Thursday, September 26, 2013

Words that spoke to me...

There are many things in life that just aren't easy. Parenting is one of them! Along with loving difficult people.  The following words spoke to me, reminding me to be patient and loving, along with giving thanks for having the honor to raise children.

By Mary Southerland (

"Have you noticed that sandpaper people are usually needy people? I have discovered that irritating behavior is often nothing more than a plea for help in disguise. True love - God’s love - looks beyond abrasive behavior to see and meet the real needs of a difficult person.

Meeting a need in the life of a sandpaper person can be messy and usually demands a sacrifice of some kind on our part. It is easier to simply placate or avoid difficult people than it is to love them the way they need to be loved. It makes our life easier. For example, when we see that sandpaper person coming, we turn around and head in the opposite direction. When the caller ID identifies our sandpaper person as the caller, we do not answer. Hurried conversations replace a listening heart. We offer tolerance instead of acceptance. And God is not pleased. He is committed to our character - not to our comfort.

God wants us to love each other in the same way that He loves – unconditionally. In fact, God wants us to love in such a way that the people around us will know we are fully devoted followers of Christ. I wonder what our relationships would look like if we did. Who knows? That sandpaper person may very well turn into a velvet person."

I've been blessed with 4 kids --- a set of twin daughters who are 20, a son that's14, and an 11 year old daughter.  My husband is crazy enough to want to add more kids to the bunch... bless his heart.  He has a pretty big one (I am lucky!!).  So, as I continue to accept the reality of adding more to the clan, with a teen and pre-teen already in tow, I will just keep remembering that I am able.  Parenting is not for the faint hearted... well, effective parenting anyway.

The picture reminds me just how precious we all really are --- everyone just wants to be loved and accepted.  So, I am committed to doing my part, as a parent and able-minded human on this Earth, until I am called Home.

Amen <3

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Be Bold. Embrace Change...

Feeling the need to let some thoughts flow...

First, I've partnered with a wonderful new business venture that includes helping people look their best.  ( Gaining confidence and embracing aging (because we can't stop the clock people).  For the really bold people in my life - I'd love to partner up with them to help them fulfill goals they have. Whether it is confidence in something new, extra money for fun things, expanding their network, or just have some influence on the lives of others.   

It has taken me time to fully embrace my recent life transitions.  In the past 2 years...I decided to become a student again (lifetime, right?).  I chose to do the hard work of healing past hurts.  I married my very handsome best friend (and 5th grade crush).  I became a full time Momma.  I reluctantly decided I did not want to continue pursuing my high tech sales career.  I humbly and faithfully made the decision to stay at home and care for my family.

During this journey, I have felt discouraged and encouraged.  Many of my friends could not understand why I would choose not to work.  I mean really, I do reside in the Bay Area known as Silicon Valley, and it is quite expensive to boot.  I've always been part of the hustle and bustle.  I had chosen to know no other way... until I finally got quiet.  Sat still.  Just listened.  (Oh, and for those that know me - I cannot believe I closed down the internet browser at 12:20 am on 9/20/13 and chose not to purchase the iPhone 5s.  What is happening??! lol)

That is when it finally hit me.  I am passionate about people, not things.  Mainly, women and children, but I had this overwhelming desire to love people, walk by people, and encourage them in their journey.  To have a servant hood mindset.  To seek out what is most important to them and encourage them to pursue it.  To help them put fear into its proper place.   Gently remind them fear should ignite the fire (passion) to follow their hearts desire. Desire is placed in our hearts for a reason.  Generally, fear paralyzes us from doing anything about it.  So, I have boldly decided I won't sit around waiting for life to happen.  I intend to make it happen.  For me.  For my family.  For those lives I encounter on my journey. 

I am excited to be part of change. To encourage and lovingly walk by people who want to help themselves live bold, live loud, and live with intention. Live with Truth.  I'll accept all the no's to get to those yes' that want to be bold.  To live a life that they can say "Ahh, I may not have a million in the bank, but wow I am rich in love and in blessings!" It's how I feel when I see people light up about their transformation of mind, body, and Spirit.  I had no idea it would lead me to this moment... helping people look their best one day at a time.

