Tag Archives: Dreams

Unchained Candy Crush

I played Candy Crush for five years.

Yup.

Five years.

And while I do admit I loved it and how it made my mind turn off any worry or stress for those minutes each day of playing …

.. and do not judge anyone who plays it…

 

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let me share why I finally stopped playing cold turkey.

 

I have goals. Many of these dreams have been deeply rooted in me since I was a child. One goal this year is that I want to live in the present. Others include wanting to start this blog again, to write and publish my poetry, to write and publish a book or two, to make a difference according to God’s will, to develop a deep connection with my husband and children, to be more in-tune with family and friend relationships, to be my best self…

Back in the fall, one night as we were spending time with my son before bed, he asked to play on my phone. Finding Candy Crush, he then begged me to show him how to play. It was only for a few minutes that night … but soon turned into a few minutes every night that week… a few minutes every night that took away from conversation and soon could turn into hours or even days of valuable time taken away.

My husband challenged me, “You still play that game? Why don’t you delete it?

I started my defensive comeback …

It helped me work out in the morning (Yes I’m guilty of being the one running on a treadmill crushing away!) …

It helped me unwind …

It helped me de-stress …

It helped me …

Avoid …

Now, unwinding is one thing … but avoiding is another. I was avoiding my goals and dreams because it makes you extremely vulnerable to acknowledge them, verbalize them, and even more vulnerable to stretch out and reach for them.

Stretch goals are not easy. They are not meant to be easy. However, they will never be reached or even have the possibility of being reached if you avoid them.

“I’d rather attempt to do something great and fail than to attempt to do nothing and succeed.” – Robert H. Schuller

God-given gifts and those dreams that are placed on our hearts that align with those gifts cannot be avoided. They must be prayed for and used to do good.

So 1,825 days later …

I deleted candy crush.

You see the devil will use distractions in life to keep us from out destiny… and Candy Crush was one of mine.

While I could not get any of that past time back, I needed that time going forward…

Prayer … writing … poetry … close family and friends … all help me unwind, destress, and focus. But they also help me, stretch out for those dreams and give me the time to do so.

And even though as the work week comes to an end, the house is messier than I would like, my mind and heart are aligned in knowing they are working together to do good. They are working together for a greater purpose.

For more information:

  • “Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time.” – Colossians 4:5
  • “I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do.” – John 17:4

© Jennifer Kosuda and The Art of a Messy House (theartofamessyhouse.com), 2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jennifer Kosuda and The Art of a Messy House with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


Little Big Shots – Husband Style

With how busy our weeks get, we try to find time to have a family movie each weekend.  Last weekend, as we watched Pocahontas, this conversation happened…

_Embrace the storm before it ends and learn to dance in the rain, even if it tracks in some mud along the way. (14)

JOHN SMITH: “I’d rather die tomorrow than live a hundred years without knowing you.” (From Pocahontas by Walt Disney)

MY HUSBAND turns to me: “They have chiseled jaws.”

ME: “I was thinking…how romantic that line was.”

 

Husbands say the darndest things…

 

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The Snow Day Reset

Snow Day Reset

Fast forward plays on repeat

the days trick the nights to fly by fast

the race to nowhere where stamina cannot last

what is rest in a world

that allows cups to be refilled,

… and refilled …

… and refilled …

where dreams sit waiting for time to get out

shivering in the back seat

inhaling the aroma of doomed defeat

frozen limbs of even the strong-willed.

But the blizzard and its fiery companion meet

as the sky tries to hold back the winter playground

until each flake decides one by one to release

like confetti thrown from the sky

they dance into white dunes to magnify the light

mountains of possibilities form

from raw remnants of those powdery clouds

there is nothing more tangible

than snow angels with motherly curves

and Frosties rolled into existence by tiny fingers

where innocence actually gets what it deserves

where chapped lips and layers upon layers of clothes

suffocate the speed of deadlines and to-do lists

and for just a day – time seems to forget

all but, old man winter’s plea

for the earth to pause

and for that,

I am thankful for a day to reset.

– Jennifer Kosuda


So grateful for a day to reset… the world needs more days like that. Today, I allowed myself to be lazy and carefree (well, a lot more than usual).

What do you do to reset? 


