A Moment ~ A Miracle

precious momentsHave you ever wondered if what you do makes a difference?  I want to tell you that it does.  Our actions create reactions, and have ripple effects.

Do you ever feel like you want to pinch yourself in those moments where life just takes you by surprise?  Is this real?  How did I get so lucky?

A moment…

It can send you back in time, it can make you feel like life is worth living, and sometimes it can just take your breath away.

Every moment, we have a choice.  We can choose to embrace everything it is.   

This moment can be our miracle.

A little child smiles with wonder, laughs so hard he can barely breathe.

The sun shines brilliantly, and catches your eyes, the rays reach out, and warmth fills your heart.

You meet someone that needs a kind word, you feel like you could use the same, but decide that you want to extend your hand.

You are tired, but muster up enough energy to push through.   You have faith.

Someone you love is hurting, you hug, you care, you reach out.

Someone you see needs support, you smile you offer a hand.

Reaching out to comfort, to love, to show compassion.

These are the everyday miracles that make life worth living.   Each action has a reaction, a ripple effect.

Sometimes it may feel like you have nothing left.  Believe me I understand this, but I have seen how simple actions create such a difference. 

Simple actions, selfless actions, expecting nothing in return.  

Yes in this world there is hurt, there is pain, and injustice.   We can overcome it, with simple actions.   A word or an action and a little bit of love.  Simple actions.

It is through each other we draw strength, we combat the pain. 

                I choose to focus on love.

                I choose to combat the pain.

                I choose to focus on what I can do.

                I choose gratitude.

What simple action can you create in your life today?   It may be for a loved one, it may be a cuddle or hug or maybe it is a smile for a friend that is hurting, or perhaps it is someone you don’t know… 

Take a step, create a reaction my friend.  Your action will have ripple effects.

I am thankful for waking up today, for sharing some laughs and a smile from a courageous woman, for having a house full of love and laughter, and for sharing kindness with kids.

Life is a gift, and I choose to live every moment to the fullest.

May you be blessed,

~Ness

Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award

sisterhoodoftheworldbloggersaward

The Sisterhood of World Bloggers Award, when an email came through the other day indicating that I was nominated, my breath was literally taken away. What a journey, to think this started with a C1 fracture and to know that I am not in control with what happens, all I can control is how I choose to respond. Beautiful Emily from www.lightthelie.wordpress.com nominated me.   Her kindness shines through her blog, through her sweet words, and now her actions.    I have been blown away by the relationships that have bloomed.   A million miles away, a beauty with blonde hair, blue eyes and a beautiful smile, a connection through words.  Something I am so very thankful for.

This award, the meaning may be different for each of the sisters by for me, means love.   A love for others that share a vision, that want to reach out and touch someone through an act or a smile.    The woman that share this award look within, and investigate the “how”.   How can I share?  How can I make a difference?  How can I share a smile for good? Love makes the world go around, and I believe it is through our selfless actions that we create a difference together.   So today, I nominate women that despite the challenges in their lives want to share, to lend a hand or share a smile of hope.   I thank each of my sister friends, and my sunshine in Emily that choose to extend even though they face challenges in their own lives.

Here are the rules for the award:

  • Thank the blogger who nominated you, linking back to their site.
  • Put the award logo on your blog.
  • Answer the ten questions they have given you.
  • Nominate ten people.
  • Make up ten new questions for them to answer.

Emily’s 10 questions to me

What is it about your best friend that makes them so wonderful?

My besties are women that know me for me, and don’t judge just love.   I am fortunate enough to call a few women my besties.    Above these women, is someone that I am thankful for every day, my husband.  My one and only best friend that I will treasure til the end of time, and am so thankful for his strength every day in my life.

 If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

I would live exactly where I am today.  I am so very thankful for my life, for the moments and the people that I love.   Living life to the fullest and being present with my 3 boys is exactly where I want to be.

What helps you get through a long day?What helps me get through a long day?

That is easy, strength from God and the love that I have in my heart for my three beautiful boys (my husband, and two sons)

What is a topic on teens you would like to see written about?

A topic on teens is first love, and love for self.   But one of the interesting dynamics that I have realized is that strong self assurance is essential in this life.  If there is anything I can teach my boys, it is to realize that they are loved unconditionally no matter what happens.   Also, that their self worth is not identified through someone else, it is how they see themselves and that unconditional love always comes from their parents and God.   If I can leave one thing with them, it is to help them realize that deep within themselves is the greatest gift and they are made unique and perfect in their own skin.

 When you think about High School you feel _____?

