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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I Can See Clearly Now

I can see clearly now, the rain is gone. How many times have we said those words?  A song most of us grew up with hearing and singing, which you probably just did or will do now. You can thank me later. Actually, it is a happy, uplifting song. Sense of hope.  49B852EC-72F0-4EA2-898E-5B3BFB01A6D3

Yesterday morning as I walked with another walking buddy of mine on a longer route than normal due to it being the weekend and more time, we walked and talked and talked. This man is a mid-seventy year old, uses a cane to stabilize himself but can out walk me. He is always full of stories and interesting tidbits about travels, etc. You know the type, one of those that can tell a story and then another. Time has to be in your favor to enjoy though and that day was one of them for me.

We have walked together over the past few months at times and getting to know one another. His wife joins us at times, which is nice but today she was exhausted from traveling so it was just us.  The weather was perfect with a cloudy overcast and soft breeze. Perfect.

We know a lot of the same people and sometimes shocked how much in common we have with the age difference. I love it when the Lord allows certain people to cross our paths. While it may be for just a season, there is purpose and a friendship built.

In our miles of walking and talking, life seemed to pop up in discussion.  Each of us have a story.  He had made a comment about how counselors make us see things more clearly, which struck a cord in me. So true. With that, we discussed many topics and life issues leading to counseling. Sometimes in life, we get lost while 9EF3D05E-F682-4076-BBF5-B225B8F49ABCtending to the cares of everyone around us, our own feelings and thoughts evaporate and soon zap us leading us to ask that one question… Who am I?

E28F3FB6-EC2F-435F-851C-2EAAD04255D6Even this week, being with a dear friend, she said it, too, as her plate has been filled for months, if not years caring for others and putting herself on the back burner. It happens. Hopefully, some normalcy will come, I pray, as she settles back into her home and daily life.

Maybe you yourself feel lost. Those moments thinking or even being asked what do you like to do or even that one question.  Who are you?   In a sullen look and voice, you may think or even say, or maybe ignoring the question and perhaps reply, I do not know who I am.  I do not know what I like, want, where to go, to do, and so on. You just exist from one day to the next and soon days, months and years pass.

I have been there.  Exist.  Barely breathing.  Lost.  Afraid.  Stuck.  Wearing a mask with a smile.  Frozen in time.  Sad.  No voice.

Reading the lyrics later of this song when I got home, because now the song is stuck in my head, I found myself smiling and happy inside.  In my life, I felt the rain; I saw the dark clouds for years; I felt the pain, as my heart was broken and unloved. Too many obstacles were in my way, feeling overwhelmed.  The bad feelings of hate, anger and unforgiveness were clinging to me, while I was right to have, but I needed to release and let go.

There is more to life.  If you just make minor changes and build to regain your equilibrium back, it is a start.  Do not let the lie of it is of no use to pull you back in despair.  Keep moving forward.  Give yourself grace.  Rest.

The most important, is God.  Allow Him to be in this with you.  He is, but He is a gentleman.  He wants YOU to call upon Him.  He will direct your paths.  He will give you joy.  He does and will love you, as you are His child. Trust Him.

536CF7B6-D31E-4899-8895-5AAB8B9390F1Today, I can truly say and feel that the heavy rain is gone, dark clouds have disappeared, I see the rainbow and the blue skies are opening up to me like never before.  Obstacles are being removed.  While I still have many areas to tend to and always will because life will never be without storms, but I could sing, I can see clearly now.  There is hope for me (for you).

731BA8E7-B163-4F0F-98BD-9F659712431D3CF4D688-9502-452E-B6AD-256A95658348

I’ve Let You Down

2882C63E-A26B-4CFB-B27E-C73C99843A33I have sat on the loveseat in my counselor’s office week after week, year after year trying to understand life as an older, adult woman and realizing my childhood held a lot of the keys to the confusion felt.

Why has it taken me this long to ‘get it’ as my years are getting shorter and feel I have missed out on so much in life due to situations somewhat out of my control.  The rush against time to fix areas and acknowledgement plus receive healing seems to be at one moment delightful and then the other overwhelming.

1169C66D-A717-4B98-B4F9-3CFBD0B16D96As we discussed my own childhood issues so many times, I felt the burden and so often while reading about emotional neglect and abandonment, the burden that I let my own children down.  I have failed them.  How do I make that right now from their childhood?  They are both grown adults.  They seem well adjusted, confident but are they really?  Will they ever express to me where I failed?  Could I handle it, if so?  I want to ask them but I am fearful to know, too.  Will they even know until they also might be sitting on a counselor’s loveseat trying to understand life as I am and realize the damage done.  The cycle of life as we all fail in one area or another or more.

E9B6D3CF-3780-4DF9-8C2E-B3CBD1A6E754

Not just in my own circle but as I look around at the families nowadays and everyone is on their cellphones.  In due time, that will affect the children, soon to be adults.  The lack of eye to eye contact and communication is almost gone.

BD34D33B-6F71-4B2E-9CB2-EB531553027EIf only…. how many times we all say that.  If only I could do some things over, I would still fail my children. So when the burden or guilt overrides my parenting, I know that I must remember I did the best that I could with what I knew. Today, and always, they know I love them.  My time left on this earth and our time together, I do know that they will have a more happy, healthier mother before them.

