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God Will Light Your Way

Credit: Home. Life. Encouragement

My Friend,

Are you struggling with a difficult situation and you just feel beat down and alone?

Do you feel like no matter where you look, you only see the darkness of your circumstance?

Well, I have an encouraging reminder to share with you today.

You are not! You are not alone, no matter how lonely you may feel and you are not surrounded by the darkness that has you consumed.

God is here to remind you, today that, “His Word is a lamp unto your feet and a light unto your path.” Ps 119:105

Be encouraged knowing God is with you, every second, every minute, and every hour. He is with you and will provide the light you need to see through the darkest of times.

Lean on Him and you will not feel alone. Lean on Him and you will no longer be consumed by your circumstances. He loves you and He is holding you up today.

Be Encouraged Today, You are not alone.

#Findingyourcourage, Anxiety, Bible, Bondage, Challenge, Discouraged, Faith, Hope, Inspiration, Journey, Trust

Faith and Trust Conquer Fear

What Happens When Stress Becomes Unbearable?

Is your life difficult at the moment because worries seem to be piling upon each other and you find the stress unbearable?

Are you in a season of transition, whether you are seeking a new job opportunity or moving to another state or country and you find the stress unbearable?

Are you getting married or having a baby and the months of preparations are quickly disappearing leaving you defenseless to the time and calendar you have been working so diligently with. Now time is running out and you have no idea how you will be ready for the big event to arrive and you find the stress unbearable?

Are you living with a loved one who is struggling with health issues or a chronic illness and they just can not find the road to recovery? Do you find yourself exhausted and helpless because there is nothing you can do to help them feel better? You are trying to be understanding, empathetic, and sympathetic to the health issues, but you are struggling with a concerned and fear over the lack of a paycheck coming in and you find the stress unbearable?

Are you a college student who is struggling to meet the goals of turning in assignments, writing papers, and preparing for final exams while you find the stress unbearable?

My friend, no matter how unbearable you find your stress and how out of control your circumstances may seem, I have a reliable reminder for you today, God knows about all of it. He sees the magnitude of it, as well as the tiniest morsel of it. He knows what the outcomes are as well as what the provisions are. Not one of these circumstances has taken Him by surprise.

We are to trust in Him and have the faith to know it will all come together in the end.

Here are a few verses I looked up with the hopes they will inspire and encourage you to know that no matter what happens, with “faith and trust”, it will all work out.


“He replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” Matthew 17:20 New International Version (NIV)


“Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1 (NIV)

“… for we walk by faith, not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:7 (ESV)

Today, my friend, reclaim your life from the fear that took you captive and replace it with a trust in God because He knows about everything going on. Turn your fear into faith and walk away with your head held high because no matter how much stress you are feeling and how unmanageable it may feel, God has it all under control.

Lastly, the image I chose for today’s post was chosen to remind us all; with the proper care, love, water, and sun, God can take a tiny seed and turn it into a beautiful flower. If He can do this with a tiny seed planted in the ground, how much more does He love and cherish us?

Do not let the worries, concerns, and stress of life deaden you to the beauty God holds for you. Allow the same love, sun and rain God provides for the plants to nurture your life in the same way.

My friend, take some time today to rest in your Heavenly Father’s arms. While you are there, ask Him to free you from the bondage of stress and fear you have been experiencing and allow your faith to be refreshed by His grace and mercy.

Bible, Challenge, Character, encouragement

Evaluate Your Heart Today

God’s sweet reminder to us today.

I am sharing a bit of faith today.

A long post is not required because I think these words are enough to stand on their own weight.

”A person may think their own ways are right, but the Lord weighs the heart. “Proverbs 21:2

Take some time to ponder and evaluate what God is sharing with us today.

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Believe In Yourself Today

Today, I want to encourage you to, “Believe in yourself.” This simple phrase has kept coming back to me since this past weekend, and the time has come to share it with you as well.

Do you find you struggle with…

  • Thoughts of self-doubt?
  • Lack of self-confidence?
  • Lack of trust for others?
  • Believe lies you tell yourself?
  • Struggle with fear?
  • Struggle with anxiety?
  • Struggle with feelings of worthlessness

These are strong and powerful emotions and if they are not contained and corrected, over time they can become damaging and even destructive. I want you to consider as you read this which of these emotions do you struggle with? How long have you felt them? Why do you believe them and what has prevented you from breaking free from the power of their bondage? I would also like for you to think about if any of them trigger other emotions within you and what do you feel as you experience them? 

