Picture of Janie

Picture of Janie

Friday, May 28, 2010


This word has been resounding in my mind for months, but I've had no desire to approach it or write about it for many reasons. Perhaps I didn't want to look at how I'm a pretender.

As I was sitting on my swing drinking my coffee, I noticed the beautiful little house sitting across the street. It is empty now. During the winter months when I would awaken with the birds, or before, there would be smoke coming out of the chimney, lights on, I could even see the television on. Somehow it brought me comfort that someone else was awake at 3am in the morning. I wasn't alone.

What I didn't realize at the time this elderly couple lived there. The husband could barley take care of his wife who had dementia. But, yet I would see the same things every day. Who really knew what was going on in there world? I certainly didn't. I just enjoyed the benefits of what I saw going on the external.

One morning, it was all gone. The smoking chimney, the lights and television on, and I asked my daughter, where are they? She explained that they had to be taken to an assisted living home. How was I to know? I just lived in my "pretend" world" enjoying all the benefits of it, not getting involved.

A fellow blogger presented a post on someone being a buddy. That hit home to me. A buddy who knew everything there was to know about you, but just walked beside you accepting who you were, holding your hand.

How many of us know who the people around us? Family, friends, face-book friends? Not many I'm sure.

No one knows who Janie is. You know what I comment on, some of what I've shared on my blog, but the guts to really be honest of what's going on in my life just isn't there. I'm not trying to imply we pour our hearts problems to everyone. All that I do know is that I don't want to pretend anymore, to whatever degree that is.

There is a site I visit as often as I can. JBR, "Just Be Real." Now that is someone that I can relate to and have respect for who just lets it out. All the pain and agony she has endured, and screams it loud and clear. Every time I visit her site, as a result of us going through so many similar circumstances, all I can say to her is, "I know...I understand."

There has to be some form of healing in this process. I have not arrived. I still keep most of it inside of me. But, my goal is to be real, and just say it like it is.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The Fog

I'll start this out with Webster's definition of the word "FOG."

"vapor condensed to fine particles of water suspended in the lower
atmosphere that differs from cloud only in being near the ground.
a murky condition of the atmosphere or a substance causing it.
a state of confusion or bewilderment.
something that confuses or obscures (hid behind)
to become blurred by a covering of fog or mist.
FOGBOUND: unable to move because of fog.

We have had rain for over a week and warmer temperatures,which is a definite sign of spring. But in the meantime, there has been this fog that is thicker than pea soup hanging over the city...and also hanging over my head.

As a result of what's happening in my life, I've decided to give myself a break, take time to digest all that is going on and just rest in this fog, desperately trying not to figure out this condition I'm in and just letting it be.

I'm making plans to fly to Atlanta in two weeks. That has helped. Now it's time to start getting a flight ticket, arranging who I'll stay with, emails sent to some of my loved ones that I would love to spend a few precious moments with, and then not worrying about if I can't see as a result of time. Things will take place as they should. I've definitely had to put so much of all that is happening in my life right now in my basket I keep at the Lord's feet, for Him to help me deal with, and He will. He is the great orchestrator of all things, even down to these tiny details I seem so obsessed with.

I do not want to move into that realm of being able to move because of the fog that seems to follow me right now, or for my vision to be blurred. I do not believe that is happening. With God on my side, I know He will be with me throughout all the planning, and also when I arrive to face somethings that I just don't want to face right now. Guess it's time to put on my "grown up" clothes and walk even in the midst of this fog.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Sweetest Memories Of You

My granddaughters wanted to color some pictures for their great-nanny and send them to her expressing their love and prayers for her. I ask them not to seal the envelope, for Grammy was going to enclose a little something for my Mama too. Here's what I wrote.

Sweetest Memories Of You

When you would run your fingers through my hair as I laid on your lap
When you knew I felt scared and would let me sit by you in the car, the restaurant, at church or wherever we were.

When I would come and sit at your feet when you were cried, I would rub lotion on your feet to help you feel not so sad.

When you would let me help you change the sheets each week, and help you make the beds, so much learning to be had.

Teaching me to peel potatoes while in the kitchen at my side.

The first time I didn't cry when you washed my hair in the kitchen sink at the age of four,and you announced it to Daddy when he walked through the door on 9th Avenue.

When we sneaked away in the car, while everyone was napping, to go get burgers and fries at the drive-in restaurant, just you and me.

As a teenager calling you while you were in Chattanooga taking care of your mother, my Nanny, I was feeling so frightened, but hung up after hearing your voice filled with peace.

The morning I had P.M.S. in Junior High, and after driving us to school, you just turned the car around without saying a word and took me back home to rest. You just knew...

For the unconditional love you always showed me, and the safety I felt when I was around you.

I love you Mama

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Where Have All The Flowers Gone?

I am one that some mornings I wake up with a song in my head. Well, the song, "Where Have All The Flowers Gone," was one that wouldn't let me go.

