Ten Things of Thankful #85

I’ve started this post three times and rejected each as pretentious and silly. I think you’ll read it anyway, because I trust that by now you know that I’ve got something a bit important to say, even if I can’t figure out how to get into it at first (and if you’re brand new, then HELLO! and don’t worry – you’ll get the hang of this soon enough!).

I was standing in the dark and cold, fumbling the lock on the shed with icy fingers as Orion stretched his arms overhead to catch the moon, and it struck me (because why not) that I really don’t CARE about statistics for this blog. Not really. I don’t know why it popped into my head, but all of a sudden, the memory of the Facebook page (“You’re nearly at 500 likes! Promote your page?”) and the 1500+ (really?) followers of this place and its updates, and the fact that I found bloggers in other places who were genuinely perturbed by the fact that they would ‘like’ another person’s blog page, and that person wouldn’t like theirs back, all blasted in through the doorways of my mind like thugs looking for a brawl.

I stopped fumbling with the key for a second, and mentally stood, facing down those rowdy chaps with a half-smile, because they have no purchase on me (most of the time – sometimes I forget and they begin to matter, but not usually – not when I’ve got my brain in straight), and no place in my world. They do NOT belong in my Blogosphere, and here’s why:

Because I was astonished recently to find that some stalwart followers/commenters/friends had only recently realised that they hadn’t ‘liked’ the facebook page. As though it mattered, when we spend long, wonderful moments in chats here in the comments, and send our thoughts whizzing back and forth through the wires. As though it mattered, when what we have here on this page, and spilling out across other blogs and through corners of the Blogosphere all joined together by the care in people’s hearts and their willingness to make connections, is SO good, and SO much better than any number.

As though numbers could ever, ever trump connection.

You, my community – my friends who come here and talk with me and share your thoughts and your feelings, and indulge my conversations at your blogs and on Facebook and Twitter – are my thankful. And you count* for SO much more than Ten.

Hardwired Heart

Now that my Ten are out of the way so swiftly and effectively *runs and hides from Seven very vehement looking Guard Virgins (**)* I’m going to list TEN things of compassion that I’ve noticed in the Blogosphere this week (did you know that ‘compassion’ is a very handy TEN LETTER WORD? I didn’t, until I counted it on my fingers and smiled for delight, because it fits). Each letter is going to get its dancing boots on and share some of the things which made my heart smile, because each one let me know that the world is filled with GOOD AND WONDERFUL PEOPLE (particulary this hardwired corner of it) and that I am privileged to know many of them.

(Yes, this ties in with #1000Speak for Compassion, because it’s a damn good idea, and more people should do it, but also just because SEEING these things is such an inspiration)

C – Last Sunday I had a day of horrible, awful, no-good, very-bad brain. And I wrote about it, so that I could be affirmed in my failings. And not one person offered anything less than glorious, wonderful, amazing, mind-blowing acceptance and care and support and empathy, and it rescued a day when I was beyond the beyond. Now THAT’S community, and every single person who showed up and mattered, made a HUGE difference. You guys are seriously incredible.

O – My dear friend Crystal shared an intensely painful piece at Sisterwives. She was met with similar bucketloads of empathy and care and acceptance and affirmation, and honestly, the calibre of soul of the people in this part of the Blogosphere is absolutely breathtaking.

MJen had her surgery this week (she’s fine and recovering well) and in the run-up to the day, and as soon as she was out, well-wishes were POURING in from all sides, from people who care for her. Just being witness to that level of love and care was beautiful.

P – Chris got her cast off, and swapped it out for a heavier, clunkier, bionic leg covering. And again, words of love and care were showered over her, and she wrote most beautifully about how difficult it has been to be stuck waiting, but that the people who surround her as she waits have made a huge difference.

A Beth got her fists out to take down the woman who dared to judge her and humiliate her while she was out running. She wrote about her experience and provided one of the most determined examples of self-compassion I’ve seen in a long time.

S Helena recalled a poem which someone gave to her long ago, and on a day when she felt like throwing in the towel, she reached out, and people reached back and again, that connection; that care which happens when you realise that behind the words on the glowing screen is a living soul with real feelings, it filled the comments section and started redeeming the situation. People don’t realise how much comments matter, sometimes, I think, but they so, SO do. They can make or break a blogger, I’m quite sure.

