Saturday, December 31, 2016

Heart Broken

This week on December 28th we said goodbye to one of the most beloved members of our family, Snickers. Although this was her official name, she only responded to "Baby Girl" because that is what I called her, she was a calico cat that we got when she was 6 months old. My kids are 21 and 19 and she was with us for a long time, the majority of my kids lives, and then she had become my whole world since my separation and divorce, as it was just me and her. She was my companion, I even talked to her like she was an old friend. As I write this, I am crying my eyes out, because she is so badly missed, she followed me everywhere I went, until she was no longer able. I still come out of my bedroom expecting to see her sitting on the rug outside the door waiting to be fed, or meowing at me to get up.

The wonderful people at the vet, who have cared for Snickers for many years also made clay paw impressions for us. This is wonderful, because Snickers was a unique cat, and her demeanor was not always pleasant, and two of the things that she hated us doing was petting her belly and messing with her paws, so for me this is a very special keepsake. On the other hand, she loved having her neck nuzzled as you can see my daughter is doing in one of the above pictures. I also would just lay my head on her to hear her purr. She also loved plastic bags, boxes and the sunlight.

In going through a few things, I came across a book that I had stuffed away. It's called Good Things Great and Small- a whole lot of reasons to be thankful, I came across one of the quotes that I am thankful for:

"Thank heavens for  wagging tails, 
I love them, the long, the stubby, 
the straight , the curly, the furry...
the happy, crazy, round- the- world wag,
the twirling-in-circles-while-wagging wag.
All of them. Every one. Every time. 
Because no matter what is screwed up
in my world, a wagging tail is always,
unequivocally a very good thing."
Jeannie Hund

I was so anxious and worried about making the decision to euthanize Snickers, that I was making myself crazy, and I didn't want to let her go, for my own selfish reasons. It suddenly occurred to me that with all the anxiety and worry, I took my focus off of God. When I finally did pray and ask if I was making the right decision, I felt a sense of peace. I saw her suffering in pain, and I was worried, 

Those of you that know me, know that I worry about everything, thus I am going to end on this last day of 2016 with my favorite bible verse Philippians 4: 4-7, and the beautiful thing about the title of this chapter in my Bible is "Joy in Giving":

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be
evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything,
by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, 
will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. 

This is my favorite because we all have worry, no matter the source or sources, but if we turn our worries to prayers. This is also the hardest to do, because our enemy wants us to dwell in our worry and anxiety so we do not turn to God. This was my lesson that I learned although in a painful way. 

I want to thank Sharon, Sam and Tiffany for the wonderful care of Snickers through the years, and especially the day we let her go. I am thankful that I was able to be with Snickers through the whole process, and I am comforted that she is no longer in pain or suffering. 

RIP Snickers 2001-2016


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Thursday, December 22, 2016


This is such a big and sad word, especially at this time of year. But, honestly, how many of those reading this have or do feel like a failure at something? Or with someone? You just feel that no matter what you do you are stuck between a rock and a hard place, with no where to turn, or run. I know that I can't see the hands that are raised by that question, but I would bet that most of us have felt that way at one time or another. I have, and I still do sometimes.

Before we get to far, the definition of failure as defined by Merriam-Webster:
  1. lack of success
  2. the act of neglecting to do or perform
  3. an instance of not working properly
  4. a loss of the ability to work normally
  5. someone or something that has not succeeded
  6. an instance of falling short

None of these definitions, or even the mashing of some of them together completely describe the feeling that overcomes you, when you feel as though you have failed,or are a failure. Sometimes there are no words for how you feel. For me, when I feel this way, I want to hide, cut off contact from all, but I feel as if my heart has literally broken, not just my heart but my soul hurts, and this causes me once again to question myself, and most of all GOD. Here are a few verses of what God's word says about failure:

Joshua 8:1- Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged- this was said to Joshua during a battle, the points that are made here are (1) to confess your sins when God reveals them to you, (2) when you fail[, refocus on God, deal with the problem and move on. God wants this cycle of sin, repentance, and forgiveness to strengthen us not weaken us. The lessons that we learn from our failures will help us to TRY and not do the same thing again, or if we do we will be able to handle whatever the situation may be.

1 Samuel 10:22- this chapter is about Saul being made king, but when all the tribes of Israel were gathered together,Saul could not be found, because he had hidden himself "among the baggage". When we hide from our important responsibilities, because we are afraid of failure, afraid of what others will think.