Choosing to invest in myself and others is a huge blessing for me.  When we feel good about our appearance we just generally have the over all confidence to tackle the world --- accept the adversity with less fear, fight for what we're passionate about, understand that others needs love and encouragement, and to know that each day we have touched someone's life in a positive way. Even if its just to say 'Hey, I am thinking about you.  Praying for you.'  It is my prayer that my new venture will allow me to give back to what is important to me.  Helping women (and men) be confident in who they are.  Understanding and accepting they are wonderful as they are. Come as you are.  Grow.  Learn.  To be fearless as they invest in themselves to achieve whatever dreams or goals they have -- big or seemingly small.  We deserve it.  We are all beautiful.

Amen! <3

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

James 1:2-4...

Integrity.  (Ethically)

What does it mean?
Defined as adherence to moral and ethical principles; soundness of moral character; honesty.
I would also say, as would others, it is the things you do when no one is watching.  It is the truth of your heart - it's the consistency of choosing the right path, regardless of the painful or isolating outcome of the integral choice made.

I have the great honor and privilege to be married to my best buddy, Jeff.  He is far from perfect, but he has been a wonderful example of what choosing Integrity looks like.  He has chosen at times to take the hard path to redemption, but he has allowed God to work all things for good according to His purpose/plan.   

Jeff chooses humility when it comes to his soldiering days.  He does not often speak about the experience.  However, as I continue to do life with him, and while I know I have been his greatest challenge and blessing (all rolled into one passionate pretty package).   I think about how God has built Jeff's character in the past few years.  Bending him to the point of broken.  Letting him fall so far that most people would crumble.  The words of his Colonel (below) put so much perspective into how I believe Integrity just seems to no longer matter to most people anymore.

"First, I submit that my opinion in this regard should be heeded. I spent almost three decades soldiering in three armies for two different countries and in three different wars. I know men, and I know battle. In addition to this experience, and far more significant in my mind, is the fact that my wife of 33 years and I have raised a son to honorable manhood in spite of the modern condition. Finally, I have been successful in business, and, presently, as a Special Education teacher of children with intellectual disabilities.

Without reservation, I testify to you now that Jeffrey Sinclair was the most heroic and honorable of all the 900+ soldiers under my command during the deployment of my Air Assault Infantry Task Force during Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2005. With the clarity of hindsight and in-depth retrospection, I deem his actions in combat, day in and day out, and the impossibly bitter, no-win dilemmas he faced and invariably overcame with honor, more than qualify him for this claim.

His personal courage is something I never questioned, and, to be frank—given  the business in which we were engaged—physical bravery was such a given, so universally displayed, I held it to be among the most mundane of virtues. What it is that makes Jeff the hero of heroes among my soldiers is his moral courage. His rectitude in this regard was on daily display, but his actions in one particular instance forever guarantees his place in my heart as a righteous being.

Suffice it to say, without any impetus than his own heart, he chose the hard, right over the overwhelmingly, seductively easy wrong. Jeff did the right thing at the right time where simple inaction would have allowed him to sail along unscathed. I don’t mean to be cryptic, but I see no purpose in providing details. Jeff’s heroic and selfless actions at what was the very pinnacle moment of my unit’s combat tour, saved the honor of the unit. His sense of right and wrong was a true and unwavering beacon that directly caused my vast and far flung organization to survive with its collective soul intact.

Many soldiers act out of a sense of reward. They fantasize about medals and honors bestowed by higher echelons of power and prestige. This is beneficial as it motivates the common man to acts of goodness. Jeff’s motivation comes wholly from within. Jeff’s reward for his many outstanding accomplishments and particularly for his single, sublime act was ostracism and worse from the venial, base, and rotten many that served with us. Yet, true to his nature, he soldiered on; he bore the burdens, he daily placed himself in harm’s way...he did his duty until the deployment, mercifully came to an end."  Col. F.

Those words remind me how amazing people can be in the face of adversity.  It challenges me to continually search my heart and mind.  Not to live up to the standards of what people think I should do or be.  Not to live according to how others may or may not think of me.  To live according to what I know is my Truth, my Journey.  The journey won't always be easy, but without a shadow of doubt, I know the right choice is the best choice.  Recognizing I am not living to please others.  I want to please my Father above.  (Jeff, thank you for doing the very hard right thing!  Your service to this country is a blessing to me and so many others who will never know what a true hero you are! I love you!) 

