Trusting in God

Trusting God colorful cross

Hello friends. I’m not having one of my better days. Ive been feeling really tired and weak and pretty sore for the last few weeks. Ive noticed some things lately that are pretty concerning, and the nurse in me has diagnosed myself with something that’s pretty awful– Which in turn has got my anxiety turned up to full blast. Sometimes, too much knowledge is not a good thing. Just trying to stay positive and not worry too much until I see the doctor next week.

I was talking to my sisters about my concerns this morning and one of them reminded me about Proverbs 3:5. In honor of her, I’m going to leave you with the entire passage of Proverbs 3:1-6 from Eugene Peterson’s paraphrased version of the Bible, The Message.

Good friend, don’t forget all I’ve taught you; take to heart my commands.They’ll help you live a long, long time, a long life lived full and well. Don’t lose your grip on Love and Loyalty. Tie them around your neck; carve their initials on your heart. Earn a reputation for living well in God’s eyes and the eyes of the people. Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track. Don’t assume that you know it all.

I needed to remember that today. Maybe you did too. 


Choosing Forgiveness


Do you know the story of Corrie ten Boom? If you’ve never read The Hiding Place I really encourage you to read it. It’s the story of a Dutch woman, Corrie ten Boom, and her family during WWII. Corrie was just a teenager when her family began hiding Jewish people from the Nazis in a secret room in their home. Eventually they got caught and the whole family, although they were Christians, were sent to concentration camps themselves. There they suffered terrible things and well– without giving away the whole book I’ll just tell you that Corrie had more reason to hate than anyone I’ve ever known. More reason to hold a grudge than I will ever have. Yet, she devoted her life to spreading the love of God and the lesson of forgiveness. I read the book when I was a teenager and already had a lot that I needed to forgive. Corrie’s example of forgiveness was so powerful that it burned deeply into my soul. God knew I would need it many times in my life, and he put it where I would not forget it.

In the book, she says this about forgiveness:

“Forgiveness is an act of the will, and the will can function regardless of the temperature of the heart.” – Corrie ten Boom, The Hiding Place

When I read those words, it was my “aha” moment. Forgiveness is choice. It’s not a feeling. It’s not something that just happens out of nowhere. It’s something I decide to do. And then I do it. Even if I don’t feel like it. It wasn’t easy for Corrie, and it isn’t easy for me. But it’s necessary for my survival, so just like Corrie, I ask God for the strength to do it. And that’s my “how”. Now let’s talk about the “why”.

Why I Choose Forgiveness

I’ve had many conversations with people who don’t understand my choice to forgive the people who have hurt me. They usually ask me things like:

  • Aren’t you afraid you’ll look weak? – No, I’m not. Holding a grudge is easy. It takes incredible strength to forgive.
  • Aren’t you just condoning what they did to you? – This one’s tricky, I’ll admit it. The last thing I want to do is lead the person to believe that what he or she did was OK or give them license to repeat it. But, if I don’t forgive I’ll be letting them continue to hurt me anyway, because I’ll be carrying it with me, reliving it in my heart and in my head. So I choose to forgive them anyway.
  • Do you really think they deserve it? – Yes I do. Why? Because this:

“To be a Christian means to forgive the inexcusable because God has forgiven the inexcusable in you.” – C.S. Lewis

In God’s eyes, all sins are the same. If he forgave me mine, who am I to refuse to forgive someone else?  That’s hypocrisy at it’s ugliest and I try very hard not to engage in that practice. But, even if I didn’t believe that the people who wronged me deserve forgiveness, it doesn’t matter. Forgiveness is not for their benefit, it’s for mine because once I forgive I can let it go and not be carrying around a toxic brew of emotions murkying up my  soul.  I can be free. I can move on. Holding a grudge does not punish the offender in the slightest. It only affects the grudge holder. Think about that.

  • Why would you want to forgive them? – Well, for all of the reasons above. And also because Jesus told us to. What better way is there to be a light in this world? That’s what we’re supposed to do, isn’t it? Just be shining examples of him and his love so the rest of the world will want what we have? I think that is all to often forgotten and Christians are not always spreading love like they should. It gives God a bad name and I hope we can stop it. But that’s a post for another day.

