#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.

#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, #Stepsforward, Believe in Yourself, Bible, Blessings, Bravery, Challenge, Character, Courage, Encouragement Today, Faith, Focus, Grace, Gratitude, Hope, Journey, Life, Motivation, Peace, Strength, Thankfulness

The Path Less Traveled

You’ve got this Friend!

 “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.

You’ve got this Friend, you’ve got this! 💜

encouragement, Gratitude, Inspiration, Journey, Life, Thankfulness

Curve Balls Call For Swing Adjustments

God is so good!

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.

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.

HL&E Designs, Inspiration, T-Shirt, Thankfulness

Thankful T-Shirt

Order yours today.

Thankful T-Shirt

Do you love to wear positive and encouraging shirts. This is a classic but timeless saying. S/H Included

$30.00

Thankful T-Shirt

Do you love to wear positive and encouraging shirts. This is a classic but timeless saying. Price $25.00 (SE Virginia Residents not requiring shipping)

$25.00

Ordering Information

Please provide us with the following information so we can begin processing your order.

Sizing Information

Cotton 100% 
Weight 5.3 Oz 

Features:
  • Classic fit
  • 7/8″ collar
  • Quarter-turned to eliminate center crease
  • Safety Green is compliant with ANSI / ISEA 107 high visibility standards
  • Tear-away label
  • Double-needle stitching throughout
  • Taped shoulder-to-shoulder
  • Seamless rib at neck
  • Ash Grey is 99% cotton, 1% polyester
  • Sunset, Safety Pink, Russet, Neon (Green, Blue), Midnight, Lilac, Blackberry, Tweed, Safety Green, S. Orange, Dark Heather, Graphite Heather, and Heather (Military Green, Radiant Orchid, Red, Sapphire) are 50% cotton, 50% polyester
  • Antique (Cherry Red, Jade Dome, Irish Green, Sapphire, Orange) and Sport Grey are 90% cotton, 10% polyester
  • 100% preshrunk cotton
encouragement, Journey, Life, Strength, Thankfulness

Thank You, Parents, For Being Present

This is a special note to all of our great parents.

baby sitting on man s shoulder
Photo by Maria Lindsey on Pexels.com

Thank you for sharing the love of a parent with your child.

Thank you for walking hand in hand with your child.

Thank you for going to all the football, baseball, soccer, field hockey, volleyball ball games and so many more.

Thank you for dressing up in the silly and fun costumes as well as going to harvest festivals.

baby touching woman s face
Photo by Daria Shevtsova on Pexels.com

Thank you for sacrificing all the hours you spend at the park.

Thank you for all the smiles and the time you take to listen to their day’s events.

Thank you for all the play dates you have planned.

Thank you for all the birthday parties you have planned.

Thank you for the hours of homework you have invested in.

Thank you for all the books you have read.

Thank you for all then unexpected trips to the Target, Walmart, or craft stores for the unexpected projects that need to be turned in the next day.

grayscale photo of baby feet with father and mother hands in heart signs
Photo by Andreas Wohlfahrt on Pexels.com

Thank you for drying the tears running down your child’s face.

Thank you for the hours of playing pretend with your child.

Thank you for playing play dough for countless hours with your children.

Thank you for all the meals you make whether they be a nutritious and wholesome meal or it is your child’s favorite of mac and cheese (because it is their favorite).

Thank you for the hours you may have spent at the doctors’ office or the emergency room.

Thank you for being you, the loving and engaged parent.

Challenge, Courage, Depression, Discouraged, Encouragement Today, Humility, Journey, Life, Strength, Thankfulness

Perspective Alters The Colors of The Weeds in Your Life

Encouragement Today

Today’s inspiration is to look beyond what you see because beauty can be found in everything and everyone if you only change your perspective.

“Weed are flowers too, once you get to know them.” A.A. Milne

Have you thought about how everything in life revolves around perspective. Depending on what your circumstances are, if you look at them from a different perspective, you could change the entire outcome.

Think about what the definition of perspective is.

per·spec·tive

pərˈspektiv/

noun

a particular attitude toward or a way of regarding something; a point of view.

If you look at a situation in your life from a pessimistic perspective, your outcome will likely have a negative outcome, however if you look at a situation from an optimistic view, you are likely to have a positive outcome.

My challenge to you is this, the next time you find yourself in a difficult situation, examine and evaluate every aspect of it. Examine how you are looking at it and evaluate where you can make the necessary changes that will change the outcome of how everything turns out.

If you tend to be a pessimistic person, consider working on how you look at your life. If you could take one small step at a time to change the view in which you look at your difficulties, you will be amazed at how much different everything will look.

My friend, take the weeds in your life and consider looking at them as the most beautiful flowers you have ever seen. Think about them in a field. You can look at a beautiful field covered in the yellow of buttercup flowers or a brilliant orange from the Indian paintbrush flowers, but think about how nice they would look if they were all over your lawn? No one who puts the effort into having a nice lawn wants to see weeds growing up in it, but those same weeds can make a plain field look majestic when they are growing all together.

My friend, everything in life revolves around a matter of perspective. Open your heart and your eyes to evaluate how you are looking at all the obstacles you may have. Consider looking for the brilliant colors of the weeds in your life and see how they will change you by changing your perspective in how you see them.

Journey, Life, Rest, Thankfulness

Rest Your Mind and Body

Encouragement Today

CEADBA15-2893-426F-B9D8-3D1202DCF894.png

Has it been a long and busy week?

Are you exhausted mentally and physically?

Here is a gentle reminder to be sure to take some time for you today.

Take some self care time to give your mind and body the time it needs to relax.

You have to be sure to take care of yourself  in order to continue to take care of others.

“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭11:28‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

You are worth it because,  You are…. enough! 

Happy Weekend! Happy Relaxation!
Christmas, Christmas Note of Encouragement, Comfort, Holiday, Journey, Joy, Strength, Thankfulness, Trials

Merry Christmas

Christmas Encouragement

December 24, 2017

EC30F52B-169A-411F-B67A-52049CDF0853

Merry Christmas 🎄

To my faithful followers, I want you to know how much I appreciate each one you this year.

I hope my Christmas Encouragement provided you some strength, hope, comfort, and encouragement through out this busy Holiday Season.

Now as we close in on Christmas Day tomorrow my Christmas Encouragement Today is going to be simple.

Remember, Jesus is The Reason For The Season. 

Without His birth some two thousand years ago we wouldn’t have this day. I know society has everything focusing on all the presents everyone has gone crazy buying and going in debit over, but this isn’t the real reason for the Season.

Christ is! He came to this Earth to give us the greatest gift we could ever ask for or hope for, “Salvation”. 

So as everyone pulls those bags out of their closets or secret hiding places then grabs the necessary wrapping supplies, take the time to focus on why we are celebrating this Holiday tomorrow.

“When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. Then they opened their treasures and presented him with gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭2:10-11‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Ask God to bless you with a Spirit of peace and comfort or whatever need you may have. He promises to keep us going and to meet our every need. All He requests is that we ask and believe and have unconditional love and  faith in Him.

Merry Christmas Everyone!