Wednesday, June 10, 2009

HDG: Attitude of Joy

This was a topic suggestion for Monday’s alphabet-sponsored post:

"attitude" I would like to talk to you about how you keep such a good attitude. Is it something you just are or do you work at being positive? And how do you achieve it each day, moment, etc. And do you ever find yourself in the dark place of a bad attitude?

…so, I thought I’d make it into a Hump Day Giveaway post!

hump day

I love the movie Out of Africa. The woman Meryl Streep portrays is Karen Blixen, who wrote under the penname Isak Dinesen. This is one of her observations about life in Africa in the early 1900s:

"Difficult times have helped me to understand better than before how infinitely rich and beautiful life is in every way, and that so many things that one goes worrying about are of no importance whatsoever.”
– Isak Dinesen

I couldn’t agree with her more.

That’s not to say it’s always simple to be happy and have a good attitude. Not all of life can be looked at through rose-colored glasses. I will admit I have a natural tendency toward that, which is great. But with the way my life has played out there came a point in time when I made a conscious decision that I wanted to choose happy. I wanted to choose gratitude. I wanted to choose joy. I wanted to spread that around as much as I could.

I sometimes feel like lamenting. I usually choose to move on instead. That isn’t always easy, but it has become second nature over time because life left me with little other choice. And like the quote says, difficult times allowed me to realize that worrying about what can’t be changed is really so very unimportant. In that difficult stuff, the stuff where abilities and things are stripped away, I’ve come to see how much of that I never really needed to begin with. I miss it, I loved it, but it was just window dressing on my life. And now when I get small glimpses of those moments, they are treasured and not taken for granted.

Last Thursday, my parents came down to take me to an appointment with my doctor, Annie. I’ve been having a hard time with my lungs, and while I used to just have problems reacting to the air when I went outside or opened a window, I have now started having reactions to the air on people when they come into my home. After a couple of instances in a row, I couldn’t get my breathing back to normal and needed a chance to talk with her about my best plan of action.

Of course, going to the doctor meant going outside. I knew this was not going to be a good thing for me. I was preparing myself for a rotten couple of weeks, reacting to the air, having to go on steroids, breathing treatments that make me feel awful, burning eyes, ears, throat. This wasn’t going to be fun.

But I was going to go outside. I was going to feel the fresh air and soak in the rays of sunshine that have alluded me for so long. I knew it was going to be awful for my body, but I also knew those fleeting moments could be great for my soul if I just took the time to savor them. Thursday was a gorgeous day here in Iowa. The temps were in the 70s, the sun was shining, a fresh breeze was blowing. I looked out that window all morning, telling myself that this would be worth it. It would be a hard few weeks, but this was my one chance to be outside and it was a perfect day.

As Dad walked with me out the door of my building to the waiting car, the sun went under the clouds.

Humph.

I laughed, said isn’t that just my luck, and declared that the sun better shine when we got to where we were going. We drove to the lab where I would need to have blood work done, the sun shining on the way. Dad pulled up to the door and the sun hid behind the clouds again… playing its game of hide and seek. As we walked into the building, a woman with her four little girls were walking ahead of us… the girls had an abundance of braids in their hair with at least 30 brightly-colored clips each. The mom excused herself as they were blocking our way and I commented on how lovely their hair looked.

She began to tell me, in the short walk down the hall to the lab, how much she loved doing their hair. She had been in prison and her oldest daughter had to learn how to tend to the little ones, but she was glad to be doing it herself again. They were on their way to the surgical center where her baby was in surgery and we wished each other luck. Mom looked at me as we parted ways with the family to go into the lab and said, “I didn’t know it was possible to learn a whole life story in 15 steps.” I didn’t either, but it was so nice to be out… to engage.

