Sunday, July 28, 2013
I'm pretty sure I would have given up the church thing years ago if it wasn't for my daughter. Jackie really enjoys going, though, and it makes her very sad when I don't go with her. Perhaps that's a good thing. I don't know. I'm glad that she gets something from going to church. It shows me that she is coming into her own theistic person and making her own decisions in regard to religion and faith issues. Jackie has also developed a couple of good friendships at her church. And everyone seems to be fond of her. That makes me happy. I hope that continues for her because I know very well what it's like to be "different" and lacking healthy relationships with other religious people. I'm glad that she has the support she needs there to continue her spiritual and religious growth.
I really, REALLY miss my church in Florida. It was a very large church but it didn't feel that way. I felt welcomed there. I felt accepted despite my differences. My home church called itself "The Fellowship of Encouragement" and it truly was. Most of the time, I left there feeling encouraged and uplifted. I actually looked forward to being around my "family". It was definitely home for me. Unfortunately, I have yet to experience all of that since moving here to Illinois.
As often as I want to just give up on it all, my daughter continues to be my guiding light. I don't want to be the one to shoot down her religious growth. I am so glad that there are others who have stepped up to encourage her growth as I am not adequate enough to do so. I am also very glad that Jackie has the support from others who love and care enough for her to help her along her religious journey. (Thank you to those who have been there for her). I can't help but wonder where I would be if I had had the same thing at her age and even now. It does make me feel good that despite my own shortcomings, others really seem to care about and love about my daughter.
So, even though I am happy for Jackie, I am more convinced than ever that it's all about numbers in today's churches. And that is one reason I refuse to sign a commitment for membership like Tim did. I refuse to to be just a number.
Friday, July 5, 2013
and it wasn't a good one. At. All.
The morning started when we couldn't get my cell phone to stay tethered to my laptop to access the internet. Mother-in-law doesn't have the internet so we have to count on my cell phone for internet access. I called AT&T to find out why the tethering wasn't working as it was working with no problem until last night. I was on the phone for an hour and a half with the customer service rep until she told me my next step was to go to the AT&T store. I go up there and the employee couldn't figure out what was wrong with my phone. I should back up. For the past several months, my phone has been freezing up and I have also been receiving duplicate, sometimes triplicate, text messages from senders, although the senders sent the texts just one time. AT&T couldn't figure it out. In the meantime, the duplicate texts have been causing me to exceed my text limit and I have to pay for each additional text. As for the freezing up, the only option was to remove the battery and re-start. (Our contract was just up this past month so we've been looking at other options.)
After the AT&T employee couldn't figure out the problem with the tethering, she told me my only option was to reset to factory settings and that I needed to back up my pictures and other media. I tried to back it up to my laptop to no avail. The phone was not allowing us to transfer anything. So, the next step was to go and get a new micro-SD card (the original one was full) and transfer the pictures to that. I followed all the instructions. When I went to transfer all of my pictures and videos to the new (and more space), I noticed that there were no pictures to transfer. Nothing. I looked in my Gallery application and nothing was there, either. And nothing was on the original SD card. Nothing, except my applications and some other stuff that I couldn't understand. Somewhere, something majorly wrong. My heart sank. I immediately went back to the AT&T store and the employee tried to find out what went wrong. The formatting was NOT supposed to erase anything from the phone itself. I was livid. Too angry to even cry. And my language, unfortunately, was very unlady like. (Don't worry, I didn't use that language with the reps). I made the decision then and there that this was a sign that we are no longer to continue with AT&T.
From there, I went to check out the Verizon phones. While I was there, the AT&T rep who tried to help me this morning called me back to get an update. (Very nice of her). I explained to her what happened and she was sickened. Apparently, the AT&T store employee was not educated enough to fully help me. As a last resort, she contacted Google to get help to possibly retrieve all of my 2000+ photos and videos that were supposed to automatically be synced and backed up to my Google account. After about 20 minutes of being on the phone with the Google rep, he told me that he would have to call me tomorrow because their shift was ending. It was 3:30 in the morning where he is at. Huh? The AT&T rep called me back yet again and she was aghast about the Google rep. So, for now, we are stuck with the AT&T service for at least another 24 hours in a last ditch effort to retrieve my lost memories. Please pray!
While I spent half of my day dealing with AT&T on top of tending to my children, Tim called me to tell me that his mother just received a phone call about a family crisis. I won't divulge any information except to say that this family member and his own family are in need of serious prayer. Tim and I discussed the possibility of helping this person out financially but with the needs our own family and the looming decrease in our income due to this stupid sequester (thanks Obama!), I gently told Tim that we cannot help out at this time. I'm also afraid that if we do so, then it will continue. I feel terrible about this but, the needs of our own family come first. If this crisis was something beyond control, that's a different story. The only thing Tim and I can do for now is pray.
On top of all the of that, I got a Facebook notification for a friend invite. I looked to see who it was. Imagine my surprise when I saw the name. I'm sorry, but no. I will not accept. I have no relationship whatsoever with my mother's and step-father's son. None. I can forgive but I cannot forget. There is a difference between forgiveness and having boundaries, and un-forgiveness. This is a person whose own children refer to him only by his first name. This person does not deserve to have a relationship with me after the things he has done to me. He has never expressed remorse for any of his actions toward me. Mother cannot understand why I don't care to have a relationship with her son. I'm sorry, but I have to protect myself and my family. So, seeing that today brought up even more negative feelings and anger than I was already dealing with today.
Talking about this person reminds me that Jackie has been bringing up this topic for the past week. I have not talked much about having a half-brother. Jackie has asked in the past if I have brothers or sisters and I usually would tell her no. I wasn't ready to explain why he's not in my life. Apparently, Mother has been talking to Jackie about this person and Jackie keeps throwing it my face about how I have a brother. I can't begin to tell you the feelings this brings up to hear that word "brother" as it relates to me. Just yesterday, Jackie brought it up again but this time, Tim came to my defense and told Jackie to stop bringing it up. I'm not ready to explain to Jackie why I don't have a relationship with this person. I don't feel that she's old enough to truly understand, yet. Having said all of that, it is so important for me to try to foster a close relationship with and between my children. I want Jackie and Ben to be close and to protect each other. Now, Ben is a bit aggressive toward Jackie and Jackie often wishes that she didn't have Ben for a brother, but I know that they really do love each other. I can only pray that their relationship will continue to grow in a positive way.
Well, I need to go get rid of this headache. Please pray that my pictures (even if just a fraction) can be retrieved, pray for Tim's family member, and please pray for me that I can continue to convey to my children the importance of a healthy, close relationship between them. And pray for patience for me.