Threatened

There are different ways in which we can feel threatened. It could cause us to sink into ourselves, question our faith, question the very reason we do what we do. To feel threatened means that the way in which we live our lives is being attacked. The attack hurts, and with most people makes trying impossible.

Change can feel like a threat. Confidence is in the eye of the beholder, and we are our own worst enemy. Think of the job setting in which a new person is hired on to learn how to do a job that another person has and has had for years. The new person wasn’t hired to replace the senior person but rather take on some of the workload and yet the senior person still feels threatened. The confidence is shaken, the self esteem is rocked, and there isn’t a need for it to happen. We tend to think we aren’t good enough if the company had to hire on others, we couldn’t make the cut, we fell behind in our tasks when it really isn’t so.

Our kids can threaten us to loose our minds. Teenagers take what’s left of our sanity, faith, thoughts, and everything else and dance on it like their favorite song came on and it’s on repeat. As a momma with two teenagers I have been blindsided so many times I don’t know which way is up. As I talk with other parents of teens I know that I am not alone in the struggle to keep going every day. Teenagers are threatened daily as they willingly go onto social media, and are told what they should look like, think like and act like. This isn’t so much a soapbox but a sad realization that there are no more secrets in this world. If someone messes up the whole school knows about it in no time flat, because of social media. As parents we try to raise our kids to use their brains, be polite, believe in the good and in God and we feel like we have succeeded until the teenage years hit and it is all thrown back into our faces. Here lies the feeling of being threatened.

The last thing we should do is back down when these types of threats occur. We need to know our worth, we need to know our kid’s worth. We need to know that the people around us have worth. We need to fight the assumed threat with a counter attack. When we tell ourselves that we are not cutting it, that we are lacking, we need to change our thoughts. We need to replace with encouraging words, thoughts and actions. We feel better when we do for others so why not do it for ourselves? That builds the confidence back up and quiets the threat.

We need to fight for our kids, fight for them on our knees in prayer. When they decide to do something out of the norm we talk with them, fight for them, and be there for them. Society will tell them how to be a certain way, but families can still teach them to think for themselves. It is not easy because they will still make choices that you don’t want them to make but if they know they are supported and loved the threat will be quieted.

I admit there were recent time in which it was rough for me as a momma. The decisions that were made and then voiced to me hurt my heart and made me want to turn and hide. There were tears shed but there were also prayers lifted. To the world the decisions wouldn’t be seen as huge but for me they were. All I can do is love, pray and support my kids. That’s all any of us can do for ourselves for each other, and for our kids. There is power in believing that love conquers all. With love comes joy. I hurt but my joy runs deep. There is my strength. I can love my family and the people around me because of it. Until next time:

Oh honey,

Don’t worry about being merely beautiful. Be bold. Be wild. Be strong. Be confident.

Be independent & intelligent. Be fierce. Be brave enough to be real in this fake world.

Redefine beauty.

Brooke Hampton

Unexpected Smiles

A couple of years ago I had a birthday. Actually I have a birthday every year, thankfully. This event was special because it was an ordinary day. I think after turning forty the thrill of birthdays isn’t as big as it used to be. The day (at least for me) tends to be just a day in which I add another number to the years I have been alive. So when my birthday came, I went to work like normal. Some of my close friends said “Happy Birthday!” when I saw them, but really it was an average day. What made it special was when I had gone back to the clinic after running some errands I was surprised with the biggest cheesecake I have ever seen. There is a place in town that make the most amazing cheesecakes and usually I just buy a slice of one of their cakes and enjoy for a couple of days because of how big the slice is. What came with this cheesecake was balloons. Big beautiful, colorful balloons. My boss had been called out of town unexpectantly and while away had arranged for a friend to bring these surprises to me. They made me bloom with an unexpected smile.

The feeling I had was like getting a letter in the mail as a kid. I absolutely loved getting letters as a kid. Usually it was from my great aunt in Nebraska, or from my great grandma in California. They were letters that talked about life, and they were addressed to me. They were a look into the world that was outside of my little world I lived in. I have saved most of those letters and from time to time I will get them out just to remember the ladies that wrote them and have a smile come across my face. It’s amazing how a simple piece of paper with words can make you feel at home and loved.

