Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Looking for His Hands and Feet



Hi Everyone!

I have always said that God has blessed me with the most amazing, diverse, and talented group of people for friends. You are spread over 3 continents and have been my adoptive family, my prayer warriors, my true supporters in life, and that is why I am coming to you now.  As many of you know, in January, I am set to finally begin my last full semester at Liberty University Online. I am scheduled to take 18 credit hours. In June I will begin my last 8 week class and do my Internship (125 hours in a clinical setting) and then write my final paper. Upon completion, I will have my degree in Psychology/Christian Counseling with a concentration in Crisis & Trauma Counseling. This area of work is one I have felt called to for over 10 years. I know I can make a difference in the lives of people who are hurting.

This is where I really need your help. Due to my struggles with Multiple Sclerosis and other Autoimmune diseases, which included me having to completely pull out of school two years ago when I was hospitalized for septic pneumonia and pleurisy, I have exhausted my grant and student loan money. I will receive help with my tuition and some of my books and materials for the my final Spring/Summer 2015 classes. What I will need assistance with is the books/materials my grants/loans will not cover, the bulk of my cost of living expenses from January-July 2015 while I complete my degree. Any other monies that come in over my set goal will be used to cover expenses for me to train for and compete in the US Adult Figure Skating Eastern Sectionals in Pittsburgh, PA in March 2014, and the US Adult National Figure Skating Championships in Salt Lake City, UT in April 2014. This is a dream I have had since before I was diagnosed with MS in 2009. I was told I would never skate again due to my illness, but God had other plans. I got back on the ice two years ago and have not looked back. 

I will continue to teach skating part time, but the rink here in Morgantown closes at the end of March and, now that I am on my own, I am looking to move to a town with at least one year round facility so I can continue to train myself and train other skaters while working toward graduation.

I would like to thank each and every one of you for considering to help me reach the goals I have set for 2015 in one of two ways: (1) a monetary donation of any amount (truly, no amount is too small and will be cherished) and/or (2) praying for me, my health, and for this GoFundMe campaign so that I can reach my goals and live my dreams in 2015. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for considering this, sharing it with your friends and family via social media (people do not have to know me directly to donate or pray). In return, I promise you I will do my very best to be a light in this dark world and a helper to the hurting.

Again, thank you. Blessings to each of you and to all whom you love.

Eliska

Just click the link below and it will take you directly to my GoFundMe page.  You can donate anonymously if you prefer:

http://www.gofundme.com/eliska


~Thank you for the blessing and for being His hands and feet in my life. I love you. ~



Thursday, July 17, 2014

Scared



If you want to know what truly scares you
Just identify the thing you
Can not
Under any circumstances
Imagine yourself living
Without.

For me
That would be
You.

No pressure.

Somewhere you know that
I know
That your self deprecating humor
Is just a facade because you
Are just as scared
As I am
And somewhere
Deep inside
You know that fact is the
Exact same reason
Why I love
You.

This is the
Test
Of time.

This
Is the stuff
Dreams and
Heartbreaks
Are made of.

I always prayed
For real
Love
Above false
Comfort
But I nothing under
God's Heaven
Prepared me for
You.




Wednesday, May 14, 2014

After A While You Learn

It has been so long since I have posted and my only excuse is that, like the beloved fish Dory in the movie "Finding Nemo" I have been trying my best to "just keep swimming". It has been a time of enormous heartache and trials, great blessings and love...but when I saw this post today it seemed to sum up very concisely the hard truths life, and God, seem to want me to know...and not ever forget.

And I wanted to share these truths with you.

Until soon...I promise. Be Blessed.




After a while you learn...by Veronica A. Shoffstall (1971)

