Wednesday, December 20, 2017

The light returns

These are a few of the things I've found on the internet in the past few days. 
I kept copying and pasting them here thinking that maybe I would use them at a later date.
The most wonderful thing happened tho...
I was looking for a quote to use for the Winter Solstice tomorrow when I remembered about these quotes being pasted here.
They all fit for my purpose so I am going to use them all.


It is tempting this Advent to see only leafless trees, falling sunlight, and a darkening cultural horizon. But this is God’s pattern: death to life, bad news to good, sorrow to joy. Lift up your shoulders, shed your burdens, and open your eyes; joy springs up in unlikely places. James Amadon


Lord I sit in this circle of light,
surrounded by your love,
embraced by your peace,
infused with your joy.
Lord I sit in this circle of light,
with all the people of this world
secure in the wonder of your presence.
~ Christine Sine


Image result for chasing away the dark winter quotes


Image result for most wonderful time of all years

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From out of the darkness and cold, the light...and hope return.


Merry Christmas, Season's Greetings, Happy Holidays,
and a Merry Winter Solstice to you all!!
Allelujah! Let's welcome back the light.
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Thanks for reading,
Love, Lolly

Friday, December 8, 2017

Winter of the soul

There are days when my loneliness turns to liquid and runs down my face.
There are days when I think to myself...My God! How long must I bare this aloneness.

I'm not kidding you when I say that my cell phone does. not. ring.  Ever.
I feel like everybody else is getting together and having a good time and I'm not there.
Hell...I'm not even invited. There are no women friends to go out with.
There are no last minute texts saying "Hey we're getting together; you wanna come with?"
No coffee clatches...No book ladies church play groups.
Remember those two ladies I tried to befriend at the end of the school year?
I gave them my phone number and address and asked if we could get the kids together to play sometime over the Summer. And they never called. And then at the beginning of this school year I ran into them again and they ignored me...twice. Pointedly. And it shames me.
They don't even acknowledge my presence. They look through me. And I don't know why.

It feels as if I live my life in a a vacuum of space where no one knows I exist.

I've never been a bluesy in December kind of a gal. The dark days and the cold temps don't bother me. I'm just so mother fucking lonely I don't know what to do anymore.

People of the Christian faith call this a "Hard Season".
They say that God is asking me to wait.

( start at 52 seconds)

They say I should be still and revel in the silence of the waiting.
"Be still and know..." Ps 46:10
They say that God is preparing me for something; maybe something bigger, something better.

Can I tell ya something?
After a long season of silence and waiting ANYTHING is going to look like a gift from God.
And speaking of gifts...

I read this on FB today.
It sorta made me feel better. It made me think HEY! Wait a minute!
Maybe it's not me, maybe it's them! Maybe it's been them all along.
I don't know why I put the burden of that shame onto my shoulders.

Yes I do.
I did it because I'm lonely and introverted and I don't know how to make friends.
I thought it would be easy, ya know?
Get the kids together, make a little bit of small talk with the the moms, make a connection of sorts.
Only it didn't happen at all how I envisioned it would.
The phone calls never came. Then the shunning thing started. Now I am Invisa-Girl to them.

I think it's the loneliness that hurts. It's the wanting in thing that is haunting me.
It's the shame of not feeling good enough, or of somehow lacking something vital that they can see I don't posses, so let's ignore her and act like we are 12 year olds in junior high.

Did I tell you that one of these ladies is married to a pastor?
And the other one is the room mom at the school.
Huh. Go figure that one.

Anyway...I feel better now that I have typed this out.
Rant over. Thanks for listening.
Thanks for reading,
Love, Lolly

Monday, December 4, 2017


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Yesterday was the first Sunday of Advent.
Every year I look for a reading plan that has specific readings and Bible verses to attach to the words of   HOPE  PEACE  JOY  LOVE  that usher in the holiday season.
This one even includes songs to listen to along with the readings.

The first word of the advent season is HOPE.
This was part of the reading from our church sermon yesterday-

Isaiah 11:6-9

1.  No War,  just Peace
2.  No Sadness,  just Joy
3.  No Sickness,  just Health
4.  No Death,  just Life
5.  No Hatred,  just Love
6.  No Fear,  just Faith

Our Pastor preached that "the state of your heart reflects the amount of Jesus in your heart."
Meaning how you treat others (including yourself), how you see the world; maybe even how you treat the world, what you do or don't do for the least of these, reflects or should reflect your feelings about Jesus and his influence in your life.
I think this is true.

When I'm not anxious, it's because I have been in touch with Jesus...through reading scripture or praying or seeing evidence of him in the sky above me or the earth below me. When I'm feeling generous and loving and kind it's because I do feel Jesus in my heart and I want to spread this feeling to others. Not just at Christmastime but all through the year.

When I am anxious and filled with fear or feeling angry, I know it's because I've moved away from Jesus.

We fought before church, him and I.
I feel like he keeps correcting me on the things I observe or say or do.
Maybe contradicts is a better word.
Either way, I've been feeling especially aggravated whenever he "corrects" me.
I've kept my mouth shut for too long and let resentments build up.
15 minutes before church on Sunday I huffed loudly and left the room, sick unto death of him for correcting me (AGAIN!!) about the weather forecast on my phone.
He followed me out of the room to reiterate his point because he heard me huff in reply to him.
(Isn't this silly? These stupid little irritants the we let get under our skin??)

