Crazy Practical Helps

For journaling…

When things I HOPED for DIDN’T

happen: (1-2 sentences)

Review the specific trigger. “He”


Reveal the wrong thinking. And what

I read into that was… And what I

heard as a lie was…

Regroup by focusing on the type of

connection I need: affirmation,

clarification, a hug…

Rewrite the situation by applying a

scripture that speaks to the


Crashing Waves May 26, 2019

In my experience

Here where I live

The waves are big today.

It’s usually pretty flat.

But today there are more white caps than normal.

I shuffle down to the water’s edge to wet my toes.

Immediately, I am surprisingly knocked back.

The ocean doesn’t just wet my toes, it pushes me back with water waist deep.

And then a second later,


And again.

And again.

Well okay ocean, I am clearly standing in the wrong location.

I take a few steps to avoid the buckling of my knees.

But I am still in the wrong place.

A careful look around seems to tell me to move beyond the shore break.

I am searching for the spot among the waves,

between the waves.

It is almost always there.

Another step and the shelf of shells drops me a foot lower and I am chest deep in the ocean.

There is where I can usually camp out and jump with and over the rolling ocean.


Jump! Okay, that is unexpected. White water just slapped me.

I thought I was safe.


Oh jump, jump, and … Again?

What is with this water today?

Local surfers are loving it, I am sure, but…

Floating peacefully won’t happen today.

I’m jumping with quite a bit of spring to make it over the high seas.

And I am not too successful.

Just when I clear one, another is right behind it.

I don’t have time to find sure footing.

I can’t push off the ocean floor.

I have to paddle using my arms and my legs to keep from going under.

I am exhausted from the aerobic exercise out here in the water quite quickly.

Turning back to the beach, I realize I can’t make a gradual ascent back up out of the water.

The waves aren’t giving me time.

I jump, float a ways, let her carry me gently,


I landed with the sensitive arch of my foot on a scratchy rock.

Owwww. That didn’t feel so good.

I take another step hoping for the hard packed sand.



My toe

On a rock.

Okay, plan C is being implementing – bodysurfing this next wave in.

Over top the rocks.

Going, going, stand up and

SLAM.. didn’t see that or expect that.

Hit right across the shoulder blades.

At the shelf and trying to step up,

But as the ankle deep water recedes back into the ocean, the waist to chest deep waves push me in the opposite direction.

Just trying to get ten feet is way more difficult that I assumed.

Big strong steps.

Quickly made.

Or get hit again.

Out now.

Turning to face what had just knocked me front, back, and every which way, I have dead things wrapped around my ankle.

Flinging the dried up seaweed back out to sea, I notice lots of others struggling in the sea too.

This is my life

Yesterday’s waves.

My son spoke way to despondently to ignore.

He spoke of killing himself.

Having walked through similar situations many times,

Not my first Baker Act rodeo,

We contacted his twice-a-week therapist and headed for the ER.

He was admitted.

Upon returning home, found alcohol in his room.

A lot like today out in the ocean

being hit unexpectedly over and over and not having a chance to find the firm bottom.

These last few days have been a snippet of our last four years.





In the dark …

May 25th, 2019

The sun is setting
And I am sitting in the beach alone.
The whole world is lit up by the falling ball over there
melting behind the trees.
Half at a time at least.
Night is coming.
It’ll be dark.
If the moon doesn’t reflect the light…
It’ll be dark.

The pink and blue clouds
I see will disappear.
Not really.
They will be there.
Suspended above my head.
But it’ll be dark.

The waves will roll in all through the night.
All night, they will proclaim power as the pound the sand and shells.
I might hear them.
Just not see them.
It’ll be dark.

The couple looking out across the sea, casting dreams upon the deep,
Will head for their car.
They will close their eyes after crawling into bed.
It’ll be dark.

In the dark,
People won’t toss a Nerf football or go for a swim at the beach,
But there ocean will ebb and flow regardless.

