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Blog #108…

everyone can make a difference… Can’t I?

It’s another tomorrow where I am awake in the early a.m. (12:37 to be precise), with so much on my mind I cannot bring myself to lay my head upon my pillow.

Warning: This is not one of my happiest moments so it may not be one of my happiest posts.

I began watching “Mr. Church” with my husband. It was a very good movie & though it had it’s highs and lows – tears and cheers – I enjoyed it… until I didn’t. Without spoiling it I will just say that a quote hit a little too close to home. “You thought I saved you, but you saved me.” I lost it. I completely lost it. I am even struggling to type without crying.

In June of 2017 my brother, Dennis Mann, died. I don’t know any of the specifics of how he died and probably never will until I’m in Heaven with him and it doesn’t matter anymore.  But I do know that he wasn’t happy in the end of his life and it hurts… What hurts is that he pushed me away and therefore I couldn’t be there to help him when he was unhappy.

I know happiness is a choice and no one can ever truly make someone else happy. A person either feels happy or they do not. Plain and simple, right? But no. It is not simple.  Happiness is fleeting but joy is eternal as they say. But my dear cousin recently reminded me that there is an enemy out there trying to steal my joy. He will use any and all means possible. Yes, even movie clips.

[There are so many things I wish I could say. So many things I wish I could write. But in this crazy world where “everyone” is out to get you, I feel like I cannot always speak my mind entirely.]

A new friend recently called  me to accountability though. I have been promising myself and God I would write a book about my life and everything I have been through — including those things I cannot say or write in a public blog. And yet, where is this book? It is in journal after journal waiting to be written. I have been writing this book since I was in my mid-teens and it is still in pieces.

Why? Because of FEAR. I fear what my life would be like if the truth of my past came out. What would people think about me? What would people think about those I write about? Would people even read my stupid book? Very few people read my blog so what makes me think anyone would want to read a book that is pretty much all my blogs severely expanded.

Those are the thoughts that run through my mind when I think about writing and publishing my book. But those thoughts are all wonky. What does it matter what people think? Every writer, good or bad, has a fair share of critics. And if one person reads my book it would be worth all the trouble. My new friend who convicted me to write helped me to realize how therapeutic such a book would me for me.  So I know it would not be worthless.

Then I think of one of my favorite quotes:

OnepersonshouldmakeadifferenceJFK

But I remove the try…because there is no try – there is do or do not. I do. I mean I will. I AM. I do make a difference every day that I wake up, get up and parent my kids. I will make a difference with my book and I will finish it. And I AM making a difference by who I AM.

So what started out as a cry-fest, thinking the whole world was crashing around me, turned into a post ending with a slight smile and an appreciation for the life I have now.

Rest in peace, Dennis Mann. I love you. Always did and always will.

Thanks for reading my pity party.  I appreciate all my readers.

Sincerely,

Maggie A. ‘Spoon

 

Nike Says…

Nike says… but consider their logo. Consider the correlation. This is part of my massage journey.

“JUST DO IT!”

Ever consider that their slogan is “just do it,” while their logo is likened to a check mark, which symbolizes completion? It is almost as if, to me, it says, “Just go for it, until it is completed. See it through.”

This is where I am in life right now. SO much is growing and changing. I cannot share it all right now, but I can say that becoming a massage therapist is the greatest educational choice I have ever made! I am loving it, even if my clients are currently sparse.

It all began when my brother died. Well actually it began 14 years ago with a conference… but my brother’s death jumpstarted my career in a strange way. My older brother, Dennis, died in June of last year. I considered to myself the seemingly amazing and exciting life he lived. He was married with a son and he traveled around the world. He went to many places including Japan, Australia, and to Europe (several times), all in the span of about 25 years. He held multiple Master’s degrees on various subjects — I don’t even know what they are all about! On the outside looking in, Dennis was destined for greatness. And while I believe he was great, due to his death he fell short. Additionally, many people who knew him best know that Dennis struggled. It is not my place to share his story, but I can say that he for sure struggled…

I have found that many people who are very intelligent often struggle or are tormented with their own thorns or demons. After thinking about it for a moment I realize that everyone struggles with something.

Perhaps it is marriage, or the lack thereof, or kids and all the challenges with that. Perhaps it is work that causes some kind of mental suffering. But whatever it is, show me a person who has never struggled or suffered or experienced anything negative and I will show you a person in denial.

