sickness. You also took care of our son. I just knew things were going to be different. I was once again so happy. Until, one day, I don’t remember what I did exactly, but we began to argue. The next thing I know, you walk over and you pushed me so hard I went flying through the air and landed on the floor. I sat there scared that the baby in my womb would be hurt. I cried, I cried all night, all while being pregnant and taking care of our son.

I know this is rather long and I do not want to take up anymore of your time. So here is a list of some of the other things you did to me in case you do not remember: You spit in my face. You threw beer in my face. You called me every name in the book. You shattered my cars front window. You slammed my knee in the door. You choked me and held me down on the bed. You cheated on me. You lied to me. You grabbed my arms so tight you left the marking of your hands by me having bruises in their very shape. You threw a credit card at my face. You tore the bathroom door off it’s hinges and ripped the shower curtain down while I was showering, so you can yell at me about something. You threw rocks at my car as I was driving away. You broke countless phones, remotes, pictures and dishes. Every wall of every house we ever lived in bore the holes that you put there with your fist. The list could go on and on, but those are just the ones that stand out to me.

I remember we were living in NC the last time you hurt me. I remember I called my mom and and asked her to get me home. I promised her I would NEVER go back to you, like I did that first time. I had nothing. My dad flew in from CA and we rented a van. We packed up our clothes, the 2 kids and the 2 dogs and I left you, while you were at work. I allowed you to treat me the way you did, because I wanted to be the one who made it. I wanted my kids to have their parents together. I wanted you! I prayed for God to help me. I prayed for you too. You never changed, you got worse and so did I.

When I came home to CA, I was broken and I had nothing. No money, no where to live, no car, no job, nothing. What I did have though, was more valuable than anything and that was my life and our 2 kids. The road to recovery was not easy and I had my ups and downs. But in the end I stayed the course and was determined to have a better life for the kids and I. You taught me a lot. Because of you I learned what to never settle for again. I knew what I deserved and I knew I would be happy one day.

You see, I was never supposed to be “that” girl. When I was a teenager, I would always say I would never let a man hurt me. I used to judge abused women and think it was their fault they were abused, that they allowed it to happen. I can honestly say and thanks you, that I no longer see abused women that way. Because of you, I can help their voices to be heard, by being their voice. I am no longer afraid of you, in fact I actually feel compassion for you.

I am remarried now and no longer live in the cycle of abuse. I am cherished and so are your kids. They are now seeing what a mother and father should be, and what a healthy and loving relationship looks like. After everything you did to me, I hated you for years. Until one day, with God’s help, I decided that hating you would not change anything. Hating you would not make me better. So I stand here today, and I offer you forgiveness for the ways that you hurt your children and I. I also stand here a happy woman, no longer the woman I was, that allowed you to abuse her. I am now strong. I am now confident. I am now free.

With Warm Regards,

The woman who is no longer your victim

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A Girl Named Riley

Once upon a time there was a little girl who had hair so curly, you could barely put a comb through it, caramel brown eyes and dimples that were absolutely stunning. Her smile caused perfect strangers to approach her, simply to tell her how lovely she is and how her smile warmed their heart. Little kids just gravitated toward her and animals all seemed to be drawn to her. Her very existence made this world a sweeter place.

Life wasn’t always easy on her, and there were times where fear would over take her. You see the first 6 years of her life were very hard, and she often felt scared and alone. The only people she could cling to and trust was her mother and her older brother. Though sometimes, she wondered why her mother allowed life to be so scary for her children.

This brown-eyed, curly-haired, dimple having girl was afraid of someone who should have made her feel safe and accepted. Her father. She did her best to honor him, and to not be afraid, but he was often so mean to her mother and to her, that one could not blame her for this fear she had of him. Of all the people in the world, he should have been the one to make her feel safe and protected. Her world was wrapped up in her mother and in the hope of one day not being afraid.

