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.
“Isn’t it funny how day by day nothing changes, but when you look back, everything is different …”
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.
I am sharing one of my favorite Christmas songs with you today. Click on the link in the above image to listen to this beautiful song.
This is one that touches my heart year after year. It is also one that seems to be overlooked, but I don’t know why.
Where’s the line to see Jesus?
Is He here at the store?
If Christmas time is His birthday,
Why don’t we see Him more?
Lyrics excerpt from Becky Kelley’s song, “Where’s The Line To See Jesus”
As many of us grow more tired and weary from the hustle and bustle of this very busy season, I want to encourage you to take a moment to warm your tired and weary heart with the sweet lyrics to this Christmas song.
I also want to inspire you to take a moment to sit back and breathe. Enjoy the twinkling lights, the soft sounds, and the sweet smells of the season that you brought to life for your family and friends.
Lastly, I want to remind that it is ok to take a moment to open your heart, and enjoy the fruits of your labor.
Merry Christmas to each and everyone of you.
May you find a sense of peace and joy in the few days left of the Christmas season.
Today’s Encouragement is to remind you of the importance of showing kindness, being tenderhearted, and forgiving of those who are around you.
Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
Ephesians 4:32 ESV
God’s standards are higher that what we place on ourselves.
Think about this for a minute.
Is He all of the above?
Is God kind, tenderhearted, and forgiving to everyone of us every day?
Does He show kindness towards us even when we are least deserving of it?
How many times do we act out irrationally towards others, whether we feel they deserved it or not? However, does whether they deserve it or not count as a valid reason in God’s eyes?
No, because God shows us kindness as well as mercy and grace even when we have messed up the most and deserve it the least.
So instead of judging others to determine if they deserve our kindness, we need to think about this verse and how He was very specific about what He was saying. God said, “Be kind to one another.”That simple.
Now I want to challenge you to think about this the next time you are sitting in traffic or standing in line (6′ apart from one another, thanks to Covid), think about just one random act of kindness that you could bestow on someone in that moment.
If while you are sitting in traffic, could you show kindness by letting the person who is struggling to merge over into your lane?
Could you hold the door open for them, say a simple hello with a smile or assist a person you see struggling?
The random act of kindness can be as simple or as complex as you make it.
Is God not tenderhearted towards us when we keep making the same mistakes over and over again?
Think about being a parent, a teacher, or someone who instructs people to do things all day long. How many times do their constant mistakes begin to grate on your nerves. Sometimes even your last one.
Well, God is simple in this reminder here. He instructs us to be tenderhearted.
He knows how important it is for us to have and use a soft and tender tongue and equally how important it is for our hearts to reflect that same tenderness. For what our words are is a reflection of what is in our hearts.
She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
Proverbs 31:26 ESV
So before you get frustrated with your situation, take a quick breath and ask in that moment for God to soften your heart so it can be tender towards the one in need of it.
Is He not all forgiving, even when we don’t deserve it?
God asks for us to be forgiving just as He, Himself, is forgiving. This however, for most of us, is actually the hardest one of all.
Think about a situation you may be facing that requires you to have a forgiving heart.
Think about how much better you would feel if you just gave up the fight and allowed the forgiveness to take over your heart, instead of the feeling the anger, jealousy, bitterness and hurtfulness that has consumed you.
So many times we allow the ugliness from the wrongful act to consume us. We ask ourselves, “Why would I forgive that person for “x”? Then we justifly ourselves in believing we do not have forgive them because “they were wrong!” We convince ourselves that is it perfectly okay to not forgive them by saying, “I’m not going to do that. I don’t have to. It wasn’t my fault.”
Does any of this sound familiar?
Now stop for a moment and think about who is really being hurt by those thoughts and feelings.
Not the person who did you wrong. Not the person next door or the people you are living with. No, only “you” pay for the hardened feelings and raw emotions that go with this anger and vengence.
Are you not more important that the wrong that has been done to you?
Now, take a moment and think about the “Reason for the Season”.
God created His Son to come to this world to not just to walk around the streets of it like we do today. He didn’t come to be your best friend or neighbor next door. He sent His Son to this world to die an ugly and horrific death on a cross, not because He didn’t love Him, but instead because He not only loved Him, but He loved us. He sent us His Son as a living sacrifice for each and everyone of us. He says very clearly, “for those who believe in Him will not parish, but have eteranl life.” This requires us to ask God to forgive us of our sins and in turn we are guarenteed our Home in Heaven.
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
John 3:16 NIV
Did you catch that very important part? God doesn’t think about what we have done by checking off blocks on a score card of sorts. No, He promises to forgive us of our sins and wrongdoings.
In turn, God’s command to us is simple, it is to forgive one another just as He forgives us.
He didn’t put stipulations with it. Well, forgive if they __________ (fill in the blank) or don’t forgive if they ________ (fill in the blank).
No, His command was to forgive one another, just as Christ forgave you.
So as we close out today’s encouragement, let us be reminded how we can show kindness, tenderheartedness, and forgiveness towards everyone, during the hustle and bustle of this busy Christmas season.
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.
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.
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.
I am remembering and honoring my dad and his memory this Memorial Day weekend.
My dad passed away February 13, 2008 due to the injuries he sustained during the Vietnam War.
He selflessly joined the United States Marines to serve his Country and sustained life altering injuries that not only took years to partially recover from, but ultimately took his life from.
My dad was a “True Hero” who was brave, courageous, gentle, strong, loving, caring, and humble. He gave so much to many, to include his Country.
I am so blessed to call him my dad, while others called him husband, friend, and comrade.
He never met a stranger and his Service to our Country was what God used to make those around him respect him and honor him.
This Memorial Day, I proudly call him to everyone’s attention. He is one of many who we need to remember and honored this weekend.
There are so many Hero’s who paid the ultimate sacrifice and we need to, as a thankful Nation, remember and honor each and everyone of them.
We need to let their families and friends know that “We Will Never Forget”.
Let’s start a list to Honor and Remember them this Memorial Day Weekend. Do you know someone who paid the ultimate sacrifice? Leave their name and picture below so we can celebrate, honor, and respect them as well.