Posted in Uplifting

Our Shadows

I really like this picture I took over a year ago. Not only did I take it during my favorite time of year, but you can also see the beauty of the tree and how changing and letting go can be so excitingly lovely.

I was looking at this picture the other day because it came up in my memoires on Facebook and as I looked at this picture, I noticed so much more about it. Yes, the leaves are gorgeous and giving a lesson but as I looked more, I noticed my shadow. The shadow of who I was only a year ago, the shadow of a person that hadn’t been told she had cancer, the shadow of feeling like she was getting back to living a different life than she ever thought, one that was a challenge but one she was so proud of and so doable.

Are you maybe in that part of life where when looking back to difficult times that aren’t that far in the past? You are thinking the difficult time wasn’t so hard and would give anything to have that time again?

Or maybe you are in that place of only being a shadow of who you were or who you want to be?

O, friend I so understand that and am with you, I get that longing and heart ache, but I also know that just like in the picture letting go and surrender can be freeing and so beautiful. You don’t have to stay stuck in the shadow of your former self thinking that it was the best it’s ever going to get. That looking back is the only way you see beauty or simplicity. We don’t have to live in our own shadow, were its safe to feel hidden. We can step out and into His light where He sees you, and still loves all of you, He is able to help you see the beautiful you. He is willing and able to give peace you never knew possible. To help you with the hard days so you are not all alone in your shadow.

The beauty is all you need to do is be honest and say Jesus you are my savior Gods only son who rose from the dead please come into my heart; I surrender it all, you are my Lord.

I know it sounds too good to be true, but it is, and you won’t know unless you quit over thinking and just surrender.

And, if you have already asked Jesus into your heart but are still having a hard time with where you are in your life. Just ask for Him to let you feel Him more near you than your problem, it’s amazing what a hug from God feels like.

Jeremiah 31:3 The Lord appeared to him from far away. I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore, I have continued my faithfulness to you.

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

Romans 10:9 Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

Posted in Uplifting

“It is Well”

Padme and I on our walk

I remember when the pandemic first hit, and the lock downs began honestly, I didn’t feel much different. I found that I missed some things but for the most part since I was already working at home it wasn’t that much of a change. Then time passed and as things began opening back up, I was realizing how much I was glad to get back to “normal”.

I am finding that “normal” is always changing. Just like it was during the pandemic and now afterwards it’s not the same as before covid, nothing in life is the same. Not when something major happens, nothing goes back to “normal”. Maybe what does happen is we either get so used to the dysfunction or problem that perhaps it becomes our new normal.

We accept the new normal and move forward, or at least that is what we should do. Lately I am finding it easier said than done. Some days I am angry I can’t just have my old “normal” of daily walks, yoga, work and even pots (postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome) yes, pots. My health journey with pots can be a challenge but somehow manageable. Now my new normal post-surgery and cancer diagnoses is much different than anything I had experienced before. To be on what is called active cancer surveillance is living with constant checkups, scans, screening appointments, calls and lets just keep watching. I know I am not alone, this constant feeling of being thrown overboard in rapids and having to succumb to the rapids to make it out alive can be hard.

The anger I have of wanting life to not be so up in the air can be so challenging that on my worst days all I can do is just pray for strength to just make it through the day. Strength to see just one good thing in my world, sometimes all I can do is just say help me, and He does. It is in these moments I feel God more near me than all my anger, hurt, frustration and pain. I find that the one or two worded prayer in desperation is all that is needed, no eloquence just honesty. God is not put off by honesty, what a comfort that is in itself. To know I have a soft place to fall, and all is well even when not all is well in my world.

It will be years of active cancer surveillance for me, and I know I’ll have my hard days when I get tired of watching and waiting but I also know I can’t wait for my “normal” to ever be what it was instead this is my life now, my learning curve and the only thing I can do is leave it to the one who knows all and know that all is well with my soul.

The song “It Is Well With My Soul” was written by Heratio Spafford who had his own tragic life events almost like the life of Job in the Bible. He wrote from a broken but inspiring place. I have found this song so comforting to me.

“It Is Well With My Soul” written by Heratio Spafford

When peace like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll
Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say
It is well, it is well, with my soul

It is well
With my soul
It is well, it is well with my soul

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul

It is well (it is well)
With my soul (with my soul)
It is well, it is well with my soul

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, o my soul

It is well (it is well)
With my soul (with my soul)
It is well, it is well with my soul

It is well (it is well)
With my soul (with my soul)
It is well, it is well with my soul

Psalm 62:5 NIV Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him.

