A Huge Pain In The Gut

 

 

6R7KCXBEEE.jpg

Howdy Folks,

Hope your day has gone great!! It’s almost Friday! I’m still not entirely sure why we get all excited about Fridays, other than the fact that we can sleep in on Saturdays. At least that’s why I get excited for them.

How have I been? Not too good. Right now, I’m in pain. I have these blisters that break out in my mouth when I get really worried or stressed. Which you think would be a deterrent to that, but I’m a little hard headed. It’s a bit like having a bad sinus headache, a toothache, and biting your tongue all at once. No es bueno!

Last night I was in a lot of pain, so I only walked a mile and then came home. This morning I woke up pretty much pain free. I was in a good mood, determined to have a good day! And then I realized my heating vent had filled with water. That shouldn’t happen, fyi. I went to sop up the water with paper towels, and water started gushing in to the vent. Somehow I had angered it.

After peeling back the layer of linoleum, I saw:

IMG_3059.JPG

Then my stepdad came over, and he started telling me about things like replacing the kitchen floor (which I knew moving into the camper that that would have to be done), buying plywood, moving cabinets, finding leaks, and other such minor details. I promptly did what any stressed out person would do. I burst into tears.

After that, I cleaned out my lower cabinets, and we got to work. Then we started talking. About how I had never had, and never will actually use the gas stove. And how the sink could be moved over to the other side. And how the refrigerator isn’t deep enough. And somehow, looking for a leak in the floor turned into gutting my camper’s kitchen.

IMG_3077.JPGIMG_3071

Which seems bad now, because I have no water, no electricity, no appliances, and oh yeah, no kitchen!! But the cool part is that I get to customize my kitchen now. I get to get new floors, new appliances, and an entire new floor plan!! Something I thought was going to stress me out even more and cause a lot of grief, has actually turned into something good.

That got me to thinking. Isn’t that just like life? Things get thrown  at us out of nowhere. Plans change. People betray us. Life hurts us. Sometimes, it even just plain sucks. But if we look hard enough, maybe we can find the good in even that. The compassion of a family member to lean on, the friend rising up to have your back. The ability to rebuild.

Now I’m not all sunshine and rainbows. I know that some of you might be going through horrible things. There are people out there truly suffering. I’m not saying I believe in giving them a simple “look for the silver lining” quote, and then walking away skipping while they’re lying there bleeding. We also have to be willing to get down in the trenches, and fight and cry with people too.

For most of us (like me), pain of any kind is something we try to avoid at all costs. But sometimes it can serve a purpose. It can warn us when something is dangerous, and it is part of our physical and emotional growth. Pain can defeat us, or it can push us. We can let it fester and drive us under, or we can use it as a step stool to the next level. Each one of us has to decide what we will do with pain, for ourselves.

As I told you earlier, I went to bed last night in pain. This morning I opened up my Youversion app to read my Bible plan. The first suggestion it had for a new plan? “The Problem With Pain” was the title. It was about recognizing what causes you pain, and  finding healing in it. Because of course. I think God might be trying to tell me something :).

Tweet me home, or find me on the face book.

Well save me a Diet Coke my friend, I’ll bring the ice. Blessings and Peace!

Helen

 

Advertisements
Posted in Faith, inspiration, Just Me, Lesson from the everyday, Pep Talks, personal, Remodeling | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Don’t Listen, Linda

AB0U289SNW.jpg

Hey There,

How you doing? Yaay for you surviving Tuesday!! Is it only Tuesday?! Has it not been the longest most Monday-ish Tuesday in a long while? Goodness!

I’m a little embarrassed to tell how clever I think I am about this post’s title. I tried to get different combinations of the words hear, listen, and story to work, but alas and alack (what the heck does alack even mean?), this is the kind of humor in writing that I strive for. You’re welcome.

This past weekend, I was privileged to attend a ministers conference. My mom and brother are both ministers, and one of my favorite moments is when they linked hands with each other, and 14 other ministers, and prayed for each other. Very, very cool!!

My brother and his wife live out of town so during the conference, they got a room at one of our local hotels. They invited me to come spend the night with them. After we had gone swimming, and while I was waiting to change, a tweet popped up on my phone from one of my favorite Twitter peeps. He was joking around with a favorite singer of mine, and I though “wait, I can so join in on this conversation, and make another joke.” I typed it up, laughed in my head. But right before I hit send, it happened.

