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 Cancer, Family

What Cancer Has Taught Me…

Do you ever feel like you’re going in a million directions?

People used to say they didn’t know how I managed four young children. HA! I find that humorous nowadays.

Four teenaged/almost adult kids, now, that’s a challenge.

Unlike toddlers, their minds are developed. They’ve been exposed to the outside world. They have opinions and real attitudes. They eat more. They are young adults. They still need their mom, but they won’t always admit it.

And, we thought a toddler tantrum had convictions. (Insert laughing/crying emoji.)

Honestly, I love having them all home for the summer. I know those days are far and few between.

June 2018

But!

Some days I feel like I CANNOT get anything accomplished. My routine is out the window. Earlier this week, I spent the better part of the day helping everyone else. I cooked breakfast, I cleaned, I helped with some summer homework, I cooked dinner, and did a multitude of other things, mostly for everyone else. That pretty much took up the rest of the day according to my vague memory .

My weeks have been busy, but like today I cannot figure out what they have been consumed with. Many of my waking hours I feel like I am going through the motions.

And, not consistently in the most productive way.

I think I need a job, but honestly I wonder if it really is what I need. It’s not like I’ve been lying around on the couch all day eating bonbons or sunning on the beach.

I haven’t had an alone minute in I don’t know when.

Until today.

And, I’m behind.

On everything!

But, I’ve found myself fumbling to figure out what it is that needs to be done, first.

I realized a long time ago I thrive in chaos. That’s the reason I consistently volunteered for more than I should have, never learned how to say NO, and most likely why I had four children.

I like to be busy. Too busy!

But, CANCER has taught me a thing or two about all that.

When hubby got sick two years ago all my volunteering halted. I stopped all of it, immediately.

Part of me still wanted to do it, but most of me didn’t.

I wanted to do it for the kids involved, I wanted to do it to help my friends, but I didn’t want to do it for myself anymore.

For once I just wanted to do what I wanted to do, and was best for me.

If cancer has taught me anything it’s that life is too short. It’s too short to worry about all the petty things. It has taught me you can have everything you think you want and still not be happy. It has taught me who my real friends are, and to tighten my circle.

Cancer has taught me to never lose hope, believe in something, and ALWAYS just trust in the Lord because that’s all I really can do.

Cancer has taught me life is hard, an uphill battle, so get used to it. It has taught me to find JOY in every situation and look for the silver lining. It has taught me FAMILY is EVERYTHING, and we always stick together, no matter what.

Cancer has made me realize what’s important and what and who doesn’t matter at all. It has taught me who I can rely on and who I cannot. It has taught me what other people think, say or do doesn’t really matter to me. It has taught me I don’t need anyone’s approval or opinion. It has taught me some people don’t have a place in my world, and I’m OK with that. I’m sorry!

Cancer has taught me so much, but most importantly, cancer has made me realize how thankful I am for my children. I know the Lord knew what he was doing when He gave me four healthy babies.

I will protect them, fight for them, and support them. Always!

Against anything and anyone!

They may not always be perfect, but I love them.

And, they are mine. xo

“Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: ‘Many women have done excellently, but you surpass them all.’”

Proverbs 31:28-29
Posted in Family

Happy Mother’s Day, With Love

13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.”

1 Corinthians 13:13

I have loved being a mother since the day I set eyes on my baby girl 22 years ago. Yes, it is hard to believe I myself have been a mother 22 years, and the fact I am old enough to have children even older than that is astounding to me. Nonetheless, I am.

Having four children has, hands down, given me the biggest accomplishments, while at the same time giving me the most difficult job, the most heart warming moments, the most joy, the most anxiety, the most heart break, the most laughs and the most tears.

Motherhood has offered the best times of my life, as well as some not so easy times. It has been a journey filled with love, learning, self awareness, acceptance, defeat, sadness, joy, maturity, realizations and lessons.

I would like to be able to say being a mother has been pure bliss, a happy, joyful journey with the best days of my life and nothing less. If I am truthful being a mother HAS been all of that, along with some heart breaking, some painful, and some difficult days as well.

For me, motherhood is without a doubt the best part of my life, and I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. I am so blessed to have four wonderful children who have made my family complete.

I would not trade any part of the journey, good or bad. The joy far outweighs the bumps in the road, and I will love them all the same until the day I die.

None of us are perfect, and we don’t live in a perfect world. Life is not always kind, but that adversity teaches us it is up to humanity to make it better and resist all the bad around us. As mothers we hate to see our children suffer, but it is our job to guide them on how to navigate the path even when it’s a difficult road.

I have always taught my children to be kind to others, don’t judge a book by its cover, or treat others harshly just because your peers may. We never know how people are living and it doesn’t hurt to just be nice to everyone. And, if people don’t bring happiness to your life than distance yourself from them.

I was so proud the other day when my youngest son, who I know has heard me tell my older children exactly that a million times said he just distances himself from people who bother him. It’s the little moments like those that make me feel worthy, like I’m not treading water, and they are actually listening.

I constantly tell my older children, “You don’t have to always do what I say, but you do have to listen to what I have to say.” I call that respect. And, if my own mother (and father) taught me anything, it is to respect your elders.

