Tuesday, December 28, 2010

A Couple of Great Stories of Giving and Bringing Hope and Joy.......

What a beautiful and wonderful day, Monday has been!  Let me just start by saying that I am so happy to have Demi home with me.  I missed her so much but am glad my heart is in the right place for her.

Tonight, Demi and I went to her best friends house for Christmas and for to have a sleepover.  While waiting for dinner, Alyssa mentioned that her mom found $300.00 in a card in their door on Christmas Eve.  So my girlfriend explained that when she opened the card she had no idea who it was from or at this point who the card was for...she asked a couple of neighbors and they had no idea either.

So here is a little background on my friend and Demi's best friend.  Demi and Alyssa met 5 years ago in Kindergarten.  Up until last year they have always lived here in TX and our neighborhood.  Three years ago my friend married a childhood friend.  He up and joined the Army needing to find a career and a place to land.  After being in KY for a year, Kacey moved back here for the year while Matt is in Afghanistan.  Let me just say that she has her hands full with 2 little boys under the age of 4.  Needless to say, she is exhausted and I think more than anything worries about Matt and his group of soldiers.

Well, Kacey went out again yesterday to ask one more neighbor and when she asked if this neighbor knew the names on the card, her neighbor told her that it was her daughter and husband that had left that for the.  She had noticed her Army flag while at her mom's house on evening and her mom told of about Kacey and Matt.  They had already decided they wanted to help a military family and so this was who they were going to help.  Now that is what I call a RANDOM ACT Of KINDNESS!!

Can I just say that I think the money was an awesome gift and yes my friend needs the money but it was wonderful to see the renewed hope in her eyes and face tonight.  It was also an awesome teaching moment for our girls about the gift of giving.   I am so happy for her and am so happy that they did this for her, this year, this Christmas! 

Also tonight I went to Walgreens and while there was talking to an employee is so sweet. I had run into her the other night at Good Will.  I was looking for puzzles for Demi to take up to the retirement center where she loves to go to help out with Bingo.  This employee said she had several at home that she would love to give to Demi which I thought was so awesome.  Anyway I left and today was the first time I saw her since then.  She had this huge smile on her face and said to me that some lady at the Goodwill Store had come up to them after I left and gave them 10.00 a piece and said Merry Christmas. 

I wish that whoever gave them the money could see how happy she was telling me the story.  This too is from someone I know could use the money because she has taken in an old friend who has nothing and although that doesn't sound like much, it is everything to those who don't have anything.

I also wish that this neighbor could see how much joy and hope their card and gift has given my friend in a time when times have been tough both emotionally and physically.  She has had so much going on, more than said here so thank you to those who continue to give from your heart.  It really is so sweet if you can do the monetary thing but if not there are still so many ways you can join in the fun and giving. 

I will close by saying that I love my daughter and enjoyed our game night with "just the girls" and love haing Kacey and Alyssa back here in TX.  We had so much fun playing the New Life Game and after playing this game and winning over a MILLION, I think I am going to play the lotto tomorrow after I go to have my blood drawn. 

Have a great Tuesday and remember to hug those you love and let me challenge you to leave someone a nice note/email/card just to say they are loved and appreciated....I will say that there is always more to a person than the outside and you might just be the difference someone needs to keep going.  Start with your family....policemen....trash men who we love to surprise with drinks and snacks....give of your time at a nursing home or retirement home...give of your time with a neighbor....take a meal to a family who you know has gone through tough times or like in my friends case maybe has a loved one away at war...so many things we can do if we just look for the moments and opportunities!


Monday, December 27, 2010

My New Challenge of Giving Kindness, Compassion and Love 365 Days A Year Starting on 1/1/11!!!!!

Good Chilly Monday Morning!

I woke up so excited today.  Excited about getting Demi in a few hours so we can spend some time togetther before she goes back to school and I go back to work.  The best if yet to come because Santa came ehre and we have yet to have our small but fun Christmas.  It will be time to sing to Jesus, a little late but well worth it as we remember the reason for the season.  After all if not for baby J we wouldn't even celebrate this wonderful holiday!  I am also thrilled about the 365 Days of Giving of Love, Kindness and Compassion.  I can't wait to start capturing how the world can change if we all take the time to do one simple act of kindness, compassion and love either randomly and or deliberately.

I will be back shortly to list a few blogs with those who are doing their part to change the world once person at a time.  There are some great books and authors who have jumped on the RAK train.  If you are aware of any plz let us know.

I am thinking too that I will have a new blog just for the 365 Days of Giving and open the forum on what others are doing as well as for them to share how their own lives are changing.  The key to this will be documenting the changes you see as well as how your own life and outlook have changed...isn't that exciting?

Big things in store for the upcoming year...partnering with you and others putting smiles back on the faces of those we encounter each and every day.


Sunday, December 26, 2010

365 Days of Giving, Compassion and Kindness Starting December 25th....It Is So Much Better to Give Than Receive!!

This upcoming year is going to a year of giving.  Yes 365 days a year because I truly BELIEVE that giving is the best gift you can give yourself and the JOY that comes along with the act is feeling that is so worth taking the time to do. 

