Tag Archives: God

Aside

I’ve had an urge to blog lately. Fortunately the urge has struck again and I’m at my computer with a little spare time. So, here goes! Hang on…gotta turn Kenny Rogers off… I think some thoughts are going to come … Continue reading

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Way Too Long

Well hello there! Remember me? Sorry for it being so long since I last posted. I’ll try to do better in 2013.

So, we got moved to Georgia in mid September of 2012 and the day after – yes, the day after we unloaded the last truck, we got the dreaded call – the contract had fell through. Yep. We loaded one more truck and headed home to Indiana. That was a scary and defeated feeling. I hated those days. Saying goodbye to something that I had no sooner said hello. The thoughts that rushed through me were common; ‘Why?’ Why did we literally pack everything we own and spend $1000’s of dollars just to move right back? My Mom taught me the most valueable lesson of my life in her last days. “There’s always a reason, we just aren’t meant to know why sometimes.”

By the end of October we were back in Indiana. His folks visited us a couple time for the holidays and I was very happy to host my family twice when my sons came to visit. My middle son came first the beginning of December with his wife and my first grandson, Riott. We had 21 family members over for Sunday dinner. It was amazing! Always wanted a place big enough to host my ever-growing family. If you think 21 is large – that was not even half of my immediate family. My nephew and niece-in-law announced their big news: due in July!! Yes, yet another grandchild to add to the family tree. What a joyous moment!

Hosting the family wasn’t near as much stress as I thought it would be and I was glad to do it again in January when my oldest son visited with his new wife. She’s due May 22 – yes, going to be grandma x2! YAY!! Another branch extends forth!! Found out it will be another boy, Noah. Can’t wait to meet him. Sucks that we live so far away. Doesn’t matter if I live in Indiana or Georgia or ‘Timbucktoo’; both my sons live in Missouri. That’s probably the part I don’t like about my life most right now; I can’t just stop over and see my kids/grandkids. Can’t just babysit and spoil my offspring’s offspring…but thank God for modern technology. I can text, call, Skype and keep up on their to-do-n’s on Facebook. I can see progressive baby belly pics and hear all about her craving and emotional boundings. I can still offer my motherly advise and be involved. It’s the little things 🙂

I found a new job – one I love so much. I work from home now. It’s great!! I actually turned down 2 other offers in town. That was scary. I’ve never worked on a contract like this before and after what happened to Dave’s contract last year, I feared the worse. Besides, I cannot recall ever turning down a job offer, but something told me to take this one. I knew it meant I had to disciplined. I knew the risks. It took almost a month before I actually started. I worried if it was real. But my worries were soon layed to rest. When I started working, it was just as I remembered. It was like dusting off a bike and hopping back on – I was a little wobbly the first couple days but before I knew it, I was doing flips and coasting with my hands up in the air! The people I work with are fun, dedicated, understanding and just down right great people. They have faith and that really sold me on them. They weren’t afraid to say it in both my interviews. Know how when you talk to someone, you just click? Well, that’s the way it was with this team. I’m glad I listened to my gut.

And it’s a good thing I took that remote job – we are back in Georgia!! Yep. Last truck is unloaded and no call yet. (And there better not be, God willing! Lol!) I have faith that this time is it. We are here for good. Today marks his first day at his new job. Kinda scary, but in a good way. Dave and I are as strong as ever. He even left me a little note in my office this morning. Love those little moments…don’t think he realizes how much…

So, what’s the moral of this blog? Don’t give up. Everything happens for a reason. Sometimes the best things happen out of the worst circumstances. It is our struggles – our victories and our defeats – that makes us who we are. We can chose to begrudge life and anticipate the next hurdle or we can face each day for what it is, knowing that we have the opportunity to rise above, grow and be grateful. I got to host my family not once, but twice. I got to have my sons over and create some new memories together. I got to spend some quality time with my daugther who is growing into the woman I knew she could be. I got to overcome one of life worst disappointments with the one I love. I am thankful for technology that allows me to stay connected no matter where I am. I am thankful for my faith that continues to see me through – and I am reminded that through God’s strength, we can do anything.

Until next time!

 

“The humble will see their God at work and be glad. Let all who seek God’s help be encouraged.”  ~ Psalm 69:32

Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.”  ~ Romans 12:2

“Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.”  ~ 1 Corinthians 13:7

Keep Believing

Just wanted to share my good news. Dave got a new job in Georgia, so it looks like I’m moving! Be planning on a great blog to get you up to date once we get settled, but for now, please forgive my absence.

