All posts by Cassgilman

When Grief Is Your Season

Five weeks ago today, my life was altered forever. Tuesday June 27th, started out like any other day. I had a slow work day for some reason and I was feeling extra tired so I was just hanging around the house. My phone rang at 11:22 am and I had also missed a text that said “what ya doin my friend”.

I answered the call and it was my best friend of 30 years. She was headed to Walmart and wanted to know what I was doing. Well all she had to say to me was Walmart and I was busy lol. I hate going to Walmart so I wasn’t about to be like oh yeah I’ll go with you. She knew the answer before she called but she had to try. She asked me about running an errand for her and then decided she had it covered. I knew that I would go on and clean the house I had scheduled and when I got back I would get my daily afternoon text saying what ya doin now? Then I would debate going over to the farm or chatting on the phone instead. This was a daily thing for years now.

Around 3pm my brother text me and said “what are you doing?” I said “currently sitting on my butt on the couch”. He replied with “at your house”. My brother, his fiancé and I have a garden together so I thought he was saying he was at my house. I figured he was ready to pick green beans. I looked outside and didn’t see him, I thought well I will go out and get started while he gets here.

I walked outside and headed to the garden that hot day and as feeling whiny cause I was tired. As I stepped towards the garden something inside me said “something isn’t right, that text is gonna be a bad thing”. I turned around and nervously went to pilfering in my vehicle while waiting to see what direction he drove in from. I told myself if he comes from his house and in the Ranger it is ok but if he comes from the other way and in his truck this is bad.

In just a few minutes I saw him coming in his truck and my heart started sinking. I knew he was bringing me bad news. See my brother is a local firefighter and knows before most what’s happened in the community.

My brother pulled up and in a tone that verified my fear, he says “Cassie where is Dawni?” Dawni is my daughter so my heart started beating so fast. I said “I guess at home. Why?” He started to proceed to tell me I needed to stay calm. I then didn’t stay calm at all. I begin almost yelling and cussing at him to start talking and talk fast. My head was going so fast. I thought wow why would he come to tell me if it was my deployed son, he’s too calm for it to be my parents or sister, he asked where Dawni is so it’s not her. Are my grandkids with her?, where is Josh(her husband)?

My brother said “Cassie it’s Maver. There’s been an accident and a tree fell on her car and she’s been life flighted”. What? My head started spinning and there was nothing in me at all that was calm.

The reason he had asked where my daughter was is he had been up working all night and day. He wanted to have someone drive me safely to the hospital. My daughter didn’t hear her phone so he said “you stay right here. I mean it don’t you get in that car and leave here. I am going to get Megan and Andi and I will be back to get you”.

I made a call to another firefighter friend. I said” I know you know and you need to start talking. I want to know the truth”. He didn’t give me any details either. They were doing their jobs by not giving details. They was also both protecting me.

They came and picked me up and drove me to the hospital. All of our heads were spinning. This was such a freak accident that the spinning still continues. A couple of hours after I thought my brother and them had left, he text and they had gotten me a coffee. I was wondering why he who had no sleep was still there when I thought they went home. My brother knew in his mind and heart that I was facing a very dark time ahead of me. He talked to me about no matter what I have to stay calm and not react to anything that gets said or happens.

The next 4 days were a roller coaster of ups and downs. Hope then no hope. I only left the hospital when I absolutely had to for work. Saturday July 1st my best friend took her last breath and went to be with Jesus. I was angry, sad, numb, and actually went into shock.

Sunday morning after staying in a hotel that my brother and Megan put me up in, I left and headed home. I called my daughter and was having a discussion about plans for the evening. I hung up and then we talked again in a few minutes. Apparently when on the first call, I slipped into a discussion I thought I was having with my best friend. Sunday was always the same discussion if we wasn’t at camp. We would discuss the plans for the evening. I would always ask her if we was having a cookout and was we having a bonfire. When my daughter said “mom I thought you wanted a bonfire and to grill out.” I was like what?

I can not tell you how confused I felt when we begin to go back and forth on me having this discussion about bonfires and grilling. I insisted I never said such a thing. I did though!! When I got home and realized it was Sunday, I totally freaked out. What is wrong with me was screaming in my head. Did I have a stroke because my BP was out of control by this point. Monday after hours of out of control BP I ended up in the urgent care. I was diagnosed with shock and anxiety.

