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Rejuvenate Your Strength in Hope

Credit: Home. Life. Encouragement

I wanted to remind you there is power and strength in “hope”.

I recently realized the strength, power, and encouragement in the words grace, mercy, and faith, but hope tends to be neglected.

I recently felt God nudging me to share this story with you since He rejuvenated us with the power and strength of “hope”.

My daughter has struggled with a health condition that she was born with. It took me years to get the doctors to listen to me to get her the treatment she needed to live a relatively “normal” life, but it was not easy. It took the power of determination and perseverance to get her a treatment plan that worked for her.

Unfortunately, something changed this past January and her condition took a turn for the worse. She called me on my way home from work with fear in her voice that something was wrong and this is not something she does.

With all of her medical conditions, fear is never something she displays because she has a strength that only God created in her to gracefully deal with everything she battles.

So I took her concern seriously. I took it so seriously that I had her contact her primary care doctor who referred her to a specialist, who was not able to see her in a reasonable amount of time, so off to the emergency room we went.

The emergency room was not able to offer her any assistance and referred her back to the specialist.

This was when the waiting “game” began. As the months passed her problem did not go away, but her faith began to waver during this trial.

The pain began to overshadow her faith because no one was helping her.

She went through two appointments that were a waste of time. She was not able to get a new diagnosis or treatment plan, instead she was told she needed to wait an additional six more months. This was a very discouraging and defeated day for her.

This past October was when she finally got another appointment because I got tired of seeing her suffer in pain and began fighting for her, yet but again.

Do not underestimate the power of a mother when she fights for her children.

She was thankful, but yet nervous and apprehensive to go to it, as every appointment before now ended in great disappointment.

I wasn’t able to attend this appointment with her due to Covid 19 restrictions, so all I could do was pray for her and the doctor she would be seeing and be available for a face time call if they needed to talk to me so she went to her appointment alone and called me after it with a very upbeat voice on the other end.

God answered my agonizing prayers because she had a great appointment with a doctor who finally took her new condition seriously. He did not need her to go back to the very beginning of this problem because he had already done his homework and research.

My friends, he gave her hope. He gave her a new treatment plan and this plan will include a new diagnosis of what has changed as well as a new plan with the hope to give her a life without pain again.

Do not underestimate the strength of “hope”.

HD Benson

God truly was in control over this appointment. She has help now and for this I am excited to the point of tears.

We learned a valuable lesson in how hope is critical to our existence. When you loose hope, you begin to loose faith. This is what creates hopelessness (which we hear about more often).

Once you loose the strength of “hope” you loose a lot.

Today, I want to call attention to the strength of being hopeful brings and the weight it holds.

Are you struggling with something in your life?

Be encouraged my friend. I am sharing with you the gift of hope.

God sees your pain and your struggle. He has not left you, just like He didn’t leave my daughter. He wants you to feel hope in your situation and be encouraged this hope will replenish the faith you may have lost and may be struggling with now.

My friend, it is my prayer today that you will receive the same peace we received when the strength and power of hope was revived in my daughter’s situation.

I am offering hugs and prayers for those of you who may be experiencing the same struggles in life.

You’ve got this! Hope is being renewed for you as well!

#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, Breathe, Challenge, Courage, Depression, Discouraged, Exhausted, Grief, Journey, Life, Medical Journey, pain, Rawness, Real, Storms, Stress, Trials, Update, Weariness

Rest, Breathe, Repeat

Credit: Home. Life. Encouragement

Update To Previous Blog Post / “Living My Real”

I’m not sure about you, but I for one, am thankful for the weekend to finally arrive.

While we still have no resolution to if my daughter will have her health insurance come Monday morning, (see my post, “Living My Real” if you are unsure what I am referring to), I have to accept I have no control over the outcome over this stressful situation.

We have done everything we needed to do. We faxed the paperwork to them, not just once, but twice. We faxed their information Wednesday night and again Friday morning.

Now we have to “just” sit and wait and pray when we check her insurance Monday morning we will see nothing has changed. We will see she is still covered like she has been her whole life.

