Monthly Archives: January 2015

The thorn in my flesh.

Yesterday, I participated in an online bible study on FB in the evening. A good friend of mine told me that she enjoyed her experience and it sounded good to me too. I really like the book that we are reading for the bible study. The idea of connecting with other Christian women online, very much appealed to me. The reality however, rocked my world and not in a good way. I was unprepared for the rapid fire nature of the comment alerts that popped up on my screen. So badly I wanted to fit in and keep up and participate. My anxiety got the better of me. I didn’t just myself for feeling anxious in the circumstances of something new and challenging, but I was so disappointed. Lately, due to the problems I’ve been having with my low blood pressure, I have been trying to cut back on the beta blocker that I take twice per day to control my adrenaline response. When things were at their worst with my son’s illness, I was having debilitating panic attacks. I don’t want to relive them by describing them. Trust me when I say that the physical symptoms of a panic attack can be horrible to experience. I’d cut back on my medication at the beginning of this week and was feeling good. I had more energy, better blood pressure and was feeling successful. I even talked about how encouraged I was with my therapist yesterday morning at my weekly appointment. I hadn’t had a panic attack in months. The milder symptoms of anxiety had been kept at bay, even during stressful situations. I felt cured of my anxiety. Really I believed that the coping skills I’d been using including radical positivity and Heart Math had changed my life. I wanted to give myself the credit for living better, rather than rely on medication. I don’t like medications. I hate the side effects.

My experience with physical anxiety symptoms last night really made me feel so discouraged. Being faced with the reality that I can only do so much to control my over exaggerated adrenaline response feels like a failure. Logically, I know that this is a medical condition to be managed with multiple modalities, once of the most important, the appropriate medication. I think I’ve finally gotten to the acceptance phase of my life with anxiety. For years, I’ve posted slides on FB and Pinterest about depression and anxiety being medical conditions. It’s so hard for me to accept and not to see it as a shortcoming. I’m very hard on myself and hold myself to very high standards. (Unresolved issues from being an adopted child. It was hard for me to understand that I was still worthy of love when my mother gave me away.)

I was sharing my discouragement with a trusted and respected coworker that I have much admiration for, today at work. She listened and easily, thoughtfully said “Maybe this is the thorn in your flesh.” I knew the moment the words escaped her lips that they were right from God. I’m sure I had a stunned expression on my face. Her words resonated with me so strongly! Later, in my office alone, I looked up the phrase on my iPhone. I knew it would lead me to the Bible and a verse I was as of yet, unfamiliar with. Google’s first search result took me to There I found 2 Corinthians 12:7.

The New International Version “or because of these surpassingly great revelations. Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me.”

New Living Translation “even though I have received such wonderful revelations from God. So to keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from Satan to torment me to keep me from becoming proud.”

It goes on and on. I’ll admit that although I love and praise God and his Son, Jesus Christ, I don’t know my way around the bible very well. I’d like to. I know that I can apply much of it to my life and grow stronger in my faith. I’ve never been a fan of reading about Satan but this verse spoke to me. Reflecting on the verse, I strongly feel that God is behind all the things in my life. The good, the bad and the annoying. He gives me hope that I will learn to live with and appreciate the challenges and continue to look for the positive in everything. I have more to say about this but need more time to reflect first.

As always, thank you for time and attention. With love and hugs, Rebecca

When you call a transgender person by their birth-name:

My friend and fellow blogger shared this. I appreciate this and wanted to share it with all of you.

Charissa's Grace Notes

Trans people shouldn’t have to “get over” being called by their birth name.

Mistakes are human, but keep in mind that they hurt, especially when it comes to identities.

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I feel weird.

