Holiday Hospitality Bar

Hospitality Bar Autumn

“Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.” Romans 12:13

It’s the perfect time of year to gather supplies and prepare a hospitality bar for your Thanksgiving and Christmas guests.

Here is how I made mine…

Fall decor on William Sonoma 3 tier tray
Fall decor on William Sonoma 3 tier tray

Having boys in the house necessitated adding a non-girly item. When my boys have friends over during warm weather we keep iced tea and lemonade on the bar but boys being boys, (translation = always hungry) we needed a quick easy snack they can grab and prepare to take care of their munchies.

I looked at the hospitality bar and saw the perfect slot for microwave popcorn, as well as, a place to add popcorn salts and disposable bags. (Pictures and details below.)

Top tier Fall decor
Top tier – Fall decor
Middle tier -Fall decor
Middle tier -Fall decor
Bottom tier - Fall decor
Bottom tier – Fall decor

I used gourds I grew in my garden, Burr Oak acorns (I have a love affair with Burr Oak acorns; they are huge, beautiful and unique), leaf trays and pumpkin/cornucopia creamers I found at Target a few years ago. I also used some silk greenery and a ceramic Blue Bird.

Top view of 3 tier William Sonoma tray
Top view of 3 tier William Sonoma tray

They say necessity is the mother of invention. My need to save time while preparing for a Mother/Daughter Bible study in my home led to this organized Hospitality Bar.  This saved me an easy hour of pulling all the drinks, condiments and mugs out of the cupboards and then organizing them into a centralized location. Add to that my incessant need to have seasonal or holiday decorations placed at this centralized location and—well—no matter how I tried not to worry myself about having everything just right; the hostess in me had no peace until everything looked pretty and was fully functional.

I did not care so much that my house was clean and picked up perfectly for other guests but Bible study was different. I desired for participants of the study to feel at home, relaxed and safe to share their needs and their hearts. I wanted them to feel pampered by me but more importantly, by their God who is crazy-in-love with them. I needed my attention off of the refreshment details so I could welcome, listen and interact with the mothers and daughters as we discussed and studied God’s word.


Between homeschooling and extra-curricular activities I was finding it difficult to fully prepare for leading our study, cleaning the house and prepping the kitchen for refreshments. Thus I decided a central location was essential for storing all the refreshment items. Function was all I had in mind.

I began searching for cabinets that would match or coordinate with our current kitchen but could not find an equivalent or anything to bring together the old with the new while remaining within my budget.

Then one day while pulling in our driveway, a neighbor’s garage door was up and to my surprise I saw cabinets sitting against the wall of their garage that looked just like our cabinets. I did a double take. No. Yes. No doubt, they were a perfect match. Hmm?

A few weeks later I saw this neighbor and told them about my search for matching cabinets to install in our kitchen and my dilemma because the particular line of cabinetry was no longer available. I mentioned that I saw cabinets in their garage that looked like a perfect match and asked, “Do you have plans for those or are you interested in selling them to me for (a disclosed price)?”

Our neighbor was willing to sell them to me for the disclosed price and I found out the reason they were an exact match was because they  were a hutch that came out of our house.  We bought a foreclosed home and during the time of the foreclosure; friends, relatives and neighbors were allowed by the previous owners to take whatever they wanted out of the unlocked house. This explained why some appliances, some cabinets and all closet hardware were missing from the house.

Next, I planned how to use the hutch then took it apart piece by piece and gave all of it a good scrubbing.  2 X 4 lumber was used to build a frame behind the cabinets so I could acquire more depth for a deeper countertop.  I also pulled the shorter center cabinets out front more to add dimension to the unit. Bead board was added to the sides for decorative purposes and to hide the false depth. Since these are upper cabinets being used on the floor I added a one inch toe kick at the bottom to keep the doors from scraping the floor. I wanted to place feet underneath the cabinets but that would have required moving an outlet, changing the windowsill and making the countertop out of reach for young children. So, no pretty decorative feet but it overflows in functionality.


I no longer have to prepare for guests’ arrivals. Relatives and friends know where to go for a drink when they come to my house. Below:  Ice water and a carafe of hot water. I also keep hot water in the tea kettle on the stove and in the coffee pot. This allows three separate areas for a large group to fill their mugs.

DSCN2019DSCN2035Left: I keep this 3-tier tray from William-Sonoma on the bar for seasonal and holiday decorations. And I always have a candle ready to burn. A guest will rarely come to my house without finding scrumptious looking chocolate on display. The only problem is that the chocolate usually isn’t real and I have offended a dear friend, and fellow chocoholic, on multiple occasions with my inedible treats.DSCN2037

If budget and space do not allow for a hospitality bar in your home; you could use a portion of your countertop, a buffet, a re-purposed dresser or a shelving unit to accomplish the same objective.


Right: This is a bamboo utensil holder turned sideways for holding tea bags and coffee singles.


Below: Flavorings and droppers for mixing flavors into drinks (3-4 drops does the job). Sprinkles – top cocoa with whipped cream and sprinkles or Cappuccino Accent Toppings; Cinnamon, Sweet Nutmeg, Vanilla, Chocolate.

I buy my Stash teas and bottled flavorings at the Old Towne Spice Shop, Main Street, St. Charles, MO. The Cappuccino Accent Toppings are from Main Street MarketPlace, St. Charles, MO.

DSCN2657 - Copy

Right: Drinking straws. Small shelves: Sugar and sweeteners on top. Extra coasters on bottom. Hot Cocoa Mix and Hot Cider Mixes. (The compartments are a desk caddy organizer.)


Below:  Flavorings and droppers. Sprinkles and Cappuccino Accent Toppings. Single serve coffee. Small shelves: Creamers on top. Napkins in bottom. Stir straws on right.

Popcorn salts/toppings
Popcorn salts/toppings

Above: I added microwave popcorn, flavored popcorn salts and disposable popcorn bags to the bar. The microwave popcorn is next to the apple ciders and cocoa packets; to the left of the red and white striped popcorn bags. Popcorn salts are in located with the popcorn isle and come in a variety of flavors. A word of caution about the popcorn salts; the Jalapeno Cheddar and the Buffalo Wing make us choke. It has nothing to do with the heat because we are huge fans of spice, but it tends to go down the airway and asphyxiate us—every single time. We now avoid these seasonings.

Popcorn bags
Popcorn bags

Left: The popcorn bags are from Hobby Lobby’s party supply department. I used a 40% off coupon so the cost for 25 bags is $1.93. SAMS Club sells a box of 500 popcorn bags for under $7.00.


