Tag Archive | children

“It Was the Love,” He Said….

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“It Was The Love”

I just heard a man’s testimony on the radio this morning that struck a chord with me.  He said that he grew up Muslim.  However, through a lot of adverse things in his life, he became an Atheist.
At one point a couple of years ago, he decided he was tired of all of the anger and hatred that you hear in today’s music.  So he started searching for ‘clean music’ that his kids could listen to.  He stumbled across the Christian radio station K-Love.
Fast-forward to now and he is a Christian.  They asked him what was it that finally did it for him.  His answer?  LOVE!
He said that it touched him that there wasn’t all of the fighting and arguing being spewed.  It was the love that everyone talked and sang about.  He initially thought it had to be phony…but with time he realized it was real. And, he studied the bible and discovered that Jesus showed love to everyone regardless of who they were or what they had done.  He realized it was real.
For me, that brought to mind something else.  I have had friends and met people who are excited about sharing the Word.  So much so that you almost can’t carry on a normal conversation because they are busy quoting scripture to you in response to everything.  Half the time what they quote doesn’t even apply (or at least the person they are talking to can’t see the connection).
I’ve even attended a church in the past that is full of very loving people who desire to do God’s work.  However, if you are new or a visitor and happen to have a version of the bible that differs from the King James – then they hound you about it.  They try to ‘kindly’ give you the ‘right’ one.  They have been known to corner you and tell you how wrong you are because you grew up in a different church.
None of that wins the lost, people.  As a matter of fact – it turns them off and sends them running.  Which honestly, I don’t blame them!
I think that in our effortts to ‘win souls’ – we forget the most important thing:  show God’s love.  It’s not supposed to be the human effort anyhow.  All we are to do is let His love show through us.  The rest is between God and that other person.  It’s God’s love shining through us that attracts the lost.  They want what we have – just like that man mentioned earlier.
Jesus did not run after people and judge them.  He didn’t make them feel guilty.  He simply loved them where they were.
So I believe we should stop preaching at people.  Stop arguing your point.  Stop trying to show them how wrong they are and how right you are.  Stop quoting words that don’t mean much to the non-Christian.  Just love them.  Let God’s love shine through you in how you live your life.  Not through your efforts/works – but by being open to God’s will.

THROUGH A CHILD’S EYES

MEDPARK2When my daughter was young, I worked full-time as a single mother.  My mom would pick her up from school.  When I got off, I would go to my parents’ house and we would all have dinner together before taking her home.  During those times – my dad always had milk with his evening meal.  So my daughter followed suit and would do the same because he was the father figure in her life and she wanted to be just like him.
Out of the clear blue, when she was about 5 or 6, she started refusing to drink milk.  After several evenings of this – I asked her why she quit drinking milk.  She informs me that we were always telling her to drink her milk because it would help make her big and strong (I know, I know…but that is what used to be said about milk).  And lately, we had been commenting that she was growing up so fast (you know how adults do)…..so, she connected the two and stopped drinking milk in order to slow down the growth process!
Needless to say we got a good chuckle out of the situation.  And of course we corrected the misunderstanding.
Fast forward to my 8-year old son.  He had to start wearing glasses last year – his first pair.  This year, we went for his check-up and discovered that he needed a new prescription.  We ended up going to a place that offered buy-one, get-one-free.  When we got home, he asked me what we were going to do with his old pair.  I casually mentioned that we would probably donate them – because there are places that will take them and help a child whose parents can’t afford to buy glasses for them.
A couple of weeks later, I get a call at work from the school nurse.  She tells me that my son had given his extra pair of glasses to a little boy – who didn’t even need glasses.  She tells me that the glasses are pretty much beyond repair.  I tell her to send them home and I would see what insurance would cover.
I got off of the phone stunned.  After all, I had noticed him wearing the 2nd pair of glasses and had even commented on it.  And he didn’t say a word.  And it was unlike him to do such a thing without asking first.
When I got home, I inquired about what had happened.  Come to find out – my son was showing his friends his new glasses – and a little boy said he needed glasses but his parents wouldn’t get him any.  And, my giant-hearted son remembered that comment I made about donating…..   So, he actually donated his OLD pair of glasses, not his new ones like everyone thought.  Of course he didn’t realize that one has to have the right prescription, etc.  But his heart was in the right place!
Comments that we think is very clear and simple – are not so when in comes to how our children interpret them  There is no being sarcastic with children….they don’t get it.  What you say is fact.  It’s black and white, no gray.
Therefore, if you have children/grandchildren – slow down.  Take time with them.  Take time to explain things….to show them exactly what you mean.  Take time to love them.

