Going Dark to Get to the Light

It has been a while. I know.

I have missed blogging, sort of.

You see I’ve been taking some time for myself.

It has been a difficult couple of months for me personally. Last fall I stumbled into a dark week that lasted a few months. It was major drama.

Gloomy Pikes Peak

And I’m not talking bump in the road drama. I’m talking As the World Turns Level 5 This is Insane drama.

So I went dark. I had to. I was in self-preservation mode for a while. I had to prioritize my relationship with God, myself, family and work. That was it. Nothing else made the cut. And so this blog went lifeless and limp.

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Springtime in Buckhannon

 Sharlette'sGarden

Emerald hills, homemade gravy and coon eyes

She calls.

Daffodils, sweet tea and fried potatoes

She calls.

Crickets, frogs and rotten wood piles

She calls.

Rusted cars, saw mills and dogwoods blooming

She calls.

Long gravel roads, winding hunter trails and wild turkeys

She calls.

Sunday church bells, white steeples and fried chicken

She calls.

Dirty miners, rippling creek and coal dust covered lunch pails

She calls.

Calico cats, hound dogs barking and wild rhododendron

She calls.

Country courthouse bright, rickety bridges and dew on the lawn

She calls.

High school track, Spring festival and homemade bread

She calls.

Mud caked tires, white porch swing and family visits

She calls.

Haunting eyes, hope-filled hearts and quiet days

She calls. 

The Sibling Grief Club

I am a member of a club that I really hate participating in, but without it I would not be the person I am today.

Every now and then required meetings call for me to revisit my membership and when it happens I am reminded just how much I really don’t like being apart of this order.

My Brother Jim and Jessa

It is the sibling grief club.

Required meetings tend to happen at the most awkward times and honestly, they can be brutal.

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Determined in 2013

Last year was a life changer.

I don’t say that lightly either. So many of you shared the ups and downs with our family as we gave up our horrid eating habits.

My former bread area #jeffscrazyidea

I felt so much love and encouragement when I achieved a 15-year goal of hiking Pikes Peak.

Me beside a cool cairn almost to the top of Pikes Peak

I received prayers from strangers after they read my funny and tough moments through Fridays with Freda.

Grandma Freda and I walking through Garden of the Gods

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Food Steward

I spent most of the weekend planning and strategizing like an army general going to war. You know what I was doing?

I was planning our family’s nutritional goals for 2013.

Our favorite breakfast. Chicken sausage with onions and peppers.

Our favorite breakfast. Chicken sausage with onions and peppers.

As self proclaimed Food Steward of the Abel family, this is my primary responsibility.

A responsibility that I didn’t take seriously until last year.

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The Week Between

This week is my favorite of the whole year—this week between Christmas and New Years Day.

Christmas Advent

The week I clean the house, fix hot meals, slow down to actually think.

The week that I journal, and dream up new book ideas that I will not write and watch movies with my kids. I also tend to work out like a mad woman because I ate too much on Christmas.

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What Are You Going to Do About It Today?

Our communities are going through hell.

Being a parent, spouse, employee and citizen has taken on a new demand for our level of engagement.

Watching the news this weekend, I just kept thinking what am I going to do about it?

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Friday with Freda ~ Assisted Living is Kind of Like College

Thank you friends for all of your prayers yesterday. It took all day, but Jeff and I were able to get Grandma all set up in her new digs. I am excited that I was able to find a place for her that is a true assisted living facility that suits her needs. It also helps that this place is only two minutes from my work. So I have quick access during my lunch and after work to visit her.

Freda right away has fallen in love with the staff. She is excited to have her own room now, and although she hasn’t said it, I’m pretty sure she likes the idea being off the Jeff’s Crazy Idea routine a bit. They served spaghetti and garlic bread last night for dinner and she was in heaven. [Read more…]

Friday with Freda ~ Prayers for Transition

I have so many things to write about my life with Freda since she moved in with our family. So many funny, hard, sweet and long-lasting memories have been made with her and my kids.

But today, I just can’t. Today, I need your prayers. Today Jeff and I are taking Grandma to visit a assisted living facility, because we are at the point where her needs are becoming move than our family can provide.

And this is hard to accept.

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A Christian Who Loves Halloween

Hello. My name is Julie and I am a Christian who loves Halloween. 

It is actually my favorite holiday. I don’t apologize for it any more or feel guilty about it. I used to but now I embrace it. Indulge me a bit as I tell you little bit why…

As a child this holiday brought me so much fun and happy family memories. My mom and dad took me to Halloween events, haunted houses, and GASP let me watch horror movies with my older brother. My parents also allowed me to read scary stories, and create over the top crazy costumes every year for my school parties. At these parties, I would win prizes almost every year, because of the creativity they allowed me to display.

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