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Jar of Rocks

I have a jar of rocks. It sits on my desk where I can see it every day. Silly for an old lady to have? Perhaps, but what those rocks represent makes me think—think about the choices we make all the time.

Those rocks represent words and actions directed at me some time in my life. Each was hurled at me intended for harm, some from anger, some from indifference, some with the intention of tearing me down so the person could be built up. The reason for the rocks doesn’t matter nearly as much as what I choose to do with them when they are thrown.

I can choose to let them hit me—and many have– or I can choose to let them whizz on past me, or I can raise my shield of faith behind which I stand because I know who I am. When the rocks hit that shield, they might make a noise, but they all fall to the ground, useless in their intended purpose.

I used to pick them all up and put them in my proverbial basket I carried on my back. It was heavy with all the weight of my life. Funny thing was, I never seemed to empty out that basket and let things go. I just hid them with more. The weight was horrendous, and it grew over time. I didn’t talk about what was in my basket, I just carried it. Somewhere along the way, I lost me in my life. I was depressed and overwhelmed, but couldn’t-or wouldn’t—talk about it. It just wasn’t acceptable to do so. Besides, anyone I felt I might be able to trust to talk to was already busy with their own lives and problems. I didn’t want to bother them with my troubles.

Time went on. Years, in fact. I helped others with their struggles, but my own went untouched, growing and becoming heavier. Loss of people I loved added to the weight. Separation from family didn’t help, it added to the weight. Words spoken by another in pain stung and cut deeply, yet rather than let it go, I pushed it in my already full basket. I always told myself that someday I would deal with everything in there.

One day, I felt my Father in Heaven speak to my heart. “My precious child, why do you continue to carry that weight? I never asked you to. It is time. It is ‘Someday’. I am with you as I have always been, even when you didn’t feel my presence or think I cared. Let me help you with that basket. We will take each rock out and look at it. We will deal with each individually.”

“Why?” I asked, not understanding. “Why not just throw them all out and be done with it?”

“Oh, my sweet daughter, I love you so much. I want to look at each one of these with you to remember, not to hurt you again, but for your healing. You need to understand what you have been healed from. And some have lessons for you, and yes, there are some you just need to let go of. You will learn what forgiveness is, and how I can turn what was meant to harm you into something beautiful that will bless you. Take my hand, child of my heart. Take my hand and together we will go through this heavy basket.”

And as I took His hand, He gently removed one stone. He showed it to me, and when He did, I heard again the cruel words spoken to me. Tears ran down my face. But my Father was with me, and as I released the power of those words, He turned the stone over, and there was the word “TRUTH”. The words that were spoken were untrue, and yet they hurt. My Father spoke the truth about me to replace the cruel untruths.

One by one, He removed the stones. It didn’t happen all at once; it took time, over three years now, and there are still a few rocks in my basket. But each one, when turned over in the light of the Lord, showed a strength, an attribute, a truth. And through it all, my Father has been with me. He decides which rock comes out when, and never too many at a time. He has always told me through the Spirit that He was going to work on that basket with me.

Now as I look at these rocks—real rocks I bought at the craft store to remind myself of the invisible rocks in my basket—I see the words I have learned over this time: Faith, Joy, Hope, Love, Integrity, Gentleness, Self-control, Kindness, and one that is a major key in my healing—Forgiveness.

Forgiveness doesn’t mean that what was done to me or said to me was okay. It wasn’t. But forgiveness means letting go of that rock, releasing its power to hurt me. Forgiveness is a key to freedom. In forgiving the person who said or did whatever that rock represented, I have allowed myself to acknowledge that it happened, but that it no longer controls me. Those same rocks that were hurled at me to hurt me are now building blocks, they are under my feet in their negative, but in front of me in their positive: fear becomes faith, pain becomes gentleness and joy, “you can’t” becomes perseverance. Hate and apathy become love. Mercy and grace have always been with me, special gifts from my loving Father to see me through this adventure called life.

