coping with death of a loved one, death, Faith, family, God, Heaven, Jesus, losing a loved one

Missing My Dad tonight

My mother was cleaning out the back room this evening when she found something that my dad had written. It was like hearing him talk through her as she read aloud. This made me turn on the song So Far Away by Avenged Sevenfold.

Man, it hurts…

But in reality, it shouldn’t because of the quality of life he had, fading away, slowly. I wish I could hug him. Even the hugs that weren’t the best while he was in that adjustable bed at the nursing facility would be Heavenly. I want to fully embrace him…Oh, how I miss him tonight!

Over time his smile slowly faded. But It was awesome to see him smile despite being in such a horrible state of life. I’m wearing his dimples until I go home, too.

But, hey! Christmas is gonna rock for him this year in Heaven! He will be celebrating with the Star! Jesus!


Christianity, Christmas, coping with death of a loved one, Depression, Faith, family, God, Heaven, losing a loved one, Personal Journey, prayer

The first Christmas without you, daddy

Weatherman is calling for snow on Christmas day.

But a white Christmas isn’t as lovely now that you’ve gone away.


I miss your smile, and how this holiday made you grin.

Christmas was a lot brighter with you here, now its sort of dim.


But everyday in Heaven is good, and your days are far, far brighter.

God took you Home to Heaven, my daddy, my solider, my fighter.


We never made it to the I-Hop to celebrate a college graduation,

But someday, I will rejoice with you in Heavenly celebration!


This Christmas we’ll light a candle before that empty chair,

In fact tonight I’m thanking God for you in my bedtime prayer.


I’ll see you standing with new legs there by God’s amazing River,

Don’t worry ’bout all us, daddy, our God, He will deliver.


Now I end this poem with a smile on my face.

Wearing your dimples, until I get to that Place…


Merry Christmas, Daddy!

I love you!

 photo DSCN0056.jpg








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Ready for Bed?

Lay down not only your body tonight, but all of your worries, doubts, & fears of anxiety as well. Spread out comfortably in bed and take a moment to ponder this night. All of today is now a memory and part of the past. If you see the dawn, you’ve received the gift of another day, another chance to do what it is you need to do, to make a difference in the lives of others, to share your story and inspire others. Tomorrow could be the best day of your life. That miracle you’ve been praying for could unravel this day.

Either way, my friend, remember that the absence of anxieties and fear is called faith. Where there is actual and 100% faith there is no doubt, fear, or worry. Faith is a growing thing. Over time and with practice and input it becomes greater, packing such a powerful punch. You know you’re gonna get knocked down from time to time. That’s life. But with faith…there is no doubt in all the fibers of your being on earth. You stand fearless, knowing there will be pain, which is unpleasant and uncomfortable…but you know in your heart…your SOUL. You know you can. You know who you are.

You know this because you know Him.

You know God.

He’s listening as you get into bed, and the rest of the time 24/7. Talking to Him can be as short and easy as “Help!” He knows what you need before you even ask.

The Creator of the Universe flung the shimmery stars into His velvety night sky, twinkling as diamonds. Like the moon, and the sun they testify to His great Power & Glory every moment in every day.

Close your eyes. No matter where you are. The eastern or western world. Persecuted, or tormented inside of yourself. God’s got this.


*Image via

Goodnight, everyone.

Sending love to all of you ❤

God bless

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Pass Along…The Meagan Napier Foundation: Doing Something About Drunk Driving

The Meagan Napier Foundation

From the official website:

“The foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to the memory of Meagan Napier and her friend Lisa Jo Dickson who were killed by drunk driver Eric Smallridge on May 11, 2002. We have formed this foundation to raise awareness of the dangers of driving under the influence of alcohol and to promote forgiveness and healing. Our families: the Napiers, the Dicksons, and the Smallridges believe it is extremely important to educate everyone about the horrible consequences of drinking and driving. Meagan and Lisa were loved so much and we miss them more than words can say. Their lives were taken in a senseless car crash that could have been avoided. One decision, one moment in time, and many lives were irreversibly changed!

Renee Napier, Meagan’s mom, has made it her mission in life to share this story with as many people as possible. She is passionate about saving lives! Since March 29, 2004 she has presented this story to over one hundred thousand people, young and old. In her presentation Renee tells the story, talks about the healing power of forgiveness, shows videos that feature Eric in prison and since April 22, 2010, she has been allowed to have Eric join her as an inmate, bound by shackles and handcuffs, to share his powerful testimony. They conclude with a compelling slide show featuring Meagan, Lisa and Eric. Afterwards, the audience is invited to go outside and take an up close look at Lisa’s mangled car… the car in which she and Meagan died.

