knowing is half the battle

Hello my friends, it’s an ice filled night here in Kentucky and I would like to address an issue tonight.  Over the past few 10965234_10152636474022405_235609508_nmonths, I’ve learned a lot about about my relationship with God.  The closer I draw to him, my life becomes more blessed. My life is no where near perfection and I don’t want it to be.  I feel like I am exactly where God planted me and I will bloom.  The past few months have been eye opening, painful, discouraging, scary, exciting, happy, and emotional all in one big ole bag of awesome. Corey and I have been attending our church on a regular basis. Though my health continues to deteriorate, I feel stronger than ever.  Things that once mattered now seem so pointless.  My new dance company has started to take form and I’m loving every minute of it.  My returning kiddos are doing amazing and we’ve added a few new ones into the mix as well. This year is all about a transition of life and I can’t lie to you, it’s HARD.  Going from being the breadwinner of the family to housewife is nothing short of drastic.  I’m thankful that doctor appointments and school keep me occupied.  Life is much different these days, but I have chosen to be bloom where God has planted me.

I10403331_10203317233524250_5321631348010162825_n come to you tonight, to have a voice for those that won’t speak up.  In my personal health struggle, I seemingly appear “normal” on the outside as do others with autoimmune disease. What others SEE is a normal, happy go lucky gal who occasionally mentions she’s having a bad day or sometimes I have to cancel plans because I’m having a flare or worse…a trip to the emergency room.  Unfortunately, they only see about 10% of my day…IF it’s a good one.  The rest of the time is spent trying to stretch out your joints because you are stiff as a board, keeping track of medications, trying to hold food down, struggling with normal every day tasks, dealing with constant fatigue, chronic pain, and the emotional toll that it takes over you.  The depression and anxiety of living with something that is a silent killer and has no cure can be completely overwhelming.  New symptoms and ailments see to come out of no where and it can take multiple doctors and/or tests to tell you why.  

10966652_10152648103847405_239061003_nPeople start to question if you really are sick because they SEE a normal person.  These people start to slowly fade away until they just don’t call anymore because they can’t handle your emotional health roller coaster.  When this starts to happen, you honestly start to question yourself.  Am I going crazy?  Am I even sick?  When people tell you that you don’t “look” sick it can be the hardest thing to hear.  Know this my friends, sickness does not know one specific definition.  Little comments like that can be heartbreaking to someone suffering with an invisible illness.  As someone fighting autoimmune disease, we aren’t looking for sympathy.

We just want you to fight WITH us not against US.

Be Kind,

April

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Embrace It…You’re The Co-Pilot

Whoa, it’s a cold morning here in Kentucky.  Thankful I’m off today and can stay in and cuddled up on my couch.  We are now seven days into 2015 and I find myself really embracing the blogging community.  I’m very thankful for the life I have and that I not only share it with my wonderful husband, but also with God.  I encourage you to read this blog post today from Thoughts About God.  It really hits the nail on the head with someone who thought they were in control of their own life.  Embrace the fact that you don’t have all the answers and trust God.

Have a Blessed Morning,

April

http://thoughts-about-god.com/blog/2015/01/07/kh_the-road-less-traveled/

Hello 2015, Let Me Reintroduce Myself

A wise man once told me that we live two lives; the life we had before and the life we started living once we realized we only live once.  I believe this to be true.  In my previous life, I was stressed out, self absorbed, overworked, underpaid, addicted to caffeine and nicotine, and my entire world revolved around dance. My life didn’t revolve around anything that actually mattered.  Now that I’ve had an awakening, my life is so much better.  I no longer ignore my body when it tells me I need a break,I listen to my husband,  I pay attention to things that matter, and surprise!  My entire world doesn’t revolve around dance.  Whew, feels good to say that out loud!  Yes, my name is April and I am a former danceaholic.  I still love dance and I always will, but it doesn’t consume my entire existence anymore.  I make time for things that actually matter.  I listen and communicate more effectively.  I do things that I love to do, but I wasn’t making time for.  I take the time to cook our meals instead of getting fast food.  I spend quality time with my husband and our fur babies.  I take the time to take care of my health.  I meditate.  I pray.  I work on my relationship with God.  I appreciate what I have and life is amazing!  IMG_0402 boys1 DSC_0665 IMG_0552 IMG_0378 IMG_0839 DSC_1032 gussy11

take a deep breathe…and exhale

I want to let go and not stress over every detail.  I have been saying my daily affirmation.  “I will not stress over things I  can not control.” We are five days into 2015 and I can already feel myself clinching up and stressing.  I’m not proud of it.  I am trying.  Today I caught myself stressing.  I could feel the stress radiating off my body.  So how do you channel that negative stress into positive energy?  You take a deep breathe, say a prayer, and exhale.  This is easier said than done, but it’s worth it.  I promise, it’s not just hot air that I am releasing.  I’m releasing negative energy.  I’m letting go of things that I can not control.

Every day it gets a little easier for me and I hope for someone out there it will for them too.  My friend today reminded me that we aren’t in control of anything except our actions.  That’s a great reminder that I think everyone needs to be reminded of.  We have to let things go and just exhale.  If we don’t, the negative will eat us alive. For those that of that are weak, we will not get stronger.  For those of us that are sick, we will not get well.  Let it go!

