Tuesday, November 29, 2011

RemembeRED -- Photograph


I am me. The me I was born to be. Before any of the abuse started, before I knew about evil. When I was just happy. My mother took this photograph. It is the only one she ever took. She said I hummed and sang before I could talk. I was a happy child then, before I became confused. All the things I love surround me in this picture: books, stuffed animals, my circus ball, and a tea set. I was busy, even then, caring for and nurturing others. It is how I learned to nurture myself, I think.

When I look at this picture, I wish that little girl would turn around, so I could see her face – see pure joy. I’d like to warn her that things are about to get very difficult. I’d love to tell her it won’t last forever and a wonderful man will come into her life to help her save herself. But maybe it’s better this way. Let her have those last few months of pure joy – unadulterated by the evil that is to come. Warning her wouldn’t have changed anything, and maybe the knowledge of the wonderful man would have made it harder for her to save herself later. I don’t know.

Some people believe that a photograph can steal your soul. Not me. I believe a photograph – this photograph – saved my soul making it possible for me to retrieve it in due time.



link up at RemembeRED

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Simple Woman's Daybook



FOR TODAY . . . November 29, 2011

Outside my window . . . it is cloudy and rainy. Again. But it's cold this time. Some areas even got snow which is really unusual for us in November.

I am thinking . . . about my bestie and her husband who leave this Thursday for a mission trip to Simferopol, Ukraine. You may read more about it here.

I am thankful . . . for a wonderful Thanksgiving Day spent with family and friends. We traveled to northern Georgia to be with dh's cousins. Father-in-law was even able to make the trip!


From the learning rooms . . . not sure what's going on, but with the kids 18 and 21 I'm guessing that's okay.

In the kitchen . . . that strike thing didn't really pan out last week, because I suddenly got motivated to cook. Go figure! Maybe it was because I knew I didn't have to cook.

I am wearing . . . my flannel robe and winter house shoes. I need to get dressed to do yoga.

I am creating . . . Attic 24's crochet bag. It's taken me 3 tries to get this right and it's not that difficult a pattern. I'll post a picture as soon as it is complete, but now, here's an in process photo


I am going . . . . out to lunch with my mother today. Her step sister died last week, so I wanted to give her a little lift.

I am wondering . . .why I've been waking up so early lately. Dh gets up between 5 and 5:30, but I don't get up until 6:15. Recently I've been waking when he gets up and staying awake. It's not a problem except that I need a nap in the afternoon! LOL!

I am reading . . . back on Life of Pi. I started this back in the spring or summer. I got sidetracked, and am just now getting back to it.

I am hoping . . . to complete my Attic 24 bag and get working on my poncho again.

I am looking forward to . . . Christmas. Some times I do and sometimes I don't, but this year I'm planning on keeping things very low key, so I'm enjoying the process more.

I am hearing . . . ds getting ready for school.

Around the house . . . autumn decorations are being put away and Christmas decor will be coming out soon!


I am pondering . . . . how to make Christmas foods in quantity and kind that will not lead to all of us gaining weight over the holidays. I like having certain foods, but don't see any need to make ourselves sick with sweets and goodies. Balance is key.

One of my favorite things . . . is watching the birds come to my feeders. I get a lovely variety of finches, cardinals, wrens, bluebirds, and a contentious blue jay who shows up most days.


A few plans for the rest of the week . . . lunch with Mother, therapy tomorrow to work on the latest flashback, Thursday and Friday are probably going to be decorating days, and Saturday and Sunday afternoon will be more scuba practice. Whew, I'm tired just looking at it!

Here is a picture for thought I am sharing . . .

Thanksgiving with family!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Made by You Monday -- Spinach Balls

I don't remember the first time I had these, but I know the original recipe came from a lady in Memphis. I don't like cooked spinach, but I could just about live on these things! This is a particularly good appetizer for the holidays, as they can be made far in advance and kept in the freezer until you need them.


