Learning to love change

Change is a fact of life.  No matter who you are or where you live, your life is bound to go through many, many changes before you leave this earth for the next life.  Some people fight tooth and nail against each change that comes their way, but that only makes you more miserable in the long run.  After all, what is more frustrating than fighting against the inevitable?

Recently our lives have gone through ALOT of change.  Yesterday, my husband and I had a foster son who had been living with us for two and a half years go home for good.  I also have two books that are soon to be published that will bring both happy and scary changes into my life.  Plus, my husband is working towards his Master’s degree in special education so that he can get a different job.  Add to those major adjustments the daily ups and downs of life and you get quite a roller coaster ride.

Sometimes all of this upheaval can be overwhelming.  During those times, I try to find inspiration from others who have been there.  Here are a few of the quotes that have helped me keep perspective while I deal with everything going on around me.  I hope they will comfort and cheer you as well!

“For everything you have missed, you have gained something else, and for everything you gain, you lose something else.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“The doors we open and close each day decide the lives we live.” – Flora Whittemore

“Sometimes it’s the smallest decisions that can change your life forever.” – Keri Russell

“There is nothing wrong with change, if it is in the right direction.” – Winston Churchill

“Any change, even a change for the better, is always accompanied by drawbacks and discomforts.” – Arnold Bennett

“We cannot change our past. We can not change the fact that people act in a certain way. We can not change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude.” – Charles R. Swindoll

“All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy; for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another.” – Anatole France

“Life is change. Growth is optional. Choose wisely.” – Unknown

Who Inspires You?

I belive that inspiration is very important.  I probably drive my foster kids nuts because I am constantly trying to encourage them to look to truly inspiring role models rather than the latest teen heart-throb or reality star.

To me, someone is really only worth admiring and emulating if they use their talents and time to do good for others or to pave a path that is worth following.  I don’t care what field they happen to be in, but I do care that they open their hearts to their fellow man and try to make the world a better place.

So my question to you today is, who inspires you?  Here are a few of the people who have really influenced my life (other than family and friends):

*Jesus

*Buddha

*St. Francis of Assisi

*Mother Teresa

*Joan of Arc

*the current Dalai Lama

*Emily Dickinson

*Hans Christian Andersen

*Edgar Allen Poe

*Tim Burton

*Joni Eareckson Tada

Do you believe in ghosts???

This weekend we have been at our church family camp.  We haven’t had a lot of extra time to do sightseeing, but in what little time we did have, we visited several historical, supposedly haunted places.  There was the Knox County Poorhouse which was really more like an insane asylum where the unwanted of society got dumped.  So many people died from the horrible conditions there, that they started secretly burying them in unmarked graves.  Some of these graves are still found today.  Later the poorhouse became a Bible College, where there was a horrible elevator accident that killed several people.  All of these lost souls are said to haunt the property.

Then we went to the Curtis Mansion, a house that is in horrible disrepair today, but must have been spectacular in its day.  It is supposed to be haunted by the ghost of a little girl.

Our last stop was at Kenyon College where supposedly there is a gateway to hell…in fact, even the church itself is said to stand on the hellmouth…quite a story huh?  Of course, the college has had a lot of deaths that make it a good haunting spot.  Nine students died in a fire, several students committed suicide, a few met mysterious deaths and a couple kids were involved in train or vehicle accidents on campus.

So did we see anything?  Not really.  We took some pics that we haven’t been able to post yet, so I will see if anything showed up on those.  I could tell there were some very strange light patterns in some of the pictures, but not sure what caused that.

I often get asked why I like to visit haunted spots.  Do I really believe in ghosts?  Well, I don’t know.  I have certainly experienced some odd things in my life that I couldn’t explain, but I don’t know why those things happened.  For instance, in my grandparents’ house, you could often hear footsteps overhead when no one was there.  There was also a bloodstain upstairs that would vanish when you washed it, but would soon show up again exactly as it was before.

In my childhood home, where an elderly lady died, things would often mysteriously move or things would fall from the wall and end up on the other side of the room…not really sure what was going on.  The oddest incidence was probably when my grandmother died though.  After her death, an anniversary lamp that her and my grandpa had gotten on their wedding day constantly flickered on and off.  Even unplugged it would continue to flicker.  However, the day she was buried, the strange activity ended and never happened again.  Coincidence?  I don’t know…but certainly weird.

I know that many fellow Christians think ghosts are unreal or are caused by demons.  I’m not sure about that.  My grandma was a strong Christian…one of the greatest I’ve known.  I have also known faithful Christians who saw loved ones after they died, and those “ghosts” told their living loved ones that heaven is glorious and to keep living for God.  Why would a demon encourage others to live for God?  Plus, many ghost stories are positive tales of ghosts who have saved the lives of loved ones or helped those in times of need…would demons do that?  And if they are angels, why not just appear as angels instead of ghosts?

I don’t have the answers and won’t pretend that I do.  But I know there is much more out there than we can see…who knows how it all happens or what it is…but I must admit it does fascinate me.

“Soul Surfer” – truly inspirational with an unexpected message

Today my husband and I went to see the movie “Soul Surfer” while our foster son had his visitation with his biological family.  I wanted to see this movie because I figured it would be inspiring.  The story is about Bethany Hamilton, the girl who lost an arm in a shark attack back in 2003.

Beth was on the fast track to becoming a champion surfer when the attack happened.  Even with her arm gone, Bethany never doubted that she would surf again and even become a pro.  Perhaps it was because she was still so young, or maybe she just has a fighting spirit, but Beth never really gave up hope on her dream, even when things looked impossible. 

The movie also shows the turmoil that Bethany’s friends and family went through after the accident.  Although everyone was supportive and encouraged Beth, it was obvious that many of them didn’t think that Beth could really achieve her dream anymore.  In some ways, Bethany’s friends and family started treating her like an invalid, even if it wasn’t intentional.  They wanted so much to make things easier for Beth that they almost crippled her.  However, Beth refused to let them treat her differently, regardless of whether it was at home or during a surf competition.

The movie did have one unexpected aspect.  It had a strong Christian message, even quoting the Bible at various spots.  I didn’t realize that Bethany was such a spiritual girl, but since her faith seemed genuine, I didn’t mind the religious overtones.  When Bethany won a Kid’s Choice Award for courage in 2004, she even told the audience that she believed it was Jesus Christ who gave her the courage she possessed.  What is even more inspiring is that Bethany doesn’t just use her faith to help herself, but has also been using her unexpected fame to help others by partnering with World Vision, a charity that helps children and disaster victims all over the world.