My first reading.

This is a story that is told multiple times a week. Details are omitted to scrunch it into the allotted time. It is the story I tell before each reading; the story of how I got started doing readings for other people. I want to share it here in its entirety because I think just once it needs to be written down with all the details in place.

It was a regular day like any other. I was in grad school and had made a great friend. The kind that you meet and you already feel like you have known each other a hundred years. We had most of our classes together. We talked about lots of things; I had my first child in grad school and she had been teaching longer than I; married longer than I. She always had the best advice; but one day our conversation turned to one of her students. A student that had leukemia. An eight-year-old little boy whom she tutored. I had no idea when we started talking about Matthew the impact he would have on my life.

As my friend shared her worries and experience with Matthew and his family, I shared more about my gift with her. Opening something inside of myself I had held so close. Trying to share what little wisdom I had to bring comfort to the unthinkable situation that was facing this family, facing Matthew.

Matthew gained his angel wings in July of 2007.

A few months later my friend told me that I should share my gift with this family. That they needed my help.

Crazy town; I told her. Crazy people do things like that. I didn’t think I could help and I was sure that if I did everyone would think I was crazy. No one can talk to spirits for real. The things that happened to me were just random and I wasn’t about to do them out loud in front of the world. I played small and it suited me just fine. I had a sweet little life at this point. Two kids and a new job; I was moving forward into my sweet, quiet life comfortably.

So, I told her no. I thought that would be the end of it.

Sometimes you don’t hear when God is laughing at you. Chuckling at the notion that you think you have some control over what you are meant to do.

God and Matthew had different plans for me. Matthew was helping Him put those plans into motion.

Everything you want is on the other side of fear

Matthew began to show up everywhere. He was in my car; my kitchen, woke me up at night because I kept having the same dream. I would reach out for a tombstone that wasn’t there and carved into the rock were symbols I didn’t recognize. Each night I would trace them with my finger drawing symbols into a phantom tombstone.

Finally, I asked Matthew what he wanted. He had a family that loved him, why in the world was he spending all this time around me?

He asked me to talk to his mom. He asked me to help his family. Said he had something for his sister and turned into a butterfly and fluttered away.

Well, crap.

God knew if He sent me a child I would listen. God knew if He sent me a small boy that I would say yes. That with shaky legs, sweaty hands and my stomach in knots I would drive 40 miles into unknown territory and try to help this boy reunite with his family.

Arriving made everything worse. Encountering the eyes of this mother and father who had lost half their hearts and a whole child to Heaven was almost unbearable. What if this didn’t work? What if I was crazy? What if I just heard and saw things that didn’t really exist? I started praying in my head like a crazy woman. Dear God, please let me help this family. God please let this bring them some comfort. God please let this be real. God please don’t let this family down.

It took a good twenty minutes to get comfortable. Twenty minutes of small talk and looking at a few pictures. Matthew showed up right away, but I had never seen energy move so fast. I couldn’t slow him down enough to hear what he was saying. And then something shifted.

I started to hear him clear as day. I started to see him in his blue striped shirt and the wide grin expand across his face. He told his family about things he did in the house to let them know he was around. He described the item that he was buried with since I would have no idea what it was or how to pronounce what it was called. Matthew relayed to me the item he wanted his sister to have. He shared things he hoped for his family and wanted for the future.

We drove to his grave because of my dream. I had chills over my whole body as I stepped into the reality of that dream. Stepped into a solid, tangible reality I had only seen in dreams. I explained to them about the symbols Matthew wanted on his tombstone. His dad drew multiple samples on a napkin; skeptical trying to prove this was really happening; only one set of symbols represented what I had verbalized to them. Without hesitation, I pointed to the second set of symbols. The ones I had traced into stone night after night in my dream. Those were the ones. The ones Matthew wanted on his stone.

Heaven isn't some far off place. Heaven is all around us. You are a part of your loved ones heaven. Spirit is constantly sending signs to us to let us know they are there.

Then a little dog showed up and of course it had been theirs. Of course, that dog was with their son playing chase and being a constant companion.

