Friday, April 30, 2010

Lunch with Moms in Touch

It was my first luncheon, though I have been with the group for nearly three years.

I remember when I was first asked to join. A woman I didn't know very well at the time began to tell me about it. "Would you like to help me start a Mom's in Touch group for the school?"

Inside, I was thinking, "uhm, but that would mean I would have to pray OUT LOUD, and I don't do that." I was also thinking of all of the women that had recently come into my life. I had already made the connection that they were all strong women of faith, with a wonderful ability to pray.... aloud.

I came out of my internal dialog, aware that she was waiting on a reply from me.


We began to meet with an old school yearbook. At first, I cried every time we prayed for a student. A few years later, my tears are less frequent. It strikes me periodically that we may be the only people praying for some of them.

I believe in the power of prayer and am grateful that I have been able to be involved. It has been such a gift to me!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Feelin' Like a Girl....

Tuesday morning after my karate/MMA class, I got home and showered. As I got dressed, I found myself sort of smirking to myself as I picked out my clothes and put on my make-up. I laughed aloud at the absurdity of what I was feeling.

"I feel like a girl!", I later texted one of my friends. "I love those days" was her reply.

I smiled again and then paused as I considered my reply.

"Today, I do.... in the past, it has scared me."


I am sure there will be more "teaching" in this area coming soon.

In the meantime, I'm enjoying putting on my pretty blouses and feeling like a girl.

In jeans, mind you.... ALWAYS in jeans.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


We were being worked pretty hard in our Karate/MMA class. At one point the instructor said "This is an "Ouch.... Hallelujah!" moment" He went on to explain that while it may hurt now, down the road, we'll be loving it.

He was talking about physically. We may feel the burn - and later the ache - of our muscles, having been through it, will change our lives.... permanently. We get stronger. We get leaner. We gain flexibility and confidence. Really, it's a recipe for success! We just don't always see it that way.

I can't help but carry the analogy further. It's really the same for me emotionally and spiritually. I think back to the times when I have felt broken: broken-hearted or spiritually crippled. Thinking further back, were the days that I didn't even know what I was missing - I didn't understand relationships and feelings and choices. Sometimes I'd stick a bandaid on a wound and call it "good enough". There was no cleaning it or pulling out debris, just "done... move on".

But, God isn't OK with "good enough" when it comes to my heart and my spiritual life. So, He points it out. Often, I don't realize how improperly it has healed, or that there's still "stuff" in there that doesn't belong. Sometimes, He asks me to remove the bandaid, sometimes He does it Himself.

I used to run, hide, and pretend I didn't hear. Fortunately there were people placed in my life to encourage and support me. They called my bluff and made me look. They assured me I would survive what felt like an unnecessary and intolerable reliving of a painful experience. Little did I know it was an "Ouch.... Hallelujah!!" moment.

I didn't realize that walking through it would allow real healing and new life.

Oh, He's still at work with me, no doubt. And sometimes I still want to run, hide and pretend I didn't hear. More often, I'll grab one of those people who walk through such times with me and say "HOLD ON! We're going for a ride".

When I do hesitate, ignore or walk away with my ears plugged saying "La, la, la, la, la.... I can't hear You!!", they love me enough to call me on it. Sometimes I go shaking my head saying "No, no, no, no, no....please, please, no...." silently under my breath, but typically, I do walk. I've learned that there is healing in walking through the pain. At the end of the darkness, there is ALWAYS light.

Do I like the process...? No, not exactly. Do I limp and stumble awkwardly through life during those painful times...? Yes Sir!!

Am I grateful that God loves me enough to challenge me out of my version of "good enough"? Absolutely!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Me Time

There is something to be said for some down-time.... some "me" time. For me, that's Monday nights, whether I need it or not (typically, I *do*!).

I am fortunate! When I found my house, little did I know there was a sitter who lived across the street. (Thank You God!) She and her sister have been fabulous! They love the kids, the kids love them.... and I get to grocery shop without children! It saves me a headache and a thousand "No. Put that back" 's, and probably saves me in groceries about what I pay them - and they're CERTAINLY cheaper than a therapist! :)

Traditionally, I have run to the store, and then to the Y for a yoga class, or church for a bible study. But, currently, I am not a Y member, nor is there a study going on. So it is literally, just that.... down-time. Free time. (ESPECIALLY this week, since I DID take the kids to the store, on Saturday.) "Co-incidentally", it's a week when I really need some down time and some prep time.