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Above and Right: Extra tea supplies, extra sugar, Mullin spices for cider, pink and regular lemonade, drink pitcher.


Left: Oregon Chai Tea Latte (Wal-Mart), Peppermint Hot Chocolate & Barra Mexican Chocolate (both need mixed into hot milk), Cappuccino Double Mocha (Aldi’s), Extra coffee singles, Cocoa, Diet-Sugar Free Swiss Miss Cocoa, French Vanilla Cappuccino (SAMS)

DSCN2028 - Copy Right: Mugs/Cups

Below: To go/travel cups with lids (collected from Hotel stays), Hot water carafe, cold water carafe.

DSCN2005 - Copy

DSCN2030Above right: Mexican Lava Rock Molcajete with coffee beans. Sometimes used for decoration but my favorite way to use it is for homemade Guacamole.


Left: Windsill decorations.


I hope you have fun  inventing your own hospitality bar for the holiday season.


Happy Hour: 11/19/2015

HAPPY HOUR, THURSDAYS, AT 5:00 P.M.—Kick back after a hard day’s work and enjoy the intoxicating goodness of true Love and Wisdom. The GiveMe Chocolate ‘Bar’ won’t put a dent in your wallet!

Michelle Teague collage

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We tend to give away what we believe we have received from God. If we believe we are deeply loved by Him (and we are), we give deep love. If we believe we are fully forgiven (and we are through His Son), we give away forgiveness to others. If we believe we are given His abundant grace (and we are), we extend much grace.😃


Many more times than not…we should be praying it…and not saying it. 😃 

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Jer 6 16 stand at the crossroads wpcom


Toxic Tuesday biochem hazard small

Toxic Tuesday: Covert or Overt Narcissist


Below is an easy to read chart that explains some of the differences between covert and overt narcissists. This is a quick highlight. The lines can be blurry and what are supposed to be differences can occasionally overlap. The biggest difference is the covert has lower self-esteem; although most people will never see it unless they live with the person. Then again the person who lives with the covert may see a gross amount of arrogance, along with the low self-esteem, although they come across as personable and humble to their outside audience. The overt shows more arrogance in any setting. Both covert and overt can be charismatic personalities who seek to control the people closest to them; along with those in their work environment.

If you think along the lines of cult leaders and world dictators you can begin a list of Who’s Who Among Narcissistic Personality Disorder. In my opinion we currently have narcissists in the highest level of office in more than one major world power. Another likely narcissist is running for president and has built his much of his empire preying on the poor.

Narcissists will say what they think you want to hear, but make no mistake, they don’t always mean what they say. Their goal is to manipulate and control. Power goes to their head and the evil in their heart can spiral out of control. Again, this is why narcissists make great but terrible cult leaders, totalitarian dictators, and brutal religious zealots.

Meanwhile I’m working on a post further explaining the overt narcissist. I’ll be honest and tell you that every time I sit down and write about the subject of narcissistic personality disorder I become emotionally and physically exhausted. Plus, attempting to keep the description brief is difficult.

That’s what having a narcissist in your background will do to you.

If you question the existence of a narcissist in your life further research will be beneficial and enlisting professional help essential.

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Clinical Features 

Arrogant/Overt . . . Shy/Covert Narcissism

Arrogant/Overt Shy/Covert
  Self-Concept Grandiosity;    preoccupation with fantasies of outstanding success; undue sense of uniqueness; feelings of entitlement; seeming self-sufficiency Inferiority; morose self-doubts; marked propensity toward feeling ashamed; fragility; relentless search for glory and power; marked sensitivity to criticism and realistic setbacks
Numerous but shallow relationships; intense need for tribute from others; scorn for others, often masked by pseudo-humility; lack of empathy; inability to genuinely participate in group activities; valuing of children over spouse in family life Inability to genuinely depend on others and trust them; chronic envy of others talents, possessions, and capacity for deep object relations; lack of regard for generational boundaries; disregard for others time; refusal to answer letters
Socially charming; often successful; consistent hard work done mainly to seek admiration (pseudo- sublimation); intense ambition; preoccupation with appearances Nagging aimlessness; shallow vocational commitment; dilettante-like attitude; multiple but superficial interests; chronic boredom; aesthetic taste often ill-informed and imitative
Caricatured modesty; pretended contempt for money in real life; idiosyncratically and unevenly moral; apparent enthusiasm for sociopolitical affairs


 Readiness to shift values to gain favor; pathological lying; materialistic lifestyle; delinquent tendencies; inordinate ethnic and moral relativism; irreverence toward authority
Marital instability; cold and greedy seductiveness; extramarital affairs and promiscuity; uninhibited sexual life Inability to remain in love; impaired capacity for viewing the romantic partner as a separate individual with his or her own interests, rights, and values; inability to genuinely comprehend the incest taboo; occasional sexual perversions
Impressively knowledgeable; decisive and opinionated; often strikingly articulate; egocentric perception of reality; love of language; fondness for shortcuts to acquisition of knowledge Knowledge often limited to trivia (headline intelligence); forgetful of details, especially names; impaired in the capacity for learning new skills; tendency to change meanings of reality when facing a threat to self-esteem; language and speaking used for regulating self-esteem

NOTE:  This chart originally appeared in Akhtar, S. J. (1989). Narcissistic personality disorder: Descriptive features and differential diagnosis. Psychiatric Clinics of North America, 12, pp. 505-530.


10 Simple Chocolate Candy Recipes

Chocolate Almond Bark Recipes

GiveMe Chocolate Recipes

This is a recipe post from the Holiday season two years ago before I stopped eating most chocolate. I now use raw chocolate in my recipes along with raw honey. But for those of you who eat any and all chocolate; these recipes will make your taste buds happy!

Maybe you heard the below rumors two years ago. Fortunately the chocolate price increase was temporary and prices are back to normal.

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I have heard about child labor and even slavery being used for cocoa harvesting. Read more about it at Slavery in the Chocolate Industry. I am thankful for journalists exposing the ugly truth. Hopefully shining light on the truth will force the industry to stop the practice of using children and slaves for profit. I will gladly pay more for my chocolate if it means freedom for people whose lives have value because they are created by God; and loved and precious in His sight.

Now add cocoa plantation owner’s concerns regarding low rainfall expected in their regions in the coming months. Cocoa grows best in climates with high rainfall so a country known for high cocoa production not receiving enough rain will affect the country’s cocoa harvest; meaning a shortage of beans. A shortage of beans could mean a drastic price increase to the chocolate foundries. The chocolate manufacturer will then pass the increase on to us, the consumers. The cost of cocoa butter has risen by 70% in the last twelve months with retail prices increasing by only 7%. The question is how long companies can wait before passing the higher cost on to the consumer; especially dark chocolate lovers. Me!