Leaving the lab and showing up at my doctor’s office was the same story… I couldn’t catch the sun if my life depended on it. I was trying to enjoy it out the car window, as I was enjoying the trees and the grass and roads I used to drive down everyday. And even though I was a little concerned that my glaring white skin would sparkle in the sun like the vampires in Twilight, I wanted to feel the sun on my face more than anything else that day.

By the time I got in to see Annie, I wasn’t doing well. My voice was going, my breathing was bad, my pain was increasing by the minute. It had been awhile since I had seen her [I’ve been going mostly to my rheumatologist now] and she hadn’t realized how much my life had changed in the last year. We talked through my prognosis, my medications, my options of what I could take to help with my lungs and the accompanying symptoms. We talked about some heavy topics and laughed about dumb jokes. She hugged me three times and we both knew, after 15 years of treating me, I wouldn’t be coming in to see her again. She would make my medical decisions, but it would be through home nursing now so I won’t have to make an extra trip out of my house again.

As Mom and I walked into the parking lot and dad pulled up with the car, I stood outside the door and decided I wasn’t getting in until the sun peeked out from behind the clouds. Mom and I talked about the perfect temperature and refreshing breeze. We talked for a moment about the things we discussed in Annie’s office, and I told her that no matter how life progresses for me from this point out, it was ok. I was good with it, that God and I are good about it.

Then the sun came out.

And Mom said she thought God was good with me, too.

So, the honest day-to-day stuff you were asking about: my body isn’t doing very well. I'm in pain. I’m not breathing well, my eyes and ears and throat burn. The steroids and breathing treatments bring their own host of issues that leave me feeling unwell. I’m very tired.

But all I can think about is that woman and our brief chat as we walked down the hall. I’m hoping whatever got her into prison is something that is behind her in life, and that those braids in her daughters’ hair will keep her wanting to be home with them. I love that I had a chance encounter with a stranger and engaged in real life for a moment.

I can’t stop thinking about how blessed I am that Annie has taken care of me all these years, treated me with respect and love and will continue to have my best interest at heart, even from a distance.

I can close my eyes and feel the breeze, feel the sun on my face and see the bright orange color that rests on the inside of my eyelids when they are closed and facing the sunshine. I can smile remembering that, for a few fleeting minutes, Mom, Dad and I sat in those patio chairs I’ve been longing to relax in and ate McDonald’s french fries just because we could… the damage was done and we were determined to take our moments.

I have a lot of things that aren’t going right because I left the house on Thursday. Those things will take awhile to leave my system. But I choose the joy. I choose the conversation, the relationships, the breeze and the sunshine.

And especially the french fries. :)

I choose the joy. When something is going badly and I’m dwelling on it, I think instead of something for which I am grateful. I swear to you, it’s as simple as that. You just have to decide today, and again tomorrow. And before you know it, you’ll have an attitude of joy more than any other attitude you have at your disposal.

_MG_7565

To win today’s canvas, simply leave a comment before midnight CST and I’ll announce the winner tomorrow! [Only one comment per person, please.]

69 comments:

  1. Christina J. WerdebaughJune 10, 2009 at 12:26 AM

    Sara, thanks for sharing. I'm so sorry for your suffering, but so glad that you got to enjoy some french fries :) I SO relate to everything you write . . . it reduces me to tears. While I am not in the permanent "can't go into the air" phase that you are, I do suffer each and every time I leave my house too. Just walking the distance from the car to the ball field takes it out of me the whole next day. Standing in line at the grocery store makes my legs swell and my nerve pain so excruciating that I can't stand and have to wear air casts for two days (lots of other issues with this too-can't carry groceries, just being in public and handling things others have I get sick . . . yada yada yada). A weekend of "enjoying" my family means that I am on bed rest for a whole week (at least, often longer). And forget eating out . . . I am sick for days just sticking to salad and some sort of soup. I miss FRENCH FRIES and MEXICAN and CHINESE . . . I miss MARGARITAS and hanging out listening to the band play at the local pub during happy hour. I miss my life as it was and mourned the loss of "me", and sometimes still feel that twinge . . . but I also choose joy everyday and continue to be thankful for what I do have. Sorry - didn't mean to write so much about me - I'll stop there. I just wanted you to know how much I appreciate you and pray for you each day. You truly are a miracle.
    Blessings,
    Christina W.

