Posted in Change, Crisis, Encouraging Stories, Faith, Trauma, True Stories

Lord, Where do we go from here?

hurricaneirma

As thousands flee in Florida, and thousands more are devastated in Texas, the carribbean and Mexico (as a result of the recent earthquake); I am certain many are praying and asking the question, “Lord, where do we go from here.”

Jesus had just performed two great miracles, the Feeding of the Five Thousand and Walking on the Water (John 6:15)

Jesus then gave a word to the people chastising them about why they were seeking after him.   26Jesus answered them and said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. 27“Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you, for on Him the Father, God, has set His seal.”

Still, the people wondered about what they had to “do” in order to work and serve Him in order to get what they wanted. His words were very clear on what to “do” and the condition our hearts should be in when we are asking the big question, Where do we go from here?

Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.” John 6:29

 When we find ourselves in the midst of the storms of life, our only hope and “work” is to do His will. What is His will?

To believe and trust in the one He sent – Jesus, our Lord.

One moment we are living, working, laughing and enjoying the fruit of our labor here on earth, and then in an instant our lives are changed, many times leaving us in a state of emergency, crisis and trauma.  It could be a hurricane, a sickness or disease, or it could be something as seemingly simple as an empty nest leaving us grieving and asking,

“Lord, What is my purpose? What do I do? How will I survive?
Where do I go from here?”

God knows our name, our shame, our sitation and has already established us and prepared a place for us right along side of Him.

looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews, 12:2

Lord, where do I go from here? Seek Him, and you will never find yourself lost and without hope. He is the only place we can go and remain steadfast and unshakeable.

For those who are battling depression, mental illness and hopelessness please check out my recent blog post I Can Now See Colors in a Crystal by Janice Conley.

Searching for God’s Treasures,

Marlene Hoenig
from ashes to beauty…
Cinderella Released for such a time as this!

To Read My Most Recent Enews, and/or request prayer
Request by Email to: CinderellaReleased@gmail.com

Sign up to receive my blog at CinderellaReleased.Me

God’s Treasures Last Forever!

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Posted in Change, Cinderella Released, Encouraging Stories, Faith, Inspirational Stories, Mental-Health, Transition, True Stories

I Now Can See The Colors in A Crystal

The_Crystal_Gallery_purple_and_white_crystal

I recently met for brunch with a highschool friend.  A couple of times during the past ten years she has felt compelled to reach out to me and we were finally able to connect. Once you read her story you will understand like I do now, that she is a product of our God who is so merciful to those who are in capivitiy and His desire is for our freedom.

She was rescued and released from a life full of heartache and torment.  God, has released her to a very happy ending… Below is her Cinderella Released story:

I Now Can See The Colors In A Crystal – Janice Conley
shared with her permission

Sharing my story with others is something I always hoped I would do. When I felt like I was losing control of my mind, ending up in ICU from an overdose and ending up in a psychiatric unit twice at two different hospitals, I could not imagine anyone being encouraged by my testimony!

As we all know there is a stigma attached to mental illness. 19 years ago I was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. This brain disorder causes severe mood changes, elevated activity and extreme anxiety. People with this condition experience episodes of heightened energy followed by low energy and depression. The depression can last for weeks, months or even years. This is part of who I am today. I am not ashamed of it and I don’t let it define me or get in the way of living life. With the help of God, my husband, my family, my therapist, my psychiatrist and my close friends, I have learned to manage this illness. It takes a village!

I grew up in Sanford, Florida and accepted a job with a family owned business at the age of 22. This company was exactly where I needed to be. I received support and understanding from the owners and my co-workers during my difficult days. Early on, no one including myself, understood my illness.  Being in a supportive environment and feeling accepted and loved is critical to healing. I worked 30 years for this company. 22 of those years I was in a management position. I have always believed in God, however, during my teenage years and career I did not have a personal relationship with Jesus. Looking back, I see His hand in everything.

Due to manic highs and depressive lows, life can be chaotic with bipolar disorder. Often times relationships and careers are destroyed because of the irrational behavior that is displayed. This illness is often misunderstood by family, friends and co-workers. It is common for those who suffer to deny they have it or to resist treatment. I desperately wanted to feel mentally healthy and it took 11 years of determination and persistence to find the right help. My life is so different now that I have learned to manage it with correct medications and occasional therapy.

