I'm linking up with Lisa at Stop and Smell the Chocolates.  Every Saturday Lisa shares some of her blessings from the week.  I love this link up because it reminds me that amidst all the craziness and "things that don't seem to go right," God is ever-so-present, blessing me. Every. Single. Day.

It's super easy to join this link up.  You can follow the template below or you can write your own blessings.  Then don't forget to "link up" with Lisa so she and her readers can also Savor in your blessings and you in theirs.  The link up is at the bottom of her entry.  Simple as that!

Scripture

"Stop being angry! Turn from your rage! Do not lose your temper—it only leads to harm."
Psalm 37:8 NLT   

Storyteller

I am never disappointed by the posts that I read on (in)courage.  God always knows what I need and when I need it.  These ladies, whom I have never met, give me that extra encouragement and make my God just that more present in my life. 

This week Bonnie Gray's, Resting Through the Fog That Won't Go Away, challenged me to see if God wants to me to stay or go on the current path that I am on.  You can read more of Bonnie's posts at her site Faith Barista.

Social

Today is Make A Difference Day across the country. Bean and I got to participate together with the Junior Service League of Wenatchee collecting diapers for 3 of our local shelters.  We were able to spend time with one another and it was a great teaching experience for her.  There was a gentleman that was homeless that showed up to the store to get out of the rain.  Bean had to go to the bathroom and on our way out, I told her we were going to buying the man we passed some soup.  Here is the conversation I had with my 3 year old had:

Me: Bean, we're going to buy the man sitting by the door some soup, okay?
Bean: Why Mama?
Me: Well honey, that man doesn't have money, a warm jacket or a house to live in.  We have so much 
      already and we are called to help others.
Bean:  Mama, WE have money!
Me:  That's right honey.  So let's go get him some soup.

(We go to the self-serve soup.  I decide that chicken noodle soup sounded better than chili or chowder.)

Bean: (Looking at the chicken noodle soup with a look of disgust on her face.)  Mama, I don't think he's going
        to like that. Eww....
Me:  Honey, I'm pretty sure he's going to like the nice, warm soup.
Bean:  I don't know...eww...
Me: (Shaking my head) Bean, please pick out some bread.

(We pay for the soup and bread and Bean marches over to the gentleman, gives him the bread and says....)

Bean: Stay warm!
Gentleman: (Stunned) Thank you.
Me:  I hope you have a good day.
Gentleman: I always do.

Bean went home and told Daddy all about it.  I'm glad today just wasn't a day about us getting out of the house for a little bit, but that the two of us grew together.  I love it!

Silly

On our way home from Make a Difference Day, Bean and I sang songs in the car SUPER DUPER LOUD!  We put our own spin on the Color Song (you sing about the colors in Spanish) by yelling "STOP!" after her two favorite colors, blue and purple.  It was a lot of fun. 

Snapshot

Bean was enjoying some cake at a friend's birthday party.  Yum!

Sips

Well, I haven't had anything out of the ordinary except my coffee and water.  But I do suppose that drinking my morning cup of coffee before the kids get up has been a blessing because I get to drink it HOT!

Sweets

Hello?!  It's Halloween time and sweets are EV-ER-Y-WHERE!  EVERYWHERE!  Plus, the other day, I came home and my dear, dear hubby made brownies.  I'm so lucky and so blessed.  I love that man!

Thanks for hanging with me today! 
 
 
I have taken some time again from my blog.  I'm sad to say that I did not finish my 31 Days of Healing.  But I'm completely okay with that.  The 31 days was just a little too much for me and my current schedule (i.e. I have been throwing myself into things to avoid the issue).  These past couple of weeks I have kind of shut myself off from dealing with my hurt.  I've tried to make it disappear.  God, however, does not want me to do that. 

Last night M. and I went out for dinner and I started opening up again.  I started pouring my heart out and realized I. CANNOT. HIDE.  God wants to heal me.  He wants me to be free of the hurt, the sin, the ugliness.  He wants it all gone. 

I cannot guarantee that I will write about it all at this time because I am having such difficulty expressing my anger.  I cannot seem to get it out on paper, so for me to put it out here may be a bit more of a challenge.  I do want to thank everyone for their prayers and support.  You sweet emails, texts, and phone calls are a wonderful encouragement to me.  I love you all.

So with all of this said, I will go back to just writing.  :)

~Kate
 
 

So It Goes

There are days that I kind of "forget" that this has happened to my family.  I "forget" because it makes it easier.  I "forget" because I'm used to shoving things down.  I "forget" why I'm here.

