We Live in Two Worlds

woman-1207671_1280The holidays have been hard this year. In reality, they have been hard for many years, but this year I am self-aware enough to realize that I am struggling, to understand why I am struggling, and to roll with it rather than get confused and worked into a tizzy about it. My mantra this year has been “I officially hate the holidays, but I will continue to wear my snowman socks in full faith that one year I will enjoy all of this again”.

I don’t know if you’ve heard, but the holidays can be a wee bit of a trigger for those that are in active addiction. So, having lived through many a holiday season with an active user has dampened my ability to experience the wonder and joy of this blessed season.

I actually understand that to be the reason for my holiday blues this year, but in years past, I have been confused by it and spiraled out into weird behaviors that seemed like coping but really only made things worse. Even with this year’s self-awareness, I found myself responding to things with more of an edge than I intended to have. I intended to have no edge at all in the things I have said, but the Grinch still found his way into my words or tone.

Despite all the grumpitude (the word we use in my house for grumpy with a side of attitude), the newfound self-awareness also let me really see the long view of my life. I have been able to understand how completely chaotic and awful things were years ago, how much better things are now, how much better I AM now, how I have really changed in about a million microscopic ways that make the pace seem slow, how much work is left to do on myself, and still how far there is to travel.

But having the ability to see the long view keeps me grounded in reality. Honestly, it is where my hope lives. Trauma has kept me shortsighted and focused only on survival for a very long time. To finally be free of it to the point of being able to see a future again is a huge deal. To have hope again is a blessing beyond words.

If you believe in spiritual warfare, then you will understand that this newfound hope has been under attack. I wish I could tell you that I have handled it like a warrior champion, but mostly I’ve learned that I need a thicker skin.

A few weeks ago, I received feedback along the lines of my “inconsistency, lack of structure, and chaos” is the reason for all my troubles and all my family’s troubles. I attempted to explain the trauma history and the progress made, but as is often the case, I was treated like I was making excuses and subsequently dismissed.

I chewed on this feedback for a long time, because there is truth to it. I know that healing from trauma takes time, and therefore, the chaos is still present even if it is there to a lesser degree. As I chewed on it, I recognized a pattern in my personality: nothing will light a fire in me like the opportunity to prove that I have been misjudged. I decided to recognize the huge gap in this person’s perspective of my life. This person only saw where I am now and clearly was not interested in learning about where I came from or how far I have come. I was not going to receive validation for the hell I had already conquered from this person, so I gave that validation to myself. And I used the fire ignited by the feedback to simply move myself farther along the path of self-improvement that I was already working on.

Then yesterday, as I was shopping for a few things to spruce up and help organize our house, my daughter started lighting into me. She has taken to lecturing me about how I should behave, and these conversations have often ended with me issuing one of the clichés of motherhood: “because I am the mother” or “because I said so”. But this time, she said something that was a true knife to the heart, because it was clear that she was repeating something that she had heard from someone else. She ended her little rant with “you need to start acting like a real grown-up”.

Having been somewhat prepped for this by my last experience with negative feedback, I chewed on this for only a few hours rather than a few weeks. Again, I have to remind myself that only I know where I have been, where I am now, and where I am going. I cannot expect everyone to see, understand, or validate my experience. All I can do is keep on going and doing the next right thing, understanding that the people who want to know the truth about me will stick around long enough to figure it out.

But, none of that did anything to satisfy my ever growing concern about the 2 worlds my little family lives in and how it is influencing my child. I often think about how different my daughter’s experiences would be if we were really living a life that was congruent with our resources and circumstances.

My daughter goes to a private school that I will never be able to pay for. She is surrounded by dual-income families with high-paying, professional jobs that have many more resources than I do. She spends her afternoons, play dates, and birthday parties in homes much bigger, newer, and nicer than our home. She has and is developing expectations of me and of our life based what she sees all around her. When she returns to our home and to the limited time and financial resources of the single parent, I do not measure up. And in her child-like honesty, she lets me know it.

It begs the question, would my daughter have a greater appreciation of me if we were surrounded by families that looked more like our family? If she attended a public school and was immersed in a community where everyone, much like her own mother, was creatively using their limited resources to put together a life for their kids, would she have a different perspective of what “a real grown up is”? Would she be more grateful and hard-working instead of demanding and entitled if she saw that there were a whole lot of other parents holding life together with their teeth and fingernails?

