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There Are Always Ways to Help…

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Some think the only or best way to help is by giving money to causes, people in need, etc. I have learned something over the years, money can do a lot of good and I would never discourage anyone from giving to worthy causes or helping out someone who is truly in need, BUT there are more ways to help.

Sometimes people aren’t in a position to help financially and feel like there’s nothing they can do. However, we can give our time, energy, and effort to others by volunteering, teaching, mentoring, tutoring, helping people by giving of your services like babysitting, cooking a meal for someone who just had surgery, helping someone move, etc.

Going through our things and giving what we don’t need or no longer use to others who could use it often helps people as well. How many of us have things in storage, stuffed in the back of our closets or the garage, etc that we know we’ll never get around to using again or maybe just bought because it was on sale or thought it would be a good idea at the time and then never used at all? Some can donate blood, which is always in need. Some physically can’t give, but many can.

And let us not forget, sometimes all someone needs is someone to listen without passing judgement. Sometimes people don’t want or need anything of monetary value, they just need a friend to listen, give advice, a hand to hold, a shoulder to cry on, or someone to make them laugh. Sometimes people just need to be reminded how special and loved they are and that there is a reason to go on.

One or many of these things may not be doable, but don’t be discouraged. If you want to give back, pay it forward, or make a difference, there are always ways to do it.

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Wordless

riddle me this

Thoughts jumble together

A mess hard to make sense of

Unable to stabilize

Open mouth, but no words come out

 

Being pulled in many directions

Everyone needs something

Scrambling to help them all

But unsure of how to help myself

 

Trying to get my feelings out

But not sure how to

I can’t find the words to express them

It’s not something I’m used to

 

Normally, the words fly freely

Like a bird upon a steady breeze

No matter how I feel, it is made known

But not today, today I just don’t know.

When the Past Hurts Say Hello…

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Sometimes the past stays away for a long time and then unexpectedly knocks on the door, says hello, brings in their baggage, and wants to stay.

You hear a song, see something on TV, look at old pictures, find old things, have a conversation, read something, or have a dream that brings the memories of old to the surface. Though you’re living in the now, the past sometimes tugs at your sleeve, begging for your attention. Psst, don’t forget about me….

Sometimes our memories are pleasant, making us smile and laugh. Inside jokes, family gatherings, vacations, fun times with friends, your kid’s art projects and memorabilia collected throughout the years, something or someone that helped you grow and change for the better, firsts, buying your home, anniversaries of jobs, marriages, friendships, and so much more. While we should live for today, it’s okay to remember yesterday. It helped us become who we are today.

But sometimes, the memories and feelings they stir up are anything but pleasant. I had a moment like that this morning. Someone is celebrating their birthday tomorrow and dreads it each year, because they keep hoping their dad will acknowledge them and then is disappointed every time. I know this feeling. I share a birthday with my dad and he’s not once called, sent a letter, come to visit, asked me to visit, or done anything to wish me happy birthday. I’ve done so for him and every effort is ignored.

It’s hard to ignore the past when it’s part of your present. There’s still a part of me that longs for my dad’s love, effort to have a real relationship, and healing for all the pain over the years. Despite all he’s done, he’s my dad and I do love him. I think a part of him loves me, but sometimes I’m not really so sure.

I needed to lift myself out of the depression I felt trying to swallow me whole, but wasn’t sure how. I felt the tears coming and kept trying to stop them. I turn 40 this year and I still feel like a little girl begging my daddy to love me. How do I not dwell on this???

Some advice I gave this young person was though it’s easier said than done is to try to focus more on those who are there for them and less on those that aren’t. Advice can and is usually easier to give than take, but I knew I needed to try. I had just posted recently about moving forward, not staying in the past. I knew I owed it to myself and anyone I’ve given this advice to, to take it to heart myself.

