2012 is fleeting. Like others, I've been reflecting on all that has taken place this year. The ups, the downs and everything in between. Certain moments were teeming with happiness, while others overflowed with sorrow. Many tears were shed throughout the year, but laughter continued to echo within these four walls. There were days where sadness overcame us, but hope prevailed. Our lives will never be the same, but we're starting to settle into this new one. It'll all get easier in time.
I believe God has used the trials we've faced to strengthen me. Like a gardener; weeding out that which wasn't good for my growth, while fertilizing that which was. Looking back now, I can see how far I have come. How, by His grace, I've been able to push through and flourish. I'm so grateful for His guidance and the manifestation of His will within my life. Although I may not always understand the reasoning behind the things that happen, I still trust Him. His plans are much better than mine.
The past year has taught me that:
1. I am much stronger than I realized.
2. Sometimes pain is required with growth.
3. Change is a process and a process takes time.
4. There is no point in over-thinking situations.
5. I won't get along with everyone and that's okay.
6. Stepping out of my comfort zone isn't that bad.
I turned 23 yesterday. Normally I don't feel anything when another birthday rolls around, but this year was somewhat different. Yesterday morning I woke up feeling refreshed. Physically, mentally, but more so spiritually. I feel like God has some BIG plans for this year of my life and I'm really looking forward to seeing what He has in store. Our lives are starting to get back in order since my Dad passed away in June. Things aren't the same and they never will be.
I missed my Dad a lot yesterday. I really missed him asking me if I felt any older this year. The answer? Nope. I actually feel more full of life lately. God has been slowly changing throughout the year. He has been molding me into this person that I don't even recognize some days. Crazy, but I like who I've become. All in all, it was a great birthday. Blessed to have such great peeps in my life.
Finally had a chance to put up our little fake Christmas tree. This is our very first year without having a real one. It's different, but it's growing on me. It's cute and our kitties seem to be leaving it alone. It's nestled into a wee little spot in the living room that we now call the Christmas cubby.
Crêpes are becoming a Saturday morning tradition in this household. I figured that I should share my recipe since they have been getting a lot of compliments lately. The first Saturday I made blueberries and cream cheese which are the ones shown above. Last week I used strawberries and tomorrow I plan on using blackberries. They're so easy to make!
½ cup milk
½ cup water
¼ tsp salt
1 cup flour
2 tbsp melted butter
¼ cup agave
1 cup fresh fruit
¼ cup plain yogurt
1 brick cream cheese
1 tsp vanilla extract.
In a large bowl, whip flour and eggs. Gradually add in the milk and the water, stirring to combine. Add in the salt and butter; beat until smooth. Set the bowl aside. In another large bowl, whip soft cream cheese with yogurt. Mix in vanilla extract and agave. Fold in the fruit and set the bowl aside. Time to make them! Heat a lightly oiled pan over medium heat. Pour or scoop the batter into the pan,using approximately 1/4 cup for each crêpe. Tilt the pan so that the batter coats the surface evenly. Cook the crêpe for about 2 minutes. Now take some of your filling and place a few tablespoons down the center. Loosen up the crêpe and fold each side into the center. Cook for a few seconds longer to make sure the filling heats up a bit. Place them on a plate, cover with whipped cream and sprinkle with cinnamon or powdered sugar.
Oh, life. It's good, it's bad and sometimes it is just plain ugly. Good choices and bad decisions. Circumstances we have no control over and situations we could have avoided. We have all had points in our life that can teach us a thing or two. Life certainly isn't perfect and we can't avoid hardships. It's such a beautiful thing, but it can be down right awful at times.
I've faced a lot throughout the last 22 years. Most things I'd rather not share because it's between God, my husband and myself. He's the only one I've told about certain things and I would like to keep it that way. It's so important to embrace the good times and accept / learn from the bad. Take what you can from those hard times. Those moments shouldn't leave you bitter, but they should help mold you into a better person. Try to view each difficult situation as an opportunity for growth.
Be it spiritual, emotional or even physical. Everything you face in this life can teach you something, but only if you allow it to do so. It's ultimately up to you to decide what attitude you'll have when faced with opposition. You can let it bring you down, steal your joy and leave you merciless. OR you can pick yourself up, choose a different outlook and keep on keepin' on.
God never promised that we wouldn't have challenges in life, but He did say He would never leave us. If you're having a hard time with something, give it over to God. Pray about it and leave it in His hands. Ask Him to change your mindset on the matter. He'll help you to overcome it.
