Making the most out of life, yet not living life to the fullest

Today my family laid a woman to rest who never got to live life to the fullest.  She made the most out of the life she had, but I was terribly saddened to think of the things she had never experienced in her 75 years of life.

She lived with my great grandparents until they passed away, while this wasn’t her choice she made the most of it.  She never had the chance to pick a place to call her home, she never had the chance to be married, or know the excitement that comes with someone slipping a diamond on your left ring finger.   I am saddened now that I didn’t get to know her better, I am even more saddened by the absence of living.  There were no late night pillow talks with a spouse, no marital arguing (while this isn’t a fun event, it makes you appreciate the good times), no bickering about what’s for dinner, or whose turn it is to let the dog out.  There was no picking out furniture, or even coming and going as she pleased.  I remember her pinching my cheeks, and her bright red lipstick–she was full of love.  Today she went to her resting place in style, in the back of a ’57 Chevy (I had seen it sitting out front of the funeral home, and was hoping that was the way she’d be getting to her final resting place.  For someone who never got a whole lot of living, I thought she deserved something cool like that)

Until we meet again Aunt Maria ❤️ 


I came across this quote today… after leaving the services, and returning home to rest after an emotional day, it hit me…about comfort zones and just making the most of your situation…  There is nothing wrong with making the most of whatever situation you are in, and I am encourage every one to do that–but we should never settle.  If we just settle, we may never accomplish all God has in store for us.  A person simply cannot just do what feels good and comfortable if they want to grow!  You need to take a leap of fate, and sometimes miss out on a few hours of sleep.  Just remember, what stands in front of you, is nothing compared to what is within you!

May God guide you through this awesome journey called life!

Xoxo,

Jackie

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What’s my Purpose?

Have you ever found yourself wondering what your purpose was?  I used to constantly wonder why I existed, what was I put here to do?  Gradually over time I noticed that I always tried to help people, and then one day it became crystal clear–that was my purpose.  I’ve tried to go thru life, and just stay in my own lane…but I can’t.  

My most recent journey has been my journey to better health– I wrote briefly in a previous post about my wake up call.  I truly believe my wake up call saved my life!!!  I am now using my journey to try to inspire, and support others.  I know what it’s like to have never been skinny (ya know when someone who has always been relatively small, talks about their weight loss journey…and you are just over here like ahhh you only had 20 pounds to lose, try having 143 to lose and then let’s talk–that’s a real struggle), I know what it’s like to have my body fight my weight loss efforts– I have PCOS, I know what it’s like to be surrounded by people whom you adore and who adore you, but yet you feel alone, I know what it’s like to find comfort in food, I know what it’s like to buy big clothes, to wonder if you will fit on an amusement ride, to accept the sack of potatoes you’ve become, to be judged by your appearance, to be teased, ridiculed, to be told you’d be so pretty if you lost some weight, I know what it’s like to be your own biggest enemy, to be the queen of excuses, to have never worn a bikini in public, to not be able to get a shower and have the towel wrap all the way around you… the list is endless, and I am familiar with the way each of these things leaves your heart feeling.  I am a much different person than I was 2 months ago…  I’ve discovered an inner strength I didn’t know I had, a passion, a will power, the drive to hit my goals.  Our bodies are capable of so much more then we give them credit for.  

So you are probably wondering what this has to do with your purpose?  God gives us more then we can handle, encouraging us to include him in our lives and plans, and through him we are given the strength to handle what we initially thought was the impossible.  Often I pray that God uses me to spread his word, and to make a difference, and I have to think that this situation was God’s way of answering my prayers.  I am not perfect on my journey, and I don’t claim to be.  I do have a lot of passion, and a big heart.  I am focused on helping myself, and helping others become the best version of themselves– none of this would be possible without Christ who strengthens me.  

Now get out there and help someone!

If you are on a weight loss journey, please check out my fitness blog periodically for updates: choosetolivedontweight.wordpress.com, I also have a Facebook page called, Choose to live don’t weight, and if you need fitness help, I can be emailed at: choosetolivedontweight@gmail.com

God Bless,

Jackie

Blessed by His Mercy

So as I sit here and write, I don’t really know yet what I am going to title this post… Lucky, loved, blessed, Life is a gift, I made it, hmmm I really don’t know.

