Saturday, April 30, 2011

E is for Emily (and it has been, for quite a while)

Some say that you should know your readers and write for them. Take the time to have a clear understanding of who your readers are and what they are trying to gain from stopping what they are doing and reading your work. Capture their hearts with your words quickly and don't make them regret giving you their time. Respect them enough to challenge their intellect and their ability to take a journey with you. While others say, write for an audience of ONE. Write for yourself --to learn and to grow. Don't be consumed with what others might think of your choice of adjectives when describing a rainbow. If to you, the rainbow appears stale, then describe those stagnant colors to the best of your ability and don't fall into the trap of writing to please others. 

It's a quandary. And I believe in both. When it comes to writing, there are no simple answers because there are no simple people. I happen to live with an unsimple person. This complicated girl is my 'E' word, she has been for quite a long time. Emily Jean is my complicated love. The daughter I've raised. She told me yesterday that my 'E' word had better be Emily, which was funny to me, because she rarely reads my blog. But, because I am wanting to entice her into reading my heart, I will write for my reader.

In 42 days and 11 hours, Emily Jean will walk down the isle. She will begin a new kind of life. Different than the one she has always known. For the first time in her life, she won't live with the family  that she has always known. I am filled with excitement for her to discover so much about herself and about marriage. Like her mother, she has chosen wisely; her husband-to-be will surely lead her with strength and compassion. He  loves her with such intensity, it is easy to see his faithful gentleness towards her. 

I am blessed by my Emily, my 'E' word for today, but what's in a name? I think of the other Emily's I have known. There have only been a few. There was Emily Rose, she was the first Emily I knew. While I was pregnant with my Emily, I called the 3-year-old's Mother (from across the Nation) to seek her permission in the use of the name. There is Emily Danae, a sweet soul who I adore! She is weeks away from holding her first child, her son...a little boy called Jack. Then there is Emily Jane who just recently walked the isle, to begin a new life with one of the most extraordinary young men I have yet to meet. 

Shortly after Emily Jean was born, my Mother came across a book entitled, Bringing Up Emily, written by Dave Begal. It was an interesting read for a new mother. The author's child was a handful, with a mind of her own. I laughed as Mr. Begal described the day that his Emily called the family lawyer to inquire about being adopted away from her parents, to avoid having to move to a new city. While this was his reality--for me it was fiction. And as I think of it now, it's funny how life does imitate fiction in so many ways. Perhaps, Mr. Begal knew that the people who would pick up his book would have their own Emily at home. Perhaps as he told his tales of raising a young woman with a complicated temperament, he was merely writing for his readers.

Friday, April 29, 2011

D is for Divine

When I woke up this morning I felt like "D" was for Dread. I had been asked to go do something that I enjoy doing, but I was filled with a new set of doubts, so rather than feeling a sense of excitement for the opportunity to use the gifts that God has given me, I wanted to bury them in a hole. But, seeing as the Master doesn't look too kindly on those who bury their talents in holes, I wasn't reaching for the shovel as a way out. 

I have been doing "public speaking" for as long as I can remember and I am always in awe at how the Lord continues to open doors. Speaking is something that keeps me on my knees, for fear of failure. It seems that no matter how many times I speak publicly and it doesn't kill me, I still drive to the next place with an overwhelming amount of anxiety. I begin to behave as though-- this time...I will surely die. In my pre-speaking imaginative reality, people scoff and throw vegetables; I am deemed unworthy and invaluable. Anger ensues at my utter attempt and madness reigns the meeting.

This morning the enemy attacked with a new set of weapons, and this time I found myself fearful as I dodged new arrows that I were not familiar at all. The group of women that I was to be addressing were a little unknown to me, and when I walked in the room, I kept hearing the lies play in my head, 
"What you have to share will not matter to them!"
"They will not find relevance in your words!"

With all the lies trying to intrude, I had no choice but to battle with prayer. I found peace in those moments, because no matter how alarmingly fierce the enemy's new weapon might have been...mine was still fiercer. My sword is always sharper and my shield is always more sturdy. I prayed over and over,
"Please God, use something I say to touch one woman's life"
"Please God, don't let them see me--let them only see YOU."
As I stood in the room, meeting lots of new women, I noticed that a familiar face came through the door. A woman I know came and stood by my side. This woman is a treasure that I have only recently stumbled upon, and she is blessing my life, and the life of my daughter, with her generosity and hospitality, in a way that a Mother only dreams.  She leaned in to me and said, "I don't know why I am here, my daughter told me I had to come today."  So, I smiled at her and said, "You're here for me. God wanted you here." 

