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!

 

I’m starting to feel more value and worth…

1/24/14

They posted here recently that if any inmate is found with extra clothing, he will be subject to disciplinary action.

So my request has gotten some attention along with your past emails.

The heat has also been adjusted now to be more comfortable, I’m not currently freezing.

So, God is moving these people to do more right for us. But, I had to put my extra clothes in the dirty clothes pickup, so as not to get a false ‘charge’, except for my extra sheets. This is yet another form of God getting me to further trust Him for all of my needs. As I’m writing, I’m only in boxers and a t-shirt. That is a first here for the winter. I did take a shower, and I feel fine, even though it is supposed to get down to 5 degrees tonight. Normally the cold would be unbearable.

I received your letter today, and I rejoice in the Lord for all that He has done, using you to help so many of us here through your letters and blog posts. I’ve continued to struggle to work out, and am up to 3 sets of 35 pushups, squats, 75 toe touches, crunches, leg lifts, and some planks. I used to do so much more, but it is a start; even 3 months later, but praise God! The biggest thing is the jump from numbness to sharp pains and back, even below the bend in my leg all the way up to my groin. I’ve written a grievance, but nothing is done. They don’t care…what are you spraying on these letters, it’s driving me crazy! I can’t wait to hold you in my arms again. I miss your cooking…I want to hold you so badly…My heart longs for you day and night…why won’t you write me some of your poetry, you are so good at putting your heart into words on the page?

Thank you so much again for the SAT prep black book. It’s so full of wonderful help. Giving me a better understanding keeps me from being so scared. All my life I’ve been scared of taking tests. Mostly because I never could grasp concepts the teachers were teaching. I wasn’t favored by any of my teachers in either middle or high school. I guess I just assumed I didn’t have the brains to be in school. It kept me fearful of further education;  I just worked with my hands. The hands-on learning gave me better understanding of concepts that I’m currently learning. For the first time I’m excited to have this chance to learn, and to start a new chapter in my life. Maybe this will help my children to see the importance of continuing their education if I can be successful. Image

 Hebrews 12:11 New International Version (NIV) 11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.


Hebrews 12:11
New International Version (NIV)
11 No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.

1/23/14

I received the Black SAT Prep book yesterday and began reading it.

Looking over all of this material makes me scared; it’s been a long time since ’91 when I graduated high school, and I can’t get any extra study guides off of the internet. I haven’t seen algebra in almost twenty years, and I never had Geometry! I know this is going to be tough, but God has a plan for me to succeed. I’m just not sure how to get help. I will check in the library here to see if there are any text books, but I doubt it, and the GED teacher is not friendly. But, it could be due to some of her students…

Didn’t you take this in 1989? What was your score? I need help with passage-based reading, sentence completion, all of the math…they are recommending a ‘Blue Book’, and it references this other book a lot. I’m reminded of Hebrews 12:11, so knowing this isn’t going to be joyful right now, I will endure the training, because of the importance of the end results.

I’ve been so lonely, and just gave my heart to the Lord

Sorry, I took a few days off and listened to football games.

Carolina lost, but they played hard for the first half, just seemed to lose focus. We do that, forget to keep our eyes on God.

God has to be centered in all that we do, so that we can truly come to know His power. Once it becomes about ourselves, the God is lost to us. We have to surrender ourselves to God, so that the fight comes through Him. This will be the only way that our truth can be revealed, by how we speak, live our lives, and surrendering to what ‘is’. When we rush things, we hinder God’s plan.

These past few days have been so cold, with the men complaining, but doing nothing in writing. I am amazed by how cold it is for us in here. I miss you so much. I’ve had to wear all of my clothes, and it’s gotten down to 0 degrees in the night.  I hope to get some more coffee in a couple of days to help ease it off a little.

Thank you so much for sharing with me what is going on at home; I so miss being a family. Even the little things about washing dishes with you after you made a mess all over the kitchen from one of your great, home cooked meals, the faces the boys make, their shenanigans, and excuses at bedtime and running all over the house.

