You can.

I have learned that pain has purpose, which, at the peak of excruciating discomfort, brings me little consolation. Hindsight, though, has often proven pain’s value. In fact, I have found pain to be one of life’s most effective teachers. ~Patsy Clairmont

Do you ever wake hoping that the weight of the many problems lounging on your shoulders would be put to rest while you slept. Then upon opening your eyes as you sit straight up, reaching out above your head you feel that tense pain; the weight, the grief, the problems are still there. Sitting their fat rumpus on your head, neck, back, shoulders. You feel hopeless. The plan of it disappearing happens to be wishful thinking huh? Adulting doesn’t happen that way. Look the problems straight in the face and don’t let them win. Be bigger than the problem. Accept responsibility, don’t put the blame on someone or something else –> Be a winner. Do what you have to do (with morals and honesty of course). Make sacrifices, for one day you’ll be ahead of where you are today thanking God for the opportunities and troubled times that have came to pass. Don’t give up- just keep moving forward.

If you stop to address the doubters, naysayers, and cynics- you’ll be wasting time. Show them up. Do your best everyday because YOU want to. Be the answer to your problems because YOU want it. Stand up for truth because YOU know you can and its the right thing to do. Keep the truth in the open because then no one can knock you down. Don’t deny the truth or your mistakes. Accept responsibility. Truth hurts but lies and blame can destroy. Destroy EVERYTHING!

For the doubters chasing you, throwing stones- keep them. Put them in a box and stow them away. When you’re ready, use them to build a walkway to your future; a bridge to a better you. Someday is today. Let pain be your inspiration. You can-so do.

5 tips from this dynamic duo.

Don’t laugh y’all. It’s really true. My husband and I are like a dynamic duo. Our marriage has been through many stages and changes and, boy oh boy, it’s been a ride. So , without further ado, here’s a little ditty about us.

He likes the shade while I like the sun. I like my coffee almost black while he likes a little coffee with his gallons of cream and sugar. He likes to travel by car and I like to fly by air. He likes to sleep in while I like to wake with the birds. He likes to spend money and spending money actually makes me extremely anxious. He doesn’t mind to let the grass grow and I think it has to be mowed the same day every week. He like his dressing with a handful of lettuce and I like a bare salad with dressing on the side.

We are two different people. We have two different minds. We have two different outlooks on situations. We have different likes.

He pushes me to build on dreams. I’ve pushed him to be more than he could have been. Several times I wanted to poke out his eyeballs. Many of times he’s wanted to shove a sock in my mouth. Somehow, we are still walking side-by-side, with all body parts in tack.

One thing is for certain- when my heart breaks, his breaks too. When a joyous moment fills my soul, it fills his soul. When I stress, he gets all frazzled right along in the mess. He leans on me and I lean on him. We don’t always level each other out. And that’s ok. Most of the time. 😉

He knows my smiles. He can distinguish between my laughs. He understands my facial expressions. He knows what my silence means. And he’s felt the wrath of each side of my personality. But yet, he still completely accepts me as his wife- every single day as the sun rises and still when the sun set- I’m his wife and he loves that.

For that, I’m internally, immensely grateful. I could never begin to explain, only stand beside him through every path and every walk of life.

He’ll always protect my heart. He’ll always carry his family. He’ll walk to the ends of the earth to make sure his family has their needs met. Despite the challenges we’ve faced, no matter the hurt that came between us, we came out still together.

With that being said…

Here are 5 things we’ve come to realize that are extremely important to keep our marriage healthy.

  1. He hears “I love you” as he should but he should also feel it. And vice versa. My husband works a crazy schedule. Out a week, home a week. More or less. Whether he’s home or away, our routine at home continues. School, routines, errands, plans… it all goes on. So, making him his favorite meal, sitting my phone down to give him my undivided attention, letting him sleep in, or put off a chore to sit beside him on the couch. It really is about the small things.
  2. Make time for dates. Day dates, evening dates, overnight dates. Time together alone, away from the children is VERY important. It can be easy to get so caught up in life that I forget to remember why in the world he is my best friend. Dates don’t have to cost a ton or be all candlelight’s and perfection, it can be as simple as going for ice cream.
  3. Communicate, concentrate, reciprocate. So, in the past year our life has went absolutely haywire. Remodeling, taking on a surprise child, family issues, change in schedules, finishing up a degree… so much change. There were several times I thought I was going to loose my mind. And I’m pretty sure I may have a little. Even though I had things on my mind, he also had things on his. He’s not the only one who needed work on his listening skills. He deserves my full attention just as I do his. Stop what you’re doing, make eye contact, focus, and pay attention. Hard lesson here, but it’s important!
  4. Make to-do lists together and set expectations. So there are things that my husband wants me to do and I put off, and put off, and put off. It’s important to him or he wouldn’t ask me to do it. I forget his needs are just as important as mine. Just like me, he forgets too. He forgets where his dirty clothes go, what needs to be done and that he DOES know how to load a dishwasher or start a load of laundry. Learning to respect one another’s wants and expectations are important. By following through with to-do lists, you are able to avoid bickering and nagging.
  5. I’m not always right. He’s not always right. Give and take. My way isn’t the only way and neither is his. (His toughest lesson to learn. It’s a work in progress.) Work together to figure out what’s best. If it’s a big decision, make time to sit down with undivided attention to discuss it. Marriage is about team work.

