Embrace Your Imperfections

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I pray that each of you sweet souls embrace your imperfections with open arms. Accept your jagged edges, your messy mistakes, be filled with grace, speak kindly to and about yourself, view your body as a work of art, gently pick yourself up when you fall, release perfection and allow your imperfections to tell a story that is beautifully and perfectly your own.

Morning Walk Musings…

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I’m always enchanted by the trees during my morning walk. Especially, now as fall begins to settle in, I’m left in complete awe of how the leaves change slightly every day, how they shed off the tree and go through their own metamorphosis. The season forces the trees to change, however it doesn’t change their structure. Regardless, whether it is a gentle autumn breeze or a brutal winter wind that forces it to stand bare and naked, its stature remains. Today, gazing up at the tip-top of the tree with the clouds bearing in behind, I thought about the similarities between us and trees.  In some seasons we are full, abounding with fruit, colorful, and beautiful to look at, and then there are those difficult seasons. We all know those seasons well, where we stand vulnerable, stripped of our protection, and fragile as the coldness of life sweeps over us. But, we are still standing. We may not be the prettiest to gaze upon, but there is still beauty in our steadfastness, our nakedness, and our truth. The clouds may surround us but we’re still reaching for the top. There is exquisiteness in both our fruitful and barren seasons, if we stay standing, keep reaching, and believe in the roots that keeps us grounded in our faith that God will see us through.

When Normal Doesn’t Fit Any Longer…

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Lately I find myself feeling that stir in my belly. No, it isn’t from a late snack! It’s that deep sense I feel when I know that something is about to change. It’s like you know you are on the cusp of something that will catapult you into a different chapter in your life. Part of me is excited and another part is kind of anxious. The anxiousness isn’t from fear it stems from the required risk it takes to jump outside of my normal. Honestly my normal  doesn’t feel quite so comfortable any longer. It reminds me of an old tattered sweater that I loved but is full of holes and is ready to be set aside. I’m emotionally attached to it, but it just doesn’t fit. I believe we go through times in our life when our normal suddenly feels constricting and we intentionally or unintentionally start to push against it and make the jump outside of the box, sometimes we’re pushed and sometimes we just free fall.

The ‘normal’ box.. holds us, confines us, that is until we decide that normal doesn’t serve us any longer. When normal is suffocating the flow of creativity or is hindering  us from our purpose than it’s time to say goodbye to normal and step outside the box. I’m slowly beginning to say my goodbyes to the limitations that the ‘normal box’ has placed on me. I no longer desire to live a normal life.. to simply exist. Instead I’m yearning to live a life that honors what God has created me for and there’s no room for me to reside in the normal box any longer (I’m being evicted). I won’t give ‘normal’ a bad rap because it has served me, kept me safe and gave me stability when I needed it most so I will honor my normal box and bid adieu to it without any regrets, yet at 42 I’ve learned when it’s time to leave the party.

I’ve made the decision to acknowledge the stir in my belly and to create the life that I’m aligned with because…well there is no other way. Doing what doesn’t feel right is taking my breath away, its no longer an option. It’s amazing the opportunities that come when you stop ignoring the stir and instead sit with it, listen to it and not be afraid to follow what you feel in your deepest places. Living a life less ordinary takes courage, but the rewards are great. The biggest reward is loving yourself enough to know that you deserve to live an extraordinary life and then trusting and believing in yourself to break out of the box to walk in your truth.

 

The Little Moments With Our Kids Is What Makes Motherhood So Big!

The one lesson that motherhood has taught me is that it is the small gestures that mean the most. It is those little moments of love that matter more than anything else. Sometimes in our daily exhaustion that comes with all the big things we have to do we find the little things hard to do, even impossible. But, I always find that if I muster up the energy its the little things that create memories and put the biggest smile on my daughter’s face. Its the little things that give me the biggest, “I love you’s and hugs and kisses. Even when I feel like I can’t play dolls one more time or bake that batch of cookies at 7 pm that I never should have promised in the morning when my coffee had kicked in and my energy level was on high, if I just do it, I always heap blessings in the mom department.