I did finally get the new diet today. They kept trying to give me a regular one, but I sent it back. I’m not going to give them something to cancel it for, when I’ve worked so hard to get it! I got some exercise in today, and that helped warm me a little.  No pain today, which is a good sign.

I want you to calm down about the lawyer; I think you’ve scared them, I know how you can be. Be patient, I’m sure they have many cases, and God is working things out as He sees fit. Take some deep breaths and stay calm. Nothing much rattles your cage, except maybe a horse falling in the pool with the cover on it, or a nest of wound up yellow jackets..lol, but we all have different skill sets and abilities, and can then draw a complement in a mate.

I hope to see you on Wednesday, it was such a blessing to see the boys! It caught me off guard and was such a surprise. If you can’t make it this week, I understand. …

1/15/14

You are so beautiful today, you walked in with such confidence. You have been a great example for our children.

I got back to my cell and there were some papers by my door. Someone had tried to set up a visit but forgot to add a driver’s license copy, so it was good that I had not quite finished the letter to my friend. Now I am able to request new forms, and explain what happened in this letter and mail them together. God created a way for me to save a stamp, which is always good to do in here. He always keeps our circumstances in mind.

I’ve been so lonely, and I just gave my heart to the Lord and cried for a long time, my heart is just so sick from this isolation and separation. When I calmed down, I opened my devotional to Psalms 4, and cried even more, it was entitled, “Sweet Rest”. I feel he answered my prayer with your visit. He gave me sweet mercy, and also you enough gas to make the visit. My heart is filled with joy.

 Psalm 4  King James Version (KJV) 4 Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness: thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress; have mercy upon me, and hear my prayer.


Psalm 4
King James Version (KJV)
4 Hear me when I call, O God of my righteousness: thou hast enlarged me when I was in distress; have mercy upon me, and hear my prayer.

You are like Ruth, you never turn back…

Hey, look – do you hear me? That’s what they yell in here all day long. I hope to never hear that again when I get out…

I got an orange today for the first time since September. It was so good! The things we take for granted…

Today around 2 pm it got so cold. I wonder if they are turning on the air conditioner? My hands and legs were freezing. I did get a shower today, and that warmed me up some…I also did some push-ups; only two sets of 35, and toe touches. I noticed I’m losing some muscle mass as I don’t well enough to exercise fully.

1/10/14
I received your letters today, and your card. It reminded me so much of that one property we were looking to buy in the mountains before all of this happened.

Hey, I finally got a new battery for my radio! It takes about 3 weeks to get when you’re in ICON and indigent. But, they did put fish oil on the list of the limited things we can order.

I am reading on Ruth today. She is like you; you never turn back. You will only press forward, knowing God has a plan for your life. She worked so diligently and then became one of Jesus’ grandmothers. You, like Ruth, have courage and are a child of God.
ruth_bible__image_2_sjpg1152

1/11/14
I was up late last night and couldn’t sleep. I started humming this little tune, and it got louder and louder, and then I looked at my watch and saw the date- it was the tune I’d sing to Alex when he was bouncing on my leg or when I would hold him when he couldn’t sleep when he was so small, so long ago!
Happy Birthday Big Bear! God is so great to put that tune in my head to remember you! That became a special tune for when I was with him, but I still don’t know where it came from! It made him laugh and coo, and thinking of that is refreshing to my spirit. God wants to remember all of the little things that bless us, but we never thank Him for. I love you, Alex!

It is obvious he needs mental assistance, but the guards just play with him

1/9/14

Taken from an article in the examiner on mental health conditions

Taken from an article in the examiner on mental health conditions

I was listening to the radio show Focus on the Family today.
It has been such a valuable tool in teaching me how to raise the children.
They have so many good ideas. That’s why I’ve been writing so much lately about the boys, because their faith needs to grow so God’s power can truly be amplified through our family as a unit.

