He may have something better in mind 🎁

I’ve been trying to fight the urge to jump on the social media “thankful post” train the whole month of November.

I always tell my husband that when I blog, it’s more like a calling, and I swear “these aren’t my words”.

Typically, when I write, it’s like these thoughts start churning in my mind and I come across this huge epiphany that I feel the need to share; hoping it will help someone.

Empower someone.

Reach a yearning ear.

I’ve spent countless 3:40am mornings, staring blankly out my living room window, saying the same prayer.

“How would you use me today?”

“Here I am, Lord. Your instrument.”

I’m starting to believe even deeper in the power of prayer……

With Thursday being Thanksgiving, it has brought many memories to my mind.

From childhood dinners to not so long ago.

The emerging of a human life is something to truly treasure.

As I ran the other day, I started to reflect on this past year…2019.

It’s so interesting to me how so many of us go into each year with our “resolution list”.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all about writing out goals and going after them, but I learned this past year, God sometimes has something better in mind.

I started this year with a Bang.

Training for my first half marathon, rocking out my career, healthy, positive, strong.

My year began just the way “I had planned”…..and I type that with a HUGE smile on my face ☺️…..Thanks be to God.

He had some other detours and bumps in the road for me to travel through.

He, being the Lord, the Author of my Life. ❤️

I received a beautiful card from my mother this past January, reaching out and wanting to rekindle our relationship.

I felt strong enough and felt it was an answer to my prayers.

I connected with her and it was good.

So, I did what I do best…and went all in…inviting her to stay with me, at my home, after a decade of detachment…for 10 days.

That was a lot.

I didn’t realize the mental impact it would have on my body and mind.

After she left, I spent most of the summer of 2019 beating myself down, assigning my body ailments, and rushing to heal the decade of damage that had been done.

I’ll tell you what, I sure learned a lot.

About myself and about life.

Another beautiful gift that came from my traumatic childhood was the gift of writing.

I find it to be so amazing that when I can’t put the emotions into words, I just grab a pen and paper, and puke it all out.

I always feel so much more clear and calm.

So, this summer I did just that.

I couldn’t process what I was feeling, so I wrote it down.

I wrote out that I had done all I could for my family, it wasn’t my fault, and after 45 years of feeling helpless, I decided all I can do (for anyone) is give it to God…..and just Pray.

The release of stress, the freedom I began to feel… I really Don’t have the right words.

All that comes to mind is the word, Power.

We recently took a vacation to Jamaica this past month.

Breathtaking, calm….just what my husband and I needed.

I hadn’t really realized the toll life had taken on our health and our spirits until I was able to “just be” for a few hours by the ocean one morning.

Looking back on the year, I can now clearly see.

A lot can change in 365 days.

And a lot of changes happened to me.

We became true empty nesters this past year, we changed companies, experienced loss and love, transition and growth.

My two oldest children moved away.

I opened up wounds I didn’t know still existed.

And I began my “transition” as a woman.

Trust me, friends, that is a lot to overcome.

Peri menopause…..I won’t go into too much detail, but it’s like being on a roller coaster… in the middle of the ocean….when you can’t swim….unexpectedly….on random days…..without warning…..all while you think you are losing your mind. 🥳

Fun stuff.

Now back to being thankful.

I start every year with a word.

That’s right, no resolutions, just one word.

It typically reflects a part of me that I want to enhance.

2017 was Health…that was my laser focus for that year. I lost 45 pounds and took on a whole new lifestyle.

2018 was Peace. My focus was forgiveness and understanding. I developed stronger relationships and learned so much about the human spirit.

2019 was Power.

My focus this past year was taking it back.

I realize now, I did.

A pivotal moment in my world was an ordinary July morning this past summer.

Picture it, I came home from 5am CrossFit, was getting ready for the day, and soaked my shirt due to a hot flash.

I had been feeling very shaky the past few weeks, but like most women in today’s society….we can never let the world see us falter, right?

I call Bullshit.

That morning, I texted my coach to meet me, as I was frustrated with….well, looking back…life.

He sat down with me, while I vented and cried.

I believe he understood that I just needed to release some stress.

He did a great job allowing me to do so.

We talked, set some goals, and a game plan for moving forward.

That’s all good and great, but then I asked him the question that made me realize I had hit an all time low.

I handed over my own Power.

I had just given it away in 5 words.

“Do you believe in me?” I asked him.

I Actually ASKED another human if they BELIEVED in ME???!!!!!!?????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What the hell?

We ended our meeting and as I drove back home, I think I was in shock.

I don’t remember a time I have felt so broken and disappointed in myself.

So, I did what I do these days.

I laced up my Brooks and went for a run.

As I began, it was like climbing uphill.

I was so blocked and exhausted.

And then this song came on my playlist.

“I See You” by Missio.

I’ve blogged about it before.

It’s an eye opener.

Why can’t we see ourselves as He sees us?

We are beautifully made, hand crafted by our God.

And yet, we live, broken.

I remember looking up to the sky that day, with the sun warming my face.

I made a very important promise that morning that changed the rest of my year.

I will only see, hear, and feel Love for myself.

I will follow my heart and intuition at all times.

I will “see” myself as God “sees” me.

Life changing, folks.

Life changing.

That conversation, in July, needed to be had before September.

Before I ran the Ragnar relay.

Before I was in the dark woods, on a 7.6 mile run, alone in the night.

Before I had only myself and God to count on.

Had I not taken my Power back that July day, I would not have had the strength to move through the darkness and uncertainty that night.

Had I not taken my Power back I would not have been able to set new limits with my Mom so I may continue healing and move forward with her, in a different light.

Had I not taken back my Power, that July day…the path may be much different today.

See what I am saying?

It’s all in His time.

It was not necessarily convenient or “planned”, but it was RIGHT.

Perfect timing.

And just what my soul needed.

Power ❤️

But not mine, through Him.

Here’s the thing.

I am thankful that I was reminded of this,

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”.

Now, that is Power. ❤️

And I am so glad He took me down His path in 2019.

2020s word is LIVE. ❤️

Life is short…and surprising…unexpected….and a journey.

We all have choices.

Every moment of every single day.

I guess it depends on who’s voice we listen to.

Society or the soft whisper of our soul?

Our values or others beliefs?

This year, I am thankful for the Detours. ❤️

So very grateful for the run in the darkness. ❤️

Thankful for my body talking to me, so I took the time to hear her. ❤️

Thankful for the “Army” of souls God has

planted all around me. ❤️

Throughout the rest of this year and beyond, keep a heart full of Gratitude.

Life may not always go as planned,

however…

“Maybe God has something better in Mind”.

Happy Thanksgiving 🦃 and many blessings in the coming year!!