It is so easy to let those big things in life take away the joy from the smaller moments. The quiet moments that we can’t get back, but will wish for years down the road. Sometimes we have to push the big things aside,  so we get to experience what being a mom is really about which is the privilege of being present with our children.

Tonight when my daughter begged me to go outside in the freezing wintry weather to make snow angels, I tried my best to turn her attention to something else. I’m not a cold weather kind of gal. But, I looked at her face drop with every excuse and knew it was a moment that she wanted to have with me and so after putting on 20 layers of clothing we went outside. After awhile the numbness in my fingers subsided as I saw her face light up as we made snow angels and snow castles. In the midst of it she gave me a kiss and said, “I love you mom,” ahh and that is the joy that makes it all worth it. So never pass up the little moments…seek them, embrace them and remember this is what makes motherhood so big!

That smile does it for me all the time!

That smile does it for me all the time!

Stepping Outside the Box for 42!

I hope everyone is enjoying some sun! I know we are here in MD. I’ve been working on the porch to soak up all the rays I can. Sorry I haven’t written in a bit. It’s been busy around here. I can’t believe it is almost mid April, which means my birthday is 6 days away! I will be 42, how is that possible? No worries though you won’t hear me complaining about my age. In fact I look forward to becoming older, I want to be a seasoned woman LOL! No really though every year is a blessing and I find myself thanking God every day for my health and for just being able to experience life. So what’s happening on the cusp of my 42nd year? Well, I’m stepping out of the box… trying new things, exploring new relationships, and not doubting myself.

So, let’s start with exploring new relationships. You know I never talk about dating or guys, yeah, I know I just don’t, because I really never meet anyone and I’m not that interested in dating. But, ok I’ll share… I met someone. When our trip got cancelled to San Francisco I met a really nice guy at the hotel we were stuck at that night. He lives in another state, so we’ve just been texting and talking, but I like him. I’ll just leave it at this…I’m open to the possibility. That’s a good step right?

New things! I love crafting which is something I found out about myself a couple years ago. I also obviously love words, so I created some cards that I’m going to attempt to sell. I love combining the creativity and the words together, it is very cathartic. Take a look and tell me what you think and if you are interested in them please let me know! Who knows what will happen with this but why not try right?

Also, I really enjoy doing my broadcasts. You may have heard a couple of them, one was, “Why Bringing Your Kid to Church Matters,” and “The Single Mom Survival Tips.” I like to talk! So, I’m going to try to do a few a week. I would love to do them every morning, but we’ll see if I can be disciplined enough to do get up! So look for more of those broadcasts.

Lastly, I’m going to be more willing to take risks and put myself out there even if I fall on my face. A very sweet friend of mine from church asked me to fill in for her during our Ladies Bible Study class. At first I was going to write her back when I got the request and say are you crazy? LOL but then I prayed about it and I thought about how God gives us opportunities and maybe this was an opportunity to learn something about myself and to explore something I never tried. There is a dvd for 30 minutes so I don’t have to much time to fill in, but I’m really enjoying preparing and sharing with my fellow sisters in Christ.

So 42 I’m ready for you! I’m going for it! I’m going to try new things, be vulnerable, maybe succeed, maybe fall on my face and enjoy the journey! Hope you guys follow along :)

Hello 2014… Let’s Get it Started, Stop Slacking and Make it Happen!!

I’ve reflected on 2013 and have to say it wasn’t a bad year it was actually a good year. So many new things happened to us. We moved to a new house, Anya started a new school, I started a new job that allows me to work at home, I’ve been active at my church and Anya’s school, had great parties for Anya, plus I had opportunities from Grace Hill Media to review movies and interview the very sweet Pattie Mallette (Justin Bieber’s mom), became an affiliate with Bouqs, was in the top 25 single parenting blogs for Circle of Moms, and just found out that Earnest Parenting is listing me as one of their top picks for single parenting blogs!! Yes, 2013 didn’t treat me to shabbily. Of course there were challenges and heartbreaks, but it wasn’t bad. So what do I want to do in 2014??? Take a look…

Send out my book proposal again.

