Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Beat the Bullies

Hi everyone!

Sometimes life comes at us like a kid taking on a bully at break-neck speed, knocking us in the stomach with all the force it can muster. Once the wind is knocked out of us we have one of two options, lay there on the ground, staring at the sky and pretending that nothing ever happened or get up, brush ourselves off and take on the things in our lives that have bullied us for as long as we can remember. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes the time between when we brush ourselves off and when it finally clicks that we can beat the bully once and for all can take minutes, hours, days, weeks, months or even years…the important thing though, is finally realizing that we can win. We don’t have to let the things that have bullied us and taunted us in the past mandate where we go in terms of our future.

It is amazing how sometimes tragic events in our lives can actually bring about positive change. For me, I have had a year that seemed perfectly designed by Satan. My fall in March had crippling effects on my fast growing embroidery business, computer consulting projects, and on my ability to be 100% in the classroom. Then with my mom’s sudden illness and death at the end of the summer, it just seemed that the dark cloud over my head was never going to pass. The funny thing is though, during my mom’s hospital stay I started writing and since her death I have continued writing and it has been through researching her story and ultimately my life that I have been able to identify where my bullies originated in the first place. In any conflict, one cannot take on the enemy until we study that enemy.

Last night on The Biggest Loser, when Becky said that when she was young and would lose weight her dad would tell her “look around; I’m sure you’ll find it.” My first thoughts were I am right there with you Becky!!! But the important take away that I was able to grasp from that segment, was Bob encouraging her to look for the positive within herself. Sometimes the people in our lives that spend their lives trying to sabotage us are actually dealing with their own insecurities. When you are a child or teen though, you don’t realize that. The very people that are supposed to be there for us, to mold us and teach us right from wrong, are the very ones who tear us down and teach us destructive behaviors instead. Don’ get me wrong, there comes a point in all of our lives, for ourselves, that we have to forgive them and embrace what we know is right for us. This in turn will then allow us to lose weight and/or accomplish any other unfinished goals we may have. It will also allow us to not make the same mistakes with our own kids.

Going through Beth Moore’s “So Long Insecurity” class has just brought me that much closer to dealing with the bullies. It has been like a spiritual karate lesson, teaching me self-defense skills to defend myself once and for all.

Before my mom’s death, my goal was to complete a half-marathon for my birthday on November 20th. Given the length of mom’s illness and subsequent obstacles, I will not be able to meet this goal, but it doesn’t mean that I will abandon that goal. It has always been a lifelong dream of mine to run a half and full marathon, now is just the time to tell the bullies to get out of the way and train like there is no tomorrow, so that in the spring I can do just that. I have learned that a setback doesn’t mean failure, it is just a setback. So my birthday present to me is to live each day treating myself in such a way that each added day I have on this beautiful earth I can live life to its fullest and as healthy as possible, so that this might be my own personal testimony to myself, my kids, and to all of the other readers out there who have been bullied by life way too long.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

A Window Doesn't Have to Have a Wall

Hi everyone,

With losing my mom, it has taken me a bit to get back to my blog.  It is funny how, even though our worlds may have events that make time stand still for us, for the rest of the world it continues to move on a lightning speed. One day our house has walls, and then it just seems as if the walls have crumbled away.

But the most important thing is to find you a little corner of the world, 

surround yourself with friends 

and realize that though drought will come, growth will come again.

 Just have the patience to realize, that all things happen in God's time and not ours.  Sitting in my little corner of the world though, and looking through the window that I love, I smile at the beauty that has grown despite the drought, knowing that all things do get better in time.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Until we meet again...

Hi everyone!

It has been a while since I have written and tonight I do so with a heavy heart.  Isn’t it funny how when we are going through our own personal tragedies, the world just keeps zooming on by?  It is not that it means to do so intentionally, that is just the circle of life.  On July 5th my mom was sick in the hospital and by August 22nd, this time last week she was gone.  We always talked numerous times a day and during this summer there were times when I questioned if I called her too much. But then I thought “you just never know when you won’t be able to talk to her again.”  I never in a million years ever thought that this would be only a few short weeks later.

My mom was Curiosity Cottage’s biggest fan, always looking for new things that I could make or embroider, passing out business cards where ever she went.  She would be quick to say “pull yourself together” if I was upset about something, but would also defend my brother and I like a female grizzle bear when she felt it was warranted!!  :D

Like a dear friend wrote and told me this week, losing your mom is not like anything else.  We will miss her forever and can only hope that in time we learn to cope with our grief.  So tonight I am doing what she would tell me to, “pulling myself together” so I can help my own babies with their homework and then I will embroider, because I know no matter what she will always be able to see my creations and will be cheering me on from Heaven.
So take the time this evening, if you are blessed enough to still have your mom with you, give her a call from where ever you may be and tell her how much she means to you.  You will be so glad one day that you did.  We were blessed in that we did get to say these things before our mom passed away.  We love you mom!!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

What happened to my yellow brick road???

