I’m An Overcomer

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Having children with special needs is such a challenge! But one thing I’ve learned….it keeps us TOTALLY dependent on God. No way can I be “in control” because in the blink of an eye, our life could be in shambles.

 

There are days my prayer has been, “Oh God, oh God, oh God” because I just didn’t have words. Didn’t have energy to formulate words. It was all I could do to breathe and take care of my children (I am their only parent). Some weeks (months) every.single.day is a challenge. Like pushing a locomotive up a steep mountain.

Motherhood

And then, thank God, we will get a reprieve and I can at last take a deep breath. And I just sit. And sit. And let God fill my mind, body, and breath. And He brings healing to my emotions.

 

Because there is no doubt about how emotionally draining it is to watch your child hurt, or be disappointed because of physical limitations, or become emotionally so out-of-sorts that all day is a battle.

 

Or how physically and emotionally exhausting it is to be making hard, frustrating, impossible decisions for the duration of several days.

 

Sleep-deprived, worry-filled, and constantly searching for solutions can totally wring a person out!

I can rack

But oh, God is able! The video below is amazing and so uplifting. 

 

Mandisa sings her song Overcomer with clips of people who have overcome some extreme physical challenges.

 

I equate the physical with our mental and emotional challenges. It’s not an easy journey (Wait, what? It’s gonna be hard? Hey, I didn’t sign up for that!!!) But a journey that I hope will bring God glory. Because the glory is all His.

 

Anything that I’ve accomplished with my children has been while He was holding my hand, speaking into my spirit (sometimes I didn’t want to hear Him–la la la la la!), and guiding my every move. Because I was useless. Incapacitated.

In spite of that, and because of Him, my children are amazing miracles. But that’s a story for another time. Enjoy the video. You will be hooked!

Thank you so much for stopping by. YOU are the reason I write. 

Be kind and share with someone who could use this.  🙂

Love and sparkly hugs,

Mimi

Choosing Joy

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“Joy” is one of my favorite words.

Even when life is a disappointment or a trial,

we can still have a consistent joy.

I believe that joy is that which runs deep in our spirit,

and it flows from gratitude and appreciation,

and the ability to recognize and cultivate them.

Sometimes having joy requires

making the choice to take it easy.

Breathe. Enjoy. Relish. I love that word “relish”.

By definition it means…

great appreciation of something,

or enjoyment, gusto, liking, loving, savor, zest, and taste.

I have “great appreciation of”, or relish,  those moments of pure simplicity….

like evenings, or unexpected snow days, at home

with my “treasures” (better known as my kiddos),

birds chirping after a season of cold silence,

that flash when the sun breaks through after long periods of cloudy sameness,

oh, and the first lick of chocolate cake batter from the bowl.

 

 

Perhaps the simple things are the big things in life after all.

Did you know you can teach yourself to recognize them?

Of course, that means being purposeful about it

and being aware.

Looking for those precious moments of pure gift.

Actually seeing everything around you.

 

Yes, there is a lot of ugly.

And yes, it means we can’t be numb,

and when we open ourselves it can sometimes

be the gateway to emotional pain.

But without allowing ourselves to sense and see,

we also delete from our lives the gifts of joy we are given on a daily basis.

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Sometimes we have no choice because we are overwhelmed by life.

Many times we do more….we fill our lives with unnecessary busyness,

often trying to please others with agendas that aren’t in our best interest.

I’m learning what matters most to me (what a process!)…

being with my children, conserving my energy so I can be “present” with them

(and learning what “conserving my energy” means, when I used to believe I had a bottomless reserve!),

choosing carefully when to meet with people,

not sacrificing my important priorities because others want me to.

 

Wow, it’s taken a very long time to reach this place!

I used to absolutely run ragged doing all the “shoulds”.

I’m so thankful I have learned to choose (most days).

It’s funny how all the unnecessary stuff begins to fall away

and we are left with the things and

people who matter most.

The people we treasure, the acts that feed our spirits,

and the laughter that connects us and supplies endorphins to keep us going!

I wish for you, my friend, the choicethat you may relish–with JOY–your life and the people who fill it.

Just look at the joy!

Just look at the joy!

 

May you be blessed with JOY and abundance of the simple things in life!

Much love,
Passionista

 

 

 

I’m a Warrior, Not A Worrier!

I am a warrior 3

Today my friend’s situation reminded me of the need for this card. There are a bunch of things pressing in on me and my brain is in a tizzy (southern expression for going crazy). 

 

*I’m trying to get a seat belt installed before heading south. I had to cut it because my son became entangled in it, it retracted, and there was no other way to get him out. My auto tech guy had torn my van apart in order to access where it has to be installed, only to find out that I received the wrong seat belt from the dealer where I’d ordered it.