I don’t have any answers for any of these questions. Maybe I just needed to vent, because the pressure in this culture to live up to THE CHILD’S expectations is REAL. When did that insanity happen?! And I don’t want to sound ungrateful, because I know full well that we are supremely blessed by the people in our lives and the school my daughter attends, and I do not take that for granted even a little bit. Certainly, I don’t want to deprive my child of anything that is beneficial to her development. Yet, the truth remains that our reality is very different than the life we lead, and it is setting up some serious future conflicts between my daughter and I.

I’m really not railing at the problems in our culture, community, or families; I am railing at my own participation in what I know to be the less-than-healthy parts of our world. I have fed into “entitlement culture” as much as the next girl. But I have also come to a place in my life where I accept the fact that there is nothing in my life or happening in my life that I have not allowed. I have also accepted the slowness of the pace of my recovery in a world that keeps telling me that I’m not doing enough fast enough. Having lost the majority of my possessions to trauma, I no longer place any sentiment in things and am truly content with living simply. My child, on the other hand, is another story. My point being, I have accepted the fact that my life is going to look different to the majority of people and that I will always be doing battle with the ways people perceive me to be counter-cultural or “a little bit off”. I’m ok with that.

Needless to say, if a fire was ignited in me with the first feedback, then the second feedback has fueled that fire into an inferno. Things are going to change in this family. I can’t yet say how or when, but I know through prayer, the answers will come.

Peace in the Political Season

 

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If you happened to catch the first presidential debate, then I’m sure you had some thoughts and opinions about it. Even if you didn’t watch the debate, I’m still quite positive that you have some thoughts and opinions related to the presidential campaign, because the thoughts, opinions, and feelings surrounding it have been tossed about like lawn furniture in a category 5 hurricane. Some of us have felt more free to participate in the larger storm, I mean conversation, with the general public. Thank you, social media, for allowing us to put our first thoughts out there into the world with little to no contemplation. What. a. blessing. I feel like some of us would be well served to coat our fingers in peanut butter or maybe bubble wrap before typing, so that by the end of the typing process, our thoughts may have had time to reach a more refined and well-thought out response. Just a thought.

hurricaneOthers of us have simply opted out of the conversation at large. We may share a thought or two with a close confidant, but by no means will we actually participate in this circus. That nonsense is for crazy people! We find ourselves in corners, whispering secretly to people who we know share our political viewpoint. This is what I tend to do, which is how I know that those of us who to tend to opt out still have all the strong feelings, we just internalize them. The same hurricane still rages, but rather than being “out there”, it rages on the inside.

Like everyone else, I can get caught up in my strong reactions to the current political climate, but the whole “no good choices” rhetoric is no longer holding water for me in my journey to wrap my head about what is going on with this election. Please realize that I used to be front and center on this way of thinking, declaring that my write-in vote for president would be Buddy Stax, the Large and Yellow. I fancied a large presidential portrait of my 80 pound labrador in the Oval Office, perhaps answering a large red phone while looking very serious but highly eager. Through prayer and an ongoing refining process of some of my thoughts and attitudes, I have been deeply convicted about some of the  double-standards that I hold. Since conviction, owning personal responsibility, and the process of growth tend to be somewhat painful, this was not a pleasant process for me.

After one morning of intense prayer about the level of distress I was feeling about this election and the general state of trauma that our country is in, a couple of my commonly repeated catch-phrases about the election and the candidates came to my mind. These thoughts were immediately followed with the question “Where in your life are you like these candidates?”. Well, let me tell you, that is not only a sobering thought, but it will make a body want to punch someone. Uh-uh, no way, no sir, I AM NOT LIKE “THOSE PEOPLE”. By saying this, of course, means that I am exactly like “those people” in some way or I would not feel so defensive.

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Lead by example and leave a trail so others can follow your footsteps.

As the weeks went by, every thought, comment, or attitude that came up inside of me about this election season was met with the question of “where in my life do I do the same thing, have the same attitude, or hold the same bias?” It has been quite the spiritually, mentally, and emotionally cleansing experience, and two major ideas have come out of the process. The first being, for those of us crying out for greater personal responsibility from our fellow citizens, shouldn’t we be leading that movement by our example of going through a personal refining process of our own personal biases, attitudes, and behaviors towards others? Shouldn’t we be leading the charge by taking our own personal moral inventories, identifying the areas that are lacking, and working on strengthening our own hearts and houses as living proof of personal responsibility rather than just shouting personal responsibility as an intangible theory that can really be very hard to find in actual practice in our culture?

