Monday, June 8, 2009


Keep on stepping forward. One foot in front of the other. One step at a time.

I could not sleep last night. Knowing that my son Taylor has taken yet another step backward on his path. I remembered my mother teaching me macrame in the 70's. My stomach felt like someone was turning it into one of those macrame plant holders. It was twisting and turning as I stared at the shadows in the night. I kept hearing: "From everyone to whom much has been given, much will be required; and from one to whom much has been entrusted, even more will be demanded." Luke 12.

I could not help going over and over in my mind what I could have done differently where Taylor's life is concerned. I had to pray and just ask the Lord to calm my fears - knowing that HE loves him more than I ever could imagine.

My grandmother taught me the verse in Romans 8:28 as a child: "And we know that for those who love God, that is, for those who are called according to his purpose, all things are working together for good."

I know Taylor is a believer. I know he has strayed far - far away from God. He was the little boy that dressed for church and insisted on wearing a tie every Sunday. He loved going and getting up on the stage to sing. He dressed as a Pastor when he was 8 years old for Halloween. Oh, how he hated that holiday! He went door to door asking if people had the love of Jesus in their heart. I knew then that the Lord had a great plan for his life. I have to still believe that. I hope that he will get help, recover from his addictions and be able to help others in the future.

Since sharing our story on Stace's Accident Blog and then here on my blog that led to the piece in the Orange County Register . That story led to some harsh criticism of our family. I was able to address people on the OC Freedom Blog. That then led to the LA Times Article.

I have received so many emails and letters of encouragement. We have received gifts that have been given out of the purest love. We have felt the love of strangers and feel that we have made new friends. I recently received an email from a man who harshly criticized me and my belief in God. All I can say to you Steve, is that I will pray for you. I feel so badly that you felt so strongly that the Lord does not exist and I know it took you a bit of time to compose that lengthy email. I assure you that if you would just open your heart and give God a chance - your life will not be filled with such hatred, but rather changed forever.

I do believe that all things happen in God's time and all things happen for a reason. I know that sometimes the things do not make sense to us as human beings, but all things are part of a much bigger plan. No one comes into our lives by accident. I am so blessed that others are being blessed by my sharing our journey. Here are some snippets of what others are saying:

"When I got to your blog, I couldn't stop reading! I
was so touched by your story and your honesty and the beautiful pearls
of wisdom that you shared as you experienced life as you've known it for
the last couple of years. I know you've heard this before, but I just
want to praise God for your testimony, for your faith and faithfulness.
And for just laying it all out there in such honesty and vulnerability...."
a portion of an email from Christine A.

"Hi Janean,
I read your story in the LA Times today and spent about 30 minutes on your blog.
You are an amazingly strong woman even though I am sure there are many days you do not feel so.
I believe your faith and belief in GOD will help you get through this." a portion of an email from the Agnello Family

"I think I have come to realize though that the hardest and most painful things we go through bring us the most blessing. When this particular valley has been passed through I know I will look at it with gratitude to the Lord for the blessing and growth that will come from it. Already we have learned to be a family, something we never knew before, finding joy in spending every free moment together. My husband and I have grown leaps and bounds in our marriage and I feel closer to him than I ever thought possible. And finally I realize the Lord as my every day provider, not just when I really want something to happen, but every day to take care of our basic needs." a portion of an email from Jamie

"I haven't had a chance to read more than your May 30th blog (I linked to it from the LA Times story about your family). Wow! Your faith in God astounds me. I too Love Love Love the Lord, the bible brings comfort and direction to my life like nothing else ever could. I don't want to pretend to know all of God's plans for you, who could, but I'll tell you... this one is all His doing. He is using you like He never could when you had everything. People are listening, reading and hearing about your faith. About our God who can do anything. Who takes care of us and is our provider. Without being homeless you would not have the listening ears that you do right this moment. And our Lord is very proud of you. Thank you for sharing, for being honest about the ups and downs, the struggle that we feel even though we have faith. Oh my dear sister, thank you for being a willing vessel to a BIG GOD. I don't have much but I have a heart for God and I am praying for your family. May God continue to bless you.
In Love with Jesus, Christine"

I have many more emails like these. I feel a great sense of responsibility from the Lord blessing us to reach out to others. I am blessed to be a blessing and intend on paying it forward each chance I get. I think if each of us in this time of economic crisis would just take the time to reach out to ONE person - with an act of service, kind gesture, gift, or words of encouragement we can all be part of a solution. In hard times people need to be aware of the needs of others and show support. This is how God intended it. He made us relational for a reason. For a purpose. If I can convey this message to just one person I have blessed someone in need.

I try to write each person a thank you note who has reached out to our family. I apologize if you are reading this and have not heard from me. As you know - life gets in the way. I have the best of intentions at times and then time does not cooperate with me! I also have many "little and big beings" that count on me to meet their needs. I want you to know if you have written me, sent us a card or gift - that each thing is share with our children. I am not sure of the comprehension my little guys have but I know that by sharing with them they are seeing the Lord's hand at work.

When we are able to eat a meal from a gift card that was sent, purchase items that we need from another gift card we explain to the kids that kind people have "gifted" us with these things. We pray and thank the Lord for his blessings. I know that I was entrusted a great gift of four boys and I am trying to teach them by example. I try to entwine appreciation, gratitude and humbleness in their lives in hopes that they will grow into God fearing, sensitive men.

Again - I thank you all for your words of encouragement. For those of you who do not know me - I LOVE to get MAIL! Since I was a kid - I have loved running to the mailbox (or now email box) looking for a piece of mail. My Grandma Fox sent me a card a week when I was very little for years and years. I think this is where my love of mail came in! She sent me little love notes and precious cards. I collected them and treasured them - for I knew that by sending them to me that I was loved!

I am going to make some calls to see what I may be able to do to help save Taylor from himself. Sadly at this time I do not know where he is. We have lost contact with him and I pray it is not too late for him to be saved. If you think of it - please say a prayer for him.

Many Blessings!