Friday, August 29, 2014

The One I Wrote For You

I had the opportunity to go see a screening of a new family film last night, that is coming out in December. It is called, "The One I Wrote For You." 

This movie was filmed here in San Antonio, and is about a man who gave up his dream of going into music, until his daughter enters him into a songwriting contest. From there, the movie addresses the internal battle and struggle that takes place in compromising yourself - or sticking to your values and identity - no matter the cost.

It's a GREAT film. I love that it addresses the whole "image" thing, as that seems to be so important in today's society. I also like that this film had humor in it. So many family films seem to take a stab at the humor thing but 'miss' terribly. This one actually had some funny lines and both me and my 17 year old daughter, (who I brought in tow), were chuckling here and there.

 I thought the movie started out a little slow and dry, but once it got going - it was done pretty well. There was no sex, no bad language, and violence, so the movie is appropriate for the whole family.

I think parents and adults will like this movie because, let's face it, we all have dreams. For a lot of us, those dreams were cast aside or forgotten once we had children and families. This movie takes us on a journey of seeing that maybe, our dreams don't have to be lost. But in the process, we need to seriously question what the cost might be in pursuing them.

I think younger kids will like this movie, because it does talk about dreams. And all kids have them! If kids can learn early on not to compromise their morals and values - but to stick to their integrity and character - they will save themselves a great deal of heartache and pain.

So keep your eyes open for "The One I Wrote For You." It's coming to theaters this Winter.




*I was able to see a free screening of this movie - but all thoughts and opinions are solely mine.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Needy


I watched a movie once about a family who farmed for a living and they were about to lose their home, their animals, and their land. Land that had been in their family for over 100 years. It was very hard on the head of the household because he felt like he could no longer provide for them and he took it very, very hard. So hard that he lost himself for awhile in his self-pity. The wife looked at him and said, “This is hard. But you’re a farmer. All your life has been hard!” What she meant was – you can do this. You’ve done it before and you’re stronger for it.

I think some of us have (without realizing it) found that being a victim, helpless, unloved, not cared for enough – whatever it is they “label” it – I think that that “vice” has become a friend to us in a strange way. I don’t think everyone knows how to truly live free. I’ve found that most people who act needy always have the choice of a different attitude and course of action. They just seem to find that course of action is too inconvenient, hard, or out of reach (by their standards.) They don’t truly want it. They would much rather have the love and attention of good natured, compassionate folks doting on them and telling them how sorry they are for the rotten dose of luck they’ve had in their life, than they are at reaching up and outward to become a strong person, themselves.

It’s easier.

Life can make us stronger or weaker depending on how we choose to react to it. We can choose to get love and attention based on others feeling sorry for us all of the time, or we can get it by healthy respect instead.

Most people who come across as needy, probably don’t view themselves that way. They probably think they are very strong, courageous people for going through whatever it is they are going through. But in reality, they whine, complain, utter hints, and cling to those around them…quite often and quite regularly.  No one can seem to appease them or give them that sense of self esteem and inner joy that they seek – at least not permanently.

They say some children act out in order to get attention from their parents when they’ve felt neglected. I think the same is true for adults who are needy. They want attention. The thing is, they can get hooked on bad attention and then that becomes a way of life without them even realizing it. They may not realize how often they feel that everyone should hear how they had a bad day or how something hurt them. They act as if they have been singled out to experience this. The thing is? We ALL experience bad days and hurt feelings. We ALL cry and feel left out or neglected at times.  We ALL get a raw deal at times. No one is more special than anyone else to feel these things.

I don’t know what the secret is to help needy people. I think it just might be to get them to help other needy people. Because then they will stop thinking about themselves and their own pity party and after awhile – they will form new healthier patterns of living. Patterns of giving, loving, and offering up their lives to help others.

I’ve seen truly needy people in my lifetime. People who have deep hurts, real concerns and visible problems. I’ve seen these same people show courage, independence, deep faith, and joy amidst those problems and I admire them for it. They made the choice to live and love fully without thought to themselves - despite their trials.

They were physically needy, but not emotionally. They persevered, loved, laughed, and grew – despite the obstacles and challenges in their life.


