Tag Archives: #recovery

Clothing Ourselves This Labor Day With The Goodness And Love Of God!

Psalm 23:6, Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Clothing Ourselves This Labor Day With The Goodness And Love Of God!

Happy Labor Day, Friends and Family!  Are you celebrating Labor Day on the lake boating and skiing?

Oh, how my kids and I spent many fun-filled times on Folsom Lake.

Maybe your day was filled with great sales and shopping?

Hello…

Who doesn’t love retail therapy? 

How about a day filled with family and friends celebrating while barbecuing after the annual Labor Day parade?

I celebrated with a bike ride in Squaw Valley/Lake Tahoe and felt as young as my granddaughter.

Blameless' Founder, Grammy Tammy

Admittedly, I never realized the significance of Labor Day beyond being a much-needed three-day weekend announcing the demise of summer, hot dogs and wearing white. 

Then again, who follows trends?

White is ALWAYS right!!!

Interestingly enough, Labor Day started as part of a worker’s labor union movement. Labor Day pays tribute to the achievements and contributions of the American men and women in the workforce.  Around the 19th century, many U.S. workers were working twelve hours a day, seven days a week making barely enough to get by.

Those were not the good ‘ole days

Blameless Isaiah 40:8, The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever.

Due to poor working conditions and to compel employers to renegotiate better pay and hours, around 10,000 bold and courageous workers decided to take essential unpaid time off from work and march in awareness and protest from City Hall to Union Square in New York City, holding the first U.S. Labor Day parade! 

Their endeavors weren’t immediately reciprocated or without cost, including deaths and destruction due to riots, but I have so much more appreciation understanding this great cost. Change always costs someone or something.

Embracing God’s amazing grace is the essential key in running this race victoriously.

And yet with another deadly mass shooting in Texas this past week, celebrations seem futile when there are so many hurting, suffering and grieving beloveds who have lost loved ones due to evil and in need of strength and compassion.

Topped with this tormenting hurricane, Hurricane Dorian, layered with its imminent destruction leaving hearts completely exposed and tattered due to the sting of chaos and opposition, lives are surviving in crisis mode.

Talk about a breeding ground making people more stressed and even crazier!

A heart can only take so much…

This season of threat being in constant limbo not knowing where, when and how to evacuate, or to even find a place of safe refuge these days, we have a lot of hurting and scared people. Going through catastrophic events exposes many needs requiring everyone’s help and patience.

Blameless No Longer A Slave To Fear

Admittedly, last week I was full of woe and worry for my own family. This week I am filled with gratitude and determination to make a difference in the lives of so many hurting beloveds because God filled my own bleeding heart with His word. 

I hear the Lord saying to all of us, “I will stay close to you, instructing and guiding you along the pathway for your life. I will advise you along the way and lead you forth with my eyes as your guide. So don’t make it difficult; don’t be stubborn when I take you where you’ve not been before. Don’t make me tug you and pull you along. Just come with me!”

Psalm 32:8-9 TPT

God oftentimes has to often grab us by the bit to redirect our stubborn fits.

So in order to eliminate the terrible duo of fear and loss, I don’t know about you, but I believe working together with human kindness through God’s love and goodness is a great start. 

Colossians 3:12 reminds us to start each day as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothed with compassion and kindness, to name just a few.  The only way we can be dressed with compassion and kindness is to layer these virtues with His Great Love.  Love holds these virtues into place like glue.  When we let Love guide our life, the peace of Christ will rule in our tender hearts. 

Hurt, healed, ready to help. Ask and you shall receive!

Love Is The Glue Holding Compassion and Kindness In Place

People are fearful and need someone to help bridge the gap between chaos and peace. Without love, none of this can be accomplished. God’s kind of love is not a feeling, it’s an action that moves forward. God’s Great Love is selfless, requiring us to love whether we feel like it or not. 

