A calm heart …

The past two weeks I have tackled some pretty big projects that had been weighing heavily on my mind. Some I had started quite a while ago and had control over. I decided that I definitely didn’t want to have them looming over my head going into the holidays so they got checked off of my list first. But there was one project that I started about a year ago and I really couldn’t finish it until this month. This was a DOOZY of a project that had to be gone over monthly to be accurate. And my heart was tied closely to all of it. What it is really isn’t important, it’s the outcome that was going to be had. Peace of mind. And it’s PRICELESS. I have learned that if something gives you peace of mind, you should probably do it. It might take a few seconds or it might take a year, maybe even YEARS, but it will be worth it in the end. I’m happy to say that my year long project was completed late this morning. I cried when it was done. It definitely didn’t happen over night, but relief washed over me like a blanket and that beautiful sense of peace followed shortly thereafter. Somethings aren’t worth your time. But finding peace and doing things that give you peace certainly are.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you have a calm heart!!!

Peace and quiet …

I think I write more about Sunday mornings than any other day or time of the week. They are my favorite. Somehow, they always start off quietly. It honestly shocks me every week. This house, despite only having Libs and Reese here on the regular now, gets LOUD and BUSY. There is music and activity, clatter and energy. There is our familiar busyness of gathering (our STUFF) and going (to who knows where). Stillness here is RARE. This house is truly alive. And when everyone is home, it’s down right electric. But on Sunday morning, seemingly without fail, it sleeps. And it’s wonderful.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you can enjoy some peace and quiet!!!

Filled with joy …

I wake up pretty happy on most days. I am definitely that person who has a reset button that allows me to feel renewed each morning. It helps that I have always allowed myself to be inspired by each and every pleasant thing that comes my way. Not just the BIG stuff that stops me in my tracks. I mean anything that brings a touch of beauty, a moment of laughter or a sense of peace to my life. It doesn’t matter how little or how silly that they may seem to others. I appreciate ALL of it. This practice keeps my day filled with good. Even on tough days. Learning to smile at and be grateful for those tiny treasures is a gift. You have to work at it though. And have a heart for it. But it’s worth it. So. So. Worth it!

Well, I hope you all have a day filled with JOY!!!

Wedding bells …

One of my best friends from high school is getting married today! I am so happy for her and her husband to be. Honestly, there is a special kind of peace that you feel knowing that someone you love dearly has found true love. It’s beautiful and my heart is full of joy for them! I simply can’t wait to see them live happily ever after together.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you hear wedding bells!!!

Live and love unapologetically …

It is a gift to enjoy who you really are. It is a blessing to have confidence in the path that you have chosen for yourself and to trust the decisions that you make along the way. To be able to like yourself, even after looking into the mirror AND knowing the feelings that you house in your soul, is absolutely peace-giving. It is freeing to love yourself and others unconditionally. And to no longer feel the need to give excuses and to live genuinely in your truth is about as good as life gets.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you live and love your life unapologetically!!!

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!!!

FEELING all the beautiful memories …

It was a quiet morning here. VERY quiet. And I needed it. No one was up early … but me, of course. I knew that would translate into a lot of rushing later but I didn’t care. My kids needed sleep. MY GOSH THEY NEEDED SLEEP. And I needed my moment of holiday calm. I am thankful that each year between parties and performances and late nights and early mornings, I find some time for myself that doesn’t include running shoes, sweat and swearing. This is time I usually find in front of our Christmas tree, under an overly decorated holiday blanket and sipping a seasonal coffee. ALONE. It’s wonderful. It’s needed. It’s what brings the anticipation of Christmas full circle for me. Somewhere between the first sip of my coffee and sunrise a sense of Christmas peace washes over me. I love it. Some years it comes early in the season. Other years, the opportunity comes later. But I don’t ever force it or schedule it. For some reason, I’ve been blessed to have it always come naturally. God is good. He gives me this time when He knows I need it and when I will appreciate it most. It’s honestly a gift.

But this morning was different than years past. Perhaps it’s my age beginning to squeak it’s way into my little tradition. Usually I lose myself in the “calm before the (holiday) storm”, admiring our tree, enjoying my coffee and thankful for the stillness. I guess I did do all of that, but when I looked at our tree I didn’t see a Christmas tree filled with memories. I FELT a Christmas tree filled with memories. What I saw was far greater than just a “decorated” tree … what I saw was a tree that held my family’s history. Ornaments that represented our journey together. I saw marriages, births, deaths, travel, change, laughter, traditions, joy and love! AND I FELT ALL OF IT. I didn’t just see, I FELT. No, this is not merely a Christmas tree we have sitting in our family room. It is some of my most precious life moments celebrated in one very special place … a tree, placed in our home, celebrating our Savior’s birth, who gracefully and graciously gave us the opportunities to share all of those moments together.

The sun rose and bodies started moving. Doors opened and “Good Morning” greetings were spoken. The silence of my little tradition was broken. It is over until next year. And that is OK. I will greet the opportunity, again, like a long lost friend. But this year I will wonder what changed. How did my heart FEEL more clearly the memories held on our tree? Perhaps I will never know. But I do know that I walked away from this experience differently than I usually do. I am more grateful and I am a whole lot more humble. Life is so precious. THIS I KNOW. And this morning I FEEL IT.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you FEEL all your beautiful memories!!!

A hand to hold …

As of yesterday afternoon my world finally calmed down. Yay! It’s honestly been a whirlwind. A wave of relaxation literally washed over me after my last meeting yesterday. Last night I realized that I’ve been so busy that I hadn’t really even given much thought to my favorite holiday fast approaching. Even after decorating, confirming with George when he would head home and after booking Sid’s flight it still hadn’t hit me. Talk about distracted!

I had big plans today. Plans to nurture myself. THIS is so important. Seriously, we all need to do more of it. But that’s a topic for another day. My day started early with a wonderful carefree run. I prayed. I thought about Thanksgiving. I thought about how blessed we are and how thankful I am. And then it hit me! ALL of my babies will be home. SOON. I was instantly overcome with emotions. I have not been with all four of my kids at the same time since early August. That’s a first. Again, I don’t like it but I wouldn’t want it any other way. They are off living their lives and becoming who they are meant to be. It’s beautiful.

The picture I posted with this blog is quite a few years old but it’s one of my favorites. I’d be lying if I said that I don’t miss those days. I do. They were days when we were all a bit younger and life wasn’t pulling us in so many different directions. I’m not one to want to turn back time, but I do like to look back. It makes me appreciate our togetherness even more now. I love our family history and the memories that we have made. They are, after all, what paved the way to what is our now. Again, it is beautiful. I know that our NOW might not look like our THEN but it still takes my breath away. These incredible souls are my WHY. I am blessed to be their mom. So so so blessed. And I am grateful that regardless of how much time passes or the distance between them, that they will always have each other to walk through life with. As an only child I wanted this for them. No. I needed this for them. And knowing that they have each other fills this mama’s heart with immeasurable peace and joy.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you have a hand to hold!!!