My mission is to provide you with inspiration and encouragement to live everyday to it's fullest. I do this by sharing the simple things in life such as recipes to the most difficult of things such a life. We all know life is a struggle and many days a balancing act, but I am here to inspire you to do it well. Everything I write about is designed to inspire as well as encourage you to be a "better" you that you can be. Everything I share is raw and real. I do not cover up or sugar coat what I write about. This would benefit no one. My goal is for you to walk away feeling uplifted and encouraged after leaving my page. Lastly, I am here to remind you that you are… enough and beautiful… just the way you are.
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.”
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.
Do not be discouraged if you are going through something and you keep praying over it, and God keeps saying, “No, not now”.
My friend, God is hearing your prayer and is wiping your tears, but no matter how discouraged you are, He will not answer your prayer until His timing is perfect.
When His timing is “perfect”, you will only be able to say, “Wow”.
Wait for His timing. Wait for your, “Wow” and know you won’t regret it.
But until then, keep praying as He hears your prayer.
He has not abandoned you. He wants you to lean on Him. He wants to know you need Him.
Trust God and His timing, even if it doesn’t make sense. Trust His timing even when the pressure of others is intense. They do not know what He is doing, just as you don’t, but don’t give into their pressure.
If God is not directing you, then continue to wait.
My friend, you’ve got this no matter how difficult your trial is.
There will be a reward for your wait. It may come in an hour, but it may take six years or more, but keep trusting in God and know He will meet your need, no matter what it is.
Do you have a to do list that is so long you do not know where to begin?
If you do then you are not alone.
I have taken this week, that we didn’t have any doctor appointments, to find order in my chaos and peace in my frustrations.
I found by making my home functional that this brought me peace this week.
I came to a realization in my attempt to find “me” that the biggest waster of my time is chaos.
I found if I can reign in the chaos monster and better use my time on stuff that matters and is important, then I am in better control over my stress.
And let’s face it… (nothing against dads here at all as we all love our husbands (most days), but when mom is stressed, the whole house is usually.)
Ladies and gentlemen, we need to find where our source of stress is and we need to learn how to tame it better.
So in my new found revelation this week, you will begin to see me post more practical every day tips to help us be better stewards of our time while encouraging and motivating each other along the way.
Are you game for this inspiration?
If so, feel free to leave a comment or a symbol below in the comments and together we will learn to tame the chaos in our lives, one step, one chore, and one day at a time.
My friend, do you ever feel like you are alone, just walking through life in the shadows of those around you?
Do you look at people and find yourself envious because they have friends and relationships and you do not?
Do you struggle believing you do not have them because you are not friendly enough or outgoing enough? You are not happy enough or have enough “things” to offer? You do not have enough money (as if that buys friendships and relationships)? You believe you are not loving, gentle, kind, humble, or empathetic enough?
My friend, I am here to remind you today those are lies the enemy tells you. I have felt them, all of them. Who am I kidding? If I am going to write a blog about being honest and sharing the real and raw feelings of life, then I need to admit I still feel this way. I am like you; I listen to the lies the enemy tells me. I listen to when he tells me…
• I am a nobody. • I am ugly. • I am fat (ok… that might be an over exaggeration… more like squishy as my daughter told me when she was a tiny tot.) • I am a failure. • I am inadequate. • I am lazy (because I don’t work outside of our home). • I am worthless. • I am “just a mom” (as if this is a bad thing, which I know in my heart it is not).
Oh, my friend, that word “just” has way too much power. No one is “just” at anything. No matter what you do or who you are, never let that word “just” define you. You ARE the BEST of what you do or who you are.
You ARE THE BEST… • Husband • Wife • Dad • Mom • Doctor • Nurse • Lawyer • Writer • Police Officer • Teacher • Waitress • Landscaper • Janitor
This list is endless. The point I am trying to make is that no matter who you are or what you do, you are important! Your life matters and you matter to others even if you do not know it.
The enemy does not want you to see your value or your worth. He wants to keep you in a state of being unbalanced because this keeps you weak and dependent upon him instead of allowing you the time to focus on your Heavenly Father, who created you perfectly.
God wants me to show you that you are valuable and important. He wants you to see that you do matter to others (even when you do not feel it or see it).
