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Inspiration...Life, Love & God

Updated on October 2, 2016

Positive Thoughts

There will always be challenges and disappointments in our lives. So what? Isn't that LIFE? I believe our perspective makes all the difference in the world...Choose to be different!

Choosing to look at the positive side of life is a great way to start! It will help you grow stronger and become more skilled, more self-confident and more successful.

Believe with all your heart. Life is beautiful, we as individuals - are beautiful, inside and out...each of us unique! It took YEARS for me to learn & accept this about myself. Better late than never, huh?

Attitude is everything! Keep the attitude of gratitude!

Aspire to be all you can be! I hold the key to my success and my failures in this world... If I don't try or choose, I will never know one way or the other. Never allow fear of failing allow you to miss an opportunity! You never know where it may take you.

Source

Happy 40th Birthday Lil' Sister!

September 30, 2016

Dear Shana,

Happy 40th Birthday!!

I sure miss you, but know Jesus is treating you well. Birthday celebrations in heaven are quite extraordinary I bet! Today at 5:15 am my alarm sounded, up and out of bed I went with my cell phone in hand, turning off my alarm as I step into the bathroom to get ready for work. A notification popped up on my phone and I opened it as I reached in to turn on the water in the shower. It was a birthday reminder, not that I would forget to text and sing happy birthday to you! After all, we have shared this special day for 40 years!! What a lucky girl I was! It wasn't until that precise moment I realized just how much I loved sharing my day with you, well...I am the oldest so it was my day first. :) (sorry, sis...lol) Truth be told as far back as I can remember, I never minded sharing my birthday with you. I wish you were still here so I could give you a hard time for finally being 40 since I have had the blessing to be in my 40's for the past 7 years. This was your year to catch up a little bit with me in the aging process :) As I was getting ready for the day the flood of tears came on and a part of me wanted to crawl back into bed and wake up again tomorrow. Everyone should be blessed to have their 40th birthday, it is not fair that you are not! Almost as soon as the thought of getting back into bed came to me I felt a prominent tug on my heart strings..."Oh, no you don't!!! This is your birthday and you are going to have a great day!" A deep sense of awe inspired reverence overcame me and a slight smile showed itself as I looked in the mirror and nodded...Yes, I know, I said to myself and I proceeded to the shower. Our talks play out like that quite often :) It is moments like these I feel very blessed to know you are always with me. Some may question the presence of a loved one after they die, that is unfortunate. I consider it insight that I am able to feel you are with me...I would compare it to an inner voice. I will say something to you and an immediate unwavering thought comes to me, usually possessing your attitude. :) Little signs happen and it is great...today when I got to work and powered up my computer the FIRST picture I saw on my screen is the one up above this letter...I laughed out loud to myself. The first couple of times things like this happened I thought I might have been losing my mind. I would shake my head and say to myself out loud, "Dana, You are nuts!" However, it has occurred too many times for me to disregard or ignore. I love the signs you leave for me, they make me smile. In the past 6 month I have felt a hard dose of reality for what it is like to lose someone I love so much and all the emotions that come along with it. I always knew life was not fair and your death is confirmation of it. I will always shed a tear or 2 or 100 :) because I miss you so very much but I will keep living this great life I am blessed to have...no more good byes only a "until I see you again, lil sis"

Happy 40th Birthday! Love always, Your Big Sister #1

PS. I felt extra special today, so many people reached out to me and I feel part of that is because of you. <3

Until we meet again...

A letter to Shana, our angel in heaven...

Well little sis, I am sure you are very busy these days up in heaven and all...we sure miss you. I know deep in my heart you are with God, no doubt you are in a better place, free of all the pain and suffering, I am grateful. The selfish part of me struggles with you being taken from us so quickly and far too young. I wish Tara and I were able to have made our trip to visit with you before you left…I suppose God made it happen this way for good reason. His plans are always for our good, but I see no good in this…maybe it was better that we didn’t make it, I don’t know that I would be able to bare seeing you in such a state of suffering. I had worried in the weeks leading up to it if I would be able to be strong for you, to not break down in tears when I saw you. Being so far away during your sickness was hard, I wished it were different. A part of me is angry, not only for myself but for all those who love and are trying to find their way in this world without you. 3 little girls without their mom…I just don’t get that, what could be “good” in that? It has been 3 months and I think of you every day, several times a day. I think of Joe and the girls...a new struggle I have is that they are far away from us and we cannot be a part of their everyday world now that you are gone. How can life be so unfair? I do not dwell on these things I am happy and moving on but when I allow myself to soak it all in, it makes me sad, I try to make sense of it all…I pray for understanding or just to be able to be at peace with it…it is like a wave, one minute the acceptance rolls in and then all the WHY’s flow in behind it and mess up the peace that had been momentarily restored. Your family will never experience all those things most of us take for granted: all the “firsts” or just the simple fact you do not get to be by your girls side as they grow into women and begin to learn of what life is all about, all of their moments filled with joy or their sad times…a first broken heart, to the normal day to day life of teenagers. I guess some would argue and say missing the teenage years is a blessing; lol, but seriously… They were robbed of having their “Mama” (as Claudia and Sophie say), to bond with on all those special occasions or just to talk and vent their frustrations, the first day of middle school and high school – their excitement, or their special birthdays: 13, 16, 18…teaching them to drive, their first date with a boy, guiding them during their trials, graduating from high school and college, when they grow up and get married, have children…Why are some allowed to have these blessings yet they are ripped away from others? I pray every day for understanding and have come to realize I will never understand why you had to go so soon. But like you always would say, “it is what it is”…that’s all I can do until we meet in heaven. Well Little Sister, I am sure you can spare it where you are so send me some of your unwavering faith and throw in some of your special angel wisdom, I could definitely use a good dose about now. Everyday I know you are the bird that soars across my path as I leave for work in the new dawn sun, you are the butterfly which lands on my shoulder in the evening when I am out in the yard watering flowers, you are the sound of the wind on a Saturday afternoon as I ride down the two lane highway in the middle of nowhere… I will imagine you every chance I get knowing you are always with me. Sending Big Hugs and lotsa Love to you always...Love your Big Sis <3

Gone too soon

My baby sister, Shana Rene' Carnes (Unterreiner)...Spread your wings and soar with the angels lil sis.
My baby sister, Shana Rene' Carnes (Unterreiner)...Spread your wings and soar with the angels lil sis.

Grieving the loss of my little sister, Shana

Since Shana passed away my emotions have been on a non stop trip to the amusement park. Imagine four months of riding all the roller coasters at Six Flags continuously! I have been sad, cried, even sobbed. At times guilt overcomes me for not getting to visit with her before she died. Our trip was planned I was so happy we could get it all worked out for the three of us to be together for a few days. She was so excited that Tara and I were coming. As I look back I can see her urgency as I read the text messages from her about us coming down to Georgia. At that moment in time I suppose denial was taking root. I believe she knew her time was drawing near. I believe we each knew it would probably be the last time we would have together, although not one of us dare say it out loud. Should I have reached out and talked to her about it. I don't understand why we couldn't have just those few days together. I feel we were robbed of something we deserved. I suppose I will never understand. I have been angry and confused, to plain "I JUST DO NOT GET IT...WHY?" No two people experience grief alike. There are no right or wrong ways to this mess. We simply have to learn to put one foot in front of the other as we begin to put the pieces back together. Truth is the pieces will never fit the same, we will be missing a piece for the rest of our lives. I do know with all my being my lil sis wants each of us to pick up and move on. She doesn't want us dwelling over her, she wants us to be happy as we continue to live our lives, to love with all our being but most importantly she wants us to be at peace, to accept this part of our journey and too honor God and grow in our faith. I am struggling with my faith right now, however I will get passed this just as I have every other hardship in life. I miss you Shana. Watch over us all and help us were we need it most.

Godspeed Shana

Last night the memorial for Shana was held at her church in Statesboro, GA - what a wonderful tribute to an amazing woman...thank you to all who stood up to say all the awesome things about her. She touched many in her 39 years. They spoke of her contagious smile to her compassion for others, even if she didn't know you. I can only hope that I have half as many people to say such great things of me....

Below is what I wrote and read at Shana's memorial...I almost didn't, so glad I did.

Many memories flood my mind as I think of my sister. Courage, strength, determination, understanding, and acceptance were some of her greatest qualities. We were all witness to her unwavering faith, it could move mountains. Her faith, put simply was AMAZING! I admired her for it and I made sure she knew it. Her strength and determination were tried and true…She was a warrior who fought with bravery beyond what most are able. She never gave up and held on to her hope.

Thoughts of her are constant since she left this world. Life will never be the same without her here, there is an emptiness in our hearts which will never be filled, but I know we will all be ok…because she will forever be watching over us. When people ask about her now I tell them, she’s off to do bigger and better things flying with an elite squad of angels up in heaven and I believe God put her to work right away.

We will forever miss her…The sadness will linger like the tides of the ocean, one moment we will laugh as we reminisce our memories of her, as the next wave of emotion topples over the edge…then silence and the tears will fall. If we listen closely we will hear her say, “Don’t fuss over me”, in that adopted southern drawl.

Shana would want us to remember the good times, for us to hold onto the love and life each of us shared with her… so I will try my best to honor her wishes…I love and miss you, Godspeed little sis!

Saying Good Bye

On September 30, 1976, my 7th birthday, the world was blessed with the birth of my baby sister, Shana Rene'. At the time I admit I wasn't too excited about sharing my special day with her but as we got older I always looked forward to telling her happy birthday. The past 2 years have been horrible for her as she battled for her life with faith so strong I often sat in awe wondering how she could be such a warrior...at every corner there was bad news, the cancer was spreading every where imaginable. On March 18th at around 9pm Mom called and our lives changed forever as she was being put on life support. How can that be? Just yesterday with nothing but perseverance, she spoke the words "I am NOT giving up, I am going to beat this". Family from Missouri packed up and rushed to her bed side at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, FL. On March 20, 2016, with all those who were dear to her by her side she was taken off of life support, this is a day I will never forget. She left our world after battling a disease too aggressive to fight. I am grateful beyond words for God blessed our family by allowing us to spend those final hours with her. She has been in my thoughts constantly since. Not every one is allowed to say good bye as a loved one takes God's hand, humbling to say the least. There was a beauty about that moment as she took her final breaths knowing she was going to heaven to be with our Father, she is now off to do bigger & better things, soaring with an Elite Squad of Angels in heaven in a new body and with no more suffering.