Anyway, he doesn't fight fair...never has.
He has a little bit of a passive/aggressive nature. (and I'm being kind here)
The first thing he does after I try to defend my point is swear at me, loudly, then he yells-
Then he shouts "I'm not going to church because it doesn't work. It's not real. There's nothing there!"
And I stand there stunned.
Doesn't work?? Nothing there? What's he talking about???
"Are YOU still going to church? I don't see how you can!" he says
What's church got to do with this? I ask him. And Yes! I'm still going to church.
"We've been doing this for 34 years and church is NOT the place to be when we're fighting."

He couldn't be more wrong. Church is exactly where we need to be.
He has this strange idea that imperfect people don't belong in church.
He doesn't like the people that he believes are hypocrites to be going to church.
And a fighting married couple certainly don't belong there among the rest of the congregation.

I wonder if he realizes that 3/4 of the married people sitting in those church pews are fighting with each other this morning.
Or that the parents have yelled at their kids to hurry the F up! We are gonna be late! Get in the car!!
Or maybe those hypocrites that he doesn't approve are there because they ARE hypocrites!
I'm wondering if he remembers who Jesus hung around with.
I'm wondering if he knows that church isn't supposed to be for those who are perfect.
Church is a hospital for the rest of us... the so called normal people.
The liars and sinners,  the fighters and the hypocrites.
The moms and dads who are about to lose their shit if they have to tell the kids to put their shoes on ONE MORE TIME!
The hypocrites and the Pharisees who spout all sorts of nonsense and feel holier than thou.
The husbands and wives who can't even stand to be in the same room with each other at the moment will all have to sit next to each other for an hour and listen to a sermon that will be spot on in regards to where their hearts are at, at that exact moment in time.
And they will be asked to pass the Peace to each other with a handshake or a hug.
And the hug will feel warm & reassuring and last a fraction of a second too long.
See?? Healing, like a hospital.

I like the Bible verse at the top of the page. It gives me a measure of hope.
I want to believe that there will be no war or sadness or sickness or death or hatred or fear anymore.

Wouldn't that be a glorious thing?
One can only hope.
I'm looking forward to what next Sunday brings. That advent word is PEACE.

Thanks for reading,
Love, Lolly

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Paying Attention

Glennon Doyle Melton was once asked:
Why do you cry so often?
And her answer was this:
For the same reason I laugh so often.
Because I'm paying attention.
Truer words were never said.

The older I get the more easily I find myself laughing uproariously at a comedy show on TV. Everybody Loves Raymond is my favorite show and honestly I laugh out loud, even when I'm watching it all by myself.
Or I find myself laughing uncontrollably at something my sister, who has a wicked sense of humor, just said or maybe giggling at one of the grandchildrens silly antics.
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I also find myself reduced to tears more often by the slightest little thing.
Our cat caught a mouse and as only cats can do, slowly took it's life.
I felt so badly for that injured mouse. I saw it escape from the cats clutches just once, dragging its injured and unusable hind quarters behind it, across the floor and then underneath my desk.
Five minutes later it was all over but in my minds eye I still saw the look on that poor frightened little mouse face as it tried to make its escape.
It made me feel sad knowing it's last hour on this earth was filled with terror and pain and I cried for it's terrified little self, even as I praised the cat for being a good boy.
Such is the life of an empath.
I feel emotions for a vermin filled; injured mouse that had been running loose through my house.
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Our 84 year old neighbor Joann is a Snow Bird.
She lives across the street from us 6 months out of the year.
The other 6 months she lives in Arizona .
This morning she left to go back to her desert, later than her usual October departure.
Her daughter wanted her to spend Thanksgiving here, in Illinois, with their family.
I stood on the front step and watched as they left for the airport.
She waved and hollered Bye! out the open car window.
I found myself choking back tears; I could only wave at her.
But in my head I was shouting "Bye Joann!"
Because for some reason it felt final to me, like I won't be seeing her again.
And it makes me incredibly sad. And so I stood there and I cried.
Bye Joann.......Good-bye.

Is that being empathetic or psychotic?
I don't know.
What I DO know is that I find myself paying attention to a lot of little details that others miss. And I also know that these little details have the ability to control my day or brighten my mood or rend me in half depending on what it is I am seeing and in turn how what I see makes me feel.
Image may contain: sky, cloud, tree, plant, outdoor and nature The way the clouds cause a particular color to form during the sunrise out my front window, or the glorious peach and rose alpine glow of the sunset as seen through the trees behind our house.

Image may contain: sky, tree, twilight, outdoor and nature Or when it gets frigid outside and the birds seem to want to play more often, chasing each other and flying higher and faster, over and over and over again.
(Do you suppose they're doing that just to keep warm?)

Or being with family at Thanksgiving and "feeling" the unhappiness of a certain person in the room and how it affected everybody else in the room.
(It wasn't me!😃)

Or that him and I are walking on eggshells around each other lately, both of us knowing that we are a little off but not knowing what it is or how to fix it.

