07 Feb 2017
in Living With Gusto
Tags: accomplishment, believing truth, celebration, challenges, children, decisions, encouragement, hope, inspiration, lifestyle, Living, love, motherhood, overcomer, special needs children, strength, women's empowerment
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.
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!
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,
01 Feb 2017
Tags: celebration, children, encouragement, find joy all around you, gratitude, inspiration, joy, lifestyle, Living, motherhood
“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.
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 choice…that you may relish–with JOY–your life and the people who fill it.
Just look at the joy!
May you be blessed with JOY and abundance of the simple things in life!
16 Dec 2016
in Words To Help
Tags: believing truth, celebration, challenges, children, decisions, hope, inspiration, lifestyle, Living, motherhood, overcomer, special needs children, strength
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?
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!
29 Oct 2016
Tags: be the light, believe, believing truth, challenges, children, encouragement, hope, inspiration, live the light, Living, motherhood, shine your light, speak truth, strength
Truly we are living in a time where darkness could threaten to overtake us. Many things are pulling at our spirits and some days it’s a huge battle to stay positive and uplifting.
If you are a parent, you know the effects of being grumpy, impatient, or dismissive to your children while you are feeling down in the dumps. It’s quite important to be on top of your feelings and communicate with your children if you are having a bad day. That is being honest. We shouldn’t pretend everything is fine if we are feeling out-of-sorts, because children are really good detectives. And, at least with my own, they will become anxious, sensing that something is wrong, and begin to act out themselves.
Unfortunately, right now during election time, anxiety and fear are on the rise. I’m not going to debate anything here, but if you have even been half awake the last several months, you know what I’m talking about. Vanessa writes about it and adds her wisdom. Make sure you visit her site to take advantage of the opportunity mentioned at the end of her post.
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
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!!
12 Oct 2016
in Living With Gusto
Tags: attention to detail, believe, believing truth, Calendar, celebration, children, empower, encouragement, lifestyle, motherhood, passion, positivity, self-esteem, self-love, Sparkle And Shine, special needs children, women on fire, women's empowerment, women's movement
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
Have a great day, my friends!
Hugs and Sparkles,
31 Jul 2014
in Living With Gusto
Tags: changing hopes, children, disappointment, grief, love, special needs children, the all-consuming love of parenting
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.