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Pushing Through

Happy Tuesday … it’s a little overcast here in Florida but the breeze and the warmth feel amazing. Welcome to my crazy lil RV-World. I’m so glad that you stopped in.

Yesterday evening hubby and I decided to take our nightly walk a little early so that I could capture some pictures of the pond as dusk was setting in . It is probably my favorite time of day.

I knew hubby wasn’t feeling the best so we started out slow … and as we walked I noticed how he was starting to lag behind so I slowed my pace to match his .

What occurred to me as we walked in comfortable silence was… no matter how he was feeling he was always willing to push through the pain and be the best”him” that he could be .

As we rounded the bend and I saw the glow of our RV lights I knew that wherever life took us we were home as long as we were together.

I squeezed his hand and thanked him for pushing through his pain and discomfort to walk with me and watch the sunset… it truly meant more to me than even my words could describe.

As I laid in bed last night I started to think that sometimes the pain isn’t a physical pain we have to push through sometimes it’s an emotional pain. All too often that emotional heartbreak in our lives can feel as though it’s trying to break us in two.

Trust me when I tell you that I really do understand. Many times I have found myself in a place where the pain of a broken heart has hit me hard and fast . It’s that kind of pain that leaves you wondering if you can still function and be like a “normal” person again.

While I listened to hubby snore my mind started to think on the times of brokenness. I felt my spirit start to stir in the darkness of night … I felt as though God was speaking to my heart. So gently He spoke as the tears fell down my face …. pain is not the enemy BUT it’s the indicator that brokenness exists.

This morning as I sipped my tea and thumbed through my Bible this quote ministered to a deep place inside of me , “Pain is the gift that motivates us to fight with bravery and fierce determination, knowing there’s healing on the other side”. WOW!!

There is that in between place where it all feels quite raw .. it’s that bridge that takes us from the painful and personal TO THE powerful and prophetic! That’s the place that we must invite God into our pain to help us survive the desperate in-between.

Pain is the invitation for God to move in and replace our faltering strength with His.

I know it’s not easy to push ourselves… BUT we are not alone and when our strength is fading we need to allow God to be our strength.

I challenge you today to make a choice to push through whatever is holding you back. I know there are things that we allow to “numb” our pain BUT what numbs us also is the thing that will imprison us.

If we avoid the hurt, the hurt creates a void in us. It slowly kills the potential for our hearts to fully feel, fully connect, fully love again. It even steals the best in our relationship with God.

“Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.” (Psalm 91:1, NIV)

Allow God to help you pass through the pain … push through what is stopping you from being who you were created to be!

Be blessed, be bold, and be you !

Xoxo

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Exhale the Hurry

Welcome to my crazy lil RV-World I’m so glad that you decided to stop in. My prayer is that you and your family are enjoying this lovely Sunday evening.

My current situation finds me relaxing in the backseat of our car snuggling with my Daisy and sipping some iced chai tea and nibbling a donut while hubby is driving through NC.

A few miles back we decided to take a detour and grab a coffee & and donut .. well, let’s be honest I wasn’t grabbing a coffee , I was after an iced chai tea latte. My heart was overjoyed as we pulled into the parking lot of Starbucks … and it truly felt like I was coming home.

As I walked inside the pleasant smells and the sweet girl welcoming me made me smile… and I was so thankful for this little pit stop.

I placed my order… I gave them my name .. and it didn’t even bother me that I had to spell it twice… I paid , and quickly moved out of the way.

Then it’s that moment when your calm turns into unsettling… it didn’t take me long to realize that they were overwhelmed and understaffed… and the tension that was brewing behind the counter was stronger than the coffee.

The longer I stood there I could tell the manager’s negative comments were causing the other two to freeze under the pressure. Things like : “make it quickly and call it”…. “8 minute waits are unacceptable”… “drive thru is two cars behind”… “just give it here I will do it myself”…”hurry up and call the names… people are waiting”.

The wait wasn’t bothering me … to be honest it was the look on the young man’s face that was bothering me . For a moment we made eye contact … and I smiled big and gave him a quick wink !! The kind of gesture that I give my three children all the time … and as a small smile started to form he mouthed two small words , “thank you”.

Five minutes later I had my drink and was walking back to the car … and as I took a sip (of the worst drink I’ve ever had from Starbucks) i allowed the stress of that situation to exit my body …. I decided not to email corporate… or to call and complain… in that moment I chose to inhale calm and exhale hurry.

