Blessings, Encouragement Today, Gratitude, Holiday, Inspiration, Life, Remembering, Thankfulness, Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Blessings

I am wishing everyone a special message of Thanksgiving today.

To those who will celebrate with joy as well as those who will struggle with loneliness and pain, I am sending you my love, peace, and encouragement that today will be a day to celebrate or a day to reflect and be thankful for the blessings you have.

Happy Thanksgiving to each and one of you.

Feel free to share below your thankful blessings today.
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I will begin by being thankful for each one of you who encourage me to keep this page going. I am blessed that God has given me this blog to encourage you all when you need it the most. Big Hugs to each one of you. ❤️

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Honoring The Service of Our Veterans

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Thank you to all who have served to protect our Country and our Freedoms.

If you ever question the state of our Country and all her faults, consider living outside of it. You will quickly realize the full impact of her worth when you do.

I am blessed and honored to know so many people who have served, respected, and honored her. Thanks to all of you and the sacrifices you have made, she remains a great Nation.

To all my Veteran Friends today, I salute you!!

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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.

Christmas, Holiday, Journey, Life, Remembering

Today Is The Day To Make Memories

Christmas Note of Encouragement

Yesterday was a day of relief and one of reflection. Kiddo and I went to our local mall to return a text book she rented for a college class. We are both relieved to know, after an extremely difficult first semester with her being so sick a lot of it, that she finally finished it.

As we went in the book store, we saw their children’s Christmas books and stopped to look at the collection they had on display. When I saw this book, “The Night Before Christmas” because it is our all time favorite Christmas book.

It is hard to believe she is all grown up and days of the past, are but memories now. Where does time go?

My friend, take some time this holiday season to makes some memories for the years to come. Do not get so busy in the busy that you forget to include the people who are important to you.

“Today is the day to make the memories of your future.” Unknown Author
Your kids will not be little for ever. You will appreciate the time you shared today in the years toco e when you only have your memories to cling to. What are you favorite holiday books? Leave a comment below.

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The Struggles of Important Days

Encouragement Today

silhouette of man standing near body of water
Photo by Andrii Nikolaienko on Pexels.com

As I scrolled through my Facebook and Instagram accounts first thing this morning and saw all the sweet Father’s Day messages and memories.

However, God placed it on my heart to write to those people who may not have those memories or that sweet and magical relationship with their father.

Unfortunately, there are many dads who fall short in being that parent God designed them to be. As a result, the pain of today can run deep instead of being a day of sweet memories and time spent with your dad. 

I am truly sorry as you struggle to get through today when the media has bombarded us with what society has set for a standard of what the “perfect” dad is like and who he is supposed to be.

If you are struggling with terrible memories that haunt you instead of memories that bless or inspire you, my encouragement for you is to be strong my Friend, knowing today will not last forever.

Take the day, instead of sitting in the hardship and go out to make sweet memories with your kids (if you are a dad). If you are not a dad, look in your heart and see if there are people in your life who did take you under their wing and guided you and loved you when they did not have to. Consider calling them or visit them and express your appreciation for the love they shared with you and how much it meant or means to you.

Unfortunately, there are still those people who will find even the latter of these difficult because parental figures just let you down at every turn. Today, I encourage you to just get out of the house and go do something you enjoy. Go out for a long run or go to the beach. Are you a hiker? Then hit the trails. It does not matter what your favorite thing is so long as you get out of the house and use your favorite activity as a distraction to get through the day.

My friend, I know personally how hard days like today can be and how lonely you may feel. Please know that you are not alone. There are many people who know your hidden pain. They may not talk about it openly, but they know how ugly and real the pain is.

It is my prayer that you do not get lost or stuck in this pain and that you can stand up tall and strong and fight back against the hurt and even the tears rising above all the wrongdoings of your memories.

To those of you who are struggling today, know that you are not forgotten. There will be a special prayer in my heart for those of you who may need them to get through today.

