live

Where I am

It’s day 76. I’m leaving another successful gathering with great food and amazing friends. I’m honored. I get in my car and turn it on to the sound of “Drops in the Ocean” by Hawk Nelson. My soul smiles and I begin to sing along.

As I drive, I’m reflecting on my weekend and the conversations I had with various people who crossed my path. People I haven’t seen in a while, people I am not close with, but also family and close friends. Yet, I connected with them all on some deep level about life and relationships (both friendly and intimate). Thank you. I can appreciate every moment of time I spent with each person because it contributed to my epiphany.

While the music of WGTS 91.9 feeds my soul, I begin to experience an overwhelming feeling of happiness and inner peace. I realized that I am truly at peace with myself – finally! I’m at peace with not only where I am in life, but who I am. For the first time, I feel like I am where I’m supposed to be, doing what I’m supposed to be doing, and going where He wants me to go. My purpose? Maybe. I certainly don’t have it all together and I never will, but I know I’m on the right path.

“For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.”  – Luke 19:10

I’m home. In more ways than one, I’m home. I’m in my parking spot looking at my little home and I love it. Not everyone can say that they had that moment of clarity (for lack of a better word). People seem to look for their reason for being; at least I did. Now, I can smile because I love me and where I am. I can smile because it’s actually true. I’m blessed and I’m determined to do something big with the seed that’s been planted within me.

Inside, my puppy Bishop waits with extra excitement. It’s as if he knows I’m extra happy…ooooor, he has to pee. 😉

 

 

(Photo from http://www.purposedriven.com – I read Purpose Driven Life years ago and I highly recommend it.)

Appreciating Time

As my birthday was approaching my kids were either, (a) very secretive about what they wanted to do or give me; or (b) flat out telling me what they are making me (my youngest can’t keep a secret to save her life).  As they are getting older they want to buy me things and, while I absolutely appreciate that they want to do that for me, I would rather they didn’t spend their money on me.

This is all my Papa’s fault.  😉

Growing up, I remember that my dad never wanted any gifts; not for Christmas, not his birthday and not for Father’s Day.  The way I saw it, I had a job and I wanted to get him a gift.  To me, it was almost showing appreciation for him being the best dad he could be.  A couple of times I even asked him what he wanted and he said “I don’t want anything.”  I’d still get him something but, being the man of few words that he is, it’s not like he got excited about it.  It was almost anticlimactic to watch him open the gift.  I got over it.

Eventually, as I matured into a “real” adult, my siblings and I would have parties and get everyone together whether it was for a special occasion or “just because” and he really enjoyed those.  If someone was missing, he’d ask where they were.  We realized that it truly made him happy to simply have us together; to BE together and enjoy our TIME together.  Today, that’s how I feel.

My oldest wants to take me to dinner and it will be very nice to spend more time with her, but a part of me doesn’t want to have a fancy dinner; I’d rather she didn’t spend her money that way.  We can have a nice dinner and enjoy each other’s company without the expensive bill at the end of the night.  I don’t want to crush her plans so I’ll make a light suggestion that we go somewhere else and see if she takes the bait.  I will appreciate whatever it is (like the manicure and PAINFUL eyebrow threading that I endured already as part of her gift to me).  Ultimately, my hope is that I instill the same appreciation for time that my dad did for me and my siblings.  We don’t “stress” about gifts like we used to because the most important part is that we all take the time out to spend together.  God blessed me with a wonderful family that I love to spend time with.  I can’t ask for anything more for my birthday.

Thank you, Papa.  🙂

Sharing my goals and receiving inspiration.

It’s February 5, 2016 already, and for a lot of people who make resolutions, they’re starting to fall apart, if not all but forgotten by now.  I, too, had a list of resolutions for the year.  I’ve started most of my resolutions: gain weight, spend more, keep a messy room, stop working out…you know, the usual.  I managed to add a few serious ones in there, too.

One in particular – learn sign language.

It’s not the first time but, over the busy holiday shopping season, there were more than a couple of situations where I wish I had known sign language so that I could help someone who was struggling with a store employee.  I can’t even begin to attempt to be helpful in that particular situation and that’s frustrating for me; imagine how they feel.  😦

So, I shared this particular “resolution” with my kids and my youngest princess was super excited.  So much so that she decided she wanted to do it, too.  Like most things, it was exciting at first; the thought was exciting.  Then came the part where I try and figure out where to begin.  There are so many resources online and, as we all know, everything on the internet can‘t be trusted so I really had to do some research.  Then life happened and the momentum was gone.

