Over And Underneath

I met Shannon about 5 years ago at a mutual friend’s house; we were there for her daughter’s baby shower. There were a lot of people there and quite a bit going on, but I still very distinctly recall seeing Shannon and thinking of one word at the time; tormented. She looked tormented. Over the next few years I would see Shannon more often in and out of twelve step meetings as she tried and tried to stay clean. Finally, after coming to the realization that if she kept doing what she was doing nothing would change or get better, Shannon moved in to Truly Motivated on December 2, 2010. I am privileged to share Shannon’s story with you two years later, two years of walking through her worst fears, two years of triumph, two years of set backs, two years of growth, two years of self discovery...... two years of a beautiful journey to the heart of her Savior who Shannon calls Jesus.

I approached Shannon about allowing me to take her through the Genesis Process as I saw her struggling after she had been in our home for women for awhile. I saw the heavy burden of shame that shanshe carried that permeated her life and the lack of self worth that drove everything she did. She agreed and what a pivotal day that was for both of us. As we went farther through each process I learned about Shannon’s childhood and the traumatizing events she endured that shaped her addiction.  For addicts who use chronically is not about getting high but a way to feel normal or stress free. Since healthy coping skills are usually not modeled or taught in dysfunctional homes addiction and other self destructive behaviors are quickly formed. Statistics show that in the first year of an infant’s life the brain decides whether the world is safe or unsafe by the environment he or she lives in and then wires itself accordingly. By age ten everything an individual believes about herself and the world is basically set again by the environment the child lives in; worthy/unworthy, valuable/no value, seen/invisible, loved/ unloved. These beliefs become foundational in a person and create emotions which are what drive behavior. A child who is made to feel, worthy, valuable, seen and loved will automatically be able to try new things, becomes exploratory and has the ability to move through life and see and solve problems and embrace their future. Likewise, a child who lives in a constant state of stress, is made to feel invaluable either by words or actions and feels unloved and not worthy will become hyper vigilant as the world is now unsafe. The ability to see and solve problems does not exist and soon a protective personality forms and the need to self gratify is equated with survival and an addiction is born. Shannon’s experiences growing up had left her with a wide variety of false beliefs about herself and the world that left her feeling alone and worthless. They drove her behaviors that hurt herself and others. Time and time again we took these lies to Jesus and would ask him to speak his absolute truth to Shannon..... each time he was there breaking the lies that had destroyed Shannon for 40 years with his love. Each time the reality of Jesus love for her became more and more real, more personal and more intimate. The beautiful exchange began to take place; her fears for God’s courage, her unworthiness for God’s value, her chaos for God’s peace, her shame for God’s forgiveness. I remember when Shannon and I first started Genesis and she told me that she preferred to be alone, that she is just an isolator. Everything in Genesis is built around relationships. Safe relationships that heal and build value are the cornerstone of recovery; a relationship with God and those who He lovingly places in our lives. It usually took an act of congress to get Shannon out of her room and come and hang out with the other women in the house.... “I just prefer to be alone, I am safe there.” As Shannon went through the Genesis Process life continued to happen on life’s terms. She relapsed as well as lost her Mom. These two events were either an invitation to spiral into absolute isolation or reach out and receive the love and support that surrounded Shannon. Shannon chose to finally let people in to her world in her most vulnerable time as well as grab on to the Lord. What we witnessed was nothing short of miraculous and absolutely beautiful. My most blessed moment was watching Shannon with her hands raised in worship, tears streaming down her face at a concert we went to. Peaceful. She looked peaceful I thought. Shannon now hears Jesus when he says “My love it’s over, it’s underneath, it’s inside it’s in between. These times you are healing and when your heart breaks. The times you feel you are falling from grace. The times you are hurting, the times that you heal, the times you are hungry and are tempted to steal. The times of confusion in chaos and pain, I am there in your sorrow under the weight of your shame. I am there through the heartache, I am there in the storm. My love I will keep you by My power alone. I don’t care where you fall or where you have been. I will never forsake you, my love never ends. It never ends.”