In the dark,
Dreams spoken of during a walk in the hot sand
Turn into dreams of a time yet to come.

In the dark,
Clouds hang heavy over hearts not realizing the sweet dreams once skipped across the salty, silvery surface.

In the dark,
Life is difficult.

We stumble
over what would have been apparent in the light.

The warmth
of the yellow blanket
that lay over us that day
is snatched back.

The security
of seeing
our surroundings
is traded for
constant shoulder-checking.

The sunshine sadly ceases.
Night falls.
I’m scared.
In the dark.

Miracle for Gero Family

Acts 12: 1-24
Peter’s Miraculous Escape From Prison and mirror of prayer for
closing on our house sale



12 It was about this time that King Herod arrested some who belonged to the church, intending to persecute them.

It was about 2 weeks till closing and life continued to be crisis level drama daily as had been our life for four years. Ok
2 He had James, the brother of John, put to death with the sword.

We had adopted 7 years ago not knowing the impact of the childhood neglect our kids had faced and the trauma that would create for us as we tried to love our kids to wellness.
3 When he saw that this met with approval among the Jews, he proceeded to seize Peter also. This happened during the Festival of Unleavened Bread.

Though God is for us, he has allowed suffering so severe that I have PTSD from the war that is waged in our home including being poisoned and beaten by my adopted kids.
4 After arresting him, he put him in prison, handing him over to be guarded by four squads of four soldiers each. Herod intended to bring him out for public trial after the Passover.

We reached a point that our family had become a group of orphans each completely on his own for survival through the hell of crazy that had entered our home.

5 So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him.

But the church was earnestly praying to God for us.

6 The night before Herod was to bring him to trial, Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains, and sentries stood guard at the entrance.

The week before closing, being told the house sale could not close because of 1986 fence permit not being closed or finalized, we needed a Peter miracle to be released from the home where did much hurt has happened.
7 Suddenly an angel of the Lord appeared and a light shone in the cell. He struck Peter on the side and woke him up. “Quick, get up!” he said, and the chains fell off Peter’s wrists.

I am praying an angel will strick someone dealing with our nightmare that could cause us to lose the beach condo we are dreaming on living in and moving forward in, and healing and relaxing and… Not mowing an acre or fixing a broken something with 40 year old home or cleaning the dirty pool filter

8 Then the angel said to him, “Put on your clothes and sandals.” And Peter did so. “Wrap your cloak around you and follow me,” the angel told him.

Following YOU JESUS.
9 Peter followed him out of the prison, but he had no idea that what the angel was doing was really happening; he thought he was seeing a vision.

I don’t have a clue how the permitting process we need to happen (4-6 weeks) will happen in 4 days.
10They passed the FIRST and second guards and came to the iron gate leading to the city. It opened for them by itself, and they went through it. When they had walked the length of one street, suddenly the angel left him.

Please Lord, close the eyes of those who want our permits to sit in a pile under the others submitted ahead of us. Please Lord move the mountain of county beaurocracy so that we can close the sale on the Farms house and move to the condo next week.

11 Then Peter came to himself and said, “Now I know without a doubt that the Lord has sent his angel and rescued me from Herod’s clutches and from everything the Jewish people were hoping would happen.”

Now I know without a doubt the Lord has sent his angel and rescued us from Satan’s clutches and from everything the devil was hoping would happen.

12 When this had dawned on him, he went to the house of Mary the mother of John, also called Mark,where many people had gathered and were praying.

Before this happened, I thought we needed a Peter size miracle … Looking at this from legal and normal angles, there is just no way….

and I began writing on my blog… Praying continually.
13 Peter knocked at the outer entrance, and a servant named Rhoda came to answer the door.

I knocked, banged on the door of heaven in prayer.
14 When she recognized Peter’s voice, she was so overjoyed she ran back without opening it and exclaimed, “Peter is at the door!”

