A series of novels to celebrate victim/ survivors, advocates, crisis line workers. and those who help them.


The Blog of Author Joyce Godwin Grubbs.

THIS BLOG REFLECTS THE PERSONAL WRITINGS OF AUTHOR JOYCE GODWIN GRUBBS ABOUT HER LIFE EXPERIENCES, OPINIONS, ACHIEVEMENTS, LEGACIES, AND HER PASSIONS.

IT INCLUDES POSTS ABOUT HER NOVELS AND NON-FICTION BOOKS.

Finally a series of novels that celebrates the “champion” in victim/survivors, advocates, and crisis-line workers. Each novel is a “Walk on the Wild Side” through the eyes and life experiences in the career of the author.  Real cases have been “fictionalized”  through creative writing to protect the identities of the victim/survivors, workers, underground techniques of protection, and transports,  and locations.

Author Joyce Godwin Grubbs, Author from the Grassroots, speaks for the victims and survivors in her  series “Greyhound Lady Walking”. These are novels that embrace real cases the author was professionally involved with and they are skillfully woven into the fabric of creative fiction.  They ferret out the interactions of male and female struggles to understand and support each other in the most powerful yet diverse ways.

After 40 + years as an advocate/counselor, and 27 years of collaboration with  decorated police officer Trula Ann Godwin, also a sex crime expert, the novels are available on Amazon Kindle E-books as “ suspense”.  As of 2015 the PRINTED versions are no longer available.  The genre of suspense was chosen because while the author was working in the shelters and on the crisis lines for years, it became apparent these are the books women turn to for escape. Now that the Greyhound Lady Walking suspense series is available, many consider it “literally is used to escape” as they learn the ins and outs of techniques for protection, planning, and avoiding the pitfalls often encountered when trying to escape safely.  The “first hand stories” of how others successfully negotiated the dangers is a subtle education on how other women have survived. It is often a validation that they can move on, whether it is into the underground, or to confront and win the battle against their abuser..

The author founded non-profit organizations which helped secure high risk victims into the underground, and use of an underground secure mail system for victim/survivors only. 

www.authorjoycegodwingrubbs.webs.com

 TITLES ARE AVAILABLE ON AMAZON BY SEARCHING: Joyce Godwin Grubbs Ebooks.

 ****SOME BOOKS BY THE AUTHOR WERE WRITTEN AS A GHOST WRITER AND THUS NOT AVAILABLE UNDER HER NAME. *****

Loving Pride

Greyhound Lady Walking

Three Times A Woman

A Woman’s Revenge is Love

Before Your Very Eyes

The Monday Night Flight Club

If This Isn’t Love

Mysteries of the Dogwood Diaries

Jason’s Love is W.A.R.

Fifth Wheel of Suspense

The Wrong/Strong Side of the Tracks

The Last Author’s Club

Footsteps Out of Darkness: the Annabelle Kindig Story

The Wards of Kilbourne Hill (Young Adult) Not a domestic violence book. Rather it embodies the growing pains of adolescents and many of the challenges of re-location, military parent separations, fear, prejudice, bullying and the bridge of generations to be a positive in their lives.)

glw Fifth wheel of suspense plain redo cover kdp

THE ROLE OF GREYHOUNDS IN THE SUSPENSE SERIES and TITLE.

Dex

Our #1, first adoption, and it transformed our preference for breeds. As our first greyhound, Dex, “Justune’s Dixie” was a Grade A champion and a most unusual communicator. He was a thrill to watch and one never tired of watching him run his self-designated race path in our half acre yard. He was retired from the track due to a severely broken leg during a five dog pile up on a curve of a dangerous race track, and we were told he might never run again but would be a great pet. He had a new-technique surgery for his kind of break, rehabbed himself, and ran like the wind, as evidenced in this picture. He was the heart and soul of our greyhound experience, and why we adopted two more after our loss of him.

Author’s first rescue:  “DEX” (Justune’s Dixie was a Grade A champion) 

While the greyhounds inspired the format used to support the stories of the Greyhound Lady Walking suspense series, it is not “about them”, but rather about the victim/survivors saved using their adoptions as a ruse to transport high risk victims.

However it is important to explain that the parallels between the greyhounds and victim/survivors is very real. One learns a great deal about this amazing breed during the course of the series.

The plight of the racing greyhound is not unlike that of domestic violence. Both are victims of a lifestyle of abuse, pain, and perceived unending control that often ends in death. That of course, is the very definition of a victim of domestic violence. 

The novels by author Joyce Godwin Grubbs bring these two worlds together; not on a collision course, but on a beneficial and healing course to better their lives. Known for her convoluted plots, the reader needs to keep a heightened awareness of clues that are both subtle and yet often “in your face”. Speed reading is not recommended.

The  unexpected beauty of the novels is that they are uplifting and filled with humor, love and power. They give us a glimpse of what “could be” and “what is”.  Graphic descriptions of the painful events are not used or necessary to convey the fear and tragedies, thus reducing “Triggers”.  First and foremost, they are an exciting and edgy variety of mysteries, suspense, and romance, that keep the plots on a roller coaster ride for the reader and then  bringing them to a breathless conclusion.

glw dogs

BABY DOLL GRUBBS AT HOME IN HER “SOONER” GEAR AND BIG BUDDY GRUBBS, IN HIS OKIE STATE “COWBOY” OSU GEAR.

Re-named Baby Doll when adopted, her racing name and championships are found under “Puff Tuff”. Oklahoma born, she was the perfect fit for the two Okies, the author and her husband. Our @3 adoption.

bb3

Shown here at the ripe old age of 12 is Big Buddy who never raced but was named by the breeder as Archer Evan. It was said that he could have been aptly named as “Forest Gump” he was so loyal and easy going. The author said it could also have been appropriate to name him Evander Holyfield after the great boxer whom Mike Tyson took a chunk out of on his ear. Big Buddy had a small chunk missing out of his left ear. No doubt he encounter some “un-friendlys” in his “traveling days” when he blithely escaped his neglectful previous owner time and again, thus becoming available for adoption at age 4 and proving himself to be a most wonderful greyhound. Our #2 adoption.

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A Cop’s Letter for Youth of today; Ferguson, Baltimore, NOW Charlottesville. Wherever Injustice Prevails.


 

TRULA’S OPEN LETTER TO THE YOUTH OF TODAY (A Legacy Story)

Pioneer police woman in Iowa, Trula Ann Godwin http://sdrc.lib.uiowa.edu/iwa/findingaids/html/GodwinTrula.html

Pioneer police woman in Iowa, Trula Ann Godwin
http://sdrc.lib.uiowa.edu/iwa/findingaids/html/GodwinTrula.html

 

The words delivered by Officer Trula Ann Godwin,  Davenport Police Department

In recent national news coverage, a young man was heralded as a hero for rescuing a couple from a burning mobile home in Mississippi. What made this story so spectacular to the media was the fact that the young man was African-American, the couple was white, and outside their mobile home flew a confederate flag. Add to that information the fact the young man was returning home just having viewed the movie “Rosewood”. (http://www.displaysforschools.com/history.html)

Here was a young man who had just seen a movie about a white hate mob wiping out an entire community of African-Americans leaving no trace that the community had ever existed. Suddenly he witnesses a burning trailer flying a Confederate flag that often is today’s emblem of membership in such a hate group.

This young man not only stopped to help, but he saved the two people inside which required going into the flaming inferno, and then giving them CPR. The couple inside told the media that medical personnel told them, another two or three minutes and they could not have been saved. The husband who was pulled to safety first said when he looked at the burning trailer, he was not sure he would have risked going back in for his wife as it looked so hopeless.

The young hero made a decision based on his hope that there is good in this world, though it may only have been in him. He did not judge the situation by what he saw, or what he could have “thought” he saw. Recently reunited with the couple he saved, he was embraced by them both, thanked and assured no Confederate flag would ever fly at their house again. Even though their flag had no association with a hate group or intended racist attitude, they now understood what it meant to him.

My challenge to the African-American youth of today is the same as my challenge to the White youth , Asian youth, Native American youth and indeed all youth. Take responsibility for all that you think, believe and act on. Do not let hate, bigotry and prejudice from the past or present lead you to destroy the future. Be strong in your pursuit of justice, and let it be justice for all.

Have faith and hope in this nation and its future. Never let anyone take your heritage from you. You were born in the greatest nation with the most freedom of any place in this world. Do not let negative history become so ingrained in you that you destine yourself, your family and this country to repeat it’s mistakes.

Be responsible to communicate with others, to bury fear of being different, and in fact learn to embrace it. It is your birthright and your true “Heritage”.

Believing in your future, I thank you.

Trula Ann Godwin.

***

 

This letter was delivered as part of my sister’s last career speech. As a police officer she loved this invitation to speak more than any other. As a white police officer she felt most honored to be asked. It was the invitation to speak at the yearly Conference of Black Youth. Indeed, though she was ill from cancer treatments, she delivered the speech as her last official outreach before leaving the force after twenty seven years to battle her breast cancer.

