#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.

Blessings, encouragement, Holiday, Inspiration, Life, Love

Honoring Mothers Today

To the moms who are struggling today (for the many various reason there are), I want you to know you are loved for the gentle spirit you are.

You are special for the million tiny things you do, that no one sees, and you are beautiful because God made you so.

Today is the day we honor you as a mother, but it doesn’t stop with today.

As a mother, we know you are important every day of the week and every month of the year.

Take some time today to just breathe and know, despite the lack of possible acknowledgement, you are important and you are special!!

HL&E Designs, Inspiration, Love, Specialty T-Shirt, Specialty T-Shirt, T-Shirt

We Are Loved By The One Who Created Us

We Love Because he first Loved Us 1 John 4:19

Do you know someone who would be inspired to wear this sweet shirt? Consider ordering yours today. Please fill out the below order form and hit submit. Once your form has been reviewed, I will email you a PayPal Invoice including all the information you provided. If the included information is correct, please pay the PayPal link and as soon as I have received the payment, I will process your order. Please allow 5-14 days for creating it. Thank You!

$30.00

encouragement, HL&E Designs, Inspiration, Kindness, Life, Remembering, Thankfulness

Recognizing Important People

We are a few weeks away from a busy month of recognizing important people in our lives.

We have Mother’s Day coming up!

Teachers and Nurses Appreciation Weeks as well.

Do you have these important people in your lives? If you do, we are your one stop shop to make meaningful and special gifts for them.

We can customize and personalize your gift ideas. Send us a message today to allow us the time to get your gifts back to you before time runs out.

I will try to make albums this weekend with some amazing gift ideas for these 3 important recognitions, but if you have ideas, do not be afraid to ask us to make them as well.

We can be found on Instagram and Facebook as HL&E Designs. I also have a link on the right side bar.

Please consider checking us out. We can ship to US and APO/FPO addresses at this time.

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Ladies Love Never Fails V-Neck T-Shirt Available

Love Never Fails 1 Cor 13:8 V-Nect T-shirt

This shirt comes in a variety of colors. Mint Green, Scarlet Red, Raspberry, Red, Tahiti Blue, Banana Cream Yellow, Heather Gray, and Dark Gray. The sleeve monogram is free. You simply need to provide your monogram letters (first, last, middle initials). When ordering these shirts, they run small, so be sure to increase your size by one size. These shirts can be worn year round. Price $30.00 (S/H Included)

$30.00

Love Never Fails 1 Cor 13:8 V-Nect T-shirt

This shirt comes in a variety of colors. Mint Green, Scarlet Red, Raspberry, Red, Tahiti Blue, Banana Cream Yellow, Heather Gray, and Dark Gray. The sleeve monogram is free of charge. Price $25.00 (SE Virginia Residents who do not require shipping).

$25.00

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Features:

  • Side seam
  • Tear-away label
  • Front coverstitched 1×1 baby rib-knit set-in collar
  • Fabric laundered for reduced shrinkage
  • 30 singles
  • 4 oz.
  • 60% combed ringspun cotton/40% polyester lightweight jersey
Journey

Acts of Love Overflowing To Others

Encouragement Today

Sharing Acts of Love Today

Today’s Encouragement is to do an Act of Love for someone to make them smile and feel loved. 

I understand this is the season to express our gratitude daily, but I feel like this is equally important as well.

I am a person who does not always follow the path of the most, instead, I tend to be the person who follows the path of the few.  

Today’s detour will be a deflection from the traditional season of gratitude to that of love instead. 

I chose to use my family for this action today. I use to do things all the time for them but found with the countless daily doctor appointments, there was no longer time to do the little things I enjoyed. 

Today was the “perfect” day to use up my bananas that were too soft to eat but were perfect to make banana muffins with. As a result, I also have a warm, sweet-smelling aroma coming from my kitchen for my family to savor this chilly fall morning. I included my recipe, if you click on the banana muffin link you will have access to this easy and delicious recipe. 

The reason this is an act of love and not a norm any longer is that the past two years have been a whirlwind of health issues in our home. 

In the first of these two years, between my husband and my daughter, they had five surgeries due to health issues. Thankfully, this year only my husband had one surgery and Kiddo received a welcomed break from them, however, they have both been very sickly. 

As a result of them being sickly, daily doctor appointments have become of a part of my busy life and continue to steal my time away. They have robbed me of the things I found enjoyable. For the past two years, I have heard over and over and over again, “You can not do everything and you need to let some things go.” Unfortunately, the things I had to let go were the things I did to make my family feel loved and I enjoyed doing. 

I would bake for them regularly as well as keep the house clean, not pristine, but lived in clean. I found even this task was difficult because in order to keep the house clean, it would require me to be home and home is difficult to be at when you are running from daily doctor appointment to daily doctor appointments. 

Now I have given you a glimpse of what my past couple of years have been like you can understand why today is so important to me. It is something I use to do all the time. 

