A little encouragement:

Some days are hard.

You might feel the tension of wanting to get past a certain obstacle, once-and-for-all.

You might feel like you just don’t have the energy.

You might feel like you’re.just.done.

You keep pressing forward, and put one foot in front of the other.

Then, the tides turn.

You realize that the things you have prayed, wished, hoped, and longed for- they are beginning to unfold.

All the things that didn’t make sense before are beginning to make sense, now.

Y’all know that I’m BIG on sharing what I’m going through in the hopes that it helps someone. That if someone else relates, or gets hope from it- than it’s important to share!

Today, I realized, that so many things I’ve prayed for over the last 10 years have begun to come to tuition- even if they didn’t look the way I intended- or according to my plan.

Today, I want to encourage you- if you are there, in the deep of it all.

If you can barely see what’s ahead of you.

If you are barely surviving- and holding on. . . Keep on keeping on.

Keep fighting.

Keep pushing forward- because- if you pursue the things that are on your heart.

Man, things will look different.

I can promise you the timeline. That’ll look different for each and every person. It’ll depend on how much of the work you put in- but, man. . .

Where you see darkness, now- you’ll see the light and beauty, later!

Keep holding on! Keep fighting. Keep making changes!

Dear America, It’s time.

This has been weighing heavily on my heart.

My goal in writing this, is not to diminish any one side’s voice.

Rather, to bring to the table that there is a time and a season for everything.

I feel like I’m pretty middle of the road- and even so, I know I’m still at fault, at times.

I’ve spent the better part of the past year trying my best to listen, and I still felt like there were times my voice wasn’t heard.

On one end, I’m tired of being a punching bag, on other, I need to stop throwing the punches, on the other, it’s time I make amends, and use my voice to help build bridges.

The point of this is, cycles happen- and they don’t break until there is change.

And, there needs to be more people standing up in the gap, building bridges to make change.

This is not to say that this is necessarily “your time” for any specific area- rather, whatever you are ready for, and on your time table- I’ll hope that you’ll remember and be open to what changes you are personally ready to take.

Politics aside, this is not to say don’t stand up for what you believe in.

Rather, stand up for what you believe in and be loving to your neighbor. Hear when you have wronged others, and when you’re ready- because we are all on different time tables- break the cycle.

We all have a responsibility to the parts we play in our circles, in our society, and in the world.

In different aspects of our lives, we may be in different parts of the cycle. We may be breaking cycles in one area, and still needing a lot of work in another. And in some- man, do we really need to just stop talking, and start listening and doing!

If I’m way off base, or you feel like any part of this was hurtful- please feel free to open up to conversation with me!

My goal is to keep a space that allows for honest, open communication that works towards coming together.

Helping Our Kids Find Their Calm

Today, my kids are cranky and fighting like crazy.

On days like these, their emotions tend to run high.

Recently, we’ve talked about them creating healthy boundaries with each other. When one of them is upset or bothered by something one of the others did, they need to be able to communicate without blowing up at each other.

So, we decided that we are going to read a book about healthy boundaries, together .

I’m confident, that this will be a helpful resource for them to find their journey to calm and peace.

Some other things we have practiced are:

*Me working on being a better example for them. First, they need to see their parents setting a good example of having healthy boundaries and communicating well.

* When they can’t be around each other without arguing, or if they are needing to calm down: we go to natural lights only. We turn as many lights off as possible, open up windows, and playing calming music. Give them their own space to calm down in.

*Calming smells- we use calming essential oils to help them with their emotions and to relax.

*Talk it through- sometimes, they just need to talk through what’s been bothering them. So, we talk one-on-one, and then as a group to work through the problem. This has really helped them to lighten the mood, resolve, and move on from whatever was bothering them.

*One-on-one time: sometimes, they act out and fight with each other, simply because they need some one-on-one time.

Helping our kids with their own mental health and emotions is important. How do you help your kids with their calm?!

Mental Health Awareness Month

May is Mental Health Awareness Month.

I want to be very clear- I’m not a mental health professional.

I am; however, someone who has continually worked through anxiety and depression.