Yesterday I started with the gift of giving my daughter time with her dad's family.  Even though I missed her and knew I would, it meant more to me to give her this gift being that she just met and is wanting to spend quality time with her "new" family.  I hope she has had the time of her life and from the sounds of it she has but the good news is she is ready to come home which I am so excited about.  I really missed her and don't know what to do with myself when she is gone.  I hope they enjoyed having her as much as she enjoyed being with them!

My giving today was of a few messages/texts and a birthday wish to friends I adore and love even though I don't get to see them as often as I would like to. 

What will my giving be for tomorrow?  I'm not sure yet but I do know I want to be creative, deliberate and unseen in what "we" do...yes I want Demi on this one tomorrow.  I love RAKS or what some know as Random Acts of Kindness  I hope to have days of random and deliberate.  I also want to make sure my daughter joins me on this journey in the upcoming year.  Wanna join us? 

I can't wait to make a difference, one family, one person and one day at a time!  I will be documenting this like I did with my 365 days of scrapping.  I enjoyed that and am really looking forward to seeing some positive changes in our life and fully expect and BELIEVE that true JOY comes from giving and making someone else's life better.  It warms my heart knowing that there are so many good people in the world and there are so many that care and will do something when they know others are hurting or need help.  I have been on the receiving side this holiday season and I am thankful and humbled and cant wait to give back in ways that we can right now. 

I would love to hear some ways in which you have shared kindness or ways you like to help others.  Thanks for sharing your awesome ideas and thanks for making my day better by coming here as well. 

Kim, thank you for stoppig by this week!  Love you and miss you!

Julie :-))), so hoping you feel better and that you can enjoy the rest of your holidays before the kiddos go back to school.

Again hope you had the merriest of holidays so far and that you are looking forward to a year full of JOY, LOVE and PEACE.


Saturday, December 25, 2010

Friday, December 24, 2010

Believe In Miracles....

be·lieve [ bi lv ]

accept something as true: to accept that something is true or real

accept somebody as truthful: to accept that somebody is telling the truth

credit somebody with something: to accept that somebody or something has a particular quality or ability

Synonyms: trust, have faith in, be certain of, have confidence in, accept as true, rely on
Today started off huge surprise and answer to a prayer.  Believe in MIRACLES and they will come.  Ou neighbor Bill came over this morning with a card.  We talked for a bit about life, careers and moving.  After he left I opened the card to put up in my walkway and inside was a $100.00.  Yes that's right, 5 $20.00.  I really don't even know what to say.  Thanks doesn't seem like enough especially when I know he was laid off not long ago.  I definitely love our neighbors, some are like parents and most have adopted Demi as another granddaughter.  We will miss them and this neighborhood and the family like feeling you get everyday.  You would have to live it to see and believe how wonderful it really is...but I will make sure that no matter where we live that we will come back.  I know God hears and know our needs as he constantly shows us in answered prayers through wonderful friends like Bill.  
Yesterday my BIL brought over the gifts for what I thought was Demi from the teachers at the school where I sub and will be working.  They more or less adopted Demi and again thanks doesn't seem like enough.  I am so grateful and humbled at the kindness that has been shown to us over the last several months.  Not only did they adopt her but there were presents in their for me too.  Thank you "angels"!!
Now if only I was getting ready for Santa, last minute wrapping...cookies and milk...but that will not happen here this year.  I am praying that Demi's Christmas in SA is wonderful even after her cousins had to leave to go to their dads?  One thing I am really thankful for today is that over the last 10 years and the years to come, I have and will not have the issues with my dd when it comes to holidays and every other weekends.  I know I have been blessed as has Demi with stability and love here by not having the divorce and custody issues.  She has seen some of that the last couple of days.  Hoping she knows how lucky we are that we have not had that and hopefully her dad and I will continue to have her best interest at heart ALWAYS. 
So tonight, I am renting Rust and Triage from Redbox while creating some new layouts for some challenges all while the fireplace is going and my house smells like grandma's kitchen and cookies.  Life is so awesome!  Not the norm but peaceful and warm none the less.  Can't wait to hear about the reindeer food Demi will make and put out soon.  Actually I am curious to hear about the rest of her day and to hear the excitement in her voice about Santa coming there.  She does know her big Santa will be there but she is excited about giving her gifts more than getting gifts.  Love her so much for the wonderful young lady she is..so thoughtful and giving, always wanting to make others happy.  What did I ever do to deserve her?  I dont' know but there isn't a day that goes by that I am not thanking our Heavenly Father. Tomorrow she will be off to her dad's  her 1st Christmas with them.  I hope someone will take pictures for me.
So merry christmas eve.....

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Santa Came Early For This Mama!

Oh my goodness....I just found out that I won a Xyron Creatopia for the 8th Day of Christmas at Scrapbook and Cards.  I don't even know what it can do but will learn very soon.  I am so excited and cant wait for Santa to deliver it after the new year.  I am so grateful for this awesome gift.  It was a chain of events over the last 2 days that brought me to the blog and giveaway.

