Posted in Self Help, Self Love

Finding Peace

Do you have peace in your life?

I mean real peace.

People have asked me before if I am at peace with my husband having cancer. I don’t think I will necessarily ever be at peace with that. Not in my forseeable future. But, I’m sure one day, one I cannot imagine, it will come.

It’s difficult to be at peace with a hard-pressed life. It’s hard to accept truths I don’t want to think about. I will say, I am at peace with not being at peace with that. If that’s hard to understand, then you’ve probably never been in my shoes. I don’t think I have a way of explaining it. I just feel like being at peace with it would mean I accept it. And, I’m not ready to do that just yet. I still have hope, and maybe a wish for a miracle.

I feel like I walk through life, day after day, and there’s constantly something happening, something daring me to go and search for my solitude. It can be exhausting at times, overloading my brain with intricate tasks, and adding inessential weight to my already strained shoulders.

I know a healthy person doesn’t live like that. A praying truth seeker doesn’t either.

My goal is to be both.

I am on my way.

During yesterday’s church service I recognized how guilty I am of eluding faith. I am skeptical to trust people often, and I’m regretful of not trusting God all the time. I realize I want things to turn out how I want them to be, but in God’s world I know I don’t get something just because I want it. I have to trust that is how He means for it to be. My mind struggles to let go, but I am a work in progress.

Aren’t we all?

I have discovered finding peace, remaining at peace, takes constant, committed intellect. It is simply quieting my mind in all the chaos. A place where I am silent, my mind relaxed, and I can just simply be.

It is minding my own business, it is avoiding distractions, it is not letting silly incidents upset me. It is not worrying what other people think, it is loving myself, it is accepting, it is letting myself be free. Immune to stress and worry, and insecurites, and most of all the unknown.

Finding peace can be such a simple chore, but only when I take down the walls, trust, and allow myself to let go of all my burdens. Meditate, clear the mind, and just let it happen. But, I know that’s easier said than done.

For me, I try to make a conscious effort to clear the air. With my friends and family, I say what I’m feeling. I have realized I have two choices. I either speak my mind and make peace with it, or I remain silent and make peace with it.

What’s the difference?

The choice is mine. I get to decide what lives in my head.

And, my aim is to not let people or things that don’t belong take up space anymore. I say what’s on my mind, I don’t hold my thoughts and feelings prisoner in my own head. I say it, I pray about it, and I give it to the Lord. It is simply the way it needs to be.

It is my coping mechanism. And, sometimes I fall. But, I remind myself, and then I get back up.

Lose the things, lose the places, lose the people, and lose the noise. Distance myself from all that forges chaos in my life.

Control my thoughts. Tame my mind. Don’t let anyone or anything that threatens my peace have access.

At this moment I am in the midst of a storm in my life. Some days I feel it spinning recklessly, but I know I am stronger. Somewhere within the center of my own peace there is the calmness inside my heart, and I simply just have to take ahold of it and breathe.

Posted in Self Help, Self Love

Stress…Less

How are you feeling today?

It’s a question we should be asking ourselves daily. Especially if we are going through some difficult episodes in life. And, I think over the last year we probably would all qualify on that account.

I’ve been on a month long or more hiatus, taking care of my family, and taking care of myself. People say it all the time that we need to take care of ourselves first, but rarely do we do it. Some times our body let’s us know when we’ve reached a critical point though, and we all need to heed the warning.

I felt myself slipping back into a a place I sat for a long while not that long ago, and I knew I couldn’t go back there. I’ve been eating healthy, exercising, and taking time for myself more often. At times I feel selfish for spending time on myself, but if I don’t, who will? It’s a serious question to ask yourself.

It’s easy to feel ourselves slipping when we are aware of the symptoms so make a mental note of the warning signs. Stress really can kill us, and at the very least it can alter our health before we recognize it.

For me, I knew I was struggling, but before I realized it I was sick. And, it’s not a sickness like you may be thinking. It’s a sickness that affects your overall mental and physical health. There are many warning signs:

  • high blood pressure
  • headaches
  • digestive or stomach problems
  • weight loss or gain
  • depression or anxiety
  • sleep problems
  • chronic fatigue
  • chest pain or heart palpitations

And, how do I know?

Because I suffered from all of the signs at one point or another. And, they are all signs of an over-stressed body. Mentally exhausted to the extreme of where I could not cognitively recover on my own.

