Category Archives: despair
First, I want to thank those who have been following my blogs and encouraging me for your patience for me to get back to writing again. I must admit, there were plenty of times I wanted to sit at the keyboard and “let loose,” it just never seemed to click.
The last four years have been hard due to the house fire, but struggles continued after we moved home as well. At first just moving in was hard because it was about a month and a half after Peter and I both got out of the hospital with the flu and double pneumonia. I was on oxygen, diagnosed with stage 2 COPD and dealing with weight gain from being laid up from injuries from the fire. Not burns, nerve damage from when I went back into the house to save our German Shepherds. So, at this point, we were in a beautiful home I wasn’t able to enjoy.
I had hired different housekeepers which through this process, I realized how much of my mother ran through my blood. We managed to get just the right cleaning equipment and I set a schedule for cleaning the house. All was well if I didn’t overdo it. At least once a week I had to take a painkiller and twice a week a muscle relaxer.
About 9 months ago I got the wonderful news that I did not have COPD and it must have been some residual from the pneumonia leftover in my lungs. Praise the Lord!!! I was able to do things without needing my oxygen and getting a little more active. Then tornadoes started happening and all the pollen and anything else you could imagine was tossed about. It was at that point I couldn’t breathe good and needed oxygen again. My pulmonologist did a skin allergy test and had to start me with antihistamine nose sprays. After about 2 months everything started evening out again until this fall. I was always on oxygen and if I got off the couch to do anything (without oxygen) it would quickly drop to low 80s. Long story short, through medication and my physician discussing how bad it was with my insurance company I am now taking a shot every two weeks for moderate to severe asthma. The reason is my allergies trigger asthmatic attacks; thus, allergy-induced asthma. Again, Praise the Lord!!! My oxygen is doing fine since I started the shots. Also, I have been able to lose a lot of weight just with diet. God is good!
I gave you this history lesson to get to the story. I was talking with Bob Stacy (pastor) about how bummed I feel sometimes. I went through my medications, the face that I’m on oxygen and recently had to get hearing aids. I informed him that’s the first steps of getting old and I’m only sixty years old!!! Even though I tried joking through it the tears started trickling down my cheeks. It was at this point Bob did what Bob does best…. he prayed for me. During his prayer he prayed from his heart saying “Enough is enough…” At the end of his prayer I added a P.S. stating “…and when we feel that enough is enough, may we be reminded what Jesus went through for us.” Amen.
I am not saying that I sometimes don’t “feel” that enough is enough, but I know that God has a plan, and He has me in His hands, no matter what. It is true, we have all felt enough is enough. Sometimes it may be at work, with our spouse, with our children…we all are familiar with that feeling. Just be aware that feelings come and go, be sure to pray your way through all of them for His guidance.
Enough is enough can also be with pets. This year my “babies” (little dogs) shattered two of my tablets while spazzing out chasing each other. After I got the 2nd new one, I got back on Star Trek Command game and found a wonderful Christian group to be a part of. Through chatting I shared with a player that I had a block on my writing since the fire. He shared that as a vet, he has the same problem with drawing due to his PTSD. I told him we’d make a pact that he would draw before the end of the year and I would blog; that we would not continue to allow the enemy to keep a block between us and God’s gifts and blessings. He agreed and said before Christmas.
World, I guess I’m back!!! Enough is Enough!!! Will you also join us with letting go and going forward in this upcoming New Year? I pray that the Holy Spirit convicts whoever is being held back…ENOUGH…IS…ENOUGH!!
This is DeVaughn ~ bringing it home.
Throughout Thanksgiving weekend so many thoughts went through my head and I started typing this blog as they came to me. Therefore, it may seem a little sporadic in its own way, but it is a mini version of the conversations between me and God over the last few days. I pray that you will enjoy your read and receive a blessing as well.
How grateful I am for the many blessings God has given us. We ARE alive and throughout the devastation and losses, have had a chance to realize just how valuable each day is and to live it to its fullest.
