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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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

The day I never thought would come

Happy 2015 Everyone!  As a former bartender, I really enjoy watching the ball drop on tv these days rather than getting dolled up to go out on NYE.  Something about New Year’s Eve that brings out the people who NEVER go out in public and probably shouldn’t.  So many things to be thankful for right here in my living room.  I no longer feel the need to go out and validate myself by putting on a cocktail dress, attending some party that my husband nor myself really want to be at, and then coming home and plastering it all over social media.  What’s the point?  I’ve never understood how that is so important to some.  Personally, I’ve never been so happy to ring in a new year and I can admit that I actually shed a tear when the clock turned to the stroke of midnight.  I kissed my husband, we toasted our mimosas in our pajamas, and I had a sigh of relief. I felt at peace knowing that 2014 was finally over.  616a843fa0  A brand new chapter.  People make all sorts of resolutions for a new year. Do you want a new job?  Do you want to lose weight?  Maybe you want to move half way across the world?  I have one solution.  Just do it!  Whether it’s a right or wrong decision, at least you decided to do something with your life.  This is your chance to begin again.  Now, I need to clarify this affirmation.  You can “begin again” any minute of any day of the year.  The moment you chose to start living your life, is the moment that you begin again.  My personal journey actually began weeks before 2014 ended.  Ringing in the new year was just a sign of relief that my horrible year was finally over.  So what are my plans as I begin again? 10406439_902753569736860_2793804192892992939_nI think Tony Gaskins really nailed it on the head with these goals. My husband and I really sat down before the year ended and really talked about what we wanted for our new year.  We decided that 2015 for us is all about growth and new opportunities.   We know that coming out of 2014 that life can change in an instant and how we are not prepared for those situations.  So we sat down and made a plan.  A plan that includes us reconnecting with God, furthering our educations, strict financial guidelines, and really making a life for ourselves.  By really communicating with each other, there is no guessing game.  We really know what the other one wants and needs. This is 2015, my friends.  Bad situations are going to happen,  the unexpected will present it self, the devil will try to persuade you in the wrong direction, but if you put your faith in the Lord there is no possible way you can go wrong.   If you are stuck on things from your past, there is no possible way your future is going in the right direction.  We need to strive each and everyday to make our lives better than the day before.  Rid yourself of the hatred and negativity.  ALWAYS BE POSITIVE.  Stay humble, stay grateful, and stay grounded.  I’ve made way for the new in 2015 and look forward to each and every moment of it. Any given moment can be your moment to make way for the new, you just have to seize it.

God Bless,

April

 

Knowing God’s Plan For You

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Do we ever really know what God’s plan is for us?

I do know that I trust him, love him, and obey him.  I am only human.

I know that with out God’s word, I have no plan.

This scripture felt like God was speaking directly to me this morning as 2014 is coming to an end.  Many people have fallen on hard times.  It’s easy to sit back and judge others.  It’s easy to critique how others live their lives instead of praising each other’s accomplishments.  Even a small victory is still a victory is God’s eyes!  We should all come together and praise him for every little accomplishment in each others’ lives instead of tearing each other down. All we have in this life are the people who are in it.  The relationships that we create with others and with God shape us into who we become.

It has been said that when one door shuts, another opens. I have taken that old door, slammed it, nailed it shut, and threw away the key.  I have learned to let go of things that I can not control and started to move forward LIVING my life through God’s word. This year was a roller coaster and it was hard for our family, but you know what?  I’m THANKFUL for it.  I praise God everyday for letting it happen to us. Why on Earth would I be thankful for such a year?  Because it opened my eyes and my heart and brought me to my true calling.  I know now, that I am supposed to educate others. I have enrolled in school at ITT Technical to get my Associate’s Degree in Web Design.  I plan to continue with my Bachelors’ Degree and eventually my Master’s to educate others in Web and Graphic Design.  I am a born mentor to the youth in our area.  I love working with the youth! Whether it is through dance or simply teaching someone a new cooking technique, I was born to educate and I’m proud of it.  Now that my eyes are open, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

We can’t move forward, until we let go of the past.

Have a blessed Sunday afternoon everyone!

God Bless,

April