Monday, December 29, 2014

What I've learned in 2014

  The older I get, the more I reflect on the passing of each year. I find myself enjoying the little moments more than I did when my kids were little. Life was so rushed then and I know I failed to stop and enjoy everything like I should have. Now I have a senior in the house and I am soaking up each and every single minute.
   I learned a lot about myself this past year. I've learned how to let go, although I'm still working on letting go of all things. I've checked a few things off the list, so it's progress! I've learned I cannot make people like me. They either do or don't and the reason for not liking me is none of my concern. Heck, I don't like everyone and shouldn't be offended if someone doesn't like me. There are times I don't like myself too much!
   I've learned not to spend too much time stressing over things I cannot change. This one has been very tough. Very, very, very tough. Did I mention tough? I still struggle with it from time to time, but learning this one has really helped me grow into a better person. Closer to the person I want to be. We're all a work in progress, right?
   I've learned friendships take work, no matter how old we get. We all have those friends we just automatically click with and things always seem perfect. We all have those friendships where it's just a bit more difficult, but there's a level of mutual respect that makes it worthwhile. We don't have to enjoy the same things to be friends, we only have to be there. For whatever they need us. I've also learned there are topics you should never discuss if you want the friendship to flourish. It's not about who is right or wrong, it's about respecting differences.
   I've learned hard work actually pays off. Mind you, there were times this year I began to wonder if anyone really noticed what I was doing. One example is my blog. I'd make a post that really resonated deep in my heart and I just knew it was going to make a difference to someone. People would "like" my blog link on Facebook, but I spent time wondering if the words really hit someone like I intended. Right when I felt like giving up my blog, I found a couple of emails from strangers or messages from friends. It's a great feeling knowing your words have touched someone's heart.
   I've learned after 25 years of marriage, it still takes work. I thought somehow 25 would be the magic year when everything suddenly became perfect. After renewing our vows, I just knew we'd never have a disagreement again. Ever. I quickly snapped out of that thought! Marriage takes work and pushing it to the side thinking it doesn't is a big mistake.
   I've learned I'm not as emotionally tough as I once thought. When my daughter started her senior year in the fall, I made it without shedding a single tear. However, over the past two months, I've found myself shedding a tear (or two...or two hundred) when I look at my daughter and realize this girl is about to spread her wings and fly. My tears are more selfish than anything else. I'll miss her, but know it's what is supposed to happen. (When I said I'd learn to let go of things at the beginning of my blog, I wasn't referring to my baby girl!)
   I've learned forgiveness is vital to a good life. Bitterness and resentment are poison to the soul. There's a heaviness to your heart when you don't allow yourself to forgive others. Once you forgive, you immediately feel lifted of the burden. Forgiveness doesn't heal broken relationships, but it allows you to close that chapter in your life.
   I've learned being silly is fun, making people laugh makes me happy and being kind has blessed me more than I could ever imagine. I've learned to listen more and talk less. I've learned to stand strong in my faith and I've learned not everyone believes the way I do. While that is very difficult for me to understand, I've learned the best thing to do is love them anyway. I've learned I'm not very lovable at times and am thankful for the people who love me despite those times.
   I've learned I can check things off my bucket list, but it takes effort. I've learned (well, I'm beginning to learn) to love myself a bit more, to stop being so hard on myself and to stop comparing myself with others. I'm who I am for a reason and I'm looking forward to seeing what 2015 has in store for me.
   I wish you all a year full of blessings, happiness and joy beyond imagine.
  God Bless and thanks for reading!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Heart of a champion

   Watching sports, you can always tell the player who has a lot of heart. The player who doesn't know the meaning of the word quit. The player who most of the time isn't the best athlete, but competes like they are. All these are what I see as traits of a champion.
   I have the privilege of knowing a young man with the biggest heart of anyone I've ever known. He always has a smile on his face and he has a lot of friends. I had the pleasure of writing a story for our paper about Colby two times. The first time was in March and he talked about his dream of one day going to Vegas and riding bulls. The second time was on Monday of this week after he got home from Vegas. Yep, he made it. In just nine short months, he was making his dreams come true!
   Colby was born with a condition which has caused him physical limitations his entire life, although someone forgot to tell Colby he had limitations. Though he be little, he's one fierce young man. His passion, energy and attitude are so contagious.
   I have a few dreams that are written down in a book. They are things I "hope" to do one day. You know what I've done to make those dreams come true? Write them in a book. That's it. They have stayed in that book and will until I act on them. Writing dreams down will not make them come true.
   Colby should tour the country (when he's not riding bulls) and give inspirational speeches. I promise you, you will not meet another person who makes you believe in yourself. Who makes you believe anything is possible. Who makes you believe in God's plan for our lives.
   My life is richer just by knowing him and seeing him succeed. Colby is not surprised at all by his success, he believed all along he could do anything he wanted to do.
   I am looking forward to seeing what else God has in store for this phenomenal young man. I, for one, know limitations only exist if we allow them to. 
   You can find Colby on Facebook here 

Thursday, December 4, 2014

My Christmas Top 5

   I could have made a Christmas Top 100 list, but I thought I would stick with ten! Here are the top five things I love most about Christmas.

1. The meaning. A baby born in a stable who would become the light of the world. A baby who would one day give his life for a world full of sinners. The most amazing gift of all.
2. I could sit in my den and look at our Christmas tree for hours. There is something so peaceful about sitting in a room with nothing but the glowing lights of the Christmas tree.
3. I get to watch "It's a Wonderful Life" and no matter how many times I've watched it, I cry every single time Harry Bailey gives the toast, "To my big brother George, the richest man in town." If you want a life lesson in humility, thankfulness and how important you are to's a must see!
4. Traditions. I am big on traditions and love the ones that come along with Christmas. Hanging lights, stockings, leaving cookies and milk for Santa and reading "'Twas the Night Before Christmas" to little kids. Although I haven't done that one in a while, the memory is embedded in my mind every single year.
5. Music. Oh, how music soothes the soul and Christmas music is one of my all time favorites. The traditional songs take me back to being a little girl. You will never forget the excitement during the Christmas season from when you were a kid. I like to think we are all kids at heart and still have that same excitement.