Stronger

Stronger

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Waiting




November 7th I began a study with Proverbs 31 Online Bible Studies, Wait and See by Wendy Pope. I joined my dear friend and sister in Lord Diana Manley Rockwell's group (35). WOW! This study came at the perfect moment. *Godwink* He always knows what we need - when we need it.

"Waiting is hard. In the wait and see, it is imperative that we pause to consider all possibilities of God's design. From the depths of our ache, can we day say to Him, 'Show me what You have planned. I am willing to wait'?" (pg 25)

In my wait I have been impatient, anxious, worried, irritable, depressed, and just overwhelmed! Throughout my life I have had different valley's of waiting, this most recent wait started March of 2014. A few months prior I was diagnosed with a new health issue and the two I was already "dealing" with were worse. I was so stressed out and so tired all the time. Everyday I suffered from panic attacks. Most days I couldn't get out of bed to get to work. I loved working for our local newspaper. I had worked there on and off since I was 19 years old. I started out as a inserter, then delivered papers, circulation assistant, and eventually circulation manager. In the last 8 years I worked for that company I had my ups and downs with just not feeling well. I lowered my hours for about a month per doctor's orders but still no real reason for why I was feeling so bad. I got back to working full-time and once again ignored what my body was telling me, Have you ever done that? You know something is not right but you just don't have time to deal with it. Besides you have to push forward, work harder, make more money, after all that is what life is about, that is what will make a person happy.


For since the beginning of the world
Men have not heard or perceived by ear 
Nor has the eye seen any God besides You,
Who acts for the one who waits for Him. ~Isaiah 64:4

In March I put in my resignation. I just couldn't do it anymore. I could hardly leave the house and I just couldn't concentrate on anything. For to first few months after I quit my job I hardly ever left my seat on the couch. I was terrified of having a panic attack. It seemed that I was getting them so often.  So I stuck my nose in a book and after about 3 months I had read over 80 books. I was trying so hard to distract myself from what was going on. Fast forward to the present day and I am still waiting. Waiting to learn how to love myself, how to take care of myself, how to leave my house without having a panic attack, but most of all how to focus on God while I wait. Just a few weeks ago my husband hurt his back. He is unable to walk without use of a walker, he is unable to do his job, and he is having a hard time dealing with it all. I am trying not to break down. I am trying to focus on God's promises - but today I am losing the battle. 

Waiting is not only hard, it is scary. It has been the hardest thing for me to do. I am a fixer. I have always needed to be busy. I want to make things happen fast. I don't have patience for myself. I overthink everything. I am constantly worried about everything. I am scared of losing control. I am scared to let go. 

Am I still waiting because I am not listening to His voice? Have I let my heart become so hard I can't allow His love to enter? Waiting on myself to find a way to fix my life has left me feeling empty and lost. I don't know how long the wait will be. I don't know where this journey will take me. But, I am willing to wait. 



14 For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,[c]15 from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, 16 that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, 17 that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love,18 may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— 19 to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

20 Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, 21 to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. ~ Ephesians 3:14-20


Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Counting My Blessings

Day #1 ♡ I am grateful for the smell of book pages. 
Day #2 ♡ I am grateful for my phone because it keeps me connected to loved ones.
Day #3 ♡ I am grateful for the color blue. It's the color of my husbands eyes.
Day 4 ♡ popcorn in a snowy cottage tin. Yum!
Day 5 ♡ I am grateful for the sound of rain on the roof, purring kitties, barking dog, and most of all my husband's voice.


Saturday, October 15, 2016

A Tribute To Elvira



August of 2010 brought a great loss to my life. I felt my heart tear in places that I don't think will ever mend - I am hoping today will be the needle and the memories of this amazing woman the thread that will mend those places that still bleed a little everyday.

Love - when given so unconditionally and so fully is like a hug that releases all the stress, all the pain, and all the sickness that can fill a body. It puts you back together when you break - it forces you to grow in ways you never thought possible. It is the most refreshing - pure water that quenches the thirst of the soul. Thirty -two years of my life held that kind of love - it filled every crevice - it floated all around me. One of love's thickest threads in my life's name was - Elvira, my Tia - mas que una tia - mas come una abuela. 