S –Β  Kristi wrote a beautiful, very difficult piece which attracted a bunch of really, vicious, nasty trolls. It was awful, and as soon as she said it, a group of bloggers came rushing to her defence, and waded into the fray with their boxing gloves on, and started hitting back – not because the trolls will necessarily ever read the responses, but to let all and sundry know that Kristi has the support and back-up of a group of people who are steadfast and will NOT sit back and let her be trashed without any kind of comeback. This made me feel very proud to know such wonderful people who are willing to step up and speak out in defence of their friend.

I – Kimberly wrote, too, because she was finding life hard (by which I mean to say, her depression was not allowing her to find life anything BUT hard), and again, the people who left pieces of their heart and their thoughts in the comments for her were ALL there to build her up and uplift her, and she is absolutely determined, in spite of a bad week, to KEEP GOING, and even had enough resources to come over and leave me a couple of delightful comments.

O – Gretchen shared a tender, heartbreakingly beautiful piece about her brother, who would still be alive if the world were in any way fair, and how she struggled through her wedding, ten days after losing him, because he would have wanted it. And how now, 15 years later, he is still an inspiration and a huge driving force for her to act towards others with compassion and empathy. And if you’ve ever met her or read her or had any kind of contact with the sweet soul that she is, you will KNOW that his influence is so precious, and so strong.

N – Every time I see something shared with the gorgeous ‘1000 Voices for Compassion‘ logo, or with the #1000Speak tag, it sends a small spark of joy through my heart because YOU CARE. Every share. Every retweet. Every write-up. Every example or thought or promotion for the group and what it’s trying to achieve, shows that there are over 1000 people all committed to getting ACTIVE about compassion and goodness and the *brightshinyglowy* side of life, and that they are going to make a HUGE difference on February 20th, and even after that! They are a force to be reckoned with, and each time they write, more connections are forged, and more people commit to adding their voice to the cry that together we’re stronger, and we WILL bring the Good.

Show that you care and I will care with you

*Yeah, ha. ha. count. I know!

**The Seven Guard Virgins protect the Book of Secret Rules (or Secret Book of Rules) which variously state that if you can’t make it to TEN, for whatever reason, if you dance for them, they will bestow the book upon you for a brief period of time, allowing you to find the rule (you have to tell us which) that will allow you a measure of grace and let you off one of your Ten Things.***

***Yes, we play silly games in this hop. And yes, we expect you to join in πŸ˜‰

Your turn:

Ten Things of Thankful
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105 thoughts on “Ten Things of Thankful #85

  1. I am new in here and don’t really understand all of the ropes and rolls. I don’t know many people either. Even with #1000speak after a point I got lost. Things moved at such a fast rate that I couldn’t keep up. The only time I get for blogging and to come online is with the bits and pieces of time I steal from my work schedule at office. So more often than not I am not regular and not very social (if that is the right word πŸ˜› )

    But of late, I find myself happy. It feels like I have met some good people. People who touch my heart with impromptu gestures of generosity and love… πŸ™‚

    It’s not about the numbers. YOU matter Lizzie.

    And the fact that you take the time and effort to leave comments for each post that you read in as many blogs as you can, knowing fully well just how special each comment will be for the blogger makes you all the more special πŸ™‚

    A beautiful post Lizzie. Reminds me how it is the little things in life that matters most.

    Thank you πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • New is FINE, Pooja – everyone’s new to something (hopefully lots of things) at some point in their lives, and it’s just a case of figuring it out at your own pace and making it work for you, and doing what you can of it. Just join in as much as suits you.

      I’m so glad to hear you’re happy, and I’ve SEEN IT! You’ve met some MARVELLOUS people and they really genuinely will be friends, if you’ll let them.

      Numbers matter not. WE matter. People matter. Connections matter.

      And that’s why I do my best with comments. That’s how I built my community in the first place. By connecting.

      Thank you πŸ™‚ See you SOON for the next round of TToT, I hope

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ooop. I can’t find the link up instructions. Has it expired because I’m late? I found it the other day and started to read others’. I’ll post anyway, and can do the extras later.