Hi everyone,

Isn't it amazing how so many of us watched "The Wizard of Oz" when we were kids, but once we become adults, it becomes painfully obvious that there is no yellow brick road.  So many of use go down paths, that may be a bit rocky, but are still lined with beautiful flowers.  These flowers bloom every so often in different seasons to give us hope and make us smile.

I must say that this pretty much describes the path my life is currently on.  However, since I tend to look at the glass as being "half full" instead of "half empty," I have child-like faith that as I age and life teaches me all of the lessons she has in store, that one day my life may still have a gravel path, with dips and bumps in the road from time to time....

but this path will also be lined with majestic trees to provide beauty & shade.  See these scenes aren't just seen in movies and if I can find them while traveling down remote Louisiana highways, then God can also lead me down a beautiful, tranquil path, providing me with shade and protection.  After all when we

"Delight ourselves in the Lord 
and He will give you 
the desires of your heart." ~ Psalm 37:4

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Back Roads, Bayous & Miracles

Hi everyone,

Well today was just one of those days, when a girl has got to do, what a girl has got to do!!  :D  Earlier this week I had a meeting at a home down on a Louisiana bayou.  

It had been many years since I had driven along this highway and I just love seeing the scenery.  On my way down there I came across this sign. 

I did not take the time then to stop and take a picture, which I regretted the minute I drove back into town.  Within minutes of me talking to one of my friends and telling her about the sign, she said “oh, how I needed to hear that today!!”  Then last night on Facebook, a childhood friend sent out a prayer request for a friend of hers, whose little boy is going to Saint Jude’s Sunday, for fear that he has cancer.  I knew at that moment that people needed to see these words of encouragement & that this precious lady and her son needed to see this sign more than ever!!  So this morning my boys & I set out on a road trip to take a picture of the sign.  I was able to show them parts of Louisiana that they had never seen before.  I was even able to show them where some of our cousins live, whom they have never met before.  So my quest for the picture of the sign turned into a learning experience for the boys.  For example, all sweeteners do not come in blue, pink, or yellow packets…some sweetener comes straight from sugar cane!!  :D

It has been a very rewarding day and I feel so very blessed that God allows me to use something as simple as a picture to give people hope.   The fact that I found this sign on an out of the way highway in Louisiana was one wonderful God Wink!!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

I'm teaching my kids to dance in the rain!!

Hi everyone,

I am so excited about all of the progress I am making at my little cottage this evening.  It is so easy sometimes when life is chaotic to try and wait for things to settle down to get back to your dreams and goal.  I learned a very long time ago that if we wait until our life is "perfect" to accomplish the things we most want, we will be waiting a very long time...quite possibly forever.

This is why one of my favorite quotes is

"Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, it is learning to dance in the rain!!!" 

After all, whether you are dancing in the rain; running in the rain; or playing with your kids in the rain, doesn't it always seem to just wash all the stress and the worry away??!!  Taking time to dance during the storms that life brings your way will not only allow you to catch your breath and face the events in your life, it also serves as a great learning experience for our kids.  Allowing our kids to see that life is not perfect, that we will have trials and tribulations, but that if we stop periodically to allow ourselves to take care of ourselves and process what we are going through, we are teaching them to do the same when they are adults.  

So when your kids start back to school in a few short weeks and they are asked to write about their summer vacations, may they all be able to write "my mom taught me that I do not have to wait for all of the storms in life to pass me by, I need to learn to dance in the rain, right in the place where God has placed me!!"

Monday, August 1, 2011

I'm climbing Mount Everest, one step at a time!!

Hi everyone,

Well this weekend “I may have lost the battle, but not the war”!!  :D  Taking care of mom meant no time for sewing, but by Sunday I was so exhausted I had no choice but to take care of me!!  :D  I have found over these past several weeks that taking care of mom is like taking care of my youngest son…both are very strong willed and determined individuals.  It so reminds me of the book, “Love You Forever”, that she bought for me when I had Sarah, almost 21 years ago.  

On my way home from exercising tonight, I could not help but think “careful what you pray for.”  At the beginning of my summer break I prayed for strength, but I was thinking in terms of physical strength with my arm on the mend; little did I know that I was going to have obstacles put in my path that would force me to gain a different kind of strength.    

While this has not been a fun process or the one that I would have chosen, the experiences of this summer have left me feeling like I am almost at the top of Mount Everest…after all I have two weeks left to finish this climb.  If for one minute anyone would think that I would not make it to the summit, which was my goal for the summer…well then they would not know me very well!!  :D

Look out world!!!

Friday, July 29, 2011

How do you find rest???

Hi everyone,

I am off to an extra early start today so that I can go and check on my mom.  As I watch more and more of my friends also taking caring of their parents, it makes me even more aware of how much we need to check on each other.  Yes, this is the natural progression of life, but that does not make it any less exhausting, both emotionally and physically.  My kids know I can tear up at a good commercial..."mom, it is just TV"...  I just have a tender heart, so for me I have found this process to be extremely emotional!!  At the same time though, I am striving to find a balance so that I can also take care of myself.  If we allow ourselves to get too exhausted, then we are of no use to kids or our parents, all of whom need us.

