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Being Thankful For What You Have

People used to tell me would it not be awesome to wake up with no pain. I have not woken up with no pain in probably 30 plus years. If I were to wake up tomorrow with no pain, I would think I had died. But I am thankful for the pain because it makes me realize I am still here and still alive.

So, many things I am thankful for that most people would never be thankful for. I am thankful for my power chair for without it, I would be stranded. I am thankful for my hospital bed because it makes it easier for me to get into bed. And I could go on with all of those things. I remember a story I read about a little boy who was asked why he was so thankful when he had no feet and he replied that he was thankful because he still had legs and many do not.

I love this poem and have carried it with me a long time. It says it all. We can either focus on the negative aspects in our lives or see them as stepping stones for us to have joy in our lives.

THE WORLD IS MINE

                Today, upon a bus, I saw a very beautiful woman
                And wished I were as beautiful.
                When suddenly she rose to leave,
                I saw her hobble down the aisle.   
                      She had one leg and wore a crutch.
                  But as she passed, she gave a smile.
                  Oh, God, forgive me when I whine.
                  I have two legs; the world is mine

                 I stopped to buy some candy.
                 The lad who sold it had such charm.
                I talked with him, he seemed so glad.
              If I were late, it’d do no harm.
                And as I left, he said to me,  
              “I thank you, you’ve been so kind.
                  It’s nice to talk with folks like you.
                  You see,” he said, “I’m blind.”
                  Oh, God, forgive me when I whine.
                  I have two eyes; the world is mine.

                  Later while walking down the street,
                  I saw a child I knew.
                  He stood and watched the others play,
                  but he did not know what to do.        
        I stopped a moment and then I said,
                  “Why don’t you join them dear?”
                  He looked ahead without a word.
                  I forgot, he couldn’t hear.

                  Oh, God, forgive me when I whine.
                  I have two ears; the world is mine.
                  With feet to take me where I’d go..
                  With eyes to see the sunset’s glow.
                  With ears to hear what I’d know.
               
                Oh, God, forgive me when I whine.
                  I’ve been blessed indeed, the world is mine.

Poem by Joy Lovelet Crawford

I believe that life is meant to be cherished and that our lives can be fulfilling even when we have obstacles. I lose my hair in great quantities. I am lucky I had such thick hair. My son asked me what was I going to do when it all came out. I told him I was going to get a tattoo of hair on my head. I think learning to be thankful and grateful instead of resentful and full of anger is a much nicer way of life. Wholeness lies in the heart. God created me and when I get to Heaven, I will be whole again. So, I am not worried. If people do not love me because I am sick, can not walk, etc then they would never love me if I were whole.

April 22, 2018 Posted by | Inspiration | , , , , | Leave a comment

Life Storms

I look back and now see how much I have learned about life because of my faith. I see things I used to do some years back that I no longer do because I see that it is the wrong thing to do and all it does is create a storm in my life. We all have those AHA moments where something really hits us and we think why did we not learn this sooner?

Reacting to people and things is one area we can get into real problems. Sometimes our reactions are in anger or frustration at what is going on in the world or on Facebook. And at times we all tend to react to what is said rather than respond to. I personally try to avoid comment sections on news articles because some of the things irritate me so it is better to not look. And this kind of storm because of social media does not stop with a comment. People use social media to bash and bully and even try to make people lose their jobs.

Then there are personal relationships that can cause life to go into turmoil and words are exchanged. It is like a storm brewing and I think because of social media people have lost the ability to just sit down and talk face to face and so when they do, it becomes a battle ground. And the storm explodes. People also use social media to try to get people to take their side, which is never a good thing.

But the good news is that sometimes we must go through the storms to find the calm on the other side. Without storms there would be no rainbows. Storms sometimes are like the pressure cooker jiggler. They can make a lot of noise but they keep the thing from exploding.imagesimage from http://dailypositivequotes.com

I also find that the storms teach us things just like I have been taught the past few years. They teach us what is really worth fighting over, how to disagree without arguing and other things. They also bring a sense of relief once the storm is over and a peace comes.

