Happy 21st Birthday Alyssa

Happy 21st Birthday Alyssa

Happy 21st Birthday Alyssa!  You are an odd number on an odd year.  I know that irritates the crap out of you.  I also am aware that you are a “legal” adult.  In fact, by the 8th of March, I will officially have more “adult” children then I do little people.  That’s a gut punch for a mama.

Over the last 21 years, you have broken my body, my heart, my mind, and my spirit.  You have also given me much joy, happiness, excitement, and laughter.  It has been a journey in raising you because I feel like I am raising myself.

You take such pride in looking like your daddy but acting like your mama.  What you don’t know is that you very much have my younger self-tendencies.  Lucky for you, I usually know what you are doing before you do it.

I have let you fall a few times…just to see how you get up and dust yourself off.  That has been hard on you and on me.  As a mama, I want to protect you in all that you do.  I want to keep you safe even if that means keeping you safe from yourself.

My prayer is that you continue to grow in the light of the Lord.  That you remember who you are and Whose you are.  I want you to know that you merely breathing brings me such joy that I cannot explain.

This is the year you will probably move out and start living your life out from under our roof.  Please be mindful of your self-worth.  You are a treasure and never let anyone steal your Light.  In fact, never let that Light dim because you can do anything you set your mind too.

You are loved.

The Restoration Series: Jonathan’s Walk


Oh man, this hurt my feelings.  Seriously, I am not even joking.  I think, when you are living in a bubble, that this stuff never crosses a person’s mind.  Honestly, it would not have crossed my mind…had I not been living it.

Sadly, our family is living this reality.  I think about what my family member is doing, on a daily basis.  In all reality, I worry about her future and her choices.  Behind the bars, she says all the right things.  She knows what to say to get from point A to point B.  Also, she has a plan for when she gets out.  What we all wonder is is this real?  Will she be able to execute the plan?  Is she just talking the talk and can she walk the walk?

This series rocked my thought process.

Then, there is a moment when she will get out…then what?  Will she be able to acclimate to the outside?  Can she let us all rally around her and care for her?  That is my whole family’s desire.  Then, I hear about institutionalization and that thought scares me.  Scares the crap out of me.  I don’t want that for her.

Heck, no one wants the life she chose…not even her.  I hope this family succeeds.  Also, I hope my family succeeds.  I pray that those who are trying to live life, outside of the confinement of jail/prison, succeed.

Sadly, I also know the reality.  I encourage you to expand your thoughts and watch this series.  It really will open the eyes of those who do not live the lives that some people live.  Remember, to always have mercy, love, forgive, and know that God is our ultimate Judge.

Official Trailer: The Restoration Series

You can sign up to watch the rest of the series from this link:

More about the series:

For years, Jonathan has been in prison. As a result, he has missed milestone moments with his family. He wasn’t there for his daughter’s first day of school or a thousand little experiences with his wife and as a father, he is devastated to be separated from those he loves most.

Jonathan has been looking forward to his release from prison for over a decade. So many life events have been missed and he is now ready to be with his wife and kids again. Of course, this transition isn’t going to be easy. The odds are against him: with over half of prisoners returning to prison within two years, Jonathan is aware of the challenge set before him.

Still, he is determined to take the skills he has learned into the world outside of incarceration and stay there, helping build the community that he is part of for years to come.
Prison Fellowship presents The Restoration Series: Jonathan’s Walk, a 5-part documentary film series following one man as he re-enters his community after 15 years in prison. It demonstrates in imagery, powerful storytelling and social interaction what it means to be human and the shared need of all people to see communities restored.
Though America is home to only 4% of the world’s population, we house more than 20% of its prisoners. Recidivism–the tendency of a criminal to reoffend—is out of control. The Restoration Series tells the story of men and women who have experienced The Academy, a revolutionary in-prison program that is combatting incarceration and recidivism head on.

Guidelines for you to use in 2019:

“Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255:  “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”):  Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway.  Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation.  I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.


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