After some time you learn the difference, The subtle difference between holding a hand and chaining a soul. And you learn that love doesn't mean leaning, And company doesn't always mean security. And you begin to learn that kisses aren't contracts, And presents aren't promises. And you begin to accept your defeats, With your head up and your eyes ahead, With the grace of a woman, not the grief of a child. And you learn to build all your roads on today, Because tomorrow's ground is too uncertain for plans, And futures have a way of falling down in mid-flight. After a while you learn, That even the sun burns if you get too much, And learn that it doesn't matter how much you do care about, Some people simply don't care at all. And you accept that it doesn't matter how good a person is, She will hurt you once in a while, And you need to forgive her for that. You learn that talking can relieve emotional pain. You discover that it takes several years to build a relationship based on confidence, And just a few seconds to destroy it. And that you can do something just in an instant, And which you will regret for the rest of your life. You learn that the true friendships, Continue to grow even from miles away. And that what matters isn't what you have in your life, But who you have in your life. And that good friends are the family,Which allows us to choose.You learn that we don't have to switch our friends, If we understand that friends can also change. You realize that you are your best friend,And that you can do do anything, or nothing, And have good moments together. You discover that the people who you most care about in your life, Are taken from you so quickly, So we must always leave the people who we care about with lovely words, It may be the last time we see them. You learn that the circunstances and the enviroment have influence upon us, But we are responsible for ourselves. You start to learn that you should not compare yourself with others, But with the best you can be. You discover that it takes a long time to become the person you wish to be, And that the time is short. You learn that it doesn't matter where you have reached, But where you are going to. But if you don't know where you are going to, Anywhere will do. You learn that either you control your acts, Or they shall control you. And that to be flexible doesn't mean to be weak or not to have personality, Because it doesn't matter how delicate and fragile the situation is, There are always two sides. You learn that heroes are those who did what was necessary to be done, Facing the consequences. You learn that patience demands a lot of practice. You discover that sometimes, The person who you most expect to be kicked by when you fall, Is one of the few who will help you to stand up.You learn that maturity has more to do with the kinds of experiences you had And what you have learned from them, Than how many birthdays you have celebrated.You learn that there are more from you parents inside you than you thought. You learn that we shall never tell a child that dreams are silly, Very few things are so humiliating, And it would be a tragedy if she belived in it. You learn that when you are angry, You have the right to be angry, But this doesn't give you the right to be cruel. You discover that only because someone doesn't love you the way you would like her to,It doesn't mean that this person doesn't love you the most she can, Beacuse there are people who love us, But just don't know how to show or live that. You learn that sometimes it isn't enough being forgiven by someone, Sometimes you have to learn how to forgive yourself. You learn that with the same harshness you judge, Some day you will be condemned. You learn that it doesn't matter in how many pieces your heart has been broken,The world doesn't stop for you to fix it. You learn that time isn't something you can turn back, Therefore you must plant your own garden and decorate your own soul, Instead of waiting for someone to bring you flowers. And you learn that you really can endure. You really are strong .And you can go so farther than you thougt you could go. And that life really has a value. And you have value within the life. And that our gifts are betrayers, And make us lose The good we could conquer, If it wasn't for the fear of trying.





Friday, January 3, 2014

Vomit and Snow

After our first hefty snowfall of the season it seemed like a good time to post a  reprise of my New Year's blog from 2008. Be blessed.
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So it was snowing...which is pretty typical for January in Morgantown, WV. I'm not a huge fan of snow unless I'm skiing on it, however I have to admit the little flurries were kinda pretty dancing in my headlights as I drove home from my friends house that night. Talia said "Momma, I'm going to pray that we have a snow day tomorrow so we can have another day off from school!". I gently told her that while God was a big God, that it wasn't going to snow that much and that she had plenty of time off from school for Christmas break and that she should get ready for bed. At 2:00am she woke me-feverish and vomiting. She hadn't been able to make it to the bathroom, so there was quite a mess. I remember feeling worried, frustrated and ALONE. "Why God? Why am I alone to face these sorts of things? It's 2:00 in the morning, Talia is so sick and I don't have anyone who can help."

I went back to my room and sent a short text to my boss and assistant to let them know what was going on and that I wouldn't be able to be at work the next morning. I figured they would get the messages in a few hours when they woke, but within a few seconds Corey, my assistant, text me back saying he would open the Spa for me. I thought "Whew! Well at least I don't have to worry about THAT!" I rolled over, without thanking God for taking care of my work situation, and went to sleep.

Talia slept through the night. I got up that next morning to check on her and glanced out the window. Much to my shock there was at least 8 inches of snow on the ground. I thought "Oh great...this is the last thing I need. What if I have to drive her to the doctor?"

After checking on Talia (who was feeling less feverish) I came into the computer room to check my e-mails and begin my day. As I sat here I started to hear someone shoveling snow. The sound grew closer until I realized it was right below my window. Just at that moment, it hit me. I am not alone...ever. God is right there ALWAYS. He's not just there when I am praying or when I am thinking about Him...but He is there on His hands and knees with me cleaning up vomit. He is shoveling the snow. 

I went downstairs and opened the door to thank this elderly man who was cleaning snow off of my sidewalk and car. He said, "My son lives here and says you're a single mom. I just wanted to help." I talked with him a bit, thanked him again and wished him a Happy New Year. The tears started rolling down my cheeks before I got the door closed. Because of my nature to scream "What about ME!" when things are rough, I nearly missed the presence of God.

May you see Him...His presence, His leading, His love in those "small" moments. God doesn't always show us His love and awesome power in parting a sea or flooding the earth. Sometimes He just uses some vomit and snow.

