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

Opening Our Hearts to Gratitude


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, #Stepsforward, Believe in Yourself, Bible, Blessings, Bravery, Challenge, Character, Courage, Encouragement Today, Faith, Focus, Grace, Gratitude, Hope, Journey, Life, Motivation, Peace, Strength, Thankfulness

The Path Less Traveled

You’ve got this Friend!

 “Whenever you find yourself doubting how far you can go; just remember how far you have come. Remember everything you have faced, all the battles you have won, and all the fears you have overcome.” -Unknown

You’ve got anything life can throw your way.

God has empowered you with the strength, determination, and endurance to battle what lays ahead.

Remember, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” Psalms 46:1 ESV.

Take one step at a time and lean on God for your strength as well as your refuge.

One day you will look back on today and give God the praise for helping you get through it.

“Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him.” James 1:12 ESV.

Hang in there and know, whatever you may be going through, it will not last forever.

You’ve got this Friend, you’ve got this! 💜

Bible, Discouraged, Exhausted, Faith, Journey, Life, Rest, Strength, Trials, Update, Weakness, Weariness

Pondering Thoughts of Hardships

design-167I wanted to take a moment in the quietness of my house to reflect upon as well as remind my readers that peace does have the possibility to be restored in your life.

I had to get up early this morning to give my baby dog his medicine and discovered he would need more homemade dog food, as I am trying to build his weak body up to prepare him for his upcoming surgery. I am making him ground chicken (with bones), rice, and this morning I added his favorite, carrots to his homemade food. He should be really happy when he eats supper tonight. I add this to his already grain free kibble and he is more than happy to join the clean plate clubbers fan club after each meal now.

As I was working about my house while my family slept, I was pondering everything that is going on in our lives. I was thinking about all of my concerns. The biggest being, “Please God protect our job.” I do not want to live through another horrible experience of job loss ever again.

As that concern popped into my head I was like, wait, I need to pray about this. So I asked God to remove all the worry from my mind if He truly has this situation under control. I will be brutally honest and tell you as I write this that my stomach got a bit shaken up.

I will take a moment to remind you of this though, (disclaimer I have to remind myself (which I will confess I struggle with)), no matter how scared or worried about a situation I may be, God has it already figured out.  

Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest? Luke 12:26 NIV

img_9079All too often we forget this and feel we need to have the plans already figured out. Sometimes those plans go as deep as the alphabet because in our minds we not only have plan A, but we even create contingency plans B-Z. My question is for all of us is… “Why?”. Why do we do this when we know, hands down every time, that God has a plan each and every time? If he knows how many hairs on our heads than He knows our plans, our solutions, and our future.

“And even the very hairs of your head are all numbered.” Matthew 10:30 NIV

My friend, I am here to remind you and me both. Worry gets us now where. It steals our joy like a thief in the night. We are no longer able to see the things we enjoy in life. We no longer see the sun shining on a beautiful day or the precious smiles on the faces of those around us. It steals every part of our being. I say this because this is what it has done to me and continues to as long as I let it run my life.

We have to take a step back and reclaim our lives from this ugly monster. Cling to this verse as it often times pop into my head when worry has me consumed.

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:34 NIV

Or if you are in a really tough spot try clinging to these verses. I find they give me comfort when I struggle with wondering why God has forsaken me in the chaos I may find myself in.

“Look at the birds of the air: They do not sow or reap or gather into barns–and yet your Heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” Matthew 6:26 NIV

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:6-7

design-88God’s intentions for us is not to worry about things we have no control over. My friends, we spend so much time thinking that everything in our life is ours to figure out; our jobs, our spouses, our marriages, our children, our finances, our health, you name it and do we not feel like we are in complete control over it all? When it comes down to the wire and those things are falling apart, who truly has the control? I can tell you (from my ugly experiences) it is not us. Only does God know everything about all of these things we think we control. 

