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Love

Hello my friends! I hope today’s post finds you well! I have this itch. It has been so long since I have written. Since my injury, typing is a challenge that I am learning to overcome. Today, I peck at the keys, not caring one bit about the icy hot burn in my hand as I get this message out. The desire to write is overwhelming as I ache to reach the world with this message about abounding love. I keep hearing that there is not enough love in the world today, but I know that that is false. There is more abounding love in this world than we can even wrap our brains around as humans. It is huge, golden, and encompasses the world in more abundance that we can imagine. What there is a lack of is kindness, trust, and willingness to open our arms to love. We as humans are refusing to choose love. Refusing to accept it. It is up to us to receive it. If our hearts are closed to it, then it cannot enter us. It bounces off of us and goes unrequited in this world! We absolutely must be willing to receive the love that is coming towards us! Love is abundant. Contagious! We must spread the virus! We must share it and receive it in order to perpetuate it. People! Come on! You are beautiful! See it! Then, once you see it, share it! Accept it! Receive it! Love is yours for the taking. Your life will change so drastically when you finally choose to see the love. The abundance. The beauty. When you focus on giving and receiving love, it becomes so overwhelmingly abundant around you that you cannot contain it and you want to shout it from the rooftops, as I am today!

When you go to your grave, it will not matter how many acts of service you have done. It will not matter how much money you put into the pot in tithe. We all have our strengths and weaknesses. We are all here for different purposes, some tithe money, others tithe time, but the one thing that we all need to do is show gladness! Joy! What is the state of your heart? Are you tithing and providing acts of service because you love God? Because you know Gods love and want everyone to know the joy? Or are you tithing with a bitter heart because you would rather spend that money elsewhere. God forgives us easily when we fail, it is ours for the asking, but what was your hearts intention? That question WILL matter. How much love did you reciprocate in the world? How much forgiveness and Jesus like grace did you try to emanate. Did you accept everyone for who they are? Or did you choose which ones to love and which to condemn? It is Gods place to judge and save. We are not here to save people. We are here to show Gods love. Very simply! To let a lady in line in front of you, to give a broken hearted little girl words of encouragement, to empathize with the broken. God chooses the broken, the weary, to favor. Love them, do NOT judge them.

When you meet your maker, it will not matter how big your house was, how nice your car was. You cannot take any of that with you and it will not bring you joy. Only the love of God can bring that fearless, joyful, contagious love, and sustain it. Its huge, its monstrous, and it breaks my heart that so few are willing to receive it! All you have to do is try. Try to start seeing your challenges as the blessings they will turn out to be in the end. Try seeing a long line as an opportunity to let someone who is elderly or ill jump in line in front of you. Just watch her gratitude. Turn around and see the face of the person who just witnessed your random act of kindness. One simple act can make four people face the day with a more loving perspective! You can do it! Receive the love! Spread the love! Share Gods joy! Ask God every day when you wake up, to flood you with love and peace. Every time you leave your house, ask him for an opportunity to share love, to give random joy out by the armfuls. Ask Him to give you an opportunity to share his love and blessing. Look at your life! It is beautiful. What do you love? Do you have beautiful children? A roof over your head? Food in your mouth? Pleasant weather? A job? Those are all gifts given to us from Gods love! Be thankful for them, joyful for them, and share them! Is there a beautiful bird in your tree? Is the scent of fall on the breeze? What has God blessed you with today? It has occurred to me that every challenge is a blessing in disguise. That with each struggle, we find a solution, we grow, we learn to appreciate, we become more beautiful human beings as our patience grows with them. It occurs to me that every single challenge we face is an opportunity for God to bless us abundantly. How boring would life be without challenge? How spoiled and demanding we would all be! How selfish we would be! What need would we have for God? A world with no challenge, to me, appears to be a world with no love, and no reason to hope, and that is not appealing to me. I challenge you to see your burdens as an opportunity for God to bless you. I challenge you to see them as a reason to be thankful and full of love for a God who provides tools to teach us how to be awesome. I challenge you, to go out into your world today, and show a ridiculous amount of love to one stranger who needs it. Let her in line, pay for his burger, offer to carry a bag. It is in you. Your life is NOT so busy and awful that you cannot find one shred of love to share with a stranger. Share what you can, its enough to make a difference, and do it simply out of love. Be determined to be a major player in the circle of love, and spread it. Spread the joy. Spread the love, and watch it unfold back on you one thousandfold. God is Love. Jesus is love. Grace is the gift that they have bestowed upon us! Accept it! Share the love like your life depends on it, and you will find that all along, it was the one thing your life depended on most!

