Tuesday, November 30, 2010

The Simple Woman's Daybook -- November 30th

Outside my window...it is cool, cloudy and drippy. No birdies so far this morning. I can only assume they are sleeping in this morning!

I am thinking...about yoga class. I do a restorative yoga class on Tuesday mornings at the YMCA. It stretches my body and relaxes my mind.

I am thankful for...my dh. After 25 years of marriage, we communicate much better than when we first started, but sometimes we go through periods of distance. We reconnected over the last couple of days and it is really nice.

From the learning rooms...exams loom before us! Give my strength!

From the kitchen...cleaning up from the Thanksgiving holiday, and trying to decide what goodies to make for Christmas.

I am wearing...black yoga pants, a long sleeved gray t-shirt and my tan suede Merrills.

I am creating...lots of messes and nothing else!

I am going...to San Francisco! Dh has a business meeting and I'm going with him for an impromptu get away.

I am reading...The Last Summer (of You and Me) by Ann Brashares; Mere Discipleship by Lee C. Camp; and Alone: Orphaned on the Ocean.

I am hoping...to shake some of this lethargy -- however with the current weather that seems unlikely!

I am hearing...commercials for Salvation Army Angel Tree program.

Around the house...still a wreck : (

One of my favorite things...is watching my bird feeder. There are now three yellow finches fighting over the remaining seeds in the finch sock.

A few plans for the rest of the week...San Francisco! Need I say more!?!

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

This is a picture of the hotel we are staying at in San Francisco.

Monday, November 29, 2010

The Perp's Depressed

Thanksgiving brings out the best in people . . . well not always. This Thanksgiving was no different. First a little history. Several years ago after being diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder, I told my parents that I would not attend family get togethers as long as this particular abuser was present. This was very hard for me to say to them for a variety of reasons: I hate confrontation; I thought it would be obvious to them that I would not want to eat with a man who had raped me; I was not used to standing up for myself. Unfortunately they chose to have him continue as a guest in their house instead of supporting and understanding my feelings. Since that time (some 8 years ago) I have not been to holiday gatherings at my parents house. No Thanksgiving, no Christmas, no Easter, no Mother's Day, no Father's Day, no July 4th -- none of them. Every time a holiday comes around, I wish that I could be part of a familial celebration. I like the ideas of traditions and extended family, but I can't get past having to be in his presence for that to happen. It makes the celebration feel like a lie, not to mention that fact that no one mentions the gigantic elephant in the middle of the room!

Anyway, my dd went to my parents' house for Thanksgiving dinner this past week. She celebrated with us at my father in law's house, and then went to see the other side of the family. Shortly after she left our house, I received a text message from her telling me that the perp and his wife weren't coming because he is depressed and his doctor had recommended they get away for the weekend. I'll admit many thoughts rushed through my head at this point. Some were not very nice! What does he have to be depressed about? Seriously! He's gotten off scott free from where I sit. But almost immediately, I thought, I wouldn't wish depression on anyone. I hope he gets help. I hope he feels better. I think that's a good sign. It validates my belief that I have forgiven him. 

What actually stuck in my craw was the realization that my parents had KNOWN he wasn't coming, but didn't take the opportunity to see if I would have liked to be at their dinner table for Thanksgiving. For 8 years I have worried about their feelings. How my absence was impacting them. Was it hard for them to enjoy their holiday without their younger daughter present? Did they miss me? Were they angry with me for not being there? This Thanksgiving answered some of those questions, and not in a good way. Apparently, I don't cross their minds in relation to holidays much at all. 

Now believe it or not, I don't think this was a deliberate or malicious act on their part. I believe it never crossed their minds that here was a golden opportunity -- an olive branch that they could extend to me. Yes they are that shallow. And yes it hurts all over again. I thought about confronting them with the situation, but I've determined that confrontations with them never seem to lead anywhere positive for me. The anticipation of the confrontation just leads to stress and anxiety, and I just don't need that. 

So last night, I went to their house and ate a turkey sandwich, and sat around talking about nothing of any significance. Part of me wondered why I bother, but another part of me embraced a little bit of familial celebration. 

I just hope someone will smack me up side my head if I ever pull anything like this with my kids!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Saturday Poetry -- Thanksgiving


The year has turned its circle,
The seasons come and go.
The harvest all is gathered in
And chilly north winds blow.
Orchards have shared their treasures,
The fields, their yellow grain,
So open wide the doorway~
Thanksgiving comes again! 
~Old Rhyme

I hope your day was lovely and full of gratitude, good food and love.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Feel Good Friday -- November 26th

It's Feel Good Friday! It's Black Friday! It's the first official day of Christmas shopping season! Ugh! I choose to focus on the first of these.

I feel good because . . .

Even though we had lots of duplicate food yesterday,
I didn't let it get to me.