I’m crunched for time here. The seat belt cost $100 and now I have to drive 20 minutes to return it. And order another one, which would come in next Tuesday or Wednesday! Or try to find one. Have I mentioned I’m crunched for time?

 

*I may need new tires too because mine aren’t grabbing all that well in the snow. AND it’s supposed to snow/sleet on the day we are scheduled to leave. Ugh!

 

*I am working tonight, and while that is generally a fun time, I have been running for months and just want to be home. Tomorrow is another day of running. I’m getting kind of pooped. And honestly, doing this alone is sometimes overwhelming. 

 

*I have a ton of wrapping to do before I leave. Because I haven’t even been home, this has mounted up. Not to mention the laundry, packing for a week, dishes, trying to keep growing teens fed….. I just want to stay home one full day!

 

The list is adding up, besides all the Christmas-y “to dos” that are the usual. Programs, gifts, decorating, and such. 

 

SO I am practicing what I write about. I am taking a deep breath. I am trusting that things will all be finished, and I am believing that my Father has it all under control. 

 

I do NOT want worry to steal from this most miraculous season. Last night I was crabby with my kids. That’s not how I want to spend the next week! I want to celebrate this season by relishing in each precious moment with my children and my family. These times pass so very quickly, and honestly, people are what it’s all about. 

 

I’m also looking for alternative solutions:

I can wrap my presents when I get to my family’s house.

I can stay off of Facebook so I have more time.

I can choose the most important things to do first, instead of doing 6 things at once like I usually do.

And the money? Well I know that will work out. And I am working tonight so that will help. 

 

I know from experience that these things do actually smooth out. So right now?

I am choosing to revive my inner warrior and banish the worrier!

What about you?

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I am wishing you a very blessed and calm Christmas season. It is fast approaching, and I hope you can enjoy it to the fullest. That is MY plan.

 

Love and blessings and big sparkle hugs!

Mimi

Going! Going! Gone?

You didn’t sign up for my blog to receive news about my Empowordment Cards, but because positive self image and encouraging others is my THING, these cards are a part of ME. Sooooo….

I won’t do a bazillion posts about them. BUT….

I have put a bunch of cards on 50% off sale, and I thought you might want to know.

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Some of these designs are the first ones I created TWO years ago! And while I love them–they are like my babies, after all–I need to make room for some new designs. Sixty-three cards is a lot to manage, especially when they decide to throw a party behind my back! And let’s not talk about carrying them around when I do shows and such! Ugh! Can we say weighsalot?

Believe

This is a great time to stock up on cards for the year. I mean, where can you purchase a colorful, unique, glossy, heavy-weight, Mimi-designed 5×7 greeting card for $1.50? These are works of art, people. Well, some folks think so!

I mean they are all the rage in NYC!!

 

I have cards on sale that are fitting for birthday,

 

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birthday-cover

 

graduation,

 think-live-believe-big

wow-you-did-it

Valentine’s and Sweetest Day or anniversary,

You make my heart dance2

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celebrations,

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and just plain ol’ encouragement.

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Take a walk on the wild side and browse on over at my shop to choose the ones you want to stock up on.

NOTICE: once they are out of stock, they are gone! Unless you want to order a 10-pack and then I’d be happy to re-order you some. 🙂

Thanks for letting me pitch a sale in your inbox. 🙂

 

Click right HERE to gain entrance to the much-coveted SALE section of my Etsy shop.

Shhhhh, you are the first to get a shot at it. But tomorrow I’m tellin’ the WORLD!!

 

And thank you soooo much for being my READERS!! I can’t even tell you what it means!

Love and really big sparkly HUGs to you,

Mimi

P.S. My watermark (logo) does not appear on the front of the cards you buy. It’s just for copyright purposes that it’s on them here.

 

Eighteen Days of Whew!

Whew, what a crazy, busy last few weeks! From November 9 to 26 I was rarely home! In that two and a half weeks I:

had four days of vendor shows, including three setup-and-takedowns

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taught reading to kindergarteners for four days,

drove to Kentucky and back (7 hours one way) to celebrate Thanksgiving with my family for two days,

and then worked again on Monday.

By Tuesday I was almost comatose! Let’s just say that this old(er) passionista was draaaaaaging her heels!

So the days I didn’t work I took naps. That’s my go-to self-care. And if I don’t take care of myself I’m no good to anyone, especially my kiddos.