Then came a day where her mother finally woke up from the sleep she was in and decided to no longer allow the abuse that occurred to occur. So they packed up a rented van, took the clothes on their back, their 2 dogs and their bicycles were a must as well, and made their way across country, home to California. Where just like the original pioneers in the 1800’s, there was the hope of a new life, hope of a new beginning.

Fast forward and she is now 10 years old and soon to be 11. Not only that, her mother remarried. She remarried a man, that loves her and her brother, and treats her like a father should treat his daughter, like a princess. Her faith in God has grown stronger and she has learned to trust men, and is learning that there is no need to be afraid of them. She has forgiven her biological father, but her trust for him is just not there, and she knows that it’s okay. She is going to be a big sister really soon, she is ecstatic about it, and is always offering to help her mother. If you meet this girl, you would never know how hard her life was at one point, as she is so loving and warm and always goes out of her way to be kind to people.

Her name is Riley and I am sure most of you have caught on that she is my daughter. Though she had a rough start (I made some bad decisions) she has come so far and is continuing to keep going. She is so passionate, so strong and so loving. Most look at her, and are so blessed by her sweet smile and warm eyes. You would never know the hurt she has been through. I am so proud of her and the beautiful young lady she is becoming.

She came into this world with a bang, and possessed this inner strength and trust in God right from the beginning. I look at her and my heart melts. She has taught me so much about life, about love and about honesty. Her work ethic and her willingness to just love others is inspiring. This is my daughter and she is “A Girl Named Riley.

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So Easy To Give, So Hard To Receive

Never in my life have I received so many unasked for gifts, parties or just kind emails filled with thank you and how encouraging I am and other beautiful words, all addressed to me. Why is receiving these things so very difficult for me, that I sit and think of ways to give back to the people who give to me? I know they are not asking for anything in return, they just want to bless me in some way. I do this too. I love to shower the people in my life, with gifts, hugs and words of encouragement. Me doing these things is one thing, but when they are done and given to me… I have a hard time receiving.

I know my receiving issues have to do with a feeling of unworthiness, to some degree. Just when I thought I knew that I have been made worthy through Christ, an issue arises in my heart and BAM, here I am realizing I really need to study God’s word and what He says about me more than ever. You see the truth is, if I really understood and really accepted His acceptance of me, receiving gifts and love form others would not be so difficult. Sometimes I have the nerve to actually think “okay Lord, I am pretty much healed and I pretty much understand Your Word and plan for my life. So thanks, and I will call on you specifically for the needs of others from now on.” I am serious, my silly mind does these things and has this thought process from time to time. Okay, Jesus, I surrender all over again. I need you!

Thankfully my King sees me, the real me, even when I don’t. He brings me to these realizations and so softly opens my eyes to show me, He is not finished with me yet. That He wants to show me so much more of Him and His ways. He wants to pour His love out on me, even still, but I tend to push His love away and ask Him to give it to others. As if His love for me would take away from His love for others. Before I am called to do or be anything else, I must be a receiver of God’s love for me, and the only way I can do this is through Him.

Thank you, to ALL of you who so lovingly poured into to my life and given me such wonderful gifts. Both tangible and intangible. I will continue to seek Him in being able to receive these gifts without feeling as though I do not deserve them, or like you shouldn’t have. The Lord is using each one of you, to teach me His ways, and to show me love.

Anyone else out there feel this way? Pray for me as I pray for you.

Be blessed abundantly.

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I Am Just Over It!!

I did something that I never thought I would do. I only have myself to blame, but it had to be done. I am still in shock myself and I am not sure I can undo what I did…. I gave up FaceBook!!

I am not saying I am done with it forever, but I am for the time being. It annoys me for some reason. Like how we can get so comfortable hiding behind our profiles and our comments etc. but yet when we see the people we interact with on FB, it’s like there is nothing to say. Ugghhhh!!! Maybe it’s the pregnancy hormones, maybe I am just tired, but I am done with it.

