Real Life Stories: Tina of Los Gringos LocosMonday, November 02, 2015
TJB: Tina, thanks for wanting to be a part of my series, and for being willing to share your story with all of us. So, first things first, tell us all a little bit about yourself.
Tina: I am a crazy mom of four! I mean, literally. I take medicine to help me stay calm. I don't have depression but the stress of motherhood and wifedom, (I made that one up), can be overwhelming at times. I love travel, adventure, my Bible ministry, photography, writing, laughing, and chocolate. I am very down-to-earth and take-it-like-it-is, the bad with the good. I was born in Michigan, raised in Kentucky, and now I live in Mexico. I have ADHD and this probably contributes to my craziness. We homeschool our two daughters, but one of our boys is attending public school in Mexico this year. Wowza!
TJB: What does having joy mean to you?
Tina: My great friend once told me, "Happiness is a state of mind." This means happiness is a choice. I choose happiness. Even if it means taking a little medicine ;-) So what, I am content. As I say this I realize that being content, feeling happiness, and expressing joy is constant work. My mind wants more, wants less, wants freedom, and wants love. It's a struggle. But I know that deep inside, I am right where I want to be. I am happy as happy gets, in this old world.
TJB: So, what are some things that bring joy into your life?
Tina: When my husband tells me I am beautiful. Experiencing a new country. Looking through a camera lens. Reading a piece I wrote and thinking, "Wow. That's good." Eating a piece of Hershey's dark chocolate. Drinking a glass of wine. Teaching someone about the Bible. Laughing till my stomach hurts. Reading to my boys before bed. Watching my daughters grow into little women. The color and smell of fresh flowers. The feel or grass under my feet. Floating in water. Blue skies and sun-rays. Petting our giant dog and knowing he loves me no matter what.
TJB: Those are some great things! I especially love the laughing until my stomach hurts. Who doesn't love that?! So, now let's get to the tough stuff. Describe in a detail a time or situation in your life that felt impossible to handle, or a situation that seemed insurmountable and daunting.
TJB: Those sound like crazy stressful situations. How did you get through each of those?
Tina: Time, my other three children who required my attention, and most importantly the pregnancy and birth of our fourth child and second son, Tristan. Having Tristan was the best and fastest way for me to get through the pain of losing a baby. I only recently read that he is my "rainbow baby". That means he is the rainbow on the other side of a storm. When I see him smile it makes my entire day.
TJB: What a beautiful term for him. I have never heard that before, but it makes perfect sense to me. So, what did you learn from having to go through your husband's injuries, and the loss of your baby?
Tina: Strength, courage, humility, patience, acceptance, love, peace, and to never stop smiling. :-)
TJB: I love how simple and straightforward your answers were. But for anyone who has been through the tough parts of life, and has learned those things, simple is not even close to what it really is and was. With that being said, let's get to my next question. If you choose joy now, how do you do it?
Tina: With constant reminders. Choosing joy or happiness is not easy, but it is always worth it. If you choose to be a negative person, the only one that you are truly hurting is yourself. People will eventually draw away from you. Negative people are not the kind of friends or family you want to be around. Being negative actually has health consequences, mentally and physically. If you can't be a positive person on your own, see a doctor. There is nothing wrong with taking medication to help you deal with things, and to help you live a happier life.
TJB: Anything else you'd like to add?
Tina: Live, laugh, love, and learn! And visit my blog too. ;-)