For Bill

I was facing an uphill battle when, at age 60, I started looking for a husband. I previously had three husbands and was still broken up about losing my third, when part of me started looking for a fourth! I decided since I was divorced, but still young enough to enjoy sex, that I would look for a man I could love physically as well as emotionally. That narrowed the field, because most men my age are old, not sexy.

I was really happy when Bill first came to our little church. There were no single men attending the church at the time, so I was excited when I saw a handsome man sitting by himself in one of the pews. The first thing I noticed about him was that he had plenty of beautiful white hair.

I loved him first because he was handsome. His face was tan and he had rosy cheeks, something lacking in most other men our age. Secondly, his demeanor was calm and serious and he was a Christian. And third, I was interested in him because he was sexy.

I remember after our first date I said, “I really like you Bill. I think you’re cool!”

“I think you’re cool too, Nancy!” I was so thrilled I almost fell on my way in the house.

I soon discovered he took my breath away, something I thought I was too old to experience. It took me a long time to have the courage for that first kiss, but once it occurred, I was madly in love. We married a year later and enjoyed ten years together.

Bill got cancer two years ago. He fought like the ex-green beret he was, but succumbed last Tuesday to the devastating disease. After three rounds of chemo, we cared for him at home with the help of Hospice, and Bill’s last breath was taken Tuesday, February 24th.

I thank God that I was with him at the end. I was talking to him, and although his eyes were closed and his breathing was forced, I could tell he could hear me. I started praying for him.

“Please Jesus, take Bill out of his misery. Send angels to take him to heaven to see his mansion. I love you Bill, and I thank you for taking such good care of me, but Jesus is here and he will take care of me now. Jesus and the angels want to take you up to heaven to see your Mother and Father and your Grandfather.” Bill had a special love for his grandfather, who was a pastor.”

“Goodbye Bill, I love you!”

And he took his last breath.

 

NAMI | Working Together for Common Ministry

The National Alliance on Mental Illness is working to equip pastors to help those with mental health problems. See the entire article below:

NAMI | Working Together for Common Ministry.

Radio Interview

My radio interview is now available online. I have installed a link to it on my home page, and I’ll jot it down now for those who want to go to it immediately:

http://namiathensohio.org/radio-program/

When you get to the page, sponsored by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), you will see Conversations from Studio B. Scroll down to the box that says Nancy DeLaval Miller. Click there to hear the interview.

I’ve received many compliments from those who have heard it, and I’m planning to do more speaking on the subject. I am proud to be able to shed light on dissociative identity disorder with multiple personalities. It has been a mystery for too long.

I also was able to talk about my Savior, Jesus Christ, who delivered me from many of my symptoms and led me to the psychologists who discovered my personalities.

Thank you for reading itsmindbloggleing and I really appreciate your comments.

 

NAMI | How Faith Communities Can Break the Stigma of Mental Illness

NAMI | How Faith Communities Can Break the Stigma of Mental Illness.

Godly Wisdom

My daughter, Janine, has been known to speak wisdom since she was a teenager. Thankfully, those wild and crazy years have passed, and she has become an adult. She works as a nanny and one of her clients is a ten year old boy. He is handicapped and she helps him with his school work and other things that are difficult and keep him from attending public school. She seems to have a good relationship with James.

One day, while they were studying, James came up with a question that had nothing to do with their studies, but which is a question common to man.

“Why would anyone want to go to Hell?” Unless one went to seminary, this is a difficult question.

Janine thought about it a minute and this was her answer:

“People who don’t want to hang out with God when they’re alive, won’t hang out with God when they’re dead.”

I was amazed when she told me her answer. Seems wise, doesn’t it?

Did you celebrate Easter or Passover?

Last Sunday many of us celebrated Easter. I enjoyed a spirit-filled service at the Rock Church in Parkersburg, West Virginia. There was a very joyous spirit there as we praised God for bringing Jesus back to life in the Resurrection. I also posted a picture of Jesus on my blog for April 20th, 2014. I called the blog “The Passover Lamb.”

Passover has been celebrated by the Jews for nearly 2500 years. The holiday is based on an event described in the Old Testament in Exodus 11 and 12. Moses was begging Pharaoh to let the Jews leave Egypt and go to their promised land. Pharaoh refused time after time, and God decided to pass judgment upon Egypt. God warned the Jews that the judgment was coming and instructed them to sprinkle the blood of a lamb over their doorframes.