I don't remember much about the time while I spoke, I know that there were things that I said not knowing I would. I guess those are the things that God wanted revealed. I just know that as I looked into their eyes, saw their tears and heard their laughter, I knew that by not burying my talent, I was being blessed once again. 

God is constantly working out a masterpiece, just one moment at a time.  Whenever I try to give Him back what is already His, whenever I try to serve Him, whenever I do what He calls me to do--He always, ALWAYS blesses me more than I bless anyone else. 

On the way out the door, two women came and handed me cards. Both of them had taken the time to write out a special thank you. I was touched as I read what they shared from their hearts. I was amazed at how what I had shared was so specifically applicable to what they needed to hear, and to how they needed to be encouraged. Thinking about the things I had shared, I was awestruck at the timing, in relation to the one woman's current trial.  My heart ached for the things she shared, and I was so humbled that I was the one God wanted to use, to remind her of His sovereign plans, on this day--this truly divine day.  

Thursday, April 28, 2011

C is for Crazy Cat Lady

GUEST BLOGGER! Luna Lovegood
Before beginning, I would like to take a moment to thank Adventures in the Ordinary for having me as their guest blogger today. I find the work on this blog riveting and insightful and I am honored to be a contributing author to this site. ~L.L.

I was born in February of 2010 and I share a home with my two Step Sisters, a Canine and a Feline. In the home that my Sisters and I own, we lease space to my Adoptive Parents. They reside in the interior dwelling, with their litter of three. Recently, I myself became the mother to triplets. Since the birth of my children, there has been some speculation over whether or not my Mother, with whom I live, would become a "Crazy Cat Lady" if she did not have a man living in the home with her. I would like to present some evidence to the contrary. I think when you hear the facts as to why it would be impossible for her to ever be considered a Crazy Cat Lady you will be able to help me in my pursuit to dispel the fears of my Father, and join me in my petition to let me keep my three children. 
While there are days that my Mother does come across as a bit of a loon, I believe that these things are far from anything related to the feline world. One of the most glaring examples of her failing judgment is her utter disregard for safety. For example, last summer, I watched as she climbed onto a piece of inflated plastic and floated on top of the water that fills the gigantic hole in my backyard. Surely, my Mother has a death wish, or perhaps, she has a brain tumor that is pressing against the Amygdala portion of her brain, inhibiting her ability to understand what she should fear. After seeing her riding about on the pink, plastic, rectangular tube, I attempted to show her how unstable it was. In my attempt to maneuver the "boat" it immediately lost all air pressure. Just by my touch I was able to deflate it. This should have been evidence to her that riding it was a bad idea. Did she thank me for showing her the instability of her device? No, she simply found another plastic floating device to proceed with her X-treme sport. Now, while this is crazy, this is certainly NOT something that can be contributed to a Cat Lady dysfunction.

For my second point, I would like to present the following video as evidence. And, I would like to offer thanks to my brothers for introducing me to the likes of the following video.

You will notice that the Crazy Cat Lady in this video does not take care of her cats. My Mother is nothing like this. She is very gentle and hardly ever throws me. My Father, on the other paw, will often kick me off the bed with his foot, but as I fly through the air (always landing on my feet) my Mother always gives him the evil cat eye. Surely, she would never throw her cats. You will also notice that the Crazy Cat Lady in this video did not do her hair or her make-up. My Mother would never leave the house looking like that. While she is not a fashion-ista, she does take the time to bathe and apply mascara. 

Finally, the last and best point in cast to prove that my Mother is not on the path towards becoming a Crazy Cat Lady is evidenced in her writings on her blog and in her social networking. A woman who is slowly losing touch with the "real world" would be writing of her cats activities as though anyone else in the world cared. A future Crazy Cat Lady would be posting pictures of her cat and shots of her cat's litter. My Mother is far from that. She rarely talks about me in public and hardly ever makes reference to me in conversations or in speaking engagements. If my Mother were truly on her way to becoming a Crazy Cat Lady, I would not have had to introduce myself at the beginning of this post, you would have already known who I was.

