Inspiration

Overcomer

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! This video 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, 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!

Love and hugs, Passionista Mimi

OH, and hey, if you like what you read, why not share the love and click, pin, like, etc.? I’d give you an extra big hug. Thanks!

Mimi's Messages

Praying For The Babies

On March 20, 2020, as I was spending time with God, praying against the COVID-19 virus that was overtaking the world and now our country, I felt led to start praying for the unborn babies and the mamas who carried them. I put on my Facebook page that I was doing this, and if they knew anyone who was pregnant let me know. Well, that list has now grown to 105 babies! Eleven have been born during this time and they are all healthy. No virus!

But besides these eleven miracles, here is what else is happening. (God does not waste an opportunity!)

*“Warrior Women” are uniting to pray for these babies.

*It’s bringing us together, creating a connection between us.

*We are focusing on others, not on the virus, and on something positive, rather than negative.

*We are being reminded daily that there are “others” out there and we are not alone.

*It is giving us hope, and it is wonderful to focus on new life.

*And it is helping our own spirit to pray for someone else, to have a purpose.

I know that even in the best of circumstances sometimes babies are born with problems. But by faith I am asking God that these will be healthy, that they will be protected from the virus, that their mamas will feel peace and calm, that all of their physical needs will be met, and that there will be joy in the home and family.

I am not telling this story to bring any notice to myself. I am truly honored to do this. And thankful I have the time, as I am sequestered at home these weeks.

I’m sharing this because you may want to do the same thing. And as usual, God intended this prayer focus for more than what I thought it would be. That’s God’s economy. 

If you do start a prayer focus like this, PLEASE let me know.

I pray that you are well, and the ones you love are safe and well also. Let’s unite in praying for our country and world.

Many blessings and hugs,

Passionista Mimi

 

THE WHY:
Rather than make this post too long, I put this part here so if you are tired of reading you can quit now.  But maybe you want to read something about me, personally, so here goes:

In 1993 I believe that God told me I’d have a ministry with babies. You see, He had given me a passion—not just a liking or enjoyment—but a passion for newborn babies. If there was a baby in the room, I was the one who ended up holding it, and most likely feeding and rocking it to sleep. So this “nudging” really isn’t unusual.  

In the last decades, I have been honored to pray over pregnant mamas and their unborn. It is always a delight! I had never birthed any children, but the passion for infants never left me. It led me to become a foster parent, so I could receive infants from the hospital until their adoptive family could take them (moms had twenty-one days to consider before it was final).  I had my own ideas of what this meant, but of course, God had His purpose in mind. I envisioned my doing this over the summer in between teaching. Hahahaha!

And so my adoptive journey began when I fostered two precious babies, starting with the first in 2000 and the second in 2001. I was married at the time, and we believed (after a LOT of prayer and consideration on my part!) that it was God’s plan for us to adopt these at-risk children in 2002. Little did I know that over the next eight years I’d become a single mom, and then, tragically, end up parenting completely on my own. I also didn’t know they were special-needs children.

People tell me this is my “calling”. Honestly, I believe every parent has a calling; to be the best mom or dad they can be, to provide all the love and nurturing their children need, to be an excellent role model, and to love with their whole hearts. (Side note—it’s been said that babies do not come with an owner’s manual. Amen to that! And there’s nothing like trying it at age 48 with a newborn who doesn’t sleep, followed by another one the next year who didn’t either—or eat!)

True to His faithfulness, and that He equips those whom He calls, God has provided strength, wisdom, energy, and a closeness with Him I’d never had (funny how reaching the end of ourselves puts us at His feet!). He will do the same for you. And that’s another story for later.

Supporting verses:

 “Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9

“God is able to make all grace abound in you so that having everything you need, you may abound in every good work.” 2 Cor. 9:8

“May the God of peace equip you with everything good for doing his will.” Hebrews 13:21

Keepin' It Real

Telling Toys About Jesus

 

 

I hope you enjoy this most precious video of my speech-and-language-impaired son. I printed out what he is saying (with a little interpretation). I don’t want you to miss a bit of it.

Here is the whole story. M loves Pokemon. He likes to look them up and find videos and information about them. He loves the fact that there are lots of characters. He’s been telling me about them for a long time now, what kind they are, what they do when they get mad, what powers they have and how they can help. While I’m not especially happy about some of them, he is so innocent that their influence hasn’t been detrimental (believe me, I keep close tabs). However, there is a type that I don’t like very much, so I told him one day as he was playing with his two new ones that he should tell them about Jesus. Then they could be Jesus followers. He said, “Yeah. Let’s do it.”

Thus the video.

M: Jesus Christ is the Lord, because He died a long time ago. And I wasn’t born.

Me: so what did Jesus do when He died?

