Posted in Self Help

Early Morning Thoughts

It’s an early morning for me. Ironically, my favorite time when the house is quiet, and I am alone with my thoughts in spite of the fact I’m not at all an early riser. I’m a night owl, but I love my sleep when it decides to finally come to me.

This morning I awoke early, unable to rest, my mind flooded with worry and thoughts of everything I’m dealing with in life. The mounding stack of medical bills to pay, the incessant virus, the relentless quarantine, unable to see my

distant family, my daughter still away, cancer, kids, and on and on my mind spiraling out of control.

How did my sanity get here this early? Sometimes I can feel my thoughts reeling as I’m sleeping. And how do I know this? I awake restless, tense with my thoughts racing. I just know.

The bedlam in my life creates a perfect storm in my head. So many obstacles to overcome. Thoughts of the future, what tomorrow brings and what yesterday has done.

The commotion puts me on overload. I have been crying inside for days, at moments unable to hold back the tears, the pain, the brokenness I feel inside. My shoulders feel heavy, my heart aches, I have a pit in my stomach.

It happens every so often. I go through an ungovernable cycle.

Many times it begins the week we travel to the Cancer Center, the mental exhaustion sets in, impressions are made resulting in realities of the situation. Like a balloon it gets bigger and bigger, so full until it finally bursts.

Most would tell me to pray, trust in God, have faith. And, I’m telling you I do.

A year ago the process was debilitating, but time and hope, friends and faith have led me to the place I now reside. I’m better, really I am.

For those who have never walked in my shoes and even know all that I am dealing with, it is a load to process. I simply cannot just dump it all at once without sorting it out inside my brain. At times I feel like I must declutter and try to process what exactly I am dealing with before I can hand it over.

As some would say, it’s just the way I’m wired.

I read a lot. Not books lately, but a lot of everything else. A cluster of topics including cancer, ailments within my family, devotions and quotes, spiritual works and anything else that my mind makes me wonder about.

This morning, I can’t sleep and contrary to everything running through my mind my thoughts revert back to God. 

Regardless of the mountain in front of me, I have so much to be grateful for. Simple things that easily get overlooked. More money needs to go out than is coming in, but we still have the obvious necessities of life…food, a roof and don’t forget toilet paper.

My daughter is safe with friends and family who will look out for her. She is not alone, and I will get her home soon, one way or another.

I can still talk to my family, even though I can’t see all of them right now. They are here with me. 

For the most part my children are healthy. I have friends, family and people who check in on me. There’s a sweet teacher friend who brought us a delicious dinner, has been there if I need an ear and helped with something I mistakenly forgot. She has made me gracious with her caring and kindness.

And, I have so much love and appreciation for everyone who has chosen to be a part of my world. It is not an easy task to be my friend right now, but a few have remained irregardless.

I have hope, I have faith. And, I have the Lord. I am blessed in so many ways, and there’s an abundance of gratitude in spite of it all.

Life is full of battles, and heartbreak and pain and struggles, but if I look closer it’s full of so much more. There is room for my grateful heart.

Life is difficult. It is mostly uphill. Remember that.

The sooner I accepted it, the easier it got and my expectations changed. We cannot alter life to fit our wants and needs. Most of the time it alters us.

Life is a challenge in our changing world filled with turmoil, selfishness and disgrace. It’s a reminder what we should seek the most are not the objects many of us desire.

33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.”

Matthew 6:33
Posted in Cancer, Family, Self Help

Optimism, Realism

Do you ever think about dying?

It’s a topic no one willingly likes to discuss, but yet it’s the end and the beginning to our life. This week I’ve been thinking about it more and more.

I don’t know why.

But, it’s on my mind often, and that scares me a little.

25 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; 26 and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

John 11:25-26

Today, I was chatting with an old high school friend over text, and I asked about her dad. Her mom passed away two years ago, and I told her I hate to think our parents are at that age.

She said, “…it’s so hard to think about. We spend our whole childhood wishing time away and then wake up one day and wonder where it went.”

