I am certain of Andrews genuine love for me. His mere presence makes my heart flutter. We are starting our 20th year together and the fairytale is real. Leave it to Dr. Seuss to quote it perfectly. You know you’re in love when you can’t fall asleep because reality is finally better than your dreams.
Good Counsel And Bad Advice
Some of our friends and family did not think we should get married. Yet those who offered these negative opinions had unhealthy relationships.
Perhaps they believed their advice was sound. However, their mirror reflected lost love and a path of poor choices. The course I took to Andrew felt carefully guided and patiently sought. The image I saw of him was one of sincere goodness, resolute strength, and pure devotion. I found my prince, everything else will fall into place.
When you hear good advice though, it can resonate with you for a lifetime. My Sunday School teacher, Beverly, was one of the kindest, most endearing people I have ever met. She adored her husband of some 60 years and when I was about ten years old, I sought her wisdom.
She said, When it comes to deciding if a person is right for you, if it is not 100% yes, then it is 100% no, and you have to be strong enough to walk away. I followed that advice with great diligence, even if it meant I cried for months. If I knew someone was not good for me, through tears and heartbreak I said goodbye. It was great advice.
People have been quite cruel to me, so I was used to hearing callous statements and sometimes it was hard to move on. My little mom also gave me wonderful guidance. To the spiteful few she would say, Ignore them, they cant see the future you can see. Consequently, when nearly everyone around me told me not to marry Andrew, but I knew they were blind to our blissful future.
The determination some place on how to value a man is determined by his wealth and success. They could not see Andrews true value, yet to me it shown through like gold. I had never been so certain in all my life; I was finally at 100%.
I believe marriage is the joy of those who select wisely, the approval of those seeking God, and the destiny of those truly in love. With time, a great marriage can become what dreams are made of an incredible connection to another person unlike any other in the world.
The bond you can hold with your spouse is remarkable and once true love is yours, you will never be same.
This Story is About YOU
God has created an extraordinary existence with resplendent beauty. I hope these testimonies strengthen your faith and motivate you to enjoy this world as we have in love and in awe.
Although this was my journey, everyone has a story. Yours is unique. Your ideal companion does not have to be a husband, but I do believe each person needs someone to love.
My genuine hope is to inspire ambition, ignite wanderlust, and enrich your faith. Stay active! A stagnant life can lead to a dormant end.
I say this with the utmost sincerity, do not let little worries get in the way of magnificent possibilities. Im saddened when I hear the excuses people make for not taking advantage of the incredible life within their grasp. Why they will not travel, get in the ocean, or venture out.
I do understand fear. I do not accept throwing away the best parts of this world because of a bad experience.
When you are at the end of your life where will your thoughts lead? What will your conversation be to the person next to you? Will you discuss what you did or what you did not do?
A strong person can move past regret; but a wise one learns from small regrets to avoid the devastating ones. I have had my share of trauma.
More than a few times I have heard people refer to me and say, Well at least Im not that bad. They thought because I was in a wheel chair, I was also deaf. I know life can be hard, let it create your foundation of power.
Life Lessons Learned Slowly
I believe the purpose of life is to learn and experience what you can from the world around you, and from the love within you. Unfilled purpose seems to result in the one emotion which is inconsolable, regret.
When I was a little girl our church group would visit nursing homes to talk and spend time with the elderly residents. These facilities are needed and nice for some.
The kind adults gave me questions to ask in order to start a conversation. A common inquiry was, What advise do you have for someone my age? Though I was scared to think of ever being forced to be a resident, which then made me uneasy about receiving guidance.
Although I had true empathy for their physical pain, I wanted no part of the choices which led here. Instead, I wanted to know their regrets. I asked this same question to them and to every job interviewer in my future, If you had it to do all over again, what would you have done differently.
Each person I asked always had an immediate response. Not all the replies were constructive, yet the insight gained was both illuminating and heartbreaking. Learning from the regrets of others is a challenging endeavor.
I still visited nursing homes up until earlier this year. We were taking shelter dogs to the residents for their pet therapy. Some of the residents were so sweet and their kind family members pay for them to live there order to get the best of care. It is enlightening to speak to so many at the end of their lives.
The last resident I remember speaking to looked at me with tears about to bubble over on to her cheek, and said, I wanted to see the world, but all I saw was our state, the inside of our house, and the back of my kids heads as they left me. She continued, But you know what they say, Ignorance is bliss – maybe it would have hated traveling.
My ignorance of this magnificent world was not bliss, there was an indefinable emptiness I had to fill. If you disagree, look into the eyes of a person who has realized they are now too old to take chances, explore the world, and only stayed within the boundaries others defined.
I know that look. Some of the nursing home residents described being servants to a family they hoped would care for them now they live alone in a small room.