I went to my you tube site to listen to Peter, Paul & Mary and posted a couple of songs that I have fond memories of as a 16 year old back in the late 60's. As I listened to the words to the song, the line, "Oh When Will They Ever Learn" and "Long Time Passing" stuck out for me.

I haven't posted a blog in quite a few weeks. Maybe this is due to finding out the news of my mother's diagnoses of lung cancer. My brain has been stuck on this news, and trying my best to digest this and process through it.

My mind has of course been on yearning for Spring and Summer. Elizabeth and Phil always have their tradition of planting their flowers each spring, so my eyes are focused on the snow beginning to melt away from the sidewalk revealing the ground, promising me that I will not be seeing snow forever and I will soon be viewing our flowers.

Then you've got the flowers thing going on in my head. Most of the years I was married to a man who would always be abusive, and then follow up with apologies, cards and flowers. That is called the "wheel", or the "cycle of abuse." I finally told him I hated flowers and cards, they meant nothing to me! And I meant every word of I said.

We see flowers given for some many occasions, such as gifts to your new found love, anniversary's, Valentine's Day, and let's not forget funerals. There have been times in the last few years I've just bought them for myself, indicating I was over that stage of hating flowers and what they represented to me, and I was going to enjoy them as long as I could.

These flowers never live long, although we do our best to keep them alive as long as possible. We cut away the ends of the stems, we add the little packet of "stuff" to the water, but they eventually die.

Oh when will they ever learn? Long time passing. We are a little like flowers. Each beautiful in it's own way. But, let us enjoy this time of beauty with the ones we love and accept the fact that we will not live forever. I don't believe this is a morbid thought, but just a reminder to not take those who cross our paths and our dearest ones for granted. Stop and smell the beautiful aroma they produce, enjoy the vibrant colors! These are all gifts from God to us. Let us be grateful for the time they are with us.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

All Girls Are A Little Princess

I love watching movies with my granddaughters. My favorites are "The Little Princess", "The Secret Garden", and, of course "Anne of Green Gables."

Monday and Tuesday was "The Little Princess." Yes, Tuesday we watched it again per Grammy's request. There were things in this movie I needed to grab a hold of. All of these things were wrapped up in the main character Sara Crew. Even though she was from a very affluent family and had grown up in India, she was so loving, she showed so much compassion for others, she adored her father, she stood up for her beliefs, she was very determined, loved telling magical story tells that she had learned from India, She seemed to triumph over very difficult obstacles in life..the death of her mother during childbirth and her stories helped her deal with her grief.

As a result of her father, Captain Crew having to go to war, she is sent off to a Boarding School. She makes friends with the other girls by telling her elaborate fairy tells. Some of the children are very jealous of her and not comfortable with her at all.

Her life changes immediately when the news comes that her father still in India is presumed dead. From that point on, the head mistress, Miss Minchin, goes from doting on her to sending her to the servants quarters to earn her right to live their as an orphan and now assume the role as a servant to the other girls. This is where she meets the other child maid, Becky and befriends her.

Through the observations of the mysterious man from India, he does what he can to restore Sara's happiness. There is one magical scene when they are looking through their windows across from each other and make such a spiritual connection! It gave me chills as Sara whirlled around in circles for him. It must have been some sort of Indians ritual, I'm not really sure.

Good ending to the movie. Her dad has been staying at the home where this mysterious man from India lives and takes care of the owner who owns the school. Her father has been brought back to live in this home and has lost his memory, but regains it once Sara makes her way over to their house and sees her father alive and he finally recognizes her after she screams out, "Papa, Papa, Papa!"

Hope. Even through all of Sara's adversity and pain. God was with her all the time, just as he is with you and me. And I am God's little princess.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

My Ladybug

A few of my face book friends know how I am about my cardinals God has shown me over and over as a sign of hope from Him, and now that I haven't seen any cardinals here in St. James, I've seen two eagles! Just at that right time, if you know what I mean. I love how God does that for me. It's just one of those things you know in your heart that it's no less than a miracle.

As I got up early this Sunday morning and went to my bathroom, I saw a ladybug sitting in my sink! I've always loved ladybugs, not knowing much background information on this insect, but another one of those God signs across the years I've experienced.

I began to ponder why did this ladybug, in the cold of winter land in my bathroom sink. So, I did some research on the ladybug and this is what I found:


Many cultures view ladybugs as lucky (which I don't believe in "luck.") The most likely explanation for the general view is that the ladybugs are lucky is their dietary habits. Ladybugs eat harmful crop pests (which I already knew), so the appearance of ladybugs would have been welcomed by farmers and gardeners. The appearance of a ladybug would also have been viewed as a blessing, which explains the positive association with ladybug's in many cultures.

In some Christian societies, especially in Europe, the ladybug is linked with the Virgin Mary. According to legend, the spots on the ladybug's back symbolize the seven sorrows of Mary, and ladybugs were sent by the Virgin to protect the crops.

I'm grateful today I saw my ladybug that God sent my way.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Choosing Our Team

I began to have these thoughts a week ago concerning my past elementary years of recess time, which were nice, long recesses unlike today in school. Plenty of time for fun, play and getting outside in the fresh air with friends.

