Positive Thoughts - Just Because

LIVING with Asthma

I do not mind that it’s raining. I am thankful to be walking in the rain. I am thankful to be walking!

As the school year ended and summer vacation approached, I had one goal. Spend time with my daughter and dogs, and hopefully to do that through lots of walks and jogs together. The stress of the end of school year landed me with bronchitis, though, and I was in such a hurry flurry but I did not take time for a solid two weeks to see a doctor. By then, it was into acute bronchitis. When I saw my pulmonologist two weeks later, I was needing another steroid shot as the asthma kicked in full force as well.

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Reflective Leashes

I remember one particularly scary Sunday afternoon in June, when I got home from church, the asthma was so bad that I was scared to climb the steps. Even after breathing treatments I didn’t make it upstairs until 10 o’clock that night.

As the weeks stretched on, I realized that I could forget jogging. Forget walking! I was down to the absolute daily necessities that had to be done. I was completely couched and spent many nights sleeping upright on the couch so that no more congestion would get into my lungs.

There have been times that I couldn’t breathe to the point of feeling like my lungs would explode and my heart would pound right out of my chest. I checked my heart rate one afternoon after going up the steps, and it was the same as it was in the summer before when I was running at my top speed. I would not have voiced it, but there were so many times when such incidents have happened that I was afraid that God was going to leave my 13-year-old daughter without her mommy.

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Running Gear

I think that God most definitely used this time of rest and healing, though. Instead of running and working like crazy, I have had the time to write. I’ve had the time to practice piano, and rediscover. I have made peace with songs, such as It is Well, and I’ve been able to genuinely say “it is well with my soul”, because what choice do you have when you can’t do anything for yourself? What choice do you have when you have no choice but to trust?

I kept walking. So much so, that my dog looked at me like I was crazy and pointed her head to go home. Perhaps I kept walking because I feared that if I didn’t do it now, I wouldn’t be able to do this tomorrow. Two nights ago, I remember standing at the end of the driveway and looking up the hill to the end of the road and being terrified to walk it, because I knew I couldn’t.

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Christmas Pet T’s

For some reason, God allowed today to be a day of healing. I’m going to look at the steps as steps of faith that God has indeed heard my prayer as I have repeated and begged “heal me, oh God and I will be healed, save me and I will be saved”.

As I walked, I turned a corner and saw a fantastic rainbow. One side of the sky was completely dark, yet the other was painted with God’s promise that He is in control. There may be ups and downs, but “it is well with my soul”. We can rest in the assurance that He is working in the times of distress and healing.

 

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In the Music Room, Positive Thoughts - Just Because

I can’t sing for you…

I don’t have your voice. I don’t have the special abilities that belong solely to YOU.

We tell kids what to do, what not to do, lead their lines and give them assignments and chores. How often, though, do we trust them to shine in their own talent?

 

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I heard a choir director years ago give the advice “do no sing for your students”. He went on to explain that if we are singing, then we’re not listening.

If we, parents and teachers, are always talking at, speaking for, singing for our children, are we giving them a chance to express themselves? Are we listening to them?

What if we show them how, give them the appropriate tools, then move out of their way?

Children are unlimited in their creativity and talent, and I have to believe that if we give them the opportunity and trust, they will far exceed our ideas and expectations.

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Positive Thoughts - Just Because

“It Doesn’t Matter” – the lie we tell ourselves

I love looking at life through the perspective of a child, simply because there’s always wisdom to be gained.

A little girl was recently telling me about her friend that had found new friends. She ended her story with a shrug and said, “it doesn’t matter”, but her eyes held distress.

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Too often, we speak those dismissive words of avoidance and say, “it doesn’t matter “.

What if we changed those words into truth, though? “It did matter, it did hurt, but I’m letting it go”.

We don’t realize the wounds we bury in the name of “it doesn’t matter “, yet those things build up and are never dealt with, and they become such weight on our souls.

To my tough little girl, I know you will be strong enough to allow yourself to move past the bruises. Because when you allow yourself to set the “doesn’t matters” aside, you free yourself to live the “does matters” of life that are much more worthy of our time, energy and attention.

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In the Kitchen, Positive Thoughts - Just Because

Coffee Connections

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Ed & Lori

I think I first started drinking coffee just so that I could sit out on the porch to have coffee and chat with my dad. It only took one cup, a porch and a rocking chair for me to realize how precious that time was. Through the years, we practiced making the perfect cup for each other, and maybe talk about life, or just sit there and enjoy each other’s company and silence. Either way, we had coffee and we were happy together.

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I remember him getting up a good hour earlier than he ever had to so that he could sit and have his coffee quietly without interruptions.  As I get older, I find myself doing the same thing and appreciating how peaceful it is to have the quiet time to think. Even though he is no longer with me, I am able to smile with every cup and be thankful for the time that we had.