A Picture of Health

Hello  Friends and Family! We hope this testimony finds you well and that you,like us, are enjoying the hints of spring and the change in seasons! And speaking of seasons, let us go right in to sharing with you the evidence of the season of health we are in here at Truly Motivated! As a member of the community I have watched the barometer of health rise and fall with times of trial and triumph, success and setbacks, achievements and shortfalls, and I have to say I have not seen a community more devoted to each other, to growth and change, and to real healing, as I see when I look around today.Take Tianna for example.... Tianna, or T.K. as she is more commonly referred to, has been living at House 4 for a little over a year now and is doing great. Great is not the word though, that comes to mind when we think about how things went the first few months! Thankfully for everyone, a touch of tough love prevailed, and T.K.'s story today is one of determination, surrender, and transformation that inspires others. You see Tianna knew for many  years about Truly Motivated and what we do here. When the time came that she was finally ready to make a change, she knew Truly Motivated was where she needed to be. I remember her calling about 15 times a day for about two weeks straight until she secured her bed.... When I talked with her about doing this article she said, "I knew that if I was going to come to Truly Motivated I was going to have to stay clean. I wasn't going to be able to use any more and even though I was ready to be done, that was really hard to swallow." But Tianna was at her bottom at that point. In her words-
What was life like before you came to Truly Motivated?   Before I came to Truly Motivated I had been addicted to meth for ten years. The last year of my addiction, I went from just smoking meth and drinking to doing any drug any way I could do it. I lived nowhere really. I couch hopped for almost half that time. I had a few jobs, one at a bar and a couple of sales jobs but none of them lasted very long, and no matter how hard I tried I wasn't employable in Yelm. I had the reputation of a trouble maker and a drug addict. I was in and out of my family's lives. While they loved me, they didn't trust me or the company I kept around their house, and for good reason. I was in and out of jail for theft and possession charges numerous times.   What was it like coming to Truly Motivated?   Coming to Truly Motivated was one of the hardest things I had to do. I'd known Joe and Carmin for many years. My Dad used to attend some 12-step meetings that they held and my family all went to church with them. When I hit rock bottom and was calling my Mom everyday crying because I wanted to stay clean but couldn't find my own strength to do it, she said, "Call Carmin." So I did, many times until I got in here.   Coming here was a transition. I came in trying to hold on to some of my own ideas and ways of doing things and that didn't work out too well. I had a rough first few months but I was still loved and supported by the people here and Joe and Carmin. This place made me take responsibility for my actions but the people here were fair and continued to encourage me and let me know I was loved despite my actions. And that was what I needed to succeed.   What is life like today after 14 months at Truly Motivated?   541565_271059969693331_288839661_nLife for me today is pretty amazing. I've been blessed with many gifts in Recovery. I've been able to find and keep a job right here in Yelm for over six months. I have managed to pay on my license and will be a licensed driver in one week. I've regained a relationship with my family. Not only do they love me, but they trust me enough to allow me to come to their houses and spend time with them. I babysit my sister's kids for her often and was able to take a vacation to my Mom's and not as a burden, but as an invited guest. And I have been clean off of meth for over one year as of February 28th. I have true friends, a steady income, a place I call home. I feel as though I am becoming a responsible member of society and wouldn't trade the community I'm in or the friends I've gained or the life I now have thanks to Truly Motivated and all they've done to help me grow and become the person I am today for the world. I am truly blessed to be a part of Truly Motivated and to have been given all the blessings I've been given.   I've also rekindled my relationship with God. I've come to know that He too is the strength I've used to stay clean and that He is the one who gives me all these blessings. I don't quite understand the Word that well, so I have a mentor that is walking me through the Bible and helping me understand it more. I know that this also is a big part of my Recovery. This and the step work I do keeps me moving forward and growing spiritually & emotionally.


And growth is definitely what we have seen. Today Tianna sits on Peer Panel and helps guide other newcomers through that initial transition that she herself struggled with so much. She is known for being quick to give positive feedback and encouragement to a struggling brother or sister and uses her own experience as an example when she has to help make tough decisions for her peers. Tianna has become a light for others and she shines brightly, always smiling and bubbling with laughter. Her determination got her to the door, her surrender of her old way of doing life allowed her to cross the threshold, and today she stands transformed, and holds the door open for others to walk through into this way of life she now loves!