I am happy to say I still have bad days, but lately it’s no longer bad weeks. I call that a win. Positivity, finding the good in everything, staying focused, entertaining a very small circle, and being grateful are good habits to portray. We are not all going through the same storms, but we are all dealing with challenges in our lives.

Up until this point my path has been filled with darkness, fear, despair. But, as my mind gets stronger, I can see my strength brings light. It is not as if I still don’t have feelings of fear, but I know wherever my path takes me I am more prepared for whatever I may encounter.

I am on a mission. Watch and see.

Posted in Self Help

Curve Balls

Life has been throwing curve balls lately.

Everywhere I turn! They come at me out of nowhere, and honestly I find myself waiting for the next one.

At times life will appear to become somewhat normal, seemingly before it once again starts to unravel. I find myself dodging the stumbling blocks. Ducking to get out of the way.

I realze life is never going to be perfect, but for once can it just be a bit boring? No drama, No bad news. No forks in the road. No curve balls.

I catch my breath just long enough before the next strike. My children, their happiness and well being, scanxiety setting in. Can there just not be more moments of peace?

It’s an impossible question, with impossible answers, but I imagine it even though I know my life is full of challenges.

I cannot physically be two places at once, but why do I feel like I’m on a roller coaster one minute and a merry-go-round the next? It never stops.

I have been reminding myself all this is normal for someone in my place. I try to find a few minutes of silemce and quiet every single day. I attempt to turn off my brain, but in reality I know I’m not built that way. I think too much sometimes and always searching to solve the puzzle. I am working on it.

I may not be perfect. I may not be the way people think I should be, but I am me. And, what do they know about all this? They don’t know everything.

I have a good heart. I am strong. Even when I think I will break, I know in my mind that is not an option.

And, I won’t.

When life if overwhelming remember to take care of yourself:

1. refocus

Take at least 10 minutes every day and refocus your mind, meditate, or just think positive thoughts. Think about something good and happy.

2. eat. drink.

It’s amazing we can forget to eat or not feel like eating. Consuming plenty of water, drinking a smoothie or protein shake, and getting good nutrition can do wonders for the mind and body. Practice good gut health. We all know how stress can have your belly in knots.

3. Get physical

Go for a walk, do a seven minute workout, yoga, stretching, anything that gets you moving even if it’s running up and down the stairs.

4. take time out

Whether it’s taking a bubble bath or just curling up with a good book, do something that you want to do. Even if it means putting off that one load of laundry or leaving the dishes in the sink, take some time out for yourself, even if it’s 30 minutes to just sit in silence.

5. get plenty of rest

There’s nothing like being tired and cranky AND overwhelmed. Make sure you get to bed early, even if you spend a little time reading before you fall asleep. Being tired isn’t going to ease your stress level. (I need to work on the early bedtime.)

6. stay positive

No matter what’s going on in your life, find something positive out of each day. Some days it may take more effort than others, but look for the good in every situation. It is there. We just need to have the desire to find it.


Isaiah 41:10 “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

Posted in Self Help

Urgent Answers

With so much uncertainty in the world do you ever just find yourself searching urgently for the answers?

Who?

Why?

What if?

When?

I find it especially difficult these days to not let my mind veer off course, end up in a frantic tailspin, swirling out of control. It’s difficult not to prowl around searching for urgent answers to impossible questions. Questions I realize only a higher power could possibily answer, but yet, ones I am convinced I have a right to know.

Then on the flip side, there are the urgent, dreadful answers, once revealed, my heart cannot completely recover from no matter what I do.

It’s hard to be unseen or unheard.

It’s even harder to decipher what answers we really want. Or, the ones we really need.

Inquisitive mind?

Truth seeker?

Or, maybe a self-destructive soul who seeks out the truth to questions sometimes better off left unanswered. One with no compassion for the human heart.

Until it’s too late.

Shattered in a million pieces with answers I so urgently searched for in spite of knowing some things are better off left undisclosed.

Why did I imagine my fears were fooling me?

The story of a life. An inquiring mind that wishes a moment too late, I wouldn’t have asked the question, wouldn’t have read the test results, wouldn’t have put two and two together, wouldn’t have said no sugar coating.

That dire truth I feel in my gut, unknowingly eluding me with an imagination of silence and uncertainty. In my head, fear of the uncharted and darkness is much worse than the urgent answer I seek. That is until it’s delivered.

That’s me in a broken, cracked, and irreparable nutshell.

And, like anything broken…it hurts like heck.

Wanting to see into the future, wanting to be a realist, wanting to know the unknowns.

