Thursday, December 30, 2010
Mom has been gone for just about 14 years now.
When mom died we were left without parents (dad had died nine years earlier).
It was a very strange feeling to become an "orphan" at the age of 39.
I remember how terribly difficult it was to digest, the fact that there was no more parent in my life. No one left who knows everything about me, who was there for every moment of my life, the ones who raised me and saw me through the ups and downs of life.
Unfortunately we also lost our sister two years after dad (she was only 29 years old).
So, half of our family is already in heaven!
Days like today are a little melancholy. It is difficult not to feel the effects of a life so changed.
B U T . . . . . .
I am thankful for the promises God has for us, for the life He has so graciously given me.
Today I was blessed to share life with my love and our son and his two precious angels.
But just like the band aid on the "owie" it still stings and hurts, it will heal and feel better with each passing day.
But today is just one of those "owie days".
How about you? Have you had your fair share of those "owie days" lately? Have you felt "orphaned" and alone in this life? It is easy to feel like this, sometimes we have an abundance of people around us and we still feel lonely and sad.........
I hope that if you have those feelings you will go to the source of HOPE and HELP and COMFORT. God is the one and only one who knows and understands completely.
He is our parent when we have no other parents.
He is our lifeline, our strong shoulder to lean on......
I have taken a few moments to say a prayer, asking God to remind me of HIS love for me, to fill me with enough love to share with all the ones I love. I am releasing my pain and gathering His comfort.
Now I will be grateful for that which I have right here and right now and go snuggle with my precious grand-angels and be thankful for the JOYS He has given me to lighten my load and brighten my days!!!
I pray you are feeling God's love and peace and comfort.........
Today and every day!!!!!
Sweet love and blessings to each one of you!
Saturday, December 25, 2010
Much love and blessings!
Sunday, December 19, 2010
It all began back in November.
A week prior to Thanksgiving we (@my job) began the flurry of Christmas decorating for our customers. We were consumed with juggling the Christmas decorating with the customers who still needed/wanted things accomplished in their homes. It kept us hopping for sure.
In the midst of this time I was also buried with several projects I was commissioned to create.
On top of it all my son and his girls came "home" for a few weeks!!! What a sweet blessing that was!
In fact this was the first time in a while that we were able to have our entire family together for the holiday of thankfulness!!! The image of all of us standing in a circle holding hands saying a prayer and sharing what each of us is thankful for still resonates in my mind and in my heart. THOSE are the precious memories we live for.
We made lots of sweet memories while the family was here. When our son comes home our oldest daughter does her best to be here with her kiddos as much as possible so the kids can all be together. The busy days always ended with all four of the little ones together in Mimi's big bathtub......then they all snuggled together in our living room ,slumber party style, for the last two or three books/stories and finally nodding off for a good nights rest.
It melts my heart that they are making such sweet bonds and memories.
We are thankful that we get to be together again for Christmas, but it won't be ON Christmas. You see...as many families do, we have to go around many things; work schedules, & which weekend the kiddos are with which parent, plans with the other families, etc.
Soooooo....I decided long ago that whenever we can make it happen, whenever we CAN be together THAT would be Christmas (or whichever holiday it happens to be). So, this year we will actually be celebrating Christmas on New Year's Day!
We can choose to be all sullen and fussy about these kinds of things or we can make the best of the situations, knowing full well that what really matters is being together (at some point in time!)
I am actually still in the throes of helping others create Christmas in their homes in various ways. But soon....very soon....I can focus on what is left for ME to get done! Maybe it is a good thing we are not celebrating til New Years Day!!!
Are you ready for Christmas?
Are you thinking ahead of what you will do to make it memorable?
Are you keeping some traditions going? Making new ones??
I feel that traditions are the things that connect your family, that sweet memories are made of. It is a consistency that reminds you of the season and the meaning behind it.
One of the traditions that we have enjoyed for many years is one of the easiest ones you can adapt right now.
Once the holiday is over and you are taking down all of your cards, photos and newsletters you received......place them all in a basket. Keep the basket close at hand and at each dinner time, pull a card out of the basket...look at it once again, read it, talk about your precious memories with those who sent it. THEN pray for the person/people who sent the card.
I usually leave the card on the table til the next day when we drew a new one.
It is a great way to read the card again (when there is not as much hustle bustle going on). Some times I would feel led to send them a quick note of love and encouragement in the mail, and let them know we had prayed for them.
My prayer for you and your family is a holiday of precious memories, of sweet love that surrounds you. I hope you enjoy whatever and whoever you are blessed to be with.
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Today is my "baby boys" birthday!
He really is not a baby, obviously...but he will always be my baby.
(this is him and his sisters when he was promoted to Staff Sergeant last year)
Our son arrived this day 26 years ago and was warmly welcomed by his mommy, daddy and two big sisters. I have told him all his life that he "completed our family".
He is an amazing man!!! He has served our country since the day he turned 18 years old as a US Marine.
He is an incredible daddy to two precious angels.
He is an awesome baby brother!
He is a most amazing son!