Much Love🧡,

Linda

“Tracking” my progress

Awhile back, during a coffee date, a mentor of mine and I were discussing life.

We pondered “why” and “what” makes one person choose to go one direction in life, and someone else to go another.

To watch one individual choose all the wrong avenues and to watch another fight for what’s right.

To be dealt a bad hand of cards and turn it into a jackpot, or to be given it all …and just throw it away.

What makes two people so very different??

I don’t know that there is a clear answer for this, but it got me thinking…..

I believe the answer is Choices.

Not just one, but every single choice.

In reflecting, it got me thinking about my own life and how different it is from my siblings.

Not so long ago, One of my trainers was encouraging me to pursue more running.

To get stronger, faster, more consistent.

I just kept telling him, “I hate running”.

Every time I was met with running in a workout, I tried to get out of it.

Every time I had the opportunity to go for a run, I found an excuse.

Remember?

I “hate” running.

Then, the day came that my trainer opened my eyes.

With just a simple statement, he allowed me to look inside of myself to see why I wanted to be a runner so badly, but then stopped myself at every turn.

I admitted during a conversation, “I used to love to run”.

He asked me when I used to run.

He asked me how it felt.

He asked me “why” I used to run…and we found the core reason why I “hated” it as an adult.

You see, when I was young, my home was very chaotic and challenging.

It could be calm one minute, and then all hell would break loose the next.

My memories remind me of how I would often lace up my running shoes and walk down to our local elementary school….and just run.

To get away…..it was my escape.

I’d run the track over and over and over again.

Til I was a sweaty mess, til my heart was calm, and my head was clear.

Round and round until the craziness I left behind was just a shadow in my mind.

I did this for many years.

It’s one of the ways I coped with the insanity of every day life at my house.

And, typical me, I ended up making it fun, almost a hobby, if you will.

Inviting my best friends to run with me at night, as we had our boom box set up, cranking out 1990s tunes.

That track was solid, consistent and it never changed.

The route was predictable, which was something I craved….some sort of routine….anything stable.

Funny how something so simple can have such an impact.

I went there today.

More than 25 years after I relied on that foundation for strength.

And, it looked nothing like I recall.

Overgrown, grassy.

Unkept, and forgotten.

I went there to express my gratitude for the time I spent there, sorting out which direction I wanted to go, in my head.

I grew a lot during those runs.

I learned a lot about my strength, much like my most recent adventure.

My last run during the trail Ragnar was before dawn.

I knew I’d be ok in the dark, as the sunrise was just around the bend.

As I ran that morning, I felt so many emotions and so many thoughts blew through my head.

My youngest brother.

He was my most prominent thought that day.

I wondered what he would be doing that morning, at that moment. While my heart beat and the wind encircled me, and my feet hit the ground below me, I knew he would not be doing the same.

And as I ran, I said aloud, “He isn’t running today”.

I know he is not ok.

I instantly began to cry, thinking of the shell he is now.

You see, he chose drugs and alcohol to get through the darkness.

For almost 40 years, it has controlled him.

And now, at 52, it has consumed the man he could have been.

He didn’t run.

He didn’t fight for the light the way I did.

He turned left, when I begged him to go right.

He didn’t protect his future, the way that I did mine.

I chose.

Again and again.

Who I let in, how I cared for myself, and which direction I ran.

And, you know, what ?

I had to choose every single day which direction I would go.

We all do.

We have option after option on which way to go.

I feel like life is a bunch of arrows that are constantly put in front of us.

Left, right, U turns….

We rush through life, listening to the voices around us, not WITHIN us.

And within us, is where the light lives.

Today, like so many years ago, I chose once again….

To go back to my hometown, to the place that saved me, in so many ways.

It saved me from myself, the anger, and the madness of a world that was trying to shape me into someone I did not want to be.

I took back control and fought for the life that I pictured, and in the midst of the runs, I held on tightly to me.

I realized that beautiful circle of overgrown land, helped me hold onto my light while I was running in the darkness.

So, I wanted to go back to pray aloud, in gratitude, for all of those times it waited there for me.

I can’t say it enough.

We must listen to our inner workings and take time to hear the calling of our souls.

Whether it’s on a run, a bench in the park, or staring into the sky in order to “see”.

The answers are always within us.

Take some time to “run the track”, clear your mind from the clutter ….and just be.

God is my compass, and always will be❤️

First, you must choose the direction, then you must GO.

Much love,

Linda ❤️

And, I’m hoping that you will see yourself, like I See You❤️

Alone with you, you’re alone with me…

Alone with you, you’re alone with me and I’m hoping that you will see yourself…..like I see you.

I see you when you chase all the dreams inside your head.

In the dark, at the dawn of something new, I see you.

Those are some of the lyrics from an amazing song by Missio.

I heard the song “I See You” a few months ago on a run.

The lyrics hit me so hard, I started to cry. I believe the song is a message to those contemplating suicide, but for me, it spoke a different story.

I heard it that day, as a message from God.

“I’m hoping you can see yourself as I see you”. Strong. Resilient. Beautiful. Capable.

I added it to my running playlist. I continued to wonder why this song was impacting me so profoundly.

I think I know why…

Sometimes God speaks to us in “mysterious” ways.

Why is that we seem to lose that childlike confidence as we age?

It seems we start to doubt our abilities, lose our passion.

I’m not certain, but after this weekend, I found my power once again.

God teaches us lessons in the most unique circumstances sometimes.

Ragnar 2019.

Why not?

I’m 45, just started really running about a year ago….had no idea what my I signed myself up for….but what an eye and soul opening experience!!!

My friend and I have this “thing” we do.

We go out to eat and have a couple cocktails. We then become ten feet tall and bulletproof and agree to do things we never thought we could. It’s awesome actually. Because of this, we ran a half marathon this year and also our first Ragnar Trail race.

You know, typical Girls night…

Yeah , not so much 🤷‍♀️

We left Friday morning and set up camp with 6 other awesome humans that we work out with at our local CrossFit gym.

We scoped out the area, the vendors, the map of the green, yellow, and red loops.

I personally had no clue what I was about to do.

My friend and I had only done 3 or 4 trail runs in our new shoes before the big weekend.

And I’m here to tell you, I was not prepared.

Now, I did learn, there was some advantage to that. The not being prepared part.

Had I known what the red loop between 8 and 10pm that night would teach me, I may not have come.

Truly.

I would have stayed home!

One of my coaches is good about putting my excuses back onto me. I can say I am afraid or not ready and he doesn’t care. He wants me to recognize my strength and power, and….I do now.

I was the first runner in our group.

Around noon, I ventured out on a “quick” 3 mile trail run.

No big deal, been there, done that.

It was hotter than planned, it was rockier than I was used to.

