Thursday, December 26, 2013

Season of Joy

Ok. I know that I have posted a lot of blah posts of late. There are many things going on in my life "behind the scenes" so to speak, that I haven't been talking about. 

And, well I have my reasons. The first and foremost reason is it's my story and I will tell it when I'm good and ready.   

I have had a tremendous longing in my heart for something that I knew was waiting for me. A longing that is a need, and empty spot that has to be filled. 

Christmas has been topsy-turvy for me since my parents died. I didn't feel like celebrating the year they died. The next year I bought all new decorations and put up a beautiful tree. Then we had the changes in our family and it didn't seem like the tree was a good idea. 

This year the tree went up. It was beautiful and I enjoyed coming in and turning it on each night. It makes me smile and reminds me that life goes on and I am moving forward. 

There is joy in my life. Real joy. The joy has come at great cost, but it's joy none the less. I have a reason to smile. I have a reason to hope. And, I have a reason to love. 

This is a season of joy for me. A season to be with my wonderful, smart, successful children, to love on them and wrap myself up in their love for me. 

This is a season to share my love and get joy from the pleasure of others. 

And this is the season to be loved and treasured for who I am. 

All I can say is YAY. 

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Let Me 'Splain......

I think that I probably relate to Lucille Ball WAY more that I should. Lucy was always getting herself into some kinda pickle and had to try to figure a way out before Ricky caught on to what was going on.

I don't have a "Ricky" looking over my shoulder, but by-George I am way too good at getting myself into pickles.

I have to tell you a secret before I go any further. (softly in a wispy voice) **I hate drama**

I get on Facebook and I see all these posts about people who seem to think the world at large is just sitting around waiting to see what kind of tragedy has befallen them today.

Posts like:

UGH....I haven't pooped in 12 days! And, I am continuing to shove food in my mouth day and night! HOW much longer can this go on??? How can I go to Walmart when I don't know WHEN the big poop will happen?? I HATE my LIFE!!!


So, I have never actually seen that post....and I am laughing way too much imagining it....

But, essentially that is what those other posts look like to me.

Lucy had it going on. She would find herself in some of the worst situations you could ever imagine and she didn't go around blabbing to everyone and their brother. NOPE. She rolled up her sleeves and in her Lucy way she proceeded to find a way out of what ever stupid situation she had gotten herself into this time.

Let me tell you something, I have been in many a pickle. I have had my heart broken, my trust destroyed, my faith shaken. I have been overfed and underfed. I have wondered where my next dime was coming from and I have felt fear shake me to my very foundation.

And more than likely, unless you were my "Ethel," you. will. never. know.

Now, there are many "stupid Sheri Stories" that circulate throughout my family. Hey, I'm OK with that. Most of the time I will tell you myself. I mean, some of them are pretty dang funny.

I recently posted the clip of Lucy and Ethel at the chocolate factory on Facebook because of a situation going on at work. Man, that is definitely the way it has felt for us lately. And I promise you, I would have reacted the same way they did when that candy started shooting out on that belt.

But, let me explain something to you.....I am,

I have no "hidden agenda." I am not talking out of both sides of my mouth. I am just simply me. I don't know how to be anyone else. I have left the safety of my old life and stepped out into this crazy world. And, at first I thought "Hey, I got this! This isn't bad at all!!"

Then the belt sped up and candy started shooting out at me faster than I could get it wrapped up. I have no past history of the candy factory that helps me to deal with it.

In plain English, I have no idea how to do this. My personal *life* resume includes these highlights. Wife. Mother.

That's it. I have no experience with dealing with all the rest of the stuff life alone throws your way.

I recently wanted to eat at Chili's. I went in and the girl at the door asked me how many. I said, "oh, just me."

Her response....

"Aw.....Do you want to just sit by the bar?" the the room delegated to losers who can't find anyone else to eat with? Then, yes.

Yes, I am Lonely Girl, er lady/woman.

And, I don't know how to explain that because I have no intention of doing so. I am bungling my way through this new territory with minimal causalities so far.

And just like Lucy who only wanted that new dress, or a night out on the town, I only want love in my life. I am hoping to bungle my way into happily ever after in spite of it all....



For now I am standing at the conveyor belt of life, trying as hard as I can to keep that candy from getting by me......

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Liars and Their Lying Lie Hole

Honesty is the best policy, as the saying goes. I have enough life know that this is so true. There is not much more that I can say than the truth always is the best policy.

I am a watcher of people. I think God has given me the gift of being able to see people for who they are.  I fear this is a blessing and a curse. I have been able to look into someone's eyes and see things there both good and bad and realize that life always goes on, even if those people aren't a part of it.

And today, as I make my way to work, using Siri to help me make this post, I am struck again by the tangled web that lies will leave in your life. Nothing is more complicated than trying to backtrack your way out of your own lies. This simplicity that truth brings into your life is worth the cost that it may have to tell. 

More times than I would like to count, my life has been challenged by someone who knows not how to tell the truth. And it is dealing with these challenges that my ability to see someone for who they are has been especially painful. Because I always want to see the good in everyone, even when the bad is very apparent.

Can I say I have never told a lie? Absolutely not. But I have found in myself the inability to stick with a lie. And have often corrected that lie as soon as it left my mouth.  One instance in particular telling the truth came at a great cost to me, but I still had to tell the truth. You can never keep up with lies because lies only multiply.

I tend to have great faith in those that I care for. I tend to believe in someone until they are proven to be wrong. For some reason, I have always felt that love deserved the truth. 

And, I have never failed to weep when lies were exposed.

Today, I press toward my goals, and I press alone. I am without that helpmeet that I longed for. And, that saddens me to the depths of my soul.

But, I would rather make this journey alone than make this journey in the Company of liars. I have been reflecting during my ride, reflecting on the great cost of dishonesty. I have been remembering, I have been reminiscing, and I have been counting the cost. 

