Comfort, encouragement, Image, Journey, Kindness, Life, Strength

Strong Bonds

Credit: @homelifeandencouragement.com

Friendships and sisterhood are bonds that are never broken.

When you are too tired to hold your arms up in praise and worship,

“I am here to hold them up for you. God sees your tears and hears your cries.”

Unknown Author

He sees your smile and hears your laughter. Just as He sees and hears you, so do I.

Together we stand, forever we live. 

#sisterhood

#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.

encouragement, HL&E Designs, Inspiration, Kindness, Life, Remembering, Thankfulness

Recognizing Important People

We are a few weeks away from a busy month of recognizing important people in our lives.

We have Mother’s Day coming up!

Teachers and Nurses Appreciation Weeks as well.

Do you have these important people in your lives? If you do, we are your one stop shop to make meaningful and special gifts for them.

We can customize and personalize your gift ideas. Send us a message today to allow us the time to get your gifts back to you before time runs out.

I will try to make albums this weekend with some amazing gift ideas for these 3 important recognitions, but if you have ideas, do not be afraid to ask us to make them as well.

We can be found on Instagram and Facebook as HL&E Designs. I also have a link on the right side bar.

Please consider checking us out. We can ship to US and APO/FPO addresses at this time.

Challenge, encouragement, Inspiration, Journey, Kindness

Notes of Kindness

Leaving Simple Notes

Random Acts of Kindness are investments worth making in someone who means a lot to you.

Simple notes are truly the most thoughtful gift anyone could ever give someone.

Consider leaving one for someone where they least expect it to let them know they were thought of or loved today.

The image above was the sweet and unexpected note I found on my computer after my daughter left for work today. This simple gesture put a smile on both my face and my heart.

Consider doing the same for someone you come in contact with today.

It doesn’t have to be a family member. Consider a co-worker who may be having a difficult day or the waitress who appears tired in a restaurant.

It doesn’t matter who it is for so long as you do it for someone who God puts on your heart.

Happy Note Day!
Anxiety, Believe in Yourself, Christmas, Christmas Note of Encouragement, Depression, Discouraged, Holiday, Journey, Kindness, Life, Weariness

Wrap A Loving Gift of Kindness

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Christmas Note of Encouragement

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!
Broken, Challenge, Courage, Discouraged, Encouragement Today, Journey, Kindness, Life, Motivation

Be The Sun In Someone’s Day

Encouragement Today

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Today’s Encouragement is inspired by the resilience of the American people while struggling through this catastrophic hurricane, Hurricane Florence.

“If you are feeling helpless, help someone.” Aung San Suu Kyi

It truly breaks my heart to see all the devastation occurring just south of us, but to see people helping people is a refreshing sight. It is reassuring during times as these to see people coming together from all over the Country to assist and aid in the rescue of vulnerable people who are in harm’s way.

My Friend, if you are in a place in your life where you are struggling and life seems dark and cloudy, consider helping someone else who appears to be struggling. Do you know a friend who could use to be uplifted, or do you have a neighbor who is struggling to keep up with things around the house? Do you know someone who has been sick and could use a few groceries, but is too weak to go out and get them? Do you know someone who recently lost a loved one or someone dear to them? Consider buying some random flowers and taking them to their door. There is a need for help, but we just need to open up our own eyes to see that it is all around us. 

All to often, we get trapped in our own little worlds that we forget there is a great big one just outside our own window. My friend, consider opening up the curtains in your house and raising the blinds that have you isolated from those around you and consider reaching out to someone today to bring a smile to their face and to spread just a little bit of sunshine on their dark and gloomy day. 

It really does not take much effort. If you are not a person who feels comfortable doing this, then consider something as simple as smiling at a total stranger who is least expecting it and see what it does for them. It is just a small and simple gesture but can hold a massive amount of weight. It can hold so much weight that it may even be the difference between someone caring about life and not caring.

There is truly something healing and refreshing when you take the time to help someone else. Reach out to someone who is in need of a smile, a word of encouragement, or some physical work done because they are not able to do for themselves.

A simple act of kindness has a tremendous amount of healing power, be that source of help and encouragement to someone else today.
Anxiety, Challenge, Character, Encouragement Today, Journey, Kindness, Life, Peace, Rest

Relax and Rest in The Peace of Choosing Kindness

Encouragement Today and Weekend Reminder

design-189Today’s inspiration is coming from a scene I witnessed at the store the other day.

Today’s is a two-fold lesson; one, it shows how kindness and respect to others lead us to a peace and two, how our children are always watching us to see how we respond and react in difficult situations.

I believe when we do these simple acts of kindness they will bring us a sense of peace.

I witnessed a mom being extremely disrespectful to a store employee immediately after this worker helped her resolve a problem. I could not believe what I was seeing or hearing. I did not miss anything that led up to it because I was there the entire time. The store employee did nothing to be rude or disrespectful to this shopper, but this shopper was extremely ugly to her afterward.

