Wednesday, October 31, 2012

When A Tree Branch Fell

My alarm broke through the darkness of day breaking as it does most weekday mornings. My body preferring the warm downy comforter to the cold, raw air of my bedroom, I convinced myself to get up. Through sleepy eyes I knew we were still without power.

Hurricane Sandy huffed amd puffed into our small Pennsylvania town, covering the landscape with wet autumn leaves and riddled with branches. The storm is well past us now, but the pin-drop silence of our small Rancher reminds me of what Sandy left behind.

Last night my family celebrated a warm meal over candlelight, our side of the street darkening as the sun slid lower in the sky. But directly across from us, neighbors with power, spared the inconvenience. Such a funny sight. The juxtaposition of comfort versus struggle. It has been teaching me.

While we huddle together under blankets for warmth, seeing only by the light of a candle and a camping lantern, the other side of the street has... I was going to say "has all they need" but that makes it sound like I don't and that's just not true.

This whole ordeal makes me think about Job 1:21-22, how God gives and takes away. And in all the ways Job had and lost he did not blame God.

There are so many ways I have wanted God to provide for my family during this time. I am worried. My husband will not be paid for 4 days of no work. The adventure of living a "pioneer life" wears off pretty quickly, especially when you are not prepared to live that way. So easily I can see the negative in this experience and feel angry about it. Wanting someone to rescue us from this annoyance.


When we needed safety, the tree branch fell away from our house, not damaging anything as it ripped away from itself and slammed hard onto the ground below.

When we needed a way to keep our food cold, a neighbor's freezer, a cousin's generator were freely offered.

When we needed a warm meal, loving friends sent invitations, a stovetop for mash potato making.

We have not gone without.

And I sit on my comfy couch under a fleece blanket, typing fingers turning blue from 3 days with no heat, seeing only by the God-given light that shines through our bay window, with the purring sound of a gas powered generator in the distance and I can be thankful. For God provides what I need, not necessarily what I think I need or what I want.

And I'm learning to be fine with that.

Linking with:

Looking for Eden -- Tamar's Redemption Tuesday

This is Part 2 of my story, in a series for Tamar's Redemption Tuesdays, called God in Healing. For anyone who has ever wished they could change the past.

Tamar's Redemption Tuesday
How We Hurt, How We Heal

Eight years ago, in a time of immense trial, God became real to me. Although God and I met every Sunday since I was very small, sitting next to my Grandmother in the church pew, he always felt far away.

For many years, I imagined myself at the front of the time machine line – clicking back the years and changing history. I thought a re-write was exactly what I needed. Cue the knight in shining armor to save me from my childhood sexual abuse. This would change my life – for the better.

Read more of this guest post at Tamar's Redemption

Related Posts:
Looking for a Hero -- God in Healing Part 1 -- Tamar's Redemption Tuesdays
I Am A Survivor — Christy's Voice Part 1 — Tamar's Redemption Tuesdays
Shame — Christy's Voice Part 2 — Tamar's Redemption Tuesdays
Betrayal — Christy's Voice Part 3 — Tamar's Redemption Tuesdays
Healing — Christy's Voice Part 4 — Tamar's Redemption Tuesdays

Thursday, October 25, 2012

His Voice

My Five Minute Friday on: Voice

I know my past haunts. These hurts have kept me silent, convinced of lies. They held me captive in chains I struggled to break.

But there is a light that breaks through the darkness. It is God telling me I am His. He tells me I do not need to be afraid.

Speaking it aloud encourages, heals. Lets others know they are not alone.

His voice makes me unafraid.

His voice tells me I am beautiful, forgiven, and free.

His voice reminds me -- I am His.

Linking with Lisa-Jo...

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

What Lies Ahead

I hear the click-clicking of my stove as it simmers the earthy lentil soup. I sprinkled some Momma love in there so they might think of me as they eat it tomorrow.

It's the eve of attending my first blogger writer's conference and I'm asking that butterfly in the belly introverted question, why did I say I would go to this thing?

Back when the blossoms were just about to explode in their spring glory, I pushed the "purchase ticket" button on the Allume website. With my friend's reassuring voice on the other end of the telephone line, she was convinced we would have a great time and a positive experience. It's sort of a blur to me now. What made me decide to actually do it?

