Tag Archives: Thankful

Unexpected Paths and New Beginnings

In almost 50 years of life I have learned that the paths I think I’ll be taking and the paths I find myself on are rarely the same. Rarely, as in, never.  I have also found a correlation between these diametrically opposite paths…they always lead to growth and new beginnings.

Case in point. In November of 2016 I found myself being laid off at my job. Having your boss walk in and instinctively knowing what is going to happen is the worst. An ugly cry was needed and mine did not disappoint. Gathering my few personal belongings and leaving felt like an end. In fact, I drove to Memorial park and walked the three mile loop crying because I knew I couldn’t drive all the way home. Little did I know this was just a new beginning.

After the shock wore off (a few weeks later) one question changed my path. The question was, “So now that you are looking for a job, what do you WANT to do?” I hadn’t really considered that I could actually change careers this late in life. The thought of that was too overwhelming and I continued my search for marketing positions. After several interviews I knew that path was no longer what I wanted.

I had several friends and family suggest real estate and the thought of that made me feel alive. That feeling had been lost in the responsibility of taking care of my children and the fear of trying something new. Kicking me out of a “safe” job was the only way for me to leave. I truly believe God did just that.

Never in a million years would I have risked going out on my own. Knowing myself as well as I do, I would have stayed where I was regardless of whether or not I enjoyed it. When you have three children depending on you things change. It no longer becomes what I want, but what needs to be done. My parents definitely taught me the importance of responsibility, a lesson that has served me well in life.

Anyway, after completing real estate classes I took and passed the exam in March. I studied like a crazy person, sometimes ten hours a day. It had been YEARS since I had studied something new and I was afraid my brain wouldn’t cooperate. But when I walked out of the testing center knowing I had passed I was thankful. Thankful not only for passing, but for the opportunity.

I know without a doubt God gave me this opportunity and in hindsight being laid off was a blessing. He obviously knew I wouldn’t have tried anything new unless I was forced to. What a good, good Father!

The Darkness that Brings Hope

trialsAnother year and another “annual” post. I do love writing but it is not a priority right now. I happened upon my site (Thanks, Facebook memories) and read my post from last December and was reminded of things learned and things forgotten. Sure would be nice if once you learned something it was just part of who you are and you never had to re-learn it again. Apparently that’s not me so I find myself going through more learning. Lucky me, lol.

Life has hard lessons and they seem to find me quite often. I told my best friend not too long ago that I was so over being able to identify with others because that meant going through hard stuff over and over again. And yet, here I am again. However, being alive on this earth for 49 years in a place that is not “my home” will always have me saying, “It’s not supposed to be like this.” Anyone else?

I will say that through it all one thing has NEVER changed. God was with me every single minute. Bethel Music’s rendition of It Is Well says, “Through it all my eyes are on You. Through it all it is well.” This has proven to be true in my experience.

So just in case you need someone that truly understands where you are or what you’re going through I can relate with… depression, death of a family member, death of a close friend, miscarriage, loneliness, divorce, food addiction, anorexia, bulimia (because I also have issues making up my mind), parenting (enough said, right??), alcoholism, losing a job, betrayal by a friend, poverty, rejection, emotional abuse, suicidal thoughts, breast cancer scare, bullying, sexual abuse, pornography, drug addiction, physical abuse, and probably some I’m forgetting. Before anyone starts assuming when and where I experienced all that, this is over a 49 year life. No one person or event was responsible, some I walked through with a close friend, and many were of my own doing.

Reading those may seem depressing but honestly today I feel hope. Could be the sunshine after raining three days. Could be the fact I was able to exercise and get some endorphins flowing. But I know that in James 1:2-3 the bible says, “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.” I can attest to the fact that the product of going through hard stuff brings perseverance which leads to hope. It also brings strength and courage like no other experience can. The strongest people I know have the hardest stories to tell. Don’t assume you know someone based on their “today”. Everyone has a story to tell and if you slow down enough to talk to them you might even learn something about yourself.

So this year I’m rounding out my “trials” with hope and thanksgiving. Not because I was thankful when I was going through them, but thankful that I’m not the person I was before I did… And hope that the person I am today is a much better person than before.

Merry Christmas and love to you all.

 

Thankful for Feet?

There was a time I wrote a thankful list every evening. I was encouraged to do that because depression had overtaken my thoughts and life. Nothing about life seemed good, or even tolerable.

The first time I wrote my list I remember thanking God for my feet. LOL! Seriously, I’ve always liked my feet. No reason, just always liked them. It actually makes me laugh to type that. :) There were other things like air and sun on my short list. That gives you an idea of how little I thought I had to be thankful for.

Occasionally I come back to this exercise, as I know it is a great way to focus on the blessings. Ann Voskamp in her book, One Thousand Gifts, does exactly this. When I saw it online I knew I had to read it. I have so many friends that love that book, but quite honestly I didn’t care for it. Not the message, just the actual writing. It’s written in what I like to call “fancy writing”. Like poetry. The ironic thing is that I love poetry… but only the kind that makes sense and rhymes. I’m more of a meat and potatoes writer and that’s what I enjoy reading. Plain English, please.

Anyway, it’s been awhile since I’ve written a thankful list so I thought I’d give it a go:

Today I am thankful for…

  • My three kids who make me laugh EVERY day. Life without them would be oh so boring.
  • My family. Their love, support and prayers get me through every day. I know how blessed I am to have the family I have.
  • Milo, our dog. We had a rough start, but he’s become quite the companion and fits in well with our family.
  • The neighborhood I live in.
  • My job. It not only provides for us, but it also encourages me to grow and learn. I also have good friends I’ve made.
  • The Fellowship at Cinco Ranch. LOVE my church family.
  • That we are lice free. Yes, we had our first case of lice and it was not fun or cheap. If you’ve been through it, you know. It can make you go crazy!
  • Accountability. I need it and thankful to have it.
  • My rose bushes that are blooming like crazy.
  • The smell of jasmine as I walk out the back door.
  • Chai tea… always thankful for that, lol.
  • For my past. It’s not pretty but I wouldn’t be where I am today without it.
  • And yes, today I am still thankful for my feet :)