Patience is strength. And, I am learning this life requires both.

Sometimes, it is better to just live in the moment and relish it. What we don’t know can’t hurt us. Our paths are already planned.

In the end, the answers don’t change the path. Accept it and have faith love conquers all.

Five healthy habits to live in the moment:

distract yourself

If you find yourself with too much time on your hands, searching for answers, thinking too much or just worrying and wondering too often, find a hobby, consider a part time job or volunteer your time to a needy cause. Staying busy and creating distractions can be the best medicine when we are stressed and anxiety ridden. Find something to occupy your mind and fill the time. Don’t let your thoughts drive your mind down the wrong road.

write down your thoughts

Some days I find myself just wanting to be alone, not having to talk to anyone. On these days particularly, I know I do some of my best writing. It gives me a chance to write down what’s on my mind and work through it on my own. I don’t have anyone telling me what to do, how to think or feel, or giving me advice. I just have myself to listen to and work through my thoughts. Most often it’s the best feeling in the world because I got through the moment by myself. It gives me a sense of self satisfaction and control. At a time when we may feel we have no control over anything, I consider this a win.

enjoy one day at a time

This is a hard one for me. It’s easy to think we can simply just think about today, but when our thoughts escalate it can be a domino effect. One thought leads to another and before we know it, we are trying to analyze every possible move or scenario to predict the future.

When the mind starts reeling, take a step back, focus on the present and force yourself to stop the thought process. Bring your thoughts back to the present, take a few deep breaths and allow your thoughts to concentrate on the current moment.

find someone to talk to

Phone a friend, find a counselor, join a support group or just find anyone who will listen or can relate. The pandemic has socially challenged all of us, but having coffee with a friend, talking on the phone, facetiming or seeking therapy is a way to talk through any struggles and calm your anxiety regarding the uncertainty of tomorrow, no matter what that looks like for you.

refocus your mind

At night, when I’m ready to fall asleep, I try to listen to a meditation that redirects my thoughts to relaxation and unwinding. It helps focus my mind on my breathing, relaxing my body and training my brain to just let my thoughts wander in and out. It’s amazing how much more relaxed and less tense I become in just 10 minutes of this self reflection.

For many of us, I think we can agree nighttime is the worst for our minds to spiral out of control with thoughts of worry and what ifs. For me personally, I have realized if I can settle my mind before I try to fall asleep, I have a better chance of getting a good night’s sleep.

Above all else, cut yourself some slack, take a break, pray and give it to God. There is contentment to be found somewhere in our future.

Don’t seek urgent answers. Seek PEACE. Seek JOY!

Posted in Self Help

Unseen Signs

Ever feel like you were just sent a sign?

Something was revealed to you. You read a story, a quote or a message.

Ever feel like you discovered something and it just clicked in your head and resonated with everything you’ve been questioning in your mind?

Me, too.

I often feel my life is a BIG puzzle, and I am just scrambling around trying to find all the missing pieces. And, sometimes there’s a piece that looks exact but doesn’t fit quite right.

Sometimes I find myself staring, searching then realizing it’s all right there in front of me. I just didn’t see it.

And, I realize maybe, it wasn’t time.

I feel I have spent much of the last two and a half years being scared, worrying, grieving. After my son’s accident last fall I began this regression. I spent all my time worrying, stressing and taking care of my son and husband. I was stuck in this fear mode that began to consume me.

I found my heart battling with my brain, one bringing me down and the other fighting to keep me afloat. At the time I didn’t know it. I didn’t know what was happening, but the signs, the pieces…they were there.

Thanksgiving brought my three older children home from college and back to the nest. For the next two months I spent the most time with my youngest daughter. Almost daily, day after day, was filled with moments with her.

I’m not certain what happened during those days, but I do know my children comfort my soul. They enliven me, they motivate me, they encourage me, and they inspire me. They make me want to be better in so many ways. The strength I see in them makes me want to be in undiluted joy.

After two months I dreaded the day she left, but what I don’t think she realized was what she gave me while she was here.

So many signs. So much resilience. So much peace.

I have sought strength daily and prayed for my children, because I didn’t know what else to do. At the same time, I have struggled, stumbled and grasped for something to hold onto, and I have fought for some kind of control within myself.

It has been like treading water, and I tired a long time ago. I kept fighting when there wasn’t a fight left. I believe in times of despair it is hard to see the signs, hard to find the pieces, hard to accept what is right in front of us.

Hard to trust what we cannot see.

But, never give up. It will present itself.