Bittersweet Life Events

Lots of things have taken place of late (since March).  All have been quite emotional and has taken me on quite the journey of soul-searching and learning.

Without notice, my employer laid several people off – and I was included in that group.  My supervisor called me while I was on vacation to break the news to me.  The layoffs were effective immediately.

I found myself having to work through quite a few emotions during that time.  I’ve been laid-off before…but this one hit me a little differently.  If you have read previous posts – you know that I’ve struggled to get back on my feet after the divorce.  I literally had nothing financially – I was living paycheck to paycheck.  The day that I got the call was also a payday.  And that was the day I had been working towards – I FINALLY got out of that dreadful financial hole and was looking forward to breathing a little easier – until I got the phone call, that is.

So, needless to say, it took the wind out of my sail – as the saying goes.  I was devastated.  I found myself starting to worry about what I was going to do.  I was also a tad bitter.  You see, I was the ONLY person in my entire department who was cross-trained in all other positions.  Therefore, it didn’t make sense that I was one of them to go.  I learned later that the decisions were strictly on a whim made by the owners who had no real clue as to who did what….rather they went with the good old ‘seniority’ excuse. Hmph!  I also have some other emotions tied up in this – but I choose not to dwell on them and therefore, I won’t bother with them here.

For the most part – I only allowed myself to ‘grieve’ my loss for 3 days.  No more.  No wallowing allowed.  I immediately started the process for filing for unemployment (which I have never done before) and job searching.  

I was given a small severance package of 4 weeks’ pay when I was laid off.  So – God took me on a journey of trust and faith.  Not knowing how long I might be unemployed – I didn’t want to take a chance of losing my home.  So I took the severance and was able to completely pay off my mortgage (no, the pay wasn’t that huge….I was just that close to being finished with the note).  That left just enough to get me through about a month if I was careful.

During this time, I completely kept my eyes on my Savior and trusted Him fully to take care of me and my son.  It was actually a very pleasant and healing time for me.  My health improved.  I relaxed for the first time in ages.  It was wonderful!

It all came to a close WAY to quickly for me!  But exactly to the day that I ran out of money (unemployment had not kicked in yet) – I started a new job – though the pay was considerably less than I was making in my previous job.  This is as I suspected – I was going to have to accept a lower paying job because they just aren’t paying around here anymore.  But  I’m so grateful that it all worked out.  I thank God for always taking good care of me/us!

I must admit though – I find myself feeling a little down from time to time.  Some people will not understand this next part – but it is how I feel. You see, I have always thought that I would marry and have a husband who took care of me and our family.  Again as you know if you have read other posts here – that has not worked out for me.  That still saddens me.  Don’t get me wrong – I am not a gold digger or anything.  But I sure didn’t think that I would be in the position that I am now, at my age, in having to take a job because of money and the need to make ends meet rather than because I love it.  And honestly…..I’m tired of being the one to carry that burden.  

Another emotional roller coaster I’ve been on lately – is the care of my son this summer.  I’ve always had him in an excellent childcare facility during the summer.  My daughter went there when she was young as well.  However, with all of the above-mentioned issues – I simply am not in a position to pay for the childcare this year.  My ex-husband is the type of person to cut costs no matter what – so I could not count on him to take up the slack.  He did however agree to keep our son this summer.  You see, he now owns his own computer repair business.

Under normal circumstances – this would be a perfect solution.  But – in reality what that means is that my dear 8 year old son will be sitting in front of a computer monitor day in and day out for 9+ hours each playing some pretty graphic military computer games (that I do not approve of).  There is no talking to the ex about this – been there, done that.  He won’t listen nor cooperate.