When I think about high school, I feel sad.  The girl that I look back at was someone that did not love herself.  It was someone that believed the lies, believed the bully’s that said she was ugly.   If only I could back in time, I would tell her she has a ton of potential and that these years were only simple moments in time that taught he how not to treat others and to forgive and let go.

 If you could get rid of one day of the week, which would it be and why?

Monday’s.   Mondays are the start to routine, to the week, if only the weekend could last one more day :)

What do you dream about for your future?

My dreams are for now, enjoying every moment to the fullest and never taking anything for granted.  To love fully, and not hold back.    To embrace what life has to offer whether it is sunshine or rain.

What are you most passionate about?

I am passionate about helping others.  Whether that means one person or many.  If I could just make a small difference in someone’s day every day, I would be fulfilled.  It means offering a smile or encouraging words or a hug… What ever action I can because I know it has ripple effects.  In this world the more sunshine we can provide the better :)

What is the best present you ever received?

The best present I ever received was my second engagement ring from my husband.  When we first got engaged we were very young and didn’t have a lot.   Then on the first mother’s day I celebrated, my husband put a second engagement ring ontop of our son sleeping in his crib.  He is the most amazing man I know and this was a moment I will never forget.  His love for me amazes me every day.

Who knows you better than anyone else?

My best friend, my husband.

Now it is time for me to nominate 10 amazing people

1) http://abeautifullifeministry.org/  Lead by Lisa Evola and contributors women of faith that celebrate themselves right where they are

2)http://lightthelie.wordpress.com/about/  Emily with her sunshiny personality

3) http://christianresourceministry.com Helping support people in their relationship with God

4) http://lauriewallin.com/ Laurie Wallin, a women that embraces her challenges and reaches out to help others

5) http://lisaevola.com/ A women that reaches out and wants to support and build up God’s kingdom

6) http://barbarakoob.com/ A woman that has a heart of gold and wants to do God’s work with passion, helping others see Him

7) http://naomifata.com/  A woman that is finding herself through God’s words and is learning to lead through her words

8) http://blessedart1111.wordpress.com/ Writings that inspire and leave you thinking

9) http://www.darcilang.com/ A home grown Saskatchewan woman, that continues to look at the 90% and focus’ on the positive

10) http://calling4th.blogspot.ca/ A beautiful women that helped me see strength in the pain, and has such a gift for seeing beauty

10 questions for my nominees to answer

1) What inspires you?

2) Is there a moment that has inspired you or changed the direction in your life?

3) Who inspires you?

4) What do you believe is the greatest gift in this life?

5) If you were to look through rose colored glasses what would this life look like?  Would you change anything?

6) When you look back on your life, what are your greatest accomplishments?

7) What is your definition of LOVE?

8) Do you believe we all can make a difference?  What does the “action” look like?

9) Where do you draw strength?

10) What is your greatest talent? (what have you discovered about yourself that you see as a strength and why)

May you be blessed you amazing women who are celebrating life just where you are :)

Love ness

dear Vanessa ~ fear of failure

nesschesters:

Dear Vanessa Fear of Failure #courage

Originally posted on a beautiful life ministry:

oct fear of failure
Dear Vanessa,
Recently I have taken on a new job, and I have felt at times that it is out of my league.    I am unsure of myself and my abilities and am scared of failing.      A number of questions run through my mind on a daily basis, and then I feel just defeated.     Maybe I am not made for this job.
Jessica

Dearest Jessica,

Our minds can convince us that we are not good enough, or we are not meeting expectations.   I am sure that when this happens, satan is sitting back and smiling.   But you know deep down inside how much you are loved, and God your father has your back.  He knows your capabilities.    Rely on Him, we cannot control what happens around us, but we can control our response.

Let go of the fear and the stream of questions that flow through your mind, “What if”…

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The antidote to worry

nesschesters:

Guest post ~ worry

Originally posted on daughter by design:

peace, don't worry, trust God,Here are the benefits of worrying:

1. ____________________________________________

2.____________________________________________

3.____________________________________________

Yep, there are none.

And yet how often do we toss and turn all night because of worry?

How often do we create the worst of scenarios in our heads of what tomorrow might bring only to realize that it’s unlikely it will really come true?

How often do we waste endless hours of thoughts and energy fearing the unknown?

Unfortunately worry plagues us all to some extent in some way.

Worry is what takes a situation we are going through and exaggerates the potential negative outcomes.

Or sometimes it takes no situation at all and creates a hypothetical one out of nothing.

Worry is a big deal in our life because it’s not just a physical and mental issue.

It’s a spiritual one.

Because what worry does is it doubts God.

It doubts God’s sovereignty.

Because if God is…

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I Choose Forgiveness

forgivenessForgiveness….

