Friday, April 30, 2021

April A-Z Challenge...Letter 'Z'

 














Wrapping up the A-Z Challenge today!!

                                            Z

                                       Zealous

New beginnings can happen any day.  Time will change as it always does.  I can't stop on the chapter of my heartache and pain even though it will always be a part of me.  There are more chapters, and I have to walk into these chapters.

God wants me to move forward each day and to be zealous for this life he has given me.

Saw this on Pinterest..."Some days she's a warrior.  Some days she's a broken mess.  Most days she's a bit of both, But everyday she's there.
STANDING.  FIGHTING.  TRYING."  (iFunny)  This is me exactly.


I have been through mountains and through the valleys.   But nothing changes the fact that God is good.   God will take the bad situations/circumstances and in time turn them around and use them for good. I have to admit, during suffering I did not see the good and I still question But God has a plan and purpose for my life.  Hope and believe and release (my word for 2021 is release) is what I cling to daily.



Thursday, April 29, 2021

April A-Z Challenge...Letter 'Y'

 














                                     Y

                                                  Yes

Yes, it is okay to fall apart

Yes, I am processing my hurt

Yes, prayers do restore my confidence

Yes, I am overcoming some of my fears

Yes, I am focusing my energy on what is important

Yes, it is okay to laugh

Yes, I am spending more time with God and listening to his voice

Yes, I  am finding more positives in life

Yes, to this new beginning

Yes, I am a work in progress

Yes, I will make it!








Wednesday, April 28, 2021

A-Z April Challenge...Letter 'X'

 


                                              X
                                       XOXO


Love can't get enough.



I use to love the start of a new school year.  I was like a child on Christmas Eve waiting for Santa; I was anxiously waiting on a room of smiling middle schoolers.  Now, being retired (partially), I do not experience this excitement, but I still have a few butterflies when I hear and see the big, yellow bus go by.  Yeah, I still get excited when it is my FIRST day ( I usually start a few weeks after the students) of school as I pull into the parking lot.

My new beginning, is learning to love each day.  To wake up excited about all the possibilities the day will bring.  Each day is a blank page...LOVE IT!

"Every day is a chance to begin again.  Don't focus on the failures of yesterday,start today with positive thoughts and expectations." (Catherine Pulsifer)

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

A-Z Challenge...Letter 'W'

 














                                            W

                                          Wonderful Plans


Heartbreaking situations and experiencing devastating losses have definitely robbed me of happiness.




For a year, I have been praying about a situation.  Currently, I am in a season of waiting.  Personally, I don't like this season of waiting.  It is hard to wait patiently on the Lord.  But I know God has a wonderful plan for me.

How do I know? Glad you are wondering.
1.  He is with me while I am waiting.
2. He knows this is a vulnerable time for me so he gives me scripture to rely on when the devil is tormenting me.
3.  God's timing not mine; that's why I need faith.
4.  It is a wonderful plan because God says so.

His plan might look different than mine. "The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps." (Proverbs 16:9).  Drawing closer to God and getting to know him better, I know his wonderful plan is much more than I could imagine.

"God has prepared things for those who love him that no eye has seen, or ear has heard, or that haven't crossed the mind of any human being." (1Corinthians 2:9).

Monday, April 26, 2021

A-Z April Challenge...Letter 'V'


 













                                        V

                                     Version

A new version of myself is coming...slowly.  As hard as it is right now, I am making a new commitment.  God has left me here for a purpose.

I am realizing the future can be appealing.  My circumstances, the excruciating pain, hasn't changed; I am changing.  Embracing reality and releasing control of things I can't control is the new version of me.  Will I have setbacks?  Most definitely!  There are days when I still break down in a grocery store because I see my daughter's favorite food item or I break down while pumping gas because of a song playing.  But this new version of me realizes they aren't setbacks; just evidence of how much I loved.  When you love deeply, you grieve deeply.