I understand … I really do! I’m sure that manager was looking at her life in that moment as a hectic mess… I’m sure her ongoing “to-do” list was weighing down on her. Each one of us have been just like her in times of chaos. We know how easy it is to lose our grasp and find ourselves emotionally reacting.

At first I was allowing the chaos to make me anxious and nervous , and it would have been so easy to act like the other people that were around me BUT I chose to find my calm.

How many times do we find ourselves rushing around from one task to another … always in a hurry … missing the people who are right in front of us … as I think of my word for 2018 … I have to remind myself daily to “breathe”.

I challenge you as we enter into a new week that when life is constantly buzzing around you that you just breathe and remain calm.

Trust me it is possible! You see dear friend calmness is a state of mind and it can be attained regardless of the outside world.

Most people talk about relaxation methods that help bring about peace and calmness… don’t get me wrong these are excellent ways to find calmness, BUT they can also become another task that needs managed … and that can bring its own form of stress.

So, if you are like me you are familiar with stress, and you understand the physical repercussions are real. It is not actually the outside events that are wearing down our bodies, it’s our internal state that is reacting to the outside world.

As you settle into rest this evening I want you to remember that calmness may take some time to implement into your life … and like everything else it is a journey. But understanding that calmness comes from within will allow it to manifest on the outside as well. Believe me when I say, ” this is an important factor to raising your vibration, finding peace, love, and happiness from within”.

Have a wonderful and peaceful week !! Thank you for spending a few minutes of your day with me !

Be blessed, be bold, and be you! Xoxo

Finding Life in the Debris

Happy Wednesday Beautiful Friend…I hope you had a wonderful day, welcome to my crazy lil RV-World I’m so glad that you stopped in.

One of my favorite things to do when we travel from place to place is to find state parks to visit. It has become a joke between my hubby and I that I need to touch nature, take pictures of trees, and then journal about my adventures.

Well today we decided to go visit Highland Hammock Park …. 3 winters in Florida and this is my first time visiting.

It was a beautiful day … spending time with family before they left to fly home made today bittersweet BUT still beautiful!

I had a moment today that totally tugged at my heart and caused me take a minute to breathe in the beauty that was in front of me in spite of the brokenness that surround me.

Hubby and I decided to take a stroll down this little wooden walkway that went right through a clearing in the woods.

As we walked, we talked about all the hurricane damage that was still in need of some cleanup… I truly couldn’t believe my eyes…. then all of the sudden in the stillness I heard leaves rustling.

There right in front of me I watched a mother squirrel scampering back and forth carrying tiny pieces of debris trying to rebuild her home.

For 5 mins I watched her work without concern than we were standing so close … and as I looked around I saw that even in the aftermath of destruction there is life.

At first this may seem like just a small thing but it was such a profound moment for me …. because the squirrel never tired of what she was doing … she never lost her focus… her mind was set on the “rebuild” and she wouldn’t even allow me or my camera to interfere.

I stood there at the end of the trail and lifted my head to catch a glimpse of the sun streaming brightly through the trees and in that exact moment …. we saw a bird carrying twigs… the higher she flew the harder she was to see. But I knew that she was taking those back to her nest.

I realized that even in the middle of a mess there is still life …. In the midst of broken trees and scattered limbs God’s Beauty is everywhere! It felt like a hug … because even in the aftermath of a hurricane He is still God and He will always provide.

All to often we allow the chaos of life to knock us out of focus …and I am trying to remind myself to stop and breathe…

I challenge you tonight as you drift off to sleep to promise yourself that in midst of movement and chaos you will keep stillness inside of you.

Be blessed, be bold, and be you! Xoxo

Finding My “True-Self”

Happy Wednesday… it’s a beautiful day in sunny Florida ! I was sitting outside and as I sat there watching the birds fly and the ducks waddle I had a thought …. well, let’s be honest… I had more than one thought! Welcome to my crazy lil RV-World I’m so glad that you stopped in!!

Have you ever felt like you were wearing someone else’s shoes … like they fit BUT only because you crammed your chubby foot in them only to find yourself limping around because they were too tight and so uncomfortable?

Well … I found myself having a time like that in my life…. honestly, for about 3 years everyday I felt like that !

I’m amazed, when I look back now, how long it took me to realize I was playing a part, acting like someone different from the way God created me to be.

