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Love, Strength and Sunsets

The Same Love That Created The Sunset, Loves You as Well

I hope my daughter doesn’t mind my sharing an absolutely beautiful sunset she sent me last night as she was crossing over the water on her way home. This sunset can only be made by God, it’s Creator.

Today’s message is short, but my prayer is that it is meaningful.

My friend, I am here to remind you today, no matter what you may be facing or what obstacles you may be trying to hurdle, that the same God who created this sunset is the same God who will walk you through your situation.

Here is a verse to cling to if you are in need of His promise to love us unconditionally,

“The Lord loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of his unfailing love.” Psalm 33:5 NIV

‭‭I do not know what your circumstances are, but I know one thing that is true, God’s Love is always and forever, with no strings attached.

He loves us even when we forget how to love our selves.

Lean on Him today, My Friend! He will give you the strength you need.

Hugs to each and one of you! 💜

#Keepingitreal, Discouraged, encouragement, Inspiration, Journey, Joy, Keeping It Real, Weariness

Purposely Seeking Joy and Renewal

Seeking My Joy Today

My joy today has been seeing the beauty of the new spring growth popping up every where. Every day there are more leaves on the trees, more blossoms on the bushes and beautiful flowers showing up in the flower beds.

This new growth reminds me that no matter how dead life may look, there is always a season that flourishes and grows again. Trees that once looked dead are beautifully green again. Bushes that had no life are blossomed out in the most brilliant colors imaginable. Flower beds that were lifeless are growing again.

I love this season because it has a visible way of reminding us that no matter how dead our life may seem, it does not mean it will be like this forever.

Only can God bring back to life what has gone dormant and what appears to be dead. Like wise, He does the same for us.

Have you found yourself struggling in a personal season where everything around you seems dead? Relationships are hard at best. Hardships seem to be piling up all around you. You cry out to God, but you hear nothing in return?

My friend, this is your season of winter, but I am here to remind you today that this season, all be it hard right now, will not last forever. The season of spring is right around the corner.

I know some of you may be saying, but you don’t understand. It has been like this for so long. My friend, I’m here to encourage you, that I do understand and I’m here to encourage you that just as the snow falls in the winter, it melts and goes away. Just as the trees look lifeless and dead, they will sprout new leaves and be beautiful again. So will this happen in your life.

The season of spring and the beauty it produces is here to remind us that this dead season of winter will not last forever and the there is joy in the renewal and growth. Just as the flowers will bloom again, so will the beautiful things in your life.

It is my prayer for you today that you will have the hope to see that your difficult season in life will begin fade away and will begin to flourish and grow again soon.

My Friend, be encouraged by this reminder God shares with us;

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens.” Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NIV)

Be encouraged today friends and know my joy can be yours as well.

Open your eyes and open your heart to see the freshness that spring brings forth.

#keepingitreal

#Findingyourcourage, #Keepingitreal, Believe in Yourself, Bible, Broken, Challenge, Courage, encouragement, Exhausted, Hope, Inspiration, Journey, Joy, Weariness

Living Intentional

Seeking Joy In Our Lives

During this time of constant busyness and chaos, we find it easy to focus on all the difficulties and hardships life brings us, but today, I want us to “intentionally focus” on finding something joyful in our day.

For some, this may be found in the smallest of places, while others may find this to be easy. It does not matter how easy or hard you may need to look, my question is this, will you join me in pledging to live intentional while seeking something joyful in your day?

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds…” James 1:2 (NIV)

It is my desire to start a trend where we daily seek to find some joy in our lives, even if we are living in amid our darkest of times.

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.” Romans 12:12 (NIV)

We can all agree that life is hard most of the time and unfortunately, we can easily focus on those hardships, but God shows us in both James and Romans that we have a reason to be joyful, even while living in the midst of some of our hardest of times.

There is a key to finding joy when we are having difficulties because of the darkness we may be living in.

The key is to retrain ourselves to “live intentional” while looking for the joyous moments in our lives. 