I know as I evaluate this list I struggle with lacking self-confidence which I know is triggered by the power of fear. If I was to evaluate why and what caused it I would have to look back at my childhood. I lived in a home with my single/divorced mom from the age of 5 to the age of 14, when she married my dad. I grew up in a home with a family history of a perfectionists and if you did not do everything just the “right” way, then it was not done correctly.

As a result, everything I did, and it did not matter how big or small it was, I would doubt myself and tell myself it was not good enough, it was not perfect enough, so, therefore, it did not measure up to the “perfect” test. As a result, I live my life today believing whatever I do is never done the “right” way, so therefore it is never good enough to meet the standards I was raised with.

The toughest test I had to pass was when my dad died. My husband was deployed overseas for a short deployment and my dad was in poor health, so I decided to go home in case something happened while my husband was gone. Unfortunately, my greatest concern came true. Thankfully my mom and I had discussed the “what if” scenario leading up to this time because she knew she would not be able to handle his passing well.

This turned out to be the understatement of the year. While we were making funeral arrangements with the funeral director, my mom became very sick and instead of going to the flower shop next to pick out our flowers for the funeral, I had to take Mom to the Emergency Room, at which time they admitted her into the hospital. All I could think of was what am I going to do now?

My dad died the other day, my mom is now in the hospital, today is Saturday and his funeral is on Monday. I was unable to get her doctor to commit to me that my mom would be out of the hospital in time to attend my dad’s funeral, and I had to finish planning it in case she was, but also be prepared to change all the plans if she was not. What was this going to look like for someone who struggles with a lack of self-confidence? How am I ever going to finish his funeral and get everything “perfect” to meet my mom’s expectations (because she told me countless times his funeral was going to be done perfectly)?

My lack of self-confidence ran away with me, fear held me hostage, and anxiety consumed me and somewhere in all of this was the fact I missed my dad and was grieving his loss, but that had to go on the back burner, because I had a small window of opportunity to finish planning his “perfect” funeral for my mom.

I remember so clearly that feeling of helplessness because I lacked the self-confidence to make the important decisions for fear of making a mistake and messing up. This runs my life still today. As it was, I did finish the arrangements, I got mom out of the hospital with two hours to spare before his visiting hours were to begin and I did the “best” job I knew how to do. It all came together and my mom has very few vivid memories of the details for all the medicine she was on at the time. It just means today she cannot find fault with anything I did or did not do.

Other examples in my life where I struggle are writing in my blog because everything I write has to be “perfectly” written. I struggle with being a wife and a mom. I find I must do everything the “right” way or it isn’t done properly. I try to keep my house orderly and as clean and tidy as I can with being so busy. I try to keep the yard neat and presentable because it is an outward reflection of our family. I try to keep up with all the health needs of both my husband and my daughter because this is important to me.

All of this is done with an expectation that is unrealistic for me to maintain because I lack the self-confidence it is all done right, so I just keep trying and trying and when that fails, I try harder. I understand this is seriously faulty thinking, but it was how I grew up and what I learned to believe.

I have been telling myself a lot lately, it is a good thing my mom isn’t around because if she ever saw all the shortcuts I make in my life now, I feel she would be disappointed in me. I have had to learn through the craziness of life that survival is more important to me than perfectionism. I have had to force myself to come to terms with the fact perfectionism is not healthy. No one can possibly live up to the standards I have spent years placing upon myself. I have a long way to go and I am sure if you were to ask my family if I have conquered this they would loudly say, no, but I am determined to bring a sense of self-confidence into my life.

Does any of this sound familiar to you? Do you struggle with deep down and often times hidden emotions that lead you to where you are struggling today?

My friend, I have hope for you. You do not have to live in this bondage any longer. You can choose to change this game and move past it. You can learn a new way of living and be happy with who you have always wanted to become. You can break the chains that have held you captive. 

The first step to making this change is to identify the leading cause for everything you have experienced and identify why you have not allowed yourself the freedom before now to flee from it.

I want to share this quote from my friend, Rachel Marie Martin’s new book, “The Brave Art of Motherhood”. There are many life lessons I have learned by reading this book, but this quote is the one I am going to use for this blog post.

The lesson I have learned through examining my own life is that I have allowed fear to have power over my ability to change what I did not like.

“Fear is a stifling voice of the unknown. It takes self-confidence to muster the courage to unearth the fears holding you back. It takes faith to examine the fears and replace the fallacy of most fears with truth.”  – Rachel Marie Martin 

I have learned fear has stifled my self-confidence and I lacked the faith to break free for the bondage it held me at. I believed all the faulty thinking and believed I had to live this way and accept it even though I did not like it.