And what a cost. What a cost it is.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

The Key to Open Any Door

I know, I know, it has been way too long. To say I have been busy is a slight understatement. 

Since my last entry I have....
Quit my job
Started a new job
Restarted school
Moved into a duplex in a new city

Everything has been hectic but I have been enjoying the changes. It's the loneliness and empty rooms void of my children and memories that have been hard to take. But, I'm getting there. 


About two weeks into my new position the office relocated. Granted, it relocated one building down, but it was still fraught with drama. 

My brand new office was once the waiting room. They came in and added a beautiful door with glass windows down either side (no hiding in my office and eating candy for me). And! I have my Very. Own. Bathroom. *insert gasps of outraged jealousy here*

As lovely as my office is, it was lacking one very important thing: a way to lock the door. 

Since I have become an independent woman, I have learned many things about myself. Among those things is the fact that I can do much more than I ever gave myself credit for. One of those credit lacking areas is being handy. 

I mean, I can and do read directions. And, I have put together several things with my shiny new pink took set. With that in mind, I drove to Lowes and purchased a lock to put on the door to my office. I mean, how hard could it possibly be?

I returned with said lock, and began the task of removing the old and adding the new. And, it was actually pretty easy. Maybe too easy. But, I did it and all was right with my little office world. For a time. 

It took about a week or so before I started having problems getting my door unlocked. I would put the key in, jiggle, remove the key. And repeat as many times as necessary to get desired results (the door unlocking). 

I would come in, key in hand, ready for battle. And, then I began the war, jab key in - attempt to twist in all directions - pull key out - repeat. 

Over and over and over. 

Until in one magical moment it would suddenly turn. 

My business office manager's husband used to be a contractor. He came in to place another lock on for us out of the kindness of his heart. While he was there, she asked him to look at my lock. Since it was the close of the day, I left them to look and I headed home. He had no luck. 

I came in the next morning to see how much better it was. I thrust my key in the lock and attempted to turn. Nothing.

I put the key in again, gentler this time and it felt like it would click. So, I gently rocked the key back and forth. 

And, miraculously it turned! I was stunned. Astonished. In awe. 

There is one thing I know to be true about myself, the more pressure I am under at any given time, the more likely I am to barrel through life like a bull in a china shop, my main concern being getting from point a to point b, no matter the casualties. 

I stood with my door open, my key in my hand, my eyes on the knob thinking. 

And breathing. 

And processing. 

And realizing. 

I walked around to my desk and sat down, took a deep cleansing breath, and began the list of things to do for the day....

In slow motion. 

And I realized that I had not only learned the secret to unlockingy office, I had been given the key to unlock any door. 

And that key is knowing how much pressure it takes to turn the key in the lock. With that simple lesson I was able to sit down and instead of bull-rushing through all the issues I had been facing, I was able to sit down and calmly seek solutions. I was able to listen and also hear what was going on all around me. And, I was able to push through some problems that needed a firm hand, yet also gently turn other situations with a patient hand. 

As I pushed the key into my lock this morning, I also unlocked a peace that comes from knowing you have unlocked the door to your tomorrow and I walked through the door with a smile. 

I left the office at 4:58 this afternoon and shut and locked my office door, satisfied with my accomplishments. 

Friday, August 9, 2013

Kiss the BooBoo

It seems like a million years ago since my children were little. I miss those days. They were so sweet. I know for a fact I was blessed after observing other children over the years. Now, they weren't perfect, mind you, but they were really good babies. 

If only life were as simple as it was then. You could explain things to them easier because they were blank slates waiting for input. They wanted boundaries and guidelines. And, I am so thankful they had them. 

I do miss those simple days when they would come up to me with a hand stretched out, tears running down their faces and all it took was a kiss from Mama to make it all better. 

Ethan was so afraid to go to school when he started because he said, "I will miss you cause you won't be there." So, one of the routines we got into was me kissing the palm of his hand and then I would close his fingers over the spot and tell him "when the missing gets really bad, you will have a kiss from me to make it better." And, just that little gesture made such a difference. 

But, they are not babies anymore. Unfortunately, a kiss doesn't fix the hurts of grown up lives. Oh, how I wish it did. If only I could kiss broken hearts and make them all better. If only I could mend the hurt with my arms. 

Even when I made the hurt happen. 

One of the hardest growing up lessons I ever had to learn was that my parents were human. I can still feel the way that made me feel. 

I hate my own children have ever hurt at my hand, from my actions. Nothing is as bitter as disappointment and sometimes that bitter taste never leaves the palate and it provides a seasoning for every interaction that follows if we allow it to. 

When you are wounded by the one who you trust as much as a parent it will throw you in a tailspin. How can this paragon of virtue and love fail? 

When my children were small and they would come in from school with hurt feelings or pride I would put my arms around them and we would talk about what had happened. And throughout the years I could hear those conversations echoed back to me as they spoke of situations. 

I cannot imagine what it would have been like if they had come in hurt, looking to me for love and I would have pushed them away. What if they had come to me crying and bruised and instead of a kiss I would have scolded them, pushed them away and left them to deal with their pain? Not to say we did not talk about how and why they were hurt and why they should not go there again it do whatever again or be around whoever again. 

But, when they came to me broken, I was there to love them in spite of the cause. 

And, today in their grown up lives if I saw one of them standing on the edge of a cliff, dangerously close to falling in, I would reach out and draw them closer, not push them farther away and possibly risk losing them forever. 

I have been lost lately. Scrambling around. Hurt and disoriented. And, I have made mistakes and I have failed. But, my love for those babies goes on even though they are no longer babies. I hope that they never forget my love. 

Thursday, July 25, 2013

A Place to Call Home

We are having a crisis at our house. It is like a magnitude 9 earthquake has come to South Georgia and we are feeling the aftershocks as I type.

One of the decisions Bobby and I made years ago was that we wanted our kids to have a "hometown" to call their own. 