I used to love to play hopscotch and jump rope. That was during those first through third grade years. Those would have been my sweetest memories. At that time I was attending Fairview Elementary in Rossville, GA.

My father was a principal at Rossville Elementary School. For some reason, which was never discussed with us children, we transferred to the school my Father was principal of. I remember my self-esteem going down, down, down at that point. I can't really pinpoint why, other than just having my Father there at all times to keep his critical eye on my sister and me, and perhaps come by at any moment to pull my hair or grab the skin on my arm and pinch me....for no reason. I was the "good child" in the family. Perhaps too good in light of becoming invisible. That was a safe place for me, always keeping to myself and not saying anything to ignite my Father's rage. Of course I found out that I didn't have to do anything and his cruelty was shown to me. That's all in the past, and I am now dealing with those memories in a healthy way with God's help in the healing process.

Back to my original thought and memory. My twin sister and I would always gather with our friends on the playground and engage in games of softball or kickball. Of course you had to begin with setting up your teams. My twin sister was either always selected first, seeing that she was the athletic one. She was an asset to the team. I on the other hand would be near the end of the choices being made, unless, my sister was the designated one to do the choosing, and then she would take pity on me and choose me right off the bat! I must admit it felt good to be chosen first, but also I knew she was doing it out of loyalty and perhaps sympathy for her twin sister. Either way, I was picked for the team. Thanks Sister.

This thought led me to other thoughts. I am making the choices now. I choose Janie to be on my team. Not only that, but God chooses Janie to be on His team. And guess what??? There are so many people that choose me to be on their team, to be their friends! I am valued and loved by God and by these loving people he has placed in my life. I love it! There are those that are choosing me and not only that, they are rooting for me! I love the definition of this word: "To noisily applaud or encourage a contestant or team. To wish the success of or lend support to someone or something."

A big thank you to all of those who are rooting me on!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Where Have I Been?

I just completed working my fourth step in my "Gentle Path Through The 12 Steps." The last page was for a time of reflection on the fourth step. I've been stuck there. This step wants me to record my reactions to facing my own loneliness. I know I must complete this part, but something has been holding me back.

At the top of the page there is a writing from Henry Nouwen/Reaching Out, that I have used on occasion on facebook. "The difficult road is the road of conversion, the conversion from loneliness into solitude. Instead of running away from our loneliness and trying to forget or deny it, we have to protect it and return it into a fruitful solitude. To live a spiritual life, we must first find the courage, but also a strong faith. As hard as it is to believe that the dry, desolate desert can yield endless varieties of flowers, it is equally hard to imagine that our loneliness is hiding unknown beauty. The movement from loneliness to solitude, however, is the beginning of any spiritual life because it is the movement from the restless senses to the restful spirit, from the outward-reaching cravings to the inward-reaching search, from the fearful clinging to the fearless play."

This was Valentine's weekend as we all know. The kids have gone out of town and I was here "alone." I must say, it wasn't an easy weekend for me, and I admit to NOT enjoying the "solitude" but just allowed myself to feel the loneliness.

These feelings of loneliness have been clinging to me like a grave cloth these last couple of weeks. I do believe there has been some things surfacing in me, or that need to be surfaced in me that I'm not allowing to take place. So, for me the best place to begin is to ask God to reveal those things to me, just in layers please and thank you....like peeling the layers off an onion...one at a time.

To be perfectly honest I have been frightened of posting anything but "happy thoughts or feelings" which have not been at the forefront. And THEN, I discovered "justbereal" blog sight, and I so enjoyed her candor about her journey and writing about it so honestly. We all have our stories to tell about our paths and the process of healing of our past. I think I went to at least five or six of her past blogs and commented on every one of them! I could relate to everything she wrote about! It somehow helped me for the moment.

So, to end this on a positive note, I am so grateful for all the bloggers I have been privileged to take a peek into their lives. I love it when we can take each others hand and walk along our paths together in this journey of life. And yes, I still need to finish this final page on my fourth step in facing my loneliness.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Keeping The Light On

I woke up this morning feeling rather peaceful in light of yesterday's happenings with my youngest daughter Hannah and her boyfriend/father of my BEAUTIFUL grandson Shannon.

Yesterday my day started off with five phone calls while I was working at the Animal shelter from Hannah. She was crying very hard, so hard I could barely understand what she was saying. I began to ask her all the questions a mother would ask; "what's wrong sweetie?" "Are you okay?" Her answer was "NO, I'm not okay Mama." She then began to give me Her story (and there's always a story) that the electricity was about to be cut off that day and could I wire her $100.00. I had just gotten paid that day, which I didn't tell her, and could have sent her the money, but I remember the past promises of paying me back and never seeing the money. So, I decided to play the "tough love" thing and tell her I just didn't have the money to wire her right now. There are reasons for this.

