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.
I am remembering and honoring my dad and his memory this Memorial Day weekend.
My dad passed away February 13, 2008 due to the injuries he sustained during the Vietnam War.
He selflessly joined the United States Marines to serve his Country and sustained life altering injuries that not only took years to partially recover from, but ultimately took his life from.
My dad was a “True Hero” who was brave, courageous, gentle, strong, loving, caring, and humble. He gave so much to many, to include his Country.
I am so blessed to call him my dad, while others called him husband, friend, and comrade.
He never met a stranger and his Service to our Country was what God used to make those around him respect him and honor him.
This Memorial Day, I proudly call him to everyone’s attention. He is one of many who we need to remember and honored this weekend.
There are so many Hero’s who paid the ultimate sacrifice and we need to, as a thankful Nation, remember and honor each and everyone of them.
We need to let their families and friends know that “We Will Never Forget”.
Let’s start a list to Honor and Remember them this Memorial Day Weekend. Do you know someone who paid the ultimate sacrifice? Leave their name and picture below so we can celebrate, honor, and respect them as well.
We are closing out an extremely difficult week for many people. For anyone who has followed the news or social media feeds, you are well aware of the state our world is in.
I have come to realize over the week there are many people who are struggling with anxiety and so it has inspired me to step up my game to provide you with some encouragement as well as some strategies in how to handle the crisis that is being created by staying at home all the time.
As I was pondering what would make life a bit easier, I came up with three forms of positivity you can share with yourself as well as others to ease any frustrations, fear and anxiety you may be feeling.
Here are my thoughts for today.
Have a Heart of Gratitude
This is one of the greatest components to defeating anxiety. Have you ever thought about this before? Have you ever been extremely stressed out or been full of anxiety while still being thankful for your many blessings?
I’m not sure about you, but when fear and anxiety takes root in my life, they usually place inconceivable thoughts in my head which takes over my ability to think rationally and be thankful for the positive things that occur.
Having hearts of gratitude allows you the power to drowned out the darkness and the lies fear and anxiety place in your mind.
I am not saying it will be easy, but this is how God would want us to respond to the fear, stress, and anxiety we are experiencing.
Love on Others
This may not always be easy because there are times when they lash out irrationally at us.
What we have to remember is that this inappropriate behavior is a result of their fear, stress, and anxiety and not anything you have done. Despite this knowledge, it is important for us to be loving towards others whether they are loving towards us or not.
I am not saying it will be easy, but this is how God would want us to respond.
Show Kindness To Others
I don’t know about you, but the times of my being out of the house between working, doctor appointments for my daughter, and grocery store errands, I have come in contact with my fair share of rude people.
In the beginning of the crisis it was easy for me to just turn and walk away from them, but now it is getting harder.
The rudeness is becoming more and more prevalent which is making the act of kindness more and more difficult.
It however, does not matter how rude they are because the Lord wants us to share our kindness with them anyway.
We may never know, but God can use our kind hearts to change the hard heart of their aggressive behavior and truly turn them around while softening their hearts at the same time.
Some simple ways to show kindness to others might come through a simple smile as you pass by someone. Bake some cookies and place them on your neighbor’s door step. Mow an elderly neighbor’s lawn. Assist a senior in the store or make your family’s favorite dessert and watch your favorite movie together.
An act of kindness does not need to be difficult, it just needs to come from your heart, but it can truly turn around the heart of someone who may be struggling right now.
So, in conclusion to today’s inspiration, it is important to remember no matter how frustrated, fearful, or anxious you may feel, it is possible to turn you feelings around by taking some time to focus on finding some gratitude in at least one thing that happens today. Find a loving gesture to share with someone and share an act of kindness with someone to brighten their day.
Take some time to step away from the negativity you may be experiencing and turn it into something positive.
You’ve got this. You can do this. Life will not remain this difficult and there are brighter days ahead.
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.
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. ❤️
It is so easy to get knocked down by all that life throws our way. The busyness, the relationship struggles, the soccer practices, football games, dance recitals, or work struggles; but I want to be your place of encouragement this month. I want to be that gentle reminder to look past it all and find something to be thankful for today.
I am a firm believer that if we look for bad, we will find it at every turn, but if we look for good, we will find it too, in the midst of the mud and the muck.
I will be posting daily reminders in one fashion or another to remind you to look for at least one, if not more, things to be thankful in everyday of this month.
Feel free to leave your comments below. If you would to leave them private message annotate that and I will not make your comment public.
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.
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.
“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.
He knows the plan He has for us before we even know.
When life throws us curve balls God shows us how to quickly readjust our swing in order to hit the ball.
My friend, life is hard and we do not always understand why circumstances happen, but my reminder is to look beyond the moment to see God will use this difficulty for His good, which in turn will be for ours.
Hang tight, if you are facing some difficult obstacles, lean into God.
Ask Him to provide a clarity in how your circumstances will be made new and how God will use this obstacle or difficulty for His good.
You’ve got this because ultimately, God has this.
Today, take some time to breathe while you are adjusting your swing.