First I was at The Brave Girls Club Blog, then off to Teresa Collins Blog, then to Margie Romneys and then to SCT.  All this because I enjoy visiting blogs and seeing new creativity.  Now I will be able to do some creating of my own.  Woohoo!  Not only did I win this but I came across some awesome and new websites, companies and blogs.  It has been an awesome day and again thank you  http://scrapbookandcardstodaymag.typepad.com/scrapbook_cards_today_blo/2010/12/12-days-of-holiday-giving-winners.html#tp for making my holidays this much more special.

Also I got cleared today to move to the next step for becoming an ideal match for bone marrow today  I am beyond thrilled and will do this next week.  After the blood is tested, I will wait for the results and hopefully within 3 months I will be able to help save this 32 year old patient who is in need of a transplant.  God is so awesome.

Today I had a visit from an old friend who just made my day.  The one thing I love to do is print pictures and give them as gifts.  I was hoping/praying for a way to do this on my zero budget and thanks to SBM I will be able to do that.  Not only did she bring me ink but paper and frames.  So blessed and loved and am thankful!

I hope everyone else is having a great holi"day" and now I am off to pick up a few groceries before my mom and brother roll back into town from Chicago.  So proud of my nephew for becoming a Sailor and can't wait to tell him when I see him later today.


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Finding Joy....

A call from my sweet angel tonight saying she missed me...I miss her and love her so much but am excited about her getting to spend xmas with her father's family and then a quick visit with her daddy on xmas night.  Knowing how happy she is brings me lots of joy n a big way!  (After 10 years of her wanting to know her dad and his family, this has come true and I love her family as if they have been around the last 10 years.)  Even her step mom who seems to struggle with it..probably more to me than Demi but praying in time that we will all be one big happy/ier family since this is all about the children, my child.....

My family who mean everything to me...

Friends who care and that continue to help us out even when it is hard to accept...hoping I can pay them all back someday, someway....

In our home that I love and cherish and the wonderful memories we have created here for 10 years...

My gas fireplace on a cold night...

Flannel sheets.....

Dr Pepper from McDonalds....

Cell phones to stay connected.....


Answered Prayers....

My new job.....

Teaching and working with children all day.....

Being a mom...the greatest JOY in the world...best thing that has happened to me...

Scrapbooking community....so many wonderful women in this industry....



Laundry done......

Kindness and Compassion......

Random Acts of Kindness....

Children's laughter....


Second Chances.....


Eternal Life.....


Today and the gift of life, although emotional these days I am still happy to find JOY in all our blessings and hope that everyone knows how much they mean to me and how much I appreciate them. 

Dear Demi,

I love you more than life and hope you will remember that anything is possible if you BELIEVE.  Find your place in life and remember to always treat others as you would be treated...find passion in all you do.  Be the change you want to see in the world.  Remember to continue to find ways to be kind and compassionate.  Your faith will carry you through life so it is important to surround yourself with like minded friends and family.  Remember to always do your best and that your education is important.  You know that I am so proud of what you have accomplished so far both as a student and a young lady.  Your laughter and smile is infectious.  You have always had a way of making others feel loved and that God loved them from an early age.  You attract goodness.  Treasure you family and friends and know that you are loved by God, me and all those in our life.  Life is short and I pray you will find lasting JOY in those who surround you.  Material things come and go but family and friends are here till the end and are what is really important.  Live for today and plan for tomorrow.  Be wise with your money and give back to those in need...remember it is all Gods.  I pray you will find true love, a christian who will love you for you and that will treat as you should be treated...with respect and honor till death do you both..wait to give away your heart and soul to that one person whom you will spend your life with sweetheart.   I love you so much and at the end of each day am so thankful that God chose me to be your mom.  To know this kind of love is to know JOY.  I hope you will someday have a family...so that you too will know the kind of love a parent has for a child.  Everyday I thank God for the heart he has given you you, your mind with your kind and loving thoughts and your tongue that speaks of truth and love.  It scares me to think that I will someday be gone and that you will carry on. I pray that I am giving you the love and tools you need to have to lead a JOYful and productive life in society.  Thanks for bringing me so much love and joy in the short 1o years you have been here, I am looking forward to the next 10 years and pray I will be the mother that God intended me to be.  That I will live the life I preach each and every day.  That I am a role model you can look up to everyday and that when I step out of line, can own and do better because I know better.  We make a wonderful and awesome team...TEAM WILLIS.  Together we are better and as we have often talked about, I hope you can and will  forgive me when my mistakes.  I will continue to be the best christian, mom, aunt, daughter, friend, neighbor, teacher that I can be and to find JOY in the blessings from above.  Love, Mommy  xoxoxo 

So where do you find your joy this holiday season?  I find JOY in all the above and want those in my life to know that I love them dearly.  I have found that expressing it verbally is what is best for me.  I say it often and it comes from the heart.  Love this life with all the ups and downs lately and know that if tomorrow comes it is a gift and will enjoy what God has planned for us.  Until then...love and hugs from Texas!!


Keeping The Song of Praise in Your Heart.......

