The Sun And The Rain And the Apple Seed

With the sporadic weather that has plagued the earth, and in honour of the US Thanksgiving, I thought I’d re-post this popular blog.  It was originally posted in March, 2012.  Although it doesn’t have to do with a big meal, it has everything to do with an attitude of gratitude.  May you have a safe and happy Thanksgiving Day!

grat-i-tude noun:  the quality or feeling of being thankful

English: Photo showing some of the aspects of ...

English: Photo showing some of the aspects of a traditional US Thanksgiving day dinner. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I live in Canada. Our country is immensely wide and somewhat deep as well. However, from coast to coast, we have one thing in common: We find some way to communicate our displeasure with the weather! It’s almost like an ongoing joke.

If it’s a winter’s day, and it’s -15°C, we will complain that it is a harsh winter. (That is about 5°Farenheit, by the way!) “It’s probably warmer in Nunavut, when will this dreaded winter be done?” If it’s summertime and 30°C+ a humidex factor (91°F), we’ll say that the summer is sooo hot this year.

I’ve decided to take a different approach. I try not to have bad days, so I decided to be thankful for whatever weather that we are having at the time. This winter was incredibly mild, I was thankful that it wasn’t -15°C. We did have some really cold days, I was grateful that the sun was shining. There was one bitterly cold day that it also snowed. I got chilled because I had to run errands that day. When I got home, I made a big pot of soup and went under the covers. That day, I was grateful for a comfortable bed to snuggle up under.

Last week in Southern Ontario, we had a warm spell. The temperatures got up to 25° (77°F). We had to look at the calendar to be reminded that it was the middle of March, and not June. Our normal temperatures are about 9°C (47°F) for this time of year. The magnolias, crocuses and daffodils started blooming. I bared my legs and wore skirts. There were days that it was raining because, after all, it is spring. True to form, I heard people complaining that it was going to rain. IT WAS 25° DEGREES, AFTER ALL! Sigh…

Well, we are now in a “cold snap”, according to the weather forecast. Today I woke up, and the temperature here is not getting any higher than 3°C (37°F). It will be unseasonably COLD today. I took a walk, and the magnolias, which were ready to open last week, have turned an ugly brown colour because of the extreme cold. The flowers that were blooming so beautifully just days ago, are now being covered up for protection. However, it is SUNNY!

Erratic weather is a definite possibility, I do acknowledge that. The weather may bring droughts or tornadoes. Hurricanes and floods may be something that has touched your life. I am in no way minimizing the effects of disasters on you or anyone else’s life. However, I know from experience that, the faster I get out of the victim stage, the faster my recovery.

I spent so many years not being happy because of my difficult marital situation. Now I am embracing all that life has to offer, even rainy days. If it didn’t rain, the daffodils would not look as beautiful. Each day, I find something to be grateful for, and oftentimes, the weather is part of my gratitude journalling. If it’s winter and raining, I’m thankful that it is warm enough not to be snowing. If it’s winter and cold, it is usually sunny, and for that, I am also grateful. If it’s 30°C, it’s definitely not snowing, and for that, I am exceptionally grateful!

What’s the weather like in your neck of the woods? Can you find something for which you are grateful?

May Your Cup Always be full,

Stephanie~Emerging Princess

www.stephanietitusandrews.com

The Success Indicator

Today’s post is courtesy of Jeff Moore of My Everyday Power

mistakes

Pursue Your Passion!  Live Your Legacy

Stephanie, Emerging Princess

Theological Thursday: 04/04/13

This is a quote from one of my favourite Facebook pastors, Mark Pothier.  Don’t shoot the messenger!  If you can’t say “Amen”, say “Ouch”!

“Dating Tip… Men…

There will always be the guy who is better looking, has more money, bigger muscles, with the big house, and drives that nice car. But what a woman finds really attractive, is a man who fears God, reads his Bible and LIVES it… a man who will pray with her everyday and be her covering. The guy who loves God more than her. That’s the guy she will choose. And if she doesn’t, you had no business with her in the first place.”

couple-holding-hands-5-black

 

Nuff said!

