Archive for the ‘Love’ Category

God is great!!! {Into the Word Wednesday}

If you are reading this you might already know that God is great.  I wanted to share some reasons why today. 

I talked a little about what’s going on in my life here and here.  What I’m ready to mention now is how God’s plan is coming together.  It’s amazing.  I knew He was here.  Meanwhile, I didn’t just sit around waiting for a miracle.  I networked and contacted anyone I knew to find some work which is way out of my comfort zone!

I talked some about one of my biggest dreams in this post.  I am starting to think there might be light at the end of that tunnel. 

In the past week I reached out to an old friend that coordinates elder care and cleanings.  She had an immediate urgent need for a home organizer for a client.  I also received a referral for overnight newborn care from a prior client of mine.  I’ve started both of these jobs already! 

Several months ago I mentioned casually to our family photographer how much I’d love to help her out sometime if she ever needs it.  She already knew how much I’m into photography. We only see her a few times a year for family photos so I can actually be in the pictures.  I’m happy to report I have an official sit-down with her next week to see how I can help her business grow.  Ummm…am I excited about His plan?  You bet! 

He was already working through people I knew.  I had to stepped out of my comfort zone to talk with these people but the seeds were already there. 

I have been actively casting my cares upon Him over the past few months standing in His truth from this verse.  It has already paid off in a huge way. 

How has God shown up in your life lately?  I’d love to hear your story!


–Join my co-hostesses and I this week for Into The Word Wednesday!

Becky at Tales of Beauty for Ashes

Sarah at Fontenot Four

Kelly at The Houtz House Party

Falen at Upward Not Inward

Kelly at Exceptionalistic (looks like you found me!)

Into the Word Wednesday blog hop rules (if you wouldn’t mind!):

1. Link up about something you are learning this week.

2. Follow all hostesses via GFC or Google +.

3. Grab a button to put on your blog – the more the merrier! Check out our sweet new button…

Tales of Beauty for Ashes

4. Check out (and comment) other people’s blogs to bless them today!

If you enjoyed this post, say thanks by sharing it!

Peaceful Passage by Kim West Ph.D. {book review}

I started out not really wanting to review this book.  In fact, I didn’t choose it for several weeks.  I thought back to a time when I watched 3 of my grandparents pass and didn’t want to relive that.  Then of course the realistic side of me wrestled the emotional side and won. 

I know there are some of you going through this right now.  Helping a family member come to the realization they are dying is no easy task.  I knew I needed to read this book.  

I am so happy I did.  This book could have been so helpful over the past 6 years.  I was in my late 20′s and still had all of my grandparents.  I can’t think of a single friend that could say that at the time.  I was so blessed to have them for so long. Pregnant with my first child, I watched my grandmother pass from cancer.  She went to be with the Lord about a month before I became a parent. 

I wish I had this book back then.  It would have drastically changed my attitude.  I was pregnant, emotional and frustrated that she didn’t want to do anything to sustain her life.  I wanted her here to at least meet her first great-grandchild.  Selfish, I know.  I was angry at her, angry at God and angry at myself for feeling this way. 

Kim West’s book Peaceful Passage walks you through losing someone close to you.  It’s not only a helpful tool, it’s also a journal of your loved one’s wishes.

Kim has thought of everything that needs to be done and how to do it.  Unfortunately she knows this because she has gone through it first hand. Her beautiful mother Helen was dying. 

She walks us through the journey, emotions, finances and planning.  She includes guidelines for partnering with Hospice which honestly even the word scared me at first.  We went through Hospice with all three of my grandparents over the past six years.  Hearing the word often makes you think instantly of death.  Yes, that is the end outcome but Kim explains that there are levels of Hospice care. 

I wish my mom and I had known this all those years ago.  Having this book back then would have been such a blessing.  We would have less regrets about that time than we do.  We were exhausted, overwhelmed, frantic, and scared.  All of these emotions and more are explored in this book. 

I understand that death can be a part of life that we rarely care to think about.  Until it happens to someone close to you, you may think you don’t need this book.  I must disagree with you on that point.  I am so happy I have this book for future reference.  I wish I had it sooner but better late than never.  It’s a small price to pay to have Kim West walk us through a rough time in our life.  It’s worth the investment now so we can enjoy those final days a little less chaotically. 