I read this today on Joel Osteen's blog and thought it was worth sharing today:

Most of us remember the first time we heard officially on the news that our economy is in a recession. But did you know that the next morning, the birds still woke up and sang? They didn't fall off their branches in unbelief and start flying around here and there worrying, stopping their song.

No, the little birds sang and the big birds sang, and it was like a beautiful symphony.

You might be thinking, "Joel, that's great, birds singing and all; but come on, our economy is in a crisis."

Listen to what Jesus says, "Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father keeps feeding them. Are you not worth much more than they? And who of you by worrying and being anxious can add one unit of measure to his stature or to the span of his life? And why should you be anxious about clothes? Consider the lilies of the field and learn thoroughly how they grow; they neither toil nor spin. Yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his magnificence was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and green and tomorrow is tossed into the furnace, will he not much more surely clothe you, O you of little faith?

Therefore, do not worry and be anxious, saying, "What are we going to eat? Or "What are we going to have to drink? Or, what are we going to have to wear? But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things taken together will be given to you. So do not worry or be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will have worries and anxieties of its own." (Matthew 6:26-30, Amplified)

Friends, nothing is new under the sun. They might not have had economists back then with the term "recession", but there have been many who've gone before us that worried about what to eat, drink, wear, where to live, where to send their kids, how to pay for this or that; but God lovingly reminds us that He takes care of the flowers in the field and the birds in the air. How much more valuable are we to Him?

Jesus made it so clear about worrying. How many more days to our life will we added by worrying? Are you going to grow taller? Are you going to grow smarter? Are your problems going to disappear? Worrying does us no good! But what does us good is when we magnify God and not our problems. The Bible even says, "Do not fret, it only leads to evil."

So what are we to do? Trust God, and just like the birds, praise Him. Keep that song of praise in your heart. When the praises go up, the blessings come down. His joy is our strength through the hard times. When you spend your time worrying, you're not putting your faith out there.

Worry says, "I'm not going to get a job. I'm never going to get my retirement back."

The garment of praise says, "Father, I thank you for the victories you've already brought me. Thank you for the favor. Thank you that you're turning my situation around."

One thing I've learned is that you can't worry and praise at the same time.

You can't say, "I know You're on the throne, and You're good all the time. You always cause me to triumph. You make a way when there seems to be no way," and then worry and think, "I don't know how this is going to turn around."

Supernatural things will happen when we praise. Supernatural things do not happen when we worry. Worry does nothing but rob your joy.

You might feel like worrying is getting you somewhere, but it does nothing but zap your strength. We need our energy for the battles in life, and we need the knowledge of who God is during these difficulties to keep singing.

Suddenly, God can change your situation around like Paul and Silas when they were in prison. In the midnight hour, they were set free. But was it from them crying, fretting and wringing their hands, being in despair and complaining? No, they were praising God and the prison door went wide open.

No matter what the news report says about how many points the Dow Jones is down, each day, wake up with great faith and keep your joy and praise God.

And don't forget to enlarge your vision. You can't do that when you're worrying. You might have lost a lot in the stock market, but God can cause you to make back everything you lost, plus more. There is no limit to what God can do. But what does limit Him is when we don't believe, and we allow worry to rob our joy and faith.

This is what Scripture says in Jeremiah 33:11, "'…Give thanks to the Lord Almighty, for the Lord is good; his love endures forever. For I will restore the fortunes of the land as they were before.' says the Lord."

That means when you wake up, praise God. Believe Him for restoration in your retirement and savings. Believe God for restoration in that business you lost. There is nothing too difficult for God to do. Everything that was stolen can be restored in your life. God always gives us double for our trouble, and He likes to outdo Himself. The question is do you believe He will?

Keep your hopes up. Don't let worry have any room in your heart today.

Keep a song in your heart. And when you wake up in the morning and hear the birds singing, let it remind you to praise God during these difficult economic times. He has the whole world in His hands. In fact, He has you in the palm of His Hand. Nothing is a surprise to Him. If you will stay full of hope and praise, God will show Himself strong in your life, and you will not be disappointed!

Today is going to be a great day!   I am going to  FLY BY FAITH today and BELIEVE that all things are possible with God.   Wanna join me?

Dear God, I'm thankful for Your continued blessings today and the miracles we have had this year and will have today and in the days ahead, Your protection over Demi and I, our families and friends and enlarging  my territory.  I have a grateful heart for the opportunities to show Your love through acts of kindness and compassion with those who cross our paths today.   Thankful for our good health and lifting our servicemen and women up to you today as they sacrifice in so many ways so that we may have freedom.  Lord, thank you for walking with me today in every step I take and for guiding me in the direction I should go today, this month, this year and in this life.  Help me to be the MIRACLE today and to make a positive difference today through YOU!  In Jesus' name I pray, Amen.

Praying you have an awesome day and that you will be blessed beyond belief today.  Remember to enjoy this day, a gift from above! 


Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The (Last) Memories In Our Home.....More Miracles......Mixed Emotions!

Sad feelings, happy feelings...mixed emotions today.