You see, both of us had grown up "Newspaper Brats" which means, like Army Brats, we loaded up an moved every two or three years. This was what we were accustomed to. 

I can't speak for him, but one of the things that happened in my family because of this is WE became our home. What I mean is, wherever we were together, that was our home. Home wasn't so much identified with the walls that surrounded us, but by the love of the people within. 

I have put our house on the market. This was a hard decision that I truly have fought not to make. But, it is time. 

We have lived in this house for 15 years next month. This is by FAR the longest I have ever been in one residence. And, I love this little house. I loved it the first time I peeked in the front door. 

So many memories are there. My heart squeezes to think of the memories fading as the pictures in my mind grow dimmer. 

And, it hurts. 

But, it's just walls. 

I told my daughter last night I think we may have done them a disservice. I think in their minds home is a building. 

But, I say nay nay. Home is too big to be contained within walls made by man. 

Home is wherever we are together. Home is where someone who loves you no matter what you have or have not done waits with arms open. Home is where you feel wrapped up in unconditional love. 

Maybe it was I who was done a disservice. If I had thought of home as a building I would have long ago gotten over the loss. Home would for me now lies on Rocky Pond Rd. where the two people who loved me no matter what I did or didn't do lay in final rest. But, yet I can still feel home inside of me. 


To my precious, sweet children. My, how I love you both. You are the best of everything I have ever done. I am so proud of you. And I know this is hard because it is hard for me. But, know this and never doubt it. Wherever we are, wherever we are, that is home. Because home is a feeling, not an address. If we limit what we feel for each other to where we get our mail, we have placed boundaries on a love that knows no bounds. And, I learned from my own home that what we have cannot be contained. Not even the hands of death can take away your home when you carry it with you. I will always be with you. Always. Even when I'm gone. 

You can always, always come home. 

Friday, July 19, 2013

In the Absence of Hope

Once upon a time there was a little girl who had big dreams. 

And then, she grew up. 


Did you realize LIFE is a four letter word? Doesn't mean it always has bad connotations, but in life bad things can and do happen. 

As the Beatles so wisely sang all those years ago, "You may say I'm a dreamer, But I'm not the only one." Or, as Hamlet struggled with the question of whether with all the problems life was worth continuing or if facing the unknown of death were a better choice. "To sleep, perchance to dream."

We all are born with the ability to dream, to imagine how things could be, to long for circumstances, and to work toward those dreams becoming a reality. Everyone has the chance to at least see some of their dreams come to pass. And, this fulfillment of the hope of the dream causes us to dare to dream again. 

You may say I'm a dreamer. 

I don't think I would say I live with my head in the clouds. My feet are firmly planted on the ground, but I still dream. I still look ahead at all the possibilities and I still believe good things can and will come. 

I have had so many of my dreams dashed on the rocky shores of life. But, some have survived. Some have filled my life with joy and contentment. Some have brought me more happiness than I ever imagined possible. 


Contained within those mere four letters is power. And possibility. Hope. And despair. Joy. And grief. 


Every single day we rise with an armload of possibilities. We may spend each day in predictable sameness, or we may discover amazing moments every single day. 

Once upon a time there was a little girl who had big dreams. 

Dreams of love, happiness, stability, and warmth. 

And then, she grew up. 

And life happened. 

Standing on the rocky shores of life, gazing at the amass of dashed and broken dreams, she feels a heaviness in her heart. 

That heaviness is called hopelessness. 

It is a weight that will crush and destroy without a second thought. It takes and never gives back. It blocks the sunshine, banishes growth, and obliterates happiness. 

And, as I have lain awake looking into the darkness, searching for my dreams, it has visited me, taunting me with the memory of past dreams that met their death. 

And covering me with the suffocating knowledge of....LIFE

Life happens every day. It continues to happen even when yours is finished. 

And it continues to offer choices. And the chance to dream. 

So, I close my eyes today against the power of hopelessness, and behind my closed lids I see the light of promise. 

I refuse to stop. 

Once upon a time there was a not so young lady who had big dreams. 

And life happened. And dreams died. 

So she rose in the early dawn surrounded by the stench of their deaths and planted.....

She planted dreams on the shores of hopelessness. 

And on those rocky shores some of those planted dreams died before they ever had a chance to sprout. 

And yet, if she looks closely, she see buds springing forth. She sees dreams rising amongst the ruins of yesterday. 

And she smiles. 

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Heart Damage

There are few things more painful than a broken heart. When it is thoroughly broken, even when it gets put back together, it is never the same. 

And, you go along with this malformed heart, trying to function as you always have functioned before. 

One day, you look up and you think maybe you can trust the voice of your heart again because the voice sounds just as it always has. 

You do not hear the distortion because you are too familiar with the sound of its brokenness. 

You think, why not trust again? Why not listen? 

You listen in spite of the reasoning from you still functioning common sense and you don't hear the warning blow from your mind, don't see the safety gates go down. You barrel onto the tracks thinking you are on the way to those long ago stored dreams collecting dust on the rickety shelves of your damaged heart. 

Thinking all is safe you step right into the path of danger. 

When the heart is damaged repeatedly it may still function. It may beat and sustain life. But your quality of life may never be the same. 

At some point you need to look to other sources like a proverbial medication to slow any more possible damage, you need to follow the advice on prevention you have been provided and you need to take care. 

The damaged heart can not only slow you down, it affects every part of your body. 

The heart damaged by repeated blows will do no less. And as the scars add up how could you expect it to function? The feelings become seared and compassion wanes. 

And you wake up one day numb to the world around you and the pain you felt, the brokenness causing it to barely function.  

Today, it is my hope that I will remember the state I'm in and take care in the future to prevent any further damage. 

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

The View from the Bottom

Have you ever really looked at people? Not at their beauty or their clothes, have you ever really LOOKED at someone? Looked in their face to gauge the pain that furrows their forehead. Stared into their eyes and into the murky shadows of uncertainty. Gazed at their mouth and the sadness that brackets lips that were made to smile.

