Thursday, March 29, 2012

Unwanted Feelings Can Make Room for Blossoms of Hope

My wonderful friend Jenn shared this poem with me the other day and it was the perfect reminder that even the ugly and sorrowful emotions that visit me can make things beautiful, whether or not they are invited.  I'm slowly learning that it is in welcoming those often unwanted feelings that I can clean out space and make a little more room inside to let love and positive thoughts grow in my heart. Be encouraged and let's not be afraid to make some room for new blossoms of hope.

(This was a flower shoppe near our hotel in Paris when we were there on our honeymoon. Looking at this always makes me smile and adds a little color to my day.)

The Guest House by Mewlana Jalaluddin Rumi

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
As an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they're a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Transparency, Vunlerability, and Positive Thought the past few months my new hubby and I have moved from the States to Germany, and then traveled from Germany to Paris France, France back to Stuttgart Germany, Stuttgart to Munich; and now we are home for a week before we go back out the door.

I must admit we have learned valuable lessons in our marriage as we have traveled and driven in these wonderful and strange lands. One thing is for sure, I am probably not the best navigator/co-pilot in the world and we will definitely make sure we have a handy dandy GPS in the car when we embark on our next thrilling adventure :o). 

There has been lots of fun since we moved to Germany, but there have also been many difficult and trying moments. Europe is grand and we feel so blessed to have to opportunity to travel and see many wonderful things in the world. However, the price we have to pay to be here seems to be growing larger and gloomier each day. The tour that Daniel is serving in Germany will soon start requiring him to travel quite often throughout Europe for training; and then eventually the day will come when we will have to goodbye as he heads off to Afghanistan towards the end of the year. As most of you know this is something that will be super difficult not only because all deployments are, but also because I lost Tyler in Afghanistan 2 and a half years ago.

I still battle anxiety, as well as iron and adrenal issues,  so it has been a huge struggle to focus on positive thoughts now that we are starting to see a broader list of Daniel's itinerary for the next two years. Even though we are a ways from November I am finding that my emotions are ping-ponging all over the place and I seem to need a box of tissues every couple of days. 
I don't share this because I want to be a 'Debbie Downer', but I simply want to be transparent with friends and readers so that you can see into my heart and daily struggles a little easier.  

I started this blog as a result of my battle with anxiety after Tyler was killed in action; and even though sharing these struggles is an extremely vulnerable place to be, I want to make sure I am being honest about what I am still going through. When I first started searching the internet for answers and help to me deal with my panic attacks and grief I didn't find much at all that I could relate to or take helpful information from. I was constantly looking for people who might be dealing with the same emotions, grief, and physical reactions to their loss. I searched for hours to try and find healthy and holistic alternatives to anti-depression or anxiety drugs. Eventually I found a book that started to answer my questions a little and it at least got me started on some sort of path to healing. If you have been following my blog a little you know that I share a lot of the information I found in The Mood Cure in my earlier posts.

I still need answers for my physical healing, and I know that my emotional healing will always be a challenging journey. When you lose someone you love the experience you have gone through is forever a part of your being; and though you can find strength and healing as time goes by you will always feel the scar. 

I know that I never could have made it through my grief without my faith in God and the belief that He would mend my brokenness. I don't have the answers that I've wanted since September 10, 2009, but I know that I am not alone on this journey. I know that my God is there, whether I feel him or not, and he will carry me through if I am too weak to walk. There have been many times I can't hear his voice and many times I have questioned his love, but I have been through enough to know that He has been there as my rock in my time of deepest need. He has been there even when I didn't want him. He has blessed my life once more with an amazing man (that is now my adoring husband) when I thought that love had been forever stripped from my life. I know enough to know that I am broken- but I am blessed.

My biggest desire is that my experience with grief and anxiety will somehow encourage you to never give up if you are on the same journey for physical and emotional healing. I never want to be negative in my writing but simply share my thoughts and be completely honest. I will always try to find something positive to share along with the difficulties so that not only can I encourage you, but I can also remind myself of my blessings and triumphs. 

 (On our way to our new home in Germany- February 2012)

Friday, March 23, 2012

A Real Page Turner

It is my most favorite of all out there and it speaks to me like no other can. It is the best dressed in the group and always wears the most dreamy "jacket". It treats me with respect and always knows just what I need to hear. I used to dabble in some of the other 'crafty' ones, but recently it has won my heart. 

Okay, all kidding aside, this is a really super wonderful magazine that is just full of great advise when it comes to homemaking, organizing, decorating, travel, clean eating/detox ideas, and even encouraging Bible verses. . . yes. I said it- Bible verses. The magazine 'life:Beautiful' is like a Christian version of all of Martha Stewart's best magazine issues put together. It is a best friend in the form of a magazine.

I originally discovered the magazine this past Christmas and knew right then that a subscription would be the perfect gift for my mom. It's turned out that she loved it so much I decided to give it as a gift for my sis, and now finally I am ordering a subscription for myself. One of the things we all love about this magazine is that not only does it include so many ideas, but it also has a Bible study guide and is full of amazing photography. The pages are also always brimming with great recipes that I swear you can smell when you turn the page. 

As an Army wife, I can guarantee that this little magazine is going to be keeping me lots of company on lonely nights and will do a great job of filling my head with positive and encouraging thought.

So when all those other magazines out there start yelling for you to pick them from the stands, just remember to stay strong and pick the one that will truly fill your life with some beautiful :o).

'Night xox,