Catch 22

Catch 22

The dictionary defines the phrase “catch 22” as a “dilemma or difficult situation from which there is no escape because of mutually conflicting or dependent conditions.”  Today, I feel like this holiday, and my current life as I know it…is a living, breathing example of that phrase.  I have been trying to get excited for this holiday, because it will be my last holiday in this house, with this family, and it’s very hard.  I was excited this morning to watch my six year old boy open his basket- the last time that my husband and I will do this together.  After our traditional Sunday breakfast, I cleaned up, got showered and dressed, and then I started making deviled eggs, got the ham in the oven.  I tried to go about my usual holiday preparations, but it just FELT different.  These days, my life is a living, breathing example of a catch 22.  I cannot move on until I get over this divorce.  I cannot get over this divorce until I move out.  I cannot move out until I get a job.  I cannot get a job until I get through this class and get a car.  All of these conditions feel like insurmountable tasks.  I keep telling myself that I am strong, and that I can do this, but I have weak moments.  I’ll be honest- I have a lot of weak moments.

Today is the celebration of when Jesus defeated death and rose from the grave, rising to Heaven to prepare a place for all of us to be as close to God as we can get.  Jesus endured many hardships- He wasn’t rich, had no possessions to speak of, enduring taunting, disbelief, and after his arrest, the most horrible form of pain that one person can possibly endure.  He was strong throughout all of that.  I’m not facing death, and I can assure you that I will not die nailed to a cross.  Why is it that this feels like a mountain that I cannot climb?

There are so many things to be thankful for today, and I have to find a way to push past all this sadness.  I look outside, and I see the most perfect spring day that a person could ask for.  The sky is a beautiful, clear blue, the temperatures are beautiful, and I have my son and my daughter, who have both had a good Easter.  It has been a quiet holiday, and I was able to look at my children, and know that no matter what, I will be able to watch them grow up to be caring, beautiful people.  I held my little man this morning, and even though he doesn’t understand what is to come, all I can think is, “Your world will soon change beyond what you could have imagined it to be.  I am so sorry that this will happen to you.  I am sorry that you live in a fallen world, surrounded by fallen people, and that the two people in your life that you are supposed to count on have let you down in a huge way.  Son, I did not want this.  I did not ask for this, and I wish I could, but I cannot fight it.  Just know that I will be there for you, and I will try to get you through the next months, even though they will be hard for me to navigate.  But together- you, your sister and your mom…we will get through this.  We will all be forever changed, and we will have all lost something that we wanted most in the world- our family.  I am sorry, and I will spend the rest of my life trying to make it up to you.”  Those are the words that I really wanted to say, but really- you can’t say that to a six year old.  It’s not practical at this point.

Tomorrow, the rest of my life begins.  I start my much-anticipated Certified Nursing Assistant Class.  Uniform items have been purchased, and all the legwork for the class has been done.  Tomorrow, I sit in the seat, and start putting 110% of myself into learning all that I can, so that I can carve out my own existence in this world.  One that is separate from my husband, and will be separate from him for the rest of our lives.

Today, I will push off the sadness.  I have to remember that Jesus hung on that cross, enduring the cruelest torture ever, and it was for ME.  For MY mistakes, and He did it for the love He had for ME.  No one else has ever given me such a gift.  Lately, I feel as though I don’t deserve that gift, because I have been angry, I have said mean things, thought mean things, and been less than Christian in my thoughts and deeds.  I am truly a sinner.  I confess all my sins to God, and ask that He forgive me, and that He give me the strength to carry on down this road, because my road is not nearly as difficult as the road Jesus traveled with that cross on His back.  I wipe away my tears, knowing that I can carry this load, because Jesus carried His.  Even now, I have to remember that He’s trying to carry me, if I would only let go of all those things holding me back, and just allow Him to carry me.   Going forward, that will be my mantra- I will carry my load, because He carried His.  If there is someone out there that is going through the same thing, please know that this stuff is all temporary.  We can get through this, and come out on the other side a stronger, better person.  While you enjoy your holiday with your family, please hold each and every person close because you just never know when it will all come to an end.  If you are having a hard time with anything, please feel free to quote me if it helps.  Remember, “I can carry my load because He carried His.”  It’s the least that I can do for a man who was willing to die for the likes of someone like me.