About the Author:

Kim West holds a PhD in Clinical Pastoral Counseling and a M.Div. in Counseling and Family, but when her own mother became ill with terminal cancer she found that she had no hands-on knowledge of how to take care of her.

As a counselor she knew to journal her own experience to help her process her grief at losing her mother and she knew how to help her mother finish her life well and be prepared for the life to come. But the day-to-day of taking care of her mother as she died would require learning a whole new set of caring skills. And learn she did.

After completing her own journey with her mother she knew she had to help others who would travel this same path. Peaceful Passage is a merging of her years of counseling experience and the new skills she learned caring for her mother combined with her heart to help and to heal.

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Growing Great Kids by Kate Battistelli {book review}

I must start by saying if you love your children you need this book.  I know, I know.  That is a bold statement.  I mean if you truly love and would give anything for your child to achieve his dream, you need this book as a resource. 

I received this book to review and I am so happy I did!  If not, with all the great books out there I may never have found it.  I’ll give you a second to put it on your to-buy list!

I love to read. It’s a passion of mine. There is something about holding a book, turning a page and getting lost in a story.  Since becoming a mom the reading has taken a backseat.  There just doesn’t seem to be as much time in the day to sit down with a glass of tea and good book.  I have to squeeze in a chapter here, a page there throughout an already busy day.

Kate Battistelli must have known this about me!  Her book Growing Great Kids is an easy read but stuffed to the brim and full of examples she and her husband have experienced while raising her daughter.  Each chapter walks us through several common issues when raising children.  A few of my favorite chapters include:

  • The Power of a Parent’s Words
  • When Your Ceiling Becomes Their Floor
  • Prayer, The Essential Ingredient
  • Timing Is Everything

One specific thing I really needed to hear from her is that our parenting manual is the Bible.  This is so simple yet so powerful.  How often have you wished the hospital had sent home directions on what to do with that new bundle of joy? 

I believe this book is an essential resource to be used in addition to the Bible.  I was really impressed by the additional information that was included. I had expected to read the story of her life as a parent and was pleasantly surprised that each chapter ended with ‘questions to think about’ and a prayer. 

Oh, the prayers!  I was so encouraged by them that I wrote them out on cards to use during our nightly family prayers.  Below is one of my favorites.

Lord, as You’ve helped me to see the gifts residing in my child, please show me practical ways I can make his gifting shine!  Give me the financial resources to provide the fuel for my child’s dreams. Help me to learn everything I can about the things he is passionate about and to provide the good soil his gifts need in which to grow and develop.  Above all, let me be an enthusiastic voice of encouragement to him to help him face any fears and overcome whatever obstacles may come.

I am not required to provide a stellar review but I am impressed with this book.  Some books are a nice read and that it the end of it. It either collects dust or ends up in the giveaway pile.  This is not one of those books. I have highlighted and dogeared my copy already.  As the mother of toddlers I have a feeling this book may be in shreds by the time those kids are off and married!!

You can learn more about Kate Battistelli on her website, Facebook or Twitter.  She also offers discounted autographed copies here which would make for a great gift for a new parent!  I plan to buy a few for Christmas gifts.

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B = Broken {All About Me}

This one is emotional for me.  A large portion of this story has been left out. I’m not yet ready to share it.

I chose broken because I feel like my body let me down.   It didn’t work as it should have.  I was healthy and in fairly good shape each time.  I’ve never broken a bone.  I’ve never had a long-term illness.  No high cholesterol, no high blood pressure, no issue really of any kind. 

Yet each time I got pregnant there were issues.  Big issues.  Enough to knock me off my feet and make me wonder why this had to happen. 

I don’t mean to complain or compare but it can be difficult. 

I hear stories all the time about kids being hurt, killed or neglected.  Several stories of people having more and more children they don’t want or can’t afford. 

All I ever wanted to be was a mom.  I was significantly older when I finally had a sibling so I grew up caring for him.  Learning how to be a mom and care for a baby was well developed before I had my own.

I love being a mom.  I think daily about how I can encourage my little sweetlings to live their dreams.