Where there’s sorrow, a sign of God’s Great Love is to show compassion.  Where there is malice, kindness flows from the love that exists in our hearts. Where there is hate and bitterness, love remains long after words of assassination and is not easily irritated or quick to take offense.

Love is a safe place of shelter, for it never stops believing the best for others (1 Corinthians 13:7 TPT).

Letting God’s Great Love Guide Our Lives

Allowing God’s Great Love to guide our lives through human kindness offers freedom. Laying down one’s life to act as a bridge so another beloved who is filled with fear and loss can walk safely over to the other side where love and kindness can comfort. That’s what Jesus would do and did for mankind.

Until next time…

Thank You For Being Beautiful You!

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God’s Great Love Changes Everything!

Blameless Martin

God’s Great Love Changes Everything!

Love Offers Hope.  Hope Develops Confidence.  Confidence Leads To Action.  Action Results In Change!

Albert Einstein was onto something when he stated, “The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing!”

When we encounter homeless beloveds, our natural reaction generally triggers dismay along with blinders because it exposes the depth of our hearts.

Shallowness!

Ouch!  If you’re anything like I used to be, you become appalled when you encounter the homeless.  Do you discount them as losers?  Even refer to them as junkies and beggars with mental illness?  Or do you judge and group them together as lost souls who are polluting our rivers and streams and becoming public safety toxins?

Sadly, Einstein’s analogy is exactly how we, as a society, have been operating and dealing with the homeless.  We need to facilitate an emergent change because this homeless epidemic is out of control and it’s birthing hate, division and war instead. 

Casting and shifting blame onto our overwhelmed governmental programs, lack of law enforcement implementation and nonprofit organizations scrambling to find needed finances to create shelters, carrying the full weight of society’s expectations in finding a remedy obviously has failed.  We need education and awareness of this process while becoming part of the front lines that are no match to this Goliath.

Blameless and Forever Free Ministries continues to become equally frustrated at the increasing numbers.  This nonprofit has found that incorporating God’s Great Love and treating the homeless as our own family with the addition of their “A Beautiful You” homeless events where outreach is geared towards providing nourishment spiritually, physically and emotionally is conquering this battlefield one life at a time, one day at a time.

Should we give up because society dictates a numbers game so responsibility is relinquished? 

Every life matters so one life saved is victory!

The founder of Blameless and Forever Free Ministries has spent the last year doing life with the homeless, getting to know the need underlying the needs, and is going to try as humbly as possible to share her raw, true feelings comparing the pain and shock from the loss of her own first husband succumbing to the death delivered from alcohol addiction, depression along with homelessness, to spending a Friday evening eating dinner and listening to the story of a working homeless man, to starting a charitable organization catered to the many facets of homelessness.

Homelessness hurts and effects everyone.  Whether you’re a family member, an ex-spouse, a child/parent, taxpayer, you name it, we’re all being effected one way or another.  We can no longer relinquish responsibility.

I pray that I can somehow share openly my past judgments with candor while offering awareness to just how long it takes to cut through the bureaucratic red tape to find governmental help along with the stigma that mental illness carries to a world who is just now being introduced to the painful consequences that has been swept underneath the rug for generations. 

I am going to start showcasing one homeless beloved a month so you might understand their story; how they get to where they are and why they still remain abandoned and rejected.  Shame is a hard outer shell to crack through, much less rehabilitate.

The man above is Martin.  Martin thought he was going to die homeless with his Stage 4 colon cancer.  Outreach offered me the ability to befriend Martin, engage in fellowship with him, along with introducing him to Christ. 

Martin’s lens had been clouded and tainted by life, pain delivered through tragedy and rejection, but once we got him reading glasses, a Bible, and a whole lot of love emulating our Beautiful Jesus, Martin soon realized his life mattered.  He didn’t need as much alcohol that once dictated every decision he made (liquid courage, NOT!!!).  He realized he belonged and is now living comfortably in Sacramento with his sister and family. 

