Making V-Day Mine! ❤️

My Heart Sweet Pie Cookie

Valentine’s Day has always been my favorite. Not just because of the candy and sweets, but because I always seemingly had a boyfriend when I was younger that gave me cool gifts and made me feel special around this time of year.

As I got older though, this obviously changed—hugely. I found myself depressed and disappointed in no longer receiving gifts that were met with surprise gasps and ahs, ones that were no longer secret and special, and ones that now felt forced and commercialized instead.

That’s when I decided to make Valentine’s Day MY holiday. And I was going to make it AWESOME.

Holiday School Treat Bags

I think one of my favorite things about being a mom is that you have full reign to make things what you want them to be for others and for yourself. You can, to a certain extent, create excitement, happiness, and joy within your home

Dunkin Donuts Brownie Batter Hearts

Maybe you didn’t get a certain tradition you wanted growing up, but that doesn’t mean you can’t create heartfelt memories of your own once you become an adult…

Jetta can’t dance,
but she sure can sing!

And in this house—we celebrate! Valentine’s Day has always been a special something for us here; we endorse love. And we get excited about this one day of the year that we can go over the top with it too.

We hope you and yours had a great day of love this year, and remember—love is everywhere, and it should be celebrated every day, not just on one day each year!

Heart Shaped Red Sprinkle Cake

Tell us how you shared Valentine’s Day this year! We’d love to hear from you! ❤️🥳😎

The Wings of Fire.

I don’t know if you know this about me or not, but I got sober on the 21st of some month in the Spring of 2020. It is now January of 2022, and according to my husband, it has been a long long time since I wrote for this blog. The truth is, I didn’t think I had it in me. I didn’t feel it…I couldn’t remember how I felt all of those mornings I woke up so early, all of those times I reminisced about my boxer, Tyson, how I felt when celebrating huge milestones, I’d never had before…nothing. I couldn’t remember.

Part of me thought…somewhere deep down inside, that I had lost it.

Maybe when we write, we lose things…what we gain is more head space perhaps, more places to put things like thoughts and worries, fears, and uncalculated thoughts. I don’t know. What I do know is…that since I’ve been trying to write this so called blog, just since I started, my husband has interrupted me twice, once for something I ignored so I don’t know what he needed, and the other was when he actually brought me my child’s homework to show me that my kid shouldn’t have missed the 1 point that he did because the teacher was wrong….

Either way, it has all made me think about that working from home stuff. The struggle. This new idea that my family and I have been working with and moving full forcibly toward, and that it is a lot nicer in our heads than it is physically speaking…at least for me. The tv is on, my husband is munching on something, my dog is snoring, and my son is watching something in the bedroom so loud it truly outweighs the noise that is out here with my husband and me. But somehow, someway I have done this before…. I used to blog quite frequently, maybe in the early morning, but nowadays there isn’t much time even in those allotted little moments. And I’m finding less and less time somehow for myself.

I started seeing my counselor again this week. It was the first time in the last handful of years that I went willingly and wanted to start therapy constructively. I was finally ready. She was blown away to see me the way I was…so mentally…I dunno. There. So, present perhaps. So ready. But I was. According to my phone app, as of today, I am 636 days sober. After the first year, I sort of stopped keeping track. It had been a very large feat. In fact, the whole entire first year was the first time, ever in my life that I had ever done anything to the degree in which I had done it…getting sober…not just for me but for my family and those around me. I had never had to work so hard before for anything. I truly felt like I was exorcising demons or something from my inner soul. It was a year of miracles, and daily struggle. But at the end of the year, it was a huge celebration. And then…. the next day came. And I realized, that my life would forever have to be one day at a time. What next? I had worked so hard that whole first year just to get to “the next day.” But once I hit a year…I don’t know. I guess I secretly expected something to happen, but it didn’t. Just like on your birthday. The next day…it ultimately comes and the next day…the cake is no longer there. You must continue to trudge, to find new goals, new happiness, new dreams, and new ambitions….and this was always something that was hard for me to do anyway. I honestly never thought though, that I would’ve lived to be 40 years old. But this year, I did. And I did soberly in fact too.

Being sober has changed my life in so many ways, but it has more so changed the way in which I view myself. I have more self-respect and I am learning slowly over time, to eraser what negative thoughts I’ve made about myself and replace them with new, interesting, and vivid new thoughts that I think about me. It has truly been a year of understanding who I am…without booze, without excuses, without having a toddler at home, without grief, without any of the old excuses I used to have in my life. I am at the heaviest weight I’ve ever been and somehow…I am at my most natural ME than ever. Like, ever in my life…. maybe even since I was a mere baby. I feel like right now, I have found my center, that I have been placed back into this body to continue a life path I might have never had had I not decided to change. And change I did.