"And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will restore you and make you strong, firm, and steadfast." (1Peter 5:10)




Saturday, April 24, 2021

A-Z Challenge...Letter 'U'

 












                                         U

                                 Understand



To live my life to the fullest, I have to understand I have to face the unknown on my own (I know I am not the only one!)  Wishing I had a crystal ball, but I don't.  But then again, I really don't want to see the future.

With this new life I have been handed, I need to understand who I really am. To begin, I need to understand how God sees me.  God created me to be all I can be.  He doesn't want me to go around 24/7 looking like I have been weaned on dill pickle juice! (ha)  God knows I have been hurt deeply, but I need to remember and understand that God works things out for my good.  HE sees the big picture.  I only have a bird's eye view.










Friday, April 23, 2021

A-Z Challenge...Letter 'T'

 

















                                                                            

                                     T

                                   Trust



Trust God completely.  I believe God wipes every tear from my eyes and HE listens as I cry out to HIM!

Even though I may not understand how we works everything out for my good, especially when I am hurting, I will put my trust in HIS plan.  The 'WHY' I kept rehashing over and over in my mind.  The more I hang out with the 'WHY', the more it consumes me; the less trust I have in God.  Sitting through numerous sermons on trust, God is 100 PERCENT faithful.

My prayer to God is I trust and believe BUT help my unbelief.  Many days Satan really is working overtime and steals my joy.  Trusting in God as I begin to enjoy life.  When I trust God, HE ALWAYS moves on my behalf.








Thursday, April 22, 2021

A-Z Challenge...Letter "S"

 












                                       S

                                Struggle

I am healing and rediscovering myself.  My gut keeps telling me it isn't right to continue down this path. The best way to begin  is to lean on  my Savior.

The struggle is real.  But I have a Savior who is walking through these deep waters with me.

"God  never said the journey would be easy, but HE did say that the arrival would be worthwhile."  (She Rises)   



Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Wednesday Hodgepodge

 



1. Find a penny. Look at the date and tell us something about your life or what you were doing that year? 

Penny date 2003.  I was teaching ...same school I am currently teaching (part-time) and the same subjects...Math 6, Math7, and Pre-Algebra.  Back in 2003 throw in English 8!  I imagine I  was busy with both daughters, who were both involved in school stuff...the band, sports, scholastic bowl,etc.  Busy but how I miss those days!!!  I was currently living in my favorite house EVER!!  have moved twice since then.

2003 a year that I can't remember any major headlines so it must have been a year without drama.

2. Were you given an allowance as a child? Did you have to earn it in some way? Did you learn to save money when you were a child or is that something you figured out as an adult? 

I was not given an allowance when growing up.  No allowance was given till I was a freshmen in college.  Even though I wasn't given an allowance as a child, there were chores to be done and consequences if the chores weren't completed.
Saving money was something I figured out in college and really mostly as an adult.

3. April 23rd is National Take A Chance Day...what's a chance you need or want to take?

A chance I want to take is taking a trip.  But I don't want to drive 6 hrs by myself.  I am just not comfortable (right now anyway) driving a long distance by myself to a place I am not familiar with at all.  Desperately want to meet up with my friends and there is no way geographically  we can hook up without going hours out of the way.  I have even looked at flights and there appears to be no way.  Wanting to go but hesitant.

4. What's some outdated slang you seem to use a little too often?

Two words came to mind.  First word, split.  Let's split when I was ready to leave.  The second word is bummer.  I still use both of these words. 

5. It's National Poetry month and I always like to make us work our brains a little...

Roses are red
Violets are blue
I am thinking about 
Getting a 3rd tattoo

6. Insert your own random thought here. 

I was able to mow the lawn yesterday.  Glad I did because it is cold here and the latest weather report is calling for snow flurries tonight. YIKES!!

Have a great rest of the week!