Enchanted Hills trailer park - that's where I spent a big part of my childhood - 12 years of it. I googled the word enchanted and here is what I found - fill (someone) with great delight. I have to admit - that place surely was enchanted - I was filled with delight every time I stepped foot through my Tia Elvira's door. The smells of her cooking - those homemade tortillas were the best! The smile that lit up her face - her immense joy at having a visitor. She loved to give - and she did it from her heart with no intention of being paid back. The nourishment that came from her home had all the elements a person needs - physical, mental, and spiritual.

Her words were like bandages to the scrapes and wounds that came from those who didn't know how to love properly. Those who chose to have use their words to break down the spirit if my young heart - that chose to put their ideas of what I should be - should look like - should live like - instead of encouraging me to - well - love me. She did just that, She loved what was there - who I was - without question, She shared her heart - her wisdom from her life experiences, I listened - I only wish I would have let her love penetrate deep enough to become self-love sooner.



Her life was filled with many joys and many hardships. Good choices that resulted in blessings. Bad choices that resulted in lessons that sometimes held consequences that hurt her deeply. She lost. She gained, Through it all - through her dark valleys - she never let Him go. Even when her focus on God faltered - even when her faith wavered slightly - she never let Him go. She never allowed herself to stray too far away. Her Bible was her lifeline - her guidebook to living a life of grace - forgiveness - kindness - mercy - and most of all - love. She told me of a time when she was so tired of life's hardships - unsure of where to turn - what to do next - if she even wanted to continue living this life. Her heart had been broken so many times - she had lost so much - she felt hopeless and betrayed. She loved children - but never was able to have any of her own. The sadness that breaks your soul when that realization hits - is almost unbearable - and no one can understand it - no one unless they also live it. That day - when the pain in her heart was most unbearable - she feel upon her open Bible and cried out to God - cried so many tears - until her eyes seemed to dry out. That day - she began to heal. Oh, she remembered the places that had been broken, scraped, torn apart, and trampled on - but now her remembrance showed her how to build strength. She took God's promises as her needle - His unconditional love as her thread - and began to mend her heart - her soul - her mind - and her body.

I saw in her - His grace. That peace that surpasses understanding - that can only come when we let go of the painful things people do to us - say to us - the painful things we do to ourselves - and say to ourselves.

Her home was small. She didn't have the finest things money could buy. She didn't cook what the high class restaurants call five star meals - but they sure tasted that way. She filled everything she owned - everything she did - everything she cooked - and every word - with LOVE. That leaves and impact - one that has survived beyond her 82 years.

Memories with Love - fresh tortillas slathered with butter or fresh green chile - a bowl of puffed rice cereal - her green bowl filled with hard candy - card games she taught me sitting at her coffee table, solitaire and poker. Gluing puzzle pieces to cardboard - such beautiful landscapes. Watching my first ever telenovela - Cristal. Sleeping in the "cuartito." Every time we were sick - she was there with one of her "curas." Not all of them were pleasant - but they worked. Long conversations - filled with laughter and wisdom, Family was the most important thing to her - she taught us to respect people. These are only a few of my memories with this amazing woman. I hope you have had the opportunity to be blessed with someone like her - hopefully more than one before your journey is over on this earth - and if you are truly blessed - you are that someone in the life of someone else.


Don't be afraid to be love to someone. Share you life - share your wisdom - it may change a life for the better. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Bucket Listing




My friend Trish has been hosting Wacky Wednesday games for awhile now in a group on Facebook and recently she has been asking for - three things no one knows about us and our bucket list items. These questions really got me thinking - it forced me to look deep within and find things that I really wanted - for me. Honestly, I have never really allowed myself to dream of those types of things - afraid of failing and belief I wasn't worth succeeding. It is sad way to live - I never fully realized I was living with that belief until recently. Huge changes life really get that introspection going.

