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Posts Tagged ‘health’

I have not written in a while because I haven’t really had much to say. Well, that’s not exactly true. I almost always have a lot to say, I couldn’t find a way to properly express myself. And that’s not exactly true either. I’ve been in a slump as of late. Eating was way out of control. What I was eating was way out of control. My yoga mat actually collected dust. Yes, it was that bad.

This weekend I decided to regain control of myself. I can’t expect anyone to do it for me. I have to do it myself. The good news is, I have not had a drink of alcohol in nearly six months. The awesome news is I almost never miss it. The bad news is, I’ve been eating processed garbage and wanting more. The horrible news is, I’ve indulged in that unhealthy want.

A few weeks ago I watched a documentary film called “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead”. It was an “oh shit” moment watching it. Joe Cross, a wealthy Australian, decided to try a 30 day juice fast. He flew to the US and drank nothing but water and his juices. And lost a phenomenal amount of weight, became healthier and inspired a lot of people. I saw this film and wanted to try juicing. And getting healthier. Instead, I drove to the grocery store and instead of buying fruit and vegetables I bought cookies, ice cream and chocolate. And then I ate them.

Yesterday I want to a discount store and bought a juicer. I’ve been pricing them out online and at various department stores and decided that I didn’t want to spend $100. So I checked the discount store and got exactly what I wanted for $40. I then went to the grocery store next door and bought parsley, spinach, lemons, cucumber, apples, and carrots. I came home, washed the juicer and tried one of the recipes I found online. I won’t lie. It was pretty bad. I drank almost all of it, but was having difficulty getting over the green colour. And the smell. Ick.

I found a 30 day juice challenge that I signed up for. Each day I get a new recipe to try. The idea is to gradually build up to more exotic juices and to gradually revamp your diet and lifestyle to be healthy. I like it! I don’t know that I could make a 30 day commitment to juice fast and look after this family. A lot of the meetings I have are during a meal.

This way I can make the commitment to have the juice, either for breakfast or for lunch, or perhaps even both and see what happens. I’m going to give it a try. I’m going to commit to juicing every, single day for the 30 days. Then I may try a 5 days juice fast as a Lenten discipline. We’ll see how it goes.

I am in the process of detoxifying. Feeling lousy, headache, no energy, poor skin. Within the next week or two I will feel much better. And within that time I will be making healthier meals at home. Keeping my hands and body busy, when not working, with exercise or stretching. I would love to say I will walk every day and do 30 minutes of yoga every day. But the reality is, I’m not yet there, the key word being “yet”.

I will get there.

This summer I will buy a two piece bathing suit and wear it in public. Knowing I won’t ever have a bikini body, I will still wear it because I will have a healthy body and an awesome attitude. I know I will never be a single digit size and be healthy. But I do know that I will be a healthy double-digit size with a bit of attitude to spare.

I am who God created, and I am treating my body as a thing of beauty and something which must be respected.

Yes, I fell off the wagon and I fell hard. But now I have a shiny stainless steel juicer sitting at the ready on my kitchen counter. That makes me feel good. I made the prescribed juice with carrots, apples and celery (all of which I really enjoy) and it was pretty good. My Beloved even drank some as well.

The 30 day juice challenge is for me. And only for me. Because it is time. And I am ready.

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Today is my fourth wedding anniversary. A great deal has happened in that time as we have welcomed two dogs into our family. We have laughed, cried, pulled together, pushed apart and generally learned to live with one another. It’s not been easy, in fact, its sometimes felt like it was too hard. And yet, at the end of the day, there is no-one I’d rather be with. I’m in this for the long haul, and so is he.

The past three weeks have been a blur of emotion and activity. Funerals, visitations, hospital visits, being a still and calming presence, mindful listening, cleaning, filing, exercising, stretching, crying, laughing, yelling, whispering, sweeping, dusting, washing, scrubbing, resting, sleeping.

Tonight we are going out to dinner at a fancy place. Somewhere we have been before but don’t go to very often because it is quite expensive. We are going to dress up. I’m going to wear the dress I bought for our engagement party and my Beloved will wear a coordinating suit and tie.

Today I am going to meet with my Bishop to discuss the struggles I am experiencing in the Church. I am hoping it brings me closure and, in fact, closer to my Bishop. In changing Deaneries, I changed area Bishops, but I am blessed to know both Bishops and to trust them both.