It is our desire that all who visit this web site will be touched in a positive way. We hope you decide to make a difference in this world by choosing to: NEVER drink and drive, NEVER let your friends drink and drive and NEVER ride in a car with an intoxicated driver. We also hope you will encourage your family and friends to do the same. Make the DUI Promise: “I PROMISE TO NEVER DRIVE UNDER THE INFLUENCE”…Help us STOP DUI!!”

I first heard of this wonderful foundation from the song that it inspired by Matthew West called Forgiveness.

This is an awesome campaign to prevent all that can happen as a result of drunk driving. The truth of it all is amazing. I encourage you to listen by clicking  Forgiveness to hear how this inspiring story inspired the song.

“The Meagan Napier Foundation has been awarded a grant from the Florida Department Of Transportation (FDOT) for $25,000. We must have that amount of money in the bank in order to receive the funds. While we do have some funds in the bank, we don’t have $25,000. The funds we do have are being used in the mean time to help us travel so we can continue to raise awareness of the dangerous consequences of driving under the influence of alcohol and drugs and continue to promote forgiveness and healing. We need to raise $25,000 in October to receive the funds from the FDOT. We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and your contribution is tax deductible. We appreciate your contribution! Thank You!”

Help The Meagan Napier Foundation Foundation Get The Grant Money


I really encourage you to share this link. I know that we are all living by our different means, some of us blessed with very much, a little more, enough, or less, poverty line. Regardless, even if you do not plan on donating for whatever reason, please share this. Right now the foundation has only raised 5,000 dollars–20,000 dollars behind the amount needed to be matched with the same by the Florida Department Of Transportation that would be granted. And even though it is October 24th, your help and the Will of God can make this happen. She only has until the end of this month.

Actual Photos from the website.

Thanks for reading 🙂

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Today is the first day of the rest of your life.

This is an awesome line to remember not only in the troubled, dark times of life, but always. You are not over. The most beautiful parts of life bloom after the worst of storms. What has scarred you, knocked you down, or near destroyed you is actually helping you discover who you really are. The greatest pain can be the greatest teacher. We must keep the eyes of our heart open, and in knowing that nothing lasts forever…be ready to receive the truth. You just may find that the worst thing has made you your best.

Remember who you are and where you are headed despite any negativity that you may face today. Let’s make the most of today!

God bless ❤

*Image via Christian Today

Anorexia, Autobiography, BDD, Bipolar Disorder, Body Dysmorphic Disorder, Bulimia, Confidence, coping, coping with death of a loved one, diet, Eating Disorder, eating habits, Fitness, food and feelings, weight gain, weightloss

Is Fat The Worst Thing We Can Be?


In all honesty, before I found recovery with Bulimia I believed it to be 100% true.

I am now battling with my weight once again and I actually need to lose it this time. As you may have read before, when my dad became very ill around 7 years ago, I broke down. My Bipolar meds helped me stay out of the hospital but I still experienced severe depression and a couple mild manias. That was most definitely one of the darkest chapters in my life, preceded by my first outburst of a manic episode upon being diagnosed with Bipolar disorder. I was out of control back then, and have written about all of that in several other posts. But anyway, since my family began to fall apart (in health and normalcy), I packed on the pain, aka pounds. I have shed a bit of it, but there is much more to go (considering my size) to be really healthy.

I admit that even now, after having found recovery 7 years ago without acting on my old eating disorder ways, I still have my weak moments. There are times when I become very self conscious, as I can now see the discrepancy between the current me and the high school and college freshman me. I thought I was huge back then. If only I knew how beautiful I really was then maybe I would have truly valued myself as a person and had higher standards for life. I was misled by a disease of the mind. The eating disorder. The ED that planted itself in my head and took up residence for what seemed to be permanent. I have fat days where no matter what I try on, or how many compliments, I feel like a whale! Over the past decade I have learned that compliments don’t mean a thing when you are living with an eating disorder. You are a prisoner inside of yourself.

So, in conclusion…yes, sometimes I have moments where I feel that FAT is the worst thing I can be as a grown woman. I just have to tell myself that the worst thing in life is not to be overweight or heavy, but to sit around and do nothing about it. If I make no effort to achieve my goal of optimum health of being the best me I can be, not going to extremes to measure up to something else, then I’ve just given up.

The worst thing in life is to stay down when we fall. We must get back up. Life is a journey, not a destination as they say. In life we fall many, many times. It is how we handle these tough times that determines the quality of our life. The good news is that it is never too late to get back up!

The power is ALWAYS in the present moment! We can!

God bless!


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The Spiritual Toolbox.

