Hearing from God: half empty or half full?

Hearing from God- what’s your perspective? Half empty or half full?

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It’s funny how God uses things or people to talk to us.

In desperate times you find yourself clinging to God more desperately than you do in your every day to and fro day.

Lately I have been desperately reaching out for him. Struggles have come slow and consistently. As I hammer down this prayer I’m writing it because I need it out of me and into His hands…. Lord, please don’t give me more than I can handle and when I think I can’t handle it any more, please show me your relief. The devil is hard at work right now. And the more progress we make, the harder he tries to hit. Lift me higher God. I need you. Your wisdom. And anything you have to offer to keep me from losing my mind and my drive. I know you love me. I need that proof. Even in the littlest. Thank you.

I’m currently reading a bible app plan called “God’s dream for your life”. I started and got too busy to complete. But in this present time, I need it, so I go back to the days missed and it’s funny because it is exactly what I need right now. Not back then when I started but this exact day.

I see Gods handiwork as he strategically places people into our lives. I have watched people come into my life and not understanding the full picture but soon they are gone, and another, and another. I am a person who develops meaningful relationships with those that surround me. Suddenly God places the exact person in place. One of his children, one who will lift up many who are in a broken world.

One thing this person and I have in common is the loss of a child. (Who knew). One thing this person said to me that I wasn’t expecting allowed me to see my grief from a different point of view. I was told that I was very blessed. That I was able to spend 20 years with my son. My friend’s story wasn’t the same. The story unfolded and roughly less than 2 years out of the 14 years of this boy’s life was spent with his parent. Regrets and heartbreak are still being nurtured by God. The testimony opened my eyes to see that I AM blessed. With some of my own regrets, I still was able to spend 20 incredible years with Derrick. The glass is half full now. It used to be half empty- seeing only my heartbreak, my loss, the what if’s, the should have been’s. All of this half empty perspective is teetering on half full mentality.

It’s when we stop to assess what God has truly blessed us with, we can come into a place where we can see the other side of things. We will never have full knowledge of every little thing but if we look at big picture and trust God with the rest, everything becomes half full.

What is happening with you that you can stop for a minute and look at it from a different point of view?

Life is never easy but with God by your side leading the way, life has meaning and purpose. Thru everything. Always.

I love you, 
Love Jean

 

Not today.

Forever changed. 
It’s not how I wanted it to be. I’m sure at times it’s a drag but my emotions are mine. I dare to live the happy life I want to have yet parts of me simply cant. The damaged parts that hold secretly the hindering blocks to complete healing. Do I want it? Of course not. I was born happy go lucky and I yearn to stay happy go lucky.
Most times I am able to bounce back and keep going but this hurt and this scar keeps me in grief bondage.
It’s foundation is love. It’s release is warm tears on a hot face. Do I want it? No. Not today…..But this is my life.
For whatever reason God trusted me with this life. Everything within the span of my lifetime I am entrusted to bring him glory.
It’s ok to question him. Mothers day is never easy anymore. For any of us. It’s a sharp reminder of the empty spot. The place where a silly, happy go lucky, angry, not a care in the world young man once filled our lives.
Simple holidays. Once a source of giddiness, now a humble treasure of who we are. Mother’s day,  fathers day, siblings day, grandparents day, birth days and even death anniversary…The list goes on.
I know at some point in our lives we will gain a peace, but today isn’t that day.
It’s not that we question the why of it all, it’s just our hearts long to hold, hug, kiss, see his smile, hear his laughter, and simply be near him.
That’s not today. We have to wait. And in the mean time we will shed our tears of love…..until we meet again. 
Derrick Xavier Watson….you are loved by many. I am beyond grateful God entrusted me to be your mother. As I celebrate mothers day with your amazing siblings, remember I love you to. Xoxo xoxo xoxo love momma!

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Deciphering Grief from Reality

Many times we are so wrapped up with keeping up with the Joneses that we hardly take time to take a breath and realize – we’re truly living for our own happiness and desires.

One day last September I stood determined to change my life by changing my eating habits, learn to incorporate exercise and completely turn my health around into a happier healthier Jean.

Through the help of the Fitgirls guide, I was able to have fun as I gained knowledge, confidence and lost 36lbs. The “challenges” brought out more challenges within myself such as learning not to “compete” against others and simply “Do this” for myself. Once I changed this perspective it allowed me to relax and focus on myself through the journey.

As I have lost those 36lbs I feel much better. I am looking to continue this healthy lifestyle yet I find myself trying to decipher my grief from my reality. I watch my fellow fit friends as they are pressing on and continuing their journey….yet I stand here paused. At the moment I am satisfied with the major healthy difference I have achieved in such a short time. It isn’t my ultimate goal, but I am extremely proud and enjoying my current physic.

