Allow God to work in your life, to be in control…

listentogod1

1/28/14
I just got another SAT book, this one from Barron’s, but the Black book says these books don’t help much. I think though that this book will help more with the concepts I need to study and get more practice with, mainly because I haven’t done work like this in 20 years. Man, I’m old!

I’m still working out, but my back hurts; I would give anything to see a chiropractor. It is like I have a pinched nerve. I know an adjustment would take care of it. I got my grievance back today, and they said they asked the officers to consider turning off the light at a decent hour from now on, but their excuse is that the inmates need to shave or to move around after 10. But, they should start this earlier in the evening. It’s not like we’re doing anything else, anyway.

You are so beautiful, and I miss you so! You mean so much to my well being! Thank the Lord for your presence in my life. Things will become easier as we learn God’s will for our lives. I love your enthusiasm! You help me keep my excitement up while I focus more on reading and studying more.

The heat issue just can’t get resolved. They won’t repair this heating system, and sometimes it works, and sometimes not. Now that I had to turn in my extra clothes I about have to stay under the covers all day to stay warm with only one pair of socks and a shirt. I’m so afraid of getting sick, and I can only work out for a little while and then sometimes I start to hurt. It has been such a blessing to keep the health I do have. An extra mat to sleep on would sure help my back; heaven forbid I ever get to feel a real mattress again…

1/30/14
Don’t worry so much about the move; you are making too much of it, and not trusting God enough. Bring yourself back to God so he can guide you down the correct path.

I’m not sure about this lawyer either. They should be answering us sooner, but often work on their own time, not our. I’m not disagreeing with you about the investigator either, but remember everyone wants as much money as they can get. Pray about this, and don’t allow others to influence you by getting you all riled up. Calm down and talk to God. I do believe things should be moving quicker, but God is in control, so wait on Him!

2/1/14
Every aspect of our life should be spent thanking God for all He has created. I am so blessed He sent me a friend like you, who takes such good care of our children. It was such a blessing to be allowed to go outside today, around 7:20 a.m. The CO’s didn’t make fun of us as they usually do. Praise God for changing their hearts! It was around 35 degrees, so not too bad, and I got to talk to some of the guys out here today. They let us stay outside for about an hour and a half; my toes were numb, but it was worth it! We should be getting our reviews soon, someone said, and that some of us could be shipped out.

It was so great to get a shower tonight. I didn’t notice the time, but they were sort of rushing everyone, and the shower were finished by 9 p.m. Normally it would be after 10:30, leaving most of us to wait 20 or 30 minute. And, they turned out the lights – Praise God! It is so great to rest without all of the blaring lights.

2/3/2014
Good day, Rochelle. How are things at home? I hope they are well. If not, tell me about it. May God’s peace be with you at home and in your hearts. Every day poses these problems, but each day Jesus gives His love to me to comfort my despair. Sorry for not writing more. I’ve been trying to listen to God more, an staying still. God doesn’t make mistakes, so when are you going to see your worth? You are so valuable for His work on Earth. Kneel down and ask for guidance, for your head to stop spinning. You are not taking enough time for God.
Slow down!
Get off of that computer more, and listen to God! Read His word. I’ve been a very stubborn man, and am finally ready to listen to His guidance and to hear His voice! I had allowed my life experiences to harden my heart, and now the Holy Spirit continues to break the outer man and to see how the world had me in its grip. Allow God to work in your life. When you allow God to be in control, then your life can truly begin.

Little Victories

 

1/27/14

One need not always trust in the 'large' things -  Isaiah 31  King James Version (KJV) 31 Woe to them that go down to Egypt for help; and stay on horses, and trust in chariots, because they are many; and in horsemen, because they are very strong; but they look not unto the Holy One of Israel, neither seek the Lord!

One need not always trust in the ‘large’ things –
Isaiah 31
King James Version (KJV)
31 Woe to them that go down to Egypt for help; and stay on horses, and trust in chariots, because they are many; and in horsemen, because they are very strong; but they look not unto the Holy One of Israel, neither seek the Lord!

