Tuesday, December 28, 2021

A Million Parts

I have come to the distasteful part of moving where I have to go through my possessions to see what stays and what goes.  If there were more storage in my wonderful house, I would just pack everything away until I am psychologically ready to literally unpack my baggage.  God and His perfect timing has seen it fit to pick this moment in my history to look back and reflect.  I feel like I have lived a hundred lives.   I look back on the old pictures and I ask myself, "Is this me?" I hope you have the opportunity to live hard.

Every picture is a story.  I told my daughter that I would sit one day and tell her all of the stories the same way I sat with my grandmother and mother and I heard all of their stories.  There seems to be a million parts of the story.  Where do I tell these stories?  What do I do with these memories?  

A dear friend is in flux at this time too.  She is going through quite a bit and there doesn't seem to be a lot of time to linger.  I think of her.  I think of what her circumstances are.  I pray for her.  We are not rescuers of people.  We are only meant to live as neighbors with one another.  We are side by side walking toward the light.  What do we do with those difficult people?  What do we do when we find someone in difficult circumstances?  Do we try and rescue them?  I know some who would want to try.  We make our own choices on who to follow and  what makes us happy.  I can't force that on someone.  I can only pray to the One who can rescue.  I can beseech the One who makes me happy.  I can pray.  I pray for strength and solace.  I pray for worship.  I praise God from Whom all blessings flow.  

Serving God is a backwards life where the first become last and the last become first.  Where we are called to love and serve the hard and toxic.  Where our neighbor comes before what we want and where the meek are to inherit this earth.  Where we lose our lives if we try to save it ourselves and we save ourselves when we lose ourselves to God.  Where we give of ourselves, our million little parts so that we can become part of the millions that serve the One.  Praise the Lord!

Monday, December 20, 2021

About the Car... Part 2

 So, now that I have gone through all of my psychological and emotional processes, let me write about the car.  I was driving a Nissan Versa.  It was a 2014 car.  I bought it in 2016.  It was acting weird even from when I bought it but I was told it had a CTV engine and I had to look it up but I understood that the engine was compromised even then.  I drove it all over the state.  The car had a name, Zippy.  Because it made zipping noises any time you tried to accelerate.  I remember driving to Vegas with my sweet dog in that car.  It had issues with the serpentine belt but it was my car.  It was kind of like me, kind of a mess.

Zippy, the car, had been have issues and I knew the end was coming.  However, this is not exactly the best economy to have to buy a car in.  The director at my work said, "Good luck if you are buying a house or a car."  I had to get both.  I didn't need luck, I have God.  

I knew that when we moved there would be issues.  Living 3-5 minutes from my job and making the commute was not too bad of an issue but living 11-15 miles away was another story.  I was going to need a car.  Talking to Geoff, he knew of the chip problem that had been plaguing the car industry.  He said that we would have to get a used car to last until I could get something better.  

We went to the Toyota Dealership one day after work.  He picked me up and we went to browse.  I can't tell you how expensive the cars were!!!  I mean, a car I would buy for about 7k was going for way more.  There were cars that I couldn't afford with about 190,000 miles on it.  I also noticed that the online price was sometime much lower than the in person price.  

In the end, I got a crush on a bigger Rav 4 with almost 100,000 miles on it.  It was purple and it matched my pants.  It was just in my budget but I was thinking of tryin to get pre-approved and this changed the whole entire process.

Geoff called me the next day at work to tell me that the AutoNation where we bought his Audi had a nice little Q3 in my price range.  When I called for the approval I based my loan on that car.  Geoff had to go there for service since he has a miracle Audi himself, and that is when he saw the car.  He picked me up at work and we hit up a few more dealerships just to see what was out there.  I liked a used Tiguan at the Volkswagon dealership and I thought I would just get that car if I didn't see anything else.

And then we hit the AutoNation.  There was no Q3.  It has been sold.  I had been pondering if I was the type of person to drive an Audi.  I decided to look at the other cars.  Geoff thought that I should go back and get the Tiguan, but the blue of the car called me.  It was so pretty.  I saw the color first.  Then I saw the price tag.  What!!!  I could afford this car?  This is what I was thinking.  And then I saw that the make was BMW.  What was a BMW doing in my price range?  How does it make sense that the only car that  I was able to afford was a BMW?  And then the salesman told me to get it.  Slipping into that driver's seat, I was falling in love.  I think my sweet husband knew then.  I was smitten.  He was so certain that I was going to buy a car that he brought with him the new Puerto Rican keychain he got for me.  Yes, I bought the car and I was even able to sell Zippy, the Versa to them.  God is good to us! 

It is taking me time to get used to this car.  I love figuring out the features.  I bought it wit 45,000 mile on it, a true blessing.  It was on a lease and then an older couple owned it.  It's a 2016 model and it isn't top of the line.  It's a 3 series.  Did I even say that right?  I don't know.  I'm learning.  I feel blessed when I drive it.  It's a lot of car for me but, again, it is the car that I could afford.   I am thankful to God.  Praise the Lord!

Tuesday, December 14, 2021

About the Car... Part I

 I am not what one would call fancy.  I mean... I like fancy things.  I'm not going to lie but... it has taken me a long time to find what really merits investing and what doesn't.  In fact, I can remember when I first started wearing lipstick, I would buy it for a dollar at the Korean store on White Plains Road in the Bronx.  This is also the place where I would buy my royal blue eyeliner and hoop earrings, also for a dollar.  I thought I was so fancy with that lipstick.  One day, a friend lent me her L'Oreal lipstick.  It was super fancy.  It smelled fancy to me.  It was $7.00 for just one tube!!!  I could buy 7 lipsticks from the Korean store.  One day it dawned on me, quality over quantity.  I don't know how but I got my father to buy me the L'Oreal.  I felt so fancy.  In fact, I liked the way I felt.  I felt different.  I felt better somehow.  

I admit that I have had a mild shopping addiction.  I guess you could say that it started with that store.  There were plenty of things to buy other than rubber black and multi colored bracelets.  There were lace gloves and bandanas.  I didn't really get an allowance but somehow, I managed to have money.  My dad thought it would be a good idea to have money to be around.  I would try and save as much of it as possible and then use it to shop.  I remember one day waking up and thinking, "Do I need all of this stuff?"  I found that I didn't and I kind of stopped.  

College reopened the need to shop and now, someone saw fit to give me a credit card and I was working.  I can tell you that I was one of the ones who fell into the spending trap. I mean, a girl has to look nice, right?  I'm thankful that I had my father to bail me out of my spending mishaps.  It wasn't anything like shopaholic but I recognize that I had learned some unhealthy habits.  

This is much longer than I think it should be.  Let's fast forward to my adult life.  I fell into the shopping habit again.  This time, I found something that is not true in New York.  You see, I loathe thriftshops in New York and I'm naturally cheap.  I love bargain hunting.   I think there was one Goodwill that I went to once and got a cardigan.  There was something about wearing second hand clothes that bothered me.  

Here, in Arizona, there are thrift stores everywhere and everything is a deal.  I mean, you can really get yourself in trouble shopping out here.  It's easy to pick up clothes and then just throw in the washer.  Voila, you have a whole new outfit and no one is the wiser.  It wasn't limited it to just clothes.  I would buy purses, books; anything that looked useful.  I accumulated so much junk.  I felt bad and I would go out and shop.  I should have brought my issues to God and let Him handle the psychological stuff.  

I mean, I would go and buy something for a dollar like socks, just because I can.  I have a lot of socks. I have a lot of everything.  And for no reason.  I'm downsizing; in my life and in my house.  I have struggled with what to have and what not to have.  I have needed validation because I know that I am lacking in so many things.  I am not thin.  I am not that pretty and every day I look in the mirror, I know that I am getting older.  I'm not that smart.  I can sing but I'm not the best singer.  I mean, I think I have nice nails.  That's about it!!!

Everything else about me that is good is God and because of God.  I mean, I didn't even make my nails so all of it is God, really!  

They preached on Sunday about boasting in God and I have a lot of boasting to do.  God has done a lot for me.  So, I am thankful.  I'm working on bringing everything to Him.  Praise the Lord!

Be on the look out for part 2 of this post.

Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Needing a Rescuer

 I can not seem to keep up with the changes in my life.  Life is chugging by faster than I thought.  It is in these fast messy moments that I need to remember to slow down and give thanks to God.  I realize as you read that I am one of those people.  "What's wrong with her?"  You may even ask.  You should know that I'm not a great Christian.  I am not even that good of a Christian.  Here is why I follow Jesus:

I was lost.  I was born kind of lost.  It took a long time but I realized that I didn't have a lot going for me.  I'm thankful for this because my story would be different if I did have something going for me.  I mean... I can sing a little and believe me that I tried to parlay the little voice I had into something.  I prayed for it day and night.  One day, before I was really awake, I felt myself praying to God to allow me to become a famous singer.  I heard in that half-dream way, "I never meant that for you."  Oh!  This was my response after I had a demo and was going on auditions.  Oh.  Okay.  Then I had to set out to find another way in this life for myself.  God had teaching in mind. 

I was pregnant and living in New York with my late husband at the time.  It was after 9/11.  I needed a job.  My friend, Haja recommended something I had been thinking about, The New York City Teaching Fellows Program.  I had been running away from teaching since my college years.  I was like running away from Nineveh to end up in a whale like Jonah.  But... I was the whale, because I was pregnant.  It was through this program that allowed me to provide for my family through teaching.  It has been hard but fun and rewarding.  I'm looking for something else to do.  