My grandmother lived until her late 90s. My Pawpaw until his mid 90s and my Granny until 90. That’s some longevity in my family, but there have been others who died young.

I wondered what is really “that age.”

Yesterday, on the way home from the Cancer Center, hubby and I had a consequential discussion. Normally, when I ask him to talk about his feelings he says, “What are feelings?” It’s his wittiness, but he doesn’t talk about feelings much unless I am upset, he’s talking about cancer or our family.

We discuss death. And, like I explored with him yesterday and my friend today, there is no such thing as “that age.” That age can be 5, 25, 55 or 95.

As hubby told me, he will die when it’s his time, when the good Lord decides, and there is no worry in that.

God takes us when He is ready to take us. Yes, there are miracles, but perhaps God only grants those once in a while and saves them for special circumstances?

I realized on our drive home, hubby believes in miracles, he just doesn’t believe there’s one for him.

Society looks at dying in regards to life expectancy, but that’s not how dying happens. We expect to live until 80. We are blessed to live into our 90s. And, if we die before “our time” we say it’s too soon.

No one wants to see a mother lose a child. A wife lose her husband. A child lose his parent.

We have no say in who gets cancer, has a fatal accident or loses someone they love. We all have an expiration date, and sadly, not all of them are as lengthy as others.

We are not born with a guarantee on life, or how long we will walk on Earth.

Rarely, do I have this conversation with others; however, hubby and I have these disconcerting talks often. These circumstance are not necessarily planned for, but in this situation they are inevitable. I don’t always understand how he is so at peace, but he is and for that I am grateful. For myself, there is still a lack of acceptance, a disquiet about my children where my heart is impaired.

I know it is hard for my friends and family to understand. As my daughter alluded to, there are times we sense something is coming and catch ourselves just waiting for the other shoe to drop. We take aim at positivity, but in the back of our mind we are searching for level headedness.

Being a realist and being optimistic are not always the same nor do the two invariably go together. I think it is hard for someone trying to encourage us to stay positive to comprehend how we walk a fine line within the two. I understand, my husband understands, my children understand, but to others they don’t always understand.

It is difficult for everyone to decipher the thought process and the task of protecting the heart. It’s hard to be positive, pray for a miracle and accept the facts, the odds, and the reality of a situation. Somewhere in that mix we have to find a happy medium where our heart can safely flourish. A place we can live comfortably, a place we can accept whatever is handed to us and be able to survive the outcome.

Maybe some of you don’t view this as a sense of positivity, but at some point we find ourselves seeking a survival mode. Just maybe, we weigh on the cautious side. We have to live in a sector where we can manuever our path, even in heart-rending times.

That means preparing for the worst, while hoping and praying for the best.

All we need from everyone else is to pray for us. xo

17 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever.18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.”

 1 Thessalonians 4:17-18

Posted in Self Help

Renewed Hope

I anticipate with the celebration of Easter this past weekend everyone is feeling a renewed sense of hope in the midst of these trying times? When we look at the conditions Jesus withstood it makes our problems shallow in comparison.

I have had many pep talks from friends as well as within my own mind over the last several days trying to get over the hurdles we are facing. Our household has been a little stressed with individual circumstances, along with the the big obvious one affecting our whole family.

Last week, I was about at my breaking point, finding myself depressed and lost. I was out of my regular routine and so was everyone else. Life was a little tense to say the least.

Easter came at a good time for all of us.

It was a reminder of trials and tribulations we all face, and it was a good reminder of all we have to be thankful for in spite of our situation.

I watched Andrea Bocelli perform Amazing Grace in Milan, and it was just another confirmation that the mercy of God can save us from despair.

Our family watched Renovation Church’s Easter message yesterday morning and it just brought everything to fruition. We were reminded of these things:

The Lord gives us peace and hope, and Jesus is greater than bad news whether it came in the past, comes today or tomorrow. We are God’s masterpiece, and He has a purpose over our life to do good things.

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”

Ephesians 2:8-10

I know some of us are stronger believers than others, and we all waver in our commitments at times, but I promise you without hope I don’t know where I would be.