A conference full of Christian women, with a common interest in blog writing. Some names I knew, Ann Voskamp, Mary DeMuth, Lisa-Jo. They have become a familiar sight on my "follow" list. I visit their journals, their encouragements, their well-put prose and it feels like I know them.

Three years ago, when I first started this blog, it was out of curiosity. I had no idea I would ever stick with it or what it would become.

Like a winter cold, I caught "blogging" — or maybe it caught me?

Writing fills me and challenges. Deeply I think and examine myself and others in front of the backdrop of this world.

God reminds me where I have been when I write. And He encourages me and gives me hope about my future.

So I know that God wants me to write. And when I'm unsure, He nudges and whispers the words and I try desperately to stay out of His way.

Attending the Allume conference feels intimidating. But as I stir my bubbling soup, feet firmly planted in my stay-at-home Mom life (with both kids in school full-time), I wonder what God has in store for me there? And what this conference will teach me?

And when that question nags again, "Why did I say I would go to this thing?", I can be ever confident that just showing up will be a blessing and I am anxious to see what lies ahead.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Hackjacked: A post by a not so eloquent Hubby:

Hackjacked: A post by a not so eloquent Hubby:

      Blogging has blossomed Christy, into the truth seeker and speaker I call my wife.  

There’s an aspect of living life that goes unheard, those thoughts we have but don’t say and those moments we wish never happened. But there are blessings to offset them. Christy is my blessing to having “A Heartening Life.
I would have to say that blogging has been God’s way to help us heal.  For a time in her life, I'm not sure Christy had the words to "speak".  It was as if someone had “stolen her voice”.  She grew up, became an adult and by His perfect plan she sought Christ’s desire for her life.  He answered by renewing “her voice”.   
I was gifted with the opportunity to watch and live this journey with her.  To see her new voice amplified all to the online community amazing. 
I think of not just how she is able to use her voice, but how she is able to be encouraged and give encouragement to others she hardly knows.  My wife is now part of something that seems unending. She is a mama, wife, and lover of Jesus.

Christy is a blogger! and I am proud to be her hardworking carpenter hubby. 

This isn't the first time Adam has hijacked this blog…

Looking For A Hero - Tamar's Redemption Tuesday

For the past 4 weeks, I have written about my story of hope — from a victim of childhood sexual abuse to a survivor. Today I begin a new series for Tamar's Redemption Tuesdays, God in Healing, where I search for the Hero I always needed, and find, not just healing, but redemption.

Tamar's Redemption Tuesdays
How We Hurt, How We Heal

Thirty-six years a survivor and I still wrestle with God.

When painful memories overwhelm, it’s hard for me to see – to see God in that darkness. I have pleaded with God for His “five w” answers, but all I really want to know is “Why?”

Blaming my adult abuser was not enough for me. God became an easy target for my barrage of questions and doubts, my feelings of anger and helplessness.

Read more of this guest post at Tamar's Redemption

Previous posts on this topic:
I Am A Survivor — Christy's Voice Part 1 — Tamar's Redemption Tuesdays
Shame — Christy's Voice Part 2 — Tamar's Redemption Tuesdays
Betrayal — Christy's Voice Part 3 — Tamar's Redemption Tuesdays
Healing — Christy's Voice Part 4 — Tamar's Redemption Tuesdays
When Memories Haunt You  —May 3, 2012
Shame On Me — December 7, 2010

Friday, October 19, 2012

Another Pair of Shoes

My Five Minute Friday on: Look

From the moment I wrangle myself from under the warm covers with alarm man reciting today's weather I am making a choice.

When I brush her hair and she cries cause it pulls and I yell because I'm trying to be gentle. We're late and those words come out of me, angry and impatient. I am making a choice.

As I hurry to the grocery store, with songs playing loud and my mind filled with chatter and thoughts and schedules and plans. I choose.

These shoes I'm standing in, this view I'm looking from, is it mine?

I choose myself more times then not. I get caught up in the blurry hurry and I hear my own thoughts and I see it all being about myself.

There is a choice. To look from another pair of shoes — yours. When I'm intentional and I actually LOOK at you.