 She always wanted to be sure whatever she was going to say, was said in a manner that conveyed respect and lifted her listeners up. She never forgot where she came from and that she had lived growing up first- hand in the segregated south. She wanted to be sure that when they honored her by asking her to speak, she honored them in what she would say.

Trula had learned firsthand the bitterness and pain of racism when she married the first black police officer from an adjoining city. His home was fired on and his family threatened when he first went on the force.   Each served on integrated police forces of bordering states, and were shunned by many. 

Having suffered discrimination  being only the second woman to come onto the police force, she had the experience of male officers refusing to work with her because she was female, and she had already been initiated by the Blue Code punitive retribution among officers, when she reported a policeman’s abuse of a detained black suspect.

Her new marriage caused a firestorm and she now had to suffer rejection from long time friends and fellow officers. She was the butt of cruel and vicious pranks, even in the police station where some peers were among the pranksters.

She believed in expressing herself in poetry and one of the poems she wrote and dedicated to her husband follows:

Jim Flowers

DARK OPPRESSION

As dark as the night,

as dark as his hope

His very being cries out

for recognition beyond his hue.

At first, afraid to question,

bitter acceptance with restraint.

Born into penance to be paid

by generation after generation–

the tally never balanced.

Developing Mind, Body and Dreams

until the day of realization

That his dreams are for dreaming,

His mind is to waste.

His body is different…

And during Life’s struggle of Hope

for the blending of humanity

He questions his burdened strife–

and cries out..

“What seed was sown to beget

the destruction of My heritage?

Nourish the continuing growth of ignorance–

the indignities that bring

Despair to mind

Hate to heart

Dreams that become

Nightmares to the oppressed?”

*******************************************************

Such was the shared legacy she experienced and now shares with you. Cancer silenced her and stilled the fingers that had so long labored to record the story of her life and experiences. She can no longer pen her unique life events, and her written words intended for a biography  disappeared after her death. Her legacy lives on in the lives and issues she challenged and changed.

 

Trula three collage

The dignity of her last words, her personal eulogy if you will, further illustrates that she overcame the hate and the vicious attacks and died more than a survivor, she died a victor.

 

A EULOGY FOR TRULA BY TRULA 1940-2002

At the funeral services there were simple flyers handed out with a picture of a field of flowers on them. This simple statement was left as her parting thoughts.

BY TRULA

To each and everyone who touched my life each in your own way, I want to say “thank you….a very special thank you”.

Some touched me with love and compassion, standing beside me through trials and tribulations. Others became my inspiration, helping me to view life through a different light or guide me to a new path…a path yet to be explored.

There are many who touched my life as an instrument of learning, therefore a short but impressionable time.

Yet others touched me with tears or pain, you too were important.You taught me tolerance, compassion and forgiveness.

Each in your own way, loved ones, friends and acquaintances made me what I am. I grew to like myself…because of you.

trulas poem of faith

                                                      

My sister Trula succumbed to complications of breast cancer after years of struggle December 23, 2002. It ended her long career in her beloved police work unceremoniously, and with regret. In the moment she could have said anything to anyone via her eulogy and funeral, the words above are there to tell you the essence of who she was at her death. I think she was very generous in her good-bye.

Trulas%20News%20Clip%20at%20Funeral

 

 

 

NEW%20EULOGY

 

 

Posted in betrayal, Confederate Flag, Conference on Black Youth, Healing,, marriage, police woman, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

“I’m up in the attic, Joyce” 8 one page stories about relationships. No Judgments.


                            

                                        “I AM UP IN THE ATTIC, JOYCE”

DEDICATED TO:
The first dedication is to my Husband, Herman “Jim Kent” Grubbs. He has spent a lot of time in “The Attic,” since marrying me in 1962, and there-by served as an inspiration for this article.

50 years and these two Okies are still together with only one blip on our marital radar when we remarried after 30 years on April Fool's day. LOl

Fell in love with “Jim Kent”  and married Herman Grubbs.  ( Long and hilarious story; Yes same guy.  Go figure.

The second dedication is the wives of pastors who serve as inspirations and practical examples of what it takes to keep their husbands out of the attic.
To my daughters, granddaughters, in-laws and out-laws, in hopes their husbands will never live out a day in The Attic.

    *********

Foreword;

In the 1970’s I was part of the Christian Women’s Talk Circuit in Iowa and enjoyed many trips around the state sharing my testimony and telling the stories of experiences in my years of being a Christian; both successful and un-successful. Looking back now, from the perspective of the intervening years until today in 2017, I am astonished at the path my journey led me, but ever grateful I still have time, at age 74, to share these events and thoughts with you.

It is a timely opportunity, as from this vantage point, I am now a great-grandmother and life has hit me with many zingers, and slapped me around with life-events and choices. But the discovery of this long-ago intended booklet, found in the bottom of one of my innumerable plastic bins of “stuff” I saved to go through “someday,” caused a moment or reverent pause. I considered that this was written in the 1970’s, some 47 years ago but never finished. Oh my, what a come-uppance I got just reading it again. . I felt it was as though I wrote myself a message for the future to learn from, and possibly to humble me, realizing the roller coaster my faith has been on between times.

The original typing paper of the 70’s is faded from age, the text was written on a manual typewriter, and many grammatical errors are scratched through with pen while  others are left untouched, or perhaps unnoticed. The drawing was by hand with a ball point, and almost “pioneer style.”


It is my desire to reveal not only some truths, but some guidance, and I believe it has some added appeal because even back then, I had a wicked sense of humor.

ABOUT THAT ATTIC THING

 YIKES, I FOUND THE SCRIPTURE MEANT JUST FOR ME; FROM GOD

Proverbs 21.9 It is better to live in the corner of an attic than with a crabby woman in a lovely home. (Living Bible Paraphrase)

The scripture you have just read, once devastated my life when I read it. I had always known that I would find “my verse” somewhere if I just kept looking. Sure enough I did. Surely God must have intended that verse just for me! At least I thought so at the time I discovered it!

I shared it with my husband and he was quick to grab hold and put it to good use. It would only take a short statement like, “I’m on my way upstairs, Joyce.” to let me know I was treading on thin ice about something (we have a one story house.) What better signal in public to keep us both from being embarrassed? The only thing that might give us away would be his ear to ear grin, and my red face. 

I have learned you can send your husband (intended or not)  to the attic for a variety of reasons, and a dozen different ways. In fact, I have found he often has company by way of the children joining him, and maybe even some of our friends who happen by on one of my “NO COMMENT” days.

These revelations are a sharing experience and I would like to tell you about them as one might reveal to a friend over a cup of coffee. Some things which I have learned to put in practice. The end-game being to help you put into practice, as I have, the secrets I have learned to keep my attic empty and dusty (most of the time.)

It has been my privilege to hear the Word preached by some of the most dynamic pastors living today I give  thanks for that to an active program of guest pastoral speakers at our churches. Some of them are famous, others only a few may have heard. I am blessed therefore, with a good foundation of Biblical teachings and memorable illustrations from life, to help me live a victorious, joyful, and fulfilling Christian life. If any of the anecdotes sound familiar, they might have made their way around the “church circuits” a few time. (You didn’t think all those pastors give only original stories to teach from the pulpit, did you?)

I am certain that if I had a ready guide where I could just turn to a page marked “Black day, –follow Plan A” it would have been beneficial. That is what I hope you will find in the pages of I’m UP In The Attic, Joyce”. A quick guide to memorable little stories and solutions that can meet many occasions of need and keep us from becoming “Crabby Christians.”

HOMES HAVE ATTICS
CHURCHES HAVE ATTICS
FRIENDS HAVE ATTICS

********

WHEN I AM TOO BIG FOR MY BRITCHES;  PEANUTS FOR ME
 
As a little girl I was big on reading biographies. I remember the first autobiography I read was about Gorge Washington Carver. It had been written with my third grade level in mind, and yet there was something in my childhood that always recalled that particular person as very special and to this day.  Now I am age 74, and  he still is.

In the 1970’s I heard a new story about this special man. It touched and enriched my adult life as his simplified book had marked my childhood. It was the simple telling of one of his prayers.

“Oh Great Creator” he prayed, “Teach me about the Universe”.
The answer came back from the God, “Come now George, you’re far too simple to understand my complex universe.”
“Then Lord, please teach me about the world.”
To that, God chuckled and replied, “George, you’re still too big for your britches!”
George meditated on these things and then, in totally sincere prayer said, “Then Dear God, teach me about something my own size; the Peanut”


AND GOD DID.  Never before or since has God opened up the abundance of knowledge about the peanut as he did for George Washington Carver.