I sat pondering life in general the other day, and It dawned on me that I have a spiritual toolbox. I have a spiritual toolbox where I’ve stored tools and concrete plans for human life on earth that one cannot see with  eyes. Inside of this awesome and vital life accessory, you will find my prayers, my soul guidelines: my life’s lessons learned, morals and beliefs according to The Word of God in the Bible-the ideas that govern the way I choose to live my life. The instruction Manual for Salvation…Eternal Life! 🙂

Along with these, there’s record of my baptism to remind me of who I became in 1999. Of course The Word of God is at the heart of this box. I am not very knowledgeable in the Word as I could be now, but I am growing and pursuing the closest relationship with Jesus that I could ever know nowadays.

I recently read in a bible study guide (by Jennie Allen, an awesome Christian author whose work I am really beginning to admire) about how we as human beings have ideas of what we feel are our rights, and we feel strongly about our rights. Jennie wasn’t just talking about as a citizen of a nation, or in a world sense, but on a personal-living scale.

*By the way, I have come to find that for me, using a study-workbook to aid in my understanding of the Bible on a private, at home level is simply awesome! I am finding out more and more about God, growing closer to Him as He draws closer to me, and even learning about myself as a Christian because the questions and prompts in these study books really bring it out of ya.

When on the page in my study workbook asked me what I believe my rights are, a light came on.

Vanity. The quality of people who have too much pride in their own appearance, abilities, achievements, etc. : the quality of being vain.

Wow. This is the core of all of my problems. The sorrow that I’ve been reveling for the longest time (as you can even see in many of my blog posts) lies in this sin, this concept that was put in me at a very young age and I kept for the rest of my life. My priorities haven’t been straight! I’ve wanted to be somebody, when really, the somebody that i need to be is the character that I am currently developing. I have evolved as a Christian and individual this past year more than ever.

All things of this world will surely pass away.

I think that true wealth in the human sense is health. If we are achieving and maintaining health at its optimum level while living on earth, we are rich (aside from things like meaningful relationships-love and stuff). I mean, we take nothing with us in a physical sense when we pass away. All that is left here on this planet are the things we owned/possessed (Maybe things that we were once so eager to buy, or were blessed to have). Those that survive us divide those things and the circle of life continues without us.

The way we treated others, the extra mile we went for the sake of right, the energy and time we devoted to reaching out to our fellow human beings and bringing glory to God, helping each other… Deeds are the makeups of Heaven! The more work we put into love down here, the more work we will find we have put into our Heavenly home!

See Matthew 6:19-21

19“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20“But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal; 21for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

We are born here and we die here.

Contentment and Faith in my life…

Before, if I wanted something so bad which meant very much to me, In fear, I would instantly begin crossing my fingers, wishing and praying it would not slip away, and still be available when I could get it.

Worry. to think about problems or fears : to feel or show fear and concern because you think that something bad has happened or could happen.

Now at 29 I know in my heart that if there is something I am supposed to have on this earth there is no need to fear or worry over it because everything is in God’s hands. In the Bible there are verses about how God takes care of the birds of the air. They do not have to worry about what they will eat for He sees after them. Also,  the Lilies of the field are clothed so beautifully…So how much more will He do for you and I? (See Matthew 6:26-28)

Faith. strong belief or trust in someone or something. (In this case, God.)

I am in the very midst of a spiritual awakening in this moment.


Distractions and reactions.

Let us think on our own personal, unique, and Divine soul purpose.

Building things like projects, houses, or machines, vs. adding equity into my eternal home where I hope to reside forever with The Father. Love. The Trinity; Father, Son, Holy Spirit. All of God’s children will live a life that never ends, without broken hearts or bodies that break.

Forever in Paradise vs. the eternal Hell

I don’t know about you, but 99% of the time when I think of the afterlife of an eternity, I ponder on Heaven and not Hell. I grew up in a non-denominational Church of Christ where I was educated about both places in Sunday school. However, it wasn’t up until now that I’ve really give anything at all this much thought.

God has shown me this year that all I need is simply God! His Grace is sufficient for me…

2 Corinthians 12:9

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”


I can tell when the hunger in my belly is satisfied and all that’s left is simply spiritual hunger. Its odd that they can feel the same and be so different, right? There has been a long and terrible famine of God’s Word in my life for years. I am getting back into the Bible now and in doing so I have begun to figure myself out! I did not expect it to transform me in such a huge manner because for the longest time my faith was very weak.

The Bible is not just a boring book full of ancient facts and stuff we have heard over and over and we already know (as I honestly used to think…). Once you really apply yourself and get into things, you will become enlightened in so many ways.

God bless ❤


coping, coping with death of a loved one, death, Depression, God, Hope, Jesus, Life, losing a loved one, Personal Journey, relationships with parents, short life, Soul Searching

A Few Moments With Dad…



Yesterday on the way back to my mother’s house (a 3 hour drive southeast into the Appalachian mountains) when taking her back home after a month of medical tests, appointments and adjustments, I made an unexpected stop along the way. We drove up on the hillside of a huge cemetery where most of our family is buried, including my father.