M: People (God) healed Him.

Mom: Yep, He came back again didn’t He?

M: Yes!

Me: That’s what makes Him our God and totally different.

M: And, God made the foods to eat. They can help us to stay healthy.

And Noah did an ark, on the boat. *

Me: tell me more about God. Tell them more about Jesus so they know.

M: Hmm, anything?  Hmmm, like if the bully kids are hurting you, you can tell God to help.

Me: does He love us?

M: Yes, He loves us with all His heart! And did you know that God knows your names?

Me: He knows all about us doesn’t He?

M: Yep. And you will never be alone. God will take care of you wherever you go. You got to pray to Him.

And if you have nightmares, say, “Be gone in Jesus’ name.” **

This is how God made you that way.

—After the video was finished, he said to the two toys, “So what do you think?”

He told me, “They’re all in!!” so we changed their names to Angel and Helper, because they left their old behaviors behind. And now they are always helping to rescue.

Notes:

*M is totally enamored with Noah’s ark. We talk about heaven a lot, and he is determined that Noah is going to give him a ride on his “boat”!

**Also, M used to have nightmares a lot (caused by, I’m sure, his horrible beginning). Once he began talking (not until around age 4) and I could understand what he was seeing when he would wake up, I taught him about our authority in Jesus’ name. And He TOOK that authority and told the “dirty faced man in the corner” to leave! We prayed this every night at bedtime for a while. “No more nightmares.” So this resonates deeply with him.

 

I hope you were as blessed by this man-child’s heart as I often am. God told us when he was tiny that he would touch people’s lives, and I pray that for him all the time.

Thank you for visiting.

Passionista Mama,

Mimi

 

Keepin' It Real

Too Exhausted For Goals!

January. Ugh. People are like, “Oh I love the beginning of a new year! I’m setting my intentions. I’m writing my goals. I’m picking a new theme or word of the year”. And I’m like, “Nope, just let me crawl back into bed.”  

In Michigan where I live it’s one of the grayest, dreariest months of the year. Holidays and fun are over. Now it’s just the tasks of every day in front of me. Don’t get me wrong. I love my life. I’m very blessed and I’m so full of gratitude. To be honest, though, by January I’m usually pretty tired.

I make a trip to Kentucky every Thanksgiving (eight hours on the busiest travel day of the year—and this year I was battling 40-60 mph winds!).  And then for Christmas I drive eleven hours to Missouri. I take these trips willingly and with joy because I am visiting my closest family members (the rest are even further away) and I love being with them. But I am the only driver so it is a bit exhausting for me.

The months of November and December are full of activities, of course. By the time January comes around, every bone in my body hurts. Did I mention that I’ve lived a few decades? (Ha!) But again, I’m so very grateful I’m able to do these things.

Back to wanting to crawl into bed. Honestly, it’s the best thing for me. After my son is on the bus and my daughter is dropped off, because I work from home I’m able to take a few days in the beginning of January to replenish. For me that means going back to bed or taking several hours to sit and read so my body and mind relax, or just puttering around the house with my plants or cleaning a bit. I try to keep my calendar as empty as possible, giving myself time to rejuvenate.

I spend time in prayer, seeking. My most earnest desire is that others see Jesus in me. So I seek direction on what that looks like. I want to be used of God. Effectively. But I know my ideas are not usually His so I need to hear His voice. I order to do that, I need to be still, and quiet.

Lately, in blogs across the internet-o-sphere, there is much talk about self-care. Taking care of myself has been a work-in-process through the years, and I’ve only begun to give myself permission to sleep when needed and read when I can without feeling guilty. Isn’t that wild? I’ve been a serious go-getter for most of my sixty-seven years, and “deserve” to take breaks now and then. But that old mindset of “I need to be doing something” wants to re-surface constantly. I am a warrior woman, and I’ve done battle with that lie, but it dies hard.

In January I am exhausted enough to put that lie, and myself, to rest. And that is I what I do.

Does this resonate with any of you? Are you like me and kind of detest the “let’s set goals” emphasis in January? Are you also too exhausted for the mental and emotional work that it actually takes? I’d love to hear from you! Let me know I’m not alone in this, or if you have any suggestions for me. This year, if I feel the need to set goals, I think I’ll do it in October! 🙂 

Here’s to a fruitful and satisfying 2020!

Big love and sparkle hugs,

Passionista Mimi

 

Living With Gusto

I’m An Overcomer

youre-an-overcomer-black

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

Words To Help

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?

merry-christmas-blog-card

 

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

Mimi's Messages

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!

december-20-off

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

 

 

Mimi's Messages

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

Living With Gusto

Sparkle & Shine Calendar is Here!

 

 

8-august-brave

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

Living With Gusto

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.