So here goes - my short term bucket list (hopefully get to these before I turn 40 - about 1 year and 4 months away - YIKES!!) 

1. Read all the fiction books in our local library (Yes - I am a book nerd!)
2. Make one new recipe a month - ( I want to use my crock-pot more often)
3. Learn to make my own clothes ( I love skirts and long shirts to wear with leggings!)
4. Finish a book ( One or the other, hahaha!)
5. Organize my own craft space 
6. Set up a sanctuary - a place of peace to sit and re-energize, pray, and ground myself.
7. Learn how to relax - this will probably be my hardest lesson to learn but one of the most important,.
8. Keep up a workout routine with my husband along with Yoga and some walking with my family, ( I have found a wonderful place to walk in town - Harris pond - it doesn't feel like you are in town anymore. This is another hard one for me because I like fast results and losing the weight I have to lose and beginning a new lifestyle that includes exercise and healthier eating is a journey that will take time. It will take small steps that will become habits - God help me!) 
9. Seek out new places in my state to visit - campgrounds, small towns, lakes, etc.
10. Hike Hermit's Peak
11. Garden every year and learn more about herbs and their medicinal properties. 
12. Sew and craft enough stuff to sell at craft fairs
13. Run a 5k with my husband
14. Make a scrapbook of all our adventures. 
15. Start using a bicycle - take rides into town.
I am sure I can come up with so much more but I think you get the idea.



Now on to the "Before I Kick The Bucket" List.

1. See the ocean! 
2. Go to the Grand Canyon
3. Take a train ride out of state  - I may add a short train ride to my short term bucket list.
4. Although I am not a sports fan I would love to take my husband to a Denver Bronco game and a  Utah Jazz game.
5. Travel through the U.S.
6. Visit France
7. Visit England - let's just say all of Europe.
8. Meet an author or two from the list of books I am reading. 
9. Buy land.
10. Have an animal sanctuary - I want to help all the lonely fur babies out there,
11. Write out our family history.
12. Open a bookstore/craft store/ coffee shop
13. Learn how to skate board - I guess I better work on my balance, hahaha!
14. Get some of my photos published 
15. Visit Canada


It is time to take that first step on this journey - the hardest step - the one that allows me to began taking care of myself. The one that allows me to learn - to believe that I am worth healing, succeeding, and living my dreams - no matter what negative words and ideas come at me from others or from within myself. 

It's time for peace - time for mending - time for healing. 

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

I Love Reading




July 31st I set a goal for myself to read every fiction book in our local library. I have not set a  time limit as of yet and I may not. Nine of these are my own personal copies and one belonged to my sister. As far as the rest I have just randomly selected books from the shelves of our library. I have found some amazing, funny and stories that really make me want to learn even more about history. 



                                    

