Everyone Has A Story… that's what Mama always said
What is your story within your family?
Each of us plays a role, we each have weaknesses and strengths that can make a family or break a family.
When you look back, what do you see? We all have parts of our story that have hurt us or have allowed us to hurt others. We also have parts of our story where we lift others up and others lift us up. How do you want the legacy of your name left behind? Share the story that makes you who you are and be proud of that person.
Here is mine….
I may start from today and work backwards and then tell you at the end how I want the story to end in the future.
VILMA KLASSEN BLUM….
I will always be a Klassen and as I reflect on my mother’s passing so many stories hit my heart. I miss her so much because it is in the telling of my stories that I would learn about who I am and who I become. I loved spending time sharing the stories, the lessons, of my life, of movies, of the bible to help me identify and become a better me. Both my parents helped me establish what was important in my life.
When Daddy died he asked us to be sure to care for mom and be good to each other. He knew that nothing ever mattered more. When I was a kid, he never liked when we fought with words. He said we can forgive punches but that it is very difficult to forgive words. Be good to each other and be able to go to bed and know you have given your best.
Both my parents held high standards. I believe that it was part of each of their stories. Mom, 15, falls in love with an older man. She had to live up to the part and fill in shoes to the wife of a dentist. She was young. She married at 19 and had 3 kids by the time she was 24. Reflect for a moment how grown up were you at 19? She had her brother in law move in with her as a newlywed. He was 12 going on 13. She had to be grown up quick. She fell in love with a man who had a hard life. He lost his dad early in his life. He did not have the strong influence of a good man to raise him. In fact, I later learned he had lots to overcome. People say hurting people hurting hurt people. Well, my dad overcame that. He never hurt us. It was his desire to give us the best. The best that he could with all that he knew how.
Were there disappointments? Absolutely. Smiling, the one I think of that makes me smile today is the time we all sat in the window looking for him, my dad, to come home. My Oma from Brazil was visiting and we were to go to the ice capades. He was reminded in the morning of our excursion.
We patiently watched at the window. The weather was terrible. It was raining and storming. He drove home and we were so grateful he was safe. We were all terribly disappointed. I can say I don’t remember that my mama fought with him over that. The emotions were enough.
Dad and mom gave us the best they could with all they had. Dad always reminded us that it didn’t matter where we lived and what kind of house we lived in as long as we were together and that the family meant everything.
We left Brazil. We left half of our family. We had family close: his brother, our cousins, mom and dad’s cousins. We visited every weekend. It was family time. Mom lived for the entertaining and bringing the family together.
Mom’s passion shined in the pride she had for her family. It meant everything to her. I know she and dad had some wonderful vacations. It was a struggle for her to go without the kids. Once we grew up and began to have families of our own mama and I continued to build the family and the family trips. The family trips, now that is where mama shined!!! She had such joy to see us all. We are a handsome family.
We each struggled in our own way in trying to build a new family and not leave the old family dissembled. Before I go on, I want to say how much my brother and sister mean to me. I cannot do life without them. That is a part of my legacy I certainly hope one day my kids will be able to say to each other as well.
We each have our own version of the story we grew up in. We reflected back that we don’t always have insight to each other’s story at the time it happens. What makes us special is that we are here for each other now and that our stories, however different and from whatever point of view, helped us grow to be strong for each other still maintaining the core values this family has always had: Faith, Family, and Fun!!!
Dad and mom left Brazil and built their family on their own. Yes, they each had a family unit they left from. They each valued their families. It does not mean that they agreed on all the decisions but they learned to understand and respect each family as it grew.
Dad had a brother that was angry with the family for the destruction of the family. There were four boys and not one lived close to the other. It took over 20 years for the 4 brothers to get together at the same time.
Mom lost a sister and had her twin return back to the family unit in Brazil and we continued with our journey in the USA.
Each family unit grows and makes decision. It is not about our circumstances but the responses to the circumstances that count.
I married, not as young as my mom, but young. I had the perfect life. It was far from perfect but we worked hard at it. I had two children and then pulled my roots to do as my own parents did. We left and I had one more blessing, my girl. I realized distance does not change circumstances or emotions or personalities, it intensifies them. What was good became better, what was bad became worse.