To all those who pull inspiration from this blog, just let me leave you with this. I have struggled the majority of my life, being loved and loving the wrong people. I have fallen, scraping my knees down to the bone at times, I have survived on near nothing, I have had my heart beaten, but every time, I managed to get back up and keep fighting, keep believing. Something in me told me he was out there; I couldn’t allow myself to give up. Now, even my dreams weren’t this good. I don’t know how we found each other or what I did to deserve someone I hold so special. I had no idea it would be like this when we first met. We battled our hurdles eariler on which made us even stronger. He makes me smile, he holds me when I cry and he listens when I need an ear. His touch is better than ice cream. 😉 The part that makes us special is, we just fit. He’s my boyfriend, my love, but best of all, he’s my best friend.

There is no recipe to finding love. There’s no quick fix to silencing the emptiness of being alone. I know it sucks, but we must learn to embrace it, even if we don’t like it. I had finally resolved to giving God the time to bring someone special in my life. When in a bad relationship, I quickly removed myself. I didn’t search for forever in every set of eyes. I gave it time and let God and time reveal things to me. And I saw them, even if it wasn’t what I wanted to believe. Don’t make something more than what it really is.

Put yourself first and eventually you will meet the right one. And if not, you will find something even better: YOURSELF. Everything you’ve ever wanted or needed is right there starring you in the mirror. If you do not agree, then what exactly do you plan to offer the one who loves you? Spent time finding that out myself. I’m just me and I love who I am, even if I’m not perfect. Give yourself credit especially for the small thing. Love yourself like you want to be love. Find out what makes you tick. Pamper yourself, even if it’s just a warm bubble bath. It doesn’t have to cost money. DO NOT allow yourself to believe hateful or negative thoughts, whether it’s someone else saying them, or it is yourself you battle. Don’t worry. That’s normal. I still fight with allowing myself to be happy, too. But don’t worry. We will get through it…together 🙂

Moral of this blog post: Love yourself. 🙂

And if I haven’t said it enough: Thank you Lord. Thank you for being here for me and for putting Dave in my life. Thank you for my children and for walking with them even if they don’t see it. Thank you for my family, our health, my renters, everything! Bless Dave and I as we continue our life together in a new state. Bless our finances and help me find a good job quickly. God, bless our relationship as you have continued to bless me. And thank you again, Lord. Amen

See you in a couple weeks!

Giving Life to Fear

I’ve been wanting to write for some time now, but something always holds me back. Not life, but me. Afraid of revealing what I’m really feeling. Not ready to confront it. I don’t know why – when I write I tend to answer my own questions and walk away feeling more confident…so, it’s time.

The past few weeks I’ve been extremely fearful. I won’t go into detail, so let’s just say I’m afraid of losing this happiness. Before I met Dave, I was happy. Alone, yes, but extremely happy with everything else in my life: my job, my kids, my finances, my home, my conflictions. Meeting Dave only added a level of contentment; a surreal level of contentment that I’ve honestly never felt before. I have finally found the one that assuredly fits me. How do I know? I just do. Love is not just liking the same foods or the same hobbies, it’s meshing on a higher level of compatibility that deals with morals, views and ideas. It’s communicating on a level beyond words. It’s feeling so deep there are no words. I’ve never met someone more like myself. So, maybe it is natural to fear losing him.

Like everyone else, life has been nothing but a series of ups and downs for me. Yet I ride the downs like an Olympic wave runner – never letting them change who I am in my core, rather, I’ve allowed my times of trial to strengthen me. I have recognized my weaknesses – admitted them and work on them. In the dust of defeat and triumph, I have realized my strengths and utlitize them to the fullest. Of course, opportunities have emerged as a result of not sticking my head in the sand…yet threats. Still working on dealing with the threats.

I pulled up some quotes on fear today and one stuck out:

“When one has the feeling of dislike for evil, when one feels tranquil, one finds pleasure in listening to good teachings; when one has these feelings and appreciates them, one is free of fear.” ~ Buddha

How unlikely of me to pick Buddha, yet I am not beyond believing that other religions hold merit. Matter of fact, I’m still struggling with my religious identity. Don’t get me wrong. I believe there is a God, just maybe not as main stream as some would like me to believe. That’s another blog….back on topic: this verse spoke to me. We have to understand that evil does lurk in more than just the corners of the world – evil lurks in the corners of our minds. Possibly the most scariest place. However, we can devert this fear by not allowing it to gain foothold. We can strive to find tranquility and peace in recognizing the good acts of others; and not just in others, but in ourselves – in our perceptions and in our attitudes. How we carry ourselves.