This year and our life in our first and only home are about to come to an end.  I am trying to be strong for Demi but there is a big part of me that is sad and hurting.  I keep thinking as Demi is away how sad this is going to be for her too.  I feel like I have failed her in many ways.  Our last Christmas, her last birthday party, her last walk to school and so this chapter will soon end.

I keep thinking that I just need to get the house all packed up while Demi is gone so that it will be less emotional for both of us.  I did tell Demi when she before she left that I might do this knowing that DPS might serve me the papers asking or demanding us to leave the house.  So that has happened and now it is a matter of days. 

There is still a part of me that wished things would have worked out.  That our mortgage company would have refinanced our home at the lower interest rates but they wouldn't and so here we are today.  The hardest part is that I still don't know where we are going.  What do I take and pack up and what do I try to sell?  These are the moments when I am mentally tired of making all the decisions but when you are a mom, a single mom you don't get a day off because your children depend on you to make those decisions, right or wrong. 

My faith keeps me going and deep down inside I believe this is going to be the best thing for us and I am excited about what is ahead.  I just wish I knew what that is and where we will be this time next month.  There is a part of me that wants to pack up and move far away.  Maybe if I did that the pain of moving and leaving a wonderful neighborhood wouldn't be so hard on both of us.  Again I know that our next home will be filled with the same love and that we will make new memories. 

But today I am taking a day off from being strong for everyone.  I am giving myself permission to grieve and to feel all that I do about what is going on.   I am giving it all to God so that I don't have to feel like I am walking in this alone.  Why does life seem to be so hard, not just for me but for lots of wonderful people?

Miracles have a way of reminding us of happy things that take place in our lives.  Another miracle has taken place this year regarding my career.  As many of you know, I have been self employed for almost 17 years placing military personnel in technical careers.  But with the economy, I was unable to make any money.  I worked for a couple of friends until I started subbing. I found a new passion that I would have never dreamed.  I have absolutely loved being a substitute!  I went this summer to get my teaching certificate and have that almost completed.  If and when I come up with the 120.00 I need to take my content testing which is the grade level substance, I will be completely certified and will be hirable in Texas.  Just 2 weeks ago at the school where my sister has been teaching for the last 20 years, offered me a tutoring position working less hours and making more money.  It is a great opportunity and an answered prayer, another miracle I never saw coming 9 months ago when I started subbing.  So grateful to have be working and that other teachers and staff have adopted my daughter for Christmas this year.  Another miracle!  Without them and their willingess to help, Demi would not have a Christmas.  Did I mention that a couple of months ago someone at our school left me 2 bags of groceries in my truck?  Did I mention this same school put 30.00 in my purse 2 weeks ago that I could buy Demi something and put it under the tree from her mom?  Both my sister and I worked with some pretty incredible angels who keep blessing us with miracles which have restored my faith in people.  I have learned that there are people willing to help if we will just let them.  It has been tough because I like doing this for others..the JOY you get from helping others and being kind is beyond anything I can put into words.  It just dawned on me that this is how they must be filling. Full circle moment!

I am looking to make a miracle happen.  I am still trying to find a company to help me make something wonderful happen for my sister and her family in NC.  I want to bring her some JOY this year.  It has been really tough for her and her husband with the loss of his business too.  I can't imagine, I know how tough it has been having one child and they have 7, 6 of which they still support.  Praying that the same charity that has helped her kids have christmas will be there for them again this year so that her children will experience the JOY that all kids should at this time of the year.         

On a side note, my family drove to Chicago on Sunday to be with my nephew this week as he graduates from the Navy bootcamp.  So happy they will be there for Kyle and I know as hard as it is for my brother to show his emotions, that he is proud of his son.  (We grew up in a home where my parents did not show a lot of emotion.  I am sitting here and cannot think of a time that I have ever seen my mom cry except for the year my dad passed and that first year with holidays.)   

Blessed with Faith.....Good Health....Beautiful Daughter....Wonderful Family.....Awesome Friends.....Angels Helping with Christmas......feeling emotions from all sides and praying God will show me what will be best for Demi and I in the days and months to come.   

**Julie, thank you for always stopping in to say hello. It means the world to me and I am praying that you continued to blessed by God and protected this upcoming year.  Hoping your heart will be filled with JOY and wonderful memories with your children friend!!

Happy Holidays and Love from TX,

Monday, December 20, 2010

Miracles in 2010.......

mir·a·cle [ mírrək'l ]

1.act of God: an event that appears to be contrary to the laws of nature and is regarded as an act of God
2. amazing event: an event or action that is amazing, extraordinary, or unexpected
3. marvelous example: something admired as a marvelous creation or example of a particular type of science or skill
Today's blog post on The Brave Girls Club is about miracles.    I have been thinking of the miracles that Demi and I have experienced this year as well as family and friends.  I ran across this quote that sums up how I feel about life and every day miracles.
There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle. Albert Einstein