And I lost focus.

One of the first things they tell you with trail running is to not “look back”. It’s easy to lose your footing.

As I ventured out on the first loop, I felt confident and calm. I was keeping a good, steady pace and was feeling good. A man came up behind me a bit too close to pass on the left. I made the mistake of looking at him and my foot got caught in a root. I tried not to fall, but in doing so, tripped and slid across the roots and rocks below me.

Ouch!

What a way to start, hey?

Well, I got up(said some choice words), wiped the blood from my chin and ran the rest of the loop with ease.

I was impressed, not a tear was shed.

I fell. But the importance of that fall was that I got right back up.

I didn’t give up on me👍🏻

The day was fun, long, bonding, and memorable.

I was feeling pretty good about tackling the 7.6 mile red loop, which would begin around 8pm. It was the main reason I came.

I wanted the mental challenge of a long run in the dark woods.

What the hell did I ask for?!!!

This is the part of the trip that I feel God had crafted just for me.

After 45 years of testing….the teacher decided I would finally master the lesson this time.

We had dinner together that night and cheered one another on. I called my son for a pep talk and started “suiting up” for the night run.

I was dolled up in my hat, headlamp,chest lamp, and bandages(from my earlier fall).

Long story short, I felt ready.

Just before I was about to leave, I felt like I needed another headlamp just in case. It’s kinda my thing, to over prepare.

I’m glad I had that lamp with me that night.

As I ventured out onto the trail, I felt ok. I wasn’t afraid, as there were other runners around me. As I continued on, I saw varying headlamps behind me, shuffles of runners around me.

But, as I kept on, it got lonely.

Like really lonely.

I noticed this trail was much more decorated with tree roots and rocks. I found myself hopping over things and walking some areas so I wouldn’t fall again.

And then things got “real”.

About 2 miles in, it seemed as though all the runners must have passed me, because I hadn’t seen anyone in quite awhile.

I don’t know that I have ever been in the middle of the woods in the dark. Like, ever.

It’s not a bucket list item. It’s not romantic. It’s not even exciting.

So, nope. Never had done this before.

You hear things in the night that are haunting. Like the hoot of an owl, or 2 or 3…, the clicking of the acorns dropping off trees, the wind through the leaves, the animals that are living in there as well. The creepy thing is, you can’t see any of what you think it may be!

It’s actually quite spooky.

As I ran, I became a little more aware of the sounds and tried hard not to focus on them, but rather just run and get the hell out of there. I was keeping a good pace, staying focused and such, when I came upon a bed of boulders. Yes, not rocks, but boulders. I’m sticking to that.

In the darkness, they appeared to be very large and never ending.

I wasn’t prepared.

The paths are marked with little reflective arrows here and there. You just know to follow the dirt path and you should be fine.

Now, there were no arrows, and no dirt to be seen.

I walked up on the rocks and started to panic. What the hell?

Which way do I go?

What do I do?

I played my typical helpless record in my head…..but on fast forward this time.

No, Linda. God brought you to it. He will guide you through it.

Now, GO.

I did.

I made it through the first bed and was back on the trail. Whew!

As I ran along now, my muscles were getting tense.

What next?

I don’t like surprises.

My anxiety was in high gear.

Oh man….

Test #2, and here we go.

I had been running along, feeling calmer and yet another unmarked, area of boulders was in front me me. I’m pretty sure I swore.

Wtf?!

Seriously?

To top off my anxiety and fears, the headlamps we had ordered were not good lamps.

I was so glad I had gone with my gut and brought along the 3rd lamp, that I had wrapped around my hand. Relying on it to show me what was below me.

The fog didn’t help much either.

So….I can’t really see where I am going, it’s dark and scary and I still have 4 miles to go?!?!

As I stood on the 2nd set of rocks, panicking in fast forward motion, I spoke out loud to myself that night.

I Ordered myself to STOP.

What’s the hurry? I’ve got nothing to prove.

I don’t know where to go, so I will wait upon these rocks until another runner comes along.

We get so used to hurrying through life.

I tell you.

So used to it.

Trying to be strong.

To keep it together.

Well, I’ll tell you straight. I was not strong at that moment, not keeping it together.

Finally, a young girl came along.

We laughed as I said, “My friends said this would be fun, but it’s more like a scene out of a Freddie Krueger movie”(because it was).

We navigated the rocks together.

As we got to a better part of the trail, we parted and kept on.

As I ran, in fear now, I asked for my Dad to stay with me. The song “Daddy never was the Cadillac kind ” came on.

I sang out loud to calm myself.

I prayed out loud on that run.

I also asked God to show me what I needed to learn.

And then I came upon rock bed #3.

I may have said some choice words again.

I mean, come on,

I was tired.

From the day.

From the heat.

From the mental challenges that were forced upon me.

I just wanted to go home.

So, I did what I felt I needed to do at that moment.

I didn’t care who heard me. I didn’t care who saw me, what they thought, what I looked like or anything at all!!

I stood and cried out loud for my husband. Crying out his name.

I just wanted to go home.

Then, after a short time, I realized that I was wasting my time standing there and crying would not get me any closer to home.

So I ran.

I ran the rest of that fucking trail.

I ran through the noises. The uncertainty. The unrelenting darkness. The fog. The lack of light. The pain in my feet. The ache in my heart.

I ran with my Dads spirit.

I ran because my body let me.

I ran and ran and while I ran, I thanked God….for it ALL.

I made it out….all those awful things that I thought could have happened , didn’t.

He ran with me and lit my way once again.

The way He has my whole life.

He lit the way through the childhood darkness. The chaos, the sadness. He guided me through my divorce many years ago, He showed me how to be a mom, a friend, and a wife.

Who am I to have doubted His Love for me?

There’s another verse in the song,”I See you” that makes my heart so full.

It says, “Even when you cry and even when you’re shy, you mean everything to me”

We mean EVERYTHING to Him.

He may let us stumble on the roots, but He will hold our hand as we get back up to journey on.

As I laid down in the tent that eve, I Quietly cried.

I must remember to have faith.

Faith over fear.

In all things.

And, I will.

I am stronger than I thought…in so many ways.

Those woods placed every fear I could imagine in front of me that day….and I conquered them all!!

I often hold back from things due to my fear of getting hurt, I don’t like the darkness, unknown situations, I don’t like being unprepared, I don’t like being alone.

I realized when I had to rely on God and myself, how empowering that can be.

It seems that in today’s world, we rely on everything, other than those 2 things.

Our self and our God.

We have GPS to tell us the way, technology, we protect our bodies in all sorts of ways from injury, we have choices, options and comforts we don’t even realize…until they are taken away.

I survived my fall, and got back up.

