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One Day Life Is The Same, Yet One Day So Different

Credit: Homelifeandencouragement.com

This is what sums up my 2020 this past year.

“Isn’t it funny how day by day nothing changes, but when you look back, everything is different …”

C.S. Lewis

When I look back at how my year went, it was twisted, molded, and turned inside out. Do you ever have times like this in your life?

My year abruptly changed when one day when my daughter and I were driving down the road and she said, “Mom, what if you got a job where I work?”

I wasn’t actively looking for a job, but instead spent years praying for God to open up the opportunity and the timing for this to occur.

So, I ran with it. I pulled over in a parking lot space and texted my daughter’s job and requested an opportunity to pick up an application, which I did when I took her to work a couple of hours later. Within two weeks, I was working at the same place.

God opened up a position in the time I was waiting for my background checks to come back and when I began, I walked into a perfect job which God had created “just for me”.

This time a year ago, I had no idea my life was going to change as much as it has, but I am so thankful for the changes that have occurred.

After 21 years of being a stay at home mom, I am now a working mom. It was challenging and remains to be, as I am still adjusting to how to work and keep up with all of my other responsibilities.

My blog was an area that I let slide, with minimal posts, but it has bothered me.

I love talking about life and encouraging others to live their best life, so with this being said, it is my desire to bring this back to life. It may not look like it did before I had a job, but it is my prayer that I will be able to jot down some notes or share encouraging images with you on a regular basis.

So, with the year’s worth of twists and turns, I can now look back and see the growth I made last year, but could not see it while I was going through it.

Has this happened to you? What area of growth has taken place in your life and you didn’t see happen until you took the time to look back and you can see it now?

Leave your comments below, as well as any tricks to managing working and keeping up with your family and life. I can use any advice you have learned along the way.

As I close this out, I want to again express my greatest appreciation for those of you who have continued to follow me through my years of actively blogging and my times of silence. I do not take this for granted.

Have a wonderful day, My Friend!!

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The Greatest Gifts Aren’t In Pretty Boxes

Credit: Home. Life. Encouragement

Sweet Thoughts on this Christmas Week:

Some of the greatest gifts don’t come in packages, but in lab coats instead.

For anyone who has ever experienced a bad doctor, you realize with a quickness to cherish the good ones.

As I sit here waiting for Kiddo again in this large parking lot, I’m praying that God will touch the hand of Dr. Ben-O’ and that his treatment plan today will break this vicious migraine cycle and she will receive the best gift in life and that would be to be pain free for Christmas.

Thank you God for placing this amazing doctor in Kiddo’s life and for giving him the determination to not give up despite the great difficulty in treating her.

Remember, as we draw closer to Christmas Day and you are finishing up your shopping and wrapping of all the gifts that will be placed under the Christmas trees, that the most precious of gifts are not wrapped up in pretty boxes, but in those we are with all through the year.

Today my greatest gifts are those who wear lab coats. Three in particular. They are Dr. Ben O’, Dr Jeff, and Dr Malone. These three men have never given up on my daughter and for them my heart is eternally grateful!!!

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Making A Difference Fights Against The Lies of Exhaustion

Credit: Homelifeandencouragement.com

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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Oh The Simple Things I Love About Thanksgiving

I’m so excited for our Thanksgiving this year. 

In the past our meal was surrounded by the stress of making the most out of nothing as money was so critically tight, but this year is different for us. 

This year I have a job which is enabling us to enjoy a few extras that we are so use to doing without or dealing with the stress to make it happen. 

This year however, I was able to think about what we liked and make my plans according to what we want without the stress of trying to make it happen. 

So here is to my homemade Apple Pie. 

An all time favorite from my past. 

I’m excited to have my Apple pie served with a dollop of whip cream. 

Then there is the awaited Friday morning serving of pumpkin pie with whip cream for breakfast. 

Oh the simple things I love about Thanksgiving. 

What is yours? 

Leave your comments below. It will be fun to see what you love about Thanksgiving and seeing your memories of the past.

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Knowing You Are Important

Sometimes being a mom… is having to do the tough stuff when you don’t want to. 

It is having to give your child 4 shots worth of infusions after she already experienced 40 shots in her head earlier in the day. 

Sometimes it is showing up for them when you are so tired you can’t fathom taking one more step in the day. 

It is sacrificing your career because you decide their education is more important to you than what you set out to do for yourself. 

Sometimes it is holding them when they are hurt or sick. 

Sometimes it is falling on your knees in prayer because you are desperate to help them when no one else can. 

Mom’s, when you begin to doubt yourself and your ability to be a “mom”, stop yourself and give yourself the grace to know that no matter how hard the day is or how hard the “season” you are in is, that God sees you. 

He knows your heart. He knows your pain. He drys your tears and He gives you the grace to get up in the morning to see that it is a new day. 

Remember, no matter how bad today was or how tired and frustrated you may be, know you are making a difference. Know God made you to be the “perfect mom” to your children and it wasn’t by accident. 

