Reflections on my week ... and more pictures!

This week began with major flooding in Nashville and surrounding areas. Danny, Rebecca and the boys came to our house Sunday because their power went out and they were just home from the hospital with a newborn son. We enjoyed having them. They headed home Tuesday and I devoted the rest of the day to cleaning, laundry, and exercise. (I eat more when I'm feeding others.)

Wednesday was my 51st birthday. It was very low key. I could have made plans with any number of friends. But I didn't. John and I had tickets for 'A Chorus Line' that night and we had talked about going to dinner first. I knew I didn't want to eat two big meals because I have been struggling a little more the last year to keep my weight stable. As it turned out, I decided I didn't even want to go to dinner before the show. I ate only healthy, low glycemic food Wednesday. It was one of those rare days of self-discipline for me.

A friend took me to lunch for my birthday Thursday. Friends took me to lunch yesterday for my birthday. And more friends want to take me to lunch for my birthday next week. (I will be skipping dinner a lot next week, but I do love stretching out the partying!)

Yesterday, after lunch, Cheryl and I went to Danny and Rebecca's to see Pax and the big brothers. She had Jackson with her (my youngest nephew). And those boys really hit it off. At first, Jackson (15 months) was a little reluctant and clinging to his mommy. But Andrew (3) was so sweet and attentive. He went up to the bonus room to get cars and trucks "for Jack." He is the only one who shortens Joshua to Josh. And he shortened Jackson to Jack a couple of times. He got on the floor with Jackson and played with him. In no time at all, Jackson was following Andrew everywhere. It was darling. Joshua (4) and Nicole (5) had the same kind of instant bonding the first time they played together.

When we are all together, I so wish we could still live in the same town. (I tease Cheryl that I don't wish it enough to move to White House! But I do wish we still lived close.) I really miss my nieces and nephews. It's not like I never see them. I still feel very close to them. But when they were little, I was close enough for them to come spend the night with me any time they wanted to. And I spent a lot of time at Chris and Cheryl's. My ideal life would include having my nieces, nephews and grandsons living right next door or around the corner (in Murfreesboro) so I could see them daily (and spoil them regularly). On the other hand, I'm thankful I am only an hour's drive from all of them.

I was thinking yesterday about how many years of my life I allowed disapproval and rejection to define me. I've experienced my fair share of both. And because of the deep wounds, I have often anticipated and perceived rejection - even sometimes when there was no threat. I spent the majority of my life feeling unable to please, disposable to others and unlovable. But that isn't my life anymore! It's truly remarkable - and nothing short of a miracle - what God has done for me. He picked me up, dusted me off, and transplanted me into the most loving, nurturing soil. It has been a process, but I have grown and flourished and my "bruises" have healed. I started thinking yesterday about how there is no rejection in my present. None. I am surrounded by love and people who mean the world to me. I have lost some relationships as I have moved forward with my life, but the wonderful part is that I get along with everyone who is in my life today. I can't think of one friend I've made since moving to Murfreesboro that I have even the slightest friction with. The troubled relationships are in the past. I have given them to God and if He does not restore them one day, then I know it was for my good.

Most of my life, I believed I was born with a personality that made me difficult to love. And it feels as if God set out to prove to me that it wasn't true. Oh, of course I have my warts. I know my friends love me in spite of them. I certainly see them! But I don't feel unlovable anymore. And although there are still a few rejection scars that occasionally surface, my life is no longer defined by rejection or my past. God has redeemed it all and blessed me with a beautiful life.

There are no words to describe the contrast between my past and my present. Only God could transform a life the way mine has been transformed. And I am so thankful.

Okay...now for some pictures from yesterday!







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