A part of me does long for my dad’s love and attention, but if I dwell on that or anything else that I can’t control, I’ll be an emotional mess every day. I can’t control others or many situations, only myself and how I react to what happens. I may not have the affection I seek from him or many others, but I do get it from so many more. They show me love and it’s that love I should focus on, treasure, and give to them in return.

So, past and even present pain, I say this to you, you’re not welcome today. I will take your baggage for you, place it and you in an Uber, and send you on your way. You will not destroy me with your negativity, not today, no not today. I hope this helps even one of you who may be struggling this way yourself. May you know you are loved and use that as a light to get through to a good place. When the past hurts say hello, let us tell them goodbye.

To Move Forward, We Must Stop Living in the Past…

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There’s a difference between letting the past guide us and living in it. Letting yesterday remind us of where we came from and showing us what to do and often times, not to do can be a good thing. But sometimes, we let the past consume us and forget to live for today and the days yet to come.

To see our potential, grow, and learn, we must move forward. It’s time to quit looking in the rearview mirror or else we might not see where we’re headed and crash. It can be easy to get lost in nostalgia or let the fear that the past stuck with us take over our minds, but it’s important not to forget the world keeps turning no matter what we do. We want to go along for the ride, don’t we? 😉

Sometimes You Lose, But Sometimes You Win…

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A closed bulb that never bloomed shrinks in the darkness

Unable to find the light, feeling close to death

The time has gone by so swiftly

She thought she had more time….

 

Nearly 40 years have gone by

Quite likely she’s halfway through this life

This wasn’t the life she had planned

That’s what a voice whispers to her

 

She had big plans, many left unfulfilled

Dreams came and went over the years

Sitting all alone, wondering why

Why didn’t she do more, work harder?

 

The once brilliant violet hue is turning gray

But surely this isn’t how the story ends?

Can’t one still find a way while there’s still life within?

A troubled and discouaged soul asks the silent night air

 

Though inaudible to most, a tiny voice rings out in the night

There is time yet to get it right, if one decides to try

It’s only too late once you’re dead and dead you are not

The tiny voice has become loud enough for her heart to hear its words

 

You have a life, one so kindly given to you

Shall you continue to waste the precious time given to you?

Or perhaps, will you then open your eyes and move your limb so that you may finally break the curse

The one you set upon yourself, the one preventing you from truly living

 

But, I’m afraid, she replies quietly

I’ve messed up so many times, too many to count

I’ll likely just mess up once more, it’s a vicious cycle really

She hangs her graying head in doubt and sadness

 

Fear holds you back from what could be a wonderful life, my friend

The now booming voice calls out to her

Taking risks are a part of life, one that shouldn’t be ran away from

Instead, grab the bull by the horns and give it all you’ve got.

 

Sometimes you’ll fail, hear the word no, and lose too

But, you’ll also find strength, learn who you are, and find you’ll win sometimes as well

A life only half lived is sad and it’s such a waste of the precious gift of time given to you

Put away doubts, self pity, and fear today and embrace courage, hope, and the life the awaits you

 

Not totally convinced, but willing to try, if only to quiet the aching within

She lifts her head, dries her tears, and starts to stand

I’ll try, today yes, I will try to put fears and worries to rest

One day at a time, that’ll be all I can promise though

 

The voice replies, that’ll be all you or anyone can do

And when you do fall, don’t let it beat you or keep you down

Rise again, my beautiful and wonderful friend

Rise up, claim today as yours in Him, and see that while sometimes you lose, so do you also sometimes win.

 

 

Love Is…

 

Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day, one some look forward to and others dread. I have been on both sides of the fence on this. I’ve been the jaded skeptic that wanted to avoid the day and the in love romantic hoping to celebrate it.

Now, I’ve come to see it’s not just about couples, romantic dates, gifts, and high expectations. By all means, couples are encouraged to celebrate it if they wish. I do think love should be celebrated all year, not just when the calendar and the mountain of ads urging you to spend money tells you so. However, what is wrong with making Valentine’s Day one of those days?

