My mission is to provide you with inspiration and encouragement to live everyday to it's fullest. I do this by sharing the simple things in life such as recipes to the most difficult of things such a life. We all know life is a struggle and many days a balancing act, but I am here to inspire you to do it well. Everything I write about is designed to inspire as well as encourage you to be a "better" you that you can be. Everything I share is raw and real. I do not cover up or sugar coat what I write about. This would benefit no one. My goal is for you to walk away feeling uplifted and encouraged after leaving my page. Lastly, I am here to remind you that you are… enough and beautiful… just the way you are.
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.
Has your week been a difficult one? Is your day starting out less than desirable?
My friend, know you are not alone. The struggle is real, as sadly as that may sound. There are many days that are not easy and just make you question yourself or decisions you have made, but I am here today to encourage you to know there are brighter days ahead.
Keep you head held high and know if you focus on what is in front of you and not on where you have come from, then you will be encouraged to know there is still hope for a brighter tomorrow.
Remember today, you can get through everything you are struggling with because you are… strong enough, brave enough, bold enough, and beautiful (or handsome) enough.
I am sharing warm words of encouragement today to inspire you as we get closer to Christmas and we feel the stress of trying to finish our shopping and begin wrapping the gifts we have bought, to instead of tackling what is left with angst and anxiety, let us instead, pray over the person whom we are buying or wrapping for.
If you do this, God will not only bless the person who you are praying for, but He will bless you with a peace that is louder than your anxiety and a comfort that will be stronger than any pressure you are feeling.
“Let us wrap each gift we give with kind, loving thoughts about all those who have helped to make the gift possible and the person who will receive the gift.” Barbara Benson
My friend, I know many of us are feeling the pressure of trying to finish everything in time for Christmas. It is my prayer for you, who has taken the time to read this today, that you will be empowered with a peace that passes all understanding and that you will not be robbed of the joy of the season as exhaustion sets in.
We can and will do this! We will be done and ready for Christmas!
This Christmas Season has been anything but a typical one for me, but it is one I will cherish more than any gift I could have ever received.
I wrote a couple of weeks ago about how I worked extremely hard to decorate my house for the holidays so by the time we got into the busy part of the holiday, I would have it done and would not have to wonder where I would find the time to decorate.
What I did not know or could not have foreseen was how different this season would look to me. The hustle and bustle of the holiday went on hold for several reasons, one of which included everyone in my family being sick. Another reason was when I decided to shift my focus to how I could help my daughter catch up as well as finish all her college classes, from where she struggled earlier in the semester with being sick and being in massive pain due to her chronic migraines.
I remember when I decided to put Christmas on hold to help my daughter, I asked God to bless me later with the time I needed to catch up and to take the stress away for being behind and He did.
Here are several ”specific” prayer requests I had which God answered directly in just this holiday season. I am sharing them today because I too struggle, like others, to see God at work and to answer my prayers, but I want to encourage you that He does.
My Friend, God is truly answering our prayers whether we see them physically or not. I am going to share several of my answered prayer requests that have occurred over this Holiday Season to provide you with an encouragement to see God is at work.
I asked Him specifically to multiply the hours in a day so my daughter would have longer to work on her classes. He multiplied the hours just as I asked for, and because of this, my daughter finished all her classes on time.
I asked from Him to remove all the stress of the holiday season away from me this year, and He did.
I asked Him to place it upon my mom’s heart to call me because I missed her, but without a voice, I could not call her, and He did.
I asked Him to show me physically, that my mom still truly loves me and is proud of me, despite my letting her down for circumstances out of my control, and He did.
My Friend, I am writing about these specific answers to my prayers to encourage you to know God is listening to the desires of our hearts. We do not always see the answers to our prayers, but it does not mean He is not answering them.
I am writing about this experience to show you,
“Our greatest and most cherished gifts do not come wrapped in boxes while topped with a gorgeous big red bow. I am writing to encourage you the best presents come from within our own heart.