In addition to that, my daughter and her husband have made the decision to move out of town.  Initially, I was excited for them – believing that they have so many more opportunities there than here.  As a matter of fact, if it weren’t for my father living here – and my not wanting to leave him alone – I would probably live down that way too.

But now, with one week left to go before the big move, I am finding myself feeling lonely and sad already.  Yes, I know, I know….it’s to be expected.  As a matter of fact, I did the same thing when I was her age – except I moved out of state.  I remember my dad calling me once to ask me to call more often because my mom was down in the dumps all of the time.  I did.  And I made it about 5 years before I came back to Texas…to home.

And finally….though I do not ever want to complain about what God has provided….I find myself feeling down about my new job.  It seems that a majority of the people there are unhappy employees.  I have worked in that type of atmosphere before and don’t care to do it again.  It is too emotionally draining.  I keep telling myself that it is simply people struggling to adjust to growing pains of the company and to change.  But the longer I’m there….the harder it gets to keep saying that.  So I pray that God will lead me….that He will guide me in the direction I should go.

On a positive note though:

One:  It’s Memorial Day weekend!  Woohoo!  May God bless all of our military – those who protect us now and those who have protected us in the past.  Thank God for all who have served and died.

Two:  It has been raining for 3 days now!  We have been in drought conditions for a few years now – so this has been a great blessing!  They say we would need 18+ inches within the next 6 months to pull us out of the drought – which is doubtful……but hey, at least it’s a start!

Take care….see you next time!

Can You Believe It Is 2014?!

It’s 2014…..can you believe it!?  Another year has flown by already.  This year will mark many changes for me – some of them will be bittersweet.

I’m not one to do New Year’s resolutions or anything like that – for me it has always simply been a new number on the calendar and that was it.  But not this year – not 2014.  Why?  Let me tell you…

My 21-year-old daughter and her hubby have finally made the decision to move out of town.  They are moving to ‘the big city’ in search of fulfilling their dreams.  I don’t blame them.  As a matter of fact, I told my daughter that recently.  She mentioned moving and wondering what it would be like and whether there would be more opportunities.  I told her that if I were her age and had the chance – I would give it a try.  They don’t have children right now and they aren’t tied to a mortgage….so now is the time to go and spread wings!  Of course at the same time, I will miss them terribly.  And it will be weird not having her so close.

Of course I will have a good excuse for getting my tail out of town once in a while – that’s exciting!  But it will be hard.  I feel that she is my strongest ‘connection’ I have to another earthy being.  Don’t worry – I don’t mean that I am all-consumed with my daughter and her life….she lives her own life here and I don’t interfere.  But we are close – we are friends and we are in a good place with each other.

2014….here we are a mere 14 days into the year and my poor son has had quite a tumultuous beginning.  He just turned a big 8 years old!  Side Note: Do you know how hard it is to have a great Christmas for a child and then turn around and have a memorable birthday in less than 10 days afterwards!? Ugh!

So my little fella had a rough time starting this year.  He keeps telling me that it was ‘the best Christmas ever, Mom!’ – which of course does my heart good.  But my ex-husband and I split up in 2010.  Since that time, the ex has been out of the country with his new love during Christmas on into the beginning of January each year.  That means he has missed our son’s birthday. 

This year, his father decided to stay in town/country and have his honey join him here.  He then decides that he is going to basically take over the birthday party planning – and I let him….let him foot some of the cost for a change!  Long story short – dad had his times wrong about when he set the party up at the facility – so many of the guests arrived too early.  Here we are – my son, my daughter and myself – trying to work something out with the people at the facility to accommodate the guests early…..and dad was nowhere in sight (he arrived late). Then we discover that the party room was set up for a girl…..so they had to take the decorations down and re-do everything real quick.

Then when they finally got around to the birthday cake – my ex’s family has a tradition of smashing your face in the cake – don’t ask me why…I never have understood it.  My son experienced this when he was 2 yrs. old and the look on his face broke my heart – they all speak Spanish and my son and I do not….so he had no clue that they were going to do it or why.  So at this year’s party, dad sticks to the tradition – and again, my son is bewildered….but also embarrassed because here are all his friends seeing this and laughing…..and again he has no idea why it is done.  He then comes running out of the room to look for me (I had taken a child to find his mother) with cake on his face and crying.