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  2. With tears, I will keep praying for you and thanking the Lord for the ray of sunshine you are to me!

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  3. I'm not often lost for words, but ... to describe this as merely inspirational would be doing it a disservice.

    Oh, and PICK ME randomnumbergeneratorthiny :-D

    Recent blog post: Living a Christian Lifestyle in the Workplace

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  4. Wow. Your insight and determination in attitudinal joy (I know it's not a real word) is not just inspirational, it's a kick in the pants for me. You are so right when you say that we have that choice. While I am not happy that you are feeling the negative effects of the land outside, I rejoice with you in the feel of the sun - and the fries! I hope those joyful moments carry you through the yuck. Your Joy is contagious! Keep riding that Joy-wave! (yeah, that's really corny, but it's what a far-away friend used to say who always challenged me to choose Joy, too!)

    Recent blog post: Monday's Molar Message

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  5. Wow! Thank you for you positive attitude and joy that you share. It's truly a bright spot when I read your blogs.

    S.

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  6. Robin~All Things Heart and HomeJune 10, 2009 at 6:08 AM

    Oh my...this post.
    The complications of your illness...the simplistic interaction with the mom...and your gentle but pointed reminder that even in a complicated, frustrating, painful situation, choosing joy is a simple choice away.
    If most anyone else said this it wouldn't mean so much to me.
    But coming from you...well, I hold this as a precious, valuable key to living my life.
    love you so...and pray for you all the time my friend...Robin


    Recent blog post: My Blogiversary! 1 Year!!!!

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  7. How to type a comment worthy of such an exquisite post...You are so far ahead of most people--of me for sure. Miles ahead of me. You've landed on the lush and SUNNY island of contentment. Once you arrive, I'd imagine it's far too beautiful to venture off for very long. You've discovered how to "count it all joy." And you are coaxing so many to a new life.

    Love,
    Julie

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  8. With some of the things we face, nowadays, JOY is the best way to prepare yourself! And when I was younger, I learned that you put Jesus first, Others second, and Yourself last. The first letter of each spells JOY! With this awesome canvase next to my front door, what a great reminder to start out every single day!!!!!

    Recent blog post: MPM 6-7-6-13

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  9. thank you for this post. you ARE a ray of sunshine and such an enouragement to me :)

    Recent blog post: I am owed a clean house.

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  10. Sara, your strength never ceases to amaze me. This post was such a blessing today - thank you!

    Recent blog post: Love from LuckyPuppy at the Bridge

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  11. there are many ways to consider this... I, for one, say a rousing and mixed OUCH and PRAISE GOD! because I have seen how my hardest moments have also contained the richest, fertile blessings. being tilled is painful and very uncomfortable, but seeing as how the Lord is the Farmer of our souls, you know that His ways are not our ways. I have seen Him use tremendously difficult moments in my life, say a move to another country and living with in-laws for a time, and the loss of a baby, to grow me in faith, hope, joy, and strength, and it has helped me to be more sensitive to others. It is not appreciated so much in the moment, but... looking back in hindsight, i know that my Redeemer Lives, I know He is faithful, I know that I have seen His hand moving in my life, even when I did not understand. Jesus is always faithful, and NEVER UNJUST. wow, huh? That puts putting our complete trust in God, surrendering to Him, in a new perspective. I have often thought of Paul's words, and remember that he also suffered much, "being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ." (Philippians 1:6)

    "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." (Philippians 4:13

    And finally,

    "...for I have learned in whatever state I am in, to be content..." (Philippians 4:11)

    It is not in our own strength, our own joy, our own love, our own anything that we can go on strong, courageous, full of hope, peace, joy... it is only because of Jesus!!!

