Monday, December 31, 2012

Looking Back Over 2012

At the onset of this year, I shared what I thought to be my One Word for 2012.
Yet when I wrote my blog profile for the year, the word shift imprinted itself on my mind and followed me throughout the year. I had written in my journal on December 1, 2011,
"This will be a shifting year. Perhaps this is my word for 2012."
 Yet I went with my head when choosing my one word.

transitive verb
1. to exchange for or replace by another
2. a. to change the place, position or direction of
    b. to make a change in (place)
3. to change phonetically

A few others are: to change gears, to depress the shift key, to go through a change

Several shifts took place in my life in twelve months.

Spiritually, I knew Jesus was calling me to turn to Him, instead of always asking Him to turn to me. To follow Him, regardless of what it looked like. I responded with my whole heart in readiness. Little did I know how life would change. By October, I was living withmy daughter, caring for a toddler, having left my life and all that entailed. I chose to follow Jesus and this was His plan.

My scripture verse for the year: "She who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall remain stable and fixed under the shadow of the Almighty, whose power no foes can withstand."
Psalm 91:1 Amplified.
I thought I knew what it was to dwell in the secret place but I have much to learn.

I spent much time in Psalm 23, sitting at the table in the presence of mine enemies, letting Jesus set the table. Familiar scriptures becoming unfamilar and new.

As 2012 comes to a close, I thought I would breathe a big sigh of relief to have it behind me, but instead this morning I sit with the knowledge that God has created a deep work inside of me. I hadn't known pruning of my heart was needed. I hadn't realized how I had kept Holy Spirit at a distance, all the while begging him to come. I hadn't seen the idols vying for my attention. My eyes were closed to the acres of fallow ground in my garden which needed plowing.

But Jesus  knew when he stood before me one Saturday morning and said to me, " Follow Me upon the high places," where He was taking me.

Did I make this journey without fear, doubt, pain and despair?
I wish I could say yes, but that would not be the truth.
It has been hard.
There were times I wondered where He was.
Again and again I turned to His Word for reassurance. After months of that, the Word grew dim in the light of circumstance.
 I could only rely on His faithfulness, even when I was faithless.

2012 I bid you farewell.
Thank you for the gifts you have imparted to me. I am forever changed.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Top Ten Reads of 2012

I can hardly believe the year is nearly over. Nor can I comprehend how life can change so drastically within a short period of time. Over the next few days I want to share about my word for 2012 and a few other things. But for today, lets do something fun!

At the close of each year I like to share my favorite book list. I know I am leaving some out, but I am going by what I remembered to post on my Shelfari. So here goes.

My Top Ten Books of 2012
10. Crafted Prayer by Graham Cooke I have read this over and over.
9.Blackberry Winter and The Bungalow both by Sarah Jio  the romantic in me loves all her books
8.Blessed Beyond Measure by Gloria Copeland underlined, circled and read aloud

7. Sea Change by Karen White a library find, haunting
6. No Other Gods by Kelly Minter God really spoke to me through this book
5. 7 by Jen Hatmaker prepared me for lifestyle changes
4. The BookLover by Maryann McFadden Great read for booklovers
3. Slow Dancing on Price's Pier by Lisa Dale a great find at a book sale, I cried
2. Coming Home by Karen Kingsbury Hard to say goodbye to this family. excellent end and i dont read all her books
Number 1:
The Hunger Games Trilogy

This is a departure for me but my granddaughter said I just had to read it. She was right I was hooked and read all three. I couldnt put them down.

What was your favorite read of 2012?

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Beauty From Ashes

I apologize for not knowing where this photo came from. I think I saved it from Facebook, just for me, not to share. But today I feel like someone else may need it too.

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Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas Eucharisteo

After two months away (with the exception of an overnite trip), I drove home last Thursday. I wasn't feeling great but wanted to prepare for Christmas. I had shopping to finish, gifts to wrap and maybe even do a little baking if time allowed.
When I arrived home, I stripped the bed, cleaned, unpacked and settled down by 3:00 with tea and toast. Unfortunately, the pain I had been experiencing grew worse. By 6:00 pm I was in the ER.

