Monday, December 24, 2012

Yet, We have a Blessed HOPE

Two years ago today, Christmas Eve 2010, I awoke to find my Mark had left his earthly body to spend eternity with his Creator. I cannot express the devastation that lingered in the days, weeks and months which followed, but I can express the Joy that fills my heart when I remember the Blessed Hope we have in Jesus Christ.

Nothing in life can truly prepare us for the loss of our best friend, husband, child, parent or other loved one, but knowing the HOPE of eternity with Jesus can and does offer us comfort and even joy.

Tonight, as I reflect on the past two years as well as the celebration of the birth of Christ, I am met with peace! Things will never feel, look, smell or be the same as they were before heaven gained Mark's spirit, but each day is filled with new beginnings, new choices, and new opportunities to reflect the love of Christ and be Jesus with skin on to someone who needs to know He's real.

On this Christmas Eve, though my heart beats with a tinge of sadness for my loss, it also beats with great expectation for all that God desires to accomplish in my life as long as He gives me breath. I'm grateful for this Christmas, not for gifts, decorations and festivities, although those are great, I'm grateful for Jesus, for his birth oh so many years ago, for his life and for his death.  But mostly I am grateful for HOPE, because there is an empty tomb, because He Lives, because we have a promise of eternity with HIM.

As you walk through Christmas, take time to reflect on who you are in Christ, who He is in you, and if you have the Blessed Hope of Eternity with HIM!

I'm praying for you!!!

Merry Christmas!!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Last Minute Holiday Deals

I am so excited to be able to offer a couple of last minute holiday deals sponsored by The P&G e-store.  Though there are many deals available, I am highlighting a couple that I truly use and love! 

Here are the general deals P&G is offering:

15% off on a first-time order from a new customer, using promo code: A9Z-MN5-KY3-ISA
Free Shipping on orders over $25
Free Samples with every order.

Below are a few of the specific items I personally use and LOVE:

1.  Olay Professional Pro-X Advanced Cleansing System
I began using this product last summer and have absolultely loved it. The brush is soft with gentle revolutions and the exfoliating cleanser has an ever so slight texture as to help remove the dry cells on the surface of the skin.

2. Downy Unstopables In Wash Lush Scent Booster 13.2 oz 
Several months ago a friend mentioned that she found a newer product which she adds to her wash cycle. I use a homemade laundry soap so I wasn't sure I wanted to add something else, however after sampling this product I realized I Had to use it.  I like the light scent so much that I actually enjoy going into my garage (ie: laundry room) everyday!

3. CoverGirl LashBlast 24HR Mascara 
Macara is one of those things that takes some time to find the 'right' one.  I Have!!  Though I don't wear my mascara 24 hours a day, I do like the fact that this mascara doesn't come off before you get home from the office.

Connect by clicking on any of the product titles, they will take you directly to the P&G e-store where you can shop away and redeem the deals they are offering.  I hope you will take advantage of some of their great products:)

Friday, December 14, 2012

Prayers for Newtown

Our hearts are saddened

Our hearts are broken

Lord, Have Mercy on our Country!!!


Prayers for the Families left to Grieve!!!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

December Daily 3 & 4

Hi Friends!
I'm working hard to decorate my home for Christmas
I'm hosting our family for dinner this year
And really want to make them all feel very welcomed
And loved...

This little deer usually sits under a red bottle brush bush
In my back yard but I wanted him to come in
And share in the festivities this year
So, he is warming himself under my tree

I won this cute tea pot a couple years ago
At a business party gift exchange
I love his quirky little face
He adds some cheer to my otherwise boring stove
And he is filled with Candy :)

This awesome box arrived a couple weeks ago
I haven't had much time to explore its contents
I thought I'd add it to my December Daily posts
Since it's kind of a Birthday/Christmas gift to myself

What's inside you might ask???

Nothing more than this BEAUTIFUL, SOFT,
Smells Like Leather
Camera Bag
I have had my camera for nearly 2 years
But have never spent the money for a bag to keep it in
This year I decided I would splurge and buy something for myself
I Love It!!!
It makes me smile because Mark would be proud
That I actually 'Finally' spent the $$$ to get it

Isn't the color Perfect the Christmas?

What are you doing to bring 'happy' to your heart this Christmas?
I pray you are taking time to reflect on HIM
As you 'do' Christmas

Sunday, December 2, 2012

December Daily 1 & 2

It's difficult to believe it's THAT time of year again
Since Mark passed on Christmas Eve
The Holiday's are just not the same
BUT, it's time to get into the spirit of Christmas
December Daily
Helps me do just that

Over the past 2 days
I have gotten out my holiday sockies

A friend from work gave me the above
I have been collecting them for many years
And this is a beautiful addition

Last year I bought a small tree
But when I took it out this year
I was shocked at just How Small it is
Maybe next year we'll get something a bit larger

I have a bit of a snowman theme this year

My kitchen tree

Matthew's bedroom tree

This little one in my bathroom
Smells delightful :)

And of course
My Christmas Jewelry is ready to wear

I'm working on keeping my attitude
Merry and Bright
And my Focus on the Gift of Jesus
Which gives me Hope of seeing my Mark again

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Graffiti ... Release Date 11/26/2012

I only had 4 dollars and change left until payday
But he spoke to my heart
The homeless man seated on the bench
Whom I had seen everyday for a week

I'd never stopped
Never spoken to him
But something this day
Begged for connection

Asking if he was hungry
My heart almost sank
For if he said yes
Would I have enough to buy him lunch?