I’m reading your letter to be about how you feel imprisoned, somewhat like  I am experiencing, although our prisons are different. No matter what either of us does, we can’t escape. This is God, working on our outer selves, which is essential to allow God’s Spirit to be released. Praise God for how you’ve been able to surrender to this discipline, and for learning patience with our children. I’m so glad to hear the boys are branching out, and aren’t so afraid to do their own things. I’m so proud of their growth amid all of the things they’ve been through. I just pray they see how loved they are by God, and are being taught by Him in so many ways. God is working on Nate so he can learn to discern who his real friends are, and to not feel ashamed for speaking out against injustice at school. God is using my suffering to teach them, to reach others, as well who need to realize the anguish and injustice in their own backyards.

I have to admit, I’ve been under attack now for over a week. I’ve not been happy with what God is allowing to happen in my life. I stay confused and blocked from understanding what is happening to me. I know I have to work through it, and am battling this selfish outer man. You have been so encouraging throughout this whole ordeal, and  know your love for me is real. I just feel so weakened and alone lately, and have to just give it to God…

I’ve noticed my eyes become blurry after reading awhile.  I have to pull the book or paper away from my face to be able to ready clearly. I used to have 20-15 vision, but only God knows what being in isolation has done…

I’m watching 60 minutes and listening to how there is such a shortage of psych0logists and therapists across the nati0n; and stories like what you’ve been through recently with our boys. Then they talked about how there are lack of beds in the institutions for the extreme behavior needs like what we experienced with my two children that led us to end up like this, due to not having adequate care in the mental health fields. If you can google this, maybe you will find some support sites so you have other people to talk to, and can maybe even get some help with our case. Isn’t it amazing how much has to happen before things like this come to the light?

Speaking of lights, this crew tonight is the one that often leaves our lights on until midnight, which was the main reason I wrote the grievance about not having any relief from the lighting. Tonight, though, they went out at 10:38 p.m., which is so wonderful! Even the little things feel like big victories!

 

May God be part of your Every Decision

 I hope you and the readers don’t mind that I just seem to jump from topic to topic. I work so hard to stay focused in here, but it gets so hard at times. I never thought this was going to be as bad it is becoming.  I read the bible, and all of the things you send me, but there’s so little to occupy my time. It would be so great if some folks would write to me. I don’t mind answering any questions, or just corresponding. Will you give them my address?  I enjoy looking at the blog excerpts you send me, and am really surprised that people are reading this. I just do the best I can to get through these days, and to learn all I can so as to be a better person and to make a difference in the world and to help my children heal, as God allows us to reconnect.

Let’s see, today.November 23rd, I’ve been in here 84 days. It has been great to at least hear what is going on in the world through others. The Tarheels won today, 8-20, a football game! Appalachian State also did great 24-0 against WNCU at halftime.

I put in yet another request form for medical to let me have thermals. I just stay cold in here, and with the pain, it is bad. They are the only one who can administer the 490 for them. I just took a shower and feel so much better. I don’t understand why they won’t let us bathe everyday. They have plenty of personnel to do so. I mean, I do understand that it is a form of punishment, but to what end? I’m hungry, and have one more peanut butter and jelly sandwich, so will eat that here at 10 p.m. and write more later…

11/24/13

I was listening to 106.9 and the Christian music has more power than ever before, for some reason. I started crying this morning listening, just raising my hands, swaying back and forth and singing. It was so meaningful to hear God’s word, and to feel His love filling my heart. Without Him, I’d not have the strength to continue. I can do nothing in my own strength. I will fail every time, but realizing this and confessing this to God, believing in his Son will give me true strength and power. This truly lifts my Spirit, which is the power of Jesus in me.

The after affects of this entire incident from August 31 has been horrible. I now see that they’ve added 15, yes 15 years to my sentence because I didn’t want to suffocate in a prison cell, and asked for a CO to do something about the lack of moving air, and they’ve given me 24 points. I will be forced to do almost a year in isolation and continued to be punished for two or three more years afterward!

