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We Have Hope in The Shield

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Today’s Encouragement

Are you struggling with something today?

There is hope.

There is hope in the Lord.

He comes to you bearing His strength and His shield.

“We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield.”
‭‭
Psalms 33:20 NIV

Reach out and grab the strength He is giving you and cling to the hope of the outcome for anything God gives us is worth the wait.

Big hugs, Friend as you wait.

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Making A Difference Fights Against The Lies of Exhaustion

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As we move into the holiday season, we can find it a stressful and exhausting season.

If you are like me and you are already exhausted, then we could be walking into this season feeling defeated and discouraged.

I am here to remind you today, in case you forget, how important you are and that everything you are doing is making a difference.

“Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.”

William James

Take some time this weekend to rest, refresh, and reset yourself.

Rest is an obvious suggestion while refresh can mean anything.

What does this mean to you?

To me it means to do something that has been weighing heavy on me.

To me what will be refreshing will be to finish decorating for Christmas so I can sit back on the busy work days and relax in the beauty of my home.

It also means to sort through my everyday stuff that I took down to decorate and put it in the attic until after the holiday season.

If this is accomplished before I go back to work on Monday, then I will feel productive and accomplished which will help to make me feel refreshed.

I just have to remember to rest and reset, which if I’m not careful, could be overlooked.

How about you? What does this look like to you? What do you want to do to refresh and reset yourself?

No matter what this looks like, remember these simple words, “You are making a difference.”

All too many times when we find ourselves in a state of exhaustion, our minds begin to lie to us, telling us we are not important and what we are doing is foolish.

My friend, do not believe these lies. Instead, remember, “You are Important!”

Take the time this weekend to rest, refresh, and reset.

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Sharing Thankfulness Amongst The Chaos

With the Holidays here, I wanted to share how much your continued support means to me.

I haven’t been able to write and post because my time has been spread so thin, but when I least expect it, I receive a notification that someone still wants to follow me and clicks like on something I have posted and know that I appreciate those notifications.

I am so thankful on this day of Thanksgiving that you have not given up on me or my blog.

Thank you!

Now to give you a quick update and prayerfully encourage you if your life looks like anything similar.

I believe I posted a while ago that after 22 years of being a stay at home wife and mom, I started working again. I am the afternoon receptionist at our local Christian school. The same one my sweet daughter has worked at for the last seven years. I love working at the same place both her and my sweet sister-in-law works at.

I started out by getting my feet wet at only 18 hours a week and that enabled me to still do what I have always done, but then as summer came and went and the new school year began, we found ourselves short staffed so my hours went up.

Now I find myself a mostly full time working mom facing the same struggles as everyone else. Not enough day to get everything done in.

The past couple of weeks have been especially challenging because we celebrated my daughter’s birthday as well as preparing for today and started decorating for Christmas (to save some time I don’t have).

In order to be ready for Thanksgiving, I had to do what many of you have done and worked into the night to get it all done to be ready for today.

As a result it made for an incredibly long day and what feels like and even longer week.

I am also the Social Media Manager for our local women’s ministry where I create all the images she uses on her social media platforms. This keeps me busy when I’m not at work.

Then there is my HL&E Designs home business. This has truly taken a beating though. After much prayer and consideration my daughter and I have decided to take a step back and only fill local orders for family and friends because they understand my time limitations and constraints better.

I am hoping to not dissolve my business permanently as this will enable me to continue to create special gifts for people, but until I can get back to that, I will continue to scale back my business orders.

Lastly, but by no means, is this the least important of my responsibilities and that is helping, supporting, and standing by my daughter’s side as she battles her chronic health issues.

Her constant health battles are something she battles every day of her life. Between the constant pain and fatigue, I’m reminded daily how much she battles with her body. She tries very hard to live her life as “normal” as she can, but when the pain and fatigue takes her out, then we are reminded that she isn’t healthy like you and I.

When life gets even crazier than life is, I’m quickly set back in my place and reminded I am a mom first and this happens to me on a regular basis.

So, this brings me back to here, to my blog. The thing I also love doing. I love writing, sharing, and encouraging you, my faithful followers.

If I can do this crazy busy life, I know you can too.

I love encouraging you to get through what seems so hard. I am constantly reminded from God to share my story and to share my experiences because He is using mine to encourage you.

So here is what I do best. Here is a dose of encouragement after my long life update.

