Relationship quiz

Does any one person clearly understand your personality, your hopes, your dreams, your past, your future destiny?   Do you understand these things concerning them?

Can you name anyone from your childhood that has maintained a reciprocal relationship with you?  Do they know the current struggles going on right now in your personal life?

Do you maintain meaningful conversation with loved ones or family on a  weekly  basis, how about at least monthly,  even yearly?   When was the last time you called them, can you talk with them about the current struggle you are experiencing?

Can you name 2 people whom you unconditionally love, that also unconditionally love you?   Is there even 1 person you unconditionally love? Do you even know the meaning of that word?

Do you have anyone in your life that you could ask for help anytime, any day, that would immediately come to your rescue no questions asked?  Would you do the same for them?

If your answer is No  and it occurs more than once- you may benefit from personal professional relationship help. This is one way in which  I believe I can help you.

If your answer is yes, then you have a beginning network, use these relationships, talk to them, reach out to them for comfort in this crisis you are experiencing. What do they say about your current situation?

I strive to show compassion to those others who have given up hope of healing. I strive to become a wounded healer. Don’t be discouraged after you take the relationship quiz and learn a reality that currently you are all alone (the reality is we are all alone at some point). Sure we are born into family, however, its quite a feat to maintain positive relationships, mostly due to the fact we are all pretty wounded and messed up. I share my pains often on this site not to hurt people rather to acknowledge we all struggle, and my hope is through my struggles you too will find hope and a way to navigate your pain. I have a family of four siblings myself and frankly relationship is non-existent or a constant struggle, and that has been my family history for several dysfunctional generations. I  also have 7 children and frankly each relationship  is also a struggle to maintain. Relationships take work, people are busy and time is a rare commodity. Just when you have a real connection to one of your children and have worked out a system of understanding and acceptance they go off and marry a person your opposite to complicate the relationship… so more work is needed. Relationship is a constantly transforming status.  I would contend almost every relationship break has suffered a tremendous amount of miscommunication.  Misunderstandings, lack of communication skills and “being right” have separated countless families for generations.  An  example close to home , my one brother has not connected with anyone in the family for decades, I think he speaks to one brother occasionally but the rest of the family …nothing for years and years and years, so I imagine it is ( if you explore your past generations history),  you too will find somewhere in your family, this term “cut off” has been an ” option” to remaining “connected” to dysfunctional family members.

Now Love. there is an abundant supply of that in my life, putting hands on that love, that is a bit more difficult. Could I call any of my  brothers today and reconnect…I doubt it,  after so many years go by we likely have forget why we became separated in the first place (I know I continue to pray and struggle to keep a open heart that is always willing to connect and forgive). With my eldest I have no idea what drove him away. I do know that none of my brothers like my personality, or my mothers personality, or my sisters personality, I am sure deep down they love us, but like us, they just don’t. I have one brother that insists I lied a terrible lie about him, no matter what I say (he wouldn’t listen or even give me a chance to talk about the subject) for him that lie is ” real ” and he was so hurt by a lie (that I never even said) resulting in a relationship that has been damaged for a several of years. Before that, was it a real relationship? Every few years it was a “cut off ” relationship, some misunderstanding and they didn’t speak to family members for a long time and then somehow they would decide to forgive, everyone blamed it on his wife, but she has been gone several years and he is still the same, I do not know their hearts. I do know that I have committed myself for years to healing family relationships and I appear to be the only one who desires relationship in this family, so I learned to accept people for who they are. I am hear I never move and I continue to desire Restoration…maybe when they learn to have relationship with their kids or a wife they will be open to a relationship with their sisters or mother.

Here I am trying to change their thoughts when I should have connected the conclusion long ago and saved myself  all that pain. Now do I love my brothers?  Yes I love all three of them dearly. I would do anything in my power to help them or to heal our relationship but I do not need a hammer to hit me in the head to deduce the fact that none of them have any interest in a relationship. For most men – one relationship (their wife or daughter) is about all they can handle and few want to invest time effort and work talking about their feelings….and thats OK, let people be who they are, focus on who you are and find a way to meet your relationship needs.  Here’s an option that helped me: find a surrogate family.

I have had so many surrogate parents over the years. No one can replace my father(RIP) but frankly he wasn’t a very model father. My father was a great friend to others, a good husband to his last wife, a smart, talented, intellectual man. Later in life, when he beat his addictions, he became an honorable man in society.  I honor my father and my mother, I know they had terribly difficult lives, neither could parent properly due to mental health and addiction issues  but both loved their children to the best of their ability and did the best they could. Forgiving and accepting them was one valuable key to my own emotional healing. So instead of whining over the family I was given, I found people who could substitute modeling what a parent,  a brother, or a sister relationship looked like. I was very blessed to have become part of a church at 18. My children were blessed to have been given the heritage of a church family consistently when they were growing up, although only 3 out of 7 actually attend a church today. My church was always my surrogate family and it was in those relationships that my healing began and continues to this day. My churches have changed over the years (as I have grown in my own spiritual walk) as have my surrogate families, but one thing for sure: if I needed a listening ear, I have always had many options, because I continued investing in relationships (even after being burned and burned and burned). Relationships are the one thing we have to help us as we struggle through the different journey’s life throws at us. I expose all these flaws in myself because 1. I want to shout out …I am not perfect…I am messed up… I may not have relationships in my family(which I can easily admit to and can freely discuss because not one person in my family reads anything I write, nor have they ever commented, assisted, or challenged me to things I may need to adjus). Knowing this fact up front, I may not be able to help you heal your family relationships. I want to make it very clear: if both people do not want a relationship there is only so much one can do. Regardless of your family situation, YOU NEED OTHERS, you need relationships! So what I can help you with, is learning how to develop relationships, I have more relationships than I can count, and quite a few close friends who I can trust and cry to and who actually like me…thats how I keep my sanity in this insane world. We are wounded in relationship….and we are healed in relationship…that is the key. We are not often healed with the same people who have wounded us, but if we try , if we can expose vulnerability, we can make some relationship maybe just one or two. If you can look to even one relationship, one authentic relationship, you will find some comfort and healing  and you have a chance to heal. If you do not have one authentic relationship I encourage you to call me and we can begin working on that building process. Julia Jay 717-484-1253.

Relationship

Relationship 101

This post is for people who want relationship or those who have relationship and are tired of the work relationships bring. Also you want to give up on relationship because of all the pain relationship brings, then this is the blog for you.

If you happen to be  a happy go lucky soul, one who has the world in your hands and can honestly say you have obtained  great nurturing relationships. If you have friends and family that support you and are happy with all the relationships you have, or you are one who feels you have an overflow of great amazing relationships….then run with it… good for you…. Enjoy! My advice to  you “Please stay away from this blog today…  close down right now,  don’t continue reading. WARNING!!! DISCLAIMER!!!! do not read…stay in your happy little world and milk it for all its worth”.  Please don’t read on… if you do …don’t say you were not warned.

Now onto those of you…like me. I want to share some thoughts that I hope will help you, sustain you, or bring hope to the hopeless.

If you have been struggling with relationship and/or everytime you try to trust someone….you get hurt… then this is my gift to you. If you are beginning to think “I give up”, being alone is so much more conducive to happiness  then again for you especially, I have a few words of  valuable encouragement. Included in this post is words of wisdom and hope for those who that have lived a life full of giving and relationship…. you have nurtured  every relationship you ever had… you gave and gave and forgave and forgave, and then one day after years of work and work and work, trying to engaging others in this thing called relationship. I encourage you to stay attuned. There is HOPE.

If  you were once very happy in your life…and then you got sick…or you went broke… or you had a time come in your life where you needed or desired for a little back…and you found all those investments yielded little fruit and even after years and years of working  on your marriage… you have come to the realization that you do not really understand or know that person….well then get in line have I got a story for you (as veggie tails would say).

Relationship is perspective. Often one must step back to see with a lens that is fueled with understanding. People are changing…constantly changing…relationships are also subject to changing. Relationships follow a continuum that is fueled by understanding…understanding most importantly one must understand oneself and then out of that experience you will create a desire to understanding others…not the way you want them to be but the way they really are.

Know this first: People are going to let you down..thats a given.  Noone can be available for any one person all the time. People have different needs, different views, different perspective…and  people are  under constant transformation according to their circumstances. So what can we do…walk away …give up…stay and take whatever anyone throws your way? No there is another way.

Let me tell you a story that will prove to you I do actually know what I am talking about. I once had a little birdy…we will call her Robin. She was my besty!!! I thought our relationship would last forever. I watched her grow under my wings from a tiny child to a amazing woman. She became all I had hoped for her and then I changed. That’s the thing …people change…we all are constantly changing. The things I once thought were so important…being busy…helping others… attending every event the church had… ministering to others…. not smoking…not drinking…not swearing… being the example for everyone

She and me we were tight…I never thought anything coulod come between us…but I realized, relationships change and I changed and she changed. Once I changed and I could not be the person she needed me to be and I noticed the change also took place in her, our relationship died. No, it did not dwindle, it did not hit a rough spot… it just died. The one person in the world I thought nothing could destroy the connection between us… the relationship  died. She ceased to exist in my world. A new person took her place once of accusations, one of mistrust, one of uncomfortable feelings even to be in the same room.  Now I had that feeling change and relationship change with my spouse many times in our marriage but of course I am committed so I just continued and eventually I got past whatever argument we were having.. I learned to expect less. Most people after  30 plus years of marraige just learn how to live with one another and move on if they want to make the commitment last. Marrage is hard(thats a different blog).

Back to my Robin… I could not just move away, could not just escape relationship, I loved this woman with all my heart …there was no stronger love bond… so what could I do? I could not ignore her, she was everywhere…every family gathering, every child graduation , birthday, Christmas, Easter…you get my point…. there was no getting away. She was an amazing person, an excellent Christian, a model citizen…its just she was no longer my besty. She was no longer who I called to cry, to discuss events, to share my heart and soul. This became a time in my life where I truly was alienated from her…how long could this last…we became different persons.. I loved her with all my heart…she loved me with all her heart…I cry just thinking letalone writing about this pain.

RIP

Rest in Peace RIP

Why do we say Rest in Peace, Asleep in the Lord, Memory Eternal, or you can sleep when you are dead?

Have you ever heard those terms mentioned when someone refers to the dead?

What do you think really happens in Death, or AFTER Death?

Do you think You will rest in PEACE?

If we pray the words “rest in peace” does it affect the resting person or actually have any potential to bring the dead more peace though my intercession?

Are memorials only for the living to remember the dead or are they a tribute to the investment and impact that person had in our lives.

I think it does…let me explain.