In fact he was hungry
I quickly went back into the store
Purchased a freshly made sandwich
From the deli and something to drink

I sat down
Gave him his lunch
I trusted God to provide
I never saw that man again

Was he an angel in disguise?
Did God want to know if I trusted HIM?
Stepping beyond myself
Reaching out to someone different

That is what 'Graffiti' is all about
Stepping beyond self
Trusting God for baby steps
Reaching out to someone
From the other side of the street
(or 'tracks' as we called it)
Has beautifully captured
God's heart toward All manner of people
No matter what side of the street they hale

Two perfectly woven stories
With one common purpose
Helping us to open our eyes
To live life on both sides of the street
Encouraging all to live a life that matters

Dare to be different
Dare to take steps of faith
Dare to reach out
Dare to care

This beautiful short e-book releases on November 26, 2012

You will be Glad You Did!!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012


I'd like to introduce you to a precious woman after God's heart.  She has been an on-line friend for several years; I've read her books and adore her. Yet, after reading her newest book, I am more in love with this woman's heart than I ever thought possible.

Alene Snodgrass is a motivational writer, speaker and teacher who loves to tell the untold story. She speaks around the country at conferences, retreats, and women’s groups sharing Christ through her real life experiences. She is the author of Dirty Laundry Secrets – a Journey to Meet the Launderer and I’m a Fixer-Upper – A Day-by-Day Remodeling Guide.

Alene's new book, 'Graffiti', is written by herself and a new friend of hers who happened to live life on the streets and is a beautiful combination of God's love from both sides of the tracks.

This is not a book review, which will come soon; it is just an introduction to a beautiful woman with a heart for the things of God.

Here is one of my favorite quotes from her newest book:

"Being broken for others is hard because it isn’t about clean success stories – from rags to riches, from the streets to the skylines. But what I now know is that true purpose and meaning is not clean; it is mostly messy. It’s about getting dirty daily with those who are broken, down-and-out, frustrated, depressed, and struggling to find their way. It is about getting dirty so they can become clean."

I invite you to hop on over to her Graffiti website to learn more about Alene, her friend and the book which will be released soon.

You can also read more of her heart by checking out her blog, Positively Alene or her facebook page, Alene Snodgrass, You Will Be Blessed!!!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Reflected In You ... A Book Review

I will be very honest from the get go, I'm disappointed with myself for choosing this book to review. It is not a typical type of book I would read and it was a tough read for me.

Reflected in You, The sweet, sharp edge of obsession by Sylvia Day is openly sensual, raised my eyebrows on more than one occasion and I found myself unable to even read a few of the words used. 

This is the second book of the Crossfire Trilogy based around the characters of Gideon and Eva.

It is said that this series is quiet similar to Fifty Shades of Grey, which I did not read. What I do know is that relationships are difficult when two people are semi-stable.  In this fantasy relationship there is not stability and no center with the exception of wild and crazy love making. Passion is important in relationship but when that is truly all you have in common, it leaves you empty and wanting for more.

With that said, I will leave you to choose if this is a book that you would want to read. For many of my friends, I'm sure it is not.  Choices, how thankful I am that we are given the freedom to make them.

You can read more about this book here and here.

Though I will receive a small compensation and did receive an advanced copy of this book, the opinions expressed are mine alone.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Birthday's and Eternity

22 months ago today
On a Beautiful Christmas Eve Morning
At 8:02 am
My seemingly perfect life
Took a dramatic turn
As I walked into my living room
To find my Mark
Had passed from this life into eternity

1 year ago today
I took the day off work
To try and figure out how to celebrate my birthday
For the first time in 30 years
Without my Mark

It turned out to be a horrific day
Of loneliness and extreme sadness
I even ended up at the human society
To adopt myself a puppy
I love that little 22 month old guy
Who just happened to be born the day
My Mark met Jesus face to face
But truthfully
I didn't want to end up with Another puppy today:)

On my Birthday
I went to work and was totally spoiled by the staff

They made to feel like a princess
And even wear a tiara

I work with the greatest staff/friends
And an employer who has walked by my side
These past 22 months

It was a terrific day
And instead of adopting a dog
I was selfish and purchased one of THESE

Tonight I was bless to have dinner
With my kiddos
I am So Blessed

Every day for the passed 22 months
I have missed my Mark terribly
Every day for the passed 22 months
I have longed for eternity

But today
I am grateful for today
For the here and now
For the Hope of eternity with Jesus
For the opportunity to share my Jesus with others
And for my new Epiphanie Bag

My Epiphanie Bag
Will be sold for a couple dollars at a garage sale

Others will meet Jesus face to face
Because of Today!!!!

