Love and Life

Have I mentioned how much I miss my computer? Of course, I haven’t! Because I haven’t blogged because of lack of said computer! You know, if you had asked me a month ago if I could survive without it, I would have said NO WAY! But it’s not so much that I need it. I get along just fine without it. I spend my time doing other things, like reading. But not having it when I want to blog, to edit a quick photo, bothers me. I haven’t even been taking pictures lately, because I can’t edit them. So why bother? I need to get that thought out of my head though, because I need to take them for other reasons. So what if they sit on my cards for a month. I need to get the camera out and use it for what it gives back to me, right now. And the editing can wait. I will say, though, that I’ve found a new friend in my iPhone camera and instagram. It’s not the same, for sure, but it provides some of the same benefits. {The photos I’m sharing today are the remainder of those I took last weekend.}

Speaking of reading, I just finished reading Cold Tangerines, by Shauna Niequist. I love her insightfulness! It was just the reminder that I needed, to celebrate life. Live for the moment, and enjoy every minute. It’s a daily struggle for me, not to dwell on the negative. And I find myself wanting to go back to the ways I used to use in the past to make me feel better. Instead, I’ve renewed my love for walking, sometimes taking two walks a day. Listening to music, and enjoying the wonders of God’s creation in nature, helps ground me. I still have complete faith, in knowing that I’ll get through, and be a better person because of it. And everything hurts more than I can describe, but I still truly believe that one has to experience true pain and suffering to really see the joy and happiness in life.

Which brings me to a quote I read recently:

“Love yourself—accept yourself—forgive yourself—and be good to yourself, because without you the rest of us are without a source of many wonderful things.” ~Leo F. Buscaglia

Happiness and love. They go hand-in-hand. Without love, loving ourselves, we can’t truly experience the happiness God meant for us. It’s taken me a long time to realize this. And a big slap upside the head to get there! But I’ve struggled with this all my life. I’ve never loved myself, never been happy with who I was, always wished I was someone else. But now, I’ve never been happier. Even my counselor told me I truly looked happy this week, for the first time. Yes, I have regrets from the past, and I fear the unknown. I know I can’t change anything, but that doesn’t mean I’ve forgotten. And I have total trust in God that everything will work out according to His will, but that doesn’t mean I’m not afraid. I’ve made huge strides in this area. I don’t get nervous like I used to. And I don’t let the fear consume me, but it’s still there at times. For the past several years, I’ve just coasted through life. Afraid to try because I was afraid to fail. Afraid to speak for fear of what others might think. Afraid to stand my ground, for fear of who I’d anger. But my life is mine to live, for me, with God’s guidance.

One of the big lessons I’ve learned is that it’s ok to ask for what I want and need in life. This is a big struggle for me. But gone are the days of sitting around waiting for things to come my way. Dreaming of what I want and waiting for it to happen, instead of making it happen. So with each decision I make, comes prayer, followed by action in the way I feel led. Am I going to make mistakes? Sure! I’m only human. But I’m also ok with it. So what if I’m wrong? I’ll learn from my mistakes and move on.

I pray that Christ will live in your hearts by faith and that your life will be strong in love and be built on love. ~Ephesians 3:17

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Today is my birthday. And it’s the eve of the 10 year anniversary of 9/11. Typically, I spend my birthday scrapbooking. I enjoy it so, and don’t take enough time to do it at home, so it’s often my birthday “thing”. You see, I have a friend that hosts scrapbooking weekends a few times each year. I usually try to attend once a year, twice if I’m lucky, and that’s about all I make time for, other than my birthday. But this year, I can’t do it. I can’t sit here and go through pictures that remind me of a time that no longer exists. Not on my birthday. So instead, I went to see a field of flags, put up in remembrance of 9/11. The Healing Field. I felt drawn there for some reason, plus it’s a wonderful photo op. And as I was driving there, it occurred to me… I may not have the best situation right now, but at least we are all still here, living on this earth. So many that perished that day, never to return home to see their families, never to celebrate another birthday. At least I have another year to look forward to. And maybe that’s all I needed… a reminder that at least I have a birthday to celebrate.

Which brings me to the other part of my post, and why I haven’t blogged in so long. Photos. You see, the computer that I always use for photo editing, and everything business related pretty much, has been taken from me. I don’t have my files and programs, at least not everything, that I typically use. So I haven’t blogged, because the blog needs a photo, and I felt stuck, unable to do what I normally do to get a photo ready for the blog. But today, today I decided to persevere. There’s ways. I have to use my laptop. It doesn’t have a lot of space, isn’t very fast, but I can do it! I won’t allow myself to be held back. I can’t access the internet from it, either. Yes, I could use my son’s computer to go online, but it’s easier to do everything from one device. So here I am, enjoying a birthday coffee at Starbuck’s, to update my blog. 🙂

Back to my birthday, I don’t understand why people feel the need to try knocking me down. Especially considering the fact that I guarantee they aren’t fully informed. If anyone wants to hear what I have to say, I’ll tell them, but don’t judge or make assumptions without asking for my side of the story. Thankfully, what people have to say doesn’t bother me much any more. My children love me unconditionally, as I do them, and that’s what’s most important. I got the sweetest, most thoughtful hand-written birthday card from my daughter, and that’s what it’s all about, and what I focus on.

We rejoice in our sufferings because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. ~Romans 5:3-4

(I have many more to share, but my computer is not cooperating, so I’ll save them for another day!)