Monday, December 31, 2012

Just A Thought has hit 10 000 page views!

On Saturday, the page view count for Just A Thought hit 10 000!  How amazingly cool is that?  I am humbled, and excited, and a little startled.  I mean, really. 10 000?!!

I've been writing in this blog for about four years, but the majority of the hits have happened in the last couple of years. Google Blogger allows me to track the number of page views per day, and the country the hits come from.  I love the fact that I have had readers from Russia, Singapore, China, the UK, Serbia, South Africa, Ireland, Israel, the United Arab Emirates, the Netherlands, Belgium, India, Moldova, Kenya, Mexico, Guam, Nepal, Germany, Poland, well as from Canada and the U.S.  In fact, I have been visited by every continent except for Antarctica.

I also appreciate the fact that hitting this milestone coincides with the end of 2012.  It seems a fitting time to begin the next 10 000.  I have said it before, that I am so grateful for you, the readers.  Writing the posts is just one half of the equation for me.  When you read what I have written, you complete the process.  In no way do I expect you to agree with everything I write, or with anything I write, for that matter.  I know that there are some who come into Just A Thought looking for dirt.  I've had my own words, chewed up, twisted, seasoned with poison and spit back into my face, so distorted and out of context that I no longer recognize them.   Still, it is part of the deal, that once I hit "publish" on a post, it no longer belongs to me.  It is given to others, to do with as they will.  I am so grateful that the majority of people who let me know that they are reading are encouraging and positive, even when they don't agree with me.

I think one of the reasons I am so amazed at reaching 10 000 is because continuing to write here has been a huge challenge.  It's scary.  Seriously.  It has been difficult to keep my inner censor from throwing herself off a cliff at times.  Nothing screams "What if???!!" louder than my inner voice watching my cursor hover over the "publish" button. I am learning to make honest choices about what I put here, to allow myself to be weak and to let others know it, to present myself in all my flawed glory, to let kindness and truth be my guide, and to listen to the still, quiet voice of God when He whispers in my ear, "Do you really want to post that? Or would it be a good idea to calm down first and let your brain have a say...?"

Years ago, God gave me a strong desire to "live out loud".  So much of my life had been controlled by what others think of me.  I felt that God wanted to help me challenge that fear by reaching out, giving myself to others, risking rejection in the process.  I discovered that rejection is not soul-killing.  Hiding in fear of rejection is.  Being a fool, and having others discover this, is not the end of the world.  Hiding the Light of God within ourselves for fear that our foolishness might also be discovered may just be the beginning of the end.

There very well may be people who, in reading my words here, decide that I am not for them. That is okay.  I am not for everyone.  I can't say that it is their loss. I mean, my goodness, how am I to know that? How arrogant would it be to assume that to know me is to love me?  It very well may be my loss.  It just is what it is.

Still, whenever someone tells me that they have read my blog, and liked it, I want to hug them and shine their shoes and bake them cookies and give them puppies and vacuum their carpets and sing sappy love songs and do a happy dance and smile until my face hurts.  And I want details.

I am, after all, human.

So, thank you, thank you, thank you, dear readers. For coming here, for receiving my gift of myself and for letting my voice into your world.  Thank you, dearest Lord, for the courage to be who I am here, and for the words.

Just a thought.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

As 2013 looms on the Horizon...where does my hope lie?

This verse from the prophet Jeremiah is one of my favorites.  It is my life verse.  God gave it to me many years ago, and He has always been faithful to keep it for me.

I don't know that I have always been as faithful to believe it, though.  I think, for the most part, I believe parts of it.  That God has a plan for me? Got it.  That His plan is to prosper me and not to harm me?  Uh..sometimes got it.  That He also plans to give me hope, and a future...that kind of depends on the day. depends on my faithfulness to God "on the day".

So, as 2012 is quickly sliding into the realm of history, and 2013 looms on the horizon, what do I hope for in the new year?  What am I resolving?  What changes will be made, what problems will find solutions, what attitudes will be adjusted?  Good questions.

I want to trust the God of this verse more.  I want to trust Jeremiah's God, the God who doesn't just have a plan, but who declares it out loud, who wants to prosper those who trust and love Him, who does not harm me, who plans to give me, glory of all glories, a hope and a future.