    Continue to trust in, cling to, rely on, and believe in Jesus. God has a wonderful plan for you. He is using you to encourage others, to remind them of what REALLY matters in this life. They listen to you as they do not normally listen to anyone else. That is a gift, and the Lord is using it for His glory.

    I am sorry for your discomfort and pain. I rejoice that when we are weak, we can always remember that our God is strong.

    I pray Ephesians 3:14-21 for you... Blessings in Jesus' name!

    celita
    http://daysease.blogspot.com/



    Recent blog post: June 5, 2009 A Birthday Cut for 3 Year Old Joe...

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  12. Beautiful as always. I'll be praying that you recover from your trip soon, but I'm so glad that you had the chance to be outside.

    Recent blog post: Grace

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  13. I cannot even come close to expressing in words how much this post, and your daily bloggings have affected me. Thank you for the inspirational messages you give to us. God is definitely good with you. I'll be tugging on His ear to remind Him. Blessings, SusanD

    Recent blog post: New Look, Award, Project 365, 30x5

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  14. Those 2 words say a lot. Our lives are what we choose. Choosing Joy is an awesome thing. Hope you do better and continually praying for you.

    Love the blog.

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  15. Thank you for sharing (today and always!). Choosing joy today...

    Recent blog post: Just thinking

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  16. Nolan is sitting here waiting for his turn for the computer. I'm explaining to him why I have tears in my eyes. After he has asked a zillion questions he says two things. "I'm glad she has Riley, cause dogs are love. And at least she can still blog. Mom, I know YOU love to blog, I bet Sara does too."

    I think my nine year old just understood "choosing joy." Its taken him two sentences. Its taken me 20 minutes. I am still grieving, but am smiling inside with the image of you outside eating french fries.

    Blessings sweetie! Much love to you!

    Recent blog post: Canadian style.

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  17. So very thankful that you were able to enjoy the sun and choose joy. Praying for you to get back to your "normal". Thank you so much for your encouraging words. :)

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  18. Many hugs to you and Riley.
    xoxo

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  19. I love your attitude! I have always said being happy is a choice you make, and you are a prime example of this.

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  20. You are an inspiration to me.

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  21. Like Robin said, coming from anyone else this message just wouldn't mean as much. Thank you for using your words to paint us a picture today, so that we can "see" what a trip outside is really like for you ... and how you feel afterwards, even 5 days later. My first reaction is to say that my heart breaks for you, but instead I'll choose joy and tell you I'm so happy you had a chance to get outside, feel the sun, sit in those chairs, and eat some fries : )

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  22. Amen! Such truth and such joy! I try to teach my kids that all the time. It's a choice. Most of life is a choice. You are most precious, Sara. I'll pray your symptoms ease greatly and quickly. And, by the way, I love McDonald's french fries, but I can't eat them anymore. Glad you enjoyed some for me! :)

    Recent blog post: Tadpoles and Budding Frogs

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  23. Just found your blog. Thanks. I choose joy is exactly what my sister says every day (and God is good!) She is a mom to an 18 mo old adorable boy with William's syndrome. (They go Friday to see if he has to have open heart surgery.)

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  24. I am almost ashamed of myself after reading your post today. It has always been hard for me to choose joy. In fact, I didn't even realize it was a CHOICE until recent years. For most of my life, I guess I thought joy was something that depended entirely on everything going right in your life each day. If I felt healthy, if my relationships were in good shape, if I had a good book to read or my favorite foods to eat, then I was able to feel joy. But if one thing went wrong, I wasted minutes, hours, even days thinking that there was no joy to be had.

    But you are right. It's a choice, and I'm thankful that you reminded me of that today!

    Recent blog post: Firstborn

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  25. This one SPEAKS to me. You know (and with your wisdom, you probably do), Lincoln said, "Most folks are about as happy as they make their minds up to be". I love that quote and the two sayings resonate similarly in that regard.

