Thursday, December 31, 2009

A Timely Video

Psalm 90:12 "Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom."

A New Years tradition is some station playing a marathon session of all the old Twilight Zone episodes. This year you can watch them on the Syfy Channel ( While I'm not much of a fan of the channel, I am a huge fan of the Twilight Zone series, and one of my favorite episodes is entitled "The Obsolete Man" from 1961. In a future state where religion and books have been banned, a librarian is judged obsolete by the Chancellor and sentenced to death.

As we look back on 2009, and ahead to 2010, and think about our past/present/future lives, goals, dreams, regrets, plans, resolutions, and all the "meaning of life" questions, I invite you to view this video -- CLICK HERE. It's truth is as plain as the black and white film on which it was shot -- and more than enduring.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

How Long?

1 Corinthians 13:4 “Love is patient…"

Patient – greek makrothumeo (verb) (Strong’s concordance number 3114)
1. to be of a long spirit, not to lose heart
a. to persevere patiently and bravely in enduring misfortunes and troubles
b. to be patient in bearing the offenses and injuries of others

It is almost impossible to be patient when you have been maligned, treated unfairly. You want immediate action taken to right the wrong, set the record straight, and have your name/reputation cleared of all mud and falsehood. At the same time, you want to run and hide, and give up altogether. To endure is almost worse than the words/actions which brought you to this place of sorrow and darkness and pain.

God tells us love is patient – “of a long spirit”. Somehow this sounds to me like we need to prepare to love for the long haul, because “long spirit” certainly doesn’t strike me as a momentary situation.

Lord, I confess I don’t want to love patiently like this. I want all this to be over… now! I have been knocked breathless and feel gutted. My heart is shattered… my spirit crushed, my will fading and weary… how long? I know You loved like this, I know you continue to love like this… and I know You call me to be like You. But Abba, I am before You, a heap of brokenness. I can barely face another hour, let alone a lengthy perseverence – how am I to do this?

I read the words of Psalm 38:15 “For I hope in You, O LORD; You will answer, O Lord my God., and I will wait for You.. my only Hope.” Help me to know these are more than words on a page, Abba. Hold me close because I am struggling and just don’t think I can take much more.

Friday, October 16, 2009

The Mundale Simple Blessings of a Friday Afternoon

2nd Corinthians 4:16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day

I would like to celebrate…. today.

In NJ, today was cold, rainy and gray. Okay, I’m a freak – I LOVED IT! I absolutely loved every minute of it – the coldness biting into my skin as I walked to my office from the parking lot at half-past dark thirty, watching the wind bend the branches like a virtual ballet of leaves at lunchtime, the raw “rake through your skin” breezes. I ate an amazing homemade chicken noodle soup and roll at lunchtime (thank you, Whole Foods). After work, I was blessed to go to my gym and swim/steam/sauna and chat with several interesting women. And now, here I am on my most favorite night of the week, relaxing and enjoying Friday night. A bit of study for my classes, several lovely phone calls with family/friends, and the magic of my favorite night of the week. LOVE IT! I’m excited about a class I’m teaching next week, loving the classes I’m taking, and overall resting in the fact that I am one very, very blessed woman.

So why do I blog this? Well, because first I guess I’m just plain old happy. But also to share the joy of the simplicity of the relatively mundane. “Ain’t no big thang” going on here – just some weather and chicken soup and warm water swimming, a steaming cup of tea… but oh, the incredible joy of it all. The smell of far-away fireplaces burning as I left the gym (dream – have a real fireplace). The mist of the autumn rain on my face. The warmth of a bowl of soup. It’s a bit hard to convey… there is a very concrete “feel” to all of this – a stirring of the soul, a deep-seated interior giggle, a sighed satisfaction in it all. But it is so concrete, and wonderful, and R-E-A-L!

Take a moment in the next few days to be aware of all the blessings so easily overlooked. Oh God, thank You for the joy and gift of today. May I never take any of this for granted.

Monday, August 17, 2009

3 a.m.