Thank you for allowing me to join you on the path of self discovery. I look forward to reading your comments and your words for the letter "C". And, rest assured, tomorrow, for the letter "D" we will not be hearing from the Dog--hate to tell you, but, she is a moron. 

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

B is for Breathtaking View

I'm standing on the hill where my daughter will be married in less than 50 days and as I look out at the breathtaking view, I am filled with awe. I am still humbled that the Lord provided such a stunning backdrop for this romantic evening. I envision the night that is coming, and I know that this breathtaking view will be a fabulous backdrop for a night that she will remember for a lifetime.

As I look out across the valley, I begin to think about the young couple and the life that they are starting, and I remember another young couple. I remember when they were "just starting out" and the future was unknown, which was probably for the better, or they might have become fearful and not taken that first step. But, that first step is what they had to take to climb to this place with the breathtaking view. 

I look to my left and I see Illinois farmland. This is the place where they first lived as man and wife, the place where they became parents. The small mid-western townspeople took in the two California kids and taught them about corn, country living and small town blessings. I see the wife, as she leans into her young husband and whispers, "This could be beautiful, let's stay here forever". But, in a baby's cry and a grandparent's tear...they know, this is not where they belong.

I look over the hill and I see the poppies, peeking up from the hills of the High Desert. I see the young couple move toward the flowers and settle into their first home--their names on a mortgage. I hear the young wife say, "This could be beautiful, let's stay here forever". But, there is a burden, and unexplained calling that the young husband hears. So she walks away with him, bidding the poppies goodbye, and the flowers call out to her, "Wherever you'll always call this home!" But, her head is distracted by the view of the clean streets of the suburbs just beyond the freeway, and she looks away. 

I cast my eyes down the hill and along the highway--toward the clean streets. This is where the young couple lives in the big house near the park-like school, and I am only looking for a moment when the school yard turns into a cemetery. How is a cemetery so lovely? I look down at the headstone, and I am struck with how the view from here doesn't change the emotions that rise, when reading that granite. I see the young wife standing in the cemetery, bewildered by God's plan as she thinks to herself that while this place does have beauty, she cannot say, "Let's stay here forever".

I hear the laughter, as the poppies call out, "We told you we were your home!" And, I watch as the couple head back to the desert. This time I see the brown skin of their children as they splash in a swimming pool. But, as they climb out of the water, I see the children growing weary under the weight of the burdens of their Mother. I get fearful that this will break them. But, the husband turns to the wife and holding her tightly, he whispers, "This is no longer beautiful, we cannot stay here forever".

The clean streets call out to them, "Return to your homeland!". They venture out once again to find their street, and when they do, it is oddly familiar. But, as familiar as it is to them, they watch as that familiarity fades for one that they love. The landscape is different for the couple; his with foothills and canyons and hers with sand and sea. The pull on the couple begins to feel that it maybe too much. But, then like the release of a rubber band, they soar through the breeze and land together at the base of a foothill. 

I treasure the view from this hill, where my daughter will marry, and I resist the temptation to stare at the past for too long. It is a breathtaking view, watching the way that God worked in the life of that young couple, but there is still more to come that draws my attention.  For over the hill, beyond the grove of trees, that are still growing and producing, there is another land waiting to be discovered. There is no way to know what kind of flowers will grow there, or what the streets and the landscape will hold, but it is sure to have a breathtaking view, and most certainly, the wife will whisper to her husband, "Wherever you take me is beautiful. I'll stay with you forever".

Linking with ABC Wednesday...because linking is cool.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A is for Accessible

Having two young men in my life who own the letter 'A' and equal parts of my heart, I could never choose one 'A' name without tearing my own soul in half. My son's names, Austin and/or Adam were not to be the easy 'A' for this journey through the alphabet. 

In my attempt to search deeper for things, I have been coming to discover that the more accessible things are the more I take them for granted. So much is attainable and within my reach, and yet, those are the things I consistently take for granted. I am blessed by them and I don't want them to go away, but I wrongly assume that they will always be there and that everyone else has them as well. 

During the afternoon, my husband and I drove to the beach with our youngest son, our often quiet 16-year-old. I wanted to hear from him. I wanted to hear about his day, hear about the girl that has his eye, his thoughts on his friend's parent's decision to divorce. I wanted to hear his heart. His father and I were available to him, and yet, it took such energy and purpose to entice him into sharing. Teasingly, I told him, "One day, I will be gone--and you will miss the day I made you come to the beach to be bored."