© Jennifer Kosuda and The Art of a Messy House (theartofamessyhouse.com), 2019. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Jennifer Kosuda and The Art of a Messy House with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


What Drives You Crazy?

Think about someone close to you.

What’s one thing that drives you crazy about this person whether it is a loved one, significant other, spouse, family member or friend? 

Or maybe there’s a few things?

As much as we would like to say, there is nothing.  With time,  most, if not all of us develop those pet peeves that can lead to inevitable arguments, disagreements, or situations.

The reality is they exist… and while compromise is a crucial part of any relationship, sometimes it is not possible.  Instead, it may require some acceptance on our part.

Accept it!??! That one thing that drives us crazy!?!?! Oh heck no!!!

But wait….

and hear me out…

The thing that drove me crazy for years was my husband’s love (aka obsession) for our grass. Perfect grass was not possible in the life of a family of two young kids and a Labrador. Yet, he spent hours relentlessly making sure that our lawn would one day be just that…perfect!

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In fact, one summer his deep partnership with our lawn, required many weekend afternoons caring for it.  Yet, after our basement flooded, we needed to have a lot of work done in the backyard to prevent future ones.  As our backyard was beginning to have more and more of the perfect set up for a barbecue or summer party, one patch of his beloved grass was destroyed by the workers. Therefore, any parties, barbecues, or actually … anyone near that area of lawn … was forbidden for the rest of the summer.

I tried… I really did… but when your husband comes home and runs to greet his growing patch of grass before his wife and kids…

…I admit I lost it! (A few times!)

That was until I took on a poetry challenge.   I love poetry and have been writing it for most of my life.  It had been around this time last summer where I wanted to push deeper with it… to push for a dream of mine a bit more seriously, the dream to be published

Therefore, I heard from a poet friend about an opportunity.   It required me to devise a poem base don a prompt and model poem.  If chosen, it would be published in an upcoming book. So what did I have to lose?

When I sat to review the prompts, one jumped out at me:

“For your own love poem, zero in on a single talent your beloved has.”

Right away, his grass jumped into my head.  His grass! My pet peeve – his passion…

Could that really been seen as a positive thing? A talent? This obsession that drove me mad!

The task called for me to learn about this talent and turn it into a metaphor.  Therefore, I sat outside on that late Spring evening, and asked him questions about terms I never knew existed. Or if I’m being completely honest, terms I never cared about. Or rather…never tried to care about…

Strangely enough, not only did a poem get drafted that was soon chosen to be published, but somehow something that drove me crazy for years turned a new leaf.  Suddenly, I did not feel so crazed over it either…

 

Grass

Who’s kept receipts anyways
things you’ve learned over these years
growth you’ve sang into the grass
never doubting sun and rain to not agree
what steps to grow what patience set free

why throw dough to someone’s stranger
when you can spread the seed or at least
you’ll start using the rototiller
sweating over the inches
spreading over the daunting dirt

so many weekends to foster new year’s lawn
fertilizer for the poking patches
tall fescue perennial rye
manual hose automatic display
and tools I cannot even say

sun and water and more seed
depend on you
to know how to apply
and bring back to life
lean on you never to die

– JK

 

For more poems and excellent poetry writing tips from this collection, check out the following book:

“The Practicing Poet: Writing Beyond the Basics” – Diane Lockward

 

In the meantime, try it out sometimes, embrace what drives you crazy about someone you love, learn more about it, and see what happens.   I did not know it at the time, but it was the perfect way to combat or rather extinguish many potential arguments.

Try to find out why they love “that thing” so much.

We may always have patches of imperfect grass that call my husband to spend hours tending to it… that make me want to pull the hair out of my head…

but at least we can appreciate the beauty of its growth more…

…at least I can appreciate the passion and man behind it…

…and hopefully we can have a few barbecues in the meantime too…

2019’s New Vision

Although I will not be jumping from any planes at this point of my life, I’m up for this challenge.