Comfort and Fellowship In The Strangest Of Places


The Bible is full of different themes.  If you are in the mood to study them, you can always follow the concordance, and let it lead you through the entire Bible, learning about a particular subject.  Today, I was struck by two things; the first being the idea that I was in the mood to make some comfort food, and the second that in the Bible, there are a lot of stories about people eating together.  If you think about it, some of the most important things in the Bible happened with food as a backdrop. Although the result changed things for humankind forever, one of the first stories in the Bible is of Adam and Eve, eating together.  In Exodus, God provides manna for the Israelites to eat.  All throughout His life, Jesus broke bread with people.  He would use the time to fellowship with people from all walks of life- tax collectors, prostitutes, the poor, destitute people that He ministered to along the way…the list is endless.  If you think about Christianity, our own stories are similar.  Church dinners, breakfasts- people have been getting together over food for centuries, and I don’t think it will stop.

The strange thing that strikes me today is the fact that even though I am facing such a crossroads in my life, I am still eager to cook for my husband and my children.  I like the idea of feeding them, and of all of us together as a family for perhaps one of the last times. Today, on the menu is comfort food.  I’ll be making home made fried chicken, home made baked macaroni and cheese, green beans, and a nice loaf of home made bread to bring it all together. I know that this isn’t a food blog.  However, I can’t help but think about how food throughout the ages has bound people together, and started all kinds of discussions along the way.  Just think about it- can you imagine breaking bread with Jesus Himself, listening to Him preach?  I can’t imagine how wonderful that would be.

Throughout history, food has been at the forefront of a lot of things.  Knights and their massive armies would come back from battle, and be greeted with huge feasts.  People pass away, and the first reaction for most people is to bring the grieving family food. Someone gets married, and there is a feast.  Do you see how we all use food to bind us all together?  Food relaxes us, and opens people up.  Some of the most stimulating conversation that I have ever had has been over a dinner table.  Although there is no death in my family, and this divorce is certainly not something to celebrate, I will still be bringing some good food to the table.  I think I appreciate these last family dinners.  They will carry me through as I learn to be on my own, and recreate my life.   I never thought that I would be starting over at my age, but nonetheless, it’s going to happen.  At this point, I am faced with a couple of different choices.  I can lie on my couch, and continue to feel sorry for myself, or I can get ready to become the best person that I can be.  I can take this type of life circumstance, and own it.  I can get a good job, and make my own way, and rely more on God than I ever have before.  I will always miss these last few memories that I make with my family,  My husband and I will always be connected through our children.  That does bring me some comfort, knowing that I am not completely losing him.  But…we won’t be married anymore.  I cannot call him “mine.”  He will be his own person, as will I.  Rest assured, I will not drown my sorrows in my food, but I will help my family to create these last few crumbs of togetherness.  Like the memories of Christmas through the years, or other special times, I will remember this meal, and what it meant to me.  As I eat my “feast,” I will be thanking God for this crossroads.  During this time, He has taught me that I can indeed depend on Him, and that He will provide for me.  I am finally learning to shut my face and listen to Him.  I am finally praying continuously throughout my day. What’s the best part of this tragedy?  I have learned to love God even more.  As always, before I eat, I will thank Him for every single thing that has happened in my life- even this divorce.  I am learning that there is always something good to be found in every situation, even this one.

It Was Real


Tonight, I am overtaken by sentimentality.  I am looking back on fifteen years of completely loving a man.  I loved this man with everything within me.  I honestly didn’t look at anyone else and feel any type of longing.  He was, from the moment that I realized I loved him all those years ago, the very one for me.  We just seemed to fit in every single way.  When we first met, he was a trucker for the same company that I worked in customer service for.  I remember when he headed out on the road after we had finally solidified our relationship.  I stood in my driveway, sobbing.  It felt like forever until I would see him again, and my heart seemed to rip from my chest.  I would endure a few of those goodbyes, as my husband later joined the Army, and I was forced to endure saying goodbye quite a bit.  I remember our wedding day- it was the day that he graduated from basic training, and I remember staring into his eyes during our ceremony, and thinking that I was finally being handed everything.  Funny, I was overtaken by emotions on the day that he told me he no longer wanted to be married to me.  I sobbed, and felt that same familiar feeling- my heart being ripped from my chest.

