Tuesday, July 12, 2016

No Fund Me....But Please Support Me!

Interesting topic, right?  So, let me explain.  HUMILITY is hard!  Yes, that's right.  I said it.  HUMILITY is hard!  I see Go Fund Me accounts all the time and I feel compassion for most and then I feel this strange feeling of "Wow, how did they do that?"  It doesn't seem strange to me or weird in any way as the 'majority' of the one's I've read are quite legit and I've even supported some of them.  

However, I tried one of my own not so long ago and I can not say those feelings were positive in any way.  I felt embarrassed and wanted to go hide under a rock.  It was horrible for me.  And, I know that a huge part of that is all about learning the art of humility which I lack but none the less, I did not find comfort in reaching out for help.

All of that being said, I must share the most difficult part of my journey thus far.  I'm in dire need right now.  I'm in a bad place financially because we have FINALLY come to a place where we have legitimate grounds to take my ex to court on contempt charges.  Not only that, it is FINALLY time to bring in an ad litem on the kiddos behalf.  If you've been following my blog and our court cases, you know how HUGE this is at this time!  And, if you are just chiming in, you need only read through all the previous blogs to get an idea of how HUGE and pivotal this moment truly is at this time!  All things are beginning to come together for what I hope is good but the difficult part is that I'm all tapped out at this point and I have to come up with the enormous funding to make it all happen.

So, what that looks like for me is this....I would love to set up a Go Fund Me account and see it miraculously fill up to goal, but I simply cannot bring myself to doing it.  It's too hard!  Maybe that is growth left within me that is yet to be accomplished.  But, I would much rather EARN it!  I would much rather see folks support me in my business so that I can legitimately raise those funds!  I want to earn them honestly!  Is that such a foreign concept in our world today?  Sometimes it feels that way! 

My attorney has estimated at a bare minimum at least $4500 for this case to transpire.  And, we are already running full course ahead because it is a matter of my children's safety!  I am left having to simply trust the process and that all things will work out.  But, the funds must happen.  I have no choice in that matter. 

So, in sending up prayers what I would like to share with others is simply this:  support my business.  If that is not something you want for your personal life, share them with others.  But support my business.  I have a lot of funds that simply must be raised immediately and I need help.  I am "well enough" today to know that I am worthy of help yet still struggle with the humility of setting up a Go Fund Me account, so I'm asking for your support.  Ask your friends and family too if they may want to give our products a try for their personal journeys.  I know personally that we have products for EVERY person out there but not every person is ready.  I'm asking for your help in this area. 

I'd like to honestly raise the $4500 that will be necessary to see this case through.  That's a whole lot of Plexus but I believe it can be done and within the time frame that is necessary for our God is great!  So, please feel free to share my website with your friends and family and above all else please pray that God will help us to provide the necessary provisions to see this case through.  This is a huge moment in our lives that requires a lot of trust and faith in God.  So, friends I pray that you will pray with us during this time.  The most ultimate prayer would be that the truth will finally be revealed in court and that my 3 precious kiddos will be protected.  But, in addition to that I pray that the financial means to make it all happen will transpire as well.  Please pray with us during this time!  We have been praying for this moment for years and would hate to see that financial obstacles end up being the barrier for the results we have been so diligently praying for all of this time! 

Thank you in advance for your prayers and support.  Here is my website that you may use and/or share with others to help support us during this time:  www.shopmyplexus.com/lbarnes.  And, please know that I am here to answer questions and to be a support in anyone's journey at anytime!  This is not just a "purchase" in my book.  I want to see you succeed! 

The CEO of our company always says, "If you're blessed, be a blessing!"  Blessings to you all!  And, thank you for your continued support!

Matthew 7:7-12
Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone?

John 14:12-14

Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Everyone is Fighting a Battle, So Be Kind....Always!

As most of you know this blog was originally created to share my journey of divorce and God's grace in that process. I am currently 6 years post divorce at this point. And, while I still must deal with constant struggles and battles the frequency has been reduced for which I am grateful. Life continues on whether the divorce battle is present or not and I have experienced a whole lot of life in the past couple of years. There have been many wonderful, absolutely amazing moments. And, there have been some horrific and tragic ones as well. Isn't it this way for many?

So, what is our true purpose here on earth? Are we here to run this American rat race that exists today going 90 to nothing trying to accomplish everything? Do we strive to be the best that we can be in our field of expertise to the extend that it takes away from our friends and family? Do we give unto our kiddos all of our time and energy to the point that we have nothing left for ourselves? What is our true purpose?