This is a blog of me just exploring my thoughts (a sorta CS Lewis thing). I think  like him in many ways, different than my peers, sorta philosophical and yet simple…real simple. I admit I know lots of psyche babble. I have been educated and over educated for years and years of higher education. Yet, I am still a simple girl. I speak simply and in terms that any person can get. I contemplate complex concepts all the time, but they boil down to simple truths truths I actually live by. My goal is  to always speak really simple and only speak on subjects worth exploring. Can I change anyone’s mind about life eternal? Your mind is your mind, my desire is to challenge your thinking (something few schools or the media offer in this day and age). I am not Catholic , or Protestant or Jewish. In fact I believe most religions have so many holes in their theories that there is a seed of truth and a whole lot of mans corruption for all religions.

In fact, I can’t really pull off speaking educated or sounding educated because I am a simple girl  with a simple life and I intentionally choose that life purposefully. I do not write  eloquently either but what I take the time and thought to write I can guarantee you:  will change your life, or at least change your perspective. Its not perfected in grammar but I try to do my best.  I do not strive to sound educated  because, fact in point, most educated people are really dumb…seriously dumb when it comes to life, emotions, relationships, and reality.

All the crap they teach us in the books, frankly its really meaningless… its fantasy… its not real life and its definitely not applicable to real life problems, at least not my real life problems or those i help on a daily basis.

Intellectualism sounds good, but when I write and expose my innermost thoughts I do it for real comfort, real change of thought, real life hope and real life peace: peace that, despite the hardships one must endure, can really mean something, something real in eternally.

I think…. I really believe with all my heart, in this opinion I am about to share. Not like a ponder thought, but like a value deep in my soul. I actually live my life on it, believing it. Also, I do actually have centuries of supportive writings for this thought but I am not here to convince you…that takes too much time research and citations (which if I am not careful and I copy to much means possible plagiarism)…frankly  its too much work for my busy life!  I just want to flesh the idea of RIP out with you, if your interested its a pretty long ride but at the end you will cry and you will think hmmm…that was well worth the ride. SO on we go.

Life is short…. so  lets just speculate for a minute. What if you  for a moment consider, that in death we will have time to rest from this weary journey. What if In death, we will have infinite time where we will finally be able to explore our innermost thoughts, motives, hurts and pains. What if In death, and after death, we will finally see things as they really were… the whole picture…the “true lens”  not just our reality from our personal lens,  but what if we could see others reality, as well as our own reality. What if we really do choose to put the pieces together of our life, of why God allowed us to live the journey we suffered.

By lens I mean shades of truth…like often my kids tell me a memory or a story of “what really happened according to them”. They tell me how they emotionally or pictorially interpreted a life event that I was in. Now consider, at the time they were 5 or 10 or even 15, sadly I callously laugh (they really hate that) at how they interpreted the event unfolding. Then after I listen to their thwarted perspective I think “wow!!! That’s how you saw that”. Often its not even close to the reality of the truth that I was experiencing at the time as the grown up orchestrating the event.

After many years of this battle, with children’ or families’ personal interpretation, I realized I was looking at it through my “mother lens”.   I see through my “reality of the day lens”. That lens often explains away the times when I chose quick stupid actions… best I could do at the time actions… and somehow it is interpreted as “bad mother crap”.

I do admit I have done some bad mother crap on many occasions. For example, one time I chased after one of my little darlings with a pool stick and he fell down the stairs. Another time I recall dragging one by her pony tail all the way up to her room. I am sure to them that became traumatic “bad mommy material” imprinted in their memory.

But and that’s a big BUT… had they seen what they did to provoke me to that point, or all the crap they did to repeatedly disobey me that particular day that pushed me to explosion  and forced me to a paddling point, boy then they would have been glad I was actually a good mommy and they would fall down on their knees and repent of all the bad stuff they say when they repeat that story using only a limited 5 year old perspective(or a visiting family members perspective.

Its reassuring to believe all that background reality truth stuff is stored somewhere …maybe in the deep recesses of our brains. I call it the minds eye (Orthodox phrase) but believe me TRUTH and REALITY are stored. Each day more and more scientific proof is evolving to confirm this belief. But one day this truth will be known, our truth of our lives, will be known for all involved to see. I often think if only they knew who they really were and how hard I tried and how many chances and how much patience I showed before I gave up. If only they could comprehend how much I did to be a great mom.
I realize how often I only see what a really great mom I was. Thankfully the years have awakened my perspective and in turn I now realize I saw my parenting through the “dusty lens of awful parenting”.

My parents were really what I would call “awful parents”. My parents (again through my child lens I remind you) had no consistency, no encouragement, no charts, no stickers, no positive reinforcement, the only method of training was yelling and mom telling dad and dad spanking with a drumstick on our bare butts.  I call their no nonsense technique the….. “we  got these kids so now we muddle through” method. From my limited memory, we were never special or even considered in their minds. My parents just did whatever they wanted, all the time, they were free birds…hippies from the sixties… drinking, partying, living their lives any old way they chose.

I grew up in a “survival of the fittest mode” which meant if there was milk…. drink it up …you never know when you are gonna get more…. if you see 5 bucks on the table, hey… finders keepers… my lucky day!!!! We all just did what we wanted as well…until we got caught that is.

That was my “awful parenting lens” and I could never grasp the concept that my kids could even slightly suggest I was anything like that! They had no clue what a bad mom was (from my perspective). However, my lens changed when I became a mother of several teens simultaneously.  It was not until I could actually look at their past seeing “my mothers cloudy lens” that my world was awakened to the truth of their reality.

When, as an adult, I came to accept the reality of just who my mother was really was and learned what she had experienced in her life, my perspective about her mothering changed.  Listening to my mothers stories allowed me to take into account her personality, and her frail, frail, soul. I considered her limited intellectual capacity and her propensity toward avoiding confrontation. When I actually empathize with my moms numerous mental hospitalizations, all the Shock treatments suffered, her upbringing, the adoption or ” stealing” of her unwed pregnancy in the 50″s when she was a tender age of 16, my heart just breaks.

When I think of the foster homes we were shipped off to (and somehow actually returned!) and the family members who had us when we were toddlers I can scarcely believe she lived through it all.

It was not until I had a son battling with addictions that one day I realized: the age my irresponsible addict …he is the same age my dad was …and by that age my dad was supporting 5 kids ( 26 )and dealing with a wife who was nuts(really totally pyschotic).

As I began to see through my “parents lens” of life I caught a brief view of their reality.  A reality never before considered in my perspective…wow!!!! How did they even function? They had no money, no supportive family, no rules, no faith, no love between them, no respect for one another and really no values. All they knew was try to eat drink and be merry and make it through the day. Man I would have had to be on drugs too, just to exist!!!
I realize now, after having been a Children and Youth Caseworker, for someone as weak and naive as my mom to get her kids back from foster care or from numerous relatives, had to be hard work and extremely challenging. Yet, my hearts mom was so full of strength and love.  Her goal was always the same  …. all she ever wanted was to have her kids grow up together and not be ” farmed out” as she would say.  She often says “ dad would have had you all adopted out” but no she kept trying and actually achieving getting us back even with a spouse that kept drinking and  abandoning us.
When I look at how hard my moms life must have been and how she even managed to keep us in diapers and fed with an absentee alcoholic man  and when he was present he was violently throwing and breaking and swearing and busting up the house.

I can still vividly recall the day my dad put his hand through a glass window(one of numerous suicide attempts)…and mom saw him lying on the floor bleeding out  and she kept repeating…”I want to let him die, just let him die…. but I can’t carry the guilt, I just can’t carry the guilt” so she called an ambulance (he ended up getting a free college education from the damage of that self inflicted wound…go figure…good of US of A).

Wow how did she do it!!! She did not even have the Lord to bring her comfort or guidance…poor soul she was…aww how I pity all my mom went through.  How sad I feel when I realize how it must have felt as her adult  children completely disowned her for years at a stretch…actually some continue to this day.
Then then I get out my “daddys lens” to visit his reality. I see how his mother left him as a child…. just up and left. How he was raised by a drunk weak man  no doubt ( which in that era was unheard of), and how he always reverted to some addiction to cope. Alcohol and Drugs were his only solution to mask all that pain. I see how through generational violence  it became his only tool to release that pent up  anger he was constantly enduring.

My mom once told me a story of how dad pulled gun on grandpa and how had a car with all sorts of drugs hidden in every compartment and under the seats. She told me how he drove from Pa to Michigan doing drug deals and how her and grandpa finally turned him in and he was put in jail after shooting at the cops and fleeing with her and the kids in the car.  She told me how he drove the car to a river once and had a gun to his head and begged her to pull the trigger and she refused so he tried to drown himself in that river. Mom ran down pulling him out of the stream with his children looking on. This was just one day in her crazy, unbelievable, life.  She told me  how dad would follow her time and time again when she moved back to Michigan living with her parents to escape his abuse, begging her for one more chance and saying he was gonna get a job and was going to be a good dad. Oh how my daddy’s heart wanted his family to be happy together. My dad never knew a happy family…it was just an imaginary thought…a fantasy. Dad would do good for a year and attempt to get clean over and over and always eventually fall back into his addictions.

My poor dad spent a lot of his life shooting up before shooting up was even a thing. Later in his life every vein he had was collapsed. He suffered so much physically from 30 years worth of toxic levels of ginger brandy which eventually killed his liver.  All the pain and guilt he must have felt from molesting me as a child when my mom was escaping to the mental hospital for a “break”.  All the pain  that comes with the sexual deviancy he must have felt as he lies in life eternal when he ponders and truly realizes the damage he did when he took two vulnerable innocent adolescences to get laid by a prostitute as a birthday gift( his concept of a good becoming of age experience) . Before that image was imprinted on those boys, that lady was just known as a nice family friend. How he deals with the emotions visualizing how he prostituted out my mom and took all the money making a nifty little business for himself.

 

Boy, I could just cry when I think of him never having a mother, never knowing how to treat or respect my mom, never healing all those scars from his childhood…just sedating himself with drugs so he didn’t feel the pain. When I think of all my parents went through, as children and as adults, how they had no birth control and just got pregnant time and time and time and time again, never a wanting a one of us…oh sadness overwhelms my heart.

To think my kids have the balls to even insinuate I was a bad mom whew that’s a low blow!  I want to scream No that was not me…not me. I genuinely loved every one of my kids!!! All my life thats my one and only dream: to have a family to have lots and lots of babies!  I adored each one of them, I planned them, I idolized them, I kept them healthy and clean to the best of my ability.

I read books galore on every stage how to challenge them and teach them how to have charts and stickers and make them work and learn  responsibility. How to have them earn yogurt or pickles by cleaning their room, how I set up money envelopes to teach Larry Burketts money handling system. How I got them in sports, took them to vocal lessons(even when it was clear they had no talent), how I enrolled them in baton and cheerleading when we had little to no money. How I went to all the PTAs, was involved in their classrooms, came to eat lunch with them to socialize them and help them make friends.  How I let all their friends hang here, fed the neighborhood, took in the homeless, the orphan’s, the mentally and physically ill…all so my kids would see how good they have it …all to show them: not all families have a mom who loves and respects their dad and a dad who adores and builds up their mom.

