Belief, Faith, Family, Love, Sadness

Grief and Love

On February 7, 2022, my only son died. I don’t know why, the autopsy did not provide that answer. In fact, we are still waiting to learn what could have gone wrong. Perhaps, we will never know. Would knowing even quench my grief or would it just leave me wondering what I could have done to stop it?

My son was the joy of my heart, he was an amazing kid. Though he had autism diagnosis (vaccine injury) and epilepsy (another vaccine injury), his heart was so big! He loved so big! My heart grew bigger because of him. His challenges made me draw closer to God for answers and guidance, but after countless treatments, divorce and relocation, I arrived at acceptance. Acceptance that he would always live with me and I would always live with him. I was his person and he was mine.

This only came to me two weeks prior to his death, which was right around his eleventh birthday. I had finally come to accept the love that he always had for me and readily embraced it with my whole heart and soul. Though I had always led him by the hand, I had finally accepted that he would now lead me. And he did.

There is so much to write and say about my sweet boy; eventually I will. But today, I am writing about the grief and the gut wrenching sadness I feel because he is no longer here for me to drive to therapy everyday or to drive his sister nuts. I grieve because he never had the opportunity to reach his fullest potential. I grieve because everyday going forward won’t include him. Trips we plan to take and adventures we are sure to have will not include him. I grieve because my heart loved a little boy that was only with me for a little while. I grieve because I just miss him.

I know that he is perfect in the arms of Jesus. I know that he is doing all the things that he was unable to do here on Earth. I know that he is waiting to be reunited with me someday. But I also know that I will never be the same because I loved him and he loved me. That piece of my heart that is now broken will never be repaired because it can’t, it belonged to Ethan Evan and always will.

My life will never be the same nor should it be, but it will forever be changed. I can only hope, for the better.

“The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. “ Psalm 34:18

Always Ethan’s mom,

AngelaChristine

Belief, Faith, Family, Holidays

Why I No Longer Celebrate Christmas

I’m sure that this post will come as a bit of a shock for most people who know me personally as well as those who read this blog, I will no longer be celebrating the holiday known as Christmas. My reasons are simple, there are no scriptural references to this holiday and two it is rooted in idolatry and not the gospel. Christmas was first celebrated in 336 AD, three hundred and three years after the church of Christ was established in Jerusalem. https://www.christianity.com/church/church-history/timeline/301-600/the-1st-recorded-celebration-of-christmas-11629658.html

Sure, I celebrated Christmas as a child with my family. I have the fondest memories of Nana(my mother’s mother) coming over first thing in the morning to open gifts and have breakfast with us. I remember waking up before the sun came up just to see what was under the tree for me and to make sure that my brothers didn’t receive more than I did. Oh and of course there was Christmas dinner at my other grandmother’s house every Christmas evening, until we moved to Florida. So many beautiful memories are tied to that holiday. But when I shifted from child to adult, the real celebration was my mother’s birthday. She was actually born on December 25.

It’s been thirteen years since her death and the idea of celebrating another commercial holiday without her is just not something I am looking forward to. If you’ve read this far, you’re probably saying to yourself, what about your children, don’t you want to make the holiday special for them? Of course I would, but what made this holiday special for me and for others is the joy of family. They don’t have that. There is no family nearby to celebrate with. Not even close friends. There are no gifts from their grandfather, uncles or cousins to put under the tree. It is once again just us.

If I were to decorate the tree and plan out the day, the only people that would be present would be just us three. There will no gifts or invitations to celebrate the day. Always us. While I could create traditions of our own, what would be the point? Their only memories of the day they don’t have to celebrate would be of their mom stretching herself and running herself ragged just to place a few gifts under the tree. What would be different then about that day than any other day of the year?

So yes, we will create a new tradition and that it will always include spending time together, traveling and perhaps doing something that we have not done previously. It might even be a day of watching family movies and cooking and eating family meals that we prepared together. But it will not be spending like crazy on a day that has absolutely nothing to do with my salvation or theirs.

