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




A Heart of Love


“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



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.



The beginning of my journey…. To feeling whole again….

faith-quotes-01In a few days, I will be baptised for second time in my life… As I go back and begin to reflect on what brought me here, I open up a page in my past…..

Faith… One word, describes so much.   I don’t believe I really understood or realized what faith could be until the year 2007.   As a young person, I thought faith was going to church and saying your prayers at night to God.  I wondered if God heard my prayers…  I baptized and raised in the catholic faith.  As a young person I found faith to be somewhat ritualistic, and money drove much of every service.   I believed that if I did something wrong, I would be punished.  I am absolutely sure now, this is not what God wanted for me.

There were many ups and downs in my life.   In my younger years I was bullied from grade 1 to grade 12.  Boys would call me “dog” and bark at me in the hallways in elementary school, and then in highschool it continued, they would make puking noises.   I carried a burden, I believed I was worthless, and did not deserve love.   I do not blame my parents for this, they showered me with much love, it was more so of me not understanding the concept of unconditional love for myself and through God.

For many years I would let the bad feelings in and the good out.    I felt empty and longed to be loved by my friends.   Looking for acceptance externally was something I did on a regular basis.   I was tied in a knot, my feelings pent-up inside.  When I looked in the mirror, I didn’t feel beautiful.  Who was the girl looking back at me?  She wore many masks… I internalized all of the bad words that came from others, I felt empty.

There were many events that followed my teen years, ranging from alcohol and drug abuse to being physically assaulted by a group of men. This was a major low point in my life.  I hated myself, I hated men…. I was full of anger and sadness, and lost hope in religion or faith.   Love was lost…. Forgotten.

But God did not give up on me, he sent me a man full of goodness to love me for whom I was.  A man who was pure of heart and lead by example in his daily life.  A man who loved me for me and showed me how to love myself again.

I remember telling the man who was soon to become my husband that I truly believed that he was an angel sent from to me from God.  I still whole heartedly believe this.  This man motivated me to become more, to start to become whole again.  I tried to push him away but he did not leave my side.  Even these 16 plus years later of being together I thank God every day for bringing him to me.  He has been by my side through the greatest struggles in my life and has held my hand along the way.

On the journey to become whole again, I worked my way through university (as a hairdresser), graduated and had our first baby.

This was the a major gift in my life.  A boy with bright blue eyes, looked up at me and the love overflowed.  We named him Drew, so beautiful, so pure and whole.  This was my first glimpse of what life was really about…Pure, unconditional love. I swore I would never get caught up in the “things” of this life, that my family would be my priority.  Then BANG!  Life began to change as my husband found his first professional job in another city.

It was 2006 as I was striving to balance my family life, in moving to a new city, leaving a job that I loved to bring my family together.  However, the job I would come to became my life. Working long hours, rushing my baby boy to bed, and barely having time to breathe I started losing focus.

I started confiding in God and prayed for help.  I felt weak.  With no friends or family close by, my life start slipping into a crazy and busy state.   Internally I felt that I made the best decision so that my son would see his daddy every day, but I didn’t know where to turn… I felt so tired.  Then shortly there after, in early 2007 my grandfather was hospitalized due to having Pneumonia.  My mom was extremely worried; much of the past few years had been concentrating on nursing her mother to health.  My mother has an innate ability to care for others, giving much of herself in every situation so that others feel better.   She is truly a woman with a heart of gold.

My grandmother had a liver transplant a year before that triggered man emotional issues througout the family.   As I look back in time, I remember the weekend like it was just yesterday, our family had all been at the cabin and had a wonderful weekend.  Mom was worried because she did not want to leave grandpa’s side, but I reassured her that everything was going to be ok.  When we all left the cabin, we all received phone calls indicating we needed to come to hospital where my grandfather was located as soon as possible.   God was preparing me… Instantly my heart sank, I had this feeling that things had gone sideways.  I started praying to God, and asked for strength and help.  I was so scared.

My grandfather was one of the strongest men I knew.  I had this amazing adoration for my grandfather.  I smile when I look back on the memories.  I adored him, I thought he had a heart of gold.  His big blue eyes, and hands of strength, I looked up to him.

When we arrived at the hospital that day, grandpa said that he had a living will, didn’t want to be put on a ventilator, and would not take any food.  His illness had turned into double Pneumonia, and they didn’t think he had long to live.  The pneumonia was complicated by the scar tissue he had on his lungs, which we did not know existed. Scared and frightened, I prayed for strength.  I started really openning my heart to God; I wondered if this was what faith really was….

As my mother, grandmother and I sat in the waiting room I prayed.  I prayed in silence.  I realized at that moment I needed to be the strong one.  As we walked into the room, my grandfather was in pain.  He could barely breathe or talk.   I told him I loved him very much and that he was my favorite, he nodded at me and I know he was trying to tell me the same.  I then told mom and grandma that we needed to take him off of life support that he would never want to live this way.  He was having hallucinations and was so very scared.  I then asked the nurse to send for the priest so we could do the last rites.  My mom and grandma were both shaking and all of us in denial.  I couldn’t believe how quickly this had all spiralled out of control.  And then the moment came when we took him off of life support, I laid my head on my grandpa’s chest and started to cry.   His heart continued to beat, I could hear it, but it was muffled by the cries around me.  His heart continued to beat for 30 minutes.  I didn’t understand how this man left my life in a matter of four days.   Why God? Why?

The pain that I felt in my chest was something I could not describe.  I felt so empty, I cried so hard that night and my husband held me.  I prayed for strength.  That night as I lay in bed feeling empty, a voice came into my head and said “when one life passes another is given”.  I wondered what that was all about…This was the moment for the first time that I think I really heard the voice of God.  Perhaps my ears finally opened?  The next day, tired and weak, I ventured out to get flowers for my mom and grandmother.

Everywhere I looked; there were babies and baby blankets.  The voice came again into my head “when one life passes another is given”.  My young son Drew was with me and at the time he was 3, he knew exactly what was happening around him.  He was so attentive to his mothers’ needs.  He gave me hugs, and told me “mommy don’t worry, grandpa is in heaven”.  How simple… He is in heaven….

Drew to this day is such a very sensitive and attentive boy.  He remembers his great grandpa to this day.  I then proceeded down the isles and passed a pregnancy test – coincident?  Strange, impossible – there was no way I could be… I took the test – and sure enough – I was pregnant.  This was such a pinnacle moment; I realized that God was speaking to me.  I could really hear His voice.  But how could I have the capacity for this right now?  I had no strength, I felt weak.  I did not know this verse then – but this is what God wanted from me:

28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”  (Matthew 11:28-30 New International Version (NIV))

At this time in my life,  I was overwhelmed, weak, and burdened.  This is where I finally noticed the hand of God that had been directing my life He was always there.  This time He was going to hold me in His hands and carry me through.  This moment changed me for the better, and began a relationship of hope and trust.