Reading List as of July 31, 2016
Latest update 12/7/2016

  1.       Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult
  2. One for the Money by Janet Evanovich (Stephanie Plum Series)
  3.     Two for the Dough (Stephanie Plum Series) by Janet Evanovich
  4.      Three to Get Deadly (Stephanie Plum Series) by Janet Evanovich
  5.     Four to Score (Stephanie Plum Series) by Janet Evanovich
  6.      High Five (Stephanie Plum Series) by Janet Evanovich
  7.      Hot Six (Stephanie Plum Series) by Janet Evanovich
  8.     Seven Up (Stephanie Plum Series) by Janet Evanovich
  9.       Hard Eight (Stephanie Plum Series) by Janet Evanovich
  10.    Visions of Sugar Plums (Between-the numbers holiday novella) by Janet Evanovich
  11.    To The Nines (Stephanie Plum Series) by Janet Evanovich
  12.    Ten Big Ones (Stephanie Plum Series) by Janet Evanovich
  13.    Eleven On Top (Stephanie Plum Series) by Janet Evanovich
  14.    Twelve Sharp (Stephanie Plum Series) by Janet Evanovich
  15.    Plum Lovin’ (Between-the numbers holiday novella) by Janet Evanovich
  16.    Lean Mean Thirteen (Stephanie Plum Series) by Janet Evanovich
  17.   Plum Lucky (Between-the numbers holiday novella) by Janet Evanovich
  18.    Fearless Fourteen (Stephanie Plum Series) by Janet Evanovich
  19.    Plum Spooky  (Between-the numbers holiday novella) by Janet Evanovich
  20. )Finger Lickin’ Fifteen (Stephanie Plum Series) by Janet Evanovich
  21.    Sizzling Sixteen (Stephanie Plum Series) by Janet Evanovich
  22.    Smokin’ Seventeen (Stephanie Plum Series) by Janet Evanovich
  23.    Explosive Eighteen (Stephanie Plum Series) by Janet Evanovich
  24.    Notorious Nineteen (Stephanie Plum Series) by Janet Evanovich
  25. Takedown Twenty (Stephanie Plum Series) by Janet Evanovich
  26. Top Secret Twetny-One (Stephanie Plum Series) by Janet Evanovich
  27.  Tricky Twenty-Two (Stephanie Plum Series) by Janet Evanovich
  28.  Back in the Bedroom by Janet Evanovich
  29. A Soft Place to Land by Susan Rebecca White
  30.    Craving By Helen Hardt
  31.    Wicked Appetite (Lizzy & Diesel Series) by Janet Evanovich
  32.    Wicked Business (Lizzy & Diesel Series) by Janet Evanovich
  33.   The Four Agreements by Don Miquel Ruiz
  34. The Discovery of Witches by  Deborah Harkness (All Souls Trilogy)
  35.  The Witch With Painted Sorrows by M.J. Rose
  36. The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield
  37. Hope Prevails by Michelle Bengston
  38. Uninvited by Lysa Terkuerst
  39. You Are Forgiven By Love God Greatly Bible Studies
  40. The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult
  41. Shadow of the Night By Deborah Harkness (All Souls Trilogy) (9/21)
  42. The Book of Life By Deborah Harkness (All Souls Trilogy)
  43.  Obsession by Helen Hardt (9/30)
  44.  Seduction by M.J. Rose
  45. The Book of Lost Fragrances by M.J. Rose
  46. The Collector of Dying Breaths by M.J. Rose
  47.  Beyond Codependency By Melody Beattie  
  48. The Secret Language of Stones by M.J. Rose
  49. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
  50. Wait and See by Wendy Pope (study in progress)
  51. Sarah's Song by Karen Kinsbury
  52. The Apple Orchard by Susan Wiggs










Do you have any suggestions for me? 


Monday, September 12, 2016

Luna's Story Part 4

Gasping for air and for something to hang on to. All around her darkness and the evil was so thick she could almost taste it. "Where am I," she thought to herself. "I don't remember how I got here." She was panicking and she just knew something bad was going to happen. Someone was after her, maybe to kill her or worse. Maybe she would be stuck here forever in this dark abyss of evil stench. She tried to calm her breathing to focus on something solid. She searched with her hands but could feel nothing. "Help!" she yelled. "Would someone hear here, would they even find her if they did?" With a gasp she opened her eyes and found herself thrashing around in her bed. She froze. "Am I home?" "Was that a dream or was it real?"

Luna looked over at her husband and he was sleeping peacefully. She didn't want to wake him so instead she got up hoping he wouldn't hear here and went into the kitchen. With a glass of water in her trembling hands she sat on the chair hoping this would pass quickly. This wasn't the first time she had these dreams and these panicky feelings upon waking up. She just didn't know what to do about it. She prayed and waited for answers. But maybe she couldn't hear God anymore or maybe she was beyond His help. She knew in her mind He would always be there but maybe this was a battle she had to fight on her own. She had read and heard so many testimonies of people who had gone through terrible things and illnesses and were healed. They were set free from whatever was terrorizing them. Why was she pulled back into this darkness over and over again. Was she just a bad person? Was she fighting God and not realizing it.