Cited by, HomeLife&Encouragement
What has touched you this season? Who has done something that left you in awe and touched beyond measure? What gift have you received that you will cherish in your heart for a life time? Feel free to share your experience in the comments below.
The experience I received this year came when my mom called me yesterday. She does not call often, but yesterday she richly blessed my day with not only calling me, but also by telling me with the most loving words, that she still loves me and not just loves me, but truly loves me. I have not heard these gentle, loving, and meaningful words in years. Yes, I get the I love you when you hang up the phone, but these words were different. These words were said with gentle love, which I have not heard in a long time.
The second gift she gave me was when she told me she put up a little Christmas tree this year. This was powerful to me because she has not done this for ten or more years. When we lost my dad, it was like part of my mom’s heart died with him.
I have struggled for years with my mom battling holiday depression that would begin as early as November 11 and last through New Years, every year. As a result, the strain this would cause for me every Christmas season was pretty intense. I found over the past couple of years that in order for me to protect my broken heart, I had to withdraw from her for most of the season because it was just so difficult to talk to her.
This year thankfully is shaping up to be different. She said with a joy in her voice that she was happy for the first time in years to put up her Christmas tree and a few decorations as well as lights. This was the best present she could have ever given herself let alone given to me. It is my prayer her heart continues to heal because to hear this joy in her voice is the best as well as a priceless gift she could give to me as well as herself.
My Friend, if you are struggling this season with thoughts of discouragement and you are just in need of seeing God answer your prayers like He did for me, consider doing this, just talk to Him.
So many times people fall into the trap of having to be formal and pray formally with God, but I do not feel this way. I talk to God like He was sitting here with me, in person, right now. I figure He knows me better than I know myself because He created me, so when I spill my heart out to Him, this does not take Him by surprise.
Tell Him what you need tonight. He is listening. Then sit back and “trust” He is working it all out for you. Do not expect to see a physical prayer answered unless you asked specifically, because this is when we walk away disappointed. Instead of watching for the miracle or prayer to be answered, walk away from it, but if and when you see it, then rejoice with God knowing He is allowing you to see the physical request being met just like He did for me.
My prayer seasons have been pretty dry. We struggle a lot. I pray a lot, but honestly, I struggle to see the effects of my prayers which is why I am writing about this journey today.
This is my gentle reminder this Christmas Season, God is still here. He is still walking with us, talking to us, helping us, and holding our hand along every difficult step we take. Take some time to talk to Him and allow Him the opportunity to bless you this Holiday Season, just as He did for me.
Today’s inspiration comes from the beauty of the fall leaves during this season. There is something inspiring and encouraging about how the leaves display their colors and how they eloquently and beautifully shine through this period of transition.
As we approach the season of fall, take some time to think about the similarities between our lives and how we accept the changes in our lives versus how the leaves in all their beauty handle the changes in theirs. Do you shrivel up and hide in the darkness hoping for life to just go away or do you pull yourself together and walk out your door with your head held high knowing no matter how difficult life may be, it is not going to knock you down to your knees in a state of paralysis?
My friend, think about how the seasons affect the growth cycle of a leaf. During this season of fall, before they die they will show their greatest beauty and when that passes they fall to the ground and feed the soil as they disintegrate thus providing the food and nutrients the trees need to flourish and grow again.
As you think about how the seasons evolve and go through their various cycles you will see how eventually fall will turn into winter and winter back into spring where the trees will begin to grow their tiny little red blossoms that will eventually become leaves again. As the leaves grow bigger and stronger they will endure the struggles of life as well. They go through storms, droughts, winds, rain, heat, and when they are lucky they experience the perfect day of sunshine and warmth. Unfortunately, even for the leaf, this is not something it experiences every day. It experiences more days of difficulty than it does easy days but yet it remains strong enough to stay on the tree through all of its adversities until fall presents itself again.
Think about the similarities we too experience. We have times when life is just going along easily. The sun is shining and the warmth of the day allows us the ability to just breathe a sigh of relief knowing everything will be okay. Then what happens when the storms arise and darkness sets in? Drought dries us up emotionally and heavy rains leave our lives flooded and paralyzed until the sun comes back out.