At the age of 32, during my first marriage, we built a house. During the construction process I became stressed, not sleeping and filled with anxiety. I felt like I was losing control of my mind. I made an appointment with my family physician who referred me to my first psychiatrist.

She diagnosed me with anxiety and depression and prescribed an antidepressant. When there was no improvement she prescribed another set of medications. These medications didn’t work so I quit taking them. For the next 11 years I felt anxious, depressed and empty, I knew there was something terribly wrong with me. My world was black and my spirit was dark. In sharing my concerns with family and friends, no one understood.

During this difficult time a friend invited me to church. Worshipping in a Pentecostal church was very different from my Lutheran background. It was there at the age of 34 that I walked the aisle to accept Jesus as my Lord and Savior. However, I did not grow as a Christian at that time. Due to the nature of my illness, I struggled with sadness, negative thoughts and difficulty focusing. “Negative thoughts deplete your faith, your energy and your enjoyment for life.” (Joel Osteen) It took all of my energy to just get by day to day.

At the age of 37 I divorced my first husband. I continued seeking counseling, hoping with each therapist my quality of life would improve. I was on and off medications during this time and nothing seemed to take away the depressed, anxioius empty feelings. Some days were more tolerable than others but I knew that people were not supposed to feel this way. I became frustrated. I was persistent in searching for help but couldn’t find the help that I needed.

One of my best friends, Cheryl, asked me if I could see the colors in a crystal. I explained to her that I could not see the colors in a crystal. Everything in my life was dull. She had never had a depressed day in her life so she could not understand the feelings that come with depression. I explained that in the morning when I opened my eyes I felt a gray cloud over me. This gray cloud followed me throughout the day. I would smile and laugh on the outside but I was dying on the inside. My only relief was sleeping. This was not the way I wanted to live my life.

At the age of 42 my life became intolerable. I felt alone and desperate. I did something totally out of character. I went to dinner at a diner by myself and sat on a stool at the counter hoping to meet someone. The only person who acknowledge my presence was the server. I left feeling more alone and desperate. That evening I made a very serious attempt to take my life with pain pills (prescribed for dental work) and alcohol. Fortunately, when I did not show up for work the next day a friend/co-worker had a concern and dame to my home. I was rushed to the emergency room. I spent nine days in the hospital. Four of those days in ICU in a coma. Three days in a regular room and two days in the psychiatric unit.

After I was released from the hospital my mind and body were fragile. Every aspect of my life was rocky, however I knew I had to walk back into my life. I had to face family, friends and co-workers and try to put the pieces back together. It was not easy but I knew this had to be done. Most everyone was understanding and supportive which allowed me to begin to heal.

I finally realized to have a good life I needed to be mentally healthy. To manage mental illness there are two types of doctors needed. A psychologist for counseling and a psychiatrist to prescribe medications. At this point, a team was crucial for me so I found a team that I felt comfortable with. As a signle working girl, I knew this was going to be expensive. My insurance plan covered medication but not therapy sessions. I also realized it was important for me to establish a relationship with these doctors early on so that they will be readily available to me when I needed them. Even though it was expensive, I comitted to weekly therapy sessions. This was an important step to getting my life back on track.

A manic or depressive episode can occur without warning at any time and at any age. Sometimes during an episode I need the help of my doctors. It is important to have a relatlionship established to get an immediate appointment. One could wait up to a month to get in to see a doctor. Even in my later years I will need to keep a relatlionship with my doctors current.

A year after my suicide attempt, I had a manic episode that left me feeling totally out of control. I believed I was making a movie about my life. This movie was to help others with bipolar disorder. My friend, Hamp who is now my husband, came over for an early morning jog. I suggested we have coffee and visit instead of jogging. I had a sleepless night and my energy level was heightened so he knew something was wrong. When he left my home, he called Cheryl and asked her to check on me. As soon as she saw me she knew something was terribly wrong. My behavior was totally out of character. Hamp returned to my home. My conversation that morning was focused on the movie that was to be made. I had not been diagnosed with bipolar disorder so this conversation alarmed them. They called my family in. While we were all together, Hamp called my therapist. She said that I was not the person she had counseled the past year and I needed to go immediately to the psychiatric unit of the hospital. She said if I would not agree to go call the police to escort me. It was imperative that I be admitted that day. This was my second stay in a psychiatric unit.

