A Woman's Voice

CHRISTMAS LOVE ~ December 10, 2011 by Dolores Ayotte

Hello my dear friends….I am honored to say that I have been invited by Janet Harllee to be a guest blogger on Just a Closer Stumble With Thee.   I would be honored if you would take a moment to read Christmas Love which I wrote especially for you during this wondrous Christmas Season.  Please take an extra minute or two to browse around Janet’s site. She has a delightful sense of humor that you will be sure to enjoy! 



SPIRITUAL SATURDAY ~ Seeing Beauty When There’s None – September 24, 2011 by Nikki Rosen

A Wo-Man’s Voice ~ July 6, 2010

“He who has courage and faith will never perish in
misery.” Anne Frank

It’s hard to think Anne Frank was only 14 when she wrote this. Fourteen and hated – for no other reason than being Jewish. Fourteen and having her world as she had known it – turned upside down. Fourteen and not able to go outside to smell the flowers, or attend a dance or sit in a classroom and daydream about boys or her future or life…..

In spite of the hatred and brutality that had taken over her world – in spite of the being stripped of all the comforts of home and school and friendships – in spite of those who believed she had no right to exist….fourteen year old Anne wrote as if her world was normal…as if nothing had changed…putting her thoughts down on paper….the thoughts of a normal teen…..

I try to visualize what it must have felt like to be fourteen and forced to live in a small space with people terrified for their lives – fearing the craziness of those who wanted to kill not only you but your whole race – people who lived with fear that if they were found – they would die….or worse…

Anguish – cries heard in the streets – family, friends, respected elders – taken – their lives stolen – beaten like violent criminals – in temples, in shops, in communities – there was no safe place….nowhere to hide. It was always just a matter of time.

Yet in the midst of that senseless brutality – fourteen year old Anne kept her diary and wrote like any typical young teen pondering the world around her and her place in it.

Her words strong, positive, powerful: “I twist my heart round again, so that the bad is on the outside and the good is on the inside, and keep trying to find a way of becoming what I would so like to be….I don’t think of all the misery but of the beauty that still remains….”

I didn’t have the strength that Anne had. Or the courage – nor her positive outlook. I felt the hatred and I hated back. I felt the brutality and I wanted to lash out against every perpetrator who hurt me. I let the brutality pull me into its lies – into its fear, into its hatred – Everything in my world was black – dark  – I saw no beauty. I wanted so bad to give up and to give in to the darkness. I saw no hope – no light – no meaning.

Anne had been raised by loving parents – parents who gave her security and a strong foundation  – so strong that when the darkness came – she was able to push it aside and still see beauty. I’m trying to parent my girls that way. Maybe it’s working. My oldest 13 – almost 14 – is amazingly positive. She inspires me – she teaches me….

Growing up in a Jewish home – I heard the phrase over and over: “to not
remember the past is to be condemned to repeat it.” I used to wonder why do Jewish people constantly talk about what happened….and hold memorials and give honor to the survivors.   I was told – ‘so it will never happen again. From one
generation to the next – we must tell what happened.’

I think I’m beginning to understand…..to tell of the brutality we lived – in some way is a protection for the next generation – to know – to be aware – to live a bit differently – to understand there is darkness – but there’s also a strength, a hope – a light with each survivor who stands up and says, “I survived. The darkness couldn’t destroy me.”

I never wanted anyone to know what happened to me – all those things I lived – Today I want you to know, “I survived.” And every time I read some of your blogs – and know you too have survived – I’m cheering

Thank you so much Nikki for sharing such an intimate part of your self with us.

Nikki Rosen is the award-winning Author of   “In The Eye of Deception” (A
True Story).

Website: http://gentlerecovery.webs.com

Blog Site: http://cultofdeception.blogspot.com

Blog Site: Tips & Tools for Healing from Trauma http://www.gentlerecovery.blogspot.com


INSPIRATIONAL QUOTES AND ANECDOTES ~ New Ending ~ September 21, 2011 by Dolores Ayotte

How many times in life do we live with regrets? We look back and sometimes our lives haven’t gone quite the way we hoped for or expected. We get so disappointed and discouraged with ourselves, our lives, and with the people around us. No one can change the past, not even God. What’s done is done. The key in life is to not let the past affect our present or future happiness.