In this past year, I have been learning and growing in ways I never expected! After surviving a horrific tragedy, my life has changed in ways that may be hard to explain in words. But, much to other's most likely surprise it has been in good ways! I have learned that life is far more than accomplishing "my desires". Life is about living for God....period!

Let me say that again....life is about living for God....period! I have reached a place in which I want to slow down. And, by slowing down I don't mean just a little but tremendously. Is that possible for us....a single mom with 3 kiddos that love to participate in life? It's not easy. And, it may not happen in the way that I imagine but I know that this is what is on my heart. And, why you ask?

Because God wants more time with me and in my busy, busy life chasing down one thing after another I put Him on the back burner. That's not okay and it took a tragedy for me to see this behavior in it's fullness. God wants our relationship to be first in all things. He wants me to lean on Him 24/7, to share my life with Him, to listen to Him, to spend my time with Him. And, He is worthy of this time!

So, in preparation for next year, I have sat down with my kiddos and we are looking at what we can say NO too. And, saying no is perfectly okay. While cutting back may be a very gradual process, it is one that we are embracing as we have come to love the "family time" that it has brought into our lives. And, I have loved the one on one time with God that it has brought into my life!

I'm not quite 'healed' just yet. I'm still on that journey towards working through the tragedy but I will say that God has been a stronghold in this process and I am grateful for the path that I have taken. I have learned so much and look forward to what is ahead.

Healing is a process. And, a part of that is sharing our journey with another. I have only shared my journey with a select few but in doing so I begin to heal more and more. The more I share my story, the stronger I become. And, maybe just maybe if I ever reach a point of sharing my story with others that will help another person to grow and heal. After all, we are all relational people no matter where we are in this journey of life today.

May you each be blessed today and find the ability to slow down if only for a moment and enjoy all that is around you!

James 4:8
Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Thanksgiving Reflections

As Thanksgiving approaches this week, I wanted to share a little on the beauty of Thanksgiving reflections.  This past year has been full indeed and as I look back I am once again reminded of how God is always at work within our lives.

I stumbled across Plexus near the end of last year, not because of my desire to lose more weight since I had already achieved my first goal.  But, by inquiring to know what it was all about I was invited into a business opportunity that I just could not turn down.  Given the most bizarre of bizarre court cases that places me in a position of being "unable to work a tradition job" right now, this opportunity was all the more inviting.  Who knew then, that a whirlwind of God at work would transpire?!?....

Being an ambassador with Plexus, trying the products to be able to share my experience first hand with others was a must in my book.  And, what happened for me among many others things was a sudden desire and motivation to set new goals and to enter into the world of a gym with a personal trainer.  I was inspired by my love but that desire....that motivation....that energy, this was a result of Plexus.  

I was filled with gratitude upon finding a trainer with a generous heart....one that was willing to work with me on more than one level.  He sticks with me each week, encouraging me, motivating me, challenging me, and helping me to grow.

Near the first of this year an unwelcomed and tragic event took place in my life but I had no idea this would lead to yet more healing and growth in my personal life.  Fully supported by those closest to me and filled with their love and encouragement, I knew that seeking some guidance to walk through the healing process would be important.  Little did I know that this person set out to help in this journey was all a part of God's plan from the beginning.

For those that know and understand this statement....the name Daniel came back into to my life....in God's perfect timing, in His most perfect way.  But, here's the amazing part as I sit and reflect.

This person that became crucial to this process of growth and healing was known and available to me as a result of getting involved in the improvement of my health and seeking out a trainer, an event that transpired as a result of following my intuition and asking some questions to a friend from high school that kept posting about Plexus.  And, while mapped out on a blog this seems short lived....this was a series of events that took a year to transpire fully as I sit here today.

God is always at work and I have been blessed beyond belief by his grace and mercy.  As a result of seeking out this person to walk in this journey with me, I was blessed yet again in some other amazing ways that were so unexpected but also in God's perfect timing.  And, not only that....I have been growing in my walk with God, getting back into the word, and sharing this with another dear friend.

My friends, He is here.  He is everywhere and even in the midst of the most trying situations (much like the trials of this divorce journey that this blog focuses on) He is present.  And, while I do not always understand or feel His presence in every moment I know that He is with me and this gives me the strength to endure, persevere, and press forward.