If you travel the World Wide Web or partake in social networking on Pinterest you have likely read about preppers; people who take precautionary measures to be prepared for catastrophic events. By gathering in advance, supplies and necessities, preppers have a plan to help them survive potential disasters.

Well, as an admitted chocoholic I’ll tell you—I’m taking no chance of chocolate becoming too expensive for me to afford it. Long term or short-term. I am prepared. I am responsible for my children—I must think of my boys. They need chocolate too. If tart and sour candies are ever in jeopardy I will make a run on the store for Riley a survival rationing of Sweet Tarts, Sour Patch Kids and Skittles, but for now her taste buds are safe.

Upon hearing the news of expected price increases and possibly only the wealthy being able to afford chocolate in the near future, I drove straight to Aldi’s where I purchased my affordable favorite Choceur chocolate candy bars; milk chocolate, rich almond chocolate, dark chocolate, dark hazelnut chocolate and Moser Roth Privat Chocolatiers Toffee Crunch. I’m not telling how many but it could last a long time if it absolutely had to. I will fess up to buying a case of chocolate almond bark. Yes, a case. This is in addition to the packages already on hand for my Thanksgiving and Christmas candy making.  A case is only twelve packages after all and it has a longer shelf life than the expiration date suggests.

Chocolate almond bark goes a long way for candy making. When mixed with an array of diverse ingredients you have the ability to produce various candy bar type treats. If you have never tried using almond bark for your holiday baking I will pass on my favorite recipes. I am the queen of quick quantity so you will find these recipes easy to make, faster than baking cookies, and they yield a high number of bite size goodies. I forgot to mention another high point of almond bark; it is inexpensive compared to using chocolate chips for candy making.

I relish thinking half-heartedly of myself as being the Proverbs 31 woman. Here is my spin on it. Proverbs 31:13-15 & 28: Carolyn selects milk chocolate, dark chocolate and almond bark; and works with eager hands. She is like a merchant van bringing her chocolate from Aldi’s. She stays up while it is still the middle of the night; she provides chocolate to her family; but mainly to herself; followed by A.J., Colson and Riley.  Her children arise asking for chocolate and call her tired; but blessed.

The inspired word of Proverbs 31:13-15 & 28 reads:

“She selects wool and flax
and works with eager hands.
 She is like the merchant ships,
bringing her food from afar.
 She gets up while it is still night;
she provides food for her family

Her children arise and call her blessed;”

I am prepar-r-r-ed! My family shall not run out of chocolate candy options any time soon.


Baking with almond bark requires a double boiler. If you do not own a double boiler use two pots of varying sizes or a pot and a metal or glass bowl.

Double Boiler Double Boiler with 2 saucepans Double Boiler using a pot and bowl

A 1 – 1 ½ quart saucepan (which technically is a pot) works beautifully because the chocolate melts deep enough to easily submerge the candy.

If you are mixing ingredients into the pot you will need a 2 ½ quart saucepan (pot) for the almond bark and a larger pot for holding the water. A metal or glass bowl could also be placed on top of the water pot. The technique requires water in the larger bottom pot (approx. 1/3 full of water) with the smaller pot resting on top, You will also need wax or parchment paper and large cookie sheets or trays.

Remove almond bark from package and melt it in a double boiler. (If your packages are a year or two old—beware of crumbling plastic packaging.)


Line cookies sheets and large trays with Wax or Parchment Paper for easy removal of candy & easy clean-up.

When I have removed a batch of candy from the wax paper I turn the paper over and use the other side for the next batch.

Place finished goodies in airtight containers or freezer bags.

All of these candies freeze perfectly; so if do all of your baking before Thanksgiving it will last through the New Year’s celebrations.

I also make the candies in small pieces, 1-2 bites each. This way when I give a tray of cookies, candies and breads for teacher gifts, neighbor gifts and appreciation gifts; the receiver can sample everything without being overwhelmed with sugar. I find this works well for my own holiday trays too since we eat and snack all day long. We can sample everything without grossly overeating to the point of nausea.

All of these recipes may be created with chocolate or vanilla almond bark. I do not consider vanilla bark or white chocolate true chocolate. I only bake with it to cater to non-chocolate lovers and to add color to the cookie/candy trays.

Baking sprinkles, glitters, ground nuts or shaved chocolate may be added to the top of freshly dipped wet chocolates for decoration.

 Chocolate Covered Peanuts(or any nut)

chocolate covered peanuts

Use at least a 2 ½ qt. saucepan/bowl for melting the bark

-1 package Chocolate Almond Bark – melted

-32 ounces Party peanuts or Spanish peanuts stirred into melted chocolate.

You can cook raw peanuts (found in the produce department of the store) in the microwave by cooking 6 minutes; stirring every 2 minutes. If you begin to smell burning peanuts they are beginning to overcook and may be removed from the microwave. They are ready to use in a recipe. Peanuts make my favorite chocolate nut clusters!

Spoon small clusters onto Wax paper lined trays. Keep clusters close together but not touching. Place trays in fridge or freezer for quick set time. When set, peel clusters off of paper and place in airtight containers.

Yields: about 5 dozen small clusters

Chocolate Covered PretzelsKids love these and they are ridiculously easy to make.

Chocolate covered pretzels

-1 package Chocolate or Vanilla Almond Bark – melted

-1 bag Pretzel Twists

Use a fork to fully dip pretzels in melted almond bark. Tap fork on side of pan to remove excess chocolate. Use an extra fork, knife or candy tong to push pretzel off of dipping fork.

Keep pretzels close together on wax paper but not touching. Place trays in fridge or freezer for quick set time. When set, peel pretzels off of paper and place in airtight containers.

Chocolate Almond Bark Cookies

Chocolate Almond Bark

Use at least a 2 ½ qt. saucepan/bowl for melting the bark

-1 package Chocolate Almond Bark – melted

-1 ½ cup Peanut Butter – stirred in.

-3 cups Marshmallows – stirred in.

-4 cups Rice Crispies – stirred in.

Spoon small amounts onto Wax paper lined trays using an extra fork, knife or candy tong to push pretzel off of dipping fork.

Keep clusters close together but not touching. Place trays in fridge or freezer for quick set time. When set, peel clusters off of paper and place in airtight containers.

Yields: about 5 dozen cookies

 Oreo Truffles

(I always double this recipe: 2 packages cookies,  2-8 oz. cream cheeses & 1 pkg. almond bark.

oreo truffles

-1 package Oreos or Mint Oreos/Great Value ALDI’S brand does NOT work – Place one sleeve/row at a time in blender, then pour in bowl.-1 – 8 ounce package Cream Cheese – softened

Mix ores and cream cheese together, cover with plastic wrap & place in fridge or freezer until firm.

