Dealing With The Hard Stuff

It’s December 31, 2016.  Yes, I know it’s been a while since my last post on March 15, 2016. But in my defense, I’ve had a lot going on.  And writing was the last thing on my mind, even though it used to be the first thing I did whenever I was going through something. But things change; believe me, I know. I’ve experienced a lot in 2016 (good and bad) and more than anything, God has shown me that through it all, HE has always protected me. If you guys only knew all that I’ve had to endure, not just in 2016, but also in the last five years. It’s unbelievable that I haven’t lost my mind. And sometimes if felt like I had. But God.  

Lung Force 2016

Enjoying Washington, D.C., 2016

What I can tell you is that my tolerance for negativity is zero. My compassion level is at an all-time high and my need to help others consumes me on a regular basis. I have more patience, more empathy and more room to love.

The last time I wrote, I was about to head to Washington, D.C., as the Alabama state representative for the American Lung Association’s Lung Force Advocacy Day.  It was a fantastic experience and I am so very grateful to have been able to participate.

I had only been on my new job for about two weeks at this point, so I am SO thankful that my bosses allowed me to attend this event, even though I didn’t have ANY vacation days.

Since losing mom in 2012, my life has been a hodgepodge of jobs, life experiences and faith-testing exercises. When I was a kid sitting in church, I used to wonder why the adults would cry and get emotional and “thank God” for all that they’ve been through. Well, at the young age of 47, I get it. Lord knows I’ve been through some stuff and through it all, I have maintained my sanity, I think. But I am certainly a different person. I am the same, but different. Hard to explain. But I am thanking God for all of it and I am more than grateful for my family and my friends and even strangers. I am thankful that I have been able to find a place to worship that meets the needs that I have now, not what I needed then. And I am thankful that old friends have become new friends again.

Celebrating my birthday with Derita and Bryant

My heart is full as I write this because I am wondering what God has in store for me in 2017.  On New Year’s Eve 2015, I wrote about “doing something” and basically, I guess I did do something, I changed my direction.  Last year,  all I asked for was a job that would make me happy and would allow me to get my life back in order. God answered that prayer and it took a while, but not without taking me through some stuff to get there.

Let me just say this, the hard stuff is necessary. It hurts, but it’s necessary. It’s necessary so you can appreciate the good stuff. The hard stuff is needed so you can recognize the good stuff when you see it. The good stuff is better after you’ve endured the hard stuff. Of course I don’t pray for hard things to come my way, but when hard things do appear, I know that the good stuff is just around the corner.

Don’t let the hard stuff get in your way. If God removes something from your life, just know that it’s to make room for what He’s about to give you. Trust me on that one.

I can’t wait to see what God has in store for me in 2017.

Peace, love and blessings!

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Those Good Moments

Lately I’ve been experiencing some really good moments.  And even when things have been bad, I’ve chosen NOT to focus on it. Life is choice-driven. Takes practice and lots of prayers definitely.  BUT, I’m reminded that when things seem awful or difficult they won’t always stay that way.  Though it usually feels as if bad times last forever. I’ve been extremely blessed lately and it has nothing to do with money or things.  And maybe because of the fact that I’ve not had much money or many new things lately I’ve been able to focus on what I do have, which is a lot!

My relationships with my friends and family and general acquaintances have made my life richer.  Since losing my mom to lung cancer in 2012, I’ve really had time to step back and take stock in my life.  Things definitely haven’t gone my way all of the time, but those bumps in the road have been true blessings in disguise. I know folks say that all of the time, but it’s really true for me.  I’ve got an awesome support system, even if I don’t always use it…I still feel as if I’m ‘bothering’ folks. But knowing I can always call on anyone in my circle gives me so much comfort.  Just knowing that provides a ‘good moment’.

My steps are ordered and God continues to prepare me for great and awesome things.  Every day I’m in awe at what He’s doing in my life.  The more I do for God, the better I feel and the richer my life becomes.

Take a minute to think about your good moments.  What do they consist of? Loyal friends and family? Great job opportunity?  New house? New baby? Kids graduate from school?  The best part about this short exercise is taking time to recognize that you’ve got it good…even when it SEEMS bad.  But honestly, how bad is BAD? Many of us have it much better than others.  Be grateful today and bask in those good moments.

Enjoying a beautiful spring day with a NOLA Ice Snoball!

Enjoying a beautiful spring day with a NOLA Ice Snoball!