I was acting like “they” wanted me to act … saying and doing the things that made them happy !

I would drive home each day with a white knuckle grip on the steering wheel and a churning in my stomach … each day I lived in fear of messing up … of being an embarrassment… of sayin the wrong thing… I felt like square peg that was being pushed inside a circle!

So about 3.5 years in I had a lightbulb moment that rocked me to the core … this is what I wrote that morning at around 4:30am….

I’m messy, a tad dramatic, and at times I can be a little loud. I love to hug people … and I don’t want anyone to ever have to cry alone… just so you know I am a crier. I like stories, and tea, and lots of butter with my meals and i absolutely enjoy doing things on the spur of the moment and some days I have no sense of routine.

That morning I felt like I was giving myself a gift !!! Because I had to either walk away from what I was doing OR decide to be the lady that God created me to be!

What would it look like for you to admit today what you are and are not made for? Give yourself permission to be open and honest with yourself.

This morning as I was preparing for my day I pulled out my favorite leopard print maxi skirt and my grit & grace t-shirt and as I was getting dressed a scripture popped in my mind …. I love the freedom and grace that flood through me when I read it.

So God says to the snow, “Fall on the earth.”That’s it. Just do one thing. Just fall. And then He says to the rain shower, “Be a mighty downpour.” Essentially, He’s saying: Just do the thing I’ve actually created you to do. You’re rain … so rain. You’re snow … so snow.

I love the simplicity of that, the tremendous weight it takes off my shoulders. God’s asking me to be the thing He’s already created me to be. And He’s asking you to be the thing He’s already created you to be.

Pastor puts it this way ….”He doesn’t tell the snow to thaw and become rain, or the rain to freeze itself into snow. He basically says: be you … be want I created you to be … do your thing… whatever you love …just do it !! You are fearfully and wonderfully made by me”!

So many of us twist ourselves up in knots trying desperately to be something or someone else.

We run ourselves ragged trying to fulfill a list that is often unending… the list of things that we think will make us feel happy and loved. Trust me when I tell you from my own life this is an exhausting way to live. At times it has caused me to build a wall and hide behind .. that’s a post for another day.

What is God asking you do to? What is the thing God created you to be?

What do you do with the ease and lightness of falling snow? For many years I walked away from crafting and writing because people thought it was stupid … I would pinch myself not to cry because people made fun of my sensitive side!

BUT I think if we were honest with ourselves, many of us have wandered far from those things.

We’ve gotten wrapped up in what someone else wanted us to be, what we thought would gain us approval.

I’m finding there’s tremendous value and life changing freedom in traveling back to our “true-self” the loves and skills and passions God planted inside us long ago.

When I look at my life, I see the threads of passion and identity I’ve carried through my whole life: Books and reading, people and connection, writing and scrapbooking, food and the people who sit around my table. These are things I’ve always loved, and they continue to bring me great joy…. and when I think of these things I find my mind at peace and my body at rest.

Think about your adolescent self, the “you” you’ve always been. God imprinted a sacred, beautiful collection of passions and capacities right onto your heart.

What do you love? What does your passion bubble over for? What makes you dream bigger? What brings you joy?

I’m finding that much of adulthood is peeling off the layers of expectation and pressure, and protecting those precious things that lie beneath the surface.

We live in a culture that tries to define what it means to be a success, what it means to live a valuable life… what is means to feel important and to fit in.

But those definitions require us to live on a treadmill, always trying to hustle so that we fit in, to be thin enough and young enough and sparkly enough, for our homes to be large and spotless, our children well-mannered and clean-faced, our dreams orderly and profitable….. But trust me friends that’s not life. That’s not where the fullness of joy and meaning are found.

I love this quote that I found when studying the above scripture in Job….”The snow is only meant, created, commanded to fall. The rain only meant, created, commanded to pour down. You were only meant, created, commanded to be who you are — weird and wonderful, imperfect and messy and lovely”.

So I challenge you today to ask yourself these two life changeing questions :

1. What do you need to leave behind, in order to recover that “true-self” that God created?

2. What do you need to walk away from, in order to reclaim those unique parts God designed for His purposes?

No matter what always be your unique self…. be blessed, be bold, and be you ! Xoxo

Be Your Own Shade of Beautiful

Happy Monday the new “Fun-Day” … Mondays are a new day at the beginning of a new week that is full of new possibilities! So I would like to thank you for stopping by my crazy lil RV-World… I am so blessed that you took a few moments for yourself.

