Tag Archive | gratitude

Pressing Pause

It’s been a while since I have written.   I do think part of that comes from fear.  Fear that I have nothing to write about as I am on a journey of rediscovery.  Pressing pause and slowly discovering who I am, what drives me, and what values do I navigate my decisions.   Perhaps this is all part of as I enter my 40s, having clear boundaries and making the best use of my time.  I have an analytical mind, I have decided that by pausing my thoughts and quieting the inner voice more energy begins to emerge.  There have been moments where I feel like God’s gentle hand is suggesting that I put pen to paper, so here it goes.

We all are here on this earth for a specific purpose, and all have a journey to share.  Each journey is unique on its own.    Some evolve, some stay constant, and some regress.    It is not for us to judge but to simply watch from a distance.

The chronological path had phases, and each phase was unique on its own.    As I enter my 40s, there is so much I wish I could go back and share with my younger self.    But we can’t go backward in time we can only move forward.    I feel like in my late 30s early 40s the focus is more about my values and the love that I share with those who are closest to me.  Space and time is so precious and it is figuring out how to use the space and time that is the tricky balance.     My husband is so important to me and amidst the craziness, I need to make  that relationship number one.   The time with our children too is precious making sure they hear and learn the things we want them to so that they are set up for success when they leave us.   Our parents, finding and making time to be with them is important because they aging and time is not pausing for any of us.  And then in all of this, having relationships that are unconditional in nature, being around people that share similar values in their lives.  Values that center around family, love and kindness.

Time is like Gold, it is so precious, and how you use it makes all the difference.  I have not figured everything out, I am learning as I walk on this path.  What I do know, is that I deserve abundance and by quieting the voice inside my head, trusting the path is how it is supp0se to be, and focusing on the ones I love – I know that I am walking in the right direction.

I do wholeheartedly wish time would pause, but maybe it is taking the time to pause and reflect when you are in the moment that makes all the difference.

My Grownup Christmas List

154659_521031277916121_608422383_nThe little girl with the brown curly hair, sparkle in her blue eyes, and a little white nighty runs to see what is under the tree.   Her parents smiles beam ear to ear; its a full size doll house, with little plastic figures, excitement stirs inside.  The same excitement is in her brother  – he too receives his perfect gift.   But the most important that they all share was the love for one another.

The love that resided within the home was lasting, deep, and strong.   The mother that loves her children so much and wants them to have the best was quick to sacrifice her needs for her loves.  A father that works hard to provide for his family to give them more than the pennies his family had, and wants to be the father he never had a chance to have.    Two children unaware of the challenges behind the scenes, all they feel is love every day and have parents that care so deeply for them.   Challenges come there way as they move from place to place, but the bond is never broken.  The gift that grew was inside their home.

As I look back in time, I have such admiration for the love that was built in our home.    We each have a story, the journey unique to each one of us.   My journey has been one coupled with challenges but always fought with victories, as I had Him in my corner.      My heart has been healed in so many ways, there have been hurts, pain, injury, illness, but as we moved through each of these valley’s the silver-lining always emerged –  the love for family.  Love.   A single word that carries so much meaning…So thankful.

Years ago my Christmas list was about material things, but in this 40th year of my life, my grown up Christmas list is so much more:

  • Good health within our family.   Healing of ailments quickly and strength to run through our veins.
  • Good health for our friends, and those that we interact with every day.
  • Protection and well being for all whom we love.
  • Protection of our sponsor kids and their families, may there lives be blessed and all barriers be broken so that they can have abundance in all things.
  • For peace to reign in times of uncertainty.
  • For those that are struggling for Hope to shine through. 
  • For people to replace anger with forgiveness, to have the ability to let go and enjoy every moment.
  • Forgiveness to always be present.
  • For our family to live in the moment and enjoy it to the fullest.
  • For the focus of all to be on how we can come together and care for one another.
  • For love to reign. 

We are so blessed, to have the son of God that came to this earth to bring new life, abundance, joy and to always forgive us in all things.   He leads us, loves us and helps us to navigate through this messy life. He is the reason that we have the good in our lives.  May you be blessed during this Christmas season and may love shine on you and yours. 

Dear Lord God, As I sit here today, thank-you for showing me the positive always.   I thank-you for the abundance you have given me as gifts in love, family and life.   May I always be grounded and focused on the people that matter, and may you guide me in times where I am uncertain of my focus.  I thank-you for a heart of love that I have deep inside.  I pray for all of those people today that are struggling, may you bring them light and peace father.  If there are people that have lost loved ones during this season, help to heal the pain.  You are the healer Lord.  You know best, may we always trust you to make right our paths.   Thank-you so much for loving us the way that you do.  I pray for peace, love and joy to erode the earth.  I pray for this in Jesus Name Amen.

May you blessed,

Vanessa

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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

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.

 

 

Gratitude

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What if you could choose to be thankful every single day of your life? Sounds like a feat doesn’t it?  But YOU can make it your reality.    

This may be hard to believe amidst the chaos in our lives today.    We race, we run, we are burning the candle at both ends.   What I have realized is it all comes down to balance, and a choosing to focus on what’s working. 

Age is a wonderful thing isn’t it?     The wrinkles are not fun, but our perspective changes and shifts.   If only I could go back in time and tell my younger self to care less about what everyone else thinks.     If you could go back in time what would you tell your younger self?

