God’s Perfect Timing

“So don’t be misled, my dear brothers and sisters. Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow. He chose to give birth to us by giving us his true word. And we, out of all creation, became his prized possession.” James 1:16-18 NLT

Before this passage begins is a discussion about temptation and blessings and basically concludes that God doesn’t give us temptation but it comes from our own desires. So don’t be misled when it comes to who brings about temptation.

Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. God is perfect, Jesus was the only perfect man because he was God in human flesh. God is good and perfect, and even though we see our circumstances as imperfect, they are perfect because they come from God.

Sometimes what we see as imperfection is when God wants us to lean on him the most. To turn to him with our hurt, our pain, our frustration, our joy, our happiness, our tears, our laughter, etc. God wants it all, from all of us. So if you, like me are waiting for the perfection in the imperfection, perhaps God wants you focusing on other things. What do you think?

He never changes or casts a shifting shadow. Do we trust God to do what is best for us? Can we trust God in our imperfection? Can we trust him in our waiting?

He chose to give birth to us by giving us his true word. And we, out of all creation, became his prized possession. In the eyes of God we are a treasure to behold. Think about your most prized possession, do you care for it? Do you make sure it’s clean? Do you make sure it has all it needs to keep going? That’s what God does for us all. He makes sure we have all that we need for that perfect moment. The perfect moment is His and it is coming in his perfect time.

Take heart, if your are struggling, turn to God and give it all to him. And know that perfection is coming.

Lord we thank you for your perfection, your infinte wisdom and we ask that you give us patience as we wait for your perfection. We thank you for your good and perfect gifts. We thank you, that you never change and we ask that you be with each of us as we go throughout each day, that you would point out what is coming, that you would remind us that you are there. We thank you Lord that you love us so much that we are your most prized possessions. We thank you Lord for spending time with us and being with us each day. We thank for all that you do in and through us, and we pray all these things in your precious and holy name Lord Jesus, Christ Amen.

God is good

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Harvest of Blessing

“Dear Brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself. Share each other’s burdens, and in this way obey the law of Christ. If you think you are too important to help someone, you are only fooling yourself. You are not that important. Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else. For we are each responsible for our own conduct. Those who are taught the word of God should provide for their teachers, sharing all good things with them. Don’t be misled–you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant. Those who live only to satisfy their own sinful nature will harvest decay and death from that sinful nature. But those who live to please the Spirit will harvest everlasting life from the Spirit. So let’s not get tired of doing what is good. At just the right time we will reap a harvest of blessing if we don’t give up. Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone–especially to those in the family of faith.” Galatians 6:1-10 NLT

When you read this passage what sticks out to you? Is it that we are all to help each other back on to God’s path when we are sinning? And while helping that we are not to fall into temptation as well? Is it that we share in each other’s burdens? Is it that none of us is too important to help another human being? Is it that focusing on helping others will keep us from trying to be better than anyone else? Is it that we will always harvest what we plant? Is it that we should not get tired of doing what is good? Is that by doing good we will reap the harvest of blessing?

What’s great about this passage is that it speaks to all of us. We are, each one, responsible for our own actions and for helping those around us and with an air of humility, knowing that we are not too important to help. Wouldn’t it be great if we went to one another asking for help when we get too close to our sin? Alcoholics do this when they get too close to having another drink. But I can’t think of any other group that is self-aware enough to say, “hey, I feel like sinning.” But wouldn’t it be wonderful if they did or if we could see when someone is about to sin.

Like, “ooh I see Jenny is thinking impure thoughts I better go see if she needs my help.” But that’s not exactly something you can see. You might be able to see, “oh wait a minute, Micheal looks like he is going to gossip, I better go stop him.” But really how much of our sins are visible? I don’t know about you, but I try to hide my sins. I mean it’s not like I walk around waiving the red flag that signals that I will be sinning soon. But wouldn’t it be nice if there was something like that, that would help us prevent sin.