We enjoyed a lovely worship service yesterday
to start our day of Thanksgiving.

Dh and I watched Elf to relax last night and 
start the Christmas season.

I have a plan (loose) for today that includes

I hope you are all having a Feel Good Friday that includes just what you want!

Visit The Girl Next Door Grows Up for more Feel Good Friday.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

The Ultimate Thankful Thursday -- November 25th

So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness. Col. 2:6-7

There is much to be thankful for today, and I am so happy that we are given a day to show our gratitude to God and all the people who we are thankful to and for.

1. I am thankful to live in a country where I can worship without fear of retribution. I know that our nation is struggling with issues, but I also know that we are blessed beyond our own imagining.

2. I am thankful for my family. We are a family unit of four. Yes we have our ups and downs, but the constant is this: We all love each other and are there for each other. 

3. I am thankful for my new church home. I have been so blessed in our new congregation. I have found openness, acceptance, accountability, and above all else, a true hunger for the word of God. 

4. I am thankful for old and new friends who embrace me and my needs with such kindness, love and compassion. Monday breakfast with 2 wonderful women who have taken me into their friendship so graciously. Lunch on Wednesday with my best friend for the past 33 (!?!) years. To have people (especially women) who love God and me, and are so willing to listen and support, is a blessing of immeasurable proportions.

5. Finally, and not really last, but rather above all others, I am thankful of my God and Father. The amazing gift of creation. The amazing gift of His eternal love. The amazing gift of His son as a sacrifice for ME! The amazing gift of salvation. The amazing gift and realization that He says, "Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.  Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you" (I Peter 5:6-8). 

Wishing all of you a blessed and happy Thanksgiving!

Check out Women Taking a Stand for more sharing of gratitude.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The Simple Woman's Daybook -- November 23rd

Outside my window...it is raining lightly with temperatures in the low 60's. There is a single finch on the bird feeder.

I am thinking...that November is no time for a sinus headache!

I am thankful for...good friends who genuinely care enough to DO something, not just say something.

From the learning rooms...no school this week, but we're catching up on German and finishing a couple of papers for American history. Oh did I tell you ds got a 91% on his last AH test! Go ds!

From the kitchen...it's been a wreck for the past several days. Yesterday I got everything cleaned up and put away. Why does having the kitchen clean make everything else go better? And I took advantage of the warm weather to grill kielbasa for dinner last night.

I am wearing...a tank top, my summer weight robe, 1 sock, and my blue pseudo-Crocs. One sock? I have to wear a pain patch on my heel for plantar fasciitis and without the sock the patch comes off in the night. Elegant don't you think?

I am creating...nothing. My motivation picked up and left a couple of weeks ago and I can't seem to find it anywhere.

I am going...to the grocery today for the final run before Thanksgiving. That should be fun!?!

I am reading...The Last Summer (of You and Me) by Ann Brashares.

I am hoping...to get the linens put in the new linen closet dh finished over the weekend. It would be a nice start on getting some order before the holidays begin.

I am hearing...a light rain falling and little doggie nails clicking and jingling collars.

Around the house...things are still a mess. At least I'm not hosting Thanksgiving this year! Dh is working all week on the bathroom. Unfortunately he hit a snafu last night. The floor is so un-level he's having to pull up sub-flooring and replace it today before he can lay the new hardwood. Bless his heart!

One of my favorite things...is watching and listening to my ds laugh. He is such a happy kid!

A few plans for the rest of the week...another ob/gyn appointment and then Thanksgiving day with a morning worship at our church followed by dinner at dh's dad's house.

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

Monday, November 22, 2010

Questions and Honor

Yesterday our minister started his lesson with a reminder that the holidays aren't always the best of times for all people. A variety of issues impact our enjoyment of this time of year. He encouraged those who are hurting to reach out and not isolate themselves, and those who find this a joyous time of year to help and encourage those who struggle. As someone who has mixed feelings concerning the holidays, I really appreciated his laying it out in the open like that.

The lesson was on Cain and Abel. The idea that those who are nearest and dearest to us can inflict the most pain -- sometimes intentionally and sometimes because they themselves are hurting. Whatever the pain and whatever the cause, we are called to love one another. Even those family members we don't like! I joke because this is a real dilemma for me.

My past is littered with abusers. Over the course of my young life I was abused by five different people. Of the abusers two stand out as the "worst". They overlapped, but were completely unaware of each other. One was the student in the study, that I have written about before. He molested me on two separate occasions, and was a constant fixture in my life for a couple of years. The other is a cousin. I haven't written about her here yet. I don't know where to begin or how much to tell. She started when I was 5 and it went on until I was 9. She was sadistic. But neither of these impact the holidays as much as another one.

