Friday, May 31, 2013

Slowly Falling

As I've been sitting at the computer for the last hour, I've had to adjust the chair three times. It slides down imperceptibly until suddenly I realize that I'm six inches lower than earlier. A similar thing happened to me last week. I was using a music stand and it would slowly drop lower and lower until it became too low to use, so I would have to raise it back up to a good height. It was hard to notice the descent until it became a significant enough amount to be unuseful.

I think many times in life, we find ourselves in a lower place than we thought we were, lower than where we want to be. It takes us by surprise because we thought we were higher than that. The change is gradual enough that we don't notice until it becomes too much of a change.

When it comes to the point of dissatisfaction with our lowness, we have to pull ourselves up. People can help pull us up, but ultimately we'll keep falling unless we consistently adjust ourselves.

It's easy to fall into bad habits and hard to pull out of bad habits. You can't just stop doing a bad habit and leave a void in your life. You have to replace it with something else, hopefully something good.

If you've lapsed to an unacceptable point, then pull yourself up. You'll probably have to do it multiple times. It takes work to stay on high ground, but it's better up there.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Fearless Heart

"Just give me a reason,
Just a little bit's enough
Just a second, we're not broken
Just bent and we can learn to love again.
It's in the stars, 
It's been written in the scars on our hearts
We're not broken
Just bent and we can learn to love again."

How often do the forces of the universe, of nature, of people push relentlessly against us? Are you broken, or are you just bent? Most people don't actually break, but they are so bent, they don't realize they can fix themselves.

Most people's yards are covered in grass, a seemingly unimportant plant. But grass teaches us a good lesson. Grass looks better when it's been cut and trimmed, but if you wait too long to cut it and cut off more than half the blade, it hurts it. It's better to trim a little off at a time, even if you have to mow more often. Life lessons are best learned a little at a time, but more frequently than a huge blow to our soul.

Grass is also resilient. It gets sat on, walked on, played on, driven over, squashed flat, and it still pops right back up. It's not broken, just bent. The wind blows the grass till it's almost lying vertical, but as soon as the wind stops, it straightens itself and continues to thrive. Rain and hail pelt the grass flat, snow covers it for months, and it comes right back in the spring.

Finding a moment of introspection can happen easily while laying in the grass looking up at the vast blue sky while white clouds float lazily in the warm summer sun. The ground is a firm anchor to hold you while look into the unending blue space above you. Feelings of being grounded while having unlimited potential.

"Sometimes the best that you can do is just to jump back in
Cause I've got me a fearless heart
Strong enough to get you through the scary part
And it's been broken many times before
A fearless heart just comes back for more."
-Nancy Hanson

Introspection can often lead to healing. You will be able to unbend and untie the knots in your soul. It gives a feeling of power, peace, and a fearless heart. You'll be able to jump back in to the game of life. You'll be strong enough to get through the scary parts. Keep coming back for more!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Memorial Day

We went to a Memorial Day program focused on Veterans. It was sobering. My husband's brother is in the Navy, and our brother-in-law is in the Army. They spend so much time away protecting this country. Even if there is no actual war they are fighting in, they are still putting their lives on the line for us every day.

My husband had thought about joining the military, but decided it wasn't the lifestyle he wanted for himself and for his future family. He wanted to be able to watch his children grow up in person, to be there physically and mentally for them. He felt that for him, it would be better to not join.

I've always had a deep respect for those that are in the military, that sacrifice so much to protect us. Their lives and their families lives are greatly impacted, but for them, it's their duty, their call in life.

During the program I thought that if we had lived back in the day of World War I or II, that I probably would have met my husband, we'd have gotten married and pregnant quickly before he went off to war, like so many couples did back then. There's a good chance he would have died back then. I would have died in childbirth, him in war. We would have met each other up in Heaven with our baby. The three of us would have been together. It's hard to imagine us without our living daughter though, we wouldn't be complete.

At any time, another world war could break out and a draft called to enlist soldiers to fight. My husband could be called up to fight and we would have no way to say no. It wouldn't be right to say no. It's a scary thought.

