Friday, September 11, 2015
In memory of the tragic events that happened 14 years ago today, I wanted to share my memory, and thank the many service men and women who gave their lives that day. Plus, I would like to thank God for the many service men and women that continue to sacrifice and give for their fellow man; with little or no recognition. It really makes me sad to think that these same service men and women are being targeted on the streets today. Where have our dignity and morals gone?
September 11th, 2001, I was working at a special needs school and every morning I was scheduled to leave to work at a student's home. Every day was the same, I would sign-out, proceed to my car, and make my way to their home. However, on this day, as I listened to the radio frantic reports were coming in about a horrific accident in New York. My hands began to shake, but I kept them on the steering wheel, and kept driving to my destination. Once I arrived, I asked immediately what was going on, their television was on and we all anticipated the reports. A plan had crashed into the World Trade Center in New York. Immediately my heart dove toward my stomach, I have family in New York, again my heart beat against my stomach as reports started coming in about terrorist attacks. I still managed to get through the lesson plans, even though my legs were weak and my hands shook. When I returned to school, there was a lot of buzz going around, and schools inevitably let out early. Making a cell phone call at this time was impossible as the message would inform you that all circuits were busy or shut down. As we continued to hear of other attacks and attempts, life as we know it would change forever.
At the time I was living with my then boyfriend; (who would later become my husband, and then ex-husband) we were house-sitting. The people we were house-sitting for were in the military and were living over in Afghanistan. Later, as I sat in this house watching the reports, I could feel the terror as a thought crossed my mind; were the people we were house-sitting for in danger, what and where would the next attacks happen? I even considered if they would attack specific homes and was this home I was house-sitting a potential target? How could this happen and why did this happen? So many have speculated and we have yet to have definitive answers. I know the general populace believed that Osama Bin Laden was behind the attacks, and if he was he's now answering for his crimes; since supposedly he was killed. Fourteen years later and we're still waiting for justice. Will we ever feel at peace? Too many people died that day for anyone to ever forget. I pray that those directly involved and who have lost dear loved ones, can find it in their hearts to forgive the ignorance of others; only then could we find the peace so many are seeking. That doesn't mean we will ever forget, we can forgive, but never forget.
It seems strange now to even fathom that I was married a few months later, had a child and experienced so much in that time, and lost that child all in this span of fourteen years. How children that lost their parents that day are now full-grown and leading their own lives. How wive's and husband's who lost their significant other's fourteen years ago, are now married and their families have grown. However as Vigil's serenity states "No day shall erase you from the memory of time." As American's I hope we take these memories and challenge ourselves to stand firm against those working against our nation; forgive their actions as we would want to be forgiven. We need to pray, and pray hard for this nation. Too many deals are being conducted that makes my stomach just turn. Our government was once a fierce and solid institution; now it is a cowardly and greedy one. They would sell US all to make a profit. Just keep that in mind this election season and as we watch what the government continues to make deals with; especially overseas.
"If my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land." 2 Chronicles 7:14
Wednesday, September 9, 2015
This month I am thankful for the people in my life that take those few minutes a day to make sure I'm doing okay. Friends, family, and the people closest to me know that I am not someone who will seek help from others. Not only am I an empath, I also have introverted tendencies, so I keep things that bother me bottled up (until I explode) - sound familiar? But, when I do decide to reach out, I know I can count on those closest to me for their support. I am so truly blessed that I have such wonderful people in my life that have been there for me through all the different levels of hell that I've been through in my life, and even the trivial trials that I've faced. I thank God for each one of these very important individuals!
Recently, something happened that really threw me for a loop; people usually don't surprise me, but the actions of this person definitely did. Because of this, my mind was sent swimming toward the vortex of all those emotions that can drive the sanity right out of someone. Thank God I have a strong constitution, which I wouldn't have without Christ in my life, and praise God that HE continues to protect us! The situation could have been a lot worse, so I'm thankful that it wasn't. I'm also thankful that, along with my family and friends, we have been able to work through it and can now move forward; praise God!
