Storm – free?

I don’t know about you, but I often find myself thinking, ”It really shouldn’t be THIS hard!’

And in the next breath, I find myself singing, ”Oh well….. LIFE IS LIFE!”
There is a line in that song that says, ”Life is life, come on stand up and dance‘.

This morning, I shared the above picture on my Facebook profile, and an old school friend of mine commented,
”True, Megs. I hope you’re having a season of rainbows and sunshine.”

My reply to her was this :

“Here’s hoping the same for you… and if not? Well… we both know how to dance in the rain, right 😉 The storms of life come with a vengeance… but we know that the sun is waiting to shine and so we can still smile 🤗💜

Like me, she has weathered some heavy storms. They were different to mine, but tough all the same. Life has taken her and I on very different journeys, and even though our outcomes have been different, there are still ways that we think the same. Hence my comment.

And here’s the thing….

These are not just words for me. It is who I am, and what I truly believe.
YES! I get overwhelmed, and I sometimes feel discouraged. Yes, I have bad days, where my heart feels sad. And although I will always be honest about my FEELINGS and you will know that I am struggling, I have realised that my BELIEF/HOPE and my ATTITUDE are the two most important things in the equation of life.
The belief has not come easily. I have had to work hard to change my attitude, I have had to sacrifice some things, and I have had to choose a different mindset and lifestyle.
These beautiful words that I find myself so often speaking? They’re not just to impress.
They come from a heart that has experienced trauma and deep hurt, that has every excuse to be bitter and angry.
They come from a soul that is so scarred that surely it can no longer be considered pretty?
They come from a body that is physically damaged and hurts more often than not.

But even in the darkness, when the storms keep coming…
MY heart, soul, and body CHOOSE to find a way to dance in the rain… and wait for the sun… and I can smile because I know that even in the midst of the storms there is ALWAYS a reprieve and a quick burst of sunshine to keep me going, if I choose to see it.

Please come and dance in the rain with me… and let’s keep sharing our smiles with the world ❤

Love Taps

Most people know a ‘love tap’ as being a ‘light punch’, usually done in jest.

I prefer the other meaning that someone once told me about. They said that a ‘love tap’ is when you get a little ‘sub conscious/pretend’ tap on the shoulder, either when receiving a form of love, or when you’re being prodded to do something to give love. Now THAT really appealed to me.

As I mentioned in my previous shared post, this last week has been a tough one. And yet every day, for the last five days, I have experienced love taps…. FOR ME! People who ‘were tapped’, and followed through. In little ways…. that encouraged me SO MUCH! An email that reminded me how very loved I am, and that I am NOT alone; messages to not only encourage me but thank me for who I am; and a video that was sent to me on Thursday.

This video? It carried a powerful message. And was sent by a ‘friendly acquaintance’ who had NO idea of anything I was going through – she sent it with the caption : ”I watched this and you came to mind, don’t know why. But I am sending it to you, and I hope you have a great day!” She followed through on her love tap…. and it made a HUGE difference to me!

The video spoke of a father and daughter who were driving home after a time away. The daughter was the driver, and having only just recently acquired her license, when a storm came up, she got nervous. Her dad said to keep driving. The storm got worse, and other cars and even a great big truck, all pulled over. But her dad told her she would be okay, and to just keep driving. And then they were through the storm. And her dad said,
”You can pull over now.”
She did, and she smiled and said, ”I know, Dad. You want me to stop and thank God for bringing us through safely.”
He replied, ”Yes, but there is something else too. Climb out the car, and I’ll show you.”
So they got out of the car, and he told her to look back the way they had come, and asked her what she saw. She replied that she could still see the storm back that way. He asked her to look again and tell him what else she saw, and she seemed a bit confused, and so he asked,
”Where are the cars, and the big truck, who pulled over? Do you see them?”
She looked back and slowly shook her head.
He said, ”You don’t see them, because they are still in the storm. You see, when you pull over, you make the storm last longer. If you keep going, keep moving ahead, keep believing that it’s possible, keep your hope and your faith…. then you will make it through your storm.”

Now, there may be plenty of ‘holes’ in this story. But for me? It was just another reminder of the general theme in my life : Hold on to your hope, keep pushing on… you’ll be okay.

And I needed to hear it, and know it, and feel it.

And I know that when we’re in the storm, sometimes the generic replies like : this too shall pass; you can’t have a rainbow without the rain; it’s just a bad day and not a bad life – sometimes those replies can be frustrating, and not very helpful for the place we are in.

But for me personally? I have learned that the even if I don’t like them, and even if I don’t feel them… I will keep saying them out loud anyway – because there comes a time where THEY become the first thoughts my brain has when the next storm threatens 😉

And one more thing about love taps …..

