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.
My friend, do you ever feel like you are alone, just walking through life in the shadows of those around you?
Do you look at people and find yourself envious because they have friends and relationships and you do not?
Do you struggle believing you do not have them because you are not friendly enough or outgoing enough? You are not happy enough or have enough “things” to offer? You do not have enough money (as if that buys friendships and relationships)? You believe you are not loving, gentle, kind, humble, or empathetic enough?
My friend, I am here to remind you today those are lies the enemy tells you. I have felt them, all of them. Who am I kidding? If I am going to write a blog about being honest and sharing the real and raw feelings of life, then I need to admit I still feel this way. I am like you; I listen to the lies the enemy tells me. I listen to when he tells me…
• I am a nobody. • I am ugly. • I am fat (ok… that might be an over exaggeration… more like squishy as my daughter told me when she was a tiny tot.) • I am a failure. • I am inadequate. • I am lazy (because I don’t work outside of our home). • I am worthless. • I am “just a mom” (as if this is a bad thing, which I know in my heart it is not).
Oh, my friend, that word “just” has way too much power. No one is “just” at anything. No matter what you do or who you are, never let that word “just” define you. You ARE the BEST of what you do or who you are.
You ARE THE BEST… • Husband • Wife • Dad • Mom • Doctor • Nurse • Lawyer • Writer • Police Officer • Teacher • Waitress • Landscaper • Janitor
This list is endless. The point I am trying to make is that no matter who you are or what you do, you are important! Your life matters and you matter to others even if you do not know it.
The enemy does not want you to see your value or your worth. He wants to keep you in a state of being unbalanced because this keeps you weak and dependent upon him instead of allowing you the time to focus on your Heavenly Father, who created you perfectly.
God wants me to show you that you are valuable and important. He wants you to see that you do matter to others (even when you do not feel it or see it).
My friend, I am writing today to show how much I struggle with the same struggles you do. I feel the same loneliness and the same inadequacies as you, but God has been working on my heart over the past few months. He keeps showing me the darkness I have lived for almost ten years is not the darkness I have to stay in.
I want to remind you today, both you and I are important to others even if we do not know it. Every person you encounter leaves a mark on their heart. Some people you may invest in a relationship with and some people you may never see again, but with every action, deed, or act of kindness you share, it leaves a seed planted on the heart of every person you met.
I have a sweet friend who became a friend because she was initially the stranger who lived next door. She was a stranger who I would see coming and going from our homes and one day those coming and goings forged a friendship that went beyond the simple gesture of a wave or head nod and greeting of the day.
Over time our friendship grew, and our simple respectful gestures became more about how to help each other. Her sweet husband would help me edge my yard so it would look beautiful from week to week. They helped me clean up my back yard from a hurricane, which I left for because my husband was deployed to Iraq and my daughter was only five years old. When I left it was a destructive category five hurricane with a direct impact for where we lived. I had to keep my daughter and pets safe, so we went inland and stayed with another sweet friend until the storm passed.
One of my hardest deployment stories that sealed our friendship was the day I sat in my driveway with my car loaded with everything of possible value (both physical and sentimental) and I looked at my house with tears falling down my cheeks believing I would never see it ever again. I was leaving everything we had worked hard for behind to be destroyed by a strong category five hurricane and when I came home again, I would have to dig through the pieces of our life to find what was left.
So, as I sat in my driveway I prayed over our home. I prayed for God to protect it. I prayed for God to keep the roof on it to protect the contents inside. I prayed for God to spare every shingle on the roof and the siding on every wall to include even the shutters on my windows. God tells us to ask for even the smallest of details, so I took him literal. I did just this.
After I felt I had done all I could do and prayed all I could pray, I drove out of my driveway to leave our world behind in order to protect our lives. I even left my neighbors, who were not evacuating, behind and even prayed for their safety as well.
It was with a tear-soaked face and a heavy heart that we drove out of our neighborhood and headed inland to a safer place with a dear friend whose husband was also deployed with mine in Iraq.
The storm came and left and God weakened the storm to a strong category one and a weak category two by the time it arrived. My house stood firm and whole. God honored my prayer and kept my home safe. Not one shingle, not one piece of siding, not one gutter, nor one shutter was torn from my house. It remained strong and firm, just as I had left it.
However, my backyard, which I forgot to pray about, was a different story. My backyard was a war zone. The backyard where my daughter played all the time was something that could not be recognized. I lost trees and crazy amounts of tree limbs and pine straw was thrown over every inch.
I tell you this story because it was a simple gesture of love and kindness that sealed my friendship with my sweet neighbor next door. They had the same mess in their yard as I did, but they tirelessly worked to clean up my yard so when I came home my daughter would not be traumatized by her back yard and that she would feel safe to play back there in the future.
They shared pictures with me while I was gone and knew there was no way I could come home to that destruction. They worked tirelessly for a couple of days to get my yard to something I could manage when I came home. They cut up the trees and took the pieces to the curb for me. They bagged and bagged up debris to get it out of my yard and put it all to the curb so when I came home, the hardest part of what I would have to do was done.
My friends, their random act of kindness to help “me”, just little ole’ me, their neighbor next door who we liked and became friends with, went above and beyond what I would have ever dreamed they would do for me.
Tell me your life doesn’t matter. Tell me you do not make a difference. Tell me your life does not impact others. I will tell you no… it does matter. You do make a difference. You are touching the lives of others.
You may not always see it, but in time God will reveal to you the lives you will touch.