The question is – will you?

Monday, August 25, 2014

It Was More Than I Thought It Would Be



When I was a young girl, I’d often dream and envision what life would be like when I became an adult. Of course as any young child does, I dreamed of being able to stay up as late as I wanted, eat whenever I wanted, and do what I wanted, when I wanted.

Children think adult life is so much easier and more fun.

Now as I look back, I can see how everything about being an adult and going through life is MORE than I thought it would be.

I have loved more than I thought I would. I have hurt more than I thought I would.

I have travelled more and gone to places I never thought I’d ever go to.

I have been blessed more than I ever could have thought I’d be.  And I have gone through harder lessons more than I ever thought I’d have to go through.

Everything has been “more.”

It’s all been more than I could have asked or dreamed of, and more than I wanted at times.

How could I possibly ask God for more, when He’s already given me so much more than I deserve?

Yet on the other hand, how could I possibly handle more of life’s challenges, when I’ve already handled more than I ever thought I’d be able to face?

It’s all been more than I thought it would be. More blessings, more joy, more laughs. More difficulties, more heartaches, and more tears.

MORE.

It’s life. My life.  The ups, downs, peaks, and valleys. All of it. And I’m thankful to be living it and learning from it.

All the “more’s” make up my life. My story. My legacy. They are woven together in a beautiful fashion. The sad chapters as well as the happy endings are a part of what molds and makes me unique. They are what make me love stronger and deeper, mourn harder, and grow.

Each day is a gift in its own way. And I have so many more to come that will be MORE than I could have imagined or thought possible.

More to come. More of my Lord, more of my life, and more to give others. More to learn, more to give up, and more to embrace.

May I live each moment with more of me invested. For not everyone gets the gift of tomorrow…. The gift of “more” or the chance to live out more of their story.


For that, I will always be thankful.



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Saturday, August 23, 2014

Time and Commitment Are the Only Way




I have been married to my husband for 20 years. 20 years. It doesn’t seem that long. I still constantly replay our dating days in my head – for they were so romantic. He really wooed me.  And our first few years of marriage were challenging due to circumstances out of our control.



We’ve made it through so much – he and I.




I see now, how my love for him was an immature love. How, over time, it has matured into something deeper and more meaningful than when it first began.  He is truly my best friend. The one I run to, to tell my hurts to, and the one I can’t wait to celebrate my joys with. The one who I still find very handsome and who can make my heart skip a beat.

He has different looks and I can read them – without him saying a word.  I know when something is wrong and I know when something is right.



I love that I can read his emotions in his eyes. That’s something that 20 years together gives you.


I don’t always understand my husband, as I know, he doesn’t always understand me. But we’re always committed to trying to learn. There is still so much to learn about each other, so much more to love.

In the first few years of marriage, the love we shared was magical. It was fresh and fun.  But I can honestly say that although love changes with time….it only gets better. I still have fun with my husband and he still makes me smile. Not everything is as new or fascinating as it once was, but the knowing and understanding only make what we have stronger and deeper.

The hurts we’ve been through as well as the joys, grow us. Bond us. And I’m indebted to each new day that we have together.



I will forever love holding his hand or having his arms wrap around me. I will always know his scent, and his presence in our home and in my heart, give me the joy and peace I need to navigate the rest of life’s difficulties – knowing I have that someone  standing with me and for me.

20 years. A true gift. Our love truly has grown, changed, and evolved.




Only time and commitment can allow that to happen.



Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Hang On



God always supplies.


Just when I’m running out of articles to use on my blog, He gives me inspiration.  And just when I’m about to drop and crash, from being so tired of running so hard and fast for weeks at a time….He gives me rest.

Just when I’m at my wits end with a problem, He provides a solution.

He always supplies. He’s always faithful.

Sometimes we give up right before the answer is ready to come our way. We are ready to quit at the precise moment that the wave of change, relief, and blessing, are ready to descend on us.

If only we could hang on. Hang on to round that one last corner. That one last mountain to climb. That one last disappointment. Hang on.

