Tag Archive | children

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

An Ordinary Day

an ordinary dayIt was an ordinary day.   

  • Prep the meat, throw it in the crock pot for lasagna. – check
  • Make the lunches  – check
  • Have the soccer and ball hockey stuff ready.  – check
  • Get the hairstuff out – check
  • Get my working mom clothes on – check
  • Get breakfast ready – check
  • Get the list out for after school – check
  • Write the note to the teacher – check
  • Get my laptop ready for the 8am meeting – check
  • Drop the kids off at the before school program – check

The morning went well, we worked as a well oiled machine.   As I drove to work I asked myself, how did it go so well given I only had 4 good hours of sleep?  It was a full moon last night – so restless, was praying all night to fall asleep.  What did I do differently today???

I prayed, I started the day in prayer, and gave thanks as each item worked out.    I hit no red lights, made it to work with time to spare.  As I entered the office, I felt tired, but ready for the day.   The day went by and the next phase began.  Two busy boys needing supper, and out the door to two different activities 15 minutes apart.   All worked well, we all had smiles on our faces, how could this be?   

The day went on and I saw my two boys and I was so very proud of them.   They contributed, they took the lead.  

Gratitude.

Pause and reflect.

Give thanks.

Check.

This ordinary day became extraordinary.

He led, He helped, and He showed me how special my two boys are.  They need a mom that empowers and doesn’t control. 

I was so proud of them today, and I have realized that I am here for them for a short time.     I am here to help, lend a hand, give a perspective and ultimately to guide.   Not to control.  By guiding – they thrive.

He is in control.

I give thanks, I am so grateful for this day that may seem ordinary – but to me became extraordinary. 

Thank-you God. “As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another” (Prov. 27:17).

Dear Vanessa ~ Keep calm the Storm will pass

imagesDear Vanessa,

This week I lost it. I came unglued with my children and husband. It was almost like I could feel each stitch of me unravel, feeling unclear, cloudy – lack of judgement. Looking back on my reaction, I am disappointed in myself. Sometimes I just wish I could “keep calm and carry on” all the time. Do you have any suggestions in dealing with these moments? I feel like such a bad mom.

Tanya

Dearest Amazing Mom Tanya,

First of all, you are not a bad mom. These moments happen to all of us where it feels like the stitches are coming apart, stitch by stitch until we are burst apart. But don’t you think that good comes out of the bad? Sometimes when we see ourselves in this way we learn how to adjust or make better for next time. But the first step is getting to the root of what caused the stitches to come apart.

Let me use an example of chaos in my life to illustrate how each stitch can come undone. It was a week just as the snow began to fall, the changes in temperature were creating havoc in driving from A to B and many children had colds. All of a sudden my little guy got sick, and amidst this I was overscheduled (coaching sports, organizing our calendars, meeting friends/families, running the race). Then my son went to the doctor, got medication but had an adverse reaction, the reaction caused huge sores in his mouth and around his mouth. He couldn’t eat and was crying often throughout the day, on a new medication fever seemed to leave but my state of mind was dwindling….

Chaos, running too fast, time to slow down – red lights flashing in my mind.

This is a signal that something needs to change – do you think that this is God’s way of saying – “Ok kiddo – how many times do I have to tell you – you cannot do it all. You need to slow down and you need me to get through this!”

I swear that is exactly what He was saying. But it gets better…. The week goes on and things get worse, we eat at McDonald’s twice (feeling like the health mom of the year award is heading my way), my eyes are bloodshot, finally my little guy is feeling better – maybe I can get a rest tonight (I am thinking). Then that morning my little guy wanted eggs, they hurt his mouth, then he wanted a smoothly, it hurt, then he wanted a banana, it hurt (and he cried so loud). This little guy ate soup all week that is it and maybe a few bites of a cheeseburger. I could feel the tension rising then out came the unglued moment….

I sat there looking at myself and thought really this is what it has come to now?

Then we head off to school and the car doesn’t start , I boost it, get back in the car and adjust my rear-view mirror and it falls off!

Seriously! I sat there in the garage for a moment and looked at the wall in disbelief. Then I thought well its “up” from here.  I then chuckled to myself and the tension disappeared.

But now I know…. I created my reality.

I am learning, I will stumble yes, I may get off track, but there is always a way back.

