*Update #2* More than Enough…I Am Blessed Beyond Measure!…

eHeart CloudJust got home dollar tree and Walmart. I got some household stuff at dollar tree, trash bags, paper towels etc. Then I went to Walmart to get some food to last until I get my stamps on Monday. I knew I was getting “too much”…I picked up my medication at the pharmacy and went to the register. As she was ringing it all up I began to panic and hold back items….I casually said to the lady behind me…”I hate having to put things back”. “What do you need to put back”? I showed her and she offered to pay for the items. Then I looked at the total already on the register and told the cashier I would still need to take a couple of items off, just so I wouldn’t be broke….The lady behind me looked at the register and said, “Run all of this through with mine. I’ll cover it all”!!!!! I still can’t stop crying!!

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I Got No Gifts for Christmas?? Silly Me…

I knew that Christmas was going to be a bit of challenge for me this year. It has been a roller coaster of emotions.

Last night as I sat here listening to Christmas music and watching the “fireplace” on the television, I suddenly felt sad that I would have no gifts to open when I woke in the morning. Then, I felt the Holy Spirit tap me on the shoulder and whisper to me, “No gifts? Look around loved one”…This previously lost, homeless girl looked around her and was overcome with gratitude. No gifts? Really? I looked around my beautiful new home…the bed and sofa, so lovingly donated, the pictures of family on the walls, the little Christmas tree in the corner. I got up and walked from room to room as the Spirit continued to point out all of the little things that most people would not even notice, and my heart was filled…I needed nothing more. I grabbed my camera and started snapping photos of all the wonderful gifts I had received this year…

I laugh now as I post these photos. “NO gifts” LOL! Silly me. I sat down and ate a wonderful Christmas Eve dinner…

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The Holy Spirit tapped me again…”Remember being hungry”?

Hmm, yeah.

The emotions hit again this morning when I woke up alone. I saw all the posts on my Facebook page…Families gathering to open gifts, sharing meals together…and once again I cried. I missed my kids, my dogs…family. Then my new friend, Jessie was knocking on my door…prefect timing. I had a good cry and a wonderful hug. I spent the day with her and her wonderful husband. We ate, watched Charlie Brown, listened to beautiful Christmas music. We danced, laughed, hugged, took a walk, talked…Again, the Spirit tapped and whispered…”You have friends, you are loved”….Oh my goodness.

I am sitting at my little desk, listening to Christmas music and I KNOW how many, many gifts I have…I know my life is getting better every single day. Yes, there are moments of mourning, but oh how much of a miracle this all is…I AM HOME. I have wonderful new friends in my life, I am fed…I am loved and best of all…I am not homeless.

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This is the Merriest Christmas I have had in years. Thank you Lord!

Let’s Be The Miracle…Please Help My Friends

I have so much to be thankful for this year, and I plan on a “thankful” post soon. Today however, my heart is set on helping someone who is in great need. Jessie and Jose are two of the many new friends I have made this year. I am so blessed to know them…but, they are struggling. I have asked and received so much from all of you during my struggles this year…and I am eternally grateful. I am asking now that we help Jose to get the surgery he so desperately needs. One person can’t do much, but as you have shown me, many people doing just a little makes a huge difference. Please look into your hearts this season and let’s be the miracle for this dear friend. Donate and share this link…you won’t be sorry…because when you help others…YOU are so blessed. Love, hugs, and Peace..Kim

http://www.gofundme.com/hl68kw

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Homeless Day 46…NOT HOMELESS!

So much has happened since my post just three days ago.

I mentioned having seen my therapist last week. Well, I had already applied for what is called, Shelter Plus Care, through the place where I go for therapy. The program provides housing and support for people in treatment for many issues, including mental health. After visiting my therapist, she went and spoke with the housing case worker…and yesterday I got a call saying that they had a place for me! Most folks wait years on these lists for housing, so I know it was my therapist and God Himself who made this happen.

Sadly, I can’t take my dog, Cody with me, so I am now desperately trying to find a place for him. I refuse to take him back to the shelter…I know that God will help me with this also.

But, back to the happy stuff! I was told to come in at 9am this morning to fill out the paperwork for housing, thinking that it would be a few days, maybe longer, before I could move in…guess what? I got done with the paperwork, and the lady says, “Hold on while I make a copy of your key”!! I was handed a KEY to my new apartment! Are you kidding me? She placed that little gold (yes, gold) key in the palm of my hand, and I just lost it. The joy and disbelief that this struggle was finally over stunned me and the tears flowed and flowed.

I left there and drove right over to the complex. I pulled into the drive, and parked in front of MY building, walked up the stairs and a tear slipped out as I put the key into MY door…and walked into MY apartment…Ohmygosh…there really isn’t any way to describe the feelings  that flowed through me as I walked in…looking at the kitchen, the bedroom, the little balcony and repeating, “No way…is this really MY home Lord”? My face hurts from smiling.