As a child, my mother stated that I was stubborn, I was a perfectionist, and I always was right. I later told her that those were the character traits that lead to perseverance, eye to detail, and finding success. I was told by a friend I always see through rosy glasses, recently the comment was that I find sunshine out my ass.
All of that leads me to say, I learned to define who I am. Long ago with my mama, I learned to write my mission statement and my motto. My mission statement: My mission is to assist others to discover, empower, and master becoming the best the can be maintaining respect, honesty, and integrity in all I do.
Wow!!! I wrote this as a mom and realized I could use it forever. Today, I am so glad to rewrite it here and see it. It is a great reminder of what it is I am meant to do.
I am done raising kids. Although that was my mission as a mom I see that it is still who I am no matter where: work, relationships, or my family. It doesn’t change, it is reflected in all walks of my life.
My motto is to “Do what’s right, be your best, believe the best, and be kind”
My story had heartbreak 6 years ago. The Cinderella story of my story fell apart. I stand alone. I miss the man standing beside me standing up for what I believe in and who I have become. I do miss the picture of a complete family.
What is a complete family? My children still have a mother and a father. I can stand beside their dad and know he is doing the best he can with who he is. Is it who they want him to be? I don’t know, that is not part of my story. In my story, we are broken as a couple but not as parents. He is there for his children and who doesn’t want that for their kids. He now stands up for me as their mom. What mother doesn’t want that from the father of her children? Yes, my heart is scarred from a break that took both of us to make. It has taken both of us to rebuild the bridge.
In my story, I have learned to be strong and rebuild what I thought I lost into something that is strong. I am proud of the attributes that I attained to overcome the obstacles along the way. In my missions statement are my core beliefs: Respect, honesty, and integrity in all I do and all I am. That is the true legacy I wish for my children.
I want them to be able to stand firm and know that they care a child of God who matters. You matter to me. You matter to your dad and every other family member in our circle. Mostly, YOU matter to GOD!!!
My story continues as Mama B gives her 6 Rules to life: Hello, Good bye – Thank You and You’re Welcome, I’m Sorry and I love you.
Each of my kids will build his own life. Each will have to conquer over mountains. Some struggles are self-made others are unfortunate circumstances we have to overcome. The most I can hope for is what daddy said at my wedding, “We gave the wings so that they can fly.” Now kids fly to new grounds and be the best that you can be.
How do I want my story to end? Just like my mama’s. My mama even made death magical.
We were not fortunate enough to watch our grandparents grow old. Shoot, we were not even there when daddy died. Mama was a strong woman to have walked by his side alone all those months. She was a special woman. Mama had a magic touch to bringing the family together. She did it when daddy died and not only once but twice in her time.
Mama’s last days were magical. Mama had a family who loved, who played, and knew that when it matters we were all together. We sang, we prayed, and we felt from our hearts. Vivi said it best. We love so big that our sorrows are big too.
Mama I miss you!!!! But if I can be half the mama you were then I will have achieved much….
Life can throw us many curve balls. I believe that we like and need the curve balls. It keeps us on our toes and keeps life interesting. It is important to maintain balance. People might call it drama, but it is not about drama, it is about the journey of life experiences.
Mattering to yourself and to others is about one of our basic needs; need for security. If we matter to someone that person will watch out for us. We want to be important enough to be included in that persons priorities.
We all get busy and perhaps we are too busy to smell the roses. It does feel great when you are a priority in someone's life and time is craved out of a schedule for you. You matter.
You matter. You matter as a parent, child, friend, spouse, sibling... All our relationships that are important matter and we make the time for that individual.
When a relationship fails to support you, it is generally because you are no longer someone who matters to that person. Your complaint might be there is a lack of time, lack of respect, or lack connection, whatever the reason the bottom line is that who you are in that relationship does not matter, or does not matter as it used to.
We all long to matter in someone's life, to be that special one.
While you are in search of some one person to matter to you, do not forget that there are those who matter to you. Make the time to see and love the relationships you do have.
Be grateful. If by chance you are feeling like you are all alone, remember you are not. There is always one who believes in you and you matter to him whether or not he matters to you.
Jesus searches you out. He wants you to know that you are a priority and that he craves out time for you ANY TIME... As with any relationship, time builds the bonds we need to understand trust, faithfulness, and love. He offers this every minute of every day.
