Saturday, September 25, 2010

How to Give Thanks During a Stressful Time

I had a stressful week....actually month. Between chipping my tooth, getting a $400 electric bill, Pouncer with his diabetes then running away, brakes on my car needing to be replaced, and then issues with Chloe I just wanted to run away. After the storm calmed down I sat and tried to figure out what good came out of all of this. What it comes down to is that I realized how much people really care for me. So what if I look like I belong at the Q-Mart? LOL! My tooth will be fixed on the 14th of October.

On Agape's CD there is a song called Rejoice. Near the end of the song he sings, "Let us give thanks in all circumstances." When you feel like the world is crashing down on you, how do you give thanks? Taking some alone time, I prayed. I prayed that God helped me think of what I have to be thankful for during all this mess. I analyzed each situation: I didn't care for my left front tooth all that much so maybe chipping it and getting it re-done will make it look better? My electric bill just pushes me to look for a better building even more....which will help with location. It also pushed Erika and I on to getting eclectic turned off on the circuit breaker that we were not using. Pouncer....well I learned that I CAN give shots and take care of something I care about even if it means learning to do something I never thought I could. Him running away made me realize how many people care about Pounce and me. I think all of Hellertown was searching for him. Plus it made me realize even more how much Shawn cares for me. The entire day he walked up and down the alley behind the store, calling Pounce, talking to everyone he saw outside, walking the creek.....doing all he could to find my cat. He was supposed to be working but could not focus on anything with me being so upset. Jen R and Erika were as equally upset as I which showed their care and concern towards me.

Chloe's illness made me realize that I do have people who recognize all I do for them. The Center for Animal Health and Welfare offered to take care of Chloe so that I would not encounter a huge vet bill. The Center does not take any animals outside of the shelter for vet visits or surgery. But because they recognize all I do for them, they want me to bring all of my pets there from now on. It makes me feel appreciated. Not everyone gets to see how much we do for others and that is ok. Most of the time I like it when I am not recognized and can stay behind the scenes. Never would I expect anything in return, this is not why I do what I do.

What it comes down to is that God has surrounded me with amazing people. He makes sure that I know I am not alone in any situation. He gave me friends that feel my sadness and hold my hand during tough situations. They also cheer me on and celebrate with me the happy times. God gave me Shawn who never gives up and keeps me motivated to keep going. He had so much faith that we would find Pouncer and kept telling me that he was not giving up until we did. Shawn showed me that I am the most important thing to him and that when I am sad, his heart is heavy. My family was all praying for us, neighbors were praying, Makenna's teachers were praying, and finding Pouncer just shows me that prayers ARE answered. The more people who pray about the same thing, the faster the prayer is answered. Thank you to everyone who prayed for Pouncers return and for me and my kids.

I am so blessed to have many people that I can lean on. They are strong when I am weak. I am so thankful that God has enabled me to find the good in these situations. My jeeps brakes, well I was not ever in an accident and now my brakes work better than ever. So I am thankful for new brakes and that God kept me safe when they were not working. And thanks to my dad, I did not have to pay a mechanic to fix them. Focus on the good. That is all I can say. I have a roof over my head, food in my fridge, a jeep to drive, clothes to wear, healthy kids, I am healthy,  I have a job, I have an over abundance of friends, I have an amazing relationship with Shawn, my pets love me unconditionally, I can see, I can hear, I can speak, I can run....I am free, I am beautiful and I am very much loved by many. Praise the Lord.

The other things I am thankful for today:
My time at The Center with my friends and my youth group
and all my other favorite furry kitty friends
the power of prayer
the rain
the sunshine
painted toes
knowing my treasures await for me in Heaven and that no earthly treasures will be as wonderful.
blue and purple
non-judgemental people
the quote: Keep your nose out of people's business or their business will stay on your nose. ~The Power
a heart full of love

Monday, September 20, 2010

Agape and the Treadmill of Life

Yesterday was an awesome day with my children. We went to see Agape at a local church. He is amazing. Not only do the words of his music inspire me but his stories touch me in a way that I could listen to him all day long. Gavin was so interested in everything David said. My niece and nephew had a great time dancing with my kids and I, to his music. Thank you to Jennifer, Sally and Erika for watching my store so that I could be with my kids. We really had a great time.