As a result, He will bless you with the strength, knowledge, grace, and wisdom you need to raise them. 

Big hugs mom as you start your day or you are ending your day.

#Findingyourcourage, #Keepingitreal, Anxiety, Burn out, Chronic Migraines, College Life, Discouraged, Exhausted, Journey, Keeping It Real, Life, Living The Every Day Life, Medical Journey, Migraine, pain, Parenting, Real, Stress, Trials, Weakness, Weariness

Living My Real

A Day in The Life of Our Medical Journey

Credit: Home. Life. Encouragement

This is how I am starting my day again. Sitting in a doctor’s office parking lot.

Today is a bit harder though. Today I could just sit here and weep as my daughter walks off by herself to go get 25-30 nerve blocks in her head for another month.

I’m choosing to not give in to my emotions though in just the off chance the “Corona Police” are not at the front door inspecting everyone (please, do not criticize my response). I know they are there to help and protect others, but when you live what we live, it isn’t easy to run into this “all” the time.

Thanks to this Corona Pandemic she has to do all her doctor appointments alone, because they will not let me anywhere near the building.

Seriously people, who wants to get all of these shots in their head and do it alone?

I can speak for myself, no, not me! I hate shots and I’m talking just the ones you get in your arm.

But for my precious daughter, she is getting them in her head to help with her chronic migraines. It is the only way she can manage them now. She does this once a month, but who knew we would ever get to a point in life where she would be forced, by others, to have to endure this all alone.

Today is one of those difficult days to watch her suffer and struggle.

I have already texted my husband asking, why?!? Why does she have to battle to live a “normal” life.

Why does everyday have to be one where she endures pain and overwhelming fatigue?

Why can’t she be healthy and live a “typical” college kid’s life?

This has been an exasperating week for us, which is probably why I just want to sit and weep and maybe even just cry.

Our health insurance, which is suppose to be the top of the line, has decided that because she reached her “projected” graduation date that they are going to cancel her health insurance in a matter of days.

These are the same people who pay a “ton” of money for her health care already.

So we have had to jump through some mega hoops to get the proof from her college, (that is closed down due to the Covid-19 crisis), to prove she is still in college.

I am completely baffled as to how and why this is happening still.

We are left now praying that everything we submitted will work to prove she is still in college. If just one person slows this process down, she will be left not covered by health insurance.

Without health insurance all her treatments will stop, she will not have access to the specialists we spent years trying to find, and we will not be able to afford all the medicine she is on.

This is such as scary thought as I write it. It should be something we shouldn’t even have to be going through. The system is seriously broken for this to be occurring. This was something we knew would be coming on her 23rd birthday, and that we were prepared mentally for, and would not have waited until the last minute, or in this case, second, to fix it.

No, in this situation, someone made a serious mistake 2 years ago and we are just now finding out about it and have literally hours to fix it before the damage it will cause to my daughter will be massive, debilitating and permanent.

So, I sit here with a knot in the pit of my stomach, looking at a busy parking lot. There is an ambulance and a fire truck at the entrance where I keep looking up to see if my daughter is walking out of.

I’m left to sit here asking God why? Why does she have to suffer? What will be her story? What will be her testimony? Why does every day have to be a battle?

Until God decides the time to reveal those answers, I know I just have to keep trusting in Him for the direction, protection, and discernment.

Are you in a similar battle? I know others are. Please know I’m here with you. I know the lonely feeling this life brings. Please know if you are, I standing beside you.

You’re not alone!

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Happy Mother’s Day

Credit: Home. Life. Encouragement 

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.

#Keepingitreal, Bible, Blessings, Comfort, encouragement, Encouragement Today, Faith, Guest Post, Hope, Inspiration, Journey, Keeping It Real, Life, Peace, Strength

Hope Comes From Above

Photo by Anton Atanasov on Pexels.com

Are you struggling with finding the hope you need to get through a difficult time?

Today I am sharing some encouragement through a different form. I am going to team up with my nephew, who is a youth ministry leader to share with you some hope to get through today as well as the difficult days that are ahead.

I am going to share with you a YouTube video that nephew made for the youth of his church while they are quarantining.

It is my hope that you are encouraged by his words. If you have any youth in your home who may be discouraged and need to be uplifted, share this with them as well.

Click on the link below to listen to Pastor Travis give us hope and encouragement knowing we will get through this difficult time.

Credits: Pastor Travis
Whiting Bible Church Youth Ministry

Disclaimer: I have his permission to share this video, as well as additional videos with you. It is his desire that you will be touched and encouraged by the words God gave to him to share with us.

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Procrastination Leads To Difficult Days

Credit: Home. Life. Encouragement

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!

Educational, encouragement, Homeschool, Inspiration, Journey, Keeping It Real, Learning, Life, Living The Every Day Life

Bubbles and Experiments, The Things Memories Are Made From

Credit: Home. Life. Encouragement

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.