Sunday, May 15, 2011

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Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Silent Treatment, continued

"Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God's Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don't know how or what to pray, it doesn't matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That's why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good. "~The Message, Romans 8:28

We've all had those experiences......while you're in it, you can't see the purpose, you don't understand, why is this all happening? Later though, the realization comes.

When I wrote "The Silent Treatment" blog, I had no idea where the "To Be Continued" would lead . Actually, I was still pretty caught up in the chaos and was barely treading water. I have a feeling Tam might feel the same way about her "WTF" blog. We both dumped some pretty heavy stuff out when we wrote those. Neither of us were prepared for what the following days would hold in store. If you haven't already read those two blogs, please take a few minutes to do that now. It'll catch you up to speed.

The morning after Tam wrote her blog, her mom had a heart attack. She had a serious, major heart attack. As strong as Tam is, I know it brought her to her knees, literally and figuratively.  I have a feeling at some point, Tam will write about it and her experiences through it. I can tell you that it left Tam, myself and many others feeling like "WTF?!" Thankfully, Tam's mom received treatment and it at home now recovering. Many many prayers were answered for her health and recovery. Thank you God for hearing our prayers.

And so....that leads me to my part of the story.....the silent part. You might have noticed that I again, vanished for the past two weeks. This time it wasn't intentional on my part. The day that Tam's mom was rushed to the hospital, my husband started to feel under the weather. He thought it was hayfever. The following morning, it was clear it wasn't. Fever, chills, bodyaches, sore throat, cough, he layed on the sofa and wasted away.

Keep in mind he's a man's man. If there's work to be done, he'll do it, regardless of how he feels. And so he tried.....for 3 days he tried. By Wednesday morning, he couldn't do it anymore and voluntarily brought himself to the doctor. This is HUGE. He doesn't "believe" in doctors or medicine or weakness or sickness. Its nothing a little fresh air won't cure in his book. Ugh, I love my guy but he's got a stubborn streak for sure. His rapid strep test came back negative and the doctor sent him home with "Its a virus. You need rest and fluids. Call us in a day or two if you don't improve."

Wednesday evening, when I started to feel poorly, I assumed I had the same nasty virus and prepared to ride it out. All the same symptoms appeared and for 3 days I rested and drank fluids and tried to get better. However, by Saturday morning I was in rough shape, barely able to swallow and completely unable to breathe through my nose, I brought myself to the Doctor and was diagnosed with strep throat. I left the doctors office with 5 prescriptions... one for Chris, one for Chelsea (who had started complaining of a sore throat) and three for myself including anti inflammatories for the swollen glands and pain killers. Believe it or not, I praised God  on  my way home for strep throat. At least I knew what I was fighting and I had medicine to cure it!!!

Saturday evening, I missed a surprise 40th Anniversary party for two of my dearest friends. Mother's Day was well, incredibly disappointing too. A family of strep throat victims was NOT the gift I'd imagined. In addition, I had to refuse my daughter, who is away at college, from coming home. She has finals next week and I couldn't take the chance she'd catch this. To make matters worse, I was too sick to even go to church. Bummed out doesn't begin to describe my feelings.

By Monday though, all seemed to be on the rebound. Chelsea went to school, Chris went to work and I cleaned and scrubbed every surface . I never thought it would feel SO good to clean my house. I sat through Chelsea's softball game and cheered my daughter, my husband and their team to their 7th straight victory!!!! Life was returning to normal.....or so I thought.

At some point during the game, I became aware of a dull headache. It grew in intensity and by the time I came home it hurt, alot. I took Tylenol and went to bed early. Maybe I'd overdone it today? By midnight, I was in rough shape and got up to take more meds. By 430 am I was desperate, vomitting, sweating. I was in a full blown migraine. I've only had a couple but I knew all of the symptoms....severe headache, nausea, vomitting, light sensitivity, sound sensitivity.

The ONLY thing I could do was pray "Jesus help me" over and over again. The ONLY thing I could ask for was prayer over and over again. I was completely weak, completely helpless and completely in pain. My daughter drove me to my chiropractor. He and his wife are the beautiful friends who celebrated their anniversary last weekend. As I lay on his examination table, bawling like a 3 year old, he, his wife and my daughter prayed over me, hugged me, cared for me. It was such a humbling experience, even now it brings tears to my eyes.

I became fully aware in that moment of what being a "servant of Christ" means. Regardless of anything else going on in their lives, people stopped what they were doing, to pray for me, to do whatever they could to help me feel better, whether emotionally or physically. I also became painfully aware that for the most part, that is not how I live my life.'s the ugly side of me....I'm selfish. I think about myself....alot.

~What do I want?
~What do I need?
~Why did she hurt me?
~I don't deserve this?
~I'm not doing THAT!
~I don't want to.
~I don't like it.
~I don't have time for this!

Today, I'm feeling substantially better but not 100%. However, my outlook has changed immensely.

~How can I help someone today?
~Who needs a hug?
~Who can I serve?
~Who just needs a smile or a warm touch?
~Who do I know who's struggling and could use a silly card in the mail?

It doesn't take a lot to make people know their special. As they say,  a little goes a long way! So, please know that I have prayed for you, if you're reading this blog. I pray that in some way it has blessed you and inspired you. I pray it has challenged you to ask "Who can I serve today?".

Dear God~Thank you for your healing touch in my physical body as well as my heart. Thank you for helping me to see my own selfish nature and for sending Jesus to show us how to be a true servant. I pray for each reader. I pray that they know and have a personal realtionship with you. I pray that you will bless them abundantly and reveal to each of us, who we can serve today on your behalf. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Healthy Hugs,

Friday, April 29, 2011


But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. Hebrews 11: 6(NKJV)

So my friends, have you ever just wanted to run away?  Say 'I quit?'  That has been my kind of week this week (or month really).  Let's dial it back and take a look:

* My Allie is 18 and our road together has a rough history.  However in the past 10 months, she has really turned her life around.  She graduated early from High School, she met this wonderful, kind, patient young man and they are seriously the cutest couple EVER.  Believe me when I say, I have prayed and prayed for this girl and finally began to see God at work in her life.  She has a direction, she is surrounded by people who love and adore her and she so appreciates it, them and ME.  So where is the bad news you ask?  Well my beautiful girl has decided that she wants to live on her own with her boyfriend and sprung on us two weeks ago that they found an apartment and it's ready....NOW!  They wanted to move in that night.  It hit me like a ton of bricks.  Don't get me wrong, while this might not have been my chosen path for her, she is soo happy and I can see how this will be a HUGE life experience for her, to which I might add, she is handling with such maturity.  I am so proud, yet literally sooo crushed inside.  My girl will no longer be here with to watch the Biggest Loser on Tuesday nights.  Or, to talk with me at the end of the day.  I LOVE having her around and I miss her sooo much!  I even tear up now thinking about how much I miss her, even though I almost see or talk to her every day :-(   WTF

