His Perfect Plan

meThere once was a girl who looked in the mirror and felt unloved, she put on a mask every day to hide who she really was or how she really felt.    She had parents that loved her very much but wanted to shelter them from the pain she was experiencing.   She had a heart that believed in rainbows and would pray that her dolls would come to life one day so she could have more friends.  Some evenings she would pray to a God that she was unsure if he heard her little voice in this big world.

He heard her, and had a plan.  He planned to show her how to forgive, let down the walls, let go of the pain.  He knew that her warm heart would be used for good.  

This little girl was me.   Looking back on those years I always thought I would never want to go through them again, but now I see the bigger plan coming to fruition.   The ability to see the pain without someone speaking a word…..  The ablility to care and help others see beyond the current moment.    

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

 

We live in a broken world.

There is heartache and pain.

But there is always sunshine after the rain.

Every purpose has a place.

We may not see it at first.

Don’t lose heart.

And shine your vibrant light He has given you in the dark.

Concentrate on the moments that take your breath away.

Give gratitude for the day.

There is power in prayer.

Give the pain away.

He is there.

Waiting for you.

May You be Blessed,

Nessa

another related post can be found here https://nesschesters.wordpress.com/2012/06/19/mirror-mirror-on-the-wall/

 

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You have the power to “pause” and slow down

Precious moments

In this day of cell phones, electronics, and instantaneous communication we are always plugged in.  Too often, we are running, racing from point A to B, and by the end of the day we will frazzled, overwhelmed, and weak.   No energy left for anything or anyone.   Have you ever been there? 

You hear another beep on your phone….. Do you answer?

Do you remember the story of Mary and Martha in the presence of Jesus?   Grace was in their presence, but Martha was too busy preparing.   Meanwhile, her sister Mary “paused”, she didn’t perform she took a breath and paused.

In this race we can be Martha, or pause and be Mary.   We have a choice, God has given us the power of choice.  

We can choose to slow, pause, and hold onto the moment.  

This can be difficult in a world that reveals to us that if we join the race we will be better off or meet their expectations.   But whose expectations do we really seek?

I seek to please Him.   You have to ask yourself today, where do my priorities lie?   Do they lie in the material things of this world, or do they lie in a bed full of roses where the smell is full of love?  And where love blossoms in every moment?

An essential step in ensuring we can be plugged into every moment is the ability to nurture our “self”.   In order to be functional beyond ourselves, this must come first.   Find a few moments a day even a half an hour where you can nurture and love yourself.  Treat yourself to a coffee, book, connect with God, take a walk or a relaxing bath so you can renew.  

The next step is establishing a core list of priorities that you can navigate your decisions for yourself and your family.  My priority list is:

1)      Nurture self  part of nurturing myself is ensuring that I connect in the morning, during the day and evening with my Father up above.

2)      Nurture my relationship with my number 1 supporter – my husband.

3)      Nurture my kiddo’s

4)      Nurture my relationships immediate family and close friends

Everything else in this life is just “stuff”.  The relationships and love are most important. 

When we make decisions and navigate on our core priorities, it is easier to establish boundaries and let go of the elements that are less important.

You have the power to choose to pause and smell the roses my friend.  You have the power to be Mary.

“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:41-42, NIV)

Who do you choose to be my friend Martha or Mary? 

Take a breath and pause.

The power is in you!

 

Have you felt like Martha?  Or do you have strategies like Mary, in “pausing” and immersing yourself in the moment?

Guest Post by our Favorite Gina ~ Thankful to Be Thankful at Thanksgiving! (In the US)

imagesHello faithful readers, I have been blessed to become friends with a wonderful group of woman through writing.   Gina is one of these individuals, we have some similarities in our journeys so no coincidence that we found each other.   Her blog site is located : http://ginaquarles.com/ 

In the US it is Thanksgiving on Nov 28, in Canada we celebrated it in Oct 14th.  But I do believe this post is timely, we all have so much to be thankful for and during this time of year it is really easy to get wrapped up in the “wants” vs the “needs”.  What are you thankful for?  Take some time to read Gina’s post, and be blessed!

Thankful to Be Thankful at Thanksgiving!

The month of November is one of my favorite months out of the whole year.  Thanksgiving is right around the corner and it is a time when the seasons are changing right before our eyes. We can see this beautifully, as nature unfolds itself for all to adore. It is  a time of reflection for many and a time of feeling pure appreciation for several things in our lives. What are you thankful for?

Just like nature and all of its wonder, it is a time many go though change as well. When we tend to appreciate even more in our lives we feel thankful. When we are thankful, express gratitude, we are happy and smiling and we are feeling the “feel good” chemicals in our body that it naturally produces. We seem to radiate and send out more of the positive energy that can often be contagious.  It is such a good thing!   It is so awesome when you can notice and feel this type of spirit going around.

