Looking Forward

Every year we are given the opportunity to have the chance to start over fresh at the beginning of the year. To learn from the past year, things we should have done and what we can do better. This past year has certainly been one that has been filled with some challenges. I’ve lost a few people in my life……..mostly to thyroid cancer and to other circumstances; also, I’ve had some challenges with the cancer, but I won’t go into that as you can read about that on my previous blog-posts. In addition, having my husband deployed has been something that has weighed a lot on my mind as I am concerned for his safety, but very grateful and proud of him for his willingness to serve alongside those who are protecting our freedoms. Nevertheless, I am looking forward to good things happening. However, as I have faced the many challenges in my life one thing that comes to my mind is that I have seen how the grace of God and his tender mercies are working in my life. We are all going to have rough patches at one point or another in our life when we think to ourselves “how can I handle one more bad thing happening in my life?” Nevertheless, something that I have realized is that when we experience these times of sadness that we are actually alive and there is a song that I want to share that describes that. The song is called, “This is What It Means,” by Danny Gokey. Music has been another avenue for me in dealing with life’s challenges. It has also been a great tool I’ve been able to utilize that has provided me encouragement as I have experienced the challenge of facing cancer and other difficult times in my life. I am grateful for the wonderful friends in my life who have helped me to learn and appreciate the power of music.

We are going to experience joy, pain, fear, faith and loss in our lives and I believe that this song depicts it perfectly. It is through experiencing these various emotions that we know we are alive. When we can no longer feel these kinds of emotions that is the point when life stops. The grace of God is what gets us through those difficult times; he makes up the difference when we think we cannot do no more. We can see the hand he plays in pulling us through those tough times, but we have to take that leap of faith and trust in his almighty hand. He works in very mysterious ways by placing circumstances and people in our path to help us in our journey. I have seen it firsthand in my own cancer journey the many people which have been placed in my path to help me and guiding me through, to which I am truly grateful. Nevertheless, we will not be free of sadness and sorrow as that is a part of life, but it is how we react to those situations in our lives can that can determine where we are going. Something that I heard a long time ago and not sure where it exactly came from, but it is something which has often popped into my head is that “our decisions can determine our destiny.” We don’t always know how we are going to react to a situation, but this is a bit of wisdom that we can always remember. Sometimes you have to sit and ponder a situation before you do react.

As I ponder and reflect on this past year, it makes me understand that maybe perhaps I didn’t react the way I should have to some situations. Life is surely a big learning curve and the important thing is to learn from our mistakes. The beginning of each year is a fresh start that allows us to reflect and hopefully make changes if necessary. I hope that we can each look forward to the coming year and for me personally I see this as an opportunity for growth and development, to improve and make myself better. It is important that as we do face challenges in our lives that we embrace them fully. It is through those challenges where we can be strengthened and it can also help us on our path to become the person we were meant to be.  I will close this post with the following quote which I really like and believe it to be very true:

 

Challenge quote1

The Tides of Change

 

Tides of Change

 

Summertime is a great time of year where we can take those opportunities to connect with family and friends and continue to do those things which help to build and strengthen those lasting relationships with one another. It is a time where we can refresh and recharge our batteries so that we can prepare ourselves for the changes which lie ahead of us. With that being said, the end of summer is also the start of a new beginning in which we can move ourselves into another direction or focus. It is also a change of seasons where fall sets in and the weather gets cooler. The kids are back in school and ready to learn as their minds are these big sponges ready to soak up information.

There is nothing constant as change, sometimes changes for the good and other times there are those changes that we don’t necessarily want but something which helps us to progress and grow. This past week has been full of many changes for me as I just started with a new position as a Paraeducator in the Autism program at an elementary school I have been familiar with, but with many new teachers and administrators. It’s been exciting getting to know them and the students and I thought that I was pretty set and ready to get the routines going on. However, God apparently has a different plan for me and I’ve found myself being moved into another direction by working with students on the high school level. This is somewhat of unfamiliar territory as most of my experience as a Paraeducator has been working with students on the elementary level. Nevertheless, working with older students has not been totally new to me as I did teach a great group of youth for my church prior to my cancer diagnosis and I thoroughly enjoyed my time with them!

So, this next week will be the beginning of other changes with a new school, new teachers, administrators and students once again. Talk about another curve ball coming out from nowhere as I truly wasn’t expecting that! Life is sure full of surprises. On the plus side the school is only five minutes from my house and I no longer have to fight the traffic trying to get into the base at Fort Carson, which is a major bonus. Moving forward this is a chance for me to develop and expand my skills. I also look at this as an opportunity to give these students a chance to prove that they are much more capable than they are given credit for. All they need is for someone to believe in them to help them to realize and reach their full potential.

There are some who may fear or resist change. Why is that? Perhaps it is because they become stuck on something; it could be good or bad past experiences. They may think that somehow things should be this way or that way and that there are no other alternatives. A really good quote that I heard recently from a very good friend:

Change Quote1

 

Are changes scary, absolutely yes! There is another quote that always sticks in my mind when it comes to change:

Always done

 

Growth and changes are a part of life; however, if you limit yourself on being able to progress you may very well find yourself being stuck and you will never know what opportunities you would have missed out on when they come knocking. Life is about the choices we make and so when those tides of change wash upon your shore, I think the key thing is to go with the flow of its direction and to fully embrace those changes!