I still can’t over being so cold…I am in a building and have to wear 3 shirts, 2 shirt jackets, and pants, and my feet are still cold!

I just want to wish you all a wonderful Thanksgiving, and be sure to be thankful for all that you have-there’s always someone out there doing far worse. I will continue to write more of what God is teaching me in my next letters. May God be part of your every decision.

Trust Him, and He will not fail you!

Keep your eye on God’s will

10/25/13

relationships, injustice, solitude

Psalm 37:7-9
Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for him to act. Don’t worry about evil people who prosper or fret about their wicked schemes. Stop being angry! Turn from your rage! Do not lose your temper—it only leads to harm. For the wicked will be destroyed, but those who trust in the Lord will possess the land.”

Don’t worry about me; well, maybe a little, but not enough to get anxious.

We need to stay focused on what will help us move forward. Moving forward

doesn’t mean forgetting – it just means we do better to work on what we are able to change now, and work on what we can’t when it looks like we can make a difference later. Our true goal is to get me out. But, your daily goal is to our family.

Just keep your eye on God’s will to occur in your life, as well as the children’s.

I don’t know where I’m going with this except that I don’t want you to be kept from your daily life.

I keep having these sharp pains in the incision. I guess it is healing, but I don’t remember pains like this from the last surgery at home. I don’t think the doctor did a very good job, but that could just be my opinion. I think this pain, and being in here so long now makes me confuse myself sometimes. Ideas, thoughts just flow right out of head, and I forget what I was doing or thinking…

They came by tonight and gave me another blanket, Thank you, Jesus; and I asked the CO if I could change my original for another, as you could see through the only one I had, so he did. Now, I will be a little warmer in here.

Praise God for such relief. It may be small to most reading this, but in here, where things are out of your control to care for yourself, the little things become even more important. I really wish I had those ear muffs you bought me for when I had to repair equipment in the winter. They always kept my head warm.

I’m just starting to feel my legs, and ate a peanut butter sandwich. I wish there was hot intstead of just cold, constant air blowing on me. I wish you were here with me to keep me warm. The low for tonight is the upper 20’s, and with no quilts or covers, even wearing two undershirts and a work shirt isn’t enough.

It is so cold behind concrete…

10/21/13

I am glad to hear that the Innocence Clinic is still working on my case, as it’s been almost a year since

prison, injustice, lost love, spirituality, hope

Inside these four walls, the sun doesn’t shine

you took them the files. Maybe they have more options to approach than the one in Raleigh, as there was no DNA at all to compare because I never did anything. Many states have had to go back and compare those on death row with past evidence, and many of these men are getting exonerated. Without any evidence, why am I even here to begin with, other than words of an angry woman pushing damaged children? Only God knows how long these things will take to come together, I just need to find a way to do God’s will.

I need to keep improving myself, and my communication skills so that I can speak more effectively about what needs to be done, as well as what is happening. I’ve asked God to give me the confidence to speak for Him, so I’m just waiting to be able to gain the ability to speak clearly and well. This pen is almost out of ink. I only had five pens, and I can’t buy any as I’m not allowed to use canteen until February. I hope they all hold out.

10/23/13

I was driven to an outside facility for a post-op check up and the doctor said I was healing fine and removed my staples. I do get to use the wheelchair in between at least, as I am hand/leg cuffed when walking about. The doctor said not to lift anything heavy, so I asked what was heavy to him. He said a gallon of milk…he said to be sure and not stretch my body much for the next six weeks. The only thing I’m lifting right now is myself, so I will do my best to be careful.

It was so great to be out and able to feel the sun; it was only for a few minutes, but nice, as I hadn’t been outside in a few weeks. Some of the small things, like just being outside and feeling the sun’s rays, is so important. Inside we can’t feel anything, and it is so cold behind concrete. Just to see God’s creations that the Sun helps to grow is not appreciated. It brings joy to so many people. We feel so sickly, hidden away from everyone. We ask ‘why’, but we must wait for God’s time, and accept that he is in control…but, I do miss it so much, the Sun.