Here is the thing.  The more you look at yourself and find yourself lacking, the more you realize how much you would like to be rescued.  Not by a Prince Charming, to come and rescue to place you in an ivory tower.  Or... rescue you from an Ivory Tower.  Uhm... you get what I mean.  A rescuer to give your life purpose and set you on a path where there are challenges and hard things but never to be alone and develop things like faith, hope and love in the process.  I am lacking and glad to be so.  This is how Jesus found me and this is where I have gotten to know Him.  Praise God.

And I am happy to say that I still don't have it all together.  I still am in need to be rescued by a Savior.  How thankful am I that I have one!  And not to say that I haven't had a little pain in my life.  I mean, there are moments when loss hits so hard that it is like someone physically hitting me.  It hasn't been exactly easy but I am still thankful to God for being with me and allowing me to bring my every thought to Him.  Prayer is such a powerful thing.  

So Friends, I hope that when you find yourself lacking and needing a rescuer, you will consider mine.  His burden is light.  Praise the Lord!

Tuesday, November 30, 2021


 Animals are with us when we are at our worst.  Especially dogs, they seem to love us a little more unconditionally than other pets.  I have been a cat person for most of my life.  I love their indifference and their independence.  But then came Barkley...

My late husband, Santi, bought him for me as a Valetine's Day present about 8 years ago.  They were selling him on the lawn in front of a Bank of America or US Bank.  He was the cutest thing I had ever seen.  He like to stay on my lap cuddled for the majority of a day.  We struggled finding a name for him.  We wanted something with a B, Byron maybe.  After much deliberation, Barkley came about.  His middle name is different depending on who in the family you ask.  For me, his name was Barkley Sneezus Miller because he sneezed to show his happiness.

Barkley would love to bark, so he was aptly named. He would always prone to show his expressions of love, fear and discomfort.  Barkley loved car rides, running out of the house and racing one of us, he loved treats and headrubs.  He didn't like other dogs or dog parks.  He didn't like being without us in the house.  He was meek and sweet.  We found out he was a papillion spaniel when we brought him in one day to see the vet.  We thought he was a cross between two breeds but the vet assured us he was a papillion.  

He was the youngest of the pets.  I expected him to be the last to go.  He was more David's dog than mine but we all loved him.  He was our loud and crazy dog.  He warmed up so much to Geoff.  I'm surprised I'm as devasted as I am.  The grief is shocking.    

They didn't go to school and were trying to pack up the last of the things today.  So, when he went into cardiac arrest, he wasn't alone.  He was with his boy.  I left work to take him into the emergency.  I had thought he had gotten into something and was choking.  They told us that he had an underlying heart problem. It was probably the stress of the move that triggered his poor little heart.

Moving hasn't been easy.  It feels like a loss and I had been grieving the life that once was.  It feels like starting new, a starting new that I didn't properly prepare for.  Barkley had only lived in our former house that was falling apart all around us.  And now... his memory lives on with the house in my heart.  

My son asked me, "Is it true that all dogs go to heaven?"  I didn't hesitate.  I said, "Yes."  Barkley lives on... if only in my heart.  Praise the Lord for good dogs!!!

Thursday, October 28, 2021

A Prayer for Bad Days

 Today was a very bad day.  It was the kind of day that stays with you and makes you question what you are doing in life and if you are doing life right.  Let me unpack it all for you.  I am working on my last degree.  I'm getting ready to finish it all.  I left the job I was at in part because I wanted to have time for my family and this degree.  I took a temporary job that was close to home.  I did this so I could have less stress and more time.  I have more time because I can only work 40 hours a week, no more.  This works in my favor.  What doesn't work in my favor is that there is a teacher shortage in Arizona with a very specific need of special education teachers.  

Now, I like teaching well enough but let's face it.  You need to have a little (or a lot) of something in order to teach specialized instruction.  Whatever that is, I wonder if I have any more of it left after teaching for 16 years.  I'm tired.  You may even say that I'm burning out.  What does a once teacher do when they burn out?  Do you think I could become a character actress or a rockstar?  I'm contemplating a life doing social media.  I mean, I sort of have my brand...  I don't know.  I'm tired for sure.

Today was a bad day but it's not a bad life.  I saw the house on a walk-through today and it's really nice and it makes me happy.  Yesterday was the wedding anniversary of my first marriage and my mother's death day/  I don't even think I was in the frame of mind to post anything at all.  It was a busy tiring day and I basked in it.  At some point, I let myself remember and there was a wave of sadness, but that was all, a wave to remember them by.  

These bad moments I pull out and bring to Jesus.  These bad moments that tend to fester and bother, I like to pray about.  Jesus has a way of protecting me, of protecting us.  I am so sure of this.  It is littered all over the Bible.  I honestly think that we don't give God enough credit.  He is an all powerful, all-knowing, all-present being.  Our minds can not fathom the width and breadth of God.  Why do we, why do I insist on putting Him in a box and limiting Him in my world?  My humanity is stupid... stupid and sinful.  I may need to pray for a little wisdom every once in a while.  You see, only God can give wisdom and you need to ask for it.  That may answer some of the questions you have about the world around you and why things are the way they are.   

I'll even be bold enough to say my prayer right here.  If you need this prayer, go ahead and take it:

Dear God,

Today I had a bad day.  I'm not a fan of bad days but I know that You are with me when I have them.  God I pray that you give me wisdom.  I would like some wisdom to know your plan for me.  I would like Your wisdom in order to make decisions.  I would like wisdom to help with all the saltiness I tend to accumulate throughout my days.  I love You, God.  Help me to overcome this humanly struggles.  Please forgive me.  


That's all.  God is good.  Praise the Lord!

Monday, October 25, 2021

Shedding Layers

 I know that I shouldn't be blogging but there has just been so much going on recently.  I am working on completing things.  I am happy to report that things are falling into place.  And as they are changing, I realize that inevitably, I must change as well.

What did I want to do in this life?  I am finding as I round the corner to a milestone birthday that dreams should be lived.  You should definitely take chances in this short life.  I think of that line in Isaiah about old man dreaming dreams.  I am like one of these old men.  I am dreaming dreams.

I know that these posts can be vague.  Honestly, I would love to spill everything right here in black and white.  I honestly don't have the energy to write about it all.  God is good to me.  I really and truly can not believe the way that He has provided for me and for my family.  To God be all glory!!!

I owe a debt of gratitude to my friends who are more like family and who work in realty.  These angels know who they are.  I am not sure that I am at a place to shout them out but a shout out they deserve.  But I will save acknowledgements for another day.

I left a good job that I was adequate at and that I was at for 10 years to become a contracted worker.  I am a essentially a temporary teacher working for a district.  I don't know how I feel about this job.  It kind of fell in my lap and I went with it because at there time there was nothing else I was prepared to do.  I get asked why I left.  I guess you could say that I felt that I couldn't do the work there any more.  It was time to move on.  

But just because I'm a temp worker doesn't really mean that I am treated as a temp.  I try to explain to one of the people there that I am not doing more than what I am being paid for and she seems to think that I should.  Hmmm....  It makes me thankful that I am temporary.  Here's a note of advice: "Don't push someone who doesn't need to be there."  I don't know who needed to hear that but there it goes.  

I will tell you that I stand outside and I listen to the song of the trees as the winds blow through them.  I continue to step on super crunchy leaves, excited to hear their crunch under my sneakers.  In the morning I like to tell everyone, "Good morning."  Every now and again I am matched in my enthusiam.  I am glad when the rich, green grass gets cut.  I can usually do my steps in a day.  I can tell you that what I feel the most is gratitude.

I am moving.  I have flashbacks of living my life in this old house with my late husband.  I find that I miss him.  If I am still enough, I can almost hear him.  As I go through things, I find his memories there.  I look at the pictures with his smiling round face.  I think he was happy sometimes.  I hope he was happy sometimes.  I know he is happier now.  This makes me the happiest.  

There is no guilt.  There is no confusion.  I loved someone.  In fact, there is not anything wrong with saying that I still love him.  He is not here though.  He has moved on and I had to move on too.  My new husband is not the same.  I am not the same kind of wife.  It is different.  This is a different time in my life.  I think my family is progressing because of Christ, not because of me.  If I have anything to do with it, I would say it is because I love Christ.  

As I prepare to move, I am shedding layers.  I am streamlining my property.  Somehow, I am changing.  My prayer is to change in a way that glorifies Christ.  Let's see what happens.  

In the meantime, say a prayer for my family and the transition and take a moment to just thank God if you are so inclined.  Praise the Lord!

Monday, September 27, 2021

Being Consistent

As a person who is not just a hot mess, but a hotter mess, I can tell you with certainty that I don't do a lot of things well.  I am a great admirer of those who do do things well (LOL!  I wrote do do!!!).  I have moments that I find that I can be consistent.  I have a wonderfully long streak in my Duolingo.  I have been playing Candy Crush Saga for a long amount of time.  And I consistently go to church.  I go to church to meet with God and His people.  

I'm going to put this here but I have a confession to make.  I was having trouble reading the Bible on a consistent basis.  In fact, I have been with my current Bible for 9 years and I have been actually looking for other translations.  I am looking for a word for word translation that leans toward a study Bible with the possibility of journaling.  More than that, I am looking to be fed.  I am looking to hear from God.  I want to be open to whatever God tells me.  I have read through the Bible more than once.  I have read through different translations.  I like to take my time reading through it all.  Good News Translation, the older NIV translation, the New King James Version with a devotional, I have read through each of them several times.  So... what was next?  I found an app.  Technology logs the times that I log in.  There are different plans for the different seasons that you find yourself in.  God is helping me find a way to Himself... and I am thankful.  