The second thought I had was what if it is more important to God that I follow his guidance through the process of picking my candidate rather than who I actually vote for? Stick with me. I know some of you just got all prickly, but hang in there. It occurs to me that from the dawn of time as recorded all throughout the Bible, new and old testament, that God already knows who will be leading this country and all of the other countries of the world from today through the end of time. The outcome of this election is completely under His will. He has known who would win this contest from the day He created the earth, along with the plans He has to use this and all leaders to bring about His purposes. To put it simply: He’s got this. And if He’s got this, then doesn’t that make it my job to walk and talk with Him about the choices I make when it comes to voting for the leadership of my country and about getting my heart right with Him about the way I make those decisions?

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How do I know which door to open, which choice to make, if I’m not talking to God about it and listening to His response?

I’ve been reading through the book of Isaiah, and the constant theme of Isaiah, as well as so many other books, is God’s people straying away from him, God’s people failing to heed the warnings of his messengers, God sending an enemy to rule his people for a period of time, and God’s redemption of his people when that time has passed. So it seems that since the dawn of time, God has used changes in leadership for the purposes of correction, deeper connection, and redemption. I think if we stay focused on the lower story of Hillary and Donald, we miss the higher story of God’s corrective and redemptive process for His people, individually and collectively.
For me, these two major thoughts and walking through this refining process with God have brought something into my heart that I believe precious few are feeling during this election season: peace. There is a peace in my soul that comes only from surrendering something to God. I no longer feel the need to defend and protect my opinion, to share my opinion with people who are reactive rather than responsive, or to hide my opinion from those who disagree in a reasonable and respectful way. I also understand that a person may go through the same refining process with the Lord that I went through, and the Lord may lead them to vote for the candidate that He led me not to vote for. It may seem like quite the paradox, and well, it is. But when the spirit of God is at work in individuals, real conversations happen even in the differences. Especially in the differences. Iron sharpens iron, and conversations about differences that are spirit-led create a forum for balance, for growth on both sides, and for opportunities to entertain ideas that you may not have thought of and experiences that you may have never experienced. And from that, real connection can grow. From real connection, unity becomes a reality. 

Redemption in Divorce

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If I had remained married, today would have been my anniversary. This day has become like the New Year’s holiday to me, because I tend to reflect deeply about the time that has passed and the time that lies before me. I do not set goals like I may choose to do for a New Year, and I guess this is where my holiday analogy would move toward Thanksgiving. On this day, I find myself so very, very thankful and deeply humbled at the redemption the Lord has brought to my life, which leads to a story that I haven’t shared with many people until this moment.

When my marriage reached the pinnacle of insanity, I dug into my Bible looking for answers. At least, I thought I was looking for answers, but I was really looking for justifications. I was using what I was reading in the Bible to prop up my own insane thinking and to justify continued efforts to ignore all the very obvious evidence that my child and I were in very real danger. I would pray for protection, for 10,000 angels to form a protective perimeter around my house, but I would not leave. I would not leave, because “God hates divorce”, “the husband is the head of the wife”, and “wives obey your husbands” (that was my ex-husband’s favorite) and all those other scriptures, not to mention all the Christian judgments that have become so deeply ingrained in some sectors of Christian culture that they are mistaken as scriptures, were perpetuating the same cycle of shame as the abuse I was enduring. I was trapped by “my faith”. My ex-husband knew it and I knew, and he exploited it for all that he could.

It was not long until I reached a place of such deep mental and emotional anguish that I cried out to God from a place so deep in my soul that I never knew it existed. And you know what, He answered me. Clear as day, He answered me with, “If you will trust me to lead you out of this, I will give it all back to you. Family, friends, everything that you’ve lost will be restored to you”. In that moment, scenes from the last year of my life flashed across my mind, and I recognized them as opportunities God had put before me to escape that I hadn’t taken.

You might think that I packed us up and hit the road right then, but I did not. Trust was not something I was in possession of at that time. My head was all messed up, and I had a long history of poor judgment to prove it. Trusting God to lead me out of that deep hole was out of the question at that time, but like Gideon and so many others, I kept asking for confirmation. I bought a little notebook at the dollar store and carried it around in my bag everywhere I went. All day long for months and months, I would write my prayers and questions for God in my notebook, and when those answers came, I wrote them in my notebook too. In this way, I started building trust with God. He started giving me small successes that helped me begin to trust my judgment again.