This has been one thing that M. has been trying to get me to do.  To remember. 
It's difficult to truly rehash everything.  Everything that I've shoved down, way down deep. It's like a dark place that I don't want to get lost in.  That's why I've been delaying in writing my angry letter.  I don't want to go back to a place that makes me feel like crap.  I don't want to remember the pain that I felt as a teen and young adult.  However, I know that in order for me to heal, I have to let go of the hurt.  That hurt has had a hand in who I have become today and who I want to be for me children.

I hope that by the end of these 31 days I wil have my letter down and forgotten. 

One Day At A Time

I still haven't put pen to paper or fingers to the keyboard to write my letter.  I passed my parents again.  Today it wasn't as painful, but it hurt nonetheless.  At this point, I'm just taking everything one day at a time.

Do you ever have conversations...by yourself?  I do.  A lot!  And with technology the way it is today, I don't look crazy anymore.  Though the times that I'm bawling in my car while driving probably doesn't look good to those driving past me. In my conversations I 1) talk to God and 2) have conversations with myself about something that is bothering.  You can imagine just how many conversations I've had recently.  When I talk with God, I picture Him in my passenger seat.  I turn and look as if a physical body were right there.  The peace that I feel with that picture is so overwhelming.  When I'm done talking, the hardest part for me comes next; listening.

Now it's His turn to talk.  His turn to lay it out there for me to hear.  Sometimes He doesn't say but a word.  Sometimes it's the comfort I feel in my heart.  And sometimes I hear His heart poured out for me.  He's there holding my hand...EVERYDAY!  He knows the outcome and He's walking right beside me.  He'll never leave and that's the most stability I will ever know.  I say that because our friends and families can and will disappoint us, but God never does.  He's only got the best in mind.  Now right now I'm trying to figure out what "the best" is, but it's slowly unraveling.
 
 

Savor 7 Blessings About My Husband

*I have a wonderful husband that supports me in my 2nd job as a consultant.  He watched the kids while I attended my parties Friday and Saturday. 

*He built a bunk bed for the kids so that they could be in the same room.  They like to be together.  It's too cute.

*He folded the laundry.  It's the thing I hate doing the most.

*He watched the kids in Sunday school.

*He stepped up when I needed him to be open with me.  I know it can be hard for him when he has to confront me.

*He has been by my side through this ordeal with my parents, praying for everyone involved.

*He protected our family from additional hurt.

I love my husband.  I am so grateful for this man.

Anger - In So Many Words

So I've been told to write out my anger, so that I can let it go.  Let me tell you, I'm having a heck of a time trying to do that.  I'm wondering if I'm confusing anger with hurt and/or sadness.  I can't seem to separate it.

Have any of you written out your anger?  The fist-flailing kind? 

Yesterday we went to the bank to deposit some money.  Our plan was to go buy new sheets afterward at Fred Meyer.  We started driving through the parking lot from the bank to Fred Meyer and were following a car similiar to my parents' car.  Low and behold, it was them.  They were in front of us...the closest we've been to them in 2 weeks.  One car length.  That's all that separated us from them...physically.  They were going to the same store we were.  Mark asked me if we should just go or if we should choose a different store.  I was torn.  I wanted to catch a glimpse of them and maybe hope for some positive reconnections with them, but heart, still hurt, said to go to a different store.  So many things were running through my mind.  One of them being, if the kids see them and attempt to run to them, what would they do?  Would they hurt them by ignoring them or push them away?  I couldn't bear for them to hurt my little hearts.  My little innocent hearts.  I realized how much hurt I have, but I don't know if I have anger.  Maybe my anger is my hurt.  I don't know.  All I could do was cry and let my heart break a little more. 

I wish that this whole thing was just some bad dream.  Speaking of dreams, I had one last night that involved my mom.  We were able to talk.  I don't remember what we talked about, but we talked.  Though our conversations of late were just about the kids, I miss talking with my mom.  I took her off of speed dial for the moment because I didn't want any of those awkward moments.  Again, that makes me sad that I can't talk with her.  It hurts.  This whole thing hurts.  When I think that my tears have run dry, more build up.  <Sigh> I'm breathing and learning to give it all to God because I can't go through this alone.  I wish I didn't have this looming over me.  Ugh.

God has a plan and it's greater than mine.  He's working on refining me and my attitude.  He's showing me what changes I need to make in myself.  I can't change anyone, including myself.  That's God's deal.  He'll work in others, as well as in me.  I'm so glad that I have a Dad who truly watches out for his children.
 
 
I'm linking up with Lisa-Jo Baker at Gypsy Mama for Five Minute Friday.  Every Friday she produces a topic and all you do is write for a solid 5 minutes.  Boom, you're done!

Ready, set, go!
I'm racing the clock.  I'm racing to beat it.  What will it benefit me if I do?  My life seems like an endless blur of movement. 