-½ package melted Chocolate Almond Bark

Roll mixture into small (3/4 -1 inchI) bite size balls, place onto Wax paper lined trays.

predipped oreo truffles

Return to fridge or freezer to re-firm before dipping.

Dip with a toothpick, candy pick or nut pick to completely cover balls in melted chocolate almond bark. Tap toothpick on side of pan to remove excess chocolate; use an toothpick to push pretzel off of dipping fork.

Yields: 3 dozen

Keep balls close together but not touching. Place trays in fridge or freezer for quick set time. When set, peel truffles off of paper and place in airtight containers..

Turtle Truffles

turtle truffle

-8 ounces Cream Cheese softened

-7 oz. which equals ½ bag of Kraft caramels. Unwrap and place in microwaveable bowl with 1 Tbsp. water. Cook 1 minute, stir, and repeat at 1 minute intervals until completely melted.

-8 ounces chopped pecans

Mix softened cream cheese, melted caramel and chopped pecans.

Cover with plastic wrap and place mixture in fridge or freezer until firm.

Melt 1 package Chocolate Almond Bark

Roll mixture into ¾” – 1” small bite size balls, place onto Wax paper lined trays. Melt ½ pkg. Choc. Almond bark.

Return to fridge or freezer to re-firm before dipping.

Use a fork to dip balls in melted chocolate almond bark; covering all sides. Tap fork on side of pan to remove excess chocolate. Use a second fork to slide the truffle onto the pan/tray.

Yields: 30

Keep balls close together but not touching. Place trays in fridge or freezer for quick set time. When set, peel truffles off of paper and place in airtight containers.

Ritz Cookies So simple—so easy!

Chocolate Ritz cookies

-1 package Chocolate Almond Bark – melted

-1 box, 4 sleeves, Ritz or store brand crackers

-Peanut butter spread to desired thickness on one cracker. Place a second cracker on top of peanut butter to create a sandwich.

Ritz cracker spread with peanut butter

Use a fork to completely dip crackers in melted chocolate almond bark. Tap fork on side of pan to remove excess chocolate. Use a second fork to slide the cookie onto the pan/tray.

Keep crackers close together but not touching. Place trays in fridge or freezer for quick set time. When set, peel cookies off of paper and place in airtight containers.

Yields: just under 4 dozen

Mint Bark

Mint Bark

WHENEVER YOU HAVE LEFT OVER ALMOND BARK in the bottom of a pan ADD FLAVORING SUCH AS MINT, PEPPERMINT OR ORANGE, 3 DROPS AT A TIME UNTIL YOU APPROVE OF THE FLAVOR; STIR. POUR ONTO WAX PAPER LINED PAN & TAP PAN UNTIL MIXTURE IS SMOOTH or spread with a spatula. Place trays in fridge or freezer for quick set time. When hardened, peel BARK off of paper, break into small pieces and place in airtight containers.

Peppermint Bark

Peppermint Bark

-½ package White Almond Bark – melted

-Peppermint  extract, 1 tsp. to begin; stir, and add more if desired.

-1 box of peppermint Candy canes, crushed, I pulse them in a blender or food processor

Mix candy canes in for desired thickness.

POUR ONTO WAX PAPER LINED PAN & TAP PAN UNTIL MIXTURE IS SMOOTH, or use a spatula. Place trays in fridge freezer for quick set time. When hardened, peel BARK off of paper, break into bite size pieces and place in airtight containers.

This recipe can be changed using lemon extract and crushed Lemon Drops candy.

Yields: 4 dozen small pieces


Millionaire Bites

Millionaire Bites

-½  package Chocolate Almond Bark – melted

-1 14 oz. package Kraft caramels unwrapped. Place in a microwavable bowl and add 3 Tbsp. water. Melt 1 minute at a time; stirring after each minute until melted.

-1 ½ cups ground pecans – use a blender of food processor

-1 ½ cups Rice Crispies

Yields: 3 about 3 dozen

Line two large pans or trays with wax paper; GREASE the paper (or you will be sorry – guess how I know?)

Combine melted chocolate, caramel, pecans and cereal (in this order). Drop small teaspoonfuls onto greased pans. Place in fridge or freezer for quick set time.

Line two more pans/trays with wax paper. The greased wax paper will not be reusable.

When the candy is set, dip it in the almond bark on all sides with a fork; tap fork on the side of the pot allowing excess to drip back in the pot. Use a second fork to slide the cookie onto the pan/tray. Keep candies close together but not touching. Place  trays in fridge or freezer for quick set time. When set, pop candies off of paper and place in airtight containers.

Peppermint Patties

Peppermint patties

-½ package chocolate almond bark – melted

-¾ cup sweetened condensed milk

-1 ½ teaspoons pure peppermint extract –imitation does not taste good; mint extract could be substituted

-4 cups confectioners (powder) sugar

In a large mixing bowl, combine condensed milk and peppermint extract. Beat in enough confectioners’ sugar, a little at a time, to form a stiff dough that is no longer sticky. Form into 1/2 inch balls, then place on waxed paper. Grease or butter the bottom of a flat glass. Press the glass on the dough to form small thin patties.  Let patties dry at room temperature one hour, turning once at a half hour.


Using a fork, a meat fork may be necessary depending on the size of the patties, dip the patties, one at a time, into the melted chocolate. . Tap fork on side of pan to remove excess chocolate. Use a second fork to slide the patties onto the pan/tray lined with wax paper. Keep patties close together but not touching. Place trays in fridge or freezer for quick set time. When set, peel patties off of paper and place in airtight containers.

Yields: about 3 dozen


Happy Hour: 11/12/2015

HAPPY HOUR, THURSDAYS, AT 5:00 P.M.—Kick back after a hard day’s work and enjoy the intoxicating goodness of true Love and Wisdom. The GiveMe Chocolate ‘Bar’ won’t put a dent in your wallet!

Michelle Teague collage

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If it’s not necessary to say…it’s necessary not to say it. BUT if God puts something kind and/or loving in your heart and mind over another person…I would say that’s absolutely part of why we have mouths…speak it out…speak Life to one another today…go ahead try it! 😃😏

So everyday I wake up I know I won’t get it “all right”, but I know the One who will! 😊😃☝
He makes our paths straight… He makes us strong in our weaknesses… He makes us holy and righteous… He sends His angels to our aid… He brings His peace and rest to us… He is our shelter… He accepts us and adores us just as we are! ‪#‎ingoodhands ‪ #‎blessedbeyondmeasure 

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Jer 6 16 stand at the crossroads wpcom


Happy Hour: 11/5/2015

HAPPY HOUR, THURSDAYS, AT 5:00 P.M.—Kick back after a hard day’s work and enjoy the intoxicating goodness of true Love and Wisdom. The GiveMe Chocolate ‘Bar’ won’t put a dent in your wallet!

