Dream of Joy

Last night before I went to bed I really tried to relax my mind and body. I drank my nightly tea, lit a lavender candle and massaged my wrist and feet with my  aromatherapy essential oils. I was in desperate need of a good night’s rest. As always, I was thinking about my mom… All the joy having her in my life would bring and what I would do to have the opportunity to share my life with her again. It is very difficult being a young women without her mother. So, I quickly decided to pray. I knew my mind would not stop racing of thoughts about her, which typically put me in a pretty sad place before bedtime. This would almost always result in me having bad dreams about losing her.

I asked the Lord to give me peace, to calm my mind, body and heart. I thanked him for his mercy and grace. I proceeded in asking him to send me a message or give me peaceful dreams where I could enjoy my mom and she could enjoy me. I was pleasantly surprised when I woke up in the morning. I had a night of beautiful dreams and not only did I get to enjoy my mom, but my brothers did as well.

We were on vacation; me, mom and the boys. She took us to this incredible outdoor mall. We all helped her pick out a bathing suit and a stunning blue dress. I had never seen mom that beautiful, she was glowing, healthy and full of pure joy. We shared many laughs together and proceeded with shopping until we all had new bathing suits and nice dress clothes. She was taking us somewhere special for dinner.

When we arrived to this exotic fun place on the beach, she told us to hop out. We were all in her jeep cruising around with the top off. We walked up together and they had fun dancing music playing. This was the perfect place for our mom. It was a warm beautiful night, everything felt so good. We talked and laughed some more eating lobster and other sea food dishes. We were all so happy to be together.

When I woke up in the morning, I almost felt relieved. I was so thankful for the dream I had. I couldn’t help but wish for a day like that here, right now, on this earth. But I quickly reminded myself of the gift of eternal life. With moments like having such a joyful dream, I have no doubt that my mom is up dancing away in perfect paradise and warm weather. In a place called heaven. I  also know that someday when the Lord calls us all home, we too will be there and our mom will welcome us with open arms. I am anxious for that day. We miss dearly you our beautiful mom, so stinking much.

I Refuse.

I refuse to consider someone taking your place, in any way, shape or form. Your perfection to me is so unique and rare. It is deeply missed. Your classy behavior, generous heart and unconditional love is so incredibly special. Each day I live without you here with me I learn to appreciate even more just how wonderful you are and were to me.

When I think of you, I think of elegance and not because you were a dolled up woman. You were actually quite simple. You appreciated the little things in life. I think of elegance because of the way you carried yourself; the way you treated people.

Growing up is so hard, mom, especially without you. People like you and like me, they are hard to come by. I sometimes question this world, myself, how do people ignore the feelings of others so easily? How can they be so selfish? As many of my questions, there are likely no answers, but mom, please know the selfless life you lived has inspired me. It hasn’t given me perspective and morals.

I am a woman with morals and self-pride. I know what I want and what I deserve and I promise to not compromise that. I speak out about the way I feel. This morning I am speaking out to you. No matter how fast time passes by. No matter how much it seems like the world moves on without you. I don’t. Not today, not any day.

You are my mom. You are the only woman that will ever love me in all the ways that you do. You lift me up, you impact me and only you can. No matter what, even without your presence here with me in this crazy world, you’re here, I feel you.

I never want to not feel you. I never want to forget how good it felt to be with you. I never want to share the communication, bond and special love I had with you. You’re all mine, you are everything I want and need. Please know how much I miss you, every part of me; my mind, body, heart and soul ache without you. Please keep guiding me and loving me because I need you.

Be Mindful of Your Needs

Do you ever just feel like you need a day to yourself? A day in which to escape reality or the everyday life of being an adult. Maybe you just want to stay in bed or spend the entire day doing whatever it is that YOU like to do. How about the possibility of utilizing the entire day to catch up on; rest, chores or even some reading. I think these days are referred to as “mental health” days. And boy would I like to take one!

A part of me is wondering why they aren’t a “real thing?” Why it isn’t acceptable to have one every few months or so? It sure would be nice wouldn’t it? Can you imagine the difference it would make in our health?!

I have started to really evaluate myself lately. Daily. I think about how my body is feeling and what its needs are. I also think about how my heart is feeling and what my emotional desires are. I evaluate my personal goals and the outcome of my hard work and determination to reach them. These are really just a few of the examples I have learned can be very beneficial to not only my physical, but mental well-being.

But why is it so hard to take a few minutes throughout the day for ourselves? 