Change I did with the help of a Higher Power. A power much greater than I could have ever been. I know you know my old blogs and the eye openers I used to write about…back when I was newly saved. Back when things for me began to take their turn…as they did. There was only one way for me to go…and it either had to be up and all the way or nothing at all. SO eventually, the cup completely overturned, and I was completely in God’s hands. He washed me off, and replanted me right back here in this place, the place where he wished me to be. And he gave me aides. People that surround me now that are here just for me to lean on and learn from. And all the negative and evil that was in my life before is gone. Completely. It was all clean slated out. And it is no longer in existence. Not as it pertains to me anyway. I no longer ask for it though either. I now know that if you are stupid enough to ask the Devil for his games, he will most definitely bring them, and bring them all he will, but I also know how God brings the wings of fire and total transformation. He saves. He has powers that are far greater than anything I’ve ever seen, and the Devil knows this…and he knows when his time is up. I know for a fact that my Higher Power removed from me things I could not have removed from myself. My defects of character they call them. My life was unmanageable and that was putting it lightly. But the truth was…I had put not only me in danger, but also at one point or another my family. And I felt the wings of angels come multiple times to intervene. Nothing can quite explain it, but the “girls” as I call them were all here. And they took care of my child and me when need be. I will forever be grateful.

I will forever know this truth is mine alone. That what I have experienced is something that I could never share here on Earth with anyone but was something my mind experienced and that alone was the most out of this world experience that I’ve ever had in my life. And that is okay. Nothing could have explained it otherwise. And that is okay. I’ve never believed in something either as I do the way I do my experiences. I know for a fact, that I did nothing. It was removed from me. I was rehabilitated as God saw fit and given new life. And truly the only way this body and mind would have ever worked concretely again, as successfully again is if a miracle like that would have happened. And it did. It shook me for a couple of years. But I processed it, and I still think about it. But I’m ready to finally move on now. Now I realize this life, this job, this body, this mind, this opportunity as it was given to me, and I know that I have a responsibility to use it for what it was given to me for, and I’ll always move forward knowing now that I have a purpose. I don’t always have to know it; I just must keep moving forward…because it is in the unknowing that the biggest possibilities can happen. “When nothing is sure, everything is possible.” Margaret Drabble

And this old writing thing? I guess I still got it.

The Unexpected

Today was my son’s 3rd day of Cyber School. Due to an extended holiday break, and because of the Coronavirus, we spent most of the week homeschooling.

My husband has been working out of town this week, so I have had my son all to myself. This made me a teacher, a mother, and a comrade during this new, transitional time that we forged through together. Into the unknown!

But, we had done this before.

Last year at the end of Kindergarten when the schools shut down and went Cyber, the entire days and weeks worth of schooling came from…well, this small house. In all reality, it was just him and me. And we did the best we could with what we had and what we had been given.

To be honest though, I was different then.

Six or seven months ago I made a huge transitional personal change. I had gotten to the bottom of my so called “pit” and knew I needed to make some vast changes. I won’t get into the details to stay true to the nature of this story, but the time for me had come: I needed to change and to change for good or else I was about to lose everything I had once had. Life was chaos and I was behind the wheel.

So, I did. I changed. And I still continue to change.

This is scary. Change. Although good and a true form of growth, it is a scary ordeal. It takes guts. It takes God. It takes a God that knows what He’s doing, and one in which you can trust your life with. And so that is how things went. I trusted in God, for real this time…for the first time ever, and my life began to slowly change.

It still continues to transform. My days now are much different than the mundane ones that I had endured before. Each day has new purpose and meaning. And I find peace and serenity in the strangest places. The smallest crevices of the Earth, I swear, contain the greatest glories. And it is truly magical. What I see now with a clear mind, head, and heart, are daily extravagancies I never knew before. And every day I’m blown away at how much I used to take for granted. How much I bypassed or shrugged off my blessings that surrounded me simply because I was full of self delusion and grandeur.

Today, was one of those magical days; however, that keeps me coming back day after day to see what God has in store for me next.

Today, my son and I worked hard at “doing” school or what we were directed to do via Google iMeet. Most of this included a worksheet or white board, with live class participation throughout the lesson.

I was not just relieved that my son excelled at his studies and wrote a magnificent piece of writing, but I was surprised.

He wrote, what I consider to be his first short story.

