A grand weekend and a glorious start to this spring week

Today I visited Chimney Park and The Bike Fest both in Downtown Covington. Chimney Park sits just behind the Newton County Library off of Floyd Street. Chimney Park will be hosting the 2014 Fairy House Festival on Saturday, May 3rd, from 2-5 p.m.  The rain date will be Sunday, May 4th. Admission is $5 per person with children under 2 admitted free.  The fee covers refreshments, entertainment and crafts, including decorated fairy wings.

http://www.chimney-park.com

According to Shore, the festival will offer an array of crafts, music, refreshments and entertainment. “For the first time, vendors will be on site to sell child or fairy-themed goods, along with handmade, homemade and homegrown items.  Space for a limited number of vendors must be purchased in advance,” she said.

I had a great day out in the community today with such gorgeous weather and to be able to visit Chimney Park and The Bike Fest was a Sunday afternoon treat. Scoops had awesome ice-cream today, it really did hit the spot too. I noticed while on the Square that the Relay for Life in Newton County is April 25th and they are all set up in the old Mayfield Hardware building on the Square for the all night event. As I walked around the Bike Fest I remembered fondly my father who was known as a Harley rider with many friends in the community that ride. He was on my mind all day today during the Bike Fest. Known as “The Man from Yellow River”, Mr. Mayron Fuller of The Fuller Family Farms off Almon Road and 1-20. Oh how he loved and adored his Harley. Here’s to you Dad! Today was a beautiful day for us to be out and about and I thank you Dad for watching over me with such great care and love. Hoping he enjoyed today as I am certain he saw the Bike Fest through my eyes and heart with every step. There is so much to do around town right now. The Bike Fest was today, The Relay for Life at the end of April and Chimney Park Twilights in May. I cannot wait for all these fantastic family fun filled events that I plan to be at each one. I love this little amazing town from the bottom of my heart. Growing up here and spending my adult life reminiscing all my days is a wonderful memory in the file cabinet of my heart. From The Little Red Schoolhouse, Ficquett, Sharp and Newton High, and Dekalb Technical College, Covington Campus all my days have been shared here in this amazing little glorious town which once was a hidden glory now all abuzz. What a fantastic start to my week! This past Friday I found out that my scholarship had been awarded through The Georgia Mental Health Consumer Network for training classes at The Georgia Peer Support Institute. I am so thrilled that I will be celebrating my ten year anniversary this year of diagnosis of mental illness and marital abuse in training classes. This would make my parent’s awfully proud to be accepted by the State of GA for a full scholarship for schooling in the mental health field. I made it Mom & Dad and not a moment too soon. This ten year anniversary year will be spent in training classes and working on a community project of my studies to be presented in the community. Then, on Saturday I was able to spend the entire day with my best friend Mark dining at Ruby Tuesday and flower & garden shopping Saturday afternoon and a stroll around his garden. We always have such beautiful days with memories that ignite my spirit and leave me with such wonderful memories and feelings that are not always found by everyone. Feelings of this lasting friendship that has been bestowed upon me is a great feeling. Such feelings of love when I am with Mark and for all those times in between our visits it makes our visit even more longed for. And today, Chimney Park and The Bike Fest was full of so much sunshine and Scoops Ice – Cream. A day does not get much better that a scoop of Chocolate Chip Ice Cream at The Square Park. Hoping this is the beginning of  a great week ahead full of hope and that walk by faith that I am always living. The walk by faith that surrounds my life and has now for nearly ten years. Taking life one day at a time with a walk by faith and not so much by sight. Walking by faith. Good Night, all. See you in the morning.