God said: “About midnight I will go throughout Egypt. Every firstborn son in Egypt will die, from the firstborn son of Pharaoh, who sits on the throne, to the firstborn son of the slave girl…There will be loud wailing throughout Egypt – worse than there has ever been or ever will be again.” Exodus 11: 4-6.

Then God said, “On the tenth day of this month each man is to take a lamb for his family, one for each household” Exodus 12:3. “Take care of them (the lambs) until the fourteenth day of the month, when all the people of the community of Israel must slaughter them at twilight. Then they are to take some of the blood and put it on the sides and the tops of the doorframes of the houses where they eat the lambs” Exodus 12: 6-7. God even tells them how to cook the lamb, what to eat with it and what they should be wearing when they eat it.

God also said, “On that same night I will pass through Egypt and strike down every firstborn – both men and animals – and I will bring judgment on all the gods of Egypt. I am the Lord. The blood will be a sign for you on the houses where you are; and when I see the blood, I will pass over you. No destructive plague will touch you when I strike Egypt.” Exodus 12:12-13.

The Jews were obedient to God and sprinkled the blood on their doorframes, and ate the Passover meal as instructed. God “passed over” their homes, marked with the blood of the lamb, leaving their firstborn alive and well. All the firstborn sons of the Egyptians and of Pharaoh were killed that night and there was terrible anguish and mourning in the land. Exodus 12: 29-30.

The anniversary of that day is still celebrated in our modern world as Passover. God told the Jews to celebrate escaping the death of their firstborn in 4000 BC, and they have continued to celebrate that day every year since.

My question is, how did Jesus arrange to be arrested and tried on the night Passover was celebrated 2000 years later? If we believe Jesus was just a man, how could he make the Roman officials crucify him on a particular night? Just a man would never choose to be arrested, tried and put to death. If he was just a man he would want to live out his fame and perhaps add some fortune to it. And why had so many of his followers called him “the Lamb of God?” Is it because God sent Jesus to be the Passover Lamb for the gentiles and save us from our sins?

 

The Passover Lamb

This is a picture of a stained glass ornament that was made by my sister, Greta Hanesworth. It is hanging in front of the window in my office where I do my writing. Jesus face looks like he has tears in his eyes, which was an accident that occurred when it was fired in the kiln. The glass was soldered together first and then the face was painted on. The final step was firing it in the kiln.

The Face of Jesus

This particular “Face of Jesus” was never used in the full window, which took almost a year to make and was installed in a church in southeastern Ohio. The face sat around alone in the art studio for about a year and then I  asked Greta if I could have it. She never said anything until my birthday last year, when she gave me the face with the pretty round frame. It is beautiful and the face of Jesus is very special to me and inspires me often.

I wish everyone a Blessed Easter and I hope this picture adds joy and inspiration to your day.

‘Thank You’ is a Supernatural Phrase

Tomorrow most of us will be sitting down at the Thanksgiving table. How many of us will thank God for the things he has done? And what about the rest of the year? How many of us take time to thank others for the things they do?

 ‘Thank you’ is a supernatural phrase when used sincerely. If it is said with a thankful heart, it can unlock God’s blessings and men’s confidence.

 When you say ‘thank you’ and mean it, you take the focus off yourself and give it to the person you are thanking. You are saying ‘I acknowledge you,’ and ‘I appreciate you.’ It blesses another person, it blesses God, and it blesses you.

 When you say ‘thank you’ to God you are honoring him and he will bless you. The words are like supernatural keys that unlock God’s desire to give you more, and they work the same way with other people. When someone thanks you for something you have done for them, doesn’t it make you feel good? And doesn’t it make you feel like you would be happy to help them again, if the opportunity presents itself?

 Sometimes it is difficult to remember to say ‘thank you’, but it is crucial to a successful life. I first learned it in the seventies when I was married to a heroin addict. My husband stole things from our home to sell for money for his habit. He even went around to our friends and neighbors and told them we had no food and no money and they gave him money. Of course he spent it on heroin. I was truly mortified when they told me.

Finally it came to the point where we were going to lose our home. My Christian girlfriend Marilyn suggested I read “Prison to Praise”, a book by Merlin Carothers. In the book Merlin explains how he decided to thank the Lord for being imprisioned and when he said ‘thank you’ things started changing in his life.

 So I decided to thank God for my drug-addicted husband and losing our home and SUDDENLY there were answers. My husband went into rehab. Our landlord kicked me and my children out, but we found a little cottage to stay in for nothing. Someone even gave us a car! Our church arranged for us to get free dinners until we were able to get on welfare and relocate to a HUD townhouse.

