Tag Archives: God

When Your World Stops Turning

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why

Some questions don’t have answers.

“Wisdom is nothing more than healed pain.”
~Robert Gary Lee

It’s crazy how life can change so much in what feels like the blink of an eye. Life is never perfect but when things are going great, it can feel that way at times…but things can quickly change and make your world stop turning. You look around at everyone else still going about their lives and you wonder how they can keep going when your world has stopped spinning.

But what does it all mean? Why are we “allowed” to go through these hard times that seem to break us into a million pieces? Some of us never recover from these difficulties…why? Why would a loving God allow this? Be honest. You have asked yourself this question. Even the person with the strongest faith has asked this question at some time in their life…and if you haven’t, you will. Is it a bad thing to question? No. Questioning is a very good thing. It allows you to work through everything. Soul searching is good. It puts strength behind your faith and your beliefs. Don’t push it away or deny its existence. Question. But also realize that some questions don’t have answers…or maybe the answers are something you will never know. Are you willing to accept that?

One year ago today at 12:24am, my mom passed away unexpectedly. I found myself asking why? I still do. I don’t understand why such a good person was allowed to die in such an awful way when there are horrible people who live to be 100. WHY? I don’t have answers. I suppose I never will until I see God face-to-face and then all will be revealed. But I trust Him. He loved my mama. And although she had pains that lasted for a short while, she is now in paradise with the One she read about and loved all her life…a promise fulfilled. The circumstances surrounding it I don’t understand. But I know that she will never suffer again. She will never cry again, never want for anything, never feel the pain of a broken heart again, never feel any pain in her body again, never be hurt by another person. Ever. I love my sweet mama and although I miss her, there is nothing better I could wish for her. The most unselfish part of me is truly happy for her now. She has a new body and she is with the One the Bible describes simply as “Love” (1 John 4:8).

Then why these tears? Why am I still sad? Why was I left behind to feel the pain that she doesn’t experience? Truthfully, I don’t know. And honestly, I have asked many times between that awful day and today for God to take me too. But God still has purpose for me. What doesn’t kill me only makes me stronger. God loves me and has a plan that only He knows and only I can play out. Keep asking why though and don’t see it as a bad thing. Let it strengthen you as you work through it all. Life is a process. Just decide that no matter what happens, you will never allow it to permanently bring you down. Learn from it all, the positive and the negative. And whether you believe in God or not, choose to be love in a world full of hate.

Starbucks Epiphany

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starbucks-epiphany-photo-by-jane-emilyDefine: You

I’m sitting in Starbucks now, watching a man outside in a wheelchair.  He is paralyzed from the neck down. His wheelchair is motorized and he controls it by blowing into a breathing tube.  He has a computer in front of him and he is typing by holding a long stick (for lack of a better word) in his mouth and typing on his keyboard.  His mother (or caregiver) is there, taking care of him.  Every once in a while, she gets up and helps him to take a sip of his drink.  Such love.  Such dedication.  She is reading a book but also looks around at the people staring at her son.  I see that she’s okay with people looking but if someone looked upon him with anything negative, I can tell that she is the kind of woman who would have something to say to that person…and rightly so.

I wonder how he got that way?  So sad but he has adapted.  His mother has also adapted.  When she had a son, did she imagine it to be this way?  Most parents imagine taking care of their children until they are old enough to take care of themselves.  But this man will never be able to take care of himself.  He will always need her there.  I wonder if that makes her angry in a way or if she loves to take care of him.  She is stern.  I usually would interpret that as someone who is unhappy but maybe she is just strong-willed and it is showing up on her face.  She has been through a lot.  One thing is true: She LOVES her son.

I looked at his face as I walked by.  I can tell he is a handsome man.  I’m sure he probably wanted to be married one day, to love someone, to start a family.  But now his reality is sitting in that chair.  But what else?  Does his chair define him?  He didn’t look sad.  He didn’t look distraught or unhappy in any way.  He looked content.  There is something to be learned from these two…

First of all, stop complaining.  No matter how bad you think you have it, someone somewhere has it worse than you.  Maybe I have it better than this man typing on a keyboard with a stick but at the same time, he can also look out and see that he has it better off than someone else.  It’s perspective.  Maybe I think I am better off than him because I have full use of my body.  But what type of peace and love does he feel in his own life?  What I see as negative, maybe he doesn’t see that way.  Maybe he could look at me and believe he is better off than me?