Have you once today stopped to consider how someone else is holding it all together? Did you pay attention to the tightness in their voice, the stiffness in their gate, the lack of luster in their countenance?

I am going to take a gamble here and answer for you.

No, you did none of those things.

Because you had work today, or you had a day to do nothing, or you were off having fun, or you were busy with school work.....etc.

We have become a society of avoidance. We don't want to be confronted with something that may make us uncomfortable. We don't want to be confronted with it because if it is exposed to us by the bright lights of reality we may have to actually do something to help someone else in need.

So, today I am going to give you a dose of reality. I am going to force you to look into the mirror into your own eyes that have become empty and devoid of compassion. And, I am going to do that by asking you to read what follows as if it were happening to you.
I am out of options. I am seriously, totally out of options. Not because I have not looked for options, but because I literally have nothing left. I. Have. Nothing. Left.


My house, gone. My family, gone. I have no food. No where to sleep tonight. No hope of finding any place, because I have no one to turn to.

I will eat out of a dumpster tonight because if I don't, I won't eat. I will sleep wherever I can find a place to sleep. I will wake up tomorrow and nothing about my situation will have changed, so I will start the day over with no options, no hope.

And here, in this place, all those things that once seemed so vile seem like a means of survival. Because where I am, if I pay the price, it is not with money. It is with what I do have left.

It doesn't matter when you have nothing to lose. Nothing matters when nothing is all you have.
These are just words. There is no way to evoke that true sense of desperation until you are truly desperate.

And I have never been truly desperate. But, today I felt the depths of desperation from someone who landed face first on the bottom. And the feeling that gripped my heart was overwhelming and devastating. My heart literally broke. Tears fell, and turned to sobs and I felt for the first time in my life complete desperation.

I realized how far my head has been stuck in the sand. My problems are trivial and unimportant compared to someone facing the bottom of the bottom. And I swim around in this big pond full of other bottom feeders, looking for some dirt to suck up and spew out about other people and their circumstances when in reality our own black and selfish hearts are the cushion that breaks the fall when those we have dismissed and ignored hit the proverbial bottom.

By taking my eyes off my own worthless issues and looking into someones action before my reaction to the possibility of being exposed to their problems caused me to look away I FELT.

And, it hurt. It hurt so very bad. It hurt to know where this person went to escape desperation, and it hurt to know that they had reached that point and they were offered no refuge, no help from anyone who passed their way.

Back in the day, we cared about each other. Back in the day, we cared about more than ourselves.

This person will lay down tonight with hope. But, I am afraid there is no hope for this black-hearted generation that has encapsulated themselves in self preservation at the cost of compassion.

I'm not talking about those people who CHOOSE not to make any effort to better themselves or provide for their own needs, yet sit with their hands out saying, "Give me." That is another topic for another time.

I am talking about someone who has been kicked over and over and over and yet makes an effort to rise up and continue on over and over and over. Until one day they are just unable to get back up on their own.

So as you sit in your cozy house tonight with your belly full and your conscience seared, remember......

And, look. Really, really look.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

I Am At A Loss For Words....

There is something very strange about being 46 years old and finding yourself in a place of extreme transition. This is the time of my life when I should be on cruise control, just enjoying the scenery.

Yet, here I am. My GPS is apparently broken, I can't find any road signs, and my headlights aren't working......

Well, I may be exaggerating just a bit. But, I do feel a bit, well, lost.

And, when I say **lost** I mean, in the sense that I am a planner, yet I have no idea what the plan is right now. It is a shame I feel the need to qualify my statements, but I don't want anyone to read this and say, "Well, lookie here Margie Jean. She is headed for the fire and brimstone, for sure!"

I am not talking about the condition of my soul. I am not talking about not waiting on God, or trusting in His plan, or allowing Him to direct my steps.

I am talking about me, plain and simple. I am talking about Sheri.

I have been seeking direction and asking for guidance. I can see the signs up ahead, but they are still just a little far for me to really read. So, I am just continuing forward.

I have my house on the market and I am now facing the prospect of moving. (OK, here is where I become just me. If you are looking for a really spiritual post, might I suggest you look back and read some of my earlier stuff. This is me rambling to see my ramblings)

I suddenly feel like I guess you would feel when you are planning to leave the security of Dad and Mom's house and venture out all alone. I feel scared and excited at the same time. MANY years ago (and I cannot emphasis MANY enough) I left the comfort of living with my parents and being the *baby* to being a wife. 14 months later I became a mom. And, these have been the rolls that have identified me.

Now, for the first time I have the possibility of being Sheri. And, since I feel like in many ways, I am just meeting myself for the first time, this should be very interesting and more that likely, very entertaining. I will always be who I have always been, but now I get to add a new roll to who I am.

I have made myself learn how to do many things that I had never done before. I told someone just this week that I wanted them to teach me everything they could about cars, because I didn't want to be stupid about them anymore. I have put furniture together, and repaired vacuum cleaners, and re-grouted the bathtub, and repaired the cabinets.

It has been exciting to learn that I can do a lot more than I ever gave myself credit for. And when it comes time to make decisions, I have found my research is more thorough, my decisions are more thought out, because I have only myself to rely on. There is no one to bounce things off of at times.

I don't have the cruise set anymore. Frankly, I may never use it again. But, I am still determined to enjoy the rest of the trip. I have hopes and dreams and plans and possibilities. I have the chance to prove to myself that I can make it. And, I have become an independent person, whether this was in my plan or not.

Over the last year I have cried more than I ever thought I would, and been so very lonely. But, I know this is all part of the process. Through this process I have found a strength I never thought I had.

I don't know what tomorrow may bring to me. And, there is so much inside of me that I would never have the words to get it all out. The only thing I can think to say to even begin to explain is.....


Monday, June 24, 2013

Left for Dead

I thought I would venture out. See a few sights, I mean, nothing big. Sometimes this town just feels like the whole world, even though I know there is more out there. So, I decided to leave for a bit. See what was happening somewhere nearby.