There’s nothing wrong with looking back and learning from our past mistakes but rather than mourn the loss of what could have been, we can choose to start now to make a new ending.  By doing so, we can change the outcome of future events. Our lives can hold a much brighter future when we look ahead with faith and courage.

Faith in God and a renewed faith in ourselves…because we have taken the time to look in the mirror and realize as well as capitalize on the personal power that we possess in order to start now and create a new, more positive, and acceptable ending to our lives.  Go for it!

Life is too short to wake up with regrets.. So love the people who treat you right. Forget about the ones who don’t. Believe everything happens for a reason. If you get a second chance, grab it with both hands. If it changes your life, let it. Nobody said life would be easy, they just promised it would be worth it.~ Source Unknown


Posted in INSPIRATIONAL POEMS ~ SPIRITUAL SATURDAY by doloresayotte on September 10, 2011
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For those of us who have ever suffered from any form of depression…this poem says it all!

© Annabel Sheila

She’s beauty, style, poise and grace,
At least she appears to be.
But no one knows the girl who hides
Behind the face they see.

Her self-esteem is all but gone,
Of her ego there’s barely a trace.
There’s so much pain behind the mask
She wears upon her face.

Depression has controlled her life
With far too many tears,
Her smile is fake; she’s good at it,
She’s been doing it for years.

The cover is what attracts us,
To the story within the book.
And she’s afraid that without the ruse,
No one would bother to look.

Source: The Ruse, Depression Poems http://www.familyfriendpoems.com/family/poetry.asp?poem=21357#ixzz0s0Eilfu6

Masks…so many faces. Which one shall I wear today?  It is so wonderful to be free of the mask. I am so grateful that, at last, the truth has set me free. (Dolores)

INSPIRATIONAL POEMS ~ The Old Farmhouse ~ August 31, 2011 by Shirley Sarafinchan

My Sister’s Voice 

This poem was originally written on April 30th, 1981 about an old farmhouse that was once home to a family but some time later I associated it with abused women. In essence, it reminded me of women who strive so very hard to make homes for their families.  No matter how hard they try, they are worn down and battered.  Finally they have the opportunity and the strength to stand up for their rights and to free themselves from their bondage to at last find the peace and solace that they so richly deserve.  The old farmhouse is a symbol of a refuge for abused women.


Amid the fields it stands so alone, so serene, so peaceful, yet filled with an emptiness all its own, this old farmhouse that was once called home.

Its shingles torn and tattered, windows scarce of glass, doors hanging by a single hinge alas this old farmhouse so battered.

What secrets dare to lie within its walls, love, laughter, fun and joy, echoes of little children running down the halls, tears, sorrow and pain for loved ones lost.

Music must have filled the nights with sounds of crickets and birds in flight, the sweet scent of the prairie harvest and wild flowers a pleasant sight.

The tantalizing aroma of freshly baked bread reaching every corner of the old farmhouse and early morning sunrises filling each room full of light, the warmth from the wood stove soon to spread. 

Memories fill this old farmhouse, nothing more is really left but, it has served its purpose in this life and now alone, it can be at rest.

Thank you Shirley.

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INSPIRATIONAL POEMS ~ SPIRITUAL SATURDAY ~ Surviving Life ~ July 30, 2011 by Charles Betts

will you survive when your heart’s broke in two

the one that you love has been taken from you

Was it just yesterday you did the things you enjoyed

death angel came and everything was destroyed

you carry on while your soul knows this pain

Your heart used to sing ‘cause they were your refrain

were the sunlight that shone in your life each day

you question why it is God would take them away

 The worst part is it seems the storm is not

waves just keep on crashing o’er you

disciples who recalled they had Jesus on board

you call upon Him sweet peace can be restored

can if you choose jump into the seas

think it’s better to fall on your knees

to the Lord be strong and be brave

has control of the wind and the waves

know it’s hard to believe you’ll laugh ever again

you can if you let Jesus take care of the pain

are some things in life we just can’t control

in the presence of God He restoreth our soul

poem By Charles Betts

July 13th 2006

Thanks Charles!

