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Reflection on What Matters

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Over these past few years, time feels like it is on fast forward.    As the time flies by, I want to be still and to sit and take in the beauty around me.   My anxious heart wants time to stand still.  

We are only given so much time, it is how and with whom we choose to spend time that makes all the difference.    As I reflect on these past 40 years, there were so many good memories, but a lot of my energy has been put into people, places and things that have zapped my core energy.    Do not get me wrong, I am not a heartless person by any means, in fact I am highly empathetic.   But what I have noticed is that the relationships that took so much out of me, and seemed forced were not the ones I needed to concentrate my time on.    Also, the people pleasing nature that has been intrinsic to my soul, I need to let go of.      This past year has been a year of reflection.    I have made small changes in my life for the better, but it is time to keep moving forward and remove the items that get me stuck.

I will adjust my lens and my new focus will be on situations and people that align with my values (integrity, trust, honesty).    The things I am going to work on will be to:

  • Completely immerse myself and energy in my sons, moments that matter to them, to build self-awareness, self-assurance in them. Help them to see that the validation comes from within, and not externally through people, places or things.  I thank God every day for my two boys who are so different from one another, but teach me every day about myself and the woman I want to be.
  • Continue to focus on building strength, support, and deepened understanding of the one person I love most, my best friend, and husband. I am so very thankful for him every day, and I know that God gave me him to help me to grow.
  • Spend as much time as I can with family, this includes extended family such as friends who have been there unconditionally through thick and thin. Take the time to show them through actions how much they mean to me.
  • Continue to extend the hand for those that are less fortunate than I, and to show love and grace for the needy. Give back and expect nothing in return.
  • Lead by example and challenge situations that may not be align with my core values. Pray for the right words in these situations.
  • Focus on being still, realigning my center, with my faith and my Maker that has carried me through so much. Continue to work on loving myself from the inside out.
  • Start and end my day with gratitude and abundance. Take the time to take stock of how fortunate I am every day, even in the pain and difficult circumstances that will challenge that.
  • Let go of the needing to please in all areas.
  • Let go of the worry or what ifs that I create in my mind. They are merely creations that could become reality if I chose to focus on it too much.
  • Let go of the relationships and remove myself from situations that don’t feel good. If the relationship feels heavy, perhaps it is time to let go and adjust for what it is.

 

We only have so much time in this life, and through reflection, sometimes we need to make some tweaks for the good.     Perhaps this reflection for me is triggered by seeing the woman looking back at me in the mirror has only so much energy and time.    I love her, and want her soul and mind to be aligned and to be full of love.    Today as you pause, take stock of the people in your life that make it easy, the moments that warm your heart and allow you to feel full.

May you be blessed.  Abundance is everywhere.

Ness

A Heart of Love

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“One of the hardest things in life is having works in your heart that you can’t utter.”  – James Earl Jones

 

Tonight I received a text relaying some news that was not easy to receive.     Life stopped short for someone I knew, someone who lived in the moment, and someone who loved her daughter with all her heart and always showed a smile despite difficulty.   

Looking back on the moments I shared with this beautiful lady, I was in shock, unable to utter the words to describe how I felt.   I suddenly began to realize that I am heading into a new phase of life.  A phase in which people will leave me, life is flying by.

I look back on all of the phases in my life, phases as a child, where I couldn’t wait for the school year to end.  The school year would turtle by but then the summer would flash by in a blink of an eye.  As I began university, I couldn’t wait to finish so I could begin my ideal life.  Then the next phases were marriage, kids, a working career, death of grandparents – and before I knew it, there was a women looking back at me that had aged so quickly.  As I look in the mirror, the woman looking back is entering her 40s and I gaze in complete disbelief of how quickly life has gone by.

Through this journey of life, we all have a story to share.  Each story cannot be compared.   There are moments of complete gratification and then moments that hurt so deeply, that the words cannot describe the feelings.  But a question I ponder as I look back in time, what gets us through it all??

I will tell you LOVE.

Love – A four letter word that can push us forward and bring strength to every situation.       It is that simple.

Love for self allows us to give grace for ourselves when we fall.

Love for others allows us to sympathize, identify with, gives us compassion and understanding of the human condition.

Love for our family pushes us through the times where we feel we can’t take that next step forward.

Love for our children drives us to be more and to show adversity in the face of pain.   This love runs through every inch of our souls.

Love for our significant other or spouse, helps us to feel strong when we are weak, and equally bares the burdens we may feel at times.

Love for the Source beyond us.   Knowing that there is something out there (God for me) that is guiding us, directing us on our path and reassuring us along the way.

Love pushes us forward, ushers us in the direction we need to go.     In all of the moments, LOVE is a source that we need to draw from and leverage.   If love can be our navigator, we can always take any step we need to in the right direction.