And, I have to admit it was exciting at first. Saw people I have never seen, places I have never been. Everything just seemed different. I walked around for a while, just taking it all in. I know that people where I live come here a lot, and I wanted to see some of the places they talked about, but I just wasn't sure how to find them. Everything started looking kinda run down and maybe a little scary, but  I saw a group of guys talking, so I thought I would just stroll over and ask for some directions.

I thought they were being kind and neighborly when they offered to take me to the place I asked about, only to find out that was not the case. Much to my surprise they attacked me and left me beaten there on the side of the road. Right there in the ditch where people passing by could see me.

In the state I was in it was hard for me to call out. Oh, I tried alright, but I was so weak and in so much pain. I tried to pull myself up to get someones attention. But, for quite some time I saw no one.

Then, suddenly I heard footsteps and I was unable even to cry out. I couldn't tell because I couldn't see very clearly, but it looked like my priest from where I am from! But, I knew this could not be because this man, when he saw me there, he went to the other side of the road to avoid having to help me.

And there were others that passed by and left me. Left me for dead. One appeared to be a Levite, but how could this be? He too, went to the other side of the road rather than take a chance of soiling himself by trying to help me.

There came at last a man who pulled me from what was more than likely my death. He reached his hands down to where I was and took my broken body, cleaned and dressed my wounds. Such compassion I felt from this man. He placed me carefully on the animal he was traveling on and brought me to an inn where he took care of me all night.

The next day, he gave money to the innkeeper to continue to care for me and told him if he used more than that amount, he would repay him when he passed this way again.

It is because of this man I can tell my tale. This man who is a Samaritan by birth.

I realize the error of my ways too late. The road I was traveling on is also known as the "Blood Pass" because so many are ambushed along this treacherous path. And, maybe the others that passed by saw me and wondered if I was setting them up as a trap. Maybe they thought, "What will happen to me if I stop to help him?"

Or maybe they assumed I was already dead and knew that to touch me would make them unclean. I will never be sure. What I am sure of is that I owe my survival to the compassion of a man I was raised to hate. While those that I have revered could not even stop to see if I was still breathing, this man thought, "What will happen if I DON'T stop to help him?".

I have noticed something of late. I have noticed that as Christians we have become very quick to decide who is worthy of us pulling them out of the ditch, and who we will just leave for dead. We see our own brothers and sisters who have fallen into a sinful situation and who are covered by not only the filth of the fall, but are also injured, broken, beaten and spiritually "dying" and instead of walking over to check for a pulse, and administering CPR, we throw up our hands and say, "they are going to die anyway."

I have actually heard someone say, "I washed my hands of them." That cannot be true. Because to say you have washed your hands implied that you actually got them dirty. And, if you got them dirty that means you were reaching down toward their broken, beaten, almost lifeless body to help them back up.

Here's where I am leading with this. We have someone who perhaps wandered into a strange place, went somewhere they had no business being, hung out with people they had no business hanging around. And, they find themselves in a struggle. During this struggle that has come about because of wrong choices, and wrong decisions, they are injured, sometimes badly. Sometimes, they are almost utterly destroyed.

The people they have always depended on, the ones they trusted, are sometimes the ones who leave them dying in their own mistakes. So, what happens to these people left there to die? Someone else comes along and shows them compassion. Someone else comes along and cleans and binds their wounds and puts them on their own animal and takes them to a place of refuge and pays the price for them to stay there and heal.

And when they are "healed" of their injuries, who do you think they will consider "good?"

I am not condoning sin. Please, do not misunderstand. Sin is sin. And we should take care least we find ourselves on the "Blood Pass," ambushed by the world we only wanted to explore for a little while. There is danger in wandering away.

I listened to someone recently who has made grave mistakes. Sin took them farther than they could ever have imagined. And, they found themselves locked away in prison. They related a story to me about the church they had been attending. They stated that there had been a pastor there who was very compassionate, but his wife left him and they ended up divorcing because she was taken in sin. This man met another godly woman and remarried and when this happen he was asked to leave the church.

They said, "You know, I sat there in prison and not one person from that church ever came to see about me. Not. One. Person. I was at the lowest I have ever been. And yeah, I know it was my own fault. But, not even my pastor that had been placed over the church came to see me. Then one day, the old pastor came, the one that had been sent away. He came to see me, and you know what he said? He told me he loved me."

As I watched them retell the tale, I watched their eyes fill with tears as they related the fact that this man who had been rejected heard what had happened, and he drove miles and miles just to reach out to them as they lay dying in their own ditch. When everyone else had written them off, and washed their hands of this person and their wrong, someone they were told not to associate with came and reached into the filth and cleaned and bound the wounds left on this person's heart.

We want to reach the lost. That is our fervent prayer. And we want to stop those we see wandering away. But, sometimes we may have to get our hands dirty when we find them broken. Sometimes it may cost us to make sure they are able to heal. We can turn away and leave them there for dead when we find them, but, someone will come along eventually. Someone who will give them the compassion they so desire, someone who will clean them up and bandage up their broken parts, and help them heal. And when that happens, when they no longer see the church or the people therein as their help, as their place to heal, as their place to rest, as their refuge from the destruction the world can bring to a soul, when that happens, well.......

That dirt won't wash off.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

The High Price of Peace

I am going to tell you something, something I wouldn't normally share. (And, if you know me at all, you know how true that is)

I have failed.

Well, OK. I have failed a LOT over the years, I'm human, flesh and blood, and it happens.

But, that's not what I am referring to.

I failed at something that I had dreamed of since I was a young girl and old enough to weave dreams about my future.

I failed at my marriage.

There are so many people who will sit back and say those famous words, "It's not my fault."

I am here to say it WAS my fault. I cannot take complete blame because there were two people involved. But, I take complete blame for my own actions or lack of action.

