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A Thrilling Announcement

I am thrilled to share with you the publication of my aunt’s amazing memoir I Was More Than One. It is now available in print and eBook through Amazon and other booksellers. This memoir depicts her lifetime battle with mental illness and how it offered her the protection and safe haven needed to cope with unimaginably tragic and difficult circumstances she encountered throughout her life.

That mental illness, Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), is known to most of us as Multiple Personality Disorder.

The idea of multiple personalities at work in someone’s life is so tough to understand, but in Irene’s life, it actually provided a way for her to survive. When my aunt was unable to cope with the despair of sexual abuse by family members and other people in her life who should have been trustworthy, her mind created 16 different personalities, each providing very specific tools to help her survive her tragic circumstances.

Irene Chose to Overcome

At any time, Irene could have played the victim card; instead she chose to be an overcomer.

Her book reads like fiction but is an accurate accounting of her life and her struggle. The reader will experience a whirlwind of emotions as they learn of Irene’s hopelessness when sexually abused as a young girl, her ruined dreams of a successful marriage, and of her despair that caused her to attempt suicide, despite having a young daughter to care for.

But I Was More Than One will not leave you in anguish. Instead your spirit will soar as Irene begins her journey to health and well-being. And when you realize that instead of giving up, she chooses to fight for wellness, you will share her victory as she overcomes her circumstances and is able to integrate those 16 personalities into one whole person.

Done and Done.

For the past year, I’ve counted it a privilege to work with Irene as she did final edits and worked with a publisher to make her dream, this book, come true. As if her battle with mental illness and understanding DID wasn’t enough, it became her goal to capture her journey through a memoir and to have that memoir published. Done and done.

I Was More Than One may not be offered in your local library, so please consider purchasing either the print version or eBook through this LINK. No doubt, you will find as I did, that my aunt’s journey and book offers hope and encouragement in two ways. First, it offers hope for triumph to the many others battling severe mental health disorders. And secondly, it offers encouragement to the rest of us who when struggling with our own issues may need a good dose of it to hang in, not give up, and look for victory at the end of the fight.

Mimi

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I did what?

This past week I did something I’ve never done. It’s something many others have done, especially during the holidays when family and in-laws live relatively close by.

 

Intrigued?

Here’s what happened: I ended up eating dinner twice in one evening at two different restaurants. Sure did.

One appointment for dinner with a friend was already on the calendar when I received a second invitation to dinner with a different friend for that same night. At the same time! This was going to be impossible.

Yet, the solution seemed simple: meet up with the first friend at 4:45 as planned and the second friend at 6. And it worked out beautifully.

Thinking about it made me smile…and brought understanding.

Over the years, several others I know have done the very same thing, either at Thanksgiving or Christmas. When the families of both the husband and wife lived near each other, instead of choosing just one home for the big meal, they would often simply attend two dinners.

To me it was always silly to think of consuming two large holiday meals and to have to do all that running around. It made me grateful that our families were several states away. In my mind, eating two dinners in one evening was unnecessary but as I learned last week, sometimes you’ve just gotta do what you’ve gotta do!

That going with the flow stuff really works.

You might recall that last week’s post talked about how I’ve been learning to be more spontaneous as I go with the flow more and more. This week’s two dinners in one evening was a great illustration of just that. Had I not been learning this valuable lesson, I probably would have chosen to just attend one dinner and would have missed out on the sweet fellowship with my other friends. And readers…if dinner with one friend is great, imagine two dinners with two sets of friends in one night!

Let me leave you with a quote from Charles Spurgeon.

No way I wanted to miss out on enjoying on the sweetest joys of life. And I’m glad I didn’t have to. But just wondering…anyone have any similar experiences of eating two meals in one night?

Mimi

Going with the flow.

Going with the flow…a phrase you don’t often hear me say. And until 20 or so years ago, it was a totally foreign concept to me.

Going with the flow evokes a kind of spontaneity I’m totally unfamiliar with because I’m more of an orderly, scheduled person. The idea of flying by the seat of my pants, without a plan is both mystifying and at times uncomfortable to me.

But a few decades ago, it was lovingly brought to my attention that though being orderly and scheduled can be very good qualities, they can also be confining. They can stop the creative flow. And they can definitely get in the way of a spontaneous adventure.

Change has come.