How does it happen?

For me, I got to the point of exhaustion. It’s a long, confusing and mentally draining road to take. My faith was the only place I could find strength, the only being who could get me through the darkness, the only power that could calm my heart. In the midst of my unknown, I was lost. I wasn’t strong enough by myself. I simply had to believe in what I could not see.

Trust

When we are struggling with things out of our control, struggling to change, struggling to be better or do better, or struggling with chaos or despair or heartbreak, we sometimes have to trust what we cannot see. We are on a path, unknowing to where it leads. Trust the journey.

Peace

Make peace in your heart. Take time out to rest and quiet the noise. In the silence, a higher power will speak to you and calm your soul. Simply finding some sort of peace, taking time out, quieting all the chaos and finding that solitude does the soul good.

Patience

Don’t lose patience. Have patience with yourself and in your faith. Things do not always come to us simply when we want them. We are not always on our own time. Simply, our path is set. Our journey will reveal itself to us when it is meant to happen. Be patient and have faith. Love yourself and give yourself the time you need.

hope

Never lose hope. Hope is all we have at times, and it has more power than we will ever know. Hope has saved souls, been the guiding light, and restored peace. Hope is a feeling of trust. Never lose it.

Posted in Self Help

Happy People

Have you ever met anyone that just exudes happiness?

I think about the people I know who are always smiling, laughing, full of life, and I think to myself that is what happiness looks like.

Maybe it’s not a care in the world or such a thing as a bad day. Maybe it’s living life to the beat of my own drum. Maybe it’s about ridding life of stress or worry. Or just maybe, it’s a decision.

This year, I am determined to not get weighed down by all the obstacles and chaos. To smile, laugh, stress and worry less, and get some of the old me back. She is in there…and I’m dusting her off.

Perhaps, being happier is having less rather than more. Less of some things and more of what I already have. Maybe being happy is nothing more than a feeling and a state of mind. I do know happiness isn’t things or people or money or popularity or perhaps anything tangible. It’s not complex or demanding or cluttered.

Happiness is unpretentious.

I am convinced happiness is a choice.

Straightforward.

A peaceful place.

A spot, somewhere in the mind, that tickles the soul and makes a consistent, conscious effort to push on without hesistation. Without worry or doubt. Without negativity or overthinking.

Peace, positivity, faith.

I’m fairly certain that’s happiness.

What happy people do…

1. they smile and laugh a lot

It’s hard to smile and laugh and not be happy. Even in times I feel like crying, there is something to be said about laughter. Laughter releases endorphins and reduces stress. It’s amazing how a little laughter can help show the positive side of any situation. I am convinced laughter will make us all live longer. Smile…someone may be watching!

2. they take care of themselves mentally and physically

I have always heard how can we take care of anyone else or make them happy if we don’t do the same for ourselves? There are no truer words. Since being a caregiver for my husband, I have realized if I’m not taking care of myself, it’s harder to take care of him.

Exercising, eating healthier, and sleeping is all a part of taking care of me. All of it affects my mental and physical health and how I feel in general.

People used to say to me sleep, take a nap, rest when you can. And, I do. At times, the best sleep I’ve gotten has been between 7 and 9 am, and I’m not ashamed of it. Doing a 7-minute workout, treating myself to a healthy protein shake, or taking a long trip to the grocery can all count for something.

3. they are not materialistic

We all know searching for happiness in “things” is a dead end road, but yet, we have all been guilty of it. Treat yourself to a new pair of shoes or buy the dress. Just don’t use it as a crutch to make yourself happy because we all know it won’t last. The closet will be overflowing with items never worn, and happiness will still be in limbo.

Repeat after me…Happiness is not found in things!

4. they spend time with people they love

I would say happiness IS found in times. Times we spend with family, times we spend with friends, intimate times, fun times, grateful times, unforgettable times.

The time I spend with my family and close friends are the most memorable and the times that give me the love and support I need. Monthly game night with friends produces a mountain of laughs that I would never take for granted. (Thanks Girl Gang) The mother-daughter visits with my mom I will cherish forever, and the ones with my own girls fill my heart. πŸ’œ Family dinners, holidays, trips…I wouldn’t trade them for all the things in the world.

5. they practice kindness and gratitude

Happiness comes from within. I love for someone to do special things for me, but I love giving to others. Buying a coffee for the person behind me in the drive thru makes me feel good inside. I think about how it made me smile when someone did it for me, so I want to pass it on. Good deeds go a long way when seeking happiness.