You see, often we expect, demand, and try to wheedle things from God that far exceed our abilities and God in His patience waits for us to hear His loving chuckles, and get down to praying for opportunities and blessings that are “just our size.”

AUTHOR’S NOTE: Carver was a frail, sickly child, kidnapped and sold with his mother into the Deep South. Unable to do field work, he worked in the household. As a child he was known as a “plant doctor” and became famous in his adult life for over 300 patents for items made with peanuts.

      ********

                                                 NO NEVER ALONE    

How many times have I heard elderly patients, teenagers, parents, kids, rich people, poor people, majority groups, minority groups, lost people, saved people, back-slidden people, and hip, cool, and full of bull people, all come together in their one common denominator, “Aloneness”  Being lonely, plain and simple.

No matter how reserved, polished, and all together a person may appear, there is a time of life, or an hour of the day, or night, when suddenly they are overwhelmed by the deafening silence of loneliness.


This may happen in the midst of a full stadium of people, a packed pew in a packed church, or in the middle of a king-size bed next to the one you love. It may even be at the deathbed of that one person who said they would always stand by you and be there. !

My friend, I am here to tell you that for the Christian, there is hope and inspiration in the fact that the Bible records “I will never leave you” 366 times. (Let that sink in) Get it in black and white now. Remember it in numbers and in letters. THREE HUNDRED AND SIXTY-SIX TIMES, the Bible records God’s promise, “I WILL NEVER LEAVE YOU”. Did you get it that time? AGAIN?!!

“I WILL NEVER LEAVE YOU!”
“I WILL NEVER LEAVE YOU!” “I WILL NEVER LEAVE YOU!”
“I WILL NEVER LEAVE YOU!”

366 TIMES! ONCE FOR EVERY DAY OF THE YEAR AND AN EXTRA FOR YOUR BIRTHDAY OR ANY OTHER DAY YOU MAY NEED EXTRA FOR A “CRISIS IN YOUR YEAR!”

Not only does the Bible give us God’s Word that He will never leave us alone, it even tells us that we’ll have other company. Hebrews the 1st chapter, the 14th verse tells us that He even gives angels to minister to those who are to receive His salvation. If you are a child of God that means there is going to be a crowd (don’t we always say three is a crowd? Father, Son and Holy Ghost.)

********

WHEN I NOMINATE MYSELF FOR SAINTHOOD!

There are many times in our lives when we just cannot help but pat ourselves on the back for the good things we have been doing. (The fact that we have to do the patting ourselves should tell us something.) We become very pious about the religious things we do. How many church committee meetings we make, how many times we remember to prod hubby into upping the amount of donations and tithes to the church, or because we made the “best dressed list” at church this year (according to our own high opinions of ourselves.)

I have learned that this attitude can be disastrous not only in one’s family relationship but in our friendships outside the home. They have attics too, you know.)
A motto to bear in mind during these times of pitfalls, would be:
DON’T BE SO HEAVENLY MINDED, THAT YOU ARE OF NO EARTHLY GOOD!


After much contemplation on the greatest problems in my life, I narrowed it down to the following three: ——ME, MYSELF AND I.

I FOUND THAT I WAS VERY MUCH LIKE THE Devil who suffered from “I” problems.

This brings me to my favorite story about an elderly black minister in the south, who was a man of great experience and love for the Lord. When asked in sincere fashion by a seeker of his wisdom, “Pastor, how do I avoid falling into sin and know when I am being led astray? How do I know I’m walking with the Lord?”

Stooped, and yet determinedly still walking in a fashion causing the young person questioning him, to have too hurry to keep up, he said, “Well now son, I’ll tell you da’ truth. The fact of the matter is this; “If’’n you gets up in the mawnin’ and you doesn’t meet the ole’ Debil, it means you is a walkin’ WITH him.”

I have to ask, when you get up in the morning, who do you walk with? Meet? Just saying…….

                                                                      *********

                       WHEN POWERFUL PRAYER BECOMES PITIFUL PRAYER

It has been my sad experience to fall into many of Satan’s pitfalls and one of the deepest, most dangerous of his entrapments is the “PITIFUL PRAYER PIT”. When I have realized where I’m trapped I often used some of the following illustrations to help myself get up and out of those despairing holes. After all, as is often said, “When you are at rock bottom, the only way to look is up.”

There was a certain Great White Hunter in Africa who was really quite sold on himself. He believed all his own publicity (which actually consisted of his own fabrications about himself, and to himself.) One day as he stumbled and bumbled through the jungle pretending to be intent on a prey (when he was actually dreading the thought he might actually be confronted and have to defend himself,  he tripped over a hidden root and found himself flat on his back. He also found himself looking into the eyes and mouth of the most gigantic lion ever born (or so it would seem if one is on the bottom looking up.)

Remembering his gun, he quickly reached out only to find it was lost in the fall. What to do?

He looked frantically for the native guides only to realize they had fled for their own lives leaving the hunter alone to face his prey. Being without any other recourse left to him, the hunter quickly gulped, bowed his head, and without much familiarity, prayed a frantic prayer. “Lord, please give this lion a Christian attitude.”

Hearing nothing more from the lion, the man lifted his head and to his amazement, his prayer had already been answered, in a fashion. The Lion had bowed his head and was giving thanks for the food he was about to receive…….

The moral of the story is this….Many times we as Christians begin to believe our own self-righteous image is the real us. We begin to believe we can take on the old prey, Satan, all by ourselves. When we trip and fall and suddenly are looking into those hungry eyes and we are near those dangerous teeth, perhaps even smelling the foul odor of sin, we suddenly remember God!! But not until we have exhausted every other avenue and we are sure there is no other weapon or people who will stand with us.

There comes a big shock. When we pray and we are really not specific because our prayer life is a little rusty and we’re used to just winging it, or bluffing our way through our conversation with God, we think we can just give generalizations. No praise, no thanks, no reverence, no sincerity. BUT GOD ALWAYS ANSWERS OUR PRAYERS-AND SOMETIMES IT IS WITH A LITTLE “GOD HUMOR.” (I would not lie.) Often we must pay the drastic consequences of our sins. Such was the experience of our hunter…and too often the sad experience of us, as Christians.

********

 WHEN RATS DESERT MY SINKING SHIP

Things which are easily remembered, and easily repeated, are often brought to mind. For that reason, phrases, poems, slogans, sound-bites, and mottos, always help in times of crisis because they just “pop” into our minds. Here is a little poem that offers short, concise and sensible advice.

LOOK AT OTHERS AND BE DEPRESSED.
LOOK AT SELF, AND BE DISTRESSED.
LOOK AT CHRIST, AND BE BLEST.

Many times I have felt overwhelmed by my feelings or being shut out by people I would like to think of as my friends. It is like the “GAMES PEOPLE PLAY” because it is as though they are saying ‘Well, if you will compromise just this one principle so I (we) will feel more comfortable, we in turn will not give you the old “prude” and “fanatic” routine.”

And when I feel there is a danger of giving in to these temptations, I draw on the little phrase often heard from the pulpit of my home church.

“TOO MANY CHRISTIANS TODAY SIT ON THEIR BLESSED ASSURANCE AND NEVER FIGHT ANY SPIRITUAL BATTLES.”

Let me tell you, this is one Christian whose “blessed assurance” doesn’t need to spread any bigger from sitting, SO I FIGHT !

*********

 THERE ARE CHRISTIANS………..AND THEN, THERE ARE CHRISTIANS

MILK-COW CHRISTIANS
Today we have too many milk–cow Christians. Those are the ones, who like the old milk-cow who is really producing and just gets her bucket full, then kicks it over. Too many Christians are really producing through their witness, then just as the “bucket” gets full and ready for use, they kick the bucket over with sin in their lives.

BILLY GOAT RELIGION:

 I’ve heard so many people complain that they can never get their friends or family to come to their church to visit, and they just cannot understand why. BUT if you listen to them long enough the reason becomes apparent. You will hear things like; “I like my church but..” “I like my pastor but..” “Our deacons are alright, but..” “The preacher’s wife is okay but..” and by the time they finish butting around the things of God, you realize that Billy-Goat religion like that only serves Satan, not God.

THERE ARE THREE KINDS OF CHURCH MEMBERS: 
In any church you can find three basic types of Christians;
SITTERS……..QUITTERS……..AND COMMITTERS !

  • How to tell a Christian from a Hypocrite or Atheist.
  •  Atheist—He has reason to hope—but no hope for that reason.
  • Hypocrite- He has Hope—but no hope for that hope.
  • Christian—He has a reason to hope—and a hope in that reason.

                              A RISEN LIFE IS THE TESTIMONY OF A RISEN LORD! .

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                                                I SHALL NOT BE MOVED

Many times in our Christian walk, we must top, stand firm, and just say to the Tempter, “I shall not be moved! Nor shall I be broken. The greater the affliction that you give to me, the greater the recovery that I shall make. Any affliction you give me is only temporary, and I am eternal through my God who loves me. 

