Saturday, August 30, 2014

{this moment}

A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

Friday, August 29, 2014


Reach for the stars they say. Reach for the moon. How about if I just reach for enough?

Who defines "enough"? When have I reached far enough? When can I stop reaching?

I'm tired, and more than a little done in by this week, but all I can seem to focus on is all the stuff I haven't done. All the stuff someone else thinks I should have done.

It's difficult when I can't make everyone happy or impressed with my accomplishments. I think I want their validation because I don't trust my own. I keep reaching waiting for someone to tell me I'm good enough, but the reality is even when that someone comes along and says it, I don't believe them, or at least not for long.

I think about all that reaching. All that need for hole filling. I change my reach. 

I reach for God instead. I forget all the time that His validation is all I need. That His love is the only thing I need to reach for.

By reaching for God I surpass the stars.

linking up with Five Minute Friday

Thursday, August 28, 2014

It happened during recess . . .

When I was in first grade I was one of the fastest runners in my class. That's a big deal in the 1st grade. 

We had a merry go round on the playground and the fastest runners would get in the middle to push it for everyone else and then jump up on the bars to ride. One day while showing off my prowess I tripped over a root that ran under the merry go round. My left leg flew up at an awkward angle connecting with the metal bar and man, oh man did it hurt.

I began to cry and a friend helped me over to our teacher who was supposed to be supervising us on the playground. Mrs. Cole told us to walk across campus to the nurse's station and let her have a look at my leg. I tried to hop on my right foot and hold my left foot up, but I wasn't very good at that, especially since I am left-handed, and at that age I was pretty much left-"sided"! 

My sister, who was in 4th grade, says she heard me scream as she was walking back from lunch, so she and her best friend came to check on me. 

I attended a private school that offered first grade through college on a large sprawling campus. My dad had taught in the high school and had recently moved to the college to teach, so we were relatively well-known by a wide variety of people. 

As my sister and friends hovered around me trying to figure out how to get me to the nurse, a strapping high school boy (a football player, no less!) came to my rescue, picking me up, he carried me to the nurse's station. Oh what sweet relief!

The nurse put me on an exam table and I suppose checked my leg. She then transferred me to a bed in a dark room with no windows, behind her desk. Leaving the door cracked she went and called my mother. I overheard her tell my mother my leg might be broken. I have no idea what else was said. All I could of think of was broken toys and what we did with them. WE THREW THEM AWAY! 

As I lay waiting for my mother I worried and worried over what this would mean. Was I doomed? Was only my leg doomed? Would I only have one leg from now on? It didn't hurt that much now that I wasn't walking on it. Maybe the mean, red-headed nurse in all the white clothes was wrong. 

My parents arrived and I went to a doctor (not my usual one) and they took x-rays. They told me my leg was broken, and I began to weep. Suddenly there were assurances that everything would be okay. They were going to wrap my leg in special stuff and I'd get to use crutches and everyone would help me and be extra nice.

Once we got home, people came by to visit and they brought me GIFTS! Books and flowers and toys. Maybe this was going to be okay.

I wore that heavy plaster cast for 6 weeks. They gave me a special dispensation at school and allowed me to wear pants because of my injury, and every day a different student was assigned to be my helper, to carry my books and lunch and open doors for me. I got to go talk with other classes about being careful on the playground.

I was a celebrity! 

And they didn't throw me away.

linking up with Writer's Workshop

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

DIY Starbucks

linking up with Wordless Wednesday

Therapy and Haircuts

Tuesdays are therapy day. I see my counselor once a week as we continue unwinding my history. It's a good news, bad news scenario. I'd like to say I always feel better after that meeting, but of course I don't. Like yesterday, I thought we were going to talk about one thing, but in the middle of it things shifted to something different. Something I've never talked about much with anyone, because I'm ashamed of how strongly I feel about it.

I've been pregnant twice and given birth to 2 beautiful, healthy children. They are all grown-up now at 24 and 21. I used to joke that I'm bad at pregnancy, but at least I make great kids. 

The reality is there is some really deep pain with those difficult pregnancies. I felt like a failure because here was the most natural thing in the world -- bringing new life into the world -- it's what my body was made for -- and yet, I struggled with it both times. So much so that my ob/gyn practically begged me to never get pregnant again after my son was born. 

I spent a lot of my life feeling like a failure. An outsider. The one who didn't get the instruction manual. Now, at 52, I understand that much of that feeling was the result of the abuse I suffered as a child. But it's also from the resulting relationships I built after missing out on some basic sequential development. Abuse stunts development. Survivors go on growing physically, and we do a really good job of masking and pretending we're just like everyone else, but there's significant damage that's been done, and left alone it festers and grows. 

Yesterday I opened up another chapter to look at and understand pain and loss. It caught me off guard, and I sat sobbing trying to explain between gasps that while I felt better about what we had been talking about to begin with, a whole new area of pain had opened up in the process. My therapist looked at me and let me explain. She sat back and listened and we regrouped. Made some new plans and she gave me homework. 