Or seeing with our own eyes our three year old grandson being mean to his one year old sister ON PURPOSE by scratching her or pushing her down or squeezing her too hard or taking away any toy she has. It is maddening how often he makes her cry.

The world itself feels off kilter, I see it, I feel it, I know it, and yet I am powerless to do anything about it.
And so I guess that's where Let Go and Let God comes in to play.

Because if I truly believe in God like I say I do, then what do I have to worry or stress about?
If God is in the details, then what am I doing in there mucking things up with my incessant anxiety and worry?
How does my anxiety serve me? What can I learn from it? What is it trying to show me?

Is my empathy a hindrance or a help?

Maybe it's time I started paying better attention to what my mind is trying to tell me.
Stop thinking about what could go wrong and start seeing what is already going right!

I see beauty all around me in nature- birds, squirrels, sunrises and sunsets. I can smell pine trees and oranges and clean sheets. I can taste coffee and mashed potatoes and gravy and chocolate. I can hear birds chirping and my ipod music and my husband snoring. I have four grand kids who amaze me with their wonder of the world and also make me crazy with their meanness to each other on more than one occasion.

I am a work in progress.
I am learning to let go.
I am starting to rise.
I am ok with today.

Thanks for reading,
Love, Lolly

Friday, November 17, 2017

Prose for the seasons

When morning comes, I long for bedtime.
Flannel sheets, our dog tucked between us, all of us drowsy and cozy.
The sweet oblivion of a solid nights sleep with help from my little yellow friend.

When evening comes, I long for morning.
The house still hushed, a lit candle to dispel the gloom and darkness,
reading my morning devotionals and praying to God.
Getting ready for the day, that first sip of coffee,
the grandkids running towards me down the front sidewalk.

When we go on vacation, I long for the comfort of my own home.
When vacation is a distant memory, I long for rest and relaxation in a condo,
on the beach, listening to the waves pound the shore...
the gentle whisper of YAHWEH coming with each crest.

In the heat and humidity of a long and hot Summer,
I long for the cold, crisp days of  Autumn.
In the Autumn, after the leaves are gone and daylight is replaced
by gray clouds for days on end,
I long for bright Summer sunshine and green trees and grass.
That humidity can go fuck itself tho.

I love Winter and the cold air. I love when it snows a lot.
I love living in that marshmallow world thingy. (hate the song)
I feel energized. I want to cook fabulous meals. And redecorate the house.
I wish we had a fireplace to gaze into during dark and snowy nights.

In late Winter, I long for Spring to get here.
The snow has now turned into a blackish/gray slush
and the cold at this point in time has grown tiresome.
I find myself scanning the trees looking for buds.
On the ground I see a smidge of green. Is that a Crocus?  LOOK! IT'S A Crocus!!!

My gardens look terrible except in my minds eye,
where I can just imagine what the perennials I planted last year might look like in a few weeks with a lot of annuals thrown in.
Birds start singing at dawn; happy to be alive and so am I.

After early Spring when that initial high of planting and pruning and mowing and gardening has worn off, and those birds need to shut the hell up...
It starts to feel a little bit warmer.
Sunlight lasts a little bit longer and so do the days.

Pretty soon the heat starts to creep back in and it brings with it
that hateful friend of his called humidity.
Let's be honest...The words Humidity and Miserable Bastard are interchangeable, right?

What's your favorite season of all?

Thanks for reading,
Love, Lolly

Thursday, November 16, 2017

What's in a name?

Ruska [Finnish] ~ (n.) the process of tree leaves turning various shades of red, yellow, purple, and brown in the autumn; the time of fall foliage.
psithurism (Greek)
No one ever has much trouble describing their kid’s latest tantrum, the terrible movie they watched last night or why we should

Word of the Day: Psithurism. The sound of the wind through trees. #inspiration #wordoftheday #graphicdesign

Old English FEER-ye-brak

I love these words and images.

Thanks for reading,
Love, Lolly

Monday, November 13, 2017


I've not been able to think of a post for a few days.
I guess that's a good thing.
While I wait for my thoughts to process, I thought I'd leave you with this image-

The grown girls and the young man on the far right are my kids.
The other two young men are my son-in-laws.
The littlest humans are my grand kids-Patrick, Fiona, Charlie and Delaney.
And him and I are sort of off center.

This was a good day.
This picture makes my heart happy.

Until next time,
Thanks for reading,
Love, Lolly

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Whining is whining, tell your story or move on

Birdie writes a blog post and it reads like a prayer.
I'm not comparing myself to her, just making an observation.
She writes about the minutia of her life...
Like making soup, her kids, doing laundry, going to work, even going to bed.
She talks of her gardens, of it raining or snowing and it makes me sigh with relief and also it makes me want to move to the PNW.

What she writes about is all so normal and yet her people, her followers
respond and agree and give advice and support her.
She's got a good group of people who respond with a "Me too!" type of mentality.

Seems like there is a lot of us who are living our lives the best we can
and always hoping for a better tomorrow.

When I write, it always feels like I am whining.
I always seem to be pissed off at someone or aggravated.
I mentioned this to another blogger once and she reprimanded me with-
"Whining is whining, tell your story or move on."

Uh, ok.

