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#life

Sweet Summertime!

It’s summer time, and what a busy summer it has been for us. We have been on two mini vacations so far. First, we went to Hershey Park where Ryan and Anaia went on every roller coaster, spinny thing, freefall, and zero-gravity ride in the park. I, on the other hand, am much to smart for all of that. We all did enjoy the water park and eating our body weight in chocolate, though.

A few weeks later, Anaia and I were asked to go to Kalahari, another ginormous water park in Pennsylvania. We went with one of Anaia’s friends and his family. We had a blast and highly recommend it. It is an indoor/outdoor water park where the indoor portion is inside a giant hotel which houses several restaurants, bars, stores, and an arcade. The decorating theme throughout is an African jungle.  The hotel is adorned with a huge imitation elephant head hanging on the wall when you walk in the hotel. At the entrance of each corridor there were near life-sized statues of various jungle animals. The kids loved climbing all over the silver back gorilla while waiting for the elevator.

While at Kalahari, I found myself in the middle of a real life mystery. After wearing my sunglasses all day, back in the hotel room, I looked in my bag for my regular glasses. They were gone! I took everything out of my bag and shook out my towel; my glasses were nowhere to be found! We looked in the car, no glasses. I emptied out my bag again, no glasses. I finally gave up hope and decided to tap into my inner Roy Orbison (if you are too young to know who he was, Google him). When I got home Ryan went through my swim bag and guess what he found? My glasses! My bag, which has a black lining, also has a black interior divider dividing the inside of the bag in half. My glasses had slipped into the back portion and I couldn’t see them. I just got over the excitement of the great-glasses-caper when I got an email from the director of the summer camp that Anaia really wanted to go to, but couldn’t because it was full. The message informed me that one of kids that enrolled in camp had dropped out and now they have room for Anaia! Talk about a hallelujah moment!

In the middle of all the busy days and excitement for the Denerley’s, Anaia chose to get baptized. She was baptized as a baby but she asked to get baptized again to show she was giving herself to the Lord. Anaia is only nine, but she’s turning into the most amazingly beautiful young lady inside and out. I’m so proud of and happy for her.

Ryan and I went through Soul Care last year. Soul care is a Christian based therapy that is a process in which a believer confesses and repents unhealthy deep rooted issues to another believer in order for the holy spirit to speak into their heart to heal and eradicate damaging patterns that interfere
With the spiritual growth and God’s purpose for their lives. It’s coming together in talking, listening and prayer with each other and the holy spirit.we use the book entitled Biblical Foundations of Freedom: Destroying Satan’s Lies with God’s Truthby Art Mathias. It teaches you how to apply biblical truths to issues that pop up that cause difficulties in every area in everyday life. Our pastor at the time is trained in it and we were having some issues in our marriage. We both brought our own personal issues in our marriage. We needed help. Soul Care definitely helped.

A few weeks ago our old pastor suggested to Ryan that he go through Soul Care training and said that I would be good in intercessory prayer.  Intercessory prayer is the other half of Soul Care. It’s praying on behalf of another person.  While the leader guides the person or couple to get to the root of the issue, another person engages in intercessory prayer away from the counseling session. Last week we began our training,  and hopefully in the future we, as a couple and a team, can help others as much as Soul Care has helped us.

I also began hosting my church’s small group in my home along with the new pastors. It is every Thursday night at 7pm if you are in the Warwick area! Everyone is welcome, young and old. So as you can see, we have been busier than a gofer on a golf course. I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Glory be to God.

Limits, Powerlifting

Determined

A year ago this month, I was in a powerlifting championship in Virginia and won in my age and weight class. I was lifting the heaviest I’ve ever lifted before. At that time I was able to deadlift 187.2 lbs, bench 80 lbs and squat 115 lbs with a body weight of 114, and fighting my spastic left side all the way.

Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air. 27 No, I strike a blow to my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize. ~1 Corinthians 26-27

In November I wrenched my back and had to rest it and go to the chiropractor twice a week to get it back to normal. As soon as I got cleared to lift again I broke my left hand. I was out of commission for another three weeks. I got the cast off and found my little finger laying on my ring finger. While in the cast, a muscle spasm pulled the little finger out of place. The only thing that could be done was surgery. Doctors had to re-break my hand, put my pinky back into place, then put a metal plate in and insert four screws. I had my surgery February 6th of this year. I’m still in PT and OT but was told I only have to go once a week.

I’m getting stronger and increasing my range of motion nicely. A few weeks ago I was cleared to start lifting again. I was concerned I wouldn’t be able to grab the bar well enough to lift, but so far so good! I’m starting from day one with very light weights. That’s ok, at least I’m able to lift again. I’m so grateful for that and grateful that it wasn’t my right hand. It could have been much worse.

Although I don’t sit around feeling sorry for myself saying why me, I do believe all this happened for a reason. I’m not sure what that reason is, but obviously part of it was God wanted me to slow down quite a bit. I do know this; this whole thing has caused me to be even more determined to even be better than I was before. Even more determined to work around my physical limitations than I ever was. I push harder in everything that I do now and not just in powerlifting.I may or may not be the same again, but life does go on and so will I.

Mental Illness, Uncategorized

Silence the Stigma

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, so I thought this post would be fitting.

I’ve struggled with bouts of depression and was diagnosed a few years back with PTSD caused by my abusive ex-husband. I’ve known numerous people who struggle with depression, as well as manic episodes. I’ve known people who have committed suicide because they saw no other way out of the situation they were in.

The more I look around these days, the more mental well-being seems to be declining. Mass shootings and suicides are plastered all over the news. Over prescribing pain meds and antidepressants are on the rise. It’s almost become a way of life. We have to stop fighting over gun laws and not engage each other in, “I’m right, you’re wrong” fights and start fighting the unrelenting monster called mental illness.

Why are there so many school shootings? Why are more than one out of three Americans on painkillers? Why is it that one out of six Americans is on antidepressants? These percentages far surpass those in other countries. I don’t have the answers, but believe we have to find them.

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. ~Galatians 3:28

Continue reading “Silence the Stigma”

#God, Family Life

Lessons Learned As Grief Grows

He Heals the BrokenheartedDelayed reactions are my thing, and I’m having one at the moment.

As some of you might know, Ryan’s dad, Rob, died a few weeks ago. I have been trying to be strong and holding it together for Ryan and Anaia and in the process not letting myself grieve.

For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death. ~2 Corinthians 7:10 *

Now, it’s hitting me. One thing has been eating away at me for a long time even before Rob got sick. One day right after Ryan and I got married the phone rang. I answered, “Hello?” By the way, why do we do that? Like we want to make sure there’s another person at the other end? Of course, there is. We should answer the phone by saying something like, how’s it hanging? Or, hey buddy nice to hear from you again, or if someone is asking for money, oh it’s you still why do you always call when I’m eating dinner?

But I digress.

I answered, “Hello?” Rob replied, “Hi, it’s Dad.” Something came over me, and I was completely silent. I couldn’t say anything. I just handed the phone to Ryan who jokingly said to his father, “Linda thought she was getting a phone call from beyond the grave.” (My father had died a few years before.) To this day I’m not sure what came over me. Maybe it was because I was overwhelmed that he could saw me as his daughter. That I could mean that much to him. Perhaps it was me missing my father. Maybe it was a combination of them. No matter what the cause, I was completely silent. Rob never said that again.

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven..~Ecclesiastes 3:1

When Anaia came around, he always said: “it’s grandpa.” I always felt embarrassed and guilty for my reaction to his loving gesture. Now I feel guilty for not telling him how honored I was, and am, by him calling me his daughter. I let myself get in the way of a wonderfully beautiful thing, and I am so sorry, sad, guilty and regretful because of it. I loved and miss him much. I am blessed to have had him in my life, and Anaia is so blessed to have called him Grandpa.

