Bravery, Pain, Dreams, Family, and Abuse: Mental Health Monday

Be brave, leap, and let go” (creativelyhopeful)

A shout rouses me from a half sleep. Voices calling to me. I turn my head: air, sky, space. So different from the rock. I cannot hold air, I cannot see air, I cannot rely on air. It scares me in its uncertaincy. And then, a hot air balloon – it’s floating closer to me – a solidness in the openness, a floating dream that will soon blow past me and become as unreachable as the cliff above me.

It’s Not All Pain” (Monique’s Blog)

For the past seven months I’ve worked really hard to get back, and I didn’t involve my family because they wouldn’t know what to say – I have a sneaking suspicion they regard me as a bit of a loon, an impression I haven’t done much to dispel. I do the wrong things, say the wrong things. Around them, I’m still the scared 7 year old, always looking over my shoulder to see what my older half-brother, now dead, was up to, the awkward 10 year old everyone made fun of because it was fun, and I was no one, the 13 year old disgusted with my hands-on stepfather. I’ve spent a lifetime loving them, mostly from a distance, but I’m not sure they think of me much. That’s okay. We’re not all the same. I have a rich family of friends, a wide circle of people scattered around the globe that love me despite my damage.

Sunday morning, winter’s here” (On my way)

It’s strange to think about the life I could’ve had. Because the life I dreamt of, thought of, and planned … it’s so extremely far away from the life I have today. Maybe some of my dreams still can come true? Maybe I’ll have what I wrote of above, just that I’ll be 30 instead of 22. Maybe.

Time Together” (Walking Along)

After years of continued episodes that got increasingly worse I finally got treatment and was properly diagnosed with bipolar disorder at the age of 43. Mind you much destruction had been done over the years because of my illness and my husband and daughter both suffered so much. I do not know how we became the family we are, in as good a shape as we are.

Dig It Up or Bury It?” (Serious Lifestyle)

It’s hard for me to think about my abuse, never mind talk about it. And if I do talk about it, nothing good seems to come of it, I just get upset. Just KNOWING that I’m going to be stirring it up fills me with dread and I have began to feel quite disturbed and unsettled. I have begun to have nightmares about the abuse and also have dug up an unpleasant memory from my childhood which I remembered via a dream. Whilst I am out doing my thing, meeting my friends for lunch, going to see the big festival in my city this weekend, working on shoots, I have this abuse in the back of my mind. When people ask me how I am, I can’t say ‘I’m fine, I’m just trying to process my terrible childhood’.

Leaning on Imperceptable Arms: An Interview with Matthew Pullar

Matthew Pullar

Matthew Pullar is a self-described “teacher, writer, blogger, Evangelical Charismanglican living in Melbourne’s inner west, searching for words to console and to feed hearts and souls.” I caught up with him on Skype one of my Friday night’s (his Saturday morning) and discussed poetry, faith, mental illness, and the future.

When did you first experience a calling to write and who were some of your influences?

I first knew I wanted to write around age six. I was an avid reader and I suppose it was natural that I desire to produce books myself. My father read to us nightly. I remember the complete Chronicles of Narnia. My grandfather also encouraged me to write. He helped me produce a book at age ten and bought the first copy.

When did you first discover you would write poetry?

That actually came much later, when I was at Uni studying under a Jesuit priest and poet Peter Steele. At first, I felt intimidated by classic forms of poetry and wrote predominantly free verse. Later, I came to see it sort of like good grammar. If I was going to ask students to follow certain rules in their writing, I could do it in my poetry.

Your writing touches on issues of mental health. Would you share an illustration of a time in your life when mental illness impacted your writing?

When I came home after six months of teaching in Malaysia, I was going through a very hard time. I wasn’t writing many poems then, but I was journaling through the Psalms. At the time, I felt God to be quite distant. Later, I would see I was battling symptoms of OCD. Have you read John Bunyan’s autobiography?

I haven’t.

