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
digestive or stomach problems
weight loss or gain
depression or anxiety
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’m not going to lie! Lately, I’ve been a little out of touch because I have been wrestling with staying upbeat. I mean I’ve been super busy with family and kids and life, but who can’t say that?
Hubby mentioned the other day he hadn’t seen a blog post in awhile. Yeah, it’s true. I have been off the grid a little more than normal, but actually, I kind of like it. It’s hard to be social and happy while grappling with the weights on your shoulders.
Not that cancer isn’t enough of a nasty curve ball, but this crazy pandemic, a country divided, all the hate and evil amongst us.
What happened to us?
What happened to the free and the brave?
What happened to our America the Beautiful?
It’s shameful the only unity we have is we take life for granted. Think about that for a minute.
Well, unless of course you’re dying or terminally ill.
Do you realize ALL the people who are dying of cancer?
I bet those people don’t abuse the life they were given, wasting it away on fighting with their neighbors.
Life is much easier in a bubble.
I’ve never thought of myself as socially shy. I don’t have a problem talking to people, but I do have a problem pretending. And, I do get social anxiety. It takes a lot of effort to put on a smile and pretend I am mentally strong. It takes energy to make everyone believe I am OK when I’m not.
I AM mentally strong. Some days I just don’t want to be.
Living with cancer in your household is emotional. It’s a roller coaster, ups and downs, twists and turns. Even when it’s not front and center, it’s there lurking. Just a thought away, a reminder somewhere you turn.
You live with it, without a choice.
I am learning to manuever that obstacle. For myself, to support my children, my hubby. I’ve learned if I don’t take care of ME, there won’t be enough to go around.
Family is priority so I hope no one takes it personally when I decline an invite, or seem disengaged, or silent. Sometimes our schedule doesn’t allow for socializing, and other times we would love to hang out. And sometimes, we just aren’t up for company.
It has been a hard few months. Cancer just took one dear soul from us. I know people who recently got diagnosed. I know lots of people who are fighting. And, it all hits too close to home.
There’s a daughter taking a last minute trip to see her dad who is fighting for his life. There’s a mother counting down the debilitating chemo treatments she takes her terminally ill son to every couple of weeks. There’s a wife in the cancer center who is puzzled about how her husband got mesothelioma but was never exposed to the contaminants. There’s the husband grieving for his wife, the children who lost their mother, the women who lost their best friend.
None of them have a choice.
I look at my children, my husband and then in the mirror at myself.
It’s difficult to cope some days, and I can sense the world wanting to crumble around me. All the suffering and pain just floods my head to the point I feel like I’m drowning in it. My head hurts. I’m tired. No energy. No will to do anything.
Some days it’s too much. But, that’s not every day. I’m not going to set up camp there.
Some days are good. Some days I’m motivated and have the drive to conquer the world.
Some people tell me not to focus on all those situations or not to be a part of those cancer groups because it just makes me upset. What they don’t realize is what else it does to me.
It helps me NOT feel so alone.
Summer has been good for me in the sense I can just focus on my family and stay out of any kind of scene. It’s a good distraction to be able to listen to the ocean, sit out and soak up the sun, hang out with my family. It’s been good to make the most out of a bad time in our country by us all just being together.
Some days I’m happy to not share anything or feel vulnerable. I don’t mind sharing when I have my head on straight and the energy to help others; however, when a battle is going on inside my head, it’s hard to help myself much less anyone else.
Sometimes it’s just easier to cope when you stay out of touch.
“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.”
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.
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.”
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.”
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.“
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.
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.”
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!
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.
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.”
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.
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
Do you ever feel like the past won’t let go of you?
I know we aren’t suppose to dwell on what’s over and done with, but just because something is in the past doesn’t make it finished. Sometimes we feel the need to finish it ourselves.
Often, I say I dislike social media. I guess that’s not totally true since there are obvious perks to using it, but I guess I mean to say I dislike what social media does to people.
Whoever belittles his neighbor lacks sense, but a man of understanding remains silent.
Sometimes people use social media as a platform to portray this make believe life. Why do people paint this perfect little life that doesn’t exist?
I don’t understand why someone would make a comment on social media they would never say to someone’s face.
I was talking to a friend a few weeks ago, and she said she doesn’t do social media because it makes her feel bad. She said she feels like people display this flawless life and it just makes her feel depressed about her own problems. Then, she feels she’s the only one struggling to get through the week.
I didn’t tell her I’m kind of envious of her for not succumbing to the social media pressures. However, I like it gives me the excuse to talk on the phone with her to catch up and engage in real conversation. I miss the days of talking on the phone and hearing the comfort of someone’s voice rather than getting a dry text message with a quick hello.
