And so it begins…

Tonight I went to the group I recently started attending. It was the sign up night for the small group “recovery and healing” studies that start next week. So as I stand there wanting to be anonymous, I catch the eye of a familiar looking woman who I soon discover I know from my last job and daughter’s school. Always a small world with nowhere to really hide, but i realize that I am fine with this. It is alright to be known, I just need to take care of my heart, my privacy and set boundaries. Maybe I should go to the boundary group so I can learn how to do this or perhaps it is the co-dependency group I need. I can always use a brush up on not caring so much what others think of me. Perhaps I will just look around and listen for a bit…

I really think the number of groups available is overwhelming, and I may be  the midst of a first world problem. I often wonder if the biggest problem I have is trying to find the right group to help me with my problems, that I may have a problem! Do you ever wonder if people in places that do not have food to eat or clean water to drink, think for a minute about their happiness. I am not sure if they do, but if they do, that happiness may have to do with them getting a full belly or quenching their thirst. I cannot remember the last time I was really hungry or dying for a clean drink of water to quench my thirst.

So while I beat myself up for being so small that I cannot deal with my problems on my own, I look over the material for the group I chose. The “grief” group. Why that group? Well I think it may help me deal with all that I have been through in the last few years, all of the really hard and overwhelming things that have been real and hard and hurtful. No I was not hungry, or thirsty, but it does not make the things that I went through any less real or difficult. I once heard that just because someone else is missing an arm, it does not mean my splinter does not hurt. Well, I have had a lot of splinters, and they hurt like hell. So first world troubles or not, I am ready to plow ahead and grow and learn all I can to lead me onward, ever onward, down the path wherever it may lead.


Morning Revelations

My mornings have become a time of connecting to my Savior, my God. I didn’t do it for so long and now that I am, I remember why it was a habit for me for so long. It seems as though each day is a new discovery, and a day to see God in a new light. My eyes are opened to new insights and then the day leads to a fullness a and a sense of awareness that I have been craving.

I awake earlier and sit in my dining room, my steaming mug of wake up juice to my right, why the right? Because I like it there. The Bible and my study guide sit open in front of me, moving back and forth as I look first in one, then the other moving through my current study. Right now I am working on Beth Moore’s “Breaking Free”. It is an amazing study designed to break the bondage of sin and move one into the relationship God wants to have with them. I have had so many *WOW* moments in the past few weeks and God/Jesus are intimate and real in my whole day.

My job at the church has been stressful lately. Getting through the Christmas season, and having many extra duties added to my regular work load has been incredibly overwhelming. We have experienced the death of several members recently, one right after another, people that I have come to know and love, and it is painful. As much as I want to be strong, to deal with all of this in faith, I find that I can fall into a funk and get weepy. I know it is normal to feel all of this and that what is really happening is a time of healing, but it does not make all of the feelings I am experiencing easy, or fun to go through.

I was in the middle of a couple of hard days and found myself sitting with my coffee and open books very early one morning before work. I sat with my Lord quietly for a time. Just asking to be touched, to hear Him. I began as I always do, reading, taking notes, and sipping my hot coffee, when God began to speak to me, opening my eyes to one of His great truths. He is there for me in the midst of my heartache.

I read Isaiah 61:1 ...He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives… I learned that this reference “bind up” is in fact the Hebrew word, chavase, which translated means to compress or stop, and it further defines it to bind or wrap. As I read these words and remembered my heartaches, my broken places, I recall the incredible initial pain that comes with heartache, just like when an open wound is pressed upon firmly to stop it from bleeding, this pain is necessary to stop the bleeding so healing can begin. To think of Jesus, the great physician, holding my heart ache in his scarred hands, hands that bear those scars because and for me, I am humbled beyond measure. It helps me to remember that he is not unfamiliar with suffering, and that even though he allows my pain, I am not alone in it, he is with me and walks with me through it.

I walked away from my quiet time with Him that morning feeling so comforted, so assured of His love for me. I am relieved to say that for now I am not in the midst heartbreak however, I could be facing it at any given moment. How grateful I am for the assurance that my Lord will be there at the center of it with me, when it does.

