To Have the COURAGE to DREAM, INSPIRE And Live In HARMONY

I am an only child and yet I have never felt lonely.  In fact I cherish peace!  Chaos, a lot of noise and “chatter” I find way to much at times.  I think that mostly comes from being an only child.  I had to amuse myself a LOT.  I am quite happy, for example now, sitting on my porch, listening to the rain, and writing.

I really never thought of myself as a writer.  This was NOT something I really ever dreamed of doing.  Frankly I had to do a considerable amount in college and it never thrilled me.  I put it off until the very last-minute.  I actually told myself that I worked better under pressure.  Not certain WHY I told myself that, who was I kidding?!!!!

About eight years ago I had an encounter with a young Marine who had some serious PTSD.  That story, in entirety, is for another post, but that night I was set on a course.  I so wanted to help that young man and his family.  He was a brand new father and had so much going for him!  He was what led me to get my under graduate degree in psychology.

I am not certain what has happened to him in the years since.  I know that I was able to get him the help he needed, by the grace of God.  I saw him and his family a couple of years after that & they were doing great so that was all the confirmation I needed.

I loved being in my psychology courses but really had no idea what I was going to do with the degree.  At that point in time I just knew I wanted to get that specific degree.  I figured it would get me a better job or a job where it would be helpful at some point.

It occurred to me about three years ago that I might be able to make something out of my psychology degree and my comfort with being alone with myself.  I started a blog back then.  It was a failure.

The timing was not right for so very many reasons.

The idea never really left me though.  It actually started to take on shape.  There were things about my life that started to occur to me.

Though I have never served in the military myself I had been around it my entire life. Still am in many ways.   That was how I knew where to at least start to get that young man some help the very next day.

The reason that I was not in the military was because I am missing my left hand.  It is NOT a handicap to me.  It has never stopped me from doing anything I set my mind to hard enough. (Ok yes, the military told me no, but that was NOT because of lack of effort on my part)

An idea started to take shape in my head.  I like people. I really like helping people.  I encourage people most days in my day job.  I know a little about the military.  I know about missing an appendage.  Maybe I could put all that together and see what came out of it?

Coaching, and personal coaching, is very general.  FAR to general and even I knew that.  I had to find a “niche” with what I knew.  So here is my brain child born out of that.

I have not completely fine tuned this all yet.  It is still far to broad and chaotic.  I want to bring it all together to a place I can be, if not completely thrilled, than at least satisfied with my work.

I believe that God is working in and through me to refine this process.  He is leading me to books to read, people to speak with, and putting me in situations I do not like for a reason.  He is giving me encouragement and validation in my dream, that I am at least on the correct track.

My end goal is to coaching wounded veterans.  NOT to replace any of the professional people they work with for mental health or for physical therapy.  I want to fill the void if you will.

I want to show and encourage them that they are not their missing or damaged parts.  The parts that count are their brains, their heart and soul.  These are the things that make us who we authentically are.  I want to show them that just because they are missing appendages that they are no less a man or woman, mom, dad, wife or husband.  They have people who deeply love them!

I don’t presume to know the horrors that they went through.  I have heard enough stories to know a small bit and I can certainly hold their hands and encourage them that they will get through but that is all that I can do in that arena.

So this is how I have taken the steps on my journey to put together a degree I never knew why I got, a thought of writing I never thought I’d get the hang of, a handicap that isn’t one and loving my own company and lack of chaos in life.

Until next time.

Peace and blessings,

Ann

Hey, if you like any of my material, please leave a comment.  If you don’t leave a comment.  Both can be useful to me!

 

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God Answered, I Am Listening

pexels-photo-257360
“Be the change you wish to see in the world” Mahatma Gandi

I had a coffee meeting with someone today and on the way to the meeting I noticed the beautiful green of spring time in the grass and trees.  It was set against a backdrop of gray skies and I wished that I could stop and take a picture.  The road and traffic would not allow that so this was the second best option I could find.

What I thought on that drive was how beautiful it was out and that God had created all that beauty for us to enjoy.

About a week ago I prayed that God would send me a sign that was supposed to do a specific thing.  I needed a sign that what I was feeling in myself was from Him and not satan trying to have his input.

The next day on my drive to work I had Levi Lusko on my radio as I do most mornings.  If you have not heard of him, check out sermons by Levi Lusko.  I think he is pretty amazing.  He is a little edgy as pastors go I suppose but I believe his main focus is reaching young adults and those of college age.