Martin, I love you and miss you dearly.  Thank you for teaching me the simplicity in sharing that I’m not the only one who becomes giddy watching the twilight of the moon dance through the trees while howling like a wolf when the moon becomes full. 

Blameless Homeless Rite-Aid

My mission with Blameless and Forever Free Ministries is not to encounter the appalling picture above anymore encamped alongside of our grocery stores.  Not all homeless want help, including Martin’s friend passed out in the photo above, but roughly 40% of our homeless do. 

And with our amazing God and all the precious beloveds dedicated to being His hands and feet, contributing to the welfare and outpouring of God’s Great Love, rehabilitation is awakened, proving with God, all things are possible! 

Until next time…

Thank You For Being Beautiful You!

 

Help Me Find My Family

Blameless Gregory

Help Me Find My Family

Please share.  This is Gregory Garland and his birthday is Saturday, October 6.  He is nearing 70 years old and his last known address was in the Seattle, Washington area.  Those blue eyes radiate his kindness and hope without telling the real story of how he wants to go home and be with his children.  His children are located in Washington and Massachusetts and probably think he’s dead.  Their names are Cheri Lee Garland, Stephanie Harrera (spelling ?), Gregory J. Garland and Sean I. Garland.  If you know them, please contact Tammy Ingram or Blameless and Forever Free Ministries at blamelessandforeverfree@gmail.com or Facebook.

Gregory came to California for a hip replacement surgery.  Once he was released, he wanted his alcohol.  He is an alcoholic.  One thing led to another and he was attacked and beat up with all his possessions taken except for his walker.  This is how I met Gregory.  He was incoherent on the side of the road and I pulled over.  I had to stop traffic and summon paramedics.  He went back to the hospital.

Upon release, he had no driver’s license, no wallet, no cell phone, nothing but his walker.  I have run back into Gregory after looking for him for months and we need to find his family.  He stays to himself, like many homeless, and has exhausted all resources and feels this is just how he will die. 

Due to technology, can you remember your kids’ phone numbers?  I can’t and have felt hopeless at times and quite ignorant when my cell wasn’t readily available.  What most of you don’t know about the homeless is, a lot of resources are not available without a valid I.D.  They cannot even receive necessary resources like temporary shelters because they don’t have a valid I.D.  We cannot get Gregory a valid I.D. without a birth certificate.

Many homeless individuals suffer from this mandatory item; lack of I.D.  It is horrendous and quite a lengthy time-consuming process and expensive to get the necessary items that are needed for emergency support.  Plus, you need a valid mailing address to send this pertinent information to.  If you’re homeless, you don’t have a valid mailing address.

We will be ordering Gregory’s birth certificate and finish completing the forms on Thursday, but it will take weeks to have it sent to Blameless’ mailing address.  Then once we get it, we will have to go down to the DMV and order an I.D. card/driver’s license which will take a couple more weeks.  You get the idea here.  He is unable to receive his Social Security or any financial help.  He is suffering from a significant skin disease/lesions throughout his body now and needs medical help.

Please, this man is near and dear to me.  If we can find his family, I will do everything in my power to put him on a bus or an airplane to get him to his daughters in Washington, but I need to first find them and have hopes that they have his birth certificate or other documents to expedite travel.

Yes, this is a battle which keeps many homeless beloveds homeless.  I used to sit back and judge and get all pissy because some hotels were allowing the homeless to come into the lobby area and charge their cell phones.  I felt so violated and upset with the generous management of some hotels.  Woe to me for being Princess Tammy judging and thinking heinously because now here I am running a nonprofit organization that is trying to make a difference in the lives of those who have been rejected and are homeless for a sundry of reasons.

Please help me help Gregory Garland whose birthday is Saturday, October 6, in finding his family so his gentle spirit can live long enough to get home and see his family.  I’ve had to hunt him down.  He is not asking for anything, but I AM!  This will also remove one more homeless person off the streets.  One person at a time, one day at a time.  With God, all things are possible!