It was entitled: “The Day of Christmas.”

The teacher asked the students to write two sentences.
My son wrote: “The tree was beautiful and the star was shining. The stockings were full.”

After sharing his sentences with the class, the teacher was impressed and told him he used great adjectives!
Later on, I told my son how proud I was of his creativity.

“You’re going to be a good writer just like me,” I said.

It was the first time I’d ever said anything like that or felt proud of something I was good at.
Something good that I now shared with my son.

It was extremely special.

It was a feeling I can’t ever forget. It felt like God’s love was showered upon my shoulders and for the first time, I felt like I loved myself. I was proud of something that I was gifted with…a blessing. And I was happy.

No more criticism or negative rumination. It was what it was—a good trait. One that I had by God’s grace somehow passed on…to my adoring son.

“Dad says you’re a good reader and I know why, Mom,” he said.
“Why?” I asked in honest curiosity.
“It’s because your Mom was a teacher.”

I cried. It touched my heart so much. I hugged him harder than I ever have before. It felt like a validation from up above. Although, I do not teach now, I have taught in the past. It was a passion. A calling. But one in which derailed as soon as I got pregnant.

I had a rough pregnancy and even more scary childbirth. But we both made it. And now it is something I realize that has not only bonded us, but made us both stronger because of it. However, there was NO perfection. No moments from Hallmark. There was nothing that made you think that your “selfie” with your baby would be magical and fulfilling like it had somehow promised it would be. There was no hospital room luxury. It was much like unexpectedness instead.

Looking back on it all I can’t help but think of Mary.

How the unexpected for her turned out to be the Savior of the world. Pretty magical. And in that, it gives me comfort in knowing that regardless of how things might initially look, or how they might originally feel, we all are solidified as one if we are in Christ Jesus. In that way, all things work out for good. But, we first must believe. And wholeheartedly.

It was such an emotional beautiful morning. Exhausting, but worth the effort. My son and I finished school just in time for a late lunch together. Just the two of us, on the same page, literally and figuratively, and we were moving forward. It felt though, like finally…maybe we were about to thrive instead of just survive like we have been for so many years. And it felt hopeful and joyous and free.

This morning made me realize many things but most importantly, I have realized that we are blessed, even in times of strife, when the world attempts to separate us. When the world attempts to tear us apart. God is good…and He is always there. And as long as we keep our sights on Him, we will find peace, love, and happiness in our hearts. Our minds will be full of good things. And our hearts will overflow.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world!” John 16:33

Living in the Past.

Today, was the first day of a new life for me. It was the day I decided to get up off of the couch, and spring clean my home.

It’s been a year.

Exactly one year on the 18th that our boxer, Tyson, passed away. And I’m not too embarrassed to say that I’m now realizing that after his death, I went into depression. A deep dark void. I have been colorless and fronting as best I can for as long as I could.

Loss hurts so bad.

Whether the loss was something that was good for you or not, it hurts.

If it’s one thing that I learned through dealing with the recovery of my PTSD and divorce, it’s that pain…is universal. There is no measure or reason or rhyme to it…it just IS. We all share a pain of some sort, but it is all the same.

I cleaned our sliding glass doors for the first time today in a year. I bawled my eyes out so badly that I could barely see the glass…wiping the last scuff marks and slobbers from Tyson’s jowls though was something of a (literal) cleansing ritual.

It made me nearly pass out though in angst. The pain, the tears, and sweat and the toxins that were releasing from my body reminded me of my muscle memory. I am alive. And for that I am grateful.

Looking through old pictures of Tyson today, I forced myself to travel down the road of his ultimate deterioration and I realized…he stayed alive for me. So that I could live, he died. And it made so much sense to me from a biblical standpoint of ultimate sacrifice. Tyson was my companion for many years of my illness and is what bonded me to real life again after my divorce.

We would walk. And I trained the working dog how to work with pride and honor. I called him my “police dog.” Although I doubt that he would have ever harmed anyone he was vastly protective of our family and especially me. He knew my weaknesses as he could read my sickness before anyone else could. He could feel it….and together we healed.

As a previous massage therapist, I must say that I have come a long way…mentally, spiritually and physically but what I have been through has been way worse than any pit I could ever imagine myself in again. This past year I forgot that for some reason, I was in control of my own life and not someone else was….I was used to being dominated and controlled…asking permission to do things “I enjoyed.” Music. Reading. Walking. Cleaning…it was all shamed and condemned. But that was nearly a decade ago now. And now after I have finally recovered from so much, I realize that Tyson’s passing was him simply hanging on as long as he could for me. He was suffering. I didn’t know it at the time because I became so accustomed to him. He was such a part of my soul. I didn’t even see him anymore. When you self isolate and you have a therapy dog with you, you tend to bond with it in ways you wouldn’t otherwise and he was there through all the struggles and the ups and downs that I went through during my recovery.