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Spreading the joy

Hello and good day to you all! I hope this post finds you with joy in your heart and blessings on your mind. Today, as I look around me at the world, at the things our society is focused on, a feel a sense of loneliness. Where are all the joyful people? I have decided that amidst the horror and drama that our society seems to be focused on, I am going to try to bring more love and joy to the world. People fighting hate with hate, not realizing that they are generating more hate. That wont do! People are intrinsically good. Bound by love. Why do so few people understand that joy and love are ours for the choosing. One negative can blind a person to the thousands of blessings in their day. Today I am making a vow to challenge people to step out of that gloomy place, and start looking for their blessings. Today I vow to spread joy every chance I get. I hope you will join me on this journey. All too often we are told joy is a choice, and yet, so few people seem to have the tools to choose that joy, to see their blessings, to feel the love. I propose we work together to teach them. To show people that choosing joy is easy. That it is a matter of how we have been trained to think, and all we have to do is retrain the way we think in a way that the positives come to the front first, That for every negative, there is a positive and if we learn to focus on the good that a situation can bring, we forget to focus on the misery in it. People get so comfortable in their misery, that choosing joy is uncomfortable. If only they realized how much nicer you feel at the end of the day, and every moment in between. Stepping outside our comfort zone can be a good thing. Finding the blessings in our day isnt hard if we just consciously try. I wish I could organize my thoughts on choosing joy well enough to get my book started. It breaks my heart how hard people make happiness seem. How far away they think it is. You can have it today. It is soft and fluffy and warm, and close by. All you have to do is start looking. What are you thankful for? What do you have that you didnt once upon a time? What about your family, pets, dinner, roof over your head, clothes on your back,. What about the stars and the moon and a gorgeous day. Rain is a good reason to celebrate, rarely is a good rain not helpful, refreshing, and cleansing. All we have to do is choose to see the best case scenario. Heck, even the middle of the road scenario is often so much more positive than focusing on how bad it can be. Why do we focus so much of our energy on the negatives, and worst case scenario, when we could be appreciating all our blessings? Today I challenge you to choose joy, but it comes with a warning. Sometimes its lonely here. Sometimes you feel helplessness because you have learned to choose joy, and you see the people you love fumbling along without having made the choice for joy, and you feel helpless. Still, at the end of the day, helplessness leads to problem solving, so I sit here wondering, how do we teach everyone to choose the joy? How do we teach them to place the love that binds us all on the front burner? How do we show them that if they stopped to focus on the blessings, they are far more abundant that the stressors in our lives? How do we teach people that they are in control of how much of their energy they give to joy or distress? I challenge you to start looking first for the positives that a situation can bring, to start making a “pros” list that outweighs the “cons”. I challenge you to say to yourself “Will this horrible thing that is happening to me be something I remember the day I meet my maker?”