But the pride of having a soldier would help a little. There's a good pride in being a soldier and in supporting one. It's a noble and honorable work they do to protect us. The sacrifice they give is worth paying grateful tribute on Memorial Day and every day.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Friday, May 24, 2013


The above poster can definitely be the words coming out of my mouth at times. I can be very productive at other things when I'm avoiding dishes or vacuuming or cleaning the bathroom. I'm very productive on facebook and pinterest. Those matter, right?
Possible helps for procrastination: make a list of what you need to do, tell a friend what you need to do and when and to remind you, find an app that helps with procrastination, set some goals to accomplish your task, talk to others about their trouble with procrastination, read a book on the subject, look up the definition of procrastination to help you really understand what's going on.

Any of those will help you accomplish you're goal after you procrastinated the actual task and did the helper thing instead. :) I think Nike says it best. Just do it! Then treat yourself to a nice ice cream cone and some french fries afterward to reward yourself!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Where To Send The Anger

When you're upset, what are you supposed to do? Yell at your family? No. Yell at the pet? No. Yell at your boss? No. Yell at your friends? No. Yell at the traffic? Sure, but be careful your road rage doesn't cause an accident.

There's a story I heard about a man who was extremely frustrated at work, and he would come home from work and yell at his wife and kids to get the anger out. His wife made him stop and go yell at the tree in the backyard instead. So the man would come home and before going inside would yell and scream his frustrations out at the tree. Eventually the tree stopped growing and even died. If anger can do that to a tree, imagine what it can do to a human being.

Sometimes when people are angry they feel powerless. So they take out their frustration on some poor innocent soul. The hapless person takes an undeserved verbal beating and potentially passes it along to others.

Where can you go when you are angry than? Who can you turn to? A psychologist could be a good place to start, but if that's not for you, how about we ask Madeleine L'Engle.

In her book, Dragons in the Waters, there is a young teen who has lost his parents and been taking in by his caring and straight forward aunt.
"Look at them." Aunt Leonis pointed skyward. "They're all suns, sun after sun, in galaxy after galaxy, beyond our seeing, beyond our wildest conceiving. Many thousands of those suns must have planets, and it's surely arrogant of us to think of our earth as being the only planet in creation with life on it. Look at the sky, Simon. It's riddled with creation. How does God keep track of it all?"

"Maybe he doesn't," Simon ... said.

"You're thinking, perhaps, that he didn't keep very good track of your mother and father."

Simon made no answer.

Aunt Leonis continued to look up at the stars. "I don't know about you, Simon, but I get very angry with God for not ordering things as I would like them ordered. And I'm very angry with your parents for dying young. It is extremely unfair to you."

"They didn't do it on purpose," Simon defended hotly. "They didn't mean to die. They didn't want to die."

"I am aware of that. But it doesn't keep me from being angry. Nor you. You've been angry all week, Simon, but you're taking it out on the wrong things. It's better to take it out on God. He can cope with all our angers. That's one thing my long span of chronology has taught me. If I take all my anger, if I take all my bitterness over the unfairness of this mortal life and throw it all to God, he can take it all and transform it into love before he gives it back to me."

Simon dug his hands into his pockets. "If he has all of these galaxies and all of these stars and all of these planets, I wouldn't think he'd have much time left over for people."

"I somehow think he does. Because he isn't bound by time or quantity the way we are. I think that he does know what happens to people, and that he does care."

"Why did he let my father and mother die, then?"

"We all die to this life, Simon, and in eternity sooner or later doesn't make much never mind."

God. God can take your anger. He can take anything you throw at him. Being angry at God is proof that you believe in Him. Take all your anger and bitterness and unfairness and throw it to God. He'll take it and transform it to love then return it to you.

Many teenagers get terribly angry at their parents. They still love their parents and would be devastated in they were gone, but they can still get angry as only a teenager can at their parents. Being angry at God is the same. You can love God but still be very upset with him.

You may feel insignificant, like you don't matter. How could God actually take the time to care about you when there are so many that are in worse places? When there are just so many others? God is all powerful, he is not bounded by time or quantity. He does know and he does care.

If you don't believe in a God, then throw your anger out to the farthest reaches of the universe into a black hole. Let it be sucked up away into nothing where it can harm no one else, including yourself. If you do believe in a God, as a general term, or some higher being, throw your anger towards him. He can handle it.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Become Someone

If you like fantasy books, you should definitely check out Brandon Sanderson's books. He creates worlds and magic that I've never heard of before with complex characters and story lines.

Before Brandon Sanderson had published any books, I had heard his name. My old roommate was in a writing group with him. It was kind of a love-hate relationship in that she admired his work, but was jealous that he was getting so much attention and getting published. When Elantris came out, I was really curious about it and was told it was very good. I checked it out and guiltily told my roommate. She said she had done the same and already read it and grudgingly admitted it was good, and it was a good read.