Breathe - Think - Smile is the start to finding the quiet support you have from the one who says you matter most. First, breathe is his spirit. He breathes life into you and you must breathe to have clarity. That is to physically as much as it is spiritually. When we have the oxygen flowing we have clarity. When we have the Spirit flowing in us we have clarity. Think is the process of searching for wisdom. It is finding the answers to the clear questions, conflicts, circumstances we needed to breathe for. Smile is to remind us to be grateful. Yes, even in our difficulties there is reason to smile. It build our character.
Remember if you ever need extra help seeing you situation and finding h=out how to apply Breathe-Think-Smile then feel free to reach out to me.
Believe the Best....
Breathe - Think - Smile...
So much is at your hand.
Believe the Best...
So, I have learned that the happiest couples have this secret for being happy. They always believe the best in each other. When one is late, instead of complaining, "he is always late". She states, "there must be a good reason that he is late".
This ability to believe the best is a skill when applied changes the perspective on any situation and places the focus on a positive rather than negative in a circumstance.
What would happen in your life if you could practice this especially with those you interact with most frequently? I know people will say that I have roses glasses. This is where my roses glasses come from. I just always believe the best.
I practice this with my family and friends. I practice this with those I work with. It is almost like working with the Golden Rule. I want others to believe that I don't do things intentionally to spite you and look for you to fail.
So, as I was coaching others to believe the best, I had an epiphany. What if I believed this not only in my personal relationships with others but also with God.
Do I really believe that, that I trust God... Believe the best that God has in store for me. It made me ponder. I may be praying for confirmation and then when I get a different answer than the one I want, can I believe that God's answer is the best. Do I believe the best in/with God?
It becomes a matter of trust. Trust God. Trust yourself. Trust others.
Yes, I know that is naive. I like my small bubble where I believe the best. It makes my life happy and there is joy in all situations. Yes even the difficult ones.
Then you must remember to breathe - think - smile.
Go make your day a FABULOUS DAY...
"What is wrong with me?" I have had some time to ponder over this question.
I am different. I beat to a different drum. I am an odd duck. All true. All good. When we realize we are different from others, sometimes we feel lonely, isolated, and talk about not fitting in!!!!
Well, I am different. What makes me different? I think it is that I try to really be authentic. I am a Christian at heart. The problem is that people in churches are hypocrites. Well, so am I. By default all people cannot be perfect and not do everything a Christian states he can do because of his imperfection. So, every area of life this is true.
"Why do I exist?" This is ponder much of the time.
It really reflects in Malsow's hierarchy of needs: security, safety, belonging, self esteem, and self actualization. Early in life we conquer the first three quite easily. (OK, I realize that isn't always so easy). Self esteem, well it took me 40 plus years to begin to find peace with me. Self actualization refers to the need for personal growth and development throughout one's life. Maslow coined the term self actualization to describe the growth of an individual toward fulfillment of their highest needs those most advanced concepts and “big questions” humans struggle with, such as the pursuit of the meaning of life.
So now I am in the stage that is pondering the questions of why, what is my purpose, does it/life matter?
After reflecting to the question of what's wrong with me, reminding my friend I new I was different, watching a new Darren Daily video, and being able to discuss this with my friend and my daughter, I had a light bulb go off. I know why I exist.
God is the true center of my life. When I am off balance he didn't move I did. Jesus is pivotal in my relationship to God because he states that he is God and that he would die on a cross and come back because he loves me. And because he really did, I believe him. Jesus exists so we can have a relationship with God. He came to serve the lost and unloved and show God's love is personal. He is love.
Post watching the movie, I figured it out. I reflected I exist to share God's love. I have always done that. As a child I learned JOY: Jesus, others, yourself, I learned some basic principles of my faith. As a mom, I had developed a stronger faith and was able to share and continue t0 share with my family. As a leader to women and in my work, I will always share my faith, if the opportunity is set and I see it, :). My mission has always been to help others discover, empower becoming their best. I exist to share God's love so you can be your best.