So, at times when I don't feel like doing the "right" thing.  Or being loving towards those I really just don't want to love -- I'll do it anyway because I want to be a woman of Integrity.  A woman of Love.  Oh, I get to be angry at injustice, but all it's doing it is motivating me to do better.  Be intentional. Be a more compassionate woman:

A Wife.  A Mom.  A Daughter.  A Sister.  A Friend...

Ephesians 4:32

Thank you to those who will hold me accountable and love me through this journey... all my love

Amen <3

Monday, September 9, 2013

Love my path...

Oops, it's been a minute since I've written.  I have been pretty busy lately --- embracing my role as Wife and Mom and everything else... <3 (love it!)

Recently, I was chatting with a couple of friends who reminded me that walking the unknown does not have to be scary or dark.  It can be as amazing as this photo above... the path is clear, it's wide, and it's beautiful with many adventures ahead.  There will be moments of calm.  There will be moment to climb.  The light shines on the dark.

We can always makes excuses why we don't keep moving forward, but when the path is laid out so clearly - just embrace it.  Don't fight it. Step by step - you can make it.  Encourage yourself.  Be encouraged by others.  Press forward.  God walks by and with you and sends amazing people and situations to grow us, bend us, teach us.  There is no such thing as failure, just experiences and lessons... Grow.  Stretch.  Reach!

Amen <3

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Thoughts to paper.... (or this blog site)

I was reminded again today  -- get those feelings and thoughts out there --- put it down on paper.  

...finding my words again...

As I continue my journey towards Love, I came across the following written by Sharon Jaynes.  It spoke to me, so I am sharing it...

John Eldredge, in his book Wild at Heart, describes three longings that lie at the heart of every man: a battle to fight, a beauty to rescue, an adventure to live. He also ventures to say that women have three longings of the heart as well: to be fought for, to share in an adventure, and to have her beauty unveiled.
“Not to conjure,” Eldredge explains, “but to unveil.

A woman was and is one of God’s most magnificent creations. As a matter of fact, she was His grand finale. After He fashioned Eve, creation was complete and He took a rest! God has placed in our hearts a love for beauty and a desire to be beautiful – as He defines it.

Like an artist who sees the finished work in his mind’s eye, God saw your unformed substance and then began to fashion you from head to toe. He made no mistakes but planned each detail of your being. You do not need to compare yourself to other works of art, but thank the Artist for how He chose to create the masterpiece called…you.

Often I forget how precious I am.  I am wanted.  I was uniquely designed to learn authentic Love and share the abudance of His overflowing Love.  I am loved.  I am beautiful.  So are you!!

The picture is that of one of dearest friends weddings -- it reminds me to be honest, to love, to continue to remove the veil and uncover the beauty from within.  It starts with forgiveness on many levels... I am blessed! 



Saturday, June 8, 2013


Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant
 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 
Love never ends. (1 Cor. 13:4-8)

Today my husband married our lovely friends. I am so blessed to have such a wonderfully passionate man of God. 

Wishing love and peace always to Matt and Carrie. <3

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Remember to love yourself too...

In order to give love, you must receive love.

Impatience imprisons our soul.  Choose Patience.

Choose kindness.

Love is patient.

I love You!

We love, because He first loved us (1 John 4:19)

Amen <3

Tuesday, April 9, 2013


Love is patient!  What!?  Oh wow -- :) the first word spoken about love.  Sadly, I must admit that I often fall short with patience.  I hate sitting at stop lights,  sitting in traffic, waiting at DMV, and more recently waiting to have my home transformed into new.  Being displaced from all my comforts has proven to be a challenge and a blessing.  I've seen a side of my husband I already knew was there, but this has confirmed his ability to exude patience and the love he has towards me.  It creates a desire to want to respond the same way, and causes me to reflect deeper and apologize faster, when I throw a tantrum/fall short :(

When I think of patience - I also think about how we are often asked to wait for things that are to come.  Whether it is love, a relationship, a new car, a new job, etc.  More often than not we are asked to be still and listen, but we can't so we create noise with staying busy, working too much, going out,  never allowing the small voice of God to just speak. 