Some are so anti Valentine’s Day, saying why should we make a big deal out of it when we shouldn’t limit celebrating love to one or two days a year. From that end, yes, we shouldn’t limit it to select dates. That doesn’t mean though that we should be anti love that day in protest. 😉

Love is amazing, for the many who feel it and like I eluded to before, not just for the couples surrounded by it. I no longer dissuade anyone from celebrating love, for many reasons. One of the reasons is the kids in our lives and all across the country. I don’t want to teach our kids to be jaded, skeptical, and wary when it comes to love.

Love is wonderful and so huge for kids, the way they feel about mom and dad, their siblings, nana and grandpa, friends, pets, favorite stuffed animal, dreams for the future, and so much around them. Shouldn’t we encourage them to love love and shower others with it the way we do? Live by example…

Love is great among true and loyal friends, a love that shouldn’t go unnoticed. They see us through dark times and cheer us on during the good, as we do for them. They give us so much love and I think it can be a nice way to show ours to remember them on February 14th. Yes, all year is best, but isn’t that part of the year? 😉

Love is incredible for parents, the bond we feel with our kids is generally quite solid, a connection like none other. I like to do cute things for my kids every year, a little something to show them just how special they are to me. I do random things throughout the year as well, but feel no shame in doing them on Valentine’s Day too.

Love is love, all year, from January 1st through December 31st, that includes February 14th – Valentine’s Day. I do think sometimes it gets over hyped, but overall I think it’s a harmless thing and actually something that can be good. It encourages spending money, yeah, but it also encourages showing those we love how much we care. It’s not necessary to spend a ton of money to shower our loved with the love we feel, but it’s not a bad thing if people want to.

For all the anti Valentine’s Day people out there, I get it, I’ve been there. I do urge you though to respect those who choose to celebrate and for those that do celebrate it, I urge you to respect the wishes of those that don’t. We can be on either side of the should we celebrate it or not and not make the other feel bad for feeling the way they do. For me, I won’t make a HUGE deal out of it, but I won’t ignore it either. To me, it’ll be another opportunity to show those I love how much they mean to me. Love is important to me, all year, tomorrow included. ❤

I Won’t Go Quietly, Good Sir…

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I’m part of a women’s bible study that focuses on Ruth and five habits of a woman that doesn’t quit. It’s definitely made an impact already.

I’ve been known to give up when nothing was working the way I wanted or before I even began if I thought there was a decent chance of failure. I don’t even know how many books I started that never got finished or how many opportunities I’ve missed out on due to fear or frustration.

Being a part of this group has really opened my eyes. I don’t want to be that person who shies away from remarkable chances anymore. Sometimes we have to take a risk to get to where we want to be. The greatest things in life are often gotten through hard work and risks taken.

Faith in Him and His plan isn’t always easy to have, in fact many times we’re challenged and feel unsure if He knows what He’s doing. But, it’s in those times when we need to draw nearer and trust that things will work out according to His great design. Trust in His plan may not come easy, but it’s always worth it.

It may appear that I’ve gotten off topic, but I assure you that faith and trust in His plan is part of what helps keep us from quitting. Left to my own devices, I’ve quit, failed, and messed up more times than I can count. When I let Him in and let Him guide me, no matter how great or difficult things may be, this is when things work out.

I’m a work in progress, we all are. Every day, every moment is another challenge, a chance to keep going or to quit. Every moment is a choice to trust Him or to go it alone. I won’t lie, I know my pride will get in the way and there will be times I think I can do it all alone. There will be things I quit, things I think I could never accomplish. But, my sincere hope is that I’ll continue to grow, learn, and do better.

There are many wonderful opportunities awaiting me, if I have the courage to go for it. With Him, they’re possible, I just have to remember and trust in that, in Him. One day, one moment at a time….but know this fear, I won’t go quietly. God is with me, so you may knock me over, but you will not keep me down.

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