Saturday, February 23, 2013

Race Week and Racing to the Throne of God

It's Race Week in Daytona Beach Florida and I'll let you in on something I am working on before we race to the throne of our Lord. There is an offer of a free poem at the end if you sign up to follow this blog, so don't stop reading until the end.
Somebody’s Mother devotional is a compilation of devotions, vignettes, and musings to jump-start your day as you, a mother (or grandmother) learn to take better care of yourself amidst the chaos of dealing with life, dysfunctional relationships and adult children with addictions.

It will include the joys and pain of life from a mother and grandmother among you living a day at a time, letting go and letting God, learning and loving just like most of you.
Somebody's Mother Devotional invites you to take a deep breath, learn to treat yourself well and give yourself three weeks of concentrating on yourself. You need to refocus and realize that you dear one, are so worth it.

Let’s Pray:
Lord, Jesus, I come before you on behalf of mothers and grandmothers in need of a break, in need of some time with You, in need of refreshment.
Please cover each one with Your blood and protection and cover their loved ones, too. We don’t want to neglect the problems that are all around us, but we have come to the conclusion that we can’t “fix” adult children. We can only open our hands up to You and say, “They are Yours, Lord.” Heal, restore and work the miracles that only You can do.

I've updated this poem to be more inclusive as I strive to write a devotional It previously was called SOMEBODY’S DAUGHTER:)


Somebody’s child is hurting
Somebody’s child is in pain
Somebody’s child feels lost
Life isn’t worth what it has cost
Somebody’s child is using
Fighting memories

Of the abusing
Life is too cruel
To take sober
Wake me
When this is over
I just wanted to be
Somebody’s good child

Donna Collins Tinsley copyright 2013
For anyone who signs up to follow my blog and sends me an email at with Somebody's Mother in the subject, I will send them the responding poem called Somebody's Mother.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Free Article this weekend

I have an article called "Help, My Child is in Jail!" that I am offering free to people this weekend who sign up to follow my blog.

Here is an excerpt from the article which may be helpful to those on The Addict's Moms groups:

     If you are a mother I imagine you never thought you would ever receive a call from jail when that child was in your womb. In all your plans for your child, all your prenatal planning, all your hopes and dreams and prayers, this scenario never came to mind. But for countless parents, jail calls have become a reality. Domestic violence, driving under the influence of either prescription drugs, illegal drugs or alcohol, disorderly conduct; these things were never supposed to come into a Christian parent’s life, right?  Yet, they are sometimes part of life’s hard reality.

If you sign up then please email me at with "Help, My Child is in Jail!" as the subject.


Friday, February 8, 2013

TGIF, People! This and That to End the Week

Some days it is just hard to figure out a subject to blog about. On those days I go to my old quote files. It was hard for me to want to update knowing the blog about my mama, “Mama Said,” would go by the wayside. I’ll probably end with some of my favorite quotes as I am trying to get in gear to go to the next Florida Christian Writer’s Conference at the end of this month. That is taking up a lot of my thoughts. Many times I feel I am way over my head there but then I so enjoy the whole experience that I can’t stay away.

TGIF, people:

“And the day came when the risk it took to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” Anis Nin

“I did not lose myself all at once. I rubbed out my face over the years washing away my pain, the same way carvings of stone are worn down by water.” (Amy Tan)

“Lord, I am willing to stay in this prison for the rest of my life if only I may know you. At that moment I was free.” Kari Torjeson Malcom

“Prayer is a working instrument that does certain things, just as a pencil writes and a knife cuts.” Eleanor Roosevelt
“In search of my mother’s garden, I found my own.” Alice Walker

“Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” ~Winston Churchill

“A smile is a powerful weapon; you can even break ice with it.”


“By swallowing evil words unsaid, no one has ever harmed his stomach.”

--Winston Churchill

“When you get to the end of all the light you know and it's time to step

into the darkness of the unknown, faith is knowing that one of two things

shall happen: either you will be given something solid to stand on, or you

will be taught how to fly."~ Edward Tellar

And now, smile for this one, sounds like something my mama might have said:

“If you can't be a good example, then you'll just have to be a horrible warning” - Catherine Aird

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Mama Said, updated in honor of my Mama

Reposting a story I wrote a while back. I am posting in memory of my Mama, Linda Lee Wirth Reece Lewis who went home to be with the Lord, 15 years ago, today. Some of you may have already read this, but I hope it is a keeper!