I survived the darkness, and found my inner light.

I survived the unknown, and found my certainty in Him.

And I found a part of myself I didn’t really know was missing.

My belief. In me.

Not sure where that had gone, but I have it once again.

And this time, I won’t let it go ever again.

I got “this”.

Whether it be my job, my family, my goals, or the dark woods some night.

I have all the power I need, next to HIM…and inside of ME.

One of my teammates asked me that next day if I would do this again.

I paused, as I’m not certain I would.

The camaraderie was spectacular, the landscape was great and the experience of it all was so much fun.

But, at the end of the day, I got what I came for.

……And a few other life lessons I didn’t know I needed.

As we pulled into my driveway the next afternoon, I “saw” things differently.

My husband was waiting with a healthy dinner for me. I slipped into my hot shower. Slept in my amazing bed that night.

Life is so good.

But, the next morning is what really got me.

I looked into the mirror and for one of the first times in my life, I was truly, absolutely 100% in love with what I could see.

A strong, resilient, Beautiful overcomer who finally was able to “See” who she really is and what she is truly capable of being.

That made all of the bangs and bruises worth it to me❤️

The next time I face a challenge, I’ll make sure not to cry. I won’t look back. I won’t question my instincts. I won’t deny His presence.

I won’t close my eyes because I am too afraid of what “could” be. I will walk forward with confidence and know that my Faith will never fail me.

And I know, in Him, all things are possible.

Oh, and my 2nd dark run?

Ya, that one was a breeze. 5:30-7am.

I had already gone through the longest run of my life so I enjoyed the 4.6 and was gifted with the sunrise as my Dad, Brother, and Grandma ran along with me.

Now today,

I’m home, well rested and ready to find another adventure…..well, maybe in another year or so😉

So, take those chances and push your limits.

There’s much to learn about ourselves every single day.

Our purpose here is to learn and to be the best version of what He created us to be.

And, always

Remember this….

“The only regrets we have are the chances we didn’t take ”

Blessings my friends.

Much love,

Linda❤️

It’s about time 🎁

I turned 45 yesterday. 🎂

On June 9,1974, at approximately 6:32pm, I walked in…. Linda Kay is in the house!

Haha. 😂

Now think about it….

Wouldn’t it be mind blowing if we could recall being “born”?

I think about that sometimes and it makes my heart flutter.

All the excitement, anticipation… and also, the realization that the clock had started ticking. I wonder if that would possibly change the course of our life and how we lived it?

Guess we’ll never know.

What we do know is that the moment we are born, our time starts to fade.

We never know if it’s by hours, decades or longer.

We just know we have limited time.

It’s all about time.

The older I get, I realize everything seems to be.

I feel like all I ever say, or hear is, “not enough”, “goes too fast”, “look at the” …TIME.

It’s the one thing in this world you can never get back.

So, recently, I started making my days all about Time.

I wake up as early as possible, live out a structured day, stop for the important moments and inhale the unforgettable ones.

Then it doesn’t seem to have as much control over me.

You see, I am controlling my time while I am here.

The best I can, anyway😉

I started sharing my time with a select few and not squandering it on strangers. I started using the time I have to make the biggest impact I can. And cherishing the time I have here with my loved ones.

It’s all about time.

This year of 45, I have decided that my time will become even more strict for me.

And it began yesterday.

My best “uses” of time.

Who I spend it with, what I spend it doing.

I don’t want to regret a minute, as I can’t get a redo.

So, back to yesterday….

I just love my Birthday!!!

Always have.

I mean, just like anyone else, I’ve had some I wish I could forget…and others I will carry with me forever.

There was my 9th, when my brother came home to visit and my parents and he partied the entire time. They basically forgot about my big day.

That was a rough one.

No birthday celebration, no dinner that night, although I did sit alone and watched some tv, cried and tried to enjoy my cake. But, from that, I grew.

And then there’s my 38th or 39th.

I swear I had a nervous breakdown in front of my husband and children and then sped away, driving nowhere…ending up in some small town.

I went into a gas station, bought a pack of cigarettes (I hadn’t smoked in over a decade, and never did again),smoked one and then decided to drive back home.

I realized my life wasn’t “out there”, but where I had driven away from.

I try to go easy on myself for my behavior that day.

You see, I had endured a divorce, started a new relationship, struggled through the recession, a child custody battle, and many other aspects of life …all in less than a years time. I was also trying to smile through tears as I had “left” my parents and siblings lives that year.

That’s a lot to handle.

And I did it all, with a smile on my face. 😉

But, as we all know, a smile can be an amazing magician.

It can miraculously hide pain, struggles, anger and so many stories.

I always say, Behind every smile, many secrets hide.

I know that now, and try extra hard to always be kind.

I am grateful for that birthday disaster.

It was about that time in my life when I could finally see that every experience, moment and piece of life was meant for good for me.

To learn and to grow.

My perspective of birthdays and expectations have also resolved.

I now see it as “my day” and I celebrate Me.

I don’t wait for others to shower me with attention or gifts.

I celebrate for me, because of Me.

All I have overcome.

All I have lived with and through.

All of my iniquities.

My flaws.

My triumphs.

My uniqueness.

After all, this is the day I was gifted with my incredible Life. And I get just this ONE!

And how amazing is that?!

This phenomenal “thing” that we are all born with…..Life❤️

Given freely, for us to make the most of.

We get to choose how we wish to spend it. Happy or sad.

Resentful or blessed.

Angry or grateful.

We actually get to decide!!!!

I understand that now.

I feel like I spent the first 18 years of my life caring for and correcting my parents. And the second 18 trying figuring myself out.

It’s been a ride, friends. It’s been a ride.

However, I wouldn’t change it.

Not a single moment.

For each time I fell, I stood up straighter.

Each time I cried, I became stronger.

And each time I forgave, I felt more peace.

A lot can change in one year.

And in one year, you can make a lot of change.

44 was an amazing year that encompassed all those things.

I grew. I reconnected. I forgave. I endured. I changed.

As I woke up yesterday, thinking about how I should start this year, I decided it should be with a Run.

It just seemed fitting.

It has been one of my biggest obstacles for years.

Running is something I told myself (and the world) that I hated and wasn’t good at for about 30 years.

I think it’s because it takes time. And I am not a patient person😐.

As my husband (and greatest teacher) always reminds me, “It takes a long time to become an overnight success”.

I had to run when it wasn’t convenient. I had to run in the rain, snow and cold 🥶 I had to run when I wanted to rest.

I ran with a smile on my face, I ran while I sang, I ran with tears rolling down my face and in pain.

And I ran with my Dad….❤️

I got out of my own way this past year and ran my first half marathon.

And you know what?

I remembered that I actually Love running!

