Thursday, March 31, 2011

Thankful Thursday -- March 31, 2011

In my life, Wednesday is Therapy Day. There's been a Therapy Day in my life for many years. For a long time it was Tuesday, but a few months ago we switched to Wednesday. It's worked out well, as it allows me to spend time with my best friends on Tuesdays crafting, talking, eating and sometimes even being productive.

What I didn't plan on when we made the switch was how it would impact Thankful Thursday. Therapy has been a blessing in my life, don't get me wrong here; BUT we dig through some pretty unpleasant material, which often leaves me feeling wrung out and focusing on all the bad stuff. It's not that I'm not grateful on Thursday, it's just harder to access it sometimes.

All that to say, I'm having a little trouble today finding something meaningful and specific to share with you today, so there may be rambling (I think there already has been!). 

Yesterday we focused on the last episode of abuse in my life. When I was in college I was raped one night while staying at a relative's home. I've talked and talked about this episode in therapy, and I really think I've dealt with it. Trauma/abuse is like an onion (and thus like Shrek), it has layers. One thing leads to another. Yesterday I realized I'm hung up again on why I made the choice to stay at that person's house that night. Here's the scenario. I was still living at home with my parents and younger brother. They were out of town. I was terrified to stay alone in our house. The usual way this was handled was my bff would come and stay, but she was out of town as well. In my head the logical step was to stay at this close relative's house. It's what someone else would do in the same situation. I checked with her and she was happy to have me stay. Here's where I get hung up. Why didn't I know this would be a bad idea? Her husband had made a couple of passes at me. Should I have taken this into consideration before choosing to stay the night? Was I remiss in not pondering whether or not I'd be safe there? The general consensus now seems to be, "Who would worry about getting raped in that scenario?" Should I have somehow seen it coming? The real question here is: Am I responsible for what he did that night? When posed that way, I know the answer is "No" because I am not responsible for another person's choices/actions. So why do I feel this nagging fear that I'm leaving out an important part of the story? 

I don't have answers to most of those questions right now. I've had to learn to live without answers to lots of questions regarding the abuse. The abusers are often the only ones with the answers and they cannot be trusted. But here's where the gratitude comes in (finally!) -- I'm not required to have the answers! One of the greatest gifts that God has given me is "Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you" (I Peter 5:7). When I remember this verse, none of the "bad" stuff is such a burden. I DON'T HAVE TO DO IT ALONE! What a gracious and loving Father I have. He is willing to carry my burdens for me. It doesn't make them go away. It doesn't make it not have happened. It does mean I'm not alone anymore. And that makes a world of difference.

They were also to stand every morning to thank and praise the LORD. They were to do the same in the evening . . .
-- I Chronicles 23:30

To see more Thankful Thursdays head over to Iris' at Grace Alone.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

My BFF, Keith, is making these bears!
Check out his blog for more info.

See more pictures at Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Simple Woman's Daybook -- March 29th

Outside my window . .  . it is sunny and cool. Hello Mr. Sun! It's been a while.

I am thinking . . . that I need to figure out what the blue funk is. I've been having some "memory" pain again, so that's not a fun sign.

I am thankful for . . . SUNSHINE and the waffles I made the kids for breakfast this morning.

From the learning rooms . . . we are already counting down the days until summer vacation -- 44 days!

From the kitchen . . . some new recipes in the past week. I'll be posting some at Mellie's Kitchen later this week.

I am wearing . . . dh's heavy robe. Mine's in the laundry and I didn't want to be cold!

I am creating . . . a shawl for KFH's mother. 

I am going . . . to my 2nd film noir class on Friday afternoon. We'll be watching Double Indemnity which is one my favorites.

I am reading . . . The Pig Did It by Joseph Caldwell.

I am hoping . . . to deep clean my bedroom this week. The dust and dust bunnies are taking over, and my quilt and duvet definitely need to be washed.

I am hearing . . . my doggies asking (begging, pleading, demanding) for breakfast.

Around the house . . . dh has been working hard on the vanity for the bathroom. It is beautiful! I'll post pictures once it is fully installed.

One of my favorite things . . . is Sunday afternoon naps.

A few plans for the rest of the week . . . taking Etta to the vet to have some bumps rechecked; back to Bible study; and film noir class on Friday.

Here's a picture for thought I'm sharing . . .

My little workspace.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Happy Thoughts

Yesterday as I was catching up on blog reading, I ran across this post, and it struck a chord with me.