I am writing today to share just when you think you are not making the difference in people, you are. You are touching the lives of everyone around you.
I have had a couple instances in the past couple of weeks now where God revealed to me that I am touching lives and I never knew it.
I shared a picture above of a beautiful handmade quilt and matching bag that was made especially for me by the sweet friend whom I spoke about who cleaned my yard from the hurricane. She is no longer my neighbor next door because they moved away, but our friendship has not diminish.
I did not expect to receive this beautiful quilt and bag and even part of me said, “why me?” What did I do to deserve this special gift for absolutely no reason? Why would someone pour their heart and soul into making such a beautiful gift for me?
My friend, this beautiful gesture was done because of a life I touched over the years even though I never knew it. Just because you do not see the lives you are touching does not mean they are not being touched. Be yourself. Do not try to be someone you are not, but more importantly, do not believe the negative lies the enemy tells you. Turn your eyes upward and allow God to show you what to do and what to believe. That is where your truth will lay.
Today, I will close by encouraging you to reach out to someone and share a random act of kindness with them. It will touch their lives and their heart forever.
“Whenever you find yourself doubting how far you can go; just remember how far you have come. Remember everything you have faced, all the battles you have won, and all the fears you have overcome.” -Unknown
You’ve got anything life can throw your way.
God has empowered you with the strength, determination, and endurance to battle what lays ahead.
Remember, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” Psalms 46:1 ESV.
Take one step at a time and lean on God for your strength as well as your refuge.
One day you will look back on today and give God the praise for helping you get through it.
“Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.” James 1:12 ESV.
Hang in there and know, whatever you may be going through, it will not last forever.
I am here to encourage you today to do something that is inspirational, motivational, and makes you happy.
I challenge you to find a time to allow peace and harmony in your life today. At some point to allow yourself to breathe and find a place of rest. Even if it nothing more than taking a quick break at work. Take a quick walk. Listen to your favorite song or music. Try a few breathing techniques. It doesn’t matter what you do so long as you take the time to find that place of peace and harmony you need to get you through the day.
Dream big and reach for what motivates you. Consider that job promotion that would have scared you before. Consider that class you have always wanted to take, or simply reach for the stars. Dream bigger than what you believe is possible as that is where God will reach you and give you the strength to achieve them.
Lastly, have the courage to conquer your fears. Place your faith over your fear and reach for what allows you to grow spiritually, emotionally, and mentally. You will never regret what you strive for. You will only regret what you do not reach for.
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Selah” Psalms 46:1-3 ESV
My Friend, God is there to give you the strength you need in your time of weakness. Do not let your circumstances consume you.
Take each and everyone to the person who can take them away, the one who is the master in lifting our burdens and making a way to get through the day to day.
Today is the day where we should be able to rest from the craziness of the week.
I know for many of us, however, today is the day in which we try to catch upon our house chores, the dishes, the laundry, the grocery shopping, and the kids youth activities, but I want to remind you of the importance to make some time to rest in order to refresh your mind, body, and soul.
God reminds us how important this is or He wouldn’t have it in the Bible.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28 NIV
Consider this, My Friend. You will not regret it. Give your body and your mind this much needed down time.
There are many days in life where we find it is overwhelming due to the busyness that surrounds us while living with the realization there is never enough time to get everything done that is required of us. Do you ever feel this way?
You know those days where you struggle to open your eyes first thing in the morning because you were up all night with a sick child or a newborn baby. You were up all night finishing that project for school, college, or work because it had a deadline first thing in the morning. Lastly, you were up all night working a night shift and you are completely exhausted and can barely hold your eyes open now it is the morning.
My friend, I am here to encourage you today to open your eyes while taking some time to appreciate, both physically and literally, the life that passes you by every day. I want you to actively seek the things that bring joy to your heart, but you have no time to look for it or to see it for all the chaos you struggle with from day to day.
There are many days where we function by just going through the motions and barely surviving, but today is not going to be this day. Today you are going to concentrate on looking for the things which brings you joy. Whether it is a sight, sound, or feeling, it does not matter. What matters is that you are actively looking for it while you go about your day.
Today’s challenge is to begin by asking God to help you seek the joys of your heart. The joys you forgot you had due to being so busy that your life has passed you by. I want you to physically ask Him to show you the things that inspire and encourage you.
God will honor your request by opening your eyes to what you need, but you must simply ask.
“But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.”John 11:22 NIV
God tells us if we need something to simply ask Him for our every need, just as you would do to your Earthly parents. I know all too many times we forget how simple this is to do or how important it is to do, but He promises to listen. Today, you will break this mold and will ask for the desires of your heart. The desire to find the joy you hold but have been too busy to experience.
“Ask the Lord your God for a sign, whether in the deepest depths or in the highest heights.” Isaiah 7:11 NIV
I am an advocate of asking God for a physical sign, because I always joke about how He made me and knows I function better if I have something concrete to hold on to. Well, here, my friend, He tells us we can ask for something physical to hold on to. Ask Him today to show you physically the joys of your heart. Ask Him specifically for the flower you love, or that specific sound or song, or person. I do not know what the desires of your heart are, but I know that God knows each and everyone of them just as He knows how many hairs are on your head.
“And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.” Matthew 10:30 NIV
If God knows how many hairs are on our heads then He knows what brings us joy, even if we, ourselves have forgotten.
My friend, today I am reminding you to simply ask God to open your eyes and your heart to be blessed with what brings joy to your life.