The Gift of Friendship

gift of friendshipFriendships – we all have them.    Over the years, I have come to realize that these gems in my life really help me navigate through life’s hills and valleys.    As a young girl, I wanted so bad to be accepted.    I wanted that special friendship that many girls had, and many times I was envious.     We moved around a lot and it sometimes was hard to make lasting relationships.      But life has come full circle for me, and I am so fortunate to have a few friends that make me laugh until my stomach hurts, and help me navigate through the ups and downs in this life.       God has been so good to me; He gave me what I needed in His perfect time.

I have sorted through what makes a good friend many times, and there has been times in my life where I thought the relationship was something it wasn’t.     There are seasons in friendships too, people change, we evolve, we shift, and our focus changes.  Sometimes we have to let go, and see where the relationship goes.   Sometimes it will leave and come back.     Flexibility with the changes is key – if the relationship can be flexible, it likely will last.  

Some of the elements that I believe are essential in a great friendship are:

  • The friendship is built on trust. What you see is what you get, if there is ever a bump or problem you can deal with it open and honestly.
  • There is no envy or jealousy that exists in the relationship. You truly are happy when something good happens to the friend you love.   You don’t wish for what they may have, rather you are excited for them and want to throw a party for their new opportunities.
  • You want the best for them no matter what.   Sometimes this means being the only honest one in their lives to tell them when something may not be working.   You hurt for them when they receive the information, but you know that you have their best interests at heart.
  • The relationship is easy. It is not forced in any way.   It should be effortless in all interactions. 
  • You pick up where you left off every time you see each other. No time has passed.  It seems like it was just yesterday that you saw each other.   
  • There are no expectations; the relationship is based on love and is unconditional. As we overlay expectations, if someone does not fulfill the expectation there is disappointment.   The expectations of ourselves are different, we are not facing what the other person is facing in their day to day life, and therefore we should remove judgement from the circumstance, and always respond in love and understanding. Seek first to understand.
  • You can be completely honest always.

I am so very fortunate to have a few relationships like this.   I am thankful for my girls that keep me strong and give me a strong cup of coffee when I need it.   I am also thankful for the times where we laugh so hard that our stomachs hurt.   Thank-you for the wrinkles.  I am thankful for you, and wanted you to know it.    

Love Ness

The Power of Now ~ Living in the Present

image1There is so much Power of Living in the Present.

I have heard many people say that they want to live in the present – including me.   I have had many circumstances in this life that have taken my breath away and caused me to reflect and re-evaluate.

Time and time again, I am not demonstrating living in the now.   But as I catch myself getting caught up in the what ifs, the lists, but I am aware, and I make an adjustment.   They say that awareness is the first step.   But is it?

We can be keenly aware of what needs to change, but if we don’t work at it continually, and do not commit, we can slip back into old patterns.

I have said many times, I cannot control “what” happens (the what is up to God), but I can control the “how”. How I choose to respond makes all the difference.  

James 4:13 says, “Now listen, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.’ Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while, then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, ‘If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.’ As it is, you boast and brag. All such boasting is evil.”’

This is so true, we do not know what will happen tomorrow.   All we have is NOW. All we have is the present.   I choose to let God lead.  

I have also found that if I look ahead too far, that I get overwhelmed of what needs to be accomplished, or the busyness if this life.   Instead, I choose NOW. This is a bit of a leap for a Type A personality, perfectionist, planner… But He has refined me.

  • What can I do right now at this moment?
  • I choose to not look ahead, but let NOW happen.
  • I choose to immerse myself in the right now, and take a little pieces at a time. These little pieces are big pieces because they are moments that I will never get back.
  • I choose not to be overwhelmed with my “TO DO’s” and break it down into the NOW.
  • I choose to listen intently when people are speaking to me right NOW.
  • I choose to offer a hand or a smile right NOW because it has ripple effects.
  • I choose not to fear of what is to come.
  • I choose gratitude, and have been given abundance beyond my wildest dreams.
  • I choose love, I choose to let go and move on in a positive direction.
  • I choose to let God lead, He is the navigator of my ship.

Thank-you Lord, you have told me so many times, that tomorrow has enough worries. Thank-you for the moments that have taken my breath away, and the moments that have made me realize that all we have is NOW.   Guide me Lord, help me to choose what is important, help me to focus on the NOW.   I pray for this in Jesus Name Amen.

