"Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, Who is in you, Whom you have received from God? ... So use every part of your body to give glory back to God..." 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Monday, November 3, 2014

A little Piece of ME: Tough as Nails

Sometimes, to some people, I come off tough as nails. I can see the expression in peoples face when I say things like "That is not an excuse to behave like that." or "OK, bad things happen, I get that, but you don't respond to bad things by being bad yourself."
I have dozens of little things I say, different mantras for not enabling bad behavior from bad circumstances.
Most of the bad circumstances we deal with as adults are from choices we have made or not made. We will still encounter pain in our life that we did NOT sign up for, I understand that very well. Many of us do.

Growing up I couldn't make choices for myself. I counted on my mom to make those choices. Her choices were bad. I trusted my mom to care for me, protect me, guide me, teach me. When she was sober she could do all that. But even that never lasted.
Yes, I am a tough cookie. I had to be. I have serious trust issues. How can you trust anyone when you can't even trust the only person who is supposed to care for you.
I remember being so young, kindergarten maybe even first grade. We lived in a roach infested duplex in Pontiac. I remember my grandma came to see us. My mom was passed out, and I was up on the counters trying to pour my own cereal. There was broken glass from something all over.
Next thing I remember, I was in foster home separated from my mom and my siblings.
As I grew up. I tried to trust my mom. She had nasty boyfriends, we lived in nasty places and she hung out with nasty friends.
The older I got the more I saw other families. This comparison only lead me to understand that I didn't want to live the life I had been dealt with. I began to notice how dysfunctional my family was. Not that my family was without love, but that it didn't frame Love in a healthy function.

Living a better life, requires accepting your past without resentments. It is using your past as a tool to gage and direct you into a better future. I know my mother loved me. We had special moments. It is sad that the hardships in our life will blot out the good memories if we are not careful.
I decided long long ago that I was going to fight all of HELL to overcome my past. I needed to break the generational dysfunction that many around me were caught up in. I didn't want to live around the fighting, the drugs, the alcohol and the chaos that birthed me. Unless you have lived as a child in that HELL you have no idea what damage it does to your heart and mind.
It is a constant battle to overcome. I often make light of it, or turn it into a joke. But it really is not funny.
Just because I choose not to cater to bad decisions does not make me a bad guy. I camped for a few years in the land of Self Destruction. I actually fit in quite well. That is one place everyone will accept you.
In the process of wanting to be loved and accepted I have had to discover as an adult it doesn't matter if people love or accept you. It is none of your business what others think of you.

"Bad Company corrupts good character". It takes courage to let go of relationships that are hurting you. You will never know your full potential if you continue to hold onto relationships that are not edifying you.
It was not that hard to disconnect from my family. Because most of my family was so caught up in addiction they actually walked away from me. They made it easy for me to be honest.
The hardest choice I ever made is when I packed my bags at 18 and moved out. My mom was sitting on the porch sober. "Please Anita, please, you don't have to leave, I am sorry."
There are so many days those words haunt me, even 20 years later.
"What if I stayed?"
"Would she still be alive?"
"Could I have made a difference?"
4 months later, I would visit her in a coma in the hospital, where she never woke up.

I have to live with my past, but my past doesn't define me. My circumstances do not decorate me. I have found it is easier to love people from a distance. I choose to set up healthy boundaries, not to keep them out, but to keep me in a healthy place that I can be most effective to God and my family.
I have to look at myself everyday in the mirror. I see my childhood out of the corner of my eye. I see the destruction, the pain, the hurt and I am reminded to PERSEVERE.

I sat last night with the most beautiful teenage girls to discuss PAIN. I desperately tried to convince them that pain is inevitable, it is how you react to it that takes courage. Every reaction to pain and hurt you make now will effect you later. But don't give up. There is something Amazing God has for you. He is light where there is darkness. He gives beauty where there is ugliness. He gives hope to the hopelessness. He makes beauty from ashes.

I told the girls, How did a NOBODY like me, a nothing, a little trailer park girl, beaten, broken and useless have the opportunity to sit with these amazing girls???? Not by repeating the choices that I was birthed from!
Having the Courage to make a New Path with the Hope that God would direct me and protect me.

Tough as Nails? No, not at all. It is tough not being wishy washy. But to protect myself, my family and my future you too should be tough.
"God Grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change,
The Courage to change the things I CAN
And the WISDOM to know the DIFFERENCE."
I did a few to many squats yesterday. I felt like I had ran a marathon! Austin and I went to the gym.
I focused on abs and legs. While my legs were applesauce as I headed towards the track. 3 miles was the magic number. My legs felt like they had weights on them, made from bubble gum. They were heavy and awkward.
I had made yesterday a leg day knowing that I was going to  bike with Lacy today.
I will leave you with a chuckle.
Lacy is the one I was with when we ran into the FLOCK of Eagles...which turned out to actually be vultures.

Today, we came up upon a WOLF!!!  However, after a couple phone calls with DNR and the park, I am sorry to say it was not a WOLF...rather a Coyote. Coyote is exciting enough but I am sure GLAD I didn't blab about seeing a WOLF like I did the EAGLES!


  1. Anita, just catching up on some of your older posts, and came across this one. You are amazing!! God is now taking all of what you have experienced, to use for His gain and His glory!! Keep on keeping on, my friend....

    1. Thank YOU Steve. Every once in a while I muster up the courage to share. I am always a leery to share that dark stuff. I always pray it is received well and might be an encouragement to someone out there.
      I appreciate you taking the time to comment. Your words are settling to me.