We don't get to celebrate his birthday much, not because he lives miles away in Arizona (because we are known to jump in our car and drive the 7-8 hours to see him and his precious ones in a heartbeat!), but because he has been "out of the country" in Iraq or Afghanistan or Japan or Okinawa or ...... on many of his birthdays!
But this year he is HOME!
He is celebrating with his angels today and next week he will be here with us and we will be able to celebrate HIM!!!!! I am so thankful for that.....for sharing precious moments with our family.
Today he wrote me the sweetest message....remembering some of the sweet times growing up and the things we did to celebrate each one of our kiddos.
So, in honor of my son.......to those of you young moms (and dads) I thought I would share a few things that we did as traditional birthday fun that created precious memories in the hearts of our children. It is my firm belief that if we take the time and make the effort to do these kinds of things for them, that they will grow up knowing full well their worth, the love we have for them, their value.... Creating a strong foundation upon LOVE.
That is something that they will have for the rest of their lives!!!!!
For each of our kiddos' birthdays (for as long as I can remember) I would sneak to their bedroom doorway the night before their special day and DECORATE IT. I would hang streamers, balloons, signs, whatever. When our son was a big football player in High school I even created a breakthrough banner...like the players run thru at the beginning of the game....he had to "break through" in the morning to get out of his room! He loved it!!!!!
He said he always loved waking up to his doorway being decorated!!!
Then when they came out for breakfast, there on the table would be their baby book for us to peruse during the day and reminisce, usually telling the story of the day they were born. The dining room would be decorated with more streamers and balloons. Of course they would get their favorite breakfast, lunch and dinner! THEIR CHOICE!
It does not take a lot to create these precious memories. It is in the little things...for one day you will realize that they were the big things!!!!
I miss decorating doors and dining rooms for birthdays, but now I am happy to share in the joy as we create new and wonderful memories.
It's a new season.
My point is this: enjoy the season of life you are in!
If you have little ones still at home...do what you can, while you can, to celebrate them and make them feel special and wonderful!!!! Truly they will remember and treasure every precious moment, every effort you make!
Love & Blessings!
Sunday, October 24, 2010
My sweet husband and I were able to escape for a few days and oh how refreshing it was!!!
We have a few favorite little spots to stay at the central Coast, this time we were choosing the place we thought would be the most quiet and relaxing. It did not disappoint!!!!
To take care of those you are responsible for
Friday, October 15, 2010
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Monday, October 11, 2010
For a while I was so submersed in the deep dark hole that I could not see ANYTHING.
That happens sometimes.
It is not fun, nor is it anything I am proud to admit.
I don't talk about it much, I actually prefer to act like it is not even there.
(the fact that I have been struggling with a condition called Fibromyalgia for 7 years now)
Which has been part of my problem.
If you act like something is not there it does not magically disappear!
Some times the pain and agony in my body is so intense that it takes a terrible toll on the rest of me, my emotions, my mind, my attitude.
Yea, my attitude was starting to get pretty bad....
that is probably why God had me in a little "time-out".
Can't say I blame Him!
Every year around my birthday time I make it a point to STOP
and ponder, pray, seek GOD, re-evaluate my life and the things that are filling it up.....
However, this was not the "feel good, catch a break, get-away" kind of fun reflection I prefer!
I gleaned several lessons during this little time out,
most of which I am still digesting.
I can tell you though,
that if you are seeking GOD amidst all your troubles and trials,
He will be there. He will NEVER fail you.
People, on the other hand, might consistently disappoint....
that is when we must remember that
we are all just human beings striving to do our personal best
while we are here on this earth.
In the end what really, truly matters is doing God's work.
Being and doing the things He has for us, and us alone.
There are several talents and gifts we each possess that come packaged uniquely in us.
That leaves us each with a huge responsibility
to do everything we can to use them to the fullest for HIS glory.
I hesitate to post this.....I hesitate to be this REAL..
but you know what,
this is life.
This is what real life is like.
I know I am not the only one who struggles, who finds themselves
stumbling and falling down under the pressures of life.
I know I am not the only one to struggle with health issues that take a
tremendous toll not only on ones body but also the mind and emotions.
You know that saying....
Remember that the person you pass by today is fighting a harder battle than you.
I have only shared this with a few people but this leads me to the perfect illustration;
The day my mother died, back in January of 1997.
I had been in ICU with her, I witnessed her take her last breath
and then lie perfectly still, never to breath again.
I was with her as her spirit left her body.
As I walked out the door into the hallway just moments later...
there was a complete stranger who was in an all out, gotta-get-there mode
who was going so quickly that he/she
(I do not even remember!)
brushed my shoulder and nearly knocked me over.
Probably because I was already feeling very unstable.
That person had no idea that my mom just died!
I even remember thinking that.........
They don't know what I just experienced.
I wonder how many times we brush past someone who is facing one of their bleakest moments?
How many times we can brighten someones day by a simple smile?
How many times we have been thoughtless and inconsiderate,
never thinking about what that person is dealing with.
I do my best to remember this lesson, and to treat others gently and kindly.
We all deserve to be treated kindly.
Let me tell you.....whatever you are facing today GOD is bigger than it.
No matter how buried you feel, how submersed you feel,
how hard it is to even stay upright....