A huge word, but do we truly know How to?

Forgive.

Sometimes there are moments that hold you back.   Moments of extreme pain, hurt, your wounds run deep.   When you think about that moment in time, your breath is taken away and your eyes begin to tear.   Or perhaps you feel the pain so bad that you want to hurt someone or get them back?

I know the pain, I have been there.     But it wasn’t until a few years ago where a change in me occurred. I realized the unforgiven were holding me back.     The pain was so heavy and I felt like a huge weight sat deep within.  

I stepped forward.   One of the biggest moments for me first was forgiving myself.   I forgave myself for being naive, for trusting, and allowing the pain. After that first step forward, I realized that I needed to forgive them too.

A moment in time, a choice that was made changed our lives forever.   It was my choice, and affected so many.   The pain, the guilt radiated.   I had to forgive myself and realize it all happened for HIS good and so much good came out of that moment. Love, strength, one turned to many.

The pain holds us back from being all that we can be.

The pain keeps us locked in shackles.

Only you have the key.

I chose to let it go and give it to Him.   I forgave the physical hurt, I forgave the pain.  

Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34)

I forgave and let it go.   By letting it go we set ourselves free. One step at a time.

What is holding you back today?   Who hurt you?   Is it time to forgive and let it go?  

Are you blaming yourself? If you are, take a moment and look in the mirror, you are beautiful made, forgive yourself and wrap your arms around you and hug deep.     That is what God wants for you.

Feel the relief of letting go.

Where we have been does not define who we are.   The moments are simple reminders of the past that help us move forward or adjust.  You just need the courage to move forward. We cannot control what happens, but we can control how we choose to respond.

What is your response today? It’s time to let go my friend and move forward?   Take that one step forward.

Take a 2 minutes to watch this video http://blueprintforlife.com/blog/signs-of-forgiveness/

Dear Lord God,

Help teach us to love and let go. There are times where we are rocked to the core, help us to let go and give it to you.   Help us to love in the pain, help us to seek to understand before judging.   Lord there are many times where I feel like I cannot take it anymore, help reveal to us your never-ending peace and understanding.   Help us to seek your word in the times where our breath is taken away. Help us to trust in You father.       Help us to move forward. I pray for this in Jesus Name.

~Ness

Sharing our Stories for Good

image (2)We all have a story, but did you know they were meant to be shared for good?   We all have gone through experiences that have built us to be the person we are today.     He has built us for good…

Too often we build up a shield after we experience something to protect us from the pain. But let me ask you, isn’t He there to protect you? Isn’t our Father there to guide us, to help us heal, to aid us in letting go and giving it to Him?

“You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept.” Matthew 5:14 (MSG)

Do you have a story inside that you know someone can benefit from hearing?   Have there been instances where you have felt a little nudge at your heart, asking you to share?

I will tell you this much, not once did I ever think in my own life that a girl who was bullied for most of her life and didn’t love herself, or a girl that was raped and physically assaulted, or a girl that fractured her neck and nearly lost her life was built for good.   Looking back on my life, I realized that all of these experiences built empathy, courage, and aided me in realizing I am not alone.  

Our wonderful Father uses this for the good of others.   But first you have to take the hardest step….

Forgive.

Then you have to…

Let go and give it to God.

He will use it in a way you would have least expected.       Today I want to share a story with you all where I know it is used for His good.   The courage, love and miracles in this story will amaze you. God is here with us every moment.   I am so thankful I broke my neck 3 ½ years ago on a family trip because I would never have seen how one can turn into many.

Here is Coffy’s story:

Just sharing my story with the hope of help for my 6 children and I. My name is Coffy. I am a 39 year old single mother of six, ages 1 ½, 3, 4, 6, 10, and 12. I was born and raised in San Francisco, however I moved to San Mateo County after having my 2nd child. As anyone I have had my struggles, but I continued to fight to rise above them. In 2012, my younger children’s father walked out on us while I was 7 months pregnant with our fourth son. I thought to myself, “How will I ever make it without him?” I hadn’t been working; we had no money! I was devastated and in a dark place but I immediately started looking for a job. Soon after delivery, I was employed and on my way to being self-sufficient and a provider for my children. Life was looking AWESOME….I pulled it all together even when I thought I couldn’t! I was paying for my son’s’ to go to a Christian private school and my daughter goes to a College Prep School. I was so proud of myself and all my children. I never thought, not for one second, my life could get any worse than it was when he left me…Boy Was I Wrong!!!Thursday, February 20th at exactly 6:47 a.m., all our lives were changed forever. While turning onto a freeway entrance, my children and I were victims of a hit and run. The guy who hit us caused our truck to flip violently across the freeway as he drove away. After the 4th or 5th flip, I lost count. My children’s screams, “Mommy, Mommy, Help Us!” is all I could hear now.” “Hold on Babies, Mommy’s Coming, Mommy’s Coming…Mommy’s Coming! (Please Lord, let me get to them!)” Now we’re skidding and I see a glimpse of what I thought was light which I believed to be a clear path to slide until we stopped. It turned out to be a burial of white concrete bricks and I thought to myself, “Oh God, no please, we’ll blow up!” Simultaneously, the Lord flipped our truck away from the bricks. We flipped three more times and finally came to a sliding stop on the roof. Everybody was screaming. My head was pounding and my left arm was burning and wouldn’t move. At the time, what I didn’t know is that I would later hear the Doctor tell me my neck was broken from the C5 to C7 on both sides. Spring into action, “Go, Go, Go”, I keep telling myself, but I can’t move. My legs are pinned under the dash, I’m losing feeling in my left hand…my left arm is burning and my left leg is tingling. I started to silently pray and then I hear my 12 year old daughter scream out, “Our Father who art in Heaven” My sons are now praying. God is so good he allowed my feet to pull free! Now I go for my seat belt. Not thinking to brace myself, I unstrapped it and my head crashed to the roof. My daughter screams out “Your head is bleeding” totally dazed and more than confused I was able to shimmy backward out the window. I kept saying out loud, “Stay Awake” and “Lord be with us. Please let me get them out first”. It was the screams of my children that kept me up. My four year old hops out quick; the rest are in shock. I’m crawling on the ground trying to get to the baby, but I’m losing consciousness. I feel someone grab me it hurts… I scream, “No, I gotta get my babies out of here” and I hear, “We’re going to help you.” I stop and look up, he picks me up and suddenly there are people everywhere and before I knew it they were all in action. I keep going in and out of consciousness I hear 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 we got them all!” I started screaming, “No, 6! There are 6…6 I look up and my daughter was trapped, not only were her feet and legs pinned under the dash, now the truck was smoking. I screamed, “Please, my Daughter, my Daughter!” I try to get up and run, but I fall. The closer I get they yell out; “Get away from the truck!” I scream out, “Please help her! You got to get her out.” They are holding me back as I dig my nails into the cement trying to pull myself to the truck. I’m almost to the truck and he picks me up and says, “I have to get you away from the truck; it’s smoking.” Then I hear, “I have a fire extinguisher.” I lose my mind and drop! Crawling, clawing, and pushing away, I make it to my daughter. She looks at me and says, “Mommy, I can’t get out. I’m stuck!” I don’t know what to say to her. With every, bit of faith I had I say, “No baby, you’re free, just push yourself out of there!” All praise be to God, because she pushed and they pulled, and I heard, “We got her!” Not one of them was physically hurt except for a scratch on my daughter’s shoulder, however mentally their lives have been changed forever. They are now tormented with PTSD and flash backs, both in their sleep and while they are awake. I on the other hand went through an eight hour surgery to repair my neck and nerves. I was in the hospital for 3 weeks. I lost the use of my left side for the first 9 days. Slowly, I began to learn to walk again, however I can’t feel my leg. I’ve also lost feeling in the left arm and hand. When I was hospitalized, I got tired of repeating this tragedy, so I shared a piece on Facebook for family and friends. It was also at the recommendation of the doctor who was concerned with my mental health. When I could talk I made a call to a lifelong friend to get some help. He found me a lawyer who shattered all hope. He told me I had no case since I had no plate number or information on the other driver. He had nothing to go on and that since I only had liability, unfortunately, I would be walking away from it all with only my injuries! I was so devastated. How can this be? We’re the victims. How could you not help us?”Based on the disappointing news from the lawyer, I decided to advocate for myself. I called CHP to get a copy of the report. When I received the report it made no sense to me. I took it to victim services who told me it was the first time in their career that they had ever seen such a shallow report. She also raised the point of why there was no follow-up after the accident. I mean after all, there were cameras at the intersection where the accident occurred, as well as, all through the parking lot in front of the airport. The cameras were never