* Next:  You all know the history of my best friend and I and how close we have grown over our faith.  Well, we no longer walk into the same doors on Sunday morning.  She is in Barrington and I'm in Dover.  Again, it's the right decision for us both individually and we will both grow in our faith and our walk because of it.  Yet, she will no longer be standing beside me as we worship.  She and I will no longer meet for coffee before service.  She will no longer be a face I see each and every Sunday....I really miss her :-(  WTF

* Okay next:  Chris and I decide to do the 17 Day Diet together.  I am so excited to do this with him and really feel like it will help both of us get on the right track with our diet and can support one another in the process.  Sounds great, right?  It was!  While we were so sick of chicken, turkey and fish and all the possible vegetables we could stuff into our bodies - it was kinda of fun!  We kidded and laughed about how HARD it was but were so excited about the possibility of losing the expected 10-12 pounds!  Well can you guess what happened?  Yup - Chris lost 10 and I lost 4 :-(  I tell people 6 because at one point I was down 6 but if I'm really honest, at the end of the 17 days it was really only 4!  WTF

It doesn't end there..many other daily trials and tribulations that we all face, I have faced this week.  Whether it was the 2nd leak in our hot tub, or scrounging to pay the mortgage because we made sure our beautiful Allie had the beautifully decorated apartment she deserved, or the firedrill that happened at the 11th hour at work on a critical project I've been working on since I started.  WTF

These day to day challenges are things you can face when your foundation is solid and your going on all cylindars.  But when your heart is crushed and your frustrations are peaked, the day to day stuff is really, really hard.  It's like I just want to run away and hide.  I just want to crawl in a hole and lick my wounds.  Can't I do that, God?  Can't I just not exist for a while?  When I get like this, I go into rebellion mode.  My attitude becomes 'screw it'.  And so I ATE that chocolate bunny, and said 'screw it' to the friend who didn't call me back, and I blamed someone else at work for things going wrong.  UGH.  Just plain ugly.

So when my very smart bff encouraged me to write this blog, my first thought was "I don't wanna!"  I didn't want to lose the WTF attitude.  I wanted to bathe in it for a while longer!   And then I began to hear the whisper.  The whisper that said "Your bff is right.  Just start writing!"  And so I did.  And then began to slowly feel my heart opening.  Once the heart began to open, it all just came pouring out.  The rebellious attitude began to fade and instead I heard to call of God.  He asked me very patiently, very gracefully, and very lovingly....WTF?


Dear heavenly Father:  I hear you now.  I see you now.  My heart is open now and I can clearly see that when I allow my vulnerabilities to be on display, and when I stop trying to be so strong and productive all the time, I am closer to you.  Help me to continue to keep my heart open Father, even when it's uncomforable.  Help me to allow others to support me, to show love to me.  Help me to stay in this place of vulnerability so that I truly experience the beauty of what true faith and love looks like.


Friday, April 22, 2011

The Silent Treatment

"I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world"~John 16:33

Hey there my friends! No doubt you've wondered where I've been the past two weeks. Ugh. I'm gonna be 100% percent honest. I've been giving you "The Silent Treatment". No, you didn't offend me or hurt my feelings.

When I am overwhelmed, frustrated, hurt, angry, confused, stressed out, self absorbed, unfocused, undisciplined, and pulled in too many directions:  I retreat. I've been in full retreat mode for the past 2 1/2 weeks. Why? Things have been out of control lately. Ok......I have been out of control lately. My life has looked something like this since my return from California

*A surprise birthday party to attend
*Job search in full force, having no luck with return calls or interviews, its been 6 wks already!
*Zumba class, I can't do this, I look like a fool
*should I or shouldn't I move back to the Barrington Campus church?maybe I should stay @ Dover?
*finish the taxes before Chris leaves for vacation
*A daughter with a flu while she's away at college calls feeling poorly
*groceries, banking, post office, etc
*Job search, more time wasted at the computer, frustration level increasing
*Date night with hubby :)
*Argument with hubby :(
*Women's Conference, I don't feel like going, this last night's argument has left my heart wounded and I just want to sit at home and lick my wounds. I go to the conference anyway.
*I fall apart during Sunday service, leave bawling and wondering what I'm doing wrong?
*stop at Pharmacy to pick up prescription, Pharmacy is CLOSED
*balance check book, ugh, not as much as I'd hoped is left after paying bills
*More internet searches, still no luck finding a job
*another heated "discussion" with hubby, this feels awful, I don't understand him, he doesn't get me
*drop car off at garage, need new tires & brakes, $700 in unexpected bills
*chiropractor appointment, is it a wonder? all this tension goes right to my back
*got a call for an interview, ok, now what? I haven't had an interview in 22 years!
*iron clothes, ask BFF a million ridiculous interview questions, stuff down the desire to FREAK OUT
*banking, groceries, another trip to the pharmacy
*pray desperately to make it through the interview, which I do! Really like this place but its only a "temporary" position. Ugh this is NOT the answer I wanted God!
*pick up daughter at college, drive her to an interview, drive her back to college
*argue again, this time over the phone with hubby, while he's away in Florida at a tournament
*Debate back and forth the pro's and con's of temporary job. Maybe I should wait for something else? God I can't hear you!
*Meet with nutritionalist and weight loss consultant, I NEED to get this under control!!!!
*Daughter calls from Florida with an allergic my best to help....defer to husband and give explicit instructions on how to handle. Another argument ensues.
*Dental emergency....estimated repair $2000.....forego permanent solution and settle for the "temporary fix" which is $200.

Are you tired yet? I am! Sometimes my life is soooo messy. I wish I could say that I handled all of those situations well. For the most part I didn't. What I can tell you, is that I felt very alone.....very frustrated.....very bitter. Where is God? Why can't I hear Him?! Help me!!!!!! Frankly, for the past two and half weeks, I've given God "The Silent Treatment"....I've barely even acknowledged Him, much less his ability to help me.

