5000 miles and a 7 month old puppy

IMG_4048IMG_8952It is early Saturday morning, Bart is getting tired and pulls off of highway 94 at the last rest stop in North Dakota! He needs to catch a few hours of sleep after driving the long hours across Minnesota and North Dakota, on their trip West.  Waking around 4 AM Bart decides to start driving again; Justine hears a strange noise, waking up from a deep sleep, wondering what is happening, and starts pondering what could make that noise? The RV drives well enough to the gas station so she thinks everything is good.

Arriving at  at gas station a few blocks away, Bart fills up with gas, and drives away from the pump when CRUNCH! SOMETHING BIG happens! It feels like a flat tire; hard to move. Justine gets out of the RV looking for a flat tire but doesn’t see one.  She suggests to Bart to try he move the RV so she to can see what the problem is; Bart pushes the gas pedal; the RV moves a foot or two but, the right front tire freezes up! Justine’s guess is the ball bearings in the wheel. Realizing he wasn’t going anywhere Bart backs up as much  as he can so he is no longer on the road to block traffic.

They are broken down in their new/used RV; sitting in the driveway of a gas station at exit 1, of the North Dakota-Montana border and it is snowing! Their front right wheel has locked up and will not move!

They are thankful it is 2016 and smart phones are able to connect to the world: Bart connects to the insurance company with his  app on his phone. The insurance agent he is talking to is not used to the distance between towns in this section of the country and it is causing a them bit of a trouble. She wants to have them backtrack to Bismark, but she isn’t sure the place that they would be arriving at would be open or they would be able to work on the vehicle at all. Bart tries for hours to get in contact with that company the insurance agent wants to send us to, without success.IMG_3523

The police arrive to see if they can help, asking Bart about the possibility of moving the RV out of the driveway of the gas station. Bart explains to him how he has called the insurance company and they have dispatched a tow truck because the RV is stuck; adding to the drama, Justine sees a tick walking up Bart’s neck; she grabs the tick, thinking she doesn’t have tape to stick to it, she throws it out into the snowy weather: Bart keeps on talking to the very nice policeman.

Finally about 8 am, the tow truck arrives with this very young looking attendant; Justine makes the comment, “He is probably older than he looks, and just because he is young doesn’t mean he doesn’t know his job.”

The tow truck driver asks to see if they can move the RV out of the driveway/street and Justine is very thankful when when Bart tries and the RV still won’t move! Yeah! It wasn’t their imagination! (Don’t you just hate when you have a problem with a vehicle and bring it in to get fixed and the problem won’t show it’s self?)

The police force has grown: 3 police vehicles are in the parking lot across the street, waiting; the tow truck driver crosses the street to talk to them about how to block the street.  Bart and Justine aren’t understanding why the police need to block the street, it has been very quiet.  All of a sudden a semi starts moving, and another, and another; THAT must be why they need the police cars!

The police block the street on 3 sides and  the tow truck backs up into the street, hooking up quickly to not block traffic any longer than necessary.  With the RV partially hooked up, he pulls them across the street into the parking lot adjacent to the rival gas station. The tow truck driver hooks us up securely and suggests that he could tow us to Sidney; the people he works with can fix the problem.

Bart and Justine are discussing if they should be towed to Bismark and head back home or continue on West. Justine suggests going home is like giving up. “Forward!”, they agree, West. Hopping into the cab, they are ready for a 100 mile trip in a tow truck: Charlie and Sam ride in the RV by themselves! Surprising, it was a very pleasant trip. The tow truck driver does mention a few times he is 21 and he graduated in 14!

Bart’s first thought arriving in town is to find a motel in walking distance that takes dogs. Then tow truck driver suggests they can stay in their RV over the weekend, on the property; he gets his coworkers to charge the RV battery that lost it’s charge to calm the alarm that is sounding!  Bart asks, and the crew agrees to allow them to stay hooked up to the dealership electricity, Yeah!!!!  What more could they ask for?

Bart and Justine and 2 dogs, find themselves early on a Saturday morning waiting for Monday; Sitting in their RV in a car dealership in Sidney, Montana.

