Hi my name is Theresa! Since I journal anyways, I thought I would share some of my journalism. I have been writing my journals of my life events, experience, thoughts and prayers since 1994. Most of this journal blog will be of today or of yesterday or yester-year!
So let me tell you a bit about me! I was raised in Oregon. I am divorced from my first husband the children’s Dad. We have 4 children, my oldest being my daughter with three sons from my first marriage. Their ages range from 34 to 43. My second husband I married was a very special man who after 19 years with health/depression adversities, he decided to take his own life. Both husbands danced with alchohlism. My survival rested on my God who gave me the program of Alanon. I graduated in 1970 from high school. I went to college for 3 years. I was adopted in 1963 to a Catholic Mom and Dad in a small rural wheat farming community above the Columbia River. I have 2 brothers, I was squeezed in the middle of them. They were born in Havre, MT and of course I was born in Shelton, WA..
As a small child, in the 50s, I was raised in a foster home in Silverton, Oregon. I was taken by my Father from my real Mother who lived in Havre, MT. So much has happened since then. Why do I have so much contentment?
I believe because at a very early age, my God revealed Himself to me and I accepted that fact as very young child even though I didn’t understand any events at times or who He truly was. I just knew their was a God! I believe I did go to Sunday school. Most of my young childhood I don’t remember. I was adopted when I was eleven with my youngest brother. Thankfully after I was grown and a mother myself I got in touch with my foster parents. I was young and curious so I packed up my three children from where we lived. My husband and I had a small home in a rural town in Eastern Washington. So this would be the first time I would be driving alone from there to Silverton, OR. I84 was a freeway by then on the Columbia Gorge. Portland thank goodness had great signage and was not nervous about getting around so I could get on I5 and travel to Silverton. Well, it so happened the place was easy to find as I recall even without the now gps. I could read a map pretty easily. I did remember the home we were living in at the time. My foster parents weren’t living there then, they had built a home down the road further where Granny and Grandpa lived. These grandparents were from England and my foster mother’s folks.
My foster family as I recall had a big bungalow type house that was common in those days. It had two stories with 4 bedrooms and a bath upstairs. It had a porch, as you walk through the front doors. There was a living room to the left with a fireplace. A staircase and then a dining room area to the right with built-in hutch with mirror. The dining area had a kitchen swinging door. The kitchen had a big table where we ate all meals except for special occasions and holidays. The master bedroom and bath were across from the kitchen area. The back porch had of course a wringer washing machine and I believe my foster mom hung the clothes on a clothes line. My brother and I had our own rooms. I remember I had 2 older foster brothers plus the foster parents had a daughter who had moved out and married at the time.
The foster Dad worked at the wood mill. In those days we must lived on the edge of town because we had a big yard especially in the back yard. It was like a small farm in the back yard. They raised turkeys, chickens for butchering, a big garden with a small barn. They also raised bantam chickens or as we called them “banty” chicks.
Also up the road Granny and Grandpa had their home which had groves of walnut and filberts trees . Had vines of raspberries and patches of strawberries. For us children, the foster parents kept pinto mare and a shaggy pony ,who was mean, on their property. One had to watch the shaggy pony as you got on him because he liked to nip. He would only give you a ride if someone was riding the pinto leading the way.
I remember also playing in the stream that ran at the back of the property. As a family we went on road trips and many were to the beach.
For the most part, I thought that was a good life. I am sure that God’s presence was felt because of the foster parents, and grandparents love they gave me! It was a good, stable childhood even though there was disturbing happenings caused by my Father and Mother. Now that I hear the stories, God protected me and my brothers. He gave me the strength and courage to deal with all the happenings. He gave me a spirit of acceptance, of hope and enjoying my days. Sure there was some awful times. God gave me an outlet by having a family with my dolls. I treated them with kindness and love as I knew it. They were real to me. I don’t recall having many friends. I don’t recall being very nice to neighborhood children. Maybe I was jealous or took my feelings out on them. I believe I was shy so it was hard to make friends.
I didn’t have any expectations when I went to visit the foster parents. When I was greeted by them on my arrival, I felt good except with the foster Dad. I don’t know if he physically abused me or what but there was an ugly vibe I received. My foster Mom, she was the same loving, gentle, caring English woman I knew. She even had ready for me an album of photos as small child with the family. So those photos kept my memories alive. These people gave me security when there was none with my own parents. This foster family gave me Love and a home and I knew that. I have had some great childhood memories that will last and last. Then there were times of much turmoil. Those times and memories make up who I am today. Those were the times when I had to trust in my God even though I didn’t know Him very well or wonder what was going to happen to me. He carried me through those times. Yes I had problems with relationships. I had to learn to live with out really sharing my feelings or how to communicate. Or why did I do that? What motivated the choices I made. I felt at times that I wasn’t attached to anyone or anything. What were my dreams? Who did I want to become? I strived with complacency because it seemed I was mediocre or couldn’t quite figure out my talents and ambitions. I didn’t have much self-esteem. So it seemed, I was content and there was many times I detached or forgot ugly happenings! Now that I have grown up I believe God gave me a spirit of contentment in my life situations so I could feel grounded, safe and secure. As I grew up and had children, I needed to deal with circumstances with knowledge and maturity skills which I had to learn from others. During those times of contentment, God provided me Bible studies, strong faithful believers, friends so I could grow in Him to handle the problems I will have when I became a wife, an adult, a mother, a sister, a friend and all the issues that come with my life. At times I felt like I landed in a pot full of stew that I was born into and there were times when I felt very powerless. God also gave me a spirit of seeing a cup half full instead of half empty. So Contentment is healing to me so I can move on or stay in that comfort zone! It makes me grateful for the Love and Grace He has shown me in the valleys of my life to the mountain tops of my life! Because there have been many times I chose not to be content and reach out to something or someone for all the wrong reasons. I have had many seasons, I hope I can share some of these seasons of my life with you. It is good for me and I hope I can share something that can spark a change, happiness, joy, healing in your life or tell a story that will be uplifting. Today I am Content!
What Gorgeous Thing1
I do not know what gorgeous thing
the bluebird keeps saying,
his voice easing out of his throat,
beak, body into the pink air
of the early morning. I like it
whatever it is. Sometimes
it seems the only thing in the world
that is without dark thoughts.
Sometimes it seems the only thing
in the world that is without
questions that can’t and probably
never will be answered, the
only thing that is entirely content
with the pink, then clear white
morning and, gratefully, says so.
1. Oliver, Mary. Blue Horses. Penguin Press: New York, 2014.
It was especially pleasing to find a message today! I know so many people who are discontented. Even those in Christ! Maybe it’s my personality but most of my life has been filled with contentment! When I began to walk in Christ and know the purity of His Word more consistently there was more overwhelmingly more trust, peace and hope which comes with contentment! Choices become easier to make with confidence and assurance that it is the right decision for you. The challenges I have faced to make changes that are out of my comfort zone or out my hands. God has prepared me while I was contented in Him! What an extreme experience! I don’t look for contentment in the world or weather but in Christ! In Christ alone I stand!
“I’ve learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances.
I’m just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little.
I’ve found the recipe for being happy
whether full or hungry,
hands full or hands empty.
Whatever I have, wherever I am,
I can make it through anything
in the One who makes me who I am.”
(Philippians 4:11b-13, The Message)