This is a question that most likely doesn’t have a miraculous answer, but if it did the world could truly be a better place. We are not giving, expressing or doing are best if we are not at our best. By this I mean feeling, looking and performing to the fullest of our abilities.

Before you get down on yourself, I think it is critical to acknowledge that really it isn’t our own fault. There is so much pressure in this world and within society that can overpower and take such a toll on us as human beings.  The expectations we have and set are far too high for anyone to feel rested, caught up or achieved.

We are always longing for more or to be better. The house can never be clean enough, we can never spend enough hours at our jobs or how about at the gym. Not to mention feeding our body healthy meals and taking care of our families. The list goes on and on.

One message I’d like to strongly encourage is to ALWAYS take those few precious moments throughout your day to evaluate yourself. When your body is sending you signs that is aches, is tired or needs reprieve…Listen to it. We will never get ahead and be where we want to be without fulfilling the needs our minds, bodies and hearts. Nothing is worth the sacrifice of your own well being. Be mindful of that.

caring for yourself

My New Little Blessing

I can’t help but feel the necessity to share my exciting news with the world of Hope of a Butterfly. I am so excited to formally introduce my little Obie to this world. Within a few long days this little guy has filled my heart with so much joy that I just couldn’t help but reach the decision of keeping him. I wasn’t exactly on the search to find him, BUT they do say that some of the best things come when you least expect them to! And once again, that statement is confirmed. He sure is a true blessing to my life and I look forward to sharing some of the fun and adventurous times we spend together.

I often think it is crazy how God decides to answers our prayers. I have been praying for direction, clarity and something to fill this deep void I have been experiencing. Not that I think getting a puppy is going to solve all of my life problems. However, I do think this is step in the right direction. I believe God is telling me to step out of my comfort zone a little bit; to take a chance and really allow myself to find true happiness and self-worth. I began heading in this direction months ago. I started to really soul search, read my bible and cry out to the Lord. I then decided to chop over 7 inches off my hair. This was only two weeks ago. I wanted to prove to myself and make a loud statement that change is good.

So, here’s to welcoming my sweet boy Obie into my life and to allowing God to lead us in the direction he desires us to go. Blessings to you all, my friends! 🙂

Obie

Hello October!

Well, whether we are ready or not, it is now the beginning of October. It is hard to believe how fast time passes by. Isn’t it? I feel as if each time I write a post I find myself expressing a similar statement.

October

Fall is such a wonderful time of the year. The leaves are changing, there are many wonderful scents to enjoy and yummy things to eat…oh, and of course it is football season. Suddenly, it’s time to pull the sweaters out of the back of your closet and start wearing your cute boots. There isn’t a better time for warm coffee or fuzzy blankets. You can explore fun activities with your friends and family such as carving pumpkins (one of my favorites). There are just so many joyful things about this time of the year.

However, tied to all these beautiful things, there can be sadness too. Fall brings holidays, memories and traditions. For me, this can be a real struggle. As much as I love to enjoy all my favorites about this time of the year, my heart aches for what I am missing. My mom. As today, I am working at the office; I can’t help but feel distracted with my thoughts. My mind wonders and wishes so badly that I could spend this first fall weekend with her.

She loved this time of the year too. She always made the most of what the season would bring. She was full of life, generosity and love. How blessed am I to learn from her incredible behavior and to now in some special way walk in her footsteps? I continue to remind myself that is what she would want for me. Life, generosity and love.

I came across this verse today and felt very inspired by it…

You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. -2 Corinthians 9:11

What an empowering verse! God is really speaking to me right now. He continues to enrich me in every way so that I have the ability to give to others. And that is exactly what this fall season is about. We should be consumed with having generosity on every occasion and giving no matter what the result may be. Through God all of our giving will be rewarded with good.

Through the smile and tears, he has truly continued to be by my side. With happiness and with sadness, the Lord has been so generous to me. I feel humbled by 2 Corinthians 9:11. I feel motivated and ready to make the most of this fall and to walk with generosity in the guidance of my Lord and of course, my mother, so that they may lead me down the paths that I need to follow.

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Don’t be ashamed of your tears

“We need never to be ashamed of our tears.” –Charles Dickens

If you are anything like me, you wear your heart on your sleeve. You can’t help but be an emotional person because of how much you care. Even the little things get to you. I love those famous words above from Charles. It brings me to the question of: “why should we be ashamed of our feelings?”

This article acknowledges that the healthy and natural way to deal with and reduce emotional stress is in fact crying. At first, this may come across alarming. I think that’s because our society has created an illusion that crying is a sign of weakness. I disagree.