God promises to never leave us or forsake us.

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”

Psalm‬ ‭46:1‬ ‭ESV

He promises to give us strength when we are at our weakest.

My sweet friends, please know and be reminded today that no matter how busy you get, how discouraged you feel, or how lonely you feel, you are never alone.

Your Heavenly Father is still by your side. He is holding you up when you feel like you want to collapse. He will bring your smile back to those who have lost it. He will heal the hearts of those whose are broken.

This gentle reminder is shared with both you and me today.

So if you find yourself exhausted, lonely, or in pain (mentally, physically, or spiritually), it is my prayer that today you are able to look past it all and find all the reasons to be thankful for what you do have. Be thankful for what God has given to you.

“…give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”
‭‭‬‬
‭‭1 Thessalonians‬ ‭5:18‬ ‭ESV

As I close today, be encouraged my friend, if you find you are able to relate to what I posted today, then know you are not alone. There are those who understand where you are and ultimately know God is by your side.

Be strong, be brave, be courageous, and today; Be Thankful.

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Be Strong and Courageous

Credit: Home. Life. Encouragement

There are so many people struggling with anxiety for a variety of issues today.

There are many who are battling with issues Covid-19 has caused. Many are battling the virus, while others may be feeling the effects of having their jobs impacted, or are being forced to live in isolation. It doesn’t matter what your circumstances are, if you are battling with anxiety, then this feeling is real to you.

Some may be experiencing health related issues, or the uncertainty of pending surgeries. These medical concerns may have you consumed because of the pain you are in, or the fear of the bills that may be created as a result of this experience. The anxiety it is causing is real to you.

Some of you who are in school or are going to college may be stressed over the amount of work you have to invest in each class, or the papers you need to write, the exams you need to study for and take, as well as the numerous amount of deadlines that need to be met. This struggle is real and the anxiety is insurmountable.

Some may be in difficult relationships with spouses, family members, or friends. You know the relationship is toxic, but you are not sure how to end it or if you should. What you are certain with is that the pressures and the stress it is causing is more than what you want to continue to live with, but how do you make the changes that need to be made?

It does not matter what the struggle is. What matters is, the struggle is real.

It is my desire and prayer, God will use this Sunday Reminder to give you the strength to “Be Strong and Courageous.”

“…Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Joshua 1:9

Do not be dismayed because God is with you. He is guiding you. He is giving you the strength and the courage you need to battle your anxiety.

Be sure to spend some quiet time with Him today and ask Him for the guidance you need to fight this battle and know He will deliver you the peace and comfort you are in need of. He will walk you through the difficulty and you will begin to experience a peace you didn’t think you could have.

Rest in your Master’s arms and allow Him to free you from all that concerns you today.

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Happy Mother’s Day

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Today is a day that can be bittersweet . It can be either sweet or difficult as there are many variations of motherhood that are experienced. 

Some are celebrating the joys of motherhood while others dread it to the point of tears.

No matter what kind of day you have had and the reasons that affected them, I want you to know, you are not alone.

God knows your heart and rejoices with those who are blessed, while He wipes the tears of all who are hurting. 

No matter how you handled today, know you are loved by the One who created you.

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Procrastination Leads To Difficult Days

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Living The Every Day Life

Episode 3

Today I am keeping it real. Today I will be sharing a real struggle I had yesterday, but I am hoping by doing so it will bring you encouragement to know despite how difficult a day can be, it is not permanent.

I will begin by saying when I woke up yesterday, I woke up feeling frustrated, overwhelmed, and defeated.

As I got up, I had to address a mess my cat made due to my lack of taking proper care of his cat little box. Note I said, my lack of attention, not that it was his fault.

I was frustrated with myself because I had just done this in the past two weeks. I vowed back then I wouldn’t allow this to happen again, but here I was on my hands and knees cleaning up a huge mess that I did not want to address first thing in the morning.

I went from cleaning up that mess to addressing an out of control laundry situation, that I too, let get out of control. Despite my looking at this daunting task, I knew my frustration originated from procrastination.

However, there was a problem I had to address with my laundry. I had a clogged washing machine drain pipe and I needed to go to Home Depot to purchase some drain cleaner. This was a task I did not want to do, but needed to in order to wash my laundry.

Procrastination got me again. I know drain cleaner is something I need to have on hand, but not just on hand, I should use as a preventative measure, especially during high shedding seasons, such as times like these.

