07 Feb 2017
in Living With Gusto
Tags: accomplishment, believing truth, celebration, challenges, children, decisions, encouragement, hope, inspiration, lifestyle, Living, love, motherhood, overcomer, special needs children, strength, women's empowerment
Having children with special needs is such a challenge! But one thing I’ve learned….it keeps us TOTALLY dependent on God. No way can I be “in control” because in the blink of an eye, our life could be in shambles.
There are days my prayer has been, “Oh God, oh God, oh God” because I just didn’t have words. Didn’t have energy to formulate words. It was all I could do to breathe and take care of my children (I am their only parent). Some weeks (months) every.single.day is a challenge. Like pushing a locomotive up a steep mountain.
And then, thank God, we will get a reprieve and I can at last take a deep breath. And I just sit. And sit. And let God fill my mind, body, and breath. And He brings healing to my emotions.
Because there is no doubt about how emotionally draining it is to watch your child hurt, or be disappointed because of physical limitations, or become emotionally so out-of-sorts that all day is a battle.
Or how physically and emotionally exhausting it is to be making hard, frustrating, impossible decisions for the duration of several days.
Sleep-deprived, worry-filled, and constantly searching for solutions can totally wring a person out!
But oh, God is able! The video below is amazing and so uplifting.
Mandisa sings her song Overcomer with clips of people who have overcome some extreme physical challenges.
I equate the physical with our mental and emotional challenges. It’s not an easy journey (Wait, what? It’s gonna be hard? Hey, I didn’t sign up for that!!!) But a journey that I hope will bring God glory. Because the glory is all His.
Anything that I’ve accomplished with my children has been while He was holding my hand, speaking into my spirit (sometimes I didn’t want to hear Him–la la la la la!), and guiding my every move. Because I was useless. Incapacitated.
In spite of that, and because of Him, my children are amazing miracles. But that’s a story for another time. Enjoy the video. You will be hooked!
Thank you so much for stopping by. YOU are the reason I write.
Be kind and share with someone who could use this. 🙂
Love and sparkly hugs,
31 Jan 2017
in Living With Gusto
Tags: believing truth, grief, inspiration, lifestyle, Living, love, missing you, sister, sister love, strength
One year since I kissed you goodbye
and watched you leave us.
My heart hurts in missing you.
My arms long to hug you.
My soul needs to talk with you.
I love you with all my heart, sweet sister.
Your leaving taught me two very important things:
1) To celebrate myself.
To wear the crazy tiara, or as you did, hot pink leathers, and be a biker babe–or whatever I want to.
To have fun, party now,
and do not worry about what others think.
To enjoy that I am just a bit different
from most people.
Life is very, very short,
and it really doesn’t matter what others think.
It’s MY life, and I’m going to live it to the fullest!
2) To love even more fiercely than I do.
To speak even more truthfully.
To stand firm and not waver in the face of obstacles.
Because, I only have a short time to make an impact on people’s lives.
I’ve gotta get my truth out there!
Thank you for being an example and teaching me important things.
I’ll miss you until the day I see you again, little sis.
You have my heart. Your big sister.
16 Mar 2016
in Living With Gusto
Tags: believing truth, challenges, decisions, empower, encouragement, lifestyle, Living, love, love yourself, motherhood, priorities, relaxing, self care, self-esteem, women's empowerment
We put everyone and everything else first, at the expense of our health and spirit. Society has programmed us that way. Stop listening to the lies. You are enough already. MORE than enough.
You do not have to earn your way or work to deserve love (I learned this way too late in life) and there is nothing to prove.
You are amazing and capable and wonderful just the way you are.
Your job will be there (asking more and more).
Your house will be dirty anyway. Ask for help. Have a family meeting.
State your purpose and reason for taking some self time.
And KNOW that you don’t have to do it all.
At work, do a quality job, but don’t sacrifice your health and family and creative outlets to try and satisfy unrealistic demands and standards.
Respect yourself and others will too.
Darlin’, GO for that walk, to art class, out with friends, to yoga.
Take a long bath.
Paint, draw, color, shape, mold, sew, dig–whatever fills your creative spirit.
Say “no” more.
Give yourself space to breathe.
When we love ourselves, we love everyone else better.
That is all there is to it!!
By the way, I love you. (And I’m going to go do some stretches. Yay me!)
Thanks for visiting.
Love and hugs, Passionista
12 Feb 2016
in Living With Gusto
Tags: brain, empower, encouragement, inspiration, lifestyle, Living, love, passion, self-esteem, strength, unconditional love, women's empowerment
Can you imagine, and perhaps you really can, what it is like to experience that first, heart-exploding realization that someone actually loves you completely? Loves you without boundaries or restraint, regardless of your brokenness, emotional issues, and the truckloads of psychological stuff you carry with you? It is addictive to say the least.