What I most want to do today is to sleep. To curl up with the dogs and nap for a few hours, but I don’t have the time for that.

Everything feels like too much work, which means to me that I am not taking proper care of myself. I am moving in the right direction, but am not there yet.

My wish, dream, plan for the next year is to improve my health, live better, eat healthier, be more mindful of everything that surrounds me. Identify my emotions and deal with them in healthy and appropriate ways.

So for today, I will take one moment at a time. I will meet with the Bishop. I will buy fresh flowers and I will continue to love my Beloved.

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It’s the time of year when so many people say “I can’t wait for this year to be over, next year is going to be so much better”. And what does that really mean?

Yes, 2013 has been a tough year for the community in which I live. There have been so many deaths and looking out at the congregation on Christmas Eve at 7:00 pm I had a catch in my throat through nearly the whole service. Looking out and seeing the families who are at their first Christmas Eve service since their loved one died. And feeling lost. I understand that feel very well.

On the radio and all over the internet, there are top 10 lists and “Best Of” lists and montages of 2013. Many people find it necessary to make Resolutions, as though the new year isn’t really a new year unless there is a list of often unattainable resolutions. THIS is the year I will run the Boston Marathon (and yet, getting up to the fridge during commercials makes one winded). THIS is the year I will lose 100 lbs (and yet not change eating habits or exercise in any way). THIS is the year I will meet Mr or Ms Right (and never leave the house) etc.

For me, resolutions are a recipe for disaster and I refuse to make them. What I do, instead, is look at my lifestyle from time to time, usually every 3 – 4 months and see where I am physically, spiritually, mentally, etc and decide if there are changes I should make or new habits I should incorporate. And then I do them.

Putting pressure on one night, New Years Eve, is crazy. It’s too much pressure. And it sets us up to failure. How many gyms has fantastic “resolution” specials, and by the first of February they are back to near empty? How many people have gym memberships that are virtually untouched? How many of us have exercise equipment that collects dust or holds unworn clothing?

This year I refuse to bend to pressure to make and share resolutions. I will live my life as healthy as I can. I will continue to reduce stress and to put myself higher on the priority list. I will be more diligent at taking care of myself and my family. I will continue to stamp out negative talk and self-shaming chatter, in my head and in the mouth of my daughter. There will continue to be no room for H8 in my house, and plenty of room for LOVE.

I still struggle as a food addict. I still have days when I hurt. And yet, these addictions and abuse do not define who I am. Or what I do. They are a part of my life, and likely always will be. And the living will be in the tension of finding the correct balance. Some days will be easier than others, just like always.

Live your life, love who you are. Make adjustments because you want to, not because of society’s pressure to do so. Eliminate H8 and love with all you are and with everything you have.

THAT is how we will change the world. Not with resolutions, but with love.

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I’m looking around my house and it’s beginning to resemble a decent looking place. Not show-room ready, but certainly presentable for unexpected company. I don’t usually get unexpected company, other than my mother-in-law who really isn’t company. And whenever she drops by the house looks like a bomb just went off. It’s some kind of unwritten rule.

Last night my beloved decided to do some baking. At 8:00 pm. He doesn’t tend to clean up after himself, which I find very frustrating. When I got up this morning, there was flour and sugar from one end of the counter to the other. I cleaned up what I could in order to wash the dishes, then cleaned up the rest of the counter, finally emptying the corner that is a collector of all that doesn’t have a home.

The junk drawer now needs a serious clear out, but it doesn’t have to be done right now, or even this week. Because, in the state of mind I now occupy, if I did start clearing it out, I would end up emptying the contents into the garbage and I’m pretty sure there’s still stuff we need in there.

This morning I finished the pastoral letters at the Church. I need to clear up my desk, but that’s a task for tomorrow. I need to finish the 4:00 pm rewrite, but again, that’s a task for tomorrow.

I cleared off the corner table in the dining room that has become a mini-office and it looks quite good. There’s even empty space on it, which makes me very happy. I like unadorned spaces I have decided and I think that may be partially why I struggle with the whole decorating thing. It’s okay to have a windowsill with nothing on it. The house doesn’t have to look like the North Pole threw up on it, does it?