Psalm 23:4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
I awaken gently in the middle of this warm August night. The room is dark, and I am alone with my thoughts, with my troubles, and with my God. He speaks to my heart and in the stillness of the night, He gently but firmly deals with areas of my stubborn self-will and disobedience. As David wrote in Psalm 51, my sin is ever before me. He knows my weaknesses and the sins which so easily entangle me and trip me up (Hebrews 12:1). I read verse one of Psalm 51: “Be gracious to me, O God, according to Your lovingkindness; According to the greatness of Your compassion blot out my transgressions. He reminds me that I am free – that He has taken those sins upon Himself on the Cross, and paid for them Himself. I have heard these words hundreds of times, but their mercy and love are fresh and new this night. I (yet again) ask for His forgiveness, and He wraps me in it and holds me close.

I pour out myself to Him – telling Him all the things on my mind, all the things that are unsettled and making me anxious and afraid. My Father, my Lord... my Friend listens and listens as no other can in these most-alone times in the wee hours of the morning. The tension drains from me as I am heard and understood, and I find the rest and peace only He can give me.

It’s now 3am and He blesses me with sleepiness once more. The crickets sing their lullaby in the distance as I settle my head against the pillow, breath a deep sigh of comfort, and drift off to sleep safe in the Good Shepherd’s care.

Hebrews 4:14-16
Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin. Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

Friday, July 24, 2009

My Name is Linda... and I'm a Busyholic

Ephesians 5:15-17
Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is.

My name is Linda, and I’m a busyholic.

I take great pride in filling my calendar to overflowing with appointments, meetings, work, church activities, social engagements, classes, workouts, hobbies, and any/everything I can cram into it. You see, it makes me feel valuable. It makes me feel useful. It makes me feel worthy. I’m not “taking up space”, I’m making the most of every moment… productive… efficient. It means I’m juggling all the “Proverbs 31 woman” balls in the air, serving family, church, community, and of course, God. After all, isn’t that what it means when God tells us to make the most of every opportunity? Thanks to my calendar, I can prove that I am godly and worthy and …. exhausted.

Psalm 42:1 says, “As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, O God.” Well, I’m panting all right, but honestly, God, it’s not for You. It’s because I can’t breathe from the maddening pace of my life anymore. I hide the fact that I am so doggedly tired I can barely get out of bed in the morning. I’m often cranky and sometimes cry for apparently no reason. I shoot verbal bullets of sarcasm and my spirit becomes critical and mean because my eight hours of sleep have been strung out over the last three days. That now-not-so-occasional glass of wine has become a very easy way to make it all go away and finally fall asleep at night. My glass house of perfection is shattering, and I find myself in pieces in the midst of the blood-soaked soul rubble.

I am surrounded by a sisterhood of women who are just like me – running the not-so-good race, and falling down sobbing because we are bone weary from demands and expectations put on us from every area of our lives and everyone in our lives, but most especially ourselves. We have bought the lie, and been driven to distraction from that which really matters. We smile and laugh and say, “oh yes, let’s get together – how’s your planner look for, say, six months from now on Wednesday between 6:12-7:55?” And all we truly want to do is go to bed and pull the covers over our heads for at least a month.

How do we “stop the madness”, stop the foolishness of destroying ourselves, and begin to understand what the Lord’s will is? He calls us first and foremost to Himself, to simply be with Him. He tells us to come to Him, all of us who are weary and heavy-laden, and He promises to give us rest. But how? By getting up another hour earlier to add more prayer and Bible study to our already laborious life? Are you kidding me???

No, it begins by saying NO! No to those things which are not really bad, but maybe not best for us. It begins by recognizing that our worth, our value is already sealed with God. He is crazy about us, we are the apple of His eye, just as we are, right this minute. It begins by giving up the false things that make us feel worthwhile, and seeking first His will. It begins with obedience.

So… what does this practically mean? Well, I dropped a summer class at college, because I realized the accelerated pace and late hours would be especially grueling and that was just not absolutely necessary right now. It means I give up my drive for Ms. Do-It-All, and learn to pray first about what things I will say yes to, and if they fit in with the bigger plan of His will for me.

