Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte

I have a love/hate relationship with classics (the grammar is usually horrible, and/or hard to sit through) but like all classics, there are so many life themes (or dare I say lessons) brought to the table in Jane Eyre that I couldn’t help but keep reading. A tale of an orphan girl who transitions into a disciplined woman with nothing more than her self-respect and strong will to get her through life. Charlotte Brunte reminds us that despite hardships life will come full circle, even if full circle isn’t what we had hoped for.

Image Captured From Goodreads

If you want to read a book about growth, transitions, choices, and gratitude, don’t just add this to your “to be read” pile, put it on top. As plain as Jane is she just might be the most beautiful character I’ve ever read about.


Balancing Life & Chronic Illness

Life is crazy but add chronic illness to it and you’ve got yourself lifelong a cycle of being sick, being tired, catching up, and being sick and tired of catching up.

Since my childhood, I’ve had to deal with migraines and anxiety and if know anything about those two, you know that they can take you out unexpectedly for days at a time. My teenage years brought on fibromyalgia with lupus sneaking in during my 20s, so I’ve had my share of chronic issues.

Here are a few practices that have helped me cope and recover from flares and can help any person suffering from illnesses deal with the sick cycle.

Prayer/ Meditation

It’s very easy to remember all the aches and pains going through my body and if I let those thoughts linger for too long it becomes even harder to focus on my daily tasks. So every morning I take time to pray over my day and meditate on God’s Glory; this helps me get into a grateful mindset and motivates me to at least try to be a willing participant in the day’s activities. (I’m an introvert, I struggle with participation anyway)


You have to get those organs flowing.

Many professionals believe that NOT doing some type of exercise is a symptom contributor for many (if not all) chronic illnesses. Doing low impact exercises such as walking or yoga can improve your mood and your condition; so if you can, take 20-30 minutes to purposely move about each morning. There are days that I can’t bear to walk and on those days I do my best to stretch in the comfort of my bed just so I can get the kinks out.

Brain Joggers

Misery doesn’t keep time very well and being sick can make you forget what day of the week it is or what you walked in a room to do. Doing a puzzle at the start of each day better equips you to tackle problems and retain information. So grab a crossword puzzle or sudoku book and knock those cobwebs out before you get your day started.


Eating a good breakfast can ease some of those early morning woes that we chronic illness warriors have. Not only do you need to eat breakfast you need to eat a healthy one. Personally, I need a cup of tea first thing in the morning to help settle my stomach but I always grab something to eat right after. 

Write it Down

Making a to-do list at the end of every day can also help with some of that forgetfulness AND get those thoughts out that are keeping you up at night. When you sit down for breakfast glance over the to-do list you made and complete the most important item first. If you’re going to use your spoons for the day make sure you do what’s important.

…not too bad huh?

Did you know that…

….experts say it takes about 21 days to form a new habit, so why don’t you pick out a couple of suggestions and try them for the next few weeks and see if you notice any changes in you healthy, mood, or recovery. I don’t think you’ll be disappointed. 


The Journey to Forgiveness

Life happens, things get crazy, and a lot of times you end up hurt and after the dust settles there is the overwhelming concern of whether (or when) you should forgive and forget. The Bible is very clear about God’s position on forgiveness so I won’t be arguing that point, I do, however, want to provide some guidance on how to do it effectively.

Come To Terms With What Exactly Has Happened.

Obviously, a situation has happened that has left you in a bad space but I don’t want you to solely focus on the action that has hurt you- that’s the oppressor’s job. I want you to take a moment to revisit the root of your feelings, was there an expectation placed, a need left unfulfilled, or maybe a communication failure? The idea is to place your finger on one or two reasons that you feel the way that you do about the action.

Take Responsibility.

I’m not talking about victim blaming, I’m solely talking about taking responsibility for your actions before and after the circumstances; what were you doing when the ball was dropped. I have had many situations in my life that have left me heavy-hearted, some my fault and others not so much, but the realization I have always come around to is that I played a role in the situation. Don’t get me wrong, I truly believe people act of their own accord but I wouldn’t be able to explain my hurt if I didn’t look at how I became vulnerable in the first place. Even if I can find no wrong in my expectations of a person (especially the one where they should just be a decent human being) I know that when I am blatantly wronged, I can become self-righteous and agitated. Those two core reactions often make me lose focus on the character that I am constantly working so hard to build up and create a worse situation. Taking responsibility means pinpointing those nuances and dealing with them internally.

Communication & The Golden Rule.

There is no doubt that whatever you are feeling, you will feel again if you aren’t honest with yourself and if you don’t communicate what’s going on inside of you and how you got there. In order to forgive someone wholeheartedly, it requires you to be open to effective communication, so make it your responsibility to provide that avenue. Effective communication is free of character attacks and passive listening. This is not an easy task especially when the wounds are very deep but remember it’s not for them, it’s for you. By offering the chance to talk things out you not only provide a gateway for them to see your concerns, but you also provide yourself an outlet to understand where things may have gone bad; and quite honestly if the shoe was on the other foot wouldn’t you want the same opportunity if you were on the wrong side of a disagreement.

Forgive For Yourself.

Relationships and circumstances can leave you feeling broken and fed up but there is no better feeling than knowing that you have done all that you can to rectify a situation even if does not end with reconciliation. Carrying around hate for a person doesn’t have the lasting impression that you may want it to because you don’t have a heaven or a hell to place them in, and it could potentially place you in your own personal hell if you become consumed by it. Most people move on after they have wronged you and you owe it to yourself to do the same.

My Conclusion.

To be clear, I believe you should definitely exit toxic situations but you need to forgive and reclaim that brain space during your journey to moving on. And if no other reason, as Christians, we are charged to forgive just like we have been forgiven and although that can be hard to do; taking a look into ourselves, identifying the ways you contributed to the problem, communicating (possibly reconciling) and remembering that you have done things that you have needed forgiveness for is the best way to move forward. For some, this can happen immediately and for others, it may take a while but the object is to try and keep trying until you are able to do so.
Bad circumstances are meant to be lessons and chances for YOU to grow, so don’t stunt your growth by continuing to hold grudges.

Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

Ephesians 4:31-32 (NIV)

Quick Tip Tuesday: 7 Chores for Toddlers

Children are never too young to learn to do chores and personally I think that the earlier you get them accustomed to chores, they are less likely to resent them (until they are teens).

As soon as a child is able to walk around and safely hold an object at the same time you should begin to encourage them to Continue reading “Quick Tip Tuesday: 7 Chores for Toddlers”