Tag Archive | precious moments

The Power of Choice

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Perspective…. It can be everything to us can’t it be?   Past experiences often influence our response and trigger feelings within.     The only thing we have control of in this life is how we choose to respond to the moments.    Sometimes we may not feel like we have control, but that is not the case, there is always a choice.

I have had moments in my life that have taken my breath away, moments that have torn me inside out from the core, and moments that leave me numb.   We all have those moments.

It is in those moments where the something powerful emerges – the POWER TO CHOOSE.      As I look back in my life, the moments I have experienced, that have been allowed to happen in my life, have always turned out for good.

But it doesn’t always end up that way for us all because there are usually two paths.

One path is driven by fear, we are a victim, a slave to the moment.

Another path although bumpy offers the least resistance.  This path can offer learning, good to come out of the bad, and is embraced by moving forward one step at a time.

I am thankful for all of the choices I have been given, and the roads I have traveled.  While there has been difficulty along the way, there was always a light to help me navigate.

This journey of life involves difficulty, happiness, anger, hope, sadness, joy, death, life.   As we go through the valleys and up the hills, we have the power to choose and embrace what is.  As we take one step at a time there will always be a light to shine our way.     I believe this to my innermost core.

Today as I sit in this moment, I thank God so much for teaching me how to get up after I fall, how to let go of the fear and trust, how to move forward and to learn to love and trust myself inside out.    This is all a journey, a process, something that I struggle with – loving myself.  But bit by bit I am realizing how I love others is the same grace I need to show myself.

Thank-you Father for your grace you always show me in my day.   YOU are so powerful, and your love is never ending.

Luv Ness

 

The Day that Life Changed ~ 5 years ago

image1January 10, 2011, was a magical day, she watch the whales and glanced at her family.   Her eyes filled up with tears, and glanced across the row of her beautiful family.  She looked at her mom and dad and how happy they were, her brother and his beautiful family, and then her own.

Gratitude set in.   She then thanked Him for all that He had given her, and was so thankful for the state of peace, euphoria that set in.   The day at sea world was over, she was on cloud 9.    She wanted to pinch herself is this for real?  

They had just been through three years of heart ache, pain, loss, and recovery.   She discovered through that difficult time –  family is everything.  Family is what defines us, and at any given moment you can lose someone that you thought would be there forever.   Her heart still swelled at the thought of it all.   But they came through it stronger.

That evening they went grocery shopping for the family.  It was exciting, but exhaustion set in.    Although she was exhausted, her heart was full of joy and anticipation.   They got home, everyone was fed, and then the kids went off to bed.    

That night the six of them sat at the table, laughing, and feeling so happy.   The adults all were celebrating with bubbly.    A couple of glasses and spirits soared.   She watch the flicker of the light on the pool, started to dance and then it all changed.   She dove head first into a 2-4 foot deep end of the pool.    She thought it was 8 ft deep.  Everyone screamed, but they were merely echoes as she entered the water.  Early that day she would not go outside and even think of entering the pool – without a heater who would want to be in the freezing cold water.   But that evening she felt so alive, and just wanted to be free.

Minutes felt like hours, time stood still as her head nicked the bottom of the pool.  A voice came to her, and light surrounded her, You are going to be ok but this is going to be a long road.    She came up from the water, and felt like a child, she called for mommy.    She could hear her husband yelling at her, she felt so stupid.  How could she have been so careless?   How could she only think of herself?  Guilt set in.   Ruined, it’s all ruined.

She walked out of the pool holding her chin in her hand, sat down on the couch and her mom called 9-1-1.    No No don’t do it…. She felt ok, sort of except the pain at the back of her head.    Blood then trickled down her face.    The ambulance came, and they set her down to stabilize her spine on the spine board.   Now everything hurt, her body started to shake.    Inside worry started to overwhelm her, what would happen when her 3 and 6 year old boys woke up?   How could she have done all of this…..

In the ambulance, time stood still again.   So many things went through her mind, guilt, anger, and fear.   She started to pray.   Help me Lord, I am so sorry for doing this.  Please let everything be ok.

At the hospital in the emergency room, they cut open her clothes, and her brother, dad and husband looked with worry as everything was happening so fast.    She had an x-ray and CT scan, it revealed she had a C1 fracture – burst fracture shattered on the right side.   She didn’t understand what that meant, and as the doctor started to explain the seriousness she wondered, am I going to live.    Oh my God what have I done?   Her hands, feet and head started to feel numb.  More fear as she called for a priest.   She then asked him to find the scripture where the disciples did the healing of the hands, and had the ability to heal.    The priest couldn’t find the scripture. She asked her dad, brother, and husband to join hands as they all prayed for her.  It was Matthew 10:10 she was thinking about “He called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and sickness.”  