Later that evening, my own Mother called. She had read my blog and heard my heart. She wanted to talk, she wanted to be available to me, to be accessible. But, in tune with the nature that I have demonstrated to my son, I pulled away. "Mom, I'm fine." The moment was lost. And, somewhere on a distant shoreline of a beach, where I will one day sit and miss my Mother, the waves were breaking. 

It is part of our nature to take for granted that which is accessible, and we do it all day long. We have done it since the beginning of time and we will battle it until the Lord returns. So, while I did not earn an "Easy A" for my letter today, I did learn more about myself and more about who I want to be. And, in the night, when my heart ached with regret for moments that have been lost and fear for what still may be taken, I heard a whisper...

"Draw near to God and He will draw near to you..." And clinging to the words of James, the brother of Jesus, I remembered that in the darkest night, God is always accessible.

LINKING TODAY with ABC WEDNESDAY. Click on over to read more about the letter Aa.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Day One -- The Wall

 I have come upon a wall, a familiar one. The wall is named doubt and insecurity--but it tries to convince me that those names are unwarranted. If you could see it, you would be isn't gray and deteriorated. It is lovely, covered in ivy and purple enchanting flowers; it is successfully enticing and relaxing. It tells me to stop and stay where I am. I lures me into believing that this place is safe and fulfilling. But, my curiosity beckons me to lift the ivy away from the wall and see what someone has scrawled underneath. I pull the green leaves away wondering if I will find the initials of past lovers who pulled the bench close to the wall and lingered in a wistful embrace before engraving their initials as a promise to remember.

No initials find me. Instead I am met with a confession. The confession reads like a warning, a plea.
I gave up at this wall.
My heart is sad. I don't want to think of myself as giving up. I try to convince myself, "I am not giving up, I am just resting!" Right? 
"I will continue. I will not stop and savor so long that I forget where I was heading and what waits on the other side." Will I? But, then I wonder...what is on the other side? 

I slide down the wall and lay my head against the ivy...and wonder. Will I ever know? Will I get to the other side to see. Reaching back into the ivy, I pull it away and I see...initials. Initials? 
"No!" Stunned...I step away and remember another day. Another dream. How many dreams have I allowed to float away on the breeze, while I stood near the wall of self doubt? How many times have I listened to the negative self talk, rather than the chirping of the song bird, whose gentle voice was telling me the way to the gate?

I'm issuing myself a challenge and I'm inviting you to come along! My words are not coming out of my brain, through my mess of a hair, landing on my shoulders, moving down my arms, into my fingers and onto the keyboard the way I want them to. I have decided that I am going to write a short but thoughtful entry each day to correspond with the LETTERS in the ALPHABET. From A-Z, I will explore some thoughts. Things I am thankful for and things I am not. Things that I may find in my refrigerator or at the bottom of my purse.

PLEASE join me tomorrow and LEAVE ME your own thought that CORRESPONDS with the LETTER for the day. Tomorrow will be A 

You have time to think today. Tomorrow, when I post my blog on the letter A's can comment and let me know what you came up with. It may take less than 28 days to get around this wall...but, we will take our time and enjoy the journey from A to Z.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Friends...They're the Cheesiest.

There are some things that you can do alone and there are some things that are just more fulfilling to do with another person.

Preparing Kraft Macaroni & Cheese is  better when you do it alone. When no one else is around, you can tear open the little silver bag the cheese comes in, dip your finger in and have a quick taste of sheer blissful cheesiness while the noodles take the ridiculously long 5 minutes to cook.

Hiking up an 80 degree incline is much better when done with another person. Recently, I went on a hike with my husband and about 1 mile into the 5 mile hike, I huffed and puffed out the declaration that I would never make it through this hike alone. Because, even though hiking up this trail is one of my favorite things to do, quite honestly, if I were doing it alone--I would turn around when it got too painful. Something about having someone else with me when I am barely able to take another step, spurs me on to take that next step. And the next.