I haven’t changed overnight, but I certainly have changed over the years and have come to embrace a bit of spur-of-the-moment fun. It doesn’t always come naturally or easily, but I find myself more and more willing to go with the flow of whatever is happening and enjoy the moment.

And just to prove how much I’ve transformed, I’m going to share something with you. Take a look at the two pics below. I’m not sure if you can figure out what’s going on but here’s the back story.

Last week, Greg and I spent the day with Kate. Greg’s plan was to paint Callan’s bedroom and mine was just to hang with our daughter. Knowing we would arrive at her house before she did, I came prepared to take a walk by bringing my exercise clothes: shorts, lightweight tee shirt, sports bra, and unders.

There was just one problem.

While changing into those exercise clothes, I discovered I had brought two unders and no sports bra. What a predicament. I really wanted to get my walk in and no matter how many times I looked through my bag, the sports bra was not to be found.

But since I’m much more able to go with the flow at this point in my life, I got inventive. And if you look again at the two pics, you’ll notice what I did: I turned one of the unders into a makeshift bra!

Once I felt fully covered and prepared, off I went, not at all self-conscious at all and actually feeling pretty good about myself and my great invention.

There’s nothing to worry about.

Really, don’t worry. I’m not going to let this become a regular thing or part of my walking routine. And it’s definitely not a new fashion trend I will be embracing. It was simply me being quick-minded and carefree enough to be able to take my walk.

And to that end, I’m claiming this verse from Exodus 35:35:

The Lord has given them (me) special skills as engravers, designers, embroiderers in blue, purple, and scarlet thread on fine linen cloth, and weavers. They excel as craftsmen and as designers.

I think the verse really fits, too. After all…my unders were blue, somewhat woven, and I designed a new use for them!

I’m just having fun with all this.

It was just a silly situation that I made the best of. I was actually proud of myself for not giving up. I easily could have stayed inside Kate’s nice, cool house playing games on my iPad. But I was willing to think outside of the box, perhaps look a little unusual, and go with the flow to accomplish my goal.

How about you? Do you have any go with the flow stories you want to share?

Love you all, Mimi

Shoulder Taps

A friend forwarded this to me the other day. I knew immediately I needed to share it with others.

Bill Hart shares a beautiful story that so clearly illustrates the frequent “shoulder taps” we each receive by God…taps to get our attention, taps to give us direction, taps to nudge us.

The encouragement is to be aware of God’s shoulder taps and then to take action.

Enjoy this brief 3-minute inspiring video. (By the way, be sure to check out the follow-up story to Shoulder Taps Bill posted a few months later. You’ll also find it on YouTube.)

 

The big, capable hands of God.

All my life I’ve been aware of my large hands…large for a woman that is. No one thinks twice about the large size of a man’s hands but to me, when a woman has large hands, people can take notice.

Her only flaw:

The Seinfeld show even devoted an episode to this subject. Jerry had started dating a very attractive woman whose only flaw was that she had man-hands—meaning her hands were large and coarse like a man’s. Many of the Seinfeld episodes came from the perspective of very self-indulgent characters who superficially put value on the wrong things. But I admit when I watched that one, I realized that having large hands was a very real thing. (Don’t remember? Here’s a very brief CLIP from that episode.)

Over the years, I’ve taken less notice of the size of my hands and instead have focused on what those hands can do. In the photo above you’ll notice just how many puzzle pieces I can hold at one time. This comes in very handy when putting 1000 pieces back into the bag for storage. (tee hee)

Here are a few other things my larger-than-normal-for-a-woman hands can accomplish:

  • Comfort and support when offering a personal prayer.
  • A “big” demonstration of love when holding onto a grandchild’s hand.
  • It’s easier to clean up a mess of spilled cereal. Silly but true.
  • They hold a lot more peanut M&M’s than someone else’s more petit hands. A definite advantage.

While I still at times wish my hands (and feet I might add) were smaller, mostly I’m able to accept they’re simply a part of me and “me” was created by God. And He makes everything beautiful and perfect.

But most importantly…

When I look at my hands, they remind me of the even bigger hands of God—hands able to create, hands able to protect, hands that enable, hands that perform miracles, hands that enfold in love, hands that protect, hands that can be trusted.

So, if looking at my hands turn my attention to God, then my hands indeed are perfect. And I love them. I absolutely LOVE them.