GOD IS WITH YOU!
HE LOVES YOU!!!!!!
Hold on tight & BREATHE!!!!
If you see a breathtaking sight.......
STOP, take it in and know that God is sending you a message of LOVE.
It is like a little postcard mailed directly to YOU!!!
Love & Blessings!
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
There are some fabulous new initial type charm necklaces on her site...such a fab idea. My head is spinning with ideas of who I can give what to!!!
The best part is................she is doing a Give-Away!!!!
Hope your Tuesday is Terrific!!!!
Sunday, September 12, 2010
Well, I should say it does not COME easy for me. :) ha!!!
Not long ago (actually it seems like eons ago) I heard God speak very clearly to me that I needed to BE STILL, BE QUIET.....and LISTEN to Him!!!!!!!
I thought I was.Apparently I was not doing it enough. Probably filling in the quiet spaces with noise, talking instead of listening, talking to Him without leaving enough quiet space in which to HEAR Him speak back to me.
I have yet to decipher ALL of the lessons I have learned from this experience, but I can tell you I am and have been learning a LOT!
Lessons in life do not come easy nor do they come without a high price.
I have been through a great deal lately.
Let's just say that I should come out of this pretty dang smart! ha!!!!
The battles have been raging. Emotionally, physically, spiritually....At one point all of them were raging full on, leaving this warrior weak and feeble. I have picked up my weapons again and re-entered the fight against the enemy. The war is exhausting...but I shall not grow weary.
Sometimes it helps when others come along and hold up our hands as goes the story in Exodus 17 when Moses friends literally held his arms up during the battle.....
"Now Amalek came and fought with Israel in Rephidim. And Moses said to Joshua, "Choose us some men and go out, fight with Amalek. Tomorrow I will stand on the top of the hill with the rod of God in my hand."
So Joshua did as Moses said to him, and fought with Amalek. And Moses, Aaron, and Hur went up to the top of the hill. And so it was , when Moses held up his hand, that Israel prevailed; and when he let down his hand, Amalek prevailed. But Moses' hands became heavy; so they took a stone and put it under him, and he sat on it. And Aaron and Hur supported his hands, one on one side and the other on the other side; and his hands were steady until the going down of the sun."
THAT is exactly what we need in life, we need those who will come alongside us and lift us up, hold up our arms when we are far too exhausted to do so.
I have been THAT exhausted!!!
I can tell you that without the support of others I might not have made it through.
Thank God for those who love us enough to hold our arms, to be there for us in our weaknesses, to be strong when we cannot be.
Okay.....I better stop now.....remember....I am supposed to be QUIET!!!
So til I feel the gag order lift....Peace and LOVE be with you dear ones. May you know and feel His amazing love in your life and heart today and every day.
Monday, August 23, 2010
My heart has been pondering the fact that so many of the women I talk to have or have had at some point in time, issues with their self-esteem, their self-worth, their confidence level.....
Some have been beaten down by words that left them feeling worthless and injured. Some have been physically hurt and cringe at the mere thought of loving again or trusting anyone. There are some who are simply LOST in the shuffle of life, of parents, friends, too busy to pay attention, so they are left feeling lonely and sad.
Many women/girls...withdraw from life only to resurface in a way that is unhealthy. It is their attempt to cover the pain, to find that thing that makes them feel better, that allows them to escape the awful feelings that live within them 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Sometimes the feelings that rage within are so powerful and raw that it takes a lot to cover them up and to hide from them. The more they seek to cover and hide, the more buried they become in: addiction, bad habits, wrong thinking, self-destructing behavior.....etc.
I am here to tell you something..........................
DO NOT BELIEVE THE LIES OF THE ENEMY FOR ONE MORE MINUTE!!!!!!!
You are NOT who the enemy says you are, you ARE who GOD says you are! God created you, just as you are (Psalm 139) He knit you together in your mother's womb, He takes great joy and pleasure in you, who you are!!!! He cares so much about you, He loves you!!!!! (John 3:16)
DO NOT be deceived!!! Do not grow weary, for GOD is with you, He will never leave you nor forsake you! He wants you to live a healthy and whole life of LOVE.
If God is for us, who can be against us???
Who is he (the enemy) that we should believe his lies??? Instead we need to believe and trust and act on the WORD, the true God!!!
Tick tock....I only have 10 more minutes so I am not looking up all of the scriptures...but if you want/need some, I can find them for you. You need to know what the Word of God has to say...about what He has to say about YOU, your life!!!!
I am writing a book and it has a LOT to do with this subject. It seems that wherever I go, I meet people (I focus & relate mostly on the women) that have these issues. That have carried them with them as extra, HEAVY baggage for YEARS!!!!
I want to help you unload those bags, to rid yourself of the unnecessary load you are carrying.....I want to be a vessel that God can use to help you see your worth, your value, your UNIQUE talent and contribution to your family, your friends, your life, THIS WORLD!!!!
I will be happy to pray for you....please send me a comment if you have any specific prayer requests.
Let me leave you with this thought..............
I cannot take credit for it, it is something my dear friends said to ME while I was going thru a particularly tough time of not feeling worthy!!!