This manic episode was the turning point which allowed my therapist and psychiatrist to correctly diagnose me with bipoloar disorder. It is not uncommon for a correct diagnosis to take many years, sometimes decades. For 11 years I was diagnosed incorrectly and was prescribed wrong medication. It was a relief to finally get a diagnosis. I currently take two medications. The combination works well for me.  I have been on these now for 19 years. In the beginning I had a few side effects but they went away after a little while. The only lasting side effect was some weight gain. Correct medications have made a huge difference for me. I realized early on how important it is to take my pills daily. I accept that I will be on medication for the rest of my life. The pills help balance my moods and provide me with a mentally healthy lifestyle.

Even though I am on the right medications, I will occasionally get out of balance. It is important to have a good support system. When I begin to experience a manic episode, my husband can see a change in my eyes. Once I recognize my elevated mood, I meediately adjust my medications before my life spins out of control. To his day, when I am in a manic state my sense of urgency to help others by sharing my story becomes my main focus. Together Hamp and I have learned to manage these episodes. He is always there to watch my back when my world gets rocky. My life will continue to get rocky at times and it is comforting to know he is always looking out for my best interest.

Mos of us have famlily members or friends who suffer from a mental illness. If you know someone who has been diagnosed with a mental illness be sympathetic and understanding and know that it is challenging for them. Signs of the illness can occur at any time and without warning. With each episode I experience, I learn more about how to manage my change in moods and stay in control.

With therapy, prayer and reading books on healing I have been able to work through most of my issues, including child sexual abuse. I finally feel whole! I have seen God’s goodness in amazing ways. He has richly blessed my life with a loving, supportive husband and family.

In 2010 we became part of a wonderful church family. This is when I began my relationship with Jesus. I now look back on my life and see God’s hand in everything. He brought me out of the dark days into the brighter days. When your life is dark, know that it is temporary. In His time, He will bring you back into the light. The sun will shine bright again for you someday. Do not lose hope. Isaiah 40:31 “But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow wearly, they will walk and not faint”.

God is a God of second chances and it is by His grace that I am alive today. My life is rich and full of His many blessings. This awareness is new to me and I feel like I have been born again! I am trusting God to lead my path. Proverbs 3:6 “In all of your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.” My part is learning to trust Him.

I love sharing my story because I believe God will use it so that others ………..can see the colors in a crystal.

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Janice Conley

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Janice Conley

Janice has a program and visits churches with others who have been rescued from bi-polar disorder. If you would like to connect with her please email me at CinderellaReleased@gmail.com.

 

 

 

Posted in Change, Cinderella Released, Crisis, Encouraging Stories, Faith, Inspirational Stories, Overcoming Fear, Transition, Trauma, True Stories

Angel in the Dryer – Warning!

!

toy poodle

Warning** Do Not Do the following or allow your children to do this!

Frazzled, shaken, unstable, wobbly and obviously fluffed!  This is what my poodle Angel looked like after coming out of the dryer. Not the blow dryer either! When I was a young girl I had two brothers Doug and Keith. Keith decided one day that he was going to give Angel a little ride in the dryer. He did have mercy and put the dryer on fluff. It wasn’t long, but long enough that when she came out after her ride, that she stumbled around like a wobbly newborn deer. All she wanted was  to get her balance back!

Have you ever felt like that? I know I have!

Maybe it was the trauma or she was just a little strange but she never seemed to ever get  her nerve back. Every time she would see Keith or get near the dryer she would start to shake. Obviously Keith felt bad, and so I had to forgive him and show him mercy.