I have been slowly realizing that I have begun to see life as one continuous stumble, a constant meeting of trouble, getting through, taking a deep breath, and meeting the next trouble.  In moments of trouble, I make my way through, holding on to God, learning from Him, growing in obedience, asking for forgiveness when I fail, praising Him when we make it through together.  In moments of you know what I tend to do in moments of peace? I wait for the next moment of trouble to hit.  Maybe not outwardly. I am, by nature, and optimistic person.  I don't forecast gloom, complain about things before they happen, grumbling about the storm that I am certain is going to ruin my lovely, sunny day.  I enjoy the sun, I breathe deeply when the air is rich and fragrant, I see the splashes of grace and know that I am loved.

But inside, deep inside, anxiety niggles at me.  I fully engage myself in moments of pleasure and peace, but I am beginning to realize that in my innermost being, I believe that the good times are temporary. Rest stops, maybe, but no place for me to live.

I'll give you an example.  The past few months have been really good.  I've been working hard, and achieving great results. I've done well in school, and getting lots of positive feedback from my job, I'm enjoying meeting lots of new people, and am getting to the place (although I'm not there yet) where I know that I can relax about money and bill paying, etc. The pain from past sorrows is easing.  I am enjoying my relationship with God, and while there are heartaches, He is sustaining me and lifting me up daily.

Still, there is a part of me that can't relax.  That keeps peering upward, waiting for the proverbial "other shoe to drop".  Another death, maybe.  Or, and this one really bothers me, probably because it feels more likely, another heart attack.  My mind keeps drifting down that path, the "What if?" road to worry and insecurity.  What if I have another heart attack?  And can't work?  What then?

Now, how afraid am I of this?  Enough to make sure I take my meds daily, but not enough to stop me from helping Grace shovel the driveway yesterday.  I am not tormented by it.  It does not haunt me.  It's not a swarm of wasps up my shirt.  It's a mosquito in my ear.

So, if it isn't an army of angry wasps up my shirt, what's the problem? The problem is not the mosquito of worry. It's the belief - of lack of belief - that has created this mosquito.

There is a lot of talk in Christian circles about getting out of our comfort zone. What happens when comfort is out of our comfort zone?  When having enough money to meet my needs (almost there!) and feeling healthy enough to enjoy life and work (with a few accommodations), when having a great relationship with an amazing daughter who is smart, kind and in love with Jesus with a maturity that blows my mind and having special people in my life, when being able to write and having time to read (other than academic stuff), when life is going okay and God is as close as ever...what happens when that is outside of my comfort zone?

The truth? God deserves more from me. That's it. Pointe finale.  Of course stuff happens, and life is full of problems to be solved, challenges to be faced.  Still, God deserves a child who knows that she knows that she knows that while, yes, He is her peace in the storm, the truth is that sometimes there isn't a storm.  I don't have to wear my life jacket 24/7.  I don't need to try to pull my jacket around the life preserver that I wear, every day, just in case.  Sometimes, there is no storm.

Ultimately it comes down to this.  If there is a storm coming, I don't need to know about it.  Sounds radical, huh?  The thing is, God knows about it.  All I need is Him.  All I need is Jesus.

All I need is Jesus.  He is my peace. He is my joy. He is my love, my life, my hope...and He is my calm in the lack of a storm.


Sunday, December 23, 2012

Merry Christmas!!!

I want to wish all my readers, known and unknown, friends and family, all the amazing people who wander in and out of these pages, a merry, merry Christmas.

We are all in so many different places, in this world, in our lives, in our hearts and minds and years, and I am grateful for the small moments that we get to connect here.  I re-read my Christmas post from last year, and back then, I wrote about being "ready for Christmas".  And how I wasn't.  And yet, was.

I think it still applies today, for me.  I wrote about Mary and Joseph, and how, outwardly, they were incredibly unready for the birth of Jesus.  They didn't even have a room for Mary to give birth in, let alone a midwife...or ice chips...or heated blankets...or an epidural.  They had nothing, and yet they still found themselves holding everything. In their arms. In their hearts.

Grace and I have much more than Mary and Joseph did back then.  In the context of our time, our culture, the "way things are done", though, we're lagging behind. Money is tight. We're both celebrating the end of the last semester with illness.  The tree is already dried out...who was in charge of keeping it watered, anyway? But that's okay.  Because we tend to live our lives in "His" time, anyway.  And in Jesus' time, there is room for joy in the pain.  There is a place for laughter through the tears.  Love shines brighter than the hatred.  Truth obliterates the lies.  There is Life in the manger, in the fatigue, in the grime, in the dark...and beyond death.