YOU ARE ENOUGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
God created you just as you are and as you are is ENOUGH!!!!!!!!!
Repeat that over and over in our mind today as you go about your day, let it permeate your being, sink into your spirit til you really begin to believe it!!
YOU ARE ENOUGH........................period!
I love you, and even better than that.............GOD LOVES YOU!!!
Go, and MAKE it a GREAT day...this is the only today you have!
Love & Blessings!
Sunday, August 15, 2010
I like weekends! No matter what I am doing, I enjoy them. I like to be home, or to be off doing something fun...either way it's all good!!!
I loathe negativity and yet I struggle with it myself. It is one of those things that has been in my life and I have struggled to keep at bay for as long as I can remember.
I listen to Christian music every day! It feeds my soul!!
I laugh at the antics of my fun family!!! They make my heart smile BIG!
I lack the ability to lose weight and keep it off! This has been my struggle forEVER!!! I hate it, I hate that I even just mentioned it....like if I don't it might just go away!
I learn more & more about God and His plan and purpose for my life every single day. There are lessons in every circumstance and every day we live!
I love the Lord with all my heart and soul. He is everything to me. Without Him I can do nothing and would be nothing.
Hope you all had a fantabulous weekend, whatever you did!
Enjoy the week ahead and MAKE IT GREAT!!!!
Love & Blessings!
Saturday, August 7, 2010
Here is the coffee table I painted up for my living room. This was once a hunter green table with a "lovely" golf set painted on the top. I loved the shape of it and friend of mine offered it to me, I knew it had potential! I just started painting away, lots of layers and colors.
You actually cannot see as many layers and colors in these photos....but it turned out pretty cool!
Here we have some candlesticks that a dear friend gave me for my birthday several years ago. I love them, but against our fireplace they kind of disappear....so I did what any red-lovin' gal would do, I painted them! ;) I love how they turned out and they stand out much better against the stone on the fireplace now.
I LOVE LOVE LOVE creating, re-making, transforming and plain ole piddling around my house. I haven't had time for it lately.....re-visiting these photos makes me want to do just that.
I have been far too busy decorating other people's homes lately (that is what I do for a living). I am thankful I get to use my creativity on a regular basis.....it is just IN me. My mom was a creative spirit and so was my dad, so I guess I come by it naturally........being creative that is.
That's all I have for today....I had promised a few people I would post these on here, so here they are! Now leave me some love (comments!)
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
This is my precious grand-angel Riliee Leavi, isn't she just simply adorable!?
This is one of my favorite photos of our recent family photo shoot.....I was thinking about this sweet image while struggling with some attacks from the enemy so I thought I would put them together! (ruthless I know, but photos of my angels LIGHT up my life!!!!)
The enemy is on the prowl, he is out to "steal, kill and destroy". He wants our very best intentions, energies, time, all to be wiped out so he can keep us from doing the work of the LORD! He never rests....never gives us a break from attack! He lies in wait...patiently waiting for the perfect time to POUNCE, whatever it takes to defeat us, to take us down. He knows our currency and he goes after it and attacks it with all he has. He is ruthless and mean and........well he is the DEVIL!
He uses many things to attack us. Worry, attacks on our health, our finances, negativity, strongholds, the list goes on and on. He deceives us by lying to us, by getting us to believe those lies. He is the father of LIES!
I am sure he has lied to you....made you believe things about yourself in the past or now that have created a block for you. A block that does not allow you to live to your fullest potential.
For me, for many, many years...he lied to me and told me I was not good enough, I would never be good enough, that I was ugly, fat, stupid, clumsy, an idiot. He had me looking at others and comparing myself and seeing how I did not measure up. I was never pretty enough, skinny enough, smart enough, beautiful enough..... You get the picture.
I wonder if he has done the same thing to YOU???
What lies has he and does he tell YOU?
Are you believing them?
Are you succumbing to them?
Are you allowing them to keep you from being all that you can be, the person GOD created you to be?
Are you ALLOWING them to taint your life, to hold you back from your great potential?
IF YOU ARE.........then I say........stick your tongue out at the enemy and say NANER NANER NANER, you are not the boss of me and of my life. What you say means NOTHING. What you think means even less! What you are trying to do to me will not work!!! All your words and attacks will not stick to me because I have the armor of God on....your arrows shall not pierce me, they shall simply bounce off of my shield and fall to the ground, wasted and useless. I know who I am in Christ and that is ALL that matters!
I know who God made me to be and that is what I am living for. All the rest, what you are trying to say and do to me does NOT matter and will NOT change me. God has transformed me by the renewing of my mind. You can lie in wait, slither around like a coward, but your attacks will not take me by surprise because I am ready, I know how slimy and evil you are and I will NOT be taken down by you!!!!!!!!!
Let me tell you what you need to do if you find yourself being taken down. You MUST immerse yourself in the WORD OF GOD! It is the most valuable weapon you have! It is the two edged sword God has given you, but it will do no good in it's sheath!!! Read it, memorize it, recite it, pray it...think about it, USE IT!!!!
You my PRAISE HIM....sing, worship, just talk to Him....just lift Him up!!!