If I sit still long enough and really evaluate the situation, I can tell you without hesitation that I did feel God's presence and comfort during two of those situations. The first, that morning at church, I knew he was beside me. I was so caught up in my own turmoil I couldn't even sing during worship service. When Pastor gave the call to come forward for prayer, I knew I needed to. When he looked into my tear filled eyes, I told him "I can't fix this"......and his answer???? "You're right, you can't. But God can". In that moment, I believed it....I accepted it...and I asked God for his support, comfort and guidance.

The second incident was the morning of my interview. Now please keep in mind, I haven't had a job interview since 1989. Seriously. I've been a stay at home Mom for 16 1/2 years. I knew this was a situation too big for me to handle alone. My oldest daughter is away at college. My husband and youngest daughter were away at a softball tournament in Florida. I had no one to lean on......except God. And boy did he come through. I was WAY out of my league, but landed the job with flying colors! It didn't look exactly like I wanted it to but he opened the door. He opened a door to a world I NEVER imagined working in. Whew!

So what's my problem? This is it. I stopped looking to God. I looked to my husband and my best friend, my neighbor and myself. I looked to the Pastor and the internet and in books. I didn't look to God.....for my answers, for my peace, for my joy, for my comfort, for my strength or even just to "vent" to. I left Him completely out of my life.

I've noticed that when I leave God out, I seriously make a mess of some situations. I panic when I should have peace. I cry instead of receiving comfort. I growl instead of receive guidance.

So.......the real question is......"Why?"......."Why have I given God (and you, the blog followers)  The Silent Treatment? For me, it comes down to being afraid. Being afraid to show God how really ugly I can be inside. To let him know how angry I can be, how frustrated I get, how jealous I am, how down right mean I want to be sometimes. Will God still love me if  I show him THAT side of me? Will you? Do I trust Him and you enough to know that you'll all see my real heart?  TO BE CONTINUED.....

Dear God~  You have warned me that in this world I will have trouble. You, however, have already overcome this world. By coming to you, in all things, I can have peace.  Help me to trust you...with my heart, with my troubles, with my fears and with the ugly sides of me I'm afraid to reveal. In Jesus' name~Amen

Happy Easter & Hugs,

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Friends with Benefits

"For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future" ~ Jeremiah 29:11

I know what you're thinking and STOP! its not that kinda blog. But I got your attention, right? heee heee

A few weeks ago, Tam received an assignment to go to California for her new job. She invited me to join her on the journey. At first, I was hesitant. Afterall, I'm not working right now, still waiting for MY next assignment. But, I talked things over with my husband and he agreed that if the price was right, I could go. Knowing that we paid nearly $700 last year for my daughter to travel to California, I seriously doubted this was going to happen. Its amazing what God can do when He has a plan. Would you believe that Tam found tickets for $300??? Its impossible, with gas prices going through the roof, but seriously she did! And so our journey began!

Day One

The alarm went off at 4:20 am. An unreasonably early time of day but when you're spending it with your BFF who cares, right? Although it was a long day of hour and half drive to the airport followed by a six hour flight to San Francisco followed by one hour flight to Burbank followed by a half our drive on a California Freeway to our was a day filled with moments I won't forget!

Tam and I spent the day chatting about our families, our struggles, our decisions and our dreams. We caught each other up on the little details in our lives and the big ones too. We bought coffee and read books and napped. We giggled (yes we still think we're 14 sometimes) and we just enjoyed the presence of each other's company.

As we left the airport and navigated our way through Downtown LA, things became more serious, we became more focused. It was important to pay attention, look, listen and communicate well. We did. As we arrived at our hotel, I was well, dumbfounded, I guess. I knew we were coming here, I'd seen the pics on the internet, I'd watched many episodes of The! The sight of the skyscrapers, the snowcapped mountains in the distance, the feel of the 80* sunshine on your skin. It was amazing.

Our hotel is beautiful. We're being treated like royalty. Valet parking, gorgeous rooms, a state of the art gym and fine restaurants. Speaking of restaurants. We ventured out last night and  found a "little" place called Border Grill. The head chef Mary Sue Milliken will appear on Bravo TV's "Top Chef" next week. I could write a whole food blog based on that experience alone. Let's just say the guac and the mojitos were to die for!

We walked to a roof top garden/park nearby after dinner. We laid in the lush thick grass, looking up at the glass and mirrored buildings around us, surrounded by blue skies. Breathtaking, seriously I didn't think it could be more beautiful. Until we went back to our room. I watched the sunset, reflect off all of those buildings and turn the loveliest shades of pinkish-purple, over the tops of those snowcapped mountains, amidst the twinkles and sparkles of the city lights. Incredible. Really, truly, incredible!

This is an experience that this stay-at-home-for-now mom wouldn't have had if it weren't for the generous loving spirit of her BFF. Tam's invitation opened my eyes to a window of the world I probably wouldn't have seen otherwise. I am so grateful for my friend.....and all these benefits. As I've said before, its taken me a LONG LONG time realize what true friendship looks like. I was blind, but now I see.

Tam left for work early this morning. I'm here in the hotel room, sipping room serviced StarBucks coffee and having my "quiet time" with God. I have the day ahead of me to do with as I please. I can read, go to the gym, go for a walk and do some shopping.

The realization came to me yesterday that Jesus is the ULTIMATE "friend with benefits". He alone has changed my life. He's changed my heart. I have such a different state of mind than a few years ago. A love, a peace, a joy and a thirst that I never thought possible. Forgiveness for people who have hurt me soooo deeply I thought I'd never stop bleeding. He has opened my eyes to a whole new world that I would never have seen. I was blind, but now......I see.

My walk with Jesus has been alot like this journey with Tam. There have been moments of absolute breathtaking beauty. There have been moments of astonishment. There have been moments where I needed to focus, listen, communicate. There have been tears and laughter and absolute AWE. I never thought I'd get here. This girl who was afraid to walk into a church, so broken, so hurt, so confused is now the girl telling other people how beautiful it can be.

If you don't have a personal relationship with Jesus, you're missing out on something absolutely amazing. A life adventure you don't want to miss. Are you blind? Do you want to see?

Dear Jesus~I'm not sure I can ever express how grateful I am. Thank you for changing my life, for showing me the beauty around me, and  for healing my very broken heart. I pray for those who don't know you . I pray that you will use me to speak truth to their lives and show them the way to you. Give me the courage and grace to share with them how you have changed me. In your name I pray~Amen

And so my friends, that was just Day One. I'm not sure what will happen today or if I'll even write about it. Maybe next week will be Tam's turn? Thanks for supporting and following me along this road. I love you all.