After being consumed by all of this, I had a realization yesterday while I was in my back yard. God revealed to me, no matter how difficult life may be, His beauty is still around us.

Credit: Home. Life. Encouragement

He revealed to me, as I was pruning my roses, that no matter how beautiful life may be, there will always be the thorns in our lives. The thorns keep us alert, but they aren’t meant to consume us. The beauty of the bountiful roses is what we are meant to see.

Many times the beauty is hard to see, but it doesn’t mean it isn’t there.

Are you too, going through a difficult time? Have you forgot what it was like to just “breathe” because your circumstances are all consuming?

Today I have a challenge for both of us. I want you to breathe and open your eyes up to the beauty that surrounds you.

I know so many are experiencing a quarantined life, but I want you to go outside and do something that brings you peace.

Is this the sound of the ocean water and seagulls in the background or the quietness of a hike in the woods?

Is it a quiet walk or a relaxing bike ride?

It doesn’t matter what you do, but I would suggest just going outside, breathe in the fresh air, and just open your heart to God will do wonders to restore your heart and your soul.

Share with Him your need to release this stress and allow Him to replace that stress with a peace that only He can give.

My friend, take some time this weekend to Rest, Breathe, and Repeat.

#Keepingitreal, Blessings, Comfort, encouragement, Encouragement Today, Grace, Image, Inspiration, Journey, Keeping It Real, Life

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.

Blessings, Encouragement Today, Gratitude, Holiday, Inspiration, Life, Remembering, Thankfulness, Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving Blessings

I am wishing everyone a special message of Thanksgiving today.

To those who will celebrate with joy as well as those who will struggle with loneliness and pain, I am sending you my love, peace, and encouragement that today will be a day to celebrate or a day to reflect and be thankful for the blessings you have.

Happy Thanksgiving to each and one of you.

Feel free to share below your thankful blessings today.
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I will begin by being thankful for each one of you who encourage me to keep this page going. I am blessed that God has given me this blog to encourage you all when you need it the most. Big Hugs to each one of you. ❤️

#Findingyourcourage, #Keepingitreal, Blessings, Challenge, Courage, encouragement, Hope, Inspiration, Journey, Joy, Life, Peace, Thankfulness

Opening Our Hearts to Gratitude

Credit:Homelifeandencouragement.com

It is so easy to get knocked down by all that life throws our way. The busyness, the relationship struggles, the soccer practices, football games, dance recitals, or work struggles; but I want to be your place of encouragement this month. I want to be that gentle reminder to look past it all and find something to be thankful for today.

I am a firm believer that if we look for bad, we will find it at every turn, but if we look for good, we will find it too, in the midst of the mud and the muck.

I will be posting daily reminders in one fashion or another to remind you to look for at least one, if not more, things to be thankful in everyday of this month.

Feel free to leave your comments below. If you would to leave them private message annotate that and I will not make your comment public.

Happy November!

#Findingyourcourage, #Keepingitreal, Burn out, Discouraged, encouragement, Exhausted, Journey, Keeping It Real, Weariness

Life Is Real, The Struggles Are Too

Just throwing some real life out there….

So all before 7:45am I have the cleanest smelling house in my community.

I managed to discover my hot water heater is leaking right after I opened up a fresh new bottle of bleach. As I discovered some wet stuff on some things in my laundry room, I left my bleach sitting on my dryer and went to get a bowl to put under the leaky hot water heater (as it is a little guy who is elevated above my head). While I was getting my bowl I heard something fall. I returned to my laundry room (which is off our carpeted family room) to find my bleach on the carpet spilling out with 3/4 of it emptied on my carpet. 😪

Now I am totally frustrated as I was hurried to get a few things done before trying to get some work done before Kiddo has her 2nd of 5 appointments between today and tomorrow afternoon.

Now my carpet is ruined and I should get my shop vac to absorb the extra water spilling out of my hot water heater tray when all I wanted to do was get some work done.

Oh boy, turn the cheek… make lemonade out of lemons and move on. I hope God provides me a few extra hours out of my day today.

