Sometimes others say it best

I thought I would do a fun post of inspirational/thought provoking quotes and pictures in honor of the new look of my blog! Hope you like them! ūüôā

All photos courtesy of: Stumble Upon, or friends! ūüôā

Another post will be coming soon…

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Meaning of Christmas

It dawned on me today that Christmas is less that a week away and I have yet to acknowledge it, one of my favorite and most important holidays, on the blog! Opps!

Now that I’m older, I can honestly say that the joy in the season for me really comes from it’s true meaning now. For the past few years, I’ve not cared about the gifts so much (although presents are always nice) and really just enjoyed the time spent with my family and my own private time spend reflecting on the birth of that beautiful baby who changed the World forever.¬†

I don’t want to get too strong here, for those of you that read the blog and could care less about my faith or my religious beliefs–although, you’ve been getting a lot more of that than I originally intended of this blog (that’s God for you!).¬† There’s just two things I wanted to share with you tonight about the beauty of this Christmas holiday.

First, Sarah over at Stand Tall Through Everything¬†wrote an amazing post today reflecting on the Fourth Sunday of Advent (today) and the power that one woman’s “Yes” had on every single of us who live this faith. Sarah was probably the second blogger I started following regularly, and her posts are really¬†wonderful¬†and well-written.¬† Please take the time to go check it out! It really moved me. Thanks Sarah, for letting me post it up on my blog!

Second, is one of my all-time favorite Christmas quotes. Bear with me as I tell you the quick story of where it comes from. The quote is from the longest running soap opera Guiding Light, which ended its 72 year run on September 18, 2009. I know some of you are probably judging me right now for pulling a Christmas quote from a soap, but this wasn’t just a tv show in my family. Guiding Light was sortof an undetectable gule in my family. It binded generations (my grandmother, to my mother and my aunt, to me and my sisters), and it brought us together for an hour each day, whether in person, over the phone, or simply in heart. My grandmother was always the go-to person about GL questions as she was the one who’d watched (or in her case listened) to the show the longest. Anything Grandma told you, you never questioned. My grandmother passed away in 2007 and I remember one of the last conversations I had with her was calling to see if she watched today episode and what she thought about the writers bringing some of the old characters back (and more importantly, if their storylines were truly accurate!). Watching GL was never quite the same when my Grandma passed away, but I¬†remember calling my mom everyday to have the same conversations¬†if I was away at school,¬†and DVRing each episode to watch with my mom if I was home for a weekend or¬†on a break. For those, and many more, reasons this quote holds a special place in my heart. Merry Christmas Everyone.

“When times are tough, we have to stop and appreciate what we do have, what’s important to us, and what keeps us waking up in the morning; our family. Our lives may not be perfect. We make mistakes, but we survive, and we forgive, and although the future may seem uncertain, nothing is ever lost as long as we have faith. It’s Christmas. Where the unexpected gift from the least expected person can turn everything around. Where there once was darkness, there may be light. And above all, there is that one gift that costs nothing, that requires no wrapping, and that is love. Love. What would Christmas be without it?”

Always Looking Up

I just (quite literally) finished Michael J. Fox’s new book, Always Looking Up: Adventures of an Incurable Optimist. I wasn’t really sure what to expect but, given my life situation, I’m always drawn to books about people and thier stories of hope, survival, and overcoming adversity. I found his story particularly intersting because of both the way he described the intricacies of a life with Parkinson’s and the research he backs, but also the frankness and simplicity with which he spoke of his personal life. While I was reading, there were some statements that Fox made about his daily life that particularly struck a chord in me. Even though I do not have a dabiliating disease like Parkinson’s, in fact I could never imagine how difficult that must be, there are struggles along the way. Some of these quotes made me feel at peace. They made me realize that, though you may feel like you are the only person in the world facing these trials, you’re only alone if you allow yourself to be. Whether you can relate to this situation through yourself, a friend or family member, or you don’t think you can at all…I hope you can find something to hold onto in these words.

“For everything this disease has taken, something with greater value has been given–sometimes just a marker that points me in a new direction that I might not otherwise have traveled.” Pg. 6

“Sometimes, when you’re alone, minutes pass before you even realize you’re crying.” Pg. 45

“One way to appreciate the difference between what happened to Chris [Reeve] and what was uncoiling in my life would be to analogize the sudden impact of a locomotive with the incremental awareness of being tied to the tracks , and feeling the vibration from the approaching train, with no way to gauge its proximity.” -Pg. 86

“Before a catastrophe, we can’t imagine coping with the burdens that might confront us in a dire moment. Then when that moment arrives, we suddenly find that we have resources inside us that we knew nothing about.” Pg. 86, Christopher Reeve

“You suffer the blow, but you capitalize on the opportunity left open in its wake.” Pg. 151

“No single one of us knoes which pebbles causes the wave to crest, but each of us, quite rightly, believes that it might be ours; an act of faith.” Pg. 153

“The purpose you wish to find in life, like a cure you seek, is not going to fall from the sky…It requires the faith to take risks and a rejection of the bonds of fear.” Pg. 178

“I didn’t choose to have Parkinson’s. I agree that if I took on the condition and everything that comes with it just to be an advocate on behalf of others so afflicted, well then yeah, that would be historically heroic. But in a way, I’m just rolling with the punches.” Pg. 180

“I think one of the keys to my happiness is that I try to catch my mistakes and transgressions as quickly as possible after the fact and minimize the period of reflection” Pg. 199

“Each new moment gives you a sufficient load to carry, and I’ve learned, especially as my arms have grown shakier, that there are times when the wisest thing to do is to let go.” Pg 233

“To say that my attitude toward the disease itself was far less evolved than it is today would be a gross understatement. I still didn’t fully own it and was still wrestling with how wholly it owned me.” Pg. 260

“…My doctors warned me of a common side effect: exaggerated, intensely vivid dreams. To be honest, I’ve never really noticed the difference. I’ve always dreamt big.” Pg. 276