Stand tall and strong, you have the strength to get through this difficult day!

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Remembrance and Reflection

Memorial Day

A day for reflection and remembrance.

Today is not a day for fireworks or partying. It is a day for remembering those brave men and women who sacrificed their lives for our Nation.

Be sure to take the time to reflect on those who lost their lives defending the freedoms which our Nation protects.

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Remembering Our Fallen

Encouragement Today

All gave some and some gave all.

This Memorial Day weekend take some reflect upon those who have given all so that we can live in the land of the free.

The freedoms we continue to take for granted everyday does not come without a cost. The cost is our brave men and women who have sacrificed their lives for us. Please remember, freedom is not free.

This Memorial Day a word comes to mind and it is an appropriate one for the holiday. It is the word Valor.

Valor is defined as this…

val·or

noun

great courage in the face of danger, especially in battle.

Our brave men and women experienced the true definition of valor before they lost their lives. They all died hero’s because of the valor they displayed for the battles they fought.

This weekend consider remembering our fallen Service Members. Say an extra prayer for the families they left behind. They are the ones whose hearts will always be broken.

As a Veteran I say this with the utmost respect, but please seek out a Gold Star family (a family who has experienced the loss of their Service Member) who knows and experiences the loss of their loved one every single day and show them respect they deserve. Consider offering to help if they have a need.

This weekend is not about recognizing the Veteran or Active Duty Service Member, it is about recognizing those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice by giving their life for their Country.

Take some time to reflect this weekend on the sacrifices many have paid.

Blessings, Encouragement Today, Journey, Kindness, Peace, Remembering

Honoring My Dad’s Memory

Encouragement Today

D2E89B84-2578-4BCE-90FA-CC31FE178EA8I am writing today with a heavy heart because it marks the 10 year anniversary of my sweet dad’s death.

It doesn’t seem possible that my dad has been gone for so long. He seems so alive in my heart, my mind, and my thoughts. Not a day goes by without thinking of him or saying something that he would find funny or finding myself using one of his many beloved phrases.

I absolutely love the times when God blesses me with someone who either looks like him or has his same mannerisms. I never take these moments for granted. I feel so blessed for the brief encounter, as I feel like I have spent that time with my dad. I am sure that seems weird, but I believe God meets our specific needs in life in mysterious ways. I may not even realize I needed that moment with my dad, but I never walk away without feeling thankful for it.

I can remember one day vividly when God gave me one of these brief moments in the grocery store last year. I was having a tough day and I was in the produce isle. I had noticed this sweet gentleman who had the same stocky figure wearing a flannel shirt similar to what my dad would have worn. As I noticed his face, my bewilderment only grew deeper. Oh my gosh, he had the same hair color, the same hair cut and similar glasses to what my dad had worn. No, this couldn’t be possible? This man looked so much like my dad, he could have been a twin.

I couldn’t believe my eyes. I completely lost focus on what I was doing and discretely watched him in complete amazement. As I continued to watch him, I learned that not only did he look like my dad, but even had the same gentle mannerisms. All I could do was thank God for my brief encounter with my dad.

It was a moment in life I could never have planned for, hoped for, but yet God allowed me to experience and I will always hold that experience in my heart as a sweet memory and moment in time.

My friend, you may never know how you will touch or impact someone else’s life because He places people in our lives and we may never even know it. This gentleman will never know how much he touched my heart that day in the produce isle of a grocery store. Likewise, the sweet nurse at my dad’s nursing home will never know how much she touched mine and my mom’s heart the day she left a fresh white rose on my dad’s bed.

See, what you don’t know about my story is that my dad had to be put into a nursing home because he was having debilitating seizures as a result of his traumatic brain injury he sustained during the Vietnam War. This brain injury brought on early onset dementia and as the years went on, my dad forgot who I was, except for the last day I saw him. There was a moment on his last day that he looked at me and called me by the nick name he had given me when I was a child. I will never forget that sweet moment. God blessed me with this special time because I could never have asked or wished for it.

