Morning Musings: The Bondage of Fear

Insomnia. Depression. Anger. Fear takes on so many shapes. It looms like a mountain and irritates like a pebble in your shoe. It whispers and lies and builds itself up like the mightiest force in the universe. It smothers out dreams and is like a noose choking out the very joy of life.

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1:7

Before I can share how I have overcome the bondage I think its important to share how deep it held me. Fear is something that I have battled most of my life. I can even pinpoint the moment it began to enslaved me.

My father suffered from schizophrenia and was an alcoholic, as long as he took his medication (that was most of the time) everything was wonderful. Seriously, I could not have asked for a better dad! But like all people, he was not perfect and from time to time he would stop taking his medication, and then he would start drinking and then my mom would take me away from the home for the night.

This might have been where fear started but it wasn’t, my mom always made me feel safe. She made the time at the hotel feel like a girls get-away or a stay with friends like a slumber party. But there was one time she was unable to do that.

The summer of 1992, I was 13 years old. We were at a party at my grandparents home and my mom got sick. Really sick! And we ended up taking her to the emergency room.

It was a long night with lots of tests and x-rays of some sort. I can still see the cubical waiting rooms, florescent lights casting odd shadows because they were not all on. Listing to the doctors say things like “strangulation hernia”,  “if she doesn’t start vomiting” and “surgery”.

She was admitted into the hospital that night with talk about the surgery in the morning. My daddy took me home and then some time in the still dark hours the phone rang. “Mommy is having surgery.”

It’s funny looking back as an adult into childhood. Being able to see my reaction and having a greater understanding about what my dad must have been feeling. How scared he must have been.

I don’t remember much about those day that followed. I was thirteen, lost in books and the world of innocence. I don’t know how the surgery went, but my mom ended up in ICU for more than a day before she was moved into a normal room.

It was after she moved into that room that I reminded my dad (again) that he promised to take me to Enchanted Village & water park. He did, we drove the long hours there while my mom stayed in the hospital. He paid the ridiculous ticket price. We rode the Carousel. And then we got into a fight.

What a stupid fight for both of us. He wanted to ride the potato sack slide and I thought is was to babyish. So I told him he could and I would skip it. We both skipped it. Then I wanted to ride the Octopus but he didn’t want to and then I wouldn’t go on it.

We were both being stubborn and bratty. I sobbed and we went home.

We hadn’t even been at the park for an hour. We spent money on gas and tickets and food, money I was to learn wasn’t really in our budget. Hospitals, ICU and surgery is expensive when you don’t have insurance and we didn’t. And I’m pretty sure finances were tight even before that.

I cried the whole way home, then went to my room and took a nap. When I woke up my dad wasnt home, so I cuddled up on the couch with my book.

He wasnt too late getting home after that and went straight to the kitchen. I gave it no thought, the anger and hurt from the earlier part of the day already fading from my heart.

Then I heard the can open.

Most people wouldn’t think twice about that innocent sound. It wouldn’t fill them with absolute fear. But we didn’t drink canned soda in our home, the only time I heard that sound in my house was if daddy had bought a beer.

Daddy was drinking and my mom wasn’t there to protect me.


*I’ve shared this story many times, but have never written it down. This all happened 25 years ago, it’s amazing what time and age does to memories and the ability to see others possible perspectives in a situation. Bear with me and I will continue my story of overcoming the bondage of fear.

Part 2


Morning Musings: Mother’s Day

I took such a fun little What Disney Mom Are You this morning, you know one of those Facebook personality tests. They are silly but fun. Anyway, Disney told me I was most like Hera.

Your reputation is no myth. You’re a kind, compassionate and loving mother, although sometimes a bit too overprotective. You’re determined to go the distance with your family, sticking with them through good times and bad. When it comes to family, you’re a true goddess.


A Disney personality test shouldn’t stir up so many emotions…but it did. Maybe its because my emotions are on high alert right now. Too little sleep, too long days, too much stress, too little healthy food, too little exercise. Hmmm look at all that TOO, too much and too little tend to reek havoc.

I digress.

This little Disney test reminded me of being Greek…or better yet of NOT being Greek. My mom was Greek and she hated it. (I’m pretty sure that had more to do with biological family connections then actual nationality.) But I loved it!

I’ve always had a firm Jesus foundation as my history but I thought it was so neat to be directly related to these people who told stories of Zeus and Hera and Aphrodite and Hercules. I loved to imagine that someone in my family listed to Paul tell of Jesus. That I’d one day travel to Greece and meet someone who looked like me.

I’ve said many times and its stupid true. The hardest parts about finding out I was adopted was not seeing any of my parents features in mine/ knowing I wouldn’t see them in my children. It was like loosing them all over again. And finding out I wasn’t half Greek. Isn’t that part silly!

So Disney reminded me this morning that I’m not Greek. It reminded me about my mom. It reminded me that I’m in awesome company with Hera, that I am an awesome mom and just the ones my kids need. Even if I’m not Greek.

Now here is hoping I can find some yummy Greek food for Mother’s Day. Thoughts of Baklava have me drooling….and just maybe the connection to the food might be my favorite part of “being Greek”.




Morning Musings: When I Rise

Nothing share worthy from my devotions stood out this morning, at least not without sharing the whole thing. But As I sit in the quiet of my room, soft sweet voices of my husband visiting with our children, I am blessed by this moment alone to ready my heart and mind for the day.