My friend, you do not have to do this either. You do not have to allow fear to hold you captive to the things you struggle with. I want you to examine your life and determine if the power of fear is the holding you back from living your life to your fullest? Has it held you back from following your dreams and achieving your goals? If it has, please take the time to first, 

“BELIEVE IN YOURSELF!” 

Secondly, I want you to tell yourself that you will not be controlled by fear any longer and that you will battle those lies you have believed for years and in the end, I want you to believe and have the faith you will rise above it all and stand taller and stronger than anything you have allowed yourself to believe in before. 

Lastly, My Friend, I can not emphasize this concept enough…

“Believe in Yourself!”

*Disclaimer – if you would like to purchase the above sign, it is available for purchase on our HL&E Designs FaceBook Page (via our VIP Group page, to access this group you simply like our HL&E Designs page and request to join our VIP Group) or you can access us via our Instagram Page @HL&E Designs. Links to these pages are available along the sidebar. Click on the link and you will be able to place an order at that time as well as pay for them too. We accept PayPal via hlandedesigns@outlook.com.

 

 

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The Beauty of One Piece of Pine Straw

Encouragement Today

img_8707Today’s inspiration came as a result of doing yard work. As I was raking up my pine straw to place it in my flower beds, God revealed to me how we, His people, are similar to that of the pine straw.

img_8701-3When you see only one piece, you think, how can that one piece of pine straw make a difference in a flower garden? One piece by itself can not, but when you rake it up into a pile then it becomes abundant and that abundance of pine straw is enough to make a difference.

We are a lot like this as humans. Many times as individuals we struggle to find our worth or importance to our family and to others. Many of us fail to see how we, as only one person can really make a difference, but we can.

God made each of us uniquely important. He made us for a reason and a purpose. Many of us are fortunate to see this purpose while others struggle to see it, but just because you may be struggling to see your purpose does not mean there isn’t one. God did not make a mistake, His plan is just as He intended whether we see it or we do not.

Many of us impact others through our jobs, through our ministries, through our schools, and throughout our everyday life. This is where we as a larger group we make a difference.

For those who do not have this as a purpose, you need to see that your life as an individual is equally important. Your life is intertwined in so many people’s lives that if something happened to you tomorrow, there would be people who would miss you and grieve for you. There would be a void in their hearts that would be hard to fill, whether you believe this or not.

img_8706This is why the analogy of the pine straw was important to me today. If it was not for the one strand that when put together with many others was not important then there would never be enough to use in a flower bed.

Each strand by itself may be seen as a nuisance, but is it really? I would venture to say no, because each piece I raked up today, no matter how messy it looked initially, made my flower bed look pretty and well maintained again.

Our lives are the same. If we just looked at the worth of our life as strictly a lonely individual, we are less likely to see our worth, but when we are pulled together as God intended for us to be, then we will be more likely to see our beauty for it’s intended purpose.

My friend, today I am here to inspire you to never give up. No matter how hard life may be, how difficult your circumstances may seem, how lonely you may feel, you are important. God has a special purpose for you and your circumstances.

It may not be visible at this moment in time, but if you just hang tight, keep taking one step forward at a time, God will reveal to you His plan and His purpose.

Then when He does, you will begin to see how beautiful your life is to others around you. God created you to be beautiful and in time you will begin to see that beauty.

Do not give up, do not lose hope. Your plan and purpose when revealed will be a beautiful as the one stand of pine straw is in my flower beds.
Broken, Challenge, Discouraged, Encouragement Today, Journey, Life

Invest In Your Relationship Today

Encouragement Today

Your Encouragement Today is a simple reminder that relationships are never guaranteed to remain healthy and secure if you are not willing to invest your love and time into them.

It is very dangerous when you begin to assume your loved one will always be there because you can never assume without love and work, that a relationship will remain secure and intact.

Everyone has seasons in their lives when life gets hard and difficult. If you are going through a time like this and you have pushed someone away but you have not made an attempt to reconnect, you need to know, you may be risking the possibility when you are ready to allow them back in your life, it may be too late. After you pushed your loved one away, you are not guaranteed they will continue to wait for you.

God designed us to build relationships based on love, communication, interaction, and connectivity. When you build a wall these relationships are no longer able to blossom and grow.

Think about a flower in the field. If it never received sun, water, and nutrients would it continue to grow? No, it would wither up and die.

