Be Crazy With Me

I’ve always wanted to change the world. I’ve always, always wanted to be the person who made a difference in someone’s life. I wanted to change things. To mean something. To make an impact.

But ya’ll, it’s hard.

I am just one person. And not even that spectacular of a person at that. I don’t have thousands of followers online. I don’t have a huge network of people in the community that I can call when something needs to be done. But you know what I  do have?

Hope. I have hope that there is a way to change things, even if in a small way. Hope that others will join me.

I have a mom. And a best friend. And a husband who just kind of follows me where ever. Or leads me, when I need the nudge.

And I have just a little bit of crazy. Steve Jobs once said that “the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones that do.” And I think I can. Well, I think we can. Together.

There are so many ways to change the world. So many things that need to be done. But I have chosen to focus on shelters that help women who are victims of domestic violence and sexual assault.  These shelters rely on donations. And right now, that’s what they need.

At the bottom of this post is a PDF link of the current list from our local shelter. We CAN do this together. It’s simple really. When you buy a tube of toothpaste, grab an extra. When you buy laundry soap get 2 bottles. You don’t have to buy a million things at once. Every little thing adds up! We can change at least one world. Together. So please, click on the link and be crazy with me. Let’s do this!

shelterwishlist

 

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When All Else Fails

It’s been several years since I was super active with LSC. That breaks my heart, but life happened and things change and here we are. And I’m ready to start again. I’ve been brain storming and making plans all day, but when it comes to put things on paper, I just can’t get anywhere.

So, when all else fails, we’ll go back to the basics.

Domestic Violence Shelters, really, all shelters, are first and foremost just that. A shelter. A safe place for people to stay and get the help they need. And what does every home need? The basics. Toiletries. Hygiene products. Baby supplies. Cleaning products. Food. Money. The list could go on, but these things seem to be the best place to start again.

And that’s exactly where we will start. Each month I will take to our local shelters all of the basics that I can collect.  And here is where I ask for your help.  You knew it was coming! No matter how much, or how little you can help, every item is a precious resource that we can provide. So here is a (incomplete) list of the things I would like to donate each month. I’m sure you can come up with others!

Supplies

Toiletries – shampoo and conditioner, deodorant, toothpaste and toothbrush, shaving cream and razors, body soap, loofahs, etc.

Feminine Hygiene Products – pads, tampons, feminine wipes, etc.

Cleaning Products – laundry detergent, fabric softener, dish soap, dishwasher detergent, all purpose cleaner, etc.

Paper products – toilet paper, paper towels etc.

Baby Supplies – diapers, baby wipes, formula, baby soap/lotion, diaper rash cream, bottles, etc.

Gift Cards – Gift cards to places like Walmart, Target, Food Lion, etc. are great because then shelters have the means and opportunity to get exactly what they are currently in need of!.

If you would like to help, please do. I can’t save the world alone, but together we can make a huge difference! You can find us on facebook here, or email us at lovesomethingchronic@gmail.com.

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Strength in Brokenness

styrka.

強さ.

forza.

sức mạnh.

neart.

fuerza.

實力.

vahvuus.

قوة

rezistenţă.

прочность.

Strength.

No matter the language, it means the same thing.

We all have fears.  As an abuse survivor, fear can be a part of your daily life.  Afraid to stay.  Afraid to leave.  Afraid to speak up and break the silence.  Afraid of what people will think of you if the truth comes out.  Afraid that you’ll fail.  Afraid that what your abuser says is true.

I remember knowing with certainty that if I spoke up, if I tried to make it stop, it would be the end of the world.  I knew that everything would change, that my life would fall apart, and it would all be my fault.  After all, if I just kept quiet and dealt with it that everything would stay the same, and our family would stay in tact.  It is amazing the lies we allow the enemy to embed in our heads.  But that’s exactly what I did.  I believed those lies and I kept quiet.  I thought I was being strong.  Strong for my family, for myself,   and even for my abuser.

But strength?  True strength?  True strength is looking all of those fears straight in the eye, stepping over those lies and asking for help, even when you feel like a shattered vase.  It took exactly that for me to be able to move forward.  I had to stand strong and speak up through the hurt, through the tears, through the fear.  Those were the hardest words I’ve ever had to say in my life, those words I spoke that day, but honestly, that was the hardest part, getting the words out for the first time.  And it did turn my world upside down for a while, but it didn’t fall apart.  If anything, I’m in a much better place now than I’ve ever been in my life.

