Friday, June 14, 2013

Crystal Clear

Dear Readers:

My heart has been heavy for two months and in an effort to heal and let go, I find myself here. Writing is  how I express myself best.

Please know my intention is not to hurt anyone else. My motivation for this blog, my motivation in life, has been to ease other people's pain by sharing my own. The dysfunction and alcoholism of my childhood, the emotional scars and confusion of life, my weight, my running, and so many other internal battles I've shared with you here. The final post on  this  particular blog will do the same. My prayer is that you will take something away that will benefit YOUR life. 

It is with a broken heart I tell you, Tammy and I have parted ways. Several weeks ago, she made the decision to walk away from this friendship. I can't say that I understand but I  have accepted it. I definitely have not healed. The details are irrelevant. The choice was hers and she's made her position clear. 

As you many know there's a long list of people who have chosen to "leave" me. Until recently I viewed that LIST as a negative thing. Affirmation that I am  unlovable, unworthy, broken, disposable. As I've processed through the cycle of emotions, over and over and over again, looking at the evidence, analyzing the list, this time I've come to a much different conclusion.

I took a good hard look at who I am and who I wanted to be. How do I live my life and what do I need to change? I'm  very clear on who I am. Crystal Clear. Perfect?  no!  thank God. I don't want to be. 

It is with great clarity I conclude that I am the woman strong enough to say :

"You scared the hell out of me as a child but I will not allow you to scare MY children".......and he walked away.

"You're wrong, cheating on your husband is wrong and you're making the worst decision of your life".......and she walked away.

"You need to take care of your daughter and her health and be a responsible parent. Caring for your sick child is not my job".....and they walked away.

"I won't let you abuse your child in front of me, verbally or physically".......and she walked away

"You can't humiliate my daughters at a public event when you're intoxicated and think I will understand"......and she walked away.

"A friend doesn't bail when you're child has been sick for 18 months and claim that she's 'busy', that's not a friendship".....and she walked away.

"You can't walk in and walk out....., push and pull...., love and punish.....commit and  then bail time and time again and expect me to accept it. You can't call me sister and act like this "......and she walked away.

Yes, each of them walked away but more importantly I saw who I am. I am loving and forgiving and compassionate and 100% your friend. I am also strong. SO STRONG.

**Strong enough to survive and create this amazing life I have built for my family.

** Strong enough to raise the two most amazing daughters I have ever seen. If you doubt me, if  you think that's just "mom  talk" a little research and you'll see what I mean.

** Strong enough to endure the highs and lows of a 23 year marriage in a society that tells you a piece of paper isn't important.

**Strong enough to adopt countless children other parents have failed to love and earn the honored title of "Momma Bear"

**Strong enough to be a stay at home mom for 17 years and strong enough to return to the workforce to build a career in my 40s.

** Strong enough to cry and tell you how hard its been.

**Strong enough to discuss all the garbage that comes along with growing up in a screwed up household and understand what you're going through.

**Strong enough to post pictures on FaceBook 100 lbs overweight while  I run 5Ks.

** I am strong and I am enough.

The loss of my friendship with Tammy has forever changed me. I forgive her, I truly do. But I won't forget. I know I did what I was supposed to do....when she walked back into my life in 2006 I opened my heart and my home and my family and loved her like she'd never left. That's what Jesus would have done. He also instructed his disciples to "shake the dust off their feet" when they were rejected.

So I've been rejected AGAIN, its true. It hurt like hell, I won't lie. But I can't control what other people do or say or decide. We are each accountable to God for our own actions. I love with abandon, I give until I bleed, I show up over and over again. I'm ridiculously silly and passionately emotional. Truthfully, I'm at peace with who I am.

My next blog will be in a new format :) God bless <3


Saturday, January 12, 2013

Running in Circles!!!!! ooooOOOO

But those who trust in the LORD will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint. ~ Isaiah 40:31

We've all had those times in life when you feel as though you're trapped on the hamster wheel, going...... and going...... and going...... and never getting anywhere!  I know for sure I have. For some its the cycle of weight loss, weight gain, weight loss. For some its addiction, on the wagon, off the wagon, on the wagon again. For me, its a cycle with relationships. I love, they leave, I love.....they leave.

My life has been a series of people who have walked in and walked out. Like a revolving door in my heart I have watched countless people voluntarily come  and go.

