Saturday, December 12, 2015

Messy But Good

 This time of year there's a lot of anxiety over expectations. Yours, mine, and numerous others. Perfect place settings and greeting cards peer at me through the messy places in my life and I have to remind myself that my journey is different. 

Recently I've been encouraged by a number of hearts who also deal with different life situations. Though our journeys are as diverse and varied as our challenges and joys, we all have places where life is not what we expected. There is a comfort in commonality; we remember we are not alone. That so much of our emotional response to difficult circumstances is strikingly normal- even when our lives are not.

I relate to feeling judged when people (strangers or not) criticize when they can't begin to know the depths of heartaches, needs, or diagnoses. 

I want to get to the place where people's opinions don't matter so much to me. I'd settle for getting to the place where their judgements don't shake me so. Sometimes I have to talk myself down, pray through--striving to remember that no matter how I may disappoint the expectations of others, I am not a disappointment to God. Not ever. No matter what. He does not sit aloft flinging judgements at my broken or imperfect places. He accepts where I do things differently... in fact, he made me this way, and celebrates my individuality.

I wish more people understood that there is One who is always and only a kind and generous judge-much more so than many of his people. No expectations, simply acceptance and unconditional love.

I know my heart, and I know my flaws, and somehow the two mingle together to create not just who I am, but who I'm becoming. God sees the promise, even when I am mired in mess. My life is not a picture perfect painting, a Norman Rockwell scene, or a Thomas Kinkade portrait of light. Real life isn't, really. A life that is real is more like the disarray and chaos of the painter's studio. Blobs and blurs and tools scattered all around. A veritable riot of colors, broken and mending places mingled together.

There is a necessary blending in every journey towards greater wellness. An often painful smudging, a pressing, cutting, churning force that is beyond the capacity of my Food Ninja. Sometimes the whole thing spills over, oozing everywhere, chunky parts scattered around. My youngest likes the chunky parts.  He says,"It's what makes it good." 

I want to get to the place where I see the chunky parts not as a necessary evil to be smashed out (or covered up), but a sweet and messily delicious part of something good. Life is a process, not a final destination. There's hope in knowing completion is not a requirement in this lifetime.  Maybe my life is not a portrait of light, but the miracle is that it can be a conduit for it- especially in the messy, imperfect places. 

~Just Me

Saturday, November 14, 2015

I am Thankful

Today, I am thankful for Red Cups.

They are a symbol that I am blessed and live in a country where we are each free to believe and celebrate in the way that is most meaningful to us each-without fear for our lives.

I am thankful for the many, many service members who sacrifice tremendously to defend these freedoms. I am proud to call you friend, and father, and husband, and cousin, and uncle... and Loved.

I am grateful to those who gave all...‪#‎gonebutnotforgotten‬

I am thankful for the family members of military service members that sacrifice much as well-- especially to those who have supported me both while my husband was deployed and in the years of recovery since then. (Love you all bunches!!)

I am grateful for a God who does not control or manipulate, but rather invites- loving Unconditionally, offering Acceptance of each individual's unique make up. ‪#‎squarepegroundhole‬

I am thankful for God's boundless love that crosses divides rather than creating them.

I am grateful that this tenacious Lover of my Soul saved me, not just when I walked an aisle and said a prayer, but day by day, saving me from myself, from my anxiety and perfectionism and my tendency to over-do.

I am thankful that my God values relationship over religion.

I am thankful that I do not have to be perfect, because Jesus already was.

I am thankful for Mint Chocolate chip hot chocolate (and Spring mix with tomatoes and feta to balance it out), and for the freedom to post this without fear for body or life. ‪#‎freedomisntfree‬ ‪#‎grateful‬ ‪#‎thankfulandblessed‬
I am thankful for a hubby who holds down the fort so I can relax and get a treat after a hectic and overwhelming day.

I am thankful for times to re-charge and recover from my many responsibilities and I am thankful for all the love and support from my beautiful friends and family members along this special needs lifestyle!!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

God's Not Dead

Today I watched God's Not Dead. A compelling plot. I loved the courage of the college student, the bravery of the young woman who left a domineering and abusive relationship, the unwavering faith of the missionary, whose joy was simply contagious. Most of all, I loved... well, I'll tell you a bit later.