As a single mom, it takes little to excite me these days.  And, my excitement is ever present right now as I type.  We live a very busy life.  While my kiddos do not have many extra curricular activities, they each have more than one.  Even one would be a lot.  But, I find that we are constantly on the go.  And, when I'm tired or sick or having a difficult day I simply move forward anyway.  But, this week....this week we shall stop!

I am so thankful for this opportunity and about as excited as a school-girl waiting on that call from the popular boy at school!  :)  But, as of Tuesday with one exception that day.....from Tuesday until Saturday we shall unplug.  We are not going anywhere at all.  We are letting go of schedules, routines, and the like.  There will be no school, no activities, no errands....nothing...nada.  And, I can not tell you how exciting this is to me right now!  I am hoping to find rest....true rest and relaxation!  

So, as our day of thanks approaches, I want to say that I am thankful for all of my friends and family that have supported me through it all, encouraged me, prayed for me and with me, and continue to be there to see me through all of life.  My hope is that you will find gratitude in your lives as well and are able to see how God is working for you, in you, and through you.  May you each be blessed this week and throughout the season!

Jeremiah 29:11
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Hebrews 12:28-29  
28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, 29 for our “God is a consuming fire.”

Monday, October 20, 2014

When Hope Seems Lost....

I'm looking at my last blog entry and it's hard to believe it's been nearly a year.  Where has the time gone?  In some ways this year has flown by and in others it has been the snail pace.

It pains me to say we are still in a holding pattern!  After all this time, all this pain, all the kiddos continued sufferings....we are still in holding just waiting for the right time and the right circumstances.  It doesn't seem fair to say the least.

Why should they have to continue suffering in the midst of chaos simply because our system is so warped and broken?  I do not understand this at all!

And, yet I'm reminded of this passage in 1 Peter 1:7 that says, "These trials are only to test your faith, to show that it is strong and pure.  It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold-and your faith is far more precious to God than mere gold.  So if you faith remains strong after being tried by fiery trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world."

I admit that I felt a little bit of hope dissipate today with some news I received and I had to sit with it for a while before I could even move forward.  But, somewhere deep down I still feel that things will work out in time.  I hate to ponder that the time will last much longer.  It seems that it has been far too long even now but I know that God is in control and He has a plan.  I have to remind myself to trust in this process.

So, for now I ask for your prayers dear friends.  Pray for that truth to be revealed and for protection to reign over us all as we trust in Him.  

2 Corinthians 1:3-7  All praise to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.  He is the source of every mercy and the God who comforts us.  He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others.  When others are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.  You can be sure that the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with his comfort through Christ.  So when we are weighed down with troubles, it is for your benefit and salvation!  For when God comforts us, it is so that we, in turn, can be an encouragement for you.  Then you can patiently endure the same things we suffer.  We are confident that as you share in suffering, you will also share God's comfort.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

When I Had It All, I Was Poor....When I Lost It All, I Gained Everything!

Here we are at the end of yet another year and I have to say, this year has been full in many ways.  I've learned a lot.  I've grown a lot.  I've hurt a lot.  And, I've received gifts that were beyond my wildest dreams.  And, as I prepare for what I am determined will be the greatest year yet, here are a few reflections I thought I'd share with you.

Back in that miserable existence I called marriage, I lived in what some would call the life of luxury.  The ex made substantial funds but my lifestyle never reflected it.  One reason is because I simply struggle to do anything for me.  I'm aware of this but that didn't change the reality.  I simply would not buy things for myself.  I would provide for my kiddos without hesitation but even that was done in moderation.

After the divorce, I witnessed the most intense greed one could fathom.  It has never been about the inability to provide for kiddos, but the absolute refusal.  It has amazed me beyond measure to see the lengths that have been achieved to ensure these kiddos continue to receive less and less.  And, because of the most bizarre circumstances of this outrageous case many of you know that working a traditional job is not within reach right now.  

So, where does that leave us?....Living within our means and living with faith!  It has not been an easy journey.  In fact, it's a constant struggle to try and achieve necessities each month.  But, God always provides.  And, then he WOWS me with miracles just to remind me that He's here with me all the time!  For example, this year my kiddos were adopted so to say for Christmas and Santa did very well!  Not only that, he somehow "knew" exactly what to bring.  Don't tell me miracles do not exist!  They DO!!!