Believing it is God is working for them, bringing Good out of a tough situation, Bart checks his Weather Channel App on his phone and sees the temperature here in Montana is 40 degrees with rain, a Blessing!   The temperatures in Bismark, North Dakota are below freezing! While Learning about the RV, Justine was told to watch for freezing temperatures because the pipes could freeze if they ended up in temperatures below freezing for an extended time. They are very thankful for 40 degrees!

The tow truck driver tells them about a park to bring their dogs to run and play. It turns out to be a beautiful big park with plenty of space to play Frisbee with the dogs.IMG_1068 FullSizeRender

Sam is a 7 month old puppy; he is a big dog, and no one knows what kind of dog he is. He just keeps getting bigger; every time he sleeps, he wakes up bigger! Charlie is about 5 years old and is a lab/Dotson mix and has been a part of the family for 3 years: Charlie needs attention. Charlie is why Bart wanted Sam.

What do you do with a big 7th month old puppy in a dealership parking lot? Bart heads out first to find the park with the puppies; he comes back praising the park. After a few hours, Justine allows Bart to take a nap and she takes the puppies and a 50 foot wire leash with a frisbee to play in the park.  She throws the frisbee and runs with the dogs as they chase after the it. They precede to both grab the frisbee and run together, tugging and pulling and growling and playing. Sam does try to bring the frisbee to Justine to have her throw it again, Charlie doesn’t often want to give it up.

As night falls everyone in the RV gets ready to sleep and they are taken by surprise with the amount of cars driving through car lot all night long; they pray for protection and sleep peacefully all night.

Being new at RVing Bart and Justine wake on Sunday and realize the water doesn’t last long and the sewer fills up fast; it is time for stretching water as far as it will go! Justine makes breakfast and learns how to wash dishes with about a cup of water;  a little while later Justine washes her hair in the sink and is successful in only using a cup of water Yeah!!!  Success!!

The couple spends their time taking the dogs for runs, eating, and talking! With nothing to distract them like tv or radio.  Once the dogs sleep, Bart and Justine relax and talk like they haven’t talked since they were dating 32 years ago. It reminds Justine a weekend in a small motel, in northern Minnesota: it is very Good! They enjoy their time together, leaving all the worries for God’s to take care of!  Bart and Justine find Joy in the moment, trusting God that all will turn out well. This is Heaven on Earth!

Later, Justine takes the dogs for a run in the park; Charlie runs behind her, the leash catches her right leg, the dogs take off after the frisbee, and Justine’s feet go up into the air: Boom, her head and right shoulder hit the ground!

Justine lays on the ground for a few minutes in shock not even caring where the dogs are; gathering herself she decides nothing is broken and choices to confess out loud and believe, “I am healed in the Blood of Jesus!” Justine gets up and raises her hands in Praise confessing again, “I am healed in the Blood of Jesus!” Justine decides she is not going to let this stop her from playing with the dogs so the 3 of them run and play for 30-40 more minutes. On the way home Charlie decides to stop and leave his offering, Justine has the hardest time controlling both dogs and cleaning up after Charlie; pain is growing and she wants to call Bart to come help, but she pushes through.

Arriving at the RV she gives the dogs to Bart, struggles to climb into the RV and tells Bart about the fall: they discuss what the options are. Justine decides it is smart to let her arm and shoulder rest, thinking if she goes to a doctor it would be put in a sling.  Justine keeps confessing, “I am healed in the Blood of Jesus” all day long and by the evening she is able to use her arm. She knows with a good nights sleep she will be good as new.

Bart takes over dog duty for the rest of the day; He also goes looking for water because the water tank is very low. Sam need to go for a walk as evening comes; Bart takes both dogs at 8pm and 10 pm. They are hoping for a good night’s sleep and head to bed.  Sam decides he needs to use the facilities around midnight so Justine gets up, grabs a coat, flashlight, bags to clean up and shoes because clean grass is 2 blocks away and it is dark. Sam and Justine dodge puddles made by the rain, it is messy, Sam has diarrhea! Justine wants to clean up after the dogs to be good citizens. Sam asks out again at 2 and 4; Charlie joins the party at 5 am! Bart takes over at 7am.