The latest book by him that I am reading is The Emperor's Soul.

The main character, Shai, is in a bad situation in which she feels she has no power. Her emotions start to get almost out of control, but in her mind she forcibly says, "Control yourself. Become someone who can deal with this." The next paragraph, "She took a deep breath and let herself become someone else. An imitation of herself who was calm, even in a situation like this. ... just a trick of the mind, but it worked."

I love the thought of becoming someone who can deal with a seemingly out of control situation. I may feel that I can't deal with something, but I can, at least temporarily, become someone who can deal with the situation, just long enough to get through it.

Confession- I have a fear of dogs. It's usually not overwhelming, but I have definitely been known to take the long way around to avoid a dog on the loose. Watching Cesar Millan's Dog Whisperer show has helped.

When he is with the dogs, he is in control, and he lets the dogs know that he is the master. He owns the situation.
There are times in life that can seem overwhelming, but if we can remember to 'control ourselves and become someone who can deal' with the situation, we can get through anything.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Walls Of Steel

Rejection hurts. You put yourself in a vulnerable position and then are rebuffed by someone you had high hopes for. It can be in a dating situation, a marriage, the workplace, a friendship, a competition, showing your artistic works, or any number of things.

There are two main options when you are rejected. You can retreat, build a wall to protect yourself from more pain, and never try again. Or you can have a resilient spirit, brush your ego off, and keep on proving your worth to the world.

After rejection, many people build themselves a wall or even an impenetrable fortress, then wait like a damsel in distress for a knight in shining armor to rescue them.

But what is the knight supposed to rescue them from? The princess's own fortress? Good luck! The princess will have to wait longer than Sleeping Beauty for a knight who thinks it's worth the effort of breaking it down.

How is the princess going to be saved from her self-built fortress? How does a person get out from behind a wall they built?

They have to tear it down themselves.

As much as we'd all love the right person who is 'smart and has the right tools like respect, love and communication' (SP)* to come along and do the work, we better not bet on it. There's a better chance of winning the lottery.

Here are some words of advice given to someone I know after a rejection.

'If you expect that the right guy can break your wall, you might be single for the rest of your life. Getting in a relationship is give and take. You sacrifice, they do as well. ... Love hurts. It always will. I'm not saying that you have to have no walls ... but you are the ONLY person who can bring your walls down, and it may be for a person you don't expect.' (CCW)

'These [experiences] can only teach you the facts of life and make you, not your wall, stronger.'


These are words spoken from experience. Though these words were meant for a relationship break up, they can be applied in most any area of life.

No one makes you build walls. You can definitely build walls because of an experience with someone, but you still choose to build it. You choose to keep it up. You won't be able to enjoy life without taking it down. It's terribly hard to have bad things happen, but it's part of life. Your happiness will mean less if their is no sadness to compare it to.

There are some people that it's definitely worth keeping a wall in front of, but don't make the decision lightly. There are certain situations that should be kept clear of. There are experiences that it's okay not to have. You don't have to leave yourself open to hurt, but don't block out potential happiness also.

Though others may strongly influence your life, ultimately it is you who chooses your actions and determines what level of happiness you will attain. Choose wisely, my friends!


* I borrowed some words from others, and to give credit while protecting the innocent, only their initials will be used.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Whose Plan Is It Anyways?

Madeleine L'Engle is my favorite author. I haven't read all of her books yet, but I have read a great deal of them. It makes me happy that I haven't read them all yet because then I know I have more to look forward to. Once I have read all her works, there will be no more because she has died. Then comes the fun of rereading favorite books or even passages of books.

I picked up this book at the library today and was struck by a passage. I thumped the book with my hand and said out loud, "This is why Madeleine L'Engle is my favorite author!" She has a tell-it-as-it-is way of writing with no excuses. She writes what's in her mind without need for approval because she already approves of herself and knows herself and what she believes.

Dragons in the Waters by Madeleine L'Engle
   Aunt Leonis was, he supposed, teaching him about both life and death; she had taught him how to be at least a little less enraged at the thought of death in a world created by a loving God.

   After his mother's death the local minister, Dr. Curds, had come to call, and had immediately alienated Simon by talking of this premature death as the will of God.