I’ve asked the boys to forgive me for being a bad example sometimes, and to try not to follow in those steps. Today’s show talked about how important it is to be a good role model as men to our daughters so they will pick appropriate men later in life. It discussed how girls are affected by the lack of a healthy relationship with their dads, and how they expect their adult relationship to give them what their father didn’t or couldn’t. You used to do this to me, and we have talked about the importance of my being loving to my daughter in the past, and so I spent more time with her, on her home work, going to school and advocating for her when there were school issues, getting off work and going to her soccer games. It has become clear to me in listening to this broadcast that you take time and forgive your dad, because you did subconsciously punish me for how your father treated you, and took quite a bit out on me over the years. You know I only tell you this so you will release some of the pain in your heart over the past. I hope you will find these broadcasts somehow and listen to them.

The Sgt. has come next door as the guy keeps pushing the green button, which is only for medical emergencies. Apparently his legal mail is not going out, so there is now another guy there now, as well, which is really only to frustrate the other inmate further, not help. His legal matter is coming up in two weeks and he doesn’t have all of the information ready. It is obvious that he needs intensive mental health assistance, but the guards just play with him. They pepper sprayed him a few weeks ago, in the cell that I am now in. That could be why I have more upper respiratory tract infections and my nose bleeds some….things did calm down a little after they talked to him, but it looks like he will get written up for this. They gave him 3 last week. It is excessive, and will keep him in here for a long time, when he truly needs services.

I’ve prayed to the Lord for his entities to be released, as well as for all of us trying to endure this frigid coldness. Most of the men sleep in the floor in an attempt to get away from the cold, but I just can’t sleep next to the toilet like that, and we have no way to clean – but you know all of this. Why can’t they just fix the heating system? No one listens to our grievances here, so we just give up trying. The morale is so low, but I know must set examples. I told the other men that I have been sending grievances about the lack of heat.

Well, after several days of the lights being on past 11:30pm, they’ve cut the light off at 10 tonight. Maybe my grievance was read by someone?
I also know that I’m being led to write a grievance to CPS in my own words, but I just can’t sort it all out, and keep praying on how to word it in God’s time.

May God be with you in my absence.

It’s been two years since I’ve had a piece of chicken…

1/1/14

Lunch today surprised me so much – chicken thigh with the bone in! I haven’t had a real piece of meat in two years! Praise God! We also had apple pie, greens, white rice with gravy and cornbread. The chicken is so great! I saved the leg to eat tonight with my eggs and toast. I saved the apple pie to eat later with my milk.

 I can't believe how much I miss fried chicken, or just real meat...

I can’t believe how much I miss fried chicken, or just real meat…

I pray we go outside tomorrow. I truly need some fresh air, and more space to move around.
In this new room  I only have about 30 or 40 square feet to move around in.

This is for 23 hours a day for five days straight, but as it is too cold for the outside rec with no coats, I am usually in this tiny space for 24 hours for eight to ten days at a time; sometimes longer. I think it has been almost two weeks since it was warm enough to try to go outside.

I’m going to ask for another pair of pants tonight. I’ve had the same pair for two weeks now. They let us change out once a week on Wednesdays, but I don’t want to switch them out until I have to. I was such a proud man and hard on everyone. Yes, your love was always there. Thank God He put you in my life. God has a purpose for all this suffering, Rochelle. We just need to wait patiently for God. This process is all part of God’s plan.

1/2/14
Your visit was so great; I have missed the boys so. They are growing so fast! You looked very happy.
Did I tell you that dad sent me a Christmas card? Everyone in the pictures looked so great. You have been doing such a good job of raising our boys on your own. God has been guiding you well.

1/3/14
I got all the information from the transcripts you requested, and got it ready and sent it on to the lawyer. I also noticed that during the past week, the lights have been staying off in the mornings until 6:00 a.m. with breakfast being served after that. God is so great! Your grievances is being used by God as a way to make change. We have also been served a little more at our meals.

