Thursday, June 28, 2012

Life in the Fast Lane

When you are in the fast lane the world moves by you in a blur.  You don't notice the beauty of the trees or even the smell of delightful flowers or the smell of Spring.  If you just go through life working you may miss the joy of appreciating what the world has to offer.  I am not discounting the importance of putting food on the table, but I am making the point to say it is more than that... It is the conversations at the table that are more important.

Making time for your family I think is so necessary.  The relationships with the people you do life with is what it is all about!  I remember growing up in a very loving home and I am forever changed for the better.  My mom has her Ph D in education and because of her schedule she was always there after school and at all my extracurricular events. 

My dad on the other hand has such a demanding job he never has a set schedule as his clients can call him day or night for any reason.  But what I remember most about my dad, and something that has helped me as an adult, is he always made time for me.  I was never "bothering" him, when I needed to talk to him.  I always knew his time is literally money and thus very valuable.  But the fact that he always was at there for me and at every soccer game or cross country meet made me feel valuable.  I found my self-worth from knowing I was important to him and my mom. 

I have memories of looking for him and sometimes he was not there at the beginning. I would look and sometimes even be distracted until I saw him there watching me.  I have a couple memories of running in a cross country meet and seeing him running across the field to watch me in the race.  Let me tell you seeing my dad in full suit and tie running in a full sprint is something that has ingrained in my mind.  He was there for me rooting me on when he had a thousand other things that were also important.

At soccer games my mom was there and my dad was an announcer.  I use to pretend to be embarrassed that he called the game like it was the radio with a play by play style, but it meant the world to me because he was so into it!!  I learned a lot about how to be a wife from my mom.  She never gave up and worked all the time to make our family work.  She took night classes when she was getting her Ph D but I always remember her being there.

I know how important it is to be there for your family and I hope my family and friends know they can always count on me to stop, pull over from the fast lane, and appreciate the joys in life that don't cost a thing but your time.  We only have a limited time on this earth and I want to be remembered for how I contributed to the world, making it a better place, not just driving and pushing towards material things.  Relationships with people and our attitude are the only thing that matter.  How you treated them and how you made a difference is what people will remember.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Unanswered prayers

I was just praying about the things I thought I wanted in life and the things I love now that I have them.  When I was little I made a list: 1-20 about the characteristics I wanted in a husband.  (I wonder how many people have a list?!?)  Standards.  When it all comes down to it, I realize that there may be things that you think you want but some times you don't know what you need.  This is where God intervenes.  God knows not only what we really want but he gives us what we really need!!  He sees us through and lets us figure things out on our own but in the end we get what He knows will make us happy. 

Life is a quest on the pursuit of happiness, as I went into yesterday, it is a journey.  I am so grateful that I didn't have certain prayers answered because I wouldn't want my life to be any different.  My life is exactly how it should be.  I am so blessed that God has a perfect plan for me.  He has looked out for me throughout the years.  I went through some very difficult seasons but those experiences made me stronger and prepared for the things in my life now.  This song just about sums it up!!

"Unanswered Prayers"
     Garth Brooks

Just the other night a hometown football game
My wife and I ran into my old high school flame
And as I introduced them the past came back to me
And I couldn't help but think of the way things used to be

She was the one that I'd wanted for all times
And each night I'd spend prayin' that God would make her mine
And if he'd only grant me this wish I wished back then
I'd never ask for anything again

Sometimes I thank God for unanswered prayers
Remember when you're talkin' to the man upstairs
That just because he doesn't answer doesn't mean he don't care
Some of God's greatest gifts are unanswered prayers

She wasn't quite the angel that I remembered in my dreams
And I could tell that time had changed me
In her eyes too it seemed
We tried to talk about the old days
There wasn't much we could recall
I guess the Lord knows what he's doin' after all

And as she walked away and I looked at my wife
And then and there I thanked the good Lord
For the gifts in my life

Sometimes I thank God for unanswered prayers

Remember when you're talkin' to the man upstairs
That just because he may not answer doesn't mean he don't care
Some of God's greatest gifts are unanswered

Some of God's greatest gifts are all too often unanswered...
Some of God's greatest gifts are unanswered prayers


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Struggle

I have had my fair share of struggles.  I have gone through long periods of sickness, I was laid off three times in Commercial Real Estate before I went into different fields, and I had loved and lost multiple times.  Now I am healthy, I love my job, and I am married to the most incredible man!  Without having lived my life and experiencing the struggles, I could never fully appreciate the blessings God has given me.  I always knew in my heart that God was with me and leaning into him and my loved ones is what carried me through the trials in my life.

It is kind of like appreciating a rainbow, or two, after a huge storm.  Or witnessing the most beautiful sunrise after the darkness of night.  The colors seem so brilliant when you gaze at a rainbow and the sun and breeze feel heavenly after leaving the shadows.  God let's us experience life, and unfortunately he can't protect us from bad things happening to us.  What he can do is give you the strength to persevere and he can carry you through the darkness or help you move past the trying periods in your life.  He blesses you with the grace to stay strong when we feel like we can't go on anymore.

My favorite quote is from the United States Declaration of Independence:

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." 

We have the right to pursue happiness and have a will to thrive.  I don't know why but this is so profound to me.  No one ever said we had the right to be happy.  It is something I strive for every day and I make my own happiness by enjoying the little things and living in the moment.   It is a journey we are on all of our days to live life to the fullest, keeping all the while our inner joy.  Letting our light shine bright and loving others as Jesus and the Lord so loved us.

"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life." John 3:16 NIV

Friday, June 1, 2012

Your Whole World

I love this idea.  I may be just one person to the world, but to one person I might be there whole world.  I live to do life with people, to have people in my life I can count on to be there for me when I need them.  I want to be that friend to someone as well.  I live to love and embrace the challenge to love those who are difficult to love.   The love of one person can change everything.  I know my husband's love has changed my world.  I can't imagine a world without love in it!  That is not a place I would want to be. 

God is love and if you feel that you are all alone, just remember God is love and to Him you are His whole world!!  He is desperate for you and to be there for you.  You have to accept Him into your heart, though.  He won't barge in unannounced.  He will wait for you.  He has to be personally invited into your life.  He doesn't just want to be there when you need something: money, good favor on a big project or event.  He wants to be included in everything.  He wants to be in constant conversation with you and included in the decision making process of your day to day life. 

This is mutual love: confiding in someone about your plans and doing life together.  God wants to do life with you.  He wants to be there for you in good times and bad.  I know one big thing that helps my relationship with my husband is we share our faith in God and he is always in the center of our relationship and he dictates our choices that we make together.  We honor each other to honor God as our marriage is our ministry.  When we are parents one day the best thing we can do is have a healthy marriage.  Every day we work towards loving each other more and continuing to build our life together!!