It, being that little voice in your head that says, “they don’t care about anything you have to say. You’ll just sound stupid.” These tweeters are what I would consider power tweeters, and for a second or two, I considered listening to that voice. Do you know what I did? I sent the tweet.

Nobody liked it, the other two tweeters didn’t even acknowledge it. But I had won. A small victory, but a victory none the less. You have that little voice in your head too. “Don’t write that post, no one will read it.” “Don’t tell that joke, no one’s going to think it’s funny.” “No body will even look at that painting.” That voice says all those things and more.

But you have to do something, not for me, but for you. You have to tell that voice to shut up! You have to do things anyway. Maybe no one will read your first blog post, but you will have written it. And then you’ll write another the next day, and then another, and…. That voice will probably never go away, but you will be able to turn down its volume over time.

You and you alone know the stories, dreams, and talents that are inside of you. And guess what? The rest of us would like to meet them. But the only way we can is for you to introduce them to us. Ignore that fear, and do it anyways. Don’t listen, Linda.

 

And for anyone who doesn’t know where “listen Linda” came from:

 

Save me a Diet Coke, and keep on rolling (stole that from Keith Harkin)! Blessings and peace!

Helen

Posted in inspiration, Lesson from the everyday, Pep Talks, Twitter | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The One Where She Talks About A Table

 

7OGUGR4HKJ.jpg

G’day,

How is your Saturdays eve’s eve going? I’m hoping great and good things are happening for you, my friend.

So yesterday was a bit of a funky day. I woke up late, and then was just in a mood. I got my work out in, but waited forever to go walking and didn’t write. Which is against my rules. When I finally did “sit down to write”, it was about 10:00 pm. So instead I found a new artist to listen to named Lesley Pike, after hearing her duet with CT’s Ryan Kelly.

Also, I moved my table yesterday when I cleaned house. I live in a camper, so this was fairly easy to do. I have been using that table as a writing desk. It was over by the big front window, where I could look out and daydream, ahem, I mean think.

There was a outlet a little to my right. Because of that, I could also plug my phone in right beside me when I wore down the battery from playing too much music, and continue listening. My notebook and calendar were right behind me on the kitchen cabinet. It was a perfect set up.

Then I moved the table, because I get really tired of having things the same for too long. How’s that for irony!! Now the table is on the other side of the room. There are NO plug ins on that side of the camper. And the more comfortable spot is with my back to the door. Anyone who has ever watched the Godfather knows, you sit where you can see the everloving door.

No, I’m not going to write an entire blog post about a table. Although I can feel and appreciate your hugs in my distress. I do think at times, that our brains get so wired in on one way to do things. We don’t even try anything new, because we know we can’t do it, we’ve already convinced our selves that it won’t work.

This post is being written standing at the kitchen cabinet, in between getting babies lunches and changing hineys. My last two weeks of blog posts were written sitting at that table, by the big window. Does that mean that the only spark of creativity I had sits at that table? Yes.

Totally kidding. True creativity is found wherever you are. Wherever you decide to think, draw, write, create, mold, inspire, sing, or capture your thoughts is where it resides. But it is all up to you. There’s no secret formula. No magic spell. No waiting till New Years. No putting it off until Monday.

There is just you. On a Thursday in April. Starting. Creating. Deciding. So quit thinking about whatever your “table” is. Let it go, and get your life on.

Well, save me a Diet Coke (my little neighborhood store was out :(). Blessings and peace!

Helen

Tweet me up, Scotty. And may the Facebook be with you!

Posted in inspiration, Lesson from the everyday, Let It Go | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Fired Up, Feels Good

0EEC17A076.jpg

Hey Good Looking,

How was your day? Hopefully more on the Wednesday-ish side rather than the Monday-ish side of Tuesday.

My day was pretty great. I actually fell asleep last night with out plugging in my phone, and God woke me up this morning at 5:55. Thank goodness, because I had several things to do before my babies got here.  It’s also been a little too muggy for my liking, but still good!

After being sick and taking it easy this weekend, dang was I ready to start working out again!! That’s a sentence I didn’t think I’d say! But it’s true, once you start, and you like what you’re doing, it’s like a high, and you feel weird if you don’t do it.

I told you a few posts ago about how I came home from my nieces house, and just decided at 2:00 am to start working out. That’s pretty much all that happened. I decided to do something, and actually followed through.

