Sunday, January 29, 2017

It's Gonna Be Okay!

How many times in your life have you just thought :
"I can't go another step!"
"This is too hard!"
"I've had enough!"
"Why me?"
"When is life gonna get better?"
"When will I ever find that special someone?"
"Why can't my kids treat me with respect?"
"I can't do this anymore!"
"Can't I just stay in bed all day and not worry about anything?"
"I don't want to 'life' today."

There are about a million different sayings that I could add to this list, so yeah, this is what I would call the "short list" of wanting to "tap out" of the situations that Life throws our way.  We get discouraged about how things are going at our current time in life and don't think we can go any further on our path.

My sister recently had these feelings over the holiday season.  She expressed a deep desire to hibernate until June and just let Christmas pass by.  She didn't even decorate until about the 23rd.  She told me so many things that were happening in her home that just made me want to cry!  I wanted to help her in some small way, but I was powerless to do anything more than let her cry on my shoulder.

Right now my daughter is going through a rough spot with her schooling.  She wants to major in a subject that isn't offered from the university she is currently attending.  When she was given the news that she would have to go out of state to complete her degree she was completely devastated!  She didn't want to leave her family and the many friends that she has made so far.  I felt so bad that again, the only thing that I could do is let her cry to me while talking on the phone.

Then there is my dear friend who came to me confused on how to progress with a new and budding relationship.  She was struck with how strong her feelings could be toward someone else, but she was so anxious to know how the person felt about her.  The biggest thing is trying to be patient and let the other person take the "ball" and run with it.  The best that I could help her with was to tell her to be patient and let the other person take the next step.  This is "killing" my dear friend.

Then there is my hubby's friend who has been "knocked" down by the judicial system.  He is in desperate need of disability pay so he can support his family.  He was injured while working and was not properly compensated by the company.  He has been out of work and trying to get disability pay, but he was once again turned down.  This has left him with a frantic need to get some kind of work to support his young family.

There are so many stories that I can relate that I have come into contact with in just these past two months.  With each person I talk to about their situation I feel inadequate in my attempts to help them feel better about who they are and the things they are going through.  Each person feels so down and like they just can't go another step, that life is too hard, that they don't know what else they can do to make it another day.  They are tired of pretending that life is ok.

Well, I am here to tell each of my personal acquaintances, family, friends, and just plain YOU, that everything is gonna be ok.  No matter what you are going through right this very minute, it's gonna be ok.  You may feel like throwing in the towel, but I am here to tell you DON'T!  Hang in there.  Things will start to get better.  Just hang on, it's gonna be ok.

My hubby got me an amazing CD for my birthday from the Piano Guys.  On this particular CD is a song that is just amazing, in fact I haven't been able to get this song out of my head today.  That is why I am sharing this blog with you today, so you will get this song stuck in your head as well.  It will make you take a step back and take a different perspective on the situation that you are facing right now.  Pay close attention to the chorus of the song.  I promise that even if you have heard it before, you will see life with new eyes and realize that things really are gonna be ok.
Image result for piano guys
Click here for the Piano Guys "Okay"
Doubt is a broken record that plays inside my head.
I try to turn it down, but I can't quite drown it out.
I'm tortured everyday, these never ending worries, Pulling on my sleeves.
So many times now I was supposed to tap out.
All the walls would fall down around me.
All anybody would tell me, Is all that bad news how it's gonna fall through.
But no matter what they say or what they say,
It's gonna be, gonna be, OKAY! (a a a ay 3x).
It's gonna be, gonna be, OKAY! (a a a ay 3x).
No matter what you've been through here you are.
No matter if you think you're falling apart.
It's gonna be, OKAY!
And there is a battle raging in your heart but you must win.
It comes for all of us, saying we are not enough.
So fight for your life. The worlds gonna try.
To sell you some lies.
No matter what you've been through here you are.
No matter if you think you're falling apart.
It's gonna be, gonna be, OKAY! (a a a ay 3x).
It's gonna be, OKAY!
WOAH, WOAH, WOAH! (It's gonna be, gonna be)
WOAH, WOAH, WOAH! (It's gonna be, OKAY!)
WOAH, WOAH, WOAH! (It's gonna be, gonna be)
WOAH, WOAH, WOAH! (It's gonna be, OKAY!)
I LOVE the energy these men put into this message! I know they are not perfect people and they suffer from the same trials that we do each and every day. But, WOW!!! They have captured the determination to make a difference in their own lives. I encourage each of you to do the same.