I have seen a tremendous amount of growth in myself these past three years particularly, but I know there is still a ways to go. That process will continue until I meet Jesus face to face in Heaven. In the meantime, I hold my Father’s hand and let Him guide me, even though some of what I have learned, especially some things I had forgotten unconsciously to protect myself, has been painful, the resulting healing is awesome.

Do you have a basket of rocks you are carrying? Do you have a jar of rocks?

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Meet KL Dierking and learn about her new book for kids!

Today I am privileged to interview my fellow author, KL Dierking. Please enjoy our visit!

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Welcome to my blog today. Why don’t you start by telling us something about yourself!

I am KL Dierking (Katrina). I reside in central North Carolina with my husband and 4 children ages 19,18,16 and 3. Writing is my passion along with encouraging women who have suffered and survived sexual abuse, dealing with the other side of sexual abuse (PTSD, depression, suicidal thoughts/tendencies) as well as educating women on the signs and how to keep their children safe from abuse.

I was sexually abused by the man who adopted me at the age of 4. He sexually and physically abused me for the next 12 years. I spent many years afterwards abusing myself and feeling as if I was unworthy of love. I was self-destructive and angry. Only by the grace and mercy of God was I able to turn my life around and change my future.

I have spent my entire adult life in the medical field holding several degrees and certifications including Firefighter I/II and EMT-Paramedic. I recently chose to leave the medical field to come home to work and raise my 3 year old the way I believe God intended for our family.

I also have an online homeschool and educational resource company called Mr. Row’s Adventures. Mr. Row is a stuffed monkey who travels around the world staying with host homeschooling families. The families take Mr. Row on educational field trips in their area and in turn, I create educational supplies and materials for the families to use in their homeschooling classroom.

I am impressed! I also minister to women who have been abused, and I also homeschooled my two youngest children through high school! I appreciate how much work you have done, and how hard your journey to healing is. I admire you for your professional service and thank you for it.

 

Now let’s talk about your writing, something else we have in common!

What is your genre of choice?

My genre of choice is Inspirational Fiction. I have written two novels but recently decided to write my first young readers chapter book.

What are you working on now? I hear you have a new book! Please give us a short synopsis.

Well, like most authors, I am working on several projects at once. I will give a short synopsis of each.

(Young Readers ages 8-12) The Lemonade Brigade (Vol 2 of the Philippian 4:13 Series). Philippian is an odd young man. He’s always the last one picked, the first one to be picked on, and the outcast of middle school. However, being born on April 13, his parents named him Philippian to remind him that he could do all things through Christ who gives him strength.

Philippian and his friends Michael and Izzy (all rising 7th graders) set up a lemonade stand as the headquarters for their crime fighting business for the summer. As the team takes on new cases, Philippian feels led to befriend the foreman of the construction site where their headquarters is located. It is the first time he has experienced God’s direct leading and fears sharing that information with his new friends for fear they will pick on him like all other kids have in his life.

Beneath : The Army of Hope Series (A post-rapture novel series)

Alexander “Zan” Hendricks is trapped on a train with ex-con JC Jackson when the train derails after the conductor is taken in the rapture. His mother is taken but in preparation, left instructions for Zan to find his drug attic brother Jessie and bring him home. Through coded messages and several journals, Zan and JC, whom he has befriended, learn the truth about the disappearances and must decide to take up the cross  and go underground or join the New Hope Army for survival.

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(Non-Fiction) The Other Side of Sexual Abuse: A journey through my history of childhood sexual and physical abuse lasting 12 years, the life-altering and potential deadly effects and my journey to freedom and forgiveness.

Do you have other works published you would like to share?

Back in 2008, I wrote my first novel “A Hope and a Future”. As a new author, there were many things I had not learned (one of which was to choose a qualified editor). I have come a long way as an author in polishing my craft.

In 2010, I published On Butterfly Faith with SparkleSoup Publishing. I have recently regained the rights for that book and will be republishing it within the next month, quite possibly with  new title.

