Sunday, October 21, 2012

Letters From Heaven: The Accidental Child

Angelica Angelique "Gelibean" Snowden's life was no different than any other child's. Her mother adored her, her grandmother could hardly bear the sight of her, her uncle wanted her out of the picture altogether; and a woman who didn't know her at all, was unnerved by the presence of her! You see? A normal dysfunctional family! Not only was her birth unwelcomed, her very conception was a crime! And, thus, you have the premise for LETTERS FROM HEAVEN.

But, let's examine this for a moment. Can you imagine a child being born under such complicated circumstances into such a complex family? It sounds like a book just waiting to be written, doesn't it? Well, guess what? It is a book, and I wrote it!

The fact is, children are born under such circumstances into these situations every single day! If born in Africa this way, the child and the mother may be put out to fend for themselves. Or, the child may be left by the side of the road to die! If this happened in China, the young mother would be expected to commit suicide to "save face," to avoid bringing shame on the family, though she had no control over the shame brought on her own person. Again, in Iran, the mother and the child might very well be put to death; whereas, in Malaysia, the child might very well be sold (along with her young mother) into domestic or--even worse--prostitution slavery. But, what happens to the man in all of this? He blames the woman for his crime--she came on to him, she flirted with him, she showed too much shoulder, etc.  He barely gets a slap on the wrist (if anything at all), while the young mother (and the child, if it's allowed to live) suffers lifelong rejection and/or abandonment from their family and lifelong shame, if not outright death!

Luckily for Angelica, she had a mother who loved her with her very life! In fact, she loved her beyond life! And, no, this isn't a vampire or ghost story! It is simply a love story of an unbreakable bond between a mother and her daughter that is absolutely out of this world!

Angelica was fortunate enough to have been born an extremely bright child; yet, unfortunate enough to have been born to a family who'd rather she'd not been born at all; except for her mother (who was a 15 year old Catholic without a husband), raised in an aristocratic household in the old south in the 50's. Are you getting the picture?

Now, to add pudding to the pie: Angelica was born of rape and of another race to a mother who was sent away (to get rid of her); only to return nine months later with her in her arms. Can you imagine the shock to Angelica's grandmother? And as the Old Dame would put it, "....a horse of a different color!" I mean, we're talking rape, old money, old south...I do believe you get the picture! Now, get this picture: Angelica's mother will die within a few years of her birth! WHAT IS ONE TO DO?!

Even after Angelica's mother dies, her grandmother, Grand Myra, will continue for years to come to stoically dismiss her presence as if she was a mere apparition; her young uncle would seek to rid the family of her at every turn; and a woman who was first fearful of her presence (but who learned to love her every bit as much as her mother did) became her strong tower.

In spite of all the obstacles presented because of her daughter--and because of life, itself--Ava Lorraine (Angelica's mother) would stop at nothing to give her daughter the most love and the best life that any mother could give...even if it cost her her life! And, you know what, that's the kind of love every mother should give her child! And, don't misunderstand me...I mean EVERY CHILD!

A child doesn't have a say in how he or she enters into this world; they have no say in how they are conceived...none say at all! Those of you who believe in abortions, then that's your belief. It's NOT my belief, but I'm not knocking your belief. This is what I am knocking...that women wait until the 5th and 6th month to have an abortion! You're not going to convince me that you don't have some idea of what you're putting that human being inside of you through at that point...the TORTURE, plain and simple. You might convince yourself in the earlier months that it's just a "fetus" and not a human being, but at the 5th month and on....go somewhere with that nonsense!

What I really want to talk about though, is this...The Accidental Child, if there is such a thing. On earth, yes...maybe. But, to God...their are NO ACCIDENTS...not PEOPLE accidents. If you're here, He meant for you to be here! But, I'm not going to preach to you, either. What I want to do is to encourage you to think about that child that you might consider an accident.

