A Simple Country Girl (by Darlene)

If you knew me in high school, you would know not to ask what group I hung out with. I actually pretty much hated high school because everyone felt the need to belong to a group and not venture outside the confines of said group. I don’t like groups of people, I like individuals. But I’m pretty sure if Darlene and I had gone to high school together, we’d have been great friends, and probably gotten into all sorts of trouble together. Because for me, the best character trait a person can have is honesty–with themselves and with others. For those of you who don’t already know her, I am very pleased to introduce Darlene, a simple country girl:

If you don’t recognize me, I am the one who creates a lot of gray space in the comment sections here. Meaning I have a tendency to ramble on and on. Katdish just does that to me. I can only imagine that had we been friends in my small town, north Idaho high school, I would not have been alone climbing out the window during Spanish class. I mean really, the room was packed like fish in a can and oftentimes smelled like it too. Sometimes a girl just needed some fresh air…

Like the freedom I inhaled once I escaped the confines of an overcrowded classroom, Katdish (unknowingly) has helped me break loose of self-imposed blog mould I used to confine myself to as a writer, a storyteller, a patriot, and a child of God. Thank you for helping me be the wiggly blob of Jell-O I always knew I could be. She shares in ways that are real, biting through the fluff and fancy. And in doing so, she reminds me of me.

It can be a bit daunting when perusing in the Land of Blog. Over the last couple of years I have discovered some wonderful writers and so many refined and intelligent Christian women who really seem put-together, both spiritually and technologically. Uh, I am just a simple country girl who drives a beat-up Dodge pick-up truck and I used to live in a trailer, not once, but twice. Besides that, I wasn’t born into a Christian family and I don’t know the order of the books in the Bible. In fact, I struggle daily with dying to the very sin-filled self I made for the thirty-one years prior to meeting the Lord.

In addition, I have a really sorted and stained past…in school I wore mini-skirts and had really short, spiky hair. I had a potty mouth that would make a sailor blush. I used my fists to get my revenge after someone popped me in the face. And I did the same to the boy who abused my sister, plus I spit on him. I used to walk into a bar and come sliding out on my lips. So, what do I have to contribute in a place filled with personalized web sites, accounts that tweet, and blogs with followers? Truth be told, the answer is “not a whole lot,” unless God is holding my hand and showing me the way. His way.

My walk with the Lord began about seven years ago while pregnant with my son. Like most adults, I came into a relationship with Christ, not empty-handed, but holding tight to suitcases packed full of mistakes, regrets, and despair. Up until December of last year I had a story that wasn’t aired. Folks just don’t hang out their dirty laundry for the entire town to see, right? But when God handed me the basket of clothes that He washed Himself, I had no choice but to grab the clothespins and dangle the garments from the line. And to stand in my driveway with a sign, welcoming others to do the same.

Healing Hearts, Renewing Minds is a place inspired by God out of a very wounded woman’s past. My past. I spent twenty-two years heavy-laden with guilt, pain, and shame due to a teenage abortion. Oh, I never really expected to be healed of that wrenching heartbreak and the deep-rooted pain, shame, and unforgiveness. Actually, it all practically strangled me. Thankfully when I started walking with the Lord, He had other plans…

Friends, if you have any dirty laundry that you keep tucked into the hidden compartment of your life suitcases, I pray that you would meet God at the cross and hand it all to Him. His washing machine is really big and He guarantees complete sin-stain removal. If you just want a place where you can soak in some waters of Truth or some hearts to join yours in healing, stop by. I would be honored to hang your clothes next to mine.

Oops. Sorry. Scooch over just a bit, please. I need some room for my soapbox. I urge you to get out from behind the bushes and take a righteous stand in the political arena. Despite what any current bigwig says, men of God built America’s foundation upon Biblical principles. Folks, in these corrupt and challenging times we need more righteous men and women to stand-up, speak out, and yes, thump God’s good Word. After all, in Psalms 82 in the New King James Version, God calls us to “Defend the poor and fatherless; Do justice to the afflicted and needy” (v. 3) and to “Deliver the poor and needy; Free them from the hand of the wicked” (v.4). Our Creator most certainly doesn’t call us to sit on our phone-dialing fingers or stuff our letter-writing hands deep into our pockets while our God-given life and liberties are twisted into a moral-less mockery. Please do all you can.

I will continue to cut the fluff and share bits and pieces of my simple country life, even if that means airing my laundry on the Land of Blog’s clothesline. Thank you miss Katdish for showing me that is okay to be tough and gentle, that it is fine to be serious and funny.

Finally I know the Truth, it is best to be a real woman and a forgiven daughter of God.

* You can find more of A Simple Country Girl at Aspire to Lead a Quiet Life where she writes and posts photographs. She is also the founder of two ministries. Healing Hearts, Renewing Minds, a post-abortion ministry site and For the Least of These, an international photography ministry that financially supports orphans in Uganda. But what really floats her boat the most is being a child of God, a wife and a mother. Do be careful though because she also likes to laugh until tea spurts out of her nose.

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19 Responses to “A Simple Country Girl (by Darlene)”

  1. Annie K August 4, 2010 at 8:45 am #

    Thanks for sharing Darlene and we are always excited to see who Kat brings to her blog and introduces us to. (I didn’t want to say ‘Kat dragged in’ since you don’t even know me and might take it the wrong way.)
    .-= Annie K´s last blog ..My Incredibly Bright Idea =-.

  2. *~Michelle~* August 4, 2010 at 8:49 am #

    WOW…..floored by this post.

    Loved every word. I felt like you wrote my story….