I can’t really put my finger on why I feel spacey and kind of vacant at the moment. I’m not sure if it’s because I’ve changed my medication to try to raise my blood pressure. (It’s not working.) Maybe I feel weird because my blood pressure is low. I usually have a super high-speed brain that thinks fast, multi-tasks well and juggles work/home/me. Right now, I have this overall feeling of distraction. Like something is in the back of my mind and wants my attention but it’s just out of reach. Feeling this way makes me want to be alone and not have to interact with people. Am I trying to tell myself that I need time for introspection, meditation, prayer? Is it my body more mellow because I’ve been mostly clean eating for the past few days. I like answers. I want to know what is going on, why, how to change it. Just being, is not my forte’. I was feeling weird enough after I walked to my car from my office this evening that I just sat there for awhile and cruised around on the internet. I read a lengthy article about heroin addiction and Suboxone. Working in medicine makes me interested in these types of articles. Being someone who loves to learn and know MORE, makes me interested in new topics and treatments and modalities.

I think part of what is bothering me is my recent attempt to ignore behavior that I have witnessed, experienced and don’t like. I am discouraged that I don’t trust the other person enough to be my authentic self with them. They have been known to be limited in their ability to hear me and my needs when I’ve tried to give feedback in the past. So, I’ve decided to use the ignore tactic. To put my energy into relationships that have give and take and common interests. I can’t decide what is hurting me more. The behavior, the lack of emotional connection or my own pussy behavior of not speaking up. I find it hard to be positive with this emotional cavity eating away at my nerves.

Maybe it’s all nothing negative. Perhaps the calm and clarity and discernment I have prayed for is here in my life now. It could be that I am unfamiliar with this awareness and just need to learn to listen.

I’m grateful for the day off tomorrow. I won’t be sleeping in (I can’t do that even if I try) but rather driving the children to school in Bend. It’s great to know that I’ll have a little time to myself to read Keep it Shut the Proverbs 31 Ministries Online Bible Study book before I need to be at the therapist at 10:30. I’ll stand on the stupid scale, but not look. She and I will talk about whatever and as always, I’ll come away feeling like it was time well spent. The rest of the day, until 5ish, is mine to do what I want with. I bet you money I’ll be right back here on my awesome bed, in pjs, by the space heater with a book, laptop, TV remote, a big tabby kitty and my security object. All. By. Myself. Whoooooohooooo.

I appreciate you taking this time to read this post that doesn’t follow my normal format. May you be blessed with love and Light and laughter in your life!

PS> So glad the Lord has plans for me, plans to give me hope and future! XOXO

“May our hearts and minds be open”

My blog post from yesterday included some of the lyrics to David Lohman’s anthem “For All the Children.” Today, I’ll share more. I’m immensely excited to be singing it tonight, at the church I grew up in, with my son singing too, surrounded my other members of the LBGT community and their allies. My son’s allies. My hope for the future is that our church in Bend becomes Reconciled in Christ and we will have a sticker on the door for all to see that we are safe for LGBT people, their families and we love them. I know that we already have that reputation locally, thanks to Pastor Chris and his connections and our presence in a booth at the Pride event in Bend last summer. I have a copy of the bulletin music for “For All The Children”, so that I can learn it easier. It moves me and I find it hard to sing if I focus on the lyrics. The refrain is such a great message.

“O, may our hearts and minds be open, fling the church doors open wide. May their be room enough for everyone inside. For in God there is a welcome, in God we all belong. May that welcome be our song.”

This chokes me up every time. It is a hugely powerful message in such simple lyrics. This song serves as a reminder that God welcomes EVERYONE. I have to admit that I have avoided the soapbox that I feel like I should be standing on. To remind and/or teach people, about God having made everyone in His image. That means ALL people. Regardless of color, sexual orientation, gender identity or any other category that gets persecuted. Close-minded people pick apart their Bible to use it as ammunition that being bisexual, homosexual or transgendered is wrong. Nope. We were made in His image. Remember, love thy neighbor as yourself? These simple, basic teachings tell us how to love and accept others. Instead people hide behind their prejudices and bigotry and spout lies about God’s love. While I’m really looking forward to this evening’s service, I look more forward to the day when every church every where is proclaiming the above refrain. I believe that this time will come. In the meantime, I’ll keep sharing my heart and showing my son that God loves him.

Please, if you have been unable to accept the LGBT community, I pray that you can embrace the concept of loving your neighbor as yourself. It is not our place to judge what/who God has made. The time is now to love everyone. You may have a loved one who is living their life in secret, unable to be their authentic self, because of fear of your rejection. Put the burden down of holding people accountable for something that is not your place to judge.