Please understand I am not condemning it, and I am not saying I am not guilty of the very things that annoy me about it, because I am. It can be a very powerful tool. That’s the problem for me, is it’s no longer used as tool for some (including myself) but rather a necessity, a way to send out questions and answers and thoughts and beliefs into cyber space. That’s not necessarily a bad thing either, I am just at the point where I want to be these things I say, and live these things that I say.

Yes, I did just dedicate and entire blog to FB, but it had to be done, I needed to vent and release it. I feel better now, so thanks for listening to my rant. My time can be better spent with my kids and my family. I for one will be apologizing to them for allowing such a meaningless thing take my time way from them.

There’s No Crying In…

Growing up I was taught that crying is for sissies. Having 2 older brothers and an older sister who was really tough, I for one was not going to be the sissy of the family. Even though I was so much younger than my siblings, it didn’t matter because when I fell I was going to be tough and not cry. No sissy tears from me!

I remember even when watching a movie that was sad, I would hold in my tears, swallow the lump and hide my face and try my darn-dest not to let my emotions show. Crying just has never really felt “okay” for me. Even now, it is something that causes me to examine myself to the point where I will even accuse myself of having a pity party, or being a big baby, or even being too dramatic. Crying is a sign of weakness. At least that is what I have always believed, until now.

What is so off to me about my logic, is, while in my mind crying is weakness, it is perfectly okay to loose my temper and explode and allow anger to manifest. So wait, crying is weakness and anger is strength? What??!! Do I really believe this??!! Even though I know in my heart that neither of these thoughts/beliefs are true, it is so hard for me to change my mindset regarding them. Even now, I find myself hiding my tears from my husband, from my kids and even from myself. I would love to just cry and not feel guilt or shame in it. Am I the only one who has struggled with this? Thankfully I have a friend in Jesus, and He Himself wept and shed tears. Thankfully I have His word that sets my illogical, irrational and completely distorted mindset free. Throughout the Bible the words “cry” and “tears” and “weeping” fill the pages. Here are just a couple. “You have kept count of my tossings; put my tears in your bottle. Are they not in your book?” –Psalm 56:8. “I am weary with my moaning; every night I flood my bed with tears; I drench my couch with my weeping.” –Psalm 6:6

Just recently God is healing me of this, and allowing me to be able to release my tears, my weeping and hurt. I am learning to just cry and be okay with it, and to not hide my face from my husband, my kids or even God Himself. I am learning to just be, and be open with my feelings and the fact that just because I am saved does not mean my life is perfect, or that I should pretend that it is. The fact is, my life is not perfect. It is better than it has ever been, but far from being perfect. I am still being healed of things I did not even realize were there. It’s like the layers are slowly being peeled away, and I am realizing how deep they truly are.

There is beauty in tears, there is freedom in crying, there is joy in weeping and there is healing in not hiding your face. It is only with these that there is true surrender. Crying softens our heart, it releases our compassion and activates passion. That fire inside of you will ignite your spirit. “Weeping may last for the night but joy comes in the morning.”–Psalm 30:5

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My Son

It’s time I write about my son. I need the world to know how blessed I am to be his mother.

Devin Isaiah- His first name is Irish and means poet, and his middle name is Hebrew and it means God is salvation. Never in all the world has a name been so perfect for a child. My son, since the day he came into this world has taught me so much. As my first child, I quickly learned how to put another’s needs before my own. The things that mattered to me before no longer were of concern to me, because I had this precious baby to care for. As I have watched him grow before my eyes, he developed the sweetest and silliest personality. Always touching things, always falling or running into something and always asking questions (and still does).