Well, I could very much identify with Bunyan’s spiritual and psychological struggles. My mind often wrestled in quite torturous ways with anxieties about God, the ways I had failed him or fears of losing my salvation. These feelings would seize on intellectual reasons I had to doubt God’s existence. It made more sense for him not to exist than for him to abandon me like I feared he had. But Bunyan’s writing showed me that I was not alone in these struggles, and that God’s grace was present even there. Also, learning about OCD – which Bunyan most likely suffered from – helped make more sense of my own struggle. The word “obsession” actually comes from the Latin for a blockade or a siege. It suggests being under attack by unwanted thoughts. That was very much true of me. Learning how to submit those thoughts to God led me to be able to address them in my own writing, and to seek to comfort others in the same way that Bunyan’s writing had comforted me.

How has your faith community responded to your struggle?

My church has been a great blessing. When my current pastor was first meeting the congregation, his wife opened up that she struggled with anxiety. We have been quite active together in helping people be more open about mental health struggles and to experience God’s grace in those struggles.

Along the lines of writing, what do you have in the works?

Well, I’ve been receiving many comments and questions about doing a book. My current collection is a verse memoir with the working title of “Imperceptible Arms”, which won the Young Australian Christian Writer award last year. I am considering different ways of making that available to the public, but it’s a challenge to focus on that while balancing my teaching load and the Masters thesis I am writing!

Well, I have read several of the poems in your collection and I find them a wonderful blend of styles, precious memories, and reflections on life and faith. Matthew, thank you for making time to be with me (and through me, my readers). I pray God’s blessing on your work.

You can find a great deal of Matthew’s poetry, essays, and other writing at his website, The Consolations of Writing. The poem below is just a taste.

Arms (II)


When every force of hell drags with its hooks

And all the voices lie and shout and scream

That all is lost and all has died;


When knees buckle under the strain

And the motion of praying is not prayer at all,

Only the dull screams of something on fire;


When the words that we mouth are not words

And the hope that we clutch at is scarcely hope,

Just the frail refuge of the truly lost:


Hold me. Your arms are too vast for me to see,

Too gentle for me to feel; hold me,

In Your imperceptible arms, firm through all my wildest fears.


And when the earth has died and gone,

May I then be found somehow

Impossibly safe in all that You Are.


Hold me.

Hillbilly Philosophy, Artificial Selection, Simplicity, BPD, and Pain: Friday Featured Followers

Wyldewoody musings : Ramblings of a Hillbilly Philosopher

I am a scholar and a preacher. I am a father, husband and friend. I have served my country and cussed my government and will continue to do both. I enjoy writing and you never know what you might find here in my posts. I will write about everything from my biblical opinion to scientific musings potentially bad stories to editorials about public policy and international affairs. I suppose that is blogging in general, if you like it great, if you don’t go somewhere else, if you disagree with me, great I love a good discussion. Hell might just find me ranting to the shadows in the corner. Kinda like I think I am doing now. And if my punctuation irritates you, that makes me happy.

The Artificial Selection Project : A journal. A podcast. A blog. A revolt.


Art, Fashion, Music, Dreams Simplicity and Positivity… that’s what this blog is all about. I’ll let you be a part of my creative life and my journey to my dream: LONDON & the Fashion World.  I hope my journey and I will be able to inspire you a little (or a lot) to Do What Makes You Happy – You just have to spread your Wings and Fly.

Why M A R I S I M P L I C I T Y?
Well, long story short. My name is Mari and I love Simplicity – LESS IS MORE.

my bpd life

I am a married mother of two in my twenties. I have struggled with bpd since I was 15 but was only diagnosed last year. I have struggled with severe self harm and with suicidal periods. I am very fortunate to have been saved by Christ in 2012 and know that no matter what He is always with me. I have many bad days and a few good ones. So that’s me basically. Trying hard to be a better person.

Everlasting Pain

God Provides: Throwback Thursday

The following reflection was part of a sermon entitled “God Provides,” based on John 6:1-14 that was first delivered on July 24, 1994 at Zion Presbyterian Church in Fosterburg, Illinois. The italics section below was written July 22, 2014.


Meditation Of The Day - The Choice Food of Advent | Salt & Light Magazine

No matter how little we think we have, God always provides what we need.

The story in John is a familiar one.  It is the only miracle that appears in all four of the gospels.  A large crowd follows Jesus and his disciples through the mountains.  Passover is near.  Jesus is concerned that the people be fed.  He asks Philip:

“Where are we to buy bread for these people to eat?”

Philip is astounded by the question.  “It would take a fortune to feed these people.”

Andrew looks around and finds a boy with five loaves of bread and two fish.

