Prima Vacanta Dupa Patru Ani

 

Acum patru ani, in perioada intensa a suferintei si o viata traita in pat luni de zile cu dureri de neimaginat, imi concentram gandurile la o zi insorita pe viitor unde voi putea iesi iara-si in natura bucurandu-ma ca omul sanatos de creatia lui Dumnezeu. Aceasta zi a venit cam de cateva luni, dar acum o saptamana, pentru prima data in patru ani familia noastra a avut parte de prima vacanta de cand am cazut la pat. Nu-mi pot exprima bucuria intensa care am simtit-o in orice clipa pe perioada vacantei si expresiile de multumire ridicate catre bunul Dumnezeu pentru asemenea momente. Desi la un moment dat corpul a inceput sa protesteze oboseala intensa, ceea ce ma facut ca sa ma odihnesc, am reluat activitatea mai apoi.

De ce va zic aceste lucruri? Pentru ca in durere, ceea ce am trait in mod real, era deja real in mintea si sufletul meu, si desi toate semnele trupesti erau pline numai de amenintari de moarte, nimeni si nimic nu ne poate fura visul din inima noastra. Nu va da-ti baruiti niciodata si daca simti-ti obosela in corp sau in spirit, lua-ti cateva momente de odihna, fiecare cum are nevoie, dar pe urma merge-ti mai departe, avand permanent in profilul viziunii imaginea sperantei. Pentru mine imaginea sperantei era in mijlocul naturii, aceeasi natura de unde a venit pericolul si suferinta prin muscatura de capuse. Asta nu insemana ca nu iau pas de precautie cand sunt in natura, asta nu inseamna ca arunc intelepciunea si sfaturile, dar nu las ca ceva care mi-a facut rau sa ma tina prizonierul fricii.

Daca poate esti in mijlocul suferintei acum, ce ai vrea pe viitor sa re-traiesti? Bucurie, pace, iubire, siguranta, prietenii noi, sanatate? Astea sunt cele mai importante si in final astea sunt roadele iubirii lui Dumnezeu fata de noi, a acceptarii propriei fiinte (creatura lui Dumnezeu) si a dragostei fata ce aproapele nostru. Iertarea e calea care duce la acestea, iertarea si perseverenta.

Va doresc o zi frumoasa de vara, o vacanta frumoasa pentru cei care sunt sau vor merge in vacante si har si pacea lui Dumnezeu sa continue sa se reverse peste noi ca si pana acum:)

 

Red-A Philosophical self-talk-

I’ve begun reading “The Naked Communist” by W. Cleon Skousen and it’s not an easy task for me as flashbacks from my own experience while living through the last of the communist era, back in Romania, rise up.

I’ll let you know in my up and coming posts some similarities that I see in the America of today and communist tactics I’ve experienced while back home. This is a subject that I would love to capture it with my brother Alin’s philosophical point of view and have a recorded debate on the matter. It would be both entertaining and informative… and done in our native Romanian language. But not yet.

Today, after bleeding for the past 27th days, and clearly a little lightheaded from losing so much blood, I become philosophical:) (I have an appointment tomorrow with gynecology.)

I was truly hoping 2018 to be void of doctors, pain, pocking, needles and medical stress, thus hid the bleeding issue for as long as I could. Thanks to Elizabeth I did end up going to a Zoom clinic and thanks to my mother-in-law’s insistence I finally made a gynecology appointment. I must admit I struggle emotionally. I’m fighting with a Marxist syndrome, a disease in itself, and trying to grasp a truth as seen through my husband’s eyes, a reality built on being born here in America. I like his view so much better than mine, but in reality, it seems to be just a beautiful fairy-tale I like to listen to often. I have changed quite a bit living here in America, for the better I think, but when disease keeps on knocking at the doors of my soul, the old Marxism rises up debating loudly while trying to win.

