Thursday, February 28, 2013

Don't let your dreams be dreams part 2

Well, this morning I did it. I actually wrote down some dreams and put them in the dream jar. I decided to use the cute little cut out hearts I got for Valentines Day from my friend Jerimi. What better way to put them to use? :)

My first dream is for my sweet hubby to be pain free. He has been dealing with chronic pain from a neck injury for almost his entire adult life. He was a volunteer firefighter in our little town and a house caved in on him. They got him out and at first everything seemed okay. Bumps and bruises and really, really sore for a while, but nothing too extreme. But over time it became obvious there was something wrong. He had suffered nerve damage and a herniated disc in his neck. We took the doctor's advice and he had surgery. Biggest mistake of our lives. Of course we were young and frightened and didn't know enough about dealing with doctors and such. We learned. 16 years and 3 surgeries later we are more cautious. Right now he is having to live on pain meds, balancing everything in his life on the next dose of medication. And we are considering another surgery. But the truth is, that probably won't help the pain. The nerves are damaged and they may never recover. And he has developed spinal stenosis and degenerative disc problems (the unmentioned side effects of back/neck surgery). All I want is for him to not be limited and held back by this pain. All I want is for him to get a good nights sleep, to feel refreshed, to feel energized. All I want is a miracle.

Dream #2 is probably something on everyone's bucket list. I want to travel. My grandparents visited all 50 states in their lifetimes, I would love to do that. This seems an impossible dream considering our finances, our house full of furry babies, and all the trials of traveling in constant pain (how could I ask him to do that??) But dreams are just that sometimes, impossible. And even impossible dreams are worth dreaming.

Dream #3 is much closer to home, and at the moment, just as impossible. I want to move back home. Not into my mother's house (Good Lord NO!) but onto her property. See, I am her only child and my step dad made darn sure I knew my responsibilities. "One day it will be just you and your mom, you have to take care of her". Well, he was almost right. He is gone (passed away 10 years ago this week) and it is just us.....and my dear hubby who does so much for my mom. He makes it possible for me not to worry so much about her. Still, it would be better if we could be closer. She has 40 acres of property and being right there would make it so much easier for the hubby to help keep the place in good repair (my step dad would roll over in his grave to see the state of things out there these days). And I wouldn't have to worry. But mom is very independent and not ready for this. So, we are stuck. At least for now.

Well, that wasn't too bad. I wrote 3 dreams and put them in a jar, and didn't have to break out the anxiety meds (yet). Dreams are prayers, you know. At least that's how I see them. A dream is a prayer to God, it is your deep desires made manifest to the Father. I think the reason I fear them is simply because I am afraid of His answer. Afraid to ask and look for the answer. Afraid the answer will be "no". 

Okay! That's enough self therapy and examination for one morning! Go check out my Thursday Thankfulness for the latest post and have a great day!  :-)

Monday, February 25, 2013

Little Miss Sunshine

I got an award!!

Jerimi over at My Antidepressant Life nominated me for a Sunshine award! Apparently this is awarded to “Bloggers who positively and creatively inspire others in the blogoshere.” Cool, huh?

As always, there are rules attached to this award:
 If nominated for this award, you must include a link in your blog to the person/blog that nominated you. You must also answer some questions about yourself, nominate fellow bloggers, link their blogs in your post, and inform them that they have been nominated.

The questions:
  1. Who is your favorite philosopher? Right off the bat I'm going to show my ignorance and tell you that I have never purposefully set out to read any philosopher's work. Unless Winnie the Pooh counts..... :)
  2. What is your favorite number? hmm...I don't think I have a favorite
  3. What is your favorite animal? Cats
  4. What are your Facebook and Twitter? I have a follow me button for my Twitter on this page, but Facebook is not something I will share here. If I like you and I'm interested in maintaining a relationship, I will find you there and request your friendship. Other than that I like to keep my Facebook separate from this blog.
  5. What is your favorite time of day? Any time I can spend with those I love.
  6. What is your favorite holiday? Do I have to pick one? I like them all because it means time off work to spend with family.
  7. What is your favorite physical activity? Walking and swimming. I don't spend enough time on either.
  8. What is your favorite non-alcoholic drink? Diet Dr. Pepper or Red Diamond Tea
  9. What is your favorite flower? Probably a Petunia, they are tough to kill :)
  10. What is your passion? God and family. 

And now to the nominees:

I could nominate so many more, but I am going keep it short and sweet! 