By doing this, we will be able find the power to disregard the negativity while seeking to live a more positive and intentional life.

My friend, I know how hard life can get and how dark it can appear at times, but I want you to know, you are important and you deserve to be happy no matter how hard life has you knocked down.

Take some time today to intentionally and purposely look for something which makes you happy. When you find it, cling to it, be thankful for it, and do not allow anyone to take it from you.

My Friend, make the time to find your joy today!

Feel free to leave, My Joy Today was… below in the comments section.

I would love to share in your joyful moments. We often rally around those who are in the midst of hard times but often forget to share in the joyous moments too. Today, I want to share in your joyful moment and be thankful along beside you if you will have me.

Anxiety, encouragement, Journey, Life, Rawness, Real, Weariness

Breathing Through Daily Life

Journaling Journey

Sharing The “Real” of Daily Life

What will my day look like? I have so much to do. Where do I begin?

Do you struggle with this some days? The list is just so long that it is overwhelming to even know where to begin.

Today I am feeling overwhelmed by my business. I am trying to still set it up so I can make extra money for our family. I have a couple of projects I need to create, start, and finish for orders. I need to work on my website. I need to do some accounting work. I just made a logo image which I needed for my website. I need to create some Easter products to sell and the list just goes on and on.

Then there are the house chores that need to be done. I need to get my laundry going. I have no clue what supper will be so I have no idea if I will need anything at the grocery store or defrosted from the freezer. I need to tidy up and clean the bathroom and dust before this gets any worse.

I have spring yard work that needs to be done before it gets ahead of me. Oh this list is just crazy.

I feel as though I should never complain about this load as I do not work outside of my home, but my blog is about being “real” and sharing my raw and real side so today I am doing just that. It is my hope and prayer it might encourage you to know you are not alone in experiencing the frustration of everything piling up on you. 

The struggle is real. It is not pretty or elegant, but it is real.

I know I do not work outside of my home, but this is just so much to do. I wish my husband’s health would allow him to help me outside. I know he works, but a lot of people do and still manage to do yard work. If I did not have yard work, I wouldn’t feel so overwhelmed, but it is what it is.

It is time to break out my planner and start sorting and planning out my responsibilities.

Do you get overwhelmed like this? It seems like when you do not work outside of the home that time should be plentiful, but for me, it is not. There is never enough time in the day to get everything done.

I am just thankful we did not have any doctor appointments this week. We are always appreciative for weeks like these where we can breathe again.

So where do I begin? Laundry… that is where I will begin and then get on my computer and do some business work as I think this is what is pressing me the most. I can take breaks and tackle home stuff. Time to take small bites and whittle away at the big piece of this puzzle.

I hope you all have a great day.

Today is a good day to be a good day!
Bible, Challenge, Courage, Depression, Discouraged, Encouragement Today, Exhausted, Forgiveness, Inspiration, Journey, Life, Motivation, Peace, Strength, Weariness

God Is Calling You Back

Encouragement Today

Today’s message is another simple one. Have you strayed from God?

Did you once believe, but decided to stray away to live your own life?

My friend, it is never to late to return back to the arms of your creator.

God is calling you back.

“”Even now,” declares the Lord, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.” Joel 2:12 NIV

If this message is for you today, will you listen? Will you take the time now, no matter what state of mind you are in to return back to Him?

God’s message is clear! Simply follow, simply listen!

Anxiety, Bible, Bondage, Challenge, Comfort, Courage, Discouraged, encouragement, Exhausted, Hope, Inspiration, Journey, Life, Rawness, Real, Strength, Stress, Trials, Weariness

What Do You Have In Your Boxes

Psalm 9_9-10 The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.

Journaling Thoughts

Choosing Which Box to Open

I must just sit down and take some time to decompress from the stress of life. I feel like I am trapped on a hamster wheel and I cannot get off. I know everyone has problems, we are all human, but how we handle them is completely different.

