Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Reflecting and Thankful

The past few days I have found my self reflecting on a journey that began in May of 2012. That was when my ex moved out of our family home. He continued to stop by and paid the bills on our apartment til the lease ran out in July of that year.  During that weekend, my daughter-in-law and I had planned a "Girl's Night" with my friends from Sears and others we knew  in the short time I lived in Warner Robins. We were determined to have a "show must go on" attitude about that evening in spite of the uncertainty ahead. Thank you Megan for standing by my side during that weekend and that summer! My son is blessed you are in his life.

My buddy Becky would drive down from Nashville to spend the weekend with us as well. All of those ladies that surrounded me with love in the midst of all that chaos  -- I am so thankful that God put you in my life during that time.  Emilee, Amy, Brenda, Becky, Megan, Rebecca, Debbie, Jamie, Patsy and Joyce all were blessings to me that weekend supporting me and Megan during a time of turmoil.

Emilee, you were never afraid to pray in front of us at work and that was a true eye-opener for me. It blessed me and I miss you so much and I am very thankful that through facebook we are still able to see what each other is up to.

Amy, Brenda and Rebecca, all three of you were strong-willed women who encouraged me to learn and give that 'cashier job' my all.

Debbie, you took me under your wing in the shoe department and offered a listening ear and encouragement with your steady demeanor and no-nonsense attitude. Thank you!

Jamie - even though you had to work that night and coudn't attend our party, You and I became good friends and stay in contact through facebook as well. I consider you a great friend as well that always tells it like it is.

I have a few other friends outside of my Sears job in Warner Robins and I think of you and sometimes talk to you every week. Sherry, Tiffany, Michele and Natalie -- You are not ever going to be forgotten. When I make it back to Warner Robins, I will do my best to find each of you. Michele that might be a stretch since you have moved to New England.. Your cupcakes were the best I ever ate in Georgia!

You see, what I have learned over and over is that No One is in your life by accident. Everyone has a purpose or a lesson to teach you. Be thankful for those you see everyday and those you rarely see anymore. They are part of the patchwork that builds you up and makes you who you are.  Even the boss who drove you nuts  - she had a purpose.. she was there to make you shine in the ugly times you didn't even realize.  So to that I say thank you to the bosses that drove me crazy.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Joy Everyday

There is Joy in everyday activities. You can choose to be thankful and joyous about the commute to work and the job you have been blessed with.

There are many without a job, car or the ability to work.

Enjoy the outdoor work in the yard, many are homeless and would give anything to have a home to take care of (including the yard work).

Enjoy and treasure the quiet evenings with nothing to do and no where to be. Just enjoy being with someone you care about and the quiet ease that comes with a good relationship.

Simple dinners at home made with love are to be treasured for many have no money for food and go without. If you have someone to share this with you are blessed for many of the world are alone.

Be thankful for what you have, because somewhere there is someone praying for the very things you complain about.

Be a blessing and always choose joy!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

A Hand to Hold

There are many situations that often include holding hands with another person:
Parent & Child
Sisters
Best Friends
Support Person
Husband Wife
Boyfriend Girlfriend

This indicates some sort of connection to another human being and assures you that someone is there for you in some way.

Many things come to mind when I see people holding hands -

The friend holding your hand the day you lost your grandparent in junior high,

The friend you went through school with and you are walking the line to graduate and you are both scared and excited,

The friend sitting with you at the doctor's office waiting on the results,

The friend sitting with you while you fill out paper work to file for divorce,

The friend helping you cope with bad news you just don't know how to process, &

The touch of someone you care about in times of good or bad.. it all helps us feel connected.

Touch is so important to us all.

Be there for someone today even if all you do is hug them, hold their hand and listen, it makes all the difference in the world to that person.

If you are in danger please call 911 immediately!
Please call 1-800-799-7233 for resources near you if you are in a domestic situation and need help.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Moments

Do you take time to enjoy the moments with a friend while out running errands ?

I mean seriously, we are taught to be thankful for every good thing in our lives and I believe that is from friendships, moments of quiet watching a child sleep or even the afternoon nap on a Sunday afternoon.

I have had times in my life where I had few true friends that were allowed inside my home and inner circle. I was afraid if they saw how truly broken and sad I was that they would either pity me or ridicule me. I put up a good front and played the part I thought I was cast to play.  It was a hollow part of my life and I hope to never feel that way again.

