March 27, 2015

The work of God is this:

Jesus is not glorified by our “doing” things for Him. He is glorified by our resting in and receiving what He’s done for us.

Even when Jesus was asked in John 6:28, "What must we do to do the works God requires?" He answered, "The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent" (v. 29).

March 26, 2015

Happy Birthday to My BFF!

It's my best friend's birthday today!!! :)

We've been celebrating our birthdays together since we were 12 years old. :)

These pictures were taken last June in Austin, Texas.

We were waiting for the famous bats to show themselves!!

I love that girl so so much!!! xo

March 25, 2015

Hot Tubbin’ It In Nebraska

I’m infatuated with this picture. I can’t remember where I saw it. I think this plan is perfect for our house. We have enough room in the back of our house that we could put a deck off a bedroom, stairs down to a stone patio, with a hot tub, flower/herb box, and place for our grill. A girl can dream – right?

March 7, 2015

Plan B by Suzy Toronto


Plan A is always my first choice.
You know, the one where
Everything works out to be
Happily ever after.

But more often than not,
I find myself dealing with
The upside-down,
Inside-out version
Where nothing goes as it should.

It's at this point that the real test
Of my character comes in...
Do I sink or do I swim?
Do I wallow in self-pity
And play the victim
Or simply shift gears
And make the best of the situation?

The choice is mine. After all...
Life is all about
How to handle plan B.

-Suzy Toronto

March 6, 2015

Serenity Prayer by Reinhold Niebuhr

Serenity Prayer

God grant me the serenity
To accept the things I cannot change;
Courage to change the things I can;
And wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
Enjoying one moment at a time;
Accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
Taking, as Jesus did, this sinful world
As it is, not as I would have it;
Trusting that He will make all things right
If I surrender to His Will;
That I may be reasonably happy in this life
And supremely happy with Him
Forever in the next.

-Reinhold Niebuhr

February 27, 2015

RIP Mr. Spock

Leonard Nimoy's death makes me sad.

May his soul rest in peace.

RIP Mr. Spock ‪#‎LeonardNimoy‬ ‪#‎StarTrek‬ ‪#‎VulcanSalute‬

Hat Tip & Photo Credit: Leonard Nimoy, Spock of ‘Star Trek,’ Dies at 83

February 20, 2015

Yes, I do read your e-mails!

I just don’t respond to your e-mails because I don’t believe it will help. It seems like if I had responded to your e-mails you would just go back to ignoring me again and nothing would be resolved.

Do you understand what triangulation is? Please don’t take it personally when you hear that word “triangulation” but please do look it up and try to understand what that means from a clinical perspective. You are triangulating when you speak for other family members.

You telling me that my brother misses me very much won’t convince me that it’s true. It’s the same thing for my sister-in-law when she writes to say that my parents miss me. How am I supposed to believe it’s true if the people you all are speaking for don’t come forward?

When I first learned about what triangulation is I did an inventory of myself to try and find out how I have participated in triangulation over the years. I think we have all contributed to triangulating the situation by speaking for others and inserting ourselves in each other’s relationships. We are all guilty of this!

I don’t want to be that person. That is why it’s important to get counseling. So a professional can point out unhealthy ways of being versus healthy ways to be. Today, I do my best not to speak for other people. I speak for myself. And I can only control myself.

Yes, I used to have your phone blocked. You have no idea how much turmoil we were going through because no one was respecting what Don and I were trying to do with our daughter. The phone calls were too much. No one was listening to us with regard to our daughter. We had to make life and death decisions only to have people in other states swoop right in and mess up everything we had done to keep our daughter safe. It’s frustrating when people think they know what is going on but in reality you all have NO CLUE! You still have NO CLUE!

But, the phone numbers have not been blocked for a very long time. We don’t have anyone’s phone number blocked or e-mails for that matter.

In the last e-mail you sent you wanted to know what my intentions are. You said that you were getting older and that you thought that I owed you that much. I can’t believe after all these years you think I still owe you. In your eyes I always owe you. It’s a debt that can never be repaid.

And then you said that in my eyes I believe that you all did me wrong. Well, you’re right. You guys did do me wrong! You then asked if I was willing to forgive you and give you another chance. Then you go on with that famous line about how two wrongs never make a right. We are all wrong and refusing to come clean and own your part doesn’t bring reconciliation.

I’m at a complete impasse! I don’t know what else to say. I think it’s mostly because I have always looked for validation from sources that would never be able to provide it. The only validation I can cling to are the promises that God has provided me in His Word.

I’m angry and hurt and tired of crying about it. I went through grief counseling because it doesn’t seem like there will ever be any reconciliation! I think about you all passing from this Earth without reconciliation. I think about myself passing from this Earth without reconciliation.