To make a long story short, I never got to sleep in my own bed. I  spent  three nights in the hospital with an attack of pancreatitis. I have long had problems with my pancreas caused by a birth defect, but no acute attacks for twenty years.

It is Christmas night now and what a strange Christmas! No tree, no big dinner, no pile of gifts, and especially no family gathering.

It is time to practice Eucharisteo once again.

What I am grateful for tonight:

~FaceTime on iPad and iPhone- we got to see all the family. Our grandson lined up all his gifts and gave us a tour.
~My girls had a good day, despite their first Christmas alone
~I was able to eat a bit of potato, albeit plain, and a few grean beans (much better than chicken broth)
~Hubby with me all day
~sisters and bro-in-law popped by
~a few gifts from a friend
~cozy warm home
~more facetime with our girls
~and I am shortly going to climb into my own bed

Merry Christmas Bloggers!

Count your blessings before you lay your head on the pillow tonight.
It helps.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Christmas Worship

"A flawless performance is not what mattered, but the complete obedience of filling jars to the brim, holding nothing back." Kelly Minter

Curling up in the recliner while Lily sleeps, I turn to "No Other Gods" to read a bit more. Kelly Minter's words resonate with something deep in my spirit.

Complete obedience. Not partial.

I think of my prayer a few months ago.
"Lower my resistance to the Holy Spirit."

Today, much is pruned away. I find myself in a new world and a familiar one. The familiar is the world of toddlers, diapers, and Dora the Explorer. Learning about autism and appointments and case managers is a new and unfamiliar world.

Complete obedience. Following God's plan, one day at a time. Sometimes moment by moment. Trusting without understanding.

Paradigm shifts.

I remember when Jesus told them to fill up the water pots at the wedding in John 2, he was preparing the way for his first miracle. The servants didn't know this, they simply obeyed...completely.

Slowly I loosen my grasp on understanding and bow my knee in surrender to the One who knows what he's doing. Holding nothing back as much as I am able.

This is my worship this Christmas.

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Monday, December 17, 2012

Let There Be Light

"He is the God who performs miracles." Psalm 77:14

A few weeks ago, I didn't think there would be a Christmas tree for us this year. Yet here we were last night, putting up the "transition tree."

We laughed as Amber put the stand in wrong and then we couldn't get it out. White plastic needles covered the floor by the time the stand was upright.

Lily took off with two red bulbs, attempting to eat them. The chase was on :)

A hunt ensued for an extension cord to plug in the lights.

An angel tree topper ( well, sort of) was the finishing touch.

Let there be light! Hurrah!

He is the God who performs miracles, bringing hope and laughter into the midst of loss and pain.

Sharing a pocket of joy from my corner of the world this Monday morning.

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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Time for a Break

If you follow my blog then you know a bit of the difficulty of the last two months.
I am adding the flu to the list. I have been sick for a few days now.

It's time to take a blog break. I am at the bottom of the barrel creatively.

Hopefully returning soon.

Saturday, December 8, 2012


Your way in delivering your people was through the sea, and your path through great waters, yet your footsteps were untraceable.
Psalm 77:19 amplified translation

Now I will arise...Psalm 12 NIV

With My eyes as your guide. Psalm 32 passion translation

Jacob was in a hard place. He couldn't see anything that dark night when he laid his head upon a stone, alone and all his life shifted. Then everything changed. In the night God opened a portal of hope through a dream. He gave Jacob His eyes to see that God was right there with him and He had a plan. Genesis 28

Matthew Henry's commentary says that when the people were despondent and at their end, God moves.

He arises that we may see him, perhaps not as we think of seeing. Yet when the sea parts, we know He has been there even when his footsteps are untraceable.

Friday, December 7, 2012

The Next Morning

I tossed and turned much of the night.

