“And even in this, there’s good… How else can anyone truly appreciate the abundant blessings in life, unless they are eventually taken away? You appreciate them all the more when you have them again.” ~M
Photo credit: Pixabay.com
Photo credit: Pixabay.com
There are some amazing people in my life who I can’t forget because they are always there for me. Even so, life is still very hard sometimes, and it’s easy to feel like I deserve a better life than the one I have. Sometimes I even chase after things that aren’t good for me, and I end up causing myself so much heartache and pain. Slowly but surely though, I have been learning to let go of the things that aren’t meant to be, and to stop feeling as if I should have more. Over the past couple of years, especially, I have seen many people in my life come and go, and it has been extremely troublesome for me. I’ve often felt lonely, abandoned, and disappointed beyond words. And many times, just as I thought that God was answering my prayers, there were instances where my hopes were suddenly shattered, and I began to blame God for all of it. I realize now though that I’ve been looking beyond what is right in front of me every day. I’ve been disregarding the many blessings that I do have and wasting so much of my time chasing empty promises. So today, as I look back and think about how things have turned out; I’m looking at everything in a more positive light and feeling grateful for the life I’ve been given.
In the past month, I’ve had some extraordinary close encounters with some very amazing creatures. The first encounter happened on my camping trip a few weeks ago. I was sitting with my hubby next to the campfire in the early evening, when all of a sudden, a doe came rambling down the hill. It stopped about 20 feet away from us and began to graze. I got up from my seat to have a better look, and the doe merely raised her head in curiosity, while continuing to eat. The doe kept her eye on me but showed no inclination of being afraid. And as I walked closer to get a better look, she still kept grazing. I decided to leave her alone and sat back down by the campfire, and several minutes later, she walked down to the pond, which was just beyond our campsite. Hubby and I watched her stroll around the pond, and then she eventually disappeared into the forest. It was such a rare and beautiful moment to behold. Looking into the eyes of a doe was mesmerizing, and I could tell she felt safe with us there. It was such a miraculous thing to witness, and I will never forget her eyes. They were eyes of acceptance and trust, and the sheer beauty in her gaze overwhelmed me.
The second encounter began when hubby and I decided to play shuffleboard at a resort we were staying at. As we walked up to the game area, a baby rabbit was sitting there nibbling away on a piece of grass. We were so close to the rabbit that we could have stepped on it if we had not been paying attention. The rabbit never once flinched as we walked past, but instead, just kept eating while we played shuffleboard a few feet away. I thought that perhaps the pucks racing toward it, might scare the poor thing away, but it just sat there happy and content the entire time. When we finally decided we’d played long enough, the baby rabbit bid us farewell, and we left feeling as if we’d seen yet another small miracle that day.
The third encounter happened yesterday when I was visiting a nearby park. My girls and I decided to go for a picnic lunch next to the river, and it was so beautiful that I wanted to capture the beauty of everything by taking a few photos. The problem was, I had left my phone in the car, so I decided to head back to grab it. As I was walking back, a bird suddenly swooped down in front of me, almost hitting me. I thought the occurrence was very odd but began to continue to the car. But something suddenly made me stop and go back to the spot where the bird had almost hit me. Walking back, I came across a tiny yellow bird. It was just sitting there peacefully in the grass, staring up at me. It looked almost like it were about to fall asleep because of how calm and content it looked. I stood no more than a foot away from that little yellow bird and spoke to it for a few minutes. It sort of winked at me a few times and looked as if it were actually smiling up at me. I couldn’t believe how tame and beautiful it was. It could have been a baby bird, but it had all of its adult feathers and was bright yellow in color, so I wasn’t sure if it was newly born or not. The nature of it was definitely odd and had I leaned down to hold it; I was sure it would have let me. But at last, I knew I didn’t dare disturb it further, and so I left it there and headed back to my car.
