Sunday, January 27, 2013

Poetry Sunday ~ Soul Release

Soul Release

The cavity of the earth is speaking
evil leaking
always seeking
a crevice to call home.
The cabinet of the man it finds
confusing minds
tightly binds
a haven now to roam.

The conscious mind now open wide
deep inside
it tries to hide
scanning for some peace.
Choices to be made within
you begin
release the sin.
The fear and doubt will cease.

Breaking through the solid walls
whispering calls
darkness falls
awakened from the sleeping.
Bringing forth from the dust.
gaining trust
gone is lust
The soul no longer weeping.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Quotation Saturday


“Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. This is not a way of life at all in any true sense. Under the clouds of war, it is humanity hanging on a cross of iron.”
― Dwight D. Eisenhower

“I want to put silencers on all guns. That way war will be nothing more than a whisper in the future. And all those who are caught whispering will be shot.”
― Jarod Kintz

“In every country where independence has taken the place of liberty, the first desire of a manly heart is to possess a weapon which at once renders him capable of defence or attack, and, by rendering its owner fearsome, makes him feared.”
― Alexandre Dumas

I used to think it was possible for an artist to alter the inner life of the culture. Now bomb-makers and gunmen have taken that territory.”
― Don DeLillo, Mao II

I keep hearing this [expletive] thing that guns don't kill people, but people kill people. If that's the case, why do we give people guns when they go to war? Why not just send the people?”
― Ozzy Osbourne


An eye for an eye will only make the whole world blind.”
― Mahatma Gandhi

I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent.”
― Mahatma Gandhi

“We often think of peace as the absence of war, that if powerful countries would reduce their weapon arsenals, we could have peace. But if we look deeply into the weapons, we see our own minds- our own prejudices, fears and ignorance. Even if we transport all the bombs to the moon, the roots of war and the roots of bombs are still there, in our hearts and minds, and sooner or later we will make new bombs. To work for peace is to uproot war from ourselves and from the hearts of men and women. To prepare for war, to give millions of men and women the opportunity to practice killing day and night in their hearts, is to plant millions of seeds of violence, anger, frustration, and fear that will be passed on for generations to come. ”
― Thich Nhat Hanh, Living Buddha, Living Christ

“See, people with power understand exactly one thing: violence.”
― Noam Chomsky


“Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”
― Martin Luther King Jr.

Dogs are our link to paradise. They don't know evil or jealousy or discontent. To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring--it was peace.”
― Milan Kundera

The day the power of love overrules the love of power, the world will know peace.”
― Mahatma Gandhi

“Until he extends the circle of his compassion to all living things, man will not himself find peace.”
― Albert Schweitzer

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

No Doubt

"Squelch the doubt with a challenge, you'll be surprised how high you climb." ~Joni

I sometimes come off as harsh, and if yesterdays post offended anyone, please accept my apologies. Anyone that knows me, knows I’m honest, to a fault. I tell it like it is and I tell the truth. It may not be YOUR truth but it is all I know to be TRUTH. And yes, the truth hurts some of the time.

A lot of times as I’m writing I have no specific person in mind, but often I’m told, “That spoke to ME!” I’m glad that in my writing, you can see yourself there. Honestly, this is more about me, finding my place, but if it speaks to you, well then, all the better.

We as writers live in self-doubt. We always doubt our work, our sincerity, our façade. What? You don’t have a façade? Come on now, be honest with yourself and you’ll feel better. A façade is like a mask. You wake in the morning, slide your foot into your slippers and shuffle off to make coffee, making plans in your head of what needs to be done for the day.

You put your face on as you listen to the computer hum to life. “I’m feeling good about this today.” You say to yourself, “I’m going to write.” Then it happens, the façade slips over your face, you head somewhere you have no intention of writing and spend your day, wallowing in self-absorption for hours on end and then wonder, “Hey, where did the time go?”

No writing was accomplished and that was truly your intention when you slid in the chair in the morning, but by now it is afternoon, and you have so much more of life to take care of, like washing clothes, cleaning, the mundane chores. Then when it is time to slide into bed, there it hits you, the self- doubt. “This just isn’t for me” you say, “I’m no good.” Blah blah blah.

