#Findingyourcourage, Bravery, Challenge, Courage, Encouragement Today, Faith, Image, Inspiration, Journey, Keeping It Real, Life, Peace, Real, Strength

God Is Able

Credit: @homelifeandencouragement.com

Today’s Encouragement is a simple and straight forward reminder that God is able.

God is able to…

  • Turn tears into joy.
  • Turn sorrow into happiness.
  • Turn fear into peace.
  • Turn weariness into hope.
  • Turn anxiety into strength.
  • Turn dreams into reality.
  • Turns faith into confidence.

No matter where life finds you, God is there and He is able.

If he can create all He created out of nothing, then He can help you with whatever struggles you may be facing.

Besides, remember this… He created you. If he created you out of nothing, does He not know you intimately already?

Cling to these simple words to get you through today… He Is Able.

#Findingyourcourage, #Keepingitreal, Bible, Bravery, Courage, Encouragement Today, Hope, Inspiration, Journal Journey, Journey, Keeping It Real, Life, Peace

Reclaiming Peace When The Storm Blows You Off Course

Credit: @Home. Life. Encouragement

Journaling Journey

Living with chaos is extremely stressful to me. It takes nothing to blow me off course. Let the winds shift and my sails change direction, and away I go, in totally the wrong direction.

For anyone who has followed me for a while, you can tell, based on my writing and how often I post as to whether my life became chaotic and whether it shifted courses.

My Friend, does this happen to you as well?

Do you just plug along doing everything the same way, but one day you wake up and your spouse or your child is sick?

Maybe one day you go to work and you find out your position is no longer needed or you have been fired, but you have no reason or clue as to why.

I have had similar situations happen to me, but the later happened to my husband. These life events rocked my world and have the power to still shift my sails sending me in the wrong direction.

I want to encourage you today, if you too have experienced life changing events that left you feeling like you are treading on the water just praying you will survive, I am here to encourage you with this truth, you will survive.

Credit: @homelifeandencouragement.com

I found three keys to this survival are God, family, and home.

God will give you the strength to sustain you during this difficulty. He promises to never leave or forsake us in Deuteronomy;

“Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread offor it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.””

Deuteronomy 31:6 ESV


No matter how tough you find your life to be or how chaotic it has become, God will give you the strength to sustain you circumstances.

I also found that despite how stressful our life becomes, it is imperative to keep your family together. I know how strained your relationships can become, but you need to remember the importance they are despite the difficulty of your situation.

Do not allow the wedge of difficulty to damage or destroy your family relationships. They will be there when life calms down and the chaos resolves.

Be sure to take the time to still invest in your relationships. Take the time to talk (and listen) with your heart. Take the time to hear how they are affected or impacted by your circumstances.

Take some time to reconnect on a regular basis and they will be there when the winds blow you back on course again.

Lastly, a lesson I recently learned was the power your home has to giving you a safe haven to be when chaos tries to consume you.

I found by investing in cleaning, organizing, and decorating, it has given me a renewal for finding my place of contentment when life spins out of control.

My friend, if you invest love and energy back into your home, it will offer a healing of your mind and body because it will help to distract you from the stress and chaos you may be living and will offer a safe haven from the world as well.

I found tremendous truth to this quote by an unknown author;

A house is built by hands, but a home is built by heart.

Invest your heart today into building your home. You will experience a release of the stress and pressure you have been carrying. In turn you will also be investing back into your family because they will have a safe and loving place to live in.

It is my hope and prayer if you find yourself in a season of chaos and difficulty that you will find some peace today.

Do not allow your circumstances to consume you. Give your every concern to God today and allow Him to carry the weight you have been carrying. You will be thankful if you do.

Enjoy your day today!

Blessings, Holiday, Image, Inspiration, Journey, Joy, Keeping It Real, Life, Love, Parenting

Recognizing My Daughter Today

It is National Daughter’s Day

I am recognizing my sweet daughter for National Daughter’s Day.

I love you Kiddo. Your heart is a sweet and gentle one. You are fun loving and I just love your sense of humor. You always know how to make me laugh at just the right times.

God has special plans for your life and although it is busy now and isn’t always easy for you, one day it will all be worth it.

I love you Katarine!! You make me proud to be you momma!

Comfort, Decorating, Holiday, Inspiration, Journey, Keeping It Real, Life

Sharing Fall Vibes

This image is my favorite fall display. It is on my counter by my kitchen sink. I spend a lot of time here and just love the coziness of this little corner.

Hey Y’all, I am popping in to share quickly some simple fall decorating ideas with you.

Do you like to decorate for fall, but get lost in the feeling you have to go over the top, so you choose to do nothing instead?

My friends, I want to remind you that sometimes the simpler you decorate, the prettier your room will be.

This is a simple decoration I have on my little table at my communication area. This is a simple but sweet decoration whether it is during the day or at night. See next image for what it looks like when the lights are on.

I went through my house the other day and took a few pictures of some simple things I have done, and wanted to share them because bring such a sense of peace to my home.