After the party – it was planned that our son would stay the night with his dad and come home the following day.  When he arrived home the following evening I discovered that he and his father had it out….apparently it was like a war zone at his house.  Sadly, at 8 years old, my son told his daddy that he hated him and never wanted to stay with him again.  Since then, dad has called to apologize and I even took him by dad’s place to drop off some papers thinking it would give them a chance to visit.  Nope.  My son is simply not interested right now.

And finally, to top things off – my son came down sick this week and has had to make a visit to the doctor’s office.  Let’s hope it gets better for him soon!

In addition to all of this…..I will be turning the big 5-0 this year.  Now how depressing is THAT!?!?!?!  I don’t FEEL like I should be that old.  I don’t WANT to be that old.  And it certainly makes you think about life.

I have always said that I have no regrets about my life.  Disappointments – yes, but not regrets.  But now I’m thinking there are a few things that I wish I had done differently.  I think that is probably because I had a different idea of where I would be at this point in my life….and honestly, being an overweight, single mom was not even close!

I really didn’t expect to be in a position of having to work full time at this point either.  Now, don’t go throwing rocks at me….but my mom worked because she wanted to and I guess I assumed it would be the same for me.  And I envisioned having a good man in my life who desired to be a friend, partner, lover, supporter and companion.  I think that part is my biggest regret.

I am without a doubt thankful for my children – and had I not been through what I have – they would not exist.  It is because of this that I will never ‘wish’ it didn’t happen…..but I regret that I am not married for the long haul.

And I regret that I allowed myself to be physically unhealthy.  I was always really thin and never had to worry about my weight.  But when ‘something’ in my body changed, I was not prepared.  I didn’t know how to eat healthy and that exercise would be crucial until it was too late.  And try as I might now…..I am having a terrible time at this.  I often wish I had someone to go through the process together with – but I don’t.  So if I do this, I am on my own.

I also thought I would be more financially set by now.  Through the many ordeals of my life and starting over so many times….I have nothing.  I live paycheck to paycheck.  I am putting some into a retirement plan….but too little too late if you ask me. 

On the flip side of all of this though….

For the most part, I am happy.  I enjoy my family though I wish we could spend more time together.  I like my job.  I have my own home and transportation (though it is pretty iffy at times – LOL) and I’m still kickin’!

So every day I thank my Father above that I am surviving.  I thank Him for taking care of us and for what I believe is headed our way.  I don’t give up and I never will.

Here’s to hoping that you too, dear reader, will have a very blessed 2014!

 

Always Trying to Be in Control – Ha!

ImageDo you ever struggle with hearing God’s gentle voice?  I do.  I believe it is because I am a ‘take control’ type of person and I tend to act before I think on things too much. This often means I bulldoze right on into things without checking in with God first to see if He agrees with my plans.  I don’t mean to do it – I really don’t. 

It seems like it is a survival mode that I somehow acquired during my lifetime – but I don’t know where the off-switch is located.  I am so used to having to take care of things and make things work.  I struggle with handing it all over to my Father.  I know that God can handle everything much better than I can.  And I want Him to do so – I truly do. 

A perfect example of this would be a recent chain of events that took place concerning our plan for my son’s care after he gets out of school.  I am a single parent and therefore I have to make arrangements for someone else to care for him until I get off of work.  I stumbled across something that I was sure was something I was supposed to do – after all, I had been trying to get him into this program for several months.  It was the eleventh-hour on the Friday before this new school year started and I was scrambling to make it all work out – there were several hurdles that I had to maneuver.  Each time one would pop up, I would have an uneasy feeling about it – but I kept telling myself that this was meant to be.

Then on the first day (Monday) – I go to pick my son up.  I can tell immediately that things did not go well for him.  I ask him if anything is wrong and he tells me ‘no’ – and I can tell it is because he doesn’t want to talk about it in front of others.  When we get to the car – I find out what took place.  Now normally if my kiddo tells me how he/she doesn’t like this or that – I convince them to stick it out a bit longer and see how things go.  But after all of the roadblocks that kept coming up while trying to get this all set up – it finally hits me.  God was trying to tell me that this was not His plan for us – and silly me…..I wasn’t listening! 