Matthew 1:1-17- these passages struck me as interesting because the first chapter is the passport of Jesus, or his genealogy. From Abram to Jesus. Reading the textual notes at the bottom it says that God's work in history is not limited to human failures or sins, he works through ordinary people like you and I.

Luke 22:62- this chapter covers the death and resurrection of Jesus, our Savior, but the section I am referring to is the section where Peter, one of the disciples denied knowing the Lord, which Jesus had predicted 30 verses previously starting with verse 31. When Peter realized  that he had done this it states that he "wept bitterly." Peter was frightened over being associated with Jesus after he was arrested, so he went against the promise  he made. This points out that that we need to be aware of our breaking points, and not become over-confident or self-sufficient.

My point that I am trying to make is that we are not alone in our failures, even the people from Biblical times struggled with failure. Although, they didn't have social media (which in my opinion, only makes our failures more known to more people, intended or not).

Now all of this of course is easier said than done, you are all saying, I am going to list for what I call my failures, after all I did say I wanted to use this blog to help people, and to do that I am gonna bear myself, so here we begin:

  1. The death of my husband David, I should have seen it, and been able to stop it.
  2. Getting pregnant in high school, and having a miscarriage on the night of my Senior prom right after an abortion was scheduled.
  3. I failed to support my Grandma after my Grandpa died, and getting very angry with her when she remarried 6 months after he died. I have been holding on to this for many, many years, and even stated that I would never call him Grandpa. He passed away on November 9th, and I never told him this, but I did unburden myself to my Grandma on December 5, I explained the story and told her I was sorry, and asked for her forgiveness. She of course said that she knew nothing about it, and was surprised. I came to respect my step-grandfather a great deal, and really didn't understand her situation until I was in the same one. 
  4. I failed my son for not being there for him when he needed both of his parents after his dad and I separated. I moved out of the house and wasn't there, I feel that I missed some of the most important years for him.
  5. I failed my family when I failed school, as for me this started my slide down into the pit, where I felt that I kept sliding and sliding, thinking that I would never hit bottom. I lost my job, and flunked out of school all in the same year, and this put incredible strain on our marriage, and put more pressure on my husband. 
  6. I continued to fail my family as I turned to pain pills to help numb the pain, while my depression kept getting worse. During this time I only worked a short time, was more interested in my pain pills.
  7. I failed my family again by not being able to keep our marriage together.
  8. I am a failure because I have been told that I am one repeatedly. 
I am sure that there are many more, and some people would say well what about this failure. 

I have made mistakes, and have hurt people in the process, there are not enough words in the world to express how sorry I am to anyone who feels that I have hurt them. I am working on these things with the help of Jesus. I am not the same person I was 2 years ago, or even 6 months ago, amazing things can happen if you believe. None of us are perfect, we all make mistakes, those mistakes make you into the person you will/can become, you just have to open your heart and believe. 

Start with just a prayer, it doesn't have to be perfect, God knows your heart. If you feel comfortable keep a journal, and enjoy the beauty of God's creation that is all around you everyday, the sunrise the sunset, the strangers that hold the door open for you, your children's smiles, the love you feel for someone-all come from God, just stop and take the time to notice. 

As a previous post has stated, some songs inspire me, and right now I am listening to Big Daddy Weave- Redeemed. I will post song at the end, so you may all enjoy. The song starts out with these lyrics:
Seems like all I could see was the struggle
Haunted by ghosts that lived in my past
Bound up in shackles of all my failures
Wondering how long this is gonna last
Then you look at this prisoner and say to me
"son stop fighting a fight that 's already been won"
I am redeemed, You set me free
So I'll shake off these heavy chains
Wipe away every stain, now I'm not who I used to be

I am here to tell you now that I am shaking off the heavy chains of my failures, no longer will I be bound up in all my failures. And, yes there may be days that those feelings start creeping back in, but knowing what my triggers are, and knowing that Satan will do what he can to make sure that I being held ransom in my feelings and thoughts, I call yell "STOP", and ask the Lord to give me the strngth to get past these dark thought. 

