#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!

#Findingyourcourage, #Keepingitreal, Burn out, Discouraged, encouragement, Exhausted, Journey, Keeping It Real, Weariness

Life Is Real, The Struggles Are Too

Just throwing some real life out there….

So all before 7:45am I have the cleanest smelling house in my community.

I managed to discover my hot water heater is leaking right after I opened up a fresh new bottle of bleach. As I discovered some wet stuff on some things in my laundry room, I left my bleach sitting on my dryer and went to get a bowl to put under the leaky hot water heater (as it is a little guy who is elevated above my head). While I was getting my bowl I heard something fall. I returned to my laundry room (which is off our carpeted family room) to find my bleach on the carpet spilling out with 3/4 of it emptied on my carpet. 😪

Now I am totally frustrated as I was hurried to get a few things done before trying to get some work done before Kiddo has her 2nd of 5 appointments between today and tomorrow afternoon.

Now my carpet is ruined and I should get my shop vac to absorb the extra water spilling out of my hot water heater tray when all I wanted to do was get some work done.

Oh boy, turn the cheek… make lemonade out of lemons and move on. I hope God provides me a few extra hours out of my day today.

Now to try to fix my problems.

I decided to show the real and and the raw behind all the encouragement I post.

Life is a struggle and life is real.

If this resonates with you, know I am right there with ya friend.

I decided today to write about it and to share it with you with the hopes you will be encouraged knowing you are not alone with the struggles of life.

Make the best of your day!

#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.

Challenge, Inspiration, Journey, Life, Rest, Weariness

Refresh, Recharge, & Rest

This is your weekend reminder to take some time to slow down.

Take some time to refresh, recharge, & rest today.

Clear your schedule of the busy life you live and allow yourself the time to decompress.

#Findingyourcourage, #Keepingitreal, #Stepsforward, Believe in Yourself, Bravery, Character, Courage, Inspiration, Journey, Keeping It Real, Life

Do Not Focus On The Steps Behind You

Life Changes, The New Journey Ahead

This week has been an emotional week as we said a temporary good bye of 2 (possibly 3) years to our sweet friend, who is like family to us.

I decided to use her time away to set some long overdue goals for myself to not necessarily rediscover myself and the person I left behind years ago, but to discover who I am today.

I have spent the past six months trying to figure out what would change look like to me and to figure out who I use to be, but instead of going back, I have discovered that isn’t the journey. The journey instead, is what is ahead of me.

I have come to realize my journey ahead is not about redeeming what I lost, but is more about using my past to mold me into who God wants me to be today.

So, it was with great sadness that I said good bye while I watched our sweet friend board that plane the other night, but it is with great hope that I look forward to who I will be when she returns to American soil and home again.

#stepsforward

#findingcourage

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.

#Keepingitreal, Bible, Chronic Migraines, Exhausted, Grace, Inspiration, Journal Journey, Journey, Keeping It Real, Life, Medical Journey, Migraine, pain, Rawness, Real, Weariness

No Matter The Pain, You Are Beautifully Made

Journaling Journey

Do you continue to worry over your kids? As parents, I am unsure how you do not. It seems to be bred into us as soon as they are born.

Today has been one of those days where I struggled with worrying over my Kiddo. It does not matter how old they become, when they are sick we worry over them. When they are hurt, we worry over them. When they are fearful, we worry over them. It does not matter what the circumstances are, their lives will always be intertwined in ours.

My daughter woke up with her head hurting badly. She had a migraine brewing, but what her migraine didn’t know was that she didn’t have the time for it today.

She is desperately trying to cram the final week and half of work from her classes in it in order to complete the semester in college.

I was worried for her because I could tell in her face and in her eyes how bad this one was. I prayed over her head as well as sought prayer from some faithful prayer warriors that this bad migraine did not turn into a mega migraine while she was at work.

I am so happy to announce the prayers worked. She still has her migraine, but it did not get any worse and for this, we are thankful.

Now as I write, we are patiently waiting for her weekly IgG infusion to finish. Every Friday night she has to do this two hour regiment. We should be getting use to it, but I have a confession to make. It isn’t any easier. By the time she gets home from work, pre-medicates and finishes from start to finish it takes two hours which if you do not get it started until later then you are pushing 11 pm to 1am before it is finished. We know this from several weeks of experience.

This my friend, this is rough for this tired mom, but I refuse to go to bed while she infuses as it is not in me to abandon her on this weekly treatment. So no matter how late it becomes, Shadow and I will stay up with her because we are in this journey with her.

Tonight she decided was good night for me to learn how to actually set up the entire process minus inserting the four needles into her legs, just in case something went wrong or she was sick and I would need to know how to do this for her. I agreed it was a good idea, but I just really did not want to learn how tonight, I know, pretty selfish of me, but I did give in to learn how anyway.

Now the worrying side of being a mom is praying her side effects will be minimum so she can get a ton of studying done tomorrow. We really need for her body to cooperate and not crash on her yet.

Do any of your struggle with a similar battle where you worry over your kids and just want what is best for them, but can not do anything beyond pray over them? Even though this is the best thing we can do for our kids, somehow, if we are honest with ourselves, it does not seem like it is enough.

I wish my daughter could live a “normal” healthy life like those of her peers, but God has a different purpose for her. We are unsure what that looks like, but with all the physical struggling she does, the grace in which she does it is a testament to the strength she has to endure all she endures.

My friend, if you or a loved one is in a similar situation, please leave a comment below and I will be praying for you to get through as gracefully as my daughter does. You have an understanding friend here so you know you are no longer alone during this journey.