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Scholarship acceptance for training for the Georgia Peer Support Institute

Scholarship acceptance for training for the Georgia Peer Support Institute

I got the call today that I was accepted for the Georgia Peer Support Institute training offered through the Georgia Mental Health Consumer Network. I am super excited to be able to receive the scholarship that I have been nominated for and to attend the Peer Support Institute training for the 3 day conference at the end of the month, this April 2014. Spring has brought with it a flood of emotions for me and some changes in my life. This being my 42nd Spring and to be accepted into the training is an accomplishment and a definite milestone in my life. I am so honored and humbled to be a part of the Georgia Mental Health Consumer Network and its fine company. I look forward to meeting many different individuals who all share a passion in becoming a CPS Certified Peer Specialist for the State of Georgia. Thinking about my parents and how proud they would be of me being accepted into the program. Being diagnosed with a mental illness in August of 2004 was very hard on my parent’s and a very trying moment for them in my life. They were both very supportive but were both very much in shock for me to be diagnosed with depression among other illness that would consume my life at the time of diagnosis. Oh how I so wish they were still alive to see me now. How proud they would be of me. There are currently 930 CPS since October 2001 and I plan to be one someday in the very near future. I have worked very closely with New Rock Day Services program where I have attended classes and taught many classes to my Peers on a daily basis at a moment’s notice. I have also taken and graduated from The Respect Institute of Georgia offered through the State of GA and Mr. Joel Slack. I received special recognition from View Point Health for my strength and resiliency and working towards my goals with increased stability. It has been a constant thought of mine to becoming a mental health worker since the inception of my diagnosis in August of 2004 and I never thought it possible. Discovering that there are CPS Certified Peer Specialist with mental diagnosis and addictive diseases has been a wonderful awakening experience for me. Had attorney’s and Judges known about the program in 2004 my life may have not been turned upside down in the process. I am here to testify to this state that there is a place for those with mental diagnosis and that place is employed with this great State of GA. Me included. As a CPS Certified Peer Specialist in my very near future. I was one of 35 chosen to attend the Peer Support Institute training and will represent New Rock to the best of my ability with hope, determination and courage. I plan to present a project to New Rock classes upon my return home after taking the classes and 3 day training courses for The Georgia Mental Health Consumer Network. One of the requirements of becoming a CPS is that candidates must have diagnosis of mental illness or a dual diagnosis of mental illness and addictive diseases and must desire to identify themselves as a person with mental illness current or former consumer of mental health services. I have been a strong advocate for mental health services and self – directed recovery for many years now and have devoted my life to such in life, the courtroom for ten years and at my community blog at The Covington News for 2 1/2 years now. I plan to continue to be a strong advocate for myself, my peers and my community by continuing to pursue my goals of attending the training classes extended to me by scholarship and completing a project at the completion of the program. Working any and all training offered on my path to becoming a CPS and sharing in my experiences with New Rock, View Point Health and my community here at my WordPress blog and at my Covington News blog. There was a time in my life that I was at my lowest point and that time was at the time of diagnosis in August of 2004 and I never thought that recovery was a possibility. Trying my hardest to recover from a great state of depression and marital and family violence was a difficult task. I still work daily on my recovery process and work a recovery plan every week with View Point Health and The ACT Team being responsible for myself, my children and my community. Sharing with my community that this is a great possibility for anyone with the determination and strength to carry it through and push forward with self – directed recovery. I work my worksheets and hand – outs every week and am a graduate of New Rock Day Services program where I do plan to continue to attend and teach classes in my future. I have fought long and hard against the stigma associated with mental illness and have proven myself and my point to this state time and time again. I have devoted the last twenty years of my life to child advocacy and adopted three daughters in 1999 through this state. In 20 years there has never been the hint, suggestion, implication, or accusation as to any wrongdoing on my behalf as a mother nor as a wife. Never the first hint of wrongdoing in over 20 years in life nor in the courtroom. I have traveled this road for the last ten years alone and feel that I have proven myself by being a responsible, devoted and caring pillar of my community just as I had before my divorce as well. Devoting all my time, energy and efforts towards better mothering inside and out of the courtroom for me, my son and my daughter’s. I feel that if I can make it this far any mental health client can press onward and make it too. This is a huge milestone for me and I am honored and pleased at my progress and my acceptance of the scholarship. I hope to make my state proud by “sharing the hope” and just one more obstacle completed on my way to becoming a CPS. Thank you Georgia Mental Health Consumer Network for having me among such fine and outstanding company and mentors, I cannot wait to be a sponge as my CPS Ms. Brenda Williams would put it and soak up all the education I can at the 3 day conference. Thank you. Peer Support : A cornerstone in consumer recovery. The President’s New Freedom Report on Mental Health states that peer support, a mutual relationship based on similar experience, is an important resource in the recovery of individuals with mental health problems. Peer support offers a sense of connection, validation, encouragement, and helpful information. Whether in a structured Peer Support Program or one’s natural community, peer support provides the opportunity to experience one’s self as valuable and capable of making a positive difference in another’s and therefore one’s own life. The Georgia Peer Support Institute GPSI is a three day immersion in peer support designed to teach the principles of recovery from mental illness, characteristics of consumer directed, peer run and recovery oriented mental health services and skills to take an active role in one’s recovery and creation of a meaningful life. Throughout the Institute, participants share knowledge and experiences and develop new relationships with peer and themselves. Each spring and fall thirty five mental health consumers are selected to participate in the GPSI. Those selected are expected to plan and implement a project on some aspect of the training with they return to their community. All expenses for training materials, lodging and meals will be covered and travel expenses reimbursed. Any mental health consumer can apply. Dates and applicaitons for the next GPSI and be found at http://www.gmhcn.org or www. gapcps.org What can you learn? Principles of Recovery and Self Determination. How to start and sustain mutual self help peer support groups. How the WRAP (Wellness Recovery Action Plan) can become a vital tool for your own recovery. How supported employment promotes recovery. How to get the most benefit from your mental health services. New information and perspectives about yourself. Peer Support : “Consumers helping consumers to recover” See you guys in a few days! Thank you! GPSI2014