Yesterday my sister pissed me off with unsolicited advice about my son who, for those of you who don't know,  is still grieving the loss of his girlfriend.
(And by loss I mean she broke up with him without any kind of warning that she was unhappy in the relationship. The aftermath, for him, was/is devastating.)
He lost his girlfriend, his home, his dog, his social life and friends.
And he moved back in to his boyhood bedroom at the top of our stairs.

He is seeing a therapist and she has given him some anxiety reducing medicine for the short term.
He is writing in a journal doing what is called a Brain Dump.
Every time the sadness starts to overwhelm him he writes it out for as long as he needs to. He's better but is still feeling down at times.

My sisters advice was for him to stop seeing himself as the victim, since according to her, my son always falls in love too hard, and causes his own anguish; that he brings this pain upon himself .
In my head I thought to myself- What do you know about that sort of advice?
For that matter what advice could you possibly give regarding grown kids and their relationships?

Cuz here's the thing...she has 3 grown kids who all still live at home.
They are 32, 28 and 22. And all of them are single.
And none of them have ever dated or had a boyfriend or a girlfriend.
Not in high school. Not in college. Not now.

Did I tell my sister off or argue with her? No, I did not.
I dropped the conversation, changed the subject, and ended the phone call sooner than I planned.
This sister is a bully and very bossy and opinionated.
She never believes herself to be in the wrong, and she never apologizes...ever.
Why I call her is anybody's guess.
Guess I love her too hard, because she causes me anguish.
(two can play this game)

Today it feels better to whine about my jerky, know-it-all, bully of a sister.
Whining IS whining! That blogger was right.

So...regarding the rest of her advice...tell your story or move on?
I'm working on it...the storytelling part anyway.
I still feel myself rising up out of these ashes.
Just not ready to do battle over something my sister knows nothing about.
She would or could cut me to ribbons with her razor sharp tongue and self-righteous talk and know-it-all attitude.
And I feel like it was a win for me to disengage first. I saved myself.
And I'm moving on.

Thanks for reading,
Love, Lolly

Tuesday, October 24, 2017


When the Autumn rains come and it's gray and cloudy for days on end,
When the leaves are done blazing into color and lay in brown curled heaps on the ground,
When the wind whips up and the forecast starts to get colder,
When October begins turning into November and beyond....
The  S.A.D.  battles start.
This is a war of words, of tempers, of attitudes, of seemingly endless strife about nonsense.
And in this house it is every man for themselves.

It took us years to figure out what it 
We have finally given it a name.  But "we" don't do anything about it except argue.

He admits to having Seasonal Affective Disorder. 
He admits to the sadness and the blues and the irritation of the season.
When I suggested he buy a light, his response to me was-  
"They are too expensive".

He gets ornery, which gets me ornery. He becomes sensitive to words and requests and I feel like I'm walking on eggshells most days, not sure what is going to set him off.
This post will set him off.
Him and I have never been able to figure out how not to wound each other when we are at our worst.
Whether one of us is sick or tired or sad, it seems like the other finds the achilles heel and goes in for the kill.
At least that's the way I see it. That's the way I perceive it. That's how it feels to me.

When I get sick, my ears become filled with fluid. I become deaf as a post. It's hard to hear which makes me irritable. Constantly saying "What?" bothers me as much as it bothers him.
I've seen an ENT. I have significant hearing loss in my right ear. It's much worse when I'm sick.
The ENT suggested I educate my husband on dealing with a person who has hearing loss. 
He said to tell my husband to Rephrase the statement; Don't repeat it.
But for some reason, especially when I am under the weather, it pisses him off to have to continually repeat himself to me. 
A few days ago I asked him a question and misheard his answer, but also I don't have a problem with my eyes and I could visably see his face was angry and his eyebrows were drawn together and he answered me before I was even done speaking.
When I got mad at him for that he said- "Don't blame me for your lack of hearing".  Blame?!?

Now to be truthful, I wasn't looking to blame him for my lack of hearing. He was being rude by not letting me finish my question.
But he likes to throw that word around a lot -BLAME
Don't blame me. I'm not taking the blame for that. Blame yourself, not me. 
You're to blame.
When I ask him a question, he accuses me of blaming him for something.
Did you spill something? The floor is sticky.  
He'll say "Why do you blame me for that?"
It's like a festering thorn under my skin and I'm tired of this blame game.
It is so unnecessary!
While we were out walking the dog, I found a brilliantly colored crimson leaf, then a bright orange one, then a red and yellow striped one. Look! I said and smiled. Aren't they beautiful?
And his response was to say-
Why do you do that to me? Do you do that on purpose?
Do what? I asked
Rub my nose in it.
You know I hate Fall. Why are you showing me leaves? And why do you smile when you do it?
You're making me feel worse.
Sigh...Sometimes I think I am married to a crazy person.

 For the next 5 months he will be slightly unpleasant, sort of on edge, sort of cranky, unhappy.
The weather controls his moods especially during the Fall and Winter.
He doesn't know the definition of the word Petrichor; literally or figuratively.
He doesn't feel warm and cozy and safe and dry inside when it is gray and rainy and windy.
When it snows, he won't be able to see the glitter on the snow or taste the flakes on his tongue.
He will not be able to smell the way the icy cold air smells, or see the magic and brilliance as the snow glows under starlit skies.
He notices that I stare at sunrises and sunsets, yet he cannot see the beauty in them for hisself.
Red sky in the morning to him means... great, more rain this afternoon.