I hung two artificial wreaths with lovely plaid ribbon on the front and side doors today. I haven’t cut the greenery for the front porch. And it may not get done. Which is okay. I sorted through three bins of decorations for the house. One bin was put away, after I decided there’s some stuff that simply doesn’t need to go up.

The other two bins await The Girl’s magic. We have a 2 foot tree that didn’t go up last year. There are small decorations for the tree. She’s going to decorate it later tonight. There’s also angels and stuff that can go out on windowsills, but they don’t have to. We’ll see what kind of mood she’s in later tonight.

The dining room table still looks awful, and I will work on it tonight as she’s decorating the tree. I am fairly confident I can find homes for most of what is on the table that doesn’t belong. The extra-large plastic bag will be a great item to store one of the wreaths. It will go in the stair storage area.

The bag that has dead electronics, batteries and eye glasses will go into my car so the next time I pass a place that takes such things I am ready. I am confident that by the weekend, the dining room will resemble a dining room, not a jumble sale. And that makes me happy.

A thing for every place and a place for everything.

My summer goal was to clear out the home office. It’s still not done, in fact, it’s barely started. I am planning to spend a day sorting books in the week between Christmas and New Year. I think that, coupled with knowing when the next clothing distribution day is, will help me to regain control of the room.

I suspect there will be a lot of recycling to go out, and some garbage to go out. Some things will be donated away. Anything that is not absolutely cherished will be finding a new place to live, and what we cannot part, will be boxed neatly until it is needed.

It makes my heart happy knowing that I am moving, again, to a simpler life, free from “stuff” and filled with love.

My house is not now, nor ever has been perfect. And neither am I. God created me in the image of God, which is perfection. And I can live in the light of God’s perfection, not society’s perfection. God’s perfection is pure and reflects back to me through all I encounter. Society’s perfection is artificial and commercially driven.

The Martha Stewart/HGTV push for perfection Christmas home is not where I live. And it likely never will be. I have two dogs, one of which is a puppy who sheds A LOT. The floor is never clean enough, the dust is never all collected. There are tumble weeds of dog hair every single day. The windows have nose art on them and the furniture needs to be lint rollered.

But that is how we live. And we like it. Well, most days we do.

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One of the dangers of being a food addict is the holiday season. Everywhere you go there’s something to try. “Oh, just have one” they say and I break into a sweat. I want to eat the whole plate, but it’s better if I don’t eat any, so I politely refuse. Sometimes that leads to guilt so I’ll agree to have one, then two, then, well, you know how it ends.

Or I will refuse politely, then come home and eat two chocolate bars. Ugh.

This is a tricky time of year, psychologically and emotionally, before we get into any of the “fun” stuff of the holidays. Everywhere you go there’s overlit, too loud, hypercaffeinated places that raise your heart rate to buy me, eat me, love me, take me home. And if you refuse, then you’re a bad person.

So I guess I’m a bad person.

With being so tired as of late, I have no impulse control. I asked my beloved to do the grocery shopping and I know I shouldn’t…because he brings home crap. Which I eat. Yes, it’s my fault that I put that thing in my mouth that I shouldn’t but…well…the truth is, I want it.

I have stopped looking at magazines for Christmas cookie ideas because I know, if I bake them, I’ll eat them…all of them.

I should get outside and walk the dogs. But I’m scared of slipping as it’s quite slick underfoot. I should go to the walking track and spend an hour there. But I don’t. I should pull out my yoga mat, breathe and stretch. But I don’t.

Instead, when I’m having difficulty coping, I go to bed. Most of the time I sleep, so obviously I am overtired. But when am I going to feel well enough to care for myself? Nobody is going to do it for me. I have to do it myself. And I will. Eventually.

*sigh*

What I need is a week in Bermuda. Am I going to get it? Not likely, at least not for awhile. I am, however, committed to taking 5 or 6 days in January and going on retreat. To a place where the food is good and healthy. Where there are no demands. Where I can bring my yoga mat and stretch. And journal. And cry.

I know I could do that here. But there’s always something else that’s more pressing. There’s always one more email to send, one more webpage to read, one more article that needs posting. I need to make myself a priority. I am cooking healthier meals and enjoying it. Today I’m going to attempt beef stew in the slow cooker.

Right now I feel muddled up. I know I should take better care of my body. Who takes care of me if I don’t? Nobody. So if nobody takes care of me, why should I bother? Counterintuitive I know, but real nonetheless.