Justine’s plan is getting up and ready to make food and get dressed but being awake every 2 hours has put a dent into her plans; she tries to get every ounce of sleep she can squeeze out. Justine jumps out of bed as she hears men arriving to take care of the RV!  She throws clothes on and grabs the dogs for a morning of the unknown.

Two dogs and two people enter the sales room trying to stay calm and not make noise.  Bart takes one dog at a time out for walks trying to keep everyone quiet in this place of business.  Sam loves to speak: he has had the desire to talk since he was born.

Very Thankful, the RV is finished by noon; Bart and Justine give their Thanks to the people who helped them  and they drive off realizing it was a wonderful weekend in Sidney Montana! They continue their trip West! If you ever happen to be brake down in Eastern Montana, Sidney is the nicest place to spend a weekend as plans become interrupted! God Bless the people in Sidney, Montana.

Lessons Learned AGAIN!

IMG_3254How many times do you have to learn a lesson?

Book club met last week to discuss the book, “The Girl on The TRAIN” by Paula Hawkins.  As Justine picked up the  book to read for the May meeting, her head was filled with the thoughts that she ruined the last book club meeting and maybe she should quit going: Justine took hold of that thought and tormented herself for 20 hours about how horrible she was.

The first words spoken about the book were. “I don’t like any of the characters!”

Justine quickly responded, “I like all the characters!” Then the thought of the men in the book came to mind; she knew she didn’t fully tell the truth, she didn’t like Tom much at all and Scott has some issues, but she didn’t mention it.

What she should have done is ask, “What about each character did you not like? Wasn’t Cathy acting as a Good Christian should; helping someone in need or was she just gullible? What about Megan? Wasn’t she just a broken girl struggling because she feared the secret she held would ruin her life? How hard is life with that kind of secret? What about how Rachel still thought about life with Tom after she found out his secret?”

Justine has always loved the books that have the downtrodden rise from the ashes; it gives her hope that she will also rise from the ashes.

Later on in the conversation a fellow reader mentioned,  “The characters have no depth.” Justine opened her mouth standing up for the characters and said,”I was like them just few years ago;  this book club has helped me to change and grow: years before that I was much worse and none of you would have liked me.”

Not one person responded.

Justine remembered, God doesn’t tell you something for you to be condemned; it is Satan or yourself giving you bad thoughts. Even though she knew it was a lie, she couldn’t pull herself out of it: God kept working to set her free!

God was whispering to Justine, “Come to Me!” She went to the computer instead. The next morning, God was pulling her, “Come, spend some time with ME!” The television was a wonderful distraction! God finally had his way during the Easter Service and set her free from her self condemnation during the Praise and Worship!

In the book, Rachel didn’t have any support from people around her; she turned to alcohol to drown out the feelings of insufficiency, and inadequacy: this causes her to shrink and not grow as a person.  Justine hid behind the television: the moment she walked into the house the television was turned on for the noise to block out her thoughts. At night, the radio and the television or tape/CD/podcast to help her to fall asleep: anything to block out the thoughts that fill her mind.

The wonderful thing about learning a lesson again is it sticks with you a little bit longer. Today, Justine was leading a Bible Study and she talked to much and didn’t give the other people much chance to speak; she had the chance to condemn herself all day again, But she  remembered the lesson she just learned and asked God to cover her mistake and let it go.

 

 

Forgive Me!!!!

IMG_3164I am still a beginner at this Blog thing;  God is leading me, mistakes will be made: Forgive me.

I was not expecting to have to decide if a comment was real or spam; many comments were left after my “January 2016” post: how does one tell if it is meant for me? I was about to delete all the posts thinking they were for someone else until I ran into a few that mentioned my blog’s name; WOW, it was for me, thank you.

I decided many posts were for someone selling something and talked about a messed up site, I am not selling anything. Some posts did not make sense, some offered help, and some commented that I had a very nice blog; good information and well written.  One post asked how to stay in contact: I was a bit taken-aback. I kept some and deleted some; I believe I deleted some good posts that said I wrote well: who am I that someone could appreciate my writing?

It is a learning curve, if you are the person who asked how to stay in contact with me;  an email account was set up with this blog, I just have to find it, I will post it.