I will never criticize anyone for celebrating Christmas, because it is certainly a personal choice. But as for us, we will abstain and do something else. We will rejoice and be glad that Jesus came to earth and died on the cross for our sins and rose from the grave so that we might have salvation. And that is worth celebrating!

In Christian love,

AngelaChristine

Faith, Family, Reflections

Why Isn’t He Enough?

When my life doesn’t reflect Jesus Christ, I have to ask myself why isn’t he enough? I am sure that most Christians have asked themselves that question at some point on their journey too; so in that respect I am not alone. But why? What keeps us from full devotion and commitment, when Jesus has given us salvation through the shedding of his blood. How do we look at the Messiah, who bore all the sins of the world on the cross and still think or act like he is not enough?

Obviously, I know that he is more than enough, that he is perfect and divine. A light so bright that the world could not contain him. But when I sit down at the end of day and question whether my life truly reflects him, what I see, at times is not his reflection but my own.

It is not easy being a single parent, let alone the single parent of a child with special needs. While also trying to parent a child who just wants to live a typical pre-teen life but can’t much of the time because of how much she has to help me. I think often of how different my children’s lives are than my own upbringing. I was raised with both my parents in a solidly Christian home, yet somehow that is not the life that I have managed to provide to my children. I ask the Lord daily to help me, to guide me to do all the things that I am required to do. But I have to admit, there are times that I am inadequate and fall short.

I know, I can never be perfect, but I can be complete through total surrender to the will of Christ. It is that space between my will and his will where I challenge him and make him not enough. I wrestle with submission, not that I know better or that I can do better, but that I haven’t learned to trust. You see, I am the one that will not leave my burdens on him, because in my mind, I should have to live with the consequences of my choices. That’s right, my choices, that were most likely not rooted in him.

I am grateful for a Savior who forgives and redeems and knows in my heart, that I love him. As a wild horse has to be broken in to be ridden, it is my prayer that from this day and for as many days as I have left, that I will finally surrender my all and make him enough.

The Bible says, “Let is hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful.” Hebrews 10:23

In Christian love,

AngelaChristine

Belief, Faith, Family, Mindset

Long Overdue

Joy in the Lord

It occurred to me that I haven’t written in quite some time. Not because I can’t but because I haven’t nurtured this space as I have needed to do. In this season of busyness, it was important for me to sit down for a few moment to capture a few thoughts, particularly around the topic of consistency.

Two weeks ago, I made the conscious decision to walk away from my 23 year career, well actually almost 24 years in the pharmaceutical industry. There are several reasons, the primary one being what is happening in the world today. It has been quite painful to watch regulations not be followed, people not receiving full informed consent and governments across the world manipulating its citizens to take a medical intervention that they do not want. This has been excruciatingly painful to see. And let’s not even forget about trying to open the eyes of the people I love and care about to these crimes. It has been utterly heartbreaking.

But to my original point about being consistent in all things. Consistency in my walk with Jesus, growing my faith, pouring into my business with godly intention and raising up my children to love the Lord will all of their very beings, is what I can do. And one important piece of that is writing this blog. So, while I may touch on different topics or ideas, my heart is always to serve and it is my prayer that what I put out into this world serves.

In my opinion, there is no greater gift that I can give than to serve in love.

In Christ,

AngelaChristine

Belief, Faith, Family

While I Wait

Soar Like Eagles

I want to tell you that everything is okay, but if I did, I’d be lying.

I want to tell you that my leg is all healed up and I’m back to life as usual.

I also want to tell you that now that I am no longer receiving round the clock care, that I’m managing it all, but again, I would be lying.

You see on Friday, when the weight of it all hit me, I broke down. I cried like I haven’t cried in a while. I even screamed, asking God, why does it have to be this hard? When my daughter broke down and cried and asked me the same question and I couldn’t give her an answer that a 12 year old would fully understand, I cried even more.

