My Past has Shaped Me

I am a white girl, who grew up in a poor family.  My dad worked construction, and of course we had to move where the work was.  There were many times that my dad decided he would go to another state to work and send money back to us, just so we would not have to change schools.  There was a time when we lived in a tent, but my dad did not allow us to go to school in dirty clothes.  I remember the heartbreak of being in junior high and not wanting to make friends because, I did not want them to know I did not have a home.  I would actually go eat in the bathroom to avoid being made fun of.  It was a devastatingly difficult time.  As I grew up, I rejected religion, yet was oddly fascinated by it.  I tried it all, new age, Buddhism, Hinduism, Spiritualism etc.  It was not until I turned 19 that I decided Christianity was the path for me.  Jesus was the main reason for my decision.  He did not judge, he preached love of all and he came for everyone!  He accepted all!  All.

As I have continued my journey, I have come to realize that everyone has their path, and I love listening to their stories.  I love sitting a talking with those who believe differently from me, so that I can better understand where they are coming from.  What they have been through.  How they overcame whatever it was they went through in their lives.  You see, America is pretty cool that way.  We have come from different places around the world.  We celebrate culture and diversity.  We celebrate being different.  At least, that is what I thought until lately.  But maybe it has not changed.  If I and all of us, have been shaped by our past, that means that we can learn from our mistakes as a nation.  This means, that instead of becoming more divisive, we can come together in peace, love, and unity despite our political agendas or religious preferences.  It means that we can find common ground.

It seems to me that we as believers in Higher Power or those who believe in humanity,  have all been taught something similar:  to welcome the stranger.  To practice a hospitality so radical that it means to extend our hand and hearts to those who are in need.  This does not change in any religious belief.  It is common ground.

I implore everyone to seek facts and not fake news.  To meet others different from you, and to extend your hand to ALL.  We do not know everyone’s stories, but we can learn to listen.

Back to Real Life

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This Christmas break has been one of the best we have ever had.  Truly!  There were no expectations, no hurrying to get somewhere, Mr. Bits had almost two whole weeks off and we were all together!  The days were full of sitting or doing whatever came to mind.  I think we have all been dreading the reality of today, but it was nice to get back into a groove.  The kids started school today, and it actually went smoothly.  No arguing about starting a routine.  I think they secretly were excited to get back to a normal routine.  I actually started cleaning my house and putting the decorations away.  I am not putting all of them away since we celebrate through Epiphany, but I did want to get started.  My urge to have a clean house was just too overwhelming.  The tree will stay up through the weekend though.  Part of my urge was due to the fact I have a small surgery on Friday.  Nothing too huge to worry about, but I will be down at most a week, hopefully not even that long but we shall see.  I want to make sure the house is in order so that no one has to worry about anything.  Of course it includes the schedule for Mr. Bits to keep up with, and I know he will do great, but I think us mothers worry sometimes!  It’s just that we know the schedule so well!

Thought a great deal about my new mantra today.  How have I given of myself this day?  I realized that on a daily basis we give so much of ourselves that we forget to really see it.  Making sure to devote my attention to the kids when they are wanting to show me something.  It sounds small, but it is so tremendously huge!  I cannot forget to do this and truly be in the moment or I will miss out on so very much!  A small thing given of myself this day.  The dinner put on the table, the toilet that was cleaned, the homework that was helped with.  All of this may not seem like much, but it is my way of giving and I am thankful for the opportunity.  I also thought about how giving of myself means that I must take care of myself, and so here I sit in a quiet space journaling about the day.  Therapy for my soul, and peace that is needed.  This moment of remembering to savor and be grateful for the gifts that were given to me this day.  What a journey!

Peace to you all this night, and thank you for reading!

Sunday Storytelling-Be Happy Where you Are

This is a post I wrote about two years ago, and for some reason, I have been thinking a great deal on this subject lately.  Maybe one of you can relate.  Enjoy!

When I was 20, I went on a spiritual retreat.  One day, we were told to be silent.  No talking and on our own as much as possible.  We could eat together, but no talking.  Everyone must remain silent.  We were trying to listen for God’s voice.  Well, I do not know about you guys, but quieting my mind is more difficult than not talking.  I think about everything and worry about more than I should.  When someone says try to listen for God, I freak out.  My mind begins to think constantly about why I do not hear His voice.

Even at age 20, which is almost 20 years ago, I felt this way.  I would like to say that things have changed, but with my anxiety, it has not.

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So that morning, I decided to take a walk.  Our retreat was up in the mountains, next to a beautiful stream with many,many wild flowers.  Oh it was gorgeous!  So I knew I wanted to hike along the stream to look for a place to sit and try to listen.  As I began my walk, I would see the best places to sit and ponder, but they were already taken.  I would get mad and say to myself, “Everyone else has the best place, why can’t I have the same spot?”