That process played out for a year or so, and I finally did leave. And you know what? Only 2 people threw the whole “God hates divorce” thing up at me. One of them was my ex-husband and one of them was another man who had chosen to exit my life for the entire 8 months of my divorce process, and therefore knew next to nothing about what was going on but chose to levy his opinion against me the week that my divorce was final. It makes me wonder what those 2 men have in common that out of all the people who knew the scenario, from professional counselors to preachers to close friends and family, that only those 2 men expressed eerily similar opinions that had I followed them would have kept me in danger. It begs the question: what compels us to use the Bible the way we do, much like a shield to hide our secret sins? But this I know without a doubt: everyone’s secret sin will be exposed at one point or another. All houses built on sand eventually fall. I’ve spent years crawling out of my own collapsed house of sand, learning what true repentance means, trying to show my family and friends that I understand and take full responsibility for the ways that I went wrong, and that I intend to spend every day of the rest of my life following the path that God has laid out for me.

With that being said, let’s go back to the promise God gave me the day that I stood in the bedroom of my beach duplex, face to the ceiling, crying out for relief. The best part of today is looking back and counting the ways He has been faithful to that promise over the years. The first year, I won the right to move out of state from the Florida Court. The next year, I accepted a job that would allow me to support my little family. This year, May Lee and I moved into our very own home. And that is just the “big” stuff! I see His promise answered in some small way just about every week, whether its rekindling relationships that were lost to the chaos of my marriage and divorce, new relationships that have come into my life, advances at work, being able to enjoy experiences that I never thought I would be able to have again, and being able to dust off and reignite talents that have been dormant under the heavy frost of trauma for so long.

All of those things are so very awesome, and I will admit that I am amazed and deeply humbled every time I recognize a new layer of His promise coming to fruition. But I think the best part is yet to come. Some day, when someone else’s sandcastle collapses and all their secret sin is revealed to what feels like the entire world, I’ll be there to help them dig out the way only someone who has had the same experience can. One day, my story is going to help someone else see the light at the end of the tunnel, as well as the light of the One who wants to restore everything they have lost. That will be a great day, my friends. Who knows, maybe that will be one of the experiences I’ll be sharing with you a year from today. Either way, today I trust in His promise fully. I trust the instincts and ability to use good judgment that He has restored to health within me, and I know that goodness and adventure lie ahead.

AMEN.

The End of Summer Recap

May Lee starts school on Friday, which means that the final days of summer vacation are upon us. Kindergarten awaits, and while my child is naively excited about the prospect of homework and is demonstrating this excitement through a daily practice of pretend homework assignments, I am a little more anxious about this new chapter in our lives. I, for one, am not ready for the freedoms of summer to be over, nor am I excited about the prospect of adding homework to our schedule. But really, all of that is the small stuff that I use to distract myself from the fact that my baby is starting real school. We’re moving up to elementary school where attendance counts and grades are issued. We are no longer in the safe, carefree embrace of the freedoms that come with babyhood. We are taking those first steps into the world of performance, work habits, responsibility, and future plans. And maybe you are rolling your eyes right now and thinking “Um, it’s kindergarten, pull back on the drama lady”, to which I would nod my head in total agreement with you.

In reality, however, this is a developmental milestone, and it needs to be given some weight. As a parent, it is my privilege and responsibility to thoughtfully guide May Lee and myself through this transition. I realize that this last statement may give you the impression that I have wisely considered this major transitional moment in our lives and have thoughtfully mapped out the golden path by which I will lead my little family through a garden of roses and under a rainbow arch that will bring us into the promised land of kindergarten glory. But while we are speaking of reality, let me assure you that in true Shelley style, I am just as unfocused, all over the place, and fly-by- the-seat-of-my-pants as I have ever been. Most days, I need my own baby-sitter to make sure that I don’t wander off too far and that I remember to eat a proper meal rather than snack on junk food all day.

With that being the case, I am grateful that I did a little bit of thoughtful planning and preparation for the spring and summer. If I had to name a theme or intention for the spring and summer, it would be restoring relationships, and I believe that is exactly what happened. Last spring break, May Lee and I flew to Colorado where she got to spend her birthday with her half-brother (who shares the same birthday with her) and her half-sister. I was able to reunite with old neighbors who have turned into good friends. At the same time, May Lee and I had many adventures in the snow, made some great memories, and learned that a Corolla is not the car of choice for driving on mountain roads that tend to ice over as the snow blows sideways onto them as the sun sets.

