Archive for category Audrey

Sloth~Audrey

My deadly sin? Sloth.
Let me make something clear: fatigue isn’t the same as sloth. Depression isn’t the same as sloth. Sloth is letting things get nasty and being lazy without reason. It becomes apathy with no excuse.
I just realize that I have transitioned out of depression into sloth. The orphans aren’t here. I don’t feel bad. I am just lazy.
So I prayed and got off my butt. For about three days, I had energy, participating in my hobbies and cleaning my house! I made sure to pace myself and was doing great.
Then a flare came, and it all went away. I made myself color and read so I would be doing something and to keep my brain off my pain. But it upset me because I was doing so well fighting sloth. Now I was possibly getting back into the habit..
I am feeling better than I was but I’m not back to normal but the fact that it frustrated me meant that I was still in the spirit to fight sloth. So I am not using this flare as an excuse.
I will pull myself of our deadly sin and keep honoring the Lord!

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2017~Audrey

With the New Year just starting, I wanted to take a minute to let you know what happened during the past year.

IMG_2295At Bridges of Faith, we had three group of orphans come to Bridgestone. In July, many of the children were from a speclal needs orphnage and I really loved working with them because of my background in teaching those with special needs.

We also had two group of kids stay in private homes to see what living with a caring family is like. The children get to see what it’s like to not have parents who are drunk or violent; ones that care about the kiuds.

But the big news is that 117 chidlren have been adopted since the program started! Two families just got back from Ukraine and many more families are going through the paper work process. Theese are the miracles I see at work: wodnerful children finding a loving forever home.IMG_3432

I also had some big things happen personally as well. I have been on IVIG treatments for my Common Variable Immune Deficiency for two years now. Every three weeks, a nurse comes to my house to administer a treatment that takes four to five hours. This keeps me from constantly getting infections. I have also seen a decrease in pain in my joints as well. My energy levels are great and, though I have bad days, I am doing so much better that I was before treatment.

Besides that milestone, I had a port installed. In July, I went to the Kirkland Clinic to put the port in my chest. This allows me to continue to receive treatments without continuing to do harm to my body. Not only do my veins roll, but that rolling causes them to blow bruising my arms. A lot of the antibodies I was infusing were going to healing the bruised and purple places in my arms. The port is set IMG_2369.JPGin a pocket under my skin with a catheter that leads to my carotid artery. Each treatment, we pierce the skin once (it doesn’t hurt much anymore as I am building scar tissue in that spot). We can do treatments, take blood, and do CTs scan with this piece of equipment. It has made treatment easier, faster and less painful. I was able to have this done thanks to generous donors who saw the need for me to have this medical equipment installed.

At home, I have a new addition. I got a new kitten named Iggy. Iggy came to live with Tig and me in June. At first, Tig wasn’t sure wat to think of the little one but the two have become brothers. When we go on walks, Tig always makes sure Iggy is with us and won’t let us leave an area without him.

Iggy is a seal point with a tabby face who loves to run around outside and cuddle. He is about 10 months old now and is a little rascal who spent all Christmas knocking IMG_2893ornaments off the tree. I love him so much! He is so fluffy I could die!

In regards to volunteer work, I acted as the Region 5 Representative for the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship Intonations. I over saw Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Florida, Tennessee, Puerto Rico (please continue to pray for them; they still don’t all have electricity and horse feed and hay are scarce) and Africa. I enjoy being able to be in the therapeutic horseback riding world even though I am not an active instructor.

Thank you for all your support this past year! I could have not have made it without your prayers, love and monetary support! Here’s to another great year!

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Seeing My Work Come Back to Me~Audrey

Each time child come to Bridgestone, something magical always happens. This time it was the night of the Ukrainian dinner. Each Saturday before the children leave, we host an authentic Ukrainian Dinner with borscht and pelmeni. We invite everyone to join especially post-orphans and their families.IMG_6564
At the dinner I got to spend time with a special post orphan named Vadym. He had come to Bridges of Faith two Decembers. You may remember that I wrote about him because he and God made him a special place in my heart. He was adopted by a wonder family and I keep up with his goings on Facebook.
The day of the dinner they came early to help with other activities. I was so excited to see him. He was also very excited to show me a new way to read comic books for free. We sat down and he walked me through on my phone on how to read them. It was pretty awesome and I love that we had bounded over being nerds.
We had dinner and I sat with the current children and a friend that I knew. I was trying to make sure that I didn’t hog Vadym all night. Plus, I enjoy seeing the kids eat their native foods. They always enjoy the night and get all dressed up.
After dinner, we headed to the chapel for a little service so we could pray for the children plus we got to hear from them their favorite part of the trip. This is always a special moment. I did sit with Vadym and his family and it was interesting to be on the other side with him. He knew how these children felt; he had bene there and done that. When it was time for me to leave, he begged, very quietly, for me not to leave (or so his mom says). So I stayed a little longer just to spend time with him. It was an honor to spend time with this child who we brought over and helped find a forever family.
The point of this story is to show that my work has meaning. This boy’s life was changed forever because of this program and my work with it. These children don’t disappear from our lives. I see a majority of them quite IMG_3290often. In fact, God brings them into my life and changes both of us. He doesn’t just make this a quick relationship; many I get to be in their loves for so much more than just thirty days.
Children like Vadym are why I do what I do. I watch him grow in a local school and see him loved by parents who would (and have) done anything for him.