It’s amazing how losing everything you own can create a sense of peace. It wasn’t until I was left with just the shirt on my back did this realization come to be. So many times in life we hold onto things that unknowingly weigh us down. Since the fire, our clothes now consist of donations and a few store-bought items. I now have just enough makeup for the day. Granted, I need a couple pair of earrings, necklaces, and a watch to complete a dress outfit ~ but at this point, I have what I need ~ and to think that it is still more than others out in this world.
By mid-life our home and life is cluttered with our past. Now, it’s always wonderful to have family heirlooms and pictures to look at of memories forgotten; yet; I am finding how great of an opportunity my husband and I have right now. Everything from before we met had to somehow create a oneness, which is hard to do when you both bring in so much baggage ~ physically and emotionally. At this point in our life, after seven years of marriage, we finally have the gift of being able to create “us” and come together creating that oneness we have both longed for.
The last month my prayer to God was for strength to endure and peace that passeth all understanding. I mourned over the loss of the Chihuahuas, but I didn’t ask why, I just held onto the fact that His plan is perfect, to spite how we feel. Some days when I didn’t feel I had a prayer I held onto my faith for survival. Day by day things got a little easier.
We are finally out of the hotel and into a rental house. I truly believe with every fiber of my being we were blessed with such a nice place and furniture due to our steadfastness in our faith. In James 1:2-4 we are told to praise God through our trials, and we did. The house? It’s a beautiful older, two-story home with a Victorian style. The insurance company rents the furniture and uses specific vendors. We were told it was like hotel furniture. So, at this point, we were clueless how everything was going to look, whether it was comfortable, etc. As the movers pulled furniture out piece by piece we once again saw God’s hand at work. The housewares girls came in and made the beds, setup the kitchen and bathrooms, made sure there was a decorative item and a photo in each room. They were so thorough in things you may need that they even brought things down to a plunger and measuring cup. God tells us to not worry about our daily needs, He will provide. It was overwhelming to see how He does provide when we hold onto our faith in Him throughout our storms.
I started writing this Thanksgiving Eve and now finishing the day after Thanksgiving. I must say it was one of the best Thanksgivings I have ever had. It wasn’t about the meal for we ate sandwiches while working some around the house. Our Thanksgiving was truly a day that we spent in awe of God’s greatness and being thankful for every small thing.
As Christians, we are always to give thanks to the Lord. This year made me think of how many times I may have said the words but this time ~ I was truly meaning every one of them. I sat in silence by myself a lot, feeling the peace I had prayed for; I looked around at how God provided for us ~ we truly had a day of Thanksgiving.
My friends, no matter your storm, hold onto your faith and leave everything in God’s hands and watch what He will do. Not only does He live up to His promises, but you can be an inspiration for those around who are watching you go through your storm.
This is DeVaughn ~ bringing it home.
Not too long ago my husband and I decided it was time for a new bed since we were both getting backaches from the old one. I found a beautiful bed on Craigslist for a decent price and the individual said she would include the mattress which wasn’t that old either. Wow, I thought I struck gold! Needless to say, the mattress wasn’t going to be around long after seeing it. The headboard and footboard though, they were absolutely gorgeous! As we were putting the bed together my husband informed me that the small boards on the side were NOT going to hold the weight. After deliberation we decided to try it out. After it was all put together with the mattress he sat down on it….all was well and looking good. Wait for it….yes, you guessed right. I decided to join him and sat on it and the bed went boom!!! He looked at me and smiled and said “Exactly when are you starting at the gym?” A few slaps later we turned and looked around and the bed was literally falling apart. The sides had come out of their groove and the headboard was leaning in and one of the posts looked as if it was going to fall any moment. We immediately got up and fixed the frame and proceeded to sleep in the living room that night.