Surely the Vietnam Conflict is one of the most recent major afflictions this country has fast in many years. As any country is made up of her people, so it was that America was represented by her Christian children as well. Many suffered terrible atrocities as well as death, in fulfilling their roles in the armed services.

A memorable and true happening of that time took place at the peak of the negotiations with Hanoi to let the Red Cross Act as observers to check the conditions of our POWS and to allow us to see that they were receiving adequate medical care and not being tortured. Upholding the Geneva Conference was still expected.

Just when our negotiators thought we might have brought things to a point where Hanoi was under such worldwide pressure to allow some of these demands, the rug was pulled right out from under us by the North Vietnam government. They produced an American soldier named Jerry Denton who they filmed confessing, and signing a confession of guilt for willful aggression against the Vietnamese people. It totally reversed the pressure from Hanoi to Washington.

Many people studied that film over and over to try and determine if Denton had been tortured, drugged or made to say the things against his country. The most devastating thing of all was his statement that they had not been tortured and were being cared for. This closed the door to the Red Cross being allowed into actually making contact with the prisoners and being able to check their well-being.

People who knew Jerry Denton knew that something had to be wrong as he would not have said those things freely. He loved his God and his country. No one could actually prove it was him being a “turncoat” to save himself, although they felt perhaps his speech was deliberate and maybe somewhat slurred.

Suddenly his friend was wide awake and was sitting up in bed! The lights! Everyone had assumed that Jerry kept blinking because the lights were so bright and that his speech was so deliberate because he was sick or drugged. His friend, however, now knew the secret—why Jerry Denton had “confessed” for the Viet Cong on tape. He quickly called Jerry Denton’s family and they helped make contact with the right authorities.

By early the next day, they were viewing the film in slow motion and they could see it all clearly; Jerry Denton was signaling with Morse code by blinking his eyes. There for all the world to see was the message – I HAVE BEEN TORTURED! His words had been deliberately spoken because of the phenomenal amount of concentration it had taken to say the words the Viet Cong must hear, to allow it to be taped and sent out. Yet to blink out the very important message that they were being tortured while speaking, was so difficult as to almost be a miracle.

Because Jerry Denton refused to look at his imprisonment as “insurmountable, and because he would not be broken, he rose out of his temporary affliction to make the greatest recovery, Because of his action, observers were eventually let into Hanoi, and all the prisoners who had been isolated everywhere were brought together in Hanoi and even allowed to meet for prayer and were given a Bible.

Like a tree planted by the waters, Jerry Denton would not be moved.

                                                                       Will You?

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                       PERSONAL AFTER-WORD FROM THE AUTHOR                               

I do not choose to be flippant nor entertaining in this last entry. That is because in the 47 years since I first wrote the first draft for “I Am Up in the Attic. Joyce” I lived what I believe completed living “5 lives in one.” Literally. It wasn’t always pleasant, or pretty, or anything I would ever want others to go through, but it was my walk; my path; my time with my God. Many of those things I could not expect you to understand, nor could I justify by saying, “You don’t understand because you didn’t walk in my shoes.” As I am so fond of saying as a character in my novels, “It is what it is”.

During those years I finally came face to face with that “child” who had been sexually molested, the one that was bullied at school, hid who her family was when possible, because they were dysfunctional with alcohol or domestic violence.

It was the night at my church when a new pastor’s wife was leading a women’s group and suddenly out of the blue said, “I’m going to ask Joyce to come now and share her testimony with us.”  I could not move. I could not speak. I had never told anyone my testimony, let alone “a real one.” Here in the sanctuary on our church I could not get up and lie or gloss over the real conversion story so, “what to do?” She did not yet know me so her ignorance led to what was probably, in hind sight, God’s will.

In those next moments, I gave an honest report of my conversion and the obstacles that had led me to that moment. I did not name names, I did not implicate others, I simply gave for the first time the information that I was sexually abused as a child. My mother, who attended the church was not in attendance which helped, I had never shared my story with her, and in fact never did.  How do you tell your mother your first abuser was known to her, a member of her family and a minister?

From that first sharing of a very abbreviated testimony, I began to get calls and contacts to please come share my testimony or to talk with someone who was struggling with similar circumstances. The opportunities, which felt more like demands, grew until I once was the keynote speaker for a Baptist denominations weekend women’s retreat at a college where I was shocked to see more than a hundred women, and find out later my talks over 3 days were recorded, and available for sale.

The expression, “The horse is out of the gate now” came to mind, and I began to ache for the women who would come up to me after such meetings and revelations, and begin with “I have never told anyone this, but………….it happened to me.”  Then the ache began to involve me in counseling so I began to take workshops, and expand my knowledge about the recovery and lack thereof victims experienced; including myself.  Men and women victims women were common as my talks expanded their audience inclusions and were sometimes secular as well as faith based.

I began to make time for the talk circuit and one occasion when I would have driven tired, my son Steve asked to go with me. Nervous that he would hear the “testimony” I finally agreed, prayed, and since it was being held at a hotel conference room, he was easily distracted by the video game room he saw when we entered, and it took care of itself.  Not long after I would sit all three children down with my husband present for support, and tell them the story lest they heard it second hand.

 Then a defining moment happened. My sister, Trula Ann Godwin, was raped in her home after the birth of her 5th child while her husband was at work. Talk about a catalyst. My life changed as hers did.  My path was no longer my own but traveled by everyone. It was becoming a journey which was leading me in definite ways and sometimes bringing me into conflict with my husband’s patience and understanding of what he had learned when my testimony was “out there”. I would later learn much of what he and I experienced was typical of a pattern of behavior and challenges victims go through after their assaults. It would become known as “Rape Trauma Syndrome” but not in time to benefit my sister nor myself at that immediate time of need.  It would lap over to my marital status and challenges of a relationship built on new information. One of those situations where neither could verbalize the problem, because neither knew what the problem was, and wouldn’t for some years.

My sister 17 in Lubbock Texas, then first day as she was sworn in (Davenport, Iowa Police Department.) The third was at the time of her rape, which led her to become a police woman and sex crime expert.

It is something of a miracle to me as I look back from this vantage point of 55 years with my husband, that we made it through some of the most difficult times. I give all the credit to that quiet voice of God that kept telling me that it “would work out” and at the same time telling my husband to “stay the course.”  We both have the benefit of hindsight of 20/20 to look back with, but I must say that in all of this, my husband was the strong one while I fell apart.

My solutions were to “fix” everyone that needed fixing, I could wait for my “fix/healing”. They were the important ones, and I after all, was “disposable”. Such was my mindset, until it wasn’t. By that I mean there was no plan, no definite end game in mind. There was only putting one foot in front of the other and making everyone else’s life work.  There was no fear in the risks of some of the victims I helped, even though it was dangerous, and there were no hesitations on my part to take on more and more. Putting them underground, moving them to safe housing, these were priorities.

Finally, after almost 5 years of unrelenting changes, challenges, leaps of faith and literal life changing decisions, God moved in a mighty way for a quiet reunion of the hearts and my husband and I were back on course. The course he had “stayed” while I healed by throwing myself into harm’s way time and time again. We were not the same two people who had blundered into my spiritual warfare with the bogey men of my past. He was not the same man who rigidly dealt with expectations. We were new again, and we fit like two perfectly matched warriors with scars and PTSD, hell bent on living on and finding peace.  AND WE HAVE. 

Our “reconciliation cruise” when our hearts became quiet and in unison again.

I share this because no one should ever think anyone’s life is “perfect or easy”. The strong often cannot share because they know that others would fall or give up who had fixed their eyes on your example. It is in that protection of others and their hopes that we often suffer in some silence to allow them to heal. But do not ever doubt that everyone goes through valleys, climbs mountains, and often fall. It is called, “life”.  

Hot house tomatoes in the winter and homegrown blackberries in the summer for my cereal. Throw in a 20 year history of Greyhound rescue and you have to admit, for a guy who used to hide out in the attic, he has made a great recovery and made my life one that is filled with love.

My husband and I are blessed to end our life together in our 70’s and to know that we have fulfilled our most basic desires in life. We leave knowing we go with God, and knowing that our family is a large Christian family at varying stages of faith, just like we were. We enjoy knowing that their struggles though real, are surmountable and that they know God is there and waiting. The good news is that my sweet husband has not been back up in The Attic for years, and that is a good thing.  

First he built me a Fairy Tree, Then a Fairy Garden for the tree, then 96 feet of wooden fenced embedded with clear, colored marbles, the countless strings or solar colored lights that encompass all the fence, many trees and we truly live in a “Fairy tale in our old age.”