Bart looked at my blog today for the first time; he said he liked it, and thought it looked well done: it made me realize some of the deleted posts might have been talking about my blog. Forgive me for not  believing you. God Bless!

Just for Fun!

Winter is coming and going this year: we have sticky snow! I love taking pictures of Nature up close!IMG_3729

 

 

Pride and Humility

PRIDEIMG_0969

Do you hear yourself? “I am older, you should listen to me, I know more!”

Can not an older person learn something from a younger person: see life in a new way? I have lived a different life and learned different things that are TRUTH! They don’t all pertain to you but some of them do: are you TOO PROUD to listen?

In my latest case of dealing with a Proud person, I got shut down: BOOM!!! You are not aloud to talk! I tried again and: BOOM!!! They stopped me again, my knowledge has no merit, according to them.

Matthew 23:6-12 They Love their Place of Honor at banquets, and the chief seats in the synagogues, and respectful greetings in the marketplaces, add being called by men, Rabbi. But do not be called Rabbi; for One is you Teacher, and you are all brothers. And do not call anyone on earth your father, for One is you Father, He who is n heaven. And do not be called leaders; for One is you Leader, Christ. But the greatest among you shall be your servant. And whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted.

HUMILITY

I Corinthians 13:4-5 LOVE is patient, love is kind, is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong.

This is for those who don’t believe Jesus talks to people:

John 14: 16-17 And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever, the Spirit of Truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it does not behold Him or know Him, you know Him because He abides wiIMG_0501th you, and will be in you.

John 10:16b I must bring them also, and they shall hear My voice; and they shall become one flock with one shepherd.

John 10:27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.

I have the Spirit! I hear His voice!

Romans 8:14 For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.

Galatians 516 I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not carry out the desire of the flesh(senses)

Galatians5:18 If you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the Law.

Galatians 5:22  The fruit of the Spirit is Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such there is no law.

II Corinthians 5:7 Walk by Faith, not by sight!

Galatians 5:25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.

I will be writing  how I started to Understand it was God talking to me; I had no concept it was God the first time I heard HIS VOICE, I thought I was arguing with myself, I didn’t listen or obey: I got into big trouble!

 

My desire is to Walk by the Spirit every day all day long, it is not always easy; my flesh, my desire wins out sometimes even though my greatest desire is to follow God and His Spirit!

Paul says in Romans 7:19 The good that I wish, I do not do but I practice the very evil that I do not wish.

The answer

Romans 8:1-2  There is therefore now NO condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set me free from the law of sin and death.

 

 

 

January 2016

Happy Late New Year,

It has been about 6 years of Transformation and Miracles!

Five and a half years ago we Began a new life in a new church: God moved us to begin this process of Transformation. Michelle graduated high school in 2012 and started at the community college.  She moved out a year later and has been earning her keep and paying taxes ever since. At this point in time she is working at a dry cleaners and is setting her hopes for managementIMG_0889.JPG .

Bart is still working at the same place; the name has changed 3-4 times and it is in the process of changing again: new owners. For a year or two Bart was working half-time in Texas; he was racking up the frequent flier miles and motel points. This last year he finally said he had enough and said, “No more travel!”

We  had to take down our beloved Maple tree out front.  It took out 2 cars; one was Michelle’s bug anIMG_3231d a neighbors car; we didn’t want to lose the house. We put in a fireplace insert to heat the house with the beautiful tree we loved; it all happened at the perfect time as the temperatures dropped to some of the most brutal winters in a long time.  Bart has taken up cutting wood with a chainsaw and splitting trees with a maul; he has worked very hard on some 5 foot in diameter pieces of wood, sometimes spending more energy splitiIMG_0819.JPGng the wood than the heat they gave heat but he gained muscle!

Justine has had the most change in the last 6 years. SIMG_0969ix years ago she was thinking about getting  a cane to help her stand up; anytime she walked 1/2 mile she would loose feeling in her left leg.

BUT GOD!!! It has been 5 years since God gave her a miracle of 5 new vertebra to replace the ones that were broken and fused in her accident 30 years ago. She has been SET FREE from constant pain that she lived with for 28 years! She asked the doctor, “Can atrophied muscle get stronger?” The doctor said, “they can, if their are nerves connected to the muscles.” Justine asked God, “Please connect the nerves (that were cut in the scoliosis surgery in 1976) back to the muscles.”