So I challenge you to take 5 to 10 minutes a day and just be still.  Focus on your breath alone.  Then focus on the blessings of just being alive.  Give thanks for all things! Find joy and peace in the unknowns.  There is a plan.  Be patient.  You don't have to prove yourself.  You're enough. 

Amen <3

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Peace for me...

Thankful for each moment in my life.

Thankful that I am free.

Thankful my sins and burdens were laid at the cross.

Have a blessed day!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Learning love...

As I sit and think about love and what that means to me.  The question that comes to mind is "Have I been stubbornly resistant to really embracing it because I have been afraid of/to change?"  (recently had to answer this ?)

The answer is yes.

I believe all of us desire to be loved and accepted.  Except most of us don't really know what that means and more importantly how to react, respond, give, or receive love.  Society has told us it's about what you have and the titles to which you hold, how many letter are behind your name to be accepted and loved.  Parents may have taught us the measurement system, if you reach your goals or whatever measure they have laid upon you, then you've "succeeded" (thankfully, my parents were not this way).  What happens when you don't reach or hit those goals?  Or even worse, you do.  Yet still you are not "good enough?!"  What has happened to our society to make us feel like love or acceptance is so unattainable?  As I reflect more upon this, I realize if society, peer, and parental pressures were not enough - well, then we (ourselves) get involved. Whoa, aren't we our worst critics??

Going back to answering the question above:  Yes, I have been stubbornly resistant to truly embrace love because of my flawed thinking and misconceptions I've had about love.  In the past, I tried to seek love by doing more and being better and being good.  Trying to please everyone, but forgetting myself along the way.  Seeking acceptance by doing more.  Which then led to resentment and anger because I would fail... now at 37 realizing that much of my past thinking was flawed.  I would not say it was "wrong" because to say that would discredit the life experience I gained in my failures and adversity.  So, now I am choosing to let go of my stubborn patterns and choose to love with all of me.  Every part, the good and bad, the ugly and beautiful.  I will choose to remain open, honest, and authentic. 

Has your past been holding you back from your fullest potential to love and be loved??  If so, maybe it's time to examine the old and make room for the new... <3


Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Reach for the sky...

Today, I am taking a moment to sit in silence and send my love to all those who need comfort and peace!

This photo reminds me that the sky is the limit - so reach for the stars.  Let the light guide you. 
Remembering the very precious gift of life and how each moment truly is a blessing.  May you choose to make each moment count!  Don't stay parked idle too long...

Amen! <3

Monday, March 4, 2013

Letting it go...

It's been a huge challenge to learn to lay down control and my past that burdened me.  Every time I have said yes to myself (flesh), I have taken away/cheated God from blessing me.

As I continue my 40 day fast of not consuming any liquor, I've noticed that I've been able to really connect with God and people on a level that may not have been possible with a substance on board.  There have been periods of my life where I was just consumed with "not feeling" or "avoiding."  At the time it felt so much easier than actually addressing the core problems of the heart.  It has caused more heartache and pain to numb than to just actually understand and heal from those past choices I made, or that were placed upon me of no choice of my own.  Literally, taking a sober assessment of my life.

Taken in Rome, Italy
What I do know is that I don't have to carry around the past pain and I can lay it at the cross.  I know that by believing and knowing He always has my best interest at heart, I can walk through the fear and overcome it with Him.  My faith has grown tremendously over the past year.  I've always believed but now I can see just how much I am loved and cared for by the Almighty.  It's not because I am weak, it's because I know without a doubt that I can do all things through Him.  If left up to me, I'd remain stuck, just as I had been for 35 years.  I made the conscious choice to choose to live by Faith.  I, Mindi, will stumble at times, but I know that I have a great Leader and team mates who will encourage me to get up again and lay all my burdens at the cross.  Giving the credit where its due, God.  I am not perfect.  Sadly, I mess up a lot.  However, I strive towards humility each day.  I am thankful to everyone who helps keep me focused on my path towards Love. 

Amen! <3

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Learning to rise above...

"A beautiful flower begins it's life in the dirt. - Rise, baby, rise!" 6Elements Consulting & Coaching

A very good friend of mine got me thinking the other day about the above quote (check her out, she rocks!!!) ... it challenged me to think about the various trials and choices in my life that could have kept me "stuck" or "moving forward!"  It has not been easy to clean out the dirt in my life, but it has beyond worth it. 