Luna always felt guilt and shame for as long as she could remember. As a child she was afraid of just about everything. She didn't want to play the games the other children were paying for fear of embarrassing herself. She wanted to be strong so nothing would hurt her. She wasn't sure how to do that but she sure was going to try. "Did I hear it somewhere or did I make it all up in my head?" Luna asked herself. "Being strong meant no emotion. Absolutely NO crying! Absolutely NO angry outbursts! Just be nice." Luna began to associate being nice with pleasing everyone. Keeping others from getting mad. Just saying, "yes," to what ever was asked of her. At first it seemed okay. Then when she wanted and sometimes needed to speak up for herself she couldn't. This need for people pleasing had her by the throat. It began chocking the life out of before she even stepped foot into junior high school.

It was 3:30 am and she didn't want to go back to sleep. She didn't want to have that dream again. "I better make some coffee and get comfy on the couch to read another book." Luna hoped she wouldn't wake Jon up. She tried concentrating on the book in front of her but she couldn't stop thinking about that disturbing dream. She wondered, "Am I drowning myself in worry, stress and the need to be "nice?" Something told her this was definitely part of her problem. She pulled out her journal and wrote out a prayer, this always made her feel better. Before she even drank her first cup of coffee or even finish writing she fell asleep on the couch.

Something was tickling her face. She tried swatting it away but it just kept coming back. She opened her eyes and laughed. He cat's face was right in hers. He was purring and tickling Luna with his long whiskers. Jon was standing at the other end of the couch with a guilty smile on his face. "What is that all about?" Luna asked him. "Oh, nothing. You just looked so comfy there on the couch and Salem was content tickling your face. I couldn't deprive him of that." Jon said with a laugh. Luna laughed along with him It was so good to laugh.

"Are you ready?" Jon asked her. "For what?" Luna asked as if she didn't already know. "Our amazing bike ride!" Jon said as he smiled. "Oh, yeah." Luna said reluctantly. "Don't think about all the bad things that could happen. Just think about all your photo opportunities. Besides how can you resist going with me." Jon said with a wink. He was right about that. Even after all these years their love had only gotten stronger. Most days Luna couldn't believe that so much time had passed. It seemed like only yesterday that they met and three months later they were married. People thought they were crazy. Here they were seventeen years later and still even more in love as they were that first day.

"Okay. I am ready." Luna said as she walked out the front door. Jon shook his head and smiled. She was carrying her "small" backpack and no doubt it was filled with books, pens, her camera and who knows what else.  "Did you pack water in there too?" He asked knowing full well she probably didn't. "Oh! No, I forgot." Luna said as she blushed. She knew he thought she was crazy to take her backpack will all her essentials as she called them. She ran inside and grabbed their waters. "Do you want me to pack a lunch too?" Luna shouted so Jon would hear her from outside. "Sure, if you want to." he answered. Luna search for her lunch bag and made a couple of sandwiches. Threw in a couple of apples, a bag of chips and their waters. Now she was ready. At least she hoped she was ready for this.

"We are going to take our time and take breaks. Don't keep going just because you think I don't want to stop," Jon told her. "If you need to stop please say something." "Okay," Luna said. Even though she probably wouldn't say anything. Jon already knew that and he had stops planned out in spots where she could take photos and they could rest in the shade. All packed and on their bikes they headed out to the river.

"This is great," Luna told Jon at their first stop as they sat underneath and apple tree that hung over from someones property. "I didn't think I would make it this far."Jon was just as excited as Luna was. He knew if he could just get her to come out one time on a bike ride she would love it and want to do it again. He knew that she panicked when she was away from home but he also knew that she was usually okay when he was with her. He wanted to help her overcome her fears. He saw in here all those things she wanted for herself. He knew she could accomplish her dreams, she just needed a little push. He just had to be careful not to push to hard because she would resist him then. He wanted her to want it for herself and to believe she was able to do it. Whatever "it" was for her. She was finally letting him into her world of secrets. It was hard for him to take it all in at first. He wanted to fix it for her immediately and hurt those who had hurt her. He also knew that would never work it would just make things harder. So he waited for her to ask for help. He waited a long time but he knew when she was ready it would all be worth it. For both of them. As he helped her heal she would do the same for him.