PRAY....you absolutely muse communicate to Him. Praying does not have to be some lengthy hour long daily ritual (I know cos that is what I used to think). Instead, make it something you do with every breath you breathe! He is as close to you as your very breath, He wants you to talk to Him, ask Him, seek Him!
There are sooo many scriptures I can use with this post but I am choosing just a few for you to think about, , ponder, memorize and allow to simmer in your heart and mind.
What I call............"writing it on my heart".
John 10:10 (Amplified Bible)
The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows).
1 Peter 5:8 (Amplified Bible)
Be well balanced (temperate, sober of mind), be vigilant and cautious at all times; for that enemy of yours, the devil, roams around like a lion roaring [in fierce hunger], seeking someone to seize upon and devour.
Ephesians 6:12 (New International Version)
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
John 8:44 (New International Version)
You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father's desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.
I pray your day is immensely blessed, whether it is a good day or a bad day, whether the sun is shining or the clouds are looming....make it great! It is the only TODAY you will ever have, do not let it be wasted on worry, fret, or being consumed with wrong thoughts from the enemy! You are better than that, you deserve better than that!
YOU ARE AMAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Sunday, August 1, 2010
* Went to a Bridal Shower for one of my sweet nephews' fiance's. Congratulations Lacey & Christopher!!!It was sooooo fun to be around family!!!
Sunday, July 25, 2010
This pretty much sums up our family!!!
We have so many WONDERFUL photos to choose from, but this one is so priceless and so "US". I have no idea what my son is saying/doing....but we obviously think it is pretty funny! :)
Last week was
FAMILY*FRIENDS & FUN TIME!
Since our son had just arrived home from Afghanistan we decided we would do a little "staycation", a time where everyone could gather at home, play, swim, hang out, visit, catch up, watch old home movies.....
We also took several day trips ending with a day in Disneyland where we had to say our good-byes. James' little angels were so sad, they did not want to say good-bye to us! Melted my heart!! (I, of course, did not want to say good bye either!) As we were driving off it occurred to me, ahhhhh this time it is NOT for several MONTHS! :)
I am so thankful for my family, for the relationships we all share. We are like all families, we have had our share of troubled times and rough patches along life's highway....but always we are each other's safe place, the ones we can talk to, lean on, depend on. We care deeply for one another and we LOVE having time TOGETHER!!!!
My three kiddos have brought SEVEN little angels into my heart and life. I cannot imagine life without these precious ones! They are amazing...precious and beautiful inside and out.
On our way home last nite (can you even believe that we were stuck in major gridlock at 11pm-2:30 am)!?!?!? Jim and I were talking about our blessings and how we LOVE this grandparenting gig! When our kiddos were little we were busy providing for them, disciplining them, learning about life and figuring things out. But NOW, we are in a whole different season where we KNOW that the time will be short (they will grow up way too fast), that we can ENJOY them (I love telling them that they have to ask the parents! snicker, snicker...). I have also realized that our influence is valuable and unique....no one else has this place of influence that we do....I take that very seriously. I want to show them how loved and treasured they are, and when need be I want to be able to offer advice or HELP to the parents cos I know what a tough job it is to raise children.
Tomorrow is back to work, back to the grind of every day life. But I feel refreshed and restored and I have many precious memories alive in my heart that I share with some of the most amzing people on this planet!!!!
Love & Blessings to you and yours!
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
* Got up at 3am drove down to Camp Pendleton where we experienced the most amazing 4th of July EVER! It began with "colors" (as they raise the flag everyone stops to show respect)...soon a big white bus came around the corner filled with dearly missed US Marines!!! Welcome homes surrounded us and we welcomed our own Son home from Afghanistan!!!!!!
* Witnessed the "meeting face to face" of my son and his sweetheart....priceless!
* Met two precious angels that I have a feeling will be a BIG part of our hearts and lives.
* Spent the entire day with our daughter and her two boys, who never cease to amaze us and fill our hearts!
* Laughed and smiled with the people I love.
* Enjoyed nice long chats and a little nap on the long drive home from San Diego.
* Watched fireworks going off all over our neighborhood...thanks neighbors for allowing this tired couple a free show! :)
* Worked on a couple of my "journals" that I need to finish asap!
(journals that I have been commissioned to make)
* Took my husband to one of my favorite little eateries that he had never been to.
* Discovered that my pharmacy would be closed from Friday thru Tuesday which sent me into a medication withdrawal that has NOT been fun!!!
* My awesome husband installed "misters" on our patio, while I finished painting my crazy coffee table. I should post photos...too bad I did not take "before shots" tho. It WAS an old, FREE, hunter green painted coffee table with a lovely little golf set painted on the top surface. It is NOW a fun reddish, antiqued, table with a leopard painted top. FUN!
* Swam around the pool staring into the brown eyes of my one year old grandson as he chilled on the raft.
All in all I have to say...........this was one of the most memorable weekends in my life! The most memorable way I am sure I will ever spend a 4th of July!!!
I have enjoyed the days OFF....we all need to catch a break and ENJOY our lives. (a lesson I am working on, or is God working on me on, or ??? well, whatever it is...it is definitely happening!)