    Recent blog post: Nuff Said?

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  26. As always, you humble me! I'm pretty sure you've made me a better person. Don't put me in for the canvass....I have that one! And I love to read it and know that I do have that choice! I pray you feel better soon, but I'm glad you got the sun and the fries!

    Recent blog post: New Friends

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  27. "When something is going badly and I’m dwelling on it, I think instead of something for which I am grateful. I swear to you, it’s as simple as that. You just have to decide today, and again tomorrow. And before you know it, you’ll have an attitude of joy more than any other attitude you have at your disposal."

    I think I need that statement on a canvas! I can't tell you how those simple statements speak to me. I know for a while now God has been trying to teach me about my attitude. I have a wonderful, almost charmed life. I have a wonderful, wonderful husband and fabulous parents. We just purchased our first home, and it's lovely-so much potential. But I am so focused on this job that I have... that I really don't care about. And I try so hard to think of good things. There are several about this job. But I just can't seem to make myself care a stitch! Thank you so much for the kick to my attitude!

    Recent blog post: My new club

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  28. I am crying, not for what you are missing (but that stinks too) but because of the strength you display in what you face. I am not going to tell you that you're an inspiration, because when all you want to do is have normal respiration that isn't what you want to hear. I am going to tell you that I think you are a gift; you're strong and witty and full of life. Keep choosing joy. I join you in choosing it, no matter what gets thrown my way. I choose it each and every day, and I savor that I share the choice with you. Thanks Sara.
    Love,
    Shannon

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  29. Thank you for sharing your life and inspirational words with us! Choose joy! What a way to live.

    I would love to have this canvas as a daily reminder.

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  30. Sara, I wish I could give you even one day of pain free - just as a gift for you. I wish we could do things like that for others. I learned a long time ago that hot french fries dipped in chocolate shake make things better for a few minutes anyways. Hugs to you dear friend.

    Recent blog post: Orange...

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  31. I am reduced to tears right now. Your gratitude and enjoyment of some very simple things that most of us tend to take for granted has encouraged me today. Thank you for your Godly example and attitude of joy!
    I pray you recover quickly from your outing.

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  32. Such a simple thought and yet something we so easily forget to remember. Thanks for reminding us of this! You are such a great writer, your blog always brings JOY to my face! :-)

    Recent blog post: In the Twilight…

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  33. I'm am simply in tears right now, Gitz. You're life is hard and I'm hurting for you to also add the burning throat, eyes, etc. I don't know how you do it. Well, yes I do. I know your faith and God's grace sustain you but you have a SPECIAL gifting. Thank you for always reminding me of gratitude. Lots of love, friend.

    P.S. The canvases I have are daily reminders of you. And I'll be posting about them, and you, soon. In fact, now that I think about it, let's do an interview if you don't mind. Just let me know. :)

    Recent blog post: Dearly Departed......

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  34. You inspire me more and more each day! As tears are flowing, I am praying for you, Sweet Sara!

    Recent blog post: Repatriation (Part 3)

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  35. there are so many thoughts going through my head, yet...i have nothing.

    love ya sara and i choose joy too.

    Recent blog post: 525,600 x 2

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  36. Mary @ Giving Up on PerfectJune 10, 2009 at 1:25 PM

    Sara, I don't really have words for you. I have tears, but you can't see those. I have love and respect and admiration - can you feel those?

    If I try real hard not to bring the air in with me, I hope I can visit you someday. I guess then you'd be able to see my tears. :) Because, let's face it, I'd probably cry then, too!

    Recent blog post: Almost Wordless Works for Me Wednesday

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  37. That was beautiful as always, and just the reminder I needed. It's the little things that make life worthwhile, right?