So, I sit quietly, gazing out over the field and the stand of trees that sit in front of our church building. There are birds singing, and the hum of the road nearby, but that's it. No, "MOM!", no demands or requests... just me and God.

I brought my laptop to catch up on a few things, and some nail polish to color my toes. There's a book in my bag, and Girl Scout incentives to sort in the back, if I *really* get bored.

But mostly, I just like being still. Quiet. Listening.

I am sure there is something for me to learn sitting here. If nothing else, that being still and quiet and counting my blessings will recharge my batteries for another week or so.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Upsetting the Status Quo

There comes a time when enough is enough. The status quo can no longer continue. And so, as The Mom, it's time to shake it loose.

I do my kids no favors by "helping" them with tasks that they can do themselves. At eight, it's time to step up, and be an eight year old, with eight year old expectations and responsibilities.

The bar has been raised. Pray for me as I enforce the new rules, and we all settle into the New Way of being a family.

It's gotta be a team effort.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Storm Season

Things do come in seasons, and here in Tennessee, we are beginning our Tornado season.

I have seen the after-effects of such storms - both professionally and in the lives of others I know. I have seen the devastation that occurs in minutes, and the months and months that it takes to begin to restore it all.

I have been asleep in my bed and received a call that a tornado had been spotted in the town where I was living. It was 4 in the morning, and I considered the options for moving a pair of toddlers into the garage/basement that was our "safe place". Neither one seemed good.

Today - in Wal*mart - we heard the sirens.... and the "watch" announcement and the "warning" announcement.

Our shopping continued and the siren soon ceased to sound. "THAT was annoying," said my boy when it was finally quiet again. He's right. But I am grateful, it exists.

We are fortunate. So many other have not been.

Thank You God, for keeping us safe.... yet again.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Marathon Memories

It's time for the Country Music Marathon & Half Marathon. I have friends who run every year.

I ran once... the half.

I'm glad I did, but don't feel the need to do it again. I was told while I was training that it was the preparation that was difficult - the race itself is a celebration. He was right.

I was prepared for the exhaustion at mile 8. I had practiced for the hills, and was told if I put my name on my shirt, people in the crowd would cheer me by name.

I chose a yellow shirt. For weeks ahead of time, I carried it around with a Sharpie. My friends took turns writing their names on it. A few wrote words of encouragement, or scripture on it as well.

I was ready for the early morning, and had a ziplock of thirteen PowerBeans - one for the start and one for each mile along the way. That ended up being more encouraging than I ever expected. By the time I hit mile 8, there were only 4 left in the bag - a quick visual that I was nearly done.

What I wasn't expecting was "Team 413". I didn't know such a thing existed. What I did know was just as I needed it most, I'd see a runner with a shirt that said "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me". Often, as I'd pass them, I'd thank them for their shirt.

My thoughts and prayers are with the runners, spectators, performers and organizers this year. It is supposed to rain.

Above all, God, please keep them safe.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Tending the Earth

I'm beginning to prepare the soil. I know I'm a little "late", but it has been as the rest of life has allowed. AND, perhaps, if I put the tomatoes in a little later, they won't all be ripe while I am in Massachusetts.

I'm also curious to see if some of the tomatoes that fell last year will sprout up little plants this spring. A few did last year, which was a nice surprise.

I am also adding something new this year. Stevia. I'm curious to see how it will work, and find ways to use it. I snipped a little leaf, and it IS very sweet. (If nothing else, I can use it to sweeten my kids' tea....I take mine straight up.)

I hope to spend a few hours in the yard, "tending the earth", this weekend. We'll see how well the weather cooperates. I'm not complaining, cause I too have been singing "Jesus, Send the Rain...."

Thursday, April 22, 2010

"This is My Offering..."

We finished up our bible study a couple of weeks back. I really enjoyed it. Much of it spoke to me, including the background music that played at the beginning and end of each weekly video.