So I got this fortune cookie that read: If you do what you have always done, you will get what you've always gotten. The meaning to me is that if we look at our lives as one big circle of events, good or bad, which ever of the two it is, it is because of choices we have made. If we choose to be mean, act jealous, not be wise with our money, be negative, whatever....we will always come in contact with mean people, feel worthlessness, be broke or bouncing a check, and get negative things in your life. If you choose to be giving and friendly, wise with our money, confident in ourselves and as positive as possible, then we will get more happy people in our lives, feel content and worthy, be wealthy in our bank account and in our hearts.

Why do people continue to stay the same if they do not like what comes to them or if they are so miserable in their life? If they have not learned the lesson it will come back around. In The Secret they call this 'the treadmill of life'. We can choose to get off this treadmill and make a better choice for ourselves. However, most people are so used to their life being this way, afraid to change, or rather wait for something good to just happen to them to change things. We are the ones who have to make the change.

Our past and our upbringing has a lot to do with why we are molded into who we are but remember that this belief system was instilled in isn't necessarily how we HAVE to be. We chose to react to situations they way we do, we chose to be happy or sad, we chose to open the door for someone or just ignore them completely. There is a way to change everything. How do we do this? Start by changing your thoughts into thoughts of love. If you focus on love, then the things you do not love do not seem so important. Start giving without expecting anything in return. Treat people the way you want to be treated. And, remember that God loves everyone.....even those people you cannot stand...a quote from Agape. Prayer also helps. Ask God to guide you and listen. Our lives will only feel like one big circle of events if we decide not to change our decisions and/or the way we think. We are in charge of our lives.

What I am thankful for today:
time with my kids yesterday
The Agape concert
my children
my pets
my family
lunch with Jennifer and Jessica today
the animal shelter with my youth group this Saturday
HIS blog
my store
Chloe healing
the sunshine
my favorite TV shows
the gym
the upcoming fundraiser

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

A New Song & A Peaceful Sign

There is a new song that is out now that really sticks out when I hear it. After looking it up and finding the lyrics, I know why. Shawn has told me almost everything that these lyrics say. It is as if he wrote the song himself. He tells me that I am beautiful and clarifies that it is not just outter beauty. When he is complimenting the way I look he says, "You look nice today". When he is complimenting me as a whole, he says, "You are beautiful." Sometimes he will say something about little aspects of me like my smile, my hair, how soft my skin is and so on. He says that the room lights up when I walk into it. The thing I love is how heartfelt he is. When he says stuff like this it is random, sparatic, and said with his heart, not his mouth. His face changes, his eyes seem deep. It melts me when he compliments me because I can honestly tell that he means it. When you get the chance, look up the song on Youtube. It is called Just the Way You Are by Bruno Mars.

Today I had a very rushed and what could have been an extremely stressful day. Erika helped me put things into perspective on the phone in the middle of it but then I found myself driving and feeling very tense. This will all change on Thursday when I go to The Healing Place. Anyway, in my travels during the traffic and headache that was starting, I took a deep breath and said a quick prayer. It was very simple....something like, "God please take this stress off of me and get me through the day." I had to stop at a light only to look at the bumper sticker on the car in front of me that read "Be in Peace" Well I knew that God answered prayers but never realized how quickly at times....LOL! I felt this sense of calmness. I knew that everything was going to be fine. Normally I would call Shawn and say, "Honey I need a quick 'talk'." I would tell him what my issue was and he would respond, "Just do what you have to do, you will be fine, you always are." He has so much more confidence in me that I have in myself. I could not call him today because he has been putting in extra hours at his part time job which has no cell phone service.

I realized that at times like these, a quick prayer is all we need. We are not alone. God wants us to feel peace. We are here to be happy and successful, not to struggle. So if you ever are in need of a friend, do not forget that while you may not get one on the phone, the most important one is only a prayer away and is always listening.

What I am thankful for today:
the power of prayer
my friends
my family
my kids
my pets
signs that come from above in so many different ways
my bed
a roof over my head
my jeep
feeling beautiful
the blue sky
Michelle and all the girls from the store that came and got their pictures taken tonight
Judy for watching the store
Rachel (my Avon Fairy)