Michelle Teague collage

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I love that the more I live outside of me…and more towards others…the more my inside is at peace ☺😃🙌🙏#loveothersmorethanself  #‎lifetimeprocess‪#‎thereallife

Prayer, faith/rest, and praise!! Best “weapons” in the world!! 👍🙏👏👏👏😃😏☺👌 Now, go take his day “captive”!! 😎

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Jer 6 16 stand at the crossroads wpcom


DIY Mini Utensil Set

Mini Utensil Sets

DIY Projects

Okay—it isn’t completely DIY. You won’t need your own foundry to forge the utensils but since you will not find a mini utensil set/holder/crock in the stores; I will show you how spectacularly charming, efficient and necessary this set is to the everyday functioning of your kitchen.

Several years ago for my birthday my mom gave me the red tea-cup filled with multiple measuring spoons. I am a stay-at-home mom who usually cooks a homemade meal every night of the week; plus breakfast, lunch and quite a bit of baking. Mom knew I would love the splash of red in my kitchen (everyone needs a splash of red especially if their kitchen isn’t red) and the extra measuring spoons are time saving because I don’t have to stop, wash, and rinse spoons in the middle of meal preparations. DSCN3335

I immediately added a variety of utensils to my cup and have used the set every day since; so have my kids. We whisk eggs, stir pancake batter, spread jams, measure, scrape bowls and jars, flip small pancakes, bake cookies, remove hot items from the toaster oven, squeeze the last flavor from tea bags and much more. Our kitchen would not function well without the cup which sits on top of our toaster oven in a centralized location. I am all about function; pretty—decorative function!

The tea cups with the front tea bag pockets are difficult to find and Ebay has been my only success over the last few years. (Mainstreet Market Place on Mainstreet in historic St. Charles, Missouri, currently has a similar cup in stock.) I like the pocket for the Smidgen/Pinch/Dash measuring spoons.


Here are my favorite places for finding miniature utensils. I order in quantity for future bridal showers and birthday gifts which saves on shipping costs. This is my favorite gift to give at Bridal Showers because it is almost guaranteed the bride does not have a mini utensil set.

You will need a short squatty type tea-cup, soup mug, or creamer for the utensils to be visible and the side of the cup needs to go somewhat straight up; not curved out like a bowl or expensive China tea/coffee cup.

Have fun making your own!

These utensils can be found at

Mini Condiment Spoons
Mini Wooden Condiment Spoons
Measuring Spoons
Heart Measuring Spoons. (Different price ranges)
Mini Whisks. 4 on left come as a set. 1 on right is sold individually.

The below utensils can be found at Main Street Marketplace – This is a local store located on Main Street in historic St. Charles, Missouri. Best prices except for the heart spoons

Smidgen/Pinch/Dash Measuring Spoons
Smidgen/Pinch/Dash Measuring Spoons (located at cash register)
Miniature Whisks – 4 on left come as a set. 1 on right is sold individually.
Mini Flipper/Turner
Honey Dipper – in a jar on top of the fridge covered in magnets (to the right of the cash register)
Mini Toaster Tongs
Mini Scoop
Dozens of Cheese Knives/Appetizer Spreaders
Tomato Corer
Citrus Zester
Tea Bag Squeezer/Toaster Tongs

Happy Hour: 10/29/2015

HAPPY HOUR, THURSDAYS, AT 5:00 P.M.—Kick back after a hard day’s work and enjoy the intoxicating goodness of true Love and Wisdom. The GiveMe Chocolate ‘Bar’ won’t put a dent in your wallet!

Michelle Teague collage

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Thinking and praying about death this morning… actually not in a morbid way… just praying over some people who are dealing with it, in a couple of different, and extremely difficult, situations. Breaks my heart to see the pain of loss, and even possible loss. As I was praying this morning… I sensed the Lord’s Presence…I saw Him placing His hands on some hearts…asking His Father for things in prayer…leaning over…hugging and giving each one what they needed for that moment… Some people seemed to “know” He had done something…and others did not. However, in each case…He was right there…closer than their breath. Our Creator cares about His Creation…His Children. I can’t imagine being in some of the moments these precious ones are dealing with and enduring…But I have seen The One Who knows all…cares beyond anything we can truly comprehend…His Love…His Heart is for us…He is with us in ALL storms…

‪#‎Heisgood ‪#‎TrueHopeinHim ‪#‎leaningonHisEverlastingArms

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Jer 6 16 stand at the crossroads wpcom


We walked away


My hometown, Stillwater, Oklahoma, has been in my heart and on my mind since hearing word of the OSU Homecoming parade crash yesterday morning.

I can’t imagine the images and sounds that eyewitnesses took in at the corner of Main Street and Hall of Fame. Several people I knew were witnesses and a couple of people were survivors.

I hope that in sharing this post many of the eyewitnesses and victims will learn there is help for processing this event; instead of allowing it to consume their thought life from this day forward.

A few years ago I witnessed a motorcycle accident that led to the cyclist’s death. I constantly thought about the point of impact, the body being repeatedly hit as it flew through the air, was pushed forward, and eventually rolled to a stop. The worst images and sounds came as I stood over the man to pray for him.

I received therapy from a trained Christian counselor who helped me focus on God and His truth, and recall His words through scripture, using Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), through the power and direction of the Holy Spirit.

My counselor helped me pray my way through the events by replacing the traumatic memories with God’s healing truth; His words, which are medicinal. My heart and mind needed healing.

“He heals the brokenhearted
and binds up their wounds.” Psalm 147:3

“I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” Matthew 16:19

Please understand my psychologist, Terri, did not heal my hurt. I asked God for help and he had Terri assist as Jesus interceded and the Holy Spirit ministered.
Read more about EMDR at Motorcycle Accident: God Heals-Part 3

Originally posted on lynns & tots:

There are moments in your life where your mortality becomes intimately clear. Where this tenuous grip on life and those of your loved ones reveals just how fragile it is. Every breath is a gift, every moment walking a freedom that we all take for granted. And the more breaths, the more steps, the longer we walk this life between these moments the less real our mortality feels. Until another one comes along to wake us up. Life is not a dream. It is very real, and it is very fragile. We are not immortals roaming this earth.