Or

Psalm 46:1 God is our refuge and strength,
    an ever-present help in trouble.

Posted in Uplifting

When some of us don’t ever get to the mountain top

This picture is of the hike I took on my last birthday. The trail starts at 6,223 feet elevation and ends at a little over 10,000 feet so the views are amazing all along this beautiful trail. I didn’t make it to the very top of the mountain, but I didn’t mind, I think the climb leading up to the look out where we stopped was more fun than getting to the final peak. For some on the trail it was all about the end, the goal, the destination the 10,000 feet top. Infact as I was coming down a few hikers asked how the peak was, when I said I didn’t go all the way they acted like my hike was a waist but to me just to get out and hike some was all I wanted to do.

Isn’t it like us though, to think life is all about the mountain tops and the final goal instead of the peace of just being where we are. The simple joy in just purely living. We tend to miss so much when we put the goal ahead of our day-to-day life.

I think that one of the reasons we can get so anxious and unhappy with our life is that we expect to have one big life on the mountain top. One goal after another, almost as if we would like to take a helicopter ride from mountain top to mountain top so we never have to deal with the hard climb, the sweat or dirt that gets us up to that beautiful top. What if life happens and we end up just only making it to a lookout point but not the final peak? Would that still be, okay? Would you still find the beauty at the lookout point, or would you feel like your life isn’t as good as the other people who “made” it to the mountain top.

When I find myself looking at the other people who have that kind of life. The people that seem to make it to the final top and stay there, I can be happy for them or start to get envious and not be happy with just my lookout spot but for me I choose to be happy, not trade in my peace for envy. Maybe my life is just a lookout point and not the glorious mountaintop but that’s okay too because it’s my life and my lookout point. The great expression, “In acceptance lieth peace” is so true.

(Foot note the expression is from a poem by Amy Carmichael but my mom would say this to me all the time growing up)

Posted in Uplifting

The Call

seven assorted colored rotary telephones
Photo by Bruno Cantuária on Pexels.com

I like this image of phones, back when we would have to pick up the call to find out who or why people were calling, it was almost braver to pick up not knowing who was on the other end. Now we have the luxury of screening calls, if you recognize or like the number then you’ll pick up. If you aren’t sure of the number or maybe, you don’t like that person then the best option is voice mail and even then, you can screen and choose what you’ll do. It’s almost like we don’t have to acknowledge what we don’t want to and only acknowledge the enjoyable or easy.

Perhaps, this is a reflection on how we are now handling life.

Just the other week I had a call that went to my voice mail because I have my phone on vibrate but even if I didn’t, I’m sure I wouldn’t have answered it because it was a number I didn’t recognize. I did notice I had a voice mail, so I listened, and even though her voice was pleasant, and the message wasn’t rude I delayed returning her call, almost as if I could delay hearing what I already knew, almost as if I delayed calling her back then I wouldn’t have to hear my pathology results and life would still be okay. I could spend just a few more hours not having my worst-case scenario happen but of course I had to call her back and face one of the worst things a person can hear.

How many times do we get those calls in life? The call from the doctor, the nock at the door in the middle of the night or papers given to us that we would rather never see. To hear the worst news can rock our world, it can make us wish for a life that is happy where all you have to do is not pick up and all is fine.

Although I did get that call and life as I knew it is changed, it’s just that I still have life for now. An easy life was never promised but yet we live like it was. Changed life or not I still have the gift of waking up. We never know when our last day to wake up will be. Not to get sappy here but knowing this somehow helps in a weird way and knowing I’m not alone in the good and the really hard days is what helps me the most.

All I do is call God who never screens calls, and he will give all I need for that moment.

John 16:33

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Isaiah 41:10

“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.”

Psalm 34:18

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
    and saves those who are crushed in spirit.”

John 14:27

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

Posted in Uplifting

20 Seconds of Courage

“You know, sometimes all you need is 20 seconds of insane courage, just literally 20 seconds of embarrassing bravery, and I promise you something great will come of it.”