This workout probably won’t win me any fitness competitions, but here is what I do (I so had to look these names up, because I had no idea what they are called. I did find this handy guide though):

20 Bicep curls (5 lb weights in each hand)

20 Standing lateral raises

20 Not sure what they are called. I put the weights behind my head, and raise them up to the ceiling.

20 Squats

20 Bicycle crunches

2 Planks

1-3 miles of walking a day

I’m pretty sure that there is something I should be doing more or less of, but this is what has worked for me. Until I played the theme from Rocky, and added 10 more reps to everything :).

The weight loss is a motivator, though not the main one. Having energy during the day is huge!! Although looking down and seeing less stomach, and putting a previously tight t-shirt on and it being loose, are also great!

Music also plays a major  part in my workout. I walk to music, usually Neil Byrne’s Pale Blu Jak, or Keith Harkin’s On Mercy Street I usually shave off a couple of minutes listening to Neil though. Hmm… I also workout to music. The most important thing thing when choosing your workout playlist, is that it has to have a beat to it. It’s hard to do squats to Chopin, although I’m sure you could.

I wanted to share a few music videos with ya’ll tonight, before I batten down the hatches and brace for another round of Texas storms.

#1. Here is the Celtic Thunder (of course) song that got me up and going in the first place:

#2. Gonna Fly – The Theme From Rocky. Of course you’ll get stronger, it’s Rocky!!!

#3. And last but certainly not least, The Theme from The Unit. This is probably my favorite song to work out to. Plus, as a Texan, I love how he says Fired up ;). This version is a bit slow, the one you find on ITunes is faster.

I hope I have given you a little motivation to get started working out, and “moving” to a healthier you. Remember to check with your Dr first, and only do as many reps as you can. Then when you reach the point that you can’t do anymore, do just one more.

Tweet your girl!  Or Facebook Moi!

Well, save me a Diet Coke friend! Blessings and peace!

Helen

Posted in fitness, fun, Goals, inspiration, working out | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

For Beginners

FullSizeRender (40).jpg

Howdy,

How was your weekend? All ready to get ‘r’ done today, are we? Alrighty then!

This weekend, I found out that the flu really likes my family. It just moved all in, put it’s feet up on the coffee table, and took over the TV. So the past few days have been filled with waaayy too many Hallmark movies, and an over abundance of sleeping/laying on the couch. I’m so ready to start working out and writing again today. Woohoo!!

FullSizeRender (41).jpg

On Sunday, since I missed my local church service, I got to watch one of my favorite pastors Pete Wilson of Cross Point church in Nashville TN. He spoke on the subject of following the dreams God has put on your heart. I don’t think I have ever heard a pastor speak on a subject like that before. Please take the time to watch his message.

When I was a little kid, I would pretend that I was writing on my mom’s typewriter box (pre-laptops, son). I always wanted to be the secretary instead of the boss, when I played office, because she got to write. Notebooks were my favorite gifts.

Later on in my teens, I kept a yellow legal pad with me, and wrote stories on it all the time. I’m not entirely sure what happened between then and now. Like pastor Pete says, I think creativity gets un-learned.

I remember someone very close to me asking in my 20’s, what I wanted to do with my life. I told them that I wanted to be a writer. “You know, I just don’t see you as a writer,” they said.

Now, I have ghost written articles and was paid for them, and penned four Christmas plays that people rehearsed, performed, and came to see year after year. But I still remember that conversation word for word.

They say that it takes 1 negative comment to cancel 6 compliments. But I think that’s giving the negative words way too much power in our minds. I can’t for sure tell you that that what took me so long to start writing again. Because a lot for me was also fear and laziness. I have to own my responsibilities, and mistakes too.

Thing is, any and all of us are capable of doing something truly great. We just choose not to. And at the end of our lives, we won’t have the luxury of excuses. Fear, negative words, hurt feeling, and low expectations will all fade away. We will just be asked to explain what we did with the talent our Maker gave us. I plan to have an answer.

Mondays are for starting. Mondays are for new beginners.

“I’ve been scared to death of failing, scared that I’d look like a fool. And I’d rather quit than risk that I could lose. Now I’m not proud of that position, but it’s the hand that I’ve been dealt. And as far as I’m concerned that hand can go to hell. 