My kids were born into the tradition of church and we were in church  as a family every time the doors were open.  They were in Awanas and good news clubs and all summer they went to every neighborhood church that had a VBS. I sent them all to summer camps and encouraged them all to go on mission trips to 3rd world countries and often ended up donating the costs. I could go on and on about what a great mom I was compared to the awful parents I had if I am using my “amazing mothers lens”.

Again from some of their “lens” if they had 20 lacrosse games and I attended 7 of them (because I had 5 kids in 5 different sports in one season) and with 7 kids  I rarely went to a game once they could drive, cause I had to run all the others(and did I mention I HATE SPORTS) but to them 7 out of 20 was lousy parent. To me 7 out of 20 was a miraculous feat because I was there all all I could be and had dinner laundry and school work but from that child’s mind I was compared to the “perfect friend parents” that he saw in his “perfect parent lens”…. That dimly lit view saw parents that had supported their child (which they only had 2 biological kids and lived and breathed lacrosse because their dad played lacrosse and his dad before him invented the game…emphasis added to make the point) and they were front row of every home game and away game and they brought drinks for the whole team…. do you get my point?

Well that’s how I became viewed through a “lousy mom” lens. And you know in the end….as I get back to resting in peace…. Someday when we all enter eternal rest….some of us will be resting a lot more comfortable than others because we took off those shitty glasses and forgave those well intended poor soul parents who had their hands full just getting out of bed in the morning.

Resting in Peace can happen for you today…for you tomorrow for your kids or even for those parents you keep carrying bitterness in your heart for because really we all do the best we can with the situation we have and no one really sees all those hurts and scars and scrapes along the way.

So when I say Rest in Peace or memory eternal to my daddy …as I light a candle at church each weak in remembrance of his soul and my sis inlaws soul and my friend who committed suicide and my grandparents I never knew… I say thank you for what you did to give me life, to give me different colored lens… perspectives and learning experiences that I now realize nothing else but that situation could have produced the journey I am on in life.

I wanna say daddy I love you rest in peace there is no bitterness in my soul I forgive you please work through forgiving yourself so you can come to a place in your world of eternity present everlasting where you see things … all those hurts done to you and by you… through the lens of why those hurts had to happen to make you the person you are …were and are to come…I wanna shout from the mountaintops the Lords Prayer everyday!!! Forgive me my trespasses(and as I do  recite it each day I recall daily the things I have done to offend hurt or hinder others. Then I forgive all the others who have hurt me (and I name them one by one…it’s a very therapeutic process I do everyday …sometimes as I take a tubby…sometimes as I dance and sing…sometimes as I meditate and pray and do yoga and sometimes as I place my head on my pillow for sleep).

I feel if I do this enough for myself when my final day on this earth comes I will rest in complete peace and as I pray it for other whom are dead like my loved ones or my facebook loved one’ loved ones that peace will come to them…they they will from my challange and prayer be prodded to pick up the lens of God and see HIS plan and His purpose in their lives even in the shitty stuff…like being abused, neglected or having your ponytail pulled.

Eternal life is just that it’s the real you exposed and raw living on in eternity forever and ever and I think we will get a point where we get to see in our minds eye a brain cell being opened that instantaneously recalls all the awful things we did in life that we never confessed or repented of. I think we will process it over and over happening again over and over again until we see it clearly through the Lords lens.

So if we rejected HIM all our lives…we will get to do that in eternity over and over and unendingly.

If we molested a child or hung ourselves to hide the truth we will see the TRUTH loud and clear over and over and maybe God gives us a glimpse into the damage we did or the eyes of that child we tortured over and over. This is why repentance and confession are so important tho most Christians have thrown that baby out with the bathwater of Catholicism.

Spent 30 plus years supporting Protestant missionary’s trying to convert the Catholics…all to eventually find those Catholics have very good reasons for the traditions they handed down through the centuries.

And to all my protestant brothers and sisters who say this is all speculation  ” your silly little Julia Jay opinionated blog …it its not in the bible it is not truth”… I would say back…. I agree  it not in the bible in a way I can pull out the verse… but oh it is implied time and time again.

The BIBLE is TRUTH to that I totally agree but I would add the Bible is not exclusive truth.  There are so many truths in the world…truths of Muslims… Jews… Jehovah witnesses…universalism.

There are so many truths in country songs, literary works, poems , truths in the eyes of your parents and your children and someday in life eternal ALL TRUTH will be known for all ETERNITY so don’t put all your eggs in a bible only basket cause one thing for sure is there is not relative truth.

Its like good and evil… they do not coexist…. light cannot exist in darkness light exposes darkness and the darkness become light when THE LIGHT expels the darkness. So in the end I would say….keep on keeping on …do the best you can to love yourself and love your brothers and sisters whether they be biological adopted, orphans, gays, prisoners, or politicians(which may have its own corridor in eternal damnation.

Christmas post

well understand I am a novice at writing and definitely have not a clue when it comes to web, computers and the more I know the less I want to be involved. I wrote this in November before Christmas, I must be purging stuff cause I never sent it to anyone and I debated on posting it to family but really its sorta depressing so if your depressed you can read it but if your feeling good about where you are in life right now I say please don’t bother reading it. This is not one of my best works, its raw and really if your not in this negative frame of mind I prefer you do not read it because it will put you there. There is so much information competing for our time that there are wonderful insights on lots of posts so please move on to read something a bit more interesting. But if you(these are the qualifications) are looking back and feeling like… was it worth it…why do I care… everyone I have ever loved  has abandoned me…you feel like noone learns and you just keep spinning trying to help others and you want to quit helping, nurturing, shopping, cleaning and cooking well then maybe you can relate.Only then should you read it. Please I ask that if these posts do not relate to you please only read the ones that do relate to you and your life. I think after reading this I should get out of the mental health business. The methodology is not effective. My sons in prison so I was dusting this off and so much is still applicable that I decided to share in hopes someone can relate and know they are not alone…this is the journey of life. The hurts in this letter are far gone in the past…especially ridding myself of my houseguest (or should I say hostage releaser) LOL but woe to me I picked up the same pain reaching out only  a short time after Christmas… This must be the year of learning life’s lessons for me so it was good to revisit it and normalize the pain that brings me back to my knees again. All the italics are different topics that I have written just not edited for print yet(LOL I never edit as this letter will show) I think I must have to be hurt or mad to express myself b/c that inspires me to process my pain through writing.. You should try it all those bottled emotions …. Again I would say if you don’t like what I am saying please don’t read it.

Merry Christmas

For years I have sent out Christmas letter- usuallywith a recap of the year and highlights of the kids lives, marriages, and baby adventures. The last couple years I have been busy busy busy running running running and over the years I have gotten gradually a bit more antichristmas. I hate buying gifts, really hate decorating.  I used to love baking- but now I eat healthy so why harm everyone with the effects of sugar, so I quit baking all together.  I have even gradually gotten to dislike family gatherings at my house (for many reasons of which, if you had a huge family that prolonged actually growing up due to your overparenting, only you would understand the comment).

This year I thought I would write a straight from my heart letter. After its evaluated I will post it or email it to those I think can handle the truth or those who may even care a bit.  This is my personal update: My family heart has been broken, my political heart has been broken, my community heart has been broken, my marriage heart has been broken, my kids and grandkids heart and expectations have been broken.   I have withdrawn from many of my family, my church activities and my church friends because I have been sucked dry of any emotional energy or any desire for additional commitments or really even to leave my house. I have changed from hating pets to loving my dog. I have changed from liking, to having, my formally messy house clean. I have changed from massive meat cooking to mostly vegetables and fresh healthy eating. I actually want to exercise, and I really enjoy pure relaxation and solitude. I picked up drinking a bit and smoking.I threw the towel in on the entire protestant church and all the bible studies and radio sermons from Stanley to Swindol! The family views I now hold are far from James Dobson idealism. I also admit am a podcast junkie of Orthodoxy and I am navigating religion- I actually hate that word…Religion is such a cesspool of travesty and leads so many astray and causes so much judgement and hatred, I think Jesus would hang HIS head in shame when He looks at what we have done in his name. Lord forgive us is all I can say.

