Friday, June 5, 2015

Take a leap of faith


 From childhood, I have always planned everything.  I wanted to leave nothing to chance.  I even made list for my list.  Than I few years ago I decided it was time to begin my long awaited dream of opening Annabelle's Haven.  A long term haven for women & children of domestic abuse.  Oh I had charts, lists, folders but God decided to see if I had faith.  You see I always thought I would be building Annabelle's in Florida.  I have lived here 60 years, my children & grandchildren are here, my friends & church, therefore, why would I not build my dream in Florida? Well here is where God laughed at my plans.  One day as I was mediating I got Annabelle's Haven needed to be in North Carolina. OK that is a pretty state BUT...and I just put it out of my head and continued with my plans.  The problem was I could not begin my plans because everything I did try seemed to be  blocked. Finally one day I thought I will just look into North Carolina.  I called the Women's Council of North Carolina and learned there is a desperate need for my vision especially in Yancey, Mitchell, Madison counties.  These three counties are very rural and low income which is one of the reasons their domestic violence is so high.  That day I decided I would trust God and take that leap of faith.  I moved with my husband leaving my dear children and precious grandchildren, friends, family and church.  Has it been easy? No, but as I took that leap of faith God has given me my wings.  These mountains have embraced me and filled me with wonder.  I have not soar YET but I am truly learning to fly with trust.  I have not gotten our finances to build but my husband and I have brought 6.5 beautiful acres for Annabelle's Haven.  We have got all the architectural plans and we are a 501c3 nonprofit.  We have spoke to so many wonderful caring people who have volunteered to teach the women to make soap, learn how to cook, to make dog runs, to make quilts, to teach them gardening.  The list can go on and on.  I took my leap of faith and it has been a wonderful flight and I have faith that soon my dream will soar.
"Take the first step in faith.  You don't have to see the whole staircase, just the first step"  Martin Luther King

Faith is the bridge between where I am & the place God is taking me"
"Jump & you will find out how to unfold your wings as you fall"
                                        Ray Bradbury

"Why not go out on a limb? that's where the fruit is"  Mark Twain
"Courage is a love affair with the unknown" Osho

Friday, May 22, 2015



Domestic violence cost more than $37 Billion dollars a year in law enforcement involvement, legal work, medical and mental health treatment and loss of productivity of companies.  All these billions spent yet the results are showing domestic violence is a epidemic problem.  In the report from
RELATIONSHIPS IN AMERICA REPORT, They state " we believe that the reports of domestic violence have indeed increased."

When we hear 4,000 women die each year due to domestic violence, 1-3 female homicide victims are murdered by their current or former partners every year or 1-3 women will experience domestic violence, 75% of male abusers were abused as children, we need to realize the billions spent are not working or fixing the issue.  It is just putting a very expensive band aid on the issue!  Our domestic abuse centers have their budgets cut to the bone.  And start up money to open transitional or long term care for domestic abuse is almost nonexistent.  We need places like Annabelle's Haven that will help the women to heal in a safe secure environment.  The women will be given the tools required to thrive in the world including education, counseling, job readiness, life skills, and parenting skills so they can not only survive domestic abuse they can thrive.  As these women and children heal they can be the change that will help end the cycle of domestic violence.

Band aids are good but healing and empowering the women and children affected by domestic abuse is so needed.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Powerful words

                                                            Mas é preciso reconhecer que isso reflete outro problema, implícito ...

                                                                Powerful Words

Have you ever read something and thought " That is exactly how I feel too" ?  When I read this statement from His Holiness the Dalai Lama, I thought  " Dalai Lama has put into beautiful words how I wish my life to be."

May I become at all times both now and forever
A protector for those without protection
A guide for those who have lost their way
A ship for those with ocean to cross
A sanctuary for those in danger
A lamp for those without light
A place of refuge for those who lack shelter
And a servant to all in need.