Let us say congratulations on all your success T.K.!

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Great God! Great Lengths!

I  would like to introduce you to Brea.... Brea's testimony caught my ear the first time she talked openly in one of our Genesis groups....   Brea's testimony caught my ear the first time she talked openly in one of our Genesis groups. She spoke of being ready to change, but after arriving at inpatient treatment, becoming overwhelmed and scared at what was ahead of her, and trying to climb a very tall fence to run away, she fell and broke her leg. She stayed, completed the program, afterwards coming to Truly Motivated. I got tears in my eyes and was deeply moved at what God will do to reach his children with His healing touch. "So God broke your leg so He could get you to stay put so He could start healing your heart?" I asked. ( after all, he did send a fish to swallow up Jonah!) You see, Brea's behaviors said she wasn't ready, but God is the only one who knows our hearts! When Brea arrived she had a lot of walls up and wasn't too sure of this God thing. We at Truly Motivated believe in meeting people right where they are at and walking with them in their recovery and faith walk . Brea is growing into a faith that is her own and it is beautiful to witness. In this article we will talk about a new program here at Truly Motivated;  for more on the Genesis Process go to genesisprocess.org. What was it like before?  7 1/2 months ago I was living with a drug dealer running around selling heroin and meth all day and night,  I was using heavily and shooting up on a regular basis - usually 7-8 times a day. I didn't have contact with any of my family anymore including my 13 year old son or 6 year old daughter. I was very depressed, lied to everyone and didn't care about anything or anyone except for my drugs. I was down to 89 pounds and almost died from an overdose and was mentally unstable before I decided to try to get help again. I really thought there was no hope for me and that I would die due to drugs seeing how I had been to treatment several times and tried to get clean. Something made me decide to try one more time and to do something different than I had done before. What was it like coming to Truly Motivated? After completing inpatient treatment for 60 days, I decided to do something different by coming to a clean and sober house. I believe this decision is what truly changed my life. The ability to surround myself with other addicts that are staying clean and doing life is what kept me motivated to do the same thing. I was scared and nervous to live in a house with other women, but the ladies here were very inviting and welcoming to me. In the past 5 months of living at Truly Motivated I have become extremely close to the women here. Two of the ladies are my best friends today. What is life like today for you at 7 1/2 months clean? Today my life is completely different. For the first time in 17 years I have 7 1/2 months clean and sober and I am doing recovery. I am close to some of my family members and am building trust and respect back with others. I am involved as much as possible with my children. I take the opportunities to involve myself with as many functions that Truly Motivated offers. I feel good about myself and have my ambition back to achieve my goals that have been pushed aside for so long.  How has the Genesis Process helped you? I am so thankful to have the Genesis Process as a part of my recovery. I believe it has really helped me to understand where my addiction comes from and gives me the knowledge to realize that my recovery isn’t just about not using drugs or alcohol, but a process of retraining my brain and how to do it. Genesis has helped me learn about myself and why I have struggled with many issues. It makes me deal with my feelings, face my fears and learn to understand them, also why I have them and how to deal with them and change them with the help of God and others.

Congratulations Brea on your hard work and 7 1/2 months clean!!

We are reaching more men and women each year. In this season of Thanksgiving, we are so thankful for your prayers and support. The men and women of Truly Motivated so very much appreciate all the little things that are done for them behind the scenes through your provision and prayers. As you plan your year-end giving and your next year's budget, please consider giving a little extra this year.  In addition, if you haven't already become a monthly or quarterly donor this is a perfect time to commit to helping us in this important work. You can setup automatic giving on the website tmtl.org  if you'd prefer not to mail checks. There isn't a gift too small that doesn't go a long way toward helping these wonderful people we serve.

If you would like to send along a note of encouragement to Brea you may send it to 11326 Bald Hill Rd SE Yelm, WA 98597.

Foolish Generation

This time last year we saw Taylor Gubser celebrate her late Uncle Zach by doing a fundraiser on his birthday and donating the earnings to Truly Motivated. Join us in celebrating Zach this year by taking a moment to read this....

' Old pirates, yes, they rob I; sold I to the merchant ships, minutes after they took I from the bottomless pit. But my hand was made strong, strong by the hand of the almighty; we forward in this generation triumphantly…' (more...)