I don't do a lot of thing well,  I am getting better at things and hoping to become the best version of myself.  But, as someone who is a self-proclaimed mess, I need to acknowledge my need for a Savior and that there is room for improvement.  I mean, who am I if I think I have it all figured out?  The one thing I can do and try to do well is to keep going, consistently.  So... I'm working on my consistency with God.  What are you doing to practice consistency?  That's all for now.  Praise the Lord!

Monday, September 13, 2021

I Don't Wanna!!!

 I don't know if I'm the only one to have days where I don't know what to do with myself.  It would seem that no matter what I do, I am not enough.  I have spoken in the past of my awareness with my insufficiency and I am very clear that I continue to be a hot mess in need of a Savior.  This is different.  I am speaking to this idea of serving and having too much to do and not enough to do it with.  In essence, this is a rant.

You should know that I try not to complain or vent because it's a lot like eating Doritos.  You can't just stop at one.  Not only that, it really puts a lot of negative energy out in the world and even if I feel better afterwards, I still spoke, with my powerful words, negative feelings and things that may or may not affect those around me. Still, the essence of my rant is... I don't wanna!!!

I am a contracted worker working as a temp in the education field.  I believe that I am treated as a regular worker... but I'm not.  I get paid only for the time that I am there.  However, the workload is more than the time that I work.  They have stopped scheduling for some meetings but I every day, I find another invitation for a meeting that will no doubtedly, be scheduled for after my allotted time.  I am thankful for the work, but I also feel that you may need to consider paying for my extra time or scheduling someone else for the meetings.  There is no one else to schedule?  Sounds like a problem, but not mine.  I know!!!  It is such a secular view of the world of work!!!  What are my alternatives?  Okay, so I've been questioning my purpose and praying about it.  Cover letters, resumes and CVs can be especially overwhelming.  And, My Friends, I am already overwhelmed. 

Underneath it all, there are questions: What do I want?  Who I am?  What am I good at?  What do I want?  What will make me happy?  Where does God want me?  What do I need in order to be successful?  Am I doing what is right in the eyes of God?  Do I have the right attitude?  Where are my Doritos?  Who ate my Doritos?  What do I want?  

It's a litany of unanswered questions.  There is a song by the name of "Finest Hour" by Cash Cash.  It is one of my favorites but today, this song is my anthem.  "This ain't my finest hour.  Might see my flaws today."  I look in the mirror and I see my age catching up with me.  I finally feel my age.  I have to look around to see if the devil is around.  You know how he likes to kick a sister when she's down!

The fact is that I continue to be loved.  I am worthy of the love of a Savior.  I currently have a job where I am needed.  I need to trust in God.  I need to wait on His plan, even when I have had a bad day, a bad week, a bad month, a bad year, a bad lustrum, a bad decade.  I need to be grateful for what I have and not what I don't.  when I don't understand something, I need to bring it to you, my Readers and Friends.  I need to bring them to God.  So forgive me for my... humanity, yet again.  God is good to me.  Praise Him!!!

Sunday, September 12, 2021

Falling Down the Rabbit Hole

I was communicating with a friend of mine and I was telling them that this transitional portion of my life feels like falling down the rabbit's hole much like Alice in her Adventures in Wonderland.  I am working (or procrastinating) on my last degree.  I have a temporary job that I have the ability to enjoy when I remember that God is good and He has good plans for me.  My husband also reminds me to be thankful for the providence of a job that is working for me.  God reminds me that He is with me and that I am not alone.  God is good to me.

Much like Alice, it has been scary when you find yourself falling in an unknown place with strange unaccustomed things on the shelves before you.  You don't really know where you are going to land and there is fear in this uncertainty.  Of course, there is also fear of the pain of falling and of (maybe) failing.  But when Alice was falling down that hole, she got tired of falling.  It took a very long time to go down that hole.  And when the fall occurred, it came unexpectantly.  It has gotten me thinking of what my Wonderlands would look like.  

I am not finding a niche for myself.  Where could a colorful, somewhat academic, extroverted introvert go to find purpose and a raison d'etre for herself with the rest of this life God has given her?  Je ne sais pas.  So... I'm praying.  I don't want to just exist or survive.  I want the promises that God has given me.  In John 10, Jesus is talking to His crew.  He says, "Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.  All who ever came before Me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them.  I am the door.  If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.  The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.  I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly."  John 10:7b-10

I am falling down this hole, waiting to hear the voice of the Shepherd, the Good Shepherd who wants to give me life and life more abundantly.  I have had enough of the thief with his stealing, killing and destroying.  I think you can agree with me on that.  It is scary.  It is hard.  Applying to jobs and not getting in?  It is hard.  Making plans and having them fall through?  It is hard.  Changing your life?  Starting again?  It is hard.  I ask God, "What do you want me to do with all of these hard things?"  And here I am writing a blog.  Here I am talking about it.  Here I am telling you that this life is hard and crazy and really scary but here I am, trusting in God and waiting to see where He leads me.  Trusting in God is hard but sometimes the right thing to do is the hardest thing to do in life. It's not about me.  It's about God and His glory.  May I be worthy of the task.  

Be praying with me, Friends.  Be praying that I follow the voice of the Shepherd and not my own.  Pray that I can be Biblically salty and be salt and light to this world that needs flavor and light in dark places.  My sweet husband will tell you that if I'm a flavor, it would be Spicy Nacho.  Nachos (Not yours) but his spicy nacho chip (I'm cracking up.  You know how I do!!!)  If even silly sheep could listen to their Shepherd, I pray that I could listen to mine.  Praise the Lord!!!

Sunday, September 5, 2021

Turning the Other Cheek

 We are all broken.  Did you know this?  We are born broken.  I wonder if anyone is raised the way they need to be raised based on who they are.  Any parenting slight and memories that produce triggers are made.  We are fragile, we humans with our traumas.  I think we need saving.  We need a Savior to come into our messes and save us... from ourselves.  

These days, when I come across negativity being strewn my way; I wonder... Is it me?  Or is it the brokenness inside that causes people to cut us off and be rude.  Should I return this negative energy?  Recently I had the opportunity to work with my son in his anger.  He wanted to return the same energy back to the broken person that came across our path.  I asked him, "To what end?"  Either we are part of the problem or part of the solution.  God would have us turn our cheek.  Turn our cheek so that they can smack the other one.  God would have us do the right thing and let Him even out the scales of justice.  The harder part of it all is letting God do this.  

I have people tell me, "I have anger issues."  Usually, it is meant as a warning.  They are really saying, "You should be afraid of how angry I can get!"  I smirk.  Like I don't have anger issues!!!  How do you think I know so much about anger and the cycles that it creates!!!  It's harder absorbing the anger and letting God and the Holy Spirit take control. 

I think that anger is about serving our egos and the ego's need than serving others.  As counter-intuitive as it may be or even sound, serving others instead of our own egos, may just be one of the secrets to life.  And it is frustrating and aggravating!!!  Ugh!!  I want to complain sometimes when it comes to serving others.  But then... something magical happens; something absolutely miraculous occurs.  We are and our demanding egos are fed and are satisfied.

The first time my sorority and I served on Thanksgiving at a soup kitchen, I complained at how early we had to be there.  I was not a happy camper in the least.  By the end of our time, we were happy.  I was happy.  We even did it for a few years after that.  Serving is its own blessing.  Phoebe Buffay was right.

What am I putting out there?  Am I being the salt of God or am I just being salty?  Am I adding to the collective unrest or am a being a light in dark places?  I am praying that I am the latter and not the former.  Anger- this only serves me.  Forgiveness, this negates that and helps me move on.  And let me not forget as someone who is a a hotter mess, I can forgive because God, my Father forgives me of my messes.  Praise the Lord!!! 

Monday, August 30, 2021

Enjoy the Ride

 In this season, I find it hard to get myself away and write.  I will be walking and the wind will pick up just enough, then I will come up with some peaceful, brilliant thought only to not have my keyboard at the ready.  There are crunchy leaves on the campus that I am currently work on.  I love the sound of the crunch as step on them.  It's such a simple pleasure.  

It wasn't long ago when I was walking along with the trees and the grass all around me that I have realized that God has answered some prayers for me.  It was not that long ago that I was working in a place that made me long for the sun on my face.  I went home to the husband I never thought I would have again and I sat down and told him, "I think I prayed for this.  I think I prayed for the opportunity to walk in the sun and have the smell of cut grass and the sound of swaying leaves in my ears."  He told me that I told him that same thing.  "Maybe you did pray for it."  They even let me wear my sneakers... every day.  God is good to me.

There are things in the mix.  We need to move.  I need to finish school.  I want to pay down my debt and get in shape.  I want to read more books.  I want to keep writing.  Even with my laundry list of wants and needs, I think I want God to write His story upon my life in such a way that you can recognize His writing.  I want to be the paper, blank.  Maybe I'm the pen and the ink is in Elle color.  The pen I imagine is a marble gel pen and the color changes as you write.

So... things are not perfect, but God is so good and life is short.  Just yesterday I was in high school.  I promise you that I BLINKED and all of a sudden I'm facing fifty... FIFTY!!!  I am grateful for every second.  God has a plan and He is trustworthy.  When you get into his car, he says, "Get in and enjoy the ride."  I'm enjoying the ride.  Join me.  Praise the Lord!  