When I moved away and got married, I met people in the town we lived in. One gal in particular had the gift of giving out unexpected smiles. When her kids and mine were little they were constantly together (it helped that we worked together). She had the superpower of making people feel special. You know the kind of person I mean? The one that shows up with your favorite drink from the coffee shop, or offers to take your kids for a play date so that you can have some free time. Our job had us working with kids a lot. Since we worked with the kids we would also get to know their parents. There would be times when a kid would get sick, or get hurt and we would hear about it from the parents. By the end of that same day of hearing the news my friend would have a care package made up. She would then go out of her way to bring it to the kid’s home. She knew that power of spreading love.

Negativity has a way of coming into our lives. We can be the most positive, joyous person alive but still have to deal with negativity. We want to focus on what someone did wrong, we watch to see if someone will fail. We don’t like change usually and will look for what might go wrong because of the change. It’s a choice we have to make to look for the good, and to act on an idea of doing good. My boss didn’t have to organize a cake and balloons to show up for my birthday. Hand written letters have gone to the wayside thanks to texting and social media but that doesn’t mean they are obsolete. Our mailboxes tend to have bills and junk mail. I am not sure if someone would know what to do with a handwritten note, but my guess is they would have an unexpected smile after reading it. As for simple acts of kindness, those can cost us nothing but make us the richest people in the world. When you do something nice for someone else it doesn’t just brighten their day it will brighten yours too. We get caught up in the daily flow of our lives and don’t tend to think about what can be done to spread some happiness. Love your neighbor as yourself, the greatest commandment. Not easy but worth it. Until next time:

Raise Up A Child

As the pictures scrolled by and the memories flooded in, the amount of different hairstyles was enough to make your eyes spin. Three children with three different views of the world and among other things hair styles. When the girls were younger the only person that could get them to sit still long enough to do their hair in a cute hairstyle was their grandma. They had so many choices of hair ties and barrettes, and they had the cute hair that curled at the ends on it’s own accord, or for my middle child had ringlets falling around her face. My son had short hair most of the time unless we let it grow longer than normal then my hubby took it into his own hands and some weird haircuts were done. We figured it will grow back so why not.

As the kids got older their styles changed as did the way they view the world around them. We raised them to “love their neighbor, as themselves”, and to love people like Christ loved people. The world taught them that life is tough, and so we try and hold onto the quirkiness of life by enjoying life to the best of our ability. Years ago my girls came up with the idea of a “end of the summer slumber party”. We would invite their friends over to the house, buy some pizza, set up water balloon fights, and supply enough snacks and candy to keep them going all night. This was put on for a few years with one of the years instead of water balloons it was a nerf war obstacle course. Over time that activity evolved into a “girls day out” and a “man’s day, do what you want” day.

As parents we often think that we are raising up our children, and we are, but we forget that as we are raising them, they are raising us. As a parent one of my main goals was to have my children grow up to be good people, with good work ethics, who want to enjoy the world around them. The life lessons that were used to teach them these things were shown to them so they could follow the examples. On the flip side, they showed me that jumping in puddles makes for large splashes. They showed me that when you find a big hill on a bike ride, you ride up to the top of it so that you can fly. They showed me that trying something new like a salad made from spinach, skittles, cucumbers, and red licorice made sound gross but it’s worth a try (side note, it was not worth the try….gross!). They also showed me that if I gave them room to grow they would sprout exponentially.

Parenting is not an easy task. Tunnel vision can happen. There are times when what you really want to do is stick you head in a hole and hope that the current crisis passes quickly. It’s in these moments that your kids will teach you resilience. They will teach you that talking to someone about what’s going on is helpful. It is also in these moments when you dig a little deeper, you open your eyes and you take a deep breath, and you redirect the situation for a short time. One day as I walked through the grocery store I saw a bag of those water balloons that have the attachment that makes filling them up faster and easier. I bought a couple of bags of them. I didn’t have a plan for when to use them, but it turns out I didn’t need to. My son one day saw them laying on my dresser and gave me this look. The rest of the family had all been doing their own things when my son and I decided they “needed” a distraction. Our first victim was one of his sisters. We had already filled the balloons so all we had to do was draw her out. By the time she was soaked we had gotten my other daughter, my hubby and even the dogs in on the war.

