Tuesday

24 Hour Treadmill Challenge, Sponsored by Tidewater Physical Therapy, Still Easier Than Chemo

Newport News, Va. (PRWEB) October 14, 2014

Point 2 Running Company and Still Easier Than Chemo’s 2nd annual 24-Hour Cancer Hater Challenge will take place Friday, October 17 starting at 4:00 p.m. through 4:00 p.m. Saturday, October 18. The Challenge, which Tidewater Physical Therapy and Tidewater Performance are honored to sponsor again this year, features prizes for the top fundraiser, hourly raffle drawings, food provided by Chick-Fil-A, and much more.

“Our generous sponsors have made possible a ton of really awesome perks,” says Andrea Lehmkuhler, manager of Point 2. “Each participant will receive a technical shirt and swag bag. Plus, the more money you raise the more raffle tickets you get!”

By stepping up to the challenge (and onto a treadmill) cancer haters help support local cancer research at VCU Massey Cancer Center and honor those who have battled cancer.

“Participants have a unique opportunity to support local cancer research,” says Briana Kirby, founder of Still Easier Than Chemo. “Our goal is to raise $ 10,000 to save lives and find a cure right here in Virginia.”

To register, visit http://support.vcu.edu/event/24hourchallenge. There are 48 slots to fill — 2 runners/walkers per hour. It’s first come, first serve so be sure to register early!

“We can’t wait to put cancer on the run with you!” says Lehmkuhler.

For more information, please visit http://www.stilleasierthanchemo.com/events

###

Still Easier Than Chemo began with a vision of carrying a mother’s memory through 12 half marathons in 12 months to raise money for cancer research. In August of 2012, Briana Kirby began her journey and StillEasierThanChemo.com to prove we are all capable of achieving extraordinary things even in desperate times. Little by little, SETC grew into a grassroots fundraising campaign, ultimately raising more than $ 25,500 for colon cancer research at VCU Massey Cancer Center.

Point 2 Running Company’s mission is to provide exceptional products and world class support to help our customers reach their running, walking and fitness goals.







REVIEW: 'Native Son' at Court Theatre

REVIEW: 'Native Son' at Court Theatre
That case — and, according to interviews at the time, that specific article — provoked a brilliant young Chicago writer named Richard Wright, the son of a sharecropper, to fully forge "Native Son." The 1940 story of a young black man named Bigger …
Read more on Chicago Tribune

Mom's last dance with son at wedding 'most beautiful thing' to her kids
5 wedding, her family wondered if she'd even make it to the ceremony, let alone dance with her son. “The day before the wedding, she had another stroke, so, there was no option of flying [due to health risks], but she wanted to go,” Ryan said. “So, the …
Read more on Today.com

Osama bin Laden's son-in-law sentenced to life in prison
New York (CNN) — Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, Osama bin Laden's son-in-law, was sentenced to life in prison Tuesday, said Jerika Richardson, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney's Office in Manhattan. In March, he was found guilty of helping al Qaeda …
Read more on CNN

Latest Beloved Family News

Still missing: family of autistic man appeal for safe return of 'beloved' pet dog
A young autistic man is struggling to come to terms with the loss of his pet dog, who is feared stolen. Share. Go To. Comments. Toby, a three-year-old cross between a Bernese Montain Dog and Beagle, has been missing from his Limerick home since Sunday.
Read more on Irish Independent

North Richland Hills family will remember beloved brother, uncle in suicide walk
Wendy Adams of North Richland Hills knows only too well the grief and unique pain left behind when a loved one becomes a suicide statistic. Her brother Leroy Jordan Wooters, 42, a loving family man, avid outdoorsman and terrific uncle who often took …
Read more on Fort Worth Star Telegram

Fehoko family back, beloved at Texas Tech
LUBBOCK, Texas — One of Lubbock's most popular families walked around the Jones AT&T Stadium field in April like they'd been there forever. But this was their first time back in almost three years. The leaders of the Fehoko clan, Vili and Linda …
Read more on ESPN (blog)

Family of autistic man appeal for safe return of 'beloved' pet dog
A young autistic man is struggling to come to terms with the loss of his pet dog, who is feared stolen. Share. Go To. Comments. Toby, a three-year-old cross between a Bernese Montain Dog and Beagle, has been missing from his Limerick home since Sunday.
Read more on Irish Independent

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My Mother!

