May 15th, 2015

May 15th, 2019 A.J. Rasmussen

It has been a while since I have written. I've been consumed with an awesome program called Defy Ventures. I recommend it to anyone, if you have been incarcerated, or are family of someone incarcerated, you can take the course for free by contacting defyventures.org

The program is not only an entrepreneurship program, it also covers self-betterment. It is ALOT of work, but well worth it. Tomorrow is graduation, it has been an intense seven months, which led me to set aside many things to be able to place my focus on my education.

Let's see, what else have I been doing? Well, now that I am at the end of the schooling, I am adding a couple additional church programs, have started two different yoga classes, which equates to a total of 6 sessions per month, I have started calisthenics 10 mornings per month, and am going to return to a program called Fitness First, which is three days per week, for 40 minutes, it is circuit training, so more cardio type exercise. I have also been meeting biweekly with my mental health provider, stopped seeing one pastor, started seeing another, and overall am just feeling good.

Prior to Easter weekend, I wasn't doing so great. I was tired of this place, tired of the people around me, and just tired of living. I was blessed to have a 48 hour trailer with my mom on Easter weekend. It was a time to relax, be away from the constant noise, drama, and stress that a prison environment creates, and spend quality time with my mom, cook for her, watch movies with her, and play games with her. What really created my change though was two 30 minutes showers, all by myself, complete silence. It allowed me time to pray, meditate, and reflect on me, and my life.

Combine my shower time with two Easter sermons on TV, one by Charles Stanley, the other by Bobby Schuller, and I returned to this prison with a new and refreshed outlook on life. Between the two, I had to think about this . . . 'If being a Christian was a crime, would people have enough evidence to convict you?' Also 'Fake it till you make it.'

. . . After much thought, my response was no, there would not be enough evidence to convict me. In fact, I've been walking around this place so depressed and miserable, why would anyone want to go to church with me, if this church stuff makes you feel like I had been feeling?

Then comes the 'Fake it till you make it.'

Put on a smile, even when u don't feel like smiling. It will eventually turn to a real smile, and it will also have an affect on those around you.

Although I have had some dips in my emotional and mental health, I have bounced back rather quickly. I am thankful for the growth and ability to listen and learn. I hope life on the outside is good. I miss all of my family and friends, but, things are going well. Take care and God Bless!

P.S. I just realized it is my dad's birthday tomorrow, and I haven't heard from him since before my arrest, despite many attempts through letters and cards, reaching out to him. Not much of a surprise, that's kinda been the story of my life, and my dad, almost always me reaching out, not him reaching out to me. I still love him though. Pray for him, as well as me, and that our relationship could be restored, I'd like to see or talk to him before he dies. He's 68 tomorrow, his dad died around that age, maybe 70.

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