Because of my journey with anxiety and depression, I’m a big believer in sharing experiences. I believe that sharing experiences can be a source of healing to the person “going through it”. In my opinion, it can help to hear stories from those who have gone before you. I know, because it’s one of the things that helped me on my journey.

One of the many sayings I’ve heard over and over was: I wish I knew, then, that other people went through x,y,z.

Thankfully, talking about Mental Health is becoming more and more accepted.

This month, I’d like to share and re-share my journey.

I’d love to share resources.

I’d love to share hope.

If you or someone you know battles with Mental Health, know that you are loved. You are not alone.

Please visit https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/find-help/ if you need resources.

Teacher Appreciation

It’s Teacher Appreciation Week!! Be sure to thank a teacher today!!!

Make it simple! Write a note of encouragement! May is one of the toughest months of the year for teachers

Make it creative and practical! As the year is closing out, ask your child’s teacher what supplies they need to end out the school year. Create a small gift basket with those items!

Send him/her a treat- their favorite sweet, snack or drink!

21 Days of Christmas: Days 8-15

Well, I lost track of time this past week, with it being the week of Christmas, and didn’t keep up with the 21 Days of Showing Kindness through Christmas, and into the New Year.

If you’re like me, you can get off track, and start again when you can! The goal is to keep going, even when you have to take a short break. . .

With that, here we go!

Day 8- Bring someone joy by painting a rock, and hide it somewhere in your community for someone to find.

Day 9- Leaving encouraging post-it notes in random places. Maybe at your work, the grocery store. Get creative!

Day 10- if you go out to eat, find out when your favorite restaurant has their weekly special. Order off of the special menu. Your bill will be lower. But don’t stop there! Leave a larger tip than you would normally be able to for your waiter, with an encouraging note on the receipt!!

Day 11- bring someone their favorite drink and snack!

Day 12- when you’re grateful for something that someone has done. Tell them “thank you”, and why you are glad they are in your life.

Day 13- compliment someone. Did they do a great job at work? Did they take out the trash? Did they go above and beyond? Did they show up? Let them know you noticed!

Day 14- bring the people in your office breakfast. Donuts, anyone?!

Day 15-going through the drive through? pay for the next person in line’s coffee. If you can only lend a small amount- that’s ok. Ask the barista if someone has ordered with the amount you can give, or pay towards someone’s order!

Times can be rough. Just remember to keep spreading the kindness!!

Just a little reminder. . .

We all have that someone we look up to. When we think of that person, we think “ahhh! They are living the dream!”

Today, is your reminder that even if it looks like their daily life is rainbows and kittens. It’s not.

Everyone has hard days. And that is ok.

So, if you’re having a day when you feel like you’re the only one. You’re not. We are all out here just trying to figure life out, sometimes, one day at a time.

So. Take a deep breath. Get yourself centered. And keep going.

21 Days of Christmas: Day 7

You know that neighbor that gets under your skin? Their yard needs mowing. They leave the trash can at the end of their driveway too long. The list could go on and on.

Is it possible that they have a lot on their plate right now? Maybe they’re dealing with anxiety or depression. Maybe they have a newborn. Maybe a loved one is in the hospital. Maybe they are a single parent. Who knows what they are going through!

So, for Day 7- kindly reach out to them. Get to know them, sincerely. You’ll learn their story, and about who they are. Offer a helping hand, show up and let them know you care. Maybe help them by bringing in their trash can for them. Maybe mow their front yard for them. Do something to show you care. It could be a surprise, if you already know them well enough to know they’d appreciate the gesture. Or you could offer a helping hand, before doing so, if you don’t know them all that well.

Acts of service are a great way to show kindness this season!

21 Days of Christmas: Day 6

During this next week, sometimes people get so focused on the things we “need” to do to get ready for the Holidays that we often forget to think of others. Instead of rushing through your to-do list. Slow down and smile.

Today, smile at that person next to you in line at the store. Smile at the person who cut you off. Smile at the person who huffed at you. Smile at the person who is flustered. Smile at the person whose kids are acting crazy in the store.

And no- don’t be sarcastic with it. Give ‘em a genuine smile. Let them know that you see them. Extend that grace! Just smile.