So there you have it. My how and my why. I can honestly tell you that I would not have come through all the trauma in my life so victoriously if I had not chosen to forgive. Again and again. Seventy times seven. I’ve mastered the art of bouncing back, and forgiveness is one of my most important brushes.

Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. – Ephesians 4:31-32

God is Within Me, I Will Not Fall


The top thing on my list of what makes me resilient is my faith in God. That’s what I’m going to dig a little deeper into today.  I know beyond a shadow of a doubt that without God, I would have crumbled a looooong time ago. That’s just the truth. But why is that? What about my relationship with God makes me resilient? I’m an analyzer, after all. It’s not very often I just take things at face value. You’ll read more about that another day because being an analyzer is also on my  “Why I’m So Resilient” list.

Yesterday I read a very interesting article about a small study done at the University of Utah examining how our brains respond to spiritual input. The study concluded that while we are praying  or engaging in other faith-related activity that it actually stimulates the same pleasure centers in the brains that love and drugs do.  I just love it when science backs up something I already know, don’t you?

So, back to me now. 🙂 While preparing to write this post I’ve done a lot of soul searching (pun intended) about how my faith makes me resilient. I’ve come up with five reasons that I’m going to talk about today. I’m sure there are more. But, before we go any further, you need to know that all of these things work for me because I truly believe that God is who he says he is, and does what he says he will do. I believe the Bible is his word and his bond, and that if it’s written in there I can claim it as truth. Why I believe all this is also a post for another day. For today, let’s just start with that caveat.

My faith in God makes me resilient because:

It Gives Me Strength

Over and over again, the Bible tells us that God is our strength. He, the creator of the universe and master of all things, cares about little old me and there is nothing he can’t do. Where my human weakness limits me. his strength takes over. I know that I don’t have to rely on my own power to get through any struggle, because God will give me the strength that I need. I have an endless supply of strength at my fingertips and boy, do I tap into it on a daily basis.

It Gives Me Hope

The Bible tells us that our hope lies in God, and that with him we can succeed. That he has a plan for our lives and with him we can move mountains. Speaking of mountains, I remember when I was in the depths of my depression telling my sister that I didn’t see the point in living. That it seemed like I spent my entire life climbing a mountain, and just as I reached the top and got ready to put my flag in the ground, a big gust of wind would blow and send me tumbling down the other side. I just didn’t see the point in climbing the mountain again. Then, as I started to heal I remembered this truth, and it gave the hope I needed to climb the mountain again– We can expect trials and hardships but know that at the end of the hill he’s got a beautiful valley waiting for us. 

It Gives Me Courage

Fear is a monster. A big fat ugly monster that robs us of things we were meant to enjoy in this life. It’s a road block that keeps us stuck, and that’s no way to be resilient. I have PTSD and an anxiety disorder, so when I get fear, it’s big fear. It’s definitely not easy to overcome it– but just like I did when I had my MRI — I find that when I anchor myself in the promises of God and just let myself trust him, I can face those fears down. I can have courage to bounce back, move forward, and try again.

It Gives Me Peace

Left to my own devices, I could could curl up in a little ball and worry about every little thing around me. I would likely never get up again, because there’s just that much stuff to worry about when you have an anxiety disorder. I’ll admit sometimes it gets the best of me, but eventually I remember that God is in control. Not me. God. And that worrying won’t solve or change anything. Once I am able to let go and leave it in his very capable hands I have peace.

It Gives Me Confidence

Last but not least, my faith in God gives me confidence. If I truly believe (which, of course, I do) that God is in control, that he’s going the give me the strength I need, that he has a plan for my life, that he wants good things for me, and that he will take care of me,  then I have the confidence I need to get up and keep fighting. What do I have to lose? He’s given me the gift of life and I’ll make the most of every moment until he decides it’s time for me to join him in heaven– and even that is a win. I’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain if I soldier on until the bittersweet end, and I’m determined to do just that.

Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. – James 1:12

How To Survive Life


Remember the old Timex ad slogan — “It takes a licking and keeps on ticking?” You know, the commercials where they put Timex watches through the most outrageous torture tests and yet, somehow, the watches still survived? Well folks, that’s me. My whole life has been one big Timex commercial and I’m happy to say I’m still ticking too. In mental health circles, that’s called resilience.

