Bracelet Beauty

DED2117F-6DF0-433D-A905-12FA4A37EBF0I have a sweet friend that I met in Sunday school, sitting next to me, many years ago and we have been friends since that morning.  While we lived miles apart, we managed to meet several times a year to shop and soon developed our routine of favorite stores, etc.  On my birthday about a year or two ago, we met and she had a gift for me, a beautiful bracelet of friendship.  Soon, she and husband moved further away, in another state.  In that last shopping trip together, I gave her a friendship bracelet.  This move was good for them but we both missed our girl-time together so we decided to meet half way for a few days to shop back in the spring.  What fun it was to get away and enjoy hours talking, laughing, sharing and at times crying.  True, best friends.  In that time together going from shop to shop, we found bracelets and sure enough we bought the same.

Just recently, while she was in town, we met, shopped and there again found ourselves looking at bracelets.  So now we have a new theme to our time together. Bracelets.

It was this last trip that I was telling her about my first bracelet many years ago, that I had forgotten about wearing.  Some things in my past, I wanted to forget.

It was back, almost twenty years, I was dealing with some issues that no wife needs to experience or words to hear 14C97E8C-B4F1-4F96-BEBE-51E23A0968E3from her husband.  I was lost in the emotional turmoil and nobody to turn to due to shock and shame, thinking maybe it was all my fault.  I felt hopeless, ugly, unworthy and whatever negative word you want to throw in this mess I was in and dealing with.

A little girl on our street, about ten years old, would often come to see me when I was out in the yard.  I had boys so I was outside with them or checking on them.  The girl was selling jewelry for her class at school so, of course, I bought one.  I still remember that day, as if it was yesterday.

686BAD4C-585C-492D-ABD5-AE8A4BBFC909It was a stretchy soft-color bracelet and I thought how pretty it was and happy I bought it.  It was when I put it on to go to church one day, I guess I felt good that day.  I put it on, then I realized I felt different.  I felt pretty.  In shock with that feeling, I took it off, as I noticed a difference in me.  I put the bracelet back on and wore it all the time, thereafter.  It helped me to feel pretty when I did not feel pretty at all.  It gave me a sense of hope in myself when I had rather disappeared in life.

I still have the bracelet.  While I do not wear it nowadays, I keep it to always remember where I was then and how it helped me climb through despair.  There were a couple of years where I bought or was given bracelets as gifts so I have quite a few.

In those years, I wore the cheap, school bracelet mostly or another here or there but in time I took the bracelet(s) off as well as my wedding rings; I wore no jewelry at all but my post earrings.  Done.  No need to feel or look pretty.  If I had a good day, I knew it was short-lived.  No wonder I wanted to forget this period in my life.

0615FC93-BAED-4A83-9D80-6EF86150919AIt was just a month or so ago, I bought myself a new watch, I slipped on a bracelet with it and again the feeling came, I felt pretty but also knowing I am worthy to wear this bracelet.  Isn’t it interesting that just a cheap or any other bracelet can change the thoughts and feelings by wearing it?

9B3B740D-C2A7-45B5-8B6B-BDF675A6FE9CLife issues, marriage, relationships, etc., can take all hope from us at times but knowing the One who gives hope is what matters.  I gave up on everyone and even God through those years although knowing deep down, he was there for me. He was all I had but I even doubted Him..

Questioning the Lord of why I had to go through everything295382E6-CCC1-4B9D-8139-F816E2BAD317 that I did.  He knew that I would question Him.  He knew I was and felt hopeless and that I was angry.  He knew where I was and what I was going through.

I said this so often and I still do, as it keeps my faith alive: He knows my name and He knows where I am. 

You are welcome to use that, too!  No matter what you are facing, know that you take one day at a time.  Trust Him!

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I Sense an Attitude

At times I am confused and just shake my head, thinking what just happened. Questioning… you want me to talk and know who I am but then criticized for voicing my opinion.