The fourth encounter happened today, which prompted me to write this post. I had been sitting in my office, working at my computer, when a dove suddenly decided to perch on the screen of my window. I have always loved doves, and have had some interesting experiences with them. In fact, I had one occasion, where a dove sort of saved my life. But I suppose I will wait and share that story for another occasion. For now, just seeing that dove, lifted my spirits and reminded me of all the times when animals have spoken to me in such extraordinary ways. When I’m feeling gloomy like today, it’s God’s creatures who always cheer me up, and I’m thankful that I have such reminders of his everlasting love. I hope the rest of you will find similar reminders in your own lives. Those unexpected occurrences always seem to come just when we need them, but we must pay attention or we could end up missing those miraculous blessings that he sends our way.
Photo credit: Pixabay.com
Feeling like I’m breathing my last breath
Feeling like I’m walking my last steps
Look at all of these tears I’ve wept
Look at all the promises that I’ve kept
I put my all into your hands
Here’s my soul to keep
I let you in with all that I can
You’re not hard to reach
And you bless me with the best gift
That I’ve ever known
You give me purpose
Yeah, you’ve given me purpose
Thinking my journey’s come to an end
Sending out a farewell to my friends, for inner peace
Ask you to forgive me for my sins, oh would you please?
I’m more than grateful for the time we spent, my spirit’s at ease
I put my heart into your hands
Learn the lessons you teach
No matter when, wherever I am
You’re not hard to reach
And you’ve given me the best gift
That I’ve ever known
You give me purpose everyday
You give me purpose in every way
Oh, you are my everything
Oh, you are my everything
I don’t know if this is wrong, because someone else is telling me that it’s wrong. But I feel this so let me just like try my best not to let this happen again. We weren’t necessarily put in the best position to make the best decisions
You can’t be hard on yourself for it, these are the cards you were given so you have to understand that’s not who you are. You know you’re trying to be the best you can be, but that’s all you can do. If you don’t give it all you got, you’re only cheating yourself give it all you got but if it ends up happening, it ends up happening
That’s what happening with me, it’s like “God, I’m giving it all I’ve got, sometimes I’m weak and I’m going to do it.” And it’s like I’m not giving myself grace, I’m just like understanding that’s how it is
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My fortune tonight…
And yes, there she was… my sweet little Auti, sitting right next to me tonight as I read this fortune.
The picture above, she drew for me the other day. She was all excited to tell me that she even gave us matching dresses!
Happiness is definitely right next to you, my dear sweet daughter. There is no better treasure in this whole wide world. ❤️
Photo credit: pixabay.com
As I was leaving my daughter’s bedroom tonight after tucking her into bed, she called out to me in her sweet quiet little voice, and said, “I’m so glad I have you as my mom.” Of course, I had to rush right back in and give her another hug. She is just too precious for words. Thank you God, for blessings such as these.
Photo credit: pixabay.com
Well today should be considered one of the worst days I’ve had so far this year, and yet I sort of just feel like laughing right now. And yet earlier in the week, when I couldn’t have had a better day (that’s just how amazing it was), all I wanted to do was cry.
I am really starting to question my sanity at this point. I have to say though, if what I faced today is really one of the worst days I could have, than I really should be counting my blessings. So many people are facing much worse issues than I am. I guess it all just comes down to perspective. We can either let that bad day get to us, or we can say to ourselves, “It could have been much worse, time to move on…”
So I’ve decided to let the burdens of this day, sort of run off my back. Yes, they are still here, but I’m choosing to carry them lightly; sort of like you carry a dirty, stinky old sock. Tomorrow is a new day and hopefully it will be a whole lot better. I’m choosing to be positive about the things which I cannot change about today. Hope you are too!
Much love, ~M xoxo
Photo credit: pixabay.com
Happy New Year!
Leaving behind 2016 is a welcome relief for me. I would say it was probably one of the worst years of my life, and yet in the midst of the ugliness of it all, there were countless blessings that came out of it. So looking back, I wouldn’t want 2016 to go any differently than it did. I realize the pain and heartache had to come, in order for the renewal and blessings to be fulfilled.
I suffered severe depression over the past year, and tried to hide it from my family and friends. I prayed countless times that God would take me from this world and allow me to escape the suffering which I felt I could no longer face. I ended up with what doctors thought was perhaps a cancerous tumor. I thought this is it, this is what I prayed for, and this is how I will die.
