Sunday, June 28, 2015

I Owe Him My Life





I know that God is always watching over me. I KNOW that He knows the very details of my life.

My life is a record of it.


When I was 5 years old, He sent His angels to protect me as I drove across the street in my big wheel, without looking for cars. I nearly got hit. I still remember my sister yelling, and me, looking right at the grill of that car.

When I was probably – oh – 9 years old or so? I almost drowned. God once again, scooped down to save me.

When I was in my early 20’s, I ignored my instincts and got out of my truck to grab my mail as I drove home to my apartment complex. There was no one around but a man at a phone booth. I got out anyways. He grabbed my behind. I’m lucky he didn’t do more. For God was looking out for me, once again.

When I was a young mom, my girls were arguing in the car one day and I got angry at them. I swerved to pull over to the side of the road, but in my anger, turned my car too hard. I almost lost complete control as we swerved from side to side, turned all the way around and then careened to the side of the road. It’s amazing we didn’t flip. And I would have had to live with that for the rest of my life. (Ask my girls. They still remember how terrified they were.) God was there for me.

He has a pattern of being there. He sees. Always. He knows. Always.

Whether it’s my own mistakes, or the actions from others – my God is always looking out for me. He has His angels on guard for me every second.

I know this – because I can look back and see how I was spared. Protected. Shielded. LOVED.

I know I will have to go through hard things in life. Just because I have been rescued so many times, doesn’t mean I will be able to avoid the challenging and hurtful things in life altogether.  And I accept that. I don’t welcome it, but I accept it.

I love my God. My Lord. I owe Him my life. Literally.


How about you?

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Sometimes You Just Have to Take a "Time-Out" From Life



Sometimes you just have to take a ‘time-out’ from life. 

I’ve been on ‘overload’ for awhile now. Getting my daughter ready to graduate from high school in June, working a part time job, planning a wedding for this Fall… and then just adding in the normal to-do’s of life.

But nobody has been telling me that I have to do it all. I’VE been the one telling ME that I have to do it all.

And I don’t. I can’t.

So, for my own well-being, I decided to say ‘no’ to some of life’s requests.

I didn’t go to this last session of Bible Study.

I told myself “no” to going to some blogger events that have come up in the last couple of months.

I’ve forced myself to relax some days – even though there was laundry and other chores to be done.

It has helped soo much! Lightening my load a little bit helped me focus on what truly was a priority and it has helped me start to get the rest that my body has been craving.

Life doesn’t stop altogether. But, you can quit for awhile on the things that don’t matter quite as much.

Sometimes you just have to say ‘no’ to the chores, and watch a movie. Put something aside and play a family game, or go on a walk.

It’s needed. For sanity. For clarity. For refreshment.

There will always be a list of things that need to get done. There will always be someone who wants something from us. But we are merely human. Our energy is not limitless. 

We need breaks. Time-outs. Time to be alone. Time to rest.

I feel strongly about following through on commitments and keeping your word. But there are times in life, where it might just matter a little bit more to focus on staying in tune with your own heart and soul. And to do that, you have to have to be given the time to hear them.

You are the only you that ever will be. So don’t forget to take care of that YOU that can get worn out once in awhile.

Take just a brief ‘time-out’ once in awhile.  Make yourself the focus and priority – so that you can fully be in the moment of your commitments – giving others the priority they deserve, as well.



Saturday, June 20, 2015

Go Patriotic!



I am very patriotic. I'm proud to be an American. So I was excited when Tipsy  Elves contacted me and asked me if I wanted to check out something from their patriotic clothing line. With Independence Day just around the corner - I said, "Sure!"



I picked out this patriotic tank top. It is so adorable. I love the faded look and the soft quality of the material. And it's very versatile. Since it's a little bit longer, I can tuck it in (as I did here,) or wear it loose with capri's and some cute sandals, or jeans. I can also wear it under a jean jacket.

I've gotten things before to review and they ended up being a little disappointing. This one, I totally love!

I will definitely be wearing my new tank top for the 4th of July!  They have some cute other patriotic things on their website that you might be interested in. Things like....

This cute patriotic dress....





This men's light slicker jacket....





