Abundant Joy

My daily search in finding, experiencing and sharing Abundant Joy.

Proverbs 24:16

16For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief. (KJV)

Falling Down

A while back I scrubbed on my bike. It was pretty bad. I lost my balance; fell and the bike attached itself to my ankle leaving a large gash. (Imagine me on the ground with the bike hanging in the air from my foot.) To top it off as my boyfriend and I walked home I tripped over the curb and fell again, this time flat on my face. As the asphalt came closer, I remember thinking I’m going to break my glasses. Thankfully the bike helmet, which I was still wearing, saved my face and my glasses.

After this incident I was fearful of riding my bike. I actually made every excuse in the world to avoid my bike. It sat in my room collecting dust, losing air in the tires and looking pretty. I chose any mode of transportation instead of my bike. Every time I thought of riding I remembered the falls and could not bring myself to hop on my bike. I just could not do it.

However, I started to venture out on short bike rides with my boyfriend. The fear remained. Not just with me, but also with him. My falls scared both of us. The resounding theme of every bike ride was, “Don’t fall.” It was hard to focus on the destination when “don’t fall” was running through my thoughts. Even with the theme music playing in my head, my confidence rose with each ride.

Friday I decided to ride my bike to pick up the Zipcar I rented instead of taking the bus. The car would hold only one bike, so this ride was solo. After arriving at the car my confidence level shot through the roof. I was so proud of myself. Just imagine a child doing something on their own for the first time. That’s how I felt. I did it. With this confidence I rode my bike 4.5 miles by myself to run errands around downtown this weekend. The fear of falling has left, now it’s just the huff puff of me cycling from place to place. I am excited and actually look forward to riding my bike.

I know now that on the day of the falls I should never have attempted to ride, because I was extremely fatigued. However, I pushed myself and the result was a big SPLAT! My boyfriend and I are able to find humor in the incident now. I find strength in knowing that I did not let FEAR keep me locked down. Every time fear tries to raise its head I will remember the JOY I felt this weekend. Proverbs 24:16 reminds me that I can rise after each fall. I gotta keep pushing forward.

Amazing Angels

Every time I’m down, struggling to get through a day and the “what if & worry” marching band is making another turn in my head, a friend sends their love. It can be as simple as a text message, a poem, or a kind word on my wall. But I know that it is God showing me that I am not alone in the darkness. Sometimes that is just what I need to remember, exactly what I need to hear…..I am not alone. I am loved. 

My amazing angels, my friends make their mark on my heart. Their shining light of love pushing back the darkness, stomping out the loneliness, taking some of the burden and worry from my shoulders. My angels, oh my angels, I am forever thankful for the joy you bring to my life. I only hope that my friendship is as much of a blessing as yours is to me. 

Thank you my amazing angels.

Evening walk

I haven’t posted anything on this blog for awhile. I’ve been dealing with some personal issues that took priority. I apologize if you have been waiting for a post.

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I usually take my dog for his morning walk and the evening walk goes to my boyfriend. Well, today I wanted to sleep in, so my lovely took morning duty. 

This led to me running into the neighbors girlfriend. As I manuvered around her, the table and plants to get to the stairs, I noticed she had six empty bottles of water on the table. I inquired and was met with the news the neighbor/boyfriend had given her two days to move out. 

I can’t say that I am profoundly surprised. He has had four girlfriends in the year that I have known him. Although this companion lasted 5 months. They were actually engaged and planning their wedding. Hmmm so I guess she is his fiance and not girlfriend, yet I’ve only viewed her in girlfriend status. 

As I write this the girlfriend and her children are moving her belongings out. I hope they move the table, chair and all the plants. It would be so nice to have the walkway back.

Don’t be afraid to expand yourself, to step out of your comfort zone.
That’s where the joy and the adventure lie. -Herbie Hancock

One year ago today I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. I’m not sure if it is an anniversary that I should celebrate or denounce. However, even with learning how to live my life with MS, I still push forward. I push through the pain, the dizziness, the vertigo, dropping things, riding my bike into trees. I don’t complain too much. I just do what needs to be done. I will admit that I cry. And there are days where I won’t get out of bed, because it is just too hard to face the day. Those are my depressed days. But I push through those too.

I just told my Neurologist…”You know I’m not a complainer. I just push through whatever is before me.” He paused and said, “You’re not a complainer.” He could not say anything different, because I do not over load him with all the daily issues I overcome. I ask questions. I don’t always get the answer that I am looking for or expecting, but that does not stop me from asking questions. 

MS allowed me to clearly see how important I am. This disease made me put Chanel first for the first time in my life. MS opened my eyes. Life is TOO short, yet we live as though we will be here forever. It can be a daily battle, hell it is a daily battle. But Romans 8:31 comes to mind, “If God be for us, who can be against us?” That “who” can also be a “what,” and right now that “what” is MS.

However I will say, I’m happier now than I was a year ago. I’m stronger than I was a year ago. I’m more adventurous than I was a year ago. I do my best to live daily in a spirit of gratitude. I’m not perfect and have those days where it is just hard to be in a good mood. That’s when friends, family and complete strangers come in and drop off some sunshine.