This Christmas season I hope you will remember the reason we celebrate this holiday and I am including one of my all time favorite song about Mary and her baby boy, Jesus - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A1oHJR2g7Tw
4 years ago I was blessed to have found my skin cancer due to having migraines.  Long story short, I went in to have some tests run to find out what was causing my migraines.  Low and behold, my mom's best friend, my angel saw a spot on my leg which happened to be cancer.  3 surgeries later, cancer removed and gone and no more migraines.  So I do look at every day as a gift and am thankful for life!
Everyday I look at my sweet 10 year old daughter, I am reminded of the miracle of conception and birth.  I am so honored and know it is a miracle to have her and to be her mom.
The Miracle this year has been the meeting of her father's side of the family.  From her summer outing in SA, she now has a relationship with her big sister, younger sister and brother.  She has another wonderful grandma who adores her and an aunt who has always wanted to know now does along with an uncle whom Demi adores.  It's as if she has known them her whole life!  The relationship with her "daddy" as she calls him is beginning with Demi hoping to have more time with him once his wife is on board in her heart and mind.  To know my daughter, you would be amazed at how happy she has always been because we have been loved by many to include my family, our church and our friends/neighbors.  Nothing is by chance and everything has been planned just the way God intended.  Along the way, miracles continue to happen openings many doors along this journey called life.  It is a miracle to see the JOY in her heart.  A joy that has brought many smiles to a mom who loves her dearly.  So today as I sit without her this week, I know she is enjoying her first christmas with them.   I am reminded of the miracle of time and answered prayers.  The last 10 years with her have been amazing and now I get to share her with so many others who love her so much.  
Do you believe in MIRACLES?  I believe God performs miracles all day in our lives, some of which we never see or know about....I get so excited when thinking about how much God loves me/us and so today as I close my post it makes me ask the question:  What can I do tomorrow and this week to create miracles and am I willing to do the little things that make or could make the difference in my life and others that I come across.  I am talking about being deliberate in my acts of kindness and compassion to make the world better.  I pray my daughter's heart, mind and actions will do the same.
Be a MIRACLE, Believe in MIRACLES and Expect MIRACLES!!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Love, Serve and Live with Intention.....

I love SONdays and the true meaning of Christmas!  Tis the season of MIRACLES and for that I am so thankful for each and every day that I am given.  It is a gift that means so much <3

Yesterday's service and the play, The Three Kings was so awesome.  (I saw this same play last year and yet it had so much more meaning this year as does every message each SONday).  It was not about what gifts they brought for their Savior but what God wanted them to give and what each of them had waited a life time to bring....their hearts, their worship and their lives.  It had me thinking today about how I could and want to do all these with intention to fully experience all that God has to offer this holiday season and year to come. I want to build on this year and all that has happened and what has yet to come.

Swithcing gears as I often do.  Today I drove my daughter to her Memaw and on the way got upset with my daughter.  I want to start by saying that although I live with a thankful heart, I still find days and times when I let the little things bother me when I shouldn't.  Why?  I don't know but I know in the big scheme of things that they don't really matter after the fact.  Today Demi forgot to pack her good boots and yet I was really bothered by this?  Then after I got upset, I said to myself does it really matter what shoes she has on?  Initially I was upset because I want her to take some responsibility with her things but after thinking about it realized it was more about what I thought she should look like and what I wanted others to see.  Great shots with pretty clothes, pretty hair and pretty boots.  Really?  If this was my last moment with her is this how I would want her to remember me or our last hour together?  The answer is NO and then the quilt sets in.  I want to do better and really feel bad even going there so now I need her to know that I really could care less if she were barefoot and that I want her to cherish this holiday with her dad's family and to know that I love her no matter what she looks like, what her grades are and all those expectations we have as parents are only because we want them to have and live their best life.  Again,  I hate that I let any day have moments like this and will continue to work to make our life a carefree, happy and loving home where she knows she is loved because she is a child of God and so very special.  My heart knows this but my mind does not always show this in my words and actions.  Sometimes I wonder if I am the only mom who has moments like this and am I the only one is messes up.  Think....Act...Speak....words of love, affirmation and kindness to the one I love the most.  I really do need to lighten up....let her be a kid, let her mess up...let her be with no expectations because I am so blessed to have her and she is always doing her best...afterall most kids want to please adults and their parents with everything they do.  I don't want a perfect child, I want a happy, loving, giving, well rounded child who speaks the same words she sees her mom saying.  Do the things you want your kids to do and say the things you want your kids to say and let them know you are NOT perfect and mess up.  Live the life you want your kids to model!  Great advice but not always easy.  I do think that this can be made easier by having a support group and friends who share similiar values and beliefs. 

Why do women carry the weight of the world on themselves and why do we expect so much from ourselves...why are we so hard on ourselves?  I WILL DO BETTER BECAUSE I KNOW BETTER!!

If you haven't notice with my blog, I blog about life and often use this forum to figure things out in my mind and heart.  It helps to write...to think...to read!

I want to live and be the best Christian, Mom, daughter, aunt, friend, teacher and woman I can be NOW, in this moment and this day.  This very thing can often get lost in going through the motions in the every day because our days are filled with so many things to do.  As I single mom, I start the day running and end the race glad to have had another day.  What did I miss that I could have done better and are there days that go by that I could have gotten more done.  Did my day count for something good and did I make a difference?  Did I do the best I could?