Many times I feel like the way I grew up and the way my parents were raised is obsolete in today’s society. Call it old fashioned or whatever you like, but I call it essential. As someone once said, if your children don’t learn to respect their parents growing up, they will never respect anyone. There is so much truth in that statement, and I have tried to raise my kids around that exact theory.

If nothing else, no matter where life takes them, I hope they will remember and live by those standards. I am hopeful they will invariably know how much I love them, even though at times they don’t agree with what I think or have to say. I pray they will remember what I have taught them and forever love and respect me.

6 Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it.

Proverbs 22:6

This is the first Mother’s Day in awhile I will have all my children together, in one house. I am so thankful and excited to spend it with them.

These days I relish every moment we spend as a family celebrating holidays and special ocassions. I don’t take any moments for granted like I have in the past, that things will always be the way they are.

At times, I have forgotten how precious this life is and how quickly it can all change. I worry about my children just as much now that they are becoming young adults (if not more) as I did when they were little. It seems as they grow the worries become bigger and life gets harder for all of us.

I regret I can’t share this Mother’s Day with my own mother, who taught me how to be a wonderful cook among other things, and my aunt who is like a second mother. Both of them have shaped my life and taught me so many different qualities that established the woman I am today. I am so thankful for both of them, and I know they understand how your heart can be heavy when you worry about the burdens your adult children face.

Regardless, of where they may be, they are in my heart forever.

I wish all the mothers out there a wonderful, special day. And, especially for those mothers who are fighting cancer along side their child right now…you have extra love and prayers for many more celebrations with them. xo

13As one whom his mother comforts, So I will comfort you; And you shall be comforted in Jerusalem.”

Isaiah 66:13

Posted in Family

Memories, Fear Not

2/23/2020

Tonight, I lie in bed alone with my eyes fighting sleep, but my mind is racing. All sorts of thoughts running through my head, reminiscing about my life when I was a child. Why is this on my mind tonight?

I don’t know why I am reminded of running around barefoot in the cold blades of grass, out to the garden where my Pawpaw drove the tractor, where I ran behind it with the cold dirt sifting between my toes as I picked up potatoes. Why tonight do I remember that so clearly?

And why is it on my mind?

I look back at my life and the vision is just as if it were yesterday. But, for some reason today seems blurry, and I can hardly see right in front of me. I close my eyes and imagine I am right there outdoors at this moment. I never thought I would be here where I am now. It’s not the image I had embedded inside my memories, it’s not what it’s suppose to be.

This is not the way my story was supposed to go.

I close my eyes and try to focus on the moment, the present, but it’s hazy, hidden in the darkness.

Lost.

I remember the nights I would sit on my bed and stare off into the blankness, focusing on the tiny blue flowers on my wallpapered wall, so deep in thought I didn’t know if I was real or not.

Maybe I was lost then, too.

10 Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”

Isaiah 41:10

That was another one of my sleepless nights, and I don’t know why I was thinking about my childhood. It’s ironic how we are reminded of particular moments when we have certain situations going on in our life.

I guess most of us don’t really end up living the life we envisioned in our childlike mind. I’m not exactly sure how I expected my life to be, but I know I didn’t expect what it is right now.

I find it interesting, sometimes funny, the memories my mind chooses to pick out and remind me of at specifc times in my life. I often wonder if I suppress individual memories, saving them for another time, or maybe not at all.

Perhaps, I am protected from some, or maybe they are just savored for another day.

I frequently stare at the family picture above the fireplace, when my children were young, and wonder what filled their minds. All the smiles, the cuteness, the innocence. I speculate they have memories of that day like I do, but different ones stick out in their mind.

Sometimes I think about what their dreams were, what they thought their life was like and would become. I know for me I thought many situations would be something other than what they are. I didn’t think I would worry so much about them, have some of the conflicts we have, or even the wounds as a result.

Many variables have made today what it is. Numerous situations that life has dealt have affected us all in a way that will go unchanged. Many conversations, good and bad, never forgotten. Many situations lodged forever in our mind.

I gaze at that picture hanging, and I pray they will all find their peace within this life. They will all keep those smiles they donned that day, the glimmer in their eyes will never fade and they will manuever their way through the roadblocks they encounter. I pray they will find a state of happiness that will endure and overcome the hurdles that may haunt their dreams.

Whether or not they thank me or blame me for problems they have endured, situations they have faced, or the life they have been dealt, I hope they will know I am their mother who offers unconditional love and support that only comes with the price of respect.

Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. “Honor your father and mother,” which is the first commandment with promise: “that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.”

Ephesians 6:1-3

Being a mother, although not always the best one, has been my greatest joy and reward of my life. Being a family, being one another’s best friend, and knowing we have each other’s back ALWAYS has been a wonderful bonus.

In spite of roadblocks and twists and turns ahead, I hope my two pair, my four corners of my world, know that I will always be their mother no matter where their journey takes them. A part of me that is woven into my soul, they will forever be in my heart, even at times when it may be broken. xo

He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.

Psalm 147:3