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Blooming Wisteria and a walk of faith

I took an extra long walk yesterday clearing my head and thinking over the month ahead to come. Life right now seems so uphill. Working so hard to balance my life and budget my low income that it becomes overwhelming at times and I end up being left with very scary feelings towards life. I have been taking care of myself for the last ten years now and live month to month often times left wondering where my next meal is coming from. I know as I use my breath to complain about life being so hard someone somewhere is breathing their last. I try everyday to be so appreciative for what I do have. So far I have not gone to bed hungry and I have a roof over my head and can worship to the Lord each and everyday thanking him for my small, humble yet sometimes worth mentioning life. The walk as well as the past few weeks with Spring upon us has had me thinking of God’s creation and how beautifully wonderful it truly is. The flowering trees that I have photographed have been just awesome and the blooming Azalea has captured my heart. I was so shocked yesterday on my walk to stumble upon some blooming Wisteria. There is a little spot in town I keep watching for to bloom but so far it has not. It has started but it is not clear down to the sidewalk just yet. I hope I do not miss it in bloom. Seeing the Wisteria yesterday reminded me of just how beautiful and sacred God’s creation truly is. Leading a life where you walk by faith and not so much by sight. Another walk is in order today.

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Al Fresco dining at Square Perk with Tyler

So very happy my son, my baby boy will still hold my hand in public! My best friend in so many ways and always tells me he loves me and loves spending the day with me no matter what were doing. I had such a wonderful day yesterday spending all day with Tyler. My hero and a boy with courage.

springmeandtyleralfrescosquaerperk

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Moments to remember their calm

Stop waiting for Friday. For summer. For someone to fall in love with you. For life. Happiness is achieved when you stop waiting for it and make the most of the moment you’re in now.

Wanting to do more. Wanting to be more. Wanting to give more and wanting to accomplish more. Hurry up and wait. Waiting on my scholarship application for Certified Peer Specialist to be determined. I really and truly want to take the training classes in Norcross this year for the three day conference. I should know something in a few days. Hoping the Lord hears these prayers and turns my dream into a reality. I was nominated by the ACT Team of GA and hope to make them proud by serving at the three day conference. I have high hopes of reaching many others with my work in the very near future for the State of GA.