Amazing that it is so simple and I complicate my life daily trying to figure this out. Simon Sinek in his golden circle explains great companies succeed because they know their WHY. So I think, what is my why. People like to hang with people who believe what they believe. So what do I believe? It wasn't clear and my days were frustrating to me. When you are clear what your project for the day is, what your project for your work is, what your role as a husband/wife/friend is, it is easier to accomplish the goal.
The second and third circles of the Golden Circle deal with the How and the What. How do I do what I believe in and What do I is the result. Reflecting on his directions, if you are crystal clear on your why everything else falls into place. This is a universal truth: in your relationships, in your work, in your fun!!!
The simplicity of today is I exist to share the love of God every day and help you become your best.
Why do you exist?
Be There Person You are Looking for is Looking For...
Ok, so just that title got me interested in Andy Stanley. He is the author of a number of best sellers. The first book I read was "Love, Sex, and Dating". It was a great book and the focus was not to be worried about your partner but to be concerned about yourself. He tripped my trigger because I have always been somewhat of a nerd into finding ways to be a better me. I know!!!!.
Be the person your looking for is looking for. Focus on becoming that person. There is so much to that. I encouraged my children to read this book because the philosophy is what I had wished I had instilled for them. More poignant is that I was not the role model I should have been the first few years after my divorce. Hmm, that is still odd.
I want a new relationship and I don't have the old one but I am in a weird place. This happens to me as I start to focus on trying to become my best. As I come back to this focus then I also question my quest for my purpose and who am I supposed to help. Then I fall into a loop of what is next.
Next was the next series I watched from Andy Stanley. Now, I read the first book and then watched the series as he presented it. Then I read his book, "Enemies of the Heart" or previously released as "It came from within".
All I can say is that here is where my focus has begun and I am so glad to have binged watched Andy Stanley, when others binge watch on Netflix.
So if you choose to read, fabulous....
If not these are fabulous series to watch to BE YOUR BEST!!!
Love, Sex, and Dating..
Enemies From Within...
Now, Be Your Best... waiting for him to come...
So what is normal grieving...
I am a hospice nurse now for a couple of years. It fits my soul and am honored to be able to walk with others to the gates of glory.
I went to visit a widow and we were going over what is normal.
Let's see. Years ago when someone lost a spouse, they were given a year to 18 months to grieve the loss. Today if you go see a medical professional (MD, NP, PA...) They say that you are depressed and give you a medication, especially if it is new. Really.
Life has cycles and there is nothing wrong with being depressed after you loss something, in fact the opposite is true. It does not matter if it is a spouse, child, job, relationship. Loss is loss. You are supposed to feel sad. How long feeling sad is normal? Define whose normal.
When I lose in a game, I get over the loss quickly. OK, the competitive in my might not get over it quickly and might challenge you to play again. Circumstances define what is your normal. Loss of something important takes longer to "get over" than something that is not as important to you.
Reflecting now on my loss of my marriage, it has been 4 1/2 years that a 2x4 hit me. Yes, I know you might say that is not true that nothing is a 2x4. It was and it doesn't matter, my reality is mine and yours is yours, :).
I felt like I had lost a spouse because I did. I lost family as I defined it. I lost what I had and it hurts. You have your year of firsts. First holiday without him, first anniversary, first birthday etc... It hurts. The second year you start to come out of your shell and tests the waters again, but not sure you are quite ready. Well year 3, I played. I had fun and was looking to find me... Really that is another post lol... I had fun and was making the most of life.
PS - if you know me I do that every day. Year 4, I had a friend. It was a great. Someone to do fun things with. It wasn't just about the fun, but about a friendship.
Here is the truth. Life is about life cycles and the only constant is that things change. My friend has since moved and life changes, again!!! I realize I am going through the same process of grieving. You see it is the process of change and how we handle it.
When my father died, I realized in my family that we were all in this together, but we were all alone. Each of my children responded so differently to losing the patriarch of the family. No one was wrong, we were all different. We were all together to support each other, but alone: together alone, alone together.
5 Stages of Grief: Elizabeth Kubler Ross
The thing is we may go through those stages more than once and sometimes in different orders. It depends on the how emotionally connected you were to the grief.
Grief of moving can be exciting or sad. The grief of being single to married, :)... some it is completely joyous and no grief but it is still a loss of a season. Who are you kidding, the kids have it said, "I don't want to adult". They are struggling with the loss of childhood and becoming adults. Like that was even a choice for us so long ago. Yep, now I sound like my parents lol.