Being grateful for what I do have rather than focusing on what I don’t has made a huge difference in dealing with everything going on in my life. Look at the glass as half full instead of half empty.

Perception! Everything is how you perceive it. Don’t let your mind lose sight of that.

6. they don’t compare their life to others

Happy people don’t worry about what everyone else is doing. They don’t compare themselves to anyone else. Their life resides in the mold they make, and they shape it to fit into what makes them feel good. If we worry about what everyone else is doing then we are surely missing out on what we ourselves want.

Don’t compare your life to others, that’s not where you live!

7. THey take time out for themselves

Happy people go off the grid when they need to recharge. They focus on their inner world and keeping their stars aligned.

And, that is not found in someone else’s universe.

Feeling burned out or overwhelmed means we need to detox. Spend Saturday night at home, off your phone, with some relaxing music and a bubble bath. Or stay in for an intimate dinner and go to bed early.

8. they keep their circle small

We can be kind to everyone whether or not they are part of our tribe. Some people won’t like us just because of the color of our hair, but that’s their problem. Everyone has that one or two or few friends they just connect with in life. Make that your crew. It’s much easier to fit in a small circle than it is a crowd. It doesn’t mean we can’t be social with everyone, it just means we don’t need to be surrounded by a flock to be happy.

Surround yourself with “a few good men,” who are positive, good people.

9. they are self-disciplined

I’m pretty certain the people I know who have their mind focused on the prize are the most cheerful. And, the prize is what they want out of life which transforms to their happiness. Whether it’s a job, a lifestyle or a hobby, I believe when we set goals for ourselves, strive for those goals, and ultimatley achieve them is when we realize we are happy doing exactly what it is WE want.

Don’t get distracted by shiny things. Don’t let others deter you from the path you set out on to achieve your goals.

10. they realize happiness comes from within

At no point in life should we ever rely on somone else to make us happy. People can contribute to our happiness, but they don’t make us happy. Only our soul knows what it needs. We do have priorities and responsibilities to our spouse, children, family, but we also have a responsibility to ourself.

We can’t do what makes everyone else content all the time and expect to have all of the happy we want or need. And, we can’t ask anyone else to do it either. Happiness isn’t found in that equation.

It is only when we search within our particular mind and soul that our path to our own happiness will reveal itself.

Posted in Self Help

#goals

How many people made resolutions for 2021?

No resolutions for this girl.

This is my first post of the new year, and one I’m writing after a long break. A much needed break!

I never make resolutions. I hate them, and honestly I’m not a big fan of celebrating the new year. I’m a night owl, and even I went to bed before midnight. I think it’s crazy to make a big deal about turning the calendar to a new month, a new day, or even a made up new year.

It’s tomorrow…and that’s all I’ll say about it.

I did use my hiatus for some much needed time with my kids and some searching. Searching for peace, positivity, good vibes, and whatever other blessings I can find.

Needless to say, that wasn’t on the TV, social media, or even in other people. It was simply where it has always been…inside my heart and soul.

It’s 2021 people. Nothing much has changed except my thought process.

Cheers to another year…

10 Ways to Find Inner Peace in the New Year

1. meditate

There are many types of meditation including focused mediation, spiritual meditation and movement meditation.

Depending on what your goals are will depend on what type of meditation you use. I use all three of these depending on my mood and what I want to accomplish. If I’m stressed I focus on my breathing, even if it’s just for two minutes, to try and calm my mind and relax.

For me, spiritual meditation is reading a devotion and spending some quiet time talking to God. I usually play some calming music and use some dōTERRA essential oils. (If you want to learn more about dōTERRA let me know.)

Movement meditation can be yoga, exercise or just a walk. I can always do a lot of thinking and clearing my mind just by walking around the loop.

2. turn off the outside world

Social media and cell phones have made it so easy to get caught up in what everybody else is doing. Take a break and spend less time with your nose buried in an electronic device. Limit your time texting or scrolling and choose to have a conversation with your spouse or kids. Read a book, find a hobby and turn off the news.

Trust me. The less you know about what’s going on with the world and everyone else, the happier you will be.

3. leave the past behind

It’s sometimes hard to do, but the more time you spend in the present the better. Forgive those that have hurt you, get rid of the negativity it created and look to the future. Learn from mistakes, try harder next time and move on. As much as we would like a “do over” sometimes, it’s not always possible. Don’t focus on what you cannot control, or what is said and done.