This photo is what it looks like from where I sat on the ground beside his grave. The tombstone isn’t placed in yet, but there was an old, American flag  and a little plastic, mount displaying the dates of my dad’s birth and death along with his photograph. Once I made it up the hill, I couldn’t just stand there. I sat down on the ground, on the grass beside where my dad was laid to rest. I talked to him, like many people do when visiting the graves of loved ones. I have no clue if he could hear me from Heaven above, or if God allows that, but I released my pain. I cried. I’ve been grieving for almost 3 months now.

Finally, I prayed before getting up and going back down the hill to the car. I thanked the Father for all of the great memories and times spent with dad while he was here. I gave him thanks with all my heart that my dad is no longer suffering. He’s no longer bound in bed, without legs at the nursing facility where he couldn’t even watch the little TV on the wall.  No more horrible 4 hour Dialysis days. However, he did have something that he looked forward to. My dad always finished every meal while there and then some! He really loved to eat and it brought him some comfort, to expect.

This was truly a blessing. A bit of extra closure-type feeling. That evening at the hospital on June 7th, I was there with my hands patting his chest, rubbing his chest that was covered with medical tubes and such. I gave him my consent to go on. I don’t know if he needed it, but I wanted him to know that we would all be okay and that he was about to meet Jesus, looking down at a new set of legs. With my mother and sister at his bed side before he passed, he was surrounded by the important women of his life. I believe his spirit heard me despite the unresponsive body and brain activity.

I’m thankful that I was able to have such a great daddy for many, many years. He loved me so much. I know he would tell me to hang on to the Lord and cry no more.

God bless.



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You Are Not Beyond Hope! :)

You are not over. Do not give up or give in to the negative thoughts and struggles in this life! You can get back up. It may take a day or two, a couple of weeks, or however long-but anything is possible with God. You got this! Have a great day today, my friends!

Sending love and hugs 🙂



*Image via Facebook News Feed.

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Still The Same Mandy Inside…

It’s going on 2 a.m. here at our place. Sleep has become non-existent over the past few weeks. My cognition is slightly impaired as I took my P.M. meds over an hour ago, including my sleeping pill and Xanax (both prescribed btw). Now I’m sitting here because I am still too restless to go to bed. It’s like I just do not want to rest. I’m sittin’ here with my Sarah McLachlan playlist going strong. My personal favorite for the time being, Sweet Surrender.

The death of my father and the new blindness in my mother’s left eye this summer have just now really hit me. My mood isn’t quite exactly stable now, following these horrible circumstances and how I am handling the pain. It’s so difficult to choose between the matters of doing right, using coping mechanisms as recommended in therapy to handle the grief, verses just self-medicating with particular beverages and other out-of-character things.

This life is short. According to my Christian faith and all I’ve ever known, what matters the most is being ready to face judgement, the determination of where we as individuals will spend eternity. What matters most is the work we do out of love for our fellow man to help everyone, treating them all with the greatest amount of kindness, love, and consideration in the most humble manner. We must forgive even the cruelest of hearts in order to be forgiven ourselves by our God. God is love. I need God right now. My prayers have decreased in number lately, but I’m hanging on to my faith.

I’ve given my mother such a hard time by talking and acting in manners that make her worry so much about me and my well being. She was right there with me from that day I was diagnosed in that office to every hospitalization (every set of visiting hours with quarters for calls home and flowers to bring cheer), countless therapy trips, successes, failures, and getting back up. My mother knows how far I’ve come. She loves me more than anyone else in the human form. I cannot let her down anymore by consuming foods and beverages containing Caffeine that cancels the manic-relapse power of my medication. Things are very difficult right now, and in my engaging in anti-complying activity is just going to send me back down…

That being said, I am getting back up. I’m tossing the rest of this can of Caffeinated soda pop into the trash.

It’s hard being a Christian in a world like the one we live in today for anyone. I think its especially hard for people with any type of disability. I know that for me, personally, I am not a very reliable person at times which makes it hard to keep a great attendance on Sunday’s for obeying the Word. I would love to be a Sunday school teacher someday, but right now I seem to change my mind a lot based on how I feel.  After all, I have a mood disorder. Some days the Bipolar has more pull than on other days. Sometimes it feels like I am in the middle, torn between the opinions, values, and deepest desires of two very different beings. Mood disorders can be so exhausting.

I recall a quote my sister reminded me of the other day that I said when I was around age 6 and had just lost one of my front teeth and also been prescribed glasses.

I said to her, “Sis, I may be missing one of my front teeth and I have to wear glasses now, but I’m still the same Mandy inside.”


Thinking back on that line (which I do not remember) a moment of sadness overcomes me. Emotion. I guess its just touching. The wisdom of a child.

I may be managing life with Bipolar disorder and the scars that remain, but I’m still that same Mandy inside.

Don’t forget who you are.