A few days ago I was reading an email from a friend … this friend is someone I’ve known for years BUT never met in person. Almost like a pen pal via email. She was telling me about a coloring challenge that was scheduled to start today.

I was so excited and quickly sent in my sign up email , joined the FB community , and added it to my planner!

This morning I woke up very early … it was still dark outside so I turned on some heat, grabbed a blanket, drank some tea, and watched the introduction video for the next 30 days.

That was the easy part …. I could not decide what to color … or if I should use crayons, makers, color pencils, or water color pencils ….. so after our morning walk I unpacked my craftsman tote and started getting my supplies in order !!! I was so excited!

As I sat there looking at all the beautiful colors I was surprised that each grouping of pencils had various shades… like my favorite color is pink … and in my grouping of pink there were 7 shades to choose from.

Each of the 7 Pink colored pencils are unique and beautiful. Some are used more than others, but each one is designed to leave a beautiful mark on this world.

Some shades may get more recognition than others … some leave a bold mark and others are more subtle but still leave a profound mark.

Some of my pencils are long , some are short, some are broken, but nonetheless, each is important to me and my 30 day challenge.

None of my pink pencils try to be any other shade of pink … they just perform as the shade they were created to be…. and this made me stop and think….

God created each of us to be unique and beautiful. We do not look alike, nor do we have the same God-given talents.

As I added layers of shading to my picture I found myself smiling because we each need to recognize that unlike me God doesn’t make mistakes…. and we are exactly the shade of “pink” that He designed is to be.

For a moment I just sat there looking at my picture, ( I was actually frowning because I didn’t think my picture was a nice as other ones I’ve seen) and as I sat there John 15 popped into my mind. You see friends we are the colored pencils and God himself is the artist. He told us in order to thrive in this world we needed to remain attached to Him.

We need to abide in Him! Just like my beautiful pink colored pencils need my hand to pick them up and use them… so it is with our lives. We need God to instill talents and gifts into us o be used for His glory.

I’m finding that when I truly abide in Him I will be able to used to my fullest and most glorious potential.

I challenge you today with this thought provoking question … “are you trying to be someone else’s shade of pink”?

Let me encourage you today to go out there and color your corner of the world your very own shade of pink !

Be blessed, be bold, and be you!

Xoxo

Trust me this is still a work in progress … haha I guess just like I am!!

My Self Talks …

Happy Sunday … it’s gonna be a fabulous day! Welcome to my crazy lil RV-World I’m so glad that you stopped in!

Yesterday I had a moment when I found myself having a feeling of not being enough … I went to my closet to get dressed and all my clothes seemed frumby . I looked in the mirror and my laugh lines had turned into cracks… and as I stared at myself I picked myself apart until I sat on the side of the bed and allowed the tears to flow.

Then as I crawled into bed I smiled and pretended that everything was fine …as my hubby’s steady breathing and gentle snores assured me he was asleep… i did the only thing I knew to do; I prayed for a mind of peace and to see myself through God’s eyes.

This morning I got up early and took a moment to again pray over my mind and I felt His love completely overwhelm me.

Then Pastor’s sermon this morning shook me to my core … he spoke of Psalm 103 and the importance of self talk … uplifting and life speaking self talk !

Then I went outside and allow the sunshine to warm my face and dry my tears ….. then the writing started to flow out of me .

No one is more influential in your life than you are, because no one talks to you as much as you talk to yourself.

I’m sure some of you are reading that statement and laughing! BUT trust me…I’m being quite serious.

We are in an unending, incredibly important conversation with our souls every moment of every day.

We interpret, organize, and analyze what’s going on inside and outside of ourselves.

If you are anything like me… you probably talk to yourself about the past, you talk to yourself about the future, and you talk to yourself about what you’re experiencing in the present. There are times that I’m talking to myself only to disagree and then I find myself arguing with myself! Haha, now that takes skill!!

Obviously, this is an internal conversation – if you had this conversation aloud they would probably carry you away. But in full disclosure there have been times that I’ve had these conversations out loud when I’m alone in my RV …. trust me the dog looks at me like I’ve lost my mind.

But… you see that’s why it’s so dangerous – we often don’t even realize that we’re saying things to ourselves. But we are!

We are saying things to ourselves that will shape who we are, how we see ourselves, our desires, actions, and theology.