Chase me down outside of Georgia, I was sure that I was done. Something in me would not turn around and run. Heard the Lord in California, I remember who I was and I learned to dance with the fear that I’d been running from.” –Ben Rector 

Save me a Diet Coke friend. Blessings and peace!

Helen

Posted in dreams, inspiration, Me, Pep Talks | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Music, Love And A Whole Lot Of Jesus

IMG_1930

Hello,

I sincerely hope you are having a great day! For some reason on Thursday evenings, I get all excited thinking it’s Friday. And then I have to remind myself, nope, you have one more day. Uno mas dia. Bet you didn’t know this was an educational bilingual blog, did ya? Well me either, because that’s all I’ve got, lol.

Once again, I listened to Neil Byrne’s Pale Blue Jak album last night. On it he does a cover of Bruno Mars ‘Grenade.’ He truly does a great job with it. The classical music styling and  strings behind his smooth voice are beautiful.  Now as a writer, I usually have a word, phrase, or  lyric that bounces around in my head for a day or two. Today’s head phrase came from that song.

Neil sings this line:”Tell the devil I said ‘hey’ when you get back where you are from.” And I thought, “yes!” What a perfect insult!! I have a few people in mind to whom I would love to walk up and say that.

About a year and a half ago, someone I am really close to started dealing with nasty rumors that had been started by people we all used to be friends with. Close friends. And it pissed me off. And in my head, I ran down every scenario that I could think of to cause those other people pain. And that line would be perfect. But I can’t say it to them.

No, not because I’m religious. But yes, because I follow Jesus. If I’m going to claim Him, then I absolutely should have something in my life to back that up. You see, I’m not even remotely a nice person without Jesus. Most people have that slight degree of goodness that stops them from being too horrible. You can ask my family, they’ll tell you. I’m not a good person. I do serve a good Savior.

One of my favorite singers-speakers Rich Mullins has a quote that says:

“Tonight, not only do I find this world frightening. I am frightened of myself. I am frightened of the evil that I am capable of. I am frightened of that which You (I believe) would deliver me from, and yet I will won’t let go. Help me to let go, Lord. ‘Deliver us from evil…’ You taught us to pray. Maybe this fear is part of the lesson. Deliver us from evil – from moral duplicity and weakness, from laziness and spiritual complacency, from those lies we tell ourselves from our fear of facing the truth. I think, Lord, that we’re all afraid of werewolves -not afraid of being destroyed by one – afraid of being one.” — Rich Mullins

The fact is that Jesus IS love. The fact also is that I am not. However, Jesus is love like we think of love though, as a currency to only be spent on those we deem worthy. But true love. The love that would make Him look down from a cross, see people mocking Him, and still ask God to forgive them. I have a hard time forgiving someone who’s been rude to me.

I’m not even close to being near where Jesus is in love. I could sit here and fake it though. See, you only see the face I want to show you. I can be a great pretender. Or I can pull off the mask, and tell you that I don’t have this life figured out yet, either. I never want to be one of those people who won’t listen to anyone. Because that’s when you get into trouble.

I also believe that Jesus loves me too much to just leave me in my junk. I believe He came to save me out of my own crap. The rules I place on myself, the right living I try to carry out in my own power, can’t hold a candle to His righteousness.

 Christ arrives right on time to make this happen. He didn’t, and doesn’t, wait for us to get ready. He presented himself for this sacrificial death when we were far too weak and rebellious to do anything to get ourselves ready. And even if we hadn’t been so weak, we wouldn’t have known what to do anyway. We can understand someone dying for a person worth dying for, and we can understand how someone good and noble could inspire us to selfless sacrifice. But God put his love on the line for us by offering his Son in sacrificial death while we were of no use whatever to him. Romans 5:6-8

Now, you can believe in Him or not. He still loves you. I still love Him. I’ll still keep trying to show that love that He showed me. I can’t treat this relationship with Him as a game. I can’t just drop Him, and pick Him up at will. He shows me unimaginable love. I have to pay that forward!!

(Also as a bonus, after getting distracted by his and Ryan Kelly’s latest tour’s Q&As’, I found the video of Neil singing Grenade.)

You got me all a Twitter or you can Like It Like That.