I’ve said it before and I’ll surely say it more, but things are exactly what we say they are; life is exactly what we claim it to be. If you think your life sucks – guess what?? IT DOES. If you think your job sucks – IT DOES. If you think your days suck – well, if it doesn’t, you can bank on it that it will before the day is over. What we speak, we breathe into existence. We ultimately give life to fear and fear in turn, takes on a whole life of its own. Now, I’m not saying it’s not okay to be scared – we would have no use for courage if there was not first something to fear – yet it is the sheer act of refusing to let that fear control us. “Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.” ~Mark Twain. We must speak positively, reminding ourselves of ‘good teachings’, hence, the good moments that keep us going. We must surround ourselves with positive people. We have to appreciate the wonder in where we stand today. Embrace it. In doing so, we release fear and become examples of good teachings for others. Tomorrow is too far away to give into fear. And tomorrow is coming; good or bad. Don’t hold onto the past so tightly that we choke out our present.

I guess what I’m trying to say – and what I’m trying to remind myself of is, don’t give fear a foothold. Giving life to fear creates a breeding ground from which no good crop can be harvested. Instead, embrace the opportunity to realize that the past is exactly that – the past. Take from it lessons that strengthen you or allow you to work on your weaknesses. Know yourself. Acknowledge the fear and then let it go. Be strong and courageous in who you are and everything else will naturally fall into place. As Confucius says, “If you look into your own heart, and you find nothing wrong there, what is there to worry about? What is there to fear?

“The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid.” ~ Psalm 118:6

“For I am the LORD, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.” Isaiah 41:13

“Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong.” 1 Corinthians 16:13

Screaming in Silence: Allowing the Inner Child to Cry

Funny how I can be thinking of what I want to write and no sooner do I sit down and start typing, something else comes out. Sometimes it sucks to come face to face with ourselves, but some times that the only way we can truly grow. Being transparent isn’t easy…especially in the mirror, but it sure is enlightening. Oh, well. Guess this was what I was suppose to write about. So…here goes.

Oh, the holidays…joyous days filled with frolick, family, smiling faces, and cheerful music. Sounds great, right? But oh, how I’ve grown to despise this time of year. Over the years, all holidays have done for me is add weight to an already overflowing mind. I try to look at it as any other day. And I think I’m over it until I start writing about it and the emotions just start flooding back. I know other’s have this holiday heaviness. So…I guess it’s time to be transparent and just write about it. I tell people bits and pieces of this story and then shrug off the implication that it was really ‘that’ bad, but it was…it impacted me for a long time…and it still haunts me on occasion. Holidays – and my childhood – have been instrumental in teaching me that if you don’t expect anything, when you don’t get it, it won’t matter.

Growing up in a large family of 10, you would think this time of year is naturally full of family memories and traditions. But. It’s not. Sad, but true. We do spend Christmas’ together but Thanksgiving, that’s another story. I do good to even speak to a family member during this time. It all started many years ago – I’d say mid 1990’s – I hugged each of my kids as they piled into their dad’s car for an extended weekend stay. Back in the house, I bounced over to the phone to call Mom and check what time I should come out for Thanksgiving dinner. Inspecting my contribution to the festivities in the oven, the phone rang and rang. No answer. That’s odd. I called my sister who, to my shock, informed me that they were in New York visiting my other sister. WHAT?? Why didn’t they tell me? And more importantly, what now??

My mom had vocalized her growing detest for Thanksgiving. Starting on the eve of the holiday, my mother would toil away for hours in the kitchen making the best of the best, only to have everyone come out solely to eat and then move onto their inlaws house. She wanted more time for visiting, a small concession for sweating over the stove. I can’t blame her. Yet, I didn’t have inlaws. I couldn’t imagine our family not breaking bread on a day such as this. Besides, without my family Thanksgiving…where would I go?? Well, that year, the unspeakable happened and the answer was Shoney’s…a popular buffet just down the street. Table for one please.

It was hard watching all those families interacting together. I would’ve given my right arm to fight over the last biscuit or to have my brother give me crap about how much I could pile on my plate. For the life of me, I couldn’t wrap my head around the fact that my parents didn’t tell me they were going to be out of town. Could I have really been forgotten?? Surely they didn’t decide to fly out the night before. Knowing my Mom’s innate ability to squeeze a penny, this had to have been planned for quite a while. Nothing hurt more then the reality that I had been forgotten by my own family…not one sibling called me that day…or even that month. Which isn’t out of sorts to begin with. But not even my sister who delivered the blow thought to soften it. I’m sure they were busy with the bustle of their own holiday merriment. And I am sincerely happy and thankful for all my family, however, the little girl inside me was left scared in solitude, screaming in silence.