As I stood there in disbelief, I realized she had two young teenagers with her and my disbelief quickly turned to disgust because her children were watching and seeing everything going on. Through this experience, she taught her children it is completely alright to treat others with disrespect and tell them whatever is on your mind.

This employee did “nothing” wrong. She just did her job (as this lady was told nicely several times as she continued to cause her ugly scene).

My friends, there is a time and place where you stand up for something you feel or believe in, however, I do not believe it is ok to do it disrespectfully or in anger. It is never okay to be rude or disrespectful to others to make yourself feel or look good. I think back to what I was taught when I was younger. If you do not have something nice to say, then do not say anything at all.

As I look back at what I witnessed, how much stress did this person cause herself by being ugly? It takes a lot of energy out of you to act angry and mean. If she had just continued to take care of her business and let the employee continued to do her job, none of that stress would have ever happened.

Today’s reminder is to consider your words and actions every time you use or show them. They can either create a peace or they can cause stress and anxiety in our hearts. Relax and rest in the peace of choosing kindness today.

Lastly, please, please, please, remember if you have children, no matter how old they are, they are watching your every move. Every word and every action you use is teaching them the way to respond when they are faced with difficulties in their lives. Teach them appropriately and responsibly how to handle any given situation.

Today’s weekend reminder is to remind you peace leads to rest. Think about how you react and respond to others. If you are courteous, polite, and kind, you will feel better about yourself and will feel more peace within your heart as well.

Rest in Your Peace Today!
Comfort, Encouragement Today, Image, Journey, Kindness, Life, Peace

Reach Out A Hand Today

Encouragement Today

Today’s encouragement was inspired from this quote,

“A word of encouragement during a failure is worth more than an hour of praise after success.” Unknown Author

Do not be afraid to encourage someone who you see is struggling or is having a hard day. You may be the only person to notice or even take the next big step to say something nice to them. There is power in a simple kind word or gesture.

Choose today to be the light to someone’s dark tunnel. Be the sun to their rainy day. Allow them to see your love which will provide them the hope for a brighter tomorrow.

If you are the one in need of encouragement please feel free to leave a comment below and I will reach out to you as well.

Everyone needs to feel the love and hope that even during our darkest days, there is someone willing to reach out a hand to say, “I am here, how can I help you?”

Always remember… you are Enough!
Encouragement Today, Journey, Kindness

Live Your Life As To Make A Difference

Encouragement Today

Today’s random thought is to be kind to those you encounter.

Be kind to those you see on the street.

Be kind to those at the store.

Be kind to those at work.

Be kind to those at school.

It does not matter where your travels take you in the course of the day, be kind to everyone you meet.

“If speaking kindly to plants helps them grow, imagine what speaking to a human will do.” Author Unknown

You never know what a person may be going through or what the pain they are in may be.

Be compassionate because you may be the only kind person this person may see all day.

Live your live as to make a difference because one day you may be in need of the kind person in return.

Bible, Challenge, Encouragement Today, Journey, Joy, Kindness, Life

Strangers Helping Strangers

Encouragement Today

design-132I am going to share a wonderfully encouraging story about when humanity does the right thing. I just wish this was something I did not have to write about because to write about it means it is something that does not happen regularly anymore.

I spend a lot of time on the road going between doctor appointments, errands, and taking my Kiddo back and forth to work.

Yesterday afternoon as I was driving home there had been a drawbridge lift which stopped the flow of traffic. Once the traffic started moving again, I observed an older gentleman whose truck broke down and he was trying to push it off to the side of the road while the intense traffic continued to swerve around him.

As I realized what was happening I noticed there was a semi truck behind him and was concerned it could become a bad situation for this man. I became relieved when I realized the semi truck driver was not going to go around him. Instead, he used his truck as a shield to protect this gentleman as well as he helped this older man push his truck out of the road. I was awestruck because not only did the semi-truck driver offer his help but so did two other drivers. They went out of their way by pulling off the side of the road to purposely help this stranded man.

This touched my heart because you do not see this anymore. I spend so much time on the road with mean drivers that to see this random act of kindness brought a moment of peacefulness to my heart. God has a command for us to do this, but most people do not.

“Do to others as you would have them do to you.” Luke 6:31 NIV

God wants us to treat others as we want to be treated. This was a beautiful example of this. Man helping man. Young men helping an older man. This was the true meaning of helping others.

I am going to present a challenge for you today to think about what you can do to help someone and brighten their day by a few kind words or a kind gesture.

Life is fragile and unpredictable and we never know when we could find ourselves in a position of needing someone to encourage us or even help us. Think about and watch for an opportunity to help someone else today.

Feel free to leave a comment below if you have a wonderful story where you witnessed a wonderful random act of kindness as well.