Thursday, March 24, 2011

Designer Labels

" Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience."~Colossions 3:12

A good friend of mine, lost his wife earlier this month. It was sudden and tragic and literally knocked the breath out of me. It isn't exactly clear what happened but her weight was definitely a factor. She left this world far too soon. She also left a husband, children and grandchildren reeling in pain, sorrow and grief.

Her passing made me very aware of my own weight issues and how desperately I want to get out of this cycle. I do NOT want my friends and family to have to deal with the agony my poor friend's family is experiencing. And so began my quest for really get to the bottom of my weight issues and to start living the life I want to live. For the first three weeks I did really well. I was focused and committed and worked hard. I tracked calories, drank water, and exercised until I didn't think I had another drop of sweat in me!

On Monday, Tam and I  met at the gym to workout. As we huffed and puffed our way up and down the arch trainer, I vented to my  dearest friend. I was stuck in a rut. I was frustrated and having a pity party. It certainly wasn't my first pity party and I'm sure it wasn't my last. What!?  you weren't invited?! Maybe next time.......anyway, we're moving on! I complained to Tam about this going wrong and that going wrong. I whined and fussed and then whined some more. There was no major life event happening. I just felt unsupported, frustrated and honestly, I felt like giving up!

Being the great friend she is, Tam told me like it is. It was a pretty stern talking to actually. It was hard for me to hear and I'm sure pretty hard for her to say. The basic gist of it all was "MAKE A DECISION". Tam made me very aware that this is not anyone else's responsibility, choice, control, or decision. It is all mine. And then I came to the painful awareness that I do not know how to be anything but....."the fat girl". I have been overweight for so long that my entire identity has become "the fat girl".

I'm not exactly sure when I became aware of the this label, but its been around quite a long time. Even when I'd lost 150 lbs and was in the best shape of my life, I still saw myself as "the fat girl". The fact that I was "normal" never really registered in my brain. Its so difficult to admit that, but its true. I would walk past a mirror at be surprised to see the person staring back at me. Physically I'd done it, emotionally, psychologically, I never made it there.  Eventually, "the fat girl" is label I accepted and adopted as my own. It limits me. It confines me. It restrains me. I allow it to. There are certain things I can't do, certain things I won't even try, certain places I don't like to go.

Like me, Tam has a label. She's "the perfect girl"...Somehow, somewhere, someway, she decided that she needed to be the "perfect girl".  Eventually, Tam accepted and adopted perfect as her label. It limits her. It confines her. It restrains her. Imagine how hard it must be to make a mistake if everyone thinks your perfect. Imagine how hard it must be to make a mistake if YOU think you have to BE perfect. Ugh.

We live in a society where labels are important. Its starts early in life....The Straight A Student, The Jock, The Loser.  Everywhere you go there are labels......Coach handbags, Manolo Blahnik shoes, BMW cars. They are symbols of status, wealth and power. They are indications of success. Right?

Wrong. I am more than the fat girl. Tam is more than the perfect girl. We are God's chosen girls, holy and dearly loved. We are women who work hard every day to provide and care for our families. We stay up late loading the dishwasher and folding laundry. We get up early to sweat at the gym and finish our bible study lesson. We are girlfriends who are committed to supporting our friends through difficult times in our lives. We are women who are creative and sensitive and strong and ambitious. We are so much more than the labels we place on ourselves.

I've decided to break free of my "fat girl" label. I don't know how to live as the "fit girl" but I'm gonna find out!!!!!! What label have you put on yourself? Are you willing to live with that label or do YOU have a decision to make?

Dear God~Forgive me for the labels I have placed on myself. By doing so, I put limits on what you are capable of doing with and through me. Help me to trust you, follow you and obey you, so that I am set free from the labels, lies and confusion. May I always see the God given potential in myself and in others that you see in each of us. In Jesus' name, Amen


Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Golden Handcuffs

Many plans are in a man's mind, but it is the Lord's purpose for him that will stand. Proverbs 19: 21

I have worked for the same company for 22 years.  I really just cannot stand the way that sounds.  It makes me sound archaic, stagnant.  In undergrad school, students are taught that they will change jobs or companies every 3 years.  The will change careers 2 to 3 times before they retire.  I feel so “old school”.  Believe me, I have TRIED to leave this company, and actually did.  Twice.  I used to have such an issue with the fact that I could not completely cut ties.  My husband called it the “golden handcuffs”, I called it pure torture.  Such a love/hate relationship.  I spent soooo many days and nights praying that God would place another opportunity right into my lap.  I had big dreams for working with a creative and progressive company where I could really strut my stuff.  Spread my wings and fly!  I applied for job after job, contacted a couple of search firms – all of whom thought I had a “lot to offer” yet nothing seemed to happen.  I got a few interviews here and there but nothing materialized.  At the time, I thought it was because no one wanted a one-company gal.  Who could possibly want someone who is only one-dimensional?  UGH.  I was destined to retire from this company.  My death sentence had been served. 
Now mind you, during this time it wasn’t like I was ball and chain to the desk and fed bread and water every 2 to 3 hours.  I was doing some cool stuff.  I wrote and facilitated leadership programs, piloted programs that were considered visionary.  I got to travel, yet work close to home when I needed to.  All the bennies with a nice salary too.  I wasn’t sitting back fat and happy, I was working hard yet I could see the impact I was making and how influencial the work I was doing was to the organization and more importantly, to people directly.  Can you see where I’m going here?
Clearly God was trying to tell me something that I couldn’t get through my thick brain…my purpose is here.  At this Company.  He’s telling me that the Corporate World is my mission ground and my role is to develop leaders that reflect integrity, humility and grace of the only one true leader.    Hello??  This Somerworth gal is THICK!  He was telling me this the entire time.  He has been carving the path for me in this company to have the forum to influence leaders and managers at all levels.  Once I realized this, I began to see examples all of the place.  Opportunities to demonstrate what genuinity looks like, and to call people out when ego’s get in the way or simply to offer myself as a sounding board.  A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to present to the Business Unit President and his executive team on a process to identify managers who demonstrate the potential to take on more significant roles.  We talked about really spending time getting to know our managers, what their aspirations are and how to help them succeed.  How cool is that?! 
So for others like me who may be looking around and seeing only the “handcuffs” and ignoring the fact that they are “golden”, take the time to notice and see the opportunity in your current circumstances.  What is God trying to tell you?  What are you not able to see because you’re too frustrated with your burdens?  Take the time to look.  Truly, once you shift your perspective, the view is amazing!
Dear Heavenly Father ~ May I never again take for granted this opportunity you have given me.  I am so thankful that I finally was able to see what you have been trying to tell me for so long!  I love the fact that this is my purpose and I now truly see how I can use my gifts to fulfill YOUR purpose.  May I never get lost in the hub bub of corporate life, may I stay humble, and inspire others to do the same.  In Jesus’ Name ~ Amen

Xoxo ~ Tammy

Friday, March 4, 2011

Mission Impossible

"Just as lotions and frangrance give delight, a sweet friendship refreshes the soul."
~ Proverbs 27:9   The Message

Do you remember that very first blog I wrote about my "best friend" Tammy and I?