The Bible reminds us,


Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Luke 6:38 NIV

Your inspiration today is to remind you, it is impossible to out give God. It does not make a difference if it is in the form of love, service, or gratitude. God promises to continually bless you and me for blessing others. 

My Friend, today’s challenge is to bless someone with an Act of Love. It does not need to be big, or showy, or over the top. It does not need to be for a family member. It can be for a total stranger.

All that matters is that it comes from your heart and makes the receiver smile and feel loved because they will continue to treasure that random act and moment in their heart. 

In turn God will bless you with a need of your heart as well. Today, my blessing was receiving that warm feeling within me of doing something for my family that I use to do all the time. It felt wonderful to be back in my kitchen, baking and making my home a warm and inviting place to be. 

Feel free to leave a comment below to share what you did to bring love and a smile into someone else’s heart today. 

Journey, Life

Refreshing Relationships

Encouragement Today and Weekend Reminder

img_8650Today’s inspiration is coming via another moment of tranquility.

We had some amazingly beautiful weather the past couple of days so yesterday’s adventure took us to Corolla in the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

God’s revelation, while we enjoyed our beautiful day together, was that our kids are never to old to spend quality time together.

My friend, if you have a child or children in your life, no matter if they are yours or they are your nieces and nephews or they are just children in your life you love, it is never to late to spend some time with them building bonds and relationships that will be forever etched in their minds and their hearts.

Your weekend reminder today is to be sure to incorporate the time to build on those relationships. If you find the time to build on them, you will be amazed at how rejuvenated you will feel at the end of the day.

Enjoy the small people God blessed you with. Take the time to play, cuddle, love on, talk to, read to, and do whatever it is that you both enjoy. The bonding time will be priceless at the end of the day or at the end of the weekend.

Take some time this weekend to invest in your relationships. Your important people will feel loved and you will walk away feeling refreshed.

encouragement, Holiday, Journey, Life

Celebrating Moms Today

design-143

It is Mother’s Day!

Today is a special day, a day when we celebrate our moms.

Whether your mom is alive or she has passed, celebrate her today for without her, you would not be here. Here are some quick thoughts I have on motherhood.

Motherhood is…

  • Loves you beyond imagination
  • Dries the tears of the boo-boos to the broken hearts
  • Stands guard without being seen
  • Is supportive beyond the words you know to speak
  • Advocates for you until she wins the battle
  • Educates you to success (without giving up)
  • Holds your hand through all the pains to the successes of life
  • Cries behind closed doors
  • Shows constant perseverance through exhaustion and endless energy

These are just some of the things that come to mind when I think about what motherhood is and if I were to describe what it means to me.

My friend, many of you have been blessed to know and love a mom who has these traits, while I am also aware many have not. To those who have a beautiful and loving mother, cherish her and show her how she has touched your life in a meaningful way. Those words will be better than any bouquet of flowers or gift you could give her.

To those whose mom is no longer here, hugs to you for the pain and void you may have in your heart today. Cherish your memories and hold them close to your heart.

To those whose mom was not all, she should have been or could be, know moms are not perfect. They make mistakes that sometimes hold irreversible effects, but today is a day that maybe you could seek wisdom to see through the pain and forgive her for the absence she left in your heart. Hugs to you as well, as the pain you feel is real and runs deep within you. Consider reaching down into your heart for just today (if this is all you are able to do) and love her for being your mom and for giving birth to you. It will help to heal the brokenness of your heart.

Mother’s Day is a day where depending on your relationship can be either a joyous day or a day of deep sorrow, but no matter how you feel, your mom was still your mom and if you are able to see her for that, then celebrate her for that today.

Happy Mother’s Day to all of you who are moms!! It is my deepest and sincerest prayer your day is a special one and you feel equally special as well.
Comfort, Discouraged, encouragement, Encouragement Today, Hope, Journey, Life, Peace, Strength

God Always Comforts Those Who Isolate and To Those Who Help

Encouragement Today

E03E9027-13B1-4E62-A949-CDB2EBB0574CToday’s encouragement is to provide comfort to those who are in need of it as well as strength for those who provide it to others.

God is holding each one of you up and is providing for each and every need you have.

 “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” ‭‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭1:3-4‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Allow Him into your heart to meet your deepest and darkest needs, do not isolate from Him.

I know many of us when we feel overwhelmed by the needs and confusion of life, have a tendency to retract into our “safe” personal space so we can process all that has us consumed, but do not shut the door on God while you decompress in isolation.

My Friend, please remember He loves you and even though you may be hiding, He sees you still and is holding your hand while drying your hidden tears. Allow Him access to your heavy heart so He can provide you the strength and peace to all you are harboring. Allow Him to provide clarity to your confusion, your distraction, your hurt, and your pain and know by doing this you will find the peace and strength He has to offer you.