Non the less the sermon is “crooked sticks and straight lines”.  You can check it out on-line.  But what struck me were a couple of things in the sermon.  One was about people’s opinions and what they say to you about your dreams.  They can be wrong.  Another was “fulfilling a calling and opposition go hand in hand”.

Ok now I could have taken that as my sign, and I did, but then they kept coming!  At a Toastmaster meeting this week I heard something else that pointed me to thinking that God was talking to me.  That was not just one thing but several rolled together which addressed a current situation I am facing.  Finally I had today’s coffee meeting and that person said that what I was going through had its purpose for me and that it is in my path for a reason.

OK!  Things come in three’s I have always heard.  I have had a lot of validation lately that I need to follow my dream and my calling.

God sent me my answer.  Now I am listening and going forward with action.

There are going to be a lot of missteps and mistakes along the way.  I am prepared for them, sort of.  By that I mean, I have faith in God to walk through all this with me since He is the one who planted this dream inside of me.  He is going to show me how to go forward and make this all work for His glory.

My daughter and I were talking last week and the “faith as small as a mustard seed you can move mountains” came up.  I admit that one always baffled me, until recently.  I am guessing that I had to be open to the understanding.  I can move any mountain in my way to following this dream as long as I have the faith.  They are not going to be actual mountains of rock but they may feel like it at times.  My faith will get me through.

For anyone reading this piece you may wonder how it applies to anyone else.   You yourself?  Well it is simple.

This is my journey that I am taking people on with me.  I pray that if you are going through something, whatever it may be, that I give you a little hope and encouragement.  Sharing my ups, downs, twists and turns, may help you not feel so alone.

We all have “stuff” let’s face it.  If we are out of diapers and past the age of 5 we probably have stuff. (I say that because kids today have more stuff than they should on them at a very young age)  It may be small, large or HUGE.  It won’t always be easy to get through it, but if you have faith in God, it will all be for His good if we allow the process and hold tightly to Him.

Look around you.  Is there something small that you can see right now that brings you joy?  I see my dog laying beside me.  I am very thankful for her and blessed that she is with me because she almost died as a puppy.

Don’t let the small stuff that isn’t important eat up the small stuff that it.  Listen and be ready to hear God as He speaks in your life.

Until next time.

Peace and blessings,

Ann

A Unique View

sacred-heart-basilica-of-the-sacred-heart-paris-56835What does a cathedral say to you?  To me it speaks not only of faith and perseverance but also about hope.  Hope is something that we all have to have and lately I have been struggling with my hope and faith.

It is interesting to me that when things are going really well, faith and hope are easy.  When things get tough, for whatever reason, I waiver.  I am focusing on this and making a conscious effort to stay focused on my faith and know that all will work our for the greater good.

I had a really crummy relationship a lot of years ago.  I had first hand experience for a very long time with someone who was verbally and emotionally cruel.  That was not a great time in my life and I have done a lot of work to try to rebuild myself.  But you know what?  It is easy to be strong when all is going good!  Just like faith and hope!

When someone in my environment starts the patterns that I know so very well (they are deeply engrained in & on my soul) my strength starts to desert me.  All the wonderful tools in my tool box seem to be missing.  At the time when I need them the most, just like hope and faith, I feel like I have zero at my disposal.

Then, something happens.  A thought pops into my mind and I go to my happy place.  For me that is France.  I go and look at pictures and find a couple of the beautiful cathedrals over there.  It reminds me not only of the beauty of their architecture, but they have stood the test of time for hundreds of years.  They have comforted countless souls during that time, with problems far deeper than mine.  They have brought comfort during wars and the horrible things that happen during those times.

It dawned on me as I looked at the picture above and a couple of others that I need to continue to have hope and faith.  Without these two things a lot of ugly can show its face in the world.  That is something that I do not like.  I don’t like disorder or chaos either.  What I do know is that with faith and hope my life has order and little chaos.  There is still ugly but it is put in a softer light so I can see good in most things.

If you also struggle with faith and hope, go to your happy place.  You may find a cathedral in the most unusual places.

Peace and blessings,

Ann

 

 

Power

pexels-photo-414320 (1)Picture couresy of Pexel

The ocean speaks to me.  The power that it shows, that it is home to many creatures, that it provides food and beauty of humans.  It protects life and it can take life.

