Thursday, December 21, 2017

Is Everything Going To Be Okay?

A friend posted the following question on facebook: When you are going through something hard how do you know it will be ok in the end?

I replied: Honestly, you don't necessarily know it will be okay in the end, but you have to hope it is. At least okay in the earthly mortal sense of okay, in the eternal sense it will definitely all be okay if you keep doing what's right the best you can.

I have to remind myself, "I can do hard things." If you look back at everything you've already been through, how many have you gotten through? All of them. You'll get through this too. When things don't go as planned, you can learn to look for the good- love and support from family and friends, learning about compassion, learning about being more sensitive to others.

Whatever happens, you're always finding a 'new normal' for your life, adapting to the situation, and learning. Sometimes you have to let others have the faith for you so that you can plan for the worst so you are prepared if it happens and pleasantly surprised if it doesn't. Everything turns out the for best or you make the best of the way things turn out.

I've often heard that God won't give you anything you can't handle. My husband said that actually he will give you more than you can handle. If you could get through life on your own with things you could handle, then why would you need help from him or family or friends or professionals? If he gives you things you can't handle, then it forces you to turn to him or to others for help, forging lasting bonds of love and friendship.

If it takes a village to raise a child, it definitely takes a village to get through life.

Friday, October 13, 2017

How To Have A Good Day

Everybody wants to have a good day today, but how do you do it? Summed up in one word: choose.

You have to choose everyday, sometimes every hour, to be happy. You have to work at it. You can get yourself out of a bad mood or panic mode by pure will. I'm talking everyday bad moods, not depression or severe anxiety. There are definitely times when you need therapy and/or medication. I'm talking in generalities here, though these techniques may help to refocus your thoughts regardless of what you are dealing with.

I've definitely had/have a good portion of trials, like we all have, so I say it is possible despite many bad circumstances.

When I'm in a bad mood sometimes I just want to stew in the badness of it. Just go over every bad thing because it almost feels good and justified, I deserve to be in a bad mood. But honestly it doesn't make me feel good, and it usually doesn't solve any problems.

Just this morning I was thinking about the future and literally felt sick to my stomach with worry that things would be so bad we would never be happy. But I stopped myself and looked at the big black cloud of worry and trouble (said in a deep scary voice) and encircled it with a silver lining (said in a fairy voice). It's not that I make the big black cloud go away, I can't, but I can put a silver lining on it and focus on that.

It's not ignoring my problems, but choosing to look at the situation from a different perspective. Look at it from a perspective of hope and happiness. Knowing that even if the big black cloud is always there, I have a silver lining around it. I can do hard things.

I CAN DO HARD THINGS! Remember that statement and tell yourself you can because it's true. Look back on your life and how many hard days you've gone through in the past. How many of those hard days are still around? None, because you survived them and made it to a new day. You can beat hard days. You can do hard things. Telling yourself you can do hard things helps empower you to succeed, even if just for an hour.

Find some humor or beauty in life, even if it's just how beautiful the moon looks, or telling yourself your favorite joke that always cracks you up (even if you're the only one laughing). Laughing and smiling releases tension and gets you back in a positive frame of mind. When you're in a positive frame of mind then you can look at a problem with fresh eyes and focused concentration.

Serve others. You don't have to do anything big, but lots of little good things add together to be a powerful force. Smile and say hi to people. Pay for someone else's lunch. Invite some friends/family/neighbors over for dinner and games. Talk to someone first instead of waiting for others to talk to you. Call or text someone to catch up on how their life is going. Bake a double batch of cookies and give some to others. Volunteer in an elementary, a library, a retirement home, with foster children, on a clean up project, at the homeless shelter. Listen to understand what people are saying. Open a door for someone. You can think of one small service project that would be good for you, and then just do it.

Surround yourself with positivity. Post inspirational quotes where you can see them. Have beautiful pictures on hand to look at. Find positive memes that make you feel good. Talk positively with others, lifting them up as well as yourself. Read about people that inspire you.

Lastly, it's okay and normal to feel all sorts of emotions. It would be weird if you never were sad or mad or revengeful. But don't stay there! Experience the emotion, try to understand it, then try to resolve it so you can be happy. It doesn't mean you won't be mad about the same thing again, but that you can resolve the mad emotion in the moment so it doesn't overtake your brain and life.