Her thoughts raced.   And she prayed inside God I know I told you I would never want to live in a capacity that made me disabled.   But I am just praying that you allow me to stay here and be there for my babies.   Please Lord , I am scared of being paralyzed or dying.   Help me please.  I am so sorry for my foolishness.

Her hands, feet and head stopped tingling moments later. He was there, reassuring her she was going to be ok.       

These were a few moments in my story.   My injury only a small percentage of people survive and of those that do survive often are quadriplegics.   I was and still am His miracle.    

The days that followed were very difficult.  One of the most difficult moments was the first time my boys saw their mama for the first time.  The look in their eyes are etched on my heart.     Eyes completely in fear and looking at their mama in an 8lb halo with bolts drilled into her head.  I remember my little Marcus, he looked at me and his eyes were so wide in fear, I then said to him a lie but prayed for strength in the right words “Marcus mommy is ok, she isn’t in pain and is going to be ok.  You know what is cool you can show me for show and tell and say your mommy is a transformer.”  He then smiled but still was scared.  IT was hard leaving my family in the most magical place in the world, but I really didn’t want their time to end with so much uncertainty and unhappiness.   I then flew back from Florida with my mom, and began the journey of trying to be normal again.  

Have you ever been in a situation where you don’t know if your life will be normal again?   I was in this situation, and felt like I caused it all.    I had to forgive myself, but every step I took it was because of God.    For those of you that are unbelievers, I wish you could hold my hand and see everything I saw.

  • Laying in the hospital in the dark, the nurse took the emergency button from me.  Alone, unable to breath or talk properly because of the compression on my vocal cord.   I could barely utter a sound as loud as a whisper.  In pain that was beyond all comprehension, whispering for help.   I prayed, and asked God to allow someone to hear me.
  • When the bolts were drilled into my head, and the halo was fastened, they want you to try to walk after it is put on.  8lbs of weight pushing down, I got up and my heart almost stopped.   I sat down and thought, how am I going to do this? Again I prayed.   He helped me and I was walking again.  First only a few feet, then down the hall.
  • Being at Disneyworld only for a day when I wanted to be there with them forever, walking around with my halo, I prayed.   Please God help me let this go. 
  • Leaving my children in a wheel chair on a plane, and my husband that I depended on for everything.   I prayed, and He helped me again.
  • Coming home and trying to be normal again, doing laundry, cleaning the house, being a mother of strength, and a wife, sister and daughter.  I prayed to keep it all together.  He was there
  • After 80 days of being in the halo, and the CT results revealing the break was worse off than before, my heart was shattered, I didn’t know what this meant for me and my life.   I headed home and prayed.   He asked me, Do you trust in me child, that I am the God beyond all comprehension. Up til that moment, I felt like after being in the halo – I would be normal again –  it was my plan – not His.   In that moment, I cried and said I am sorry – and said YES GOD I TRUST YOU PLEASE FORGIVE ME.

 

God is loving.  His doing is beyond all comprehension.   Today, my C1 did not heal based on conventional medicine.  When you look at me you would never know that I still have a broken neck stabilized by scar tissue and cartilage. 

This was the beginning of what God was going to show me.    These past 5 years, many things have happened to me and the ones I love and cherish.   But HIS GRACE REIGNS.  In each of every story we have come out stronger, with love that is so deep.    I have learnt

  • My material goods, job, or wealth does not define who I am.
  • Love is created through actions, and it is through each one of us that we can create a difference in the life of one or many.   The more good we put out there the more that comes back.
  • Yes there will be hard times in this life, but it is through the love, support, and faith that we will come through stronger.  Good always comes out of the bad.
  • God loves us unconditionally and does not want any harm to come to a hair on our heads.  However, he will allow things to happen for the good of all.
  • One can help many, by opening up our experiences to one another we create healing.
  • I do not need external validation to realize I am a good person.
  • What you put out there in life comes back full circle.
  • Miracles really do happen.
  • I cannot control what happens to me, but I can control how I choose to respond.
  • Love really love the people in your life.  Extend the hand when you can to others.
  • Family and the ones we love may not always be there so enjoy every single moment together.
  • Forgive, let go, let God handle it.     If you cannot do this, it will eat you up inside.
  • Live today, do not be anxious or worry about things that are beyond your control.
  • Take care of yourself inside out – learn to love You the way you are.

