You Can’t Go Home

I’d always heard the phrase, “You can’t go home once you’ve left.” I’ve always laughed it off. Of course, you can go home again; Home is home. Home will always be home. Home can change location. Home will always be where your heart lies. Or at least, this is what I thought.

In recent days, I have realized the severity of that statement. You really can’t go home once you’ve left. Home just isn’t home when you’re gone. While you are away, home changes. While you’re away, you change. Both you and home change so much that you can no longer fully be a part of one another. I’ve recently reached this point in my life.

Growing up, I was a home-grown Appalachian. I spoke fluent Appalachian English as well as what I called “school English.” I was down and set in my ways. I loved being outside and not wearing shoes once summer hit. I loved riding my horse through the fields. I loved working in the garden and preserving the food to eat all year round. I loved it all, and it was such a huge part of me. Three years ago, I left for college; moreover, I left for a liberal arts college. This college was different from anything that I had ever grew up with. I loved it too. I loved having in depth conversations about the world’s social justice issues and what caused them. I loved using big words like ‘condensing’, ‘inductive’, or even ‘pervasive’. However, in order to function in this new society, I had to leave Appalachia behind. No more being outside constantly-I was always stuck in a classroom. No more riding at my own free will. No more Appalachian English because no one at college seemed to know what the heck any thing I said meant. When I went home, I had to leave behind the person that Berea was creating me to be. I left behind the conversations about social issues. I left behind the using big words because no one seemed to know what the heck anything I said meant. I love both worlds, but I am at home in neither. I am leaving something crucial part of me behind in both instances.

I am homesick. I am homesick for a home in which I can be both. I can be college educated and still Appalachian. I am homesick for a place where I am accepted for being both people and not looked down upon because I appear to know too much or know too little. Why am I blogging this? I honestly don’t know. I think I am hoping that someone will see this and someone will understand. I don’t know. I just want to go home to a home that doesn’t exist.


Encouragement for the “Messed Up” Mom

Bathroom Ephiphanies

Mothers in general have a tendency to wonder, “Am I raising my kids well?” As a soon-to-be childcare professional, I am already wondering this about myself. Will I screw up the children I work with? Will I be able to stick to what I’ve been told works? Will I remember to utilize what I’ve learned when I have my own children? These are just some of the questions that flood my head — and I’m not even in a relationship.

Then, I remember my mother and think, “If she could do it, I can do it.”

My mom home schooled my brother and me for the majority of our primary education. She researched proper child development practices before the internet was in full swing. She and my dad went out of their way to plan field trips which correlated to what we were learning in history. Once a year, she drove…

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There are two different sides
Screaming different stories
No one even knows the truth.
Yet those in the middle are content
To pick a side just because it lines up with our views.
And we still don’t know the truth.
There are people shouting hate at a race
For the acts a few
What makes you think that they are worse than you?
Sure they blew up countless cities,
But how many lives have you ruined with your rotten tongue?
What’s the difference in the eyes of God?
The truth is that they are people
Just like you and me.
They have families. They have lives.
The darkness has just touches their insides.
Who are we to ignore them?
Who are we to send hate when we are called to love them?
I know it’s hard.
Trust me I really do.
But think about it now
Where would you be if someone hadn’t prayed for you?

Syria Refugees: The Real Issue

First, what do all think of when you hear the name “Christian”? If it is standing on street corners and demanding that you come to Christ right that minute or you are going to hell, then you’re wrong. If it is the acts of the Westboro Baptist Church, then you’re wrong. Those of us that are truly Christian will tell you that. We will tell you that we genuinely love people. We love serving the needy. We love bringing Christ to people that need Him. We love seeing lives change. That is who Christians are.

Now, let’s take a moment. What do you think of when you hear the term, “Islam” or “Muslim”? Do you think of terrorism? Do you think of them hating all Christians? Do you think of them as, “out to get you”? Did you ever stop to think that you are wrong? Because you are. Yes, those radical Muslim terrorist exist. Just as the people of the Westborro Baptist Church exist. Just as the nasty, angry street preachers exist. But that does NOT mean that all Muslims are terrorist. In fact, they are just as outraged by recent acts as we are. This is serious.

Syrian refugees are running for their lives. Men, women, and children walk across a continent for months just searching for a safe place to be, yet never truly feeling safe. Children are being traumatized beyond belief. Yes, what happened last Friday was truly terrible. It was awful, and it breaks my heart that someone used the refugee name to commit such heinous acts against humanity. This does not mean that we need to turn our back on the majority. This does not mean that we turn away people that are in need.

For those of you who are supporting the homeless veteran view. Please note that I am not saying we shouldn’t take care of our own. I am. We should care for the veterans. I’m just wondering where all of your  voices were before the refugee crisis. Imagine you were in their shoes and one of the greatest world superpowers refused your help. What would that feel like? What hope would you have left?