The next day we headed out to get a new mattress set. Peter had mentioned building a frame for it to go inside of the bed frame. I then told him we were going to get a metal king size mattress frame meant to hold the mattresses and not take another chance. A few hours later the new mattress set and metal frame was delivered to the house. Peter used some L brackets and screwed the sideboards into the headboard and footboard of the bed for extra security. Once the bed frame was secured we put in the metal frame and mattresses and enjoyed a wonderful night of rest.
It reminded me a lot of our lives and how weak we are without God. Our lives are like the bed frame, looks beautiful other than minor scratches here and there and we think we’re doing well. Add some weight on and we’re still standing; a little more, yes we’re good because we’re still standing what we think as strong. I mean, if we haven’t fallen we must be ok. Then just one more thing and we break and fall to pieces. We look around and somehow our life has fallen apart.
It is at this point that most people realize they can’t do it on their own ~ they need God. That strength that comes with a guarantee like the mattress metal frame. So, we have what is needed to become strong in this whirlwind of life. With each trial we go through that we continue to have faith in Him throughout each storm, it’s another screw tightened in to increase the strength.
If life was as easy as to become saved and live happily ever after we wouldn’t see our need to have faith in Him. Throughout our trials we are blessed to experience His hand in our lives and we realize that alone we aren’t strong at all ~ but with Jesus at our side we have the strength to endure and He will be there for us ~ we just have to ask.
This is DeVaughn ~ bringing it home.
Where do I begin with this one… I was sitting at my computer with my grandchildren in the living room watching TV. I heard my son come in and ask “Where is Mama? Where is Grandma?” I told him I was in the office. He came in and said “Can I have a hug?” in a whispery tone that was hard to understand him and I looked up and saw my son with tears streaming down his face as he was reaching for me. I stood up and held him as he cried telling me he didn’t know if he could take anymore. As a mother my instinct was to hold on and not let go ~ and we didn’t for a brief while. We then stepped out onto the back porch and talked. His heart was breaking due to his separation and upcoming divorce. There is no greater pain than to see your child in pain, no matter how old they are, and yet there’s nothing you can do or say that will make it better.
My son is an Iraq Veteran and I’m proud of him. I am blessed and grateful that he did come home; but, he didn’t come home the same. The issues he had from what he had gone through has taken his life and turned it upside down. He used to be real outgoing and love crowds whereas now, he can’t be in a large crowd without an anxiety attack. As his marriage was falling apart he finally went for some counseling and was diagnosed with PTSD, and praise God they gave him some medication that allows him to stay calmer.
When he came to me the other day it took every ounce of strength I had to hold it together until after he left. I truly broke down myself and thought back to when I had reached that breaking point. On September 7, 2008, I had a seizure and fell down the stairs resulting in a compound and burst fracture of L5. After the results of an MRI telling me I couldn’t have back surgery because it was too dangerous I left a message for Rick Curren, III. I had worked for him in the medical field and knew his knowledge was vast and trusted his advice. What this meant was that I would be off of work for 2 months at least. I remember crying telling Rick that I was scared of losing my house. It was his response that made the impact. Not only did Rick remind me it was just a house and this was my health but the vital part was reciting the 23rd Psalm and going over the meaning of every line in it. I then felt a sense of peace.
About 5 years earlier my mother’s Pastor told us that if you’re ever scared recite the 23rd Psalm 5 times a day. I went home that night and realized I couldn’t remember it after all these years. I took out my Bible and started reading it out loud. The first time was to remind myself of the words, I made it through the second time; but, about halfway through the third time I broke down crying turning to Jesus the way my son turned to me. I must add, I have never been the same since for it was at that very moment I felt His presence and went from being just a believer to having a relationship with Him.
You see, even though my son made it home he still fights battles every day ~ we all do. Whether as a Veteran, survivor of rape and/or abuse, addiction, the list goes on and on. We all are casualties of some kind of war or another. When my son came to me for comfort after all of these years it gave me a glimpse into how Jesus felt when I came home to him that night. No matter what war you are facing ~ Jesus is waiting to give you His sense of peace ~ all you have to do is ask.
This is DeVaughn ~ bringing it home.