I’ve been more hungry than usual, and I’m not working out. I did get your letter today, which was great, as well as the other two. I got the paper you ordered for about two weeks, and then I didn’t get it at all last week. Don’t know why.

 

 

I feel much better today…

10-29-13

Dear Shel,

I re-read your last letter another time, because I didn’t get a letter this week. I noticed that you fear me

spirituality, injustice, relationships

If you don’t hear from me, it’s because my pens ran out of ink, and they won’t let me buy more in seg.

going to “ICON”, but I am already there. I should not be shipped to another camp unless

DOC decides to after my next hearing, so I will serve my seg time here. It should be six months of isolation, with another three in ‘close observation’ because they are ‘afraid’ I might rile up the inmates, even though all we did was refuse to go into our cells because it was sweltering after three days of no air circulation. I see in your letter where these types of things are happening to other inmates, some guys had their fans taken away, so they sat out and were all thrown in ICON, too. I couldn’t believe the story about the man who was written up one day for eating his whole apple, as apple seeds are considered ‘poison’ (God, the lengths they go to to torture us emotionally), so the next day he didn’t touch it, so he was written up again for ‘refusing to eat’. It is like that here, but not quite as bad. (http://solitarywatch.com/category/featured-posts/)

I got the visit forms because of the amount of pestering I did to the guards this week (lol), they will be in this letter, so you can finally change the address for you and the boys in time over the next two weeks, and hopefully they won’t give you any trouble trying to set up future visits. I know you won’t have any more extra gas money until the end of the month after next week’s visit, so this is  a good time to do it.

I feel much better today. It doesn’t even hurt much. I will still wait for about four weeks before exercising again. For now, I just walk around in my room, and lift my legs up to stretch them out, as well as my stomach muscles. The surgeon wants to see me next week. And, yes, you were surprised as to why they didn’t know before the surgery how bad the hernia was because they didn’t even x-ray the area! The doctor had no idea I was in such bad shape because he just performed a short exam like a physical, nothing like what would have happened if I had been home. It should have been repaired a long time ago, and even then, it took them a month to decide to perform the surgery!

Your blog about us is great! It is just how I remember things. It was like that so many times. I want to tell you that you are my best friend.

I’ve written L(my cousin) several times without her replying. I asked her to order my Christmas package, because if she can do it before I go in front of the DOC then there’s a much better chance of my getting the package. If it’s ordered and the DOC gives me a harsh ‘sentence’ in ICON, then they don’t allow you to have anything hardly there. It is a very harsh sentence, with very little in the way of trying to make your life livable. I can’t order any food from canteen other than a very restricted item list once a week. I can’t have any normal pens, and getting a guard to sharpen your safety pencil is like pulling teeth here. I sent the last request to her on 10-10, so maybe I’ll hear something next week. They may not let me have the food package, even if she did, but I tried.

A and N look great. I can see that they have both lost weight. I can’t tell so much about their height. Take a picture with you standing next to them so I can see better. It has been so hard not to have them visit, but I don’t want them to see me in handcuffs and behind this glass. I think it is worse than when they can’t see me. We always hug so close and tight, if even for a few seconds, and I can scrub their faces with my goatee’ to help them remember me at least. This would just be too hard for the three of us right now. They need you to wrestle with them, since I can’t be there like we used to do, crawling in the floor, playing pile up with all five of the kids in the bed on Sunday morning, legs and arms flying, I’m surprised the bed didn’t break with seven of us in the bed, flailing and screaming! It would be so hard to get them ready for church after they all got wound up, jumping uup and down, yelling…but, boys need rough play. And, we just let V right in there, like a boy, too, because I wanted her to learn how to protect herself, to be strong enough to know how to get away if someone came after her at school, to not be afraid to protect hereself…

It is hard now, as a single mom, I know. Moms are softer and so busy they forget that part of boys – they need to kick and punch, roll and jump around, climb on things, take things apart; this is fun for them, and a necessary part of their development. Especially these boys because of puberty. It is hard without a man in the house, I know, mom had it rough too, after running from dad, trying to raise us with no child support, but she would take us outside, and play with me and Al. She would chop and kick at us, and sometimes it hurt like Hell, but we kept coming back, and she would wear us out, and then take us inside for ice cream. She did her best…sigh….just like you’re doing your best with our two boys. Try to remind them to do their ‘boy stuff’ outside. I think boxing would help N as it is more mental and physical. See if you can get a martial arts scholarship somewhere.