I have to say though that when things began being taken away one by one, jaw drop after jaw drop, I began to gain more and more.  I have learned more and more about faith and how to truly live in it!  I have learned more about pride and humility and those are such tough ones!  I've painfully learned that others are going to continue to cross my path that will not understand and will cast judgment and somehow I will be okay.  But, most importantly I have learned that life is simply not about all those "things".  Relationships with others....now there's something that is important.  And, having lost so much in a monetary sense, I have gained everything by being exposed to those relationships that are true and valuable.  And, I am RICH!

I am blessed by those that love me and my kiddos.  I am blessed by a church family that encourages and supports me.  I am blessed by a fairy tale love story that came into my life at the most amazing and perfect time!  And, I am looking forward to a New Year!  While things continue to be in a period of "wait" in terms of this case, I continue to move forward excited about what lies ahead.  I am determined that this will be the best year yet!

Thank you to all those that continue to love and support me on this journey.  May you each be blessed in this new year.

God is Good....All the Time.  All the Time....God is Good!

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Second Chances....The Fairy Tale Type Love Story!

Some Dreams Do Come True....First and foremost, if you haven't already read the blog post "Follow Your Heart" from October 14, 2012....STOP right here and do that first.

SERIOUSLY....You'll want to read that before proceeding.  :)

Alright, if you've read that post....proceed with caution as you might not want to drink anything while perusing this entry, especially if you're the spit your drink out all over the computer when something is funny type.  This is a story that brings about a bit of, well....humor for some at certain points.

The blog entry "Follow Your Heart" is one that continuously comes up for me time and time again.  It has done so more times than I can count over the years.  When it comes up, there is this feeling inside that tells me to just go and talk to him.  But, the timing has never been right.  Obviously, the appropriateness of such a conversation would not have been okay during times that either one of us were married.  That was a given so why then did it keep coming up over and over and over again?  Well, obviously I've been divorced for some time now and I had no idea where he was in his life anymore.  But, this voice continued to pursue....and it got louder and louder.

This past Sunday, that voice started screaming at me again.  I knew I had to do something.  On Monday, I discovered that he was no longer married.  And, on Tuesday something came over me that I can not fully explain.  I'm not a spontaneous type person at all.  In fact, I have to plan out my spontaneity if that gives you any idea.  But, Tuesday was very different.  That voice would not cease.  And, I had this huge debate going on in my head....the whole go vs. stay debate.  And, there were reasons for both though the ones to go far outweighed the latter.    One of the biggest reservations revolved around my uncertainty that he was even living in the same location anymore since all of his other information had changed and since I had sent him mail over the years and received no response.  But, the ultimate decision was made and off I went, vulnerability and all.

The five hour drive gave plenty of time for thought and plenty of time for nerves to come into 
play but to my own surprise, I remained very calm.  There was this overwhelming sense that this was right.  The timing was right.  And, no matter the outcome it needed to be done at this point.  My fears that I could not locate him or that he would be out of town or unwilling to talk were the only things getting in my way. 

And, so it came to be that I was at his last known address.  Interestingly, there was someone I caught a glimpse of in the back yard that ran into the house when I pulled up.  It was not him.  The car in the drive was not his and I was a little nervous at that point.  No one answered the door.  I banged....the dog barked, but no one would answer.  Could this really be happening?  Was he there, looking through the peep hole and saying, "Oh no...no way."  Or was this a new person's home now?

What transpired after this is way out of character for me.  I left a note on the door.  I flagged down a neighbor to see if they knew whether or not he was still there.  She knew him but had not seen in some time so she could not say for certain.  I went to another neighbor's house and they had literally just moved in that day.  And, so I sat in my van a little let down but determined not to give up.  I had already tried several ways of trying to verify his location prior to this trip to no avail but in that moment in the van, I became thankful for facebook and the many connections it grants in my life today.

I reached out to some cop friends in that area to see if they could assist.  Unfortunately, the timing did not work out as they were unavailable to do so at that hour.  So, I decided to start my journey to some friends that had opened their home for me this evening.  In route to their house, I saw a cop and decided to pull him over!

YES!!!  You read that right....I pulled him over!  Who is this girl?....:)  I told him that I drove 5 hours today to meet this friend and was not sure he still lived in the same location and asked if he could verify his current address.

Of course he was a little hesitant at first.  I received many standard questions like, "Is this a domestic issue?  Is he an ex?  Does he owe you money?"  No, no, no....and at first I gave him nothing more than we were friends and had been out of touch for years.  He could only do so much because it was not even his jurisdiction.  And, what he could find was no more than what I already knew.  Anything beyond that would require court orders.  