Today I pause for the love of a friend that smiled every time you saw her, and showed strength.  Moments and time are so precious.   I know she will be one of the most beautiful angels in heaven with her beautiful red hair.

May you pause today and concentrate on the love you have for someone else, and reflect on how fortunate we all are able to experience love in this life.

Dear Lord God, thank-you so much for giving me a heart that feels deeply.  Thank-you for allowing me to reflect on my blessings today.    I pray for those who are going through difficulty and loss, may you bring them sunshine through the rain.  In Jesus Name Amen

Be blessed

Vanessa

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

Being Hands-Free


I receive a text message, immediately looking at my phone,I choose to respond.   Emails trail in, approximately 100 a day when looking at both work and home.   The phone rings, appointments, schedules and my time is all used up.     I feel frazzled fall is here again.  The calendar shows sports, events, schedules, the balancing act begins with work and life.    My inner self is suffocated – I need some time for me.    We can all relate to this circumstance at various times in our lives, how can we balance it all?   How can we open up some space in our day?

Have you thought about being hands-free to provide some space and time?image1 (2)

Hands-free (Wikipedia) an adjective describing equipment that can be used without the use of hands (for example via voice commands) or, in a wider sense, equipment which needs only limited use of hands, or for which the controls are positioned so that the hands are able to occupy themselves with another task (such as driving) without needing to hunt far afield for the controls.

Can we broaden this definition of being hands-free? An adjective describing letting go and allowing God to be in the driver’s seat.

A lot of items that fill my day really are beyond my control, it is how I choose to respond that makes all the difference.  As I look ahead in the day or week, I see so much to deal with, but perhaps I need to focus on the right now.

Do you know that we are called daily to be hand’s free and let God lead?     Have you ever noticed when you try to control your schedule, the kid’s reactions, and every facet of your life that things feel out of control?

Freedom comes from knowing that God has your back, and that He is in the driver’s seat.   He also has your best interests at heart.  He tells us to come to Him if we need rest or be anxious in nothing at all.  If you are running on empty, He knows how to fill your tank.   So how do we take conscious steps while letting Him lead?    I believe this is the real question.  What are some actions we can take to support letting God lead?

  1. Take time to reflect, pause and renew – take time for prayer, time for God, and time to rest.  Renew your spirit.  It is times where we feel zapped because we have overextended ourselves that cause us the most discontent.   Make this a number one priority in your day, take the time.  This one action will make all of the difference.  Present your requests to God, acknowledge that He is in the driver’s seat and you trust Him.
  2. Decide you can be physically hands-free.   Take a break from texting, looking at your phone and responding.  Don’t respond out of obligation –take some time and then respond when you want to.
  3. Be Present. This is a big one.    Really live in the NOW, take it all in and breathe.   
  4. Do not plan ahead. This is a tough one for many, and something I am learning.  I am finding when I don’t look to far ahead, things flow a lot easier.
  5. Realize you don’t need to be everything to everyone and everything. I think many of us have such high expectations of ourselves.

I am learning to be humble in my thoughts, and to simplify my life.   Recently I have felt like I am changing within.  The change is frightening and exciting all at once.   I am seeing pieces of me leave and other pieces being refined.    I believe this is a process we all experience in our lives.  For some the process is quick, for others the process is a long one.  God makes all things good.

I see His good work in showing me how life can be so much better, if I trust Him, Lean on Him, Love others as I would love myself, and Let go of fear, and anger.    I also am realizing I am beautifully made, which is a bit of a hard pill to swallow for a woman that constantly sees where she can change.     Thank-you Father for being so patient with me again and again.  Thank-you for showing me what needs to adjust in my life.

Dear Lord God, there are so many moments of complete bliss, that I feel full of your glory.  I know that this is what you want for me.   The sunshine in my children’s eyes, the sound of laughter, and the glow of smiles, the love of friendship and family.    These are the moments that I cherish and hold close and never want to let go.     Many times I feel like I am falling short.   I feel the pressures of this life, to be the best, to climb the corporate ladder, to participate in the race and get caught up in it all.    I want to feel complete peace, even in the face of trials or adversity. I need you to lead me, without you I feel so lost.      Lord, define my path for me, guide me, help me to make the choices that are best for me and those I love.      I want to be full of your peace within.    Help me to be hands-free.  You are in control.  I pray for this in Jesus Name Amen.

Be blessed my friend, how can you become a little more hands-free?

Hugs

Ness

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.

Reflection ~ Past, Present, Future

 

reflectionWe cannot change the Past.

We cannot control our Future.

We can live fully Present.

There are moments when each of us reflects on our life, our goals, our opportunities, and take stock of what we have been given and wonder what is to come.  

Sometimes these moments are triggered by an event, an action, or a moment where we chose to pause.