God has been at work to grow nerves and they are still is growing and connecting to the muscles. This has led Justine to run, she couldn’t run before because it takes back muscles to lift legs and arms, who knew?  She has done two 5k races and runs between 1-5 miles most every day. Justine no longer limps or leans forward; she stands strait and tall and confident. Her mother told her last year, “You are no longer my handicapped child!”

Emotional changes: Justine has been set free from the nightmare of her childhood and is becoming a new person! She is trying new foods and driving places like St.Louis and Louisville to Volunteer at Joyce Meyer Conferences; Watching God at Work! Justine has also started to volunteer at the Kalamazoo Gospel Mission with the children. Justine Believes God has a plan to use her to help broken women become the people God has planned.

Zachery, Michelle’s dog, is 18 years old and still hanging on; I believe he will make this Christmas but I believe it will be his last. Charlie, was brought to us by Michelle 3 years ago; he is 5 years old and he arrived with many emotional issues; he has now found a home and security.  Sam has just joined our family; he was suppose to be Australian Shepard/Border Collie and has turned out to also have some Shar-pei in him, lots of extra skin and sharper hair.  He is beautiful and sweet  and talkative about 4 months old at this point. We still have Fluffy, Michelle’s cat who might join her this next summer and Grace, the fat cat who hunts very well!

We have a full house, becoming very busy at times. Happy New Year  to all  and God Bless each of you with Great Health, Love, Joy, and Peace in Jesus! Amen!

2 messed up people

IMG_7616 (1)At the end of my 9th year of life my mom married her second husband who eventually adopted us: he wanted to hug me and have me reciprocate. What he received was a loud scream!

Mom asked, “Has he done anything?”

I had to respond, “no.”

Mom responded, “You are not aloud to scream when he hugs you.”

HE hadn’t done anything inappropriate but I didn’t want to be hugged: the problem was she didn’t ask the next question!

One day that first summer, I approached mom after dad returned to work: I said, “Mom, now that you are married and don’t have to work anymore, you can spend time with me.” She stood there with a look of shock on her face: the next thing I knew she had gotten a job selling Tupperware.

While my mom was visiting us in 2012 she confessed to me the thought that ran through her head at that moment was,

What have I done!?” (her first husband our dad had kidnapped us)

Sadly, I walk away, realizing I could not trust her! ( I needed her )

Our disconnect showed up a day in 7th grade; my mom was going to pick me up after school, by the light pole, because she was going to be out and about that day. Waiting after school for my mom, feeling insecure, and thinking people were watching me: I walked home. I truly thought I could get home faster than it would take for her to arrive.

Mom told me that she was frantic looking for me; not finding me, she even went into the school, to my locker, asking kids about me, and didn’t find me! I understand now that she was having fear of kidnapping: a flashback to the day she arrived home and everyone was gone!

Soon after that we moved to a new town during my first semester of 7th grade; within weeks of moving we found I had scoliosis: I returned from Christmas brake with a Milwaukee Brace. My mom drove me 90 miles every 2 months to have my spine checked; unbeknownst to my mom, I played sex games with my barbies on the floor of car as she tried to talk to me: I ignored her.

One spring or summer day goofing off with my brother, my mom walked into the garage and asked, “Would you like to talk to a counselor?” not responding, I stood there shocked and unsure; thinking, “What did she want me to do or say?” (This is years before I told her I had been abused.)

She waited for a moment and said, “If you won’t talk to me, you won’t talk to a counselor!” and she walked out.

How many people live this disconnect everyday of their lives? People injured reacting to their injures and causing more injury to  the people they love the most. WHAT IS THE ANSWER? JESUS AND THE BIBLE!!!! LISTEN AND OBEY!!!

 

beginning of freedom

This is the first email I wrote about being set free; I was given the word “SHAME”to claim! I see miss spellings and  other things that could be corrected but it is the email I sent 5 years ago.  Much has changed since then.  I will add updates later.

hi everyone. i don’t know if I am the only one who is realizing this but it has been 40 years since we left California and found a safe haven at the farm. I started out the week doing a Bible study in Isaiah. The question asked about 40:23 “those who hope in me will not be disappointed”. My Bible says, “will not be put to shame”. When I read this, the pictures I have had in my mind for the last 40 years came to mind and stayed. God didn’t give me this shame but He showed me this is what I have been feeling for the last 40 years. I am not good enough.