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Sunday thoughts and pictures

Breathe on me
Holy Ghost power
Breathe on me
Yesterday's gone
Today I'm in need
Holy Ghost power 
Breathe on me

This is one of the praise and worship songs we sang this morning in church. It has been sticking with me all day. Especially this line: "Yesterday's gone, Today I'm in need". This could be my daily prayer. Today I am in need. Everyday I am in need. Breathe your mercy, your love, your grace, your forgiveness, and your strength on me. Let me be consumed by your presence. Today, tomorrow, and always.

I have been playing around with putting up and "about me" page on this blog. But I am not sure exactly what I want to say. I am a work in progress. When I started this blog I had no plan for where I was headed with it, but I had a vague notion, and this wasn't it. I never expected to talk about some of the things I have shared here. Like my bad days. Sometimes I worry that I am undermining my confession of faith by sharing so much of my darkness. But I feel compelled at times. I can only think that someone out there needs to know that you can believe and still struggle with depression and anxiety. You can still walk in faith, even when fear dogs your steps. I don't know, maybe I just wrote it. What do you think? 

I found this somewhere online. Wish I could remember where....

This quote too, though the picture is mine, taken on my cell phone

I found this quote over at Inside a Rooth-less Mind“No matter how plain a woman may be, if truth and honesty are written across her face, she will be beautiful.”― Eleanor Roosevelt

Signs of spring
That's all I have for today. Stay tuned this week for my next post on dreaming, where I finally take a stab at actually putting something in my dream jar. :)

Until then, go be blessed and a blessing!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Friday Funnies!

It's Friday, let's have a laugh, shall we?!?!

you have no idea how true this is!

My cats love the laser!

but at least it's Friday!

For my friend Carrie over at Daily Musings! ;)

too true!
And, just because I thought it was really cute:

I see you!

Okay, now let's go out into the big bad world and make this a great day! May you be blessed to be a blessing! :)

Thursday, February 21, 2013

GBE2 prompt: Gusto

Yeah, this has not been my week for Gusto. I haven't even posted here since Monday. I won't say I have writer's block. I would call it writer's blah. Every time I even think about writing all the energy just drains away and I have nothing worthwhile to say. But this morning I had to write. I had to do my Thursday Thankfulness post. I suppose I could have skipped it, but I hate to start down that road. You miss one week, then 2, and before you know it you aren't posting at all. And those gratitude posts really help me. It helps to stop and focus, to look around at my life and really consider what I have been blessed with.

So, I wrote my post. You can see it here. And you know what? I feel a bit better for it. I won't say I am full of Gusto, but I am a bit more alive. A bit more aware. And a bit more engaged. Not so blah.

God is good. He has given me this new day full of new blessings and challenges. And he has given me all the tools I will need to face them. Sometimes I forget that. Thank God that he is much more faithful than I am. One of my favorite scriptures is Jeremiah 29:11.

 "For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

God has plans for me and for you. He has hope and a future for us. To me that says he will bring me through the bad days and even the plain old blah days, which in a lot of ways are more detrimental because they eat away at your strength slowly. Those blah days have a way of creeping up on you and overtaking your heart before you even know what happened.  

That perfectly describes my week. The blah was crept in and drained my gusto. Well, no more!! God has reminded me today that he has bigger plans for me! 

Huh. This post went completely in a new direction. I wasn't headed here. I wasn't planning on talking myself into a better mood. Wasn't planning on clearing away the cobwebs and feeling so revived and energized. Funny how God works sometimes, isn't it?

I hope you have a great Thursday. Make the most of it, after all; it is a gift from the Father. And gifts are meant to be enjoyed. God Bless! 

I needed this reminder. Maybe you do too?

Monday, February 18, 2013

The Black Sea Gods, a new book by Brian Braden

I am super excited to tell you about this book!

Available on Amazon for Kindle

Back in November I answered a Facebook post by my friend, Michael G. Manning (the author of the Mageborn series, another very talented writer that I enjoy reading!) and was given the opportunity to beta read this book, and I fell in love with this story. Here is the description provided on Amazon:

"The fish have disappeared from the sea. The animals have vanished from the land. All humanity, and even the gods, tremble under the specter of a pending cataclysm. The demigod Fu Xi races home from the edge of the world bringing news of a looming god war, but finds his land under attack by monsters he once called his children. He discovers a terrible curse has been cast, one intended to destroy the gods and all life. To his shock, Fu Xi learns mankind’s hope rest solely on him, a simple fisherman and a banished slave girl.

Beset on all sides, Fu Xi knows he must act quickly and races west to rescue the saviors. Unaware of the real doom that awaits, Aizarg the fisherman and his party begin a perilous journey across a dangerous steppe. They seek the last of the Narim, the legendary Black Sea Gods, who hold the key to their salvation. Leading them is the rescued slave girl Sarah, the only one among them who knows the path to the land of the god-men.

