Nature Helps to Fill My Cup

Enjoying the beauty of nature with one of my favorite guys

We made it out to one of our favorite places today, Sawgrass Lake. This is something we were supposed to be doing all summer, but, unfortunately I can rarely find the energy for outings like this unless my husband is along for the ride. I was determined today! And thankfully mother nature abliged and kept the rain at bay.

Serenity at it’s best!

We had lofty hopes the heat wouldn’t be to terrible.. Who were we kidding?? It is the end of June in Florida after all. We were just lucky to have a breeze that was not carrying a storm straight for us!

He is no longer amused, and I don’t blame him.

We decide after an hour that it’s best we start heading back to the air conditioning. We saw two baby gators, a handful of turtles, a few birds I’d like to call ducks but they don’t quite fit the bill, and one rather large racoon who is clearly not having any trouble finding food.  

Small black “duck” in the distance
I plan to have as many good days as possible before surgery becomes an even larger reality. With an uncertain future looming in the distance, I am at least able to rest assured on some very lovely truths; 

  1. I am deeply loved
  2. I will not ever be alone, no matter how alone I may feel
  3. And, His Grace is sufficient for me

I find the truth in that, for even as I write I can hear the sky coming to life. 

The sky is coming to life, and we are safe inside.

I like to believe the good Lord knew how badly I needed into nature today, and it was He that kept the rain at bay so that I could refill my cup today.

Finding Favor

Who finds favor with God? According to Isaiah, it is the people who “are humble and contrite in spirit, and who tremble at my word” (Isaiah 66:2). This doesn’t mean that favor is something that can be earned by performing righteous deeds. Rather, it means that favor comes to those whose hearts are right in the sight God. After all, it was Isaiah who also said that “all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment” (Isaiah 64:6). If favor with God depended on perfect obedience to God’s will and ways, then none of us would have very much favor with Him at all, would we.

A person whose heart is right before God is a person who desires to walk in steadfast love. “Steadfast love,” in our verse today, speaks on our relationship to God and to other people. Deuteronomy 6:5 says that “You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might” and Leviticus 19:18 says “you shall love your neighbor as yourself.” When our hearts are right before God our desire will be to love Him and His people. We may not always love as we should, but it will be the desire of our hearts. The person who has a heart for love receives God’s favor – and the favor of people as well.

Further, the person whose heart is right before God will be a person who desires to walk in faithfulness. “Faithfulness” also refers to our relationship to God and to other people. The faithful person stands firm when others give up. They do not quit on God or other people! When our hearts are right before God our desire will be to stay faithful to Him and His people. We may not always be as faithful as we should, but as long as it is the desire of our hearts, the Lord will be pleased. The person who has a heart for faithfulness receives God’s favor – and the favor of people as well. 
Let steadfast love and faithfulness rule the course of your life. People will look upon you with favor – and so will God.

Freeing Yourself by Simply Saying No

Sitting in my yard, looking at the beautiful Florida sky, I began to think..

Free yourself from the things that poison your life!

Give yourself the freedom to let go of the things that no longer serve you. Does that mean you give up every time something’s hard? No. It does mean that you let go of toxic people, toxic situations, and toxic habits. It means you finally learn the lesson. It means you stop retracing the same negative steps you’ve always taken. You finally realize how important your own serenity is, and you start to take charge of finding it yourself. Saying “no” to the things that no longer serve you, will free you.

Specialist Day Did Not Go as Planned..

I learned something yesterday. I finally got the answer I’ve been so desperately waiting for. I saw a neurosurgeon yesterday. I finally was in a room with a doctor who could explain to me what my MRI says. So what happens? I get a bomb dropped on me. Thank God my mother was with me. I had a feeling I would need her there. 

You know how most people who live with anxiety go over every possible, plausible avenue before partaking in something like a doctors appointment.. Well. Yeah. About that.. It didn’t work this time.

I hadn’t even thought of what I was about to be told.

I was diagnosed yesterday with Chiari Malformation.

Chiari malformation (kee-AH-ree mal-for-MAY-shun) is a condition in which brain tissue extends into your spinal canal. It occurs when part of your skull is abnormally small or misshapen, pressing on your brain and forcing it downward.  