I see in my rearview that woman sobbing on her cell behind me and I wonder why her heart is breaking right then.

I see that grayed woman struggling to lift those cans and cartons in bags.

I see the hurt face of a sweet girl when her Momma says things rough and impatient. When that rush makes the schedule more important then gentleness on long hair tangles.

When I look, really look, and the details smack me between the eyes and my heart gets involved in the doings of others instead of myself.

That's the choice I want to make.

Linking up with Lisa-Jo today…
Five Minute Friday

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

"Friendship" - I Heart Faces Photo Challenge

My daughter and her friend, having fun in the waves together.

"Friends are the most important part of your life. Treasure the tears, treasure the laughter, but most importantly, treasure the memories." -quote by Dave Brenner

This photo was submitted to the I Heart Faces photo challenge –

Photo Challenge Submission

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Healing - Tamar's Redemption Tuesday

Today I share Part 4 of my story with this guest post on Tamar's Redemption. There is hope, in every story, to find healing from sexual abuse.

Tamar's Redemption Tuesdays
How We Hurt, How We Heal

Desperate, I wanted to trust people.

I searched for acceptance and love from anyone who was willing to give it to me. Internally, I traded my trust for a guarantee – that I would never be hurt again. I jumped into relationships with everything I had. I clung to them, relied on them, looking for some security. I wanted to feel safe.

Like a teeter-totter, I swayed between depending on others for what I needed and relying on myself. I knew deep down I would get hurt, but I also knew not trusting anyone was impossible. So I remained skeptical, ready to step in to protect myself at any moment.

Marriage was a proving ground. Initially, the promised commitment felt safe. But it wasn’t long before it all started to fall a part.

Read more of this guest post at Tamar's Redemption…

This post led to a secondary series on God in Healing:

Looking for a Hero
Looking for Eden
Finding the Real Me
Letting Go

Previous posts on this topic:
I Am A Survivor — Christy's Voice Part 1 — Tamar's Redemption Tuesdays
Shame — Christy's Voice Part 2 — Tamar's Redemption Tuesdays
Betrayal — Christy's Voice Part 3 — Tamar's Redemption Tuesdays
When Memories Haunt You  —May 3, 2012
Shame On Me — December 7, 2010

Friday, October 12, 2012

The Race of My Life

My Five Minute Friday on: Race

The red numbers on my bedside alarm clock read seven-thirty. The sun has already taken its position in the morning sky.

We are late already.

I wake sleepyhead from the sandman's grasp. Sound my directions for getting dressed. I take breakfast and lunch orders.

Me and my fuzzy slippers, we shuffle to the kitchen. Packing lunch. Finding a bowl, a spoon for their breakfast.

My eyes darting to the microwave clock. It keeps marching forward. We are racing against time.

Shoes on, teeth brushed, school bags packed…

We jump in Mommy's white school bus, our caravan. Off we go. Dropped off with 5 minutes to spare.

I sigh my relief.

The race begins and ends every day. You would think I'd be fit for it by now. Some days I win, other days it feels like I lose. It's easy to get caught up.

I'm running the race of my life —

remembering at the end,

I may be awarded the Finisher's Medal just from having run the race,

but what matters more,

is how well I ran it.

"Races aren’t always won by those who run fast." —Ecclesiastes 9:11

Linking up with Lisa-Jo today…
Five Minute Friday

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Betrayal - Tamar's Redemption Tuesday

I continue with Part 3 of my story in this guest post on Tamar's Redemption. The effects of sexual abuse are pervasive. Maybe something I write will strike a chord with you, reminding you of your own quiet pain. Maybe you will glean a new understanding of the struggles your sexually abused loved one has experienced. I'm sharing to give you hope. So you can see not just how we hurt, but also how we heal.

Tamar's Redemption Tuesdays
How We Hurt, How We Heal

I was just a kid. I had no reason not to trust him, but this left me vulnerable. He had relied on my innocence, my ignorance, and my trust. I obeyed his instructions because that is what I had always done, what I felt was expected of me. I was unaware of appropriate body boundaries. Not at that age, not back then. My abuser had certainly crossed the line.

This betrayal changed me.