I pray this will bring glory to God and shows how he reaches down and rescues still today.

15 “You’re out of your mind,” they told her. When she kept insisting that it was so, they said, “It must be his angel.”

I have been told multiple times that I am out of my mind… That’s okay.

16 But Peter kept on knocking, and when they opened the door and saw him, they were astonished.

When this happened, Denise Mendocha and others were astonished.
17 Peter motioned with his hand for them to be quiet and described how the Lord had brought him out of prison. “Tell James and the other brothers and sisters about this,” he said, and then he left for another place.

I can testify how the Lord brought us out of “prison”. And we are leaving for another place, Bella Vista on the Park condos.

18 In the morning, there was no small commotion among the soldiers as to what had become of Peter.

The darkness that had assailed us is scratching their demonic heads.
19 After Herod had a thorough search made for him and did not find him, he cross-examined the guards and ordered that they be executed.

Herod’s Death

Then Herod went from Judea to Caesarea and stayed there.

to Caesarea and stayed there. 20 He had been quarreling with the people of Tyre and Sidon; they now joined together and sought an audience with him. After securing the support of Blastus, a trusted personal servant of the king, they asked for peace, because they depended on the king’s country for their food supply.

21 On the appointed day Herod, wearing his royal robes, sat on his throne and delivered a public address to the people. 22 They shouted, “This is the voice of a god, not of a man.”

23 Immediately, because Herod did not give praise to God, an angel of the Lord struck him down, and he was eaten by worms and died.


24 But the word of God continued to spread and

continued to spread and



If I Call

I couldn’t carry the weight any longer.

Or maybe I didn’t want to.

Probably both.

PTSD is like a 600 pound monstrosity. Yet I can get my arms around it. I lift with my legs and back and move it out of the way every day.

It is part of my story.

I have shouldered this burden for over 4 years.

I have been in counseling with several therapists; individual, family, marital, EMDR. All to relearn how to live again.

Trauma changes the pathways in the brain. Neurons fire like bullets fly in a war zone and bridge new synapses never meant by the good Lord to be crossed. By design, yes, the brain constructs self-protective ramparts. Living in a sin-saturated world, these back-up plans come in to play.

Maybe there is something in my being that was less resilient to begin with. Maybe previous unnamed traumas had left me unknowingly suseptible to PTSD.

WHY do I have PTSD? There’s question I have learned not to touch with a ten foot pole.

Recently I have experienced victories in that arena-

Learning to live with PTSD.

And spiritually, it is a place the devil wages his most forcible rape of my heart. His attack is violent, bloodthirsty and murderous. He isn’t interested in shaming me or injuring me.

I am his enemies daughter and Satan delights in seeing me slaughtered.

Between the natural order of the brain and it’s response to injury and the supernatural at work,this momma who watched her biological babies be tortured because they extended love to hearts that refused to receive, became so burdened with that weight that she broke,

And is crippled,

Maimed permanently.

Mom isn’t the same and I will never be again.

Post traumatic stress disorder overrides my executive functioning in times of fighting in the arena.

I want to think. I am an intelligent person but my intelligence is closed off in the dogfight the demons engage me in. The lies assail me that I am utterly alone. Intrusive thoughts scream the world is a dangerous place and I am minutes from yet another vile offense.

The timing may be off but the reality is that the hurt happened. So what is to stop it again,

And again?

Will YOU stop it from happening?

You SAY you will.

But I can not forget, the protective sector won’t let me forget,

That it happened over and over again when you were at work,

For years, I was

Kicked, scratched, spit at, shoved, slapped, bit,…

…cursed out, taunted, dismembered by words,

…the mirrors thrown, shattered at my feet, the windows kicked out, the car jumped from,

The bleach I accidentally drank when I left my cup on the counter.

This all happened to me by little kids, ten and thirteen years old.

And it continues daily –

The triangulation, lies, manipulation, stealing, sneaking, and violation of every safe space.