When one becomes sick and unable to provide for the motherland (this can be geographically anywhere the mind goes) a man’s value disappears, thus he is no longer needed, according to the communism/marxism laws. If you can’t produce you’re no more than a useless eater (Hitler, Communism movement, Margaret Sangers, Darwinism are the best known for this type of thinking). Raised in that type of thinking, I automatically think like that. Back in Romania, you can see this in divorces, affairs,  abuse, neglect, blame, and shame, after one becomes sick vs. here in America, where you see support systems, encouragement, and fighting until the end on behalf of a loved one. (This is a generalized point of view based on the majority of cases, for I have seen harsh consequences following the tragedy of loss or disease here in America as well).

“Oh well, at least they’ll not be a burden to the family now. The sooner they die the better. This is God’s judgment for your sins, your father’s sins, your children’s sins, etc.” Are some of the more normal expressions as a response to any disease in Eastern European culture. (Eastern Europe has migrated into other lands and that philosophy can very well follow.)

In America that differs: “What else can we do, doctor? You’ll get better. Focus on getting better. Don’t worry about the money, you’re more important,”  to name a few, not to mention all the “Go Fund Me” types of support.

To top it all off, I’m a woman, raised and tolled in my formative years to believe that I matter less than the life of a dog, born to please a man only and nothing else. Now here’s the tricky part, this belief was preached loudly from the churches pulpits, all done by males, not communism. In communism law (gender or age didn’t matter, you simply didn’t have value). In Romania, I was nothing else but a Christian woman (that’s not a compliment:) to be used and abused than tossed aside when no longer needed or able to perform my duties- at least that would’ve been my lot in life if I would’ve remained there. (Not all men are cruel, alcoholics or abusive in Romania, but most are). I know great Romanian men that are very decent and loving to their wives, their children and in general to everyone else around.

Now, don’t you worry about me, God’s helped me heal quite a lot from many of these issues, by providing proof of ignorance, instability, indoctrination, culture and a theory (Marxism) based on violence and narcissism (read about Marx’s own pathetic life, his example as a father and husband, and his inability to live up to his own theology). I’m healing, that’s why I can start talking about some truths without disintegrating and with a healthier perspective. Now let’s move on.

Its been only God’s presence and patience, working either directly in my heart or through people such as Chet, my parents-in-law, Elizabeth, my Romanian friends and so many other people I know,  that helped me heal. My siblings have been the biggest help, other than Chet. Chet wants to help but it takes someone who went through hell and back with you to understand the darkness you must heal from. I know I’m not the only one feeling this way. There are far too many that have seen an even greater darkness than I have.

In the days when I’m not feeling well it’s easier to fall into that autopilot old way of thinking, yet, those same days are the ones healing me and teaching me some of the best lessons about myself and life itself.

Why have I let the lies of others (religion, a devil, etc, call it anything you want) take such residence in my heart for so long? Guilt and ignorance of the truth.

I’m dying. (I’m being dramatic here) We all are. Some faster than others. But I’m the one who decides if I’m going to help the evil end my own existence with feelings of fear and hopelessness, or if I would much rather spend that time laughing alongside my loved ones.

When you really get this, life even at its hardest will be worth fighting for. It’s our life, given to us as a gift by God, so guard it and fight for it, it’s our right to it.

Well, like I said, the philosopher in me came out today:) Be happy with the simplicity of life, for a farmer is far happier with his life than a philosopher usually is.

And ultimately, I’ll keep on learning or unlearning, sharing with you parts of those lessons hopefully to help you heal faster and sooner, and be grateful for everything.

God Bless:)

 

Chet-Happy B-day:)

Meant to be a Jill (his mom though Chet was going to be a girl and both parents were very surprised when Chet turned out a boy:), Chet was born in a young family of three. His older brother, Mark, is his only other sibling.

As a young boy Chet was very cute and his sweet personality was a breath of fresh air. His childhood was a normal one, shadowed now and then by his older brother’s teasing episodes. From an early age, Chet became fascinated with comic books, motorcycles and drums. As a result he began played drums in 7th grade, worked and purchased his first motorcycle at the young age of thirteen and owned a few nice comings books which he read often, loosing himself in the fascinating world of superheroes.

As a teenager he was extremely shy when it came to his interaction with the opposite sex and kept busy with his small gang of friends; John Adams, Mike Swanzey and Jeff Reid, getting in a bit of mischievousness.