I do my best to be genuine and honest with everyone I come in contact with.  Not everyone will see life, goals, faith, money or business with my exact viewpoint, but someone with a heart to be my friend will take all of me as is and through that friendship, they might just help me heal another relationship in my life.

I am choosing daily to enjoy every moment that I have. Some are full of activity with a new friend and some are just sitting still on the couch watching television.  Both are valuable and once you realize to treasure the moments you will look back and see the moments strung together to make memories. 

It takes courage to allow others into your inner circle but you will be glad you did.

If you are in immediate danger, call 911 now.
If you need resources for your area to get out of a domestic situation that endangers you or your children, call 1-800-799-7233.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Crossroads

When we are driving and come to a intersection, we usually know which way to go or have GPS to guide us if in a new area.

In life, we have a GPS as well, that is the Bible.

Life has a funny way of bringing things and people to your attention that you never saw coming.  It appears as if it popped up out of nowhere, but in reality this has been part of your life path for a very long time.

I completely believe that everything that happens for a reason. Some reasons we may never know in our walk on Earth. Other reasons will become clear the further we get down the road when we happen to look back to celebrate our achievements.  That is an amazing feeling to know all of a sudden in your soul exactly why things happened and how far you have traveled in the mean time.

I made some tough decisions of late that on the surface don't seem to have changed much about my life.  But these decisions had to be made to allow other things into my life.  I chose to walk away and let go of something that I once dreamed about and prayed to happen for me.  This has given me complete peace that has touched every aspect of my life.

Once I stopped striving for something, so many other opportunities have 'fallen in my lap'. That my friends is God's Favor and blessing in my life.  I had always heard you have to let go of the 'good' to get your hands on the 'great' things possible in life.  And this year.. I have seen it happen twice already.

I have been blessed with new contacts, connections, business partners and friendships that I never imagined. I am scared about a few things ahead for me this July but I know that God will carry me through and help me do whatever he needs me to do to serve his Kingdom best.

While I personally despise the song "Let It Go" made famous by the movie Frozen, the thought applies to what I am talking about. One day you have to wake up and just Let Stuff Go. You have known in your heart and mind for a while that you were not happy, so just let it all go and see what is next on your journey.  I guarantee you, if you stay in step with God's Will, you will be blessed in ways you cannot imagine. I have!!

Take time to put yourself first and believe you can do great things... You will do great things :)

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Touch

The hug from a small excited child when you walk in the back door is precious.

That openness and unashamed love is such a blessing.

The smile from a boss saying "Good Morning" signified you have a job to do and are not alone. You are a valuable part of the team.

The single act of holding hands with a friend during prayer can hold your heart together when you feel on the verge of exploding into a 1000 pieces.

A hug from your sister or parent can remind you that you do have family and someone who has always been there no matter what.

The simple touch on the arm from a loved one's hand shows concern and affection for you.

I realize there are people that resist hugs, touching or emotional connection because for part of my life I was that person.

It was a cold, lonely place to be.

To crave the touch and care from others is not wrong. In fact, we are commanded to have fellowship with others.

When you greet others with a hug or touch on the shoulder, you are encouraging them and letting them know you see them and you care about them. You probably don't realize the ways your touch impacts others you interact with everyday.

In the first year after my 2nd divorce, I was very closed off and suspicious of others.  I had been hurt badly and cancelled all the past trusted connections in my life.

After much inward thought, healing, prayer and forgiveness of others and myself, I opened myself to those in my safe zone.

I am still wary of many people, but I am learning to share and care from my heart because I want to be true and genuine with those in my life.

So Bear with me and If I see you around, I might just reach out with a hug when I see your beautiful face.

Speak Up

As I sit here today reflecting on the loss of a trainer and motivational speaker... I know she will be missed by all who knew her or followed her on social media.

She did not play games or ask you to take the easy route. She pushed you to do the things you thought were impossible and believed in everyone's dreams.

She demanded the best of you and was a phenomenal coach and mentor to several friends of mine in the direct sales industry.

When she was given the diagnosis of Pancreatic Cancer, she did not cower or stop living. She spent her time with her family and choosing happiness no matter what treatments or pain she was in. She also made videos on youtube.com telling her followers what was going on.  She chose to shave her head during the process and treatment and her smile never drooped.

