gray and dark outside, no wind, no lullabies from the windchimes today
just stillness and silence
not even a hum from the computer, and i could allow myself to get lost inside that stillness today if i didn't have dirty dishes in the sink and loads of laundry calling out to me, furniture that needs dusted and floors that need vacumned 

the morning is slow
with peppermint tea and the steam still rising up and away from my cup.
i've been in hibernation mode lately
not wanting to give anyone my time, wanting to unselfishly hoard it all for myself
maybe its because march has been mostly dreary  and dark
its spitting small drops of rain against the panes of the window right now
as if they can't decide whether to stay or go

im aching to get in the car, roll down the windows, sun shining on my face and wind blowing in my hair as i drive out to the country
a soothing place where i can reconnect with my soul
i can recharge there with the open sky and the tall grasses sighing in the wind
as their lean tall wisps blow gently
they can tell a story all their own only if you are still and listen
i want to hear my grandchildren's laughter 
and i want to love on them BIG
i want to get lost inside myself so that when i come back out
everything is fresh and new
i want to search around and sweep in grace and hold her tight and thank God everyday for the mercy he lavishes on me and never lets me forget that yes, we do have a Savior from this world
he's just wanting, urging, begging you to run to him
and his arms will always be warm and welcoming
he will never abandon you nor forsake you. that there really is one sure thing that we can count on in this unsure and frightening world we live in.

im reading "Ann Voskamp" book, (The Broken Way) its a book that has opened my eyes as well as my heart ,  its okay to be broken (we are all broken in one way or another)  in fact its good to be broken for through our brokenness we are more like Christ.

the only way to avoid brokenness is to avoid love. We are owned by Christ and love owns us all. Pick up your cross. its the only way you or anyone else can know a resurrection. carry your cross so this carrying of pain makes love. it isn't ever the cross you carry, but your resistance to the cross, that make it a burden. absorb the pain with a greater love-touch a shoulder. bite your tongue (i have to practice this one a lot) swallow your complaint. let yourself be worn down to love. (author's words)

i don't know about you, but im tired of hating and carrying around anger all the time. im ready to let that all go. im ready to leap into the joy of living with grace and giving grace for others. im ready to lay my heavy burden at Christ's feet and let him carry it, its too much for me and thinking all these years i could do it my way on my own terms hasn't worked out too great for me. what about you?
go out and be someone's saving grace today. and i promise you, you will feel a hundred times better.


Kicking and Screaming A Letter to My Cait

last night as i laid in bed, i quietly heard my Caitlin crying .she's been battling some heavy demons lately and as a mother it breaks my heart. it breaks my heart that the only thing i can do is be there for her and not feel offended when she pushes me away. i know that she has to experience the hardness of heartbreak and the unfairness of the world, but that sure doesn't make it any easier for me.

i want to wrap her up in a warm comfortable blanket like when she was a baby and i could kiss it all better. i don't want to hand her over to this cruel world that might harden her heart forever because she won't accept God as her Savior. She's so young and so unknown to all the brokenness that lays out there like a thief in the night just waiting to pounce on her. And her thinking she has it all figured out when she doesn't. You can't know the things a mother knows until you've lived those years.

and i'm finding out that i can't protect her, as much as i want too, i just can't do it. and i worry. and then i get angry at myself for worrying because God commands us to hand over our burdens to him, to lay them at his feet and he will carry the burden for us. as a mother i want to do this, but im frightened. and shes fighting me, kicking and screaming all the way. oh why won't she listen to me. i've been in that dark hole she is in right now. im reaching my hand down that  hole to help her get out, but she won't grab onto it.

she doesn't know. she doesn't know that she can't make it out on her own. that we all need some compassion, and the strength of others more times than not. she doesn't know her worth yet and that she deserves better than what she has been accepting. she doesn't know she's worthy of love and that God has a great purpose for her life if she would just take one small simple step toward him. she doesn't know yet that he will catch her before she falls. and so i wait, and wait. and the pacing the floors is breaking my heart into a thousand pieces. that laying in my bed in the room across from hers last night and listening to her cry ripped my heart right out of my chest.

i want a do-over. i want to go back to the beginning and make all the wrongs right. i want to spend every minute teaching her to stand tall and strong. and teaching her what love really is and not some fairy tale you watch on tv. real love and real life aren't like that. I want her to know that when she feels like her heart is breaking that it is okay to hurt, that it won't last forever and she will claim that dance floor as her own. she will laugh again and that the best years are ahead of her, if only she would believe.

my darling cate, you are worth so much more than you believe you are. you deserve to be happy and treated like a princess. don't ever settle for less than you deserve because you my darling deserve the stars and the moon and all the best love your little heart can hold.
                               I love you my darling girl. And i will always love you to the moon and back
                                a thousand time over.