I had words to put to the picture of Keith taking me to a boys bathroom in the park and asking me to take off all my clothes and stand there so he could look at me one last time. The picture in my head is of me standing there fearing someone was going to walk in and see me standing there naked. I do realize this is not what I saw but it is a better picture than the one I actually saw of a teen boy looking at me probably doing something.

I guess what is good is I was given a word to go with the picture. This is my shame! I am believing this is going to leave me now that I have put words to it and cried over it. I also have the before and after pictures from my surgery as my shame also. I stood there in underware pushed down as far as possible as they took pictures of my naked body from all 4 sides.

So I thought it was leaving but other thoughts have surfaced like for the first time I started to wonder how I knew how long we were gone. I know we left in the fall when I was 7. I know we were in Minnesota on a corn farm with a lake for Christmas and New Years. We were all sick sleeping in sleeping bags on the floor with diarrhea. I also remember listening for the chime of the church bells calling for the new year.

I don’t remember having a birthday. I remember living on a dead end street and eating pent butter and jelly sandwiches out of a Uhal until the police came and made us leave. I do remember trick or treating with Keith at the 7 /11. I do know when we arrived in Thief River Falls it was March and almost Easter. So I guess we had a birthday go by.

I think my life has settled down enough to take care of the hurts of my past. It is amazing how anniversaries have meaning. I remember the first church service in at the farm when everyone mobbed my mom after the service ended and we kids were left wondering what we were suppose to do. my guess is this year Easter will have more meaning. Healing is coming. that little girl is still hurt. Healing comes in layers. I think talking with the people who went through this with me will help. The little bit we did when we were together last year was hard but needed.

Luv u all. Tell me what you think. Justine

Christmas 2015

The Important Stuff!

We had a wonderful Christmas together: my husband, my daughter, my self, Zachery, Charlie, Sam, Grace, and Fluffy!

The house didn't get clean, the Christmas cards were not sent,
Christmas dinner was eaten on the couch 
watching a movie instead of on the table with the good dishes; 
is any of that important? Not really. 
Time together is!

We did put up the lights outside especially the Cross my husband made for me years ago and found a wonderful Fraser fir, live tree at The Home Depot, which is still green and fresh 4 days after Christmas;

it was decorated and we even put a Christmas village under the tree.IMG_6850 (1)IMG_7127 (2)Discussion and Revelation:

After dinner, my daughter and I were talking about, how my volunteering at the Kalamazoo Gospel Mission during Christmas vacation, for only 10 hours a week wore me out. She gave me a glimpse of the life she remembered as a teen coming home from school and find me sitting on the couch in-front of the TV; she remembers 3 days of nothing, absolutely nothing being done, and then energy would be found to spend 1 day doing housework, preparing meals or going shopping.

When she talked about not being able to do anything; my body laid down often, because it takes back muscles to sit up; scoliosis and the surgery cut the nerves and atrophied the muscles.  I Didn’t understand why my body was so weak; I exercised and lifted weights! It was amazing how my body had one good day a month full of energy to get everything done that needed to get done; of course everything didn’t get done.

Today, God is healing my body so instead of spending 3 days on the couch and one day up and moving;  NOW my body has 5 -6 days of working with one or two days of rest! God is so Good!

 

 

Ups and Downs

Yesterday we were thinking it was the end of Zachery’s life.  He lay still long enough I called my daughter to let her know the time was arriving to say goodbye. Michelle drove over, we cried, we talked, Michelle groomed Zachery and held him in her lap. Something inside of Zachery started to come alive again and he started to eat.

Today, he made himself get up and eat and go outside. He even put himself to bed with my husband, even though I am still up. I don’t know how much longer Zachery has left to live, but spending his last moments at home with family is  an act of LOVE!!!

 

Zachery rallied

Zachery rallied

Thinking it was the end of life.

Thinking it was the end of life.