Mama Said

I woke up from the dream weeping, "I want my Mama!" I am 61 years old and she has been dead 15 years. Will the need to reconnect with the one who gave me life never end? Is the cry of grief endless?

I first experienced it on the day that she died. It is uncontrollable, inconsolable. Involuntarily, it came from my mouth. A piercing scream to match the piercing pain in my heart. But in my mind's eye, I flash back forty years. I heard that same scream coming out of my mother's mouth at the news of her mother's death. It is nearly a primitive sound.

I was assaulted with thoughts of things I felt I could have done or should have done. In previous months, Mama had stayed with us for a few weeks to recover from several surgeries. We were in close contact but the week before she passed away, my children had been sick and we didn’t get to see each other.

Our last conversation haunted me. We had always been close and I usually called to check on her every morning. It was about 8:10 AM. I was in the midst of Monday morning rush. “Hi Mom, I’m on my way to take the kids to school and thought I’d see how you are feeling and what you are up to.”

“I can’t talk now, the nurse is here,” Mama said. It was her routine house visit to check her post-surgery wound. How I wished I had said, "Call me when she leaves." Because of such a quick call I spoke no meaningful words and felt a lack of closure.

At her moment of death I thought I would be at her side. Although I reached the hospital before the ambulance got there with Mama she had already passed away at home in her own bed.

“Please let me go in,” I begged the nurse.

“A doctor has to check her first,” I was told. Assuming she was still alive, I waited; but Mama had died at home in her own bed the way she had wanted to go.

It was hard to accept not being with her at the end. I had always tried to be the "perfect daughter." As the oldest child wasn't that part of my job description? Yet I couldn't control the uncontrollable; there is a time to be born and a time to die.

Many times when I have a dream about her I wake up and try to think of all the happy times we had. Mama was raised in the Deep South and there was always an “old saying” coming out of her mouth. Mama used to say, "Men will go after anything in a skirt!" but I'm sure we don't want to go there. As a teenage mother, divorced two times, she was probably trying to keep me from repeating her mistakes.

It wasn't easy for Mama to raise four children under the age of nine alone when my stepfather was put in prison. Her own mother and father had already passed away, and she was left on her own when she bypassed advice to put us in a children's home until she could get her life together. Although, she was a high-school dropout she was smart enough to know it could take a long time, and she wasn't going to be without her children if she could help it. I will forever be grateful that we were kept together as a family. Just sixteen when I was born she was quite a survivor! She loved to dance and I remember thinking what a pretty Mom I had as she danced to "Be Bop A Lula;" she adored Elvis, Dick Clark and the American Bandstand, and Chubby Checker, "Everybody do the twist." And everybody did.

Even though we moved often, she always worked and made sure there was food on the table. She had a lot of common sense and was so generous you would think she was a rich woman. Her employers loved her because not only could she work circles around everyone else, she made them laugh while she did it.

She used to say "It's a great life if you don't weaken," "You have to laugh to keep from crying,” and "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger."

And Mama always said, "What goes around comes around." That is wat I would like imitate. That is why I want to sow seeds of goodness, kindness and love because those are the types of things I want to come back to my family. Bless your children and they will bless you. Love your husband and see what a return you get. It is the principal of "sowing and reaping."
Mama also said, "Only the good die young." This must certainly be true. She died unexpectedly at age 62. Sometimes I try to imagine life with her still here. Many times I have gone over in my mind the things I wanted to do for her when she was alive. Whenever we have a family celebration or are eating at a restaurant, I am often wishing she were still alive and here enjoying herself. She loved to eat and used to say, "I'd rather die than not be able to eat what I want."

Diabetes helped that statement come true.

Mama, if I had you back for even one day, I would treat you like a queen. I would take you anywhere you wanted to go. I would make you whatever you liked for me to cook, carrot cake or the little fancy sandwiches for a picnic. We would find a “Po Folks” restaurant even if I had to drive you from Florida to Tennessee to do it. I would take you to a movie and to the flea market. I would rub your back with alcohol and then lotion and I would wash your tired feet with warm, scented water and my tears. I would pray a blessing upon you and show you how much I love you.

These are thoughts I have when I meditate on my mother. Our relationship had its ups and downs, but it is still the strongest bond on the earth, that mother-daughter connection. I will always remember the things my Mama said and it’s funny, but I seem to be saying a lot of them to my own daughters, now.