One month and one day down. It hasn't been easy, but it hasn't been as hard as I thought it'd be. Do I miss my Dad? Of course! I'm not some heartless individual. I do break down here and there. I believe you never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have.
Yes, I could have fallen into a state of depression. I could have turned my back on God for not healing my Dad. I decided to do the opposite. This whole situation has made me stronger. It's made me realize the importance of appreciating loved ones and it's drawn me closer to God.
I'll admit that I was mad at God for about a week, but I just couldn't stay mad. I hate feeling far away from God. It's the worst feeling in the world. Even worse than the pain of losing my Dad. I that my Dad would've wanted me to pick myself up and move forward. So that's what I'll do.
By no means am I saying that it is bad to grieve. It is completely normal. We're humans for crying out loud, not robots. We have emotions an we feel sadness. We just can't continue to let that sadness rule us. At some point we must leave our emotions at the foot of the cross and continue our journey. That's where I'm at right now. I know that God will use this situation to help me relate to others who have lost parents. I'll be able to minister to those who are hurting.
I'm so eager to see what each day has in store. I know God still has so much planned for my life. I know that my Dad is basking in God's glory as I type this post. That gives me comfort! I am going to continue this series, but it'll more than likely be monthly posts instead of weekly :)
It's been two weeks today. With each day comes new strength. It's God, I know it is. There's no way I could go through all of this without Him. People keep commenting on how well I'm taking everything. In all honesty, I'm surprised myself. I still have my moments of weakness. Mostly when the house is still. That's when my mind tends to wonder. His presence is missed.
I am trying to stay strong for my Mom, really. She has been hurt so deeply by my Dad's passing. They would have been married 42 years this 4th of July. Bless her heart. She is trying her best to cope. I'm doing my best to help her. I don't like seeing her sad. I know it'll take time.
My sweet tattoo artist, Jeremy, offered to do a memorial tattoo free of charge after hearing about what happened. I wanted something that would always remind me of my Dad. I chose a swallow. He had a swallow tattoo on each arm that he got while serving in the Navy.
Funny, I always thought they were sparrows until I did some research. Supposedly sailors would get swallow tattoos to represent how many nautical miles they had traveled. One swallow equaled 5,000 miles, two equaled 10,000 miles & so on. I really find the whole thing terribly interesting. I'm so glad I chose what I did. Jeremy did an outstanding job, as usual! I absolutely love it.
It's been one week since my dad passed away. We laid him to rest yesterday at Florida National Cemetery. I seriously thought I was going to lose it. To my surprise, I kept it together. It's not that I'm holding it all in. I simply feel numb and the reality hasn't had a chance to completely sink in.
I broke down a few times today. Tears even began to fall as I typed this post out. I keep having flashbacks of my Dad while he was suffering. He went through so much the past few months. This all happened so fast. I should've spent more time with him. I wasn't expecting him to go this fast.
I should have sat and spoken with him more. I should have prayed longer, harder. I know he's in a better place, but I miss him. My heart aches more with each passing day. It is tough. Jesus is definitely going to have to help me through this. I know He will. I need to pour my heart out to Him. I have to allow Him to heal my heart, take away all the pain and renew my faith.
Three days. It's been three days since I lost my dad to a quick and very agonizing battle with cancer. The pain we are feeling is unimaginable. The grieving process has begun. Our souls ache with sadness. Eyes fill with tears as lips utter why? and weary minds struggle to figure everything out. Our house is cold and silent, much like our hearts.
To say we miss him would be an understatement. We were all believing for a miracle. I'm not mad at God. I'm simply frustrated and hurt, which is to be expected. We told him it was okay with us if he wanted to go. Why, then, are we upset that he actually did? Shouldn't we be rejoicing that he's with Jesus? I guess, but it doesn't change the fact that he will be greatly missed.
I believe it's always God's will to heal people, but I also believe that a person's will ultimately affects the outcome. It may have been my dad's will to leave this life for another. We all know that his pain was unbearable. I'm glad he doesn't have to deal with it anymore. I know where he is and that gives me comfort, but my heart remains heavy. It'll take time to adjust and move forward.
I am so very thankful for the outpouring of support and encouragement that we have been receiving recently. Prayers, words of condolences, hot meals, etc. We're surrounded by people who genuinely care. From the bottom of my heart, thank you. Each and every one of you have been such a tremendous blessing to our whole entire family.
One day we'll meet again, Dad. I promise to take care of Mama. I love you with all of my heart. I'll never forget the last words you said to me "I love you too, baby girl". Now, time to pick up the pieces and move forward.