These will be the things that will be remembered. These will also be the things that helped us get through the tougher years of raising kids. Kids are being asked to grow up too quickly. They have more ways to have the world shoved into their faces than ever before. Proverbs 22:6 says “train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it” Hairstyles and even hair colors will change but they are not permanent. When we are raised to love others as we love ourselves, that sticks with us. When we are raised to work hard but give ourselves time to enjoy life that sticks with us. Life is always going to be tough, but if we train ourselves to look for the good, to find the joy in the simple we will see that the hard times are more manageable. Until next time:

Parenting:

You will teach them to fly, but they will not fly your flight. You will teach them to dream, but they will not dream your dream. You will teach them to live, but they will not live your life. Nevertheless, in every flight, in every life, in every dream, the print of the way you taught them will remain.

Mother Theresa

I’ll Be Back In a Little While

To my family that means she needs a break and will be subjecting her body to a bit of exercise. Exercise hasn’t always been an out for me. I didn’t always like putting in the work to feel better. There were more times than not that I would rather eat my way through a much needed break, than “work’ through one. But then my go to started to be a walk in the neighborhood with my dogs. Have you ever noticed how easy it is to convince a dog to go on a walk? When it comes to my two all that is needed is the jingle of the collars and they are waiting at the door. Once we’re out of the door we get into a rhythm and start moving.

Some people use other tactics to wind down. I was driving into work one day and I saw this guy running down the sidewalk. He didn’t seem to be running from anyone or thing in particular, but instead had a vest on that looked to hold water with a hose attached to it that made it easy for him to get a drink as he ran. He was even looking like he was enjoying what he was doing, and so as I passed him I cheered him on in my head. Now don’t get me wrong, there is a part of me that gets excited when I see someone running because I used to run. There is a thrill to running, it’s you against yourself. There are goals that are set, there are finish lines to be ran over, and there is a “runner’s high” that needs to be felt. A few years back a client had walked into the vet hospital I had worked for and announced that she was in need of a running buddy. Unbeknownst to her I had be thinking about starting to run so I waved my hand in the air and said “pick me, pick me!” Not really but it was close. We started with weekly “runs” that were more walking than running. But as we kept going the walking times turned more into running times. By the time we had our “running career” going we had 5k, 10k’s and 1/2 marathons under our belts. For me, having kids slowed my running dates down, but for my friend she went on to do marathons and more. What we needed from each other was for one of us to say “pick me! pick me!”

The need to be there for my family was what fueled the next round of changes in my exercise routine. There no longer was a rush to be faster than I was before more more to be stronger than I was before. Mentally, physically and spiritually. As with most of us, work takes it’s toll on our lives. We can enjoy our jobs immensely but still be drained at the end of the day. So once again, exercise was the answer, at least for some of the problem. Exercising releases endorphins that help us feel better, we may have just pushed our bodies to the limit but we did it with a smile. When time is set aside to work out, it’s time set aside to create a healthier version of yourself. Going to the gym isn’t something that I have time for but I do have time to work out at home. Eating healthy (at least the way that it’s portrayed on social media) isn’t in the cards for me either, but intermittent fasting is. Finding what works for you will increase the chances of you continuing on in your fitness goals.

Physical exercising isn’t the only way to be stronger though. What excites you mentally? What pushes you to have a stronger faith? Do you have ways to work on your emotional health? I wrote a children’s book recently. My friend will create these doodles that have so much personality you can almost feel what she was feeling when she created them. My sister does bible studies with a friend and meets with her weekly. Another friend has chickens, a dog and a cat that seem to keep her busy and very happy. Getting our bodies moving has so many wonderful benefits, but that is only part of the picture. Setting time aside, even telling the family “I’ll be back in a little while” encourages us to do what makes us stronger, happier and healthier. Until next time:

Everything you need is already inside you. Don’t wait for others to light your fire. You have your own matches!