Most times if we are not careful we will even believe our own thoughts over what God says … when Pastor spoke this today my soul jumped … WOWZA!

So friends…. what are you saying to you about God and your circumstances? Do your words stimulate favor, faith, hope, and courage?

Or does your talk stimulate doubt, discouragement, and fear?

Do you remind yourself that God is near, or do you reason within yourself that, given your circumstances, He must be distant?

Here’s the question that I wrote to myself today: how wholesome, faith-driven, and Christ-centered is the conversation that you have with yourself every day?

Do you remind yourself of your need? Do you point yourself once again to the beauty and practicality of God’s grace?

Do you tell yourself to run toward him in those moments when you feel like running from him?

Do you remind yourself that you are His Beloved Child … that He brings freedom, favor , and faith into life situations?

No one is more influential in your life than you are, because no one talks to you as much as you talk to yourself. What will you say to you today?

I challenge you today to take a moment a speak life, healing , and wholeness into your life !!

I had along talk with myself today and there was a moment when I was at a loss for words … so I went to Psalm 103 and talk to myself from the words of David… Bless the Lord oh my soul !!!!

True story this was me this morning after I had a long healthy talk to myself … and I made a promise to myself that I would be a blessing not only to those around me BUT to me as well !!!

Dear Self … you are loved beyond measure! You are a beloved daughter of God and He’s absolutely crazy about you!

Bless the Lord Oh, My Soul

Be blessed, be bold, and be you

Xoxo

A Crazy Dream & Unread Letter

It’s Friday … and I know many of us hold out all week just so we can say, “thank God it’s Friday”. Today it’s been a rainy day so far … not much going on in my crazy little RV-World, and I’m so glad that you stopped in!

It’s funny how when we allow ourselves to unplug and rest a bit (yesterday’s blog post) we are often faced with something that can easily rattle us and cause us to become unsettled once again.

As many of you know my brother died on October 18, 2017 … and his unexpected death has rocked our family to its core.

Last night I decided that after being so well rested I would sip some tea and stay up a little later …. mainly because I can not put the book down that I am reading … finally I snuggled in around 1:15am and was ready for a peaceful night of sleep.

And then ….. I had the craziest dream… it was the perfect mix of Runaway Bride & Smokey and the Bandit… I woke up missing my brother like crazy … so today as I took a moment and watched my wedding video I found myself crying a bucket of tears.

During the video I felt so strongly that I wanted to write Duane a letter; So I did! To sum it up … we miss him and we love him!!

I also wanted to thank him for always being the best big brother… even when we went through the good , the bad, and the ugly !! Being siblings doesn’t mean everything is perfect it’s learning how to love one another no matter what … and the three of did that with passion!

Well dear friends… Right before he walked me down the aisle (almost 28 years ago) he told me if I ever needed him all I had to do was call … and for the first time in my life I called and he didn’t answer … and that’s when I knew that this is not a dream BUT in fact life without him!

So here I sit in my Rv listening to the pounding rain and crying my eyes out …. and realizing that for now I’m going to allow the tears to fall … because there is a cleansing that comes when we cry …. and as I watch the puddle form on the table I can’t help but to smile because God is bottling up all my tears !! He cares so much about the details of our lives that even our tears are collected and saved !

What I learned in my time of rest is that I don’t have to hold it all together… I don’t have to paste a fake smile on my face and pretend everything is hunky-dory.

I want you to know dear one … God sees you and hears your cries for help, even when no one else does.

He knows your heartache. He sees your pain. If your heart is broken and you feel crushed from all sides, God promises to be close to you. Though you may not see Him with your physical eyes, He is there.

Today as I find myself trying to get a handle on it all …. I know that day by day He is gently mending my broken heart and I feel my mind being renewed through His Word.

Trust me when I tell you He will guide you along your journey… and if you allow Him it will lead to true freedom… and in that freedom you will be able to love and live with your heart wide open …. ready to give and to receive love.

I challenge you today to look in the mirror and ask yourself these things …. Has the stress of life taken its toll, causing you to feel afraid, lonely or ready to give up? Is your heart broken today?

Because take it from someone who has walked around broken and closed for awhile… He is all you need to get through what you are facing. Let God rescue you, friend. He is ready. He is willing. He is able.

Inhale healing and exhale brokenness

Be blessed, be bold, and be you!

Xoxo