    Recent blog post: Never underestimate the dangers of sleeping on the couch

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  38. Thank You for your joy. I struggle to have a joyful attitude every day. I let too many things ruin my attitude when it is my choice to be joyful. I think I am naturally a pessimist but have no reason to be. Thank You for your blog and helping me see things clearly! Practice makes perfect! Have a wonderful day!

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  39. My heart hurts for you. I am so glad you have the attitude that you do but to be honest, though I loved reading another great post, it hurt my heart. I cannot imagine the situation you are in nor how hard it would be for most people to handle it with such grace. I think that you not only choose joy, but you help others to remember it and realize they can choose it as well.

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  40. "A life story in fifteen steps?"

    Well, I'm glad we get to take a long walk with you on your blog, Sara! I don't know about anybody else, but I need your perspective. You are, in so many ways, my joy.

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  41. i love when you write about joy. its what i need to think about. especially being reminded to choose joy.

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  42. This is just exactly what I needed to hear today. Just when I am feeling sorry for myself, I realize that I shouldn't be. Earlier today a lady called to say that a patient who was due chemotherapy tomorrow wouldn't be needing it after all - her cancer has gone to her brain and she's terminal. Then I read your wonderful story of making the best out of a bad situation!! Who am I to complain about being tired/exhausted because I work 40 hrs. per week, and we have VBS from 6:30-9p each night this week, and I have a ton of things to do and no time to do it!!!! I should be kicked in the rear! Thank God I am able to do these things!!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you for sharing your life with us - seeing the positive in the bad.
    Praise the Lord for you today and always. Praying for you, physically, mentally, and spiritually.

    Laura W. (Rocky Face, GA)

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  43. Oh, I am trying SO hard to work on this! It becomes so easy for me to dwell in the negative drama instead of training myself to focus on the JOY! Thank you for the reminder :)

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  44. I commented earlier this morning but no longer see it on here. (Sorry for the duplicate if you can see my first one!)

    But I just wanted to say that most people are good at finding the negative in every situation and I'm so glad you decide to CHOOSE JOY. You're a great role model for that. Thank you!

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  45. Mary Grace McNamaraJune 10, 2009 at 3:46 PM

    Even though the sun wasn't cooperating with you that day, you must know that your sharing these stories of your life are wonderfully inspiring rays of sunshine for so many others. Thanks for choosing joy and sharing it with us!

    MGM

    Recent blog post: Quilt Block Swap looks like fun!

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  46. Your gift for words matches the beauty of your voice. Thanks so much sharing both with me(us).

    What you write is inspriring because it proves how much faith can overcome.

    The next time Riley's hair gets long maybe you could braid it. How about cornrows, or even some dreadlocks?



    Recent blog post: Sheema Kermani – Speaking Out For Social Justice in Pakistan

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  47. Hello Sara.

    You know, you always have a knack of giving me a kick in the pants when I need one. :) Thank you for that and may god continue to bless you for your blog.

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  48. There are no words....simply pure emotion, dear Sara...so touched by your words am I! :'(
    *heavy gulp*
    You are deeply loved by many, including this heart!

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  49. Thanks for sharing that insight into your attitude. I am not a person I think that leans automatically toward the sunnier side. I think I used to, but as life has gone on that has alluded me. I do know what you mean about choosing joy and I am definitely doing that, but still have times where I feel like choosing the opposite and throwing a pity party. The thing is that party is never worth it. I will learn, I am sure of it because Jesus wants me to.

    Recent blog post: THE BOYS' GRADUATION

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  50. Thank you for sharing your life with us. Thank you for choosing joy, and encouraging us to as well. You are lovely.

    Recent blog post: REVEALED: interviewing...

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  51. Thank you so much for sharing such a sweet time in your life...that is what you shared! I cannot imagine the pain you were in...my daughters and I have asthma and that is hard enough sometimes...and it isn't even severe!
    I love the "Choose Joy" canvas because it is a choice to praise, worship and enjoy each moment in life...even the hard ones!
    Prayers for you!!!!