My word for 2010 was BEST.  I love where my journey has taken me and am excited about what God has in store for me in the days, months and year to come.

So as I contemplate my word for 2011, I know I want to live INTENTIONally with a purpose in this moment and this life.  So much to do....HOPES and DREAMS to create and live a life that when is done, God says well done child.   I want to write my bucket list and goals for the upcoming year. I want to get even more excited about life.  I am thankful for everyday but that just isn't enough.  I want to share and live a life with my 10 year old angel that says ANYTHING and EVERYTHING IS POSSIBLE and DREAMS DO COME TRUE...YOU MUST BELIEVE IT.  IT IS NOT WHAT HAS HAPPENED IN THE PAST BUT WHAT YOU MAKE OF WHAT YOU HAVE TODAY.  I honestly feel like we can teach our children valuable life lessons by how we react to our challenges more than ever.  I have never been much for changes but we will loose our home after the first of the year.  At first my pride was hurt, I was upset for letting myself get in this situation but I also know that I can teach my daughter that I will and can bounce back and have a life far better and richer.  A home is not the walls we live in but the love that is on the inside and the memories we create.  It doesn't really matter where we live but how we live and love others and we can do that from anywhere.  Easy, no, but life is not always easy and we will be stronger together for surviving this and for allowing God to open new doors and a new life, one that is even better than we could ever imagine. Sometimes doors need to close in order for God to open other doors and so I say, good bye 2010 and hello 2011.  I am ready to experience the JOY of giving and serving while loving and living the life God intended me to this day and those to come should I be blessed with the gift of life. 

PS - I am on my way to visit some blogs that I enjoy and find uplifting...there are so many wonderful women in this world wanting to make a difference and are living with intention in wanting others to know they are not alone such as Melody Ross at The Brave Girls Club and 29DaysofGiving.  Thank you to you both for opening your lives and stories and for wanting to give back so that others would know it is not our circumstances that define who we are but how we deal with those challenges and struggles.   

Happy Holidays and a Happy Monday to you whereever you are in life....if you are dealing with challenges I hope you know that God loves you and you have a friend here if you need to talk!  A bit of advice and something I love doing...if you will take the time to say one kind thing to someone, do one kind thing for someone else, you will find a bit of happiness that will start to put a sparkle back in your heart  It truly does feel so good to do something for someone else and as I always say you never know when your smile or kind gesture will give someone else the HOPE they sop desparately need to keep going.  It only takes on person to change the world as does one penny.


Sunday, December 5, 2010

What Will Your Christmas Look Like in 2010?

So today in church with our youth, Pastor Blaine asked the kids and leaders what their Christmas would look like.  I thought these were very interesting questions and again it made me think about what Christmas really means and how crazy the holidays have become with Black Friday and sales starting before Thanksgiving.    

1.  What would your centerpiece be at your table? 
2.  Who would be at your table?
3.  What would you serve?
4.  Would you continue or start your family traditions and if so what were your traditions?

I thought these were really great questions and it made me think of a tradition that we do that I didn't mention and it is why we celebrate this holiday and special day, the Birth of Jesus - we sing Happy Birthday to Jesus, candle and all.  Are yours biblical in nature of all about the gifts and shopping?  These questions were to get the kids to think about what is really important during the holidays.  Our faith, family and friends and spending time with them enjoying what gifts we have and should cherish. 

Have you ever thought about the Birth of Jesus, I mean really thought about it?  Where Jesus was born, what He was born in, what He ws kept in, who He was born to and what this miracle really means back then and today.   What will this holiday symbolize in the years to come? 

1.  Born in Bethelem
2.  Born in a barn/manger
3.  Placed and kept in a trough
4.  Born to Mary and Jospeh

I am going to get back to my To Do List this week so that I can get all that I want to do in without forgetting as I sometimes do.  I am excited about this and miss doing the prompt at SIStv that I used to do along with my thankful list which I keep in my Grateful Vase now.  I love this but don't always get them written down like I should or would like to but maybe this prompt will help:-).

Have a magnificant Monday and if you are wanting to fill your cup up you can visit the The Brave Girls Club Blog and also 29 Gifts which is all about giving and doing for 29 days.  I like doing deliberate acts of kindness and that is why I am wanting to get back to my list of things to do.  I love random acts too.  I honestly wish I could do both all day long, I love the feeling it leaves in my heart knowing that I have made someone else's day better.  Most of the time it doesn't take much as you probably know.  Make it great day and live your best life and make it count!!!


Saturday, December 4, 2010

Do You Believe in Santa??

I am sitting here with Demi and her 4 friends from school talking about Santa.  Demi still believes and I always say if you believe then Santa will come. How about you, do you still BELIEVE?  She is telling her friends that Santa is real and that she will always believe.  I wish that she would always believe but I guess that is just not possible.   We are watching Santa Baby 2 and so the story goes here at 844 Edgehill.  I love that she believes and looks forward to what Santa and his helpers will do this year.  Every year they seem to do something fun or crazy in our house. Stay tuned......