Our conversation made me start thinking about what she said and sadly, she’s right. I’ve actually had the same feelings myself. I’m probably one of the few people who has only been on social media in the last five years, and honestly I was just as happy before, maybe even happier.
No, not maybe. I was happier.
Lately, I have tried to limit my time, mainly just using it to post an occasional picture of my children to show how much I miss them all being together, to know I’m thinking about them, and for sharing my blog or inspirational quotes.
Many people only share the part of their life on social media they want people to know about. Then, there’s the other side who scours every nook and cranny to debate, argue and call people out.
And, let’s not forget the dreadful realization kid’s use it to bully other kids. Or worse, the parents bully.
The mouth of the righteous brings forth wisdom, but the perverse tongue will be cut off. The lips of the righteous know what is acceptable, but the mouth of the wicked, what is perverse.
Don’t get me wrong, social media is beneficial in a variety ways, and offers an easy avenue for promoting and getting the word out. We know society as a whole is curious. It’s our human nature, and most of us are guilty of being curious.
However, social media isn’t the real problem. Just like in most cases it’s not how it’s used, it’s how it’s abused. We, as in people, are the problem.
I have never been one to overshare my personal life. I like to be a private person, only sharing with those I’m closest. In the past I have shared my feelings, my struggles and my life with some acquaintances, mistaken for friends, but I learned the hard way not to do that anymore.
Not in that way. Now, I share my story for many reasons, but not necessarily my personal life. Some ways are obvious, and some would spark too many questions I am not obligated to answer. Regardless, I want you all to know you are not alone in your battles.
Many times, I have felt out of place, out of my comfort zone, and honestly, alone.
I realized I can be surrounded by a million people and feel like the only one in the room. I’ve been there more than once. Who am I kidding, I’ve been there more often than not.
Recently, my husband and I were talking about several years ago when the boys played sports and we traveled around. I loved it for the kids, but I hated it for myself. I never felt part of the group, never felt I had a place and looking back don’t think it was necessarily a happy experience for any of us. Perhaps, it was an eye-opening, learning experience.
During those days I wanted so desperately to have a group of friends, have a squad, have support. I had none of that. I don’t really see or talk to those people anymore, and honestly that’s fine. I know many of them are probably battling their own hidden demons, and I am here battling mine in the open.
I’m at peace. I have what I need. And, for once in my life I am fine with that, and I don’t really care what other people think. Not at all. If I did, I wouldn’t be writing this.
I think it takes a life changing event, or a come to Jesus moment in order to get to this point, this comfort zone. Or maybe, it just comes with age, a dose of reality and trusting in God.
So much pain that no one even knows about. So many inner struggles. So much brokenness. So much heartbreak people cannot begin to understand.
But, that is for another day when I am ready to talk about it.
It is so easy to sit back and judge others’ struggles. Empathetic hearts break because of your pain while apathetic ones judge and relish. Or maybe, in a sense, they are just broken, too.
Don’t try others when you have no concept of the storm they are in. Some people are so oblivious to their surroundings, but then again maybe that’s because they choose to be. I have shut so many people out of my life for that very reason, but they have no seat around my table.
I have my inner cirlce, and I have an outer circle. And, the two never touch.
No one has a perfect life. Look around at all the people who seem to have everything money can buy.
Happiness isn’t something you can achieve through social media or social status for that matter. It’s not something money can buy. It’s not a level you can get through in life and hold onto forever.
It doesn’t get you the golden ticket for sure. Not to heaven anyway.
Life is hard. We are all struggling and God never promised you it would be easy.
Happiness doesn’t come from things, or even people. Happiness comes from within yourself. It is a mood, an emotion.
Joy comes from God when we trust in Him. Seek God and your life will be an abundance of joy.
Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.
Don’t look at social media or at others for your joy. Look at your faith.
Everyone around you isn’t really without struggles even though some days it seems that way. I promise you’re never going to see a post about all the worries or insecurities in someone’s heart. It’s easier to conceal our pain within ourselves than to admit to the world that it’s real.
I have realized if I can help someone else, then I should help them. It may be painful, but within that pain I have found my JOY. xo
Old friends, current friends, new friends. How well do you stay in touch with them? Better yet how often are you the one initiating contact?
I was the friend who was good at communicating. Good at remembering birthdays and special occasions. Good at sending cards or presents. Good at staying in touch. Always hosting parties and planning get togethers.
Eventually, that me faded into the darkness. Perhaps, the darkness I live amongst these days.
I don’t do a very good job at calling anyone lately. I rarely send birthday cards anymore, and I’m doing well if you get a text on your actual birthday.
Don’t take it personal. It’s not about you at all. Trust me.