My mother is……
My strength when I am weak
My voice when I cannot speak
My eyes when I cannot see
And carries me when I cannot walk
My finance when I have none

Many people have walked out of my life
But my mother has always been there
To count on through thick and thin
Bears my troubles when I am in trouble
Bears my pain when I am in pain

And you ask who my mother is?
My mother is an ocean of knowledge
A current of wisdom
A person of tremendous depth and experience
She is my teacher, I am her student
She teaches me to survive the elements
She teaches me not to panic but rely on my buoyancy

When I am in an ocean
She is an aquatic expert directing me to shore
I am no longer drowning
Because she is ahead directing me
I hear her voice in the whisper of winds
And she is echoing me to hold onto my inner abilities
To reach my destiny and the distant shore

She teaches me not to struggle in the ocean
But to go with the flow of the current in the water
I now see ripples in the water
They are ripples of hope
I am unable to see the shores
But one day I will be able to touch the shores
In time, I will feel the sand beneath my feet
I will reach my destiny
I will be a sea shell on the beach
Mom, my gratitude is as immense as the sand and deep as the sea
Thank you for helping me to survive the elements of time

My mother is a star
A ball of gas held together by its own gravity
She glows through rain or dark
She lightens my path and enlightens my mind
She directs me when I am lost
When she is angry, she’s blue
When she is sad, she’s red
Like the North Star that remains static
Our friendship will stand till the end of time
No one and nothing in life will ever come between us

My mother is a survivor
She works through rain, shine or snow
Thanks for being a provider
And giving me the last meal on your plate
For the days we went without food
For the days we were clothe less
You always carry us through
Walking for miles to find food on dangerous grounds
Walking for days, it will never be forgotten
Putting your safety at risk
Just being there when you were needed is incredible
Though there are other mothers out there
In the million, you’re the one I will choose to be my mother!

My mother is a gardener
She tills the soil, plants the seed,
Cultivates, and cares for different flowers her effort produce
She helped my seed deeply embedded and stifled in the ground
Break through the earth and blossom
She has taught me patience, understanding, and tolerance
Because of her hard work and toil, I broke through obstacles and barriers that were in front of me
My mother helps me see the similarities and differences in the types of flowers, and plant life that surrounds me
She helps me weed out anything detrimental to my growth and development
Like a plant, she helped me come into my own
And recognize the uniqueness of who I am
It has been a difficult task for both of us
Her the gardener, and me the plant
With each of our undeniable uniqueness, effort and care
We are bringing forth new life and richness
I choose to be a parietal, one that each year is reborn and grows back more beautifully than previous years
I am aware of the beauty the gardener hold in my life
Because she has worked hard to maintain this plant
I recognized I am a part of a beautiful botanic garden
I am now deeply rooted and committed in self preservation
I appreciate all this gardener helped me develop by facing the challenges yearly
Through her work, I hope to be a gardener myself

My mother is love
Cherish and hopeful
Through her faith I learn to be strong
I love you mom, more than you will ever know
You stood up for me when everyone was downing me
Never doubting that I will have a place in society
Though sometimes I felt you did not understand
You came through and show me your true color
You showed, you were not the enemy
You are a true friend that cannot be found anywhere else in the world
You are priceless
For me, though men are infallible, you are perfect like a dream come true
You are the queen of my life
I hate those times I was angry with you
I hate the time I did not listen
I also hate the times you were never appreciated for all your hard and excellent work
If I could turn back the hands of time, I will take them back
I hate the times I never said thank you
I hate the times that I never said I love you
But today, I confess my love for you
I love you so much that I cannot live without you
Just so you know, I will love you till death

Lydia P. Abbo is owner of http://www.designerhandbagsdepot.com/, a retailer of authentic designer handbags, couch purses, Burberry, Christian Dior and many more. We also sell authentic jewelries such as gold diamond rings, wedding and engagement rings; platinum and diamond bracelets, perfumes and fragrances. Don’t forget to check out our ever changing catalog and showcase at http://www.designerhandbagsdepot.com/content-categories/cat-229/britney.html

New Social Gifting Company, GiftCaddies, Partners with Creative Agency Powerhouse


Richmond, VA (PRWEB) August 05, 2014

GiftCaddies, a new company that allows quick and convenient gift giving through mobile devices, is one step closer to launch thanks to the partnership with Richmond, VA-based, award-winning marketing agency West Cary Group.

“We are very excited to have West Cary Group as our first investor and partner,” Charlie Vecchio, GiftCaddies Founder and CEO said. “It’s a huge step in becoming

the leading social gifting platform in the country.”