I did not though have any on hand though. I let my time get ahead of me and procrastinated buying the cleaner while I procrastinated using it.

Unfortunately, these two “catastrophes” happened on a morning that I did not feel good. I pushed through because I knew once I finished with these issues, I had a list right behind them to do.

I did finish cleaning my huge cat box mess and moved on to cleaning and sanitizing my bathroom and kitchen. By the time I finished with that I got sick and was forced to lay down afterwards.

I even did that to myself inadvertently, because I forgot to eat when I took my medicine for my bronchitis. I forgot to eat because I was so frustrated with everything I was trying to do that I created another uncomfortable situation.

I am just saying, you can not make this up. Do you see a common theme in my morning? I did not see this until I was writing about it, but the theme is procrastination.

If I did not procrastinate the important things, then I wouldn’t feel frustrated, out of control, or defeated.

HD Benson

Now for the moment of encouragement.

Did my morning today start out as badly as yesterday did? No, this morning I woke up feeling more calm and in control. Why, because I took care of the things that I procrastinated doing up to yesterday. Now they are done they are not weighing heavy on me.

Now, I have a clear mind to write this blog post, work on some online training I need to get done for work, and hopefully create some images for the women’s ministry I volunteer with.

My friend, are you struggling with being overworked, overloaded, and overall frustrated?

I wrote about living the every day “real” life and the messiness and frustration it creates because I know I am not the only one who struggles with this. It is so hard to prioritize what needs to be done and when it needs to be done by.

I am always reminded, you need to choose only the important things and let the other stuff go until you can do it later, but in living the “real” what does that priority look like?

As a result of letting things go, they became a big problem that came tumbling down on me yesterday.

My friend, I have a solution to live by, start making a tasks list.

I have a planner and when I use it, I am in better control over my life and all that it requires of me.

While many of us are isolating in our homes, now might be a great time to evaluate your life and how it is working for you when you are busy. Would you benefit from using a planner or even just a notebook and plan out what a reasonable week would look like to you?

Plan out certain days to do certain chores. I think of many of these being the things you tend to forget or procrastinate doing. Consider a plan that would be similar to this;

Monday

  • Sort and begin laundry first thing in the morning.
  • Make 2 days worth of lunches if you did not prepare over the weekend.
  • Wash dishes (if any in the sink) or load the dish washer.
  • Do a quick wipe down of bathroom sink and toilet.
  • Don’t forget to put the laundry in the dryer to fold and put away later.
  • Unload dish washer if dishes are clean and reload from the day.

Tuesday

  • Repeat loading washing machine if you have more laundry from Monday.
  • Do a quick fold of yesterdays laundry and be sure to add wet clothes, if you have any, in the dryer.
  • Do a quick vacuum over your floors or sweep the main part of your living space.
  • Take your trash out.
  • If you have a cat, clean your cat box.

Wednesday

  • Continue to cycle your laundry if this is a never-ending task.
  • Make three lunches if you did not already prep them over the weekend.
  • Be sure to clean your dishes whether by hand or dish washer.
  • Focus on cleaning kitchen counters and appliances. Pay special attention to how dirty your microwave may be.
  • Do a quick wipe down of bathroom sink and toilet.
  • Be sure to take your trash out if this is not a daily occurrence.

Thursday

  • Repeat cycling laundry. Fold any that you are able to fold and take 15 minutes to put away as much as you are able to.
  • Be sure to clean your dishes whether by hand or dish washer.
  • Check your refrigerator for old and moldy food. We are not trying to grow science experiments for the most of us. Clean out the food and make room for new food.
  • Clean your floors if you have not done so in the week.
  • If you have a cat, clean your cat box.

Friday

  • Repeat cycling laundry. Fold any that you are able to fold and take 15 minutes to put away as much as you are able to.
  • Be sure to clean your dishes whether by hand or dish washer.
  • Do a quick wipe down of bathroom sink and toilet.
  • Vacuum and sweep your floors thoroughly.
  • If you have time, do a quick mop on your kitchen and bathroom floors.

Weekend

Use your weekend to play catch up with what you were not able to get to. Use it to catch up on what you procrastinated over the week.

This list I created is meant to give you a starting point to create your own list that works best for you. If you are able to create this for yourself, it is my hope that you will be able to control the procrastination beast and take back the control you once had over your life and your time.

