Today I looked in the mirror and wondered at the woman looking out at me. I barely recognized her yet she was very familiar. I thought back to my birthday last year... it was so much simpler last year. The worries of finding a bigger apartment and the questions surrounding a broken relationship seem so insignificant now.

This last year was a year that saw the greatest spiritual growth in my lifetime. The woman in the mirror has an assurance and a confidence that comes only from a year of the hottest fires imaginable. Trials I never dreamed I could survive...let alone grow and even rejoice over.

I don't cringe at the imperfections in her physical body quite as much... oh they are still there and I don't love them...but they do not define who she is, no matter who tries to make them.

And sometimes she has a bad hair day or the make-up isn't quite right... but her smile comes from her very depths. Her smile isn't quite as carefree as it used to be...but it is genuine and true.

She is a warrior in her own right, and she carries scars and a few wounds from her battle...but she stands strong and victorious.

I think she is stunning as she reflects the love of her Savior. My prayer is to see her everyday until I someday see Jesus face to face. That she will continue to carry the glow of her special and constant encounters with God Almighty.

Thank you Lord, for the last year. I don't think I could have ever imagined gratitude at the start...
Last night I had some very much needed me time. Nothing exceptional, but I dropped the kids off with Steven for a couple of hours and spent some time listing to the soundtrack of Miss Saigon.

I came home intending to blog for all my three readers, but was so caught up in the music I couldn't concentrate to write. Every sentence started out deep and thoughtful and trailed off in to music about a brokenhearted girl in Vietnam.

I had more than a few moments of fond memories, playing this CD in my car through my final months of highschool after my good friend played it for me while we discussed our mutual gradeschool crushes on Chad Allen and how we had both entered the Teen Beat contest to win a bracelet he had made... Memories of my sweet husband, who hates musicals, getting all of our friends and family to contribute to two tickets in the very last row of the Ahmanson theater so that I could finally see the show I had so loved from the first note.

I smiled at how, after having been put away for several years, every note and word were as fresh as in those first few weeks.

It felt really good to have just let go of the trials of the last few days and just be silly and light.