Yesterday morning started off just like any other Homecoming at OSU. Maybe a little more special because this is Katy’s last homecoming at Stillwater before she graduates in December. But it was just another walk-around the night before, just another parade that morning that we would fight to get to the front…

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Happy Hour: 10/22/2015

HAPPY HOUR, THURSDAYS, AT 5:00 P.M.—Kick back after a hard day’s work and enjoy the intoxicating goodness of true Love and Wisdom. The GiveMe Chocolate ‘Bar’ won’t put a dent in your wallet!

Michelle Teague collage

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“How I see it, is not how it is…it is only how I see it.” Jim Richards ‪#‎yep ‪#‎prettymuch  ;-) ‪#‎truth

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What we think and/or speak toward others…seems to bounce off of them and back on to us! Ouch!! Thinking some amazingly great thoughts over lots of peeps!!!

The rest of 2015…thinking and speaking the best over others…or BUST!! :-)

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Jer 6 16 stand at the crossroads wpcom


Toxic Tuesday biochem hazard small

Toxic Tuesday: Signs of a Covert Narcissist

Toxic Tuesday biochem hazard small

Signs to help you recognize a covert narcissist:

  • Emptiness; seems to have something missing that you can’t quite put your finger on.
  • Stubborn, rarely apologizes unless they want something from you; in which case the apology is a lie. Remember they are professional liars.
  • Ability to make you feel guilty, even when something is not your fault. The saddest part of this is that you may believe you are guilty.
  • Entirely self-centered; they are the center of their own universe. Me, myself and I mentality.
  • Expert liars; charming, hypnotic, a master of manipulation. You may know 100% they are lying; yet if you sit an hour under their spell/lies you will believe them and wonder how you could have ever thought they were lying or how they did the bad deed.
  • Projecting their insecurities and defects onto you. Think of it as them talking to themselves in the mirror but bouncing the reflection/words onto you. This goes two ways. If you confront them about an issue they will mirror the issue back on you; it’s your fault-you’re the one who did it.
  • Sensitive to constructive criticism. Compliments can never be grand enough to satisfy their ego so you can imagine they cannot tolerate constructive criticism.
  • Inability to form intimate relationships. Here is the problem: They are grand actors so by the time you figure out they don’t love you and can’t bond with you; you are likely already married to them. If not; RUN and NEVER look back!
  • Inability to feel genuine remorse. The best you will receive is their justification for treating you the way they did; or their spin/explanation of what happened. “I’m sorry,” is not in their vocabulary unless followed by, “But I don’t know why it bothered, offended or hurt you.”  Lack of remorse also allows them to continue being an abuser.
  • Blaming others for their problems. After all, if someone didn’t interfere with their idea, time, space, money, or relational need they would not have had the problem.
  • Low emotional intelligence. This does not interfere with their ability to lie. It does however give you leverage in that you can keep a journal to track the lies and prove a pattern. This is for your sanity and to prove that you have grounds to leave the relationship.
  • Highly materialistic. They tend to desire connections with people of position, power, and/or money.
  • Extreme lack of empathy. They care for the rug, the chair, or the T.V. the same as they care for you because you are nothing more than an object. So don’t expect understanding or empathy. Does a rug need empathy? The chair is only pulled out from the kitchen table when needed for a seat. You exist to serve their need and there is no reciprocating.
  • Superficially charming. They may seem mentally disabled in the home, but put this person in front of a crowd and they will likely ooze charisma.
  • A victim mentality. Since they have no reference point beside themselves, they suffer from the stupid needs of others. Even if the covert is proved wrong or guilty they will NEVER admit to it. When caught the covert explains that even though they did it; it’s not who they are—no matter how bad the words, actions or crime. They may even cry but the tears aren’t about their remorse; the tears are because of what you are doing to them—the victim. (Remember the mirroring technique they regularly employ.)
  • Low self-esteem. They may project calm, patient, loving, giving, serving, loyal and kind so the truth doesn’t hinder the path of power and recognition they seek.

My next Toxic Tuesday post will discuss an overt narcissist.

Click this link for a 10 question quiz to see if you are likely a COVERT NARCISSIST

If you qualify I highly recommend you seek the help of a licensed, professional, Christian counselor.First ask them if they are capable of being tough, consistent, and in your face with the truth and practical application. Anything else will be a waste of your time and money. You need a therapist who will be concrete and to the point. They need to LEAD you, and not with gentleness and empathy. You desperately need to learn empathy skills and since your chance of recovery is 2%, or less, you need someone who will go beyond talk therapy.

You are responsible for your own life. You are also responsible for the way you treat others. Seek help and accept it. Learn to absorb and cherish a tough love approach and believe what you are being told. They are not lying to you; they are tying to save your relationships and possibly your soul. After all, most narcissists don’t need saved since they are perfect and do no wrong.

The Bible says, “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”  Romans 3:23

“And he said to them all, ‘If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.'” Luke 9:23

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9

 “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6

So dear covert narcissist, you are not perfect, you must deny yourself (which is next to impossible for you), you cannot save yourself, and Jesus is the only way to the Father.

I say this, not to mock you, but to utilize the tough love approach. Please open your eyes, mind, and heart. You need help.

Happy Hour: 10/15/2015

HAPPY HOUR, THURSDAYS, AT 5:00 P.M.—Kick back after a hard day’s work and enjoy the intoxicating goodness of true Love and Wisdom. The GiveMe Chocolate ‘Bar’ won’t put a dent in your wallet!

Michelle Teague collage

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Prayed for so many this morning…will be continuing though out the day as I usually try to do…for the hurting, for the ones hurting for someone else who is hurting, for parents of sick children and for some who simply want to be parents, for several people who are mourning losses, for those who are overwhelmed, for those who are stressed, for those who have no idea what is going on, and those who do and can’t figure out how to deal with it, for so many young people who have questions about their future, and everyone else who is doing the same no matter what their age.

We live in a fallen world with fallen people, BUT we have a God who sits on THE Throne and is good, loving, caring and PRESENT in our troubles.  I pray today that we look up to the Heavens and say, “Yes” and “Amen” to all He is and all He has for us in this day. Even in the yucky times, and the good…He is right beside us…and right beside those we love and care for.