2 10-oz. boxes frozen chopped spinach, cooked and drained well
2 cups Pepperidge Farm herb bread stuffing mix (the blue bag)
1 small onion, finely chopped
3 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
1/2 teaspoon thyme
Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Using a small spoon or cookie dough scoop, form into 1-inch balls. Place on cookie sheets and freeze. At this point they can be stored in the freezer in Ziploc bags or in freezer boxes. When ready to serve, bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes. Makes about 5 dozen. (These will keep in the freezer for several months.)
Here they are sitting in the freezer.

And here are the remains after the platter had been ravaged!
(this batch should have baked a little longer, but the natives
were getting restless!)

head over to Made by You Mondays at Skip to My Lou to see more

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Sunday Communion

Dh and I were asked to give the communion comments at worship this Sunday. Here is what we shared:

It was the annual “What do you want to be when you grow up?” part of first grade. Molly simply stated: “I know exactly what I want to do when I grow up. I want to help everybody who’s anybody or nobody.”

As we prepare our minds for sharing this communion, I would suggest one simple thought. Live your life every day as if looking for and doing the Lord’s will, in word and in deed, is the most challenging, most exciting, most joyful and most rewarding thing you can do. Well, because... it is!

As we all get busy doing very important things, sometimes we are distracted and we miss the opportunities that are right in front of us, to say thank you to our spouse, to hug our children, to call our parents just to say hi, to write a note of encouragement to a friend or co-worker or maybe even help someone that you don’t even know.

A friend of mine diligently prayed every day for days, weeks and months for God to give him guidance on what career path to choose. After many months and a bicycle trip to Colorado, he gave me this insight. It doesn’t matter what path I choose. What matters is, whatever path I am on, that I look for and take advantage of opportunities to serve God every day in my words and my actions. Become more like Christ every day, where ever I am.

Like the good Samaritan, God wants us to be willing to do things that might not be convenient or might even be hard.

“But then a Samaritan traveler came along to the place where the man was lying, and at the sight of him he was touched with pity. He went across to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put him on his own mule, brought him to an inn and did what he could for him. Next day he took out two silver coins and gave them to the inn-keeper with the words, ‘Look after him, will you? I will pay you back whatever more you spend, when I come through here on my return.’”

We will have one prayer for the bread and wine.

Prayer – Lord, as we take this bread, let us be thankful for the cleansing Spirit you have given us. As we take the wine, let us be thankful for our hope of heaven. In gratitude may we be motivated to be a blessing to all of those around us in our words and our actions. Bless us, guide us, help us to be re-made in your image more every day.
It is because of Jesus' sacrifice that we can come to You and offer this prayer, so it is in His Name we ask all these things. Amen

Saturday Poetry -- A grateful heart


Thou hast given so much to me
Give one thing more-a grateful heart;
Not thankful when it pleaseth me,
But such a heart whose pulse may be
Thy praise.
...George Herbert

Friday, November 25, 2011

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. 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.
If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.
for more moments visit SouleMama

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thankful Thursday -- Thanksgiving Day

Almighty God, Father of all mercies, we your unworthy servants give you humble thanks for all your goodness and loving-kindness to us and to all whom you have made. We bless you for our creation, preservation, and all the blessings of this life; but above all for your immeasurable love in the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ; for the means of grace, and for the hope of glory. And, we pray, give us such an awareness of your mercies, that with truly thankful hearts we may show forth your praise, not only with our lips, but in our lives, by giving up our selves to your service, and by walking before you in holiness and righteousness all our days; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit, be honor and glory throughout all ages. Amen. 
--traditional prayer of general thanksgiving
The Book of Common Prayer

may you find grace, peace, gratitude, 
and blessings this day and every day

to link up go to Women Taking a Stand

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

RemembRED -- My Quiet Place

The rocking chair in the corner of my office. My father-in-law gave it to me years ago for nursing my babies. Now it sits in my office with a cushion on the seat and a crocheted wrap on the back. My kids come and sit in it when they want to talk or just be with me. My husband sat there last night while going over a presentation for a client. 


For me when the house is empty, and the chores are caught up, it is the best place in the world for reading or thinking or crocheting. There’s a good light behind the chair and my sliding glass doors look out onto the front garden. Birds and squirrels and the occasional fox wander by. I can prop my feet up on the ottoman I keep close by, and my sweet Yaya doggie jumps up to sit with me.