    Liked by 1 person

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  5. I write first for me, second that someone might find it and be helped in some way by what I say. What I learn the most from my blog stats is that there are a lot of Russians who search Google Images for butt pictures.

    Liked by 1 person

    • In that case I’m VERY glad that I don’t take time to discover what my stats suggest! I (apparently) have some 1500+ people who follow this blog. The ones who matter most are those who take time to chat and be friends. As long as THEY come around, I’m happy πŸ™‚

      And yes to the help thing. Definitely.

      Like

  6. I’m going to come right out and say that I love you. I do. I love your spirit and your kindness. And I love when you get all fired up because trolls are being mean to your friend and you rally the troops. But what you’ve said here about my brother… that his influence is still so strong… well, you know how much that means to me. I hope you’re right. I hope I can honor him in some way.

    By the way, he also insisted that I “stay cool.” He always considered me his “cool” older sister because I partied and went to cool concerts. My older sister (who he loved fiercely) was like his second mom. But I was the cool one. He was so worried that when I got married and had kids that I would start acting like an old lady and stop being “cool.” He made me promise that wouldn’t happen. I think about him all the time (of course) but especially when I’m going to a concert or doing something really fun that he would approve of. I don’t know why I’m telling you all of this… I guess it’s another way he’s influenced me all these years later.

    I’m giving you huge hugs right now and I swear, I’m gonna figure out some way to see you when you come to the good ‘ole USA. I’ll stalk you all over this damn country if I have to!

    Liked by 3 people

    • *heart squeeze* After the day I’ve had today, your comment has near enough floated me back up to the surface (I’m on my way up, but not quite there yet). Thank you so much. I can only stand (sitting on my couch, but yaknow…) in admiration of how freely you say that and what a wonderful thing it is to hear. You have made the inside of my heart quite sparklyglowy (no mean feat today) and I’m smiling to think of you stalking me across America. What a wonderful thing it will be to meet you In Real πŸ™‚ I can’t wait πŸ˜€

      And you’re telling me because you CAN, Because it matters and it’s important (and honestly, G, you’re FIERCELY cool, so don’t ever worry about letting him down…the songs, the concerts, the writing, the awesome understanding of what’s going on in the world and how it SHOULD be…and how even when you’re angry, it’s with compassion and empathy, and how I’ve never yet seen you put anyone down or talk shit behind backs…you are a wonderful, glorious, shiny-bright person, and if any of this is his influence adding to your innate awesomeness, then he will be grinning his head off) and it makes a difference. You honour him in so many ways, and I bet there are more that you don’t write, which come out in real life.

      He’s here, because you’re keeping him, and his spirit, with you. And that’s wonderful.

      As to the riled up…yeah, if someone (or someones) goes after my friends, I will be THERE. Good grief, I will NOT take that kind of thing lying down. How very dare they!

      Liked by 2 people

    • I’m so glad you’re in on this. It really transcends all the different niches we write about and care about, and brings them together in one glorious cry that we’d love people to just CARE more, and get busy doing it πŸ™‚

      Like

  7. I stopped worrying about my Facebook page. Don’t know if that was wise or not. Haven’t posted anything there in almost a year and doesn’t seem to matter much. But showing compassion in this world is getting more important. It’s used to be a given but it seems like everyone is so busy and preoccupied that unfortunately compassion is in short supply sometimes. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    • I think people are ready to shed the disconnect and get their hands dirty bringing back those relationships and the willingness to care for their fellow human. I know at least 1075 who are committed πŸ˜€ Are you in on this already? I lose track of who’s there from the group I consider to be ‘my’ people.

      I think Facebook pages really don’t matter so much as people like to think. Perhaps they make a difference if you’re dealing with thousands of fans, and the engagement pays in terms of returns on advertising or sponsorship, but otherwise, for small fry like us…meh. Whatevs.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Facebook has a lot to answer for. I think that’s where the obsession with quantities began. I never set myself up with Facebook, because of a fear of the numbers things – who would want to be my friend anyway??! Then I grew to have a real distaste for it as I learned from others how intrusive it is, and how shallow. I just find it plain weird how much private stuff people choose to share. I don’t have a problem with people sharing personal stuff with their blog – because blogging is a very different medium. There is scope to say what you really mean in a way that makes sense to you. And while I hide behind a gravatar which is a sketch, I do try to share who I am in ways that I could never do with other social media. Of course it is good to have your numbers going up, but I prefer it when people pause to leave a thought and we make a connection. You’re right, that’s where the real guts of blogging lies.

