Tag Archive | family

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

image1

“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.

 

 

To BE or Not to Be

IMG_6113As each year passes, I feel like the hands of time are slipping by.   I look in the mirror and looking back at me, I see a woman that has changed, and still requires refinement.     I hear a voice that tells me I could do better.    The voice has been with me for most of my life, I am learning to snuff it out.     John 10:10 comes to mind so many times when the voice comes upon me.

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they might have life and have it to the full.

I am still finding me.    As I sit still, I look at all of the blessings.   Striving to be perfect in all areas is impossible.    But through Him all things are possible.    I cannot carry it all, which is why He is there – to support me through it all.     I am working on me; discovering what drives me, who I want to surround myself with, how I choose to spend my days, and what I choose to focus on.     I have been given so many blessings, and abundance.   I need to press mute on that voice and push forward, and hear the truth, hear the voice of unconditional love.

  • You love with all your heart
  • You are an intelligent woman
  • You give where you can
  • You love your family to the moon and back
  • You genuinely care for all people

Right now I don’t know where I am going; I lack a direction.  In my past it was like I kept striving for achievement and accomplishment in all areas of my life. Now I am at a standstill not knowing where I need to be.   Perhaps where I need to be – is exactly right where I am?

Maybe it’s time to recognize, I don’t need to be in the drivers seat.  Maybe, I just need to BE.

To BE here

To BE still

To BE present

To BE content

To BE fully alive

To Let Go and Trust; and just BE

Celebrating My Roots ~ My Dad

imageWe all have roots.   The roots of our lives serve as a foundation in the people we have become, and contribute to where we want to be.

My dad has been a big part of my roots.   Today he celebrates his birthday, and I celebrate what he has given me.  Caring, loving, and gives his heart to every person he comes across.  He leads with his heart.    In the storms in our life, he has always tried to navigate through by looking at the positive, and putting one foot in front of the other.

Family and helping others is the center of his life.   That is what my dad has passed onto me.

My dad loves with his heart and soul.  

We love people, we love meeting them, learning about them, and lending a hand where we can.  You may call this aspect of our personalities  – wearing our hearts on our sleeves.  Many see this as a weakness, but I would argue it is an amazing strength.   It is the foundation that has helped us build relationships, and expect nothing in return.

 

This is a foundation of strength and love.

My dad taught me how to live, love, fall and get back up.   He also taught me that it is ok to wear your heart on your sleeve, because chances are if you do, many will love you back in the same way. What you put out there comes back full circle.

Thank-you God for my dad, that has contributed to my roots and the love in my life.   Happy Birthday Dad!!

Love One Another

 

love oneWe are asked to love one another…

Sometimes it is hard to love one another isn’t it?   Life gets messy, people are emotional, stuff happens.

But we are asked to respond in love.     Before we can do this, we must love ourselves.   Some may be thinking, I already love myself, its simple.   But do you really love yourself from the inside out?

I believe that in order for us to love ourselves, we must nurture ourselves and not look to external means for validation.   Here are a few questions to ask yourself:

  • Do you ever feel envy?

  • Do you ever feel jealous?

If you answered yes to one of these questions, then perhaps you need to investigate the why.

It has taken me most of my life to love myself.   I often wondered why this was.   But as I look back, I know that when I looked in the mirror I did not see beauty.   I saw a blank face staring back at me.   I know that it came from believing what others said about me, in my youth and childhood I was bullied.   I would never change that experience for anything in the world, because every moment helps us become who we were meant to be.     Letting go of the external validation was such a big step for me, and not being critical of myself or others was a leap.

Here’s the thing, when we are critical of others, it is simply a reflection of ourselves.   What do you see when you are looking in the mirror?

Really look to understand the why’s ….

I am so thankful for the love of family.   This is something that has carried me through over the years.   For me the definition of family are those that love you unconditionally.    

mom and dadToday I celebrate my parents 40th anniversary, quite a milestone these days.     What have I learned about my messy life, and sometimes messy family?   We love one another with our whole hearts, and although we may not agree and often have fiery conversations, what you see is what you get.     I was reflecting this morning on how we got through all of the difficult times together, and realized it was through our love for one another.   Every difficult time allowed us to discover something about each other.   Love carried us through.  