5:00 a.m.

Praise Me...

Then again...

Praise Me

Stilted, quiet sacrifice of praise rises from my mouth.

I will not fail you!

I keep hearing Beth Moore repeat these words from Joshua 1.

I will not fail you!

Still small voice echoes

I will not fail you.

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Thursday, December 6, 2012

It's Where I Am Tonight

I have always loved this time of the year. I love the decorations, the homemade gifts, working around the house, Christmas lights, and Hallmark movies.

This year is different.
Just when I thought it wouldn't get worse, it did. How can someone we embraced as family inflict so much pain on those I love?

We've watched the stories on Oprah of women in other countries who experience unspeakable evils.We are inspired by their courage and a little afraid of that unknown world, where hatred of women is overtly displayed.

I am beginning to sense a different type of warfare on women here in our country, a covert operation of darkness where families are splintered and left broken and confused. Emotional wounds, harder to identify than outward ones, become heavy burdens for women to bear. The stories have always been there to a certain extent but my own pain and that of my girls  has awakened me to that of others.

I cannot take on the burden of the world tonight however. I sit before this screen and wonder, "Am I brave enough to share the questions that are weighing me down? "

Ann Voskamp writes that God withholds no good thing from us in the midst of our suffering.

Over at Moments and Invitations another woman struggles with the question, "Can all the hurting hearts believe that He withholds no good thing from us?" as she moves through her own pain.

Can I believe it?

the breakthrough we have longed for
the healing
the finances
the encouragement
the answers


in need of great grace tonight

He withholds no good thing.

There are times when it takes digging deep to believe.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

December Sunshine

The weather has been a gift.

One of my prayers since I relocated temporarily has been for good weather. I am staying with my sister-in-law and driving to my daughter's home each morning, a twenty minute drive on good roads. The weather has been unusual for December in Maine.

Both Monday and today, the sun came out long enough for Lily and I to go for a walk. Today we didn't need gloves or a hat. It was beautiful.

Thank you Lord.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

The County

Paul Cyr Photography

If you are following my blog, you already know that over a period of  several weeks my life has changed.

Yesterday, after six weeks away from home, I returned to the County.

That's what we call this part  of the state. I live in a  farming community in the northern part of Maine. In recent years there has been an influx of Amish families to our area (which I love by the way). You can visit Paul Cyr's site for more photographs of  Aroostook County and the Amish.

I am sitting in my living room watching the snow lightly descend. Soon we will be on the road southbound to begin another week.

I have been pondering taking December off from blogging but not quite ready to let go. We will see.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Little Girl

I watch as she emerges from the building walking slowly across the lot, unguarded for a moment. Sixteen years fall away in seconds unveiling the little girl within, a bit lost and vulnerable.

In the short time it takes for her to reach the car, pictures flash through my mind - the moment she was born and we knew what her name was to be, a two-year old dancing around the house with curls bouncing, our drama queen throughout the years...

I wish I could take her up in my arms and kiss the hurts away, protect her from life with all it's harsh realities.

She looks up and sees me. A smile crosses her face. The car door opens...she is sixteen again. We drive away chatting about her day.

But I remember.

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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Thrift Store Treasure

Our search was for a table and chair set for Lily, who has decided she is done eating in a high chair. Our first visit to "Growing Place", a second-hand shop for babies and mamas and all gals in between turned up a few treasures. Baby Einstein videos, a couple cute sweaters, and a book were among them.

It was Lily herself that found the best treasure of all. Her eyes lit up and she pointed toward a shelf taller than she and began to make horse noises. I pulled down the wooden rocking horse and she fell in love.

Each day I am learning to watch for the little miracles, which hold hope and light in painful days.

I am pondering how I had become so comfortable in my life that gratitude could slip away so easily. Or that I could dismiss another's pain while buried in my own thoughts.

I have seen the results of ingratitude and self-centeredness in one's life and what it may lead to, if untended. Therefore, I must ask the hard questions of myself.