I guess what I have learned from all this is never wait to tell someone how you feel and that you never know how much you mean to another. The way you see yourself is not always how others see you. I never dreamed that I could mean that much to my husband’s father and that I think comes from how valuable you see yourself.

I am so very grateful for you, Rob.

 

*For anyone wondering the difference between Godly grief and worldly grief, Godly grief asks for mercy and recalls that our sins go heavenward. It fosters the difference between regret and repentance. Wordly grief that leads to regret makes us feel sad and bad about our past sins, thoughts or emotions but Godly grief leads to repentance–which makes us turn completely away from the sinful thought or action. Regret is crying, feeling bad,  being burdened with guilt, getting it out of our system and moving on. It doesn’t lead to change. Repentance, does. It leads to better relationships and salvation through Christ. So in reading this, I nod in agreement with Linda. The lessons learned run deep. ~ Jennifer

#life, Family Life

Ryan’s Corner: In Memory

In Memory of Robert Allan Denerley    

If I were to describe my relationship with my father and categorize our time together I would place our story in the adventure section.

Dad would read some of Genesis story to answer my typical boyhood questions about life and creation, subtly laying a moral foundation for me, which would be really important later for family volleyball games where the rules were negotiable.

My dad taught me that it matters how we treat others and how to be a team player. We are to be people of character; honest, giving, faithful, fair, and forgiving. We are to lead balanced lives.

Learning about relationships with women was of particular importance. Dad continued to counsel me during my time in college for I didn’t struggle academically as much as I did relationally.

The help Dad gave me paved the way for me to venture out and start a family of my own.

Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also. ~John 14:1-3

The ten years my wife and daughter spent with Dad can be described as kind, supportive, and encouraging. Marriage and parenthood ain’t for wimps, and Dad was my model for maturity when stress became overbearing.

My daughter’s 9th birthday party was themed after Disney’s “Descendants” and the same week of her party Dad entered Brigham and Women’s hospital for his surgical procedure. As we know now, Dad’s procedure can hardly have been called a belly check…

Brothers and sisters, friends and relatives, young and old, we are fellowshipping in the midst of Robert’s death and simultaneously celebrating his life. We are coming together to move forward in our lives without Robert—without Dad.

In Disney’s “Descendants” the future is uncertain for the characters who are the sons and daughters of famed Disney villains. These are school age youngsters from the Isle of the Lost thrust into attending the Aura Don Academy—the school for the children of Disney heroes and heroines. One of the movie’s songs sung in the midst of decision making is “There are So Many Ways to Be Wicked.” And it is true, there are many ways we can go about living our life for ourselves, but I want to encourage you that it matters how we treat one another. This was important to my father. Even truer, there is only one way to be righteous and that is through the Lord Jesus Christ.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. ~John 14:6

We all have to face death and if we are honest, we are all facing a final judgement.

Jesus Christ is no joke. He takes away our failures and gives us His perfect righteousness as a gift.

Sure, dad was a good husband, father, coach and leader, but make no mistake, it is Christ and Christ alone who delivers souls from hell into eternal blessedness. Robert couldn’t do it; Moses couldn’t; not Buddah, Mohammad, or some pagan animal spirit.

The Lord says: “I am the resurrection and the life. He that believes in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live; and whosoever live and believe in me shall never die.”

Please pray with me:

O God, you are Holy and Just. Please receive my earthly father Robert into the courts of your heavenly dwelling place. Wash him in the holy font of everlasting life and clothe him in God’s heavenly wedding garment. Let his heart and soul now ring out in joy to you, O Lord, the living God. May your angels surround him, your saints welcome him in peace; may he gaze upon you Lord, face to face, and taste the blessedness of perfect rest in Jesus Christ.

~Ryan