It is strange how wars are fought throughout history just to gain peace. Hundreds, thousands of lives are lost, governments are overthrown, towns destroyed.....all in the name of peace.Why are we fighting this war? Why? To gain peace, of course. That sounds like the biggest contradiction that has ever existed.

I had a lot to learn when I got married. In all honesty, I was nothing but a little girl. A little girl who had her head in the clouds and thought that love fixed everything. A little girl who found out it didn't. And, as the years passed that little girl grew into a young woman who learned how to have what she thought was "peace" in her home only to wake up and realize that peace was an illusion.

With that knowledge, this woman, older now,  decided that if there was no peace in the way she was doing things, it was probably time she did things another way. So, she put up her emotional fists and began to fight a war against what she identified as the enemy.

And fought she did.

Tonight, peace prevails. But, at a very high cost.

If I could go back in time, would I do things differently? Absolutely! There are many things I would that I could change. The whole dynamics of a family was altered forever because of the war. And, because my little girl dream included the *Happily Ever After* and because growing up, all I thought I wanted to be a wife and mother, I would never have chosen this outcome.

There were great casualties. I see it in my children. I see it in the eyes of my friends, and those that were my friends. I hear it in the voices of my family and those that I hold dear. I see it in the mirror daily. War always changes the landscape to some extent, it changes the "view."

I have been very careful with what I say and do because things happen in battle that should die on the battlefield if you are to move on and rebuild something from the rubble. And, I realize that people studying the battle from the outside will draw their own conclusions. That is the way of war.

The ones who lost the most were the ones who didn't deserve it. I told my daughter over the weekend that I have gotten over a lot of hurt. But, one thing I will never get over is being their mother. And, one thing I never want is to see them hurt. No child deserves that, no matter how old they are.

That brings me to today. I am battle weary. Yet, I am walking among the rubble of my failings and I can feel the breeze on my face, hear the birds singing, smell the blossom of spring in the air. So, I have rolled up my sleeves and begun the process of making something of the mess, as I look toward tomorrow with hope.

There are many lessons learned in battle, especially when it is carried out at great cost. You learn new strategies, new ways to negotiate for peace in the future to avoid the battles completely.

And, you also learn to see yourself and the scars you earned with forgiveness. I have buried that little girl who lived with her head in the clouds and I have come to understand the young woman who did the best she knew how to do. But, most importantly, I have embraced the woman who has left her youth behind, the woman who finally stood up straight and tall and paid the price. Oh, was it a high price. Higher than she ever imagined it could be, leaving her life with a huge deficit.

But, also giving her something she longed for.....peace. Peace with who she is. Peace with the decisions she has made. Peace with the rubble around her.

From the outside looking in, it is hard to judge the price that was paid. Unless you are able to see the "books" and see every transaction you will never fully understand. The important thing is, I do know. I know the price, because I paid it. And, so did my family.

(Please understand, I am speaking only of my own failings here. I can't speak for anyone else. This is Sheri 101. I implore you not to read your own *facts* into these musing as that would cause unnecessary hurt to those that have already been hurt. I feel the need to stress here that I am speaking of an emotional war within myself )

Friday, May 17, 2013


There was a promise in my heart
There was a dream I carried
There was a hope that lived here

Years have a way of passing by
Taking what you wanted to find
And leaving you empty and void

If you will but hold on with eyes open
New promises will replace the broken
And happiness can come to you

It is not the pain of your promised past
That decides your hope for tomorrow
It is your faith that love can last

I dare to dream of days to come
When my heart will find it all
And be finally filled with a love that comes

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Twists and Turns

For some reason tonight I am assaulted by a strange melancholy. I don't particularly know why. But, life has a way of surprising you. Tonight I am feeling especially surprised.

I have trouble understanding some things. I suppose there are things I am really not meant to understand. I like to understand things, though. This is always hard for me.

When I have a decision to make I pick it completely apart. I have looked at every angle and every avenue. I have prayed and sought the answer. I have planned and replanned. That is just the way I am. I like to know what's coming.

Now, I like to be spontaneous, too. I just take comfort in having an idea what is coming down the road.

With my old job I traveled quite a bit around the state of Georgia. I took many back roads and saw some beautiful sights. I also suffer from what I lovingly refer to as road rage. It never fails to happen; I am on a back road, trying to make it somewhere, and I get behind a tractor, a peanut truck, a pawpaw.....well, you get the picture.

Because I may not be familiar with the road I am on, I am reluctant to pass whatever vehicle in front of me is causing said rage. If I do pass, I floor it. Someone sweetly reminded me just this week that even when you are passing, the speed limit is still the speed limit. I appreciate that reminder (yes, that is sarcasm, although they reminded me out of love).

You just never know what lies ahead.

Many years ago, in the early years of my marriage to Bobby, he was working out of town and called to tell me he was coming home. I was pregnant with Denise, and it was late so naturally I fell asleep while waiting. Sometime in the middle of the night he called to say he had driven into the ditch and needed me to go get him.

I threw on some clothes and took off. I was traveling fairly fast trying to get to him when suddenly I smelled cow manure. That made me remember that cows usually were across the road ahead and I slowed down just as I was rounding a very sharp curve.

Sure enough, there were cows across the road that I would not have been able to see until it was too late.

I have found recently in my life that the road is full of twists and turns. As much as I long to plan how fast I will reach my destination and which roads I will take, it has proven to be impossible. I can't see down the road, I have no idea what lies ahead. Nothing on this path looks familiar. Everything feels strange.

So, I guess I will take it slow. There is a funny smell in the air and I don't want to round the next curve only to be blindsided by something waiting there. I have downshifted and will just enjoy the scenery until I get on the straight away again.

I cannot anticipate how this trip will turn out, but I have met some good people along the journey. And, I am hopeful that the rest of the way will bring me to the destination I have longed for.....happiness.

