Previous month:
January 2009
Next month:
March 2009

A Memoir Installment #2

in no particular order, just how I write them. Dug this one out from a college paper I wrote. Some old, old memories. And in line with my one word noun title. This one's called The Tablespoon. Catchy name. Are you intrigued? Well, here goes. Another installment of my life, a masterpiece, a canvas being hand-painted by God...well, at least now it is. Now that I know my Savior.

The Tablespoon

by Susan Bowers

      I was on the couch in my living room, certainly not comfortable because no part of my body was loose enough to get comfortable. I was, instead, wined tighter than a three-cord strand. The couch was not a proper battleground but, at least, it provided some cushion for me. There would be no leverage for my attacker like the wall had been. Unfortunately, the cushions from the couch had been used another time, as a pillow, and pillows made good weapons for smothering. I took my chances and stayed on the couch. Besides, I didn’t think that was the case this time. At least I hoped it wasn’t the case. I already had a lump forming on my forehead at the hairline from round one. It stung to the touch. I could feel the skin broken and when I pulled my fingers away I had transferred blood to them. It was only a smudge and it wasn’t bleeding that much. I was also sick to my stomach from that round of abuse I’d already taken at the wall and from what led up to the beating in the first place.

     My attacker was my husband. I don’t like using the word husband. Maybe spouse is a better word, or just ‘him’. Husband is such an endearing word. It implies love, caring, protection, security, and togetherness. He gave me none of those and none of those fit my spouse. Since my attacker was my spouse that made me a statistic. I guess all of us can be a statistic in one way or another, but to be a statistic under the title, ‘Statistics about Domestic Violence’ causes a certain level of disgust.  It is those statistics that tell you ‘every 9 seconds in the United States a woman is assaulted or beaten’ (1), or ‘4 million women a year are assaulted by their partners’(1) that just leaves you with a bad taste in your mouth. Why did I have to know those statistics personally?

     What led up to this beating was much like any other time. I wish I could say that he had an excuse: that he’d come home drunk and couldn’t help himself; or that he was so high that he didn’t know what he was doing. My spouse didn’t drink and he didn’t ‘do’ drugs. I figured out somewhere along the line that I was the cause of the beatings. I don’t mean that I deserved them – no one deserves them. But I did open my mouth though. What am I supposed to do? My spouse cheats on me, I find out, I confront him, and he beats me for finding out. No! He beats me for confronting him. How insane is that!

     I had a momentary reprieve. My mind was working enough to wonder where the girls were. I hoped they were in their room. To this point he had not physically harmed them. I can’t imagine what it’s done to their psyche. My daughters, Elizabeth and Ashley, were just 3 ½ years and 18 months old. What they have had to endure wasn’t fair. Elizabeth

was so strong and independent. Ashley was so flighty and funny. They were my sanity.  They were the light in the darkness. Why I didn’t get out for them I’ll never know. Unless, it was for me that I needed to get out for.

     I was so worked up, the pain, the insanity of it all that I was crying. He was in the kitchen now, away from me – that temporary reprieve. After seeing the blood on my fingers, I became enraged. I wasn’t looking at him when I said under my breath, with every ounce of disgust I could muster, ‘you make me sick’. I guess it was loud enough for him to hear.

     Round two! I glanced up just in time. I screamed. What ever had been in his hand was coming at me. I jerked my legs up to my stomach and lifted my arms across my face and chest in a fetal-like position. It, whatever ‘it’ was hit me on the side of my thigh. The pain shot through my leg and the rest of my body quickly. I screamed and cried out louder in response to the pain. I looked down and sucked in air in surprise. Stuck to my thigh was a tablespoon. He had thrown it so hard the length of the spoon had embedded itself in my leg. I moved slowly, just enough to remove the spoon from my leg. I got another jolt of bone tingling pain just removing it. It left its impression in my leg.

     It was then that I saw Ashley. She must have come out of her room at my blood curdling scream. She looked frightened. Those big blue-green eyes of hers were filled with tears and they were streaming down her face. She didn’t try to hide them or wipe them away. She came straight to me and climbed onto the couch and wrapped her small arms around me. Her arms didn’t come close to going around me but it felt like they did. She scooted in front of me and onto my lap. She bravely placed herself between me and him. It hurt my leg tremendously but I held tight to her and just wept.

     I was seeing Ashley at that moment, this tiny 18 month old, as my protector. She was shielding me from the bite of the big, bad wolf. Amazingly, and what I didn't know then, I was also seeing Ashley as the girl she would become. Always ready to stand up for the underdog. Or as the women she would blossom into, a defender of the weak, and abused. She would be in your face if you were hurting someone that she saw as needing a defender. I am still amazed at this gift she has and thankful that at 18 months she had it even then. It must have been a blessing from God. So many blessings from God! Here was another one: Somehow I was still alive! God sure must love fools. He sure has saved me enough times.  

     I didn’t begin questioning why I was still alive right away after this last round with the tablespoon. It wasn’t as if I hadn’t had this talk with myself before. But over the months it took for my leg to heal it served as a reminder to me of how I was living, if I could call it living. More like existing. I didn’t want to just exist anymore. I figured out, if an 18-month old could be used mightily, like Ashley had been used that day, then certainly, there was a reason that my life had been spared this time, and for that matter all those other times when I stood a deaths door.



This Present Darkness

I mentioned in a previous post that I was reading This Present Darkness by Frank Peretti. I decided to read it because we're doing a sermon series at church on the supernatural. You know some people believe that there are no demons, or angels. That would be lovely I guess, but the Word of God says otherwise. So, I'm going to believe God's word. Anyway, I've had this book for many years now. Probably since about 1990 or 91 when I first read it. Up until then I hadn't given the supernatural world any thought. Nor the battle raging around us. While it doesn't consume me or cause me to fear I do, however, maintain a healthy respect, or healthy fear, for the battle raging in the supernatural world.  

