Monday, January 30, 2012

“Loving by Intervention”

I’m writing and encouraging others to write and help the Substance Abuse Task Force as they go to Tallahassee to speak about addictions and how it affects families. Trudy Duffy has mentioned a new website FAMM - Families Against Mandatory Minimums with important information.
For those who don’t know what The Marchman Act is, it is a legal procedure (free) that someone can be involuntarily held for about 72 hours in a detox facility. It puts your loved one on a priority list that bumps them ahead in the recovery system. It is named after a wonderful pastor in our area Hal Marchman whose church and reputation are big in Recovery in the Daytona Area and now all over. I’m sure Stewart/Marchman is named after him also; I looked up where it was at his request that the Stewart/Marchman foundation was formed.

But is isn’t as easy or as fast as we may think it will be.
If anyone wants a copy of my free copy of my story,
“Loving by Intervention” Please sign up as a follower of my blog: and then email me at with the subject, “Loving by Intervention” with your email address and I will work on getting you a free copy (for your personal use only) this week.

Friday, January 27, 2012

These "Tidings" will make your heart glad:) book review of Glad Tidings

I have to admit the main reason I accepted the book review call by BookCrash for “Glad Tidings (The First Twenty-five Years of Flanders Family Christmas Letters) by Jennifer Flanders is a friend of mine had told me I needed to do a compilation myself along the same line. So although Christmas had passed I ordered the book that came surprisingly fast. The first thing I noticed when I finally got a chance to read it, (with Christmas clutter still abounding, I have to admit to losing it a few times) was this was not a one-page letter or poem as most of mine have been. This is a diary of a life well lived and a very large family.

Actually I see another book in the future not in Christmas letter form and more detailed. As I had been myself a homeschool mom for my youngest daughter, I also had some preconceived ideas of what this would be and was very happy to find that although this lady is definitely a “superwoman” mom, they were not an uptight family. She really did it in a way that I wish that I had been able to, but did not have the ability to take all those trips or have some of the resources that she had.
From the beginning of the book where it was just the two of them (and Jennifer’s husband is a real “superhero” himself) to the end you will fall in love with this family. It also seemed that Jennifer and Doug had found the Fountain of Youth, as they looked as wonderful in the last pictures as in the first ones. The pictures were a great addition to the book as well as some songs, scripture and a recipe. It is obvious that they all loved each other and loved spending time together. Should I say, “may their tribe increaseJ”?
They have extreme imaginations to do all that they set out to do and their children certainly have taken up the torch. You will “laugh out loud” at many of the antics of the children and although it was hard to keep track of them because there were so many, I loved each name and each little heart. It took me a bit to really get into to book but then I was won over and bowled over by their lives. The only thing that might need to be altered a bit was the perhaps overuse of italics, but that could just be me.
I don’t want to give away the story but these children were very well educated in the school of life and I love that. When they went to Jamestown in full costumes that their mother made, how cool is that? I see a sequel or better yet, let me know when the lifetime movie comes out!
Each letter ended with the love of the Lord and an invitation to follow him. That is the reason for the season and for the book and I know that each person who reads it will be blessed.

Donna Collins Tinsley

Monday, January 23, 2012

Naive Parents

I thank Beth Patch from for posting this recently:

If you don't have time to go there, here it is:
Naive No More

Sometimes as a mother and grandmother I find that I am just too naive about drugs and addictions so I decided to do something about it.
"Get wisdom! Get understanding! Do not forget, nor turn away from the words of my mouth. Do not forsake her, and she will preserve you; Love her, and she will keep you. Wisdom is the principal thing; Therefore get wisdom. And in all your getting, get understanding.” Proverbs 4:4-7
It was my first time at the Substance Abuse Task Force Forum. I soon found out that around the table sat people from all walks of life. Doctors, workers from the school system, people from the local drug treatment centers and people representing the Faith based community were all there. Addictions breaks down the barriers we sometimes feel about those in different walks of life. I was grateful to see a friend that goes to a support group for families who have loved ones with addictions and went over to sit by her.