This is the reason I left my home in Florida of 60 years and moved to North Carolina away from family and friends. This is reason for opening  Annabelle's Haven for domestic abused women and children.  Thank you Dalai Lama for putting into words my deepest feelings.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015


I am woman hear me roar is a song written in the 70's by Helen Reddy and song writer Ray Burton and performed by Reddy.  Today the song just popped in my head and I thought yes that is what I wish to do.  I am a woman and I wish to roar for the injustice of domestic violence.  I wish to roar that a child abuse report is filed every 10 second!  That 1,440 people an hour, 34,560 per day and 12 million per year are suffering from domestic violence! We can no ignore this facts.  Society silence is giving this injustice it's consent. 

I also wish to roar and tell the world there are solutions.  Annabelle's Haven and other long term Domestic abuse shelters can help.  They can give these women and children time to heal their physical wounds than they can work on the emotional and mental wounds.  As the women and children are healing they will be in a safe secure environment.  Most women can stay 30 days in a shelter.  This is a wonderful start.  However, 30 days is hardly enough to heal from the physical wounds but they are than required to find a place to live, a job, school for the children.  All this is overwhelming and a large majority go back to their abuse.  We need long term care so the women do not just survive but they thrive.  They are not just a statistic they can be a shining example for other women and for their children.

It is my dream that I may soon roar with happiness as the tide turns and the cycle of domestic abuse is broken.



                                                   LOVE IS NOT SUPPOSE TO HURT

Love should be without restrictions
Love should be trust without fear
Love should be without demand
Love should accept me for who I am

There is so much hurt in this world from bullying, racism, violence, war.  We should not have it  in our love life!  Our home is suppose to be our safe haven.  But very often it is where one finds the deepest heartache.  Sometimes we have to give up on people not because we no longer care but because they don't care.  Love will never hurt you but a person who does not know how to love can hurt you.  One of the worst part of being abused is the betrayal.  The one who was to honor and protect us is the one who is harming us.

We need to educate men that they are to love and protect not hurt their partners.
And hitting is not love, mind games are not love, and controlling is not love.  Our churches, schools and governments need to address these issues. We also need to educate and remind women that God did not create them to be abused physical, emotionally and mentally.  All women and men are to be loved, cherished and protected.  We also need to start with are children so they understand it is not alright to bully or abuse another human or animal.  We need to change and that change must start with each of us. We need to understand God did not make a mistake on us.  We each are worthy of the very best.  We each are worthy of a safe, secure loving home.  We each must be the change we wish to see in the world. 

Love is not suppose to hurt.  Love is suppose to fill us with joy!



... triumph, of living in fear and hiding … Women of Courage interview

                                           CELEBRATE THE COURAGE OF THE WOMEN

Nelson Mandela wrote " I learned courage was not the absence of fear- but the triumph over it"

Women who leave an abusive relationship have great courage to leave and to go into the great unknown.  I am so proud of each of these women. At Annabelle's Haven we need to continue to celebrate these brave women as they go through their healing process..  Weekly we will discuss their accomplishments big or small. Oprah once said " The more you praise and cultivate your life the more there is in life to celebrate"  And I agree, we need to continue to focus on the blessing entering the women and children's  lives.  By weekly sharing their accomplishments and their blessing others will hear and hopefully realize they too have a lot to be grateful for.
                                 Past is gone, Future may never be
                                 God's present  is where our healing will be 

"The secret to change is to focus all your energy, not on fighting the old but building the new"       Socrates

Socrates born 439BC, wrote the above statement yet in all these years we still have not grasp the concept.  We spend millions of dollars to fight various causes ( war, poverty, violence ) yet  how much energy and money do we use to heal these situations?

Annabelle's Haven is taking Socrates idea to heart with our unique approach to healing women and children affected by domestic violence. Annabelle's Haven's two year residency program mission is  to honor and empower the women and children as they go through the healing process.  Along with one on one advocacy and participation group support there will be skill building classes, job readiness, life skills parenting classes, nutrition classes. We will be helping the women not only to survive but to thrive.

Once a week there will be a  discussion of their problems and issues.  For true strength is when you have a lot to cry about but you choose to smile and take another step forward.  We will than celebrate their accomplishments.  By celebrating their millstones we are putting the focus on how far they have come not on how far they have to go.  

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