We were sitting on a beach in Cozumel, Mexico. She challenged me to write this blog. She went so far as to set the entire blog up...and then said "DO IT! " I mentioned during that first entry that we had been friends since 7th grade. I also eluded to the fact that there was more to the story and I would share it another day. Today is that day.

Tam is beautiful, athletic, intelligent, and articulate. She is the All American Girl. We met in middle school. The boy I liked , liked her! That seems so silly now but back then, it was big! I always admired everything about Tam. She possessed a lot of the qualities that I wanted to have, but didn't feel like I did. In addition to that, she had a great, intact family. She had parents who loved her, supported her. Brothers who protected her.

So....our friendship started in middle school and progressed to high school. We went to dances together, had a few classes together, did track together. We worked on the Prom Steering Committee together, had sleepovers, you get the idea. We were normal teenage girls and for the most part life was pretty good. Until that day during our senior year when Tam climbed into my car and announced that she was pregnant. Although she was confident and matter-of-fact (she chomped on an apple while she told me) I knew this was a moment that would change everything.

The last few months of high school, other students became aware of Tammy's pregnancy. Of course, there was gossip, speculation, stares and lots of questions. It became apparent very quickly that people were NOT choosing to support Tammy or her decision to keep her baby. I vowed I would not  be one of those people. She was my friend. I loved her and I committed to supporting her, through the fun stuff AND the rough stuff.

That summer after graduation, I remember shopping for baby clothes together. We floated together in the pool, watching her ever-growing tummy bob above the water. Tam's mom and I supported her and coached her through Lamaze classes and celebrated with her during her baby showers. In November of that year, Tam gave birth to the most beautiful BIG baby boy I have ever seen. Because of complications during the delivery I wasn't present at his birth but I was in the hallway, waiting with Tam's Dad. It was, and still remains one of the most beautiful memories I have.

It wasn't long after his birth that my relationship with Tam began to change. Distance grew and words went unspoken. Too many months passed and too many awkward moments transpired. It hurt. It hurt us both. In our immaturity, stubbornness, who knows what it was, subsequently , we let the friendship fade. When that friendship faded there was a deep deep sense of regret and loss. We missed each other's weddings. We missed more babies being born. We missed supporting each other through the trials of life. We really missed, ya know?

And then one spectacular day 18 years later, came a phone call. One I never, ever, expected to receive. I immediately recognized the voice but I could not place it. One sentence changed all that. "A long time ago, you supported me through a very difficult time in my life". I instantly started to cry. IT WAS TAMMY <3

Since that time, Tammy and I have obviously re-connected. We started having lunches together and sharing simple facts about our lives. We went for walks and talked about our families, our friends, and occasionally our faith. We started attending church together and Sunday school. We went away to a women's retreat for the weekend. Each time we spent together, the friendship grew. We went on vacation together last October and truth be told we were once again the 14 year old girls, giggling late into the night.  Again, a precious memory I treasure in my heart.  To this day, each conversation, visit, email, leaves me with this incredible feeling of love, peace, and as though God has his hands all over it!

That phone call was 5 years ago. It doesn't seem possible. Actually it seems IMPOSSIBLE. This friendship has been transformed into one of my greatest joys in life. Tam and I can talk about anything. I share secrets with her I would never tell another soul. We celebrate the victories of life, a job promotion, losing 5 lbs, or finding a great bargain. We also share the trials of life.....the argument with our husbands, the difficulties of raising teens, the frustrations of not being able to do everything that needs to be done. We share the big details and the smallest. Our husbands will attest to that! They are both quite certain we hold the world's record for text messaging.

We also share a deep and passionate faith in God. I am convinced that God whispered to Tam that day in the car "call Michelle ". I am convinced God has whispered to me more than a few times "you can trust her, let her in". The fear of losing this friendship can paralyze me at times.  I am convinced that God has used this friendship to love and support each other through difficult times. I am convinced that God uses both Tam and I to speak truth to each other, to challenge each other,  to be real with each other and to show others the healing power of forgiveness.

It is incredible, unbelievable, IMPOSSIBLE that a friendship that went 18 years with barely a word spoken,  could be transformed into the most beloved friendship I have ever experienced. I have had a lot of friends since high school, even a few I thought were "best friends". But until you see what a true friendship looks like, you don't have anything to compare it to.

Who is your BFF? Have you told them how important they are to your life? Have you thanked God for them? If not, why?

Dear God~

I will forever be grateful for the restoration of my friendship with Tammy. Thank you for showing me what a "best friend forever" looks like. Make me  the kind of friend to Tam that she is to me. Give me the grace to extend forgiveness and love to others around me. May we always give honor and glory for this friendship to YOU. In Jesus' name  ~Amen.


Thursday, February 24, 2011

God Whispers

"For it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose"
~Philippians 2:13

Its a wonderfully quiet morning here at home. Chris is off to work and Chelsea is still sleeping. I seized the opportunity to grab a second cup of coffee and my Bible and curl up in my favorite sunny spot. I usually start my "quiet time" by reading a short devotional in Experiencing God Day by Day by Henry T. and Richard Blackaby. (Thank you Lysa TerKeurst for the suggestion)

Today the devotion posed the question "Are you so eager to 'get to the work' that you have not clearly heard what is on God's heart?".

So I sat there, with my Bible on my lap, thinking about that question. Usually, I'll start reading. Today I couldn't seem to focus. I flipped through the pages but nothing grabbed me. I opened it, I closed it, I opened it again. I thought "What am I missing God? there something I'm supposed to understand?"

I started to thumb through the Bible again and was distracted, or so I thought, by all the notes I'd taken over the past few years. I stopped to read them. Then I noticed the highlighted scriptures and stopped to read those too. I flipped to the front cover, I read the quotations. I skipped to the back cover and read all of those as well. There were notes, references & words that I'd scribbled down during a church service often. Sometimes quotations from a movie. Even quotations from other books I'd read.