To get over this hurdle of self- doubt, you need to prioritize your time! Sometimes we have every intention of coming in and writing but we’re sidetracked, not because we found something more interesting but because we’re really trying to subdue our intent. We intend to write, but we’re not forced to do it, so we don’t.

Make writing a priority. To do this, open word document instead of the Internet. I, a lot of the time, get lost in my email and reading today’s Top Stories, then I need to share what I’ve read and then it’s gone, the precious moments of the morning in which I choose to write.

Note to self:

1. Prioritize – If you are really serious about being a writer, you must make it a precedent and force yourself to ignore emails, facebook, Top News.

2. Mantra – Adopt a mantra that you’ll repeat over and over again. “I’m going to write!” or “I can do it, I know I can.”

3. Set goals – This is important too as you don’t want to start off like the Hare in the Turtle and the Hare race. We all know what happens there don’t we? “I’ll start off with 500 words a day, and raise it when I’m comfortable.”

4. DON’T GET DISCOURAGED – This is easier said than done. Sometimes we see we’re not getting anywhere, so we give up. If you hit this block in the road, it is important to find an avenue you’re comfortable with. Find a site that offers prompts, copy many of them down, and get off the internet to WRITE!

5. Turn off the voices – You know we all have them, that’s where self-doubt rings in our ears. If they become too insistent, play music. It sometimes distracts you from the voices, puts you in a zone to write.

6. Determination – Be determined in your writing. Determined to accomplish a great feat. Determined to alter the negative voices into positive inspiration that will feed you on your journey.

Now get writing. Stare at the blank page as if it were a conquerable mountain that you dare to climb. Dare yourself to go there and write as if it is a challenge that you’re going to tackle head on. Our voices don’t like challenges, because that is where self-doubt is born.

I can’t encourage you every single day to write your heart out. I can’t hold your hand and walk you through this but I can offer you a positive, uplifting voice, that you’ll never hear, only read. It is now up to you to go forward with NO DOUBT.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Self Doubt

“Just by going to Church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than standing in the garage makes you a car.”
Joyce Meyer and others
Like the contagious flu going around, I hear self -doubt is going around too. It can be quite contagious if you don’t have a mask of protection on. Some people don’t feel they need a mask, but it is helpful in a germ-ridden world of self-doubt and non-believers.

I have lived with self- doubt most of my life. It’s a form of low self-esteem, which carried me for twenty years of a bad marriage. I was always closed off from the world, didn’t write (no computer) but you know what? That didn’t stop me from writing and healing myself.

I began meditating as a way to center my thoughts. Don’t get me wrong here, it does not go against my religious convictions, instead it walks WITH my religious faith.

Pss. 1: 2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

I can find may references to meditation so it isn’t some new age ritual. It’s been around for some time. I use meditation to get me focused on God and more important things like, ME! It is okay to focus on you, because that is where you’ll find the most healing transition in your life.

I grew up in a family of self-doubters and huggers of low self-esteem. We were not rooted in God, we were rooted in alcohol and abuse. It is all I knew. It was up to ME to change, ME, with a little (no, a lot) of help from God.

I waited on the Lord and twenty years later, drastic change came my way. What? Twenty years? Yes, I waited twenty years. God doesn’t give us a set date and time, so when I hear people say they waited a year and got nothing, I say, “A year? Really?”

I realize people don’t have twenty years to wait and your time may be less than mine. I was deep, deep in depression, the FEAR of failure and nonacceptance, that I ignored opportunities to grow. Being surrounded with the negative people didn’t help matters any. It wasn’t until I had a God-slap moment, that things took on a life of its own.

I stopped looking everywhere else for my healing, looked within and saw myself cradled in an all powerful love hug from God himself. I no longer looked outward, in say horoscopes, the extra terrestrial life that I suspected was out there, I had to look within and stayed focused on one thing, God. Yes it takes persistent practice, nail-biting downfalls, uplifting moments and guess what, PATIENCE!