I have let you down in many ways but I will always lift you up and I hope that is enough, my child.  Mom ❤️

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Did I Hear You Right?

D2300766-D046-4D4D-9397-E890752A4E3AThis morning as I was walking with my walking buddy, we discussed how when we did not have two nickels to rub together, as they say, when young and starting out on our own, that someone helped us.  Today, we have not forgotten the person or their kindness, not to mention the expense.  Paying forward now is what we do and hopefully the trend continues.

It was nice to think of that this morning and remember the rough periods but also that my Christian walk and my prayer life developed in those times.

I was in my early twenties and living at home with my FADC724E-F7D5-49B9-91F7-D3380F3717C8parents still, which was fine then.  Our telephone rang, I answered and it was a lady we know stating her rental house was available.  Great, I’ll tell my bother and sister-in-law was my thought.  As I walked up to the finished attic that served as my living room and bedroom, I kept hearing, ‘It’s for you.’  Each time, it was if I could turn around and see somebody standing and saying ‘It’s for you.’  A little spooky.  Those words would not leave.

1777A712-8114-4C68-A8EC-8558DC3B8D68Okay, fine! I called the lady back and inquired about the small, shotgun-type house and, of course, her husband had the time to show it to me right then. So, I went to look at it.  I picked it apart in my mind of what it needed, did not have and built my case to show the Lord it was not for me. No doubt, He knew I would try to prove Him wrong.

The biggest things were that there were no appliances (stove, refrigerator, washer/dryer).  Nope, not for me.  The old, ugly disgusting carpet was beyond my comprehension of dealing with. Nope, nasty.

It was that same week, my brother and sister-in-law moved to a new place, not this house.  I come home and the garage door was open and my mother, a clean freak, was cleaning a stove and refrigerator to store away until needed. Of course, my mouth dropped and as told her what had just happened.  It’s for me.

Everything lined up that I needed to start housekeeping.991C4B29-1B9C-460C-AF91-8E0B99285539

As for the carpet, my aging neighbor had new carpet put in that week, too, and had the old brought down to our garage for me.  Not knowing what was happening but because years before, I told her I like it.  The garage filled up with everything I needed with no effort, but cleaning and moving.

This little house was mine to rent for a small amount and the owners paid for paint, new locks, etc., and another room of carpet because they knew it was for me and I would take care of it.  It’s for me!  I loved that little house and lived there seven years.  I grew up spiritually in that house and learned to trust the Lord and my faith flourished.

Listen for His Voice.  Trust the Lord and He will do exceedingly, abundantly all things. Remember what He has done for you.  What an Awesome God we have.

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Let Me Finish, Please!

C9F8A983-5BB4-4A18-9CB0-85F985DD35C0So much to say and to interject but I keep getting interrupted. Seriously! What gives? Am I not important? Are my comments not of importance? Sometimes I feel invisible and not seen or heard.867C00A7-A039-4719-AA6C-7B147C1EA052

This past weekend, I noticed this more than usual. It happens often but it got on my last nerve although I held it together and soon just shook my head, as it happened yet again. No wonder I am a quiet person and often felt insignificant in life.

I was with my sister last weekend, who lives about four hours away, so we were together all weekend. I love those weekends until she shuts me down in our conversations. I know our time is limited but geez Louise. Talking and laughing, we do a lot and to get it all in or out of our system seemed to be the case. We are both older so time is definitely limited. Faye is sixteen years older than I am but when we are together, we can shop, go and do, just not as long.

Still, I would start talking and then she would, over and over, interrupt me. I give up. I am patient but on the inside at times I found myself screaming, 336D8D78-1CC9-483C-95FB-81A271F5B2B4listen to me as I am not finished talking. I just move on and forget my information or story, who cares, is my attitude.  Maybe I am boring but still she doesn’t know me truly but this has been my life. Nobody really knows me. Perhaps this is why I like to write.

Anyway, I found it interesting and somewhat funny that when I met with my present counselor on the following Tuesday, he did the same, interrupted me. Good gravy!  It’s my counseling session, let me talk as I am not finished talking and telling whatever I was mentioning to him. That session was odd but usually they flow well. Was it me or was it him?

While I see another counselor also on Thursday, which is a whole other story that I can write about, of seeing two counselors. In that session, I did talk a lot and I probably had her head swimming although she said she was following me. We both laughed. I told her that my former counselor would be so proud of me for talking so much, as I was always quiet for the most part, listening and grasping her words and wisdom and rightfully so. I grew in those four years of counseling sessions, as I needed direction and healing in many areas and it was not always easy. Not that I am not growing now because I am but it is different with both counselors, and I am okay with that, as it is a transitional period for me, I feel. It’s all good, actually pretty nice. They are both awesome and I feel blessed to have them help me move forward, it is like accelerated counseling.

Thank God I am not the same person I was five years ago.

So if you made it this far in my writing of this blog, thank you. You let me finish. lol  I do enjoy laughter and hope this made you smile.  F95EC62A-46DB-443A-BF27-1452BB4CD7E7

Hope you have a wonderful day.

8E5CE35F-578B-4D3F-986C-8000175D2679Most importantly…                                                                    He knows my voice and He knows your voice.

 

 

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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