Box of WorriesI for one, compartmentalized my stress and worries. I have so many issues and concerns that worry me that I have found if I place them all into their own individual boxes then I can open them as I need worry about them.

As for my boxes, they look a little like this…

  • One for finances.
  • One for my daughters’ medical issues.
  • One for my husband’s medical issues.
  • One for my blog.
  • One for my business.
  • One for staying on top of managing my home and family.
  • One for trying to be a good wife.
  • One for trying to be a good mom.
  • One for trying to be a good daughter.
  • One for trying to be a good friend.

And the list can go on and on and on.

Unfortunately, for me, I can have all my boxes opened at one time and have all the contents, or in this case worries and concerns, laying all over the floor in a big heaping mess.

In the “picture perfect” world, I would only open one box at a time, but not me. I am that “raw” and “real” mess and I am exposing myself to you today with the hopes of encouraging you to know, if you too are like me, you are not alone.

I am not, by any means, saying this is healthy, as I know it is not, but what I am saying is that it is real and there are others who live in this messiness, we call life.

By living this way, it is impossible to give all this the focus it needs to be done efficiently and therefore it feels like everything in my world is either getting ahead of me or I am constantly in a state of it all falling apart.

I juggle all of this and because I do, nothing on this list gets my undivided attention and as a result, makes me feel stressed out, inadequate, and frustrated.

Do you have a set of boxes similar to mine and find yourself feeling the same way?

Psalm 9_9-10 The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.My friend, if you do, I am going to share with you what God shared with me this morning.

“The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in the times of trouble.” Psalms 9:9-10 

We can use this verse as a means of strength when we are weak, as a source of courage when we are scared, and a source of comfort when we are lonely. 

When life has us knocked down like I described above, He is always there to guide us back to a time of stability and normalcy and strengthens us from our time of fragility. He is always there, even in the middle of our biggest messes, when we choose to open all our boxes at one time and then we feel overwhelmed and frightened by what awaits us.

My friend, God is our source of strength even in our darkest and weakest of times. If you have wandered away from Him and feel like you have strayed so far that He has forgotten you, I am here to remind you, you have not. He knows you and remembers you. He wants to be your comforter and your source of strength. He wants you to know you are loved unconditionally.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (1)Remember the familiar bible verse that so many of us learned when we were children or new Christians,

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 NIV

He loves us all unconditionally. He loves us no matter how messy our lives are. He loves us despite how many boxes we may have or how many we may have open at one time.

There is one thing that remains consistent as I write this blog post and it is this; God keeps reminding me that no matter how many boxes I may have opened or how many boxes I may have dumped all over the floor at one time, He is reminding me that it can all be picked back up (similar to our children doing clean up and putting all their toys away) and that once it is all picked up and placed back in the box, the cover can be closed and we do not have to see the mess any longer.

My Friend, as I close out this post, it is my desire through exposing the rawness of my life, that you are encouraged by knowing no matter what you are going through, God is still by your side. He is there comforting us as we open our boxes and wants us to turn to Him while we navigate our way through the boxes.

Be encouraged and know that no matter how dark and messy life may seem, there is always a hope to cling to and that hope is our Savior who is “ALWAYS” by our side. We are never alone no matter how lonely you may feel.

Peace and comfort my friend as you finish reading this. It is my desire if you struggle with the same messiness I struggle with, that God can use my ugly revelation today to encourage you to know you are not alone and that above everything else to know God is and will always be by your side.

 

Burn out, Depression, Discouraged, encouragement, Inspiration, Journey, Life, Real, Strength, Weariness

Real Gets Lost In The Artificial

Just feeling….

  • Tired
  • Frustrated
  • Exhausted
  • Worn Out
  • Spent
  • Frazzled

Just wanting to…

  • Cry
  • Sleep
  • Eat your favorite comfort food
  • Take a hot shower
  • Read
  • Write
  • Take a trip
  • Escape from reality
  • Hang out with friends
  • Run away

Experience is reality…

  • Need to finish a project at work
  • Need to clean house
  • Need to get groceries
  • Need to wash laundry
  • Need to take care of the kids
  • Need to make supper
  • Need to study
  • Need to prepare for the new week

Does this sound like what you experience? Do not feel alone because your feelings are real.