*My father
*Aunts & Uncles
*Brothers and sisters
*Friends too numerous to count

Sadly,  its a list of names I carry around in my heart. The wound has scabbed over and healed but the damage is still there. I think it always will be. I am always aware, often too aware, of this permanent damage.

In October of last year, I ran my first 5K race. ONE  BIG CIRCLE. One hundred pounds overweight, never an athlete, unsure of whether I could complete the course, I laced up my shoes, put on the very tight spandex, hydrated and went for it.

On a beautiful, warm autumn morning, with my dearest friend beside me, I started to jog. Fear and doubt immediately tormented my thoughts. Some of these people were walking faster than I could run! I perservered.

The first quarter mile, was uphill. By hill, I simply mean a rise in the road. At the crest of the hill, two friends, holding signs "Love You Michelle!"  I felt this silent prodding that it represented my Mom who couldn't be there that day to cheer for me.

At the first bend, my husband, the most loving, committed, strong father I have ever seen. He stood beside his truck and took a picture. I could tell he was proud.  How many times I wished  I'd had a Dad like him,  as a little girl. This thought nearly brought me to my knees.

Across the street, friends cheered and yelled my name. I couldn't tell at the time WHO they were, I just knew they were cheering FOR ME.Such an incredible feeling, to know people are rooting for you!

I reached the end of mile one feeling strong. My emotions back under control for the moment. Suddenly another friend appeared , standing alone in a parking lot. Holding a sign "You Rock Michelle". She has no idea how  deeply she impacted me that day.  She's a sweet girl, 20 something. Life hasn't been easy for her, her aloneness in that moment reminded so much of myself. I had to convince myself to keep moving. I couldn't be overcome with emotion, I had to keep going.

I passed  a car dealership, famous for its daily quotes on the marquee,  and read " Those who bring sunshine to others cannot keep it from themselves". Yikes, the tears started and I just kept running. The BFF kept running beside me.

At mile two, we stopped for water. I told my BFF  I wanted to walk the distance of this street. You see, this is the street my abusive, alcoholic, dysfunctional  father lives on today. I had to slow down. I would not run in this moment. I would not run from anything, I would not run to anything, I would absorb this moment. True VICTORY for me this day was acknowledging that this man has no control over my life anymore. Not physically, not mentally and certainly not emotionally. I no longer live in fear.

At the end of the road, we picked up the pace, through the woods, a small bridge. Small enough that you must cross single file. We had arranged that I would run through first. On the other side, a vagrant, with a Doberman Pincer. I had been attacked by a Doberman when I was a little girl. They terrify me. Somehow though, I knew there was NO turning back. I was going to cross this bridge and I was going to finish this race. If he barked, if he bit me,  I would  finish. Remarkably, he didn't even glance at me.

Through the clearing, almost there...... an older woman struggled to keep her pace. I jogged beside her, talked to her, asked about her running, encouraged her to keep going. It was her second race. I could have run on by but that's not who I am. I stop and help when people are struggling. Right or wrong its who I am. When she recovered,  I moved on.

Just ahead I spotted a friend on the side of the road. A friend who had hurt me. A friend I had hurt. I asked her to join us. The significance of this moment to this day evokes awe. Forgiveness is powerful and healing and beautiful.

The final bend in the road, friends were cheering my name. I was almost there. As I began to cry, realizing that I had done it. I had actually run my first 5K, I looked up to soak in the moment, desperately wanting to hold onto it for as long a could. Up ahead, my daughter, home from college to root for me, holding a sign "My Mom is My Hero". Sobs even now as I write this. A moment I will treasure in my heart until my last breath. The cycle of dysfunction and abuse is broken. She is evidence of that. She is proof I have given it my very best and done a fine job.

At last the finish line. Does it get better than this?

I had asked my husband, to find me. To position himself in such a place that I could SEE him. I had never crossed a finish line before. I had no idea what to expect, how I would feel, I just knew I would want him to be there. And boyyyyyyyy  was he.

Amidst the crowd of people, in the center of the finish line, My Man. The only person, who has stood beside me every day, no matter what. Waiting. For me. Crying. So proud he couldn't speak. I dove into his arms and sobbed.

This big loop called a 5K was so much more than a race to me. It was evidence that I'm not running in circle. I'm running my race. Yes, people will voluntarily decide they don't want to run with me. That's ok. Its their choice. I however, must continue to move forward at my pace. Continue to see the path ahead of me, carrying my own water bottle, my own iphone, my own desires. I can not be responsible for you. You choose to run or  not to run.