Father God, please bring Your Peace, Lovingkindness, Insight, Understanding, Rest, Tender NEW Mercies, Grace, Provision, and Protection into the lives of all who read this and everyone they love so dearly today. Lord, bring Your overwhelming Peace and Abundant Joy to us and over us! Be our Light and fill us with Your Truth in all we do today.  :-)

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“He Is With You”

There’s a time to live
And a time to die
There’s a time to laugh
And a time to cry
There’s a time for war
And a time for peace
There’s a hand to hold
In the worst of these

He is with you when your faith is dead
And you can’t even get out of bed
Or your husband doesn’t kiss you anymore
He is with you when your baby’s gone
And your house is still, and your heart’s a stone
Cryin’ God, what’d You do that for
He is with you

There’s a time for yes
And a time for no
There’s a time to be angry
And a time to let it go
There is a time to run
And a time to face it
There is love to see you
Through all of this

He is with you in the conference room
When the world is coming down on you
And your wife and kids don’t know you anymore
He is with you in the ICU
When the doctors don’t know what to do
And it scares you to the core
He is with you

We may weep for a time
But joy will come in the morning
The morning light

He is with you when your kids are grown
When there’s too much space and you feel alone
And you’re worried if you got it right or wrong
Yes He is with you when you’ve given up
On ever finding your true love
Someone who feels like home
He is with you

When nothing else is left
And you take your final breath
He is with you

Jer 6 16 stand at the crossroads wpcom


Start Now: DIY Autumn Leaf Art

DIY ProjectsAutumn Project: Leaf Collage

Because I thrive in an organized and visually appealing environment I like our home to have a comfy, cozy, welcome, “Sit down and stay a while,” feel to it.  We had a big empty wall that screamed, “Lonely. Void. Help me!” Which led to this project.

The concept came from the desperation of wanting a large piece of art for the lonely living room wall. I found a beautiful painting of a turkey at a Missouri Conservation Artists’ sale but the $2000 price tag did not fit my budget.  Farm Boy is an excellent painter but since he already has a demanding day job I knew he did not have time to paint me a large — very large — turkey in an autumn landscape.  I brainstormed from March to September attempting to decide what to place on our large empty wall. Autumn descended and as I looked out my windows at the beautiful colors on the 100+ trees in our yard and I realized I wanted those colors; all year long. How? Bring them in? Hmm… I knew I could do it. Yes, instead of colorful turkey plumage on canvas I would place the hues of fall foliage on canvas. So I began.

Here is how I created my Leaf art:

In Missouri, autumn will be peaking over the next four weeks which makes it the perfect time for collecting colorful fall foliage.

Six years ago I drove around looking for deep purple and red leaves which I did not have in my yard. I found them at a local lake along with gold Ginkgo leaves.  I also collected leaves from friend’s yards so I could think of them when I delighted in my finished project.  To this day the red Japanese Maple leaves, from my friend Ann’s house, are my favorites.

I am going to estimate I collected around 700 leaves, from small flaming red Burning Bush leaves to a few large dark brown Sycamore leaves. It sounds like a lot of leaves but it doesn’t take long once your begin picking. Other leaves included: Bright orange Sugar Maple, deep purple Red Maple, yellow Silver Maple, several types of brown Oak, gold Ginkgo, red Japanese Maple, purple Sweetgum, pumpkin orange Sassafras, bright gold Shag Bark Hickory, deep reddish-brown Red Bud and various shades of tan and brown from Elm and Poplar. I also collected several very small branches with 4-5 leaves still  intact.

DSCN1965                   DSCN1967

I allowed the wet leaves to dry then placed them in large heavy books for pressing.   2/3 of the leaves remained pressed 4-5 weeks  1/3 of the leaves were pressed for 2 weeks then removed so edges could slightly curl.

In a large ventilated area, our garage, I set up 4 saw horses and placed large pieces of lumber or old doors on top of them. I covered the large flat surfaces with wax paper to eliminate sticking.

I watched for a 50% off sale and then bought a 4’ x 4’ wrapped painter’s canvas at Hobby Lobby  for $40.00.

For the base color of the canvas I used two coats of a coordinating trim paint which we had left over after painting trim in our house. You will notice in pictures we do not have baseboards finished yet. I will admit we have way more projects going on than we can keep up with or afford. As the cost of living continues to sharply and painfully increase our rehab budget keeps shrinking. Add to that doctor bills and therapy for a severe traumatic brain injury plus some newly added college costs and well; maybe we will finish the house during retirement — if we ever achieve retirement. Nonetheless, I still enjoy my home of perpetual autumn and I love the people who live in it.

I was after a natural look for preserving the leaves; nothing shiny, which meant wax was not an option. I watched the ads for Hobby Lobby and Michaels to purchase flat finishing/ polyurethane spray 50% off. I used 5-7 cans (memory is foggy here).

To preserve color and ensure my leaves lasted for years, I used a flat spray and gave the slightly curled leaves two coats on each side, allowing dry time between each application and making sure the leaves did not touch/stick together.  When completely dried I loosely piled the leaves in a box and brought them back in the house to deter bugs from feasting on them in the garage.

When the remaining 2/3’s were finished being pressed I spread them out on the saw horses.  Using the flat polyurethane spray I gave the leaves two coats on each side, allowing dry time between each application making sure the leaves were not touching/sticking together.

Attaching the leaves to the canvas proved to be tricky. I attempted just about every type of adhesive and glue a soul can find at the arts and crafts store. None held! Out of desperation I took a look through our garage. Neither wall paper glue nor wood glue worked. While considering Liquid Nails I spied: Henry Premium Multipurpose Carpet and Sheet Vinyl Adhesive. Out of curiosity I opened the tub and my eyes beheld thick gooey beauty! Just what I needed to grab hold of the veins on the back of the leaves. I applied this adhesive, allowed dry time, turned the canvas over, shook it and nothing happened. Nothing! It held the leaves in place. No falling off. No breakage.

Using a small craft/paint brush I turned over each individual leaf and generously applied adhesive to the back then pressed it down on the canvas; wiping away any excess with a damp cloth. I covered the entire canvas with the flat-pressed leaves allowing overage along the straight edges of the canvas.

I allowed the pressed leaves to dry then sprayed two more light coats of poly on the entire project.

Next I generously applied adhesive to the curled three dimensional leaves on the spots where they would touch the canvas base of pressed leaves. I set them in place and allowed them to dry.

I allowed the newly adhered leaves to dry, then sprayed three more light coats of poly on the entire project; allowing dry time between each coat.


My boys know when playing with Nerf guns that the guns may NOT be aimed at the leaves and they have been careful to obey. Someone did toss a pillow hitting a leaf and breaking a small portion off. To my knowledge this is the only damage to my leaf art. I have had minimal fading to the leaves but with the unfiltered direct light coming into our home I have had minimal fading on everything in the living room.  I do not have an expensive camera for taking quality photos but I believe I am showing a good representation of the final product.

I used just under ½ quart of the Carpet & Sheet Vinyl Adhesive for this project.