Before I knew it, my mind had drifted. I began to think about a very special person in my life who is struggling right now. She's one of the bravest people I know. She's intelligent beyond anything I am capable of. She is beautiful, sweet, funny, admired, capable and so very very lost. I wish I could do SOMETHING to help her. I would do anything within my power to help her!

"Give her your Bible" I felt God whisper.

Seriously?! Wait, was that me or was that God? I sat there for a few minutes, doubting myself. Then I started to flip through the pages again. Those quotations, those verses, those notes, those were mine. This Bible has walked with me through some pretty dark places. I love this Bible. I can't let go of THIS Bible. Its pretty, I picked it out just for me. I love the color, I love the texture, I love the weight of it. And then......

"Give her your Bible" he whispered again to my heart.

I realized, those notes, those highlights, those quotations might help her . In some ways, she's struggling through the same things I struggled with too. Do you suppose God knew that,  when I wrote those things down? Do you think this was part of the plan? That someday, I'd give my beloved Bible to someone who would need that particular verse highlighted? I think so. I think thats what the devotional question referred to. People are "on God's heart"......nothing matters to him more than his children and having a relationship with them.

Although its a bit used, marked up, and a few pages have teardrop stains,  I will pass along my favorite book to one of my  most favorite people. Before I do, I will sign and date it and include a special note for her. Reminding her that she is loved, by me, by others and more importantly by God. The answers that she's seeking, the directions for her life, are between the pages of THIS book and no other.

What is God calling you to pass on today? Will you do it?

Dear God~
I ask a special blessing upon the recipient of my well-loved Bible. You know who she is and exactly what she needs. I pray that this gift will inspire her to seek a personal relationship with you. I pray that her heart will heal and she will embrace the beautiful life you have planned for her. I pray she will feel your love, your comfort, your peace and experience the joy of living once again. In Jesus' name~Amen.


Friday, February 18, 2011

Memory Lane

"Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from Him."~Psalm 127:3

Today is THE day. Today is the day I say goodbye to my daycare friends. Although I've been praying and planning and preparing, I'm surprised by the spontantous emotions I'm feeling. I'm also surprised by the memories that are creeping into my thoughts and making my eyes fill with tears.

Walk down memory lane with me?

I remember cranking out data entry, with  newborn Lily in the crook of my arm, lulled to sleep by the click and clatter of the keys.

I remember Lily so small, in her carseat, coming to basketball games. Everyone ooooh'd and aaahhhhh'd at her precious face!

I remember Lily in her highchair in my office at Coastal Medical, with post-it notes on her forehead, laughing hysterically. I called her grandmother that day and set the phone down so that she could hear her grandchild's belly laugh.

I remember Lily the Ladybug at the Town Library. Her first Halloween party was so much fun! The picture of her "crashing" on our way home remains my favorite photo.

I remember Avery's first day. Lily couldn't keep her hands or her mouth off her. Hugs and kisses all day long. They fell in love.

I remember watching them run through the cornstalks and searching for pumpkins with Coach in the garden.

I remember our grocery store excursions....two carts, two babies, two sippy cups, two snacks and lots of comments....."Boy do you have your hands full." My response was always the same..."Yes, I a good way".

I remember playing with flour all over the floor (what was Chelsea thinking....actually I already know....flour is sooooo soft Mom) and fingerpainting.....and playing in the sandbox and the water table and long walks because we stopped to inspect every rock, flower and tree.

And then Bella joined the group. She was the sweetest baby ever.....I told her parents all the time they should have named her "Joy"....boy can that girls smile light up the room!

I remember Bible Studies on times with more children than adults....the chaos, the smell, the tantrums, the fun.

I remember playing in the snow and playing in the leaves and splashing in the puddles.

I remember bringing all three of them to softball games. Two on a "leash" and one in the backpack. It was quite an adventure. There's nothing like the sound of a couple of two year olds yelling "Go Chelcheeeee!"

We've had some visitors along the way too Cameron and Addie and Connor and Tyler too. I remember the fun having visitors brought to daycare, a whole new dimension.

I remember the stories we read, the songs that we danced to, the pictures you colored for me. I remember the spontaneous hugs, the "I love you chelle"s, the way your precious faces look when you're sleeping.

I remember.

I remember and I always will.

Dear God~Thank you for bringing these children and these families into my life. I know this isn't goodbye but rather "see you soon". Thank you for the memories we made together. I pray that you will bless their lives and their futures. I know you have a plan for each of us. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Be Mine!

"And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love."
~1Corinthians 13:14

Valentine's Day is such a FUN holiday, don't you think?

I've always loved it. I love showering the people I love with gifts and cards and making them feel special. It's a thrill for me to find  the perfect gift that I  know they'll enjoy. The perfect scent, the favorite candy, the card with exacty the right words.

As I was driving today, thinking about Valentine's Day, I realized there are so many people in my life that I'm not able to send a gift to, for one reason or another. They may not longer be "with us"....financially its just not feasible....and even time would be a major factor. There are alot of people on this list and alot of reasons to tell them "I LOVE YOU"!

I'm feeling especially grateful this year for all of the love, support, forgiveness, growth, courage, companionship, and grace. And so, this is a tribute to the people I love the most in the world...the people who have affected my life so profoundly that I am who I am, in part, because of them. Although I may not say it every day, I love you, you are important to me and I am blessed that you are a part of me.

I love you................

Mom and Dad~for showing me that love doesn't always fit a certain mold. Society doesn't always accept it, people may challenge it, but real love prevails, always.

Biggie~for being a woman of courage, commitment and dedication. You accomplished what others said you could not. You held your head high and stayed true to yourself. You are a role model for all women, everywhere.

Nana&Papa~you were the best pieces of my childhood, allowing me to be a child, to dream,  to imagine and to just be myself in your presence.

Georgia~because you told me The Truth. You spent time with me, nutured me, listened and taught me, the truth about God. Your willingness to invest your life mentoring women is remarkable. You have become one of my dearest friends.

Donna~you are the most gentle, caring, selfless person. I always feel  loved when I am with you.

Michelle D~your kind spirit and love for God is so inspiring. It is amazing how much alike we are, truly amazing. Wondertwin power......

Michelle C~girl, you have no idea how beautiful you are, do you?  I love that I can talk with you, laugh with you and be real with you, knowing you'll do the same thing with me!

