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Showing posts from April, 2015

Life Lesson # 37 ~ EXPECTATIONS ( ARE A REAL PAIN IN THE BUTT!)

Expectations can sure get us into a lot of trouble, can’t they? If you have any doubts, look no further than yours truly. I have spent most of my life expecting way too much and sorting out the consequences later. It’s not as if I don’t know what I’m setting myself up for, because I usually do, but for whatever inherent reason I still take that detour. I’m always full of good intentions. I set out with a decent enough plan, a highlighted map through the back roads, and yet somehow my navigation skills just don’t seem to add up most of the time. My own eagerness, expectancy, presumptions and conjecture seem to always land me in the deep end of the ocean. I should be used to it by now. I surely should have learned to keep an inflatable life vest in my back pocket, that’s for certain. Yet to my own surprise I’m usually flopping around, treading water, drowning in a sea of self-doubt. I’m a walking contradiction, a beautiful if not deafening complicated mess. I’m assuredly a complex, intr…

Life Lesson #36 ~ RESTORATION, FORGIVENSS & PRUNING

I remember a while back, I asked my counselor why God was allowing so many hurts to pile up so close together in my life. Do you know what she told me? "Boundaries Christina, it's all about boundaries." Let's just let that sink in for a moment. I know I had to. The truth is I have lived my entire life trying to please everyone. The reality, it is clearly impossible, and simply never ends well. Honestly, this is probably the hardest, most miserable life lesson I have ever had to learn. A lesson you can be certain inevitably pushed me through a barrier, over a cliff and to the bottom of a ravine. 
The moment leading up to my hallelujah, come to Jesus meeting got it's first start some 19 months ago. Life at the time wasn't bad; in fact it seemed pretty good to me. As with any typical month in our household, we had our ups and downs. Sure I knew life wasn't full of gumdrops and lollipops, but life wasn't exactly sinkholes and tar pits either. I had just hi…

Life Lesson # 35 ~ SELF-DOUBT ( SHE COMES IN LIKE A WRECKING BALL! )

Have you ever asked yourself why is it as women we tend to compare ourselves to one another so much instead of appreciating what we each bring to the table? I often wonder if we could just stop and see ourselves through the eyes of the One who created us, molded us and perfectly designed us how we'd feel. I am thinking it would be pretty awesome and rather incredible, don't ya think? 
Life lesson #35, self-doubt with all her shortcomings can really mess us up! She comes in like a wrecking ball, with her demolition crew eagerly awaiting to turn our lives into rubble.
Honestly, how many of us start the day off already defeated, with our crown tilted or better yet in need of a serious polish? We believe every stinking one of the lies forced and spoon fed to us. If we don’t have the latest hair trend, if we aren’t following the newest diet fade, if we aren’t signed up for the current fitness craze or sporting an up- to - date version of ourselves we are obviously in default, heading…

Life Lessn #34 ~ LIFE'S A GIFT (GONE IN THE BLINK OF AN EYE)

If you’ve been anywhere near the Dowling – Olachia abode lately you’re painfully aware the last 10 days have been exceptionally difficult. I honestly wouldn't even know where to begin a full account if I tried. Let’s just say this, life has been very fast paced and nothing less than an unexpected exit down a high speed turbo express turnpike of the unfathomable. This whole idea of losing not just one but two of the most important people in my life, a week a part, has been absolutely terrifying. The old saying “in a blink of an eye" is resonating loud and clear right now.
First, I am beyond thankful for all of our tribe, both our family and extended. I don’t know quite frankly if we’d have any scruples left without those who have rallied, been at our sides and even sat through the nights with us. I am eternally grateful for the love our family has been surrounded with, it’s truly been overwhelming. And if not for my amazing husband, and precious children I may have lost my own …

Life Lesson # 33 ~ BOUNDARIES, LIVING LIFE WITHOUT BORDERS!

Life Lesson #32 ~ FINDING YOUR THANKFUL PLACE ( The grass isn't greener on the other side)!

A while back I learned a great lesson involving thankfulness. Not just an appreciation for my marriage, family and the life I lead but a real genuine heart felt thankfulness. When I least expected my world to turn sideways, it did. And it did so from a completely unthinkable direction! 
The problem is more often than not we get so wrapped up, so busy in this life we forget to stop and smell the roses as they say. We end up so lost in our lists, our tasks and in our self-contained worlds we take for granted the foundation holding it all together. It's not in any way we mean to overlook our blessings, no matter how small, but we do. We slowly begin taking not just our material possessions for granted but more importantly our relationships. Sadly we stop tending our own patches of green and begin admiring, desiring, craving and wanting our neighbors sparkling gardens a little too much, a little more often. Before long the beauty in our own lives has dulled, seemingly losing the sparkl…

Life Lesson #31 ~ SILVER LININGS

Have you ever wondered where our silver linings come from? Why some folks can easily find one and others can’t? Maybe it’s a gift we are given, maybe it’s an inheritance or maybe we have to find them all on our own. No matter how we come into ownership of these brilliant and beautiful treasures they are magnificent indeed to behold. I know how I came into mine, and why I’ve held onto it all my life. It goes something like this…
Anyone who knows the Dowling - Olachia clan will hands down inform you we're a Disney family. It's just in our DNA I guess. Maybe the "whole whistle while you work" concept is so ingrained in us  we have no problem finding our silver linings haha. That said it shouldn't be a surprise our family's favorite quote, our motto of sorts, one we hold near and dear is from a Disney movie. Those who know us well will tell you without hesitation it's from Micah’s favorite movie, Lilo and Stitch. It goes something like this, “This is my family…

Life Lesson #30 ~ LOVE IS NOT DEMANDING!

I've done a lot of reflecting this week, mostly on my childhood, how I was raised, the way my parents brought me up and the incredible opportunities I've been given because of my parents choices along the way. From the moment I was born I knew I was loved, cherished and longed for. My parents had all but given up on having a child of their own when I came along and surprised everyone. To say I'm daddy's little girl is an understatement. My dad was in the delivery room when I was born, a first for the hospital I was born in way back when in 1973. My dad was also the first to hold me. Growing up I never doubted my parents love or my dad's ability to protect me. I was their baby, their only child and together we were a family, not perfect but our own kind of wonderful. 
One major component in who I am today comes from my parents ability to listen with open hearts. I am so grateful I was given a voice in our family decisions; I was never made to feel too young for my vo…