Food for thought on a Monday

THIS.

Dating Jesus

unnamedAnd thanks, Cynical, for the photo.

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Stupid Phrases for People in Crisis

Marilyn R. Gardner

crisis

  1. God will never give you more than you can handle. While some may believe it is theologically correct, depending on your definitions, it is singularly unhelpful to the person who is neck-deep in a crisis, trying to swim against a Tsunami. A wonderful phrase recently came from Support for Special Needs. They suggest changing this from “God will never give you more than you can handle” to “Let me come over and help you do some laundry.” This strikes me as even more theologically correct.
  2. It gets better. Yes, yes it does. But right then, it’s not better.And before it gets better, it may get way worse.
  3. When God shuts a door, he opens a window.Maybe, but maybe not. Maybe he just shuts a door. Maybe there is no window. There was no window for Job. There was a cosmic battle that raged as he sat in distress. There…

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The shame of the Duggars

I had a snake in my home also.

Dating Jesus

header2The recent news of the sexual predator-nature of Josh Duggar (of the “Ten Hundred Duggars and Counting” TLC show, and here‘s his slick-as-shit website) is gross.

Though they refuse the label, the Duggars are standard bearers for the Quiverfull movement (no birth control, ever, and women are to keep silent and pregnant, in the home). What TLC presented as an interesting and quirky family is actually a throw-back to the bad old days of orthodox (or fundamentalist) Christianity. So  yuck it up, television viewers. Every time you marveled at Mrs. Duggar’s clown-car of a uterus, you were contributing to a dangerous and damaging theology.

And now it appears the family had a snake in their midst in the form of the older son, Josh. And they parked their wagons in a ring because — or so I assume — their TLC show is a cash cow.

Here‘s…

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Some Days I Just Feel “BLAH”!

Bringing this back to the front. Been having some days on the verge of “blah” and needed the reminder for myself.

Embracing life: 4/29/10

blah2 Blah

For about a year now, when people have asked how I’m doing, I’ve been able to tell them, “I’ve never felt better!” That’s the honest truth. I don’t think I have EVER felt this “alive” emotionally. I am actually feeling and experiencing life instead of just going through the motions like I did for so many years.

When my therapist has asked me why I think this is the case, my answer has been, “steady work hours.” Once my boss finally had me working 20-25 hours a week for a consistent amount of time…about 5-6 months…I really felt my mood elevate and I became more engaged with life and the things going on around me. The medication helped, but that had not changed during those previous six months. The only thing that changed was that I finally had a steady work schedule at a level I could handle.

My…

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14 Years in 10 Minutes

For the past few months I’ve participated in a Peer Union Counseling class. It was an opportunity to learn even more about the various human service programs available in the community. Before our ‘graduation,’ the coordinator asked for a male and female volunteer to speak about our experience in the class at the graduation. When no female stepped forward, I decided I would step up. I had no idea how introspective my speech would leave me that evening.

I am far from being a planner, so in the 15 minutes before I left for the banquet, I jotted down a few notes. You might think that knowing that various local political figures were going to be present, I might have put more thought into it…but I didn’t. Besides, my best work has often come from last minute pressure! I stuck the slips of note paper in my pocket and didn’t think about it again until time for my speech.

I used the notes as a reference, but pretty much spoke what came to mind. I was open, honest and genuine in what I had to share. Afterwards, I received a number of comments of support and praise. Other than that, I didn’t really think about it much…until I made it home.

Sitting on my couch considering the evening as a whole, I suddenly became very pensive. It dawned on me that I had essentially summed up the past 14 years of my life in just 10 minutes or less. If you’ve been following my blog, even though I am only just getting to the time I moved in Indiana, you might guess that a LOT has happened in that time. The following is not verbatim, since I only went by notes, but it does convey the same message.

I started working at Purdue University the summer of 2001. I was across the hall from Roberta Schoeneman in the College of Science advising computer science majors. I would leave Purdue in September 2008 because of my mental health. By September 2009, 12 months later, I would have intimate knowledge of: in-patient mental health care, outpatient community health services, Division of Family Services for SNAP/food stamps, the homeless shelter, the Mental Health America day shelter, Lafayette Transitional Housing, Lafayette Housing Authority and the Social Security Administration. In the months to follow, I would also work with Area IV, the YWCA Cancer Program, and Riggs Community Health Center.

I had gone from someone with a Master’s degree working at a Big 10 university to being homeless having to use food stamps. I still remember the first time I used my SNAP card, I only purchased a drink and maybe a bag of chips. I didn’t even make it to the car before I started crying. I just couldn’t accept that I had fallen that far.

Life has dramatically improved since then. You could say it is like night and day. Now, instead of receiving services from the various agencies, I am helping others navigate the process to receive services themselves. A year ago I began attending the HPIN meetings, Homeless Prevention and Intervention Network. That is where I learned of this class.

Even though I was pretty familiar with many of the resources shared in this class, I learned of so many others available in the community. It seemed like each week I would take what I had learned and share with a friend here in town, or even with an aunt in Texas. Having the right terminology, I was able to locate a couple of similar programs for her to help with renovations to her home to help my uncle with disabilities.

I plan to continue helping others, primarily those that are experiencing homelessness, with all the information I learned. I also plan to apply for Leadership Lafayette. Don’t be surprised if I go asking for financial assistance [looking directly at the CEO of United Way of Greater Lafayette]. I WILL be on the board of one of the various agencies represented before all is said and done!

Sitting here writing, I’m still in awe that I am ABLE to sit here and write this blog. For so many years I sincerely believed that I would end up dead by my own doing. Now that thought seems so foreign to me…even though I only let go of that option five short years ago.

I don’t recall a time in my life where I was more determined than I am now to help make changes that will benefit others. It is a slow, long process, but I am in it for the long haul. I want to see the holes filled so that ALL people experiencing homeless have a fighting chance to get back on their feet and not just those with the ability to navigate the many systems on their own.

To the person that told me I had an “advocate’s heart,” watch out! I have you on my radar!

Strutting my stuff before my speech.

Strutting my stuff before my speech.