It’s so freeing and empowering.

It’s really the only time, in my world, that I am able to shut down to focus on the desires and hopes of the true me….the prompts of My soul.

I ran yesterday morning and looked up to the sky.

I felt nothing but absolute gratitude for the ability to run, breathe in the fresh air and to be Me.

I didn’t need anything material or a big party waiting for me.

I ran and smiled with faith and determination to make this next year the Best year of Me💥

Here’s to each of us….balancing, caring for, and choosing to make the best use of our TIME 🎁.

I know I will be…

….balancing, juggling, choosing to be aware and present… AND, Leaping into another year of life with excitement and absolute JOY!

Here’s to #45💪🏻

Much love,

Linda ❤️

The arrow

Ah, yes.

The arrow.

A symbol of strength, choice and direction.

Which way to go?

As I took a lovely walk with my pup this afternoon, I came upon some arrows that had been painted on the sidewalk, along “our” trail… where it all began.

I used to walk this trail with my dog 5 years ago, watching the runners go by… wishing that I could be a runner someday.

I would “try ” running, but it hurt and was hard…so I went back to walking.

I never pushed past the discomfort to see what was on the other side.

Until last fall.

As I glanced at my watch to see it turn up 10 miles this past Friday, my eyes began to leak.

Never did I ever…

I couldn’t hardly wrap my head around a 5 mile run.

And now, I ran 10.

All these small practice runs had allowed me to go BIG!

I’ve been training for a half marathon for about 6 months now.

Not so long ago, a friend and I had this “idea” that we should run a half. She may have known what we were committing to, but I most certainly did not.

An idea has always sounded exciting and great to me until it gets hard.

Then, I usually give up.

I push the “back” arrow and cowardly sneak away, as if I never even began.

I don’t want to fail, so I don’t continue to try.

13.1 miles? How in the hell will I ever do that when I can barely run 5??!!?

I made a promise to myself last year, on one of my runs, actually.

I decided to stop giving up on ME❤️

I found my WHY.

Through my years, I tend to start something and put so much time in it. If I’m not the best or can’t get to it with ease, I walk away.

We have all done it.

We tell our friends about a goal, post it on social media, and then when things get messy, or inconvenient, difficult, overwhelming… I can keep going…. well, when they get hard, we put push the arrow button and give ourselves a way out.

Right?

But, why???

Why would we short change ourselves like this?

By stopping when it gets messy, we miss out on the lessons inside of the journey.

The beautiful ones.

The life changing ones.

The ones that make you better. 🤸‍♂️

I’ll tell you this….

I have learned more about my inner self by running alone, than I have most of my life.

I have awarded myself the time to get to know the real ME.

And self love?

Through these hours of “mental” runs, I have fallen back in love with the soul inside.

I am stronger than I thought.

Greater than I remembered.

And more powerful than I had imagined.

I’d have to calculate how many miles my shoes have put on these past months, but I can tell you that I have ran through YEARS in my mind.

I have learned to take bite size chews.

I have remembered to be “slow and steady”.

And when I hit mile 5 and go “numb”? I finally have felt that feeling of being weightless and free.

I have run imperfectly, I have run messy.

I have run with tears running down my cheeks and with my Dad’s spirit beside me.

And as I look at the arrow ahead, what do I see?

I envision all the demons that held me back falling away BEHIND me.

Now, as I move on toward my next goal, I know I will fail along the way. I will get dirty and tired, sore and messy, but I will be a better, stronger, imperfect ME. ❤️

Keep moving forward.

Even if it’s a little every day, a few extra steps, a few more hours, another piece of forgiveness.

It’s just like the 13.1 miles I will Run next week.

I couldn’t see it in the beginning, but the 2 and 3 miles in the snow, the tears, the shin splints and the time spent trying….those little strides ADD up to something amazing.

And I think that’s SPECTACULAR and makes it worth the climb.

Many forget what it takes to create SUCCESS, they just admire and envy the finished product, or award … it takes more work on the inside than the outer world will ever see 💥

Success happens when you continue push forward although everything in your world is pushing you back.

Here’s wishing all the GOAL DIGGERS out there a little extra energy, spark and drive!

Now which DIRECTION will you decide to go?

F5A393BB-7081-474E-84A1-BB67FB325532

 

Much love,

Linda💙

Freedom💥

So many years have passed since I made that decision.

The decision that saved my life.

That moment that forever changed the history of my life story and perhaps saved me from myself.

I was still carrying the burdens, guilt and pain of a childhood I had no control over, but so desperately wanted to change.

For almost 40 years, I wanted to save them.

My Dad, Mom, and siblings……from themselves.

Do you know what that is like?

I pray you never will.

It’s a suitcase that breaks your back, a way of seeing things that you’d never wish to, and it’s like waking up each day, wishing to time travel and change every moment.

It’s impossible. Truly.

In walking away toward a new, fresh life, almost a decade ago, I can now see clearly.

I can see that it went down exactly as God had planned.

Sometimes we pray and pray for things to happen.

We get impatient, not understanding why He won’t just come through with our requests. But, I’ll tell you what. He comes through in ways we could never draft, nor plan.

After almost a decade of retreating to my bedroom and wailing, in a fetal position, aching for my Mom, my prayers for a relationship with her have been answered….. in more ways than my mind could have ever orchestrated.

I never wanted to lose her, but she was part of the toxic package. I knew she wouldn’t understand. I could only hope to have time with her when the tide had ebbed.

And now, I do.

I learned so much this past week, my head is still spinning.

And yet, I have never felt so free.

Life is so intricate.

So much of what is perceived to be true…well, its only a spec of dust on the whole picture frame.

I felt strong enough to allow her into my world. I was able to ask the hard questions and accept the answers today.

I realize she did what she had to do with what life dealt her.

And I can now see how much she loved us. To go through what she did…I’m not sure I could do the same.

After all the years of not being able to comprehend her decision to stay with my Dad. After not respecting her career choices or how she lived her life.

I can finally appreciate her strength and determination to go on.

And here she is.

Free!!!!!

83 years old and her first birthday dinner out.

83 and quickly searching to reconnect with all those she was kept from.

83 and living each minute to the fullest.

My mother is Free and I am blessed to witness this miracle.

I want to write what I feel and how my lens have been adjusted, but I just don’t think my emotions would be justified in black and white.

It is everything I prayed for, dreaded and wanted.

All wrapped into one.

A true gift 🎁

I prayed to rekindle our relationship when my Dad passed someday.

I didn’t know how it would feel to actually experience someone who wasn’t able to fully live. She is having to cram decades into a few years.

I didn’t know how much I would ache for her and how much I would want to empower her.

This post isn’t just about the beauty I have witnessed, but to open your eyes if you’re dealing with abuse.