The song reminded me of several things:

  • God wants more than the parts that are easy to give - those that cost me nothing. He truly wants all of me - my life, gladly given. All of it. In it's entirety. Warts and all.
  • Everything that is "mine" really isn't. It's His. I should treat it as such.
  • Words are nothing without the actions that stand behind them. My words and actions must match - and ideally, reflect Him.
  • I was reminded of the time that I really did lay myself upon the altar. It seems hard to believe that it was so long ago. I think about returning again from time to time. Or, perhaps, a different "altar". Another retreat. Another hour or two, just Him and me.

I thank God for both Angela Thomas and Kelly Minter, and am grateful for each of them using their God-given gifts.

This is My Offering:

I will not give what costs me nothing, when I bring my Sacrifice.

Cause You have asked for only one thing. That I gladly give my life.

So now I lay down on Your altar, knowing what I lose I'll find.

Please receive me through I falter. For all I have is Yours, it's no longer mine.

With my mouth I will praise. With my heart I will obey.

This is my offering.

I will go where You lead. I will trust what I can't see.

This is my offering, this is my offering.

May my worship be a fragrance, rising up in sweet refrain.

As I come into Your presence, may I be a life worthy of Your name.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The Final Stretch

We're nearing the last few weeks of school. There are so many things that have to be fit into these last few weeks: Field trips and field days. Kindergarten graduation. The first grade play. The second grade trip to the park.

Schedules change to accommodate these extra events, and the transition into summer begins. It's time to pull out the calendar to be sure the things that we REALLY want to do make it onto a day (or two)

And, in the midst of it, some things are wrapping up.

It's amazing, how fast it goes.... and how much I still have to do....

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Until the Dawn

I love this time of year. There many, many reasons. Trees and flowers are coming alive again. My windows can be opened to let in the fresh air (and the ubiquitous yellow dust known as 'oak pollen').

But, for a few weeks, the sun is rising over the edge of of the pine trees just as I am getting out of bed. Yet another thing that reminds me that joy comes in the morning.

So, until the dawn....

Monday, April 19, 2010

Reaching Deep Within

I said it twice at the hospital this weekend. Two different patients.

Both had life-changing injuries. Both were talking about where they are today, and unsure about their futures. (Been there done that... and have walked beside others going through life-changing events.)

I found myself saying three things:

1. Reach deep within yourself to find the strength that is greater than your own.

2. Allow others to help you.

3. The only sure way to fail is to stop trying right now.

As I heard the words come out of my mouth I realized they apply to me as well - in my everyday life, with my everyday challenges.

Lord, help me to remember these things (without a life crisis!), and DO them.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

What we get used to....

I was amazed when I woke up for work Saturday morning.... exhausted. Typically 11p-4:30a was pretty routine. And then I experienced a few weeks of earlier bedtimes.... and a full night sleep. I felt good! Whoa... this tired thing, feels awful....

Same thing with food. When I am eating healthy, I feel good. I never connected the fast food or sugary treats (or hidden sugars in "healthy" foods!) to my exhaustion, headache, and general grumpiness. (Add tired and it's NOT pretty!)

Same thing with soda. I have had periods of time where I could drink liters of Diet Coke a day. Then, I've had periods when I've completely abstained (I'm there now!) In the midst of that, I experienced the "I feel awful!" 's that followed not long after ingesting one.

Same with exercise. When I'm regularly participating, I want to regularly participate. When I begin to skip - usually because I'm too tired or feel awful - I begin to make a habit of skipping, thus perpetuating the cycle.

Same with my relationships. I have been so stuck in what is that I don't realize until they change dramatically, or end, how they could have been better all along. Conversely, I realize how much I have missed a person's presence in my life when we reconnect.

May I live intentionally. May I set my feet where You lead, for You choose wisely!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Living to the Fullest

Suffice it to say, that I have filled my Friday with many things that bring me great joy:

Walking with my friends

Tending the earth

Service at the Elementary School.

But now, I must rest. (I am learning that.....)

So, until tomorrow....

May you live this day to it's fullest!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Marathon Days

Today was a marathon day.

It began early in the morning.... earlier than I anticipated, actually, with my son asking for the code to allow him to watch a show on TV. When I asked "what time is it?" and he replied "3:30", I sent him to bed, and dosed a bit myself....