I still have the little “bump” to get over with the dog…and will need some help with money for car insurance, gas and food, until I find work,  but the rest is covered. I AM GOING HOME.

Here comes the sun do do do do…here come the sun I say, it’s alright…..

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Homeless Day 43…The Invisible…

I woke in this motel room this morning, looked out at the cloudy, hot day, and fought to not crawl back under the covers.

The weariness of just surviving is something that no one who has not been here can ever truly understand. As much as I try to stay energized and positive, it has become a struggle like everything else.

Did I even mention that I got my dog Cody back with me? When I thought that I had a place to stay last week, I went and got him from the shelter to go with me. The reunion was emotional to say the least…I was crying, the shelter director was crying, and Cody…well, he was jumping and peeing all over the place. It was awesome. I feel somewhat badly now that he is in this situation with me, but it has really helped me to not be so alone. He is a gift.

I wanted this post to be so organized so well written, when in all reality I’m afraid it will be just how my mind is…muddled and all over the place.

I went for a much needed therapy session a few days ago, and boy, did I break. I have spent so many days just holding myself up, trying to be strong, functioning…but, the safety and acceptance of that therapy room allowed what I had most feared…letting it all go.

I told it all…How it feels to take a couple of dollars into the store, and try not to look at other’s purchases with envy. What it feels like to go up to a sample table in the store and try not to drool as you place a small piece of ham and cheese into your mouth. You smile, make eye contact, you don’t want anyone to know how hungry you are…how scared. You look at all these “normal” people going about their everyday lives and they have no idea…that you are homeless. You try to hide it as much as you can…and yet, there is a part of you that wants to scream it out loud…”I’m homeless! I’m hungry!”…but, you just smile, nod your head, wish them a nice day. You begin to feel like two people…the one you show to others, and the invisible one, the one that is scared, ashamed, tired, lonely and hungry. The person no one sees.

So many people tell me how strong I am. They don’t see the invisible part either, because I won’t show them. The shame is so overwhelming that I don’t even want to show it here…in the one place I should be able to lay it all down…
I’m afraid to say how forgotten I feel…how sometimes I’m afraid no one is thinking of me…because I don’t want to hear all the denials, because, I know it’s not true, but it is still how I feel. I fear telling how I sometimes feel like a little child, lost and alone, and how I yearn to be held, to feel safe, to feel cared for by someone..anyone, if only for a little while.

I feel guilty for all the envy I feel when I see families together…laughing, having dinner. Guilt for coveting constantly…the food on the commercials, the homes, the happiness of others…everything I don’t have. I pray about it. I berate myself…Stop feeling sorry for yourself! You have some food, you have a room today, you have your dog, you have people who care about you….So many people don’t have even this much! Stop feeling sorry for yourself!

Ugh…why did I think this would be so easy to put down here…on my blog?

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Homeless Day 39…The Best Laid Plans…

Hey ya’ll. I have moved three times in as many days. The place I had thought I could stay did not work out. I won’t bore you all with the details for several reasons, the most important of which is that it doesn’t matter why.

I got my dog, Cody out of the shelter before heading to Florida this past Monday, and I drove 600 miles round trip to discover that it was not going to work out. I spent one night in a decent hotel to rest, and am now in a rather seedy place, though grateful for a bed and AC. The temps have been in the triple digits for days…NOT a good time to be homeless for sure. I pray for all of those people who must be out in this horrid heat.

I got my application in for food stamps, but as my husband is still receiving stamps for BOTH of us, he hasn’t reported the change yet, I can not receive anything until September 15. Yes, I have a roof, but going hungry has made it very difficult to remain healthy enough to go full steam ahead on the job hunt.

I was in the ER last week because I could not stop sleeping. They ran labs and came back to tell me that I am malnourished, dehydrated, and suffering from severe exhaustion, probably brought on by too much stress…uh, ya think? None of this was a surprise to me. It’s an awful catch 22…I need to be healthy enough to find a job and go to work, and yet, my situation provides neither enough food nor real rest to get myself to that point. My muscles have atrophied from lack of protein, and the motel I am now in, I can’t even really cook. At least at the last place I had a small stove and could make some protein rich dinners with little funds, now, even that is a challenge. Microwave food is not good on the nutrition, but it all that is affordable on a couple dollars a day. I pray so desperately for those who have even less than I do, my God, true hunger is the worst feeling ever! I won’t ever use the phrase, “I am starving” to indicate that I am due for a missed meal again…hunger hurts.

One of the hardest parts of this entire homeless, hungry situation is the complete desolation of pride. It is not easy to ask people for money, food or help of any kind…I can’t tell you how many times this past month+ that I have quoted the bible phrase, “You have not, because you ask not”…I am so grateful for those who have helped me survive and have helped keep a roof over my head, when in all reality I could not have done it myself. I want to be self-sufficient, I want to be strong and healthy…but, at this moment, I am not.

