Finding Your Place

The place you feel at peace.  The place that makes you happy.  The place you can call home.

I’ve blogged about this some in the past.  Or maybe I’ve blogged about it a lot in the past.  Hubby and I have many things we have wanted to do and many things we hope to do.  Life is too short and adventure awaits!!

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Our biggest dream was to buy some land and build a homestead where we could raise our own animals and food.  That dream didn’t produce anything though because of physical problems that seemed to be getting worse.   Instead of moving forward with our plan, we threw it away (although there is still a part of me that wants my chickens, ducks, guinea fowl and goats).

We pushed aside our fears and doubts and began the process of becoming licensed foster parents in Illinois.  We had four foster children and after having the last two for 15 months, hubby was offered a new job opportunity in Texas.  With tremendous heartbreak, we moved our two foster sons to a new foster home, packed up our belongings and left Illinois after almost 20 year of being back in the Land of Lincoln.

It’s been about 2 1/2 years since we moved to Texas and while things haven’t gone exactly as we envisioned them, there have been some definite highs.

Hubby’s job has gone well and it was absolutely the right move for him to make.

After buying our house here, we got our foster license again and have fostered a total of 8 children in the last year.   While it has been very hard in many ways, I’m having trouble imagining life without any of the children that came into our care.  While the goal is to give these children all that we can, the truth is, we have gained much from having them be part of our lives.

We’ve made new friends and reconnected with family.

At the same time, we miss those we left behind in Illinois and haven’t been able to get back as often as we had hoped.

Over the years, I’ve heard many people talk about their wishes and dreams.  How they would like to pursue a new hobby or a new job.

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How they wish they lived in the mountains or on a lake or near the ocean.

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How they wish they were living in a different town, state or country.  Yet, very few of them make those changes or moves.

Our homestead didn’t happen because we knew the physical limitations would prevent us from being able to properly care for the homestead.  We didn’t know for sure when we made that decision, although we do know that for a fact now.  At the same time, there was fear involved in moving ahead with homesteading.

When we decided to make the move to Texas, there was fear involved.   There was sadness involved.  At the same time, there was excitement about the possibilities.

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The common theme through all of this though has been fear.  The fear of the unknown.  The fear of failure.  The fear of change.

Finding your place in this world isn’t always easy.

Fear will keep us from pursuing things that may truly make us happy.  Staying in the present is safe, but it’s not always joyful.  Keeping with the status quo may be easier, but it’s not always fun.

Then there is the person who knows they want to make a change.  They may even need to make a change.  However, they have no idea what change they want or need to make.  Instead, they live their life in limbo hoping that something will simply fall in their lap so they don’t have to take risks.

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Finding your place means taking risks though.

Maybe it’s not the best time to look for a new job, pack up your family and leave for a new adventure, but maybe the risk is worth it.

Maybe it seems stupid to move half way around the world to find a better life for yourself, but maybe the risk is worth it.

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Of course the big one always seems to be the “M” word . . . money!

– I can’t afford it.

– It’s too expensive.

– I don’t want to take the financial risk.

But here is the real question . . .

Is it worth putting your fears aside?  Is it worth the expense?  Is it worth the possibilities?  Is it worth the risk?

The answer to those questions will be different for everyone.  For me though, taking risks in life is part of what makes life exciting.  It’s how we discover new things and make memories.  It’s how we find our place in this world.  The place we feel truly at peace.  The place we can finally call home.

Have you found that place?  The place that makes you happy and content?  That place you can easily call home?

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Colorful Kindness

Delight in this gorgeous animation designed for children and adults alike by ‘A Better World’. The film portrays how small acts of kindness can positively change the feelings and attitudes of others and how naturally this will spread, grow and flourish within our communities and beyond. The Better Worldian’s strategy is to plant flowers instead of pulling weeds, cultivating the goodness in everybody, so we can all make it a better world.

http://www.karmatube.org/videos.php?id=6146

 

Good Rules to Live By

Happiness should never be dependent on the actions of another person.  Certainly there are people in life can do things that make another person feel happy, but each of us are responsible for our own happiness.

This is something I’ve been trying to teach my girls.  I don’t want them to grow up feeling as if happiness is only achieved when you have people in your life that make you happy.  I want to learn the art of happiness.

At times, it seems an impossible task in America today.  This society seems to approach happiness as something external.

I’ve been thinking about this quite a bit recently and doing some reading on happiness and I think I have found 15 good rules to live by that will bring about great happiness in life.