This is what reality looks like and knowing this allows us to know when life gets messy it is okay because others know this experience as well.

In this day of “perfect ” social media, it is easy to loose track of what reality looks like because it gets lost in the rose colored lenses of our cameras and fancy captions we put with the images.

Anything can look good when you add fancy filters to your pictures and inauthentic captions to make them look and sound beautiful, but the “real” gets lost in the artificial .

When we look through Facebook and Instagram we can easily fall into a place where we see those images and lives as easy and “perfect” when in reality they are not. They are not because they are not “real”.

We live in the “real” and not in the “perfect”. Cling to your real and find peace in the difficult days while rejoicing during the good ones because they are there to rejuvenate and refresh you while preparing you for the difficult days when they arrive.

The reality is…

  • Life is real.
  • Life is messy.
  • Life is happy.
  • Life is difficult.
  • Life is exhilarating.
  • Life is devastating.
  • Life is joyous.
  • Life is exhausting.

Lastly, remember life is what you make of it. There are many days that are joyous while there are many that discouraging, but God gives us the strength to get through them all.

Believe in Yourself, Christmas, Discouraged, Holiday, Journal Journey, Journey, Peace, Real, Strength, Weariness

The Real of Holiday Survival

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I am going to reveal the “reality” of my not so perfect holiday season with the hope if your holiday season was not all you wanted it to be, that this will encouraged you to know you are not the only one who struggled to get through a less than perfect Christmas season.

“Revelation and reality gives us the strength to conquer the messiness of life. ” HD Benson

We often times find ourselves comparing our lives to the perfection of the lives we see around us. When we watch Hallmark movies, we see everything is perfectly decorated and all the homemade Christmas treats are perfectly made and decorated. Then there is the perfection we see on FaceBook and on Instagram posts.

My Friend, this is not a reality. Do not compare your life to what you see in others. They only show you what they want you to see. They do not show you what is real and messy.

Now, I am going to show you my real and my messy with the hopes of encouraging you if yours looked anything like mine, it is okay because we all survived and got through another holiday season.

This week has been a week where I found myself in need of rest from an incredibly exhausting past few weeks and a grueling holiday season.

Once we finished with Thanksgiving, I decided to help my daughter who was extremely sick, finish her college semester in school. As her mom, who knows all she had gone through with her health and watched her struggle with pain and sickness for two straight months, I could not watch her fall into a pit of darkness and failure.

Instead, I put on my cheerleading clothes and drug out the pompoms and went to town. She was in desperate need of encouragement and strength and “mom” support, which I did for her. I stopped everything Christmas, stayed up late with her, got up early and she finished. She not only finished, but she finished with amazing grades. I am super proud of her for what she achieved in her first semester of college. I am praying for her health becomes better managed and her semester to come, is a much better one for her.

Once she finished her last class, it was time to jump back into Christmas mode, which I had avoided to give her everything she needed to get through this semester. I avoided the calendar to see how close we were getting to Christmas. I did everything possible to remain stress-free to keep my family happy and grounded during this crazy holiday season. However, when it was all done and I looked at the calendar, it was not pretty. I had one week to get five weeks worth of work done. I had to shop (as I had not bought one gift for anyone). I had to make the gifts we were giving away and I had not baked my first Christmas dessert yet. I told myself I had to do all of this with the minimalist amount of stress to keep the holiday cheer in my house.

What I have not mentioned was the really bad cold my daughter had, went through all of us. I had to take her to the doctor twice, my husband twice and the night of his first Emergency Room visit, I ran a fever that night and I ended up catching it as well and became extremely sick, but I fought my way through it to make Christmas happen.