And the awesome thing is, God loves us and helps usher us back to the place where we are meant to be.

Tanya, don’t you see, you are not alone? We all have these moments. As women – we love, we feel deeply, and we want to help everyone. Often we will do everything for everyone before we help ourselves. We carry the burdens that are not meant for us to carry.

What to do?
• Remember, it is ok to find time in the busy for You. Even ½ – 1 hour a day of something just for you. It could mean going for a coffee by yourself, going for a walk outside, or reading or taking a class. Find the time because it will help you feel full and bring peace into your days.

• One of the things that I need to make a habit every day is starting and ending the day with God. Taking my bible and reading a passage and talking to God to help sort through what I am dealing with.  Also, keeping track of one item from every day that worked well!

• It is ok to say “No”, you don’t have to make it to soccer/dance/swimming (or whatever your children are involved in) practice on those days where you feel like you are running on empty.

•Focus on the elements of your life that are working to redirect your thought process.

•Most importantly, the issues that arise in our lives – lift them up to Him and He will help you navigate through them.

•Create these measures in your life so that you can limit those unglued moments.

Remember, the devil is always lurking and I believe he is just waiting for us to slip… He wants us to be sad, mad, and not enjoying our present state of life.

“Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity.” Ephesians 4:26-27 (NASB)

It is so important to us to focus on the positive in this life, even if on some days it seems like the positive is only a small percentage of the day!

So focus on what is working beautiful lady! May you be blessed.

Dear Lord God,

Please bless Tanya and all of the women in this world who think they need to be 100% in all areas of their lives. Help us to navigate and make clear around the elements of this life that should be the focus. Divert our thoughts, and bring calm into our lives. Protect our minds from the devils evil whispers. I pray for this in Jesus Name Amen.

Blessings to you beautiful lady,

Vanessa

Being A Mom by Gina Quarles (Guest Post)

Today I am featuring my first guest blog post.  Gina and I became friends through our injuries.   I broke my neck in Jan 2011, and her injury followed Jan 2012.   I am blessed to have met this courageous, inspring woman, and look forward to having her featured once a month on my blog.  Check out her blog for other inspirational stories at http://ginaquarles.com/

What Does Being “Mom” Really Mean?

Posted on August 2, 2013 by Gina Quarles

This one goes out to everyone that reads this post. Whether you are a mother, have or had a mother, at one time you were once a child. After all, we were all birthed by our mother and whether it is your biological mother or whomever plays that role out for you, it is a tough job. Each and every one of us holds within ourselves our memories of childhood. Some of us have good ones, some pretty good and some not so good.

The one thing I want to you to think about in this post, is the fact that we all come from various backgrounds and or customs. We are all connected with our ancestors of our past. This thought often seems to be forgotten by many, as we tend to not really think of this thought.

If you are a mother, you will relate to what I am about to say. When you find out you will soon become a mother, all of the excitement begins. Oh, the time before you had children we made plans of the mother we knew we would be. The ideals were set, the books were read, all the classes we took to prepare for that special day we would give birth, nursery plans, baby showers possible baby names, wondering if we were having a boy or a girl, the list could go on and on.

After mothers endure the physical pain of bringing another human being into this world and when that little precious soul is placed into our arms, our lives are forever changed. This the is one memory no Mother will ever forget. The joy and bliss on that moment we want to never end.

After we go home to our well planned out nest, soon the endless nights of sleep deprivation kicks in. The feedings begin. The continual checking on them to make sure they are still breathing, diaper changes and making sure they are on correctly, are all part of the BIG process. The years pass and once we feel we get a routine down, we have them figured out, something goes and changes on us! What do we do? We just figure it out. Soon, motherhood can become not as easy as we had imagined.

Of course we do not want to admit this as we were prepared remember? We read the books, we set up our ideals of how it was going to be, so we cannot digest that we are truly TIRED. Motherhood is definitely one of the hardest jobs out there.

All of us were raised in different environments. Whether we realize it or not, we carry much of our upbringing into our parenting along with various skill sets. We either follow what we learned or create new styles of parenting. The hardest issue I find, is that every single child is unique and has their own personality. What works for one child, may not work for another. We then have to learn and are suddenly faced with parenting each child in a different way. (Hopefully)

I am a big believer in embracing each child’s differences including nurturing them in a way that they feel and receive love individually. Learning the differences in each of them and mastering them, is a whole other art in itself! I am still working on it. With children from ages four to fifteen, I admit, it is no easy task. But, eventually you will find what works for each child and the family as a whole.