We had a discussion about Christmas a couple of months back. We agreed that we will not go into debt for Christmas. We cut back the list dramatically. And nearly all the shopping is done. That makes me feel really good.

One day next week I am going to sort through the bags in the spare room and start wrapping. That will feel like accomplishment. I may even bring some things out and start decorating for Christmas/Winter. I’m not sure about a Christmas tree with the pup, but we’ll see.

What I need to do is shake off the cobwebs of guilt and shame. I need to stop beating myself up about what I have done and look forward, instead, to what I will do. To be intentional in everything I do, whether it be eating, speaking, washing, dressing, praying, stretching.

And I need a good cry.

And maybe a nap.

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The past few days have been surreal. I’ve spent more time in hospital then I have anywhere else. A friend of mine had a baby boy last Friday evening. He’s beautiful. He’s perfect. He’s the love of my life. He had a rough day and spiked a fever, showed some signs of dehydration, so he and his Mum got to stay an extra night in hospital. Both were discharged yesterday after what felt like an eternity. They slept well last night and he’s feeding on a fairly regular schedule. So it seems he’s settling into life with his Mama and she is settling into life with him.

Usually I try to plan meals ahead. Not always successful. Monday I went to the hospital in the early afternoon expecting to spend an hour or two there. Was there until nearly 9:00 pm. Supper was take out, subs, and I was mindful of what I was eating as I was eating it. Last night was turkey sandwiches as I was again, at hospital for most of the afternoon, taking Baby and Mama home at 5:30 pm. Battling traffic across the city, detouring around accidents, etc., I got home about 6:30, just ahead of my Beloved. Sandwiches it was.

I’m completely off the wagon as far as breakfast goes…I can’t seem to get motivated enough to make breakfast for myself. I will make my Beloved’s lunch, but then not eat anything when it’s my lunch time. I’m not sure what is going on there.

I’m feeling good, my water intake is good, vitamins are back on track…now I need to get my eating patterns and choices back on track. I say this as I stare at my now empty coffee cup, attempting to conjure up the Coffee Fairy to bring me some.

I need to get to the grocery store and pick up some basics. I’m going to buy the ingredients to make pasta sauce and then make a double batch tonight and freeze some. I am going to plan ahead for my trip up north this weekend, so I have access to the types of food I want, and don’t end up eating processed garbage.

The strange thing is, since I have been deliberate in my healthier food choices, my cravings for garbage food have diminished. They are still there, but I’m finding healthier ways to address them. I can drive past a fast-food place and not have my mouth water, or start imagining what I am going to have there, as a reward, when I have been “good” for a while. The truth is, I don’t want to eat there. I want to eat at home. Healthy food. Home-made, from scratch food. Food that satisfies, the nourishes, that is healthy.

I’m not yet at the place where I crave carrot and celery sticks, but I have a feeling that may come…not tomorrow, but some day. And that is pretty awesome.

I wasn’t able to take the morning walk for nearly a week. And boy did I miss it. Last night, I dragged my beloved with me to walk the two dogs, and it was awesome. We got out this morning and did it again, and it was awesome. I am seeing a shift in myself, my attitude and my routine.

I want to be out and active. I want to move my body. I want to use my exercise equipment. I want to take walks. I want to eat healthy. It’s not becoming a chore (as much). It’s becoming a way of life.

Maybe not earth shattering for some, but is sure is for me.

Total weight loss since I came back from vacation in August – 15 lbs. Right now, it’s not so much about losing weight as it is about being healthier. And I am very much feeling healthier. Yay me.

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I am struggling with the balance of a new way of living; a new lifestyle, if you will. Since I have given up alcohol, I’ve been invited to a few parties, where the main objective is to drink. I’ve never been much of a social butterfly for events like that and I’m more anxious than usual now.

I have two such events that I’ve been invited to on Friday. And I don’t want to go. Don’t get me wrong, I quite like the people who are hosting and I think the reasons for the parties are good ones, but I don’t feel comfortable being in an environment where there will be both alcohol and food. I’m not ready; I’m not strong enough to be in those kinds of environments.

SO, I made a decision that this Friday night will be Family Fun Night. Not only do I get to spend quality time with my beloved and The Girl, I also have a perfectly legitimate excuse for not attending the parties. At least, that’s what I’m telling myself.