Get your facts. The true facts. Before you fly half-cocked calling Obama an idiot. I don’t agree with everything he does, but on this, he has my vote.

This Is My Story

My story begins as a small child. I was born to two parents, a mother and a father, and three older brothers. Two of those brothers had already moved out of the house by the time that I was born. When I was two years old, my father passed away due to cancer. It was that event, I believe, that incited the rest of my childhood. My mother went from a stay-at-home mom to a mom that worked full time, attempted to maintain a farm, and had a part-time job. She did her best to financially support my brother and I, but that is not where things get difficult.

When my father passed away, he took my mother’s ability to love with him. I don’t know exactly why that happened, I just know that it did. My older brother did not know how to cope with my father’s death and my mother certainly did not make it easy for him. They fought almost constantly. There was even one day where my brother almost killed my mother. He didn’t though, but I have always wondered what happened in that moment.

After my father died, my mother became very physically and emotionally abusive. I never knew what would set her off. Generally, it was the simplest things, like I didn’t put enough water in a pot for tea (in this case she poured the boiling water over me and then beat me with the pot) or I misunderstood the instructions she gave me (this occurred most often). Growing up, I was constantly told that I was not good enough. Nothing I ever did could meet the expectations that she had for me, but my mother was not just physically and emotionally abusive, she was also sexually abusive.

I slept in the same bed as my mother until I went to college. There were times at night that she would ask me to do unspeakable acts to her. These are things that I dare not describe. I was expected to satisfy her; if I did not, then she would either beat or rape me with whatever she could get her hands on. I had to do this right. I had to.

When I was eight years old, my mother got her first live-in boyfriend. At first, he would come into my room at night and lie with me. He would cuddle me and tell me how special I was and how much that he loved me. Occasionally, he would ask me to touch him, sometimes it was even a blow job. On my ninth birthday, everything changed. That night, I thought it would be the usual. I was so very wrong. So very very wrong. That night, I lost my virginity to an old man. I cried out because it hurt so bad. That woke my mother. She came to my door and stood and watched as he continued. When he was finished, he kissed my forehead and walked out of the room. I could tell my mother was boiling with anger. She lashed out at me, screaming obscenities. She grabbed one of my dolls and raped me with the legs. I was so very confused. To this day, I still don’t understand how she thought that a nine year old was trying to steal her boyfriend. All I wanted was to be loved, and in my little kid brain, I thought that what he was doing was love even though it hurt. He left us when I was ten. I still have no idea what made him leave. I cried so hard when he left. He was the first father figure I ever had in my life. He was the first, and because of what he did, he was the last.

When I was fifteen, my mother said that she had some extra money, or so I thought, and hired a farm hand. This man was a hard working man and came with great recommendations from a few of our trusted neighbors. What I didn’t know is that my mother was not paying him as she said she was. I didn’t know until one winter day that I was home alone. I was in the barn feeding the animals when he drove up in his truck. He came into the barn incredibly angry. He asked me where his money was. I told him I didn’t know, that Mom is the only one with money. He didn’t accept that answer. He took me and raped me right there in the middle of the barn walkway. I screamed, yet either no one heard, or no one came. Weak and defenseless, my dignity, what little was left, was stolen once again.

But my story isn’t all terrible. In fact, after that year, something crazy happened. I met a family that took me in as their own. They even call me their daughter. It was through them that I saw how a family was supposed to function. I saw that I was capable of being loved and not being abused. This family showed me the love of Jesus. I met Him my senior year of high school when I was seventeen. Everything changed after that. I found love. I found what love is supposed to be. I found that God’s heart breaks for stories like mine, for stories like yours. His heart breaks for the injustices of the world. Some say that if there is a God then why does all of this bad stuff happen? Why doesn’t He stop it? The answer is that He is stopping it. He places a love for those who are impoverished, beaten, abused, and unloved in the hearts of His followers and they go out and change the world. He has called people to work towards stopping child abuse, human trafficking, etc. God isn’t ignoring the issue. He is created people to help stop it. stay comfortable

Dear Future Husband

Dear Future Husband,

I will tell you now that I am far from perfect. There will be days that I will make you angry. There will be days that I disappoint you. There will be days that you wish I was someone different.

I know already that you are also far from perfect. There will be days that you make me angry. There will be days that you disappoint me. There will be days that I wish you were someone different.