   Aunt Leonis looked down her long, aristocratic nose at the middle-aged man in his dark suit. "I wonder how it is, Dr. Curds, that you are so certain that you understand the will of God?"

   Dr. Curds looked at her with patient gentleness. "You must not fight the Lord, my dear Miss Phair. Trust in his will, and he will send you the Comforter."

   "Thank you. I believe that he has already done so. I also believe that my niece's illness and death were not God's will. I doubt very much if he looks with approval on such suffering. It seems to me more likely that it has something to do with man's arrogance and error. However, being mortal and finite, I do not presume to understand God's will, so I am not certain. "

   Dr. Curds murmured something about it being part of God's plan.

   Aunt Leonis replied, "It may be part of God's plan that a young woman should suffer and die, or it may be the work of the enemy."

   "The enemy?"

   "Don't you believe in the devil, Dr. Curds? I do."

   Dr. Curds murmured again, "The Church in these more enlightened times . . . the devil seems a little old-fashioned."

   Aunt Leonis raised her left eyebrow. "I haven't noticed many signs of enlightenment. And I am undoubtedly old-fashioned. But I do believe that God can come into the evil of this world, and redeem it, and make it an indispensable part of the pattern which includes every star and every speck of hydrogen dust in the universe-and even you, Dr. Curds."

She put into words something that's been bothering me in the back of my mind for a while. I have thought many times that God must look down at this world and cry every day because of the way people treat each other here on Earth. Yes, there is much goodness in the world, probably more than bad, but the misery of so many is nothing to be ignored.

Is it God's will that people suffer so much? It's hard to believe that he "...looks with approval on such suffering. It seems to me more likely that it has something to do with man's arrogance and error." It's hard to believe that God causes the suffering in our lives. It makes sense though that "...God can come into the evil of this world, and redeem it, and make it an indispensable part of the pattern..." He does not stop all suffering, but he can redeem those who suffer and make their experiences part of the pattern of the universe so that it need not be in vain.

Each action done in this world has a consequence, good or bad depending on the action. Each person will eventually be held responsible for all their works. This is a happy thought when I think of all the injustice done to me and all the innocent people. It is a sobering thought when I think of all the consequences of my actions. Some actions I know have brought joy and happiness as consequences, but all my actions? No. I do believe that I bring more positive than negative into the world, and that does bring me relief.

Whatever reason I don't have my firstborn son with me in this world will never make up for not having him alive. People tell me there is a reason and someday I'll know it and understand. I don't want to understand because that will feel like accepting that it was okay to happen, and it was not okay to happen. I would rather have him with our family through the ups and downs, the good and the bad, than to not have him here.

It is a trial that will stay in my family's life forever. I find it hard to believe that God would cause that much sorrow in my life, not matter what lessons I would learn from it. Would God refrain from stopping it happening? Yes, he obviously did, but cause it? No. It reminds me of a line from Shakespeare's Hamlet, "There are more things in heaven and earth, (my friend), Than are dreamt of in your philosophy."

God is there to help us through our trials, not to cause them. "..[B]eing mortal and finite, I do not presume to understand God's will, so I am not certain...." but to me God is a bringer of peace and love not anger and hurt.

In her mermoir, "Two-Part Invention", Madeleine L'Engle writes the following.

   At bedtime, in a cold, strange room, I read Evening Prayer. Read the first Psalm for the evening of the fourth day: "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"

   Exquisitely painful timing. the psalmist's words. Jesus' words. I feel anguished. I feel that I have been kicked in the stomach and the wind knocked out of me. My spirit hurts.

   I am grateful that Jesus cried out those words, because it means that I need never fear to cry them out myself. I need never fear, nor feel any sense of guilt, during the inevitable moments of forsakenness. They come to us all. They are part of the soul's growth.

Those words have brought me much comfort in times of need. I do feel that God forsook me by not saving my baby. But I know that I am not alone in that feeling. Jesus, a perfect man, felt the same way. I am not alone in being forsaken nor in feeling the pain of it. Why should I have a better life than a perfect man?