It has been the one consistent thing in my life that has kept me moving forward. Some days I find myself struggling, doubting and drifting back into the darkness, but there is light. We just have to look for it.

Today, I went back through my journal and read some of the entries that I had written back in the fall. Some were filled with gloom and hopelessness. I know this is a vicious cycle that replays itself every so often, but I was thinking to myself…Not today Satan.

I have been in that tragic state once too often lately, and today, I am feeling hopeful. I don’t want to be there right now. I don’t want to feel bad, or depressed, or worried. I don’t want to deal with chaos or opinions or rants. I don’t want to be reminded of the bad news.

It takes so much out of me and it’s exhausting. I just want it to stop. Just for a day, a minute. We have a trip to the Cancer Center this week, and that brings enough anxiety on its own. Today, I need to be strong and positive and full of renewed hope. I don’t have the energy for anything else.

We don’t need to listen to the news, or let social media consume us, or even think about the days to come. The bad, the darkness will exhaust us if we let it.

Today, we simply need to enjoy the sunshine, think positive thoughts and focus on all the good in our lives. It is right in front of us. Find hope, find peace…the Joy comes with it. xo

Posted in Devotional, Self Help

Keep Moving

It’s a beautiful day outside, but I’m not feeling like the weather. I guess I should have spent more time outdoors today instead of working inside.

Why is life such a rollercoaster right now?

Everytime I get on track to having good days, I stumble and regress. I’m tired of this mindset, but I know I am the only one who can fix it. I just feel like I’m running around in circles.

Today, I read it is possible this could last until August, with people staying home and businesses closed. My heart sank, the pit of my stomach ached and in all truthfulness I wanted to cry.

August?

Really?

That’s the whole summer. That would mean no graduation, no vacations, no beach days, no July 4th celebrations, no family visits, no chance at a rebounding economy and no relief in sight. I ALMOST want to say no hope, but I won’t.

I know that’s what the devil wants me to do, but I won’t. No matter how tired I get, I will never lose hope. I’m going to keep telling myself that because it’s all I’ve got.

10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. 13 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. 14 Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, 15 and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. 16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit,which is the word of God.18  And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.19 Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 for which I am an ambassadorin chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.”

Ephesians 6:10-20

Keep moving forward.

Someone I knew during my childhood actually died last week after contracting the virus. Look around, I know you all know or know of someone who has been affected. It’s a devastating realization, but it’s inevitable.

And, depressing. Sad. It steals our joy. We are the only ones who can hold onto it, but yet, it is a challenging task at hand.

How do we not lose our joy?

7 Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life; you stretch out your hand against the wrath of my enemies, and your right hand delivers me. 8 The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O LORD, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands.

Psalm 138:7-8

Keep moving forward.

When we were at the Cancer Center last week the nurse told me perfectly healthy people are dying from this virus. She said for her that is the scariest thing about it. The fact that scares her, terrifies me.

We are living in some dark and uncertain times, and it just goes to show how vulnerable we really are. I know we are living under God’s plan, but I still can’t help but feel some sort of uneasiness.

I know there are more dark days ahead until we get through the peak of this. I know our lives are probably forever changed, but I pray the Lord will get us through and bring some light.

Keep moving forward.

I have been reminding myself all week that it’s Holy week. I have had some wonderful souls tell me to trust in God to get me through all this and that he will carry me. They have reminded me of what Jesus endured during this week and how I am stronger with the Lord by my side.

I know I am stronger, and I know we can get through this. Stay hopeful and keep moving forward. Today, I pray for strength for all of us and wish everyone a Happy Easter. xo

Posted in Cancer, Self Help

Effects

My son woke me up at 2:30 am this morning. That was definitely OK, but I had a hard time falling back asleep.

Who doesn’t have a lot on their mind lately, right?

I’ve been worrying about the usual life conflicts these days along with this virus, but more recently I’ve been focused on other issues.

Some of them have to do with the chemo treatments my husband is receiving right now and the effects those treatments are having on him, mentally and physically.