Psychology Today explains resilience this way:

Resilience is that ineffable quality that allows some people to be knocked down by life and come back stronger than ever. Rather than letting failure overcome them and drain their resolve, they find a way to rise from the ashes. Psychologists have identified some of the factors that make someone resilient, among them a positive attitude, optimism, the ability to regulate emotions, and the ability to see failure as a form of helpful feedback. Even after misfortune, resilient people are blessed with such an outlook that they are able to change course and soldier on.

Until I started therapy, I never considered myself to be resilient. I didn’t even know it was a thing. I just did what I had to do to survive, and I never considered it could have gone any other way. But now after having multiple mental health professionals mention how shockingly resilient I am, I do find myself wondering…

How the heck am I still standing? After all I’ve been through, how is there any of me left inside? 

I began to make a mental list of all the things that have happened to me in my life:

  • I am a child of divorce. My father left home when I was 5
  • I was raised by a mother who did her best but could not handle life
  • I was the victim of ongoing sexual abuse by a family member from an early age
  • I was raped by the father of some kids I babysat when I was 14
  • I became pregnant from the rape and had a baby at 15
  • I had a piece of my heart ripped out when I gave that baby up for adoption
  • I became a single mother at 18
  • I married an alcoholic at 21 and had 3 more kids
  • I caught my mother having sex with my alcoholic husband when I was 8 months pregnant with our third child
  • My mother married the alcohol ex-husband and for many years treated me like the evil ex-wife
  • I married a second time at the age of 26, had two more children, and then 3 months after the birth of our second child found out that he had been molesting two of my children the entire time
  • I was held up at gunpoint at a fast food restaurant

Those are just the highlights. There’s even more than that but you get the picture. According to my therapists, any one of those things could have easily knocked someone down for good. But I’m like a Weeble — I wobble but I don’t fall down. (Yes I’m old. If you don’t know what a Weeble is, Google it! They were all the rage once upon a time). Anyway, I digress. As I’ve sat and pondered all the things I’ve endured in my life and what it is that makes me come out intact, I’ve come up with a few things that I think have made it happen:

  1. First and foremost, my faith in God
  2. I have pretty much mastered the art of forgiveness
  3. I am stubborn as mule
  4. As the Psychology Today piece proposed, I am an eternal optimist
  5. I have recently begun to consciously practice gratitude
  6. I am an analyzer. I examine the what, and when , and how, and why of everything
  7. I am (sometimes) able to use logic and reason to overcome unpleasant emotions
  8. I truly believe that life is worth living and the good things outweigh the bad

I’m sure as I continue my therapy I will begin to uncover more things that have helped me to be resilient. But for now, that’s my list. I’ve decided to turn my list into a series on resilience, tackling one list item each time. I think as I dig deeper to write about each one, it will help me learn new things about myself and grow from them. Perhaps it will help you too, to see the strategies I have employed (often instinctively and unknowingly, by the way) to be resilient.

I don’t know about you, but I’m excited about this! I have a feeling it’s going to be good 🙂 See you all next time when I start with the first item on my list– my faith in God.

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. – 2 Corinthians 12:9

How I Showed Panic Who’s Boss


Panic, I’m not scared of you! I may be scared of the things that make you show your ugly face, but you don’t scare me one bit. I’m strong and courageous. I am in control and I know how to kick you to the curb. I am certain of this now, because I did it just yesterday. I did something huge. I conquered one of my biggest fears. You tried to get the best of me but I didn’t let you. Here’s how I showed you who’s boss.

First, some back story

I have PTSD.  I’m not a veteran (did you know that you don’t have to be in a war to get PTSD?) but I have suffered multiple traumas that led to the condition. Because of this, some things that are just everyday things to  most people cause me to have severe panic attacks. One of those things is getting an MRI. I’ve needed one for a while now because I have back issues that are causing pain, leg weakness, mobility problems and overall decrease in quality of life. Up to this point, I have not been able to make myself get the MRI. My doctor insisted on a closed MRI, which is a test where they put your whole body into a very small coffin-life capsule and leave you there for about 30 minutes while zapping you with a very strong magnet that sounds like machine guns shooting at you.

After much coercing from my therapist, I went back to this doctor and told him a closed MRI was non-negotiable for me. I just couldn’t do it. I reluctantly agreed to try an open MRI which is, as the name implies, a bit more open. You still are surrounded on three sides by the coffin, but you have one side open so you can see out.