SPIRITUAL SATURDAY ~ Cry For Freedom ~ July 16, 2011 by Charles Betts


She’s crying out for freedom

But no one hears the sound.

They go about their busyness

Her voice by theirs is drowned

She stands out on the corner

Where she sells herself to men,

Who never think of who she was

Or who she might have been.

They take what they came after.

They put money in her hand.

She heads back to her chosen spot.

No one knows or understands.

She’s crying out for something,

But it seems no one can give,

The very thing she’s looking for.

That’s another chance to live.

The ones that stop to talk to her,

They have a hunger in their eyes.

When they exchange what each one has,

There’s a piece of each that dies.

She scarce recalls the little girl

Who would dream upon her bed.

A princess in a fairy tale;

The prince that filled her head.

She’s crying on her pillow.

She’s wishing she could change

Who she is, and who she was

To her it seems so strange.

It seems so hard to comprehend

That her life would end up here.

Because of choices she had made.

To know this flood of tears.

To have your heart this broken,

For your heart to be this dead,

Goes beyond what most folks know.

They can’t get it in their head.

She’s crying out for Jesus,

But she doesn’t know His name

Is more than just a cuss word

People use to shift the blame

The tears that overwhelm her,

When there’s no one else around,

With the sobs that rack her body,

Make a harsh and deaf’ning sound

Before the throne of God in heaven.

He hears her every cry.

He does his best to reach her.

He leaves it up to you and I.

He’s crying out for someone

To go and touch her soul.

Someone who will show her

How His love will make her whole.

Can you hear the Savior calling

As you go about your day?

Or are you just too busy

So you push the thought away?

When She’s crying out for freedom,

She’s calling out to you and me.

God as well is saying,

She’s our responsibility

A Poem By Charles Betts

Feb 14th 2007


Thanks so much Charles for another touching poem.

SPIRITUAL SATURDAY ~ INSPIRATIONAL POEMS ~ The Lamb ~ June 25, 2011 by Charles Betts


I am the Lamb the Good Shepherd would hold

Protected from heat and sheltered from cold

Then I got rebellious, wouldn’t do what I was told

One day I decided to run away from the fold


I ran away under cover of night

As hard as I could to get out of His sight

I didn’t stop running until I saw morning light

Back when it happened I thought I was right


I went to the city and joined in with the crowd

I went to the parties and learned to be loud

They all seemed to like me. I became proud

I did what I wanted because I was allowed


I never once thought the Good Shepherd would leave

The ninety and nine, this poor lamb to retrieve

He didn’t love me, is what I chose to believe

I lied to myself. Myself I deceived


I had a good time for quite a few years

No inhibitions. I overcame all of my fears

There were only good times. No sorrows, no tears

Then I realized, life is not what it appears


I began to get lonely. My friends went away

My health began failing. I could no longer play

I had no one to listen to what I had to say

I cried every night and was sad every day


Then it happened to me, right out of the blue

I heard the Good Shepherd say “I’m looking for you

Your life that is ruined, I will make it brand new”

I felt so guilty, I didn’t know what to do


The day Jesus found me I was filled with despair

I was all by myself. I had no one to care

Who I thought were my friends were no longer there

I was useless to them. I had nothing to share


This time I answered when He called out my name

“I’m here to help you and I’ve taken your shame”

He lifted me gently and healed all my pain

I am so glad to be in His arms once again


I am the Lamb the Good Shepherd now holds

Protected from heat and sheltered from cold

No longer rebellious, I do what I am told

I’m just so happy to be back in the fold


Now I feel safe and I sleep well at night

Knowing I am never really out of His sight

I waken with joy to face each morning’s light

And I know in my heart that this is what’s right


A Poem By Charles Betts

Apr 12th 2011

 Great Poem Charles…thanks!

SPIRITUAL SATURDAY~INSPIRATIONAL POEMS ~ Keep Your Dreams ~ June 18, 2011 by charles Betts

Dreams are more than butterflies that flitter through our mind

Searching for a place to land in hopes they somehow find

The food we all require to sustain our journey every day.