checked. That car was next to me at least 60 seconds before the light changed and no one even bothered to get the plate number and now it may be too late to retrieve it. I also showed the shallow report to a Daly City Police Detective who said, “Where’s the rest?” and after reading it completely, he looks up and says, “It’s amusing that the last sentence of this report says no injuries to report! Are they serious? Your neck is broke!” That confused me even more. No injuries to report, wow unbelievable. Something is definitely wrong here. Someone messed up big time. I’m so lost I don’t know what to do. I’m not looking for pity. I’m looking for help! I’m looking for justice! This is the most difficult thing I’ve ever had to do. My children and I have no quality of life. I can’t get my three older children to school, so they stay in San Francisco at my dad’s in a studio. I am a prisoner of my home…. I can’t pick up my son, nor anything over 5 pounds. Nor, can I do anything for myself physically. Here I was an IHSS care giver and just yesterday I had a visit from an IHSS worker and I am now a patient. That broke me down to the core of my soul. If I wasn’t strong willed, I’d give up. But that’s never been me; especially with regards to my children. This is not fair. My children and I just put our lives back together. I’d been working only a year. All of my focus was on continuing to build myself up so I could be a strong single mom. I had not one sick day out all year! I was striving to be a productive person my goal was to give back to the people and community that gave to me as I have all my life. On February 20th that was all taken away from me and my children. No matter what, I will continue to fight my way back to get as close as I can to being 100% of who I was before the accident. Therapy brings mind blowing pain, but without it I won’t have any function of my arms which only rise to my shoulders. If it’s God’s will, I will regain full use and feeling of my left side. I just want to reiterate, I’m not looking for pity. I’m looking for help to get justice and a peace of mind for my children as well as myself. As if the accident wasn’t enough….just as I’m starting to try to adjust to life as a broken neck survivor, Murphy’s Law hit me harder than ever! May 13, 2014, 1:37 a.m. I am awoken by my care giver who is my mother. I’m confused as to why she is shaking me with such force then I hear her say, Fire! I say, “What”? She says, “We got to get out of here.” I’m dizzy from my meds, but I get up! I go to run to my children and I hear they’re outside already. I break down as I watch the flames melt the paint and make its way violently through what was my house. I’m in shock. I see the flames tapping at the window where my son lays his head Dear Lord…is this really happening? I should be making my way out of the house, but all I can do is focus on my life and the events that are occurring. Am I really going to lose my house and everything I tried so hard to give my children? We just moved in six months ago! Before I know it, I’m on the curb watching my house and the two houses next to it where the fire started burn to its leisure. I stood there until 3am and watched my house burn praying that we have something left. We stood there with no shoes half-dressed freezing, my children traumatized crying to my mother as they trembled and I stood there in a neck brace not able to comfort either one of them physically not even hold my baby. My 4 year old starts praying, I break down he says mom, we’ll be OK. God will take care of us. I’m amazed at his courage and draw strength from him. I’m told we cannot go back into the house until the next day…I’m devastated. I was given a referral to the Red Cross for temporary housing and shelter referrals. Wait what…did he just say shelter?! Lord why….why is this happening to us? So here we sit all 8 of us in a 1 bedroom shelter with 1 bed and 1 bunk bed. Don’t get me wrong, I thank the lord for putting a roof over our heads; and I also think of all that was lost some things can’t be replaced. Feb. 20th I lost myself to a broken neck. I’ve not yet found myself. May 13th, I lost my children’s home and most of our belongings. Yes, I did sift through the rubble to see what I could save, but with the damage not much was salvageable. It’s now September 10th and we are still at the shelter. I have 80 days left to find permanent housing or I lose my Section 8 voucher. Which leaves my children and me in the shelter until our time here is up. We have nowhere to go, Lord please help us! My girlfriend started a fund for us 2 days after the fire. A prayer for my children and I is all I ask for. If your heart compels you to do more…..God bless you.!  https://fundly.com/for-coffy-fam-a-little-help-to-bounce-back

Thank-you Father for this opportunity to know these people through You and your work in my life.

I pray for Coffy and all of your children, may they trust in You and Your works Lord.  May they give it all to YOU.  I pray for this in Jesus Name Amen ~ Vanessa

Life goes off with a boom!

nesschesters:

Dear Vanessa – life goes off with a boom

Originally posted on a beautiful life ministry:

sept vanessa 2 life goes off with a boom

Dear Vanessa,

There are times where life just stinks….  The hurt, the pain, and a day can start off good then all of sudden BOOM a bomb goes off and sends you into a spiral.   Cancer, pain, hunger, financial issues, drama it’s everywhere.   I also feel like people are so self-consumed at times they don’t see the impact they have on others.   Trying to focus on the happy moments becomes difficult.

Sarah

Dearest Sarah,

Thank-you for open and honest.   I believe today many can identify with you on many levels.  But I am going to challenge you, are you focusing on the right things?    Do you see the glimmer of hope in the pain?   It’s there, I truly believe it.  I know you can see it too.  HE is there.

Where we choose to focus in this life makes all the difference.  Yes, I agree there are times where we…

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