After high-school, Chet moved out of Kingston and lived with his grandfather, Charlie, in Seattle. He had a series of odd jobs, some lasting only two weeks. At the age of nineteen Chet became a believer and wanting to be prepared for the mission field, in case he felt a calling in that direction, he moved to Bremerton where he began working in construction for couple of years. Not cut out for construction work, Chet moved back in with his parents, worked for Puget Sound and continued his collage night classes education. During this time he saved a good amount of money intent on going into the aviation school then career, but the start of the Golf War in 1990 put a stop to that dream.

His brother, Mark, who just graduated from film and video college pulled him into a new direction- a career in film and video production. Together they began a small business, that took a while to get off the ground.

In 1993, Chet got on a plane to Romania as a videographer of a local missionary team from Bainbridge Island leaded by John Stabb and met me, Carmen:) Six months later he returned to Romania, we got married and came back to America in October of the same year. Together, we had three children: Merrill, Meleah and Alex. Chet had a few jobs but slowly prospered in his film and video field, specializing in video editing. Today he works full-time at Amazon as a video editor and he absolutely loves it.

As a family man he moved around quite a bit, and settled in Seattle for the time being.

As a father, Chet is fantastic. His patience and common sense have been a God sent blessing and he absolutely loves spending time with his children.

As a husband Chet is the best. His patience and understanding helped me get over some part trauma, something I’m sure wasn’t easy on him at times but Chet was committed from the moment he said “I do.” He still owns comic books, a motorcycle and loves playing drums (even if not as often as he would like) and we have a great life together. To me Chet was absolutely God sent and I love spending my life along-side him. I absolutely love his dimples when he smiles:)

Today, is Chet’s B-day!!!!! Happy B-day my love and I wish you all the happiness in the world. The other emotions are more private and meant only for him;)

Thank you God for blessing this world with such a great man like Chet McKnight, and I know I speak for my kids and all the people that know him when I say: Chet’s a really great guy:)

Carmen cea…

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Prima fotografie: eu in clasa a 12-a

A doua fotografie: Eu cu Chet chiar inainte de nunta, 1993.

A treia fotografie: ei cu Chet acuma o luna:) 2017

Carmen cea, ce, care, de ce si cum? Am prea multe porecle: Visatoarea, Scriitoarea, Capitanul, Luptatoara si Pintesa de Gheata. Ultima, dupa cum va da-ti seama, e datorita caracterului meu calduros:))))

De a scrie despre propria-ti fiinta este un proces care-i usor deceptiv. Ori scrii prea partinitor ori esti prea aspra asupra-ti proprii fiinte.

Nascuta prima la doisprezece frati si surori, din prima suflare pe acest pamint am avut de luptat. M-am nascut cu ceva probleme de sanatate si mi-a trebuit injectii de vitamina D si fier din start. Aceste probleme ia dat doctorului care m-a adus pe lume o idee, si a incercat sa o convinga pe mama mea sa ma omoare, un fel de avort dupa nastere. Mama, femeie cu frica de Dumnezeu, a refuzat categoric. Ura asupra crestinilor a fost a-l doilea motiv a doctorului. Eram un pui de crestin, parte dintr-o grupa a societatii mult urita de ateistii la putere.

Un suflet sensibil, am adunat in sufletul meu durerea altora, ca si cum viata mea depindea de a elimina suferintele altora. Abuzul societatii l-am inteles; eram pocaiti si multi ne ura, dar abuzul tatalui nu l-am inteles multi ani. Intr-un camin unde trebuia sa ne fi simtit in siguranta, tata a devenit inamicul numarul unul, fulgering orice intelegere in inima mea a unui camin de siguranta. Am respirat si am mincat frica zilnic, lucru care mi-a daunat in sanatate, in intelegerea mea spirituala fata de Dumnezeu, si fata de adaptarea in general in societate. Noi nu am fost educati, in schim am fost abuza-ti. Cartile mi-au fost mie refugiu si acolo am gasit o lume a imaginatiei, unde puteam visa fara frica.

