Friday, April 11, 2014

I am thankful to look through this video of the past several month of what God has done. I don't say it boastfully, I say it extremely humbled and blessed that God turned such a ugly and broken past into a passion, purpose and that He didn’t end the story where I had once given up. #Thankful WATCH here

Friday, March 28, 2014

Are you listening?

Does God do small talk? Is there a place in the Bible where you’ve read of God to chit chat with people or use empty words to fill the awkward moments of silents? Whenever God speak it’s spoken. When He tells you to go do something, warns you or sends a person to be His voice of reason for your life, listen. He means it, God chooses His words wisely and they are always sent at the perfect time. It’s not that God doesn't want to have intimate talks and special moments between himself and His children because He does, but His words are chosen carefully to benefit our life. So, even when the words seem painful, hard or unjust, listen and know He has some crazy awesome reasons behind each syllable that rolls off His tongue.

God sent Ezekiel to Israel with a word to share but God also told him that they still wouldn’t listen! So, why would God have Ezekiel go all that way to share a word that wouldn’t be received? The bible says Ezekiel was being sent to a familiar place where they spoke his language, perhaps he was known there, perhaps it was harder for him or maybe God knew he would grow from this experience, but why did Ezekiel have to feel all the torment over the choices of others? Why wouldn’t God just go directly to the source? After all He is God and could get their attention by a burning bush or something, right? Ezekiel was even banned from praying for them, God would only undo his bound tongue when He wanted Ezekiel to share a word. Why? What would be the reason behind such a process that seems could have been resolved with the power of the Almighty and a burning bush or maybe even a talking donkey?

God knew the strength, courage and endurance Ezekiel would gain from this process and also God is a big giant teddy bear that loves all of His kiddo’s so much He is willing to send messenger after messenger to reach each child that has drifted away. He doesn’t want to leave even one behind. So He extend offer after offer for each of us to stay the course that He has set before us. God is always talking we just need to tune our ears to hear His ever present voice that can and will reach us through whatever means He knows our hearts will hear.

Story found in Ezekiel Chapter 3  

Friday, March 21, 2014

Yesterday was an amazing day, first it started with the MASK(Mothers Awareness on School-age Kids) Unity Award Luncheon. As soon as that ended, I received a call asking me to testify at the Az. Senate on bill HB 2662 which would make it mandate for all AZ. public schools to have sexual abuse awareness in...It PASSED by all 9. Now it will go to all the senators to be voted on. Awesome step in the right direction for Arizona. Here are some pictures from the day.

 Top left is myself with Nicole Crites from CBS 5, Bottom left picture is myself with State Rep. JD Mesnard and my friend that works at the Senates office, Monica. Bottom right is myself and my better half, my husband Ben.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

David and Goliath: equipping our children to be unstoppable and powerful even to a giant.

The word no is a complete sentence to most people, It needs no other words to make it whole or for it to be able to stand on its own. It often can be an over used word, especially to a child. Children hear the word no from toddlerhood to adolescence onto adulthood, it’s constantly a word children hear being said to them. We use it to keep them safe, show boundaries and instill limits of how far is to far. I personally think the over use of it hasn't changed the value of our no’s, but I do believe many children do not believe their no has any value. Children are taught saying no to an adult is unacceptable and disrespectful and in many healthy situations it probable is. Even still I think the word no is respected by most people as a final answer, but to often this word isn’t being used by abused children because a child believes their voice will not be heard. The person abusing a child has more power over their victims then most people believe. They typically have groomed these children from such a young age that they lose understanding of truth because all they hear are the abuser’s lies.

I never said no to my abuser, not even once. In fact, I never said a word during the abuse that I can recall. If the abuse took place during the night I would pretend to be asleep, even though I knew he was aware I was awake because no one could ever sleep through such an awful event. As I grew older the use of alcohol and marijuana were acceptable and almost encouraged in his house. I always took full advantage of this freedom in order to be intoxicated so I could be out of it which made the experience something often I wouldn’t remember, which is what unknowly to me at the time I was trying to achieve. Even if I had said the word no would that have even stopped him? If ever there was going to be something that would provoke a moral change in him to stop I am certain the look on a child's face was all the no he would have ever needed. Is the word no going to ever stop monsters like him when their mission is to sexually exploit a child's little body for their own pleasure? As a young child I didn’t understand that the eyes looking down at me during the abuse where that of evil and not of love. I now understand that he was nothing more than a coward hiding behind his own fears and insecurities. As a child if I could have saw through his lies and tactics, I would have spoken out to who he truly was, but the word no was never a I thought to say to him. Is that because I had low self esteem, or believed I had no true worth or value? Was it shame knowing I didn’t tell him the word no, so I kept believing the lies that I wanted it? Was it fear of losing or upsetting him? Or maybe it was just easier to stay quiet? I believe the answer is yes to all of these questions as to way I didn’t speak out. I was a broken child that was busy fulfilling all the statistics and negative words spoken over me through out my childhood. So as I was proving myself right, that I was a out of control, disrespectful child with to many issues to count and he was busy keeping me right there in that spot. 