They were off again to their picnic spot by the river. They made with only a few rest stops for Luna. "My legs are jelly," she said as she tried to get off her bike. "I have no clue how I will make it home." "Don't worry, we will rest her as long as you need to. We have nowhere else to be but here together." Jon reassured her. She smiled and hugged him. "I sure am a lucky lady to have you in my corner. I have no clue where I would be without you." Luna told Jon. "Well you know I am one lucky man to have you in mine!" He hugged her again and whispered, "I will never let you go."



Author's Note: Tune in next time for more. I hope you are enjoying this story. I have always wanted to write a book and this is my practice. Have a great day!

Friday, September 9, 2016

Luna's Story: Third Installment

“Held captive,” kept popping up in Luna’s mind as she sat near her living room window in the quiet of the early morning sipping on her coffee. “I know I should be grateful that my eyes opened up and I am able to get out of bed today but I am just not feeling it,” she thought to herself. What an awful way to feel. She constantly blamed herself for how others perceived her and for not measuring up to their standards. Every time she looked in the mirror she frowned at the ugliness she saw. Jon had walked in on her on several occasions and noticed her scowl and asked, “Why are you looking at yourself like that?” “I don’t like what I see,” she said. “Oh,” he said with sadness in his voice. She knew she had hurt him with her words but she couldn’t help how she felt. “Luna, you must think I am a liar,” Jon said as he stood behind her. “Why would you say that?” she asked him. “Because I have told you many times how beautiful you are and yet you stand here and call yourself ugly. Do you think I have bad taste?” he walked out of the room. He didn’t want to hear her answer because he knew right now she would not believe him at least she wouldn’t believe it of herself. These chains that held her were almost a comfort now. She wasn’t sure how she would feel if she were set free from them. Although she knew this negative painful thoughts only hurt her more every day she didn’t know how to be any other way. She had made them a part of who she was and began to believe many years ago that she was meant to be sad and hide from the world. She wasn’t worthy of being happy, loved by other or herself, or worthy of doing things she loved. Somewhere along the way she believed her role was to make sure others were happy and that she had to say, “Yes,” to whatever it is they wanted even though she didn’t want to do it. All this had done was make her feel exhausted, irritated, and used.

As she got ready for her weekly “meeting” with her closest friend, Sarah, she was reminded of a quote by Mahatma Gandhi, “Nobody can hurt me without my permission.”  “Had I really given other people permission to hurt me all these years? Did I have that much power over my thoughts and feelings?” It was hard to believe; most days Luna felt completely powerless. She tried to shove the thoughts aside it was too early to deal with this type of emotional introspection.

It’s strange how no matter where she turned she was reminded of this message. The music she listened to and even in the conversation she overheard from the ladies sitting next to her in the restaurant as she sat waiting for Sarah. “You need to stop letting people’s ideas what they think you should do make you feel bad. You are good enough and smart enough to make your own decisions. It’s time for you to be happy and be yourself,” said the lady in the green. Luna about choked on her drink of water when she heard these words. She turned slightly just to make sure the lady wasn’t talking to her.  When she turned back around she stared into her coffee cup and wondered if the lady in the grey was ready to make those changes or did she feel like her, ready to bolt out of her chair and run home. She didn’t want to turn around again to look. So instead she told herself, “Breathe, Luna. Sarah will be here soon.” Breathing didn’t always work so she pulled out her phone, stuck her headphones in her ears and turned on her music.