A-Z Challenge...Letter 'R'

 




















                                             R

                                 Reflections


It is easy to reflect on all of our mistakes and all that didn't go as planned.  Continuously reflecting on all my mistakes or my turmoil/hardships is not healthy.  Don't get me wrong, it is okay to remember the struggle and pain one experiences, but not to dwell on these experiences.  I was beating myself down.

What can I do differently?  Reflect on all the blessings I experience and all the stuff that goes right.  Begin a new reflection which will make me aware of how I am feeling.  Where I am now isn't where I will always be.


Today's blessings...I held my tongue, no road rage, talked to friends, watched a ballgame (in person ) last night, didn't spill the container of gas in my truck, looking forward to my Bible Study tonight (which is a huge blessing) , was comforted by a person who went through the loss of a child as I did, had lunch with a friend, etc. 


Tomorrow is a new day and the slate is wiped clean for more blessings to flow.


Tuesday, April 20, 2021

A-Z Challenge...Letter 'Q'

 






















                                            Q

                                    Quietness

Quietness is not for me.  Always been a person who has to have some noise in the background whether it is music blaring or the television on (even though I am not watching).

A couple of weeks ago the sun was shining, and I sat on the steps basking in the warmth of the sun on my face.  I quickly realized I had left my phone inside.  But I just sat there.  Being quiet is a choice and I chose to be quiet.  My mind has been in overdrive for many years. My brain keeps many tabs open! Even though I start my day reading my devotions and prayer, this really isn't quiet time (shame on me but sometimes I catch myself thinking about other things!).  I really don't spend enough time being very quiet. On this particular day it was close to 2pm, and I MADE myself sit there quietly.  Distractions are everywhere, so when I say I made myself be quiet, I really had to focus on the quietness. 



I used this time to allow my heart to connect with God's heart. I quieted my mind so I could listen to HIM.  God speaks to me, but I don't hear him because I am not listening.  Quiet Me!  I need to listen for God's Voice; HE has something to say.

Really don't know how long I sat and was quiet on this particular day, but it is something I will do more often...put away my phone, put away my book/kindle, and train my brain to just sit and not think.  Just sit quietly and tell God I am listening.  HE has something to say and HE wants me to listen to HIM.

Monday, April 19, 2021

A-Z Challenge...Letter 'P'

 












                                           P

                                  Promise

People make promises that fall short, but we are human.  Maybe we didn't intentionally mean to break the promise, but we did.

A new beginning, a new page of God's promises.  Occasionally my brain needs jogged of God's promises.  God ALWAYS makes a way even when I see no way.  HE gives me strength, peace, and joy.

Knowing I serve a God who keeps his promises, is enough to get me through another day.



Saturday, April 17, 2021

April A-Z Challenge...Letter 'O'

 












                                          O

                      Open My Eyes and Heart


   Opening my eyes requires me to take notice.  I asked myself what would I miss seeing if I woke up one morning and could not see.  I would miss my ability to move around freely, to drive a vehicle, to read a book, to see the smiles on my grandkids, to see the beauty of a sunrise/sunset...  Ordinary beauty I take for granted daily.

 I was too wrapped up in my own little world.  God created a beautiful world for me to enjoy.  My new beginning is taking a few minutes to see all the beauty around me and thank God for his creation.

Not only have I missed out on the everyday beauty, but I also started thinking about my spiritual blindness.  Spiritual blindness is a great tragedy.  I, on the other hand, want to have more spiritual vision.  To have more faith and open my heart more.

My new start is to open my eyes and heart to see beyond what is in this world.



                

Friday, April 16, 2021

April A-Z Challenge...Letter 'N'

 


                                      N

                                   New Start


A new start...A really new start.

"Sometimes you have to let go of the picture of what you thought it would be like and learn to find joy in the story you are actually living." (Rachel Marie Martin)  My future, the one I dreamed of and planned for, didn't come to fruition.  The pain that I never wanted to experience, came without any warning.  Because??  Life happens.