Fiind cea mai mare, nu am avut copilarie sau adolescenta, ci am lucrat foarte mult.

Dupa liceu, nu mi sa dat voie sa merg al facultate din cauza sexului meu (pentru ca eram fata) si datorita lipsei de bani, lucru care ma umplut de ura, pe moment. Am intrat direct la lucru ca vinzatoare de suc si inghetata, pe timpul acela la moda, si am avut prima mea experienta cu un sef tare de treaba. Intr-un fel nenea Vasile, nestiut de el, mi-a devenit imaginea pozitiva de tata. Lucram 10-12 ore pe zi si eram fericita.

Dumezeu pentru mine, pe acea perioada de timp, nu era decit un tiran, agitat si plin de furie tot timpul, si fara pic de mila. Nu vroiam sa am nimic de a face cu un asa monstru, lucrul care nu l-am putut discuta cu nimeni pe acea perioada. Dar, dupa revolutie, cind un misionar a venit in vizita si a inceput sa vorbeasca despre toate experientele lui personale cu Dumenzeu, Isus si Duhul Sfint, am vazut o latura a lui Dumenezeu foarte diferita de cea predicata de la amvon. Latura asta era a lui Isus din Noul Testament, a unui Dumnezeu a miracolelor dar mai ales a dragostei. Inima mi sa deschis in seara aceea, si ma simteam ca Maria la piciorele lui Isus absorbita in cele auzite. Libera, si fara nici o tactica de manipulare am ales in acea seara o relatie cu Dumnezeu, care pina-n ziua de azi e prezenta:) De atunci viata, desi grea in anumite momente, a avut o latura frumoasa.

In 1993, am intilnit un misionar chipes care m-a salvat, pe mai multe lature:) Chet, American get-pe-get, a venit inapoi in August si am facut nunta desi nu puteam vorbi unul cu altul. In Otombrie am plecat in America si a fost cea mai grea perioada din viata mea; nu din cauza lui Chet, mai degraba faptului ca-mi lasam familia in urma neprotejata, si tot odata intram intr-o lume straina in care nu cunosteam pe nimeni. Nu pretind ca a fost usor, dar am trecut si de perioada aceea. Numai romanii plecati in strainatate pot intelege cit de greu este.

In 1995 am avut primul copil, un baiat pe care l-am numit Merrill dupa socrul meu, in 1996 am avut-o pe Meleah si in 2003 l-am nascut pe Alex, care i-am dat un nume mai usor de pronuntat pentru familia mea din Romania:)

Am lucrat ca babysitter, ca invatatoare, ca vinzatoare la Gap, ca agent de cumparare-vinzare a caselor, ca scriitoare si ca terapist de masaj.

In 2014, am cazut la pat cu o boala care aproape mi-a luat viata, de la o muscatura de capuse, si lupt de atunci sa ma refac, un proces mult prea lent pentru o personalitate nerabdatoare ca a mea. Ii multumesc lui Dumnezeu zilnic pentru fiecare zi traita pe acest pamint, si ma multumesc cu lucruri simple:) Inca am nevoie de multa odihna si in ultimele trei saptamini am avut iara un val de slabiciune cu symtomele de la malarie, de asta am avut timp sa scriu atita:))) Cind ma simt bine mi-e greu sa stau locului pentru ca sint nerabdatoare sa traiesc viata din plin, sau cel putin plinul care-l pot la momentul de fata.

De cind m-am nascut Dumnezeu a fost de partea mea. Pe urma la trimis pe Chet sa fie exemplu a dragostei lui si uite asa, Dumnezeu, Chet si cu mine mergem inainte si ne bucuram mult de cadoul numit- viata:)

L-am intrebat o data Pe Dumnezeu, de ce m-a adus in America.

“Sa-ti salvez viata.” A fost raspunsul.

Carmen the…

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First picture; left to right, me in my second or third grade, clearly uncomfortable:)

Second picture; Chet and I on our wedding day. The malnourishment made me light:)

Third picture; my family as of last week, Chet, Merrill, Alex and Meleah:)

Writing about one self its a bit deceiving; you’re either too biased or too hard on yourself and overall one sided.

