And so it begins…

2015/01/img_7293-1.jpgThis is my view today and for the next few months as I finish my AA online. In the summertime, I get to walk across a stage (for the first time) and give a firm handshake to all of the faculty of my college. I’ll get to take my degree in one hand(more like the fake one they pass out until the authentic one is mailed to you….but either way), I’ll get to pause for a picture or two, or three hundred. I’ll get to celebrate and congratulate my fellow classmates and scream for joy. Not just because we finished, but because we didn’t quit when it was tough. Friends, if any of you find yourself wondering if you can get through this next semester, or this next difficulty, or challenge- know that you are not alone. You can do it. You can make it and it will be very worth it. Your view may not be the most ideal right now, but things can change and the long nights of hard work will bring you to a point of internal joy that you will truly appreciate.

My dental hygienist told me yesterday, “If it was easy, everyone would be doing it.” That phrase has been spoken to me many times, but yesterday it clicked. It’s not easy. It’s hard. But you and I have been fearfully and wonderfully made and we can do hard things with God’s help. Finishing difficult things requires a lot mentally and emotionally and physically. But it can be done. So whether you are finishing your degree like I am or finishing time in rehab, or even finishing the never- ending list of things to do at home- it can be done.
It will be hard.
Don’t quit.
Don’t give up.
You an do it.
We can do it together.
Love you friends,

When Plans Have To Change

Yesterday I felt like I would try to be a super mom by taking my son to the museum to play. Year round museum membership=previously-paid-for-fun learning opportunities for my kids. Especially since the weather has been chaotic here in Colorado, it was too cold to go outside so an inside playground was the ideal choice. We would check out the Discovery Zone for kids, walk among the Dinosaurs and pretend to be miners in the gem caverns. Or so I thought. That wonderful plan went out the door when we stepped foot into the museum.

Everyone knows that you have to take your kids to the bathroom prior to engaging in an afternoon of fun, so to the potty we went (yep, I said potty). Whilst we were putting finish up in the potty ALL OF THE LIGHTS SHUT OFF! “Oh my goodness,where is my cell phone? How can I find it in the dark while trying to zip zippers and grab belongings in this small stall?” I said to myself. I was trying not to panic so that my son wouldn’t freak out. Stay calm, think fast, and make it fun.

A minute or two passed and we were able to wash our hands with lights on (the emergency lighting kicked in… finally), and we were back to our plan of fun, fun, and more fun. “Guests of the museum, please be patient with us as we continue to try to figure out why the power outage has occurred.” We were patiently waiting with all of the other guest and staff who emerged from their offices. We chose to play “I spy” while waiting with everyone else. The main level was full of patient patrons: moms with kids, grandparents, couples, students on field trips, professionals who had business meetings there that day. No one threw a fit or began screaming,”Why?”. No one stormed out or walked away because of the plan changing. It was out of our control, and we thought it would be fixed quickly. Not so much.

“Guests of the museum, we are going to ask that everyone please evacuate the building so we can work on the power outage. Save your tickets for future use, which is hopefully today, but in case it is not, please save it,” the man said over the intercom. “Sweet, now what to do?” I thought. Guess we have no choice but to leave and find something else to do. So, my son and I walked out to the car and set off for our next plan.

We didn’t know the power was going to go out that day, or that our planned outing would turn into “patience practice”. We had a choice to get completely mad that this problem wrecked our plans or we could stay calm, think fast, and make it fun anyway.

Friend, I don’t know what problems you may have faced this week or even in this new year. Those problems may feel overwhelming right now because it is causing you to have to change plans. I may not be able to sit and chat with you to see where things went out of control or how this isn’t the circumstance you had planned for yourself. I do know this: The rerouting of your plans may feel out of your control, but it may be a lesson in disguise. When our plans have to change, we have the opportunity to choose to stay calm, and refocus. of course it may feel like we are going to bust with emotions like anger and frustration, but it can be a chance to demonstrate (especially to our children) that even when we are not in control of our circumstances, we can remain in control of our emotions. I’d love to tell you I’ve mastered this skill, but I too am working on it daily. Sometimes even hourly:).

This life will be full of plans that have to change. This life will be full of raw emotions and really imperfect people just like me and you. This life will also be full of lessons that are better learned the first time out of wisdom and mercy than to have to keep repeating them while living through the consequences.

Wherever you find yourself today, know that if your plans have to change (and love, they will!), you can choose to stay calm, you can choose to think fast, and you can make the lesson fun for yourself and for those around you.

God’s strength is sufficient for you, His wisdom will help guide you, and His Spirit will help to calm even the roughest of your life’s storms. You can make new plans work,even when you might not be able to see how right this minute. Stay calm, think, and look for the lesson:).