Yesterday was one of those days. Actually, the last week or two of situations and issues at hand.  As I spoke about some of these things to my counselor, you know sharing the ups and downs, the good and the bad and frustrations in life.  Let it out, vent and feel safe in her office space, which I did and do.cef06755-b109-43fb-a442-78735c6b555c-9723-000001e5f99e7851

When I mentioned a couple of issues I had dealt with of what was recommended but not really necessary, my choice, I expressed that I was not going to do either.  I did not see the need and it is final.  It is okay to do that. Stating that and perhaps the frustration I felt while making my point and sharing with her, it was said by her that she sensed an attitude. I can see that but isn’t that part of all this, too, to work through?

f541fd80-78f5-47d5-befb-ea5b526585ca-9723-000001e5e17727faAn attitude?  Of course, being one that takes things to heart, that stuck with me.  Offended somewhat but also questioning if I was wrong for standing up for myself and in my decisions.  I have a right to speak up for me. While I knew she did not say that to be hurtful but it was her observation.

As a child and teenage years, I was silent.  When I became older, an adult, I felt more alive and was more vocal, which is needed with independence.  My confidence was better and finding who I was in life.  I was me.  A person that was more assured of herself and enjoying the new-found me, having a say and making my own decisions.  In knowing I was a Christian and trusted the Lord, I knew I was somebody also to Him.

While short-lived, not because of my faith in God but in people.  Family was the worst.  It was when I had to take control over my parents and make some decisions in healthcare, deaths, estates, etc., that I was ripped to spreads with words, opinions, lies and their attitudes.  Of course, they were right, I was wrong. Exhausting.  On top of all of that, too, my marriage took a hit.  Afraid to even ask, what else? Trust me, there was more.

During this time, I backed off and lost my desire to e9d01e20-2e08-42b7-ba04-b29bf81f85f4-9723-000001e793098ee9vocalize much at all.  I was done.  I lost myself. Depressed. It was tending to my children, which was my main focus, our home to keep it standing and in repair and then my own health and well-being to stay alive.  There were times, I felt I would be better off dead, as it would have been the easy way out of my misery but I held on for my boys.

Later, I did attempt to care for myself more and while slow steps, I was still moving forward. So now, being in counseling the last five years and growing, healing and basically finding myself once again, I feel and know I still have a voice. Sometimes it is like, I remember her, and it feels so good, as she is still in there.  When my counselor said yesterday, I sense an attitude, I was taken aback.  Am I to speak up for myself or not?  Yes! Yes, I am.  Even though her words made me stop in my tracks, I am right to c7d6611e-4adf-47f5-bf26-fb34573ab333-9723-000001ea7e95059fhave a say and I have a right to say NO. My boundaries.

I am not the same person that walked into my former counselor’s office five years ago, feeling crazy from life and struggling to live.  I am stronger today and I have fought to be here.  It feels pretty awesome, as I am moving forward.

While I want and we each need to speak up for ourselves, we can do that in a bold but pleasant way by not feeling and giving off the sense of we are all that and more.  I did have to question myself on that as I do not want to come off as arrogant.  I am just not going to sit back and not have a voice in what matters to me or for me.  I matter. You matter, too.7193b8ce-7f61-45f3-86ca-78c4b76c648e-9723-000001ebdc1308a9

I know I will discuss just this attitude matter with my counselor next week but writing through it helps, too.  I can do that.

We all have issues we are working through in life, that’s just life. While we may exhibit a bad attitude at times, give yourself grace. Offer forgiveness, as needed, to others or even to yourself.

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Kryptonite

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In all my years, I have felt and have had to be like a Wonder Woman.  With that, a take-charge person, to make sure things get started, get done, figure out and manage or complete whatever it might be.  For the most part, I’m glad for all that, I’m a better person and employee.

Being the youngest in my family though, I also had the responsibility to make some medical decisions with my parents and my brother.  The pressure, doubting myself and my decisions plus the guilt that attacked my mind could knock one down and it did.  Did I make the right decision of not having a procedure done, knowing my Mom was dying?  Did I not act soon enough to get my Dad medical attention, which ended in a feeding tube because of a stroke?  As to my brother, I was able to get his doctor to sign off on his death certificate causing no autopsy, due to his many medical conditions, surmising a heart attack.  Major stuff. Not to forget the financial decisions with estates, putting up with family members not happy with their inheritance.  Apparently, the Lord thought I could handle it all and I did.

Then in my own home, I tend to all the financial decisions and upkeep because my husband does not want to, has no interest and it falls on me.    Pressure has been pushed on all sides, at times.   Thankfully, I am and was able to handle it, and still can hold my own because I am supposed to be Wonder Woman.

