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What’s your focus point?

What is the focus point in your living room? For most of you it is your television (and my living room is no exception). What I have noticed is that the “older generation” have mirrors or pictures as the focus point.

Previous generations have better self images, more confidence, and way better role models. We are doing it all wrong. We are telling our kids to focus on what TV tells them, not to look at themselves in the mirror and know that is enough. We encourage the centerpiece of their everyday lives to tell them lies, show them how to dress, what shampoo, or makeup to use. I have been thinking a lot about how different girls would be if they didn’t have a TV staring at them in the main room of their house and their bedrooms. They would probably read more books, listen to better music, play more sports, be confident that who they are is good enough for the world.

My 15 month old can pick up the remote and say TV… He gets to watch maybe 30 minutes of TV a day (and normally this only happens a few days a week) and he knows what it is called. It made me stop and think the first time he said it, he has a lot of toys, books, and we spend plenty of time outside but he knows what the TV is. When we have a house I don’t want the focus of my children’s main living area to be a TV, I want them to be creative and confident. I want them to know that they are good enough just the way they are. That society doesn’t matter. I want them to look in the mirror and be proud of what they see because they are themselves and not what the TV told them to be.

Let’s focus on communicating in our main living spaces and encouraging our kids. If you don’t have another space to move your TV then try limiting the amount it is on. Make your kids use their imagination and speak their mind. Let them be kids.

Plan. Adapt. Sleep.

I haven’t written in a long time. Part of me wants closure on the current health issues before writing again but I don’t have answers yet and need to write.

Here is how my night has gone. Babysitter arrived at 6 and we left. Went out for supper with my husband, then grabbed some ice cream and went for a drive, wasted a few minutes at Wal-Mart and came home. Chatted with the babysitter then Graysen woke up. Babysitter left and Michael got changed to head into work. Eventually put the baby down and got a decaf coffee, piece of cheesecake and turned on the computer. Graysen was still screaming so I gave him Advil and a bottle and he continued to scream. He eventually settled and fell asleep (with the hiccups which was odd but they stopped!) Now I am sitting here with cold coffee and trying to write and as you can see from my last paragraph I am not doing so well at it!

As you can imagine this is not the way I planned my quiet evening to go and now I am way too tired to do anything but go to bed.

Thank You.

After my post last week I have received an out pouring of love and support that I am so thankful for.

Never once did I think I was alone in this journey but to be told just how many people are praying for me and my family is such an encouragement.

This is scary and the truth is it could be anything but I believe in the power of prayer and that if God takes you to it he will take you through it.

So thank you. You have no idea how much all of your simple words have impacted my week. Thank you for being an encouragement and know that you have made a difference this week.

Do not worry about anything, Pray about everything.

I need to write this because until I do the thoughts will continue to run around inside my head and I will continue to focus on the “what ifs” not what is right in front of my face.

On February 26, 2013 I went to my doctor to find out what was causing the pain in my breast. I expected the worst (and still do). She was concerned and printed a request for a mammogram and stated that it was to be booked ASAP. When I went home and talked with my husband about all of this we made the decision to not focus on the “what ifs”, we decided it wasn’t going to benefit our family to think or talk about them because at the end of the day what if it wasn’t anything?

That was 37 days ago.

On March 25, 2013 I went back to her. I still didn’t have an appointment for my mammogram and she was floored. She printed another request underlined and highlighted the ASAP and handed it to her receptionist and told her to call everyone she needed to and make sure I got an appointment. The next day I received a phone call that my appointment was April 16, 2013.

49 days from my original appointment. By the time I get my results it will be 2 months of waiting and not knowing.

This week I was feeling overwhelmed by the wait, the unknown, the possibilities. I hit my breaking point and let the “what ifs” flow freely into my head.

What if I have cancer…

What if we just wasted 2 months…

What if we can never have anymore kids…

What if I get so weak I can’t even hold my sweet boy…

What if I have to spend months in the hospital…

What happens to my husband and son…

What if I have to have surgery…

What if I die…

 

The “what ifs” have consumed me but for what? I have wasted an entire day letting them eat me up, letting them get between my marriage, and letting them allow me to avoid my faith and belief in Jesus.

I believe in a God who is says in Philippians 4 verse 6 – Don’t worry about anything, but pray about everything. With thankful hearts offer up your prayers and requests to God.

So now that I have kicked the “what ifs” out of my head I will pray for peace, for strength over the next month, for some of the best days with my family, for guidance, and for the knowledge that it is His will being done.

So there it is. There is my moment of weakness in this battle. However tomorrow is a new day and I have faith that no matter what is thrown at our family it has come for a reason and we will be given the strength to fight it.

 

Let the rain fall down around me

I love rain.

Have you ever stood outside and enjoyed the rain? Yes, you will get wet and sometimes it is cold but it is such a blessing to live in a place where we don’t worry about droughts and the complications that come without rain. When it rains there is a smell in the air that is indescribable, there is a peace that comes with just standing there letting the rain wash over you.