 

Thank-you for popping by, may you be blessed.

~Ness

 

Feeling Out of Control ~ Time to Refocus?

Clouds2

Self-control.

I wish I had it all the time.   

If you knew me, you would know I am a bit of an emotional being.   Some likely are thinking right now as they read this, “a bit?”.    

For most of my life, I wondered why I felt so much.    I would watch a Disney cartoon, and would cry when something sad happened.  Yes a cartoon!    As a young child, I could feel others emotions, and at times, could sense what they were thinking.     It was extremely confusing as a young person.       I would often think that the emotions that came at me were my fault.

I do believe that we are what we think.    In these circumstances, I wish I could turn back the hands of time and realize that those emotions were not mine.    I did not directly affect the emotions; I just had a little gift that allowed me to understand and really see people.     

The emotions would absorb into my soul.     I lacked boundaries that allowed me to push those emotions back.  The need is to enable and let go.  

I am learning; to control what I let in now and what I let go.    I have also learnt that I could turn this characteristic into a gift.   I could let the walls down and listen, but realize that the burdens are not for me to bear.     I can provide advice, but I cannot fix or repair.  

Each individual is called to take responsibility for their lot in this life.   God definitely is the navigator, and helps direct our sails along the way, but we have to choose our direction.    I have the power to choose, while leaning on His wisdom and the love of others.

But I too, like many of you, need some tweaking in my life.      I do have a lack of self-control when my emotions run high, this happens when there is lack of sleep or space for me.   Prioritization is a big part that affects space and time.

A lot of times I believe I need to be superwoman for everyone, while leaving myself behind.   Then the ones I love suffer around me.   Lack of self-control spills over, and the wife, mama, sista, daughter and friend appears to be messy.   It can be a bit of an out of body experience!  Recognizing this is half the battle, the other half is left up to me.   How do I choose to respond, what do I choose to do going forward?

Change; adjust, reprioritize, and refocus.    Realizing I lost sight again of my priorities.

“But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against these things!” Galatians 5:22-23 (NLT)”

Priorities they are important, they are my anchors.  These anchors produce so much fruit in my life.

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Where are you centered today?   Do you need some time to re-prioritize?  You are important.

I am grateful that you have popped by today.  May you be blessed.

 

 

 

A Letter of Love to My Boys

a letter of lovePerspective is everything.    All we have is NOW.   It is the response we choose to this life that makes all of the difference.    I have been very blessed to be given two little beautiful gifts in this life, along with a best friend and husband.    We don’t know when it is time to meet our Maker, and I have been thinking lately, if I left tomorrow, what would I want to say to my boys.   I am not the perfect parent by any means, but over the course of this life thus far, these are a few of the lessons I would leave.

A letter to my Beautiful Boys

I don’t know how long I will be here, but I want you to both know how much I love you.   Being your mother has been the greatest gifts in my life (aside from having a wonderful husband and my best friend your dad).

I often wish I could tell you everything I have in my head, and transfer everything I have seen to protect you from hurt or sadness.  But this is one of the greatest things in our lives, is learning and living.  We will stumble yes, but it is how we choose to respond to the moments that make all of the difference.  Learning to love myself from the inside out was one of my most difficult journeys.  Love for self is one of the most important pieces in this life.   You have to realize your strengths and your unique giftings in this world – and realize there is only one of you. Do not envy what others have.  Be comfortable right where you are. You are perfectly made from the inside out and it is your journey to figure this out. You were beautifully made, from the beginning of time by God.    I am far from perfect, and what I have learnt the most in this life, is love yourself and show others the same love you give yourself.

Here are some thoughts that I wanted to bring together so that you can think of these things when you go up and down the hills in this life.  