May Your Cup Always Be Full,

Stephanie, Emerging Princess

4am Rant

Ugh!  Ok, so sometimes God wakes me up at “ungodly” hours and talks…I have no choice but to listen, or I’ll never get back to sleep!  This is for someone out there.  Please pass on if you feel the need to.  I’ll warn you, today’s blog is more like a rant!

ID-10089637So often, we believe our sunglasses that we happen to be wearing.  Our sunglasses are the paradigms through which we see our world (Brian Klemmer).  Some sunglasses are given to us at birth~like our ethnicity~others are things or thought patterns that we pick up and keep telling ourselves.  These sunglasses often are not true, and they can be so damaging to our life’s progress.  Things like:

~I am not strong enough

~This is how I am/ I was born this way

~I’m not blessed with a beautiful body like you are

~I’ll never get out of debt

~I’m not smart like you

~My whole family is like this

~I can’t do that

~I’m not pretty/handsome enough

Who told you?

These are all sunglasses (of negativity) that we allow to dictate our lives.  One day (hopefully), we wake up to find that these sunglasses are a hindrance to us.  We inspect our lives, and discover that there were the “woulda”, “coulda” and “shouldas” that stared us in the eye…missed opportunities that, if we had stepped out of our narrow view of our life, “woulda”, “shoulda” and “coulda” been so amazing!  If others have accomplished great things, surely we can too!

[By the way, these paradigms can be~ and often are~well-meaning loved ones who don’t want to see us get hurt.  They sometimes give us “wise council” that reflects the world through their sunglasses.  We are then held back when we try to please them, and heed their well-meaning advice.]

Are you ready to take off your sunglasses?

Are you ready to prove the naysayers wrong?

Are you ready to live a life bigger than you’ve ever imagined?

Isn’t it about time?

May Your Cup Always Be Full,

Stephanie, Emerging Princess

Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka-Dot Bikini

It’s Theological Thursday.  As is the custom, here is a post from a Christian point of view.  Enjoy!

I remember the day as if it was yesterday.  I was warned, but nothing prepared me for what I saw that day.

A few days before, I lay on a hospital bed in the emergency ward, preparing for surgery.  I had developed a condition, a Small Bowel Obstruction, which required emergency surgery.  The doctor explained what he was going to do, and where they were going to cut.  I looked at the Doctor, mortified.

Surgery

Surgery (Photo credit: Army Medicine)

“Can’t you cut across my belly, below my belly-button?” I asked.

“No, that’s not possible,” the gentle Doctor quietly responded.

Well, when they got to the surgical floor, I prayed that the situation would change.  My procedure was successful (or I wouldn’t be writing this blog! 😉  ).  A day later, a nurse came to change my dressing.  Most of my stomach area had gauze or surgical tape.  I eagerly awaited the revelation of where my actual scars were.  As the nurse worked and explained what she was doing, I peeked.  I would eventually be doing her job when I was released.  As the gauze was taken off, I gasped.  I had been cut from my sternum, past my belly-button, all the way down to—well I couldn’t tell.  I couldn’t see that far!  My hopes of a low-lying scar were dashed against a rock, and broken into a million pieces!

“Who would want a scarred body like this?” I thought.  Turning to the nurse, I said,

“Oooh gosh, look at dat!”

“Girl, yuh had may-jah belly sur-dree”, she replied.

Not only was the surgery a surprise, I was also in a foreign country.  I was in the second week of a vacation to my birthplace, Trinidad.  It didn’t take me long to revert to being a “Trini” again—embracing the slower pace of life, and the sing-song method of speaking.

A few days later, I was released from the hospital.  During the next couple of weeks, I had some major fights with God about my scar.  It was a bone of contention during many of my prayer sessions.  I believe that it even started sowing the seed of ingratitude in my heart.  I was upset that now, I couldn’t wear an “Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weenie” bikini of any colour.

One day, I came to my senses and thought,

“Hold up!  This is ridiculous!  You have borne three children.  Your belly has been stretched to the maximum.  You have all the rivers of the world etched into your belly as proof!  There’s no way under the sun, that you’ll even ever go out in public in a bikini!”