I went back to the drawing board and talked with my loved ones.  As it turned out – I was able to work things out so that everyone involved benefits in some way.  I have peace about my son’s care.  He is happier.  Others make a little extra money for their efforts.  And we all get to see each other on a regular basis – which typically doesn’t happen.  Of course!  God’s ways are always the best! 

On another note – and this is in reference to my previous post, but God is showing both my daughter and I a few things about our ‘automatic drive’ of negativity.  We are both learning and growing and excitedly sharing with each other what is happening!  I will write more on that some other time – but just wanted to openly thank God for His love and His grace and definite patience with those of us who are a bit slow in learning things!

Take care and I hope you are enjoying your life journey!  If not, turn to God and see what He has in store for you – I can promise that you will be greatly blessed!

Internal Vows Broken

On my journey of late – I have literally been bombarded with reading and hearing messages of being aware of one’s mindset.  Watch what you think and see how it affects your daily life.

‘Okay, God – You must be telling me something here.’  So here I am trying to really take a closer look at something that I thought I pretty much had in the bag.  I mean – I know how negative thinking leads to negative talking and that, in turn, can create a very sad, dismal life.  It wasn’t until I was grown and out on my own – just having had my own child that I first remember considering the effects of such negative thinking.  But I was pretty sure that as the ‘expert’ I believed myself to be – I know how it all works – right?

I remember doing some of that self-talk that I commonly do and saying that I did not want to raise my daughter in such a negative environment as I was raised in.  Let me stop here and say that I love my mom.  I love her.  She did the best she could with what she knew and how she was raised.  I understand that.  But truthfully she was one of the most negative people I’ve ever known.  She was quick to tell you what you were doing was wrong or how something couldn’t be or couldn’t happen because of (fill in the blank).  She could be hurtful in the things she said.

So I did not want to raise my child in the same manner.  At the time, I knew nothing about things such as that being carried on through the generations similar to alcoholism or abuse, for example.  What I did know is that it was going to be up to me to not be that way.  So I made a point of trying to be positive with my daughter.  I made a point of hugging her and telling her openly that I loved her (again – not something that we did as I was growing up).

Through the years since the birth of my daughter, my family (including my parents) went through a transformation.  We made progress in how we interact with each other.  We became closer.  We hugged each other.  We told each other ‘I love you.’  Just ask my brother – who was not living near us – he thought we were a bit odd when he would come to see us and we were all touchy-feely! LOL

As I said – I felt that I had this mindset thing in the bag.  BUT – I must admit there are other things I am just now realizing that maybe I didn’t do so well or am not doing so well.  Or maybe I fell into that trap of depending on myself and my own abilities a tad too much.  And, since I’ve been asking God to ‘change me from the inside out’ – then, I believe I better sit up and pay attention because He is showing me a few things here!

For instance – I don’t know how to have fun.  You know if you don’t know how to have fun, it is difficult to enjoy life.  I truly believe that God intends for us to enjoy this life and what He has provided for us.  Yes, we went on vacation recently and that was fun!  But what I mean is on a daily basis kind of fun or enjoyment.  And that thought keeps rolling around in my head lately – ‘I don’t know how.’   And honestly – I will leave that one just as it is for now….because I really have no more to say about something I know nothing about.  All I know is that it bugs me – and it needs to change.  So I will wait to see what He reveals to me in this area.  It’s coming – I just know it.

Everything goes hand in hand too.  I believe that God is always there to provide for me.  I trust that fact.  But I still find that when the pressure is building and life’s stresses come around – I tend to get grumpy – and sometimes a tad depressed.  This leads me to believe that I need to change my way of thinking – right?

So why do I get grumpy? Hmmm….. Could it possibly be because I find myself losing ‘control’ – or at least what I perceive to be control of a situation?  Yep, I think so.   So why do I need to feel that I am in control?  Hmmm…..Fear?  Yep, I think so.  What am I afraid of?  Well, I don’t know…..failure, I guess.  Big whoop.  All I know is that I have always had a fear of failure – and that kept me from doing things – a lot of things actually.  I wouldn’t participate in games for example because I didn’t want to make a mistake when all eyes were on me.

