Posted in General

What a beautiful pause

I went out for a drive last night. Sometimes I just need a minute away. Away from the noise and busyness that comes with a full life. A life I love but at times can be overwhelming. And this week has been so full already. Seeing the new changes on the house we are building. Starting a new position at work. Hitting my workout goals each day. Life can keep us so busy and hectic that we forget to stop and be grateful.

So I love the moments I’m reminded to slow down. Breathe. Take in the beauty of this world. And last night this amazingly beautiful sunset stopped me. It stopped my endless thoughts. Quieted my mood and activity. As I pulled my car over to just sit in awe for a moment I was reminded to be grateful for another day. To be thankful I get to see beautiful things.

The pictures do not show the awesome pink this actually was. It can’t show how the entire western sky was painted. I love the moments that take my breathe away.

Sometimes you just need a reminder. To Pause. Breathe. Enjoy. And how I love when the reminder is so pretty.

Posted in General

I am still here! 200 posts later, what’s new to say?

Hello there!  How are you all doing?  I know it has been a few months since I last posted btu after seeing that I hit 200 posts, I was not sure I had more to say.   But really we all have something to say and more to share so here I am again.  Thank you to all that have remained reading.

How are you all doing these days?  Hoe are your fairing during this pandemic?  We are still in “phase 1” here where we live.  We are venturing out more and seeing more friends and family but things are definitely not “normal.”   We all spent months wondering when we could return to the way of life that we knew, but it seems that will not occur.  So we have to pivot and learn a new way to live, function and interact within this world.

What are you doing to deal with the changes in your world? Is your city still in lockdown or were you barely affected?   Are you working from home now or have children at home instead of school or daycare?  Are you facing job loss or a new position?

So many of us have had our worlds and homes rocked by the pandemic that we have had no choice but to change how we operate.  We have had to make daily modifications and learn how to handle changes that we neither wanted nor were prepared for.  Cause who can really prepare for a worldwide pandemic?!

Change is something so constant that I feel I have learned to embrace it.  I love variety and trying new things.  I am committed to not letting fear in any way dictate my life, so change is often exciting to me.  BUT I have found that I embrace the changes I am in control of.  Like most, I am still not a fan of the things out of my control.  Does it cause you stress to think you will have to permanently change your way of life? Or is that somewhat exciting and full of possibility?

I have learned these past few months how important mindset truly is.  Not only for our own mental state but for how we handle change. Especially unwelcome or unwanted change. Our human nature resists change that we do not control, face it we barely handle the changes we do want.  Like when we think we want a new job but then are stressed that we have to learn something new.  Or we are excited to move to a new town but find it painful and lonely when we get there.

So how do we handle the changes we do not desire to deal with?  Here are some ways we have handled the pandemic and all the changes that has meant for our household.

  1. We extend grace more easily.  I think this may be the number one key to dealing with others in the midst of unexpected challenges; extend grace. Let your people feel what they feel without trying to stop it and just let the moment be. 
  2. Allow alone time when needed.   With everyone at home much more than we used to be; we have had to find ways to get time alone and away from each other sometimes.  This may be taking a walk or being in our rooms with the door shut for a bit.   Even just taking a drive to get out of the house has helped.
  3.  Finding new activities for us all to participate in.  We put together puzzles.  We watch a show or a movie together.  We have played games.  Taking the time to better enjoy each other has helped us have a more positive experience. 
  4. Looking at this moment in time as an opportunity rather than a disappointment.  The first couple of months were tough.  It was tough to adjust to not really seeing anyone other than the folks you live with.  But we have tried to embrace the time this has brought with our children.  As we have had another one leave the nest (there are 4 total and time is moving too fast) in many ways this has been an added bonus. 
  5.  Trying to keep life as normal as possible.  Keeping a routine.  Having dinner together.  Chores. All the things we usually do each day or week we have continued.  We still get dressed and showered before working from home.  We still make the beds and cook meals.  

Life may not look the same anymore but we have a choice in how we view that.  To live our best life we sometimes have to face moments where we need to pivot.  To learn new ways and do things differently.  If your mindset is to see moments of stress and change as an opportunity then you can’t help but be successful.  In the past few months of this pandemic we are more successful as a couple and family than before.    Life is still full of abundance.  

How do you see your life today?  What are you doing to create an abundance mindset in the midst of the chaos?   I hope you find joy in the midst.   

Till next time. 

Posted in Sunday quotes

Sunday Reflections–How do you fight?

It’s another Sunday that I am reflecting on this weekend and as couples do, we had a moment of disagreement.  This has me thinking about how we you go to battle over different thoughts, ideals or interpretations of things in couplehood?  How do you disagree, be upset or angry and yet still be loving as well?  Is this even possible?

I have read before that how a couple fights is one of the biggest determinations of their success and longevity.  How they speak and react to each other will predict if they will stand the test of time  I have no idea if this is true or not, but I can understand why this would be a large part of a relationship success study.

In an argument; when your feelings are hurt, you feel misunderstood, or you are just plain angry, most of us are not thinking clearly and often not behaving at our best.  How can we make sure our voice or view is heard while still showing respect and care to the one we love?

Having a successful relationship takes a lot of work.  It is not easy and yet I believe our human nature is to fight against this fact.  We want it to be smooth all the time.  We do not desire to argue and disagree or hurt each others feelings.  Human nature is often lazy (although we do not like to believe this; at least I do not) and to have a healthy relationship takes effort, time and energy that we do not always feel like expending.