Your last note of encouragement is to remember that although today may be difficult, it won’t last forever. If all goes well, your tomorrow will be a bit brighter and you will be able to breathe knowing whatever burden you are carrying will be but for a short time.

Give yourself the grace you need to get through today!

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Have Hope…

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Today’s Monday Motivation is To Have Hope

Have hope that this will not last forever.

Have hope in today that today will be a good one.

Have hope in the courage to take the next step if it is difficult one to make.

Have hope that God is still walking hand in hand with you.

Have hope God has not abandoned you.

Have hope in Elizabeth Elliot’s encouraging words below,

“Sometimes life is so hard you can only do the next thing. Whatever that is just do the next thing. God will meet you there.”

Elizabeth Elliot

Lastly, have hope that God is protecting you and will be with you every step of the way.

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Bubbles and Experiments, The Things Memories Are Made From

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In my quest to bring my blog back to life, I have decided to not just share encouraging information, but to share some our everyday living as well.

I will be adding a new category to my blog and I will be calling it Living The Everyday Life.

This will be my first story in this new section. I will be adding a link to my tabs for this as well and will be adding to them as they are created. Stay tuned to future adventures.

So here is our Sunday Funday accomplishment.

Kiddo needed a lab partner for her college online Biology Lab experiment.

When this happens, it becomes all hands on deck and a family affair. So here are a few pictures from who was available to participate.

Shadow, the technician master. He was not happy to be wearing safety glasses.
Grady, the experimental supervisor.

I love how no matter how old my child is, that she still comes to me for advice, guidance, and/or help.

I believe by having homeschooled her, for her entire life, that it created a learning bond between us. So when she needs educational help or guidance she isn’t afraid to ask for my advice.

Some bonds that are created will not be easily broken.

HD Benson

For this, I am thankful for the years we have spent together.

So today’s adventure in education was the great Bubble Experiment.

She had to hypothesize which brand of bubble gum would create bigger bubbles.

I have to admit, it was a fun experiment, but oh my goodness, bubble gum tastes horrible.

I never realized that at 22 years old, she never learned how to blow bubbles with bubble gum. So guess what she needed help with? Yes, blowing the bubbles.

So mom to the rescue however, despite the horrible taste of the bubble gum, it was a fun experiment.

I will never think of bubble gum in the same light again though.

I will include some interesting pictures and this way if you want to do this with your kids, you will have an idea of how she did her experiment.

She learned about; Constants, Independent and Dependent Variables, how to write a hypothesis, and how to formulate a conclusion while graphing her results.

The pictures below are some of what she provided to her professor proving she did the experiment.

In conclusion, the best part of this activity was the time we spent together and the memories we made.

Take the time today to make some memories with your family and your kids. It doesn’t matter what you do. All that matters is that you do something.

I hope you enjoyed this Living The Every Day Life segment.

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There Is A Reason For The Season

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Encouragement Today

My friend, Today’s Encouragement will be a simple reminder that no matter what you are going through, whether everything is going well, or whether everything is going badly, there is a reason for all of it.

God reminds us in Ecclesiastes,

“To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under Heaven.”

Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NKJV)

If you are going through a difficult time remember this and be encouraged that with every second and every hour God is growing you and molding you for a better plan and purpose.

He never allows us to go through the muddy waters of life without allowing us to use those difficulties later and somewhere else.

I have experienced some great difficulties in my life and as I was going through them, my greatest consolidation was that there was a purpose for it. Whether the purpose was to help me conquer a trial later or if it was to help encourage someone else, I knew in my heart there was a reason for everything I was going through.

It didn’t come easily though, because there were many days I remember saying, “Lord, this is hard, this is really hard, but if you can use this hardship later to make someone else’s life a bit easier, then I will be okay and I can do this, but only with Your strength.”

I needed to know there was a reason and a purpose for the difficult season in my life and God was always there to reassure me there was.

My friend, if this is you today and you are struggling in a difficult relationship, you are struggling financially, or you are struggling with a sick family member, a close friend or even a spouse. It doesn’t matter if it is all of these or none of these. What matters if you are having a difficult time is to remember these simple, but powerful words;

“There is none like You, Lord.”

Jeremiah 10:7

Stand tall today, hold your head just a little bit higher, and know your God knows you, sees you, and above all else, loves you.

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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.