Monday, August 16, 2021

The Hard Parts

I knew when I started this season of my life that there were going to be difficult moments.  The difficult moments tend to stay difficult.  The problem is me.

I used to run and sometimes, I still do.  Running has always been a challenge for me.  I have what you would call a love/hate relationship with running.  I love when I'm finally doing it.  I don't actually like getting up to run but when I'm at the gym and getting it done, there is nothing better.  I mention this because one day I came home from an outdoor run legitimately hating the sidewalk I was running on.  As I my feet hit the pavement, I would literally curse the ground that I ran on.  Silly Woman that I am!!!  One day, I realized that the problem wasn't the sidewalk, the problem was me.  I was mad at the thing that was making it hard, not that I was in a struggle to actually run.  Did I need to say that again?

Things in my life are complicated.  I'm a proud and happy newlywed.  I am the mother to two teens (yes, a mouthful).  I have taken on a new job and I am completing what I hope is my last degree.  This is the hard part of the hike.  Some of you don't hit the peak.  You say to yourself, I did what I could and now I will turn around and head on back down.  I really want to be like this, Folks.  I'm just not made that way.  Ask my best friend, Glenda how I feel about leaving a hike before I have been to the peak.  She'll tell you that I am the most stubborn mule of a person.  Trudging, crying and exhausted, I think I am one of those that will keep on going.  This is my fuel.  I want to be done.  I want to turn around and say that it's enough.  Unfortunately, I married someone who (incredibly) just might be more stubborn than I am and he's like, "Keep going.  You got this."  I don't know whether or not I appreciate it or not. 

Lately I have been thinking, why bother?  Why bother running and making my steps?  Why try and be better so that I can do better? Why work so hard?  I mean, I'm telling you, this part is kind of hard.  I posed the question to God.  I mean... I posed the question to God after complaining.  "God, why can't I have had an easy life?  God, why are things so.. difficult?  God, I don't know if I can and I may have to give up."  I hear a gentle, "Not your way but mine."  I hear echoes of being refined by the fire.  The wise people at my church call it sanctification.  I'm not sure I'm a fan of it.   I hear God whisper, even now, "They are watching."  I wonder who He is referring to... I don't have to wonder.  I know that He is referring to my favorite audience... my children.  

They were there to see me broken and bleeding; crawling through the hardest days of my life whispering through my sobs, "Praise the Lord.  God is good to me."  I hear my advice to them when they echo back to me, "God has a plan."  Today, not too long ago my son said to me, "Wherever you go I will go. It will be good."  My every day prayer to God is for my children to see Him and know Him.  I recommend Jesus to everyone.  Now, on a hike, I'm usually the last one to get some place.  There have been times when they have left and come back to check on me and I have continued to climb in places where I have had to hug the rock with my cheek pressed against it.  Maybe, just maybe, I am modelling how to do hard things with God by my side.  I feel a metaphorical me turn around as I'm climbing my mountain and I can see that my children and my new husband are right there with me in the struggle.  They root me on.  I pray that when it is time for them to do the hard thing, they don't back out because of fear.  "God has not given us a spirit of fear but of power, love and self-control." (II Timothy 1:7)

Keep me in prayer, Friends.  Pray not that the sidewalk instantly becomes like rubber but that I have the foresight to keep running and trusting on the One with the Master Plan.  Praise the Lord!

Sunday, August 1, 2021

New Things

 Tomorrow begins a new school year.  My children are currently running around the house getting ready.  They are excited for something new.  I too am preparing for new things.  Apparently, there are a lot of new things.  I don't know if you are like me but sometimes, new things are not exciting.  As adults, there are many that tend to worry instead of getting excited for the "something new."  

I find that I am living my life in hopeful expectation.  I have had a few disappointments along the way.  I am at this start and I have decided to allow my children's enthusiasm to be contagious to me.  In my head, I feel the days getting shorter.  I can almost talk myself into feeling cooler, even in Arizona.  These days that are coming are sweater days.  I look forward to cool breezes and hikes that can sometimes remind me of fall. 

Before I know it, the Fall and Winter Holidays will be among us.  This year, I have a child going into 8th grade and another going into 10th.  Where did the time go?  On social media, pictures of when they were younger pop up.  I promise you it was just yesterday.  Do I really have a child getting ready to drive?  Tears are brimming just thinking about it.  And it legitimately hurts to think that I don't have too much time with my children being children left. 

I want time to come and bring new things but then again, I want time to go slow.  In the meantime, I have been marinating on Galatians 6:9.  "And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up."  I am talking of seasons.  I have been talking of seasons.  Someone asked me about my children now.  I had to think back to 3 years ago when 2018 was the worst year of my life.  Pictures from that time and the time before hurt me.  It's like a twinge of pain.  But oh how God got us through this!!!  Don't give up, Elle.  Do good.  Do what is right.  That's all for now. Have a good school year!  Praise the Lord!!!

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. 

Monday, July 26, 2021

Hormone-cidal Rage

Hormones, female hormones have to be an instrument of Satan.  I can totally understand how they can be considered as part of the curse.  You know the curse!  It's the curse of all women for Even eating of the fruit.  You gain knowledge but there's a price.  

Okay, I am peri-menopausal.  I suspected  that I was hormonal at some point today.  I am overwhelmed.  I have things cooking on all fronts.  It's all good and all stressful.  I think you understand how that goes.  I'm not complaining.  I'm in a transitional place.  I have been trying to move out of my comfort zones in order to grow.  Growth can sometimes provide new opportunities and being uncomfortable.  Add some hormones to this mix and there is need of much... cookies.  No, that's not it.  Chocolate, droves of chocolate is what is needed!!!  Yes!!!  No...  Why am I so hungry?  It's like I'm afraid of never eating again.  Feed me carbs and cheese.  Feed me √©clairs and some cheese Danish.  I can't even consume gluten.  I do have some Butter Pecan in the freezer... FOCUS!   

There are days that I wish that these hormones would just make me peckish.  There are times when an exhaustion crawls into my bones. I am tired and my bones ache.  Then there are times when there is a sadness, or a heaviness.  Anger is a welcome distraction to the sadness that can come with Pre-menstrual Syndrome or PMS.  I find that there are moments that I'm anxious.  So... what I would recommend is broccoli.  Broccoli is a natural mood-stabilizer.  I recommend taking a walk.  I recommend the best thing of them all.  Do not go to your best friend.  Do not go to your spouse.  Do not vent to a co-worker. Take it all and bring it to Jesus.  Bring it all to Jesus because He cares for you (I Peter 5:7).  

And people who live with people who have hormones?   I would suggest you pray for them too.  They need all of the prayer they can get.  Just... don't tell them that.  You know what?  Don't tell them that I told you to do it.  Just tell Jesus and let Him settle everything.  This way, no one gets hurt.  That's all for now.  Praise the Lord!

Monday, July 19, 2021


 I used to like running.  It started almost a decade ago when my car broke down and I had to take the bus for work.  I had to leave at about 4 am to make it to the closest bus stop for the first in three buses I had to take.  The 40-45 minute trip by car would take hours!  You know I would leave at 4:15am and then I had to hustle for the bus.  Once I got the car fixed, I missed the running.  In the evenings I would carve out time for myself to walk.  One day, I asked myself, "Can you run?"  So I tried it.  I tried it in flip flops not far from my apartment.  I ran. I ran walked all the way back home.  The next day I got dressed to run and it was hard.  I had to learn to just do a slow jog.  Honestly, walking was faster but I told myself that I was doing it.

I have been running off and on for years.  When I go to the gym, it's to run on the treadmill.  But I have not been going often.  You see, I get into my head.  I love to sleep in.  It's one of my favorite things.  If sleeping in was a hobby, I would enter tournaments.  My husband tells me that working out early is better.  I know that he tells me truth but I lie to myself and tell myself that I will go later.  I won't.  I rationalize and make excuses.  Because even though I love running.  I hate getting up.  I have to fight myself to do what is right, regardless of how I feel... because I'm an adult (sometimes).

But those feelings get in the way of everything!  What to do about them?  I tried turning them off but you will emote and the feelings build.  Feelings should be expressed.  Funny enough, running helps with that (If only I can wake up).  In a race, or a bus stop, you aren't thinking about what you feel.  Stop and read that again.  You are thinking about getting to the end.  This brings me to Philippians 3:12-14:

"I have not yet reached my goal, and I am not perfect.  But Christ has taken hold of me.  So I keep on running and struggling to take hold of the prize.  My friends, I don't feel that I have already arrived.  But I forget what is behind, and I struggle for what is ahead.  I run toward the goal, so that I can win the prize of being called to heaven.  This is the prize that God offers because of what Christ Jesus has done."  

I may not always get up on time and I may not always make time to physically run but I find that it is more important to talk to God.  I like to bring Him all of my emotions and lay them out for Him.  This is what brings me peace.  And then, if there's time, I can go for a run... maybe.  Praise the Lord!!

 I have not yet reached my goal, and I am not perfect. But Christ has taken hold of me. So I keep on running and struggling to take hold of the prize. 13 My friends, I don’t feel that I have already arrived. But I forget what is behind, and I struggle for what is ahead. 14 I run toward the goal, so that I can win the prize of being called to heaven. This is the prize that God offers because of what Christ Jesus has done.