Again it’s been about a month since I’ve wrote… I need to get better at this stuff.  So everyone who reads this (except my mama) has no idea what the lady behind the screen looks like… While I am okay with that, what you might not know is that I am over weight (maybe I’ve written about it before, I don’t really recall). I guess I came to a point with my weight that I started to accept what I had become, what I made myself.  I have achieved most of what I have wanted in most facets of my life, there are a few things I’ve still been unable to conquer (my weight a huge one)…I’ve made excuse after excuse, my husband has accepted my body for what it is, and recently although I don’t really like what looks back at me when I look in the mirror I’ve learned to accept what I see.  Well my body had other plans, earlier this week my blood pressure went up (my mom checked hers, prompting me to check mine) so when I didn’t feel right yesterday I went to the doctors immediately.  My blood pressure was 190/132–they gave me medicine right at the doctors office, had me lay back and gave me more– if it went up when I got home I was instructed to go right to the ER.  While no one told me yesterday, I knew I was a stroke risk… Great news tonight it’s down, 149/98– it’s still high it won’t come down over night, but I have no choice but to change my life.  I will not become a statistic, I will not allow my family to see me go this way, I will not let my husband become a widow, I will not be who I was yesterday, I can change, and I will.  

I got an EKG today, I am really lucky, my ticker is working like it is supposed to, I haven’t damaged it with my unhealthy habits.  Lucky for me I don’t smoke or drink.  I was dealt a raw genetic deal, I have PCOS…but guess what I am not the first nor will I be the last, and guess what there are fit women with PCOS, I will no longer use that as a crutch.  I eat poorly, there I said it.  My addiction, coffee (but not just a little coffee) like 2 or 3 huge cups a day, preferably from Dunkin’ Donuts, flavored, with cream, and sugar…Today I got (gasp) a small coffee, skim milk, and Splenda.  That’s the first bit of caffiene I’ve had since Tuesday.  I have a stressful job (I am a banker), but guess what that stress is going to have to stay at the office– I can only focus on what I can change, I can’t focus on what I can’t.  I’m going to learn how to relax, because I really don’t know how–honestly I shouldn’t be overweight because I never sit still unless I am sleeping.  I’m going to learn to enjoy life’s finer things, the small important things that at the end of my life will be the big things, like taking a walk with my loved ones, being well read, smelling the flowers, watching my husband shoot an amazingly awesome game of pool (he’s going to score us a trip to Vegas, I just know it),  I am going to bask in puppy kisses, and I am going to hold my loved ones a few seconds longer.  So here’s to my journey, here’s to a new me (well the same me, just an improved version).  

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” Philippians 4:13

I will be writing more about my journey to health, my faith, and family.  As always thanks for reading my inner thoughts.   (In the middle of writing this sentence my husband got an orange out of the fridge and said let’s share an orange–that’s what I am talking about, and wow that was the most delicious orange I’ve ever eaten…)

Much Love xoxo,

Jackie

Getting my voice back…

Hello to my handful of readers (you really are amazing to me, this is a passion of mine–and the fact that you are choosing to read my thoughts means a lot to me),

So I haven’t written in awhile…but then again you can see that.  My lack of putting my thoughts down wasn’t lack of thoughts, lack of time, or unwillingness.  I could process thoughts I just didn’t know how to convey them in a way others would understand.  My immediate family understands because they were there, but unless you lived it with us you probably won’t fully grasp just how gracious and merciful we believe God is.

I almost lost my father 3 times in the last 2 months,  before I get into my post  I will tell you he is doing much better and is on the road to recovery.  I had never seen my big strong dad so frail and weak.  Watching the man who goes out of his way to help others, the day saver, the man who shows up in a pinch, who is generous with his time (even if you hear him complain under his breath a little) fight for his life was the hardest thing I’ve ever done.  To hear my dad tell the doctor the first time we thought he was recovering that he was happy he’d be here to protect his family, was kind and heart shattering all at the same time.  Little did we know he wasn’t on the road to recovery and we’d be back in the hospital in just another week or so with the same situation (for all that are wondering… bleeding ulcers are serious–if you think you have one seek immediate medical attention).  The visits all blend together, except for the last visit.  My mom called me just as she had the previous times, they’d called the ambulance and my dad was being rushed in, but this time in addition to the ambulance the paramedics came–this time was different.  When they finally let us in, I saw a scene I can’t get out my head– my dad in and out of consciousness, and the rest is much to graphic and much to difficult for me to type…  and you know what I did when I saw this– I ran away because I couldn’t accept the fact that there was nothing I could do to save the man, who had saved me more times than he had known.  It was the worst thing I have ever experienced to watch the man I have loved my entire life dying before my eyes.  I called my husband who doesn’t handle hospitals well or at all unless it’s me in there, and I cried, I sobbed, I thought I was losing my Dad…Well I don’t think, I know I was losing him.  My husband told me it would be okay, that this wasn’t the end–if I had ever wanted my husband to be right this was the time.  I will say there are angels that walk amongst us, and for my family there were the nurses in the ER that day, that saved my father, that gave him blood because was nearly depleted that thought quickly, while also treating us like humans and consoling us.  