I am choosing to look at each situation that I encounter in my life with humility.  Whoa, huge!  It's not easy to look at oneself and say, err oops - I think I've got a pride issue!?  Isn't it just so easy to shift the blame on the situation or a person? 

For far too long, I walked around with a "victim" attitude.  I felt I deserved to behave certain ways (poorly, might I add) because I had been hurt by various people and trials in my life.  It was as if I gave myself a free pass to misbehave.  Of course, now looking back I wish I had listened to the mentors placed in my life, and had taken a "square" path, it certainly would have caused less pain to overcome today.  Our choices today not only impact the now, but also the future.  It's been a humbling, painful, yet freeing lesson to learn.  I feel blessed to be able to walk with some incredible women that can be transparent about where they came from, where they are going, and the dirty moments that got them to rise above.  

Keep digging up the dirt because it can produce such great beauty when you allow the Healer to clean that mess up... <3  Whoot!


Thursday, February 21, 2013

Which fork at the road...???

Sometimes it's just hard to know.
Let go. Let God!
Just be there.
Choose light.
Thankful for my Roo <3
Breath.... Pray!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Embracing Light...

That's what I say over and over to myself, to God, to others...

Life has its moments of sadness, unhappy, unfair, ugly, just down right awful times... but they are just that... MOMENTS!  I encourage you when you are in that unhappy "moment" - choose Love.  Choose to find the one thing to be thankful for.  When you are thankful, you can't be ungrateful. 

So challenge yourself to just choose an attitude of gratitude... the dark won't last long, if you choose to lean and embrace the light.  Ask what am I to learn from this seemingly dark moment?

I send you the love that is within me...
I hug you with all that I am...
We are not broken.  We are growing.  Choose growth.  Let there be light... <3

Find the rock/solid foundation that will hold you up.  It's exactly why I look up! (to Him)


Thursday, February 14, 2013

Thankful for love...

Some of my greatest teachers pictured below, not all by ANY stretch of the means, but I did want to take a time out to shout out to some of my favorite Loves.  Just to say Thank you!

Not all the choices I made were they fans of, but they loved me past my selfish ways.  Sometimes the path to learning to be selfless hurts those we love the most.  So for those who are not pictured here - You are STILL very much loved by me and you know who YOU are.  Thank you for loving me past my shortcoming and encouraging me to grow in a heart like His <3

Two of my favorite little love bugs! These two teach me the value of Love and patience.  It's my desire to be a better woman... I am trying you two. I am a work in process! You two have my heart always.  
I love you!

Thank you for encouraging me to grow to be a better stepmom all around.  It's been such a blessing to be part of your life... the best gift in the destruction of divorce.  I love you two!

Thank you to the Godly man of my life... Thank you for accepting me as I am.  I desire to be a better wife every single day, not because of you, but because of Him.  For always treating me a Queen!  Encouraging The Warrior Princess that I am... <3  Each day we will grow together and that excites me beyond words... I love you!

It is my prayer that you embrace the love that is around you... take a moment and pause and give thanks for the things you do have, instead of focusing on what you "think" you are missing!  I bet you are not and YOU are enough... <3


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Beauty from dirt...

Isaiah 61:3 states, “To console those who mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness (feelings of depression/despair) that they may be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.”

Learning to finally over-come past sexual abuse has been the hardest journey I have taken in my 37 years of life.  Even the experience didn't seem so difficult at the time.  Struggling with letting go of emotions such as shame, guilt, fear, and trust has been hard.  I used to think, "how can I trust a God, whom I felt was not there for me in the hardest of time? " Yet, looking back now, He is the one who protected me, held me, cherished me through evil acts of mankind.  The one who kept me prisoner to those feelings was the devil (the enemy of mankind/the deceiver).  He fed my mind with feelings of dirty and unworthy, not God.  (Genesis 50:20 - But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive.)

