Song of the Week — Golden by Jill Scott

In spite of challenges I am living my life like it’s GOLDEN! Thankful for my freedom, new opportunities, and an encouraging group of friends and loved ones that keep me pushing to be greater.

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NaNoWriMo 2011 Crazy!

 

 

 

I’m so excited to be participating in the NaNoWriMo 2011 Challenge!  I have always wanted to write a complete novel and the stars have lined up to allow me to try.  I can’t wait to see where this goes.  I just want to prove to myself that I can do it!  Perhaps you would like to do this too?  Just visit http://www.nanowrimo.org and register to write — it’s FREE!!!

So look out here for updates about my writing progress during the month of November!

 

 

 

My Fuel Comes From The Bible — Just Be Enough post

My fuel comes from the Bible. In fact, I know I would not have made it through the week without it! We moved my Father-in-law to Hospice care on Friday night and I took comfort in my Bible.

Every time I felt weak, the words make me stronger. When I was tired, the scriptures energize me. In my time of need, I was granted help from its words. When I was depleted, the Psalms lift me. As I searched for wisdom, Proverbs guided me. When I needed perspective Ecclesiastes 3:1-9 reminded me, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens. …”

The Bible has been my fuel. It cost me nothing. It fed my soul. It helped me through these difficult days. It guided me through the darkness and it restored my soul!

Next week’s prompt: Five Things That Make You Smile?


Saying Goodbye to a Dying Parent

Last week was difficult on the home front. We spent the bulk of the week waiting to find out if my Mother’s Breast Cancer had been completely removed and waiting to find out what was actually wrong with my Father-in-law. As an adult with a family of my own, nothing is more scary than waiting to hear about the health of a parent. Adult children never fully understand what it means to be the caretaker of your own parents until it is necessary and even with the best intentions — you are never really prepared for all that it entails. The thought of losing a parent is terrifying and there is nothing like the loss of a parent. I consider myself fortunate that my Father passed quickly and without prolonged suffering or pain.

So this week my husband and me waited on pins and needles for the test results for our parents. Wednesday mornings jubilee about my Mom being cancer free was followed by a flow of great news about my Father-in-law’s spirits and responsiveness to new treatment and a flurry of visits from his life long friends.

By Friday morning, our lives were turned upside down. Our daughter woke up and I discovered that she had Hand Foot and Mouth disease, and that bad news was followed by a flurry of telephone calls that my Father-in-law had not been as lucky as my Mom and he was diagnosed with inoperable Lymphoma. Obviously, we didn’t see that coming, so our triumphs rapidly turned to pain and fear. Hospice care was called and he was transported to PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center’s Hospice House because he was too weak to make the journey home to the San Juan Islands.

So we purchased our tickets and headed up to Bellingham, WA to say goodbye to my Father-in-law. With little sleep and making arrangements for my children to get to and from their games, practices, and school, it didn’t hit me until we transferred to the commuter plane from Seattle to Bellingham that we were going to spend our last moments with my father-in-law and my husband would have neither of his birth parents.

When we arrived to see my father-in-law, his eyes lit up and it was truly a beautiful moment. My husband had the opportunity to say the things he needed to say to his Dad and his Dad had the opportunity to say the things that my hubby needed to hear.

The emotions that we’ve experienced in the past few days have been all over the map. The old hurts no longer mattered. The telephone calls we forgot to make linger in our minds of course, but at the end of the day the only thing that mattered is LOVE! He knew that he was loved and our lives will not be the same without him.

The process of saying goodbye, left many thoughts in my mind about the way that my husband and me show our love for our children, how we shelter our children and how we still have my Mom and Step-Mother-in-law to care for as they age and go forward living without the two men that were the loves of their lives. This process reminded us that we need to revisit our own arrangements for burial and how important it is to make sure that our family knows what we want for our final arrangements. My Father-in-law was very clear about what he wanted and that has been the greatest thing for all of us as we struggled and watched him slip away to go lightly in the night to the heralds of angels.

Letter to Me ~ Just Be Enough post

Dear Sammie,

I am sure that you are doing well, but by the time you read your life will have changed so much. I just wanted to tell you how proud I am that you have worked so hard to heal yourself and to be a great role model for your children. They are grown now and the time went so fast with them. The trials and triumphs you have helped them face are your badge of courage and your ode to motherhood.

You have raised three wonderful, amazing, resilient children that have overcome disappointments, learning challenges and the loss of their grandparents. It has been through your love, successes and mistakes that these beautiful children have grown to be loyal, truthful, affectionate, intelligent adults. I point this out because they have become this way in spite of your fears that your parenting skills may not have been enough.

Well, with the children all grown now it is officially your time to do all of those things that you have wanted to do but couldn’t or didn’t because of the kids needs. I’m so proud of your recent accomplishments of finishing your novel, and releasing the third edition of your Helping Children With Trauma training guide.

It’s your time to bask in the sun and enjoy the fruits of your labor, now understanding and truly believing what you did for your family was always enough!