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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Hope~Audrey

Over the weekend, Hurrian Nate hit the Gulf Coast. Ahead of that, thunder storms roared into Central Alabama. At about 8 p.m., my phone alerted me to a tornado warming. When I looked into it further, I learned that there was rotation in my area. I sat by the table watching a movie on my lap top in case I needed to duck under it with my cats. By 8:30 all was clear and I was back in my bed. I thanked God for safety and didn’t think much more about it.
The next t day, I saw that there was so much more than my little house out there. The nonprofit I live and work at was building a brand new gymatorium. The tornadic winds lifted the pots out of the ground and then plopped it back down, leaving the supports shattered and a tree through the roof.
But the building was so much more than a gymatorium; it is also a memorial. Sasha came to Bridges of Faith as part of the August 2016 group of orphans. He arrived as a fifteen-year-old, shy young man. As time progressed, Sasha emerged from his shell. Several families expressed interest in adopting Sasha, but nothing ever worked out. Four months later, while visiting his biological mother, Sasha was killed when alcohol and anger made a deadly combination. Sasha is why Bridges of Faith exists–to help the 100,000 orphans in Ukraine whose life consists of violence, crime and sexual trafficking. By giving them a chance to net worked with families and experience a new culture, BOF gives hope to these poor souls. The gymatorium will stand as a reembrace of Sasha and an icon of the work the organization does.
I was devastated. I couldn’t save the boy and now his building was in shambles. I thought it was a horrible omen; I thought all was lost. I felt the same guilt that I first felt when Sasha was killed.
But there is so much hope. This is a building. We can and will rebuild. Sasha’s memory will live on. We can’t give up. We don’t stop brining children because we lost one and we won’t stop with the building.
Thanks to volunteers from the area (especially those in Birmingham), we have already begun cleaning up. In fact, cleanup is going faster than we could ever imagine. The response of hope and love has overwhelmed us.
I am no longer devastated. I am centered and focused. I won’t back down.

 

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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Baptism~Audrey

As I think back on my two years at Bridges of Faith, I often think of specific children and how they changed my heart. The second group of orphans I worked with was special; it was mostly teenagers and God showed me that, despite my misgivings, I can work with teenagers. But I wasn’t the only one changed that month. In July I was honored to be part of a milestone in on of these orphans life; I saw one of the girls become baptized
This is what I said about her two years ago:
“The second teen’s effect on me was more subtle. She did have a drama streak, but she wanted so much to connect with people, to be included and loved. She would help me up and down stars. If she missed helping me, she would be sad and apologize. She loved freely and laughed often. She wasn’t afraid of tears. She totally changed my mind that all teens were all self-centered. She realized to be loved, she had to give love.”
Since then, she has been adopted and is living a very American life in Tennessee. She speaks English very well and has even been back to volunteer with the orphans. In July, Lena was baptized by BOF founder Rev. Tom Benz in our pool at Bridgestone.
I talked to her before her baptism and she confided in me that she was nervous. When I inquired why she told me she was scared that she would break her promise and she would sin. I told her baptism was a promise that we believe that Jesus was our Savior. Jesus knows we will sin. It is our job to try not to and when we fail ask forgiveness. She would not fail her savior just because she would sin at some point.
I was one of just a few people there to watch her make her commitment to Jesus. It brought tears to my eyes. I had seen her mature and grow into a Christian and I thanked God for allowing me to be able to be a part of this.

 

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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On the Verge of Something Wonderful~Audrey

It’s the final year of Radical 7even. This year I will look back and see what I have become and make sure I am happy with what I have accomplished. What I see in the mirror will tell me this. For this year, I recycled many goals that have that I failed or only accomplished for a short period. The others are building off my successes of pervious year. I know I am on the verge of something wonderful, and I can’t wait to see what change has actually occurred.

“Here’s to the time we have”
“Lost And Found”, Train

1. Writing/blog

I have let my favorite hobby go. I stopped writing outside of work and some letters. I work on grants but nothing creatively. I haven’t worked on a short story in years and I even completely given up my own entertainment blog. I only post of Radical 7even whenaudrey it’s a work or goal update. My chronic illness blog gets updated like once a month. This is not acceptable, and I cannot let one of my favorite activities to go by the way side. My goal is to write in each blog once a month and track down my fairy short story and finish it.

2. Exercise

Exercise has been on my goals for many, many years. It’s hard for to stick to exercising for two reasons: 1. my illness makes it hard sometimes, and, 2. I don’t really want to do it. Currently, I go for walks with my cats but that’s maybe twice a week. I have videos for Pilates, chair yoga. But I don’t know why I can’t hype myself up to do them. My goal this year is to get into a real routine that benefits me and my health.

