Friday, May 22, 2015


It's been a tough week here in blogland. Not much writing and too much stress. At first I felt guilty about not filling this space with words of healing and encouragement. Then I was angry at circumstances that were interrupting my regular routine. This morning when I saw the FMF prompt, I knew there had been a lesson for me this week.


I am called to rise above the hardships and struggles I face. Some of those struggles are fairly minor, but others can feel as if I'm being sucked down into tar or quicksand. The idea of rising above it all seems impossible. Rise above the lack of sleep or kitchen full of messy dishes. Rise above bad moods and stress inducers. Not the "put on your happy face" rise above it all, but really strive to rise above while being real and authentic.

And here's the real thing I learned this week. If I am called to rise, that means God knows there are going to be low spots, low times. If He didn't know, there'd be no call to "Rise", because there'd be nothing to rise from. 

I look back on a week of struggles and find I'm able to rise above it all and be grateful in the process. I am able to rise above the madness because I'm not alone.

linking up with Five Minute Friday

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

The Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY . . . May 19, 2015

Outside my window . . . it's 70 degrees and cloudy this morning. It's supposed to clear off later in the day. Still heavy pollen though.

I am thinking . . . about struggles. There's quite a bit of those in my house right now. Would you pray for us?

I am thankful . . . for a good day in the end yesterday. It started out rough, but got better as the day progressed. Grateful as always for my bestie, LBB, who is always so caring and supportive.

In the kitchen . . . the other night was sausages, potatoes, green bean casserole, and mac and cheese. I'm thinking crockpot pork chops tonight with sauerkraut and polenta.

I am creating . . . beading projects! I spent Saturday organizing beads to make it easier to create. Here's a couple of bracelets from the day –

I am going . . . to keep beading as much as possible as I had forgotten how much I love it.

I am wondering . . . about how to get back into a more consistent yoga practice.

I am reading . . . A Very Private Woman:The Life and Unsolved Murder of Presidential Mistress Mary Meyer by Nina Burleigh
For morning contemplation I am continuing with A Prayer Journal by Flannery O'Connor, 
Practicing the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence, 
and The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron.

I am looking forward to . . . a trip in June to Wisconsin's Apostle Islands. Dh is doing his first ever inline skate marathon. I'm just looking forward to some peace and beautiful scenery.

I am hearing . . . absolute peace and quiet. So lovely!

Around the house . . . I need a housework day.

I am praying . . . for my friend KFH. We said goodbye to his 94 year old mother yesterday. It was a lovely service.

One of my favorite things . . . is a private get away with just me, myself, and I. Planning on one very soon!

A few plans for the rest of the week . . . therapy, walking, a fun day with dd for her birthday -- shopping, lunch, manis/pedis. No specific plans for Memorial Day weekend. Just relaxing and working on decorating the new deck!

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

linking up with The Simple Woman

Thursday, May 14, 2015


"the disease of false guilt . . . the idea that what you feel must be true"

I felt guilty for most of my life. I wasn't sure what I was guilty of, but I knew I must be guilty of something because that was how I felt.

It's taken years of therapy to learn the concept of "false guilt". Feeling guilt is not evidence that I am guilty. In its healthiest form, guilt is a cognitive or an emotional experience that occurs when a person realizes that he or she has compromised his or her own standards of conduct or has violated a moral standard, and bears significant responsibility for that violation. So guilt helps us learn to accept responsibility for our mistakes -- that's a good thing. Unfortunately, false guilt leads us to take responsibility for anything that causes us to feel or assume guilt. So the abuse survivor feels guilty for what was done to her or him.

And guilt becomes a way of life. 

My kids used to say I felt responsible (guilty) for global warming. It was a joke rooted in truth. Anything, and I do mean anything, that went wrong I felt guilty about. People were using too many disposable diapers and paper towels? Clearly my fault. If I would just cut back the problem could be solved. 

My favorite TV show got cancelled? If I just hadn't missed those few episodes while I was taking care of my kids, going to church, helping someone out, or, God forbid, doing something for myself, clearly the show would have survived (and none of those actors, producers, camera operators, directors, make-up artists, etc. would still have jobs).