First, I have to confess that the conclusion was a bit neatly wrapped for my pragmatic sensibilities. Not everything was resolved (I know) and I get why there is resolution in the main plot: it's meant to encourage Christians to stand firm in faith, in the face of ridicule, abuse, even sacrifice. Still, I grapple with the realism quotient.

We humans are problems solvers, so we long for resolution. Yet in my life, this is not a daily reality. All is not finally and perfectly resolved. Life is unpredictable, even chaotic.

If I can't have resolution, will I settle for assurance? Assurance that eventually, somehow everything is going to be alright?  I used to pin my hopes on the idea that all will be resolved if I "stay faithful"- until what I'd built my christian existence on evaporated, and my hopes for a nominal, normal christian life were shattered.

The song says, "Whatcha gonna do when the bottom falls out and you're left with nothing but your fear and your doubt to hold you? Who will hold you?" (Francesca Battistelli, Worth it.)

And here's the thing. The loss and the grief and the fear and the doubt are real, and at times, overwhelming. But we are not left alone in them. We are not left gaping, with hope only for an eternity in heaven. When my tidy christian existence was swiftly and summarily incinerated, do you know what was left? The presence of God. The chaff burned away; all those christian maxims and platitudes held no power, and the choice became: fall into the embrace of the One who is Hope, or hold him at arm's length. I had nothing left to cling to but God, himself.  He was enough... and still is. 

 So what did I love most about this movie, God's Not Dead? The question:  

Where do you find your hope?   

I know where I find mine. I do not have all the answers to all of life's problems. I can't prove to anyone that God exists. What I can share is my experience:
When my dreams were in tatters and I was at the end of myself, I cried out "Jesus help me!" and I found  myself cradled.

No judgement, no expectations, only unconditional acceptance and the purest, deepest Love I had ever known.  God is where I find my hope.

~Just Me

Friday, September 11, 2015

Beauty From Ashes

Most Americans remember exactly where we were when we got the news. An attack- right here in the continental U.S. I was teaching in a private school, and the owner pulled me aside. Hushed tones conveyed a frantic message: Today was like no other day. Due to the attacks in New York and D.C., the Dallas Trade center was shutting down for the day, for the safety of it's employees. Businesses all around stopped mid stride. Some students might be picked up early, and some parents might be considerably delayed.

I didn't see the footage until after work; unspeakable scenes exploding across my TV screen. Footage playing over, and over, and over... that which I could not quite process. People running... fireballs and smoke... one collapse, and another...debris mingled with trembling lives... scores of cars abandoned on bridges while their owners fled.

 How could this happen? Who would do such a thing? We were shocked and yet uncommonly united. Differences melted away, and human beings became people, rather than victims. So many stories of heroism and kindness rose from the midst of chaos. 

Two years ago my son's 9-11 homework assignment guided me towards contemplating 'My Positive' regarding 9-11. In 2012, I shared about our bodies store memories, not just in our minds, and the call to care for ourselves emotionally, as well as physically.

Previously,  I had the opportunity to share my process of coming to terms with this tragedy in Stories of Faith and Courage From the Home Front  by Karen Whiting and Jocelyn Green (the October 24th reading).

Each year an anniversary, each a different phase of processing and recovery. Anniversaries can mean celebration, or gaping loss. Today is an anniversary of the call to pray, to process, to connect with God amidst tragedy. 

Isaiah 61:3 tells us that God provides for those who grieve. The author is specifically referring to the destruction of a precious city; a city that, at the time of the writing, still lay in ruins.

Many Americans have seen images of a war zone... can visualize a city in ruins. Yet it was not simply a city that was affected, both then and now. There was much loss, and hearts are still in process, some needing the touch of our Healer to go deeper still.

The good news? Isaiah 61: 2b- 3 Declares that the spirit of the sovereign Lord "provide(s) for those who grieve"  and will "bestow... a crown of beauty instead of ashes". God grants "joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair."

 No matter what the devastation-- or where-- there is healing. Wellness is a process, and it takes time- but there is always hope. 

For me, the attacks were personal. Not just because my father in law lives in New York, nor because my family's day to day life changed as a result the attacks. Not because I found out I was expecting our youngest son in the wake of 9-11. It's personal because the enemy attacked on our home territory, and it's compelling because so many heroes stood up that day and made a difference.