As I reflect over losing her and what it means for all of us who are left behind I realize there are things I would do differently, IF I had it to do over again I would call her every day and do everything in my power to spend every moment I could with her even though she lived 1,000 miles away. Going forward I will not take time for granted, our loved ones deserve to know how we adore them, I will treasure those close to me more than I ever did before. I am grateful God didn't answer my prayers and give us one more day with her. At last she is free of all the pain & suffering this awful disease bombarded her with, but I wish I could see her smile, hear her voice, tell her "I love you" or make her laugh one more time. I would giggle and tell her "mission accomplished" every time I got a text message from her saying "You're so funny" after my silly attempts to make her smile and forget about the pain even if only for a moment. I wish I could see her to tell her what an amazing woman she was and how I admired her unwavering faith in God, her strength amazed me all the way to the end of her journey here on earth. I am honored to call her my sister and believe I am a better person and christian because of her. She left many behind but there are 3 things that mattered to her more than anything, Ambrea, Zayla & Nyana...

Rest easy lil sis in knowing all who love you will make sure your girls have all
they need, it's OK we got this...so spread your wings and watch from above but know you are
and forever will be missed.

Blindsided Faith

My baby sister, Shana has dedicated her life to help others she is a nurse and active in church. She is married and the mother of 3 beautiful little girls. Ambrea 10, Zayla 9 and Nyana 8...A couple years back her and Joe visited Haiti to help out at an orphanage. Tending to the medical needs and adoring them with the loving arms of compassion they lack.

At 37 she faced breast cancer, had a double mastectomy and chemo, which nearly killed her every time she received it she ended up in ICU. She recovered physically and the cancer was gone. A couple months ago she was diagnosed with RA as a result of the chemo. I teased her saying I was going to start calling her Job. At every turn she faced adversity yet kept her winning smile in tack and optimistic disposition in full swing.

Last week she was blindsided when she went to the ER with what she thought was pneumonia instead she heard the words no one should hear..."You have a large mass in your upper right lung and several small nodules in the lower right lung...the cancer is back..." Now just 39 years old, she has been diagnosed with metastatic cancer...the breast cancer is back and now renting space in her lung.

I can only imagine her anxiety as the conversation began or the whirlwind inside her head as those words were spoken. First thought, "I have to see my children grow up, this cannot be happening, am I dreaming?" Pure disbelief!

She went numb and refused to speak of it for about a week...until the forces showed up ready to rally behind her. Her childhood friend, Kshe fled from Missouri for Georgia arriving in the middle of the night. Mom and Aunt Debbie followed close behind arriving the next morning.

A week later we are all trying to make sense of it. Understanding is null and void. Helplessness has flooded into our world filled with sadness. As we struggle to find our faith and grasp onto hope, I feel the threads fray in my hands. Cancer is ugly, no one should ever have to face such a horrible circumstance.

My daughter showed me Shana's recent post on Facebook last night after a conference call with Mom and sister, Tara, to relay the events of the day with the oncologist, as I began to read it a flood of tears invaded me.

Shana Unterreiner Carnes Nov 20 at 5:31am....

"The pain is almost unbearable...I need lots of prayers, not sure how I am going to make it through this...I need the loving hands of Jesus to come guide me because I am so very scared."

How can I play a positive role for her in all of this madness and uncertainty when I feel so sad and scared for her? I do not understand nor do I wish to accept it. Many have told me they admire my strength but for this I feel I have none. Hopelessness envelopes me from every angle. I love you sis and I wish so badly you were not so far away.

Dear Jesus, Please place you healing hand on Shana and give her the strength and courage you had when You walked the earth so she is able to fight and conquer this ugly beast. In Jesus name we pray. Amen.

Job 26:13 By his breath the skies became fair; his hand pierced the gliding serpent.

There is a GoFundMe donation page set up for Shana and her family to help out during this difficult turn of events. If you wish to donate toward her cause please visit it. It is titled HELP FOR SHANA, Statesboro, GA. May God bless you always.


Source

Keeping our Joy in times of trouble...

In church this morning Pastor David spoke of considering it joy when our enemy (cancer) attempts to steal our happiness. When bad news knocks us off our feet to focus on God, our awe inspiring healer, and His word.

James 1:2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. 6 But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7 That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord.



Sisters

My sisters, of the same blood, or unrelated, are a promise from God there will always be someone to lean on, to talk to about those things your heart wishes for. Our words may not be spoken, but will be understood. Our joy, our pain and fear are mutual. The tears shed are shared. Sisterhood is a bond which will never break...my sister forever.

Dealing With Difficult People

Romans 14:10-12 You, then, why do you judge your brother or sister? Or why do you treat them with contempt? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat. 11 It is written:“‘As surely as I live, says the Lord,‘every knee will bow before me; every tongue will acknowledge God.12 So then, each of us will give an account of ourselves to God.

Dealing with difficult people is a hard pill to swallow. In most circumstances one can walk away, unfortunately in some situations we cannot. I have one I must deal with for a few more years, it is dreadful. Conversations with this person are minimal. The tone in their voice, pride, ego and self proclaimed righteousness literally makes my stomach ache. In the first 2 seconds I can tell how it is going to end...Defensive and placing blame is the direction it is taken almost every time. Ill feelings I once had have been reformed by my faith in God. I no longer dwell on the "what just happened?" but I often find myself wishing I hadn't reacted to the bait set before me as I had or wishing I had been less frazzled and more full of wisdom during these daunting episodes. The devil setting the snare? I think I have read that somewhere before! I marvel at the behavior and wonder what hurts so deep and for so long inside ones heart, there cannot be a conscious bone in their body who would speak to anyone THAT way. And why would you expect someone to receive your attitude in a positive fashion. How in the world did Jesus do it? After that settles I beat myself up a bit for even considering it would go better than it did and not being a better Christian. OUCH!

I am human after all and I make mistakes everyday. One would think after so many years I would have just given up entirely but I always hear, "give it a try, this might be the one that surprises you" ...His Word helps me want to be a better person and I have realized I will never do it perfectly but I have to get back up and continue to try, hand it over to God, ask for forgiveness for my part and pray.

Pray For Them

1 Corinthians 1:3, 4 “Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ. I thank my God always on your behalf, for the grace of God which is given you by Jesus Christ;”

Matthew 5:44-45 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be children of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.


Praying for someone who always seems to want to make you feel like the bad guy is not my most favorite thing to do but it is comforting. At the end of the day God knows I tried and when I rest my head on my pillow to sleep I don't have hatred weighing me down.

When Life hands you lemons...

James 1:3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.

I feel as though I am being tested from every angle...

This 2 YEAR court battle, job uncertainty, stress, stress and more stress.

I seek divine nourishment.

It's deflating to hear the words - "Nothing's ever easy" come from your attorney during a court battle with your ex just when your ready to sign and be done with all the nonsense...Fear sets in and I begin to question God.

All I ask...Please deliver a peaceful, yet fair solution so the issues that have added many gray hairs will end and we can all move forward with more important things. 9 years of fighting! I have more important things to spend my time and money on. Please God bring this to an end.

Emotions take over - Fear, betrayal, unworthiness, complete darkness as the enemy invades my serenity. I turn to His word, it brings peace as I ask for strength to keep going. I know in my heart God has something greater planned...

I re-read the book of Job, in hope for comfort.

Job 33:26 Then that person can pray to God and find favor with him, they will see God's face and shout for joy; he will restore them to full well-being.

Job 36:2 "Bear with me a little longer and I will show you that there is more to be said in God's behalf.

Will it ever end? The kids deserve better...

I push the debilitating self pity aside, it will get me nowhere and only make all the chaos we are all going through worse.

I find myself asking "could it be any worse?" The answer...Yes, it can always be worse. My thoughts drift to a friend that I know has it worse, and my mind mulls over how much worse things could really be...I think of those who fight crippling disease, to those who are hungry, homeless, or have no family...the list goes on and on.

Yes, it could be much worse.

For whatever reason the battle continues my only wish is for PEACE...for it to end for the sake of the kids.

Is the energy wasted really worth all your efforts? Surely you must be exhausted. I know I am.

Job 5

8 "But if I were you, I would appeal to God; I would lay my cause before him. 9 He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted. 10 He provides rain for the earth; he sends water on the countryside. 11 The lowly he sets on high, and those who mourn are lifted to safety.12 He thwarts the plans of the crafty, so that their hands achieve no success. 13 He catches the wise in their craftiness, and the schemes of the wily are swept away. 14 Darkness comes upon them in the daytime; at noon they grope as in the night. 15 He saves the needy from the sword in their mouth; he saves them from the clutches of the powerful. 16 So the poor have hope, and injustice shuts its mouth.

17 "Blessed is the one whom God corrects; so do not despise the discipline of the Almighty. 18 For he wounds, but he also binds up; he injures, but his hands also heal. 19 From six calamities he will rescue you; in seven no harm will touch you. 20 In famine he will deliver you from death,

and in battle from the stroke of the sword. 21 You will be protected from the lash of the tongue, and need not fear when destruction comes.

22 You will laugh at destruction and famine, and need not fear the wild animals. 23 For you will have a covenant with the stones of the field, and the wild animals will be at peace with you. 24 You will know that your tent is secure; you will take stock of your property and find nothing missing.

25 You will know that your children will be many, and your descendants like the grass of the earth. 26 You will come to the grave in full vigor, like sheaves gathered in season. 27 "We have examined this, and it is true. So hear it and apply it to yourself."

God's word is the only thing that keeps me going. All my hope is in Him as I continue to believe with all my heart I've reached the threshold to the next chapter in my life...so much has changed in the past 2 years I can't help but believe God's plan will only continue to transform my life into more positive circumstances.

I remain focused, and listen to God as he nudges me toward forgiveness; to accept others for who they are; to accept and do my best to to correct my part in it all...the past is the past, I am looking forward. No bitterness remains inside. I pray for those who cause harm.

God will shine and bring light to all this darkness. I continue to believe in Him and His promises. I made the choice to walk out the darkness of doubt, despair and hopelessness and live in God's light and His truth.

Hallelujah

There is nothing more soothing then a beautiful song...God Bless you all!

Choose Love

Inspiration to Love

Leave no room for hate nor the wickedness it reveals.

We were created to love; When in doubt choose love ~

Mark 12:28-31 (NIV) ~ The Greatest Commandment ~

28 One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, "Of all the commandments, which is the most important?" 29 "The most important one," answered Jesus, "is this: 'Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. 31 The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these."

Kindness, compassion, unselfish concern for another ~

When in doubt choose love ~ Start with loving yourself.

Oscar Wilde once said, "To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance" ~

"Where there is love there is life." ~ Gandhi

Loving ourselves sets the motion and supplies what we have to give to others.

Share & give the love inside yourself with friends, family, strangers; everyone you meet.

There is too much darkness in our world today...it appears at times the hate in our world out shines love;

Love conquers all ~ When in doubt choose love ~

I say we stand together in love, confront the darkness in this world as we do our own fears and we will overcome the ill-natured ways of our society.

LOVE -

a profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person.

a feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection, as for a parent, child, or friend.

a person toward whom love is felt; beloved person; sweetheart.

Where Is The Love?

Love is one of our favorite verbs.