As a follow-up to each of the situations I mentioned above:
  • My sister found her ability to survive! She pulled herself up by her figurative bootstraps and muscled through the tough times and made Christmas great for her family.  She found a way to look outside herself, and make things great for the people she was around.  In helping others to feel better, and that they really matter in her life, she was able to change how she was feeling and is now more positive about her situation.
  • My daughter took the steps she needed to and discovered she will be able to stay at the current university she is attending for another couple years before going on to get her Master's Degree in her desired field. Will it be hard for her? Heck yes! But she decided to take control of her life and see what is good about the situation.
  • My dear friend that is waiting for the guy to get a clue - well, only time will tell if he really will take the next step and at least get to know her for who she is. As she said before, the ball is in his court now, she just needs to take a step back and be patient. Meanwhile, she isn't about to put her life on hold because of his indecision to take the next step. (My advice, as a side-note, to this guy is to stop being worried or afraid of what "might" or "might-not" happen. Take a chance, or the risk, to let your feelings show. She isn't asking for "forever", she is just asking for your friendship and the possibilities that may come from it. Go ahead, take the leap of faith, you never know what good will come from it. If you don't, you'll not know what you're missing out on.)
  • As for my hubby's friend who has been "knocked down" time after time, he will be given a second chance to prove he is a good man. He has decided to get back in the game, no matter what anyone else tells him. He will survive the trials he has been given because he realized that someone cares enough to give that second chance to him.
I am here to tell each of you that if you are so tired that you feel you need to "tap out" - HANG ON!! The trials that you are going through right now are shaping you into the person that you need to be. You will be stronger. You will be wiser. But, most of all, you will be a survivor!! 

As the song stated "The worlds gonna try to sell you some lies."  The world would have you believe that you are not good enough at anything and that you should just give up.  I challenge each of you to take a stand and tell the world "NO!  I WILL SURVIVE!  I AM GOOD ENOUGH!"  You need to "fight for your life", don't believe what the world is telling you.  You were born for greatness.  You CAN DO HARD THINGS!  Find the strength to reach for that greatness within yourself.  But most of all, ALWAYS remember:

"No matter what you've been through here you are.
No matter if you think you're falling apart.
It's gonna be, gonna be, OKAY!"

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Taking Responsibility For Your Own Choices

I noticed that it has been a while since I last wrote and feel that I need to get back in the saddle so to speak.  Life gets super crazy at times, and with the continued snow fall, resulting snow days, schedule shifting to accommodate extra children, as well as daily life, I let my posts get a little behind.  My brother, who lives in Texas, sent me a "meme" (I always have a hard time knowing exactly what to call these things cuz I just don't know - hahahaha) that is really pretty accurate to the amount of snow we have received in the last 3 weeks.  (Ok, only a slight exaggeration!) 
This next picture is of the sled hill that my hubby made for the children.  As you can see, the starting point is really high (at least 4ft tall)!  We have also had to "rake" snow off our roof so the silly thing won't collapse on top of us.  Ahhh, snow, got to love it!

Anyhow, I am here now to remedy that tragic chain of events that has led to my neglect of my devoted readers.  I just have a difficult time nailing down exactly I would like to write about today.  

I have recently become passionate about the importance of standing up for what is good and right.  Basically standing up for what you believe in and taking responsibility for your own choices and not blaming others for your own stupid mistakes.  But I remembered that I already posted those thoughts in previous posts.  (For my insights on these topics click here, and here.  There may be a couple of others, but I can't really choose which ones to site - they are all pretty good.)  When I really think back on my posts, I am shocked that I really haven't addressed this issue - Taking Responsibility For Your Own Choices. 

I was recently accused of "making" someone make a "bad choice" just because of a decision that I chose to make.  I made the decision I did in order to protect my family.  My choice was not bad, but it did affect others.  I know that when choices are made, those choices affect others either for good or for bad.  HOWEVER, just because you make the choice, and the other people choose to make a poor choice, doesn't mean that you are now responsible for their poor choices.  THEY are the ones that are responsible for their own actions and need to be mature enough to take that responsibility and not place blame for their choices on other people.  The only person that can be truly held accountable for your choices - good or bad - is YOU.  Quit trying to blame others for your own stupidity! 

My oldest recently called me in tears and not knowing what she should do.  She expressed a sincere desire to know what she should do for her future and how she should do it.  I was currently working on a puzzle and was having a difficult time of it when I said "this is a difficult puzzle!"  and she responded "What? My life!?!"

Life is a crazy sort of puzzle that we are all trying to put together.  You know what it's supposed to look like, and you really liked the picture on the box, so you got the puzzle.  However, you open the box to find that all pieces are TINY and there are a bazillion of them!  You start to wonder how on earth you are EVER gonna get that thing to look like the picture on the box.  One simple solution - ONE PIECE AT A TIME.

So, how do you put together the puzzle we call life?  Simple, one piece at a time.  When you start to feel overwhelmed with the tough choices in life, take a deep breath, take a step back, and look at what you already have in place.  It is also good to have the support of great friends that can help you through the rough spots.  Sometimes the pieces will fit in quickly, while at others, those pieces are so stubborn that it seems as if the one piece you are looking for took a trip to Florida! Eventually you will find the correct "pieces" and where they are supposed to go. 