I am a part time employee on a minimum pay scale, court fees to pay, car insurance I just got reinstated to pay, monies I pay to Liz and Phil every payday etc. etc. However, the co-dependent mom I was over a year ago in Atlanta would have given her the money I'm sure and never expect her to pay me back. The money she has always asked for in the past was never for what she said she was asking it for. It was usually for drugs or alcohol. The last straw for me is when I gave her my debit card while living in Atlanta to go and buy the baby juice, diapers, cereal, all that stuff my little Shannon needed. I found out in just a few days while making some purchases using my debit card, there was no money in my checking account. And at that time there was over a $1,000. Hard lesson for me to learn. I have this problem...I always want to believe that she is telling me the truth. Plant stupid on this girl's forehead!

She then preceded to call my daughter Liz and pose the same request to her. Liz gave her the same reply mixed in with empathy for the dilemma she was in.Hannah hung up on her in the midst of the conversation. This second denial of money resulted in more phone calls and leaving nasty voice mails on Liz's cell phone. I MEAN NASTY! We both then got phone calls from her boyfriend telling us to NEVER call their number again. Keep in mind this boyfriend has never had a job in the 7 years I have known him, and he is 32 years old!

Liz also spoke to the boyfriends grandmother who stays in touch with us, and she confirmed everything we already knew.

Their behavior and choices are affecting little Shannon also. I will not go into all of that, but just imagine two bi-polar parents on a methadone treatment plan for 7 years, on drugs alcohol, constant raging going on, and the toxic environment that my wee one has to live under. In light of this, Liz who is now angry, concerned for Shannon, decides she is going to get in touch with Children Services, the school or who ever she can to report what is taking place in this house they live in.

As we sit and have our family meeting after dinner last night Phil and I allow Liz to rant and rave, get those angry feelings out of her and then I responded.

I reminded Liz of when my oldest son was into the drug scene, had his two suicide attempts, I read a book on the "Hurting Parent." My thinking was that this would be a book that would have sympathy for us hurting parents being tormented by our children. It wasn't. It was about showing God's love even in the midst of the nightmare you were living with. I'm not certain if it was in this book or another, but I remember reading somewhere that "you should always keep the light on." For me that meant I had to draw some lines with both of these children during those nightmarish times, but find ways to SHOW love to them. With Kris, my oldest, he loved my homemade biscuits. So, when he would come home after days of partying, I would bake for him. He didn't want to hear any words from me. I was his enemy. But I could keep that light on my demonstrating acts of love. At this time as you might know he hasn't spoken to me in over a year. But, I'm still keeping that light on for when he does come around. For Hannah, she always had a problem of sleeping alone. She would love to come and crawl under the covers with me and we would sleep wrapped in each others arms. I would lie there and just smell of her..keeping my light on and taking whatever I could get from her.

I suggested to Liz for us to all pray about the situation and just "sit on it" over the weekend. She did calm down and agreed to that.

My last phone call from Hannah last night was to tell me to never call her again, she was removing me from her life. I responded to her, "Well, Hannah, that is your decision, I love you." I've got to keep that light on in the window for when she returns to me again.

Friday, February 5, 2010


Whew! This has been a most difficult past two weeks. It all started with my sponsor/friend having a stroke and she is recovering very well, which I am very grateful for. One of my co-workers that I have developed a close friendship with, her sister died last week unexpectedly. On top of all of that, my Mama is in the hospital, as most of my f.b. buds are aware of. She and my sisters live in the Atlanta area, so I rely on updates from my youngest sister who is their caretaker, seeing they are both near 80 and both are not in good health. The update yesterday was that a mass was discovered under her shoulder and there will be more tests ran to get the results on the mass. More scans need to be done, however, she has this metal device implanted in her back under her skin to help alleviate some of the pain from her back surgeries and her degenerative arthritis, so they will have to remove this device in order to continue with further c.t.'s etc.

I said all of the above to say that I had a SLIP yesterday. Yep, fell off the old wagon. My friend from work wanted me to drive with her to her therapists, which I did. I am so full of emotions/feelings right now, and I'm doing what I think to be my best in this area but obviously yesterday I wasn't. After all, that is one of the areas I am not in touch with enough.

I walked over to this restaurant next door and ordered me a glass of wine while she was in her session. In the past, I never feel too badly about the decision to do this, but it's always the after effects of shame, remorse and guilt that grip my soul. I chose evil over good. That's the long and short of it; plain and simple truth. I used the circumstances that have come my way as an excuse, but never the less they are excuses.

Even though I haven't seen most of my fellow bloggers, or f.b. buds face to face, I needed to not only confess this in writing and to God, and of course and ask for His forgiveness. It is good for my soul.

I posted some quotes today on f.b. and one of them reads as follows:


I need to do more listening.


One last thing. In the local St. James newspaper, "The PLAINDEALER," they published yesterday under Court Reports/Misdemeanors as follows:

"Barbara Jane Haislip, 57, DWI-operating motor vehicle with alcohol concentration .08 within two hours...fine $605.00.