Synonyms

1. tenderness, fondness, predilection, warmth, passion, adoration. 1, 2. Love, affection, devotion all mean a deep and enduring emotional regard, usually for another person. Love may apply to various kinds of regard: the charity of the Creator, reverent adoration toward God or toward a person, the relation of parent and child, the regard of friends for each other, romantic feelings for another person, etc. Affection is a fondness for others that is enduring and tender, but calm. Devotion is an intense love and steadfast, enduring loyalty to a person; it may also imply consecration to a cause. 2. liking, inclination, regard, friendliness. 15. like. 16. adore, adulate, worship.

We were made for so much more; We are sacred treasures and we are His...

1 Corinthians 13

If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

When in doubt choose love ~

Reflection & Family

Be Kind

Do you ever sit back and simply observe those around you? I was a bit perplexed as I did so last weekend with my family during our first blended family mini vacation (camping & floating).

I will start by expressing we all had a nice trip and it was a lot of fun, although camping is always "work" LOL...we enjoyed it and will do it again soon. The kids were VERY happy to have gone and I love camping and the whole sitting by the campfire watching the flames, hearing the wood snap and crackle...THAT is relaxing!

FUN became stressful and unkind at some moments. Upon returning home I looked at how our behaviors could have been better...

We were ALL guilty of being short with or snapping at or barking aggressively at one another at some point over the weekend.

All were short lived but the point is it happened...WHY?

WHY is it we feel it is ok to be nasty and lack patience with the ones we love the most? Maybe the receiver at some point will simply walk away saying I'm not your whipping post...but we don't seem to give that reality much thought. We take our family members for granted. No, they can't change the bloodline or deny we are family but they can and probably will lose respect.

We are ALL guilty of "losing it" at some point, sure at times it is unavoidable we are human after all. My point is that this is an area we ALL need to be better at and should continuously focus on in our lives.

As parents, we set the stage for how our children will treat other people and their own children and ultimately everyone they meet in their lifetime. We are responsible for their behavior...

It is up to you and I, as parents and role models to be better examples of kindness, love and patience. We are responsible for what we project toward others - not just toward stangers or our elders but to everyone.

We must make a genuine effort and avoid being mean and nasty to one another...family, friends and strangers - we need to set boundaries for those we love and do not intend or want to hurt.

We want our children to be better than we are, right? Well if we do nothing to change the pattern they will be just as we are ~

NOTHING CHANGES IF NOTHING CHANGES!

I DON'T WANT TO BE: AGGRESSIVE ~

1. characterized by or tending toward unprovoked offensives, attacks.

2. making an all-out effort to win or succeed.

3. vigorously energetic, especially in the use of initiative and forcefulness.

4. boldly assertive and forward; pushy.

5. emphasizing maximum growth and capital gains over quality, security.

After reflecting on what I witnessed, I will focus on being more considerate to those I love, not just to the people in passing whom I barely know & may never see again...We treat complete strangers better than we do our own family members...this baffles me to no avail.

I WANT TO BE LOVING, KIND AND: CONSIDERATE ~

1. showing kindly awareness or regard for another's feelings, circumstances, etc.

2. carefully considered; deliberate.

3. marked by consideration or reflection; deliberate; prudent

Ephesians 4 (NIV)

Unity and Maturity in the Body of Christ

1 As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. 2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called ; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. 7 But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. 8 This is why it says:

"When he ascended on high,he took many captives and gave gifts to his people."

9 (What does "he ascended" mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions? 10 He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.) 11 So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. 14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. 15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. 16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.

Instructions for Christian Living

17 So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. 18 They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. 19 Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, and they are full of greed.

20 That, however, is not the way of life you learned 21 when you heard about Christ and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. 22 You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.25 Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to your neighbor, for we are all members of one body. 26 "In your anger do not sin": Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 and do not give the devil a foothold. 28 Anyone who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with their own hands, that they may have something to share with those in need. 29 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

City Life - Perspective

Den, I and a small group of close friends loaded up and headed out for a ride on our Harley's Saturday afternoon. It wasn't our normal ride leaving the hustle and bustle of suburbia to God's country, to breathe the farm fresh air, to enjoy the beauty of old barns, to visit the country life and 2 lane highways nor a ride wandering the hillsides of simplicity.

This was an adventure into the city and the surrounding areas which we don't usually frequent. As we headed east the smell of concrete and pollution took hold.

A visit to Crown Candy to grab a bite to eat. I have heard many over the years talk about the experience; A place trapped in time - the old fashioned atmosphere. It was just as you see in a painting by Norman Rockwell. They offer the biggest and best BLT in the USA as a show on Food Network had announced recently. The most bacon on one sandwich I had ever seen. I ate the Reuben, it was very good as well. The old glass counter filled with candy of many sorts and several handmade chocolate goodies...we enjoyed the BEST peanut buttercup on the earth as far as I am concerned!!! Need I say more? I will surely return.

We started on the northside, riding south to visit Gooey Louie's for his famous gooey butter cake (to go); Over to Ted Drews for the even MORE famous frozen custard. YUM!

We motored past the St. Louis Zoo and through Forest Park over to Delmar Blvd stopping for coffee at Starbucks. Of coarse we didn't skip a short walk and guawk at all the Loop has to offer.

During our visit we traveled territories filled with all the negative stereotypes. The areas we often gaze upon in disbelief during the evening news. Those with headlines of shootings, drugs, gangs, graffiti, death, abandoned buildings and poverty. The deeper we drove the more delapitated the dwellings. Iron bars adorn the doors and windows of business and homes. I found myself admiring the beauty of the architecture, dismissing the ruin and difference in lifestyles - city vs suburbs.

I began thinking what a shame to have allowed these buildings to become what they are...the distress of these once glorified structures in disrepair. I could not help but compare it to a war zone -

A memory of a cartoon from my childhood sticks with me from years gone by. The image of a little girl holding her handmade sign, walking along the block and chanting..."Civic Pride Help Beautify Our City"...rings through my head.

I found myself thinking a time or two, maybe we have ventured into territory we were not welcome. A bit nervous with anxiety, but the longer we rode the more relaxed I became.

Cruising along was like watching a movie -

Old and young alike sitting on their front porches trying to escape the heat inside their humble abodes.

Elderly ladies and gents, people of all colors, shapes and sizes waving as we went by with sure delight - although drenched in sweat - the dog days of summer in the city. The friendliness of strangers; Kind gestures - a nod hello, a simple smile or wave of the hand as their eyes trailed as we passed by...

Ironically the feel of the country life invades me...I pondered the thought of prejudice and all that it means...Here lies proof to me that we should never judge a book by its cover, nor an area by what is advertised in the media. I leaned into Den's ear as we traveled speaking of how regrettable it is that people make uneducated opinions of areas they have no true knowledge...I am humbled by my own ignorance. How unfortunate it is for people to classify poverty stricken areas as something to be afraid of - Caution is one thing, but fear is unnecessary. We all want better than what we have in our lives and for those we love...I'm am certain city dwellers do as well - We all make do with what we have, it's life...what we were taught...where we are from - Our Foundation.

Who is anyone to judge?

The next time I find myself feeling like my life is not what it "should be" I will be sure to remember our humbling summertime ride in the city.

An awesome day in the city. Happy to have ventured there for the day.

Romans 14

19 Let us therefore make every effort to do what leads to peace and to mutual edification.

20 Do not destroy the work of God for the sake of food. All food is clean, but it is wrong for a person to eat anything that causes someone else to stumble.

21 It is better not to eat meat or drink wine or to do anything else that will cause your brother or sister to fall.

22 So whatever you believe about these things keep between yourself and God. Blessed are those who do not condemn themselves by what they approve.

23 But those who have doubts are condemned if they eat, because their eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin.

Transformed By Truth

Spiritual Growth

I have replaced the lies I lived with truth...The Spirit of God and His Word has become habit and is a daily part of my journey. Spiritual growth is the process of replacing our misconceptions with truth.

What is YOUR truth?

My truth? ~ I must have spiritual nourishment to fulfill my purpose. I carry a form of His Word with me every where I go today.

The lessons we don't learn the easy way we learn in our suffering...transformed by our troubles. It humors me because my Mom has always said I learn things the hard way and I always took this in a "black cloud" context.

I've discovered to look to God is to find the truth in everything I encounter...it is the greater potential for building spiritual muscle and moral fiber.

At times I revert to my old ways of thinking and every time I wade into that forbidden territory I quickly revert because I am not equipped with all the answers...

God is in control, His plan is good. Thus our problems don't automatically produce what God intends. People choose to become angry and bitter instead of better and never grow up.

Respond the way Jesus would...understand God's truth. Our pain is temporary but our reward will be eternal.

Refuse to give up and keep going with this belief ~

James 1:2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds,

3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.

4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.

6 But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind.

7 Those who doubt should not think they will receive anything from the Lord;

8 they are double-minded and unstable in all they do.

9 Believers in humble circumstances ought to take pride in their high position.

10 But the rich should take pride in their humiliation-since they will pass away like a wild flower.

11 For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich will fade away even while they go about their business.

12 Blessed are those who persevere under trial, because when they have stood the test, they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.

The Snake

Trust You Deserve Unconditional Love

At daybreak I stir as I waken to the uneasiness of my dream.

In my vision the feeling of danger comes upon me as I lay in the dim light, something springs toward me.

Overcome by fright I turn away to avoid being hit in the face. Paralyzed in fear I wrap my head in my hands to protect myself from what is unknown.

Suddenly, I realize a snake coiled at the nape of my neck, ready to strike.

My first thought, "I have to find a way out!" - to avoid being bitten...

How will I get out of this?

The sound of hissing ringing in my ears.

I remember thinking to myself, if I panic its fangs most surely will peirce my skin. What if it's venom is poison?

I hear the sounds of the shower, the water running & the hairdryer...Den is getting ready for work.

I dozed back into my slumber...

Suddenly I find I'm no longer at the mercy of the viper. Where could it have gone?

I am standing alone in the darkness, squinting to see who is near, blinded, not knowing what surrounds me.

Again and again the snake is at my back but all I hear is hissing as I struggle in the darkness to break free from the threat of being bitten...all the while never in panic, my only thought is to protect myself.

Finally I wake to the sound of my alarm clock.

The dream at the forefront of my thoughts as I lay there in bed wondering what message I was to get from this.

Before I leave my pillow I thank God for another day and all that I will encounter.

I replay my dream...

~ "Could it be a message from above?"

For now I need COFFEE, as I stumble to the kitchen. Cup of coffee, meditation books and Bible in hand. I begin to read of disception and dishonesty, of doing the right thing.

A light bulb goes off in my head. I think I am on to something here. As I explore all the possible warnings the apparition could mean.

I establish, it is not "just a dream"...

What is a snake? One definition is "a deceitful or treacherous person".

The image of it threatening to strike, as if someone is ready to attack explains my protective position.

Can't help but notice that it never bites me or comes at me... it only delivered anxiety that it would.