Sometimes this is hard for me, but I have found it’s not always me who needs the help. I have learned it’s not about letting someone off the hook, but rather letting myself find peace in the situation. I’m not forgetting what happened, but I am using it in order to not let it happen again. Forgive and hand it over to God.

4. disconnect with anything or anyone that makes you unhappy. tighten your circle

We cannot choose our family, but we can decide who and what we surround ourselves with. Choose friends and family that support you, make you feel good, and bring positivity to your life. Distance yourself from everything else. If someone or something makes you unhappy, unhealthy, or brings negativity to your life, rid yourself now.

Tighten your circle! Contrary to the beliefs of those with thousands of followers, not everyone is meant to be your friend. And, when it comes down to it, most of them really aren’t. In times of crisis you will find out soon enough who is there for you and who is meant to be.

If life starts to overwhelm you press pause.

5. do what you want

As my youngest daughter always says, “I do what I want.” It’s kind of a joke, but the more I think about it, the more I say good for her. Do what makes YOU happy. We are all adults, and we don’t need anyone’s approval. Be nice, be considerate and do good, but don’t do something just because of someone else. Other people’s opinions are just that…opinions. We are all entitled to our own. Just because someone says it doesn’t make it true. Focus on the positive and stay true to yourself.

6. live in the moment

Since my husband’s illness, people are always telling me to take it one day at a time. I get sick of hearing it sometimes because that is much easier said than done; however, I do believe we need to enjoy life today and not ALWAYS worry about tomorrow. It may never come.

Be conscious of today’s consequences, but don’t forget to stop and smell the roses every now and then. Some days we just need to do what makes us happy, even if that’s not possible every day.

7. count your blessings

I have learned no matter what we are going through, someone else is going through something worse. In the midst of storms in our life, we sometimes forget to stop and think about all the blessings we have. No matter how big or small, they are there if we simply choose to look for them. Our children, our loved ones, a roof over our head, food on the table, a warm bed, a trip to the beach, a phone call from a friend…we take for granted many of the simple blessings we have every day. Even in hard times make peace with the path you are on.

8. Simplify your life

If there’s one thing COVID has done for us, it’s forced us to slow down and spend more time at home and with our families. In the midst of it all, I’ve realized how much I crave a simple life. I don’t care if I get invited to the party or if people think I’m unsocialable or if I’ve got a new house or a trip planned to the tropics. And, I don’t care what people think I have or don’t have. I’m thankful for my family, and I get to spend time with them. All the materialism in the world, all the friends, all the stuff won’t make me happy, and it surely won’t make life simple.

9. spend more time with yourself

I value time with myself when I get it, but I’m not one to choose to be alone. I wouldn’t choose to go out to lunch by myself or on a vacation or be single; however, there is something said about a person who is comfortable always spending time with their own self.

Get to know yourself, build your confidence, seek your inner soul to find what it is you truly want out of life. We are responsible for our own happiness, our own success, our own doing. When you can be comfortable with who you are, find exactly what you want out of life, it is then you can be happy. Don’t seek that from someone else or you will spend the rest of your days on an endless search.

Don’t be afraid of being alone, be afraid of doing the wrong things and spending time with the wrong people.

10. write it down

If I have learned nothing else, I have learned that words make me feel better. I write down my thoughts. I journal. I blog. I take notes. Simply by writing things down, it helps me work through my mind, my worries, my troubles, my fears, my journey. I won’t say I always find a solution, but I will say more often than not I feel better. And, if nothing else, I can say I did it on my own, with myself.

Posted in Family, Self Help

Laughter

Do you ever feel better after a good laugh?

Through all the tears, all the pain, all the bad news, we still manage to laugh as much as possible in our house. And, when there’s no cure for what’s ailing you it’s hard to deny laughter makes it somewhat better, even if it is just for a short while.

Hubby always says one minute of laughter a day is all we need, but lately I’ve been feeling I could use a little more.

With everything going on in the world this year, I think everyone needs some laughter and some joy.

It’s amazing how much better I feel when I get out of my familiar surroundings for just a short while, spend some time with friends who are like family, and just LAUGH. I may need a second, or even a third dose throughout the day, but hey I know it’s good for the soul.

It’s a known fact laughing can reduce stress, ease tension, and just improve your mood. Even a little bit. Even for a short while.

A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.”

Proverbs 17:22

Hubby has always been sort of a funny man. He’s kind of a smarty pants most would agree, and he can make anyone in our family laugh. Sometimes, he can make them mad as well. LOL

We have this crazy sense of humor we share, sarcastic in a way, poking fun in the other’s direction, laughing at silly memories. When I think back, I can remember so many things, so many times.