In life, we are forced to say all kinds of goodbyes.  We wish our pets farewell when they pass away, and we bid our loved ones goodbye.  We say goodbye to our hometowns when it’s time to strike out on our own, and we say goodbye to our children when they finally leave our safe little nest.  Each goodbye brings with it a special pain, and it’s also a lesson.  To me, these memories will always be precious.  Each memory,  I will hold close to my chest, and be so grateful that God gave me the chance to love like that, even if I lost it in the end.  I will admit to you that I am writing this through tears.  It’s a bittersweet moment, saying goodbye.  I am so happy that I was capable of loving to that extent, and I am so sad that it will no longer be mine.  But there is one thing that doesn’t change, and that’s the fact that this love did exist, and this love was real.  I can always look at my two beautiful babies, and be reminded that I was given that precious gift.

Even if a relationship is fleeting, we should always be grateful that God gives each and every human the capacity to love.  God gives us the wonderful gift of emotions.  We are able to love with abandon, dislike with abandon, and be sad in the same manner.  Emotions can be troublesome, but when reigned in, they can come in handy.  While I know that my life will never be the same, I can still know that “we loved with a love that was more than love.”  (That’s from Edgar Allan Poe’s Annabelle Lee.)  I cannot guarantee that I will feel that again, but I can guarantee that I will always remember that once upon a time, I did love.  It was real.

Unanswered Prayers?


Have you ever prayed really hard for something?  As in, praying every single second, minute and hour of every day, begging for something, only to not have it happen?  How did you react?  Were you angry, disappointed, or question why your prayers weren’t answered?  When my husband first asked for this divorce, I would beg God through my tears to save my marriage.  Every thing I did, I spent it in prayer.  I would explain that if He saved this marriage, I would do everything differently.  I would do whatever He asked, and I would be the “best Christian ever,” if only He would answer just this one prayer.  I thought, “God loves marriage, and He wants this to work.”  Here we are, nearly four months later, and my prayer hasn’t been answered.  At least, it hasn’t been answered in the way that I see fit. One thing that we all seem to forget in all of this is the fact that God doesn’t answer prayers on our time, but HIS time.  Another thing- this could be a request that just doesn’t fit into His plan.  It could very well be that He has other things planned for me, and this marriage might not fit into that category.

Nearly four months later, and I still find myself mere seconds away from crying at the drop of a hat.  I was almost in tears yet again last night.  I asked yet again, “God, please- you see my pain.  You see how much I am hurting, and this is terrible.  Please, if it’s in your plan, save this marriage.  I can’t promise to be perfect, but I can promise to do better.  Please save this marriage!  You are amazing, and everything that I have, and all the changes in my life and my personality are because of YOU.  You made me who I am, and I am constantly working at being a better person, because I believe in your word.  I have heard people say that you don’t exist, because a “real God” wouldn’t allow suffering.  They seem to forget, Heavenly Father, that everyone has free will.  Satan is always in there, trying to get things to go his evil little way.  So Heavenly Father, thank you for protecting me from Satan, and thank you for reminding me that I cannot change my husband’s mind. I can only depend on what you want, and how you lead me.  In Jesus’ Heavenly name, I pray.  Amen.”

After that prayer, I decided to open my Bible, and see what I could find on unanswered prayers.  One verse did stand out to me- it’s James 4:3 “You ask, and do not receive, because you had wrong motives.”  That sent my mind into a tailspin.  Was I asking for this marriage to be saved because I truly believe that it could work, or am I asking because I am afraid to be alone?  After thinking on it for a while, I decided that the “alone issue” was truly not in my heart.  I am a fairly independent person, and sure, it would be hard, but I don’t think that’s it.  I started thinking a little harder.  Then it happened.  I realized that I was still wrestling with forgiveness, and bitterness, and as long as those things were in my heart, God might not answer my prayer.  Besides that fact, as I have stated before, those two things- being unforgiving and being bitter- aren’t going to help me, even if my prayers were answered or not.  After realizing this, I found another verse that seems to hit the whole lesson home- Romans 12:12- “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.”  Okay, now that I have been reminded of these things, here is my new battle plan:  I am going to release ALL bitterness and ALL anger.  They are NOT in my life anymore.  Then, I am going to pray ceaselessly that my marriage be saved.  If it isn’t saved, then I know that God wants something different for me, and I am going to have to listen harder than ever (See my previous post about me “shutting my face”) to figure out what God would like from me.  Or…Satan has won that battle.  But keep in mind, if Satan did win the battle, he hasn’t won the war, because I will still be standing, and I will still love God with every single part of my being, because I am “fearfully and wonderfully made.”  I spent way too many years running from God’s love because I was afraid of it.  I will not be that person again.  I will be a kind, considerate person who loves God, and tries to do the right thing.  After all, being “fearfully and wonderfully made” has some seriously awesome perks.  Like being able to enjoy a cup of coffee, which I am going to do right now.