My heart was sinking and this cop asked me what the visit was about.  The one word that popped out of my mouth before I even realized it was, "LOVE".  One sentence followed that word and this cop looked at me....a look that said it all, smiled, and quickly said...."Hang on."  He wanted this to happen!

He got on the phone with his "friends" in the other jurisdiction.  Because they were unable to verify anything further, they went out to this last known address.  They banged on the door and received no response.  They ran the tag of that car in the drive and discovered it was a relative.  But, what did that mean?  We still were not 100% sure.

This cop went the extra mile to help and we thought this was the end of the road but as I was about to drive away, he pulled me over to say they went out again and found him.  HE'S THERE!!!  And, he has your information now.  I was a little baffled at this point because this cop that so desperately wanted to help me follow this dream was not sure if he was willing to talk to me or not.  And, so I drove away....heading to my friend's home and wandering if this was the end of the road.

Not two seconds down the road, my phone rang.  And, there he was!!!  Of course, he thought I was dying since the cops had come beat on his door to track him down for me but as it turns out....the three letters I had sent him over the course of these years we've been out of touch were never received.  He thought it was me that dropped off the face of the earth.  WOW!

The following day was filled with some catch up and that moment of realizm when I shared my heart with him and the struggle I battled on my wedding day.  The words that followed my sharing could not have been any more amazing.  It was mutual.  Yes.................What could be greater to hear in this moment than those precious words.  It was mutual!

We pretty much picked up where we left off all those years ago and will likely laugh about the cops and that whole story from here on.  The cop that helped me, turned the tables and tracked me down later to ask how things went because of his own curiosity.  All the cops that were involved in that process were quite happy and are likely sharing this story amongst others themselves.

This is the kind of story I've only read about before and it's happening in reality.  What a blessing and a gift.  It follows up on that lesson I learned so long ago....follow your heart.  I did it this time....I listened.  And, though "something" took over me that gave me a boldness I can not explain I am grateful because the outcome was worth every step.  Whatever the future may hold does not take away from the growth that resulted in this process.  Thank you, Lord!  And, thank you to the cop with a heart and those that joined in to make this possible. 
Proverbs 3:5-6
Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and he will make your paths straight.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Father's Day Reflections

I found it interesting that my last post was on Mother's Day but today brought about some emotions that were more than overwhelming and thus a reflection has most certainly followed.  First and foremost, the day was challenging.  I spent time today watching and reading all of the facebook posts wishing father's a happy day and viewing pictures of childhood memories with father's and I felt a sadness come over me.  

I am blessed with a wonderful step-father that I love dearly.  He's funny.  He loves me as his own.  He's just as sarcastic as me, maybe even more so....actually I'm quite certain it's more so and he'd give the shirt off his back if need be to help anyone.  But, I felt this surge of sadness for missing out on what it must be like to have a "father" growing up.  I had one physically present but anyone that knows my story understands the meanings behind that phrase.  There's a part of me that feels like I missed out and those feelings don't come around often.  For the most part, I'm okay with my experience today but there are those occasional moments that sting.

This moment was brought about more so for the fact that I see history repeating itself than for the sting it singed upon me.  I watch my own kiddos and the path that they are enduring in this respect and my heart aches for them.  I know the truth.  I see the truth.  And, I feel their pain within those truths.

Their return home today brought about the most overwhelming emotion though as they shared the story of how my youngest nearly drowned.  He was rescued not by those that should have been watching him and caring for him but by a stranger, an angel that pulled him out from under the water and placed him back in a safe area at which point my oldest continues the rescue by dragging him back to the bank.  This makes not once, not twice, but three times now that situations have led to circumstances in which he could have easily been gone forever.

It's moments like this that I would not wish upon anyone.  It's moment like this that cause the world to stop while I simply love and hug the ones I hold most dear.  And, it's moments like this that I continue to find such extreme frustration in our system as this will not in the least be something that they will blink twice about because 'no harm came'.  

It's moments like this that I thank my Heavenly Father for watching over me and my kiddos, for loving us and protecting us especially when I can not be present.  Thank you for keeping my kiddos safe.  Thank you for sending your angels to surround them.  Thank you for loving me when I'm so unworthy.  You are the most amazing Father anyone could ever have and I'm forever grateful for your love and mercy.

Love the ones you're with....wrap your arms around them and hold them dear.

2 Samuel 24:14
David said to Gad, “I am in deep distress. Let us fall into the hands of the Lord, for his mercy is great; but do not let me fall into human hands.”