I had read once (okay many times) that satan is an all too consuming power that will have you looking outward at these false things, so that you can’t focus on God. Made sense to me.

Maybe it was from the false belief, that God helps those, who help themselves. I’m sorry to disagree, but God helps the HELPLESS, the HOPELESS. God helps us all! Sure he’ll be your guide as you struggle to help yourself, but really, when you’re in a darkened pit, you do all you CAN to help yourself, and you just want to be freed from the pit, like Daniel in the Lion’s Den.

Ten years ago, God took me out of the pit and assured me He would be along on the journey. I left my home in Baltimore, ventured into the grand state of Texas, and never looked back at the life I left behind. I made it out of the pit of dysfunction and negativity, crawled on my hands and knees in a merciful fashion and was met with adversity and struggles, but now I realized, it was ME, not some strapped up prisoner afraid of everything.

My life changed. I got my license for the first time, was encouraged to do things on my own, like shopping for food! (I told you I was a prisoner) and slowly but surely layers of low self-esteem peeled away from me, like a banana yielding a delicious fruit! I was now a precious fruit in my own mind. Finally I shed self-doubt, and left it lying on the ground for someone to slip and fall on, because I wasn’t going back!

Sure I have doubts sometimes, but know, the more focused I am on God and my purpose, not facebook, twitter, Myspace or Pinterest, the more and more layers of doubt peel away. The more I don’t focus on what can be done today, like cleaning (all idle or idol distractions) or television, I woman up and do rightful things in the MOMENT, like WRITE!

Prayerful meditation will guide you gently in the here and now. Not in the failures or let downs, in the HERE and NOW! Once focused on the moment, you’ll see, you've accomplished something and wonder, “How’d I do that?”

To add to the opening quote: “Just because you believe in Christ, doesn’t make you a Christian, no more than believing in a horrorscope makes it the truth of your day.”  Joni Zipp

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Poetry Sunday ~ A Wrinkle in Time

A Wrinkle in Time
Within my words lie hidden
the scars of a woman worn.
Hands are wrinkled with the time
aged body is pierced by a thorn.

Spying those who target
one cause after another
The mark of hatred spewing
no humble love for brother.

A single star all on her own
in an island of false light.
Shining among the lowliest
yet hidden from plain sight.

Not ever mingling with the dark;
a diamond lights up the sky.
Sparkling, twinkling in the night
no man has asked her why.

Reflections in the galaxy pool
so few are here like me.
The scars of a woman worn
a wrinkle in time set free.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Quotation Saturday


“The only journey is the one within.”
~ Rainer Maria Rilke

“Not I, nor anyone else can travel that road for you.
You must travel it by yourself.
It is not far. It is within reach.
Perhaps you have been on it since you were born, and did not know.
Perhaps it is everywhere - on water and land.”
~ Walt Whitman, Leaves of Grass

“Not all those who wander are lost.”
~ J.R.R. Tolkien

“It's funny how, in this journey of life, even though we may begin at different times and places, our paths cross with others so that we may share our love, compassion, observations, and hope. This is a design of God that I appreciate and cherish.”
~ Steve Maraboli, Life, the Truth, and Being Free

“It has been said, 'time heals all wounds.' I do not agree. The wounds remain. In time, the mind, protecting its sanity, covers them with scar tissue and the pain lessens. But it is never gone.”
~ Rose Kennedy

“Pain is a pesky part of being human, I've learned it feels like a stab wound to the heart, something I wish we could all do without, in our lives here. Pain is a sudden hurt that can't be escaped. But then I have also learned that because of pain, I can feel the beauty, tenderness, and freedom of healing. Pain feels like a fast stab wound to the heart. But then healing feels like the wind against your face when you are spreading your wings and flying through the air! We may not have wings growing out of our backs, but healing is the closest thing that will give us that wind against our faces.”
~ C. JoyBell C.

“Poetry heals the wounds inflicted by reason.”
~ Novalis

“As my sufferings mounted I soon realized that there were two ways in which I could respond to my situation -- either to react with bitterness or seek to transform the suffering into a creative force. I decided to follow the latter course.”
~ Martin Luther King Jr.