 

There are many more learnings, but I am so very thankful for every single one of them.   Tomorrow is my 5 year anniversary since I broke my neck.  I am reminded of the gift of life.   I choose to celebrate this by making someone else’s life a bit better.   We welcomed Esther from Uganda, our third sponsor child into our lives today.    Finally a girl!!   

Life is about the moments that take your breath away, the good the bad and the ugly.    So much of this life is not in our control.  We have the power of choice in every moment.   I choose God to guide me.   Thank-you God for saving me and allowing me to be on this wonderful earth with my children and to be able to laugh, live and love.  I choose to trust you always have my best interests at heart.

These moments take me back 5 years ago:

https://www.youtube.com/user/nessachesters

 

SO thankful for this life….All of it.

~Ness

 

The Spirit of Christmas

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I remember a time when my husband and I struggled, we barely had enough money to pay the bills. Managing finances was a huge component of our day to day living. As time went on, we both progressed in life and career through hard work and determination. Looking back in time, I appreciate the learning that came out of struggling, but now am in a position to give beyond myself.

I have a huge heart and love for people. My hope is for all people to thrive. We are very fortunate in our lives, and I believe that God has given us our blessings so that we can extend a hand on another. Our treasures are not meant for us alone.

Have you ever asked yourself – “How did I get so lucky?” If you have, then you certainly have considered the flip side of what it would look like to go without.

During the Christmas season I have embraced a couple of new traditions. These two traditions are centred on the thought that it is better to give than receive.

The first tradition is to give to our sponsor children. We have two sponsor children, one with world vision Japhet who lives in Rwanda, and another Jenno with Compassion Canada who lives in the Philippines. I have grown to have a special place in my heart for these two boys. Every Christmas season, I decide on providing a gift to their families. The reason being is that although as a sponsor I am helping each of them; it is really through helping their families that will make all the difference. This action also occurs throughout the year at various times. I ask myself over Christmas, if I have been give abundance and security, then how can I extend the hand to them?

The second tradition that we began as a family last year was taking little Christmas packages to Elderly Care Homes in our city. I often find that the elderly get forgotten and Christmas is one of those times that hits home. Last year as a family we made little packages of ornaments, Christmas crackers and candy for the elderly. It was such an amazing feeling but also overwhelmed my heart. The looks in their eyes, the appreciation, and then came tears that flowed at various times. One day, I will be in their situation whether it be for myself or with my own parents, and if I teach my children now about the importance of not forgetting about our loved ones – maybe they will carry the tradition on.

These two items have filled my heart so much over the past year. They have made me realize that one small action creates a reaction. I believe in our culture we surround ourselves so much with our wants and needs, which lead us to sometimes forgetting about what we can do beyond ourselves. My hope is through these small actions, my children are inspired in their lives to continue to do small acts beyond themselves.

So this Christmas, although it is busy at times and can be tiresome at times, what actions can you do that will make a small difference in someone’s day?

May you be blessed my friends.

Vanessa

www.nesschesters.wordpress.com

What do your eyes see?

IMG_1479Yesterday for the first time I realized that the lens I look through is so different now.  Years ago, I let my mind wander into the “what ifs” , I spun my wheels, I made a million lists and didn’t rest until all were complete.

Today,   I am thankful for seeing the wind flowing through the trees and notice the sparkle in the leaves.   I see the birds dance across the lawn.   I notice every movement and realize all of the beauty.

Gratitude is the center.

Love flows through every inch of me.

Every day I wake up and start the morning routine, and as I drive to work, I thank  Him for second chances.   My eyes begin to tear, and I am so full with the love I have at my center.  

The laughter in a child, the beauty in everything.

How can we make gratitude at center?

Do we need to slow down to smell the roses? 

Run, lists, endless items on the “to do lists”.

Is this a choice?    Do you have the power to choose something different??

Our thoughts and choices we can control.   Where do you choose to focus your lens today?

Remember, the power is in you.

 

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. Ecclesiastes 3:11

 

We are here today, gone tomorrow

our days are numbered

Over the past year I have seen a man fight for his life who has only had two years to see his child smile, I have seen a little boy the same age as mine fight for his life, and one lose his life.   These moments are tough for all of us, losing someone in our lives can be difficult and seems so unfair. These moments rock me to the core.   I just want to take all of the pain away, but that is not my job. Lean not on your own understanding. That is the voice that keeps coming to mind. My understanding does not see the full picture or plan, and sometimes miracles happen and other times this is all part a plan that we will only understand when we leave this world.  

I had moments where I did not understand the plan until much later and perhaps more is to come.  

When I fractured my neck, laying in a bed with my dad, brother and husband around me with a priest praying that I will be able to walk and to see my children again.   Three years later I am walking, and have a new normal and have a perspective that I am so thankful for.