Friday, was a sad day for my family. Sorrow filled. But then we woke up on Saturday morning to the most glorious sunshine and weather. It was God’s promise that mercies are made new every morning. It was also Him telling me that He sees us and we are not forgotten. It was Him hugging us. I so desperately needed that hug.

Then, today as we sat and listened to the message preached by my dear brother in Christ, Chad Garett, about sorrow, “ The Sorrowed Soul”, it resonated so deeply because of all the emotions over the past two days. He had no idea, how much I needed that message; not because it captured all of my emotions right now, but because there is absolutely nothing that I am experiencing right now in this moment that Jesus does not understand and cannot relate too. Every tear, every pain, every doubt and every fear, he feels and is moved by. “For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.” Hebrews 4:15.

So, while this weekend has had a lot of tears and sorrow, I am choosing to trust that God is holding me and my children. “But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.”

In Christian love,

AngelaChristine

Belief, Cancer, Faith, Family, Mindset

Standing In That Space

Valley of my life

What I try not to remember, is exactly what I need to remember, not to relive it or even give it a place in my life, but to finally say “I am done, these memories no longer serve me.” It is time to say goodbye and bury them once and for all.

Since my surgery six weeks ago, bits and pieces of past trauma have crept up into my brain. Almost taunting me to give up a little more of my protection, my shield, my independence. These feelings are so foreign to me now because I have built up a hard shell almost impenetrable to anyone even my children.

At some point in my childhood or maybe as a teenager, when I don’t remember, I made a decision, perhaps self-consciously or otherwise that emotion and feelings were for the weak. Maybe it started when my childhood friend, James committed suicide when I was in the ninth grade. That was my very first experience with death. I can remember that day, like it was yesterday, the kick in my stomach when the words rolled out of my dad’s mouth.

Or perhaps it was the following year, when the funniest guy in my class, Mark, was killed in a car accident, while joyriding with some of our classmates. He was the only in that crash, who did not survive. Then there was my dad’s promotion that required him to relocate at the start of my junior year in high school. New state, new school, no real friends. Once again, another layer of protection applied.

Somehow I managed to get through college and graduate school and start my career before the people closest to me began to die. My aunt Martha, Nana and the ultimate blow, my mom. Of course by the time my mom died the shell around my heart was titanium or some substance that only God could pierce, but only when I wanted him too.

What I have determined is that I do a great job of compartmentalizing to prevent myself from collapsing into the sheer pain of it all. To allow myself to feel that pain would leave me vulnerable and open in a way that would let the world know that I am really not as strong as I want everyone to believe that I am.

I am at my core, the woman that always wanted someone besides my mother and father to say everything is going to be just fine, with conviction. For my husband to say you have a purpose, a hope and a future designed by God. He (God) is standing in the doorway waiting for me to finally give it all to Him.

Though my legs are still wobbly and weak from these weeks of recovery, I will trust in Him. His plans for my life. I will stand in that space until all the pain and sadness have been stripped away from my heart and my mind.

For I know the plans, I have for you declares the Lord, plans for wholeness and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11

In Christian love,

AngelaChristine

American, Belief, Faith, Family, Parenting

Stand In Faith For Your Posterity

Children Playing

As a Christian, we know that this world is not our home, but in America we have now reached a place where Christians are no longer respected but are ridiculed. In some cases, downright hostile to the point of shuttering churches and organizations that reflect our faith.

We cannot even send our children to the government schools without worrying about what they will be exposed to in the curriculum. Then there is the issue of bodily autonomy. The government schools believe that if your child is there, they must be accepting of whatever is taught, passed or mandated. No! Morals and values should be taught at home.

This is not the America that I grew up in. My childhood is filled with memories of parents, teaching and taking their children to church. Teaching them about God and how to live a life for Christ. With many of the teachers holding similar ideals. Though, I am now an advocate for homeschooling and believe it is ideal, I know that for some parents that is a nearly impossible undertaking due to work, life and finances.