Until next time…

Thank You For Being Beautiful You!

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Clothing Ourselves With Compassion and Human Kindness!

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Our World Needs Us Dressed and Ready To Bridge The Gap With Love and Human Kindness! 

Tammy Tangent Tuesdays

Hello Beautiful!  I pray you are embracing this week realizing just how beautiful you are along with being blessed.  After all the tragedy that has developed around the world these past few months between the riots, terrorism attacks, earthquakes, raging fires and the destructive hurricanes, there are a lot of hurting and down-and-out beloveds that areBlameless Blossoms True Beauty Within suffering and in great need of some human kindness.  If we could only remember that living in peace blossoms the true beauty within, we would be reminded how important it is to get dressed daily in God’s Great Love.  It’s that time again, it’s Tammy Tangent Tuesdays!

Admittedly, last week I was full of woe and worry.  This week I am filled with gratitude and determination to make a difference in the lives of so many hurting beloveds.  I was fortunate enough to come through all of these natural disasters unscathed, but I have many friends who were on the receiving end to all of this destruction and were wiped out completely.

Where do you go or even start to clean up when the whereabouts of the front door to your home is nowhere to be found or it’s buried beneath six feet of water?  Talk about overwhelming.  Many don’t even know how to start cleaning up because of the emotional layers filled with turmoil, much less not having the necessary means to maintain sanitary conditions like clean and running potable water and electricity to make the environment habitable.

Colossians 3:12 reminds us to start each day as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothed with compassion and kindness, to name just a few.  The only way we can be dressed with compassion and kindness is to layer these virtues with His Great Love.  Love holds these virtues into place like glue.  When we let Love guide our life, the peace of Christ will rule in our tender hearts. 

So in order to eliminate the terrible duo of fear and loss, how about we work together in being kind and compassionate.  A few ways to promote compassion can be:

  1. Start with Yourself (focus on your strengths and positive qualities first).
  2. Communicate Verbally and Non-verbally (eye contact, body inward, and listen).
  3. Touch (a gentle touch goes a long way.  If appropriate, a hug or shoulder tap).
  4. Encourage Others (positive reinforcement and praise).
  5. Express Yourself (nodding, tears, laughter, and a sincere smile go a long way).
  6. Show Kindness (expecting nothing in return).
  7. Respect Privacy (no gossiping and respect personal space).
  8. Learn How To Advocate (speak up and defend others’ rights).
  9. Volunteer (help in cleanup, babysit, running errands, making phone calls).
  10. Consider your words carefully (think before you speak, empathize, a loving attitude).

Love Holds Compassion and Kindness In Place

Without love, none of this can be accomplished.  God’s kind of love is not a feeling, it’s an action that moves forward.  God’s Great Love is selfless, requiring to love whether we feel like it or not.  Where there’s anger, a sign of love is to show compassion.  Where there is malice, kindness shows the love that exists in our hearts. 

Let Love Guide Our Lives

Let’s start letting love guide our lives.  Laying down one’s life to act as a bridge so another beloved who is filled with fear can walk safely over to the other side is where the love is at.  That’s what Jesus would do and did for us.

Weekly challenge:  Let’s be proactive by getting and staying involved in the needs that are overwhelming other beloveds in our world today where we can step in and help with.  Whether we’re on the east coast or west coast, strong bridges can be built through love.  Whether it’s a small monetary donation, a prayer, a sincere smile, a listening ear, dropping off water and groceries, doing research or even someone who joyfully changes the atmosphere wherever they go by pouring out the Love that only us Beautiful Beloveds can radiate.  Together, one by one, piece by piece, we can make our world beautiful again!

Until next time…

Thank You For Being Beautiful You!

Living With Addiction Day 9 ~ Depression

Blameless Depression 9

Living With Addiction

Strongholds of Depression

Damage more than the Afflicted

Day 9 of 40

You’re a brave soul to continue on here with me.  Not every person that is depressed and suicidal feels and goes through what I went through or suffers these symptoms.  This is how my generational stronghold of depression started manifesting itself with more than just the subtle cues announcing I needed help!