  • Love yourself, realize you are beautifully made. And yes we will hear things from others  – they may not like who we are or what we are made to be.   This world is full of differences.   Make sure that what you allow to go through your ears is the truth, do not create a fiction based story. The truth always comes from a place of love – not jealousy or envy.    You can control what voices you allow in and what ones you push out.  Remember this.   You have control of your thoughts.
  • If a friend does something for you, or even sends you a nice note or text, thank them for it. Genuine gratefulness has the ability to create ripple effects.   It is like dropping a rock in the water and then all of the ripples go outward.   Remember a kind word, or thank-you makes all the difference.  Also think of something you can do for someone else – expecting nothing in return.    This is the pay it forward concept – whatever good you put out there will come back to you J    It may not be the same way – but by doing good – good will always come back to us.
  • If you see someone in need, or have something you could do without – extend the hand and help. There will be times in your life where you will require help and it is through our actions that these things come full circle (a bit repeating the previous but this is looking to help where you can). It is important to maintain balance with this, because you must care for your own health first.     Expect nothing in return.   If you live your life this way, great things will circle back.
  • Get rid of clutter in your head, house, and life. Clutter can be defined by items, clouding thoughts, or people that zap the life out of you.   Clean up, it will help you in all that you do.
  • Remember good friends like you unconditionally. These friends will not hurt you; they will not try to make you to do things you feel uncomfortable with.   They will not be spiteful, jealous or envious. Good friends will make you laugh so hard your belly hurts, you feel comfortable and not judged in any way.  A special friend is someone that really “gets you”.  They understand the person you are. Remember this.  Surround yourself with people that like you just the way you are.
  • Exercise, stretch, and keep your body healthy. Take care of your body and don’t overwork it too.    Make sure you rest when you need it.  This is the only body you have.
  • Eat foods that are good for your body and are not overly processed. What you put into your body is what you will get out. Rinse, floss, and brush your teeth gently and regularly. Take care of the body you have been given J
  • Enjoy life, don’t take for granted any of the moments. We are only here for a short time, so focus on the beauty not the darkness.
  • Every day, pause, reflect and look back on the good things. Be thankful for the little things.  Also, look at your life and focus on what is working.  If gratitude is the focus of your heart you will always be happy.
  • It is ok to say NO. Boundaries are healthy. Sometimes when we say No we feel guilty, but if the No is coming from a place where you are taking care of your own health and welfare, it is perfectly healthy.   Let go of the guilt and realize you are taking care of yourself.
  • What you see in others sometimes is what you may see in yourself. Make sure you evaluate and look inside and get rid of the bad.   Remove any envy, anger and resentment if it exists – as these items will bring us down in all we do.  Fill your heart with love, kindness, and beauty.
  • Do not let jobs, possessions or wealth be your focus in this life. These things will only bring temporary satisfaction.  It is love, and love for life that will bring long term happiness.
  • Priorities, establish them in your life so you can make healthy decisions. In my life, my priorities are taking care of my own health (this means spending alone time, exercise, and taking time to pray and be with God), then dad and I ensuring our relationship is strong, then spending time with you and dad, and then family and then friends.  If my own bucket is nurtured, everything else will fall into place.
  • Forgive and let go. Do not let anger, or resentment feed your life.  It is important to forgive others and let God hand the rest.   He wants you to rest, so He is there to help.    You can forgive, but that does not mean allow people to walk all over you.  There is a difference.  
  • Find someone to love that loves you for who you are. Choose someone that makes you feel full.   Someone that when you see them you get excited.   Someone that treats you with respect, love and kindness.     Find someone that would be your friend for life that you can learn and love with.
  • Pray, if you are struggling through the day or need to let go of something. Ask God to help you navigate through this life.  He has been so gracious to me.   He is a miracle worker.   All He asks is that we trust Him completely.      Lean not on your own understanding, reach for prayer and ask Him to intervene.
  • Lastly, always be truthful, honest, kind to others. Be yourself, you both have an amazing gift for love for people.  This is an awesome gift.  Life to love life and people.  Embrace the good.

I am so thankful for the gift of you two bundles in my life.  I cannot imagine life without you.   God has blessed me with abundance.  In the moments where my breath was taken away, I focused on love, prayer and gratitude and it carried me through.  Thank-you two boys for teaching me to be patient, thank-you for loving me the way you do.    Thank-you for cuddles, for grandma kisses, butterfly kisses, eskimo kisses, mommy kisses and Marcus and Drew kisses.    You have been and always will be the best thing that has happened to both your dad and I.  We love you, we are so very proud of you, and we believe in you.   And know, if something ever happens to us, we will be with you.    

Love You so much you fly high in the sky, and love you more than you say.

Mama

Organized Chaos

organized chaosDo you feel organized?   How is that calendar doing, have you color coded the events, sports, music lessons?    Do you sometimes feel that you can’t find space?  

We all hate to admit it, but many times we need to press the pause button and create some space.

Space.   All I need is some space.

