Every day is a blessing. I remember a time not too long ago when I would open my eyes and feel complete panic. Just the idea of putting my feet on the floor would make my heart race. The great thing about life is the only thing we can be certain of is change. It’s impossible for things to remain the same even if we want them too. This is a reminder that no matter where you are today, tomorrow will look different. Approach this day in gratitude or in joy knowing this time too will soon come to pass. The ebb and flow of life is truly a blessing so hang on in the hard times and enjoy the ride in the good times. Here’s wishing you an amazing day.
I woke up today feeling suffocated with gratitude. Aren’t those days awesome when your eyes pop open and you just feel amazing?
I am here to remind you that although the world can seem big and overwhelming, you are not forgotten. You are visible and important and valuable. I know sometimes you may feel small but that feeling is a lie. There is nothing small about you. There is only one you and you were created to be unique, one of a kind. Do not fall victim to comparison. Recognize we all have gifts, strengths, weakness and vulnerability. Don’t be defined by the walls you build around yourself. Break through them! Climb over them! Change that voice in your head to say I do matter. I have a place here.
Sometimes when I need a pick me up, I put on my favorite socks that come fully equipped with red capes. Remind yourself that we all have an inner rockstar or an inner superhero. Step onto that stage or into your phone booth and let that bold person come on out. Don’t be afraid to shine. Your light does make a difference. You make a difference.
My son is 17 today. It took me years to understand I had it all wrong. I thought my job was to shape and grow him. I spent years fighting for who I thought he should be and I missed who he was becoming. We have this idea of how our kids should be as adults and the truth is they grow us more than we could ever grow them. Sometimes I look back and wonder why we had to face a particular growing pain but today I know it’s the hardest situations we face that change and develop us the most. There is always something new to learn. I think the mistake we make as parents is thinking our job is only to teach and we miss out on the most important learning of our lives. Life does not always go the way we plan. People don’t always turn out the way we imagine but do we ever stop and ask ourself, am I who others need me to be? Do I encourage, support, accept, love or do I judge, demean, destroy and discourage? I don’t think we know how important our words and actions are until our kids get older and sometimes by then the patterns we have fallen victim to become harder and harder to change. I am here to remind you that pride should never win. Humble yourself and admit where you have gone wrong and be open to changing so that you can get on a path that feels more right. It’s important to remember we are human and the same goes for our kids as well. All we can do is our best and parenting does not come with a book of instructions. Love your kids exactly how they are in this moment. That is the greatest gift you could ever give. Today I mourn the little boy I remember but I also look forward to the man he is becoming. If only time could slow down…
There are days I question what many around me believe. We seem to live in a society that wants to catch people doing something wrong and then inflict and see through some type of punishment. I come from a different mind frame and it’s hard for me to understand how easily people get caught up in this web and eventually become obsessed. I do not feel that I have the right to point a finger at other people. I have done plenty of things that I am not proud of and just because I didn’t get caught does not make me any different than the guy on the breaking news who did. I do not think there is a single person living right now who has not broken a law, disrespected rules or done something that most would agree deserves some type of consequence. Everyday I drive, people are flying by me disregarding the speed limit. I have accidentally run a red light but when it comes to the law, does intent ever really matter? I think the mistake we make is this. We categorize things by how severe we think they are. We convince ourselves that some things we do wrong are not a big deal while we blow other things out of proportion. I believe that wrong is wrong period. I believe we all make bad decisions and choose to do things we know are wrong so why when it comes to someone else, are we so willing to set a different standard? If people would get honest about their own choices in their own lives and work on themselves maybe we wouldn’t have so much time to throw so many stones at others. We claim to know what’s right for someone else yet we ignore to do right in our own lives. I’m just saying, imagine if we became obsessed with our own lives instead of being obsessed with and trying to destroy someone else’s. Can you even imagine how different the world would be? Put your stone down and stop being part of a mob who is making the wrong kind of difference. Become obsessed with something good and you will contribute exactly what we need to make this world a better place.
Some days blow in like a tornado turning our normal into tumultuous chaos. When the winds fall silent, we stand in the midst of panic, clutching our heart while everything we once knew is left shredded to pieces, barely recognizable. There are seasons in our lives where we are forced to start over in a direction we never imagined and the fear can cripple us until we feel paralyzed. It’s like a nightmare that we cannot wake up from and we have no choice but to see it to the very end.
It wasn’t too long ago I felt exactly like this. I had no idea what the next minute would bring and all I could do was sit on my situation and breathe. Surrender doesn’t always come easy but when my hand is forced, gradually the destruction left behind turns a blank canvas into a blessing in disguise. Blessings come in many forms. Sometimes the old has to be completely torn down to make way for the new. There is a song I love and one verse goes something like this, what if trials of this life are your mercies in disguise? Sometimes I cannot see the bigger picture because I am so focused on a single frame but time puts most things in perspective and I have to remind myself to be patient and take one moment at a time. Deal with today. Sometimes that is the only way to find the strength to face tomorrow. And who knows? Maybe tomorrow will be far more beautiful than I could ever imagine and the peace I find there waiting for me will make all the pain and tears worth the trials I had to face.