Sorry for the long post, but I also feel I have to share Psalm 91:1-16 with you:

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, "He is my refuge and my fortress, my God in whom I trust."
Surely he will save you from the fowler's snare
and the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
You will not feat the terror of the night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks the darkness,
nor the plaque that destroys at midday.
A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you. 
You will only observe with your eyes
and see the punishment of the wicked.
If you make the Most High your dwelling-
even the Lord, who is my refuge-
then no harm will befall you,
no disaster will come near your tent.
For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways
they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
You will tread upon the lions and the cobra;
you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
"Because he loves me" says the Lord, "I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
He will call upon me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble, 
I will deliver him and honor him.
With long life will I satisfy
and show him my salvation."

As promised the video

Goodnight all. God bless you, may you all have a blessed Christmas.

Please leave any comments (will need to click on the no comments to get a pop up box) or email me, I will try and respond to all comments and emails. Please share this with family and friends.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Grief & Loss

Today I got word that a distant relative of mine passed away suddenly, she was only 61. Although I didn't know her, the loss of a loved one is always hard, especially at this time of year. The hard part of loss is not the time when there are plenty of people around bringing food, just stopping by to visit, the hard part is after the people leave and you are alone. Sometimes in this time alone it is hard to see that you are not alone, you can be so caught up in your grief. You find yourself staring at the favorite places that they used to sit, staring at their side of the bed, lifting their favorite sweater just to smell them. Hanging on to any little pieces of them you can.

We have all experienced grief, and all of us experience it differently, and in our own timing. Grief is noting to be ashamed of , as there can be no recovery without it. There is a common phrase that many of us have heard "Time heals all wounds." I don't believe that this is necessarily true, I believe that we accept it, but it remains a part of us, we just make room for it. Our experiences make us who we are, and our reactions to them however positive or negative help us help the next person deal with it. It also helps us to admit our failures or shortcomings in the dealing of our own situation.

I remember vividly the night my husband died, this has been 21 years, and I remember that more than I can remember some things about him, especially his voice, his laugh, his smell ( I still go through the the grocery store and if I find Brut I open it and take a good long whiff), I know how funny that sounds. 😊😊😊.

Like I said, this grief can also help you deal with your failures or shortcomings that happened from your situation. I was 22 when I became widowed, I was a new mom to an 8 month old. I didn't understand why God would do this to me. Then, I was not as passionate as I am today, or how I wish I knew then what I know now, but this was my road to travel to become who I am. I am not perfect, I have made lots of mistakes, and I freely admit that I carried a lot of those mistakes and baggage into my new relationship with Mike. I also had many great friends from that time in my life, some who we made the Godparents to my daughter. They were our best friends, and that beautiful friendship started with a phone call to the police because the party was just a tad to loud. 😏😏😏.

Sadly, a few years after I lost my husband, she lost her husband in a car accident. I remember that day very well too, she called me at work, and I immediately left work to be with her. Isn't that what any good friend would do? He was a wonderful man, and he loved his family dearly. What I regret from these few years is that I needed to talk, and I talked all the time about me, and gave little thought to what she was going through, or anyone else for that fact. One of the greatest gifts that you can give someone is to help them through the grieving process, the entire process. They helped me a great deal when I needed someone, which was often. Then there was one time when someone said something and 'poof" the friendship was gone. I regret the loss of this relationship, and miss her and her family.

Loss is loss, no matter what form it comes in, from a beloved spouse, a friendship or a furry companion. We all grieve. As I write this I;m listening to Lauren Daigle's album How Can it Be, seems fitting for the topic. All things happen for a reason, and for some reason the road I'm on is not one I expected to be on, but I trust that it is because God has a great plan for me, as it says in Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the plans that I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

In a book called God is in the HARD Stuff by Bruce Bickel and Stan Jantz, I cam across a quote from Michelangelo:
"Lord, on You I call for help
against my blind and senseless torment,
since You alone can renew
inwardly and outwardly my mind,
my will, and my strength, which are weak."

In the same book I also came across "Faith in God involves hope. A Hope in the future. The hope of a better life to come. A hope of spending eternity with our heavenly Father."

For today I am gonna leave you with a verse from Roman 8:38-39:
"For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angles or demons, 
either the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, 
nor anything else in all creation, 
will not be able to separate us from the love of God that is in  Christ Jesus our Lord."