I read about “chemo brain” and “chemo rage” and his well being and how he is doing with all this concerns me. Many cannot understand how all this makes me feel, and I cannot understand what he feels. It is a vicious mind game that wears on my sanity.

Never mind the obvious effects of this horrible disease, the effects it has on your body as it invades it and the effects of the treatment to try to stop it. He and I are both battling from different ends of the spectrum. And then, there are our children.

I want to fight this, but this illness, the responsibilities and the effects bring a whole new level of stress to our lives, which in turn requires a higher level of faith, trust and hope.

1 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. 3 He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. 4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

Psalm 23:1-4

I cannot explain the overwhelming moments, days, weeks I have as a mom and wife being responsible for a household, finances and taking care of someone I so desperately want to get through this without the added worries of life.

Being a caregiver is difficult, and if you’ve never lived that life 24/7 you can only imagine what it’s like.

I gladly accept my job, the challenge, because it is what I need to do, but I am not going to lie….this is the HARDEST thing I have ever had to do in my life.

I know I need to just give it to God, but like I said this has all moved to a higher level. It’s time to up my game.

With all the new challenges this virus has brought to us I feel engulfed in yet another battle. A life altering one that makes me sometimes feel as if I’m in a pool of water, caught in a current spinning out of control and about to be sucked down a drain.

Helpless.

I don’t know if any of you ever feel this way, but sometimes I get so inundated with what’s going on around me, I forget to stop and ask God for help. Instead, I’m grasping for anything to hold on to as my mind takes over, and I lose sight of the very fact that I have the power to stop the thought process.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my family time, having my kids home and sharing the dinner hour with everyone, BUT sometimes I need a break.

We are supposed to be social distancing, right?

I miss going to lunch with my friends, spending an hour to go out and take my time at the grocery, or just browsing the craft store or a shop or two. I miss my “me time,” every few months getting my hair done and getting together with the people I miss so much .

For a girl who feels lonely in a crowd of people on many days, I seriously could use some alone time right now. And, don’t judge, but I just mean some time to get away from the daily grind and recharge.

A caregiver, a mom, a wife. Some days the jobs all run together. Driving to appointments, being the cook, the cleaner, the bill payer and everything else that involves running a household and taking care of a sick patient and kids. Sometimes I just want to refocus my brain and think of something else, something fun or happy, or maybe think of nothing.

Don’t get me wrong, my kids are great at helping around the house and doing chores, and I appreciate everything they do. My most favorite job in life is being a mom, but we are just so out of our routine. Some days I welcome staying home, in my comfort zone, and others I just want to get out.

On days we go to Duke I dread the drive, but it’s a time I look forward to getting out of the house. On the other hand, it’s mentally exhuasting being at the Cancer Center and physically exhausting getting up early, traveling and getting little sleep.

It’s a balancing act I need to control and perfect. I need to work harder at gettting myself on a new schedule, find a new norm in these coming days and just tell myself to relax and breathe.

I know I am stronger than I imagine, and the Lord is the one who will help me through.

1 I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from? 2 My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth.

Psalm 121:1-2
Posted in Self Help

Sleepless

It’s 2:30 in the morning. That’s my mind’s favorite time to be awake. What’s yours?

I don’t know how others are feeling, but I have an idea many of you are feeling a little uneasy, stressed, uncertain about how the coming weeks are going to play out. Yeah, I feel you.

I have so much on my mind lately I don’t know where to start. I frantically fumble through my thoughts sometimes in the evening, wondering if I have forgotten anything I was supposed to do today. Pay a bill, make an appointment, pick up a prescription. Not to mention the something even more important than all of that.

Seriously, I stop and hold my breath some nights as I file through my mind, wondering what I missed. It’s exhausting some days. And, on those days I walk around until I catch myself, with my shoulders tensed up and my neck in knots.

On these days particularly, I hear my doctor’s voice in my head reminding me I’m ruining my health. Lately, I’ve realized I’m probably ruining someone else’s health because they are worrying about me.

I hate that. I really will be fine.