Oh well, that's a good thing. I need to be reminded of what I did and pay the consequences that goes along with that.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Dear Diary/Dear God

This writing is probably done more for myself than anyone else, and I apologize for that. It is more of putting my thoughts and feelings down. It's not like I'm looking for advice from anyone, I already know what I need to do, which is to take all of these things in prayer to God and wait. Just wait. It's the waiting that's hard for me at times; but I will. For I do know His way IS the best way in all my concerns and frustrations and His advice is the best

I'm sure if anyone has read any of my blogs you are already aware of some of my hot topics and things that "trigger" certain emotions in me that are not always good. It's the discerning between what is appropriate and what is not. Keep in mind, this healing that's taking place in this specific area has been a slow process. Bottom line, the more I learn to trust God and not fear Him, the rest will follow and I will not be so "reactive" in my emotions and at times the words I might speak.

This area I speak of is my concept of a Heavenly Father, which is loving and Someone you can trust everything with. Your life and all of those things that plague us at times. If at times, I'm in a situation, specifically with a male and something happens or is said or done, those 'triggers" explode right in front of me! That's not a good thing.

As recent as last evening I attended one of my three meetings I go to for recovering addicts/NA or recovering alcoholics. In this meeting last night there is a gentlemen who has many years of sobriety under his belt, and I respect him for that. It's just his abrasive/sarcastic attitude that ticks me off to no end!

To be more specific, my sponsor had a stroke 9 days ago and is recovering at home now. She attended her first meeting last night but is still on the mend and will be for quite some time. She even went as far to relinquish her duties as the treasure for any monies that are collected, knowing that her brain is not functioning in it's normal capacity, and this was something she felt she needed to do. This decision from her took place before the "official" meeting began. After the "how are you doing" questions to her, this individual I am referring to ask her why she had not been attending meetings. I popped out of my mouth, "She just had a stroke a week ago!" My sponsor added after my comment that she had been very tired and was sleeping a lot. My response was to the group and to this individual, she should follow the lead of what her body was telling her. The next statement from this gentleman was, "we do not stop attending meetings even when we have hardships, and putting that over our sobriety." You will not believe what my response to him was!!! "You have NO empathy with her situation, and she is doing great with her sobriety!" It was only a few minutes later that I leaned over to one of the "nice" guys that was sitting next to me and told him I was leaving, I did not feel well. Which was not a lie. I have some on going physical problems that crop up from time to time and yesterday was one of those times. However, I wasn't feeling good emotionally either. I was pissed off!

Well, in this small town, there are 3 meetings to go to: one being the N.A. meeting last night, the other an A.A. meeting with a tyranical, raging, controlling man that is losing his members as a result of this, and thank God, the A.A. womens meeting my sponser and I started at noon on Fridays. I've just about decided to limit my meetings to Friday's only. I am in no way saying I do not believe in these kinds of programs that have benefited thousands of people for many years. Where would A.A. be without Dr. Bill?

Now is that the answer?? Would that be what God would want me to do? To be honest, the meeting I go to is "business as usual," no real sharing time, almost a "mans club" seeing that my sponser and I are the only two females there. Much standing around talking about sports, inappropriate sex talk especially when us girls are around.

Enough of this. I'm certain this blog was to no benefit to anyone, but it made me feel somewhat better just writing it down, and I will be praying about it. Thanks.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

I am who I am, but I'm getting there.

Let me start off by listing the 10 things I like about myself, in doing this I won't appear to be down on myself and negative to my other bloggers. And then I will state the areas that need improvement/a little tweaking you might say.

1. I am a compassionate, loving individual.
2. I am a good listener and listen with my whole heart.
3. I am a good and loyal friend.
4. I am a loving sister.
5. I was a wonderful mother to my wee ones and still am now that they are grown.
6. I take any job given to me with full responsibility and do it to the best of my ability and with excellence.
7. I am a good daughter.
8. I am a good Grammy to my grandchildren.
9. I am on the road to becoming a good writer.
10.I love God with all my heart, soul and mind.

Okay, now that is done I'll get on with the business of telling you a little about myself. I'm from a long line of strong Irish women who as one of my cousins said at a family reunion 30 years ago, "Those Williams women don't mince words." 99% of the time I speak with love, but when someone has crossed a line with me, watch out! This is an area I've been working on with God's help and reading the "Four Agreements," specifically the chapter on "Don't Take Anything Personally." I've had to pull that book out once again, because I do realize that when I get into that self-protective mode it is based on fear. I want to rid that need to be accepted. To be right. To defend myself. It is usually based on my past wounds that I react the way I do. I'm not making excuses (or at least I hope not). I think I'm moving in the right direction of taking a look at when I react this way, even if it's after the fact.

My Nannie, my mother's mother, was one of those Williams women that didn't mince words and so was my mother. My mother used to tell us the story of how my Dad wasn't afraid of many things, but he was afraid of Nannie. Back in the day when you had to have your parents sign for you if you were under a certain age to be married (1951), my Nannie refused to go with my Mom and Dad to sign for them. So that left my Grandfather, which surprised the heck out of me. You had to know him to know where I am coming from. One of the reasons she wouldn't sign was because my father was a Seventh Day Adventist and my Nannie was of the Church of Christ Fellowship.