I like to think that the kindness and unity and love and decency that flowed from heart to heart that day eclipses the evil the enemy intended. And I believe with all my being that God never fails to give beauty for ashes.

~Just Me

Friday, April 24, 2015

Fighting Fear

Why do these things always seem to happen in the middle of the night? 

It's 4 am and my son's insulin pump has stopped working. Bleary eyed, I muscle through drowsiness, giving a shot of insulin to bring down a blood glucose level of almost 600... and wait. I restart the pump;  it kicks back into gear.

 I pray, and wait.  Every hour, on the hour, I check blood glucose levels and pray. Mid morning the pump shuts down again. It won't re-boot. After a conversation with the insulin pump company, a new pump is sent out. I find an older pump, our "back up", and continue to check Blood Glucose levels hourly,  correcting high BG levels via syringe. Late in the afternoon, the "substitute" pump stops working... and I panic.

I have back up "24 hour" insulin on hand, but need the doctor's guidance regarding dosage. I call the endocrinologist's office and wait. And wait. Wait to see if he'll switch over to "shot therapy" til the new pump arrives, or simply be admitted to the ER and hooked up to an IV machine. Nervous energy streams through me and I grasp at housework to burn it off... but it doesn't help. I prepare for the worst-which at this point I believe would be the trip to the ER; a long night spent seeking stability.

Fear is rampant... until I recognize the battle. A trip to the ER is not the worst that could happen. Not my preference, but still not The Worst.

When panic surges, I try to reason with myself, to talk myself into believing all will be OK, but fear cannot be reasoned with. Fear must be fought.
Today I was urged to grab my bible and pray scripture over our situation. Ephesians 1:2 reads May God the Father and the Lord Jesus the Anointed surround you with grace and peace. (The Voice Translation)

Oh, how I need peace in these moments. I pray: God, grant me peace; I ask you to calm my heart, so I will hear your voice speaking Truth. May I turn a deaf ear to the enemy and walk in YOUR plans and purposes for me- even if this includes that which I would not choose.

Words from an old bible, binding worn 'til pages fell out, are secured to my bathroom mirror that truth might wash over me daily, granting comfort and courage when I begin to fall apart:  

Psalm 91:1-5
 1 He who takes refuge in the shelter of the Most High 
 will be safe in the shadow of the Almighty.
He will say to the Eternal, “My shelter, my mighty fortress,
    my God, I place all my trust in You.”
For He will rescue you from the snares set by your enemies...

Like a bird protecting its young, God will cover you with His feathers,
    will protect you under His great wings;
    His faithfulness will form a shield around you, a rock-solid wall to protect you.
(The Voice Translation)

Prayer and God's word form a double edged sword which slices through my fears, as I choose to take refuge. When I recognize anxiety, I raise the battle cry- "Help Me Jesus!"- and find help as I pour out every fear, every concern. 

 It helps me to visualize an altar- a place to lay to rest my anxieties. I release, let go, breathe deep of the safety God's presence provides. Then I picture God joining the battle, fighting off the enemy of my soul, speaking the truth- "This one is Safe in Me."

I seal the alliance with powerful words of hope:  "When I am afraid, I will trust in You."

~Just Me, Secure in the Lover of My Soul

 Psalm 56: 3-4 (The Voice Translation
    When struck by fear,  
I let go, depending securely upon You alone.  
In God—whose word I praise—
    in God I place my trust. I shall not let fear come in!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Complications and Light

Sometimes life is more than complicated- it's staggering. It's tangled and muddled, raveled into a turbulent mire. Caregivers can find themselves deluged as special needs or medical issues bring much more than we can handle.

Beth Moore writes : "I am so glad God did not limit his Holy Writ to high and lofty subjects." No, he gets down and dirty with the best of us, reaching for us in the midst of the messiest, most desperate times. "So that we don't lose heart or hope, He graciously made sure we'd know... abnormal is more normal than normal." (Believing God: Week 4, Day 5) 

Still, there are secret shames that haunt our paths. Pressures and broken places, shards littering the path to greater wellness. Some of the stumbling places are losses or wounds. Others are diagnoses. The ones we don't talk about. The ones that come with a stigma. Diabetes is generally accepted, but what of depression or anxiety? When families flounder through mental health crises it can be isolating. In the throes of grief, there is a fear that keeps us from sharing these secret struggles- sometimes even with those close to us. Whether your loved one is inpatient in a mental health facility, or seeking outpatient care, it seems safer to hide the frightening reality that within an intricate make-up, something microscopic is disjointed... and the ramifications are life altering. 