The second most difficult part of this has been the judgment I have encountered on so many aspects of my situation. I can only say one thing about this without becoming judgmental myself, and that is…if you have not been in my shoes, in my heart, in my head…you have no idea of what I am going through, and can not honestly have an opinion that is worth anything.

I have learned a lot about judgment of others during my homelessness, and I am ashamed to admit how much I was jumping to conclusions about the people I see every day. I am determined to not do that anymore…No one can truly know what another human being is going through or how they got there, and it’s really none of our business, our only business is to love each other. We need to look at everyone as connected to us, put our judgment aside and love them as God intended. We so often forget that we are all one, that what affects one, affects us all.  Each of us has God living within us…we need to see this in every person we come across. “If we judge someone, we have no time to love them” Mother Teresa

The thoughts and feelings have become “backlogged” in my head and my fingers, and now that I have begun “leaking” them out here, I’m afraid I may never stop writing, but I will for now. I love you all so much, and wish I had more words to express my gratitude, and I am grateful for many things. I really need a hug.

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Playin’ With Possum

My dog’s Cody and Casey have been teased and bothered by a rather large possum for some months now. Well, I am sad to say that tonight they got their payback. A while ago both dogs started barking and whining to go out…I opened the back door and not even two seconds later they had the poor animal in a tug of war…I quickly got both dogs back in the house. I ventured back out to check on the possum who was still in the same spot they had dropped it. I made a bit of noise and it opened its eyes and looked at me. I was very cautious approaching it, wanting to see if it could walk. It finally waddled away, looking as if it is a female with a full pouch. I am so sad. I won’t let the dogs out again until the yard has been thoroughly searched.

It is very hard to let nature take its course at times, but I feel it’s best not to intervene unless I have to. I am going  back out there before bed to see of there is any sign of the possum. I shall pray in the meantime that it’s injuries are minor and that God will lead it out of the yard. Sigh…

What Do You Write, When You Don’t Dare Speak?

What do you write when all that you are thinking are words you don’t want to speak out loud? How do you voice the time spent deciding between paying the bills and buying food? Or how the new spot you found on your chest looks exactly like the last time…when you had skin cancer. You know you won’t go to the doctor..You waited more than a year the last time anyway, right?

You don’t call anyone to chat because all that your thoughts contain is not something you want to share. Misery does not always love company. You watch PBS. You see those who truly have nothing, as you sit on your bed, inside a home, not a tent or worse. You find your blessings in watching the extreme poverty that makes you seem wealthy in comparison. You find the tiniest of things to be grateful for…and YOU are grateful.

Don’t stop long enough to remember that you are a month behind on rent, that so far the landlord has not said anything, Don’t stop playing endless games of solitaire on the computer, mindless hours, so the thoughts don’t come in and bother you once again. Keep smiling, even when it hurts. So many have it so much worse. Does their misery make you feel better in comparing?? Sometimes.

I mean, you don’t want anyone to know that you might be feeling sorry for yourself. It would not be cool. They would think you selfish. Focus on others. Find a way to reach out to someone in a more dire situation. Don’t think about the spot on your chest. You are find. It is all okay. Stay in the moment. Pray. Believe. Trust.

Where did your appetite go? You know you should be hungry by now, but the thought of eating makes you feel ill. You will force yourself to try later….later. Oh, how you long to lay down for another nap, another escape. You are tired all the time. Muscles ache from disuse. You know it’s not good…You should get up and function…but you don’t.

It will all work out. Nothing is really wrong. Right?

Porch Sittin’, Friend Huggin’, Flowers Bloomin’ Day…

So the debate between crawling back in bed and getting out of the house was won as I put my shoes on and got in my car. I had a couple of items to pick up at the new Dollar General right down the street and as I came toward home I drove on past. I stopped to bring hubby a soda at the house he is working on, and proceeded to drive to my friend Sheila’s house. I’m so glad I did. I knew a little porch sittin’ and one or two of her lovely hugs were just what I needed. We chatted, hugged, laughed and looked at all the lovely flowering bushes in her yard. It was so nice to just be out of the house. I’ve found it tough to make myself  just get out sometimes, not wanting to waste gas etc., but she lives so close. I need to do this more often.

I came home and sat out on my steps reading and playing “my stick” with the dogs. Fresh air, sunshine, fresh perspective. It’s all good. My faith in God’s plan is always with me, even when I wish He would let me in on it.

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Broken Dreams

As children bring their broken toys
With tears for us to mend,
I brought my broken dreams to God
Because He was my Friend
But instead of leaving Him
In peace to work alone
I hung around and tried to help
With ways that were my own.
At last I snatched them back and cried,
“How can You be so slow?”
“My child, ” He said, “what could I do?’
You never let them go.”

—–Author Unknown

Pretty Pansies