In the morning when I rise, give me Jesus!

Have you seen the beautiful art work that includes quotes like this? I have and am often drawn toward them. But more often in the morning when I rise I’m instead seeking caffeine instead.  “In the morning when I rise, give me tea!” While everyone else looks at me “In the morning give me breakfast.”

Now let me be clear, I sit hear in this uncommonly extra relaxed state is not because I prepared for a restful morning. Its because my big two have learned how to make tea for mama and coffee for daddy. Its because my husband is giving me this extra time while he feeds them. (He actually does this often for me, but in my slow start mornings I often neglect that memory while nursing a funky attitude.)

But this morning, I’ve first taken the time to read the Word. I’ve managed to keep the habit from You Version #Biblefor21 and while I first reach for my phone, its now the Bible app I am pulling up instead of Facebook or Instagram. Most mornings.

If you want to know what I am currently readying via You Version, its a devotional called Glimpses of Grace. A 14-day devotional by Gloria Furman. Today’s reading was from Titus and gave me good things to chew on.

Morning Musings: tea, them & Him

I’m trying something new, alright you got me I’m almost always trying something new but that is besides the point. YouVersion is having a devotional reading challenge and while I’ve vary irregularly used their awesome free devotionals I tend to not do them daily for long.

Enter something new!

I’ve asked my oldest two Pastries to choose one of the YouVersion Kid Devotionals for us to do together. They are enjoying making some choices for both of us and “playing” on mamas phone. I am enjoying that focused one on one time with each of them and the Holy Spirit fist thing over tea.

Yes, I am doing this with them before I even finish my first cup of tea! Yep, couldn’t do that if it were anything other then Gods Word. Mama needs her morning cup of caffeinated goodness!

Morning Musings I have more time…and less

When I started this blog, the road trip adventure, I expected to have so much more time to feed my desire to write. And while I have had so much more time it’s been spent in other ways.

I am the Navigator!
No not the Disney Movies of my childhood, however I feel like the Google map lady and I now have a similar relationship. My husband does the driving and I keep my eyes on the map…and the landscape.
There is so much to see that I’ve never seen before and I’ve been content to spend hours in the saddle so to speak enjoying the view and visiting with my man. (However, audio books do a good job of filling some hours on the road as well.)
I am the Chef.
We actually eat out more often as a family then we have in years and my husband is great about helping stock our cupboard with healthy quick cook meals; but I’m gluten free and lean towards a Trim Healthy Mama meal plan. So add all that to a family of 5 with not a lot of room for bulk cooking or freezing and it keeps my day full.
I am the Dishwasher.
When your family has one set of dishes and eats mostly from scratch meals that means a lot of time in the kitchen. And as long as I have my rubber gloves it’s not so bad…after all its just one set of dishes over after dinner over and over again.
(Shhhh….I have some plans in place to work me out of the above two jobs or at least cut my hours back.)
I am the Assistant.
My husband still works full time and there are plenty of times that I am enlisted to help. After all I am his help mate and he is also wonderful about helping me keep our home spit spot clean. Teamwork is a wonderful thing folks!
I am Teacher. I am the Mama.
I’ve always been a stay at home mom. But I’ve had more time then I’ve ever had to be along side my little people. More snuggle. More play. More exploration. And yes, I have had more time to teach them. (I don’t want to think of myself as their “Teacher” any more, nor do I want them to think of me as their Teacher anymore. There is a plan in place for adjusting this too.)
I am the Wife.
And I have more time spent with my husband now in all the time we have been married.  No more late work nights…unless you count being on the laptop while watching a movie. No more travel away from home, because home and the family travel too. Hours of conversation (that gig as navigator helps with that). It is delightful getting to hang out all the time with my best friend.
I am still the Introvert.
So when I can I eek out moments in each day to recharge I take them and often writing is the last thing on my mind. I have read quite a bit and that has been delightful for me. But even my Pumpkin is challenging me to write more so if they let me have a little more quiet time I expect I will be able to pen more words each day. And when I am writing- in that zone- I must admit that it recharges me pretty well to.
Well, we are heading fully into year two now and I know more about our family dynamic and quirks of living on the road then before. With that in mind I expect to share more of my rambling and book suggestions and so on as if you were joining me for tea.

Morning musings in August

“Good Morning!” The boiling water says to me as it bids me to wake up with a cuppa. Tea is my caffeinated beverage of choice. I do not mind the occasional coffee and sometimes I long for its strong and slightly bitter taste, but most of the time it fatigues me too much after it sends me into overdrive and my day doesn’t like that.

It is a beautiful still sunny morning in the Milwaukie Oregon area with a deceptively pleasing aroma of camp fire. So many forest fires in the area that the sky is hazy and if you travel south irritating to breath. Concern for our local neighbors and firemen is real but the threat is not nearly the same as the one our Washington neighbors have been facing.

I am thankful for the men and women who rush to the front line to protect us. Who set their life to the side so we can be kept safe. I sip my tea and breath in the air and pray for each of those in danger that they are kept safe too. I breath in “camp fire” and pray for the families who have lost love ones to these fights. I look up into the bright sunny sky and join many others in prayer for rain.