Mothers won't admit this, but they tend to treat these children just a little bit different than their other children (if they have other ones). Some parents are just downright abusive and cruel to these children; others just not very warm or tender to, distant. If you think these children aren't aware of how they're treated versus the other children, they are: They are very aware. And, they will become--in turn--one of two ways when they are adults: Either overly protective and giving, or very distant and aloof. The first one tends to over-compensate for what they lacked in life growing up, and the other will withdraw affection and become very selfish; possibly, even cruel and abusive to both their mate and their children.

Every child has the right to be loved: Every single one! I don't know what boils my blood more than to see someone harm, neglect, or mistreat (in any form or fashion) an innocent child who cannot fend for themselves; who's not strong enough to ward off an aggressor. And, it doesn't always have to be abuse. It can be something as simple as not assisting them with their homework, leaving them frustrated and feeling alone because no one will help them. Then, the next day in school, they don't really know what to tell the teacher when she asks why he or she doesn't have his or her homework, because children are afraid to tell on their parents, and will possibly get in trouble at home if they do. Which, of course, puts them between a rock and a hard place. Countless of children are in this predicament and, yet, the teachers act as if they don't know and blame the kids! Are you serious?

And, how about the kid that struggles so hard to get the grades on his own because the parent at home refuses to help (though he'd better not ever tell his teacher that!), and when he get an award, with all the parents taking turns going up and standing with their child; except, this one parent who decides all of a sudden, she doesn't feel like it, and the child is left standing alone! I call that passive-aggressive abuse! This child is left feeling alone and inadequate and is ALWAYS trying to win his/her parent's approval that he/she will NEVER receive!

Parents, children are fragile: We can make them or break them; mold them, shape them, and help them to be the best part of our society! But, it is up to us. We can't keep blaming them for things that are not their fault, no matter how painful that "thing" or "incident" was, even if they were a "part" of that "incident."

Can I be for real for a moment? If this is going to be the case, then give the child up for adoption so that a loving parent, someone who can't have a child but wants one, someone who's more than willing to love the one you don't want! Listen, if the child came about via rape, etc., no one is going to blame you for making an alternative choice. I'm simply saying: Don't give birth, keep the child, and then make him/her pay for what happened to you for the rest of his/her life. Do what's right for the both of you and just let him/her go!

LETTERS FROM HEAVEN is a book about an "accidental child" whose mother's love carried her through the many trials of life, long after her mother's death. It is a book that speaks to the heart of every mother who's given birth under questionable and difficult circumstances, but with a vision of triumph; to women (sisters, aunts, grandmother, etc.) who need a fresh perspective on how to love and live again--even on how to forgive; to teens searching for their identity only to find it where they began--at the heart of their family where it's always been; and to those (men and women, alike) seeking hope and faith in the midst of pain, trials, and unbelief...realizing that where there's hope, there's a future.

Though part of this title is The Accidental Child, I still stand firm that no child is truly an accident; maybe, in term of how he/she came to be in our society; but surely, not in the eyes of God. And, in all honesty, once the average mother sees that child (however the conception came about), it will not be that easy for her to let her child go, which is why most mothers in this situation chooses not to look at the child after birth. They know...they know the mother instincts are going to kick in, and they don't want that to happen, and chances are...once they see that baby, it's a done is going home with mom.

If, by some strange chance, you're reading this and your child was conceived in a manner not of your choosing, consider the things I've said here: Children will love you with their lives; they just want to be loved back. They are innocent of any wrong doing; and if given a chance, they will more than make it up to you. Just open your your your LOVE...AND LET IT FLOW! Love that little person with ALL your heart, with all your might, and with all your soul. I promise you...I PROMISE YOU, THAT LITTLE ONE WILL MATCH YOUR LOVE...


Friday, October 12, 2012

The Writing Life...Slow, Tedious, But Worth It!

