Love The Life You Live- Storms

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Not too long ago I thought my life was pretty set- I was married for 20+ years, I had four beautiful kids that kept me busy, and I was busy serving in my church. I was fortunate enough to be a stay at home mom so my life was centered on my family. My life was far from perfect, but I felt like I knew what my future looked like.

I guess I got a little too comfortable. When I wasn’t looking, what seemed like a massive storm swept through, bringing changes into my life that were so unexpected and unwelcome. It tossed my average life into total chaos, leaving nothing but a path of destruction full of broken, misplaced parts of what used to be my life. The only thing I could do was stand in the middle of the mess and look for a way to put it all back together again. Often times, when I surveyed the damage, panic would take over, paralyzing me and I would ask myself “Where do I begin”?

I have always been a big believer that we can grow under any set of circumstances if we look for the opportunities. I decided that if I had to go through the experiences I was faced with then I was going to learn EVERYTHING I possibly could. Otherwise, if I choose to just “get through” my circumstances I would most certainly lose an opportunity to grow and that would make the pain sting a little deeper and make the experiences seem like just a waste of time. No, if I had to go through this I was going to learn all I could. I was going to squeeze everything I possibly could out of it. I wanted to come out on the other side of this whole storm stronger than I was before it knocked me off my feet.

So I begin with what I KNEW. I knew I had a loving Heavenly Father that knew what I was going through, so I relied on my faith. I knew I had friends and family that loved me, so I reached out them (this wasn’t easy at first but it was part of the learning process). I knew deep down that eventually the dark clouds I felt swirling around me would move on and I wouldn’t be stuck in this storm forever, so I looked forward to the day when the sun would shine again.

I can’t say at the time that I was loving the life I lived while creating the life I wanted. In fact, there were many times that desperation would take over I would be in full-on survival mode. There were days that I hated. every. single. minute. of it. There were days that I was just trying to live life-there wasn’t anything I could find to love about it. That’s the honest truth.

I can say though, that over time I began to see the life I wanted and I worked toward creating the possibility, hoping that one day I might have it. After all, creating the life we want is a process.

Did the storm pass? Yes. Have I felt the warmth of the sun on my face again? Yes. Did I learn anything in the process? Absolutely.

Do I have the life I want now? Not completely, I’m still working on it and that’s ok with me. I love my life now. In fact, because of what I’ve experienced and the things I’ve learned along the way life seems just a little sweeter than it ever was before.

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Love The Life You Live

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19Although Jacob and I have been married for almost a year and a half I still consider us newlyweds. I figure this title will no longer apply to us once we have kids or our siblings get married. But we have a few years before we have to worry about that.

Jacob and I are currently in this semi-awkward stage of working full time, while taking night classes. We have general ideas of what we want to get our degrees in. Well Jacob does, I change my mind on a near-daily basis. We rent a townhouse that was built in 1984, with 5 different types of flooring throughout. Yep, you read that right, 5. In fact not much in this place has been updated since it was built. Jacob’s car is about half-dead and we don’t really make enough right now to save. Our life is like this double-edged sword, where everything I listed above is both fantastic and crappy at the same time.

I’ll be the first to admit that I am guilty of often falling prey to what I like to call the social media affect. People often tend to post the amazing things in their lives- which is great! We should appreciate and share the good. The problem is that I have a tendency to compare my life with everyone else’s.  When I do this I become dissatisfied with what I have.  Theodore Roosevelt said ” Comparison is the thief of Joy.” I’ve noticed that when I’m constantly comparing myself or my life to others I find less joy in what I’ve been given. I would love to be graduating college right now, traveling around Europe or buying a house like many of my friends and their spouses. But Jacob and I just aren’t there yet and I can’t compare our lives with anyone else. I’ve learned that comparing myself to others is useless because everyone’s situation is different; we’ve been given different trials, different paths for a reason. I know that one day Jacob and I will graduate, travel, and buy a house and do whatever we want. It’s just not our time YET.

While I hate that we never have any money, and every fiber of my being wants to do a remodel on our rental, I love that it is ours. I love that we are able to figure life out and make decisions together. I love that I have my best friend by my side to help me navigate life. Jacob has been by my side as I’ve experienced some of life’s most painful moments such as my brothers passing and my parents’ divorce but I love that we’ve also been able to celebrate together sweet things in life like graduations, completed missions and special vacations. I love that we still have so many exciting things to look forward to together. I’m grateful that we get to be poor newly wedded college students together. Even though there are days that I hate every minute of it, I wouldn’t change it or who I get to experience it all with. So here’s to creating the life you want, while loving the life you live.

[ I had every intention of posting some cute little picture of the two of us happy together in our little townhouse. But let’s face it, while we are happy we are also dead tired from work and school more often than not. Jacob was out before I could make him take pictures with me.]

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