#Findingyourcourage, #Keepingitreal, Blessings, Challenge, Courage, encouragement, Hope, Inspiration, Journey, Joy, Life, Peace, Thankfulness

Opening Our Hearts to Gratitude

Credit:Homelifeandencouragement.com

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.

Happy November!

Anxiety, Bible, Depression, Discouraged, Grief, Journey, Life, pain, Stress, Trials, Weakness, Weariness

Our Broken Spirits Are Healed

Today’s reminder is a simple one!

Are you feeling alone? Are you feeling overwhelmed?

“The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” Psalms‬ ‭34:18‬ ‭ESV‬‬

This reminder is to encourage you to know, despite how you may feel, God is with you. He is saving you from all you are feeling.

Turn your eyes towards Him and allow Him to heal your heart.

Lastly, no matter how you may be feeling, you are never alone!

#Findingyourcourage, Anxiety, Bible, Comfort, encouragement, Image, Inspiration, Journey, Strength, Weariness

Love, Strength and Sunsets

The Same Love That Created The Sunset, Loves You as Well

I hope my daughter doesn’t mind my sharing an absolutely beautiful sunset she sent me last night as she was crossing over the water on her way home. This sunset can only be made by God, it’s Creator.

Today’s message is short, but my prayer is that it is meaningful.

My friend, I am here to remind you today, no matter what you may be facing or what obstacles you may be trying to hurdle, that the same God who created this sunset is the same God who will walk you through your situation.

Here is a verse to cling to if you are in need of His promise to love us unconditionally,

“The Lord loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of his unfailing love.” Psalm 33:5 NIV

‭‭I do not know what your circumstances are, but I know one thing that is true, God’s Love is always and forever, with no strings attached.

He loves us even when we forget how to love our selves.

Lean on Him today, My Friend! He will give you the strength you need.

Hugs to each and one of you! 💜

Believe in Yourself, Christmas, Discouraged, Holiday, Journal Journey, Journey, Peace, Real, Strength, Weariness

The Real of Holiday Survival

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I am going to reveal the “reality” of my not so perfect holiday season with the hope if your holiday season was not all you wanted it to be, that this will encouraged you to know you are not the only one who struggled to get through a less than perfect Christmas season.

“Revelation and reality gives us the strength to conquer the messiness of life. ” HD Benson

We often times find ourselves comparing our lives to the perfection of the lives we see around us. When we watch Hallmark movies, we see everything is perfectly decorated and all the homemade Christmas treats are perfectly made and decorated. Then there is the perfection we see on FaceBook and on Instagram posts.

My Friend, this is not a reality. Do not compare your life to what you see in others. They only show you what they want you to see. They do not show you what is real and messy.

Now, I am going to show you my real and my messy with the hopes of encouraging you if yours looked anything like mine, it is okay because we all survived and got through another holiday season.

This week has been a week where I found myself in need of rest from an incredibly exhausting past few weeks and a grueling holiday season.

Once we finished with Thanksgiving, I decided to help my daughter who was extremely sick, finish her college semester in school. As her mom, who knows all she had gone through with her health and watched her struggle with pain and sickness for two straight months, I could not watch her fall into a pit of darkness and failure.

Instead, I put on my cheerleading clothes and drug out the pompoms and went to town. She was in desperate need of encouragement and strength and “mom” support, which I did for her. I stopped everything Christmas, stayed up late with her, got up early and she finished. She not only finished, but she finished with amazing grades. I am super proud of her for what she achieved in her first semester of college. I am praying for her health becomes better managed and her semester to come, is a much better one for her.

Once she finished her last class, it was time to jump back into Christmas mode, which I had avoided to give her everything she needed to get through this semester. I avoided the calendar to see how close we were getting to Christmas. I did everything possible to remain stress-free to keep my family happy and grounded during this crazy holiday season. However, when it was all done and I looked at the calendar, it was not pretty. I had one week to get five weeks worth of work done. I had to shop (as I had not bought one gift for anyone). I had to make the gifts we were giving away and I had not baked my first Christmas dessert yet. I told myself I had to do all of this with the minimalist amount of stress to keep the holiday cheer in my house.

What I have not mentioned was the really bad cold my daughter had, went through all of us. I had to take her to the doctor twice, my husband twice and the night of his first Emergency Room visit, I ran a fever that night and I ended up catching it as well and became extremely sick, but I fought my way through it to make Christmas happen.

With the strength God gave me and with His guidance to get through it all, I finished everything at 11:40 on Christmas Eve. It was all done and I could breathe again.