Friend, I’ve been there. Many times. I’ve felt my strength would fail me. I didn’t know how I could go another day or minute facing whatever it was that I was facing. Whether it was simply being exhausted, hurt, frustrated, lonely, or sick. Whatever it was, I’ve had moments – just like you – where I didn’t think I could hang on.

But I did.

And let me tell you, that my God was faithful. He came through for me. He blessed me. He took care of me and protected me.

Every. Single. Time.

He wants to do the same for you.


Please let Him. Hang on.


Sunday, August 17, 2014

Eshakti: A Fun Option for Clothes Buyers

I was contacted over a month ago by Eshakti, asking if I wouldn't mind reviewing one of their retail pieces.  I had never heard of them before, so I stopped by their website and took a look.

They sent me this cheerful turquoise blouse.


This blouse would be a perfect addition for someone's wardrobe as we head into the Fall season. I think the sleeves are adorable and unique. They were a tad big on me, but I have pretty small arms. I still loved them.

As for quality, I was very pleased to see this blouse was solidly made. Might have been a tiny bit stiff and I probably would prefer a more relaxed material, but overall, very well made.  I chose to dress it up in a bohemian, western kind of way - but the great thing about this blouse is that it can be dressed up or down. Either way, it's pretty cute.

I don't know about you, but I like having things that are a little unique. I don't want to show up in the same thing everyone else is wearing! Eshakti has a lot of unique pieces like this blouse.


I think Eshakti would be a great resource for a woman who needs some nice pieces for work. You can even customize your pieces for a little bit added extra cost. They allow you to change things such as neckline, dress length, and sleeve type. 

I do feel that a lot of their pieces have a retro/old fashioned look to them, but there are some cute feminine things in the mix that are more contemporary.

Check them out and give them a try. You can find Eshakti here:




*Thanks to Eshakti for giving me this piece in exchange for doing a review of one of their products!


Thursday, August 14, 2014

It's Hard to Give Up What You Love





Have you ever prayed so hard for something but when it finally started happening, you found the transition to be hard?

It is hard to give things up. It is hard to sacrifice.

I found that out.

I had been longing for years to move to a warmer climate. But wanting something and actually putting in what it takes to get that something are two different things.

I loved my home. My beautiful home. My “over 3500 square foot” home sitting on an acre about 20 mins out of town. I loved hearing the horses and the cows in the summertime. I loved the “buffer” zone we had between neighbors. I loved the greenery. I loved my beautiful big kitchen with the huge island in the middle and the openness between rooms in my house. I loved my walk-in closet and my big bathroom.

So wanting something different in locale meant giving up something that I loved. To gain, you usually have to give up something. And that was true in this case.

I was excited to finally be doing something. To be working towards something I’d wanted for so long. But the day we put our house on the market, I cried. I didn’t expect to, but I cried. I realized my house was a part of me. So many memories there. And I was so thankful for it. I knew it was a blessing. When we first built our house, I told God that I would always use it for Him because I knew it was a gift from Him. And I did. I let the youth group have parties at our house, we hosted missionaries, and we opened our doors to others.

Our house sold in two weeks. TWO weeks in a market that was still shaky. Exciting? Yes! Scary? Absolutely. Hard?? Most definitely.

I’d walk around my back yard in the season that I loved living in my house the most. I knew I was going to miss it. Terribly. I had no idea where I’d live next. Would it be a tiny little house? Would I even have a grass backyard much less an acre? Would my kitchen have beautiful hardwood floors? Would I be proud of my house?

And the verse kept going through my head over and over again – “Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.”  Matthew 19:24

I never considered myself rich. But I finally FELT and understood the words in this verse. It is hard to give up blessings and good things in life. It’s hard to give up material things. And it is at that point when it’s hard, that we have placed them too greatly in our lives.

Sacrifice is always hard. No one said it would be easy. But if we refuse to do it at all, then we are just like that rich man who values what He has more than He values God’s kingdom.

I still had a hard time letting my beautiful house go. But from that moment on, I could look at it and see that a house is just a house – no matter how much you love it. It’s the family that lives within those walls that makes a house a home. And that can be done in any building.