“GiftCaddies feels like an extension of our brand,” added Moses Foster, West Cary Group President and CEO. “They are technologically savvy, analytically astute and keenly focused on the customer.”

Since GiftCaddies began in early 2014, Vecchio has been developing the start up brand independently. This strategic partnership will not only help propel GiftCaddies to launch into multiple markets, but get the mobile app ready for use.

The mobile app will allow creative and convenient gift giving through smartphones and other mobile devices. For example, the free app will allow participants to send a drink to a friend at a bar who’s 3,000 miles away or send a pizza to a college student studying for final exams. The company thrives in the value of sending and receiving tangible, thoughtful gifts.

“The market is ripe for GiftCaddies,” said Foster. “Gifting has really become so impersonal over the years and I love that GiftCaddies is bringing back the joy and thrill of delivering a truly personalized experience.”

The GiftCaddies Web app and technological platform have started development since partnering with West Cary Group. Not only will the full service agency be handling the development but also creating a marketing strategy, including brand identity standards and all forms of marketing communications.

A main priority for Vecchio when pursing investors and partners for GiftCaddies was location. He strived to keep the company in Richmond, his hometown, and pursued only investors who would honor that.

“We had a lot of investors who wanted to move the company to a bigger market but West Cary Group was local and they have a great brand awareness that was perfect for GiftCaddies,” Vecchio said. “They have a team who will be able to not only develop the app but work closely with GiftCaddies on scaling to new markets.”

The launch date for GiftCaddies has been set for early fall 2014 with Richmond, Virginia Beach and Washington, D.C. as the initial markets for roll out.

“We love the concept, we love the brand, and we love the technology,” said Foster. “We’re excited to be a part of their evolution!”

For more information about GiftCaddies, visit http://www.giftcaddies.com. Updates will be available as the app becomes available in multiple markets this coming fall.







Find More Love Press Releases

Poems about Friends

Friendship is considered to be one of the sweetest and the most beautiful relationships after parents, as this relation is formed by us without anyone’s force and by our own choosing. This special relationship is formed by us when we find another person right enough to understand our mind and feelings. These friendship bonds are strengthened with understanding and care for one another without any selfish purposes.
Friendship can be even stronger than love, as a true friend will never leave his friend in any condition (either good or bad) and will help him at any cost! Therefore this wonderful relationship deserves to be cherished with poems.
When we have an overview of poetry on the whole there are only few poets who have put their full focus on this category of poems, and is surely written by the ones who value their friends a lot or who miss their friend or friends that passed away from this world.
Losing a friend is surely like losing a limb from your body, as it will definitely upset you and sometimes it becomes very hard to recover from such loss! Therefore they surely deserve a friendship poem just to express your feelings for them and to tell them that how much you care.
Love and friendship poems can also be said as the poems that are closely connected with each other and just with a slight change of words you can transform a love poem into friendship poem, however some of these love poems can also be said for friends with no change at all, as friends are also the ones you love the most!
It’s simple to say that friendship poems are a very effective way to express one’s feelings for another. Writing a poem is not that difficult, the only thing you should do before writing is to bring all the good memories in your mind before you start writing and you will surely find a great number of things to write on. However selecting the right topic as a subject is really very necessary. One can also select a variety of topics in friendship poems as well. The only thing that matters is the way of expression! But learning some key points before writing is also very helpful.
If you are writing poem for the first time on that specific subject, first of all go through different poems on friendship or friends as you may get an excellent idea from where to start and what kind of words you should be using in that specific topic, as different poems have different writing styles and patterns, without learning those basic points you won’t be able to accomplish your desired goal.
For more information visit: http://www.poemshare.com/

For lots of friendship poems visit poemshare today!

More Family Friend Poems Articles

New Book by Keith Hellwig Presents Hard-Boiled Look at Prison Life


FOND DU LAC, Wis. –

(PRWEB) July 15, 2014 — The Captain has been working at the prison for decades, and he’s proud of the work he does. He works to support his beloved wife, Maura, and their two daughters, and they are foremost on his mind when he finds himself in a dangerous hostage situation, according to the story in this new novel. As the Captain tries to keep himself and his coworkers alive, flashbacks share the events that lead to the critical peril in which he is embroiled.

Although the Captain is known for his evenhanded fairness and ability to listen to inmates, others among the staff are not so able to submerge the distaste with which they view the men under their watch. These flashbacks detail the normal day that led to the hostage-taking and paints a portrait of the ordinary men and women who work within prison systems across the country. Will the Captain see his family again, or will his work end his life? “No Place Like Home” is a thrilling tale of danger and suspense, all set in the unfamiliar realm of a prison. Readers will be intrigued by the mystery and the action, and educated about life within the penal system.