My friend, I am writing today to show how much I struggle with the same struggles you do. I feel the same loneliness and the same inadequacies as you, but God has been working on my heart over the past few months. He keeps showing me the darkness I have lived for almost ten years is not the darkness I have to stay in.
I want to remind you today, both you and I are important to others even if we do not know it. Every person you encounter leaves a mark on their heart. Some people you may invest in a relationship with and some people you may never see again, but with every action, deed, or act of kindness you share, it leaves a seed planted on the heart of every person you met.
I have a sweet friend who became a friend because she was initially the stranger who lived next door. She was a stranger who I would see coming and going from our homes and one day those coming and goings forged a friendship that went beyond the simple gesture of a wave or head nod and greeting of the day.
Over time our friendship grew, and our simple respectful gestures became more about how to help each other. Her sweet husband would help me edge my yard so it would look beautiful from week to week. They helped me clean up my back yard from a hurricane, which I left for because my husband was deployed to Iraq and my daughter was only five years old. When I left it was a destructive category five hurricane with a direct impact for where we lived. I had to keep my daughter and pets safe, so we went inland and stayed with another sweet friend until the storm passed.
One of my hardest deployment stories that sealed our friendship was the day I sat in my driveway with my car loaded with everything of possible value (both physical and sentimental) and I looked at my house with tears falling down my cheeks believing I would never see it ever again. I was leaving everything we had worked hard for behind to be destroyed by a strong category five hurricane and when I came home again, I would have to dig through the pieces of our life to find what was left.
So, as I sat in my driveway I prayed over our home. I prayed for God to protect it. I prayed for God to keep the roof on it to protect the contents inside. I prayed for God to spare every shingle on the roof and the siding on every wall to include even the shutters on my windows. God tells us to ask for even the smallest of details, so I took him literal. I did just this.
After I felt I had done all I could do and prayed all I could pray, I drove out of my driveway to leave our world behind in order to protect our lives. I even left my neighbors, who were not evacuating, behind and even prayed for their safety as well.
It was with a tear-soaked face and a heavy heart that we drove out of our neighborhood and headed inland to a safer place with a dear friend whose husband was also deployed with mine in Iraq.
The storm came and left and God weakened the storm to a strong category one and a weak category two by the time it arrived. My house stood firm and whole. God honored my prayer and kept my home safe. Not one shingle, not one piece of siding, not one gutter, nor one shutter was torn from my house. It remained strong and firm, just as I had left it.
However, my backyard, which I forgot to pray about, was a different story. My backyard was a war zone. The backyard where my daughter played all the time was something that could not be recognized. I lost trees and crazy amounts of tree limbs and pine straw was thrown over every inch.
I tell you this story because it was a simple gesture of love and kindness that sealed my friendship with my sweet neighbor next door. They had the same mess in their yard as I did, but they tirelessly worked to clean up my yard so when I came home my daughter would not be traumatized by her back yard and that she would feel safe to play back there in the future.
They shared pictures with me while I was gone and knew there was no way I could come home to that destruction. They worked tirelessly for a couple of days to get my yard to something I could manage when I came home. They cut up the trees and took the pieces to the curb for me. They bagged and bagged up debris to get it out of my yard and put it all to the curb so when I came home, the hardest part of what I would have to do was done.
My friends, their random act of kindness to help “me”, just little ole’ me, their neighbor next door who we liked and became friends with, went above and beyond what I would have ever dreamed they would do for me.
Tell me your life doesn’t matter. Tell me you do not make a difference. Tell me your life does not impact others. I will tell you no… it does matter. You do make a difference. You are touching the lives of others.
You may not always see it, but in time God will reveal to you the lives you will touch.
I am writing today to share just when you think you are not making the difference in people, you are. You are touching the lives of everyone around you.
I have had a couple instances in the past couple of weeks now where God revealed to me that I am touching lives and I never knew it.
I shared a picture above of a beautiful handmade quilt and matching bag that was made especially for me by the sweet friend whom I spoke about who cleaned my yard from the hurricane. She is no longer my neighbor next door because they moved away, but our friendship has not diminish.
I did not expect to receive this beautiful quilt and bag and even part of me said, “why me?” What did I do to deserve this special gift for absolutely no reason? Why would someone pour their heart and soul into making such a beautiful gift for me?
