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.

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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

When you make a choice of ceasing to exist

So I promised to write about my Dad’s side next…but sometimes life brings you an unexpected storm and you need to adjust your sails…so without getting into personal detail… Let me just say this, if my blog conveys one thing to you– let it be that LIFE is worth living wether you are at rock bottom or not…if life is the worst it’s ever been, good news it will get better. If you are sad talk to someone, get help, seek counseling–but what ever you do, don’t seek the alternative of ceasing to exist. When you cease to exist due to your own will, you leave those who love you and cared about you drowning in sorrow. It’s not like passing from a disease that couldn’t be cured, or a heart that stopped beating–it’s knowing that someone you loved hurt so much inside and you didn’t even know. It’s knowing that you weren’t there with a reassuring hug, or a shoulder to weep upon, or shoulders broad enough to help your loved bear their burden. The ones left behind are the ones who suffer in the end, they are the ones who bear a burden there is no solution for because the end has already came, and the out come is final.

For something I feel so strongly about I thought the words would flow from my finger tips, but they just aren’t… Maybe it’s because it’s so final, we all came into this earth the same way by birth and will all leave by death. Life is precious, the good times and the bad.

I believe we are given bad times so we can have a true appreciation for the good times.

A full life…

So I have this sign in my home office and it reads:

“Find a passion and pursue it.  Fall in love.  Dream Big.  Drink wine, eat great food and spend quality time with good friends.  Laugh Everyday.  Believe in magic.  Tell Stories.  Reminisce about the good old days but look with optimism for the future.  Travel often.  Learn more.  Be creative.  Spend time with people you admire.  Seize opportunities when they reveal themselves.  Love with all your heart.  Make time to enjoy the simple things in life.  Spend time with family.  Forgive even when it’s hard.  Smile often.  Be grateful.  Be the change you wish to see in the world.  Follow you dreams.  Be thankful.  Be nice to everyone.  Be happy.  Live for today.  And above all…Make every moment count.”

This sign is how I intend to live this next year.  So let me tell you why each piece of this is important, and what it means to me–and let me challenge you to tell me what it means to you…

~Find a passion and pursue it:
I have found my passions and they are writing (hence this blog), my crafts (hence my craft business), baking, and cooking.

~Fall in love:
Fall in love with someone who compliments you and I don’t mean compliments you by saying nice things (yes they should do that too), but someone who balances you out.

Fall in love with yourself, you are worthy of love and respect. You are beautiful, you are a creature of God and he doesn’t make ugly things.

Fall in love with life, life is beautiful. Life is too short, so laugh, love and live life to the fullest.

~Dream Big
Dreaming is one of the most beautiful and most affordable things to do to–it’s free!!!! It doesn’t cost to dream, now putting your dreams in motion that costs…but dream away, dream everyday, let your mind wander, and bask in your dreams they are beautiful!

~ Drink wine, eat great food and spend quality time with good friends
Drink wine–expensive or cheap…spend quality time with friends–good friends are far and few between, I only have a handful of good friends and they are rare gems. Real friends are family! Break bread together, enjoy a drink, and be merry!

~Laugh everyday
In my opinion a laugh a day helps keep the doctor away. Surround yourself with people who make you laugh. Marry someone who can make you laugh even when tears are streaming down your face. One of the reasons I fell in love with my husband is his ability to make me laugh! Some of the best laughs I’ve shared are with my husband, family, and friends, and those laughs have gotten me through some of my worst days!

~Believe in magic
Magic… Well I don’t believe in magic, but I believe in miracles. If God brings you to it, he will bring you through it! Miracles happen, and they happen because of the big man upstairs. So give thanks, pray, and rejoice in our Lord… Miracles are real!

~Tell Stories
Share stories with your loved ones, stories of your life, the good, and the bad. Perhaps your story can provide insight to someone else struggling. Perhaps your story can provide a laugh. We are messengers of God, sent to help our fellow brothers and sisters–sometimes help can be in the form of sharing an experience we’ve had with someone else who is in a similar situation.

~Reminisce about the good old days but look with optimism for the future
Don’t forget where you’ve been, but don’t lose sight of where you are going. It’s important to reminisce about the good old days, sometimes a simpler time. It’s also important to remember that there are good days ahead, days in which you should look at your glass as half full and look forward with anticipation of great things!