Recalling it's closeness and a conviction of discomfort...

I am learning to have confidence in others, this isn't always easy.

We all want honesty, it breeds trust and nurtures hope.

I've learned the hard way what happens when we trust those we shouldn't.

My practice has been to be the one who goes out of her way to avoid conflict to the extreme...

I wonder if God is only telling me NOW is the time to stand up for myself; do not allow others to intimidate me.

It's possible the meaning is very simple...

Do what is right always, for the right reasons, with a pure heart, no evil intentions, serve and trust fully in God, He will always protect...

Is He telling me there is no need to worry over all the current "issues" I am facing?

I think it means all the above and I certainly believe He is here and is my defender, my protection, my guide and my light...

ALWAYS, no matter who is attacking or threatening my space or dismantling my trust.

Mark 4:22 ~ For whatever is hidden is meant to be disclosed, and whatever is concealed is meant to be brought out into the open.

The Canvas

Spiritual Inspiration

During my daily route into work as I traveled on the newly poured pavement, I couldn't help but scout the grass growing over the area where the road once rest. It's become my daily ritual to seek God as I commute.

Appreciating the earth's beauty I am able to witness each morning.

Admiring the allure of the small ponds, the artistry of the treelines, the inspiring grace as the ducks & geese soar in for landing...the water sprays as they take the plunge.

A small space in time holding onto the simple life between two ever growing cities.

The perfect time to give thanks for all my blessings...I tell God, "What a beautiful canvas He has painted!"

At that very moment, I realize how quickly all hints of the road ever being there will become non existent...ancient history.

To those unfamiliar with the days of old, they will never know the road ever lay anywhere but in its current path.

I tossed the idea around my head as I proceeded forward, understanding the roads we travel are as complex as life itself.

In essence, we create new avenues.

We refine our abilities and seemingly turn the unpleasantries of life into positive commodities.

Setting our sights on hope, acting on faith to find good in all we encounter.

Our old habits, behaviors or likeness rapidly fade away -

Our existence transpires into an enchanting journey, this life is our temporary assignment.

In retrospect, God's Word reminds us we are here only for a moment.

In God's eyes the heroes are not those who achieve prosperity, success and power, but those who treat this life as a temporary journey.

It is far better to serve faithfully, expecting only the promised reward in eternity.

2 Corinthians 4:18 ~ So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

Summertime

Inspiration

SUMMER TIME...

Happiness fills my being as I pay heed to the beauty of the summer skyline.

Trees and flowers in full bloom...grass vibrant green due to recent showers.

Sounds of birds joyful in song as day breaks...

The warmth of the sunshine radiates my newly bronzed skin...

- All simple clues confirming we are never alone.

Memorial weekend is upon us...

Schools dismissed and our normal routine switches week to week for the summer months.

I feel as though I struggle more than I should with this reality.

After this long shouldn't I be OK with it?

Time to shake off the melancholy.

Thankful it is a busy time of year and to have a wonderful guy to share it all with.

Kids at play...Six Flags and Water park we will surely frequent.

Ball practice and games...

Long rides on the iron horse..

BBQ's and get-together's with family and friends.

Enjoy each moment before they quickly fade to a memory...

Happiness Shines From the Inside Out!

Shiny happy people holding hands ~Shiny happy people laughing ~ R.E.M. (Love that song)

Happiness ~ the quality or state of being happy. good fortune; pleasure; contentment; joy; results from the possession or attainment of what one considers good: BLISS is supreme delight: CONTENTMENT is a peaceful kind of happiness in which one rests without desires, even though every wish may not have been gratified:

A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it may annoy the heck out of enough people to make it worth the effort ~ (he-he) I am the optimist and yes at times I hear depreciatory comments in regards to it. It's ok! I would rather WALK a hundred miles in the shoes of an optimist than to be twisted into believe the views of a pessimist. Negativity will get you nowhere and quickly! So the next time you wake up on the wrong side of the bed say to yourself "TODAY I WILL BE HAPPY!" before your head leaves your pillow. Have a GREAT & HAPPY DAY!!

Loving YOU

True happiness starts with loving yourself for WHO YOU ARE, for the mistakes you've made, and the struggles you've encountered along the way. It's molded YOU, it's made you who you are. We all have failures, fears and blemishes in our make up...it's what makes us unique. God's best work. Seek the things you are grateful for...there are sure to be many! Appreciate everything which surrounds you at every moment of every day...you never know when it will be taken away. Reach out to others with kindness and love...ALWAYS, it will come back to you 10 FOLD! Open your eyes to the beauty, it's everywhere...I start each day thanking God for a new day, another opportunity to enjoy life...to breath the air...to love my family. Be mindful to God and He will give you all the blessings you need, when you need them. Love, Love, Love!!

Blessed

Do you ever feel as though every corner you turn "life" is constantly knocking you down?

We all have times of trial and tribulation and feel as though everything in the universe is out to defeat us.

I have undergone such times - we all have...

I find that no matter how strong my faith appears to be - how hard I am working at doing right or focused I am on being kind and fair to others; YES even to the others I don't feel I owe squat to...sometimes the underdog gets blindsided anyway and those that I think deserve a taste of their own medicine continue to come out smelling like a rose.

Can you say "DEFLATING"?? :/

I continue to read my Bible and PRAY to God until I get through and feel the courage to keep going inside me as God lends me His strength. We are never alone no matter what transpires He is there to help us along.

James 1:12

Blessed are those who persevere under trial because when they have stood the test they will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.

I ROCK! ~ YOU ROCK! ~ LIFE ROCKS! - Loving Life

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Our entire universe is made up of consciousness, we never really experience the universe directly. We just experience our consciousness of the universe-our perception of it our only universe is perception. To judge any of it is a stick in one's own spokes, while appreciating all of it, is possibly the most productive activity available. Appreciation, in general, is a powerful, transcendent perspective to hold. The "bad" days define the "good" days. Though I may not necessarily enjoy "bad" days, I can appreciate their defining contrast-their shadows containing Who I'm Not, helping to further illuminate Who I Am. It's impossible to judge oneself with any sort of accuracy-let alone someone else. So, rather than judge, simply allow others to contribute to your experience.

Define your own personal "rockstar" for the moment, whether it's an eight-foot span of oil-stained concrete, the arms of a lover, the laugh of a child, or just one deep breath. Celebrate the fact that you unique! You are the product of 23 chromosomes from your father and 23 from your mother. YOU cannot be duplicated! Aristotle suggested that each human being is bred with a unique set of potentials that yearn to be fulfilled. Don't settle for "average" or "getting by". You can be extraordinary if you decide to be!

So how do you get to the point where you truly love your life? Here are some ideas that have helped me:

1. Make a Joy List and post it somewhere where you can see it.

2. Create mantras for yourself. Create a phrase and repeat it as often as needed to replace another mantra that no longer serves you, such as "My life sucks" "I am fat" "I am broke," etc. "I LOVE MY LIFE!" "I AM BEAUTIFUL" "I AM ROLLING IN DA MONEY"

3. Laugh when you fall. It is my rule, apply it to real life as often as you can. Develop a sense of humor. Especially about yourself. I laugh at myself ALL THE TIME!

4. Be kind & HAPPY for others when great things happen for THEM! Throw envy and negativity out the window!

5. Be grateful for what you have right now AND for what is on its way. Say "thank you" in advance.

6. Forgive yourself for not being perfect. No such thing. The word "perfect" should be extinct since it does not exist?

7. Reward yourself.

8. Find things to be in awe of...there are so many things to be in awe of!!

9. Sing out loud, even if badly and it embarrasses your kids.

10. Write a poem or your thoughts. It's great therapy!

11. Dance...I even dance down the hallways at my kids school JUST to embarrass them -:)

12. If you don't have anything nice to say, you know the deal...KEEP IT TO YOURSELF PLEASE!

13. Tell someone that you love them. Yes, right now.

14. Take more pictures.

A few simple ideas, so that you can really own saying "I love my life!" There is enough for everyone!

Freedom means you are unobstructed in living your life as you choose.

Anything less is a form of slavery. ~ Wayne Dyer

Hope everyone is having a great and Happy Thursday!!

I Am - Movie Trailer - Tom Shadyac -

Become apart of the "I Am" movement.

Ask yourself what you can do to make the world a better place.

Here is a blurb off of the movie website: http://www.iamthedoc.com/thefilm/

Shadyac's enthusiasm and optimism are contagious. Whether conducting an interview with an intellectual giant, or offering himself as a flawed character in the narrative of the film, Shadyac is an engaging and persuasive guide as we experience the remarkable journey that is I AM. With great wit, warmth, curiosity, and masterful storytelling skills, he reveals what science now tells us is one of the principal truths of the universe, a message that is as simple as it is significant: We are all connected - connected to each other and to everything around us. "My hope is that I AM is a window into Truth, a glimpse into the miracle, the mystery and magic of who we really are, and of the basic nature of the connection and unity of all things. In a way," says Shadyac, a seasoned Hollywood professional who has retained his unerring eye for a great story, "I think of I AM as the ultimate reality show."

I think what he has displayed is proof of something bigger...God is the driving force in our universe. My hope is that more begin to follow his lead.

Here are some great quotes and those we should all live by...

"The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong."

"You must be the change you want to see in the world."

"An eye for an eye only makes the whole world blind."

"The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others."

"Live simply so that others may simply live."

~Gandhi

Dealing with Stress

Self Control--- R E L A X

STRESS- The importance attached to a thing. Synonyms: significance, meaning, emphasis, consequence; weight, value, worth. The physical pressure, pull, or other force exerted on one thing by another; strain. a load, force, or system of forces producing a strain. the internal resistance or reaction of an elastic body to the external forces applied to it. A specific response by the body to a stimulus, as fear or pain, that disturbs or interferes with the normal physiological equilibrium of an organism. Physical, mental, or emotional strain or tension: Worry over a certain issue and our health put us under a great stress. Synonyms: anxiety, burden, pressure, oppression; effort, exertion, struggle, strain. a situation, occurrence, or factor causing mental anguish.

We all experience STRESS.

Life is BUSY! We live in a universe that never seems to stop or even slow down. Most of us have one or all...Husbands or Wives, Family, Kids, School, Sports, Pets, Jobs, Commutes to and from, we are constantly on the GO...it is never ending and at times becomes overwhelming.

One must find a healthy way to remove the everyday struggles of life which is often accompanied by uncertainty. If we allow it to linger and weigh us down we are setting ourselves up for more problems.

In those times I have to let it roll off, regroup. Acceptance for what it is even if I am at "fault" somehow.

Let's say I spend money I shouldn't have...

Should I let it ruin the rest of my day or week?

NO I have to get back on track and PLAN my spending better to remain on track.

These days many of us are have no "promise" of having our jobs tomorrow...financial security seems to be a thing of the past.