Tuesday, July 13, 2021

Pictures, Music and Remembering

 I'm moving a little slower these days.  There are thank you notes to address and send out.  There are transitions and applications to consider.  I have a list daily of things that I need to do each day.  There are days that I wake up tired.  Today is one of those days. How could I already be tired?  It's the summer time and I'm a teacher.  It's no use telling my body that I'm busy.  My body knows it's summer.  

I was looking at some of the pictures taken by my brilliant friend, Sarai Canada.  Thank you, Sarai!!!  She will tell you that she is not a photographer.  Her and her niece, Zoe did such an incredibly awesome job an I am so thankful.  

I was looking at the pictures and I was thinking of the music that we picked for the day.  Music is something that we don't agree on.  He tolerates my music and I'm okay with his.  Road trips are interesting.  Janet, my daughter, brings her own.  She spends most of our drives disengaged in the back seat slowly becoming deaf.  Geoff knows about my love for Justin Timberlake.  That was a first week topic that we covered shortly after we met.  Might as well get it out of the way.  So, it was not a stretch for me and my people to walk in to the instrumental version of  "Mirrors."  Honestly, it was perfect.  I didn't use anything traditional for any of my weddings.  

We walked out to, "I Need A Girl, Part 2."  It's funny that I saw an IG Reel that featured the song and it brought me back to my wedding day.  We had trouble with that one.  But our first dance was to Juan Luis Guerra's "Burbujas de Amor."  Can I tell you that first dances can be hard?  But I laughed.  He made me laugh so hard as we danced, unpracticed on the makeshift dance floor.  Pictures were taken.  There is proof of my bliss.  

As I think back on how our relationship started and the wedding, I can't believe the year that I have had!  So many wonderful changes, same hot mess coming at you thankful for the grace of God.  I remember this one song that came out when I was in my grief called, "Counting Every Blessing" by Rend Collective.  Each verse ended with "I am blessed beyond all measure."  In my darkest hour, I sang to God.  When there was so much pain and doubt... everywhere for miles.  I tried so hard to look up to where my God had His eyes on me and somehow, some way, I recall saying, even then, that I was blessed beyond all measure.  Guys, God is so good. He is so good to me. Won't you let Him be good to you?  You don't need to hold on to everything.  You can trust that God will help you.  I know.  He not only helped me, He changed my life and He isn't done.  No, it's not all perfect.  But, wow!!!  God is good.  Praise the Lord!!!!

Monday, July 12, 2021

Not My Way

 I think that we can be hyper critical of petulant children we come across in our daily lives.  The other day I was at Kohl's on line attempting to buy something.  A small girl about three years old, escaped her parents and ran to the beginning of the line where the candy was and was crying and angry.  She yelled at her flustered parent that she wanted the candy and the toys that were left there when her parents said that she couldn't have them.  I stood there surprised.  In my heart, I thought immediately, "Well, I would have..."  My husband interrupted my thoughts.  He mentioned how the poor girl must be tired and cranky.  Clearly he has more grace than I do.  

There are all these changes afoot.  Some of them are uncomfortable and I feel like they are happening in ways I didn't anticipate.   They are not the way that I wanted.  I am not getting my way.  I feel the petulant child within me start to rail.  As a child, I was pleasing and sweet.  My aunts will tell you that I was not  prone to tantrums.  It is now that I am clearly at mid-life that I want to throw myself down on the floor and yell.  I was to kick my heals and fight to get my way.  Such pride!!!  It is frustrating and I want to sit down and cry.  I'm not crying but I want to and I may have.  

These are hard things to admit.  I have to get another document.  I have to wait a few more days.  I have to fill out applications.  I have to answer calls and review documents and I need to do research and make phone calls.  I need to schedule appointments and pay things.  I need to track things.  I tell my children, don't be in a rush to grow up.  They tell me that they won't.  But it doesn't matter.  Time goes by and continues whether we are ready for it or not.  

What to do?  Pray.  It is a suggestion, a comment, advice, a command.  Just do it.  Just pray.  Prayer gets me out of my own way and into God's way.  He knows what He is doing and I have to trust Him, I should trust Him despite what I feel.  I am reminded of a verse in a card I received recently from my dear friend, Sarah.  Proverbs 3:5-6: Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct your paths."  What a powerful promise!!!  

I know that there are days I will not do the right thing.  I will complain and whine.  I will yell and stomp my feet.  There will be tears.  And after my tantrums, I will drag myself before the throne of God and seek forgiveness, solace, peace, strength and answers.  I'm reading through Proverbs and I am finding that there is a lot of wisdom there.  LOL!!!  I don't know about you but being human can be hard and other humans can be really hard.  When you are tired of dealing with other humans, including yourself, call on God.  He is the one who made us so I think He may understand us best.  Praise the Lord!!!

Friday, July 9, 2021

Early Morning

 I have never been a morning person.  Today I awoke early.  I have been waking up earlier than I had in most of my life.  I had heard that morning people are different and I wanted to see what all of the hoopla is about.  Maybe I was awoken by a yappy little dog having a nightmare and I didn't really fall back to sleep (This is the more honest reason).  Whatever the case, I find myself awake early.  

There is a stillness and a quiet to the house and there is peace.  I have all of my thoughts before me.  These are busy days for me.  I have a moment now to consider things.  I have a moment now to reflect upon how sweetly the morning light peeks through my bedroom window.  I will tell you my thoughts.  They are, "Thank You, Lord."  

This is the moment of potential and possibility.  This is the moment when we hope how our day will turn out.  Most of the time we are on automatic already behind on time so we don't have a moment.  We spend the day trying to make up time.  Time to catch up on things.  Time to do what we must.  Time to prepare for tomorrow so that we can have a little more time, for our families, for our friends, for our community, for ourselves.  Our prayers are rushed as we ask and thank and praise all in one breath.  This morning, I can just sit and be a daughter and be thankful and praise my blessed Father in heaven, the Creator of all things that I have this moment.  When I think of the upcoming day it is with a lens of grace.  Maybe there is something to this waking up early after all!

I can't promise that this will happen again.  I don't know if tomorrow I will awake and find myself a moment again.  But today I consider Lamentations 3:22-23: 

"The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning, great is Your faithfulness."  

Such a hopeful and wonderful reminder coming from a book in the Bible called Lamentations!!  Maybe I need to wake up early to greet God's new love and mercies that come each day.  Maybe... but for right now, Praise the Lord!

Tuesday, July 6, 2021

The Little Things

 There are a hundred little things that swirl around me at any given time.  I find that I am making lists in different places and hoping I don't forget it all.  I wanted changes.  I signed up for them the way that someone signs up for all of the bids in a silent auction hoping for one or two, but not all of them... not all at the same time.  Here's the thing.  I knew about it.  I was hoping that things would be scattered, and some of it has been, but for the most part, a lot of it is just happening.  

What am I changing?  I'm changing my name.  I'm changing my health.  I'm changing my domicile around to accommodate our newest member and his cat.  I'm changing my claim to the knowledge I have obtained.  These bigger changes are leading to the smaller things.  The little things that make up our lives.

I am not trying to be too busy not to pray.  I am not trying to be too busy not to be in the word.  I'm busy doing a lot of little things but I am hoping to be found in prayer and in meditation of the Word of God.  I'm not competent enough to do it all by myself.  I need my God with me all the time.  When I read, "pray without ceasing"  I'm thankful and not overloaded.  I can't even imagine checking in with a friend or relative the way I check in with God, constantly.  There's like an on-going monologue of prayer to Him on most of these days.  How do you deal with your anxiety?  Prayer.  Jesus.  What are some of your coping skills?  Prayer. Jesus.  Reading the Word because the Bible will tell me what to do.  Friends, walk with me in my life.  I definitely don't have it all together but I am thankful to serve a God that does.  How hard is it to say, "I will trust in God." and actually do it?  So hard, Friends, but worth it.  

I am going to miss things.  I am going to miss the boat completely on some things.  If I have done it with you, forgive me.  I'm not perfect but God is and I'm so grateful for that.  Praise the Lord!

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

The Whirlwind

 I sit here contemplating a list of things to do.  I have to start writing everything down.  The key is to do some of it.  Cross off some of the stuff off of the list so that tomorrow, when I look at the list again, I have less to do.  There are moments when I think I wake up overwhelmed.  You can tell a little bit by the way that I close my eyes and attempt to go back to sleep.  I am keeping things at bay.  I mean, let's not read into anything too deeply.  I am trying to finish school.  I'm streamlining my life to accommodate my sweet husband.  I'm trying to find my purpose... that's all.

Yes, it's a little bit like a whirlwind.  At first, it all gets me nervous.  There is an up and down motion of a whirlwind.  But then I remember this ride that was the Whirlwind.  It was one that went around and around and it also had ups and downs.  The centrifugal force would have me crushing the one on the end.  Or I would be the one that would be crushed.  What was my disposition on this ride?  Amazingly enough, I would be laughing.  It would by hysterical.  Eventually, it would get worse and I would go backwards.  I scream with the thrill of it all.  The ride would end and I would get in line to experience it all again.  

Every now and again, there would be a person that was not ecstatic.  They would be panicked and screaming.  They would complain about the pressure of crushing or being crushed.  It was clear that they were not enjoying the ride.  What do you tell that person?  Would you tell them to sit back and relax, the ride doesn't last long?  It doesn't... I mean, the ride doesn't last long.