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“A strong marriage requires two people who choose to love each other even on those days when they struggle to like each other.”  ~davewillis.org

 

Rain. Rambles. Running.

My ears heard drippling’s as I laid in bed upon waking. It has rained here so much lately, I almost think that Missouri is becoming somewhat like Seattle. It’s caused rising rivers, stopped construction, yard swamps and drive-way creeks. Not to mention somewhat dreary moods. As the sprinkles and drops fall from the sky and collects in a low part of the ground, I ask my husband, “what does rain make you think of?” His response, “being a young kid and splashing in the puddles.”

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I suppose I could have reverted back to my childhood and went and splashed in puddles. I would have smiled and made memories alone since no one was out of bed when I woke. Well, that and the toddler is with his mother so I wasn’t going to be that needed when everyone woke. So….

You know what I did today? I found a little motivation that has been trapped within the dusty part of my conscience somewhere. My eyes seen sprinkles as I peered out my window and the cool breeze came in and brushed my skin. “It’s raining” my brain said as I slipped on my spandex pants. “You haven’t ran in almost 9 months, it will be hard,” I thought as pulled on my socks. As I was tying up my laces, my brain intervenes and thinks, “You don’t have to do this.”

As I stood up and walked out the door, a smile crossed my lips because I decided that my lack of motivation was not about to win today. I made my way to the road and I said, “YES I DO… ready or not” And then something amazing happened. I remembered I could run. I put one foot in front of the other, setting a pace and accomplished a goal that I haven’t been motivated to succeed in quiet sometime.

My chest wasn’t pained and my legs barely ached. It wasn’t hard or unbearable, it felt good. So, will I be off for the races tomorrow? No. I don’t think so. But yet another refreshing run, I certainly think I will.

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I did it! No ambulance needed.

My laziness and lack of motivation has become an easy way to get out of work. Not literally work for my job, but work on myself and around my house. (Sidenote: my house is NOT disgusting dump but with re-construction going on, it’s just rather disorganized and dusty. IT’S ABOUT TO MAKE ME NUTS!) So many days are consumed with the same-ol-same-ol-routine: meals, dishes, floors, laundry, kids, etc. So much so, that I have forgotten what it’s like to have goals for myself.

My selfish goals: running, organization, my blog, my writings, me…

I wrote about my love for running in August but published it here in February. Read that here- I will again-soon. The only thing changed since then is that I graduated with my BS in May. That story is here- One goal accomplished.

One of the most important aspects of being an adult and caring for responsibilities is not losing sight of you. Sanity is a huge requirement in motherhood and life. Right? For months I have been searching for motivation in words, pictures, ideas to help me retrieve sight of my goals to help keep my sanity and lessen my anxiety. Searching and reading isn’t the same as acting and doing.

I have been feeling sympathetic on my behalf since I’m first a mother and my needs come last. Internally, I’m thinking, “wah” and then I move on into breakfast, playtime, stories, messes, etc. I have no time for self-sulking and pity parties. I’m a mother and wife for Pete’s sake. Eventually there will be a time when no one will need me and then the pity party will change themes. In order to be present in this life, you need to have a little amount of time for your “selfish goals” without forgetting those that depend on you.

I have forgotten what it’s like to want more for myself rather than for others. Boy oh boy, did it feel good to slip away into my release, even if it was only 8 minutes. You must start somewhere and I suppose that the pavement pounding was a good start. Now, on to list of to-do’s for the summer before I head back in August and finding motivation to do them. I cannot put off until the last minute. Insert New Year’s resolution here that always seems to be thrown to the wayside.