That day changed my life. That day put me on a course with God’s plan for me. It unfurled my path; a path I had refused to step onto for 15 years.

When I was fifteen a line of spirits formed around me. A line. They would reach out one by one; tell me I was going to help them and I would shake it off. It couldn’t be. How could I tell people out loud this is me? I talk to dead people, seriously? I couldn’t handle the criticism. I wasn’t ready.

I wasn’t ready that day either and it would be about five years after this first reading for strangers that I would help other people out loud. Matthew never gave up. He would visit from time to time and nudge me down this path. Encourage me to keep the channels open; to pay attention to spirit.

When I first started giving readings he would be there with me. Cheering me on. Letting me know I was right where I was supposed to be. Eventually he handed those reigns off to my loved ones, but from time to time he still peeks in; still says hello with that wide grin across his face and his head tilted slightly to the right. Always dressed in the latest trends and his jet-black hair just a bit spiky in front. It always makes me smile.

Spirit speaks to us through a variety of ways. If you believe a sign came from a loved one; than it did.

Matthew helped me get to where I am today. Matthew taught me how to listen. He helped me understand how this gift would work. Reaffirmed that as much as I am here to help the living that I work for spirit. That I am here to translate the messages of spirit to their families. When I give a reading I always let spirit lead. Spirit starts with their agenda, their messages; and those messages may not always be what their loved one may want to hear, but without fail they are always what their loved one needs to hear. Without fail loved ones end up finding a way to make sense out of the words and pictures that spirit gives to me. Spirit finds a way to make me feel both physically and emotionally what they want me to translate. God always leading the way; allowing this miracle.

I hope that what I do; that each reading pays Matthew back somehow. That he knows that this is how I say thank you. That I am forever grateful for his determination and patience. That it is not lost on me that a boy, not yet nine, changed my life in such a profound and wonderful way. Thank you, Matthew and thank you sweet family who welcomed me into their lives unsure of what that day would hold. Thank you all for changing my life and being the first step on my journey. Thank you for sharing your son with me and with the world.

Thank you,

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Medium isn’t just a shirt size: I see dead people and other random musings from a modern day medium…

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“In Western culture, the ‘miracles’ referenced in scripture seem to have been relegated to the past as if to imply that they were reserved exclusively for certain historical periods.”
― Mark Ireland

I talk to the dead. Since I was two and probably before I have been visited by spirits.

People ask if there are always spirits in a room and the answer is yes. There are just as many spirits in a mall as there are live people at any given time; same with schools, post offices, houses, cars, hiking trails, the dessert.

Can you see animal spirits? Yes. I am often greeted by cats and mostly dogs when I enter someone’s home. Both living and deceased.

A lot of people ask if this has ever bothered me. Do I see it as a gift or a burden. It has never really bothered me; startled me from time to time; unnerved me occasionally and only a very few times actually scared me. I know it is a gift something other people cannot easily do, but I don’t in any way feel special; I am just a girl.

People’s reactions bother me. There anger and disbelief bother me. People tell me not to take it personally, but I do not lie, cannot lie and their outright disdain is sometimes way too much for me to handle. I do feel insulted because never, ever would I want to bring up and discuss a painful loss with another human being for my own profit or benefit. Only have I ever wanted to do this because I thought it may be helpful. Any time a reading does not go well, I want to run and hide and never ever discuss publicly with anyone what I can see. I want to crawl so deep back inside myself that no one will ever see that part of me ever again. The spirits themselves are against that; they are the ones who are constantly saying this is what I am supposed to do and this is a helpful thing, but I would say 90% of the time it doesn’t feel that way. 90% of the time I feel like a crazy person talking nonsense to complete strangers.

Another common question revolves around the spirits themselves. Are there really bad spirits? Just like with people there are good and bad with anything – the same with spirits. There are dark souls. Each soul is on a journey to grow and evolve as a being. Some have a more difficult time than others making the kinds of choices that allow them to be more enlightened. But just like Glennon Melton says, God is forever tries and all soul’s get forever tries to be enlightened souls.