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image from https://www.kickass-living.com

Life is all about learning and growing and changing and these storms are to teach us how to handle life. Because I have a deep faith in God, I have learned not to worry over everything. What a relief that has been. I have learned that not everyone will like us, not everyone will agree with us and that it is not always necessary to prove our point.

April 22, 2018 Posted by | Inspiration | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Our Expectations Can Be A Problem

expectations-can-lead-to-disappointment

Image from  http://www.askrobz.com/tag/disappointment/

Expectations are what we place on others or people and are this idea we have in our minds as to what we expect in return. When we are disappointed, then we can easily become hurt or upset. For example, someone fixes me a vegetarian hamburger and my expectation is that it will taste like a beef burger and when it does not, I am disappointed and do not want it anymore.

We can have expectations of those around us and when they do not perform to our expectations, we can become very disappointed, upset and disillusioned. And yet, what we do not realize is that it is our expectations are not theirs. We have to accept people where they are and not try to mold them into what we want. If we can not live with them how they are, then we need to move on. I have seen many relationships fail because one had such high expectations that the other got tired of always being wrong.

The same thing is true about life. If we expect life to be this fairy tale, storybook video, we are going to be disappointed. No one has the perfect life and there will be ups and downs. But if we have this high and unrealistic expectation that there will never be problems, we will be disappointed every time. I have learned to set goals for myself but when I see they are not going to happen, I have to readjust those goals or I will very disappointed. Standing and walking are two goals that I have had to readjust my expectations. I never give up trying but I realize some things will never be.

People get upset if their spouse or significant other is not romantic or real affectionate. They have this high expectation of the night coming in on the white horse. This is where people have to readjust those expectations to reality. They say if you want to love someone like they want to be loved, watch them and see how they love others. For we love others the way we want to be loved. Some people are very sentimental and give cards and flowers and do all those things and other people are not but show their love in other ways. So, learning to watch and see how someone loves others helps us to show them the kind of love they want and helps us to see that they are showing us love, just not our expectation of love.

Everything in life, we tend to have expectations on…food, jobs, people, homes, children, friends…and sometimes we have to re-evaluate our expectations and make sure that they are possible and even realistic. It is good to have expectations but when things do not go as planned, we have to ask ourselves are we disappointed because of the expectation we placed on this or that.

So, when you face disappointments, ask yourself was your expectation holding you down. You know..that vegetarian burger might actually taste pretty good if I quit expecting it to be a beef burger. Being chronically ill might not be as bad as expected if people change their their expectations and the person we date or love may not look like a movie star but may be the best thing in the world for me.

happy as you make up your mind to be

April 17, 2018 Posted by | Inspiration | , , , , , | Leave a comment

“To Thine Own Self Be True”

To thing own self be trueimage from www.tattoogen.com

Something I have learned about myself is that I must never try to be someone I am not or act in a way that goes against my own character. I have had my feelings hurt, my heart trampled on, been used and misused, etc. And you know that point when someone you really care about hurts you or makes you mad and you do not want to even respond to them? Or they ignore you and you want to ignore them back? I will admit that it took me finding and accepting Jesus before I realized that I had a self worth being true to. Until I studied and learned how loving and kind Jesus was, I was not able to see the results of my words. I had to change to someone who had the love of Jesus in them before I could be true to myself which is being true to Jesus.

“I will never apologize for being me, but I will apologize for the times that I am not.” – Michael Carini

This is good and I love what it is saying. If I am being true to my self which in my view is being true to what Jesus teaches us,  then I am kind, compassionate, loving and caring and very forgiving.  I am not vindictive nor do I try to get even with people or hurt people. That is what I believe in my core.  But, the truth is there are times even when we have a good heart that we can act in a way that is not true to ourselves. When we are too tired, stressed, in a lot of pain, grieving, angry, etc, then emotions can come out that are not truly us. And for those times, I will apologize profusely because I realize right after that I let the wrong wolf take over and acted in a way that was not me.