When we believe our dreams, it matters not what others say

It’s the dreams that burn within our heart that keep our soul alive

When times are tough or life gets rough they help us to survive

When the flame becomes a candle, be a beacon  on a hill

Wrap your dreams around your heart, they’ll fortify your will

Soar up to the mountains where only eagles dare

Somewhere in the journey you’ll find someone to share

The dreams that burn within your heart and keep your soul alive

When times are tough or life gets rough they’ll help you to survive

While your candle’s burning, you’re the beacon on the hill

That lights the way for others who have somehow lost the will

To keep their dreams alive when their hope is fading fast.

When you learn to share your passion then both your candles last

Butterflies are beautiful, so lovely to behold

Dreams may be impractical, yet they fill our soul

Both of them are needful. We are filled with awe and hope

Each of them in their own way help us all to cope

A Poem By Charles Betts. Feb 9th 2011

Thanks Charles!

INSPIRATIONAL QUOTES AND ANECDOTES ~ Games People Play Part IV ~ June 17, 2011 by Dolores Ayotte

Final post in this series…continued from yesterday.

Once again, it is may be beneficial to use your imagination to overcome some of the adversity in your life. When you feel down or hard done by, picture yourself as that “mat” on the floor. You probably feel angry with those around you for not treating you properly, but instead of telling them how you really feel you draw into yourself and your own shell. Does this sound familiar or ring true to you? If so, this is when your anger may turn inward and mask itself as depression.  These angry feelings can also create another problem for you.

You may turn around and end up creating a negative cycle by treating other people the way you feel you have been treated. This is a no win situation. It will not make you feel good or any better about your situation. In fact, it will eventually add to your negative self-image. Once again, it is necessary to have an honest look at yourself and make a very big decision. Please try to remember that “troubles are often the tools by which God fashions us for better things”. (Henry Ward Beecher) 

It is necessary to have a little “self-talk” to admit what you are really dealing with and what, if anything, you are prepared to do about it. Remember that the only person that you have any real power over is yourself.  No one else can fix this for you.  It is essential to truly embrace the fact that you must decide to help yourself. This may be a frightening concept because it makes us feel so responsible.

However, to “am’t” to something worthwhile in life, it usually involves accepting responsibility, accountability, and some change.  It also means it is necessary to rise above the blaming stage.  In other words, we have to get up off the floor and do something positive with our lives.  This requires work.  Work requires effort.  When we are down and out, it appears that the easiest way out to do nothing. We are, by human nature, an habitual lot but if we are unhappy with our lot in life…we may have to make a few changes.

Habits, whether good or bad, are ingrained in us.  They are very hard to change. Even the smallest change requires effort but in order to grow, it is the only way to go.  “Growth requires change and change involves risks, stepping from the known to the unknown.”(George Shinn) 

Effort = results.  No effort = no results.  Little effort = little results.  Big effort=big results.

You get the picture. You also get to choose just how much effort you want to make to rise above this depressed state or any negative situation in your life. In the end you will achieve the corresponding results.  I realize that this is a tough concept to embrace because it puts the onus on us but let’s face it, it is our life.  It’s really is up to us to decide if we would like to change the situation because no one else can do it for us.  “Within you right now is the power to do things you never dreamed possible.  This power becomes available to you just as soon as you change your beliefs.” (Maxwell Maltz)

The belief that you must work at it in order to alter your situation is very important. If you believe this fact, it means you actually can do something about it. So there you have it. Do you want to live like a “mat”, a “tam” or do you want to “am’t” to something? The only way to do this is to look at your life and decide. Yes…decide. It’s that simple because “the only thing that stands between a man and what he wants from life is often merely the will to try and the faith to believe that it is possible” (Richard M. DeVos)

If there’s one thing I know for sure, it’s that it is indeed possible. I wouldn’t be sharing this with you today if it wasn’t. In fact, I wouldn’t even have anything to share. Yes…the faith to believe…says it all. Faith in God and a renewed faith in yourself!

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