What is heaven like? That is another common question. The best answer that I can give to this question is that heaven has places of pristine beauty and is definitely a place filled with a great deal more peace than Earth. Heavenly beings know no physical pain. I still sense emotional pain from souls but often with a greater understanding to that pain than we have in human form. Heaven is also just another layer in the human world; spirits are around us constantly we are very much a part of heaven.

Do spirits often come to talk with me? Yes.

Do they stop me on the street and ask me to talk to complete strangers? Yes. Spirits are as much a part of my life as the living. Spirits are everywhere in my daily life. I don’t get to pick and choose who I see, but they are there just the same.

Do I think I am crazy? Yes. I am as skeptical as the next person. I am often trying to explain things away and find concrete excuses for the types of things I know or have seen. I am often left with certain things I cannot explain. Having witnesses to these incidents is incredibly helpful because most times I will just discount it to my overactive imagination.

How many mediums are there in the world? Can everyone see spirits? I think everyone is a medium on some level and just like athletes, teachers, chefs, business people, sales people, engineers, etc. some people are just more adept at doing a particular task or occupation in life. We all have the ability to do these things; some of us are just naturally inclined and endowed with certain innate abilities to gravitate and excel at certain things over others.

So many people ask me if spirits can hear their loved ones talk to them and think about them? The answer is yes. And no they do not follow you into the shower. Spirits respect your privacy.

Many people also ask what I experience when I see a spirit. I don’t know all the fancy names of what I can do – I know there are names for each way that you experience spirit, but I am not a student of mediumship in fact I don’t even like the word medium – I would like to be a medium in size, but other than that I don’t really like that word.

But back to the real question: I can see a spirit to the point where I can describe exactly what they look like and pick them out of a picture line up. I can hear them clearly when they speak and even smell the smells they want me to experience. I can taste things and feel things they want me to taste and feel. For example, I have had spirits allow me to feel the softness of a particular blanket between my fingers or smell their favorite food cooking in the kitchen. I experience spirit’s and their energy just as I do the living many times. I have always been able to ascertain the heart or soul of a person only after spending a few minutes with them.

Do I like what I do? That is a difficult question. Some days after bringing someone who is receptive so much hope and peace about the world beyond us, yes I feel like I have done small part to make this world a better place. Days like today after a reading that went completely askew because of doubt and negative energy that clouded judgment and instead of understanding the release of tears and grief it incited anger and resentment; I want to run and hide and never ever talk to any other person about spirits ever again, but I am writing this today because I don’t think I truly have a choice in the matter any more. I truly believe that this is what I am supposed to do, good, bad or indifferent this is a part of who I am and it can no longer be ignored or stifled.

The other day I was asked if I have to go into a trance to communicate with spirit? No, there are no trances involved. I write a great deal during a reading because spirits communicate at a rapid rate. I can often write down what they are trying to communicate faster than I can repeat it. Spirits are pure energy uninhibited by a body and can move and communicate with great speed. Sometimes for them to slow down enough for me to understand them they present images of what they are trying to communicate to me and it is a bit like charades. I often see the things they saw or want me to see so that I can communicate them to their loved ones. They often also say random, nonsensical things that only later come to make more sense.

I know there are many more questions to be answered and that I will probably never be able to fully describe what it is like to have this type of experience, but I am inspired by Mother Theresa and the quote below to keep answering questions and keep trying because I believe that everything happens for a reason and that I was given this gift not only to share it with others but to also try to remove some of the stigma associated with it.

People are often unreasonable, illogical and self-centered;
Forgive them anyway.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives;
Be kind anyway.

If you are successful, you will win some false friends and some true enemies;
Succeed anyway.

If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you;
Be honest and frank anyway.

What you spend years building, someone could destroy overnight;
Build anyway.

If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous;
Be happy anyway.

The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow;
Do good anyway.

Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough;
Give the world the best you’ve got anyway.

You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and your God;
It was never between you and them anyway.

-Mother Theresa

Just doing it anyway –

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