Jesus asks the crowd to be seated, all 5000.  He takes the loaves that the boy has offered, gives thanks to God, and shares them with the crowd.  He does the same with the fish.

After all had eaten, the disciples collect 12 baskets of leftovers.

When we think we don’t have enough, God provides what we need.

This has been true in my own life.  There have been times, especially when I’m approaching a move, when I’ve asked, “Am I ready for this?   Do I have what it takes to be a college student?  A chaplain?  A father?  A pastor?”  There are times I think I don’t have enough training, experience, education.  I just don’t have enough.  Inevitably, I discover I am given what I need.  God provides.

This message — that God provides — I first shared as a 30-year old pastor still wet behind the ears continues to ring true in my life twenty years later. In my pastoral career, I climbed the ecclesiastical ladder until I was serving a church with triple the membership and receiving an income seven-fold the size. In my family, we were blessed with four children. God provided.

God continued to provide after I went on disability due to complications related to a bipolar disorder diagnosis. And after I became separated from my wife. And when my disability was temporarily cut. God has continued to provide all I needed and much more.

God provides. Not always all we want, but just what we need with more to share. As we grow to trust God and put the resources He entrusts with us to good use, we grow in faith and enjoy a delight abundance.

Finding Life (in obvious places): Bill


On the way to the beach...roadside fruit and vegetable stands. Just what the kids need to sell all the fruits and veggies they have planted!!!


In a small Indiana farm town, a place where they still sell vegetables by the honor system along the roadside, there was a young man named Bill, who lived with his father. He enjoyed working on cars, busing tables at restaurants to buy tools, digging in the garden, and telling stories. Bill would say–

“It’s raining so hard, it’s like pouring piss from a boot.

His father left the fast pace of modern day suburbia for the open space freedom of a farm community, where he could grow his own vegetables and look out on his land while he smoked his pipe and waited for life to happen. He worked odd jobs to provide for his family and brought home tales of people he’d met and the things they did.

“This guy at work has a wife in the hospital, having a baby. He packed his lunch for the first time in seven years and forgot to add coffee to his hot water.”

Then Bill would say,

“It takes a real man to drink boiling water.”

Bill’s father started this family garden they called their “Victory Garden,” where they grew enough for their own needs, gave some away to friends, and sold the rest for seed money. He kept a Mason jar by the roadside with a sign about the price for each vegetable. Bill would count the money each day and was amazed they never ended up short.

Bill would say,

“It takes a helluva big dog to weigh a ton.”

There were dogs and cats that hung around, waiting for scrap food or a stroke. They’d follow Bill and he’d play games with them, wrestling them until they both got tired and would have to get a drink from the garden hose.

On Friday nights, Bill would take the car or truck he’d been fixing up and drive into town with his friends or his date. They say once Bill ate 33 hamburgers in one sitting. They also say he dated five girls in one week, but it’s not recorded anywhere. Just something they say.


From My Mother’s Womb: Delight in Disorder Tuesday

For you, O Lord, are my hope,     

      my trust, O Lord, from my youth.

Upon you I have leaned from before my birth;     

you are he who took me from my mother’s womb.

My praise is continually of you.    (Psalm 71:5-6)


            While I may not have had an ideal upbringing, faith was certainly a key component in my life from before birth. I have many people to thank for this, including my mother. Also her mother (my Grandma McPeak), who would often read Bible stories to us grandchildren from a big hardcover picture book.

            My sister April and I would go to church with our grandparents and Uncle Geoff. We would sit in the back seat and talk about the things we saw outside the window. The first one to see the church would holler – “I first it.” The other would say, “I second it.” On and on until someone said, “I ate it!” Then we would laugh outrageously at the concept of eating a church.

            The church where we worshiped was called “First Mt. Pleasant Baptist.” They placed a premium on fiery preaching from the King James Bible. They had an extended altar call for sinners to repent (while the congregation sang “Just As I Am”). People came forward to receive Christ and be born again. Evidently, they had a notion that the “age of accountability” was around first grade, because that’s when both my sister and I came forward – responding more to a fear of going to Hell than with faith in the grace of God through Christ.

            Yet, I am grateful for my faith upbringing. I was able to develop daily disciplines of prayer and Scripture reading. More importantly, I cultivated the value of having a relationship with Jesus Christ that provided me a solid anchor of hope as the world collapsed around me.

