Release

Tonight I release a little bit more. A little more pain, a little more hurt, and gain a little more courage and a little more self worth. Its been a long journey and I pour out a little more of my soul with the help of my computer to continue my journey in healing. Tonight I watched again, the movie “I Can Only Imagine”. Fabulous movie and the song is probably my favorite all time song. If you haven’t seen it, or heard the song, you need to.

This true story of pain and courage from an abusive home and the hope from its story’s journey has been a huge inspiration to me to remind me there is life after abuse. There is hope after abuse. And there are dreams after abuse.

While I did not come from a physically abusive home towards me when growing up, there were the occasional drunken brawls of abuse between my parents. And what so many do not understand is that there are many forms of abuse other than physical and all of them are detrimental to children of the home.

Colossians 3 reminds us of correct rules for Christian homes reminding parents that they are to love each other as Christ loves them and to not discourage and embitter the children. When children become discouraged from abuse in the home, it sets a standard for their understanding and let me just tell you – No one…No one…and I say it again…No one should be allowed to harm another person with physical action or with words, whether they are family, friend or a total stranger.

Because a lot of times it creates a cycle and it takes a lot of courage and effort to break that cycle. I was not strong enough to do that. Off and on for twenty years I stayed in an abusive marriage. It took two divorces from the same man for me to finally break free of this pattern. And it took another ten for me to gain strength and courage to survive on my own, with three children. Then it took another ten for me to find a new life of courage and self worth with new dreams. Life is hard and I don’t know how anyone can survive this life without Jesus Christ, its hard enough for those of us who do follow him.

My revisited dream of being a writer is actually coming to the front. Will I be a best seller, no, but my second book is in process of being printed and I am hoping it will be out in October. It is a sequel of my first book…about dogs. God instills in us survival techniques that sometimes can come out in various art forms. Some people turn to music, some to painting but I turned to writing. Dogs were a big part of my survival so I turned them into people and wrote about them. It was fun and encouraging for me as I still fight with self worth. When you are told for many years how worthless you are, it takes a while to flush that all down the toilet. I am enclosing one of the first poems I ever place of WordPress. I was inspired by a fellow blogger’s photo and it shows how even now I struggle with self worth in Christ knowing full well to him I am precious. Never forget how much God loves you and that he always has a plan for you. Grab hold of his hand and hang on.

Bailly Cemetery, Courtesy Irene Tron

The Climb

I see and maintain it still is not fair,

I have nothing to lay at the top of the stair.

It’s not my fault, I did nothing wrong,

Well, maybe I did, it’s just been so long.

How long has it been since I climbed to the top,

I remember its relief, why did I stop?

How can a symbol of such astounding grief,

Be given to us to bring us this relief?

With love so amazing, to the cross did He die,

To flood us with gratitude that still makes us cry.

The burdens we carry don’t always seem fair,

Always we can lay them at the top of the stair.

The first step looks brittle, can it carry my weight?

This burden is heavy and may seal my fate.

As I touch each step and climb ever higher,

Is this what I should do, is this really my desire?

As I clear the last step, the cross is before me,

I question my worth, did He also die for me?

As my knees get bent, I’m smothered by His grace,

And I lay all my burdens at the accepting cross base.

Anita Neal

Probably the reason I push kindness like I do is because I fully understand its benefits, it value and how easily it can spread. besides it is one of the fruits of the spirit. So I remind you as always the utmost value of kindness. Please be kind.

Mother Nature at Her Worst

A Derecho

Life can be hard but as you will begin to see

It seems easy compared to what happened to me

The storms clouds came in thick and dark as night

It took us by surprise, no one expected this sight

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The winds began to blow as they roared down the plain

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Tearing everything up it touch, like a runaway freight train

Those along the coast know how hurricanes can be

But here in the midwest, its tornadoes we usually see

The width of the destruction on an in-land hurricane

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Makes our widest tornado look like a minor pain

A reminder to us all, no matter where we live

Mother Nature is a force, her respect we must give.

Anita Neal

When you get slapped in the face by something you can’t describe or understand, you write about it to help ease the pain. I was a very fortunate being through this fiasco but I have many friends who were not as fortunate. Some paid with their lives.

There are still areas without power, and cleanup will be for months. Some of these trees were decades if not over 100s of years old. Two other picture I wanted to include but it didn’t fit in the poem was one house was hit by an airplane wing that had been ripped off of a plane and sent flying. The other one was where a house was destroyed and a beam from it was sent through a house across the street.