Your mind returns again and again to thoughts of that person who loves you so unconditionally. Why? Because it feels marvelous. The endorphin rush you feel each time you realize that someone can actually love YOU (and all your quirkiness, your faults, and your issues that seem to make you relationally dysfunctional) is likened to that of a chemical rush to your brain.
Unconditional love is just that, no conditions attached. You are loved just because you are YOU. Not what you do. Not because of how good you are or how you look or sound or smell. Just because you are that amazing and unique package of YOU. Someone finds delight in the person of you. That is heady stuff…and you want more.
I am blessed to have experienced this. For the first time in my life, no matter how weird I got, or dysfunctional, or disappointing I was, I was loved completely. This person didn’t see a need to change or reform me, to control my loud, hyper personality, my neediness, or insecurity. In fact, just the opposite happened. My new love actually celebrated and enjoyed the real me, told me wonderful things about myself I had not realized. And so, I became……addicted.
We have heard the phrases “addicted to love” and “love addiction”, and come to find out there is scientific truth to them. According to results found in a study done in 2000,
” The f(functional)MRI study also discovered that the part of brain associated with addiction was activated when participants were viewing pictures of the people they were in love with. This area is comprised of a very high concentration of dopamine receptors, a neurotransmitter which, among other things, is related to addiction. And certainly it is true that love and addiction bear some important similarities.”
See more here.
(The article goes on to speak about obsessive compulsion and acting a bit batty, but I’m trying to ignore those.)
This kind of love and acceptance brings a dopamine rush and can be full-out addicting! Love is indeed a wonderful “feel good” drug!
I’ve always been afraid to be completely real, somehow feeling that I wouldn’t be liked for who I really am. I’m pretty sure I became a people-pleaser while still in the womb, but that is a story for later. So when I was fully and completely accepted, with joy no less, it was a wonderful and beautiful balm to my wounded spirit. A balm that began to heal and nourish and “give my heart wings” enough to venture out of my self-imposed survival mode (which felt very much like a box). The fear of what others would think about me, how they would regard my true personality, began to fall away in the face of such acceptance and enjoyment of me.
We are told that God has this kind of love for us but it’s hard to conceive if we’ve never experienced it. However, to receive unconditional love from a person, with skin on, someone we see, talk with and touch, gives us a much clearer picture of His love for us.
(Sidenote: Aside from romantic love, your unconditional love for people in your life can transform them. You can love unconditionally, celebrate uniqueness, and love the person for who they are, and no other reason. You can set someone’s heart free and give them the gift of believing in themselves.)
I hope that if you haven’t yet, you will experience this kind of unconditional love. We all deserve it. I didn’t think I did. I settled for the other kind. It hurt. It stifled. It closed me up. But this kind of love? This love set me free.
Do yourself and others a favor. Practice unconditional love. Your own life will be richer for it.
Thanks for stopping by. I’d love it if you’d share. And leave a comment, would you please? I never know if anyone reads my posts. 🙂
Until next time,
Hugs and love, Passionista
15 Jun 2015
in Living With Gusto
Tags: believing truth, decisions, Jesus with skin on, lifestyle, Living, love, now is your time, opinions of others, passion, people pleaser, true to self
“Thinking outside the box.” “Living outside the box.”
We hear these phrases all the time.
And so I ask you, WHAT is a BOX?
As a well-practiced People Pleaser, I do believe I was living inside a box of other people’s expectations, their opinions of me, their considerations of what was a worthy pursuit for my life, their molding of my behaviors, and what were acceptable expressions of who I am.
I truly had to shake off the binders and chains in order to break out of my box.
For a taste of what my FREEDOM looks like see Girls Can.
I know that God created me to be THIS person…who I am able to be (have allowed myself to be) now. Perhaps it’s age and wisdom. Maybe I just got too tired to try to be everyone’s opinion of me.
I did come to learn that when we allow others to “box us in” our experiences are boxed in too. We are bound by other’s opinions especially if we allow them to dictate the choices we make. I do not refer to consulting people of wisdom. I need others in my life who will help me consider options. But I do not need those who will think less of me if I don’t follow their advice.
I am a very opinionated person. I truly desire that my opinions come from a heart of love and compassion and a spirit that seeks after God. (I cannot stand cruelty, evil, injustice, and the horrid things humans do to other humans.)
I have been criticized. And I will continue to be, because I don’t neccessarily fit the box of a “typical” American God-follower. (I spent a lot of time writing and praying before I pushed the “publish” button on my last post as I do with every post. It’s a huge responsibility and risk to put my words and opinions out into cyber space forever!) However I try to seek God with all my heart, show love and compassion, and harm no one. If my way of being “Jesus with skin on” is different from yours and you don’t like it, well, it’s not my intention to offend. But Jesus offended many with His choices.
I would encourage you to learn to know your own self. To BE your own self. And not let the outside opinions, society, media, and sometimes even family, dissuade you from choosing to honor who you were created to be. I lost a lot of years of my life with my light hidden. I decided the world was missing out and I was incomplete and dying on the vine. So now I choose life!