My existence is currently allowing my soul to pause at the urgency of “press press press go go go and do do do”.I am allowing myself the time to grieve the loss of my son and simply enjoy how far I have come in my new me fitness journey.

My heart looks forward to the continuing journey and my long term goal, but at this time, I am allowing myself to breathe, be me and stay as closely on track as I possibly can without the hype or pressures to be better.

Taking care of ALL of you is more important than staying with the crowd. If you were an athlete in training and you pulled a muscle, you would naturally nurture and tend to the injury rather than miserably pushing yourself forward into your ultimate goal and risk permanent damage. A wise athlete would also know at what point their body is capable to rise up and continue when ready.

This example reflects our emotional healing. When life consumes you and you have no choice but to face your grief, YOU MUST ALLOW IT TO FLOW. So you can heal. Be wise to recognize when it is time to jump back on track with your goals. Don’t allow excuses to consume your efforts. Press on when “you know you can” and back off when “you know you must”. A balance between physical and emotional well being will lead you into a happier successful healthy goal. A happier healthier you.

I found a quote by Benjamin Allen that reflects grief and true reality: “Loss is the most challenging experience I believe I have ever faced. There isn’t a simple roadmap that navigates the afterloss in one specific way that works for everybody. Each person has to find his or her own rhythm and time.”

I love you! #permissiontobeyourself
Love, Jean

 

New Year New Me

So the past couple years have been quite the roller coaster in my life. If you count all of 2012 I would have told you “I am NOT a social media person!!!!”

While I still haven’t branched into the Facebook world (nor do I plan to), I have found an outlet to share parts of my “innerjean” life and everything God has done for me through this blog and also through Instagram.

The month of September 2014 came with alot of milestones for me.
Fast approaching was the two year anniversary of my 20 year old son (Derrrick)’s death. (September 25th). Two very long heartbreaking years without one of my children. The hurt never eases. Life does but the hurt doesnt.
Before we joinded together to celebrate Derricks life that day, there were other eventful things going on in my innerjean being.
1. The beginning of September is suicide prevention and awareness week. This momma was finally stronger to talk about suicide and let people know that THEY MATTER!!! I bought various things from TWLOHA (To Write Love On Her Arms~ non prophet organization for suicide awareness and prevention). For anyone who doesn’t know l, Derrick died by suicide at the young age of 20, accompanied by a lifelong battle to ADD/ODD & Bipolar/depression & mental illness.
Suicide prevention week went very well.
As I realized I was getting better in my mourning and grief I suddenly realized that I was regaining confidence.
As I looked over pictures of the past I came across our wedding photos. It was a time where much of the family was all there together. I seen myself amazingly happy and on top of the world in love with life itself.
I was radiant!  Glowing from the tanning.  Smiling from the joy and love. And everything about those photos showed amazing confidence.
I really wanted to be that Jean again….but looking in the mirror at this Jean all I saw was a broken, hurting, struggling, overweight woman trying to survive the very hour of most days. Mand what I wouldn’t give to be that “me” again!

As the Lord paves out my journey he placed (on Instagram) the FitGirlsguide. There it was. Something in my newsfeed. I was like. Wow. $24.99.
I had the lil angel Jean on one shoulder saying “do it! You’re gonna rock this and get back to that healthy happy Jean u crave to be!” Amd then there was the lil skeptical Jean on the other shoulder saying “blah blah blah~how much money have you invested into fitness “programs” etc etc etc…

The two of those voices within were so strong but I thought hey~ 1 weeks worth of Chick-fil-A.  I can sacrifice that much! What do I have to lose? So I did it…..and I.REALLY.DID.IT! (From September 22, 2014 – January 1, 2015 I have lost 36 lbs~ I have traded in my burdens of unhappiness for confidence and new friends called “fitgirls” and I am absolutely the happiest healthiest Jean that I have been in many many years!)

God is so good to us! He is faithful. He promises to never to leave us nor forsake us.

This is my journey……I’m heading into 2015 a New Year as a New Me. And I owe it all to God for blessing me with the tools to learn about healthy eating and exercising the FUN way with a great group of amazingly fun FITGIRLS!
Anyone who wants to know more about it, ask questions etc head over to http://www.fitgirlsguide.com or on instagram
@fitgirlsguide oh and I’m there to haha @fitgirljean

P.s. #peoplematter #itsthelittlethingsinlife
Love always,
Jean A. Taylor

Being an inspiration to yourself

Encouragement. What exactly is encouragement? Let’s go get a reference….lets go to Google…

en·cour·age·ment/enˈkərijmənt/

noun

 the action of giving someone support, confidence, or hope.

Somewhere built into the inner most part of my being God placed his carefully sculpted the gene of encouragement. As I was created and developed in my mother’s womb the encouragement gene grew. Slowly through the years a cranky little toddler became a happy go lucky little girl. That little girl fell into the protective arms of Jesus at the age of five, and not a moment too soon.