Men's patriotic Statue of Liberty T-shirt....





And this women's american flag tank top.



Get "patriotic'd" up for this Independence Day by wearing something totally cute, comfortable, and something that shows your pride in your country! Check out Tipsy Elves at:http://www.tipsyelves.com/


DISCLOSURE

I will, at times, review products sent to me gratis. My opinions are solely my own.  I only share products and services that I would personally use and think are of interest for my readers.
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Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Everyone Needs a Mentor





When we were little, we had our parents to look to. They taught us and helped us grow.  As we got older, we added teachers to that list of adults who taught us. We didn’t just learn academically, we learned about ourselves as people. We learned what we wanted out of life, and what we wanted out of ourselves.

Some of us were fortunate enough to have grandparents in our lives. Their wisdom was unmistakable. They loved us unconditionally and encouraged us as we grew.

Then we became adults. We started doing the teaching; as parents, aunts, and uncles. Yet, just because our age had matured, we understood that there was still so much in life we didn’t know. We didn’t have the answers to a lot of life’s questions.

Life is ever changing and ever evolving. New situations come up often. New hurdles to overcome.  As we grow in our careers, in our home life, and in age, it’s important that we always have mentors to look to. We need people in our life whom we can trust – no matter how successful or important we may be. No one has all the answers. No one knows how to navigate every circumstance. It’s important to always have someone older and wiser, who can understand what it’s like to be in our shoes.

As we get older, the mentors we had as kids, often start passing away. It can get trickier and trickier to find someone who can lead us not just as a parent, or in a career, but as a person. But God always provides. And there is always someone out there who has just the wisdom we need. Someone who can speak to our heart and our circumstance right where and when we need it the most.

Pray about finding a mentor in your life if you don’t have someone in mind who can fill that role already. You may find that that someone is right under your nose. Someone whom you know socially or in passing may be the very answer to your prayers.

You may not need a mentor every day or for every situation. There will be times that between your own discretion, judgment, and answers from the Lord, that you know how to proceed in life. But there will also be times that you don’t. Times where you could use a good listening ear and someone who doesn’t judge, but is objective enough to offer sage advice. Identify that person in your life. Pray for that person to be in your life and utilize them. They are there to help you so that you can one day be a mentor for someone else.


We are here for each other. To learn, grow, encourage, and advise. To help each other avoid pitfalls and mistakes. It’s not a sign of weakness to need a mentor – it’s a sign of strength. For you have the tool right at your fingertips to avoid a tragedy or life-altering error before it has to happen. That tool is your mentor. Use it. Be thankful for it.

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Friday, June 12, 2015

Instead of "Big," Go "Small!"



Life is like a whirlwind sometimes. It feels like you’re on this ride and you just can’t jump off. You can’t “stop” things long enough to pause, and reflect. At least – that’s how it feels, sometimes.

I know the ‘season’ of “fast.” The season that shouts at me to keep up. These are the seasons that overwhelm me. Everything seems to be needed “now.” And I try to shout back, “I’m only one person!” I don’t feel like I can possibly do it all, be it all, plus enjoy it in the process.

I’ve learned over the years what overwhelms me. I’ve learned that sometimes it’s the “Big” that overwhelms me. When I have to come up with that HUGE dinner for a large group, or I have to get 20 gifts for the holiday. “Big.”

I’ve learned though – that I can handle these situations, if I divide them up into smaller chunks of demands. “Small” is doable for me.  If I can get 2 gifts done this week instead of focusing on the 20 I need overall, it’s more manageable. If I have part of a meal pre-made, then there is less to prepare for.

Doable.

Life IS demanding. It asks a lot of us. And on our own, we each ARE only one individual person. We can only do so much on our own.  But sometimes we forget that we don’t have to do it all. We don’t have to always go for “big” and “grand.” Sometimes an easy and quick meal means just as much, because people are together making a memory – and that’s what really matters.  Sometimes we try to outdo ourselves in order to create lavish memories. But it’s not the decorations that people need to remember. It’s the love, the kindness, the time spent together that is important.

We rush about enough as it is. If we can slow down and enjoy what we are doing, how much more meaningful life will be for not just us, but those around us.