It's easy for people who don't write to question what takes a writer so long to complete a writing project. The process is different for each individual; for example, one writer may be a morning person versus an evening person. One writer may be more comfortable in a coffee shop type of environment, e.g. Starbucks versus another writer being more productive in his/her bedroom. Then one must consider whether a writer is single versus surrounded by family as well as young versus elderly. All of these elements come into play in the life of a writer and may very well affect his/her productivity. 
Now, let's skip to me. My project (Book) was completed (all 400+ pages) over 3 yrs ago, but because I'm a perfectionist, I insisted on a once-over (complete edit/rewrite) before publication, as I should have. People want a perfect product when they're paying their money, and they deserve no less than that! So, what happened, you're probably wondering? Life happened! 

The day I completed those 400+ pages, I was so elated I thought I was floating on a cloud! I just couldn't believe it! I had had so many interruptions--thought it would never be finished--and, yet, it was done! I couldn't contain my excitement! And, yes, I thought I could finally give myself a week or two off before starting to edit/rewrite; I mean, how long does it take to edit? A week or two at the most...or so I thought! I guess that cosmic joke was definitely on me!

As soon as I decided to get back to work, my daughter (next to the youngest) decided to drop her life into my life, and the rest is history as they say! It immediately became one thing after another until I became so frustrated I put my book aside and refused to do anything else on it! I didn't touch it again for over a year. And, believe it or not, as soon as I made this decision, no one needed me for anything else. But, this is the crazy thing: As soon as I put my sights back on the book (not having touched it for over a year), here come the "I need you to do" all over again. You may think I'm making this up, but this is the gospel truth. Go on and say it (God knows I've heard it enough times), these are just excuses to keep from finishing the book; well if they are excuses, they are true-event excuses, because these are the things that actually happens every single time I decide to finish my book. I declare it seems as though the universe is against me completing and getting it published. And, just for the record, I'd like to know if anyone else has experienced these types of situations in their course of writing/editing/rewriting? Please comment and let me know. I'd really like to see if I'm the only person this is happening to or if it's somewhat universal.
The other question that comes up from none writers is, Why did it take you so long to write your book in the first place? Again, different writers have, not only their own pace of writing, but the length of time it takes to complete a writing project also has to do with the type of writing project they're working on and how detailed and complex the information in it might me. Some authors have an enormous amount of research to do in order to complete their writing project; to include, traveling out of the country. Fortunately for me, my books (so far) doesn't require anything more than my fertile imagination.

I tend to say I can write a book with my eyes closed (not meaning to being cocky)--it's a gift God gave me, but He also gave me many other gifts as well, and when people discover you have gifts or talents of any kind, it makes them somewhat...let me say, dependent on you! You become their "go-to" person for everything, and if you dare say, "I can't, I'm busy," you become the bad person! People think since you're a writer and you work from home, you've got ALL THE TIME IN THE WORLD to do their bidding! So, while I'm trying to write my book (before it was finished), I'm also being bombarded with, "I need my taxes done," "Look, I need you to do my bankruptcy," or "Can you please do my divorce for me? I can't afford an attorney." And, the list goes on!

Now, that I'm finally in the editing/rewriting stage of my book, it's "I need help with my term-paper, I need a Resume, Can you look over these legal papers?...I need, I need, I NEED!" And, if I mention that I'm extremely busy trying to finish my editing, then I get attitude and will hear, "It's not like you're ever going to finish it, anyway!" But, if I point this out to the very people who keep asking what's taking me so long to edit/rewrite, they say I'm just making excuses! I simply can't win for losing! What they don't realize is I don't have "A" BOOK to finish, I have MANY BOOKS TO FINISH! But, I have to get the FIRST ONE OUT FIRST
Then, you have those who think they know the publishing "system" better than the writer do, so they throw hints of how it should be done! Bless their hearts!

So much time has now passed and not only am I not as young and strong and energetic as I used to be, but due to my disabilities (and the medications that I take for them), if I'm not in incredible pain, I'm tired and totally exhausted; yet, I press on because writing is what I LOVE doing!