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Who inspired you to start writing?

I have written my entire life. As a very young child, I journaled as well as consistently wrote poems and stories. Writing was therapy for me. It was my safe place.

Who is your favorite author? Why?

 

Karen Kingsbury. I love getting lost in her books. It’s like a mini-vacation in my very busy world.

 

How did you get started in writing?

I don’t remember ever NOT writing. In 5th grade, I wrote a short story and shared it with the kid sitting behind me. He begged for new chapters every day. In high school, I had several poems published in a book of young authors.

What do you find hardest about writing? What do you find easiest?

 

Hardest: Finding time. I have 3 teenagers and a 3-year-old. I run a homeschool/educational resource company from home and am very active in my church and community. Finding the necessary time to write each day can be difficult.

Easiest: Writing itself is easy for me. It’s what I love. It’s my passion. If I couldn’t write,       I don’t think I’d be able to breathe.

Do you have a quote that keeps you going?

 

“I won’t spend my life as nothing.” A Knight’s Tale

Who are your biggest supporters?

My husband, children and in-laws. They give constant encouragement and feedback.

What is the message you want people to get from your current work or WIP?

Each of my WIPs (both fiction and non-fiction) are to offer hope in a seemingly hopeless situation and world.

Do your stories come more from your own experiences or from observation of others?

 

Each of my stories have parts of my own experiences intertwined within the pages.

What would you like to share with beginning writers?

Set goals. Give your goals deadlines. Believe in yourself and never give up. If writing is what you love, then write every day. Write something, anything … as long as you’re writing. Take as many seminars as you can (there are many free online seminars) to sharpen your craft. Get involved in critique groups and find an accountability partner. NEVER GIVE UP.

In your best dream, where would you like to be? Why? This doesn’t have to be related to your writing.

I dream of traveling the US in an RV with my 3 year old as I teach her about the world. I would be able to write/ BLOG from my RV as we visited many historical places       throughout the US.

Anything you would like to share with us about you and/or your writing?

My books (my novels) often include actual memories of my very painful childhood. So while (in my husband’s words) many of my novels are dark to begin with, they end with a message of hope, redemption, grace and mercy as I have been shown in my own life.

 

Please include a blurb from you newest book. I just bought it and have started reading it. It’s a great book!

Angst of the Middle School Newbie : Vol 1 of the Philippian 4:13 Series

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PHILIPPIAN MACEDON has never had a single friend his whole life. Not one. Why would he? He doesn’t fit in anywhere. He’s short, nerdy and terrified of the dark.

To make matters worse, he must now brave the cold cruel world of middle school all alone. His dad is deployed to Iraq and his mom expecting a new baby. Philippian has never felt more alone and invisible.
With a birthday on April thirteen, Philippian is reminded that he can do all things through Christ who strengthens him. Follow his journey through the Philippian 4:13 series as he faces many obstacles and discovers the value of being unique. Be there as he learns to lean on the one friend that has been there all along

That sounds awesome! I have your new book in my collection and I am reading it now. Where can readers find your books and connect with you?

 

Website: http://www.MrRowsAdventures.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/KL-Dierking/806859592715609

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/KLDierking/

Links to book(s):

https://www.createspace.com/5556598

Blog: https://IAmKLDierking.com

 

Thank you so much for visiting me today! I have enjoyed having you in my blog today. I hope many people read your books and are inspired and encouraged!

 

Please attach a photo of you as well as your book cover(s)

My Guest Marie Godley Shares Her New Release!

Today I am pleased to share an interview I recently did with my friend and fellow author, Marie Godley. She has a new book that will be released tomorrow, Saturday, August 22nd! Please enjoy our visit!

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It’s so nice to have this chance to get to know more about you and your newest book, Marie! I am happy to have you here!

Please share a bit about yourself. Please tell us at least one thing that makes you unique—something you have done or can do, someplace you have lived…anything!  

