God Forgives The Maximum 2-20-18

In the Our Father we say: “Forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors.” This is an equation. If you are not capable of forgiveness, how can God forgive you? The Lord wants to forgive you, but he cannot if you keep your heart closed and mercy cannot enter. One might object: “Father, I forgive, but I cannot forget that awful thing that he did to me….” The answer is to ask the Lord to help you forget. One must forgive as God forgives, and God forgives the maximum.”

—Pope Francis, as quoted in the book The Hope of Lent: Daily Reflections from Pope Francis by Diane M. Houdek

This affirmation came to me this morning from the Franciscan Dominicans. It was sent as a reflection to focus on during this lent season. It was ironic since for lent I have made the decision not only to pray for the people who have hurt me but for the ability to forgive them as well as forgive myself and have the strength to finally put the past behind me.

My father passed away on September 14, 2011. My life changed forever that day. That day my heart broke in a million pieces. Since then I have been on a journey that I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. I have tried very hard to put the pieces of my heart back together, however this has proved to be a difficult task. They say you attract what you put out. I suppose this is true. When you have a broken heart you become a magnet to attracting more people in to your life who are all to willing to break your heart and bring more sorrow. That’s what happened to me.

The good news is I’ve finally recognized this and I’m eager to move on and put the pieces of my life back together. I’m tired of being sad. I’m tired of being angry. I’m tired of waiting for an apology that will never come. I’m tired of just being tired and I’m tired of trying to change the past instead of trying to change my future.

The next 40 days I will pray asking god to heal my heart. I’ll pray for the strength to forgive the people that brought me so much pain and succumb to forgetting the past that has led me down this painful road. And yes, I will be praying for the people who broke my heart. I know it will be a difficult task but a necessary task for sure. After all, how can I ask for forgiveness when I can’t offer forgiveness myself.

They say it takes 28 days to form a habit. I’m hopeful that in 28 days I’ll develop a habit of forgiveness and finally find the peace and joy I’ve been searching for and spend the last 12 days of lent living a life free of the negative emotions that have held me hostage and replace that with hope for a brighter future as I close the door of my past once and for all.

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She Came Out Swinging 2-13-17

As of late, the news media has been inundated with news of sexual harassment against women by powerful men in various industries. This has brought on the “ME TOO” movement. A movement where women are taking their power and dignity back.

Last week scandal broke in the White House. It was revealed that the presidents aide had abused his two ex-wives as well as his girlfriend. Despite his history, he was allowed to continue to work in the White House, even being considered for a promotion despite his abusive history. Watching this news has brought back so many feelings that I have fought hard for three years to overcome.

The president of the United States has defended his former aide citing what an incredible job Rob Porter had done while working at the White House. He has shown more concern about the abusers feelings than that of the abused women who endured years of abuse.

On Sunday, Kellyanne Conway made a comment that insinuated abuse only happens to women who are weak. I found her comment to be extremely insulting. I have always been a strong woman however I fell victim to a very abusive relationship. Abuse can happen to anyone!!

I watched the interview of Rob Porter’s ex-wife. My heart started pounding as I heard her describe her personal story. I couldn’t breathe. It was as if she was describing my own story. Her story really hit home. However, as I listened to Jennie Willoughby share, somehow I felt vindicated. I have spent the last three years suffering in silence. Humiliated as I’ve asked myself over and over “how did I let this happen to me?”

What I’ve realized is I’m not the only one this has happened to. I’m hopeful as I watch this movement of strong women come out swinging and take their power back. I’m hopeful somehow abuse will finally be recognized for what it is. Wrong! There is no room in society for any type of abuse against women or men for that matter!