The kids get rushed out the door.  "Did they eat their breakfast I prepared?  Did they brush their teeth?"  I'm racing them because I didn't plan it right.  When I race them out like that I don't get to spend the time they so desire to be with me. 

God doesn't race me out the door.  He takes his time with me.  He, too, wants me to slow down and to be with him. 

I need to stop racing because I don't know who I'm racing.  Today, slow and steady wins the race for me.  The outcome will be the same, but I think when I do finish, the peace over me will be great!

End (Today's topic was short-lived because Bean kept counting while I was writing.  I love my Bean!)
 
 
Yesterday I wrote a little bit about unrighteous anger and what that looks like.  It's not pretty that's for sure! In this process that I'm going through with my own anger, I'm learning more about righteous anger and what that looks like.

Going back to Ephesians 4: 26-27 and 31-32, we see that it's okay to have anger, but it depends on what we do with it.
"And 'don’t sin by letting anger control you.'Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil...Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior.  Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you."
If we let our anger control ourselves, it's not pleasing to God.  That type of anger is the unrighteous kind.  James puts it this way:
"Human anger' does not produce the righteousness God desires."  James 1:20
But we are instructed to be angry in a righteous way that reflects God.  What does that look like?

God was angry with Moses and his unbelief, which led him to resist going to Pharaoh (Exodus 4).  He is angered by the mistreatment of  the helpless (Exodus 22:21-24).  And there are multiple examples of his anger of those who turned from worshipping him to worshipping idols (Exodus 32:10; Deuteronomy 6:14-15; Judges 2:13-14).

Jesus was also angry.  He was angry at the Pharisees (Mark 3:5) and in the temple (John 2:13-22). 

Moses was angered by the Pharaoh, after he finally decided he was going to obey God (Exodus 11:8) and by the Israelites worship of the golden calf (32:1-20).  Galatians describes Paul's anger about the false teaching that has spread to the believers in Galatia and had accepted it. Men, just like you and me, can have righteous anger.

How do we know our anger is righteous?

1.  Righteous anger is God-like anger.  It is directed to man's actions.  Godly people are angry when God is angry.  It reflects God's character and not our own.

2.  Godly anger is legal anger.  It's anger towards the violation of God's laws and is expressed lawfully.

3.  Godly anger is slowly provoked.  Exodus 34:6 states that God is "slow to anger."  He warned the Isarelites many times before displaying his anger.  God is not like me and my short fuse.

4.  Godly anger is ALWAYS controlled.  Anger does not control the person.


It's kind of funny that all this "anger" talk has released a lot of my own.  I love the freeing feeling.  On Sunday, I'm going to work on how to change our anger to godly behavior.



 
 
Do you get angry?  I mean drop-drown, storming around, red-eyed angry?  I do.  (Insert very embarrassed face.)  But when I get angry, I kind of keep it to myself.  I shove it deep down in my heart.  I allow myself to have inward seething resentment.  This is me in all my unrighteous anger "glory."  This is not a good place to be.  There are two types of anger:  The ugly one I just described as unrighteous anger and the good anger, righteous anger.  I'm learning to let go of the unrighteous to take on the righteous.  Tomorrow we'll discuss the righteous kind.  I know.  It's kind of an oxymoron, righteous anger.
 "And 'don’t sin by letting anger control you.' Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil...Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of evil behavior.  Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.
Ephesians 4: 26-27, 31-32
God knows we're human and that we're going to get angry.  However, he wants us to deal with our anger much differently from the world.  In verse 26 and 27 say that it's pretty much okay to be angry, BUT, not to hold onto it.  Here Paul is describing the unrighteous anger.  I, unfortunately, more often than not have this type of anger.  I let it control me.  I let the offense in my heart consume me.  I'm ashamed to say that my unrighteous anger drags others down with me.  I take the anger of the offense and I spew it on to others, hoping that they will agree with me in my anger.  This anger is produced by my flesh and not by my God.  This anger is very selfish as it is directed towards my own will, rather than God's.   

I have been experiencing unrighteous anger towards my parents for so long.  I didn't realize just how much anger I have towards them; how much bitterness (man, this is making me cringe) I have in my heart for the offenses I have had. <pause> I'M BECOMING MY MOTHER!! <shaking my head>  Over the last couple of months I have been digging deep into my heart and head to purge myself of anger.  My head is over the toilet and I'm just letting it go.  I'm bringing it all up because it needs to get out so that I can heal.  I cannot keep all this anger in my heart.  I'm doing EXACTLY what my mom has been doing my entire life.  Like the flu, in order to feel better, sometimes you just need to throw up.  So I'm throwing up.  I'm throwing up all the hurt and anger and I'm giving it to God (in the toilet) so He can flush it away.  By the way, this is not my analogy, but I loved it so much, I'm using it.  I need to sit down and write out my anger.  I need to be honest with myself about how I really feel.  Writing about this has been very therapeutic, so I'm hoping that by writing down my anger and then destroying it, I will be on my way to freedom.  I feel that this will help me on my path to forgiveness. 