You all are getting older and you keep throwing that in my face. Are you trying to put me on a guilt trip because we all have holidays, milestones, birthdays, accomplishments, achievements, health issues, trials, tribulations, and all sorts of LIFE scenarios going on up here too? You guys are not the only ones and I can’t count the number of times I’ve been ignored or taken out like yesterday’s trash.

You and mom get a family counselor. Have your family counselor give me a call after you guys have had a few sessions and are making progress. That’s the only way we can get our family back together.

I will get down on my knees and pray about it and ask for God’s will to be done in this situation. Because at the end of the day I want what God wants for my life and I have to go forward making sure my family is safe and not caught up in this toxic chaos that seems to get repeated over and over again. It’s too much!

Next! I think of you daily too!

I think of you daily too!

The reason I didn’t respond to your note right away is because I am angry and hurt. I needed a few days to calm down and collect myself. I went to the book store and picked up a book called “Struggling to Forgive” by Sue Atkinson. I thought to myself, “Why not?” After all – I’ve read a lot of books. What’s one more book going to do if it will show me something I haven’t considered before now? Always learning, growing, and trying to see if there is something I’ve missed along the way.

There’s not a single day that goes by that I don’t think of my *family* and what that will be like if and when we pass from this earth without any sort of reconciliation. When I think of what it would take to have reconciliation my mind conjures up the impossibility of it all. It doesn’t seem like anyone really cares about how other people are feeling. No one is *allowed* to have a voice in our *family* because no one wants to acknowledge what has happened. Reconciling a relationship is difficult if the people involved are not on equal footing or willing to humble themselves and come clean.

When I hear that my parents miss me I don’t believe it. I know you said they miss me but what I have received from my parents over the years is heartache, gossip, false accusations, and lies. They don’t act like they miss me. They have caused me so much pain in my life that it’s overwhelming when someone tells me that they miss me. I have to think to myself that I must be dreaming because that’s not my reality. What has happened to me doesn’t match the wording of it all. My parents couldn’t possibly miss me after all that has happened.

You were absolutely right when you said that people change and grow and move past mistakes. I know that it’s possible because I have changed and grown and moved passed my own mistakes. We are all nowhere near blameless. Each one of us has something to bring to the table. I just don’t feel that we will ever be on equal footing with one another relationally. It seems impossible. It feels like a miracle is needed in order for that to happen. A miracle and a lot of family counseling is needed in my opinion. People ought to have their hurts addressed in order to move forward.

I have always wanted to talk to you. I was not *allowed* to talk to you. I was told in no uncertain terms that I didn’t have *permission* to have a relationship with my sister-in-law who I see as my sister and my friend. (We were damn good friends too!) We spent a lot of time together. We have so many good memories to look back on with our children. Do you know how many times my children ask me to explain to them the lack of interaction and communication? Too many times to count! They don’t understand any of this and it kills me that I’m not *permitted* to continue my relationship with my niece and nephew. Because why? Because my brother said so, that’s why.

When you said that you missed all of us I believed you. I believed you because I know what kind of person you are. I miss all of you too. I just have NO friggin’ clue how reconciliation can be achieved if no one is willing to get help and come clean. True remorse has to happen. An acknowledgement of why people lash out the way that they do has to be achieved or mistakes will continue to be repeated over, and over, and over again.

I miss my brother. I miss all of the good times I had with my brother. What I don’t miss is feeling like I have to walk on eggshells around him. I don’t miss the rules he creates that don’t seem to ever apply to him. He’s allowed to make the rules but he doesn’t have to abide by his own rules. I will never understand that about him.

I’m supposed to be reconciled to him relationally so that I can get his *permission* to be able to communicate with my sister-in-law, my niece, and my nephew. Do you guys realize how that sounds? It’s not healthy. Who makes demands like that? Last time I checked my brother is NOT God. How am I supposed to *interact* with someone who won’t put down the puppet strings? It’s the equivalent of telling someone, “Be my friend or else!” It makes me think of the time when I was a little girl at the playground. I wanted to go down the slide. I wasn’t *allowed* to go down the slide until I found a certain number of rocks to give to the kid at the top of the slide who was taking his anger out on the little kids who weren’t big enough or confident enough to stand up for themselves. Seriously!? WTF?

At the same time, whether I agree with my brother or not, I have to respect the boundary that he created. Technically speaking I’m not even *allowed* to refer to him has my brother. He said that my right to interact with my sister-in-law, my niece, and my nephew starts with my relationship to him. If I can’t interact with him, I don’t have a right to interact with them. He said it and I’ve been *abiding* by it for FOUR YEARS. That rule obviously only applies to me with the expectation that I get down on my knees and beg my brother to give me his blessing.

Uh, NO – I’m not wired for that. I will never be wired for that – EVER. I’m still going to read those books I picked up because I am struggling to forgive. I know what it is I need to forgive; I just don’t know how that’s supposed to look for me at this point in time.

Next! Once Upon A Time