So... here is what I am doing.  I am continuing to trust God.  Sometimes it doesn't look good.  There are moments of apprehension.  I look out the window at the beautiful sunny day.  I am thankful to God for my family.  I am thankful to God for my Love.  I am thankful to God.  I drag all of my concerns and worries to God.  I know that He hears me. I feel heard.  The joy of the Lord is my strength.  Nehemiah, the prophet told this to the children of Israel.  They had been disconnected from God.  They got together and heard the Word of the Lord read all day.  They listened.  They were convicted.  They remembered... But God.  Nehemiah tells them:

"Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared.  This day is holy to our Lord.  Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength."  

It's almost like we have some super power.  "Elle, aren't you worried?"  Elle sitting down eating chicken wings and a flavored seltzer.  Elle says, "No.  God's got this."  I really wish I could be like this.  This is going to be my prayer.  Lord, help me trust you not just in the storm but in the whirlwind.  I pray to laugh and know that You have it all in Your capable hands.  Let me remember that Your joy is my strength.  I'm smiling now.  The day is still beautiful.  I am thankful.  I may even laugh.  Praise the Lord!!


Monday, June 14, 2021

The Newly Married

 It's super early right now as I write.  In a moment, I will wake up my children to get them ready for camp.  My husband?  (It's weird to say it but I like it.)  My husband is at his apartment and he needs to get his brother to airport.  I have started writing down everything that I have to do in order to get it all right.  There is lots to be done.  It has begun the busyness of becoming a missus.

I know there are questions.  How was the wedding?  Are you going away?  Where will we all live?  I'll answer some of these type of questions.  For the most part, I'm in prayer.  I don't have all of the answers.  Things are still in flux.  For those of you who are planners, I know that you are biting your fingers for me.  I am almost tempted to bite my fingers too.  Makes me glad that I put those acrylic nails on.  I probably wouldn't have any nails left.  

The wedding was beautiful.  It was planned in a matter of months at the tail end of this pandemic.  I think we did pretty good.  Geoff would say that there needed to be a little more food.  I will say that there could have been more dancing.  I couldn't dance as much as I really wanted to.  The dress, and the bustle, and the girdle and the layers of fabric had a steam room going underneath my underneath.  I promise you that when I stepped out of the dress, there was steam.  For this reason, I didn't try and dance more than you know I could have.  But at least I got to dance a little with people that love me and whom I love.  

We are going away.  It does not look like we planned.  Sometimes, life doesn't have an itinerary.  I mean, the Israelites didn't really have a list detailing what to do when God gave the okay to leave Egypt.  They painted their doors with blood and waited.  I feel like I'm a lot like those Israelites.  They walked on dry land in the middle of the sea and got to the other side unscathed.  As soon as they were over, the water came down on the Egyptians pursuing them.  God delivered them out of Egypt, just like they prayed for.  Not too long later, they are complaining that they should have stayed slaves.  They didn't get the itinerary and felt that they needed one.  They needed assurances.  Faith is not about assurances, is it?  Either you are going to trust or not going to trust.  

What's going to happen next?  Where will you live?  What's going to happen with this and that?  I didn't get an itinerary and I'm trying not to make a run back to Egypt, whatever that looks like in my life.  I want to be one of the ones who trusts in God.  So I'm in prayer.  I'm attempting to read Paul Tripp and I'm doing the best I can with what I have.  It's definitely not enough (she writes while smiling).  I am okay with this.  I know that God meets me where I am.  

Some of you might not have gotten the itinerary.  It's okay.  Pray and try to trust that God has the wheel.  It's hard work this trusting business.  What if something goes wrong?  Like what?  Like the bottom falls out and you lose something and go through unsurmountable pain?  Talking from experience.  God stays with you in the fire.  God will not leave you and He brings His peace with Him.  It's almost like... crossing a sea, in the middle with enemies at my heels and making it through the other side.  Now excuse me while I follow Jesus (my cloud by day and my pillar of fire by night).  In the meantime, loud enough to be heard, PRAISE THE LORD!!!

Friday, June 11, 2021

The Night Before the Wedding

 It's been a crazy month so far.  Honestly, it's been a crazy season.  There are still things that need to be done before tomorrow but I'm sitting here praying thankful prayers tonight.  I'm clueless.  I don't really know how to go about things.  My friends have been understanding.  I mean... I planned this thing during a pandemic in a couple of months.  I'm amazed at the love and the support that I have felt this year.  I didn't know this was coming.  I couldn't predict this.  I can only thank God.  I pray that I can lose the mess that I currently am to allow Him to work.  I would like Him to work on and through my life.  That's why I write these blogs.  I think it's okay to be a mess.  I think it's okay to not have all of the answers.  I think it's okay to be older.  It's okay to be not so pretty and not so personable.  I think it's okay to be not so thin or wonderful.  It's okay because God takes my minimal oks and He adds to my account.  

I recently said that I could afford to be kind.  It's true.  I can.  Because He forgave me and died on my behalf so that I don't have to worry about the burden of sin.  I'm learning that I can AFFORD to forgive too.  This forgiveness thing,  I don't know how it works but it is a healing thing not to put out more hate and anger out into the world.  

I love my fiance.  I am happy to love him and I pray that I can love him well.  I can go to God, who is love to find my source of more love.  More love to pour into my marriage.  More love too pour into my children... Just more love.  Not even my pale, poor love but God's love, the real kind of love, the good stuff.  

I know I write about God a lot.  I love Him.  I owe Him everything.  God allowed me a whole relationship.  And then, my sweet husband went home.  There was pain but I was not alone.  I was never alone.  I was being looked after and loved.  Even then, I was blessed beyond all measure.  I was a widow.  I was that sad word.  

Did I find Geoff or did he find me?  I don't know.  He smiles at me and the world becomes a beautiful color of wonderful.  He belongs to us and we belong to him.  I think that God had something to do with it.  

The day before my wedding, I'm sitting here thankful.  I posted the live stream link.  I think it will be okay.  I'm excited.  Be in prayer for us.  Sing all of the wedding songs tonight and be happy for me, please.  I was lost but now I'm found.  I was blind but now I see.  Praise the Lord!

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

He is

 I am caught up in a current.  I'm realizing a few things about my life.  I'm a mess.  For a minute before I wrote that statement, I was slightly overwhelmed.  I have Lauren Daigle on.  It seems like she is singing right to me, personally.  It's almost like she is the voice of God reassuring me.  Can God play Marco Polo?  

I bit off a lot this year.  I know I did.  I was led to believe that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.  I tried not to make decisions based on fear.  Kicking and screaming with tears pouring down my face, I am learning to trust in God.   I am learning to trust in God with anger and curse words (I can have quite the potty mouth).  I am learning to trust God through the times when I don't think I can navigate the rocky terrain.  I am trusting God through the old dusty floors of my house that haven't seen a mop in at least a week.  I'm an angry messy Christian.  Surely, God wouldn't want one of me, right?  

I can't do anything right.  Not on my own, I can't.  Instead of Murphy's Law, I like to call it Miller's Law.  I am a needy individual.  I need... everything.  I'm definitely not enough.  I turn to God.  "God, I don't think I am enough!!!"  God tells me, "You don't need to be.  I am."  Isn't that His name?  "I am."  He tells me.  "God, I am not strong.  I am not wealthy. I am not good.  I am not so many things."  "I am."   Alleluia is literally Praise Yahweh or Praise I AM.  It's His name.  When we are not, He is. 

So, for this reason, I have to pray.  For this reason, I am thankful today.  For this reason and for this season, I am looking up to God to be Who He is.  I am reading and believing in his Word.  I am in a transition.  I am making a jump.  I suspect that there is an enemy who wants nothing more than for me to fail, for me to fall.  I want to start crying and make myself into a ball and cry.  "I can't!" He says, "I can."  So I stand.  I look at all the things I am afraid of: failure, abandonment, criticism, success, judgment, and more than I can write.  Romans 14:8 says, "If we live, we live for the LORD; and if we die, we die for the LORD.  So whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord."  With this in mind, I will jump.  Praise the Lord!!! 

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

The Widow Laughs

I just read an article on Burn Out in the New Yorker.  I am not as burned out as I thought I was.  In fact, I am hopeful.  I am discovering that I am just tired.  It's true that it is bordering on exhaustion but I think what would be best for me is getting a little bit of rest.  

I am marinating on the past four years.  I would say that the season began at the beginning of 2017.  This is when Santi's lymphedema started becoming more swollen.  He started moving less.  I became afraid.  I try to be one that confronts my fears.  This was one that I barely looked in the eye.  Looking back I suppose there were signs.  His death came as a surprise in 2018.

This year was a year of grief and pain.  Yesterday was Santi's birthday.  I was sad and maudlin yesterday, drunk off of tiredness and food.  The scars still ache when it rains.  In 2018, I was just trying to get by each day.  It was a year of survival.  It was God and my people who got me though.  Thank you.

In the summer, I tried dating and I documented here as my therapy. I was trying to sweep away what was.  It was rough.  I am thankful of that time and the things I learned from the people that I met.  It was still not an easy year.  I questioned myself and found myself in other instances.

2020 is the year that is marked by a pandemic.  It was the year that I met and fell in love with Geoff.  It was still not so easy but it was easier because of him.  It is all God's timing.  So many things on my list and now they are being addressed.  I still believe it is His timing and His sovereignty. I stand where I am because of Him.  Alleluia.