I hope everyone has a good night and that you get the rest your mind and body needs. If you feel inclined to join me in praying for my daughter, this would be wonderful and appreciated.

Lastly, if you are struggling to see your beauty for all the pain and sickness you experience,

“I want to remind you God fearfully and wonderfully made you.” Ps 139:14 (NIV).

Please remember, In His eyes you are perfect despite how badly you may feel.

#Findingyourcourage, #Keepingitreal, Bible, Challenge, Encouragement Today, Inspiration, Journey, Joy, Weariness

Open Our Eyes To Blessings

01aa85fdc037a9b0199c1f3915f0ac84267018eba2There are many days in life where we find it is overwhelming due to the busyness that surrounds us while living with the realization there is never enough time to get everything done that is required of us. Do you ever feel this way?

You know those days where you struggle to open your eyes first thing in the morning because you were up all night with a sick child or a newborn baby. You were up all night finishing that project for school, college, or work because it had a deadline first thing in the morning. Lastly, you were up all night working a night shift and you are completely exhausted and can barely hold your eyes open now it is the morning.

My friend, I am here to encourage you today to open your eyes while taking some time to appreciate, both physically and literally, the life that passes you by every day. I want you to actively seek the things that bring joy to your heart, but you have no time to look for it or to see it for all the chaos you struggle with from day to day.

There are many days where we function by just going through the motions and barely surviving, but today is not going to be this day. Today you are going to concentrate on looking for the things which brings you joy. Whether it is a sight, sound, or feeling, it does not matter. What matters is that you are actively looking for it while you go about your day.

Today’s challenge is to begin by asking God to help you seek the joys of your heart. The joys you forgot you had due to being so busy that your life has passed you by. I want you to physically ask Him to show you the things that inspire and encourage you.

God will honor your request by opening your eyes to what you need, but you must simply ask.

“But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.” John 11:22 NIV

0150f5c0f962a6c14b2754a9d36dd01d416b049ed3God tells us if we need something to simply ask Him for our every need, just as you would do to your Earthly parents. I know all too many times we forget how simple this is to do or how important it is to do, but He promises to listen. Today, you will break this mold and will ask for the desires of your heart. The desire to find the joy you hold but have been too busy to experience.

“Ask the Lord your God for a sign, whether in the deepest depths or in the highest heights.” Isaiah 7:11 NIV

I am an advocate of asking God for a physical sign, because I always joke about how He made me and knows I function better if I have something concrete to hold on to. Well, here, my friend, He tells us we can ask for something physical to hold on to. Ask Him today to show you physically the joys of your heart. Ask Him specifically for the flower you love, or that01086a8ba4978cfe9a25fbf09d9e5f955e97f83fb4 specific sound or song, or person. I do not know what the desires of your heart are, but I know that God knows each and everyone of them just as He knows how many hairs are on your head.

“And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.” Matthew 10:30 NIV

If God knows how many hairs are on our heads then He knows what brings us joy, even if we, ourselves have forgotten.

My friend, today I am reminding you to simply ask God to open your eyes and your heart to be blessed with what brings joy to your life.

Allow yourself to be blessed by God today.

Bible, Character, Encouragement Today, Inspiration, Journey, Life

Inspiring Your Heart to Shine Brightly

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Are you struggling with believing you are beautiful?

Are you struggling with believing the lies society tells you, the lies where no one truly measures up to anyone unless you are a certain size with a specific hair color, length or style? Are you struggling with the lies you are not beautiful because you do not measure up to the Jones’?

Today’s encouragement is to inspire you to believe you are beautiful because the beauty you hold is humbly hidden in your heart.

The Bible tells us in Matthew 5:3-12 what true beauty is and where it can be found. God placed in our hearts not to hide it, but to shield it from the corruption of this world.

  • He allows it to be seen when it shines through our eyes as we smile at others, whether we know them or whether they are total strangers.

Have you ever walked through a crowded place, feeling beat down by your circumstances and with the weight of the world resting upon your shoulders, but you look up and a total stranger gives you an unexpected beautiful smile? There is something majestic that happens at just that moment in time. It is a moment where God allowed the true beauty of that person to shine through.

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  • Beauty comes through the words with which we speak when we speak love, comfort, mercy, and encouragement to those who are down and discouraged.

Have you been so discouraged that you could not bear one more discouraging word to be spoken or have one more moment of frustration to occur, but you received a random text, note on your desk, or a total stranger say a kind word to you in the grocery store check-out line? My friend, those kind words are the beauty the person rendering them is holding in their heart.

  • Beauty comes through the form of physical touch.

It comes through the arms of someone giving a hug when they need a compassionate touch or if they need some extra love at just that moment.

  • Beauty comes through the form of compassion, strength and mercy.

People who find themselves grieving or are in an unimaginable pain will see the beauty in your heart, through the compassion you have in your eyes and the soft gentle words you will speak.

They will feel the strength and mercy from your arms as you gracefully touch them or hold them.

They will also feel the beauty in your heart through the gentle touch of your hands as you help them in areas of need. Whether it is by doing their dishes, folding their laundry, or mowing their yard. The activity you do with your hands allows your beauty to shine through in a meaningful and concrete way.

My friend, the beauty God gave you is one which radiates through the darkness while bringing joy to those who are in their deepest of needs.

God’s beauty is not one that can be purchased at a hair or nail salon. It isn’t one that can be purchased at a clothing or shoe store. It is one that comes through our personality with which God instilled in our hearts.

My friend, you are fearfully and wonderfully made. Remember today, you are Beautiful!!!

Disclaimer…

This is intended for the handsome gentlemen here as well. Just replace beauty with handsome and it all applies to you as well.

#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! 💜