I am still recovering. We are all recovering from something. That’s the thing. Pain…it’s universal. It’s up to us though to use each day as best as we can so that we don’t become STUCK in the past.

This has happened to me before and it’s a hell I wouldn’t wish on anyone.

Through getting better day by day, however, I have realized so much about my spiritual self. My physical side of things has taken a beating over the years with traumas and not enough work being done on me instead of worrying about everyone else.

I used to work in this restaurant in Dallas, called, “Good Eats.” I’ll never forget one of the fellow servers training me and telling me that I didn’t need to be trained because I was a “face girl.”

The term was used to mean that I put on a false front…and a great one.

No one would have ever guessed I was living in a true nightmare outside of work. But I was.

I was bruised and beaten and suffering. Each day though, I’d put on my “face” and surprise everyone with my “business” persona. Throughout the years the trauma took its toll and I suffered not only mentally and physically but my body began to change as I started to dwindle into uncertainty.

It wasn’t until about two years ago that I was “born again.” Officially.

Maybe you have had a spiritual encounter or spiritual experience but I was saved. And I was saved for a reason. That’s why I look to make each day as best that I can. I do as much as I can right now and I have been blessed to be surrounded by folks who can understand simple anxiety and going through rough times…especially as a woman. Being a woman in Christ though, I know that whatever comes my way, whether I’m having a panic attack or not, to trudge through because I am not alone. Not anymore. God is with me and lives in me. He gave me light. And it’s a light that I want to share with the world.

And Amen to that!

Love and take good care.

Taking one day at a time. God bless you.

“I have learned silence from the talkative; tolerance from the intolerant and kindness from the unkind. I should not be ungrateful to those teachers.”

–(Kahlil Gibran: Sand and Foam)


Executing Silence.

Very often times, “silence” is the key to good communication. But how can you create “action” in moments of silence?

I have been thinking about this statement lately, and wondering if perhaps practicing my mindfulness, or being in the present moment is something that I have integrated into my every day life…or if it is simply something I“talk” about doing.

It’s easy to make statements that flatter and “appear” to fulfill others for the given moment…to be happy and optimistic every day, but what about the days when you don’t feel so…cheery?

I was working yesterday and left my lunch at our training facility/center so I had to purchase a lunch at the local mall…at the food court.

Now by this time, the mall has pretty much been abandoned, with online sales soaring and putting local stores out of business, but I remember a time when malls were “loud.” When there was traffic and it was hard to find a parking spot. People came to school wearing the same shirts because everyone had the chance to shop at the same stores, etc. So, yesterday the food court…seemed dead. It was isolating and silent.

I was there with individuals that I work with and as they ate their packed lunches, I approached a steak vendor…one of the only food choices left besides the sugar coated pretzels, and waited.

In front of me was a lady that butted in front of me in the so called, “line” but I let her…she was obviously in a hurry, and I never am too aggressive when it comes to such things. As I patiently waited for her to order I couldn’t help but overhear her abrupt and demanding rudeness to the cashier, who in turn approached their communication with rough speech as well.

“And make sure they get it for me…quick!” she torted.

I was in awe of such an occurrence and felt very uncomfortable, but still I smiled, not that anyone was paying any mind to me or my face behind them but nevertheless, smiling made me feel better, as though somehow, it might diffuse the situation even just a little bit.

This woman was older, in her mid eighties I’d guess but you could tell that she took good care of herself. But by this I mean…as she rooted through her coin purse…that she was once “something.” A pearl. She was as sophisticated as she was mean and couldn’t get away with being nasty anymore. Time had aged her and her beauty. Her hair was a dyed reddish brown color and she had piercing blue eyes that watered. Her hands shook as she dug through her coin purse and attempted to give the man the “correct change.” But he wasn’t having it. Sighing and rolling his eyes, he didn’t want to hesitate any further in getting her through the line as quickly as possible just so he could probably wait on me with the same type of rudeness and check out counter hostility too.

When I saw that coin purse though my heart melted. She could have been MY grandma. She was probably someone’s somewhere but instead there she was alone when I was blessed to be surrounded by loving co-workers and individuals that I work with and for.