It’s a chair replete with memories and good associations of family and love. What better place to settle in for quiet.



link up at RemembeRED

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Simple Woman's Daybook



FOR TODAY . . . November 22, 2011

Outside my window . . . it is cloudy and rainy. Again. And it's warm. Again. Mid 60's already this morning.

I am thinking . . . about my bestie and her husband who leave a week from Thursday for a mission trip to Simferopol, Ukraine. You may read more about it here.

I am thankful . . . for the whole family's improved health. I am feeling much better. Ds and dh seem to be over their colds, while dd is finishing a round of antibiotics for a sinus infection. I hope we are all done with sickness for a while!

From the learning rooms . . . no school this week!

In the kitchen . . . last night was hot ham and cheese sandwiches with chips and baked beans. I told the kids (21 & 18) I was on strike for dinner this week, since I haven't been feeling the love regarding my cooking lately.

I am wearing . . . my summer weight robe?

I am creating . . . a poncho using the Coming Home pattern from Lion Brand yarn. I am using a variegated Sensations yarn in shades of purple.


I am going . . . . for a "female" check-up today. Oh joy!

I am wondering . . . again about the lasting effects of childhood abuse. Another flashback last week caught me completely unaware. Initially I felt completely out of control, but I began processing much quicker than I have in the past. There is much work to do, but I do feel more hopeful.

I am reading . . . not much. Nothing seems to be holding my attention lately.

I am hoping . . . that the scuba trip dh and I have planned for December is successful. I finished my enclosed water training on Saturday. Hopefully the open water dives will fun and less stressful.

I am looking forward to . . . Thanksgiving with dh's aunt, uncle and cousins (and doing very little cooking!)

I am hearing . . . the washer buzzing, dog shaking their collars and ds horking down breakfast before heading off to wrestling practice.

Around the house . . . much work has been done in the bonus room over the last few days. I am moving my sewing machine in there in the hope that having more room will encourage me to sew more.


I am pondering . . . . helping my husband do the communion comments this coming Sunday. I want to find the right words.

One of my favorite things . . . yarn! (I'm sorry. I keep repeating myself, don't I?)


A few plans for the rest of the week . . . continuing the cleaning and purging and then heading out of town for Thanksgiving.

Here is a picture for thought I am sharing . . .

Before . . .
After . . .

Made by You Monday -- Milk Salad

(double making)

My mother created this recipe over 40 years ago. It is her "signature" dish. It appears on her table in one form or another for every major and some minor holidays. Any fruit will work -- blueberries, strawberries, peaches, bananas, etc. Just don't try raw pineapple or kiwi -- they interact with the gelatin and it won't set up. For some reason, men in particular love this salad. My son will only eat it with the mandarin oranges.

2 envelopes unflavored gelatin
1/4 cup cold water
8 oz. cream cheese
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. almond extract
dash salt
1 1/4 cups milk
8 oz. Cool Whip
fruit (we always use mandarin oranges 2 - 11 oz. cans thoroughly drained. You can do strawberries, blueberries or bananas as well.)

Measure water in pyrex measuring cup and place measuring cup in saucepan of water on stove. Sprinkle gelatin over water in measuring cup and stir with fork. Heat saucepan on medium heat and stir gelatin until melted and clear. Blend together cream cheese, sugar, salt and extract. Once smooth, add milk and dissolved gelatin alternately while beating with mixer. Chill this mixture until slightly thickened (3-5 min) and fold in thawed Cool Whip and fruit. Spoon into 1 3/4 qt mold or 9x9 pyrex dish. Chill until firm. (This is half of what Mother usually makes, so double it if you want it to look like hers and feed a crowd!)

head over to Made by You Mondays at Skip to My Lou to see more

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Saturday Poetry -- Autumn Fires

Autumn Fires

In the other gardens
And all up the vale,
From the autumn bonfires
See the smoke trail!

Pleasant summer over
And all the summer flowers,
The red fire blazes,
The grey smoke towers.

Sing a song of seasons!
Something bright in all!
Flowers in the summer,
Fires in the fall!

