Stormy Weather **DaniGee**

…just can’t get my po’self together.

It’s been a minute. Your girl been going through some things but I am happy that the writing bug has bitten me so here I am. I would love to say that I promise to do better but I’m going to take this thing called Life, one day at a time.

God speaks to me but he doesn’t talk with words. He shows me things. He uses visuals with me.

My occupation has me driving. A lot. I put on average 1,000 miles on my car a month, not including what I do outside of work. So, I am in my car. A lot. If you are in Alabama or in the surrounding states then you know that it has been raining on a daily basis. So recently, I drove for miles and saw nothing but sunshine but after a while, I noticed  rain was  on the horizon.  It is a mixture of dark grey and Aegean blue. It’s hazy but I can see through it. The closer I get to it, I notice subtle changes to the atmosphere; Fog begins to arise from the asphalt, there’s a misty smell that comes through the vents, and then the rain and I finally meet. At first, it’s not that bad and I am sure that I can see the end of it. However, after about 3 minutes, the rain is not letting up and visibility is nonexistent at the moment. I put on my blinkers and I get my speed between 25 and 30 mph. Not even 5 minutes after that, the rain ceases. I shut off my emergency lights and my windshield wipers. The sun is already coming out. I look back in my rear view mirror and I see where I just come from and it still looks gloomy but I made it out with no wounds.

I know you asking what the heck this got to with God speaking to me…..

Welllll, like I said earlier, I’ve been going through stuff. In the next couple of months, I will be making life changing decisions but that doesn’t stop my  day to day responsibilities from not going haywire. For some things, I can feel things are starting to change, and not always for the best. At first, it feels manageable but then for what ever reason, my visibility becomes cloudy and I have to put on my emergency lights (prayer) and windshield wipers ( faith).  It feels like forever but the storm doesn’t last always. The sun will shine again and it’s okay to look back again to see how I overcame the storm.

Still PUSHing,

 

 

DaniGee

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Investing in Moi-Renee’

‘Ello Young World! I know I haven’t blogged like I should. I actually really enjoy doing it so I don’t know why I don’t blog more often….

But anywho. I’m 32 wks tomorrow and time for the new baby is closing in. Thw first two trimesters dragged but I can’t get this one to slow down!

I’m settled into my new position pretty well and have been there almost a year. It’s amazing what one year can do. I switched jobs, got pregnant,moved, hubby started the business back up.

The only thing I am unhappy about is my socialzing goal. Because I was so sick I spent 6 months in isolation. I had started getting out more, last year I shared my story on Baby Smith attended workshops….and this year not so much.

But…I did join a workshop for writers. It was/is my Mother’s Day gift. It’s the most ive spent on myself in a long time. It was actually difficult for me to actually say, yes. But I’ve had one of the 6 classes and it’s worth the investment.

 

Until next time!

 

 

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Baby bumps, updates and due dates

So……..

I am in my third trimester with my third baby. My Hyperemisis Gravardium eased up about three weeks ago and I am finally off my nausea medication. Im feeling better mentally and emotionally.

LaDarren has started back training…but this time…he has his own PLACE for training! It has been such a blessing and our lives have been so busy working on that…..

And we moved lol….all during the same time. We moved into a bigger space for the kids, we have bigger yard space, more choices for rooms… the big boys had the opportunity to decorate their rooms how they like. Daniel chose space and Landyn chose sonic and ninja turtles.

Radical has turned into everyday lol. Trying to get this house in order, helping hubby with a budding business, growing a human… been tiresome but so awesome .

We’ve also decided that this baby, Darren Wesley Kelley Smith..is our last baby. I’m mourning the loss of never again feeling little feet in my belly, ultrasounds, having my husband rub my belly and smile at me….little snuggles and tiny fingers wrapped around my finger.

But it’s time… I’m 30..and 4 kids under 7…is…ALOT lol so I’m not crazy but gosh it’s weird to think that there will be no more babies ever. I am excited as to what this means for our future, but…can’t believe  how much has changed since I first started this blog.

All the new chapters, new lessons and new blessings.

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Overshadowed **DaniGee**

Source: Overshadowed **DaniGee**

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Overshadowed **DaniGee**

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Self Doubt. Anger. Confusion. No Time. These past couple of months have been challenging, to the say the least. I was asked to take on another role at work, which I was such an honor and I was so happy to even be considered. What I didn’t immediately realize would come would be difficult work situations and extra responsibilities that doesn’t always end at 5 o’clock. During this time of transition, I’ve doubted myself, became stressed and anxious to the point where the only thing that got me out of bed was the fact that I knew I could hop back in as soon as I got back home. I hate that feeling but sometimes it felt like it was unavoidable. I was able to decompress with trusted coworkers and my best friends but I felt like I was hitting the same wall on a weekly basis. Is this what it looks like when you are given more responsibilities? If so, I was looking for the receipt and the package that it came in.