I couldn’t stand the “silence” anymore though of MY actions and reactively went up beside her, touched her arm and said:

“Would you mind if I bought your lunch today?”

“Why would you do that?” she said bluntly.

I didn’t hesitate but said that I believed, “that love made the world go round and I wanted to do this one thing for her to pay it forward.”

She was aghast and taken back.

So was the cashier.

She began to tell me a story about a woman who buys big bags of lollipops—200 at a time she said…and one day when she noticed the woman had run out, she came to the rescue with an extra bag.

It was part of this sharing that allowed me to pay the cashier and order our food. I told her it was nice to meet her, even though she wasn’t very warm and still probably stun gunned by a stranger wanting to do something “nice” for her for a change, so I went to go sit down in my seat and waited until my food was ready. I went up too soon however, and she got very very close to my face as she went to walk away. It appeared that her “bus” was due to arrive any minute and that is why she was so agitated to begin with…that she was merely about to miss her ride home. At home where she planned to eat alone she divulged.

“What’s your name anyway?” she asked me.

I told her my name was Jeanna. And she gave little mind to my response.

“Well my name is Norma Jean…just like Marilyn Monroe.”

At this I quivered. It was as though the Lord himself had blessed this union.

You know when you just get one of “those feelings?” Things that can’t merely be coincidence. But something much greater. It’s a feeling that I can’t put into words but I believe it is the Holy Spirit. I had asked God specifically yesterday to gear me with His presence and to build me up so that I could in turn help others, but this was such a rare and beautiful moment that I just had to share.

“My grandmother’s name IS Norma Jean. And my name is Jeanna and I’m just like her,” I said.

I gave her a hug as her now beautiful pearly blue eyes shone and she smiled again and grabbed my arm.

As I ate my steak salad with friends, I looked out and watched this woman catch her bus and prayed…that someday somewhere someone would be nice to me the way I was with someone who was truly alone, but making it the best that she knew how.

My blog today is by far…not perfect. But I have decided recently that too much goes by without me when I strive for perfection. When I shoot for mere “action” however, things seem to move along much better on their own. I am only human but I rely upon the Lord as much as possible through the days just to get through them and to add them into a collection of “good” days versus ones that could have been wasted on bad attitudes.

I pray this message finds you well and that you have a sense of community in your life. Whether that be a health coach, a family member or friends, I pray you are surrounded by love and that you share your love in return. Magical things happen when we love one another. Amen.

“Give preference to one another in honor.” Romans 12:10

executing silence

Save This Moment.

I started back on my “program” yesterday. After gaining new employment and not being around the house anymore, our “habits” took somewhat of a back seat around here as to how we were “living.”

I haven’t blogged in some time. Mainly, because I have made excuses not too to the point of being numb to any form of acknowledgement or accountability. Simply put: I put it off…and for some time.

I am reading this book right now…well, as of last night when I couldn’t sleep…called, “Get Out of Your Head: Stopping the Spiral of Toxic Thoughts” by Jennie Allen. I can’t tell you how mind engrossing it was…as I stayed up late, mainly talking to God and reflecting, I realized something about myself:

I have let myself go…I have spiraled.

I don’t really know when I let things begin to slide, but oh they have. Not only am I overweight on the scales again, I feel as though someone is constantly pounding on my chest and blinking for me instead of me doing it on my own. Strange. But as with what some may call “bad choices” also come “bad habits.” I haven’t been minding my own health and it has finally taken its toll.

I realized last night how much I missed my boxer. Tyson was nearly ten years old when he passed away last Easter and it was definitely his time. I can’t say though that I have taken it too well…not considering my “current” state of well being. One thing that I am learning through this book is the ability to not just “change” but to “transform.” It is “my choice” as she says….that I control my thoughts and must work to harness them with God’s help. After reflecting last night and starting my new diet or lifestyle adjustment yesterday, my body went bonkers. It isn’t used to such a straight lined detox but I remember now the early days of my adjustment from before. Before though, I wasn’t working and things seemed easier somehow. I had the days to myself and could shop or plan or eat or exercise at will. Now, I get up and it’s all I can do to find some spare moments in the mornings alone…just to be with God and it has worn me out. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” Matthew 11:28.

Here I am…again Lord….take me…and quick. I suppose it is only in our human nature to sometimes find ourselves spiraling…but the main point I take away from all of this is: Be Grateful. Be Loving, because YOU are Loved by a God so powerful that he can transform and renew your mind, your heart, your soul, your whole being. There is nothing that can stop the victory that has already occurred. You my friend, if you are in Christ, are in good hands and even if you stumble, or fall, he will never leave you, even when you are in your darkest days and nights. He is there. Just ask and He comes. Just like any relationship, it takes time…you must make time to spend each day with yourself and God.