I don’t want to be like that rich man. I don’t want to be too selfish to give up the beautiful things in my life. It may not be easy and I may trade them in for something that isn’t quite as beautiful; but a rich life isn’t in things….it’s in people. And it’s good to remember that.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Sometimes I Lose My Balance



I continually have to learn lessons in life. I wish I didn’t, but I do. Alas, I am imperfect and very flawed. 

Sometimes, I lose my balance in life. It’s usually when I think my feet are on solid ground and I stop seeking God’s perspective in one area or another.

Sometimes I grow very critical. Other times, I grow anxious. I’ve had seasons where I’ve been too self-righteous or judgmental. Too ambitious, without checking to see what GOD’S plans might be for me.

It’s easy to lose our way. To lose our focus.

I’m thankful for these times (after the fact) though. They remind me of the kind of person I want to be. They remind me of the character I want to carry with me. I want to be humble. Patient. Kind. Forgiving. Gracious. Joyful. Blessed. Warm. Loving. Accepting.  These traits don’t come easily. They may sound easy, but they are easy to lose.

It’s easy to lose the quality of forgiveness when you’ve been hurt so deeply and your heart is feeling so bitter.  It’s easy to stop being patient when it seems you’re always waiting for “your turn” at something and you are doing things the right way, the honest way, and you see others skip ahead of you by cheating, tricking, or cutting corners. 

It’s too easy.

I don’t ever want this world to turn me into a cold-hearted, unforgiving, selfish person. I don’t want to be abrasive and judgmental.  So, I have to listen carefully and seek God constantly. I have to listen to those in my life who may be letting me know that I’ve gotten off-balance somewhere. I have to seek God out every day – not just on Sunday or Wednesday. I have to put my priorities aside at times, for the good of others, or the Glory of God.

It’s a constant process, but it’s what I want. It’s what I want for my life.

I want to be in balance. Centered. Focused. And I know that when I’m in those times of keeping things in check, those are the moments where I feel most satisfied and fulfilled. For God is living in me and working in me – instead of me working in myself.

I may always have to be juggling this balancing act in my life…. But hopefully, I will improve and get better at it over time, learning and growing so that I don’t have to balance quite as often or as much. May it come easier to my heart each time I regroup.


I pray the same will be true for you. May we both get the hang of it, so that our footing lands on solid ground much more often than shifting ground.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

You Were Meant For More


You were meant for more than that guy you are settling for. The one that you know doesn’t quite keep his word, or embellishes the truth. The one who is ‘nice’ – but not quite honorable.

You were meant for more than that job you are sticking with. The one that takes advantage of you.

You were meant for more than those friends. The ones who are fickle and care more about appearance than your heart.

You were meant for more.  You deserve more. You are valued more.

There is more out there for you than what you are settling for. You don’t have to ‘put up’ with things. You don’t have to ‘suck it up’ and handle being stepped on, taken for granted, pulled down, or lied to.

You were meant for more.

There are people out there who will keep their word. They will come through for you. They will encourage you, instead of using you for their own agenda.

There are people out there who will work hard and strive for excellence, instead of always looking for an easy way out. They want more for themselves – and will want more for you, too.

There are people out there who will see your inner beauty, as well as your outer beauty. They will help you flourish and help you be who YOU want to be.

There are people out there who have morals and values. People who believe in honor and integrity.

Don’t settle. Don’t adjust your life to something because you don’t see anything else on the horizon.

There IS more. It’s out there.

And you deserve it.


Wait for it. Pray for it. And welcome it with open arms when it comes.

Friday, August 8, 2014

You Don't Always Get What You Want In Life




You don’t always get what you want in life.

Life goes a totally different direction than you want, at times. Sometimes people make choices that affect you, and it’s not welcome. Sometimes, changes have to be made for mere physical or emotional survival.

Life just happens. And it happens to us, with us, around us, and about us – whether or not we are on board with what is going on.

Things can really stink, at times. We hurt and we grieve over losses that have happened to us, or will happen to us. In the process, our attitudes can become bitter and hardened and we can say things that inflict a wound on someone else.