Gone but not Forgotten

I remember the first time I met Douglas Bailey. I found him in the meeting hall with his wallet in one hand and a piece of paper held about half an inch from his face in the other. I'd been sent in to help Doug track down his Eye Doctor and see about getting him a new pair of glasses. As I helped him sift through the tattered business cards and torn scraps of paper he had managed to hang on to while living in the wilderness, I listened and learned a great deal about the man.  The first thing I found out was that he was legally blind. This actually went without saying, but Doug informed me that it was official and even showed me the status on his ID card. I also found out that he was estranged from his family. He wanted very much to be reunited with them and asked me if I could help. Their last known whereabouts were a vague memory in his foggy mind. Doug was just a few hours out of Tacoma Detox where he had spent the last three days sobering up. I later learned that he was 'the man on the Safeway bucket.' As it turned out, Joe had bribed the old man in off his over-turned five gallon bucket where he'd spent most of his days panhandling for change for more booze in front of the grocery store.  Joe made Doug promise that if he came inside, no more bucket. And so started Doug's time at Truly Motivated. Reality says that most people come to us without the financial means to pay their way. It's why we have the Scholarship Fund in place and why we are so grateful  for those that support it. People like Doug come in off the streets (or out of the woods around here) with nothing and we are able to offer them a chance at finding life and learning to live it. Sometimes, these people respond with gratitude in the way of helping around the properties... ... Fast forward to week two - Doug thinks he can build a good fire in the meeting hall and nearly takes his face off with the ax while trying to cut kindling. We also found him many times with his entire head inside the wood stove trying to get it started. Promise Number Two - no more fires! We laughed and joked with him about this endlessly, and let me stop here to say, laughter came easy with Doug around! The man had wit and sarcasm for days. I think he used his status of being our 'elder'  to poke more fun at Joe and Carmin then anyone ever has! Douglas stayed with us just a few months before he relapsed unfortunately. Alcoholism  is said to be cunning, baffling, and powerful. The drink had tight grip on Doug and we lost him... for a while. Then one day, Joe found him on his bucket and brought him back in. It was good to see him again, he was weather-beaten from being outside, his cheeks were flushed fiery red, he'd lost his glasses again, but his humor was intact and I smiled as he razzed Joe who was very busy making him stacks of grilled cheese sandwiches and a big bowl of tomato soup. I wish I'd known that was the last time I would see him. Douglas Raymond Bailey died August 5th, 2011. He was a good man, with a great heart, a warm smile, and a desire to be a good brother  and friend. He was loved by many and Promise Number Three - he'll be forgotten by none.

We miss you Dougie Fresh!

Kung Fu Panda 2

You may remember the great article Joe wrote last year about his friend and resident Kenny G, also known as Kung Fu Panda (if not you can read it here). As he shared with us all then, Kenny has found passion, purpose, and recovery for many years here at Truly Motivated. But when I recently heard we were having a steer as well as the pigs sent to the butcher, that our heifer Molly had a new baby calf and that we had new horses in boarding I thought I'd better stop by and see how Kenny was doing. Kenny came to live at Truly Motivated in 2007 and has been one of Joe's best friends ever since. It's hard to believe when you meet him that he was once a hardened criminal caught up between behavioral health systems and in and out of prison. The dually-diagnosed often go untreated and slip through the cracks. A lack of funding, aftercare or a treatment plan upon release goes to show that the system really doesn't understand how to address their needs. But when Joe met Kenny he knew quite simply that Kenny just needed a place to call home; and that's what your support of Truly Motivated has helped provide. Today, Kenny is our manager at House Three. He helps keep tabs on the other residents there and makes sure that everyone is meeting the Truly Motivated standard, following the rules and traveling along the road to recovery. At first sign of a problem, Kenny is sure to let Joe know. Not only because he cares about Truly Motivated but because he cares about the people that live here too. Kenny's care can also be seen on any given morning if you poke your head in the big red barn at House Three. Kenny tends to all the animals at Truly Motivated and it brings him great joy. When I heard that it was time for another slaughter my heart went out to our Kung Fu Panda because I know it's a tough time for him. I listened while he told me about the sad day the butcher came for 'SpongeBob' but smiled as he quickly said, "But it's ok... I got Molly's new baby calf and Joe's letting me keep the horns!" I followed Kenny out to the barn so he could show me and sure enough, placed carefully on the shelf were the steers horns. He told me in a very matter-of-fact way, "Next Tuesday is my birthday. I'll be 52 and I told Joe, all I want is a telescope and to mount SpongeBob's horns with a plaque that says his name." It's that simple. Kenny understands that keeping food costs down at Truly Motivated means raising our own beef and pork and while it makes him sad at times, Kenny is proud to be a part of helping make this place work. I smiled as he fed the horses we recently started boarding and chatted with him as he told me the little quirky likes and dislikes of each one. It's clear to see Kenny loves his animals and loves Truly Motivated. As always we thank you for your part in helping make it possible to provide Kenny a place to call home.

