When Life Is Hard

We’ve all had some rough days. Maybe your rough days have turned into rough years.

As I have walked through my own crazy beautiful journey, I have experienced my share of rough days. Days where nothing seems to go right. Days where I just wanted to crawl back into bed (in my case, crawl up in my recliner). Those days can seem overwhelming at times. They can be stressful.

A season of health issues, relationship issues, financial issues or unemployment can seem overwhelming. During my health journey, I have learned a few lessons about dealing with the challenges of life. I pray you will find them encouraging and helpful.

Your Character. We cannot always control what happens to us in life, but we can always control how we react to the circumstances we face. During the rough moments of my journey, I have made the choice to stop complaining and instead thank God for my many blessings. Choosing to stay positive during those storms of life. Not always an easy choice, but it can be life changing. Our character should always be stronger than our circumstances.

Struggle to Strength. God can use every storm in life to make us stronger. To strengthen our faith. I know sometimes that is hard to see during the storm, but hold on. Our storms have a purpose.

God’s Plans are always perfect. God’s plans are almost always different than ours. Come on, we all think our plans are perfect in the moment. Sometimes we believe God’s plans for us are moving too slowly. Come on God, hurry up! Has anyone but me ever uttered those words? I would encourage each of us to slow down and be patient. Oh, that word Patience. Remember, God’s plan for our lives is always the perfect plan for our lives.

God is always with us. I know that is sometimes hard to believe, as we are holding on for dear life as we face another storm. But the minute you asked God into your life, he is always with you. Walking by your side as you navigate the crashing waves. If you have not asked God into your life, I pray today would be the day you make that incredible decision.

I pray these lessons help encourage you, as you walk through those tough moments in life. I also pray you will never walk your journey alone. Reach out to family or friends when facing those tough moments in life. Most importantly run to God and allow him to wrap his loving arms around you. ~OC





My Choice

Today’s a new day! It is easy to point,yell & judge. I want to be a person who encourages, loves & makes a difference. ~OC

Be Intentional

Life can be hard. Can I get a amen?

That is why we have to make the choice to live an Intentional Life. What does that look like?

Intentional Living is making the choice to focus on what really matters in life and not becoming consumed by the things that really do not matter. Much easier said than done.

Intentional Living is about choosing to live a life of purpose. Definitely not always easy to do. But I promise it will be worth it.

How can you start living an intentional life? Here are a few suggestions:

Write down the things that are truly important to you.

Write down the things you can live without in life or at least stop being consumed by them.

Living the intentional life is not about a bunch of rules. Be flexible.

Practice, Practice, Practice. Choosing to live a intentional life will take some work. So don’t beat yourself up when you miss the mark.

Do not rush through the process. Take your time.

I hope you make the decision to live the Intentional Life. It’s a daily choice. But I promise you, it will change the way you live life and and interact with others. ~OC

What My Crazy Beautiful Journey Has Taught Me About Living

When people meet me, they are always amazed how positive and upbeat I am. I have been asked more times than I can count, why I am not depressed? Doctors love asking that question. I guess people just think I should be hiding under the covers and living in pure devastation. Obviously they have never met me.

No, I have decided to live a life full of adventure and gratitude. It is a choice I have to make on a daily basis. Sometimes a hourly basis. I made the decision early on in this crazy beautiful health journey, to not allow my health issues to consume me. Not let it become my identity. I made the choice to be grateful for all the blessings I have experienced on this journey. That has truly been a life changing choice. Choosing to live with a heart of gratitude has allowed me to remain upbeat and full of joy. Yes, there are still some very tough days, but the blessings far outweigh the negatives of this journey.

I have also found that writing and talking about my journey has been very healing. It has also given my family and friends permission to ask about my journey. That has been important for everyone.

Humor has also been positive. If you know Laura and I, you know our humor tends to be on the dark side. And we do not apologize for it. Laura and I have been given the stink eye more than once when it comes to our dark humor. Our humor is not everyone’s cup of tea, but it works for us. Hey, if you don’t like it, go get your own life threatening health issues.

This crazy beautiful health journey has taught me that when I am truly living, I do not have the time to worry about the negatives this storm brings.

During this journey, God has also revealed his purpose for my life. It’s pretty simple. My purpose is to encourage and love others. Not just people who look and think like me. No, that would be easy. No, God has called me to encourage and love everyone He brings my way. That is not always easy, but the blessings have been unbelievable. I love this crazy beautiful journey God has me traveling. I would not change a thing. ~OC


Life is tough. I am not telling you anything new. We all have faced challenging times during this journey called life. Sometimes we feel stuck. Maybe a little lost. Our heads get full of so many different thoughts. Anybody been there?