This morning in church, we sang "The Little Drummer Boy".  It's my favorite Christmas song.  I love the message of being small and having little to give, offering it anyway and seeing God smile with delight.  Not because of the gift, but because of the giver...the Beloved.  Us.  Me.

So I sang with all my heart, clutching a wad of wet Kleenex, my voice choked with tears...

And God smiled at me.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

"Someday" is waiting for us!

I just re-read my post from last night - A Melancholy Friday Night - and winced.  I know that my goal for this blog includes honesty, but talking about how insecure I can be when I am feeling insecure is hard.  Really, really hard.

I still feel that it is important, though.  I know that I am not alone.  I know that many of us struggle to trust others, to know who our friends are. We struggle to believe, in this world of social politeness that can veil all manner of negativity and criticism, that we are really welcome in the lives of others.

For me, the most hopeful word in last night's post was "someday". Because I know that these insecurities are not a permanent part of my life.  God is always in the process of transforming me into His image, which is loving and graceful. And strong.  God's strength in His people is love.  I will live all my days on this earth, and never even come close to knowing how powerful and strong God's love is.  Or how much power His love generates in us when we allow Him in.

God deals with my insecurities, not by trying to convince me that I am fabulous and worth loving, although I believe that He thinks this is true.  God deals with my insecurities by reminding me to get my eyes off of myself, and to reach out in love to others.

So, "What if they don't like me" turns into "how can I show them how neat I think they are?"  And, "What if they gossip about me behind my back?" turns into, "God, help me not to gossip about them behind their backs..."  Things get easier as I stop thinking about how people might treat me, and focus on how I treat others.  That's the power of love.

That's why the word "someday" is so hopeful.  Someday, I won't struggle with being insecure. Someday I won't be afraid of rejection.  Someday, I'll feel brave, even when I am tired and emotional and vulnerable.

Maybe "someday" is tomorrow. You never know.  But one thing I do know...if you need it, God has your "someday" waiting for you, too.

How cool is that?

Friday, December 21, 2012

A Melancholy Friday Night

I just came home from work. I spent three hours with a dear boy who has Asperger's syndrome, and who is an absolute delight.  We ate pizza and watched the movie, Real Steel. I cried at the end.  He practiced all his newly learned boxing moves. I was impressed.  

His parents went out for supper and bought groceries.  They came home, happy from a night out. I had a wonderful time, and once again left amazed that the agency I work for actually pays me to do this.  It feels like what I was made to do.

I stopped at the Super C in Ormstown on my way home, picked up a few things, and came home.

So, now, here I am.  Grace was already in bed.  She's not feeling well, poor Chika.

And I am feeling melancholy. Part of it is being alone on a Friday night. When I was passing through Ormstown, there was a friend who lives there that I considered visiting, but I didn't.  Wasn't sure if I should.  Didn't know if I'd be an interruption or not. Didn't want to intrude.

All the old insecurities surfaced.  And I came home.

Someday I'm going to be okay, popping in to say hi, knowing that I am welcome, knowing for sure who my friends are...

So, in the spirit of sharing things about me that you may not know...I can be very insecure.  I can get confused about who my friends are, who wants me in their lives and who is just being nice.  I have my forever friends, the ones I never, ever, ever doubt.  But then, there are the people that I really want to get to know, the ones that I'm not quite close enough to, to feel safe with, but who I would like to be.


Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Hobbit, The end of school and a bit about me...

The Hobbit was a wonderful, funny, scary, magical, moving romp through Middle Earth, as I thought it would be.  Beyond amazing!  Especially in 3D!

So now, I have one more final to do (macroeconomics...egad) and I am done.  I am sad to be finishing with school, at least for a while, although I will still be in the school as I will continue to work as a volunteer there. I'll miss the other students, and the teachers. I have met some truly amazing people in this program!

I have to admit, though, that I am getting tired.  I've been in a IC flare for a few days, and the pain is worse than it has been in a long time.  I feel like I have knives cutting through my abdomen.  I am grateful, though, that this didn't happen sooner.  Having loads to do and feeling like this makes me feel so pressured that I have a tendency to get really down.  I do feel a bit low, but it's just the pain.

