Wednesday, October 14, 2015

The Little Things (Original Article On

While growing up we are often told that what matters in life the most are "the little things".  As kids we nod, have no clue what that truly means, and add a fifth page to our wish list for Santa.  As teenagers we roll our eyes, pretend to listen, and then ask for more money.  But at some point along the way, hopefully, the truth of that statement begins to take on some actual meaning.  

Some of us learn it earlier than others and some of us never learn.  Those that do learn the true reality of the little things lesson can learn it on a small or large scale.  I happen to have learned it on a scale of epic proportions.  

I did a fair share of volunteer work even as a teenager and often with my church.  One of the most memorable trips was to rebuild homes in one of the most poverty stricken areas in America.  I gave up a decent chunk of my much anticipated summer break to sleep on a non-air conditioned gym floor in sweltering heat.  Each day we worked tirelessly in our heavy jeans and work boots.  But that isn’t what stands out in my memory from that summer.

I remember the conditions of those homes, the kitchen appliances sinking down below eye level into what was supposed to be a floor.  The stories behind the houses and the families that lived there.  One house that I painted belonged to a single Mom recovering from domestic violence.  I can picture me, standing on that ladder, completely oblivious to all we would one day have in common.  But, most of all, I remember the looks of gratitude and humility we were given.

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All That Sparkles (Original Article On

All That Sparkles

Three and a half years ago I embarked on a journey away from abuse and towards freedom.  It has been a long road full of pain, surprises, and discoveries.  I won’t lie to you and tell you it has been easy.  Because it hasn’t.  But I will tell you that, even when it seemed like it wasn’t, it has truly been worth it.
There are many factors that contributed to the kickstart of this journey.  You could say it began in childhood with abuse, the decision to be with one toxic person after another, or the police that showed up at my house that final day.  I believe all of that played a huge part but truly it began with a simple piece of paper handed to me by a concerned therapist.  
When I first started seeing this therapist I knew that my then current relationship would dominate our conversations.  And it did.  What I didn’t know is how instrumental she would be in what has become my new life.  On an ordinary afternoon she handed me a not so ordinary directive.  She looked at me and said “When you leave him, you are going to have to change everything”.  My breath caught in my throat. “Everything?” I skeptically replied, the panic rising.  “Everything” she said.  And with that seemingly doom summoning statement she pulled out a piece of paper and wrote down a crisis plan for me to hide somewhere.  

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