I am planning a small wedding.  I apologize if you didn't get an invitation.  I know there are some that I should invite but it would be for me not for the benefit of us.  More people stress us out and I don't have it in me to be too stressed out.  I'm sorry.  I'm planning a small wedding in less than a month and there needs to be a lot done.  If you plan on coming, don't expect a lot.  I don't really know what I am doing and I am having a hard time not being exhausted enough to fix things.  It won't be perfect but I'm marrying my love.  Does it matter?   

I'm leaving my job of 10 years. I don't know what I will be doing.  I'm looking at options that may or may not work out for me.  I'm excited.  I had an interview yesterday and the sweet man vetting me asked, "Are you willing to work more than 40 hours and on weekends?"  LOL!!! No, I'm not.  There is a shortage of what I do.  I am in demand.  I don't know if I want to teach.  I may...  I want to take a minute to see what else is out here that I can do.  In the meantime, I'm trusting in God to lead me.  The trust part is the hard part but I'll tell you something... If He could be with me and get me through the last four years, He could do anything.  As if there was any doubt.  (She laughs out loud.  The widow laughs.)

Pray and trust in God.  Praise the Lord!!!

Wednesday, May 12, 2021

Dress-Wearing Mama

 After you go through a significant transition, you begin to question who you are.  Your identity changes because you are no longer who you were before, you have changed.  I tend to think about Gandalf from the Lord of the Rings trilogy.  My friend, Gandalf went through something and came out as Gandalf the White instead of Gandalf the Grey.  Gandalf the Grey was as his name suggested, not exactly motivated or pure.  Gandalf the White had more purpose, I would say.  Either way, Gandalf changed and it was evident in his appearance.  His hair changed and his clothes changed.  Why?  Because he had changed.

I have been writing now for a while.  I felt the need to write right away after the death of my late husband.  One of the things that I was contemplating was my new identity as a widow and a single mother.  I find that now my identity continues to change as I prepare to get married again.  It's weird to say my second wedding or my second marriage.  This is why I continue to write and use this platform as therapy.  I also use it to remind me of God and the greater purpose of my life.  

So, today I was walking and I have decided something.  I like dresses.  I am a dress wearing person.  When I look at clothes, I tend to look at dresses.  This is significant.  Dresses don't always befit a person.  So, I am affirming to myself that I am a person that wears dresses.  I am making a decision about myself.  You see, this means that I have tried other means of clothing.  This means that I can evaluate my closet on some of the other clothes that I have not decided on.  This means that I can determine which types of dresses I prefer and the clothing that I love.  Believe it or not, the last couple of years, I had not been able to do this.  Some of you are thinking, "Duh, Elle!!!"  But some of you, who have had busy lives and who have not had the time or the know how to think about it, need to determine your identity. 

It goes to say that my identity is in Christ.  This is another thing all together.  But because I have decided that I will allow my identity to be dictated by God, that I have time to think about the other little tangible stuff that makes me up.  For a while, I would say that my clothing style was "Clearance" because that was what I could afford.  Now I'm happy to say that it is "Clearance Dresses." You see how I am becoming more specific?  

Know who you are is important.  Asking yourself questions can be equally telling.  Every now and again you reach a question that you have never thought about before and it rocks the paradigms of your world.  Who are you?  And what are the things that represent who you are?  Well, now I have Jesus, hot messes and dresses.  Do they rhyme???  Let me find out.  So I'm a Jesus loving, wearing dresses, hot messes, mama.  Praise the Lord!

Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Toxicity and Raising Standards

On social media, I have seen posts on staying away from toxic people.  The other day, a woman was advising other women to have high standards for themselves in terms of men that they are looking to date.  I don't think I agree with any of it.  I want to look at it almost as if it were a Covid situation...  If you have a vulnerable immune system, take care of yourself.  Focus on what you need to focus on.  Use precautions and stay away from people.  Wear a mask.  Clean up your home from potential germs that can contaminate you.  Healthy vaccinated people can have more mobility.  What if you have a vulnerable spiritual life?  What if you need to take care of your emotional state?  Maybe you are an immature Christian or not strong in the faith?  Let's take a deeper look.

I believe that God has made up to worship Him.  We, as humans, have the opportunity to pursue a special relationship with God.  We are made to worship, and we will worship something.  I have seen people worship their children.  I have seen people worship wine.  I have seen people worship themselves.  I have seen people worship their spouses.  They are expecting the thing that they worship to fulfill them.  God says: 

"Those who pay regard to vain idols forsake their hope of steadfast love."  Jonah 2: 8

And don't read Isaiah 44:9-20!!!

"All who fashion idols are nothing, and the things they delight in do not profit. Their witnesses neither see nor know, that they may be put to shame. Who fashions a god or casts an idol that is profitable for nothing? Behold, all his companions shall be put to shame, and the craftsmen are only human. Let them all assemble, let them stand forth. They shall be terrified; they shall be put to shame together. The ironsmith takes a cutting tool and works it over the coals. He fashions it with hammers and works it with his strong arm. He becomes hungry, and his strength fails; he drinks no water and is faint. The carpenter stretches a line; he marks it out with a pencil. He shapes it with planes and marks it with a compass. He shapes it into the figure of a man, with the beauty of a man, to dwell in a house. ..."

People upset me.  I think I can be honest here.  They cut me off on the highway.  They seek for themselves first.  They yell their pain from their bruised and fragile egos.  They feel so much.  I feel a lot too.  I know enough not to go to anybody else but God with my wheelbarrow of concerns, every second of every day.  I'm one of those needy Christians.  

I mean... even today I was mad coming in.  I don't know what to do with my anger!!!  I want to yell and snap at people.  I took a moment and prayed to God.  Somehow, like the way that God does,  I was able to calm down a little.  Why was I mad?  I'm not so much mad but crabby.  I ate poorly yesterday.  I didn't feed my body with good things that it needs.  So... I'm probably dehydrated from the Doritos I ate (Doritos are the devil).  And then I was exposed to someone's negative thinking.  People develop their own defense mechanisms.  I bring it all to God and allow the Holy Spirit to infiltrate in the dark recesses of my mind and the dark spiritual places I am exposed to.  Praise God!

I may have a vulnerable immune system but I think I can practice Romans 12 on people.  That's the prescription, Friends.  I'm working on it.  It's not easy.  Do not repay evil with evil but repay evil with good.  I know!!!  "Man, Elle!!  That's a lot to take on.  How are you going to do it?"  I'm not planning on doing anything.  I'm planning on letting God work through me.  I'm working on taking myself out of this equation so that only God shows.  That will be the hard part.

"So... what about raising your standards for men?  What would you tell your daughter?"  I think I want to tell Janet the same thing that Jesus tells us, "Seek first the kingdom of God."  I will tell her what my favorite Psalm (Psalm 37 if you were wondering) speaks right to me: Trust in God and everything else will follow.  If she does this, then God will lead her to the life that is meant for her.  I would tell my son the same thing.  And when things go south, when both of my children are faced with the valley of the shadow of death, then they will fear no evil for God goes with them (Psalm 23).  Because the relationship that needs to be strong is not with any humans.  Humans will be human.  The relationship that will save them is their relationship with God.  Yes, my daughter should marry a God-fearing man who is filled with the spirit of God, if God leads her to this. I pray the same thing for my son. May God lead my children to be strong Christians who are spiritually strong.  I know people who have married Christian men and women and it didn't work out the way that they wanted. I want my kids to understand that their happiness is not found in another person, their happiness is found in God.  Why?  Because when I was faced with the valley of shadow of death, it was God who was with me and shone His light on me to lead me out of that valley.  If He could do this for me, He will do it for them.  He will do it for you.  

I will lower my standards for friends in my life. I will speak to them about the goodness of God to those who do not believe. I will pray for them.  When I need to rest, I will rest but trust in God.  God is bigger than our anything we have going on. Trust in God, Friends.  Praise the Lord!!!

Thursday, May 6, 2021

I Am Not Enough

It has been a hard day.  It is turning out to be a hard week.  I am leaving a job that I have worked at for 10 years.  I am emotional about my leaving.  I don't have anything else planned.  I just know that I have got to leave.  

There is more.  I started a degree and after several years, I may not get to finish it.  I pray that I do but I may not.  I will be a failure.  I want to finish it more than anything but I need more time and I need to not be tired.  Why am I tired?  I'm tired because of my job and my life.  I need to be awake to finish this degree.  I don't know what this block is that stresses me and I am not able to finish.  

It is now that I am getting married and planning a remodel.  I have tried to collaborate all week with my fianc√© on filling out paperwork.  I am not really prone to panic but Friends, I'm panicking.  My prayer has been Psalm 16 and now Psalm 46.  I find my immediate answer within the first five verses of Psalm 46: 

God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.  Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.  There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells.  God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at the break of day.  

I realize that the Psalm is talking about the river but it feels like a message to me too.  I have been tired and afraid.  My fear is that I am not enough.  Man, that was hard to write.  I am not enough to keep and raise my children.  I am not enough to finish my degree.  I am not enough to be of any use to anyone.  I am afraid of all of this.  I am not enough and I will fail.  I will fall.  

Could I be a river?  Could I be a river like the river whose streams make glad the city of God?  What would make God happy?  I wonder with a wedding pending and a remodel; I wonder with the end of a job and the looming ending of a degree if I can just find time to pray and love God.  What if I would just let God be within me, will I not fall then?  Will God help me at the break of day?  I hope He does.  Maybe that should be my prayer, "God, be within me."