My point got away from me… my struggles have made me who I am, up to and including becoming a massage therapist. If Dennis hadn’t died, who knows if I would have gotten that push. The push was, “Dennis did so much, saw so much, and accomplished so much… what about me?”

It was a thoughtful process to go to school in the midst of grief. But I am so glad I did. It made grieving much more bearable because I wasn’t alone. I had my peers and my teachers, many of which helped a great deal.

A shout out to Ms. Theresa, Ms. Karla and Ms. Kristen. Each one of them formed who I have become so far as a budding massage therapist. I thank God for each of them crossing my path and I wish them well.

May your path be blessed today and always.

(Sent from my phone so forgive any errors.)

Maggie A. ‘Spoon

So I have been away a while…

I apologize for the extreme lapse in blogging. As I posted earlier, I was attending massage school for about 8 months. That took up most of my time. God and Family took up the rest. No time for any recreation at all of any kind.

I graduated with the achievement of the highest GPA I have ever earned — one B away from a 4.0. Grr but yay me at the same time. If you are wondering, it is Pathology that I made a B in. (I struggled with the new teacher’s teaching style.) I also passed my state board exam!!!!! which is super duper exciting! Next I receive my license in the mail, and go from there.

Well that is where I have been… but here I am now! Alive and well and ready to hit the ground running. During school I came up with several blog ideas which I plan to publish in the next few weeks.

As for today, i just wanted to update you on where I’ve been and that I AM coming back! 😀

Since it is 4:30 AM here in North Carolina, I am going to rest my brain and then work on those blog drafts.

Be Blessed.
Maggie A. ‘Spoon

 

Food Lies

You cannot see a movie without popcorn… and a drink… and CANDY! Especially, if you are under the age of 99, must have candy! But what if food lies?

You cannot see a movie without popcorn… and a drink… and CANDY! Especially, if you are under the age of 99, must have candy!

 

Oh! And when you are out, make sure you notice that “HOT FRESH” sign at the Krispy Kreme Donut shop, and you must pick some up (and eat at least half a dozen while they are still hot and fresh)! Perhaps afterward, grab a quick bite at your favorite fast-food (or should I say fat-food) restaurant — with a soda of course!

Food is everywhere and one must have it with everyone it seems. When I go to a get-together it seems we must surround ourselves with food (or at least a somewhat overpriced hot beverage). Why must food be involved with my social life?

Maybe it’s just me. Maybe I am the only one who feels like my life revolves around food, but I doubt I am alone. When I am almost finished eating a meal, I find myself thinking about the next meal. What will I eat? Where will I find this delicious food? What type of food do I want anyway? Mexican? Asian? American? Home cooked or eat out? So many choices and rarely do I make the best ones. I often find myself sitting in front of something I will regret eating later.

The hardest part of it all is

healthy-heart.bymhtopper

I actually think “love” is the right word there. No, I would not equate my love for food with my love for God or my family, but I might say, “I love food as much as I love my dog.” And I really love my dog!

Why is this that my taste buds rule my life? Why? Am I a victim of my taste buds? Do I cause my taste buds to control me? Or do I allow them to control me? Obviously, I allow it, but it makes me a victim of my harsh reality that food rules my life. Thinking about food, then eating food, then thinking about more food… it is a never-ending, viscous cycle of food and it has made me fat!

I admit, my choices have caused my body to be overweight. I know you wouldn’t believe me if I told you my secret, but it’s true. I am 100 lbs overweight. People hear me when I say that, but when they look at me, they don’t believe me. In the spring of 2010, when I was 27, I weighed 155 lbs and felt amazing. I could hike miles and miles without trouble. I could climb what I would call mountains (to a Texan anyway) but they were just really, really big hills and it was tough, but I did it. I did an event called Wild Canyon Games and it was a totally awesome experience!! We didn’t win *grumble grumble* but I had fun and I COULD TOTALLY DO IT! Now? I will be transparent. I weigh 260 lbs, feel miserable, and do not like what I see in the mirror.

The fact is that food lies! Food tells us it is yummy, edible and worth eating, no matter what we are considering. Our own taste buds and brains lie to us. After I eat more than enough food I still feel “hungry” for more. I have learned my taste buds and brain love food as much as I do and they are more than willing to keep eating more and more! Eating food makes us feel good. I think the worst part of food is what we eat will possibly love us forever, and ever, and ever by sticking to our hips, our waist, our gut, and anywhere else the fat and food desire to stick!

