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Not Everything Has To Change

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As we start a new week of a new year, do not get wrapped up in so much change that you forget the simple things in life that bring you joy.

Not everything in your life has to change.

Remember this quote:

“Some of the best things in life are the small things you take for granted.”

Roger Lee

Instead of focusing on all things to change in your life, take some time to look at what you may be taking for granted.

#Keepingitreal, Believe in Yourself, Bible, Challenge, Character, Encouragement Today, Inspiration, Journey, Life

Beauty Does Not Require Competition

Credit: Home. Life. Encouragement

Does nature compete with others to stand out in the crowd?

No!

God made it’s beauty to stand out all on it’s own.

All the more we should look to the beauty of nature and learn the lesson God is teaching.

He made each and everyone of us uniquely beautiful, therefore you do not need to compete with others to stand out in a crowd.

“You are altogether beautiful, my darling, beautiful in every way.”

Songs of Solomon 4:7 NLT

Today’s Encouragement is simple… Stand Tall & Beautiful because God made you that way.

Comfort, Encouragement Today, Inspiration, Journey, Kindness, Life, Love

Make Communication Fresh Again

Credit: Home. Life. Encouragement

How quickly a lack of communication can create a wedge between relationships.

God created us to be communicators with those around us.

Whether that be with our spouse, family, friends, or co-workers.

Without proper communication then miscommunication is it’s replacement.

It is better for someone to tell you something you already know than it is to not say anything.

I can promise you, what we tell ourselves in replacement is always far worse than what could be said.

Consider today, those around you who you have not talked to for a while, and make an effort to reach out and tell them you love them and appreciate them.

They may need to just hear that today.

Sometimes it’s just the simple words that “need” to be spoken.

Make Communication Fresh Again. 🌺

#Keepingitreal, Blessings, Christmas, Christmas Note of Encouragement, Chronic Migraines, encouragement, Gratitude, Holiday, Inspiration, Journey, Keeping It Real, Medical Journey

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!!!

#Findingyourcourage, #Keepingitreal, Anxiety, Broken, Burn out, Challenge, Death, Depression, Discouraged, Exhausted, Grief, Journey, Life, pain, PTSD, Storms, Stress, Trials, Weakness, Weariness

There Is A Reason For The Season

Credit: Home. Life. Encouragement

Encouragement Today

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.”

Jeremiah 10:7

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.

Blessings, Broken, Courage, Depression, Discouraged, encouragement, Exhausted, Faith, Grace, Inspiration, Journey, Keeping It Real, Life, pain, Peace, Storms, Strength, Stress, Trials, Weakness, Weariness

Waiting on God Does Not Lead To Disappointment

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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.

Wait for your “Wow”.

#Keepingitreal, Blessings, encouragement, Inspiration, Journal Journey, Journey, Life, Motivation, Real, Rest

Seize The Moments

Sharing Times Together
@Home. Life. Encouragement

As many people are enjoying their weekend off and spending time running errands and catching up with every day life from a busy week, I want to encourage you to remember the simple things as well.

Remember the importance of spending some quality time with those you love.

“Love your family. Spend time, be kind & serve one another. Make no room for regrets. Tomorrow is not promised & today is short.”

Unknown Author

I love this moment my daughter captured last night at a football game we attended.

For those who follow my blog, you know the chronic illness and migraines my daughter struggles with on a day basis, so I have learned to truly appreciate the simple things we can share together.

I try very hard to not take time with her for granted, because I never know when we can go from having a wonderful time together to her struggling in pain again.

God gave you your family. Enjoy some time together this weekend.

Do not allow opportunities to pass you by. Those opportunities are moments to make memories and it is those memories you will look back on and cherish one day.

My Friend, enjoy your day together.

#Findingyourcourage, #Keepingitreal, #Stepsforward, Challenge, Courage, encouragement, Goals, Grace, Inspiration, Journey, Keeping It Real, Life, Peace, Real, Strength

Functionality Reigns in The Chaos

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.

#Keepingitreal, #Stepsforward, Believe in Yourself, Encouragement Today, Gratitude, Inspiration, Journey, Keeping It Real, Kindness, Life, Rawness, Real, Self-worth, Strength, Thankfulness

The Power of Love, One Stitch at A Time

You Are Touching Lives

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.

#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.