3. Be Myself

This last year I challenged myself to open about who I am and my thoughts and goals. I really felt freed and like I was making a difference. This empowered me, and I want to truly embrace who I am and not be afraid to hide it. I want to be fully me and hope that people embrace me instead of hiding what they might not like.

“Till I am a soul on fire”
“Soul On Fire”, Third Day

4. Spiritual

“What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?” He answered, “‘Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with your entire mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'” “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”
Luke 10:26-28

IMG_0297I feel like I do a great job of loving my neighbor. My life and political philosophy is love they neighbor. But you know what I missed? The first part. I love Jesus but it’s not my default love. This year, I my goal am to get to that default and start following the most important commandment.

5. Take A Leap Of Faith

I’m not big on getting out of my comfort zone. I have taken leaps of faith before and been richly rewarded. But I don’t do it often enough. I feel like my fear keeps from things and sometimes I don’t care. I want to learn to take the right chances; not just jumping at everything, but making the right choices for my life as a whole.

“Been a prisoner of the past”
“Learn to Let Go”, Kesha

6. Forgive Myself

Part of my depression and anxiety is exacerbated by how I react. I have trouble forgiving myself. I have always said nothing you can say can be worse than what I’ve told myself.
For instance I got a date wrong for a court date in regards to not having car insurance. I IMG_3425spent all day beating myself up. I had to remember I had a very stressful two months as well as several illnesses. That always leads to my brain being messed up. Once I calmed down, I was able to enjoy time with my family and take the appropriate steps to rectify the situation.
This beating myself up has to stop. It doesn’t make the situation better and just makes me suffer more.

7.Spread the Love

I recently heard that a man that I met back in June died. He had spent the majority of his life in Crimea working with orphans. But he was one of the rudest older gentlemen I had ever met. I tried to get past that and see his service as his true heart. After being kicked out of Crimea when the Russians took over, he was sort of wondering the US. He died from Stage 4 cancer and we had no idea. His body was shipped to California to his mom. I was grateful he had family, but people who talked of him said they didn’t know any of his friends. I know personally, that he was divorced and spoke harshly of his ex-wife. The story of his death implied, to me, the same as his post Crimea life, he was very lonely and don’t have any roots. I don’t want to be that way. So my goal is to appreciate my loved one and try to get along. To let them know they are loved. Let them know they have a person to come to. If I do this, I know I will receive the same in return.

 

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I’m Not Afraid, I’m Not~Audrey

 

“Making Everyday a Holiday”

Kids-OneRepublic

I was sitting at the table the other day thinking about the best times of my life. And I quickly saw that I was so happy right now. I might have finical issues but I am happy emotionally and physically, I’m at a great point in my life. I think knowing that is really the whole goal here; to not just think back on the past years on the bad or that that those years were better than now.

“And God Knows I’m Not Dying But I Breath Now”

My Blood- Ellie Goulding

My health has improved a hundred fold since I started my treatments. But I’m still not doing good enough with my exercise. I am trying to get back to my walks. I had a port put in in July and have been under a lot of stress and I’ve had a body collapse. I spent the last weekend sick. I tried hard to take care of myself but sometimes there are flare si cannot fight and I have to remember that there will be these times and I can’t change them. 

“I Know You Hear Me Now”

Hear Me Now-Five

My friends are huge to me. It depresses me that my high school best friend has fallen off the radar. But I remember that I  haven’t lost my best college friend. No matter how far away she is, she is still with me ibn my heart. I tried to contact some friend and they didn’t respond. Instead of getting said, I tried to understand their situation and what is going on with their lives. I will welcome them with open arms if they ever come back.

 

“Let’s Destroy Each Mistake That We Made”

Fake It, Bastille

I have done well here I think. I have et the Lord led he way and to second guessed who I was, what this relationship was doing, I was happy with what I experienced. I saw that I can do so much and am not stuck. I don’t give into peer pressure and I have been so much happier because of it.

“I Always Thought That Things Would Change But They Never Did”

Lonely Town- Brandon Flowers

Depression is an interesting beast. I have worked on techniques to help me when I got in those moments. And though some lasted longer than others, I have come put the other side happier. I have also worked hard this year with being an advocated. Celebrity suicides have been made public and I have tried to portray a real picture of what depression is and bbeing someone who will be there for others.

 “Treat Her Better”

Send My Love- Adele

I still have dreams of my exes and I don’t understand why. But I don’t think of them and get angry anymore. I have worked on myself and this has been a release. But it’s not perfect. Someone texted me that one was having a baby an di blew it off. I still have trouble understanding how they can be so happy and I am still single. But I remember I am where I am suppose to be. So even though I can’t say it, I do hope they are happy and that they have changed enough to make their spouse happy.

“You Let The Whole Wide World See”

The Veil- Peter Gabriel

I am me. I piss people off, but I am honestly me. I try to treat people with respect for their ideas and opinions so often I am quite. But I am fighting; fighting for freedom for all, freedom to be myself with out peer pressure getting to me. I am showing my true colors more and more each day and I am happy with who I am,

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