Second, your life isn’t always going to turn out the way you thought it would.  Does that mean that life is over?  Over because your perfect life plan didn’t turn out the way you thought it would? No.  You adapt.  Sometimes your life is headed the way you direct it and others, it may be pushed a certain way by God, fate or circumstances beyond your control.  But what do you do when things are beyond your control or you are pushed?  Adapt.  We, as human beings have a great ability to adapt…and not only adapt, but SHINE.  So, your life isn’t what you thought it would be…get on with it.  There is reason and purpose for everything.  You aren’t dead yet so keep fighting.  Don’t give up.

Don’t define yourself by anything negative, ever.  It won’t help you.  It will only hurt you in the long run.  For years, I have called myself a sinner.  But recently, I am opening my mind a little more and seeing things in a new light.  I am NOT a sinner.  I sin but sinning does NOT define me.  Therefore, I am a good person, a person full of good and positive.  Yes, I sin, lie, cheat, speak hateful words at times, make bad decisions, etc.  But is that who I am or are those things just byproducts of weak moments in my life?  Am I a liar?  No.  Do I lie?  Yes.  What defines me?  Compassion, empathy, trust, honesty, faith, loyalty, LOVE.

Watching this young man and his mother today, I can’t help but wonder how each of them would define themselves.  I wonder if they both have peace with the way their life is or if it is a constant battle.  I pray for them now that they will see the beauty of what they have and that peace will find them if they have not found it yet.

What defines you?  It’s something to think about.

Related article: http://www.drphil.com/articles/article/73

Jane For President

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Today is my Dad’s Birthday (HAPPY BIRTHDAY, DAD!!!) and he has to work.  This got me to thinking…everyone should always get their birthday off.  It should be a law.  Paid holiday.  And if you don’t have a job, the government will send you $20.  This thought made me think even more and I developed a list of laws that I would put into place if I were to be president.

  1. No working on your birthday.
  2. 3 day weekends every week – 2 days is not enough (oh and so that you don’t receive a pay cut because of the extra day off – Friday’s are paid…which makes the phrase TGIF even more meaningful).
  3. Racism is against the law.  Screw free speech (well not all free speech, just the part that allows you to judge others by the color of their skin…free speech is a good thing…please don’t send me hate mail).
  4. Child molesters get the death penalty.  No second chance.  You mess with a child and you’re not allowed to live anymore.  Better get right with God really quick because you’re about to meet Him.
  5. All models who weigh less than 120 pounds will be outlawed.  Sick of seeing their skinny asses on the front of all the magazines.  I will redefine real, natural beauty.  Oh, and no more air brushing.
  6. Men are not allowed to wear skinny jeans.  Sorry guys – not attractive (let the hate mail flow).
  7. Pets can be added to your insurance policies for the same price as a dependent.
  8. Everyone gets a free car every 10 years on their birthday (unless you’re only 10 years old).  This will not be government-funded.  Car manufacturers will be forced to do this as a public service and to keep pollution down.  Free cars for everyone!
  9. Disney World is FREE for everyone one time every 3 years.  Everyone needs to visit the happiest place on earth regardless of whether they can afford it.  Their tickets are so damn expensive, I’m sure they can afford this as a service to the public.
  10. I like to give away free stuff so I think I would give a free unicorn to everyone who voted for me.  If you don’t like unicorns, I’ll give you a dinosaur instead – just let me know your preference.

JANE FOR PRESIDENT!!!

Just a Reminder

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You have NO IDEA what tomorrow will bring. Show your love to those in your life. Are you not speaking to someone? Make it right before it’s too late. The argument won’t matter to you anymore once that person is no longer around. Make every moment count. Life is too short and much too fragile. Love so much that it hurts. Love with fierceness.

Just thinking about my mom a lot lately and wanted to remind everyone what I wrote in my blog entitled “What A Difference A Day Can Make.”  Show your love to those you love, even if you don’t like them much right now.  Just make things right.  I’m open for conversation if anyone needs help with this.  It’s important and you’re running out of time.

Contact me here.

The RIGHT Thing to Say…

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When you know someone who is going through the loss of a loved one, it can be difficult to know the right thing to say.  I’ve been on the other side of this and let me tell you, it can be hard to know what to say or do sometimes.  I’m not necessarily here to tell you what to say but I’d like to tell you what NOT to say.

About 5 minutes after my mom left this world, I received a text from someone saying, “Praise the Lord!”  This person was referring to the fact that my mom was with Jesus.  This is true, but let me tell you something.  When you’re sitting next to your loved one’s bedside only minutes after they pass, it is not a “Praise the Lord” type of moment.  Truthfully, it pissed me off.  I wanted to call this person and tell them off.  I felt truly hopeless at that moment.  I didn’t want my mom to be with Jesus!  I wanted her here, with me.  I wanted to talk to her again and be with her until she was old.  “Praise the Lord” is NOT the right response when someone just lost their loved one.  Don’t argue with me either – I was just there, in that position.  It is a very vulnerable place to be.  You are not thinking clearly at this moment in time – especially if the way the person died was unexpected.

