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Reflection on What Matters

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Over these past few years, time feels like it is on fast forward.    As the time flies by, I want to be still and to sit and take in the beauty around me.   My anxious heart wants time to stand still.  

We are only given so much time, it is how and with whom we choose to spend time that makes all the difference.    As I reflect on these past 40 years, there were so many good memories, but a lot of my energy has been put into people, places and things that have zapped my core energy.    Do not get me wrong, I am not a heartless person by any means, in fact I am highly empathetic.   But what I have noticed is that the relationships that took so much out of me, and seemed forced were not the ones I needed to concentrate my time on.    Also, the people pleasing nature that has been intrinsic to my soul, I need to let go of.      This past year has been a year of reflection.    I have made small changes in my life for the better, but it is time to keep moving forward and remove the items that get me stuck.

I will adjust my lens and my new focus will be on situations and people that align with my values (integrity, trust, honesty).    The things I am going to work on will be to:

  • Completely immerse myself and energy in my sons, moments that matter to them, to build self-awareness, self-assurance in them. Help them to see that the validation comes from within, and not externally through people, places or things.  I thank God every day for my two boys who are so different from one another, but teach me every day about myself and the woman I want to be.
  • Continue to focus on building strength, support, and deepened understanding of the one person I love most, my best friend, and husband. I am so very thankful for him every day, and I know that God gave me him to help me to grow.
  • Spend as much time as I can with family, this includes extended family such as friends who have been there unconditionally through thick and thin. Take the time to show them through actions how much they mean to me.
  • Continue to extend the hand for those that are less fortunate than I, and to show love and grace for the needy. Give back and expect nothing in return.
  • Lead by example and challenge situations that may not be align with my core values. Pray for the right words in these situations.
  • Focus on being still, realigning my center, with my faith and my Maker that has carried me through so much. Continue to work on loving myself from the inside out.
  • Start and end my day with gratitude and abundance. Take the time to take stock of how fortunate I am every day, even in the pain and difficult circumstances that will challenge that.
  • Let go of the needing to please in all areas.
  • Let go of the worry or what ifs that I create in my mind. They are merely creations that could become reality if I chose to focus on it too much.
  • Let go of the relationships and remove myself from situations that don’t feel good. If the relationship feels heavy, perhaps it is time to let go and adjust for what it is.

 

We only have so much time in this life, and through reflection, sometimes we need to make some tweaks for the good.     Perhaps this reflection for me is triggered by seeing the woman looking back at me in the mirror has only so much energy and time.    I love her, and want her soul and mind to be aligned and to be full of love.    Today as you pause, take stock of the people in your life that make it easy, the moments that warm your heart and allow you to feel full.

May you be blessed.  Abundance is everywhere.

Ness

The Voice Inside My Head

where is your focusThe voice inside speaks up, it tells you:

  • You are not good enough,
  • That doesn’t look good on you,
  • You were not a good friend, daughter, mother, sister, father, brother
  • You could have done better,
  • They don’t like you,
  • Your illness is going to get the best of you,
  • You cannot overcome this,
  • You can’t do it.

 

The list goes on.   Growing up, I was always envious of those that had inner self-assurance. But perhaps what I saw was not the truth. On the outside things may look beautiful, but on the inside it could be completely different.

I believe we all struggle at times in our lives to measure up.   Where does that measuring stick come from? Perfection…..

Is it something we create inside our heads?   Based on what we hear and see?

Age softens doesn’t it?   As we age, some of us evolve and realize that we are meant for more.

We are meant to thrive, not just survive.

We are meant to love fully and completely.

We are meant to live in the moment and be present.

The question is “How?”

But the How is largely up to you.   Your friends, your family, your coworkers cannot help you.   You need to help yourself.   You need to stop the voice inside and realize that you are meant for more. YOU have the power to choose your response.

In the book, The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle, he explains “When someone goes to the doctor and says, “I hear a voice in my head,” he or she will most likely be sent to a psychiatrist.   The fact is that, in a very similar way, virtually everyone hears a voice, or several voices, in the head all the time: the involuntary thought processes that you don’t realize you have the power to stop.”

You do have the power to stop the voice.   We have complete control of letting that voice spin out of control.   Stop, pause, and reflect on where that voice is coming from, what is the source, and is it real? Or is it simply something you have created?

Living, thriving, loving every moment is dependent on YOU.

How do you choose to respond? Where is your focus?

A Leap of Faith and a Wee Bit of Courage

 Text2Pic (1)Have there been moments in your life where fear grips you.   The stream of questions that flow through your mind, “What if” “I can’t”.   But what if you can?  

Fear can disable us from living fully. We accumulate, we plan, we hoard and stay stuck based on our fears.   We keep our feelings to ourselves for fear on how we will be judged.

During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples save him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out with fear. But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” “Lord if it is you,” Peter replied, “Tell me to come to you on the water.” “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me.” Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” He said, “why do you doubt?” (Matthew 14:25-31)

 

What is stopping you from moving forward today?   It is your beliefs, is it the pursuit of happiness through materialistic means, is it wanting external validation to feel good about YOU, or is it pain that is deep inside that just won’t let you go?