Its weird but I am actually happy with me this year (though my accomplishments have been few). This next year is going to continue to be a year of stretching and I don’t even care if others don’t like me or judge me. I spend more time with Jesus than I do with anyone. I listen to the Bible for hours every day and every night, it brings me great comfort and spiritual challenge. I started a book on survival skills for crazy people and try to write every spare moment I get. I realize I am surrounded by so many needy people who can not even fathom their needs so I feel a sense of urgency to complete my book. I run a ministry that very few appreciate and it is not busy. I love spending time with the elderly and it affords me great blessing. I help people and try to charge them what they can afford. I clean peoples houses and help them feel different about their lives. I have no shallow relationships your either in or your out, most people are out. I live a life that is quiet and rich/poor– meaning I spend as little money as humanly possible. I try to eat as little as possible and eats fruit, nuts, and kaishi bars as my daily routine. I love reading updates and praying for everyone on fb, I try almost every day as part of my habit of prayer. I have scheduled my life to tape all the shows that I grow from or enjoy. I ff all commercials. I pray during the ff minutes for the people in the commercials or for the messages of media to be overcome from materialism to the Giver of life. If I were to send you all a message;  I would say …please my life was not in vain, don’t be mad, don’t be disappointed b/c I am not who you wanted me to be, if I had it to do all over again I would do it the same. My investment into the church and family was not in vain- it was purposeful, it made me into the woman I am today- it was and continues to be a journey.  My journey, in the making, just as each of you have a journey in the making. I loved raising kids and having foster kids and adopting more kids. I would never return one of them, in efforts to be a single person or a person who didn’t have so many kids. Every one of them was special and an investment of value far greater than what I could ever have put in.  Sometimes I am overcome with sadness, thinking all that I put in, and yet it didn’t reap what I thought it would have, but it is, what it is, and they are, who they are, and its OK…. I love them just as they are, flaws and all, as they are authentically. Does that mean I keep putting money into a lemon car that won’t run? No sirree, my family and friends will have to note, I have learned some valuable lessons from giving all I could to help others, it doesn’t really work as a planting yielding results thing. Will I keep helping others? Probably, if I think its profitable, but mostly I try to decrease others dependence on any external force (me included) and increase others dependence on the one true energy resource that is renewable, the Holy Spirit.  This means I don’t help them, or call them , or give them money, or clean for them, or cook for them ect…if it… really…. won’t help them see who they are and why they have the problem they do.  If anyone can do what they want done themselves, then I say go to it, if you ask me to do what you can do for yourself, you had better be, helping me, help you! But me, actually doing what you want done! One usually finds ones struggles are a consequence for some lesson to learn.  Well, as far as it concerns me, that won’t happen again, if I am actually applying the lessons that have been so painful in my personalized learning. Words are easy! However, application is essential or it ends up just being words. Actually, I am getting better at boundaries and not helping others, or enduring others psychological blackmail obligations.  I have learned a pretty significant finding. If you help people do what they could do themselves your not really helping them, your actually hindering them from growing to make yourself feel better. Like giving money for others to go on the mission trip you always wanted to go on- or you invest in your child’s dream cause you would have never had the opportunity for that dream, don’t do it !!! Save your money- build investment in yourself and know the Lords purpose for your life. After all, the most valuable lesson in missions work is what missions does to change your heart toward God. One really does very little for others, compared to what, sending your hard earned cash to a great agency could do. Its much harder not to help than it is to help. It is much harder not to call that loved one than it is to call them – only to find out they just wanted to hear themselves talk and you are the means to that end. It hurts really bad when you help family or friends and they, in turn, take your sacrifice and spend it foolishly on getting all they feel there is…. to meet their selfish or naive desires.  Like when we let people in our lives take advantage of us and they never really get on their feet but drain us and slowly torture us on a daily basis with their negativity and blatant refusal of acknowledging the pride in their lives as to just why it is they are in the homeless situation they are in anyway. Non Christians often think “they follow Christ …. lets suck  them till they are dry and then kick them when they are down, now lets steal everything they have and robb the house then lets slice their throats.  I am sure, after all this, they will not live up to the Christian response I was “looking to sabatoge”.  A little over the edge I know,  but  its how this momma has been feeling, its raw, its real, its authenticity to a new degree. It’s a shame to feel this way but I am being totally honest this Christmas. Honest with myself!!! To think the people I have helped, cared for, and invested myself in would really slice my throat. From my siblings, to my children, to my parents, to my houseguests, if they thought they could get away with it and it would profit them I wouldn’t wager on the bet. The Wounded wounding others is just a consequence of their own wounds. Hurt people do hurt others, its all they know, its all they have to deal with the pain of their own losses. Maybe some would not actually slice my throat, but I do lock my bedroom doors and I do know for many of them, they really do not care about me, or about justice, or about God )at least not at this time in their journey. They are just poor souls– lost in the fantasy of a new world, the one they create in their own mind. Now that’s a sad epitope of 33 years as a follower of Christ.  Yet, it is through the killing of my soul – the sabotage of my family, the knife I have pulled from my back that I have been able to pray the orthodox prayer each day “ Lord Be merciful to me a sinner” Lord be merciful to me a sinner” Lord be merciful to me a sinner”  to calm all my physical and emotional senses and bow to the ground and forsake all things earthly and say  Thank you Lord You are the keeper of the universe, the controller of the universe I YIELD my life, my death, my existence, my finances, my family, TO YOU ALONE.

 I feel so close to God in the midst of this Christmas that I do not need lights or presents or family …ALL I need is the air that I breathe and to Love HIM. I am not going to strive for success or invest money with hopes it will grow, no I am gonna live each day to its fullest and be happy, live in peace, and bring whatever amount of peace possible, from my perspective, to everyone I can potentially touch. This is my Journey, this is my song for 2014.

a personal private public letter for my parents

Well recently my adult child told me they could not forgive me… I struggled with that, deep, deep in my heart. First I was mad…how dare you not forgive me!!! If that particular child knew the magnitude of forgiveness I have endured in the last 20 plus years of their life , if they could see only a glimpse of the situations in which they needed forgiveness even a tiny part of the whole of their life in which I was injured offended, embarrassed, lied to, stolen from…ect…you get my point. How dare them not forgive me… the mom who has forgiven them year after year transgression after transgression. SO as usual I called my mom to vent.

In response, my mom asked me to write a letter to her and one to  dad and she insisted after I  wrote my feelings I would  understand my kids feelings. HA fat chance mom!!! This was beyond my comprehension because I was a good parent (unlike the life I had experienced). I felt what could my kids possibly have against me?  I did not get it.  I saw no point in it.  I feel I have said all I need to say to my parents and my kids, my emotional upkeep is usually pretty current, I  compliment myself  on the fact I keep myself pretty strong and clean on the forgiveness issues through consistent,habitual daily repentance and the offering of forgiveness (tho few of my kids have ever come to me for requests LOL). I actually thought I was a decent mom…oh how surprised I am to learn  very few of my children are really able to connect on an intimate level with me, the sadness of that fact is enough to take my breath away, but my allegiance will remain to listen to moms advice.

Yet, I obeyed my moms silly request. I submitted and wrote my parents separate letters. Since my dad died I have prayed mine to him and read aloud my moms to her. I am sharing these letters with the intent, for others in similar situations, in hopes they too may  find a way to relate my life to their life or the life of another loved one. Warning  If you had amazing parent s growing up, then this blog is definitely not for you so just move on to something you can relate to and stop reading this now.

If you had difficult parents in your childhood I encourage you to find a way to get past it and I encourage you to only read my letters to use them as an example to attaining peace in this life and to live out practicing forgiveness and mercy before you or your parents enter the grave.

I figured  I never had   “real”parents as a child, and when I grew up it was a potential reality that I could have continued without parents( in relationship) for my  adult life. Thankfully, I eventually realized that would be my LOSS, I would never outgrow my need for parents, no not ever. Even at 50 I need the support and prayers of my parents, now actually more than ever before because it is now as my children have all become adults I realize how difficult personalities and relationships are to maintain and navigate.

Along with that thought, my parents did actually change, they grew, they were not the same young neglectful parents that I recalled from my childhood …they never transformed to become amazing parents, they never had or gave me anything of value, their advice was more of what …not to do…in opposition to… how to successfully navigate life. But in the end my relationship with my parents was healed …it is healed and it continues to heal daily.

My parents both did the best they could. They both put much effort into that transformation process over the years…No, they never were normal, but I eventually realized, they were all I was going to get(and that normal is highly overrated and rare in this generation)! Unfortunately, there is not a parent machine anywhere that we can pay a certain amount and receive new parents (LOL)  . You get one set and thats it, like it or not,  these people hold your genes and they are all the parents you will biologically get. Adoption is an alternative but rarely are these parents up to par of expectations either.  I did not want to spend my adulthood without them. No, it did not come out all tidy and neat. No, they never had me over for  a Christmas or Easter dinner(in fact I became the family matriarch @18 and have persisted alone for more than 35 years . I was always the only child who tried to keep or get the family together ( so I spent many years trying to connect a family that just did not have the emotional balance of ever connecting). This reality continues with 3 brothers that choose not to be a active part of any family involvement.

The reality will always be that  Yes,I had pretty awful parents…according to my parenting standard, I mean they were amazing people, they just were not good parents nor did they ever find a way to really count on each other or to parent together. They had so many kids and so many issues (drugs, mental health, poverty, sexual abuses) and they were so young and neither had proper models of any type of faith or morality…I called them poor souls for many years, I set out to prove them wrong, to make a different life, to raise all my kids different from how I was raised. Every birthday or mothers day or fathers day purchasing a card was like torture…what card could explore the reality of our relationship…all the mushy “you have always been here for me”…well I never would buy that card…we all knew it would just be a LIE. I had to be as generic as possible to find even a drop of truth written in a hallmark card. I did write them a letter and if your interested I will share it with those of you who have had to forgive your parents. My moms request did not immediately subside my pain from my childs lack of forgiveness but I will share that journey in a different blog.

Dear dad,
I think this is silly writing a letter, I talk to you and about you in my prayers so I feel like I have said and do say all I want to enough, but maybe for others well being I will  go into their world and believe as many do that once you are dead, you are gone from all communication. This is a letter of all the things in life I wanted to tell you when you were alive, most of which I have told you after your death (although I do not have the pleasure of knowing how you will receive it) but I will do it via letter, in my own way.

 I know you see me and your proud of me, I have thankfully overcome so many struggles that our family of origin handed down (the generational dysfunctional cycle). I finally realize I am  the better for each dysfunction. I am who I am and I am accepting of that. I am happy to have been given the opportunities I had in life to become this person. Even so, I would hope that you have seen my life and know that I love you unconditionally, and that you are assured that you are forgiven for anything you ever did and hopefully you have been able to purge, the sin of not forgiving yourself when you were laid to rest in this life. I know forgiving yourself completely for any wrongs you chose in this world will finally allow you to really feel the impact of true forgiveness on others. I hope, now that you are in the grave and experiencing life everlasting, you  have realized all the things you thought you wanted, independence, freedom, respect, were all things you accepted as part of you. I am proud that you did choose to change the things you wanted to change to the best of your ability. Yet, obviously in this life, you did not have the courage to change some of these things and I pray that is a process you are perfecting in glory. But let us not dwell on the things you did not change, rather the things you did. I was blessed to have watched your living testimony that drugs and alcohol can be overcome, if that is, the you you wanted to be chose to abstain to become whom you want to be remembered for on this earth. It is knowing that change and hope are possible that I cope with having a son who has struggled all his life with addictions.

Anyway, thank you for getting clean dad it meant so much to all your kids, especially me. I love you dad, I know in this life you may not have felt you were much of a dad, and in many ways you were not. This is the reality of your life lived. However, I know if I can forgive the past, especially the  years of incest then you can eventually  forgive yourself for the father you were, I trust when we meet in heaven we will have a reunion of peace.  I realize how all these petty little problems with “he said …she said” really have no meaning in eternal life.

As long as you know I was proud of you, and I am keep your memory alive in my heart and I can think fondly of you and I can still pray that you are continuing to perfect the real you, that you that  always desired acceptance from your children. I can still imagine you dad, I  still feel little pieces of your memory in my life from day to day. I love you with all my heart dad, my memories these days are all for good, the past is dead in my mind. I know I became the woman I am, supported by the strength I saw you  practice in hard times. Dad I love you, totally, completely, I pray you have found healing for all the wounds this world inflicted. The wounds of your mother and your father, which were far deeper than anything I ever experienced. Thank you dad, that after a lifetime of disappointments I finally got to see the good you shine forth, the one I would call when I was lonely and first moved here. I remember I just cried and cried to be so far from home and all my friends and family. Yet, you continued to encourage me and helped me be strong and I realized with time I got a whole new life here in atown. I now have a lovely family and I too see through the eyes of a parent…so all those times you threw me out of the house with nowhere to go…they were all my journey …my destiny!! I have no not a one hard feeling toward you today, I am honored to have called you my father. I love you and will continue to light a candle for your soul. I trust God has overwhelmed you with HIS mercy, and you are well in eternity, where all truth is revealed? Now you can see and understand it all and you can see those who believed in you and loved you… not for what you did for them rather just for being your intellectual true purposeful self. Memory, your memory, is eternal to me dad, I will see you again in the after world and we will all truly understand everything then. May you rest in the loving arms of Our Father who has all eternity in his hands.