I’m grateful for walking, talking, grasping, friends, family, love and the Grace of God. What are you grateful for today? 

I choose to celebrate this anniversary, as it has had positive changes on my life. To be honest, I’d rather be in a celebratory mood than a depressed one. Cheers!

Bad Day Blues

As you know I’m working on becoming a healthier person. I call it going Green, it’s not just my physical health that I want to improve, but my mental, financial, emotional health. So I have been riding my new bike, getting out there. The repercussions are that I do feel better but my butt hurts! Oh geez does my butt hurt!

It hurts to sit. It hurts to stretch first thing in the morning. Who wants to wake up to a stretch and feel a pain in the ass? I don’t! But I was and so my butt made it perfectly clear to stay off the bike, no exceptions.

So Tuesday I rented my first Zipcar. I had to get to 28th and J St. My boyfriend wanted to ride the bikes. My butt spoke up loud and clear with a “NO!” So we took the bus. In the time it took for us to actually get on the bus, as we missed the first one, we could have arrived at the car by bike.

We took the zipcar out for errands. Oh, it was nice to be back behind the wheel of a car. I loved all the little features, like stereo controls on the steering wheel, or the fact that I could start the car without putting a key in the ignition. I didn’t like that “Zipcar” adverts were on the car. It’s great for business, but you certainly would not want to pick up a first date in this car in a hope to impress. Well, unless s/he is into helping the environment.

Anyway, I got a little carried away on driving again. Now it’s time to return the car, my boyfriend offered to put my bike in the trunk so I could ride it home. Again my butt spoke up with a loud resounding “No!” I was going to take the bus back home. Dropped the car back at it’s spot and as I locked it up my bus drove past. No problem, I could wait for the next bus. (<= I’m trying to remain positive.)

On this little adventure of mine, I ended up at Florin Mall, which is not near my home. I ended up here because the bus driver told me it was the end of her shift and I had to get off the bus. I then had three buses pass me by as being “not in service.” I checked the bus schedule and the next bus wouldn’t be coming until 8:42 pm. I returned the car at 6:30 pm. If I had defied my butt it would be comfortably sitting at home instead of at Florin Mall waiting for a stinking bus!

There is more that happened, but I won’t go into details. I did make it home safely, well before the moon came out. I did learn my lesson. I will not let my ass dictate my decisions. Yes, it may have a say, but not the last word.

I started the day in a bad mood. I’m sure that is part of the reason why everything seemed to just go astray. I did have some bursts of sunshine along the way that I just have to share. While waiting for the bus, a lady came up to me with the intent just to make me smile. She said I looked too serious. Her name is Kim and she did make me smile. Just the fact that a complete stranger wanted to make my day a little bit better by putting a smile on my face was priceless.

There is JOY and HAPPINESS all around you. My bad mood closed me off to my surroundings, but joy and happiness made the way in, past my foggy attitude. Even with a bad day I found joy.

WHAT IS YOUR EARLIEST HUMAN MEMORY?

Checking out books at the local library with my mom. I love to read.

Since there is nothing so well worth having as friends, never lose a chance to make them.
-Francesco Guicciardini
Friends: The Best Fruit in the Garden

Is it possible to have a hangover without consuming alcohol? Yes! I have a hangover from too much FUN!

Saturday night I attended Ladies Night Out III at the Guild Theater with my good friend Janice. There was singing, dancing, poetry, comedy, food, prizes, free massages and jewelry. It was a special evening. I had not seen Janice in some time. She showed up in a beautiful orange dress that complemented her dark brown skin and new figure. She was the “Nubian Queen” of the evening.

It is such a treat to be in the presence of a woman of confidence. She exudes pure happiness which brings JOY to every situation. Janice convinced me hands down to Zumba with her 4 times a week. Yes FOUR times a week! See how joy can bring such a change! 

As Sunday evening rolled around, Ms. Maria invited my boyfriend and me to a birthday BBQ. I was all down, even if it meant a 2 mile bike ride. (A 2 mile ride may be nothing to some of you, but to a couch potato it’s a big deal.) The party was so worth every pump, bead of sweat and curse whispered under my breath.

After the food and the most addictive homemade pecan pie (Thank You Maria!) we gathered around a bonfire. The radio was turned off. Two people on guitar and one on a drum, and the night was on. I didn’t know many people, but I did meet three Jesse’s. As the music played and the flames twisted in delight we all became friends. I invited a friend to come through and join the band.

Laughter, hugs, smiles, good food, and music made it the best celebration. But the PIE, did I mention the PIE…lol. I had to go back for seconds, just a sliver, just a taste. The taste of caramelly, sweet, buttery pecan pie kept speaking to me from the picnic table. I couldn’t resist. After all, I was going to burn it off with the 2 mile bike ride home. ;0)

Friends are definitely the best fruit in the garden. I will eat from the tree of friendship for the rest of my life. If only I could have a hangover like this every day. Fun, Fun, Fun!

lotus