It’s been a while since I’ve thought about Angel. but, As I listened to the message in church this morning I realized like Keith, we all do things that sometimes we regret.  Like Israel we get caught in situations where we either lose our way or we stumble and shake and lose our nerve. In this case Micah was called to share with the people how they had forgotten all the wonderful things He had done and they got caught up in their own delights, or as in Angel’s case, her own bad experience.

“Stand up, plead my case before the mountains;
    let the hills hear what you have to say.

 “Hear, you mountains, the Lord’s accusation;
    listen, you everlasting foundations of the earth.
For the Lord has a case against his people;
    he is lodging a charge against Israel.”
Micah 6:1-2

The religious priests were  the worst!  Instead of pointing them to the only one who could save, deliver and heal them, they were telling the people what they wanted to hear in order to increase the offerings in the temple. Does this sound familiar in our pluralistic, self-centered and abusive society?

Justice – Hebrew word MishpatThe way prescribed, rightful action.”

Mercy – Hebrew word Chesed “Kindness, goodness, loyal deeds, compassion.”

God is so relentless in His pursuit of us. He sent Micah to tell the people the truth. They had taken the wrong road and were pursuing things other than things that were unrighteous and deceitful. They had become cold, uncaring for the less fortunate, mean and arrogant.

There are times when I find myself in situations where if I’m not careful I begin to do and say the wrong things. I don’t set a good example of justice and mercy.  In my mind, I can put people in the dryer and intenionally turn the temperature to high heat.

God wants us to be humble and upright before Him. He wants us to exhibit His character and to help those in need, the widows, the orphans, the backslidden and distressed. He wants us to love our enemies and not expect anything in return. The amazing thing about God is that He knows we can’t do this on our own. So when we come to Him and ask Him for help, He is faithful to supply and empower us with His love. This is what Micah was trying to get through to the people.

God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.”

I’m sure some of us can say,  can’t believe this happened to me!  Our world gets rocked and shaken. We are trembling, fearful, and weary. We are out of balance and maybe we can’t even think straight. We need to help one another to get back on God’s track. We need each other.

God has got us! He is pursuing us relentlessly, no matter what. The enemy is defeated and there is no way he can overcome us if we abide in Jesus.

Who is a God like you,
    who pardons sin and forgives the transgression
    of the remnant of his inheritance?
You do not stay angry forever
    but delight to show mercy.
19 You will again have compassion on us;
    you will tread our sins underfoot
    and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea.
20 You will be faithful to Jacob,
    and show love to Abraham,
as you pledged on oath to our ancestors
    in days long ago.

The song from Bethel below is a good way to start.
Click Here to listen

“Jesus We Love You”

marlene carol alice
Alice Me and Carol – Helping and Loving One Another at the Challenge Farm in Kenya

 

Old things have passed away

Your love has stayed the same
Your constant grace remains the cornerstone
Things that we thought were dead
Are breathing in life again
You cause your Son to shine on darkest nights
For all that you’ve done we will pour out our love
This will be our anthem song
Jesus we love you
Oh how we love you
You are the one our hearts adore
The hopeless have found their hope
The orphans now have a home
All that was lost has found its place in you
You lift our weary head
You make us strong instead
You took these rags and made us beautiful
Our affection, our devotion
poured out on the feet of Jesus
Searching for God’s Treasure,
Marlene
Please email me if you would like to receive
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Marlene@cinderellareleased.com
Posted in Change, Cinderella Released, Encouraging Stories, Faith, Overcoming Fear, Teaching, True Stories

It’s In The Process

hatching bird

What makes, clay pottery,
cow’s milk buttery,
butterflies fluttery?
It’s something in the process.

What makes, bologna lunchmeat,
a cane of sugar so sweet
a loaf of bread from whole wheat?
It’s something in the process.

What makes, dark clouds roll away,
the rooster crow at dawn each day,
us doubt and turn to God to pray?
It’s something in the process.

What makes, us lift our eyes toward the sky,
an eagle soar so high,
laugh aloud – when we want to cry?
It’s something in the process.

What makes us want to cleave to earth,
wonder how God planned our birth,
see the world in such a dearth?
It’s something in the process.

Why then, do we question the Potter’s plan,
the turn of His wheel,
the choice of His sand,
His pressure applied,
the crush of His hand?
It’s something in the process.