Yesterday was the big day. I had the MRI. I won’t tell you that it was easy.  I won’t tell you I enjoyed it. I won’t tell you I wasn’t scared. Or uncomfortable. Or really glad when it was over. But I will tell you that I kept the big, fat, ugly panic monster away. He tried to get me a time or two when I was in the machine, but I beat him into submission. Here’s how I did it.

How I Stopped Fear From Turning Into Panic

These are the tools I used to keep my fear from turning into panic.

I Used Medication

Folks, I want you to know there is absolutely nothing wrong with using prescribed medication to keep panic at bay. I anticipated that this situation was going to be a potential trigger and I took a Xanax right before I left my house.

I Practiced Grounding

To keep myself present in the moment, and not traveling back in time to my traumas, I used grounding techniques. For the entire duration of my test I made an intentional effort to continually notice the things I could see, hear, smell, taste, and feel to remind myself that I was in a safe place.

As I laid there, I turned my head and looked out the side of the machine. I looked out the window and saw all the cars in the parking lot. Modern cars. Lots of people were in this place. I was not alone in the country in a pickup truck in 1980. Or any of the other places that I suffered trauma.

When it hurt too much too keep my head turned I would look up at the big wall of the machine that was 2 inches in front of my face. I looked at the color of it. The size of it. The material it was made out of. I reminded myself that this thing was not in my face in the pickup truck in 1980. Or any of the other places I suffered trauma.

I paid attention to the sounds of the machine, which were dulled by headphones and music I was listening to. At one point the headphones fell out of one ear and the noise of the machine was very loud. I had an immediate panic reaction but I was able to reel it in by putting the headphones back in and reminding myself that those noises came from this machine, right here, right now, and they were not threatening noises.

I focused on the taste and the smell of the peppermint I had in my mouth, and the feel of the button I held in my hand. The one that I could push if I needed to stop. I didn’t have a button like that in  the pickup truck in 1980. Or any of the other places that I suffered trauma.

I Acknowledged My Power

During my traumatizing events, I had no power. They were things that were done to me against my will and I could not prevent them or stop them. My brain gets confused sometimes and thinks other things I am afraid of are the same.

To keep that from happening, I repeated this mantra over and over during the test:

I am here because I chose to be here. This is not just happening to me. I chose this. I chose it because I want to get better. I am safe. I am in control. I can make it stop anytime I want to by pushing the button in my hand.

There were a few times I wanted to push that button, but I didn’t.  Just knowing I had the power to do it was enough for me. My desire to finish the test as soon as possible was stronger than my desire to stop.

I Anchored Myself In God

When the technician asked me what kind of music I wanted in the headphones, I chose Contemporary Christian. I know where my anchor is and I had music that reminded me of it constantly piping into ears.

I cried out to God and prayed for peace and courage. I thought about my favorite Psalm– Psalm 91–  which promises us God’s protection. I claimed that promise and knew that although I was going through something hard, I would be OK.

To The Victor Go The Spoils

And that was it. After what seemed like a very long thirty minutes, the test was done. The technician pulled me out of the machine and I just laid there for a moment gaining my composure. I swallowed a few times (when I panic I have trouble swallowing), wiped the tears from my eyes, took some deep breaths, and sat up. I looked around and realized that I had made it. I was glad it was over, but I made it. It wasn’t easy. I was clearly shaken. But I didn’t have a full-blown panic attack. I didn’t feel like I was dying. I was proud of my accomplishment and confident in my ability to face a scary situation again. It brought me one step closer to healing, and in my book, that’s a victory.

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
my God, in whom I trust.”
Surely he will save you
from the fowler’s snare
and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his feathers,
and under his wings you will find refuge;
his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.
You will not fear the terror of night,
nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness,
nor the plague that destroys at midday.
A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand,
but it will not come near you.
You will only observe with your eyes
and see the punishment of the wicked.
If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,”
and you make the Most High your dwelling,
no harm will overtake you,
no disaster will come near your tent.
For he will command his angels concerning you
to guard you in all your ways;
they will lift you up in their hands,
so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
You will tread on the lion and the cobra;
you will trample the great lion and the serpent.
“Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
He will call on me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.
With long life I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation.