While it is wise to share the tenderest  burdens with those who've earned our trust it, know this- God does not shy away from our dark and painful places. He does not brand or dishonor. He does not judge the suffering as less than.

When I am overwhelmed and exhausted, worn down under the demands of managing harrowing medical diagnoses, when I feel confined, when fears or uncertainties compress my spirit, I am learning the way to get to a wide open place:  Nestle into Jesus.  In his arms I will find:

 I am not stuck, I am held.

 The hardest journeys are an opportunity for moment by moment intimacy with God. I confess I still need practice running to my Healer, my only True Source. His presence IS the gift amidst suffering. He IS the light, the way through. There is no shame in allowing him free access to "sort out the tangled mess." (Beth Moore, Believing God)

  In a world fraught with labels and subjective chatter, there is One who is Safe and Secure, a light which thrives in murky jumbles. "It cannot and will not be quenched. (John 1:5 The Voice Translation) 

~Just Me... and the One who Is my Source

Saturday, February 14, 2015

For the Disordered Days

It was one of those days. One of those weeks, really. One of those homeschooling, lucky-if-I-get-five-minutes-to-myself-between-doctor-visits kinds of weeks. Busy is an understatement. That evening my youngest had a school event where I'd see friends and neighbors and I was feeling thrown together, and not really keen on the world seeing me in this condition. 

I have one child in public school and am homeschooling the other. Both have some specific medical issues requiring this tactic. This leads to an interesting, and mostly manageable dynamic, but leaves little time for self care-- and a great need for recovery. All week I'd been grabbing lightening quick showers... but it was beyond hair washing day, ya'll. Way beyond. My ultra-fine-straight-as-a-board hair needed more TLC than I had time to give. My focus had been on basic hygiene: soap, deodorant, and toothpaste. (I've postponed more than one hot date with the curlers this month.)

 I'd also had the dreaded mammogram that day. Not your run of the mill, disagreeable, uncomfortable, chilly kind of mammogram. The "we think we see something, but it may just be the picture so come back and have another" kind of mammogram. The smash your delicate tissue and your rib cage to be sure it's just a blip on the screen kind of mammogram. The ice cold, intensely painful, hold your breath and count to 25 kind of mammogram. (Several, actually, from repeated angles.) The tears stinging, Duggar-side -hug-for-two-weeks-after kind of mammogram. 

What little make-up I may have had on before that ordeal was likely sliding down my face, but I had not had the time or the energy to check. There were homeschool e-mails to write, return calls to make to teachers, and a play date between school and The Big Dance.

 Bless my sweet husband, who covered the dreaded (home school) Geometry lesson, allowing me some respite before the public school day ended.  I slipped on resting gear, and worked on recovery for the time remaining until my youngest and his friend arrived from school.  Then, I hit the ground running. I was in charge of recreation and refreshment, dinner and drop off. Not to mention hunting down clean towels, providing hair gel, Axe body spay,  and "on fleek" dance wear.

About a minute before dropping two pre-teen boys off at the middle school, I realized I was wearing jogging pants, a dressy top, and house slippers. Lovely ensemble, but no time to change. Two very excited 13 year olds must be chauffeured to the event of the year.  I threw on a fleece jacket to complete the look, and, feeling rather disheveled, shifted the mini van into gear.

When I arrived at the school, I was relieved to see only Dads outside. After a couple quick (side) hugs to the male halves of the couples we know (so as not to be completely antisocial) I jumped into the mini van, asking our friends to "Tell the girls I'll say hi after."

I was completely OK with the Dads seeing me in this disordered state, but the Moms? I had absolutely no desire to walk through those doors.

Now I have lovely friends...sweet and supportive, wonderful.  Every time my eldest has landed in the hospital I've had beautiful people showing up and helping. Meals arriving while I am frantically loading up medical supplies, Do-you-need-anything calls and texts. Friends cleaning ketone induced throw up off bed sheets while I drive to the ER. Blessed ladies checking in on my husband and taking care my youngest, making sure the other half of my family is OK, while I am ensconced with my eldest in a hospital room.