Author Keith Hellwig is a Wisconsin native; born and raised in Omro, he spent some time in Oshkosh and settled to raise his family in Fond du Lac. Hellwig has served as a corrections officer himself for more than three decades and is now a line captain at a state maximum-security facility. This is his first book.

———-

For additional information, please visit http://www.Hellwigbooks.com

No Place Like Home

Keith Hellwig

Dog Ear Publishing

ISBN: 978-1-4575-2871-2        220 pages        $ 12.95 US

Available at Ingram, Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble and fine bookstores everywhere.

About Dog Ear Publishing, LLC

Dog Ear Publishing offers completely customized self-publishing services for independent authors. We provide cost-effective, fast, and highly profitable services to publish and distribute independently published books. Our book publishing and distribution services reach worldwide. Dog Ear authors retain all rights and complete creative control throughout the entire self-publishing process. Self-publishing services are available globally at http://www.dogearpublishing.net and from our offices in Indianapolis.

Dog Ear Publishing – self-publishing that actually makes sense.







Find More Beloved Family Press Releases

Tuesday

{moving on}

so.
i've been debating for awhile switching over to wordpress.
i thought about transferring all of my content and everything but
when it came down to it, i just wasn't in it. 
turns out,
this blog has been such an awesome place for me and i have documented life and
dream but i'm really just in a new season now and it didn't
make sense to transfer all of to love.

it made more sense to put it to rest.
to close the door on this chapter and start the next one.
so that is what i have done.
this is my last post here.
i will leave the blog here as my own journal and so
you can revisit any posts you want to.
but i have moved on.
if you would like to follow me to my new home,
walk with me on the next phase of my journey,
join me at feathers and hope.

thanks for the past three years here friends.
i hope you stick with me for the next three.

peace,
amy

Monday

{morning glimpses}

 
 
 

 
I'm listening to Indie Holiday radio on Pandora,
wearing some stretchy pants with an oversized long sleeve shirt and
brown crocheted shawl and my hair
is adorned with mini braids.

So far my morning has consisted of coffee,
cheddar jalapeno bagels,
reading books to beautiful young children,
tickling and laughing with a handsome three year old,
an emotional talk about The Boy in the Striped Pajamas
after Layla finished the book and watched the movie on Netflix.
I'm just about to settle in to my cozy rocker with
a second cup of coffee,
a well loved book,
{time for a fiction break after the deep reading I've been up to lately}
and a peace that is overwhelming.

The kids are occupied with books, legos, movie making
and homemade play dough. 

The day is starting off beautifully.
Hope yours is too.

Peace,
amy

Sunday

{now and then}

I am in the middle of a writing project and part of this writing has taken me down the road of my memories, spending hours swimming through the various parts of who I once was.  I have kind of been comparing and contrasting myself the first 15 years of my life with the me the second 15 years, revisiting favorites and realizing that all things come full circle.  I thought it might be fun to share a bit of my favorites from the thens and nows with you.  One of the most important things to remember is that when I was 15 I had not yet been introduced to Christ, in fact I had no faith whatsoever.  So...

::Music::

15. favorites were The Cranberries, Tori Amos, Fiona Apple, Social Distortion, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy and Frank Sinatra.

31. favorites are Alela Diane, Mariee Sioux, The Swell Season, Keith Green, The Decemberists, The Civil Wars, Mumford and Sons, Johnny Cash

::Books::

15. favorites were anything by John Irving, John Saul, Shakespeare.  Girl, Interrupted. The Bell Jar. The Catcher in the Rye. 

31. favorites are David Copperfield, anything by Wendell Berry, anything by Madeline l'Engle, anything by Gene Stratton Porter, One Thousand Gifts and new favorite Thrashing About With God.