~Travel often
Travel often… That doesn’t mean you have to get on a plane once a month and visit some place new (while if you can, go for it)… Travel often by visiting new places, you’d be amazed at what’s in your back yard no matter where you live. As a child my parents and I took many day trips, and a few awesome vacations–but the day trips…that’s where a bulk of my memories were made. We didn’t stress about packing, or catching a flight–we just got in the car (well truck in our case) and drove. My mom and I played Roadside bingo, we sang together to the radio, my mom, dad, and I talked without a distraction of a television, or a smart phone, the biggest distraction was either a magazine or my Walkman. Visit breathtaking places, visit places where you can blend in with the locale and live like they do, only then will you truly get the full effect of your travels. When visiting new places, I urge you to eat at local eateries instead of chains–so much is said for eating food indigenous to where you are visiting, you can get that chain food at home…

~Learn more
Never stop learning!!! Learn a new word, fact, hobby, beauty technique, savings technique, patience, whatever you do….learn something new…

~Be creative
Write. Draw. Craft. Woodwork. Bake. Cook. Invent. Whatever you do, find a way to be creative. Creating stimulates your brain and it gives you such a sense a accomplishment!

~Spend time with people you admire
Surround yourself with people who you can model yourself after. You don’t have to be exactly like that person, but if they have a trait you admire–my golly spend sometime with them, pick their brain, learn how they think, ask questions, and let them know you are thankful for them!

~Seize opportunities when they reveal themselves
There’s an old saying the early bird gets the worm… If someone is waving a worm in your face you better bite it, unless of course you are a fish. If it’s too good to be true it usually is, so be cautiously optimistic…and if determined legitimate seize any opportunity to better yourself and help others when you can. I don’t want to be left asking 20 years from now “what if”. Take chances, and remember if God brings you to it he will bring you through it. When you have the opportunity to spend time with those near and dear to you take it!

~Love with all your heart
If I love you, I will love you with every ounce of my being. There’s only one way to love in my opinion and that is unconditionally. When you love with all your heart, forgiveness and acceptance come much easier. When loving with all your heart, don’t forget to love yourself, loving yourself will help you to determine who is and who isn’t worthy of your love.

~Make time to enjoy the simple things in life
Make time to feel grass between your toes, lay in bed for hours snuggled with a loved one, feel the warm sun bask your face, the simple things don’t come with a cost and they are truly the best gift of all.

~Spend time with family
Family is important! My definition of family isn’t those related by blood, but it’s the people who stood beside you and never left. It’s your rocks, the people who help break the storm from your shores. It’s the people who love you, when you’ve forgotten how to love yourself, and the people who have loved you when you were unlovable. Spend time with family. We are only on this earth for so long, and we must take every chance we get to let those we love know they are important to us. Additionally, your pets are your family too, they might only be a piece of your world, but you are their whole world–enjoy the wet noses and puppy kisses!!!!

~Forgive even when it’s hard
Forgiveness can be hard, but really life is too short to hold grudges. Not one of us walking this earth is perfect, we mess up. If someone says they are sorry, accept their apology and move on. While you should forgive, don’t allow yourself to become a doormat. Just because you’ve forgiven someone doesn’t mean you need to continue to have them in your life, if they aren’t good for your mind, body, or soul, forgive them and let them go.

~Smile often
A smile can turn your day around and someone else’s too, so smile big and smile often. A smile a day helps keep the stress away!

~Be grateful
Be grateful for all you have, there are many with less than you.

~Be the change you wish to see in the world
You don’t have to fit in with society’s expectations, be the change you want to see in the world. If you want more kindness, practice being kind. Do good, and you’ll never falter.

~Follow your dreams
Put your dreams into action. You are in control of your destiny. It’s your life–own it!

~Be thankful
Be thankful, you weren’t owed anything unless you worked for it. Be thankful for opportunities, chances, family, friends, and experiences good and bad. Be thankful for everything because it helped you grow in some way.

~Be nice to everyone
Everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about. You don’t know what people have going on at home, so be nice to everyone.

~Be happy
Life is too short to be anything but happy!!! Look at every obstacle as an opportunity, and every glass as half full.

~Live for today
Today is called the present because it’s a gift, tomorrow isn’t promised. Almost everyone that died yesterday had plans for today. So live in the moment, don’t live for the past because it gone, and don’t live for tomorrow because it is not promised.

~And above all…Make every moment count
Life is not measured by the breaths you take, but by the moments that take your breath away. Make the most of each moment and make every moment count.

So what does all this mean to you?!?! I hope if nothing else it’s made you think about life, and all that is important to you.

Warm wishes,
Jackie