Then reality hit me and I thought to myself, what have I been doing? Why have I been praying to leave my family who obviously needs me right now? My girls had both announced that they were getting married, and my two youngest were still being home schooled by me. I felt so selfish and such guilt for asking for such a terrible thing. I knew I deserved whatever happened to me at that point, and I believe I still do depending on what happens in the future.
For now, my doctors believe that I am fine. The results of all of my tests look good. I am supposed to go back this February to have all of the tests repeated to confirm everything is still good. I am at the point where I don’t even want to have those tests repeated. I feel good and I just don’t see the need to go through everything again. I have yet to decide what I will do.
While going through the cancer scare, I felt like I was going through it alone. I didn’t feel the comfort and love from my husband that I really needed, and because of that, I ended up resenting him even more than I already did. We had been through so much the year prior and nothing had been resolved. I thought here’s the time I need you most, and you still aren’t here for me. I felt like nobody was really there. Yes, I was having my own little pity party, even though I had prayed for it to happen. I wonder why we do these things to ourselves. I look back and shake my head; because realistically, I only had myself to blame.
I think I spent most of 2016, just trying to figure out how to change my frame of mind. I was tired of being unhappy, tired of being in a marriage where I didn’t feel loved, tired of not having any real friends, and mostly tired of feeling lonely. I tried to relay how I was feeling to my husband on countless occasions, but it didn’t really sink in until September, when he found a poem I had written about how I didn’t love him anymore. It was then that things began to change.
Finally, all of the words that I had been saying, all of the tears I had been crying, and all of the resentment that I had toward him, became apparent to him. It was at that point, that I knew I couldn’t stay any longer. I was ready to leave, and I was fully prepared for him to let me. What I was not prepared for, was what happened next. Instead of pushing me away after I spilled my heart out to him and confessed all of the terrible things I had been doing because I had been so lonely; my husband did quite the opposite, he forgave me… it was instantaneous.
He forgave me and vowed to be a better husband to me. He blamed himself for the things that I had done to him, and said it was his fault for not being there for me. He apologized over and over and begged me to stay. He broke down and cried and told me that he would change. I sat there in complete disbelief. I wondered why he would want to stay with me now and wondered where his motivation was coming from. I thought maybe he just didn’t want to lose me because I’m good at things, like cooking and cleaning, and taking care of the kids. He hadn’t seemed to want much to do with me before I confessed how terrible I had been to him, so why would he want me now?
I’ve spent the last four months, wondering if his love for me is really real. I’ve been confused about his true intentions and why he would take me back now, after I confided in him that my heart was someplace else. He has spent the last four months reminding me every single day, of how much he loves me and how much he wants me back. I have been resistant at times. Hesitant to believe what he is really saying, and wondering if it will last. Somedays I feel convinced that he really does mean what he’s saying and somedays I still have my doubts.
I thought I had forgiven him for the things he had done to me and some things that affected our daughters. But apparently I was wrong. I had never really forgiven him, and because of this, I just couldn’t accept his love when he was finally ready to express it to me. I am still struggling, but really wanting to work things out. I suppose I never really stopped loving him, but I hated the man that he had become. Now I am left with a completely different person. Somebody whom I hardly even recognize. I keep thinking that I will wake up one day and this whole new him will be nothing but a passing dream. I want so much to accept what he is telling me each and every day. I want to love him and I know I can’t live without having somebody by my side. Love is the most important thing to me in life.
So now that 2017 is here, I have decided to take the advice of one of my dear friends, and jump back in with both feet. I want to try and mend what has been broken, and hopefully be able to fully let go of the past hurts and regain the love for my husband that he deserves. We have all made terrible mistakes in life. I need to finally forgive him the way God already has. My own daughter even told me before she got married this year, she said to me… “Mom, Dad really loves you and he isn’t the same man he used to be. He is a good father to us girls and he needs you. So please forgive him and leave the past behind.” Her words have haunted me since that very day, and I know I need to take her advice and leave the past behind.