 

1.  Be thankful for the good things in your life instead of focusing on all the troubles in your life.

2.  Live for today.

3.  Don’t forget to say, “I Love You”.

4.  Be someone who gives instead of takes.

5.  Look for the good in everyone and everything.

6.  Meditate daily.

7.  Do at least one good deed each day.

8.  Don’t lose sight of the priorities in your life.

9.  Don’t sweat the small stuff.

10.  Let procrastination go by developing a Do It Now attitude.

11.  Surround yourself with good.

12.  It’s okay to laugh and it’s okay to cry.

13.  SMILE!!! 

14.  Fear should not be allowed to rule your life.

15.  Let it go!

 

Snow, Thru the Eyes of a Child

It began snowing early evening yesterday and as the sun went down, the snow continued. We watched the snow falling, sparkling in the glow of the street lights. Slowly, it began to cover everything in a blanket of white.

When we awoke this morning, we peeked outside and saw our winter wonderland. Everything covered in white. So clean. So bright. So beautiful.

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After breakfast we bundled up and headed outside. We measured the snow – 7 inches of newly fallen snow. If we had any hopes of getting out of our driveway, the shovels had to be put to work and work they did. We shoveled a path down the driveway, just wide enough to drive in and out. Then the snow building began – a tiny snowman, a snowy tunnel, and a small hill for sledding.  Things I loved doing so much as a child, my girls were now enjoying. The three of us outside for hours, creating fun in the snow.

Digging out the snow tunnel
Digging out the snow tunnel
Crawling thru the snow tunnel
Crawling thru the snow tunnel
Looking thru the snow tunnel.  No way I could crawl thru the narrow tunnel :-)
Looking thru the snow tunnel. No way I could crawl thru the narrow tunnel 🙂

The girls took turns climbing onto the inner tube in hopes of a successful run down our little snow hill.  I held onto the tube, trying to keep it from prematurely sliding down the hill without them fully in place.  Deep belly laughs from all three of us when one would slide the wrong way or fall off before reaching the end of the run.  Cheers when making it to the end of the run.  I was seeing snow thru the eyes of a child.  It wasn’t something that created more work for me.  Instead, it was something that created joy, laughter, fun, memories and a tighter bond between mother and child.

As I stood there enjoying the moment, I found myself feeling more childlike.  I forgot my true age and climbed onto the inner tube, first sliding backwards down the hill onto the driveway.  More laughter!!  Then I plopped on the tube again, sliding forward down the hill.  My legs and feet dragging along behind me.  Smiles and even more laughter.  A feeling of accomplishment that I’m not too old to enjoy those things typically enjoyed by a much younger crowd and remembering once again what it’s like to be a child.

(Sorry that there are no photos of our inner tube fun.  Although photos of me sliding down the hill would have been awesome I’m sure.)

Three hours later, we made our way indoors again with only one casualty in the snow –  Naomi’s lower lip, which she bit when hitting her chin on the hard snow covered ground trying to get on the inner tube. Some tears, a little blood, but nothing serious. Yet even a little accident wouldn’t spoil the joy, laughter, fun and memories that were created today.

Tomorrow will be another day. The temperatures getting a bit colder allowing the snow to stay around a few days. Maybe another round of snow fun simply to bring more smiles to these cute little faces.

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November 3, 1985

They had known each other for years as friends, good friends in fact, but his enlistment in the Army meant they were parting ways.  Her life going one direction as a soon to be single mom and his life going another as a solider.

Two years later and things so much different then before, he returned home on leave.  It was during this leave that they reconnected.  No expectations, just two old friends catching up on where life had taken them.  Yet somehow during their short time together,  their  friendship blossomed and became more than either of them expected or had imagined.

He returned to his overseas Army base and her life as a single working mom continued. However, distance could not keep them apart. For 10 long months they wrote letters to each other, talked on the phone and began to learn and  understand each other in ways they never had before. Their friendship grew stronger and a new love emerged.

For 10 months they lived with an ocean between them, but that ocean would do nothing more than bring them closer together.

Finally, the day came when he was able to return to the states.  His time overseas complete and for both of them, a new life about to begin.  They committed their lives to each other and became husband and wife.

Their marriage began without the acceptance and support of some of their closest friends and family.   While sad that others could not accept their relationship, they forged ahead knowing that their love and commitment would withstand all the challenges along the way.

Together they faced all the ups and downs of raising a son with autism and watching all 3 of their boys grow to adulthood.  They stood side-by-side at the graveside of his mom and years later his dad.  At a time when many of their friends were sending kids off to college and welcoming grandchildren into their lives, they made the decision to add two beautiful little girls to their family thru adoption.  A few short weeks after bringing home their second daughter, they found themselves living a parents worst nightmare as they  said good-bye and buried their youngest son. They held on to each other tight knowing that the strength of their love would get them thru.

That young couple, so happy and excited to begin their new lives together so long ago, have ridden the waves of life and now celebrate 28 years of marriage.

David Weeks, I am grateful and so very happy that I have spent the last 28 years of my life building a home, family, and life with you. You are my best friend and I thank you for walking this journey of life with me.

I am excited to see where life takes us and know that with you standing beside me, we will continue to tackle any challenge life throws our way.

Forever and always, you are still the only one for me !!

 

Our anniversary song.