Over seven days the defining struggle of gods and humans begins under the onslaught of a powerful force whose true objective and origin remain a mystery. Fu Xi knows the secret to victory resides in a fisherman and a slave girl, whose lives he must protect, even if it means the rest of the world must perish.
BLACK SEA GODS transforms recently re-discovered Black Sea legends, possibly the root of all Eurasian mythology, with ancient Chinese mythology to create an unprecedented epic fantasy series."

Brian has created a beautiful story of the struggle to survive the whims of the Gods by mere men. I was quickly drawn into the lives of Aizarg, Fu Xi, and Sarah, just to name a few. I am telling you, if you are looking to lose yourself in another world, get this book. You won't regret it!

Here is one of my favorite quotes from the book:

"The only way home is forward"

True in any world. :)

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Sunday thoughts and pictures

Here we are, another Sunday evening. I have been thinking all day about what I wanted to say tonight. What to share with you. And I realized something. When I started these Sunday posts I would usually share with you other blogs that have inspired me. I haven't done that in a while. So, tonight I am.

Here we go!

First, We have the post "Deafening Silence" by Justin Mathai. Justin is a fellow contributing author to The Falling Skies Blog, and has an incredible talent with words. I wish I had a tenth of his talent.

Next, let's click on over to Daisy's Bits and Pieces and read her post about Lent. I'm not Catholic, so I don't know too much about Lent, other than you are supposed to give up something. This post was really interesting and informative. It made me see the Lenten Season (I learned a new word!!) in a whole new way.

And finally we have my wonderful friend Violet over at My Purple Dreams. She writes a weekly thankfulness post that I always look forward to reading. And then there is her Acts of Kindness posts that she dedicates to the victims of the Sandy Hook shooting. And as if that weren't enough to make you click over, she also writes some wonderful, insightful, and sometimes painful posts about dealing with depression and PTSD.

I could keep this list going, there are so many wonderful blogs out there that I love reading. But I am going to stop here so as not to overwhelm you with awesomeness! :)

Now, how about some pictures?

trail ride that went by my house today

beautiful sunset

the tree has grown around the barbed wire.

OH! I almost forgot! I wanted to show you what I got in the mail this week!

Back at the first of the month Jerimi over at My Antidepressant Life offered to send out Valentine's cards to anyone who was interested. Of course, I was interested. And this week I got this:

 Isn't it great!?! This little card definitely brightened my day!

Also back at the beginning of the month I saw a post over at Growing Unique about a painting that she (Rennata) had put on Ebay. It was a beautiful, tiny (2.5 inches x 3.5 inches) little thing. And I fell in love. So I bid on it. And I won it. It came in the mail yesterday.

Isn't it lovely?
Okay, that's it for today. I hope you had a wonderful, relaxing weekend. I'm lucky, I have tomorrow off too for President's Day. If you do too, enjoy it! :)

Friday, February 15, 2013

Friday Funnies!

Welcome back to our 2nd edition of Friday Funnies! :)

I hope you had a great week and are looking forward to a wonderful weekend! I myself have nothing planned for the weekend and 3 whole days to relax, since I am off for President's Day on Monday. So, I am ready to get this day started so we can get to the good stuff! :)

Speaking of good stuff:

Done therapy...Facebook is free!!

Happens in my house all the time!

I know Valentine's was yesterday, but happy belated V day!

So cute!

 & For my fellow Whovians, Happy Belated Valentine's day!

give me a minute here....

still thinking......

That is all. Have a good one and make somebody in your world smile today! :)

Thursday, February 14, 2013

take his hand

The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace. Psalm 29:11

I don't know about you, but I need some of that peace! Of course, I am the one preventing myself from reaching it. I was reading  a devotional called "Jesus Speaks" the other day and this jumped out at me:

"To receive My Peace, you must change your grasping, controlling stance to one of openness and trust. The only thing you can grasp without damaging your soul is My hand."

The only thing I can hold on to without hurting the purest, truest, best part of me is the hand of God. It's a pretty simple concept. Still, somehow my human heart and mind have a way of making it so difficult. But oh, how I crave that peace! How desperately my soul cries out for the peace that can only come from Him! Each day is a battle just to stretch out my hand. His is always waiting, always seeking mine. I just have to look up, reach up, and receive all the peace and comfort I desire.

This peace is the ultimate Valentine's gift. The heart of God, gift wrapped for each of us in the form of Jesus and delivered on a cross. Just for you and just for me. Forgiveness for our sins and the opportunity for a true relationship with the one who created us. And all we have to do is make the decision to reach out.