I have had some wonderful examples lately in my life of women who have had the courage to obey His voice. My friend Pam stopped doing many service activities, because she knew God was calling her to put on the brakes. She chose to say yes to things she enjoyed, because while they were good, they weren’t what God’s best was for her.

Another woman is Jennifer Swanson, who has had a very successful website/ezine/blog and organization business which I enjoyed for years. Jennifer has had the courage to let go, because she is obeying. How? As she writes, “… one step at a time… by faith.” Her site will close August first, and I applaud and admire her for following His will, and wish her every blessing her heart can hold! I love the verses she has chosen on her web page, Ecclesiastes 3:1,6: "There is a time for everything,And a season for every activity under heaven: A time to search and a time to give up as lost; A time to hold on and a time to let go."

That’s how we can do it... one step at a time... letting go... by faith. We may be saying no to things we enjoy, and prying our fingers open from clutching to the comfort of our frenzied, frazzled calendars, but we are obediently saying YES to God, to the many blessings we’ve been too busy to see and receive. We are releasing ourselves to Him, to the blessing of time to breath, for 10 unhurried minutes, for a quieter spirit, a calmer day, to a life of rest and peace, which can only be found when we sit at His feet.

My name is Linda, and I’m a recovering busyholic.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Leave Me Not to My Own Fruit

Proverbs 1:29-31: Since they hated knowledge and did not choose to fear the Lord, since they would not accept my advice and spurned my rebuke, they will eat the fruit of their ways and be filled with the fruit of their schemes.

Lately I’ve been thinking about my life, and reflecting back on my earlier years in my twenties and thirties. It’s painful… because those are years I walked away from the Lord and chose to live exactly as I pleased by my own wisdom, rules and standards. I wasn’t about to be “fenced in”. I wince and shake my head as I look back on those days, and try not to dwell on the “what might have been” life had I remained obedience to the Lord and followed in His paths for me.

I also must realize that the past is just that – the past. There is nothing I can do to change one minute of what has been. However, what I can dwell on now is that I am forgiven, and I have a fresh day today in which to change my course and choose His wisdom and ways for me. I can glance back and learn the lessons there, but not allow remorse for my wasted youth to paralyze who I am today in Christ.

When you are choosing to live outside God’s will for your life, the punishment isn’t some lightning bolt from Heaven, or God’s vengeance pouring out on you in a Job-like scenario. I think the worst punishment we receive is that the Lord allows us to eat the fruit of our own ways and be filled with the fruit of our own schemes. I have paid a dreadfully high price for turning my back on Him, but it was at my own hand, not His. He hurt and wept watching my back as I ran away from Him as fast as I could. And yet, like the father in Luke 15:11-31, when I came back broken and worth less than nothing, He ran to me, kissed and hugged me, wept with me, cleansed me, and made me feel priceless and worthy again – a beloved daughter.

Even after that, I am still tempted (and sometimes succumb) to following my own strong-willed heart and “wisdom” (can you spell D-U-H?!?!). Lord, give me strength to follow You, give me remembrance of how my life was without Your loving arms around me, fencing out the pain and hardship of what my choices outside your will reap. Today help me to remember the sweetness of living in Your will, the joy of obedience to You, and the indescribable peace only being wrapped in Your love and path can provide.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Spurring Partners

Hebrews 10:23-24, “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for He who promised is faithful. And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds.”

I am so thankful for friends in my life who challenge me, inspire me, encourage me, hold me accountable, love me, and consistently point me back to my walk with Christ. Some are close by, some are not, some are across the ocean. Yet as I read their emails, blogs, twitters, hear their voices, watch their faces, I see the beauty of God working in each of their lives. I watch their obedience as their hearts turn towards our precious Savior. My own heart stirs to walk a better walk, love God better, and to be the devoted Christ-follower I want so badly to be.

Their authentic, real, up/down journey of faith spur me on.