On a different topic, but from the same passage, "I haven't noticed many signs of enlightenment." We live in supposedly enlightened times, and many people claim to be enlightened, but I see more confusion and mistaken thoughts. The truth of the world is inside you, and you are the only one who can judge the truth for yourself. When you yearn for the truth, it can be found deep inside and upwards.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Saturday Laughs

Because a smile and a laugh will go a long way, here are some favorites.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Find Something Good

What motivates people to do something? Fear, loyalty, anger, sadness, guilt, intimidation, love, happiness, peer pressure, deadlines, consequences. Which motivators are the most effective? It's hard to say. A better question would be, which motivators will create good experiences and happy feelings? Loyalty, love, happiness, and good consequences. Which motivators will create enemies, frustration, and hate? Fear, anger, sadness, guilt, intimidation, peer pressure, deadlines, and bad consequences. It seems obvious when put this way which motivators are the best to use, but sadly, people tend not to use them because kindness is often mistakenly deemed as weakness.

I've been guilted into doing something which will cost a bit of money. Not hundreds of dollars, but not ten bucks either. It's created some negative feelings inside of me that I don't like. I resent, like most people, being pushed into something when I've made it clear I don't really want to, especially at the cost.

I can't think of a way out of it without creating a situation that would be even more unpleasant, so I'm doing it. I'm trying to rally some troops for my side, well at least one troop. If I have to do it, I'll try and make it more enjoyable by bringing along someone I want.

It's a real test of character to try and rid myself of negative feelings. I don't want to feel this way because it makes me unhappy. So what should I do? Does anyone have any advice? Oh, Daniel Tiger does! "When something seems bad, turn it around, and find something good!"

Click the link below to listen to the song.

I'm trying to turn it around and find something good!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

People Covers

'Don't judge a book by it's cover." We all do this- I do this all the time with books. I think a better way to say this would be, 'Give books a chance even if they have a terrible cover.'

I do this with people all the time, judge them by their covers. It might sound bad, but it's actual a natural function to survive. We have to make snap judgements, or snap decisions, about people. Does that person look safe? Is it okay to walk by that person? Will that person be nice to me? Do I feel like I can ask that person a question?

Most of the time these snap decisions happen so quickly and naturally that we don't consciously think we are doing it. It's not wrong to make snap decisions because it's your mind's way of protecting you- a fight or flight reaction.

What's wrong is to carry the snap decisions of their character past an initial glance or meeting. People have different covers. Some things they can't help, some things they can. People who are cleanly dressed and groomed seem more approachable. People who are dressed in unusual clothes or are not clean seem more unapproachable. There's also a myriad of people in between those two opposites.

Learning to keep an open mind when meeting people will help you be more friendly and approachable. People will feel more comfortable with you. Make your decisions on their character based on their words and actions to you, not how they look.

I had a roommate that would make snap judgements about people all the time. She claimed that she had a sixth sense about people. She could just tell what people were like from the moment she met them. Sadly she was wrong a lot of the time. She judged people based on the crazy criteria in her head, then assigned people a character and would never let them vary from it in her mind. She had a very fake 'friendly' personality she would put on, but it's was easy to tell she wasn't being sincere. To sum it up- don't be like that!

Understand that we all have to make snap decisions about people to survive, but give people a chance to show you who they really are. If they're bad, leave them. If they are good, hold on to them for all they are worth, which is a lot. Understand though that people can hide parts of themselves. They can make mistakes and need forgiveness. They can change. If someone needs you to let them change, be flexible and let them change.

The world would be a better place if we could all teach ourselves, probably by trial and error, to look past people's covers and read their true stories.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Here A Little, There A Little

I love books! When I'm researching a topic, I check out several websites, but I think it's more fun to go to the library and get a stack of books on the subject.

Generally the books have most of the same information, but every book will have at least one thing that no other book has. So I usually find one that looks the best and read it, then skim through the others to find their unique information.

People are a lot like books in this aspect. People in general are very similar. They are usually good, they just want to come home from work, enjoy good food, family, and friends. They want to have nice things, and time to enjoy the things. They want to love and be loved. But you will never find two people who are exactly the same.

When you meet someone, it's kind of exciting to know that you will have an experience with them that will never be the same as with someone else. You can learn one thing from them that you won't learn from anyone else.

If you put yourself in the exact same situation but with different people, each experience would be unique. That's what makes people so wonderful! Each relationship you have- parent, child, spouse, friend, co-worker, neighbor, enemy, acquaintance- is going to be special with that person. You may have three children, but any parent will tell you that it is different raising each child.

Take some time to think about people in your life, and what is special about the relationship between the two of you. What can you learn from them that you can't learn from anyone else? Exploring your relationships can bring a new fascination to them, and you will probably learn how important that person has been in your life.