Michele C~an instant connection during Lamaze class! who'd have thought nearly 20 years later, we'd still be hanging out. I love that although we can't see each other very often, we  ALWAYS pick up right where we left off.

Randy & Shannon~you are such loyal loving friends. You have stood beside us, adopted my girls as your own neices. You are priceless and so is your friendship.

Mary~a true woman of grace. Your joy for life is contagious and you make me want better for myself. We barely know each other and yet I feel as though I've known you forever.

Traci~I love the way you embrace life. You make no excuses, you just jump in with both feet. Your enthusiasm and love for God is infectious!

Deb~my tell-it-like-it-is girlfriend. I never wonder what you're thinking!!! (heeeee heee) but I always know I can share my views and you'll listen without judgement. Your encouragement and support with daycare meant alot to me!

Jonathan & Rebecca~you are both such special people, full of life and love. Your creativity, passion for your children and kindness to your friends is beautiful.

My church family~you accepted me, wrapped your arms around me and brought me into your world with such love. I wasn't an outsider, I was part of a family.

Lily~circumstances have prevented us from seeing each other. My love for you will never change though. You brought me such pure joy. You have a special place in our family, you always will. I have faith that someday, I will look into those crystal blue eyes again!

And last but certainly not least..................

Kristi&Chelsea~you have taught me unconditional love. Never before have I experienced  a love so deep, so profound, so enormous that I literally FEEL what you feel. You are my most beloved treasures, a true gift from God.

Tam~you have taught me forgiveness and compassion and what it means to be REAL. You challenge me in ways I am to afraid to challenge myself. You love me and trust me and accept me just the way I am. You are my best friend forever and I thank God every single day for you. I am in awe that after 18 years we are together again!!!!  Thank you for making that call! You are the sister I always wanted. You are the person I can cry my heart out to and laugh til I cry with.  I love you tons!

Chris~I honestly believe that God brought you into my life when I was 14 years old. You are my hero. I love you more than you can ever know. For standing beside me and  fighting for us. For always looking on the bright side and for pushing me hard enough that I'd want to see the world that way too. For keeping me warm late into the night and bringing me coffee every morning. For the dreams that we've watched come true and the ones we've yet to dream together. For the laughter we've shared and even the tears. For being the one thing that has been constant in my life for the past 27 years. I adore you.

Dear God~Thank you for each of these people and the roles they play in my life. Today, a special day, set aside for expressing love, I ask that you bless each one abundantly. May they know how very much I love them and more importantly, how much you love them too. In Jesus' name~Amen!

Happy Heart-shaped Hugs!

Thursday, February 10, 2011


" Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good"
~Romans 12:21

Hey there  my friends :)

Its been a wild week for sure. My brain has been spinning since Monday evening. I've soooooo looked forward to the chance to sit here, blog and tell you about it.

Before I do, I'd like to elaborate a little about something I shared last week. I mentioned earlier that my parents divorced when I was 11 years old. I eluded to the fact that it wasn't pretty, but I'm sure most divorces aren't. What I didn't explain was the history and reasons for the divorce. It's not an easy subject to talk about, so please understand I don't take this lightly. I will make every effort to be gentle but also to share the truth.

The truth is I am the product of a teenage pregnancy. I've been aware my entire life that I was "unplanned". Now,  that is definitely not the same thing as being "unloved"...but somehow in my childish little brain I interpretted "unplanned" to mean....."unwanted".... and therefore, a "MISTAKE".

In addition, my father is an alcoholic. Not the happy-pass-out-when-he's-had-too-much kind, I'm sorry to say. My father was a RAGE-aholic. I grew up never knowing what would set him off. I also grew up terrified, always watching, always waiting, always trying to prevent the next explosion. There's only so much a young girl can do and so, often, I failed. Yup, I'm also a child of domestic violence...and a child from a broken family. It wasn't an easy childhood but I know others had it worse.

I grew up always wondering "why me?!" I wondered what I had done wrong and what I could have done differently. I wondered what about ME made me unlovable. I wondered why I wasn't worthy of the protection of the adults in my life. Couldn't THEY see what was happening to my mom, my brother and I?
I carried that baggage for a lot of years.....I'm sure to some degree I still do.

However, on Monday night, I had one of those LIGHTBULB MOMENTS! I was asked to speak to a group of women in my area about my life and my faith. I shared some details of my childhood, my fears, my feelings and how they shaped me into who I am today. As I looked into the faces of the women and girls before me, I watched their eyes fill with tears. I soaked in the vibe of the room. I saw that their hearts had experienced this pain too. Maybe not exactly like mine, but they understood.

And then I was able to tell them the truth......the truth about God.... how he loves us, how he forgives us, how he heals us. And that is when I realized.......I can use my hurts, my pains, my losses, and my help these women. To show them the truth about who God says they are, how beautiful, how loved, how special. As I hugged each one goodbye, I whispered in my heart, "show her she is loved by you God".

Since Monday,  I have been presented with two additional speaking opportunities. Although public speaking isn't entirely in my comfort zone ( actually, it scares me to death!) it doesn't matter. What matters is that these women can have their lives changed and I have an opportunity to tell them how. The pain and hurt and sorrow I held onto for all those years has been transformed into a heart so full, so swollen with love for these women...and for the God who loves us all.

Dear God~Thank you for being the perfect Father. You do not make mistakes.  You knew me  in my mother's womb and you numbered every hair on my head. I pray for the grace to share my story. Not to dishonor anyone but to bring hope to the ones who don't know you. I pray for wounds to be healed, hearts to be filled and lives to be changed. In Jesus' name, Amen.


Friday, February 4, 2011

The Goodbye Girl

"There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven" ~ Ecclesiastes 3:1

I have never been very good at goodbyes. I'm sure it stems somewhere from my childhood. The best that I can recall my first real goodbye wasn't really a goodbye at all. It was a total upheaval of lifestyle.

My parents divorced when I was eleven years old. I don't remember alot of the details, only that it was sudden, scary, sad and lonely. Emotionally and physically, I said goodbye to the only bedroom I ever remembered. I said goodbye to the neighborhood  and city I road my bike through. I said goodbye to the friends  who I'd gone to Kindergarten with and I  thought I'd graduate high school with. I said goodbye to my grandparents who lived one street over. I said goodbye to the routine of stopping there on my way to and from school each day. I said goodbye to  my father and my brother too. Everything felt different, smelled different, looked different.....including me.