I would tell my younger self:

1)      You matter – and in order to make yourself a priority you need to love yourself fully from the inside out.

2)      You can – you can do anything you set your mind to – yes it all takes work but if you can see it – you can make it happen.

3)      Love makes the world go round – focus on the ones that need love, and the ones that love you back.    As you show love in your actions, it will come back two fold.

4)      Lead by example – don’t engage in negative talk, remove yourself from all drama.  This will remove most of the stress from your life.

5)      Concentrate on the ones that matter – those people that reciprocate in relationships and where it feels easy.  Don’t force relationships.

6)      Always forgive and let go – this will help you to move forward instead of backward.

7)      Don’t be hard on yourself – there are going to be a million people hard on you in your life so don’t you be one of them.  You need to feed yourself LOVE.

8)      Be thankful every day – start and end your day with gratitude.  Find a couple of things in the day that really made you feel good (small and big).

9)      It is impossible to be 100% to everyone – that bar of being 100% is inside your head.   Let go of being your worst critic.

10)   Live – really live!  Concentrate on the good, and what is working in this life.

Today, when I glance around my life, I am filled with gratitude.   I have so much love, and this life is grand.   Yes there are going to be times where we feel depleted, but YOU have the power to choose a positive perspective.     Life is messy – and that is ok.   It is HOW we choose to spend our time, energy and love that makes all the difference.

As you look at your life and your day today, take some time to take stock of the good.

May you be blessed my friend,

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

Being Hands-Free


I receive a text message, immediately looking at my phone,I choose to respond.   Emails trail in, approximately 100 a day when looking at both work and home.   The phone rings, appointments, schedules and my time is all used up.     I feel frazzled fall is here again.  The calendar shows sports, events, schedules, the balancing act begins with work and life.    My inner self is suffocated – I need some time for me.    We can all relate to this circumstance at various times in our lives, how can we balance it all?   How can we open up some space in our day?

Have you thought about being hands-free to provide some space and time?image1 (2)

Hands-free (Wikipedia) an adjective describing equipment that can be used without the use of hands (for example via voice commands) or, in a wider sense, equipment which needs only limited use of hands, or for which the controls are positioned so that the hands are able to occupy themselves with another task (such as driving) without needing to hunt far afield for the controls.

Can we broaden this definition of being hands-free? An adjective describing letting go and allowing God to be in the driver’s seat.

A lot of items that fill my day really are beyond my control, it is how I choose to respond that makes all the difference.  As I look ahead in the day or week, I see so much to deal with, but perhaps I need to focus on the right now.

Do you know that we are called daily to be hand’s free and let God lead?     Have you ever noticed when you try to control your schedule, the kid’s reactions, and every facet of your life that things feel out of control?

Freedom comes from knowing that God has your back, and that He is in the driver’s seat.   He also has your best interests at heart.  He tells us to come to Him if we need rest or be anxious in nothing at all.  If you are running on empty, He knows how to fill your tank.   So how do we take conscious steps while letting Him lead?    I believe this is the real question.  What are some actions we can take to support letting God lead?

  1. Take time to reflect, pause and renew – take time for prayer, time for God, and time to rest.  Renew your spirit.  It is times where we feel zapped because we have overextended ourselves that cause us the most discontent.   Make this a number one priority in your day, take the time.  This one action will make all of the difference.  Present your requests to God, acknowledge that He is in the driver’s seat and you trust Him.
  2. Decide you can be physically hands-free.   Take a break from texting, looking at your phone and responding.  Don’t respond out of obligation –take some time and then respond when you want to.
  3. Be Present. This is a big one.    Really live in the NOW, take it all in and breathe.   
  4. Do not plan ahead. This is a tough one for many, and something I am learning.  I am finding when I don’t look to far ahead, things flow a lot easier.
  5. Realize you don’t need to be everything to everyone and everything. I think many of us have such high expectations of ourselves.

I am learning to be humble in my thoughts, and to simplify my life.   Recently I have felt like I am changing within.  The change is frightening and exciting all at once.   I am seeing pieces of me leave and other pieces being refined.    I believe this is a process we all experience in our lives.  For some the process is quick, for others the process is a long one.  God makes all things good.

I see His good work in showing me how life can be so much better, if I trust Him, Lean on Him, Love others as I would love myself, and Let go of fear, and anger.    I also am realizing I am beautifully made, which is a bit of a hard pill to swallow for a woman that constantly sees where she can change.     Thank-you Father for being so patient with me again and again.  Thank-you for showing me what needs to adjust in my life.

Dear Lord God, there are so many moments of complete bliss, that I feel full of your glory.  I know that this is what you want for me.   The sunshine in my children’s eyes, the sound of laughter, and the glow of smiles, the love of friendship and family.    These are the moments that I cherish and hold close and never want to let go.     Many times I feel like I am falling short.   I feel the pressures of this life, to be the best, to climb the corporate ladder, to participate in the race and get caught up in it all.    I want to feel complete peace, even in the face of trials or adversity. I need you to lead me, without you I feel so lost.      Lord, define my path for me, guide me, help me to make the choices that are best for me and those I love.      I want to be full of your peace within.    Help me to be hands-free.  You are in control.  I pray for this in Jesus Name Amen.

Be blessed my friend, how can you become a little more hands-free?

Hugs

Ness