Sadly, you can only do that so much for so long until your body, mind and spirit is exhausted and depleted.

1FA2B6EB-E511-4D1F-9EAE-68176BC3EB5DThrough it all, I am still here and in the last five years taking better care of me.  Moving forward.  Just sharing part of my life and I am sure many reading this can identify with it.  Somebody has to do it.

Still, I deal with an area that zaps me. Drained immediately.

We all pretty much have heard of Superman and how Kryptonite takes his energy.  I feel that is exactly what happens.

While my marriage is not the best, it is not the worst, but existence, and right now it works.  Perhaps it is the Aspergers part in him or is it me or both?  I have to retreat to gain energy to be involved in social settings with him and that is just not normal for a marriage.  Being reminded yet again recently, I can be home alone all day enjoying my time, while cleaning, singing, dancing, just feeling a freedom but the moment he enters the door, I fall into a tired state and any motivation to continue is gone.  This is not normal and it throws me for a loop each time.  Zapped of energy.

6CCE1014-1719-4111-98EE-39FE9D01D625I swear the man carries Kryptonite in his pockets and I must be like Superman because all power and energy drains from me.  Why is that?

I do know and I made a choice, especially in the last five years, with the help of a counselor, that I am caring for me nowadays and getting stronger with counseling, taking care of medical issues, exercising, massages, manicures, traveling, being with friends and active in church services and activities.

I have to or he controls my power.

CBD522DE-1D0F-485E-B992-889386200087One day, I will leap tall buildings.

 

Kryptonite “Something or someone who makes you weak, even if you are a very strong person.  I’m a very strong person but you make me weak, you are my Kryptonite.”
by SydneySilver April 23, 2016
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Emotionally Drained
8 Clear Signs and 7 Useful Remedies

The Singing Stops

E4A8B0EB-0790-4BE7-88F1-FC5DC2C6B87BTonight as I am home alone and in my kitchen cleaning as I am getting ready to leave town for the weekend, I sing and there is joy. Joy, not just because I am leaving for a few days but not inhibited or embarrassed. Nobody is here to hear or see me. Typical of my life. I feel freedom when alone.

D3B9CFB2-506A-4139-B618-E2B2065945E5Remembering tonight though, mostly my Mom through my own singing. As a small child, I would hear her sing, whistle or hum as she cleaned and smelling the freshness of our home. I always enjoyed that, as there was peace 29EE2683-4E8C-4D69-9090-14B575152DD3and happiness and it was felt. As a child, I would swing on my old metal swing set in the back, side yard with my neighboring girlfriend and we would sing as loud as possible. Nothing held us back, no embarrassment or care in the world. Happy times.

Crazy enough, not long after, I remember thinking that there is no more singing in our home. Of course, I did not know why not or reasons behind that thought but I knew enough that things changed. It was like a switch turned off the happiness to unhappiness. Children do notice and sense things. They may not understand the dynamics but are aware, I feel.

Just as in my own life and marriage, I am singing tonight because he is not home. Once he walks in the door, I become quiet once again and the doldrums return. Sad.

I know in my own situation, I have been made to feel stupid and ugly or have the eyes look at me with no expression of joy and complete blankness, no joy or delight to spark in return. Perhaps the Aspergers in play or rude behavior in action, I do not know. It happened the other day, in fact, and literally made me cringe. I determined that day, I would not let that pull me down.

Don’t worry, I have been patient and I am but I am also working to get myself healthy enough in many ways. Thank God for my counselors past and present. Most importantly, the Lord knows my name and where I am. In my hope and anticipation, He knows where I am going.

Knowing the singing stopped in my childhood, the same in my children’s lives in our home. I feel so bad about that for them and can get downright sad and feel guilty to allow it to happen but it did. I have no doubt they felt the unhappiness in our home turn off just as I did. I stayed for them and while some say it is best to go ahead and divorce, not in my case, as the outcome would not be what it was. I pushed through and made our home as stable as possible. Having them, pushed me to remain in my right mind although many days I questioned it.

10C5E00A-03B8-4D2E-AFD7-D5D7023BEA10It is my hope that one day they will call me blessed.