Funny how such a simple habit as drinking coffee can create relationship bonds that run so deep.

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My Favorite Things, Positive Thoughts - Just Because

Unplugged – a counterintuitive approach

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I bought myself a present for Mother’s Day two years ago, an Apple Watch. So it might seem contradictory to purchase more technology to de-technology. Actually, it has served the reverse and accomplished my goal: to unplug.

You know that feeling of looking up after 15 minutes of being absorbed in messages, checking Facebook and Twitter, and oh, yeah, (what was the reason I pulled out my phone in the first place?) the text that came in. It is so easy to be drawn into technology that we become absent from life.

I only check the ONE message that comes in, and filter everything else that can wait.

Why? Because I’ve been completely guilty of ignoring life around me and being more interested in what is on the phone. Perhaps we use it as an escape from reality, an imaginary world that’s much greener.

That becomes a dangerous trap, though. I realized I was worried about what text I might be missing instead of listening to my daughter’s adventures of the day, or being “present” for family dinner. I heard myself tell her, “just a minute” as I finished perusing Facebook and finding that when I finished 10 minutes later, she no longer needed me.  Truth be told, I think even my baby dogs got jealous for attention when I was on the phone, as they would sit and stare at me with those sad “love me” eyes.

Thankfully, I found a way to sort through the rubble without missing the important. And hopefully, it’s my friends and family that get the first replies to messages, as they really are the real-life gifts that are worth being present!

 

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Positive Thoughts - Just Because

“Great Is Thy Faithfulness”…

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…was the song on repeat in my mind as I woke up this morning.

(At least it wasn’t “The Gummy Bear Song”, that one has given me nightmares!).

The phrase particularly on my mind was “morning by morning, new mercies I see”.

Sometimes, though, we wake up and don’t automatically feel those mercies, those blessings around us.

As I had my back porch coffee, feeling BLAH, I was frustrated looking at the morning glories (perhaps they represent life’s chaos!) that are taking over everything. Until I spotted the little reminder popping through…

 

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In the Music Room, Positive Thoughts - Just Because

“The Bare Necessities”

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I’ve embraced the message in this song as my students learned it in Music this week. We teach our children to have an attitude of gratitude, yet we are constantly acquiring more stuff. As I watched my kiddos happily dance and sing, I was reminded to embrace the pure love of life and simply enjoy the LIFE right in front of me!

The Bare Necessities (From "The Jungle Book"/Soundtrack Version)

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Positive Thoughts - Just Because

Pour Love

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“You get what you give” is a phrase that I don’t dispute at all as tried and true. What if we did a slight perspective shift with the concept of reciprocity? What if we look at the concept of giving as “pour out what God pours into you”? “Aha!” moment when I heard this in the sermon at church this morning. Thanks, Dr. D!

God doesn’t pour negativity into us. He gives love, peace, joy. He gives unique talents and abilities to each of us for the good of all. My goal this week:

Pour out what God pours into me…

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Positive Thoughts - Just Because

Random Acts of Kindness

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There’s a Jolly Rancher wrapper tucked in my wallet.  (No, I’m not a trash hoarder!)  I put it there to remind me of someone’s kind actions, to remind me to pay it forward this week.

I could not quit coughing (seems to be the asthma-norm these days) in church yesterday.  Though I was trying to tough it out, I sent my daughter out for my inhaler, and at the same time the thoughtful soul next to me left the sanctuary.  I thought he was leaving to check on his child in the nursery.  I even gave away his seat to one of the praise team members!  Instead, he came back and handed me help in the form of candy.

Seemingly little acts of kindness are huge, and I’m thankful for my reminder to DO for others!

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In the Garden, Positive Thoughts - Just Because

Just a Pretty Flower Arrangement?

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I picked these flowers from my garden this morning. It might look like a simple flower arrangement stuck in a mason jar, but there’s so much more…

A month ago I thought this rose bush was dying. It had lost all of its leaves and was obviously “sick”. It broke my heart to lose this bush, because my daughter spent her own money to buy it for me for Mother’s Day.

With Miracle Gro and love, the leaves slowly started reappearing. I’ve watched it every day, hoping and willing it to live.

I think life is so much like this pretty rose bush. We have struggles, times where we lose our leaves and can barely hold on (I’ve certainly been there!).

One morning as I had my coffee on the patio, I noticed that not only was my Mother’s Day rose bush full of leaves, but it was bursting with blooms, waiting for just the right moment to blossom.

Even through its struggles, obviously this bush didn’t lose its will to live, and understood that in God’s perfect time, it would bloom again.

Each time I walk by the mason jar arrangement, I’m reminded that healing, beauty and strength come in God’s time.

Give some love in a mason jar!