930 Georgia Certified Peer Specialists Since October 2001

And for my life to be turned into a living hell.

I hope to mentor to many and have many mentors. I have many that I need to pay tribute to especially, Ms. Brenda Williams my Certified Peer Specialist who has always been there for me and her door is always open and who is still encouraging and uplifting me to remain positive and steadfast with my goals. I am grateful to God for my friends and mentors along my way. The ACT Team has turned out to be a wonderful positive step in my life. I have been working on an updated resume for sometime now and will be using it when I make application for CPS once I complete the training. I have been told that I must remember that I can never thank my mentor enough. I must figure out creative ways to thank him or her as frequently as possible. I must be clear in my understanding that the mentor – protege relationship is based upon a natural, personal relationship. We must always communicate honestly, expressing our fears, concerns, doubts, successes, and failures. I must always work hard to apply the principles my mentor teaches me. I am grateful to God for my friends and mentors.

Asking the Lord to send me a soul mate and life long friend who loves the Lord with all his heart. I have been basically alone now for ten years and want to be in a relationship again. I miss being “in love.” I have a best friend but it is just not the same. I am hoping the Lord sends me someone who loves the Lord like no other. It has been just me and my son Tyler for ten years now and I am praying fervently that the Lord sends me someone who will love me for who I am and accept me and my children, the wonderful people that we are.  Enough of my mushy love feelings needing to be fulfilled.

As a young person I had a feeling of destiny and even now in my 40′s I still hold tight to that truth. I have always had dreams of accomplishing something of major significance. I have worked for Ridgecrest Baptist Conference Center. I have graduated college,  I have adopted three daughter’s, I have gained a lot of ground in the O.C.GA. The Official Code of GA Anotated for family violence victims, those parentally alienated, the mentally challenged and for parental reunification with many wins in my full favor to present date. Never in 20 years to have the slightest hint, suggestion, implication or accusation of wrongdoing as a mother nor as a wife. Never in 20 years. I have graduated The Respect Institute, I am currently working on becoming a Certified Peer Specialist, I have had a blog at The Covington News now for 2 1/2 years and I have given my all to my children in the court room and out as best I could, leaving behind a legacy and point that they will one day be very proud of and a foundation that has been laid in the law if they were to ever find themselves in my position with their children.

Working on stressors and triggers so as not to have a relapse. Looking out for the warning signs and using my coping skills not to fall into depression again. Out today taking in all the blooming trees and foliage were such peaceful memorable moments. Moments to hold tight to and to remember their calm.

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The beauty and faith of a bloom