 This was a wonderful lesson in saying ‘thanks’! I have used that lesson many times to get through the thick and thin in life. Sometimes I thank God for the good things and sometimes for the bad. Try it, you’ll like it.

 Can we teach our children to say ‘thank you’, instead of ‘gimme’?

 

From my heart

My husband’s cancer is gone and he is fighting his way through six months of strong chemo-therapy. It is so hard on him. His body is hurting and he is nauseated most of the time, but he’s very strong and I have no doubt he will pull through. He’s a fighter.

As much as it hurts to see him in this condition, I am excited because I’ve decided to go out into the world and speak about child abuse. Having been sexually abused as a child gives me a unique ability to discuss abuse. I am happy to say I have a date to speak to a church women’s group in November. The topic will be “Recognizing the Signs of Child Abuse.”

I was very happy being a writer and I think I could write all the time and still love it. However, every time I read the submission guidelines for a proposal to an agent about MULTIPLE, the agents want a list of my speaking engagements.

“What speaking engagements?” I ask. I spent weeks trying to figure out how writing a memoire would enable me to speak in public. Who would want me to come talk for an hour about me?

So I did what I usually do in confusing situations, I prayed. Sure enough, over the last few months the Lord showed me what I can speak about – child abuse. As I thought about it, I realized there is a market for this information in our society right now. Mothers are scared their children will somehow be abused and they won’t know about it. So I am going to help them by telling them the signs of child abuse. They will find out how to recognize child abuse and how to talk to their kids about it.

I feel so good. I actually have something to say! It was just a matter of looking at it from a different point of view. Thank you Jesus!

I would like to continue blogging, sometimes being silly and sometimes being serious. I’d like to keep writing and I’m hoping you will keep reading. And if you’re a believer, please pray for me. I also want to thank Jane Friedman for her guidance about blogging.

God, the Ultimate Genius

My sister, Greta, is a born-again Christian and she loves the Lord. She also loves people and when a friend asked her to drive her to radiation treatment in Columbus, my sister agreed. Greta is very giving. Please don’t ask her for the shirt off her back, she’ll probably give it to you, leading to an embarrassing situation for all concerned. Anyway, we have a sweet friend, Holly, who has been battling cancer for about four years, and she asked Greta to drive her to Columbus. Greta did request, however, that they stop at the Apple Store in Columbus because Greta’s new I- phone was not working properly.

Holly’s appointment was for 1:45, but the ladies arrived at the Apple Store in plenty of time for Greta to explain her problem to a consultant. The consultants work at the GENIUS BAR, and are referred to as GENIUSES, and rightly so, since they seem to be a whole lot smarter than everyone else.

The problem with Greta’s phone was that it would not ring. When she received a call the phone merely vibrated, so my sister was missing a lot of calls. She has a two-story house and if she was downstairs, when the phone was on the second floor, she couldn’t hear the buzzing sound. She has a telemarketing business, so it was essential that the phone would ring. The Apple Store was her last resort in exchanging the phone.

Greta and Holly arrived at the store in plenty of time for Greta to pick out and exchange her phone. The consultant, excuse me, I mean the Genius, agreed she needed a new phone and within a few minutes she had one. The problem came when the geniuses tried to download her content from her old phone to the cloud on her new one. They started the download and the phone got the first few entries, but then it stopped and nothing happened. They tried again. The same thing happened.

Time was passing by and it was getting late. The Geniuses tried to download the content again. Greta was getting nervous. This was her last chance to get a new phone, because Apple doesn’t have a store in our town, and obviously traveling two hours to get to Columbus is not an easy option. Even so, the phone downloaded the first part of the content to the cloud and then sat still.

Greta decided to pray. She quietly and unobtrusively laid her hand on the phone and prayed:

“Dear God, you are the real Genius. You gave these people the knowledge to create this phone. You can do anything. Please make my content download, so I can take Holly to her appointment.” As she lifted her hand to look at the phone, the rest of her content began downloading and within minutes it was done. She silently thanked the Lord, who is the ULTIMATE GENIUS.

Faith and Spirituality Beneficial in Treatment

NAMI | Faith and Spirituality Beneficial in Treatment, Study Finds.

Three Ways to Fight Child Abuse

In Matthew 10:16 the Lord tells us to be as wise as serpents and as gentle as doves when fighting our enemies. Fighting child abuse can be a dangerous mission, especially when confronting or reporting an abuser. When we march to raise child abuse awareness, we are gentle as doves, like these people in Idaho.