Or the moment when I laid my head on my grandfather’s chest and heard his last heartbeat.  Letting go was difficult, but when one life passed another was given (the next day I found out I was pregnant with our second son).

Seeing my mother in pain, and wondering what was next.  Prayer, thanksgiving and petition make the difference.

But I will tell you something, these moments although frightening, and fear of the unknown rose up in my soul, I chose to lift up my worries and pray.   God is in control and I am so thankful for God showing me a different perspective in the pain.     All things in this life are for good. Sometimes it is hard to believe or difficult to see when your eyes are blurred by what is right in front of you.

The lovely web of life teaches us as we experience the moments that take our breath away.   We adjust and change the lens we look through, and we begin to ponder more about life and the moments.    

Life is short, and our time is numbered.   The bible clearly lays this out, and it also helps direct us on where we choose to focus our time and energy.  

Many times I hear people say “when I am retired I plan to travel”, or “when things are less busy we will get together”, or “things will get easier once we are past this stage in our lives”.

Looking ahead and saying” I will when….” “When” may never come. We are here today and gone tomorrow.

We need to focus on the now, make the most of our time here.   This means, living for today, surrounding yourself with love, removing the negativity, and making a choice for the good. And yes there are days when the waves seem to be crashing over us; during these times you can choose focus on what is important. Love and spreading it everywhere.

You have a choice. Where do you choose to focus your time?   Heaven can be on earth… Let go of the fear and live for today.

Be blessed my friend,

Ness

Featured Guest – Heather Von St.James ~ a cancer survivor who beat the odds

Heather and Family GoofyWe all have one life to live, and the question is, how do you chose to live it?  I believe we go through the trials in this life to open up the possiblity of seeing life through a different lens.  We all have a choice as to what we see.

I have been blessed over the past couple of weeks to come across Heather.    Her story is no short of inspirational, and reveals the power of the human spirit.   Heather beat the odds when given only a few months left to live.  Heather was diagnosed with Mesothelioma.

Malignant mesothelioma is a  rare type of cancer that occurs in the thin layer of cells lining the body’s  internal organs, known as the mesothelium. There are three recognized types of  mesothelioma. Pleural mesothelioma  is the most common form of the disease, accounting for roughly 70% of cases, and  occurs in the lining of the lung known as the pleura. Peritoneal  mesothelioma occurs in the lining of the abdominal cavity, known as the  peritoneum and pericardial  mesothelioma originates in the pericardium, which lines the heart. Mesothelioma is caused by exposure to  asbestos and the inhalation of asbestos particles. In most cases, mesothelioma  symptoms will not appear in an individual exposed to asbestos until many  years after the exposure has occurred. Those with a past asbestos exposure  history experiencing symptoms should consult a physician with experience in  accurately diagnosing mesothelioma. The  earlier mesothelioma is diagnosed, the more likely it is to be caught at an  early stage. At earlier stages of mesothelioma progression, more treatment  options are available and oftentimes a better prognosis is given. Additional mesothelioma  information and statistics can be found in this section.

HeatherandLily2Heather’s story is certainly inspirational, and believing in the best is certainly one of her mantra’s.   Take some time to click on the link to her website and listen/watch the video, you will be amazed.   We have one life to live, and this story will change your perspective !

www.mesothelioma.com/heather/  Click the play button once you get there.

If you have a story of inspiration please email me @ nesschesters@gmail.com I would love to share it!  Sharing helps others.   May you be blessed!

~Ness

Guest Post by our Favorite Gina ~ Thankful to Be Thankful at Thanksgiving! (In the US)

imagesHello faithful readers, I have been blessed to become friends with a wonderful group of woman through writing.   Gina is one of these individuals, we have some similarities in our journeys so no coincidence that we found each other.   Her blog site is located : http://ginaquarles.com/ 

In the US it is Thanksgiving on Nov 28, in Canada we celebrated it in Oct 14th.  But I do believe this post is timely, we all have so much to be thankful for and during this time of year it is really easy to get wrapped up in the “wants” vs the “needs”.  What are you thankful for?  Take some time to read Gina’s post, and be blessed!

Thankful to Be Thankful at Thanksgiving!

The month of November is one of my favorite months out of the whole year.  Thanksgiving is right around the corner and it is a time when the seasons are changing right before our eyes. We can see this beautifully, as nature unfolds itself for all to adore. It is  a time of reflection for many and a time of feeling pure appreciation for several things in our lives. What are you thankful for?