 

             

Strong Mother-Domestic Violence Survivor:        Author-Survivor -Sexual Abuse : Survivor:  Police woman, Rape-victim Survivor        became Sex Crime Expert

 

                           THE END IS BUT AN OPPORTUNITY TO BEGIN AGAIN

                                                       JOYCE GODWIN GRUBBS

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TIME RUNS OUT: “We live in deeds, not years; in thoughts, not breaths; in feelings, not in figures on a dial.”    Philip James Bailey, Festus 


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    Time runs out……… but the legacy lives on through words, through sincere touch, and through love expressed in word and deed. Author Joyce Godwin Grubbs

  • My time on this earth began as the result of the union of two people; my father and mother, Lloyd Godwin and Marguerite Marrs Godwin. Thus it is necessary to put this post on Time, in perspective. 
  • My mother and dad after a few years of marriage took on the looks of a typical 1940’s couple .

  • My biological father Lloyd Jewel Godwin was born on January 1, and would turn 102 if he were living. Already living on his own at age  twelve, he became a boxer to survive.  At age 21, to win my grandfather’s permission to marry my mother who was 16,  he agreed to become a sharecropper and work with the family.  Often this meant picking cotton in the scorching sun up to 104 degrees, and sharing housing with “in-laws”.
  • 0021Later Dad learned the welding trade and traveled for the Oklahoma Union until retirement. This was a job he was able to work with some prestige and recognition for his “gift” at specialty welding techniques. He was highly regarded professionally and worked jobs all over the U.S. and Canada, as well as Alaska.
    • Top left: Lloyd (about 4) and brother Leman (about 2) before the death of their mother Estella the following year.
    • Top Right: Lloyd living in Arkansas with relatives (about 12) just before he was put out on his own 
    • Bottom left: At 20 on his own and working as an amateur boxer in Oklahoma.
    • Bottom right: Wedding day of my parents; Marguerite (16) Lloyd (21) Morris, Oklahoma 1936
    • Bottom center: Lloyd age 44 visiting in Davenport, Iowa.
  • Lloyd Jewel Godwin
  • Throughout his life my father was known for his coal black hair, (no grey until his 70’s and then, only a distinguished “Widow’s Peak.” He was also captivating with his  Paul Newman blue eyes and often known as a “ladies man”. When my Oklahoma relatives met my son Steve as an adult, they were stunned to see that, with the exception of my son’s snapping brown eyes, he was very much “my Dad.” Same height, build, mannerisms and quick mind that loves to learn. My Dad read history, studied the wars, military and stories of America’s west extensively. He had a wonderful collection of  well read books, despite the fact that  he never got to complete school beyond eighth grade.
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  • My son Steven Eric Grubbs at age 48. (4 years difference in the age of my dad’s picture above ).
  • Time has flown by so fast that I can hardly imagine that 55 years ago January I married my husband.  Students at Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK. I was 18 and he 21; the exact legal age to marry without parental consent. We tried to elope but under parental pressure we ended up with a church wedding to prevent the wrath of my mother from descending on us.  .(Thank you Danita Marrs Gross for making a wedding in 3 days time happen.)
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  •  Later in a twist of fate, or perhaps “earned respect”, my husband would become my mother’s best friend. It would be friendship that lasted until her passing.Mother and Dad in happier times.
  •  (She is pictured with my step-father Dr. Willard Smith)
  • My husband and I committed to growing old together,  and with only one blip of Time on our marital radar, we have.  (I am now 74 and he is 76).
  • There is no question in my mind that Time is also loss.  As in recent years, we were forced to prepare for loss. Family, friends, and “Fur Friends”.  At the original post writing we were conducting “hospice care in house” for our beloved greyhound and “Fur-son,” Big Buddy Grubbs. If you can imagine how wonderful it is to have a beloved pet, how great it feels to receive that unconditional love for years, then take it to the extreme opposite and realize that the “loss” of that same pet takes you to the depths of emptiness in a special part of your heart. So it is that we prepared to lose Big Buddy, but in that loss we were sustained by the knowledge that “the process of losing him” reminds and prepares us for the inevitable loss of one another. So in that, we are thankful.

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    •  Big Buddy Grubbs in his Oklahoma State University gear escorting his love, Baby Doll Grubbs in her Oklahoma Sooner’s gear,  to a Christmas party in 2011 sponsored by the Quad Cities Greyhound Adoptions group, Maysville, Iowa. They are the group that helped connect us to these two as well as our first greyhound Dex.  At this writing in 2017 we have lost both our fur-babies. 
    • **********************************************************************************
    •  The  “writer inside me” compels me to also record the following:. 
    • “We live in deeds, not years; in thoughts, not breaths; in feelings, not in figures on a dial.”    Philip James Bailey, Festus 
    •  Somehow, that translation of Time speaks to me when I review my life. It encourages me to realize I am not in a battle with Time but rather I am living in an accumulation of deeds, thoughts and feelings that are not dictated by the years I have left. I believe each of us might be more satisfied with life were we to look at our life in review using that criteria.
    • “Indifferent to the affairs of men, time runs out, precise, heedless, exact and immutable in rhythm.”     Erwin Sylvanus, Dr. Korczak and the Children.
    • Truly, that quote sums up my thoughts of this milestone: Indifferent to the affairs of men (or women), Time runs out. I consider that I am not the thumb on the stopwatch; I am the runner in pursuit of another step. Yet I do believe, with all my heart that when the Time runs out, it is over. No bargaining, no purchasing of another day; simply the knowledge that Time runs out.  This is probably the one function of Time that I do understand.  I am however comforted by a belief system which includes the unwavering “knowledge” that there is life after death which is a whole new and different discussion of  “Time”.
    •  I would not be a credible writer if I did not summarize my thoughts of Time, the end of Time and compare it with the ‘written word’ concerning Time.
    • The life of every man is a diary in which he means to write one story, and writes another, and his humblest hour is when he compares the volume as it is with what he vowed to make it.  J. M. Barrie, The Little Minister.
    • “Having lived long, I have experienced many instances of being obligated by better information, or fuller consideration, to change opinions even on important subjects, which I once thought right, but found to be otherwise.”  Benjamin Franklin. 
    • I do not make New Year’s Resolutions, but rather choose to adopt an “attitude of mindset” for the New Year.   With this quote in mind, I chose in 2014 : “Open to change in the Time I have left.”
    • In this year of 2017 I chose. 
    • Happy New Year.
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SENIOR LOVE; In all the years that came before, none compare


  SENIOR LOVE IS AS FRAGILE AS THE SPIDER WEB OF WHAT IS TO COME,  AND AS STRONG AS THE INEVITABLE BRIDGE TO BE CROSSED Author Joyce Godwin Grubbs.

SENIOR LOVE 

Love is no longer private, or something to put off. Love is in the “now”. At this time we embrace the little nuances of those we love; the “tells” at the edge of their lips, the cock of an eyebrow, the sudden look away as eyes grow misty.

The youthful bouquets have gone by the wayside being now replaced with small favors: freshly picked blackberries; his hearing me mention seeing something for the yard, or that I want, and his immediate trek to get it for me. The not so ordinary buys of untold surprises ranging from health aides which take on a “romantic gesture” to new lights for a fairy garden.

SENIOR LOVE is deeper, quieter, less spontaneous , but longer lasting. Sometimes it reflects the surrender of things in the past that were “never gonna happen” . And though professing for years, “that’s not my cup of tea”, the CAPITULATION becomes a newly used, often heard word, followed by, “but why not. It’s not like we have anything else going………..”.

As the introduction says, SENIOR LOVE IS AS FRAGILE AS THE SPIDER WEB OF WHAT IS TO COME, AND AS STRONG AS THE INEVITABLE BRIDGE TO BE CROSSED
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Yet, SENIOR LOVE is a satisfaction that being together in life, and in death, enables the greatest truths to be shared and the worst to be forgiven. Take the chances, trust your heart.

Of all the stages of life and love, DON’T MISS THIS ONE. BE WITH THE ONE YOU LOVE. BE TOGETHER TO HELP EACH OTHER THROUGH WHAT IS THE GREATEST MIRACLE OF LIFE AND LOVE: The End.

IN ALL OF THE YEARS THAT CAME BEFORE, NOTHING COMPARES.


Author Joyce Godwin Grubbs
*****DISCLAIMER REGARDING PICTURE/QUOTE. I am unable to credit the photo and quote seen above, as it was floating around the internet with no copyright of identification of source. I just want to acknowledge it is not an art meme from me, but I do admire it. THIS SITE IS NOT MONETARY REWARDED BUT INFORMATIONAL AND ENTERTAINMENT.

 

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The Complex was Complex; The Five Points Wellness Complex. $200, a credit card, and a God Wink.


      THE COMPLEX WAS COMPLEX , a true story of Joyce Godwin Grubbs before she became an Author.

The time had come to be bold and take a risk! My husband retired from a full career of teaching. A born teacher and loving it.

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 The decision to take early retirement and pursue a “late in life career change” after some R & R, was not panning out quite the way we had envisioned it. “Healthy as a horse” all the years of his teaching career, he often ran 3 miles, or up to 5 miles for “fun.” 