I  believe that our culture is losing out on the space that creates that magical place.

A magical place of bliss, of love, of living truly in the moment.

The first time I set eyes on my beautiful sons, was a magical place of bliss.   Love at first sight, pure bliss in that moment.    There have been many moments that have come since then, but as I age, the sands of time slide through my fingertips.

Space and time.  

Is the space that you are filling in your calendar filled with the right kind of stuff?

When the space is driven by stuff, events, monetary items, wants vs needs,  then families start to drift apart.   They drift by one another like sail boats on the ocean.

“Our world suffers through an anarchy of rebellion, mixed roles, and missed opportunities.   It urges people to choose their own lifestyle, without ever thinking of the ramifications of those choices.” (Sacred Parenting, Gary Thomas)

We all see it don’t we? 

We choose to be busy.   If we are real with ourselves, the chaos is certainly organized by no other than ourselves.  

We have a choice.    To pause, and enjoy the moments that matter.

I am learning, and thankful for help through the process.   God’s gentle hand reminding me on what needs my focus vs what does not.  

It is not the income we make, the house we live in, the sports we play that define us.  It is the love that we share with one another, and the pausing that we do when another human soul needs our support.    

If we focus on love, then everything will fall into place.

May you be blessed with a pause today that allows some space in your day.

 

Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts,kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. Colossians 3:12-14 ESV

 

 

 

How does your garden grow? (by Vanessa & Erica)

This post was done a little differently, me and this amazing young lady I know did a combo post.   I wrote one paragraph and she wrote another.    I hope you enjoy this post, because it provides a great perspective on the garden we grow in our minds.  How does your garden grow

There is a little voice inside of me.   At first she is a quiet talker, planting seeds hoping the garden will grow.     I water the seeds and then the seeds become plants.    The voice then becomes louder, and the plants become vines inside of me.   The voice is intertwined in my inner most soul.    I believe the words, they begin to define me, and I allow the voice to control my thoughts.

 My thoughts become consumed with negativity and I feel trapped and taken in by the vines and pricked by the thrones.  I continue to surrender my power to the voice inside me because I have been caring for this garden from the start. There is safety and comfort in the familiarity of this everyday routine.  The vines overwhelm the garden, and begin to cause overpopulation. My mind has been invaded and continued to believe the lies that are intertwined I am resistant to change for the fear of the unknown. There seems to be no way out.  Can I choose what flourishes in my garden and can I make a change?

We all have been in situations where we are overwhelmed and our thoughts consume us.  These thoughts also control us.  They affect our sense of self, the love we have for ourselves, and the outward interaction that occurs with others.   How do we grow a beautiful garden inside of our minds?   How do we cut the vines, and produce abundance in fruit and flowers? 

 The answer to this question lies deep in our heart, waiting to be unearthed. We simply must step back and look at the garden. Do we want the vines to resemble how we go about our lives? Or do we want something different? Life is made up of over thousands of moments and the only one that is for sure is NOW. So we can live in fear or we can take the first step to creating a love for ourselves and our garden by challenging those old thoughts and being grateful for each moment. 

What do you choose today?   Do you choose a garden of vines and thrones to suck out the beauty?  Or do you choose a garden full of color and abundance?

Take a breath, and breathe in all that you were meant to.  You are beautifully made.   Water the good and pull the weeds, you are the gardener.  Before you know it, flowers will bloom.

What do your eyes see?

IMG_1479Yesterday for the first time I realized that the lens I look through is so different now.  Years ago, I let my mind wander into the “what ifs” , I spun my wheels, I made a million lists and didn’t rest until all were complete.

Today,   I am thankful for seeing the wind flowing through the trees and notice the sparkle in the leaves.   I see the birds dance across the lawn.   I notice every movement and realize all of the beauty.

Gratitude is the center.

Love flows through every inch of me.

Every day I wake up and start the morning routine, and as I drive to work, I thank  Him for second chances.   My eyes begin to tear, and I am so full with the love I have at my center.  

The laughter in a child, the beauty in everything.

How can we make gratitude at center?

Do we need to slow down to smell the roses? 

Run, lists, endless items on the “to do lists”.

Is this a choice?    Do you have the power to choose something different??

Our thoughts and choices we can control.   Where do you choose to focus your lens today?

Remember, the power is in you.

 

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end. Ecclesiastes 3:11