Forgive yourself for your mistakes, let go of things you can’t control, and take things one step at a time.

Have a blessed day,

April
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Who Are You?

Happy Sunday, Y’all!  Today in church we talked about being truthful to ourselves and our personal relationships with God.  Our pastor keeps it real and I love it.  Today we talked about how going to church doesn’t necessarily mean you have a one way ticket to Heaven and how to truly understand your path with God.  Church is a wonderful thing and it’s meant to bring a sense of community and family to one another.  Church is awesome and I look forward to Sundays, but I don’t look forward to Sundays because it’s the only time I praise him.  I look forward to Sundays to learn new things, rejoice with others, and I can share my story with the lord .  The most important part of anyone’s journey with God occurs outside the walls of where you worship.  It occurs when no one else is around.  Your relationship with God is just that.  YOURS.  Do you know what the best part of that is?  No one can take that from you.  Ever!

Over the years, I have found God, lost my way on the path, and that was a vicious cycle.  I thought we had found our home with a wonderful church congregation in New Albany, Indiana a few years ago, but life happens and we decided it was time to move to Paducah, KY to be closer to family.  When we moved, we were so sad about moving away from our church and so biased that we didn’t even attend another one.  We reverted back to our old selves and old ways of thinking we knew what was right for us, instead of listening to God. It took almost three years and countless sob stories before we knew that it was time to change our focus and really listen to God.  After almost a year of excuses on reasons why we couldn’t attend church with one of our dear friends, we went with her last week for the first time.  It was amazing.  I feel so ashamed that it took this long for us to find our way, but I know that God loves us and he died for our sins.  He died so we could breathe and live through him.

Our phone rings a lot less these days and not nearly as many visitors as we used to have, but I’m not upset.  I know I speak for both my husband and I when I say that we were ready to ready for our awakening with God and it is already amazing.  We take time each and every day to communicate our problems, pray, and meditate on the Lord’s word.  We may not be the life of the party any more in others’ eyes, but we could not be happier.  We are stronger in each and every way knowing that we are on the right path.  I hope this inspires someone to stop making excuses and really listen to what God is saying to you.  I know I know wake up each day and can’t wait to see what God has in store for us, rather than carefully walking on eggshells to avoid the personal explosions of everyday life.

Have a blessed Sunday,

April
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Change of Focus

5386d0ffb4dbb71556ef2195d9e45f43What a dreary afternoon this Saturday is.  It’s raining, it’s gloomy, and my only plan for the rest of the day is to spend it at home.  When I find yourself at home with no plans, my brain starts to wonder.  I have had a bad habit in the past that I’m trying to shake this year.  It’s called being stressed.  Heard of it?  I’m sure you have been there.  My horrible habit is that I tend to stay that way.  I stress about every little detail of every possible situation. Now, what I’m about to tell you has changed my entire thought process and when you say it, you must say it out loud.  Are you ready?  Ok, now repeat after me, “I can not stress about things that I can not control.”  Since I’m on a different path these days, I have to repeat this affirmation to myself about a hundred times a day.  I have learned to change my focus. Even though it’s a daily struggle, I stopped focusing on how stressed I am and I remember how blessed I am. I’m blessed that I have a loving husband because I am not in this battle alone. I am blessed that I am full because it means I have food in my fridge.  I am blessed that I have dirty laundry, because it means I have clothes on my back. I am blessed that I have aches and pains because it means I am alive.  I am blessed that I have bills to pay because it means I have a roof over my head.  Change your focus.  Change your perception. Remember that nothing is permanent and everything can change in the blink of an eye. Be blessed and not stressed.

Have a great afternoon,

April

Dance-Solutions?

My shimmy sister (who shall remain nameless) and I have made a “dance-solution” to each other every year since we’ve met.  Last year our “dance-solution” was to “go big or go home”.  Well, we went big.  Real big.  So big that it was like an atomic bomb when our dreams came crashing down and we both went into seclusion.  Thank goodness our atomic bombs were not simultaneous and when the other was down, we were able to pick each other up.  We both had a pretty strange dance year.  Our dance-solutions ended with a bang on both ends.  We can honestly say that we accomplished our goals no matter how we felt after it was over.  We went big AND went home.  I always encourage dancers to go out while they are on top.  You should leave your mark at the highlight of your career.  I can say that. I will always choreograph for the kids and continue to make their dance experience unique, but I took my final performance curtain call on Dec 15, 2014 and I have no intention on performing again.  My shimmy sister went the other direction and performed more.  She’s discovering dance outside of our little town and I couldn’t be more proud.  For someone who is so quiet and reserved, on stage you would never know that.

So what did we promise to encourage each other this year?  Our 2015 Dance-solution is understanding that “we are enough”.  How to be content with the person inside and truly believe that the grass isn’t always greener.  We both have very special qualities, especially as choreographers, and we have something to say. We have a voice deep inside no matter what others might think.

So, my shimmy sister, I promise you that this year I will look deep inside and see that I am enough.  I love you, Doll!  Let’s make our 2015 “dance-solution” the best one ever!

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