The holidays will come and go and he will keep mostly to himself at family functions.
He will sit in a quiet corner, playing on his IPhone, sometimes reading a magazine, sometimes playing with the grandkids but not really partaking of the festivities.
I've learned to leave him be during these family situations.
I enjoy myself with my mom and sisters and all of our kids and I leave him to his own devices. 
It works in a weird way.

Let me end this post by saying this-
I love this man. We all have our faults. Myself included. We all have our likes and dislikes.
But I sometimes wonder if God isn't trying to get me to help this man pull himself out of his doldrums by showing him the brilliantly colored leaf found on a sidewalk during a gray afternoon walk. Or the red and orange and pink sunrises and sunsets that look like fire in the sky.
Or by tasting that first snowflake, or seeing pictures in the clouds, or by smelling rain.
Or listening to family laugh and talk and prepare food so we can sit down and eat together.

Because honestly, what is my alternative here? 
Do I stop noticing these things myself then?
If I see something that stirs my senses, do I keep it to myself and not share it with him?
Do I stop trying to get him to see the beauty in this world?
Should I leave him be to wallow in this darkness by himself until the Spring thaw?
Do I not laugh with my sisters or enjoy the company of our large family?
How lonely would that be for him.
How lonely would that be for me too.

I don't have any answers here. 
I honestly think that light would help. But I am not the one who needs it.
I find that I am blessed to be able to see my way through life by a different kind of light.

I hope and pray that someday he can see his way through life by that same light too.

Thanks for reading,
Love, Lolly

Monday, October 23, 2017


I've started diffusing essential oils in my home.
My best friend is a consultant through Young Living and gave me a diffuser and 10 different oils for my birthday in September.
I've been sick with and upper respiratory infection for the last 9 days (there's a big surprise).
Yesterday I started diffusing Thieves. I thought it smelled great. A little clove-y, a little bit like medicine maybe, but my son said he smelled a rotting dead body.
My husband said it wasn't that bad, but that yes, it didn't smell all that great.
The two of them think oils are a bunch of mumbo jumbo.
Whatever...I like the way they smell and I like the way they make the house smell too.
So I diffuse it while they are away at work.
I'm also using over the counter decongestants Sudafed and Mucinex, Emergen C, and drinking lots of hot green tea with honey and ice water with slices of lemon.
I feel better than I did last week, so there is that.

Still feeling positive and upbeat about the rest of my life.
Still sleeping through the night most of the time; sometimes even without a pill for assistance.
Yay progress!

That's it for now.
It's raining and I need to pick up my grandson from school and drop off my granddaughter at Ballet class.

Thanks for reading,
Love, Lolly

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Thank You for Each Moment

Thank You for Each Moment
Lord, thank you for each moment,
for the blue-sky moment,
the softening earth,
the refreshing wind,
the yellow bush,
for my full heart
and the joy rising in me.
Soften me
to receive whatever comes as a gift 
and to praise you in it.
Lord, thank you for each moment
for the twilight moment,
the pause,
the good tired,
for the quiet reflection,
the slowing down,
the mysterious sunset,
for the wisdom growing inside me.
Gentle me
to feel whatever comes as a gift
and to praise you in it.
Lord, thank you for each moment,
for the midnight moment,
the loneliness,
the fretful wondering,
for the watchful stars,
the long ache,
the sleepless wait,
and the hope straining in me.
Focus me
to see whatever comes as a gift
and to praise you in it.
Lord, thank you for each moment,
for the high-noon moment,
the job,
the necessary routine,
for the sweaty struggle,
the impulse to change,
and the courage gathering in me.
Ground me
to wrestle with whatever comes as a gift
and to praise you in it.
Lord, thank you for each moment,
for the shared moment,
the listening,
the unguarded word,
for the fragile openness,
the ready smile,
the accepted difference,
for my passionate heart
and the trust rooting in me.
Stretch me
to grow with whatever comes as a gift
and to praise you in it.
Thank you for each moment,
for the charged moment,
the confrontation,
for the hard decision,
the unexpected growing,
for my intense heart
and the truth expanding in me.
Free me
to be open to whatever comes as a gift
and to praise you in it.
Thank you for each moment,
for the holy moment,
the music,
the child’s eyes,
for the sunlight,
the touch,
the tears,
for the trembling pleasure,
the unutterable beauty,
for the life and love and heart in me aware,
and the wholeness spreading in me.
Touch me
through whatever comes as a gift
That I may be grateful
and praise you in it.

~from Guerrillas of Grace by Ted Loder

One of my favorites by Ted Loder. His poetry reads like the prayers that go through my own mind. But he's much better at writing them down than I am.
My prayers usually come out more like Anne Lamott's words-
Help Lord
Thanks Lord
Wow Lord

Thanks for reading,
Love, Lolly

Monday, October 16, 2017

#Metoo x 4

I am a #Me too.
In case you don't know what that hashtag stands for, it is representative of women and girls who have been sexually harassed or attacked or raped sometime in their lives.