Tuesday, September 8, 2015
Thank you to CREATE WITH JOY for this great blog hop where we can come together and share our unique posts. For this Wordless Wednesday the topic is to share our favorite family-friendly photos! I've decided to share my favorite shots from this past summer. Enjoy!
|When everyone else is preparing for the start of school and buying supplies, I bought new flowers and things for his grave site.|
|My sister's dog that we watch during the day -- Hope -- we all need a little hope in our lives.|
|A sunflower shot from the backyard.|
|My sister snapped this pic of her eldest during a viola lesson.|
|My dog Bryan -- Best Dog Ever|
|My parent's dog Sammy -- a.k.a "The Pest"|
|My youngest niece inspecting her token for her fish she won!|
Tuesday, September 1, 2015
I wondered how many of us are affected by sleep disorders, so of course as any of us would do, I Googled it. "According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, about 40 million people in the United States suffer from chronic long-term sleep disorders each year and an additional 20 million people experience occasional sleep problems." Combined that's 60 million people! In case you were further wondering, like myself, there are 318.9 million people in the US (2014). So, if we lined up everyone in the United States, approximately every fifth person would have some form of sleep dysfunction.
Why is this so alarming? Because our bodies have certain requirements that must be met in order to survive and function properly. Just as we need to eat and drink to fuel and hydrate our bodies, we also need sleep for many things including maintaining our minds. So, why is sleep so important? Without sleep our brains will perform slower and affects both our cognitive skills and emotional well being. I had read an article recently how some companies in Asia (I believe it was Japan) schedule naps for their employees because it promotes a better working environment and increases their productivity. It's true! Lack of sleep will significantly decrease many aspects of both your mind and body. Long-term sleep deficiency can even cause serious health issues. So, we can all agree that sleep is a necessity, correct? Now, how do we break the vicious cycle of insomnia? Easy, we recondition our brains. Think of it like you are rebooting and reprogramming your computer; except this might actually be easier.
First Things First
In order to reclaim healthy sleeping habits, you have to think of a circle, within that circle there are three main goals that must be achieved daily; mind, body, and soul. When we connect the trinity, we can connect to a well being, and ultimately a healthy and happy state. There are many aspects of everyone's "circles", but for now, we're focusing on achieving and maintaining healthy sleeping patterns.
If you were to research ways to help you sleep, many articles will tell you to eat healthy, exercise, and allow yourself adequate down-time. What this translates to is to cut your caffeine intake (especially in the afternoon and evening hours - trust me once you are sleeping regularly you won't need multiple cups of coffee a day, you won't even need that morning cup to get you going), it also means to take notice of what you are actually eating as some things can contribute to heart burn and so forth, and could cause you discomfort before bed and further complicate the vicious circle you are trying to break free from. The easiest way during this transition is to do a somewhat cleanse, by eating healthy and doing away with carbonated drinks, and especially caffeine.
Warning: if you regularly consume caffeine daily, then you could experience caffeine withdraw (that's right people, just like a drug). Have some Excedrin: Migraine or whatever you might take for headache's handy, and don't forget to drink plenty of water. I'm not saying you have to go green or anything, just try to make the conscious choice to eat healthier (at least for a week or two).
Now that we are starting to work on your body; exercise is another key factor. If you are like me and are limited in this area, it doesn't have to be strenuous activities. I've noticed my best sleep cycles occur during the spring and summer months because that is when I am the most active.
When we exercise there are so many good chemicals released in our body, and those good chemicals are sparking our brain to function properly. You can start by parking your car farther away from the store so that you have to walk a little further; when you are walking try picking up your natural pace.
Whatever your activity is, it's working your body, which is producing more chemical firing for a healthier state. Everyone is different, if you haven't exercised in years, your body isn't conditioned to run a marathon. It's wise to consult with your doctor and communicate with them about your health concerns and needs.
My only concern with the medical field, or at least it has been my experience, that they are too quick to prescribe medications. There is this mentality in our culture that a pill can fix anything and I have a huge problem with this. Of course, there are serious conditions that do require medications, I'm not saying don't take your medicine, I'm saying be careful.