When the Azalea blooms is going to mark a new beginning for me. Hopefully every year just as in this weekend.This past weekend I did some work for LifeWay Christian book stores in Conyers. Working with Lifeway once again has been a wonderful and uplifting experience just as was working at Ridgecrest Baptist Conference Center as day camp counselor in the summer of 1990.Working with LifeWay on their inventory for the season was a blessing for me. A couple of days ago  began this blog and am just now getting around to posting my photo of the beautiful Azalea.  I spent all day on Sunday with my dear best friend Mark and began to feel a little better about the situation in him moving to Loganville. It was only about 14 miles from me so the drive was not that bad. I cried tears when I saw him and felt better with his comforting. I have felt uneasy over the last couple of weeks and still felt an uneasiness about the air not being able to figure out exactly what was wrong or to put my finger on it. Just today Mark found out that a very close family member of his had passed away. I am betting that my uneasiness has been God’s way of preparing me that something awful was about to happen and to tell my heart to get ready. As close as we have been I feel in my heart of hearts that God has been speaking to me over the last couple of weeks preparing me to be able to help my dear friend through this terrible time and the Angels guiding me along my way helping me to be able to help Mark sort through all of this of his moving and now his family member passing away. The good Lord above has been enlightening me as to the sadness that was about to hit and the Azalea blooming to mark and pin point his moving and now his brother passing away. I will always remember this time of year as to when the Azalea blooms it marks a new beginning to a saddened terrible ending making way for a brighter tomorrow one full of faith and hope. Faith and hope in a world where there seems to be so little humbleness and loyalty among everyone. The Azalea blooming will always hold a special place in my heart and hold very strong significance that the Lord above is watching over me guiding me in all that I do and holding Mark in a special place in my heart and life. This Spring I have taken several photographs of the blooming trees along with a few Daffodil’s taking in their full beauty and appreciating Mother Nature for her rare moments of beauty that seem to only last a few days but are one of the most beautiful times of all. The blooming trees and Daffodils blooming only once for only a few days has marked a special place in my life this season and now to watch the Azalea bloom for only a short while yet be so majestic as to give off a world full of hope, a world so full of hope that you see God’s hand in all this Spring handy work. I have photographed white and pink flowering trees of the season and Daffodil’s and have now spotted a yellow blooming tree along the expressway line at the access road and want to take the time this week to get a photograph of its beauty before the blooms die out. Everything in bloom gives me strength and courage in faith and knowing that I can pray to God anytime and anywhere and he hears my cries. Knowing full well that Mayor Mrs. Allene Capes Burton is watching over her son as and angel high upon the throne and showing me that with loss comes life. Spring life. Marking this time of the season so that I will always remember it well and hold close to my heart. Knowing she truly is an angel and has sent the beauty of Spring to me to reside forever in my heart and in my life as a reminder of her love of life, love and the beauty that lies within poetry as she served as the Poet Laureate for Newton County for many years as well. The Poet Laureate is still speaking from within the grave and has truly touched my life with her son, Mark, my best friend being a mentor and loved one in my life. Her presence is certainly still with us. Mark gave me the poem “To My Love”, from Lines from Life, I will share it here. I keep it close at my desk so I can hold tight to its beauty. Working with LifeWay on their inventory for the season was a blessing for me. Working with the music section seeing all the various artists brought back some amazing memories and wonderful feelings of love, peace and laughter and a time in my life in 1990 where working for Ridgecrest Baptist Conference Center was the only thing in this world I wanted and aspired to achieve, and did so with the Lord our Master’s help. A lot of the same Christian music acts and artists that were so very popular during my upbringing are still making CD’s and even their older versions are still selling. I ran into Mr. Hoyt Baker of Oxford Baptist Church, an elder in the congregation when I was growing up. He remembered exactly who  I was and we spoke for a while about ourselves and family. It was wonderful seeing a loving face and special elder and mentor from my childhood.

The beauty and faith of a bloom shows us that their is the possibility of new life and hope for a better tomorrow. A tomorrow that is full of honesty and openness with what lies deeper than just the surface. A surface that I fully intend on digging beyond to a better place and time full of self – directed will power and hope. Awaiting the results of my scholarship application for Certified Peer Specialist for the State of GA and awaiting the States response as to my scholarship application. Hoping to know something any day now. Praying  I get accepted, and if not I will try and try again until I am accepted. Daydreams of digging beyond this surface to a better place and time. To my Love If every heart could know a love So true as this our own, Each man within the world would be A king upon his throne. If every heart could know a kiss Much sweeter than a dream, There never would a woman be less than a cherished queen. If every heart could know the joy within a sweet caress, There’d never be a hurting hand but only tenderness If every heart could know a faith So true as guides our way There’d be no lonely, broken hearts nor dreams to go astray. If every heart could dream a dream So sweet as you and I, Joys within the world would number enough to touch the sky. Mayor Mrs. Allene Capes Burton Poet Laureate Newton County

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Working on being happy again. A never ending chapter to my story.