I’ve been reviewing your complaint to CPS, and you’ve covered most everything. You have such a goo memory, there were just a few errors in time, but it’s so hard when we can’t talk on the phone or even face to face, just through glass. I know it is hard to remember things and then run to the car and write them down, or write questions to me on your arm before you come in to visit; and then the visits are only once or twice a month. There’s so much against us, I don’t see how you get anything done.

I’m wrapped up in four sheets and three waffle blankets. If we could have a quilt or cover it would make a big difference. The cement is so cold when it’s cold outside. We still do not have warm air through the vents.

They just threw my grievance back in my cell from the charge on 12/13, saying that they would refund the cost of this med call. But, only one follow up is allowed per fourteen days of a visit. Well, my first sick call was in July, and the others were due to the lack of care post-op.

I got my shower a little while ago and traded for some more coffee. I feel a little warmer, and can try again to write my story to CPS. It is harder to do than I thought it would be, to relive all of the injustice that happened to our family.

Allow God to break the outer self

 Psalm 136  King James Version (KJV) 136 O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. 2 O give thanks unto the God of gods: for his mercy endureth for ever. 3 O give thanks to the Lord of lords: for his mercy endureth for ever.


Psalm 136
King James Version (KJV)
136 O give thanks unto the Lord; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever.
2 O give thanks unto the God of gods: for his mercy endureth for ever.
3 O give thanks to the Lord of lords: for his mercy endureth for ever.

12/30/13

 

Dear Rochelle,

God is love. That is what God wants all men and women to know. As God’s children, we search for love, but often don’t know where to look. It’s hard for us to understand His love because it comes freely. We think there is always a price for love. Why? Well, we often equate sex for love. Sex should only be a by-product of our love as man and wife, not what comes first. We have replaced God’s love with empty words. We want to find satisfaction and we think sex is the answer, but we can never be fulfilled in this way.

From partner to partner we look, but our answers cannot be found in ‘man’. This is one way God breaks the outer self, to show us that we are not in control. Time after time He shows us. It is only in knowing God that our emptiness subsides. When our outer self is broken, then we receive great joy, a feeling beyond the flesh, beyond explanation. It is the one ture love that we should seek first, and then we will be equally yoked with a partner.

Now, don’t think that it isn’t that I don’t desire you, Rochelle. You are never far from my thoughts. My wanting you burns deep, wanting once again to be intimate with you. I now know that my love for you is pure, as it has moved beyond the simple physical. Intimacy as husband and wife is a pouring out of God’s love; His spirit being in them both to become one before God. There is no shame in God’s eyes so why should be ashamed in front of each other? Our society has become so corrupt that we no longer live for God. His love then becomes bound inside us, and cannot be released.

The outer self has to be disciplined and broken to pieces in order for God’s spirit to be released. We need to allow God to be the blacksmith, and bend us in His fire to be made anew.  We have to lay ourselves before God, and give ourselves up, seeking Him intimately. Only then will you find the true love that you seek.

They say 2 hours of sleep is normal if you don’t exercise (111 days in isolation)

I have started to scare myself with how much joy I have now for God.
You are such a harbor me; through all of these trials you’ve never wavered.
I feel our hearts are together always, even through these walls of cement.

They came today for the sick call I wrote ten days ago.
They also answered my request forms saying they won’t give me copies of my medical records.
I have to write to Raleigh’s Department of Corrections, so if you can do that, maybe they will give them to you. They took my blood work on November 19th. I can’t get through to them how much pain this is, and they will do nothing but just tell me to expect pain, to work out, like I haven’t been trying. No one actually does anything. But, I will try to hang on in faith, and give God my burdens.