Then, the typical Service Thursday - Mom's in Touch meeting, and time at the school. There was the mental challenge. It's standardized testing week, so the kindergarteners, first graders and second graders have been combined into groups for special projects. They've been interesting, and I have perfected my redirection skills.

The afternoon was the physical marathon: a dog walk, an hour of mowing the grass and then the completion of my 4.5 mile walk before karate/MMA.

It was a good reminder for me -in either situation, mental or physical, I can lean on Philippians 4:13.

"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me"

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Living in Community

I can't even begin to explain all the ways that living in community blesses me. It touches nearly every aspect of my life. At home, at school, at church. Driving to school, preparing meals, walking my dog. All relational. wow.

I also can't believe I haven't always been here. I used to live a very isolated life. Out in the middle of 5 acres. If someone drove up the driveway, I could be safe betting they were lost. No one knew me - and even those who felt they did, didn't know very much.

But, little by little, that has changed. I have friendships and relationships interwoven throughout the community. Naturally, some know me better than others. Some know at a glance how things are going in my world, others merely recognize my face.

There are those I can count on, should I have a need. Those that spontaneously ask my boy if he is helping his mother. Those that bring a smile, or share a meal. There are those that let me do the same for them. We live and grow together.

Connectedness is truly a gift. I am grateful I decided to accept it.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Crazy New Thing

This crazy new thing has happened the past few days.... I really like it and hope it continues.

It began on Sunday, when I was experiencing my "anniversary funk". Oddly enough, I really didn't want anything sweet. Not only was I not craving it, but I couldn't even talk myself into it. (SCORE!)

Monday, I stopped by the school briefly. There had been several trays - and I mean BIG trays - FILLED with my favorite cookies. The big, soft ones. (In Oatmeal Raisin, even!) And, again... didn't want one. (SCORE!)

Tuesday, similar story: I'd spent the day helping in a mixed classroom. The third graders were doing standardized testing, so the kindergarten, first and second grades had special projects they were working on. (Trust me to say, it reinforced - once again - that I chose well: nursing over elementary (special) education! Thank you God for my appendix rupturing as a teenager!)

When we were finally released from the room, I was offered donuts and / or ice cream. Same story. Not interested.

I pray that this continues. I love it. It is SO "God doing for me...."

Thank You God!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Joy Comes in the Morning

I love the promise that joy comes in the morning, and that His mercies are new every morning as well.

It has certainly been true for me. Time after time, I experience it. Today, I remember it clearly.

I woke up. There was joy.... with me again.

It helped that the sun was shining and the morning crisp and clear and beautiful. It also helped that I planned to start the day with a walk, and then throw a few punches. After that, it was up in the air... which was good, because it so didn't turn out as I might have planned it. (Especially going to the grocery store without my wallet!)

Anyhow. There is joy. There is much to be grateful for in this life of mine.

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You, God...

Monday, April 12, 2010

Kicking and Punching and Screaming

Sunday was a hard day. It would have been a wedding anniversary - I guess technically, it still is... we just don't celebrate.

Things were going fine until my turn to interpret the last part of the sermon. The pastor had been talking about Abram/Abraham and his call to leave his home. When I stood, he explained that call a little further with these words: "Forsake the past, focus on the Divine". My mentor snickered aloud.

She knew about the wedding the day before, and God's rather in-my-face presence there. She knew the significance of the present day. We both picked up on the "perfect timing" of this sermon.

My response wasn't nearly as amused. Especially after my failed errand run immediately following church.

After the wedding reception, we swung by a sports shop and picked up the kicking/punching training bag I wanted. I got it home and began to fill the base with water, when I realized it was cracked.

Our attempt to return it was in vain. They didn't have one in stock. Nor did their competition.

I planned to work some drills from my Karate/MMA class.... with the bag. I felt defeated.

I couldn't eat the feelings away, nor could I kick/punch them away.

I spent what was left of our afternoon in a minimalist mode. I had plenty to do, but no energy to do it. I elected to rest for the hour before our small group meeting that evening.

Returning home, I felt a little refreshed, and realized.... I still had my gloves. I still had the blow up punching bag I'd bought for the kids. I could focus on accuracy rather than power. So I did.