Man, that is a lot of guilt! No wonder I felt bogged down and driven to despair. Who wouldn't?

For survivors accepting guilt for the abuser's actions provides a false sense of safety. If it (the abuse) was my fault to begin with, clearly I can keep it from happening again. I was in control. I let it happen, so I can stop it from happening again. Magical thinking. 

If I recognize that it wasn't my fault, but rather the abuser's fault, then I've lost my safety mechanism. See? It's a warped perspective that functions as self-preservation. The problem is, it's a lie. I can't keep someone else from committing a crime. I can (as an adult) strive to create a safe environment that raises my chances of avoiding another attack, but even as an adult I can't eliminate the possibility of something bad happening.

Letting go of feeling guilty is one of the hardest shifts for most survivors. I know it has been for me. But, it's also the truest path to becoming a survivor.

linking up with Writer's Workshop

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

The Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY . . . May 12, 2015

Outside my window . . . it's 66 degrees with with a mild wind from the north. It's cooler this morning and feels lovely.

I am thinking . . . that a spring respiratory virus is no fun. It came on fast and furious Saturday afternoon. The sore throat is better and my ear doesn't hurt as much, but I'm still feeling a bit run down.

I am thankful . . . for lessons I've learned on being kinder to myself. They help a lot when I'm not feeling well.

In the kitchen . . . last night was supposed to be grilled chicken. Got to love it when you go to turn the chicken and find that you're out of propane! Late dinner since I had to bake the chicken to finish it up. Broccoli and brown rice to go with it, and chocolate chip cookies.

I am creating . . . a new structure. That sounds better than nothing at all! Actually we're going through some growing pains around here, so it's cutting into hands on creativity.

I am going . . . therapy and then hopefully home to get back on the cleaning train.

I am wondering . . . about the future. Not worrying, just wondering.

I am reading . . . A Very Private Woman:The Life and Unsolved Murder of Presidential Mistress Mary Meyer by Nina Burleigh
For morning contemplation I am continuing with A Prayer Journal by Flannery O'Connor, 
Practicing the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence, 
and have added The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron.

I am looking forward to . . . the completion of my new back deck. They started last week and may finish up today!

I am hearing . . . birds, traffic, and Squeaker (the dog). Quiet morning sounds.

Around the house . . . not much activity except working on spring cleaning. Can't wait to set up the new deck with all the outdoor furniture and few new goodies.

I am praying . . . for a dear friend's mother. She is 93 and was a diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor several weeks ago. She's in the final days, but hasn't lost her spunk! Last night he filmed her singing The Old Grey Mare!

One of my favorite things . . . is a good British murder mystery. While I've been sick, I've been watching Midsomer Murders and Rosemary & Thyme. They are cozy mysteries so far less stressful than things like Criminal Minds or Law and Order

A few plans for the rest of the week . . . recovering from this virus, setting up the new deck, and spending LOTS of time reading and sipping tea on the new deck.

Here's a picture for thought I am sharing . . .
the deck in progress

linking up with The Simple Woman

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Weekend Thought

Imagine your soul as being like the Tyne Bridge. There are busy times and quiet times. The job of the bridge is not to ask what is in the cars or lorries but simply to bear their weight for a few seconds and then allow them to go on their way. There is no problem when the flow of traffic is even, but when breakdowns and bottlenecks occur, the fights and impatience begin. Your soul, too, has to take the weight and let it go. The suffering becomes prolonged only when you do not acknowledge its existence and let it pass on. Then it sits on your soul like a judgement.

The time to repair the bridge is in the night when the traffic is light.  Your prayer in the quiet times gives you the strength to cope with the heavy, busy times.  You dig, patch and repair in the night.  As a result, the world can flow over your soul in the day without congestion.  You must allow the flow of faith, love, healing, joy and light to pass through you into the world.  You must allow the flow of hatred, darkness and sin to flow from the world through you to God.

All of this is done by prayer, and by forgiveness of yourself, of others…little by little you grow in the power of prayer, in the ability to bear the weight and accept the contradictions of the two-way flow between God and the world.  ~ Aidan Clarke

taken from Celtic Daily Prayer

Friday, May 8, 2015


I try to meet other's needs. It's part of my make-up, but it's also a lasting effect of childhood abuse. 