I don't think that this is news to most people, that is why we see so many support groups--in so many different areas of interest. Type in "support groups" into and in 0.11 seconds you will get 289,000,000 results. We know we need each other to face mental health challenges, overcome alcohol addiction, facing pulmonary disease, or living with epilepsy. We can find support groups for Parents with children who have cancer, widows of servicemen, survivors of rape and many other tragedies.
For most people, when we find ourselves in a crisis, it is then that we are ready to ask for help, maybe we feel that we finally have a reason to "talk" about our feelings and frustrations. Maybe we believe we have something "big" in our life and now we can admit our need for other people.
This week, I went to a Ladies Brunch where the entire focus was to connect. That's all. Just connect and make a new friend. Recognize our need to attach to others and help others who are struggling with making that attachment. 
The thing is, why do I wait until a planned event to see people. How did this happen? When did I change from the teenager who would invite my friends to my house to eat Macaroni & Cheese to the woman who thinks it is easier, or more enjoyable to eat pasta alone?
So, while I don't have anything BIG in my life, I am making a declaration. I want to change and I want to grow. I don't know how it will happen, but I am going to begin to pray that God will transform me. I don't want to only let people into my world when I am lacing up my hiking shoes. I want to allow them in when I am tearing into that big blue box as well. I guess, I just need to find a support group. Or maybe I should start a group. I could call it,
"Support for Women who have Become Comfortable Being Alone But know that they Need to Not Be This Comfortable...and who also Love Cheese"
We could serve pasta at our meetings.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Adrianna, in His hands

I have a soft spot for teenagers. I always have—even before I was one, I found them captivating. The young person with a carefree attitude and the easy laugh, that so often masquerades a tender heart overburdened with a truckload of pain, can draw me into their world to the point that I can even lose sight of my own age. I was so drawn to teenagers, as their own species, that it was partly what drew me to my husband when we first met. He was in Bible College, preparing to become a Youth Pastor, and when we would spend time together it was often in the setting of serving within our church's Youth Department. Marrying him would mean that teenagers, and all that accompanied them, would be a large part of our lives. It meant that serving the Lord would not only encompass the stress that comes with being a Pastor's wife, but also the release of first time decisions, baptisms, summer camp and slumber parties.  And so it was. For most of our marriage we were involved with teenagers and college age people.The number of times we have had our home decorated in toilet paper is  unknown, as is the number of giggles I've heard as I accompanied a group of teens to do the deed to someone else.