The years following and on through my teenage years entailed harsh realities of cruel words and insensitive people. But the encouragement gene was watered with the protective arms of Jesus which allowed this happy go lucky girl to carry on through life. Through many mistakes, hardships, self destructive patterns and blessed joyous events of life,somehow, Encouragement found its way.

As I look back on my 40+ years I am grateful for the happy go lucky. I could never have lived even half the painful days of my life without the blessing of it. A natural gift of grace from our Lord. I also look back at the Encouragment gene he placed within. Another natural gift of grace from our Lord. The ability to draw a smiley face on something and leave it behind for another to find – just to make them smile and creat a brighter day…..Happy go lucky. It’s the little things.

For years I wrote. I wrote in a journal. I wrote to family, friends, coworkers, Sunday school class newsletters, anything I could. I was never perfect. Probably even said some unwise things at some point. But my heart always wrote with good intention and encouraging motive to help.

Today I looked over a few things I wrote and it became quite comical to me because I was actually encouraging my 40+ self TODAY. I couldn’t help but laugh out loud! Talk about being an inspiration to yourself!

How are you an inspiration? Is it Encouragement? Helping hand? Prayer Warrior? Teacher? Coach? Listener? Look for ways to inspire someone, and don’t forget to look at the path you have already taken so that you can inspire yourself.

 

 

Friends of Grief: When a mirror becomes your new friend

Who knew that a mirror, make up, cool wet paper towel and privacy would be my new best friend.

We meet often. Randomly at that. We bump into each other by chance. Out of the blue we suddenly meet together again. Sharing, loving, tears and remembering once again.

Sometimes privacy doesn’t meet with us, nor does make up, but hey, you cannot expect everyone to show up can you? It’s never a perfect world.

The closest of friends that never leave my side faithfully show up. they are love, memories and tears. Faithfully they are there, supporting and helping me through the process of loss and grief.

Together as we sit there alone allowing the grieving process to take its course, the memories to flood my existence, the tears to stain my face and clothes, the make up to wash away, the sobs to shatter the silence, the gasps of air to desperately suck into my hurting expecting lungs, and my hot face aching for cool relief, I allow myself to remember, love and miss my son Derrick until I have come to a state of rest.

And then it’s time to meet up with my new friend the mirror and stare into it to see just what is staring back at me. Many times I cry all over again.

Sometimes these Grief friends allow you to see yourself for who you really are. To face yourself and see the hurting person that really stands before you is very difficult to see. It reminds you that you hurt more than you realize. It also reminds you that this is what others see in you.

Faithfully, you grab your friend the cool towel, soaking it with cool water trying to relieve your burdened face of the relentless emotions and tears. Slowly you begin to feel better. Soon you become braver. You find that you can face the world again but you need your other friends.

You call on your trusty friend makeup. You apply your “mask” to hide your encounter and you emerge from privacy so that you can continue on your day.

It’s what we do. With our new friends of Grief. It isn’t a life we wanted, it’s a life we adapted to and are working with to help us make it through.

Jean Taylor

 

Realizing you need God

Lately things have been going insanely wrong. From veering off the interstate and my car dies at the stop sign….to approaching the train track crossing and find a train parked – with 8 minutes to spare…. To arriving late to work – again – which will ultimately reward me with attendance points? Not a great start to my day.

As not to complain… other known facts of disrupt in our world –

Falling off a rickety porch – injuring foot/leg

Running out of gas in Tahoe because of faulty/floating gas gauge – other reason I was late.

Losing drivers license, debit card- found debit card- not driver’s license.

Habitually dropping, losing, forgetting and missing things.

Screwing up my words- such as tongue tied/backwards talking nonsense of what I am trying to say.

The list could go on, but you get my gist.

I am completely aware of the turmoil that is upsetting the being of my life. I am aware of the hindrances that block my happiness. The grief is setting in as the disruptions pile up and the overwhelming task of taking it all on consumes me.

I know the true answer. I know what I need to do. I need to surrender all of this to God. I’m finally accepting and realizing I need God. I can’t do this on my own. I try, but it just doesn’t work.

I know God is by my side every step, but I need him in front of me, not next to me. I need relief. I need him to take over. I need him to control the situations of my life. It is the part of me that has to let go of my pride and say –

I need you Lord, please ease this turmoil- take control of my life. Guide me. Instill within me the desires to seek your face. I am in a desperate place. I am upside down in my world and all I know to do is survive. Help me to do more than just survive. Give me your peace while I am taking each step of every day. Lord, I realized I need you. I need you up front and center in my life. Not simply next to me or always with me, I need you to move out front and lead me. My heart is so heavy Lord…lift me…help me. I love you with everything in me. You da best. Give my D a big hug and tell him I love him. And Lord, thank you for everything about my life especially for DMJKAEDAA. I pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.