And yet if I circle back around – do I or don’t I trust in God?  If so – then I need to not have fear of anything – right?  *Sigh* I am getting tired…..and dizzy – aren’t you!?

Okay – so those are the biggies right now.  But also it is all of the little things that snowball into huge things.  I say this because I see a lot of my shortcomings in the area of negativity coming from my children.  Ouch.  And here I thought I had it all figured out….

My daughter is so awesomely strong!  She is fearless and I am so in awe of her and her accomplishments at her young age of 21.  But at the same time I see difficulties as a result of her hard-headedness and her negativity.  This, in turn, affects those around her making everyone miserable.  It comes out in anger.  People and things constantly ‘make her angry’ (although we all know that no one makes you angry unless you choose to be angry).  She’s been hurt in her life and this is her defense mechanism.  And my heart hurts about this because though I may not be the main cause of that pain, I do own that I had a part in it too.

My beautiful 7 year old son – he is a fairly quiet and tender-hearted individual.  However, he complains – a lot.  He cries often out of frustration for things not going his way – not like tantrums that kids have – but more like sadness.  For him, if he doesn’t know how to do something – he cries that he can’t – even if you attempt to show him that he can.  He seldom ‘likes’ things – it’s usually ‘I don’t like it’.  And it really doesn’t matter what it is – he may like some sort of food today but tomorrow if you give it to him – he finds something wrong.

But wait a minute…..isn’t that what I was talking about earlier when describing what I grew up in?  But didn’t I say that I consciously made an effort to be different and not raise my kiddos in the same way?  I didn’t think I did….but what happened?

Obviously God is showing me that I don’t have it all together and that I shouldn’t be getting such a big head!  He is showing me that I still need to learn to lean on him more – like lean ALL the way on Him.  And I have to say folks, this is scary for me – because I don’t know how this happened, but I am beginning to see that I am the common factor here with my kids….so…..it…..must…..come…..from…..me!?  Again – ouch!

My devotional for today is from Haggai 1:5 where God tells the people who are dissatisfied and experiencing problems to ‘consider their ways’.  And again I see where I need to take a hard, long and honest look at myself.  I need to consider my views of the world and what thoughts and words come from me.  I influence others – and how I do that is up to me.  It can be in a positive light where people can see Christ in me or it can be in a negative manner in which no one would or should follow.

I am praying that God will help me to see more – as painful as it is – and to help me to learn.  I pray for a changed heart, a changed mind.  And I am also seeking forgiveness for past sins and claiming victory over the generational ‘curses’.  I am declaring that they be broken so that they no longer carry on in my family.  My family will heal and grow in God’s loving care and we will overcome!

Thank You, Father – for loving us and providing for us.  Thank You for Your patience and Your grace – especially when we are slow to learn.  Amen.

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Take Time to Reflect

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I just got back from the BEST vacation!  We haven’t been on an out-of-town vacation in almost 4 years – so needless to say, it was MUCH needed.  But besides that, God revealed a lot of things to me.

Briefly I will tell you that we live in the Texas Panhandle – if you have never been here before, let me say that it is hot, dry and flat.  No trees.  Very little water.  And windy – very, very windy.  We do have the second-largest canyon in the country (Palo Duro Canyon) – and it is something to see!  The beauty here is in the people.  We have the friendliest people around – and that is a true blessing!

For vacation, we headed to the nearest mountains (see the picture I took above!).  We stayed in Red River, NM.  I’m not a person who enjoys snow — so mountains in the summer is my kind of fun.  We spent our time doing the following: fireworks on the lake, watched a parade, grilled, mountain climbing/hiking, tubing down the slopes, off-roading and water rafting.

During our time there, I was able to reflect on a few things.  For instance, I was witness to some little spats that took place within the couples.  Being older than they are, having been there, done that and being single again, gave me a different perspective.  In some ways it was like Deja vu – because I remember thinking/saying/acting in similar ways.  But I could also see where I had matured past a lot of it and I now know that I handled things in the best way I could in my marriage.  It was like God was allowing me to witness these things to let me know that maybe, just maybe I needed to forgive myself a bit more.  I have always been critical of myself and though I thought I had moved on, I suppose that I still blamed myself for ‘failing’ in my marriage. So this let me know that 1) I no longer need to second-guess my thoughts/feelings on certain things and 2) It always takes two – so it isn’t all my fault.