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
I began this blog as an outlet to share with others, to encourage and uplift those who happen to find my meager little blog here in cyberland. To reach out and lend a hand of encouragement to those who are in need, who need love, encouragement, hope....
It has always been my greatest desire to do just that. When I learn something new, discover something, whatever....I LONG to share it, to help others learn the lessons that came so hard so they can have them for FREE! Or so it seems anyway! :)
Lately I have felt like I am the one in dire need of the lessons, of the wisdom and direction. I am at a weird place in life and I LONG for some changes that I cannot seem to choose right now. Oh, I know it all sounds so ominous, but really it is not THAT big. Just pondering in my mind, in my heart.
Above all my heart desires to LIVE and LOVE for Christ!! Truly THAT is the reason we are here.
SO here's to LOVE and to knowing in the deepest part of our hearts that GOD IS IN CONTROL!
To doing our best to making sure we are following His lead, to staying in His perfect and wonderful will. Here's to all of YOU who take the time to encourage me and to pour LOVE into MY heart!!!
Love & Blessings!
Thursday, June 10, 2010
Last Friday her sweet daughter got married, the second of her three children. As I was writing a card to her the words began to flow from my pen. Having experienced the complete emptying of the nest, I felt I had some thoughts to share with her.
"Your sweet, cozy nest is emptying out...one little chick-a-dee at a time they are flying off into this great big world. Building nests of their own, one stick, one feather at a time.
It is going to take some time to create a nest as cozy as the one they left.
In fact their nest will never be just like the one they spent their lives being nurtured in.
Theirs will be a reflection of who they are, who they have become. They are building their nest with their own unique materials; those things that appeal to them and their little love bird. Those things that are readily accessible to them.
It is a process, it is going to take the little love birds some time to create a nest that will one day hold and nurture their own little baby chicks.
It was time for your baby birdy to get up and leave the coziness she had grown up with, that she was accustomed to. Her wings were itching to be stretched, when she stood up she was bumping into Mama and Papa Bird.
Tis the cycle of life.....
Sometimes painful and emotional; but all part of the plan God created when He made us.
He has a plan - He is Almighty, Omnipotent and Sovereign in all His ways.
So, Mama bird...Nurturer of souls, lover of your baby birds, the one who has labored faithfully to build your nest - the one your precious chick-a-dee's enjoyed and appreciated...
Know that you have done what God created you to do, and you have done it well. you have given your grown-up chicks all that they need...a strong foundation, in which to build the rest of their life upon.
You are amazing....the emptying nest is your newest adventure in life, your newest season....ENJOY IT!!!!!
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
My husband and I enjoyed a long awaited, much needed and well-deserved long weekend. We attended a wedding of my sweet neice and her love who will now be sharing our anniversary date! We celebrated our 33 years while witnessing them taking their vows, their hearts full of love and promise and hope for the future....while I looked over at the love of my life and felt my heart swell with gratitude for all these years we have had together.
Many people seem to think that if you have made it to these big number anniversaries you have probably never experienced any difficult times or that for whatever reason, you have just "lucked out". Much as I know and believe that we have definitely been blessed with an amazing relationship, marriage and life together...it has never come without effort, labor, dedication and diligence. Marriage is like that, it takes a lot to keep it going, to keep the fire burning, to keep the communication open and the joy in the journey.
Hard work but JOY all mixed together!!! The greatest mixture I know!
We have had our fair share of troubles and trials...we have had our fair share of disagreements...but there have been a few rules we have always lived by and I think that is key.
We have never EVER discussed ANY options. There was never any question that we were in this thing for LIFE!! NEVER!!! You cannot threaten or be threatened about divorce, it will just erode your very foundation!
He treats me like a Queen and I treat him like a King!!! That has been our most amazing discovery!! It works wonders!!! Try it, you will seriously never go back to your old ways!
We nurture our relationship on a regular basis. Taking time/making time to be together and to talk....really listening and paying attention to one another.
We are each other's top priority. We both enjoy our family, friends, activities, hobbies, etc...but, we always keep each other and our time together as our top priority.
That is above all else but AFTER our relationship with GOD. HE is at the top of the pyramid of our love and our relationship. The closer we come to Him the closer we become to one another...the same way we become further from one another when we grow distant from God. We know this to be true so we nurture our relationship with the Lord and with one another.
I thank God every single day for blessing me with such an amazing man. I know he is a gift from God. I pray that we will live forever in love and laughter and enjoy the many blessings of the Lord TOGETHER!!!
I pray the same for you dear ones!!!!
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
I find inspiration in the conversations I have, in the people I meet, in the stories I hear. I find lessons to be learned in much of my life. I am a willing vessel...always willing to learn and GrOw.
I love my new season in life because I can glean and share in ways that I never thought I could....I am anxious to always be USED for the Lord. I love being His servant, His daughter, a child of the living God!!!
How about you my friend? Are you listening to the world around you, paying attention to your surroundings and learning and GrOwing in the Lord, in your relationship with Him??
Let me challenge you to do so. To read His word, get it into your heart and soul....write His word upon your heart (by memorizing scripture).