So, I suggest this, create the community amongst the people whom you share the same ideals/values, and create the learning environment that you want for your children.

Now is the time to stop asking, mother may I and begin to establish the communities across the country that will best suit your children now and for years to come.

They are your children, given to you by God our Creator to glorify Him in this world. You do not need the government’s permission to parent and raise your children. But you do need, God.

Stand in faith for your posterity (children).

“Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb a reward.” Psalm 127:3

In Christian love,

AngelaChristine

Cooking, Family, Health Bites

Butternut Squash Soup

October 13, 2021

Growing up, I was blessed to have two grandmothers, who not only cooked but cooked well. I can’t say for certain that I inherited my ability to cook from them, but I’d like to think that their culinary skills did rub off on me just a little bit. Only sharpened by the necessity of cooking for a special needs kid and my own autoimmunity.

As the weather cools, I feel more inclined to cook heartier meals that reflect the produce of the season. So, tonight I took all of the butternut squash that I had in the freezer and combined it with leftover rotisserie chicken along with the aromatics of garlic,yellow onions, celery and carrots in the Instant Pot. In addition to the salt and pepper, I added organic poultry seasoning to amp up the flavor. And to add depth to the chicken broth, I squeezed fresh lemon juice into the broth before sealing the pressure cooker.

Shazam! That soup turned out to be a flavor explosion in the mouth. As I ladled all three bowls it occurred to me that in addition to the fresh parsley, I should a little more fresh lemon juice to each bowl. It was delicious! My only regret was that I didn’t prepare a gluten free bread to accompany the soup.

Though I didn’t follow a recipe nor did I write down the steps I followed to make the soup, it was made with love and it was wholesome. In my very humble opinion, I believe that love is the main or primary ingredient for cooking. Without it, anything you make falls flat.

In Christian love,

AngelaChristine

Cooking, Family, Wellness

What’s On Your Dinner Plate Tonight?

Dinner 10.12.21

Though not at 100%, I still felt strong enough to cook us a decent meal for dinner. While cooking may be laborious at times, there is just something special about cooking for the ones that you love.

Since frozen salmon is quite expensive at the moment, I decided to buy wild caught canned salmon and turn it into what people used to call it here in the south “croquettes.”

If you want the recipe there really isn’t one, because I just make stuff up and then after I make it, I say to myself, “you should have written it down, so you can make it again.” I’ll make it again and it will be slightly different because I will inevitably have an ingredient that is missing and will have to do a substitute. But hey, this is just the way I live. 😂😂

Salmon croquettes, made with fresh onions, celery, red bell pepper, about two teaspoons of honey mustard, one egg and about a half cup of cassava flour.

I steamed the petite green beans and finished them with coconut aminos and garlic, sautéed the squash, with onions, red bell pepper, parsley, oregano and tomato paste. I’d say it turned out well, because we have no leftovers. 😋 Cooking is an expression of love.

In Christian love,

AngelaChristine

American, Belief, Faith, Family, Freedom

Love Thy Neighbor

It is not my responsibility to save you, only Jesus saves. “And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.” Acts 4:12. It is not my responsibility to spoon feed you all of the data and research that I have spent countless hours doing, but I do it because I love you. “You shall love your neighbor as yourself, there is no greater commandment than these.” Mark 12:31. It is not my responsibility to show you the beauty of our Constitutional Republic, only you can pick up a copy of our Declaration of Independence and read it. “We hold these Truths to be self-evident, that all Men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness- That to secure these Rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just Powers from the Consent of the Governed, that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these Ends, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its Foundation on such Principles, and organizing its Powers in such Form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

It is not responsibility to make you believe that God loves you and sent his one and only son for your salvation. ” For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16. It is not my responsibility to make you understand that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit. “Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.” I Corinthians 6:19&20

It is my responsibility to share the good news as Christ commanded over 2000 years ago. But acceptance is up to you. ” All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold I am with you always.” Matthew 28:18-20.

In Christian love,

AngelaChristine

Love the Neighbor