Dear Mom

Hey why do I have to write you a letter when I can just talk to you here and now. I don’t think I have anything to  say that you shouldn’t already know. Most of my life we have been pretty honest about our relationship. But if your gonna die and I must write one letter that you will remember I guess I can do it. I love you mom, you’re a strong woman, you’ve been through so much…I never saw that when I was struggling through my child-raising days and struggles, but I now realize you had much more than I ever had to struggle with .. especially since God blessed me with such an amazing husband to help me raise our kids.  I know you were always so weak and so alone but I hope you gain comfort to know my strength, persistence and endurance in life was developed and inspired by you.  I became who  I am because I watched you struggle so much. I am strong, independent, and happy and much of that is thanks to you! The rest is all Gods grace and Mercy. I am proud of you finding and searching for God, mom…You made it…you squeaked through, You are who you are and who you are is ok with me,  I love you..the all of you …not just the good but the bad had purpose as well. Bad parenting I have now realized often inspires loved ones to work harder and try more.  On days like this, when I can barely keep trying…with my own children, I have come to realize how many times your children, myself included have broken your heart. Oh, how you tooo must have a broken heart over your boys and their relationships, none of them have been very good at making or keeping the family together…with you or really any other woman in their life(especially their sisters) I know its gotta be hard to love your kids so much and see them just…not even talk to you with respect or to see them take advantage of you or just not even acknowledge you exist (for years and years and years). Knowing all your kids think you are nuts I imagine is very discouraging, I can see that from my own kids who have little respect for all I have been through or  learned…but how could they…maybe they too,  after they have raised their own, will come to understand  that feeling. I feel that pain you feel, on way too many days, sorry to admit, but I hope you never continue to feel that way about me. I know we had a rocky past but that is the past and I hold nothing against you, I feel I have been forgiven by you and I have forgiven you all those rocky years.  I will always love you and I always feel I can talk to you about anything, and I hope you can always talk to me…now and in 30 years from now. I love you mom. I do see all you have done and I do care for all that you went through to become the person you are…and look at that !!! you are you…and you take care of your shit and you love life and you make me smile and laugh so hard I pee my pants sometimes! I would have never been happier with any other mother in the world. Mom you are enough I want you to really feel that…you …just being you…you are enough…you are loved by me mom.  I hope you never have to worry as you age..that I got your back and I will always be here to care  for you mom with all my heart.

 

 

Taking care of your SHIT. REAL life

This blog is another pet peeve rant that I am sure my clients have heard me say over and over (as have my children). I call it “taking care of your shit”, but people get so weird about swearing. I asked all my friends to come up with a more likeable term and all I got was stool: ya means the same in some instances but there is just no way of communicating “shit”, emotional, physical and psychological, that hits the target as well…just saying.

Please excuse the way this is written, blogging for me is a new adventure and I cannot figure out how to make it more reader friendly or ascetically pleasing so I am just gonna roll with content and hopefully you can pay attention to the areas you need help in, and  attempt to gloss over the things you already know.

Your shit: physical shit, your emotional  shit and your physiological shit: consumes most all our time, and yet very few people seem to get it all under control. I term this “well-being”. Learning” well-being” is one of life’s primary and most important principles and an essential for being healthy in body, mind, and soul. However, not many parents, children, or people in general are picking up on what “independence” really means in this day and age.

Maybe they are not being taught or maybe they are not learning. The basic concept is if you own it… you care for it! This should begin as small child: being able to wipe ones nose, next ones butt, feed oneself, then bathe oneself.  Gradually, every child should be prepared to take care of personal “self” and their belongings (bikes, sports, schedules, money, and homework etc).

Unfortunately, this generation appears to want everyone else to care for them. If there is a need its a general consensus the government, your employer, your parents, or your spouse should “take care” of you!

My philosophy is: if you can not take care of yourself fully: food, clothes and shelter you are “dependent” on another. Whether you are 17 or 57 you should be able to care for your own needs. If you can’t (elderly, handicapped ect.), this means you need to accept the reality you are not independent!This is another topic(when you have to depend upon another)

If you do not totally pay for your care you should not think life offers you the same choices as it does those who have “independence”. If you never experienced total independence, I would like to lead you on that “journey”. Some people, “poor souls”, do not really know how to care for self, those who know it,  will do it and if your doing it consistently, then you are becoming your “own” person. Other than that you are just an opinion- an opinion that  noone really takes seriously. If you do not have kids, you can have all the theology you want and it may sound good, but if there is no chance for application, best keep that opinion to yourself. Life is not a fb quote that sounds good- life is living the values you appreciate and life’s journey  is all about application.

The least amount of dependance on others for our life choices the healthier one will be, and the more one will feel results of independence and self sufficiency. However, dependency is a trait we have all had to experience in childhood and eventually, as we mature, we will come again to know dependence’s journey. When that time is upon you ..well thats a different chapter. Seems to me todays kids do not care if they mooch off their parents their whole lives… shame on them and shame on us for allowing it (myself included I have often had my kids move back home when their lives fell apart for times). Live and learn and I learned that the hard way!

Now if you help your parents and it is mutual and you care for yourself and assist with household bills and everyone is happy that is NOT what I am talking about. I have worked with hundreds of families and I have yet to really see this be a practice but if it exists: it is the minority. For the most part,  I know many parents right now with grown kids just mooching, these parents cannot seem to get out of the situation- this  post is addressed to them.

If you have a problem (any problem) it absolutely falls into one these categories(Body mind soul) and can be resolved easily by giving attention to the area of demise.

If you are good in the physical realm- meaning what you eat and what you own then skip this section and move on to emotional

1.We will deal with the physical first as it is priority b/c if you literally are pooping all over its pretty problematic-or you just cannot poop its pretty important to your daily functioning. Now when I say take care of your physical stool, I do not exclusively mean this. But we can start there: physical stool is your body’s response to what you put in it so that is the first and uttermost importance for me to discuss – keeping yourself alive and properly maintained.

You, literally, are made up of what you eat- if you eat crap, you will feel like crap: normally the excess expression is runny messy crap.
Getting healthy and regular in this area is a very simple solution. Water is first and primary- one reason we are hungry and fat is simply, we do not drink enough water .  We think we are hungry but our body is dehydrated and just really needs ample water. It is really a pretty simple equation. Solution just as easy, as much as you feel you can drink so as much as it is possible learn to like it- start your kids out on it and make every other drink a special treat and an exception. In our world so much money is wasted on drinks that contain additives and sugars, and God knows what, to make shelf life longer. It is the major catastrophic downfall to the health of our nation and the world in general.

If you want to learn more about what you should eat, research and watch “Forks over Knives. If you just want to take my word and move on the summation simply put is this: The dairy industry has pushed milk on us for years now, priding of its calcium impact. with a sole monetary purpose. only to increase dairy production and sales. Bottom line is money and job security, its all propaganda…. plain and simple. A little common sense here- what other mammal drinks milk of another species??? Cows milk is designed for baby cows- if you want to grow expediently by dozens of pounds: keep drinking milk and drink it alot! just saying….

Again, this great documentary really gives you the scientific data and studies and the dogma behind the FDA is “Forks over knives” a must see if you really want to learn if not …keep stupid IDC LOL. Minimize your appetite for Meat and Dairy, plain and simple.

Back to eating: there are only a few basic rules- I never really learned this or saw its impact in my life until I became orthodox and started fasting milk and dairy for 2/3 of the year- WOW eye opening how you feel- this practice has been centuries old and is biblical going back to the very beginning of documented history. My advice is: Eat as much as possible from grouped items that grow from the earth- pretty simple. All things are permissible but not all are beneficial.

The hard cold truth is WE POLLUTE the NATURAL.  Our country’s health is failing because of the saturation with artificial flavors and preservatives. I even go so far as to say the childhood behavioral problems are exasperated by poor (selfish) parenting increased by the sugar and additives children eat all day long. I am not saying disabilities are not real- only that everything is exasperated by what we have done to destroy this earth. If you do not believe me do the research its pretty clear cut.

Ok back to eating- majority of food eaten should come directly from the earth. That means endless supply fruits and veggies- nuts and seeds. Root vegetables being the best source of nutrients- the more awesome the color the better they are for you. Meat and dairy at a minimum for many reasons, I will list some of the majors : its expensive, its irresponsible environmentally- (just the grain we feed the USA cows could actually stop world hunger- I think that goes for dog food as well), killing means some life  must end for your delicacy, it is harmful- especially the fatty pork and bacon: heart, cholesterol, fat.. you name it, this is not my opinion its fact, look at any studies. My advice, try to eat leaner meats- lighter meats and less of them think of it like a stir-fry pieces of small bites of meat and lots of vegetables if meat is 1/4 of the dish and veggies are 3/4 then that is likely to make you feel your best (barring just not eating any meats- but all things in moderation- its like alcohol- beer and wine are actually good for you in many ways),  just practice moderation. If you can’t be moderate, be exclusive and abstain because obviously thats a stronghold for you so just eliminate it from your diet.

Ok SO we started with what you put into your body thats the natural, natures best is to eat what grows, enjoy what grows, minimize things that live and breath, and drink endless water. Next stop eating so much!! An actual serving size is usually 1/4th of what you would get in a restaurant – so share your dining out meals at the very least. Eat fewer snacks and less big meals and only eat when you are actually hungry not because you are with people and its just there. Drink lots of water and you will be surprised how your physical and emotional well-being will improve.

I even go so far as to say for physical pain and emotional dysfunction, marijuana and herbal remedies are statistically proven far beyond any drug the FDA releases (the plain truth is the government has yet to find a way to make money from things that actually bring healing). If it comes from the earth it cannot be as potentially harmful as if we made it and added it,  actually I don’t even think tobacco would be as detrimental had not it been overwhelmed with additives. Just my opinion.
Next on the physical plate is what you actually do- sitting at computer all day- driving everywhere. A body in motion stays in motions(we have all heard that commercial). You have to move your body if you want it to work – the best way I have found to care for my body, without expense and without injury, is walking. I attempt to do 5 miles a day rain or shine- do what feels comfortable to you – we are all different but thats what I have worked up to and that is about the amount of time I want to give to this area. Other than that I do stretching and yoga- I meditate during these activities.  My other love is cranking the music up when I hear a great song, I scream, and cry, and dance my problems away- that’s what works for me- I encourage you find something that works for you . Ok
1. what you eat.
2. what you do. and lastly
3 what you have.