Many have told me that I was too forgiving and maybe I am but I believe in forgiveness.  I believe in forgiveness for our own hearts not necessarily for the person that hurt us. If we become unforgiving, then other negative traits can creep in such as hate. I have become in my later years someone who wants to show kindness. At times, I tear up looking at all the hate and ugliness people post on social media, you tube, etc because it is so hurtful and many seem not to care. But then I remember that hurting people do hurtful things.

People are not born mean, malicious, angry, hateful, racists. They either learn it or the hardships of life make them that way. So, I try hard to be one who tries to be true to my heart even when others are not so kind to me. There really is no excuse to not be kind and caring. It took me years to learn to treat those who were mean or ugly to me with kindness and that the love and kindness would help transform them. And if it did not transform them, it would transform me.

love-your-enemies

image from https://redeeminggod.com/sermons/luke/luke_6_27/

Now when someone is ugly, I reply in kindness and love. We all have that part of us, the flesh part, that makes us want to respond they was we were talked to. I learned that after a bit my kindness rubbed off on some and they changed their tune to me. We do not know what another is going through and that is what I remind myself of when someone is mean or hateful. I had a nurse when I was in the hospital who came in just barking and being hateful. The woman taking my blood said something to me about this was how she acted all the time. I told her to watch and see if my love and kindness could make her be nice to me. And it did. No, it will not work all the time but as long as we are being true to our nature of loving people and having compassion, it works in our hearts.

April 16, 2018 Posted by | Inspiration | , , , , | Leave a comment

True Beauty Lies In The Heart

People spend high dollars for their looks every year, ranging from makeup, hair stylists, exercise spas…..to actual plastic surgery, Botox, etc.  So much is focused on beauty and facial appearance and body appearance. We have tots being entered in beauty pageants where their beauty is judged. And that is all fine but how much is being spent on the inner beauty?

I found this rock back east on the river. Everyone was asking me why I was keeping it because it was just an ugly rock. This rock set me to thinking today about people who base their lives, their dating and even their marriage on the looks of the other person and then many wonder why their marriage failed. This rock speaks a lot of truth about that.

The plain-looking woman with the great smile might be the one that treats you like a king and thinks you are the greatest thing since sliced bread. The shorter bald-headed man might treat you like the cherished queen and fill your life with all the love and treasures you could imagine. So, why are people focusing on looks?  Even television shows have wedding shows where the person picks the one of the most beautiful or handsome for their spouse. Have we lost the true meaning of a beautiful person?

I have met some of the best looking people in the world and yet when I look in their eyes, I do not see the beauty that I am looking for. Somewhere along the way, they forgot how much the inner beauty affects the outer beauty. Outer beauty can and will fade with time,. You  can lose it in a heartbeat through accident or health or just aging. And then what do you have left.

To me, the most important beauty is what is inside and like that song  “overlooked an Orchid while searching for a rose”…….I wonder how many truly beautiful people are overlooked because no one took the time to see what was inside. For even a plain rock…can be hiding something beautiful and awesome. All you need to do is take the time to look. This is what was inside that plain-looking rock that everyone else was throwing down…beautiful crystals.

Is your heart filled with the beauty that Christ puts in our hearts? Or is your beauty only on the outside? Or do you have both?

April 16, 2018 Posted by | Inspiration | , , , , | 2 Comments

Write Your Name In Kindness

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Image from http://likesuccess.com/476988

Kindness is something that seems to be missing in today’s society and in it’s place is anger, hatred, bullying,  and the list goes on.  One year I got a letter from a person who was sending prayers for the prayer bed of a friend who was dying of cancer. On it, the verse below was written.

“Live for something. Do good and leave behind your monument of virtue that the storm of life can never destroy. Write your name in kindness, love and mercy on the thousands you come in contact year by year. And you will never be forgotten.”

Have you ever met anyone that to this day you have not forgotten because of the kindness that person showed you? Have you ever just seen someone, watched them with other people and they made such an impression that you just sat there in silence watching them? I think that is what the verse above means.

Have you ever considered the effect you have on other people. Have you ever considered what your actions or lack of action may do to another person? Are you leaving behind a legacy of kindness, mercy and love?