Some people's role in your life may seem to be a strong warning of what not to do. That's what I try and think of when I have bad experiences with people. I tell myself that it was a good reminder to never treat people the way that I was just treated. You can learn things from bad experiences.

Take the good experiences you have in your life and pay them forward to others. Let what others learn from you to be a positive experience.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

I'll Always Be Your Mom

The sun has gone behind the sea
The moon comes up to light the sky
No matter how big you grow to be
I'll always love you
This is why

I'll always be your mom
That will never change for you
Not miles or years
Or new found friends
Will take that away from you
I'll always be your mom

Now it's time to say good night
The stars that glitter small and bright
Will light up all the dreams you keep
So take this with you

I'll always be your mom
That will never change for you
Not miles or years
Or new found friends
Can take that away from you
It's simple and it's true
I'll always be your mom

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Saturday Laughs

Ever known someone like this? Well, hopefully this will give you a laugh which will help relieve the stress they cause you a little! It's one of those things you wish you could say to people, but never will.

It's so easy to see this in others, but try and think, "Is my ego clogging my reality in any way?" It's better to remove it yourself than to have someone rip it out of you! It will be less painful, longer lasting, and have more meaning in your life. Jump off your high horse before it throws you to the ground.

Lastly- remember a good laugh will always lighten your day!

Friday, May 10, 2013

I Needed You

I know two lovely ladies who are both kick-butt awesome, but sadly single. They are fun, witty, sociable, well educated, well traveled, cute, nice, caring, and wonderful friends. They both long to be married but aren't for whatever reasons.

It's a hard path to be single when you really want to be married, and when all your friends seem to be married. Especially when they don't seem to appreciate their marriages and families. They bear it pretty well most of the time, but I know it's hard for them.

My path most likely would not have crossed theirs if they had been married, and I have felt distinctly on multiple occasions that they were meant to be in my life to help me. I have had the thought that they were both single because I needed them in my life. It might sound like a selfish thought, and it might not be true, but I feel like part of their life mission was to be in my life. I hope that I helped them a little to repay all that they helped me.

The first wonderful woman in my life, I'll call Pirate (inside joke). Pirate and I were roommates for a good while and good friends. We had many, many talks together, especially till late in the night. I would sit on her wedge chair and she usually sat on her bed. We talked of many things, and didn't always agree but always had a good conversation. She believed in me and helped me to mature in my thinking and actions. We had a lot in common and loved to talk about everything. She was a friend and a mentor.

It wasn't a bad time in my life, and I quite enjoyed my time being single then. Pirate just had a great influence on my life. It was never any grand acts she did, but just a lot of little things put together, just the Pirateness of her.

After we weren't roommates anymore, we kept in contact here and there. But recently I met up with her again and we talked and talked and she still inspired me! We picked up right where we left off, and it made me nostalgic for all the good times we had together.

She has done a lot of amazing things and has great potential for more in the future. I hope she is happy with her life and know that whatever else she does, she has made a significant impact in my life. She has finished part of her life mission.

The other wonderful woman, I'll call Rootbeer (play on her name). She has done so much in her life, accomplished many things, lived a full life, and is a great friend. But to me, the best thing she has done was be there for me in the worst time of my life.

Rootbeer and I seemed to hit it off right away, which is always a pleasant thing, especially when spending many hours working together. We talked a lot about our lives and had a lot to talk about. She has gone through many hard experiences that have taught her a lot about life, compassion, and love.

When I lost our first child, she was amazing. She never said the wrong thing. She stopped others from unintentionally hurting me. She understood loss because she has experienced it herself. She helped carry me through a rough year. Then when I was troubled with the thought of losing my next baby, she kept me uplifted and encouraged. She never criticized, never judged, and just accepted me and my needs. She was more than a co-worker, she was a good friend.

Since I left my job to stay home with my new baby, I haven't been able to keep in touch with her like I would want to. I know she's still in a rough place in her life, trying to achieve seemingly elusive goals. She deserves so much more in life. I hope that she understands the major role she played in my life for a few years. Though she will still have trials and troubles, she can know that she fulfilled part of a life mission in being in my life.