Tomorrow I'll talk a little about the righteous anger I am seeking.
 
 
Thank you for going on this little journey with me.  I never thought I would write about my hurt for all to see, but I wanted to be open, honest, and real with myself.  I didn't want to squash everything down and never talk about it.  This is for me to just get it out there in the open so that I can recognize and face the issues.

I have a wonderful, awesome, amazing husband!  He has been playing a HUGE part in my healing process.  His prayers, his guidance, his ability to let me be upset have all been such a blessing.  He is encouraging me to have get my anger out, vent my frustrations, but to also bring them to God for complete healing.  He has hope for a renewed relationship; a renewed family. 

I am mad at my parents for hurting me.  I am mad at them for all their hate and unforgiveness.  I am mad that they are choosing to be separated from me and my family.  It hurts.  That's about as plain as I can say it.  It. Hurts.

Yet, I long to renew this relationship.  The harboring of anger, the harboring of unforgiveness ends with me.  I will not conform to the generational issues that have come before me.  I do not want to pass any of this on to my own kids.  I, with the help of my husband and my God, will learn to truly forgive and not harbor bitterness.

I love my parents and that is the truth.  I won't and can't stop loving them.  I miss them.  I just pray that we all can forgive one another and grow from this experience.  God has set me free and I'm glad he is walking me through this process.
 
 
Today is the last day of a wonderful 3-day weekend.  I was so blessed to be able to spend it with my all of my in-laws.  We celebrated my nephew's 1st birthday and had a blast reconnecting with everyone.   After the party, we had a girls and guys night out.  Well, more of a girls night out.  The guys kind of got the seconds.  Thanks for letting us hang out together.  : )  Though there was a lot of laughing, hugging, and kissing, I had a little pain in my heart.  The pain of wanting those kind of relationships, the mother-daughter kind.  But then I realized, I have them!  God provided me with Mrs. V. and my in-laws.  I'm so blessed.

Well, I'm just having one of those days that I need to get my house together so that I feel together.  So I'm going to finish here and meditate on Isaiah.
Have you never heard?  Have you never understood?  The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth.  He never grows weak or weary.  No one can measure the depths of his understanding.  He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless.

Isaiah 40:28-29

 
 
It showed up on my phone as "Restricted Number."  I hestitated to answer it because I knew of only one number that called me that has their number restricted; my parents.  What could it mean that they were calling me?  Did they want to sit down and talk again and clear the air?  Had the time come for true healing and forgiveness?  Sadly no.  My dad called to have me taken off the Costco account.  I spoke longer to the customer service representative at Costco than I did to my dad.  I actually caught myself hanging onto the line to see if he would come back on to say anything.  Unfortunately, all I heard was the call being disconnected.

Disconnected.  Separated.  Cut off.  Detached.  I never realized how disconnected this whole debacle could make me feel from family.  I have a hole in my heart.  My parents raised me from birth when my own biological parents could not.  They put a roof over my head, fed me, clothed me.  Everything a parent is supposed to do.  They gave me lots of stuff.  But the stuff didn't matter to me.  I think that is why they felt I was so selfish.  The stuff was just stuff, at least to me.  What my heart wanted, what I craved so desperately was love; in my language.  I've noticed that my love language changes according to who I am around.  I just took the test again and my primary love language is physical touch, followed closely by words of affirmation.  If they only knew my love languages when I was growing up, then maybe they would've chosen better words than "slut" or "fat" (but what could you replace with those words?!).  And maybe more hugs and kisses may have been given.  I don't know for sure, but I'm willing to bet that things would have been different.  But I cannot dwell on what may have been, so I will continue to learn what my children's love languages are so that I can make sure that they feel loved beyond any doubt.  I want to make sure that I make those love connections with my kids.

My parents' love language seems to be gift giving, but when I think about gift giving, you give freely, with no strings attached and no expectations on how that person is to use that particular gift. So I'm not sure what their love language is and I'm pretty sure that if I ever gave them the book, they wouldn't crack it open.  That's just been my experience with them in that setting. 

So what am I going to do? 

I will continue to pray for healing for everyone involved.  I will continue to dive down deep into God's word.  I will continue to bare my heart and soul so that God can work on and in me.  Right now I just want to shake them awake and say, "WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!"  Anger and frustration are so powerful. But God is bigger than it all.   I know it's going to take longer than 31 days to heal myself and to truly forgive them.  So I pray that both will come quickly. 
Psalm 119:114
 You are my refuge and my shield; your word is my source of hope.