It’s still happening!

So when I cry,…

howl, scream, wail, sob,

Or if I call for you

please scoop me up in your arms, hold me tight, securely.

And talk – loudly and clearly, speak truth over top the thoughts screaming in my head. The silence from you is unbearable because all I hear are the haunting lies that brought me here.

I am strong.

I am have many victories.

I have dodged many melees in the arena of my mind, heart, and soul.

But I am not Jesus.

He is invincible and I am not.

He is a mighty fortress, unpenetrable, and I am not.

He is undefeatable and I am not.

I am full of faults and selfishness.

I am breakable, fragile at times.

So if I call for you,

Please set aside your anger and keep your promises.

Please be your best for me

Or try.

If I call for you.

Read More

I Should Have Known Not To Call For You

Sometimes it is easier to just free fall.

Sometimes it is easier to simply let go.

Sometimes holding on exhausts all strength you had.

And you give up, and give in-

To the reality of your pain,

To the fears that claw at your chest,

To the tormenting thoughts that are rooted, not just in anxiety of what might happen,

But in what actually happened

And continues.


Trust has eroded all that once was your beach.

Where you could stand firmly and watch the beauty of the ocean and be reminded of His vast love.

Where you could sit and gain strength seeing how He created and controls the winds and waves, skies and shore.

But as the storms of your story eat away at the sand on which you stand,

And you look down and realize, the only land left is the grains of seashells beneath the soles of your soul.


And you are alone there,

In your fear while the waves confuse in their cacophony of force and sound.

There is an option to cry for help. Stress so intense presses you to do what situations of the past have schooled you not to do.


But I should have known not to call for you.

You aren’t my savior.

You won’t even try to save me in my sea of despair.

I am just a little girl who wants to be reassured,

Rescued by your love.

But I am not little.

I am a woman who has given birth to a child three times, adopted two children, and married once twenty five years ago. Before that I hunted for love in high school boys but only found hurt.

Before that I was little.

And between seven and eleven years old, I was molested by my parent’s friend’s son.

In twenty years of marriage, I grew accustomed to being loved in a way that was like a beach restoration project. What had been destroyed in the many hurricanes was replenished. And I sat on that beach happily.

Twenty years of really good made me believe I could trust again as we decided to share what the good Lord had given us.

Adopting foster care children should have been a success if one studied our skill set on paper. Two teachers who had seen a lot of abuse cases and had understood how damaged kids needed consistency.

That very attribute anchors the heart. It allows one to experience that regardless of the circumstances, you can trust. Proven.

But there are always the worst case scenarios.

And that is the journey our family has been on.

Regardless of the consistent love given the two siblings we opened our home to, it didn’t matter. Love didn’t win. Love didn’t matter. Love hasn’t been enough.

Loving them has hurt all five of us deeply.

Trust has vanished.

The family has become a group of orphans who look out for number one.

So when I called for you,

Wretched in anguish,

Screamed from a place of black,

You came,

But only to tell me to shut up.

And then you stumbled off to sleep.

I let my fears give way to insane ideas.

That you would want to sit in my hell.

I should have known not to call for you.

I won’t call for you.

It’s not an option.

Via con Dios… 

“But I can’t let her get away with talking to me like that!  She needs to learn that people deserve respect!” first thoughts after rude comments from 12-year-old daughter

Where is the justice?  upon further thinking

Shouldn’t right be rewarded – like all the time!?? clearly

Shouldn’t mean people, jerks, sin, and bad decisions be punished?  Uh… emphatically YES! preach sister

And No.  Not always.

Sometimes the effort to parent is exhausting – crushing – suffocating –  both to the parent and child.