Is there something that you have been putting off? Something that is causing anxiety in your life because you lack the motivation to do since progress is disguised as work. Work doesn’t scare me, I just don’t know where to begin. The bedroom seems like a good place to start.

I’ll let you know what kind of progress I am making in the weeks to come.

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I mustn’t walk backwards. I must keep moving forward. Even little bits of progress makes for accomplishments.  Set goals and smash them- one day at a time.

One goal accomplished.

As I sat in one of the chairs that held about 100 other graduates on May 21, I realized that I had began a new chapter in my life. I set out to tackle a goal that had to be achieved in order to continue my specific position as an employee of Head Start. I am thankful and extremely appreciative of the opportunity that was presented to me, my degree achievement.

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Fist bumping my son. He seen all that I worked for. I set an example for him that education is important. As many sacrifices he’s made through my journey, he was smiling back at me with his fist bump ready. Proud. My heart skipped a beat.

There were a variant of degrees sitting in those chairs. Bachelors of science in nursing, education, psychology, business, elementary education… There were even those that were walking in achievement of Master of Education, Master of Science of Clinical Counseling… And then those who walked with honors. There were even fellow classmates who walked to achieve a like degree as me- Bachelors of Science (Child Development).

No matter what my degree was in, I sat there, humbled, that I had family there- proud of my achievements. There were many a number of sacrifices that had to be made by my family, friends and even myself along the way and no one turned their back on me. Instead, they were completely understanding.

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It may be empty for now but the folder is a symbol of my achievement.

Despite the degree, that is merely a piece of paper with a label, I’m capable of so many things. One day I may change the world but until then I will stay humble and proud that I, was able to obtain a degree that allows me to touch hearts and change lives. Some children come to school to be educated, some come to school to be loved and feel secure… I’m in charge of little lives that may one day make a difference in the world. No matter where my path may lead- a classroom, an office, behind the scenes or stage front- I have the love and support of so many. I sure am a lucky gal.

Human decency. Priceless.

Sit back and look at the world around you. It seems to me that in today’s society, there are many more people walking around pointing snickering fingers and sharing their disapproving opinions of others. People are quick to judge not only others appearances but decisions that one might make. Relationships, good-hearted kindness and people are being taken advantage of everywhere. Maybe I just realize it more now since I’m older? Who knows.

Because of the spoken judgements, hurtful words and looks, there are several that fall victim to depression, misery and feelings of hurt.

Have you ever felt as if you have failed? Whether it was at life, your child(ren), friendships, anything in general? I bet you remember how you felt on the inside at that very moment. Why would you want someone else to feel that way?

Have you ever felt walked on or taken advantage of because of your kindness? Maybe favors you did were forgotten or more was expected of your kindness. Were relationships neglected? Did someone leave you feeling emptied? Drained?

I know several times I’ve been caught up in negativity, almost drowned in thoughts, and let hurt feelings almost eat me alive. I did kindness for others expecting the same in return when in reality not everybody has the same heart as me. And that’s OK. We all love differently. My heart may beat the same as everyone else but it doesn’t feel the same as everyone else. It even responds differently to circumstances of others. Everyone’s heart is different but human decency should be the same.

Personally, I think that we as humans are responsible for making others feel appreciated, loved, valued… And it all starts within us.

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Women can be catty and spiteful. Words can come from their mouths that can strike the heart and damage a soul. Even looks- if looks could kill, I know a few that may be in prison from deadly glares. Men can be just as malicious, rude, egotistical and downright awful. But we don’t have to be all that.

We- men, women, humans- should use our powerful voice to touch others and show support. We shouldn’t expect more then we are willing to give. (Can we make this a law?) Since we are in charge of our own lives, encouraging and influencing others should be something we do on a regular basis. By simply spreading kindness and true appreciation.

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We as humans-adults, companions, strangers- have the ability to empower one another. To lift up, encourage, to boost another persons spirit. This is huge. We hold tremendous amounts of power all within our presence and behind our voice that can either be detrimental or virtuous.

When we become compassionate adults, we are in turn teaching our children how to treat others. Because whether you believe it or not, they are watching, soaking up every word and every gesture that we make towards another human.

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Investing our time, generous acts and thoughtful words into one another is a tremendous act of kindness. This can have an enormous impact on humanity. Because no matter how much money you have or what position in society you have- you do have the power change someone’s day and potentially, life. By the compliments you give, the kind hearted smile you share, or the wink that you send someone’s way- you are validating their purpose and that they do mean something.