At one point in my life I was on so much medication I felt like my life revolved around taking pills, and it truly did to some degree (I have chronic pain and severe nerve damage). However, I am happy to state that I am pill free. Does this mean I never take medication? No, it does not. I only take medicine when my body tells me to, when I am experiencing true pain. I say true pain because we can have phantom pain and other types of pain, our bodies can become addicted to medicine without even really knowing we are, so our brain tells us that we are hurting so that we will want or believe we need to take medication to feel better... yet another vicious cycle. Have you ever read the warning labels on your pill bottles? Just watching a single medicine commercial should tell us that it's not necessarily to our benefit to take! Again, please consult your medical professional before detoxing from your medications.
Read Labels: a side effect could intrude on your ability to sleep properly. Know what you are putting into your body, just don't accept and trust that everyone else has your best interest and health as a priority. Unfortunately, there are so many chemicals in our environment that can seriously hurt us. Just ask my father who is a victim of Agent Orange and now has diabetes because of it.
So, we've tackled the body and part of the mind, now we have to address the rest of our mind and how it connects to our spirituality. I understand not everyone is religious, and I'm not saying you have to be; it's your life. However, I will explain how my spirituality ties into my health and ultimately has helped me in sleeping better. I'm not trying to convert you, I'll just share my life's journey and where I am now.
I've always been spiritual, you can say it's part of being Native American, you can say that it's because I've experienced trauma, but I say it is because I am faithful and believe in the one and only God. I have been studying the Bible, not that I can throw down Bible versus or anything, but I study as a tool. It helps me to grow and rejuvenate my spirit, as well as builds on my personal relationship with the Lord.
Many people are plagued with negative thoughts or some form of fear(s). Did you know that there are 365 passages in the Bible that directly state not to be fearful, its literally telling us every day of an entire year not to be afraid (I had read this in a devotional). So, why are we so fearful? That's a much deeper question and will change for each and every one of us. Our society is constantly putting fear into our subconscious, and while some warnings are to our benefit, other's are a direct attempt to keep us in fear. Why? Could it be so that as a mass people we can be controlled? If we have nothing to fear, then why would we have a need? It's a deep question and something to ponder over, but certainly don't do that heavy lifting before bed!
My point was, that by connecting to your spirituality you can experience that fresh breath of air; where you can have a true experience and sense of peace. So, where do we start? Some people are turned off to studying the Bible because to them it's a difficult trillion pieced puzzle that they don't even want to begin to tackle. Rome wasn't built in a day, right? Just take it one day at a time.
When I was in my twenties I attempted to read the Bible from front to back and somewhere in the middle I seemed to get lost in the words. Toward my later twenties I discovered an amazing learning Bible, which I still love, because each script was broken down and explained into more details (which was great for me and how my brain works). But, eventually that too got pushed to the side. Now, I have a Bible app! It's been wonderful and honestly, I probably didn't utilize it for the first few years I had my smart phone. Now, I get push notifications daily of scriptures, it's truly wonderful and has blessed my life.
What is conditioning? You might think of conditioning as something an athlete does, and you would be absolutely correct. An athlete has to condition themselves or else they won't make the cut or could be seriously injured. Look at it this way, if we are not getting enough sleep we are hurting our bodies. In order to not cause yourself any further self-harm, start making the choices with the knowledge that you have the power to condition yourself. It's an easy formula to put your brain on the right path.
Many of us are negative; an easy conditioning exercise is for every negative thought or statement, to immediately think of or state two positives. So, for instance, if I were to say or think that my writing sucks, I would immediately have to say or think two positives: I communicate well through my writing, and I have a gift for explaining things and educating others. For this exercise you can enlist the help and support of friends and family. Let them know you are working on yourself and if they hear you say anything bad about yourself, that they are to remind you to say two positives about yourself.
Why do you need to condition your thoughts? Even if we think negative thoughts, it will affect what you think about yourself. I'm not saying to be a narcissist, quite the contrary, I'm saying don't down-yourself because negativity begets more negativity; and that darkness can swallow you and before you know it your staring down depression and wondering how you got there. Have enough self-worth and believe in yourself. You are a unique wonderful human being and don't forget it. If someone makes you feel any different, then it's time to evaluate the relationship. Toxic relationships aren't healthy ones and they will invade our thoughts as we're attempting to fall asleep. But, how can I stop my brain from thinking like this? Take control of your thoughts.