Will I ever go to a boozy party again? Likely not, as a boozy party has never really been my idea of a good time. I will be happy to drop my beloved off at said soiree and pick him up afterwards, but I don’t think I’d be staying. It’s not my scene. And really, should I have to justify my choice? Should I have to explain why I’ve chosen a healthier lifestyle? Um, NO.

So what I think I need to learn is to say “no thank you” when invited to said events, and not feel I need to provide an explanation. I think that’s what we call boundaries. 🙂

Today is meant to be a ridiculously humid day. The house is quite cool just now so I think I’ll work from home for the morning and then venture out to get some errands done.

Yesterday was a full work day. So today may be a little lighter.

See? Balance!

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It was a great time on vacation. I spent the best part of the first week sleeping. I knew I was exhausted, but I had little comprehension of just how exhausted I was. I look rested, I feel rested and at the same time I’m feeling quite overwhelmed.

I have had difficulty keeping focus since I got home. The house is in a perpetual state of disarray, and I’m trying to get laundry done, as well as organize the next couple of weeks. I will be very glad when school starts and swimming lessons finish so I can return to some kind of routine.

Being away I had a lot of time to think. About who I am and what I want. I have realised that I don’t have the physical strength to do many of things I really want to do. I wanted to take up running again, but I don’t think my joints will handle it. I wanted to do all kinds of things, and yet I didn’t get many of them done. And I guess, that’s okay.

So right now I’m dealing with a full-blown CFS flare. My body aches, my joints are warm (which is not good), my sleep is interrupted, not restful and I’ve got more verbal and cognitive confusion than usual.

I likely could have used one more week, but the reality of the parish means it’s not possible. I came back to a massive pastoral issue that needed to be dealt with and still needs to be dealt with. And there is the joy of an out-of-town wedding on Friday/Saturday, then another wedding the weekend after.

So it simply never ends.

I’ve had a houseful of people since I got home and I can’t find a moment’s peace. And it doesn’t seem to matter. So, I need to breathe, remove myself, and try to be gentle with myself.

After two more emails I will. Honestly.

I am glad to be back. I am.

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It could be the edge of insanity, or it could be the edge of awesome. I don’t believe I have ever felt this weary and yet this wired at any time before in my life. It’s a strange manic/hyper place, where I am not the slightest bit familiar. I don’t like it here.

The past two weeks have been really rough in many ways and I am so very happy to be getting away from this place. I love what I do, and I love where I live, but right now I’m so empty that I’m worried I’m starting to corrode.

My yoga mat is packed and ready to go. I have a list of things to put in my handbag so I have what I need for the train ride at my fingertips. I have packed some healthy snacks to take with me so all I have to buy is sparkling water or perhaps a cup of tea. a friend is taking me to the train station so my husband and daughter can have an afternoon of awesome together going swimming.

Today we went to an off leash beach in a big city a couple of hours away. The dogs were good, the younger one has never been in the lake before and he loves it. He’s a natural swimmer and even gave our dock diving older dog a run for her money. They slept soundly, snoring most of the way home.

The towels from today’s adventure are in the dryer. I’m going to flip them around and put them on again as the load was really full, and I’m quite sure they’re not dry. And then I think I’ll go to bed.

I have no homily for tomorrow. And I will own it. I’m overtired, I’m beyond exhausted and I’m very pleased that I have two weeks away beginning tomorrow. By this time tomorrow I will be with my friend, driving from the train station to the small town where she lives and I will really and truly be on vacation. I was have two weeks of Sabbath. And I can’t wait.

The lists have been prepared of what I need to bring and many of the smaller things have been packed. I have a book I’m bringing for a course I’m taking in September, that I may or may not get around to reading. I am bringing my yoga mat and my journal. Two dresses for theatre events we are going to, and a small collection of tops and bottoms. A yoga jacket, a heavier cardigan and that’s all I need.

Makeup is packed, jewellery is packed, clothes have been set out but not yet packed. Still have to pack toiletries, which will happen tomorrow after Church and then, I am done.

I need to pick up a pair of sandals I was looking at the other night. My right heel is an absolute mess, and the sandals I currently have aggravate it. My thoughts of extended walking are on hold for a week, I may pick them up on week two of my vacation, if my heel is in better shape. The weather is supposed to be cooler and wet for the first week, then bright and sunny the second week. Awesome.