::Movies::

15. favorites were Swingers, The Lost Boys, Reality Bites, Empire Records, Fried Green Tomatoes

31. favorites are Once, Noelle, Fried Green Tomatoes {I still adore it}, Pride and Prejudice, Defiance

::Television::

15. favorites were Jerry Springer {don't judge}, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, 90210 reruns {I hated the college years so I watched the high school reruns}

31. favorites are Psych, Gilmore Girls {I will never stop loving this show}, Merlin

::Thoughts/hopes/dreams::

15. wanted a boyfriend for more than a week, wanted someone to understand me, pondered life for hours on end, not sure what to believe or think.  Stood with a group of Christian kids in my history class when the teacher asked us to divide into two groups; one that believed a God created the earth and one that believed there was no help from God.  When everyone, who knew I was the furthest thing from a Christian, looked surprised I answered, "I don't care if a God created the world by whatever you guys believe, I just think that for all this to happen, there had to be a God.  Even if He created us through evolution.  It doesn't matter.  I just know this whole world, this universe, couldn't happen without Him."  It would be two years until I became a Christian and understood what creation was, but looking back I am in awe that I had that idea in me.

31. I believe in Christ, that God is love, that love is the only way.  I believe He created us to walk in love and peace, to follow His path and draw near to Him.  I want some land to raise my family, like-minded friends to walk alongside, peace, beauty and slow, intentional days.

::Portraits::

15.
 



31.



I just find the passing of time, the growing of self, so fascinating and so beautiful.  I really believe we are who God made us and those crazy kids we once were need to be welcomed in to who we now are.  Who were you?  Who are you now?  I would love for you to share with me, maybe do your own post and let me know. 

Peace,
amy

{as a side note, when I was 15 I signed my letters like this:
peace, love and harmony,
amy}

Friday

{talking about myself}

hello.
I am going to introduce myself.
again.
see, I have lost a lot of readers lately due to some unpopular posts,
so I'm just going to do this little re-introduction to say,
hey,
this is who I am and if you would like to read my blog and
be my friend you can and
if you don't want to then blessings and so long!
though, I really hope you will stay even if you don't agree with me because
I like those I don't agree with. 
so, here's the quick version...

I love Jesus.
We started hanging out when I was 17.
Before that I had no clue who He was.
I went to Jesus punk rock shows.
I got tattoos.
I married my stalker when I just turned 19 and
had only known him for 4 months.
He had a 6 year old kid.
We started having babies, lots and lots of babies.
My husband became a pastor.
We started church planting.
We quit church planting.
We quit church.
We still love Jesus.
 More than ever.
We have always homeschooled.
Now we unschool.
I write because I suck at talking.
I write because my soul pours out in words.
They pour out in a mixture of poetry and prose and
I can't figure out what I write but it's just what I write.
I don't think I'm all that special.
There is no good reason why you should read my blog.
I think children are equal with adults.
I think they should be treated with the same respect adults are treated with.
I think punishment is counterproductive and wrong.
I strive for peace and gentleness.
I often fall short.
I read because it's a lifeline for me,
needed encouragement, support and thought provoking words.
I ask questions, I challenge things, I don't accept things just because it's the normal thing,
that includes the traditions and beliefs of the American Christian church.
I ponder things, I think what if?, I don't make doctrine out of what should be mystery.
I think we have boxed God in,
we have taken one part of Him and made that our only focus and
He is looking at us saying, "Hey!  You have my big toe, you are studying my big toe,
you think you know every crack, every wrinkle, every hair but you only know like
one tiny part of my toe nail and you think that toe is all there is of me!  There is so much more!
So much more.  I have an entire body and you haven't even begun to look."
My husband cusses like a sailor and I'm okay with it and
I don't think God cares one little bit.
I stopped praying, "Dear God, blah,blah... Amen," for a time and
just started chatting with Him in my words, my tone, my way
throughout my day, whenever I had something to say to Him and
suddenly I knew He heard me.
I think pay it forward Christianity is garbage.
I think the idea of the "now and the not yet" in theology is bogus.
I really like Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure.
I love Psych.
I agree that ignorance is bliss and damn it,
I wish I were still ignorant.
I lost a best friend when I stopped attending church.
That sucks.
I have stopped trying to please everyone and so I am finally happy with who I am,
who God created me to be.
I am really strange and think lots of things that people don't agree with and
I'm tired of keeping my mouth shut.  I think sometimes you just have to speak {or write}
and let it be whatever it is.
God has set me on this path and planned this amazing journey for me.
I have a beautiful life.


Thursday

{why I stopped reading your blog}

If you are my friend or a blog reader, I read your blog.  I may not comment all that often but
I do read.  I enjoy my friend's words, photos and the encouragement and/or thought provoking material
that they offer.  I also read a few blogs of people I adore for various reasons, though they don't read mine or know me. 

But,
there are a few blogs,
popular blogs,
that I have stopped reading.

I am not naming names but I am going to tell you why I no longer read your {their} blogs.

You make me feel like crap.