As if life wasn’t overpowering me already. Why does all hell have to break loose at once?

I keep telling myself I’m going to do meditation tomorrow so I can make myself relax. Tomorrow, I am promising myself. Tomorrow, I will follow through.

It’s hard to stay positive and not let all the negative consume us. And sadly, I’m finding it extremely difficult to do in the midst of a pandemic. It’s all everyone talks about or posts about, and I need a break from it. I am already consumed with the cancer fight. That’s a full plate.

I decided this past weekend I need to step away from social media except for dealing with my blog. It’s the best thing to do for my sanity and well being. This virus talk is making me a little unsettled, especially the rants.

Stop making it political people. No one in our lifetime has another politician to compare to how they did in this situation because we haven’t lived through a pandemic. Sorry, but there’s not an instruction book on it. So STOP making it political, it’s not!

Instead, PRAY and count your blessings. Life could be so much worse.

Posted in Self Help

Morning Peace

I’m not really a morning person, but I love early mornings when the world is just waking up and there is peace and quiet. The trees sway in the morning air, the birds sing and there is solitude. The house is silent and my mind is calm.

These are the moments I can relax in this soundless hour with only a distant chirping in the outside daybreak. The bluebirds exit their house for their morning mealtime and the squirrels hang from the bird feeder in a desperate attempt to snatch what they can before they fall.

Nature is so innocent and serene. The exact opposite of the realm I live in.

An angry world with chaos and uncertainty. It is spreading like wildfire. The fear, the despair, the ambiguity. Spiraling out of control without a safety net.

We are all in some of this together, yet it is far from our domain. Is my morning peacefulness just a facade?

Outside of it lies a place of precariousness I cannot comprehend. It is a space I do not want to occupy, one I cannot allow myself to inhabit at the moment.

It is all too much, and I find myself only able to battle with one attack at a time. The thought of any more than that engulfs my mind with anxiety and frustration, sending me to the edge.

Ultimately, my morning peace is taken over by movement and reality sets in. Another day with the same personal battle, but hopeful the waking hour has brought a refreshed start with it.

One step at a time, one foot in front of the other, with the Lord by my side. It is the only way to approach and fight this beast.

This unstoppable beast that has stolen so much of my tranquil mindfulness and so much more.

Eventually, I know the obstacles will bring darkness and surround me. My faith, my prayers, the Lord is my only salvation.

I pray the darkness will not overcome me, and the Lord will grant me a peaceful asylum.

Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace always in every way. The Lord be with you all.

2 Thessalonians 3:16
Posted in Family, Self Help

Family Blessings

The days seem to run together for us lately. It’s like we are just living one day to get to the next, not thinking about what we are doing or what our purpose is other than to just get from one moment to the next.

I asked my dad if he ever thought he would live through a time like this. He said he never thought he would.

I think about the events my grandparents lived through, depressions and wars. They didn’t know much if anything about computers, and my grandmother was amazed with FaceTime not long before she died. She lived through so much, yet our lives hardly touched when it came to ways of living. She grew up and lived in a world I barely know, and my world outgrew her long before she died.

It almost makes me sad. When my grandmother died we all gathered at her home, and my children loved listening to my dad and uncle talk about when they were kids. It was hours of rehashed memories, listening to them talk about the fun they had growing up, and their unpretentious life.

It makes me yearn for simpler times. I’m so thankful my boys knew their great grandparents. Their knowledge of living is something you cannot just learn in a history book. And, it’s a tale never to be forgotten.

I relish the times I have with my family. I am thankful for my dad and my uncle and the relationships I have with them as well as the ones they have with my kids. Family bestows all the joys in life.

I will never take the memories I have for granted, nor will I ever regret the close relationships I have kept. I will welcome time spent reminiscing, and I just pray my children will do the same. I will continuously be thankful for all the family who I have been blessed with in my life.

More than ever I want my children to spend time with grandparents and uncles and aunts and their dad and me making those precious moments that will later become the highlights of their life. One day, that is all there will be.

This week, more setbacks were thrown at our feet, and tonight, I find myself more sentimental than yesterday. I can’t help it, things always seem to weigh on my mind.