The questions I ask myself now are:
What can I do with the experiences (painful/life-changing) I've gone through to show His Love & Grace? (Forgiveness)
How can my suffering be used to draw closer to Him and let people know about who God is? (Character)
How can I be used to let others know they are not victims but loved by an ever loving Creator? (Serving)
Show me how to share my story with others and find Light after dark...  (Being authentic and transparent)

Believing and absolutely knowing that His good has come out of my pain, confirms Hope of a new future.  A future of Love, Mercy, and Grace. 

I am not defined by my past, nor am I prisoner to the evil acts of others.  I refuse a future filled with anger, hate, mistrust, shame, or guilt.  I choose love, forgiveness, hope, and restoration. I don't blame God for the evil of man, because He gave mankind the choice of free-will.  I do choose forgiveness because it frees my heart and allows me to truly love myself and others.  Forgiveness does not mean I condone the behavior, but it means I don't have to bear the burden.  I am free because He died on the cross to save us (all) from sin, even those who may not deserve it. (Salvation) (Matthew 6:14-15)

Do any of us deserve it?  Not so much... but I believe forgiving someone when they least deserve it allows me to be free, not a victim, and no longer stuck as a prisoner of shame or guilt!  I don't have to blame, I just have to claim (Him!!) Grace in abudance. It has been offered to me, therefore, I must offer it to others.  I'll never be perfect, but I will find perfect peace in Him and within the Truth given me. 

So for those who have asked how did I just forgive?  I chose it.  I took an active step to understand the process of healing the past.  I let go and Let God.  I could not carry the burden any longer, nor was it ever mine to carry to begin with.   Is life perfect? NO!  However, I am taking the difficult steps to lay it at the cross.  Apologizing to those who got hurt along the way because I didn't deal with painful past.  I shall stand idle no more!  Following the "light"(er) path...


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Embracing risk...

Why do we play it safe with Love?  I think it's because we want to avoid hurt and pain.  If it doesn't happen the way we envision it, we are left to feel disappointed and hurt.  Pouty with arms crossed saying, "No, I won't do this again!"

On the flip side, if we don't take a risk and just love --- isn't it possible we will stay stuck, or worse not grow?  Without pain, how can you experience Joy? 

There have been so many times that I could have justifiably said that is it, No More Love.  I could have put all my walls up (because I am good at that) and shut out Love as I know it today.  Until one day I finally got it... I thought that's it... I am just going to be open.  Take a risk. 

First, I had to know who I am and what I am about.  I had to know what my intentions were and be intentional.  I had to know what I would accept and what was a deal breaker.  Once I could speak this truth to myself, it allowed God to work in ways I never thought possible.  He brought me my imperfectly perfect (for me) Husband.  Who loves me, accepts me, challenges me, and grows me into the woman I am to become.  Is it easy? No way!  However, it's worth it.  The pain of the past has shown me Grace and Joy like I never knew possible.  I am forever grateful for this journey of Love. 

So embrace risk and just Love!  Don't stay stuck.  Be intentional.  
There is beauty and growth in the unknown!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

My legacy of life...

The light at the end of the tunnel...

I do not pretend that I know much of anything, but I do profess that I want to learn as much as I can about Love, and how I can selflessly serve others.  It starts by choosing humility with those in my close circle and the people beyond them.  It is my desire for my legacy to be a "Woman who Loved with all of her heart."  <3  Deeply, authentically, passionately.

What do I do when I start to head down a path that may be dark or selfish?
I pray. I seek guidance from those I trust and love.  I uncomfortably get still, wait, and listen. 

Maya Angelou said it so well:
“While I know myself as a creation of God, I am also obligated to realize and remember that everyone else and everything else are also God's creation.” 

I am not special, but I am loved.  
I am nothing, unless I have Him and love.
We are all equal and deserve compassion, empathy, and love.  

In the journey of learning love, I am discovering what I stand for, what my foundation of life is built upon, and how I can serve others by lessons I've been taught, all the while healing within.  

There is a light at the end of the tunnel, but you must be willing to walk the harder path and do the work. I will continue to do my work... I have decided to do it, and I will do it! My journey.  You can too.  Never give up.  Never give in.  Choose humility.  It most certainly helps me achieve love...


Saturday, February 9, 2013

Two are better than one...

What better feeling is it to have someone or more than one in your corner/by your side?  The circle of family/friends who won't give up on you, who cheer you on, believe in you, encourage you, and love you, even when you least deserve it.  No greater gift of love, is someone who would lay down their life for a friend.  In return, I must offer the same gift I am given.

