Archive | July 2014

The Teacher is Always Quiet During a Test

When looking back over the past year, I have discovered that my back had been turned on God. Oh, I talked the talk, but even I wasn’t buying the BS I was spouting. Last year around this time, my business was failing, I was slowly running out of money, I endured a life-threatening illness, my health insurance was unexpectedly dropped, my “just paid off” car suddenly died, and the list goes on. I got through each day somehow, but if I am completely honest with myself, I see that my faith disappeared. I was questioning my God every moment along the way, wondering why He was letting all of this happen to me.

So I turned my back on God, and walked away, an empty shell. Without even really recognizing what I was doing, I was obviously saying, “Fine, I’ll do it my own way since you are not helping me, God!” My own way just doesn’t cut it… I have proven that time and time again.

faith

I saw this saying this morning. It stopped me in my tracks. I was a teacher for years, and I remember on test day, my college students would arrive, take their test forms from me, and go to their desks in silence prepared to take their exam. I remember saying to myself, “Okay, I have given them the tools to pass this test, now it is up to them.” This is what God is saying to me daily, but last year, I was ignoring Him.

Last night, I heard a man on television telling a story. He had suffered a traumatic childhood, and as a result, he claimed to have turned his back on God. In telling a trusted friend this story later in his life, his friend looked at him and said, “All you need to do is turn around.” That was so profound to me. God is always there, silently waiting for us to live the lessons He has already taught us. There are times in our lives where we feel like He has left us out there alone, clinging to the edge of the cliff for dear life. It is in those times, where we feel most alone, that all we need to do is simply Turn Around!

~ Patti Crowley

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All Is Well In My World… When I Practice Acceptance

Acceptance is really the key to happiness. When I accept that things are exactly as they are supposed to be, and the people in my life are exactly who they are supposed to be, all is well in my world.

acceptance2

When things are bothering me, and I am feeling unsettled, the truth is that it is because I am finding some person, place, thing, or situation unacceptable to me. I read that recently and it has stuck with me. It made me realize that those occasional feelings of uneasiness, the trouble sleeping, the anxious thoughts… they are a result of me wishing that some person would act better, or that situation would resolve itself, and so on.

I have to remind myself of one very important truth. That truth is that nothing happens in God’s world by mistake. I believe that to the core of my being. If I am trying to control another person or a situation, I am saying that I know better than God.

So the bottom line is this… I have to accept that things are the way they are supposed to be, whether I like it or not. If I can honestly accept that, only then can I find the peace.

Today, I have that sense of peace. Today, I concentrate on what needs to be changed in me and my attitudes, instead of looking at what needs to be changed in my world. When I can accept that I am who I am, and things are as they are supposed to be, then all will be well with my world!

~ Patti Crowley

 

Old Age Beats the Alternative

alternativeThis cracked me up… It is exactly how I feel today. One year closer to half a century old. Okay, okay, so I have a few years left before I turn the big 5-0. For the past 6-7 years, I have said each year on my birthday that old age is still far better than the alternative. Oh, how true!

Growing older brings about feelings of what we could’ve done, should’ve done, and have yet to do before time runs out. Pretty dismal thoughts, right? But the truth is, I am at a place in my life where I simply do not want to live with regrets. I wake up each day and try to do the next right thing. Sure, there are things I have yet to do. I will get to them, and hopefully sooner rather than later.

So today is my birthday. My children are still in Illinois, and I am here in Arizona. I miss them so very much, but they both called to wish me a happy birthday. Trust me, the fact that my 21 year old son remembered AND actually called me is a miracle in and of itself. Not having them here gives me too much time to think about the actual birthday event, and in thinking of turning 47, I suppose I should be making a bucket list. Then I wonder, “What’s the point?” As things come up that I want to do or accomplish, I can either set my mind to make them happen, like making this move to Arizona, or I can decide they aren’t really all that important after all. I look at people who have made up bucket lists with things like the following:

1. Climb Mt. Everest.

2. Skydive.

3. Drive a race car.

I mean, seriously, how important are these types of bucket list items? If you want to climb Mt. Everest, start collecting your spare change in a jar marked “mountains”.  If you want to drive a race car, post something on facebook. Chances are you have a friend somewhere, who knows someone, who knows someone with a race car hobby.

I say, forget the lists. Start living now. Want something to happen? Damnit, make it happen. Have a dream? Start living it right this very minute. There is no dream worth putting off. If it seems unattainable, figure out a way to make it attainable. Where there is a will, there is a way. Believe me on this!

~ Patti Crowley

Life Isn’t About Finding Yourself… It’s About Creating Yourself

Browsing around Barnes and Noble, I saw a plaque with the following saying on it:

Creating yourself

Believe it or not, I had never heard that quote before. The funny thing is, when I moved from IL to AZ just under a month ago, many of my friends asked if I was trying to find myself. I laughed it off, and said that I’ve been looking for a long time and haven’t found anything yet!

I suppose that answers the question for me. I will never “find” myself. The only self I will be showing to the world is the self which I create. I don’t want to find myself… Instead, I want to create the me that I want to be.

We have the power to be who we want to be, do what we want to do, and go where we want to go. I proved that to myself by picking up my life, packing it all in a 20 foot U-Haul truck, and moving myself across the country on a leap of faith. I want to create a “me” with whom I could see myself being best friends. Think about it… don’t we all want to be the person that others want to be around.

I am creating, and re-creating, myself each and every day. I am not looking to find out who I am. I will never know that for sure. So here I sit, writing, looking forward to each new day, and praying for the guidance to help me be the best ME I can be!

~ Patti Crowley

Gentle Reminder to Live for Today

live for today

Today I was given a gentle reminder to live for today. There are times when I go through my day feeling disconnected. I do not realize the lives I touch and the lives that touch me each and every single day. A perfect example is a man who came to be known as my “car mechanic” back in Illinois. The first time I stopped in to get my oil changed, the owner was extremely kind to me. He did not try to upsell me, or make me feel like a typical clueless woman who knows nothing about cars (which happens to be the truth about me). I remember leaving that day wondering if he was being nice to me because I was a woman, or if he was just a good businessman. The reality is that he was simply kind and genuine.

I continued to go back, and always received the same fair and kind treatment. When my tires were desperately in need of being replaced a few years ago, I was distraught because I was pretty low on cash. He looked at me and said, “Patti, I simply cannot let you continue to drive on those tires. One is bound to blow out at any given time and that would be unsafe. I will get you the best price, and you can pay me whenever you can.” WOW.  He did, and I repaid him within a few weeks.

Things like that continued to happen over the years. I will not recount each and every kindness, but this was truly the most kindhearted and gentle man I have ever met.

This morning, a good friend of mine, who also went to my mechanic for all of his car repairs and service at my suggestion, called to tell me that he brought his car in for an oil change. When he saw our mechanic’s door was closed, my friend asked if he was on vacation. With tears welling up in her eyes, Marge, the office manager I suppose, looked at my friend and told him the very sad news. Our mechanic, our good friend, had passed away suddenly of a stroke just a few weeks ago at the tender age of 50. He left behind a beautiful wife and two teenage children.

Fonda… I will always remember your kindness. You were a fair and kind businessman with incredible integrity, but more importantly, a true gentleman and a genuine soul. I will continue to try and live each day to its fullest, knowing that every day is a gift not to be squandered. Our days on this earth are short, so we need to make each and every moment count, as you did. Thank you for the lessons. You will be in my heart always.

~ Patti Crowley