With the strength God gave me and with His guidance to get through it all, I finished everything at 11:40 on Christmas Eve. It was all done and I could breathe again.

I wish I could say this all happened with no stress, but I can not. I did, however, make every effort of minimalizing it and that I feel like I accomplished it. I also have to confess that I was only able to pull off the first five days because my doctor put me on steroids as well as a steroid injection and an inhaler which enabled me to get a lot done because I do not handle steroids and sleep.

As a result of the steroids, I did begin to feel better and they gave me the extra energy that I needed to finish Christmas in time, but the exhausted crash that came afterward has been horrible. I needed this week to just rest and sleep to get caught back up.

This is the “real” and the raw of how my holidays went this year. I am, however, extremely thankful to hear back from not only my family but from my mom as well, that this was one of our best Christmas’s we have had in a long time.

Despite the sacrifices I made early on to help my daughter, they paid off in the end. It was not a traditional holiday season for me, but it came together in the very end and thankfully it all turned out well.

My friend, it does not matter how yours looked, whether it was wrought with challenges or it went smoothly, all that matters is that you tried and it is all done now for another year.

Now I will wish you all Happy New Year. It is my prayer this coming year will be one of peace and joy, changes if you are in need of them and the grace to accept everything that comes your way.

Believe in Yourself, Challenge, Christmas, Christmas Note of Encouragement, Discouraged, Exhausted, Holiday, Hope, Journey, Life, Motivation, Peace, Strength, Weariness

Seize The Moment To Make A Memory

Christmas Note of Encouragement

I want to share this inspiration with you this Christmas Eve Day,

”You are amazing, you are brave, you are strong.” 

Unknown Author

As you start this day, the last one before Christmas and you are feeling worn out, exhausted, grouchy, and maybe a little emotional, I want you to remember this quote, “You are amazing, brave, and strong.”

You did a great job this Christmas Season to get to here. Many of us may not be ready yet because we may still have a little shopping left to do, or a last minute gift to make or gifts to wrap, but my suggestion today is to make some time to slow down and quietly sit still and bask in the lights of your tree, enjoy some soft sounds of the season, or put on a favorite Christmas movie and just enjoy a little bit of time with your family or even maybe just all by yourself because once tomorrow arrives, it will be all done. Today my is the last day to enjoy the build-up and the magic of the season.

Slow down, my friend, and enjoy your family today!

You will not regret it. Let that moment be the memory you make for the years to come. Seize the day, seize the moment to cherish what you have.

Bible, Challenge, Christmas, Christmas Note of Encouragement, Exhausted, Holiday, Inspiration, Journey, Life, Peace, Weariness

Take Time To Rest Your Mind And Your Body

Christmas Note of Encouragement

Dear Tired Mom,

Do you feel like you are running around in a circle with no end in sight?

Do you still have presents to buy or presents to wrap?

Are your kids going to the kitchen looking for a snack and you cringe at the question that is coming next. “Mom, where are the Christmas cookies?” Then your response is, “I haven’t made them yet.”

My sweet tired mom, at this point it is okay to readjust your list and start removing things from it. It is okay to not get everything done.

If you were to ask your family they would rather have you engaged with them in an activity together then have you running around with your head cut off.

It is also okay to sit back and relax with a good book, blanket, cocoa, and popcorn. It is okay to turn on a movie and sit back and relax or take a nap.

The key is to make the time to breathe, my friend. If you do, God will bless you with the time to get everything done. 

You can only push your body so far before it shuts down.  I promise this happens because it happens to me all the time. I am not good at taking my own advice.

God wants you to take care of yourself as much as you to want be there for your family. He created you and He knows what you can handle. He also knows there is strength in rest. This is why He commands us to do it.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew‬ ‭11:28‬ ‭NIV‬‬

My friend, truly examine what you have left to be ready for Christmas and allow yourself the ability to enjoy the next three days. It will go by quickly. Then before you know it, December 26th will be here and it will be over. Breathe, my friend, breathe and make the time to rest today.