Oh, and in case you were wondering, there was no school in Monogalia County that next day.


Monday, December 2, 2013

Three Years

Today marks three years since I held my Gran and watched as she passed from my arms into the arms of her King.  In some ways it feels like it was yesterday.  In most ways it feels so much longer than that.  I miss her every single day.  I am confident that I will be with her again.  I would like to post the tribute I wrote 2011 on this day.  Another year has passed, but the feelings are exactly the same.  I am sure they will remain the same until I once again look into her beautiful blue eyes...

"Did You Ever Know You Were My Hero?" 

A tribute to Mary Louise Eye

 



On 12/2/10 at 3:45am I looked into your beautiful blue eyes for the last time and held you as you took your last breath.  You lived a life dedicated to your family, friends, and your God.  You were the single greatest example to me of unconditional love and you were more my mother and best friend than my Grandmother.  Oh yes, you scolded me and were stern at times, and you were never shy about giving me a piece of your mind, but it was always because you loved me so deeply and wanted the best for me...a better life than what you had.  Your father was killed while you were in your mother's womb.  You were a hard worker from the time you were a small child to help your mom make ends meet and to just scrape by, and you were a dedicated and wonderful student.  You didn't go to college, but your wisdom knew no end, and you continued to read and learn well into your 80's.  You loved your Lord with all your heart and soul and you served Him all your life.  You suffered much.  You watched your mother, husband, son in law, and all your 10 brothers and sisters as well as many dear friends pass away before you, yet you did so with dignity and grace.  You loved your family beyond measure, and you were the glue that held us all together.  You encouraged me, you were proud of me, you even listened to me on the radio! ;)  And you taught me about Jesus from the time I was a little girl which is the greatest gift anyone could give to another.  You didn't just teach me about being a Christian, you showed me and many others what that really means.  You were the most loving great grandmother to my children and you helped me raise them.  They are wonderful people because of you.  You and I argued, cried together, debated, learned, reminisced, and laughed together, I worried you, you worried me, but there was nothing we wouldn't do for each other.  You even made your one and only airplane trip to help me when I was ill.  My most precious memories are when we would make popcorn and I would lean up against you on the couch and we would would watch "The Love Boat" and "Fantasy Island" on Saturday nights and you would sleep upstairs with me because I was too scared too sleep up there alone.  You're love was sacrificial.  You thought of others before yourself -always.  You were my rock and this year without you has been devastating, yet I know that you are exactly where you belong-in Heaven walking with Jesus and your loved ones, and wearing a beautiful crown of glory.  I can't think of anyone who deserves it more.  As the apostle Paul said, you ran the race and you fought the good fight, This is your reward.  Yes, I miss you every single day.  Yes I still cry because I feel totally lost without you.  And yes, I know the first thing you're going to say to me when I get to Heaven is "Liska, why did you waste time crying over me?" (AND you're going to scold me BIG TIME for getting a tattoo of a cross for you ;)  But Grandma, when I felt your soul leave your body, a part of me left with you.  As I said at your funeral, 'You were my defender and I was your black sheep".  No one understood me or ever loved me like you, but I am so happy that you, the person who made me who I am today...my Queen... is with her King.  I live for the day I get to see you and hold you again Grandma and never, ever, ever have to say goodbye. 

As you know, this is the song I had played at your funeral Wind Beneath My Wings  You will always be my hero.


Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Grace

I am perfect in my imperfection because of Grace


Grace is an inflated raft that can submerge to the floor of a sea to save you.
 Grace is the silver thread that stitches up the shreds of mangled souls.
 Grace is the eye that finds us where it refuses, there, to leave us.
 Grace calls the waitress to the table and sits her down to wash her feet.
 Grace sees underneath the manhole on a street of self-destruction.
 Grace is the air to draw a breath in the belly of a whale.
 Grace is the courage to stand in the shamed wake of a frightful falling.
 Grace is the only fire hot enough to burn down a living hell.
 Grace waits with healing in His wings when we’re too mad to pray.
 Grace is the gravity that pulls us from depravity.
 Grace races us to the Throne when we make haste to repent and always outruns us.
 Grace treats us like we already are what we fear we’ll never become.
 Grace is the doorpost dripping red when the angel of death grips the knob.
 Grace is the stamp that says Ransomed on a life that screams Ruined.
 Grace sets a table before me in the presence of my enemy even when my enemy is me.
 Grace is the cloak that covers the naked and the palm that drops the rock.
 Grace is divine power burgeoning in the absence of all strength.
 Grace proves God true and every self-made man a liar for the sake of his own soul.
 Grace is the power to do what we cannot do for the Name of Christ to go where it has not been.
Grace is a room of a thousand mirrors, all reflecting the face of Christ.