When you are going to sleep, if you start thinking of work, or a relationship, immediately go to your happy place. This is part of conditioning too. Our happy place is whatever it needs to be, a (healthy) fantasy, or something or somewhere where we feel or think we would feel happy. One of my happy places is a deserted island, which might not be for everyone because you might stress about finding shelter and other things. I have found that happy places should be fictional; somewhere where those stresses don't apply. When I'm thinking of my island, I'm thinking warm sands between my toes, crystal blue waters, and a perfect sun filled day. Start thinking from your head to your toes, how the sun would feel warm on your head, how the breeze would caress your skin, and how the sand feels between your toes. This is a conditioning tool to help sedate your mind, it will help you slip more effectively into your sleep state.
Another conditioning process is to have an activity you do before bed, and do it every night before you go to sleep, this will trigger your body and brain that by doing this it's time for bed. Mine activity is my Bible app, I have a daily devotional that I do, currently is is Joyce Meyer: Promises for your everyday life, I'm currently 52% through this devotional, each day it will give you a different passage in the Bible and then there is the devotional, where it describes the passage and how it is applied to our daily lives.
Be careful with electrical devices before bed though, it has been proven that exposure to your electronic devices before bed can disturb your circadian rhythm. Circadian rhythm is our 24 hour biological process that our body goes through. While I might use the Bible app on my iPhone before bed, the majority of the reading has a black background with white (or red) lettering as not to disturb this process. Be mindful of how much time you are staring at an electric screen in the duration of a day. Combined with doing a certain activity regularly, you're putting yourself on a schedule, and you might not like schedules, but it helps our bodies to know when to start powering down; it helps our brains to go into sleep mode, and our spirit to work while we are sleeping to rejuvenate and get us ready for the next day.
Someone around this time in my life told me, if I was working too hard then something was going to give. What they meant was that there was too much going on, I was the primary caregiver for my special needs son, I was working full-time, obtaining a college education, working on relationships, trying to maintain a home, and everything else.
We all take our daily activities for granted in various ways, but each should be considered and valued (like money). We have so much to spend each day, if we spend too much, something eventually is going to give. Once my "going to give" gave, I did reevaluate my life and made serious changes; life's definitely not easy, sometimes we can take that easy path, but sometimes that easy path doesn't pay-off either. Either way, when we take care of ourselves, it will reflect in our lives. So please, take care of yourself and sweet dreams.
Saturday, August 8, 2015
August - "Walking In Faith"
With the challenge at an end, I can look back and appreciate the year. Recently, I met up with my friend that challenged me to go without dating or sexual relations with a man for an entire year. At times it was quite challenging; I think I mentioned last month how I avoided watching any shows and sometimes even Facebook because there were pictures of men. After having lunch with my friend, I realized just how much I've grown, I've learned to love myself more, and that I am worth everything. Most importantly this month I decided to walk in faith. Sometimes when I don't feel well, I tell myself "do as much as you can, it's better than nothing", I'm walking in faith that God will give me no pain and energy to get through the day. When something new is on the horizon and fear starts to creep in, I tell myself about how the Bible has those 365 passages that God tells us to not have fear, He is with us; so I close my eyes and take that proverbial step forward. What I realized was the unhealthy behavior I had before was like a drug. I needed that fix and needed to feel needed. Now, I don't have that need. It's almost like I've detoxed. I don't regret doing the challenge. I'm glad that I did and completed it. Now I can move on to the next challenge.
2 Corinthians 5:7 (NIV)
"For we live by faith, not by sight."