And this morning even though I woke up at 5:00 am I somehow still found myself pacing in a mad rush to find “alone time” when my kid woke up early at 6:00. Our house is small. Too small and when my husband left for work it woke him up, and when my son gets woken up he does not go back to sleep, so up WE were…getting ready for the day two hours early. And somehow? I still managed to feel rushed (for some reason) when we were leaving to go out of the door to catch the bus at 8:00.

Some sprinkles.

My message today is about Love. And His love he has for you. In order to love we must first realize that we are loved and to what extent it is that we are cherished.

When we were rushing out of the door this morning I stopped and realized, wait…we are on time? Why are we rushing? I was trying to clean up breakfast while my son was hounding me about one thing after another and as I cleaned up those sprinkles, both red and pink, I realized, I was missing him and he was right in front of me. I wasn’t “loving” on him or cherishing him at that moment and it has become a routine that I have taught him very accidentally—To “rush.”

Time is something we can’t get back. And just like those sprinkles, memories and moments are gone in an instant. As I was wiping them up I started working on my inner mind and transformation habits and slowed down…and I began to become “part” of the moment instead of one being held hostage to it.

I counted the sprinkles in my hands as I wiped them up.

“One, Two, Three, Four, and Five!” I shouted!

My son suddenly cheered up and held out his hands.

When I went to transfer the sprinkles into his cupped palms, he grasped at all but a few.

“Two,” he said. “I’m sorry I spilled some. I only have two now,” he said. But he gave me a hug and I hugged him extremely hard and said that no matter how many sprinkles he ever had, I’d still love him just the same.

It made me think of how much time goes by that simple moments that we “give” to others are things that sometimes we don’t even give back to ourselves or the ones closest to us.

When I couldn’t sleep last night I cried for Tyson. That would have been one of our times together—late at night if I couldn’t sleep. One night we even played capture the flag, but anyway…I missed him but then I remembered that this book that I’m reading which teaches you basically how to redirect your thinking told me to be grateful. It’s an interrupter. So I thought of all of the things I was grateful for… And suddenly before I knew it I was blissfully listening to the sound of my husband breathing as I was awake simply being with him. Many people don’t have this type of love or companionship, and even though Tyson is gone, even if temporarily, I know that I have my best mate with me right now by my side. And for that—I am beyond blessed.

God has blessed my heart and soul and I pray that he touches you today too. Every day is a new day. One step at a time.

And Amen to that!

save this moment

Winging It.

Today is the first official day, of 2020.

You would think, because one’s vision is SO bright when they have 2020, that perhaps…maybe this year will treat us to new and unexpected things that we can see more clearly now than ever before.

You know those “quizzes” you can take on Facebook? I took one this morning entitled: “What is your Bible verse of 2020?” I thought the results were fitting based on my current situation, so I decided to share it with you…

It comes from Jeremiah 29:11.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

This is one of the most famous and popular verses one might see in Christian bookstores and other places that house uplifting quotes, etc. However, it was always one my mom used and for that reason I know it well.

I think it is important to share special messages such as this. It means more to each person than you could ever guess as its meaning changes from situation to person and thus, creates a magic hopefulness that awaits us all in diverse ways.

It has been a long time since I wrote. I have since taken a job working with special needs adults and it has been a big rewarding new journey but one that has taken up all of my free time that I used to have…to meddle. I think at some point it all caught up with me, as I have been sick more this season than ever before. This has not helped my job or future career in human services as you can’t “work” unless you are of good health. Thus, taking better care of myself and my health has become of top priority.

So, for this year instead of making the “old” routinely promises for the year up ahead, or “resolutions” if you will, I have decided to simply “Wing It.”

What do I mean by this? Simply put: I plan to rely on God’s power more than my own.

I can do all things through Him that strengthens me and He ultimately directs my path. It is simply up to me to stay steadfast and true to His word and to listen.

That is how I obtained this new job to begin with…by listening. And oh boy, was I looking for Him. I will never forget even to the exact point of where I was sitting when I saw the ad for the job placement and it had said “part time” and that the hours were from 8:15-2:45 M-F. What?! It was “too good” to be true and meant I could work full time and also be the mom that I have wanted to be while working. It gives me the leisure in the morning of getting my child on the bus and then likewise, picking him up from school at the end of the day…perfect. The extra income was of dire need as well so that was another answered prayer.