“Oh Christmas Tree”

When we moved into my dream house in Steamboat it was just 2 weeks before Christmas. We did not care, we were doing it up right. We decorated it all, even won second place in the outside house lighting that is judged for all of the houses around town. My daughters were 2 and 5 and I was in charge of getting the tree up. Well, In my family of origin, my dad was the one who put up the tree and the lights. So I did not really have a lot of practice with it as I usually made my husband, Jim, do it too, then I decorate. But, he was busy so I figured I would get it done.

I put on 5 strings of lights all hooked together and turn it on… The middle row was out. Dammit!! So,I take them off up to that point and make sure they are working this time and re-string them… Another row out!! No way… Okay this time I just carefully remove the broken string and get another in there. Now none will come on. OH MY GOSH!!! By this time I am in a rampage… totally irritated and on a rant… I am going on and on about how I will NEVER have another tree that I need to put lights on again! I will not do it!!

That is when I hear a small voice across the room saying tearfully “Mom says we are not having Christmas again”. The poor kid. I had traumatized her my 5 year old, Morgan. I realized we needed to sit down and talk. I used the opportunity to tell Morgan and little Alexa about the reason for Christmas, and that no matter if we have a tree or presents or any of that stuff, that there will indeed be Christmas. Because it is Jesus birthday. It is not about the other stuff. So tree or no, yes… there would be Christmas, always.

By this point I had calmed down and we finished the decorations, but it had turned this lighting disaster into a great memory. I now own a pre-lit tree which is simple to turn on, i merely plug it in, and if it breaks, I buy a new one.


Berry Heaven

When i moved to Oregon several years ago, I spent my first Summer outings going to pick all sorts of berries. There are kinds I have never even heard of. I am from Colorado, in the mountains, and we had a slim supply of berries there, and when they were available they cost a bundle. Here is it amazing. They are so inexpensive when you pick your own. So my freezer was filled with lots of berries for several years.

One particular outing that was really memorable was the first time my family went to see the waterfalls in the area and had a picnic. I brought a bunch of berries along for us to snack on and as we sat and ate, i looked around at the green lush area with not a bug other than butterflies in sit and thought… I have just died and gone to berry heaven. I loved it here from that point forward.

I was also reminded of other great experiences picking apples outside Saint Louis, Missouri. I picked a ton one year before we left there and made a bunch of apple sauce. Goodness it was wonderful.

Now that I have my new knees I really look forward to going out this year to gather all sorts of the area treasures. It seems that here everything grows. I cannot wait. I also will be going out to hike a bunch more too, building up those muscles and trying to shake off that last 8 pounds i need to.

Well, off to eat some dinner… Hope all are having a great weekend.


Another day…

Well, it is finally Friday. Having been a little off all week with my illness I am happy to have a day tomorrow to just rest and do laundry. I look forward to having nothing more to do.

Dinner out with family last night was lovely. I ate too much and suffered for it. It is hard to get all healthy then want to blow it occasionally. It is really not worth it!

Finding comfort in the knowledge that I am thought of… I like it.


Feeling Better

This Thursday started out better than the last few days. I am finally feeling better, the cold is dissipating and I think I may live. I did however have to take my daughter in for her round of antibiotics too. The whole family got hit.

I did not get to see our couples therapist today and find it is an off day without the regular meeting. I so look forward to it. I am such a fan of dissecting things. I asked my personal therapist, yes we do see too many, if I might ever just be happy without having to look so deeply into everything. She laughed and said probably not. It seemed to her that I have far too active a mind to not question and push. She then told me not to look so disappointed as it really was a good thing to want to question, to grow and to become more. I suppose that is the truth, but sometimes it is exhausting.

I hope the day progresses well. This week has started looking up. Tonight out with a sister-in-law for dinner at a new place downtown. The whole family will come, even Morgan. Looking forward to it!



Life today seems somehow better and more complete than it has in awhile. I feel more at peace. I am recovering slowly from my cold. Thank God for the gift of medicine. But in the midst of being sick  see how much I need and desire care. I want to be noticed and made to feel like I am not alone in my times of suffering, no matter how small they may seem. I am a needy thing and I love knowing I am cared for. I wonder if that is so bad, but feel like it is not.

Tonight after a full day at work and then a lovely church service, which focused on the persecuted church, I will go to bed and rest. I am starting a new book, the last in a series that was good, although not worth passing on. Just a way to relax. I want to get started on my writing and speaking course. But am too tired right now. It will come.

So for now a good night to all and lovely dreams…



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