From Desperate to Dad… Meet Phil C.

Phil came to us from Ocean Shores after nearly taking his own life ... This February he celebrates more than 18 months clean! (more...)

Testimonial: Kenny


Truly Motivated: Kenny G.

You can find Kenny out in the yard before dawn, feeding and watering the animals he takes care of. Since we have added animals to House #3 there has been huge change in Kenny. Something happens to a man when he finds purpose, passion is awakened, life begins to take on meaning and our selfish nature starts to fade. We serve a big God, Kenny suffers from Bipolar disorder, and many thought he would not make it out in society. You see most of his life was spent in one institution or another, falling victim to the belief that he was not worthy of the good things the Lord had in store for him. When society speaks we often listen, and that’s what Kenny did. “Your crazy, not worth anything, can’t do anything, just take these pills, keep quiet, and sit in the corner.” When he came to Truly Motivated, he came scared wondering if more of the same was in store for him. The Word tells us God's perfect love dispels all fear. We at Truly Motivated are not into telling people how we are different we want to show them! Kenny now knows how to read, write, drive, and yes lives a victorious life bought by the blood of Christ! Kung Fu Panda as I like to call him is the gentlest man I have ever met and one of my greatest friends. Today society and the lies it tells plays no part in Kenny’s life. Every day is a day that Kenny walks with purpose. Kung Fu Panda is Truly Motivated.  

Testimonial: Nathanial

In May of 2008 I drove up to the county building and made my way down the steps that lead to the entrance of Thurston County Jail. I am flooded with memories every time I walk in to a place like this, the smells, sounds, even the robot like folks that are trained to just go through the motions without much feeling. The only comforts that I have going in is that they will let me go when the work is done, and I am going to see some one that needs a fair shot. That day it was Nathan Swenson, a 29 year old kid in for possession, an assault charge, and all but thrown away by society. Nathan is diagnosed with Dementia Praecox also known as Schizophrenia. Emotional blunting, intellectual deterioration, disorganized speech and behavior, delusions, and hallucinations are all associated with this diagnosis. I am well briefed on Nathan’s history, but I am more interested in his story: homeless, not much family, angry, confused, and lost in a broken system. We visit for about half an hour in a small glass box conversation scattered at best but the mission is clear - bring him home. That was 18 months ago. Nathan has almost completed his court obligations, just passed his written test to get a license, and in a recent conversation said, “Since being here a Truly Motivated, my mental health has gotten a lot better!” God takes the broken parts and restores, takes those cast away and brings home, loves those deemed unlovely like my brother Nate!

Testimonial: Randy

"I came to Truly Motivated because the courts said it was either 90 days here or 2 years in prison. A lifetime of addiction had left me trapped in a cycle of selfishly trying to find happiness through gambling and other "quick fix" feel good things. I began counting the days until I could leave but after working with Joe and Carmin and being exposed to the success of the other men here I am learning to deal with my feelings and improve my relationship with God and my family. I really feel good about my future now, I am learning to do things for other people and that makes me feel GREAT! I no longer count the days until I can leave. I now look forward to waking up at Truly Motivated and I am excited about learning what God has in store for my future. Truly Motivated has not only saved my life it has given my family back their son, grandson, nephew and father."

Randy has successfully transitioned out, continues to remain sober and is doing great!

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