I should also make this clear- it is important that you do not try to milk all that you can from someone’s spirit and kindly gestured friendship. A person that is taken for granted time and time again will eventually, “hang their hat” so-to-say, on the relationship you may share. Friendship, kinship or romantic involvement- it doesn’t matter. Never lose sight of who you want to be despite how others make you feel.

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If there is an unfortunate occurrence where you have to leave behind a friendship or situation, make peace with it. Accept the unsaid apology and don’t carry the baggage with you. It will destroy your peace.

I think this could be a good fire starter (not literally- metaphorically). I can be more meaningful in lives of those who surround me. I can let go of the past. I can be friendly and caring without being taken advantage of. I can try more to keep kind words in my mouth. Not necessarily towards friends or relatives, but anyone. I cannot and will not change everyone. I can, however, donate my passion, share my love and smile all day long. I can try to do it everyday, whether it’s reciprocated or not, and maybe this will start small but eventually infect others.

Do you vow to leave the hurtful, mindless, and uncanny talk? Maybe you could be more mindful of how you treat others… Delight them with generosity and good intentions.

I am far from perfect and in many ways I have let others down. I still pray for strength to make it through each day and thank the Lord for each new day. I look for inspirations to be the best person I can be. Not only for me but for others. I hope this touches someone’s heart and allows them to see that perfection isn’t possible and kindness is needed. Forgiveness is something we can do on our own and that our judgement is unnecessary. Everyone is responsible for themselves, their own actions and their own words.

Graciously, I live. Willingly, I make peace. Purposefully, I love. Consciously, I am present. Today. Tomorrow. Always.

You can if only you try.

On top of the world is a great place to be. The feeling of completion and the high you get when you’re there, can be accomplished from so many different experiences. Obviously, flying in an airplane can leave you feeling- on top of the world. Achieving that great grade in an exam you just knew you failed can lead you to feel- on top of the world. Finding out great news like a pregnancy, cancer in remission, an answered prayer will again leave you feeling- on top of the world. For many different reasons in our short lives on this green and blue earth, I hope that you will at least experience this a couple handful of times.

You know, each and everyday we as humans- adults and children alike- look opportunities straight in the face. Some may take hold and work through to achieve the reward. But others are ignorant to the OPPORTUNITUES for the simple fact they look scary. They are disguised as challenging TASKS, work, and fear succumbs where the path may lead them.

Several times I’ve walked a path blindly. I’ve feared where I was heading and only was able to continue by walking blindly in faith. I’ve had many trying attempts at my goals, wants and dreams and I continue to have to work towards them each and every single day. Mostly blinded but hopeful that the struggles I face while walking through life will soon pass and a bad day is just that- a bad bay.

Adversity is nothing to be ashamed of and never let it frighten you away. I don’t care if you are the King of England; everyone faces it. It’s all about you attitude towards it that can leave you either feeling accomplished and thriving in life. Patting yourself on the back saying, “that was tough, but I did it!” OR you run with or hide behind the feelings of incompetency, the feeling that you are unable to make it through your day and then bowing your head in shame because you fell backwards and now are 15 steps behind and it doesn’t feel as if you’ll ever make it. You CAN if only you try. You will get no where unless you move those feet. Don’t depend on others. Be you. Make a change. Get on top of your world. Be the beast that’s laying dormant inside and fly high.

As I looked into the horizon this morning I realized something: I’m too blessed to be stressed. I’m on top of my world and I am in charge. I can go left today or right, but whichever direction it is I chose I will walk with my chin up. My heart is beating and bold. I have the things that I need and I can work for the things that I want. I am capable. I am competent. I am willing to do what I need to do. At the end of today, I will lay my head to sleep knowing I did what I could and tomorrow is another day. I shared love, kindness, smiles and handshakes. Thank you Lord for today and the opportunity to make amends, right my wrongs and love unconditionally. I am going to do what’s best for my family. And with the strength I have today, I will use it wisely.

How will you see it?

The way I see it, you have two choices. You can live in gloomy, clouded darkness within the sunless corners of your life; Where everything is a hindrance and you are burdened by everyone and everything. When everything that happens to you is someone else’s fault and it seems to be the end of the world. Where you are living at your breaking point every second of everyday; everything has to be black and white or grey and there isn’t even a hint of color in your perspective.