It’s only when our sin becomes visible that we seek help. And sometimes our sin is so great that reaching the end of our rope or rock bottom is the only thing that makes us reach out to others. This is of course the perfect time to help others but wouldn’t it be great if we could prevent sin? I think this actually might be possible because when we help others, in the moment when they need us most, we open the door for them to need us again. We open the door to us needing them as well. Starting a relationship by helping each other is how we prevent sin in the future. The starting of the relationship is the planting. We are planting seeds of love, of compassion, of forgiveness, of trust, and like the author says, whatever we plant will grow to harvest.

Lord, please help us to be more aware. Help us to stop and look and listen to those around us and help our focus to be on each other and not just “getting the work done.” Lord, help us to be better Christians and better friends and better sisters and better brothers and better moms and better dads and better wives and better husbands and better cousins and better aunts and better uncles and better grandparents and better kids to all those around us, those we know and those who are unknown. Lord, help us to reap the harvest of blessing. We thank you Lord for spending time with us and we ask all these things in your loving name Lord Jesus Christ, Amen.
Cross

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Full Armor

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes you may be able to stand your ground and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.” Ephesians 6:10-18 NIV

Imagine if you will a battlefield where you stand with your full armor and in front of you across the way is an army that is coming for your soul. Because that’s what the devil wants,  your soul. But you stand there proud because you have truth, righteousness, peace, faith, salvation and the word of God. You have everything on your side and they have nothing. You will win the battle.

Now imagine you’re at work or school and the battlefield are politics, religion, TV shows, politeness, racism, etc. Now imagine that army is everywhere. It’s coming at you through your TV, through your friends, through your coworkers, through your teachers, through Facebook and the list goes on and on. But remember you have truth, righteousness, peace, faith, salvation and the Word of God on your side.

Each day as you get ready imagine putting on the full armor of God so that you can face the day.  And maybe say this prayer as you do:

Lord, we thank you for the belt of truth, for your truth we know. You are the God of Love, the God of Peace, the God of Comfort and we thank you for that. As we put on this belt of truth help us to be reminded of your truth throughout our day and to share it as we are given the opportunity. Lord, we thank you for the breastplate of righteousness for that is what you are. You are right and just and true. Fill us with your righteousness, so that we can see what is right, just and true throughout our day. Lord, we thank you for sandals of readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. Fill us with your peace, so that we can stand in the face of evil and fear not. Lord, we thank you for the shield of faith. With our faith we can block any evil that is thrown at us, knowing it is wrong. Lord, we thank you for the helmet of salvation for we know that you are the way and the truth and the light. Lord, we thank you for the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God. With the word of God we can fight anything that the devil can throw at us for we know your will and your ways. Lord we thank you for this full armor of God and promise to use it well as we go about our day. We pray all these things in your precious and holy name, Lord Jesus Christ Amen.

Ephesians

This photo is from the artist Christine Kerrick

Overflow with Hope

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13 NIV

 

Think about a time in your life where you felt like all hope was gone. It could a be a horrible diagnosis, a bad grade that you never thought you could get past, it could be a marriage that is over or a relationship that has ended, it could be that you lost a parent or a sibling or a husband or a child or a grandparent or a friend, it could be any number of things. It’s a time where grief has grabbed a hold of you, where you are so focused on the things that are gone that you can’t see the good things in front of you. These are the times when we have to trust God the most. I know it’s hard. When I heard I had Rheumatoid Arthritis I thought my life had ended, I knew the carefree life I was living was gone and that was hard to deal with. Did I grieve the loss? Of course I did.

But once you grieve what once was you have to move on to what is. I’m in lots of Facebook groups where people often talk about having no hope, of not knowing how they will go on. My heart hurts for these people and I wish they knew my parents, my sisters, my brother-in-laws, my aunts, my uncles, my cousins, my friends and my God.

Honestly, on a day-to-day basis God is my strength to keep me going when laying in bed would be so much easier. “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him.” Isn’t this the first part of grief. It’s turning towards God and saying, “Ok God, this is my new reality help me get through it.” And as you trust in him, your grief lessens, notice I didn’t say it goes away, it lessens. There are still some days when I grieve what used to be but those days are few and far between the days where I laugh my head off or enjoy time with friends. When I have a hard or painful day I pray to God asking him to make the pain less that day. I trust him to take care of me and he has. I can laugh at something truly funny because God has given me peace, because I trust in him.

