Hearing a train whistle blowing in the distance, reminds me of the time, my family lived really close to the tracks. The only thing separating our backyard and the blowing horns was an overgrown patch of blackberries.

I can see Dave Ramsey shaking his head with disapproval as my parents signed the loan papers. This was not a good location. But it did have enough bedrooms for our large family, as well as, room in the basement for a little expansion.

I was blessed with one of these makeshift basement rooms. And while it was far from anything amazing, it was my own. I used all my resources and created a space that I could call mine. (Alex Rodriguez poster and all.) I rearranged my three pieces of furniture till I had exhausted all options, and displayed my most prized trinkets on the top of my dresser. I kept everything presentable just in case someone might come in, recognize my décor skills, and send Martha Stewart a warning that her successor had been found. 😉a0cr1txp_fw-samilla-maioli

I always was a bit of a dreamer. Even if my reality was a damp basement room that shook with fury, whenever the trains passed by. But back then, life was simple and everything was a possibility. I had a family that loved me, a handful of friends that surrounded me, and a little space on this earth to call my own.

I think the me then could give the me now at few little reminders about life…

The impressions I leave on my kids hearts won’t be the houses we could afford to live in or the quality of the things they come to possess. The greater gift I can give them is a perspective of thankfulness, contentment, hard work, kindness towards others, and a love for all people.

I think sometimes I focus too much on the train tracks, damp rooms, and blackberries in my life. I fret about the limitations I face when attempting to raising my kids in a perfect environment, or when trying to give them the best opportunities this world can offer. When all the while, they have everything they need.

What if I looked at these “limitations” as gifts and chose to display an attitude of thankfulness, instead of stressing about what I can’t offer?  What if I harness the wonder of my children, when they hear a train whistle blow? Or take joy and pride in my spaces? And instead of seeing a annoying, overgrown patch of blackberries, consider all the juicy berries we have for the taking…qydnkodhmo4-downeast-cheesecakes

Thought for the day: Life is short. Find thankfulness in your circumstances. Work hard. Love freely. Choose joy.

What can you find joy in today?

lessons-learned-from-living-down-by-the-tracks-4

 

Share this:

12 Comments

  1. Reply

    rhythminlife

    January 6, 2017

    Awww how beautiful!. I feel your heart in this post.Thank you very much for sharing. I didn’t realize you are a Dave Ramsey gal too!!. Right now am reading his daughter’s( Rachel Cruz)’s book…”Love your life not theirs”. It’s a good read. She talks about contentment in our daily lives. As parents, i have come to learn that our kids don’t care about the glitter, they just need us…like you have mentioned in one of your posts, to be present. They need our love and our full presence in whatever setting.

    • Reply

      inspirethemom

      January 6, 2017

      That sounds like a good book! I’m going to put that on my ‘books to read’ list. Thanks! And you are so right, why is it so hard to remember sometimes?! 🙂

      • Reply

        rhythminlife

        January 6, 2017

        It is a very good book. Rachel uses a very good sense of humor but tackles very serious issues that we face in our daily lives. I have LOL marked all over my book.

  2. Reply

    Becca

    January 6, 2017

    What beautiful words. This reminds me of a recent NY Times profile of a palliative care doctor who is himself a triple amputee, who questions why we fight against suffering instead of simply accepting it as a part of life.

    We are told that bad things will happen to us. We are also told to “count it all joy.” But too often, instead of seeing the joy, we think of these bad things as something to endure in order to get at the blessings at the end – a yellow brick road to lead us to the professor. But Dorothy’s blessings came on the journey, and not in the Emerald City. How many blessings are we fighting against because we don’t want the suffering?

    In my own life, I carry a heartache that will likely never go away. But in living with this heartache for a few years now, I have also learned to be a more compassionate person – to love more generously and to judge less harshly. I have also learned some powerful truths about forgiveness that have quite literally changed my life. I am grateful for the situation because it has refined me. And as the situation continues (it is likely to never change because it is dependent on someone else’s actions) I know that the joy I find, not only in the midst of this but also and specifically because of it, will also continue. They are like two friends holding up my heart, the joy and the sorrow, working together to position me where I need to be.

  3. Reply

    inspirethemom

    January 7, 2017

    Thanks for sharing, Becca. I second that. Often times it is our hardships that grow us into better people. Saying a prayer of peace for you tonight. <3

    • Reply

      Becca

      January 7, 2017

      Thank you. My heart ache is not much compared to that of others. I am tremendously blessed.

      I think we all know someone who has met with a small disappointment – a love that wasn’t returned, a promotion that did not come – and is bitter, because they think, Why me? Often they lose their faith, because they thought of God like a vending machine who wouldn’t let anything bad happen to them, and so when trials come, they feel betrayed. And then there are people like my grandpa, who met his sorrow and heartache with grace, humility, and joy. Even as he was on his death bed he was more concerned with others than with his own pain and discomfort. His faith exceeded that of anyone else I have ever known, because when trials came, he asked, Why not me?

      I guess what I’m trying to say is, heartache and sorrow are just a part of life. None of us escape it -just look at Job. Sometimes we even suffer. But all too often, we create the suffering. We take a situation which is sad and disappointing, and we dwell on it, and we tell ourselves stories about the way it should be, and we turn it into suffering, when really, it doesn’t have to be. I have a heartache. But I am not suffering. I am at peace, because, Why not me? I am at peace, because I know the Prince of Peace. This may or may not be a part of a larger plan. But I can still use it to become a better person. And so I am grateful for it – and really, it is not so bad. I would rather have my challenges than anyone else’s.

      • Reply

        inspirethemom

        January 7, 2017

        Well said. <3

  4. Reply

    Andy Oldham

    January 7, 2017

    A beautiful life lesson!

    • Reply

      inspirethemom

      January 7, 2017

      Thank you, Andy:)

  5. Reply

    lorieb

    January 7, 2017

    life is indeed short, forget the negative stuff, focus on the good

  6. Reply

    Michelle

    January 12, 2017

    Love this picture of your childhood and your heart and perspective. 🙂 I heard a sermon recently in which the speaker stated that we are all filled with a deep sense that things are not as they should be… and this deep sense is a product of the fall. We can either chase after all the things of this world in a desperate attempt to fill this hole inside of us, or we can embrace the only One who can fill us… and in doing so, find true joy, contentment, and wholeness. Every moment is a choice- do we focus on the thorns, the basement, the tracks? Or do we focus on the yummy blackberries, the space to call our own, and the One who calls us his daughter?

    • Reply

      inspirethemom

      January 15, 2017

      Wow. so so good. Thank you for this input! <3

Leave a Reply

RELATED POSTS