-Psalm 91

5 Life Lessons I Learned From My Cats


I’ve been a cat owner for just under a year now, and in that time I’ve learned a lot. Not just about cats, but about life in general. It has been fascinating to observe them! I’ve learned way more than five things if I’m being honest, but I’m not here to write a book. So let’s just start small.

I Learned That Things Can Change

I spent the first 49 years of my life not liking cats. I was a dog person, through and through. I didn’t think cats were interactive enough, or playful enough, and I didn’t like the way they seemed to think they were better than me. Hmph! I wasn’t about to bow down to some four legged creature who had a royalty complex. Not me. No thanks. But, then my husband found a stray and fell in love with her. And because I loved my husband I agreed to cohabit with the furry little princess. We named her Daisy and she became part of the family. And you know what? I fell in love with her too. And now I can’t imagine having a dog. So much energy. So high maintenance. Nope. I’ll take my quiet little kitty over a yelping dog any day of the week. Imagine that. After so many years, I have become a cat lover. Yes. Things can certainly change.

I Learned That Sometimes You Just Need to Go on Walkabout

The first time Daisy took off was very unfortunate timing. We were on our way to Atlanta to spend the weekend with our son and daughter-in-law. We didn’t have time to go looking for her or wait for her return. We put some food and water out and left, hoping she would return. It was only a month after we got her so we thought maybe she just wanted to go back to her friends and live in the bushes. It made us sad but we understood. When we got home three days later, there she was, sitting on the porch waiting for us. She had her little adventure and she came home. Her adventure included getting pregnant, by the way, which is why we now have cats instead of cat.

The next time Daisy took off was just last week. She snuck out the door when my husband went outside and ran off. We looked, but couldn’t find her. I was worried. We lived in a new neighborhood now. Would she be able to find her way back home? Would somebody take her?  After all, she is awfully cute and pretty darned irresistible. Or worse – would she find her way around the wall to our gated community and get out onto the busy street and get hurt? So many bad things could happen to her, and I couldn’t stop them. The next several hours seemed like days, but by that evening Daisy was back– again sitting on the porch. She was tired and dirty (but thankfully not pregnant, we saw to that after the last litter was born!) but otherwise fine.

She laid down on our living room floor and all three of her kittens lined up and laid down in front of her, just looking at her to make sure she was alright.  They had been worried about her too, I think. She had been a little cranky before she left. I wonder if they thought it was their fault. I don’t know. I wish I could get inside an animal’s head for just a day or so and see what they are capable of thinking and feeling. That would be interesting. But, what I do know is this. I learned that sometimes you’re just feeling cranky and overwhelmed with life and you need to step away. To recharge. To go on walkabout, although I don’t recommend getting pregnant while you do it. But do it.Be like a cat and just run free, even if it’s for an hour.

I Learned That Eventually You Have to Push Your Kids Off Your Teat

Yes. I said it. I’m going there. I watched Daisy be an amazing cat-mother. She birthed her babies all by herself. She cleaned them and fed them and picked them up by the backs of their necks and carried them back to their box if they got loose. She let them climb all over her and didn’t bat an eye. When they got a little older and started to walk she would let them have freedom but she always kept a watchful eye. And when it was time to sleep or eat she would round them all up. She knew if one was missing and she would search high and low till she found it. It’s just amazing to me how strong the motherly instinct is and it leads me to believe that if human mothers would just let their instincts guide them they would have nothing to fear because if God gave cats such strong instincts, you know he gave the creatures he created in his own image even stronger ones.

But now, Daisy’s kittens aren’t exactly kittens. They are almost nine months old and that’s almost full grown for a cat. All but one of them are bigger than her. Sometimes they still try to nurse — at least two of them do. They don’t still need her for nutrition and I don’t think there’s any milk there anymore anyway. I think it’s just an old habit that they do for comfort. Occasionally she will let them do it for a few minutes, but usually she doesn’t. They are too big and she’s not having it anymore. She’ll either get up and just walk off, or she’ll hiss and scratch at them until they leave her alone.

Now, if you are a parent of teenagers or adults, you will probably see the parallels here. Sometimes our kids cling on for comfort a little longer than they should. Before I get letters from the La Leche League (is that still even a thing?) please know that I am not talking about actually pushing our kids off our nipples. Breastfeeding is good and you should do it as long as you want. I’m talking about the other nurturing we do that turns into enabling at some point. It’s hard to push our kids to be independent because a little part of us doesn’t want them to be (admit it). But it must be done at some point, for our sake as well as theirs.