Today is my tomorrow and I am here to tell you it is so amazingly beautiful on this other side. Stand firm in the storm. It will pass.
Sometimes I forget there are people out there who need me. Sometimes I get so closed in by the prison of my own thoughts that I cannot see beyond the tiny hopeless box I’m hiding in. I am here to remind you that there will be hard times and rough days. There will be hours that seem like years. There will be mountains you don’t want to climb but trust me you want to get to the other side. If nothing else, climb to the top and sit down on whatever situation has you feeling down. That mountain is not on top of you, you are on top of it and the view looks so much different when you commit to the climb. Be courageous. Don’t let anyone tell you that you cannot move beyond what seems like Mt. Everest standing before you. Alone it may seem to hard to face but you are never alone and everything, EVERYTHING is possible with God. Keep moving! Look to where where you’re going and don’t even take a peek back. You don’t live there anymore.
What happens when two people interpret love in entirely different ways? Maybe relationships fail in the misunderstanding of what love is to the other person. If we love in a way we think is love instead of loving someone a way he or she needs to be loved, someone is going to end up hurt. So what is love to you? How do you define it? What does loving you look like? Maybe that is the one question that we fail to ask that could be the breakthrough in every relationship. To me, love is gentle. It does not force its way. It is listening with the intent to understand and only offers advice when asked. It is a phone call asking are you okay and a heart that whispers, I am here for whatever it is you need. It doesn’t tear me down, it builds me up. It supports, encourages.
Don’t ever tell anyone they are difficult to love. We all want to love and be loved. We are all worthy of love. We all desire to hear what is right with us not what is wrong with us. Words mean something. They can rip someone apart or lift someone up. If your words are causing someone pain, pause and recognize they are not a reflection of love to the other person. Sometimes you may think someone is difficult to love but the truth is you never learned how to love them the way they need you to love. Instead of saying you are the problem, ask how can I be the solution? Sometimes you simply need to really hear what someone is asking of you. Sometimes it’s simpler than you could ever imagine. Loving someone is about the person you are loving as much as it is you who is doing the loving. Ask the question. Do it soon. What do you need from me? How can I love you better? Tell me what love looks like to you? Then and only then you might have a chance to get it right.
Strive to be love not to be right
Hold onto people not opinions
Show compassion not contempt
Lift others up, don’t knock them down
Be a voice not an echo
Lead people in prayer not into war
If you cannot help then do not harm
Be a light not a negative force
Point a figure at yourself not at others
Build others, don’t break them
Speak words of comfort not condemnation
Be an example not a critic
I know time doesn’t stand still. I know we keep moving forward through the years at an unbearable pace. Sometimes though, on the hard days when my hope is crushed and my heart is broken, I wish I had a time machine to get back to a happier time when I was excited about life and bursting with hope. Sometimes my cross feels heavy and we exist in a world where people add weight instead of offering to carry some of the load. Sometimes I just want to disappear into the background where I am out of everyone’s sight and reach. I don’t want to live in a world where people are unkind and unforgiving and hurt more than they help. If only there was a sweet place to feel safe and protected while the world around me goes into battle. I am a lover not a fighter. I seek peace and run from war. If only that place existed but I know it does not.
Parenting is never easy. Everyone thinks they have all the answers and that one way works despite the child you are raising. I am here to tell you that just isn’t true. Kids aren’t born with manuals. We don’t intentionally raise them in a way that causes problems. Sometimes, regardless of what we say or do, kids walk in a way we wish they hadn’t. I’ve never felt a support group around me as a parent. I’ve had critics and finger pointing, blame and isolation but rarely have I felt supported and encouraged. I’ve felt disgrace and shame more than love and support. Everyone pretends that raising kids is easy but guiding someone into their future is a difficult task. It’s a burden that leads to sleepless nights, hours of worry and sometimes a broken heart. We need to reach out to other parents and let them know they are not alone in the struggle. I walk that struggle every, single day. There is no time off, holidays or coffee breaks. I am always a mom regardless of the circumstance. Some days I get it right and other days I face the consequence of the mistakes I’ve made but I always parent with the best of intention and I give everything I have to give. There will always be someone who tells you that you haven’t done enough, maybe even that YOU aren’t enough. Don’t listen to that voice. Find the one quiet voice that will quietly whisper, keep going. I understand. The world will try and persecute you but lift your head out of your shame and walk with grace. Put your faith and trust in God. He will show you the way. You are enough and everything will be okay.