 I am especially blessed that I am able to work even when I feel so ill, because I find my time with the people I work with so enjoyable, and so unstressful, and I have the freedom to spend it in a way that doesn't tax me. For example, on Tuesday, I worked for four hours, and spent it playing cards with two of the sweetest little boys ever.  I was tired when I got home, but I told Grace, I don't believe I get paid for this!  I am glad I do, but wow, what a blessing!

I was thinking, as it is the holiday season and I feel like taking things a little lighter, that maybe I would do a few "things you didn't know about me" posts.  I know that I have many readers that I don't know, and some that I don't know very well, and wish I knew better. Maybe you'd like to know me better, too? *she says hopefully*

I express a lot of opinions and ideas in this blog, and maybe giving you all a bit of info about me might add a bit of context to my posts?

Or maybe I'm just lazy.  That could be it, too.

In any case, I'll start with this - I love chickens.  I'm not just talking chicken as food, although I am not one to pass up a good coq au vin.  I really, really, really love chickens ~ live chickens, free-range chickens, hens and roosters, scratching around the yard, pulling worms out of the garden, peering in the windows, pooping on the steps, leaving feathers and eggs in corners of the front porch...chickens.

I have also (and this may come under the category of confessions) spanked a chicken.  On purpose. Hard.

It was a hen that was tormenting another hen, her sister. They were the only two Americauna hens that we had, and they had come to us in the same cage. They were fine together in the cage, but once let loose, one became quite aggressive with her sister.

After several attempts at isolating both the bully and the poor, hen-pecked victim, I let them loose together with the flock and little miss bully cornered her sister hen behind the coop door and was pecking her to bits.  The rooster tried to intervene, to no avail.

So I marched up to the battling hens in the corner behind the door and swatted the top hen on her bottom.  The first swat basically just hit feathers - I love little feathery chicken bottoms! - and so I swatted her again, hard.  She went flying across the coop yard, squawking and complaining. Talk about righteous indignation.  But she left her sister alone after that.

Desperate times call for desperate measures.

More later...

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

I'm going back to Middle Earth!!!

I cannot possibly express how overwhelmingly excited I am to be going to see The Hobbit tomorrow with Grace and my friends, Sandy and Karen.  My mind has been so on school and work and on physically making it through this week that I have just now realized what a thrill it will be to revisit Middle Earth.  I love, love, love the Lord of the Ring series, I've read the books repeatedly, have seen the movies countless times, and cannot wait to go back, and to see how it all started.

* happy, happy sigh*

I'm thinking, this holiday season may be a good time for a Lord of the Ring marathon.  All three movies, extended editions, back to back. With Hobbit food, lots of ale, wine and friends. there anyone out there who hasn't ever done a LOTR marathon?  Aw, c' know you want to...

Heh heh.

I can't wait for tomorrow! *squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee*

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Is that the finish line I see?

I am so tired.  I spent seven hours today writing my economics dossier. And yes, I left it until the last minute. I do feel good about having finished it, but my entire body is in revolt.  Everything that can hurt, does hurt.  And I've been getting mild, but frequent bouts of angina.  I only have 2 more exams, though, and then school is done.  It will be such a relief to just work, and not have to worry about essays, projects and homework calling to me from the depths of my school bag.  Having said that, I am proud of the work that I have done over the past few months.  It's been a good semester, especially considering the fact that I entered it totally intimidated by the courses I was going to take. Economics? Geography? Seriously?  On Friday, I found out that so far, my economics average is 85%.  How is that even possible?  I do know that I feel much more comfortable with the subject than I did when I started.  I've learned stuff that I didn't know, and that's always a good thing.  That was the point.  The marks are just a bonus.

I wanted to write about the shootings in Connecticut, but I am not emotionally or mentally prepared to. I am so tired, I feel like anything I say will just be about me and my reaction to what happened, and that just feels selfish at this point.  I am deeply sad.  Too sad for words.  That's about it.