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If you remember, I am the only parent of two special needs teens. So it’s a bit high-maintenance at times, but they have come sooo far! Traveling with them has gotten so much easier! I now pack about half of what I had to before. Yay! Marking off those milestones!

Good news: my sales at the vendor shows were pretty good. I’m so thankful! I sold twenty-eight (28!!!) of my calendars. So excited that the words and affirmations will be helping people all year to remember their worth, their fabulous-ness, and that they are amazing. It’s just such a rush to know I am helping people. If you would like a reminder of the calendar, (I wrote about it recently here) watch this.

 

If you’d like your own calendar of affirmations, go to my shop here.

And right now there is a 20% OFF code!

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My most favorite thing about the vendor shows was talking to the people who stopped by my booth. I met some very interesting people!

One of the common threads of our conversations was that we all need to be encouraged, lifted up, and filled with positivity. That’s one reason I love what I do! Many people talked about how happy my booth made them feel. That everything was so cheerful and colorful. And I’m glad people felt that way, because I do too! I like that people were drawn to my booth. This world needs us to be a shining light that dispels the darkness. I’m doing that!

So today I got my trees up from the basement. Does that count as Christmas decorating? Not sure how much I’ll get done this year. I so love the look of my decorations, but do not care for the work of putting it all out. Where is that Samantha of Bewitched fame when you need her? Wish I could just wiggle my nose!

Well, I hear my bed calling my name.

I hope you have a great week ahead. May all your Christmas lights stay lit!!

Big hugs and sparkles,

Mimi

 

 

I Won!

The only person

Today I defied the compulsion towards People Pleasing!! (A lifetime-long struggle.)

 

Yesterday was grueling for me.

 

I taught reading to reluctant kindergarteners for three hours,

 

went to an appointment,

 

returned home in time to get my son off the bus –his OCD meant he asked every few minutes if we were going to the book fair at his school,

 

took him (which means dragged him) to get a haircut (sensory overload),

 

and then to the book fair because I couldn’t handle another day of his asking,

 

picked up some dinner,

 

rushed home to help my daughter get dressed for her concert (which meant some raised voices because Anxiety Disorder and choir concerts don’t mix, and we also got to add in PMS so it was REAL fun!),

 

rushed to the concert (which was great!),

 

got my too-tired children into bed and myself soon after.

 

 

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This was followed by Monday night Trick-or-Treat which is a little challenging still because being on my feet a long time is difficult with the metal in my ankle (a 4″ plate and nine screws–read about it here),

 

and then Tuesday I climbed a ladder up and down for about 3 hours to clean my gutters of the slimy mess that had plugged them up (remember the ankle?).

 

Sooo, this morning my son woke me at 4 am, and my brain kicked on, of course.

He gets out early today, and I was supposed to work–a first occurence for me since I’ve retired.

I began to worry that something might happen to prevent my sitter from getting there,

and no one would be at home for him to get off the bus (he is special-needs and can’t be home alone),

and I’d be at school, and WHAT WOULD I DO?!!

 

When I got up at 5:45, I felt like a semi had run over me!

 

I have just begun working as an educational consultant at the school I retired from. There are many children struggling to learn to read and to reach grade level, so I am helping with small groups in a kindergarten classroom. I really wanted to stay home and switch work days to tomorrow (I am only working two days a week because of all the other things I do).

 

But what would the teacher I’m helping THINK of me? Would she think I’m some flighty person, unable to keep my committments? Is she depending on me for a specific thing today?

 

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I debated for a bit. But chose to take care of myself, regardless of what she thought. I found a way to leave her a message on her classroom phone and told her what I was doing. She messaged me that going in tomorrow was fine. (Really, she is a darling, and a friend, so I know–on this side of 4 a.m.–well kinda, that she would not have thought poorly of me!)

 

So I feel successful today, although a bit pooped.

Celebrations are in order. I did that. I went back to bed. 🙂

 

I hope y’all have a wonderful day, my friends. 

And hopefully not quite as full as mine have been!

Big hugs and sparkles!

Mimi

Be The Light (Guest Post)

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I was born to shine

BE THE LIGHT

Social media.

A discussion had taken place on Facebook. A political one (shocker!). And I found myself getting sucked into it.

My engagement in it was minimal, but the effect it was having on me was significant. I allowed it to suck me in, to take me to a place that felt very dark. It left me feeling confused, fearful and isolated.

As I stood there at my kitchen sink, washing up the last of the dinner dishes, I realized that I was giving power to this darkness by permitting it to invade my mind and my spirit.

And that’s when I felt the gentle voice of my Heavenly Father reminding me of the truth. The truth of His sovereignty and what He is calling me to be in this temporary world of mine.

He is calling me to be light.