Was it easy?  No.  Did it mean that immediately everything was better and the past never haunted me again?  Absolutely not.  But every time I say those words, it gets a little easier to say them.

And finally, I’m free.

If you are in an abusive situation, whether it be physical, emotional or sexual abuse, whether it be by a spouse, a parent, a sibling, a neighbor, whomever, please, please get help.  The best part about standing strong is that you don’t have to do it alone.  When you think you can’t do it anymore, someone will be there to hold you up.  All you have to do is speak up.

Look on our find a shelter page to find a domestic violence shelter near you, or if you’re suffering from sexual assault/abuse you can call RAINN’s hotline at 1800-656-Hope and they also have an online hotline.  If you’re a child being abused you can call the Child Help National Abuse hotline at 1-800-4-a-child.  There are so many other resources out there too.  No matter where you go to get help, please get help.

Look well into thyself; there is a source of strength which will always spring up if thou wilt always look there.-Marcus Antoninus

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Hope

Hope.  It’s a four letter word we sometimes don’t talk about.  As an abuse survivor, sometimes hope seems too far out of reach.  Too far to even hope for.  But there is hope.  It’s there, we just have to open our eyes and see it.

Whether you are a survivor of domestic violence, sexual assault or molestation, verbal or emotional abuse, child abuse, or any other kind of abuse, at the core of it, we are all the same.  We are one.  We have been hurt, violated, abandoned, and left to sort through the darkness the abuse can leave behind in your heart.  It can honestly be hell.  But there is hope.  There is a light somewhere at the very end of what can be a very dark tunnel.  But even before you get to the light, you do NOT have to walk through the tunnel alone.  You are never alone.

I know that in the midst of a crisis, sometimes it feels like there is no one there.  No one could possibly understand what you are going through, so you don’t even try to talk about it.  You keep quiet for fear of being judged or misunderstood.  But you do not have to live in silence.  There are organizations out there who dedicate themselves to helping.  This organization focuses on ministering to women and children in domestic violence shelters, but there are others who focus on ending abuse and helping survivors by offering counseling and support.

The National Coalition Against Domestic Violence and RAINN are two amazing organizations dedicated to bringing an end to every kind of abuse.  They fight to bring about public and political awareness to the issues, to empower abuse survivors through counseling and support, and bring abusers to justice.  These are great organizations to reach out to for help and support.

Sometimes, though,  it’s another survivor who affects you most.  Who better can understand your pain than someone who has been in your shoes.  Someone who has walked the road you are walking.  Someone who is still walking that road.  Sometimes just having someone to talk to, someone who will listen and understand, can  make the difference between despair and healing.  Sometimes it is as simple as being heard.  You just have to have the courage to speak. There are organizations out there that  believe that community is key in healing, that people need people, and that we weren’t meant to live this life alone.  It is these communities that have been so vital for myself as a survivor, and I wanted to share them with you.  There are two that are very close to my heart.  Violence UnSilenced focuses on being the voice of the abused, helping abuse survivors tell their stories, be heard, be validated.  They allow survivors to share their stories with others, and encourage survivors and their loved ones as a whole to speak out and overcome the culture of silence and shame that exists today.

Another organization that has affected me is To Write Love on Her Arms.  They focus solely on dealing with the pain, pain not only caused by abuse, but anything that causes hopelessness and despair.  Their mission statement says that they are dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury and suicide.  TWLOHA exists to encourage, inform, inspire and also to invest directly into treatment and recovery.

More than anything, whether you are a Christian or not, God loves you.  He walks with you through the darkest moments of your life, even when you aren’t aware that he is there.  He understands because his son, his only son, was beaten, abused, and humiliated.  He knows our pain, because he’s seen it first hand.

No matter what, know that you aren’t alone.  Whatever you’ve been through, whatever abuse you’ve suffered, I hope that you’ll realize you are never alone.  The truth is that there are others.  There are others that have been abused, who are being abused, and you do not have to walk this road in silence anymore.