For a couple years, another lone neighbor of mine and I would cook an elaborate spread for our kids and invite other ‘loners’ to join in our meager festivities. That made me feel awesome, like I was just another toy on Misfit Island; flawed but not alone. I most wanted to be with my kids, if possible, and others who could appreciate life’s simplest blessings. That’s what Thanksgiving is about to me. Always has been, always will be. And a couple years I did accept invitations to dine with other families. It was nice to be a part of someone’s celebration…even if they couldn’t remember my name, yet it was never the same. I actually didn’t expect it to be. I was grateful to be there but honestly didn’t mind being alone. What I craved most was my immediate family. Not turkey, not dressing, just me and my kids. 

Being alone can be tough on any day yet the holidays can serve as a proverbial diving board, plunging us head first into an inescapable confrontation of how we really feel inside: that little girl that absorbed all of life’s blows. There, it is easy to drown ourselves with the ‘what ifs’ and ‘poor mes’. Each cheerful melody on the radio, submerging our frail inner child deeper into the suppressed darkness, cutting off our breath and compressing our lungs. It’s hard to breathe there. The ability to mask this saddness become an art. We pretend to be grown up on the outside. Yes. Certain songs, events or whatever can set us back even on regular days, but the holidays…they are almost impossible to conceal with a smile. …but you know what? That’s just the devil coaxing us into a pit of self pity using what he knows will hurt us the most. We have to remind ourselves that we all have that inner child, and we all have a right to be sad. God said overcoming our trials would be worth it, yet He never said it would be easy. Our most pronounced growth comes from taking the time to learn about ourselves, connect with that inner self and relearn how we have come to percieve things as a result of our experiences. This process can be downright painful…it’s hard to look that little girl/boy inside of us eye to eye, but we must. Some times we need to do an overhaul on our perception. Change the lens in which were percieve life. Some times we even have to change our surroundings completely, least it drain us of our ability to enjoy even the simplest things in life. We have to do what we must in order to understand how we got to thinking one way before we can redirect that idealogy and start creating new, more fulfilling memories. We have to hold that child inside of us and let them know it’s okay to feel bad.

I honestly don’t think we were designed to be alone. It is natural to long for a closeness with someone, even our families; but in life, that just isn’t always possible. Things don’t just happen because we want them to, we all know that. And some times it’s darkest before the dawn. We were not made to never be sad. We were not built to always hold it in. It has to come out at some point to avoid errupting as anger and hostility. That child inside needs to be held. They DEMAND it. Once we realize the cause of our pain, we can work on understanding it and letting it go for good. We need to enjoy EVERY moment we are given and use each opportunity to make memories, even the simple ones – whether it’s on a holiday or not. We have a right – no, a duty – to allow ourselves to ability to feel and validate even the most painful emotions.  It’s ok to admit that you are hurt. No one has to agree with you or give you permission. No one has to say they are sorry. The key is remembering that we cannot permit ourselves to STAY there. Lay it out to let it go. And I’m not saying you should call your best bud and just start laying out all the boo-hoo’s of your life; we should go to a private place, give our worries, disappointments and fears to God. Let that child inside of us feel what they feel. Give ourselves time to mourn. Tell Him what we are feeling and ask that He help us understand and let go of the saddness. Ask that He just hold us. In time, it will happen. That little child will smile.

So, I guess the bigger lesson life has taught me is that if you fall 10 times, get up 11. Life will continue to try and knock me down, but I refuse to let it knock me out. I will continue to expect things, and when they don’t come true, I will just chalk it up to timing, but I will never give in. I will find the lesson in every trial and make the most of everything opportunity in which a new memory can be created, however trivial it may be. And if that little girl inside need to cry again, I’m just going to hug her, give her permission to cry, and remind her it’s going to be alright. I’ll hold you, and one day, we will both smile again.

 

“If you live your Life fully, you will die only once. But if you are scared of every step, fear will kill you everyday.”~Paulo Coehlo
 
“Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love him.” ~ James 1:12

Every Second Another Smile

I really wanted to blog today. I settled in and tried to accumulate my thoughts struggling with that first sentence, but then this came out. Sometimes, you just have to let it flow…let the heart speak on your behalf. Here goes…

 
If I could let you inside my heart,
To see what I feel
Feel what I see
You would think it was just some crazy dream
Just like I did,
Until you showed up and brought that craziness into focus.
Making sense of the senseless.
 