They are often lost in the daydreams of what could have been and stranded in a life not lived. Wisdom came too late, now regret is their prison.
This of course is not the case for every resident. I believe Father God is truly with us and only led me to speak to those whose messages helped navigate my journey. Nursing homes can be necessary and seem to provide excellent care. I am saying, for me, this stagnation of sedentary living would be my hell.
Decide for yourselves where your lifes passion will lead you. Stay active, plan ahead, and exercise in order to have more options. Take steps now to prepare for a destination you desire, not one forced upon you.
May your finish line be overflowing with love, joy, and your greatest aspirations having come to fruition. When loved ones talk about of your life, may it bring them inspiration and be an example of a life well lived.
Overcoming Depression and Fear
My moms death was so overwhelming it took not only my husbands support and our dogs loving attentiveness, but also volunteering at the shelter to get through it.
Helping those precious, homeless dogs escape their reality, if only for a little break from their cement barriers, took me away from my grief. Their pure gratitude soothed my shattered soul.
My life was nearly ended by guard dogs, yet I am surrounded by four dogs as I write these words and volunteer at an animal shelter each week. My scary experience with dogs will not hinder the blessing I receive from walking the caged angels at shelters or giving food to the hopeful strays in each country we visit.
I believe dogs are Gods personal gift to us. We are the center of a dogs universe. We are the focus of their love, faith, and trust. They serve us in return for scraps. It is without a doubt the best deal man has ever made. [Roger Caras]
Incidentally, walking shelter dogs covers the three top things said to heal depression: exercise, spending time with pets, and volunteerism. Doing good for these innocent animals can help heal a saddened heart. If you are thinking you cannot help at shelters because it will make you sad, how do you think they feel? Its not about you; its about being kind to a truly innocent soul.
You may not be able to change your past, but you can change your path to a better reality. Kindness is key.
Its okay if you lose your way, the path will still be there. Find your way back. I believe God orchestrated a way for each of us. Even if we have been castaways in our own stories, we can regain favor.
I still have not recovered from my mothers death seven years ago. There is no expiration date on sadness, but I no longer mourn her passing. Of course, we all miss our loved ones, but sadness cannot overtake our lives.
I begged God not to take her. The unanswered prayers will put the strongest of believers into dismay. They are my continual disappointments. It is hard to accept, but if we trust God, we know the negations have purpose.
Tragedy is written into everyone’s story, whether it is preordained or by chance. Only hindsight ultimately reveals its unseen value.
I was on the phone with my mother having a cheerful conversation, listening to her beautiful little voice, when she had a stroke. I knew God could have saved her, but it was not to be.
It was her time to be whole again. I was angry, devastated, and most definitely weakened. I lost my mother, best friend, and little girl whom I looked after with great responsibility. I have faith I will see her again, but today, is not that day. Today, I will rejoice and trust in a blessed future.
An atheist said to us, he no longer believes in God because his family member died. If we only have faith in God if no one dies, we would be overrun by an excessive amount of people. It is ridiculous logic.
Everyone has a timeline, no matter how short or long. Only God knows when your journey of life is complete. Make your time count.
Maybe death should give our lives a sense of urgency. Getting past anxieties yields courage and strength of mind. I am fearful of getting back into the ocean, going parasailing, and getting my pilots license, but I was more fearful of the lost opportunities.
Do I have an excuse to be afraid of the ocean? The puncture wounds in my nasal cavity do not even allow me to hold my breath under water. Yet I jumped into the Great Barrier Reef with no land in sight pursuing a colossal Humphead Wrasse fish.
Had I let anxiety win I would have missed out on the most amazing moment of my life. The enormous, colorful Wrasse fish was comfortable with people and allowed us to pet him as he nuzzled us, while we all floated in the immense Great Barrier Reef in Australia. A diver took a photo of us commemorating the astonishing encounter.
The unknown can be scary. Fear sometimes tears at my heart, for sure! You cant be assaulted, crushed by a truck, and brutalized by a tsunami and not come out with some phobias.
Yes, my heart will race, pounding against my chest in a panic, but I push past it. Fear is a temporary state of mind, and life is too fantastic to miss!
It will not stop me from experiencing this worlds astonishing blessings. I will die with a big smile on my face, thrilled from the rush of adventure, overjoyed with awesome memories, and absolutely certain heavens best is yet to come.
So now its your turn! I call out to you! Jump in, venture out, feel the sun on your face! Find good friends, explore new lands, live more fully, and ask God to be with you always.
We live in an amazing world. God has created an extraordinary existence with resplendent beauty. I hope these testimonies strengthen your faith and motivate you to enjoy this world as we have in love and in awe.
After all, its your life ~ choose wisely.