Luckily I was one of those grandchildren that would wrap me up in a blanket and take me home with her when I was sick. I have a twin sister so Mama's hands were full. She didn't talk a lot; she didn't need to. I felt the love from her all of the time.

I have a pattern for being attracted to the "wrong" men. Toxic for me. On the positive side I'm taking a real good look at that also.

Whew! This has worn me out. I'll stop here. Hope you accept me for who I am.

Friday, January 29, 2010

The Death of J.D. Salinger

I heard on the radio while tending my kittens at the animal shelter the news of J.D. Salinger's death at the ripe old age of 91.

Of course I did not know this author personally, but I did have some memorable experiences when I first read "Catcher In The Rye" at the age of 15.

My best friend that I have referred to in some of my past blogs, that I have known over 45 years turned me on to him and this book. It was rather a risque book back in 1967 for a 15 year old to be reading. Well, my parents sure as heck didn't know I was reading it.

Annette, my b.f. and I would talk every night on the phone for hours, and while we were both reading "Catcher In The Rye", relating totally to Holden Caulfied, we would take turns reading aloud to each other and laughing our heads off!

Aren't memories wonderful? Thanks J.D.

Monday, January 25, 2010


For the last couple of weeks I've been thinking about the body, the Body of Christ that is. My thinking led me to my past horrific experiences with the church I was a member of in Atlanta for over 13 years. I do believe I have let go of those hurts and painful memories, but I'm viewing the Body of Christ somewhat differently than before.

After having this original thought, and that's all it was, a thought, I felt if I began to write about it, then other thoughts would come to me. At least that's how it has worked for me in the past. In the following days, not only did I hear this subject preached on a Christian station I listened to twice, but my own Pastor at the Lutheran Church I attend with my family preached on it.

I will never forget the first time in my walk with the Lord upon hearing the term, "The Body of Christ, He being the head and we it's members was such a revelation to me! Scripturally speaking from 1 Corinthians 12:21-17 it explains so well that the body is not made up of one part but of many. If the foot should say, Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body, it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? But, in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. And the best part (I've left out some of the scriptures) to me is when the bible states, "If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it. Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of us is a part of it.

Okay. I'll stop with the Bible thumping and just say that my view on the body has broaden quite a bit. It encompasses all of those that write from their hearts and share their faith with all of us.

I've pulled out one of my books I purchased in 2005, "Henri's Mantle", and quoting quite a bit from this book. I ran upon this paragraph; "Churches, mosques and temples which cover so much hypocrisy and humbug and shut out the poorest out of them seem but a mockery to God and [God's] worship when one sees the eternally renewed temple of worship under the vast canopy inviting everyone of us to real worship instead of abusing God's name by quarreling in the name of religion. I know that churches are as unfinished as our individual lives, and I should seek to forgive them for their incompleteness as I seek to forgive myself and be forgiven for mine.

I have to be honest here with you, I had begun to feel this "blogging" thing was turning into a competitive thing, with ME. How could I write with feeling that way? I couldn't. So, I decided to write, as inexperienced a writer compared to my fellow bloggers, so much more unsophisticated and not as eloquent with my words, but to do it anyway. Just like Janie would write. Simply and Real.

So here in blogger town, we are all made up of many parts, and all though all its parts are many, they form one body.

I am grateful that you accept me as one of the uncomely parts of this body that I belong to; still important and hopefully useful and have the greatest gift which is love.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

My New Red Coat or A Sign of Change

As I sit down to write this blog, it might seem a though I'm not taking some of the things that have transpired in my life since November that I brought on myself, or even making light of them. This is not the case. After reading "After I left the Church system, not the true Church," I originally was going to write in the next few days about the Body of Christ and it's members, which I will still do. This blog definitely hit me between the eyes, being that I came from being a member and on staff at a very toxic church for 13 years in GA, which my family ended up leaving. I left a very lengthy comment on this topic. In fact, I probably got a little carried away with my comments. Perhaps in need of some healing in this area still??

In the mean time, I've been thinking and voiced to my daughter Elizabeth how I believe I've transferred one addiction to another, which happens quite often with recovering alcoholics/addicts. Not only have I observed this, but my daughter has also and we laugh about it!

For example, all my life I've never bought anything for myself. I'm certainly not playing the martyr here, but having four children and living on a rather low income, they always came first when it came to making purchases. In fact, even if I received gift money for myself, we would go shopping and I would always end up spending the gift money I had received on them. I do not think this is something unusual, but a "mom" thing some of us do. I even enjoyed it!

