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.
It is my prayer you will be encouraged by this quote,
“When we remember a special Christmas, it is not the presents that made it special, but the laughter, the feeling of love, and the togetherness of friends and family that made that Christmas special.” Catherine Pulsifer
Now today is here, savor every moment while embracing it for the special day it is. If you are celebrating with your family and friends, forget about all the hard work, the frustrations, and the exhaustion it took to get here. Instead, be present enough to make new memories that will last a life time.
If you are celebrating alone, it is my prayer you will not get lost in the feeling of loneliness, instead that it will be a day of reflection on your memories of the past. I am also wishing you a quiet day of peacefulness and rest. Take some time to snuggle up with your favorite book and some hot cocoa or your favorite Christmas movie and enjoy the quietness of the day.
To my friends who are celebrating a difficult Christmas this year because you are experiencing the loss of a loved one, you especially will be in my thoughts and prayers. It is often times hard to break through the sadness in order to celebrate joyous occasions such as these. I have seen first hand how the darkness of grief can rob you of your joy during the holidays, but it is my hope this Christmas Day you will be able to see past the grief, pain, and loneliness and embrace your cherished memories of the past.
Christmas is a Holiday that brings many unpredictable emotions out of people, some are joyous while others are not, but because everyone’s life is so different, it is hard to place everyone in the same category.
Not everyone is married to the perfect spouse and has a loving family with multiple children and therefore celebrate the stereotypical perfect Christmas. Christmas is not always the “Hallmark TV” perfect Christmas because it comes with so many variations of life experiences that not everyone’s Christmas is a happy one. If you can relate to this, please know you are in my thoughts and prayers today as well.
No matter what your life experiences are and no matter if today is an easy one or a difficult one, I want you to know there is someone who can empathize with how you are feeling today. I have experienced my share of joyous and not so joyous Holidays.
In conclusion, I want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas! To those who are truly celebrating, have a happy day filled with lots of opportunities to make memories you will cherish in the years to come. If you are experiencing one of grief, sadness, or darkness, it is my prayer you will find peace in your memories of the past.
I want to share this inspiration with you this Christmas Eve Day,
”You are amazing, you are brave, you are strong.”
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.
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.
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!
Life doesn’t stop just because it is Christmas time and trials of life do not just disappear for this season, Your struggles do not know a time of day or a season of the year.
So how do you still cope with the trials of daily life while trying to enjoy the Spirit of Christmas?
Give your trials and concerns over to God allowing Him to give you the gift of “peace” for Christmas.
“Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.” 2 Thessalonians 3:16 NIV
This sounds so simple but often times, if we are honest with ourselves, forget to do it. Allow yourself a break during this season to put your trials and hardships of life on the back burner and enjoy the “Spirit of Christmas” to permeate your soul.
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.
As I was preparing my recipe for today, this popped up on my computer. I was inspired by its beauty. It is hard to believe the sounds of this beautiful song comes from the harmonizing of this group. No instrumentation is required for them to bring the sound of this to life.
I hope you enjoy it as well.
I am feeling led to share some encouraging sounds of Christmas this year. I feel by bringing back some of the simple things of Christmas helps to bring back the simplicity of the Holiday Season.
I for one, know how important this is to me this year. I only have my Christmas decorations up but have not done anything else yet. I haven’t even started shopping, this is how far behind I am. I am choosing to not look at the calendar to see how close we are to Christmas. I am trying, with every ounce of strength I have, to not stress over everything I have not done yet.
I find, if I can cling to some of the simple things of the holiday, it will help to keep me from stressing over everything I have not done.
If you find yourself where I am right now, my suggestion to you is a simple one. Just breathe! We will get through the craziness of the holiday while hoping to save the magic of the season.
Today’s encouragement is a simple one, but one I think we forget when life becomes busy.
For each new day is a fresh new start.”
It is so easy to fall into the trap of…
getting up every day
going to work every day
going home every day
running errands every day
going to school every day
Then you go home you tackle the daily life chores. It is time to wash the laundry, wash the dishes, make the meals, do the homework, prepare for the next day, and go to bed. Then the cycle begins all over again the next day.
My friend, I am here to remind you today to seize the day and look for ways to break the vicious cycle of life and make it fun and enjoyable again.
Today’s challenge is to take a step back and evaluate your life. Determine where you can add some freshness to your life, especially during this Holiday Season.
If you took some time to try this, you might be amazed at how much happier you could feel. In my humble opinion, any time you find the time to seek happiness and simplicity in your life, that makes for one of the best Christmas presents ever.
It is my prayer if you do this today, you will find some holiday cheer that will make the week to come a little more pleasurable for you.