Should I allow it to consume me with worry?

NO! I have to have a back up plan and if I am truly worried of losing a job must begin to search for another.

As we grow older we will most likely have some scares with our health...

Should I get depressed when I hear something "alarming"?

NO!! I have to stay positive and find a solution, seek for the cure!

I was one who worried constantly...it's not a fun way to live. I've found it much more pleasing and healthy to route all the negative energy OUT of my inner self. It doesn't mean to ignore all those things, it means to find a positive approach. Meditation and prayer keep my spirit mindful and aware in a healthy manner. I do my best not to sweat the small stuff. In times of stress explore the options, vent if necessary,let it roll off and move forward.

Oh, and BELIEVE WITH ALL YOUR HEART things will be OK. ;)

Courageous - Casting Crowns Video

Awesome soundtrack to a GREAT Christian family movie. I know I will be adding it to our library. Enjoy!

Romans 12

Spirit Controlled Temperament

Holding the promises of God's will in my heart is a wonderful thing.

I've experienced a transformation, what a blessing it is.

Circumstances that make me uneasy today are comforted with His Word.

Focusing all my energies on one thing - Forgetting the past and looking to what lies ahead.

God holds it all.

The ultimate goal is living right today...No, I'm no where close to doing this flawlessly.

When boundaries are crossed by others, causing distress and frustration, I seek God and follow His lead.

With this practice I am able to rest easy knowing in my heart I gave it my best; with honesty, gratitude, and grace.

No longer accepting disrespect nor willing to allow others to walk all over me.

Retaliation arises as I voice my concerns. Isn't standing up for myself a God given right?

I choose to perform with dignity nonetheless, turning the other cheek is not an easy task.

Owning no desire of feeling superior, no need to ask for approval nor wanting to cast judgement on someone else's behavior.

Sincerely aspiring only to be heard, to be respected.

Do unto others; we are taught as children, this is the "Golden Rule"...apparently not everyone agrees.

I too have my share of faults. I aim on focusing to improve them daily.

Today I simply choose peace, I crave harmony.

As Jimi Hendrix once said, "When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace."

ROMANS 12

A Living Sacrifice

1 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God-this is true worship. 2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is-his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Humble Service in the Body of Christ

3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. 4 For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; 7 if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8 if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.

Love in Action

9 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with the Lord's people who are in need. Practice hospitality.

14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not think you are superior.17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord.

God's Grace

Love not Hate

Isaiah 30:18 Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you; therefore he will rise up to show you compassion.

For the LORD is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!

There are times I manuver through situations in the wrong way...my knee jerk reaction is to "beat myself up" -

Only after I feel I've completed that to the best of my ability, I turn to God; as if He isn't already aware.

I've allowed myself to be walked on, pushed around, and taken advantage of for so long I sometimes "forget" I have to stand up to those who believe I am the person I used to be, thinking they will get away with it again and again.

Modifying my thinking as I hold back, later realizing all I hold onto has to be said if I expect to move beyond my aggravation or frustration.

I strive to be tactful as I deliver, and yes most certainly there are times I fail. The battle within is usually worse then the outcome.

What I've found is this: there will always be those who think they know it all, the ones that feel they hold the only answer and that they are the "right" ones, those who don't care who they hurt or walk on to get what they want and of coarse those who simply think they are above everyone else on this earth...

However, I believe in the end every single one of us answer for EVERY action we deliver, for every boundary we cross.

These days I choose to live my life differently.

God guides me through when He is sought, as others push their limits or overstep the imaginary line.

It's my job to recognize and think issues through, not just go with my first backlash to the circumstances which arise.

I no longer wish to be the person harboring such aggression - I want to respond with His kindness and grace. Seeking God's counsel and trusting Him to comfort me through life is my reward, as He always delivers peacefulness during my times of adversity.

Pressing Forward

Motivation to Laugh Every Day

Yesterday...WOW!

It was a stressful one overjoyed to be looking at it in past tense I must say.

You know when your life feels so chaotic you could explode? Total erruption as the day began.

By the time I walked into work I wondered why I had even bothered to get out of bed.

It was just one of those lovely Monday mornings!

I am almost certain I had forgotten to thank God for the new day and opportunity that lie ahead, as I usually do before I leave my pillow.

DARN the bad luck! One morning spun out of my routine and WHAMMMO!

After a couple of attempts at refocusing my efforts, repeating my daily prayers in my head yet not REALLY focusing on them...of coarse a failed attempt.

So I tended to the handful of small fires that were burning as soon as I walked into my office. The only way to get the day rolling in a positive directions was to be completely rid of all negative lingering over my head.

I began again and again and yet again...finally free by 10ish I was able to see my day ending better than it began...

Although my spirit a bit deflated, the decision to face the day striving to stay positive simply...WORKED.

I envision life differently today. What would of put me out of commission for days a year ago, I lack room for now. Today I may get flustered, frustrated, perhaps even down right angry but I work through it...whether I feel up to the task or not.

Determined to never allow something or someone to ruin my day. Today my chaos lasts only minutes, a couple of hours at most; not days or weeks...my world no longer falls part.

Responsibilies are embraced and by the end of the day I recognize God's message and a lesson is learned.

I know what is important. I know what not to waste time bouncing around in my head. I know what to let go of and move beyond.

Generally all the issues we feel are shattering our world are usually nothing more than fear of reliving our past failures...

Ending our day with the reality of what is truly important...God, Family, Forgiveness, Acceptance & Kindness to those we love.

Inspiration in Sobriety

Do it Now

As a child I dreamed of what life would be like when I grew up. No one could have prepared me for the long and winding road my life would become. I imagined the fairytale, as many little girls do. I suppose Disney got the best of me and I watched Cinderella one too many times. I continued to hold onto the dream of one day meeting my prince charming adding a twist of realism to the mix by letting go of "riding off into the sunset or being swept off my feet".

The fairytale envisioned and the life which materialized are contradictory at best.

Affliction and turmoil began at a young age. I hung around older kids and began drinking and doing drugs at a young age...the ultimate recipe for disaster. I continued down the path leading no where. I was the girl who always seemed to get involved with the guy I shouldn't, the "bad boy". I met a guy who came from a great family and married for all the wrong reasons. All ground gained in my twenties became history by my mid-thirties. Spending 11 years in a marriage which ended as we both spiraled out of control. Doomed by the affects of alcohol by both parties envolved. God blessed us with 2 beautiful girls. Ultimately making every misfortune along the way worth living.

Today I am grateful for the troubles suffered throughout my life.

God, sobriety, time and reflection heal all wounds. The best part of going through all the hardships is that I've come to terms with them and what a gift; writing in a way I never imagined being capable of...I have a plentiful supply of material to write about; not the gritty details per say but the lessons and feelings that go with a troubled life, of abusive relationships, of my alcoholism, and my life after finding God and recovery.

My fiancé (aka Prince Charming) gave praise to my writing early in sobriety, telling me; "You need to DO something with this". Of coarse, I didn't take his advice to heart and brushed it off as him encouraging and supporting my new journey. It was only when a co-worker whom I don't know responded to a motivational email my boss had asked me to start sending out after applauding my perseverance and positive attitude and influence. The inner voice nudging me into believing what Dennis said about my writing months ago. A complete stranger told me about Squidoo and encouraged me to start my blog. As I began writing this blog I immediately received positive feedback from strangers. The deciding factor; it was time to share with family and friends. Hearing the words from my Mom "I always knew you had a special gift"...was music to my ears!

I spent years running and hiding from everything I felt or thought of myself. I consider myself one of the lucky. I find it paradoxical where God has led me in such a short time. He was delivering the signs but I wasn't recognizing them as I lacked in self-confidence. Now understanding His message is plain...Help others. God has blessed me with the ability to write.

It comes naturally, it's therapeutic. Sharing my thoughts and feelings with others; to help another is what life is all about.

Learning who I am through this experience and liking her more and more with every passing day...accepting where I've been and knowing where I am going.

Nehemiah 1

God's Work

Sunday at Faith Church St. Louis we had a guest pastor, Bill Cornelius from Bay Area Fellowship in Texas. What a great message he delivered. God was speaking to me...telling me where I needed to go...

Discover your vision from God. Know that it comes with a burden for people. God has a calling for each of us. What is your heart leading you to? Where is God guiding you? What breaks your heart?

God saves us with His grace! WE have to do all the other work to get to the place He is calling us. When we realize His calling for our lives; God adds His SUPER to our NATURAL. Ask God to get involved and He will lead you to places you never dreamed. Claim the promises of God's word.

Nehemiah’s Prayer

1 The words of Nehemiah son of Hakaliah:

In the month of Kislev in the twentieth year, while I was in the citadel of Susa, 2 Hanani, one of my brothers, came from Judah with some other men, and I questioned them about the Jewish remnant that had survived the exile, and also about Jerusalem.

3 They said to me, “Those who survived the exile and are back in the province are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem is broken down, and its gates have been burned with fire.”

4 When I heard these things, I sat down and wept. For some days I mourned and fasted and prayed before the God of heaven. 5 Then I said:

“LORD, the God of heaven, the great and awesome God, who keeps his covenant of love with those who love him and keep his commandments, 6 let your ear be attentive and your eyes open to hear the prayer your servant is praying before you day and night for your servants, the people of Israel. I confess the sins we Israelites, including myself and my ancestral family, have committed against you. 7 We have acted very wickedly toward you. We have not obeyed the commands, decrees and laws you gave your servant Moses.

8 “Remember the instruction you gave your servant Moses, saying, ‘If you are unfaithful, I will scatter you among the nations, 9 but if you return to me and obey my commands, then even if your exiled people are at the farthest horizon, I will gather them from there and bring them to the place I have chosen as a dwelling for my Name.’

10 “They are your servants and your people, whom you redeemed by your great strength and your mighty hand. 11 Lord, let your ear be attentive to the prayer of this your servant and to the prayer of your servants who delight in revering your name. Give your servant success today by granting him favor in the presence of this man.”

I was cupbearer to the king.

You will never win, if you never begin - Inspiration

If you are feeling sorry for yourself, a feel as though you are a victim. I dare you to watch this. Maybe you will find some inspiration from Nick Vujicic, a man with no arms or legs who knows what is important in life.

Stress Getting the Best of You?

Relaxation ~ Stress Free

"In times of great stress or adversity, it's always best to keep busy, to plow your anger and your energy into something positive." ~ Lee Iacocca

Life can be stressful!! Here are some tips to help get you through times of stress...

Take time for YOURSELF, quiet time away from the stream of this worlds ever flowing information highway.

Reconnect with stillness, it is an important component of health. Breath deep & relax turn off the internal chatter.

Pursue your passion, physical activity is important - it stimulates the mood, curbs food cravings & lowers blood pressure.

Practice relaxation techniques, THEY REALLY DO WORK! Do some research and find one that works for you.

