About Me...

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In a nut shell : I'm a wife, a full time working mom, a teacher, a Star Wars geek, comic book nerd, Disney enthusiast, hockey Mom, a decade long breast cancer survivor, and oh let's not forget such a happy, sassy, southern mess!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Road Map

Life can be unfair on any given day. We can wake up in the morning feeling all is well in our world, the sun shining bright in the sky and the breeze gently blowing through the trees. Then you walk out the door and bam the clouds roll in, dark, full and bursting with rain.

Life is tough; there is no doubt about that. Every day holds a new adventure, sometimes they are wonderful and sometimes they are painful but every turn we take along the road of life we are offered a new opportunity. Life is full of obstacles and adversities we must strive to overcome but life is also full of kindness and beauty and generosity. Life is full of beautiful moments and yes it is also full of traumatic ones as well but the truth is this: it’s what you do with those moments that truly define your character.

We can keep the rage inside, allow hate to overcome us, distort our view and consume us with a need to inflict our pain on others. This is one way to deal with the detours life brings our way but I don’t recommend this myself. Honestly it only breeds more pain.

Is it easy to turn the contempt we feel inside for life’s blows into a turbulent ride? Yes, I understand this contempt. Sometimes our pain is so deep so fierce that is all we can see but sometimes it’s not about taking the easy road. No, sometimes it’s about taking the road less traveled allowing the mishaps in life to transform us into better people.

Maybe what we need is a fresh take on life, a way to turn our hurt into blessings. Now don’t get me wrong we all struggle with the road of life and all the twists and turns we are guided through. Sometimes the map we are given is torn from the start. Maybe we miss opportunities we thought best but maybe without those missed experiences we would not have been blessed in ways we have yet to understand.

I am a breast cancer survivor. Life has not been easy living with this beast of mine ready to jump out from behind the curtain at any time. Yes, my husband lost his job and we struggled, even now we struggle without insurance until July, but these are life lessons. They have defined us, taught us to trust, to believe, made us stronger, and brought us closer as a family. Have we struggled, been to the bottom of the well and come up dry? You bet ya we have! Have I questioned my faith and cried out to God in pain? Yes, I have… but I have also learned to surrender the things in life I cannot change. Instead of giving in to the anger and the resentment as a family we have picked up the pieces and let go of the missing puzzle pieces. One day these pieces will fit just not today.

So for now this giant jigsaw puzzle of life is incomplete but that’s ok. Each day we have together is one more than we had yesterday. So for now a piece doesn’t fit…. Later down the road when the picture is clearer the misshaped pieces will fit and make sense…just not today.

As I close my thoughts for now I want to encourage you to keep fighting, pushing forward but be mindful not to inflict unbridled pain upon your own life. The road map, the compass rose before you can lead you down many roads, take many detours but take the wrong turn and life can come undone. Life is what you make it... remember that. We all have choices, not in what happens to us but in how we handle what happens in our lives.

"Life is what you make it. Always has been, always will be. " ~ Eleanor Roosevelt


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Charting A Course

I have often wondered where life would have taken me if not for the” what if’s”. You know what I am talking about… the “what if” syndrome. What if I had just taken a right turn instead of a left? What if I had waited a little longer to go to college and seen the world first? What if I had taken the first job offer instead of the second one? What if I had chosen to forgive instead of hate? What if I had not been diagnosed with breast cancer?

Well if I spent my time plotting out all the “what ifs” I could have taken my life’s path would have been different, maybe too different. The question is this, would I have wanted my life to be all that different from the course I am on now? If I could change the road I am on now then I would not know the inner peace I hold to either. Does that mean life is easy? Does it mean I greet each day eager to face what is outside my door? Honestly no, there are many days I cringe just knowing the beast is hiding right outside my door. But does that mean I should hide from life and all she holds for me?

Life is full of these kinds of “what ifs”. If we wanted we could spend all of our time thinking and rethinking the curves life throws our way but to what end? I guess if I wanted I could be bitter, angry at the world and at God for the trials my life has been allowed to endure. But how would allowing that kind of pain to overcome my spirit benefit anyone? This is the thing: life is about riding the waves. Sometimes we roll with them, sometimes we go over the top and at other times we fall beneath them.

I think about it this way: Our lives are like ships, each beautiful, strong vessels of the sea. We are made for the ocean waters able to withstand the storms of life. We have anchors to secure our lives and boughs in which to steer us into port. Yet the truth is this: just because we are strong, does not mean we cannot sink, take on water, and become ship wrecked. If we are to remain capable of sailing the oceans of the living we need to maintain our integrity, character and strength. If we are to make it through life’s hurricanes we need to chart a course, hold fast, look to the stars, steer our ships through the heavy rain and stay true to our heading.

If Breast Cancer has taught me anything along the way she has taught me endurance and given me strength. Come what may I do not regret this course I am on. I cannot begin to imagine what tomorrow may bring because If I have learned anything along the way is even a beautiful day can end with black clouds over head. Can I say how God knew who I would become someday? No, but He did know at the world’s end His grace would be sufficient. This joy of mine shines out from beneath the dark clouds calling me closer to His mercy and grace every day. In His eyes I am still beautiful even if I came to port with sails in need of mending.

So I ask what about life’s “what ifs” ? Do we toss all we know, all we are overboard just to gamble on a “what if” ? I say no, not in a million years. Maybe, just maybe it’s time to soar, to fly and reach for the stars above us, embrace the life we have been given and those who love us just as we are. I say it’s time to let our faith fill our sails with strength, break free from these rocks of disbelief and wrap ourselves in a flag of hope. Go on…let go of the fear binding us to the uncontrollable oceans below us.

What do you say? Are you ready to wake up friend and watch the sunlight dance across the morning with new found hope? Let your heart beat your spirit go, chart a course and follow it all the way across the sea. Come on, come with me and get caught up in the here and now, not in the “what ifs” and dance clear across this beautiful ocean of life!