 
 
I have published over 938 blog posts and that doesn’t include the articles I wrote for Moms of Faith and Inspired Women Magazine along with a few other publications! That is a lot of words I have put out into cyber world and I’ve enjoyed writing every post. I love to write it is my passion! Writing is what I want to pursue as a career. Sure working from home is great and I am grateful for my job, but I want to actively do work that my heart is in, I want to touch people with words and share stories. In 2014 I want to get serious about trying to get my book published and maybe a few eBooks. I have a wealth of articles to pull from so why am I not doing it? Why am I not pursuing what I am sure is God’s purpose for me? There is no good reason! I don’t want to wake up complacent I want to wake up and say, “God work through me, let me be your instrument!” That is how I want to begin each morning.
 
Post my creative endeavors in my Etsy Shop
 
 
If you follow my blog you know I love a DIY! I can’t begin to express the joy I get in creating little lovely things! So I want to be more proactive in putting my creative endeavors in my Etsy Shop. It will mostly be goody bags, but we’ll see!
 
Read the Bible in a year
 
 
Ah, I love the scriptures. I want to really dive in and get a deeper knowledge of the word.
 
Record my favorite scriptures for Anya
 
 
I often speak about passing on a spiritual legacy to Anya. One of the ways I want to do this is recording my favorite scriptures and putting in a little note after. I started, but have waned so I want to continue this little love letter to my sweet girl.
 
 I’m keeping my other goals simple:
 
  • Get to the gym at least 2x a week or more
  • Continue to strengthen my relationship with God
  • Be attentive and present for Anya
  • Learn how to make Miso soup and sushi
  • Take a multi vitamin a day
  • Host a housewarming party for my dear friend
  • Send more handwritten cards
  • Create more order in my life and home
  • Host more gatherings
  • Start a magazine for single moms of faith (wouldn’t this be great!)
  • Be more patient
  • Continue to carve out time every day for bible and prayer
  • Volunteer more
  • Rest and play more
  • Write at least 4 posts a week
  • Be a better bunny parent
  • Take more road trips
  • Read one book a month and do a review
  • Save money and pay off some debt
  • Clean my car!
  • Plant a small garden
  • Be outdoors more
  • Smile and be more lighthearted!
Life is good isn’t it! Everyday s an opportunity to fulfill our dreams we just simply have to take the steps to make it happen.
 

 
 
 
 

No Distractions Just Actions!

Distractions…I’m guilty of becoming easily distracted. I don’t mean to, but it happens. It goes hand in hand with procrastination, matter of fact they are good friends. My distractions become a catalyst to my procrastination. It is my achilles heel. I think of all the awesome ideas I’ve had in the past my 41 years of life and how many of those ideas I’ve actually followed through on and it is rather quite depressing. I found out today that a childhood friend passed away, he was in his 40’s and last year a friend also my age passed away unexpectedly, and I’m once again reminded of the brevity of life. When my mom told me Jamal passed away I felt sad and it triggered my get it in gear button. I wholeheartly believe that God has a full life predestined for us regardless of the number of years we are on this earth. If we use the time we have with godly intention then our age is just a number what matters is how we decide to utilize the moments we’re given.

We all have distinct spiritual gifts. Each one of us has the ability to offer something that only we can extend in the body of Christ. I have to ask myself, am I offering it? There are areas of my life that I’m confident in, for example my most important role in life is being a mom. I know how to love my daughter the way she needs to be loved. I am intentional and purposeful about motherhood. Do I fall short sometimes? Of course, but I give it my all. Where I get distracted is the work I need to be doing for the Lord’s kingdom.

I know when I get distracted in doing God’s work I am cheating myself and others from my spiritual gifts. I have periods where I know I’m doing exactly what God wants me to, then something happens. It is either a distraction or some type of obstacle that I allow to take me off my predestined path. Sometimes it is fear of failure. Although the only real failure is never trying at all. I think about how much I could have accomplished if I would’ve stayed focused and grounded and it hurts my heart! I want to live and give to the fullest and I know it will take prayer and intention, but I’m ready.