My parents are deceased. Tonight as I had all of this on my mind, I would love to talk to Mom and ask her just why her singing stopped. No doubt, my Dad did or said something to cause that divide. Just as my husband did. Probably not the same but enough to break her heart as it did mine. Living as husband and wife and the love stops, you just exist.5A13D819-183F-4F63-84E6-D29E0DE2891B

With this or in any situation, marriage or others, we have a choice of how to handle it all. My parents chose alcohol to deal with life. Sadly, that pushed this young little girl to figure out life for herself. One thing I did learn through that ordeal, is that I did not want alcohol to rule my life or be present in our home. Still, without alcohol, my children had to deal with some matters I am sure on their own, but I was there for them loved them with hugs and all the support I could muster up while struggling within.

So many wives stay in relationships due to financial reasons. My friend and I call this the BOAT (Because Others Are There). Many around you and me, in relationships, are struggling but wear a mask making it all appear good. Sad again.

All I can say is that I/we have to depend upon the Lord. He knows how my marriage issues affected them and that He keep watch on them. Just like He kept watch over me from my parent’s marriage issues.

Thankfully, I am moving forward and becoming healthier in all areas and feel life and joy within that I haven’t for so many years. Happiness replacing unhappiness. I will sing a new song of praise.

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Never Enough

The background was always my place to be, even as a small child.  The observer, the listener and keeper of secrets.

The other night, while attending a women’s church service, what did I do? I went to the far left side, last row, and last seat. That was a normal, typical thing I do and have done. I don’t want to be in the way, bother anyone, just be there and take it all in. Perhaps, too, feeling intimidated, not as good as others present and just downright fear within. I noticed my mannerisms, my breathing which was shallow and sadly a photo was on Facebook with me in the background. In the photo, I was talking to a sweet lady, but you could tell I was having all these feelings and thoughts, uncomfortable.

138E7BB9-01E3-441E-9158-9D267684E0ADWhile now I understand this is typical of one who dealt with childhood emotional neglect, abandonment, shame and feeling unloveable, I understand myself more and am trying to do and think the opposite, although slow as Christmas, I feel at times. I did not stay in the furthest chair, although I did stay on the back row, I moved to the middle and others came around to sit. I noticed my pattern but changed it. Slightly.

To stand, sing, raise my hands in worship, there has always been a hesitation and lack of self-confidence of that I am unworthy to do so, plus learning of shame moreso recently.  My former counselor and my own research the past five years have opened my eyes to a lifelong battle of torment within.

834FBE85-E9B9-42FC-A0FF-56650D179ABAAs a young girl, and I am sure I am not alone although I felt alone, we go through those awkward years. I would never want to repeat those years, ever. Of course, we do not have to worry about that but touching upon areas back then while in counseling, brings it all back. If no teaching, direction or encouragement was given, it becomes overwhelming and the negative thoughts of not good enough, not pretty enough, smart enough and all the other not whatever phrases, get 27A69050-6846-4F56-8662-6DCDAD80B789heaped up and up to where you just exist. Questioning everything and everyone, being observant of it all, way too much at times.

Never knowing or believing I was pretty, smart, etc. When I voiced that I wanted to be a teacher, I was immediately shot down with, ‘If your sister did not go to college, you cannot go.” Those words hit me and I can still remember where I was at the time and how I felt so defeated and it stuck, proving I was not smart enough and not special enough for them to even care about me.  My grades took a nosedive and understandably so through graduation and I made it through, which was a miracle.

Some kids can be downright rude but so can adults, including family.  Words matter. If a child is already struggling, that just fuels the flame for hopelessness. To cope, you search out others that just might believe in you, offer a morsel of love whether verbally or a hug and hope that you will feel special, if just for a bit.  That little bit given and received can hold one in peace in order to cope of the memory or touch felt for days, if not longer.

Life went on and while I did manage to show them that I did have what it took for vocational school at least, I also was in sales and did quite well with both.  In elementary and throughout my school years, I would take a zero for a grade each time because I definitely would not stand in front of others and I did not care about the grade.  So to be in sales was a definite miracle, plus it pushed me forward.