My friend, when life seems to be full of chaos with nowhere to turn, look to Him and be honest, tell Him your fears and concerns. Lay them all at His feet and pour your heart out and allow Him to do your problem-solving. Allow God to carry your burdens and free yourself up of the darkness and the mind games the enemy is playing with you. Shift your focus from the ugly, the negative, the concerns, the fears and look for the beauty in life again. God has all the other stuff. He even tells us to do this.

“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” Philippians 4:8

So as we go into our weekends, let us join together and refocus our worries and concerns allowing God to fill us up with a “peace that passes all understanding”, His peace.

“And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:7 ESV

My Friend, if you read my earlier post this week, you will know my writing all of this does not come easily. I walk a pretty tough road and I am just as stubborn at listening to God as anyone else, but I do write, however, what I feel God is trying to tell me and you as well. These words of encouragement and scripture did not come from me. They are what God placed on my heart to provide me with a comfort and a peace that everything will not only work out but that He has the control over all of it, I do not.

Join me in walking away from all the stress this weekend and allow God to renew our hearts and minds so when the week to come arrives, we will be rejuvenated and prepared for whatever lies ahead.

Give Him your “everything”, He can handle it “all”!
Broken, Burn out, Comfort, Courage, Depression, Discouraged, Encouragement Today, Exhausted, Journey, Life, Peace, Self-worth, Strength, Trials, Weakness, Weariness

The Beauty of One Piece of Pine Straw

Encouragement Today

img_8707Today’s inspiration came as a result of doing yard work. As I was raking up my pine straw to place it in my flower beds, God revealed to me how we, His people, are similar to that of the pine straw.

img_8701-3When you see only one piece, you think, how can that one piece of pine straw make a difference in a flower garden? One piece by itself can not, but when you rake it up into a pile then it becomes abundant and that abundance of pine straw is enough to make a difference.

We are a lot like this as humans. Many times as individuals we struggle to find our worth or importance to our family and to others. Many of us fail to see how we, as only one person can really make a difference, but we can.

God made each of us uniquely important. He made us for a reason and a purpose. Many of us are fortunate to see this purpose while others struggle to see it, but just because you may be struggling to see your purpose does not mean there isn’t one. God did not make a mistake, His plan is just as He intended whether we see it or we do not.

Many of us impact others through our jobs, through our ministries, through our schools, and throughout our everyday life. This is where we as a larger group we make a difference.

For those who do not have this as a purpose, you need to see that your life as an individual is equally important. Your life is intertwined in so many people’s lives that if something happened to you tomorrow, there would be people who would miss you and grieve for you. There would be a void in their hearts that would be hard to fill, whether you believe this or not.

img_8706This is why the analogy of the pine straw was important to me today. If it was not for the one strand that when put together with many others was not important then there would never be enough to use in a flower bed.

Each strand by itself may be seen as a nuisance, but is it really? I would venture to say no, because each piece I raked up today, no matter how messy it looked initially, made my flower bed look pretty and well maintained again.

Our lives are the same. If we just looked at the worth of our life as strictly a lonely individual, we are less likely to see our worth, but when we are pulled together as God intended for us to be, then we will be more likely to see our beauty for it’s intended purpose.

My friend, today I am here to inspire you to never give up. No matter how hard life may be, how difficult your circumstances may seem, how lonely you may feel, you are important. God has a special purpose for you and your circumstances.

It may not be visible at this moment in time, but if you just hang tight, keep taking one step forward at a time, God will reveal to you His plan and His purpose.

Then when He does, you will begin to see how beautiful your life is to others around you. God created you to be beautiful and in time you will begin to see that beauty.

Do not give up, do not lose hope. Your plan and purpose when revealed will be a beautiful as the one stand of pine straw is in my flower beds.
Journey, Life, Medical Journey, Strength

Driving Life Home

img_1499I had to take a moment to brag on my Kiddo.

She has experienced many medical obstacles over the past years that have hindered her from getting her drivers license that today, I can proudly announce she has it.

She was suppose to get it on Monday, but could not due to a migraine.

She lost six months of valuable driving experience due to a foot injury that caused her to be in a boot, this being the injury that ended in a foot surgery.

Despite all of her medical issues that have set her back, this was a huge day of celebration for her. She is an example of the power of perseverance and determination.