    I will be posting my Ten Things of Thankful quite soonish!! I may take a sideways angle on it!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Sideways angles are welcome – I love it when I see a new and interesting format. The hop has been going 85 weeks, and there have been a minimum of 15 posts on each week, which is (a lot, cos I can’t maths) an incredible amount of variety, and STILL people delight me by coming up with new ways of presenting their ten.

      Facebook has a lot to answer for. It’s all agenda’d (from a commercial point of view, and I am grateful for AdBlock Plus EVERY time I go there and DON’T have to put up with the ads) but actually I’ve found that in spite of the attention seeking and overshares, it has been utterly fundamental in growing my friendships – mostly through interaction in groups, rather than out on timelines…there is time for fun and silly chats, and deep, meaningful messages, and space to talk and vent and share the horror and the wonder of life with people who, in spite of their geography, CARE.

      Today that mattered incredibly much – today everyone mattered who cares. But a lot of them were online people, and there is genuine love and connection there, and without Facebook, the friendships would be so much the poorer. So whatever its negatives and complications, I’m only ever glad it exists.

      Like

      • Fair enough. Genuine connections, in whatever medium they are made, are always worthwhile. And if there are different ways people can reach you, especially in the tough times, then that’s what matters. I know you really needed your folk today, ad I’m glad they found you. Hugs from me too.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Thank you. I appreciate it.

          And yes – this is the wonder of friendships, no matter their form – I needed them, and even though none of them were present in the physical moment, that they were there emotionally and meaningfully, was enough. Thank goodness.

          Like

  9. This is a wonderful post. I have come to the same sort of conclusion about stats and especially the Facebook likes. I used to whore around for more and more, but really I just like the connections I’ve made and who cares. Great COMPASSION format.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It was a happy moment when I realised that. I was very pleased.

      And yes – I used to think the stats mattered, but it was always the number of comments which would take my breath away and make me so happy. I remember checking obsessively to see if anyone had left me a comment. I still feel a little lost if I write something and time goes by and no-one comes to see it. I’m definitely all about the people, and having that interaction πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  10. Yes, the world is filled with good and wonderful people, and the longer I’m at this blogging thing, the more I realize how important it is to speak up and be a voice for good. Negativity and judgment is loud and angry; support and love is usually more quiet–but, by listening carefully, the good can be found. (Of course, it is hard to ignore 1000+ voices. . πŸ™‚ )

    Liked by 2 people

    • I really, really hope that we aren’t ignorable. We’re going to make a loud and glorious noise for GOOD, and I’m so excited about it. Truly. It’s so important, and I hope that more and more join us until we have 10,000 and more πŸ˜€

      Like

  11. right there… (er up above this comment… the previous comments…. that is what makes this bloghop the cool thing that it is…. the comment threads! this ain’t no ‘Love what you wrote, just what I’ve been looking for, keep up the good work!’ bloghop*)

    hey, synchrony much? we** made much the same (except different) point about the beloved BoSR/SBoR and feared SGVs over to the Doctrine… damn, them clarks sho is weird

    *having said that, 2 line Comments are as valued as the ‘Warts and Peas’ versions of Commentationing
    ** by ‘we’ I am meaning myself and whatever lifeforms happen to be interacting over at that there Doctrine there

    Liked by 1 person

    • Warts and peas? I’ve not come across that expression yet. I saw that you wrote about the BoSR/SBoR but I haven’t been online today. Got sucked under. But I took notes. And again, it was people who rescued me, even though they didn’t know it. Thank goodness for my abilities to self-analyse, even in the midst…

      Ack. I think I’m on my way back now. Which is a relief. A deep dip, but brief (hours, rather than days) but these things are tricksy and I hold no expectations.