It was not until years later, I was engaged and then married, when I should have seen the red flags but he loved me. Right!?  Somebody loved me. Before marriage and after marriage, time and again, I would become jealous because I would see him ogling another woman right in front of me. Before marriage, talk about an old girlfriend to me. Before marriage, it was sweet of him to go buy me an outfit, which was pretty but not my style, only to find out it was another girl’s style that he looked at and admired a lot. He wanted to date her but was stuck 31377879-EA5F-4DB9-A192-AB59F9A36DD8with me, I felt. Makes one feel really good. The honeymoon, we were fighting at Walt Disney because he was viewing half-naked women as they walked by, in front of his new bride. Now doesn’t that cause a real turn on in bed later. Years and years of this and to say each time to me  when mentioned that it did not happen, caused crazy-making thoughts to be built in my mind.  Or another fact in my face that I will never be enough.

Thank God, I was a Christian and knew to put my faith in the Lord, it is by His Grace I am here.  Thankfully, too, I had counselors at various points through this with my marriage. One counselor, right off the bat, saying to me that I need to get out. Of course, with small children then, I would not do that to them. I am stronger than this battle although I was emotionally losing the war.  Not to mention the spiritual side, doubting God and physical ramifications from it all.

Many years later, at my wits end, I finally went to a counselor that heard me and understood me and felt the anguish within. While she did not come straight out to say leave him, we spoke often of this scenario.  Counseling was mostly to heal me in the broken parts of my life in the years that followed.  Rarely did we discuss the marriage in our discussions after we pinpointed him as having Aspergers, which put some of the puzzle pieces together.  The ogling was just rude and disrespectful and would be to any woman.

B3D04502-1549-4557-923C-C1902C3FF30E

My counseling was to focus on me and healing emotionally, spiritually, mentally and physically. I was about dead walking through my former counselor’s office door and she would attest to that.

It was probably in the third year with her, we hit some major roadblocks but breakthroughs came and I was different. I felt different. This battle has been hell but I am coming through. It was when I was in a small group class with church, actually three classes at a time, each week and they all related one to another, not as planned. That’s God. That was for me! My healing gradually was happening. I left those classes and after dealing with unworthiness all of my life and moreso with my marriage, I truly felt I AM WORTHY come alive within me.  BFD5264B-C658-4FE2-A63A-0676CBAA0035

To feel that worthiness and to know that I am worthy was like gold to me. I believed it, I felt it and I am continuing to grow in this worthiness of being God’s Child.

Someone may look at me wrong, I may think they are thinking negative of me or whatever and it may trigger something within, but I do not let those thoughts stay long in my mind because I am worthy to God.  What they say, think or do is their issue.  I will continue to be kind and care but I know my position.  It feels good, a freedom to be me, to be loved.  I know God loves me.

💕 I AM ENOUGH 💕

I don’t know where you are or your story but you, too, are enough and you are worthy. You are God’s Child.  He loves you.

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Do Over

I want a do over!

     I want a do over!  

          I want a do over!

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Thats my temper tantrum for today. Well, at this moment. They can come an go at anytime although I know how to grin and bear it just as much.  Life.

Life not what I expected.  I always thought that once the empty nest came, focus on the marriage and time together would be fun and enjoyable.

F9934A80-92E0-4643-B3EC-488EA25447B2Some say to leave, others know of that commitment made in a host of family and friends and above all, God.  You know the one, for better, for worse.  Hmmm…

While I have had a roof over my head and food on my table, etc., the Lord truly has provided.  I have great children that are independent and successful.  I have everything I need, right?

1C7F3826-D31B-4674-950E-32CF5D84EB99My life is boredom, only to be recognized and commented on by my counselor that all I do is go to work and go home (church services) and repeat.  How could I disagree with his statement but in my mind think, ‘We’ll thank you very much for that Mr. Counselor.’  Although, I have done a few fun things this year, so I have branched out.  Yay, me!

I want to plan a trip with a girlfriend to shop, talk and laugh for hours to celebrate my big birthday this fall but knowing we might need the money, I hesitate.  Selfishness on my part, I feel.  So I remain with my schedule of work, home and repeat.  It gets old.  Goodness, I am getting old.