I could go on and on but need to wind it up and get ready to leave. I leave you with a few more lyrics from “For All The Children.”

“We sing for all the children, that one day they be free; and we sing for generations yet to be, they they never have a reason to doubt that they are blest. May they, in Your love, find rest.”

Dear Lord, I am grateful for you and your all encompassing love. Amen.

With love and more love, Rebecca

“May their faith in You, renew.”

At the moment, and for the last 30 minutes or so, I’ve been overwhelmed by emotions. I’ve laughed, cried and felt so full with Love and Light, I could burst. It’s been a challenging few days. Work is busy and I stumbled into bed on Friday night painful and exhausted, just sure I’d have to lay low all weekend to regroup. I prayed as the night wound to a close that I was grateful for the energy I do have. Living this new life of positivity is so much better than being cynical and expecting defeat. We’ve had another rash of challenges with our teenager about being dishonest about homework, not completing work, blah blah blah. It’s frustrating for him and us and it’s only 5 days until his next therapy appointment where we can talk as a family and get some ideas. In the meantime, we have dialed back some privileges and I’m supervising the homework. While I’m supervising the homework, I’ve cruised FB to keep myself entertained.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve seen the same event post from my dear friend, Leo, show up on my news feed. Leo is one of the truest, most genuine people I have ever known. We’ve known each other a long time. If I recall correctly, my mom encouraged to get to know Leo. (At that time, Leo was living as a woman, following the gender of his body parts, rather than his own identity.) I remember being 19 and very isolated from many of my friends because I was pregnant with Preston. This did not stop Leo from getting close to me. Leo has ALWAYS championed the cause of the lost, lonely and down-trodden. Before we knew if Preston was a boy or girl, we decided rather than call my unborn baby, it, we called the baby, Peabo. This still cracks me up. Unfortunately, many of the other people in my church community were unable to see past the pregnant teenager and see a lonely young woman who needed support. My family did a great job of rallying around me, and my mom has let me know that every unmarried, pregnant young woman who came after me, has been outwardly loved and supported. I’m sure it was the trail my parents would have chosen for me to blaze, but I was strong enough to do it and it was part of my journey. Leo has remained part of the church I attended as a young person and they have done an amazing job of accepting his transition from female to male. I am SO proud of the whole church. My parents still worship there. These two people that taught me to love anyone, no matter what, walk that walk, literally. When some people reach the age of 70, they begin to slow down. Not my mom and dad. One of the photos of my parents that evoke the most emotion from me, is the one that shows them walking in the Portland Pride Event, with Leo and other church members. To be able to show THAT photo to my bisexual teenage son and remind him that those are HIS grandparents, made me so proud of them. There may be some things growing up that they did that I didn’t like, but their teaching me to love everyone, prepared me for Preston’s coming out. I can’t even put into words how much it meant to me that Leo was still part of Preston’s village after all of these years. I couldn’t ask for a better role model for him. To Love God and share that Love is an incredible thing to be known for. Despite only seeing each other at church when I’ve gone home for major holidays, we’ve not seen each other, except for our connections FB. Today, Leo posted an AMAZING picture of him, radiating joy and love, at the Portland Pride Event. He also shared the Event Invite for a special service at my old church in Beaverton, tomorrow night. It is a service that outwardly acknowledges and welcomes, all members of the LGBT community. I’ve seen the invite before but just couldn’t figure out how I would make it work to drive 400 miles roundtrip and likely not be home before 12:30 am, before needing to work that day. However, this time, when I saw the invite I was struck with the feeling that I couldn’t NOT go. I was overwhelmed with KNOWING we were meant to be there. So, tomorrow, Preston and I will go back to the church where he was baptized, and worship and celebrate with old and new faces.

We even plan to be there early to sing in the pick up choir. I’ve watched the song we are going to sing, “For All The Children,” on a YouTube video, several times today. I’ve cried every single time. My favorite part of this song written by David Lohman are these lyrics; “Oh, we pray for all the young lives cut short by fear and shame, so afraid of who they are and whom they love. May the message now be banished that Your love in for the few, may their faith in You, renew.”