And, I’m sorry.
One of my college roommates visited me this past weekend, and it was so great to see her. I wish we lived closer and could meet on a whim for lunch. We stay in touch. Not as much as I would like to, but as much as I’m capable of at the moment. It’s not that I don’t want to talk more, see her more, communicate better, it’s just that I don’t intiate it often enough.
I’m not going to say I don’t have time. I could make time. We always make time for what or WHO is important to us if we are honest. At the moment, I just don’t want to always do it. Maybe I need to, maybe I should, but some days I just can’t.
She works, she has a husband, she has a life. She gets it. She assured me she is always there for me, always available to talk, has a spare room if we need a place to stay overnight. But, she said she doesn’t always know what to say and doesn’t want to say the wrong thing. She’s a great listener, so she listens, encourages and is supportive.
Like I told her, you don’t have to say anything.
A friend loveth at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.
I appreciate all the calls and text messages I get from my friends and family. I welcome them, I really do. I don’t appreciate the ones who just want the story. I’m not trying to hurt any feelings, I’m just being real. And, if I’m anything right now, I’m real. Sorry if that steps on any toes, but like I said, it’s not about you.
My life is full of ups and downs. There are only a few people who I talk to on a regular basis, who keep me grounded, and I’m pretty sure you know who you are. It’s just the way it is.
I won’t deny I need a village. I need a village of encouragement, of prayers, of constant positivity. I need a village of support for my kids, of understanding, of compassion, of caring hearts and constant praying.
And, if you’re part of my village, thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Like I said, I love hearing from my friends, getting text messages or voicemails from you; know that I’m just not always good at communicating back right now and being the best kind of friend. I have good intentions. But, like I said don’t take it personal, it’s not about you.
Please keep the text messages, the voicemails, the “hey I just wanted to let you know I’m thinking about you,” or the “you are on my mind and in my prayers” messages coming. I like hearing from my friends, I really do.
I want all of you to know I will be here for you if you need me. I will listen to you cry about the fight you had with your husband. I will give you a hug and tell you it’s going to be fine when your son tells you he hates living at home. I will always be here for you to listen to your problems, let you vent, give you a hug, go to lunch with you, or whatever it is you need. I really will.
I’m not too busy for my friends. Not too wrapped up in my own problems. And, my problems aren’t more important than yours. My problems are just mine, and they consume me every day. They sidetrack me with distractions, but I’m here.
Some days, I live in another world all by myself. One that just grips me like a vise. I get lost in my own mind. A place I imagine is similiar to what Hell is like, a dark pit where I am just spiraling out of control, falling to the bottom of an endless pit.
It’s OK. I don’t go there as often as I once did. More often now, I pray and talk to God.
When we first got the cancer diagnosis I told some friends, but didn’t tell everyone. Of course people wanted to know what was going on, but I didn’t want to talk about it. I needed some space on the subject, I needed some time to digest it all.
By the next spring pretty much everyone knew and I felt I couldn’t go to the grocery without someone approaching me. Sometimes it was without any very nice thought out words, but hey, I know it’s hard to know what to say. Sometimes, I just don’t want to talk about it.
Anyway, when we got bad news again last summer, I turned into a hermit-like person, and stayed away from everyone. It made life easier in some ways, but I felt alienated from my own world. I guess because I was in a sense and in another dark place.
It’s kind of like being at that party, underdressed with everyone looking at you, talking under their breath, wondering what you are doing there anyway. All of a sudden you are in the spotlight, up on a tight rope, alone and without a net. No where to go and no one to catch you.
Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!
I’m sorry I don’t talk more in the group chat, I’m sorry I don’t go to lunch always. I’m sorry we don’t come for the get togethers. I’m sorry for everything.
I have good intentions of always doing things, being a part of socializing and in the crowd. Some days I would just rather be alone in my own house, than alone in a crowd.
It has been too long since I’ve seen my daughters. My child had the flu twice within a month, is still working on getting well, over an illness. We have college visits and college decisions, we have sports, we have other family worries, and we have all the normal concerns of a family. Just like everyone else.
And then, we have cancer.
I’m sorry if I’m not as friendly as I should be. I’m sorry I don’t engage in small talk. I’m sorry if it seems awkward at times to be around me. Please don’t feel like you have to treat me any differently if you see me at the ball field or the grocery or anywhere. Don’t be obliged to talk about anything in particular or bring up the elephant in the room. Just act normal. It’s OK, you aren’t suppose to say anything in particular or know what to say.
That goes for all of my family, too.
None of us know how to act, how to avoid the obvious. We are just doing our best to be an ordinary family.
Any kind of normality is our aim.
And, that elephant in the room? We are just dealing with him one bite at a time.