If you are a prayerful person, please send this part of the US your prayers. Much loss of homes, business and the farming industry was crushed. And I don’t even want to talk about the wild animals that were killed and displaced.

If you care to see further pictures, they are all over the internet. Look for  Iowa 2020 Derecho.

It is hard for me to close as I always do, but now more than ever, this world needs to see, feel  and receive as much kindness as we can share with each other. There are lots of storms facing all of us all over this world. Please always be kind.

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Flower of the Day, July 22

Again we have more fun from my yard. Thanks to Cee for having such a fun prompt where we can all share the beauty of nature.

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Even on a drizzly day the sunflower smiles. Looks like one petal is trying to be a hat in keeping the rain from getting in its face.

And never under estimate the determination of nature as this sun flower, seed dropped from the feeder, grew under the fence to make sure it could show its happy face to the sun.

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Match the happiness of sunflowers where ever you go and always be kind.

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Tuesday Writing Prompt, July 14

Devereaux Frazier and Beth Amanda are currently hosting the Tuesday Writing Prompt Challenge which was started by our star writer Christine Ray. We hope to offer all of you something that will spark your creativity and willingness to participate.

Today’s prompt: Write a piece of prose or poetry around the phrase “nine years old, and she never had a chance”

 

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Nine Years Ago

It was nine years ago today, that faithless day, when life erupted with come what may.

The car she was in, offered no shelter within, as it hit the black ice and began to spin.

With injuries so grave, her leg they could not save, now at age nine she must be brave.

Her dreams of dance, was lost at first glance, knowing now she never had a chance.

Some dreams are alive, a determination to thrive, beyond expectation they too survive.

For others can see, the grace that can be, regardless of crutch, the beauty of she.

Now dreams of dance, where once was no chance, joyfully fill her with happenstance.

Anita Neal

As life can sometime throw you into a tailspin, try not to give up but continue to strive for your dreams. And always try to be kind even when it is hard.

kind hard

 

 

Is It a Full Moon?? Evening Humor

Do you have those days when you think…why did I get out of bed?? Linda G Hill has a post she shares periodically called “What Day is it Anyway?” so I have one to share with you that I am still not sure was real except for the spot still on my sidewalk when I got home…

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Let’s start the day over..(Oh, good grief no) but only with words.

Got to sleep until 7 before the dogs wanted up, which was great as it is usually 6 when they start stiring. Don’t know why I complain as before retiring I was up at 5…but I am retired now…well semi, didn’t like full retirement.

The morning routine was normal – took my shower, had a bagel with cream cheese and was ready in plenty of time to leave for my part time job. I had plenty of time for a quick email to my boys to let them know I love them…it’s a mom thing. I get that done, put the puppy up, gather my lunch bag, my keys, my phone and set the alarm and I am good to go. I open the door and all hell breaks lose…

Scooting right between my legs into the house is a chipmunk aka ground squirrel. My bird feeder attracts them but usually they run from you. Don’t know what spooked him to run towards me…and Mimi, a coonhound/black lab mix, 65 pounds.

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And the chase was on. I could  not help but think of my friend Carl and his squirrel story as it ran through his house with his two small dogs chasing. Good grief.

Mimi is barking that high pitched coon hound holler/bark thing they do, tables are being knocked about, I chasing both trying to catch the squirrel with a dish towel that was being used as a dust cloth and then…the alarm goes off because I didn’t close the front door. Crap! I got it turned off before it went full bore and called the police, meanwhile squirrel and dog are going nuts but fortunately staying in one room. The squirrel made a dash for the hall  but Mimi hit the broom going after him and knocked it down spooking the squirrel who did a quick u-turn right inside the bookcase since the bottom of it was empty. I grabbed the (new) round dog bed and covered him to keep him in there so I could grab him. I am crawling on the floor trying to catch this varmint, and I am sure this was an interesting chuckle for my guarding angel and who ever may have been watching from heaven. You know they do.

Thinking I have him, I get to my feet only for him to wiggle free and fall out of my hands…right into Mimi’s mouth. NO! I screamed and sweet Mimi dropped him but I think the damage was done. He lay there limp but I was able to get him back outside to hopefully regain consciousnesses and run/limp away. I lay him gently in the shady part of my front stoop and went back inside…to start the routine over. Got Mimi settled with a Milk Bone, reset the alarm and out I go. I check on the squirrel and he is still unconscious but seems to be breathing. I look toward my car…wait, where is my car…oh, crap again!! We had a bad storm last night and I moved my car to the garage in case we had hail. The garage is out back with the walkout basement. I park out from so I don’t have to deal with stairs. I lower my head shaking…I am not going back in that house, I will just walk around.

