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.
Merry Christmas to everyone who is on Christmas vacation and Christmas break.
It is my sincere and heartfelt message that you are able to make some precious memories and spend some quality time together.
Take the time to rest and watch Christmas movies together.
Take the time to fill your home with the sweet aroma of home baked Christmas cookies together.
Take the time to build a uniquely “your own” gingerbread house together.
If you live where it snows, take some time to play in the snow together. Make a snow angel family, go sliding, or make a snowman and then enjoy some creamy hot chocolate afterwards.
Take some time to sit in front of the twinkling lights of a Christmas tree or the warmth and sparkle of a fire in a fireplace to reconnect with the relationships you have missed or have been struggling with.
The time you spend and the memories you make will be the best present you can give to each other this year or any year.
To those who are not on vacation and are struggling, whether it is with grief, loneliness, discouragement, frustration, anger, or PTSD, know you are not alone. I see you.
For many, it is hard to see the joy the holiday season brings, but if this is you, I want you to know you are not alone.
It is my prayer God will soften the pain you feel and will provide you with a peace to see the sparkle of joy this season whether it is through a song that will touch your heart or the twinkling of Christmas lights you may see in the passing of your day.
It is also my prayer this verse will touch your heart and provide you with the comfort and peace you didn’t know was possible to feel again.
“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
God wants us to remember that He sent His Son to give us the assurance there is better to come.
We don’t need to be hopeless or discouraged because no matter how bad life may seem right now, there is better to come.
Take some time in the week to come to seek God and receive His gift of grace, peace, and comfort.
Big hugs to those who are struggling and suffering today and big hugs to those who are celebrating the season with those who have embraced them.
I want to share this inspiration with you this Christmas Eve Day,
”You are amazing, you are brave, you are strong.”
As you start this day, the last one before Christmas and you are feeling worn out, exhausted, grouchy, and maybe a little emotional, I want you to remember this quote, “You are amazing, brave, and strong.”
You did a great job this Christmas Season to get to here. Many of us may not be ready yet because we may still have a little shopping left to do, or a last minute gift to make or gifts to wrap, but my suggestion today is to make some time to slow down and quietly sit still and bask in the lights of your tree, enjoy some soft sounds of the season, or put on a favorite Christmas movie and just enjoy a little bit of time with your family or even maybe just all by yourself because once tomorrow arrives, it will be all done. Today my is the last day to enjoy the build-up and the magic of the season.
Slow down, my friend, and enjoy your family today!
You will not regret it. Let that moment be the memory you make for the years to come. Seize the day, seize the moment to cherish what you have.
Life doesn’t stop just because it is Christmas time and trials of life do not just disappear for this season, Your struggles do not know a time of day or a season of the year.
So how do you still cope with the trials of daily life while trying to enjoy the Spirit of Christmas?
Give your trials and concerns over to God allowing Him to give you the gift of “peace” for Christmas.
“Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you.” 2 Thessalonians 3:16 NIV
This sounds so simple but often times, if we are honest with ourselves, forget to do it. Allow yourself a break during this season to put your trials and hardships of life on the back burner and enjoy the “Spirit of Christmas” to permeate your soul.
This Christmas Season has been anything but a typical one for me, but it is one I will cherish more than any gift I could have ever received.
I wrote a couple of weeks ago about how I worked extremely hard to decorate my house for the holidays so by the time we got into the busy part of the holiday, I would have it done and would not have to wonder where I would find the time to decorate.
What I did not know or could not have foreseen was how different this season would look to me. The hustle and bustle of the holiday went on hold for several reasons, one of which included everyone in my family being sick. Another reason was when I decided to shift my focus to how I could help my daughter catch up as well as finish all her college classes, from where she struggled earlier in the semester with being sick and being in massive pain due to her chronic migraines.
I remember when I decided to put Christmas on hold to help my daughter, I asked God to bless me later with the time I needed to catch up and to take the stress away for being behind and He did.
Here are several ”specific” prayer requests I had which God answered directly in just this holiday season. I am sharing them today because I too struggle, like others, to see God at work and to answer my prayers, but I want to encourage you that He does.
My Friend, God is truly answering our prayers whether we see them physically or not. I am going to share several of my answered prayer requests that have occurred over this Holiday Season to provide you with an encouragement to see God is at work.
I asked Him specifically to multiply the hours in a day so my daughter would have longer to work on her classes. He multiplied the hours just as I asked for, and because of this, my daughter finished all her classes on time.
I asked from Him to remove all the stress of the holiday season away from me this year, and He did.
I asked Him to place it upon my mom’s heart to call me because I missed her, but without a voice, I could not call her, and He did.
I asked Him to show me physically, that my mom still truly loves me and is proud of me, despite my letting her down for circumstances out of my control, and He did.
My Friend, I am writing about these specific answers to my prayers to encourage you to know God is listening to the desires of our hearts. We do not always see the answers to our prayers, but it does not mean He is not answering them.
I am writing about this experience to show you,
“Our greatest and most cherished gifts do not come wrapped in boxes while topped with a gorgeous big red bow. I am writing to encourage you the best presents come from within our own heart.
Cited by, HomeLife&Encouragement
What has touched you this season? Who has done something that left you in awe and touched beyond measure? What gift have you received that you will cherish in your heart for a life time? Feel free to share your experience in the comments below.