“Meditation is an essential travel partner on your journey of personal transformation. Meditation connects you with your soul,and this connection gives you access to your intuition, your heartfelt desires, your integrity, and the inspiration to create a life you love.”
~ Sarah McLean

“Sorrow prepares you for joy. It violently sweeps everything out of your house, so that new joy can find space to enter. It shakes the yellow leaves from the bough of your heart, so that fresh, green leaves can grow in their place. It pulls up the rotten roots, so that new roots hidden beneath have room to grow. Whatever sorrow shakes from your heart, far better things will take their place.”
~ Rumi

“Scared and sacred are spelled with the same letters. Awful proceeds from the same root word as awesome. Terrify and terrific. Every negative experience holds the seed of transformation.”
~ Alan Cohen

“When you fight yourself to discover the real you, there is only one winner.”
~ Stephen Richards

Monday, January 14, 2013

A Writer? You?

A sticky thorny subject...
So many of you say you’re a writer. What do you do about it? Well you can’t just say the words, spill a few onto an empty page and then call yourself a writer. To be a writer is to take action to be a writer.

1. You must study – This is good either in a college or at an online course where you can surround yourself with like-minded people who share your interests in becoming a writer.

2. Become a writer – To become a writer you must write. You must love conjuring tales in your head then write them down. Write a poem or two and get a feel for the ACT of writing. One thing writers don’t do, is NOT write.

3. Know grammar – I see a lot of writers write excellent stories but have no clue on grammar and punctuation. You need to understand the English language very well if that is going to be the language of your target audience.

4. Pick a genre – You can’t just write a story and have no clear idea of what it is you’re writing. Sometimes picking a genre can segue you right into a story idea. You need to know what and whom you are writing for.

5. Do your homework – Know what is out there waiting for you as in submissions, markets, publishers, agents etc.

This is a short list but a tight list to get you started on your journey. I’ve seen many a writer get started on this journey only to be hindered or discouraged along the way for whatever reason: life, circumstance, negative people, time etc. etc.

1. You must make time every day to write even if it’s a short story, a poem or a chapter in your novel. Me, I blog to keep my muse active, sometimes I write but don’t blog it (too personal) but I still write as much as I can.

2. Put it out there – A lot of times this is where we get the recognition we’re seeking in our writing.

3. Connect – Shut out facebook and Twitter for the day, and only focus on connecting with writers in your group, library group, or whatever group you choose. Stay connected to writers!

4. Write – This one is tough if you don’t feel like writing. Find a prompt generator that randomly selects ideas for you; run with it and write!

5. Be yourself – Trying to be more than you are will slowly put you behind. Be yourself in your writing and it will all come together for you.

These are just some minor tips for the beginner. To one who is already an author? You should know all these facts with your eyes closed. These tips are helpful to the wanna-be writer also, it might be the kick in the rear that you’ve been seeking.

So what are you waiting for? Get out there and write!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Poetry Sunday ~ I Am Not Alone

 Is. 60: 19 The sun shall be no more thy light by day; neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee: but the LORD shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory.

I Am Not Alone
As I sit in the midst of life
I ponder comings and goings.
Mixed and mingled are no friends
for surely they have no showings.

My life is spent in solitude
my days are filled from within.
I long to have a friend in life
but where am I to begin?

Lonely days wash over me
like a warm soft summers rain
I’m forever alone in my thoughts
often driven insane.

I stumble and I sometimes fall,
I trip sometimes as they all laugh.
No one knows the pain I endure,
the misery for time and a half.

Look at me as I stand so strong,
all that I have overcome
See the light shine forth from me
as my work is not yet done.

With the Lord as my shepherd
on this path I’m never alone
Friends may come and they may go
but never forget the light I’ve shone.