Grab the courage to move forward, let it go and give it to God.   There is so much good that can come from sharing, loving and climbing that mountain.   Get on those hiking boots, and start the climb, once you reach the top there will be no looking back.  

Take a leap of faith, and a wee bit of courage my friend.

As Season’s Change, We Change

Picture for Relationships

Change…

I am thankful for the changes that take my breath away, where I feel so happy I can burst at the seams or the times where the hurt is so bad that I cry out for help.   These have been the moments that have contributed to a greater focus in my life, and by the grace of God, He has provided me a looking glass of what He has planned for me.  

My focus has changed, and I have realized that I need to take care of my health first and foremost so that I can extend myself for others. In nurturing myself, I want to start and end my day with Him and maintain the close connection.   I can only do this if my life is not overextended.

I have also realized that my relationship with my husband is one of the greatest gifts. He was made just for me, and I should never take that for granted.   I should nurture this relationship as much as I can.  

Two other gifts that have been given to me are my precious sons, I am so thankful for the lessons as a parent. I choose to be plugged into their lives, and this means choosing the “right” balance for us as a family (with Gods guiding hand).    

My broader family, the ones that are close, are meant to be held close.   We are joined to support and love one another.  

And then my extended family, my friends that will be there through the sunshine and the rain.    

My priorities seem simple, but I live a messy life like most.   This messy life has its challenges and many times I feel torn between all of the priorities.     I have also found that as I have changed my priorities, some relationships have changed.   Makes sense doesn’t it?   If we change as people, we will bring into our life the people that are willing to change or adapt with us.

It has been hard at times, because I have had to let go of some relationships.   Relationships should not be forced, they should be welcomed and wanted.   Has there been a time in your life where you have felt like you had to force something?   How did you feel? For me, when I have to force something I don’t feel like myself.   Don’t get me wrong, all relationships require work in some way, but when you feel like the work is all on one side and doesn’t start from a place of love – it may be time to let go.

Change isn’t easy, but if you feel good about the changes, then keep riding the waves.   I truly believe the changes in our life are created for good.

Have you experienced some relationship challenges or changes in your life that revealed good? Consider leaving a comment and sharing your experience.

 

 

 

Everyday miracles happen… Do you believe?

Image for 3 year anniversary

Everyday miracles happen… Do you believe?  

I do…. 3 years ago exactly my life was forever changed.  The impossible, became my new reality and I needed to focus on what could be possible… A possible that I never really knew for sure could be a reality.

A shock that shook my family forever, a shock that shook my soul.   I am God’s miracle a C1 fracture survivor.   After heading into the pool headfirst, in 3meter deep water – I survived.   And better yet, I survived and feel I would go through it again if it brings me to the same place I am now.   My C1 fracture was a burst fracture shattered into a million pieces.   I was placed in a halo for 80 days and come to realize that this life is what we make it.  

I chose to trust in God, and to lift up my worries to Him.  Don’t get me wrong there were times where I felt like my breath was taken away. 

  • When my mom washed me for the first time,
  • when I couldn’t dress myself under the halo vest,
  • and when my hair started to fall out in clumps. 
  • Or even just being the mommy to my beautiful boys who looked to me for stability and strength.

I chose to LIVE! 

Returning home and leaving my boys, husband, dad, and brother and family in Disney, I was crushed.  I felt so much remorse and guilt.   As soon as I got home I did 11 loads of laundry.  I thought if I could teach my body to respond to normal every day activities I could strengthen it.   I did everything I did before – except drive.    I am so thankful for the ones who loved me through all of this.

In a halo for 80 days, people would look at me and feel sorry for me.   I began to see through their eyes how people who appear different are treated – it shows all over the expression on peoples’ faces.    Perception is everything, all most people want is to be treated as equals.  

Life came first, the broken neck came second.

Forever changed.

I had this vision, after my halo came off I would be normal again….The world normal – who defines it?  My hair would grow back, I could run again, and have no fear.  

Dancing with the boys before the halo removal to “staying alive”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-4j7lE5d0BI

Removal of the Halo

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o23NLhgjZ0g

Getting the collar on:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H_5lk01G8y0

 But after the halo came off – the radiology results revealed the break was “WORSE OFF” “REMEDIAL ACTION WAS RECOMMENDED”…

I sat there reading the report and was in complete disbelief, fear and overwhelmed with emotion.   Without a C1 and stability, did this mean my spinal cord would be impacted? 

What did I do to deserve this?

What is next?

I was brought to my knees again.   The inner anger towards my actions….. The effects I had on others, and now my family.

All of these thoughts came flooding in….. This is what satan wants.  He wants us to blame ourselves, he wants fear and guilt to drive our thought process.  Because with this – we are paralyzed.

A couple of days went by and I got down on my knees –  I am so thankful for the love of friendship and family and prayers….