Most people would have given up on this, but for her, she did not give up. She knew one day would come,  eventually and I am a proud momma to say that eventually was today.

This is the same hope I have for her to make it to college next and to be a lawyer one day. How, we do not know. When, we do not know, but I have the hope and assurance one day it will happen.

One day I will be such a proud momma that I will not be able to keep the tears from flowing down my cheeks for the tears of joy I will have.

I will forever have the precious memory in my heart of her walking through the DMV door and giving me her beautiful smile with a thumbs up that she made it.

Tonight I am sharing a simple story and the  joy we encountered as part of my Kiddos medical journey.

To those who are struggling with medical illness that consume your life, it is my desire to show you the importance of never giving up. If something means everything to you, do not loose hope in accomplishing this dream or goal one day. Your determination and perseverance will sustain you until one day you reach this  dream.

Have a great night and I hope your day was as nice as mine was today

Broken, Discouraged, Encouragement Today, Journey, Life, Self-worth, Strength, Weariness

Broken Reflections

Encouragement Today

1CB08B9F-1C40-4985-B66C-1A65C0029421Today’s Encouragement isn’t going to be what I normally post.

This one is written with the hopes to reach that person who knows the pain of darkness.

I have been struggling since Saturday in what to write because my posts feel so artificial to me. I write about what others should do to encourage them along their journey, but most of the time this isn’t something I follow through with on my end. I try, however it is easier to step out of my own body and write to you directly. God always gives me the words to encourage others which is how I write what I do every day. Unfortunately, I do not know how to do what I tell you to do. I only know what I say to you comes from God and it is my desire it makes your journey easier and hopefully a little more pleasant.

I have been looking in the mirror lately when I get up and brush my teeth and the reflection I see looking back at me appears as a total stranger. I look at all the flaws I see in my face and it makes me cringe so badly that I find it easier to look away. Do you ever do this?

As I was trying to pull my thoughts together for what I would write today, I looked in the mirror and saw this total stranger again. I saw ever red mark on my face that I can’t hide no matter how hard I try. I see tired and weary blue eyes that look totally worn out. I see the gray hair trying to sneak a peek back in amongst the brown hair I have, but I don’t have the money or the time to do anything about it right now.  I see every extra roll I didn’t use to carry but am too tired to care about the exercising or the diet that it will take to remove it. I just don’t have time for that right now.

So what gives? Do I continue to pretend the reflection looking back is or isn’t me? Am I truly a wife, mother, daughter, and friend because I fail at each and every one of them? I have mastered letting every one of them down. I struggle to stay in contact with my mom who lives 16 hours away because I can’t live up to her expectations of moving back home to help her. I am a terrible wife because I am grouchy, irritable, unloving, and angry all the time (more like overworked and underappreciated). As far as a mother, this is the closest I try to come to getting this right, but there is always that critic with the “answer” (I haven’t thought of or tried that will heal my daughter of her chronic pain and illnesses). They always know what is best, but what I really need is their support and encouragement that we will get through this and my Kiddo will redeem her life from all of this at some point. Instead, I just smile and say thank you, but we have tried that and it doesn’t work. I appreciate your suggestion though (as that is the polite thing to say and do). As for being a friend, I try. I try to be supportive, understanding, loving, and loyal, but as with most of my life, that isn’t enough. I am not sure what I do wrong, but somehow I am a master at pushing them away as well.

So instead of looking in the mirror and seeing someone I am proud of and I am happy to be, I cringe and look away. Now, I know God tells me this is wrong thinking and that this isn’t who He created me to be, but somehow the lies are so much easier to believe than the truth is to face.

Please know this post was not written to have a pity party. It was written to be brutally honest with my raw emotions with the hopes it encourages others who may struggle in this same area. I know the pain, loneliness, and darkness this life can hold, so please know this encouragement is designed for you and know you are not alone.

Hold your head up high and do not believe the lies your reflection might be telling you. They are the lies the enemy wants us to believe. What God wants us to believe is that we are, “…fearfully and wonderfully made.” God does not make mistakes.