A year of renewal

2016 has brought about many changes and many new/good things.
2016 has been a year of renewal
2017 will bring yet more renewal

2016’s changes and renewal were in part because I allowed myself distance from the past.
This distance was brought on first by a physical geographic distance.
Because of this geographic distance I believe this enabled me to further renew myself, has allowed for personal growth, spiritual growth – and just given me the space that I have needed. For me, starting over in a place where no one knew me was what I needed for renewal.

For most people – renewal isn’t quite that drastic.
But major life changes such as divorce can do that.
An ex spreading untrue gossip can do that.
People who are unkind can cause that.

Be fierce.
Be kind.
Stand steadfast.
Be evergreen in 2017.

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<a href="https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/renewal/">Renewal</a>

Where the path may lead me

09.07.2015

firstvisitgrace2

While that date may seem insignificant, it really has been a new path for two people; my daughter and I.

This was the date she decided on her college.

No ifs ands or buts.

She informed me, she would look no further, she had found her college, and that was that.

And from there, we ended up here.

I started randomly looking for university jobs in the state her college is located. Put in a few applications – received a call. Got an interview, got offered the job, and here I am.

Had she not taken this path, I would not be on this path, and we would not be on these paths. When we face a fork in the road, we do not know where it may take us. Work hard, trust in God – those two things have never failed me.

Stay true to yourself, yet always be open to learn. Work hard, and never give up on your dreams, even when nobody else believes they can come true but you. These are not cliches but real tools you need no matter what you do in life to stay focused on your path.” Phillip Sweet

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<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/photo-challenges/path-2016/”>Path</a&gt;

Amazing Facts

 

Amazing Facts

  • The human eye process 1.5 million bits of information simultaneously?
  • The human eye also provides 80% of the sensory stimulation sent to the brain?
  • The eye blinks about 5.2 million times a year
  • Over 10 million color hues can be detected by the eye, but it can’t pick up ultraviolet or infrared light.
  • The brain has approximately 100 billion nerve cells that send and receive information around the body.
  • The human brain cells can hold between 3 and 1000 Terabytes of information. The National Archives of Britain, containing over 900 years of history, only takes up 70 terabytes.
  • Social networks earned an estimated $8.3 billion from advertising in 2015
  • Google processes 100 billion searches a month
  • On average, there are 1,000,000,000 mobile video views per day on YouTube

While 1 may seem like a small part of 1,000,000 – it is a part of 1,000,000. All it takes is 1 person to start a trent, to spread the word, to create a campaign…

 

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/millions/”>Millions</a&gt;

The calm before the storm…

Today was my last day before Christmas break. If I’m going to be politically correct it’s before holiday break, winter break, or the end of the year break. Whatever we call it – it’s the end of the year, Christmas is just around the corner…and this mama is broke.

Christmas to me isn’t exactly something I look forward to. I mean…it’s okay…but I have a lot of memories of Christmases past, and if I’m being honest, things are just lonely now. I grew up in an adopted family of sorts – we’re not close to either my mom’s family or my dad’s family. In this adopted family, we spent each and every holiday with them from the time I was little, until my daughter was about 7 years old. And perhaps it’s because now there are 3 of us on Christmas day, and we really don’t do much…that I miss these days gone by. I miss these days that I spent with my former family. It’s complicated – that’s all I can say. It’s REALLY complicated.

So as I face this Christmas holiday season, it’s not completely full of joy. I hear my co-workers and friends talking about their traditions and it makes me remember years ago. It makes me wish things were not as complicated. But life is complicated. So on Christmas Day, there will be 3 of us; my mom, my dad, and I. And let’s not forget the dog. My daughter will be at her dad’s. There won’t be any laughter, games, or great memories. But there will be memories. And we can either decide to make them good ones or bad ones. We never know what tomorrow will bring, or if tomorrow will come at all.

The CALM before the storm…Today was serene and calm at work. I thought it would be endless, but it was oddly calm. It was the last workday of the year. Luckily I work in a place that gives us paid time off at the end of the year.

The calm BEFORE the storm…I know a storm is coming. It’s inevitable. It’s coming, sometime, somewhere. I may not see what’s coming but God does. And that’s alright.

The calm before the STORM…”The fishermen know that the sea is dangerous and the storm terrible, but they have never found these dangers sufficient reason for remaining ashore.”   Vincent Van Gogh.

While the battle will be tough, it is better to face the storm than to not face it at all.

 

Peace to all

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<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/calm/”>Calm</a&gt;

BE the Change – BE the Action

It is easy to say we are going to DO something. But it’s entirely different to DO it.

I live in the United States, grew up in a “blue collar” working class family. My family was not what you would call educated. But they were what you could call hardworking. We always food to eat, I always had new clothes, and I essentially grew up in a bubble.