“So that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” I have always had great faith and I have always felt the Holy Spirit. It’s a powerful force. Imagine the biggest rush of wind you can and imagine that flowing through you as the Holy Spirit. That’s the hope that lives in all of us. And on days when I meet someone at their darkest hour it helps me overflow with hope to give to them.

Do you have something you are grieving that you need to let God into, to give you hope, joy and peace? Can you think of a time when this was true in your own life, have you thanked God for your hope?

Dear Lord, we ask that you fill us with your joy and peace as we go through rough and difficult circumstances. We ask that you fill us with your hope so that we can fill others. We thank you for your joy, peace, love, comfort and hope in the times that we need it most. Lord we thank you so much for loving us. It is in your name we pray, Lord Jesus Christ, Amen.

hope

 

The Fullness of God’s Love

“I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge–that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:16-19 NIV

Today has been a painful day. Chronic illness sounds about as much fun as it is…..or isn’t actually. My official chronic illness is Fibromyalgia and unofficially because doctors are dumb, Rheumatoid Arthritis and today was painful. My fingers hurt, my shoulders hurt, my back hurts, my hips hurt and my neck hurts. Today my neck hurts the most, more than any of the other hurts.

On my drive home from work, checking for blind spots was not fun, as in “IT HURTS” in all caps because I was yelling every time I had to do it. And I knew when I got home I wanted to find something else to focus on. Something other than the pain. So I finished some projects and when it came time to work out, I decided I would first search for a verse that would give me something else to focus on and avoid working out.

So I turned to Google in my search and found Ephesians 3:16-19 and my heart was filled. I pretty much love this whole passage. Christ dwells in our hearts, and by doing so we are rooted in love and together with the people of faith have power to grasp how wide, deep, long and high God’s love is for us and that this love surpasses all knowledge we have so that we are filled with the fullness of God.

Can we just think about that for a second? God’s love is so huge it is beyond knowledge, beyond comprehension. I think about the love I have for my mom, my dad, my sisters  and brother-in-laws, and then I go a step further and think about the love I have for my nieces and nephews. I love them all lots, so much so I miss them when they are not around. But the love of God surpasses that. God’s love is so huge there is no way I could ever leave it. Think about that for a minute. God’s love is so huge you can never leave it. Even when you turn your back on God, his love never leaves you. Isn’t that amazingly awesome?

So no matter what has gone on in your day today, God loves you. No matter what you have done in your past, God loves you. No matter what you will do tomorrow, God will still love you.

Lord, we thank you so much for your unconditional love. We thank you that it is so huge we cannot understand it. We thank you, that you never give up on us. That you never leave us, that your love is steadfast. We thank you for your love that surpasses our knowledge and we thank you for spending time with us, Lord Jesus Christ, Amen.

Night

This song has been playing in my head, “How deep the father’s love for us. How vast beyond all measure. That he should give His only Son. To make a wretch his treasure.”

Trust in the Lord with all your Heart

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him and he will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6 New International Version (NIV)

There are lots of ways that people use this verse. In the book God’s Promises For Your Every Need it’s used in both the “Singles” chapter and “Confused” chapter and probably in loads of more places, but those were the two places I saw it was this evening.

I’ve been reading devotionals for the last couple of weeks from restministries.com and although they are good I thought, “I think I can do that.” And began looking at what it would take to submit a devotional and even though they have a formula, the newest submission is from 2016. So, I haven’t blogged on here forever and figured I would start here, get the lay of the land and once I think I understand my own formula begin posting them on my Fracturedwholenessministries.com blog.

A few weeks ago I was sitting in my church, where my dad happens to be the pastor, and listening to his sermon about listening to God. Then a week or so later, again in church the sermon was about spending more time with God. After hearing these sermons I realized I was longing to spend more time with God. I listen to Klove and Air1 throughout my day, have a morning devotional (#morningdevo) and pray on my way to work but my evening was missing something. So that’s when I started to read the daily devotions.

I picked restministries.com because they had thought provoking devotions and they were about chronic illnesses of which I have a few. Being chronically ill and not feeling well can really get to you. I was explaining to my dad this weekend that I’m exhausted. But I’m exhausted all the time and most of the time I just push myself to keep going but I know not everyone can do that and there are definitely times I just want to given into the exhaustion and sleep lots.