Seriously.  I'm a mama of 7 that homeschools.  My husband works a full time manual labor job and God always provides for us but so often we are just scraping by.  We rent our house in a neighborhood with a hoarder across the street who walks around outside in his underwear all day long.  I dream of living in the woods or having a farm, being able to allow my children the freedom to roam around our property, but that's just not going to happen in any foreseeable future. But you have that.  Your photos sing of the beauty I wish I could give to my children. 

You always have the answer, are always able to bring peace and I am desperate to do so and yet I fail way too often.  I read books and blogs for encouragement but I am no longer able to find that on yours.  The only message I hear on your blog is you are not enough.

I can't travel, can't offer much to others, it takes all of my energy and resources just to pour out peace, grace, love and gentleness to my own children and husband.  And I believe, for this time in my life, that is enough. But when I read your blog I walk away feeling like it isn't.  And I don't want to feel like that anymore.



 
So I no longer read your words or look at your photos.  I know that you encourage many people and I am very glad that they find a kindred soul, a source of peace, in you.  But I don't.  I have my own life to live, my family to care for and my God to draw near to.  I wish the best for you.

Peace,
amy

edited to add: My issues, being made to feel like crap, are not your fault.  I am under no illusion.  It's me, comparing myself, feeling like I don't add up.  That's my issue, not yours.  I don't read your blog anymore but that's not your fault.  It's the fault of my insecurities. 

Wednesday

{our days}




 

 

i wish it were snowing here.
it appears to be snowing everywhere else,
but not here.
never here.

i'm making this cheeseburger soup for dinner tonight and it smells amazing.
out of the 8 of us, i predict that 4 will eat it, 1 will try it and decide not to eat it and
the other three will immediately ask for something else.
that's kind of life in our house.  and it's good.

we watched national treasure today, a family favorite and
now the majority of my kids want to be treasure hunters, they are
searching the outside of my house for clues.

layla wrote up her plan for learning which she entitled,
"basic outline of learning for me for however stinkin' long i want."
it was pretty amazing.  she is completely self-motivated and loves learning
and growing.  she has decided to learn about ww2 and the holocaust and we
have been having some heart wrenching discussions. i asked her if she was
ready to learn about so much evil and pain, and she replied,
"it's a part of this world mama, i have to understand it in order to stand against it."
her wisdom and maturity take my breath away daily.

anyway, just a little peek into my right now.
back to the soup!

peace,
amy

Thursday

{driving away, journeying on}



My last weekend at church I cried,
much different from when I cried the first time I stepped foot through doors I
considered too holy for my dirt caked soul.
That first time was an awakening, a cleansing,
balm for aching child that I was and
He met me there and opened arms and
whispered words of peace and love.
He set my path, my journey
before me, teaching me how to walk and
never, not once, has He left my side.

And then, after years of following suit,
of going through the motions,
and despite my arguing, He told me it was okay to stop.
Despite my desperation and fear,
my lack of knowing where to go and how to move forward,
He told me to relax, be at peace and
trust Him.  He held my hand, whispered words of comfort and
I balked, did I have to be the one?  Did my journey have to
take this route?  Why couldn't I just keep walking alongside
everyone else?  My typical heart's cry,
why am I so different?  I'd been the one to spout gossip,
to "pray" for those who no longer went to church,
to wonder how they could call themselves a Christian when
clearly,
they were so far away that they no longer engaged in
our self-righteous idea of "fellowship."
I had been the one.
And I could hear God's humor in it all,
chuckling as He gave us the green light,
told us the time for our exodus was upon us,
giving us yet another reason to be talked about and shunned.



That day we went to ready our hearts,
knowing it would be the last time,
at least for a very long while.  We stood in worship and laughed at
appropriate {and inappropriate times} during the sermon,
we made small talk during breaks and after church,
declined an invitation to the pastor's house for lunch.
As we drove away, crashing brown ocean at our backs,
I cried.  Tears flowed,
not for sadness but for freedom, not for loss
but for gain.  Time to journey on,
to see what God had in store for us,
to meet Him in our daily moments, to feel His breath and
hear His voice. 



We drove away,
welcoming His Spirit.
"Time to stop quenching Him," I whispered through tears,
"All that time we spent trying to know Him, churches
teaching us not to quench the Spirit.  But what is more
quenching, more stifling, than a box?  And what is more of a box
than an institution?"

We drove away
towards freedom,
embracing the journey He was leading us on.
It's a remarkably beautiful road and
we are still driving.



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