. If the answer is no, then you are likely spending too much energy on it, and might try to fight it with a positive, find the good that can come from it. Somewhere, hidden deep inside of it, there is good. We may not be able to see it at first glance, but with time and patience, the good will become clear, and we realized we wasted a lot of energy focusing on the negative of it and it had a good outcome after all. At 40 years old, I regret one thing. How much of my energy I gave to negativity. I have a choice and I am choosing not to give my energy to the negatives that are so abundant around every corner today. I am fighting hate with love, judgement with empathy, ignorance with education. I refuse to let the negative win. I am here to enjoy life, just as God intended me to, and with Him by my side I will do just that. Choosing joy isn’t as hard as it sounds. The tools are within us, all we have to do is sharpen them. Pretty soon its default to use the sharper tools and you surprise yourself with an instinct to choose joy and hold a small funeral inside your heart for all those days you wasted focusing on the hardships and injustices of the wold, and for letting them consume your energy. First step. Define your blessings. You can always fight negatives with the most obvious of blessings! I am blessed so abundantly, I couldn’t possibly fit all those blessings in one list, but to get you all started, here are a few of the blessings that I am thankful for today:I am thankful for my husband. I am thankful for my son. I am thankful for his special needs, they taught me alot about love, individuality, blessings in unlikely packages, and well, life. All of my relationships are better because of what I learned form my very special child. I am thankful for my mom, and my sister and brother. I am thankful for my dogs, and cats and the way that they look at me as if I am perfect, every single day. I am so blessed to have this lovely piece of property to rent. Its expensive, sometimes causes a bit of worry, but it is ultimately a giant blessing. I have more clothing to wear on my back that I know what to do with, and am so abundantly blessed in this area that I am struggling to weed some out to bless others with ;). I am blessed with partly sunny skies and mild weather today. I am blessed with the buzz of family around me. I am blessed with a wonderful garden and an abundance of variety in seeds to choose from. I am blessed so many ways its overwhelming trying to list them all. Perhaps the most important part of recognizing that life is so abundant with blessings, is remembering to be thankful for them. The gratitude that seeing your blessings brings cannot compare to any other feeling. Oh the humility and joy that you find when you realize that no matter what the surface may look like, your life is abundant, all you have to do is choose to see it. To remain focused on the positives, on the things you love and appreciate. The grass between my toes, the wind in my hair, these are reasons to rejoice. The sun that rises and sets, and its counterpart, the moon. These too, are reasons to be thankful. The air we breath, the water we drink, the abundant food in most of our cupboards, these are all blessings. We just need to recognize that and the abundance we start to see becomes overwhelming. Look any direction. Can you see a blessing within your reach? They are so abundant they surround us and we forget to notice them. Challenges aren’t here to make us miserable, they are here to teach us and to help us appreciate what we have. Challenges build our character and strengthen our empathy. Challenges turn us into bright, beautiful, well rounded people. Challenges are meant to build us up, not to tear us down. To teach us about faith, patience, forgiveness, acceptance, and gratitude. Challenges are what create our character. How we approach them is up to us. What are you worrying about today? How can you turn that worry into a positive? What do you think you are lacking, that really is a blessing your not seeing? We all do it, everyone. Its not an insult to anyone. I do it too, but I recognize that and am challenging myself to remain diligent in focusing on the blessings. Would you like to join me, as we choose the path of joy, blessings, love and gratitude?

