Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Life has challenges.


   I know that we have all heard the saying "Stop and smell the roses."  I wonder though how often we take time to marvel at the beauty around us.  I find it immensely humbling to see everything that goes on around me in nature.  The picture above was taken about 7:30 last night just a couple miles from our home.  It was a marvelous full moon sunset!

   My wife and I have had are share of challenges, when we were young in our marriage we lost our second child at birth.  We named her Alexis because one of the meanings for her name is "little angle", we had some very expensive medical bills to go along with our loss and of course, as young parents, we questioned if it was our fault in some way that our daughter did not remain with us.

   Not even six months later we received a call at just after 1 AM to find out that a close family member had taken his life to compound our heartache.  This particular year was very hard on us.  We dealt with dramatic financial challenges, we hurt deeply over the loss of a child and the loss of another close family member, my lovely bride was emotionally very confused and lost.  I stumbled on as best I could.  Last of all, I was still quite young being in my early 20's so I was not the most skilled or prepared to help console my wife while she mended her broken and troubled heart.

   We went through an a lot that year, both as individuals and as a couple.  Personally, I can share with you the lessons that I learned.  First, love the one you are with.  Yes, I love our daughter that came into our lives for such a short time however, once she had left, her needs were meet and it was my wife, best friend and wonderful companion that was still by my side, who needed my love and support.  Secondly, never, ever forget to show and express your love, every single day!  This one lesson is probably the one that saved our marriage from certain disaster.  Lastly, true love's value is immeasurable.  Don't forget this lesson and in the words of Winston Churchill "Never, never, never give up!"  True love is beyond the value of any career, possessions, worldly titles or perceived opinions of others, it's value is beyond anything that you can imagine.

   I acknowledge how incredibly blessed I am to have true love in my life.  I can tell you that true love is worth fighting for.  My life would be much poorer without it.  I also learned that we must all go through moments in our lives that test our metal.  My wife and I now understand much better that the short time our daughter was here, she was to bless us and yes, because of the challenges of that year and her brief stay with us, we have been blessed in more ways that we can count.

   It is so easy to judge a situation "good" or "bad" and we probably shouldn't.  The situation we call good today will most often lead to some of our greatest challenges and those times we call bad will bring us our greatest blessings.  Developing the faith and courage to accept life as it is can be one of our greatest and most powerful assets in having a marvelous life!  Appreciating every moment will give us clarity that we would otherwise miss out on.  Failing to step back and breathe can give us cause to take life as a personal affront and miss the grace and bliss that is life it'self.

   It is probably the strength and bonds our marriage gained from that year of heartaches and blessings that we have been able to survive as a married couple through the many other challenges that have come our way.  We are in our second decade of marriage and have three beautiful children that have growth to be healthy, happy and active parts of our lives.  We still remember and carry in our hearts the one that visited us twenty years ago and most of all, the beauty she gave us by allowing us to see that some blessings are to valuable to overlooked, even if their visit seems way to brief.

   Every morning the last couple of years, I have taken to the habit of being available to watch sun up and "greet the new day".  It has proven to have a very powerful positive effect on my life.  I would recommend it to anyone looking for more clarity and positive energy in their lives.

   Don't forget to stop and smell the roses.  Even when you do not feel like it.  Remember, smiling sends endorphins to the brain that help you feel better especially when you don't.  They can also give you perspective to see the blessings that might not be so obvious.  Most of all, never forsake the value of love.  Love takes effort, grace under pressure (ie; focusing on your partners concerns and not your own) and a willingness to go the extra mile whenever, wherever.  On the flip side, love will return to you blessings that you simply cannot find anywhere else.  Love creates synergy that returns blessings to you that are much greater than those that come from the efforts of one.

   May you remind the ones you love, just how much you do love them and appreciate them in your life today.  May you smile when you don't feel like it.  May you feel the bliss of being loved, this fine beautiful day!

Thank you for reading.  Peace be unto you and yours.

Billy B

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