― Benjamin Mee-We Bought a Zoo

I have never seen the movie but maybe now I will. When I read that quote and thought how true. I couldn’t have read it at a better time. I was having one of those days when having a meltdown sounds pretty good and if I was a baby, I’m sure I would have. You know those days you wake up maybe a little crabby and all the normal things that you do in the morning without effort take effort and don’t go smooth. You start to wonder if you should have stayed in bed, but you can’t because life goes on even if it’s not smoothly.

This was were I was at but trying to make the best of it when I read that quote. My mind went into over drive I thought I have 20 seconds to be kind and not have a crabby attitude. I think that was the longest 20 seconds I have had in awhile but I made it through. I moved on with a little more of my day with that thought of I can be nice for 20 seconds and for me on a crabby day that is real courage.

That day kept me in the moment, it kept me mindful, and how to be nice when I don’t want to be. How when everything feels like its just one big crap shoot you can still rise above it even if it is just for 20 seconds at a time.

20 seconds may seem short, but when you are trying to have “insane courage” and be “embarrassing brave” it’s a lifetime. Isn’t it just that, how funny when broken down it can be so do able. If done, then that is when we get “something that is great”. We get a good life even when things are going just the opposite of great. Even in a moment when you get the dreadful call with some news you never wanted or thought you would ever get 20 seconds of stepping out of our bad mood and being kind is just as infectious as the problems but what peace and contentment we have, making others want it.

Maybe next time someone cuts you off or miss treats you think 20 seconds, I know I will. We all are walking in some really uncomfortable shoes now but 20 seconds of kindness goes a long way and who can’t be brave for 20 seconds?

This did help me; my day stayed the same and the news was just as bad, but my attitude didn’t and with a better attitude, I could handle life a little better.

I also started to remember a Bible verse I love because it really breaks down what is required of us and it is simple especially when done at 20 second intervals.

Micah 6:8

He has told you, O man, what is good;
    and what does the Lord require of you
but to do justice, and to love kindness,[a]
    and to walk humbly with your God?

Posted in Uplifting

To Weep

The picture was taken by my daughter a while ago, I didn’t even realize she took it until later, it is about the last picture that was taken of the two of us before my dog passed.

It will be a year soon and I still miss her so, because when the sorrow you feel is too deep to be touched by words. All that you can do is sit in the time of great pain and let tears fall and sometimes even with it being so many months those tears still fall.

You may have lost a pet who was more than an animal to you, they were a loved one. Maybe you have another heart break but as you say goodbye to someone whom you have had by your side, when your marriage fell apart and your kids grew and then stretched their wings, it was always my sweet baby girl, laying her head on me to comfort and listen as I talked about life. It was her comfort that was given without hesitation. It was her just being with me that gave more support than any words. In her quiet way she spoke volumes.

I think of this and wonder why we as humans fill the need to speak to fill the space of the hurt with words instead of just being present in the pain. Is it that pain scares us so much we don’t know how to react? So, we think that some profound thought that may be well meaning needs to be said to fill the space instead of our presence, so we are kept at arm’s length in hopes that the pain doesn’t somehow infect us

I think that sometimes all that is needed is just to have someone sit and weep with you as you are in that pain.

I love the fact the shortest sentence in the Bible is John 11:35 “Jesus wept.” He didn’t come in with great words (although he could have) to his friends’ sisters that were crying over the loss of their brother/his friend. He didn’t make light of it either, he just came to them in the moment and noticed their sadness and wept.

Today if someone is hurting just sit with them when they grieve don’t try and push your agenda to make yourself feel better but instead do what Jesus did and just weep with them.
Sometimes filling a void with words only fall flat but sitting and honoring their feels goes a long way.

Side note:

You will be with me always my sweet girl, thank you for the joy you have brought to me. I feel so blessed to hurt so exceedingly because that only means I was able to love so much!

Posted in Uplifting

My new Normal

IMG_20190813_085126158

I have been on a long hiatus with my blog, and it feels like my life and here’s why.

I am a woman in the middle of life (and no I don’t mind growing older, it’s a privilege denied to some) …I have been married (as some know) divorced and yes still a sucker for punishment remarried. A mother and now grandmother who loves chocolate, with a huge, sweet tooth enjoys baking and to balance out my sweet tooth I have found one of my favorite pastimes, healthy cooking. I do some crafts every chance I get and go through periods when knitting is enjoyable. The great outdoors is where I find my comfort and if I could have a huge garden I would.