As she waited for Sarah to arrive she thought about the day they met. Today was their twenty second friend-anniversary. They always brought along gifts for each other. One gift to represent their friendship throughout the years and one gift that represented the person giving it. Today. Luna brought a framed copy of her first quiz in her first math class in college. Sarah was the teaching assistant in Luna’s math class that year. “I can’t do this. I really don’t want to be here,” Luna thought as she sat in the back row of the classroom that first day. She never liked math and never seemed to be able to concentrate well enough to understand it. Just before the end of the class the professor introduced his teaching assistant who was also a tutor, Sarah. She was in her third year as a math major. Luna knew she would need tutoring in order to pass this class but she was so afraid to ask. As the students filed out of class Sarah handed each of them a schedule of her available hours to tutor and her contact information. As Luna approached Sarah she noticed she had kind eyes and a genuine smile. Luna was relieved and she felt she would be able to ask for help without feeling like a failure. A couple of weeks later Luna emailed Sarah to set up a tutoring appointment. Almost immediately they became friends. Sarah was easy to talk to and made math just a bit easier for Luna to understand.
Sarah was outgoing and wasn’t afraid to try new things. Luna loved that about her but it also scared her because Sarah was always trying to get Luna out of her shell. Every once in a while it worked.  At the end of the semester they made a promise to get together at least once a week to have breakfast at one of their favorite local restaurants.

Sarah strolled in wearing her favorite “October” outfit, an orange blouse and a brown pencil skirt with cute flats. Sarah rarely wore heels because she felt they made her too tall. She always looked put together and professional. Luna looked down at herself. She was wearing her purple “hippie” skirt as Sarah called it and a black V-necked t-shirt.  Luna claimed she dressed for comfort but sometimes she wondered if it was just lack of motivation. She loved her flowy skirts but sometimes she felt as if they were too “happy” of an outfit for her to wear. “Hello, my little dark cloud awaiting the light to seep through,” Sarah said with a smile. For the last twenty-two years Sarah had referred to Luna as a “little dark” something or other because the majority of the time she wore black. She always made sure to let Luna know that someday the light would force her to let it out if only she stopped fighting. “Hi, Professor,” Luna said with a smile. After they ordered their food they got to talking about the projects they were working on and about Sarah’s classes. “I am putting together a few photos to print out calendars for next year,” Luna said. “I have so many I just don’t know which ones to choose.” “What is your theme for this one?” Sarah asked. “I am stuck between flowers, country scenes or photos of animals. I am going to make one of each for myself but I am not sure what to do about the other twenty five I am making for the Craft Fair next month. “Luna said. “How are your classes going?” “Oh, well, let me tell you! These freshmen are intense. Half of them are picking everything up quickly and the other half is either having a hard time because they just don’t understand it very well yet or they are just clowns.” Sarah said with a sigh. “I am so happy I will be teaching upper level classes next semester. That is where I shine,” She said with a goofy grin. Lune couldn’t understand how Sarah could love math this much.

Their dishes had been cleared from the table and their coffee mugs and water glasses refilled. It was time for the twenty second anniversary of their friendship gift exchange! This was always exciting and sometimes hilarious. “You go first this time, Sarah,” Luna said. “Okay!” Sarah exclaimed. “Let’s see what is inside this lovely orange bag.” Sarah took out the tissue paper and set it on the table and pulled out the framed quiz. Her eyes about popped out of her head! She was so surprised that after all this time Luna had saved it. She laughed with tears in her eyes. Luna knew why. Sarah would be moving back to New York at the end of the year. She wanted to be closer to her parent’s and had been hired to teach at NYU. “Your first quiz!” Sarah about yelled. “I can’t believe you still have this. I will treasure this for sure.” I remember how much you hated math and how you never thought you would pass that class. But you did.” “I know. It is kind of funny thinking about it now,” Luna said. “I wish I could go back in time and finish college.” “Why didn’t you finish anyway,” Sarah asked. “You always said you enjoyed your classes and were looking forward to finishing.” Luna had kept the story of what forced her to drop out of college three times. The first time was mostly due to lack of motivation and lack of direction. She was young and was unsure if college was for her and if her chosen major was really what she wanted. The last two times were not too long after she met Jon. It was hard keeping her problems from him as well. “Well, I was having a hard time making it to classes. I was having panic attacks and some days couldn’t even leave the apartment. The days I was able to drive to class were hit or miss. Sometimes I couldn’t get out of the car especially if I was late.” Luna’s words just tumbled out of her mouth. She was surprised she told Sarah about this after all these years. “I am so sorry you dealt with that,” Sarah said. “Luna, why didn’t you ever tell me what was going on?” “I wasn’t even sure what was happening.” Luna said looking down at the table. “I thought I was sick, that something was wrong with my heart or mind. I didn’t want anyone to know. I was scared. I didn’t even tell Jon. I just made it out that I didn’t like my major and wanted to change it.” “Luna, I can’t believe I never saw this happening,” Sarah said with a shocked expression. “Sarah, no one knew. I kept on smiling and learned how to pretend everything was okay.” Luna told her. Luna wasn’t going to tell her that she was going through it all again now. The last four years had been so hard. She lost her job and now she was losing the only friend she really had. Thank God she still had Jon. She just hated to burden him with all this. He would want to fix it and make things better and Luna didn’t know if that was even possible. Plus, she knew healing would only come if she allowed it and took the necessary steps to.