It doesn’t have to be “big.” It doesn’t have to be over-the-top gorgeous. We don’t have to spend all our money. We can do simple. Easy. “Small.” And still pay attention to details, preferences, and the heart of those we love.

Love doesn’t have a pricetag. Or a size.

Ask any mom if she prefers store-bought flowers over a handmade card from her kids filled with words of love. And she’ll tell you.


So when the world says – “GO BIG!” Instead, go “small.” And see which one is the real winner.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

It's Less About Looks, And More About Heart


I’m in my early 40’s and I’m already noticing changes. Changes with physical things and changes with internal things.

As for the physical, my hair isn’t anywhere as thick as it used to be. And I struggle more with wasted calories staying with me, instead of being able to eat whatever I want and not worrying about it. 

Internally, I see life in a more mature way than I did just 10 years ago. Raising children, going on mission trips to third world countries, moving from state to state, being married for 20 years, and just aging – contribute to my viewpoints and feelings at this stage of life.

I see how little, certain things matter in the big scheme of things. I see more and more what is truly important.

The world has it all wrong.  It’s less about looks and more about the heart.  You see that, as you get older.

I don’t care if my friend is perfectly cute. I just want her to be authentic.

I don’t care as much, if someone sees me without makeup, or in my jammies.  (But I still won’t leave the house in my pj’s.)

I’ve always cared about the character and heart of a person. But now, even more so. I think I appreciate it more. I notice it quicker. And I’m less apt to analyze the outside package.

I’m in a stage of life that I want genuine, caring, authentic, compassionate, honest people in my life. I don’t want to just hear “talk,” I want “follow-through.” I want to laugh, smile, love, and hug. I want to walk alongside others, (and have them walk alongside me) and do something good for someone else. I want to cry together and be there for each other when life hurts.

I want softness of heart, mind, and soul.

That’s what I’m looking for.

Image does matter. Don’t get me wrong. We should care how we represent ourselves to the world. But it’s not everything. It has its place and it has its purpose. Image is what draws someone to you – but it’s the heart that gets them to stay.


Oh, please remember that, my friend. Look at the heart of those in your life. And value it highly.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

I Did My Best



Sometimes I wonder if I’m a very good parent. I try. I try SO HARD. I try to be intentional in the lessons I’ve taught my kids over the years. I try to be intentional in the generosity, the “I’m sorry’s,” the importance of church and moral influences, and in the joy, peace, and ‘rightness’ that comes with having faith in God.

I’ve tried to be fun. I’ve tried to be a good listener. I’ve tried to give my kids space when they needed it – yet let them know I’m always available, and there for them.

And yet, I know I’ve failed miserably on so many occasions at so many things. I’ve yelled and lost my cool. I’ve shared something with a friend or family member when I should have tucked their privacy inside of my heart and kept it safe there. I’ve embarrassed my kids. Said the wrong thing. Been too clingy. Been too harsh. Been too emotional. Not listened enough when they were trying to share. Hurt their feelings.

So I’ve tried. And I’ve failed.

But I’ve also tried, and succeeded. At times.

Only God knows if all my prayers on bended knee or in my children’s rooms will come to fruition.

Only time will tell if my kids can see beyond those mistakes and mess-ups, to the heart that beat only for them for so many years.

I so wish I could have gotten it all right. I wish I could have known the exact times when I needed to speak up, and when I needed to be quiet.

But I did my best.

I tried to soak it all in, for I knew the years would fly by. And fly by, they have.

I tried to navigate it all. Every curve in life, every heartbreak, and every change. I tried to let my kids be who God created them to be and let them make their own mistakes. Oh, how hard it’s been to do that on certain days!

But I did my best.

I put myself out there. Every day. To be judged, criticized, assessed, and rejected.

And yet I hoped, as all moms do. That the seasons and phases of life would change, and those same judgments and assessments would one day be seen in a different light. With a different heart.

For I always gave my best. I did my best. And I loved the best way I knew how. With every inch of my being.

Flawed or not, wrong-timing or not -  it was all of me. All of my heart and soul.

All of my best.


My kids deserved nothing less.

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