Pss. 27: 1 The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the LORD is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Quotation Saturday


“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.”
~ Winston S. Churchill

“For myself I am an optimist - it does not seem to be much use to be anything else.”
~ Winston S. Churchill

“Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Howard Zinn
“TO BE HOPEFUL in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness.
What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places—and there are so many—where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction.
And if we do act, in however small a way, we don’t have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory.”
~ Howard Zinn

“Even the darkest night will end and the sun will rise.”
~ Victor Hugo, Les Misérables

“The world is indeed full of peril and in it there are many dark places.
But still there is much that is fair. And though in all lands, love is now
mingled with grief, it still grows, perhaps, the greater.”
~ J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings

Anne Frank
“I don't think of all the misery, but of the beauty that still remains.”
~ Anne Frank, The Diary of a Young Girl

“to love life, to love it even
when you have no stomach for it
and everything you've held dear
crumbles like burnt paper in your hands,
your throat filled with the silt of it.
When grief sits with you, its tropical heat
thickening the air, heavy as water
more fit for gills than lungs;
when grief weights you like your own flesh
only more of it, an obesity of grief,
you think, How can a body withstand this?
Then you hold life like a face
between your palms, a plain face,
no charming smile, no violet eyes,
and you say, yes, I will take you
I will love you, again.”
~ Ellen Bass

“A gift consists not in what is done or given, but in the intention of the giver or doer.”
~ Lucius Annaeus Seneca

“How would your life be different if…You pretended those around you were deaf to your words? Let today be the day…You let your actions speak and communicate your feelings and intentions.”
~ Steve Maraboli

“The wise do not buy into other people’s perceptions of who they are and what they are capable of. Instead, they bypass a person’s public persona and see who they are in their highest expression. When you see actions taken with integrity instead of words only, you will then know a soul’s worth.”
~ Shannon L. Alder

“The word God can mean whatever you believe it to mean, for me it is the conscious stream of life from which we all come, and to which we can stay connected throughout our lives as a source of peace, wisdom, love, support, knowing, inspiration, vitality, security, balance, and inner strength.
I think that awareness is paramount, because in awareness we gain understanding, which then enables us to regain our feeling of empowerment.
We need to feel empowered to make our choices consciously, about how to deal with changes in life, rather than reacting in fear (which tends to make us blind and weak).
If we are aware, we can be realistic yet positive, and we can properly focus our intentions.
Awareness can be quite sensual (which can add to your sense of feeling empowered). Think about how your body moves as you live your life, how amazing it is; think about nature, observe the intricate beautiful details of natural things, and of things we create, and breathe deeply to soak it all in.. Focus on the taste of food, the feel of textures in cloth, the feel of you partner's hand in yours; smell the sea breeze, listen to the wind in the trees, witness the colours of the leaves, the children playing; and be thankful for this life we are experiencing - this life we can all help to keep wonderful. Feel the wonder of being alive flood into you anytime you want, by taking a deep breath and letting the experience of these things fill you, even just by remembering.
We all have that same stream of life within us, so you are a part of everything. Each one of us has the power to make a difference to everything.
Breathe in that vital connection to the life source and sensual beauty everywhere. Feel loved and strong.”
~ Jay Woodman

“Know that God is the source of your breath and and your best intentions will shine forth and give hope to the world.”
~ Joni Zipp

Sunday, January 06, 2013

Poetry Sunday ~ Bough Breaks

Ezek. 15:2 Son of man, What is the vine tree more than any tree, or than a branch which is among the trees of the forest?

Bough Breaks
*  *  *
Snowdrifts pile on the tree,
a morning of beauty for eye to see.
Branches bow in prayer to Him
whiteness clings to every limb.

Boughs moan with the slightest breeze,
broken down in the slightest sneeze.
A whispering wind the twig it grieves,
breaking the sprig that has no leaves.

Lonely and cold the cows they roam
in the open field they call home.
No shelter from the bended wings,
I hear them calling, the morning sings.

The broken branch I see it bleed,
giving earth its one last seed.
Hear me Lord, my earthly cries,
fill my heart with joyous skies.

For all that’s broken, now must mend.
my heart, my soul made to bend.
For only you gives all that’s real,
The earth and I will slowly heal.