In my ripe age of 41 I’m more and more aware that the time is not TOMORROW it is TODAY! Because truthfully tomorrow may not come. I’ve seen the miraculous things that God can do and the opportunities he can bring into fruition to keep you in line with his will. One example in my life is when God connected me with an author who read my blog and gave me the privilege of writing in her book, The Global Orphan Crisis published by Moody Publishers! How random is that? It isn’t random it is God’s hand at work! He can make your wildest dreams come true! Take a chance!!Sadly, I think too many of us never realize our full potential in Christ, because of life’s distractions, our own procrastination and fear. You know the enemy loves when you live in fear, right? That is his way of keeping you separated from God’s work for you. So many of us have gifts that are just bursting inside of us struggling to get out and we keep fighting to keep them safely tucked away.

My prayer today is that all of you wonderful extraordinary readers unleash your spiritual gifts. I hope give of yourself in wild abandon without fear, but with an openness to share your authentic self. You are meant to live a life of abundance and excellence! When you realize this God will swing open the doors. He will put people in touch with you, he will remove your anxiety and fill you with confidence that comes from him. So today my challenge to you is this… Pray on your purpose and ask God to lead you to his will and then ACT ON IT!! Act on one thing today. Maybe it is creating a draft of a business plan, or writing an article and submitting it to a publication, or maybe it is sharing your love for Christ whatever it is take the CHANCE! Don’t become distracted, kick out procrastination, and remember you are on this earth for an appointed time to accomplish his will for you, what are you waiting for?

Just One.. And That’s Okay

So it is that time of year again when my daughter spends 3 nonconsecutive weeks with her dad in the summer. It is that time of year again when I fall into a bit of a funk. It isn’t because I feel she shouldn’t spend that time with her dad, she absolutely should and I want her to have a wonderful, meaningful and memorable time. The reason I fall into a funk is that it never feels normal for me not to have Anya especially for a long stretch. It reminds me that regardless of how we make the situation work for us, or how my relationship with her dad has improved it is still difficult. So tonight after actually seeing Anya because her dad was stuck in traffic so I picked her up from camp and sat with her until he came, I was sad. Sad because I already miss her. I hope you all don’t think I’m selfish because I’m not I just miss my kid! I love her beyond expression! But, I know others lover her too and I would never not want her to spend time with her dad. So with all that said I decided to lift my spirits and try a new tapas restaurant in my neighborhood. Nothing like tasty food to lift a funk.. or is that called emotional eating LOL. In any case…

I walk into the restaurant and host says to me, ” Is it only one, is it just you?” I said , “yes it is only me.” As I walked to the table the waiter’s words kept repeating in my head. I thought about my reply when I said yes it was only me. Why did I say only me? And why is it when one person goes out to eat it is ‘just one’? Like one person shouldn’t take up a table or something! While contemplating this another waiter came and said, “It is just you, right maam’ no one else is coming are they?” I said, “no one else is coming.” Ok first he called me maam and then like he knew that I hadn’t dated in umpteen years he says, “no one else is coming are they?” For a brief second I felt bad for the curly haired girl with the white skirt and navy blue shirt on (ahem.. me) In my head I had a quick pity party. Here I was 41 alone, child gone, not a prospect in sight, at dinner surrounded by couples, how did that happen! Years ago I used to date! I was one of those couples gazing across the table darn it. Many moons ago I was not a ‘just one.

I caught my reflection in the mirror and suddenly had a flashback of being in London at a restaurant, (only me) and thinking how intoxicating it was to be free to explore and just be with me. There was no one to answer to and I could do with the day whatever I wished to do with it. Then I remembered how much I actually do love being alone. I was always the girl who loved exploring a new city or country by herself, who relished in eating a fancy dinner out alone, and enjoyed catching a flick with just me and my popcorn. It was JUST ME and I enjoyed JUST ME I like being an only one.

I realized tonight that Anya is with her dad during these weeks it is my opportunity to be with JUST ME and that is a good thing no matter how much I miss her. Spending time with yourself and being completely comfortable with just you is a gift. So although I miss my sweet girl, I am going to be okay with ONLY ONE and remember that JUST ME is enough, matter of fact JUST ME is quite lovely to hang out.

P.S. Anya sent me a message from her Ipad to tell me she loved me, it made my night! I still miss her like crazy!

My Yummy Dinner

No dinner is complete without dessert