My list goes on, but I think you get the jest that just like you I have so many sides of me. I am such a private person, but I am trying to grow and step out of my comfort zone.
I have found that going out of my comfort zone has been thrust upon me, I have been diagnosed with a chronic condition that affects every part of my life. I understand fatigue!! I understand that you may look healthy but on the inside the list of hurt, aches and pains are too many to mention. I now am learning to ask for help and to be honest with those closest to me how I feel, not to just press on but to accept help, that is a tuff one but so needed for me now. I am also finding my voice and how to share my health journey so that others don’t feel so alone or may pick up on some tips that may help.

Because I was a vegetarian/yogi that ran miles I had the thought that I was doing everything I could to stay healthy, but that is the thing with a health condition that arises, it will take what you thought was your healthy life and turn it upside down but just because my health is what it is it doesn’t mean I will give up. I have learned to embrace my struggle and if you want to share in this wonderful journey with me, I will post the good, the bad and all in between. I can show you what has helped me to embrace my “new normal”
I will also have healthy recipes, fitness programs, a community of Wellness Marvels on Facebook, if you want to join me there, we will uplift each other up in a no judgement kind of place! Need meal prep help? Yep, I have that too and the best part is its nutritional help from experts.

I want to empower women that even with a health condition or change in direction it is not the end but just a turn in the page and a new story to be written.

Side note, I had published this in 2019 but felt I should give an update and bring it back for those who may have missed it or to let those of you who read it know that I still have my health and wellness/fitness group that is for all who wish to get healthier but need help getting there. I am also a yoga instructor now, never thought I would be but find it helps me even more in my practice. If you are curious about my groups, please message me or visit the link below.

https://mysite.coach.teambeachbody.com/?coachId=2832050

Posted in Uplifting

God’s Timing

I have been praying on a certain issue for years. At times I feel as if God works like a crock pot, but I would rather He was a microwave.

I know God is hearing me and yes, the thought has crossed my mind that my answer could be a no but then I come across a part in the Bible that reminds me that my timing is defiantly not Gods.

 

The Healing at the Pool on the Sabbath

John 5:1-15

Sometime later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for one of the Jewish festivals. Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda[a] and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. [4] [b] One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?”

“Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.”

Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.

The day on which this took place was a Sabbath, 10 and so the Jewish leaders said to the man who had been healed, “It is the Sabbath; the law forbids you to carry your mat.”

11 But he replied, “The man who made me well said to me, ‘Pick up your mat and walk.’ ”

12 So they asked him, “Who is this fellow who told you to pick it up and walk?”

13 The man who was healed had no idea who it was, for Jesus had slipped away into the crowd that was there.

14 Later Jesus found him at the temple and said to him, “See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.” 15 The man went away and told the Jewish leaders that it was Jesus who had made him well.”

 

As I was reading this the other morning right after my long prayer, I got stuck on one part of the passage for the longest time. No, it wasn’t on the fact of a healing on the Sabbath, yes that’s a big one but all I could see was a man had been an invalid for not one or two years but a LONG 38!! As I reread and thought about this, I had such a deep overwhelming connection to him. This man went to the pool year after year. He didn’t give up he just went like clockwork. His miracle came with no bells or whistles after all this time of waiting, in fact he couldn’t even say who, when asked. This man with no name has made such an imprint by his unwavering faith, his name wasn’t needed his action spoke volumes.

I won’t forget this man’s persistence. My prayer will be answered, it might come on a day that I wouldn’t think it should happen on or perhaps in such a quite way I won’t realize what is happening, but it will happen. It might take a bit more time, that’s all.

Posted in Uplifting

Fear and Anxiety

Did you know that the African Impala in a zoo can be held back by a three foot wall even though they can jump ten feet in the air and travel as far as thirty feet in one single bound? Yep, I was pretty amazed when I read that so I started to study this beautiful animal more I found a lot of interesting things. I knew of the car and would see the beautiful animals run past safari trucks on shows but I never really understood how amazing these creatures are until the other day when I did some research.

Not only can they jump amazingly but they survive a cheetah chase by being maneuverable and unpredictable at less speeds giving them the ability to change directions rapidly allowing for a great survival rate but when they panic and try to out run the fast predator they usually succumb to the attack. I guess I am not surprised that these majestic creatures are also anxious animals who tend to cry wolf, they sound the alarm of a predictor so often that twenty-five percent of the time their cry to worn others of danger is only the grass moving, its so bad zebras usually don’t flee at their cries.