Saturday, January 05, 2013

Quotation Saturday


“Let me live, love and say it well in good sentences.”
~ Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

“I write to give myself strength. I write to be the characters that I am not. I write to explore all the things I'm afraid of. ”
~ Joss Whedon

 “If you want to really hurt you parents, and you don't have the nerve to be gay, the least you can do is go into the arts. I'm not kidding. The arts are not a way to make a living. They are a very human way of making life more bearable. Practicing an art, no matter how well or badly, is a way to make your soul grow, for heaven's sake. Sing in the shower. Dance to the radio. Tell stories. Write a poem to a friend, even a lousy poem. Do it as well as you possible can. You will get an enormous reward. You will have created something.”
~ Kurt Vonnegut

“If you do not breathe through writing, if you do not cry out in writing, or sing in writing, then don't write, because our culture has no use for it.”
~ Anaïs Nin

“The reason that fiction is more interesting than any other form of literature, to those who really like to study people, is that in fiction the author can really tell the truth without humiliating himself.”
~ Eleanor Roosevelt


“You have to write the book that wants to be written. And if the book will be too difficult for grown-ups, then you write it for children.”
~ Madeleine L'Engle

“There is no friend as loyal as a book.”
~ Ernest Hemingway

“In a good bookroom you feel in some mysterious way that you are absorbing the wisdom contained in all the books through your skin, without even opening them.”
~ Mark Twain

“There are two motives for reading a book; one, that you enjoy it; the other, that you can boast about it.”
~ Bertrand Russell


“A painter should begin every canvas with a wash of black, because all things in nature are dark except where exposed by the light.”
~ Leonardo da Vinci

“You must have chaos within you to give birth to a dancing star.”
~ Friedrich Nietzsche

“I am an excitable person who only understands life lyrically, musically, in whom feelings are much stronger as reason. I am so thirsty for the marvelous that only the marvelous has power over me. Anything I can not transform into something marvelous, I let go. Reality doesn't impress me. I only believe in intoxication, in ecstasy, and when ordinary life shackles me, I escape, one way or another. No more walls.”
~ Anaïs Nin

“It is good to love many things, for therein lies the true strength, and whosoever loves much performs much, and can accomplish much, and what is done in love is well done.”
~ Vincent van Gogh

“Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.”
~ Pablo Picasso

“Writer’s are artists with a pen, coloring your world with words.”
~Joni Zipp

Tuesday, January 01, 2013

My Year in Review

Matt. 6:8 Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.
 January – It began, knowing full well I had to find a dentist, I had the money to cover the FULL bill, and was helped immensely by friends, with love and monetarily, in getting vitamins and herbs to aid with my deteriorating body. Thank you friends!
Steven, after being blind for three years, had his one eye restored in October, via a cornea transplant, and my body was not acting right by November. It was as if God was saying to me, “Now it’s your turn.” I’m okay with that.

February – The dentist appointment arrived, but it was only to go over the much- needed work I needed to have done. I think this is when an eye infection hit Steven, and many trips to Omaha were adding more pressure on my back pain rendering me practically unable to walk.

March and April – whizzed by in a flash. Trips to Omaha (they’re 6 hour drives at the least.) Trips to the dentist and Easter were fast approaching. I had a birthday squeezed in there somewhere. It’s a little foggy. (must be old age creeping in)

May- June – Found us in the garden growing pumpkins and tending flowers that were starting to grow. I found myself with many back issues haunting me and more dental visits were creeping along, slowly stealing my sanity. May was also the year my niece graduated so once again, another family function to attend.
Keep in mind, I love his family very much, miss my family, which I haven’t seen in six years, and surely was not feeling like a social butterfly. I wanted to crawl in my shell and just be left alone there. It was not to be. I embraced each function, continued going to Church, and my days were like ships out at sea, sometimes calm, cool and relaxing, while others were raging storms.

July – A very strange month for me. This is the month I felt a darkness crawling into the house like a thick fog. It hovered over the house mid-month so I sought the only refuge I knew, my church family. The one minister we visited with took things I said and turned it into a ‘me’ issue. Not realizing that evil is a sorely shunned issue. It hung like a wet blanket over my days, trying to smother me and I turned to what I know best, prayer and meditation. The Light is a much better trustworthy companion when fighting the dark. Yes I’m weird and strange, but I know there is only one way to fight a darkly lit room, and that is by turning on the LIGHT!