So what traditions do you have at this time of the year?  We have several like putting out reindeer food, making a gingerbread house, hanging out stockings, going to see Santa at the mall so she can tell Santa what she wants this year (we did this last night and much to my surprise there was no one in line at 8:30pm, that was a first..so 5 10yr olds sitting on his lap while Santa talked about why kids don't need cell phones and all this high tech stuff...it was so cute!)  This is where the real Santa is so it is a must we go see him here even if we see others around town and then we have our City Tree Lighting.  This year we made it back to the Ft Worth City Tree Lighting and then lastly we always buy a special new ornament to symbolize something special for us this specific year.  We are still trying to decide what it will be...would love to find an ornament with RAK or Random Act of Kindness or maybe even BELIEVE.....Miracles....I am thinking about this as I type.  So I have some fun pictures to put up for the last few years so when I return after the PEE WEE football game and dropping off my Donna Park family of 4 I plan to get some fun photos up. 

Lastly I hope you and yours still believe.  Believe in Miracles and Santa.  I think you are never to old and when I think of my childhood memories of Christmas I smile with the fondest of memories.  My sweet innocent 10 year old has had more fun remembering and telling everyone even complete strangers that Rudolph and his reindeer friends all came in from the snow last year to have hot cocoa and to have a warm bath.  You should have seen our bathroom :-).

EnJOY your SONday, hugs those you love, RAK someone just because and BELIEVE IN MIRACLES this holiday season.   Know you are loved and doing a great job and that the holiday season can and will be the beginning of a new season for you.  Thanks for making my day and stopping in....hope you staying plugged into The Brave Girls Blog and her month of MIRACLES.


Thursday, December 2, 2010

The Gift of Life.......

Today I received some news that just sent chills through me.  A year ago I signed up to be a bone marrow donor.  It has only been a couple of years ago that my sweet 2 yr old nephew was diagnosed with cancer.  As many of you know he is in remission and doing well.  He has a long road to endure as they try to make life better for him daily due to losing his eyesight in one eye and having major light sensitivity which affects him in every way from school lights to being outdoors to enjoy a sunny and nice day.  So my sister invited me to join to become a donor when Devin had to have his bones tested for cancer.  Just within the last 2 weeks I had wondered this  about why I hadn't heard from them and or if I would?  Again I believe this was a whisper from God for this day!   

So this morning I opened my front door and found a package from FedEx.  Yes it was from DKMS Americas stating I was a match for a specific patient.  The letter states that normally happens less than 1 %.  It made me think there could be no greater gift this holiday season then the gift of life.  There is still blood testing to be done and then a physical but I am hopeful that I will be a good match for this 32 year old male with leukemia.

I would love to encourage you today to consider this gift to someone in need.  You can contact me if you are interested in becoming a donor.  There is no cost to become a donor but they do accept donations. Please don't let the cost keep you from doing this or at least thinking about this as maybe one of your RAKs for the month.  They have ways to get around the cost as they look for donors to save lives throughout the world.  All I had to do was a swab through the mail.  That simple!

I hope you had a great Thursday and are taking part in The Brave Girls Club and their push for words of kindness for the holiday season.  We are and are having a blast finding fun ways to perform DACKs.  I love Random Acts of Kindess and Deliberate Acts of Compassion and Kindness.  I love that my 10 year continues to enjoy these acts and putting smiles on the least expecting of people in our lives in one way or the other.  Did I mention she baked 8 dozen cookies to share with many on Day 1?    It was her first try at cooking anything and I can tell you her cookies were good!  Day 2, she shared more cookies with her teachers who are so awesome and I found a couple of ways to share a meal and a conversation with someone I might not have otherwise and a friend who I know can use a break being a single mom while her hubby is in Afghanistan.  It makes me smile just thinking about what I can do tomorrow on a limited budget.  I think that is half the fun and I am always up for a challenge and some fun.   What about you?  Wanna join in and make the world better everyday you are here?  I hope you will think about becoming a donor and also a WOMAN who thinks she can make a difference one lady at a time.

I also wanted to share that I am doing a December daily inspired by Ali Edwards to document our RAKs and DAKs for this month.  It will be a collaboration from Demi and I together to document our journey this holiday season.

Have a wonderful and fun Friday.  I am looking forward to my training for my new position and also to have some 10 year olds here for a slumber party of sorts.  I am looking forward to all the giggles and laughter tomorrow. I also wanted to share a surprise RAK given to me yesterday.  We were invited to photo shoot on Saturday with photos and a DVD. I haven't had a professional photo of Demi and I since 2002.  I am thrilled and so thankful that this family has offered to us this holiday season. 

So in closing, I am always thankful for life and God's continued blessings but am going to try and see how everyday happenings and miracles surround us if we are looking and open to them.  A powerful thought by Melody Ross at www.thebravegirlsbclub.com/blog.  Thanks MR for being so open with your inner thoughts and feelings and for wanting to have a safe place for Brave Girls all around the world to come to for some encouragement and motivation to "live their best lives" by doing simple things everyday.