How do you respond to these challenges? Do you survive as eloquently as the green leaves do or do you let go and fall to the ground to shrivel up and pass away earlier than you should have?
My friend, this is a tough analogy for us as humans to accept and to evaluate, but there is truth to it. Today’s challenge is to seriously make you think about what your life looks like. Are you the green leaf hanging on the tree limb determined to stay no matter what the weather conditions are until you can shine beautifully in the fall with your bright orange, yellow, and red colors? Or are you the green leaf that will be knocked to the ground prematurely to miss your season of beauty?
No matter how easy or difficult the spring and summers may be, the leaves continue to grow and remain green and fresh until the fall season arrives and they can show their majestic colors again. This is how God wants us to live our life. He wants us to remain strong in His loving care until our time comes to shine through showing others our true beauty. He wants us to live a life where we can continue to see the beauty of life that while not being consumed by all the adversity that surrounds us.
My friend, God wants us to look at life through the lens of a camera. Even when life is at its most fragile state. That lens has a way of showing us the beauty that hides on the other side of it. Open your heart and your eyes today to see the beauty of the fall colors that are all around you to include those that are in your life.
Lastly, remember you are as beautiful as the most beautiful leaf you have ever seen.
Today’s encouragement is coming to remind you if you are living through a difficult time and find the fear of darkness is all around you, please know you are not alone. I am here for you, to hug you, and to share with you just a little bit of our dark story right now.
I am writing with raw emotions this morning because at this time we find ourselves in a dark hole again. If our life is not chaotic enough I tried to have a conversation with someone who is important to me only to walk away absolutely crushed.
I wish my life was not so messy. I wish I had a life that was not wrought with so many medical issues. For anyone who walks in these shoes knows going to doctor appointments is time-consuming and mentally exhausting.
I was hoping after my husband’s doctor appointment that I would walk away with some relief, but instead I walked away feeling even more concerned, but instead, we find ourselves waiting until the end of the month for answers.
I am thankful we will not lose our job as I texted his boss yesterday and she asked me to not send him back to work too early so he doesn’t go out permanently. This was a huge relief since we are going without a paycheck right now. I know his position at work is valuable and the others are taking his load upon their load while he is out.
Unfortunately, my husband has a doctor appointment the same day as our dog, Shadow. Shadow is having his surgery to remove a mass on his paw that may be cancerous. We will not know if this is the case with him until they send off his mass to have it tested. For anyone who has a pet that is like a family member, you understand why this is important to us. Shadow is a purebred German Shepherd and is only three years old. He has a lot of love and life to give, so to leave a potential cancer on him is “not” an option.
Now a double day of prayers for my family on August 23rd. My husband will have his colonoscopy to determine if his surgery site in his colon has shrunk because if it has, he will need a complete, invasive, open you up surgery. This is to open up his previous surgery site and put it back together after removing the restriction sight. And Shadow will be having his surgery around the same time as his colonoscopy.
If this was not a potential cancer, I would reschedule Shadow, but I do not dare to. We do not get Tom’s results until August 29 and if he needs surgery then that will most likely take place quickly so we can get Tom back on his feet again. If I just go through with Shadow now, he can be healing or healed by the time Tom could go down.
Why? Why? Why does all of this happen to us? I just do not understand? I have been asking God to show me what I am not learning so I can finally get this figured out and move forward to a better place.
If you find you are in a similar place, please know you are not alone. It is a very dark place to be, but we will get through. We did the last time we were here and we will again, just like you will as well.
Cling to the hope of a brighter tomorrow. We all will get there. I write about these raw emotions today to not only try to process them but to show others who may be battling similar issues that you are not alone. I know for me, the feeling of being alone makes situations like these even harder and even darker.
So, my friend who is struggling today, I am sharing a hug and an ear and a shoulder to cry on. If you do not want to remain isolated in this darkness, feel free to open up in the comments below. I am here for you.