Not everyone is born into a family of faith, but the promise of these Psalm verses is that God takes us from our mother’s wombs. While it helps to have a faith heritage, there is no “grandfather clause” in our covenant with God. Each of us is invited into a personal relationship with Christ that lights the ways through dark valleys and inspires us to offer up praise throughout our days.

Delight in Disorder: Ministry, Madness, Mission which can be purchased through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Smashwords.

Dirty Houses, Brain Fog, Pushing, Winding Roads, and Hard Thinking: Mental Health Monday

OCD and my Dirty House” (Mental Parent)

The ignorance of mental illness doesn’t stop at bipolar, depression or schizophrenia. People don’t understand OCD either. I partially blame the media for its depiction of people with OCD having spotless houses, insanely clean hands and color coded closets. These disorders, like all mental illnesses, have spectrums and severities. But, in the media’s defense, severity sells.

You may ask “How can you be OCD if your house is dirty and not in order?” I would answer that question in two parts. One: Because I have two children at home and a husband who works a lot and Two: Because that is not how it works…read a book.

Brain fog” (Mental Health on my Mind)

You see, I still have the same thoughts that I had before, the voice in my head is still unrelentingly negative, but now instead of feeling anxious, the thoughts make me sad. Deeply sad. I’m no less likely to avoid situations that used to make me anxious, only now I feel horrible about myself and everything I do, say, think, feel, regardless of whether or not I avoid situations. I am an expert in mental flagellation, and in finding reasons to beat myself up.   I cry.   A lot.   Even my CPN seemed to be at a loss in the face of my distress when I saw her a few days ago. I am hope-less, totally lacking in hope, resigned to always feeling like this, but at the same time, terrified of always feeling like this.

Pushing” (The Daily Platypus)

Its always the crash that gets me. I knew it was coming and even at first convinced myself it wouldn’t be bad. It took about an hour, but when it hit, it hit. My body practically shut down. I couldn’t move and I couldn’t focus beyond three seconds. I was happy, though. I had accomplished going out rather than sit around all day. My mind was even too tired to bother me, to push or prod. While hurting, it was peaceful since it was almost like even the depression was too tired to move.

The Long and Winding Road” (My [Redacted] Journey)

Unfortunately, many people believe that you can “tell” a person has a mental illness by the way s/he looks.  Additionally, many people also believe that there is no way back to normal (whatever that means) once you’ve been mentally ill.  That is a misconception.  Unfortunately, it is because of such misconceptions that people are reluctant to seek the help they need.  I am no professional, I merely speak from personal experience, and my experience has been better than some and worse than others.  I tell my story in the hopes that someone, somewhere may feel less alone and more willing to seek help.

Coping with Bipolar: Sometimes thinking is the hardest work of all — black dog pie: a magazine on depression and bipolar” (Depression Hub)

I have spent most of my life battling that mood which insists “I can’t”. I have gotten much done in life, but I cannot but regret missed past opportunities simply because I was preoccupied with, well…. me.

Which brings us to the place of reason and logic in managing our moods. Mood does not define us totally: if that were the case, we would be less than human, and beyond hope. Hope is the defining feature of homo sapiens.

Having “A Fighting Heart”: An Interview with Kristin Hocker

 On Independence Day this year, I found myself in Rochester, New York enjoying a day of rest and relaxation. After a nourishing meal with a friend at the Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, I headed over to the Rochester Contemporary Art Center where they were having an exhibit called “6 x 6 x 2014.” They had covered the walls — floor to ceiling — with art work all 6″ x 6″ with only numbers to identify them. If you found one you liked, you could purchase it and discover who the artist was. It could be anyone from a kindergartner to an established artist (and plenty in between).

I saw many intriguing works, but the piece that really grabbed me was one of a weary heart portrayed as a boxer collapsed on a mat yet hanging on to the ropes, with the words — “Down but not out.”  The vibrant colors and hopeful message called out to me and I was inspired to purchase it. I was given the name and e-mail address of the artist — Kristin Hocker. I contacted her and she agreed to be interviewed for a post. The following was an g-mail exchange we shared last Thursday night.

A fighting heart


When did you start painting and was there someone in particular who motivated you?