“Shut Your Face!”


Be still

Admit it, going through the Bible, we all have verses that speak to us more than others.  I am no exception to this, and mine is pictured within this post.  It’s Psalms 46:10- “Be still and know that I am God.”  I have stated previously that I am a chronic worrier.  I worry about what will happen to me in the coming months.  How will I change as a person?  I want it to be a good change, but how can I know for sure that I will finally be rid of the anger that seems to overtake me at the worst possible times?  When you are a person that wears their heart on their sleeve, it’s very easy to be hurt and hold onto that hurt.  Especially if it’s someone that you really love that hurts you to the core.  In times like that, I am working very hard at remembering this verse, and putting it to work in my life.  Just think about that verse for a second- “Be still and know that I am God.”  To me, that verse says, “Yes, things are hard right now.  Yes, I know you are hurting, but please remember, my dear child- I am always here for you, and I am always ready to catch you when you fall.  You’re human, and you WILL fall.  But I am God, and I DO NOT FALL.  I am full of unending grace, and I am always in charge.  You just have to listen to me.”

Sometimes it’s easier to worry than to place it in God’s hands.  We tend to forget from time to time that God is indeed in control, and He wants us all to “just listen.”  As a parent, I have said that phrase more often than I’d care to admit.  “Just stop and listen to me for a second!”  We can’t forget that in the grand scheme of things, we are God’s children, and that He is telling us the same thing.  God always has a message for us, we just need to take a second and think about two things:  1) What is the message, and 2) How can I put that message to work for me?  In my case, the message is the fact that no matter how much I might not like the current state of my life, God is still in control.  I have to allow God to take the reigns, and I have to stop and finally figure out what He is telling me.  How can I put that message to work in my life?  For starters, I need to stop trying to manufacture my own destiny.  I started that by praying about what I should do for a job, and I have to say, that since I have allowed God to take control, things are falling into place a lot better than when I was trying to do my own thing.

I know that things will get a lot harder before they get easier, and I’m okay with that.  I have been through a lot in my life.  I will not allow adversity to make me curl up in a ball and wish my life were over.  There are a lot of things in my life that are good, and that is what I need to keep in mind when I start to feel sorry for myself.  Sometimes, just taking a second to count the blessings (even the small ones) and to listen to what God has to say in your life can make all the difference.

So, for today- here’s a brief list of what I am thankful for:

* My children- They’re great kids, every single one.  They’re all unique, beautiful, and “fearfully and wonderfully made.”

* A good cup of coffee- Never underestimate that fragrant goodness in the early morning hours.  It sometimes makes my whole day.

* Good friends who care- No matter what turns my life might take, I still have some great friends who always try to be there for me.  During a divorce, your friends will get you through this a lot easier than trying to lean on the person that is divorcing you.

* My faith- I might fall from time to time, but I always have faith in God.  He has made me a much better person.

* My readers- I might not have a lot of faithful readers, but there are some, and for you- thank you.  You give me another reason to get up each day, and pour my heart out in a situation where most people are trying to be quiet.  I know that there are people out there going through the same thing, and I want to be there for you as much as you are for me.

So…the moral of the story:  Be quiet, have a good cup of coffee, and look around.  Find something to be thankful for, even in the face of the worst possible time in your life.  I can guarantee that if you are quiet and listen, you’ll find a message from God in that quiet time.  I know that when I can finally “shut my face,”  I usually find a message from my Heavenly Father, floating out there.

Let It go, Let It GO…


If you are the parent of a young child, I’m sure that you cringed when you read the title of this post.  I apologize for that, but once you read on, you’ll realize that it’s very fitting for today.