I should perhaps have said this sooner but I would like to say it now. Being “fluffy,” “chunky,” or whatever you wish to call it can be fine if you feel comfortable with your body. Some people come to peace with the way they are shaped, built, or sized. But I know me. I know my body’s abilities and once you know what you are capable of, is it easy to live with what you have become?

Now that I know I can hike, climb, and run fast, far and have a lot of fun doing all those things, I want it all back! I miss that life. I miss that me. And the only difference between she and me is that she ate healthy. No popcorn or soda or candy at movies. No hot fresh donuts. No junk!

junkfood-nosuchthing

That may sound like hell to you – going without the foods you enjoy. But for me, I choose health and wellness (and therefore small boobs – yeah I said it!) over food! I CHOOSE the me I want to be!

May you ever choose wisely and flick that demon off the one shoulder while listening to the so-called angel on the other! Live smart.

Be blessed!

Maggie A. ‘Spoon

The truth is out there

Ever had someone post something on social media and it sounds so ridiculous that you immediately dismiss it? Or perhaps you’re like me and you look up relevant research and such to find the facts. Either way, the truth is out there. Yes some things are just opinion but what if there is just a right and wrong? What if there is just fact and fiction?

I guess I think about this the most when my beliefs are challenged. I admit that sometimes when I am challenged I dig in my heels, get a little frustrated and stand my ground. But about half the time I do look at myself in the mirror and question where I stand. Am I wrong?

I don’t do this because I am insecure but rather because I want to make certain I don’t just follow the crowd of lemmings. I am always seeking to grow and change. I want to be the best me I can be, and that includes my belief systems.

My dad always told me not to believe anything or anyone at first but rather research, study and find the truth because the truth is out there.

No, my truth may not align with yours. That is when we must both step back and do some self reflection. We must do some self study and actually listen to the other person and consider their POV. Are they the one with the accurate belief system?

I hope you find the truth in all areas of your life. Be blessed.

Sincerely,

Maggie A. ‘Spoon

Let’s do this… NOW!

Get it done now or it might not get done!!

So I began on a new and amazing adventure with 20 – 30 some people which turned into about 16 to 18 people. I have joined the ranks of Massage Therapy students!! I am super excited to begin this journey. This however brings up a very pertinent subject: PRIORITIES!! I was never one to prioritize well until I began this education experience. Now I find myself much more organized and it is an ever-evolving process to prioritize properly.

A bit about Massage Therapy School:  Massage therapy school is generally around 500 hours of education as well as hours in the clinic working on people after the initial education of how-to. I am in the how-to phase right now but by mid to late January I will be working with real clients in the clinic. While I feel excited I still feel unprepared. BUT I have a long way to go still. (Below is what I am learning…)

Professional_Program_Cortiva

Priories, yes… If I do not prioritize some things to not get done. I am attending school every day from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. However, the school is about 30 minutes away and I always have to leave at least an hour earlier than that JUST IN CASE of bad traffic so I leave about 7-ish and get home about 6 to 6:30. WHEW! It is a full day of MT school. And when I get home I feel exhausted most days, especially when I get up at 3 a.m. like I did today!! *sigh* Please understand that I am not intending to whine or complain. I LOVE GOING TO THIS SCHOOL! I am really enjoying massage therapy school!!!!!!!!! (cannot put enough exclamation marks!) I am excited to begin this new chapter in my life.

What I am saying is if I do not prioritize some things do not get done. I already said that… Well it is so true! I have discovered that when I arrive home, since I do feel beat, I often want to just chill (usually alone) which is not conducive to the life I have. While some of the other students do not have husbands or children or either, I have both. And two dogs… and a rabbit. So my house is a bit of a zoo when I get home with everyone literally pawing at me to get my attention. The dogs jump up and wag their tails hoping for lovies, the kids run to me for hugs and kisses and right now my mother (AND AMAZING WOMAN) is living with me and after the long day of taking care of the kids she is also beat and needs a break. So if I don’t pull myself together before I arrive home then I struggle.

The struggle is real, people! I am learning what to put first and what can go on the back burner and what should and should not go on the back burner! So y’all have been unintentionally put aside – not brushed aside mind you — just set aside for a bit while I figure out this thing called LIFE.