Night, friends.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

When You Dream A Dream

The blossom of promise grows inside
Filling the edges of your heart with hope
As you look into the face of possibility
And imagine hope fulfilled
You weave in your mind with silken threads
The confidence that you will for a time
Be in possession of something truly beautiful
And, oh how you have longed for something beautiful
It's all right there close enough to touch
Yet so very far away you can only imagine
The warmth of it surrounding you
And taking away the coldness of life
Is it impossible when there is such longing?
You pray that one day you will know
As you continue to weave the silken threads
The intricate patterns incase every part of your life
Overtaking the emptiness
And increasing the faith that someday
You will no longer be a dreamer
But, a partaker of the promise of the dream.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

The Treasures of Darkness

Many years ago my Pastor made reference to placing scripture throughout your home. I took that to heart.

Some time later as I was facing a fierce trial, God gave me a scripture to help me through it. I got out a pack of index cards and proceeded to write that scripture over and over and over.

It has been interesting to see the different places those little index cards have shown up as the years have gone by. I put one inside my medicine cabinet and it is still there as a reminder of His faithfulness to me.

I don't know if anyone besides me has ever been through a dark time in their lives. For a time I felt like I was locked away in the darkest prison, praying for release. And, as for myself, it is so hard when you are surrounded by darkness to be able to remember what the light looks like. Darkness can be so dense and impenetrable. Your situation could be small in reality, but if you are facing that small situation while surrounded by darkness it becomes larger and larger in your mind.

In my case, the situation was not small, nor was it anything that would resolve quickly. It seemed to me that I was in darkness the size of a football field with no way to find the escape.

Isaiah 45:3 I will give you the treasures of darkness and the hoards in secret places, that you may know that it is I, the Lord, the God of Israel, who call you by your name.

It has been some time since I have faced that particular trial. And as I am still living and breathing and putting thoughts together, you can believe I have faces trials since. This is what I have learned through this scripture, even in the darkest trials there are treasures for me. Treasures.

During some of my trials I have drawn closer to Him, closer to my Pastor and Pastor's wife, and closer to my family. I have learned things about myself and about strength I didn't even know I had during those dark times. I have learned how to overcome, how to stand for what I believe in, and how to continue to walk, even when it is so dark I cannot see my feet.

I have also found there in the darkness secret places within myself, within the scripture and within my walk with God that are full of hoards. These hoards have made my life richer and fuller because I have been able to use them to grow, to increase.

Most importantly, I am reminded as I hold the treasures that He still knows me. It is His voice that calls to me, leading me out of the dark places and surrounding me with the light of His love. I have been amazed of late when I can actually catch sight of the treasure that awaits me as I come out of the darkness of situation and into the light of love.

He knows, He sees me right where I am. God doesn't need night vision goggles to see me sitting in the middle of darkness. He sees. He knows. And, He is preparing a treasure just for me for when I finally make it out.

So, if you are facing a dark time, if you feel like you can't even see your hand in front of your face, take comfort in the fact that you will find treasure there in the darkness if you are willing to endure till the end. 

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Pauses on the Journey

I am 46 years old. I'm not ashamed or embarrassed by this fact. It is obvious that I am no longer in the bloom of youth, but I am really ok with that.

Years ago I left my parent's nest and flew into a married home. Six months later I found out I was expecting our first child. And, not quite 3 years later we were blessed with our son.

My whole adult life I have lived within these roles. My journey has been that of caring for my family.

And, even though my proposed destination is the same I have found that my roles have changed.

Sadly, I am no longer a wife. Although I am still a mother and always will be, my children are now grown and do not have that need for me as they once did.

Here I am, paused on my journey. Those things that have fueled my progression for so many years have changed.

I am, by nature, a caregiver. I thrive on making sure those I care for are "cared for." It is a different vehicle that drives me on the journey now. Where I once had much to do from my waking till I hit the sack each night, now many times I find myself sitting in total silence waiting until I can go to sleep. What a change.

I think there are many who find themselves in this place. I have now been thrust into a role I have never really played, that of And, the challenge at my age is understanding who that is and what fuel I need to continue.

It is not as simple as it seems and I think I have made more mistakes trying to get going than I could have ever imagined. Difficult does not even begin to describe it. I have even wondered if somehow I had become lost and drifted off my path.

Interestingly enough, that old cliche that surrounded women in my position still exists. And, I have learned that silence is really golden as no one really wants to know your struggles. But, since I don't usually share personal items, this has been less of an issue. It does seem that suddenly it is thought the core of who I am has somehow changed.

I do still have Someone who listens, so that is all I need, right?

I have such a greater understanding of the things I have watched others experience. Things I heard them say have suddenly become vivid to me. It has caused my steps to slow as I adjust not only to who I am now, but to how others now perceive me.

But, once again I am stepping, moving toward the goal. Looking forward to another day to do all I can. And, in my pause I was introduced to a new

Sunday, March 10, 2013

The Bitter Pill

It is a desert,
A place unfamiliar
And you wander
Searching for the way
With no one to give direction
On how you should proceed

It is dry
And it is lonely
And you want
Just to feel a smile
As you realize nothing here
Is anything you even recognize

So you try
Doing all you know
Hoping it is right
When nothing is now
And you stumble through
As you try to become someone

Here you are
Flesh and blood
And alone
You try to find your way
You just want to find your way

It's all wrong
Every action
And correction
That's what you see
Because you should know

But you don't
You can't
It's unknown
All new to you
And you just keep on
Hoping you can find it

You find
Their faces
Pinched tight
As if they have swallowed
A bitter pill that cures nothing

Never right
Never enough
There you are
In that place you escaped
Just older now yet no wiser
Obviously since you still search.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

"The Baby"

Many years ago there was a little family. In that little family there was a Daddy and a Mama, along with a son, a daughter, and a baby.

I was that baby.

In every family there are nicknames that get stuck to its members.

Mine was "the baby."

Yesterday marked 3 years since my Daddy passed away. It just doesn't seem possible.

And even though he has been gone 3 years, he still walks the corridors of my dreams on a regular basis.