To those who are providing comfort to others, turn the weight of your heavy heart over to God as well. He knows what you are carrying while you are helping others in your life. If you allow God to carry the weight, it will allow you the ability to stay focused and light-hearted and will enable you to stay engaged with the people you are trying to help through the loving, caring, compassion, and encouragement you are trying to provide.

In closing, I am here to provide a simple reminder that no matter what you are going through or who you may be trying to help, God is always there to provide comfort for each and every one of you. 

If you need peace, strength, or comfort, allow Him access to your heart and your life today.

Take the time to allow God full access to your life.
Bible, Blessings, Broken, Challenge, Comfort, Depression, Discouraged, Encouragement Today, Exhausted, Journey, Life, Rest, Strength, Trials, Weariness

Sharing My God Revealing Moment

Encouragement Today

Today’s encouragement is coming in the form of a lesson God showed me this morning  and will be followed by a challenge.

Have you ever taken the time to truly think about who God is? I know many of you will say yes, but I mean truly took time to ponder deep down inside who He really is? If you were asked to describe Him, what words would you choose?

As I was doing my morning devotion I stumbled on these verses and found I needed to I read and reread this passage over and over again. I completely understand God is a God of hope, strength, peace, and comfort as well as many more, but these verses jumped out at me and I decided to share them with you as well. It is my prayer they touch your heart as they have touched mine.

Read this passage and see what you think? Do you see God as a God of “action” like I did.

I have underlined the action words to allow you the ability to see what jumped out at me this morning.

“Your loveLord, reaches to the heavens,
    your faithfulness to the skies.
Your righteousness is like the highest mountains,
    your justice like the great deep.
    You, Lord, preserve both people and animals.
How priceless is your unfailing love, O God!
    People take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
They feast on the abundance of your house;
    you give them drink from your river of delights.
For with you is the fountain of life;
    in your light we see light.

Continue your love to those who know you,
    your righteousness to the upright in heart.”  

Psalm 36: 5-10 NIV

These are all words we know describes our Heavenly Father, but there is something about seeing them written in one place together that makes them awesome and awe striking to me today.

We know we have a God who is a person of action. He is “always” with us and meeting our every need twenty-four hours a day, crisis after crisis, need after need, as well as celebrating joy after joy, but still… these verses just ring true to me.

There are no limits to His provisions for us. They are immeasurable. Think about His unfailing “love” and “faithfulness” that reaches the Heavens and the skies. My friend, when you look at these words there is something magnificent here. We are incapable of doing this in our human form. We may love people, but not with this kind of love. We are incapable of this, but God is not.

Now think about His righteousness and justice for a moment. I am so thankful it comes in abundance as I mess up so much in my daily life. It would take a lot of patience for Him to accept me as well as offer me so graciously His righteousness and justice. Thankfully He doesn’t judge me as man does. I will graciously accept his righteousness and justice any day.

My friend, God’s “love” is unfailing.He loves each and every one of us despite our failures, faults and stubbornness. He meets all our needs even through we may not be willing to see them. I know I am guilty of this. When I am at my weakest I can easily forget, but God gently reminds me He is a God of love and will provide for my every need. He shows me by using His creatures as examples. God will show me a pair of doves or a majestic butterfly. He will put a pair of geese along my travels to show me if He meets the needs of these creatures, how much more does He love me and will meet my needs. He brings forth the provisions I am in need of every time.

“Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?”

Matthew 6:26 NKJV

God provides for all of His people and His creatures, however I can completely understand how difficult it is to see. Through the past couple of years we have experienced great hardships and God has used these hardships to soften my heart and to show me how weak I am and how incapable to fully trust anyone, including Him at times. Trust in Him my friend, He never lets you down. Allow Him to bless you with the provisions you are in need of just as He does for me.

Take refuge under His wings if you are walking through the murky and muddy waters of life. Allow God to provide abundantly for your needs while you are seeking shelter from the storm. Allow Him to shield you and love you while you breathe and get warm. Our God is strong and mighty enough to do this for you, if you allow Him too.

“He shall cover you with His feathers,
And under His wings you shall take refuge;
His truth shall be your shield and buckler.”

Psalm 91:4 NKJV 

My friend, allow God to refresh your hunger and thirst. He has the provisions and is just waiting for you to seek Him. Go to His house and knock on the door.

Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.”

Revelations 3:20 NKJV

He promises to let you in if we only ask. Take shelter my friend; rest, restore, and regain your strength with His promises. When you do, you will see this amazing light shine through Him. Allow His rays to permeate into your soul so others will see His light shine through you,

As I said earlier, when I read the initial verses out of Psalm, it left me awe-struck and amazed by His wonderment. I know He is capable of doing all of this, but when the writer of Psalms put it all together like this, it became even more powerful and magnificent.

My friend, your challenge today is to truly seek God and ask Him to share His amazing blessings with you. If you find yourself in a turbulent time ask Him to meet these needs for you. He promises to do so and when He does, it will renew your hope in Him and in a brighter future.