This last week has been filled with many challenging moments for my immediate family. Interestingly enough, I have been strangely but keenly aware of my surroundings and the interaction of people who went out of their way to make a difference in my life. It was almost like an out-of-body experience as I was watching things occur in slow motion. In addition, nature seemed to be trying to grab my attention as well. It would have been easy to not validate these events occurring around me and to just get lost in the difficulties that I was facing.
The first thing that you should notice from my title is that I didn’t use the common phrase of “let your light shine.” While I do believe that there are certainly times when it is important to play a passive role, I am passionate about the active part that we can play in the lives of those that we have been entrusted with. Each of us has been blessed with a gift that is meant to be shared with the world.
Lately, I have been reminded of how important it is to share your “story” with others. Most times I find comfort from people when I tell them about my own personal journey of heartbreak and loss. But in addition to that, I have found that I am allowing others to identify with me which can provide them with much needed encouragement. You know that old saying of “misery loves company”? Well, it is actually a very accurate statement — even if it does sound pathetic.
As we welcome in the New Year, my hope and prayer for each and every one is that you know that you matter. For some, that will seem like a big undertaking, and for others it will seem like the obvious. One of my favorite movies ever is “It’s a Wonderful Life,” as it gives us an opportunity to see how many people and situations would be altered if the main character, George Bailey, wasn’t around. I imagine that for most of us there has been a time when our life just isn’t going the way that we imagined and those little negative voices try to convince us of our insignificance and value.
By the time that you read this article, Dec. 11 will have come and gone. For most people, that day is really insignificant, but for my family and friends, it marks two years since our Andy Hull relocated to Heaven and left a hole in all of our hearts. Time is a funny thing, for if you would have told me that I would be writing about this journey two years later, I would have told you that I wouldn’t survive a day without him, let alone write about it. What I have learned so far is that pain and love seem to be timeless.
You don’t write, you don’t call and you never “like” my Facebook posts anymore! Does this sound familiar to anybody? It seems that the more ways there are to communicate, the more opportunities for our feelings to be hurt. One would think that technology would have offered us a greater chance to deepen our friendships, but in reality we still need to build them the old fashioned way, face to face.
Recently, I had to remind myself what kind of flower that I choose to be, as I sure sounded like I imagined a stinkweed would if it could talk. I know better than to engage with conversation that is so negative and unproductive. I just couldn’t seem to help myself! I was sure that “they” needed to hear what I had to say. It was only for their good that I was spewing venom and self-righteousness out of my mouth. Fifty-two comments later, I sounded just like “them” and was thoroughly ashamed of myself.
We left Phoenix in a rainstorm five days before Thanksgiving and arrived in a frozen winter wonderland called Dickinson, North Dakota, three days later. Now mind you, we would have arrived in two days if it had been up to my husband, but due to the many bathroom trips and coffee breaks, oh, and of course all of the times that we had to turn around so that I could take a picture, we were “delayed.” This wasn’t the first time that Clay had driven to North Dakota for work, but it was my first exploration into a world that would soon capture my heart. Beauty comes in many shapes and sizes, as w
As I lay flat on the concrete after hearing the news of our son Andy’s death, I had one of the most important choices that I would ever make in my life, so far. I think that I must have laid there for hours hoping that maybe the earth would just open and swallow me up. I vaguely remember people trying to coax me up off the ground.
I’ve been spending a lot of time at the airport lately, so the rules and regulations are always running through my mind as I get ready to go through security. Did I forget to take the forbidden objects out of my purse? Where is my passport and boarding pass? Hurry up and finish that bottle of water before I get up to the agent! So much to remember, and yet it seems that there is always something new that we need to do before going through security. Why do they let me take my fingernail file but won’t let me have more than 3 ounces of hand cream?