But Lord, you are our father. We are like clay, and you are the potter; your hands made us all. (Isaiah 64:8)

What do the hands of God remind you of?

Mimi

Does God want our kids mowing the lawn? A guest post from Jason Wright.

A friend recently shared this story with me and it’s a good one. Of course, I’m now sharing it with you. Please use this LINK, then skip over the FoxNews flash headlines and get right into the article that follows.

The author, Jason Wright, is a New York Times bestselling author, columnist, and speaker. He’s written lots of books and is a popular speaker. Some of his topics include inspiration, faith, and the lost art of letter writing. Want to know more? Just click HERE.

Let me know what you think about today’s post. I bet you’ll agree with me that this story reminds us some very important truths.

Mimi

Confession Time!

I’m confessing and it pains me to know I even need to.

I almost had a car accident the morning and it would have been totally my fault. Worse than that is knowing I could have caused great injury to someone else or someone else’s property.

Why? Because while driving I had a momentary lapse in concentration. Sure did. After running errands, I was on my way home and simply put, not paying close attention. I wasn’t on the phone, wasn’t listening to the radio. In fact, if you’d have asked me a few seconds earlier, I would have said I was practicing very safe driving.

I only knew I nearly caused an accident when, after turning a corner, I heard a car horn blaring at me, and out of the corner of my eye was able to see a car driving past way too close for comfort.

I immediately felt terrible.

I felt terrible, but I also thanked God for protecting the other person as well as myself. I still desperately wanted to express sorrow to the other driver, but there was no way to make that happen.

I bet you’ve found yourself in a similar situation. Not necessarily while driving a car but perhaps without meaning to, you caused or almost caused harm to someone else through your words, an action, or even a look.

As a believer, most times I think I’m fairly kind-hearted. And since I genuinely care for others, it really is never my intent to cause hurt. Yet I do. Just this past weekend, I hurt the feelings of our youngest grandson. After spending some great time helping him with a game he devised for the adults, I blurted out a clue he didn’t want me to. And that blunder cancelled out all the fun we had had up to that point.

My heart was heavy with grief and I couldn’t apologize enough. I wanted to take back my mistake. And I wanted to erase his pain. But none of that was possible.

In life, we will undoubtedly cause pain to others.

Sometimes on purpose and many times without intent. Likewise, on occasion, we will find ourselves on the receiving end of pain.

While I couldn’t do much more than apologize to Callan, there are a few things we can do when we find ourselves on the giving or receiving end of pain. If we doled it out, we need to apologize, as quickly as possible. Even if we don’t find out until later, we need to do what we can to correct the situation as soon as we realize what we’ve. With sincerity and without blaming the reason on anyone or anything else, our heartfelt apology will go a long way to righting the wrong.

If, however, we find ourselves on the receiving end of a hurtful action, we also have a choice in our own re-actions. It’s so easy to take on the offense, play the victim card, and wallow in the pain. Whether or not the other person ever apologizes or even realizes what they’ve done, just forgive them. Yup. It’s that simple.

Everyone is guilty.

Everyone is guilty of uttering words they wish they could take back. We’ve all inflicted pain…yes, even on purpose. We may even have caused pain without realizing what we did or said was hurtful.

If we are quick to forgive, the pain can hopefully begin dissipating sooner. Often, a conversation won’t even need to take place. You simply forgive in your heart, and move on.

Other times, a conversation will be warranted. These conversations can help the other person understand how their actions caused pain. And they may clear the air about long-held beliefs and feelings. Sometimes we may discover the pain we felt is simply our response to a circumstance. That there is really nothing to forgive. And that the painful response may be a signal to ourselves that we may have an area in our lives that needs the healing touch of the Lord.

So, Callan, if Mommy is reading this to you, I hope you know how sad I felt for disappointing you and messing up your game last week. And I hope you can forgive me. I love you so much and feel terrible that something I did, caused you to feel so sad.

Let’s Pray

Father, the truth is…we both experience and cause pain to others. Sometimes on purpose; many times, without even realizing it. Help us to be attentive to Your voice when you bring these circumstances to our attention. May we be quick to and quick to forgive.

Be kind and loving to each other, and forgive each other just as God forgave you in Christ. (Ephesians 4:32 NCV)

With love…Mimi