I left her office still trying to calm the tears, but I didn't really try to hide it and I didn't internally run from the feelings. Instead I sat in my car and thought about what had happened and what I needed now. I took care of myself and made a plan.

Later in the day I had a hair appointment. I'm blessed with a stylist who is smart and caring, and for good or ill a survivor herself. It's another mixed bag having a hair appointment on therapy day. I had another round of discussions with her. Mostly about different things, but still intense. And here's the thing -- it was good. I got a clear cut reminder that I'm not alone in my fear and insecurities. We laughed about scheduling hair appointments for any other day in the future, but it might have been a blessing yesterday.

So today I'm feeling a bit wrung out and I didn't sleep well, but I still feel better. I took something out and looked at it. I'm not carrying it by myself anymore and that is always a good thing.

linking up with Just Write

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY . . . August 26, 2014

Outside my window . . . there is blue sky with big, fat, fluffy, white clouds. It's 76* degrees but I'm sure it's gonna get a lot hotter! Think the dog days of summer.

I am thinking . . . about weight and exercise. There's been a great deal of discussion on those topics of late, and I'm trying to determine what I really want to do about trying to get more serious about losing some weight, while figuring out what a new exercise routine might look like.

I am thankful . . . for a good weekend. Time spent with friends and family. A good worship service on Sunday. Meeting some new people at church. And the obligatory and enjoyable Sunday afternoon nap.

In the kitchen . . . things are quiet mostly. Casual eating at it's finest. A lot of scrounging (as we call it) and very little planning.

I am wearing . . . a gown that I made from a sheet.

I am creating . . . a new lifestyle. That sounds rather impressive, but it's really more about a new time in my life and how to use that time wisely.

I am going . . . to an appointment in a bit and then to run some errands. Later today I get to see my hairstylist (doesn't that sound fancy!) for a much needed cut.

I am wondering . . . about motives. My own and others. How we get to the places and choices we do and what drives them. How often am I aware of my own true motives?

I am reading . . . Breakfast with Buddha by Roland Merullo. I'm not sure who recommended this one, but I found it for free on a Kindle sale and downloaded it. I've only read 12% (Kindle equivalent of pages) but it's pretty good so far.

I am looking forward to . . . the return of the autumn routine. I say this every summer late in August. I grew up with a professor father so my whole life has revolved around the school calendar. I'm not sure how I will cope once I don't have anyone around my house in school!

I am hearing . . . Yaya snoring. It's post breakfast nap time.

Around the house . . . the bestie and I worked on clearing out bathroom cabinets. I don't know how it happens, but if I don't do this every 6 months or so my cabinets are crammed full of duplicates and products someone tried and didn't like.

I am praying . . . about writing. That may sound like an odd thing to pray over, but I'm contemplating this idea of a memoir and how I would even go about it.

One of my favorite things . . . is candles. I love to keep a candle burning in the kitchen while I'm around the house. During the winter months I tend to burn them all over the house for extra light and warmth.

A few plans for the rest of the week . . . appointment and errands today. Wednesday dd is coming over to do some cleaning for me (it's not completely altruistic -- think symbiotic). Thursday is looking like a day to myself -- I should plan something fun. Then on Friday dh needs some snacks (pigs in blankets) for work and I have a dentist appointment. Saturday dh and I are planning a day together as he doesn't have class, and then Sunday it's back to church.

Here is a picture for thought I am sharing . . . 
flowers from dh for out 29th anniversary this past Saturday

Monday, August 25, 2014

Writing Memoir

People have been telling me to do it for years. I've wanted it finished for years. A memoir. The telling of my history. Not because I'm famous or have done something amazing, but because I have a story to tell (just like everyone does), and it would feel good (and maybe help someone else?) to have it neatly chronicled and available for perusal.

I've been thinking about it a lot lately. I just finished reading Emily Wierenga's Atlas Girl -- a lyrical memoir of her life thus far. She is blessed to have relationships that made it possible to seek her family's help in writing her story.

I do not have that. While it would be beneficial to gain information from my extended family regarding my history, that is not something we discuss. We don't discuss much of anything on the rare occasions when we do meet. 

Part of the problem in writing in memoir is how to handle the inevitable collateral damage. Other people will be impacted -- maybe even hurt -- by the telling of my story. And I don't want there to be anymore damage done.

The other, and perhaps more troubling, aspect of memoir writing for me is going through it all again. I see myself spreading out all of my journals and printing off everything in my computer. Reading through all of it again and trying to find a sequence and order for it. What I can't fathom is how to do all that without getting sucked into it again. How to focus on it well enough to write a book -- A BOOK! -- and not become so horrified, absorbed, and depressed by it all that I don't lose what I've gained. 

So I'm asking for a favor in all of this rambling. Will you pray for me? Will you ask God to tell me what He wants me to do? Will you ask Him to guide and protect me if writing a memoir is His plan?

I don't ask for help very often. Rarely irl and almost never here in this spot, but I could you use your support and prayers. So thank you.