1. BOISE — April is Child Abuse Prevention and Awareness Month, and Idahoans are taking notice. A small group marched from the Idaho Statehouse on Monday for the annual “Million March Against Child Abuse.” Similar marches were held across the country in a unified effort to bring attention to child abuse.

“We’re on a mission to spread awareness about child abuse and how it’s in our communities and neighborhoods, and also asking our lawmakers that they put forth harsher punishment laws for those who do abuse children,” said Cory Hoffman with Million March against Child Abuse. Organizers say on average, 20 new cases of child abuse are reported in Idaho every day. Many believe more cases go unreported. Hoffman says it’s everyone’s responsibility to be on the lookout for child abuse and to call the number 211 if they want to report child abuse. From KTVB News.

2. A neighbor was as wise as a serpent when he video recorded a man abusing his step-son during a ball game. See the video on http://abclocal.go.com/wabc/video?id=8689626 .The video is being used in court as crucial evidence of abuse.

3. In Chicago, the father of one of two young children found with bruises after police responded to a disturbance in the East Chatham neighborhood has been charged with domestic battery, authorities said.

Edwin Anderson, 28, was expected to appear in Domestic Violence Court for a bond hearing after police found a 1-year-old girl and a 3-year-old boy with visible injuries at Anderson’s home in the 8200 block of South Ellis Avenue, police said.

Officers were called to the home in the 8200 block of South Ellis Avenue around 9 p.m. Monday, Chicago Police News Affairs Officer Amina Greer said. A neighbor reported possible child abuse at the home, police said. Officers found four children, 4 years and younger, in the home. Two of them had bruises, Greer said.

Anderson fled the home out a back door before police arrived. Officers found the boy had bruising and welts, and the girl also showed marks, police said. Anderson was arrested when he returned, and police confiscated a black leather belt believed used to inflict the injuries.

All four children were taken to the University of Chicago Comer Children’s Hospital, where they were listed in good condition. The children, three girls and a boy, range in age from 6 months to 4 years old, Greer said.

The children’s mother was questioned by police but not charged, said Chicago Police News Affairs Officer John Mirabelli.

The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services is investigating allegations of child abuse against a man who is the boyfriend of the children’s mother, DCFS spokesman Jimmie Whitelow said today. The mother is being investigated on allegations of neglect, he said.

No booking photo of Anderson was released because he was charged with a misdemeanor. Unlike most misdemeanors, all domestic battery charges in Chicago, however, require a defendant’s appearance for a bond hearing.

A Prayer for Rick Warren and Family

If you have been touched by Rick and his ministry, please pray this prayer out loud today.

Dear Father God, You are the only one who can take this burden from our friends, Rick and his family. It is a heavy burden, but we know you can comfort them during this time. Based on our love and respect for this man of God and his family, we ask you to spread your Balm of Gilead onto their spirits,  raining your love down on their souls.

We lift up Matthew to you and hope and pray you will accept him into your heavenly house. Forgive him for anything that might prevent his entering into your holy presence.

Father, this death affects so many, Christian and Non-Christian alike, and we all have felt Rick’s presence in the media. We ask you please to help him recover from this blow and be able to continue his ministry. The last few days have revealed his transparency, his faith and his strength, all of which you have given him abundantly. We pray that you would continue to gift him in these ways.

Thank you for Rick and his family, and be with them before, during and after their memorial for their dear son and give them your comfort.

In Jesus name I pray, Amen

To Spank or not to Spank

That is the question. Our society is coming out of an era when children were spanked and disciplined for doing things that are wrong and not doing things that are right. Spanking a child with your hand or an implement was the norm. Years ago, school teachers and principals were famous for “paddling” the children. The motto was “spare the rod and spoil the child.” Spanking was society’s effort to control bad behavior in children, and I’d say it worked for the most part.

Many of these efforts to discipline children were based in the scriptures. Proverbs 22:15 says “folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline will drive it far from him,” and  “discipline your son, and he will give you peace: he will bring delight to you soul,” 29:17.

I raised my daughters with discipline, using the rod on them when they willfully disobeyed, and I espouse the biblical view on discipline. However, I was taught to spank them in love, which I interrupted to mean don’t yell and scream at them, but explain their wrongdoing in a loving voice. I also believe the spanking should not be too hard, just enough to get the point across.

Psychology books are for and against spanking, depending on the author and subject, but I do not believe spanking is child abuse. I believe it is correction, but it should be used after all other efforts to control the child have been explored.