My daughter, Amanda, invited me to go with her to Pound.  Pound is an exercise class using weighted drumsticks while pounding on a yoga mat.  After Amanda's death, I was reluctant to go back to Pound.  But one evening, I showed up.  My mat took a beating...it was in shreds!!  Later that evening when I got home, I felt guilty.  Why?  This was something she and I did together and I felt happy. 
Exercising releases chemicals that make you feel happy and I did.  I had nothing to feel guilty about; this was Satan trying to steal my joy.

My new start is really saying to myself that it is okay to have fun and laugh again.


When people see me out and about and I am laughing, I sense what they are thinking.  How is she laughing/smiling?  How is she even walking with all she has been through?  Why hasn't she lost her mind?

Losing my husband to cancer, and the next year losing my daughter, the unimaginable loss, the pain is with me every second of everyday.  The pain never leaves me alone, but I have come to realize I can be in pain and happy at the same time.

People are watching me through this journey and asking, How?  When they ask (I am sure they will-just their look tells me), I have an answer.  Jesus is my helper.

This new start, I am surviving with God's help every single day.

 












Thursday, April 15, 2021

April A-Z Challenge...Letter 'M'

 


Halfway there!!


                                        M

                                             Moving Forward


Moving forward is requiring me to increase my faith.  In spite of my circumstances, I have to accept the cards I have been dealt.  Hard?  You betcha! at least for me.



I struggled with moving forward; I thought it meant forgetting.  But it doesn't.  To me, I decided what moving forward looks like which is:  I will grieve and feel the loss of my loved ones forever, I will always be reminded of them throughout my life, I will find my new normal and embrace it, and moving forward is honoring my husband and precious daughter by finding something beautiful in life and enjoying it.

By putting my faith and trust in God, I can do this.  There is purpose and meaning in life; I just have to take that first step of faith and move forward.

"Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase." Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.


Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Wednesday Hodgepodge

Thank you Joyce!! 1. What is something you currently find 'taxing'? I am dealing with a toxic situation. It is taking its toll on me but I am so thankful for friends that let me talk about this and cry on their shoulders. 2. I've seen this question asked in various forms on several social media sites...you can only keep three- coffee, jewelry, tacos, wine, books, dogs, chocolate, Netflix, make-up, leggings, cheese, cats Which three do you keep and how easy or hard was it for you to decide? Books because I love to read. I do own a Kindle but there is something about holding a book and I underline and make notes, Wine is used to calm me down and relax me, Coffee for my brain to function in the mornings and to get meenergized. 3. Tell us something you know or have learned about forgiveness? Forgiveness is hard (at least for me} especially when the offense is fresh. My prayers have been asking God to soften my heart so I can forgive them and I bless the persons who have committed the offense. Just because I forgive, doesn't mean I justify their behavior. Forgiveness releasesall bitterness I have toward them and gives me peace. Jesus was falsely accused of a crime and crucified. As he hung on the cross he said, "Father, forgive them for they don't know what they're doing. (Luke 23:34) God forgave ME! 4. What's something you'd recommend that is often overlooked and under appreciated? Bread ties...I bet you didn't think of that!!! Bread ties have many uses: put it on the end of tape (especially duct tape) and ta da!! you never have to try and get it started again, to keep cords separated, use as a book marker, to keep cords secure around appliances, and I have even used them for wine glass charmers. 5. Give us a favorite word that starts with letter K and tell us why this is the one you chose. K for Kindness.We all have had bad days, but when someone displays kindess my day is turned around. Kindness is a ripple effect...have you ever gone through a drive-thru and someone pays for your order? I have, and then I pay for the order behind me. This world would be a little better if we all showed kindness. So be the I in kindness. 6. Insert your own random thought here. A student asked me yesterday how many weeks we had left in this school year. When I looked at the calendar,I was amazed...only 5 weeks left after this week!! Gosh! it has been a trying year,but we are making it! Have a great rest of the week.