Grief is so weird. Grief can effect your health, mental status and your spirit. I was a mess for days. There are days I start out thinking okay I am feeling okay and this is going to be a good day. Before that day is over I have found myself in a state of overwhelming grief.

Last night I was at my work, where I clean an office and I did something embarrassing. Well it wouldn’t have been had no one been in there. Unfortunately there was a lady left in her office and I had no idea. When I realized and they had left, I reached for my phone to do what I would have always done. You guessed it… call my bff! Suddenly the air sucked out of the room and I gasped for air.

Maver and I went in on a swap meet spot with my parents. Now my mom has set up since the accident but I have not. Here in a few days I will face my first swap with out her. Part of me says nope I am not doing it. The other part of me who can’t get into my garage from all the swap meet items says YES YOU ARE GOING! There will be many many first with out her through this next year.

I also know in my grief that if I am feeling this bad, this means her husband, kids, grandkid, and parents feel it even more deeply. This makes the grief more intense to see others also hurting. One thing for sure is we are in it together and we can help each other through it.

Grief has its cycles and there is no order in which they cycle. I am pretty sure I’ve experienced all feelings at the same time on somedays. Denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance are the cycles. The bargaining ended at that hospital on July 1st. The other cycles have been a roller coaster ride. I have God, family and friends that are helping me get through this season and for that I am so grateful.

If you have found yourself in a season of grief, it’s very important to have a great support system. There are support groups even on social media if you don’t have a local support system.

My friend hated having her photo taken. She took this one with me just for me. I knew it was a sacrificial act of love.

I hope my story helps you and you know your not alone in your season of grief.

Dream Catcher 3:20


Start Small But Start Now


What can you do right now that is towards your dreams and goals?

I know someone who has written out choices for names, menu ideas, started experimenting with what they might want to serve in a restaurant type business. They are not sitting around waiting until the mother load 💰 drops in their laps to just open it.

I created a name in 2010 for my dream. I had the logo designed by my daughter. I created a social media presence and it is 2023 and still in a process of getting to where I want it!

I live in town but dream of owning a small place in the country for cattle and a horse. I started with being homeless when I moved here to renting in 5 months to owning in 3 years. I started with chickens at my second rental home and now have ducks, chickens and a goat! One day I will have a place or be connected with a place to have the other livestock as well.

I also want to travel and camp all over places. I watch videos and learn how to cook, what items I need for traveling like that. I have been purchasing items a little at a time.

I am building an outdoor Dutch oven and kitchen are. I watch videos and gather and build one piece at a time.

Never sit on your bum and let it all pass by.

Also don’t get your undies in a bunch when you see someone else step out to do your dream! All that says is IT IS POSSIBLE! It doesn’t say well I can’t now because they did it first!

Aboveandbeyond #kicknjavastyle #dreams #goals


If you are hiking up a rough and rocky hill, you have to stay focused on what’s ahead of you. If you are climbing over rocks and dangerous terrain and are looking behind or focusing on other distractions, you will more than likely stumble and fall to the bottom. If you take a tumble down hill, you usually will end up with wounds and have to start your climb all over again.

What is a refocus?

to focus again. : to change the emphasis or direction of. had refocused his life. intransitive verb. : to focus something again.Dec 16, 2022 › …

I have lost my focus in a major way. The last few years has been a struggle for so many people. Somehow I managed to allow the distractions of the world around me to make me lose my footing and have bounced around rock to rock until I hit the bottom of my hill.

Yesterday I woke up and I heard very loudly REFOCUS! One thing I know is if I am walking through something so are others. I called a friend last night and said “Why am I so angry all of the time?” She said “you are restless and not content with where you are!” She is right, I am not content with where I am. I have lost my focus and allowed hurt, rejection, disappointments… to rob me of what brings me peace, joy and contentment. One of those very things is blogging. There are a few other things that are part of my purpose in life that I stopped doing. Somehow I connected my passions to my pain. The things I was doing that brought me such joy was what I was doing when the most painful walk I have ever walked through took place.

I prayed last night and asked God why am I so angry all of the time. This morning I woke up to this photo below. I took this from a Facebook page and y’all should follow them. Link is included.