I experienced some pain that I thought had healed through the years when I learned of some unkind, hurtful words being told to another.  It brought back memories.  It hurt and it helped – if that makes any sense.  My heart hurt witnessing someone going through the same stuff I had and at the same time it reminded me that what I experienced in my past was not because I’m such a ‘bad’ person or unworthy person – but rather the insecurities of the person saying the hurtful things.

I also learned to lighten up and laugh a little more.  You know, being around young adults is definitely an experience!  It helped to remind me to be happy and enjoy my life a little more. And it helped to get me off my duff and move – to do something active. AND – to drink more water – LOL!

Sometimes we get so wrapped up in existing in this world that we forget to really look around.  We forget to pause and take a look at what He has provided. So I am also thankful that I was able to enjoy God’s beautiful creations there.  We saw it rain every afternoon – where that would normally put a damper on one’s activities – we danced in it!  We would stand like goobs and simply breathe.  It was fantastic!  I must admit, when we got back home to the dry 100-degree temps – I was a bit disgusted.  I keep telling myself to mellow out though – LOL

And – it has inspired me to really do some serious praying about guidance and seeking God’s will for me.  For a couple of years now, I have had a desire to make a living in a different field – but I typically squash it down and try to ignore it.  I have obligations.  I can’t see how I could do anything else.  Blah, blah, blah……but now I’m thinking, why not!?  If God has put this desire in my heart, I should be listening – right?  So, that is my goal.  I will keep my heart and mind open and wait for His lead.

I also discovered that though I thought I was pretty stress-free these days, apparently I’m not as much as I thought.  No wonder I’m still struggling with my Fibromyalgia (mainly the Fibro-fog) and weight/health issues.  Yes, I’m better than I was – thank you, Father!  But I experienced true peace and contentment while away from the daily grind.  And I want that in my life!  So, I have decided to work on that a little more. Progress not perfection – as the saying goes.

And finally, I was simply able to truly enjoy my family.  I love my family.  We are tight.  But this allowed us to forget the daily stresses of life and just have fun.  It’s been a long time, folks.  I saw my 7-year old mature right before my eyes.  My daughter is struggling with a few things and that in itself is growth.  My heart aches for her at times – but I’m so darn proud of her too!  She has her own business at the young age of 20 years old – not many can say that, you know.  I love my son-in-law.  He is intelligent and responsible and he loves my daughter.  My ‘other’ daughter – I call her that, she’s my daughter’s best friend — I finally got to know her a little more (she’s always been so quiet though I’ve known her for years).  I’m proud of her too – she has grown into a beautiful young lady and she has a bright future ahead of her.  And I got to know her boyfriend – and I like him.  A lot. Not to mention that he saved my bacon when I went overboard on the rafting trip – LOL!

And then there is my dad.  He didn’t go with us.  But he stayed behind and tended to my pets on top of running my ex-husband’s business while he is out of the country.  I don’t know what we would do without him.  I’m 48 years old and still tend to run to him for advice.  We all do.  He’s a great man and I thank God for him every single day!

Coming back home I found a few more things to appreciate (once I got over the disgust of the extreme temps).  I learned that some of my daughter’s friends were disappointed that we were gone over the 4th of July holiday.  We typically have a cookout at my place and they had wanted to do it again this year.  It’s nice to know that they (being teens and young adults) feel they can come out and have a good time and that they don’t mind being around an ‘adult’ (me) – so I must be okay.

Bottom line, I found a greater appreciation for my job, my home, my life and my church.  Though I have a desire to do other things – I will be content where I’m at until God shows me that it is time to do something different.  I have faith that I am yet on another exciting journey with my Father and that He will shower me and my family with many more blessings.

Hope you are having a great summer and please, take time to thank God for the blessings He has provided.

As a side note:  a friend of mine is listing 10 things he is thankful for each day on Facebook.  I’m thinking that is not a bad idea.  I may start doing that too in order to keep my mind on the lookout for the positive and the good things in life!