As those who knew her started posting quotes, memories and photographs on Mnday, many of us knew the end was near for her time on Earth.  Her laugh was infectious and whether she was your personal mentor or just a contact on social media, she was the same to everyone and offered to help everyone no matter what.

Michelle Ketterman, I met you in November of 2013 and you inspired me with your positive attitude and hard work. I am happy to say I met you that day and never forgot you. Your speech that day as the keynote speaker at Life Changing Conference 2013 (Franklin, TN) inspired me even though we rarely spoke directly to each other. I saw the change you made in others lives.

I am thankful to say I heard you speak, followed you on social media and knew your story.  Your voice that day was part of the reason I chose to follow my own passion even though I was scared to death to make that leap.

Please today, tell people you love and admire that you care for them or that their words and thoughts made a difference for you.  Knowing that you have helped another person spurs you forward to do even more for the world.

You never know who is watching you struggle, strive, and survive from afar.  But I guarantee you that someone is watching you.

Be the best you that you can be.
Rest In Peace Michelle Ketterman  4-6-2015

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Breaking is not the end of your world!

This morning while cleaning out my car, I had something loosely in my hand and didn't pay attention to which side of the container I was holding. I knew it was breakable and a piece of decor from my past life and the piece itself in my mind was tied to better times and memories with someone no longer in my life. 

In a few short seconds of holding this item's container on the wrong end, the glass slid out and broke on the pavement where my car was parked.  Then the second piece of glass slid out right behind it and only was chipped.  For about 10 seconds I just stood there staring in disbelief at what just happened.  Then I said, "Ok Lord, Another piece of my past is broken and it will not destroy me."

I picked up the broken glass and put the rest of the items in the trunk of my car chanting to my self 'it broke but you are not broken'. I did not cry and throw a fit or immediately get angry at the world because of a possession that I can no longer enjoy.  Actually this particular item has been in storage and out of sight for over 3 years now. That fact in itself is a symbol as well, I truly didn't need it anymore if I had not used it in that length of time. Therefore I don't need to see the memory attached to it either. 

Just think about the words Broken, breaking up, breaking free, brokenness...

These words usually signify an ending in a persons life.  In my past, I have viewed myself as left-overs and no good and worthless for many years both married and single. I also saw myself as broken and without purpose for a while after my 2nd divorce.  I kept moving and got a job and settled back in to the daily routine of working and taking care of business.  I also have cultivated and revived some friendships and learned things about myself that I never admitted before. 

So my message today is Break Free! Your chains are broken and Jesus paid it all!! Don't look at your past and don't allow others to keep you there or pull you back to it.  Be joyful even when something breaks, don't allow it to break you.  See this as a signal of change and thank the Lord you are still here and have something to offer. Today (April 8, 2015), the words "breaking free" signal freedom and a change in my life.  I see a woman with purpose, joy and many things to look forward to because God loves that woman in my mirror!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Children and Ex's

The relationship between your ex-spouse and the children caught in between is a very delicate thing. 

It took me many years to understand that I have to be "OKAY" with my children talking to and having a relationship with their father.  Even though he and I divorced in 93 and he moved to Arizona in 98, he is still their biological father. I never kept him from seeing the children even though he rarely paid child support.  I did abide by the visitation agreement and did my best not to let the children see how much it hurt for them to hear from him or say anything good about him.

The children's relationship with the other parent is COMPLETELY different than the relationship you had with the ex-spouse. You have to take yourself out of the emotional equation to see this and make this work for your children.

Today my adult children are 24 and 25 with families of their own and thanks to facebook, both of them have the ability to reach out and speak to their biological father if they choose to. I have complete peace with it and that is a peace that took many years to come about.

My 2nd husband was a much better parental figure than a faithful spouse.  After we first split, I would get very angry at him for contacting my daughter and it was very hard to get over this hurt. My mind kept saying "he hurt me, why does she talk to him knowing he hurt me?"  But I had to let this go as well.   I am not sure how much they interact but my daughter is grown and #2 did walk her down the aisle and was there for many milestones in her life. He was a great surrogate father to my children that were left with no male figures in their life on a daily basis. 

My father and my brother in law were always around but a daily father figure in the home is what I am referring to. My children definitely can say they were raised by myself and my parents and for that I will always be thankful.