Still a bit of a Northampton girl at heart, but I love living in Dorset. It was my dream to move there, especially once we’d had our first child and through determination we got here, and it’s a beautiful place to bring up a family. We live within a short distance of both the sea and the New Forest, and with the historical heart of our town, we have everything we need.

“Unique thing” is not that unique but I have a diploma and City & Guilds qualifications in Interior Design. – Other than that – there’s nothing. I am who I am.

What is your genre of choice? Why did you choose this genre?

Fantasy. I love fantasy, because you can stretch the truth. Although it still has to be believable it can be more fantastical. The images in your head don’t have to be true to everyday life.

What is your NEW book? Please give us a short synopsis.

Janalya.  Janalya is an air elemental searching for others of her kind. Their enemies are Shatara, a race of shape shifting panthers, of which Katsuo is a member. But when Janalya and Katsuo meet they connect. Can they change history and become friends?

Janalya cover

Do you have other works published you would like to share?

I’ve published some children’s books, namely The Special Christmas Bear, The Guardian of the Globe and Time Slide. And had some stories published in 2 anthologies, the proceeds of which go to charities, which are Tales of an Old Wizard and Paranormal Love.

How did you get started in writing?

It wasn’t a conscious thought. I wrote a story about a bear at Christmas. The family liked it and I thought I’d see how to get it published. It rolled along from there, and I haven’t stopped writing, although I’ve written for an older age group each time.

What do you find hardest about writing? What do you find easiest?

The hardest is getting the punctuation, grammar, etc. right especially when the thoughts are flowing and you just want to get the story down. This is what drafts and editing are for, but it’s a hard, long process. The easiest is writing, but only when it’s flowing and you know what’s going to happen next.

Do you have a quote that keeps you going?

No, but my children’s belief in me, and my determination not to give up, keeps me going.

Who are your biggest supporters?

Definitely my son and daughter. They read my work, help me with it, and tell me how good I am, when self doubt creeps in.

What is the message you want people to get from your current work or WIP?

What I would like most is for people to enjoy the story. If there’s any hidden message in it I suppose it would be one of friendship between different cultures.

Do your stories come more from your own experiences or from observation of others?

From my head mainly. But scenery and places end up in my stories, and there are probably bits of myself and others that sneak in when picturing a character.

What would you like to share with beginning writers?

Keep writing and get someone who will be honest, but kind to read your work. You need someone to be honest enough with you to say ‘this needs changing’ but you need them to do it in a kind, not mean way. Writing comes from the heart, you don’t need someone to tell you “it’s rubbish”. That doesn’t help and is hurtful.

In your best dream, where would you like to be? Why? This doesn’t have to be related to your writing.

I would like my books to be read and available – not to make money per se, but to hear that people have been reading my books and able to go into a library or bookshop and just pick one up off of the shelf – that’s my dream.

Anything you would like to share with us about you and/or your writing?

The stories I write are personal to me. I live with them a long time and put a lot of myself into them. I’d love to hear back from anyone who’s read them. You can get in touch through my website or media pages.

Thank you for having me on your blog.

Please share a blurb about this book in particular.

Janalya is an air elemental, searching for others of her kind.

Katsuo is Shatara, a shape-shifting panther.

History decrees that they are enemies, but fate seems to be handing them different roles. What is Janalya’s true destiny, and is it more complex than even she knew?

How can readers find you and your books? Please share your links!

 

Website: www.mariegodley.moonfruit.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mariegodleyauthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MarieGodley

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/100536610935786913639/posts

Links to book(s): http://www.amazon.co.uk/Janalya-Marie-Godley-ebook/dp/B013PQTVP0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1439819674&sr=8-1&keywords=janalya

http://www.amazon.com/Janalya-Marie-Godley-ebook/dp/B013PQTVP0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1439819733&sr=8-1&keywords=janalya

Blog: http://www.marie-mariegodleybooks.blogspot.co.uk/ 

 

Thank you so much for being my guest today, Marie! And congratulations on your new release! God bless you!