I have plenty to be thankful for as I reflect on this past year.  I tend to be more thankful for the non tangible side of things this time around and I think I know why.  As many of you know, I was in a life threatening car accident in January 2012. I have come to realize that for myself, when you go though a near death experience as I did, your perception of life itself changes dramatically.

I was incredibly thankful that GOD had spared me.  Even with all of my limitations and many threats of death at first, I did not care. I was so thankful to be alive.  Of course I was in shock and wasn’t thrilled about my halo or my broken leg and many ribs.  That was all so minor in the big scheme of things. I will say, I was extremely scared when I woke up eleven days later.

Knowing I was alive and even NOT knowing what my outcome would be, I was thrilled to be back with my family.  My husband, my children, my life just wasn’t finished yet! But what could I do? Not much that was for sure.  But fortunately, the future dictated differently.

I am thankful for my miraculous outcome.  I was blessed with coming home to recover and have my hubby as my nurse. The joy of being home, in my familiar surroundings and seeing my children again, left me feeling elated. I felt safe after not feeling safe for a very long time. I did not want to be in a rehabilitation center miles away with more staff caring for me. I wanted my family. I missed them terribly after being away for months in the hospital. I was truly blessed.

My recovery, while very long has been an experience that wasn’t as hard as one may think. I know that sounds crazy to some of you.  So many things that could have gone wrong have not. Again, GOD is good to me. The biggest concern now, is walking without a limp and my pressure wounds healing. But, because of YOU my surgery is happening much sooner than I expected.  If you saw my box of medical bills you would understand. For that, I am so very grateful. Not the bills, the surgery:).

I wont sugar coat and say it was all smooth sailing.  There were days I would just breakdown crying.  I wondered why me and what does this all mean for my future?  I felt fear, sadness, loss and I was grieving my old self. I dealt with some people in my family of origin that completely let me down.  The emotional pain of that is slowly getting better. Time does heal all wounds.  But with all of that, a strength held and comforted me  and got me through it. I know much of it was the support of good friends, family members, all of your prayers and I will say, my attitude.

When you face a life altering experience like I did, you have a choice.  You can let it break you or make you.  There were unfortunately those who tried to break me and or your thoughts can try to as well.  Key word, “try”.  You can imagine the worst. Do not allow any of this to happen.  You do have control. You may feel as if you do not, but trust me, you do.  Your thoughts and what you tell yourself is so vital to recovery. I realize it matters to all of us even without an accident or in the face of tragedy. Just for mental sanity, it is important and a wise practice for a much more stress free way of living.

The nice thing  is that the reality you are making becomes easier over time  You are the one creating it.  If I told myself I would let my condition define me, then it would. Then I became vulnerable to what my situation dictated. That lack of support from those in my family of origin coupled with physical pain I was in was a complete set up for some very real depression.  Everything mattered  more, if that makes sense. I was vulnerable and very sensitive.

When I told myself I was in charge and would not allow anyone or my condition to confine me to an identity I did not want for myself or that was true, I was free. ” I ” made myself into who I knew as Gina. We just work that way. It is so freeing.  Words cannot describe this. It is a personal experience.  But, the nice thing is, you do not have to have a near death experience like I did in order to do it!

The thoughts you allow yourself to have and who you surround yourself with matters.  What you read and fill your brain with matters.  What you seek you will find.  So seek happiness and appreciate the priceless things that surround you every day.  Make yourself a priority. Take the time to get quiet and “be still” and focus on your life and where it is going. Are you happy with it? Are you contributing? Are you loving others? Ask yourself and answer these questions. Reflect.  Love yourself and say, “thank you” often.

We get our priorities mixed up at times. Life is crazy busy like that and if we do not pay attention, it  flies right on by and we can miss out on timeless experiences and feelings. We can fall into a rut so to speak.  Take that time I mentioned and make “you” a priority. Examine your life and ask yourself many different questions more often. You have one life friends and some of the things that we let consume us, you will find are just not worth it. Others, do indeed  deserve much more of our time. You are not obligated to anything or anyone, only to those persons and things that fill you up and surround you with the love we all are worthy of.

Time is like money….spend it wisely!

I hope you all have much to be thankful for. I know I do. I choose to not just think about it in November anymore.  I am thankful everyday.  Everyday presents us with many things to be thankful for.  We just need to stop and take notice  to see them more often:).