(And sometimes I embarrass my children, ha ha ha!)
I often have these moments where I will notice someone, and perhaps see that they have on a pretty dress, or a top that brings out their eyes, or their hair looks really pretty that day – but let’s stick with the dress for now 😉 I say it in my head. But a minute later, they pass me again, and I have the urge to tell them, ”That’s a really pretty dress.” I hold back though. And then we’ll end up in the queue together, or they’ll pass me again, and the urge is too great… and I end up blurting it out,
”I’m sorry… but I just want to tell you, that is a really pretty dress that you’re wearing.”
Most times, they’re a little taken aback at first… and then I see the light in their eyes, and the difference my silly comment has made to them in that moment… and it makes it all worth it.

Follow through on your love taps…. it makes the world just that little bit better, for them…
and for you ❤

Stormy Disasters

I don’t mean to downplay the effects of natural disasters – but when I saw this I have to admit that I DID laugh, and my next thought was, ”Actually, that’s pretty clever”!

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My daughter is extremely fascinated by natural disasters. They started learning about them in geography a few years ago, and it’s a topic that has interested her ever since. Up until about a year ago, she wasn’t really aware of the devastating effects that they can have – and then she discovered movies about earthquakes and volcano eruptions, and that changed. (We don’t really experience natural disasters here.)

The thing about these disasters, and storms, is that they’re rather unpredictable. There is only so much man can calculate – the rest is left to ‘nature’.

I love storms. That’s something we get A LOT of – full on, electric thunderstorms! In fact, lightning related deaths around here are four times higher than the global average. And I actually have a friend who was struck by lightning, and after hours of surgery and skin grafts has the scars to prove it on her body, and is alive to tell the tale – thank goodness!

I love to sit out on the porch (undercover, of course) and see the brilliant electric sparks of the lightning, and hear the deep booming crackle of the thunder. It’s a powerful phenomenon that never ceases to amaze me. And then there’s also the rain – unpredictable too – because some days there’s a whole lot of noise and spectacular sky for just a few gentle drops. We’re edging into Summer here, and that will no doubt bring us hail storms. Those days, I have to stay inside with my dogs – they’re not afraid! Those silly, furry kids of mine want to play with the balls falling from the sky 😛

While I get overly enthusiastic about stormy weather, it’s always been a struggle to be that way with the storms of life. (Yes, you knew where I was headed 😉 ) And then one day I really thought about those storms that come into my life – sometimes out of nowhere – and something in my perspective shifted. So today, I’d like to share those thoughts with you.

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Photo credit : boomsumo.com

When my children were young, I spent a lot of time reassuring them that all was okay and that the storm would eventually pass. I spent a lot of time having to calm them. And I guess that’s the thing with storms in life. They happen. We can’t always control them. But we need to keep ourselves calm in their duration. And while their duration may be a little too lengthy for our liking, they will end. And yes, perhaps there will be another one directly thereafter – we don’t know what the future holds, or how many are heading our way. And sometimes it’s more of the same type of storm. But each one does have an end. Being calm for its duration helps.

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Shelter from the storm is important. Especially when it’s raging. It’s no good holding things in and going it alone – have the courage to turn to others that you feel you can trust and ask them to help shelter you in whatever means you deem necessary : with prayer, encouragement and support.

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It’s easy to get caught up in the despair of the storm that is brewing or raging. It’s easy to experience a multitude of negative emotions overlapping and consuming us. It’s NOT so easy to pause in the midst of the storm and reflect on what is actually happening. But it’s important. If we can acknowledge and recognise the cause, we can equip ourselves with the tools to outlast it. We can learn from them – and the outcome is usually linked to helping someone else later down the road. Sometimes they’re a test, sometimes they’re to show us what we need to change within ourselves, sometimes they’re there to take us out of our comfort zones and develop our character – no wonder they’re not enjoyable! 

But most important of all :

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Photo credit : quotabulary.com

Being caught up in a storm is difficult. Rest when you need to. Fuel your body and your mind. Be attentive to your needs. Remember that you’ll never speak to anyone more than you speak to yourself in your head, so be kind!

AND….

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    Shipwreck

    The ship was sinking. Fast.

    It had been slow at first…the water seeping in through a small hole…
    But the pressure had built, and now something so small had grown into something large enough to create chaos and devastation.

    In what seemed like a shorter space of time than what it actually was, the ship took one last look at the magnificent orange and red hues of yet another almost perfect sunrise. It disappeared beneath the depths of a very large ocean, immersing itself in the dark depths below.

    And sometimes, this is life.

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