That was a huge turning point for me.  Perhaps being angry at the scar was a way of taking my mind off the seriousness of the surgery.  Either way, I was finally able to thank the Lover Of My Soul for creating my body to be the wonderful machine that it was.  I was grateful that I was able to bear three wonderful children and nourish them.  I had strong legs, hands that worked, and a sound mind.

I looked back at the events surrounding my surgery, and they had God’s hand written all over them.  My room-mates were all Christians.  Visitors provided prayer coverage, and worship music was constantly playing.  I was surrounded by relatives who loved and cared for me.  This included a prayer-warrior aunt, who mustered up the support from my childhood church.  I had the surgery in a fabulous teaching hospital, with the head registrar leading my team of doctors.  I was able to have the surgery for free, as I was born there.  And when I was released into the care of my relatives, I didn’t have to lift a finger.  My laundry was done for me, my food prepared…that would not have been the case had I been in my own house.  This is the first time in my life that I was truly pampered.  Fussing over an “Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weenie Yellow Polka-Dot Bikini” seemed so puerile.

Recovery was a challenge, I won’t lie.  This surgery really changed my life.  Each day I’m thankful for my health.  I look at my “bikini” line”, and I’m well-aware that God saved me from the jaws of death.  The Lover Of My Soul has a great plan for my life.  I will reap my heavenly rewards, after I shake off this broken-temporal body.

What life-changing (near-death?) experience have you survived?  Please share…

May Your Cup Always Be Full,

Stephanie, Emerging Princess

 

 

Theological Thursday, Late Edition

Duh!

You know what?  I hate being told, “I told you so”!  Or realizing that I had been in a similar situation before, and it didn’t turn out then…What makes me believe that things would be different this time?  There is a saying that goes, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over, expecting different results”.

When it comes to choosing a life partner, I have seen this in living colour.  A friend has made a bad choice as a boyfriend, and what do you do, you turn around and date someone just like him or worse.  Another girlfriend leaves an abusive husband, and her daughter becomes involved with someone like her father, even though she swore she would never do it.  What is our affinity to doing really dumb things?  Don’t we believe that God loves us enough to send a truly wonderful person our way?

“I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway. ” (Romans 7:15)  Holla!  Wut is dis?  Paul was one of the biggest pillars of our faith.  He wrote a large part of the New Testament, for goodness sake.  Yet, there were times when he had  “the thorn in my flesh” which  kept him humble.  There has been much speculation over what the “thorn” was.  Wouldn’t it be cool to find out that it was a “who”?!  😛

Why DO we do dumb things?

Why DO we do dumb things?

 

We fail, and we fail again.  We are fallen creatures.  The Lover of My Soul desires for us to have a passionate relationship with Him.  It does grieve Him when we fall, as it puts distance between the Creator and the created.  Repentance restores that relationship, and He remembers our sin no more.  We may have to deal with the ramifications of the action, though.

I have become an avid student of life.  Life is FANTASTIC!  God wants to take us to higher and deeper levels with Him~despite the fact that it sounds like a contradiction.

This post is brief:  A full life happens when you fall, repent, and let the Love of Jesus pull you back to where you can hear His voice again.

May Your Cup Always Be Full,

Stephanie, Emerging Princess

www.createdtoexcel.ca

Theological Thursday~Forgive & Thrive

It’s Thursday, and time for another post from a Christian point of view.  Hope you enjoy.  Please comment!

I was on my way…I started regaining my self-esteem.  Joy was becoming a part of my every day life.  Things were starting to look good.  Then, BAM!!  The blame game hit.

Have you ever played the blame game?  I believe we all have, at some time.  Growing up, we’d blame our brothers or sister(s) for taking a cookie from the jar, “He did it first”, after all.  And for many of us, it never stopped.

“If only she’d do this”, or “Why doesn’t he do that?”  Sound familiar?

Asking For Forgiveness

Asking For Forgiveness (Photo credit: hang_in_there)

That was precisely the position that I was in.  I was blaming my former partner for the predicament that I was in.  And in the process, I was carrying around a huge dose of unforgiveness.  This, I knew, could very well turn into bitterness.  And bitterness causes a host of dis-eases.