The article [at the bottom of this post] offers 5 reasons as to why crying actually means you’re mentally strong:

  1. You meet your emotions head on.
  2. You don’t care what others think about you.
  3. You know that crying helps you release pent up feelings.
  4. You know that crying makes you healthier overall.
  5. You help others feel more comfortable expressing themselves.

The five reasons mentioned truly make a lot of sense to me and I hope that they do to you as well. I am confident to say that I am extremely mentally strong, but will admit that I’ve asked myself before: “how I could be that strong, yet cry so often?” Seems to me like it is VERY possible and that allowing myself to be vulnerable and liberate to myself and others about my feelings actually contributes to my strength.

PLEASE, check out this fabulous article!

http://www.powerofpositivity.com/why-crying-a-lot-means-youre-mentally-tough/

vulnerable -  strength

Gifts Come From Above

Messages from above seem to come at the perfect time for me. Just as I need a message of hope the Lord is so good to me and in some mysterious way he provides me with the encouragement I need.

I wanted to share this verse on my blog because I think it is a perfect reminder. As bad things happen throughout your day and in your life it is so easy and almost natural to want to assign some sort of blame. I am guilty of it, too! However, we must remind ourselves that God does not want bad things to happen to us. Rather, he is our refuge and strength for when the inevitable happens and we are forced to face difficulties.

“Every good and perfect gift comes from above.” – James 1:17

This verse hits the spot for me lately. Even through our struggles he provides us with relief, comfort and joy. He is the one responsible for all of the good and perfect gifts. I encourage you to allow yourself to accept that the ‘bad’ is not from our Lord and savior. Don’t get in a place of anger or hatred with God. He is our father and friend, he only wants to help us and lift the weight off our heavy shoulders.

Let this verse enlighten your day and week. God is good! 🙂

gift - above

Trust Yourself

I debated on exactly how in-depth I wanted to get with this post based on my own privacy, I suppose. After giving it a lot of thought for a few days I decided to just begin writing to see where my words would take me.

My thoughts begin with the word honesty. If you can’t be honest with yourself, how can you ever expect to be honest with anyone else? For those who know me well, they understand one value that I hold incredibility high is trust. It is impossible for me to be involved in a good friendship or even more so relationship without the feeling of mutual trust.

Your word is only as good as your actions.

Trust can be very complicated. It takes a while to build, but can be broken within a matter of seconds.

Throughout the past five months I have been dealing with debilitating pain. My body has felt trapped within a state that feels extremely unhealthy. I have felt fatigue, along with an assortment of chronic pain that has been capable of controlling my life both physically and mentally.  And at times it has. However, I’ve felt determined to overcome this sick feeling no matter how much it would take out of me.

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I had to trust myself. I would remind myself of this daily. There were multiple times I recall crying out to myself or some of the close people in my life… “Am I crazy?” I wasn’t even sure if I was asking myself or if I was waiting for someone else to declare it. I had to be crazy. I’ve felt physical pain before, as losing my mom took over both my mind and body for a while, but this was something much different. I almost felt in some ways like I couldn’t manage to function.

I knew something was going on with my body, I just wasn’t sure what it was. As I went from doctor to doctor, I would find myself in tears recalling the same story. I would read my journal to them where I kept tabs of what I ate, how many hours I slept, the medicine/supplements I would consume and what I was feeling. I took multiple tests where minor abnormalities would pop up but nothing explaining the deep and controlling pain I knew I was experiencing. It quickly became a nightmare.

I could feel myself losing patience; but that wasn’t even the worst part. I could also feel people, who meant so much to me, pushing away from me because it began to consume me. I wasn’t fun, I sure wasn’t happy and it’s very possible, it was quite difficult to be around me.  People at work began to recognize I was in pain. They would complement me with how well I was coping. They’d even make mention of my positive attitude and devoted energy to my work. But inside I could feel that it was fake and draining me. I was giving it all I could just to make it through a day of work. One day at a time.

Finally one night I was absolutely hysterical. I was crying out to my father and friend, “I am in so much pain, I can’t do this anymore.” And in spite of what they may of thought, I truly felt this way. I was losing hope because I was trying desperately to find some sort of answer and relief. Unfortunately, it just wasn’t happening.

Very shortly after that night, I think God heard my cries and answered my prayers. I met with an extremely talented and generous doctor. For once, in this journey, I felt that he actually wanted me better as much as I did. I knew he was determined to help me and lead me to recovery. Within a few long months he connected me with a very special lady. She was a specialized in the area he felt I needed to be connected in. He was right.