Spend time DAILY chattin' it up with Him! He longs for you, for time with you....just the two of you! Make the time, it will not just happen....
Matthew 6:33 says; "Seek ye FIRST the Kingdom of GOD and His righteousness and these things shall be added unto you."
Put Him on the top of your list. FIRST PLACE!
You will never be sorry you did!!!
Love & Blessings to you as you GrOw in the Lord more and more every day!
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
I recently began a Bible study on the book "Battlefield of the Mind" by Joyce Meyer.
It is amazingly inspiring and eye opening.
Most every one of us struggle with issues and the spiritual warfare that constantly bombards our minds so I thought I would begin posting a little tid-bit from this study on a regular basis.
It all begins with our THOUGHTS.
"For as he (a person) thinks in his heart, so is he" Proverbs 23:7
Our mind is the forerunner of all of our actions.
"For those who are according to the flesh and are controlled by its unholy desires set their minds on and pursue those things which gratifuy the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit and are controlled by the desires of the Spirit set their mind on and seek those things which gratifuy the Holy Spirit." Romans 8:5
If we have a negative mind, we will certainly have a negative life. On the contrary, if we control our thoughts and live by the Spirit and not the flesh our thoughts will be positive.
So many people's problems are rooted in thinking patterns that actually produce the problems they experience in their lives. Satan offers wrong thinking to everyone, but we do not have to accept his offer!!!!!
Are you accepting Satan's offer???
Think about it.
Ponder on these scriptures....
Til next time.
This is my son and his two precious angels. Right now he is missing these girls terribly and I am sure they are missing their daddy!
My son is a US Marine currently serving in Afghanistan. He was only home 24 days between deployments a few months ago when this photo was taken.
If we knew exactly when he will be home we would be counting down the days, but we never really know. We do know that when he returns safe and sound back to the good ole USA we are ALL going to be VERY happy!!!
I really do not have a "point" to this post today...I have thought of many ways I can take this and add a little spiritual lesson, but in the end....I have decided to keep it sweet and simple.
However, I cannot end without asking for prayer for him and his girls....pray that he makes it home safe and sound. That we will ALL be together again very soon!
Lots of Love!!
Tuesday, May 11, 2010
I hope that whatever you did, whoever you were with, that you had a great day and that you enjoyed every precious moment.
I learned long ago that I may not always be able to choose exactly how I want to spend the day, my entire family may not be able to come together all at the same time (this is what happens when your little chick-a-dees leave the nest)...nonetheless I WILL ENJOY!!! I will enjoy the day for who I DO get to be with and for every precious blessing I have.
I have not always been so blissfully understanding.
It has been a learning and growing process. There was a day that I might have spewed a little ugliness at my disappointment of a day when no one read my mind and came through for me in ways I had hoped (but not voiced).
This is one thing that is so amazing about growing older and more mature...there comes a wisdom that is more valuable than I ever knew would be possible. I am thankful for that, for knowing that above everything God is what matters, my relationship with Him.
He loves me, He cherishes me....EVERY day of the year!!
So does my family!
I could not be more blessed, more grateful, more thankful, more appreciative of what I have, WHO I have in my life and how far I have come.
I am sharing this with you today because I KNOW there has to be others out there who has felt the same way...disappointed, frustrated, unappreciated, on the very day that should be nothing but a celebration of motherhood and all we do as moms.
We sacrifice and give 24 hours a day, seven days a week....all we ask is one day.
One day of devotion, a day when our kiddos do not fuss or fight, a day that we do not have to cook or do laundry, or handle any household chores.
Then this "special day" arrives and, well, sometimes nothing much happens any different than any other day of the year. Pretty disappointing indeed!
I want to speak to your heart and tell you...that you ARE appreciated, you ARE loved, you ARE valuable, you are DESERVING, you are BEAUTIFUL, you are ..........ENOUGH!!!!!
Quit looking to others for any validation, reward, appreciation.....you may never get it and you will end up being sorely disappointed and hurt.
I know....I am someone who thrives on being encouraged, words of affirmation and receiving validation.
I also have been on the disappointing end of this more than once. I continue to learn that my worth is not dependent on anyone else's opinion or what they say or do not say to me.
It is up to us to be steadfast and courageous...regardless of what others do or do not tell us.
Our thoughts determine our attitudes...so if we think positively, if we focus on what is good, pure, lovely, true and just...THEN we will BE happy and content.
Here's to YOU! May ALL of your days be blessed and HAPPY, may you always find your worth and be content in who God created you to be...and all that you are!
Love & Blessings!
Thursday, April 29, 2010
There is more month than money, the car has broken down and needs fixed...again!
budget cuts are threatening your job, an illness has made you weak and frail,
a loved one just passed away, you just received devastating news,
a loved one is no longer speaking to you,
your son is in another country serving in the military,
your friends marriage is on the rocks, your house may be going into foreclosure...
Oh the list goes on and on....
So many people are struggling every day. They struggle and flounder around wondering WHERE God is and WHY is He allowing these "things" to continue to attack their lives.
Many are feeling so let down and depressed.
Feeling overwhelmed by the very weight of the world we live in.
Life is never easy, in fact it is down-right difficult most days!