Just know that relationships, good and bad, work changes, good and bad, moves, exciting or sad are all apart of life and sometimes we learn to run through phases quickly and other times it is slower, but none of the are wrong. And mostly,!!!! Yes it is normal to be depressed.
The goal isn't to not be depressed. The goal is to be able to support yourself through life stages and not always search for a quick answer with a drug. Give yourself the time you need and the experiences to continue to grow and love the life you live.
I find myself wondering how often situations are complicated because of expectations, or more rightly addressed as unmet expectations.
We are headed of to a family cruise. Expectations of family fun and joyous times...
Truth is how you view your life: happy, sad, stressed, or simple, is based on whether your expectations have been met.
No matter what, I expect the trip to be fun and full of adventure: poolside, dinner conversations, piano bars, show, and excursions!!! Key West and Sting Rays in Cozumel!!! :)
Communication or lack of communication is a big factor in expectations being met.
SO life is definitely not easy and definitely not fair. None the less, I am grateful for all I have but that doesn't mean that sometimes I don't feel hurt and used and unappreciated.
Where should I start....
First is always BREATHE!!! This allows for oxygen in the brain and time for clarity and wisdom before I speak and react.
Second is THINK!!! Think before you speak. Don't react but respond....
Third is SMILE!!! thank goodness this is so natural for me, because today the third of things has struck and it is hard to smile...
Yes, all the problems I have are first world problems but those are the ones I have that are right in front of me...
REMIND ME: That is a lesson, It is Right in Front of Me.... I digress....
Life is short. 9 days ago my nephew, my nieces significant other, was in a terrible motorcycle accident. It has been a daily walk of faith and encouragement and I am most impressed how grateful my niece is. She is showing gratitude when it is difficult for me and this is her difficult situation. She is grateful for the nurses, for the family and friends and all that she has. She is excited with each wonderful improvement he has. She is an inspiring example.... LOVE YOU JESS!!!
Than I have my own issue of rejection. That is so hard. It reminds me of the priorities I believe in and tried to instill in my children. The hard part is when the each move on and well some of what you taught was not caught. My motto has always been - Do What's Right - Be Your Best!. God First, Family and friends second and I am third. Be honest, be kind, and honor and respect yourself. Lord thank you that you are in control...
My first world problem of being a team player. Don't mistake my team playing and be kind as being weak...
Thank Goodness! Each day is a new start to a new day to... Be Your Best!!!
Thant has been my motto all along. Years ago I did a coaching class where we spent 3-5 weeks defining our mission and purpose statements. It is so weird because many years later the same statement still works but my circumstances have changed. That is the value os a mission statement that defines who you are and what you do NO MATTER what.
Do What's Right - Be Your Best has been my family motto as long as I can remember training my kids. "Remember you are a Blum", I would say. I wanted my kids to identify with their family and have that strength behind them to always remember that they can be their best.
We listened to John Maxwell in church today and I have studied this for the last 3 decades!!! Boy that is a long time and I feel like I have missed the boat. The truth is I did not miss the boat. Two of my three children still have the same priorities. The third, well I see that I taught him to stand strong and never settle. Right now, he is standing so strong and not settling, except his values are not standing with what he believes. You know what you do always speaks louder than what you say you believe.
It is OK, well it is not but it is not in my control and not worth the worry... That too is what I have taught and now have to practice. I can only do my best and I cannot control others. If i have done what I could then that is all I can give, my very best. If someone chooses not to accept it. I can accept that too.
I cannot say that there aren't emotions with that. There is hurt, pain, anger, defensiveness, but I cannot change others I can only control my responses. Also, there are consequences. People are involved, my family, and there is nothing greater for me to protect than my family. Lord, help me to be gracious and merciful like you. I can only say. My heart hurts and someday it will be fine...
Well I realize that I just believe if I am good to others they will be good to me....
I try to make sure that I teach that and live that. It is really hard when that isn't true and someone else takes the other side of that. Yes, I get hurt and distrust falls in place...
I am looking just to find a way: to learn and do something new. It is just amazing to see how many others take advantage of others.
Lesson: Don't Give Up!!!!