There are so many forms of power in this world.  Political is one that comes to most peoples minds.  Corporate is another.  Neither of these do as much as the ocean.  Oh I suppose someone could make a case that they protect lives and maybe provide food, but in reality they don’t.   Because,  the food comes from the earth and if they were protecting lives would there be so many senseless deaths?

Power also lies within each of us.  Just as I said that we have to option to choose and make choices, we all have the ability to reach a power within ourselves.

Maybe it is our God given gifts.  Maybe actually listening and hearing God and following what he wants us to do should be considered power.  I think that it should.

Our words have power.  Tremendous power!  They have the ability to nuture, lift up, encourage and heal.  They also have the power to destroy.  A parent can destroy a child, a boss an employee.  All by the words they choose to use.

Words, each one that escapes our mouth, should be carefully chosen.  I speak from experience on how words can destroy.  I have had some ugly words thrown at me from people who I trusted.  The words that they spoke were harsh and painful.  They can be forgiven but never taken back or forgotten.

I remember hearing a story one time of a gal who was given a review at work.  After the boss had completed the review this person looked up and calmly asked “is there anything positive that I do?”  WOW!  Now maybe this gal was not good at the job she had and it was not a good fit.  Hey that happens.  But……… there is always a kind way to speak to people even when giving news that is not so great.

In coaching this happens a lot.  I have coached at my job in the past and let me tell you I have had people who were not cut out for the job.  Not because it is difficult but because it was not a good fit for them and their talents.  No one is at fault.  I had to be kind and try different ways of presenting the information to see if it would “click”.  Sometimes it did and other times it did not.

I know in the military that a person has the ability to cross-train to another field if they want.  Many civilian companies offer this option as well.  I know of one that actually tells employees from the beginning that simply because they were hired for one job position that it might not be the one they stay in for their career.  The company will move employees around until they find what the employee is truly good at doing with their special talents and skills.

In the case of the gal who recieved the less than complimentary review above, the supervisor and the company could have present options, recognizing that this gal had talents, just not the ones that clicked with the position she was assigned.  They could have praised the talents she did have and thought of ways to encorporate those into the job she did have, maybe showing her a different way and view of how to do her job.

The power of our words is mighty, as is the ocean.  There are times when we should be silent and still before uttering a word.  Thinking to ourselves “what impact will my words have once they have left my mouth”.  If more people did this, I wonder what our society would look and feel like?

Until next time.

Peace and blessings,

Ann

 

 

Doubt

Yesterday was one of those days where I seriously wanted to throw in the towel and crawl in a hole over a lot of things.  We all have them at one point or another.  However, yesterday morning a friend of mine had sent me a private message that encouraged me throughout the day.

I really don’t care what situation it is, if there is a human being out there that does not have a day that is off in some way, maybe you drop everything, maybe the kiddo’s are all in a “mood” at the same time and the dog decides to run thru the mud & then thru the house! Heck,  maybe the car won’t start, maybe the pain you have daily is far worse.  WHATEVER it is we all have those days.  Some people more so, as they may have constant physical pain, depression, anger, we are human beings.  What sets us apart as humans is that we also have choice.

Now before you say, “well no, I have arthritis or depression which I have NO choice over” let me explain.  As humans we are spiritual and having that spirituality allows us to choose to have a power greater than ourselves.  I choose to believe in Jesus Christ and that He is in control if I allow Him to be.  Yes, I do have to allow Him the control because God gave man free will!

I suppose what I want, or am attempting to say, is that we may not be able to change all of our physical ailments, or psychological ones,  or situations, but we can choose to focus on things above and outside of ourselves.

I believe that helping others in the way which WE individually are meant to, can get us out of ourselves which can, and often does, make us feel much better.  My friend has a part-time job she really enjoys.  If it brings her joy and peace that is God guiding her in a direction that is positive.

Her words made me get up off my backside and start writing again.  Yes, I am in pain, but I found out that I helped her thru these posts because we don’t live near each other.  If I am helping her, maybe, just maybe, I am helping someone else that I don’t know about.  And that is me getting out of myself.

I enjoy giving people encouraging words because I believe that if people hear positive they tend to think positive.  Now I am going to share a little something.  There are people out there who think I am negative.  I know, they have told me.  Ok that is their opinion and I am fine with that.  BECAUSE what others, with that opinion, think of me, is not mine to worry about.  There have been times when there is so much negative around me that my mood turns a bit gray and I feel really beat down.  That may be considered negative.