Many people have had a profound influence in my life, but these two gems shine out like the beacon lights they were to me. I hope they are blessed twice over for all they did in my life.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Don't Poison Yourself

Sometimes being the bigger person feels like you are letting other people win. Don't worry, they really aren't winning, you are. Someday they will have to answer for what they have done. There will be consequences for every comment and action. Keep in mind that you will have consequences for your thoughts and actions also. Good thoughts, words, and actions will have good consequences eventually. Bad thoughts, words, and actions will have bad consequences eventually. Choose the good so you will get good back!
Forgiveness, especially for someone who doesn't care about being forgiven or doesn't even know they've hurt you, can be one of the hardest things to achieve in this life. It won't necessarily be a one and done event, it is a process that sometimes must be gone through multiple times.
Hurt, frustration, resentment, contempt, pride, and mostly anger act like festering sores in the soul. Just reading these words brings up bad feelings. We've all been hurt before, or are currently hurting. These feelings lead to depression, sadness, laziness, coldness, insecurity, turmoil, dishonor, fear, loneliness, and apathy. If you can rid yourself of the negative emotions inside, you will be doing yourself a great service.
The opposite of these feelings and emotions is happiness, joy, love, belonging, warmth, calmness, hope, pleasure, security, acceptance, and mostly peace. Reading these words can put a smile on your face because deep down every person wants to feel that way. Forgiveness can help put you on the path to becoming a better person and living a life after the manner of happiness.
Notice, I didn't say forget, I said forgive. Many people say you should forgive and forget. While there is some truth to that, you also put yourself in a vulnerable place to be hurt again. The act need never be mentioned again. It can be like it never happened, but it did happen, and forever more there will be a small warning flag in your head when you are with the person or in a similar situation. This is nature's way of protecting you.
It is still very possible to have an okay relationship with someone that's hurt you, but your mind will say 'proceed with caution', which is what you should do.
Forgiveness is about you, not the other person. Forgiveness is about taking the poison out of your soul. It's about healing the festering sores in your soul. There will still be a scar which will help you to not forget, but there won't be the anger and hurt, or at least not so much of it. If they poke your scar, it will probably hurt, but don't let them cut you again if possible.

Don't let little stupid people break your happiness either! It's been said that the best revenge is a life well lived, and there's a lot of truth to that. It might not be the revenge you want to take, like hitting or yelling at the person, but it's about being the bigger person.
If you can live a happy life, so much the better for you. Don't waste your time thinking about people or situations that hurt you. Don't let them steal your time that way. Don't give them that time. The best thing you could say when the person asks what you think of them is to say that you don't think of them at all! People like that crave attention, whether it be positive or negative attention. So to give them no attention at all is best if it is possible in your situation.
There are always people and situations we cannot avoid, and when this is the case, try and rise above them and let their words and actions flow under the bridge you built above them. Don't swim in their filth, stay on your bridge above them and let it all flow away from you.
It make take a lot of deep breaths, a lot of counting to ten before speaking, and a lot of work, but it's worth it! Don't let yourself be dragged down to their level.
Rise above. Let it go. Desire happiness then achieve it. Keep your standards high. Live and let live. Put good people in your life. Do things that bring you joy. Be true to yourself, and be true to those you love and that love you.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

A Little Bit Of Hope Goes A Long Way

The newspaper we subscribe to has a special giveaway going on for a month or two. Every day five accounts are picked, and the winners get $25. Every since the first day, I have painstakingly checked every day to see if my account number is a winner. Even if I don't read the paper till later, I check the numbers right away. I say painstakingly because I haven't won yet, but I'm ever hopeful that one day I'll see my account number as a winner.

Not many people would pass up getting $25, but it really isn't a lot of money when you think about it. Even so, I really wish I could win one of these days!

I was watching The Hunger Games, and President Snow says, "Hope. It is the only thing stronger than fear. A little hope is effective. A lot of hope is dangerous."

A little hope is what the newspaper is offering- a chance to win $25. It's not a lot of money, but the chances are pretty good that eventually I might win. With the lottery, there's not a lot of chance people will win, but the huge amount gives it just enough hope that people regularly buy lottery tickets.

In The Dark Knight Rises, there is an open pit where prisoners are kept. A story circulates around the prison that a child escaped, so a few prisoners try at great risk to escape. A little hope in the midst of much despair makes them try.

If you want someone or a group of people to follow what you say, give them a little hope and it will usually be enough to work. For example, tell a class of students that if they are good they will each get a little treat at the end of the lesson, and chances are they will be good. Especially if you put the treat in front of them- in sight, but out of reach.

We all need a little hope to get us through the bad times. Hope that someone will change. Hope that we will get a raise. Hope that we will win. Hope that all the hard work will pay off. Hope that the pain will subside. Hope that better days are ahead. Hope that our dreams will come true. Hope that we'll find what we are looking for.