...Love Big....

every once in a while you come across a book that not only moves your soul, but screams at it.
you read it, and your brain says, "Oh yeah, now i get it!" and you want to jump off the bed and yell it to the world, you want to tell your friends about it, heck you want to tell the world about it.
yes, it's that good.
it not only moves you to tears and stirs your soul,  but its a book that will stay with you long after you are done reading it. once you finish you won't want to find a place for it on your bookshelf because you know in your heart, in your soul, that this is a book to be poured over slowly, to be devoured over and over again.
its a book about life, love, and how to do it right with Christ in the center of everything.
"The Broken Way) by Ann Voskamp
 she gets it, and now i get it
and how i managed to struggle through this many years of my life without knowing it, feeling it, and living it and surviving it is amazing.
if you haven't read this book, im urging you, to RUN to your nearest bookstore and get it. I promise you once you read it, you will moved to another  life of pure joy.
Onto another subject today in the small moments im stealing before my day gets hectic
Im praying for a woman who is facing a scary surgery today. I pray that God will be with her and her doctors, i pray God gives them the knowledge and skill to perform to the best of their ability to rid this woman of the enemy that is attacking her body. I pray she heals quickly and that she knows she is never alone for Jesus will never abandon us or forsake us. Amen.
hope y'all have a great awesome day filled with moments that steal your breath away.
Count the small blessings as they usually add up to the big moments in your life.
treasure the little gestures that come from pure and simple acts of love.
give yourself away in love today


Monday and counting grace

its been dreary and spits of rain through-out the day, fittingly perfect for a monday i think.
as im sitting here at the computer typing this, i glance over at my calendar. this week is crammed pack with things to get done, 2 photoshoots, dinner with a friend, doctor appointments for me, caitlin and my mom, all on different days yet all grouped together in a 5 day span. 
the tea kettle is whistling in the kitchen and caitlin is in the shower, the washer and dryer are running... and im staring at 2 loads of laundry that need folded and put away...
trying to jam pack a lot of things into one night before its bedtime. 
Gratitude's for the Day
*getting to spent some quality time with Caitlin even if it was short-lived. a talk to and from her doctors appt.
*a Big SIGH that she is feeling a bit better after her adjustment at the Chiropractor and maybe she won't need to be on medication after all....
*a hour reprieve to finish up a bible study
*i managed to get the dirty dishes done 
*one load of laundry folded and put away
*the silence that has suddenly descended upon the house
*a new blog post on my business page
Loving this quote today that i read in "The Broken Way" by Ann Voskamp
if by chance you haven't read this book, Im pleading with you to go out and get it!
its a great reassurance that we are all broken in some way or another but it's okay, God uses our brokenness to help others.
"I am what i love and I will love you like Jesus, because of Jesus, through the strength of Jesus. I will love when I'm not loved back. I will love when I'm hurt and disappointed and betrayed and inconvenienced and rejected. i simply will love, no expectations, no conditions, no demands. "

...gosh, i simply love that! i know reading it, and writing it are easy things to do and im sure i will fail on more than one occasion, but thats okay, I know Jesus will be there extending his hand toward me and setting me on solid ground once again. 

My Caitlin

as a parent we never stop worrying over our kids. as much as i pray over her, i know we still live in a sinful fallen world and sickness and tragedy prevail around us day and night.
i know that i have no control over anything that happens in this life, God has ultimate control over everything and he has the final say. He made us and he can take us anytime he wants. I believe that when we are born we are each given a number of days on the clock, a purpose for why we are here and when that is finished its time to once again go back home.
my caitlin has been suffering with headaches for quite a while now (at least thats what the doctor thinks it is) so friday i take her in for an appointment. she puts her on Amitriptyline . caitlin starts taking it friday night before bed as this drug has a side effect of fatigue. it is now monday and if anything she tells me it makes her feel  worse. she has been in bed for 2 days. 
this has me concerned. 
i told her not to take the medicine last night.
i called the doctor, informed the nurse what was going on and waiting to hear back from her, i also called a chiropractor today and set her up an appointment for this afternoon.
as a parent its maddening and hard to sit back and watch your child suffer.
as parents there is only so much we can do. we wholeheartedly pour our hope on the doctors and specialist seeking any possible solution. Last night as i laid in bed, i pleaded with God to not take my baby, and to comfort her and strengthen her.  My mind tends to immediately go into the dark hole of all the most possible worse things this could be. im a worrier, i always have been. however i am trying more to seek God for his wisdom, and his miracles.
and to not let myself jump ahead to the worse possible scenario.
life is so very short. im in awe at how fast time escapes by. i think we all want more time than we are allowed, but once again that is not in our control. we are asked to find grace in whether we are dealt a bad hand or a good one. thats hard to do, but im learning to look upon the heavens and seek God for his answers, the path that he has put me on this earth for. Im learning to lean into God when things don't go as i planned or hope and to seek his comfort and strength, all the promises he made to his people.
please if you are reading this today, please pray that we will get some answers as to what is going on with my girl, and pray for peace and relief for her weary body.
XOXO (thank you) and God Bless You
A worried Mama


That Smile...

i can never get enough of that gracious smile of my mamas. a couple of weeks ago she fell and broke her wrist and thumb, so she's been donning around a sporty blue cast the last 2 weeks. last week when we went in for a check-up to make sure its healing she got a short reprieve of the cast for x-rays and being set free for just a brief 5 minutes lit the room up with her smile.

