Autopilot.

Most of us go through our days on autopilot, we aren’t really living, we simply exist. For most of us, we can’t wait for Friday to get here, and then we spend our weekends wishing Monday would delay coming.
 
For others, they rush around pressing time, they simply cannot wait for the next hour to get here, but life is way too short to rush. Life goes by in the blink of an eye and before they know it, they are looking back, wondering what happened to life. What’s worse, pushing time has sealed their fate, where has it taken them, how did they get there so fast, what did rushing buy them. 
 
Today, I choose to slow down and enjoy life.Despite all the illnesses and diseases that I have, I still have presence of mind. I can still live my life, I can still be thankful, I can still enjoy the simple pleasures even if life has dealt me a bad hand. Those things that I truly live for, God, family, friends, community, and even contact with people like you, it is those things that will pull me through the hard times. Though some may not agree, I am blessed and have been blessed beyond measure. Just because I am ill, that will not steal my joy or the memories of what God has done for me and my family.
Here is what I propose; today, right now, slow down, take some time to live your life, enjoy the cool weather, have a picnic with your kids, have some friends over for a BBQ, hang out after dark and see how clear the stars are in the winter. Be thankful for the blessings that you have, be thankful for the blessings of the past and don’t worry about the things that you don’t have or the things you did not do. Don’t let life pass you by and don’t just simply exist, life is too short for that. Live your life to the best of your ability.
 

Monday morning pick me up. (Wisdom, better than riches.)

Proverbs 3: 13-14
“Blessed is the one who finds wisdom, and the one who gets understanding, for the gain from her is better than gain from silver
and her profit better than gold.”
We spend the majority of our lives working so we can gain wealth. Solomon says that those who gain wisdom (applied knowledge) and understanding, they are blessed far more than attaining wealth. Wisdom and understanding were extremely important to Solomon, the wisest man of his time, and the richest man of his time. As a matter of fact, when God asked Solomon to ask Him for whatever he wanted, Solomon ask for wisdom. I dare say most of us would ask for material things if God asked us that question, but wisdom and understanding will make us happier and wealthier in the grand scheme of life.
Working hard is honorable and necessary but ask God for wisdom and understanding, you will be amazed where it takes you. 

It’s ok to not be ok…But not for long.

I am convinced, now more than ever, that my childhood prepared me for this battle of illnesses that, simply put, is trying to kill me physically as well as mentally. I have struggled with so many illnesses in the last three years, every time I go to the doctor it seems there is just more diagnosed illnesses on top of what I already have. It should be overwhelming for me and perhaps I should be sitting in a corner sucking my thumb, rocking back and forth, but I am actually at peace. I want to share how I am able to handle and process these things that have been happening to me. 

We all have feelings and that’s a really good thing because that enables us to love others and respect each other but our feelings can also be a very damaging thing as well.  For me my feelings either control my situation or I control my feelings and overcome my circumstances.
It is ok to feel worried or scared, but I have found that in order to control my feelings about bad news I have to consciously tell myself how long I am going to have negative feelings. 
I literally have to stop and think about how I feel about each situation. I cannot group all of my issues together as one big problem, that would be too much, I have to look at things in a smaller scale. I choose not to worry. I choose to keep in mind the some of my situations are overwhelming, but I also search for the best outcome. I try and stay in control of my feelings. 
 I have had to face many circumstances that have been out of my control. I have had to accept that’s it is ok to feel down and confused at times but only for a short period. I have to be responsible to bring myself back out of negativity and control my feelings about the circumstance that come my way. It’s ok to not be ok, as long as I don’t stay there for long. 

How to sharpen your listening skills.

Listening is an important skill to have but a lot of people do not really know how to listen effectively. I have learned over the years that the most valuable thing that I can offer to anybody is to simply be a good listener. If you think about it, a truly best friend is a great listener. Most of the time people are looking for friends who will listen without judging.
When talking about my illness to people I have find that I have run across people that simply do not listen. Although it comes from the right intentions, people will try to relate to my illness with something that they have had before and often will hand out unwanted and bad advice when all I really need is for them to listen. We all have our own story, no one really knows how you and I feel, they can relate, but they do not know how we feel. We all handle our trials, troubles and illnesses differently, we are all unique, our internal make up is different, our feelings are our feelings. Try to never say, “I know how you feel.”
Here are some great ways to begin sharpening your skills on listening to others. 
1. Allow others to say what they are going to say. Let them tell their story, an opportunity will come at some time in the relationship for you to tell your story in relation to their story.
2. Stay silent!
3. Bank information.
4. Be open and receptive.  nod, smile, make occasional eye contact, act like you care.
5. Only give advice if the person asks for it and keep the advice short and to the point.
If you found this blog helpful, please like and share.
 
 

Thanksgiving.

 

It’s Thanksgiving and it’s a time to pause and give thanks for all the blessings in our lives. The end of the year should be filled with family, celebration and gratefulness. I believe it’s time to realize that every day we should be giving thanks! 
For me every day is a day to be thankful because I am simply alive. Although there have been days lately that have been less than favorable for me, I can still say that the fact that I wake up every single day and take a breath is a true blessing.
For most of my life I was blinded to the simple blessings that God had given me. I grew up in a less than a stellar home and family life. I did not have a good family connection and I kept the rest of the world at bay.  If God didn’t move in an earth shattering miracle, I could not see Him move at all. My perception was skewed waiting on the big wow moments.
If there is one thing I have learned is that God doesn’t always give me wow moments. Don’t get me wrong, I have had some big, “only God could have done that”, moments but now I’m thankful for the blessings of everyday life that get overlooked and that I have, for so long, taken for granted.
I am most thankful for the simplest, and the most overlooked blessings; being alive today. It may not be pain free, I have struggles with so much because of my illnesses, but God still has given me love, peace, mercy and my life.