Let me say it again. You don’t always get what you want in life.  How we handle those moments, though, says a lot about our character.  Are we vengeful and spitting hurtful words at those who sit in front of us, or are we gracious and trusting that God has the events all in the palms of His hands?

I’m often reminded how no detail is a surprise to God. No circumstance beyond His control. He knew it would all unfold the way it did, and He knows the ending, as well.  And when I’m reminded of these facts, I grow more at peace with what is going on, because I know my God is GOOD and He wants GOOD things for me.  Even if what I’m going through is painful – I can pray that He will get all the glory when all is said and done. And that’s enough for me. It’s enough, because I know if He gets all the glory, that everything will work out as it should. As it’s meant to.  Even if it’s not what I would have wanted.

Our pride is a big thing. Setting it aside and letting God weave and work through our circumstances is hard. We forget so easily. We think we know better. We act as if we’re smarter. We fail to see that there could be any other plan besides our own.

And yet, sometimes, there is. A bigger plan. A better plan.

We don’t always get what we want in life. Sometimes we get less. But, sometimes? Sometimes, we get MORE.  Trust in God. Believe in what He’s doing with and FOR you. Have integrity through the process.


And watch things unfold as they were meant to be.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

There Are Days Where You Just Have to Be Brave

 There are days where you just have to be brave. You have to face things you’d rather run away from. Head on.

There are days where you just have to swallow your pride and head into the storm, knowing that the wind and rains will beat against you. Sometimes you’re prepared – other times not, but travel on, you must.

There are days where you have to wipe away the tears and keep going, even though you’d rather collapse on your bed and let the tears wrack your body.

There are those days.

And when we are living in the moment of those days – it seems as if the sun will never come out again. A smile is so far from our lips and laughter only echoes in our hearts and minds. Life seems tough, cruel, unfair, and lopsided. We can feel alone and our fight seems eternal.

Those are the days where you have to be brave, courageous and strong. Draw upon your roots, your faith, and the love you have in your life. Let them fuel you and comfort you.

We all have those days. The days that seem like they are 72 hours long. The days where you wonder if there is any way to escape the challenge you face, unscathed. You want to win and defeat the enemy – whether that be a circumstance, or a person. Yet you can feel so weak and frail.

Call upon your courage, frail one. Call upon your Lord. You CAN overcome. You CAN defeat this challenge. You CAN be victorious! There is a door that you can walk through.

Just be patient.

We all have our battles to face. We all have to find out what we’re made of. We all need to walk through certain things alone. But you can do it. One step at a time. One prayer at a time. One breath at a time.

Be brave. Be a warrior. You have it in you.


Walk through the storm. The sun WILL shine again and it will be warmer, sweeter, and brighter than ever before because of you what you have gone through.

Monday, August 4, 2014

To Live Life On A Deeper Level





Some people live life on a deeper level. They just “get it.” They get what this existence of living is really all about.

Some people see the meaning behind words and emotions – they feel the “moment” that will never be felt again, and they see the beauty behind everyday things in the world that everyone else passes.

I strive to be one of these people.

I want to be an old soul, yet have a youthful vitality. I want to be a deep thinker, yet always have a smile and laugh ready to come to my lips. I want to know how to be quiet and still, yet ready to embrace adventure.

I want to see the beauty behind an old lady’s wrinkles and feel the love in a quick hug. I want to understand and know my child’s heart – despite what they DON’T say. I want to be able to read the pain behind someone’s eyes.

I want to “get it.” I want to understand the universal language of the heart. To know that people hurt everywhere, love everywhere, and dream everywhere… no matter their skin color, or heritage.

I want to see past a race that is known for hate, and decide for myself if someone is good or not, based on how they treat me.

I want to take snapshots and photos with my mind so that I can freeze life’s beautiful scenes even when I don’t have a camera with me. And I want to remember the lessons God teaches me, even if I don’t write them down or share them with the world.

Life. I want to feel it in my bones. See it with my heart. Know it with my mind, and love it with my soul. I want to learn to see in others, what God sees. To see past the judgments, mistakes, and packaging.

I want to love and be loved.

Real living. Real loving. On a deeper level.


This I want to be. This, I seek.

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