Unknown

Once Upon A Time

Once upon a time there was not a care in the world. The most that had to be done was to be out of the house before my mom got the slightest inclination that I was bored, (she had a knack for finding chores that needed to be done around the house). Us kids would dig our way to china, climb walls, play hide and seek and ride our bikes all around town. We would end up at the house for lunch occasionally but for the most part knew to be home in time for dinner. The only change in this routine was when school was in session and that took up most of our days. There wasn’t a thing of social media and so when something stupid was said or done it was spread through the friend group but no further, and it usually took hours to spread vs. seconds. When someone was challenged to do something there wasn’t a video of it to upload, instead it was bragging rights told to anyone who would listen which usually just meant the siblings.

Once upon a time, life wasn’t any easier than it is today, but it was simpler. I feel as if I am a grandma talking to her grandchildren, but am instead a mom who is watching her kids grow up in a era in which everything is recorded and noticed and judged within seconds of something happening. Phones are in pockets and the fun thing to do is to see how long you can make a spam call last when they are asking a 14 year old about their car’s extended warranty. A friend once told me she felt lost when she would forget her phone at home and I remember feeling a sense of relief when empathizing with her as I thought about the freedom that held for me. I use my phone so much for work, and for life that when I chose to leave it back on it’s charger there is a sense of freedom, and yes even joy in knowing I don’t have to pay attention to it. It’s as if I am unlocking myself from it.

Once upon a time, can be now. Life isn’t going going to be easier but it can be made simpler. I have talked over the last couple of years about how dogs and cats have it figured out. They wake up, they eat/drink and do their business outside or in the litter pan. They play with their people or in the case of the cat ignore their people and then they find a good place to sleep. They live simple lives for the most part. We can follow their example in finding the simple. Just because we are “told” how our lives should be lived doesn’t mean we have to obey. We can chose to turn off the busy, but it’s a choice that has to be set as a priority. A couple of years ago I worked two part time jobs which meant I had Sundays off only. I started to tell friends and family that I would have my phone off. It was going to be my day. I would spend it how I wanted but there was not going to be outside influences allowed in. That was the start of the mindset of simpler times. I didn’t want a “once upon a time” storyline that talked about loosing myself in the busy.

When when my kids look back on their “once upon a time” they will talk about the social media influences, the anxieties that are becoming a common place thing, but I hope they will also talk about the simple days in which they played outside, road their bikes, played with the dogs in the back yard and went to the library for actual books. I hope they talk about the silly board games we played together as a family and the fact that when they did see something funny on YouTube that they were able to share it with their parents because their parents saw the importance of valued times with their kids. Now more than ever we have to chose to have simpler times. A good friend of mine gets out the markers and colored pencils after work to unwind from the day. Another friend is so creative with making cards. My best friend raises chickens and even tried out turkeys this year with her girls. It won’t matter years down the road how busy you were, what will matter is what you did with your time. Did you find joy in what you chose to spend your time on? Was there personal growth, family love, and time to smell the sunflowers? Once upon a time shouldn’t just be limited to fairytales. Until next time I want to share this quote that a friend shared with me:

And every day the world will drag you by the hand yelling: “This is important! And this is important! And this is important! You need to worry about this! And this! And this! And this!”

And each day it’s up to you to yank your hand back, put it on your heart and say, “No. This is what’s important.”

Iain Thomas

Are You Brave Enough?

As I sat one night going over the activities of the week, I had to ask myself “Am I Brave Enough?” This is a tough question to ask. It depends on the content we are talking about. What had recently happened to me was the publishing of my new kids book ” Rae’s New Shine“. I had created this book that for me, helped me see that I do have worth and that I bring value into the world. What this also created was an opportunity to share my book to the world. Now when I mean the world, I mean my own small little world as well as the internet. That is really a scary thought. It means I am sharing my thoughts with people who know me. It almost seems easier to share with the internet. Don’t get me wrong, the people that know me have been super supportive but it is still putting yourself out there to be loved or criticized. So in light of sharing my book I ultimately had to ask if I was brave enough to share my “baby” with everyone. It is a bit nerve wracking but in the end, to be brave means trying something new and go from there.