No one ever enters into a marriage with the idea that it will someday end.  When I said “I do,”  I truly thought that it would be until the end of time, and that we were destined to be together.  I had visions of growing old next to my husband, and I was so incredibly happy.  When my husband first asked for this divorce, I went through a very heavy sad period.  Then came the anger.  “How could he do this to ME?  I’m the mother of two of his children, and gave him fifteen years of my life!”  I would look at him, and I would think to myself, “I wish I had never met him.  He makes me so sick.”  Not very Christian of me, was it?  It’s okay, because I agree.  I finally managed to get out of that line of thinking after a lot of talking with God.  Okay, so this marriage ends.  It’s not my choice- I’ve said that a lot in my posts.  But, it is happening whether I want it to or not.  At this point, I need to let go of everything that he has done wrong, and everything that I have done wrong.  We will always be connected.  We helped each other through some of the most trying times in our lives.  No matter how angry I am at the idea that he has made this decision, I cannot justify the thought “I wish I had never met him.”  He taught me a lot about myself, and about life in general, including the mistakes that hurt me so badly.  But in the end, those mistakes were good for me.  It taught me that really, the only two people that I should be pinning all my hopes on are Jesus and myself.  Those two people will always be looking out for my best interests, and will always love me, no matter what.  Besides that,if I had never met him, I wouldn’t have two of the most beautiful children that I have ever laid eyes on.

It’s really easy in the heat of a divorce to wear all the anger and the hurt like a comfy robe.  But eventually you’ll want to take that robe off, and get dressed and join the real world.  In early April, I start a class to become a CNA, or Certified Nursing Assistant.  I just want a job that I can immerse myself in, and I just want a way to support myself, and help to support my children.  I want my dignity and self-respect back.  I allowed those two things to walk out the door when I started feeling sorry for myself.  I hate the decisions that my husband has made, but I don’t hate him.  I could never hate him.  Down deep, he’s trying to do what’s best for him, and I can’t fault that thought.  I can fault the resulting action, but not that thought.  This whole process hurts me to the very core of my being, but I keep reminding myself that God has a plan.  God does have a plan, and it was put into action long before I was even born.  I know I’m not privy to the background information regarding this plan, but I do know that through this job, I can help people, and I can serve others.  I can touch lives, and make a difference.  I can go home at night, and feel good about myself, and my contribution to this community, and to the Body of Christ as a whole.  As believers, we must take care of each other.  We must hold each other close, and forget about the differences that we have.  I might be angry with my husband’s actions and his decisions, but that doesn’t eradicate the fact that I still love him, and I will always be there if he needs me.  It will be in a different capacity, but going forward, I won’t have to walk on eggshells all the time, or be in constant worry about when the other proverbial shoe will drop.  I am the captain of this great ship called my destiny.

Playing The Blame Game


In a divorce, it’s very easy to play the blame game.  Sometimes people do this to get what they want, and sometimes people do it to make themselves feel better.  Yet in another instance, people will do this for a mixture of the two.  It’s important to remember that the Bible has charged all Christians to forgive the wrongs that others have done to us, and to those we love.  By playing the blame game, you are, in effect, impeding forgiveness, and you are reminding that person of the wrongs that they have done.  Forgiveness, in God’s eyes, means wiping the slate clean.  It doesn’t mean holding that wrong over the other person’s head, time and again, to remind them of the terrible person that they once were.  There is a verse in the Bible that can affirm what I am saying.  It comes from 2 Corinthians 2:5-8.  “Now if anyone has caused pain, he has caused it not to me, but in some measure—not to put it too severely—to all of you. For such a one, this punishment by the majority is enough, so you should rather turn to forgive and comfort him, or he may be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow. So I beg you to reaffirm your love for him.”  Basically, when you forgive someone, you forgive everything associated with that act.  You don’t bring it up again, and you wipe the slate completely clean.  It’s not easy to do this, as human nature tends to lead us to looking at those sins, over and over again.  In order to move on as a person, and to move on as a child of God, you have to forgive yourself and not think of the things that you have done wrong.  Along the same lines, you have to forgive what the other person has done, as well. It’s easy to fall into that trap of wanting the other person to suffer because of what they have done wrong, but in the end, how does it help anyone?  It really doesn’t.  It makes it that much harder to move on.  

