Day 47: 365 Days of Motivation for Widows

English: Mustard seeds by David Turner Februar...
Mustard seeds by David Turner February 23, 2005

I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there’ and it will move.
      The Bible
      Matthew 17:20 

Almost every ounce of you is screaming I can’t do this. You can do this. You can make it through this, and if you trust in your faith, you can come out the other side a whole person. Find that piece of you–the piece that thinks you just might make it through. Once you have it in your grasp, don’t let go. 

A little faith in God, and some determination from you, and that little tiny seed can grow. Even a seed knows its path. First, all seeds must take root; building a foundation to support the rest of its journey. Once the root system has developed enough, the plant starts making its way to the surface. Eventually, it will burst though the soil and face the world around it. Let God grow within you; let Him nourish your soul.

It is easy to pull away from your faith when your world is upside down and inside out. Just keep in mind, with God, all things are possible (Matthew 19:26). Take that teeny seed and nourish it through your faith. Lean into your faith instead of away from it. If you do, blessings will abound.

Day 40: 365 Days of Motivation

“I don’t want to get to the end of my life and find that I lived just the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well.” – Diane Ackerman

We often speak about living our lives to the fullest–living with no regrets. Those are ideas about life. Diane Ackerman’s quote gives us a visual to go with the ideas. I’ll be honest, I’m always thinking and planning and trying to move onward and upward–this statement still blew my mind. The biggest reason it affects me is because it is exactly how I have felt and didn’t have the right words to express it. I want to live the length and the width of my life. I want to achieve my fullest potential. I still haven’t figured out exactly what that exact potential is, but with time, I’m sure it will become clear.

I spent so many years just living. Some would say what I was doing wasn’t living, but rather just surviving. Maybe that’s what you are doing too–only you can answer that. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t just sitting around on a couch watching TV. I went to college, and graduated cum laude, got married, had more kids, spent time with friends, attended kids sporting events and recitals–I was living life and living it well. What I wasn’t doing was thriving. I was in the throes of life going through all the motions that I was supposed to. And, there is nothing wrong with it. I loved every minute of it. I wasn’t in the hole we call grief all the time. It was who I was supposed to be and I was so happy to be there.

About a year ago, I made a couple of decisions. It was time to start living the width of m life. One, I decided I was tired of thinking about writing and not taking the time to do it. It’s always been inside of me–a true passion. I’m not a perfect author, by any means, but I believe that I have potential to be a very good author. I actually gave myself permission to start this blog and believe I could do it. I quit telling myself I wasn’t good enough and started telling myself I was good enough and could only get better. I had confidence I could gain a readership that might follow me on to the books I will write (yes, it’s in the cards). It helps my soul to write and I hope it helps other people. It is hard to put yourself out there and let people see the truth. I opened myself up for rejection and criticism. Until then, that was more risk than I wanted to take. Last fall, I decided the rewards would be well worth the rejection and risk.

I put myself out there and did it. I have gained readership, although I am a little saddened that it hasn’t moved faster. The more I write, the better I get, and the more I hope people come along for the ride. The comments from my readers, the way writing can touch people is more rewarding than I ever imagined. I sat down one night, wrote a note to my friends to check out my new endeavor–just like that, I was starting to live the width of my life.

The other decision I made was to start a widow support group. I have not fulfilled this decision yet. However, I have done a lot of the research and compiled some information, possible places, and general ideas about the group details. I just don’t have the time right now to do it because of my grandparents–they are far more important and I wouldn’t trade this time with them for anything. I know what I want to do and I know I have the capabilities to accomplish it. I just need some time to be able to achieve it. I’ll get there and it will happen when it’s supposed to.

So, read that quote and really consider your life. Analyze your struggles, your reactions, and look at how you’ve grown. Really see if you are living the length or the width. Wouldn’t it be great to do both? I think it would. I’m working on it and I hope you are too.

Grace Yourself

While traveling through town, my mind often wanders and drifts from my to-do list to my schedule in between tending to my children. One day, I glanced over to reach a church sign. I love church signs. Some are witty, some thought-provoking, but either way, enjoyable. Every once in a while there is a sign that captures my eye and my mind. This one was one of those signs. It read, “Grace Yourself, it’s 2013”.

Wow. That was powerful for me. In part because 2012 was terrible and I was a complete baby at every turn. Constantly whining and giving a half-hearted effort to just be quiet and try harder. On the outside, I might have appeared stoic, someone to admire. On the inside I was fractured and chaotic. Sure, I said my prayers. I tried to turn it over to God, but I didn’t have time for that. Who has time for that? Sometimes I begged for change. Sometimes I demanded. More often than not, I accepted I was in a rough period of life and whined.

And, here it is, 2013. A new start. Time to allow myself a new start. I am not one to make resolutions. I like to try to better myself all the time. Whether I am successful is a different story. In 2012, I was not successful. Now, is my time. Now is the time to Grace myself.

Last year, I was full of grace–on the outside; this year it needs to be from the inside out. The epiphany happened when I read a quote:
“I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it.”
― Maya Angelou

The Plan

– Pray: Morning. Noon. Night. And every time between. For me, my family, friends, and families to say thank you, to share joy, to ask for help. Without expectation, without demands. Open heart.

– Remember to be who I know I should be and do not let this storm, or that storm, beat me. Let it change me for the better, let me grow, but never let it beat me.

– Remember that very few things are permanent. Change is necessary and mistakes are inevitable. Growth and forgiveness are are privileges and often require work on my part.


I have been frustrated. I have even felt like screaming. This year, so far, I have always come back to center. Having a plan and wanting to be better means failing and learning. Flying by the seat of my pants sometimes and even getting angry. Gracing myself means not closing down. It means not giving up. It means believing in my faith, even when I think I have the answers. Grace myself isn’t one moment or a test. It’s a day-to-day, maybe minute-by-minute challenge that will get easier in time as I follow the plan.

That’s the plan, now let’s see how I do.