So then,
How can we look at all God’s done,
understand the truth,
yet feel so alone,
after all,
Isn’t the battle won?
It’s in the process.

Searching for God’s Treasures,

Marlene Hoenig
from ashes to beauty…
Cinderella Released for such a time as this!

To Read My Most Recent Enews, and/or request prayer
Request by Email to: CinderellaReleased@gmail.com

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God’s Treasures Last Forever!

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Posted in Encouraging Stories, Faith, True Stories

Run Forest Run! – Proverbs 1: 10-19

My child

My son(s) and daughter(s), if sinners entice thee,
consent thou not.

If they say, Come with us, let us lay wait for blood, let us lurk privily for the innocent without cause: Let us swallow them up alive as the grave; and whole, as those that go down into the pit:

Our sinfulness causes us sometimes to follow the wrong crowd.  Sometimes that crowd looks good, sounds good and gives the impression that their cause is good. In fact you can see “good fruit” or profitable results and success come from some of the works that are being done. We must be careful not to be deceived.

Proverbs cautions us from the very beginning of this book that knowledge without wisdom is deadly.  I’ve learned too many times it is very easy to be deceived, by what looks and sounds good. By seeking the LORD and His wisdom we can rest assured that He will protect, provide and care for us and help us navigate in this world filled with knowlege and deception. His plan is always for our good and not for evil.

 

zelda

We shall find all precious substance, we shall fill our houses with spoil:

Cast in thy lot among us; let us all have one purse: My son, walk not thou in the way with them; refrain thy foot from their path: For their feet run to evil, and make haste to shed blood.

Today we are flooded knowledge and technology through every means possible. Hours and hours of gigabytes and terabytes of information is coming to us in a way that can’t possibly be processed logically, much less with wisdom or allowing us to get wise counsel.  I often find myself in this “net” and powerless to escape, except for the mercy and grace of the LORD. These traps are laid before us all.  We are helpless without the help of G-d.

spread net

Surely in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird.

the emperor

And they lay wait for their own blood; they lurk privily for their own lives. So are the ways of every one that is greedy of gain; which taketh away the life of the owners thereof.

When we get caught up in lies and deceit, we find ourselves naked walking around like the Emperor in The Emperor’s New Clothes. His greedyness, pride and arrogance eventually destroyed his life and in the eyes of all who saw him he became a fool.

We can all get caught up in these traps if we don’t seek wisdom. It is critical to keep our hearts focused on the only one who can save, deliver and keep us from the many traps that are set before us.

bear trap

Run, forest run!

Posted in Cinderella Released, Faith, Overcoming Fear, True Stories

A Life Lesson from A Single Mom!

Mav Amy Colt Jona Me

from ashes to beauty ~ Cinderella Released
Lessons in Life from the World’s Wealthiest Single Mom!

“The blessing of the LORD makes a person rich, and He adds no sorrow with it.” Proverbs 10:22

God has a purpose when it comes to the resources He provides in my life. Wealth is viewed very differently in every culture.  I’ve had the blessing to visit other countries and places in the United States and to really realize how blessed I am and surrounded by such wealth.   This post is about God’s provision for  me. For many years, I felt being a single mom was one of the most difficult professions on the planet. But, today I am so thankful for all that God has provided for me and my family.

pa pa stand boys
PaPa Baggs, Colt, Christopher, Maverick & Gary Jr. (My Boys)

Life’s Lesson # 1 – Provision

“But My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19

colt Mav Ernie
Colt & Maverick 1986

In 1991 after a financial crisis, my husband and I separated and my two youngest boys and I went to Tallahassee, Florida to live with my older brother, his wife and my nieces Dena and Adrienne. After a few weeks, the Lord provided me with a good job and a one bedroom apartment. My sister-in-law helped me figure out a weekly budget and so I would cash my check and put money aside each week in an envelope, one for each of my bills.  10% of my gross income went directly into the offering plate and $35 per week was our food budget.  It seemed I always had more envelopes than money at the end of the end of the week but I knew God would provide.

Angels Colt & Maverick
“Touched by Two Angels”

Then our first month’s electric bill arrived and I went to get my envelope for the electric.