      Love the synchrony and can’t wait to get stuck into all the posts πŸ™‚

      Like

  12. I couldn’t agree more – the blogging community is an amazing group of people, who lift each other up, have each other’s backs and have that one common thread that binds us all together – our blogs. I do check out my stats because from time to time I like to do product reviews or sponsored posts in order to say I made a little something for all the work I put into it. Comments are where it’s at for me though. The thing I love most about my blog is the interaction I have with readers (and that anyone wants to read what I’ve written!). I was completely floored and humbled by the outpouring of well wished I got on social media this week. I will definitely attribute my get up and go right now to those supporters and to my healthy diet. Thanks for YOUR words of support – they meant more to me than you know! I’m looking forward to seeing more of you on Facebook next week as I start to wean off these pain meds…

    Liked by 3 people

    • I’m just so glad you’re okay, Jen – that surgery was no joke, and there’s always a risk, but I’m amazed by how well you’re doing – home already! Fabulous. And to see the level of support and love poured out towards you has just been incredibly heart-warming to observe.

      But yes – as my comment box says, they’re where the magic happens – it’s where relationship begins to occur, and people start making connections, and it’s amazing and wonderful and I love it. I love this community in particular, that we all chat to one another across all the blogs and butt into each others’ conversations and are PART of each others’ lives. It’s wonderful πŸ™‚

      Rest thee well and heal thee πŸ™‚ I saw on IG that one of your dogs is looking after you really nicely πŸ™‚

      Liked by 2 people

  13. I think this is a great post. I’m glad to have read many of the others that you mention and will certainly get to the ones I haven’t yet seen. I’ll say I’m thankful that you (and Sarah too) (OK and all the others) (and holy HELL when did I start parenthesizing like Clark???) persisted in getting me to hop on the FB because I can’t tell you how much more awesome the connections and interactions and introductions have been. And yet there’s a part of me that feels like “I SO don’t belong here…” but that’s just my introverted self talking.
    Now about those seven angry Guard Virgins…isn’t the dancing supposed to be done naked? Or did I make that up? Or did somebody else make it up and spread the rumor?

    Liked by 1 person

    • *nods sagely* It was probably Beth. I think she was the first one to dance topless for them, and then things rather went from there. I prefer not to inflict it on them πŸ˜‰ I guess the naked dance would either affirm them in their choices or (depending on whether or not it was Beth again) cause them to quit…we already lost one, and I don’t want to keep having to recruit. Makes for a very complex newspaper ad, yaknow?

      You SO VERY DO belong here (or there (or wherever it is (and talking of parentheses, I don’t know WHEN you started talking like Clark (I’m sure he’ll be flattered (personally I’d like to see you stack ’em…))))) and I’m still THRILLED TO PIECES to have you over there. It makes SUCH a difference to this whole internet friendship thing, doesn’t it? It’s AMAZING.

      That said, I do hope that Fab Hub and Zilla still get to see you every now and again πŸ˜‰

      Thanks for liking this. I just loved what I saw this week in the Blogosphere, of people taking care of each other (and themselves).

      Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve seen bloggers CONSUMED by them, and it just seems like such a shame – there are FAR more important things to be caught up in. I know I can get caught up in some silly stuff (not bloggy) as much as the next person, but here…it’s the people, and I adore them πŸ™‚ Keep kicking that habit – sounds like you’ve done a good job of it πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  14. I like looking at my stats but not for the numbers. I like seeing what resonates with others and each time I look…my thought is always….let at least one of those people have found what they were looking for or needed.And becasue Ripples.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Hahah wine-head! That’s the typo I make on ‘because’ about a million times a week – it’s one of those words I just CANNOT get my fingers around! Drives me nuts.

      I’d never thought about looking at stats that way. I don’t think I’d think of writing ‘more of what they want’ because I just enjoy writing the variety of things I do, and hope that people don’t mind coming along for the ride.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. really special list girlie! nicely done and ya didnt even have to cha cha cha for the virgins!

    I dont even think to look at my stats… is that weird? Maybe its the not being on Facebook thing and friended…or maybe I really am a bit more minimalist than I aspire to be…. which would be great.