Treat yourself to a massage, manicure, or pedicure - Stress takes a toll on your body, so something to rejuvenate yourself.

CRY if you need to! Get it out of your system.

And last but not least - ALWAYS REMEMBER TO LAUGH!!!!! Rent a classic comedy movie or favorite comedian.

Life is too short not to SMILE and treat others with kindness and love no matter what may be going on within you and your world. I hope everyone is having a good week. Find a positive way to deal with things stressing you out and MAKE it a great day!!!!!

Daily Prayer

He is waiting to hear from you

God, I know all power is in You. I ask You to show me my strengths and my purpose today, use me as your vessel, show me who You intended for me to be. Bless me into usefulness and help me to be a blessing to all those I encounter. Fill my being with ultimate faith, prayer and service. Help me to complain less and to bless others more and to lead all those I meet today to You.

Amen

Kutless - What Faith Can Do

This song is a great reminder to hold onto our faith...no matter what is going on in our life.

1 Corinthians 10:13 No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to us all. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.

Fear Raises it Ugly Head

Holding onto Faith, Hope & Love

Here we go again...in October 2011 I had a scare with some female issues. After a mammogram, breast MRI, and ultrasound I was told not to worry only a few fibroid cysts. All was good and I went on my way!

January 2012 - A visible change is detected...a rapid growing mass has formed. In October is was the size of a small pebble, today its the size of a quarter. Off to my primary doctor I went. Now I am being sent to see the specialist tomorrow.

THE POINT OF devulging such info is this -

I look to this experience as a test of faith. I know in my heart God will get me through WHATEVER this turns out to be. Am I anxious, fearful and worried? YES, WHO WOULDN'T BE! A natural response to a scary uncertainty! I do not know where this all will lead...I DO KNOW God knows all and He will lead me as I press on and move forward. I will do my best to face every day with perseverance, relying on God's strength. I am assured by His love and His presence and will do my best to enjoy the adventure of this beautiful thing called faith.

Lifehouse ~ Everything

An old friend showed me this link when I was new in recovery. I remember watching this music video/skit and SOBBING every time I would watch it. I could relate with all the skit shows in relation to good vs evil. I have been there...I have lived it, the emotion I experienced was overwhelming!

Today with 17months of sobriety I watched again for the first time in several months and became teary eyed at the reminder of where I once was...the emotions I felt before where due to the lack of faith and low self esteem, guilt I felt inside myself...Today the emotion is much more tame and the tears, tears of joy and gratitude.

Anyone struggling with addiction and wanting to be sober - there is help and it starts with asking God....

A Mother's Prayer - Jackie Evancho and Susan Boyle

Lyrics ~

(this is proof there are angels on earth, absolutely breathtaking!)

I pray you'll be our eyes

And watch us where we go

And help us to be wise

In times when we don't know

Let this be our prayer

When we lose our way

Lead us to a place

Guide us with your grace

To a place where we'll be safe

I pray we'll find your light

And holds it in our hearts

When stars go out each night

Remind us where you are

Let this be our prayer

When shadows fill our day

Lead us to a place

Guide us with your grace

Give us faith so we'll be safe

A world where pain and sorrow will be ended

And every heart that's broken will be mended

And we'll remember we are all gods children

Reaching out to touch you

Reaching to the stars

We ask that life be Kind

And watch us from above

We hope each soul will find

Another soul to love

Let this be your prayer

Just like every child

Needs to find a place

Guide us with your grace

Give us faith so we'll be safe

Needs to find a place

Guide us with your grace

Give us faith so we'll be safe

Forgiveness

It Frees YOUR soul

Luke 23:34

(NKJV) 34 Then Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do." And they divided His garments and cast lots.

FORGIVE ~

1. to grant pardon for or remission of (an offense, debt, etc.); absolve.

2. to give up all claim on account of; remit (a debt, obligation, etc.).

3. to grant pardon to (a person).

4. to cease to feel resentment against: to forgive one's enemies.

5. to cancel an indebtedness or liability of:

6. to pardon an offense or an offender.

When we live by the Word of God our lives turn into amazing journeys. I know this because a transformation has happened in my life. I have turned my life and will over to God. Life is precious.

Forgiving others for their trespasses against us...I live by this one! There is someone in my life that I must deal with on a regular basis who seems to thrive on causing grief...loves to manipulate and intimidate - Instead of living with the worry and fear Iallow this persons behavior inflict upon me, I give it to God and pray for the ability to forgive. I have been humbled by the practice ~ God takes the fear and worry away immediately. I can move forward with my day and KNOW everything will be ok. Another's actions are their own, not for me to ruin my day over. God will work it all out...these wrongs will not go unpunished, they will be made right.

It's that simple...even works for the petty things in life that sometimes lead us to those dark places we all loathe to be...So the next time you feel resentment or anger or frustration with another, FORGIVE and PRAY for THEM! It may not be easy at first, but practice makes it easier...it becomes second nature. Miraculously one day you will find it's the first thing you do...healthy medicine for your soul and bring your closer to God...strengthening your faith. It's a win win situation! Peace, Love and Forgiveness!!!

God

Believe in Him always...

It was Easter Sunday. My ears in tune to the power of the music playing.

I watched a man walk past us as we sat in church, acting the role of Jesus, covered in fake blood, beaten by his handlers, he carried the cross on his back to the stage. Tears steadily stream down my face...unable to keep up with wiping them away. For a brief moment in time what I experienced seems real...it was an outstanding effort by all who performed. Puzzled with my reaction.

I was not the only one feeling the intensity of it all. Dennis and the kids look at me with a glance of "are you ok?". I smiled with a nod of reassurance. After the closing of His tomb, My daughter leans in to me as the musicians begins to play the late Whitney Houston's rendition of I Will Always Love You, asking "Mom, are they trying to make us cry?". (I couldn't help but giggle.) It was overwhelmingly powerful and the lady sang it with the spirit of Whitney herself!

We all left church amazed..Amazing GRACE! Later when we spoke of church, I said "I don't know what came over me, I had no control of the emotion that took over"...still a bit baffled by my loss of control.

I've played this moment in time over in my thoughts more than once since. I believe it to be God telling me (Informing us all);

No matter what transpires in our lives, we are all going to come out winners. Continue to try to be the best we can be and do what is right...Everything is going to work out for the greater purpose. What seems to be a loss or no win situation is not usually the case.

We must move forward, we must keep on! Believe with all your heart...Believe in YOURSELF!

Don't "worry" about the circumstances which "appear" to be the never ending battle in our lives - God has shown us what He endured for us; the ultimate sacrifice, on His only Son's fateful day. Continue to believe in Him always; I know in my heart , He won't let us down.

God works in mysterious ways...this day was an example of another one of His mysteries.

Spiritual Inspiration

Great products and outlook by Marianne Williamson...we need more people in this world to follow her lead...enjoy a sampling of what you will find in her book of prayers, Illuminata

Morning Prayer

Dear God,

I give this day to You.

May my mind stay centered on the things of spirit.

May I not be tempted to stray from love.

As I begin this day, I open to receive You.

Please enter where You already abide.

May my mind & heart be pure & true, & may I not deviate from the things of goodness.

May I see the love & innocence in all mandkind, behind the masks we all wear & the illusions of this worldly plane.

I surrender to You my doings this day.

I ask only that they serve You & the healing of the world.

May I bring Your love & goodness with me, to give unto others wherever I go.

Make me the person You would have me be.

Direct my footsteps, & show me what You would have me do.

Make the world a safer, more beautiful place.

Bless all Your creatures.

Heal us all, & use me, dear Lord, that I might know the joy of being used by You.

Amen

Marianne Williamson ~ Illuminata

Louie Schwartzberg - Gratitude & Happiness Revealed

Very inspiring and words to live by...great reminder of how we all should look upon our life. Take a look and LISTEN! Words of wisdom. Peace:)

Kindness

What Goes Around, Comes Around

A random act of kindness is a selfless act performed by a person or people wishing to either assist or cheer up an individual person or people. The phrase may have been coined by Anne Herbert, who claims to have written "Practice random kindness and senseless acts of beauty" on a place mat at a Sausalito restaurant in 1982 or 1983.Either spontaneous or planned, random acts of kindness are encouraged by various communities.

It's the selfless acts like these which also helps you...when you do for other, you are also doing something good for yourself.

Be kind not just today, but everyday! Peace

Matthew West - Strong Enough

When I'm having a "bad" day or struggling with an issue, this song changes my mindset. It comforts me. It is a clear reminder of just how small we really are and that if we just give it all to God...He is always there it help us along the way.

So my advice to YOU...Start looking UP and reaching OUT to God. You will be truly amazed at how wonderful your life will be with Him.

Let Your Light Shine

Be the Candle or the Mirror

You can learn a lot about a person by watching their expressions and movements.

Whether they are happy or sad, dark or light, troubled or content.

A couple years back, when my world was dark, as I was leaving a store one sunny afternoon feeling I had the weight of the world on my shoulders - a complete stranger passing me, stopped, turned to me and said "Smile, your life cannot be THAT bad! I bet you are much prettier when you smile- allow everyone to see it!". I smiled, told him thank you and went on my way. I was baffled by the experience...I didn't recognize my troubles were that transparent. As I reflect back on that day I realize this...God's light was on me that day. The stranger, His messenger telling me to let my inner light shine and that my worry was to no avail...totally useless and wasted.

Today & everyday, no matter if it is a good day or "bad" one...I aim to SHINE.

In real life not everyday is rainbows and butterflies. However, if we remain thankful for my blessings & look for & find the good in everything I experience, I will find a butterfly or a rainbow in there somewhere!

So many people have it far worse than I could EVER imagine...Happy Thursday!!!

Being a Pilgrim

Life is a Journey - Mark Nepo

To journey without being changed

is to be a nomad.

To change without journeying

is to be a chameleon.

To journey and to be transformed by the journey

is to be a pilgrim.

~ Mark Nepo, The Book of Awakening (great daily inspiration/personal growth)

Adversity

No Mountain is too high

Life has it bumps in the road. Feel like you are stuck between a rock and a hard place? Are you a worrier? More often than not, what we worry about NEVER HAPPENS. Worrying makes you unable to deal with it when it comes. A confident person doesn't worry, they see things differently. They believe they can do what is necessary to surpass the obstacle. Hold onto a positive attitude, it gives us the power to expect good things in our future. Our harvest for trusting & believing everything will work itself out, despite the misfortune lodged in our path. I KNOW with my faith & daily communication with God, I will make it safely to the other side of my hardships. It doesn't mean I will not face adversity, it means God will get me through it if I turn it over to Him.

Psalm 46:1-5 ~ 1 God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. 2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, 3 though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. 4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells. 5 God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day.

Blessings

Today I have the attitude of gratitude. Perseverance, good will, hard work, determination and many prayers are the root for success...OH and let us not forget ANGELS. I am sure I have many watching over me :) I put my faith in God for all things seen and unseen. He ALWAYS comes through!! Thank you Jesus for the very nice surprise I received today! I love my life! The blessing just keep coming, living RIGHT definitely has it's rewards!