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Shown here #444 wearing his traditional Oklahoma Sooners gear. Oklahoma State University was his alma mater, but like many Oklahoma kids, he was spoon-fed the Sooner’s football pride with the great Bud Wilkinson’s winning streak of 47 games and OU ruled the 50’s.

However he was not enjoying teaching in the end as much as he had in past years ,as he was increasingly fatigued to a point it was affecting his quality of life. He decided it was time to make the change.  He didn’t want to become one of the “sour old curmudgeons” he had seen in his years of teaching, who would not let go, to the dismay of many students.

 The choice to retire early carried a penalty which meant he had forfeited more than a year of accumulated sick days as he rarely missed a day of teaching in his entire career.   He got a pre-retirement physical to optimize being at his best to enjoy the new freedoms of retirement. As fate would have it, the week AFTER retiring, he was given health news that would alter our course and lives.  

I had been semi-retired having left nursing behind to pursue my own “late in life career change” returning to school to become a massage therapist Giving up nursing and going in to the massage therapy had been a long time goal and I was very content with it. I  practiced in my step-dad’s chiropractic clinic and  assisted with the cares of my mother. .

With the fears that I might conceivably lose my husband and be on my own,  I was totally in shock. He had continued to be the healthy one as we grew older;  the runner and living proof a man can maintain his body in a youthful way by exercising. I on the other hand was the couch potato, diabetic, pamper myself kind person who would not have been surprised by a serious diagnosis.

A strong reality that we faced was that his health insurance would stop after his COBRA ran out. I knew I needed to return to full time work that would provide benefits if I lost his. One problem was, I had no money saved up to do anything creative and wouldn’t touch “ours” in case we needed it.

I made a unilateral executive decision; It wouldn’t hurt to check out what it would cost to open and manage my own private massage practice. I made a modest 5 year plan for a private practice and how I would manage it. I looked in the paper for a location and happened upon one that seemed ideal. Just for fun and practice, I decided to call about it.

Now it has long been my experience that when things are right and you’re heading the direction God has in mind, things work out. If you have to manipulate and make things happen, then you best not proceed, as I can guarantee it will not work out.

It turned out the couple with the property, Dr, Patrick and Darlene Traynor were colleagues; friends and patients of my dad’s. Both Patrick and Darlene were my dad’s age and in fact Patrick had gone through Palmer College of Chiropractic with my dad and retired from a prestigious private practice of his own. 

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My father, Dr. Willard M. Smith and Dr. Patrick Traynor shake hands at a social event and Darlene Traynor looks on.

Patrick was now retired to a “late in life career change with his wife Darlene”. (Sound familiar?) They had an antique store that adjoined the property they were offering for rent. The property  had already been an occupied space set up for a massage practice.   I went to visit and it was perfect with the exception of too much space (1400 sq. ft). A beauty shop with two beauticians was included in the space and expected to be “income” for the massage clinic as the two beauticians wanted to stay in place and the salon was in the back area of the office space. The equipment in the salon had been bought by the Traynor’s when the massage tenant left.  Even with that incentive,  it  was more rent than I could hope to pay. Utilities weren’t even included.

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Taken in front of their Antique Store during one of the celebrations of a milestone anniversary of my Five Points Wellness Complex. Beautiful, beautiful people.

I had to level with the sweet couple and tell them I was sorry, but I had really come on a wing and a prayer just to see the property.  It was perfectly located at a well traveled five point intersection, well known, and parking available.  The massage area  was also already laid out in rooms that accommodated a small gift shop, two very large massage rooms, two bathrooms,  a light therapy room, and very inviting waiting area.

I explained to them again that my intention had been just to rent space as an independent therapist in my own practice. I told them I not only didn’t have that kind of rent, I did not have deposit money.

There was never a time I entertained borrowing the money, especially from my dad as they might have expected I would. I did have $200 and a credit card and projected I could earn enough with my clients from my part time practice to cover my start-up.

The Traynor’s wanted the building to continue as a health connection with massage and did not want the beauticians to be put out.  They were willing to work with me even ignoring my offer to be their paid therapist and work for them . Their answer was NO, but…………..

Everything moved swiftly from that moment forward. Stepping out in faith after an incredible show of “meant to be” was there on their part.  They were as supportive as I was overwhelmed. They would let me “take over” and the deposit could be made incrementally.

The occupancy was immediate and preparation of the rooms, furnishings and style began a complete new look which was a labor of love. Good thing I was a gifted buyer at auctions and scavenger.

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My husband was hands on during the renovation and planning of the new business, which was now known as “The Five Points Wellness Complex” in Moline, Il.

 

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Arnie was willing to work as a jack of all trades and take his “pay” in bartered massage. He got my office up and running.

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I was blessed with older women friends who wanted to be a part of the Complex and made a schedule to cover the office and phones. Theirs was a beautiful addition as they pampered the clients, helped oversee the waiting room which served juices and refreshments, and they provided a “social atmosphere that was unequaled.” When 9/11 happened and so many people were anxious, and some alone, they showed up at the Complex to keep company. The volunteers served refreshments and gave them a wonderful place to share. Channel 8’s television station showed up to see how we were faring and what we thought as we had put out the very first sign in the QCA which simply said God Bless America and had a red, white and blue bow on it. It actually became an “anniversary visit” at 6 months, 1 year, etc. after 9/11 we’d be interviewed again.

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The volunteers had been professional women and missed working but enjoyed being back in a mode of involvement that gave them the best of all worlds. They were the “heart “of the Complex and would do everything from help launder the linens, to make appointments and entertain the clients who began to routinely come early for appointments.

 

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Our outdoor signage expanded thanks to Rich Clark,  so we could accommodate messages of public interest. We also would give free massages to returning soldiers who served.

Being located at a very busy five point intersection, I was very high traffic and soon the signs were used on news broadcast and for editorial purposes. I was known and written up in the paper as “The Sign Lady” and proudly felt that it was a “morale thing” I could do. I felt I was the American version of Tokyo Rose in the 21st century, only on the “good” side.

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New signs went up on the building’s exterior done by Rich Clark, in my estimation the best sign maker in the QCA.

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We rented space on the community merchant sign and supported the troops again.

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Rich Clark did my van up to look professional and soon it was known all over the QCA. Did I mention Rich was very accommodating to help a new struggling business person get started.

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Here you see the back of my van and Rich’s sign shop in front. It was “serendipity” that we were neighboring businesses and thus worked to support each other’s business with good pricing and immediate services when changes had to be made. But note on the back of the van, it says : We’re back, then it has the OU SOONERS on it. That was a little something for my husband.

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And my personal favorite was a commercial we shot with Channel 8 in Moline, Il who made it so easy and reasonable. The two children were part of the script and there were also some clients who participated. Justin Grubbs made his acting debut and now is a bona fide actor/writer in his own right. And yes, they were consummate actors, but also my grandchildren.Olivia loved that she got to be made up by the two stylists in the Salon.

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We added a larger flag as time went by and the 9/11 fervor ebbed and flowed. The townspeople sent us notes of support, thanked us, and one parent called to say she drove out of her way taking her kids to school just to see what the message would be on our board which was changed daily to support the troops and often used cryptic Haiku poems. It became a QCA designated landmark for the morale of the troops, and I became referred to as “The Sign Lady” in various news articles and media coverage.

Finally after months of delay from the start of the Complex, we were ready for an Open House.

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I had presented a five year business plan . Within the first month I was paying full rent and had paid the deposit. In two and a half years I reached the five year goal. But what I created became more than a business; it became a landmark in the business community. Many unbelievable things happened there. My dream was fulfilled, and I always said to everyone I told about the business my personal belief:

“Even if I might not have it long, having started the business at the age of 56, at least I had it.”

The Five Points Wellness Complex was beautiful. It had a wonderful waiting room which was personally decorated by me. Eclectic but not “New Age”. It was more of an English library room with books, an iron lion’s head fountain, and dark green walls with fourteen foot ceilings. It had comfortable stuffed chairs and a beautiful carved-wood buffet stocked with fruits, juices, chocolate and various breaded offerings at any given time. (I can hear the traditionalist of massage cringing;) but we were there to offer more than the massage therapy. We were there to become a “safe” and quiet retreat with an optional reading space to relax. There was always a bowl of fresh roses or flowers of varying colors on the table to be enjoyed by clients. They were often allowed to take one or more home with them. Our florist across the road was always generous with discounts.

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Patrons would often receive roses on special occasions, but they were always welcome to the many juices, fruits, and treats.

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            Enter into the Complex picture, a mascot. His name was Dex, and he was the greyhound we adopted just two days after my husband retired and had plans for the two of them to be running partners and spend their days roaming the Mississippi River together and to be busy with each other in the yard (my husband’s favorite place as he was a determined gardener.) The timing was so ironic with my husband’s retirement, two days later rescuing and adopting Dex, a retired racer, followed two days later by the accursed news of my husband’s illness. There was, of course the struggle as to whether we should return him in fairness to him, but ultimately, this would become a man and dog bond like few others would ever know. 