While grumbling about my situation one day, my eldest child looked at me and said,

“Mumsy, our father never did this while you were married, why would he start now that you have left?”   If you can’t say Amen, say Ouch!  That hurt~and it came from my own kid!

Yet, that’s just the message that The Lover of My Soul wanted me to hear.  I needed to Forgive in order to Thrive.  He cared about me so much more than a misguided former mate.  I needed to let go, and let God.  I had every right to hold on to the hurt.  I had every right to be upset about the state of my finances.  Yet, I did not have a right to hold on to it, and harp over it again and again.  I had no right to be God’s judge.  His word says,

“Do not take revenge, my friends”, Romans 12:19a.  I was also reminded that we are to forgive “70 x 7” times (some say 77).  [An aside here~I believe that one should forgive the sin.  If this sinner is preventing God’s plan for your life from being fulfilled, it may be prudent to remove yourself from the situation.  Just sayin’!]

As time went on, I realized that my Father loved me so much that, although money was a challenge, my family was never hungry.  We moved into a house and I didn’t have a job or references; people guided us to food banks; hampers and gift cards showed up at our door at Christmas.  Miracles were, and still are, a part of my everyday life.

Now, these things possibly could have happened without the forgiveness.  However, I don’t thing that we would have thrived.  I don’t think that we would have been as grateful.  I KNOW that I would not have been as grateful.  To be sure, a grateful heart is more receptive to gifts~big and small.  When a person has unforgiveness in their heart, they cannot be grateful at the same time.  They will accept gifts with an entitlement view.  I’ve seen this quite frequently.  After a person forgives, it’s like the flood-gates of Heaven open up.  The shackles around one’s heart, head and feet, break off.  I know that~speaking from experience~it’s really tricky to walk with shackles on my feet!

The Lover of My Soul was right.  I thrive more and more.  Forgiveness, then, was not for the perpetrator.  Forgiveness was, and is an act of love for my family, myself, and my future!

 

May Your Cup Always Be Full!

Stephanie, Emerging Princess

You’re An All-Star

Mono portable Radio Tape Recorder from the Ger...

Mono portable Radio Tape Recorder from the German brand Universum (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s Thursday…time for another “Theological” post from a Christian perspective.  Enjoy!

“I feel so ugly, so unloveable.”  The hot shower soothed my body, as the sobs wracked my form.  This was my hideaway; the only place that I could cry without my kids hearing me.

It was a few months after becoming single again.  Although I was enjoying my freedom, my mind was still held hostage.

“You’ll never succeed at that.”

“Why can’t you ever get things right?”

And on and on the tape recorder played. (A tape recorder is displayed on the right-hand side.) 🙂

“Father, please show me something tangible; something positive about myself that I can hold onto.”  God, in His ever-loving mercy, always hears us.  We just don’t always listen.  This time I did.

“Check your e-mails”, I heard.  Thinking back now, I am aware that He didn’t tell me to open my Bible to such and such a verse.  I needed human validation and compliments.

Reading positive e-mails were a significant key to helping me re-build my self-esteem.  I typed up some of the compliments that people had given me, laminated them and put them on my bathroom mirror.  At the time, I needed to see things like,

“You’re An All-Star”, or that I was a “wonderful friend”.

The mind renewal began, and I continued healing with a 12-Step Programme and NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming).  On days that were heavy, I went into my ceramic oasis, and I said the truths out loud.  Sometimes, many times, they were recited through tears.

The Lover of My Soul put people in my path to bless me, and pour positivity into my life.  As the days wore on, He showed me that I was lovable.  He loved me first~even before this world began.

Wow, what an AMAZING love that is!  How could I keep THAT to myself?  I decided to take the spotlight off myself and my problems by adding more volunteering to my daily activities.  (It is something that I urge my clients to do even now.)  It wasn’t the same love as when I was married, yet, I was still giving love away.  Put under a microscope, if you examine this love, it’s probably healthier, purer, and flowing from a heart of compassion.

I realized that the Lover Of My Soul desires that my heart remain soft, and not let bitterness creep in.  This way it is open to first being filled by HIM.  Yes, I AM An All-Star, because He says so!