This has been a year filled with goodbyes. I'm not sure I even "felt" most of them. I went through the motions and walked through them, but I'm not sure I was fully present for any of them. Do you know what I mean?

I said goodbye to my Biggie. Now don't be alarmed, she's still here, she's healthy,  living in a facility nearby. But for years my grandmother and I shared the upstairs of my parents home together. We watched Johnny Carson, shared meals, laughed and fought with each other. Saying goodbye to the Biggie as I'd known her was hard. Watching her age, have serious health troubles and be moved into a nursing facility was tough for us all. Especially for my Mom. I don't think I have actually processed this change yet. And yes, I do call her Biggie. Another blog for another day.

I said goodbye to my Kristi. Kristi graduated from high school this year. It was one of the proudest "mom-moments" but also one of the saddest. I  have treasured every moment of raising my children, it was difficult to come to terms with the fact that those days are gone. Kristi is a freshman in college now. Driving away from that campus  in August tore my heart in two.

I said goodbye to my parents. My mom will feel a twinge of guilt when she reads this. Please don't Mom. I love you and I'm so pleased you are living your dream. I guess I was in total denial about their moving from New Hampshire to Colorado. From the day they announced their house had sold, I didn't step into it. Honestly, I didn't help her pack, I didn't take one last glance at my old room, I didn't even drive by the property. I feel the GUILT about that!

As I prepare to close my daycare in two weeks, I am faced with the reality that more goodbyes are a certainty. My little friends are so special to me.  I've watched them grow and learn and created special memories with them. I hope that I can handle these goodbyes better than I have the rest. This time I am certain this goodbye is right for me and right for my family. I pray that I will handle myself gracefully.

There is one goodbye that I never got to properly say. So I feel compelled to say it here. There is one little girl, who will ALWAYS have a special place in my heart. Although I haven't seen her in more than 7 months, there isn't a day that goes by that she doesn't cross my mind. I pray that you are happy Miss Lily. I pray that you are thriving in your school and loving life, giggling and exploring and dancing your way through each day. I love you.....I always will. This is for you:

For Lily

Those big blue eyes that smile at me
Lily Grace, what do you see?

"The moon is broken Auntie Chelle" and
"Coach will fix it" so you say
Run and hide and jump and play
You find the joy in each new day

That silly dance, your tangled hair
"Lily, girl, you need to share!"
Your sleepy face after nap
looking for your "Dorie" snacks

Coach is "mine" you always teased
"Lily, will you please say 'please'?"
softball games and going shopping
sidewalk chalk and hop-scotching
balloons from bags was our fun game
without you, days won't be the same
finding rocks, making see the beauty in a tree

Playgroup dates and some tears too
Along the way you shed a few
"I want more!"-"Don't want to go!"
You always hated to hear "no".

There are so many memories we've shared
will you know how much I cared?
You've changed me in a way somehow
But I must let you go for now
Inside my heart there is a place
that's just for you
sweet Lily Grace.

Dear God, as I enter into this new season of life, I pray that you will guide my steps. I pray for the peace to say goodbye with grace and for the wisdom to embrace the future with hope! In Jesus' name. Amen


Thursday, January 20, 2011

The Real Housewives

"She is clothed with strength and dignity; she can laugh at the days to come. She speaks with wisdom and faithful instruction is on her tongue. She watches over the affairs of her household and does not eat of the bread of idleness." ~ Proverbs 31:25-27

I have a guilty pleasure. Seriously, I do....I LOVE the TV Reality shows "The Real Housewives".....doesn't matter which county they're from. I love 'em all....Atlanta, New Jersey, Beverly Hills, Orange County. DC....I'm addicted!!!!  I can get completely lost in a Housewives Marathon and  lose hours of my day! I'm not sure what fascinates me most, their money? their drama? their lifestyles? their cat-fights?

It all seems so UNreal to me. I was thinking last night, late last night, after I'd stayed up to watch the Season Finale of "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills". I lay there mulling over the events of the past few weeks and what my reality looks like. You might have noticed I haven't blogged for a the past few weeks?

Reality for me went something like this.....

*Christmas Eve Day I woke up with a nasty headcold. A misunderstanding with my husband led to an all day event. I prepared Christmas delights and delicasies for guests who arrived 2 hours late. I needed medication for this raging headcold and announced that now  I needed "to go the store along with everything else I needed to do"...hint one volunteered and so I grumbled "I'll do it myself!" and slammed the door on my way out for emphasis!

*Christmas Eve, my feelings still hurting, and honestly, feeling a bit sorry for myself, we dressed in our Christmas attire then  headed for Christmas Eve service. We joined the festivities with smiles smeared on our faces , hugged, and wished everyone a Merry Christmas. Later that evening, Chris  fell asleep in his chair, I tucked beautifully, wrapped gifts under the tree.....alone. sniff sniff  :'(

*Later that week, my daughter and her long term boyfriend parted ways....unexpectedly. She was hurt, stunned, emotional, heartbroken....and so were we. Dumbfounded is a good word. We have all struggled since then to understand and move on. Her reality looks different now and  she's trying to find her way to a new happy place has really been a challenge.

In additon to those realities, here are some others we sampled.....

*Although I love my job, it has no longer becoming financially feasible to accomodate my family. There are other factors that certainly play into the equation also. After much prayer, discussion, thought and some tears, we have decided the best thing for me, for us, is to close the daycare and find full time employment. It was not a decision that came easily. It's going to be super-hard  for me to say goodbye to these babies and their families.

*Chelsea, celebrated her Sweet 16th. It was a joyous occassion I'm pleased to say!!! A bonfire, great kids, lots of laughs. Definitely a day set aside for a Princess!!!!

*Days later though, Chelsea who had been fighting one cold after another, possibly mono and  taken many trips to the doctor was diagnosed with pneumonia and an ear infection. She spent the next ten days  in bed, gulping antibiotics, hooked up to a nebulizer every 4 hours and crying "when will I feel better? ". On what should have been her first day back to school, she looked at me, said "I don't feel right" and proceeded to heave into her waste basket.

Ugh. U.G.H.

So maybe that's why I find the reality show so appealing? There are no money fears, no hurt feelings, no vomit, at least not that they show you. So, I avoided the computer, I avoided the blog, I avoided the truth.

REALITY  is ....


That's what the reality of this  REAL HOUSEWIFE looks like. What's yours?
Dear God~

Thank YOU for being real. Thank you for listening to my whines and whimpers, my frustrations and my fears. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to be REAL with you.  In Jesus' name,  Amen.