I will not set an agenda. I will take each day as it comes. I will take better care of myself. Drink lots of water. Eat healthier foods. Laugh uncontrollably. Pour out my heart and soul in words. Pray without ceasing. Stretch my mind and body into better health. Eliminate sugar, refined flour, processed foods and alcohol from my diet, perhaps forever.

Mindfulness is the touch-word for this vacation.

I don’t know when I will blog again. This vacation will also be electronics free. My cell phone is coming with me for emergencies, and for checking on my family. But nothing else. It will not travel with me if we are away for the day. I will not come with me or be near me when I am practicing yoga. And I’m looking forward to that.

Today, I feel like I’m standing on the edge of insanity. I pray that in two weeks I will be standing on the edge of awesomeness. Only time, determination, faith, and openness will tell.

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Life has been a series of struggles lately, physically, emotionally, spiritually, psychologically. Lately there has been a great deal of loss in the community and in our small parish family. I am reaching the place where I have gone from burying parishioners, to burying friends and sometimes to burying family. It hurts. But it is my job and I have to function well to be able to care for the congregation.

On the fourth of July a parishioner died who had been in and out of hospital for the past few months. She was 89. She was ready to die and at peace with the world. Another parishioner who is 97 was admitted to hospital this evening. He’s got some serious circulation issues, and may need to have a toe amputated. Two years ago his wife of 73 years died. He was devastated and has wept for her every day since. His family is telling him to “get over it” and the truth is, he doesn’t want to. I don’t blame him. He is not suicidal, he is simply ready for this life to be over so he can join his bride in the next life.

I’m feeling torn between the friend who is trying to get him “better” so he can go back to his life in a retirement residence, and the desire he has to die. I tend toward his want. He isn’t afraid to die. He is ready to go. But his heart is strong, thanks in part, to an operation he had 4 years ago to repair a faulty valve. He had the surgery so he could live longer and care for his wife whom he was losing every day to Alzheimer’s disease.

When I go and visit, we often sit in silence and I will hold his hand while he cries. I encourage him to talk about his wife, and watch his smile come from his heart and light up his face. We share communion from the traditional Book of Common Prayer and he knows every, single word by rote…even the priestly parts.

Quite often he weeps only while we go through the Eucharistic Rite, and he apologises profusely. I remind him that it is not a bad thing to weep, and often I feel like weeping at the sheer volume of the gift that Jesus and God gave us. He nods understanding and we wait, in silence, until we continue again.

I don’t expect he will see another birthday or another Christmas. He is really and truly ready to leave this life. And in my humble and non-medical opinion, I believe his wishes should be honoured. Lead him out of pain, and let his life come to an end. No more medical procedures, other than for pain relief. No more surgeries.

We have talked often about his wishes for his funeral. He wants a traditional Requiem Mass, the same as we did for his beloved wife. I received a couple of comments that the service was very somber, but that was his choice and that choice needs to be honoured. He and his wife had talked about their wishes while she was still well enough to understand. The service has been written, the readings selected and even the hymns have been chosen. And when his time comes he will be honoured with a Requiem Mass. We will honour his legacy, celebrate his life and do it soberly, with honour and tradition. And there will be laughter. I have promised him, that there will be laughter, as there was for his beloved bride.

So tomorrow I will go and visit him in hospital. I will bring communion and oil for anointing. And we will pray together that if it is God’s will that he should heal, then that will be done. And if it is God’s will that he be called home, then that will be done. I will miss him terribly, as I miss his wife terribly, but I know that he will be in a place where he is no more pain; only joy and love as he his reunited with his wife, his parents and siblings.

I find myself struggling with the ongoing significant loss in the parish and how I process it all. I know I was created with a large heart, but it’s also a delicate surface that is easily hurt, bruised and battered. There are times when I wish I had a harder heart, but then I wouldn’t be me. And the only person I can be is the person that God created. For better or for worse.

So as the darkness descends on another day and we approach another weekend, I pray for restorative sleep, for me and for my congregation. I pray for laughter and time with good friends. I pray for old friends and new ones. I pray for enjoyable time with my family. I pray for peace. And I pray for hope. I pray for hope and I pray for love.

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