Of ANY kind.

There are so many delicate forms.

And they usually start as small “pokes”.

It’s NOT OK if he/she doesn’t want you to have relationships with family or friends.

It’s NOT OK if he/she hits you.

It’s NOT OK if he/she destroys your confidence, in even simple daily choices.

It is NOT OK.

They will not change.

YOU cannot change them.

It WILL happen again.

There is no statute of limitations.

When I asked my mom why she stayed, she said, “for the kids”.

I told her she didn’t do us any favors by putting us through the misery. She replied, “if I could do it all over again…..

But, she can’t.

I don’t blame her.

I truly don’t.

Life has a way of showing us things in hindsight, right?

I said ,”Mom, maybe you saved my life”.

I left my first marriage when I could see control and abuse beginning.

And I knew……I could never be “her”.

I have to wonder if I lived through my Mom’s nightmare in order to avoid my own.

Maybe my childhood has actually allowed me to have the beautiful life I Lead now?

Then in walks total forgiveness.

I don’t have the anger for my Dad I once did.

I believe he suffered a multitude of mental illnesses along with alcoholism to cope with the demons.

Again, we only know what we know.

After all this time, I can only recall the good parts of him.

I run with his favorite songs playing in my ears and Smile.

For that, I am blessed.

I feel like all that I went through and this amazing journey I have been on, well, it is just the beginning.

The Lord has overwhelmed me by revealing to me mere specs of dust in his ultimate plan for my life.

How amazing is He!

To find your purpose is extremely empowering.

To walk towards it and own it?

This is FREEDOM💥

Be strong.

Be brave.

Always take care of you.

And keep your eyes open.

His Grace encircles you every single day.

Much love,

Linda 💜

I will.

I will never forget this message. ❤️

I will Never doubt it, question it, or try to understand what He is doing in my life based on my human mind.

After many years of anger, resentment and yelling, “it’s not fair”, I get it now.

I leave this afternoon to pick up my Mom for a week long visit.

My Mom that I hadn’t spoken to, seen, or held in a decade.

The woman I had to walk away from because of the toxic situation she was in.

The woman I have cried for, deeply missed, and ached for, as she missed milestones in my life.

That’s pretty amazing if you ask me!

And all I can do in the still of this morning is give all the Glory to God.

I have prayed for this day many times.

Not so long ago, my therapist and I decided that it may be best to “distance myself to save myself”.

What that meant was I had to “bury” my past, for good.

That included my parents and siblings as well, in a sense.

I couldn’t go back to see them or communicate with them. I had to disappear in order to move forward with my life.

I will tell you, those were some of my darkest days. To date, that may have been the hardest thing I have ever done in my lifetime.

A friend recently asked me to help him understand what it was like to reconnect with my Mom after all these years. He comes from a good family and has a great relationship with his Mom.

I understand most can’t comprehend going through this.

I have had a hard time putting it into words…..until that day.

Imagine attending your Mother’s funeral, realizing you will never physically see her or be a part of her life anymore. She has “passed” out of your world.

Then one day, you hear her voice and it’s almost as if you had been living in this nightmare and now….you woke up.

There she is, standing in front of you, alive and well.

It is miraculous 💥

It’s like this unimaginable gift that was given to us, just because He loves us so very much.

I didn’t do anything to earn it. I didn’t work harder, be braver. I was just me.

And I realize, this is the Grace of God.

This is what His light, the Holy Spirit, and Faith can do.

He can make the impossible….POSSIBLE 🙏🏻

Countless mornings, for 3 years, I have gotten up at 3:46 am. I wake to darkness and the silence of my home. I wake to sit in my favorite chair and enjoy the stillness of a new day.

I’d sip my coffee and start to pray.

I’d do the typical prayers at first. “Please watch over”, “Bless this day”, “Please heal me”, etc etc etc.

I was still “asking my prayers” away.

Then one morning, it hit me that I just wanted to be surrounded by the peace and love that encircled me.

That was the first morning that I just sat and LISTENED.

So much beauty and clarity comes when you listen for the direction and purpose for your life.

So many times I had it all planned out.

I can finally see that I am not the one directing traffic here.

It’s All God. Not me.

I have continued to Listen, intently.

A child in the early morning hours, learning from her ULTIMATE teacher.

My morning ritual has become a part of me. It has also changed me.

God has entered my heart and after so much resistance, I finally let Him take the lead.

Since that time, so much incredible beauty has come into my life.

Forgiveness. Light. Understanding. Grace. Love.

I know what it is to truly Trust in His ways, as they continue to be far more extraordinary than mine.

I can’t put into words what I am able to “see”.

My Mom and I have continued to talk daily, sometimes for hours.

I don’t want to waste a moment and neither does she.

We lost so much time together.

I’ll be 45 this summer and she will be 83.

Sometime we cry about the past. The pain. How we missed so much.

Then we stop and comfort the other.

We remind ourselves that we can’t change the past. All we have now is the future.

And time.

Time that is so very precious to us.

A decade flew by. My career exploded. My children grew into adults.

And the clock kept ticking.

We only have the present. And that is why each minute is so very precious.

If I seem a little different, distracted or “off”,

If I don’t have time for the things I once did,

If you see me moving with purpose and passion and love….it’s because I am.

I made a promise to myself, some time ago.

My early morning begins with a question and because of my focus, my days end with fulfillment and joy.

“How would you USE me today?”

I am an instrument.

Here for a Purpose.

Bigger than what I can imagine.

So much Bigger than Me.

And my answer each day, no matter how Big, no matter how afraid?

I WILL. 💜💜💜💜

So, this afternoon, I move forward. With purpose, gratitude and strength.

I don’t know how the last chapter will read, I just know I have to follow…. His Lead❤️

Grace.

It has moved another mountain ⛰.

May today be blessed!

Much love,

Linda💜

Sorry I missed your call…I was talking to my MOM💕

Life is so beautiful and full of the unexpected.

One of my favorite sayings is “Every day comes with its own surprises”.

And I’m so grateful. ❤

If you follow my blog, you’ve read the unraveling.

You’ve witnessed just a portion of the inner workings of Faith.

Faith can move mountains.

And true surrender will CHANGE your life.

Let me share….

My early days were not so good. Life was tumultuous (is that even a word?) at best. The chaos, the abuse, the ups and downs of life as a child in an alcoholic home.

As I grew and became an adult, had children of my own, and developed my own world, I realized just how toxic my family really was.

I distanced myself to save myself.

Literally.

I blocked my parents and siblings from my phone, sent back letters, and all together allowed them to disappear from my world.

I know that sounds tragic. And it was. But, I couldn’t take the abuse anymore. 34 years of the madness, the anger, the rage.