Now to try to fix my problems.

I decided to show the real and and the raw behind all the encouragement I post.

Life is a struggle and life is real.

If this resonates with you, know I am right there with ya friend.

I decided today to write about it and to share it with you with the hopes you will be encouraged knowing you are not alone with the struggles of life.

Make the best of your day!

Bondage, Broken, Discouraged, Encouragement Today, Inspiration, Journey, Life, Rawness, Real, Strength

Set Yourself Free From The Bondage of Masks

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“Good Morning”, the cordial greeting of the day. You put a smile on your face and you return the appropriate greeting and then comes the common follow-up question which is, “How are you?” While you are still smiling, you say good and you?

This is how the typical Monday morning goes. You put on your mask and life is all good again, but is it really?

Do your masks look anything like mine? Do you have a happy face that is well-worn and beginning to fall apart? Do you have the, as my husband says, the neither here nor there face? How about the grouchy face (which if I am being honest is rather worn out)? Do you have the worried face (which has been my go-to mask with all the sickness my family has been through) or how about the frustrated and the angry face? These are my masks I have to hang beside my keys which are ready to grab as soon as I get my keys to go out the door.

Which mask do you grab for the concealment of your everyday real emotions? As for me, I grab a happy face because I can not show others that everything is not ok. Only the people who are close to me know what my real face looks like. To everyone else, they only know the mask I wear.

I often think of the masks I wear every time I mow my lawn. It is important to me to keep my lawn mowed because if my yard is in order then it reflects a well-ordered life from the outsider’s perspective. What the average person driving past my house does not realize, is that if they came through my front door, they would quickly realize I am struggling to keep the chaos and disorder at bay. My house many days is a mess (as my husband often says, and so is everyone else’s, who cares, but he doesn’t understand that I care). I have dog hair (in clumps at the moment) all over the place. My bathroom is in dire need of cleaning. I struggle to keep up with the laundry and my floors need to be vacuumed and mopped. Overall, the house is in desperate need of some love, cleaning, and maintenance.

I know many are reading this thinking I thought we all struggled with this every day? For me personally, it is a struggle I wish I didn’t have. When I gave up my career years ago to come home to be a stay at home mom, I took my responsibility seriously and part of this responsibility was to keep our home and family happy, organized, and free of chaos.

Unfortunately, unhappiness, chaos, and disorder are how we seem to live now. Money is tight, so when something breaks, we can not usually afford to fix it (unless it is something that is serious, such as my car). I am sitting at the car repair shop just this morning, waiting for my car to be fixed as I write this.

Between all the doctor appointments, I am always on the road running between appointment after appointment. Then when we get home from them, it is back in the car to get Kiddo to work, then run errands and return home to decide which is more important, the housework or trying to start my craft and graphic design business to get it off the ground so we can make some extra money, that we are desperately in need of.

So with all of the personal revelation I have made and the rawness of my “real” life, now you know a little more about who I am, personally. The “superficial” me is about keeping up appearances. I grew up being taught we are to be responsible and keep our feelings to yourself. You do not allow anyone to know how bad life can be. You hide this because outsiders are to only see your “best” behavior. Now years later, I find myself struggling with the fallacy of how I was raised while keeping up with the appearance that says, I look responsible and organized. The problem with this is on the inside I struggle with who I am now. I struggle with what I consider to be important. I find I am struggling with trying to figure out who the “real” me is for all the masks I have worn for so many years.

How about you? Do you struggle with this same identity crises because of the years you have worn your masks? Have you finally broke free from the bondage of the masks or are you still hiding? How did you break free?

I think the time has come to remove the masks and let our true identity be visible and shine through. I am challenging you today to make a commitment with me to allow your “real” face to be seen by others.

Today is the day we unmask and set ourselves free from the bondage of false identities.

Remember Today… You are beautiful when you are being your “real” self. Allow that person to be seen by everyone now.
Broken, Burn out, Challenge, Courage, Discouraged, Focus, Image, Journey, Life, Strength

Live Your Life With A Purpose

Inspiration Through Images

All too often a picture can say a thousand words and this quote is one that spoke to me, so your inspiration is coming via an image today.