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In life, it’s important to discover and/or admit to any chains that bind and hold you back. To identify them is the first step. Then, it is necessary to take steps, little or large, in defeating them.
Every single step is a step closer to where you want to be. 
After my experience with postpartum anxiety and post traumatic stress disorder, I learned a lot about what was holding me back from my full potential or even from living in the moment. That is when I began to make it a goal to break as many of these unnecessary chains as possible…
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…including my fear of public speaking.
In less than a year, I’ve come so far already! I was recently able to speak in front of a crowd of 250 students and adults without my involuntary shake, rosy cheeks, or profuse sweat coming to stop by. In fact, I even went off my script (What!?!! Unheard with over analyzing, over-worrying, over-planning Jen). I held it in my hand as only a guide and not verbatim. However, I still have more steps to take with this and some other chains to tackle.
But these are steps that without challenging fear I could never have taken…
Back in May 2018, I started to push myself to read at poetry events and readings, and while at the time there were very difficult, I did not realize until recently how much they helped with current projects and situations at work and life. The seeds that those readings planted.
Those steps back then, seemed like nothing… I was still drenched in sweat and shaking like a leaf as I walked away from those reading, doubting the purpose… but maybe we don’t always need to know the purpose… maybe it adds a value to our lives that will unfold … that will break free … that will make us more alive…
Sometimes it takes just one step …
… sometimes two …
… sometimes ten…
… sometimes just one more …
So how can we give up taking those steps each day when we don’t know what that next may bring. There may be just one more step needed to reach that dream or goal… so we must keep challenging ourselves … we must keep moving forward even after a stumble or two back… we must keep stepping.
Do you have a quote guiding you this year? If so, what is it? If not, join me in making a goal like this for yourself this year. It doesn’t mean you are sky diving or doing anything that puts your life at risk. It certainly does not mean you are looking up every possible cause of cancer on Google, and scaring yourself into isolation. (Been there, done that. Not fun… I do not recommend.)
Instead, it means to take those uncomfortable steps each day whatever they may be. And to be open to where it may take you for it may surprise you.
I plan to use it to press deeper into my goals … deeper into my faith …deeper in life. It’s kind of a paradox: as I plan to push myself past my comfort zone because I know it’ll bring me more peace …
and maybe in the meantime I’ll learn to dance over the mess.

 

Tbt – Thankful

With today being Thanksgiving, I am making this post short but very sweet.   When I think of the significance of this holiday, I am reminded of how incredibly blessed I am.   Thinking back,  I am beyond thankful for two of the greatest days that I have been lucky enough to experience and the gifts of love that I received during them.

  1. The day that I became a wife marrying my best friend, my soulmate, my amazing husband
  2. The day that I became a mommy giving birth to my incredibly special little guy

As I reflect back to both of these life-changing memories, I have no choice but to believe in fairy tales and true love.

The Lilypad(1)

Because God gave me my two perfect princes and the life I prayed for, we smile on with a thankful heart… 


It is not happy people who are thankful. It is thankful people who are happy.


be anxious about nothing.but in everything by prayer & petition

The Infinity Dreams Award

Anand from https://blabberwockying.wordpress.com/ has nominated me for The Infinity Dreams award. Thank you so much for thinking of me with this recognition. It is greatly appreciated and truly sparks even more inspiration. Anand is an inspirational blogger who writes motivating and insightful posts that anyone and anything can relate to. As he continues to share his journey of living this beautiful life, he inspires all who read his words. If you haven’t checked out his site, I recommend you to visit him at the link above. Thank you again!


AWARD IN

The Award Rules:

  1. Thank and follow the blog that nominated you.
  2.  Tell us 11 facts about yourself.
  3.  Answer the questions that were set for you to answer.
  4. Nominate 11 bloggers and set questions for them.

11 Facts About Myself

  1. I am obsessed with running. While I use to play games like Candy Crush on my phone as I ran, now I blog on my morning treadmill runs of 4 to 5 miles a day. There was also a time when I was training for a half marathon that I would play memorizing games as I ran. Some examples included memorizing the first 100 digits of Pi and Flo Rida lyrics
  2. My dream …I mean plan… is to be a published author one day.
  3. I am empathetic to a fault…if that’s possible. And I’ve been that way since my earliest memories.
  4. My dream job would be to be a singer/song writer and be able to inspire endless amounts of people throughout the world.  However, being a Special Education teacher is pretty amazing too. Plus, it helps that I have found that being TJ’s mom and my hubby’s wife are the most rewarding roles ever!
  5. I am actually a decent drawer…but I can’t draw mouths. (Ask my husband….it’s pretty awful.)
  6. As a child, I had an imaginary friend, Ernie from Sesame Street.   Unfortunately, he drowned.  (Don’t get me started on that though. Let’s just say that I have always had quite the imagination while also being overly sensitive.)
  7. If health wasn’t an issue, I would eat pizza and drink red wine every single day. They are two of my favorites. (Don’t worry, I don’t really do this.)
  8. I have had to teach myself to relax.   Relaxation does not come naturally to me. However, the beach is the only place in the world where I can sit still and do absolutely nothing and be content with it.
  9. I’ve had two experiences that tiptoed right around death. One included a struggle with anorexia as a pre-teen/teenager.
  10. My faith and God are the only reasons why I am still alive.
  11. I truly believe that impossible is not a word.  Anything in life is possible if you work your butt off and believe.