Love always,

Sammie

NO EXCUSES! ~ I Won’t Complain

This video made me think of my Song of the Week. A few weeks ago one of our Pastors showed us this clip called NO EXCUSES during our Worship Service. It stayed with me and it really made me reflect on my life and the excuses I’ve made for not taking chances and not living up to my full potential.

It is so easy for me to get caught up in all of the negative things around me.

The economy is failing, my youngest son is struggling in school, my daughter is excelling in both academics and sports and the costs to keep her engaged are rising, my oldest son is preparing to attend Santa Clara University or Loyola Marymount next fall. On the health front my Mom’s recurrence of Breast Cancer is a downer. I assure you the litany of things to complain about is as long as my arm, but I won’t waste the energy! My energy will be used to learn the lessons that GOD has put before me to learn. My energy will be used to help someone who is in need and has less than me. My energy will be used to praise GOD for the simple things he grants me and to praise him for the love of my family, friends, co-workers.

My Song of the Week is I Won’t Complain

“GOD has been good to me. He’s been so good to me. More than this old world or you could ever be. He’s been so good to me. He dried all my tears away, turned midnights into day. So I’ll just say Thank You Lord …”

What is burdening you today? Are you focused on the problem or the solution? What is it that YOU really want to do with your life? FOCUS — NO EXCUSES — JUST DO IT!

5 Ways To Stand Strong When Dealing with Adversity

 

  1. Admit The Truth (Self-reflection) ~ Take time for yourself to evaluate the problem.  Be truthful and don’t sugar-coat whatever is going on!  Look at what is happening objectively.  Is there an instant answer to your problem?  If so, what do you need to do to change your negative situation into a positive situation.
  2. Pray for Guidance ~ Ask GOD or your high-power for guidance.  Focus on releasing the stress associated with the problem and resolving to remain calm knowing that GOD and the universe are working for your good.  Accept that you are not in control of the entire situation and resolve to step out on faith.
  3. Face Your Fears ~ Admit your feelings.  It is okay to be afraid, uncertain or scared when faced with adversity.  Think of the worse case scenario and focus on resolutions that will prevent that from occurring.
  4. Ask For Support ~ Tell your family and friends what is going on.  Don’t shut out your loved ones They can be a great support to you and they might just be able to do more than offer a shoulder to cry on, they may have access to resources that you need during this difficult time.
  5. Forgive Others and Yourself if Necessary ~ Analyze where you went wrong and find out all of the facts about the problem.  Forgive others if they are at fault and forgive yourself if necessary.  Forgiveness is a major step in going forward to begin the healing process.  Accept responsibility for your part in the problem, acknowledge your mistake, learn the lessons you need to learn from the situation and move forward!

 

 

 

 

Beyond the Shock (Breast Cancer Informational Video)

Finding out that you or a loved one has cancer is life-altering!  Anger, confusion, shock, denial and hopelessness are common feelings after receiving a diagnosis.  Most of these feeling are the result of being faced with the unknown.  Questions rapidly come to mind like:  Am I going to die?  What should I do next?  What kind of treatments are there?  What type of treatment will be best for me?  Well, there are all types of answers to these questions that can be found in the attached video called Beyond The Shock.

“Beyond The Shock is a global online educational resource that includes easy-to-understand informational videos, stories from breast cancer survivors, and a community Q&A.”  Please take a moment to watch and share with a friend or loved one.

http://www.beyondtheshock.com/

I Knew I Had To Heal (Just Be Enough)

After six years of silence I knew I had to deal with the truth. The time had come for me to stop living in denial and tell my loved ones the source of my unhappiness, weight gain and sudden introverted behavior.

I came to the decision just as abruptly as I had assaulted the innocent man in the grocery store. I had been shopping with my toddler at the time, when I man walking behind me said, “What a cutie?” His voice gave me chills and left me paralyzed in the shopping isle. I stood motionless until he reached out his hand to play with my baby and I lost it. I mean, I completely lost it! I pushed him away, began throwing cans at him all the while screaming, “You raped me!” His voice and actions had taken me back to that terrible night when I was raped in the dorms at college. He was not my rapist, but in that moment, that innocent man was guilty because of his words and actions. The way that he’d snuck up on me from behind had transformed him into the object of all my hatred.

It was at that moment I knew if I didn’t break my silence I would never heal! In that moment I screamed the words that yelled quietly deep within my soul for years. It was the moment I cried for the innocence that I’d lost and my desire to keep my baby safe was greater than my need to continue to suffer in silence.

This innocent man was gracious and did not press charges against me. He was extremely understanding of what was happening, even though I didn’t understand it myself at the time. I finally told my parents what had happened and I went to counseling to treat my Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

The mind is a wonderful protector of our soul and I was blessed to have the time I needed to deal with the trauma I’d suffered until I knew deep inside that I finally had the courage to heal! Individual and group therapy has done wonders for me. I’ve since learned that I am not the tragedy that happened to me. I am resilient. I am tough. I am courageous and I am enough!


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Next week’s prompt: Write a letter to
your future self or your child.
(Remember you can also write on a topic of your choice.)