How many people do you think you have contact with over the period of a year? When you think about all the people you see in stores, gas stations, doctor’s offices, church, etc, the number is drastically greater than most people know.

When one has to slow down due to health issues and especially when one is expected to die but does not, it is amazing when we see the hurry, hurry, hurry that most people live every day. It is rush to work, rush to pick up the kids, rush to church, rush home, rush to the doctor, rush to the store…rush, rush, rush. And along the way our lives become focused mainly on what we have to do.

When was the last time you visited someone shut in? When was the last time you carried dinner to someone? When was the last time you called to check on someone other than your family? When was the last time you did something for someone just because you knew the person needed it? Sad to say, most of the refrains today are “Call me if you need me.”

So, the questions of the day are……..are you writing your name in kindness? Are your writing your name in love and mercy to others? Are you leaving behind a monument of love and caring that has made a mark that can not be washed away or forgotten in time? Gone are the days of communities helping families to build their homes, raise their barns and other helpful acts. But the days of reaching out and helping others in times of need or just giving comfort and love need not be gone. It is up to bring it back to life.

( Just FYI…Snow storm came through and our internet was knocked off. It is just now back on which is why I have not posted.)

April 14, 2018 Posted by | Inspiration | 4 Comments

Bullying

This blog has a personal aspect to it. My oldest son was bullied from first grade and up because he was so smart and used words the others did not understand. And the bullying affected him. He became where he did not want to show things he knew and changed his language which was sad to me because I learned a lot from him.

Bullying is epidemic around the world and it is really sad. Kids are bullied in school and kids and adults are bullied on social media. I hope people will take the time to look at their own words to see if they are unconsciously bullying someone. When people start denigrating and name calling and say things about another person to humiliate them, that is bullying and there is a lot of it going on.

How can we stop bullying? First and foremost, as parents we need to be aware. The first time it happened to my son, he was walking across the campus of this small college and this one boy would jump on him from his class and beat him up and try to choke him. And even sadder, the college students stood around doing nothing and cheering the boy choking him. I went immediately to the school and talked to the teacher who decided that boy had to stay until the other kids had time to walk home. It solved the problem. The teacher also called the parents in and talked to them. There have been many times that I intervened but my sons never knew it. I did not want them thinking Mama will fix everything. They had to learn to deal some too.

I would talk to Principals, teachers and if necessary the Superintendent of the schools. I was persistent and tough without being ugly. But the greatest joy I got was when my youngest who was three years younger than his brother entered high school. I was told by others that some boys were bullying my oldest and he was telling them to leave him alone. Their response was “Who is going to make us?”  And about that time my youngest son stepped around the corner in all his 6 foot 4 inch glory and said “I am.” My oldest is 5 foot 10 1/2 inches tall. The boys looked so funny and decided to leave. My son had a protector who did not have to resort to violence to get his point across.

I taught both my sons to not start a fight but to never stand there and take an attack. I knew my youngest would be fine. There was a boy in 7th grade at a school of K through 7th grade that would jump on my oldest son and grab him from behind with his arm around his neck choking him. I told him the next time to clamp his teeth on that boy’s arm and not let go until I got there. I made sure and told him to not break the skin, just hold tight. This was to ensure that the boy did not run off.

I got a frantic call from the principal telling me what was going on and to get there quickly. I did and when I arrived I told my son to let go and then I turned to the principal and said “I have talked to you many times about this bullying and you have done nothing. I told my oldest son to do that but to not break the skin as he needed protecting since you were doing nothing and as this boy’s attacks were escalating, my son was going to be badly injured.” The principal stood there stuttering with all the kids standing around and some kids spoke up and said they had told the principal too. When the principal finally got his voice, he told both boys they were expelled for three days. I looked at him and said “No, not my son. You were warned too many times that this was going on and did nothing. The other boy deserves being suspended but not my son.”  He finally agreed.

For years it affected my son. He would get upset when people talked ugly to him or yelled at him. It reminded him of the damage done to him when in school. He has come a long ways and has worked on the damage done to him. But, the important thing to remember is that this bullying does do damage to kids that carries on in their lives.  Fortunately, my son realizes what it did to him and works on it.  Almost all of the school shooters were bullied at school. That should tell us something. My son was fortunate to have a family that supported him and helped him deal with it. Many of these kids do not.