July - "Girls Just Want to Have Fun"
In July there was a death in the family. Death always makes us look at the mortality of life. Life really is too short. This month I also focused on counting my blessings instead of obsessing over what isn't "right" in my life. Who says it's not "right"? I've really worked on detoxing myself with societal standards. Yeah, I might not look like the girls in magazines or the women on television, but I'm NOT them and I have been through REAL trauma and hell (a couple times) in my life. The scars I do have I wear as a proud reminder that life tried to knock me down (repeatedly) but, I didn't let it keep me down. I'm a survivor. It's taken me a long time to accept that I'm not perfect - but, who the hell is - NO ONE! Jesus is the only person that has been the standard for perfection - and he died so that we can live. What does that tell you - It tells me not to waste anymore of my time with fear or any of that silly business and just have fun. Speaking of fear, I read a devotional recently where it talked about how there are 365 passages in the Bible where God specifically tells us not to be fearful, and that's a daily reminder for an entire year - do not fear, He is with you.
Not that I'm going to go out, kick my heels up, and cause drama. Quite the opposite, I try to stay far-far away from drama. I know I deserve someone who will treat me right, cherish what I do have to offer, and want to grow old together. My delusional thoughts like to keep me knocked down by telling myself that I'm fat, and therefore I am ugly; that I am nothing, and that I have nothing to offer. Lies. When doing devotionals I've read repeatedly how "the devil" likes to tell us these lies because it can keep us from furthering our relationship with God. However, sometimes we have to travel those troubled waters to draw closer to Him - and that's what he wants, He wants US. So, I started doing devotionals learning about God's love, and defining love itself. When I listened to songs, instead of telling myself "that would be nice, if a man thought that way about me" or something along those lines - so I had to recondition my brain, instead of wishing for a silly relationship with an earthly man, I would listen to the song and think about God's love; unconditional and unyielding - much more meaningful than any sort of mortal, flesh ridden love. Next time you are feeling unloved, find your favorite love song, and instead of dwelling on those lost loves, or the love that you long for in the song, think of God's love instead and tell me that you aren't immediately filled with the Spirit.
June - "Dirt Therapy"
Watching television, movies, and even Facebook have becoming challenging. There are pictures of hot men everywhere! My kryptonite; Henry Cavill, Chris Hemsworth, along with any other man at this point. I needed something (other than cold showers) to cool me off. So, why not go in a different direction. Something else that has completely frustrated me this year was the fact that my garden was over-taken my thistle weed! This kept me really busy and it was a great distraction for me. I didn't see it at the time, but I see it now. God always has a plan. It was a wonderful achievement to sit back once the garden was thistle free and really started to fill in with yummy goodness; Zucchini, Spaghetti Squash, Tomatoes, Cucumbers, and Watermelon. PLUS, with all my hard work in the garden I was able to bless others with amazing veggies.
"Keep yourself busy if you want to avoid depression. For me, inactivity is the enemy." I've found this to be an absolute truth. I definitely have seasonal depression and I realize it is because during the colder months I am less active and feeds a vicious cycle - the less active I am, the more my depression acts up, the more my body experiences pain, and it just keeps going round and around. All of this changes for me around Mother's Day. This is when my family buys a bunch of flowers for my mom and plant them out back. I call this my "Dirt Therapy" - when my hands are in the dirt my entire mentality changes. We all have something that changes those brain chemicals and spreads a little sunshine inside an otherwise dark place. June is also my mom's birthday, so it's a busy month of planting, gardening, and then maintaining. I also made sure my inside plants were cleaned and fertilized. A real gem was going to local stores (Wal*Mart, Loews, and Home Depot were my choices) and going to their gardening centers and checking out their clearance racks... the plants might not look great, but with some TLC they come back and look beautiful. It's another feeling of accomplishment when you can nurse the poor things back to life.
Thursday, August 6, 2015
MAY - Therapy Through Friends
Is talking with your ex ever really a good idea? I know there is a debate if men and women can really ever be "just friends" with no "benefits" - I watched movies where the guys have always commented that men are only interested in women for one thing... so if they are friends with you, they've already imagined having sex with you a couple different ways etc. I would like to believe that men and women could be friends without the benefits and so I set forth with this attitude - yes, apparently I'm that naïve. So, one day my ex and I started chatting through text messages about what went wrong. But, I was proud of myself - I was totally honest with him and told him about my challenge and that I wasn't "in the market". I told him we could be friends but that's as far as any relationship between us would ever go. It was good too to talk things out a little bit, I could have some closure for our past relationship in a way.