He comes to give me advise, to tell me all is well. He comes to give me direction. Sometimes he comes to just visit.

Even my dreams know that the baby still needs her Daddy. It seems like I need him more today than I ever have.

What an empty void was left in my heart.

A void filled with such longing that even my dreams try to fill it.

Oh, Daddy. Boy, do I wish I could talk to you. I sure could use your advise, your wisdom. You know how much I always needed you.

Here I am. A 46 year old baby. Yet, I am "the baby" still. And I still feel the love that my Daddy and Mama had for me. When I die someday far away from now, I hope, under my name someone please put "The Baby."

Missing you both today. Hopefully, I will see you somewhere in my dreams tonight. 

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

All I Have

For years it has been left
Just waiting
Like a tree waiting for spring
To bring forth its fruit
For years I have held it
A day just like today
When I could put it to use.

And I've dreamed about the moment
When I would awake from within
I have longed for all I have
To be wanted again
I have hovered under the chill
Of yesterday now spent
Waiting for the dream to begin
All I have
All I have
I give

It's no mistake that I am here
No accident or trick of fate
It is a promise of something
That I never knew before
That has fed the hope that waits within

And now today I find you near
And I see inside your heart
As you see mine
It is you after all these years
That will treasure all I have to give
And I will blossom and bloom
In the care of your love.
My heart will at last
Be safe to give it all

Sunday, February 10, 2013

The Search

I have been going through many changes in my life. MANY changes. I wish I could say each new thing that has happened has left me with a smile on my face and a glow about my heart. NOPE.

There is something about change that, well, changes you. 

GASP! There is some deep thinking, right there. 

“Someone was hurt before you, wronged before you, hungry before you, frightened before you, beaten before you, humiliated before you, raped before you… yet, someone survived… You can do anything you choose to do.” –Maya Angelou

Why is it when you go through something you think you are the only person that has ever gone through something? I am talking to myself here. Recently I experienced a major change in my circumstance. And this change in my circumstance brought up questions about my own worth and my own value. 

And with this deluge of questions coming at me there were also other issues that shook the very foundation of who I am. I was punch drunk. 

As I staggered around trying to get my bearing I became disoriented. In this I looked in the wrong places for my answers because I could not find my safe harbor.
"We can endure much more than we think we can; all human experience testifies to that. All we need to do is learn not to be afraid of pain. Grit your teeth and let it hurt. Don't deny it, don't be overwhelmed by it. It will not last forever. One day, the pain will be gone and you will still be there." - Harold Kushner When All You've Ever Wanted Isn't Enough

I have been though many events in my life. But, for the first time I can ever remember I was truly afraid. My fear coming from the gaping hole in my chest where my heart once resided. 

When we face tremendous change we grieve the loss of what we are leaving behind. We grieve the loss of our hopes, the loss of our dreams, even the loss of our innocence. 

In the midst of this grief we also have to accept the changes and what those changes mean to our lives. I have found myself at a loss during prayer, essentially just begging God to help me over and over and over. 

"All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another."-Anatole France

My head tells me to remember the promises God has given me, to hold on, endure, because better days are ahead. But, that gaping hole where my heart was continues to bleed, weakening my defense and increasing the struggle. 

If you're going through hell, keep going. ~ Winston Churchill  

It has seemed to me that I may not survive, at times. But, I cannot stop. I cannot give up. My daughter had a dream at the beginning of the process. She said that she dreamed I was called upon when it was all behind me to give my testimony. She said as I spoke I dropped to my knees and began to worship God for what He had done in my life. 

So, I have pressed on. 

Because I am confident in the promises God has given me. Even when I was derailed by pain,   I knew. 

"I went on the search for something real, 
Traded what I know for how I feel, 
But the ceiling and the walls collapsed,
Upon the darkness I was trapped,
And as the last of breath was drawn from me,
The light broke in and brought me to my feet."

It is that light of hope that I can see now. 

“Be of good cheer. Do not think of today's failures, but of the success that may come tomorrow. You have set yourselves a difficult task, but you will succeed if you persevere; and you will find a joy in overcoming obstacles. Remember, no effort that we make to attain something beautiful is ever lost.” ― Helen Keller

You made promises to me, and Oh I am longing for them. I am holding to them, depending on them, and believing in them. You have never left me, never forsaken me, never, ever let me down. Help me Lord, to keep my eyes on You where they belong and look to You for the answers I am searching for. You remain the love of my life. 



Friday, February 8, 2013

In the Silence

In the silence I long to hear
Your voice rich and sweet in my ear
Telling me the truths that lie within.
I hear no voice
Only silence

In the silence I contemplate
The path that life has laid before me
And I long to know the direction
My feet should take
When I feel lost

In the silence I hear my heart beat
To let me know all is not ended yet
I yearn to be surrounded by music
About the sweetness
Not the pain

In the silence if I will but listen
I can find so many things
For answers to my deepest wishes
Callings from my dreams
Are being spoken

In the silence I catch my name
Whispered hope and healing
My soul is filling with the depth
Of longing for the promise
Here in silence.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Tomorrow Awaits

I have lived through thousands of yesterdays,
Memories vague and obscure.
I have lived through thousands of happy moments,
And felt the bitterness of disappointments
Over and Over and Over again

I can feel those yesterdays
Pressed warmly against my back.
So close, that even if I turned my head
I could not see them.
Only feel the memories of what was.

Today I face ahead.
Looking toward tomorrow
Rich with possibilities
And promises yet fulfilled
Heat my face
And burn in my soul

How can I, in this shell of flesh
Ever be worthy of what awaits?
With the scars of yesterday
How can I still bear this hope?
When hope should be gone.

I hear the whispers of days gone by
Words soft in my ears from times left behind
And I wonder how it can be
That I find myself here
Awaiting the promises He gave
Only yesterday.
Awaiting the dawning.
Of Tomorrow.

As Tomorrow Awaits my arrival........