So yes, I will head out early, but I will also make sure I take a bit of time this afternoon to rest.  I am also sooooo praying that I can also fit some time in this weekend to sew.  I have some orders to get done, but creating is therapy for my own soul!!!  When I make things for others, it is relaxing for me.  Some would consider it extra work, but it is here that I find rest.

So what about you, what helps you during stressful times find peace and a bit of rest?  I would love to hear from you.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

We're Never Too Old To Sit Back & Dream

Hi everyone,

As I have said in the posts recently, my plate to sooooo full these days.  It is funny how often when life throws us multiple curve balls all at once we tend to forget our dreams and aspirations.  I have come to the realization though, that it is during these stressful times that we do need to stop and take a time to reflect on our dreams.  They can serve as our rainbow through the oceans of tears we may be crying or the mountain of obstacles we must climb.

One of my goals for the fall, is to take my talents that I have blessed with and use them to bless others.  For most of my adult life the moments that given me the most joy, were those times when I did things for other peoples.  No, I am not trying to put something else on my "to-do" list, I am simply wanting to look beyond me and my circumstances and provide a bit of sunshine to someone who may not have seen it for a while or who may never have been surprised for no reason.

It is my firm belief that when we take out talents and look beyond ourselves, using these talents for the glory of God, then those dreams we have...well God will fulfill them in ways we would have never even imagined!!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

"T" is for "Team" and "Tioga"

Hi everyone!!
For those of you who do not live close to me, my boys play ball in a community known as Tioga.  In just two more days our little team of 10 year old boys will play more All Star games. 

Yes, it is hot, but they are learning so much and it is such a GREAT opportunity for them.  This time of their lives will cultivate lessons and friendships that they will have forever.

These boys have all been playing ball together for so long that it has become a really close group.  With all of the events in my life these days, some would wonder why or how I go to practices and games.  The thing is, these times only happen once and it does not matter what is going on in my life, my kids are my top priority. 

Watching them thrills me to no end.  Visiting with the friends I have made at the ball park and embroidering different things for the moms is what I love to do!!  Taking time for what I love in turn gives me the strength to handle the tough things!! 

Play ball boys!!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011


Hi everyone,
It has been quite a few days since I last wrote.  Between having my mom in ICU, having a son playing All-Star baseball, and physical therapy for my arm, I am totally wiped!!!  These things have not left me with much energy to write.  For me though, my home - Curiosity Cottage - is my refuge. I love quilts, so seeing this one I had hanging on the clothes line made it a natural element for today's post.  This quilt is just so me!!

Coming home at the end of my roller coaster days, curling up with one of my quilts to pray and read is where I find my strength.  It is during these tough times that I grab a little bit of rest so that I have the strength to keep moving forward.  Tonight mom had a good night, so this will help me to sleep better.  I am just so thankful for my amazing friends, I could not get through all of this with out you!! 

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Busy, busy day!!

Hi everyone,
It has been another very busy, but productive day.  I literally rushed through physical therapy so I could make the 10:00 am visiting time at the ICU.  Then it was non-stop getting things accomplished and ready for the weekend.  Tomorrow my morning will start at 5:00 am and will end after Mikey's 8:00 pm ball game.  In the middle I must get grades turned in; hem Mikeys' ball pants; embroider at least two shirts; visit mom in the ICU; and work at my mom's house with my brother.  With a double header on Saturday, that day will probably be a blur too.  To say I well need Sunday as a day of rest would be a major understatement!!  :D

As crazy as life is right now, I have been making time for me each day.  Today I even increased my training by 1/2 mile!!  :D  I also love taking pictures and reading!!!  The ball park will give me a whole host of photo opportunities this weekend!! :D  While I know I will be tired, I know I will want to write and share!!  Yes, it is hot but these times with my kids will be gone in the blink of an eye, so I cherish each and every ball game and road trip with our team!!  I also made the moms from our team shirts, so want to show you their pictures too!!

for now though I best get some rest!!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

I'm Counting My Blessings

Hi everyone,
Today I am so counting my blessings!!  While sometimes my 3 kids will fight like cats in a bag, I would not trade them for anything!!  Last night my 10 year old says "mom you are almost 2/3 of the way through your Daniel Fast!  That is GREAT, you can do this!!!" 

Seeing his appreciation and understanding for what I am doing was such a ray of sunshine last night, on what had been a gloomy day.

As I cheer on my daughter as she starts organic chemistry today, my boys cheer me on as I work on the million different projects I have on my plate right now. What they are learning is that if we all work together as a team we can get more done.  There are times that feathers get ruffled, but when night time comes the most important thing is that we are a family.

I am so grateful for all their help, love, and support!!  Yes, life may throw me curve balls at times, but someone on my little team is always here ready to help me catch them.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...