Now if I am talking about teaching my teenager to drive, I admit I really wanted to chicken out of it. There were times in which I suggested that she take her dad out too so that she could get a different perspective. Where in reality my nerves needed a break. Eventually I decided that I needed to be brave, I needed to be a cheerleader for her, and I had to teach her what it took to be brave herself. After time, and imaginary breaks being pushed we extended our driving reach from the local high school parking lot to actual streets. It took showing her in a safe spot that she could go about 20 mph and still stop the car if needed. Now if I could just get her to parallel park.

Being brave means saying something to someone that is hard to say. Now a days you have to carefully speak as some people tend to get defensive quicker than others. There are times in which that has to be thrown to the wind and words need to be said. Have you ever met someone that when a conversation is being had there are key words that can completely turn them off from listening? Now most of the time the describes teenagers in general, but what if it is something that is critical to this person’s wellbeing but they refuse to listen. This could be anything from a doctor telling his patient they have to take a certain medication to live comfortably and having them refuse because of fear, to a parent telling their 3 year old to keep all four chair legs on the floor so they don’t fall, and they proceed to fall because they didn’t listen to the warning.

Every day people step out of their homes choosing to be brave. They live with a certain lifestyle that goes against the norm, they are being brave. Someone who looks different from others decides to live a normal life is being brave. A teenager talking to her parents about a hot topic is being brave. To be brave doesn’t mean you don’t have fear. It just means you will walk past that fear constantly and just keep going. We wouldn’t have so many great inventions, conversations, products if the people that started them let fear rule. One thing is for certain, we will all go from this earth one day. While we were here did we choose to be brave or did we chose to live in a state of fear. I hope bravery is a constant in your life. I hope you life and enjoy the ups and downs of life. I hope you love, and love others. Where you brave enough to try? Until next time:

Oh honey, don’t worry about being merely beautiful. Be bold. Be wild. Be strong. Be confident. Be independent & intelligent. Be fierce. Be brave enough to be real in this fake world. Redefine beauty.

Brooke Hampton

The Influence You Make

Over the course of my life I have been around so many different people. There have been narcissists, to genuine people. When I was younger I was more willing to be influenced by the people I surrounded myself with because I was willing to believe that if they were doing whatever they were doing it must be ok. I mean why would I hang out with them if they weren’t the true deal? As I matured and got some life experiences under my belt I learned that in most situations people will do what is best for them. They will believe and act it a way that will benefit them. If by chance others benefit from what they have done, that’s great, but this is so backwards from the way we should be.

I often refer to the fact that we should be influenced and should follow along with the greatest teacher/leader there ever was. Christ Jesus influenced people. He did it not for His benefit but for theirs. He loved the unlovable and took people society would call outcasts and made them into people that society held with respect. These outcasts were no different than you or I. They would do things to benefit themselves and even their families. They would use their power (if they had it ex: King David) to further their cause. They would offer their help in return for shelter from the authorities in their town (Hagar). One woman even complained to Jesus about having to do all of the household chores while her sister chose to sit and listen to His teachings.

We have “influencers” today as you know . We all have seen one or two of them as they show us how to dress better, cook better, dog train better, whatever it is we sit for hours watching their little reels/posts. Our kids run to us asking yet again if they can show us this “funny” video. I can tell you I have watched so many videos on how to apply my make up like a professional, which is silly since I where so little make up you might as well say I don’t wear any at all. I watch parents and their kids dance to some popular song just so I can wish to dance like they do. I allow these “influencers” into my free space for the sole purpose of killing time. When I could be influencing my kids, myself, my family to do something better for the greater good.

The people I have around me influence me. I am older and wiser in knowing that I don’t have to believe in or do whatever it is they do, but ultimately little bits here and there get processed and stored in the back of my brain. The same goes for what I do and say around them. So as a Christian do I force my thoughts and religion onto those I am around? Of course not, but I also stand my ground when I don’t feel comfortable about something said or a situation in which what I believe is being made fun of. I would rather influence in the way Christ did, with compassion, and grace. He loved but didn’t accept wrongdoings. He would teach in a way that made the student think and come to their own conclusions. He would guide and be patient. There was no competition on who was more popular, who was more “right”, on who was “better for the part”. He was who He was without explaining Himself, without forcing.

