Be a Blessing Today!

Go out and be a blessing today! In some small facet, in some small way! Shine your light for all to see! Changing the world is up to you and me!

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Against the Wall Devo by Our Daily Bread ๐Ÿ’™โ˜

Against The Wall 

On April 25, 1915, soldiers of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps landed on the Gallipoli peninsula expecting a quick victory. But fierce resistance by the Turkish defenders resulted in an 8-month stalemate during which thousands on both sides were wounded or killed.

Many of the ANZAC troops who were evacuated to Egypt visited the YMCA camp outside Cairo where chaplain Oswald Chambers offered hospitality and hope to these men so broken and disillusioned by war. With great insight and compassion, Chambers told them, โ€œNo man is the same after an agony; he is either better or worse, and the agony of a manโ€™s experience is nearly always the first thing that opens his mind to understand the need of redemption worked out by Jesus Christ. At the back of the wall of the world stands God with His arms outstretched, and every man driven there is driven into the arms of God. The cross of Jesus is the supreme evidence of the love of God.โ€

Paul asked: โ€œWho shall separate us from the love of Christ?โ€ (ROMANS 8:35). His confident answer was that nothing can remove us from Godโ€™s love in Christ (8:38-39). When weโ€™re up against the wall, God is there with open arms. โ€”David McCasland

Godโ€™s love still stands when all else has fallen.

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.

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…

 

Today’s Epiphany

Last night I was discussing the idea with my husband that things just sort of seem to snowball after you hit 30. It really seems like every other day at least, there’s another problem; another obstacle in the way of our ultimate goals in life.

Life can leave you wondering what next?

Now since last night it has occurred to me the reason things seem snowball. Obviously this is only my opinion but I believe it has Merit. As we get older our circle becomes larger and the number of people we care for grows. We have children, we may have grandchildren. And we care about our parents in a different way. By becoming more aware the older we get we find we are affected more greatly by things, the while being children, went widely unnoticed. Life was simpler.

As adults we have more things to care about, and more things to concern ourselves with. We have more things that we are personally responsible for.

I believe this is what creates the illusion that things are spinning out of control, because as adults we have so many things that were trying to be in control of. The burden is greater. The weight of it all, heavier. The consequences larger. And there is definitely more at stake.

Like a movie director we want everything to go the way we’ve planned it. The actors in our movie must say the right lines at the right times, and be ever in their places.

It is in this constant controlling that we lose our joy. How do we let go? How do we let go of this control that steals our joy? Well. Not very easily I can tell you that. And probably never completely, but if we practice we can stop projecting our expections on every one and everything in our lives. I really believe you can always find joy in suffering. You may have to look extremely hard, but it is there.

Back to my point.

As we grow older we become more aware of our surroundings. Learning and growing forming deeper relationships with other people and this leads us to Care more deeply for others. So we are more greatly affected by the things that happened to the people around us. Their pain essentially is our pain. I don’t know about you, but, when I find out my children, or my husband, or my mother, or one of my siblings is having a bad day or bad season in their life it affects me.

Maybe that is why, the older we get, the more it seems like its always something. 

Just a thought.

Why Caring for Ourselves is a Selfless Act

Go into your kitchen and grab an empty cup. Nowย try and drink from it. Go on, share your empty cup with everyone near you. Are any of you satisfied? NO. How could you be?

We are surrounded by so much selfishness is this world that it has become hard to discern what isย selfishย from what isย self-care.

It is not possible to be satisfied drinking from an empty cup. It is easy to figure out why. There simply isn’t anything inside an it.
Taking the time to care for yourself is actually a selfless act. Below I’ve listed a few simple things you can do for yourself to fill up your cup

  • R and R.ย  The value of a little R and R is substantial. Try to stay away from the kind that involves flipping through channels on the T.V. but in the event that that is all you can make the time for, take it,ย and make the best of it by staying away from shows full of drama. ย I enjoy simple things like watching the clouds pass by or the trees blowing in the breeze. Take out FB scrolling on your phone, and you’re bound to find peace and solace in a matter of minutes.
  • Find time.ย Find time for the things that make you smile. Reading. Drawing. Walking. Doing your make-up. watching your favorite show. What have you. The important part of this step is to find something that lights you up! Something that just makes you feel happiness beaming from within you! Those are the somethings you must find time to do.๐Ÿ˜‰
  • Create a morning routine.ย Every morning for the last 4 years I wake up and open my Bible app byย Youversion.com ย It is a part of my life. A part of my daily routine. The available plans span a number of topics. The plans I choose are appropriate for the things I’m going through in my life at that moment in time, and what this does is allow me to focus on Hope and positivity at the beginning of my day. Starting your day that way allows you to more easily continue your day that way. This may not be the exact type of thing you interested in doing but there are plenty of free positive affirmation apps and even free meditation apps they could easily achieved the same effect. The point is to start your day with positive affirmations, positive notes, positive reminders. When your mind is content and well your body tends to follow (as best as it can.)
  • Forgive yourself. You know that thing you did a few years ago that you’re still beating yourself up about? Forgive yourself we are human and to err is human. We tend to be the hardest on ourselves by doing this we do not allow ourselves to heal. By not forgiving yourself, you are filling your cup with sour milk; and no one wants to drink sour milk.
  • Treat yourself like someone you love. Be as kind and patient with yourself as you would with a dear friend. Treat yourself like somebody you love! We tend to hold ourselves to a higher standard than we hold other people we are much more likely to be kind to a stranger than we are to be kind to ourselves. ย If you don’t love yourself it’s sure going to be hard for anyone else to love you.
  • Allow yourself to have feelings.ย  Allow yourself to have feelings in a healthy way. Have the feeling, acknowledge it, and move on.

Caring for yourself is in and of itself caring for others. We can not give what we do not have to give. It is very difficult to have healthy relationships without first having a healthy relationship with yourself.

When it Feels like ‘NO’

Stop carrying the weight of perfection. It is unabtainable. Stop listening to the lies this world is telling you. They are a distraction.

     As hard as I may try some days I just feel like I am not winning. Not winning at a single damn thing I am doing. I can’t manage to get my hair in a perfect ponytail. My skin tone just isn’t quite right today. That doctor doesn’t take my insurance. My baby boy thinks I’m annoying. My husband worked late, and I messed up his favorite dinner. 

     Some days it seems that no matter what I do, the whole day just feels like a “no”. No, you can’t be happy today. No, nothing is going to go right today. And no, the sun will not come out tomorrow. 

    Mothers are held to a ridiculous standard these days. We must look, act, feel a certain way. Our children should always be prim and proper. Our houses clean from top to bottom. And our chins held high, so nobody can question our level of perfection. This world will tear you right down if you let it, with all it’s impossible standards that no one is living up to. 

     Then there is Hope. Hope is a wondrous thing! With hope there is endless possibilities. Hope nudges you to keep going, to persevere. Hope says you can. Hope says you will. And Faith says it is already done.