It was just too much.

And my soul was exhausted.

For the past decade, I have devoted my time and energy to healing myself.

Through prayer, fitness, lifestyle changes, and only allowing things into my life that serve my highest purpose, I became a stronger, more defined woman.

And after all this time, I have learned to love myself again.

Let me tell you, I have worked SO hard to get to this place. Many minutes, hours, days and years spent “undoing” what was done.

Resisting the shutdowns, fighting the fear, and sloughing off all of the limiting beliefs put upon me.

I thought I was done with the past….. then my Mom wrote me a letter. ❤

My Dad passed away a little over a year ago. He left behind the aftermath of his destructive behaviors. And it seems that only when the debris has cleared, can you truly see the damage that was done.

Have you ever heard the saying “Hurt people just hurt”?

Well, unfortunately, that defines him.

Ironically, in the past year, I feel like I have built a better relationship with him than we had in this world.

I talk to him, sing songs that remind me of us, and even go on runs “with” him.

His spirit and all the good in him lives on.

As I have shared with my children, I don’t remember any of the bad things anymore.

Truly.

Forgiveness, I tell you, wipes away all of the gunk.

Since my Dad’s passing, unexplainable beauty continues to filter into my life.

It’s almost as if he is up in Heaven, mending all of the broken pieces; one by one.

And I am all about helping him. 😉

The first “mend” was last February.

My anxiety and depression brought me to absolute forgiveness for what my Dad had lived with and through. A newfound understanding of part of the reasons of what he did, was, and why he continued to stay where he was at.

My daughter said it best….”the world was too loud for him”.

And that sparked my anxiety discussion group. To empower and equip others dealing with the demon.

Beauty from the destruction. ❤

The next event, being the reconnection with my oldest brother. A visit that was so full of laughter and love. A 19 year hiatus with a new beginning.

A friendship and the amazing feeling of belonging.

And 2 weeks ago, a message of love from my Mom. ❤

After being center stage with the abuser for 64 years, she had her reasons.

Though her and I see life differently, I didn’t walk in her shoes.

I don’t understand why she didn’t leave.

I don’t know what was said to her, what role she played in it, or how it all went down.

I just know that when I was in an emotionally abusive relationship, I walked away.

I will never know why she put her 6 children through it all.

And that is ok. ❤

The past sometimes needs to remain just where it is… in the past.

We can’t change it.

And if we weren’t there to endure it, we don’t really have the full story.

And to judge? That’s pointless.

I read my Mom’s letter that day and decided it was time to move forward.

I wanted to put the past behind me and see why God was bringing her back into my life.

I have missed my Mom more than words can express.

So many times I have laid in a fetal position crying, “I just want my Mom”….true story, my husband can attest.

When I was being a nasty teenager, my Mom would always tell me, “No one can ever replace your Mom”.

And, that proved to be right.

Others may fill the void, but I shared her body for 9 months. You really can’t top that. 😉

So, I prayed on it and decided to make myself a cup of tea ☕️.

I sat with the idea of hearing her voice again, maybe even seeing her, but then I stepped back.

Part of the reason I left so many years ago was because my family caused me so much undeserving pain.

They were so mean and inconsistent.

I wondered if I called her, would she be kind or ??? Who knows what I would get that day.

I reached out to my “board of directors” as I refer to them.

They are the people in my life that continue to “show up”.

Those who have my complete trust…..and, believe me, that is hard to achieve.

My husband, 4 children, my mother in law, and a couple treasured friends.

I sipped my tea, took a deep breath and called my Mom.

I wasn’t sure how I would start the conversation, but God helped me. ❤

I said, “Hi Mom, it’s me, Linda”.

And we both cried tears of joy.

She had missed me just as I had missed her. Needed me just the same. And, something different from what I had gotten years ago…she Thanked me for calling her.

We caught up and only skimmed the surface of the big issues. I suggested we talk of those when we see each other.

We picked back up like 2 long lost friends.

Since that day, we’ve talked almost daily.

It has been this unexpected gift that I get to open.

I call her on my way home from meetings, on my way to the store.

And I couldn’t take my husband’s call Saturday because I was talking to my Mom.

When I called him back, that’s what I said.

“Sorry I couldn’t take your call, I was talking to my Mom”.

The most beautiful sounding words ever. ❤

Let me tell you this….

When we fully surrender for the plans God has for us, He unleashes this unexplainable peace and vibrant love that cannot be dimmed by words.

He allows true forgiveness and love to enter your heart in a way that is not earthly.

And He covers your eyes with LOVE.

That is all you can see.

No more regret, guilt, anger or fear.

Just LOVE.

That’s what we are here for.

That’s what remains when we die.

Spread it, friends and give it freely.

I promise you, it will change you ❤

I’ll end here for today, as I am about to prepare a care package to send to my Mom❤

Let the journey unfold in His perfect time….He’s got you.

This much, I know.


Much love,

Linda 💕

Spread some MAGIC 🎁

I absolutely love this time of year.

There is so much Magic all around.

I’m certain it’s always been there, but I just recently began to see it.

It’s as if God continues to sprinkle glitter from the Heavens and I feel like it keeps falling in front of my face.

In the last few days, I actually had a clear calendar.

That, in itself, has been Magical😉.

What it has allowed me to do is to be still.

To feel.

See.

Reflect.

I’m sure the glitter and sparkles are there the whole year, but everything seems to shimmer more brightly during the Holidays.

Don’t you think?

So, I woke up at 3:07 am today….not sure why. But, as I lie awake, trying to fall asleep, a question came to mind.

Why are we all so happy and willing to give so much love this time of year?

Why isn’t everyone smiling, meeting for coffee, helping a stranger, donating food to a local pantry, hosting parties, or calling a loved one “just because ” throughout the year?

How different the world would be, as well as individual lives, if we went the extra mile each and every day.

Can you imagine the lives we could impact?

Here’s where my thoughts turned…

My Grandma, aka, Groom.

The most influential human in my life, to date. She was my world until she passed when I was 11. The Magic of her life was how well she lived it.

She had a massive stroke when I was 4 and lost her ability to speak. She could make noises, but could no longer communicate through words.

What I learned from spending my childhood with her is how to “do”.

She couldn’t tell my family or I how she felt, or how much she loved us, but we knew.

How?

By her acts of love and kindness.

Whenever I needed a hug, she was there.

She spent time with me, but I mean actual time. She was present. Her attention was completely on me.

She baked and made us delicious meals.

And she always, no matter what her health entailed, showed up.

Through her example, she changed many lives, and continues to impact mine❤.

Then, there’s my husband’s Grandpa Charlie.

I only met him a few times. However, I feel like I’ve known him most of my life.