I don't have the emotional fortitude to hear the answers right now. It is enough to know they are waiting for me.

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Monday, November 26, 2012

Thursday, November 22, 2012


Follow Me.

These are the words of Christ as he called his disciples.

Much of my life, following Christ was tied together with being an active church attendee. Always though, God would draw me back to His side, quietly reminding me that He loves spending time with me alone, away from the crowd.

Today church seems far away. Some days, God does too, if I am honest. Yet all the years of hiding His words in my heart hold me from breaking, send glimmers of hope my way when it seems darkest.

My list of thankfulness for right now is short, but deeply felt:

1. The Hope of God's Word.

2. My family- especially my daughter and her girls who have brought so much joy to me, no matter their pain.

3. True friends who keep me covered in daily prayer and encouragement.

4. My health and strength for each new day

5. Sunshine - I know this may sound shallow, but it really helps in valley seasons

6. My Blogging community

7. Books written by people who don't even know me, yet have touched my life.

Happy Thanksgiving

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Monday, November 19, 2012

Over the Weekend


and this morning...

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Saturday, November 17, 2012

Comfort Food

Just when we think we've come through the worst, another wave hits. Today is a waiting day. There is nothing left to do.

A pocket of joy= a visit to the library = comfort food

I don't need another book. My Kindle is full of freebies, Christian fiction, non- fiction, devotionals...

I am reading snatches from Jerry Bridges "Trusting God", Streams of Living Water for the Thirsty Soul, Psalms in the Passion Translation, and Jody Hedlund's "Preacher's Bride." I just finished "Spiritual Warfare for Women" and am nearly done Kelly Minter's "No Other Gods." All of this in small increments of time and most were free.

If I never read the books I borrowed today, the experience of entering another focus for a time was worth it.

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Monday, November 12, 2012

Wells of Hope

It has been nearly a year since I happened upon One Thousand Gifts. I continue to incorporate eucharisteo, giving thanks intentionally.

We are each practicing the hard eucharisteo these days - hubby, daughter, and me.

I have been living away from home nearly a month now. Each morning as I drive from my sister-in-law's home to my daughter's place, I spend the twenty minutes in prayer, receiving grace for the day.

This morning as I drove across the bridge, I sooo wanted to take a picture of it shrouded in fog. Of course, I was driving in that fog, so focus was needed. No stopping for photo shoots.☺

Life these days is like crossing that bridge. Some days the fog of pain overshadows my girls as they navigate through broken places, striving to find a new normal. There is no temptation to take a snapshot for the heartache is too great.

Yet many moments of joy invade and heal- when Lily smiles, when McKenna makes me laugh, when Amber hears hope from the voice of God.

Angie Smith has a chapter in her book, "What Women Fear", about Hagar and the moment God opened her eyes to see the well He had placed in her life. I have been asking God daily to open my eyes to the wells around me.

There is a well beside you today. Ask Jesus to lift the discouragement from your heart that your eyes may see and you may drink deeply. He is waiting.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Daily Mantra of Courage

My word for each day in November: "This is not that day."

Everyday that I am tempted to lose heart or focus on the fears that circumstances may cause, my response is "this is not that day."

I leave you with this thought for the weekend.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

November: Call for Courage

Three weeks ago, life changed for me.

After twelve years of marriage, my son-in-law decided to leave my precious girls. Two weeks later, Lily was diagnosed with autism.

Because this is my daughter's story, I will leave it to her to tell eventually. Yet we are intertwined for it has become my story too.

I am here now, caring for Lily and bringing encouragement and much prayer over their lives.

I thought about taking a break from blogging but I have witnessed many courageous women share their stories, imparting hope to others through their blogs.

Thus today I return to blogging in honor of my three courageous girls:
Amber, McKenna, and Lily.

Over this month, feel free to share your stories of courage. Link them here in the comments.