A part of me always knew you were out there
Through all the hell
Through all the pain
I could not relinquish that dream…
Rather, it would not let me go.
All along echoing deep inside that I didn’t have to understand, only believe.
No one knows God’s plan.
 
I have come to realize there were things I needed to work on
Things I needed to learn
Things I needed to unlearn
And although I may have taken the long way at times
I had to go through those things.
All a part of His master plan ensuring I’d be ready for us.
And I am.
 
I know from here on out we will see the world differently
Every second will be another smile
Every day another memory
And we will appreciate all we’ve been through before
Knowing that it was all purposeful in bringing us to now
Together. Side by side.
And forever I will thank God for you…
for breathing life into my crazy dream.
                                                                                   ~ Angela Nichols

Finding the Success in Failure

I rarely have the luxury of picking what instigates my blogs; it’s usually the simple things in life that speak to me…or tug at me until I finally get the message. I think this is how God communicates with me sometimes. Actually, I think nature speaks to all of us but we get so bogged down with the daily drudges of life that we don’t take the time to listen. No wonder the natives were so in tune with nature….nowadays we are so distracted by so many things that we don’t take the time to appreciate the simple lessons to be learned all around us. Well…here goes.

I’ve written about a myriad of plants and produce and this blog post is apparently no different. True to form, I reckon. Life is about nurturing and growth, right? As you may know, I love to garden and love trying new things. Sometimes I fail, sometimes I find success, but I always learn something either about the produce, the process or about myself. Several years ago I discovered a new favorite food of mine: guacamole. The avocado has always been illusive to me…such a strange fruit (yes, a fruit, not a vegetable). Like a child with a science experiment, I’ve tried on numerous occasions to get that huge round seed to sprout…but have never met success. I’ve discounted my failure to the source of the seed (large grocery store) or the fact that they grow mostly in the tropic region where there is no severe winters like we have here in the Midwest. But, I have seen it done. I know it is possible. Being the determined person that I am, several weeks ago I decided to try it again.

I thought I had scarred the seed pretty bad when I removed it from the fruit; removing it is a talent. Carefully inserting toothpicks on either side of the brown ball, I precariously teetered it atop a wine glass and proudly adorned my window sill with my newest project. Over the weeks it lost its sheen but I resolved to not give up on it too quickly and just continued to add water and let it be. Low and behold, what do you think I saw the other day? A SPROUT! Yes! This avocado seed is alive! Each time I look at it, the thick, single shoot grows longer and longer. Thriving. I’m excited to see the next phase but know I must be patient and do my part in order for it to reach maturity.

Isn’t that the way life is? We put so much work into something, and as the days inch by without so much of a hint of a root, we continue to cater to it hoping it will defeat the odds…or worse, we give up on the fact that there is any seed out there that will sprout. After awhile we comfort our wounded soul by convincing ourselves that it’s just not in the cards, that this is just the way it is…the way it has to be; we toss in the towel and miserably settle in right where we are at. The disappointment ultimately chokes out our dreams…our wants; the things that make us who we are. We get lost in the excuses as to why we failed and why we should quit trying, silently adding to our feelings of loneliness and regret. Sadly, passion slowly dies as acceptance of discontent moves in. Yet destiny encourages us to move forward. It is in those seeming failures that we find the opportunity to build our understanding, as well as our resolve, to see our dreams through to reality. How can anything be a failure if it grows us? It is in those failures we can actually learn about ourselves: what we want, what we don’t want, what we are capable of and what we aren’t. We learn about what works and what doesn’t work. True failure only occurs when we quit believing in ourselves and our dreams all together; from believing that we are not capable of whatever we set our mind to; from believing that we do not deserve every ounce of what we give… from believing that our dreams will never take root.

I’ve always believed there was someone out there perfect for me, and me for him. I’ve witnessed people settle and in retrospect, I’ve seen where I have succumbed to settling myself…but I never stopped believing. I just allowed those things to stay in the way of my growth. Often in our search for love we will find failure, but there is always a lesson to be learned that makes us better for it…better for when we do finally find success. Love is most definitely alive and possible. All we have to do is believe and keep trying, learning as we go, finding the success in our failures. Because, rest assured when we do find it, it will require all that we are and all that we have learned to give. I have come to realize that everything I’ve been through has been purposeful in helping me learn more about myself so that I would be exactly who I need to be when I finally meet him. And I believe I have met him. I know the potential we have to grow together and it’s greater than anything I’ve ever seen or felt. I am who I need to be and with whom I’ve always wanted to be with. And that simple, sprouting avocado tells me that with patience and endurance, it will grow…stronger and better than I ever dreamed.