Remembering My Mom

Today is my mother’s 100th birthday. In her honor, I am reblogging this post from last November.

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Today, November 13th, I am remembering my mother. She was always there for me. I never felt left out or pushed aside even though my parents took over 200 foster children during my life. We usually had 4 or 5 babies in our home at a time because we specialized in children who had disabilities. We had some babies who didn’t live long due to their disabilities, and died in my mother’s arms or in the hospital.  We had some whose parents had been advised by their doctor not to take the baby home, and even to deny the child had survived birth. There was always so much love in my home and my parents always had open arms to those in need. She is the inspiration for Gramma Grace in my short story The Nativity Set, as well as Mrs. Goodheart in my novel Victory.

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Remembering My Mom

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Today, November 13th, I am remembering my mother. She was always there for me. I never felt left out or pushed aside even though my parents took over 200 foster children during my life. We usually had 4 or 5 babies in our home at a time because we specialized in children who had disabilities. We had some babies who didn’t live long due to their disabilities, and died in my mother’s arms or in the hospital.  We had some whose parents had been advised by their doctor not to take the baby home, and even to deny the child had survived birth. There was always so much love in my home and my parents always had open arms to those in need. She is the inspiration for Gramma Grace in my short story The Nativity Set, as well as Mrs. Goodheart in my novel Victory.

My mother was the oldest of three children and the daughter of a nurse and a plumber. She was a gifted student and played violin. She was a member of one of the first Girl Scout troops in Salt Lake City. She graduated from high school at 16 and from the University of Utah at 18 with a teaching certificate. Her first teaching job was in a small farming town in central Utah. It was during the Great Depression and many of her little 2nd graders carried their shoes to school to save shoe leather, and most didn’t have breakfast to eat. My mom bought graham crackers from her small salary (which, by the way, was only paid IF the district had the funds to pay the teachers!) and one boy who lived on a dairy brought a pail of fresh milk to school every day.

My parents were married in 1935 after meeting at a friend’s New Year’s Eve party. Nine years and four children later, my dad was drafted into the Navy during World War II. After the war, my parents moved to a small farm next door to where my dad was born and raised. They built the house themselves. It was there they started taking foster children, mostly 7 to 10 year olds. One boy kept in touch with our family after he was grown, and served as a pall bearer at my mother’s funeral, and again 25 years later at my dad’s.

A few months before I was born my family moved back to the city. My three oldest siblings were finishing high school and attending University of Utah, so Mom had to go to work. I stayed with my maternal grandmother while everyone else was in school or at work. As soon as she could, Mom quit working and stayed home. We again took foster children, this time mostly babies.

My mom taught me how to sew, crochet and knit. She taught me the importance of loving and not looking with the eyes, but with the heart. She gave me the love of books. She and my dad showed me the love of the Lord.

I was the “tag-along” and a surprise baby, with 10 years between my next older sibling and me. I never lacked for attention and thrived with all the older kids around, even being the University of Utah marching band’s unofficial mascot. The band would invariably end up at our house after a home game, and they would raid the refrigerator and feel at home. That welcome environment came from my parents.

In 1966 we moved to St. George, Utah. My dad had taken an early retirement after 27 years at Sears. It was a hunch they had after a good friend had waited to retire at 65, and lost his wife just a few weeks later. My parents enjoyed their “retirement” in their favorite red rock area. Unfortunately, the schools were behind what I had in Salt Lake and we moved back to Salt Lake in 1967, again taking foster children. One little girl with Down’s Syndrome we had when she was a baby came back to live with us. It was a blessing to have her back. But it was not to last long.

In October 1970 my mother had a radical mastectomy. The cancer had spread everywhere. It was horrible to see my beautiful, loving mother in such agony. Chemo then was far worse than it is even now. She died on Friday, November 13, 1970, four weeks after her surgery. I was 17 years old.