OR you can experience the breath-taking, life-altering, eye-opening, soul refreshing sights. Where you see beauty everywhere you go and in everything you do. Everything that happens is a blessing, disguised or intentional. When you hear a child’s laugh you are energized to know that you once were able to live a worry free life and it WILL be ok; maybe not now, not this minute, not today, but eventually. You should be delighted to know that your smile can be found and your soul can be restored just by enjoying the small things. When you see the rays of light break through the clouds, you are brought to the reality that even the cloudiest days aren’t the worst; it’s just the beginning of something great.

Life happens. Sometimes it’s terrible; other times it’s remarkable. Will you see it in black and white OR color?

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And yes, I took this picture while at the airport after being delayed the first time.
#yourperspective #yourchoice

Believe In Yourself

You are a once in a lifetime person, why live for anything less?

If you’re going through hell, walk on and keep going. A brand new happiness is ahead of you. Each step you take, whether tough, easy or even one you’re uncertain of, it’s well worth it in the end. God put it in your path specifically for a reason. Our God is great and just because your miracle isn’t granted today doesn’t mean he’s not working on another blessing for your life. Thank Him for waking you, providing for you, and loving you. Thank Him for giving you your sorrows because without them you wouldn’t know pure joy. Thank Him for your burdens and difficulties because without them you couldn’t experience peace and calm when they pass. Thank Him when facing an uphill battle because when you’ve made to the top of that mountain, you will be stronger mentally, physically and emotionally. Not to mention you will be able trudge through the next rocky road with more ease and contentment.

 

I know some of you might think, “That’s easy for her to say, it looks like she’s got an easy life.” Notice the key words there: “it looks”. Sorry to burst the bubble for those who believe that. My life is not now, has not been, never was nor never will be a complete breeze or untroubled. Easier today than yesterday, yes. Easier this year than last, yes. I’ve faced battles and continue daily to face them. I chose to be positive and think positive and yes I have days when I fail and fall and have to work my way back up. But I want happiness so that’s what I choose.
Just keep going! You may not be able to see it right now but your future is bright. It’s up to you how soon you’ll get there. Give thanks. Love much. Stay humble. Be happy. Set goals. Work hard. Achieve greatness.

Live Responsibly

Life is made up of all sorts of moments- that’s obvious. What isn’t obvious is that each step you take can lead you to the most important lessons that lie in the darkness. Out of that darkness, you can discover your strengths. Through the depressing gloomy days, you will discover that “this” too shall pass. Whatever “this” may be.

As soon as you discover the brilliant that may lay dormant inside you, you will see that your heart is full. Your life isn’t bleak or pointless at all. As a matter of fact, you are here and there is reason in your life. Reason for smiling. Reason for pain. Reason for hope and reason for misfortune. All the obstacles you work through and overcome will help you find your way and you will be able to discover your strengths.

There were days I thought “I can’t make it”. The depression that proceeded to take over my thoughts, my heart and my life- won. For years, I allowed it to win. I was victim to my own sadness. I lacked motivation to pull myself together and leave the comfort of my own pity party. Something was slowly dying inside. My spirit. Medication isn’t my thing, so I submitted myself to sorrow and it nearly ate me alive some days. I’ve discovered that by giving into those thousands of “why me” thoughts, I lost days, hours, and moments. The hardest part is now realizing I will never get them back. 

Instead of working to find the right people in your life. Be the right people.  Be positive, uplifting, encouraging and inspirational. You will attract what energy you put out. The right people will see your beauty. Your worth. You. Not the beauty that is the most obvious, but the deep inner beauty of your soul. 

When you start working for you, you will discover what you are truly worth. The strength that you will gain from the struggles you face today will only make the next obstacle you face tomorrow, a little more feasible. So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead. Remember on dark days- the stars do not shine without darkness. Something great is within you. Work hard to bring your greatness out and let it shine. No matter how small, it can only grow when you notice and strengthen your spirit. 

As I’ve said before, never take a moment for granted. Don’t let the days slip into months. Make the seconds count because they turn into minutes- minutes into hours and eventually they will be lost. Renew your spirit by seeking inspiration. Daily. Remind yourself you are worthy. You are valued. Do good because you want to and be honest because you respect yourself that much. Only one person is responsible for your security and life- You. Live responsibly. 

2 Corinthians 4:16

    So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.

Need a little extra umph in finding ways to fight off your depression? Head over to  7 Powerful Ways to Fight Depression and discover just that. You are not alone. Everyone feels down and out from time to time. Just don’t get stuck there. Stand up and renew your spirit- you are responsible.