often these days that i spend with her, i bring my fuji camera along tucked inside my purse ready at a moments notice to grab a memory that will last me for the rest of my lifetime.
i know that i am  blessed to have her still with us at 90 years old and relatively in good health. my mom has always been a go-getter. she worked till she was 82 years old and the last couple of years have been daunting for her as each year brings with it another task unable for her to accomplish.
which in turn will sink her into some dark days that i have to pull her out of by reminding her that she is blessed and there are so many others that have it much worse. she'll agree with me and then feel silly for sitting around and feeling sorry for herself. 
we humans can tend to do that a lot- feel sorry for "ourselves"

i've made it a challenge to  not sit in the dark days anymore, to pull myself from bed when all i want to do is bury my head under the covers. im choosing to be happy and see the glass as half full instead of half empty. i've spend so many days pondering the "what-ifs" and "should-haves" that i've wasted a many good days feeling doomed when in all reality i have a great life. i have 3 beautiful, healthy children, grandchildren that i adore, a job i love and take great comfort in
i have so many things to be blessed for, and those i don't ....well
they are getting a back seat to my happiness.
i am a child of The Most High God, i am forgiven for my sins (which i make daily, im sure) but my God forgives me and loves me despite the stumbles.  I have a roof over my head and a nice comfy spot to lay my head every night.
Im choosing the joy, the hardships, all of it. I want it all. and i know that through the hardships, the disappointments that i will survive and i will not be alone because i have a God that promises to never forsake me.
That is

Sunday Gratitude Journal

Gratitude Journal
~spring rain that washes everything clean
greens the grass and blooms the flowers, urging them to spring forth from the dark winter
~silliness between good friends
~big warm hugs 
~the art of showing up when someone needs you even if you can't do anything but hold their hand
~the warmth & comfort of my down comforter on chilly nights
~the wind that belts out a song from the wind chimes outside my bedroom window
~coming across a new song you love and leaving it on repeat all day long
~the laughter of my caitlin filling every room in the house
~unexpected moments of grace
~giving grace to someone else
~a lightbulb that goes off my in my head and im like, "Oh, yeah" i get it now
~showing compassion to someone who doesn't deserve it
~giving "thanks" for everything over to the Lord, bad or good
~knowing that people care more about what your share with them, rather than what you say to them..share your time, show up!
~the first sip of morning coffee ~spending a day of shooting~going through all the paperwork and getting it all filed away
~a day of sitting back after spending all day cleaning your house
~climbing into clean sheets after hanging on the clothesline in the sun all day
~picking fresh wildflowers and coming home and filling mason jars to spread through out the house
~finding a good book
~a new issue of "Bella Grace"
~deep gut busting laughter~playing it forward
~getting out my dresses and skirts after a long winter

Im learning to spread joy through my brokenness 




Saturday is...
selfies in the car...
bookstore, rain and grey skies
but a happiness in my heart
I've let go of expectations in relationships and entitlements we think we deserve that steals all joy from our souls, im appreciating the moments...the (small) happys, the simple happys
gratitude for special friendships and the supportive people in my life
and may i always be surprised by God's staggering grace that keeps showing up in unexpected places in my life....


Gratitude Challenge

while catching up on blogs this week from some of my favorite bloggers, i stumbled across this blog. 

the writer is doing a 52-week grateful blog and i decided to do my own. i've been trying hard to turn anything negative in my life to a positive so im going to play along! I often tend to look at the negative too much and not focus my attention to the happy things in life
so here I go...I hope after this year of doing the gratitude challenge i will never take simple ordinary things out of context again. we should all be grateful every day for the life that God has given us 
and the many blessings he favors us with <3
So lets start off with week 3... family 
family...what a blessing family is. we may not always look as our family as a blessing when we are asked to help a family member out, or to run errands, or to clean up after someone who is sick but i honestly don't know where id be without my family. they are the one constant thing that i can always count on...well them and God.
my kids bring a happy to my heart just by hearing them laugh
my granddaughter can light up the room just by walking in
my mom and our friday shopping and lunch days are the best
a day with my sister celebrating things we use to do  again because now she is sober :) and we can once again enjoy those things together (Thank you Lord) for so many years i thought she was lost and now to have her back is a favor from God.
knowing that there is someone who loves me unconditionally no matter what
so many things to be grateful for is you just stop and remember them all.



somehow tuesday is worse than monday was this week....
luckily i didn't have to work long today because of an eye appointment. the woman i work with today was in a 'real' mood if you get my meaning...sad some people are so crabby all the time and even worse when they take it out on you...i almost bit my lip off this morning trying to hold back saying anything nasty...
i believe this will be the last year i'll be doing inventory there. the negative seems to outway the positive....i tend to like surrounding myself these days with positive and happy people, i certainly don't need any help being dragged down by anyone else i do enough of that on my own, but im working on it. 

its windy and cold today. i think Spring forgot she was suppose to be here...but really im not complaining we had a very mild winter this year. its definitely one of those days that i want a "Do-Over" it started bad from the time i got out of bed this morning, however im hoping to turn it around now that im home watching "vampire diaries" and ordering take-out!