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Growing Pains

Good Sunny Day, my friends! Today I reflect on growing pains. From my own, to my loved ones, to perfect strangers I happen to come in contact with. I find myself reminding myself calmly that these growing pains are a part of moving forward with life, becoming more mature. A source for lessons. The college of life. I have patience and peace, because I have God and I know that He will not let me fall. That no matter what challenge I am facing, I have lived long enough to know, that no hardship comes without growth, without a positive. That I survive them all, and that new doors always open as old ones close. That when one well dries up, another always starts gurgling. In some ways, this makes it very hard to relate to people who have not had the time or healing to observe this factor. I feel very separate from people today. I have to keep reminding myself that there was a time in my life when that would not have seemed like menial drama and I would have lost control just as my friend is today. It applies everywhere I go. People hating on their neighbors because they dont like or understand a certain behavior. People gossiping about others. Snooz. So boring. I have a very busy life, listening to you drone on and on about a woman I will never meet is boring for me. Lets talk about me, or you, or politics, or God, or anything that affects us. Other peoples lives bore me unless I can be helping them in some way. I do not understand the need to read the tabloids, or know who is doing what, or to expend a ton of energy on things like Bruce/Caitlynn Jenners sex change. How does that affect us? Why are we wasting so much time having opinions on it?  Unless I feel God sent them to me, I really don’t care what or who they are doing. So today, when I saw a meme that said “A rumor stops at a wise persons ears” I decided that is a motto I want to embrace. The problem here, is that I have run out of polite ways to say “Your judgement of them only affects you, lets talk about something else”. or “are you shoulding on them?” My close ones know what this means. Its lonely though, watching people should on others and wonder why they are miserable, watching people have expectations and being dissapointed when they are let down. Seeing people struggle with patience time and time again, and the distress that waiting causes people. Social media filled with people saying “well I guess you are there for your friends then you need them and are all alone” in so many different ways, and wanting to reach out and say “Learn about codependency”. Learn about shoulding, fight or flight, shame, and trauma. Learn about validation and learn the difference between how man and womens brains work. Get over the notion of a perfect spouse. There are no perfect people, anywhere. Just two imperfect people who vowed to forever.  Its lonely trying to find someone who understands what the words “Joy is a choice” really mean, but also to have empathy for the knowledge that until someone teaches you how to choose joy, its an impossible notion. Wanting to see people soak up information overnight is painful. Seeing those moments when you realize how big their growth has been is amazing. I wonder how therapists do it? How do you resist the urge to quietly message every hurting person you meet and say I can help you if you want to do the work to heal. If you are open to spending hours sharpening your tools, I can show you how to build the foundation to a house full of joy. Faith. Patience. Acceptance. Forgiveness. and gratitude. All the tools you need. Lets gather and sharpen them, and joy will not be a hard choice. It will come naturally. I have this overwhelming desire to write a book about these five factors in life, and I will one day. Today, I have an overwhelming lack of time and a buffet full of plates to empty. It weighs heavy on my. Wanting people to understand connectedness. From our food to our air to our behaviors. Every single thing we do affects our joy, our happiness, our growth, our healing, and our ability to persevere. We have free will. Every single thing we do is a choice we have made. Why not choose joy? Why not look for the best case scenario instead of the worst? Or even better, think of best and worst and figure somewhere in the middle is reality, accept it, and move forward? Just an idea, I could be wrong. Finding a middle and most realistic scenario gives a stable balanced approach to handling it. Why choose the high or low road. Its never really best or worst case scenario in the end. It is almost always, somewhere balanced in the middle. Life is not meant to be lived in a constant state of highs and lows. Life is meant to have weather. rain one day, partly cloudy the next. Not a hurricane one day and a tornado the next. How we approach our challenges quite often affects our perception of hurricanes and tornados. Is it really a natural disaster or is it just a little rain to feed the thirsty flowers? One way that works really good for me in evaluating ‘freak out’ value of a situation is to ask myself how will it alter my dying day? Will I have to apologize to God for it? Will I feel confident in the value of the decision I made? Will I feel shame at my behavior? Will I even remember this day, or this moment? You would be amazed the perspective when you insert it into your deathbed moments with your maker. Real perspective change. Today, I am looking at people everywhere, and feeling sad at the small percentage who know how to choose joy, how to find faith, patience, acceptance, forgiveness, and gratitude. Those are tools all humans should come equipped with the latest model of. Sharpened and ready to get you through the hardest of times. Watching people hurt, ache and cry through the days it takes to sharpen them. The heartache of that nose to the grind job that makes you weary and pushes you to your limit is heartbreaking to watch. It often surprises me how long it takes even with the information available to help people heal. No one likes instruction manuals. The process of retraining your thinking. Retraining your habits and behaviors into healthy ones. Man, that is painful to watch. Its frustrating, It brings with it this quiet sense of helplessness. The urge to say “Seriously? THIS is what you are giving all of your energy to?!!?, and having to suppress that urge because they would not understand. Having to remember that there was a time I would not have understood either. Oh how I wish I could get the message to everyone. It doesn’t have to be as hard as you are making it. It is not as complicated as you think it is. It is simple. Beautiful. There IS still good in the wold. Joy IS still an option. All you have to do is choose it.