We were talking about my exhaustion because I want, with my whole heart, to be doing ministry for God. I went to seminary and have all the student loans to prove it, but I want to prove it in other ways. Hence, writing daily devotions.

So, I’m living this verse. I’m forgetting the exhaustion and all the stuff that tells me not to do this, and trusting God, leaning into him when it may not make sense, trusting he will take care of me and make my winding path straight.

What in your life is God leading you to? Are you listening?

Dear Lord, please help us to put away our excuses and the things that are holding us back and help us to follow you, leaning in and trusting with our whole hearts. Thank you for bringing us to this point of taking our leap of faith because we hear your whisper. Be with us along the way and make our paths straight. It is in your loving name we pray, Lord Jesus Christ Amen.

Faith Hope Love

“Pushing Back the Dark” My week

“Keep on pushing back the dark”

My week has been one of ups and downs for sure. Although at this moment in time the only thing I can focus on are the downs. “Whatever you do, just don’t lose heart.”

I’ve been dealing with a medical annoyance for about a month and this week it met a height that I could no longer ignore. “One million reasons why, you shouldn’t even try.”

Okay I’m gonna get gross, only so that you can for a minute be me and feel the frustration and anger and sadness that has been this week, this month, the last 10 years. “After all you’re just one heart, a single candle in the dark.”

For a month now, and 3 years back for 2 years and 6 years before that for a year and a half, I’ve been having diarrhea at least daily and usually multiple times a day after I eat. Gross I know but the facts. My stomach/bowels will speak to me after I’ve eaten, before I’ve eaten, almost all day long and all night long. To the point that people talk to me about it or ask if I’m hungry or feed me or whatever to make it stop and no it doesn’t stop and no it has no effect but I’ll let you think it does so that we’ll stop talking about it. “And there are shadows here, feeding on your fears.”

This week I was going to the bathroom like crazy, having diarrhea 20 times in one night and that was just after eating dinner. So I decided to go to the doctor. “That you don’t have what it takes–who are you to make a change.”

I went at 3:00pm this past Tuesday and laid it all out for the good doctor. I told her about my past and my missed diagnoses. One specialist said, Ulcerative Colitis. The next said they were wrong and nothing was wrong with me. I told her that I have given up the gluten completely because when I eat it I have to run to the bathroom and pray to God I make it, I get massive migraines and become lethargic the next day with great body pains. I told her my entire history with this stupid stuff and then she did what they all do she started circling the tests she wanted to perform. “But oh, oh, don’t underestimate the God you follow.”

So I walked down to the lab where they gave me the cup to pee in, the bowl to collect the poo in and the cups to put the poo in. Then I went to the bathroom and collected all the disgusting samples and it took about 15 minutes to completely collect and fill the cups. But I was determined not to take that stuff home. “The city on a hill, it should be shining still.”

Once finished with my collection I walked back to the lab and dropped my samples off. Then the nurse proceeded to collect all my blood (not really but there were a lot of viles she was filling). Then I went back to the Lab waiting room, waiting for someone to call my name. “Every sinner saved by grace, has a purpose, has a place.”

When they called my name they took me to the X-ray where I disrobed and lay on a table in those ridiculous gowns and waited. They took the X-Ray they needed and I got dressed again. “Inside the bigger plan, we might not understand.”

I should say before she sent me to the Lab to be poked and prodded she told me what she thought. She said it could be diabetes, it could be thyroid problems, it could be kidney dis-function, it could be IBS, etc, etc. I was barely listening but I remember the big 3 “thyroid, diabetes and IBS.” She said she was sending me for labs and that we would talk on Monday once she got all the Labs back. Then she sent me on my way to THE LAB. “But if we just keep walking on, we will see the kingdom come.”

I have to tell you while sitting in the Lab and while getting my X-Ray and while driving home I was FREAKING out. Sure this has happened to me before. The first time my mom was there with me, the second my good friend Vicky was there and this time I have friends in the state and all over the country I can talk to about it. But I felt truly alone and scared. So scared. “Whatever you do just don’t look back.”