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As for the summer, we made a trip to Florida and spent time in both of the cities we lived in on the panhandle. Kicking off the trip by attending our home church in Panama City was just a blessing beyond compare. Until the day I die, I will always look for friendships that model what I saw between Mrs. Sheri and Mrs. Lori and so many of the women at Jenks Avenue. I will always know the people of that church as the people who spoke truth and love into my life, my daughter’s life, and my ex-husband’s life in some of our darkest hours. Through that body, I can say that I’ve seen the church in action and in the spirit by which Jesus desires the church to be in action, and it has changed me forever. Let me go all out and say that I saw what I believed to be impossible become possible. I think until that time, I truly believed that the church and the christians in it acting in love and not in judgement in response to “the things of the world” was a myth, a fairy-tale, a dream never to be realized on this earth. Jenks Avenue opened my eyes and proved me wrong, and I am forever grateful.

The panhandle of Florida is full of special people, and I was blessed to work and play with some of the best. I tell you what, my marriage may have been going down in flames, but in His infinite grace and mercy, the Lord provided me with an unbelievable church that changed my mind about church and an unbelievable group of professional women that changed my mind about women. This group of ladies and the ladies not pictured here (Deanna and Erica), they are the real deal. Individually and collectively, these women are the epitome of real beauty, wisdom, compassion, talent, strength, leadership, heart, and a very real ability to change the world they live in. I am a better person because of this crew.

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Shortly after reuniting with these ladies, May Lee and I drove over to Destin to spend the last few days of our trip with my childhood friend Jolie, aka JoJo. Maybe it’s because we met in 7th grade (was it 7th grade?!) that our inner child tends to come out when we get together, with all the spontaneity and laughter that implies. All of the sudden, staying up late at night then getting up the next morning in time to drive through McDonald’s for coffee and catch the sunrise on the beach seems like an awesome idea. In our younger years, it seemed like so much fun to slam ping-pong balls at each other as hard as possible, and I predict that in our golden years we will be banned from operating those electric wheelchair carts at the grocery store because of some shenanigans that we dreamed up on an ill-fated ice cream run. It restores the joy tank of my soul to spend time with JoJo.

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Upon our return from Florida, May Lee and I turned around almost immediately and took off for Kentucky. My family lived there when I was a teenager, but it had been over a decade since I’d been back. My mother’s siblings were meeting up after several years of being apart, and that idea snowballed into an event now known as the Dozens of Cousins reunion. It was so good to see the cousins that I grew up with and family members that I hadn’t seen in so long. We were able to take May Lee out to the old family land where so many memories live. Memories of my great-father’s horses and of piling into the wagon attached to the back of his green tractor with all of my cousins. Memories of picking and snapping peas with my great-grandmother in her long white gardening coat and large, wide-brimmed gardening hat. Memories of racing my cousins up the ladder to the hay loft of the old, red barn. That was good stuff, my friends. I can’t help but leave that place and those family members with a deeper sense of legacy.

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If I may compare our summer to an ice cream sundae, those trips would be the giant scoops of delicious ice cream. The cherries on the top of the summer sundae would be art camp at AJ’s and 3 weeks of day camp at Wyldewood. Art camp has inspired May Lee’s current dream of being an art teacher when she grows up. I can tell that Audra had a tremendous influence on May Lee, because gift-giving is my child’s love language and she made a bracelet for Audra and took it to camp on the last day. The relationship blessings continued by way of the counselors at Wyldewood. May Lee came home every week with stories of favorite counselors and almost no memory of the actual activities she participated it. Without a doubt, it has been a summer of relationships.

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If history proves true, I will not be as prepared for school as some of the other mothers. On the first day, we will likely be getting dressed by pulling clean clothes out of laundry baskets rather than off of hangers from our closets or from neatly laid out garments that form a human silhouette. Once dressed, we will proceed to the carport by way of a living room that is cluttered with yoga mats, stuffed animals recently procured from yard sales, and several art projects in various states of completion, so that we may convey ourselves to school in a vehicle that has acted as a greenhouse for a combination of toys, food, and trash for so long that it has now decomposed to the point of forming a unified mass where the original components can no longer be identified. Even though we will likely qualify as hot messes by all outward appearances, inwardly our hearts will be full, and to me that is a pretty great way to start a school year.