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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Let These Little Ones Come to Me

The life of a child is precious.
Everything else takes second place. Delight in this gift.
Mothers, your task is of great value in God's sight.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Happy Moments

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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Take a Closer Look

                                             Looking at things from a whole new perspective.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


Giving thanks for every little thing God does in the midst of the storm.

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Friday, October 19, 2012


I apologize for the long pause in my blogging. Life has interrupted the flow for a bit. Hang in there with me for I will be back.

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Sunday, October 14, 2012

Sunday's Word: Thaw

"He dispatches his word and the thaw begins." Psalm 147:18

Sunday morning I awakened to the sight of white rain falling from the sky. Wait a minute, that's not rain.
Snow wasn't in the forecast, but here it is.
I know it won't stay for long. Not yet.

Psalm 147 says that God sends the snow to blanket the earth. He also sends the thaw.


This has been my prayer for a few months now over hearts that are closed toward God. Today I have ramped up that prayer. Perhaps it's the sight of snow that has spurred me on, or the sight of stubborn hearts needing to be melted.

"I will lower your resistance to the Holy Spirit." Graham Cooke

That is my prayer today for my own life and the lives of those I love.

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Saturday, October 13, 2012

Last Morning

Saying goodbye to the camper until spring with a bit of sadness and a touch of wondering what the winter will bring.
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Friday, October 12, 2012

Simply Smile

Here at the camper, waiting for the rain to stop, I have spent my morning reading through Psalms and notes I'd made the last few weeks. Frustration with wet weather giving way to quiet work of the Holy Spirit.

Yesterday as I stripped a camper bed, I found McKenna's warm footies. I grabbed my iPhone to send a pic to her. The lowering light of the sun combined with shadowy darkness in the camper captured a moment of simplicity that made me smile.

As I posted last night, what struck me was I didn't try to bring any tidy ending or inspiring lesson from the difficult day. I simply shared what was happening.
A simplicity that makes me smile.

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Thursday, October 11, 2012

High Hopes

I had high hopes for this weekend. Not that closing the camper is any bit of fun, but seeing my daughter and her girls, taking fall foliage pics, and watching my Bella play soccer certainly is.

That was the plan.

Then I woke up not feeling so hot. All packed and ready, I'm a trooper. On we go.The fall leaves are waiting.
Barely out of our driveway it began to rain and then pour. By the time it stopped and we were three hours south of home, the leaves that had turned color were blowing off the trees.

I was too achy and yucky to give hugs or stay long at my daughter's house.

Brrrr, cold at the camper. I packed up remaining totes with blankets, all except what we will use tonight, emptied cupboards, and made a hot cup of tea with honey. Sigh. I am not sure the Portland trip will happen tomorrow. It's another two hour drive and a cold soccer game on Saturday.

Time for Jammie's and my book and early to sleep.

Did I mention the pic is from Mollie Makes? It's a delightful magazine and I would link to it except I'm not even sure this post will work from here.


Monday, October 8, 2012

Look for the Light

 It was a peaceful Sunday at the harbor with hardly a soul around. Camera in hand, I kept having the thought "look for the light."

 I recall a devotional from last winter. If you are in a dark room and a firefly enters, all eyes will go to the firefly. There are times when we only have the light of a tiny firefly in the darkness of our circumstances. We must keep our eyes on the firefly and walk in the light that we have.

Look for the light and focus.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

First Week of October

 morning crisp
pajama clad
hanging sheets
planting bulbs
late blossoms
fresh fall air

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Simply Worship

"This, to me, feels like worship."
Jen Hatmaker

Over at Incourage there is a Book club selection that is stirring things up. 7. That's it. Check it out.

I was watching this week's video on Waste when Jen said those words.
"This, to me, feels like worship."
She was talking about recycling, gardening,etc.

I loved it. Worship.

Everyday care, bowing my heart in the little things.

What is it that Micah said about the requirements of the Lord?
"do justly, love mercy, walk humbly with thy God."

