Saturday, April 19, 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.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Roses and Fasting

Claire is sitting on the sofa with Yaya listening to music. Squeaker is resting on her rug in my corner of the house. And I am finishing my first cup of tea this morning. With temperatures still in the 30s there will be more to come I am sure. 

The roses I bought for myself yesterday sit on the corner of my desk and their scent is intoxicating. I woke up with a smile on my face this morning, and I was surprised by it.

A couple of bad days that included the recurring questions, "What do I do now?" and "What did I do wrong?" are behind me. Things aren't all fixed, but I'm feeling better with some answers I can live with. That first one is the hardest, because the answer is "Just wait". There are no immediate fixes. Only time and talking and learning and loving. That's it. No magic reset button.

The second answer seems to be "It doesn't matter". Hindsight is 20/20. There are always things we'd do differently. And I realize it's all one more lesson He is teaching me, and one more reminder to let go of coping mechanisms developed during abuse that just don't work in real life. 

It's Holy Week. The last of Lent is before me. I look at that piece of paper taped to the window in front of my desk. My Lenten fast.

fast from feeling guilty and angry at yourself for things
you have done wrong,
instead remember God's great love for you

I've let this fast happen. I haven't really worked at it. I've just read that daily and tried to care for myself without worrying about motives or what other people might think. I've done what seemed best for me as much as possible. The world hasn't crumbled and my family has barely noticed the difference, but I have. I'm breathing easier. Sitting and waiting instead of rushing in to fix everything for everyone.

I think that smile may be God telling me I've done okay.

linking up with Imperfect Prose and Just Write

Dreaming of Spring

linking up with Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY . . . April 15, 2014

Outside my window . . . it is gray, cloudy, and cold. Doesn't it seem that I've been say ing that a lot this spring? 

I am thinking . . . how wonderful it was to drive around all weekend with the top down. I even got a little bit of sunburn (just a pink tinge). I'm ready for more of those days.

I am thankful . . . for easy access with friends all over the world. I know computers and social media get a lot of criticism, but on the whole they have made it so much easier for me to connect with old friends and make new ones.

In the kitchen . . . last night was breakfast for dinner -- scrambled eggs, bacon, and biscuits. Tonight I'm not sure. I think I'll dig through the freezer and see what's in there that needs eating.

I am wearing . . . I wonder if you can guess (since it's essentially the same thing every Tuesday)?

I am creating . . . a spring table topper. Actually I finished it yesterday. I have several more projects on my sewing table that I am going to work through.

I am going . . . to continue with catching up today from having been out of town over the weekend.

I am wondering . . . about designing a deck for our backyard. It's something I have wanted for a long time and it looks as if it may come to fruition this spring/summer. Yay!

I am reading . . . well not much. I'm in between novels right now and it's hard to do non-fiction reading before bed at night.

I am looking forward to . . . a couple of fun activities in the coming weeks. Of course Easter is this Sunday, and that night I'll be helping provide dinner at the Ronald McDonald House. This Saturday is Fun Girls' Day in Nolensville, and next Saturday is the (in)RL meet-up in Franklin.

I am hearing . . . nothing but peace and quiet.

Around the house . . . cleaning is still waiting to be taken care of. Funny how it always waits for me to get around to it.

I am praying . . . for marriages everywhere.

One of my favorite things . . . is tea. I know, I know it comes up over and over again, but it's true! My morning cuppa makes everything better.

A few plans for the rest of the week . . . mostly the usual suspects -- grocery shopping, housework, a couple of meetings, Bible study, Easter Sunday, and the aforementioned cooking.

Here is a picture for thought I am sharing . . . 
the B&B we stayed at in Gatlinburg
(photo by Alan)

Saturday, April 12, 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.

(photo by Alan Pennington -- dh)

Friday, April 11, 2014


I'm painting a new life. 

It started almost 14 years ago when I began to remember the abuse I survived as a child. Since then I've been uncovering truths and redesigning what I want my reality to be.

Painful -- yes. But invigorating too. Not many people get (take) the opportunity to really look at their lives and the choices they make with any effort to understand them. I have had that opportunity.

My therapist once told me be to look for the good that had come from surviving the abuse. That may sound like an odd request, but I knew what she meant as soon as she said it. And I knew the answer almost as quickly. I am not what I would have been. I learned at a very early age to lean on Jesus. He was my companion and friend. It was years later, after recovering the memories, that I recovered His constant presence in my life.

So I'm painting a new life that includes an old friend. The one who paints the sky with stars.

linking up with Five Minute Friday

Thursday, April 10, 2014


. . . the art of bending back.

I don't like to look at myself in the mirror. I make myself do it when I'm doing my hair or makeup. It's unavoidable when I step out of the shower in the morning. Over time I've been forcing myself to look . . . really look at myself. For a long time all I could see were the negatives -- round cheeks, graying hair, a much rounder body. 

This month I designated as self-care month for me. I didn't create a lengthy to do list. Instead I've tried each morning to check in with myself and see what sounded like self-care for that day. The month isn't going exactly the way I imagined it would, but I am paying more attention to my wants and needs, and being a lot less strident with myself.

It's a month of reflection in many ways. I'm bending back into my old self. The one that existed before the abuse. The one who thought more about herself that what other people thought about her. I'm not calling it selfishness (although I would have in the past), but am rather reframing it at "as a valuable and necessary step in providing proper care to others" (Counseling Today January 2013). If I won't take care of myself, why should anyone else?

Yesterday I looked in the mirror longer than usual. I realized that, yes, I've gained weight and things aren't as taut as they once where, but that smile is still there and brighter than it was during the worst of things. I'm still me -- someone who cares a lot about how others feels. Someone who will go a long way to keep from hurting another person. Someone who likes to laugh out loud, and desperately wants to be accepted for who she is, warts and all. 

Because the first step in getting what I want is to offer it to myself. So I'm reflecting and bending back to take better care of me.

linking up
 with Writer's Workshop