Sometimes I wonder, where does he come up with this stuff? But, I think in a way we feed off each other, knowing how to push each other’s buttons.

I love when we have those meaningless conversations, the ones that lead to laughing or reminiscing, and I end up smiling just thinking about them. So many memories, vacations with family, trips with friends, and holidays or occasions that include laughing.

If I lost him it’s what I would miss the most. His sarcastic comments, the way a family conversation is always full of chuckles and crazy comments, and how everyone plays off each other’s words. My children and their dad, telling stories, laughing, making jokes. It all makes me smile.

I would miss all of that. And, who else would ever put up with me?

Even in the midst of laughter, there’s always those thoughts in the back of my mind. And, I know what people will say, but it’s hard to distract the mind from going there. So, don’t say it to me please. I know I shouldn’t think about it, but tell my mind that at 2 am.

After everything we have been through it is hard to forget. As someone once said, it’s not about what might happen, it’s about what did happen. It’s not so much about worrying, but about remembering.

And, it’s hard to not remember all of the doctor visits, all the appointments, all the scans, all the complications, the infection, the cancer, the treatments, the effects, the wounds, the pain, the battle, the fight. It’s too much to forget, and the daily reminders are always there, in the morning and at night.

Always.

Every. Single. Day.

The laughter is a temporary distraction, and one that is always welcomed.

Needed. Craved.

Every day we tell ourselves, Laughter is the best medicine.

As the bible says there is a time for everything. I know God is telling me to enjoy life as I have it right now, because time is precious and we never know when we will come to the end of our path.

I remind myself it is out of my control, and I know I should not fret.

In spite of the division we have all around us, I am going to choose Joy, choose Laughter, choose to spend time with my family and closest friends because I know that is something I do have a choice in.

And, amongst the laughter that will be something to remember.

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; a time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to throw away; a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
Posted in Devotional, Self Help

Approval Not Needed

We all have moments we struggle, right?

I struggle, I falter, I sometimes think I can’t get through today. Some thing, some person, some distraction takes my mind where I don’t need to go, don’t want to focus, or just outside my realm. There are just some places I don’t belong.

And, there are other places I just don’t want to be.

I am learning to reduce the noise in my life, surround myself with solitude, peace, and silence. It is amazing how close I can become with God when I turn off the sound. It is a sort of exercise I wish I would have kept up with a long time ago.

Nonetheless, I realize lessons are something I will always learn in life no matter how old I am.

Being more spiritual, believing in a higher power has brought me peace at those uncertain instances when anxiety sets in, I can’t breathe, and I feel as if I am being buried. At times, I feel lost in my life, tormented by the unknown, alone in the darkness, deafened by the silence. Ironically, the same silence that when I talk to God brings me a sense of calm.

My close family members and friends know me. They know the place I am in my life, respect my struggles and sympathize with my pain. They listen, they empathize, they supoort. They may not know how I feel, but they acknowledge my strength, my resilience.

They also know I am human.

“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;”

Romans 3:23

And, that just validates the reality some know me better than others, and some don’t know me at all.

Everyone in my life has a role, and some roles last longer than others. Some don’t make it through one chapter, but everyone serves their purpose.

As the saying goes, some people are a blessing, others are a lesson.

I am thankful for both.

When hubby got cancer I was a mess. It was like a levee broke, and I was flooded with fears and questions and worry. It consumed me, and it put me in a state of shock.

I have always felt I could handle anything thrown my way as long as I was prepared. A cancer diagnosis doesn’t fall into that category. Most of us believe those are the kinds of things that happen to other people.

It in fact has been a hard year for many people. A pandemic is not for the weak. I know so many fighting cancer, along with numerous other battles. It has been a tumultuous year for us all, and some of us have fought battles this year that no one knows about.

Yes, even in my family.

This whole year has been hell, really. Simply one struggle after another.

Then September rolled around and my upside down world began to tumble.

Removed.

Silenced.

On my knees.

And, I knew then it was time to shut down the outside world.

Why?

Simply because it was the only way I could get through my son’s accident.

I will never get used to my husband having cancer. In one way or another, I am faced with multiple reminders on a daily basis. The rest of the world is not living those moments, but I live them over and over every day as they stare me in the face. No matter how much Jesus I have in my life I am human, I waver. Time and again.

Perhaps nothing can prepare me, or maybe it’s just an adaption I cannot make.