The original word root in greek is paroxuno (par-ox-oo’-no) and means to make sharp, stimulate, urge, stir. How amazing it is that the Lord gives Himself to us, in a way, through each other – His Holy Spirit rises up in us to encourage us, make us more like Jesus, and in turn when we speak of Him together and draw closer in love/friendship, we stimulate/stir up/urge one another on towards a better/closer walk with Christ. What a blessing are these dear friends… these gifts from God.

Friday, April 24, 2009

To Everything There is a Season...

Ecclesiastes 3:1: "To everything there is a season, and a time for every matter or purpose under heaven..."

In the fall I purchased special thermal plastic sheeting to cover the inside of some of the windows in my home to seal in the cold and save on energy (and heating bills). My daughter and I had fun installing it, because you basically take a hair blow dryer and shrink wrap the sheets to vacuum seal your windows against the outside elements.

It is a beautiful spring morning today – so I went out to my back yard, turned on my new water fountain, filled up all the bird feeders, relishing every moment I was out there. However, I have a lot of studying to do today, so I reluctantly returned indoors and set up my study area on the dining room table, where the windows overlook the entire yard. As I sit here writing this I can see about a dozen goldfinch and purple finches feeding, a fiery red cardinal on the other feeder, two red-winged blackbirds, some sparrows, and a big old woodpecker up in his favorite tree perch. I can also see the beauty of the flowers and herb gardens – reds, whites, purples, yellows, and a variety of vibrant greens from the trees, plants and glass, all highlighted by a crystal blue sky flooded by sunlight.

What’s that got to do with thermal vacuum-sealed windows? Well, I had to take about five minutes after coming in to remove the sheets so I could open those windows for the first time since fall, to welcome/usher in the fragrant springs which refresh every room, cleanse out the old air and bring in the new. It also helps me hear more clearly the melodic sounds of the birds as they sing their morning anthems.

My heart and thoughts rest on seasonal changes, and how much they mean to me, both from nature’s standpoint, and from a personal perspective. There are times in our lives when it is important to seal ourselves away, to embrace solitude and quiet, to shut ourselves against the cold storms of life. Sometimes it’s as simple as just escaping, if only for a little while, the daily bombardment and clutter of life. Other times it’s needed because we’ve experienced a hurt or loss for which we need time to weep, sit with our pain, regroup, recover… and remember how to breathe. Often it is to spend time alone with God – whether it be in prayer, in the study of His word, or just simply to be still and know that He is God. Whatever the reasons, it is good to find that time to heal and just “be”.

However… as with the seasons, the time comes to open up again, to remove the seals we’ve put up against everything. In due time we must have the courage to open the windows of our heart and life, take a slow deep breath and begin to look outwards. The view is clearer, the sounds (or words or lessons) are more readily heard, the cleansing and growth process begin again. It is the gift of new day, and a new season in your journey.

Friday, April 17, 2009

In memory of Dee

1 Corinthians 15:53-55,57

For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality. Now when this perishable puts on the imperishable, and this mortal puts on immortality, then the saying that is written will happen, “Death has been swallowed up in victory.” “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!

My friend Dee Hunt went home to her Savior yesterday afternoon after a long battle with cancer. Her life was dedicated to Jesus Christ, her husband, son, grandsons, family, church, and friends. Until her illness took its toll she was the women’s ministry director at our church, and I can’t tell you how many of us were touched and graced by Dee. She was a beautiful, elegant woman with a huge smile that just lit up the room. She has made an indelible impact on so many, and her life is an inspiration and example for us all.

We band together in our grief and loss, but also celebrate that she is free, no longer shackled by the pain and disease, and is smiling that beautiful smile as she hears her precious Lord finally say, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

Goodbye for now, Dee... our world is a bit smaller and sadder without you.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Small Things with Great Love

Psalm 90:12 "So teach us to number our days that we may present to You a heart of wisdom."

Since the last time I blogged, another wonderful friend/husband of one of my dearest friends has passed away after battling cancer, and two other friends are both in the hospital fighting their third stint with cancer. Amazing people who have (and still do) touched my life in so many ways, fighting the good fight with courage and passion, just as they have lived.

