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Category Archives: living life to the fullest

Well this will be a popourri of news updates, if I have any readers left, after my prolonged (but necessary) absence. I am feeling quite a bit better, though still weak and battling a few symptoms. Some of the most worrisome ones are the side effects of the 2nd antibiotic. I was down to the last 2 pills. I took one of them, and about 3 hours later, in the bend of the elbow, I started swelling  just above the joint. It became very tender, and the other side was tender also, though not as swollen. I was already experiencing some discomfort just above the  back of the knee joint on the right side. It started a few days into the Avelox, and never really resolved itself.  So, being quite a bit concerned, I opted NOT to take the last pill. I wasn’t too worried, since I had already had 7 days of Clarithromycin, and 9 days of Avelox (a quinolone.) The Avelox also made me dizzy (enough that I couldn’t drive) and it gave me a dull headache. Quinolones are associated with some serious ruptured tendon issues, as well as central nervous system side effects. And, as I mentioned before, they seem to be the only drugs my doctor is familiar with.  (LOL!) The Clarithromycin was given by an ER doctor. At any rate, I haven’t had my follow-up appointment yet–it’s later this month. I suffered one whole day of nausea and extreme dizziness after stopping the drug. It was horrible, but by the next day, I was better. I know that when you have an upper respiratory infection, you can develop secondary infections, and inner ear problems that can cause dizziness as well.

The latest news on Chelsea, is that Rob contacted her birth dad (per her request), who was very quiet on the phone. He wasn’t all that excited to be contacted, but Chelsea called him a couple of days later, and at least made a connection of her own. She found out that she has a 16 year old half brother, who apparently didn’t know about her. I assume that at some point, she will visit where they live in Kansas, though there are no plans at this time. (The whole thing was decidedly anti-climatic after the fiasco with her mom this past Christmas.) She seemed a little disappointed that he wasn’t more excited to hear from her, but I think if you consider the past situation, and that he divorced her mom before Chelsea was placed for adoption, then it is clear that he was never very involved in her life from the start. So we’ll see how this one goes. Only time will tell.

Rob had to go over to my mom’s to have her sign some papers for him to resign as POA. He had been working on resolving some Medicaid issues for her, from her time in the nursing home, and needed  the POA until that was finished. He was able to show my brother that I had already resigned in early November. (I just wanted out quickly.) He said that he got a cool reception from my brother, and that my mother was angry and rather snarly-(my word.) He stated that she did not seem happy at all. I assume that her life is vastly different without me in it. I took her shopping, out to eat, and all her doctor appointments, as well as anywhere else she wanted or needed to go. Now I assume the lady who watches her during the day is responsible for those things, while my brother is at work. I don’t really know, but after hearing how they treated Rob, it answers a lot of questions. I figured that if she ever thought of me, it was probably in anger, and that is most likely the case.  I guess they deserve each other-two angry and tormented people. Still, I pray for them, and pray that I will be able to forgive somehow all the hurt that they have caused. Every day gets a little better, and I get a little stronger emotionally. I’m moving on with my life, little by little, and I’m grateful for simple victories.

Another update-my collectibles indoor flea market booth is doing a LOT better, now that I finally have had some time to devote to it. I made a profit both January and February (after paying my rent), and the owner is quite satisfied with that. I have really worked to keep the booth stocked, and looking nice. (I honestly think I would pay to do it, as I enjoy it all so much. I love shopping for merchandise, and decorating the booth, and displaying things. I call my business “Ribbons and Roses.” ) It’s just a small booth, but you would be surprised how much it can hold! It is something that is fun for me, and a great escape from stress.

I’ve been doing lots of freelance writing for pay, and that has kept me very busy. Hey, I’m getting rich and have no time to spend it. (Just kidding.) I’m not getting rich by any means, but it does provide me with some extra spending money, which I greatly enjoy! And it provides me with more writing experience all the time, which looks good on a resume. I just enjoy writing, and always have. To be paid for it is a terrific bonus!

I hope to start writing in my blog more often again, now that I’m feeling better. For now, that’s my life, and I feel a greater urgency than ever to truly start living it…


“The tragedy of life is what dies in the hearts and souls of people while they live.”  Albert Einstein

Isn’t that the truth? First of all, think about when you were a child. You had a sense of wonder about everything, because everything was new to you. Children believe in things that adults often don’t, because no one (yet) told them not to. As a child, we are trusting. We will smile at someone that adults would turn away from. We have not yet learned prejudice, judgement, or fear. Children are accepting. They will be a friend to those that the world scorns.