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On occasion however, he would come to “work” with me and it was in the new Complex, he came to enjoy time with me.

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Men especially loved the waiting room. After the massage they would relax with the soft music, indirect lights and those who wished to relax and read, used the antique reading lamps. They would make the comment that it was feminine, but also very male oriented. They enjoyed sitting with hot cider in hand in the winter and cold juices in the summer. I have seen more than one chess game develop.

The aquarium had a star resident named “Ugly Bugly” (a huge apple snail) who lived many years along with many special fish.) Ugly Bugly truly seemed to have a personality and people came just to see him because friends had told them about him. We were even visited by class rooms of children at a nearby grade school. When I closed the Complex, he came home with me to the delight of my grandchildren.

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Among the other unique features was our welcoming host in our entry area, Gus. He was a beautiful blue and red beta who swam in his special vase with clear marbles at the bottom. He was among the celebrated features of our beautiful entry hall which had a white two feet high picket fence with artistic flowers the full length of the Complex hallway on both sides. It continued to the beauty shop. People were always “in a new place” the minute they entered. They truly loved it and frequently commented on “entering an enchanted place free from the cares of the outside world.”

A doctor came to the Complex part time to do Biofeedback therapy and there were light boxes for those who needed help with Seasonal Affective Disorder. While this was done more for the therapies provided, it also offered more diversity in the wellness opportunities and opened up a dialogue about health care alternatives.

Five part time therapists worked with varying techniques to meet the demands of clients ranging in ages from five to 87. Male and female clients were about even in numbers and we had a large room where we could do couple massage, or group massage for special occasions; like wedding parties of the bride and bridesmaids.

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 The beauty shop (styling salon) flourished and grew. The ladies were pleased when I added on their very own waiting room for their area with a play area for the children who came. When I named the salon, “A Beauty Within”, I prayed it would be, and would always help the clients find their personal inward beauty. 

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The gift shop had unique items and one of a kind art and jewelry available.

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Our gift shop hosted Calligraphy Artist Lynn Norton, daughter of famous water color artist, Paul Norton. We also carried his prints from the antique store.

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We enjoyed a great open house and the refreshments and ice sculptures were gifts from staff, volunteers and patrons, a special feature which constantly drew raves were the uncharacteristic bathrooms and their unusual paint decor. I couldn’t take full credit as the painting was already done. I just added unusual items in the rooms to take them to a new level. People seemed to appreciate the restful atmosphere and never rushed in or out. The curiosities on the walls and countertops were always great conversation pieces.

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All of this was an absolute answer to prayer. I had volunteers who came and acted as hostesses to serve the juices and visit with the clients before and after their massages. It became a place where you could drop in, even on days you weren’t there for your massage or services.

All in all the “Complex” years were the best years of my life, bar none. At least on a personal level. The clients were wonderful. We focused on making the complex, “about them”.

There were joyous reunions of friends who were reunited when we learned they had known each other as children and lost touch for fifty years. We arranged a surprise tea for them at the Complex. There were many times people just met and talked, and enjoyed.

On one occasion a father and his estranged son were brought back together after fifteen years. Later, at Christmas, the son wheeled the father in his wheel chair, and we arranged for his father to have a brand new shipping hat like the one he wore as a trademark for so many years, it literally rotted from age and hair oil. We special ordered it as he had an unusually big head size. He wept from the joy of receiving the gift, and from the realization, he was “himself” again.

Joseph was brought to the party by his son and in a wheel chair. He had no idea Santa would be there for him. We had special ordered from Massachusetts the very hat that had “disintegrated” from long years of wear. It had been his trademark look for many years, and having Santa bring it was the epitome of Christmas shock to someone who thought that Christmas magic was long gone from his life.

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Joseph “bloomed “after his encounter with Santa. His weekly massage sessions became serious work for him and he gained strength and momentum from them.

 

There were Christmas parties with Santa and Mrs. Claus, with gifts for every child. A photographer was present to take group and individual pictures to be presented to them later. Sets of holiday elves and scenes were staged for pictures as well as Santa’s lap and Mrs. Claus’s hugs. We had so much food and fun, jumping games. There were from 200 guests-UP in attendance at the parties.

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The anniversary celebrations for the Complex were held at the local Comedy Club with invitations to all the families of all the employees and therapists. From the youngest children who sneaked up on stage before the start of the program and sang “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star”, to the oldest guests in their seventies, there was laughter and shared joy.

In the end, tragedy would close the wonderful landmark place. While caring for my sister in the hospital during her last days of fighting her breast cancer, I reinjured a long term shoulder condition. Following her funeral and a bout with double pneumonia, I finally bowed to my doctor’s wishes and concerns by going for tests to determine the state of the shoulder.The radiologist made a terrible mistake injecting me with three times the amount of dye solution for the test and failing to get into the joint. The results would be career ending for me .

A long story long, I ended up unable to rehab the shoulder, and after a year of paying therapists to take care of my clients it became financial suicide. Knowing the “character” of the Complex was really a reflection of who I was, I closed it; passing  on the client list and equipment for private practice to a young therapist in a smaller setting she could handle.

So, in saluting this wonderful place,  I would say we achieved “community” at the core of its meaning. We blended together, in love and respect, people of different religions, politics, cultures, races and belief systems. We pooled our positive energies and we brought about healing, hope and inspiration. And as I said so often during that time; “I may not have it long, but at least I had it.”

Thanks to all who shared it with me.

And to my mentors; thank you for allowing me to embody the lessons of my entrepreneur mother and utilize her fearless pursuit and risk taking to dare to dream, and to dare to “go for it”. I was so proud that I could present to Darlene Traynor the Business Person of the year award through the local chapter of American Business Women’s Association I had nominated her for as her husband Patrick beams in appreciation.

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I moved on in my life choices to fill my needs and obligations. With months of closing my association with the Complex, I was gainfully employed as a Domestic Violence and Rape Sexual Assault counselor and working the crisis line.  I began to write the Greyhound Lady Walking suspense series which when published, established me as the Author from the Grassroots. 

I will always know the Complex was God’s gift to me. It was my oasis of peace giving me respite from years of serving terminal patients, championing the underdogs and reaching out to the poor and homeless. I think God had seen my pain and fatigue, and gave me that time to regroup and recharge.

I believe I built the Complex on the legacy of my mother’s work ethic and belief in hard work and letting nothing hold you back. And that, is a legacy I hope I passed on.

margueriteAND MOST OF ALL, THANK GOD FOR HELPING MY HUSBAND MANAGE HIS HEALTH IN SUCH AN AMAZING WAY THAT WE ARE STILL HERE, TOGETHER IN OUR MID 70’S.

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My hubby and I in retirement; both of us. Of course, I ended up retiring 4 times and I tell everyone I am not RETIRED but that I am REFIRED.

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©2006

 

 

 

 

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UPDATE; ON THE STORY OF THE APOSTLE TO THE PYGMIES; DR JERRY GALLOWAY, M.D. AND MISSIONHURST BROTHER TO ZAIRE (DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF THE CONGO). GUEST POST INCLUDED BY KENT GALLOWAY.


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An enigma to many, a rock to all.

JERRY GALLOWAY M.D. WHEN HE WAS CONFIRMED AS A MISSIONHURST BROTHER AND SENT TO SERVE IN ZAIRE                                                                                                                                            Jerry was an enigma to many, a rock to all.

 

As Dr. Galloway’s nurse here in the U.S. I’ve shared my story of our meeting and parting, and it has been viewed all over the world. Now, all these years later I have exciting news about the eventual release of a book of more than 27 years of letters written by Jerry. It is being done by his nephew, Kent Galloway. A labor of love and of mission.

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Kent Galloway, nephew of Dr. Jerry Galloway. He and his family have extensive time and investment to many mission trips to Africa and as one who knew Dr. Galloway well, I can say that Kent exudes the spirit and commitment of his uncle. His joy shines through with pictures of his visits there.

In Kent’s own words;

From 1974-1977, Dr Jerry Galloway worked for the Peace Corps in the Congo. When he joined, he was angry about many things in America. But, while there he found his life’s calling. He returned in 1980 to begin in life’s work with the pygmies. Jerry wrote 100’s of letters during his 27 years there. Jerry was a man of true grit. I believe his story is still meant to be shared with many, so I am compiling the letters into a book. I have drafted 200 pages.

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Dr. Jerry Galloway visiting from Zaire (later the Democratic Republic of the Congo.) He is visiting his former nurse and her family in Davenport, Iowa where he practiced medicine at the first Community Care clinic and was the Director of the clinic.