May was a great month because two of my long-time friends and I went to the beach! It brought back so many great memories and built some more. Friends are so crucial, they help, support, and keep me in-check! Alcohol is always nice too *wink-wink*. We had plenty of laughs and if I've learned anything in this life it is that you have to laugh! Talking with your friends is truly better than therapy. I think true friendship is a unconditional love, acceptance, and bond between people. You can look like total shit and they still know you and love you no matter what. There were no men, there was no "hooking up" (well, they're married too), and it was only for a weekend, but it gave us time away that was much needed. And while they talked about their troubles and their married lives with children, it's easy for me to wallow in despair. Instead, I really am secure in my single life. For a long time I was so sad and depressed (well, for other reasons too) that I wasn't married and didn't have children, but God has shown me that again, this is my time of rest. I've given so much of myself that it's time to give myself to myself. I don't need to be married and I don't need to have children, I'm happy in my faith that God has a plan for my life. I'm here as a friend, supporter, and whatever else I need to be to help others.
April - In Like A Lion, Out Like A Lamb
With spring comes the renewal of hope and it seems like love is all around, the birds are nesting, couples are coupling, and I'm over here in the corner puking!!
No, seriously though, it seemed like this spring was a little bit of a hill for me to get over. Insomnia had set-in again and my mind was riddled with thoughts of past relationships, wrong-doings, and beating myself up with the reasons why I was so unlovable. Again, I was falling back into my delusional thought patterns. I needed to keep myself busy. So, I finished my second book - like it's that easy! I went through the editing process, again, and again... and again... then we had to figure out the cover and all the little goodies. It kept my mind busy on other things other than being self absorbed, which is exactly what I needed. Keeping busy was a crucial key for me. After the book launch was over, I went directly into the third book, and was advised to take a small break... self-publishing is a lot of dedication and hard work, not that other jobs aren't too. Let's just say it's a well deserved break! However, with a break also came more time for my mind to go crazy again. Finding different things to keep me busy is easy in this day and age. There was Netflix, going out with friends (when I had funds), and taking care of my two adorable nieces. It's a wonderful lesson in life to learn to count your blessings instead of worrying about everything else. I also downloaded this great Bible app that has daily devotionals, which I read before going to bed, and I actually sleep!
So I realized one of my delusional thoughts has been thinking about "why I'm so unlovable" and it's not that no one wants me, it's just as the picture states above "Being single doesn't mean no one wants you it just means that God is buys writing your love story." I've decided to stop asking God for this sort of man or that kind of character, etc. Instead, I want God to take the wheel this time. Like I've mentioned before, I'm not going to be the aggressor (I'm not going to make contact, he will have to pursue me). This has to be on His terms, in His time, and I know when He sends me this person, it'll be just right. But, I'm also at the point in my life where I'm pretty happy being single. I have no real commitments, I don't have to compromise, I have my bed all to myself - and there are plenty of times I breathe that sweetness in and stretch my whole body across the bed and love it! I read a devotional recently where I felt that God is giving me this rest period, because of my past, and this is my time to rest and learn how to enjoy life again, while also learning to love myself.
Tuesday, June 23, 2015
With the end of the challenge around the corner, I realized that I was way behind on posting! I took a break from blogging and writing and now I have to get my head back in the game. I am happy to report that the challenge is still intact and no signs of any interruption on the horizon. March marks seven months after a friend challenged me to "No Men for a Year" and in these months I've really strengthened my resolve. As I've mentioned before, I've always sought relationships with men because I have this need to feel love, and within my thought patterns this could only be achieved within that relationship. Well, times here are a changing, as the saying goes.