My Friend, the same thing happens to our relationships. Without the proper investment of time, communication, and love, you can not assume you will have a relationship for a long term.

“You can not continue to make withdrawals from a love bank, without making deposits; for one day you will wake up realizing the account is closed due to bankruptcy.” – Unknown Author

My challenge for you today is this… if you are in a relationship that has been strained, consider doing something that will show your special person you still care, appreciate, and love them.

My friend, notice I did not say unconditional love? As much as we would like to believe our spouse or loved one loves us unconditionally, they do not always. They need to feel you still love them, appreciate them, and need them. If you do this for them then your love can remain unconditional, but if you do not, you can not assume this to be true. This is especially true if you have shut down and no longer provide these to your relationship.

Take some time today to invest in your “special person”. Show them you still love them. Make them feel that love they once had for you before you shut down or shut them out of your life.

It is my prayer it isn’t to late for you and your relationship if you are struggling today.

Do not wait! Do not assume they know you still love them! Show them! 

Tomorrow is never guaranteed to us. Accidents happen and relationships die.

Do not let this happen to yours! Invest in yours today! 

Blessings, Gratitude, Hope

Daughter’s Are Blessings From Above

Days of Celebrations

The day is coming to a close after a very long and tiring day preparing for and celebrating my daughter’s 20th birthday.

Our family and a couple family adopted extras (aka, extra special friends) came by to celebrate her sweet day with us.

2EF0056D-A077-47B8-9434-A89854703F18In the midst of preparing for today I thought back to when my daughter was born, as I’m sure most mothers do. I found this year to be a bit emotional for me. I’m not sure why, but suspect it’s because she is no longer considered a teenager, but a twenty something now.

I thought back to all the things I have taught her. I initially taught her her abc’s and 123’s. I taught her how to color and cut paper. I taught her how to add 1+1=2 and how to read. I taught her about her bible stories and to memorize the National Anthem and her Pledge of Allegiance.

Now she is all grown up. She has learned what she needed from me. Now my mom role has changed from leader and teacher to an encourager and listener. I have to choose  wisely how I guide her now. The time has come where I have to trust how I raised her and trust between her and God that she will make wise choices.

As I close out the day I want to thank God for allowing me the pleasure to have been chosen to be my sweet daughter’s mom.

We have had many good times and met many obstacles along the way, but at the end of the day our relationship has been solid and I am so blessed for this to be true.

A good child she was and an wonderful teenager she became. Now she has formally bridged the world of adulthood, I just know she will be amazing and will accomplish anything and everything she puts her mind to.

Once God paves the ways for her unresolved health issues to get figured out, I know her life will be able to flourish. I know she will follow her dreams and accomplish what she sets her mind too. She is a strong and courageous person. She has battled many obstacles along her way and she always comes out conquering them. I have faith in God that she will become and amazing young woman who will accomplish what she set her mind to.

Please God, I pray, you meet her health issues with answers and resolve her pain to where she can gain her life back. I know You have a mighty plan for her life and I pray You will protect her and guide her along the path she is meant to take. With You leading the way, I have a peace that she will be just fine.  In Your Precious Name, Amen.

Blessings, Journey, Rest, Strength

The Quiet Whisper of A Breeze

Have you walked in the stillness of the dark for so long that you can’t see the light that lights your way forward?

It has been an extremely hot and humid week. If you are outside you just know the sweat is going to pour off your skin and run into your eyes causing that horrible burning sensation that so many people are familiar with.

I have been walking our dog, Shadow every morning at a local park after we take Kiddo to work. It has been so hot for both of us, but sometimes you just do what you gotta do, hot or not.

This one day stands out to me and I just have to share the simplistic message God revealed as I sat on the tailgate quietly waiting for Shadow to drink his water.

This day I mentioned of was extremely hot and humid. The sweat poured off my face and into my eyes as we walked. There was no wind or so I didn’t feel it. We continued to walk just to walk.

That was until we stopped. In the quiet of the morning as we sat on the tailgate cooling off, I noticed this amazing cool breeze come across my face. I remember so vividly thinking how was it I didn’t feel that refreshing breeze cross my face while we were walking?

This was when I felt God saying, “Sometimes I allow the quiet times in your life so you can better enjoy the simple blessings as I provide them.”

If I had felt the cool breeze blow across my face while I was walking, would I have fully enjoyed the blessing of the quiet breeze at the end?

God showed me that He allows the quiet and sometimes silent seasons in our lives to better prepare us for when He does speak to us. For when He does speak after the silence we are better able to hear His voice.