Another song I heard today that I want to share, as it is fitting for today's theme:

Monday, December 12, 2016


I am sure that there are many things that most of us find inspiration in. Most of the time I find that I am mostly inspired by song lyrics, I have many pieces of paper laying all over that have lyrics on them, sometimes, it is a quote in a book, a photograph, and just sometimes it is the beauty that the I see that the Lord has created. Today, I want to share a few of the snip its of things that have really struck a chord in me,

I try to keep a journal, it is mostly just the happenings of the day, I have even pasted some pictures in there of pictures of places that I would like to visit some day, and some days all it is is lyrics. With each lyric I will name the artist and the song.

Believe by Skillet:
"I can't undo the things that have led us to this place. There is more to us than our mistakes."

Redeemed by Big Daddy Weave
"Seems like all I can see was the struggle, haunted by ghosts that lived in my past, bound up in shackles of all my failures. Wondering how long is this gonna last?"

I Need You Now by Plumb
"I can't let go, I can't move on. Standing on a road I didn't plan, wondering how I got to where I am, GOD, I need you now.

Joyce Meyer
"We may have endured terrible things in our lives and may have been deeply wounded in the process. But there is HOPE. We can harness our emotions- taking control of this powerful force within US..... Victory is possible. Genuine healing can occur if we're willing to allow the Father to set us free."
Here the key word is WILLING.

I will share more of some of my favorites in future posts, today I want to leave you with a verse from Hebrews 13:5
                 GOD has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you."

Sunday, December 11, 2016


Hi All,

Welcome to my first post. I wanted to introduce myself, and explain a little a bit about my purpose for this blog.I am also not a writer, so there may be times where I seem like I am rambling (because I probably am :))

First of all my name is Shawn, I live in a small rural community in the northwest corner of Iowa. I am a registered nurse that is currently in school pursuing a masters degree. I have been working on this degree since 2009, but we all know that life throws us many curve balls, well in 2012 I was hit with one of those curve balls.

I have quite a large and somewhat divided family. When I say divided, I don't mean that we are at odds with each other, it is just a complicated story.
So, here it goes, I was married for the first time at the age of 20, from that marriage we had a daughter named Ashley, who is now 21. My husband had a son from his previous marriage D.J. who is now 27. D.J. and his girlfriend have 2 kids with another on the way due in March. My husband died when I was 22 from suicide, Ashley was 8 months old and D.J. was 5, as his dad died the week before his birthday.
Six months after the death of David, I met a man that would become my 2nd husband many years later. From that marriage we had a son Quentin, who is now 19. Mike had a daughter from his first marriage Elizabeth who is also 27. Her and her fiancee have 2 children Wyatt (7), and Natalie (5).

I became a grandmother although a step-grandmother at the age of 36. This was/is one of the most wonderful experiences of my life, both of those kids have such a hold on my heart, and love them wholeheartedly. I love all my kids, and would do anything for them, but the love for grand kids is different, and any grandparents know what I am talking about.

Well, now to the curve ball 2012 threw me. I had actually been in school working on my doctoral degree since 2009, and in 2012, I started to have trouble. I had been working full-time, taking full-time credits at school, with kids at home, and the demands of my time were too much for me, and I fell apart, literally. Including my marriage, in the summer of 2013 Mike and I separated. May of this year our divorce was finalized. We had been together for 20 years and suddenly I find myself alone.

Now the reason for this blog, I have been having trouble lately, an identity crisis of sorts you could call it. For so many years there was "us", now there is just "ME". My kids are all grown and have lives of their own, even though I speak to them almost everyday, its just difficult being by myself. Since our separation I had not attended church. I was invited by a friend- you know who you are to a bible study. From this study, I learned so much, and it literally blew my mind. Things that I had never heard in church, or at least things that were not talked about much. The Holy Spirit. From this study I had so many questions concerning my relationship with God. I will save the details for another post, because otherwise I will ramble.

The title "Perfectly Broken" is because we are created prefect in God's image, but we are all broken, and it is through this brokenness we can choose to stew in it and deal with it or choose to do something about it and use it to help others, because no matter what others say you are not alone, the things that you are feeling others are going through too. My hope is to bring people together to a safe place, where you are free to vent, talk, whatever you feel you need to do.

YOU are made for amazing things, YOU are beautiful, YOU are not a failure, YOU are the child of a KING. YOU are here for a reason, and have a purpose to fulfill. YOU are free because of the cross. Romans 3:22-24 says that "from God comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe. There is no difference, for all have sinned and fall short of the Glory of God, and are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus."

May you all have a blessed evening,