I continued reading but I couldn’t help but think of how often I am like these anxious animals and maybe you can see some similarities with yourself. I think of the times I hold myself back when I could move forward accomplishing a long term dream but I settle for my three foot fence never utilizing my full wonderful potential because it is so much easier to stay on the safe side eating grass that is easily maintained by others.

Or

If I do venture out I let my imagination get the best of me so I succumb to my anxiousness, cry wolf and flee when it is nothing but the wind in the grass. Maybe you haven’t done the fleeing but instead you don’t use the tools or gifts that make you so unique because you panic and try what everyone else is doing so you get caught by the very thing your running from.

Worry and anxiety can have such a hold on use we assume it’s normal and almost accept it ,but maybe if we look at it as a three foot fence knowing it can easily be jumped, it wont be so scary and in times when I forget at least I know the one that can help me jump.

Psalm 18: 33-50

  33 He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; he causes me to stand on the heights. 34 He trains my hands for battle; my arms can bend a bow of bronze. 35 You make your saving help my shield, and your right hand sustains me; your help has made me great. 36 You provide a broad path for my feet, so that my ankles do not give way. 37 I pursued my enemies and overtook them; I did not turn back till they were destroyed. 38 I crushed them so that they could not rise; they fell beneath my feet. 39 You armed me with strength for battle; you humbled my adversaries before me. 40 You made my enemies turn their backs in flight, and I destroyed my foes. 41 They cried for help, but there was no one to save them— to the LORD, but he did not answer. 42 I beat them as fine as windblown dust; I trampled them like mud in the streets. 43 You have delivered me from the attacks of the people; you have made me the head of nations. People I did not know now serve me, 44 foreigners cower before me; as soon as they hear of me, they obey me. 45 They all lose heart; they come trembling from their strongholds. 46 The LORD lives! Praise be to my Rock! Exalted be God my Savior! 47 He is the God who avenges me, who subdues nations under me, 48 who saves me from my enemies. You exalted me above my foes; from a violent man you rescued me. 49 Therefore I will praise you, LORD, among the nations; I will sing the praises of your name. 50 He gives his king great victories; he shows unfailing love to his anointed, to David and to his descendants forever.

Posted in Uplifting

“The Terrible No Good Very Bad Day”

Photo by Keenan Constance on Pexels.com

As a child I read Judith Viorst book “Alexander and The Terrible No Good Very Bad Day” and thought I could identify with the character at times, even feeling as if that book somehow was written just for me. Don’t get me wrong I was usually very happy go lucky and full of energy but it was that energy that seemed to add to my days not going as smooth as one would like.

Have you ever had one of those days, weeks or years (hello 2020) when it just left you let down and annoyed? Maybe even further discouraged and needing a lifeline thrown? I know we all have probably been there this past year. From walking into stores at half the compacity to walking down the isle in hopes of finding toilet paper for once. We might have moved on from the isles being picked over but we still are walking around with masks and keeping our distance from each other.

I have always found such solus in being alone. I find such peace when I am at my wits end just getting away, taking a walk by my self so I am alone with my thoughts always helps set things right in my mind. I still feel that way but for once I long for people going about their life, being able to see the worn out looks or smiles. I got so used to not making eye contact and giving half polite smiles when needed that I would give anything to really see people again all exposed and giving off subtle clues to how they really are.

Maybe the reason we are having such a hard time is the very thought of being alone with our own thought for once is just to much to handle. Maybe we are seeing parts of our selves that are to hard to look at and then there is no one to share those new found thoughts because we are shut off from each other. In a world that has such an amazing ability to connect we are so disconnected.

Maybe instead of staying disconnected we could use all the other was to connect. We all have had those days, weeks and years that leave us upset and thinking the world is against us but that’s just it we all have those times and we all have those sweet moments when all is right with the world.

And

If you have ever read the book you get to see that at the end Alexander still had all his “problems” but he did remember his mom saying there will be days like these.

This past year has been one for the books but I have a passage that has helped me so much. Notice it says you will have trouble not if.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

If you are in need of help (in the US) have no one to turn to please call

1- 877-726-4727 This is a referral service to get you to the people that can help you.