Within my family Christmas was huge. I hear people say a few things they got their kids and in my mind I wonder what else…because our family Christmases were HUGE. That’s just how they were. I think because my parents had nothing growing up, they didn’t want it to be like that for me – and they didn’t want that to define and mold their entire lives.

Needless to say – I never wanted anything growing up. And my daughter has been much the same way. I’m a single parent, but I have never been on government aid. I have always worked full-time (and sometimes went to school while I was completing my degree). We are definitely not poor, and definitely not rich.

What I’m getting at is this…While I grew up in a family that had money, that’s not me.       I am certainly a “paycheck to paycheck” person (single mom, kid in college – all that).

Here is my opinions of Americans in general:
– We don’t realize that there are actual hungry people out there (I used to be one of them, when married to my ex, mentioned in another post)
–  We think if it’s not happening to us it must not be real
– We think that throwing a few bucks at a charity will actually help (read the fine print, maybe a few cents of what you donate goes towards the actual cause many times)
– It’s not all about us

When I was trying to think what to write – I got some general ideas from other posts. According to statistics:
–  $198,728,999 (this was going so fast I couldn’t capture a #, was up to $198,909,000 by the I wrote this) spent on video games TODAY
– I live in Fort Wayne, IN – 
it’s estimated that there are between 2,500 and 3,500 homeless in my city.
There is one major place, Rescue Mission that serves the homeless. People can give money, gifts, or their time. They also offer “211 services” 24/7 with live counselors that can offer assistance in many categories and subcategories. 

My goal – and my challenge for my readers – instead of making new years resolutions that will be dead in a week…why not make a positive change? 

  • Go to your local homeless shelter, talk to the people in charge, and see what they need most. Then visit another organization and do the same – find one you love and feel good about, and GO FOR IT. Volunteer, take them things they need, see the impact you make.
  • If you unable to do the above, maybe you can put boxes together for these charities. For example, pregnancy centers, children’s homes (events, things they need, camps), animal shelters…
  • Find your passion – be safe about it – but find a way to give back to someone who needs it. It may not be who you expect, because sometimes the people who look the least needy are the most needy (hurting hearts, broken lives, etc.)
  • If you have a previously broken or healing heart – there are so many others out there just like you. Please be careful.

 

There is just something about volunteering and giving – it far better than money can buy. If you need some suggestions on places to go – feel free to send me a message.

Take a trip and stay in a hostel, volunteer in a shelter or soup kitchen, run a 5k in the area, spend some time with sick kids and read to them…

Many great ideas out there – we just need to be the change and then be the action behind that change. We can’t wait for others to change, we have to be the change.

— as a final note, my daughter is the one spotlighted in the picture. this picture is from a camp they worked several years ago. from those youth trips she took she learned to have a serving heart. she also found her life’s calling. if you know my kid (not really a kid now), she’s very quiet and timid. she hates the city, she prefers the country. The kid in that picture, has been dragged through the mud. She has been shunned because I got divorced. Her friends ditched her. Her youth group abandoned her. Her father doesn’t support her. Yet through it all – she has remained strong.  She has learned, by being dragged to the bottom of the pit, that you can rely on God. When she could have turned to drugs, sex, and so many other things – she did not.

~~All I can say is that God has been working in her life in a big way. She is now pursuing a degree in Urban Ministries and a minor in youth ministry. So funny – because these are two areas she is NOT COMFORTABLE IN. Yet God takes people others wouldn’t think of, molds them, and makes them His. If my quiet Katy can conquer her fears and challenges I know about anyone can. She has faced more in life than many adults. Yet it hasn’t beat her down. It has built her up into the Godly woman she is today. She is letting God lead her, and she has said, this is NOT my thing, God is definitely leading me on this path.

If we could all be more simplistic like that. To just follow what we need to do instead of getting distracted by stupid things that get us in trouble. Something to think on…

 

So…How will you try to make the world a better place in 2017? 

 

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/discover-challenges/hope-gone-viral/”>Hope Gone Viral</a>

Things that make me go aahhhh…

I’m one of those people who is usually pretty wired. For instance – I decided to take a bath the other night. It sounds great in one regard, but in reality it maybe lasted 5 minutes. I just find it really hard to completely relax.

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A few places that’s easy to do:

  • The beach, when it’s quiet
  • the beach around the lighthouse on Sanibel Island, especially at the tail end of a storm until just after a storm. 
  • Sitting in the deep woods (not to be mistaken with woods that are next to a highway with lots of noise) 
  • Laying in the back of a pickup and starting up at the night sky 
  • Playing guitar at the end of a long day

Relax – clear my mind, listen to music, read, be surrounded by nature – Relax

Relax and motivate – Starbucks Caramel Mocha, music in my ears, and Google street view – Relax and motivate

 

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/relax/”>Relax</a&gt;

Confused by those around me

People confuse me. I’ll admit it. Recently at work we took a DISC assessment, which is a type of behavior assessment tool. Most of the results were things that I agree with. There were definitely things that I saw on my results that made me think. About how I perceive things, how people perceive me, and generally how I deal with people.