If you have a mother that you do not see eye to eye with, cut them some slack. They were raised with what was passed down to them as well and their job was just as demanding as ours is today. They too, had to figure out their own parenting style. It took me a very long time to understand this thought. Each generation changes and so does the society we live in.

We face many changes in our world that were non existant while we were children. As mother’s, we learn as we go. There is no “one” book that will guide you. The books may provide some insight, but the key, I feel, is to remain flexible and remain open to trying new methods. If something is not working, you have permission to change it now. You are the mother now! You call the shots:). Do not get stuck into one school of thought or I promise you, it will frustrate the “crazy mama” to come out, if she has not already.

Each of us does the best that we can. It is in our nature as a mother to protect, provide, nurture and raise productive adults that we will one day have to unleash into this big world of ours. Let’s do our best and that includes taking care of yourself too. Naps are allowed:)! Asking for help is allowed. Support and friendships of people in the same season as you are, please encourage and welcome them in. You will need it and be glad to have it.

I salute all the mother’s out there on whether you have birthed them or not, whether you are Dad filling mom’s shoes and the ones yet to come. Being a mother is one life long and selfless love you will ever experience. At the same time, it is one of the best things you will ever do. Love your little gems, hug often, play and have fun as well. If you pay close attention, they too, can teach us much about ourselves.

I commend all of you and to those whom have come, gone and remain to this day. You deserve it and are blessed for it. Children are truly the best presents from above!

Gina

I am I am

imagesI am I am…..

I am young, looking at the rainbow in the sky, and wonder if there is a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.  “What if it rains? What happens then?”  There is always light after the rain…..

I am entering a new grade, bubbles creep up inside, “ Can I do this?  What if they don’t like me?”  Trust…You will meet someone that will see that special something inside of you….

I am about to perform in front of a large group of people, excited about the music that will fill the air, “What if I slip up on a note?”  Themusic that fills the air makes you feel so good, press on.

I leave home for new beginnings,  I don’t know myself yet, don’t know where I am going, “What if I can’t make it?” When each door closes another one opens….

I meet a man that sees the light in me, just me, “Is this real?  Do I have to pinch myself?” You are loved unconditionally…

I am holding a baby in my arms, and feel the wonderful feeling of love and admiration.   Inside, I feel fear, “What if I am not good enough?  What if I fail?” This is a gift, and he will look to you for guidance and love you for the wonderful woman you are….

Someone close to me is ill. “What if they don’t get better? What if I can’t help?”  You are not in control child,  lift it up to me….

Taking that first step forward can be hard, but He reassures and defeats the evil voices if you just Trust.  We must move forward, even when the conditions from our perspective may not be favorable.    As you reflect on your life,  take a deep breath, do you see the good that has always come out of the moments where you were challenged?

Sometimes the things we remember are the challenges, where we feel our spirit may be lost… But life is not meant to be wasted.  Rise and remember the good that came out of the times where we were challenged, because He was always there.  Life is good.  He carried us, He shows us how to be light, we just need to take the leap forward and trust. 

John 14:27

“I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid.”

Take a moment to listen to this artist and her wonderful song about being beautifully made

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J6VPg_ZbBbE

 

May you be blessed and thank-you for popping by!

~Ness

 

Mirror Mirror on the Wall

Mirror, Mirror on the wall who is the fairest of them all?! Do you find yourself falling into a comparison trap sometimes?  Asking yourself this same question?  Looking back in the mirror and feeling like you don’t measure up?

We are a culture of “norms”.  What is considered normal compared to abnormal or not fitting in.   If from day one the comparisons are engrained or programmed into what we believe, how can we then be surprised when we see the competition and comparisions that happens in our everyday lives?    We see it in the workplace, at school, down the block, it is everywhere.  “As preschoolers, boys and girls have already learned the lessons about physical appearance that our society teaches,” explain Thomas Cash, author of What Do You See When You Look in the Mirror? “They know that lovely Cinderella gets the prince; her ugly and mean step sisters do not.   From childhood on…we judge our self-worth by the physical standards we’ve absorbed.”  Standards, competitiveness, judgment and we all are impacted as a result.  Don’t get me wrong, competitiveness can be good in certain situations with a “win-win” attitude, but not when it is at the expense of others.