Robert Louis Stevenson -  1913

Friday, November 18, 2011

Numbers



I am going to do this. My pink gym bag is packed with all the necessary gear: flippers, mask, goggles, and snorkel. I know I need to do this, for both of us. I don’t want to fail. I don’t want to let him down – again. 

The weather is nice for November. The car is pleasantly warm. I slip the new cd in and let the renaissance music fill the car. This could be fun and good. I need some fun and good. Things have been so hectic lately. Being sick, having sick kids and even he is sick now.

I notice what a beautiful day it is. The sun is shining in through the windshield warming me. Maybe once I master this new skill I’ll run a couple errands. I’m really feeling better . . . numbers? Numbers. NUMBERS!

Not now! Why do they always hit just when I’m starting to feel good? Why can’t it all just disappear?

Breathe. That’s the first thing they tell you to do. Breathe -- in deeply through the nose and out slowly through the nose. I am not crazy. It’s not happening now. We will deal with this. Bad thoughts are rushing through my head. Numbers. What is that about? Five, eight, twelve and fifteen – these are very bad numbers. Small animal skulls in a gift box. Water. The chicken coop. It’s her again. Invading my brain, and trying to drive me crazy. It’s not enough that she did these sick and disgusting things when I was a kid, but the memories keep invading my daily life.

I get to the YMCA and realize I have made it. The flashback was a really bad one, but I’m still here. She’s not going to stop me this time.


for more link up at Write on Edge

Flashbacks and Memories

I'm not always sure what and how much to say here. I remind myself that no one is forced to read this, and hopefully those who choose to read it are helped in some way. It helps me immensely to share my experiences publicly. One of the most devastating effects of childhood abuse is the secrecy. By telling openly and honestly, and having people respond appropriately (i.e., with compassion for me and outrage toward the abusers) validates the belief that I am not responsible for the abuse, nor do I need to feel shame for what they did to me.


This most recent memory is another regarding my cousin. I do not like to label people as "good" or "bad" because I recognize that those are absolutes. We all have good and bad in us. That being said, she was, in my child's eye view, a very bad person. And confusing as well. At times she was my friend and playmate. At other times she became my tormentor and abuser. I never have known what set her off. I have never known if she was herself abused.
She was essentially an only child. Her father had children from a previous marriage, but they were older and lived with their mother. In some ways her parents doted on her, as parents of only children often do.
She had a playroom set up as a school room. I think it was attached in some way to the chicken coop, but it could be that the buildings were just close to one another. My cousin, my sister and I would play school. There were real school desks in the playroom and a chalkboard on the wall. 
She was big on threats, and often carried through on them. 
I am to be punished for some infraction. It may have had something to do with failing to solve a math problem.
She walks me to the chicken coop, lecturing as we walk. I am to stay there until she comes to retrieve me. I must keep my eyes shut and covered with my hands or the birds will peck my eyes out. If they see me looking at them, they will attack me.
It is dark and dusty in the coop. The hens are on their roosts. I am terrified of them. She has warned me of their malicious intent. 
I am instructed to sit on the floor with my back against the wall. If my eyes were opened and uncovered I would be able to see the door and cracks of sunlight filtering through it. But I must not uncover my eyes. 
The smell is vile. The air is filled with dust, hay and feathers. I begin to cough.
I have asthma.
If I could cover my mouth, I might be able to control the coughing, but my hands must remain over my eyes as protection from the chickens.


Which is worse? Suffocating or being blinded by chickens?

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. 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.If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.


for more moments visit SouleMama

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Thankful Thursday

This time of year frustrates me.
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, but the older I get, the less attention it gets. Not by me, but by the world at large.

Each year I find a book on gratitude to read during the month of November. It helps me keep my eye on the holiday of this month instead of fast forwarding to next month.
(Don't get me wrong. I like Christmas. I just want to wait until December to HAVE Christmas.)

I've been reading a little each night before bed. Last night I ran across this from Sarah Josepha Hale, "The Mother of American Thanksgiving":

Let this day, from this time forth, . . . 
be the grand THANKSGIVING HOLIDAY of our nation, when the noise and tumult of worldliness
may be exchanged for the laugh of
happy children, the glad greetings of 
family reunion, and the humble gratitude
of the Christian heart.
(c. 1863)

So today I am thankful for Thanksgiving, and the opportunity it provides to take time to show my gratitude to my family, my country, my friends, my church and my God. 