I was 9 the first time I was inappropriately touched sexually by my brother and two of the neighborhood boys.
They took turns. They thought it was great, and said as much out loud to each other. It went on for 4 years.
And I never told another living soul until I was an adult.
I had confided in my husband of course. But then I met this woman through our local elementary school, our daughters had become friends and so we became friendly; meeting for coffee and chatting on the  phone.
She confided to me that her brother had done horribly inappropriate sexual things to her as a child.
I told her my story and felt a kinship with her; here at last was a woman who would understand what I had gone through. But the very next day, she told her neighbor my story and her neighbor just happened to be my cousin, then my cousin told my aunt and then my cousin told my sisters and then my cousin called and told my mother. My mother called to confront me and said that they did not believe my story and felt I had gotten caught up in the hysteria of this other woman's story. One sister even went so far as to say that SHE had never been touched or approached by our brother so it couldn't possibly be true. She wondered aloud if perhaps a counselor had put the notion into my head or maybe that I had dreamt it and then thought that in my mind it must be true.
To say I was devastated is an understatement.
I learned to not trust other women after that. And I never trusted another person with that secret.
It was never spoken about or brought up again with my family.

I was 11 the second time it happened. This time, a camp counselor who took advantage of me during a game of blind folded nature walks. There were 20 of us playing a game where we were tied together and blind folded and were told to use our ears to listen for nature sounds and our noses to smell clues as to where we were and what we might be near.
Never in a million years would I have guessed that I would have also needed my eyesight to see who "it" was who had touched me in such a vulgar matter. Was it only me? I don't know. I was too afraid to tell and too afraid to ask.  To this day I have no clue who did it.
I was 11 years old, flat as a board with no curves to speak of and I was in sixth grade.

As a high school sophomore I guess you could classify what happened to me as a date rape but it wasn't mean or vicious. I had initially said yes to my boyfriend about going all the way, then I changed my mind at the last minute but he didn't acknowledge my change of heart.
Instead he said "Wait..I'm almost done" and I cried the whole way through it.
I remember thinking in my head  This is what Cosmopolitan writes about? This is sex? Where's the fireworks? Where's the warm fuzzy feeling? Where's the love? 
Is that all there is? That was it?!?
(Nobody told me that all of that would come in due time with a man who respected me and loved me and pledged his life to me.  Even then, it took about 5 years of marriage before sex got any good.)

When I was 18 and working at a local lumber company, one of the Contractors
(a married man with 4 kids) took a liking to me. He was older than my own father. He would tell me sexually explicit jokes or say sexually explicit things to me. At the company Christmas party he asked me to dance and not knowing how to get out of it, I said ok. He stuck his tongue in my ear and whispered that he wanted to see me later.
I was freaked out and grossed out.
I told him that I had plans later, that me and my friends were all meeting at another local bar.
Later that night he showed up at the bar where me and my friends were and tried to buy me a drink. He asked me to dance again, though this time I refused both the drink and the dance.
He suggested that we take off and go to his place. He offered to drive me home. He put his hands on my shoulders and started massaging them.
My best friends boyfriend finally told him to get lost and he left.
The next day at work, my manager called me into his office and asked me had this man been bothering me.
I hesitated. My eyes must have widened because my manager said..."It's ok. You don't have to lie. He won't be bothering you ever again."
And with that, Mr. Contractor man was transferred to another location.
I never knew who told, and frankly I didn't care. I was thrilled that he was gone.

Why am I telling you guys this story?
Mostly because it's been in the news lately and so many women are posting #Metoo on their social media accounts.
It's surprising and shocking and sad.
It boggles the mind how many women there are who have been abused in some form or another.
So I figure if they are all going to share their stories maybe it was time for me to share mine and hopefully this is the right time and place to share it.
A place where I feel supported, where I have friends, a place that feels safe to me.

Anyway...that's all I've got.
Thanks for reading,
Love, Lolly

Friday, October 13, 2017

Learning as I rise

Some days I feel like my light is flickering, like I am slowly fading out of existence. But every now and then another tiny flame, refusing to be snuffed out, echoes in response. Every now and then I feel like I am coming back to life.

 My sense of belonging began from the moment I placed my hand in God’s and said, I’ll go with youLead the way.

In the darkness, in the stuff you don't think you can survive, God sends angels
 in the form of human beings~ Hannah Brencher

"Life will break you. Nobody can protect you from that, and living alone won’t either, for solitude will also break you with its yearning. You have to LOVE. You have to feel. It is the reason you are here on earth. You are here to risk your heart. You are here to be swallowed up. And when it happens that you are broken, or betrayed, or left, or hurt, or death brushes near, let yourself sit by an apple tree and listen to the apples falling all around you in heaps, wasting their sweetness. Tell yourself you tasted as many as you could. ~"Louise Erdrich

I see my authentic self, and I love what I see. I see the magnificence of my presence. I see the perfection in me, and this breaks any doubt that anyone else ever put in my head.

Stay tuned friends.
I am on the rise.