I don’t know how to get through to Preston about homework and lying and all that crap. I do know how to show up for him, and stand beside him and share God’s Love and Light with him. Tomorrow night it will be in one of those familiar pews, in a place from my past, with people who share the joy of the hope with a future together, hand in hand in hand in hand and hand.

My favorite Bible verse in this “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, ” plans to prosper and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11.

With love and more love, Rebecca

My peace I give you

For various reasons, I have disordered sleep and very rarely remember any of my dreams. When I do, there is a clear message for me when I wake up. I don’t have to inquire of anyone for dream interpretation, I get their meaning. Like last night’s dream…

A little while ago, I wrote a post about a painful experience that happened in high school. The memories were triggered with a vengeance when I saw that the other person involved had passed away. As the wounded often do, I was only able to think about the wrong that had been done, not the many, many more students that had been impacted positively. I saw a heartfelt tribute on a friend’s FB page whom I’ve only in the past week been FB friends with. It really got my attention. I’m glad that the 36 year old woman I really am, read that post, and not the cynical 17 year old who harbored negative feelings. It felt like a gift to me. A gift of clarity and a different perspective. I crave perspective. This morning, I hid the post about what happened in high school. It’s over but was a huge part of the path I was meant to walk down in my life.

Last night, I dreamt about a memorial service for the deceased. While there I saw the FB friend, J, who posted about the positive changes made in his life due to her influence. I saw the friend, N, who reached out to me yesterday evening out of the blue with the sweetest message when I was having a pity party for one, at the end of the long work day. I saw another friend, E, who has lost a child and yet isn’t bitter and showers everyone with love. I felt a little sad that I live so far away from these people in real life but overjoyed that they were right there in front of me. The service was held near a pool, and everyone had the choice to dunk themselves as a sort of baptism. When the dream started, I was in the pool. As I walked out of the water, I felt new and clean and all past hurts were gone and I felt peace. It wasn’t a fluke of my subconscious, it was a real reminder from God of how life works with his Love and Peace.

I woke up remembering the dream and feeling peaceful. We’ve all heard the cliche’ about feeling like a weight has been lifted. This is different. It feels like a dark, decaying part of me is gone. One of my favorite sayings is “When the past calls, don’t answer. It has nothing new to say.” In this situation, it prompted me to take a closer look at myself and find healing that was a long time coming.

Life is ever changing and I grow daily. I’m so grateful for this opportunity to put this burden down. No doubt there are other grudges I can let go of.

Thank you for being you. May you find love and light and laughter in your life. Love and hugs, Rebecca

Love your children, no matter who they are.

I try to stay away from commenting on stories that have already gotten lots of attention in the press. It’s my goal to come up with new things to say that are coming from my place of wisdom, from my experiences. Daily, I work to avoid judging others. This post that has been bouncing around in my head for a few days has taken me on an introspective roller coaster ride. Sometimes I imagine that the people around me can tell when I am wrestling with being consumed by the desire to write. To me, it’s obvious in my ability to concentrate, or not. The main thought/opinion that I want to convey in this post is an idea I’ve already posted on Face Book and shared with friends.

When I say my children can be anything they want to be when they grow up, I mean that. For those of you are parents, let’s sit here and think for a minute what that should really mean. It’s an age old wish for parents that their child follow their dreams to the career/vocation of their choice. Those careers have changed over the years. Looking back, for women that meant teaching or nurses. For men, they were encouraged to be everything else, except those things. My parents were great about never telling me there were any limits on what I could become someday. In my formative years, that phrase about being anything we wanted to be, seemed to be strictly about occupation. Well, folks, those days are over.