It’s difficult not to focus on the truths lurking around you. It’s hard to constantly be positive when there’s so much negative flooding your life. I have learned it takes mental strength and an abundance of willpower. Some days I simply don’t have enough of either.

It’s two in the morning, and my mind is heavy. The effort of sorting through my thoughts helps clear my head. Despite being overtired, I haven’t been able to find sleep tonight. There’s more in my mind that needs digesting.

I may not have solved the world’s problems, or totally found the peace I need, but I have reminded myself of all my blessings and those I am most thankful for tonight.

In this time of uncertainty we should take the time for ourselves. Search our souls for our inner peace and find all that is good in our lives. In times of despair we are so vulnerable and quick to focus on the negative. Stop and pray, focus on our own being and don’t let the pandemonium of the world steal our inner peace.

Radiate humility, meditate, and count the many blessings every minute of the day.

Posted in Cancer, Self Help

There is Light

Is everyone feeling a little more anxious today? Overwhelmed?

With the latest announcement of school closing until May 15, I imagine many of us are banging our heads against a wall asking, WHY?

We want to go to work, go to school, have teachers teach in a classroom, work from our workplace office, go to the gym, the grocery store, church, baseball games and parties. Can’t we just get back to normal?

Honestly, I want more than anything for life to get back to normal. But, I’ve been praying for life to get back to normal for a long, long time. Our family has been practicing some social distancing on and off, during flu season, chemo and infections.

My husband is fighting cancer for his life, and I have this pit in my stomach. This pandemic is just upping the game!

In the back of my mind, I’m worried about this virus and my family being around someone who may have been exposed. At first I didn’t cut my children off 100 percent from their friends, allowing some outdoor interaction and a visit here and there. It has been hard, but honestly, the last 609 days have been hard.

This virus scares me more and more everyday, but to tell the truth, cancer is what is scaring me the most. It’s spiraling out of control and this beast won’t stop. Nothing has stopped it. NOTHING! And, there’s no mad dash to find a vaccine or a cure or even the cause.

609 Days!

Days consumed with stress, worry, tears, restfulness, concern. Many of those days involved clinic or hospital visits, travel, setbacks and uneasiness.

But, all of those days involved blessings and prayers, love, family, and thankfulness. Some had laughter, some had tears, but there was continuous gratitude for God.

10 So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

Isaiah 41:10

Some of us go through private storms others don’t have to experience. Some of us go through storms as a community, a state, a nation or a world. And, some of us are going through both.

Negativity spreads like wildfire. Complaining creates chaos. The “blame game” doesn’t solve a thing. We are all doing the best we can in these uncharted waters so just STOP complaining and blaming everyone. Just stop! It’s not what our society needs and it’s not what our kids need.

Our children are struggling with school abruptly ending, no sports, no prom, and maybe no graduation. Their futures are lingering in the unknown, and just maybe they need us to remain calm and positive.

It’s understandable because each of us has unknowns in our life. We all have struggles, but we just need to show some compassion. Display a little humility. Count our blessings.

Turn off the TV, step away from social media and just for a little while step away from the commotion, enjoy family and partake in some fun. Get our minds off the negative and be thankful for what we have. Help our children through it.

It really could be worse, but we can get through this.

Find our message in our mess!

Be Humble and Kind!

Choose Faith over Fear!

Find Joy!

Maybe we can’t create total Peace on Earth! But, we can show a little kindness, be a good friend or neighbor, help our children through the uncertainties, and surround ourselves with positivity.

Be optimistic, there is light at the end of the tunnel. We just have to look for it.

Posted in Self Help

Love Your Life

When my husband got sick with cancer it felt like I was living in a glass house. Scared and afraid to make a move not knowing how to navigate my way.

Until that point, I spent so much time looking for a happiness that didn’t exist. I was lost, wandering around in my life without a destination or a roadmap.

Sure I was a mother of four, a wife, a volunteer, a sister, a baseball mom, a daughter, a niece, a friend. In a sense though, I felt like I didn’t belong anywhere. I had become a stranger to my own world and didn’t know where I fit in.