The meeting was very well organized and well run. It became evident who was there in the professional capacity and who had been hurt by addictions personally, although they seemed at times to overlap. The people whose stories and input moved my heart most were the parents who had lost loved ones. Full of pain, anger and frustration these parents not only wanted help and resources in the community, they demanded it.

One mother said the cost of housing and providing an attorney for the man who gave her young son a lethal dose of methadone was much more than the cost of bringing NOPE* to our county. She was there to get the word out, to make sure that her beautiful son did not die in vain. She was there to help save other middle school students, if at all possible.
I remember reading about this young teenager earlier in the year, whose body was found after dumpster diving for drugs. As I read the newspaper article my heart went out to this mother. She was in my prayers. The man responsible has been indicted on a charge of first-degree felony murder in connection with the death.

The perpetrator told the children how to retrieve discarded Methadone bottles from the dumpster. The boys went into the dumpster and retrieved two large bags full of plastic Methadone bottles. The trio returned to a home where small amounts of Methadone from each bottle was extracted and shared with the two boys.

The boys later became sick and passed out. The woman at the forum's son never awoke and was discovered dead the next morning. This man used teenagers to get his high from drugs and now one boy is not alive and there is another grieving mother because of drugs. What a horrible thing to happen to a young child at the hand of his neighbor.
How heartbreaking for this mother, yet she was there to try and make a difference for another family, so perhaps they can be spared the pain she has experienced.

We all need to become more educated concerning what is going on in our communities. As Forums are provided within the community, take advantage of the knowledge and education provided. And then pass it on to others in need. I think "naive no more" will be my motto as I strive to "get wisdom."

The Message says it this way:

Sell everything and buy Wisdom! Forage for Understanding!

Don't forget one word! Don't deviate an inch!

Never walk away from Wisdom—she guards your life;

love her—she keeps her eye on you.

Above all and before all, do this: Get Wisdom!

Write this at the top of your list: Get Understanding!

Throw your arms around her—believe me, you won't regret it;

never let her go—she'll make your life glorious.

She'll garland your life with grace,

she'll festoon your days with beauty."

Dear friend, take my advice;

it will add years to your life.

I'm writing out clear directions to Wisdom Way,

I'm drawing a map to Righteous Road.

I don't want you ending up in blind alleys,

or wasting time making wrong turns.

Hold tight to good advice; don't relax your grip.

Guard it well—your life is at stake. The Message Proverbs 4:5-9

Donna Collins Tinsley

Donna Collins Tinsley, wife, mother and grandmother, lives in Port Orange, Florida and has been included in several magazines and book compilations. Find her at Facebook, or join Somebody’s Mother Online Prayer Support Group at

Please email her at /

*Narcotics Overdose Prevention and Education

Monday, January 16, 2012

I Have a Dream, too

An old poem revisited: A Mother who Dreams

Will I ever have the family

Of my dreams

Or will I forever be

As my friend called me

A mother who dreams?

I’ll never forget the day

I was discouraged.

She was cheering me up

She meant it in a special way, as if I was the mother of her dreams, a prayer warrior, faithful and kind.

Yet I, knowing myself as I do, struggling at times to just keep my sanity,

heard it as what I truly am,

a “mother who dreams.”

I dream of sanity in our lives instead of chaos.

I dream of peace and right standing with God for all my children and grandchildren.

I dream of testimonies given of overcoming by God’s grace and the mercy He lavishes upon us each day.

I dream of happiness, wholeness and health.

I dream of restored relationships.I dream of learning to go down a different path and being happy to stay on it, instead of falling in the dark pits of familiarity.

And I dream of the day that all my children will be taught of the Lord and great will be the peace of my children

Heal our hearts, Lord

And may my dreams come true.

