MS will Not Define Me

Feeling Defeated???

If you feel defeated or have ever felt like it, know you are not alone!

Since March when COVID became our way of life, I’ve seen many posts about people who feel like their whole life is falling apart.  I will admit, I had those fleeting moments too.  You know the feeling when it seems like no matter how hard you try, you aren’t able to do anything about it.  We want to fix, manage and control things.  The very people you thought would stand beside you forever turned and walked away.   Those days when the waves of hopelessness flooded your heart and clouded your mind, inching you closer and closer to simply giving up.   The mere thought of facing one more day filled your heart with pain, fear and too much uncertainty to manage.  Who has been there? Maybe not during COVID but at other times in your life….

As a recovering addict who battles with MS, I will admit those days still happen.  I want you to know you are not alone.  There are others who have already been there.

People who know me, know I’m not a quitter…I never have been.  I usual face things with the confidence I will overcome and things will get better.  Honestly, there have been times when I’ve felt like giving up and waving the white flag of defeat. I’m not immune to having the feelings of being overwhelmed, weak and uncertain.  I have tried to do things my way only to find out I created more of a mess.  Those days when MS kicks my butt with brain fog, confusion and aching throughout my body.  Or the days when I  feel as if I’m not “enough” – frustrated with my weight loss efforts and life in general.  I struggle with admitting I’m powerless.  I struggle with wanting things my way.  

Recently, I saw a post about Emperor Tamerlane who was badly defeated in battle. He ran from the battle and hid in a barn. Enemy troops searched the countryside for him. By this time he was depressed, his troops had been terribly defeated and scattered, and he didn’t know what he was going to do.

It was then he noticed an ant trying to push a giant kernel of corn up over a stone wall. As he watched this ant attempt to do the impossible, he counted its futile efforts to see how many times the ant would try until it gave up.

One, two, three… twenty… forty… sixty-nine times the ant tried and failed to push the kernel over the wall. But in one last push, on the seventieth try, the ant made it. Leaping to his feet, Tamerlane excitedly said to the ant, “If you can do it, then so can I.” That day he changed his outlook, reorganized his forces, went back and defeated the enemy.

This story reminded me of the “Little Engine that Could” book I was given my first time in recovery by a friend who was also my boss at the time.  It was this book which helped to remind me on a daily basis things would get better.  Life did get better and then I thought I had things under control.  BIG mistake…..I know I squirreled but I do when I am writing (or talking, LOL).

I know you have probably heard it a million times but you can do it too!  On the outside, people don’t understand every day living with MS is a struggle for me.  On the outside things look easy but on the inside I am attempting the impossible – searching for memories, struggling to find the right words, and trying to carry on conversations.  Add my character defects (yup, I have them) linked to being a recovering addict and you have a “hot mess”.  just like the ant I failed more than once…but I don’t quit.  

I push, get exhausted, try some more, fail, rest, but still get up and try again.  I admit I am powerless in trying to fix, manage and control things.  I push through weakness, dizziness, muscle spasms, and a lack of sleep.  I push through going to meetings because I need to know I am not alone.  I push through feelings of comparison when it comes to my business.  I push and keep on pushing at everything I do. There are days when even a simple trip to the mailbox is a struggle.  

Do I still craft?  YES!  Do I still do puzzles? YES!  Do I still plan meals?  YES (if I didn’t, I never know what we would eat, LOL).  Do I still work my business?  YES (most days)!  Why do I keep pushing….. I think of the little ant who reminds us we can do it. The fight is worth it.  We can make it. Even though things look as if they are impossible, there is still some possibility there. Today, let me be the ant for you.  Remember “impossible” is actually “I’m possible”.

Don’t let the fact a situation, a person, an addiction or a health issue cause you to feel defeated. You can’t stop trying. You can’t stop pushing. Don’t let it win…now PUSH!

I haven’t written in awhile, not sure what to say or what to write about.  This morning, this was heavy on my heart so I figured someone needed to hear it.  I was also surprised by the number of people who keep stopping by my blog to check it out even though I haven’t been writing.  I’m grateful for my readers.  I’m grateful for those who support my business.  It is because I can make a difference in the life of one person I keep on pushing….

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

 

Relax, Reflect, Recharge

Why His Strength is Our Victory

Thank you Kelly Balarie for today’s message…

Unless the LORD builds the house, the builders labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the guards stand watch in vain. ~~ Psalm 127:1 NIV

There are two ways champion athletes act. Consider the game of football. The guy who runs the winning touchdown either kneels on the ground, pounds his fists against his chest, and yells, “I’m Da’ Man!” or he runs to the 10-yard line, points up to God, and says, “All due credit goes to You, Jesus.”