I’ve had a few nick-names so its hard to pick just one. Is it Carmen the Dreamer, the Writer, the Fighter, the Captain or the Ice Queen? It’s all of them, I suppose.

Born the first of twelve siblings, my life was both wonderful and hard. My birth wasn’t without its challenges. Shots of Vit. D and Iron for the first year or so, along other health issues somehow gave the doctor the right to pressure my mother into killing me. It wasn’t just my health issues that triggered such a decision but compiled to that it was his deep hatered towards christians. You see, I was a seedling of a very hated group of people in my part of the world at the time and I was not alone. In an atheistic world, being born a Christian was dangerous, and we have the scars to prove it.

A “sensitive soul”, with an over-developed ability or gift of empathy I collected other’s pain in my heart as if my life depended on it. The society’s abuse towards us made sense to me- we were a moral danger to a movement that thrived on egocentricity and cruelty. But our father’s abuse towards us never made sense to me. In times when one must stick with each other in an environment called “home”, meaning “safe”, he became our number one enemy, burning all my ideologies on “safe home” right out of my heart. However, beyond reasons I couldn’t understand and logic I couldn’t explain, except to call it hope, with every rare smile, joke or laughter my father had, a fragile hope seed grew in my heart “maybe he’ll change”. The hope lasted no longer than mere fragments of time until the next wave of darkness took a hold of him. Books, that’s where I found my refuge, not church, society or social interactions. That’s where I could dream freely and imagine the world I wanted to live in. I think I was a bit of a loner, yet with a great deal of charisma.

Being the oldest, I worked constantly skipping on childhood and adolescence all together.

Right after high school, I began working twelve hours shifts, seven days a week at an ice-cream and soda-pop kiosk, very popular at the time. I was very greatful for my $6 a month salary, it was similar to my father’s salary. I was not allowed to go to collage, due to my gender and lack of money, something that made me very bitter at the time.

God to me was just another tyrant figure, unhappy, abusive, not nice at all, yet someone I kept on hearing that somehow “loved me.” I wanted nothing to do with this God but didn’t dare communicate that to my parents. A missionary changed all that. He brought along with him stories of a very powerful and nice God, similar to Jesus in the New Testament (the church loved the mean and angry Old Testament God) and I fell in love for the very first time with God. Willingly, I wanted to have a relationship with this new image of God, not the one in the church. I began a new walk, a happy and light walk with God.

After the 1989 fall of communism revolution in most of the Estern European block, charitable help came into the country in the form of clothes, shoes, and monthly food supplies. “If I ever get rich, I’ll do the same.” A prayer shot up to the heavens from a thankful heart and put in practice soon after.

In 1993 I was rescued by this super handsome and tall young man, Chet, who was part of a missionary team from America. The engagement and wedding was a big source of gossip and wonder. We married on August 15th, in Romania. A very unusual wedding since the bride and groom couldn’t talk to each other:) Leaving Romania and coming to America on October 15th, was one of the most stressful things I lived through. Not because of Chet, my new husband, but everything else: leaving my family, who I no longer could protect, entering a new land with new traditions I din’t understand and no one familiar to communicate with. Halloween was a weird and dark first impression of American holidays, only the small kids dressed in cute costumes brought a smile to my face, all other gore did not. My parents-in-law were a hugeeeeee support during that time.

I had my first born, Merrill, in 1995, followed quickly by my second, Meleah, in 1996 and then our surprise, Alex, in 1993, (I was pregnant with Alex when I flew back to Romania to see Fanu in the hospital, but I did not know I was pregnant). I had a few jobs: babysitting, sells rep at the Gap, preschool teacher, writer, real-estate agent, home design and massage therapist. I’ve never been more fulfilled in my work field, like when I’m writing.

Most of you know that in January of 2014, I fell ill, an illness that almost took my life and I’m still fighting it, getting better each day, with the occasional relapses, which are still far too often than I like to admit.