After awhile I stopped trusting adult men. I didn’t know I was doing that at the time, of course. This change was deep inside of me, mixed into the undercurrent of how my young mind had interpreted the yucky things that happened to me. Confusion birthed lies, which took root under my surface.

Inside, my world was a swirling mess.

Read more of this guest post at Tamar's Redemption

Previous posts on this topic:
When Memories Haunt You  —May 3, 2012
I Am A Survivor — Christy's Voice Part 1 — Tamar's Redemption Tuesdays
Shame — Christy's Voice Part 2 — Tamar's Redemption Tuesdays
Shame On Me — December 7, 2010

Friday, October 5, 2012

Really Glad You're Here

My Five Minute Friday on: Welcome

You. Are. Welcome.

I say these words over in my mind. They make me feel warm and fuzzy and accepted.

I can be who I am here. I can say what I think. I can make myself comfortable. I can speak or be quiet. Someone is glad that I'm here. Thankful that I showed up.

I don't have to worry about what others will think. Free of judgement.

When we say, "You are welcome," is this what we mean?

Or is it just something we say — like asking, "How are you?" — Do we REALLY want to know?

You ARE welcome! Stains on your shirt, slippers on your feet, oatmeal crusties in your hair, dried toothpaste stuck to your chin, toddler screaming, patience fleeting, worries consuming, mistakes and all, however you are.

You are just right. And we're really glad that you're here!


Linking with Lisa-Jo today:
Five Minute Friday

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Where God Found Me




Curled up in a ball, crying on my bed. I had received some pretty heavy, shocking news. It rocked me to my core. I thought things were going pretty well and the rug was pulled right out from under me. Didn't know who to turn to. Didn't even know who I was or what we were anymore.

This is where God found me.

My husband had made some bad, hurtful choices. Guilt told him he needed to hide it all from me. Inside he was a mess. Conflicted, confused, and angry he withheld the truth from everyone. But God had other plans.

That September night, God had enough of the lies. Broken, honest, and sorry, the truth came out, like a blinding flash of light. Everything lay bare at our feet. But it didn’t come without a price.

Whether we knew it right away or not, God was working. Through the arguments and the counseling He had been there. And now in extreme brokenness, He was helping us pick up the pieces.

It wasn’t that I didn’t know God before. We met every Sunday since I was very small, sitting next to my Grandmother in the church pew. I sang His songs and prayed the prayers. But he always felt far away.

But it was in this painful, lost place, heart exposed, that He showed me how close he really was. That He had always been but a whisper away.

This became a defining moment, when God saved a marriage and began a healing process meant to redeem two of his children. And He wants this for you, too.

You may not believe. You may not know who God is. He may be working in your life and you can't see it. You may be struggling, hurting, or feeling alone. But God loves the brokenhearted. He cares for the misfit and the imperfect. Like in our story, He doesn’t wait for you to get it all right.

He is close. Only a whisper away.

Linking with Ann at "A Holy Experience":

This post has been updated from the archives.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Shame - Tamar's Redemption Tuesdays

I continue with Part 2 of my journey of sharing. According to NAASCA, there are over 39 million survivors of sexual abuse in America. Chances are either you or someone close to you has experienced some form of childhood sexual abuse. Finding my voice took a long time, but there is hope and healing for anyone who has survived this trauma. I hope my testimony will give others insight and understanding. I pray it will help others to find their voice, as well.

Tamar's Redemption Tuesdays
How We Hurt, How We Heal

I met Shame in high school. That's when the memories came flooding back. I’m sure I had met him before, but I never knew his name.

Shame became a constant companion. When the memories continued their assault, Shame made me feel like the sexual abuse had been my fault. Shame kept my mouth shut, too embarrassed to talk about it. Made me feel like I should have known better.

Read more of my guest post at Tamar's Redemption

Previous posts on this topic:

When Memories Haunt You  —May 3, 2012
I Am A Survivor — Christy's Voice Part 1 — Tamar's Redemption Tuesdays
Shame On Me — December 7, 2010

If you struggle with shame there is a book you might be interested in reading:
"Shame Interrupted: How God Lifts the Pain of Worthlessness and Rejection" by Edward Welch

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