‘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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Reblog Wednesday: Success Is Not By Accident: Perseverance And Hard Work – The Key To Success — Motivation, inspirational articles, quotes and life hacks

I read this post by Savvy Life 101 and was so inspired by it, I thought I’d share it with you for ‘Reblog Wednesday.’ I recently wrote a post on Lack of Motivation and what I do to keep me motivated while living with chronic pain. And I shared a picture that I hope inspires you, a picture of the places where top companies got their start, companies like Google, Disney and Mattel.

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This post that I share with you today is in correlation with my post, how anyone can be successful, anyone. We all have the same amount of time in the day, wealthy or not. The difference is the productivity, are you wasting away the hours in the day or are you practicing healthy habits and taking advantage of the hours in your day and working smart.

It’s not a matter of being born into a life of wealth to be successful, it’s a matter of wanting to reach your desire goal and how much you are willing to do to reach it. The post lists 5 great points to help you get organized and on your way to thinking what changes need to be made in order to get to where you want to be.

Do you want to earn more money to live more comfortably, do you want to stop living pay check to pay check, do you want to finally begin that what never began? Read the post, where I’m sure you’ll get some helpful tips to get you started.

A-

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Success Is Not By Accident: It Is Hard Work Do you want to succeed in life? I’m sure the answer is probably yes. Listen up closely so that I can give you one of the best advice in life: Success is not by accident. You have to work smart and hard for it. We all […]

via Success Is Not By Accident: Perseverance And Hard Work – The Key To Success — Motivation, inspirational articles, quotes and life hacks

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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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Unapologetic and Living With Chronic Pain

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It’s been with me for so long that I forget who I was before my Chiari diagnosis. The pain-free, care-free days are behind me. I have enough pain meds too embarrassing to say. There are days I want to go on without them – and feel human.

As time has gone by I’ve realized how much time I’ve spent trying to make others understand the depth of my chronic pain. I can’t change the way people perceive my illness, my diagnosis, my feelings, my physical limitations, nothing! The ‘ole ‘but you don’t look sick’ gets old quick. I know myself, what my day to day looks like, and I, myself know exactly what I have to live with – and that is enough.

There’s are certain feelings of guilt that come with chronic pain. The guilt of not being the mom I want to be, the wife I want to be, the daughter, friend, etc. and not living to peoples expectations of who they want me to be.

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I am not physically able and available and that is nothing I should continue to be ashamed of. I can’t be present in others lives as much as I’d like – or at all. I am physically unable to do many things, and only desire to push myself to my limits for my children, my family – no one else. Others expectations should not affect me, the Instagram worthy pictures of family outings should no longer tug at my heart, yearning those days to return to my own life. This is my perfect life, I am perfectly chronically in pain and will continue to be until my days end. I’m not sorry for others not understanding what I live with. I’m only sorry I’ve spent so much time convincing them my words and behavior are due to the constant struggle of battling with chronic pain while being positive. I will not allow others to cut me with their words. There is no need for excuses, I’m struggling and I don’t owe anyone an explanation for my absence.

Because no one is worth allowing them to break me down.

Happy Saturday.

A-

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Sunshine Blogger Award – 3

Thank you to the very witty and lovely blogger Sean over at The Land Manatee – if you haven’t read his responses, you must! Because who wouldn’t want to be sipping on some ‘Cuba Libre’ otherwise known as ‘una mentirita’ or ‘little lie’ while trying to decide whether to travel to Italy or Greece?!

About the Sunshine Blogger Award:

This award is given to bloggers by other bloggers who feel they display positivity, creativity, and sunshine via their content. It’s an honor to be recognized by your colleagues and peers. It keeps the motivation high which is essential in the writing community.

The Rules For the Award:

  1. Thank the blogger who nominated you and link back to their blog.
  2. Answer the 11 questions you’ve been asked.
  3. Nominate 11 new bloggers and ask them 11 questions.
  4. Inform your nominees through commenting on their post.

Sean’s Questions for His Nominees:

1. Why did you start blogging?

To shed some light on Chiari Malformation and Syringomyelia.

2. What have you learned along the way and how have you improved as a blogger?

Consistency is key. Also, connecting with your subscribers, being able to answer to the comments is appreciated.

3. What’s a challenge in life you overcame?

Lack of self-confidence. I’ve realized that you’ll never truly make others happy. Because when others are unhappy with themselves, they’ll find a reason to put you down, no matter what you do. So, I’ve learned to overcome and stop trying to make others like me and have gained self-confidence along the way.

4. Who has been a big influence on your life?

Because I live with chronic pain, I’ve learned to look up and not down. In other words, Jesus.

5. Do you have a hidden talent? If not, what do you wish it was?

I like Sean’s answer to number 9 – patience, God knew what He was doing when He sent me my little ones, it’s not always easy, but definitely worth it.

6. Where would you like to be in your life in 5 years?

I’d love to move somewhere in the Orlando area. We’re Disney Annual Pass Holders and can’t get to Disney World as many times as we’d like – even living just a few hours away.

7. What would your dream job be and why?

It’d be something in the legal field. I was working in the legal field before becoming a full time stay at home mom, and my heart loves the legal world.

8. How would you describe your perfect day?

No medicines and a pain free day!