Oh by the way, that BFF I mentioned? She's a crazy runner. Yeah, the kind who does MARATHONS. That day, she ran every single step beside me. She shed as many tears as I did. She humbled herself and loved me across the finish line. And when my turn to hear the crowd cheer FOR ME came? She graciously pulled to the side, allowed me to have my moment and cried tears for me, knowing something amazing had happened within me that day. I saw a little glimpse of ME....and she did too <3

By the way, yes, I'm still running! I've done 3 more races since that day. My New Year's Resolution is to run one a month in 2013. Lace up, get going, no one is gonna do the work for ya!

Special thanks to My Man, my girls*yes you too!, my BFF, and to those beautiful friends who shared this day with me. I love you so much!

Father,  give us each the grace and determination to run our own race. Help us not to place our problems on others but to carry our own weight and responsibilities. Help us to love each other in times of crisis and walk away from people and situations that are unhealthy for us. Help us, help ME to see the progress and the love right in front of my eyes <3 Amen


Thursday, November 8, 2012

Mirror Mirror on the Wall

"But the Lord said to Samuel, 'Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance but the Lord looks at the heart'" ~ 1Samuel 16:7

When you look in the mirror what do you see?

the extra weight?
frown lines?
gray hairs?
dark circles?
brown eyes you wished were green?
crooked teeth?

Maybe you're like me....instead of physical attributes or flaws, you look deeper? Are you reminded of your mistakes? do you hear the voices of the past pointing at you reminding you that you're......

a mistake?

I have a friend, her name is Veronica. No that's not her real name and no she isn't "me". She could be though. She's a mini-me. Veronica and I share many many similarities. Our bond began when we realized we are both broken children, from broken homes, born of broken parents. 

When I look into her eyes, I see the hurt, the worry, the fear, the confusion, and the yearning. I see this young woman, her whole life infront of  her, desperate to get it right. Afraid she'll never heal, never know REAL love, never measure up. All she can see is her own inner turmoil.

She reminds me so much of myself 20 years ago. I wanted so badly to create the perfect life. A loving husband, 2.5 children, a puppy bounding through the yard. I wanted the Norman Rockwell holidays with family and the Caribbean vacations with dear friends. I  wanted the best friend forever and the satisfying job with a decent paycheck. I wanted all of those things and never  dared to dream they'd truly become MY reality.

Veronica has become one of my treasured friends and a surrogate daughter of sorts. There's so much I want to show her, teach her, remind her. In doing so, I'm reminding myself. I'm able to see how far I've come and how grateful am. So my sweet girl, this letter is for you....and its for me

Dear Veronica:

You have absolutely no idea how wonderful you are. I am going to remind you.  The world has lied to you. People, including your parents, have made some terrible decisions that have affected your life and your health and your idea of who you are. They were wrong.

You are brilliant and funny and beautiful. Every day, you make someone smile, feel loved, feel special. Every single day. period.

You are perfect. Your eyes are just the right color, your hair has just the right curl, your arms are exactly the right length. I promise you, God has created you to be exactly who you are. You are perfect.

You have nothing to be afraid of. This is your life, you hold the paper and the pen. You get to create this masterpiece. You decide where you go from here. All those dreams you have are at your fingertips. Stop being afraid and live.

You don't have to be strong. When you show who you really are to others, you allow them the freedom to  be real with you too. We are all hurt, wounded, confused. Some hide it better than others but its true. We all desperately want, need to be loved.

You don't have to pretend to be anyone other than yourself. All of those things about you that you think are "crazy" or "weird" are pieces of yourself and they are awesome. AWESOMEEEEEE! Celebrate them!

I love coffee, hate bananas, cry at weddings, love to  read until the weeee hours of the morning. I ran my first 5k at 42 years old, 100 lbs over weight. I never get the words to the song right, I'm a shameless Momma Bear when it comes to my girls and I have been in love with the same man my entire life. THIS IS ME. If someone can't deal with that, see ya!

Veronica, be you, because I think you is fantastic. I see you on the other side of the mirror and I promise you, it'll work out just fine. I love you. I'll be here for you. Night or day, during the darkest moments and the moments we laugh until we cry. I'll be here.