I’m very happy now, even if in pain most days. Every day I’m greatful to God for allowing me another day on this wonderful planet and among my loved ones. Life is very normal, and calm (I need to keep it calm and stress-free) and mundane but I love it:) Thank you God for my life:)

 

Perspective

I grew up poor. It sort of came with the territory of Christian parents, twelve children, small salary that wasn’t going to see any increase in it unless and until my father denied Christ. So far, my story is a very familiar one to Christians individuals that grew up in the socialistic communism of the Eastern European block.

But the poverty I experienced in Romania -you didn’t have to be a Christian to experience poverty, you simply had to be part of those countries to experience the “glories” of socialism- left an unpleasant taste in my mouth and it’s marks all over my body. Unlike other people, I had the blessing to be rescued from that environment:) But looking back, there was a movement, a spiritual movement I bought into for a long period of time, a sort of spiritual pride of our poverty. It was a coping mechanism. Something I only recognized years after leaving Romania. I do not blame the ones left behind that still think that way, it’s their way of coping with a hard situation the best they can. But years have passed, Chet and I worked hard and made certain decisions that proved to be smart financial moves and I no longer feel poor. There will always be others that have more than us, but there are far more people in this word that have less. I am grateful to God for everything we have, every day of my life and I do my best to help out others that still are in the midsts of poverty, usually in impoverished countries. But the funny thing about poverty that I’ve come to understand, it is a mindset. Let me explain my findings.

While in Romania -or Russia, or Bulgaria, or Africa, or India etc- there was a realistic and evident state of material and nourishment lack. Here in America is not so -unless one goes through an unfortunate turn of events in their lives that can leave them at the steps of poverty for a temporary period of time- its more a mindset that some have while spending unwisely or foolishly.

Example: Back in 2014-2015 I lost my job because I became very ill, medical bills piled up, the economy was not yet strong to sell the house and Chet’s company was having financial troubles and unable to pay him for months at the time. It showered on us with one bad news after another.

Example: Some great friends of ours, in their retirement years lost their savings to a crook that lived next door. The stress of such loss gave the husband a heart-attack and he died, leaving a widow and a child behind to fend for themselves.

These are hard situations, that come in our lives uninvited.

I’m getting better and our financial situation is fine, but it took sacrifice and great work. Our friends are recovering as well, but it took great work and sacrifice. These are only two examples in the sea of uninvited hardships coming in the lives of great people.

But there’s the other side.

Example: Couple that spent unwisely, lost their home, eventually their marriage and through it all used many trusting people and friends to keep up a facade that was crumbling anyway. To this day I haven’t seen efforts to put right what they’ve done wrong. Further more they’re the victims in their lives and everyone else who helped them were the abusers- their perspective. I’m sure this sounds very familiar to some of you. Chet and I had our fair share of such people.

Example: I was selling a wedding rental business piece by piece, mostly on Craigslist, after I realized it’s not going to work for us. The prices were fantastic. One buyer in particular, came to pick her items, but needed up lingering for an hour giving a sob story about her sad situation, and how expensive life was. I almost gave in to lower my already low (some items were .50 cents a piece) when I heard her phone ring and she pulled out of her purse the newest and best cell phones on the market. Listening to her conversation I understood that she expected stuff  for free because of a mind set she was raised with. Once she hung up, I tolled her to either buy or leave since I had other engagements. She purchased what she came in for and left, but waisted an hour of my time.

Which brings me to my final thought; perspective. What one thinks about their lives can look dramatically different from the reality of their choices. Of our choices, I’m not excluded from the “life’s mistakes club”.

In truth, here in America at least, we have far more opportunities to leave the poverty state, if we put aside laziness, pride, ego, and whatever else excuse people use to stay poor. I can see some people rolling their eyes and fuming while reading these lines. When I grew up, there were no such things as: food stamps, shelters, programs to help the poor, low-income help, missions to shelter the poor, food banks, planned parenthood (which I do not support), etc. When someone said: I have no money to buy bread, it ment no money, nada. There were no credit cards back then, just a whole lot of poverty to share with each other.

PERSPECTIVE. Here in this country we still have far more than most of the world has. Opportunities as well. There is much to be thankful for. Little to be unhappy about. Keep the right perspective.

God bless:)