 

 

Eunice Gave Me Some of Her Giddy-Up, and It Has Been Glorious

For a period of several months during my morning quiet time, the itch to get back into writing tickled the back of my mind. God really uses that morning quiet time to put things on my heart, and He’d been pressing the writing issue quite a bit while I, in turn, was faithfully ignoring Him. All the standard objections were levied: I haven’t written in years, I have nothing to say, I don’t have the time…and so on.

In the middle of this cosmic volley of divine requests and pathetic excuses, I received an e-mail invitation to fill out a form and potentially be a part of a book launch team for Sophie Hudson’s new book, Giddy Up Eunice. I was delighted by the thought, because I love her books and it was kind of like a Gideon-and-the-fleece moment for me. “Ok Lord, you say you want me to write, so I’ll know you’re serious if I get selected for this thing.” So, I filled out the form and almost immediately forgot about the launch team, because I fill out lots of these types of forms and I have yet to win any of Dave Ramsey’s money. I did, however, make a mental note of the release date for the book, because I wasn’t missing out on that action.

Let me tell you a little bit about my journey with Sophie Hudson’s books. I cannot remember the where, when, or how of my discovery of A Little Salty to Cut the Sweet, but it was shortly after I relocated from Florida to Arkansas. May Lee and I were living in my parents’ house while recovering from divorce and the insanity that led to the divorce. I was back home but didn’t really know how to be back home. A Little Salty to Cut the Sweet brought wave after nostalgic wave of home and family history, and it really helped break the ice of being back home after a very long ordeal. It also made me laugh until I had to put the book down and wipe the tears from my eyes so that I could see to continue reading. Straight up, uncontrollable belly laughs, my friends.

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If A Little Salty broke the ice around my heart while also turning my giggle box upside down, Home is Where My People Are took the thawing out to the next level. Sophie’s stories felt so familiar to me that they took me back to a time and place before all the heartache and helped me remember what having true friends and family was like, how much I was missing out on by sitting on the sidelines, and how deeply I wanted those kinds of relationships back in my life. It really renewed my motivation to start bringing down some of those emotional walls and try to genuinely engage in relationships again. And like before, Sophie had me crying both tears of laughter and tears of genuine heartfelt emotion.

Then the day arrived that I opened my e-mail and received the notice that I had in fact been chosen for the Giddy Up, Eunice launch team. At this point, God had put a name for a blog on my heart, and now He had responded to my Gideon-esque launch team fleece. So naturally, I immediately obeyed. Just kidding, I have a hard head, so what I really did was take it to my spiritual running partner who tried not to knock me over the head as she kindly stated, “I think you need to write a blog”.

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Eunice arrived at my doorstep soon thereafter, and I read that thing like my life depended on it. I usually read slowly, only reading small sections at a time so that my mind can digest the content. Not so with Eunice. I couldn’t seem to put it down, and when I hit the pages where Sophie hops on her soapbox and demands that we not discount our importance and STAY IN IT, I was ugly crying. Honestly, I’m getting a little misty-eyed right now just telling you about it. Powerful stuff, ladies.

But it didn’t stop there. Oh no, the hits just kept on coming. I came to the pages where Sophie recounts all of her doubts about writing and they happened to be pretty much identical to my own fears: “what if people don’t read it? Or worse, what if people read it?! I feel icky about sharing my feelings!!!” But then Sophie’s wise friend asks her if she believes God gave her the words. When Sophie says yes, the friend lovingly commands her to trust Him with it. “YOU TRUST HIM WITH IT.” Deeply convicted doesn’t even begin to describe my feelings after reading that passage.

If A Little Salty to Cut the Sweet and Home is Where My People Are were gentle icebreakers and sweet reminders of the joys of living life, Giddy Up, Eunice was the swift kick in the rear that I needed to actually get going and make a move. The next day, I started this blog. While reading Eunice, I participated in a women’s walking/running group that ended with a 5K, I started working with my running partner to generate ideas about how to serve the women of this community, and I finally got involved with my church by volunteering in the 2nd grade.

Like all of the other books, Eunice came just when I needed her. I’ve started reading the book again and in small sections so my brain can really digest the content. This time, not only did I get a great reading experience, I got the wonderful fellowship of the ladies on the launch team. It has been a joy, and I am truly grateful for the whole experience. Now, I highly encourage each and every one of you to Giddy Up!

https://www.amazon.com/Giddy-Up-Eunice-Because-Women/dp/1433643111

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