My mom was the key motivator. I was fortunate enough to spend a good portion of my childhood in NYC, and my mom took me to as many museums as possible. She also had a wide array of art books in the house that I would stare at for hours, DaVinici, Michelangelo, Degas, Picasso, Monet, etc. I fell in love with art and when I visited the museums I would go downstairs to the classrooms where I could create art (usually something crafty).
I started painting in high school. The only way I thrived in high school was in my art classes, otherwise I was miserable. I wish I could say I kept with it, but I gave it up for a long time and just really picked it up again recently.

Do you now schedule time to paint or simply paint when the inspiration strikes you?

A little of both. These past two years I challenged myself to draw something everyday or at least every week. It was something to do in between dissertation writing (to spark both sides of the brain). I love painting in sketchbooks because it creates texture, makes a mess and lets me be free with my art.
Getting connected back to my artistic center inspired me to complete and submit some pieces for the 6X6. I kept saying I would and never followed through, but this time I was glad I followed through with it.

Would you share some of the story behind “A Fighting Heart”?

Yeah, that came from a sketch I did when reflecting on being newly single. Two years ago I had separated from my partner of 15 years, and was going through a massive transition, being a single, empty nester (my daughter left for college the same year). After the first year I tried to date again, but found myself attracting people who were either emotionally unavailable or overall just not sparking any interest and I just found myself really sad and discouraged. But instead of letting it all weigh me down, I chose to find some peace within it, and that was the theme of the painting, that even though I was down, I wasn’t out, I still had myself and the faith that I would make it through.
So on Valentine’s Day of this year, I decided to celebrate my singleness by painting, going back to what gives me joy.
Well, it’s a very hopeful message and the painting conveys this well — with the contrast of bright primary colors and the image of the weary heart. There was a quote I spotted on in your social media that read, “It takes a strong heart to love, but it takes an even stronger heart to continue to love after its been hurt.” Did you have this in mind as you painted? And, has the process of painting “A Fighting Heart” helped you live out the quote?
I think it was a combination of quotes and other inspirational moments. I have a notebook that really became a tool of comfort and creativity for me. I would write, paste quotes, draw, get all the pain and joy out on the page. 
I think just being creative overall helped me to rediscover how I wanted to live, and eventually to love. Being creative, to me, means you take the time to process what’s happening rather than simply reacting to what’s happening. As someone who struggles with depression that is a huge paradigm shift for me. It helped me recognize I could choose what to do with the pain, I could choose to also hold myself accountable to my response and what I would do next (move onward, have faith that good times would come). Didn’t mean I couldn’t feel sad, just that I didn’t have to dwell in the sadness.
So I think that’s the “strength” you impart in your heart, not only to love someone else, but to build on what it takes to love yourself.
You mention a struggle with depression. How has depression impacted your creativity?
Yeah, I would definitely say my depression impacted my creativity. It impacted my life. It really limited my thinking as, for me, it was based in self-loathing and fear. I’m glad to say I’ve reshaped my life so that my depression doesn’t take over. I’ve become a runner, a Yogi, and practitioner of Zen meditation, all which I call my three-legged stool. They have helped me to find my center and believe in myself. I found believing in myself helped me believe in my art more. 
Do you have any other projects you are working on?
Not at the moment. I had to get back to dissertation writing. I am also training for a half marathon, so I’m running more, which is taking a lot of time (and energy). I have a piece in mind that I want to do for a friend who returned to Germany. Other than that I really should get back to the sketchbook.
Well, I thank you very much for sharing your artistic gifts with 6×6 (and thus with me and my readers).
You’re welcome! My pleasure. This was definitely a pleasant and unexpected surprise. There is an artist in Ithaca whose card says “Buy art when it speaks to you.” I am deeply touched that my painting spoke to you, and I hope it speaks to your readers as well. 

Savoring Sacred Pauses

I’ve been savoring some Sacred Pauses this week. This book by April Yamasaki is bountifully bathed in Scripture and thoroughly entrenched in Christian tradition and springs to life with fresh illustrations and a gentle pastoral tone.

Yamasaki guides us on a journey of spiritual growth like a good coach who strives to learn her players’ strengths as well as their particular challenges. Rather than yelling out instructions from the side lines, she walks beside us through the valleys, beside still waters, and into the mountain peaks.