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  52. So often I'm asked "do you always smile." I have to say that your answers sound a lot like mine. Although I never really thought of it as a choice. When I was young my mother insisted that I smile. One day I was in a bad mood and said I didn't feel like smiling. Her answer was "Then fake it until you can make. Just smile." So ever since then I've smiled whether I wanted to or not. Now it is just habit. Besides when you smile you can't feel bad. Try it onece.

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  53. Sara - usually I drop by, read your post, and feel better. Not today. I ache for you. I marvel at your spirit. I am ashamed of myself for letting stupid things get me down.

    My the Lord watch over you. May He give you comfort. May He send healing blessings.

    Recent blog post: Busy, Busy, Busy

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  54. It sounds like you had an eventful day, I am sorry it didn't go too well.

    I am glad you have such a good relationship with your physician that must make things so much easier. I hope your breathing and your ears/nose/throat get better soon.

    Recent blog post: Up, Up, Up, 4 Stars!

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  55. Your post made me cry...
    Choosing joy is a theme is my life.


    Recent blog post: His mouth-my mouth

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  56. Some days are harder than others; but, if we choose joy... the day will seem better. Thanks for your positive attitude and your inner strenght... it keeps me going ... debb

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  57. What a post. Your words are so amazing to me. This one was very touching! Thinking of you, and lifting you up!

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  58. What a beautiful post and thanks for reminding me to choose Joy. It is so easy to forget sometimes.

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  59. I am always encouraged by your great attitude. Thanks for just being you!!

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  60. Oh dear friend!! I'm so continuing to pray for you. As you know, this week has been a VERY tough one for me, as well. Today was honestly the first day I felt like I had a little JOY back in my life. Now, not that I didn't have JOY the other days, but after being sooooo incredibly hurt and deceived...it was tough for me to "Choose JOY!"

    However, you know this is one of my ALL time favorite canvases and think it fits perfectly right now!! I'll say and extra prayer about winning!!! ;) Just kidding...well, maybe!

    Anyways, praying faithfully! Let me know if you need anything! Now I'm just a SKYPE away!

    HUGS

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  61. Choosing joy is theme of my life. "Bring joy to your servant, for to you, O Lord, I lift up my soul" (Psalm 86:4).
    Your post made me cry.

    Recent blog post: His mouth-my mouth

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  62. What a great post! Thank you for sharing your feelings and struggles with us all. Praying for you!

    Recent blog post: Pictures

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  63. Amazing, amazing, amazing! I am speechless, in tears and amazed by your powerful thoughts today. Thank you.

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  64. Praying for you, friend.

    Recent blog post: Gardens..

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  65. Really beautiful words. Thank you so much for sharing. I'm happy that the sun finally make its appearance for you - and that you will get more of those little glimpses of God's love and light.

    Recent blog post: Readjusting

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  66. Thank you Sara. I don't know how you do it. I try so very, very hard to choose joy and while it should be an easy choice. For me, it's not. When I consistently find myself trapped in the world of anxiety and depression... it's hard to choose joy. Actually, it's seemingly impossible. So instead I hope for more good days and I pray that I can feel God's presence again. Because my fear, worry, and anger are all keeping me from falling at the feet of Jesus. And until I can get there. I know things won't get better. The funny thing is... I know that and yet I can't seem to get there. And I can't seem to quit making mistake after mistake. And every day I lose a little bit more of that hope that someday it will be better and that some day I'll be happy.

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  67. Sara, You have such a positive outlook on life. I have much to learn from you. I will be praying for you. Thank you for sharing your life with us.

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  68. "I swear to you, it’s as simple as that."

    and i know you said this with all the conviction in your body. i know this, because you live this.



    Recent blog post: thursday swap – joshua white

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  69. What an example of courage and grace you are to us all, Sara.

    BTW, Mollie wanted to tell Riley she has a big crush on him. :)

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