Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Life is full of Surprises

Living in the moment means
letting go of the past and not waiting for the future.
It means living your life consciously,
aware that each moment you breathe is a gift.

- Oprah Winfrey

Sometimes my mind is blown by the complexity of life... the things we take for granted... and the spontaneity of situations and outcomes... Lately my heart has been touched by so many stories, and my eyes have been opened by my own circumstances. It is so awesome growing older and having new epiphanies and realizations - growing wisdom.

I happened to come across a Caring bridge site written by the parents of Kaitlyn Johanson. At 16 years of age, in August of 2007, she was in a severe car accident in Rochester MN. She was rushed to Mayo clinic. She sustained numerous injuries, the biggest triumph they have had to face was the traumatic brain injuries that were incurred. Kasey and Brian, Kaitlyn's parents, lives were shaken and drastically changed by this tragedy, as was Kaitlyn's. There lives have been forever changed. As a parent I can only imagine all that they have been through... Their courage and strength throughout it all have amazed and shocked me! I am such an empathetic person so when I come across stories such as these it is like it becomes my own story - I become affected by it, and something changes inside of me. It has been weighing on my heart and I have been praying for them. Sometimes I wonder if God brings these stories into my life to teach me a lesson. I take so many things for granted... The ability to walk, to talk, communicate in a socially acceptable fashion, the fact the my brain and my mind function at a normal rate, my eyesight, my ability to live life easily without having to worry about my disabilities hindering my way of life. Poor Kaitlyn had to start all over, she had to relearn how to walk, talk, eat... Two years later she is still in the process of recovery and has to face simple issues day in and day out. Her recovery process will be in effect for years to come, and she will probably never be the person that she was prior to her accident.

Nothing is ever predictable! Sometimes I am fearful of what the future holds, but then I realize that it is out of my hands and I shouldn't worry! No matter what things will always work out in the end, it is sort of a motto that I have created for the hard times that I have faced over the years, and will continue to face down the road. We need to live for today, we never know what tomorrow will bring. We need to appreciate every moment, and not let the small things steal our joy and happiness. Life is so short to be angry all the time, or to hold a grudge.

To end on a lighter note, I love the quote from Kung Fu Panda (I know this is not where it originated, but every time I hear it I think of Master Oogway, and he makes me smile :)

Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery.
But today is a gift. That’s why we call it the present

~Master Oogway

Monday, December 14, 2009

Merry Christmas

I am not sure why but as every year passes I seem to love Christmas so much more. Maybe it is because as I get older I appreciate things more, or maybe it is because I am a Mom now...

It is such a great time of year where I can feel the love all around me, and I cannot get enough of it. The month of December has already flown by and I have yet to send out my Christmas cards (hopefully it will be done in the early part of this week).

I just want to wish everyone a beautiful and Merry Christmas. If this is a hard time of year for you I am sorry, but just remember you are not alone, This is in fact the celebration of Christ's birthday - he came to be with us!!

Have fun eating cookies, decorating your tree, spending quality time with your family and friends, sipping hot cocoa, singing carols, and giving thanks to God - there is no better time than now.

If I didn't send you a card and you would like one just send your address my way.

Love you all!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Trust in God

'Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. ' John 14:1

What do we do and where do we turn when it seems like everything is falling apart? When we lose our jobs, or our children are heading down the wrong path, when someone dies, or we are facing devastating consequences for the bad choices that we have made; who do we turn to?

'Dear brothers and sisters,when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.'
James 1:2-4

All too often I turn to worry, guilt, shame... But I need to remember that my life is not in my control. I am called to give it up, I am called to surrender, to a God who is far greater than my mind can imagine.

'Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it.' Matt 16:24-25

God wants us to give up ALL control and put it into his hands!! Those tough seasons in your life could be a time where he is preparing you to rely more on him and give up control of your own life or the life of a spouse or child. Truly, all of our lives are out of our control, it is only God that knows what is ahead and in store for us.

We need to be reassured that God has great plans, and without these hard times all of this, Gods plans may not happen. I cannot help but think and know that God is in everything somehow, even though it may not seem like it at the moment... When we are facing those challenging times that life throws our way, God could be in the middle of it all preparing us for something great, for something that can turn your world upside down.

When we are going through those rough times we need to remember to turn to him, he is right by our side!

Last night I was spending time with Shirley (it is her birthday today!) we were talking about how Madi is influenced by both Dan and I. I expressed my concern for Madi's life, I don't want her to make the same bad choices that I have made in my life. As a Mom I want her to make the best decisions and be the best that she can be throughout her whole life... Shirley reminded me and assured me that Madi is Gods, and she is in his hands - and when I went up in front of the church to dedicate her that is exactly what I was doing, I was giving her to God! Madi's life is in Gods hands now, I am just a Shepard guiding her along the path of life, helping to teach her and guide her!

I think that we often forget sometimes that when we become Christ filled and we give our lives to God, our lives are no longer ours to hold on to, and try to control... we need to give UP and give it to God. I know that it is easier said than done, but God wants us to lay down our lives and give it all to him, he knows the plans he has for our lives. We shouldn't worry, he has it all figured out.

'For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.' Jeremiah 29:11

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


1 Thessalonians 5:18
No matter what happens, always be thankful, for this is God's will for you.

During a time of year where we reflect on the things that we are thankful for, I have been reminded that there is so much to give thanks for.

So here is a list some things that I am truly and utterly thankful for.

*Jesus and his sacrifice for my life

*Madilynn Paige - the one who makes life brighter and worth living

*Being Cancer free!

*Christmas, it brings out the beauty in people and reminds me of what life is all about

*Music, all kinds of music

*Freedom, it is something that I often take for granted

*Witnessing Talent

*Chili, it is so yummy, especially on a chilly day!

*Loving Family

*Facebook, I love being connected and being social

*Sleep, I am grateful for the hours that I get

*A place to call home

*Friends who care

*Nature, we are surrounded by a beautiful creation

*Adam, he brings smiles to my face every day

*The smell of rain in the air, it is refreshing

*the Love of Dan and Shirley


*The unconditional love that I receive from a very forgiving God

*Pink finger nail polish, even on a bad day it makes me feel pretty

*Community, I am so blessed! Naomi, Amanda, April, Tamrah, Emarie, Loni, Missy, Anna, Meredith, Faith, Monique, Ashley, and Jessica you girls have been so supportive over the last year, I am so thankful for you all!

*The ability to run, even if I don't do it everyday, I know that I still can!

*A good Career, I have been so blessed with a steady, good job

*My education

*Looking forward to a future that is in Gods hands, I know that he has amazing plans for my life, it is beautiful watching it unfold