The belief that if I figure out and provide for someone else's (abuser's) needs, I will be safe, loved, accepted.

fulfill, satisfy, fill, measure up to, match (up to), conform to, come up to, comply with, answer -- "he does not meet the job's requirements"

What I'm learning is the only person I am responsible for in that way is me. God wants me to take care of me. And by taking care of me (creating safety, loving, and accepting) I will do His will and help other people in the process.

Meeting my needs is a new endeavor. There's a learning curve for me in this process. But I'm taking it one step at a time, and trusting in God to show me how to honor Him by honoring me.

linking up with Five Minute Friday

Thursday, May 7, 2015


My journey took an unexpected turn recently. It wasn't the first one and it won't be the last, but this one caught me off guard. In hindsight, it wasn't as out of the blue as it seemed. Perhaps I just didn't want to see it coming.

It's difficult waking up one morning and realizing you're someone you never intended to be. Not the totality of me, but this one portion. A significant sized aspect of my personality, my life, has been wrapped up in a place I never meant to experience.

All week I've been thinking about the exchange between Shrek and Donkey. You know, the one about onions and cake and parfaits? 

People are like ogres and onions. So are relationships. Some of the layers are good and some are, well, not so good. Right now I'm riding out a tough layer, but I'm staying the course because I remember all the good layers. 

Most journeys are like onions. They have layers, and it's not until some time has passed that we can look back and see the totality and how it all fit together to form the whole. And all those cliched sayings are true -- 

Life is a journey.

It's not about the destination. It's about the journey.

Some of those layers are just harder to digest than others.

linking up with Writer's Workshop

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

The Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY . . . May 5, 2015

Outside my window . . . it's 66 degrees with a clear, pale blue sky. We're heading up to the 80s later in the day. More time with the roof down on the car :)

I am thinking . . . about being 53 and just now getting to know myself.

I am thankful . . . for all the people who have helped me over the past several years as I have worked through abuse issues. The damage never goes away, but the day to day effects can be lessened and controlled when they are examined.

In the kitchen . . . last night was a sandwich bar with chips and dip, and kale slaw. Ds has been on a dessert kick (I think it's exam stress) and requested a Cherry Dump Cake. So I obliged.

I am creating . . . a more peaceful and authentic interior life.

I am going . . . to therapy and then back home for some creativity.

I am wondering . . . about how quickly our society is willing to replace people and things. While there is often pain and suffering in working through the tough spots, so much beauty can be redeemed by staying the course.

I am reading . . . well re-reading City of Shadows by Ariana Franklin. 
This is my third time. I'm not sure what it is about this story and the characters, but I keep coming back to it. Also it's easier to re-read something for relaxation when I'm stressed. For morning contemplation I am continuing with A Prayer Journal by Flannery O'Connor, 
Practicing the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence, 
and have added The Artist's Way by Julia Cameron.

I am looking forward to . . . my lake walk tomorrow with dh. We try each Wednesday to walk at Radnor Lake. It's about a 3 mile trail around the lake. We see so many animals and plants, and dh is a fine photographer. It's also a good time to talk without interruptions.

I am hearing . . . my husband listening to music videos and chatting with me. This is unusual as he is typically long gone by now.

Around the house . . . working on spring cleaning. One room each week. Yesterday was the master bedroom. Couldn't have done it without my bestie, LBB. She is focused, which I am not right now.

I am praying . . . for my bestie's dad who had an episode yesterday. For KFH's mom who is declining. For Nepal. And for many others who are struggling with various issues.

One of my favorite things . . . is having things neat and orderly (I am a librarian after all!), but I live with clutter-bug men, so I've learned to be happy with areas of order, because the whole house never arrives.

A few plans for the rest of the week . . . tea tomorrow with my mother and daughter. Spiritual direction on Thursday. Working on some plans another bestie on Friday. Also the contractor is starting my deck tomorrow! Happy dance. 

Here's a picture for thought I am sharing . . .
flowers from Trader Joe's

linking up with The Simple Woman