    “But when God handed me the basket of clothes that He washed Himself” made my heart burst.
    .-= *~Michelle~*´s last blog ..Short but to the point =-.

  3. Sandra Heska King August 4, 2010 at 8:56 am #

    “But when God handed me the basket of clothes that He washed Himself, I had no choice but to grab the clothespins and dangle the garments from the line.”

    I have no words.
    .-= Sandra Heska King´s last blog ..Seven Sweet Ones =-.

  4. Sherri August 4, 2010 at 8:58 am #

    Love you already.
    And we all know that clothes dried on the clothesline have the freshest scent!

  5. Billy Coffey August 4, 2010 at 9:30 am #

    Wow, Darlene. Just wow. That was not just an amazing testimony, but an amazing piece of writing.
    .-= Billy Coffey´s last blog ..The cosmic dance =-.

  6. Kelly Langner Sauer August 4, 2010 at 9:43 am #

    just when you get to wondering about a person… good night, D – I would never have guessed. i LOVE you real! how did I miss this? it gives a whole new dimension to your sweet voice on phone!

    and all that technological fluff stuff? geez, I’ve really got to work on that intimidation factor. I never wear makeup at home, and I’m lucky if I get dressed most days. and you should see my house. or not.

    lol. the weak and the fool, and what God doesn’t dress up. what joy in a Savior like Him!
    .-= Kelly Langner Sauer´s last blog ..vomiting lions and how does God see =-.

  7. A Simple Country Girl August 4, 2010 at 9:51 am #

    Kathy, thank you for this amazing opportunity and mostly for your intro words. (Even if you made me cry.) The more I get to know you, I am evermore thankful that God saw fit to cross our paths. Even though we no doubt would have had a hoot together in our school daze, I reckon He brought us together at just the right time…

    And to your readers, I appreciate your open hearts, encouragement, and kindred spirits, more than you will ever know.

    Blessings.
    .-= A Simple Country Girl´s last blog ..Preserving Summer =-.

    • A Simple Country Girl August 4, 2010 at 10:34 am #

      Okay, yes, I am replying to my own comment. I do that sort of thing because a lot of stuff rattles around in my heart and my head. And I don’t know how to be any other way.

      Please know that this story is not about me. It is about God and His amazing grace to save this wretch and make her pure. I cannot get over how much He loves me. I point to Him. He holds my wounded heart…

      “He must increase, but I must decrease.” (John 3:30, NKJV)

      Bowing out humbly.

      Blessings.
      .-= A Simple Country Girl´s last blog ..Preserving Summer =-.

  8. Maureen August 4, 2010 at 10:02 am #

    A born storyteller.

    Thank you, kat, for the introduction.
    .-= Maureen´s last blog ..A Designing Mind for Inquiry =-.

  9. Jeanne Damoff August 4, 2010 at 10:11 am #

    What a surprise that Katdish would host a sassy, honest, passionate, fearless, I-once-was-a-lost-mess-but-now-I’m-a-redeemed-mess guest blogger. This is great, which means I’m adding yet another blog to my reader. Also, let me know the next time you plan to climb out of windows. That’s just the sort of gig I’d sign up for.
    .-= Jeanne Damoff´s last blog ..Art informing art- photography and writing edition =-.

  10. okiewife August 4, 2010 at 10:19 am #

    Loved this post, but I have to say if we’d all been in high school together you would have had adventures without me…I always had my nose in a book.
    okiewife, who still mostly has her nose in a book

  11. S. Etole August 4, 2010 at 10:38 am #

    What a find you are and were … so glad I was roped in by your candor and “lingo” awhile back. And just as an aside … my long time friend climbed out the study hall window when we were in High School … my mother, a teacher, just happened to be watching at the moment.
    .-= S. Etole´s last blog ..Only A Weed =-.

  12. Michael August 4, 2010 at 11:20 am #

    What an amazing testimony.
    .-= Michael´s last blog ..Tuck Me In =-.

  13. Jennifer@GDWJ August 4, 2010 at 12:05 pm #

    Darlene, You are a beautiful soul. So glad you shared here. You call yourself “simple,” but I always see you as anything but simple.

    You radiate the mystery and beauty of the Father, through the various gifts He has given you.

    Katdish, thank you for featuring her here.
    .-= Jennifer@GDWJ´s last blog ..Running as Worship =-.

  14. Kathleen August 4, 2010 at 1:53 pm #

    Darlene, your broken beauty hangs fresh and breezy on the line with me right next to you.
    .-= Kathleen´s last blog ..Switch =-.

  15. Michelle@ Graceful August 4, 2010 at 3:18 pm #

    Oh I love Simple Country Girl — so glad to see Darlene featured here today. And Darlene, you bared your soul, and I am so grateful. This is indeed more than I knew of you before…and I am so glad you were courageous to share your story with us today. Your writing is astounding — love, love the washed clothes metaphor.

    Nicely done.
    .-= Michelle@ Graceful´s last blog ..Do You Hear What I Hear =-.

  16. jasonS August 4, 2010 at 3:36 pm #

    What a great post and introduction. I love how some friends and people help us just to be ourselves by being who they are. They may encourage us, but it’s that infectious example that means so much. Great thoughts. Thanks Darlene.
    .-= jasonS´s last blog ..To Those Who Quit the Church =-.

  17. laura August 4, 2010 at 3:59 pm #

    THis is me giving a standing O! Bravo, bravo! I’ve said it before, DArlene…you are the REAL thing. Love you, lady.
    .-= laura´s last blog ..Chameleon =-.

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