When we chose to open our mouths in anger or in love we need to think about how this will affect the person receiving what we are dishing out. Sometimes they need to hear what is being said or see what is being “acted out” but in other situations they don’t. We are responsible for our words and actions. We are responsible for how we want to influence people, though we are not responsible for how they ultimately get influenced. Each and every day, hour, minute we make choices that can harm or help. Think about the best people you know. Why are they the best in your eyes? I can almost bet it’s because of the way they treated you, or the way they treated or talked to others. I can bet it’s not because of how nasty or mean they were. Think about that the next time you feel you need to make your presence known. Until next time:

Chase goals, not people

Celebrate your small wins

Take a break if you need it

Do something that makes you feel good

Learn something in everything

Ourmindfullife.com

It’s a Beautiful Morning

The sun is shining, the flowers are in full bloom and my wonderful hubby has a wonderful way of keeping our house cool as the temperatures rise outside. I am a summer person, I love to be warm, though 102 degrees is a little too warm, you won’t hear me complaining about it. The touch of the sun as you step out in the morning can make you feel alive, like you can take on the world!

This morning, as usual we took our dogs out on a walk. Early morning walks have turned into such an important part of my day. It’s a way of waking up, getting the blood flowing, since I usually have my hubby with me, it’s a time to catch up. It’s also a time to dream. There is a magical time in between wake up, get up, the dog’s wiggle butts as they realize it’s walk time, to getting out and walking. Most people are still asleep, the world is quiet (other than the random big truck with the noisy engine), it’s a time to enjoy being alive.

Mornings do one thing, they bring on the day. When we roll out of bed we decide if we want to seize the day or let the day seize us. Most of us want to just make it through the day, we want to survive. To be caught in this survival mode isn’t thriving or truly living. What if at the beginning of each day we decide to find the good in it? This past week as my hubby and I went on our morning walks we talked about the future, we talked about work, we talked about the different stages our kids are in. In our walking though there were times of just being quiet and enjoying each other’s company. In these moments I noticed the new horse in the pasture that was a beautiful chestnut color. I noticed that at most houses there were random sunflowers that had popped up (gotta love when birds spread seeds). There is a certain house we walk by often that has this older dog who just loves to hang out on the front porch. We know the owner is a older gentleman too, so when we see the dog we smile knowing that both owner and dog are doing just fine.

Mornings are when at least for me, self care happens. I am a morning person at heart. I love to get stuff done so early. For my sanity I work out, for my family and friend’s sanity I work out. The best time to do that is in the morning. It’s cooler than the rest of the day, I have more energy to exert, and at that point the rest of my family are either sleeping (summertime), getting their breakfast going or in my hubby’s case scrolling through social media for the morning. Mornings become times in which I can do things to take care of myself, so then I can be there to help take care of others.

It’s a beautiful morning! How it’s embraced is how the day goes. I know struggles will happen today. My kids will disagree, the meetings I have may not go as planned, life will still go on. I know there are sunflowers in my future and a date that includes frozen yogurt though. I know that “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” Philippians 4:13. I also know that the lyrics to this song will play over and over in my head. Until next time:

It’s a beautiful morning, ah

I think I’ll go outside for a while

And just smile

Just take in some clean fresh air, boy

No sense in staying inside

If the weather’s fine and you’ve got the time

It’s your chance to wake up and plan another brand new day

Either way

It’s a beautiful morning…….

It’s a Beautiful Morning by The Rascals

Extension of Our Hands

Yesterday was a hot, dry day, perfect for a fun filled day at the waterpark. We packed up the beach towels, grabbed the water bottles, sunscreen, and hats and headed out. Our little town doesn’t have a water park with the big slides and “toilet bowl” ride (the one where you are on a tube and you shoot out of a funnel slide into a big “bowl”, but a few hours south of us there is one. So we left early in the morning and got there right at opening, with our handy dandy phone to tell us how to get there. Before we left though, my son came to me with an idea on how we could keep our phones with us and keep them dry in the process. Though the idea was good, I vetoed it letting him know we all could last a day without our phones attached to us.

And so we did. We paid for our tickets got our lockers and proceeded to place phones, towels, and basically anything other than water into the locker (we lathered up first with sunscreen, so as to not cook our skin off our bodies). We found our inner tubes and followed the lines up to the top of the slides, and within seconds were down at the bottom pools ready to go again. We soon realized that the slides that didn’t require the tubes were much more fun and had faster lines to go through. This whole time there was not a thought about the time and who posted what on one of the social outlets. Even my sister commented on how strange it was that we are so trained to check our phones that when we don’t have them it feels awkward, but here we were killing it as a family without phones.