I shouldn’t tell you this, but it took me three days to decorate. One night I put my decorations out just to put it out and then spent the following days rearranging to my decor to get the look I was striving for. So if you do the same, you are not alone.

It took me this long because my life was crazy busy that week. I took small opportunities to rearrange my decor as I had the time to do so. So if you find yourself in the same situation, be comforted because you can still decorate even if you are busy. Just do it as you have time.

This is an image of what my simple little jar looks like with the lights on.

It is better to decorate over a few of days than it is to get frustrated and not do it at all.

Lastly, do you have a concern that you can’t decorate because your money is tight ? If the answer is yes, then be comforted to know you can decorate with what you have laying around the house.

I used my canning jars with a strand of mini lights and a few leaves and created this look. I showed a picture of what it looks like without the lights on an here is an picture of what it looks like with the lights on.

This simple display is beside the chair I sit at in our media room. It provides a soft and festive fall feeling in the darkness of night.

This display to the right is similar to the above image because it too uses a large jar that I use year round and simply added lights and a few flowers and simply added some flowers and pumpkins to the table beside them.

These are a couple examples of how you can decorate for fall using everyday items as well as a few flowers, leaves, pumpkins, and lights to make a beautiful fall display.

Consider thinking outside the box and your fall decor will be simplistic, but still beautiful.

My favorite fall sent in cleaning supplies this fall is Acorn Spice.

I will attach a few of my favorite fall cleaning supplies as well as my favorite fall tart scents.

Fall Cleaning supplies would be Mrs. Meyers Acorn Spice  12.5 Oz Hand Soap, 16 Oz Dish Soap, 16 Oz Multi-Surface Cleaner, 4.9 Oz Candle.  Be sure to order quickly as their supplies are running out quickly. You can also purchase these in your local Target as well. 

My favorite seasonal Tart this fall is this; Better Homes & Gardens 2.5 oz Mahogany and Sandalwood Scented Wax Melts. “This fragrance is filled with the smell of warm mahogany, aromatic birch wood, crisp juniper berry, and fresh green balsam shimmer with fragrant herbs, touches of sparkling citrus, and smooth sandalwood, all wrapped around sage and sweet moss.” (Walmart.com description) This is a sweet smell when surrounded by the comforts of your fall decorations and creates a warm and inviting setting.

Disclaimer, I am not being sponsored by either Grove Collaborative, Walmart, or Target by promoting the above products. I am simply sharing these products because I am extremely pleased with them at this time.

#Findingyourcourage, #Keepingitreal, Burn out, Discouraged, encouragement, Exhausted, Journey, Keeping It Real, Weariness

Life Is Real, The Struggles Are Too

Just throwing some real life out there….

So all before 7:45am I have the cleanest smelling house in my community.

I managed to discover my hot water heater is leaking right after I opened up a fresh new bottle of bleach. As I discovered some wet stuff on some things in my laundry room, I left my bleach sitting on my dryer and went to get a bowl to put under the leaky hot water heater (as it is a little guy who is elevated above my head). While I was getting my bowl I heard something fall. I returned to my laundry room (which is off our carpeted family room) to find my bleach on the carpet spilling out with 3/4 of it emptied on my carpet. 😪

Now I am totally frustrated as I was hurried to get a few things done before trying to get some work done before Kiddo has her 2nd of 5 appointments between today and tomorrow afternoon.

Now my carpet is ruined and I should get my shop vac to absorb the extra water spilling out of my hot water heater tray when all I wanted to do was get some work done.

Oh boy, turn the cheek… make lemonade out of lemons and move on. I hope God provides me a few extra hours out of my day today.

Now to try to fix my problems.

I decided to show the real and and the raw behind all the encouragement I post.

Life is a struggle and life is real.

If this resonates with you, know I am right there with ya friend.

I decided today to write about it and to share it with you with the hopes you will be encouraged knowing you are not alone with the struggles of life.

Make the best of your day!

#Findingyourcourage, #Keepingitreal, #Stepsforward, Challenge, Courage, encouragement, Goals, Grace, Inspiration, Journey, Keeping It Real, Life, Peace, Real, Strength

Functionality Reigns in The Chaos

Do you have a to do list that is so long you do not know where to begin?

If you do then you are not alone.

I have taken this week, that we didn’t have any doctor appointments, to find order in my chaos and peace in my frustrations.

I found by making my home functional that this brought me peace this week.

I came to a realization in my attempt to find “me” that the biggest waster of my time is chaos.

I found if I can reign in the chaos monster and better use my time on stuff that matters and is important, then I am in better control over my stress.

And let’s face it… (nothing against dads here at all as we all love our husbands (most days), but when mom is stressed, the whole house is usually.)

Ladies and gentlemen, we need to find where our source of stress is and we need to learn how to tame it better.

So in my new found revelation this week, you will begin to see me post more practical every day tips to help us be better stewards of our time while encouraging and motivating each other along the way.

Are you game for this inspiration?