I kept thinking about the times before, the diagnoses before, the guesses before and the non answers I was given. The last time I did this, after the clean colonoscopy my Doctor turned me away. She said I was fine. And that was it. She was done. I was fine having diarrhea all time. This was it she was done with me. I had no hope then and that feeling returned in full force this week. “Oh somebody needs the light you have.”

When I got home, after being released at 5:00pm, I called my mom and talked with her. I wrote a note to my prayer group and texted good friends and still I felt all alone and SCARED. “Whatever you do, just don’t lose heart.”

Wednesday I had to work from home because my problem was still a problem. The doctor called in the morning and said what the others had said, “you’re pretty healthy.” My kidney function was good, my urine was good (something no doctor has ever said to me), my blood glucose was fine so diabetes was out, my thyroid function was fine, so she was crossing items off the list. Leaving the one thing she thought it might be IBS but she was still waiting to for my poo to come back and some other tests so we would wait to talk diagnosis until Monday in her office. “Keep pushing back the dark.”

So Thursday I went to work and worked from work but came home early and it was a good thing I did. I got books from my low carbohydrates colleague and got on and read about IBS. Some of the symptoms fit but not all. The most disheartening thing is that I’ll have to change and limit my diet all over again. “Keep pushing back the dark.”

I’m disheartened, I’m scared, I’m feeling alone, I’m frustrated, I’m angry and I’m sad. I don’t have a diagnosis yet but what else makes sense. “Oh, oh don’t underestimate the God you follow.”

She did say that my X-Ray showed lots of bowel in my colon and lots of gas in my other intestine. No impaction, no nothing. “He is the light that burns inside your soul.”

So that’s where I am this Friday. I have the day off to get some stuff done in town and I’m excited for the day off but not the day to sit in my head and keep thinking about all of this. “So keep shining until the whole world knows.”

The song that is throughout my post has been in my head all week long, Pushing Back the Dark by Josh Wilson. I’ve heard it in the car each day to and from work, from the doctor, etc. I’ve heard it in my head when I’ve woken up each day. It has made me cry, it has given me hope and it has reminded me that the diagnosis is not yet here and that this doctor seems determined to give me an answer and hopefully she won’t give up until she has an answer.

That’s been my week. Ups and downs for sure. The ups were talking with my mom and her never ending encouragement. Sharing with friends who pray for me and send me hugs from DC, Texas and CA. Sharing with co-workers who give you cookbooks, share in your frustration and those that simply say, “That pretty much sucks.” My friends, family and co-workers are awesome.

“Pushing back the dark” of my downs. I’ll let you know the endgame when I do.

Grief: Annoying or Necessary

Grief is one emotion that seems to never end. It’s quite annoying….or is it?

Grief gives you a chance to weep for the loss but also remember the great times.

During my time at Seminary I lost two/three Grandmothers. Grandma Vi I lost early and I’ve gotten to the place where remembering her doesn’t lead me to tears. There are moments when I cry because she’ll miss out on some important times of my life. For instance, she never knew that I got two Masters: MDIV and Recovery Ministry (which I will receive in a few weeks, I would go to graduation but its 3 hours long and my sister is getting married :)). She also won’t be at my little sister’s wedding in a few weeks.

Grandma Summers I lost late. It’s been a year now without her and my heart aches. Just thinking about her and I’m weeping. She’ll also miss Rebecca’s wedding. It will be a joyful day but also a little sad because she won’t be there. I cannot wait until I can remember her for just a moment and not be weeping.

The third grandma I sort of lost was my Grandma Shirley. She’s gone. No matter what my aunts and uncles say she’s gone. The shell of who she was is still with us and this may be the hardest grief of all. Because I still have to look at pictures of the shell. Pictures that show that’s she not really here anymore. It’s completely sad but I cannot wait for her to be with Jesus. I cannot wait until she is free from the bonds of this world. I don’t know what will happen when she gets to heaven but my hope is that her mind will come back to her and she’ll be partying with all my grandmas and grandpas in heaven. My hope is that the real her will come back and she’ll be preparing a place for me.