So, when I was approached by my dear friend Deborah of Salvage Sister and Mister to join the challenge to be the light in the ever growing dark world and confusing world of social media, I didn’t hesitate to say yes!

***During the week of Nov 1-8, 8 bloggers will share their stories and encouragement to be the light in the darkness.***

The purpose of the ‘Be the Light Challenge’ is to encourage~

  • How to share opinions (political or not) in a Godly manner

  • How to guard our hearts and minds

  • How to deal with conflict online

  • Setting limits/boundaries (1 Corinthians 6:12)

  • Encouraging/building others up

  • Fruits of the Spirit

this huge brilliant spectacular light of mine

 

Visit her blog post for the links to other bloggers that are helping us through the darkness. I’m really glad they are doing this.

Perhaps you’d like to shine YOUR light too. Think about it.

Big hugs and sparkles and lotsa LIGHT!!

Mimi

 

Sparkle & Shine Calendar is Here!

 

 

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Hello lovelies!

Goodness this last six months has been incredibly busy. I seriously don’t know how I had time to teach full time before I retired. Of course, I’ve added three jobs since then, all of them MY businesses. And I am entirely responsible for all three. That along with raising two special needs kiddos in their teen years (and all the doctor visits involved with that) has kept me super busy.

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I will catch up on happenings later. Right now I want to show you my 2017 calendar! I’m very excited about it. Instead of using a template with the borders provided like the last two years, I created all my own borders. I also decided that instead of using my previously published cards, I would design all new ones.

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This year I focused on affirmations. For half of the months you have three “I am” statements to read every day. Thus you will hopefully integrate them into your spirit!

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For the other six months I have given written statements about you. I truly enjoyed creating this calendar. I know it will make a difference in your self-esteem and also in that of the females in your life.

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It’s a great gift for friends, daughters, granddaughters, nieces, ANY person who could use a little reminder of how amazing and capable they are–which means all of us!

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Visual reminders are the best!! And then when we say these words out loud? Oh yeah!! Way to start believing them. We can reprogram our brains to think the truth about who we are, instead of listening to the lies we tell ourselves.

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The pages are easy to write on, which is important in my book. Glossy on the picture and matt on the calendar. Perfect!
The squares marking each day are a bit over 1 1/4″ square, large enough to jot your goals or achievements down. Great for marking progress each day!

Size is 17″ by 11″ when open so it can tuck into a small space. But it will make quite the visual impact! Place by your bathroom mirror to give you a message every morning, or in your office or work area so that while you are daydreaming you’ll be reminded of WHO you are!!

I really hope you will add one of these to your life because you deserve to be told how wonderful you are on a daily basis! If you’d like to purchase you can go to my shop on Etsy.

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Have a great day, my friends!

Hugs and Sparkles,

Mimi

Tell Your Mama!

Has your mama been a shining light in YOUR life?

Has she guided you through

life’s tumultuous waves

and almost-drowning experiences?

 

and so she lit the way
Did she stretch out her hand for you to hold when fear made you tremble?
And open her arms widely

to receive and envelop you

when you were broken-hearted?

Did your mother support you

and encourage you to do that something scary

 that you really wanted to do?


you are absolutely fabulous

Did she clap wildly and smile widely

when you reached those difficult-to-achieve goals?

And thoroughly discuss the pros and cons of a challenging decision?

Did she show you how to live life,
and model unconditional love so you’d be able to?

You are amazing with a side of sprinkles

Then TELL her!

Mother’s Day is one of  the most important times

to give her a card, folks.

And WRITE in it all of your appreciation.

In your own handwriting, tell her thank you.

Tell her how much you love her (like she tells you).

Her heart was more tender

She will KEEP your cards

to read over and over.

 

And you will find them stored together

after she is gone. 

Why? Because she loves you

and your words matter.

 

Take it from a mama who knows.

 

Wishing those of you who are,

a Happy Mother’s Day!

Love and great, big hugs,

Passionista Mimi

 

P.S. If you are a bit word challenged, there is no shame in using someone else’s.

You can always search online for words to use.

Buy one of my Empowordment cards to get you started, then write a bit inside. 

You can do it, and your mama will be so happy!

To Love Even More~Is It Possible?

our children    Ohhhhh, yes. Sometimes our children are not as we expected–not as we dreamed and hoped. But in the midst of the grief (because yes, there is a grief process as we let go of those hopes and dreams for our children) we form new ideas, experience unplanned-for joys, celebrate the tiniest accomplishments-turned-into-milestones, sacrifice even more deeply thus are completely changed, and become so intricately in love with our children that their very breath becomes our own.

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