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Now Choose Life

Choose to Live Your Life in Abundance in the after--- after the spouse dies, after the marriage ends, after the kids leave. Join me on my journey of CHOOSING LIFE in my after. This day I call the heavens and the earth as witnesses against you that I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live- Deut 30:19

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January 27, 2020

The First Morning- Life After Loss

Like so many of you, I am so shocked and saddened by the death of Kobe Bryant and all the others in that helicopter crash. How in the world could something like that have happened?

I've been thinking so much about Vanessa Bryant and the other spouses, parents and loved ones who woke up this morning to a nightmare. I can't help but think back to my own personal nightmare and what it was like to wake up that first morning after loss.

Many of you could tell your own story. You get it. An unexpected loss is like a bomb has exploded in your life. Any loss is difficult, but an unexpected loss carries its own weight. It's a heavy loss for many reasons.

I tried to imagine what it was like for Vanessa to wake up this morning in her new reality. Her husband is gone. Her daughter is gone. Each loss as individual as a fingerprint because her relationship with each was so different. The man she turned to for everything, who would have helped her cope with the loss of their daughter is not here to comfort her. The loss of a child is an unfathomable loss that makes life seem so unfair!!!

The whole trajectory of Vanessa's life changed yesterday. That is a hard reality to come to terms with.

I "talk" to my daughter every day through Google Chat. These deaths were some of the first things we talked about this morning. The overall sadness of the situation was heavy on our minds. Our own experience with waking up that first morning was also on our minds.

My beautiful daughter and I woke up together that first morning after her dad unexpectedly passed away. She refused to let me sleep alone until she had to go back to college to finish finals. We woke up in such a fog that I really don't remember much about that morning except I had some phone calls to make.

Family members had been called the night before, but I had to call his work that first morning because they were expecting to see him. There is very little about that phone call that I remember.  I caught his coworker still driving. What a terrible thing to find out while stuck in traffic.

Friends started coming over immediately after finding out so the rest of the day was spent reading text, answering phone calls, and being loved on by people who stopped by. It's all still a blur. It's all still a nightmare.

Any of you who have lost someone unexpectedly know- the shock carries you for a while. Decisions have to be made, but most of those are made on autopilot. I'm so fortunate that I had my adult children with me. I'm so lucky that my sister and my parents dropped everything in their lives to be by my side. I could not have done it all without them.

Because of my life experience, I'm thinking of the spouses on this first day. There will be so many FIRSTS this year. Let's all remember to keep them all in our prayers these first days, weeks, and months.

Vanessa will come to terms with her reality. She will be OK. I and many of you are living proof of that. 
January 22, 2020

Peak of the Week 01-22-2020

It's my birthday!!! I don't take birthdays for granted or bemoan birthdays anymore. A birthday every year means that I'M ALIVE!! I'm here living this amazing life that God has given me. I'm so fortunate to be in good health!!! Yea for me!!!!

I got an early birthday gift from my sister yesterday. She called like she does almost every morning. After I told her about my long weekend, she started to tell me how thankful she is that we are sisters. I didn't interrupt like I tend to do because I feel awkward getting a compliment etc. I let her talk. In the end, of course, I told her that I feel the same way about her. She gave me the greatest gift- the gift of WORDS. I told her how much it meant to me. Words have power!! Words are important. Who do you need to give some WORDS to today? You won't regret it!!

There have been so many interesting articles and links come by way over the past week. Here are the things piquing my interest!!

If you follow my blog on Facebook or Instagram, you know that I ran my first trail race in the Big Bend area of Texas last weekend. I hadn't run any kind of race in over 2 years. I really hadn't been running very much, but that changed when I told a friend that I would meet her in Big Bend and run. This article shows the power of running!!

Training Can Cut Years Off Your Cardiovascular Age-  This article is about a study done on people training for a marathon. I would think as long as you are out moving for an extended period of time, the results would at least be similar if not the same.
 The final word is to Put On Those Shoes and Get Outside!!

A Retreat Under The West Texas Sky- I fell in love with my great state of Texas all over again this past weekend. The mountains of West Texas are breathtaking!! We only drove through Marfa, but I'm already planning a trip to go back. It was magical. This tells a little more about traveling in this part of Texas. 

I've always wanted to see this "work of art" outside of Marfa, Texas. Now I have.
I loved it.
It was so much fun to be there!!
Can you say the world's biggest ball of twine? 

Six Mental Secrets To Push Hard During Grueling Workouts- I often think about how much my running life mimics my personal life. Everything about running and preparing for a run is similar to getting through challenges in life. These mental secrets are NOT just for workouts!! Do you need to push yourself in any area of your life? Read this article!!!

This Wine Train Takes You Through America's Top Vineyards-  A Bucket List train ride! What fun this trip would be for a Girl's Trip. Be sure to invite me if you plan one!!

14 Things That Are Different About Life In France- Gabby Blair from Design Mom is living my dream. I would love to someday live a few months out of each year in France. It is the only European country that I've visited multiple times, and I love it!! This is the 2nd time for her family to pack up and move to France to live. She has wonderful perspectives on the French way of life. I highly recommend following her blog. Her stories are great because she shares the remodeling of an old house that they just purchased in the Normandy region of France. 

These are just a few things piquing my interest this week? What have you found interesting? I'd love to hear!!