From start to finish, because of pressing time, this was a 2 month project.  My guesstimate on time spent is 25 working hours. This does not include dry time for the paint, poly & adhesive. Total cost was approx. $80.00. That’s $1920.00 less than the $2000.00 turkey painting!

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Above: View of the dimensional aspects.

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Above: View of edge                                                            Side profile

DSCN1941 DSCN1946

I enjoy my little piece of autumn in winter, spring and summer too.

Happy Hour: 10/8/2015

HAPPY HOUR, THURSDAYS, AT 5:00 P.M.—Kick back after a hard day’s work and enjoy the intoxicating goodness of true Love and Wisdom. The GiveMe Chocolate ‘Bar’ won’t put a dent in your wallet!

Michelle Teague collage

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Set boundaries with the intent of more relationship…not less. Then…let the other party/parties choose whether they want more too. That “1/2” is in their bucket…not ours 👍

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Boundaries and Priorities

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Jer 6 16 stand at the crossroads wpcom


Reasons I Chose A Toxic Husband; and He Me

Toxic Tuesday biochem hazard small

I was recently asked if I received counseling before, during or after my divorce from my narcissistic, delusional, abusive, sex addicted, first husband; who was also a pastor. This was followed up with an inquiry of what I learned.

Here are some details of my on Him in truth

Yes! Yes, I went to counseling…for several years I went to counseling; in fact, any time I feel like some aspect of my life is consuming my thought life or spiraling out of control, I seek a professional, Christian counselor or psychologist.

My personal opinion is: Strong people seek help when feeling weak.

The first nine years of my first marriage I had avoided counselors for three reasons. 1.) I was constantly told, by my husband, that our marriage and ministry problems were because of me.  2.) I could not afford a professional.  3.) By the time I realized it wasn’t all me I felt I didn’t have anyone I could tell. We were in the ministry and seeking help meant telling someone what was going on in my marriage, but a good wife doesn’t say bad things about her husband and I had some serious issues to reveal.

In year nine, of eleven, I decided I was seeking help no matter who I had to tell, or what I had to tell. God provided a safe person, a safe married couple, for me. And guess what? They already knew from observation that I was in an unhealthy marriage with a mentally ill man who was refusing help and healing. From there I sought a godly Christian counselor, who as God would provide for me, had also been married to a man with narcissistic personality disorder. So she had in-depth knowledge of a portion of what I had endured.

My question to my helpers, counselors and doctors was, “What is wrong with me that I choose someone this mentally ill; this messed up? I have to be suffering, untreated, from mental illness myself. Please help me find what it is so I can heal.”  Sobbing and pleading, I begged people to tell me what my mental illness was. After all, you can’t receive help and healing if you don’t know what is ill, or wrong.

I never asked myself, “Why me? Why did this happen to me?”

I knew why. It was a consequence of my own sinful choices and actions before marriage. Yet I wanted to know why I was drawn to him.

Here is what I found out about myself:

I gravitated toward what I knew.

There was some generational bondage that needed to be addressed.

My track record of boyfriends was heavily dotted by young men with emotional problems; not all of them, but most of them. In hind sight, picking an emotionally traumatized husband was no shock.

I was a huge enabler. Not only could I handle my own life; including, my own junk, I took on his too.

I did not know how to set boundaries. After all, having my own opinion about something had not been optional that I could remember. Voicing my own opinion usually landed me in trouble or an argument. Narcissists respect no boundaries so I was  textbook prey.

I liked to find the positive traits in people and overlook the negative. I greatly desired to please others and put their needs ahead of mine. I could not stand the thought, or feeling, of being disliked. These are highly attractive traits to a narcissist because they need an endless supply of reassurance that they are wonderful, beautiful, highly talented, intelligent, gifted, funny, extremely amazing, nice, and the utmost special person on planet earth. They surround themselves with, ‘Yes’ men and women who would never want to hurt the narcissist’s feelings by saying, “No.”

I was accustomed to being treated harshly while being told I was loved.

Narcissists are attracted to strong women. The problem is that once they have you the strength they were attracted to becomes an object of the narcissist’s wrath; they despise your strength. They hate their own lack of self-control so they want to control you. They want to absorb you; become you because they don’t have their own identity. They spend their life demolishing the essence of who you are; or at least, chipping it away piece by piece. They want you to believe the lie that everything is your fault, and since I was a young, boundry-less, enabling nineteen year old when I married a minister five years older than me; I assumed he was right. Even when he lied to me about me I thought there must be something terribly wrong with me.  They know you are strong and that you won’t put your problems on their shoulders. In fact, since your shoulders are so strong they want you to solve and take care of their problems too; hoping you will heal their wounds.

I was a pro at picking up subtle hints and catering to them.

Narcissists are experts at manipulation and control so he used my big heart for his own ill purposes.

Waiting for a narcissist to love you is like waiting for a person whose eyes are gouged out to see again; it is not possible for a narcissist to bond or love.

Although I should have known, I did not know crazymaker (gas lighting) was a real term that embodied human flesh.

I learned that being too nice can cost you and your child your safety, your life, and your sanity.

I also learned that when the line of safety is crossed with your child; fierceness like no other can come out of you.  It’s a healthy fierceness that should have been employed sooner than it was.

I’m grateful to say I learned I am not suffering from mental illness and I don’t have a personality disorder. My life’s traumas did; however, leave me with auto-immune diseases.

So…if you or a loved one is in a relationship with an abusive, addicted or mentally ill person who refuses to acknowledge their struggle and seek help; please know, they can’t stop you from seeking help, safety, protection and healing. There is help and there is hope.


You could not plan for this. No, there was no silhouette

Up against the pink horizon; to warn you of the hit

But you absorbed it all with grace; like a child you spoke of faith unmoved

That holds onto you.


This thing is going to try to break you, but it doesn’t have to

You’re showing us how. This thing is going to bend and shape you,

But He won’t let it take you. You know it somehow.

This thing is not going to break you.

You could take your loss. You could hide away from us,

With your grief lassoed around you, but you’re laying it in the sun.

And you stare straight into the light. You say you’d rather go blind than look away.

What can I say?


This thing is going to try to break you, but it doesn’t have to

You’re showing us how. This thing is going to bend and shape you,

But He won’t let it take you. You know it somehow.

This thing is not going to break you.

This thing is not going to break you. This thing is not going to break you.

Why Wait Till Marriage: What No One Tells You. What I Wish Someone Had Told Me

Written by Ann Voskamp; this is by far my favorite explanation and sound reasoning for teaching why God’s way is the best in every way.  CLICK the above link.