When I feel like giving up.... my circle encourages me to keep dreaming.  If I stop dreaming, I stop living.  I will choose to live.

When I feel like the situation is hopeless... my circle reminds me to put my hope in God, and to keep preserving through the stormy times, because that is where growth can occur.  I will choose to cling to hope.

When I feel like the road is too long and the cliffs feel too steep... my circle carries me, holds me, loves me through it.  I choose to keep going forward and looking up to Him.  No need to go backwards.  I take the painful lessons I have endured, and choose to apply them to the road less traveled.  I will choose to encourage others and in that He will sustain and teach me.  I will choose to be teachable. 

When it feels like I am alone... my God is always there.  It is enough for me. I am given what I need at the time I need it. I am blessed in knowing I am never alone.  I know life is unfair, but I choose to accept that.  I will choose to take each moment and bless it.  Giving thanks for the good and the bad moments.  1 Thessalonians 5:18

Most of all I am thankful that my circle of love accepts me as I am.  Challenges me to be a better person. Encourages me to grow at my pace.  I also must apologize and say sorry to hose I have hurt along the way, when choosing to be in a self centered space.  I don't want to do this journey alone, and I am thankful that I have such amazing people in my life.   Thank you for continuing to hold me up and keep me accountable...


Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Heart check...

Today, I am checking on my heart.  Listening to it beat.  Allowing it to move towards Love in all aspects of my life:  marriage, motherhood, daughter, sister, friend, cousin, etc.  Asking myself, am I choosing to live in a space of Love? 

More often than I care to admit, I allow my mind to be overwhelmed with "life" and I forget what Love is.  At times I forget our differences make us unique and worthy.  It's said until we can believe that we are fearfully and wonderfully made, then how can we accept and love others, if we can't accept and love ourselves.  So, today my heart and mind will choose to embrace the differences and Love anyway.  Love does not need to push its agenda, but be open and flexible (within reason).  Love allows mistakes to happen, so growth can occur.  Love them anyway!  Oh, I will love YOU anyway.  Thank you for always loving me... offering Grace.

"Love doesn’t envy, it doesn’t boast, it isn’t proud, and it doesn’t keep a record of wrongs." - Cor. 13

As the below song states (see attached link)
"Broke Your heart a thousand times
But You've never left my side
You have always been here
For me
You never let me go"

Keep me focused and aligned!

I will choose this daily! Amen <3

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

House or Home?

Always such a great question and a tough one to really argue in today's world and culture.

*Artwork by Amanda Bentley (step daughter and teacher of Love for me)
From my perspective, at least here in the Bay Area, it's a hustle and bustle, gain more, think only of myself.  Ahh, at times it can be too much. The message too confusing.  The self fulfilling message that is pushed upon us daily through media and in general feels like I can never have enough, am not enough, or can't see enough.  No, thank you.  I choose being humbled instead. 

Recently, I've had the blessing to help be part of raising another child.  He is a wonderful, lively, intelligent, 13 year old young man.  If he had his way, he might define himself as a gamer, but this Step-mom is to mean to let him sit hours upon hours playing "fake" life.  In my home, I choose to teach him about "real" life.

So, I ask what does that even look like? I believe a house is something we live in.  A home is where we can share our deepest thoughts, laugh together, cry together, be authentic and real, open and honest.  In the moments of heated passion, it can also be a learning lesson for our son.  My husband and I don't try and hide the fact that we are two Godly, yet passionate, and deep, rooted in Love indivudals.  We work hard at playing in the sandbox fairly (I am sure I could improve at not throwing so much sand).  We accept each other for our differences and embrace that we have our own creative and crazy minds.  We both strive to be open and honest with our son.  Teaching him that life is a series of lessons and the wisest learn their lessons from others.  Why re-invent the wheel? Honestly, if that path one of us took burned; why take that stinking path?  Trust me, the fun doesn't outweigh the pain. #truth

For a moment I asked, can I do this again?  Now I know, I can do all things through Him, who has created me.  So, today I will choose to be the best step-mom I can be.  Flaws and all. I will choose to let go of pride, ego, and envy.  I'll make this choice daily. Being confident in knowing, in spite of my many weaknesses, He can work powerful changes and teachings (lessons) through me.   Amen!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Being still...