Reflection on the past, present and future.

We cannot change the past, but we can use the past to adjust the present.  

 

We learn, we tumble, we fall, and we pick ourselves up and step forward.

Being immersed in the present is a state of mind that we all find difficult to achieve.  But why?

  • We allow worry to consume our thoughts involving health, finances, and relationships.
  • “What if” scenarios creep in and cloud our mind.
  • We allow others to define who we are.
  • We have lack of boundaries and deplete our internal resources.
  • And one of the biggest things, we let fear rule.

What if instead we:

  • Start our day with gratitude, reflect on the beauty that surrounds us.
  • Decide that the moment is all we have control over, the rest is beyond our control.
  • Look in the mirror and see the reflection looking back at us and realize we are beautifully made, unique, and only one of us exists.   We look at that person and smile warmly.
  • Reflect internally to help us define who we are, and realize that the love of self and others is really what defines this life.
  • Learn how to say “no” a simple word that helps us balance our resources.
  • Embrace today, and think of one thing we could do for another human being, expecting nothing in return.
  • Let go of all envy, jealousy, and thinking into the future.
  • Are open and hopeful for today.

We have no control over the future, and cannot change the past all we can do is learn from it.  

Embrace all that life has to give, live in the present, and stop your mind from ruining all that you are meant to receive.

The present is here and now, embrace all that it brings.   Embrace the sunshine and the rain.   All we have control of is the here and now.

 

Matthew 6:30-34 (GNT)

30 It is God who clothes the wild grass—grass that is here today and gone tomorrow, burned up in the oven. Won’t he be all the more sure to clothe you? What little faith you have!

31 “So do not start worrying: ‘Where will my food come from? or my drink? or my clothes?’ 32 (These are the things the pagans are always concerned about.) Your Father in heaven knows that you need all these things. 33 Instead, be concerned above everything else with the Kingdom of God and with what he requires of you, and he will provide you with all these other things. 34 So do not worry about tomorrow; it will have enough worries of its own. There is no need to add to the troubles each day brings.

 

Take a step forward and immerse yourself in all that you were meant to receive.  Living in the present is a gift we are meant to receive.

May you be blessed,

Ness

Love Makes the World Go Around

image (11)Tonight as I sit and gaze at the moon light, I realize although I do not know it all, I do know one thing– Love makes the world go around.

Love so powerful, so magical, and at the same time brings such peace to this life.

In “Man’s search for Meaning” by Victor Frankel, he says “Love is the only way to grasp another human being in the innermost core of his personality. No one can become fully aware of the very essence of another human being unless he loves him. By his love he is enabled to see the essential traits and features in the beloved person; and even more, he sees that which is potential in him, which is not yet actualized but yet ought to be actualized. Furthermore, by his love, the loving person enables the beloved person to actualize these potentialities. By making him aware of what he can be and of what he should become, he makes these potentialities come true.” 

Love for others…is so powerful.

In order to love fully I believe we must love ourselves first.   It is through loving ourselves we are able to see beauty in others.    It took me most of my life to love myself.   Maybe some would be surprised that I just started really loving myself these past few years.      It feels good to be finally comfortable in my own skin.  For some they never experience this.

Too often we lose ourselves in life, or material things.    The external validation to feel good…    These things are temporary, and do not last.  Real Love lasts forever.

Yes there are bad things that happen in our lives, but if we choose to focus on the love we share, it will pull us through.   The love that we can extend to each other when someone is in need can make such a difference. 

Selfless acts of kindness.  These acts have ripple effects. Every action has a reaction.   The more we show one another love, the better life can be.

I sound a bit idealistic don’t I?  

But I want to tell you today, that this is real.

Sending a note to a friend saying “I care”, asking someone “How are you doing” and really listening, giving of ourselves for someone else, saying “sorry” when it may not  be your fault, turning the cheek and not engaging in conflict, leading by example, and showing love – ALL MAKES THE DIFFERENCE.

It is when we do these things we truly see the heart of one another.

Someone once told me that I would have to learn how to not personalize relationships in order to climb through this life.  

But I thought really?  Is this what we have become to climb?  But who are we then stepping on?

Having superficial conversations, not really caring how the other feels?  That is the way to climb life?

I struggled a bit with this, but I realized that acting this way would be against my grain.   I truly love others, I want to get to know them, understand what drives them and see them for who they are, right where they are.  

Have I been burnt? Hell ya! 

But the question is, how many times have I had kindness come back to me? A million times over!!

 What you send out there comes right back.

I choose no walls.

I choose to hug, laugh, and smile.

I choose to love life and people with my heart.

I choose to see others and myself through God’s eyes.

 

So today I challenge you, where can you show love to others?    Start now, and do it every day because it sure makes life pretty darn special.