And sometimes wisdom is unearthed only by living on the planet and experiencing HARD – more than once.  Eventually our decisions change, or should, if we are able to see the value in the lessons life teaches.  At some point, people, mother’s especially, need to evaluate the circumstance and say:


It is acknowledging (FINALLY) that I am not/ I ain’t gonna fix him.  Solo Dios.  Only God.  Therefore, the current situation necessitates the sweet Spanish well-wishing good-bye:


Realizing his character defects are beyond the scope of the moments and my mental health, I am learning to think: 


[And this can be said with a little sass..]  When you see your adopted child with severe limitations to their emotional stability make another poor decision, you have options.  #1 Think up a well-worded correction and launch into a lecture.  #2 Loudly proclaim, “Are you freakin’ kidding me?  #3 just repeat and shake one’s head mumbling  “NO NO NO NO NO NO” ad nauseum.

But WISDOM from God rescues you from a near collision with crazy.  You see it a time or 2. or 3.  or 25.  In situations 1-24, you opened your mouth and said in the face of the committed bad behavior:


But what was the eventual outcome?  Ahhh – it goes something like this:

      a little yelling, 

     a lot of frustration,

      a lot of stress and exasperation for the others in the vicinity,


But I have a secret.  A parenting diamond for those of you mining:  You don’t have to address “it”,   – not every time, – not in every season.  You don’t have to confront injustice every time and in every season.  

It is time to step out of the way.  Over the land mine.  Avoid the crater of pain that will explode from collarbone to hip bone.  Picture a scene from a Vietnam war movie.  Not good.

So many times before, you had to address the child’s foolishness.

But you really don’t.

I can’t believe I am saying this.  It only took me being poisoned with bleach by my son, discovering paraphenalia for smoking weed in your baby boy’s room – who happens to now be 18, being hard-core judged by Christians who are more fake than real, being frightened so regularly by your adopted children’s violently insane behaviors that you develop PTSD, years of counseling, and a hubbie who suggested it for years:


But as a human woman given the high calling motherhood and nurturing five souls unto glory, let’s be honest, this is all about my journey. I – in good concscience- felt like I would be failing if I didn’t do  ____________________,  If I didn’t talk it to death with my perfectly clear analogies and scripture references and anecdotal stories,  I felt like it was going to be completely understood and listened to.  If I did _________ or if I said _________________.  

But alas, there are teenage and adult children walking around on the planet unsaved, even when parents faithfully poured the Word of God into their lives.  Salvation and spiritual maturity is a work only done is His timing and by His will.  We don’t add anything to salvation.  We don’t save our children.  

Huge Mind Altering Thought:  We don’t have to save our children.  We only HAVE to glorify God.  

Often Imagine a hostage negotiation going down and a bullhorn in hand as God declares:

  3.   MA’AM…  MA’AM.  YES, YOU THERE.  DRONING ON AND ON.  SHUT       UP!  I  really wish God would say shut up to me sometimes.  It is such a very good idea every now and then.


Let the sovereign ruler over all time and space work providentially and/or supernaturally.  Let the yuck of the life pass without launching a full scale assault on things like an eyeroll.  Sometimes let it go.  Now I am not saying always let stuff go.

But sometimes – Smile as wisdom whispers her brilliant counsel in your mind’s ear and say:


I Don’t Know if I Hate My Life or… Is This How Anxiety and Depression Feels


I don’t know if I hate my life.
I am up early teaching VIPKID – my online teaching job – WHICH I KNOW I LOVE! I just finished my first class at 6:00 am and I have a rare unbooked class for 6:30. I have 30 minutes free.I waved goodbye to Constance in China and shut off my webcam. Then the genuine smile that comes from talking to adorable kids halfway around the world fades.I recognize a feeling of dread. Reaching for a prescription cocktail of Klonopin, Effexor, and Lexapro, I can hear my thinking:I HATE MY LIFE. I HATE MY LIFE. I HATE MY LIFE.Is this how I actually feel? Is this PTSD? Is this the anxiety and depression related to another frustrating turn of events, the circumstances of my adoption journey and subsequent trauma upon trauma?
I really don’t know how I feel.