My friend, this beautiful gesture was done because of a life I touched over the years even though I never knew it. Just because you do not see the lives you are touching does not mean they are not being touched. Be yourself. Do not try to be someone you are not, but more importantly, do not believe the negative lies the enemy tells you. Turn your eyes upward and allow God to show you what to do and what to believe. That is where your truth will lay.
Today, I will close by encouraging you to reach out to someone and share a random act of kindness with them. It will touch their lives and their heart forever.
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.
I am feeling God has a few of His own who are in need of some encouragement today.
Are you struggling with finding your self worth and identity because somehow over the years and the busyness of life you have lost who you are? Know, you are not alone.
Are you struggling in a difficult relationship? Do you struggle with a battle within you to know if you stay and fight for your marriage or is it time to walk away? Know, you are not alone.
Are you fighting with health needs? Are you in pain all the time? Are you frustrated with fighting with the doctors or insurance companies to get them to listen to you, to hear you, and to help you? Know, you are not alone.
Are you in a season of struggling with your child/ren to get them to listen to you. Do you feel like they are distancing themselves from you and your family? Are you frustrated and discouraged? My friend, do not walk away from this struggle. Keep pray, keep loving, and keep reaching out to them. They need you, even though they may not feel as though they do. Fight for your child! Remain their safe place.Know, you are not alone.
Are you a new parent who is fighting sleep deprivation and as a result feel the weight of darkness all around, but you do not tell anyone as this is suppose to be one of your happiest times in your life, as you hold the love of your life in your arms? Know, you are not alone.
My friend, God gave me this verse for you, who are in pain today.
“Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”” John 8:12 NKJV
No matter how dark life might seem, please know there is a light that is wrapped around you. This light is so you will never remain in total darkness. It is God’s light which surrounds you and has you consumed because one day you believed in Him.
Allow that light to shine on your darkness while you use it to light the way out of this dark time. Follow it until you find the peace and comfort you need to not feel alone.
My friend, reach out to those who are closest to you. Allow them to help you, pray for you, and encourage you.
If you feel they are not enough and you would rather reach out to someone who doesn’t know you, feel free to leave a comment below. I am here to lift you up in prayer.
My hope God uses today’s encouragement to touch your heart and to remind you, you are not alone.
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.
It is Friday night again and we are sitting here together as Kiddo does another week of IgG Infusions.
This is not the best way for her to spend her Friday night, as most college students her age are out having fun, but doing it tonight is proving to be so much better for her.
By doing this on Friday night she is able to go to bed and sleep off the side effects that she was was trying to work (literally through) before she changed to Friday night. She is also able to rest her body tomorrow as she struggles through the remaining side effects.
She is amazingly strong and courageous. Every time she does this, she amazes me at the strength she has to sit there and inject 4 separate needles into her legs and then sit there for an hour or more while she waits for the infusion to finish.
For all she battles with her body on a daily basis, it breaks my heart to watch her, but I also find a sense of pride to call her my daughter because I know she has dig deep down inside to do something that the rest of us take for granted every day.
Her road ahead looks a bit dark as we struggle to figure out what it is going to take to give her her life back, but thankfully after four long hard years of struggling already and battling for the fights we have won and battling the fights we have lost, we are closer now to finding this solution than she has ever been in the years back.
It is my prayer that the journey she is on with the new medicines and treatments that there will be an end to this battle she battles within her body.
I was going to get ready to close until she just read me this amazingly fitting bible verse which I will share with you as well,
God is with her, she will not fall. Ps 46:5
God, you are amazing with your timing.
I was not going to write tonight as I often feel like what I write is not important and would not affect anyone else, but with closing with this verse and knowing Kiddo has no idea what I am doing, I know I was meant to write this tonight.
If you are battling a battle that is one you never dreamt you would battle, know you are not alone.
God has your back just as He has my daughter’s. He is with you, My Friend!
Find peace and comfort in this tonight.
Now I am going to close as I am sure Kiddos infusion should be close to being finished.
My friend, rest tonight. Allow God to take the burdens of the week away from you and sleep in the protection of His arms tonight.
It is Monday again and not just an ordinary Monday, but the one following Thanksgiving. I find myself left with the question of, “already?” It does not seem possible the Holidays are back again already.
I lost track of time in writing from the last time I wrote because I did, in fact, paint the trim in my freshly painted house.