Oh. And that BOX? It was flattened quite a while ago!
Have a wonderful week of self-discovery folks! And thank you so much for hanging in here with me.
07 Apr 2015
Tags: behavior, belief, decisions, encouragement, lifestyle, love, now is your time, passion, strength, unconditional love
I read a wonderful blog post today
from Vanessa of At The Picket Fence.
I believe it’s at the heart of many damaging behaviors–
which most surely become weapons,
cutting to the very heart and soul.
My own insecurity led to attention-seeking behaviors….
people pleasing….and very “loud” body language
(because I wasn’t permitted to voice negative emotions,
and besides I might offend someone and then they would be mad at me–heaven forbid!)
Insecurity seeps into our lives because of many reasons, but I’d say the key issue is the feeling of “not good enough”.
Which leads us to lash out in anger.
Seek to establish control.
To strive to please.
To engage in self-defeating behaviors.
Things I’ve worked hard to remove from my life.
My “ah-ha” moment came years ago when I realized that the only person I needed to please was God. He alone had the purest love and intentions for me. Humans all have an agenda, realized or not. We perceive and receive others through that filtered agenda. Bottom line?
Our belief programs our behavior!
When I let go of others’ opinions and focused on my behaviors, I began the journey to freedom. Not without setbacks and “playing those old tapes” which programmed unhealthy behaviors, but definitely toward emotional healing!
I have learned that my only competition is myself and my focus is now on changing for the better, every day if possible.
We really can’t change people unless they decide to change themselves. Sometimes our own positive, accepting behaviors toward them will encourage that change. But if it doesn’t, we still have a choice, as Vanessa states.
Choose wisely, my friends, for we hold
the power of life and death in our words and deeds.
Read the whole post Vanessa wrote. She states it perfectly.
Thank you Vanessa, for your inspiring words today!
Rock your world, peeps!!
Hugs and love, Passionista
17 Oct 2014
in Living With Gusto
Tags: creating, greeting cards, love, sisters
It’s my sister’s fault. I’ve got computer neck, squinty eyes, laundry piled up, books unread…yep, I’m going to blame her.
Here’s the deal. Mindy, my little sister, came to visit. She’s four years younger than I am, so even though she is almost 58 she will always be my “little” sister. And I miss her terribly. She lives a minimum of eleven hours away in Missouri (she and her husband drive it in one day–but it takes my kids and me two!) and that is just too far. So when she came to visit for a week (a WEEK, eeeeek!) I enjoyed and soaked up every minute of it.
One night she was crocheting, something she is a marvel at, and I sat by her on the couch, showing her the pictures–or graphics, or memes, or whatever a person calls these things I create and post on this blog– and she just loved them. A couple in particular she wanted to give to people as cards. She suggested I print them to sell.
This one is her favorite, and she wants to give it to her two daughters in a frame.
Now, I have been telling Mindy that she should sell her amazing creations for a couple of years now, but for ME to sell stuff? What? Really? Do you think people would buy these cards? They are just my words (and sometimes others’) on pretty backgrounds.
She said that yes, she would, and she was sure others would too. Mindy is wonderful at mailing cards, something that many of us fail at. Maybe I can help to turn that around by providing nice, inexpensive cards so people WILL send them to their loved ones.
Thus… “computer neck”. I thought I’d try a couple and see how they looked. Problem is that all of my memes have my “watermark” PassionistaAtLarge.org at the bottom to identify them as mine. Well, mostly it’s to direct people to my website, because I really don’t care if others use them. That’s what Pinterest and the internet is actually for, right? To borrow ideas from each other? And if someone can make money off of them, then good for them. There is enough to go around, for sure. Anyway, I digress, or chase rabbits, so hopefully I won’t lose you. (Ooooh LOOK! There’s a sparkly!)
Back to the watermark. I can’t have that on the front of the card, now can I? It kind of interferes with the design. So, I have to redesign them all. At least the ones I want to use. (Insert big sigh here). And then, because I am so new at this, I’m trying to find a place to print them that doesn’t cost a ton. Because if I’m going to sell these at my workshops, if I believe the words I put on them are important enough to “card” them (hahahaha), I want others to be able to afford them.
And then I have to make my designs work within the constraints of the company I’m using. (Insert another big sigh here.) Did I mention that I am new at this? Self-taught through the “search-and-find” method?
Anyway these two designs were her favorite, and I tried them first to see the quality of paper and how they actually look in person. I’ll be gifting them to my sister for her birthday next month, if they look nice.
And that, my dear readers, is why I claim it’s all my sister’s fault. 🙂
This is now my new “watermark” on the back of the card. What do you think?
If you have any suggestions, I’d love to hear them. And let me know what you think. I know I have readers out there. How about letting me hear from you?
Have a wonderful, sparkly kind of day!