For too many years it was impossible (so I thought) to sit still.  To just be okay with my thoughts and feelings.  It's as if I had to constantly stimulate my mind and choose busyness, to avoid thinking about choices made, hurts endured, and owning any consequences of my choices.

Sometimes we just need to be "knocked down" to "sit down!"

Resting. Relaxing.  Letting my body heal itself...
 Cruel day for me:  No voice (laryngitis) 

Thankful to just sit and be still with my thoughts and blessings that are all around me.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Stepping into the unknown...

Oh... the path looks so rugged and hard to walk on... but, oh there is peace and joy on the other side!
Promise! <3

It's why I really believe we must take the road together --- not walk the path alone.  Two are better than one.  Often the other may see a path that is less painful or just a more peaceful path to walk upon in the storm.  If anything at all, there are there with you, helping ease the pain.

I consider it a true honor to be blessed with amazing people within my circle, and even more joyful when it leads to "God" sent gifts outside of my circle.  I choose to believe that everyone is put in our path for a reason, a purpose.  To teach me.  To guide me.  To help me.  To challenge me.  And many to love me beyond what I even deserve.  Today, I am thankful for the rugged path that has led me to so many lovely and loving paths/people... Amen.  #Blessed

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Roots on solid foundation...

Why do I fight the inevitable?

I didn't always plant my roots on a solid foundation... in fact, for the past 35 years, I've made my own way through a slippery slope of crazy.  While at times it was very fun and seemed like a wonderful adventure... it also brought a lot of unnecessary heartache and distress.  As I continue to move towards a path of forgiveness and Love, I find that's not always an easy road.  In fact, most people ignore it, pretend it doesn't exist, booze it down, drown it away with busyness, etc.  Yes, I did for so long.  No more -- no pretending or running away from anything.  I will choose to continue to face all the fears.  With my roots planted firmly on solid ground, I can do anything with Him, who is in me.

When I struggle with choosing obedience (not having control, which I like) I am thankful I have wonderful women there to remind me that I don't have control anyway.  Obedience is learning that Faith takes over and I don't need to be led by fear of the unknown.  <3  It's not easy, but its a better life --- this I know --- this I am learning. 

Friday, January 25, 2013

Embracing love...

What a wonderful gift it is when you discover what love truly means. I consider it a blessing to have found that from above, within, and in my best friend... Life partner, loving Husband.

Sadly, there are times I don't always choose a space of love... And I am learning that I do have a choice to make. Do I choose that of love and embrace kindness and long suffering? Or do I throw a tantrum and pout when things don't go my way? When I am hurt - do I let the negative emotion take over? I have to admit that I choose the latter at times and it's disheartening. However, I find there is hope in God alone. I will choose to let Him love me extravagantly. Which simply means he loves me as I am. He is patient. He is kind. He is forgiving. He loves me beyond all my shortcomings. It makes it easier to not beat myself up and learn from my mistakes and missteps.

Amen! <3

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Taking in each moment with purpose...

Everything has its beautiful design and purpose!

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change;
courage to change the things I can;
and wisdom to know the difference.

Living one day at a time;
enjoying one moment at a time;
accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it;
trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will;
that I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
forever in the next.

Wow!  Some days I need to read this each and every moment of the day... it's in those moments, I need to pause, breath, then move forward.  For the moments, I feel like I am drowning or not in the space of Love... I need to remember I have the ability to control how I choose to react or respond to any given circumstance thrown my way.  (Choice and Circumstance)

So... I am going to slowly but surely share my personal journey.  My journey and desire is to know God and what my purpose is in this World!  So, I am going to challenge myself and ask deep questions to keep me humbled and grow closer to being more like him, and less like my self centered self.  You're welcome to join me on this journey to put Love first...  it won't be perfect, but it will be my best.

"If you could only be remembered for one thing, what would it be?" (Chip Ingram)

I want to be remembered for how I loved with purpose.  Giving the glory only to God and knowing that one day He will make all things right.  Choosing kindness and long-suffering above myself (with healthy boundaries) and a passion to serve others with compassion and empathy.