I know that I should take my meds. I know the symptoms of PTSD are constant intrusive thoughts. I know I struggle with feelings of rejections and abandonment from the traumas of my life. I know when I do my best and my circumstances of abuse are chronic and intentional… It is sooooo hard to think




because hurts keep flying at you like a huge swarm of knats on a hike in summertime.

My trauma drama involves adopting two kids – siblings. In the state of Florida, there is no disclosure of a child’s background until they run to you yelling “MOMMA”. And how are you going to say “Oh nevermind little 6 year old I have never met… After reading your file, I don’t think this is a good fit.”
We went into adoption to help and we WON’T be the people who wound this child again. So we leave with a child and their file.. full disclosure HAHA.

And only small parts of the child’s file is available for the adoption counselor to give to adopting parents. Our counselor was able to copy everything because the records person left her alone for a bit. Seeing the rare opportunity, she frantically kept copying the complete file believing that parents deserved to know everything possible. But that file and information is given only after you have been given the kid. [Florida needs a revamp. Other states have trial visits for a minimum number of weeks for introduction and to see how both the adoptees and after adopters feel about this possible new family. I digress.]
We weren’t given background info. Prior to their permanent placement we knew: Two kids from Haitian background. Still pretty young. Age 6 and 7.
Then they came to live with us. They had expected behavioral, educational and academic problems. We wouldn’t know the extent of mental issues for years. Now we know.
And it is the worst.

Worst diagnosis:



Among others:




Low – (real low) cognitive function, IQ less than 70




I HATE these humans did not ask for this pain.

I HATE that our choosing to adopt brought so much trauma to my biological kids who once where so excited to adopt little siblings to love on… But those ” siblings” are now teenagers to avoid.

Fast forward 6 years:

Our daughter from college says she won’t come home again for the holidays if THING 1 is there. They both wreck havoc but #1 more than #2. My biological kids are amazing, loving people but their limits have been exceeded by about as much as kids could endure. So much hopes, dreams and wishes for kicking the soccer ball around or manicures with the girls on spa night have dissipated into a hellish existence of not 2 orphans finding a home but making us into a group of 7 orphans.. no family left. I hate THIS season for sure.

I remember when my biological kids grew carrots and marveled at a little seed that turned into a yummy veg. And I wanted to give that to my adopted kids. But because their behavior has been so terrifying for so long… Yeah – going to have to let go of that hope.

Now I just hope for the minutes that I feel the hands that are holding my head underwater release me. And in those precious ticks of the clock, I am determined to alter this family’s future. I will fight for my firstborn to have a place to happily come to. When life feels like it holds her head down, there will be a home for her to run to. She will get back the mom and dad she grew up with, and not put the clinically depressed couch potato with an exhausted glaze clouding the eyes that use to sparkle and laugh and the lady who sleeps at rest stops on the highway seeking safety before she can shut her eyes. My son will not need to describe a meal at his friend’s made by the mom as “amazing like when you use to cook for us.. remember pizza night and your shrimp Alfredo…”

Yes, I remember, but I have no idea how this nightmare (such an understatement) turned into 3 years of suffocation. We have gone from a residential treatment center meeting about our 11 year old who flipped all the tables in the lockdown facility’s dining room and hit kids with a broom stick (which she doesn’t understand why they called a broom a “weapon”) to a soccer game of our other daughter’s and cheered on the her as she flipped others on their backsides. Seamless transition? Nope. The first stop exhausted me so completely that I watched the second from behind a tree because the thought of interacting with others, being asked, “How are you?”, sent me into a tailspin.

And Christmas was just 2 weeks ago. We missed Christmas 2018. We tried to not make a big deal out of the holiday in fear of sabotoge. Noticing a pattern of Baker Acts on special days it seemed to make sense to not celebrate Christmas. Do you hear the insanity? We need to change something. Drastically.
And it isn’t CHRISTMAS.