Some people might say, “well what if someone had to get a hold of you?” or “you missed out on taking pictures to remember your day”. This is true, and I didn’t get all the pictures I wanted to get, and my friend who let my dogs out did text me while I was playing, but I still preferred not having my phone. I got to race my eldest daughter down the slides, just to reach the bottom in time to see her catch air. I got to splash my middle child in the face because she thought it was so funny to get water on my sunglasses for the tenth time. My youngest and I did the roaring rapids slide enough times that I lost my hat and glass at the bottom of the pool (I got my glasses back later, and my hat ended up floating to the surface). My hubby and I saw each other in passing and at lunch when we met to eat, but we were both having fun with the kids so we knew it was worth it. We ended our day with a family hug for my sister (she had to leave early since she had a longer drive home), and ice cream and Icee’s to cool us before climbing into the hot car for the ride home.

Our phones survived the day too, they probably didn’t even miss us, lol. It was so nice to be disconnected. Our kids were not stuck in “zombie land” staring at their phones watching other people have fun. We got to be kids together. We managed a few pictures before my sister left but for the most part the memories we made are not ones that were photo saved to be shared on a social platform, instead they will be ones that are talked about at the dinner table. They will be remembered the next time we do something similar as a family. They will be core memories, are good reminders that family times are so important. This is living joyfully. When the extension of our hands become someone else’s hand, or us holding on to our hats so they don’t fly off as we fly down the slide. There are so many times in which I go down “wish lane” wishing I was around more for my family vs. being busy else ware, but what this does is add guilt to a place where guilt isn’t needed. Doing activities with your family and friends means making time to do it. It can mean setting the phone down and getting out, but the rewards of making the time are awesome. My family and I were exhausted by the time we got home, but the consensus was that we had fun and we were defiantly doing more family activities again soon. Until next time:

The greatest moments in life are not concerned with selfish achievements, but rather with the things we do for the people we love and esteem.

Walt Disney

Dreaming Life!

When my kids were little dreaming was something they did often. They would dream of having ice cream after dinner, often times they would dream of having ice cream for dinner. They would dream of having a certain toy, or even to play with a certain friend. They’re dreams were small but it was if they were born to dream.

As they grew up their dreams turned more significant. How wonderful would it be to catch the eye of a certain special someone? It would be so wonderful to have enough money for whatever it is they have their eye on. At some point the dreaming changes. We were made to dream.

What kind of life would dreams bring us? When we choose to dream big it means that we need to also be willing to work hard for the dreams we have. A few years back I had a dream of being a momma. This wasn’t something I remember obsessing over as a kid, but once I got married, the dream became more important and soon became a reality. My kids made my dream a reality, I work hard daily because of that dream and though the work isn’t easy, the rewards and love I get and feel daily are worth it.

Dreams are there too to help get you away from the day by day routines. I often dream of a day on the couch reading a book, but from that dream came the thought of writing a blog, from which came the idea to write a book. How scary to try out a blog in which people actually read it. Then to try and write a children’s book for parents to read to their kids, terrifying! We are given gifts and talents that should be used. I would never try and train a horse or cook a elegant dinner for my family because I know I do not have those gifts. I have friends with those gifts and I am so happy they do.

My daughter is so talented at drawing and working with kids. This her dream to teach suits her. I love working with animals and feel comfortable in my skills at writing and in my ability to encourage people. God made me to dream big, just as he did everyone else.

The choice is ours to follow the dreams we have. Some dreams may not turn out so well (I mean eating ice cream for dinner every night might end in a major stomach ache), others may be such a success that all you can do is thank God for His blessings and for giving you the gifts and talents He has. Dreams can take work, can be terrifying, but when followed can be so rewarding. What dreams do you have? Are you following them or just letting them collect dust on a shelf. My hope is that you step out in faith, do something different and work towards the goal. Until next time:

While you might be doubting yourself, someone else is admiring your strength.

Unknown
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