Oddly enough, my dear reader friends, I feel like I miss you.  It's odd, because I don't even know who most of you are.  But I have gotten used to sharing myself with you, and you are all such good listeners!  I pray for you all, because I know that God knows who you are.  And please feel free to drop me a line, ask questions, let me know what you think.  My email address is . If you are new here, I don't allow comments on this blog because of some disturbing anonymous comments I received in the past, but I absolutely welcome your input, or simply a hello.  Then, I get to say hello back to you!  If you send me a question or comment that you would like to have answered on the blog, I will absolutely do that, too.

I hope that you know how important you are, dear reader.  Writing can be a lonely endeavor, and posting my thoughts and feelings here is only part of the equation.  What I write here is only complete when you read it. You don't have to agree, or like what I say.   The gift that you give me, every time I muster up the courage to give myself to these pages, is the absolute wonder of knowing that you have heard my voice.  I pray that you, dear reader, are also enjoying the loveliness of being heard, in which ever way you speak your life into this world.  Maybe you sing. Maybe you cook, or fix cars, or build things, or paint, or garden...there are so many ways to share ourselves with the world.  And tonight, I am so grateful that you have allowed me these opportunities to share myself with you. I am honored.

And now, it is bedtime.  Sweet dreams, my friends.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Well, Hello Christmas Spirit! Welcome!

Grace and I put our Christmas tree up today, with help from her dad, Mark.  Needless-to-say, my house smells like an evergreen forest.  I love it!  You'll notice from the picture that it isn't decorated yet.  That's tomorrow's project. I have learned, over the years, that being chronically ill doesn't mean necessarily mean that I can't do things. It just means that I need to do them differently. Which means that sometimes, the Christmas tree has to be naked for a while until I get the energy/strength to decorate it. It's much more fun when everyone enjoys the process, anyway.

I have always been the kind of person that takes pleasure in simple things.  I have found, over the years, that this trait has often been a blessing. Today has been filled with pleasant things.  Some difficult things, as well.  But the nice things win out.  Like squash soup, made with a butternut squash that my friend, Sandy, gave me. The soup was incredible, rich, buttery and flavored with ginger and lemongrass.  Grace made a Asian pear tart for dessert, which was lovely.  She also cut out some pretty paper snowflakes and hung them around the house.  Tonight, a young friend came to play cards with me for a bit, and we had a nice visit.  I finished most of one of the papers due for next week, received a fun email from my favorite teacher as well as an early Christmas gift of a nifty door bell that plays different tunes, including Christmas songs ...and did I mention that my house smells as fresh and evergreeny?

Despite the tough stuff, like a difficult phone call this morning or the headache that haunted me all day, my world is filled with lovely things, and I am grateful.  Tired, and ready for bed, but grateful.

Maybe being grateful IS the Christmas Spirit.  There really is so much to be grateful for.

Just a thought.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Hello Mountain Top! *Woops! Good Bye Mountain Top, Hello Valley...*

This morning I did a geography presentation on Middle (or Central) America with a great group of other students.  I think it went well, and our teacher seemed to really enjoy it.  Since our presentation realm included countries like Mexico, Costa Rica, etc, we had a bit of fun with it. A couple members of our group made awesome sombreros for us, another member made spiced hot chocolate and the yummiest baked, cinnamon tortilla chips, and I bought a bunch of different kinds of tropical fruits and veggies to share, including a coconut (yeah, neither a fruit or veggie, but you get the idea).  I had fun, and now I have a fridge full of exotic goodies. A win-win situation, I think.

Then I got my geography quiz back and I had gotten a 90% on it. This is such a blessing, considering my first quiz netted me  67% and an angina attack.  I mean, really. What was I thinking? Apparently nothing.  Actually, I am learning that in the same way that I don't do graphs well in macroeconomics, I also don't do maps well.  They confuse me.  I need lots of words on them to make any sense of them.  Hence the flashes of anxiety and gut-wrenching confusion when given a blank...yes, BLANK!!! and asked to name countries and stuff.  Really?  *sigh*

Anyway, so the 90% was lovely.  I left the school on a bit of a high, the teacher's praise for our presentation ringing in my ears and a successful test tucked into my school bag.

In the car on the way to the grocery store, I suddenly realized how tired I was. Exhausted.  And my throat was scratchy and sore. My body hurt.

Then on the way home from the grocery store, my car stalled.  While I was driving it.  Scared the willies out of me.  It started up again, but not before adrenaline flash flooded my body and left me wanting to fight off the dragons of expensive car repairs or flight my way into bed with the covers pulled securely over my head.