I don’t know how long I’ll be away…

10/8/13

Dear Shel,

I haven’t been writing much as I’m working to clear my mind from

spirituality, faith, God, hope, solitary

Palden Gyatso was born in a Tibetan village in 1933 and became an ordained Buddhist monk at 18…and spent the next 25 years of his life enduring interrogation and torture simply for the strength of his beliefs.

all of the worry surounding my impending ICON, which is worse than the segregationwhere I am currently. I’ve never had a write up before, so now they want to observe mefor 90 days.There have been many put here lately, given ‘A’ charges, and they don’t even know why they received it. The CO came to tell me that they’ve decided to let Raleigh decide about my ICON time at some point next week. They did this so they would’nt be responsible, and can also add on additional time to my punishment. So, I will go before the Directors’ Board and possibly get a harsher punishment. God is in control, so I do my best not to worry.

I have A’s pictures that he used to draw. I have also held onto the the three letters N wrote while he was in the behavorial ‘prison’. I keep them in my bible now that they are almost falling apart.

I got your book today. I’ve already read two chapters, and have cried three times, and he hasn’t even talked about being in prison yet. His family was so loving and supportive. I find it very interesting.

10-9-13

Your visit was wonderful. You need not to worry so much about me. God is with me. Even though the cuffs hurt, it was worth it to see your pretty face. Your standing up for me helps so much, also. I hope things we were able to talk about will help you through out the next week. Just as yours help me.

Getting the local newspaper has helped so much. I get them around 2 pm, so I read

for a little while, then I exercise. I can’t thank you enough.

10/12/13

This is such a great book. I thank God for the blessings I had ignored, thinking we had just a common, boring life. I live as  a king compared to how these people in Tibet were persecuted. It is sad to read how people were tortured and destroyed, when life is so invaluable. I have been complaining about such petty things. The book has also opened my eyes to what is happening in this prison; that, even though it is a miserable and sad fate, it is nothing compared to what is happening in other countries. I do see, however, that our country is heading down the same path. The American way of life is corroding right in front of our eyes. I stayed up until 11:30 the other night, standing in my doorway to catch some of the main room’s light, just so I could keep reading into Chapter 7. Our lights get cut out at 10, but I didn’t want to stop. I am now on Chapter 10, and it flows so well that it is hard to put down.

I’ve never read a book this easily before. I usually bet bored and start nodding off, but not with this book.

It’s funny, because it cost you more to send the book than it did to buy the book, itself.

10-13-13

I finished the book this morning. thanks for such a great book. It was something that I needed so I could understand my suffering better, and to see that it could be worse. If the monks and other innocent people can endure all of that horrible stuff, then my time should be a stroll in the park. I do see how our treatment here involves some of the same tactics, but not quite as extreme.

I signed the form to go to surgery yesterday, so I should go by Wed or before. I don’t know how long I’ll be away, but it shouldn’t be long. I was 28 when I had the first hernia surgery. Damn, that seems so long ago, now doesn’t it? To be honest, I don’t feel that old. Having lost so much fat now, I feel much better than in years past. I actually feel younger than 28 now.

It’s 3 pm now, and they told me not to eat or drink anything after 12 am because of a procedure. So, I’ll get this out today so you will know. Don’t worry, I’ll be just fine. Know that I love you very much. Not sure if they are going to keep me long, maybe a few days? I won’t be able to get up or get my food the first few days. I remember how hard it was before to move and get up. Jesus is by my side now, and I feel protected, and I feel you near me, too!

I love you and the boys very much…