Not surprisingly, I’ve been thinking a lot more about the brevity of life lately, and spending time deep in thought about how I am living my own life. One ugly thing I have had to face is that I’ve been very selfish and self-absorbed. No matter how busy my schedule, there is always time for a quick email, call, or actually dropping a real card into the mail to let them know I was thinking about them, and praying for them. I am ashamed that I didn’t take the time to swing by someone’s house just for a quick chat or cup of tea. No, I can’t be all things to all people, but I can do SOMEthing. Mother Teresa is credited with saying, “We cannot all do great things, but we can do small things with great love.” I have failed miserably, and pray I will be forgiven by my friends.

The days slip by quickly, and we mean to do the little things, and next thing you know, it’s next week or month, and there’s a million other things demanding our attention. My friend Ali used to have a little catch phrase that always made me smile – she’s just look at me and say “STOP YOURSELF!” Well, I am determined to do just that – to stop myself, look outside myself and my little world, and find a way each day to do one small thing with great love.

Monday, March 23, 2009


My friend lost her husband today. She was at work this morning, got a call, and he was gone… just like that. After 25 years of marriage and four children, you could see in the way they looked at each other that they were just crazy for one another. He was full of life, and had a smile that lit up the room. Suddenly, that is all gone… in a moment…

As a Christian I know he is with the Lord now, and that they will see each other again. Theologically, there is hope. However, today, that knowledge doesn’t comfort my heart. I ache for her, for her emptiness, for four children who no longer have a father, for the life they've known that is now ripped apart forever.

It just doesn't make sense...

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Gratitude Cubed.1

Psalm 106:1 "Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures forever..."

Today I am grateful for:

1) An opportunity for a long, relaxing hot shower. Usually I'm rushing around thinking about all I have to do that day, and never even think twice about the calm you can find in just enjoying the clean, warm water. When I think about how many people in the world can't enjoy this simple pleasure, I feel especially blessed.

2) That first cup of tea in the morning - why is it more comforting and delicious than any other cup throughout the rest of the day?

3) Saturday morning -- even though I am swamped with studying for my algebra test, I was able to sleep a bit later than most mornings, and don't feel quite as crazy rushed as usual.

So, Lord, thanks for these three blessings today!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Sanctuary Spots

Psalm 8:1 1 O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens.

In my ongoing frenetic search for peace and serenity in my daily life, (what??) I do try to find “sanctuary spots” in which to breath, reflect and relish the moment. Stop laughing, I really do! Keep it up, and I will (with amazing serenity) ask you to lean closer to your computer screen so I can slap you!

Breathe… breathe…

Okay, as I was saying… I am learning (operative word here) to discover tiny escapes throughout my day in which to enjoy my everyday life (thank you, Joyce Meyer). Some days I’m like a little kid who finds a quarter on the sidewalk – yippee! A treasure! Other days I’m like the senior gentleman trolling the beach at 5:30 as he misses his mark on finding anything in the sand with his ever-present metal detector, grumbling to himself as he goes home frustrated and empty-handed.

But this morning…. ahhh… it was one of “those” moments. Dashing through my morning routine, I placidly began my commute. Did I say placidly? Hmmm… perhaps not the most accurate description, but I digress! I was on the road again (thank you, Willie Nelson). It must be closer to spring, because at long last I wasn’t driving in the black shadows of half past dark-thirty.

As I drove down the highway, my breath was taken away by the swirling colors of the rising sun. Blues, grays, hues of lavender, purple, peach and rose danced and entwined like silk ribbons on a warm breeze. It was as if God was surprising me with a morning gift, saying “Here, I made this just for you!” It truly was one of those magnificent moments. Brief, sweet, and wonderful.

My day is now in full-throttle mania, but I am smiling because that commuter memory is today’s “happy place” I can revisit again and again (thank you, God).

Monday, February 2, 2009


I am a woman who has survived her first colonoscopy. I deserve chocolate. I deserve flowers. I will deserve them again in March, because this one didn't "fly" and I have to have it done again. Imagine my joy! How will I sleep until then???