 

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I am seated with Jerry’s parents at their 50th golden wedding anniversary as a proud “stand in” for Jerry who was at Mission Pendjua in Zaire. It was such a privilege, and such fun to know his parents and spend time in their home. I imagine I gave them a good indication of why Jerry thought I was such a chatterbox, and probably tried to imagine the two of us working together harmoniously.

My comments upon hearing about the release of the letters:  ” It goes without saying his life is worth preserving in print and as a legacy and heritage for all mission conscious people of all faiths. Jerry was a Missionhurst Catholic Brother and I was his fundamentalist nurse; we had many adventures together in the states working at a clinic for patients needing sliding scale fees but excellent health care. His life and mine changed forever after his being there and he continued to visit in our home as “family” whenever in the states over all those next 27  years. My husband often said having met Jerry he felt he had met Christ in the flesh. High praise indeed from a man who had met many “pretenders to the throne”.

When this book is published it will be a resource, a startling introduction to real mission work, love, heartbreak, murder and mysteries. Witch Doctor interference, kidnapping, humor, hope, faithful searching, doubt, reconciliation and above all, the salvation true and real that was found and carried him through. It is real, truthful and meant to become ‘a light unto your feet.”

Joyce Godwin Grubbs Jerry’s nurse and friend for life from the 1970’s until we meet up again and can rejoice in all that we learned and did.”

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What is the author’s “platform” to write the book and give it substance? His only claim to entitlement is not just that he is related and a long time admirer of his uncle’s work, but it is that he too has lived out his call to serve. While Dr. Galloway was an internal medicine specialist trained at Johns Hopkins, Kent has very specific high tech skills which he utilizes with volunteers in the computer field to refurbish computers and get them to the schools in the countries he serves. He also has utilized that same tactic his uncle did in introducing and utilizing soccer. While Jerry’s approach was simplistic and the funding was lean for just a few shirts and only a ball, Kent and his fellow devotees have created a sophisticated soccer program that elevates the appeal to be real “possibilities” for young people to realize dreams of competition and winning. A 21st century approach.

Library of on site pictures of Kent in Africa.

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Soccer is the language that draws in the masses, and their hunger for the Word of God is what sustains them and grows the outreaches.

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Kent with the International Omega Ministries.

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Selfies with and for the kids.

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There is no shortage of young people to hear the word and participate in the programs.

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Uganda is another “field ripe unto harvest”.

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Where one or two are gathered in His name, he is there also.”

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One is as important as a dozen. Achievement and blessings abound and last.

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This will be a wonderful book of a truly inspiring mission outreach by a man, Dr. Jerry Galloway,  who lived simply, quietly and yet could walk into the capitol of Zaire and command respect and see the high ranking officials. He was known to have powerful influence at the grassroots and those who tried to usurp his work and reputation, soon found themselves in the hot seat and had to stand down. He saved lives in the clinics, and he saved lives by insisting that no one be harmed, railroaded or injured, taken or molested by the military. He made a Master tribe capitulate to his rules that they could not keep the slave tribe of pygmies from learning and achieving. HE CHANGED THINGS FOR THE BETTER WITH THE HELP OF HIS GOD.

I look forward Kent Galloway achieving his dream of bringing this book to the written word available to all. God Speed, Kent.

A special update from the public.     Don Foster : Loqwa (AKA Batwa) Pygmies still remember Jerry Galloway. They even remember the day he died in 2007 and that he served there for 27 years. Last week i was in Kiri* and met Loqwa men who had graduated university because of him and his boarding school. Some were teachers. About 40 were police officers. I did not go into depth to study his legacy. I just found this out without trying. His life is definitely a significant chapter in the development of the Loqwa Pygmies.     Received February 2017                                                                          

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God Wink: A to Z. Birth to Death. Viewing life as a Snowflake, is Best


My friends, you are about to be led into the unique world of Keith Bonnstetter, Master of Snowflakes and Mystic of the stories they tell. And it would not be a “Joyce Godwin Grubbs” blog piece if there wasn’t a personal and revealing story about why I would write about this creative author.  First and foremost there is a “miracle” in the story x’s three so just hang on for the ride.

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(Shown with permission of the artist.) A donation to Animal Family Veterinary Care Center from Snickers in honor of Cubby. Do you see what I see? doghouse with A F and pawprint, dog, giraffe face, giraffe, snake, rabbit, sheltie and cat and heart, a Macaw, boxer, iguana, rat, German Shepherd, Lab, guinea pig, Cockatiel, pawprint, Lizard, tarantula, Dachshund, nail clipper and brush, cat laying down, cat walking, fox, ferret, kangaroo, chicken foot, V for veterinarian (Permissions from Keith Bonnstetter for the visual and content explanation. )

In the closing days of 2016 I was surprised, almost shocked, to receive a Christmas gift in the mail from a beautiful friend of many years. Her family was a “peer” family to my son’s and thus I watched as their lives changed as they had their family, and I saw their successes and championed their dreams. When I opened the gift, my life was opened to a whole new concept of 21st century possibilities.  Of all things it revolved around “Snowflakes.”

When I went to the Facebook site of Keith Bonnstetter, it was a revelation of a skill and talent that took his art work beyond “beautiful, unique, and decorative” to having something that is “essential, personally fulfilling and relatable”.  My friend showed me the framed picture she had Keith do of a custom work to memorialize her mother.

A memorial snowflake custom designed for remembering a mother.

 

This settled an issue for me. For some time my daughters have fussed over what to do “with mother’s ashes” when she’s gone. I actually didn’t even want them saved. Now there is a viable and more meaningful way to remember me, and it is a custom snowflake by Keith. Furthermore, it is perfect as I am “that child” who grew up with very little and on the “Wrong/Strong Side of the Tracks” as one of my novels is titled. One of the favorite childhood memories is when our mother would make us “snow ice cream” and we would play from morning to dark creating snow angels, snow forts, having the proverbial snow ball fights. 

We often wondered how God could make all of the snowflakes different as we were told He did. We knew He was good, but wow, never repeating a pattern? It made us feel good because we were told that we were like snowflakes, individually created and loved by God. Actually I’m thinking of turning the tables on my children and having one snowflake done for each of them; making my own memorial is just the kind of thing this old contrary Okie would do.

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Made for a Parish Priest
  1. Hands of God
    Holy Spirit
    angels holding star
    angel appearing to Joseph
    journey to Bethlehem
    Flight into Egypt
    Nativity
    lilies
    wood shavings
    Holy Family
    Joseph had to believe, trust, listen and most importantly ACT!

This is the book I received as my gift. It should not surprise me, although it did, that the author generously provided in the creation of his book, ways for you to have ongoing patterns at no cost by taking the patterns and recreating them as desired. As an author I still respect and appreciate receiving books with the author’s autograph. It is our stamp of appreciation and also our “thanks” for you buying our books. So thank you again, Keith Bonnstetter.

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Sitting in a window so Christmas strollers can watch Keith in action, and even come into the store to see how it is done.  There are reasons, or maybe I should say miracles which give him a resume’ which includes being on the Martha Stewart Show,  newspapers, and various opportunities for interviews.

One might even get to hear some of his Snowflake Story, or just read it right here.  Miracles flow.

 

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Permission for use of excerpt from Keith Bonnstetter

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My sister, Police Officer Trula Ann Godwin, would have had to have this one. Throughout her life as an individual, author,  or as a police officer she always signed her name with the peace symbol at the end.

 

 

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One of Keith’s first and his favorite. I believe there are 40 Snowmen on here.

 

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Multiple snowflakes and with his book, you too can begin to “branch out”.

Keith can be found on Facebook and his products on Etsy.  His business is: Clear Visions Snowflakes.  As a teacher he uses his snowflakes to bond with students, and also with other teachers. That is how I got my book; my friend teaches with Keith and she knew it would be a good fit as I am now “home-bound” and need to be “hands on” with some activities to stay sane. Also I am about always doing/being unique in all that I do.

Whether you are just intrigued, or possibly seeing a “cottage industry” in your future, you cannot go wrong acquainting yourself with all the outstanding items and ideas of Keith Bonnstetter.  I could not possibly show you all of his fantastic pieces, so please take time to go to the sites and see for yourself. You know I always pick “winners.”

 

 

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Permission for excerpt from Keith Bonnstetter

 

May the beauty of your outreach in snowflakes continue to bless you and your family Keith. And may those touched by your story and your snowflakes see the bigger picture as we rejoice in Miracles and God Winks . It is fitting I believe, that I close this post with my standard author’s signature:

                                        Believe You Can

                                                                      Author Joyce Godwin Grubbs.

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Posted in Cottage Industry, new skills, shut in and home bound opportunities, Keith Bonnstetter, Snowflakes, uncommon ways to make snowflakes, Mayo Clinic, chiropractor, Dr. J. Richard Burns, financial medical , GOD WINK, Healing,, Storytellers, Trula Ann Godwin (Tanner), Uncategorized | 4 Comments