My Grown Up Christmas List

What is your Grown Up Christmas List?

My grown up Christmas List has shifted as I age.    Being in my 40s offers a different perspective, I have seen many firsts and lasts… Moments that had good and bad that taken my breath away.    What I have learned is that life is its not good or bad – it is being comfortable in both opposites at the same time.   

Often the moments that take your away your breath also offer the breath of life.   

September this year was one of those months that while my heart was broken, it was restored at the same time.    We lost someone very close to us.  That someone knew how to make me laugh, how to get me going and losing him broke me into pieces at the same time made me stronger.    That someone was my father in law.  Nothing prepares you when you lose someone so very close to you.    The moments before he left his physical form offered so much love.   I remember sitting beside him and massaging his feet, and telling him how much I love him and will miss him.   He asked me to come close to him so he could tell me something in my ear, and in that moment my heart was breaking because I knew the moments to follow would be me letting go of him.  He whispered to me the words of love and thankfulness.  Those words brought tears to my eyes, and at the same time I just wanted to hold on and not let go.   We never really know when the end may come.  That is why when we are here, we have to embrace all that is in the NOW. 

My grown up Christmas is really a wish for all of you reading this today to really embrace the NOW.   

  • Live in the moment and get comfortable with pain and joy.  Joy lifts us up in  the moments where we feel pain.  In the moment where I said good bye, I had the memories of joy that came from time with the ones I love.
  • Offer a hand to help or a smile when you feel like you can’t.   Remember that all that you give out comes right back to you.  How ever hard it may be to muster up the strength to do this , it will help to lift you up as well.
  • Recognize all we have is right now, try to immerse yourself in what is happening right now and remember that the past is over, and the future we have no control over.
  • Take time in your day to do something small or large for someone you don’t know.   In life these little things can mean big things to others, and the more we can show love to one another, contributes to growing love around us in this world where we are exposed to pain every day.  It brings HOPE.
  • We are human, it is often very hard to remove judgement, but remember, we never know what others are experiencing in their lives…. And for that reason try to give grace whenever you can.

Love is really what makes this world go around, don’t take for granted a single moment in showing love to one another.   We never know when the last time may come.

My grown up Christmas list is very simple, take every moment to love.  May you have many blessings over your Christmas.

Luv Ness

 

 

 

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My Grownup Christmas List

154659_521031277916121_608422383_nThe little girl with the brown curly hair, sparkle in her blue eyes, and a little white nighty runs to see what is under the tree.   Her parents smiles beam ear to ear; its a full size doll house, with little plastic figures, excitement stirs inside.  The same excitement is in her brother  – he too receives his perfect gift.   But the most important that they all share was the love for one another.

The love that resided within the home was lasting, deep, and strong.   The mother that loves her children so much and wants them to have the best was quick to sacrifice her needs for her loves.  A father that works hard to provide for his family to give them more than the pennies his family had, and wants to be the father he never had a chance to have.    Two children unaware of the challenges behind the scenes, all they feel is love every day and have parents that care so deeply for them.   Challenges come there way as they move from place to place, but the bond is never broken.  The gift that grew was inside their home.

As I look back in time, I have such admiration for the love that was built in our home.    We each have a story, the journey unique to each one of us.   My journey has been one coupled with challenges but always fought with victories, as I had Him in my corner.      My heart has been healed in so many ways, there have been hurts, pain, injury, illness, but as we moved through each of these valley’s the silver-lining always emerged –  the love for family.  Love.   A single word that carries so much meaning…So thankful.

Years ago my Christmas list was about material things, but in this 40th year of my life, my grown up Christmas list is so much more:

  • Good health within our family.   Healing of ailments quickly and strength to run through our veins.
  • Good health for our friends, and those that we interact with every day.
  • Protection and well being for all whom we love.
  • Protection of our sponsor kids and their families, may there lives be blessed and all barriers be broken so that they can have abundance in all things.
  • For peace to reign in times of uncertainty.
  • For those that are struggling for Hope to shine through. 
  • For people to replace anger with forgiveness, to have the ability to let go and enjoy every moment.
  • Forgiveness to always be present.
  • For our family to live in the moment and enjoy it to the fullest.
  • For the focus of all to be on how we can come together and care for one another.
  • For love to reign. 

We are so blessed, to have the son of God that came to this earth to bring new life, abundance, joy and to always forgive us in all things.   He leads us, loves us and helps us to navigate through this messy life. He is the reason that we have the good in our lives.  May you be blessed during this Christmas season and may love shine on you and yours. 

Dear Lord God, As I sit here today, thank-you for showing me the positive always.   I thank-you for the abundance you have given me as gifts in love, family and life.   May I always be grounded and focused on the people that matter, and may you guide me in times where I am uncertain of my focus.  I thank-you for a heart of love that I have deep inside.  I pray for all of those people today that are struggling, may you bring them light and peace father.  If there are people that have lost loved ones during this season, help to heal the pain.  You are the healer Lord.  You know best, may we always trust you to make right our paths.   Thank-you so much for loving us the way that you do.  I pray for peace, love and joy to erode the earth.  I pray for this in Jesus Name Amen.

May you blessed,

Vanessa

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The Power of Choice

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Perspective…. It can be everything to us can’t it be?   Past experiences often influence our response and trigger feelings within.     The only thing we have control of in this life is how we choose to respond to the moments.    Sometimes we may not feel like we have control, but that is not the case, there is always a choice.

I have had moments in my life that have taken my breath away, moments that have torn me inside out from the core, and moments that leave me numb.   We all have those moments.

It is in those moments where the something powerful emerges – the POWER TO CHOOSE.      As I look back in my life, the moments I have experienced, that have been allowed to happen in my life, have always turned out for good.

But it doesn’t always end up that way for us all because there are usually two paths.

One path is driven by fear, we are a victim, a slave to the moment.

Another path although bumpy offers the least resistance.  This path can offer learning, good to come out of the bad, and is embraced by moving forward one step at a time.

I am thankful for all of the choices I have been given, and the roads I have traveled.  While there has been difficulty along the way, there was always a light to help me navigate.

This journey of life involves difficulty, happiness, anger, hope, sadness, joy, death, life.   As we go through the valleys and up the hills, we have the power to choose and embrace what is.  As we take one step at a time there will always be a light to shine our way.     I believe this to my innermost core.

Today as I sit in this moment, I thank God so much for teaching me how to get up after I fall, how to let go of the fear and trust, how to move forward and to learn to love and trust myself inside out.    This is all a journey, a process, something that I struggle with – loving myself.  But bit by bit I am realizing how I love others is the same grace I need to show myself.

Thank-you Father for your grace you always show me in my day.   YOU are so powerful, and your love is never ending.

Luv Ness

 

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

Remembering

image1She glances out the window and realizes all of the time that has passed.    The reflection looking back at her, aged, the lines deepened and reveal the roads she has traveled.    Her thoughts of him come rushing in.

Kindness, a heart of gold, his children were the apple of his eye.   The way he loved and lived, always full of abundance and joy.    A tear begins to form in her eye, and trickles down her cheek.  She wonders why?   Seems so unfair how he was taken so quickly.

She glances at the clock, as the hands move tick tock, she realizes that each second is a choice.     Remembering the past and the precious moments shared trigger so many memories.   The reflection also triggers thoughts around how she chooses to live.   She wants to be immersed every second of every moment in the love for family and friends.    She wants to choose to live now, and not get caught up in the stuff that doesn’t matter.   She chooses love and joy.  To live now and to never take for granted a single second.

She bows her head and pauses to pray for the ones left behind.      Lord give them strength, wrap your arms around them, give them strength and help them heal from the inside out.   Guide them in all things and replace the sadness with joy.

She has been left behind a few times, but remembers the good memories and smiles.   Her heart is thankful that she experienced moments with the ones who rose above.    The moments gave her perspective, great joy, and memories that will always warm her heart.

 

 

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