I wish I could say this all happened with no stress, but I can not. I did, however, make every effort of minimalizing it and that I feel like I accomplished it. I also have to confess that I was only able to pull off the first five days because my doctor put me on steroids as well as a steroid injection and an inhaler which enabled me to get a lot done because I do not handle steroids and sleep.

As a result of the steroids, I did begin to feel better and they gave me the extra energy that I needed to finish Christmas in time, but the exhausted crash that came afterward has been horrible. I needed this week to just rest and sleep to get caught back up.

This is the “real” and the raw of how my holidays went this year. I am, however, extremely thankful to hear back from not only my family but from my mom as well, that this was one of our best Christmas’s we have had in a long time.

Despite the sacrifices I made early on to help my daughter, they paid off in the end. It was not a traditional holiday season for me, but it came together in the very end and thankfully it all turned out well.

My friend, it does not matter how yours looked, whether it was wrought with challenges or it went smoothly, all that matters is that you tried and it is all done now for another year.

Now I will wish you all Happy New Year. It is my prayer this coming year will be one of peace and joy, changes if you are in need of them and the grace to accept everything that comes your way.

Broken, Burn out, Challenge, Courage, Discouraged, Focus, Image, Journey, Life, Strength

Live Your Life With A Purpose

Inspiration Through Images

All too often a picture can say a thousand words and this quote is one that spoke to me, so your inspiration is coming via an image today.

“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be. -Lao Tzu

Take some time to reflect on where you are in your life and where you would like to be.

Many times I think we get so busy “doing life” that we forget to ” live it”, is this where you find yourself? If so, take some time to consider this challenge, to live according to how you imagined life to be, not what it has become, even if it is for only a brief moment.

If you do, and you are excited about how you felt, leave me a comment below and we can celebrate it together.

Book Promotion, Brave Art of Motherhood, Broken, Challenge, Character, Courage, Discouraged, Inspiration, Journey, Joy, Life, Strength

Promoting Change

This is a super amazing book that I am working closely with the author to promote. I have been one of the chosen lucky people to have a pre-released copy so we can help Rachel in the selling of her book.

I am not sure how many follow her via her blog, Facebook or Instagram, but she is known as Finding Joy. I repost a lot of her stuff and because I have closely followed her for several years I was blessed to be one of her insiders to help her.

Yes, call it a secret life I have, but you will see more and more stuff come via this page and my personal page, this is how good this book will be.

If you are looking for a change in your life, this will be huge for you. If you feel like you live a life no one knows, you will quickly realize you are not alone.

I read a lot of self help and encouraging things so I can better myself and encourage others along the way and I am telling you this will be a must have book to add to your library if you are looking to be inspired, encouraged, and motivated.

I promise, it will not get dusty. I can also promise this book is so good, you will reread it over and over and be prepared to write in it, high light it, write notes all through it.

It is that kind of a book. I do not know anyone in my group who has not done just this, including myself.

Set your calendars for this important launch…. Oct 9, 2018!!

There will be a lot of announcements leading up to it starting in September. As I am able to release information, you will be seeing here.

Anxiety, Bible, Broken, Challenge, Courage, Discouraged, encouragement, Encouragement Today, Faith, Journey, Life, Peace, Strength, Trials

Learning To Sail With Our Master On Deck

Encouragement Today

design-207Today’s encouragement is to remind you to not let the power of fear rule your life. Life is a mysterious adventure and it is one that no matter how old you are, you have not lived. As I am beginning my day along beside of the rest of you, one thing remains the same, today is a day in my life that I have not lived before.

Everything that comes about is most likely something you have not done before because, with everything that is “normal”, there is something I have not experienced yet.

As our college students are packing up their things to head off to college, no matter if this is for the first time or they are going off for their senior year, no one has done what they are preparing to do. Packing may be “normal”, but what is right around the corner is not. They have not experienced the classes they are preparing to take because they will all be new. Will they be easy or will they be hard? No one knows until they get into the class and determine this for themselves. They may or may not have the same professors they have, had before.

I am certain, however, of this one thing, there are a lot of nervous kids getting ready to embark on new journeys.

It does not matter if they are a preschooler or a kindergartener, a first grader, or a middle schooler, high schooler, or college student; this one thing remains the same, they have not done what they are getting ready to do before.

This can be a scary place, one wrought with fear and anxiety. My sweet parents, if you have a child getting ready to set sail on this journey, guide them to their Master and give them the power to take control of their ship. Do not allow them to go off with the fear and anxiety they are harboring when their Master Sailor can take this away.

I also think of the people with health issues. Every doctor appointment you go to is uniquely original, as you have not done that appointment before. I think of this because my husband is sick with the very thing he had surgery for a year and a half ago. Is the illness the same, yes. What is different about this time is the treatment plan, now it has reoccurred. He goes back to the surgeon tomorrow, but tomorrow will be a new day with a new appointment and with a new treatment plan that we are unsure of.