Life was not always easy for Devin. Up until the age of 6 we lived a life that was full of fear, heartache and many tears. I found myself in an abusive marriage with their father, and at the time, I was so young I did not know how to get out. So I stayed and due to that, some damage was done to my precious son. We had some fun times and good moments, however, not very many. Devin was strong, and he helped me so much. As a mother I often look back and feel horrible for the fact that I depended on him to help me feel better, because the truth is I should have been that to him. I am sure I was, more than I give myself credit for, sometimes I just think about him and how he was my reason for waking up in the morning, he taught me so much about love and even how to smile when times were hard and did not make sense.

Some time has passed and Devin is now 11, soon to be 12. Sometimes, I just listen to him and watch him and I see what a good boy he has become. I think to myself “wow, only by God’s grace did he turn out to be so wonderful.” The fact is, in society’s eyes, the odds are not in his favor. I thank God that I did finally choose to leave the marriage I was in at the time, so that my kids can have a fighting chance to witness what a real relationship should look like. I only advocate divorce if there is abuse or adultery involved, therefore I divorced. So that Devin knew that the way his father treated me, was not how a woman should have been treated. I wanted the cycle to stop with him. I realize he is still young and some may think, “well he isn’t done growing up yet.” However, I as well as many others, can see that Devin is solid. He will make mistakes along the way, but by no means will they ever come close to what he had to witness for 6 years.

My favorite things about him:

I love the way he loves his sister. I love the way he has embraced Quoc (my new and forever husband) as his father, this was done on his own and was never forced upon him. I love the way he rubs my belly before bed and says goodnight to his newest baby sister. I love the way, he will stop playing basketball to help a member of the opposite team who has fallen. I love that he can socialize with anybody. I love how he always befriends the child who nobody else will play with. I love how he longs to know more about God. I love the way he loves.

Blessed mother.

Homeschool Mission Statement (why we do what we do)

Lately I have made it a goal to become more organized and use my admin skills to allow our home life and homeshcool life to flow better. I wanted to share the mission statement I created for our family (my husband reviewed it, and I got his seal of approval), that will serve as a constant reminder as well as encouragement as to why we do what we do.

Enjoy and let me know what you think!

Homeschool Mission Statement

We homeschool, so God may be glorified in ALL we do. We choose to put Jesus Christ first in every aspect of our lives, and this includes academics. We do not homeschool simply for academics, as knowledge for the sake of knowledge is useless and completely in vain and leads to pride. We believe in learning and education as a life style and that it should not be separated from anything else we learn in the home and in the church. We believe children should be free to explore their full potential, which includes mind, body and spirit. As parents we are called to be the main influences in our children’s lives, called to lead them and are perfectly capable of teaching them all subjects.

In our homeschool, we will prepare the children academically, to be accepted in to the best colleges, world wide. We will prepare the children for the mission field, evangelism, worship and to live a consecrated and holy life. We will teach them to love God and to seek Him first in all they do. We will teach them to love their neighbor and to always be quick to forgive and not to judge. We will encourage them and push them to achieve high scores and amazing grades. We will not, however, allow their identity to be controlled by these high scores, but simply help them be the best they can be, while not comparing them to others. If they are straight A students, we will love them. If they are not straight A students but are exhibiting their best effort, we will love them. If they do or do not get into a prestigious college we will love them still.

We have been called to this lifestyle, and when it gets hard, we are to remember His promises and that He always makes a way. We are raising up leaders, Godly men and women called to a life of holiness. Maintaining and instilling these values will not always be easy, but as a family, we will not stop and we will always pray for help and wisdom. No amount of money, no career ladder or no high position, can ever pull us away from this calling. Our first ministry, job and priority (after Jesus) is our family, our children. We encourage one another, we will be strong in our faith, we will not give up. Our life is a testament to God’s goodness and in all things we will be sure that He is glorified and that we are living the life of faith we have been called to.

And all your children shall be taught of the LORD; and great shall be the peace of your children. Isaiah 54:13

And, you fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. Ephesians 6:4

Train up a child in the way he should go,And when he is old he will not depart from it. Proverbs 22:6