The green bag held a new messenger bag for Sarah’s new journey in New York. Luna filled it with some of Sarah’s favorite snacks, pens, lip gloss and a new journal. Sarah wasn’t much of a writer, she would solve math problems. But she had mentioned last time they had breakfast that she wanted to start writing her story and lists of her favorite quotes, things she wanted to share with her daughter. Sarah had a 10 year old daughter who was so much like her. Same color of hair, eyes and the love of math. She was still friends with her ex-boyfriend, Julie’s dad, but they just didn’t work out. However, Sarah was no longer single as she assumed she would be forever.  On her last trip to New York she met another professor at NYU, he taught Chemistry. He was new in town and Sarah’s friend Maggie’s husband had met him at the gym. They became friends and the two played a sneaky trick on Sarah to get them together. Pizza and bowling was the start of a lifetime kind of love. It had been 3 years since then and just this July they were married. Luna was so happy for her. Sarah deserved to be loved completely and be in love completely.

Luna opened the purple box that Sarah brought for her. “Wow!” Luna exclaimed. A box filled with pen of all colors, new notebooks, sharpies, and a couple of Luna’s favorite movies and a cd of songs they used to play during their traveling to the country adventures. “This is perfect, Sarah,” Luna said with a smile, “I love it all!! Thank you!” “Open the other box,” Sarah said. Luna picked up the yellow box and opened it to find an NYU sweater, t-shirt, and a messenger bag.” Luna laughed. “Are you hinting at something, Sarah?” She asked. “I know how much you want to go back to school and finish your degree and of course write that novel. This is just a little reminder of where I will be and where I hope you will visit and possible take classes. Getting out of this town might do you some good.” She told Luna.

Luna had always wanted to visit New York and so many other places. It just seemed like time had flown by so fast and here she was turning forty in a week and she was nowhere closer to checking anything off of her bucket list. Sarah and Luna went their separate ways. Sarah to teach her first class of the day and Luna home to do laundry and hopefully get her photos picked out and some more purses made for the craft fair.

“Hi sweet stuff,” Jon said as Luna walked in. “Hi hot stuff,” Luna told him with a wink. “How did your breakfast “meeting” with the Professor?” Jon asked. “It was great, we laughed and I got some nice pens,” Luna waited for Jon’s reaction to that. “More pens! You two are too much!” He laughed. “I am glad you had a good time. I got your bike fixed and put a basket on it so you can carry your books, pens, camera and whatever else you deem necessary.” He winked at her. She went to punch him on the arm but he got away. “You are a brat!” She yelled. She was excited about the idea of a bike ride with Jon it had been way too long since they had ventured out on their bikes. Mostly because she made excuses, too busy, not feeling well, the bike isn’t working well. Anything that would keep her in her safe place at home. But she hoped that tomorrow she would have the courage to step out and ride alongside her handsome husband and not worry about what other people may say or think about her riding a bike. She had a hard time looking at herself and seeing a worthwhile human being who should enjoy life. She was determined to believe in herself someday. Maybe tomorrow would be her someday.


Author's Note:Come back to read about Jon and Sarah's bike riding adventure. Will she go or will she let her anxiety and fear hold her back once again?