Valentine’s Day is tomorrow. On February 8, 2015, I blogged about my Valentine’s Day with my own abuser. I haven’t read it since I wrote it, but it popped up as a memory on my Facebook page today. I have said many times, Facebook has a way with bringing back memories that we’d rather forget. I’m attaching the link for those who would like to get a small glimpse of my experience with my abuser. An experience which I now know has a name attached to it. It’s called “gaslighting”. Once upon a time I loved Valentine’s Day. I haven’t been a fan ever since.

https://fiercefabulousfunny.com/2015/02/18/the-stranger-in-my-bed-2-18-15/

Three years have passed. It’s been a very long road for me. Healing takes time but it’s possible. I’m proof. I’m healing every day. I’m not mad anymore. The pain no longer rules my life. The memories are still there but that’s what they are. Just memories of a painful time so long ago. Today I’m healing and I’m hopeful again. I’m not yet the woman I want to be but thank god I’m no longer the woman I used to be.

I hope that by sharing my own story, like the many strong women across the nation who have inspired me by having the courage to come out and say “Me Too”, somehow, I can inspire other women to come out swinging and say “Me Too” also.

There’s a song by Tom Petty called “Swinging”. I am posting this song because it inspires me to believe that no matter how hard things get, I have to pick myself up, dust myself off and keep on swinging. I hope it inspires you too.

Does Heaven Really Exist 2-13-17

Does heaven really exist? I’m sure we have asked ourselves that very question. I am a believer however, I’m also human. Sometimes it’s hard to believe in something I can’t see. Especially when life is either challenging or I find myself missing my father who passed away six years ago. I’d like to believe he’s in paradise living life to the fullest. Surrounded by beautiful sunshine, breathtaking sunsets and beautiful beaches.

My friend, who I will refer to as Ginger, lost her mother last summer. Like me, she was with her mom when she took her last breath.

Ginger wrote me today and shared a beautiful story of what happened to her today. I was so moved by the story, I asked her if it would be ok if I shared it with my blog community.

If you don’t believe in heaven, after reading Gingers story, you will.

“So. I am sure you and every other “normal ” person question life after death. We believe, but there is always that little voice saying “I sure wish I had proof”. But we tuck that thought away and pray for the best.

Well about a month ago I was watering a plant that I brought from my moms. It’s a Christmas cactus. They don’t bloom very often but if they do, it is around Christmas (hence the name) and often around Easter some just never bloom. Well my moms had three blooms right around Easter at her house. That was cool. While I was watering I said out loud “mom if there really is a heaven can you make this thing bloom?”

Knowing it’s not near Easter or Christmas. Well…..”

A picture tells a thousand words. By the looks of this photo, I think heaven does exist.

Creamy Cilantro Lime Salad Dressing #CilantroDressing

Cilantro Lime Dressing. Sounds delicious

Laurie B's Blog©

I used to make a great creamy cilantro dressing, based on the dressing from the El Torito Grill in California. However, after meeting the owner of ExtravaGONZO Foods for the umpteenth time at either the Boise Co-Op or Whole Foods in Boise, I challenged myself to adjust the ingredients to use two of their flavored oils. The first attempt was an epic failure, so I worked to adjust ingredients and eliminate ingredients I felt were not necessary. The second round is a home run! Or, let’s make that a touchdown since the Super Bowl is in two weeks!

Ingredients

1/3 cup raw pepitas (pumpkin seeds), roasted
1-2 green onions, chopped
1-2 garlic cloves, pressed
¼ teaspoon sea salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
¼ cup juice from fresh limes
1 teaspoon lime zest
1 tablespoon ExtravaGONZO jalapeno lime oil
ExtravaGONZO blood orange oil
1/3 cup crumbled Cotija cheese
½ cup…

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If You Think You…

Whether you think you can or think you can’t…you’re right

SKYLARITY

“Thinking” by Walter D. Wintle

If you think you are beaten, you are;
If you think you dare not, you don’t.
If you’d like to win, but you think you can’t,
It is almost a certain – you won’t.

If you think you’ll lose, you’ve lost;
For out in this world we find
Success begins with your will
It’s all in the state of mind.

If you think you’re outclassed, you are;
You’ve got to think high to rise.
You’ve got to be sure of yourself before
You can ever win the prize.

Life’s battles don’t always go
To the stronger or faster [human];
But sooner or later the person who wins
Is the one who thinks s/he can!

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