Que Bruno Mars: "When I see your face, there's not a thing that I would change, 'cause you're amazing, just the way you are"

Dear God, it is my deepest prayer, my sweet friend will realize all she is, is all that she needs to be. SHE is perfect just the way she is. Show her the joy in each day, bless her with loving family and friends and fulfill her deepest dreams and desires. ~amen!

Monday, August 27, 2012

"sticks & stones"

" Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing"~ Proverbs 12:18

We've all heard the little children's rhyme "Sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me". I don't think anything could be further from the truth. Words break us, often deeper and harder and longer than sticks and stones ever could. Some words wound so deeply, that without divine intervention you can never heal.

This weekend I attended my daughter's field hockey jamboree. I so looked forward to the day with my hubby, soaking up the sunshine and watching my daughter begin her senior year of high school doing something that brings her joy.

It wasn't long before my "perfect day" was rudely interrupted. A little boy, 7 maybe 8 years old, happily walked along  the edge of the playing field, singing to himself, lost in his own happy little world. Distracted and unaware, he crossed into playing territory. Please understand, the game was actually at the other end of the field at the time. He was in no way interfering with the field hockey game.

Suddenly his little face changed as his  mother began to rant from bleachers. One explative after another, she chastised the poor kid for walking onto the field. A small infraction caused such an extreme reaction. I wondered how she'd react if he'd done something REALLY wrong.

An hour or so later, a different field and a different game later,  I overheard a conversation between  the husband and wife beside us.

"Who is #16?"
"Oh that's Sarah"
"Well, she's not very good. How did SHE make Varsity?!!"

Everything in me began to BOIL. Seriously? This woman was referring to her daughter's team mate! She cleary didn't know who the player was, which also infers she had no idea who the parents were. How did she know this girl's mom wasn't  sitting beside her in the bleachers? How did she know I wasn't this girls mom!?

This has been weighing on my mind ever since. For years I have listened to the opinions and the voices and the words around me. Like a sponge, I have soaked them in, absorbed them and held onto them. My heart and my soul have become stained with the thoughts and opinions of others. I have become infected, like a sponge will if its not properly cleaned and disinfected.

"You're so stupid"

"You're so fat"

"You look, smell, act, like a french whore"

"You'll never amount to anything"

"You disgust me, embarass me"

"You're a bad friend"

"You can't do anything right"

"You're just like your father"

"You can't do THAT! Who do you think  you are?"

I could go on and on with the list. My point is this.....our children, the childen in our sphere of influence,  BELIEVE everything we tell them. If you tell them they are ugly, they'll believe you. If you tell them they're stupid, they'll believe you. If you tell them they're useless, they'll believe.

I have spent 42 years trying to reprogram the recurring soundtrack in my mind. It continues to be a battle I fight every day.

Please please please be careful with your words. They can build up or they can tear down. Not only children but adults as well. Sticks and stone do break bones, but words break souls and spirits.

Dear Lord, help me to choose my words wisely. May I use them to encourage, love, support, celebrate, cheer on the people I come into contact with each day. I pray you will continue to help me discard the lies that no longer serve me. Teach me to be who you say I am, not who others say I am. In your name I pray, Amen <3

Happy Monday Hugs!


Friday, August 3, 2012

Today's Top Ten

If you've been following the blog the past few months, you're aware there have been some major challenges in my life recently. Medical challenges, emotional challenges, spiritual challenges and most recently relational challenges. The latter, shook my faith in God.

I'm not proud of the Doubting Thomas blog. However, I will not remove it, nor will I apologize for it.  It was real and heartfelt and honest. I think a major obstacle of Christianity is that we aren't real....with God, ourselves or others. Frankly, it intimidates others and gives the impression we are perfect. I am FAR from perfect. That is another blog for another day though.

I've spent most of this week trying to recover from the feelings I voiced in Doubting Thomas.  I've tried to forget the words, the hurt feelings, anger that started that whole ball rolling. Although I do forgive, I don't know how to forget. I don't know how to move foward. I don't know if things will ever be the same. I also don't know if I can find my way back to God. I've been asking, looking, waiting. I can't hear, see or feel Him. More than once I have thought "Maybe God left me too?"

This morning I decided to venture out on a run alone. Most of the week I've been running with a friend who is camping with us. Today I needed to go alone. Two miles can seem like a long time when you're alone. As I began I muttered a quick prayer, "I need you God, I can't do this without you". Almost immediately, I glanced down and found a feather lying on the ground. A perfect, untouched, HUGE, feather. Immediately, the verse....