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Dear Blog Writer

Where did you go?
What happened to you?

What happened to you blog writer?
Did you begin to care more about what other's thought
Than about where your heart was leading you?

Did you get sidetracked by all those 'big' blogs
And the thought of money stole your passion?

What happended to your love of writing
Just because it's about who God created you to be?

What about your heart and the things
God has been speaking to you?

Where did you go blog writer?
I miss you!
I miss connecting with you!
Hearing your heart and
Seeing the photos of those special people in your life!

Blog writer,
You allowed someone's comments
To break your spirit
You stopped following your heart
And stopped living your passion!

Blog writer,
I'm asking you to 'come back'
Please let go of your hurt
Let God heal your heart

Blog writer,
Forgive the offender
Stop comparing
Start writing
Live Again!!!


Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Daring Greatly ... A Book Review

Unsure if this should be posted as a book review or a life review. While reading Daring Greatly I felt myself struggling within its pages, parts of me cheering myself on and other parts wanting to run away as quickly as I could.

Vulnerabilities, challenges and changes in life have become strange bed fellows in recent months since the passing of my husband. Putting myself in situations that feel tremendously uncomfortable has forced me to accept faith as my constant companion.

Brene’ Brown, Ph.D., LMSW shares her many years of work, research, and life experiences regarding vulnerability and daring to become who we were created to be. Taking steps toward a freedom that is oftentimes only dreamt about and never realized.

Daring Greatly, How the courage to be vulnerable transforms the way we live, love, parent, and lead is a great read for anyone who wants to challenge themselves to be more courageous.

Do you hold yourself back from taking leaps of faith because you are concerned with how others may look at you? Do you see a platform in your life that you are afraid to stand on and use because someone may question your motives? Brene’ answers these types of questions through extensive research and helps the reader develop the courage to act on their dreams. The outcomes may not always be the desired result but every step taken out of our comfort zone encourages us to take the next one.

Join the conversation on BlogHer.

Though I did receive a copy of this book and will receive a small compensation, the opinions expressed on my blog are my own words.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Continuing The Surrender

One thing I have definitely learned
On this journey through grief
Is that is it a process of surrendering.

Surrendering my will to the will of The Father
Surrendering my thoughts to His thoughts
Surrendering my plans to His purpose

It is also a journey of letting go
Of which I seem to becoming
More accustomed to
Yet, there are still times and 'items' 
That I have a harder time letting go of

In recent days I have finally begun to tackle Mark's desk
He had one special drawer that he kept his personal belonging in

 In this place
I have found his wallet, keys, glasses, and a host of other
personal things that truly were him

So, I sat down in his chair
To go through his things

Medications, personal notes, lists and money
Were among some of the items

This little cross
Which has now found a home in my purse

This tag that he has had on his key ring
For so many years

A host of lotions and skin medications
Used to tackle skin cancers and the effects
Of numerous other meds
Which left his skin thin, bruised and bloody

And then his myriad of gum
I didn't realize just how much he loved this stuff

I was able to tackle at least 1/2 of it
But when it came to the truly personal stuff
I just decided to put it back in the drawer for another day

Yes, it is a process
One I was not prepared for
But one that is preparing me for the future
I'm surrendered
And looking forward :)

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

My Trouper

After 7 hours
A trip to the urgent care
A trip to the emergency department
Blood tests, urine tests, CT Scan

The diagnosis is:

Sclerosing Mesenteritis

You say you have never heard of it
Well, neither have I
And the doctor says that
After 12 years of practice
She's never seen a case

We are now home
Meds on board
He'll be sleeping for awhile
No surgery needed at this point

Lots of Research to do
It is most likely due to an
Auto-Immune Disorder
Of which he has never been diagnosed
Like I said
Lots of Research to do...

Considering It All A Challenge

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Saturday's Project

Today was predicted to be Hot and Muggy
The temp at 102 and 25% humidity
So, I decided on an inside project
I got up this morning and emptied most all of my jewelry
Onto my stripped bed
And sorted!!!

Christmas Pieces
I am aiming to have 25 pieces by December 1
I like to wear a new piece each of the 25 days before Christmas 
 A Few Bracelets
 And More Necklaces
I decided not to take pictures of earrings and brooches
In the 70's and 80'
Petite and Antique were the fashion
A few of my son's treasures
 One of my most Treasured Pieces
This is the medal that Andrew received
From the State of Arizona
After he donated a kidney to his dad
We enjoyed 7 years and 7 days after the donations
I will never be able to thank him enough
 After hours of sorting
Everything I decided to keep
Was placed in its own space in the armoire
That Mark bought me for my birthday many years ago
I absolutely LOVE IT
 Never enough Rings
 I put together a little treasure box
Of jewelry for my granddaughters to play with
 And then I tackled pursed and bags
All the while
Doing laundry, making sure all the clothes for the week are ready
And linens are neatly washed, dried, folded, and put away
Or, at least the bed is made
So Tonight
I can Rest my Weary Body
A Great Day's Project

Considering It All JOY!!