This can be a scary place if I allow the anxiety, fear, and worry to consume me. He is out of sick and vacation leave, so with every day he is home, it is no paycheck. Is this a new place for us, no. We did this last time, but what makes it a new problem this time, is that we do not know what they will tell us. Will he have to have surgery again? Will it be a new lifestyle? Will it be a fix that is simple enough to be done in a doctor’s office? We do not know the answers which make this different from last time. We have not lived this before because we have not lived today or tomorrow before. I am, however, clinging to the hope that God knows about all of this even though we have not lived it yet, because I know with God being the Master of my ship, He will teach me how to navigate these waters smoothly.

Many people find their “unknown” to be a scary and fearful place. They find themselves in a position where anxiety, fear, and worry will consume them.

My friend, today I am here to encourage you to not let the fear, worry, and anxiety consume you. Go into every situation thinking about this sailboat illustration and remind yourself of this truth,

I am not afraid of storms, for I am learning to sail my ship. Author Unknown

Allow yourself the same grace and mercy you show others as they are navigating waters they have not gone through. If you would not be disappointed in them for not knowing how to do something, why would you do it to yourself?

My friend, today’s challenge is to make a conscious effort to not be consumed by worry and fear. Remember this verse in the Bible,

“The disciples went and woke Him, saying, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!” He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm.” Luke 8:24 NIV

No matter how alone you may feel during your storm, you have to tell yourself, you are not sailing your ship alone. You have something even better, you have the Master Sailor teaching you how to sail your ship. Allow Him to take control over your fears and anxiety because when you do, He will dissolve each and every one of them.

This is when you will truly be freed from the bondage of your anxiety and fears and will truly be sailing your ship while enjoying every moment of the fresh breeze in your face and the quiet sounds of the waves on the water.

You are worth this, my Friend! Let it go and truly sail your ship with your Master Sailor on board.
Challenge, Character, Discouraged, Encouragement Today, Journey, Life, Strength

Be True To Yourself

Encouragement Today

design-98Today’s Encouragement is a simple reminder that you are special.

It is important to remember to stay true to yourself. I think many of us struggle with becoming our identifiers instead of being who we are. We are to be the people God made us to be, not who we have become or what label we have placed upon ourselves.

We are not the corporate leader, we are not the lawyer or the doctor. We are not the mom, dad or the teacher. Those are what we do, but not who we are. 

Repeat after me, “I am _______________ (place your name). I am proud of me because I am __________________________(state two traits)______________________. An example would be I am loving, generous, loyal, compassionate, etc. This is who you “are” my friend.

Do not get lost in the identity of what you have worked hard to become. Yes, those are important and impressive because you worked hard to become them, but today’s encouragement is to remind you they are not “you”. You are you… You are Bob, Susan, James, Cory …. etc. Be proud of “who” you are.

Lastly, remember…

You are brave, courageous, loving, inspirational, loyal… and so many more. This is why you are liked and loved by so many.

Be that honest, husband or wife… son or daughter…friend that so many people love you for.

Be True To Yourself Today!

 

Bible, Challenge, Encouragement Today, Journey, Life

Touching Lives Creates Treasured Moments

Encouragement Today

AAD10466-E463-4904-81F6-C1AFAFF10084Today’s Encouragement is inspired by this quote…

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Maya Angelou

Today’s challenge is to seek out a reason to make someone feel special.

It is easy enough to do whether you do something unexpected for a family member or a total stranger off the street. God wants us to love, respect, and appreciate others. He believes this so strongly He commands us to love others as we love ourselves.

I am aware this is not easy to do as there are a lot of people who are less than nice, but it doesn’t matter, God’s commands are clear. We are to love one another.

“My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.” John 15:12 NIV

God loved us enough to send His Son for everyone of us, whether we love Him or we dislike Him.

Think about that for a moment. For those of you who have children, can you imagine crucifying your child for the love of others to include those who do not like you? Think about the rude person you met in traffic, the rude person you work with, or the impatient customer you ran into at the grocery store. Can you imagine crucifying your child, even for them, if it means showing your ultimate love for someone else?

Wake up call here, God did. He created His Son for the soul purpose to save us as sinners from our own lives.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16 KJV

Take time this weekend to reach out and touch the life of someone making them feel like they are special and are loved.

I can tell you from my own personal experience, for the people who have done this for me, I will never forget. I will hold their deed or generosity close and dear to my heart.

You will make a difference and one that will not be forgotten.
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.