Every relationship is precious and children should know their parents if at all possible or it is not an issue of health/well-being.  So the next time your child says something good about their biological parent, put on a smile, say a silent prayer for strength/courage in the moment and show God's love even to the ex's who have hurt us.  It helps a lot to pray for the relationship to be healed. 

If you are in a dangerous situation please seek help and a place to stay at 1-800-799-7233 - If you are in immediate danger call 911

Monday, April 6, 2015

Relationships

Relationships - the mere word puts pictures in our minds whether we believe it or not. These pictures could be family photos from 40 years ago or a picture of our son or daughter at the age of 3. These photos could be of friends from high school, youth group or Girl Scouts.

We all have relationships in many places, portions of our lives. Some examples are:

co-workers
family (both close and extended)
friends
church friends
acquaintances
people we do business with
and many many more.

If you don't cultivate your relationships and seek them then they will wither, die and fall by the wayside as we get busy with day-to-day living and striving. In this springtime season, choose to enjoy life a little more, give yourself some slack and relax. Just smiling and being friendly with someone could lead to a new friendship you never saw coming.

For the record, I am not anti-marriage or anti-relationship. What I do advocate is for people everywhere to be in healthy relationships that are a glory to God. God should be front and center in everything we do, not just a Sunday/Wednesday commentary on our lives.

My past may be full of mistakes but I want a beautiful future and know that it is possible with God on my side. I am not my history and I pray I do not repeat past mistakes.

My dear friend Shelly told me earlier this year that she wants me to be Bold in life, living life and business. At the time I was very unsure of her statement.. but right now, I wish I could call her up and tell her that I tried being Bold and I didn't fall on my face. I may have found a few things that won't work in my life but I found a few things that did work and that make me happy right here and right now.

I urge you to open your eyes, work on your healthy relationships, see them as huge blessings in your life. If you have a great man/woman in your life, celebrate them and celebrate your children's accomplishments too. They need to hear that from their parents. 

If you are in immediate danger, please call 911 -- If you are in an abusive situation and need ideas on how to get out or seek help, call the Hotline 1-800-799-7233.


Thursday, April 2, 2015

Course Correction

Course correction sounds like something you would hear from your GPS or on a Naval ship. However, there are times in our lives where we are forced to make course corrections and if we have our eyes and hearts open, we will see which way we are supposed to go.

Have you ever wanted something so bad and wished for it and worked for it and then you received it and found out a few weeks later, it really wasn't all that you had envisioned or hoped for?

I have had this happen recently in my life and I can tell you that I felt and still feel as though I was sold a bad used car or at the very least fell for deceptive advertising. 

Since January, I have had to re-evaluate everything I thought I wanted in one part of my life and decide if I truly want to pursue that or to take a step back, and move in another direction completely.

I have decided that I will not live my life dominated by one earthly money-driven goal.  I choose to be happy in all parts of my life and not let one crazy goal thrust on me by others (that I once thought I subscribed to) dominate my life.

There are people in my life and business who will be shocked by my decision but honestly, I didn't make this decision for them, I made it for me and my peace of mind and happiness. I will not live in fear anymore.

 I choose to break the cycle of approval addiction in my life once again. It is something that has plagued me since I was a child.

 I craved the approval of adults in my life and I rarely received it.  I learned from that happening over and over that to these people, I was just not 'good enough' in their eyes.  I also sought approval from both ex-husbands and even my children and co-workers at times in my life.  But I recall a book by Joyce Meyer entitled Approval Addiction and it opened my eyes to the fact that I was seeking approval by man when I should have been seeking God's approval all along.

No matter what man/woman in my life my say or think about me, I know deep down that an earthly opinion does not matter. The only opinion that matters is God's. And for that I have my Bible to read.

Be free and choose to live your life on your terms. Please don't be trapped!  Much love for everyone who reads and follows my story every day. I wish you peace!!

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Laughter

Ever hear a small child laughing while they are playing or having a case of the giggles?

It is infectious and usually most people cannot help but smile at the sight of a happy child.

I am finding out in my personal journey this year that laughter is very good medicine. I used to be very self-conscious of my laughter and tried to hide those big, boisterous laughs that come out of no where when you are watching a really funny video or program.

I have found that when I laugh, I feel better and smile more.  I want to be a happy person every day and friendly to those around me. So, I am choosing laughter.

Join me and laugh with someone today. You will feel better afterwards.