Happy Valentine's day
P.S. Don't forget to check out my Thursday Thankfulness page to see what I am thankful for today!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Sunday thoughts and pictures

This week will be more pictures than thoughts. I've been struggling with a sinus headache all day and therefore my brain has turned to mush. And I have a ton of night before Monday stuff to get done. For instance, I have been eating out too much lately so I promised myself that I would put together some lunch stuff so I can grab it and go in the mornings (since I am always running late). Also, I still have clothes to put away, cat litter and trash to put out, and I need to change the sheets on the bed. None of which I want to do. Sometimes being an adult really sucks!!

Anyway! I need to get back to it, so I am just going to keep this simple. Here are some pictures! Enjoy!

Wind chime

flowers at church last week. They are so beautiful

beautiful sky (last weekend-this weekend has been rainy)

See? Rainy

me, playing with my camera (last weekend)

I just like the color.

It took forever to get a shot that showed the detail the way I wanted!

Can you see my initials? (TT)

My favorite lamp (at my mom's)
we went shopping at Home Depot. Thought you might enjoy a pic before I kill it with kindness (neglect)
I just love the delicateness and detail in shots like this!

Okay, that's it.

Well, how about one inspirational quote? or 2....

Saturday, February 9, 2013

don't let your dreams be dreams

Okay, here it is, my long dreaded awaited dream post. I'm still not sure what I want to say or how to say it. But the GBE2 writing prompt this week is "Dream" so I am taking that as a sign that it's time to give it a try.

the making of a dream jar.

It all started with a dream jar. I read this post by Ashley over at little {mrs.} sunshine. Ashley's post inspired me to make dream jars for my coworkers for Christmas (which were a hit!) but it also wouldn't leave me alone. After that it seemed everywhere I turned I encountered the subject of dreaming. And I really began to feel some real fear about it.

Why? Why does the very word "dream" make me want to reach for my anxiety meds? I have spent a lot of time trying to sort that out. I don't have it all worked out, but here is what I know so far:

I can't remember ever dreaming about what I wanted to do when I grew up. Maybe I did (most kids do, right?) but I don't remember it. I never wanted to be an astronaut or a ballerina. I read a lot and loved music and as a mostly only child I spent a lot of time lost in my own imagination, creating playmates and adventures for myself; but I don't think that is the same thing. I can't remember ever giving thought to my future. I never considered college because I had no deep burning desire to study anything. I got out of high school and went to work. One thing led to another and I stumbled (with God's guidance) into my profession. It was never my plan, I had no plan. 

I fell in love at an early age, but I never planned to marry. I could claim that as the child of divorced parents I was skeptical of the whole notion. But that's not really true. I think it is more accurate to say that I never let myself see a future, any future at all, much less one that included marriage. Then one day I decided to marry him (my 1st love) and that was that. I never envisioned it, but once I set my sights on it, there was no other path for me. I do not regret this at all, I just find it interesting to really look at how my mind worked in this circumstance. One minute, marriage wasn't even part of my vocabulary. The next, we were planning the wedding. My sweet hubby is still confused by this I think. He was certain, right up until I walked down the aisle, that I would back out. (He has spent a lifetime trying to figure out how my mind works, poor guy)

I could go on and on. My whole life seems to be a series of happy (and yes, some not so happy) accidents that led me to this place (even this blog wasn't planned). I love the words of God in Jeremiah 29:11

I know the plans I have for you. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you...Plans to give you hope and a future.

I have always found comfort and security in those words. In the knowledge that God has a plan for me, even if I don't. But lately I have begun to wonder if my fear of dreaming has held me back from that planned future. Dreams are all about hope and a future. Am I allowing my fear to hold me back? Yes, I think I am.

Don't let your dreams be dreams.....for me I think the first step has to be to let myself dream. To speak and write about what I want to happen in my life. This fear is crippling me. How in the world did I let this little thing become so powerful in my life?

Those dream jars I made as Christmas gifts, I made one for myself too. I never put anything in it. I think it's time I did. Just typing those words knots up my stomach and makes my breathing shallow. But I can do this. Right??

I am going to try. And for accountability, I will be bringing you, my faithful reader, along for the ride. So, if I go too long before I post something about dreams again, give me a nudge. Fear has no place in my heart. I don't want it there. I want to strive for the future that God has for me. I want to let myself dream and imagine what it might hold without fear. I really think that is what He wants for me too.

I'm going to try

Friday, February 8, 2013

Friday Funnies

Psst! Hey you, over here! Did you hear the good news??? IT'S FRIDAY!!

In honor of this awesome, once a week occurrence, I have collected a few funny pictures and such to share with you! Who knows, I might try to make this a regular thing if you like it! :)

Be afraid...very afraid

this really works!

why I avoid gyms


You have been warned! 
And finally:

Oh, okay...I have one more important message for you:

Now, get out there and make someone smile today! :)