All Posts in the ‘TheBook’ Category

Hold On

October 1st, 2016 | By andrena in Church, grace, Healing, Health, TheBook | No Comments »

Today’s reflection:  Our Daily Bread:  Hold On

I’m sure we all have viewed some figurative towering cliffs in our lives. Some of them beautiful, some of them terrifying. I know I have.

I don’t know that I could brave that cable car without a motor to reach those heights. I don’t know that I could brave the cable car WITH a motor. I am terribly afraid of heights. And yet, there have been times in my life when I have traveled the “cable cars of life”… willingly stepping into situations where someone else was in control of the ride.

Most of you know my testimony: I grew up a witness to domestic violence in my house, suffered sexual abuse at the hands of my father, endured domestic violence in my first marriage, and throughout the ride I calmed my fears with drugs and alcohol. I became homeless and contracted the HIV virus. Holding on was NOT an option….my cable car lost control and zipped and dipped through my life. Catching my breath was the closest thing I could do, to holding on.

And then I met the woman who was bent over in the bible,  (The bent over woman and Jesus).  And I met the man called Jesus, who told her to straighten up, and that she was free from her ailment(s). I also heard the leader of the synagogue fussing because Christ had the audacity to heal this woman.  That story became my cable, it became the motor which would slow the cable car down for me to get off, straighten myself up and get on another cable car.

Life has been a beautiful, sometimes dizzying ride up mountains and even down into the valleys.  Only someone who has gone through their own trials and unraveling cables can understand.  Only someone who has come out on the other side would understand the beauty of this gospel, the beauty of my life, the beauty of my journey.  I hold on to my Creator every minute of the day.  Twenty eight years later, I still step into a car that is not really meant for me and taken on a ride.  I fight against verbally backing people up off of me.  I fight against hating.  I fight against using.  Not just using drugs/alcohol…but using behaviors which will send my cable car spiraling into an abyss of confusion, while at the same time dodging arrows meant to harm me.

I hold on to the moment I heard that story.  Read Full Post

My hometown

January 28th, 2014 | By andrena in family, Friends, General, Healing, TheBook | No Comments »

Where is YOUR hometown? What do you identify/remember the most about your hometown? I don’t think where you actually grew up must be what you identify as your home town….at least not in my mind.

I grew up in Jamaica NY…but honestly too many bad memories growing up there…

I claim my hometown, where I spent my summers growing up:
Mt Hope West Virginia, where my mom is from

– memories of:

  • hot, humid, gnats
  • pulling up in front of grandparents home and looking up ALL THOSE stairs my granddaddy built going up to the house
  • the coalmines my granddaddy worked in that gave him the Black Lung
  • great grandma’s grapevine we sat underneath and ate til our stomachs ached
  • knocking on grannies door and hearing her say:  “who is it?” and me replying: “It’s me grannie, it’s NeeCee” and being invited into her immaculate house.  She was so tall and elegant.
  • sitting in the backyard in the grass eating tomatoes with salt
  • the bubbling brook we passed walking to Aunt Pauline’s home (who btw didn’t have any electricity AND had a working outhouse)
  • movies for a dime and being made to sit in the balcony – oblivious to racism
  • downtown Charleston
  • the deserted school with the spinning wheel
  • going up the *holla* – and knowing where to stop
  • summertime crushes on cousin Paul
  • uncles and aunts galore
  • my summer friend Vicky next door
  • teaching our country friends the newest dances and music from the city
  • the scenic route going and coming
  • the pre-dawn mist rising up from the trees as we were coming round the mountain when we came
  • the hill behind grannies house and the rail you had to hold on to for dear life
  • Uncle Fred sitting on the porch as dementia set in (we didn’t know)
  • watching my grandad slurp his percolated coffee from the cup as well as the saucer
  • always hearing my granddaddy telling me: “you ain’t nothing but a wheel”
  • hummingbirds outside my grandmothers bedroom window,
  • unlocked doors and neighbors and family just popping in,
  • snapping string beans and sorting real cranberries,
  • bathing in the kitchen in a huge round tub we had to heat the water and pour it in,
  • the old time radiators cut on with a match,
  • Christmastime and looking out the window at night at the snow (truly a winter wonderland in the mountains),
  • sitting on the porch in total darkness and looking up and feeling as though you could almost touch the stars…
  • visiting my grandaddy in my army uniform when he had a stroke,
  • …getting in the car 2 years ago with my son and making a quick run there for the hell of it, and turning right around to come back home.

It was a place, where time stood still, and the living – (despite it’s hardships) was easy.

Wishing I. was. there. right. now.

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