I get to the gate and can’t get it open. Because of the rain, the wood had swollen locking the gate in place. The people who put up my fence really did not understand what all was involved in putting up a fence…I am sure you have read my earlier post of that nightmare and me having to rebuild the front portion of my fence.

Now what? No way can I climb the fence. The triangle hoe thingy was laying there where I dug up some weeds the other day so I used it to slip in the crack between the gate and the fence and pry to gate open…eating up precious time in trying to get to work on time.

 

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Finally got the gate open and I head between my house and my neighbors house to get to the back yard. Got to the garage, no issue, got to the car no issue. So I opened the passenger side door to put in my lunch bag and my breakfast juice and realize…I don’t have my purse. This time its D___!

I get in the car, drive back around to the front of the house to go get my purse. I almost have to body slam the gate to get it open – the hoe is on the ground inside the fence. I go inside, unset the alarm, grab my purse, reset the alarm and finally I am off to work! I did not shut the gate…just in case I needed to come back for some reason.

So, that was my day start…how was yours…

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Life is filled with things that can drive us nuts if we let it. It is hard to keep our calm at those times but rewarding when we can. Sometimes we can even chuckle at life as it throws its curve balls. Remember to watch for those curve balls but swing hard for the good pitches. God will reward us when we do. And as always remember to be kind, even when you don’t feel kind…

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Share Your World

Interesting idea of sharing the successes and failures for the past year hosted by Sparksfromacombustiblemind. With a blog name like that how can you not come play. So with a New Year themed set of question, I am game as I had a pretty remarkable year. So here we go:

What was the single best thing that happened in your life this past year? That is easy. This past year I became a published author. After retiring in 2018 I was extremely bored and almost depressed. Its hard having a high energy job to do nothing. So I picked up a hobby I started in 2016, finished it and submitted it.  If you love animals and are a believer in heaven, you might be interested in seeing what heaven is like froma dogs perspective with Our Home of Love.

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            The most challenging? That is also easy. During the last quarter of 2018, I had both feet operated on so 2019, I had to learn how to walk again. When one foot got done in September and I seemed to do so well, I decided to go ahead and do the other one in December. What I didn’t realize is why I did so well with the first one is I had the other not operated on foot to lean on – now I didn’t have that and it was difficult for several months.

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One thing you learned in 2019? A lesson I have to relearn and relearn and relearn…Patience.

Given all your experiences, insights, and lessons learned in 2019, what’s the best advice you could give yourself for 2020? Take one day at a time and don’t sweat the small stuff that doesn’t get done – its all small stuff. Don’t borrow tomorrows troubles on today.

What’s the best meal/food you ate in 2019?  Sorry, I live in the mid-west now and after living in Atlanta for 20 years, the food here is..boring to bad. Sorry, I guess I am just spoiled.

What are three activities you plan to use in the coming year to relieve stress? Since I was not able to walk much this past spring, I plan to walk on the nature trails of a historical park near me. Also walking along the parks at the river is nice as well. Not sure what others will come my way, maybe a trip to Atlanta to go eat – that would be a fabulous activity.

Gratitude Question:

What brought you the most joy and are you going to do more of that? My friends celebrating with me my new found joy of writing. The support and love they share makes it twice as fun and yes book two is almost complete and the start of ideas for book 3 and swimming in  my mind.

Lastly – Any resolutions you’d care to share?I am not big on resolutions as they usually don’t last but I am going to give an idea I saw a good honest effort – Put my cell phone down more and pick up my bible instead. Also I am going to make a sincere effort to ensure I spread as much kindness as I possible can.

To join in on Share Your World 12/30/19 fun:

Suggestions for Responding by Melanie B Cee:

  1. Create a Share Your World post.  Then post the link to your blog in my comments or leave your answers in the comments on my blog.
  2. To make it easy for others to check out your post, title your blog post “Share Your World”  and link it to this post.
  3. If you’d like, remember to follow my blog to get your weekly reminders.
  4.  Ping-backs* are activated, but how efficiently varies. Right now it’s been reported that on my blog at least, they are NOT working very well.  Some folks can’t comment either.  I will answer all responses I can.  Thanks for your patience!

And in all things that we do, we make ripples in the lives of people everywhere we touch and interact with. So make your ripples kind so that kindness flows from you in a wave outward to circle the world.

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Fandango’s Question as a 1 Liner

Today’s Provocative Question from Fandango ties right in with a possible 1 liner from Linda Hill.