These are pray-for-me, precious kind of friends. Quality ladies, not mean nasty backstabbers like you sometimes see on TV. But I could not bring myself to walk through those doors looking such a mess.

I had an intense yearning for shampoo, a pedicure, and that hot date with my curlers. Later, I wondered why? Barring the few PTA moms I don't know what was I afraid of?

A lot of these ladies have seen me with no make-up on. A number of them know what I smell like after a 5K. Quite a few have seen me at the water park sporting the the half- made-up, half melted candle look.  So why, on this day, of all days, did I sprint back to my minivan and drive carefully, but compulsively away?

A while back I discovered a blog that resonates:   You Are NOT My Competition

She brings up the point that women can be quick to judge. (Did I mention the crusty smears of dinner preparations on the sleeves of my blouse?) Sometimes the evidence of a difficult or taxing day is worn not just on our clothes, but in our hearts. At these times, I feel less than. Less than together, less than successful, less than perfect. And, let's face it- most women struggle with perfectionism... with the idea of some standard we should live up to.

If I'm keeping it real, there are a lot of days I don't reach that standard. A lot of days where my house is messy, and there are dishes in the sink overnight. I have the urge to say to the less harried perfectionists out there- don't judge.

Whether you understand or not, my life is chaotic. I've been working to clean those dishes in between battling for health and wellness, and what comes first is not the pan that soaked too long, but the son I am trying to keep alive and well. Some days, just having blood sugars in range and sensory needs met is all I can accomplish. Sometimes the victory is that we did NOT make the trek to the hospital today. Sometimes, my own need for recovery trumps the dust bunnies and the crumbs.

I've had to learn to let go. To give grace- to others, and to myself.

Sometimes the hardest part is claiming grace for me. I can justify the actions of others, but I know myself. I know what I am capable of, what I value--and I have high expectations of myself.

Still, sometimes I let myself down. I am not perfect. I'd really like to be. Yet in the middle of the ups and downs and struggles and anxieties, I do the best I can. I'm learning to choose mental wellness over outer appearances. It's a battle, but I am reminded Whose opinion of me matters.

I'm working to Let Go of perfection, and of what others think of me. I'm working to nestle in to the One who offers unconditional acceptance, greasy hair and all.

I'm learning to Let Go of perfectionist expectations and simply take care of myself. Embracing self care does not necessarily mean I have make up on or coiffed hair. Sometimes it means that it's Ok to rest-- and it's ok to not look completely put together. To admit to a nap after a grueling ordeal in a busy season... on the world wide web no less. To be OK if you don't "get it" and to leave you free to your own judgements- without letting it affect my self esteem.

So... will I go in and say hi to my friends next time I am feeling less than up to par? I can't guarantee it, but I sure do hope that in the moment I will remember my worth is not found in how people judge me, but in who God says I am:

Unconditionally loved and accepted, mess and all.

~Just Me

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Control? Or Liberty

One of the great myths of modern day Christianity is that of a controlling God. Whether the day is going badly or the horrendous has happened, the platitude "God is in control" abounds. 

My sweet friend Marilynn, from Ladies By Design gave me food for thought during a discussion about control. Control is self centered manipulation of people and circumstances to reach a desired outcome- sometimes through the compromising of values. Most often control is rooted in fear. God, however, is not fearful. Nor is God self centered.

 God is the embodiment of unselfish, unconditional love. He has no need to "control". 

Consider the flowers in the field, Marilynn urged. God created the seed, set in motion the processes of wind dispersal and weather systems, providing soil and seasons, rain and sun. Yet God does not force the flower to bloom. He invites the seed to die, to germinate, to put down roots into fertile soil, to grow and blossom. So, too with us. 

 This life is unpredictable- uncontrollable, really. Some seasons more than others. Still, in the midst of chaos and difficulty, God does not control. Rather,  He urges me to draw near to Him and allow him to walk the broken road with me- comforting, helping, strengthening, and yes, sometimes carrying. My task?  To respond to the invitation and nestle in.

I am finding that life often gives me much more than I can handle. In the midst of all this, God longs to gather me into moment by moment relationship. The bad days, the heart breaking diagnoses, even the losses, these are opportunities to be cradled by the One who IS love.