Oh one more day to go and I get to spend the entire day on Sunday with my best friend, Mark. Mark has moved to Loganville and I have not seen him in almost 2 weeks during this moving process. I plan to spend the entire day on Sunday with him and get used to the route so I can spend even more time with him once I get the directions and mileage down pat. I have felt so lost without him. I have felt so saddened by his move. I was so scared just the other day about his moving until I found out he is only about 14 miles from me. It felt a lot better finding out he was not that far away. Having a best friend in Mark over the last couple of years has been awesome and he has taught me so much rich history and in his nursing along with his mother being Mayor Mrs. Allene Capes Burton. He has been a wonderful mentor to me since the inception of our friendship. Since our beginning days he has been a wonderful friend, teacher and confidant. I cannot imagine life without him. Being in pain, in depression where nothing penetrates you is a very unhappy place. Being heavy burdened and feeling helpless, hopeless, tense, scared and easily to cry are terrible heart wrenching feelings that I have experienced over the last couple of weeks. Finding out he was only about 14 miles from me made me feel so much better and had such a sense of relief and release that I cried at the enjoyment and happiness, too. Describing your experience with depression and getting in touch with how if feels can be the first step to overcoming the feelings. This is a mental, emotional and physical fact.

Working on steps to feeling happier. I am a self – help fanatic and am working this weekend on finding ways to ensure and find happiness. Feeling and knowing I will not be happy again until I am seeing Mark regularly again. But working hard to make sure  I am my best for him. Here is a list of steps to feeling happier that  I have penned about in my journal  from Peachford in the past.

Monitor Your Negative Thoughts – Negative thoughts are powerful, automatic and can quickly distort your thinking. Negative thinking is one thing that can destroy your self esteem. Talk to yourself in a positive way. Remember that all behaviors are governed by reinforcement. Positive self – talk really works.

Dispute Your Negative Self Talk – Learn to challenge the negative self talk. Focus on what you are accomplishing and give yourself credit for the things you are doing well. Remember that it’s all in the attitude.

Practice Assertiveness – Learning to speak up in tactful and diplomatic ways to the source of your stress is very important. You might not get what you want, but t least you made an honest attempt and effort. Holding thoughts and feelings inside can be very dangerous to your emotional health.

Get Rid of The Anger – Anger produces all kinds of physical and mental ailments. Learn to reduce your anger. Talk it out with a friend or confront the source of your anger. Remember that chronic repressed anger is a killer and can result in depression.

Talk Your Frustrations Out With a Support Group – Confession is good for the soul. It is important to connect with others who understand your issues. People who are empathetic to your problems can help you reduce your daily irritations just by listening.

Maintain a Sense of Humor – Learn not to take yourself so seriously. Perfectionistic and highly critical people lost a lot of happy living by their seriousness. Laughter is wonderful medicine for problems and it help you put things in perspective..

Participate in Some Exercise Program – The benefits of active exercise cannot be extolled enough, Positive physical changes, mental well being and the accomplishment of a goal all help to reduce stress. It is important to develop this habit on a regular basis.

Develop Interests – Everyone needs a passion. This gives you something to look forward to during the day and it keeps you vibrant and interesting. It doesn’t matter what the activity is as long as you enjoy it.

Learn to Let It Go – Whatever your worry , will it really be that important later on ? How important is it in the big picture? Remember to choose your battles, only worry about the things you have control over and let the rest go.

Practice Relaxation Techniques – Deep Breathing with positive images reduces tension and anxiety. Practicing the techniques daily will help you develop this skill. You can learn to control your mental and physical tension this way.

Not even feeling interested in doing the things I love the most has hit me really hard over the last couple of weeks and I intend to nip it in the bud and get back to my normal outgoing and loving nature. Full of life and happiness. I know that once I am back on a regular schedule of spending time with my best friend a lot of my depression and anxiety will disappear and get better but I have been so worried that he would be a million miles away that it has worked myself into a frenzy and frazzle as I have been trying to cope with the fact of his moving. Going through all our many photographs this evening and seeing how much loving time we have spent together brightens up my heart and spirit. Brightening up the spirit is my quest this weekend. I will see him on Sunday and we will get to spend the entire day together. There is no greater a love and bond than the love of a best friend.

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Difficulties prepare you for victory. Failure prepares you for success. Poverty prepares you for prosperity. Ignorance prepares you for truth. God is the one who sends whatever it is you need to be prepared.

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