Dealing with Aspergers in him, my energy level drains quick when with him or even in the house and I need time to recharge.  I can only take so much.  Small doses.  When too much, my mental and emotional levels drop and then affect my physical life.49C79EA5-8FDE-43D0-B06C-621FCECA9CE1

I have noticed this many times before, although dealing with it for many, many years.  Just today moreso, paying attention to how it affects me.  A few hours yesterday working in our landscape.  It’s our black/white talking (saying the same thing but differently), reminding him of what I just said seconds before (put birdbath here while tapping on spot but puts another place, saying don’t put rock here but does and this happening several times.  Like dealing with a child. Exhausting.  Today, I quietly walk within my own home to not wake him as he is in his tv room downstairs to go through the same or hearing him carry on a conversation with himself about whatever all the while whispering to myself, ‘Do not wake the dead.’  No more.  My cup is empty.  I look forward to going back to work tomorrow. 760F8DBB-5B03-463A-92B1-F9D3D5D1F8CFThen, there is my pattern yet again, work and home.

While I am sad, bored and lonely, I truly am happy and feel blessed.  It could be worse!

AD426E2A-61BD-4B20-AB4A-33426AC28840The Lord knows all about this and I have to put my trust in Him to help me through it.  Compared to years before, I have come through a lot, trust me, and I am getting through it still.  Just disappointing at times, as I want and need more joy and laughter.

Thank God I had enough wisdom and willpower to contact a counselor and go, now almost five years ago.  While she is no longer my counselor but was for four years, I gained so much in all areas of my life.  I still see counselors and plan to get through this life.

B48B6340-8519-45E6-84E4-CE840CED5124This pattern and not knowing of Aspergers when I walked through her door back then was making me crazy.  Had it not been for going for counseling, I do not know where I would be today.  This is a great book.  👉🏻

For now, my temper tantrum is less… until next time.  Thanks for spending it with me. 😉 ML

 

Lock the Damn Door!

30189D04-BCD5-4CB7-9D4F-1C00CCB0582EHow many times do I have to say or write a post-it note so that he will get it? This drives me absolutely insane. Perhaps that is the plan.  Hmm…

We live on a street with apartments and new people move in all the time, some of not so great reputation. While the last few months have been quiet, that was not always the case due to drug dealers, drug busts, fights, etc.  I have the pictures to prove up to ten police cars, fire trucks and ambulances at one time, at various times.  What fear it brings when pulling into our short, dead-end street to see all these emergency vehicles in front of my home and in my driveway, at times, too.

It has been nuts and one weekend, about a year ago, I placed heavy blankets on our front windows so we could move about in our own home. Not a good situation to live in fear within your own home.  Thankfully, that wild, drug-dealing group is gone.

The buildings are in bad shape, which is another reason rent is so cheap that keeps this situation reoccurring time after time.  The buildings cannot last much longer, although I have been saying that for years.  I have hope!  For us to move, we could end up elsewhere with same issues plus I like my house.

C214E6AF-EC51-44CA-B2F1-74F67FD3F799So, my husband goes out to mow and tend to the yard.  He goes out the front door, leaving it unlocked while working in our backyard. Nowadays, you do not leave your house unattended to, such as a garage, front door unlocked, etc.  This is not Mayberry anymore.  Still, today B50A5EDA-FB10-497C-B6CF-96915D61C3F9I just walked in, unlocked door, and he is in back mowing.  Fear hits, more times than others, of what could be or could happen. As many times as we have had this conversation, it is a lack of respect for me and my safety, I feel.

Having someone in my home back many years ago when I lived with my parents and while I was home for lunch, not knowing but gut instinct, it all started to add up days later with things missing.  I remember thinking my parent’s bedroom door was closed more than usual and thought that was odd.  Realizing later, he probably was behind the door.  It brings a violation of our privacy and fear.  My husband knows of this incident and of my concerns.  Still he repeats.

5D9C3255-3689-4DF5-8130-93BB076CF6CCAs you and I both know, drugs will cause people to do whatever.  While I may not have the perfect ten for a body and with my age but thoughts of rape are there, as I am still a woman and I have heard worse incidents of such.  To be hit and knocked out in order to steal, shot or even killed is not uncommon these days.  When I am home alone, I keep my doors locked. Not necessarily out of fear but just common sense.

There is a movie that I enjoy watching called, The Help. Odds are you have seen it, too.  The young girl opens the door and goes into the office for an interview and then when she leaves and the boss screams both times, ‘shut the damn door’ so I think of that scene and hear his voice each time I walk into my unlocked house but thinking or saying, ‘lock the damn door.’  In my frustration, humor is needed.

No matter where we are, whether it be in our homes, out walking or shopping, vacation, in the car, etc., we must pray and trust the Lord to put a hedge of protection around us.

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