When I first started the challenge, I didn't think that it would be that big of a deal, especially since I've never really been "lucky in love" - men have never "lined up" at my door - so to speak. But, the entire purpose of the challenge was for me to essentially learn to respect myself. Now, I can tell a guy "No" and have the conviction to stand firm behind it. I can now see how unhealthy my mental reasoning and my actions have been in the past. Which lead to one of my new dating rules (for when there is a contender, and I say contender because I'm not lowering my expectations). This new rule is that he has to seek me out. In the past it seemed, in the majority of my relationships, that I was the aggressor, I was the one making contact, pushing to go out and so forth, but not anymore. I have been proud of myself that when I have wanted to do something along those lines, I have stopped myself and mentally talked myself down with reminders of the new rule - it's definitely helped.
Other than that, this month I focused more on my friends and family, and taking time for myself. I
reconnected with activities that I enjoy. Which one was very time consuming and quite the guilty pleasure, I am referring to my Xbox 360. I played through the majority of Assassin's Creed and Mass Effect. We all need to spoil ourselves once in awhile.
Check Out The Past Posts:
Tuesday, April 14, 2015
Looking back surviving the dreaded month of love wasn't too bad. I thought it was going to be a personal hell, but avoidance seem to work in my favor this time around. Not that I avoided the occasion, I didn't. Instead of being bitter and sad, well - I still was down, a little - but, I figured that it was a celebration of love right? Valentine's Day is suppose to be all about sharing time with the people you love. So, I figured why not! It isn't defined by a significant other, someone you are sexually tied to, or even sending something to your secret crush. This day has evolved into the celebration of love, to the simplest form. Children in school send little Valentine's greetings to their classmates, parents and children exchange their greetings with more zest on this day. But, this had me thinking, why not reach out and just extend a greeting of happiness for the day.
"And he answered, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself." Luke 10:27
Surviving Valentine's Day
We know Valentine's Day to be the day that cards and tokens of love are exchanged all in the name of romance, right? There are different theologies about the origin of Valentine's Day. Some associate that the day is linked to different Saints named Valentinus. One Saint was of legend to have penned the first Valentine's card, hence why it is the second most card given calendar event. Another Saint, against the law of the time that single soldiers could not marry, secretly went against that law and preformed marriages. Other theologies of the holiday say that Valentine's Day was created to extinguish a pagan holiday about fertility. To educate yourself about the origins of Valentine's Day visit the History website by clicking here.
"Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love." 1 John 4:8
I believe understanding origins is not only educating yourself, but it's also giving you more insight. Growing up I believed that this holiday was for couples only and if you didn't have a significant other it was a day that you spent feeling sorry for yourself. No more. I bought myself some Valentine's goodies as well as some for friends. I also sent cards to people that I thought might need a little pick-me-up on the day. To me, these were acts of kindness, and through that kindness demonstrates a little love. I read recently a devotional where it discussed how we have to chose to be happy. We have to diligently keep our minds away from those negative thought patterns. I am wildly guilty of this and I know it is easier said than done for most of us. For instance, this Valentine's Day I didn't chose to watch romantic movies, I chose things that would keep my mind active in other ways (I actually decided to tackle reading Stephen King's IT, quite the undertaking). I could have watched the dozen or so romantic themed movies that were airing for Valentine's, but I chose my happiness over the trap that society has built in being single on Valentine's Day.
"See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ." Colossians 2:8
Food for ThoughtAs I was over-analyzing past relationships and other things today, I think I was blessed with an epiphany. How we feel after a break-up might just be how God feels when we turn away from Him.
With this in mind please make sure to leave a comment, what did you do or how did you celebrate Valentine's Day this year, and any other thoughts that come to mind.
"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you." Deuteronomy 31:6
Buzzfeed - Tees for Singles Who DGAF
Sunday, February 15, 2015
The second month in my Year of Thanks Challenge and looking back on the past few weeks there are many things that I am thankful for. But, this month I want to especially thank God for my friends. One of the highlights of my year so far was having lunch with a friend, it was such a special day to me, we had gone to a restaurant that we both had not been to before, and there in this public place she brought her paperback copies of both of my self-published works for me to sign. It was a great moment in my life. We had only recently reconnected after a few years, we both have gone through so much, and it's been so wonderful catching up. I'm just so thankful that this friend is back in my life.
"Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow..." Ecclesiastes 4:9-10
"A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother." Proverbs 18:24