But God. He knows what I need even before I ask. He gave me April 16th. He gave me the holiday to celebrate his son’s resurrection. He gave me (US) his only son, the ultimate sacrifice. It was doing this day that it hit me that he sacrificed his life for me, not to live life in ever-anxious state but to LIVE. He wants all the praise. The life I live should be a joyful one, a one of thankfulness on our tongue.

Life can be daunting. It can be uncomfortable and scary. However, I believe in God. I believe that he has his best interests for me. It is a reason for me to be going through this. It is for preparation for something greater. God has made ME in his image and he makes no mistakes. He has given me the tools for my purpose in this world.

25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

27 “Yes, Lord,” she replied, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.” -John 11 25-27

Still PUSHing,

DaniGee

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One Year Ago~Audrey

 

About this time last year, I made my first visit overseas. I joined my coworkers in a mission trip toIMG_9465 change the lives of the 1000,000 plus orphans in Ukraine, I had never been overseas. In fact, I had only flown one time. A few years ago I made a trip to DC. But that was nothing like the 12 plus hour trip I would make over the Atlantic Ocean. I was slightly nervosa as one might imagine.

 

Funnily enough, issues with planes and getting on were one of the only two things I was worried about. I had heard to many horror stories about people missing their flights or not being able to get on the plane. After a momentary issue when we got there and a potential panic attack, I was fine. I was able to move when I needed to (that was concern number 2; how I would manage my illnesses) and was perfectly comfortable and entrained during my travel.

 

I took this all as a good sign: a great start to a productive trip. I was excited to see a new culture, to work on the actual soil the orphans I had met with came from. I was excited for my experiences. But I never expected to be as moved or to be as comfortable as I was when I arrived in Ukraine.

 

We stayed at a transitional care facility in Korosten. A kind of foster home in case where kids were taken care of during the scary time of transition with great care and love, the children here were between IMG_9840.JPGfamilies and orphanages here. This was one of the nicer places BOF had been stationed, and I was very thankful because it was easier for me, a chronic illness warrior, to do my job with some comforts. I had respect for all those that came before and after who made do with a lot less and never stopped them.

 

We met the children briefly before everyone headed to a local park. Everyone but me. I stayed to rest. I was an exhausted from travel and wanted to be able to give the kids my all the first day of programming. I was resting up to deal with the life changing overview I was acquired.

 

The first day, we started by playing with the kids with our VBS programming planned for that night. We walked with them to their dance lessons, something rare for these kids and were touched by how art can make a difference. As a ex marching band member and music lover, I knew that music could change lives, but when you saw these kids come alive to dance to the music it took on a new depth. They escaped their pain and shook it off. It was amazing.IMG_9543

 

 In fact, these children came alive whenever they got some affection. I sat next to one child while they crafted and for the rest of the trip he was especially attached to me. I let one child wear my sunglasses and then we were best friends. Even just pushing a toy truck across the floor made me popular with the kids. Sure, they had great caregivers that worked with them, but new friends meant the world to them.

 

Our VBS program was filled with music and dancing and crafts and fun. We shared stories of Jesus and the bible. Each team member shared testimonies of their life. I, of course, shared my story of chronic illness and how I was on broken but that God gave me strength to persevere and gave me doctors and medicines to make me better. This was especially important to me because I had made friends with a young girl with brittle bone disease. When we went outside to play, she had to be extra careful and didn’t get to do as much as the other kids. I hung out with her and helped kept her occupied. I hope one day she remembers that story. When the word seems hard and you can’t do everything you want because of your body, I hope she remembers she met someone who had hope: in herself, in medicine, and in God.

 

IMG_9615The week was amazing and on the last day with the child, I went with them one walk around the neighborhood. Just me, the kids, and their caregivers. No other team member or translator. And I was perfectly comfortable with this. I had no problem walking around an area I didn’t know with people who didn’t know my language. In fact, I had been comfortable the entire time. When I arrived, I was tired not afraid. I was never afraid. Was I frustrated that I couldn’t communicate like I wanted? Sure, but that nevermore I feel like I didn’t belong. On that walk, I had fun with the kids. We had made up a fake language that had crossed barriers and broke the ice. And on this particular walk, a few of eh kids and I practiced our skills of English and Russian, teaching each other new words in both languages by what we saw around us. I will always remember learning the word for fish at the market that day. Thanks Daniel!

 

But that walk brought more to my attention than just a few words. I really got to see the big picture. Walking around this town in Ukraine, I notice the differences but I also noticed the similarities. Housing was different but I could see the tell tale signs of those with not enough money. I saw people just trying to survive. The trapping may have been different but the people were the same. Working to support their families. Here they had markets on the street and back home they are cashiers at Walmart. I looked into the faces of these children and saw the same kind of spirit I saw in the kids I grew up with: dreams and aspirations trying to overcome what life threw at them. I saw souls light up: I saw God.