God showed me through this silent whisper of a breeze that crossed my face.

I was able to see and feel the blessing despite the heat because I had gone without it during our walk. God does this, my friend, all the time in our lives.

He doesn’t always act loudly to get our attention. Many times He responds to the quietness and the stillness of our lives through the most simplest measures that will meet our individual needs. 

This day for me, it was the quietness of a cool and refreshing breeze.

Sweet friend, if you are in a quiet place in your life where you are questioning if God is still there, listening to your prayers, hearing you, and loving you.

The answer is yes. He is listening to you, hearing you, and loving you.

He hasn’t forsaken you. He is holding you up during your season of quietness and weakness.

 

 

…Why do you say, Israel, “My way is hidden from the Lord; my cause is disregarded by my God”? Do you not know? Have you not heard?

The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.

He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.

Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.

They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.  Isaiah 40:27-31 (NIV)

 

Just because you are weak doesn’t mean He is. He sees your tears. He hears your cries. He hears your silence. Nothing you are going through is a surprise to Him.

What He wants me to share with you is this. 

Blessings can come through rain drops (Laura Story song) and can come through the quietness of a gentle breeze. 

He wants you to open your heart today to receive His quiet and simple blessing.
Will it be in the form of raindrops or a quiet breeze? 


I don’t know… but if you receive one, please share your blessings in the comments block below. I would love to share and rejoice in your blessing with you. 

My Sweet friend, God will strengthen you during your time of darkness and silence. Open your heart to receive your blessing.

 

 

“It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure.” 2 Samuel 22:33 NIV

 

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Blessings, Comfort, Encouragement Today, Hope, Journey

Blessings Through Tear Drops

Encouragement Today

I am sharing a note of Encouragement for you. I haven’t done one in a while, but felt someone needed it today.

designTrials and hardships seem to be all around us making some days harder than others. I have found comfort in the Laura Story song, Blessings where she talks about what if raindrops came as blessings, healing came through tears, and trials were mercies in disguise. These are powerful words to me on difficult days because they provide a comfort from God promising to provide blessings even when I can’t see them.

I believe God answers our prayers through  tear drops because He knows every tear we cry for every tear is a prayer we don’t know how to speak.

I have included her complete lyrics to this song.

Blessings
Laura Story
Lyrics
We pray for blessings
We pray for peace
Comfort for family, protection while we sleep
We pray for healing, for prosperity
We pray for Your mighty hand to ease our suffering
All the while, You hear each spoken need
Yet love is way too much to give us lesser things
‘Cause what if your blessings come through raindrops
What if Your healing comes through tears
What if a thousand sleepless nights are what it takes to know You’re near
What if trials of this life are Your mercies in disguise

We pray for wisdom
Your voice to hear
We cry in anger when we cannot feel You near
We doubt your goodness, we doubt your love
As if every promise from Your Word is not enough
All the while, You hear each desperate plea
And long that we’d have faith to believe

Sweet Friend, if today is one of those difficult days where you have cried tear drops, find comfort God is turning those tears into blessings. He is answering your prayers even when  you don’t have the words to speak. He loves you and is wiping your every tear and answering the prayers they represent. Hang in there friend and know brighter days are ahead.

 

Blessings, Challenge, encouragement, Journey

Random Acts of Kindness

Who Will You Touch This Week?

As the weekend comes to a close and we prepare to go into a new week I have a challenge for you.

designIf you have a person come to mind this week instead of letting that random thought pop in and go back out stop and think about why they might have come to mind. Take the time to acknowledge with either a text message, phone call, email or a random hand written note or card to let them know you were thinking of them and then say a prayer for God to meet their need whether you know what it is or you don’t.

I am a believer that those random thoughts don’t just come to us for any random reason.  Whether we know the person is having a difficult time or a good time if they come to mind then God put them there. Acknowledge God’s timing by recognizing that person by one means or another.

If you prayed for them, don’t be afraid to tell them. How many times have you been struggling with something and you kept it to yourself, but had you known someone was sending up a random prayer for you how much more comfort and encouragement would that have provided for you at that moment in time?

Be open and allow God to use you to touch someone this week. Whether you know this person or not,  God doesn’t discriminate from the strangers you can touch. You never know when that stranger could become your next friend or even a best friend. You may never know if God is using your life to touch theirs because they might need you as well.

When you think about how fragile life can be, taking just a moment of time out of our busy schedules could seriously change the meaning of an individual for the rest of their lives. Take the time to listen to God speak to you and allow Him to use you to be a blessing of encouragement to someone else this week.