It's not about control, or agendas, or even personal growth- though growth is a by product of a life entwined with Love. We were created for relationship- and anything less leaves me incomplete. Wherever I am, whether life is going the way I would have chosen or not, the invitation stands. I have the opportunity to choose. Will I stumble on, sparring for control, or be liberated by the Lover of My Soul? 

~Just Me

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Joy In the Dull Dark Days

I have longed for joy in this season when my son's health seems to have spiraled out of control. I have had to pray and release, pray and release, all while strains of Christmas music fill the air. So many songs about peace and joy. I wonder, what is joy? Where, exactly, does it begin and end?

Throughout my life Christmas has been a time of wonder and awe. My birthday falls on the day after we celebrate the birth of this Savior for all mankind. It was personally significant to me to share my birthday with Jesus- to have my own birth celebrated even while celebrating the miracle of God's great love for us. His love, in fact, has permeated my existence. Every season, whether I walked close to him or held my heart at a distance, I was drawn by that glorious love. But joy? I have struggled to find joy on this special needs pathway.

I am beginning to accept that my definition of joy differs from God's deep understanding of it. I have seen joy as a great burst- a sudden appearance of a shining messenger proclaiming JOY to all people- old and young, rich and poor, churched or not- a great company of heavenly hosts singing  

Glory to God in the highest, 
And on earth, Peace, goodwill towards men." 

Throughout my life, I confess that the events chronicled in Luke 2:13 have been my plumb line for joy.  A miraculous shining light of God's glory, a choir of angels singing praise to God.  

When I am able to step aside and ponder, joy bubbles up. Yet this is a gentler joy, a restful, quiet joy. The wonder of God reaching out across a chasm, offering unconditional love and acceptance, regardless of my many imperfections. A gift to marvel over for I am flawed, yet deeply loved- truly this is a call for joy to bathe the inmost places of my heart and soul. 

 As I review the story of Jesus' birth again, I recognize that visits from heavenly messengers were not initially met with overwhelming joy. Those receiving a message from God are most often, in fact, terrified. I, too, have battled debilitating fear- most particularly of losing my son. I was plagued by agonizing fear during the initial diagnosis, and years later, off and on through diabetic crises and hospitalizations. While I knew peace for a number of years, puberty has been an opportunity to fight for that peace- as well as the moment by moment battle to trust and rely on a Source beyond myself. So the message that jumps off the page today, as we recover from yet another intense battle for wellness, is this:

"Do not be afraid. Listen!I bring good news, news of great joy that will affect all people, everywhere... A liberator has been born for you!" (The Voice Translation)

A liberator. One who saves me from the vise-grip of fear. One who sets me free from my own doubts and places of unbelief. One who loves me, no matter what, and draws near to me, no matter where I am. After the initial panic and rush to the hospital, a kind of quietness floods my heart when I wait for hours on end, in a hospital room, praying over, for, and with my sweet son.  I've called it peace- but is it possible that this quietness could also be joy?  

As I re-frame JOY, I marvel. Could joy be that simple? In God Calling by AJ Russell "Two Listeners" perceive that life can be "a toilsome march." They are assured that "Joy will come... Joy is the reward of patiently seeing Me in the dull dark days, of trusting when you cannot see...Joy as your heart's response to my smile of recognition of your faithfulness," (of the work to stay connected to my Source in the midst of the battle.)

 "Stop thinking that your lives are all wrong if you do not feel it [Joy]... Remember you may not yet be joyous, but you are brave, and courage and unselfish thought for others are as sure signs of true discipleship as joy."

Again I am drawn to the understanding that The Point of all this is not religion, but relationship. Joy is God with us. Amidst inhumane suffering and agony, Jesus looked forward to the joy of restored relationship. 

"For the joy set before him [he] endured the cross"

Joy--While not experienced in the hours of torment, still, Jesus endured the cross, and looked forward to the joy that comes in the morning.

In the midst of sorrow or grief, in the midst of celebration or joy- even in the midst of the monotonous or mundane, I do not have to be alone. Here's where I get excited, here is where quiet joy swells and my heart leaps with JOY. When life is dark, or difficult, I can count the joys... and the greatest of these is that tender quiet presence holding me close, helping me to be still and discover the joy I long for.

The wonder of the Christmas story, the truest, most powerful miracle is relationship- connectivity and communion with the Lover of Our Soul- this where my Joy begins and ends.

~Just Me