Donna Collins Tinsley

I dream and yet every day I am also doing this:

“I emptied myself of all my old ideas of what my life should be.” (From the al-anon book Discovering Choices)
Click on the link to see Dr. Martin Luther King

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Rewriting Your Story; Is There a Happy Ending Out There?

If you don’t have time to read it all, this is the main thought that I am feeling: “If it were up to me…” and then the words pound desperate and hard, “I’d write this story differently.” (Ann Voscamp)

"If it were up to me,” yet I know we have to yield to the Lord's hand and people's choices. The whispers of the enemy can be so strong that the love of family and the Lord are silenced. But it won’t be forever, hold on! This story isn’t over yet.
I’m reposting something that is so beautifully written that it may help someone today. Actually I am also someone who needs to read and believe. Drink this word deep into your soul. Ann Voscamp says, “God reveals himself in rearview mirrors.”

She also says, “When it gets dark, it is only because God has tucked me into a cleft of the rock and covered me, protected with His hand? In the pitch I feel like I’m falling, sense the bridge giving way, God long absent. In the dark, the bridge and my world shakes, cracking dreams.

But maybe this is true reality; It is in the dark that God is passing by. The bridge and our lives shake not because God has abandoned, but the exact opposite; God is passing by. God is in the tremors. Dark is the holiest ground, the glory passing by. In the blackest, God is closest, at work, forging His perfect will. Though it is black and we can’t see and our world seems to be free-falling and we feel utterly alone, Christ is most present to us, I-beam supporting in earthquake. Then He will remove His hand. Then we will look.

Then we will look back and see His hand.” (Ann Voscamp)

She also wrote at a time that they were burying the second baby son of her brother and sister-in-law’s within a span of a few years: “If it were up to me…” and then the words pound desperate and hard, “I’d write this story differently.” (Ann Voscamp)
My dear ones, that struck my heart today as I think upon the sorrows that so many are going through. Losses through death, mental illness, estrangement, unforgiveness, bad health, financial losses, and addictions the list is endless. How I wish I could write each of your stories differently so you all get that happy ending that we sometimes long for. Yet think on those we admire and what their story cost them. Think of Joan of Arc, and Corrie Ten Boom to just name two. Their stories and pain have prompted many to live holy for Jesus. The Lord is weaving with golden threads the love story He is writing about each family. The dark times and threads only serve to make the gold and diamond threads He is inserting stand out stronger. Love, Hope (whose name is Jesus ) and prayers, Donna
It is said as Joan was burning she said these things:

Joan asking for a crucifix to be held level with her eyes:
"Hold the crucifix up before my eyes so I may see it until I die."

Joan of Arc's last words.

"Jesus, Jesus, Jesus!"

Monday, January 9, 2012

New Year Musings

I know I am late with a New Year post. With Rosemary Upton (my writing mentor)passing away right before Christmas, and then the book review about As Good As She Imagined: The Redeeming Story of the Angel of Tucson, Christina-Taylor Green Roxanna Green (Author), Jerry B. Jenkins (Author) corresponding to yesterday's one year anniversary, I wanted to keep some of those posts up for longer. One of our ladies from our Somebody's Mother Online Prayer Support Group lost her daughter this week and we all were devastated. I ask for prayers for their family.!/groups/119408188089314/
But here is a little something I posted on FB recently:
Psalm 100:5 For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.
His ways are good even when we can't see for the darkness. His ways are good even when they aren’t our ways. His ways are good through the valley of the shadow of death. His ways are good when we are lonely because He will come to us. His ways are good when we are struggling because He can calm ...the struggle. His ways are good when our children have abandoned or forsaken us (and Him) or gone astray because He is the mighty shepherd who searches for the lost one. His ways are good in pain as He is the healer. His ways are good when the road is long and the journey seems too hard to travel for he travels with us.

His ways are good we will believe for this year. We can’t create, change or cure but His ways are good and He can. Think on your blessings, as that is the only way to overcome the darkness of this world. He is the light and His ways are good!