Friday, June 29, 2012

Becoming Grateful, post 2

Becoming grateful sometimes is more challenging than I thought it could be. But it is really neat to see what comes along as well. Some moments it is something so small. And other moments, it is a much larger "gift". So, here are 7 things I have found over the last week.
 1. Lightning bugs.
 2. A beautiful sunrise on my way in to work.
 3. A handful of friends i can be 100% honest with all the time. And they love me anyway.
 4. Playing hide and seek with my kids.
 5.Cuddling on the couch with my husband every evening. This is a gift after 5 years of working opposite schedules.
6. A heat wave. While most people are complaining about this heat wave, I am really enjoying it. I love the heat.
 7. A rainstorm in the midst of the heat wave. Thunderstorms are soothing.

I am learning a lot in this week I'll have more to share about what I'm learning.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

A different life view.

I didn't realize how difficult it would be to find the little blessing throughout a day. It's a different life view, and I picked a heck of a week to try to begin this new habit. It's not a heck of a week because of anything really crazy happening, just a heck of a week because I have really kind of been an emotional disaster. Though it's more inwardly, and many people don't really see it, it's there. I start out pretty well, but by the end of the day, it's bleeding out. In ways I don't really like. Ways I will control better tomorrow. I have these thought provoking conversations often with a friend. Each time, something is said that usually makes me think about something in my life. I'd like to think I do the same in the conversations, but I'm not sure if I do. The conversations are not long, but they are real. We have pretty different views on some things in life, but when it boils down to it, that doesn't matter. What matters is we hear each other out. It's meaningful.  Today it's left me thinking about some things. So here are some of my thoughts...
  1. I am diagnosed as clinically depressed, but it does not control me. Some days it is stronger than others, yes. Some days the emotions are harder to fight. But my life is not my own anyway, so the battle is not mine to fight. When I allow God to fight the battle for me, the victories are greater. The war is still difficult, but He wins...even if that means medication is a means in helping me win it.  so my blessing from that that I thought of today? :
   -I am thankful that He is on my side. And I am thankful that I don't have the "curl up in bed and hide from the world" type of depression. and I have a great hope that one day I will overcome it totally.

2. There will always be people in life who talk bad about me or don't like me. I am a people pleaser so not dwelling on those things is really hard sometimes. However, God has called me to a different standard. And I need to live in that. And that is living for Him. If I am following Him and giving my all and doing all that I do to His glory (1 Cor 10:31) then that is all that matters. So often I measure myself on a human yard stick-am I at a low notch or a high? Am I liked or not? Am I pretty? Fat? Funny? ...or am I hated for my openness? am I disliked because of wrong things I've done? am I disliked because I don't work fast enough or because I work harder than some?'s a slippery slope to go down. We as humans are always doing this . I can always be better...I just have to keep my eyes on the right prize. Comparison is a scary place to go, but I do it often. So my blessing from this thought?
   -I am thankful for my work ethics that both my mom and dad taught me and for my job. I am thankful for my true friends. I am thankful that I am loved with an unending love from God...there is nothing that will ever compare to that. He sees me as His, as beautiful when I am following Him, as gifted (even when I don't feel like I am)...and the list goes on and on. And so my human yard stick....trash. I am on God's yard stick. I just have to remember that.

Healing is a long process. There is healing after a loved one dies. There is healing after saying goodbyes when you move. There is healing after honesty. There is healing in moving forward. There is healing in resting in God. There is healing in forgiveness. Today, I am thankful for healing. All things that need healing leave scars: marks on life that will never go away, but will always tell a story. It's up to each person how the scars are left: hidden or covered up. Little by little, God can use those scars. But one has to be willing.  my blessing thought from all this? God heals. So my blessings today were harder to find, but they were there. Most were found after some deeper thought: they weren't ones staring me in the face. This process of allowing myself to see blessings is more challenging than I thought.
 Instead of "i'm tired" I'll say...I'm so glad I'm alive!
 instead of being irritated by those annoying people, I'll take joy in the pleasant ones.
Instead of caring about the bad things said about me, I'll rest in what God says about me.
Instaed of being irritated about what didn't get done, I'll be happy about what did.
 It's SO much easier to say than to do. But it's a learning process, one day at a time.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Becoming Grateful...One day, one gift at a time.

Recently a good friend of mine told me about a book called "One Thousand Gifts". This book is on my list of reads for this summer. I'd like to own the book, not just get it from the library, so I will wait patiently until I have a few extra dollars.  The point is, though, that this woman wrote a book about things for which she was grateful. This woman has experienced some terrible hardship in her life....far more than what I have experienced.
 So in pondering this concept, even though I haven't read the book yet, I am attempting to follow that same concept. I will not post every day; but once a week, I will post things for which I am grateful. There are a lot of obvious things I could write husband, my children, my job, my family, etc. But I am going to dig deeper and find those little things throughout the day. I want to share those moments with you. This will help me in my journey of healing these days...and maybe it will help you as well. Maybe you'll even join me in picking up the book as well. Anyway, that all being said, I am choosing just 3 little things to share today: things for which I am thankful...moments which bring joy in the midst of a life full of chaos. These things are the things which remind me that life is about so much more than pain.