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The further I would walk, the more I realized that all the great spots were taken.  Why couldn’t I find a spot like everyone else had?  Why did they get all the good stuff?  Now I was about a mile and a half into my hike, and I was getting so frustrated.  I wanted to hear from God damnit, and I couldn’t because everyone else had the perfect spot. The interesting thing is, I did not turn around and go back, I just kept walking.  I came to a dead spot in the walk where everything seemed to be brown and crunchy.  I became even more mad and actually began yelling at God, as to why he talks to everyone else but me.  Why does he give good gifts to all the others, but me, I get a dead spot?

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Still, I walked.

And walked.

Suddenly, the trail opened up into a huge green meadow.  The meadow was lush, green beautiful, and colorful with newly blossomed wildflowers.  And I realized that God had spoken all along.  And it is a lesson that I have needed to be reminded of.

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The lesson is that I spend a great deal of time looking at other people and what they have.  Not possessions, but family, friends, spiritually.  I get frustrated and wonder why I cannot have what they have.  Why do I get to keep walking?  Why do I have the crunchy dead spots?    But in reality, I do have the most lush green beautiful life. I may have to walk and walk to get there.  I may have to go through the nasty stuff, but when I come out of it, I have beauty.  I have to focus on the beauty in the journey as well, and be happy for the people who are in there beautiful spots.  You see, they had to go through nasty stuff to get there.  I just do not know their story.

Instead of dwelling on what others have and what I do not, it is time to remind myself to be happy for them.  Love them and know that what they have been through to get there has been just as difficult or more so than what I have been through.

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Your time is coming, just keep walking.

Love,

Suzy

I Am

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I am sitting here not really knowing what to write about or where this post is going.

The above saying never give up has been on my mind a great deal lately.  I have thought so much about whether this little, and when I say little, I mean little, blog of mine is worth all the attention I have been giving it.  Or the business I have created and the dreams I have for it, are they even worth it?  So many other people are more successful than I am.  They have careers, families etc.  Then, there is little old me.  Sitting in front of my computer, wondering if I even make a dent in the blog world.  Wondering if any one is even reading or cares.

Truth is, I am scared like the rest of the world.  I am scared of being judged, making a fool of myself, of not doing enough, of looking like a failure to my family and friends.

I have been so struck by how we all view success and failure lately.  How we all compare ourselves to one another, and even have a competition as to who can do more and appear to be successful.

Everything that is brought in front of me to read or study this past week has been screaming, “Suzanne, what you see as successful is screwed up!  The standards are made by a world that strives for more!  The more you have, the more you do, the more views you have, the more……”

Who are you?  Who are you not?  The knowing the not is just as important as knowing the who you are.

I am not a teacher earning money any more, but I am a teacher to my three children.

I am not a working mother earning tons of money for her family, but I am a working mother who stays with her kids all day and works to keep them on the same team.

I am not an inspirational speaker to the world, but I am an inspirational speaker to those around me.

I am not God, but I am a woman who loves God.

I do not have it all together, but I have my family close.

I do not have the best blog in the universe, but I do have readers who are loyal and that I have loved seeing daily.

I may not seem successful to some family and friends, but I am successful to my kids and husband. (even though I struggle with what they think of me too)

I am insecure.  I am someone who cares deeply.  I am someone who takes things to heart.  I am someone who is so full of life that I literally cannot place all I want to do in one day.

But many see me, and see just a stay at home mother.  One who has no career.  One who gave a career up.  One who is not helping financially like she should.  Or one who does not have something of her own.

That’s the way it may appear.  But reality is much different than what you see.

My life has been a series of twists and turn.  It may look so completely random to others, and full of wrong decisions.  But all decisions are coming together to bring glory. Not to me, but to a God who has knitted my life together. I do not know where this life of mine is headed, but I know it must be good.

I am successful.

Love,

Suzy

Amazing Stories to Lift Your Spirits

The world is full of negative, but for every negative there is a positive.  An amazing story of the human spirit, of God’s love, of strength.

Today, I want to focus on a few of these stories. Please visit these sights, and be filled with love and joy.

Josh and Robbyn Blick with baby Zion

These beautiful parents knew their child was going to be born with a rare syndrome.  This is a story and video of how they chose to spend his short 10 days on earth.

 

 

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An absolute amazing Spoken Word, that will inspire you to live fully as God intended.  Click here to listen!

 

I enjoyed looking at all these amazing photos!  The colors, creativity and skill are amazing.  Click here to see.

 

Hope you all are inspired!

Love,

Suzy