This is another area that has taken me years to apply. One must moderate this with where you are in your life’s journey. From as far back as I can remember I had a huge box of hats gloves snowsuits- all sizes of clothes- could not let a thing go- one year I was a 10- then 12 then 14 then 16 and even 18( in that order) and I came down the same way(not too far down LOL).  I always kept every size, in case I got fatter or skinnier. I not only did that for me but I raised dozens of kids so I always thought I needed more clothes, in case I found someone that size…The same with books toys, curtains, shower curtains! Needless to say, I had a lot of junk.

I am a social worker at heart so before I was ever educated as a social worker, I was always going to auctions and getting 1.00 frig’s, couches, bookcases, ect so this became a huge problem. I would take anything for free or cheap hoping to find it a good home…someday, and really I  always did! However, as I got wiser, I realized all the freaking work I did for others and they cared less. They would move a month later and I would see all my treasured gems there on the curb for the trash! Whether they were a CYS client or a child of mine- no freaking appreciation for anything they did not sweat to earn- every kid we gave a car the same thing happened! Once while working at CYS, I gave a honda civic to a dad who said he couldn’t visit his child due to no transportation. I mean it was a nice little car- it was abandoned only a few short months later on the streets of Reading. Same for my kids, never appreciated anything!!! They trashed the cars, wrecked them, never cleaned them, let oil run out, same as the loans they never repaid and the cosigning for every member of my family, it never ended well, live and learn I guess. I was a slow learner. My advice DON’T DO IT!!!

JUST say NO (a difficult application I do admit). Be a minimalist, only love what you have and have what you love! Note to self PUT the song by that title in here.

If it doesn’t fit or is not in use GET RID of it. Seems like pretty simple advice-and yet, few do I personally know that can apply it so their lives. Life is filled with clutter- too many clothes, too many dishes, too much paperwork ect… The time to start is now: go through everything.

Start one room at a time- if you think you will need it label it and box it in the attic ( its a simple strategy) free advice – hardly ever yielded by my kids, my siblings, my clients- whatever!!!!
I am only pointing this out, if you want to feel good, if you want to be free, don’t walk around with a backpack of rocks on your back or it will lead to back pain. Love it = use it = appreciate it, Bottom line: care for it or get rid of it!!! Simple truths that seem foreign in this contemporary society.

Next (after we have established 1. we can care physically completely for ourselves by what we eat, how we clean our house, and how we care for our physical body through exercise) and our things we say we want that are living 1.pets, 2. kids 3.parents. (everything that is alive) is gonna need that same constant maintenance.  A simple rule is if you can’t go the long haul don’t even get it (1st choice) 2. give it to someone who can. 3. walk away and cut your losses.

The only thing on that list you really can not abandon is your parents but – more parents are abandoned than kids in this day and age so I would say they are the last resort to abandon …However, even parents can cause such a burden that you have to stop the maintenance if they are actually making you sick- hopefully that would be a temporary solution.

Showing responsibility would be to get yourself to a position you are able to care for the ones who cared for you for you life- regardless of that they did or did not do, they give you life- so at the least we should be able to give them a phone call. There are of course times- I am actually in that place right now myself with my mom. I feel continuing counseling her when my words fall on deaf ears and it is not healthy for me at this time- that’s another chapter. Although, I do still make myself available, and I am better for having her in my life than the loss I would feel not having her. My mom has been through some pretty amazing stuff and has still come out …not to shabby in the spiritual real, which when it all comes down to death is all that really matters eternally. Read my RIP BLOG and you will learn more about her. http://www.atouchofpeacejuliajay.com/do-you-need-it/

Lets talk about Pets. Do you really need them?  Unconditional love feels damn good!!! You really do not get that with partners, kids, friends, or relationships.  Relationships are hard work(read that blog if interested).

Oh, how I love my dog- however, unless I can care for myself, completely and independently, I should have no right taking on another living being. Everyday I start my day with some rituals- spiritual- then physical and then emotional- in the order of importance to me- each of us are different but you do what is your priority.

However every day I like to be outside. I have a small fenced in yard(finally after many years of no privacy!!!). If I clean my dogs stool every day its a little tiny job takes a minute at most, if I skip it a day its 2 min but you get the idea- less time is consumed if you take care of your and your dogs stool daily- the longer you wait the more it is to take care of and the problem worsens.

What do we do with all that stool? When we walk, we put a biodegradable soil enhancer in a plastic bag that takes 50 years to degrade- who thinks up these things?

If you are going to have a kid or a pet you must not only maintain these same food, exercise, and rest principles for yourself, but now it is totally on you to train the ones ( you wanted) to do likewise. I try to keep mine in a bucket and take it to the woods every couple days(I have a small dog). Relationships are alot like pets though in many ways- if you do not daily care for your emotional crap or at least weekly…it piles up quick and starts to smell up everyone’s space…just saying.

Often pp come to my office with 20 years of bad living and expect me to wave a magic wand and fix all the problems. Well first of all, you fix your problems not me, you are responsible for your problems not me, I am a sojourner who comes alongside you to assist you to see things and learn things you supposedly want to learn.

The problem with counseling is: mainly its ineffective and doesn’t work!

Really, seriously, statistically if you exercise together each day, you have greater chances of saving your marriage than you do going to a counselor. I hate to burst your bubble and destroy your hope but the basic truth is: you are you….. you have the life you want…. and you will continue to do the things that make your life the way it is until you are really ready to change. That’s psychology, sociology, and psychiatry in one sentence.

I can facilitate help, only if you really “want” to “change” but, honestly most pp do not want to put the effort into being physically, spiritually, and emotionally healthy.  Frankly, I am sick of spending my precious time humoring others with the fantasy that change can happen for them by coming to see a therapist once a week! I did that when I worked professionally and happily collected my pay from the insurance companies.

Truth is ” it can’t”, or it would have taken place previously. If you wanted to learn and grow and change b/c its basically pretty simple- you get what you pay for: you are who you are because that is the “YOU” you want to be- your too weak or lazy to expect more.

Sorry, often the truth hurts, but it surely saves us both a lot of time- I do not want to waste one minute of my life!!  I want to live every moment I have to the fullest!

Therapeutic intervention, for people who really do not want to change, is a total waste of my time and yours. I actually prefer to scrub toilets for 10 bucks an hour than sit and listen to someone grumbling about the “life monster” they continue to feed daily that is growing exponentially.  At least when I clean a toilet its clean and I accomplished something and someone feels good.
Back to the dog- You will have to get accustomed to my adhd writing I know I am all over the board on topics but wells that’s who I am and unless I get an editor, I will continue to be that way- unique- thats how I justify it. I truly am doing the best I can to get what I have to say out there before I die, maybe it will help someone anyone. At this point, not even my kids or friends or family reads a word I write…go figure. When I am dead, maybe then my kids will maybe glean from my life’s truth. I often wonder, is living it in application is not enough for them to see the principles work? This is really the reason for all of the writing I do, hope for their future. The hope that someday they will read it and care enough to apply the principles so future generations will have a healthy heritage in opposition to the generation after generation of dysfunction that was handed down to me.

The truths I have had to learn are all things I learned (blood- literally… sweat, and mostly tears). I have given up on talking to them about these truths b/c frankly they think they know everything already- and I know nothing- so like… whatever… why waste my words. However, if i can get important principles down in print it will at least be a journal for the next generation- hopefully I will get my works published so I can hand a copy to my grandchildren but if their parents do not have the time to even read what I post online I highly doubt their children will care. Regardless of others response my responsibility is to myself and to God- to continue to do the best I can in every situation. This is my goal, its my best attempt at passing on wisdom I have available and when I post it online maybe my clients or friend or someone in the world cares and can get something from it. I just do not want others to have to learn these lessons the hard way- so if they are open to listen I am open to rant. I guess most of my life was busy just caring for the immediate- laundry kids, meals and activities and I never really explored relaxation, what food does, and I did not really know saying NO was a blessing not a curse. SO far noone (of 7 kids and/ or their spouses)has really read any of my works that I know of nor have they offered to edit or given me any feedback…. but on I go…. its a drive within me- a dream I have had for years and never had the time to compile but my awesome hubby has let me be on sabbatical for the last couple years so besides keeping up with all the things I do around the house, practicing my rule of prayer and my spirituality, maintaining my food and body and enjoying the relaxation of empty nest and keeping up with the crisis’s that 7 kids and 7 grandchildren, I have squeezed this into my busy life in hopes it may profit someone…anyone.
Ok done with Physical stools- now on to emotional stools.Psychological will have to go in another post as this is getting too long(I know i am one huge sentence with no punctuations sorry about that, really I am- but being a one woman resource I can only do what i can do with little or no supports.

You are responsible for your emotional well being.

When people wound you, take advantage of you, drag you into their drama, talk trash on you, its your job to take care of that so it doesn’t continue. Just as much is it your job to give support so you can receive support- you have the kind of friends you are. You really do deserve your friends, family thats a different lesson. I have a friend who is really not a friend. She loves me dearly because I help her and I am available for her when she needs a friend. However, she has no idea how to be a friend back- its a one sided relationship- which really is not a relationship so in that case why I am continuing to nurture it? I have enough family commitments that are non optional friendships and they seem to be very one sided at this point in my life so why would I bring on more. I have kids I force myself to maintain relationship with, and foster kids, and relatives, why  oh why would I do that for a friend who is not really a friend, and if I do I deserve everything I get…just saying…

Parenting… the hardest and longest job on this earth

This blog is for parents who are struggling with life…with parenting… with understanding their world ….and/or their childrens’ world. Parents who are looking for answers that are not readily accessible, real answers for real struggling parents. These answers are ones will find nowhere but here and they describe a reality of todays world that few have experienced personally that are equipped to write about professionally.

If you are an awesome parent, and you have awesome kids, and you think your doing great parenting then this particular blog spot is likely not for you. My advice to you is be happy and find other things to read that encourage and sustain you. I am more of a broken voice to those who are broken and struggling…those who feel like they cannot go on… those who are lost…wounded…broken and yet they need a reason to go on, they need to understand why they are where they are at this point in their life and they need what I can give then HOPE.

To those who can relate to feeling broken, wounded, rejected …You are my target audience. I hope to bring you understanding, hope, peace, and victory in your struggle. Finally, a blog spot with real answers to real questions, answers with the potential to really change your perspective and transform the reality of your life.

Lets just explore the possibility there is truth in the value of this sentence: We all do the best we can as a parent? Do you feel this is true in your life? Are you doing your best? Can you apply this to your  perspective on how your parents raised you? Often what we expect our kids to see in us, unfortunately, we can in no way see in our parents….until that is …we are broken by parenting.

Does good parenting really produce good kids or good people? What is the measuring stick of good?  Success? Independence?   Inter- dependance?  Happiness?  Education? Achievement?  Career? Religion? Behaviors?