So, I guess what I am really trying to say in this post is, life is tough any way you choose to look at it.  You may have a "life puzzle" that has only 24 pieces in it (lucky you!) or your life may be a 1000 pieces that will take (almost) forever to figure out.  You ARE going to make stupid choices while putting together your "life puzzle", but you need to remember to take responsibility for ALL the choices you do make.  Quit whining and blaming others for when life isn't going your way, in essence, turn your current "life puzzle piece" around and see if it fits another way or in a different spot.  Sometimes you will feel that the current piece you are working on doesn't fit into your "life puzzle", that it belongs to some other puzzle, well, that may be true, but then again, your choices are yours, no one else's.  Even the poor choices we make are part of who we are and they will help to make our puzzle complete.
Image result for completed puzzle 
May you enjoy the puzzle you have been given.  When it is complete you will sit back and say to yourself "WOW!  That was really hard, but look what an amazing picture it made!"  I for one am really excited to see what my completed "life puzzle" will turn out to be.  I haven't been a perfect "angle", and I have definitely made some pretty terrible choices in life, but I know that without the good and bad choices I have made, I wouldn't be the person I am today.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Snow Day?

Where you live, do you get snow?  If so, how much?  Do the schools call a "snow day" for the safety of the children and faculty?  If this is you, then congratulations!  You are better off than where I live.

You see, I woke up this morning to about 4 inches of the fluffy white stuff that was a bugger to shovel.  That was AFTER my hubby blew away the first 6 inches only 45 minutes before I started my shoveling debut.  Yeah, I am reminded of the pictures on the internet of the comparison of South verses Midwest.  I am here to tell you that when you see a car piled high with about a foot of snow on top, the pictures have NOT been doctored in any way.  We people out here in the Midwest really are like, "Ok.  Grab the shovels.  Dig it out.  Get to school/work!"

I had to tease my brother, who currently lives in Texas where they maybe get a slight frost on their car windows, with a picture of my van that is more than words can say.  Well, take a look for yourself:

My brother LOVES to snowmobile!  He would be on the slopes right now if he were here in Utah, but he is in mild weather Texas where they don't even know what a snow-scraper is.  In fact, he received a snow-scraper in his stocking for Christmas as a joke, kinda, and he said that he has actually used a snow-scraper on the cars at church cuz all the women were breaking their credit cards in an effort to get the job done.  He said the stores don't carry them at all!  Wow!  I can't walk into the grocery store without tripping over a display for the things in all different varieties!

Back to the "snow day" thing though.  I was lucky enough to have a neighbor drive my little guy to school for me, because I was still not tunneled out of my driveway.  In the afternoon I wasn't so fortunate.  I had just finished digging out my driveway for the third time and was on my way to pick up my little guy from school.  On the way there I saw something that I didn't think I would EVER see in my lifetime.  It is something that I thought was only made up in Photoshop to get laughs and giggles on the internet.  NOPE!  This was real life!  I was witness to a snowplow that had gotten stuck in the snow and had to be dug out using snow shovels.  Now I ask you, if the snow is that bad, why didn't the schools call a snow day?!?  Not only did the snowplow get stuck, but there were several cars that had gotten stuck in the process of picking up their children from school

I actually did ask what constitutes as a "snow day" and how they determine when to cancel school.  This was the description that was given to me, well, at least this is what I deciphered from the description I was given.  So, in my opinion, the temperature has to be -40 degrees F, the snowdrifts need to be AT LEAST 6 feet high, AND the wind has to be blowing so hard that you have trouble staying on your feet.  I think a "snow day" needs to be decided based on the safety concerns for the students and faculty.  If everyone is sliding off the roads, especially the snowplows, and can't make it safely to the school, I think it's time to call it a day!  Stay home with your children and build the most awesome snow hills ever!

I decided that if I wake up tomorrow morning and I can't see my van, I'm calling a Mamma Snow Day and staying home with my little tikes to play in the snow.  We will get soaked sliding down the hill that my hubby is currently building with the children and making snow angels.  (My hubby even literally "blew-up" a snow tube for them to ride down the hill on.  Good thing we had two, now we're down to one, but still just as fun!)  After we are exhausted from our fun in the snow we will warm up with cups of hot cocoa and marshmallows, snuggle on the couch and read stories the rest of the day.  I don't know about you, but that sounds way more safe and fun then getting stuck in the snow behind a snowplow that has to be dug out with a shovel!

So to all you Southerners, I hope you enjoy your mild weather, and to all you Canadians and Midwesterner's, good luck digging out and heading to work.  I hope you get the chance to declare a snow day of your own!