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A time for rebirth

Spanish Creek wildlife shoot 091

Good afternoon and Happy Saturday my friends! I hope this post finds you all well and enjoying the freshness of Spring. As of late, I have found myself so completely overwhelmed, that I have not had the focus to figure out which responsibilities need to take priority and which need to wait. after a couple nice sit down meetings with a couple of my board members, I have some focus, and a better grasp of my priorities, but still just feeling so overwhelmed with the mundane. I have refused to let myself stop going. I have been determined to continue to keep going, no matter how tired, overwhelmed, or even just completely exhausted I may be. I keep thinking “There will be time for fun later”. How did I ever let myself fall into that trap? And so, with new priorities in hand, I still face the mountain of things to do, and am accepting new expectations for myself. For a few weeks now, I have heard a specific forest area calling to me, and on a random, spur of the moment whim, I whisper to my husband “Wanna go for a drive”. Of course he was as surprised as I was, since our plan was originally to bust out a couple big projects together. It just feels like all of our time is about seeing how much we can get done together, and the desire for a vacation, and the chance to leave it all behind for a minute, is just overwhelming me beyond words. So I embrace the desire to walk away for a minute, and we take a nature drive with my new camera. Hubby and I both have photography backgrounds, but lighting was awful. Still it seemed the thing to do and so off we went.

I am so glad we did! Wow what an amazing evening for a drive. A specific wealthy man owns a very large, very pristine piece of forest near us, and it is open for the public to drive through. We were so blessed to see tons of wildlife. It felt like we were in a drive through zoo. We saw a Moose mama and babe. A couple different sets of Elk with offspring, lots of Bison, a pair of coyotes lounging on a hillside, a Sandhill crane, a Bald Eagle, a few deer, and on the way home, a cute little Rock chuck. My favorite was the moose. How often do you get to see such a beautiful site? Moose are hard enough to spot in the wild, but with a baby too?! I was thoroughly refreshed by the time we drove home. Spanish Creek wildlife shoot 018

Just look at her majesty! Breathtaking, awe inspiring, intimidating. Powerful and gentle, all at once. Clumsy and graceful, embodied within her. Protective and nurturing over her young. A force to be reckoned with. Thank You God! Thank You for her! Thank You for this glorious Earth, and for a season of rebirth, for inspiring me to go out and relax, and for rewarding me so richly when I heard you saying take a break, and finally gave into it. You are amazing. Your creatures are amazing. My heart went from racing fast with anxiety, to racing fast with the adrenaline that comes from getting a very special glimpse at nature. I am so thankful that I got to see so much of that primitive state last night. Thank you for letting me steal a glimpse into their worlds last night Father. It was just what I needed to get me refreshed and rejuvenated and pounding the pavement with a smile again (and I promise, nature breaks).                         Spanish Creek wildlife shoot 004 Spanish Creek wildlife shoot 052 Spanish Creek wildlife shoot 059 Spanish Creek wildlife shoot 060 Spanish Creek wildlife shoot 099 Spanish Creek wildlife shoot 053 Spanish Creek wildlife shoot 091 Spanish Creek wildlife shoot 081 Spanish Creek wildlife shoot 103Spanish Creek wildlife shoot 014 Spanish Creek wildlife shoot 019 Spanish Creek wildlife shoot 020

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Growth

Oh my darlings! It has been so long! I have missed you. Of course, start-up has been so busy, and life so consuming, that combined with my hand injury, typing my blog had to get moved to a back burner. I find myself longing for this place, and have moved it back to the front burner. I cannot wait to tell you all how far we have come by the grace of God. A major injury to my hand shortly after my last post has made typing quite painful, but I have learned how to function through it. So much to tell you all! We are finally filing for non profit status with the federal govt. We were granted state non profit status last summer. I have been working with people around every corner to help them achieve growth and healing. God has been my biggest supporter and we are getting this done. It feels the closer we get, the more satan meddles, but I will not let him stop me. God is stronger every time. I have learned to use God as my most effective tool against satan, and to recognize his ridiculous meddling as God allowing him to give me a message or lesson, with the knowledge that I am protected and God will ultimately protect His will, which I am trying to do. I have so much to say that I struggle today, to decide whats important. Instead, I am here to say, “Hello, I have missed you all. I look forward to catching up”.