I am so thankful for the love my parents show to us.   My mom is the kind of women that shows strength in all she does, and at times will sacrifice and go without to extend the hand.   She is the kind of lady that “what you see is what you get”, and does not sugar coat.   I am thankful for this, because I am pretty much the same that way.   I have realized honesty is always the best policy and although some people may not like it, but this is who I am . Both of my parents are hugely compassionate, they would do anything for a friend or someone they love. I am so thankful for this, and although I wear my heart on my sleeve, anyone that knows me, knows I would go to battle for them.   My dad has a heart of gold, he wants to help and lift up.   He likes to focus on the positive and balances my mom’s pessimism at times.   He wants to let go of the past, and move forward onto the future.     Letting go is something huge – a lot of us carry too much weight…. This holds us back from being all we can be.   One of the biggest things I have learnt from my dad is forgiveness.   My dad has forgiven always, and immolated this.   I have a bit of a problem with forgiving quickly, but I truly believe this is why my dad is always smiling.   Although the years show on his face, the lines show happiness. My dad’s strengths can sometimes be my mom’s weaknesses and the opposite is true as well. This is why they balance each other so well.

Love one another.

Love has carried me through the good, the bad and the ugly.

I am thankful for the love that made us strong. I am thankful for love that is unconditional.

Loving yourself is always the biggest step forward.   And if you are fortunate enough to find someone to share this life with, likely their strengths are your weaknesses. Remember that we were brought together for a reason. Appreciate all those that have been brought into your life. When I look in my husbands’ eyes, I know he was perfectly made for me.  

Love one another as you would love yourself.   In the good, the bad, and the ugly, ask yourself if you can show love first. It has ripple effects.

May you be blessed today, who can you show some love to today?

Ness

 

My Christmas Note

baby Jesus A baby is born and we will call Him Jesus.  Thank-you for saving us.   A little babe, to save us from ourselves! 

Take a moment to listen to this wonderful song by Faith Hill: “A baby changes everything”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-y0_wNPSOaw

Renew your mind and soul. As you begin and end your day, make the right kind of list – the one that lists all of the things that you are grateful.

My gratitude list for today:

  1. I am thankful for family, from the unconditional love that feeds my soul.

  2. I am thankful for my wonderful 3 boys, that bring Christmas into my life every day.

  3. I am thankful that God gave me a second chance at life, as I know it was the greatest gift I could have ever received.

  4. I am thankful for my basic needs met and pray for those that may not have their basic needs, may Christmas find them.

  5. I am thankful for being changed over these past few years.

  6. I am thankful for Jesus leading an example for all of us to follow.

  7. I am thankful for Love and our Lord that saves us from the pain.

My Christmas Note to God

Where are you Christmas?

Why is there so much pain?

I pray for those families who are dealing with loss of a loved one.  I pray for You to bring them solace and peace of mind during this season in their lives.  I know You can –  our wonderful Saviour.

Where are you Christmas?

Why are so many in need?

I pray for You to bring hope to those in need during these difficult times.

I pray for my family, bring them strength during this season in our lives.

I come to you Lord and I must lay down all of these burdens, expectations and requests at your feet..  They are too much for me to carry, I don’t have the answers but I know You do.

I pray for Me Lord God, fill my mind with your peace, understanding and wisdom.  Teach me Lord to walk in your ways and to set an example for others in all I do.   Give me strength when I feel like I have nothing left.

Where is Christmas?

Christmas is here, everywhere I look.

Christmas is inside our hearts, and in the hearts of those we love and care about.

Christmas is that special sparkle in your child’s eyes.

Christmas is in the smile that a loved one or friend gives to you.

Christmas is in the laughter and love.

Christmas is in each one of us.

Thank-you Jesus for coming into this world to bring us love, peace and joy.   I pray for you to fill everyone in this world with your love in their hearts; soften them and let them rest and renew their minds and souls to concentrate on the “right” things.

Thank-you for Christmas. Happy birthday baby Jesus.  Today we celebrate the love we all share!  May this Christmas bring you a sparkle in your heart and soul.   May you have time to focus on the happiness in your life, may you let go of the pain, and may you create your own magic sparkle!   Wishing you and yours many blessings over this season!

God Bless,

Ness