Thanks for reading,
Love, Lolly

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Biding my time

I'm still here. Just biding my time. I feel better....finally. Anxiety is under control. Sleeping better too.
Medication is working even though I still keep trying to tell myself that I don't need it.
I've tried a few nights here and there without taking it only to find myself awake all night with nothing but my anxiety to keep me company.
I've started going to a Chiropractor twice  week. I aggravated my 55 year old back by mopping all of the floors in our house over the course of 1 day. Just about crippled myself.
It's been 4 weeks and I feel so much better, not just my back but I also have a lot more energy, and my hands aren't as numb. I simply feel better.
Also, my sister-in-law gave me some Essential Oils and a diffuser for my birthday. I've been using Purification and Lemongrass and Tangerine daily.
I just called her and asked her to bring over the other scents she has. Now I want to smell them all!

That's it for now. Just a quick note to let you know I'm still here.
I'm here and I feel like it's time to start burning off the chaff.
I feel my inner fire coming back.
And I'm so grateful. I've missed myself.
I've missed being here.
I miss you guys.

I'll be back,
Thanks for reading,
Love, Lolly

Thursday, September 21, 2017

After all

My son and his girlfriend broke up on Sunday.
Well...SHE broke up with him. And he is pretty broke up about it.
This momma's heart is breaking for him too.
I feel helpless and sad and also I feel like I should be doing...something to ease his pain.
That's the codependent in me...wanting to fix broken things that I have no business fixing.
It's painful to see him so sad.
He and his cat had to move back home here with us.
And it's not that we don't or won't or can't welcome him.
We did, we will, we have.
But it's awfully hard to move back home with your parents when you are nearly 30 years old.
His/their condo was/is spacious and newer and clean and quiet, and decorated like two thirty year old adults lived there that didn't have any kids, with a heated garage and an association that did all snow plowing and lawn care.
They had pets too, her 15 year old cat and a dog named Ralphie who started out being her dog, but after living together for 11 months, the dog became his too.
That is one of the hardest things for him...missing Ralphie.
My son is pretty miserable, more in shock than anything else really.
There were no signs he said. Said she hit him in his blind spot.
He never saw it coming.
She pulled the old It's not you, it's me routine.
We moved him out Monday night, taking everything he owned including his cat sans the litter box. She got to keep the litter box.
After all is said and done, their relationship ends with an agreement about a litter box.
Why this makes me want to cry I cannot say.

The next morning I went out and purchased a new litter box and litter for our new tenant Jackson.
It's been super hot here lately. Hot and humid. My favorite kind of weather.(sarcasm)
Walking into the pet store, I see a man in a heavy, striped T-shirt and jeans sitting on the sidewalk, his back up against the building. At his feet is a white dog with lots of fur, panting in this heat.
There is also a sign made up of cardboard and markers by his feet which says-
Desperate for money. Really need the help. Any amount is appreciated.
As I walk past him and his dog he waves at me.
"Gonna be a hot one he says."
Yes, I murmured and kept walking.
Once in the store I spend $45.00 on pet supplies.
New litter, new litter box, a few cans of cat food, and some enzyme spray that I use for mopping up after our Chihuahua.
He's still sitting there, him and his dog, in this heat when I come out.
While loading my stuff into the car I decide on a whim to give $5.00 to this man.
I walk back to where he is sitting by the side of the building and hand it to him.
"Here ya go. Go get yourself something to eat in someplace that is air conditioned".
He says "Thank you, wanna pet my dog?"
Uh, no.
"No thanks", I say. And I turn my back and walk away.
I feel like I did a good deed. I hope he buys a water for himself and his dog.
I hope he goes into the pizza place around the corner and gets himself a slice and an icy cold coke and eats lunch in the A/C.
I went in to the Dollar store located right next to the pet store for a few minutes.
As I'm leaving, I see Mr. Desperate for Money and his dog get up and walk away.
And I see that Mr. Desperate for Money has a lit cigarette in his mouth.
Do ya'll know what a pack of cigarettes costs???
Around these parts it's almost $7.00 a pack.
I am instantly pissed. For real?? This guy can afford cigarettes??
He is desperate for money? He really needs the help? Any amount is appreciated?
I stand there staring after him wondering if I've just been swindled.
Not really. But still. I am a little miffed to be honest.
I guess a body doesn't get to dictate what someone else buys with donated cash.
But it feels sorta sour now. I don't have that feel good thing going on anymore.
Was my generosity conditional? Maybe.
I will say that next time I see someone with a sign I might not trust their intent.
And that really isn't fair. At least to that next person.
So I'm thinking that I'm just going to let it go.
Gonna bless that man and move on with my day.
After all is said and done I did have the extra $5.00 to give away.
And it certainly won't ever be the last $5.00 I'll ever have.
And maybe, just maybe, it wasn't the man I was helping. Maybe it was the dog.
A change in my perspective can change my day.

Thanks for reading,
Love, Lolly

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Fishing for answers

Image result for many men go fishing all of their lives

I find myself staring off into space when I should be doing something else.
I blame this on the Klonopin. It's got a side effect of tiredness and confusion.
I don't like taking that pill. Wish I didn't need to take it to fall asleep.
Some nights it works others not so much.
Twice now I have found myself wide ass awake at 1:00am and have tossed and turned until 3:00am.
Other times I am awakened at 4:00am  and never do fall back to sleep.
Sometimes at 1:00am when I'm awake, I will lay there real quiet and take slow deep breaths.
Four seconds on the inhale and eight seconds on the exhale. It sorta helps.
My husband says maybe I need to up the dose.
What??   Is he crazy?  Up the dose?  No way.

