Gratitude Journal #6 ~ Thankful for Chaos

What a week and I am grateful even among the chaos of overscheduling!  This week has been incredibly busy.  My smaller children are blessed with wonderful activities and friends and we have been so busy that I haven’t even had time to be stressed.

My 21-year-old gave a message at Church this Sunday for their Campus Ministry Retreat this weekend. PROUD can’t describe how I felt with what he shared. Just a year ago, he attended that retreat and three months later he was baptized and gave his life and worries to the LORD!

Baseball session is in full swing and my 11-year-old’s coaches are WONDERFUL!  He has three practices a week and his confidence is really blossoming under their guidance.

My 10-year-old daughter served as the Mistress of Ceremonies at her school’s Black History Month Program on Wednesday, followed by a meeting to discuss her academic plan and current GATE status and we ended the night with her induction into the Citywide Honor Roll.

My husband has been extremely supportive and my friends have rallied around to support me during this uncomfortable time and period of waiting.

I am grateful for all that I have and all that I am.  But most of all I am grateful to know whatever happens I am loved and I have a great supportive people around me.

That’s all for this week.

Love,

Sammie

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Song of the Week ~ Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

Ah, I remember a time when my life was so much simpler. ;I dreamed of being a writer in living in Paris. ;Drunken nights after hours of dancing with my friends. ;Learning about life according to my schedule. ;Absorbing beautiful rays of sun and living life and having fun!

This song came out in 1983 when I was in high school. ;I danced with abandon whenever I heard Cyndi squeal, “They just wanna, they just wanna!” ;Well its 29 years later and I am claiming this as my anthem for the week. ;CHANGE IS COMING I can feel it and I am gonna live each day as if it was my last!

LYRICS:

I come home in the morning light
My mother says when you gonna live your life right
Oh mother dear we’re not the fortunate ones
And girls they want to have fun
Oh girls just want to have fun

The phone rings in the middle of the night
My father yells what you gonna do with your life
Oh daddy dear you know you’re still number one
But girls they want to have fun
Oh girls just want to have

That’s all they really want
Some fun
When the working day is done
Girls – they want to have fun
Oh girls just want to have fun

Some boys take a beautiful girl
And hide her away from the rest of the world
I want to be the one to walk in the sun
Oh girls they want to have fun
Oh girls just want to have

That’s all they really want
Some fun
When the working day is done
Girls – they want to have fun
Oh girls just want to have fun,
They want to have fun,
They want to have fun

Reflection on Happiness

“Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.”
Dalai Lama

Happiness is not a fleeting moment that can be captured in a mason’s jar. Happiness is a conscious choice. I believe that to be the case. It’s kind of like mind over matter. I say this after experiencing some of the best and worse times in my life.

As I sit here enjoying yet another day, which will be filled with blessings, I reflect on the choice that I am making to be happy, regardless of the bumps and bruises that I will encounter today. I am cognizant that I am making this choice without the aid of the anti-anxiety medication that I have used for the past six months to help me deal with PTSD and frankly I am okay with that!

Today I choose to be happy. Yes, I said CHOOSE TO BE HAPPY! I choose to be happy because happiness is really my choice. I can choose to dwell on the negative or positive things in my life and right now I am choosing happiness!

There have been so many negative and bad things going on lately but they can not be allowed to outweigh the good and positive things that continue to surround me and bring me joy. I read a brief about the Happiness Project book and I have to admit I was truly inspired to put it into practice in my daily life. So without further adieu:

My Twelve Personal Commandments of Happiness

1. Let it go! (The bitterness of the past arguments, fights and life’s disappointments will only continue to cause problems in the future if I don’t let go of my anger, bitterness and resentment.)

2. Do it now. (There is no time like the present. If I don’t do it, I can’t count on anyone else to do it!)

3. Doing something everyday just for me. (It’s important to take care of my own needs especially since I spend my days taking care of so many other people’s needs — especially my children’s needs first.)

4. Treating others as I desire to be treated. (This really requires me to reflect on item number one so that I can react to people differently.)

5. Enjoying the process. (Too many times I am over-scheduled with too many things that I don’t want to do but I am required to do because of the kids activities. I know I should enjoy things more especially when I see that my kids are enjoying it. I need to take time to remember it’s not always about the end results it’s the process of getting there as well.)

6. Being more open with others. (No longer hiding behind my kids, insecurities to inform others that I can’t participate in things due to lack of money. My family is not the only family dealing with an economic crisis. Sharing my true and honest feelings about things instead of withdrawing from friends and loved ones.)

7. Purging. (Ridding myself of the clutter in my mind, heart, body, closet and house. Things bog me down. Be it purging the things in my mind: ie.. fears, doubts, anger, confusion, desires. Be it purging the things in my home ie… the clutter of holding on to things that are no longer relevant in my life. Purging “things” that create confusion is now a necessity that must go high up on my list of things to do. When there is too much of everything and that feeling of utter confusion occurs, I know it is time to purge because if I don’t it will lead to chaos. Nothing more needs to be said about that.)

8. Venture out into new pastures. (Trying new things, new foods, new friends, immersing into new cultures. Develop a new skill set, try a new job, volunteer for something that will allow me to learn something new.)

9. Decide to have it ALL! (Stop selling my hopes and dreams short and settling for less than I deserve by making the decision to say, “I can’t do that.” I can do anything that I put my mind into figuring out. However, I can’t do it all at one time and I must discern the difference. There will be times in my life where I can dedicate some time and energy to being the best at something else. I need to stop feeling like, if I’m tied up with one thing right now that it means I can’t do specific things. I just need to be patient and know my time is not GOD’s time!)

10. Conquering my fears. (Accepting the unknown and understanding that whatever happens is the way that it was supposed to be.)

11. Honoring my temple. (Listening to myself and my body.)

12. Be grateful. (Being grateful in all things at all times for the lessons that I will learn.)

What will your commitment to happiness be in 2012?

Heartbreak & Gratitude ~ Gratitude Journal #2

This week I am both heartbroken and grateful. I am heartbroken by the death of my friends twenty-one year old son. He was not just their son, he was my son. He was a part of my heart and my life since he was eight. He was my oldest son’s friend, confidant, playmate and teammate. He was our families treasure, our hope, our joy. He was a member of our “family” not by birth but by our choice.

Needless to say I am sad, but I am eternally grateful to have had Richard in my life. I was proud to watch his dreams become reality academically, on the basketball court, and as he created his own family. He will live on in my heart. He will live on in his young wife and their newborn son. He was a gift from GOD. A beautiful perfect gift that I will continue to treasure. I will look to him to comfort his parents, my children, and the entire community of “family” that loved him.

• I will be grateful every time I see the sun shining bright like his smile.

• I will be grateful when I pass the outdoor basketball courts where we used to play.

• I will be grateful for all of the time I had with him before GOD called him away.

• I will be grateful to see little pieces of him in his son’s eyes.

• I will be grateful because I know love never dies!

Rest in Heaven Richard Castillo.
Homecoming January 28, 2012

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