August – Another very hot month and having not a drop of rain was depressing. Farmers were hurting, flowers were struggling, pumpkins were growing, and Steven was getting antsy behind the keyboard and wanting to renew his license. He had gotten glasses, and was now ready to take the next step, getting his license restored; taken away when he went blind, his sight now restored meant a license to drive once again.
He took the test and failed the first time, the second time, but the third time, he passed. With a forty-mile driving range restriction, he was now a functional man once again.
My back pain was still there like a throbbing sore thumb, but I plowed ahead in Joni fashion and took each day as it came.

September – Ah September, the month I found my writing again, forged ahead, forgiving old hurts, and reconnecting with old friends I thought were gone out of my life. Restrictions were placed on the class I took, but I didn’t let it shape my renewal of writing. I was not going to allow the same people, who attacked me a year earlier, to dry up my love of writing once again and the six-week course went forward, I accomplished my goal and was writing once again.
During this time, Steven was job-hunting effortlessly. He would take anything that got him out of the house and made to feel like a part of society once again.
WalMart accepted him and he was happily in the work force once again!

October- November – With sore legs and back Steven worked his 30-hour workweek and the hours in the chill were settling into him. He was/is happy. A shopoholics dream; a job at WalMart! lol
Me, my pain soared me through these last months of the year. I was happy if he was happy and that is all that matters.
Not being a lover of family, WalMart insist its workers work on National Holidays. My Thanksgiving was spent at home, with Adam and I embracing the day and making it a day of Christmas decorating to surprise Steven after a long hard day at work.
Sure everyone told me of their many off day Thanksgiving celebrations, and working on T-day, but this was MY very first T-day without a Turkey day celebration.

December – Well this month was not without its turmoil. In Joni-fashion, it was full of drama. The month of November ended with an eye infection for Steven, but this time it was his bad eye. We really didn’t think anything could happen in that eye but Dec. proved to be a trying and challenging month for us both. The infection was too severe for treatment and we were told the eye had to be removed. A lot of confusion with all of that, I can tell you that much. But four trips to Omaha in two weeks, one week of missed work (thank you WalMart for understanding), and a lot of emotions were running wild. My back responded with rendering me unable to really lift my right leg, leaving me crippled and rendered me almost incapable of shuffling across the floor, dragging my leg behind. All my shopping had to be done online and I missed the stores for the holidays (and who says there isn’t a God?) lol I’m the opposite of Steven in that matter, I hate shopping, hate, hate, hate it!
Steven was back to work after his operation and week off, and the holiday was spent at his brother’s house. Steven had to work Christmas eve, and 8 in the morning the day after Christmas, but he did it.
Me, I’m still wobbly and fighting tooth and nail to be able to walk normal again.
Allow me to have a bragging moment. Adam has been GREAT through all of this. I don’t know about you, but how many boys do you know that would do the vacuuming, and dishes and dusting and stuff, when they knew their mother couldn’t? Mine did, and more! Shoveling snow, putting groceries away, taking care of things I couldn’t! I can honestly say, I’m a pretty proud mom.

You might read this and think, “Wow, that wasn’t a good year.” Or you might say, “Mine was worse than THAT!” But can you say, “I’ve had a year of blessings layered throughout my bad year?” Well I can. Sure I could see this as not a ‘good’ year per se, but know, there have been too many God given blessings for me to say it was a bad year.

In a year where I needed more money than I had, all was provided for. No matter what my need for any given month, God saw to it that my needs were met. He may have used YOU, or YOU, or any number of people to fulfill the needs in my life, but know, my year was a blessing filled year, and not one day has gone by that I haven’t noticed God’s presence in my life.

While all around me people’s lives were torn apart, storms took lives, weather took your crops, insane men were driven mad and took lives; my life has been full and richly rewarded. I’m a living testament to Christ, and without Him in my life and my focus on Him and not me me me, left me spiritually full, richly blessed, and another great year to be alive.

Whomever it is you believe in, just know, YOU are blessed to be alive in these times.

God bless you all!