The book highlights classic spiritual disciplines (or exercises) such as “Engaging Scripture,” “Praying It Like It Is,” and “Fasting.” She also delves into somewhat atypical spiritual practices, “Getting Outside (for a walk),” “Being Alone Without Being Lonely,” and “Valuing Relationships.” In each chapter, the Bible is used not just as proof-texting. Instead, the Word is enfleshed with Spirit, coming to life in the stories shared, the examples given, and the encouragement offered.

I have gained much fruit from reading Sacred Pauses (and I’m currently pausing after reading 63% of the book.) Perhaps the greatest fruit I gained flowed from chapter 10, “Praying the Lord’s Prayer.” Yamasaki recommends you write out a prayer, using the Lord’s Prayer as a model. True to her pioneer spirit, she offers a prayer first — which inspired me to write one of my own.

Lord of all and Savior of my soul, may all creation glorify You. Rule over our world and reign in our hearts so we may do what is best and care for each other as you care for us. Nourish us with your steadfast provisions that we might have the energy to serve you with our bodies as well as our minds and spirits. Free us from self-blame and we will resist the urge to bear grudges against each other. Protect us from our own worst instincts as well as from the snares of the Evil One. This day belongs to You, Lord, just as all our lives and all creation is Yours. May each moment bring you glory and honor. Amen.

Order your paperback or e-book copy
from Herald PressAmazon,
or your favourite online or local book store.
Get the free Group Leaders’ Guide and Scripture Index here.



Poetry, Darkness, Second Chances, Life Stories, and Fictional Journals: Friday Featured Followers

Ian Stewart Black

Bipolar, asexual, vegetarian, poststructuralist, pantheist nihilist. Professional poet and french toast connoisseur.

General penhandler, Sonneteer, Philosopher, Haijin, Writer and Byronic hero… with a penchant for waistcoats.


I have readers from the UK, Washington, Ontario, Ireland, Australia, Wisconsin, Maryland, Singapore, New York, Ohio, Kentucky, Minesota, Korea, Illinois, British Columbia, Maine, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Delaware, California, France, Georgia, North Carolina, Arizona, Bulgaria, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Ghana, India, Singapore, Japan, Lebanon, New Zealand, Thailand, The Philippines, Macedonia, Austria, Pakistan, Brazil, Norway, Serbia, Turkey, Spain, South Africa, The United Arab Emirates, Nevada & beyond.


Wrong With Life: The immeasurable terrors of her mind.

My past is that of a dark nature, i was honestly never delt any aces in the hand of life but i also made many mistakes of my own free will while growing up, as i think most of us do. I constantly overanalyze, thinking this will help me be better prepared for the next battle that lies ahead. As with life there are two things i know are certain there will be light and there will be darkness it’s just a matter of time before one or both arrive.


Reading through my blog you will get to know the writer side of me, mostly my intense emotions and thoughts but also glimpses into my past and present. If there is ever a time when you feel you relate to a piece of my writing please feel free to share that with me. i am not always as forward with my writing, i leave most of the back stories to the imagination which i think makes it a bit more relatable but still accurately portrays my feelings and it just so happens to come out this way while i am writing. If you have any questions or you are curious about a piece of my writing or the back story please feel free to ask. I am a very open person and i feel that if my story and the lessons i have learned can help somebody along the way then i have served my purpose as a writer.

Second Chances

I want to live. I would like to enjoy life and I would love to enjoy living again. I see glimmers of this again but I also still feel darkness. I find myself thinking, “If it gets too bad I can just die.” I recall even in adolescence, telling myself this much more often without realizing how dangerous that thinking was. So, I am writing about my mental illness; and donating to suicide prevention causes; and talking to people who have lost loved ones to mental illness so I can look back on that the next time my pain gets too big.


I am an historical fiction writer and blogger of funny everyday life when not downing the Haagen-Dazs.

The Journal of Wall Grimm

“The Journal of Wall Grimm” is rated R due to adult content in the form of sex, drug and alcohol abuse, vulgar language, and other things that can occur in the world of a guy in his early 20′s. 


My penname is Sage Doyle and I am the author of this blog, which is comprised of the fictional journal entries of Wall Grimm.


It’s possible to read the journal out of sequence and many posts can stand on their own.  If there are references or characters you need to clarify, don’t hesitate to ask questions.  I will fill you in with all the details necessary to bring you up to date.