I had clarity again, I need to continue to Trust in God.  I asked Him for strength and chose to Trust in Him in all things, and would not live in fear. 

I had to be patient, I had to forgive myself (I am still working on this), I had to love myself. I was not in control of what happens…..

This journey of life, and the trials we face are our mercies in disguise.   They provide so much growth if you are open to it.

 3 years later…… I am blessed with abundance, and I am learning to forgive, let go and realize that all I have is TODAY.  I have chosen not to have a CT scan and do not know if my neck is healed (on paper).  I just chose to believe that God has and continues to heal me from the inside out.

I must live in the moment, and all I can control is my response to what happens in this life.

I am still learning and there are times when I fall short – but that is ok.  This is all part of this journey of life.

This past year I water skied behind our boat, and went on a ton of roller coasters….back at Disney (God gave me a redo.

imagesBXDVPZ48

 

May you be blessed my friends, because I know I am.

Nesscropped-new-face-image.png

(if you want to read more on what happened click here: https://nesschesters.wordpress.com/the-gift-of-being-fully-alive/ )

Got any rivers

                You think are uncrossable?

Got any mountains

You can’t tunnel through?

God specializes

In things thought impossible.

And He can do

What no other can do.

 

 

 

Strength….Courage…And a big bit of Faith

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As you read this click on the following song as it goes along with the post http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4N_8iRmM4JM

Sometimes I want to pinch myself.  

There are moments when I think to myself, is my life for real? How did I get so lucky? 

I don’t know if you have these moments but for me, not too long ago, my breath was taken away by a major event.    I ask myself, what got me through the moments of pain, frustration, and the surreal nature of where my life was.  

We enter these places for a reason and for a season.

As the door opens into the new experience sometimes we just want to run far away from stepping through.   The fear enters, the “what if” scenarios creep in, and behind the door we do not know what is waiting……

Breathless….

One step forward….

Each step gets easier, that is what I have found.   

In these seasons where there is so much unknown, you begin to realize the moments that are tucked deep down that you may have taken for granted in the past…Those moments for me were hugs from my children, husband, and family skin to skin.  A barrier in between, the halo (heavy much like the burdens I had carried for most of my life).

I held those moments in my mind, and I wanted to find my way back.

I am amazed by His Grace that has been given to me.   He held me when I couldn’t hold on, and it felt like I was coming undone.  He lifted me up, and helped me navigate through the pain, He gave me hope when news came that the physical healing had not happened.   He promised me a life without pain as He would shelter me.  All He asked was that I give it all to Him.

Yes, I am the vine; you are the branches. Those who remain in me, and I in them, will produce much fruit. For apart from me you can do nothing. (John 15:5)

The tree symbolizes my journey, finding my way to grow and learning how to be nourished.   I still have much work to do.   My mind falters, and sometimes gives in to the voices that tell me differently.   

We enter these places for a reason and a season.

These places provide perspective, and always in the end, the light shines through.   Leading us to a place that shows His grace, a place where we are meant to be.  Along the way, the path may have some bumps and roadblocks, but the path if you are willing, can lead to feeling light.   The path can lead to Him.

I am thankful for the experiences, for the miracles, and for this life (although messy at times).

 

 

What do you treasure?

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Matthew 6:21, “Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.” (NLT)

She sat there thinking, I can’t believe how things can change so quickly.  She treasured the moments with her grandma and grandpa so much.   Suddenly in less than 6 months both were gone before her eyes.   Then she thought about the moments that became her treasures.

The playful moments, the smiles and the adoration for her grandpa.   The moment when she ran him off the road while they were biking, a moment that would be treasured forever.  The times where her grandma would french braid her hair, she wore her locks with pride.

There were moments when she felt so busy, but always tried to make sure that they felt special.   They were her treasures.

Life can take us by surprise, in a moment things can change or shift.  Change is good, and at times can be challenging.   Time flies by in a blink of an eye.  I remember my mom saying to me, “life speeds up the older you get”.  As a young teenager, I laughed at the comment as it seemed to me that time was not moving fast enough.

We should consider how we spend our time.   Do we spend our time flying by the seat of our pants, or do we pause to take in the fresh scent of this wonderful life of ours?

My treasure is family and love for all.

The treasure comes in all different kinds of gems and gold.   Each item is unique on its own, offering something new.  Each time I take the time to slowly polish each gem it begins to sparkles in the light.

I choose to open that treasure chest every day, curious and with wonder.

I choose to be open to what God wants for me.  Relationships are the most important investments in this life.

Sometimes the lines get blurred between what is important and what is less than important.

In the moments where I can’t see my direction completely I pause and let go so God can lead me.

I choose to invest in the treasure that is right at my fingertips and not get caught up in the “stuff” of this life.

I ask you friend, what do you treasure?

People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs. But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. (NIV, 1 Timothy 6:9-11)

 

Dear Lord God, I thank-you for the ones I love.  I pray that you will continue to lead me in the priorities in this life.  Your priorities are mine.  I pray that I can show my children how to prioritize through you.   I pray for this in Jesus Name Amen