My cousins lost a grandfather last week, a grandfather that was ready to be with the Lord and needed to go. But a loss nonetheless. To me Grandpa Ed (he’s not really my grandpa by blood but with Ed and Dorothy blood relation means nothing and they insisted that we call them Grandpa and Grandma) was a funny guy who passed out at inopportune times. He had narcolepsy (I think) and often had attacks when he had extreme emotions. He could be anxious or excited and then he would just pass out.

The family always handled these attacks with grace, they’d catch him and then set him down and laugh it off. As a kid I was never scared when he had these attacks, of course I was never in a car while he was driving as it happened.  Around me they happened in the safety of a home and I thought they were funny. I could see how they could be scary for others but the family made it safe.

When I told Ed and Dorothy of my desire to go to Seminary they were excited for me and Dorothy encouraged me. I was not as close to Grandpa Ed as his vast family but he always made me feel a part of his family and I grieve the loss of a loving man but I am glad he is with Jesus, sitting at his feet, soaking up the words of wisdom and earning his reward.

Grief is both annoying and necessary. It’s annoying when it hits you at inopportune times like the sleeping attacks that hit Grandpa Ed. When remembering my Grandma brings tears to my eyes no matter what I’m doing, when it brings me to my knees it’s absolutely annoying. I’d like to think of my Grandma without wetness filling my eyes. No matter if I’m remembering one of my last conversations with her, calling her a dumb-ass for wanting to go grocery shopping without her oxygen tank, which I think is funny and proves how awesome our relationship was or remembering seeing her in the casket (which I’m hoping to erase from my memory banks soon). I’d like to remember my grandmother without it feeling like I just got kicked in the gut. But that’s the necessary part of grief. Grief is necessary because the process allows you to go on, to move on, and to realize that moving on is exactly what you’re supposed to do.

Let’s move out of grief for a loved one because grief is more than just the loss of a person. Grief is a process that should happen any time you lose something. Of course the grief over a lost job should last shorter than the grief over a lost Grandmother. I’ve grieved several losses in my life. One of the most important places in my life that I had to get through loss was when I was abused. I had to grieve, years later, the loss of innocence, the loss of purity, the loss of feeling safe, the loss of childhood. Even if grief happens years later it has to happen. Since going through the process of grief in this area of my life I was able to let it go. To let go of the things that were taken from me, to let go of the things that never were.

The same could be said for the loss of a loved one. It is important to get through the process of grief and to allow it to happen at whatever pace you need so that you can get beyond it, so that you can see the joy, so that you can see the lost one as they were before you lost them.

Grief can be absolutely annoying but it is also absolutely necessary.

Light
Light

31 Random Things About Me: 22-24

Check out the first post: 31 Random Things About Me

Today’s Things:

  • 22. Family is super important to me.  Family includes all of its extensions and there are lots of extensions. I was going to try to include pictures of my entire family but it would take way too long and I just don’t have that kind of time. Family has always been important to me but in recent years it has become even more important. Two grandmas have passed and one grandma has Alzheimer’s, which I think is an illness straight from the devil himself. Family members are dealing with cancer and other illnesses. Other family members are going through family upheavals and other family members are getting married. It’s a crazy time and each new thing makes me realize just how important family is.  
  • mom and grandma
    mom and grandma
  • 23. I love to give gifts. It’s not about the amount of money I spend but rather the joy someone gets when they open something from me. I give gifts because I enjoy seeing the joy cross someone’s face when they open something from me. Even if I’m not there to experience the joy I experience it in the thank you that gets sent back to me. I do not give gifts to receive gifts in return but instead because I enjoy doing it and enjoy taking care of others through gifts.
  • 24. I love both cats and dogs. I used to be terrified of all animals. It was the idea that I don’t know what they are thinking and the amount of pain that certain animals could inflict upon me. For years I feared cats and dogs but then I began to see the individuality and the need for love within. They weren’t plotting my death but were instead seeking my approval. One of my boyfriend’s had a dog, Shady, who I fell in love with. Then my sister had a dog and then I met my roommate’s cat. Now I love cats and dogs ;).
  • My former roommate Kristie's cat Eowyn
    My former roommate Kristie’s cat Eowyn

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