Would you be willing to give up everything you have if you could go back and start your life all over again? Why or why not?

The answer is No. It is our past that makes our present.  Scripture tells us that through our trials we gain strength and preserver onward. While trials, problem or difficulties we may come across can be hard we have a choice – we own it or it owns us. I chose to be the owner and through the grace of God, preserver.

If you live in the US, may you have a wonderful Thanksgiving. If you do not then have a wonderful week and may you remember to always be kind.

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Photo Challenge #291, Lamp

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Winsome Woods

It started out from a fall, a simple fall, not far, but oh so painful

The elbow was shot, which got it replaced, but that itself was not helpful

The awkwardness was evident, as I fell once more, it was becoming shameful

They said it was okay, that I should be glad, but I’m not, it’s just so awful

Second fall and another elbow gone, its really becoming stressful

Guess I should be grateful, the body still works, still trying to be faithful

But I fell again, loosing both knees, becoming harder now to be careful

Then came the slide that took out my hide, now I don’t seem useful

But came a crack appeared that took out my back, replaced with a pipe, now ungraceful

Now my head shines so bright,  gives others a fright, not a most practical skull

But I sit here and rest, have done very my best, and finally I am becoming peaceful.

Anita Neal

I tag Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie for the fun in creative writing. Come join in the fun and as always we thank Winsome Woods for the use of the fun  photograph.

 

And in closing I always remind my readers the value of kindness. Everyone has a back story that needs kindness and understand to get through the day, so always be kind.

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Its ALIVE, Who’da Thunk

The resilience of nature is truly amazing. A week or so ago I posted the demise of my banana tree left alone for 5 minutes with my new puppy. Lesson learned and tree was moved to the no puppy zone, aka my bedroom.

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Damaged but not killed

They are a pretty hardy plants, after all they survive hurricanes, so I was hopefully. Today circumstance were perfect to sneak in a Sunday afternoon nap, and it was fabulous. But right as I got comfy my eye caught this…

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A new leaf coming out of torn debris

I was so excited and told you that if I saw it reviving, I would post its picture. It lives. And as I lay there looking at it, I asked myself again “wonder how tall it is going to get”, after all the ceiling is only so high.

Nature is an amazing thing when you think about it. Think about ancient civilizations now gone and nature reclaiming the land. God’s amazing creation.

While thinking about the amazing attributes of nature, remember the amazing attributes of mankind. We too can be resilient in hard times and with God’s help we are an amazing creature. Remember to reflect the love in you from God to those around you to make His kindness radiate to others.

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I Don’t Get It but…

Going to church today, I bumped into the marathon. A 26+ mile run for fun? In the rain?As those who read my blog know I live on the Mississippi river within a 4 city metropolis called the Quad cities, with 2 cities either side of the river. This is the runningest  place I have ever lived in, or maybe because of the size and layout of the land here, I see them more. This particular marathon hits all 4 cities. It takes major amounts of commitment, courage, perseverance and love of running. Some run for a cause, some for themselves to beat the last run time and some just run for the fun and enjoyment or it, regardless of the weather. I don’t get it but I admire it.

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I realize these picture are not clear, I was driving at the time, but that folds into what my true purpose of this post is about.

Runners train endless hours to be able to preform the endurance that is required for any given race. They train their bodies to withstand the pressure they may encounter, they revise their diets to help strengthen their endurance and they gear their minds into the proper mindset to be able to finish the race. Sometimes it not about a clear manor in  running but that clearly you finish.

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For me, walking .2 miles can be a challenge on some days depending on what the weather is doing to my arthritic knees. But I admire the training of the runner and this morning I thought of a different thought pattern for running a race, which includes all the training mentioned above in different forms.

What if we turned our life into a race of…Running TO Jesus. What if we put a marathon’s  passion of running to run toward the one who loves us more than we can imagine. I look at it as a child being lost and then being found like the prodigal some spoken of in scripture. The father running with love toward the some. Our heavenly father is forever running to us, and if we will just turn toward Him…of course it is easier to say than to do.

Or for animal loves, tears come to my eyes as soldiers are reunited with their canine loves upon their return from service. They RUN to each other with love overflowing.

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That really is what God wants from us…to run to Him with His overflowing love for us. Scripture talks about running the race of life and to run it with Christ as our goal, while in fact He is running beside us to make sure we finish with Him.

So when you see runners cheer them own and remember to run your own race to God. He never said it would be easy but it did say it would be worth it.

And while you are running, remember to reflect the love he is showing you and share it with for other to see His love.

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