You know what meant the MOST to me?  A dear friend who couldn’t be there with me got my text saying my mom had passed and she called me on the phone.  She told me she was so sorry and she just sat on the phone with me and cried with me for the loss of my mom.  You see, it’s not always what you SAY to someone – it’s your actions.  She sat with me on the phone for over 2 minutes and just cried.  She told me she loved me and would be praying for strength and peace.

I write this because I know it can be difficult to know what to do in these situations.  My point is to just be there, whether in person or a phone call or text.  Sometimes not saying anything at all, but just sharing in someone’s grief is the most powerful thing that you can do.  That call felt like a hug from Christ Himself.

I dedicate this post to my dear friend, Myrtha.  I love you.

I Got To See My Deceased Mom Last Night

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There was nothing special about this dream…at least not to anyone else. But it was special to me. In this dream, my mom was still alive. It was like she had never left us and life was normal again. It was beautiful. I got to be with my mom and see her and hear her laughter and the sound of her smooth voice. I got to see that light in her eyes and that big smile she always had when I was around. And of course, she was wearing her “forgiven” pin on her shirt. She wore it every day, without fail. I can’t remember a time she was not wearing it.
This dream was a gift from God. I didn’t wake up sad. Frankly, I was kind of mad because I woke before it was over. I laid there, smiling and thinking about her and enveloping myself in the fragrant memory of her in my dream. I can’t remember any details now, only that she was there and laughing and I was happy.
I’ve been wondering about heaven a lot lately. What is it like up there? We know a few things, but there has to be so much more. Does she see me? I wonder if that’s part of it. I know this might sound crazy, but I send her messages through God. I ask Him to tell her things for me, things that will make her happy for me. Things I want to share with her that I would normally have called her to tell her about. When she first died, I was trying to tell God what to tell her and I couldn’t put it into words. I asked Him to take my heart and take all the feelings for my mom that have no words assigned to them and show it to her so she would know how I felt. I know He did.
She was always afraid that she had let me down as a mother. I found a recent text from her stating that fear. I wanted her to know (even though I had assured her many times how I thought she was a great mom) without doubt how I felt.
I am thankful for the dream I had last night. I am thankful it happened now and not a week ago. I say this because I am now in a new phase in my grieving. A week ago, I was still in extreme denial. Monday night, I suddenly realized that she really was gone. I cried for about an hour. Anyone who has lost a loved one knows what I’m talking about. It’s not like I didn’t know. It’s just that my mind couldn’t accept it. I think it must be some sort of natural defense mechanism. I still reach for my phone to call her on a regular basis but it’s not quite as traumatizing anymore. I don’t think I could have handled a dream with her in it a week ago. I would have woke up crying. God knows what we need when we need it. He knew I needed to see and hear my mom again so He gave me just that. Not right away like I had hoped, but in perfect timing, just like He always does. What a gift.

10 Things I Have Learned

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My sister, Margie, and me with my mom. We surprised her by coming to see her for Mother's Day weekend that year (May 2010). Isn't she pretty?

First of all, I’m not “over” the death of my mom.  That isn’t possible.  Anyone who has ever lost a loved one they were very close to knows what I’m talking about.  There is a hole in your heart that belongs to that special person.  To fill it with something or someone else would be a dishonor to them.  My mom left a hole in my heart and it will never be filled.  But that’s okay because no one else deserves that spot but her.  Second, I have learned a few things through the death of my mom (It hurts even just to type that).  I thought I’d share them with you.

  1. You don’t learn how to get through the loss of losing a parent. You just learn how to breathe again.
  2. When your entire life comes crumbling around you is when you find out who your true friends are. Some may surprise you because some aren’t there when you thought they would be. And others appear out of nowhere as if they were angels.
  3. No matter how far away I am from God, He is always there to pick me up.
  4. I’m stronger than I thought I was.
  5. I don’t understand God’s plan and that’s okay cause I don’t need to. It’s part of the beauty of being human and allowing Him to be God.
  6. One-liner texts or emails can make my day. Makes me know I haven’t been forgotten.
  7. Crying is a beautiful, healing thing.  Don’t hold it back.  God made it to help cleanse our body.  Let it out.  It is a sweet release.
  8. I need to treasure every single moment I have with those I love.
  9. NOTHING matters more than those I love.  I would give EVERYTHING I own to have even just a few moments more with my mom…but even that still wouldn’t be enough.
  10. My mom was a treasure here, on earth and I miss her every day in every way.