I worked some kicking drills and some punching drills. I enlisted the help of my daughter to call our random numbers between 1 and 4. With each number, I threw the punch combination that was associated with it.

I yelled and I kicked and I punched.

My daughter laughed.

It is good medicine.

Sunday, April 11, 2010


We were invited to a wedding....and we accepted.

The date was a little ominous for me, April 10th. Mine was April 11th (only because the church was reserved on the 10th). Theirs was the weekend after Easter, as was mine.

So... needless to say, I had a little fear about how I would react.

The kids and I were dressed, and we headed to town. I plugged the address into the GPS. and we were off. About two blocks from our destination, I realized where we were headed. A small part of me deep inside cried out - "No! No! Not THAT church... oh God, not THAT church...."

Obviously, I'd been there before. It's not a bad church, and I'd actually never set foot in the sanctuary. I just have a history with it - in ways that uniquely tie it to my marriage.... and my divorce.

We parked and walked toward the front of the building. My kids spotted the labyrinth, and asked to walk it. I nodded, and we headed in that direction. They ran and skipped as they circled toward the center. I stopped dead in my tracks, as I looked and that garden that surrounded it.

Bleeding hearts. Surrounding me in all directions, in full bloom: bleeding hearts.

Very funny, God. But, I will say, He definitely had my attention.

We walked in and sat on the Bride's side. The music, on piano, "How Great Thou Art".

I settled one child on either side and began to look around. The cross, suspended from the ceiling, caught my eye. It has a striking resemblance to the one that often hangs around my neck.

The music transitioned to "It is well..." (with my soul), and I sighed as I recognized the melody.

Clearly, there was a lesson to be learned here. I may as well not fight it.

It was a beautiful ceremony - and they are so much farther ahead of where I was on my wedding day, in terms of inviting God into the marriage itself rather than merely the wedding.

I was reminded of something else sitting in those pews. A few years ago, the church had a catastrophic fire, which destroyed much of what was in existence. It has been beautifully rebuilt.

Just like me (a work in progress....).

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Grateful for My Hands.

I am grateful for the use of my hands.

So much of what I do involves the use of my hands - nursing, massage therapy, interpreting.

It is a privilege and an honor to be given permission to touch another.

And when it can be used to raise money for charity, all the better.

Thank You, God for my hands..

Friday, April 9, 2010

Who I am....

Day by day, week by week, year by year, I discover more and more about myself.

One of the things that I am being shown (again?) is that I am an encourager. I'm not really the cheerleader type, though.

Perhaps that is why I love so much the term "re-center-er". It seems to "fit" my style better than the "ra-ra-rah! You can do it!" type of encouragement.

I continue to find myself sitting beside women in crisis - divorce, life changes, illness - reminding them that there is still purpose in their lives. I tap into my experiences with "grieving the wish", experiencing loss, examining the core of my being, letting go of everything I knew to be true, and allowing God to catch me.

From there, life improved. There was my hope.

For those that have been through it with me, I remind them of where I was. They nod. They have seen the path from the sidelines. I share a little of what goes on inside, on the days when I wasn't sure where power behind the next step would come from, or how the bills would be paid.

I remind them that I have never had a need be unmet. I've had to adjust my perspective some on what my true needs are, but those needs have always been provided.

And sometimes, I just sit and smile, as I witness the same happening in their lives.

Great is Thy Faithfulness, Lord unto me!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Another Year

I recently celebrated another year! Yes, Happy Birthday to me (and my sister, and my daughter's teacher, and my son's best-friend's mother, AND the cat - it's her first!)

It was a wonderful day. Between the Facebook messages, the texts, the visits, the cards and the phone calls, I feel very, very loved.

I am stretching the celebration out all week.... Yesterday was time in the yard, tomorrow lunch with friends. Friday, more time in the yard and then a spa night - I'm working, but hey, I always leave a massage feeling better then when I started.

Thank You, God for this wonderful day.... for these wonderful friends, and so, so much to be grateful for!!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Perfect Day

It was an incredibly perfect day! Couldn't have asked for better if I had written the script myself!

The weather was warm and windy. The morning with the kids went fairly smoothly.