I am not enough.  I will never be enough but I am not alone.  God is with me and He is enough when I am not.  God makes me whole.  Do you need to be made whole, Friends?  Maybe all you need is God within you too.  That's all.  Praise the Lord!

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

The Presence of Orange

On the weekend, Geoff bought a poppy flower, just one.  He left it on my kitchen counter to blossom.  I didn't realize that the petals are crinkled and almost look like paper.   I have watched it as it opens and bloom.  It has a fuzzy stem.  He asked me which color was the one that he should get.  He has a poppy on his arm.  I told him to get the red/orange one.  

The poppy on his arm is Geoff's story to tell, not mine.  But I associate the poppy with him now as his flower.  As I have watched this flower unfold, it has become a beautiful and vibrant shade of orange with yellow at its core.  I look at it and I am amazed at its simple beauty as it sits in a plastic turquoise cup.  There is something telling about it all but I can't put my finger on it.  

Orange is the color I have chosen as a wedding color.  I don't know when it started, this sudden love of orange.  Maybe it was when covid started and Janet and me would go to the park to watch the sunset every evening.  I would sit and watch the light show as the sun lowered down into the horizon to watch the beautiful colors meld.  I was in love with the sunset then.  I was hopeful and sad sometimes but then I would look at that sunset as the pandemic raged and would be comforted.  

Maybe it was earlier than that.  My first wedding to my late husband, our colors were purple and sage.  It was like a plum color mixed with a light green.  I think of grapes when I think of our wedding colors then.  There was so much planning!  I was overwhelmed and I had more than 2 years to plan a wedding.  A month before our nuptials, 9/11 happened.  Whatever I had planned seemed so small then. Regardless, in my white dress I had chosen beautiful roses.  Their base was yellow and the tips were red.  In the middle portion of the petals was the orange.  It was there even then.

Makes me think back in time to when I noticed the color.  It's funny.  I remember as a child that my favorite colors were orange and blue, like the Mets color (Geoff is a Mets fan but this girl is a Yankee).  I liked to color great portions of coloring pages with orange.  I liked mixing together the red and the yellow.  My favorite skirt was an orange.  My favorite American fruit is orange in color... the peach.  Hmmm....  

When Geoff asked me to marry him and I thought about a ceremony, back then I knew that I would have something peachy and maybe gold.  I knew I would have some aspect of orange.  Orange seemed to be there from the very beginning.  I love orange with teal or mint.  I love orange with turquoise.  Geoff took me on a date and bought me a beautiful bright Gerber daisy that was a dark orange, he had picked out a lavender flower to go with it.  It think it was then that I started thinking of orange as our color.

I am overwhelmed as the wedding date comes closer.  It's not that the wedding is coming closer.  I have other things on the many plates I have spinning that need some attention. The end of the school year approaches.  I am busy with being busy and I have a lot to check off on my checkboxes.  This morning I was overwhelmed for a moment.  Truth be told, I still feel a little overwhelmed.  Several Bible verses come to mind.  However, instead of all of that.  I raise my head toward my God.  I hear in my head the refrains of a song that has become my prayer, "Hold On To Me." 

There is an old Knock Knock joke that goes: Knock, Knock.  Who's there? Banana.  Banana Who?  Knock, Knock.  Who's there? Banana.  Banana Who?  Knock, Knock.  Whos' there?  Banana.  Banana Who?  Knock, Knock. Who's there?  Orange.  Orange Who?  Orange you glad that I didn't say Banana?  There is Orange again.  I see that there have been a bunch of bananas in my life and here is Orange disrupting it all with its warmth and vibrancy.  Maybe I should be hopeful.  And orange I'm glad?  Yes, I am.  Praise the Lord!  

Thursday, April 29, 2021

A Caterpillar

I love to find magic in the every day.  My favorite genre is magical realism, excluding any dealings with the occult.  I want to attribute all of the magic found in the world to God.  I know you may think me childish to think this way.  I think of the Shel Silverstein poem, "Magic."  Yes, Friends, all of the magic I have known has not been what people normally think of as magic.  The truth of the matter is that I have not had to make all the magic that I have known myself, but this is an admirable thought.  I borrow the term from Eric Andreen, that deep philosopher, Sovereign-dipity.  Others have chosen to call it Providence, a better word for when God comes around and you just know it.  And sometimes... Magic happens. 

Yesterday I was washing my hair and I look down at what looked like a caterpillar.  I could not deal with that caterpillar.  I couldn't!  I had to get ready and I was already running late.  I left the shower, hoping that it was some lint and went on my merry way.  As I got home I hadn't been home but a minute and I called my son, David to investigate.  I asked him to see if there was a corpse of a caterpillar in the shower.  It had to be dead if it was a caterpillar.  I mean... However did this caterpillar come to be in that shower with me?  Had he been living in my hair?  I hardly ever see caterpillars around where I live.  Where did this little guy come from?  David called from the bathroom that it was, in fact, a caterpillar.  He went to lift up the little corpse and the little guy began to wriggle!!!  "He's alive!!!"  This small thing took a shower with me, spent the day in a shower and still lived.  This is what I think is so magical.  My son, who loves little needy things, almost as much as I do, gently lifted up the caterpillar and found him a home outside among our weeds.  He named him Jeremy.  Immediately I thought of the Pearl Jam song, probably not the meaning of the song but the chorus certainly hit me.  

Today I am thinking of this caterpillar as I write my lists of things to do in my To Do Book.  I go back to check that everything is checked from last week.  I am beginning to feel the effect of my leaving.  There is a niggling feeling about one or two of them, my students. Maybe they are my caterpillars that I am trying to raise up to be butterflies in this world.  Somehow, I feel like I am the caterpillar.  I feel like dear Jeremy who made his way to my shower.   I hope you live, dear caterpillar.  I hope you are able to flex your wings and fly. 

The act of a caterpillar becoming a butterfly is magical to me.  One minute you are little, crawling around in the ground.  The next moment you sleep and when you wake up, a butterfly.  Is it not magic?  Is this not a wonder of God?  Is this not a miracle?  If God can do this for a tiny insect, how much more for you?  How much more for a widow approaching 50?  She's nothing but an old teacher.  I can understand why Jack bought those beans.  You would pay about anything to get what God gives us His children for free.  He gives us life when we are nothing but some dried up bones in a desert.  He gives us green grasses for sand.  He gives us beauty for ashes.  We are but caterpillars and He makes us butterflies.   Praise the Lord!!!

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

It's All God

 I was hungry today.  Right now, I'm sitting here watching The Gilmore Girls- The Later Years.  I don't know what it is called.  It's the one where they are old and there is no Sookie (Well, not in the beginning).  I haven't finished the series and this would be the end.  I started the series out with my daughter and she left me to fall in love with Anime.  Lorelai, the mom is getting married... FINALLY- to Luke.  They are talking about the wedding and out comes the donuts, which brings me back to me being hungry today.

I have a confession.  I did something weird and wonderful today.  I sat in the parking lot of the Sprouts and ate a few tacos.  They came from Jack in the Box.  I was in an air conditioned car munching very happily on cheap, bad tacos that tasted like everything right in the world.  As I sat there in the air conditioned car crunching on these tacos, I marveled pretty deeply on how good God is.  That kind of blissful moment I want to put in a jar and pull it out on crazy days when I need to remember the good in life.  

I bought some Sprouts sushi because the one by me makes it fresh and it isn't on sale on Wednesdays.  I found gluten-free cupcakes with lemon icing which ended up coming with me.  I got in line with a cashier.  I don't like self-check out.  I wait on a line with a cashier.  I feel like she is necessary and keeps her job when I use a cashier.  The woman who was being checked out had a whole cart of food that she was buying.  I didn't begrudge her her cart as I stood there with my few items.  I did note that the cashier was a little on the slow side but I was still very happy from my tacos.  It was when they came to the end of her list and she was shocked at the price. She consulted her phone and then... And then... I watched her as she picked out four things and said she wanted the rest of the order voided.  The cashier started voiding each item one by one.  By this time, the sweet woman in front of me had let me go ahead of her as she had a cart of things.  I wanted to be mad at her.  I really did.  I wanted to record it all and post it on a news site.  She turned to me and said, "I'm so sorry."  She had four items that she had decided to buy from a cartful of food.  It was like half an hour before a manager came over and deleted the whole ticket.  

I ate a gluten-free lemon icing cupcake just a few minutes ago.  I love lemon flavored everything.  Geoff and I went to Lowe's the other day and he asked me if we would have a fruit tree in our backyard.  I said, "Yes, lemon or orange.  I love orange blossoms."  The blooms on the lemon trees were ready.  We sniffed the flowers.  (Lorelai and Luke are talking about their wedding and feeling married already, right now on the show.) I feel so much like Rory just said, "I want to remember it all."  Me too, Rory.  I think about my great God. Who am I that You think of me?  May I always find the core of who I am in You, Lord.  God, bless my family, please.  Bless them all!!!

It's time for bed and I continue to be thankful for Royal Blue pearlescent nail polish.  I am grateful for my job as exhausting as it is.  I am thankful for my children and my home.  I am thankful for what will be.  I am all over the place today.  Lemon pastries that make me think of a lemon tree and home.  Happy Tacos that bring me happiness in a Sprouts parking lot.  Women that don't remember that today is not Wednesday so the sale at Sprouts don't start.  Enjoy your mango, cucumbers and halibut, Lady.  Most of all, thinking of of my Great God and being happy to find love again.  God.  It's all God.  Praise the Lord!!!