 1. My children's laughter while the freezing cold water sprayed us while we washed the car.
 2. My friends A.N. and T.G.They know me each morning without my having to say a word. And they either make me laugh silly and give me hugs or listen to my "woes" and hug me. They each brighten my day...every day.
 3. My husband's offer to order pizza tonight so I wouldn't have to cook.

These things seem simple...but they speak volumes to me. And this is my start in becoming more grateful one day at a time. I look forward to reading the book. Leave a comment here if you read and want to share with me something simple for which you are grateful!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

New Days

Wow, it's been a long time since I have written a blog. The last month has been very busy, chaotic, stressful, full, and eye opening. I won't even try to cover it, but I will say I set out now to write once a week. The blog may sound a bit more ramble like, as life lessons aren't as focused around grief any more (which is a good thing), but there are more than enough life lessons to be writing about. So here goes...a new page. A new day. A new blog. I've missed it, really.

 I am still running. But my runs are different these days. I have decided to scale back on life just a tad bit...for now. I need to refocus my self, put back the priorities that got out of place. I have never focused on speed in my running...I have always been a distance runner. So in my recent life evaluations, I decided for about 6 months, I'd like to give speed a shot. I have no idea how this is going to go. I am scared to post my goals here....and yet, I have that "problem" of making goals, so I may as well share what I'm aiming towards. Distance running is amazing-there is nothing like saying " I ran 10 miles today" or more! But it does take a lot of time; and it takes sacrifice from the entire family really. So in evaluation, I have decided to take a little bit of time and focus on speed. I want to run a 5K (3.1 miles) in 28 minutes. My best time with that mileage is 31 minutes. And that was at my lowest weight 2.5 years ago. So I am rather excited about this. I love to run...and for a little bit of time, it takes on a new flare. I will go back to distance running, because I think that is my passion, even though not necessarily my strength, but for now, this is fun. I take one day a week to do speed workouts, one for a tempo run, and one for a bit more longer distance. I'll keep you posted on how this goes. My body wanted to know what I was marine corp brother calls it oxygen deprivation. And somewhere along the line of crazy, i call it fun. I call it my piece of peace. I feel it in my bones when I need a run.

In other aspects of life, I still miss my mom like crazy. Some days lately I have longed to talk to her face to face, to hear her voice, to feel her hugs and to be close to her. That feeling may never disappear, I have discovered. But there is a new way of going about things...and that is trudging through them. I am not grieving any more, per say. The aspect of that has changed. I have learned a lot....made more mistakes than I'm ready to admit here for everyone, in the process of grief ....have opened my eyes to God in all new ways...and have an even deeper respect and love for my mom than I ever did before.  As a wife and as a mom. And in looking through the lens a little closer, I have seen how much more I want to be like her, how far I am from being that, and what I need to do to work on that. Mom would say I should look to be like Christ, not her.  And I am. But mom was a shining example of how to do that in a wife/mother role, and I am striving to do some of those things as well.

My kids are growing like weeds, right before my eyes. One day , I had this stop in my tracks thought: "oh my goodness...I am wasting time with them." And I began to readjust some things. I am tired a lot, yes. And there are a lot of things going on...always... But there are also distractions I can eliminate and get outside and jump on the trampoline with them, or push them on the tire swing, or play petshops and nerf guns. I was wasting so much time doing other stupid things, it's nice to be free of those for now. One day I may go back to some, but for this summer, I am enjoying watching them laugh and play. And let's be honest, I am also frustrated at moments breaking up fights and sending them to their rooms until can agree. But the point is, I am enjoying moments as a mom.

Let me be heartfelt honest with you: in the last 2 years of watching mom's health fail, and mom die, I lost part of myself. I fell into stupid mindsets sometimes, I let my heart be hard at times, I missed good conversations with my kids and loving moments with my husband. Now that I am past some of this, God is opening my eyes daily to Himself. To little moments. To my kids, and how to be their mom fully. To my husband and how to better meet his needs. LIfe has a new beginning right now. Literally. I functioned, I laughed and smiled and was still present in the last year....but I also was in a fog. One which clouded my vision and changed life. God is brining some true healing these days. Joy my mom would be pleased to see. Joy God has wanted me to embrace all along. I am learning who true friends are now and who's not. I am learning what trust so many definitions. I am learning the true meaning of 1 Cor 13: love is patient, love is kind, love is unending. And my blog title "one day at a time" continues to hold depth in my life very much. I have an incredible husband. And 2 beautiful kids. A wonderful dad, who loves unconditionally and who I am so thankful for. I have a great job. I have some neat friends. I have health. I have God. What more do I need? I will miss my mom forever. and you will hear my thoughts on this still. But's a new chapter of joy these days. Joy does not come without pain....just as  a rainbow does not come without rain.  And He is showing me so much. Every day. One day at a time. My new anthem is:
 Isaiah 40:31: "But those who wait on the Lord will renew their strength, they will rise up on wings like eagles and soar. They will run and not grow weary , walk and not grow faint."