(And I'm also thankful for the FOUR eastern bluebirds I just saw in my front yard!)

may you find grace, peace, gratitude, 
and blessings this day and every day

to link up go to Women Taking a Stand


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Intentionality

yesterday brought a surprise, and not a good one. a flashback from the abusive years. over time these have become less and less frequent -- wonderful! the downside of the infrequency is how hard they hit me now because they are so unexpected. 


flashbacks come in a variety of ways -- sometimes they are full blown, technicolor films of events; sometimes they are a single scene; and sometimes they are just a hint. a smell, a word, a sound, a feeling. yesterday's was more of the hint variety.


i was driving down the road letting my mind wander while listening to my new cd, Dance of the Renaissance (wonderful, by the way) when the word "numbers" popped into my head. a random word to be sure, but not a word that one usually connects with terror. terror is what I felt. I've come to accept that randomness is just the tip of the iceberg with flashbacks. I went into self talk immediately -- it's not your fault, you are not causing this to happen, in time we'll figure it out, nothing bad is happening now. remarkably it does help.


I finished running my errand, and when I got home I jotted a few notes down about the flashback. my initial desire is always to shove it aside; bury it; disregard it. the problem is those approaches don't work. writing about what is running through my head does help, just as talking does, but oh how I fight it!


yesterday all I could write was this:
5
8
12
15
bad numbers
water?
chicken coop?
Janet?
don't want to go there!
not much to go on really, but a start at getting it out. later as I talked with Alan about it the terror, judgment and humiliation began to subside a bit. this morning as I talked with my therapist, they lessened again.

so what does any of this have to do with intentionality? quite a bit actually.

"Intentionality is the aboutness or directedness of mind (or states of mind) to things, objects, states of affairs, events." (http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/consciousness-intentionality/#IntDirConSatCon)

I have found that I must be intentional when dealing with flashbacks or they can take over my life. so today I made an intentional plan on dealing with the latest episode. life gets in the way of dealing with the past all too often. right now there isn't enough time to devote to working on this flashback the way I'd like to. so instead my therapist suggested taking time each day to affirm what I know to be true and in my best interest until I have the time to address the issue.

today I choose --
:: to not have memory pain, because I don't have to
:: to not have intrusive thoughts
:: to recognize that I have a plan in place
:: to not have to feel terror, judgment or humiliation
:: to honor myself
:: to be kind to myself
:: to trust myself
:: to allow myself to comfort me in healthy positive ways
:: to remember that God is big enough to hold on to this stuff as long as I need Him to

intentionality is hard for most us. abuse survivors may have it a little worse, though. there was no time for intentionality when the abuse was ongoing, nor did I have the experience, maturity or knowledge to apply it. it was fight or flight. try to stay alive. try to figure out the next move or what set him/her off this time. all efforts to gain control of an uncontrollable situation.

now, though, intentionality gives me that control. I like that.

Wordless Wednesday -- This and That



for more photos visit Wordless Wednesday

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Simple Woman's Daybook



FOR TODAY . . . November 15, 2011

Outside my window . . . it is cloudy and rainy. We are back into a relatively warm weather pattern. Last night at 9:00 it was 71 degrees (F)!

I am thinking . . . that pancakes were an excellent choice for breakfast this morning!

I am thankful . . . for feeling better! Yesterday was the first almost normal day I've had in weeks! Praise God!

From the learning rooms . . . ds missed two days of school last week with a cold, so we are in "make-up" mode around here.

In the kitchen . . . last night was baked bruschetta chicken, baked potatoes and lima beans. I am always amused at how my children can profess that there is nothing in the house to eat, and yet I can cook a delicious, well balanced meal without every leaving.

I am wearing . . . my nightgown and summer weight robe with my blue fake crocs.

I am creating . . . a wonderful crochet bag to carry my crochet projects in! Attic 24 has the most adorable bag/pattern.

