Far away …

Today my son George officially found out that he will be studying abroad his next school year. He will be heading to Germany, and he will be leaving sometime this summer and he will be returning in late Spring 2020. When he sent me a copy of his acceptance letter I literally stopped and wept. My son’s dream came true. And it’s absolutely beautiful. As much as I struggle with the changes that have come with having adult children and the directions we have all been pulled, I can’t help but feel overjoyed. I am so incredibly thankful for the opportunities that have come George’s way. He has worked hard and he has persevered and God has blessed him abundantly. I know that at some point the distance and the time apart will hit me like a ton of bricks. But for now, I’m just going to be happy for my son and grateful that he is living the life that he’s dreamed of.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you get to go FAR AWAY!!!

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Celebrate EXTRA …

Happy World Down Syndrome Day everyone!

March 21 was designated as a global day of awareness that has been officially observed by the United Nations since 2012. This date was chosen to represent the triplication of the 21st chromosome (3/21) found in individuals with Down Syndrome. As you all know, my daughter Reese has Down Syndrome and she is the most amazing human being that I know. She is strong, smart and beautiful. Anyone who knows Reese will say that she makes the world a lighter and brighter place. Seriously you guys, she is THE BEST. I am truly blessed that God chose me to be her mom!

Well, I hope you all have a day where you celebrate EXTRA!!!

An unexpected God gift …

Last night, after a very long and very exciting day (I’ll explain why in a later blog), I somehow got Reese into bed early. This is good because she has her hernia repair surgery tomorrow and I want her going into it as strong as possible. Sleep is so important leading up to something like this and it will be a huge part of how her little body will recover after. But, I guess her mama’s body was needing that sleep too.

Last night I laid down with Reese. We said her prayers and snuggled. And I don’t remember another thing after that. I woke up three hours later, thinking I had just dozed off. Talk about completely disorienting! I thought for sure I would never fall back to sleep. I was wrong. I slept for almost another 7 hours! WOW! With as conscientious as I am about my health, I am often amazed at how much I fail to see what my body really needs. Tomorrow will be long and stressful so I am glad that today I feel great and ready to tackle anything. And I am once again thankful for God’s hand in helping me be at at my best for Reese. As a mom, I just keep going, often times piling more on my plate than I have room for. I’m grateful that God sees this. And despite the piles of unfolded laundry and the dirty dishes in the sink, God knew it was more important to give me rest than it was to give me more time in my day to complete chores. He is awesome that way.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you receive an unexpected gift from God!!!

The heart of the matter …

I am a self-professed self-nurturing advocate. Yet, there are so many parts of me that seem to get neglected. Ugh. But isn’t that a truth for ALL OF US?!?! Despite knowing how important it is to take care of ourselves and to feed our souls, life and responsibilities (and some people) make us feel that those parts of us aren’t a priority. I am not sure of how that seductive process works, but it definitely sneaks it’s way into my daily routine. Even at my age (will I ever learn?), I know that I personally need to be more aware of this and how it can greatly effect my peace of mind and overall happiness.

When I look back on the young girl that I was in junior high, those genuine deep-rooted parts of me have not changed. I absolutely love that about myself too. I am and have always been a God-seeker, a family-lover, a rescuer, a writer, a foodie and a fitness junky! Those are the parts of me that aren’t going anywhere. They are the God-infused characteristics that have stuck with me for a lifetime. And I know that if I want to continue to be the best version of myself, so that I can be everything I need to be and want to be for the people that I love, then I really need to make sure that I nurture those special parts of me. After all, if God gave me all those passions, then I guess it’s part of His plan for me. And THAT is always a good thing.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you get back to the heart of the matter!!!

Rise …

My chores were done yesterday. I got a good night of sleep. I woke to beautiful blue skies. And EVERYONE here is healthy. If that doesn’t motivate me, nothing will. My mood has lifted. After last week, I feel renewed. Restored. Ready. I am grateful to be worry-free. Well, at least for the moment. This kind of energy feels INCREDIBLE after the despair I felt last week. It was dark. I felt our skies agreed. We had more rain falling than I had seen in years. I honestly felt like I was in a pit deep with fear. When your child is sick you feel so helpless. And that feels horrible. But Reese is fine now. GOD IS SO GOOD. And I have climbed out of that hole. I am back standing in the light. And I am THANKFUL. So, so THANKFUL.

During yoga this morning, I stretched my body taller and reached high into the sky so that I could physically take in as much of this day as I could. I have taken so many deep breathes today. In relief and to absorb this easiness of this day into my soul. I don’t want to waste one moment of how I feel. The weightlessness of this day is a gift and I will treat it as such. I choose to be present. To balance. To enjoy. To serve others. To love. To chase my dreams. And to bravely wear my purpose. To me, THIS is living my best life with all that God has given me. I don’t have to, I want to. I choose embrace this day and to be open to all that it brings me.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you rise!!!