Grace is…
The eye popping
Knee dropping

Earth quaking
Pride breaking

Dark stabbing
Heart grabbing

Friend mending
Mind bending

Lame walking
Mute taking

Slave freeing
Devil fleeing

Death tolling
Stone rolling

Veil tearing
Glory flaring

Chin lifting
Sin sifting

Dirt bleaching
World reaching

Past covering
Spirit hovering

Child defending
Happy ending

Heaven glancing
Feet dancing…

Power of the Cross.


Jesus Christ, Grace Incarnate.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

At Seventeen

She's Seventeen today.  Wow.  Wait...How can that be true?  That went by so amazingly fast.  I know every parent says that.  But it seems it all only lasted a heartbeat's length.  I am trying to wrack my MS'd brain...trying to fumble for the 'Rewind' button so I can go back and watch it all over again...being careful--this time--to pay attention to all of The Sights (her sleeping heavy in my arms--all stuffed and drunk on milk--all of  "The First's"--the First Time I saw her face, her First Steps, her First Day of school), The Smells (baby powder kisses and fresh out of the dryer hugs), The Sounds (her musical, infectious laughter that bubbled up out of her little body and had the power to instantly cause a smile on every set of lips within earshot).  Can I just see it all again, just one more time?


She's a young Woman now....and what a fine one she is.  She is Wise so far beyond her years--and ancient soul in this young, healthy body.  Yet, her Kindness and Consideration for others harkens back to a simpler time, many decades ago.  Her Nana would be proud.

She is Brave.  More brave than anyone I've ever met.  She has seen hand to hand combat, looked evil in the eye and stared it down.  She has known both Loss and Death.  She has felt Pain that would have caused someone three times her age to cry for mercy, yet she set her jaw and kept going.

She is Beautiful.  Not restricted by the conventional...she radiates a Light from within.  She is His, and it shows.  She is Grace...even when she stumbles in her high heels.

She is Love.  She's filled with it to the point that it almost oozes out of every pore.  The world has tried to stamp this out of her.  She had every excuse to become angry and bitter and to replace her love with hate, but the world was unsuccessful in it's efforts.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

My Dearest Talia Beth, 

I don't have a lot to give you, on this, your seventeenth birthday.  I won't be able to throw you a huge party or give you the keys to a new car or a diamond (your birthstone)---all of which you deserve, and so much more.  All I have to give you is my words and all the things that have been yours since the moment your little heart started keeping rhythm with mine--my Gratitude, my Trust, my Admiration and undying Devotion and Love.

This seems so unfair to me...it's your birthday, but it was I who received The Gift 17 years ago...and every single day since then.  I got to be your Momma. 

You are this lovely multifaceted little creature dipped in honey and sprinkled with star shine.  If I live another month or 50 more years I will never do anything greater with my life than bringing you and your brother into it.

This song is for you.  I know you don't always see your extreme Beauty and your priceless Value and Worth, but making you aware of those gifts--and all the gifts you have been given by God--is the greatest thing a mother could do for her child At Seventeen...and beyond.

Happy Birthday Talia.  Your happiness remains my Joy, forever.

I love you,
~Momma



"AT SEVENTEEN"

By Janis Ian
I learned the truth at seventeen
That love was meant for beauty queens
And high school girls with clear skinned smiles
Who married young and then retired
The valentines I never knew
The Friday night charades of youth
Were spent on one more beautiful
At seventeen I learned the truth...
And those of us with ravaged faces
Lacking in the social graces
Desperately remained at home
Inventing lovers on the phone
Who called to say "come dance with me"
And murmured vague obscenities
It isn't all it seems at seventeen...
A brown eyed girl in hand me downs
Whose name I never could pronounce
Said: "Pity please the ones who serve
They only get what they deserve"
The rich relationed hometown queen
Marries into what she needs
With a guarantee of company
And haven for the elderly...
So remember those who win the game
Lose the love they sought to gain
In debitures of quality and dubious integrity
Their small-town eyes will gape at you
In dull surprise when payment due
Exceeds accounts received at seventeen...
To those of us who knew the pain
Of valentines that never came
And those whose names were never called
When choosing sides for basketball
It was long ago and far away
the world was younger than today
when dreams were all they gave for free
to ugly duckling girls like me...
We all play the game, and when we dare
We cheat ourselves at solitaire
Inventing lovers on the phone
Repenting other lives unknown
That call and say: "Come on, dance with me"
And murmur vague obscenities
At ugly girls like me, at seventeen...



Watch the video of "At Seventeen" here