Click on photo to follow creator

Why should I allow my life to continually be damaged and lose focus over others choices to not obey God and His word! I have been so angry and even when I thought I was past it, major life disappointments and stress would trigger that anger again. The pain and anger is where my focus has been. Anytime I have gotten my eyes off of Him and my purpose, He has always gently picked me up and sent me back up my hill!

Isaiah 43:18-1918 “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. 19 See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.

Philippians 3:13-14

13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 

14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

Isaiah 26:3English Standard Version

3 You keep him in perfect peace
whose mind is stayed on you,
because he trusts in you.

Hebrews 3:1 “Therefore, holy brothers, partners in a heavenly calling, keep your focus on Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession.”

Will you join me in refocusing your life?

Thank you for taking time to read my blog and my journey through my life!

Dream Catcher 3:20

Cassie Gilman

A Variety Of Tradition

The Holidays are upon us. We are all thinking and planning out all of our menus and traditions. Some are creating brand new ones for their families.

I asked for some help from blogger groups on social media to share some traditions with y’all. I absolutely love learning about different cultural or regional traditions. I hope you enjoy reading these and I would love for you to share yours with me as well.

Due to food allergies and diet preferences, my family modified our Thanksgiving meal from the traditional to a vegan and gluten-free version 10 years ago. Instead of turkey, I made a lentil loaf or pan seared tofu cubes. Instead of tradition stuffing, I switched to a gluten-free stuffing but that was expensive so I switched again to wild rice. Instead of a green bean casserole, I make fresh green beans sauteed with onion and garlic. Instead of creamy sweet potatoes with marshmellows, I roast a whole bunch of vegetables. Sometimes I add butternut squash soup. This year may may do a butternut squash lasagna. By Jacquelyn Van Sant 

In my family, we really enjoy yams that have candied pecans and toasted coconut on top. No traditional marshmallows for us. By Amanda Davis 

We do a traditional thanksgiving (turkey, ham, dressing, sweet potato casserole, green beans, mashed potatoes, bread, etc.) but we do chocolate gravy + biscuits on Christmas morning and a fish fry at my grandma’s Christmas that we celebrate on New Year’s Eve 😊 By Whitney Eddy

In Texas, we do tamales with sides on Christmas Eve. Yum! Thanksgiving is traditional but simple, and Christmas Day I change up every year. I make cinnamon rolls and bacon on Christmas morning though. By Yvette Lewis 

My family is Polish Catholic.  We grew up with a traditional meatless Christmas Eve and passing around the blessed communion bread before our fish feast.  Then we always went to midnight mass💓  although I am no longer Catholic i still love this tradition! By Jamie Taylor 

We replicate my grandmother’s best cakes. She passed years ago when I was in high school, but she used to make wonderful cakes on Sundays. She would have my aunts do the work when she couldn’t get around easily anymore. If they weren’t right, she’d make them throw them out and start over. And she’d only used we’ll known brands. The mainstays we’re her German Chocolate, Carrot and her Butter Pound cakes. By Ria Sides 

Hm…we have a friendsgiving celebration because we live far from family. It’s become a little tradition of our own. By Eric Nevins 

Thanksgiving:DEEP-FRIED Turkey (if possible)Stove atop is a must-haveGreen bean casserole
“The Godfather” marathon plays on tv non-stop the way “A Christmas Story” is played repeatedly on Christmas. Once the Dallas Cowboys game starts, I’m told to stop making fun of them unless I want to watch the game from outside like when I first married into the family. My in-laws are funny.  By Jerry Dugan 

My family has roots in Minnesota, up by Leech Lake, where wild rice (not actually rice at all) grows, so that’s always been a staple of our Thanksgiving & Christmas meals.  My mom always makes a Bundt cake that never actually makes it to the dinner because everyone snacks on it throughout the day.  Deviled eggs are a must! And the canned jellied cranberry sauce.  One time, I tried to be awesome and make my own. You would’ve thought I ruined the whole dinner.  Lol.  By Magan Dotson Martin 

My family has always made chocolates to give to friends. Three of my sibs have always gathered in my mothers’ basement to make theirs–about 300 pounds all told. Since Mom hasn’t been involved for several years, they also make it for her gift list. They can’t do that this year because of COVID, but they have complicated plans to make certain things at their own  homes and somehow trade so everyone they give to will receive a somewhat normal assortment. By David Guion 