We often associate rain with storms and negativity but if you have ever spent any time outside letting yourself go while the rain is falling around you then you know it is not always a storm or some horrible thing that is going to ruin your day. I urge you the next time there is a warm rain (don’t want to encourage a cold rainy day & make you sick!) to get out and stand in the rain. You can sing, dance, pray, laugh, cry, I don’t care what you do just embrace the beauty of the rain. After standing in the rain I often feel refreshed and just have a new outlook on things.

With a toddler I spend most rainy days inside or dashing from the car to inside because it is a hassle to get soaked with a toddler. This summer I plan to go outside barefoot during a warm rain and enjoy it with my sweet boy and hope that he will grow up to love the rain as much as I do!

What A Fine Life We Are Living

I needed this reminder today.

I have found myself in a spot where all I want is to pack up and move back to PEI. I have found myself wishing and wanting for something different and not focusing on the fact that we are living a fine life. These words come from a song by Said The Whale and tonight I am so thankful for them.

I have a warm bed, a loving husband, adorable son, fantastic friends, a great family. These are just a few of the things that matter.

What if I woke up in the morning and could do anything, go anywhere, buy whatever I wanted?

Would it make me happy or destroy my life?

What if I woke up and had to declare bankruptcy and had nothing at all?

Would I try to make the best of what I had or let it take over my life and ruin me?

Some of the happiest people in life have nothing. I want to be one of them. I want to be happy with where my life is right now. I want to remember that this is a fine life we are living.

Stop and ask yourself if you could have it all would it make you or break you? Would having nothing make you a better person or ruin the life you have?

Or at the end of the day is this a fine life we are living?

 

“My brain works differently than yours”

When you think of Autism what comes to mind? It could be a variety of things, someone you know, things you’ve been told about the disorder, the debate over vaccines being connected to the development of autism, characteristics associated with an autistic individual, or maybe you know nothing about it. 

When I think of autism I think of my cousin. He is 13 years old now and has come such a far way over the years, his communication is unbelievable, although he will do everything to avoid having a conversation with me. I make a point to make him talk, to get him away from the video games or dvds and talk about real life, because I know he can and I love to hear what he has to say. I encourage him to read to anyone who is willing to listen, because he can, and you may spend more time telling him to slow down and read loudly but he can read and that is what counts. He has a smile that lights up a room and a joy within him that is hard to find in a boy his age. He is truly a bright spot in my life that I am so thankful for. 

What I don’t understand about the world is their inability to understand the ways Autism Spectrum Disorder affects individuals. Why is it so hard for you to understand that it takes a person with autism a longer time to learn or they need to be taught in a unique way so that they do learn? Autism may affect the way people live their life but they are still people, they still have feelings and want to feel included. 

The next time you meet someone with autism that is high functioning and capable of having a conversation, talk with them, encourage them and most importantly ask them what they want the world to know about the way autism affects their life. I guarantee it will be a response similar to that of my sweet cousin. 

A conversation my aunt had with my cousin:

I asked him what he would say about learning things, how his brain works. His reply, “Sometimes it takes me longer to learn things, my brain works differently than yours.”

 

We all have a story that could break your heart

Tonight I am not going to tell you my story but I will tell you that To Write Love On Her Arms is an organization that helped change my story. They are a huge part of who I am today and I wear shirts that have their name printed in bold letters across the front because I believe in what they stand for. I believe that rescue is possible, that hope is real, and this is not where your story ends. 

When I first heard about TWLOHA I read the story that began it all. I read just about every bit of information on their website and was totally caught up in everything they stood for.

“You were created to love and be loved. You were meant to live life in relationship with other people, to know and be known. You need to know that your story is important and that you’re part of a bigger story. You need to know that your life matters.” 

These words come from their vision, if you go to the website you will find them. They are real. I was living in a world where I was loved, I was in a relationship with people, and I was known but was having trouble noticing all of these things. I didn’t feel like I deserved any of it and that my life didn’t matter and so I had stopped loving, stopped knowing, stopped feeling, and stopped mattering to myself. I felt like I was staring at a dead end road and there wasn’t room for a u-turn. 

L.O.V.E. 

The answer was simple but I needed to acknowledge it. TWLOHA is not the only thing that opened my eyes to what I needed to get out of the dark part of my life but it is part of my story and I will support it. 

I could copy and paste their story and vision but it won’t make you want to learn more. If you are interested visit their website [www.twloha.com]. 

Nothing Formed Against Me Shall Stand

This past week in the midst of my emotional roller coaster I had a friend send me the link to a Chris Tomlin song. I listened to the song she sent and then continued to listen to other songs and came across the song – Whom Shall I Fear [God of angel armies]. It has been my sweet spot this week, in the lyrics it says “You are my sword and shield though troubles linger still” as well as “Nothing formed against me shall stand”. These lyrics have been my hope this week. I have been feeling defeated and haven’t been getting answers in my time but it isn’t about me. When I am ready and at peace with the possibilities things will happen.

I am so thankful for friends who point me in the right direction when I need it. The lyrics to Whom Shall I Fear are my prayer this week. They are the words I am living by.