 

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It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

Nope, not Christmas (not yet, anyhow).  It’s HALLOWEEN.  It’s my personal favorite time of year.  From costumes and candy, to cider and jack-o-lanterns!  So much fun!   Here at Love Something Chronic, we LOVE the holiday season.  All year long we try to give back in the little ways, but during the Holiday season we have so many cool ways to give back, to help others feel loved and special.

We cannot wait for Halloween.  This is the first year we’ve done Halloween projects for the domestic violence shelters in our area, and we’re excited to bless the women, and especially the children, with candy and treats and spooky fun things.

My personal favorite project are the popcorn hands.  Our family did them several years ago for the kids in our neighborhood and they were just so much fun to do and fairly pain free.  You just get some clear gloves, the kind they use at Subway or in a cafeteria.  You put candy corn in each finger and then fill the rest of the glove with popcorn.  Tie it off with some ribbon and poof, you’ve got a creepy looking hand sure to delight.  We’ll also be putting together goody bags with candy and little treats for the moms and kids.

As always if you’d like to help in ANY way let us know.  There is always some way you can help.   Even if it is something that seems so small and insignificant, to people who are hurting, even the smallest gesture of love can bring hope and joy.

No matter what, we covet your prayers, that we may be able to bring hope to a hurting people, that we can show them God’s love, and the hope that is Christ Jesus!

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Back to School

It’s that time again.  It’s school time.  In our house, we are completely ready.  We have all the coolest Star wars gear, the hippest clothes, and all the accessories the kids need to go back to school in style.  And let me tell you, I am so ready!

But there are lots of kids who aren’t prepared for school.  Not because they don’t want to learn, but because they don’t have supplies.  Sometimes, their parents simply can not afford to buy the things that they need.  And we think that we can help.

Love Something Chronic usually does gifting for the women and children at domestic violence shelters on major Holidays, and we try to buy household supplies as often as we can to donate throughout the year, but there really isn’t anything big between now and Christmas, but I wanted to do *something*.

 

Then I ran across this, and it hit me.  If we all buy one of these bundles we can help send kids back to school with the essentials they need to succeed.  There are several bundles, starting at just $10.  I know the economy is tight and we all have our own kids to provide for, but if you feel like you can give, please do!

Shipping is free and you can have it shipped to your home and find a shelter near you to donate to, (you can find a shelter on our “Find a shelter” page)  or if you want to help us here in our community you can contact us at lovesomethingchronic@gmail.com and we’ll tell you where to send them and we’ll gladly take them to our local shelters.

No matter what you do, even if you can’t give this time, always remember to love something chronic!

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Disaster relief

In the midst of chocolate bunnies and glittered eggs, things took a bit of a sidewinder here.  On Saturday our area of the country was hit hard by a very strong storm spawning many tornadoes.  We have been wracking our brains for days in ways we can work and help.  The church where Stacey and I worship are doing disaster relief to help the families who have lots their homes, and also to help feed the workers and such.  And I’ll be working very hard with them for the next few days.  But I was thinking that there has to be a need somewhere in the capacity of our organization.  I realized that in all of these places that were so hard hit, there are shelters.  Now I’ve not heard anything, but then again, that might not be something you advertise, but there very well could be damage to any one of those shelters we work so hard to support.

So here it is, the birth place of  LSC’s disaster relief fund.  For right now, we’re totally focusing on the women and their children in the shelters, but there is no promise that it will stop there.  I can see God bringing beauty from the debris, and I’m so excited to be working for Him, again.

Tomorrow I will start calling around to all of the local (within a hundred mile radius) shelters to assess damage and then once we’ve done that, we’ll sit down and decide which were the hardest hit, and who has the most needs, and list what those needs are.  Then we get into what is new territory for me.  We need to find a way to collect supplies on a large scale so that we can bless these organizations with what they need to cleanup, heal.

I don’t even know where to start with this.  In times past, all of our donations have come from close friends and family, and the members of our church.  But things are crazy and resources are maxed out and I just don’t know where else to go.  But I know there is a way.  After I find out the specific needs, I’ll start going around to companies and seeing if they’re willing to donate.  I really don’t know what else to do.  If you’ve had experience with this, then please, feel free to contact me either in the comments, or @lovesomethingchronic@gmail.com  I would love the help and input.

Stacey and I gave blood today, just so we could feel like we were doing *something*, but I am slap worn out now and I think it’s bed time.  I love you all much!

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