If so, feel free to leave a comment or a symbol below in the comments and together we will learn to tame the chaos in our lives, one step, one chore, and one day at a time.

#Keepingitreal, #Stepsforward, Believe in Yourself, Encouragement Today, Gratitude, Inspiration, Journey, Keeping It Real, Kindness, Life, Rawness, Real, Self-worth, Strength, Thankfulness

The Power of Love, One Stitch at A Time

You Are Touching Lives

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.

#Findingyourcourage, #Keepingitreal, #Stepsforward, Believe in Yourself, Bible, Challenge, Courage, encouragement, Encouragement Today, Inspiration, Journey, Keeping It Real, Life, Self-worth, Strength

You Are Brave, Capable, and Loved

Encouragement Today

I have a simple reminder for you today in case you forgot…

“You are stronger than you know. More capable than you ever dreamed. And you are loved more than you could possibly imagine.” Unknown Author

Do you doubt yourself from time to time?

My friend, believe today that you are brave, capable, and loved.

Do not believe the self doubt words you tell yourself.

They are lies.

Order yours today @HL&E Designs… Price $30.00 (s/h included). To order your today,… See disclaimer below.

God made you perfect in every way.

He made you to be brave and courageous. He made you to be Bold and beautiful!

You are His handiwork.

“For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.”

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭139:13-14‬ ‭ESV‬‬

My friend, today is the day to believe in “you” and fight back against the lies you tell yourself.

Lastly, remember you are Brave, Capable, and Loved!

Disclaimer:

HL&E Designs is my business.

T-Shirt Price: $30.00 (s/h included). We accept PayPal.

If you would like to order the above t-shirt leave a comment below with your name, email, address, and shirt size.

I will send you an invoice, once you confirm your information as well as your order, you will render your payment via PayPal at that time. Upon receiving your money, I will process your order.

Your information will remain private as I will not post your order comment.

#Keepingitreal, Friendship, Image, Journey, Keeping It Real, Life, Thankfulness

Unconditional Love Is Priceless

I struggle to share my private life and I know this post is going to seem a bit weird to some who do not understand the depth in which you can love your pets, but this dog is my world.

This is my doggo, Shadow (the one with floppy ears). If you follow me on Instagram then you know how much he means to me, but to those who do not, you will quickly learn, he is my life.

We adopted this gentle guy when he was only seven months old because our sweet family friend was unexpectedly transferred to a new duty station and had been informed by the U.S. Navy that she could only take one of her sweet babies with her.

She had to make an extremely difficult decision and had to find this precious baby boy a new home. We already knew the boys because they lived across the street and so she asked my family if we would consider adopting this baby boy and give him a good home for her. She entrusted us with her most precious baby whom we agreed to adopt.

I made her a promise when we agreed to adopt Shadow that we would take the best care of him as we knew how. It didn’t take him any time to melt the hearts of our family and become one of us. As a result of his adoption, it enabled his Mommy Sarah and brother, Baby Bear, to remain in his life.

This was a win win situation. His mommy Sarah has the pleasure of seeing him as often as she comes to town while we share pictures and videos with her often. This allows her the unique opportunity to remain in his life.

Friends, if you have a special dog in your life then you will understand this statement,

Shadow is my sunshine on cloudy day.

We originally thought we would train him to be a service dog for my husband who struggles with the effects of PTSD, but it did not take long to see Shadow had a different plan.

Shadow quickly became “my” side kick. He goes on walks with me. He waits on me at every chance he gets. If I go out of sight, I know he is always there and exited to see me come back. He even loves to go for car rides every chance he gets.

He loves the rest of the family, but him and I have a unique relationship. He is truly my life (outside of my human family and friends).

“Shadow Puppy” is the bestest buddy any human could have or wish for. He has truly changed my life. He filled a void I did not realize I had.

If you have a dog in your life who has done this for you, then you understand what I mean when I say,

I truly love my dog!

He is the bestest doggo friend I could have ever wish for.

He is my life in dog form.

My friend, if you have a special pet in your life, give them an extra hug as well as an extra treat today. They earned it through their unconditional for you.

#Findingyourcourage, #Keepingitreal, #Stepsforward, Believe in Yourself, Bravery, Character, Courage, Inspiration, Journey, Keeping It Real, Life

Do Not Focus On The Steps Behind You

Life Changes, The New Journey Ahead

This week has been an emotional week as we said a temporary good bye of 2 (possibly 3) years to our sweet friend, who is like family to us.

I decided to use her time away to set some long overdue goals for myself to not necessarily rediscover myself and the person I left behind years ago, but to discover who I am today.

I have spent the past six months trying to figure out what would change look like to me and to figure out who I use to be, but instead of going back, I have discovered that isn’t the journey. The journey instead, is what is ahead of me.

I have come to realize my journey ahead is not about redeeming what I lost, but is more about using my past to mold me into who God wants me to be today.

So, it was with great sadness that I said good bye while I watched our sweet friend board that plane the other night, but it is with great hope that I look forward to who I will be when she returns to American soil and home again.

#stepsforward

#findingcourage