Reflection on What Matters


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.



How do you choose to focus your lens?

I choose to focus on

Do you ever focus on the things that are not working in your life?

Sometimes I focus on something negative someone said to me, and the comment grows into a
mountain.   There are instances where I also focus on something someone said to me in my past, someone who made fun of me in elementary school, on friends that hurt me in highschool, or moments that
I thought defined me as a person that I chalked up as “not so great”.  The wounds are deep…..  Or else, I am in the present and tell myself, you are not good enough, you can not measure up.    Then my mind jumps into the future and fear, anxiety, and “what ifs” fill my mind.

Yes this is so true, most of us struggle with the voices inside our heads.    The voices that tell us that we are not enough, or that we need to be more.    The mind is such a powerful thing, it can lead us down a path of destructive self-talk.   Truly loving ourselves is sometimes so difficult.

We look in the mirror and see features we would like to change, and our thoughts stop us from experiencing complete contentment.  

What if you could choose to focus on the good?   What if you saw good in all of the moments where it felt uncomfortable, what if you saw good in every moment?  

Imagine this for a moment…

I choose to only see the good in the moments that take my breath away (illness, disappointment or trouble that heads our way),

I choose to only see good in my boss or coworkers, we are all here for a reason,

I choose to only see good in the driver in front of me, he/she might be having a bad day,

I choose to only see good in my spirited family, we compliment each others weaknesses,

I choose to only see good my friends or relationships, can be bumpy but the bumps teach us the greatest lessons,

I choose to only see good in my children that have a love/hate relationship, they are healthy and happy,

I choose to only see good in my spouse who snores too much and likes to be “right”,

And I choose to only see good in me because I AM BEAUTIFUL and have been beautifully made.

Sounds simple doesn’t it?   Could it be that simple????

The one thing we have been given in this life is the power of choice.   

We may not have control on what happens in this life, but the one thing we can control is how we respond.

You can choose to focus within, shift your perspective and see yourself and everything around you through rose colored glasses…. 

You may be thinking, I am a realist… But how does it feel focusing on the bad? 

Let it go, choose to love YOU! Put that STOP SIGN in your head as soon as the bad thoughts creep in.

Start by asking yourself today, what makes me beautiful and unique?   And as you begin to do this, choose to refocus your lens everywhere you go, every moment and everyone you touch.

Only you have the power to do so.

“Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:16-18)

 Dear Lord God,

Help us refocus on the good.  Help us to see what you have created, the moments that teach us what you want us to see.  Help us to see ourselves, the moments, and the people through your eyes.   I pray for this in Jesus Name Amen.

May you be blessed,





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.


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,