Here's the real deal: Writers are people just like you. They have families, some of them have other jobs, they have joys, troubles, pains...just like everyone else. My favorite author, the now deceased V.C. Andrews, had crippling arthritis and was wheelchair bound, but between her pain and limitations, she wrote the most profound books... you couldn't put them down! And then there's Danielle Steele who is a phenomenal writer, but you have to wonder when does she have the time to write, between all of the children she's birthing and tending to! My point is, we're writer's, but we also have lives outside of writing, and when people are waiting for you to finish a project (especially family), they don't feel as if you should be doing anything outside of writing. But, if people would just step back and allow us to do what we do best--at our own pace--I promise, we would come through for you, and you wouldn't be disappointed. 
Put yourself in our place for just one moment...and you might understand what it's like to be a writer in any given day. I promise you, it's a job like no other...but, a worthy job. It takes us places we've never been, introduces us to people we've never met, and opens the world up to us in ways we could never have imagined...had we not created it.

We are CREATORS of PEOPLE, WORLDS, and UNIVERSES. We are the AUTHORS of LIFE, JOY, PAIN, and so many COMPLEXITIES. We are ARTISTS who PAINTS THE WORLD WITH WORDS and changes your perception of the world around you! We are YOUR EYES, EARS, and VOICE. And, we LOVE EVERY MINUTE OF IT!

The next time you pick up a book to read, think of what it took for the author to get those words on those pages--his/her life, pains, passions, joy, and life's interruptions--and just sit back and relax. Revel in every nuance of every word and just know...this book was written just for YOU!

Saturday, October 6, 2012

God Cares For YOU...

I've been on a Consecrated Fast all week for things I have before the Lord: I don't tend to share my personal business to this degree, but I'm sharing this because God reached out to me (via a complete stranger) to let me know He Heard me (which I already knew He had, but it's human nature to desire confirmations... 

I had appointments today and afterwards decided to grocery shop as church is tomorrow. Lo and behold, I failed to take pain medicine with me (which I never forget) and got caught out there. My pain level was off the charts and my perspiration matched it! I literally looked like I was being rained on. At this point, I'm scooting my legs along, versus making steps (which was way too painful). This lady, who I had seen near the frozen food about 25 min. prior, caught up with me--on the other side of the store--and told me the Lord told her to locate and give me a Message. She said she wasn't sure if I was even still in the store or if she'd remember what I looked like, but she found me and did recognize me.  I was sure the message was going to be something concerning my "health" as she had to have noticed I was in grave discomfort. This messenger fooled me, and I realized quickly, she REALLY WAS sent by God. The Message was: How very much God loves me (she emphasized this over and over again). NOTE: Accept God told her, this lady couldn't have known if I was saved or not as we had no prior conversation. She said God isn't through with me; she said I may think that He is, but He isn't. Not at all. She said, He still has work for me to do! She said, not to concern myself with what other people opinion of me is; Keep my eyes on God (which I do, Day and Night...when most people are sleep, actually). And, other things she said to me from God.

Since I gave my life to the Lord at 17, God has sent people to me from time to time just this way with various messages of encouragement throughout my life: Times when I felt like He had totally forgotten me! I haven't felt that way in years; More spiritually mature than that now, but there was a time! 

It could be tomorrow, 5 years from now, 10 years from now, before He sends someone else, but what I know and I know for sure, my Father is Dependable. I can ALWAYS DEPEND ON HIM! And, as my oldest son says, It's good to know that you're on God's Radar! 

People, be blessed and be encourage, for He has NO respect of person. He knows what plans He has for YOU as well! God once told me STRAIGHT FROM HEAVEN (in His Voice), "There's NOTHING going on in your life that I'm not FULLY AWARE OF!" That was about 30 years ago, when I was putting some groceries away and wasn't thinking any spiritual thoughts whatsoever at the time. He just started talking to me, out of the blue. I've never forgotten it, or what He said. When things have gotten rough, I've always returned to what He said to me, and it's like someone throwing me a raft when I feel like I'm drowning! I've heard Him quite a few times since then (verbally), but that time is the most significant to me! Like I said, God has NO RESPECT OF PERSON! He's Thinking about YOU right now!

David says in the bible in the Psalms: Who am I that He is mindful of Me? God is ALWAYS thinking about YOU! Just thought you should know that. Be blessed!