It’s that time of year to say what we are thankful for and I am no exception this year.
2013 has been quite a year. Good for many but very difficult for so many others. This year has been a tough one for me and my family. I have learned a lot about myself through reflection due to several major life changing events that turned my world upside down.
One of those events was that after 17 years (15 married); sadly my marriage has come to an end. It was not a conclusion that was entered into easily or without a heavy heart. It was an ending, years in the making, without even realizing the end result until it was upon me. The realness of something you put your whole heart into just ending is a tough reality for anyone.
Any person who has been in love will fully understand that this person becomes your world and you only want to make them happy. But as life goes on and people grow, you begin to learn more about yourself and what you believe in, not just what your parents or teachers taught you. You discover life and find that it changes you. You learn to be true to your heart and have confidence in what you believe and these are the keys to assisting you on your life path. When you know in your heart you have done all you can to make a relationship work, then all you can do is move forward.
Moving forward takes you out of your comfort zone and the life you have known for many years. It is not an easy decision or challenge to take on. It may likely be the most difficult thing you will ever do and the times that you have to make it on your own or spend that quiet time alone reflecting, can be very challenging. However, have no doubt that through it all, God and his angels will be right there with you. You will not be left alone at all!
As you go through this phase, surrounding yourself with good, positive people will help you to get through till you are ready to stand on your own and fully move forward.
Since our family is so far away, I have been blessed to have an amazing group of friends that I consider family and have been there- more than ever- the last year and I am soo grateful for them. Also, with the loss of my mother at too young an age, these friends have been so compassionate, loving, and understanding through all the pain and tears. I could not have asked for a better support group.
Thank you to all the loving people who truly take the time to understand what another person is going through and listen to another’s pain and sorrow. Thank you to those who do not judge or push, just listen. Those lovely people are the ones who will help you move forward but only when they know you are ready. They allow you to go at your own pace. I thank those wonderful people in my life for the support you have shown in whatever way God has led you.
I want to acknowledge some friends that have been more than I could have ever asked for and I thank you for choosing to be in my life at this time. I will never forget what you have done for me and my family. Thank you: Kiersten, Naa, Kari, Tiffany, Barbara (the most amazing angelic boss ever!), Monica O, Karen C., Emma, Jodee, Anabelle, the school staffs, my children’s friends who have been so understanding and nice to them, my family, and John’s family.
I also want to thank Caroline, Elijah, and Riley for being the most amazing children through such a tough change. Your world has been tossed upside down and being the amazing angels you are, you still have a spirit that is loving, enduring, and adaptable. I thank you for helping me (the adult) to get through some days. I LOVE YOU and am honored to be your mother.
Thank you to all of you angels reading this. Thank you for being in this life at this time. This world would not be the same without you. And thank you to the loved ones who have passed but still make your presence of love known- Love you mom.
The last thank you is for John. I thank you for these three amazing beautiful loving children. I thank you for growing with me. I thank you for the love. I thank you and appreciate you for sharing 17 years of this lifetime with me. Love, Janine
Much Love and Thanks to all.
Photo by: Gisela Giardino
“You never know what you’re gonna get.” Forrest Gump
“Trick or Treat!” The phrase that each child of mine would try to remember to say as they stood at each doorway with puppy dog eyes wanting their next great surprise! Each doorway presented an anticipation of, “What will they give us?” Then as they turned and walked away from each house it was the brief description of what “free” candy they were just given:
“Yes! A full size sour patch.”
“Yes! She gave me, like, 3 pieces! Score!”
Or, “Yuck, (under their breath) I’m not sure what it was but you can have it (speaking to me).”
However, my kids did open their comments up to more than just focusing on the candy, which did break up the monotony.
I heard some:
“They were nice.” Referring to the sweet couple that tried to guess who my kids were dressed as.
“They had a cute dog.”
“They ran out of candy.”
“They were drinking.”
“They scared me.” Referring to the homeowners who were dressed up in scary costumes ready to entertain any recipients of their free candy.
“That house is nice,” literally, referring to the nice style of the home.
The ongoing assessment of each stop kept the night going for 3 hours and ½ a pillow case full of candy later. Yes, this year they all upped their game to pillowcases instead of Halloween bags. After the joy of a nice evening collecting free candy! Then came the serious stuff of trading. “Who wants…., going once, going twice, going, going, gone to mom.” Yes, if no one wanted to trade for the current offering, then the default winner was mom’s pile. And well, in the end, I did have my own bag full!
Like a box of chocolates, you never know what you get until you dive into a bag of random rejected candy that your kids dump on you at Halloween. Life is very similar in the fact that once you have entered this world, you have no road map in your hand telling you what you signed up for. You will have random situations and challenges come your way and you are to handle each one with all your attention and find the best moral path through each challenge.
The Life Path that you decided on with God has basic elements such as “I will be married twice, I will have 2 kids, I will live in three different homes, etc. etc. “ Ultimately, though, you decide daily what your life will be, it is truly ever changing based on your decisions you make every moment.
You will have the yucky challenges, like a bad chocolate, that you just want to spit out. For instance, you might have tried and tried to make a situation or a relationship work and then finally there just comes the time when you have to give up, realizing that to be able to move forward getting rid of the situation or person in your life is the only option. And that is not a bad thing. Accepting what you cannot change is difficult but necessary.
At the same time, we do still reach for and recognize the good chocolates in life, those moments and people that just put a smile on our faces and make the negativity of daily life bearable.
It is wonderful that we often strive for those moments. God’s will for us is that we maintain the ability to approach life with positivity through all situations and look for the highest good.
This amazing planet, Earth, is not a perfect world. It is an experiment in the use of negativity to help expand our growth. Negativity creates unique challenges and you have signed up to be a part of this grand experiment. You are an Angel with courage and strength to want to battle this unseen element. You should be proud of yourself for getting through the daily life on Earth.
Know that God only wants the best for you. Suffering for God is not his goal! His goal is to learn from us amazing brave Angels how to overcome challenges, to share love beyond boundaries, and for us to be angelic leaders on how to manage the negative. Yes, he knows all, but still continues to learn from his children, as we learn from ours, by seeing how each Angel handles each situation differently. It’s constant (life) learning.
We have each signed up for different challenges in our lives. The goal is to get through each challenge as best you can with your morals intact and the ability to say, you came, you worked hard, you survived, and you went home proud of the job you did.
We are all different in how we handle the same challenges, therefore we can relate to each other on the circumstances but in the end God feels, understands and sees how we each add our own unique touch to each challenge. So every individual soul is important!!!
So be proud of the pieces you bring to this game. Stand strong knowing you are important to this world. You are important to God and a future that will benefit from your courage!
Much Love and Uniqueness.