The experience I received this year came when my mom called me yesterday. She does not call often, but yesterday she richly blessed my day with not only calling me, but also by telling me with the most loving words, that she still loves me and not just loves me, but truly loves me. I have not heard these gentle, loving, and meaningful words in years. Yes, I get the I love you when you hang up the phone, but these words were different. These words were said with gentle love, which I have not heard in a long time.
The second gift she gave me was when she told me she put up a little Christmas tree this year. This was powerful to me because she has not done this for ten or more years. When we lost my dad, it was like part of my mom’s heart died with him.
I have struggled for years with my mom battling holiday depression that would begin as early as November 11 and last through New Years, every year. As a result, the strain this would cause for me every Christmas season was pretty intense. I found over the past couple of years that in order for me to protect my broken heart, I had to withdraw from her for most of the season because it was just so difficult to talk to her.
This year thankfully is shaping up to be different. She said with a joy in her voice that she was happy for the first time in years to put up her Christmas tree and a few decorations as well as lights. This was the best present she could have ever given herself let alone given to me. It is my prayer her heart continues to heal because to hear this joy in her voice is the best as well as a priceless gift she could give to me as well as herself.
My Friend, if you are struggling this season with thoughts of discouragement and you are just in need of seeing God answer your prayers like He did for me, consider doing this, just talk to Him.
So many times people fall into the trap of having to be formal and pray formally with God, but I do not feel this way. I talk to God like He was sitting here with me, in person, right now. I figure He knows me better than I know myself because He created me, so when I spill my heart out to Him, this does not take Him by surprise.
Tell Him what you need tonight. He is listening. Then sit back and “trust” He is working it all out for you. Do not expect to see a physical prayer answered unless you asked specifically, because this is when we walk away disappointed. Instead of watching for the miracle or prayer to be answered, walk away from it, but if and when you see it, then rejoice with God knowing He is allowing you to see the physical request being met just like He did for me.
My prayer seasons have been pretty dry. We struggle a lot. I pray a lot, but honestly, I struggle to see the effects of my prayers which is why I am writing about this journey today.
This is my gentle reminder this Christmas Season, God is still here. He is still walking with us, talking to us, helping us, and holding our hand along every difficult step we take. Take some time to talk to Him and allow Him the opportunity to bless you this Holiday Season, just as He did for me.
It has been a busy past two weeks. I found myself lost in the physical day to day and did not take the time to process any thoughts I may have had along the way.
I found myself not only being a nurse but found myself also being a motivator and a teacher again. My Kiddo found herself up against a rock and a hard place in trying to meet important deadlines to finish her college classes from where she fell behind while experiencing the hardship of her two-month-long migraine and then finding herself extremely sick with this ugly month long cold.
I tried to encourage her that she was stronger than she thought she was and to help her to see the confidence I had in her, for herself. I helped to read some of the work to her, as the magnitude of reading she had to do was intense and a migraine now just was not something that could happen. It could not, it was not an option.
I found myself being a “nurse” to my daughter again because she is going on four weeks of being sick with an ugly cold and now my husband, who lost the entire week of work last week, has it as well.
Her cold took a significant turn for the worse over the long Thanksgiving Holiday and so that set her back in her classes by a few more days as well. It is hard to focus on homework when you have a sinus infection, pink eye, strep throat, and laryngitis.
Thankfully because she communicated with her professors along the way, they were more than accommodating, and so I, as her mom. was extremely thankful.
This is a side note, I am a happy Mom now, as she just told me as I was writing this, that she just submitted the final project to one of her classes thus officially completing another class for this semester. Now she will have more time to work aggressively to finish up another one due this week.
Next weekend will officially begin our “joyous” holiday season. The stress of classes will be behind us and the fun part of Christmas can begin. We can start our Christmas shopping, baking, and movie watching and even more so when the school she works at shuts down for the Holiday.
I know between her being sick and stressed out, it is hard to have my Holiday cheer completely intact. It is hard to find the time to bake my goodies and shop for presents or make homemade gifts, when we are running back and forth to doctor appointments, taking her to work as well as running errands.
Thankfully I was able to get the house decorated inside and outside, so our home is festive, but the emotional joy of the season has been on hold and will continue to be until Friday.
We have declared next Monday as our day of celebration. We have set a goal for completion as all her classes have to be done and turned in between now and Friday. I feel that we can celebrate together, since I bore a lot of the stress of her being sick and behind this semester.
Between the tears that have been shed for the intense physical pain (that almost hospitalized her) and the anxiety of being behind in her classes, we have earned the right to celebrate together.
It is my hope and desire this week will be a bit easier on us. I seriously need my family to get well again. Especially since now they have successfully shared this crummy cold mess with me. I do not have the time or energy to be sick as well. I am just praying that if I continue to have the mind over matter philosophy to this that it will go away quickly. I am trying very hard to not recognize it and if I do not, then it won’t get as bad as it is trying to do.
With all of this being said, I need to complete my thoughts and get to work on a couple of orders we have for our business (@HL&E Designs). I am carrying a huge burden to get them done and delivered to their respective customers.
Thank you for patiently reading my journaling journey of random thoughts. It truly does help to release what I am thinking through writing my words down in a safe place.
It is my hope and prayer your week is a pleasent one and that you too are able to find some Christmas joy in your heart.
Until I write again… Have a calm and refreshing day.