During those times, it is easy to become frustrated and forget God’s faithfulness in all seasons. Guess what? We do not have to live in frustration. We all have choices as we walk through these frustrating moments in life. We get to choose our perspective. Did you hear that? We get to choose frustration or choose to be thankful for what God has done and is doing in our lives. We have the choice to stay stuck in our current situation or look at the lessons God is teaching us during those difficult times. Not always an easy choice, but I encourage everyone to turn your difficult road into life changing training ground.

During my health journey, God has brought me into a greater place of worship, praise and devotion. To pray to God, that he would bring me through this journey in the way only He can. My attitude and the way I look at my current health situation is my choice. I have chosen to look at life with a different perspective. With a perspective of hope.

Will you make the choice to live with a different perspective today? The choice is yours. ~OC

Never Stop Thriving

When I was diagnosed with multiple life threatening health issues, I made the choice to keep thriving. When I had to stop running, I made the choice to keep thriving. When I had to retire early based on my health issues, I made the choice to keep thriving. When I have been told I should not be alive, I make the choice to keep thriving. Do you sense a theme here? We have to keep thriving.

When my health journey started, I made the choice to become a patient advocate. When I had to give up running, I made the choice to start running a new race. A race to encourage others going through their own crazy beautiful journey. When my health forced me to retire early, I made the choice to become an abolitionist, a missionary, a speaker and a writer. I made the choice to not allow my circumstances define me. This has not always been easy, but it has been worth it.

Today, I encourage everyone to keep thriving. You may be facing some tough circumstances and you are just concerned about surviving. The thought of thriving is not even on your radar. I would encourage you to change your mindset from surviving to thriving. I would encourage you to surround yourself with people who will help you thrive. I realize this might be difficult. Change is never easy. But if we want to live a life of thriving, we will have to make some changes in our lives. I guarantee changing your mindset from living/surviving to thriving could be life changing. ~OC

Today I Choose

Today I choose to listen more than I speak.

Today I choose to speak words of encouragement.

Today I choose not to judge others.

Today I choose to love the immigrant.

Today I choose to look at the best in people.

Today I choose to speak out against injustice.

Today I choose love over hate.

Today I choose to love the unlovable.

Today I choose to love those that look different than me.

Today I choose to love those that worship differently than me.

Today I choose to love those who vote differently than me.

Today I choose to love those with different opinions than me.

Today I choose to speak truth.

Today I choose to check in on my friends.

Today I choose not to give up.

Today I choose to embrace adventure.

Today I choose to have a positive attitude.

Today I choose to spend time with God.

Today is all we have. Tomorrow is not promised. Yesterday is a memory. How will you choose to live today? ~OC

Love Over Hate

Hate continues to rear its ugly head in America. We have have experienced four mass shootings. We have experienced more hateful tweets and comments from our elected leaders. It seems it’s gotten easier for people to choose hate over love.

It would be easy to get caught up in all the hate. All we have to do is turn on the tv, open up social media or just walk outside. Hate is all around us. Some of our political leaders have earned their PhD’s in the area of hateful rhetoric. How did we get here?

If you’re a conservative you’re told on a daily basis the liberals are to blame. How liberals are out to destroy America. If you’re a liberal, you’re told on a daily basis the conservatives are to blame. How conservatives want to take America back to the 1950’s. The talking points change daily, but the game has been the same for years; exploit fear and distrust. Make it Them Against Us. My prayer today is that we will make a Bigger Us and a Smaller Them.

We need to stop demonizing people who have different political views than us. We need to stop demonizing people who look different than us. We need to stop demonizing people who have a different faith than us. We need to stop demonizing people who were born in a different country than us. Instead we need to celebrate our differences, because that’s what has always made America great.

So we have a choice to make. We can keep pitting Them Against Us or we can all come to the Table of Love and have real and significant conversations. I believe we will find we have more in common than we realize.

As you know, I love to share take away points in my blog post. Here are some ways we can choose to Love More and Hate Less:

*We have a choice. We make the choice what we believe. We make the choice what we watch and listen to. We make the choice to be part of the problem or part of the solution.

*Replace Judgement with Grace. The world is constantly beating people down. Instead of being the Judge and Jury, make the choice to show some grace.

*Truly Listen. It is so easy to bombard people with your beliefs and opinions. Make the choice to take some time to listen to people who think, act, look and speak differently than you. That doesn’t mean you have to agree with them, but take the time to listen to them.

*Choose Love. Choosing love can be difficult at times. Let’s face it, some people are hard to love. I bet that hard to love person just came to mind. I did not say choosing love would be easy. Choosing love is a daily choice. But I believe it is worth the hard work.

“I have decided to stick with love…Hate is too great a burden to bear.” ~Martin Luther King, Jr.

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