As a child, we are always learning, always asking questions, and always wanting to know more. There is simply not enough time to understand all we want to grasp.

Children have an innocence–a purity that is like freshly fallen snow.  And in that innocence there is such a freedom, to be who they are. The world quickly tries to steal that.

And think about the magic of dreams. As a teenager, we think we can do anything, be anything. The whole world lies before us, and it’s a time when we refuse to face our own mortality, because we feel completely immortal, and invincible. While it may not always be the wisest thing, perhaps it is necessary to see ourselves this way, in order to propel us forward into all that the future holds.

As a young adult, we do not fear extreme sickness or death. That only happens to old people, and we are vital and strong, full of hope and anticipation–ready to conquer the world.

Love is an ethereal thing, a feeling of pure ecstasy and passion. We think it will last forever, and throw all caution to the wind. We are not measured with our feelings, or careful with our show of affection. We simply blurt out “I Love You” every chance we get, and blow kisses on the wind.

So when did all this change? When did we become jaded about life? When did we cease to believe in childhood fantasies? When did we stop smiling at the outcasts of society, and start turning and running away? When did we stop trusting? When did we lose our sense of wonder and amazement about life? Who took our innocence? When did we begin to fear, and start to focus on our limitations?  When did words of love become fewer and fewer? When was passion replaced with indifference? (Which by the way, is truly worse than hatred.) When did we become cautious and guarded? When did we lose our dreams?

There is a time to grow up and mature–a time to put away childish things, but there is never a time to discard our childlikeness. We cannot even enter the Kingdom of Heaven (according to Jesus) unless we become like a little child.  He said “Of such is the Kingdom of God.”

I challenge you today– don’t let these things die, while you still live. Let a sense of awe remain in your heart all the days of your life. Be innocent and pure, without prejudice or arrogance. Don’t lose your childhood sense of freedom.  Be accepting of those that the world rejects. Crave Godly knowledge, for there is always something new to learn right up until your last breath (and even beyond.) Don’t be afraid to express your love, and do it today, because you are not promised tomorrow.

Believe in your inner strength. You can do all things through Christ, Who strengthens you. He tells us that as our days are, so shall our strength be. Always sufficient strength and grace for each new day–whatever we may face. Do not fear, but walk in faith.

Keep dreaming, keep trusting, keep believing! Keep searching for the Truth with all your heart and soul. Refuse to let these things die.  And while the way may be rough at times (as surely it will be) it will never be said that your life was tragic, because you truly lived each day, and knew what it was to be free…

“Don’t be afraid your life will end; be afraid that it will never begin.” Grace Hansen 

Fear is what makes us lose this moment, while worrying about the future. Many of us search for security, and a comfortable existence. Don’t rock the boat; don’t stir the nest. But boats that don’t rock are quite boring, as are ships that never sail the seas. They are safe in harbor, but that is not the purpose of a boat. And when mother eagles feel it’s time for their little ones to fly, they begin to stir the nest, and make them uncomfortable. For who will ever learn to fly, if the nest holds all our dreams? 

Life was meant to be exciting, but fear imprisons us with warnings of, “Better be careful. Better take it easy. Don’t get your hopes up.”  Well what good are hopes that are down? Low hopes never helped anyone achieve anything. I say let your hopes rise to the sky, and never let them falter. If we view everything with hesitancy, we will always be afraid to move forward, because there are no guarantees about anything. But how much better, at the end of life to be able to say, “I tried.” If you tried, you did not fail. The only real failure is not making an effort to make your dreams come true.

Like the quote says, it’s not about fearing death…it’s about living life–to the fullest.  I can’t imagine anything sadder than to get to the end of life, and have regrets about things that you could have experienced. That’s not to say that we must do grand things, because sometimes the grandest things of all are the simplest. It’s about living every moment–greeting everyday as a great adventure, with anticipation and excitement about what the day holds. It’s about seeing beauty in the things that the some would hardly even notice. It’s about living and loving on purpose. Yes, on purpose. We are not made to blindly roam this earth without an understanding of our brevity here. For while the soul does indeed go on, there is only this one chance to be on earth. There is only this moment to love our families and friends, and to make a difference by our existence. That difference may be as simple as encouraging others, taking care of the elderly, nurturing a child, or giving of ourselves as the opportunity arises. Greatness is not found in the grandness of the task, but in the generosity of spirit.  I am reminded of a quote by Mother Teresa that always touched me deeply. She said, “We can do no great things; only small things with great love.”