I miss my mom every day, even 44 years later. She wasn’t here when I graduated high school, got married, had my babies, and went through divorce.  I would love to visit her and talk about anything. I would love to hug her one more time. I would tell her “I love you” one more time. Every year on her “angelversary” I allow myself time to reflect on what a beautiful woman she was, and how many people she influenced in her short 55 years. I have lived longer than my mother by 7 years, and I only hope that I can make a positive difference for others as she did, continuing her legacy of love.

I love you, Mom! I miss you!

Mom in Pine Valley, Utah

Bullying. My Friend Donna Dillion Speaks Out

 

The Snake Pit: Jr High Can be Torture is an important  work because of its content and subject matter. It’s not an easy, fun read, but is a book that every student, teacher and child advocate should read. Donna is very passionate to do what she can to stop bullying in the school system and MKSP has joined her in her quest.

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Donna’s book, The Snake Pit: Jr. High Can Be Torture, what is it about?

Cinda doesn’t look like other twelve-year-old girls. A facial defect, and the surgery to correct it has left her face scarred and disfigured. When she walks into Hargrove Junior High for the first time, Cinda knows the other kids won’t see how smart she is, or what a good friend she could be. The other kids will see her as a monster, and her life will be torture.

The school cafeteria, or The Snake Pit, as the kids call it, is the prime location for bullying. One pretty girl in particular takes an instant dislike to Cinda. Day after day she is pushed, tripped, and laughed at. Not all the other kids bully her, but only one tries to help.

Charlene Carsten is Cinda’s only friend. She tries to stop the bullying, but the other kids won’t listen. She tries to tell the Principal, but he only sees what he wants to. She tries to tell the teachers, but they all say the same thing, “kids will be kids.”

When Cinda falls victim to a vicious prank at a school dance, it sets off a series of events that will change the lives of everyone involved.

 

Donna, why did you write this particular book? Does it have some personal significance?

Cinda, the character in my book The Snake Pit was born with a cleft palate, and so was I. The things that happen in the book are fictional, but how she felt was exactly how I felt growing up. Being bullied for something you can’t possibly help, or change, is horrible. I chose to turn it into something positive, but many bullied children do not. I’m 47 years old now. I can still hear the bullies’ voices in my head. But the thing I remember the most, the thing that bothers me the most: the silence from those who just stood by and let it happen, and did nothing to stop it. That is why I wrote this book.

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Donna, would you please introduce yourself?

Hello everyone! I am Donna Dillon: Author, Illustrator, and M&M connoisseur. I am the author of 5 and 1/4 books thus far. I have been writing in the young adult genre with The Snake Pit and Return to the Snake Pit which both deal with bullying in the public schools, and the children’s genre with Why Did It Have to Rain Today? and My Special Christmas Child. My new book is a leap into the thriller/suspense genre so I’m anxious to finish and see how that goes.

 

Just for fun, please share five things people might not know about you!

  1. I can ride a unicycle.
  2. I can write as fast backwards as I can forward.
  3. I once played Miss Mona is a stage production of The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.
  4. I can’t breathe through my nose and I have never had a sense of smell. I can taste, though, don’t ask me why, it’s a mystery.
  5. When I was 22 I was flown out to Hollywood and made a make up commercial for Victoria Jackson cosmetics that you can still catch on TV late at night. I also met Johnny Depp and had my picture taken with Heavy D on that same trip. 

     

    This book is one that everyone, parents, teachers, students, and anyone who works with or loves kids should read. Please get it and read it yourself, and consider giving it as a gift to anyone, especially kids, who might benefit from it. Best of luck with it, Donna! 

     

     

     

     

  • John Emil Augustine–An Author Who Writes About Domestic Abuse Toward Men

    John is my friend and fellow author.  He has a message that is often overlooked and ignored: domestic abuse toward men. He tells his own story in his books. Please read on and find out more. It is a story worth reading.