Teaching children to say no isn’t the only answer in protecting our children from abuse. It is being active, present and involved. It is filling our child's cup of self esteem so full that it can’t be emptied. It’s not an easy task, it’s daily hard work, that I know I am not perfect at always with my children, but I want to be. I want my children to know their worth, their value and what is right from wrong. I want to give them a gift that can’t be taken away by anyone. Maybe we stop focusing on the cowards and monsters and more on equipping our children to be unstoppable and powerful even to a giant that may one day stand next to them unknowing to us.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Now what?

That first moment after its out, really out and you know exposing this secret has changed your life now that its been exposed. You breathe, you second guess your decision to tell, you even think about going back and covering it up with another one of your old lies. Your heart is pounding, your palms sweaty and your voice seems weak. Then it happens, your emotions let go. You are now filled with tears, anger, and fear. Your legs can't seem to hold your weight, while sitting seems unbearable with the emotions running wild inside of you. There was a reason you kept this a secret so long, right? This is going to hurt, but could it possibly hurt worse than what has been happening? You cry yourself to sleep in hopes that when you awake it will have all disappeared.  You awake and now it seems that more people know and more people are staring. You feel shame, guilt and the most exposed you have ever felt. You wonder what they are thinking and what their emotions are hiding behind there sympathetic stairs . The looks in their eyes feels like judgement, causing guilt to rapidly grow in you. All the lies your abuser told you suddenly seem true. No one will believe you, you wanted it and you are the dirty one. Then you realize, he is going to find out everything you say. The panic sets in as people start talking to you and asking detailed questions. The questions you mastered at suppressing and hiding from others. You have never felt so tired or alone yet you are surrounded by so many people.

Breathe, you did the right thing. You showed great courage and strength. The looks you are getting are heart break for what you have endured. The judgement you feel in the room is what they feel towards themselves for not knowing and speaking up for an innocent child. It’s true, your abuser will know most of what you say in the beginning, don't let him silence you any longer. Just know it scares him to be exposed and maybe a part of you still doesn't want to hurt him. That is okay and normal because he groomed you to feel that way. The feeling of loyalty and betrayal is powerful in the beginning. Loyalty to your abuser? That doesn't seem natural or right! It couldn't have been so bad or wrong if you find yourself wanting to protect him, right? Wrong, your abuser had a way of getting into your heart and mind so that he could create a false sense of normalcy. How could he have convinced you of so much and created in you such a sense of love and loyalty towards him? Pedophiles have a PHD in manipulation and grooming. It will take time for your brain and heart to fall on the same page but have trust that it will happen. Give yourself time and trust who you are becoming. The person that is inside of you is amazing and full of endless potential. that is why he tried to silence you for so long. You are powerful beyond your imagination. You will change this world, I know you probably can’t see that just yet, but trust me you will. You were not created for someone else's use, don't believe that lie for a moment. You were created to affect this world, to change it for the better. Your worth and strength is endless!

Monday, February 24, 2014

Childhelp Fashion show celebrating 55 years

This past weekend Childhelp put on their annual fashion show and silent auction, which was a huge success. This year was celebrating 55 years of service and helping over 9 million children that have been abused. Amazing, right? The theme was fashion through the ages. The first picture is myself with the founders of Childhelp Sara O'Meara and Yvonne Fredderson. 

This next picture is of my sweet daughter who was able to be a model in the fashion show. She loved playing dress-up for the day and having her '15' minutes of fame.
Raven-Symone was the emcee for the night and she brought a lot of humor to the show. My daughter knows her as Raven from the disney show Thats so Raven I know her from the Cosby show.She has been in the industry long enough to impact two generations.

This is myself picture with Betsy Coffeen the President of Childhelp Wings. She is amazing lady and it has been such a pleasure getting to know her better.

My daughter with one of the other child models. These two cuties hit it off as friends right away. Her mother is the owner and designer for

It was an amazing day and spending it with my favorite girl made it all that more important and special.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Through this trail you will find.....

Three different times Paul begged the Lord to remove the thorn in his flesh. This thorn was a burden, a hardship and caused him pain and yet three times he heard the Lord say “My gracious favor is all you need. My power works best in your weakness” Have you been to a place where you have begged for things to be different. Where your tears were your unspoken words and you believed it all went to deaf ears? I believe your words went straight to His heart, straight to His loving will and this is what I believe was spoken to you.

‘Through this trail you will learn empathy,vulnerability, understanding, you will see others through my eyes, you will learn how strong you are and how much you are loved. You will grow closer to me and my will for your life. This trail doesn't define you or box you into any statistic, because it’s always in my control and I love you more.’

Learning to be content in our weaknesses goes against our natural instincts. We want to fix and remove anything instantly that causes pain or discomfort, but sometimes what we gain by walking through a trail has so much more in store for us and the people around us then just removing it will do. Healing is always a journey no matter if it is physical,spiritual or mental, when we choose to stop asking for it to be removed and start asking to walk through it,face it and grow from it, powerful things will happen. Yes, it may be hard and overwhelming sometimes as you walk through it, but God has already placed in your life all you will need to overcome this. BECAUSE you WILL overcome it! ~Nicole

2 Corinthians 12:8-9 Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. 9 Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me.