So, as you can see, it is not the end of life that should give us pause, but rather life itself. I somehow think that the end of life will not be nearly as frightening as we might imagine. What is truly frightening for many, is living life…

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Lonnette Harrell

Living without regrets seems like an impossible endeavor, but I believe there are several ways to accomplish this goal. Nothing in life is ever really wasted, if you have learned something from it. You’ve gained experience, wisdom, and knowledge about what works, and what doesn’t.

On the other hand, living life while always looking in the rear-view mirror, is really no life at all. You will find yourself serving a life sentence of depression, guilt, sorrow, and shame. Living in the past makes you feel unworthy of the love of others, and even of God’s love. You can so easily become convinced that no one would really like you, if they really knew the kind of person you are. Your regrets can be like a noose around your neck, that gets tighter and tighter with each passing day. Often it isn’t God’s judgement, or the judgement of others, that will cause you to suffer unbearably. It is your judgement of yourself that is the most harsh.

So what is the answer? Simply put–forgiveness. Forgiveness from others, forgiveness of others, and most of all, forgiveness of yourself.

If there is a way to make things right, then you certainly should make every effort to do so. Apologize where necessary, and try not to hold grudges. Sometimes you simply can’t continue in a relationship, because the hurt has been so deep, but do everything within your power, to reconcile and restore. If the other person doesn’t reciprocate, then rest in the knowledge that you have done your part.

What if the person is no longer alive? God can give you peace, even in this situation, knowing that you are forgiven by Him. All it takes is to acknowledge your offense, and ask forgiveness. Then receive it, and try to move forward.

It is not possible to live a life without regrets minus an understanding of God’s forgiveness. It is His forgiveness that sets us free; it’s a freedom that cannot be found anywhere else.

The Apostle Paul, once known as Saul, was responsible for having many Christians persecuted terribly and murdered. He later became a believer in Christ. I imagine that his regrets must have been monumental!

And yet, he was able to say, “…this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”

How much better off would all of us be if we could forget the troublesome things in our past, and reach forth to our future, pressing toward the mark? Most often, to move forward, we must let go of the past. Not the precious memories of good times, but the regrets, the “if onlys” and the “what ifs.” We have to quit dwelling on our failures, and move on toward success, because you cannot drive a car looking only in the rear-view mirror. You must look ahead. And so it is with life.

If Paul had only focused on his mistakes, sins, and atrocities, he would have been of no use to God. Satan’s trap is to convince us, that because of our past, we are not deserving of forgiveness, or worthy of being used by God. But if you look at numerous Bible characters, you will soon see that none were perfect. All of them made mistakes, and some committed terrible sins, including adultery and other sexual sins, disobedience, lying, and even murder, and yet God forgave them, and used them mightily. Why? Because they were willing to repent (to turn around and go another direction), and  they were willing to receive God’s forgiveness, and then move on. It can be the same for you.

Another aspect of living without regrets, is learning to make the most of every opportunity–living life to the fullest, and making your dreams come true. Taking risks and being adventuresome is sometimes necessary, if you want to achieve your goals. And even if you fail, hopefully, you have learned a lot along the way.

Living life without regrets also means being thankful and living life with gratitude, remembering that each day is a gift, with new possibilities of accomplishments. One of my favorite Bible verses talks about God’s mercies being “new every morning.” Sometimes we spend so much time pursuing big dreams, that we overlook the miracle of each new day.

I read an article recently, that suggested imagining that you were at your own funeral, and four people from different areas of your life (friends, co-workers, family, etc.) had been asked to make remarks about your life. What would you want them to say? The article suggested that this would be a good exercise in determining your purpose in life.

This really caused me to think deeply, as I realized that some people could be a great “success” at work, but fail miserably with their own families. If you have failed to love your family properly, you have failed horribly, regardless of the “so-called success” in other areas of your life. But even in this, you can find redemption. It is never too late to begin again, and to get your priorities right. Realizing that you are not just making decisions about today, but for eternity, is important.

Consider this–most likely within two (possibly three) generations, there will be no human likely to remember your name (unless you are terrifically famous.) Most of us don’t even know our great-grandparents names, and few, if any of us, know anyone beyond that (unless we’re deeply into genealogy.) I would like to do an article soon about the things that people do in order to obtain immortality. It’s amazing and ridiculous, and yet only the things we do for Christ really count. They are the only lasting achievements, and the only eternal ones.

So-if you want to live your life with no regrets, then examine your life closely. Look at your motives, your goals, your dreams, your priorities. Then look at them in view of eternity, and live your life to please God, and to advance His kingdom, and you will have no regrets…It’s all by forgiveness and His grace…

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