 

One of the criticisms of our work is that we work with children in a different county and don’t focus on IMG_9762.JPGkids in Alabama. As someone who worked in Alabama improving the lives of those with children and adults with disabilities for ten years, I can tell you I’ve done that and I can assure you there are big hearted, god driven people already doing that.  But the thing is, God’s people aren’t limited to Alabama–they aren’t even limited to the United States. That I day I truly saw what He was trying to show me! I felt so comfortable because I was among his people! My brothers and sister may have spoken a different language but that didn’t change what we had in common. God was in Ukraine and He loved his children there. He has called me to be part of a team of American and Ukraine who wanted to change these kids life for the better!

 

I am truly honored. I always wanted to make a difference and never though He’d called me for something as big as international missionary work.  I remember their faces so clearly and it’s almost like they haunt me.  These children, along with the ones that come to camp, are my touch stone. They remind me that love their neighbor doesn’t mean the person next to you or the person next door; it means that we you love each of your brothers and sister regardless of distance.

If you would like to find out more about Bridges of Faith please visits: http://www.bridgesoffaith.com/

 

And if you are interested in making a tax-deductible donation to BOF in my name to continue my domestic ministry work , please contact audrey@bridgesoffaith.com, donate on-line (mention my name) or send checks to 302 County Road 383, Billingsley, AL 36006. Thank you for your support!

 

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It Ain’t No Rainbow~Audrey

It’s time for a “half year” check in (more or less; I’m always late these days). I’m having a tough time in my life right now but I am trying. Here’s where I stand.

 

“Just Let Me Know”

 

I have worked hard on connecting with friends. I wrote two very heartfelt letters to friends I thought of as “wayward.” Not that they are bad, but they have a life that has helped them close up and not reach out. So I tried to reach out but no response. But I feel better about my stance with them. I also posted a birthday post on a friend who my only contact is on Facebook. We were very close in high school but she’s changed and while I understand we grow, I wish we weren’t complying separate.  I didn’t expect her to reply; she didn’t; but I tried.

 

I failed at staying in touch with current friends. I’ve been so focused on my specific problems that I haven’t been much of the “reach out and touch someone” person I had been. Maybe I can fix that this week.

 

“And, God knows, It’s the Only Way to Heal Now”

I’m losing this battle in the war of my health. I stope exercising and sometimes just stopped caring. I’m stuck in rut. I’ve been busy and very stressed which chokes my body. My chores don’t get done but I am so tired of not feeling good. My fatigue level is high. I am upset because I worked so hard to get out of this rut and here I am again. I am trying to deal with the idea that these periods will happen because it is a CHRONIC illness. But it’s hard to adjust

 

“In the Heart of the Free World”

I thought about giving up the other day. I was tired and I had gotten a lot of flak for my opinions on pop culture (of all things!). This song played in my head and I remembered I wasn’t trapped in Russia like some people. I could choose as I always have to ignore people who are mean because they don’t like the minority opinion. I am me and I don’t have to like what everyone else does.

 

“Spinning like a Gravitron When I was just a kid”

With all that is going on in my life, I am stuck in one of depressive spirals. It’s not as bad as some instances but my fatigue isn’t making it better. In some sense I am happy but have too much stress. It’s clear when you look at my habits when I’m in a depressive mood; I get obsessive. At this point, it’s reading (especially all the Rick Riordan novels) and Final Fantasy XV. They keep my mind of the bad stuff and one glace at my Facebook and you can see the obsessiveness. Lol

 

“I’ve Forgiven It All”

I’m not mad at my exes. But I am working on wishing them a happy life. I know I can check off all but one of them (but that’s another story}.

What I have realized is that I don’t like the idea that my exes think I might care. Interestingly, I was commenting on a mutual friend’s Facebook where she was paired with Captain America. She was talking about how he was too goody goody for her. My ex then comes in and says something about him being a Nazi (that is Being erased this May and it never happened so ha!). To any other person I would have replied “shut your dirty filthy mouth” but since he was an ex I wondered if he thought I was angry at him still as opposed to the Nazi. I decided not to post but that’s when it occurred to me, that I wish them well but I don’t want them to think I actually care about them. Is that a paradox?

 

“I Refuse to Look Back Thinking Days Were Better Just Because They’re Younger Days”

So I was in the shower the other night and having an objective look at my past. For every great memory, there is a cringe worthy moment. I truly realize that things were never perfect, just different. I am not enjoying now enough because it is different. So the focus going forward is to celebrate the different.

 

“We Can Never Go Back”

 

Nothing can be the same, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be better.

 

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