‘I Look To You’

This morning while trying to get somethings done for my social media accounts, I decided to put on some background music. And I decided on this song, ‘I look to you,’ by the late Whitney Houston. I don’t normally work while listening to music, it’s really distracting and I get nothing done. My work area needs to be quiet and in order. But the calling was there, for me to go back to this song, and it lifted me.

I’ve been connecting with others with Chiari and although I’m grateful, it also tends to try to pull me down. On one hand I’m happy there others experiencing what I’m going through, but on the other, it’s incredibly sad to know there are others trying to get through their day with chronic pain.

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I get asked a few questions when someone realizes my diagnosis, and one that always sticks out is, ‘how do you do it?’ I understand because it’s almost dumbfounding to see this mother of six living with chronic pain. And there is no one answer, there is no perfect answer, actually there is no answer other than Him. He gets me out of bed when my body isn’t able to, He reminds me I am loved when I feel I’m a failure, He helps me take the steps when I’m in too much pain to walk, He holds my head when I feel it’s going to explode in pain, He helps me care for my children when I feel too ill, He reminds me to take my medication because He knows how much I dislike them, it’s Him, that’s how I do it – daily.

If you’ve never heard this song – or haven’t heard it in a while, I invite you to listen. It’s an amazing song, full of hope, because what you’re going through today you will get through by looking up to Him.

My favorite verse in the song, ‘After all my strength is gone, In you I can be strong.’ 

I Look to You
As I lay me down
Heaven hear me now
I’m lost without a cause
After giving it my all
Winter storms have come
And darkened my sun
After all that I’ve been through
Who on earth can I turn to
I look to you
I look to you
After all my strength is gone
In you I can be strong
I look to you
I look to you
Yeah
And when melodies are gone
In you I hear a song
I look to you
After losing my breath
There’s no more fighting left
Sinking to rise no more
Searching for that open door
And every road that I’ve taken
Led to my regret
And I don’t know if I’m gonna make it
Nothing to do but lift my head
I look to you
I look to you
Yeah
And when all my strength is gone
In you I can be strong
I look to you
I look to you
Oh yeah
And when melodies are gone
In you

A-

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When You Lack Motivation

I came across this picture and it gave me a great perspective on how big things have come from the modest of places – like a garage. How amazing is this picture?! What more motivation does one need?! I’ll be honest, I stared at it for quite some time.

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If there’s one thing you and I have in common is that there’s always something that is holding us back. We want to do something, great or small, but we create excuses that keep us from getting it done.

What do you want to do?

Where do you want to go?

How will you get there?

… What’s holding you back?

What’s holding me back? …. It’s either my illness, my family or some other excuse that I allow to convince me, that now is not the time.

I was once in a place where I felt stuck, frozen and hesitant about taking the next step.

I was ‘thinking’ about creating a YouTube channel, if you are too, I’d say, ‘just go for it.’

Or ‘thinking’ about creating a blog, if you are too, I’d say, ‘just go for it.’

Or ‘thinking’ about creating an online store, if you are too, I’d say, ‘just go for it.’

Or say an Instagram account, if that’s you, I’d say, ‘just go for it.’

Because the growth will probably be slow and the learning will take some time, but all that matters is that you’re doing what you’re passionate about – continue to grow, continue to learn, and let’s be honest eventually the money will come.

Lastly, if you’re living with chronic pain like I am, be patient. Our bodies are not what they were before our diagnosis, your body will guide you, get things done when you can – or pain levels allow, prioritize things, create a schedule for yourself – even if it’s one task a day. You’ll see that slowly but surely things will come together and things will get done.

Do you struggle with staying motivated? What keeps you moving?

A-

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Disney: The Best Character Signing Idea

Disney: The Best Character Signing Idea

Have you ever been to Disney and met the wonderful Disney characters? The Disney character ‘Meet-and-Greet’ are amazing, they’re smiling, they’re interacting, they’re excited to see you and they’re ready and willing to take a picture with you, only before you know it, the experience is over.

When I was planning our very first family trip to the parks, I knew I wanted to have the characters signature. I also knew I didn’t want the signature book that Disney World has to offer. As someone who doesn’t like to store things away I knew the signature book would eventually make it’s way in a box and be stored somewhere. Instead, I wanted something that would be displayed on our walls for us to enjoy looking at even after our trip.

I’ve included a few of the moments we’ve captured on camera from our experiences with the characters signing our frames.

Have the Disney World characters sign on a picture frame mat!

•  Prior to our trip, I simply purchase a picture frame that includes a white mat.

•  I include a sharpie for the characters to sign with – keep it inside the zip lock bag, don’t be shy, you can tell them where to sign if there’s a gap needed to be filled.

∗ Please know, not all Disney characters will sign – simply ask the cast member that’s with the character to know if they sign, characters like Olaf from Frozen will not sign, as he hasn’t been to school and can’t read nor write, Baymax from Big Hero 6, Belle from Beauty and The Beast at Magic Kingdom will not sign, however Belle at the EPCOT park will!

•  You can do more than one Disney trip for character signatures in one mat frame – as I have done in the past. I simply choose a different sharpie color per trip and write the date of the trip on the back of the frame. The front of the frame will remind you which character signature color goes with which trip.