Letting Go

Taking care of your heart

When we hold onto our guilt, unable to forgive ourselves it consumed us and has devastating effects. Self destruction...Whatever has happened in our past cannot be "undone" - LET IT GO! Free your mind and forgive yourself. Seek God, ask Him for forgiveness and that He remove your guilt. Guilt controls us and limits our ability to heal. Never allow past mistakes to devour your hope and happiness for a bright future. There is nothing that God has not forgiven another for...He will shed His mercy upon you.

Psalm 103:11-12 For as high as the heavens are above the earth,

So great is His loving kindness toward those who fear Him. 12 As

far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our

transgressions from us.

God's grace is there for the taking. Reach out and grab hold.

Appreciation

Blessings

Good morning! Yesterday was another great day!!!! Do you ever have those days when you're filled with a feeling of appreciation for life? It's amazing! I felt so CONNECTED! I chalked it up as a blessing! Later in the day a man came into the store. As we were talking he told me how last August his son traveled here from Indiana to support him because he had to have quadruple bypass surgery. His surgery was cancelled due to an emergency that transpired so the family went home to spend some time together. His 38 yr old son unexpectedly died in his driveway that day as we was getting something out of his car (undiagnosed heart condition). He went on to tell me since August he buried his son, had surgery, had a 2nd surgery due to complications from the 1st, he is now going through a divorce, and he has physical therapy 5 days a week. I was inspired by this total stranger, he SMILED the entire time we were talking. He said "I'm not telling you this because I want your pity, I tell you this because there is a reason I am here today, I don't know why I came in here, I had no plans to but God brought me here today for a reason, just as he brought my son home to me the day he died." (WOW)

~ I am not sure of the "reasons" either but I do know there is a message in all of this it was a blessing to have met this gentleman and our conversation is one I will remember forever To have perception enough to recognize all the wonderful things I am able to encounter today is a blessing in and of itself! Great rewards for a wonderful job!

Appreciation -/gratitude; thankful recognition: the act of estimating the qualities of things and giving them their proper value. clear perception or recognition, especially of aesthetic quality: an increase or rise in the value of property, goods, etc. critical notice; evaluation; opinion, as of a situation, person, etc.

Do not regret growing older. It is a privilege denied to many.

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Today Is Beautiful

Until you've walked a mile in my shoes, please do not judge me.

The events of my life made the mold. I've allowed myself to be walked on, to wallow in my guilt, pain, and sorrow.

I have been paralyzed with fear and consumed by worry.

None of which I felt I had control over.

It took a year of sobriety to open my heart, to allow myself to FEEL, love and be loved, to clear my mind, to be free of the burdensome fears...

Unlocking the chains of my past and opening the doors to my future.

God led me to AA & sobriety...but my ever growing faith in God & myself are allowing me to HONESTLY LIVE.

Today is beautiful...

Today my life has purpose...

Today I am living!

Revelation - Spiritual

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Attitude is EVERYTHING!!! Choose a good one!

Epiphany ~ A sudden, intuitive perception of or insight - A literary work or section of a work presenting, usually symbolically, such a moment of revelation and insight...

When we are aware of the signs being given to us we encounter wonderful spiritual rewards (epiphanies)- Pay attention all the time, God wants us to reach out to Him always, not only when affliction arises; Have faith and believe in yourself, never disregard a "gut feeling" - what we feel is true for us is also the right path for us. Trust, and Receive the BLESSINGS God puts in your life! We begin LIVING when we open our eyes and our soul to God. When we face crises or disruptions in life, we can start looking for the epiphanies-for the answers and the gifts in our situations!

Believe in your revelations. Believe in yourself. Take action. And watch the universe conspire to support you.

God's Will, not mine...

Faith

We often find ourselves in situations wondering "what the heck?" as my 13 yr old daughter often says. When those times arise in my life my reaction is..."God has it under control, there is a reason for everything!" - I LIVE BY THIS DAILY and it helps me through. I may not know why, however I choose to focus on it being a positive not a negative. We were scheduled for trial, my ex and I, about custody issues...I found out at the last minute it was postponed...AGAIN. Slight frustration came upon me quickly, Jesus was ready and waiting, He calmed me immediately with the sense of knowing God has this matter under control and He will make all the wrongs RIGHT...In HIS time, not mine. See today I know I am living the life He intended me to live, I know He has my back. What an amazing comfort it is!!! If you find yourself struggling with your faith in Him my advice to you is GIVE HIM A CHANCE TO PROVE YOU WRONG...He will not let you down, I am living proof of what He is capable of doing in ones life. Peace Love and God are the one and only answer.

Hatred ~When Mistreatment Comes...

Forgiveness

God delivered a message to me today. He knows what I am struggling with and that today I strive to be the better person. I focus on doing what is right in God's eyes, to the best of my ability, to not cast judgement, to not feel hate or bitterness toward someone who seems to thrive on causing affliction. I pray for this person to find peace, happiness, and recovery. It's not an easy task but the more I practice, the better I become. God gave me comfort today, as He does everyday when we open our eyes to see it...allowing me to make the choice of loving, not hating. He reminds me I am not the only person facing adversity and to continue by doing the next right thing, to focus on what I can do to get through times of attack & to not burden myself with the hatred or bitterness another wants to inflict upon me. I have my own issues and choose not to take on the issues of others..God is the great counselor.

Getting past your fear

It's impossible to experience freedom while consumed with fear. Face and conquer your fear, one at a time. Move along or it will be to blame for many failures in life. Whether caused by sadness of old wounds or stems from the unknown, never allow it to cripple you...

I aspire to oneness, the work is often one at a time: facing myself, accepting myself, loving myself...no room for tormenting or feeding an ailing soul on the run.

Spread the LOVE - Choose Kindness ALWAYS!

I think it is safe to say we've all formed an opinion of someone or a situation and later realized what we "thought" had little if any truth to it. We need not assume. We all know where it leads us. These days I aim to be the person who is always looking for the good in everything…I don't know everything, I accept that and I want to help if I can, not make matters worse if I "think" I have all the answers, I try to always remember I may not KNOW all the information. Wouldn't the world be a more peaceful place if everyone lived this way? I think so, there can never be too much LOVE in the world.

If you have time to judge people, you have time to love them. ~ Mother Teresa

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The butterfly said to the sun, "They can't stop talking about my transformation. I can only do it once in my lifetime. If only they knew, they can do it at any time and in countless ways." ~ Dodinsky

Affirmation - The Secret

This is a great video to get you started on the right track if your struggling with negativity. Enjoy!

Blessings - Beauty

What a fabulous weekend. We enjoyed the time with all 4 of our kids. We even managed to do our yard fall clean up, repotted some plants, and watched the Cardinal game...among other domestic duties :)

To top it off we were blessed enough to get a ride on the iron horses with a group of friends yesterday.

Doesn't get much better than a weekend like that...

I LOVE FALL!

The weather and all the beautiful colors are amazing!

Bursts of orange, red and gold deliver such tranquility. The vibrant orange that explodes in contrast to the bright blue sky is gorgeous and brings a smile to my face.

We ventured out about noon and didn't return until after 6...just before dark.

We trotted through the countryside of Missouri wine country and into Herman for lunch...then circled over to Washington for a drink by the riverside...simply relaxing!

The winding hills and breathtaking scenery are more brilliant with the colors of fall, gifts from above...

As we rode I reflected on a comment the kids made about the happiness they see on Dennis' face when he rides, "When he is on his bike his whole attitude about life transforms...for those of us who love to ride it is a quick way to remove the worry and stress of our day to day lives.

As we rode and I admired the beauty around every twist and turn, I found myself wondering if everyone appreciates God's fall canvas...I am grateful we do.

Guestbook Comments

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      NewLifeRN 3 years ago

      Get on here and write Dana Marie!! Love you

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      anonymous 3 years ago

      My husband and I been through so many trials with family deaths and his illness, that changed both of us. I became an unhappy and un appreciative wife. My husband left me for another woman. My relationship with the Lord was suffering. His leaving was the worst thing that ever happened to me. One day while I was going through the internet I saw a man called Dr. Ibolo, I contacted him he told me to have only trust, hope, faith and courage as he proceeds with my spell work, in 2days my lost husband came back.... And now we are one happy family and his sickness is no more and I got pregnant in few days and now we have a baby boy... Thanks to Dr. Ibolo, you can contact him on his email at (theangelsofsolution@gmail.com) for helphe informed me that he is specialized on other problems like;(1) need your ex lover back(2) want a good job(3) want to have a good job post(4) want people to believe anything you say e.t.c...Thank you and be blessed

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Inspirational Lens, thank You so much

    • profile image

      catherine340 5 years ago

      I expected to see some improvements in my love life after I contacted Antogai and asked him to send out a spell to the Universe for me, but I didn't expect a life-changing experience, that's for sure! Still, though, that's what I got! Im not only in love, Im going to be moving to my soon-to-be-fiances state next month! We probably would never even have met if it weren't for antogaispelltemple@yahoo.com and his wonderful powers of peace and love. I wish you all the peace and love you sent me, DR ANTOGAI.

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      Dana Marie 5 years ago from St. Peters, MO

      @anonymous: Thanks so much!

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      A touching, inspiring story, great work

    • Dmarieinspires profile image
      Author

      Dana Marie 5 years ago from St. Peters, MO

      @anonymous: No I cannot! Crazy how fast time has gone this summer! :)

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      @Dmarieinspires: Can you believe its the end of August already. The summer is flown by too fast. :)

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      Darcie French 5 years ago from Abbotsford, BC

      I walk beside you. I am curing myself of fibromyalgia and bipolar - with the knowledge that I can, just by avoiding that which makes me weak and focusing on strength. I only keep Holy Company.

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      Dana Marie 5 years ago from St. Peters, MO

      @diy-plan: Thank you...I've always been one to wear my feelings/emotions on my sleeve :) Thank You!!!!

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      Jim Brown 5 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      I like how you simply pour yourself out on the pages. Nice to read... bless!

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      Dana Marie 5 years ago from St. Peters, MO

      @BLemley: Thank you for your kindness and encouragement :) Yes life is wonderful when we seek &amp; do our best to follow God :)))) Thank you for sharing my lens on yours I really appreciate it!! God bless you too!

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      Beverly Lemley 5 years ago from Raleigh, NC

      Beautiful, inspirational, a great collection of inspirational and motivational, as well as a great look at a life and how it goes, and the awesome grace that with God at the helm, all things are possible ~ and hang on! I will include this on my Seeking God's Grace lens (Fish-cafe), where folks can meet and share their spiritual journey and faith walk. God bless you! B : )

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      Dana Marie 5 years ago from St. Peters, MO

      @potovanja: Thank You!!! Very kind of you, I appreciate the support.