My older son, for years and years, had talked about wanting to fly planes for the Navy. His path in life seemed pointed in that direction. Early on in his initial hospitalization, we realized that his previous career choice was unlikely. It was disappointing and he may still fly plans commercially. During this time of opening up and sharing himself with us, Preston disclosed that he was bisexual. To be honest, I think I know when and where but I have no idea what he said. It wasn’t a momentous occasion or some fancy speech worth memorizing. Now, over a little year later, I do remember thinking “So what?”. The only reason it had much significance at the time was that I felt it was a factor in his suicidal ideation and self harm. We laughed in the car this morning, when I told him that I wanted to write this post, that it was so not a thing! He hasn’t shared with me what he expected that I might say or if he thought I would reject him. I didn’t and that’s what mattered. It was easy for me to tell him I loved him no matter what, because it is true. I would die before making my children believe that they can’t be anything they want to be. (I’m not saying sexual orientation is a choice.) This is true for sexuality, gender, religious beliefs or practices or political preferences. I believe in God and Jesus and their love. This love, shining through me, means I can love anyone and everyone.

Here is the part where I deviate from my typical format and comment on current events. I do not know Leelah Alcorn’s parents but I have heard that they were unable or unwilling to accept their child who was born male, for who she was. I’ve also heard that they believe in God. I have a very hard time relating to them or understanding why they made their child’s life about them and were so selfish as to deny their child a life lived on her own terms. We are made in His imgaae so I rest assured that God loves and accepts all genders (forget the damn binary), sexual orientations, skin colors, cultures and creeds. It is time that we set tradition and old-school patterns aside. We owe this generation unconditional love.

Despite the fact that I was not upset or disappointed about Preston being bisexual, I didn’t have a guidebook for what to say or do, so I winged it. I made sure that he knew that I loved him, and his people, with no judgement. We joked about guys (Lenny Kravitz) that we both find attractive. I spent time with him. Rather than make him come out to the extended family, I spread the news with the example that “This is not a thing. Don’t make it a thing. We love Preston and we expect you to do the same. Whatever your personal feelings on bisexuality, keep it to yourself or you don’t get access to Preston.” We found the local PFLAG group which just so happens to meet in our church building. 🙂 Since I had no exposure what so ever to the bisexual community, I read online as much as I could. We learned about the myths and the actual statistics that refute them. Our church had a booth at last summer’s Bend Pride Event and Preston and I were there all day to meet and greet people. PEOPLE. Not gays, lesbians, queers, bisexuals but PEOPLE!!! It was a great afternoon and I could tell that Preston was happy to be surrounded by a large number of people that accept him. He proudly purchased an HRC shirt that says “Love Conquers Hate”, a pin with the bisexual flag pin and a few rainbow bracelets. I show up for him and will stand by him anywhere he wants to go. It was very moving to be included and bond that day. As the newness wore off and we settled in to our new, improved, mentally healthier life, Preston began to really be himself and wear his own skin proudly. He went with a group of friends to homecoming but his “date” was a nice young man he goes to school with. (Bless his heart, his parents don’t know he is gay and he has been recently rejected by the only family member that does know.) He has participated in the GSA at his school but his attendance is less consistent now that he hangs out with his girlfriend. I look back on the time we’ve spent together where Preston could be his authentic self and I shudder to think that a close-minded parent could have missed out on all those treasured memories. I don’t know how much of his concern about coming out to us had to do with his suicidal ideation but I know part of it did. How would he have ever improved emotionally if I would have put him down that day or walked away from him while he sat in a hospital room? This happens to children every day. The people they rely on for love and safety, say hateful words that burn a scar onto their child’s soul. The rejection and pain they cause may not be overcome and lead to the tragedy, such as with Leelah Alcorn, that they cannot see continuing to life and end their own life, long before they had the chance to live it.

My plea is that all parents everywhere would love their children unconditionally. Listen with open minds and speak with kind words of acceptance. If you hate homosexuality and think it’s an abomination, tough shit! Suck it up and hide that hatred from your child. We cannot control anyone’s actions in this world but our own. We can choose to show love and acceptance and provide a safe haven in the darkness.

My prayers are for all the families out there who are struggling, be it the children and/or the parents. May God show people what is truly important and unburden hearts.

If you are alone and need someone to love and accept you for who you are, I will. Love and hugs, Rebecca