I Learned That You Can Love Someone and Still Take Care of Your Own Needs

Ah, that aloofness. That holier-than-thou-ness that I never liked about cats. That I’m-just-going-t0-sit-here-on-my-perch-and- be-above-you-ness. The one character trait that I disliked the most was the one I needed to learn the most. You know what I learned? Cats aren’t aloof. They are not indifferent. They know when we come in a room. They know when we go to bed. They follow us when they want to. They have their routine. But they will not be swayed by our neediness. They take care of their own needs. They sit on their perches and watch out for prey or whatever their little cat instincts tell them to do. And when they feel like it, they will come for a cuddle but they won’t stick around for one second longer than they want to.

You know what that is, folks? It’s boundaries. Healthy boundaries.  We don’t need to please everyone. We don’t need to sacrifice our own needs or go against what our instincts are telling us to do just because someone else wants us to. We can love someone but still take care of our own needs. It’s not an all or nothing situation. I so wish I would have had a cat to teach me about this earlier in life!

I Learned That Brotherly Love is Stronger than Fighting

With all these cats living under one roof, sometimes they fight. They’ll chase each other and fly through the air and roll around wrestling and nipping at each other. Some of it is playing, some of it is not. The thing is though, it never lasts. I’ve never yet seen the cats hold a grudge. Even after their most down and dirty fight, they go right back to cuddling up and licking each other’s fur to help groom them. They forgive. They forget. They move on. And they come together again to help each other out. To live in harmony.

Boy, is this a lesson we all need right now. So much fighting going on after the election. So much anger it’s hard to get past it. I hope we can take a lesson from my cats and just start licking each other’s fur again. We need each other.

Blessed are those who find wisdom, those who gain understanding. – Proverbs 3:13

Life is Beautiful



Do you ever look around you and notice all the different things that are alive? I do. Grass, trees, insects, squirrels. birds, my cats… The list goes on and on. Sometimes, when I’m watching all these living creatures, I feel kind of sad for them. (I know, I’m weird). I wonder what it would be like to be a blade of grass. Alive but not aware. No control in my movement or purposeful interaction with my world. That’s sad, isn’t it?  True, grass is just plant life. But what about other animals?

Some of them can do some pretty amazing things. Things we can’t do like fly, and run really fast, and see the dark. They have really good instincts and some are really smart. But you know what they can’t do?

  • They can’t sit with their arms around their love and watch the sunset
  • They can’t laugh out loud at a funny joke
  • They can’t read the newest best seller. Or the Bible.
  • They can’t grab a cup of coffee with the girls.
  • They can’t watch the joy in their child’s eyes when he opens a Christmas present, or a birthday present.
  • They can’t hold their kids or grandkids n their arms

That list could be infinite, couldn’t it?  All the things that make human life beautiful and special and incomparable to others animals. It’s not just opposable thumbs.

Listen. Life is hard. Very few people know that more than me. But you know what else life is? Life is beautiful. It’s a gift. A precious gift from God. The hills, the valleys, the ups, the downs, the wins, the losses, and yes– even the struggles. I know it doesn’t always feel like it, but it is.

What I have learned from traveling the hills and valleys is that we have a choice. We won’t always have a choice in our circumstances, but we will always have a choice in how we respond to them. Life is what we make it. We can choose to wallow in the ugliness. The pain.  The anger. The fear. The whatever. Or, we can choose to focus our eyes on the good things we have and the blessings we have been given. I’ve spent my fair share of time on the wallowing path and it brought me nothing but despair. I’m much happier now that I’ve learned to look past all of that and to fully enjoy the little moments and the beauty that surrounds me.

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them – Genesis 1:27-28a 

*If you like the t-shirt in the image above you can purchase it in my online store at and I have many other uplifting designs available.  I donate 10% of all profits to charity (currently the National Alliance on Mental Health -NAMI) so your purchase will not only help me and my family with our financial struggles related to my disability, it will also help others who suffer from mental illness. In addition to your purchase, it would help me tremendously if you would spread the word to your friends and followers about my store! Thank you🙂