2 weeks later my princess had her dad send me a video.  The video was of her saying “good night” to me in sign language.  I absolutely loved it and it sparked a new excitement in me.  A few days later, she was at my house again.  I came home from work and when I walked in the door she didn’t speak like she normally would, she signed “Hi Mom.  Finally, you are home.”  #proudmamamoment  It was so sweet.  Of course I had to ask her what she said, but still, it was so encouraging to see that she was trying to learn.

It inspired me, but not enough.  Not yet.

The next morning she signed that she loved me.  That evening we were sitting at the dinner table and she has a piece of paper out with a long list of words on it and she said, “quiz me.”  After I was done quizzing her, she signed “thank you.”  I asked what that meant.  She told me.  Then she finally says, “Mommy, who’s resolution is this, anyway?”  That’s when I finally put aside my excitement about HER learning it and decided to do what I said I was going to do.  How embarrassing for me to have my daughter remind me that it was me who said I wanted to learn so that I could help others.

The rest of that evening was spent learning the alphabet alone – it’s hard to teach this old dog new tricks. 😉  The next morning, she comes into my bedroom, half awake, and says, “Come on Mommy, let’s go over the alphabet again.”  She curled up in bed with me and we went over the alphabet, again.  When it was time for me to leave, I ask if she knows how to say “have a good day,” but she doesn’t.  Lesson number 1.  I learn it during the day at work and when I come home I show her.  She, in turn, taught me some new phrases and that’s how it’s been all week.

She inspired me to start and keep the momentum going.  I am truly blessed to have received the gift of my children.  They keep me on my toes.  Where would I be without them?  🙂  I’m no ASL pro, but with their inspiration and motivation, what was once a simple new year’s resolution on a piece of paper will become my second (or third if you count broken Spanish) language.

Somebody

I’ve mentioned my love of Depeche Mode in previous posts and to say that I love them is probably an understatement because I know every word to every song ever made.  Just about.  😉

Last year, while planning my wedding to the Mister, we couldn’t come up with a song that we would “perform” our First Dance to.  We never had a song that was “our song”.   We love music, but we didn’t have a song that spoke to us as our own like other couples seem to have.  So we put our pee-brains together to decide what we would dance to.  Out came the iTunes to go through the lists of songs that we collectively had – and there were a lot.  We actually came up with a bunch of choices, but none of them stood out as a good one.  (The John Legend All of Me song was played out, even though it was a great wedding song that everyone used and still use as their first dance.  *vomit*)   Then I found it….

Somebody by Depeche Mode

I. LOVE. THAT. SONG!  It expressed everything that we wanted in each other.  The Mister isn’t a Depeche Mode fan, but I thought I’d give it a shot anyway and when I suggested it, he actually said that it was the perfect song.  He liked it.  And that was that.  My heart was content and I was on cloud 9 thinking about and loving the fact that I could have a Depeche Mode song in the actual program of our wedding because, let’s face it, their songs aren’t ones to dance to like that.  I jump around and wave my arms all over, but that’s about it.  😀

I was reminded of this when I was on my way home yesterday and the song came on my playlist.  It’s been a very long time since I’ve heard it.  I’ve skipped it a few times because I was broken and didn’t want to hear it.  The words, which I have so awesomely included below for your reading pleasure, are heart-crushing when I consider that they meant so much for someone I loved.  And while it originally seemed like the song would be forever ruined by the memory of our first dance as Mister and Missus, it’s not ruined at all.  I can choose to let a song that I love be ruined or allow it to remain a favorite and keep the good memories that I had at that time.  The happy memories; assuming they come along with the song, which they did yesterday and I shed a teeny, tiny tear.  Thank the Lord Almighty for putting this understanding in my heart.

So, just in case you haven’t been mesmerized by the song, I have also included the best version of it in this video below because Martin Gore is just everything.  You’re welcome! (LOL  I’m such a giddy freak when it comes to them…and I don’t care.)

I want somebody to share
Share the rest of my life
Share my innermost thoughts
Know my intimate details
Someone who’ll stand by my side
And give me support
And in return
She’ll get my support
She will listen to me
When I want to speak
About the world we live in
And life in general
Though my views may be wrong
They may even be perverted
She will hear me out
And won’t easily be converted
To my way of thinking
In fact she’ll often disagree
But at the end of it all
She will understand me

I want somebody who cares
For me passionately
With every thought and with every breath
Someone who’ll help me see things
In a different light
All the things I detest
I will almost like
I don’t want to be tied
To anyone’s strings
I’m carefully trying to steer clear
Of those things
But when I’m asleep
I want somebody
Who will put their arms around me
And kiss me tenderly
Though things like this
Make me sick
In a case like this
I’ll get away with it

Big Smiles

Point blank:  Life is too short to frown….besides, the selfish part of me doesn’t want to see you frown.