Sunday morning dh and I helped with a class on marriage. There was a lot of discussion about being who God made us to be while still respecting and honoring the differences in our spouses. We talked about those negative messages that get going in our heads, and how we can learn to stop them.

As an abuse survivor, I have a plethora of negative messages that bombard me regularly. Some are exact quotes from the abusers, but a lot of them are interpretations I developed over time from the treatment I received at those abusers' hands. For along time I didn't even know about this inner tape that played in my head. Years of therapy have helped me learn to recognize, acknowledge and stop the negative messages. It's been a process, at times slow and agonizing. I've felt really stupid at times for falling back into the same patterns of coping. I've been reminded, repeatedly, that I'm relearning how to see myself as God sees me. That means I'm relearning about who God really is -- not the judge and executioner, but a loving father who only wants what is best for me! As dh reminded me recently, how do I view ds when he messes up? I don't want to hurt him, I just want him to learn and grow to be the person God created him to be. 

So for today, I invite you to think on a few things with me.

1. Galatians 6:4-5 Each one should test their own actions. Then they can take pride in themselves alone, without comparing themselves to someone else, 5 for each one should carry their own load.

2. These three words: Transformation, renewal, transparency.

3. And finally this little song that may seem silly, but is a really good reminder for all of us.

Blessings and Namaste!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

The ABC's of Me!

(A) Age: 49
(B) Bed Size: Full
(C) Chore You Hate: Cleaning baseboards
(D) Dogs? Three - Squeaker, Etta and Yaya
(E) Essential Start Your Day Item: English Breakfast Tea
(F) Favorite Color: Red and purple
(G) Gold or Silver? Silver
(H) Height: 5’1.5″ (after a good yoga class LOL!)
(I) Instruments You Play: I play at dulcimer and autoharp, but mostly I just sing
(J) Job Title: Neighborhood mom/cook
(K) Kids: Claire - 20 and Sam - 17
(L) Live: Nashville, TN
(M) Mom’s Name: Shirley
(N) Nicknames: Mellie, Mel
(O) Overnight Hospital Stays? 3 -- 2 for babies and 1 for surgery
(P) Pet Peeve: people who don't follow posted rules
(Q) Quote from a Movie: "A person is smart. People are dumb, stupid, panicky creatures, and you know it." MIB
(R) Right or Left Handed? Left
(S) Siblings: 1 older sister and 1 younger brother
(T) Time You Wake Up? 6:15 during the week, 7:00 or 7:30 on the weekends
(U) Underwear: yes
(V) Vegetable You Dislike: Brussels Sprouts
(W) What Makes You Run Late: my computer addiction
(X) X-Rays You’ve Had Done: leg, back, feet, chest
(Y) Yummy Food You Make: Pumpkin Bread
(Z) Zoo, Favorite Animal: otters OR prairie dogs OR monkeys

How about you?

Friday, March 25, 2011

Marriage, Fitness, Housework, & Dinner Guests -- aka Feel Good Friday, March 25, 2011

Five good things from this week? Hmmm. . . 

1. It's not two weeks ago! Dh and I didn't start this morning with getting lost and snitty with each other. LOL! Seriously I'm glad for a quiet weekend at home.
(Click here to read more about the marriage seminar weekend.)

2. I've kept my eating and exercise journal all week. Last week dd and I spent at the Tennessee Fitness Spa. We ate healthy food and exercised a lot. We both came home with weight loss and inches lost. We've partnered up to try and keep things rolling here at home.

3. I've straightened, done laundry and cleaned off and on ALL week, and the house looks pretty good -- not perfect, but I'm learning to be content with "pretty good". Striving for perfection (i.e., Martha Stewart) just drives me crazy and takes all the fun out of life.

4. So in a homage to #3, we had dinner guests last night. I really do love to be around people. I always thought we'd do more entertaining than we have in our marriage. Somehow I let worries about what everyone thought get in the way of just having fun and fellowship. We had such a good time last night that it makes me want to do it again really soon!

5. I'm starting a new class this afternoon. One of the local universities here in town offers a Lifelong Learning Program. The classes are really aimed at retirees, but I've taken advantage of several classes over the years. The first one I took was Hitchcock's Films, followed by Screwball Comedies. Today starts Fim Noir. The next 4 Friday afternoons I'll be sitting a college lecture hall with a lot of really old people watching movies and eating popcorn. The lecturer is a friend of mine so I'm really looking forward to learning a little history of this genre and getting to watch some truly classic films. I'll keep you posted.

For more Feel Good Friday posts, swing on over to lia sophia tomgirl. Link up and leave a comment : )