The enemy has already tried to discourage me from doing that. Even in the last couple of days, there have been things that have occurred, which have been reminders of the pain which I am so desperately trying to forget. I know I can’t let that happen, and I pray that God will just be my protector and keep me from the things which I’ve faced over the last couple of years. I know the only way I will sort everything out, is with his mercy and love covering me in every single aspect of my life.
I feel so blessed to have two daughters, who have both married within the last two months, and I am really looking forward to this new year and all that the Lord has in store for me and my family. Despite the many tears and frustrations, I have much to be thankful for. I believe that no matter what we are facing, there are still so many things that we can be grateful for in our lives. We just have to look at the complete picture and consider the glass half full instead of half empty. Many blessings to all of you for the coming year. It’s a time to start anew and find the happiness that awaits each and every one of us!
Photo found at: travelsinphotography.com
As I was heading out from dropping my daughter off at church tonight for Awana, someone stopped me to tell me how well-behaved my daughter always is. It’s so good to hear that your child is well liked by others and acting appropriately when they are away from you. And honestly, I am not surprised by the comment that was made. My daughter Autumn is 8 years old, and one of the happiest children that I have ever met.
She is always smiling, and loves to surround herself with people. It makes it very hard to home school her at times, for I fear that she isn’t getting the social interaction that she requires. And yet by being home schooled, I think it has helped her to stay so well adjusted. She doesn’t have to deal with the kids on the playground calling her names and she doesn’t have to worry about fitting in. She is so happy here at home, that I often wonder what a public school might do to her sweet spirit.
I myself, grew up going to a public school, and I learned from an early age to be very wary of the kids around me. Most of my classmates were affiliated with different gangs in the area, and most would insist that I choose a side. Weapons were routinely brought to school and passed around, which made me feel very unsafe and ill prepared for whatever situation I might be forced into. I felt like an outsider most of the time, since I was one of the few Caucasian girls in my class. It made such a difference, because so often I couldn’t speak their language, and so even if I had wanted to, I couldn’t interact with the majority of the kids around me.
I also grew up in a very poor area of town, and so even during the day, it was dangerous to walk the streets alone. My mother kept me very sheltered because of it, and I wasn’t allowed to do much of anything or go anywhere, because my mother feared what might happen to me if she let me out of her sight for even a minute.
Now that I have my own four girls, I don’t blame my mother for being so overprotective, but I do wish she had been a little less stringent, and perhaps allowed me a bit more freedom than she did. But who knows… by doing that, something terrible could have happened to me, and so I have to believe that she did the best she could, and her over protectiveness probably benefited me in ways, in which I will never fully understand.
On the way home tonight, I couldn’t stop thinking about the comment made about my daughter, and I began to wonder what life would have been like, had Autumn’s twin been born as well. I don’t bring it up very often, but I had a miscarriage early on in my pregnancy with her, and another miscarriage the year prior.
As I think back to that time in my life, I still feel so much grief over losing them. I often sit and wonder about each one; what their personalities would have been like, their potential likes and dislikes, how they would have looked, etc…. And I find myself daydreaming, about how different my life would be now, had they both been born.
It still breaks my heart, knowing that I will never be able to hold either one of them in my arms and rock them to sleep, or sing them a lullaby before tucking them into bed. And when I see my daughter Autumn’s bright smiling face, I just want to wrap my arms around her and never let her go. She is such an amazing blessing to me, as are my other three girls. So today, I just want to say how thankful I am, for the children I do have, and for the loving personalities of each one. I feel amazingly blessed.
So after spending the majority of last night in the ER with my daughter Amy who was ill. Here’s all I can really think of to say….
We were blessed by the many wonderful smiles we received by the hospital staff last night. It really made a difference! Also, thank you to those rare but true friends of mine, the ones who never cease to make me smile. I am truly blessed because of you! ❤
It’s been a a crazy hectic month here at the Cook house. I am thankful for these three wonderful girls, who have made life a little bit easier through all the ups and downs.
Since all of their birthdays fall within a few weeks of each other, I wanted to wish them each, a very Happy Birthday! 🙂
I love you my sweet girls! Life just wouldn’t be as wonderful without you, and I am forever grateful to God for blessing me with you!