I cook with a fair amount of Bourbon and Craft Beer during the holidays. My Orange, Cranberry, Honey Bourbon Glazed Turkey and Craft Beer Crockpot Mac & Cheese are two of our family favorites. German Stollen, Glühwein and Jaegermeister are also holiday staples. I cook a pretty mean Portuguese-Style Roast (beef) too.
By Joe Chadburn

Now I will share my family traditions with y’all ♥️♥️♥️

Thanksgiving traditions for us are pretty traditional for this area. We usually are at my mom and dads. We have Turkey, cornbread dressing, scalloped potatoes, broccoli cheese casserole, mashed potatoes if we don’t have scalloped, chicken and noodles, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie and whatever extra we do that day. We always eat about 1pm. Most of the time my brother and parents try to hunt that morning and that evening. We are not big football watchers so that is not a standard tradition around here for us lol. Growing up we put the Christmas tree up the next day. I use to do the same but now I put it up whenever I’m in the mood lol. It might be the first week of November or this year idk when. It’s been hard getting into the Holiday mood this year. I’m working on it. Yesterday I got all my Christmas decor out of storage. So today I will clean house and get ready for the mood to hit 🤪

Christmas traditions…growing up we always went to my Aunt Nonnies on Christmas Eve. Honestly I don’t remember much on the foods except my grandma nanny always made cheesecake for Holidays. It’s a jello cheesecake that is light and fluffy. Mmm I will add the recipe link below. My aunt passed away when I was 16 and that changed things up for us. My mom now has Christmas on Christmas Eve since we are grown with families. We get to continue on the traditions. So back to growing up!!! We would get up early Christmas morning and have muffins. We had blueberry 🫐 muffins fresh out of the oven. We always had our Christmas stockings and gifts. I think we also got to open a gift Christmas eve. Just one though. We would do our Christmas at home and then go to my grandparents house for a huge Gilman family Christmas.

Skipping a head to my own traditions for my family. The kids and I (after divorce) have our Christmas whenever was easiest for us. I always tried to work around other schedules so there was no stress. I still do the same now that they have their families. We do snack style foods. Little smokies, cheese ball, cheese, chips and cheese dip, fudge if I get it made lol, one time we made little pizzas…

Last year we did taco themed. I think they like the snack style better. We may mix it up and have small amount of other foods and snacks. Oh and I try to either fix blueberry muffins or cinnamon rolls. We always do 4 things that never change.

1. We always have communion with sparkly grape juice 🥤 or Christmas punch

2. We always read the Christmas story in Luke.

3. Each kid gets a movie for Christmas. When the kids were at home we did that the night before our Christmas. We would have a movie marathon and watch their movies that night. I miss that 😢. Treasure your traditions and memories.

4. Each kid gets a Christmas stocking. I mean grown kids and the little ones. 🎄♥️

Those are things we don’t waiver from. The day and the foods can always change up but it’s important to hold down traditions and memories to pass on to your children if they choose to use any of them. ♥️. There are things that absolutely have to change when your children begin to have families of their own. For example I can’t wake up at my moms and eat blueberry muffins that morning like I did as a kid ☹️😢😭. Life grows and changes and traditions can change and be passed down. 😍🥰.

I hope you have enjoyed this blog. Please send me some of your traditions.

Grandma Nannie’s Fluffy Cheesecake



Shaking going on

Right now there are so many thoughts, emotions, questions and concerns in our lives.

I believe we are being shaken as the body of Christ, Families, Nation and even the world.

In order to wake us up and pull us into His safety, the shaking has began.

We must unite together as His children and run into His arms together. We need each other.

As He begins shaking His children into awareness and action, the shake will ripple into the darkness. There will be exposure in His light!

Walls of injustice are going to crumble. His light that’s shaking the atmosphere will bring more of His children into His arms while exposing the enemy behind his veil.

We must stay hidden in Him. He will expose His bride as a restored, United, Body that no one can deny His glory.

This battle will not be won in words of “righteous anger” marches, protest or debates. This battle will be won in His might and His power. No one will
be able to say look what we did. All eyes will be upon His Bride and will know the glory of God swept through this Nation and spread across the world.


Dream Catcher Eph 3:20

#mendingfencesnhearts #aboveandbeyond