One wee spark

In elementary school and middle school, I would go to summer camp with a group of the local churches. The Synod owned a piece of property atop the mountains between Maryland and Pennsylvania, called Raven Rock. Among my favorite activities were the arts & crafts, swimming, and group sing-alongs. I loved singing songs with 70-80 other kids and counselors. One of my favorite songs was "Pass It On."

The words to the first and third verse are below, written by Kurt Kaiser:

It only takes a spark to get a fire going
And soon all those around, can warm up in its glowing
That's how it is with God's love
Once you've experienced it
You spread His love to everyone
You want to pass it on

I wish for you my friend, This happiness that I've found
You can depend on Him, It matters not where you're bound
I'll shout it from the mountaintop
I want the world to know,
The Lord of Love has come to me
I want to pass it on


When I started this blog, over six months ago, I had no doubt about my inspiration. I identified myself as a surviving child of dysfunction. My mother was mentally ill and untreated as she raised me in a hoard, but I knew that my story was bigger than just those two issues. I knew from sharing my story face to face with different people--some older, some younger, some from similar backgrounds, others from very different ones--most people related to the pervasive issues of my childhood.

People identified with my struggle internally to accept myself as being okay, not "too much" or "not enough" as they had deduced from the messages of childhood. Even when their parents were "normal and healthy", most expressed hearing and internalizing those contradictory messages. As I had found in my own life, most found that no matter how hard they tried to overcome those messages, they could hear them clearly in their minds, even if the statement had been made only once.

Along the way, this blog has morphed. I still want it to be relative to other "COHs" (Children of Hoarders) because there is little out there for them to identify with and to. BUT...I believe that my experiences and feelings are helpful to far more than those who have, or had, a parent who hoards. And I believe women, especially, struggle across the board with the notion that they are too much ("You're too emotional") or not quite enough ("You're not one of the cool girls" [smart, pretty, athletic, etc.]).

I have struggled with these messages for years. I still struggle with them although I now have what it takes to rise above these negative messages when I choose to. Yes, that's right. It is a choice.

And I know that when I choose to rise above, I am allowing the tiny spark still left within me to be blown on and fanned until it creates warmth. And that warmth can reach other people who are still alone and cold. I also know, that even the largest fires start with one wee spark. If I have a spark and do not share it, I am selfish.

And ultimately, like the song above states:

That's how it is with God's love
Once you've experienced it
You spread His love to everyone
You want to pass it on

I have nothing to share here except what God has blessed me with! My spark only exists because of the fire of the Holy Ghost, the blood of Jesus Christ, and the love of my Heavenly Father (Daddy). I can share only that which I have: and I must pass it on!

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