9. If you decided to move to a new country or city, where would you want to live and why?

Somewhere in the Orlando area, close to the Disney World parks. I’d like to take advantage while my kids are still little.

10. What famous person or celebrity at any point in history would you like to meet and what would you want to talk about or ask that person?

I would love to meet this super star – in my eyes, Keala Settle from the movie “The Greatest Showman.” The song “This Is Me” has become an anthem in my heart and I’d love to let her know just that, ” … I’m not scared to be seen, I make no apologies, this is me.”

If you haven’t seen the movie, or heard this amazing woman sing, I share this clip with you below.

11. In what fundamental way have you changed over the years?

A health diagnosis in 2013 changed me – for the better or worse, I’m still trying to figure that out, but it’s definitely helped me appreciate today.

My Nominees:

Simply Chronically Ill

The Eclectic Contrarian

All The Shoes I Wear

My Questions for My Nominees:

(taken from Sean)

  1. Why did you start blogging?
  2. What have you learned along the way and how have you improved as a blogger?
  3. What’s a challenge in life you overcame?
  4. Who has been a big influence on your life?
  5. Do you have a hidden talent? If not, what do you wish it was?
  6. Where would you like to be in your life in 5 years?
  7. What would your dream job be and why?
  8. How would you describe your perfect day?
  9. If you decided to move to a new country or city, where would you want to live and why?
  10. What famous person or celebrity at any point in history would you like to meet and what would you want to talk about or ask that person?
  11. In what fundamental way have you changed over the years?

Thank you in advance to all my nominees!

A-

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Reblog Wednesday: I’m more than just a Mom — Momma Meets World

This reblog comes from Momma Meets World where she speaks on asking herself, who she is, who she is as a whole, as a person, as an individual. It struck a cord with me as Mother’s Day is rapidly approaching. As a stay at home mom often times I feel defined by just that, a stay at home mom. And nothing else. I’ve too often felt like there’s a certain shame behind being a ‘stay at home mom.’ As if there’s nothing interesting, nothing exciting, nothing substantial behind the title. I’m not even speaking solely on mom’s, perhaps you’re a single dad, or single mother, or someone going through anything that has a title attached to it that has a negative cognition.

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Why has society placed a negative stigma over parents wanting to raise their kids at home?

And why are some stay at home parents – as myself, seeking to put more on their plates then what they already have? 

Are we trying to prove something? And to whom?

Truth be told, stay at home moms are not at home eating Dum Dums (lollipops) all day – I know, shocker! In my quest to put my ‘stay at home mom’ title on the side somewhere, I realize I’ve done just that, fill  my plate – to the rim. And you can see more here, on the different things I have going on aside from caring for my kids at home. Yes, granted, because of my diagnosis I do these things from home, however they do  take up my time nonetheless. Also, I’ve realized that there’s no other title more important to me than that of a parent, of a mother and that of a stay at home mom.

If you’re on this quest to redefine yourself or rediscover yourself, know that your kids don’t see a title, but rather a loving parent.

In your own quest to find yourself, don’t lose who you are for the sake of proving society wrong, or anyone else wrong, do things for yourself, for your family and know that at the end, all will be well.

A-

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It’s taken me a very long time to realize that I’ve lost who I am. Who is Monica? A few weeks ago I woke up feeling numb. I’m not sure if I felt sadness, or darkness, or anything for that matter…I just felt blank.

via I’m more than just a Mom — Momma Meets World

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Reblog Wednesday: Get on your back — A Dad trying to cope with the loss of his Partner and becoming a single parent.

This reblog is from Bereaved Single Dad – blogger and father to a son. As they say, it’s never  too late, too late to become educated, to learn, to become aware and to shed light on things that matter to you. Him and I share one thing that’s close and dear to our hearts and that is our sons have been labeled many things, which only means they are extra special.

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I recently saw the comedian Amy Schumer’s Netflix special, ‘Growing.’ She opens up on her husbands autism diagnosis. She and her husband – a chef, are expecting their first child. It was also evident that in the midst of a diagnosis we can still find laughter and joy.

“Once he was diagnosed, it dawned on me how funny it was, because all of the characteristics that make it clear that he’s on the spectrum are all of the reasons that I fell madly in love with him,” she says in the ‘Growing’ Netflix special. “That’s the truth. He says whatever is on his mind. He keeps it so real. He doesn’t care about social norms or what you expect him to say or do.”

This reminded me of my son – he says as he sees it, he’s now 9 years old, working hard in school and continues his speech therapy. You can read more on my son’s Autism diagnosis here. When I first heard her speak on the topic it was hard not  to feel an overwhelming feeling of hope. The stigma around Autism – as many other diagnosis, is the unknown future. Will he find a special person, a wife, will he have children, a career, etc.? The actress speaking up on her husband’s diagnosis filled me up with both appreciation and hope.

Happy Wednesday.

-Ana

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It’s been a ‘on your back’ sort of day. Not just for the pets. First we played football in the garden. Son wasn’t keen on using his boots so I dug out mine as well. As a I put my boots on I warned son that they would be hard to walk with on the […]

via Get on your back.. — A Dad trying to cope with the loss of his Partner and becoming a single parent.

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