Choose to have a good day.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Live One More Day

Some days we wake up and feel awesome! Other days it's feels like...

"Another heartbreak day 
Feels like you’re miles away
Don’t even need no shade
When your sun don’t shine...
Too many passin’ dreams
Roll by like limousines
It’s hard to keep believin’
When they pass you by and by
I know your heart been broke again
I know your prayers ain’t been answered yet
I know you’re feeling like you got nothing left
Well, lift your head, it ain’t over yet..."* 
"‘Cause I know this is not
Anything like you thought
The story of your life was gonna be
And it feels like the end has started closing in on you
But it’s just not true
There’s so much of the story that’s still yet to unfoldAnd this is going to be a glorious unfolding
Just you wait and see and you will be amazed
You’ve just got to believe the story is so far from over
So hold on to every promise
When minutes seem like hours and hours seem like days, think back on your life and how fast the years have gone by. You've accomplished so much by just living through every day. And you can make each day worth it by not taking it for granted.

You are alive, you have people who love you, you have the internet if you're reading this, you have a purpose in life. So go live purposefully and watch the glorious unfolding!

*TobyMac - Move (Keep Walkin')

**Steven Curtis Chapman - Glorious Unfolding

Thursday, December 22, 2016


Before Thanksgiving, the newspaper asked for stories from the community about what people were thankful for. I noticed it for several days and finally decided to write a piece for them. They published some of the stories in the newspaper on Thanksgiving day, mine included, and posted all of them online. It was nice to see my words in print, but I was more grateful for the chance to share my thoughts on what I was thankful for. Here's my story: 

My husband and I received some staggering news just over six years ago. Five months into our first pregnancy I had to be induced to save my life. I had HELLP Syndrome and the baby and I would both have died if they had not induced labor. Our little boy was stillborn the night before my 26th birthday. It is a never ending road to deal with the loss of a child. But the love and support we received from family, friends, and neighbors was amazing. We were so grateful for monetary help, meals, cards, momentos, and prayers in our behalf.  

It seems in times of tragedy that love pours out in equal amounts to help assuage the pain.  
We went through two more difficult pregnancies. People we didn't even know were praying for us and keeping up to date on our progress. It was amazing to us, and we were thankful for every good thought sent our way.  

We had two beautiful girls and thought the worst was behind us. Life was going pretty well and we were excited about my husband's new job and moving to a new home soon.  

Then our younger daughter started falling. She was twenty months old and had been walking well. We took her to the doctor and he diagnosed a double ear infection. The infection cleared up but her walking got worse. She was to the point where she wouldn't walk and hardly wanted to crawl. After more doctor trips to her pediatrician, an ENT, a couple MRIs, and blood and urine tests, we learned she had neuroblastoma cancer along with OMA syndrome. The tumor had also grown into her lower spinal column complicating the situation.  

From the moment we found out, the doctors and nurses showed both us and our daughters such compassion and understanding. The staff at Primary Children's hospital has been amazing the last nine months. Generous donations to the hospital have helped make our daughter's multiple hospital stays better with handmade blankets, stuffed animals, toys, books, and more. The Ronald McDonald room and the groups who make meals for those away from home help relieve the burden of extended stays.   

From the moment we told our family and friends, we were overwhelmed with love and prayers. Our closest friends, as well as people we hadn't seen for years flooded us with support, mostly online. But we also received cards and meals, gift cards and care packages, and many offers of babysitting.  

Throughout this hard time we have been the recipients of much love and service, all due to the devastating diagnosis of the life altering disease our daughter has. Most of the support was at the initial time of diagnosis, but those who have supported us during this whole long journey are much loved by us. We are forever thankful to all those who take the time to look beyond their busy lives to help us in our time of great need.  

In the words of Fred Rogers, "Anyone who does anything to help a child in his life is a hero to me." 

Sunday, December 4, 2016

The Sound Of Silence

"...disturb the sound of silence..."

Music disturbs the sound of silence and touches the soul.

To fully feel emotions, sometimes we need music to take us to the deeper parts of our soul.

This version of this song seems to channel my feelings lately. I've listened to it over and over.

Les Miserables is a musical that disturbs the sound of silence as well. Full of passion- love, anger, pride, war, longing, sadness, desire. It has been my good friend.

We all need cathartic music to help us deal with our emotions.

Find your songs. Feel your emotions.