Life changing …

Recently I made some very scary decisions for myself. Trust me when I say that I STRUGGLED making them. I was literally paralyzed with fear. I found that doing nothing differently was WAY less scary than the changes I actually wanted to make. But I did it anyway. Quietly. Privately. Painfully. I took a leap of faith and guess what? IT ALL TURNED OUT EXACTLY AS I HAD HOPED! There is still a lot UNKNOWN for me but I’ve made peace with all of that trusting that I did the right thing. I honestly feel too good and too confident not to have peace!

So what did I do? Strangely, the details of my decisions aren’t that important. They would be laughable to some. Trivial to others. But they are HUGE to me. We all know that our demons haunt us differently. It is our feelings of fear that we can best relate to. So just know that I was REALLY SCARED. I know that we ALL know how that feels! But what is important to know is that I listened to myself. I listened to my gut, my heart, my intuition, my hunch, my WHATEVER you want to call it and I trusted God that everything was going to turn out for the better. And even if it didn’t, I trusted that I would survive. How many times do we IGNORE that part of ourselves that tells us to MOVE, to DO, to ACT? I know I do A LOT. But it’s times like these that I realize that those feelings are VALUABLE and REAL. And that I probably should listen to them more.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you decide something life changing!!!

Authentic …

In 2016 I survived. BARELY. In 2017 I recovered. THANKFULLY. And in 2018 I lived. HAPPILY. I feel like I loved and found peace and contentment in every moment that I was given this year. I felt joy and found happiness even on my toughest days. And for some reason this came easier than it ever has. I let go of A LOT. Sometimes maybe more than I should have. But I make no apologies. It’s what felt right in the moment that I was sitting in. Sure there are things that I wish I could change and things that I wish I had done differently, but for the most part, 2018 was exactly what I needed it to be. It was life, my life, unfolding and evolving in the most normal of ways. I needed a year like this. BIG TIME. And I am grateful that God blessed me with it. As each day passed I tried to cherish each moment as a treasured gift. I think I did a pretty good job of that. I took each situation and circumstance for what they were and stayed in the moment. I was PRESENT feeling my way through and learning what I could. It was not a year full of change or movement or victories, but it certainly was a year that was packed full of wonderful memories. Memories that were made with some incredible souls. There is no doubt that 2018 was a good year for me.

So what then, can I expect from 2019? The last few days of 2018 I spent a lot of time trying to come up with my New Year Mantra. I have done this for so many years now that it should be easy. But it never is. I really put a lot of thought into it because this one word will follow me for the next 365 days. It is a reminder of what I choose to accept and bring into my life. Last year I chose the word “Free” and I can’t tell you how accurate that became. In 2018 I allowed myself to be freely me and I loved it. Even the messy parts. I didn’t push too hard to grow. I didn’t push too hard to succeed. I didn’t cling to or reach for much of anything. I was just grateful to have the moments God felt I needed. I guess years like this come when you overcome some ugly things. Well, at least it did for me. And again, it felt right.

I remember after my mom passed away, I asked God for some time to JUST BE. I didn’t want to grow or change or mature or be anymore than what I was. Basically I asked for a life break! But it wasn’t what I wanted long term. I just wanted enough time to allow what happened to me to sink in so that I could move gracefully into my future. And He graciously let me have it.

I feel like that was what 2018 was for me. A break. A time when I got back to the basics of ME and nurtured the NEW me that I became after being sick again. This me is different for sure. But I wouldn’t necessarily say it came from growth. It is more along the lines of acceptance. In a good way. Like finding peace over things that I cannot or won’t change. Being content with less. Processing more. Seeing situations clearer. Thinking harder. Appreciating more. And loving deeper in every day that passed and in every experience I had. And never wanting more.

So after a year like 2018, what one word could possibly hold the meaning to all I want 2019? I absolutely loved everything about 2018 but I believe that it’s time to feed the passions that God has poured into me. Again. To do this I need to feed my soul with beautiful things and avoid toxicity as much as possible. I need to make sure that the people who I walk through this life with and the people who I choose to expose myself to are genuine, kind and live with good intentions. I want reciprocal and loving connections with humans who are REAL. I truly feel that God has been calling me for more and to accept less from others could hinder my reply to His calling. To deny the fire that He has placed in my heart would be innately wrong. I see it as squandering the days that I have been given and living disingenuously. But this is a tough one for me. Putting myself out there again, taking chances, setting goals, and chasing dreams is especially difficult coming out of the year I just had. I was comfortable and safe. But I cannot deny that God is moving me to live my truth. Oh boy, is He ever! So I guess I just have to trust Him and know that I’m ready for whatever my future holds. I need to believe that I am capable of whatever He places on my heart and I need to live faithfully, genuinely, passionately and bravely in their pursuit.

Well, I hope you all have a YEAR where you live authentically!!!