What if you found out  nature was more predictive than the nurture? Would you nurture and continue to nurture if you knew your child would become a killer like Adam in Sandy Hook? Is it his mothers fault he loaded those guns and attacked his childhood school? Could she have done anything different? What can we glean from these tortured  parents (labeled  with horrific children)? This blog is written to parents like her, parents who did all they could and it availed nothing. This blog may help  Peter Lanza who publicly said: ‘I wish Adam had never been born. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/northamerica/usa/10851714/Sandy-Hook-killers-father-I-wish-Adam-had-never-been-born.html at least according to media (which for many reasons I believe very little of anything in print today…a different blog. Poor soul(check out that blog) Peter he just did not get it!

How can good parents have bad kids or good kids have bad parents? What makes one a good parent- the child’s perspective, the parents perspective,  families perspective, the communities perspective, the churches perspective? Who is to say what GOOD is?

What is the whole point of parenting anyway and when does it end? This is what I will attempt to explore in this post so stay with me for a different perspective and a crazy journey into reality according to Julia Jay.

I have been  a social worker, parent, adoptive parent, foster parent, children and youth worker, host home and residential placement counselor, and adoptive counselor.  I have attained 33 years of experience raising children and helping others parent difficult children and I have the boldness to actually say what few professionals dare (some due to inexperience but most because of fear of vulnerability).

Parents with nonproblematic children usually have tons of advice on how we could do things better, discipline, time management, affection, diet, behavioral charts, positive reinforcement, ect… they can easily reiterate things that “have worked for them” to create  the awesome kids that  they are proclaiming they are blessed to raise.  Ya, that is not what I have to report from my findings of real people, in real life who struggle with real parenting.

The fact is most our parents, more than likely, did the best they could,  and maybe a small percentage didn’t. However, you really can not judge their parenting unless you have walked the road they walked. Often our struggles with our own kids is to create an understanding and relating to  or compassion for our parents …dead or alive. This understanding is a journey that often is the only way in which we humans can learn(read my RIP BLOG ).

Teenagers have all sorts of opinions on what their parents do wrong and how they would ideally have raised themselves. Prolonged adolescent and postponed parenting ( later in the 30’s) is epidemic in this generation with advice from people who have had no experience and have no practical application but have lots of advice on how to parent. However, until you are actually a parent or are amidst 24 hours a day child rearing, its just an opinion with nothing to substantiate your findings or validate them. If you have a compliant child…big deal who can’t raise one of them(read the girl in the white shirt post..when I complete it)

You can voice your opinion, and opinions have value, your opinions are part of who you are and they are part of who you strive to become…we all have a need to practice our opinions to substantiate who we are and who we want to become. You  also can blame, or you can claim the results,  and/or come to acceptance with where your journey has taken you. My goal is to give you insight on this journey and compassion to endure the extended journey you are going to travel…one way or another…this is your journey….there is no alternative, even running from parenting cannot stop the consequences. Its coming just you wait and see. My seven are raised thank God …and yet I still continue to parent and they do not like it one bit.

What is more important the toddler years, teenage years, twenties , thirties?  We all know the saying give me a child before the of 5 and you will have formed a personality. Consider this: Have you really formed a human being or does the human being you created form you?

These are all questions I struggle  to explore through my blogging. One thing I do know is parenting is lifelong. I continue to need my mom and I am in my fifties. But parenting is part of YOU, who you are, who you want to become, and how you want to be remembered in life. It is not the child whom is the focus, rather, “how you” handle the child regardless of their IQ, intellect, potential… that is what creates YOU.

You are the point…not the child. The more you know about YOU, the more you will understand the struggles of parenting and how children affect YOU. If you can teach your children this concept they will struggle less with all the ” what if’s”.

One thing is for sure: we learned from how we were parented. Another thing for sure is …we all have ability to learn and train   and change ourselves. However, we can only influence others: we can change noone ( other than ourselves). Without that potential understanding…. parenting is going to leave you void when your nest becomes empty

Case in point: I had awful parents- my dad struggled most of his life as a drug addict, my mom suffered from mental illness all her life: yet- all of us 5 siblings turned out pretty amazing. I know many such examples of clueless parents who struggled to just make it through: minimally provided food on the table and somehow their kids developed, achieved and turned out fine. Was that parenting or resilience in our personhood? If we truly understood the purpose of parenthood and how it forms us, we could cope better and actually attain understanding regardless of the behaviors of our children. When we get that …. we become unique individuals…. through relationship and through parenting influences.

I know many many awesome parents – missionaries, ministers, professionals, and somehow their kids are conscious-less. How can this be?

Parentings focus has always primarily been ” product”  ” results” ie “How the kids come out”.  Would we really do all the work of modeling, disciplining, rewarding…..if we really knew it had little to no effect. Frankly I think, “Not”!  Most parents think the work they are doing is meaningful and will produce effective results. For some, maybe it does. However, results appear to be the most important thing parents are concerned with, consideration is usually not what it felt like to be ” in” that situation and/or how “that” parenting situation forms us as individuals.

Why is that? Feelings are extremely important, don’t get me wrong, how you have stored that memory (in the mental file box secured to access it later in life). Often our selective memories really predetermine deficits that we will personally struggle with through on our journey in life (ie- desiring unavailable or emotionally abusive partners ect.) What we gleaned from our childhood usually determines how we navigate parenting. So the question is not’ how you do parenting’… rather how ‘ parenting does YOU’?

In the midst of us creating a person (childrearing) many Christians assimulate the truth that we are Christs representative to their world (the world is in some sense all our children and all of our responsibility). God gave us a human symbol, mentor, person, to emulate love- by giving us the Person of Christ! What a gift- we need look no further- even though Jesus had no children biologically he became the source of example for all personhood. He continues through each generation to be  the primary representative to show all mankind how to love all the world. Jesus never focused on only his 12 followers ..though He did spend more time with them personally- Jesus was raising the whole world :teaching us what really matters, here and now and for eternity. My best advice: follow HIM. He knows eternity past, our present and eternity future! GOD gives us living examples to relate to this world. Those parents who struggle with addictions can easily relate to addictive parents, those parents who have experienced loss and grief are best equipped to help comfort others who know the pain of loss.

Parents are the primary way children learn, they do not learn through Jesus but they learn Jesus through us, its our actions, our representation, thats just how God created things to work.  WOW what Authority… to think the Creator of the Universe chose us to make things right, or to comfort when things go wrong, for the next generation- and the next generation and the next. Imagine the hugeness of that journey and the responsibility that comes along with it.

Who do we have in media to look to for guidance? Nanny 911, Dr Phil?

The governmental foster care system: a joke.’The media: even funnier and sadder.

Authors like James Dobson? Well, yeah if your raising normal kids in a normal environment. I have yet to see that normal in my life or my practice. Everyone I know has issues, some just more hidden then others. I call my parenting mentor Dobson the preachers preacher. I love Dobson, he was my sole guidance to raising my 7 amazing kids. If you  married a Christian man, and have a few Christian supports, you can take his advice to the bank, but in the dysfunctional family…the interest on it only yields a few cents on the dollar.

I have read everything Dobson has ever published and when it comes to the basics he is right on! However, he, like my many favorite pastors, was raised by a Christian mom, lived a Christian life, married a Christian wife, and had all accessibility (through his own means lets give credit where credit is due) and besides seeing a patient 1 x a week he is clueless when it comes to experiencing family generational dysfunction. He likely knows how to do relationship: but has he done relationship with difficult people? Maybe to some extent he has done relationship restoration and/or just retention but he definitely does not have the experience to answer to this generation of dysfunction.

This is the real quality of a persons professional skills, will it work for you? Does it apply to your current personal struggle? If it does, read away, I support him wholeheartedly. If you, on the other hand, have extenuating circumstances well ATOP may be able to provide the help you need. If you have a situation where sexual molestation, sibling exploration, foster care system mandated reporting, suicide, dug abuse, abortion, autism, these are the tough thinks not usually addressed in books or blogs.

ATOP That’s where I come in. I offer a touch of peace. No, I cannot bring anyone peace! No, but in this world I can offer you a touch. A personal touch of peace, a fellow struggler to struggle alongside you. A wounded, deeply wounded, healer who has found the source of all healing.  I am a dysfunction expert. Born and bred – a generational thoroughbred- so it may take you a while for you to catch up or catch on but this web page blog is a place to start. I not only have read all the books, practiced the profession, but I have lived the life, changed the life, engaged in change, and saw the real potential of change (and sorry to report the potential is not much and its definitely not the ride you expected!!!) Sorry to report the change did not happen in my kids…it happened in me…All of them still have alot to learn, and hopefully they will get it when they have children of their own to deal with and walk a mile in my shoes…until then I wait and I continue to work on me.

So if you really want the best dysfunctional parenting advice ever, one hot off the presses (not really ….the book form is a ways yonder lol). Believe me if I knew of another place to refer you to for this kind of help I would just guide ” my following” there.

KISS- Keep it simple stupid. Do what you can to cope today, do the best you you can today. This is the hard work of parenting, perfecting ourselves. Like the illustration of oxygen on a plane: we do not adjust others oxygen safely on board until our own is securely in place. Coping is about “you” not about your kids.

I use the example of water when I try to explain why hurt people do what they do. We are all vessels, similar to a water pitcher. We all receive wounds in life and sometimes it punctures our container with holes. Some of us have tiny pinholes and some have gaping holes. Regardless, of the amount of water poured into the vesse,l it cannot overflow because the holes leak the liquid before it ever reaches the point of overflow. the more you pour into (trying to change others… they are unable to retain or give out of overflow) the more leaks out.

Until we fill those holes nothing changes, people try all  different techniques, mentors, family, love, education, but to no avail. Behavior can be contained in our presence but once those wounded vessels are out of our site…off ‘our’ discipline plan,  released into adulthood, they are still just leaky vessels.

When we learn to take control of our pain and heal our wounds, it is then we can hold the deeper concepts and truths of life, it is then we realize we are all capable of healing. When we are healed and only when we are healed and then we are filled: can we  possibly overflow to give to others. Without this work we are just pouring into lives unable to retain love, affection, respect, self-discipline. We are continuing to feed feed feed and noone will ever be self-sustainable, our children and our parents will never learn to fish life for themselves successfully especially if we just keep fishing for them and feeding them our fish. This is how we get 50 year olds still mooching off their parents, it is an unending cycle.

This is why the most important lesson you can learn and apply as a parent is to heal those wounds in your own pitcher. The wounds of your own generation, your own parents, your own kids. Only then can you truly give out of overflow…expecting nothing in return, receiving nothing in return, unconditional love…the true mark of a parent.  Consider this, as my seven kids are all adults and were raised in a great home(according to me anyway) they never stop wounding me, seriously more and more, deeper and deeper. I have come to the conclusion its a learning cycle, a life cycle that we maintain: filling our holes, giving, loving, accepting and grievingunconditionally alongside one another.