Despite the post I wrote a time or two back, I knew it needed to be done despite any resistance that I could have been met with, but in the end, painting the trim was thankfully met with appreciation instead. It truly freshened up the look of our house and helped to transform our house back into a home again.
My daughter is completely happy with the updated look and this makes me happy. I know she is older, but I want our home to always be a place of comfort, safety, and love.
In all of this downtime between the last time I wrote and today, I pulled off getting my house updated and fresh again. We celebrated my daughter’s twenty-first birthday, celebrated Thanksgiving, and I transformed our home into a Christmas Wonderland for another year.
When I decorate our house this means our living room, dining room, kitchen, and family room. Every room takes on a Christmas look in some fashion or another.
It took me several days of decorating so I started the day before Thanksgiving because I love having our dining room decorated for our Thanksgiving meal. We have a Soldier Christmas Tree in that room. We first decorated that tree eight years ago when my husband was deployed and I wanted a special tree to serve as a visual reminder of all of our Soldiers who would not be home for the holidays. We have dark brown Christmas ornaments on that tree to serve as a reminder of them being in Iraq that year.
I keep this tradition alive even today because although my husband is no longer a Soldier in the Army, there are many other Service members who are not home for the Holidays because they are away Serving our Country.
I decorate our family room in blue lights because we still, to this day, use a four-foot tabletop tree we used in our apartment foyer when we lived in Germany. We bring those decorations out every year to serve as a reminder of the first few years we were married and stationed so far away from home.
As for the rest of the house, it is game on for tradition. The kitchen is decorated with a simplistic look and our living room is decorated with a traditional Christmas look mixed in with a little bit of European. We have our large family tree in the living room and it is decorated with all our special ornaments. Lastly, I bring out our German Nutcrackers and spread them throughout the room which completes the decorated space.
This year I had an agenda to get my decorating done by this past weekend. I needed it done so I could get back into focusing on life again.
What I have failed to mention is that my Kiddo is sick again. She picked up a cold a couple of weeks ago and we thought she was going to be able to fight it, but just when we let our guard down because she was feeling better, it came back with a vengeance.
Now she is really sick and unfortunately, it is with everything she does not have the immunity to fight on her own. I took her to the doctor and she was diagnosed with strep throat, pink eye, laryngitis, and inflamed sinuses.
He decided with everything she had to give her an antibiotic to prevent this from getting worse, but here we are and it is Monday, and she feels even worse. The only thing that is better is her pink eye.
So now I sit here writing and waiting for the doctor’s office to call me back with some direction in what to do with all of this.
This is why I needed our Christmas decorations up so when sickness consumed our time again, I would have the creature comforts of home for the holidays done and not have the stress of decorating hanging over my heard adding even more stress to my plate.
Not many people understand what our life entails with sickness always being at the forefront of our life, but it, unfortunately, is our reality.
There are so many days that I live in frustration, such as today. I do not know what to do to make my daughter feel better. I know she needs to get her lessons in college done as the semester is going to come to a close quickly. She needs to get back to campus to enroll in the next semester’s worth of classes, which she was going to do this week, but with this crud hanging over her head and her not feeling good and not able to talk yet, I do not know if she will get there this week or not.
This is the unpredictability of our life. It is a hard way to live and one I get so frustrated with living with. Between this poor kid’s migraines and immune deficiency running her life, everything we do is just put on hold.
She does not have control over any of this and I know this. I try to be as supportive as I know how to be. It just breaks my heart to see her struggling so much.
I had a picture pop up on my computer from a few years ago and I find myself missing those days so much. I find when I look at pictures of her now I can see in her face and in her eyes when her health took the turn it did. I do not know what God’s purpose in any of this is or how long she will have to struggle and suffer, but it is my constant prayer, He will bless her in a mighty way for all of it.
In closing, I want you to know I am still here and it is my Christmas hope and prayer to be able to encourage you as we travel into this Christmas Season.
This blog post took me all day to write as I wrote it in increments, but I am going to still post it even though it is the end of the day. It is just symbolic of how my day flow. Some days go smoothly and some are just getting through one interruption after another. You can clearly tell what kind of day today was for me.
I hope you had a good Monday. I hope it was one of productivity. It is my prayer for you that your week will go smoothly and you will accomplish many things.