•  I store the mat in a zip lock bag – gallon size, and pack it inside our backpack. Florida weather can be unpredictable and to avoid getting the mat wet on a rainy day, I like to place it inside a zip lock. If you ever visit the Disney World parks bring an umbrella, rain or shine, it’ll be useful.

•  Get back from your vacation, choose your favorite picture, print it and frame! If you have kids or not, this picture frame signature idea is the best! It’ll be a great reminder of an even greater trip!

A few character signatures we’ve collected over the years have been, Mickey – although we’ve met multiple ‘Mickeys’ we now just get one of their signatures, since the same character will sign the same way, Merida from Brave, Lilo from Lilo and Stitch, Ariel from The Little Mermaid, Pluto, Gaston from Beauty and The Beast, Belle from Beauty and The Beast, Sofia from Sofia The First, Tinker Belle, Donald Duck, Jake from Jake and The Neverland Pirates, Minnie Mouse, Goofy, Snow White from Snow white and The Seven Dwarfs, Cinderella, Elena from Elena of Avalor, Woody from Toy Story, Buzz from Toy Story, Pocahontas, Timon from The Lion King, Tarzan and Daisy.

   Please know, the best way to guarantee having a character experience is to make reservations at a restaurant with Character Dining – they’re amazing, just be sure to book your reservation early!

Hope this has inspired you in preparation for your visit to the Disney parks.

A-

Disclosure: Mom Life With Chiari is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. I will not recommend or buy anything that I do not already own and love or would not use for myself and my family. I make a small commission when you click and make a purchase on any link my website provides at NO additional cost to you. Thank you in advance for supporting companies that support me!

Patience – ‘Three Days Three Quotes’ Nomination Day 3

The last day for ‘Three Days Three Quotes,’ thanks again to the wonderful blogger over at Reveuse.

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AND don’t forget to visit my nominees ….

To you three ladies, I’ve followed you three amazing women since day one of my blogging journey and have – and continue, to learn so much from you! I see your strength and vulnerability shine through in each one of your writings! Please know that you are loved, appreciated, that I admire you and continue to enjoy following your journeys!

HERE ARE THE RULES:

Thank the person who nominated you.

Post a quote for 3 days andexplain why it appeals to you.

Nominate bloggers each day!

MY THIRD QUOTE:

“Patience is bitter, but its fruit is sweet” Aristotle

I was so intrigued to find the proper definition for patience, that I Googled it. Patience is ‘the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset.’

If you’ve followed my journey you know that I have chronic pain, not from time to time, not every other day, but daily. D-a-i-l-y. I like to say, I don’t have ‘good’ days,’ I have bad days and I have even worse days. And I’ll be transparent and allow my feelings to be shown through your screen. It’s my reality, anyone living with a chronic illness knows that we have to practice patience every single day. And I’m not talking about having patience for your spouse, children, co-workers, family, etc. no! You see, we have to be patient with ourselves, be loving to myself, my body and mind, not to get upset or angry as that can trigger other symptoms like the infamous frustration, that can ultimately make things much worse.

I am my worst enemy. I beat myself up for not being a ‘normal’ woman – because who wakes up daily with pain?! I beat myself up for not being able to stand for long periods of time – because my legs get so weak I’m a risk of falling. I beat myself up for allowing the everyday things ‘bother’ me – you see I am sensitive to noise, light, you know the sun is the worst for me, yes, how do shut off the world in order for me to feel ‘good.’ I beat myself up for not being able to meet others expectations – they’re just too high for me to meet. I beat myself up for not being able to get in the car for long periods of time – you see with Chiari Malformation + Syringomyelia I get nauseated in the car when riding for too long and require I keep medication on hand and bags in the car in case the need arises to regurgitate, Disney trips are as daunting as they are lovely for the children. I beat myself up for having anxiety – you see I can’t have last minute invites, last minute guests in my home, etc. my anxiety will go through the roof, I can’t do things on a ‘whim,’ I can’t do things like the ‘average’ woman can, like go to the grocery store without feeling pain run through my body, I can’t get last minute notices from my children’s teachers for a school event, my agoraphobia will prevent me from being present.

I need to have patience with myself, patience to love myself as I am and not want to change a thing about me, pain and all. I remind myself that I am me and there’s no one quite like me. I am beautifully made by the most high that has made me in His image. I am here to live with Chiari for reasons I am too stubborn to understand. I am doing the best that I can and I am as best of a mother as I can be. As this wonderful quote says, ‘patience is bitter, but it’s fruit is sweet.’ Yes! It’s so bitter, it’s harsh, it’s a pill too hard to swallow at times, it’s a tough reality too many times hard to accept, to face, to know! To know it’s there staring back at me …

Yet, yet! It’s fruit, it’s a message, it’s an everyday motivation to keep going, to keep walking, to stand on my weakest days, this makes patience so sweet! It’s as sweet as they come, to be taught to have patience from such a horrible illness is the sweet reminder of the strength that lies within me.

NOMINATIONS:

1. Magic In The Everyday

2. Simply Chronically Ill

3. Discovering Your Happiness

If you’ve missed any of the other two days of the quote challenge, you can read Appreciate Life Day 1 and Forgiveness + Hope Day 2.

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Hope you all enjoy doing this unique challenge and I look forward to reading the quotes you’ve chosen!

A-