I do not advocate violence like I see many on news articles saying but I also do not advocate standing there passively and getting beat up. There is a fine line and we the parents, and we the teachers have to work on this. I taught school and I never allowed bullying in my class. We would talk about it and talk about how we should reach out to kids that others are bullying and befriend them. And my kids would tell me when other students were bullying others and I would talk to the teachers if they were not my students and let them know. We can not be passive about bullying. We must work to stop it for it does not end when school ends. It carries on in the work place, social media and other places.  And we must do this without violence.

Quotation-Edmund-Burke-The-only-thing-necessary-for-the-triumph-of-evil-is-4-17-35

image from http://www.azquotes.com/quote/41735

April 12, 2018 Posted by | Inspiration | , , , | 4 Comments

Forgiveness

forgiveness

Penterist.com

It took me years to learn this and once I finally did, I realized I should have done it a long time ago. Forgiveness frees our hearts so we can heal. The other person does not have to know unless they ask for forgiveness. When we hold the anger and grudge against someone, we are giving them a free place in our heads.

Not forgiving can cause us many problems from health issues to anxiety, etc. But, when we forgive, we need to do it like God forgives us. He forgives and forgets. He remembers it no more once we ask Him to forgive us. So, when we forgive someone, we need to totally forgive and put it behind us so that we are not holding on to negative thoughts.

I find that life is a lot more peaceful when I forgive those that have wronged me and let it go. Even when people have hurt me deeply, once I forgave them, I felt peace and calmness. And I think it is also important for us to ask others to forgive us when we have hurt them or been ugly to them or spoke harshly. It is surprising because I have done that and had the person tell me they were sorry as well.

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Penterist.com

April 8, 2018 Posted by | faith, God, Inspiration | , , , | 2 Comments

The Tiny Word Called Hope

Hope is the one thing that keeps me going. Hope that today will be better than yesterday. Hope that this or that will work out. Hope is like a tiny fluttering you feel that is your heart beating and it grows when we give it the right fuel.

When tragedies hit, many tears will be shed and hearts will hurt but hope will spring just as the crocus and daffodil bulbs push through the soil and peek their tiny little heads.

Hope

“Hope” is the thing with feathers—
That perches in the soul—
And sings the tune without the words—
And never stops—at all—

And sweetest—in the Gale—is heard—
And sore must be the storm—
That could abash the little Bird
That kept so many warm—

I’ve heard it in the chillest land—
And on the strangest Sea—
Yet, never, in Extremity,
It asked a crumb—of Me.

Emily Dickinson

Hope is that tiny seed that will not let us quit..that makes us keep trying when everything seems so hard. And hope is what makes us get up in the mornings and say “Ok, I will try one more time”.

April 7, 2018 Posted by | Inspiration | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Slow Down And Enjoy Life

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Pinterest.com

One thing I have learned through all this breaking my wrist and ending up in the hospital for almost two weeks with massive blood clots and being told I was going to die is that we have no guarantees of tomorrow. This means we should make every minute count and for me, making sure I am staying in God’s will not mine.

Today’s society is rush, rush, rush and people go from early morning to late at night and are always feeling frazzled and exhausted. I hear friends say they just do not have time to enjoy life anymore. My answer is always “list your things you do and what you want to do and see where the priorities are”.  Sometimes people can stay so busy because it hides the fact that they are not at peace.

To me, my most important priorities when the boys were young was them. I wanted to make sure they were prepared for the world and the harshness that is out there and knew how to fend for themselves.  I found Jesus when my oldest was a toddler and remember the moment exactly. Then I started working on making God the top priority. Did I make mistakes?  Oh yeah, I did. But I kept working to change.

Life is short and there are no redo’s. We have to work to get it right the first time and do what God has laid in our hearts to do. If we keep ourselves so busy, we can not hear what God is leading us to do.

April 5, 2018 Posted by | Inspiration | , , , , | Leave a comment

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