Well, save me a Diet Coke my friend. I’ll bring the peanut M&Ms. I’ll see you on the flip side,

Helen

Posted in Faith, Lesson from the everyday, Love, Music, Musings | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

God, Celtic Thunder, and Me

 

FullSizeRender (32).jpg

Hello There Good Lookin’,

Hope you had a great day! I know this post is late. I had planned to write this post earlier today, but my nieces and nephew came over today, and took over the laptop to watch Netflix. As you can see, they have left me a few precious momentos of their visit.

IMG_2756

Then I went to church, because you have to take care of your spirit,  and to get some yummy Mexican food. And now I am going to tell you the story of how I get off my butt, and decided to do something with my life. Warning!! This will be a long post.

First, The Backstory.

I had been having problems sleeping at night, and trouble staying awake during the day for a while.Which is bad when you’re a babysitter. Now, in all fairness, I only fell asleep when the babies were sleeping as well. I would sit and watch episode after episode of I Love Lucy and Unsolved Mysteries, getting a weird sense of satisfaction when my DVR folder was clear.

There was a persistent pressure in my chest, like someone hand their hand pushing down on my heart. I felt like crying most of the time, and had already begun to plan my funeral.

God and Celtic Thunder.

I knew I was supposed to be writing. I feel that God has called me to that. People have told me that’s what I am supposed to be doing. My family kept getting on to me for not writing. But I kept ignoring all that. Until God showed up with cute boys and gorgeous accents.

After a busy day of babysitting, I went and bought a Subway sandwhich, and came home to rest. On a “fluke”, because the kids had been watching PBS during the day, I started watching a special on Burt Bacharach. And then as I had been goofing around, and playing Criminal Case on it, my phone died.

The PBS lineup told me that Celtic Thunder Legacy would be on next. Great, I thought. Expecting to see guys in Jerry Seinfield-esque white ruffle shirts and green pants tap dancing, I went ahead into the kitchen, turned my back to the TV, and plugged in my phone. I turned back around though, when I heard Keith Harkin singing. Intrigued I sat down to watch.

There was no tap dancing, no weird shirts. They were great singers,  funny,  adorable, and oh yeah, did I mention the accents? I recorded the special when it came on again that Sunday. And watched it several times all that next week.

Easter Weekend 2016

By that next week I pretty much knew all of their names, and had followed most of the Celtic Thunder (CT) guys on Twitter and Facebook. On the Thursday before Easter, I was scrolling through Emmett O’Hanlon’s Instagram. He was the newest member of CT, so I wanted to check him out. He was of course an equal mixture of funny, goofy, and inspirational. But what really, really got to me was when I came across this image in his feed:

FullSizeRender (34)

Crap!! I had always though of myself as a mature person, and here I was making excuses for just about everything in my life!! So right after I reposted that picture, I did 3 things.

I called my doctor, and made the appointment my mom had been asking me to make for the pain in my chest.

I messaged a friend of mine who is a hairstylist, and asked her about cutting and styling my hair. Something I had been wanting to do for about 5 months!

I did what I asked you to do yesterday. I opened Open Office, and started “throw up” writing.

I went to babysit for my niece until the next day, Good Friday. When I got home that night, I was a bit wired. So after listening to another CT album, I grabbed my forgotten weights, and started working out at around 2:00 am. The next day, I went and got my hair cut. I also started walking to loose weight that day. The next Wednesday, after a little over 5 months of not blogging, I started writing every day, except the weekend.

Look at these two pictures. One is what I recorded on my walking app this past year, and the other is this past month. Notice the difference when you finally decide to do something?

FullSizeRender (35).jpg FullSizeRender (36).jpg

So What? 

We all have dreams. Perhaps yours is not to be a writer, but to be a painter, dancer, or a lawyer. Start doing something about it now. But I’m too old, young, slow, overweight, skinny, depressed, under-qualified to do X now, you say. I say, oh yeah?!

Well there was a five year old that saved her dad by calling 9-1-1, an 105 lady that threw out a pitch. Do you think they thought about their qualifications, or just did something? King Josiah was 8 years old when he started to reign. Lucille Ball was approaching 40 when she started I Love Lucy. I have an 18 year old friend named Hunter, who is serving in the U.S. Navy, living out his dream.

So no matter what you want to do in this life, get on it. Quit waiting. Get your butt in gear!! And then tell me about it!

Tweet Me Up or Face the Book with me.

Save me a Diet Coke friend, I’ll bring the ice. I’ll see you on the flip side,

Helen

 

Posted in inspiration, Move, Pep Talks, working out, Writing | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment