Many of us feel as though we are feeling God, daily.  

Struggling to see our purpose.  Struggling to find our "nitch" in His grandiose plan.  Because our world has become so dispicably competitive, I am saddened to say, I believe that our walk with the Lord becomes no exception. 

The bigger issue here is this..... all too often we are desiring to be seen as the one moving mountains, while God has us busy helping others struggling, up a hill.  Our perception is tainted. There is a very good chance, that you are serving God every. single. day. and your need for recognition has blinded you to the work He has you doing.  

Here is how....

Do you have friends?  Do you have anyone who calls you in a moment of weakness of pain?  Even if you do not speak to them daily, do you have people that know they could count on you in a New York minute if they needed something?  Do you pray for others?  Do you offer warm hugs and a helping hand when you are able?  Do you bless them with a warm smile or words of encouragement?  Do you make them laugh when they want to fall apart?  Do you help them see the hope in the hopeless?  Are you the hands and feet of God when their world is cold and dark?

If you answered yes, to any ONE of these questions.... you are serving God in a mighty way and you probably don't even acknowledge it.  Perhaps to you, it does not seem grandiose enough, but trust me when I tell you, it is extremely grandiose to the receiver!

During my worst moments in the past few years of marital struggle, my friends were my saving grace.  They were literally the hands and feet of God in my life.... daily.  

I will venture to say, most of them did not even recognize how impactful their presence, words and actions were in my life.  I am sure they often felt helpless and useless, wishing they could do more.  But friends, they did exactly what God asked them and called them to do.  

They loved me.
They served me.
They hugged me.
They prayed for me.
They sat with me when I cried.
They listened. 
They made me laugh and smile.
They provided for me.
They were available. 
They were attentive.
They surprised me with little things.
They called to check on me.
They were there WHENEVER I needed them.

They never had the solution and they never had all the answers.  They couldn't fix my problems and they didn't try.  

They were simply.... present. 

Their presence..... was a present. 
Here is the thing you HAVE to remember....

Some people were called to move mountains.... others were called to simply help others climb it.

Either calling is grandiose!

Either calling is admirable.

Either calling is needed.

Friendship is a truly beautiful thing. Often, people are closer to their friends than their own blood relatives. If you are a friend to any, you are being used by God.

There is beauty and purpose in the every day activities God has us doing and they become even more purposeful when we acknowledge them as His work.

In this lifetime, you may never move a "so called mountain" but you may unknowingly help hundreds or thousands of hopeless individuals climb theirs....

And that.... my friend... IS GRANDIOSE!!

Who can you help on their climb today?

Peace and Blessings
Your Friend
Missy



 
 
I had a bad day the other day and needless to say a stinky attitude to go with it.  I was feeling pretty crabby and discontent at home and making it painfully obvious to my family.  Though I get worn out and sometimes, rightfully so, it goes not give me any right to take it out on my family, the ones I love the most.  

We all know this, yet, I hear so many that share the same struggle.  They let out their ugliness out on those that mean the most to them.  Those they cannot bare the thought of losing, yet, it is those that get to see us at our very ugliest.  

I recall watching a Christian comic video one time, that showed a mom in the midst of her grumpiest grumps and then the her Pastor rang her doorbell!  Well... as you can well imagine... she plastered a painfully fake smile on her face, opened the door and says... "Praise God, Pastor, Hi!!"  

Joking aside, it is all too true that most of us would be guilty of the same thing.  We can be letting the fury of hell out on our family and then answer the phone in that split second a totally different person.  

Why?  

Well... I believe God gave me the answer to this million dollar question and it is actually very simple.  

I have heard many explain that we hurt the ones we love the most because we know they will always accept us, take us back, forgive and get over it because of their love for us; but I believe there is a deeper issue related to this phenomenon. 

It's called.... Darkness.

Sin is done in the dark.  Sin is comfortable when it is hidden, when it cannot be seen by those we want to keep it hidden from.  

It becomes easy to sin.... when we feel our sin is "safely hidden."

In our homes, behind closed doors, with for most of us, the safest people we know, it becomes very easy to let sin plant and grow.  We are "safe" here.  And though, our family members may share our sinful actions with a few close friends or relatives, we don't have the fear of being found out by the masses.  Our sin is safe.  Think about the sins you struggle with.  And I am  here to tell ya.... we all have them.  You are not alone and you are not an evil person because you have a sinful nature.  This is why you NEED Christ and this is why He died for you. 

The greatest sins I struggle with are; my thoughts, my quick temper when I'm exhausted and my fear of the unknown or lack of faith and trust.  I know I have others... but these are my top winners.  

But as I ponder these sins.... it is obvious to me that they are easily hidden.  No one aside from maybe those very close to me, know that these sins are alive and active in my life.  They are easily hidden, therefore, easy to continue.  I do more repenting in my home than anywhere else in the universe and that my friends, is troubling to me.  
If I died today, it is not the people at the Hy Vee or Hair Salon I would really be concerned about leaving behind.... it would be the ones that I live with every day of my life.  The ones that formed and grew in my very body.  The one that I vowed forever to with a mass of witnesses. YET, they see my sin at it's worst.... because in my warped and sinful mind.... they are "safe."

Think of the sins.... done in the dark.... where for the most part.... no one can see... or so we think. I believe with ALL my heart; this is why abortion is acceptable to many.  Abortions are completely done in the dark.  The mother cannot see what is happening to her baby inside that dark and closed off womb.  If light were put in the process.... and that mama was able to see and witness what was taking place inside her body, I am convinced abortion would be almost non existent.  

It is very easy to deny.... what we cannot see.  

BUT...

God... sees ALL my friends.  No sin can be hidden from Him.  


"My eyes are on all their ways; they are not hidden from me, nor is their sin concealed from my eyes." Jeremiah 16:17


And since God gets to judge where we spend eternity... should we not be more concerned about what He sees, rather than what others see?

Sin is never safe.  Sin is never hidden.  Sin will always be exposed.

We may live our life on this earth successfully hiding our sin from the world.... but there will come a day that sin will be exposed as we stand before God in judgement.  It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the Almighty God.... who will choose your eternity.  

Today... bring light to your sin.  Bring God with you everywhere you go.... He who is able to keep you from falling.  He whose light.... banishes the darkness we choose to hide in. 

Peace and Blessings
Your Friend 
Missy
 
 
Yesterday, I posted a little video clip on the need for reprieve!! Sometimes.... we just need to GET AWAY from our everyday!

I also talked about the struggle I often have of feeling that need but not being in a situation where I can necessarily have that break I am so desperately desiring.  

Winter months tend to be the hardest for most people as you are often trapped inside, with little sunlight or fresh air and cabin fever really starts to set in!  I am so tickled on the first nice days as spring approaches and I can open a few windows and my front door to let some fresh air in! 

We live in a world of GO, GO, GO and often find ourselves stumped as to why we can't just keeping going like the rest of the world seems to!  Do you find yourself feeling like a failure when you become drained and unmotivated?  Do you question your abilities and compare yourself to to other women that seem to be able to DO IT ALL?

Well... STOP doing that! LOL

Really, though, stop.'

Here is why....

God NEVER intended nor did He create us... to GO GO GO!!  Our bodies and minds have limits.  It is the world that has created this unrealistic facade and it is literally killing people, especially, mentally.  Most of the world is on anitdepressants/ anti anxiety medication and even those often fail to work.  You were not made to do it all... and trying to do so... will surely kill your spirit... if nothing else.  

OTHERS.... DON'T DO IT ALL EITHER! Quit comparing yourself to the little snipits you see in other people's lives.  You don't see the entire picture.  No one can do it all.... and if they try.... chances are.... they are falling apart... slowly but surely.  Now, there may be other women that do different things than you do, that perhaps, gives you the idea they are doing it all.... but really stop and assess your life.  It is very l likely... you are doing things... other women aren't doing.  I am going to bet, there are a whole lot of crazy, busy women, that often cry themselves to sleep at nigh from pure exhaustion.  Trying to do it all.... has great consequences..... that are not beneficial to anyone.  

Ladies.... no doubt,... God put us here to serve others and in that.... we can find tremendous joy.  However, serving others, does not mean , denying ourselves basic self care.  

No, in the 14 years I have been home with children, homeschooling and changing diapers, there is no doubt, I have not gotten the breaks I have so desperately needed.  And I have surely gone through seasons when I completely neglected not just my heart's desires, but my basic daily needs. 

I have learned.... the devastating effects this has on both myself and my family.  God loves me as much as He loves others, He wants me to love myself (in a healthy way) and care for my own body, the way I long to care for others.  

That is NOT selfish.... that is NECESSARY!!

Nurturing and pampering yourself can be a beautiful thing as long as the heart behind it, is aligned with God's.  

I want to care for myself because I want to feel at my best to serve Him, not because I feel I a more important than others.  

I cannot serve God.... if I never service myself!


So... Here are 5 things every woman should do for herself..... DAILY!!!  Without guilt, without hesitation.  This is especially important when you do not have a lot of opportunities to get the outside breaks you need.  You may be like me and have to forgo a lot of the bigger breaks with a lot of little ones.  Don't get me wrong... you still need the bigger ones.... such as; a night away, a manicure/pedicure, a day of shopping, lunch with a friend, even just an afternoon at a coffee joint reading a book.  BUT, when the bigger ones aren't possible.... the little ones can be just as healing!  


5 THINGS WOMEN SHOULD DO DAILY!

  1. Feed her Heart and Soul!  This may be quiet prayer and Bible time, reading an inspiring book, doing a daily devotion book or talking to a healing friend.  Whatever feeds your heart and soul.... is essential to your day.  Remember, even if you don't have a lot of extra time to read, I set the goal of 7 pages a day!  Do something doable!!!  And don't make excuses!!
  2. Drink Water!!  I know, I know, I know!  This one is so hammered into everyone, BUT believe me when I tell you... It makes a HUGE difference!!  I can totally tell by my energy level when I have not drank enough water!  You can be dehydrated and not even know it and fatigue is a huge indicator!  Do this... drink ONE glass of water in the morning before you have your coffee or anything else!  Buy yourself a cute little insulated cup and sip away ALL day!  It will make a difference... I promise!
  3. Take a Hot Bath or Shower!  You should always make time for this!  And if possible... you should really include a bath bomb in your tubby time!!  I experienced one of those compliment of my hubby last night and they are awesome!!!  Relaxing and leave your skin, oh so soft!!  Have a special little hidden place with your favorite bath time items; bubble bath, bath gel, bath salts, bath bombs, more expensive shampoo and conditioner just for you!! Go crazy!  Take care of you!! And enjoy every minute of it! 
  4. Do Something for Your Body!  Exercise is great, even if it's just 15-20 minutes of time. I only do 15-20 minutes 4 times per week!  It makes a HUGE difference!  However, if you are not able to get the exercise in, take care of your body in other ways such as: eating at least 3-4 fruits and veggies a day, taking vitamins, making yourself a daily healthy smoothie.  Anything that is GOOD for your body!  It will make you feel so much better about your day knowing you did something for your body!!!
  5. Laugh!!!!  Yes.... LAUGH!!!!  Find some way to laugh EVERYDAY!  You need laughter, smiling and joy!!  It feeds the soul!!!  It is as necessary as breathing!!!  I turn I Love Lucy on in the background a lot when I'm cleaning or folding laundry because I still laugh like a hyena at that show!!!!  Laugh, please laugh!!!

So there you have it.... you need to do these things for yourself... every day!!!!  And don't you ever, feel guilty about doing so!!!!  God loves you.... as much as He loves those you serve.  You matter.  You always have. And always will.  

Peace and Blessings
Your Friend 
Missy
 
 
 
 
IT'S THE FIRST 2017 GIVEAWAY!

I have pondering and praying about what to place in this giveaway and God gave me a few great ideas!

My goal this year is to be more intentional with my time and feel as though I have actually achieved something by the end of the day not merely survived!  I am often on "survival mode!"  Who can relate????  

One of the ways I am doing this is by taking time to read inspiring material that will continue to push me toward being intentional and enjoying my ACTUAL life, not the life I WISH I had.  I recently finished a little 30 page book called, God's Perfect Timing.  It was extremely inspiring and shared much wisdom on how God works in our lives!!  He is always at work.... even when we don't see it!!

This book will be in the giveaway!  It is short and sweet but extremely powerful!!!  

I am also focusing more on daily goal setting!  There is a fantastic feeling that comes from scratching off things on a "to do" list, even if it is just two things a day!  I put things on my list in each area of my life, my spiritual, physical, marriage, parenting and household goals.  Here is an example of my goal list....

SPIRITUAL; Morning prayer/ Bible/ Blog time, Read at least 7 pages of book.

PHYSICAL; Run/ Speed Walk at least 15-20 minutes. Eat at least 3 fruits/veggies.

MARRIAGE; Pray for my spouse/ marriage, have at least 10 minutes talk/ quiet time with spouse.

PARENTING; Bake something with the girls, Read to Audree. Pray for my kiddos!

HOUSEHOLD; Start cleaning/ organizing play room!

So there you have it! All these goals are totally attainable and it gives me a sense of intention in my day!  I don't lay in bed at night wishing I had done this or that.... I know I did it!!  

So... I have added some cute "to do"/ goal lists as well as a girly monthly planner!  
Next.... in terms of being intentional.... I love to focus on serving others.... outside my home as well!  One of the ways in which we can do this... is just by sending a thoughtful note or card when God lays it on our hearts!  The trouble with this often is, you don't have a card or note handy and you don't have time to run out and get one!  Well... I got ya covered!  One of my dear friends, Carol, makes the most adorable homemade cards!!!

I have included a package of these homemade cards that include cards for birthdays, anniversaries, get well, sympathy and just thinking about you cards!!!! 

Lastly, we all like to have our home tidy and organized and with cold and flu season brewing, I have added some of my favorite all natural hand soap!  It smells great and it is made with all natural ingredients!!!!  Check out Meyers products... they are super duper!!

Those are the items in my first giveaway of the year!!!  

To be part of the giveaway, comment or like this status and your name will be added!  I will draw the winner, Tuesday, January, 17th!!!

HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND!!

Peace and Blessings
Your Friend
Missy
 
 
Well.... I finally made my selection of reading material for 2017!!  I am excited to share that I have already completed one and loved it so much that I am making part of my next giveaway!  
Now, I must confess, it is not because of diligence of major time sacrifice that I finished this book.... the book is more like a little leaflet and has a grand total of 30 pages!!! LOL

BUT... it is 30 pages full of priceless wisdom, regarding God's perfect timing.  It spoke volumes to me and reminded me, as I often forget, that God is always at work in our lives, even when we don't see it.  

This book is called God's Perfect Timing, by Rev J Martin.  I couldn't put it down and was a little bummed when I finished it!!!  It will go to a lucky winner of the next giveaway!

My next selection is called Loving My Actual Life, by Alexandra Kuykindall.  The minute I saw this book, God told me it was for me!  As I am guessing many other people in this world, I feel I spend too much time wishing my life were different in certain ways, rather than loving and embracing the actual life I was given.  

Now, please don't misunderstand me, I love my life as a mom and wife.  And I am extremely grateful that I God has provided in ways that allow me to stay home with my kids and homeschool.  I never take that for granted, however, I find myself day dreaming about how I wish I had more money to do this to my house.  Or I wish I had grandparents near by, so I could take more moments away.  Or I wish my husband didn't have a job that required him to work as many hours as he normally has to. I wish my kids were more helpful.  I wish Audree was less high maintenance!

You see where I'm going with this?  It's not that I would make drastic changes.... it's just those little things that I think about and wish were different that make it difficult for me just to embrace the life I have.  

So.... in this book the author conducts a nine month experiment with her own life and dedicate nine months of her life to learning to embrace and love the life she actual has been given.  I have only read the intro, so I am not sure where the book is headed, but I am already intrigued.  

I will give you a full report when I complete the book!!!
The last book I chose is actually a Women of Faith Bible Study.  I have done these before and always really enjoyed them!!!

This one is called, Understanding Purpose, by Caroline Custis James.  The study is built to help women explore their specific purpose and what God has called them to do by giving her certain gifts and talents.  

Very often, as a stay at home mom, I understand I have great purpose in raising my children and serving my husband, but I feel I lost myself a little on this journey.  My whole life becomes about who I can serve next rather than HOW ELSE does God want me to serve?

Though my first priority is to my family, it does wonders for my heart when I am able to serve in other ways outside my home.  

Doing this blog is one way I am able to do that!!!

So... there you have it!!  If I finish this in a timely fashion... I may choose some other reading material.  

My goal is to finish Loving My Actual  Life, first!! My goal is 7 pages a day, more if time permits!!

What will you be reading this year???

Remember.... our journey with God.... is like a lifetime pregnancy.... we never stop growing..... and changing until the day we leave this earth... and are born again in heaven's gates!

Peace and Blessings
Your Friend
Missy
 
 
Females can be so very caddy and it starts at a very young age.  I remember sitting on the dial up phone for hours, flat on my back, feet up on my bed, chattering non stop.... about every other girl in the 5th grade.  Actually, it started way before then, probably shortly after I could talk.

Of course, I would get off that phone with that friend and repeat the same scenario with the next friend and then be playing jump rope with both of them on the playground the next day; as if we were BFF's.  I never really knew that gossiping was wrong.  It was so normal and tolerated that it almost seemed odd if you weren't talking about somebody.

I can recall though, how hurtful it was to find out someone you thought was your friend had been talking about you to anyone who would listen.  Making fun of your hair, your clothes or telling people lies about you.  My little girl heart was broken by "so called friends" more times than I can count; but worse than that, I was guilty of damaging hearts in return.

My sinful and pitiful act of gossiping about others continued well into adulthood.  When I worked full time before having children, I worked in an office FULL OF ALL WOMEN.  Needless to say, gossiping should have been what we got paid for.


 It was awful.  No one was safe around that office.  It was so bad in fact, that we had to hold staff meetings to discuss the negative behavior happening throughout the office.  Our workplace hauled in special "inspirational" speakers to try and train us in proper communication and kindness toward our fellow co workers.  

It never worked.  The room full of ladies would sit and listen, shed some tears of remorse for their hurtful actions and a week later, the back stabbing and gossiping would resume.  One of the hardest lessons I have learned was; "if they will do it with you, they will do it to you."

How naive I was to think that these ladies were just gossiping with me.  

When I began my walk with Christ, this was an area I was quickly convicted in, but took me quite some time to improve.  What happened was I simply renamed my gossiping into; "talking about someone out of care and concern."

I may not have been necessarily bad mouthing them, but I was sharing information I did not need to be with others and did not have permission to share.  This scripture resonates in my mind each time I begin to talk about another individual....

"Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful in building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen." Ephesians 4:29

This scripture simply stated: do not say a word about another person, unless it is to build that person up and it will benefit those that are listening.  It benefits no one when you gossip, I recently had a real life example of this!

In the recent years, I have become much more aware of this downfall through God's grace, however, I believe He still wanted to hammer this point into my heart through I flat iron hair iron.

YES!  He used my hair tools to do so!

I went into a Beauty Supply store to purchase a new flat iron.  The young girl working there was very kind and told me the kind I was choosing was a great choice, but mentioned nothing else to me about the iron.  I brought it home, used it a couple of times and was not overly impressed with the price I paid for it.  It seemed to be damaging my hair and I decided not to keep it.

I called down to the store and they nice lady assured me they would take it back with my receipt.  When I got to the store to return it, the young lady could not have been kinder and took it back with no questions asked.  I explained to her my reasoning for not keeping the iron and she said "totally fine."

She must not have noticed that I went to look around a little more, when another lady walked in and needed help at the counter.  She helped her and while I was standing in an isle, I heard another girl from the store ask what this was?

She was referring to the iron I had returned.  The young lady that waited on me started telling her, in a tad bit of an annoyed tone, that I had returned the iron because it was damaging my hair.  She went on to talk about me in a questionable tone, saying you should have used a heat protectant spray on her hair and so forth.  The two girls continued to discuss me and my flat iron issues in front of another customer, until the customer said to them..."I think she is still here."

I sat there pondering what to do.  I was a tad annoyed myself and I get so frustrated with bad customer service and there it was!!  I felt the grace of God covering me, as I knew everything I say, everything I do reflects on Him.  

The young girl went on to say.. "no, I think she left."  The customer said, "no she didn't."  

At that point I popped my head out from the isle and said, "no, she didn't!"  

The young ladies were stunned!  They fumbled over their words, in attempt to redeem themselves.  I simply kept my cool and explained to them, I had done all the things they had been talking about, I simply was not pleased with the product for the price I paid for it.  They were kind in return, however, my view of them had been totally changed in an instant.

I hold no grudge and forgive them for their gossiping, I do not even know them really,but I will never look at that young lady the same again, if I ever go to that store again.  

That is was gossiping does.  It can be hurtful and damaging to the person you are gossiping about (though, this did not hurt me, it annoyed me) and it causes others to lose respect for the gossiper.  There is no doubt that I have often talked about another person with an individual in hopes of helping them and in attempt to find out how I can help them, however, we must always be cautious of our heart and motives.What that also told me, is that this is probably a very common practice among those two girls, to talk about customers when they leave the store.  

I know, I know, I know, it probably happens everywhere.  I guess I choose to live blindly! LOL  Simply because, God has taught me how damaging and horrible it is to talk about others and He used this experience to drive His point home! It does make me ponder how often I walk out of a room and others begin a gossipy session about me.

I never realized how I appear, as I am taking part in this horrible act. I do not ever want someone to see me in that light, that I am untrustworthy, back stabbing or not a woman of integrity. It takes a lifetime to build a good reputation, but seconds to ruin it!

This scripture has come alive to me even more...

"Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and find clothes.  Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God's sight." 1 Peter 3:3-4

There was nothing beautiful about that situation.  It did not bring out any inner beauty in those two young ladies, in fact, any beauty I did happen to see on the outside was wiped out in that moment.  

Oh, I know how difficult it is to keep your mouth closed.  I also understand that sometimes it seems like harmless talking, no harm to be done,however, always ask yourself, if you were overhearing this conversation about YOU, how would you feel?

It is almost like the squirmy, uncomfortable feeling of someone watching you and you not knowing it, it feels similar to hear others talking about you when they do not realize you are still there, even when the talk is not overly negative.  It is just not right.

I continue to pray for God to take the temptation away from me, to share or talk about people or things, that I should not be talking about.  Let the words that leave my mouth regarding others, be only uplifting and beneficial! I pray the same for all of you!!

Peace and Blessings
Your Friend In Christ
Missy

 
 
We are 10 hours away from bringing 2016 to a close.  For the past 3 years, at least, I have looked forward to ending the year and starting fresh and new the next, anticipating it will be better. 

Sadly, for the past few years, the following year seemed to come with even more pain and heartache.  I will not dwell or get into why, as if you are a reader of this blog, you are more than likely very aware of what has taken place in our lives in the past few years.  

The past few years have been marked with much sorrow and struggle, but in terms of devastation, 2016 takes the cake.  

In this past year my heart has been taken to the brink of shattering what seems to be a zillion times.  I spent nights alone, while my husband was fighting and addiction and began to feel as though life could be easier without my marriage.  I pondered leaving, I was convicted to stay.  I felt betrayal like never before and also experienced a whole new level of forgiving.  I wanted to give up, but was given God's powerful strength to keep going, just one more day.  

In my weakness, I fell on my knees and realized on my knees is where strength was birthed.  I went from believing God would always provide and care for me to KNOWING God will always provide and take care of me.  I stood up for what I knew was right and accepted it costing me in the end and found blessings are often disguised in adversity. 

So though, there are things I long to leave behind, there are also many things I will choose to take with me. 
God shown Himself to me throughout this past year like never before.  He revealed Himself through the hug of a friend, the words of encouragement through a loved one, through giving me reasons to laugh in the same moments I was wanting to cry, for allowing me to step out on the edge but never far enough that I would lose my balance.  He gave me strength to keep going even though logically, I saw no reason to do so.  

He would not let me give up.  Ever.  I cannot stress to you all enough, what God has to offer you is not just life changing... but LIFE SAVING>  
God's conviction saved me from making permanent decisions based on circumstances He knew were temporary and with purpose.  

Today.... I leave behind my need to always understand... and embrace the lesson in trust I was gifted.  Trusting takes the why.... out of the trial.

Peace and Blessings
Your Friend
Missy
 
 
Not too long ago, I was talking with Garrick about setting goals.  I have learned sooo much about goal setting from one of my favorite blogs.... Money Saving Mom.  Often, the mistake many make with goal setting is setting a goal that is achievable, but lacks the planning and strategy to be achieved.  If you do this, you will find yourself feeling defeated and frustrated.  

Garrick informed me, that is why he does not set goals.  He winds up feeling like a failure when he does not achieve them. I told him that is because he lacks planning and strategy and perhaps, he chooses goals that are a little unrealistic.  

The past few years have not been, what I would call, joyful years.  Though God allowed us to feel joy, even through the struggles and pain, overall, these years were full of trials and pain.  Don't get me wrong, God had purpose for that pain and I learned so much walking through the valleys. I learned how strong I can be with God as my foundation, I learned the power of forgiveness, I learned the value of strong Christian friendships and most importantly; I learned there is not one person or relationship too far gone that God's restoration cannot touch it!  

I can now use this to encourage others walking through the valley!  And I find it an honor and privilege to do so!!  

BUT; with that being said, I am still very excited to venture into a new year anticipating something very different!  I am going to share with you my goals for 2017, NOT RESOLUTIONS, my goals.  I will also share with you how I break them down into different categories that are priority in my life and how I then have learned to break those down into bite size pieces, as I have learned from Crystal, at the Money Saving Mom.  I want to make them achievable and enjoyable!!  SO here goes!

SPIRITUAL GOAL:

*Grow in trust and my ability to "be still."
-Here are my bite size pieces that will help me achieve this goal!
  • Continue my morning reading/prayer/blogging time.
  • Read a daily Psalm and Proverb
  • Spend AT LEAST 5 minutes a day in quiet,intentional and uninterrupted prayer. 
  • Read AT LEAST 2 inspiring books ( I have yet to select these)
  • Seek others in need and assist them.

MARRIAGE:

*Continue working toward restoration and letting go of past hurt and fears.
Here are my bite size pieces to achieve this goal!

  • Continue to pray for my marriage and husband, daily.
  • Have at least one date night per month (AWAY FROM THE HOUSE! LOL)
  • Continue our yearly get aways, at least 2.
  • Pray together at least 4 times per week (I am pushing for daily, but that goal has been harder to achieve)
  • Spend at least 5-10 minutes each evening talking about our needs as well as our achievements. 
  • Possibly read an inspiring book on marriage together.
  • Continue our Sunday night marriage devotion.

  • HEALTH:

    -Keep my body healthy and strong (as possible LOL)
    -Here are my bite size pieces!

    • Run or exercise at least 4 times per week.
    • Continue to take my vitamins daily.
    • Eat AT LEAST 4 fruits/ veggies daily. ( I have gotten bad about this!)
    • Continue eating dark chocolate!! LOL

    FINANCIAL:

    *Pay off Camden's braces and begin paying on Addy's.
    *Save money each week for our getaway fund as well as for Christmas 2017!
    *Increase church giving.
    -Here are my bite size pieces!

    • Continue the cash envelope system, which has been working awesome!!!
    • Use any extra money to put toward braces until they are paid off.
    • Put $25 per month in getaway savings as well as Christmas.  
    • Use tax return to pay off debt and also save.
    • Increase giving at least $10 per week.

    PERSONAL:

    *Find joy in each day and live with intention.
    -Here are my bite size pieces!

    • Continue my time with the Lord.
    • Write AT LEAST 2 things a day I am thankful for in my journal!
    • Stop feeling guilty for taking time for myself and do something peaceful or enjoyable at least 15 minutes a day. (watch an episode of Lucy, read, start a fun project, write a letter. etc)
    • Do something fun for myself at least once a month (manicure/pedicure, shopping by myself, coffee and bible at Smoky Row, whatever I want!)
    • Seek ways to help and serve others.


    PARENTING: 
    *Be an intentional parent!
    -Here are my bite size pieces!

    • Spend  intentional one on one time with each child at least 1 time per month. 
    • Pray daily for each child during my prayer time.
    • Laugh more with my kids!


    So... there you have it!  These are my goals for 2017!!!  What goals will you be setting?? I would love to hear!!

    Peace and Blessings
    Your Friend
    Missy


     
     
    I have been very lazy at posting over the past week and for that I apologize!! Every year we travel to the Chicago area for Christmas to be with my side of the family.  My mom and her hubby as well as my sisters and their families all live in the same area.  It is a yearly tradition my kids have come to love and anticipate all year!  

    It is a few wonderful days full of belly laughs, excessive food intake and family traditions we all cherish.  During the time away I was able to see my cousin's new baby girl born on December 21st. We got to visit them downtown Chicago and though I risked both life and limb driving down there with my older sister behind the wheel (BAHAAAA) it was well worth it! She is precious beyond words and her name was inspired by our beloved Poppy.

    I was also able to see my grandma, whom I only get to see twice a year if that.  She is not really with it mentally and you could tell her the queen of England was coming to visit and she would get excited and forget about it the next minute, but getting to see her is always wonderful! It often leaves me teary eyed as I ponder my grandparents wonderful life together and I see how 60 years of marriage ends, grandma in a nursing home alone, often forgetting she was even married.  It is a reminder to remember to cherish life as it literally flies by in the blink of an eye. 
    One of the other MAJOR highlights of the trip was finally receiving the affections of my sister's peekapoo, Bruce!  I have been seeking and longing for a special connection with this dang dog for four years and he always shuns me!  He will jump up on almost everyone else's laps, while leaving me lonely and begging for his affections.  He could be a real jerk!! LOL  BUT, for whatever reason, this year, all I had to do was call his name and he came running and jumping onto my lap accepting and almost begging for my love!!!   

    IT WAS A CHRISTMAS MIRACLE!!!LOL

    You can see why I'm so smitten!  He is quite the hunk a chunk of burning love!!!! Those teeth really get me!!! LOL

    I was truly blessed as I received EVERYTHING, I mean EVERYTHING on my list!!!!  Even things I did not ask for!  My husband and family blessed me greatly this year, as they do every year!!!  I got my warm, cozy jammies, some adorable fluffy pink slippers, my Philosophy lotion and bubble bath, my sweatshirt and much, much more!!!  

    Even with all of these wonderful blessings God had one even greater in store for me!  I had prayed and prayed for this one!  I had massive anxiety over not receiving this gift and it almost drove me to dread Christmas!

    You see, last year and several Christmas's prior ended with much stress and damage due to Garrick's struggle with addiction and my actions to it.  They were devastating episodes for all involved and really began marking our Christmas with a very dark and dreaded tradition.  

    I diligently prayed with every bit of myself that God would reverse this.  That He would bless my family with a stress free, peaceful Christmas without damaging episodes of addiction and dysfunction.  I prayed continually for my heart and for my husband's as well.  

    My prayers were answered!!  This was the first Christmas n a very long time that there was complete joy and peace.

    "Blessed be the Lord!  For he has heard the voice of my pleas for mercy." Psalm 28:6
    God continues to lead us down the road of peace and recovery and for that.... I am the most grateful!!  

    Restoration is the greatest gift and it is available to all her seek it with all their heart.  You often have to wait very patiently and it requires great forgiveness and faith, but God is magnificent at it!!  I pray if you are seeking restoration, you never give up on it!  

    So, that is where I have been!!  It was a marvelous Christmas and now it is time to focus on the new and upcoming year!  I continue to pray restoration with follow us through 2017 and believe with all my heart, God has marvelous plans in store for us as long as we stay seeking him!!!  

    I pray you had a wonderful Christmas!!!  Keep posted for the New Years giveaway!!!  

    Come on!! You knew I would have one!! LOL

    Peace and Blessings
    Your Friend
    Missy