Since marrying in 1970 at the age of 18, I have bought myself two coats. The first one was over 12 years ago and was a rather expensive coat, and of course was bought on sale at the end of the winter season. In the last two weeks I've done the same. I got a wild hair and went on Amazon and saw a beautiful red coat, Anne Klein, double breasted with a hood and HAD to have it. So what do I do???? order it right there and then. It also had an original price of $180 odd bucks and I only paid around $89.00 for it which only made the purchase sweeter for me. Before this purchase I've bought on line (I hate shopping at malls, but who knows I'll finally start doing that too) I've order CD's, books on addiction and a shirt. I'm waiting on my next pay period to buy 2 new pillow cases to match the new sheets I purchased last week, that were on sale of course.

This is NOT the Janie I know.

There is this line that's read in our group readings that is read at every meeting that "One is Too Many and A Thousand Never Enough." Well, my daughter and I apply this to my newest addiction transference when I come up the stairs at night to get my 2nd helping of ice cream I am binging on. She even says this too me and we both begin to bust a gut with laughter!

The conclusion I've come to is that perhaps I am doing the transferring one addiction to another, but I would rather be doing these types of things (for the moment) than drinking,hoping this too shall pass.

The lesson of this story for myself is that I'm able to laugh at myself and others laughing with me about myself during this difficult time of being a Recovering Alcoholic. I am cracking myself up! LOL LOL.....

Oh yes, one more thing, as I put on my new red coat that I would probably sleep in if I could, I go to retrieve the mail outside and I see a RED truck with a plow attached to it. I begin to think to myself, "boy Janie, you could have one of those attached to your car when you get your license back and make extra monies to help pay off the fines you were charged with for your D.W.I. charges. I begin to chuckle out loud to myself and think, boy, what a ridiculous thought, but this feels good.

Monday, January 18, 2010

It's The Little Things

It's the little things in life that make me happy. Is that the case for everyone?

These are those little, yet wonderful things that make me happy. For example, I love it when my two granddaughters run down stairs to where I sleep, and think they are sneaking up on me, so this is done very quietly. They are on a mission. There mission is to come and give Grammy their last hug and kiss for the night. Sometimes they will both crawl under the covers with me and watch just a few minutes of t.v. and then my daughter calls for them to come on up to bed. That's when I get my second hug and kiss!

I love my first cup of coffee in the morning. I always have. My grandmother used to give me just a wee bit of coffee with LOTS of cream and sugar, so I've been addicted ever since she started that tradition with me. I think it's an emotional thing for me also. Mothers are probably screaming right now, but I don't think it hurt me one little bit.

I love when my best friend of 48 years who lives in Nashville calls me and we always talk for at least an hour or more. Our greeting is "what cha doin? It feels like we are both sitting on her couch at opposite ends, feet touching, and just talking about anything and everything that is important to us. She has this wonderful southern drawl and her sense of humor is keen and keeps me in stitches. Don't get me wrong, we have had some deep, serious conversations also, and I enjoy those conversations too.

I love it when my youngest sister calls and we do the same. There are times when I have hit some tough spots in my life, or she has, and we both cry together and pray. We are intercessors for one another. She loves me unconditionally like none other.

I love it when dinner is finished, I've had my bath (I love baths) and I make my ice cream and go downstairs to watch my favorite programs on t.v. The day has come to a close and I am at peace.

I could go on and on but will stop here. What are the little things in life that bring joy to you? I hope you have many.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

This I Do Know

I woke up this Saturday morning to my usual 4:00 a.m. Upon waking up those first few moments each day, I begin to feel anxiety and feeling frightened. This morning was different, not that I didn't wake up to those feelings, but the thought that came to me was to remind myself of what was different in my life right now. By that I mean to say that I am not living in the same world of abuse, unexpected horrors for me, not knowing what would happen next. The world I live in now is a very safe environment, full of peace, and knowing that the day would NOT bring to me what I had experienced for 33 years of my marriage and the last three years of another abusive relationship I had been in. So, I decided to remind myself of these things I did know to be true for me in my life now, and as always to express my gratitude to God for placing me here in this safe, healing environment.

For myself this healing God is doing in my life with P.T.S.D and Anxiety Disorder, both a result of my past experiences starting with my father, has been a slow process, not fast enough for me. But I have to bring things to the table also along with God's healing in these areas. Such as reminding myself of: God is present to bind up and heal the brokenness and emotional wounds from my past. He is the TRUTH that sets me free. I am no longer an emotional prisoner-crippled and could not lift up myself. God has begun a good work in me, and He will perform it until the day of Christ Jesus. Forgetting those things that lie behind and strain forward to what lies ahead. The past will no longer control my thinking patterns or my behavior. I am a new creature in Christ and old things have passed away; and, behold, all things have become new. And finally, I am bringing all my energies to bear on this one thing: regardless of my past I look forward to what lies ahead.

I realize there are some that have the belief that one is not supposed to talk about those experiences some of us have had in our life. I believe one must talk about them to release the power that those experiences have had hold on them. I believe it is almost a form of confession to another individual and to God. This is why my post is entitled "REAL TALK."

