On my mind…..Life, Love and Joy

For some reason I feel compelled to write today.  As I sit here in my bed trying to recover from a bad sinus infection and a double ear infection, I cannot feel sorry for myself.  I cannot feel sorry for myself because I am blessed beyond words.  I am blessed with overall good health, my family, the roof over my head, food on my table, my beautiful babies, my incredible husband, my friends and just life in general.

Ever since Ashley of Lil Blue Boo posted her ‘Right of Passage’ video on her blog, I can’t seem to get her, her family or the video out of my head.  Have you been following her ‘Cancer Chronicles’?  If not, I encourage you to visit her blog and start from the beginning of her journey.  I will let you read her entire journey for yourself, but whether or not you have been through anything like this, her attitude is awe inspiring.

I think her story speaks to me because that person going through cancer could very well be me.  We are of similar age, both with young children, both in the prime of our lives and the idea of what she is experiencing is unimaginable.  My heart aches for her.  I want so badly to jump through my computer screen and hug her.  The fact that Ashley manages to ‘choose joy’ during this difficult time is just amazing.  I can only hope that if I was dealt the same hand of cards, that I would ‘choose joy’ as well.  I love her positive outlook and her ‘can do’ sort of attitude.  With every challenge she faces, she continues to go through life looking at the glass as half full.

Ashley has received emails questioning her truthfulness about her experience because she is so positive.  Is she keeping it real?  They are wondering about her fear and her pain.  Maybe that is in the back of her mind, but she is choosing to live life and choosing to focus on joy in her current situation.  And I just love it!  I think we need more people in the world that focus on the joy in life.  What good does it do anyone to live in the negative?

I have often been criticized for living life in such a positive manner.  For not ‘keeping it real’.  I know that seems kind of weird (and it actually feels weird to write it), but it’s true.  People wonder……can she really be that happy?  Sometimes I think misery loves company.  Personally I choose to focus on the joy that I have in my life.  Yes, being a wife and mother and juggling a small business can be difficult and trying at times, but I do the best I can and I try to focus on the good rather than the bad.  Is that keeping it real?  For me, it is.

Have I been through tough times?  Yes, but I choose not to dwell on them and I do not let them control my life.  I have experienced a miscarriage and I have suffered through postpartum depression after the birth of my first child.  But rather than dwelling on the negative in both those situations, I choose to share my story in hopes that others can gain positive support and information through my difficult times.  I am in no way suggesting that if you are going through a tough time that you shouldn’t talk about it and share it with others.  We cannot control the cards we are dealt, but we can control the way in which we deal with them.

I do not know what the future holds for Ashley, I can only hope and pray that everything turns out for the best.  But I do know that God has chosen her for this path and journey for a reason.  I’m quite certain He has chosen her to inspire others, to help people not sweat the small stuff and to make us all focus and be thankful for the joy and blessings that we have in our lives.  I don’t know about you, but I know that she has caused me to hug my babies a little tighter, kiss my husband a little more and be thankful for the joy that is in my life.

I hope that the next time you are dealt with a difficult situation that you will think of Ashley and will rise up and find the joy that is in this wonderful life that we live.  We all have SO much to be thankful for.  If you know anyone going through a difficult time, share Ashley’s story with them……..she is such a true inspiration!

And if you are the praying type, I ask you to pray for Ashley………pray as hard as you possibly can.  I know, I am.

I know I don’t come on the blog writing about my personal thoughts and feelings too much, but this year is a little different.  I hope to be able to share some more personal things with you ~ I hope you don’t mind the change. 
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30 Comments

  1. Perfectly said. I, too, have been following Ashley’s story and am continually inspired by her and her “choose joy” attitude. She’s amazing.

  2. Beautiful post.
    I enjoyed reading it.
    I am praying for Ashley.
    May you feel better soon too!!:)

  3. Good for you! Well written! You said what I’ve been trying to work on these last few years… a positive attitude, not being ruled by failures, and moving onward & upward! Thanks for posting your thoughts.