Thank you for your patience in me not posting so often. I appreciate my followers and am grateful to be spreading the love as I am able!

May you be blessed today and always!

Maggie A. ‘Spoon
Super Mama

Contentment vs. Dissatisfaction

This helped me realize the path to true contentment. I found this journal post on my computer and expanded on it. Enjoy!

This helped me realize the path to true contentment.

I looked at my children as we sat enjoying some under-ripe watermelon and I considered people who have lost their children. I thought of how it would be to never hold my dear babies again, to never kiss their sweet faces and see their smile, or to never hear them randomly say “I love you” again. My heart ached for those people who have lost their loved ones.

Then suddenly it dawned on me. All my life, from the time I was a little girl, all I ever wanted was to get married to an amazing Christian man and have amazing children.  I prayed and prayed about my man. I obsessively talked to God often – perhaps a little too much — about what I wanted in a husband.  I am sure had God been human He would have complained long ago that I rambled about the subject. I would talk of what I needed in a father for my sweet children. I would talk to God about my desires for spending time with my children. But it suddenly hit me. I thought to myself, “Maggie you are here. You have arrived!”

If all I ever wanted was to have these two things I hold dear and now I have them, why am I not the happiest woman in the world?  I fulfilled my life-long dream at the age of twenty-one; few people experience such a feat! Was it because my desires changed? Was it because I was not as prepared for marriage or motherhood as I thought I was? Was it perhaps because my expectations of parenthood and marriage were vastly different than reality? All the above I am sure have affected my view of happiness.

Perhaps, however, it is something deeper? I think the issue is my belief that anything in this life could ever bring me complete satisfaction. I believed if I could get a husband, and get children than I would be happy.  Then I would think “if only he would… x… I will be happy,” or “if only my kids would… x… I will be happy.”  Then, of course, I would sometimes fall into the silly thinking many American’s struggle with,  “If only I had this or that then I will be happy.”

These are all lies that Satan has helped perpetuate in our society. Happiness is fleeting but true joy is to be cherished. It is my experience and understanding that true Joy in the heart only comes from Heaven and the blessings God has given us and this joy is eternal.

Paul said in Phil. that he learned the “secret” to being content.  Contentment is defined as: “pleased and/or satisfied; not needing more; free from care or discomfort.”

In Phillipians 4:12-13 Paul says, “12 I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret to begin content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. 13 I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.”

(Philippians 4:13 is often quoted, but when paired with verse 12 and seen in context, it takes on more meaning and is, in my opinion, even more powerful.)

The secret to Paul’s contentment was a choice to believe firmly that he could do all things through Christ who gives him strength.  It was a choice.  Paul could have easily focused on the thorn in his side, vaguely mentioned a few times.  He could have focused on the martyr he had become and his frequent prison stays for no true crime.  He could have focused on the fact that Jesus stirred up passion in him and then was not physically present.

But I am certain what Paul focused on, from reading his letters, is though he had a thorn in his side, it reminded him of his humanity and the thorn was a blessing. (See 2 Corinthians 12:7-10)

Though he spent time in prison, they could never take away his salvation or stop him from believing with all his heart.

And I am certain he focused on the fact that even though Jesus was not physically present with him, HE WILL RETURN, and he believed Jesus left earth for Heaven.

You see, Paul truly knew the meaning of “bloom where you are planted” a quote I have chosen to embrace. Paul knew God was with Him in each situation he found himself in.

Today, I choose to “bloom where I am planted” and to embrace the fact that I have all I need to be who I need to be.  I may “get” more “stuff,” and God may even bless me with more children or other meaningful events in life. However, NOW is all I can focus on.  I can turn my “can’ts into cans and dreams into plans,” but in reality without God, it would be meaningless.

Though I am certain some might not agree, I have found in my life that even my marriage and my motherhood does not bring me inner peace and satisfaction without God being a part of it.

Having God intimately involved in my life brings me peace and true hope which lasts and becomes reality. I find myself giving it all to Him because, I believe, while I can do my best to affect my future, it is God who really has it all figured out.

May you be blessed today and always,

Maggie A. ‘Spoon

(I found this lost in my “blog ideas” folder. It was written on 5/22/2013. So much has changed for me since then, but this all still rings true. Though I edited it a bit and added a little on, this is pretty much what I wrote.)