So, basically, it is safe to say, between the teenagers who have been a part of our ministries and the teenagers who have lived under our roof—the adolescent years have been a constant in my life since I was…well, a teenager.
 Recently, a group of women at the church I attend, had a prayer gathering to pray for a teenage girl in our church. Her name is Adrianna and she is incredibly sick. She is an innocent beauty who is shriveling before our eyes. She has systemic sceleroderma and her prognosis is not good if she doesn’t get the cord-blood-stem-cell transplant treatment she needs soon. Her condition has been growing worse so rapidly that it is hard not to be fearful for her and for her family. She has had a feeding tube since October, which makes me wonder--how many times have I enjoyed Chipotle, or a cup of coffee, since October? My food intake becomes about so much more than nourishment, and I take even the simple act of eating for granted. She is currently in Washington state at Seattle Children’s Hospital waiting to undergo what may be her last hope for a cure. She will be the first minor to undergo this type of treatment. If this works, she will, hopefully, begin to get well. If this doesn’t work, she will most likely die.
She is 14 years old. She is old enough to understand how sick she is and old enough to know that this is not fair. And even knowing that this is not fair--she loves Jesus. She loves her church and her Pastor.  She looks to her parents for answers and asks her Mother questions that her Mother struggles to answer. She loves her two little sisters, dancing, and McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets. She has fluffy pink slippers and before she got sick she had waist length chocolate brown hair.
When the women at the church met to pray for her, I felt humbled to be a part of the gathering. I only just recently met Adrianna's Mother, Scarlett, through another woman in the church that I also just recently met..  I don’t know Adrianna well enough that they should consider me worthy of her time, and yet, I was allowed to sit with her and pray for her. This teenager who is so obviously surrounded by angels was sitting near me, letting me hold her hand.
And, about her hand. It was so thin and frail. Holding it, I had to remind myself to be gentle.
The day we prayed was a Wednesday and we met just before the lunch hour. As I was sitting on the floor looking up at her big brown eyes, I was overtaken by a very strong thought:
“This is not where she wants to be”
I don't mean that she did not want to be prayed for, because she did. She wanted very much for the power of the Holy Spirit to wash over her and ease her fears. But, given a choice, this isn't where she would choose to be. The more I thought about it, the more it weighed on me, like a brick. As I said, I don't know her well, but I do know teenage girls, and I know that, most likely, her desires are not to be at the church in the middle of the week with a group of grown women. She would probably choose to be at school; to be watching the clock and waiting for the bell to ring, so that she could meet her friends in their predetermined lunch time spot. She shouldn’t be worrying about needle pricks and bone marrow. She should be less encumbered--spending her time text messaging her BFF and giggling when "that boy" from Algebra looks her way. I left the building feeling slightly irritated that things were not the way I want them to be.
I continued through my day, which included going to my 16-year-old son’s swim meet, where I would volunteer to help time the races. Upon arriving at the pool, I stood at the end of a swim lane, with a stopwatch in my hand, and I prepared to do my best to help with the races. As the first whistle blew and I clicked my stopwatch, I looked at the body of the young girl diving into the water. Her skin was brown, like Adrianna’s, but her muscles were strong. I turned and looked at the girls on the relay team that would be climbing on the block to dive in soon. They were obviously Freshmen. The swimmers were all about 14 or 15 years old. As I watched them gathering their long chocolate brown hair into ponytail holders, I became a little overwhelmed with emotion. I hid my burden behind my sunglasses, my shield for privacy, and continued to time the swimmers. The girls each took their turns and at the end of the race, as the final racer reached her hands toward the wall—I starred at her hands. They were so plump and perfect, strong enough to pull her out of the pool—not fragile and weak.
Looking at her strong hands made me angry at Adrianna's illness. Quite frankly, the swimmer's healthy hands made me angry at God.  I know that He is sovereign, and I respect that His plans are always good. But, being that I am  incomplete in my human state—I am not able to see it from here.  My brain is not wrapping around the "why" of her illness. Even being a Mother who has lost a child, I feel inept in the words I want to use to encourage Adrianna's Mother. I know, however, that I am not the only one who doesn’t understand. I know that many people, who are stronger in their faith than I, do not understand the "why". And, for reasons that I cannot explain, knowing that they also struggle helps me for some reason. Maybe it is because when no one has answers to something this vital, it forces me to leave it in the strongest hands of all. Never weak or frail,  always powerful.  I leave my fears for Adrianna in the ever gentle hands of God. 
I have never written a blog like this before. I have people who I love fiercely and deeply, who have struggled with intense loss and suffering, and I haven’t been able to write about them because I am not sure that I have the right to tell their story. But, I wanted to share about Adrianna because I want to appeal to those of you who don’t know her. As a blogger, this is the first time that I am going to ask you for something. I need your help. Adrianna needs your help. She is struggling with loneliness and moments of depression and she needs to be lifted up in prayer and in words. I want to give you some links so that you may follow the Holy Spirit’s lead and help how it best fits you. And, I want to ask you to be willing to do something that may feel a little uncomfortable. Nowadays, people are so afraid of awkwardness that it stops them from doing the will of God.
ENCOURAGEMENT = Adrianna is stuck in a hospital bed in Seattle. She is away from her sisters and her Daddy. Send her a message through her Facebook. Even if you are not friends with someone—you can send a message and share some good news! Send her a verse, send her a link to a worship song on youtube or send her a picture of puppies! Who doesn't love puppies!? CLICK HERE TO LINK FOR A MESSAGE TO ADRIANNA.

FINANCIAL = Adrianna’s Dad is working two jobs to support two households while he and Adrianna’s two sisters live in California and Adrianna’s Mother stays up in Seattle.  They need help to pay for medical bills and so many of the other financial hardships that are rocking their world right now. They are working with an organization that helps families facing these types of catastrophic illnesses. The Non-profit organization is called Faith's Hope. CLICK HERE TO MAKE A FINANCIAL DONATION TO HELP ADRIANNA.

LOVE the MOMMA. Her Mother is writing a blog to let people follow her journey and to know how to pray. Read her blog and leaver her a comment. As a blogger, I can tell you, there are days when I wonder if anyone reads a word I've written and I consider never sharing again. Then, I will receive the most beautiful comment that serves as an encouragement that I am not alone. As a Mother who faced grief, there are days when I've felt like everyone in the world was too busy for my tears and they really wished I would tell a joke instead. CLICK HERE TO LOVE ON ADRIANNA'S MOMMA.