It amazes me how quickly I can go from cloud 9 to a face plant in the mud.

Alas, we don't remain on the mountain top forever. I am grateful for mountain top experiences, those wonderful moments of pleasure, success or happiness.  Mountain top experiences remind me that there is something wonderful, good and worth working or waiting for while traipsing through the valleys of life.  The valleys help me remember what life is about, how fragile it is, how important my people are, how much I have to learn, to grow, to be.  And it is in the valleys that we do our best growing.  Our hardest work.  Our most intense living.  It is where I, as a disciple of Jesus, best learn to trust Him.  And, oddly enough, it is where I feel His love the most.  Think about it, a loved one's arms wrapped around us in a moment of accomplishment and success feels great.  A loved one's arms wrapped around us in a moment of abject failure, disappointment, or misery can be life to us. Love received in these moments means everything.

That's why we need to make the choice to love unconditionally.  I told someone once that I wanted him to love me when I am "bad".  He was offended  Apparently, the concept of grace - the undeserved love of God - hadn't reached him yet.  I was sad. But no matter.  When the God of the Universe offers His unconditional, eternal, overwhelmingly powerful and passionate love to me, even when I am screwing up, I can accept the worlds refusal to do it, too.  My goal in life is to walk so close to Jesus, that His life is in me, and His loves are my loves.  I want to love like He does.  And, to be honest, that happens in the valleys.

So...I'm going to drag my sore throat and achy body to bed and start working on the next history exam, on Thursday.  And the geography colonialism paper due on Tuesday.  And the...well, you get the picture.

Peace out.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

What I am learning from my macroeconomics class *hint- it's not macroeconomics!*

This week, I got my grade for my last macroeconomic exam.  It was 84%.  Yeah, I don't know how that happened, either.  To be honest, I think my Christmas miracle came early.

Economics has been a struggle for me.  The part of my brain that was originally designed to process macroeconomic-type things has apparently atrophied.  If it ever actually existed.  I listen intently to every lecture, writing notes on everything the teacher says.  If he has to reteach the same concept four times, it is written in my notes four times.  I read the text book, stare at graphs for hours, and still, nothing makes sense.

Still, I believe that everything is a learning opportunity, and this is no different. So, here are some of the things that I have learned from my macroeconomic class.

The first thing I have learned is that I don't do graphs.  I cannot look at a graph, even one that I am familiar with, and immediately grasp the information it offers.  I need to talk my way through each graph.  Every time.   I guess I am not a visual learner.  That is probably why, when I want to know how to do something, I would much rather read instructions that watch a teaching video. I do like to watch people do stuff, but I'd still rather have the instructions written down.  I feel like it gives me more freedom, and the words open doors to me that don't get opened from the pictures.

The second thing that I have learned is that there are some concepts that, no matter how many times I cram the information into my brain, will not be easily learned.  This includes anything math related, especially algebra.  Graphs, formulas, equations, they all leave me staring mournfully at my papers, wishing more than anything that I was anywhere else.

The third thing I have learned is that if I work hard and listen to all the lectures, do all the reading, write and re-write the formulas, go over my notes repeatedly before each test, and pray fervently that God will help me access at least some of the information during the test, I can get enough out to actually pass a test.  Between the little bit that I know, and multiple educated guesses, I do okay.  Does this mean that I know anything about macroeconomics? Not a chance.  In fact, the teacher posted the answers to the test with the test results, and when I went over the answers, I got lost and gave up.  I really was only able to hold onto the information long enough to sweat my way through the test.  I guess that's all I needed.

The fourth thing that I have learned through macroeconomics class is that, while the details are lost as soon as I put my pencil down after a test, the bigger concepts do remain with me.  I understand the banking system a bit more.  I have had the opportunity to talk about some of the things that I have learned about the economy, the last recession, etc.  The knowledge that I may need seems to have stuck.  I may have to re-learn, for every exam,  how to find the real GDP of a given year from a graph of several years, but there are others things that I  really do "get". And that's cool.

Mostly, I have learned that nothing is wasted, if we go into it with open minds and hearts and the desire to do our best.  And the willingness to admit to our weaknesses.  And the assurance that it's okay to rely on God to do what we can't!

Just a thought.
My Zimbio