April A-Z Challenge...the letter 'L'

 












                                               L

                                    Letting Go



Letting go of the hurt people have caused is necessary for me to have a new beginning.

Letting go involves: 1. Quit wondering why I am the target.  I will probably never know but dwelling on it doesn't help and 2. I need to remember what a person says or their actions is really a reflection on them and not me. 


To begin to really enjoy life, I need to let go and quit dwelling on the hurt.  Many days and nights I spent agonizing over people and their actions which is/was completely out of my control.  Reaching out to them and trying was not working.  Some people one can't reason with and you just have to walk away.



Holding on to this hurt (with no remorse on their part), was only bringing me down.  Letting go of the hurt/pain opened up space for something better.  Does it still hurt?  Yes, but it will take time.  In my prayers, I pray for their soul and I forgive.  Forgiveness doesn't mean I justify their  behavior, but it releases the toxic person from me.

I am committed to not letting Satan (he works through people) steal my joy. 









Tuesday, April 13, 2021

April A-Z Challenge...Letter 'K'

 

                                             K

                                                   Keep On




This world, my life, with all the trials and tribulations make it so easy for me to throw in the towel.



To keep on this path, I need to keep my focus on God.  To keep on trusting his plan for my life and climbing that mountain.  There are so many days when my feet won't bulge but I make myself take that one step out of the valley.  Keep on pushing myself forward because I don't like staying in the valley of gloom and doom.


Keep on trudging and climbing this mountain one day/one minute at a time.  I may stop momentarily but will get back up.  Why?  I am trusting God there will be a light at the end of this tunnel...my new beginning.








Monday, April 12, 2021

April A-Z Challenge... Letter 'J'

 












                                          J

                                                   Journey

Mr. Webster defines journey as a passage from one place to another.  My grief journey will always be an on going journey.  Final destination will be when I see my loved ones again.

My passage is learning to live/adapt to this 'new normal'.  Each day will be new and different.  Some days I will be like a turtle that retracts my head back into my shell and other days I will be like a falcon.


This journey, new beginning, is rough, but I asking God to tightly hold my hand.  I want him to hold my hand because if I hold his I might let go. And when those days come that are too rough for me just pick me up and carry me.


God holds me in the palm of his hand as I journey through this new beginning.


Saturday, April 10, 2021

April A- Z Challenge....Presenting the letter 'I'

 












                                                    I

                                              Inspire

My life has been completely shaken up, changed, and rearranged.  Thinking about a new beginning is  because of my painful ending.  I know I have to get out of this rut and begin to live; as much as I wanted the world to stop; it didn't.

Late one evening I began talking to myself and feeling down.  It is just me...so I really don't have anyone to encourage me.  I began thinking, What can I do?

Here are the things I have been doing:


Get out of the house!!!  I go to school (teach part-time), to church, and maybe to pick up something quick from the grocery store and that is about it.  These walls were caving in on me.  I began walking in the town park again...(it was hard walking by myself).  Even on cool days when it is too cool to walk at the park, I walk around my house.  Many times I stand in my driveway and watch traffic go by.  I contacted a friend and we had lunch one afternoon. 


I have never been a person who journals, but I began.  When I can't sleep (which is most nights) because my brain won't turn off (constantly on repeat), I start writing.  I write down everything I am thinking.  Just dump my brain.



My morning devotions have been a part of my routine for years.  I have been studying the book of Psalms.  Crying out to God and praising HIM each morning is how I begin my days.



I have always been a reader, but I always read for pleasure.  Now, I read about people who demonstrated huge amounts of faith in trying times while going through their own personal trials.  I ain't the only one, ya'll!!


Even though, there are some things I have started doing, I will praise God in this storm.  He is my inspiration as I begin my new beginning.

Wednesday Hodgepodge

  1. Volume 478. Sounds like a lot. Where were you in  1978 ? If you weren't born where were you in 2008?  I was in my 2nd year of colle...