XOXO,

Gina

http://ginaquarles.com/

The strongest woman I know – my mother

429059_10151400264470987_2109690330_nOver the course of the past 8 months our lives have taken on another journey.   This journey has spanned across our entire family (both sides).  But through it all, we have been thankful.    As time goes on I begin to realize that life is really about all of the moments you are thankful for.   If one choses to focus on gratitude, there is no room for fear.  There have been situations that I thought I would never experience, that have spiced up my life over the past couple of years….I am grateful for the experiences, the love, the laughter, and most of all the people in my life that I adore.   Thank-you God for these experiences and the love; and for teaching me to be thankful each and every day.       I am sharing this picture with all of you – it was taken tonight.   In my previous worklife, I was a hairdresser, and tonight for the first time, my mom and I shared a new experience.   Good-bye old, and in with the new – you look beautiful mama.  I adore you.

A Letter to My Mom

As a babe, I look up at my mom and see her blue eyes.

They are beautiful and bright.

The love radiates and flows.

A love that cannot be explained, unconditional.

A bond that is everlasting and shared by two.

Over the years, the eyes change – brought by love, hope, heart ache and pain.

The lines and creases begin to show.

The lines define the moments in time where there was much happiness and sometimes tears.

She is strength, she is life, she is warm, she is a fighter and she defines love.

She has helped me most to grow.

She has helped me through my life and my “lows”.

She feels my pain when I hurt, and over time as I grow, I feel her hurts too.

We are one; the bond can never be undone.

She healed my wounds when they were deep, she has whispered sweet words as a child to me when I sleep.

We share a bond, that is so strong.

All through the years, I know this much is true,  I have become the woman I am today because of you.

You are my mother – a women of strength, determination, living with your heart and soul.

I adore you.

When it rains – it pours

It is like a storm, that all of sudden takes us by surprise.   The rain keeps pouring, and we reach for an umbrella to dry ourselves from the rain.  Sometimes life can feel like this, the rain keeps coming – it is a torrential downpour.  However, it is how we deal with the storms that make all the difference.  The rains can bring new growth, can cultivate new beginnings, and bloom new life.  Rain…Fresh…Renewed…New life.

I have felt that this past year and a half has been encompassed with challenge after challenge.  But I have realized that the challenges teach us adversity.  The challenges give us strength and build our character and give us the capacity to deal with more.  But for some, it is hard not to give into the fear.  Perhaps this is how you feel right now.

Fear can be one of the biggest tumbling blocks.  Fear can take over the body and the soul.   Have you ever felt like it seems that every time you turned around there was another problem to deal with?

“I can’t take this, what next?”

“My life is never going to get better.”

“Every time I turn around it is something else.”

“How much can a person take?”

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of sufferings. And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.” (1 Peter 5: 6-10 NIV)

The self-doubt and fear is easy to give into.  Once individuals begin to think like this, it is hard to get out of this line of thinking.  Fear becomes a vortex of emptiness.  It can be like holding a glass of water.  If you were to hold the glass filled with water, at first it would feel light and easy…  But as time goes on the glass begins to feel heavy, your wrist hurts, and your fingers feel weak.   This is the burden of fear.  The more you continue to be fearful or worry the pain gets harder to handle.   There is a constant enemy that wants us to believe the fearful thoughts are true.  I felt fearful the other day.

This past year has been such a roller coaster.  With my injury, coming so close to death, my mom and dad get injured during the year it was a journey all on its own.  Time had passed and our bodies were starting to feel good again. Finally I felt like things had reached a state of calm again.  Then we find out that my mother has two major medical issues.  I was overwhelmed, but I took heart in the Divine and realized that we would get through this too.  The journey of last year brought me much perspective on how to deal with the hard times and to rely on Something bigger than myself.   I have changed my perspective and so can you.

What if we thought all of these problems that pile up in our lives were merely opportunities for learning or new growth?  What if the storm brought us new life, a new perspective and renewal?  I truly believe this, it is how we look at things that makes all of the difference.  Ask for Grace.  Give yourself some grace, and look at the situation through a loving lens.

Win or Lose, I Will Survive[1]

The best way to find myself is to be lost.  It’s at those times

when I’m vulnerable, weak, and scared that I learn the most.

In my quest for answers, my search for the right path, I

discover who I really am: a courageous soul, a brave warrior,

a fighter.  And with the help of family, friends, and faith, I

finally conquer and find my way.  I emerge stronger and have

a deeper sense of what make me special and unique.  I know

every obstacle is really an opportunity, and that win or lose,

I will survive.

By Joanne Hirase-Stacey

Yes, every obstacle is an opportunity…  An opportunity to ask for His Grace.  The sun will shine after the rain, and the green grass will grow and the flowers will bloom.


[1] Serenity prayers, june cotner