I stayed in constant prayer, and I was often reminded to have faith in God– my mom reminded me frequently that God had the situation under control, and she was right.  While the situation was horrible, I will say it is in the darkness we find the light.  My family has always gotten along really well, I mean especially after I got past my teen years (sorry Mom and Dad–I was no walk in the park) but this whole situation brought us closer, I am not even sure how because I thought we were already as close as we could be but I was wrong.  It taught me a lot about life, life is too short and in a moment it can be gone.  The hospital is really good at saving people, but there are people that go there and don’t come out–after all that is why they have a morgue.  There are happy moments like births at the hospital, but there are also final breaths–and why thank God we didn’t have to experience that, I know others have and my heart hurts for them.  I know that what is in store for us after life on earth is so much grander than what we are living day in and day out, but its those that are left that suffer with the emptiness in their heart, the hole in their family that can’t be filled, the empty seat at Christmas, picking up the phone to call the person who is no longer there, or rolling over to kiss a spouse goodnight who is never coming home. 

So what I’ll close with is, life’s too short.  I’m a workaholic in highly competitive field, I never miss a day of work even when I am sick–I work tirelessly to hit my goals and to coach my associates to be the best they can be, but sometimes you have to put that aside and pick your family over your career (work will understand), while you love your friends it’s okay to pick your family over your friends (they’ll understand if they are real friends), don’t hang up or leave one another angry because in the blink of an eye life can change.  Make time for what matters, it isn’t the materialistic things–it’s the people in your life.  Broken relationship?  Repair it, if it’s repairable, and if it doesn’t threaten your sanity.  

So as you can see I’ve gotten my voice back, I can focus and concentrate on life and it’s beautiful crazy turns.

God Bless everyone.  Thank you Lord for your mercy and grace.

Sunday Morning Cinnamon Buns on Wednesday night…

Well I started writing this Sunday… and here we are at 11:30 PM on a Wednesday evening…

Originally written Sunday…

I’m sitting here at my kitchen table waiting for my Cinnamon Buns to rise so I can put them in the oven…I thought I’d picked a recipe in which I wouldn’t have to wait for them to rise…Oh boy was I wrong, an hour to rise, and then construct them, and then let them rise another half hour…I picked the recipe that uses a box of cake mix as part of the ingredients because it seemed like the easiest choice on this sleepy Sunday Morning… I definitely would have picked another recipe if I had of read this one in it’s entirety before I committed to making it…  I guess we’ll see how it comes out, these were intended to be breakfast today–at this rate it’ll be lunch.

I suppose life is much like my Cinnamon Buns,  you really don’t know how it’s going to turn out you just hope and pray for the best.  Two people can follow life’s recipe but if Person (1) adds a little extra sugar, and Person (2) doesn’t put enough sugar in they have a whole different tasting cinnamon bun!!!

Fast forward to Wednesday… The buns came out okay, but not cooked enough in the middle, but in their defense, my patience was running thin…I just wanted to take them out of the oven.  Does your patience run thin in life?  I know mine often does…But I am learning everything is God’s timing.  You need to cherish every second, and be thankful for what you are blessed with and what you aren’t blessed with.  Not everything is for everyone, I no longer pray for what I want, I pray for what God wants me to have, God knows what is best for me.  I pray for God to use me, in what ever mission he has in mind. My heart and mind is open, and I am learning to listen when he’s trying to speak to me.  So next time you are rushing perfection (God’s timing), sit back and just enjoy the ride…The big man upstairs has it all figured out.