I will remain vague, as I do not wish ill will on this person's immediate family. He came into my life when I was a teenager. I didn't like him from the beginning. He became part of my family, so I did the best I could to stay away from him. He made passes and unkind comments over a period of years. The culmination was a rape when I was 21. When I finally told my family there was confusion, pain and disbelief. To my horror, when I said I couldn't stand to be around him they chose him over me. So now for the holidays, he spends the time with my family while I try to create new traditions and memories for myself, my husband, and my kids. 

Every year I question whether I have made the right choice; whether I am being too harsh; whether I am the problem in the family and not the other way around. I pray. I try to pray openly, listening for God's response. Invariably I feel the response is to continue on this path. To honor myself and teach my children about that honor while still honoring (to the best of my ability) my parents, but it's hard. So yesterday was a really tough day for me. I'm glad that our minister tells it like it is, I just wish I could get one of those notarized papal bulls telling me for sure that I'm doing this okay. Since I don't think that's going to happen this year (or any other year, for that matter) I'll keep praying, talking to people I trust, and working on trusting myself.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Pandy's Project -- Vote to Help Survivors

Dear Friends and Family,

I'm writing you today to ask a favor of you. Pandora's Project, a 501©(3) non-profit organization dedicated to supporting survivors of sexual violence, is competing to win a $25,000 Pepsi Refresh grant that will allow them to expand their work and provide free or low cost events for men and women who have survived sexual assault. The grant will be given to the 10 organizations with the most votes and competition is fierce, so I am asking you to please consider voting for Pandora's Project.

Voting is simple - just click the link and sign in using your email or Facebook and vote. Please make sure to vote for Pandora's Project and if you've got a moment, also vote for their partners!

Then vote for Pandora's Project by texting 103598 to Pepsi (73774).

You can vote today and every day, so please put this on your to-do list for the next month! You can also promote Pandora's Project by:

·         asking your Facebook friends to vote
·         using Twitter to ask your followers to vote
·         mentioning Pandy's effort on your personal website or blog
·         emailing your family and friends to ask them to vote (see sample emails below)
·         telling any groups you belong to about our efforts and providing members with a link

As a survivor of sexual assault, I feel strongly that no one who has gone through what I did should go without support and Pandora's Project works hard to ensure that all survivors have free access to support and resources. Your vote means a lot to me!


Saturday Poetry -- Fairies by Rose Fyleman

THERE are fairies at the bottom of our garden!

It's not so very, very far away;

You pass the gardner's shed and you just keep straight ahead --

I do so hope they've really come to stay.

There's a little wood, with moss in it and beetles,

And a little stream that quietly runs through;

You wouldn't think they'd dare to come merrymaking there--

      Well, they do.

There are fairies at the bottom of our garden!

They often have a dance on summer nights;

The butterflies and bees make a lovely little breeze,

And the rabbits stand about and hold the lights.

Did you know that they could sit upon the moonbeams

And pick a little star to make a fan,

And dance away up there in the middle of the air?

      Well, they can.

There are fairies at the bottom of our garden!

You cannot think how beautiful they are;

They all stand up and sing when the Fairy Queen and King

Come gently floating down upon their car.

The King is very proud and very handsome;

The Queen--now you can quess who that could be

(She's a little girl all day, but at night she steals away)?

      Well -- it's Me!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Feel Good Friday -- November 19th

It's Feel Good Friday!
The sun is shining.
It's 45 degrees heading up to 63!
Dh and ds have ALL of next week off.
My nasty appointment is behind me!
The new Harry Potter movie opened last night.
I'm having Cranberry Blood Orange Tea!
I'm going to sew today.
And maybe bead!

How's your FGF shaping up?


Feel Good Friday is hosted by The Girl Next Door Grows Up

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Thankful Thursday -- November 18, 2010

Today is Thankful Thursday and here is my list:

1. Once again my dh tops the list. Yesterday I had a doctor's appointment that's was especially difficult for me. When I came out of the exam room, the receptionist told me my dh was waiting for me in the waiting room! He had left work early and came to be there for me. It really helped a lot. I had a little cry on his shoulder and then he took me to Starbucks for hot apple cider.

2. The ladies in my Beth Moore class are next on my list. Class was last night, and even though I wasn't prepared, they welcomed me with open arms and allowed me to share some difficulties. One lovely lady stayed after and prayed with me.

3. My ds who ordered pizzas for dinner and shared his dessert pizza with me since I'd had a rough day! He singled me out for extra attention without even being asked!

4. This quote that came in my email a couple of days ago: 'The will of God will never take you where the Grace of God will not protect you.' A good reminder any time, but especially during the tough times.

5. Finally, a reminder that the holidays aren't Norman Rockwell-esque for most people. That's just advertising! Some people are blessed with family that are friends as well; others are blessed with friends that are family as well. I will make the most of the people God brings into my life!

Have a blessed and thankful Thursday! 

Check out Women Taking a Stand for more sharing of gratitude.