My first attempt to take my life was to find out what was at my disposal in my house.  Easy way out, I thought, was to take as many pills laying around the house as possible.  It’s important I deviate here for a moment…

Parents, please don’t deny this:  With peer pressure the way it is today, us parents have a tendency to think, “Oh, my child will never take my pain meds.”  You’re gravely wrong.  Even if they don’t ingest them personally, they may take a couple here and there and sell them or their friends will know you have them and rob you blindly.  Yes, this happened to me as a parent.  $20 today gets you a couple Vicodin or one Oxycontin.

Continuing…  I started taking all the medications that were in my parent’s cupboard.  I think back at how desperate I was, I even swallowed enema suppositories.  I had no idea at the time what they were.  Pretty gross, huh?  I might nervously laugh at that now due to discomfort in being transparent, but that’s how low and rock bottom I had hit.

My parents were loaded with medications.  No wonder I kept throwing up every day for weeks; it was the meds.  All this did was add more ammo to the fuel lines of depression because I really felt like a failure; I was unsuccessful at taking my own life.  Epic failure!

I then started slashing my wrists.  At first it was just a get-back-at-you vice towards a boy so I could write a love note goodbye in my blood.  Pretty morbid, huh? 

Teenagers today are often cutting their skin to release some of the tension; a little different than slashing their wrists.  They will have fine-line scratches, almost like a two- to three-inch-long cat scratch.  They diffuse their anxiety and mental loneliness through a quick cut; their drug of choice. 

My slashing only made matters worse with the anger coming from my family which brought on more isolation time and removal from others because of the punishment:  I was grounded and left alone to suffer the consequences in my room. 

Please remember to never leave a depressant and suicidal individual alone in their cell of hell because all it does is give them time to contemplate and conjure up their next move.

After many days of forethought and preparation, occupying time and space, I decided to slash my wrists this time by going straight across the wrist in order to sever any nerves that were in the wrist area so I could bleed out.  I obviously had found books during schooltime showing how to properly cut and bleed out because the internet did not exist back then.  My initial attempts were vertically imposed; this time I would cut horizontally.

I inflicted the greatest of pain imaginable to myself here because I somehow or another felt using dull razors while digging deep to lacerate both wrists over and over again would bring instant death.  The agonizing scream was torturous itself.  I still cringe thinking about this 40 years later. 

This time the paramedics came.  I was taken to the hospital and stitched up.  My slashing my wrists was an obvious “I need help,” but when there’s generational strongholds here, we become numb and blinded to the loud pleas for help because it gets dismissed.

This might be morbid, even horrifying, to read, but this pales in comparison to what some people feel and experience.  Depression is real and many have no idea they’re afflicted or how to break free.  It starts subtle and has become an epidemic in today’s society because of the advances in technology that offer the ease to cover up and isolate.

As I was trying to console a girlfriend whose daughter tried to end her life by ingesting bleach, I was sharing with her that the parents cannot carry the shame and blame for what their children do.  Yes, it is the parent’s responsibility to seek out help if there are signs or symptoms, but when we let shame and fear and the veil of generational strongholds keep us from intervening and seeking help by sweeping it underneath the rug, God help us!  As far as my girlfriend goes, most of us were oblivious to her daughter’s despair and depression.  

We all get depressed; that’s a natural part of life, to a certain extent.  Sadly, some stay in this rut and isolate and can’t shake it and need help.  There’s nothing to be ashamed about.  Don’t let darkness prevail here. 

Good time to close.  I’m preaching and not sharing.  Tomorrow’s might be offensive to some as I try to be as raw and candid about everything I went through and felt the day I drove myself off the cliff.