Xoxo,

Gracefullyrambling

2017-Happy New Year

Well hello my dear readers,

From what I heard and what I experienced 2016 was rough.  Every year has good spots, but sometimes the good spots are out weighed by the bad spots.  I know the community in which I live suffered many bad spots, between heroin over doses, senseless shootings, and most recently a senseless act of domestic abuse which left several children without a mother.  I also feel we became a nation more divided than ever before, my ask is that in 2017 you love on people even if they are different–life is too short to be anything but kind.

I’m thankful 2016 is our rear view mirrors and I am happy to usher in a new year filled with so much hope and promise.  I feel like a child getting ready to embark on her first day of school.  I am eager to see what this year has in store for my family, my friends and myself, but I am also eager to help make this year the best one yet.  It’s no secret I like to write, it’s no secret I don’t take the time to write–my hopes are that this year I can finally concentrate on that.  If my words make a difference to even one person it will be worth it .  I finally upgraded my technology a bit (Thanks to the generosity of my family) so writing is a little more convenient than in the past.

I believe I’ve mentioned it in the past, but I am not sure how deep I went into it–but in the end of 2015 I started to go back to church with my mom.  We’ve dived in pretty deeply into our faith walk and it just keeps getting better all the time.  I am so excited– my mom and I each have a copy of “Daily Wisdom for Women 2017 Devotional Collection” .  I think with each of us reading the good word everyday it will create a lot of conversation and really aid us to go further in our faith walk.  I also want to incorporate it into my blog.

I have a lot of things I want to do in this New Year, I still haven’t decided on a resolution–  I just want to be kinder, more companionate, and really just a better person.  I won’t resolute to that though, because my goal is always to be better than the person I was yesterday.  It costs nothing to be a decent human being, it costs nothing to lend an ear.  I obviously want to get healthier, not only for myself but my family.  I am still trying to climb the ladder at work so I do have professional goals set.  I do want to cook more, and bake more…  If you are local watch out, more baking means I might need to share the sweets I make with someone.  Yesterday I made a Hot Milk Sponge Cake, the recipe is one from the Great Depression– it’s an easy recipe most people have everything on hand and let me tell you it was pretty good (my dear husband enjoyed it).

Yesterday in the early evening we lit our Bayberry candle, it is believed that you should light a Bayberry candle either on Christmas Eve or New Years Eve, and allow it to completely burn out on it’s own (It’s 8:27 am here and ours is still burning).  “Bayberry candles burned to the socket, bring health to the home and wealth to the pocket”.  It’s a tradition I started with my family in 2015, and this year I shared it with my grandparents, and Aunt and Uncle.  It’s just a fun little tradition, and it leaves your home smelling so nice.

I hope you all are creating your own traditions, and spending time with your loved ones.  Life is precious, and it can be gone in a second.  Hug those you love a few extra seconds, and share a few extra laughs.  Forgive.  If you have someone in your life who struggles with forgiveness–pray for them, because once we learn the art of forgiveness our life becomes so much richer.

I really want to end this post on a positive note, but before I do there is something I am compelled to write about briefly and you may see posts about from time to time–if you are a victim of domestic abuse, it is not your fault.  You are a beautiful creature that God created, God doesn’t not want you to suffer.  Break free.  Walk away. Get help. Confide in a friend.  Don’t stay.  Don’t think it will get better.  Don’t think your partner will change.  Don’t think someone has it worse. Don’t think this is normal.  Don’t let your children think it’s normal.  It’s not normal.  Domestic Abuse IS NOT NORMAL.  If you have someone confide in you that is being abused, help be their voice, listen, be their rock, help get them out of their situation.   To the person being abused you are worthwhile, you are important, you are worthy of love, you are more than a statistic, your family and friends don’t want to have had a friend/family member they want to have a friend/family member.

May you all find peace and kindness in your heart this year.  May you all be there for someone and may someone be there for you.  God Bless you all.

Xoxo,

Jackie

I always write better when…

I always write better when my heart feels full of love and joy or when my heart feels like it’s been shattered into a million pieces.  My writing is from the heart, I think some of my best work was during my high school years as I struggled to love myself and fought for the love and acceptance of others.  Obviously fast forward several years later and I’m okay with who I am and not really concerned with others opinions…

Luckily my heart doesn’t get shattered as much these days and I get really wrapped up in what brings me joy so I don’t write as much as I’d like–with. That being said my heart is heavy tonight, but I’ll write about that in the next post.

Xoxo,

Jackie