It feels like worship.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Roadblock to Grace

A brave post, inspired by Susannah Conway's blogging class:

A friend was sharing with me last week about her experience with shame. As she shared I could see a picture forming of a huge roadblock to grace.
I thought, "Wow, it would be powerful for her to share this at one of our women's gatherings sometime."
 Then I went on with my day.

One morning in prayer I met up with my own roadblock of shame.
I had been reading a novel about abuse and the effect it had on the whole family. I felt the weight of my own failings as a parent, especially with my two oldest. I came into marriage and parenthood broken from my own  childhood.  Remnants of weary,worn baggage filtered into my parenting skills, which were already nil. Only by the grace of God, as I invited Him into my life, did I manage to make it through. But did it leave scars? Oh, not physical scars but emotional. I don't know how much of that is true and how much my perception.

I decline to go into detail because that is not my story anymore. There is nothing I cherish any more on this earth than my children and their children. What I want to focus on is Grace.

When I first saw that heavy shroud-like clothing on my spirit-woman that morning and recognized it as shame, I was taken aback. I had given this over to God years ago with tears of repentance and grief.
 I thought that ship had sailed but it's more like the train I snapped a pic of last weekend. You can hear each car as they clickety-clack over the tracks, some looking old and battered, seemingly taking forever to move along. Not as a smooth, gliding sailboat, a thing of beauty as it passes before you.

The caboose does eventually come and it has always been my favorite car.

Psalm 25 - the Passion Translation:
Don't let the shame of defeat come over me...Lord, how many are my sins. Lift their burden off my life.

I felt the burden shift and lift and I breathed in grace. I am not sure how this matches up with theology that says this was gone when I confessed it years ago, but I know an encounter with grace when I have one and this was it.
Goodbye little caboose.

Monday, October 1, 2012

That Time of Year

"Potato Harvest in the County"

Friday, September 28, 2012

10 Things

10 things to say yes to:

daughter time
granddaughter time
taking pictures
favorite tv shows

10 things to say no to:

long telephone calls
chocolate (i know it's on both lists)
staying up late
negative words & thoughts
feeling old
interruptions to prayer time
old stuff

10 things that will make my life better:

getting in bed early
Kate & Leslie (my trainer & massage therapist - I know this sounds spoiled ...well, it's not)
an occasional prayer from a friend
daily walks with Jesus
a new laptop
keeping it simple
loving me
loving others
listening more

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Resistance or Surrender

What would happen if the weather vane resisted the wind? Would it eventually break? Could it stand the stress?

Why is it so difficult to move with the wind of the Spirit in our lives even when it means a change in direction?

I have always loved autumn. I set goals, many times these are Christmas ideas I want to craft for my family.  I would also gear up for teaching a 10-week Bible Study and  a few home improvement ideas.

For two years now God has been restraining me from leading a Bible Study. Big CHANGE after 25 plus years.
I decided to keep the Christmas projects simpler  because I slightly overdid last year and got sick the day after. I was actually excited  because I wanted to work with some of my photos for this. Then my laptop crashed.

On top of it all, the company my hubby works with is making major changes, which I mentioned in a previous blog. There will be a training for me to learn how to do my end of this, which seems daunting.
Oh boy, CHANGE.
 I fought that one until all my options were exhausted and so was I.

There is a time in our lives for resistance and there is a time to surrender and pray for grace. I find I can't hear the voice of God when I am busy trying to figure everything out on my own.

A verse kept flitting through my mind for several days, but in all my reasonings and panic, I didnt stop to look it up. Yesterday as I was going through the mail, I opened some correspondence only to find that very verse right in front of me.

Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don't try to figure everything out on your own. Listen for God's voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; He's the one who will keep you on track. Don't assume you know it all. Run to God! Run from evil. Proverbs 3:5-7 MSG

I circled it in red and tacked it up next to my desk.

P.S. I am posting from my hubby's laptop after fighting a losing battle with BlogPress on my iPad.