Until next time…

Living With Addiction Day 6 ~ Drug of Choice

Blameless Long Road 1.1

Living With Addiction

Drug of Choice ~ Depression

Day 6 of 40

So how did this girl get here, you know, to this place of living with addiction and how am I breaking free from the bondage of the chains that have been holding my beautiful family captive for numerous generations?

I know many people are expecting me to say something exciting like I was a stripper that danced on tables at night and was a librarian during the day, and God bless those Beautiful Beloveds that have pulled themselves away from such darkness because it’s quite the testimony (I applaud and praise God for you ); but truth be known, mine is simple.

In high school I started developing habits and behaviors because of the generational strongholds of addiction, along with depression, that would lead me down a dark and painful life that would effect even my children and the lives of my precious grandchildren.

Yes, in high school I did do drugs, I did abuse alcohol, I started a 30-year habit smoking cigarettes and, yes, I even lost my virginity at such a tender age to a boy I thought loved me.  And to make matters worse, I was mocked and laughed at because I had not lost my virginity earlier.  Oh, the pain with longing to BELONG and be loved and accepted just the way we are through all our imperfections.  That void set me up for greater despair and suffering through the choices and decisions I would subsequently make.

If we’re really going to be honest here, even the “simple” or “forgotten” forms of addiction, such as cigarette smoking, kept me in isolation like many alcoholics and drug addicts which helped pave the way towards destruction.  It held me captive and a prisoner because I was embarrassed and didn’t want anyone to know I smoked.  Later on, what started out as a social kind of thing, being cool, wanting to fit in and BELONG, turned into an addiction.

Because I didn’t want anyone to know I smoked, I became a closet smoker.  Addiction is subtle and it holds us captive because once we start isolating and hiding ourselves and/or removing ourselves from either people or activities because of shame, much like people who engage in pornography, the enemy has won and therein lies its bondage.  No disrespect to all the cigarette smokers out there, but it has you held a prisoner in a cell of hell and smell!

Smoking is a great example of addiction because it stopped me from going places, enjoying meaningful relationships with friends and/or embracing healthy, new peeps and experiences that could enrich and offer me a healthier lifestyle.  Instead I ended up choosing friendships with people who were addicts in one way or another, just like my dysfunctional makeup.  Only my close friends and family knew I smoked.

I married a man who was amazing, but was so tortured himself, he died with nothing but a Vodka bottle in his hand.  I was even a marathon runner and still smoked four cigarettes a day until I quit; that’s how controlling it was.  Healthy runners do not associate with smokers; that is, if they find out!  Shame at her finest hour…

Because of my disgust of the smell, I would immediately wash my hands and brush my teeth and spray perfume after I came inside the house from having a cigarette.  Now you might understand why I am known for “always smelling good.”  Obsessive Compulsive Disgust is a better term!  I’m still carrying that veil of shame, some might say, because the habit of always wanting to smell good didn’t stop when the smoking did.

My living with addiction and drug of choice was depression.  Drugs and alcohol could not fulfill that void.  The drugs might have stopped in high school, but I continued to drink within the realms of being “socially acceptable.”  Whatever that means!  With my family’s co-dependency on addiction, whether through alcohol, work or just about everything else for that matter, I have to be especially proactive and cognizant of my behaviors and reasoning for why I’m even having a glass of wine.

As I shared last year, I fell into the pit of hell with depression.  Even though I often appeared happy, I was a person who was living behind the facade of pain; slashing her wrists several times in a desperate attempt to leave this life.  When those attempts proved futile, I drove myself off a cliff slamming into the side of the ocean’s surrounding cliff landing onto the beach floor, finding myself in critical condition with nothing left but my remains that had to be meticulously scraped from the twisted metal of what was once called a vehicle.  For one thing, it was nothing short of a miracle that I survived.

With that said, since we’re going to start delving into the mountainous terrain of what molded me into who I am today, we’ll stop here and pick back up next time.  Please enjoy and be blessed with this amazing song that exemplifies my life through it all called “It is well…”

Until tomorrow…