A simple man, he owned his own business as a plumber. He worked long hours to provide for his wife and children and still managed to “show up” and “do” for others.

When we visited Omaha, some years ago, a gal came over to thank him. He repaired some plumbing for her Grandma, even though she couldn’t pay. That’s one of many acts of kindness Charlie handed out.

I have noticed in the reminiscing of his life, through my husband and mother in law, he was also present.

Family vacations, in a time where that was rare. PTA meetings, and he also devoted his time to being a Shriner.

He used to take my husband to work for the day during the summer and teach him his trade.

Those are some of Brian’s most treasured memories. He learned work ethic, the worth of a handshake, and to always do the right thing.

Most of all, he remembers that he gave him his time and shared his talents. Two beautiful gifts money could never buy.

Another life….well lived. Many ripples came from Charlie’s good deeds.

Groom has been gone from this place for almost 33 years. My children, friends, and husband never met her.

Yet, they know her as well as if she came over for dinner every Sunday. I have so many stories, memories and beauty that I have carried with me all these years.

She made a difference in my life.

Grandpa Charlie left us only a few years ago, but his presence in our world has not changed. We speak about him, smile and laugh at memories made.

If only we could live a life so well.

This Christmas Eve morning, and onward, let’s live a life that leaves Magic behind.

Be present.

Be real.

Love hard.

Freely spread kindness.

Love unconditionally.

Oh, and one last thing……

After you read this today, step outside.

Look up to the Heavens, take a deep breath in.

Smile and remember.

Then, do one thing today to celebrate a loved one who has passed away.

Honor them.

Bake a favorite pie, play their favorite Christmas song, or just be as good as they were when they were here.

Spread some Magic, friends.

It is everywhere 💥

Merry Christmas 🎁

Much love,

Linda 🎄

May the flowers remind us why the rain was so necessary 🦋

It’s 6am, on a snowy Wednesday morning…and I am awake, reflecting on this year.

My breath is calm, I’m enjoying a cup of coffee, preparing to head to yoga soon.

All is well.

But as I look back on 2018, most of it was exhausting…..and I now know why.

This past year did not start how I had planned. My planner stated, in blue ink, that January 1st was “Go Time”.

And instead, I became “paralyzed “.

You see, a lot of Life happened this past year. All while I was “planning” on living the way I had pictured.

1. My Dad, who I had a nonexistent relationship with for over a decade, passed away.

It hit me hard.

To the core.

I couldn’t run fast enough from the memories and the pain of what would never be.

2. My body decided to play tricks on me. Being a 40+ year old woman, you can only imagine.

3. My last child grew up, graduated high school, and left home. I was left empty handed, without an ” identity ” of the mother I had been for 24 years.

4. I had a career change.

Humbling, new, and scary.

5……And, most importantly, I lost the life I had so diligently scripted. And, in the “loss”, found who I am meant to be.

I didn’t realize until a few months ago, that the hardships I faced early this year were actually shaping me into the woman I had been praying for.

A healer, a coach, a better wife, friend and mother.

A strong, unshakable human with a laser focused purpose.

I kept getting up and praying each morning.

I’d ask God to “direct my path”, “show me your ways”, and “please help me”.

I couldn’t figure out why he wouldn’t answer my prayers.

All the while, he was handing the answers to me.

I was so frustrated as I watched countless people find their joy. Their blessings were being handed out like candy at a parade.

And all I could think of is “when is it my turn?”

All the while, God was blessing me too.

Just in a different way than I had imagined.

You see, life is all about perspective.

I get that now.

He was putting me through the trials I needed to endure to prepare me for my specific, beautiful journey.

Not hers… or his…. or theirs……

MINE 🦋.

And I can finally appreciate that.

And now……

I am done sulking about what could have been or how it should have gone down in my mind.

I am an instrument in this worldly band. I need to play loud, be bright and learn to appreciate my own sound.

And, I am. 🦋

I was recently talking to my husband about this past year. We were driving home from a trip and I broke down crying.

I said,” I suffered so much loss this past year”.

I lost my Dad, my daughter, my old job, etc, etc, blah,blah, blahhhhhh😩

He put it into a different perspective.

Look at what you actually “found”.

And, you know what?

He was right.

1. I found my Anxiety Discussion group through the loss of my Dad. In dealing with my own severe bout of debilitating anxiety, I felt a compassion for my Father and the pain he lived with every day. My brother, who I lost to suicide, must have felt it too. I decided I didn’t want anyone else in the world to feel alone in their journey through anxiety. And so “Renovation Station” was born. I “found” beauty in the pain.

2. Through the struggles of my body, I learned about gratitude. We often forget how good we feel when we are healthy. I know I certainly take it for granted. You don’t realize how blessed you are until you can’t do the things you once could. Can’t “be” who you once were because of limitations. I “found” a blessing in the struggle. I no longer complain about “doing” things, working out, being busy, etc….I am blessed beyond measure because I AM ABLE to do these things, while others are not as fortunate. In the midst of the lesson, I decided to start running.

Why????

Because I CAN 🦋

3. And then I became an empty nester…. and then my son broke his leg.

Odd statement….but, it was the best thing that could have happened to me.

Selfish, maybe, but it also changed him in many ways as well.

I was NEEDED again and He was forced to be still.

I was able to take care of him, get to know him all over again, and be a MOM again.

I believe he learned gratitude, strength, patience and compassion in the midst of his struggle.

The blessing in the setback is that I “found” that I will never lose my identity as a Mother…the job description just changes.

4. My husband and I transitioned to a new company this summer. That was a bigger change than I could have imagined. After being what I considered an “expert” in my field, for many years, I realized I didn’t know everything 😉

I was humbled. What I “found” in the change was my love for lifelong learning. And so I began….asking questions, jumping in with both feet, and embracing new ideas and information.

I KNOW the coming year will be one of my most successful, as my mind is open and the possibilities are endless.

Through the last few months, I continue to have “ah ha”‘moments.

Literally stopping in my tracks and thanking God.

Like, “oh, ok… I get it now.” “That’s why it didn’t work out”. And, “that’s why you changed directions on me”, so on and so forth.

I get it now.

And I plan to Run with it…..

God had a different chapter written for me in 2018. I spent most of it angry, feeling ripped off and bitter.

I remember the day I took back my Power.

And I won’t give it away… ever again.

My faith and trust in God is my Power.

After 44 years, I now TRULY believe that HE has a much more vibrant, extraordinary purpose for me than my human mind could ever imagine.

So, for 2019, I’m going with that❤

Follow by Faith, not by sight.

And as you begin your New Year, may you be reminded WHY the Rain was so necessary.

It is only to Help You GROW🦋

Blessings and much love,

Linda ❤