May we do all things to the glory of God.

A girl can hope, right? Sometimes I misplace due-glory. It’s not that I don’t want to thank, praise or give credit to God. I do. It is just that I get busy, distracted, and focused on all that I need to do. All the people who need me. All the happenings around me.

Are you at all like me?

Consider, when you (work, help others, do a job, want something, are after a dream), do you:

1. Work really hard, yet feel disappointed that you don’t get what you want? (Yes/No)
2. Put your best effort in, yet feel reliant on the outcome? (Yes/No)
3. Get upset when people don’t acknowledge what you’ve done? (Yes/No)
4. Become worried that other people will look better than you? (Yes/No)
5. Wonder if you’ll be put to shame if you don’t perform well? (Yes/No)
6. Hope that people see you and notice all that you are doing? (Yes/No)
7. Work yourself to the point of being extremely tired? (Yes/No)
8. Say yes to everyone even though you know you should say no? (Yes/No)
9. Expect people to give you the things “due to you”? (Yes/No)
10. Become resentful towards the “many” people who demand things of you? (Yes/No)

If you answered yes to a few of the above questions, this is a good sign you’re working by your own strength. Strength that leads to discouragement, disappointment and a depleted spirit.

Our strength = Our defeat.

His strength = Our victory.

Where do you need to move out of the way, so that you can find a new, restful and restorative way — Jesus’ way?

Relying on God’s victory doesn’t mean we do nothing. Here are some things we can do, while trusting God as we wait on Him. We can:

1. Pray
2. Lean on His promises
3. Wait to understand what He wants us to do.
4. Move out and love others
5. Rest
6. Pray and give thanks.

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!

So You Want to be a Leader?

Sharing your VISION

Do you have a vision for your business, your family or your life?

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I love this analogy: “Vision works like a rudder on a ship. Without it, the ship may travel a distance, but not necessarily in the right direction. With it, the ship reaches the destination by the shortest route possible. Vision determines the direction of the team.”

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In the past, my ship has traveled off course, what about yours?

Champion basketball coach Pat Riley once said, “Teamwork requires that everyone’s efforts flow in a single direction. Feelings of significance happen when a team’s energy takes on a life of its own.”

I am a leader that doesn’t impart my vision very well to the members of my team.  The goal should be to transfer the vision both emotionally and logically.

There are several components for an emotional transfer of your vision such as:

  • Credibility.  Does your team trust you?  People buy into a leader before they buy into the vision.
  • Passion.  Is your vision something that you care about?  Team members can’t get excited about a vision if you aren’t excited. They need to see and feel your passion so they embrace it.
  • Relationship. How well do your teammates know you? How well do you know them?  Everything we do in life involves relationships.  I know you have heard this one a million times: “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”
  • Timing. You may have all of the components of sharing your vision BUT if the timing isn’t right, it will never fly.  The right decision at the wrong time is still the wrong decision.
  • Feel the need.  We all need to be part of something bigger than ourselves.  Sharing how your vision meets a need can lead to an emotional buy-in.

The logical transfer of a vision is something that I struggle with since some would say I am a “warm and fuzzy” kind of girl.

  • A realistic understanding of the situation today.  You need a starting point.  That starting point begins when you have a firm grasp on reality.  When people understand where they are starting and what the goal is, they are more willing to partner in achieving it.
  • An experienced team.  I’m not sure that I agree 100% that the team has to have experience with the vision.  Yes, if they’ve dealt with similar situations, they and more confident in their ability to tackle the challenge.  I have seen many who have an emotional link to the vision and no experience still reach their goal.
  • A sound strategy.  I must admit, my game plans in the past have not been very clear or succinct.  I love to have input from team members rather than give them a specific plan.  I have learned that the more detailed the plan, the more they are going to fully accept responsibility for achieving the vision .
  • Leader accepts responsibility.  As the leader, do you embrace your role in achieving the vision? Are you willing to be held accountable? People need to know that you’ll do your part.
  • Celebration of each victory.  Yes, I am a BIG proponent of CELEBRATING every milestone.  I believe that it keeps people moving forward.  It is the accomplishments of those small goals that help you to reach the bigger vision.  Celebrations help team members track their progress and find the motivation to continue on the journey.
  • Evaluation of each defeat.   When the team misses a goal, acknowledge it and focus on how the team can do better moving forward.  Celebrate the defeat then let it go!! (Yes, I do hear the Frozen song in my head)

It is not too late to cast your vision to your team so they can see the bigger picture.  When they buy in emotionally and logically, they will work together with you to achieve victory.  Through vision casting, teams learn together develop accountability, connection and engagement.

What is YOUR vision for 2016?

Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!