Each young mother must make her own decision about whether to spank her child or not. Many mothers don’t spank their children, and I believe in general, children have not benefited from this standard. There are some very patient women who can handle screaming tantrums, and the hysterical behavior of undisciplined children, but I never could maintain my calm during such “fits.” I basically had to spank my girls, because I had no idea what else to do.

Please believe me I am not championing violence towards children, but I know from experience that out-of-control children can destroy property and offend people when left to their own devices. They can become tyrants, demanding everything their parents can give them and then some.

If someone doesn’t teach children not to run amok, throw things and take things that belong to other people, how will they learn? Unfortunately, women are now afraid to discipline their children when they are in public and the children know it. The children know they can do anything they want and their moms and dads can’t touch them if they’re in public. This has resulted in many unfortunate temper tantrums in malls and stores.

Author Laurie Ann Smith of Canada, who was abused as a child and is now a speaker on child abuse, believes the same thing I do, that spanking is not abuse. It is a wake-up call to get the child’s attention. Beating is abuse.

Child abuse is wrong, but correcting a child who is willfully disobeying is “training him up in the way he should go”(Proverbs 22:6). How many of us have been to a home where there are children who have not been disciplined? Usually we can’t wait to leave, because the children have taken over the home. They run, scream and play, often tormenting adults and other children.

Sending children to their room used to be a valid form of discipline and is not abusive. However, today children have so much electronic equipment in their rooms (televisions and computers) that they can happily entertain themselves for hours, so there is often no hardship involved in being sent to their rooms, and the child doesn’t learn anything about his behavior.

I think modern women of the 21st century honestly believe their children are good at heart and would never willfully hurt someone else, but this isn’t scriptural either and is not borne out by experience. Most children are extremely selfish and want their way all the time. If we do not curb this unfortunate behavior, when they become teenagers they do whatever they want. This method of no discipline can lead to some very nasty teenagers who do whatever they want.

So my point of view on this matter is that it’s better to spank a child than let him or her become a tyrant. What do you think? Do you think it’s abusive to spank a child?

Why do we always need to be right?

In our culture we are educated in a system that values being right and abhors being wrong.

We are taught from a very young age that answering a question with the right answer is good and the wrong answer is bad. We are graded for twelve years in school with a system that validates the “right” answer every day and devalues the “wrong” answer. No wonder we all grow up needing to be right all the time.

Our society also rewards people with money when they are right. A school student studys and gets good grades because he/she gets correct answers on tests. These answers help him get into a good college, where he graduates at the top of his class because he gets the right answers on all his tests. (This guy is definitely a goody-two-shoes and I practically hate him already). Finally this superb fellow gets a really high paying job because he has a history of being right.

So a second thing we have to do in order to be happy being wrong, is to be happy being poor middle class and not having every single material item that our neighbor has. The Bible supports this truth with “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbors goods,” and I am adding “even his 48″ flat screen TV!”

The need to be right causes us to get into many arguments, often offending those around us. When was the last time you insisted someone else was wrong about something? When we get into that situation, where we are in a face-off  about a particular point, do any of us have the grace to give-in?

It so happened that the day I was considering writing about this, I had a disagreement with my husband. I don’t even remember what it was about, but as I thought about it, I REALIZED HE WAS RIGHT. That was a painful realization for me. My insides begrudged his correctness. I felt a big lump in my chest, knowing that I had been wrong. Somehow I feared dire consequences for being wrong.

Then I started to analyze myself. I pictured Mrs. Houston, my grade school principal, glaring at me from her desk because I didn’t know my geography. I pictured Miss Zigler sneering at me because I couldn’t remember the words to my part in the play. I thought about these incidents for several days. I even thought about confessing to Bob that he had been right, but I couldn’t do it. Then I started to realize that ever since I had been in First Grade I had been told that there was only one answer to a question and that was the RIGHT answer.

I started to feel  better. I realized it didn’t matter who was right about the point of conflict my husband and I had argued about. I realized there was no need to confront him about it and cause another disagreement worse than the first one. I could forgive him for being right and accept being wrong. I felt good about myself. I felt like it was “big of me” to admit being wrong, even if it was just to myself.

Perhaps we all would be happier if we gave up being right as often as we can. It’s possible we would receive more love and admiration from our spouse,  our children, and our co-workers. We might be more relaxed and have a more peaceful life. It sounds pretty good doesn’t it?

Would you rather be right or be happy?

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Other Multiples

If you know someone with multiple personalities, please tell them about my blog. I would like to connect with them