Living each day one day at a time is what I continue to plan to do this year…as I couldn’t have predicted such circumstances for myself or could have controlled my fate in any such way in which it transpired. It was simply, “meant to be” and after five full years of being a stay at home mom, I suddenly found myself, overnight, one that also worked outside of the home. It has been an adjustment. Things are much dirtier in our house, and dinner has not become routine in healthy ways yet, but you know what?

We are surviving, but getting ready to start thriving. And that my friends, is hope.

We are getting there and I have full faith that God will be with us to see us through. He promises a future and a hope, and for today, I see the light. Here’s to 2020. As always, may God bless you and keep you.


Winging It


Today is day 3 of Kindergarten and we almost missed the bus.

I kept telling my husband that we needed to be ten minutes before the allotted time, “just in case” and he always made fun of me. Well, today proves my point. The bus was nearly ten minutes early and my son was still putting his shoes on. “Hurry Up!” I yelled and helped him buckle them. “Run!” I said. I went running out to the bus before him, leaving the door hanging wide open and yelling at the bus driver my apologies. “It’s okay,” she hollered. My son stumbled behind me and up the stairs and onto the bus he went.

I felt awful afterwards having to rush him goodbye like that.

Point taken. Be ready…no matter what life brings you. Try your best to be on time, alive, awake, alert, whatever it takes. Especially if you’re responsible for someone other than yourself. Today was a wake up call for me as I was just easing into starting to feel somewhat comfortable with this new routine.

I have gained a pound so far this week. I know it has been due to unwanted stress of it being the first week of school and so forth, but it irks me that even though I’ve done everything else right on my new program, that a pound was found on the scale this morning.

Have you ever done everything you felt you could, whatever was in your power and felt somewhat defeated?

I have done this before and the mistake I always have made in the past is not turning it over to God. Sometimes we try to control TOO much, and it’s not our job. Instead of moaning and allowing this 1 lb. to defeat me though, instead I decided to look towards my “non scale victories” and this included not eating another one of those white donuts I was talking about the other day. I have abstained from all donut eating this week and I’m telling you, being here alone means I’m not even going to buy them ever again. My son can have peanut butter toast from now on. This helps me to avoid any unnecessary temptations by creating a stable, healthy environment and also teaches my son healthy habits at the same time.

I have so far, cleaned nearly every nook and cranny of my home since this 3 day hiatus started and now I’m wondering what my future holds. I’ve put myself on the back burner for so long that it does seem somewhat exciting now that I have some time all to myself again. I have been doing my Leslie Sansone walking tapes for 2 miles now for example, because I simply have the time to invest in myself. Investing in me is new to me. But I know that God has great plans for me. And it includes a new me. As long as I trust in Him, and not myself I will be just fine as new and exciting things await. I pray that you look to Him today too and that you have a great day. It is always a great day when you choose to make it one. Depend on God. And Amen to that!

“And I am convinced and sure of this very thing, that He Who began a good work in you will continue until the day of Jesus Christ, developing and perfecting and bringing it to full completion in you.” Philippians 1:6


Three White Donuts.

Today, I’ve come a long way. A long way from this morning, and a long way from my past.

Today was my son’s first day of Kindergarten.

We walked to the bus stop together, I helped him onto the bus, and then I cried the whole way home by myself.

I called my mom, my husband, and they both suggested that I calm down and realize what an accomplishment this was instead of drudgery. For five years now, I have been gearing us up for this moment, this plunge into the world, and today it finally happened. I would love to tell you it was successful but seeing as how my son is still not home yet, I cannot. The morning was a success, as I’m sure school is a hit as well (knowing my son). He was ready, and I knew this…I just couldn’t help but think it was me holding me back.

With spare time now on my hands I wondered what to do with myself. I had gotten into the habit of tearing the pages out of my favorite devotional last year and today’s was missing. So I went to the next one. The epiphany of the day was to use time wisely. Wisely, I thought…as I stared at the white raspberry filled donuts on the counter. There were three.

On a normal day from my past those three donuts would have been gone. I might have even went to get beer, or any other type of bad habit to sustain my feelings of anxiety, but not today. Today, I stood up for myself and said, “no.” I turned to my support group for help and they, and as always, were there with the support, and words of encouragement I needed to hear. Stop. Challenge. Choose. I had done it. Making the morning a success. I said “no.” And said “yes” to many other things. Healthier things like walking and getting outside of the house to name a few.