  4. Great post! Very well said. I check on Ashley’s blog daily. She is so inspiring. If I am feeling overwhelmed during my day, I think about her.

  5. I know what you mean. I just went back to teaching after being out 13 days with kidney stones. I am happy it was just kidney stones. I have a friend just diagnosed with stage 4 cancer in her sternum and ribs, and another friend’s grown daughter with children of her own just had surgery for a brain tumor. So many prayers are needed.
    Blessings,
    Lorilee

  6. I have followed Ashley for awhile because she is so creative and I love her ideas. Now, she has taught me even more about loving life and being positive.
    I also will say your words are wonderful, great post.
    nonie

  7. Beautiful post from the heart:) I also follow Ashley’s blog and she is truly amazing! Hope you are feeling better soon:)Prayers for all.

  8. I’ve also recieved snarky comments along the lines of “I don’t sugarcoat everything to make my life seem perfect” myself. I’m not sorry for seeing the bright side, or at least the humour, in most situations! I’m sorry for those that can’t, or won’t.
    Keep choosing joy!! 🙂

  9. Thanks for sharing your heart and keep it coming! I am also one of those “always look on the bright side people”. I have a daughter who has trichotillomania and has worms wig since she was 12, can you I agine how hard that was for her? But the saying around here is “it’s just hair, who needs it?”. Keep smiling, keep praying, god loves us all…

  10. Wonderfully written, Lindsay! Ashley is a pillar of strength and optimism–I can only hope that were I in the same situation, I would be as gracious, honest, open, positive, and hopeful. God is good…and all the time! Ashley knows that and lives that–what a remarkable rolemodel!

  11. Beautifully said! I have been following her for awhile now and I feel the exact same way. She is such an inspiration.

  12. Ashley is truly inspiring! Thanks for such a lovely post.

  13. I feel the exact same way!! I can’t stop thinking of Ashley! We are all praying for her here! I shared a bit of the personal health issues I have been dealing with the other week on my blog and a reader sent me the link to Ashley. I took the time to visit her site and ended up staying up so late reading her whole story. She really is amazing!! I think everyone can learn something from her!

    Take care,
    Maureen

  14. Amen. We can always find things to be thankful for – even in the worst of times – if we look for them. And if we look to the Heavenly Father to carry us through. Great post thank you so much for sharing.

  15. Beautiful post! WOW! Isn’t she amazing!
    Definitely a good reminder for us not to wallow in the insignificant things we so often do! Much love and prayers to Ashley and her family!

  16. I will be praying for Ashley. It’s impossible to know why bad things happen to good people. But that is why we have faith. A trust in what we can’t see or understand but have the faith to hang on and overcome terrible situations. Thank you for sharing and asking for prayers. Deb in Tex

  17. I will definitely say a prayer for Ashley! xxoo
    Best,
    Gloria

  18. I definitely think misery loves company, and I do feel sorry for those who get to a point where they can’t look on the bright side of anything.

    It’s interesting what jolts us to remember that life is precious and that we shouldn’t waste it. About 18 months ago a guy was stepping out of his car just outside our office. He was disabled and walked with sticks, otherwise he wouldn’t have been able to park there, as this is a very busy street in the city centre. He tripped, entirely unrelated to his disability, and fell right in front of a bus that went over him. They got him back at the scene, but he died shortly after in hospital. It was horrendous for those of us that watched it happen, and yet it was a real kick up the backside that one shouldn’t be miserably going through life, but to seize the moment, because who knows what could happen.

  19. I hope you feel better soon. I think you are right about trying to be positive; there is always someone worse off and therefore always something positive you can be doing to help others that need it more than you. By sharing your thoughts, it is one way of doing this and I look forward to hearing your occasional thoughts on life. These made a lot of sense to me.