Momma if you go down- everything goes down. Same goes for those Dads committed to raising a family. Find out what you are doing and why you are doing it,  explore what you were suppose to learn from your past journey, what is expected of the future, why you went through what you did.  If life gave you lemons- make the best lemon-aid possible! If you were given avocados, darling by all means use them to their potential guacamole.

Don’t be who you are not, or pretend to be, the real you far surpasses anything you could find on the adventure of life. Being someone you really aren’t , an imposter replicating what your parents expectations are, just to spare them the much needed disappointment, that will in turn, allow them to comfort other hurting parents.

I was a good mom. Just saying I do not know many- very few- OK…. I KNOW noone who has traveled my journey!!! Seriously, really I know not a one person who did what I did and lived to write about it- if you do please hook me up would love to meet a sojourner.  I was a good enough mom (different blog different chapter), I read all the books and integrated all of psychology into my parenting, I was out to prove I could produce the best!!!! Only later did I realize the hypothesis was faulty!

I think being a mother can come natural. Some people can naturally mother many kids, while others can barely maintain their own offspring. For me I was a natural, Lord knows I got nothing handed down from any parenting genes historically.

As far back as I can go in my family of origin, I have yet to even come across a couple in my familytree that even wanted to be married, out of anything other than necessity, let alone wanted all the kids they got.

Anyway I know I was a great mom- now I had many people who judged me and still do (my results have proven my methods though not in positive correlation as one would think lol) . Yet, I have not heard much in the area of compliments coming back from my kids(oh well glad I do not live to please them LOL). The reason I know I was a great mom was not in the outcome, nor in the opinion of the kids (many who still have yet to parent), but because I always worked on me. I never gave up on me. I will never give up on the journey of creating me. I learned alot and I hope through my experiences I can bring hope to YOU regardless of the area of parenting or life you are currently experiencing.

Also I always worked on my marriage first before my kids ( 35 years and counting…attending at least one marriage seminar a year). It was and remains lots of work, I always worked on relationshipsbonding of the familys (yeah one can only do what one can do), I always educated myself, cared for my body, cared for my soul, cared for my community, cared for the homeless… the orphans. I always aspired to be me! The best me I can be! These are all chapters in my upcoming book. Anyway, real experience is found in all the little things of life not one BIG solution

This is why you should consider my advice, I never stop learning and I actually apply what I learn to create a new me everyday.

I mess up everyday and I succeed everyday.  I am human.  My words are not fb posts that sound practical and wise. Rather my words are a lifetime of application.  The creation of  A Touch of Peace (ATOP) is my means of giving back for all I have been given.

ATOP is a place of resources.  I provide, the resources you need to help you change your life. I offer to mentor and educate people who want to invest in themselves to change from what they had given to them- to become the person they always wanted to be.

I prefer not to see people as diagnosis, but rather my work focused primarily on  V codes which are relational issues.

An example is DSM-IV-TR Diagnostic Codes:

\V61.9 Relational Problem Related to a Mental Disorder or General Medical ConditionV61.20 Parent-Child Relational ProblemV61.10 Partner Relational ProblemV61.8 Sibling Relational ProblemV61.81 Relational Problem.

These relational problems can be effectively treated using brief, problem-solving cognitive therapy. These issues unfortunately are not insurance eligible so I work on a sliding scale fee affordable to each client.

The first and most important relationship you need is becoming one with oneself.  Next, only after comprehension of self, you can perceive the potential of relationship with your Creator,  and then one with ones family, ones friends, ones community, etc- all in order of importance to you. If you really do not know “you” then well, it matters not the numerical relationships you have, because they are built on a lie. Too many people focus on what others will think, how to impress others and becoming what the media…their parents, their pastor, their friends ect. think is a good person or a good parent.

You are the person you are. Period!  You are the person you are today at this very moment in time. If you die tomorrow, sorry but you will have remained that person(your true self…. not your potential or process self). Our only hope is to be renewed daily, to make a you a work in progress and to work on this process, which again results in “the work of change”.

If you want to be a different person only “you” can change that. It will take work…lots of it.

We have the power to change no one but ourselves!

We are responsible for only choices we make (which is plenty to be responsible for).

We have no business changing others, especially if we accepted them for who they are, good and bad, and we chose relationship with them when they have never been anyone other than the person they presented themselves to be. Obliviously, if you are not happy with others, You are the one that moved (another reason to learn the tools of attraction)

I do not claim to know everything, only what has been effective for me and that was only learned  through trial and error. Most professionals can give you tools to cope with life…we all use the same tools only with slight variations, however, before you decide to waste your money on advice I would look at their personal life application.

Like the marriage counselor who is divorced or has been married 5 x. Boy I bet she has learned alot….but better invest in the one who has one healthy marriage and has maintained that for  many years if you want that kind of yield for your investment.

My qualifications for others helping me are simple:

DO they apply these tools to their personal life, is that working, if not , those tools are probably do not prove effective or applicable. So why would you invest reading my advice on parenting? Did all or any of my kids come out like I expected…projected…fantasized….No not a one. I have raised dozens of kids and no not a one came out how I expected! You should listen to me because you too will someday have to acknowledge and accept that you did do the best you could and how they come out …that is “their journey” not yours.

I apply all my tools to me first, and I work them until they work for me. They have worked for me in the journey of becoming who I am..I am not who others want me to be , nor should you strive for others expectations.

I am finally past learning parenting skillsets and now I am learning on the grandkids and parenting adult children skill sets…itys been an equally painful ride. SO if I am a skillset ahead of you, come along on a journey and lets learn from one another’s successes and failures. After all that is exactly what community and family and ATOP is all about.

If you want a little more journey check out my RIP post on this site and my “do you really need therapy” http://www.atouchofpeacejuliajay.com/do-you-need-it/”

 

Parenting, a model for first time parents

So you are becoming a parent. I imagine you have so many questions on how to raise a child?  Either you had a baby, you married into a baby, or you somehow got responsibility for a kid. Now what? You are partially and sometimes totally responsible for another human being every day , all day. Its a scarey thought but I can say that no matter how you do, how many times you will make mistakes, all you can do is ” do your best”. Really, its not as complicated as people worry over. Psychologists have a term its is something called the “good enough parent”.  In common lingo it means that you can do alot wrong and they still come out right, and/or you can do alot right and they choose to go wrong.

Studies show that a dad, who sits on the couch and drinks beer with little to no interaction with his kids, just his presence in the home will benefit the outcome of the child, if its a girl her, just the presence of a dad in the home lowers her potential for involvement in sex and or drug experimentation. Crazy isn’t it. We all think we have to do so much- we run ourselves ragged year in and year out birthday after birthday trying to protect them and model for them and lead them to faith and be consistent and all those things are good. But when all is said and done you can make it through one day, one literal physical day at a time by doing the best we can. When we fail, we can change, when we repent and turn things around, healing is natural, people will forgive(especially when they realize all they have done to need it in their own lives. just saying…if you are worrying about your parenting you are likely a good enough parent.

Anyways I am going to list some critical parenting advice tips for a new parent(usually new ones are the ones curious about how this all works . Once you have four kids you are in a survival of the fittest game to just clean house make meals love your hubby and spend time running your kids to all the things parents run their kids to and you have little time or energy to be reading blogs and asking for advice so I will stat with infants and advise you on each different age group.
1st and most important tip….SHARE …you are a family not an island. I learned this first hand when I chose the opposite advice for my children. In my 20 year old mind, my parents were screw ups and I was going to give my child the best father, mother, church, food, exercise, ect… I thought my extended family was all incompetent and dysfunctional and only on the rarest occasions and in dire need for a babysitter would I trust any of my loved ones with my kids….but thats b/c my family was all messed up (bulletin flash here all families are messed up!!!) Well, I sure did a good job of isolating my kids from my family…yes on Easter and Christmas we all got together and they saw my family but that was the extent of the relationship. Note(in my defense most of my family really never wanted any responsibilities for my children). But, wouldn’t you know my prejudice has come back to bite me in the ass!!!Karma Karma Karma! Not one of my children have allowed me to be involved in the raising of their children(sure I am picked as an occasional sitter…barring their friends or others whom they prefer or trust more)…Honestly though, after raising teens straight for 33 years, I am not one who cares to babysit anyway and after having 8 grandchildren by my early 50’s, its fine they all choose this. I never wanted to be a sitter anyway I desire to be a important part of their lives not a babysitter!!! EVERY grandparent thinks this but none of us have the nerve to come right out and say it!!

As you hold your tiny infant in your arms and look into those amazing eyes…you have a choice…. its all about YOU, your feelings, your protection, your perspective, or life is about sharing. Sharing this amazing person with imperfect people in the world so that your child grows up to be a part of an extension, a family, a part of the whole, a string instrument amidst the orchestra. When you are able to freely pass your baby down the aisle of the church and let everyone hold her for a while and pass her on…it is then you will awaken to the heart cry of every persons desire ….to touch the innocence of the world in rarest form, to impact the life of another in a transforming way. Well I have not seen this done since I did it so many years ago, these new mothers today fear to even take their babies to church for fear of disease or colds, let alone allow others to hold or care for their child. Today’s moms are so selfish and isolating they all want to “bond Bond Bond” and if you can come do the dishes for them you are suppose to be happy! Well I can see what the years of their bonding to their kids has meant to me, each year they grow older they become more and more distant. I can honestly say I know very little interpersonal relationship with my grandchildren currently. Every year they are more alienated then the year before…my hope is in teen years maybe things will turn around but I am not holding my breath…YOU KNOW WHY??? I fell I was robbed my grand-parenthood by their “bonding”. I guess I deserve it as I was the same when my children were young. Today I see two kinds of grandparents, close and not close. Sadly the close ones are close because their children did not parent or were incompetent so the grandparent took up the slack, the ones not so close are not so close because their kids are wonderful parents and think they do not need the assistance emotionally spiritually or psychologically of their parents(however an occasional sitter will suffice). So because I see this dilemma everyday day in and day out I would say the #1 most important thing when having a baby is to share.
When you share loving an infant the love bond grows and grows, exponentially. When you wait till they are 1 or 2 or 3 or 4 it decreases potential. Yes you are the master when it comes to the final say but could you try to listen to advice form ones whom have raised many for years and have a lifetime of experience, you don’t have to change just let others feel heard. I have never had 1 or my 7 kids come to me for advice on the rearing of children and I know NO other EXPERT with the years of experience and quality of child-rearing that they have free of charge right here in their very own mom. To no avail, maybe my pain is why I rate this #1 importance maybe its personal but I do look around and see many other grandparents and relatives struggle with this aspect of today’s parenting.

I will get back to this post another day sorry I have to quit for now.

If you have a parenting question fill out a contact form and I will get back to you as soon as possible.

 

Family services for the Cocalico area