What I need most right now are new, better habits, better ways of living. I have all of the tools at my disposal now, but this time of year, I’ll admit, is hard for me. It’s the time of pumpkin spice and baking, of football and beers, of sweatshirts, and of Susie homemaking that I’m accustomed to…which also, I realize now, is part of a bigger scheme of bad habits I’ve picked up over the years. Baking loaves of homemade bread is fine, but not when you have no one to serve them to…donuts too, are nice on the countertops, but not when you are home alone all day having to look at them. You can only bake so many pies for example. So, today instead of eating, I decided to replace a bad habit and reward myself with a good one. I picked out a healthy recipe from my health coach that she had sent to me and I went to the store—by myself to shop. And it was glorious! I realized, for once, that I didn’t have to race due to someone else’s time constraints. I even found the pine nuts to finish off the recipe! Sweet perfection! I felt alive! I also got a lot of kudos from my online support group for being so brave and disciplined.

This might sound silly to you. Perhaps even irritate you. I’m sorry if it does. But I’ve lost nearly 25 lbs. since June 17th in utilizing this new way of life and new way of thinking and I’m telling you—it works for me. Living a healthy life is the gift I give to others and to my family and day by day we learn new habits that lead us into the direction we want to go. I thank God every day for changing my mindset and giving me the ability to now work out again and eat right. It has taken hard work but there isn’t anything I can’t do without Him. I’m forever grateful.

If you ever want more information about my transformation or the program I’m on please let me know. I’d love to share it with you. Until then, I’m off to shower up after doing a Leslie Sansone tape and await my husband and child to come back home to me—where they belong! And Amen to that!

“Look carefully then how you walk! Live purposefully and worthily and accurately, not as the unwise and witless, but as wise, making the very most of the time.” Ephesians 5:15-16

three white donuts.

Seasons of Life.

I have officially lost over 24 lbs. on this new program I’m doing and I can’t tell you how good it feels. It has only been 10 weeks, but staying on course, day in and day out has proven to be successful. I was thinking this morning about how much more weight I want to lose and I decided that at least another 20 lbs. was necessary to get me to a healthy weight. I hadn’t realized it (at the time) but during my pregnancy I gained a total of 70 lbs. I had never been overweight before then and didn’t know (up until now) simply what to do about it all.

My old ways of living were simply not working and the more I suffered, it seemed the more and more I gained. It was an awful, vicious cycle, but the worst feeling was feeling out of control.

We should all be the lead in our own lives. We should all play the main part…but in my life, I felt like I was floating, literally amongst everyone else as the world passed me by. Day in and day out it all felt the same. I took the best care of my son that I could, but being unhealthy and overweight gives you many challenges throughout your days and it causes awful mood swings.

My devotional this morning was about moods. It basically said to rise to the occasion regardless of a bad mood or not, and to do things that you would do if you were simply feeling better. So, that’s what I did today. First I cancelled a doctor’s appointment though because my allergies have been killing me…it was just for a routine checkup but I didn’t “feel like” going so I called and rescheduled. This was all mind you BEFORE I read my devotional making me start the day off with allowing my mood to take over my mind instead of vice versa.

After I read my devotional my day started turning around, however. I worked out, got myself ready for the day and even cleaned out a shelf in our bathroom that has been hounding me for years. Do you have one of those shelves or drawers in your house? You know, the ones that things just somehow get thrown into. Back home, we used to call it “the junk drawer.” Well, this was a junk shelf full of unused products and odd eccentricities. I read a meme this morning on Instagram that said to not only “detoxify” your life but do detox cabinets and clean out cars…to clear away past items and make them new. So that gave me some inspiration this morning too. My husband will be delighted. But then he will want me to also do HIS shelf I’m quite sure of it. It would only be fair, as the products on HIS shelf, are well…also mine. Ha.

We went to Kindergarten orientation last Tuesday and it went really well. My five year old has a terrific teacher and he’s so excited to start school this Tuesday. He is all ready to go so there should be no reason why I’m so anxious, but let me tell you…I have been. I keep praying about it and trying to bide the time, but I’m wanting Tuesday to come, be good, and allow us to move on with a new schedule and life. I keep telling myself to get excited with my son, instead of anxious…just in case some of my unknown anxiety rubs off on him. So far, he is nothing but excited and not even a tad bit nervous so I need to cut it out. I’m trying my best.

I pray today the universe is good to you and that you allow change to come easily. I pray for the kids starting school and for their teachers and safety. I welcome fall and look forward to all that the upcoming season brings. Thank you God, for ever changing seasons. Help us to be thankful and glad. Amen.

“The Lord…will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:8 (ESV)