Just like nature and all of its wonder, it is a time many go though change as well. When we tend to appreciate even more in our lives we feel thankful. When we are thankful, express gratitude, we are happy and smiling and we are feeling the “feel good” chemicals in our body that it naturally produces. We seem to radiate and send out more of the positive energy that can often be contagious.  It is such a good thing!   It is so awesome when you can notice and feel this type of spirit going around.

I have plenty to be thankful for as I reflect on this past year.  I tend to be more thankful for the non tangible side of things this time around and I think I know why.  As many of you know, I was in a life threatening car accident in January 2012. I have come to realize that for myself, when you go though a near death experience as I did, your perception of life itself changes dramatically.

I was incredibly thankful that GOD had spared me.  Even with all of my limitations and many threats of death at first, I did not care. I was so thankful to be alive.  Of course I was in shock and wasn’t thrilled about my halo or my broken leg and many ribs.  That was all so minor in the big scheme of things. I will say, I was extremely scared when I woke up eleven days later.

Knowing I was alive and even NOT knowing what my outcome would be, I was thrilled to be back with my family.  My husband, my children, my life just wasn’t finished yet! But what could I do? Not much that was for sure.  But fortunately, the future dictated differently.

I am thankful for my miraculous outcome.  I was blessed with coming home to recover and have my hubby as my nurse. The joy of being home, in my familiar surroundings and seeing my children again, left me feeling elated. I felt safe after not feeling safe for a very long time. I did not want to be in a rehabilitation center miles away with more staff caring for me. I wanted my family. I missed them terribly after being away for months in the hospital. I was truly blessed.

My recovery, while very long has been an experience that wasn’t as hard as one may think. I know that sounds crazy to some of you.  So many things that could have gone wrong have not. Again, GOD is good to me. The biggest concern now, is walking without a limp and my pressure wounds healing. But, because of YOU my surgery is happening much sooner than I expected.  If you saw my box of medical bills you would understand. For that, I am so very grateful. Not the bills, the surgery:).

I wont sugar coat and say it was all smooth sailing.  There were days I would just breakdown crying.  I wondered why me and what does this all mean for my future?  I felt fear, sadness, loss and I was grieving my old self. I dealt with some people in my family of origin that completely let me down.  The emotional pain of that is slowly getting better. Time does heal all wounds.  But with all of that, a strength held and comforted me  and got me through it. I know much of it was the support of good friends, family members, all of your prayers and I will say, my attitude.

When you face a life altering experience like I did, you have a choice.  You can let it break you or make you.  There were unfortunately those who tried to break me and or your thoughts can try to as well.  Key word, “try”.  You can imagine the worst. Do not allow any of this to happen.  You do have control. You may feel as if you do not, but trust me, you do.  Your thoughts and what you tell yourself is so vital to recovery. I realize it matters to all of us even without an accident or in the face of tragedy. Just for mental sanity, it is important and a wise practice for a much more stress free way of living.

The nice thing  is that the reality you are making becomes easier over time  You are the one creating it.  If I told myself I would let my condition define me, then it would. Then I became vulnerable to what my situation dictated. That lack of support from those in my family of origin coupled with physical pain I was in was a complete set up for some very real depression.  Everything mattered  more, if that makes sense. I was vulnerable and very sensitive.

When I told myself I was in charge and would not allow anyone or my condition to confine me to an identity I did not want for myself or that was true, I was free. ” I ” made myself into who I knew as Gina. We just work that way. It is so freeing.  Words cannot describe this. It is a personal experience.  But, the nice thing is, you do not have to have a near death experience like I did in order to do it!

The thoughts you allow yourself to have and who you surround yourself with matters.  What you read and fill your brain with matters.  What you seek you will find.  So seek happiness and appreciate the priceless things that surround you every day.  Make yourself a priority. Take the time to get quiet and “be still” and focus on your life and where it is going. Are you happy with it? Are you contributing? Are you loving others? Ask yourself and answer these questions. Reflect.  Love yourself and say, “thank you” often.

We get our priorities mixed up at times. Life is crazy busy like that and if we do not pay attention, it  flies right on by and we can miss out on timeless experiences and feelings. We can fall into a rut so to speak.  Take that time I mentioned and make “you” a priority. Examine your life and ask yourself many different questions more often. You have one life friends and some of the things that we let consume us, you will find are just not worth it. Others, do indeed  deserve much more of our time. You are not obligated to anything or anyone, only to those persons and things that fill you up and surround you with the love we all are worthy of.

Time is like money….spend it wisely!

I hope you all have much to be thankful for. I know I do. I choose to not just think about it in November anymore.  I am thankful everyday.  Everyday presents us with many things to be thankful for.  We just need to stop and take notice  to see them more often:).

XOXO,

Gina

http://ginaquarles.com/