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      potovanja 5 years ago

      You are great writer. So i give you LIKES:). Thank you 4 visit my...

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      Dana Marie 5 years ago from St. Peters, MO

      @anonymous: Thank you for the compliment and for stopping by :) I appreciate it very much! YES, living is what it is all about!n Thank you!!

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Such beautiful inspiration, thoughts, affirmation and positive attitude. Life is all about living and not dying before you really have to die. Well done.

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      Dana Marie 5 years ago from St. Peters, MO

      @antoniow: Thank you!!

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      antoniow 5 years ago

      Beautiful lens, well done!

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      ideadesigns 5 years ago

      God bless you for your encouragement and inspirational words. Lots of love and keep this journey simple! We need more lenses like these! :)

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      Dana Marie 5 years ago from St. Peters, MO

      @norma-holt: Thank you very much! I appreciate you stopping by and all your support! HUGS

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      norma-holt 5 years ago

      You have battled well and may you go forward with strength. Featured on Blessed by Skiesgreen 2012-2 and also on Motivation. Hugs.

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      Dana Marie 5 years ago from St. Peters, MO

      @iijuan12: Thank you...lol

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      Dana Marie 5 years ago from St. Peters, MO

      @iijuan12: Thank you!

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      Dana Marie 5 years ago from St. Peters, MO

      @iijuan12: Thank you so much for stopping by!

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      iijuan12 5 years ago from Florida

      Beautiful lens!

    • iijuan12 profile image

      iijuan12 5 years ago from Florida

      Beautiful lens!

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      iijuan12 5 years ago from Florida

      Beautiful lens!

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      Dana Marie 5 years ago from St. Peters, MO

      @anonymous: Thank you Tipi :) I am wishing you the same!! Summer is in full swing :)

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Just stopped by again to wish you a wonderful day! (everyday)

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      Dana Marie 5 years ago from St. Peters, MO

      @Roze LM: Thanks for stopping by :)

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      Roze LM 5 years ago

      Faith, Forgiveness, Love, Honesty... Beautiful lens, thank you.

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      Dana Marie 5 years ago from St. Peters, MO

      @jdwheeler: Thanks!!!!

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      Dana Marie 5 years ago from St. Peters, MO

      @Diana Wenzel: Thank you! Wish the same for you

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      jdwheeler 5 years ago

      Beautiful words...

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      Renaissance Woman 5 years ago from Colorado

      This is just packed with inspiration, hope, and encouragement. Wishing you all that is beautiful.

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      Dana Marie 5 years ago from St. Peters, MO

      @brendajoy: Hi! I thank you for returning!! Thank you for the kindness as well. I have worked hard on this and recovery...what a wonderful experience. Glad we did too. God bless you too!

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      brendajoy 5 years ago

      Hi, Dmarie, Sorry it took me so long to get back to your lens. It was worth the wait on mt part. Excellent material! Very skillfully put together. A New favorite of mine. I'm so glad you reached out for help. Glad we've met. God bless.

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      Dana Marie 5 years ago from St. Peters, MO

      @Wbisbill LM: Thanks for your support and for stopping by my lens :)

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      Barbara Isbill 5 years ago from New Market Tn 37820

      Full of inspiration and may it reach many! Thumbs up!

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      Dana Marie 5 years ago from St. Peters, MO

      @DrBillSmithWriter: Thank you for the kind words and thank you for taking the time to stop by :)

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      Dana Marie 5 years ago from St. Peters, MO

      @shellys-space: Indeed it is!!!!!! ;) You're welcome. Thanks for stopping by

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      Dana Marie 5 years ago from St. Peters, MO

      @AnimalHouse: Thanks for stopping by...I appreciate it :)

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      William Leverne Smith 5 years ago from Hollister, MO

      Two very inspirational lenses, from the heart and the depth of your being. Hard to ask any more. Keep up the good work, best wishes in all things! ;-)

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      Shelly Sellers 5 years ago from Midwest U.S.A.

      God's Grace is wonderful! Thanks for the inspirations!

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      AnimalHouse 5 years ago

      Great lens. Gives inspiration and hope to the readers.

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      Dana Marie 5 years ago from St. Peters, MO

      @tvyps: Thank you!!!! LOVE being blessed :)

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      Teri Villars 5 years ago from Phoenix, Arizona

      Loved it! Squid Angel blessed!

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      Dana Marie 5 years ago from St. Peters, MO

      @ChristianDatingHelp: Thank you I appreciate it :) Happy you enjoyed it.

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      ChristianDatingHelp 5 years ago

      Read with great interest your fantastic lens, loved your story and find you a true source of inspiration. Many thanks!

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      Dana Marie 5 years ago from St. Peters, MO

      @JoshK47: Thanks so much for stoppin by and for your blessing :) Appreciate it!

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      JoshK47 5 years ago

      You certainly put a lot of work into this lens! Wow! Great work! Blessed by a SquidAngel!

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      Dana Marie 5 years ago from St. Peters, MO

      @Bellezza-Decor: ABSOLUTELY!! Thanks for visiting :)

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      Bellezza-Decor 5 years ago from Canada

      ... those transcendent moments of awe are inspirational ... aren't they!

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      Dana Marie 5 years ago from St. Peters, MO

      @carrie-stenson: Thank you :))) I don't know about a miracle but I know it's definitely bigger than me LOL

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      carrie-stenson 5 years ago

      Wow Dana, I see such amazing growth in you! There's some kind miracle happening here to be able to refocus your whole life &amp; it's meaning to yourself &amp; THEN be able to share with everyone...I say bravo!!!I'll look forward to reading your blogs!!!;-)))

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      Natalie W Schorr 5 years ago

      Well done!

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      Dana Marie 5 years ago from St. Peters, MO

      @brendajoy: You're welcome and THANK YOU!!!! I appreciate you paying it forward :)

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      brendajoy 5 years ago

      InspirationbyDmarie, Thanks for stopping by my lens. I am going to link to your pages. Inspiration isn't inspiration unless we share it!

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      Dana Marie 5 years ago from St. Peters, MO

      @Beth Buckley: Thank you for stopping by and for your blessing :)

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      Beth Buckley 5 years ago from Portland, OR

      A touching, inspiring story from your heart. Bravo!

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      Dana Marie 5 years ago from St. Peters, MO

      @anonymous: I totally agree!! Thank you!!

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Heavenly Inspiration is the Best to have and encounter!!! ;D

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      Dana Marie 5 years ago from St. Peters, MO

      @Maritimer LM: Thank you...one of my favorites :) Have a HAPPY day!

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      Maritimer LM 5 years ago

      Really enjoyed - Happiness Shines From the Inside Out!

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      Dana Marie 5 years ago from St. Peters, MO

      @siobhanryan: Thank you! :)

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      siobhanryan 5 years ago

      Brilliant lens

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      Dana Marie 5 years ago from St. Peters, MO

      @artbyrodriguez: Thank you! I appreciate the support very much.

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      Beverly Rodriguez 5 years ago from Albany New York

      Powerful lens and very well done. There is so much to take in.

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      Dana Marie 5 years ago from St. Peters, MO

      @sukkran trichy: thank you and God Bless :)

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      Dana Marie 5 years ago from St. Peters, MO

      @Bill Armstrong: Thanks for stopping by :)

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      Dana Marie 5 years ago from St. Peters, MO

      @Tangled07: Thank you :) appreciate your support and thanks for visiting my lens

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      Tangled07 5 years ago

      Beautiful lens. (The little story about the stranger you met outside the store was my favorite) I applaud you for sharing your story with the world there are many out there who need shining lights such as yourself and your words radiate peace, love, faith and a kind of..calm if that makes sense. I wish you the best! :)

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      Bill Armstrong 5 years ago from Valencia, California

      nice lens, thanks for sharing

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      sukkran trichy 5 years ago from Trichy/Tamil Nadu

      thanks for a wonderful read. the vids are really great. ~blessed~

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      Dana Marie 5 years ago from St. Peters, MO

      @WeCarryThePower: Thank you. If my story helps someone there is no harm in sharing it. I think many FEAR judgement from others, the only judge I am concerned with is God. I agree one must always reject or face our fears in order to move pass them and remain in control afterall "We Carry The Power" from within. God Bless

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      sponias lm 5 years ago

      This is a beautiful and helpful lens! Blessed by a Squid Angel.

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      awakeningwellness 5 years ago

      Such a lovely inspirational lens, thanks for sharing!

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      Dana Marie 5 years ago from St. Peters, MO

      Thanks to all of you for this encouragement! It is wonderful. God Bless!!!

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      WeCarryThePower 5 years ago

      I think your efforts here are exceptional ! You are willing to share your pain, and at the same time, inspire others in doing so. This is a special thing, and not something the average person would be willing to do. To me the "fear" part of it all strikes the most sensitive chord. Regardless of one's physical or mental state of being, fear should be rigorously rejected as we move straightforward towards our goals, and shed the obstacles in our way. Fear perhaps being the largest obstacle of them all, and one that cuts deep into the soul. My blessings, and well wishes to you. Life is going to be great !

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      ideadesigns 5 years ago

      My goodness, I agree, you are so encouraging and you love to give it out like candy :). Blessings to you on your journey. Keep up the awesome work.

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      Wedding Mom 5 years ago

      Very inspiring lens! I was so engrossed i did not know as i got to the end. Hope you will continue to write as well.

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      Dana Marie 5 years ago from St. Peters, MO

      @WriterJanis2: Thank you!!! I will :)

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      WriterJanis2 5 years ago

      Beautiful lens. I hope you write more soon.

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      bikerministry 5 years ago

      Great lens here, continue to believe, and give out hope to others. Blessings.

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      normandes 5 years ago

      Great and full inspiring messages lens.

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      Anthony Godinho 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      You have some very positive and encouraging messages here. It is so vital to have an attitude of gratitude even in the most trying of times. May you continue to be blessed and be a blessing to many. May your light shine brightly! :)

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Very nice thoughts and a very inspirational message indeed! Keep up the good spirit! :)

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      You definitely came out of that wilderness into the sunshine full of fervor, faith and inspiration! You share very well from your heart and experience with hope held out to all, may many see your light!

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      Dana Marie 5 years ago from St. Peters, MO

      @kal313: Thank you for your kind words. I live today by God's Will, when I use my own it creates unwarrented struggles. I am one who embraces honesty, even when it hurts. There is ALWAYS a lesson to be learned from the trials of life...and a sense of humor is a must!!! :) Thanks again!!!

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      kal313 5 years ago

      You seem to have embraced life on life's terms. You write with and innocence and intelligence that comes purely from the heart. Only from that place can you do so. Your honesty about your struggles and the ways in which you deal with them is so refreshing. You are right. We all have struggles and fears and dark places. I like your advice about having a sense of humor about some of that. We are, after all, only human. Keep up the good work.