I needed a purpose. I needed to have my own meaning.

Most of us would like to sit back and pretend we don’t know what I’m talking about. Many would point to their picture perfect life with a white picket fence, a praiseworthy marriage, and a June Cleaver suburban lifestyle. But, let’s face it, we all know, honestly, we are lying. To ourselves and to each other.

Stop being a pretender.

When you try to change yourself to pretend to be somebody else, you don’t feel comfortable. It is beautiful to be what you are.

Jean Paul Gaultier

If we are being honest, and I’m telling you we ARE being honest, none of us have exactly that do we? Not all of it, and not all the time. We have troubles with our children, fights with our spouse, fed up moments we want to run away, or insecurities or doubts about what the heck we are doing.

We are sick of selfish partners, tired of spoiled or fighting children, broken from being walked on or taken for granted, and envious of our friends who we think have it all. We are lost somewhat without a purpose and scrambling for a way to find one.

All of us feel some of that and some of us feel all of that. Let’s be real. I’ll be the first to admit my life is far, far from ideal even if you take the cancer out of it. I thought that before, and now it’s more accurate and obvious than ever.

Life is a challenge. It’s a challenge for all of us. We all have our troubles. And, it’s OK.

We are fighting battles not everyone knows about. Do you really think the only pain, the only struggle I have in life right now is my husband having cancer?

Don’t be so naïve. Anyone who knows me knows I’m a pretty private person. Everyone was going to find out about the cancer eventually. I’m just trying to get through it, and hopefully help someone else get through their crusade. It helps me to talk about it.

I’ve been a writer my whole life. Sometimes professionally and sometimes for myself. It is my passion. That’s why I do it because I LOVE it. It is what I have always wanted to do, I just took several detours to get here.

Trust me, the illness is one of the many conflicts in my life right now. I could blow you away and make you wonder how I’m still sane. But, that’s my life story. One that I’m not completely ready to talk about with the world quite yet and honestly not anyone’s business.

Think about how much curiosity I’ve sparked and then look in the mirror. It’s so much easier to deal with everyone else’s downfall, from afar, and take the focus off yourself. A safe place to whisper, to judge, to empathize, feel sorry, gossip, or whatever it is you like to do.

If my sad story makes you feel better about yours, then you’re welcome. Take your time and deal with your life when you’re ready.

I’m not going to lie and say it’s an easy place to be. I’m not going to say I don’t struggle with “why?” on several days. I will admit I cry A LOT. For myself and my children and for their dad. It’s hard to face the reasoning of why you have to suffer so much and lose a loved one. There’s nothing easy about it and there’s no silver lining in sight.

If I’ve learned anything… it’s OK to not be OK. It’s fine to cry, to scream, to be mad at God or not understand the reasoning. Some questions just can’t be answered for us.

The will of God will not take us where the grace of God cannot sustain us.”

Billy Graham

You aren’t alone if you don’t have a perfect relationship with your spouse, your children, your boss, or your mother-in-law. You’re not isolated if you have a family feud going on or if you have an addict in your house, your spouse doesn’t give you attention, you can’t pay your bills, or you worry about your children’s future. Everyone is going through something and many of us are going through A LOT.

You’re not alone people. Stop making yourself miserable thinking you are and believing everything you see on social media. Stop comparing. People aren’t posting about their kid flunking math or their spouse staying out til 3 am without an excuse.

Don’t let others make you feel bad about yourself. Just don’t!

Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma—which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition.

Steve Jobs

I have talked to friend after friend about all of this nonsense. Many say they don’t use social media because they can’t stand the negativity or the perfect little life posts. Some say they have struggles with their marriage, worries with their kids, and concerns about careers, families, or their mental well being.

You aren’t the only one going through it. Stop worrying about everyone else. Don’t try to one up people, put down others to make yourself feel better, act like you have a flawless life, or envy others. Spend your time making your life the one you love and long for. In the end, your life is the only one you have to live. xo