I walked the dog, walked with friends and then spent the remainder of the day tending the earth.

I added some color to what I call "the fox garden". Double impatiens in rosy red. Daisy-like zinnias in a bright orange, and petunias in a pot in purple and white. I spent some time weeding and some time planting, and a lot of time conversing with God.

I stopped by the rose bush to see how it fared the winter (and my pruning!). It appears to be very happy. And the "two sticks" in the yard, that were redbud trees that grew in my vegetable garden last summer, also appear to have survived their transition to a different location.

There is still much to do, but I love seeing the progression from year to year. I now have enough hosta to transplant again, and white woodland violets to do the same.

And then..... the kids came home from school. Yet, it continued to go well. I even crashed on the couch for about 30 minutes.

Finish up the day with a Mixed Martial Arts class, including - my FAVORITE - the roundhouse kick!!

The icing on the cake of the day is sitting here now, on the deck, with a cup of tea, a gentle breeze, and a (moderately) well-behaved dog, reviewing my day and considering all the ways I have been blessed.

Thank You, Thank You, Thank You, God!

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

A Wonderful Week

Ah, what a wonderful week this is starting out to be!

I always take vacation from work during the first week of April. It's a beautiful time of the year, and it does my spirit well to spend it digging in the dirt!

The forecast looks like the weather will cooperate with my plan to spend every waking minute that I am not walking the dog out in the yard..... at least while the kids are in school, before my mom-taxi responsibilities kick in!

Gearing up for that, I have finalized my part of my tax return and delivered it to the CPA to work his magic on on it. I have also made a trip to the garden center to pick up some annuals and perennials to add some color! (That is tomorrow's project!)

And, of course, there is much, much weeding.... my quiet time with God.

Yippee and Hurrah!

I love spring!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Draggin'.... just a little....

So, I'm dragging just a little.

I was seriously 100% blessed this weekend, though!! I had the opportunity to pick up a little extra work. It happened to be on the overnight shift, which messes with life just a little bit, but it doesn't come every day, so I decided to seize the opportunity.

What I didn't realize when I signed up for Friday and Saturday night was that Sunday was Easter... It would be better if I had slept all night.

Typically, when I work a Saturday night shift, I decaffeinate and head to church anyhow. I interpret the opening music, and at the transition for the sermon, I head home to sleep. So I expected to do something similar.

But, I was given an incredible gift: The busy night slowed down enough that I could head home a little early... and grab a quick nap.

It by no means made up for a full night sleep, but I DID get to enjoy a FULL with friends.... chatting and laughing.

And, I got to hear the Easter Sunday sermon..... which, by the way, discussed the gift of rest we find in Jesus!


Sunday, April 4, 2010

Easter Morning

Happy, Happy, Happy Easter!!

(I'll write more after I go celebrate!!)

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Quick and Easy

Have been working overnight, so this will be quick and easy - so NOT like the night has been.

The day was beautiful....

Loved walking the dog, walking with a friend - despite legs that continue to hurt with every step.

Loved working in the yard, seeing which plants are beginning to stick their heads up out of the dirt.

Love dreaming and beginning to prepare my garage to turn into an at home exercise area.

Ah, the dreams keep coming along....

Thank You, God!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Good Friday

Incomprehensible. The events of Good Friday. I don't get it.

I've heard the story again and again. I've seen the movie (which brings me to tears, by the way).

I *know* what happened. But, I can't fully grasp it.

And it breaks my heart that I had any part in it - My humanity. My sin.

Yet gratitude spills over in my heart.

For me... for ME....

He did that for me....

Thursday, April 1, 2010

The Thing Behind My Back...

It was during our bible study a week or so ago, that Angela Thomas told a story about her son, sneaking Oreo's from the pantry. She called him over and there he stood before her, one hand behind his back, crumbs still covering the front of his shirt.

Her story was about mercy - which her son received for telling the truth (along with a punishment for disobeying). She also asked us, however, how many times we stand before God with one hand behind our backs.

Oh, yeah... "You can have all of me, except this...."

As days have gone past, comments from unrelated people have helped to clarify and point out to me what exactly I hold...

I fear my Lenten fast - which started before Ash Wednesday - is going to continue past Easter...