August 15 was my first day at my job. On my first day we had to introduce ourselves. It’s odd how we change. I remember on that first day, the people I talked to the most – and the people I talked to the least. What’s funny – is that the people I talked to the least at that time, are now my closest friends at work. Oddly enough, our work group has a great connection – that would confuse anyone who walked by and overheard us.

kidonabeach

Sometimes I feel like this perplexed girl above (my daughter). I can see the look on her face – she just wants to get away, she’s in her own world, she is confused. People confuse her, sounds around her confuse her, smells/sights/bright lights confuse her. Some days I feel like that too – it’s like the world is overwhelming to me. I want to be like the kid above – building a sandcastle, in a world of my own. I want to be in my own world so try to escape in my own mind.

And then reality hits, my phone rings, or a human being speaks to me and I must respond. Sometimes it’s awkward, sometimes it’s painful – but I manage, and I crawl my way through. The good thing, is once I figure out how to get myself through these bad times – I know I can help others get through them too.

Next time you are in a tough spot – become that kid on a beach. Immerse yourself in your own little VR world within your head. Get yourself through it – and then reach out to someone else in need. There are so many people around us who are in much worse shape than we are – and we never know what the people around us are going through. They may seem picture perfect but their world may be crumbling – never judge a book by its cover. 

“You can’t follow your heart when it is more confused than your head”

 

<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/confused/”>Confused</a&gt;

Oh the weather outside is Moody…

Anyone who lives in the Northern U.S.- or anyplace that’s cold for half the year, knows what I’m about to say is true.

The weather this time of year is like a temperamental teenager – raging one minute and calm the next. I have had the pleasure of experiencing 60 degrees in one day – and blizzard like conditions the very next. I remember one year that just after the 1st of the year, my local district had a major ice storm. School was cancelled for a week. That year, there were 11 snow days. And just a couple years later there were only 2. Back and forth – 11, 8, 3, … the weather is moody! You never know what you’re going to get.

I used to work up in Cleveland – just south of Lake Erie. One of the things I always wanted to do was to get some shots of the frozen lake. I never did. For the sake of this photo, I went “fishing” on images and found some awesome images of mother nature at his/her most phenomenal in Ohio (one may be from _ichigan).

I’m a lover of nature – but admittedly NOT a lover of cold weather. Every year around this time I wonder WHY I still live in Northern Indiana (previously Ohio…not much difference except now I’m surrounded by cornfields) rather than a nice dry and hot climate.

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<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/moody/”>Moody</a&gt;

Everyday Fishing

“Many men go fishing all of their lives without knowing that it is not fish they are after.”
Henry David Thoreau
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Many people mistakingly think that if they have never participated in the art and practice of “fishing” (rod and reel, carp, bass, etc.), that they’ve never been “fishing.”

In a sense – everyday we fish.

We fish for compliments, for conversations, for bargains, Christmas ideas, and many other things. Anyone who works with people in essence, fishes. They fish to sell their product or their idea.

Younger siblings throw fish out to their older siblings – to see if they will nibble. They fish, to gain attention. And in life, we are often like the picture siblings – fishing for something. We fish to fit in. We fish to live. Fishing can give us the freedom to breathe.

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<a href=”https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/fishing/”>Fishing</a&gt;

Anticipation of 2017

an·tic·i·pa·tion
anˌtisəˈpāSH(ə)n/
noun
noun: anticipation; plural noun: anticipations

1. the action of anticipating something; expectation or prediction.

Anticipation. Such a tricky word. Sometimes when we anticipate things, we fear them. We avoid them. And other times, we openly accept them. And rejoice in the anticipation.
The image I selected reads;
“BELIEVE IN YOURSELF”
“FREE”
“JANARY 1, 2017”
NEW YEARS DAY
2017 is a new year. Some are seeing 2017 as “just another day”, while others view it as a chance to start over. I see this new year as one for new opportunities.
2016 brought many changes; moving out of my old state (I’ve lived there most of my life), becoming an empty nester, a new job, apartment living, solo living (post divorce), … many changes – and for the positive.
Some things I’m anticipating in 2017:
– Getting a real couch
– Moving up in my position
– Paying off some debt
– Earning another Bachelors degree (perks of working at a college – it’s free)
– Daughter’s college debt
Hoping 2017 is great for all!
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