In this day and age of technology where it seems like everyone, men and women alike, is smiling to themselves to take a selfie, we forget how much a smile can brighten someone else’s day.

Smile.  For someone else.  Now there’s an idea.  You’ll end up with an even bigger smile on the inside.

I felt compelled to write about this today because, in general, I have always thought of myself as an optimistic and positive person but, lately, I don’t know where all that went.  Somewhere along the road of life, I let some of that positivity go.  Not all of it, but I only allowed it to come around when I was in a good mood, instead of thinking positively to put myself in a good mood every day.  Instead of consciously deciding to be in a good mood and optimistic.  The day is what you make of it.  Right?

So this morning I woke up, thanked Almighty God for another chance to put a smile on His face, and I was determined to have a good day after that.  That’s all there is to it.  There isn’t a large formula to make it happen.  Sure, positive thoughts are involved, but a smile is a smile.  A smile is contagious.  A smile makes you feel warm and fuzzy inside.  A smile will give a jump start to a crabby situation.  Sounds good, doesn’t it?  I didn’t get braces to have beautiful, straight chompers for nothing!

So…..I DID IT!  I’ve done it before, I can do it again.  Once I started it’s like I couldn’t stop.  Smiling to this person and that person and building up my happiness reserves on the inside to a level that almost seemed ridiculous because I could see it made them smile back.  SUCCESS!!  That’s the important part.  Can I make you smile, even for a second, and make you happy that someone is happy to see you?  Nobody could possibly make me upset this morning – not for anything.  Genuinely asking how someone is doing and reconnecting with people around the office that I don’t get to see on a daily basis anymore.  Not just the usually happy suspects, either.  EVERYBODY.  Everybody deserves a smile…..yes, they do – stop thinking what I know you’re thinking, THAT person deserves a smile.  😉

Give it a try.  Share your smile with someone today.  It’s great to smile to yourself and give yourself a boost.  It feels good, I know this.  Just don’t keep it ALL to yourself.

In honor of my campaign to smile today, I decided to take some selfies – which I almost never do because I feel weird.  So, enjoy the peek into my happiness.  I didn’t edit or retake a million until I was pleased with the picture I was going to share.  I just took a few here and there that I thought represented where everybody else seems to do it…the gym…office desks…the bathroom.

selfie

New Year “Resolution”: Forgive and Seek Forgiveness

I’ll start by asking you to forgive me for my incredibly long hiatus from writing.  Sometimes I allow life to get in the way of a good thing.  😉

Here we are in 2015 and everyone has their laundry list of resolutions that include things like “get fit,” “stick to diet,” “take a trip around the world,” and so on.  Although getting back into shape with #operationbringsexyback and #risetopurpose are on my list, too, my number one is all about forgiveness.  I have prioritized and re-prioritized my resolution list but, the way I see it, not much else can be accomplished to the fullest without fully freeing my soul of the heaviness forgiveness, or lack thereof, has on my heart and happiness.

Easier said than done, you say?  Actually, not so much.  It’s only as hard as you make it.  Even the deepest scars can be healed by forgiveness if you truly want the freedom of happiness.

So this “resolution” goes two ways.  Not only do I want to ask for forgiveness, but I need to forgive those who have hurt me.  Do I need to speak to them face to face and say, “I forgive you”?  That’s not necessary unless I want to truly rekindle that relationship.  If it can’t be fixed, I just need to let it go in my heart and forgive them, even if they never asked.  It usually doesn’t hurt them, it only hurts me to hold on to it.

When it comes to seeking forgiveness, that’s another story.  I need to speak to them one way or another.  Depending on the situation, it’s best in person, the phone, a handwritten letter, maybe even an email but PLEASE no texting!  😉  Anyway, they don’t have to forgive me, so I need to be prepared.  If I am honest and sincere in my request, that’s the best I can do.  They might not forgive me today, tomorrow or ever…or maybe they will.  The point is that I have asked for it and I can feel some release once it’s been said.  The admitting of wrong, believe it or not, is freeing!

Freedom of the chains that hold us down when we have anger and hatred in our hearts is one of the best feelings in the world.  You can do just about anything after that.  There are certain people in my life that I think about daily who I miss, who I love, who I once had a [better] connection with that I cannot live without.  I want to ask for their forgiveness and I want to forgive them, too.  Only then will I be truly happy in my other resolution successes this year.

Forgiveness feeds your soul in the “good diet” kinda way so, eat up and here’s to a year of resolution successes!

forgive