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–His good, pleasing and perfect will.   ~Romans 12:2

May Your Cup Always Be Full,

Stephanie, Emerging Princess

My Dirty Little Secret

This is the first Theological Thursday post, written from a Christian viewpoint.

Can I tell you a secret?  I am a LOVE junkie!  I guess that means that I am a hopeless romantic.  I love holding hands as I walk on the beach with my special someone (I call him

English: Michael Buble walks the Red Carpet at...

English: Michael Buble walks the Red Carpet at the 2009 Junos in Vancouver, Canada (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

MiLove).  I love receiving flowers and chocolates.  I love listeniing to sappy Barry ManilowMichael Buble  or smooth jazz songs as I talk to him about our future.

Now can I make another confession?  I do not have an actual PHYSICAL person named MiLove that I do all of this with.  No, I do NOT have a blow-up toy, either!  I could say that it’s Jesus, but that would be so cliche.  Due to my faith, I’m SUPPOSED to love Him.  The brutal truth is, to many people, I am a love failure.  I’ve committed the ultimate love-sin.  I chose~dun, dun, dun~divorce.  Gasp!

Blasphemy!  How dare she write about love when she hasn’t even succeeded in that department?  May I suggest something else?  May I offer you the idea that there is no such thing as failure.  There is only feedback.  I learned this in my NLP training (and it is one of the main tenets).  Would you take financial advice only from someone who has been lucky financially?  Or would you also want to learn from someone who has gotten up again after losing it all?  I’d say that most people think Donald Trump is a financial success.  I now know what NOT to do in my next relationship.  Letting go of that guilt has been so freeing.  The Bible says that, “Though a RIGHTEOUS man (note that word) falls seven times, he rises again; but the wicked are brought down by calamity”,  Proverbs 24:16.

See, there were signs, many as big as a jumbotron, which warned me about my poor marriage choice.  I chose to ignore them, and I paid the price…I fell.  Does that mean that I should suffer indefinitely?  Some believe that you should fight tooth and nail for your man.  And I did, until I ran out of energy.  I believe, “He will not lead you, where He won’t keep you”, (Jackie Cherill).   I know that Christ died to forgive the sins of a murderer, and he also died to forgive a divorcee.  Sin is sin in God’s eyes.  He has also used me more in my three years of singleness than in the 23 years of my previous life.

So, although I could be jaded by my past, I am enjoying my present, and am anticipating my future.  My hopes and dreams still exist for finding the person that I can share the

Love ? I love love love you.

Love ? I love love love you. (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

romantic scenes that I described  previously.

I’m up for an adventure.  I will explore love~the way Christ wanted it to be.  If you’re looking to follow an unconventional love adventure, I invite you to come on my journey as I talk about Love, MiLove, and the Lover of My Soul.

May Your Cup Always Be Full,

Stephanie, Emerging Princess

I Choose

Choices

 I woke up early today, excited about all I get to do before the clock strikes midnight.

I have responsibilities to fulfill today. My job is to choose what kind of day I’m going to have.

I can complain because the weather is rainy, or I can be thankful that the grass is getting watered for free.

Today I can cry because roses have thorns, or I can celebrate that thorns have roses.

Today I can whine because I have a job, or I can shout for joy because I have a job to do!

Today I can feel sad that I don’t have more money, or be glad that my finances encourage me to plan my purchases wisely, and to guide me away from waste.

Today I can grumble about my health, or I can rejoice that I am alive.

Today I can lament over all my parents didn’t give me when I was a child, or I can be grateful that they allowed me to be born.

Today I can complain because I have to go to school, or I can eagerly open my mind and fill it with new tibits of knowledge.

Today, I can murmur dejectedly that I have to do housework, or I can feel honoured because the Lord has provided shelter for my mind and body and soul.

Today stretches ahead of me, waiting to be shaped. And here I am, the sculptor who gets to do the shaping.

What today will be like is up to me.

I get to choose what kind of day I will have.

So, have a great day~unless you have other plans!

~Author Unknown

 May Your Cup Always Be Full!

Stephanie, Emerging Princess

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Water For The Journey

Book Release PartyOctober 25th, 2013
The long-awaited release of Water For The Journey: 156 Days To Freedom. All day givaways and book release party!
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