To my dismay, I had only put away $6. I thought to myself, “How did that happen?”

Holding my breath, I opened the bill and a big cry of relief came when I saw the charge of only $6. But, I did call the electric company immediately. They said the bill was correct and it was probably because it was just the first month’s bill.

I promised myself to put away more the next month. When the next month came, and I opened the electric  bill it was only $12 this time. As you can imagine, I didn’t waste any time calling the electric company.

Their response was,

“Mrs. Hoenig, yes there is a problem. We never got your payment from last month!  This is why it’s $12.”

I said, no, you don’t understand, “This has been the coldest winter in Tallahassee and I run my heat all the time.” The operator said, “I will check the meter and get back with you.”

Well, the fact is I never got a bill that went over $6 a month for the first nine months (the entire time we were in this little apartment).  Our God supplied for our needs abundantly and above anything I could dream or imagine at the time.

God also supplied us with friends and family who provided food, fellowship and lots of fun! We opened up our home each week for dinner on Saturday nights where the boys and I provided the main course. Usually I got the BOGO which always provided a great meal and our friends brought side dishes, desserts and drinks. We always had plenty of leftovers for the rest of the week. Another way we saved money and had fun was going to a local restaurant which had a “Kids Eat Free” night on Wednesday nights. It was a hot food buffet and salad bar. My boys loaded their bellies with plenty of good food and we also had fellowship with many of the families we knew would eat there also.

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Colt and Maverick

 

 

This Life Lesson on Provision helped me become the World’s Wealthiest Single Mom!

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That’s what I think….

 

me and colt
I second that!

** Blog post inspired from the series Uncommon Cents  – The Church on the Rock in Wasilla, Alaska

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Posted in Change, Cinderella Released, Crisis, Encouraging Stories, Faith, Overcoming Fear, Trauma, True Stories

Choices… we all have to make them

choices

CHOICES – People may often misunderstand your goals, your vision, your mission ~ but keep going, keep striving and continue to push, having faith in the specific calling you have been given! (While at the same time being open for Godly accountability and constructive criticism) FB Post by Maverick Hoenig June 3, 2017.

CHOICES

When I read this today the Holy Spirit quickened my spirit. In the area of crisis and trauma care, I see every day where hurting individuals are faced with choices that they weren’t expecting to make or having to live with choices that were made for them.

Brenton

I recently talked to one of my spiritual sons who was in an accident where a semi-truck made too close a turn and drug him and his motorcycle down the road. It not only caused him to literally being run over and left critically injured and badly broken. He now has to walk with a cane and has severe health issues. He said to me,

“Mom” I can either choose to give up, gripe and B**** about my life. I’ve got to get up and live life to the fullest.”

Throughout his life, I’ve watched this young man battle through many obstacles, some self inflicted and we have had many conversations about his walk with God. He’s still sorting through his life’s purpose and I have no doubt that God is already using him in ways even he can’t see or understand. But, even through his difficult times he has been there for me when I felt like giving up.  He has walked with me through crisis, trauma and hopelessness.

Today happened to be one of those days where I was questioning why things happen and if I should have made different choices.

Our conversation helped steer me and get my mind back to where it should be… on choosing to living and loving myself & others “God’s Way” – not my own.

I’ve got so much to be thankful for. Looking back I see the hard choices I had to make at times, especially when I wondered at the time if they were the right ones.  God has always redeemed even my poor choices into life giving miracles….

jonah arrival

CHOICE – **Note – FB Post from 12/19/2015 –  Maverick Hoenig, Father

Wow! Jonah David Hoenig has arrived!!! 7.12 lbs! God is great and the miracle of life astounds me today!

“When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world.” John 16:12

Amy did such an amazing job in labor and I am so proud of her!!

Life isnt waiting for the storm to pass

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things. Philippians 4:8

Blessings on your day,
Choose Wisely…

Marlene
from ashes to beauty…

P. S.  If you or someone you know is battling with their choices, or is suffering from crisis and trauma in their life. I am available 24/7.  Please check out my website for ways to contact me. Website Link Continue reading “Choices… we all have to make them”