Now I am not saying that I don’t believe in discipline, rules, etc.  I, pardon my French, am not pooping unicorns and rainbows!  Nope!  I think there is a difference between being fake and sugary in contrast to being positive even in tough situations.

This post really should have been title “Musings” but I though Doubt worked.  If I have helped please let me know in the comments.  You can leave a “thumbs up” or a note.

Until next time,

Peace and blessings,

Ann

Absent

Hello all,

I am so very sorry that I have been absent here for a bit.  As I mentioned in my last post I have been having a LOT of pain in my only hand. I have been to the doctor, he gave me a shot and I am waiting for it to take full effect.

Due to that I had been off here trying to give my hand a bit of a rest, as I use it all day at work.  The doctor did give me some ideas for exercise to help strengthen the muscles as “just because I USE my hand all day I am not EXERCISING it :-)”

Through this all one thing I want to say is that it is alright to take time for yourself if you need to recharge.  I have said for a long time that if you don’t take care of yourself then you are zero good to anyone else.  That my dears is a lesson hard learned.

I am a mom who had two small children at one time.  At that time I was also a military spouse who was often a “single parent” due to his job.  I know what it means to burn the candle at both ends! I didn’t learn the lesson back then or for many years later.

In fact it was after my own mother passed after a long journey with Alzheimer’s that I learned the lesson of taking care of myself.  Because I had not taken care of ME for so many years I hit a very hard brick wall after my mom passed and it took me months to recover!!!

Let me say that I don’t feel that I owe an explanation, nor should anyone else, when they are taking time for themselves.  I WANT to talk about it because I am really passionate about reaching others and letting people know that they are not alone in whatever they are going through in this journey called life.

Society has come to a point that everyone feels they must be “ON” all the time.  That quiet time, even 15 minutes, is too much and that we don’t deserve it.  I can tell you first hand if you don’t have some quiet time, there is a brick wall out there waiting for you to face plant on it!  Maybe not today, tomorrow, this year or next, but if you don’t take time to care for you…..you will find that wall one day.  And friends, it is not a pretty place to be.

I am truly loving writing this blog and friends and family are giving me feed back that they find it interesting and helpful.  Given that information, which I find to me an encouragement to my heart and soul I will continue to write my musings and hope that they touch a life or lives out there in a positive and uplifting manner!

Until next time,

Peace and blessings,

Ann

A Journey

Mostly I have discussed on here ways for people to look at things differently and to have faith.  Today I wish to digress a bit.

I mentioned in another post that I was born missing my left hand.  To me, for the most part, this has never been an issue.  I have lived with it my entire life and learned to deal with almost all situations.  There are very few things I have not found a way to do.  For the longest time I didn’t think that I could start an IV but out of necessity, and a very sick puppy, I have found that I could even do that if the need arose.

I find myself now on a journey that has me a tad off balance.  For the past three weeks or so my right hand, my only “good one” has been giving me a good bit of pain.  I don’t like to admit this weakness, to myself least of all.  But I have to be practical and take myself to the doctor and see what is going on.

At present my full-time, paying job requires that I use my hand(s) a considerable amount and up until this point I have done extremely well keeping up.  I type, file, make phone calls and a variety of other tasks.

Some of the things which have recently become a pain in the backside are writing and shaking hands.  Now you may be thinking, “ummm ok” but seriously these are part of my duties.

So this is a new journey for me.  Finding that I have weaknesses that I am not used to as well as facing the fact that part of me is wearing out (OK I am NOT 20 something anymore) ah well.

I want to share this journey with you so that I maybe can show others that just because something is not going well or that things must change, that we have to stop.  I am not certain where this journey will lead me.  God knows & I can but follow.  He will show me in good time, His time!

I don’t know what it is like to LOOSE an arm or a leg.  I can only imagine.  But what I do know is that I have overcome the first obstacle and I will over come this one as well.

We must all set our minds, from my view, to what God has planned for our lives.  He has a plan for me, that I have faith.  I have to simply keep that faith, a positive attitude, be honest with my doctor, listen to his advice & pray.  Most of all pray.

I will talk more on this as my journey progresses.

Blessings and Peace,

Ann

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