“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be. -Lao Tzu

Take some time to reflect on where you are in your life and where you would like to be.

Many times I think we get so busy “doing life” that we forget to ” live it”, is this where you find yourself? If so, take some time to consider this challenge, to live according to how you imagined life to be, not what it has become, even if it is for only a brief moment.

If you do, and you are excited about how you felt, leave me a comment below and we can celebrate it together.

Blessings, Courage, Encouragement Today, Faith, Homeschool, Journey, Life, Motivation, Strength

Harvesting The Education

Encouragement Today

people coffee meeting team

Today’s inspiration and encouragement are directed toward my fellow homeschooling families.

As you are preparing for a new school year, I wanted to take a minute to encourage you to enjoy this journey.

I am not going to lie and say it is an easy one because it is not, but I can reassure you that it is a rewarding and fulfilling one.

I homeschooled my daughter from pre-school all the way through her senior year. I wish I could say it was “always” enjoyable and easy because it was not, but the time we shared together is one I will never look back on and regret. Our relationship has been blessed by it. 

For my daughter and I, we literally did this journey alone. We did not have help, we had very little encouragement from outsiders, but we made it work. I am thankful I never gave up. I am thankful I stood my ground against the naysayers who thought I was terrible to not “socialize” her. Little did they know when she graduated, her high school transcripts reflected over 1,200 volunteer hours (from 2 volunteer jobs, our local library, and the U.S. Army), a job since she was 16 years old, and several certificates from events she participated with. If this is my child not being socialized than I will never be able to please the social bandwagon crowd.

I have been reflecting on our homeschooling journey more this week because my Girly started college on Monday. She is going online so she can still work around her health issues, numerous doctor appointments, and the job she still has, for this, I am beyond proud of her. 

In reflecting back to all I provided and taught her, I saw the fears, concerns, and joys we experienced through the years mirroring back at me, however as I am looking forward,  I am seeing the beautiful and bountiful fruits of my labor ripen before my eyes. My harvest season is upon me.

When I was quietly watching her figure out her way through what she needed to do and how she needed to do it, (when this was all foreign to her), I sat back and quietly thought to myself for a brief moment, what if I didn’t do enough? What will happen now if I didn’t teach her all she needed to know?

My friend, this is where I am going to encourage you. Those thoughts may pass in your own mind, but you do not have to own them. When your child goes to college, it does not matter what classes they had, what classes they didn’t have. All that will matter when they walk through the halls of college is the foundation you laid. 

I did not allow my passing question of fear to manifest itself any longer than a passing thought. I can look at my daughter today, day three of her college education, and be proud of what I did give her. That my friend was a firm foundation to continue on with her new-found journey. I taught her the skills she needs in life to figure out how to manage her time and how to research what she doesn’t know, but most of all, I taught her to not give up when times are hard. All of these skills were taught while she was homeschooled.

For the people who question if you are socializing your child or children, just ignore them. To the parent who questions, but what if I forgot to teach a subject, no worries. They will have everything you forgot to teach at a college level and it won’t matter because they will learn it at that next level.

Remember this, my friend, every class you taught, they had never had before. They had to learn it all for the first time. College is no different. They will take all their classes they have never had before and they will continue to learn just as they did from you. It is all good now, everything washes clean.

My friend who is homeschooling, whether this is your first year,  your fifth year or even your last year, my encouragement is to never give up, no matter how hard your day may be. There is always tomorrow or next week or next month. You will not have a hard time forever. It only comes in a season. Those seasons may seem like forever. They may even seem like a whole school year, but if it is, go to your knees in prayer and ask God to redirect you as their mom and their teacher and the most important lesson is to remember why you embarked on this journey, to begin with? That reason will keep you going and will help you see this journey to the end.

Your harvest time will come and your fruit will be bountiful. This is a journey worth taking, no matter how hard or easy it may be.

You can do this, homeschool mom/parent, YOU CAN DO THIS!