Don’t get me wrong. I love my sweet babies.  I love them more than anything in this world.  I wouldn’t trade them for the world…

but it still hurts that we aren’t able to have any more.  I’m disappointed in my body because I feel it has let me down.  Even though my husband has said he’s happy with our life the way it is I still feel as though I’ve let him down.

I’m slowly getting over this but it still hurts.  I’m always happy to hear when a friend is newly expecting but there is still a twinge of hurt.

This story does have a happy ending.  We have two beautiful babies of our own and the possibility of surrogacy or adoption in the future.

Each day I thank God for what I have.  I’m so thankful my babies are here.  I promise to enjoy them to the fullest and love them with my whole heart.

None of this compares to those that have never had their own.  I know how blessed I am to have what I have.  I pray for those that so desperately want a child.  There is always a rougher story but this is mine.  I’m working my way through it!

Join up with us next week with Love Kate for the All About Me A-Z challenge. 

If you enjoyed this post, say thanks by sharing it!

Into the Word Wednesday {What it means to be free}

It’s the freedom of our country, the freedom of our people, freedom to be anything we want to be, to own a business if we so choose, to live where we’d like, raise our children as we wish…

I went searching through the word this week looking for verses about freedom.  This verse really stood out to me.

You will soon see that the title of this isn’t even really what this ends up being at all.  Freedom and Independence Day is what I wanted to post about yet I was led in a very, very different direction.

We are called to be free.  It is our right to be free.

Now I don’t know the bible by heart.  I know some verses of course but I’m no biblical scholar.  I’m working my way through learning more right now as I’m a work in progress. I didn’t know the next verse would change my entire post.  I didn’t know that the next verse would be blog post changing.

I hadn’t planned on talking about this at all but here we go….

Love your neighbor as yourself, love your neighbor as yourself, love your neighbor as yourself.  These words keep resonating in my mind.  Have I been loving my neighbors?  Have I taken the time to get to know people, help others, show my compassion?

I really haven’t.  I’ve been so wrapped up in my own despair, my own worries the past year or so I haven’t done much for anyone else.  Of course I’m still a wife and mom but there are many more ‘neighbors’ in my life.

However He has opened my eyes to see that in all this I was already loving my neighbors and they were loving me back.  I just found this verse only just last night yet in the past eight weeks I’ve been changing.  Looking outside myself.  Really seeing how I can be a blessing for another.  I didn’t realize I was doing it.  I’m not mentioning it here to brag about it.  I want to share so you too can see how you may in fact be changing even when you don’t see it!

I’m mentioning it because in the past eight weeks a TON has happened yet I was too worried about other things to see it happening!

  • I met an extraordinary group of ladies through my Good Morning Girls bible study group. Praying for them has been really eye-opening. They do not live in close proximity to me at all but I feel as we’re growing as close as neighbors.  I’m loving them from afar.
  • I made several new friends that do live near me and I’m slowly becoming close with them.  What I find interesting is that even though I’m struggling with my own issues each of these ladies is battling something much more dire in their lives.  I believe they were brought into my life to show me that things could be much worse.  It doesn’t belittle anything my family is battling but it is showing me that if I can muster up half of the strength these ladies have then I’ll be okay!!
  • I’ve started this blog, learned a lot about myself, grown by leaps and bounds.  Made a ton of new blogger friends that have shown me that there is no reason to be afraid of making friends, online or in real life.  Each one has been helpful and sweet in their own way.

So on this Independence Day in 2012…how have you loved your neighbor today?  Have you been doing it all along but were too overwhelmed to see it?  I would absolutely love to hear about it.  It’s amazing what we see when we free our eyes and heart to really ‘see’.


–Join my co-hostesses and I this week for Into The Word Wednesday!

Becky at Tales of Beauty for Ashes

Sarah at Fontenot Four

Falen at Upward Not Inward

Kelly at Exceptionalistic (looks like you found me!)

Into the Word Wednesday blog hop rules (if you wouldn’t mind!):

1. Link up about something you are learning this week.

2. Follow all hostesses via GFC.

3. Grab a button to put on your blog – the more the merrier!  Check out our sweet new button…

Tales of Beauty for Ashes

4. Check out (and comment) other people’s blogs to bless them today!

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