"but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint."~Isaiah 40:31

....came to mind. I glanced upward, said "thank you"  and picked up the feather. I don't truly know if its an EAGLES feather. Honestly, I don't my heart it is.  Chances are if I left the feather on the ground it would be there on my way back. I couldn't though. I needed to hold onto that feather.  Despite the inconvenience of carrying it  in one hand and the dog leash in the other, I picked it up and kept running.

Several times I repeated my prayer "I need you God, I can't do this without you".  My legs continued to move. As I reached the first mile mark, I turned around and headed back toward the campground. Knowing I would have a couple of inclines headed back this way,  I wasn't looking forward to this part of the run.

More than once I sensed a whisper "just keep moving foward".  At times I had to slow my pace, sometimes I had to walk. Twice the feather fell out of my hand and I needed to stop, turn and pick it up again. The energy it took to do that was marked. I considered leaving it behind. Was it really a sign from God?  Many times I had to prevent my self from choosing a focal point too far away, just the next step is all that mattered.

As I looked further down the road, I noticed a strange and twisted mass along the center line. It looked like a family of snakes, bathing in the early morning sun. I was startled! ( For the record, so was my pup, Gracie.)  I was afraid to get too close but had to run past them  in order to get back to my campsite. I had no choice but to keep going. I laughed at my  irrational fear as I recognized the tangled mess as a weather worn rope.

At long last I began to  see campers, hear voices and laughter. I pushed up the crest of the hill, huffing and puffing, one footfall at a time. Just as I reached the top, a cheery cluster of sparrows scattered playfully and I heard.....

Are not two sparrows sold for a penny ? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father. And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. So don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows."~Matthew 10:29-31

And so...... here are my closing thoughts for today

1) Sometimes you need to get really really down before you look up!

2) When you ask, with a genuine heart, God shows up. He never lets go, we do.

3) You never know how God will surprise you. It never looks like you expect it to.

4) Never underestimate Gods strength or your own. I'm 100 lbs overweight and I'm RUNNING!

5) Often times the things we are afraid of are just illusions not realities.

6) Be thankful and say so

7) Celebrate the little victories, each turn, each crest, each step.

8) Sometimes you gotta do it alone, with God....  but without a running buddy.

9) Have a back up plan :) My knight in shining armour had instruction to come and find me if I wasn't back in 40 minutes.

10) The only way to forgive AND forget? Keep moving foward, one step at a time.

That's all I got folks. I'm already looking foward to tomorrows run, shin splints and all.


Sunday, July 29, 2012

Doubting Thomas

WARNING* This blog is not for the faint at heart. It will be real, it will be ugly, it will probably contain profanity. If you choose to read it, I assume no responsibility for the condition of your heart when you finish. Honestly, I don't care about the condition of your heart, I'm more concerned with preventing my own from shatttering into a million unrepairable pieces at the moment.

In a recent blog, I wrote about a couple of profound relational losses that rocked my world. It brought me to my knees and in an effort to soothe my own pain, I medicated with food. For two years. Two years and a hundred and fifty pounds. Its a disgusting, painful reflection of who I am.

This is probably the most difficult blog I have ever written.

For the past 4 months there has been a constant barrage of problems in my life. Three unexpected painful, medical procedures. Weeks of loneliness, pain, and  frustration. I have tried to see the bright side of things, I have tried to see God's hand in all of this. I have tried to find the blessings. I've read countless scripture, prayed,  journaled every emotion and handed it all over to God, trusting that he would take care of things.

Day in and day out I waited.

and waited

and waited.

I thought I understood.

But I don't.

As I face again, another relational challenge. I want to know where the hell God is????? Are you gonna show up NOW? How much more can I  take? I have done everything you asked me to and this is my reward? This is bullshit. I'm mad as hell. This was the last time I was willing to give my heart to anyone. As I watch it unravel before my eyes, helpless to stop it from happening these are my thoughts:

I quit

I'm done

I'm done with relationships and I'm done with God and I'm done with church.

Praying doesn't solve anything. Its for the weak and the helpless. It gives them a sense that they're holding onto a bigger power, who is in control because they are not.

God doesn't love me...this is proof of that. I'm not even on God's radar.

You can't trust anyone. Not really. Not with who you really are....not with your inner most feelings and thoughts. People judge, people leave, people hurt.