Within a month of my first visit with her I was getting put to sleep for surgery. I went into the surgery nervous, but anxious with some sort of excitement. I was looking for answers that I so desperately needed. My first memory after recovery was the voice of the sweet lady doctor. She held my arm and said “Randi, my dear, you are not crazy.” It turns out something had been taking over my body and was causing me intense and terrible pain. If they wouldn’t have found it, it would have only gotten worse for me and could have resulted in a lot of permanent damage that would have been devastating for me.

I am still recovering, I have a long ways to go, but I know now how important it is to always trust yourself. You know your own body and needs. Don’t ever sell yourself short by not acknowledging what you feel. Be your own advocate and fight with every ounce of hope that no matter what you are facing there are better days ahead. Healing will come for those who believe.

trust yourself 1

Life is too Short

Lately I’ve been on this whole kick of ‘Life is too Short.’ And really, it can be.

I think because of both the many fortunate and unfortunate events that have occurred in my life at a fairly young age, I feel compelled to live every day to its fullest and make the most of my life. As wonderful as it sounds, it is actually a very hard and demanding task to complete. Not only can life be incredibly beautiful, but it can be extremely challenging as well. It is difficult to remain in positivity when at times there can be so much negativity surrounding you.

I’m starting to believe that awareness is the key.

life is short 1

To start, become aware and acknowledge that your mind is powerful. Some of the most gifted and talented minds have taken nothing and made it into something. We can control the majority of what we are feeling and the way we behave by being in tune with our own minds. I come across many obstacles, both big and small, throughout my daily life. My approach towards tackling the obstacles varies based on what they actually are. However, I am fairly certain that I would not be able to overcome a large percent of my own personal obstacles without acceptance.

There are things in this life that seem unfair. I have several examples in mind. One that continuously occurs to me is sickness. I know several beautiful individuals that have battled severe illnesses that either left them in despair or led them to death. It seems like no matter how hard you try to comprehend something like terrible illnesses that happen to people all over the world, it just doesn’t make sense. And it probably won’t. Through a lot of hard work I have come to the acceptance that there are not answers for everything; especially the things we cannot control. Lucky for us, there are so many things we can control. So, let’s focus on that!

In today’s world we are blessed to have the gift of freedom. We are entitled to choices. As we know there were once days when having freedom wasn’t as easy as it is now. But right now, in this moment you are able to decide what you want to do and when and how you’d like to do it. You may choose your religion, your occupation, your education, your spouse and so much more. But not only that you can choose your church, your location, your school, your soul mate and again so much more. If you really stop to think about it, how awesome is that?!

So I have been asking myself a series of these types of questions lately. I have committed to take time to dig deep in searching my soul. I want to develop confidence that I will spend each day of my life the way I truly desire to. This process is just beginning for me and as I am finding out already it can be quite confusing. But in the end, I totally believe it is going to be worth it.

I have awareness of the power of my mind. I have accepted that there will be obstacles to come that I may not understand and I am ready to focus on all the things that I know I can control. I am working to have the confidence I encourage us all to have. Live life doing what makes you happy.

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A Tribute to Nan

The first thing that comes to mind when thinking of you is your laugh. It was inevitably contagious. There was always a smile on your face, a cup of coffee on your desk and some sort of yummy treat in your hand. You were passionate, enthusiastic and determined. Most of all you were kind. In the years of knowing you, I can’t think of a moment in time that I ever recognized a mean bone in your body. Yet, I have all the faith in the world that if any stupid boy did me wrong or broke my heart, you’d let em’ have it. Your words, not mine. I loved sharing my stories and shoe fetishes with you. You were a sucker for a fabulous pair of heels. I don’t blame you. Your favorite outfit, a Red Wings jersey. You were so simple, but elegant. I always felt comfort and love in your presence. Maybe it’s because you always genuinely cared to know what was going on in my life. I am so thankful you made it to my college graduation ceremony. I will miss our frequent lunches at Focassia’s. Their lobster bisque was your favorite. It will hard to go back there without you. I know with all of my heart, the ‘Nut House’ will never be the same without you. You were deeply loved by everyone who crossed your path. And will forever hold a special place in my heart. You will be missed. But I remind myself of your faith and rejoice knowing that you are with the love of your life again, Howard. I hope you’ll go visit Hawaii again with him.

I will always love you Nan.

Please give my mom a hug for me.

P.S. I know you both will be watching over the stands on October 10th for the boys’ football game.

Nan