Stronger

I was a bit weary to publish this post… I stewed for quite some time before hitting the button.

I’m not one to blast my problems to the world or complain about the imperfections in my life because, to be quite honest, I have been very blessed.  That being said, lately, for whatever reason, I have been seriously stressed about some silly and some-not -so-silly things.

Most of them are things that everyone stresses about; finances, time, friendships, working out, finances, time, cold season…

I’ve also had to watch someone close to me go through a very difficult time. Admittedly, some of their troubles are self-inflicted. But a lot of them are not. It’s really difficult to watch this and not be able to help them. I’ve been praying for them every day. I’ve also been trying to do little things, talking to others, talking to this person, encouraging them… but it’s gotten to the point where there is almost nothing left to do…mostly because they have given up.

Recently, I visited with this person and it absolutely shocked me. I’ve seen them go through phases like this before, but never this bad. It absolutely broke my heart. After spending a few hours with them, I was drained. I usually keep a pretty upbeat attitude but I had a heck of a time doing so while spending time with them. I feel guilty even though I know it’s not my fault.

I’ve had a few personal rough patches over the last ten years and gone through some dark times, but I’ve learned that at the end of the day, you can’t let your problems consume you. Yes, you have to take responsibility for your actions, but you also have to let them go. You have to learn from your mistakes and keep moving on… or you’ll never get up from rock bottom. I’ve also learned, that no one else can do this for you. It’s something you have to want and something you have to work at. Every day.

One of my favorite quotes is this:

 “Pero el secreto de la vida esta en caerse siete veces y levantarse ocho.” 
-Paulo Coehlo

Translation? But the secret of life is falling down seven times and standing up eight.

I also love this quote from Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird:

“I wanted you to see what real courage is… It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin but you begin anyway and you see it through no matter what.”

During the worst of times, I still find great comfort in my faith. This does NOT mean that I haven’t been angry with God, it’s easy to blame the All Mighty when things get tough… and holy cow, there have been some times where I have been completely infuriated…but I also realize that He sticks with me…even when I screw up and I would rather hide under my covers than face the world.

There have been times when I’ve wondered if and when things would ever get better… years later, I’d look back and realize that I was doing exactly what I was supposed to be…even though at the time I never thought I’d get through it alive.

One thing that people-including myself- often forget is that, yes, God is fighting in our corner, but you also have to know when to take make a move. He can only do so much.

Anyway…I was still feeling a bit down this morning after my recent visit. I was driving into work and heard this song while flipping through the channels…I realize it’s about a breakup and moving on…so the lyrics don’t necessarily go with this situation. But the main point of the song rings true, What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.

In short,  I’ll continue to help them in every way that I can. I’ll continue to pray for them. And I’ll continue to fight my own battles, knowing that I am not alone. Sometimes all we need is a reminder to lift us up and get back on track. I hope this helps that person.


This Is How You Remind Me…

As I was lying in bed last night thinking about all I have to do today, I knew that getting up at 5:45 in the morning was not going to be easy. I’ve been a stressed out lately and I tend to worry more than I should, so sleep has eluded me.  I am pretty slammed at work right so I decided to go in early. On top of that, I have to work at my part-time job this evening, so it’s going to be a long day. Needless to say, I was not looking forward to hearing my alarm clock.

But a funny thing happened this morning. I actually woke up at 5:30…feeling somewhat refreshed. I stared at the ceiling waiting for my alarm to go off…and then hit the snooze button because, well, it’s what I do. Ben was not feeling as awake as I was, so he wasn’t too happy about the snooze…I decided to spare him and got myself out of bed.

Although I was more awake than usual, I wasn’t looking forward to stepping outside. Last night the temperature had dropped below zero (this may not seem odd for northern NY, but it’s the coldest night we have had this winter) and it was a brisk 7 degrees this morning. I bundled up and hurried out of my apartment to start my car.

I stopped at the bottom of my steps. The view before me stunned me-I momentarily forgot how cold it was outside. The sky was painted with hues of  deep royal purple and shades of orange and pink. The clouds were feathered and delicately scattered across the sky, accented with colors I haven’t seen in a long time. Although it wasn’t as bright out as normal, I could see the lake in the distance and the mountains were tinted a deep purplish-blue. It was absolutely breathtaking.

Ben and I live a bit off the beaten path, so we are surrounded by fields. On a clear day, you can see the lake and the mountains are always in the distance. The view is actually one of the things I love most about it. We also get a lot of natural light, giving our home a wonderful warmth. However, with the short winter days, and having to travel to and from work when it’s dark out, I had forgotten about this. This morning’s sunrise was a quick reminder. It was one of the most beautiful I have ever seen.

Once I started to feel the cold again, I quickly started my car, ran back upstairs and finished getting ready. Even though I knew that it was going to be a long day, I felt better. Energized even. I think it was God’s way of telling me that he is paying attention, taking care of things, not to worry. I am kicking myself for not taking a picture.

As I was driving in, coffee in hand, I was still mesmerized by the gorgeous sunrise. I also heard one of my favorite songs on the radio. I don’t hear it very often, but it’s one that always lifts my spirits, even if it is a little corny.  It’s also got some beautiful harmonies. It’s called I Won’t Let Go, by Rascal Flatts. Here are some of the lyrics.

“Cause I will stand by you
I will help you through
When you’ve done all you can do
And you can’t cope
And I will dry your eyes
I will fight your fight
I will hold you tight
And I wont let go”

Like I said, it’s a bit corny. But today I am taking it as another sign not to worry… just to remember that God is with me and that  I have been truly blessed with some wonderful opportunities and people in my life.

It’s amazing to me how little things like a sunrise or hearing a certain song on the radio can completely change your mood or turn your day around. Is it just me? Have you had a moment like this lately?

Have a great day everyone! Keep those chins up!