I am going . . . . to work on my scuba skills this afternoon at the pool. I am really having trouble mastering clearing my mask under water. I tend to panic and get water up my nose which makes it very hard to blow out through my nose!

I am wondering . . . why reading has been so unappealing to me lately. I wonder if it's because I've been sick and on antibiotics. Sometimes reading is the hardest thing for me to do when I am sick.

I am reading . . . still reading Wicked by Gregory Maguire.

I am hoping . . . to get the menus and grocery shopping done today. I'm not really feeling the cooking mojo. I think it has to do with everybody's schedules being so wonky and the unusually warm weather we've been having.


I am looking forward to . . . getting some writing done, hopefully today.

I am hearing . . . doggies trotting around the house.

Around the house . . . the laundry is just about caught up! Now if only I could say the same for the ironing.

I am pondering . . . . whether or not to list some of my crochet projects on my etsy site. My site is Lucy's Beads and Prayers. Typically I carry Anglican rosaries and prayer strands, although I have listed a few prayer shawls. Any thoughts?


One of my favorite things . . . is my computer. I connect with LOTS of people, and I find it easier to express myself in writing. Plus there's a lot less judgment this way!


A few plans for the rest of the week . . . shopping, cleaning, therapy, Bible study, and a dentist appointment on Friday. I hope to complete my enclosed water skills on Saturday for scuba, but only if I can master this mask thing!


Here is a picture for thought I am sharing . . . 

the beginning of my Attic 24 crochet bag 

Made by You Monday -- Autumnal Shawl


Here is the completed Autumnal Shawl pattern in Naturally Caron Spa.
I made a few alterations in the pattern for sizing. I used rose bisque, misty taupe and naturally -- 2 skeins of rose and 1 each of taupe and naturally, along with the recommended 4 mm hook.
I love the feel of this yarn! It is a bamboo/acrylic blend.

head over to Made by You Mondays at Skip to My Lou to see more.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Saturday Poetry -- In Flanders Fields

In honor of all who have served . . . 
In Flanders Fields the poppies blow 
Between the crosses row on row, 
That mark our place; and in the sky 
The larks, still bravely singing, fly 
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago 
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow, 
Loved and were loved, and now we lie 
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe: 
To you from failing hands we throw 
The torch; be yours to hold it high. 
If ye break faith with us who die 
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow 
In Flanders fields.
--John McCrae

Friday, November 11, 2011

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. 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.

If you're inspired to do the same, leave a link to your 'moment' in the comments for all to find and see.

for more moments visit SouleMama

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thankful Thursday

Today we find out intrepid homemaker on the mend from yet another indelicate infection. 

If it seems I've talked about infections/antibiotics frequently over the past few months . . . well, it's because I have. While I'm still not positive what is going on, I have made some decisions and choices that I hope will impact a change for the better.

Being repeatedly or chronically ill really makes days like Thankful Thursday so meaningful. It's so easy to fall into the routine of "rut gratitude" -- Thank you for my house, my family, my car, my money, etc. Oh and thanks for giving Your Son to save me from my puny self. Not that I'm not grateful for all those things, but my attitude needs an adjustment!

I don't know if God "causes" illness or disasters or tragedies, but I do know that He can take anything and turn it to something good. This latest bout of illness had left me swirling back into a depressive state; regressing into the belief that no one could be trusted and they (i.e., my family in particular) were angry with me for being ill. It made perfect sense to me, but that's another legacy of abuse -- trying to read minds while assuming the worst. It turns out, they're not mad at me. They are sorry I feel so rotten and they wish the doctors would figure out what is going on, but mostly they miss me -- happy mom/wife who wants to cook and bake and make things nice, yes, but also fun mom/wife who laughs and wants to go and do things. My dd said she missed her "fun buddy". 

So for today, I'm thankful for:
 -- feeling better physically
 -- realizations about truth
 -- a family that's not judgmental, but loves me and wants the best for me
and for a God who loves ME so much that He sent His one and only Son to suffer and die, because God wants ME to be with Him!


may you find grace, peace, gratitude, 

and blessings this day and every day


to link up go to Women Taking a Stand