My Nominees

These wonderful people are not only supportive and friendly, they are also writers  who work hard to inspire others. Congratulations friends!

https://lindaelenablog.wordpress.com/

https://sylvialaurenceblog.wordpress.com/

http://fourthgenerationfarmgirl.com/

https://fillyourownglass.wordpress.com/

https://fivelittledoves.wordpress.com/

http://padgettwithpassion.com/

https://dearlilyjune.wordpress.com/

http://onetahayes.com/

http://acookingpotandtwistedtales.com/

https://theletstalkaboutblog.wordpress.com/

http://younfolded.com/


 

The Questions I Was Asked With My Responses:

Who is your mentor or who inspires you the most?

Throughout different phases of my life, I have had different mentors.   Right now since the start of my 30s, the person who inspires me the most will remain nameless.   However, I continue to look to her for guidance on how to raise a family centered on love.   She is one of those people who radiates sunshine and does not know how inspiring she really is.

Who is your best friend?

My husband is my best friend and rock. =)

What is the role of gratitude in life, if any?

I try to always thank God for my blessings no matter the size. In addition, I try to thank others every chance I can.   With that being said, thank you to all of my followers and those who comment and encourage me to continue with blogging.   You are amazing!

If you could meet one person from any period in history (it may even be fictional), who would it be?

This answer is going to be sooo random, but I am just that sometimes, sooo random.

Laura Bush or Katniss from The Hunger Games-   Like Katniss, I hope to continue to become more and more fearless to stand up for what is right.   After reading a book loosely based on Bush’s life, I was beyond intrigued and would have wanted to meet her.

What is the sweetest thing someone ever did for you?

My husband surprising me with our engagement in 2008 on a beach in Cabo wins this.

Which were the best years of your life – childhood, youth or whichever age you’re now?

Right now….I am so much more at peace with myself than back then.

Do you suffer from any kind of phobia?

Honestly, right now, I am working through the fear of another anaphylactic reaction in my son, someone I love, or even myself.   I am challenging myself several times a week to overcome this. Reminding myself to have faith over fear…

What do you need to be happy?

God, my husband, my son, my family, my friends, my faith

What is love?

Love is the greatest emotion to feel but the hardest one to put to words as words diminish its true beauty and essence. My husband and son have brought love to a whole other level that I daydreamed of as a little girl, yet never knew truly existed.

What is peace?

Peace is not worrying all the time with what others think of you or waiting for everyone’s approval.   Peace is when you look to only God for that approval that has already been promised and given no matter what.   Letting go of fear, and putting all of your energy into your faith, is peace.   That is peace and I am so much closer than I’ve ever been to it, yet still working on it. It’s a lifelong journey.

Who are you?

Mom, Wife, Teacher, Sister, Daughter, Friend, Writer, Runner, Football Lover, Dreamer, Christian, Believer


 

Here are my questions for those I nominated:

  1. What is your view/knowledge on food allergies?
  2. What is the one food that you could not live without?
  3. If you could have dinner with anyone, who would you pick and why?
  4. What is earliest memory that you have that made you smile?
  5. You have to get up and sing a karaoke song in one hour. What song are you singing?
  6. If you could go back and give your 12-year-old-self one piece of advice, what would that be? 
  7. What is the best piece of advice you have ever been given? 
  8. Who is the biggest inspiration in your life?
  9. What is your greatest achievement, or the one you are most proud of?
  10. What makes you smile on most?
  11. Why do you write?

 

Thank you again Anand for this nomination as you’ve helped us smile on ….