Ephisians 6 explains the struggle, the battle that goes on around us and what we, as Christians can do

The Armor of God

10. Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. 12. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15. and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16. in addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17.Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. 18. nd pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the saints. 19. Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20. for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.

I love fresh insights and I just thought of something which I hadn't thought of before: if we do this, put on the full armor of God, we keep the battle in the spiritual realm and not a battle of flesh, or wits, or earthly battles. Interesting...

So I've decided to read this book to the boys. I knew that they'd like the angels versus the demons concept. I even stop and ask them questions to make sure they're understanding what I'm reading. And they get it!!! (Oh, my boys are 11 1/2 years; I don't think kids much younger would be able to understand the book unless they're very intuitive kids)


Some really good stuff

1) Our small group has begun an inductive study in the book of Revelation. Oh my goodness!!!! Yes, I mean that: GOODNESS! The study is done by Chuck Missler. One of the gentlemen from our group has the DVD set so we are going through the book, verse by verse, chapter by chapter. Man, oh, man Chapter 1 rocked!

2) I started reading This Present Darkness by Frank Peretti (again - but it's been probably 10 years since I read it last). I asked Jeff if he thought the boys would like it. He thought so. So I started reading it to the boys in the morning before school and in the evening before bed (or at the dinner table if we have time). They are already into it.

3)  97secondswithGod is a really good start to a day.

4) 31 days of Praying for my husband. Revive Our Hearts website has the downloadable prayers. Another cool thing is I found this website, Revive Our Hearts, from another blog I regularly visit now (familycorner.blogspot.com) and it (Revive Our Hearts) turns out to be the website of the ministry, of the lady who wrote the bible study I'm leading on Saturday night.

5) Surrender by Nancy Leigh DeMoss.

6) Take the 30-day True Woman Challenge Makeover

7) Kay Arthur's study on Daniel is wonderful. 


Weekend of Science

It is down to the wire for the boys. We absolutely have to get these science projects done. They are late and won't be graded but hopefully the boys will have learned a valuable lesson regarding the importance of letting us know about assignments when they get them and not the night before they are due. Their teacher is going to use them as a character building example. Thought that was pretty good.

So Jarrod's project is done. Trip-tick is put together, and research paper is typed up and printed out.

John's is another story. Trip tick is almost ready to put together, and research paper needs some work. With Pinewood Derby on the chopping block if they don't complete their project, and since they haven't been able to work on their cars at all - we are definitely down to the wire here.

We'll see what happens...


Flip Flops

Our main bathroom (and the boys' bathroom) is decorated with bright colors, orange, pink, turquoise, yellow, and lime - and flip flops. I found this flip flop shower curtain and bathroom accents from walmart; I already had the bright towels and rug from target...anyways I got this package in the mail yesterday.

I had to run through my mind...did I order something? No!...then I looked at the return address. From my sister Sandy. What did she send? My body got all giddy like. You gotta understand. My sister has such good taste. She is crafty and creative. She's gifted in the decorating cents sort of way. (Not that I had any idea what I'd find in the package, just that I know these things about my sister).

And what did she send me...a colorful, quilted, flip flop wall hanging! Handmade, by San Dee. Yes!!!!

It's already up on my bathroom wall...at the direction of the boys on where to hang it, of course)

IMG_6245 

Lovin' it baby. Lovin' it! The boys thought it matched. What a hoot they are.


Sausage Vegetable Soup

IMG_6244  

1 lb of encased hot sausages (aah, with the casings removed)                                                            1 large can of crushed tomatoes                                                                                                      1 large container beef stock                                                                                                             1 large container chicken stock                                                                                                         4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped                                                                                                      1 large sweet onion finely chopped                                                                                                    3 large carrots, diced                                                                                                                      2-3 zucchini, diced                                                                                                                           2 cups elbow noodles                                                                                                                   basil and oregano      

Saute the garlic and onion in a large pot with some olive oil. (This is a one-pot-dish, btw) When the garlic and onion flavors have combined and the onions have just begun to soften, and the flavors are beginning to waft through the entire house, making your mouth water...I digress...sorry. Add the sausages to the garlic and onion, frying up until pink all gone. Now, about those smells going through your house, they're really happenin' now. Add the beef stock and chicken stock and bring to a boil. Then add those carrots and zucchini. (At this point you could add just about any vegetables here. We eat alot of zucchini so naturally that has to be in there). Add the basil and oregano. Stirring to combine everything and turn down and simmer.

About 15 minutes or so before dinner time bring that pot back to a boil and drop in your elbow noodles. You'll need to pay attention to the pot and stir often. This soup gets thick!!! It's more like a stew at the end. The noodles take about the full 15 minutes finish cooking. 

I made some homemade bread to serve along side. This is a very hearty soup. Oh, btw, I made up this recipe. My boys, all three of them (which includes my big guy, my Hoosier Man), say this is a keeper.

Oh, and if you're not into spice pick the mild sausages. But, we're into spice here at our house. 

                                               


1, 2, 3

1. I had this yummy omelet for lunch. Mushrooms, tomatoes, onions, bacon, monterey jack cheese, salsa...yummm!

2. I appied for a part time meteorology job today.

3. I added some card sets to my Etsy store.

IMG_6229  

IMG_6233  

IMG_6239  

IMG_6241  


'Mommy, you gotta' see this sky!'

John yelled out to me. From his perch. In the bathroom. On the toilet. While going potty.

I figured if John was calling out for me to look at the sky it was going to be pretty so I grabbed the camera on the way outside. And it was awesome.

IMG_6220Thanks John. For sharing your bathroom experience with the rest of us.