I know, I have shared in these struggles in my own life on more than one occasion.
Some times it just feels as if you are sinking in a pit of quick sand and cannot pull yourself free, the more you struggle the deeper you go, the more "stuck" you become.
I have never been in quick sand, but I am pretty certain you need help to get out, you might not ever be able to manage an escape on your own.
(It seems like I saw that on an old episode of Lassie!!) :)
God is the ultimate encourager and helper,
& He sends us many people and tools to be used.
He uses US to be there for one another, to let those who are struggling know that someone is there, someone understands and CARES!!!
He also uses MUSIC to uplift us and speak to our hearts. I love to turn on the Christian music every single time I get into my car, when I am getting ready in the mornings. The words sink into my spirit, they soothe my soul and they lift me up and out of my funk if I happen to be in one. They are LIFE to us....God's words to music.
I have been enjoying a particular song lately that speaks loudly to this issue of struggling.
Josh Wilson's "Before The Morning" http://new.music.yahoo.com/josh-wilson/
Take a minute to listen/read the words to this amazing song.....
"Do you wonder why you have to feel the things that hurt you?
If there's a God who loves you, where is He now?
Or maybe there are things that you can't see,
and all those things are happening to bring a better ending...
someday, somehow you'll see.
Would you dare, would you dare to believe that you still have a reason to sing?
'Cause the pain that you've been feeling
It can't compare to the joy that's coming
So hold on, you gotta wait for the light
Press on and just fight the good fight
'Cause the pain that you've been feeling
It's just the dark before the morning
My friend, you know how this all ends
And you know where you're going
You just don't know how you'll get there
So say a prayer and hold on
'Cause there's good for those who love God
but life is not a snapshot
It might take a little time, but you'll see the bigger picture
Once you feel the weight of glory
All your pain will fade to memory
Come on, you gotta wait for the light
Press on and just fight the good fight
'Cause the pain that you've been feeling
It's just the hurt before the healing
Oh the pain that you've been feeling
It's just the dark before the morning"
I know the feeling, really I do....how deep that darkness is.
How far away the light seems, in fact sometimes there seems to be NO light!
I am here to tell you that IT WILL GET BETTER!!!!
I have learned that my healing or revelation or healing usually does not come until I am willing to LET GO AND LET GOD!!!
Once I release my grip on my "issues" and allow God's most capable hands to gently take it from me, healing begins.
It is not always an easy process to let go
(and there is a huge difference between letting go and giving up!!).
Rather it is simply an act of relinquishing whatever it is to God and KNOWING with all that is within us that HE WILL take care of it!!!!
I recently read a new description of FAITH from a Max Lucado book.
"Faith is the conviciton that God knows more than we do about this life and He will get us through it"
God is at work in your life, every minute of every day, through every situation and circumstance He is working His magic. Let Him have your worries and your cares, He needs them to mold you into the perfect creation of YOU!!!
Turn to Him, turn to the Word, let it seep into your heart, your spirit...turn on some music and let it fill your soul.
We are all fellow warriors in this life, may we all fight the good fight and hold on and wait for THE light!!! It's just the dark before the morning.....
Love & Blessings!
Monday, April 19, 2010
You see I really am not a big fan of Mondays. For me it means the end to the weekend at home with my husband, doing the things I enjoy, staying up as late as I want to, being with the people I love....you know..all that stuff.
So I carry a dread of the Monday morning. Then this morning I get on my facebook account and I see everyone writing things like "Yahoo it's Monday!" or "I love Mondays, they are a blank slate"...and I thought.............really!?!?!?!?!?
I went on to read a status update that I liked so much I borrowed it and posted it on mine.
"He who neglects the present moment throws away all he has." J. VonSchiller
Lord, help me not to dwell in the past or yearn for the future. Instead help me enjoy every moment of THIS day - the only April 19th 2010 I'll ever have....
As I flitted off to get ready for my day those words sort of mulled around in my mind and I realized how very guilty I am of thinking one thing and living another.
You see I would be the first to tell you to live in the moment, to enjoy what you have, what you are doing, who you are with. And yet here I am dreading one of the days God has so lovingly blessed me with. So, I don't like having to interrupt my flow of projects and writing and hanging out with my husband....I still have a life to be thankful for, a job to be grateful for!!! I must enjoy and appreciate every moment of my life, whether I am doing what I love or what I must.
Oh, I know there is a message in there too. That we should find what we love and find a way to do that for a living. But that is a whole other story and not what I am referring to right now. I am referring to a simple attitude adjustment. Just like I go to the chiropractor to get my spine adjusted, today my attitude needed a little adjusting so that I might be in alignment!!!!
Soooooo, in conclusion let me say..........YEA MONDAYS!!! It's a MONDAY FUN-DAY, no matter what I do, no matter where my work takes me today, no matter how stressed and frazzled I might get in the matter of a Monday. It is a day to be thankful for and to praise God about!!!
How about you? How do YOU feel about Mondays? Tell me all about it, you know I will understand!!
Lots of love, blessings and fun moments for you on this monday.
May God richly bless you and may you treasure the life you have been given.
Til the next time!