    I read Kristi’s post which was difficult. The trolls were indeed out, but the strength of her piece didnt make me feel that the harshies were SO over the top (as you felt)…I just figure there are always gonna be those people, yknow? I am probably minimizing as I typically do. But as you said enough people who KNOW her and actually have faith that she does everything and anything in her power to help others not only put down in her defense, but are really the only ones that matter. No one can drag that chick through the mud there is WAY too much integrity there. You are a true friend for feeling so strongly as you do and running in defense of another…. youre a keeper!

    Hey my internet came back… ( hope its not temporary!)

    Liked by 1 person

    • YAY internet! *crosses fingers*

      I felt that the people who were mean had judged without knowing the full extent of the facts, which they had NO place doing. Not at all. Without understanding the full story, how dare they? Where’s the common sense? A truly difficult piece to read, and a horrendous situation and I know she’s doing and has done all she can, so…I dunno. I wish things were different but sometimes they just suck.

      I think it’s healthy not to look at your stats πŸ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

    • So. *scuffs toes in dirt* *again* and um… *yeah…again*…. I WANT to write here and say something but I’m pretty scraped up right now and don’t yet feel okay with spewing facts that make anything I said or feel or felt more or less or in any way more or less than it’s been, is, or will be… which I know makes no sense but I wanted to acknowledge that I saw this here… because I have chosen to not do so otherwise, anywhere else (except for one little tweet)… so. I saw this. I thank you for recognizing me as a human with a story that is mine. One day, I hope to share more about this and help “clear” things for those who are and have been confused but that day can’t yet be today, and the place can’t yet be here. Maybe Sister Wives, in a month or two. Yeah, maybe there. Or over at Hasty’s. Something. Maybe.

      Liked by 2 people

      • The old cliche about walking a mile in someone’s shoes kind of applies here. The problem is, many people *think* they have walked in your shoes, when they haven’t. Those that *have*, know enough to know that each person’s shoes are different, regardless of the similarities. I don’t know if I’m making sense, but I just want to say how sorry I am that your heart-felt post drew comments of harsh criticism. It hurts so much when your devotion to and love for a child is put under scrutiny, when you are making the hardest decision of your life–in the best interest of said child! Hang in there.

        Like

  16. AW!! I just love that you highlighted such beautiful moments among friends and their compassionate hearts amidst the internet’s mighty bridges to all our lives! I now want to go back and read some of the posts I missed out of your list.

    It’s ALL about connections. I love that we feel the same way. And I love that you shared my piece. Thank you love. You’ll always be my Faves. ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    • These things MATTER. Hugely. Even if it’s all ‘online’, it’s still stuff of the soul, and being connected and nurtured and encouraged is GOOD for it.

      I’m glad to share you, but gladder to know you have such supportive friends around you. That warms my heart πŸ™‚ ❀

      Like

  17. Lizzi, I’m not sure I can put into words what this post means to me. I have been blogging for a long time now, and I have a small community of people that have become very dear to me. But, for several months, I withdrew, because I was tired of the “I’ll like yours if you like mine” mentality. I was tired of pouring my heart and soul into posts, only to have a few stalwarts reply. I began to doubt if there was any purpose behind my words and my efforts, beyond the practice of writing. But then, as you know, I stumbled into a group of people who seem to support and encourage rather than compete. I find my desire to write coming back to me. I don’t care if my blog stats improve because of this. I’m honored that people are trusting me with their stories and welcoming into their circle. I am, in many ways, shy and distrustful when it comes to forming friendships . . . but suddenly I feel like I might possibly be coming home.

    Liked by 3 people

  18. Your thankful things remind me of my own thankful things so often and also that I so often forget to be exceedingly thankful for them, though I most certainly am. I suppose I should begin my own 10 things I am thankful for list, if only just to remind myself to acknowledge them.

    You are on my list this week, you’ve been there before I hope you’re aware – this week you showed me a place I could share what I rarely do and it was good, so good, and I’m thankful you led the way and squeezed my hand just enough to let me know it would be just fine. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m so glad it WAS fine…what you shared was so *runs out of words*…yaknow? It was a courageous thing to trust us with it, and I so appreciate it, and SO appreciate that the community there were lovely to you.

      I’m glad to make your list, my friend. Definitely πŸ™‚

      I like that we have similar thankfuls, too πŸ™‚

      Like

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