Either way, I have realized it is OK.

It is OK to not be OK. It’s OK to have a bad day, or a bad week, or even two.

It is OK. It just has to be because there’s really no choice.

I will never forget the day of my son’s accident. I will never forget how helpless I felt, how defenseless I was. I will not forget the fear, the pain, the trauma, the sleeplessness, the nightmares, or any of it.

I am so thankful the Lord looked out for him that day, and each time I replay the moments over in my head I realize how blessed we are.

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”

Psalm 46:1

There are plenty of tears to be soaked up, but cherishing the silence in my life is helping me manuever my way through a difficult course. It has helped me see where I’ve been and how far I have come.

Writing helps me sort through my thoughts and digest the ones I can tolerate. Those left are simply there to remind me of work to be done, fears I am facing, and a momento of how this is part of a bigger plan.

I know there is a purpose on my path, and slowly, I am fumbling through all the pages to find the bigger picture. This blog has become part of my journey. It is mine, and there are no right or wrong answers. It is my haven, my survival tool, my place to sort it all out and find peace, encourage others, and even follow my dreams.

It is simply a part of my journey I have chosen to share.

I come here, to this place of words and quotes and thoughts, seeking what’s hidden in the quiteness. A refuge for us all to find comfort and harmony. My courage in sharing my emotions and searching for a sense of healing may seem like a vulnerability; however, make no mistake, it is in no way a search for approval.

Posted in Devotional, Self Help

Hard to Handle

Have you ever had a critical realization that impacted your whole way of thinking?

I have an abundance of thoughts and a lack of discernments that could go into making the list complete, and this could quite possibly be why I always need to know the unknown. And, why I try terribly hard to be a realist.

Let’s face it! I have said it before…we spend our whole life planning for the future only to hit the brakes when something tragic happens and then be expected to live life one day at a time. I dont know about you, but I have never been able to shift gears that quickly, nor do I instantly accept change at a moment’s notice.

Maybe when it comes to being a mom or having to think faster than four little ones, but not in a situation that involves every life expectancy I ever dreamed about.

Last week, I listened to a podcast from a lovely woman who has suffered her own heartaches similar to my own. One of the discussions during her segment touched on some mistruths and how she searched the Bible unsuccessfully to find where it says God will not give us anymore than we can handle.

I have thought about this more and more since last week, but more importantly, I thought about this long before I heard that discussion.

For a long, long time I have felt overloaded, over exhausted, and most importantly mistaken. Mistaken for a strong woman who surely was made of steel.

My point being there’s no way I could be as heavily built as God must think.

Not only do I not feel strong, but I don’t want to have to always be. And, why don’t I have any choice in this?

Why was I chosen to be so tough?

As the saying goes, when it rains it pours?

How much can one person, one family take?

By no means am I the only one struggling. I know several people who have the weight crushing their shoulders. I am not alone. And honestly, I don’t want to be here.

People tell me all the time how strong I am, but honestly do I have a choice?

Ever since my son’s accident I have wondered how much more is going to come at us? I feel like I am always waiting for the other shoe to drop.

And, since hubby’s illness, I have had this urge to fight the panic that plagues me, to protect my children, and pray they stay safe.

That September afternoon, and the days that followed at the Burn Center, stole every ounce of peace I had built up and robbed me of any hope that my children are invincible in harm’s way.

Fear does not discriminate and a few days ago it tormented me as a feeling of panic consumed me. A quick shower, a missed phone call, and a simple reminder of my daughter traveling back to school flooded my mind with a disquiet. I had this uncontrollable feeling that something bad was happening, and I was deemed helpless.

The fear was unwarranted, unnecessary, but yet it hounded me nonetheless. These are the moments that rob me without warning, devouring any solitude I have found and creating hysteria within my mind.

I feel helpless, beaten, and the anxiety sets in.

I used to find comfort in thinking nothing else will happen because God knows I can’t take anymore.

However, one thing I have learned and know for certain is there are no guarantees.

To finish the story, the point in the podcast was…God will not give us anymore than we can handle without His help.

The lesson is to put your trust in God.

I will admit I have an uneasiness about it. I have this misconception I am letting go of control of the reins. In the back of my mind when I am thinking sensibly and my fear is not controlling my mind, I know realistically I don’t actually have control of any of this.

Life is hard and without Him it is impossible to get through the darkness. The most difficult challenge is letting go and trusting what is not seen to get you through to the light.

I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.”

John 15:5