This Past Year…………

I have had such trouble writing this particular post- as words cannot describe the feeling of such a loss, or sum up the emotions we have endured throughout this year.. words cannot display the test on our faith, our marriage, our lives.

During this year, we witnessed my husband’s dearest mom suffer to more than I have ever seen someone suffer, and lose to a very aggressive cancer battle- in which she fought with EVERY inch of her body, mind, and spirit.   Aside from the obvious heartache that we all shared this Christmas season- I never realized all of the other emotions that entailed with losing someone so close.

All year, I had watched my husband go through all the stages of grief– anger, sadness, more anger….I tried to helplessly support and comfort him during those times, and remind him of our faith through all the moments of frustration, confusion, and hurt.

It wasn’t until the last two days of my mother in law’s life, that I was filled with such anger!  It hit me like a brick wall.    The reality sunk in, and that deep feeling of losing someone forever was horrifying to the point that it made me feel sick.

My dearest friend reminded me, right as I was going down a horrible path in my mind, that it’s all in God’s will.   It’s up to God for when it is time for us to go.   She reminded me to keep my faith.   I definitely needed that spiritual boost to get through those last couple of days, and the weeks to follow.

Two weeks after she passed, it was the Christmas season.   Definitely one of the toughest Christmases to go through– but it’s amazing what family can do to help each other during this time.

While visiting my family out of town, we attended Christmas Mass.   My 8 year old niece pointed out significant details in the church to our daughter- and what really stuck to Norah, was that Jesus was there.   She was so fascinated with Him!   When we all stood up at the start of Mass, Norah spoke loudly, “Is Jesus coming out??!!  Is He coming??” with great excitement– as excited as the kids were with the thought of Santa coming the night before.

Afterwards, I was explaining to Norah that we may not be able to actually SEE Jesus, but that He is in our hearts always, and I realized that that simple message sums up my lesson of this year:

Keep your faith strong-whatever it be-that is where our inner strength is found.

Keep close to your family and friends-those who are important to you- they will not be on earth forever..But they will always be in your heart.. like Jesus!

Until next time.. T. xx

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Then Sings My Soul…

Rather than blogging about Ash Wednesday and the upcoming Lent season, I thought I would take a different approach this time of year.  We are often focused on things like fasting- but I find that is an improper use of Lent now a days in a society where the entire media system is focused on “skinny” and “thin”.

I was told that Lent isn’t just a time for sacrifices-so why not focus on the gifts we have been given?

My mom told me once that God gave each one of us gifts to share with the world.  She said,  ‘They are not for us alone, but to serve Him and other people’.

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I always wondered- do I have gifts and do I just keep them to myself?

Well, I love to write.  I am not sure why- maybe it’s because I am a big talker and there isn’t always someone there to listen, or maybe living in a big family, it is sometimes hard to be heard-who knows!   Bottom line, I learnt to use writing as my outlet. I have been writing poems, short stories, and lyrics for as long as I can remember.  I also have kept a daily journal since I was about 9.   It has gotten more difficult to write daily these days as my spare time has decreased significantly, but this blog has stepped in its place as my new writing retreat.  It is more public than I am used to (I have not shared much of my other literature), but it still has been fun and rejuvenating.

and then there’s music.  Music is my heart and soul.   The feeling I get when I play piano and/or sing is indescribable.

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I have been playing the piano since I was 4-and I haven’t stopped.    I tried other instruments throughout the years-guitar, violin, saxophone- but the piano is a strong part of me and always will be.  As I progressed through my lessons, I started to write songs.  I evolved to singing and playing and even recording (at home, extremely low budget, the cheapest of cheapest).  I’ve played in a band, sang in a few choirs, but never any full commitments.  And as life fast forwarded, I stopped playing and singing-only to dabble here and there in my spare time. *moms-insert laughter now..*

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Anyway, back to the point of this blog:  God works in mysterious ways– meaning, we never know why He does something, but there is always something to learn from it…

Well this past while, I was at a social event with my husband, and we ended up at our friends’ house afterwards for a nightcap.  They happened to have two pianos at that house, and next thing you know, my friend and I are playing, singing, harmonizing until 2am!  It felt great! (not so great the next morning…thanks to those nightcaps)

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This dear friend of mine happens to be highly involved at our local church-she sings and plays the piano every week.  She’s got a voice of an angel- and has really listened to her calling.

One day, she asked if I wanted to get involved.   I hesitated.  I am not one to “get involved” in much of anything, let alone sing in public-especially just her and I!

As I tried to decide-to sing or not to sing-I wondered..maybe God was sending me a message.  There are a lot of things happening in my life right now-things I cannot control and things that are causing added stress and anxiety.   Maybe I am really needing this singing outlet-maybe it will be healing. (It is also something social, which I need as an extrovert)godworks

So I took a leap-I sang one week, one Mass, just once.  The feeling I got was overwhelming- I felt refreshed, stronger, happier- I was doing something I loved, and sharing it with the world.  It was healing AND empowering!

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I am going to start taking that little leap more often.   Even if it is just sharing a song or poem on this blog (the followers are minimal which makes me falsely brave)...hey, it’s a start!

Search for those gifts inside you– and use them to the fullest!   It is truly a healing experience, and has brought me strength in my day to day life!

Until next time..T. xx

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Married Life..& Stress

This October will mark our 5 year wedding anniversary.  I cannot believe how the time has flown by!  That got me thinking.. how do we celebrate this great achievement!?

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Why is marriage such an achievement?  If you love someone, shouldn’t it be easy?  I will tell you first hand, married life is not easy.  There are so many factors that can impact a marriage, so to say we are surviving is not a reach.

Anyway, here we are, 5 years married.  We are happy, thankful, and enjoy each other’s company (ask us again in another 20 years… lol) but those giant mountains we sometimes climb can take a toll.  We have been through health struggles, family dramas, job changes, a very sick parent, and now we are learning the parenting role to our toddler, Norah (not always a stress-free task..).

I learnt in counselling many years back about this list of 43 Major Life Stressors.   It is a list of life changing events that you evaluate over the course of one year and your score defines how serious of a threat your stress levels are for your health.  After observing my increase in anxiety and Josh’s blood sugar fluctuations (he is a juvenile Type 1 diabetic), I was curious of what our score was for this past year.   I scored a 393 and Josh is almost the same, if not more due to some personal life events.  Meaning-high risk of illness due to stress.  

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Ok- so it has been a rough year.  For two people to be enduring the same amount of stress, for the same and individual life events in the same time period, we definitely are in survival mode.

The sad fact is, out of all of these stressors, the one that is causing a ripple effect on how we handle all of the others is our financial stress.   That kind of stress can really test a marriage, because unlike any other factor- we can’t just get away for a week (or one night) to revive ourselves- to renew our bond and continue to take on the world together.



But- we WILL survive!  We have in the past, and we will again now!  We have Faith- and that is what has helped us time and time again.  We have to remind ourselves that if we put our worries in God’s hands, and have a little faith, love will prevail.

Sidenote: right before we got married, I went out and got a tattoo- “Faith” across my ribs.  It is there to remind me that God is what will get me/us through any situation. 

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And all major stresses aside, the reality is we are putting in our time right now as a newly married couple.  My parents have been married 48 years and Josh’s parents 34 years!  We still have so much to go through in life and many things to learn.  5 years seems trivial compared to the many miles our parents have on us.

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How will we celebrate these past 5 years?   I will update when the time comes.. Maybe split a bottle of wine and a steak at home, and plan a realistic vacation for our 10 year anniversary… hopefully by then, we can afford a vacation worthy of all the hard times!

Until next time..T. xx