Often when we compare, someone gets hurt.  Sometimes it can be ourselves.  I understand this very well as a young person I was bullied to from grade 2 grade 12.   Children would call me “dog” and bark at me in the halls.   I often looked in the mirror and wondered if the girl looking back was beautiful.   Self worth can be tied to what others think of us and then in turn that voice in our head that may tell us we are not measuring up.  It is interesting, as I have become a woman who values all people in her life, even the stranger walking down the street, I realize we all are truly perfect.  Each one of us has been created distinctly unique and beautiful.  It has taken me many years to realize this in myself and I am still learning.  Even the other day I caught myself falling back into the “mirror, mirror” struggle…

The morning started out perfect, my two little boys were behaving, eating well and getting along.  I was washing dishes and I thought, “This is just perfect”.  Everything was organized and ready, and everyone was happy.  I had an exam that day, and had the exam at top of mind.   But ten minutes before I was about to leave the house with the kids, everything started falling apart.   My youngest son started crying (he is going through a separation stage with his mama when ever I leave his side), and then my oldest wouldn’t put on his jacket.   I advised my oldest son that he better put on his jacket “or else” .  Then my youngest son fell, and the crying went into full gear!  I took a deep breath, reassured my youngest son and felt like I was talking in an entirely different pitch (like the Walmart greeter).  Then I went to grab my keys… But where were they now?  In my mad rush I had somehow lost my keys.   I began raising my voice  (I am sure I sounded like the wicked witch) at my children saying that if they would listen to me, and we all tried to have our best day – it wouldn’t turn into a mess… Perfect choice of words Vanessa what next (was the voice in my head with the hint of sarcasm).

After 5 minutes of searching, I found my keys in the most unlikely place.  I sat down on the bench and felt awful.   I realized that in my mad rush I lost patience.  I then asked my two searching boys to come inside so I could speak to them.  “Calm and collected” after having my own time out.  We were already late that wasn’t going to change.  It was time to “pause”.   I proceeded to tell my babies that we all need to be part of a team in the morning including mom…. And that listening, not yelling is important.  Me included….My eyes were tearing continually and I then told them that I love them very much and just hope for them to have a good day every day.   My oldest sensitive son then started crying and said that it was his fault the whole mess.   I proceeding in telling him that was not the case, and that none of it was his fault it all happened because of a series of issues.  However, he has to listen when I ask him to do something.  He got me a Kleenex.  And then I told my youngest son that if he doesn’t try harder not to cry when he goes to daycare, he will have to go more often.  This was hard to say but there has to be boundaries and adjustments are part of life.  We then all hugged (our family hug) and got into the vehicle.  I was exhausted and it was only 8:30am.

My mind then began to sort through all the issues, and I began blaming myself.   Words came into my head like “You are a bad mom, you should have never done that, you overreacted, you are not going to do well on the exam, your kids will probably have a complex now”… I felt like a failure mother… But compared to who?   Where are my standards and reference points coming from?  “Mirror, mirror on the wall the fairest mother of all is….”  Who??  We all go through time such as these, even the mothers that you “think” have it all together.

I am human and will make mistakes, and will own up to those mistakes in front of my children. Because everything I do is out of love for my children.  Situations like these are opportunities for all of us to learn from as a family/mother.    Why is it that we are always so hard on ourselves?  There are going to be more than enough people in our lives that will be hard on us, so why not give yourself grace in return?

The bible says, “Not that we dare to classify or compare ourselves with some of those who are commending themselves. But when they measure themselves by one another and compare themselves with one another, they are without understanding.” 2 Corinthians 10:12

This is such a perfect lesson for all of us.

* The is no perfect measuring stick, we are all made uniquely and should not fall into the “mirror mirror” trap.

* We should not compare what we have or who we are to others.

* We should look in the mirror and see the beautiful reflection looking back at us that is unique and one of a kind.

* Being content is much better than feeling like we have to be at 110% in all areas of our life.

* If we have our basic needs in life met, we are better off than a large portion of this world and should give thanks.

In closing, be kind to yourself, and give yourself grace.  Because life is short and is not about the “stuff” but simply about the people and moments.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gXDMoiEkyuQ (Amazing video about gratitude gives much perspective)