Early this morning, I went for a walk. Entirely alone while the rest of the campground slept, I walked in the rain. It wasn't long before the sweat mingled with tears. I am so fucking angry that I let this happen to myself AGAIN.

I came upon a small bridge connecting one section of the campground to another. I stood on that bridge and sobbed. When looked down, I watched the river flow quickly by. This blog took hold and maybe in some sense of healing I decided to write it, profanity and all.

Life is like a river, rushing past. There are obstacles all along the way. Some big rocks, some small, some branches with sharp edges that cut and bruise and poke you along the way. There are also some areas where the water pools. It gets slimy and stagnant and algae grows there.

I won't be the water pool. Rocks will get in my way. Some big, some small.  But like the water I intended to flow around them and keep moving forward. I'm not going to hold onto anything or anyone. I'm just going to move forward. I will not lose my shit and be wrecked by this. Alone, like the water,  I will keep moving foward.

I have no inspirational thoughts, only raw emotion. I have no scripture to quote, no love to share, nothing to give to you.

This is the real ME today


Friday, June 29, 2012

Summer School

 "Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things."~ Philippians 4:8


It feels as though it has been a long recovery process. My life has become scheduled around the next medication dose and how far from the sofa I am able to walk. All of this lying down has given me alot of time. Time to nap, watch movies, read, play on FaceBook, text and ALOT of time to think. "Think and wonder, wonder and think" as Dr Seuss so aptly phrased.

As I sit here, 8 days after surgery I realize there are many lessons learned throughout this experience.My own little Summer School has been in session. The lessons I have learned apply to recovering from surgery but also, can carry us through life, through crisis, through anything.

My lessons?

*You're stronger than you think. You can look fear in the face and conqueror things you never dreamed possible. 

*Life will throw obstacles in your path. Its a given. The obstacle it self isn't important. How you respond to it is.

*Deal with issues promptly. Whether medically, relationally, personally, professionally or spiritually, don't allow situations to the end its harder that way

*If a situation is infected. clean it out. Dig deep, find healing. Do whatever it takes to get yourself well. "Do your best and trust God with the rest."

*Its vitally important to take care of yourself. If you don't,  there WILL come a time when you are of no use to those around you. It is not selfish to take care of yourself, its called HEALTHY.

*Pushing yourself beyond your limitations will eventually lead to a problem, a meltdown, a set back.

*Be gentle with yourself. Give yourself time, to rest, to heal, to learn.

*When you allow them, people will  show up....sometimes in big ways, sometimes in small ways. But in order for them to show up you have to say yes. Yes, is a risk. Be willing to take risks.

*Usually, the people who show up aren't the ones you expected to.

*Be heartfeltfully grateful for those people. There's a reason they are part of your world.

*Don't waste time fussing over the ones who don't show up. Accept it for what it is and let it go. Truthfully, it is that simple.

*Learn to say no. Sometimes saying no is  the best thing you can do for yourself.

*Often when you do say no, it gives other the freedom to do the same. Freedom in relationship is essential.

*The little things aren't important. When you really get down to it, we spend our time on details that don't matter. The dog hair, the dust, whether the laundry is done, the dishwasher is unloaded, or the car is washed..... really in the big picture,  it does not matter.

*Little things are important. The smell of fresh brewed coffee, the warmth of sunshine on your skin, the sound of a cardinal calling for her mate. Tiny details we miss in the haste of our lives can sometimes be the most fulfilling.

*People matter. A loving touch, a quick phone call, a long hug, make a difference in someone's day. Is there someone you should reach out to? More importantly, is there someone I should reach out to?

I've spent alot of time alone these past 8 days. My family and friends have done a fantastic job of checking in, loving me, and   taking care of me. There has been alot of self reflection and discovery. Its actually been a really good thing.  I've come to realize that I am becoming more OK with me than ever before.

I can see some changes I need to make, some attitude adjustments, some relationship adjustments, and some  re-adjustments to priorities. I'm excited to watch it all unfold :) Excited to but the lesson into life application.

Father God, thank you for your healing touch and the many lessons you teach us each day.  We all have choices to make. Often those choices affect the course of our lives. Help me to make right choices in the thoughts I think, the things I say, and the life I live. The life you died for me to have. In your name I pray, Amen

Hugs and Happy Weekend!

Michelle <3