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Finding Healing in Unexpected Places -and a Book Giveaway

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The theme of adoption has always been of interest to me.  As a child I used to tell people I was adopted.  I always thought if you were adopted it meant you were wanted, therefore special.  It never occurred to me there might be pain involved in being adopted, or giving a child up for adoption.  Over the years I’ve spoken with people on both sides of the adoption picture and now understand it’s not the fairy tale I used to fantasize about.

**Spoiler Alert

The British movie Philomena caught my eye recently because of the adoption theme.  Then it captured my heart because of the healing and forgiveness in her story. More

The Old Violin

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While joyful and exciting, the holidays can also be a difficult time of year.

There were many Christmases I bounced between having fun and enjoying the season with my husband and kids while struggling with deep-seated depression.

My lack of family-of-origin connection during the holidays magnified feelings of rejection and worthlessness; especially related to my dad.  A sweet and tender story about an old violin touched me many years ago during an especially difficult time of depression.  Though not a cure, it was balm to the soul.

If feelings of loneliness, worthlessness or rejection plague you during the holidays I offer you this story.  I hope it reminds you that you are indeed worthy and loved.

The Old Violin

~Myra Brooks Welch

‘Twas battered and scarred, And the auctioneer thought it hardly worth his while to waste his time on the old violin, but he held it up with a smile. More

Grateful, Even in the Waiting

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Thanksgiving Day has arrived here in the States. 

A sense of gratitude arrived with it early this morning.  It blanketed me ever so softly with comfort and peace even as I sit with uncertainty.  Calm such as this truly is a gift from God.

I had my mammogram recently; a few months overdue.  I know… I know it’s important.  But it hurts.  I don’t care how many people say it doesn’t, it does.   

The same tech who’s done my mammograms for over 15 years flattened my breasts into pancakes once again.  Each smashing was accompanied with apologies and assurances it would be over soon.  “Be still and hold your breath, hon.”   We did this several times and I waited for the okay to get my shirt back on.  She scrutinized the screen with a practiced eye, then dismissed me to the dressing room.  When I pulled the curtain back, she said “You’ll get a call in a few days saying everything is fine, or you need to come back.  But you’ll get a call either way.”  I guess this is to lessen the anxiety about seeing your doctor’s number on the incoming caller ID.

Sure enough, I got a call last week saying they’d seen something ‘suspicious’ and wanted me to come back for a re-check.   More

Trying Something New

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As my family will attest, I sometimes balk at trying new things.

I tend to order the same food at restaurants, buy the same style of clothes, listen to the same music…well you get the idea.  If it isn’t broken, why fix it -right?

I’m learning that for me, it’s actually the opposite.  Something is broken, and I do need to fix it.  Not wanting to leave the confines of my ‘comfort zone’ is a sign of being an emotional hostage to my fears.

www.mylovelyquotes.com

 

But, it’s something I’ve been actively working on -trying something new.  As luck would have it, I’ve had two opportunities to practice recently. More

Still Here

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Four times I could have died, yet here I am. 

My kids have told me I’m like a cat with nine lives; maybe there’s something to it.  As I got older, the accidents got more serious.  Sometimes I wonder why I survived; but mostly I’m just grateful. 

When I was 11, a neighbor girl ran over me with a snowmobile.  She knocked me over from behind and proceeded to drive across the entire length of my body.  I was compressed face-down into the snow as the track rolled across my back.  She slowed down as she realized what she’d done, but it was the wrong time to slow down.  I couldn’t breathe under there. More

Letter to My Younger Self

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theindiechicks.com

theindiechicks.com

Dear Denise,

I understand how trapped, lonely, and sad you feel right now.  Being ten years old is hard enough without the added burden of an abusive home.

Dad is a mean and angry man.  He takes it out on anyone he can overpower, and many times that ends up being you.  This isn’t your fault -it’s not because of anything you’ve done, or not done.   I know how hard you try to do the right things so he’ll say nice things to you.  I know how much it would mean to you for him to say he’s sorry for the awful things he’s done. He is supposed to take care of you, not hurt you.

Mom doesn’t protect you because she’s busy surviving him in her own way.  Unfortunately, that means she can’t let herself see what’s happening to you.  She uses the wine to escape into her fun, happy world.  It makes things easier for her, but harder for you.  I know one day you will be angry with her about this, but then More

7-State Road Trip

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Many thanks to my guest bloggers who kept things running while my husband and I were enjoying an incredible road trip on the motorcycles.I’ve missed the blogging world, and am looking forward to catching up with everyone soon.

There’s so much to say about our trip, but I’ll do that later.  Today I just wanted to share some photos -what a beautiful country I live in! More

Polished by Loss

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Grief over the loss of a loved one cuts deep to the core; sometimes there just isn’t enough time together.

My guest today, Kathryn Clarke, writes eloquently about allowing pain to polish us as we journey through grief.

Kathryn Clarke

Kathryn Clarke

Terry Tempest Williams wrote that endings are often difficult to detect.  This one, though, I saw coming. My mother’s belly enlarged as if she were pregnant, but her cheeks were sunken, her eyes glassy.  When her oncologist called me on a sunny afternoon in November and told me there was nothing more that could be done to treat her lymphoma, my voice was steady, although I found it difficult to breathe. “Yes, I know. Thank you for trying.”

Denial can be an enticing elixir, but I didn’t need to be a nurse to know my mother was dying. She had received care from the finest doctors in the finest cancer centers in the world.  And she was dying of her disease. More

Bucket List Update -One Down

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Something I listed on my Bucket List in January was to “go on a vacation or camping with all our kids.”  Well, just a few short weeks later, they told us they were planning a surprise 3-day getaway for hubby and I with them.  They let us pick a weekend and that’s as much as we were allowed to know.  I love surprises!!!  There’s been so much anticipation the last five months, but finally the big day arrived! More

How To Forgive The Unforgivable

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…and How Forgiving Brings Freedom…

The decision to forgive my dad was borne of a long labor.

Although I’d always felt and said I wanted to forgive him, I couldn’t seem to actually do it.  Maybe my mind hadn’t transferred the abuse from something to survive into something to forgive yet.

spirituallythinking.blogspot.com

spirituallythinking.blogspot.com

I’d hidden the abuse for so long, it became acceptable in its own sick way.  I compartmentalized the abuse and split my dad into two people.  There was the dad who abused me; but then there was the dad who played cards with me, taught me to fly his plane, and took me fishing.  As children, we are dependent and vulnerable; we have no choice but to find a way to accept the abuse in order to survive.

All I ever wanted was to have a happy, loving dad/daughter relationship. It took me years before I admitted to myself just how wrong and destructive his abuse was.    I wanted to forgive him, but for a long time I thought I could only forgive if I had his apology first.

Through a long, difficult journey of self-discovery and spiritual maturing, I began to realize forgiving him didn’t even involve him. More

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