Chiari malformation is uncommon, but increased use of imaging tests have led to more frequent diagnoses.

Doctors categorize Chiari malformation into three types, depending on the anatomy of the brain tissue that is displaced into the spinal canal, and whether developmental abnormalities of the brain or spine are present.

Chiari malformation type I develops as the skull and brain are growing. As a result, signs and symptoms may not occur until late childhood or adulthood. The pediatric forms, Chiari malformation type II and type III, are present at birth (congenital).

Treatment of Chiari malformation depends on the form, severity and associated symptoms. Regular monitoring, medications and surgery are treatment options. In some cases, no treatment is needed.

In short, I need brain surgery.

No Joke.

How are you supposed to handle literally being told you need brain surgery. That you were more than likely born this way and it will get worse.  I feel like I possibly slipped into a coma a few months ago and just haven’t woken up yet…

 

A Change of Perspective 

So here’s the deal. Life is what I make it. There are many things in life beyond my control. I do however, have control over my attitude. I can control the way I choose to handle unfortunate situations. 

Understanding that I only have control over my part, in any given situation, gives me the freedom to choose how to react. By realizing I am in control of my attitude, the words I say, even the thoughts I think, I am set free!

Life is what you make it. 

Hate me for saying it If you want. 

I lived most of my life thinking ‘life is what you make it’ was a load of shit.. Honestly. I use to think the whole world was against me. All the odds had been stacked in some other lucky person’s favor. 

I was miserable. 

The sky was falling.. All the time.

And it was always someone else’s fault.

I was wrong.

Seriously.

Now, granted, sometimes life is just a big bungled up mess! Things happen. Or don’t happen. Sometimes things are happening and not happening, all at the same time. And it can be incredibly hard to choose the right way to handle everything.  That does not change the fact that you are in charge of yourself. 
Rarely will there be a time when you are not.

It sounds corny, but life is what you make it, but that’s only because it’s tossed around so frequently without a thought about what it really means.

Life is what you make it.

If you choose to be upset about every little thing that does not go your way, life will most likely be stressful. Things rarely go our way.

If you choose joy instead, life will be much more pleasant. Obviously.

Is it always going to be easy, remembering we are in control of our attitudes? No. 

Is it going to be worth it?  You better believe it!

Enjoy your life

Life is what you make it!

Specialist Day_ & the Anxiety that comes with it

Ever since I was a child when I get excited the feeling can be confused with being nervous. I’ve never really been able to distinguish between the two. That explains why I don’t like surprise parties, but does not help me in my current situation. 

My appointment is not until 3:30 p.m. which in and of itself is an ungodly hour for someone with anxiety to have an appointment with a specialist. You see I have far too much time to mol over what may or may not be said at this appointment. Can this problem be reversed?  Will I need to have surgery? How quickly will I need surgery? I’m only 33yrs. old.. Degenerative disc disease does not get better.. The word degenerative makes that pretty clear. 

degenerative 

/dɪˈʤɛnərətɪv/

adjective

[more degenerative; most degenerative]medical

: causing the body or part of the body to become weaker or less able to function as time passes.

I’ve been waiting months to get answers! 

Now the day has come. I am nervous to say the very least. Thoughts and prayers are greatly appreciated!

A Parents Prayer for Patience by Time of Grace

A Parent’s Prayer for Patience 

Dear Jesus, you know how you once fed five thousand men with a boy’s meal and many of them became more concerned with their stomachs than their souls? That must have tested your patience.
And you know how your disciples kept arguing about which of them would be the greatest in heaven, even when your entire ministry had been a demonstration of humble service? Still, you never lost your cool. 
And you know how the priests (who should have recognized you as the promised Savior, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world) were the very ones who rejected you and pinned you to a cross? Still you prayed over them, “Father, forgive.”
Lord, I am guilty of all those sins and more. I’m more concerned with my stomach than my soul. I’m reluctant to serve. I’m slow to confess my faith. I reject your will. I hold grudges. I lose control of my tongue and temper. 
And yet you show me mercy. 
Lord, thank you for your immense patience in my life. Let it put a smile on my face as I show patience to others. My children. My spouse. My coworkers. My government. Lead me to witness patiently of your mercy, so that others might come to believe. Amen.
“I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life” (1 Timothy 1:16).