As with anything there will be times when life will throw you a curve ball. If you don’t think that’s fair then as I’ve often said, what planet are you on? This whole thing called life is a journey with its peaks and valleys, highs and lows, tears of joy and tears of sadness. There will be times of great reward and sometimes it will seem as disappointment has taken charge; but as long as your limbs are working and you still have the breathe of life flowing through your body you can do something to negate the disappointments.
If you have yet to experience the low parts, keep living, they will come. But, guess what? You’re in the driver’s seat. You can determine how much these events derail your plans by how you respond. I have yet to see anyone truly succeed by staying down when knocked down. Instead I see them re-evaluate their circumstances and then make adjustments. This is something we all should become pros at. Why? Because all those twists and turns add spice to our lives. I’ve heard of people when asked what do they want to do in life and without giving the question the serious thought it deserves they quickly respond “NOTHING”. Just as an exercise I tried imagining myself doing nothing. Guess what I discovered? The only time I could imagine doing nothing the one thing I saw was a casket! That image quickly eliminated any thought on my part of doing nothing!
I know that life is hard and for many it’s harder than most but you can still get back up when knocked down and fight for the life you want. I think back to May 2009 I’d been laid off from a job I’d been on for 16 years. Of course panic is the first thing I experienced but I also quickly realized that panic does not pay the bills. Sure I was fortunate enough to have a small severance to hold things together for a while during my search for a new job. Except instead of the curve ball lasting a few weeks it turned into 2-1/2 years. And though the severance was long gone, unemployment depleted and nearly losing my home (twice), I refused to stay knocked down. During this time there were 4 things that sustained me and kept me from losing my sanity.
1. My Husband – Oscar was , is and always will be my rock. His support and encouragement kept me grounded. Plus just his example of his everyday life. You see my husband is in constant pain due to injuries while serving our country during the Vietnam conflict. But watching him as he continues his ministry of helping others I could only admire his determination to not allow pain to stop him from living. He was and still is today a very active man giving of himself so that others don’t suffer any longer than they should. He is always equipped with wise counsel and I am proud to be his wife.
2. Faith – my faith grew to a new level during this time. This too I can attribute to the support I received from my husband. As a minister’s wife you’d think well that should be a given. Who told you that? I’m a flesh and blood being with feelings and emotions but thanks to his teachings most of which were simply exhibited by his everyday actions I made it through that 2-1/2 years and came out stronger!
3. Family/Friends – there were a few friends and family that kept me grounded as well. They were my support system when I needed just a little bit extra. I think fondly of my sisters Sharon and Betty. Okay neither are blood sisters, Sharon and I just adopted each other and Betty (rest her soul) was married to my brother. But they each were lifelines to me and for me. Sharon helped me to publish my book as an audio book, I recorded it on my laptop, Sharon made the copies, I designed the cover and low and behold, “Journey to a Fresh Start, Releasing the Junk…Revealing the Jewels” was born. It’s now available on Amazon as an e-book or in print. But the point is I may never have done it had it not been for that time I was without a job. Now Betty, she’s my heart and I’ve never been as close to anyone as I was with her. And when a few months after losing my job Betty learned her cancer was back I was there to take her to doctors and help with the kids. Although this time the disease won I was in a position to be there for my brother so that he could continue to work and support his family. I realized then that had I been working I could not have been there.
4. Purpose – my purpose was born 10 years ago when with the support of my husband Fresh Start for Women was birthed to empower and renew the lives of women affected by domestic violence, abuse and sexual assault. Conducting numerous workshops, seminars and retreats during that 2-1/2 years gave me something to look forward to leaving little time to feel sorry for myself and have a pity party. I still had a life and I was determined to it well. So though I was knocked down I didn’t stay down. I stayed busy concentrating on helping others and finally one day I ran across a name in my phone, Ginger Hicks, I heard this small whisper say “call her”. Well I didn’t have a phone number but I did have an email so I sent her one. That was in August 2011 and I’ve been working with her ever since.
This is my story of being knocked down and getting back up? What’s yours? We all have them and by sharing we can encourage others who may be going through. This journey has given me a recipe for surviving those curve balls life will throw your way. Hopefully it can help you. It is now summertime and although we must still do all the things we must in order to survive and take care of our families. There are times that the heat of the day drains you and you need replenishing. It is at those times nothing beats a cool glass of ice water to quench your thirst. It is in that vain I call this recipe, ” Living Water on Ice”.
1. Look at Your Circle – make sure the people in it will be there during the long haul. If not start improving that circle now before it’s needed. Be sure to mix it up, variety adds spice and gives you choices depending on the need at hand.
2. Do Something – you can’t lie in bed, sit in front of the idiot box or eat your way through it. Do something, even if it’s helping someone else. You just might be helping yourself as well.
3. Renew Your Faith – even when current circumstances and evidence says you’re floundering and losing ground that’s when you need to grab hold of Faith and don’t let go.
4. Mix it all together, shake vigorously, pour over ice and drink slowly. Savoring the coolness as it quenches your thirst, cools your belly, calms the nerves, and put a smile on your face. And just to make it even better, why not stock up now. Then when life knocks you down and you know it will you’ll already have your recipe right at hand.