    Take care,

    Rosie x

  20. thanks so much for your inspiring blog! i had tears in my eyes when reading this post. i too am extremely happy with 3 healthy children, 2 busy boys (4 and 2) and a little princess of 8 weeks… it is not always easy to look after them as my family lives in Europe and I live in Australia,but there are soooo much more difficult situations in life, of which you also just wrote. i have been following your blog for a while now and always feel happy and “enlightned” after reading! thank you!

  21. what a fantastic post! You bring such joy, and your words about Ashley are so true. Thank you so much for taking the time to write this all out. A great uplifting Sunday morning read 🙂

  22. Wonderful post!

  23. Fantastic post – thank you for being so open and honest. I was balling my eyes out when I watched Ashley’s video the other day, and can only hope that I have such a positive attitude if ever in the same situation. She is truly a remarkable woman.

    Get well soon. I have been sick all week with a sinus infection and upper respiratory infection as well, so I feel your pain!

  24. Nice post Lindsay. Hope you get feeling better soon. I too, believe in focusing on the positive.

    I will definitely check out Ashley’s blog. There are some amazing people out there…I have been following Robin Rane’s blog, All things Heart and Home, and she too, is so inspiring. Anyway, she has a link about her friend Vicky who was dx with breast cancer and she too is choosing to handle it positively.

    Take Care, Denise

  25. LIndsay, that was such a touching post. I have been following Ashley – you posted about her a little while ago and I’ve been reading her post ever since. She is absolutely awe inspiring. It’s funny that you mention that you don’t know what the future holds for her, because it dawned on me that I hadn’t thought of it that way. She’s so positive and upbeat (a true role model) – I wouldn’t have any hesitation to say that she’ll be okay. Thanks for pointing me to her blog when you did.

    And thanks for being “you” — I love reading your blog too, and have always been impressed that you can juggle as many things as you do. You’re an inspiration to me also!

  26. Thank you for sharing part of yourself. Being happy and joyful is a direct result of the love you have for God. I am glad to meet someone else who has these same feelings and joy. Being a twice divorced grandmother who is raising her grandson, I understand the trials and tribulations raising children. They can be a handful, but such a joy! Again, thank you for being you! God bless you. If you ever need just to talk, you have my email.

  27. I love the change, because life is about the feelings and thoughts, growing in the fact what is the truth and what is not.
    I DO have to say that I am not the positive, sparkling kind of person, I have to make an effort to see the things with a brighter eye. I can easily sink into ‘dark holes’. So I believe that there is a reason that both kinds exists. The more depressive kind of people need you joyful ones to make it to the end of the day.
    I LOVE how Ashley sees things, I do. When I went through it, I did not react this way. And I felt lonely. Now I am on a different challenging journey, but as a more grown Christian. It makes a big difference.
    Thank you for the encouraging words.

  28. great post lindsay. I love it when people can mix the real everyday going’s on with whatever they usually blog about. It makes it easier to relate to. And oh man, you hit the nail on the head with ashley, she’s truly amazing.

  29. Hi Lindsay I have not gone over to Ashley’s blog yet, but I will.
    Thank you for sharing this and yes, by all means write more about what you want to write even if it is a little more “personal” that is why I changed my own blog. And started a new.
    I even called it c’est Moi – which is “This is Me” in French.
    I felt cooped up in the sewing and jewelry scene. Boxed in.
    And it forced me to write only about those things.
    However I L O V E my sewing and jewelry making.
    Well, sweet cottage Momma! I will be be back soon. Looking forward to the “change”

  30. Lindsay, I’m catching up on blog reading (I’m always interminably behind) and just wanted to tell you how much I loved this post! I have been so touched and inspired by Ashley. And by you too. I love that you ‘choose joy’. I so agree. Life sometimes feels crazy and overwhelming with family (kids!) and life, but I’m so grateful for every bit of it. Life is so good. I’m so grateful for your example!

    Amy