When we left him we knew he wasn’t doing well, but my mom wasn’t prepared to stay the night because she didn’t have her own medicine she would have needed to take that night and even the next day, so we knew choosing to rent a hotel room to stay with him wasn’t an option that day. Mom lived an hour and half away from him to include you had to drive through the mountains to get to there. Where mom lived, it could be raining, but during the winter months, you could encounter a severe snow storm going through the mountains, which is what happened that night to us after we got home. The weather forecast the night after we left my dad was for not only a snow storm but an ice storm too. Unfortunately, the forecast stood true. When we got up this morning 10 years ago my mom received a phone call from my dad’s nurse to tell her it was only a matter of time before he passed and there was nothing we could do. Had it only stayed a snow storm we would have trekked through the snow and the mountains to get to my dad, but with the ice, it was too dangerous. We couldn’t, we just couldn’t get back to my dad. It breaks my heart to have not been with him the day he died, but we couldn’t risk our lives to get back there. Thankfully, God knew our hearts and He knew we would have been there if we could have been. I believe He knew that which is why not only did we have a snowstorm, but God stepped up the storm making it an ice storm too. He knew we would have attempted to get through the snow storm to get to my dad.

This is why we didn’t get back to the nursing home to find that precious white rose until the day after my dad died. To the nurse who went above and beyond your job by leaving that pretty white rose on my dad’s bed for my mom, thank you! Your thoughtfulness to think of this will be forever embedded in my heart.

As I am remembering my dad today, my encouragement is to remind you that life is precious and valuable. If you still have your parents consider going to them today and give them a hug and tell them you love and appreciate them. If you are like me, and you don’t live close to them, try calling and tell them this same thing.

If you do not have your parents any longer consider this simple thought as you are out and about living your life and possibly doing something as mundane as running errands, you will never know how much your actions or gestures could touch someone else’s life. People are always watching us, even though you likely will never know it. Be mindful today of your actions whether they are with your family or friends or total strangers. Allow God to use you today to touch someone’s life. You may never know it, but you could leave a lasting impact on someone today so allow yourself to be that blessing God has planned for someone else.

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Remembering Our Fallen

Arlington Cemetary at Christmas

Christmas Encouragement

December 16, 2017

With all the joy and cheer around this time of the year, we often forget about those whose pain never goes away.

These are the people who have experienced the loss of a loved one. No matter how much they want to move on, their heart always aches for the person whom they have loved and lost.

I have chosen to honor a special group of people today, this being our Military Hero’s who have sacrificed their own lives defending our Nation. 

Today a group of volunteers are gathering to place a Christmas wreath on each Service Members grave as a symbol of respect and remembrance during this Christmas Holiday Season.

This is a beautiful token of Christmas spirit. One which we could all learn from. If you are able to Volunteer with such an activity, consider doing so. I believe in my heart it will forever touch your heart.

 

Blessings, Challenge, Christmas, Christmas Note of Encouragement, Holiday, Journey, Joy, Life, Remembering

Relationships Cultivate Happiness

Relationships Cultivate Happiness

Nurture Your Relationships and Friendships

Christmas Encouragement
December 11, 2017

F2C4E976-A72D-4A3E-A5E7-45E41E5F0C08During this Christmas season do not allow the busy holiday season consume you to the point you forget to nurture your relationships and friendships.

It is easy to get so consumed by the shopping, party planning, Christmas school programs, dance recitals, office parties, and more, that we forget to take the time to remember those people who bring us joy and happiness all through the year, our relationships with family and friends.

If this reminder touches your heart today, consider this challenge, send off a random thinking of you text or make the time to call your loved one and tell them you love them and have been thinking of them. 

This simple task produces a joy and happiness through the words and feelings of knowing you were thought of. Share that joy and happiness today with your special people in your life. By doing so, you will experience the same happiness in return.

Merry Christmas🎄!