Praise God! He is moving mountains through you, Rochelle! On our limited canteen list it was now offering for us to purchase multi-vitamins and glucosamine! We were never allowed to get vitamins until now! He is working mightily through you. I wrote to the unit manager giving thanks and asking if they could please allow us to get fish oil.

12/20/13

I was the psychologist today for about 15 minutes. I explained about the sleep deprivation and the lighting, and the extreme cold and she said that 2 hours of sleep at a time was normal without any strenuous activity. Even after I explained my depression, bouts of crying and hopelessness, she said that she couldn’t help and that it didn’t warrant a full psychological evaluation.

She said that things would be better once I’m out of isolation. REALLY? I only have about 90 more days.

The only way to get any version of ‘help’ is if I try to hurt myself or others. Great.

We went outside this morning. IT was so great to finally get outside. I could smell wood burning! It was so homey and reminded me of the fires we would burn sometimes. The leaves and wood smelled so real! I’ve not smelled that in three years now.

12/22/13

I see the importance of celebrating the birth of our Lord now. Before it was more selfish in nature, but this is much bigger; it’s about showing love to others to spread God’s unending love to all. I wish you all a Merry Christmas and may His love fill your hearts as He has mine.

I now have NO idea who had been treating me or if he was even a doctor

kindness

12/16/13

I tried to sleep, but can’t get more than two hours at a time, due to the constant slamming of the door.

The CO’s just let it slam, and I guess the deprivation of sound is really taking its toll, so it’s like a gun shot.

At 3, 4 and 5 a.m. and of course, all through the day, but it’s the early hours that truly affect me the most.

It would be so easy for them to fix the release to catch softer, but that is too much to ask.

AT 7:30 a.m., the guard came to take me to medical. He stood there and waited for me to pee, and then belly chained and shackled me up.

Upon arriving  I am introduced to a man that was actually Dr. McIntyre. This hasn’t been the man I’ve been seeing for the past few months.  I truly had no idea that this man, Labor was not the doctor. I don’t really even know who ‘Labor’ is, now. He never wore a name plate as this man before me now was. I have no idea who was treating me or if he had ANY credentials to do so.

The Dr. asked me questions, and then agreed that I needed more fiber. Then, he had me take some liquid (God only knows what that was), and he said it would be quick to help, but nothing happened. I laid down and waited, and waited. Finally, five hours later, some relief, but still a sharp pain opposite the hernia area. I’m afraid there is a blockage.

I went ahead and wrote a grievance about the door, and I think it must really be like PTSD because I actually jump when these doors slam. People need to know that this type of purposeful treatment is wrong. Why doesn’t PETA focus more on people – they could probably get a lot done…In the back of my head is pain, and in my temples. I think this is from sleep deprivation. I don’t understand why other inmates don’t fight more to get any justice or relief. These feelings keep intensifying and I stay focused on God, even through the pain and suffering.  I asked a couple of CO’s to please not slam the door and they actually listened. I got a few more hours of sleep. Praise God!

 

12/17/13

I’ve put my 6th request on my door to see a psychologist. I still have that lump on my left side, and things aren’t right, either, but the nurse hasn’t come back. I did win 29 stamps on football picks. Go Ravens! They beat the Lions. They just talked about sausage balls on the radio. I miss it when we would make those!! All the Christmas goodies you would make – peanut butter cookies, pumpkin pie, fudge, chocolate covered pretzels- you loved to cook, and I loved to eat!

We were such a good team! I should be more thankful for what I do have, like my health slowly starting to come back. You in my life. This bible course that you ordered for me! These surroundings get me down so much, and everything you send helps me to focus and not let it all over take me.

12/18/13

Your visit today was SO needed; it seems so long since your last visit. Your energy helps keep me going. You didn’t say anything about the boys; are they acting any better lately? It seems you hardly ever complain about them anymore. It shows such growth in you! God helps us to see our own weaknesses when we pay attention to what about others we find aggravating. He is brought us so much closer. You could have forgotten me and went away…