Overcoming the Past

“I am not the person I remind you of, and I’m not the person I once was. I am that person that you refuse to let me be.”

We have all made mistakes, and there are some of us who have made really big mistakes. Or maybe we repeated the same mistakes too long. Either way, family can be tough. The ones closest to us are often our biggest critics. Often times, well meaning loved ones have the hardest time moving on, when we already have. What I mean by this, is their perspective of who you are may still be the same, when you have actually changed. Maybe you struggled with drugs and alcohol, or whatever your case may be. But if you have moved on from your past and are able to live a functional, healthy life, I want to say congratulations! You deserve it! Recovery of any kind is not easy, it is difficult. I want you to be aware of this red flag, this is toxic to your recovery. That well meaning loved one who still does not see us as healed or living healthy, can be a huge pitfall. We need to be careful of these relationships and surround ourselves with positive support. People who encourage us and believe in us. People who help us believe in ourselves. The truth is maybe you hurt that individual and there are some issues there. You can apologize and prove you are doing better and try to heal that wound. But they have to play their part too. If they still see us the same way, they will still treat us the same way.

   “Don’t allow others to keep you bound by the chains of your past.”

Pretty Eyes and Butterflies

Just the other morning when I awoke from a dream, I was overjoyed when I remembered who came to visit me. It was my Mother who passed when I was only twelve. Though she said no words to me in this dream, she was there. She sat up and held my hand. In her face I saw approval, I saw she hadn’t missed a thing. She was acknowledging me, in a sense, letting me know she is still with me. I saw that she was proud, she had a beautiful smile, and is still alive. Pretty eyes and butterflies did not pass away, she simply flew to a heavenly place of freedom. No longer bound by these earthly chains, no more struggle, and no more pain. I was so comforted when I woke up that day. I only wish we could have stayed there together just a little longer. That moment was real, I could feel her love all over again. And I know one day when my time comes, she will be there ready, waiting for us to be united again.

5 Things that Saved my Marriage

When my husband and I first met we fell in love immediately. We had a blast together whether we were out and about, or doing nothing at all. We literally married after four weeks of dating! Yes, I said it..1 month. While I don’t necessarily recommend doing that for the simple fact that we did not know each other. But if you ask me today,  I most certainly would not say we made a mistake. Were there problems along the way? Obviously, yes, and a lot of them. It was not easy and we both made a lot of mistakes, but we both learned so much. Here are 5 simple things we changed, that had we not, we wouldn’t still be together today.

  1. Apologize. When you say I’m sorry, you are taking ownership. You are owning up to the truth that what you did or said was wrong. You are also acknowledging. You are acknowledging your spouse and his/her feelings and letting them know they are important. Saying those two words is simple, but can speak volumes.
  2. Compromise. You have to understand that though you are married, you are still two totally different people. Your interests are going to vary. In-fact, those differences are probably a big factor as to why you fell in love with your spouse in the first place. It is important to still allow each other to be who you are individually. Go places,  and do things together that may not be your cup of tea. I used to hate football for example, but I loved watching my husband do what he loves to do. Now, I can’t wait for football season to start up again. It took me three years to feel this way, but you might be surprised at what a little compromise can do.
  3. Don’t take each other so seriously. We all have out pet peeves, and granted, we need to have respect for the spouse we live with. Sharing living space is downright difficult at times. You find you have way different habits, for example, my husband likes the dark, and I want the curtains open. We have come to a place where we can share our surroundings comfortably. I do not always get my way and he doesn’t either. But I promise, it used to start another world war every time. My husband also tends to be a jokester and I, on the other hand, tend to be very serious. I had to learn to let some of what he said to go in one ear, and out the other.
  4. Laugh. Laugh. Laugh. This one is big! We all want a happy home and to always get along with our significant other, but the truth is life is hard. There will be financial pressure, kid pressure, job pressure, whatever the case, you can count on life bringing pressure. But in the midst of all of this strife do not forget why you married in the first place. Laugh at his jokes still. Laugh when you make mistakes. One of my personal favorites is to laugh when we are about to have a full blown argument. I laugh at the situation, before I know it he laughs because I laughed. Sometimes laughter can be used to totally diffuse a situation before it has a chance to escalate.
  5. Time. Take time to love. Don’t get too busy for each other. Make time for a date, get in the kitchen together to cook a meal. Don’t let life cheat you out of your marriage by being too busy. If you are that busy consider slowing down, after-all, you promised you would be there for each other when you took  your vows. Keeping that promise is worth the time.

Seek to Obey

As I sit in my quiet time of prayer and meditation, I can’t help but express my gratitude. I am truly thankful for the life that is still in my body, it is by the grace of God that my life is as beautiful as it is today. I feel his complete mercy as I think back on the darkness that my life used to be. So as I sit here in contemplation I am in complete awe. I thank my Father today for every day being a new opportunity to serve him. I am also reminded  of Isaiah 64:8 “Yet you, Lord, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.” I thank him for still allowing me to be his clay. As his response to my prayer, I hear him say…

  I have never doubted your desire, your heart truly loves me. You must look past your circumstances to see possibility. Limit me not, exercise your faith and do it unafraid. Excuses show lack of desire. Would you not do anything for me? Stop being fearful. I can only give you the best, but you must choose. Listen to me, my child, my voice alone. Let it drown out the voice of fear, of uncertainty. Seek not to understand, but seek to obey. It is not for you to try and figure out, but to watch. Watch me orchestrate every detail intricately, leaving nothing out.

Who I Am and Why I’m Here

My name is Shanna, and I am an aspiring Christian book author. What does that mean? Well, to be brutally honest, all I have is a God inspired vision and dream. I know this world we live in is rather bleak, in fact it can be seen as almost hopeless, and for many it is just that. Hopeless. I am here because in all of this hopelessness that surrounds us, there is still hope. Hope for your day, hope for your situation. My hope is to provide readers with with a renewed prospective, an opportunity to encourage others, and provide a more positive outlook. Not everything we go through is as bad as it may first seem. This is why I am here, and this is why I created “The Bright Side”.