In evaluating our disagreement post fact and knowing we desire to be among those who are successful in relationships, I thought I would share what I think are the ways to argue in a healthy way with your partner.

  1. Keep voices calm and at normal volume.  I know this may be very tough to do, but this is the person you love, why would you want to yell or scream at them?
  2. Stay committed to the issue at hand.  This can be tough, especially if you are the one who has done something to offend.  Our desire is to fight back; defend our self and take “the heat off us” so to speak.  Turning the argument into another one does not solve the first issue, stay on topic.
  3. Arguing should be done privately. Find a time that you can be alone without children or others.  Never in front of friends or in public.
  4. Stay respectful.  Know and believe that that your partner is desiring the same goal; to have a healthy, loving relationship.  Stay away from attacking each other and use I statements rather than You statements.  If you didn’t study this in school, here is what I mean: An I statement is a way to communicate that focuses on your own feelings or thoughts rather than those characteristics of the recipient.  An example of this would be: “I feel angry when the dishes are often left in the sink rather than put in the dishwasher, it makes me feel unappreciated and that I am the only one that pays attention to cleaning the kitchen.”  This is better than attacking and saying “You never wash the dishes, you do not care about a clean kitchen.” etc.    I know this is very challenging in the beginning, but the more you practice this, it becomes easier and easier.
  5. Forgive and apologize quickly.  Say you are sorry when you do something wrong.  Choose reconciliation over being right.  You are building a partnership, this requires an immense amount of grace for yourself and the one you love.

When we live with any other human we are going to have disagreements.  Living with others can help refine and shape us into our best selves if we let it. Arguments can teach us new things about our partner and give us the opportunity to grow closer.  And in choosing to live your best self; learning, changing and adapting is a requirement.  There will be struggles along the way, but perhaps these few tools will help you if you are navigating this life with another.

Have a blessed day.  Continue in choosing the path that leads you to your best life.

Posted in General, Sunday quotes

Happy Mother’s Day 2020

It’s another different celebration in this strange year. Many of us are social distancing and can’t hug on or even see face to face our loved ones. It’s a tough time to rejoice and enjoy celebrating.

I’m finding today bittersweet. Feeling loved and spoiled but a little sad too. Some things technology can’t give us. And I know I’m not alone in this.

For all you mamas out there, no matter if alone or with those that make you a mom know you are recognized for the value you have as the gardener of this life.

May you find joy today no matter what for even just a moment.

Posted in Sunday quotes

Sunday reflections; thinking about love in the time of Covid.

I am having a hard day.  I miss my kids.  I miss going to meet friends.  I miss just being able to walk around a book store (one of my favorite things).  And I am finding the longer this quarantine and stay home order lasts, the toll it can take on our relationships.

As we are home, all together, all hours of all the days, some of us may find this harder than others.  For those that are like me, who need alone time, this time could feel claustrophobic, caged in, overwhelming and these feelings are not very conducive to creating a loving atmosphere.

So this has me thinking about the ease of love.  How easy it is to love one another when we have some space, other activities and things to take up our time.  When we have escapes if you will with our friends or colleagues.  When we see new and different things out in the world that we can bring home and share.  When we seem or our partners seem more interesting. And while there are tough times in all relationships, I think this moment in time has magnified ALL things.  And some of these are tough, not so great.

We are not getting breaks.  We are not seeing other faces.  We do not have a random story to share when we come from work as we work from home all week.  We are stuck together with those we may choose or not choose to be with.  How do you keep loving in the midst of this time?  How do you let this moment bind you together and strengthen you rather than weaken?

As I struggle today, have a headache from too many tears, I am reminded of the love we have in our faith.  I have been listening on repeat to songs that bring me hope, encouragement and strength.  I am reminded that Love casts out Fear.  We have this time to build rather than tear down.  We are getting a gift; although it does not feel like it every day.

Love as an emotion is easy.  It says all the “right’ things, makes you smile and feel good.  It doesn’t take any real strength or action to tell someone you love them.  But I have always viewed love as a verb.  It is more than an emotion.  It has to be tough.  It has to weather storms, battles and disease.  It has to speak truth when your feelings are hurt.  It has to share more than a kiss and hug.  It has to accept sad and happy moments.  It pushes through pain and sorrow and fear.  It has to act in a way of honesty and integrity. If it has the power to cast out fear; then it has the power to bring us strength; to build, to render hope. And in this current season, it has an opportunity to shine through some hard moments.

Loving your family in an all day, everyday, feeling way is easy.  But in this unexpected time we are living in across the world right now, it has required us to get very real with our actions.  It has shown me how much harder this is to do when we are all together all the time.  When each one is processing loss and sadness.  When at times there are just too many people and meals and needs.

Each one of us is handling this time differently and we all have different ways we need to receive love.  Today for me that meant pouring my grief, frustrations, pain all out on this man I share my life with.  And him trying very hard to show me love back when I can imagine I was not that lovable.  But that is what love does; it accepts all.  All the ugly moments.  All the good.  And in this time of uncertainty and loss; we can choose to see the moments “stuck at home” as an opportunity to grow in our love.  Love can handle the honesty, it can handle the sorrow and the pain.  It can handle being quarantined if we let it.

I hope that wherever you are you are loved.  I hope you have someone who holds you even when your eyes hurt to stay open because they have cried too many tears.  I hope this time strengthens your relationships.   And if alone, know that none of us are ever truly alone.  We are all going through this human experience; we are in this together.

Keep holding onto love.