    What John says about himself:

    I’m a writer, musician, educator, and an abuse survivor with a big story and an even bigger idea. Essentially, I am in the midst of modeling the very thing I want to facilitate for abuse survivors: writing in order to heal. For many like me who are unable, for whatever reason, to verbalize their own abuse, writing can often be the right alternative. It is also a right few abuse victims think they are entitled to: revealing their story. I’ve dared to write my story, and the process has been incredibly healing. I will turn around and facilitate writing workshops for others using my model. For now, it is time for me to begin appearing publicly with my series, and I can’t do this step alone. I am reaching out for help so I can get to The Great Lakes Book Bash in Kalamazoo, MI and continue my work. Read about what I have accomplished so far as well as about how you can help here: http://ow.ly/Apn4t.

    More about John:

    John Emil Augustine grew up in Minneapolis, Minnesota and toured in his twenties and early thirties with local and national acts; writing, arranging, and performing with notable jazz, blues, gospel, reggae, post funk, prog rock, and folk groups. John has also been a landscaper, mail carrier, forklift operator, and English professor with Master’s degrees in Adult Education and Communications. He currently lives in Minneapolis with his wife and four boys. John is writing the From the Abyss book series and has recorded the albums Chants for Renewal, Presence and Awareness and Postcards From the Abyss. John is also in the planning stages of Write Is Right workshops for abuse survivors.

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    Excerpt from From the Abyss:

     

    “I can’t believe I am still here!” She screamed. Charles cried and twisted in my arms as I moved this way and that to hold onto him. I had nothing to say to that.

    Cindi went to the kitchen, twisted her feet into her sandals, and opened the door. “From now on, you’re on your own!” She screamed.

    I stood there with a crying baby and watched her open and slam the door. I moved to the kitchen window, only to see her run through the backyard.

    Where was she going?

    She opened the gate, went into the driveway, quickly got into the car, backed away from the garage, and screamed out of the driveway.

    As I stood watching, I had set Charles onto the counter and against my chest as he cried. I picked him up, sat down on the kitchen floor, vexed, and held him up near my face. “Hey, little boy,” I half-whispered, “You’re okay. Hey, Charlie, no worries. What you wanna do? You tired? Hungry? I suppose you’re going to need something to eat, huh bud?” He calmed a bit when he heard the sound of my voice. Those big baby-sobs started to come as he reversed his own crying. “Well, what do ya say? Should we get some food? At least we can try to eat something; and if you don’t want to do that, you can sleep, huh?”

    I slowly got up and held him close, all the time looking at him and talking quietly. “I know, Charlie, I know. It’s tough all over, isn’t it? Well, we won’t let that get us down. Nope, not us. We’re gonna be just fine.” He began to close his eyes. He was tired, the poor guy. I laid him down in my left arm. “There ya go. You sleep a little, and I’ll see what I can do, ok? Yeah, you’re tired, huh? Just have a little break there, guy. Now we’re cookin’. Now we’re cookin’.”

    He was falling asleep, and I was shaking uncontrollably.

    We were out of formula, so at two in the morning I went to the Rainbow Foods on Snelling and University to buy baby formula. There I was in the store with a sleeping baby in my arms, trying to remember what Jackie the doula had said was the best kind. I took my best stab at it, went through the checkout, and loaded Charles back into my truck under the lights of the grocery store parking lot. “This is crazy,” I thought. The air was cooling.

    When I got home, I saw that Cindi’s car was back, but there were also two squad cars with flashing lights in front of our house. “Now what?” I thought.

    I walked in the back door ready for anything. Cindi had come home, found us gone, and called the cops on me. She took Charles as I walked through the door, and then she identified me to the officer. She bounced and rocked the baby, saying, “There, there. There, there. Shhh, shhhh, shhh.”

    I tried to explain that I was at the store buying formula, but she insisted she had been home and said I had taken the baby from her. I tried to describe the situation as it had happened, but cops tend to believe the mother. When I showed them the baby formula in the grocery bag, they finally told me that if I left the premises there would not be trouble. If Cindi wanted, she could file for a restraining order against me.

     

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