But that is okay. All those moments are okay. They are okay for the very reason that we are both simple human beings. I know that I will fall in love with a man whose heart is light and caring, yet strong and defending. I know that you will have to understand that I am pretty stubborn, and most likely, you will be stubborn as well. In those moments that one of us is angry, I want us both to sit back and remember the person that we fell in love with. Remember the sweet dear moments. Although I don’t think I have met you yet, I know that GOD made you for me, and I for you. I know that we will work together no matter the cost. I only ask that you love me for me. Love me for the person that I am, not the person you want me to be, and I will do the same to you. Please know that trust comes really hard for me, but once I trust you, it will take a lot for you to lose that trust.

Future Husband, if I say yes and we are married, know that I did it because I love the imperfect man you are. Love Jesus, love your family, love me and we will have a beautiful marriage.

With love,

Your Future Wife.

I’m Not a Commodity

I’m supposing to be writing a research paper on the ritualistic changes that occurred during the Protestant Reformation. Instead, I cannot stop thinking about how much I feel taken for granted. I applied for a job this summer that I did not get. In fact, I just heard today that I was not accepted for that job. Instead, I will be staying in my college town. However, that is not why I am writing this post.

Soon after my mother found out that I was applying for this job, she told me that she hoped I did not get it, so I could stay home and help her and my aunt. She said that my aunt was actually livid that I was not going to be helping her this summer. I did not know that she even needed my help. I was expected to be there. Expected to help. Although I love helping others, in fact, acts of service is my love language, I hate be taken advantage of. That is exactly what will happen if I go home again. I will just be a strong back. Nothing more. That is all I have ever been to my family. A strong back to help. If strong back got injured, I was tossed to the side will little to no consideration until I was healed. I took care of myself when I was sick. I had to be almost dying for anyone to actually think that something was wrong with me and care for me.

I’m writing this to say one thing. I am not a commodity. I am not something to be only used when needed. I am a human. And I am done being treated as if I am a work horse. I’m crying as I write this post. I’m sick of this. I know some of you will probably read this and think, “Oh, no, another rattled teen rebelling against her parents.” It’s more than that this time. I refuse to be a commodity. This is why I will not be returning home. I will not do this again.

Jesus is Winning

The night gleams brighter
As the darkness closes in.
The pain grips me tighter
As the demons join in.
I scream for purity
That’s white as snow
But my answers are I’m dirty
Cause I can’t get back what they took
Tears glisten down my cheeks
For this battle I am losing
With the demons chiming in
Their hate-filled dreminders
In my head.
I scream for the Head of Angel Armies
The only hope for me
Pain still resides in my chest
But finally this battle the demons losing.
Because Jesus is winning.
The pain is slowly lessening
As I see the winner
Reaching out with loved-filled arms
To protect a lowly girl,
To love a lonely sinner,
To heal a broken heart.
To make HIS light shine for others to see.

John 3:16 ” I Don’t Understand it “


“A young boy was selling newspapers on the corner, the people were in and out of the cold but because he was so cold he  huddled up and didn’t sell many papers . 

He walked up to a policeman and said, “Mister, you wouldn’t happen to know where a poor boy could find a warm place to sleep tonight would you? 

You see, I sleep in a box up around the corner there and down the alley and its awful cold in there for tonight. 

Sure would be nice to have a warm place to stay.” 

The policeman looked down at the little boy and said, “You go down the street to that white house and you knock on the door. When they come out the door you just say John 3:16 and they will let you in.”So he did.

He walked up the steps and knocked on the door, and

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To The Girl Holding a Knife

To the girl holding a knife in her hand,

I know what your thinking. I’ve thought the same thing. In fact, I have done exactly what you are about to do, or already have done. I have cut myself. I’ve watched the blood drip from my body. I did it to take some control over the emotional pain that I was feeling. I know that you are not looking for attention. In fact, you try to hide the scars, sometimes you just forget and push your sleeves up too far. You are not crazy. You are hurting. That is part of life. All of us hurt. All of us have pain. Emotional, physical, and spiritual pain. I know you are just trying to cope.

There is a better way. There is someone who was cut so you don’t have to. Confused? Yes, I was, too. But this person has a name that is well known. His name is Jesus. He was cut so deep that His body was beyond recognition. He was cut so you could be healed. Yes, that means that you wouldn’t have to cut anymore. He loves you. You are not unlovable. Jesus has always loved you and always will. He will always be there for you even when the rest of the world has turned its back. He hears your cries in the dark. He hurts just as you do when you pull the knife across your skin. He doesn’t want you to hurt yourself anymore. He wants to give you His peace.

Don’t believe me? That’s okay. Keep this post in your mind. Keep knowing that Jesus loves you so much that he was crucified for you. He knows your pain. He knows your suffering. In fact, He felt it when He died on the cross for you. He was there when you were hurt. He was there holding your hand. The choice is yours. I pray that you accept the peace that He has for you. I pray that you accept his healing.