In my marriage, both of us were culpable for the downfall of our relationship.  I have done my share of wrongs in this, so I can’t really point a finger at my husband and tell him that this is all his fault, or all my fault. I found myself in an impossible position, and I handled it incorrectly.  All the looking back on the issue, and wishing that things were different can’t change that fact.  But, I do know that I brought everything to God, confessed it all, and asked for His forgiveness.  The best part of all of this?  I actually got it.  God forgave me.  My husband and I have said that we forgive each other for the wrongs, and in his eyes, he doesn’t love me anymore, and wants no part of being married.  I can’t change his mind, and I can’t go back and undo things.  My husband has done his share of wrongdoing, as well.  In the end, we both were equally to blame for our marriage ending.  I hate that fact, and if I could change his mind and make things better between us, I would.  At this point, I am still praying that my marriage would be saved.  I cannot speak for what God’s will is for all of this, but I can speak for one thing- He wants us all to forgive completely, and quit going over things, bringing them back up again.  That is not true forgiveness, and is something that we all have to deal with on some level.  True forgiveness is never easy, but in the end, it will make you feel better.  As a woman, I would like to bring up all the wrongs, but in the end, it would be fruitless.  It would remind both of us of the situation, and would DO NO GOOD.  Don’t let someone else drown in excessive sorrow, even if it’s someone that you are divorcing.  God says that we should comfort one another.  That’s also what Jesus meant when he said that we should love our fellow man as we love ourselves.  Let the past stay in the past, and do the best you can to move forward, knowing that in God’s eyes you are still His child,and He truly loves you.

Today, I charge all of you to look at how you forgive someone.  Do you truly forgive them, and quit bringing it up, or do you partially forgive that person, only to revisit the subject at another time?  If you find yourself doing the second, then you are not truly forgiving someone.  Let that person deal with what they have done in their own way.  Continually bringing it up is not allowing that person to move forward, and in all truthfulness, it’s actually holding them back.  Do you really want to be responsible for that?  I most certainly don’t.  So, today, I make the vow to let the past stay in the past, and let the future play out.  It’s all in God’s hands.  True forgiveness means allowing those chains from your past to fall away, and gives you the freedom that we all desperately crave.  In the end, we are all sinners, and it’s sin that separates us from the Heavenly Father.  We ALL have to make the effort to overcome those sins.  God extends forgiveness to each of us, only requiring that we extend that same courtesy to those around us.  Let’s get the ball rolling, and make sure that we are doing just that.

Have a blessed day, and “stay tuned.”  My mind has been working overtime lately, and I have some great topics to share with everyone.

Doing Little Things For Yourself (A “Girlie” Post)


During this entire divorce process, I have admittedly let myself go a bit.  I don’t care for my appearance as much as I did before, and I don’t put on makeup, fix my hair, or do my nails like I once did.  My soon to be ex-husband and I are still residing in the same house, and I have to say that the stress is unbelievable. At the end of the day, I am so exhausted by the thought that I am living with someone who doesn’t love me as much as I love them, that I fall into bed, grateful that another day has passed.  This morning, I decided to do my nails.  Before all this started, I had gotten into doing a bit of nail art here and there.  I am letting my nails grow, and with this growth process, it makes me want to fix myself up a bit.

At this point, you might be asking yourself, “How does all of this equate to being a Christian woman, involved in a divorce?”  Please allow me to explain.  Although you might find yourself in a situation that you never imagined for yourself (I certainly do), it’s okay to take a few minutes (or hours, in my case) to do something for yourself to make you feel a little better. At this point, my children still do not know that we are divorcing.  We are waiting until I have found a job, and the money to get my own place, before we drop this bit of news on their heads, changing their world forever.  The stress from keeping this information close to the vest is unreal.  You might be in the same position- after all, your world is going to change, too.  But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t care for yourself just a bit.  In my case, looking down at my nails, and seeing just that little pop of color in my grey world, does indeed help.  It makes me feel like a woman again, instead of a failure at marriage.   It makes me feel pretty, if even only in my eyes. Although God does throw challenges our way, and this is most certainly a challenge, He doesn’t want us to forget ourselves.  It’s okay to treat yourself here and there.  So, go ahead.  Go fix your hair, put on some makeup, and do your nails.  You will be surprised at how much it will perk your spirits in an otherwise dark world.  Besides that, look around.  Spring is around the corner, and that means a rebirth of sorts.  Let the scent of new flowers, new grass, and green bits starting on the trees invade your soul.  Let this rebirth in spring, and those prettily painted nails invade your soul like it has mine.