The Purpose of Pain

From the Ashes We Rise


It was many years ago but it seems like yesterday. I had just graduated college with my degree in hand and left a broken relationship behind. My heart was torn and for the first time in my life I was lost. The instant that my engagement ring was placed back in his hands my dreams and aspirations went with it. When I say lost, I don’t mean the bounce back shortly after kind of lost. I mean the deep down meaning of life, existential, kind of what the hell do I do now!?- kind of lost. The perfectionist side of me had no goals to aspire to. I had rejected my acceptance to medical school in hopes of getting married and perusing my dreams of motherhood, white picket fence and 2.5 children.

In my crisis I called a long lost friend. She had recently started a homeless ministry downtown and…

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Whispers in the Dark

Love love love.

From the Ashes We Rise


We are all connected, every one of us. We are connected to nature, to each other, and to God. I truly do believe that. Every action has a reaction. We can start chains of events by a simple gesture. One voice can lead to a revolution. One smile can save a life. Love can conquer evil, even though evil screams while love whispers.

I love watching and observing small gestures of kindness. They are sometimes hard to spot but when you really look only then will you begin to SEE. I see the guy who opens the door for others. He stands patiently at the door expecting nothing in return. Chivalry is not dead. I notice when my counselor goes over session because she is genuinely interested in our topic of conversation. She listens with her whole heart.

Sometimes my friends go out of their way to bring me snacks…

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The Grace Card

Yes to this. ❤

From the Ashes We Rise

I believe that this card is played a lot in Christianity to justify, minimize, and condone sinful behavior. In fact I think it’s the card that trumps all cards. It was what my abuser used against me before and after the assault. He was covered in love of Christ and if I would just forgive. In fact he talked a lot about grace and forgiveness. It’s always devastating when the Love of God is used as a weapon against a person.


{That phrase should not be allowed in the English Language}: If the grace card can be used in such a manner then please let me enlighten you to the debilitating effects rape has on a person spiritually and emotionally. I will choose to make YOU the object and ravish your spirit. I will consciously choose to murder your soul and then pull the grace card…

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The four harsh truths that everyone in my generation needs to accept

Good things to be reminded of 🙂

The Matt Walsh Blog

I’m a young person.

A ‘young adult,’ supposedly. I’m married with two kids and back problems, so I don’t necessarily feel like it all the time, but I do fall into that coveted 18-34 demographic.

As a young person, I take special note of all the bad press we tend to get. I’m sure you heard about the 18-year-old woman (not kid, not child, not teenager — woman) who sued her parents to force them to pay for her college tuition. She lost the first round in court, but you can bet that we haven’t read the last of this sordid tale.

I’m sure you’ve also heard about the various studies and reports, released every few months it seems, confirming and reconfirming and confirming again that people in my generation are very reluctant to move out of mom and dad’s house. A report this past summer found that over 21 million millennials are…

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Say What?!

Love her so much. Sexual assault needs to be talked about and addressed.

From the Ashes We Rise

can't keep a Secret

I’ve gotten some pretty interesting responses since I posted my blog or ousted myself as a sexual assault survivor. They have been quite interesting to observe. I’ve enjoyed the looks and reactions that I’ve received so far…

1. The first response is one of shock / fear/ horror. It says why in the H-E-L-L is she sharing this and how the H-E-L-L should I respond.  I will provide my answer for this a little later in this post.

2.  The second response is one of admiration because it’s either brave or crazy to share something so personal- by blog, conversation, or any other means.

Here is the truth. It’s scary and difficult. It was the hardest thing that I’ve ever had to do and I’m not doing it for myself- not entirely. When I was going through my case, literally no one was talking about rape or sexual assault. It…

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Florida’s Unique Shy Wolf Sanctuary

Now I really want to go here 🙂

Imagery Photography

Did you ever think you could stand inside a wolf habit and pet a wolf? Well you can.

Naples Florida is home to a unique charity,The Shy Wolf Sanctuary. They rescue wolves that have been bred or purchased as pets and then abused or abandoned. The sanctuary is the only wolf sanctuary in the USA where you can actually interact with these beautiful wild animals. They are totally supported by donations and merchandise sales. The staff is made up completely of volunteers. Plan a trip while in south Florida for a real wildlife encounter.

If you buy a print of this image, I will donate all my profits to this wonderful organization.

To see other images and buy apparel or prints, please visit my commercial gallery.

Petting a Wolf Petting a Wolf

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Year in Review/Wow I’m late on this one

So 2013 has come and gone and it’s a new year. And we are about 5 days into the new year. (I know I’m totally late on this post but hey life happens right?)

2013 was a big year. A year of total and complete change and growth and new direction. I started the year out signing up for Twitter. I thought I knew it all and I just wanted to stir the pot and just be a complete butthole (I am trying my best to not curse but forgive me if I do…I am imperfect). I was at a job I didn’t really like, in school full time, in a long distance relationship, and living with my parents.

Halfway through the year I went to Greece, left the job I didn’t like, continued school full time, was much nicer on social media, had my boyfriend living in the same town as me, still living at my parents.

In the last three months of 2013, I got engaged, got a job I never thought I’d like or have, had a quiet time on social media, moved in with my fiance, and still am in school full time.

Basically the one thing that didn’t change at all was the fact that I am still in school full time. That and I don’t regret my decision to place my son with his adoptive family. At all. It was necessary.


2013 overall was a good year: a year full of lots of change but overall good. As I face this new year I see many more changes and opportunities to grow in my future. In 2014 I plan to be more intentional in all aspects of my live and be a bit more disciplined than I ever have been. You see I’m finally in a stage of life where I really do make my decisions for me and for the future I want to see happen.

Lastly in this post (cause I don’t want to go into too much depth as this is an unplanned post and I’m just going with the flow which to be honest I’ve never been good at…yay?) I want to say thank you. Thank you to Claudia, Deanna, Reenie, Martha, Jay, Justin, Liz, Lisa, Bryan, and all of you who I interact with on twitter. Seriously you guys have opened my eyes and my heart and have made me a better person in 2013. You have changed my life for the better and I am excited to see what this new year will bring.

Also (haha you thought I was done! :P) I want to thank K and G for the love and support and trust they have given me and continue to give me. I’m also so thankful for K’s mom (she’s seriously awesome-sauce). I honestly and truly don’t know who I’d be without you or what I’d do without you. The acceptance and love I have received from you has been unconditional and I am able and want to be completely honest and open with you about myself and my life. I’m getting teary eyed and choked up writing this because my emotions for you are so strong. LOVE YOU!!!

I hope all of your New Year’s are going well 🙂 (yes I do have goals for the new year but not sure if I’m going to share them here or not…keep checking for more posts because I am actually gonna be more consistent wow imagine that :P).

From us to you!