Sometimes even when there are a lot of reasons why not, all it takes is one reason why to make it happen.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Stop, Think, and Choose

Most of the time I can sleep anywhere anytime, but some nights my mind just won't stop even if my body is exhausted. Lots of times it happens when I get up to put my baby to sleep again during the night. I get back to bed and my brain decides it wants to stay awake.

After watching Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood, I learned a little trick. When they have to make a decision, they sing a little song: "Stop, think, and choose."

Once I realize my brain is in overdrive, I sing the little song in my head twice then tell myself, "I can stay awake and think, or I can go to sleep. I choose sleep because I need it, everyone else is sleeping, and I can think later during the day." Sometimes I have to do this twice, but it helps get my brain in the right gear to get me to sleep.

You can control your thoughts. You choose what you want to spend time thinking about. Sometimes thoughts pop into your head, but it's your choice about whether they stay there or not. You can think about it or distract yourself and think about something else, your choice. Your mind is a stage and you pick the actors.

If you're like me, you sometimes rehash the same thoughts over and over. Sometimes it's a fight you had, what you wish you had said, a future situation you will be in, or negative thoughts about yourself of others. When you realize that you are in a downward thought spiral, you need to stop, think, and choose.

Stop- the spiral thoughts. Think- do I want to keep thinking about these thoughts? Do I want to think about something better, happier or different? Choose- decide what you want to think about and do it. If the bad thoughts come back, then start the process over again.

This song can be applied to actions as well. So many times I eat mindlessly. I'm bored, maybe I'll have a snack, oh I love cookies, yummy maybe I'll eat two. If every time I went to the kitchen, I made a conscious effort to stop, think, and choose, then I would make healthier snack choices.

Stop- don't just mindlessly grab for the nearest snack. Think- am I really hungry? Am I thirsty instead? How about I eat an apple instead of some chips? Choose- I choose to get a drink of water and eat an apple instead of grabbing the bag of chips.

End of story- I made a conscious good decision about what I would do. I made a healthier choice. I feel better!

Whether it's your thoughts or your actions, remember- stop, think, and choose!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Relax and Snuggle

We got back this weekend from a wonderful trip to San Diego! We had a great time, especially at the beach, but we are glad to be back home also.

I was looking through some pictures we took at the San Diego zoo and thought the animals have it right sometimes.

This panda was surrounded by people, but it was just relaxing and eating bamboo. There was another panda that was spread out taking a nap in the shade. Pandas know how to relax!

What animals are cuter than a mommy and baby koala snuggling in a tree? Not many- the zoo has a lot of animals, and these koalas were probably my favorite, followed by the cappybaras.

Take a cue from these animals. They live in a stressful environment with people staring and yelling at them all day. What does the panda do? Kick back, relax, and have a snack. What do the koalas do? Snuggle together and take a nap.

Our lives can be very stressful, a lot of the stress being caused by other people, work, and the daily grind of life. Even in the midst of stress, you can take a moment to put your feet up, take a deep breath, eat a snack for energy, and relax. Doing this every day for a couple minutes will help you get a little perspective, have a better attitude, and feel more energized.

You should also take some time every day to appreciate the people in your life. Snuggle with the ones you love. Give your spouse a big hug and kiss when you see them. Sit with your kids and have a good talk. Cuddle your little baby close during nap time. Call your parents and have a nice chat. Get a friend to go on a walk with you. There are lots of ways to 'snuggle'.

Take time every day for yourself and for the ones you love in your life.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

How Do They Do That?

Lot's of times I've wondered how to get a special symbol and then I found this helpful chart.

 And for the cat lovers (my mom and sister).

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Inside On The Outside

When you're feeling good, do you treat people well? When you're feeling bad, do you treat people badly? Probably. It's normal and natural, but it can also be changed.

How you change the way you treat people is to adjust your attitude. It's hard to do, but you can set aside the anger, sadness, or jealousy and have good feelings. It doesn't mean that everything is okay, but that you can deal with life well.

People who hate others and are mean to others have problems. Nobody deserves to be treated badly. People who love others and are kind accept and like themselves.

When someone is mean to you, just remember, they must be having a terrible time living with themselves. Try to keep your distance so their attitude doesn't stick to you.

When someone is nice to you, just remember that they are probably someone worth having in your life.