What I want are answers. Still.
I want to know why I feel so much anxiety.
I want to know why I can't fall into a deep and restful sleep and remain that way until morning.
I want to know why I wake up at 1:00am feeling scared out of my mind.

The pat answer that others keep giving me-"Some people just have anxiety"
rings untrue in my head.
I know that others suffer from anxiety. I know that I now have anxiety.
But I didn't used to.
And I want to know why.
Why is it so hard to find an answer to my question of WHY?

I find myself staring off into space, not really thinking about anything.
It's like all of a sudden I come to and realize I've been sitting here doing nothing.
I feel tired all of the time. My head aches all the time. I feel grouchy.
I also feel some form of shame for complaining about my insomnia, for taking the Klonopin  and for the symptoms of the side effects.
There is a stigma attached to taking benzodiazepines.
"You're more prone to addiction if you take Klonopin."
"Pretty soon you're going to be dependent on them."
"Can't you just NOT take them?"
"Sit in a Lavender Epsom Salt bath for 20 minutes instead."
"Why don't you drink a glass or two of wine instead?"

Let me tell you this...
I would LOVE to have a glass or two of wine. I miss being able to have a glass of wine while cooking dinner or at the end of the day while watching the sunset, or when we're out to dinner for date night.
I actually miss it very much.
But I am not about to mix alcohol with Klonopin.

At church this past Sunday, our pastors sermon was on mental health.
(Did it feel like he was looking directly at me while he spoke?...yes)
One of the questions he asked the congregation was this-
"What is your bait?"
Meaning what is it that takes you away from Jesus and prayer and serenity and peace.
What is it that grabs you and pulls you under and doesn't let go?
What is it that the devil is using to personally bait you into excessive worrying or paralyzing anxiety or over-eating or over-spending?

I know the answer is fear because that is what it feels like but fear of what?

The pastor tells us to feed our minds constantly with the truth, to think about Jesus.
He says to free our minds from destructive thoughts and not to believe everything you think, because the mind is the battleground for sin.
Well now.
Listen, I don't believe that my anxiety is sin induced.
I don't know where it's coming from but I'm pretty sure it's not onaccounta
any sin.

A few days ago I read this in my Jesus Calling Devotional-
Jesus Calling – September 12th
Receive My Peace. It is My continual gift to you. The best way to receive this gift is to sit quietly in My Presence, trusting Me in every area of your life. Quietness and trust accomplish far more than you can imagine: not only in you, but also on earth and in heaven. When you trust Me in a given area, you release that problem or person into My care.
Spending time alone with Me can be a difficult discipline, because it goes against the activity addiction of this age. You may appear to be doing nothing, but actually you are participating in battles going on within spiritual realms. You are waging war—not with the weapons of the world, but with heavenly weapons, which have divine power to demolish strongholds. Living close to Me is a sure defense against evil.
“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
—John 14:27
This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says: “In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength, but you would have none of it.”
—Isaiah 30:15
The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.
—2 Corinthians 10:4 

Today I read an entry from my Mark Nepo Devotional entitled  The Book of Awakening-

Simple as a Fish
"I've been a fish in search of bottom when I've
surfaced, in search of surface when I've bottomed, and the ribbon of God's sea passing through my gills is what I've felt and thought and spoken."
  1. A simple fish nosing its way along the bottom is in itself a profound teacher, and like the deepest teachers, it doesn't even know it is teaching. Yet in its tiny, efficient gill lives the mystery of how to live as a spirit on Earth.
  2. As we all know, by swimming, the smallest fish takes in water, and its gill turns that water into the air by which it lives. Though there are biological details that explain the mechanics of this, it is, in essence, a mystery.
  3. The question is, What in us is our gill? Our heart, our mind, our spirit, a mix of all three? Whatever it is, like the smallest fish, we must turn water into air in order to live, which for us means turning our experience into something that can sustain us. It means turning pain into wonder, heartache into joy.
  4. Nothing else matters, and just like fish we must keep swimming to stay alive. We must keep swimming through the days. We cannot stop the flow of experience or the need to take it in. Rather, all our efforts must go into learning the secret of the gill, the secret of transforming what we go through into air.
  5. So, what is your gill? For me, it is my heart, and love becomes the unseeable trail I leave behind. But whatever it might be for you, it is more important to swim through the days and honor the gill inside you than to figure out how it all works.
  • Sit quietly and breathe slowly.
  • As you breathe, notice how turning air into breath is what keeps you alive.
  • Keep breathing slowly, and as you breathe, open your heart to the mystery of turning experience into feeling and pain into wonder.
  • Inhale deeply, and let the gill inside you work.

What is your bait? What is your gill? What is mine?
I like Mark's words-
"Keep breathing slowly, and as you breathe, open your heart to the mystery of turning experience into feeling and pain into wonder."

Like those fish I am going to use my gills and breathe and just keep swimming to stay alive.
Does it matter if I am being baited or if I am at the surface or at the bottom?
No. I don't need to figure out how it all works. I just need to keep swimming.

Thanks for reading,
Love, Lolly