Last week, to cheer and support me, one of my friends sent me an article by one of my favorite writers, Dave Barry. On this auspicious occasion, it seems more than appropriate to share it with anyone reading here.



Psalm 37:5 (The Message) “Open up before God, keep nothing back…”

In my Psychology of Stress class this week, there was a quote from the Greek philosopher Epictetus, who wrote that death was a “common consequence of chronic perturbation”. I looked up the word perturbation, and found that it meant:

a. The state of being perturbed; agitation.
b. A small change in a physical system.
c. Physics & Astronomy Variation in a designated orbit, as of a planet, resulting from the influence of one or more external bodies.

Well today I’m a citizen of my own little perturbation nation. I feel agitated from the inside out, as if I took all my emotions and tossed them in the hard and fast agitation cycle of my washing machine. They just keep slopping and spilling and milling around, going nowhere.

Being “perturbed” does make a real change in your physical system. It makes you want to jump out of your skin, you either can’t sit still or you veg out in front of the boob tube like a zombie. Everyone is on your last nerve, and screeching their nails on the blackboard of your soul. Your brain doesn’t seem to function clearly, and you feel all jumbled up inside. You find all sorts of unhealthy, unsmart and negative ways to ease your stress instead of stopping and dealing with it effectively.

Most significantly, my orbit around the Son has been knocked off kilter – the last thing I feel like doing is praying or reading my Bible. I get mad at God (duh, see last statement about not thinking clearly), mad at myself, and I don’t want to be influenced by external bodies, either (like family or friends or for that matter anybody on earth). I just want to run away (off orbit) and hide.

My textbook says stress follows a predictable route, the “stress-response pathway”. Well, I don’t like being predictable, and I don’t like this pathway. I don’t like turning into a grumpy little gnome/hermit, as comfortable as that is for me. And I don’t want to run away from God. If I can’t find my peace in Him, how will I be able to deal with stress anyplace else? And certainly, the last thing I want on my gravestone is the phrase “Died of Chronic Perturbation”!

So, even though I don’t feel like it (at all), I will choose to sit with Him and talk with Him about this day and all that has transpired. I won’t put on any false fronts (like He would be fooled anyway), and I will be real with Him, crabbiness and all. I will seek His face, and His grace and comfort and mercy and guidance. Only then will my perturbation turn into inspiration, and hopefully someday, maturation.

Oh yeah, and I’ll remember to take a few deep breaths and count to ten, and try to find something funny in this day as well.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Terrible Threes

Philippians 4:6-7 (The Message)

Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.

It seems like things, good or bad, come in threes. So since October I've had two sets of threes: I fell down a flight of steps, on Thanksgiving as I was taking the turkey out of the oven the pan buckled and I spilled hot turkey grease all over me, and then I was in a car accident. The second set: I had to rush my mom to the hospital the Friday before Christmas (thankfully, she was home the same day), after picking up my car at the auto body shop the engine decided to get sick (to the tune of $1,500 inc. rental car fees), and two days before Christmas I unexpected had to put down my cat of ten years. Ho-ho-ho. On the up side, I had a lovely Christmas, I got a B in algebra (a Christmas miracle for sure), and my daughter surprised me with a long weekend visit. I keep trying to count my blessings and look for God's hand in all these things, but don't kid yourself, some days it can really be a challenge and put me in a funk.

So here's a fresh new year and I'm planning for the best, working some resolutions, and walking the new road. Last night after work I walked to my car in the parking lot, put the key in my ignition, and the car sounded/acted just like it did before I had the work done on it. Ugh! But... I was able to drive it over to the dealership, get to Enterprise for yet another rental (since December 5th I've driven about five cars), and go about my merry way. I chose not to go ballistic (always my first reaction), but to say a prayer of thanks for being able to drive the car to the dealership, to be able to afford a rental car, and to get home safely. I'm no Pollyanna, but I am choosing to look at the blessings and trying not to dwell on the junk. Not that I'm above a serious pity party, believe me, but I am just trying to stay calm and focused, realizing the true priorities in life and looking for(and learning) the lessons.

Here's to this not turning into another series of three! I'll keep you posted!