I am not saying I live my life just to vomit out to others my negative experiences that had taken it's toll on me emotionally, mentally and physically. What I am saying is, that in experiencing so many trials in my past, and experiencing God's healing power and hope for a future of restoration and healing, I can be of hope and most of all truly understand when someone else has traveled similar roads. In that I have been touched with the feelings of their infirmities and can share this hope and then the healing can begin that God intends.

For some reason people have always felt safe to tell me how they are REALLY feeling, and what is REALLY going on in their hearts and life. This is so opposite of what I experienced, not feeling safe to cry out for help or to be honest with someone as a result of the shame that bound me, frightened that I would be rejected if "they" really knew what happened behind closed doors. I have even had Pastors validate my ex-husband's behavior in times of counseling, in times of me crying out for help. I have forgiven these individuals, and thank God there was finally one Pastor who understood and LISTENED to me. I am someone that truly understands where they are coming from.

This I do know, God is in the healing business, wanting to make us whole and new again. Thanks be to my Father for loving me and listening to my cries and not looking the other way. He was just there...accepting me just as I was, a wounded soul, wanting to hear what I had to say and to restore and renew me and bring back the joy I had lost along the way.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Touchy Subjects

I am going to be writing about what might be a touchy subject for some. It's one of those "scary" topics, those "I really don't want to think about topics."

I think something a f.b. friend made a comment on today is what spurred my thinking on the topic of "depression." Yea, the BIG "D" WORD.

There are those of us, who if feeling a little on the blue side, can just force themselves to sing and smile, and pretty soon it is a good day. However, there are those of us who suffer from this mental disease or know of those who are close to them that do, and finally realize it's not just a mood we are in at the moment. I know this is personally true for myself. I've suffered from depression for as long as I can remember. I always felt sad, even in grade school. I didn't want to feel this way. I definitely felt like the odd ball in the crowd, but didn't dare share the dark thoughts I had going on in my head most of the time. A novelist by the name of William Styronhas likened his depression to a storm in his brain, punctuated by thunderclaps of thought, self-critical, fearful, despairing. Yep! That was me.

I took the time to look up on the web how many famous people out there who suffered with this horrible mental disease. Of course we all know about the great President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, and the list goes on and on. Adam Duritz, lead singer for Counting Crows, Amy Tan, Chinese American writer who witnessed her grandmother committing suicide and believed that she, her grandmother and mother all had suffered from depression. Ashley Judd, Billy Corgan of the Smashing Pumpkins, Billy Joel, Brian Wilson, Diana, Princess of Wales, Dick Cavett, Drew Carey, Emma Thompson, Harrison Ford, Heath Ledger, J.K. Rowling, author of Harry Potter, Jim Carey, John Denver, Kurt Cobain, Mike Wallace-Newscaster, Rodney Dangerfield, Sheryl Crowe, Tennessee Williams/American Playwright, Vincent Van Goh, Winston Churchill.

I'm sure you have gotten my point. You don't know how many times I have prayed that God would heal me of this disease. There are times when it feels to be crippling to me. After all, "By His Stripes We Are Healed." But then I remember, His Grace Is Sufficient for Me.

One last thing I would like to say. I for one do not want to have this depression thing. I want it gone yesterday. Some days are better than other days. But this I do know, My God is aware of me, and knew me from my Mother's womb and numbers the very hairs of my head. HE KNOWS!

I think I probably had to write this perhaps more for me this time. I needed just to get it out there, especially in light of that dark cloud has been following me around the last couple of weeks. I appreciate your love and patience with me.


Saturday, January 2, 2010

Restore and Renew

Here it is January 2, 2010 and these first couple of days into the new year have been very emotional for me. I almost felt like I had taken ten steps back, regressed in my path of maturing emotionally and healing.

I was emailing one of my facebook friends I'm sure you all know, Dawn Sievers, whom I consider to be a kindred spirit and wonderful writer. So much to learn from her and so much to love about her. I'm not just throwing empty compliments out there friends, this is from the bottom of my heart. Back to what I was saying, I get off track so easily the older I get.

I was sharing with her a story concerning living the new life as a single woman after being married for 33 years, getting married at 18 years old! I was still such a baby and had not taken the time to grow and find out who Jane was.

God had promised to me two things during this new time of being alone for the first time; to restore and renew me. Wow! That sounded great! I was all smiles in my heart as I should have been. However, after a few more difficult months down the road, I began to question God, "hey, what about that restore/renew promise You made to me?" And then, automatically I got this visual of an old house under construction, needing so much work. I personally don't know what all goes into this process except by watching on P.B.S "This Old House", but then I began to understand the difficult process of restoration. I began to see all the old boards being torn down, sheet rock, dust everywhere, a total mess!Not a pretty sight to see in those beginning days of restoration of this old house.

Well, that's been a few years ago now, and God is still doing His work on and in me and it's a painful process at times, but will be well worth it in the end.

I will quote what my friend emailed to me: "The mental image of your own personal structure being rehabbed eventually presents the beauty that was always there." Awesome! Thanks Dawnie.