Wednesday, October 28, 2015

All Natural Beauty!

     My husband, Nat, retired in January after 25 years as a fireman. With more time on his hands, he has gone back to one of his favorite hobbies, woodworking. Believe me, I'm not complaining, I have plenty of projects for him! His latest project is a beautiful farmhouse table, and I've watched him agonize over every detail of this table for the past week. Every detail and dimension had to be just right or the table wouldn't function properly.

           Yesterday, he started one of the final steps before the "fun" work (as I call it) could begin....sanding. It's amazing what the table looked like after this step! With all the rough edges gone, it was so smooth and beautiful; an all natural masterpiece!

     Well, today was the day that the next step could begin, you know, the fun stuff.....staining. I scoured Pinterest for days looking for just the right finish idea to use on our new piece of furniture and I decided on a dark stain top and a white distressed bottom. But as I was getting dressed for the day, the Lord began to speak to my heart about the table and I thought I'd share it with you.
     We, as women, get so excited to buy new clothes, shoes, make-up and accessories to  "doctor up" our exterior. We spend untold amounts of money on these purchases to make ourselves feel better and to make others believe that we're more beautiful than we feel on the inside. When in reality, what really matters, is what's underneath! God spent untold amounts of time on every detail and dimension of who we are. We are sensitive, compassionate, loving, loyal, smart, witty, creative beings, made in his image......which means we're absolutely beautiful!
     Let's stop putting so much emphasis on the exterior and start accepting ourselves and our bodies for who we are. I'm not saying you can't "doctor yourself up" any longer (I love TJ Maxx as much as the next person!) but let's do it for the right reason. We don't need to hide underneath the facade of perfection, but instead, let the awesomeness of our all natural beauty shine through for the world to see! And I believe as we begin to accept and love ourselves, other women will take notice and make a step in that direction too. Making a difference in our own lives can make a huge difference in someone else's!

By the way, here's a picture of the table with the stain on top. Tomorrow, I go shopping for the paint for the bottom!

Have a great day!


Wednesday, October 21, 2015

The Women's Club


 Competitive, Caddy, Snotty, Stuck-up, Stand-offish....

     Here's a partial list of words women often use to describe each other. You know you've heard them used before or you've probably spoken them yourself. More than likely, they've been used to describe you and I, on occasion. Behind our backs, of course! But then again, we would never dream of saying any of these words to someone's face, let alone, expect them to say them to ours.
     Welcome to a woman's world! We have our own little women's club (whether we realize it or not) and only those who are "worthy" are allowed into our membership. It's the unwritten, unnamed, never-ending club of the female world. I think it starts in elementary school, at the age when girls start noticing differences in each other. 
You know, like..........
                        she's taller than me
                        her hair is longer than mine
                        her clothes are much more prettier than mine
                        look at how blue her eyes are
                        she can run so much faster than me
                        she gets A's on all her tests
                        the boys pay so much attention to her

     It's when girls start noticing the strengths in others that they begin doubting their own! It's starting at a younger and younger age, and it seems to continue all through life.
     Let's just call it what it is..........INSECURITY!
     There, I said it!
     We all suffer from it. Go ahead and admit it.
     It's comes straight from the pit of hell and we have no chance of getting rid of it unless we first admit it to ourselves.
     We're all insecure, in some way. And most of the time, those insecurities come about by comparing ourselves to others. We're not satisfied with how God made us, or with the gifts and talents that he gave us. Instead, we look at the strengths in others and in turn, see the deficiencies in ourselves. Then we take it a step further and place judgement and hatred on women we haven't even taken the time to get to know.
      Here's what I mean.........
             A new woman enters your job, church, or women's club. She's tall, thin, very pretty and dressed very fashionably. Some of the first thoughts of every other woman in that room (if they would admit it):

              " Who's that woman?"
               "Boy she's pretty!" 
               "She has the cutest outfit and boy, it fits her so well!"
               "Her hair is so thick and long."
               "I bet she colors it."
               "She can't be a real blonde because her eyebrows are brown."
               "For her age, she's really perky and big." 
               "I bet they're not real!"
               "Oh, wait.....she looked my way.....she didn't even smile.......I knew it, 
               she's probably a snot!"

     Our insecurities cause us to destroy ourselves and every relationship we could ever have!
     I spent a good portion of my younger years comparing myself to others and to the unrealistic expectations of the world. I wasted years trying to be someone else......someone who God didn't create me to be. I never felt that I was pretty enough, funny enough, nice enough, smart enough...........I could go on and on. It wasn't until my late 30's that God taught me to be okay in my own skin. He showed me that I was created in HIS image, which means that I am beautiful to him! I learned that how I treat others way outshines how I look on the outside! Personality is way more important than a perfect manicure.

      It's been a process and a I wish I could have grasped hold of a lot sooner. But now, as one of the "older women", I try to pass on this wisdom to the younger women. There are still moments when my old self tries to resurface, especially when other women will drop one-liners about my appearance. You see, I have always been very thin due to a thyroid issue. Most women don't know that about me, and if they do, they say they wish they had my problem. But what they don't understand is that being "too thin" makes you feel as insecure as being "too big". Only difference is that others aren't afraid to remind you how "thin" you are! One lady once told me that "I was so thin that she would never sit behind me again"! I understand now that when people comment about my thinness, that they're just allowing their insecurities to show through, but for years, those comments crushed me.
     We all fight different battles and we can't begin to understand those battles unless we take the time to get to know each other, stop the comparison wars and truly love and care for each other. We aren't in a competition, we're all on the same team, striving for the same goal. What's that goal? To be the best woman we can be! When we understand who God created us to be, we can then begin to love and accept ourselves. From there, we can be the best wives, mothers, daughters, and friends EVER!!

Women desperately need each other! Let's overcome our insecurities and be there for each other! We can accomplish so much more together!

As true friends and supporters of each other we should:

    Cheer louder than the hecklers
    Love stronger than the haters
    Care deeper than the backstabbers
    Support longer than the naysayers
    Compliment higher than the gossipers
       and most of all.....
             Love beyond measure!

Have a great day !


Monday, October 19, 2015

The Wrong Path.....or is it?


  Today is a one year anniversary for me. "One year anniversary of what?", you may ask. Well, one year ago today, the course of my life changed because of the actions/decisions of another person. In other words, the path of my life took a drastic unexpected turn in a direction that wasn't in my initial plan. 
     The details of the story really don't matter; what matters is MY reaction. I'd be lying if I told you that I reacted perfectly because in reality, I was really thrown for a loop. I felt as though the rug was pulled out from under me and I just simply wanted to lay there and not get up again. The anxiety, panic attacks, bouts of fear and disappointment over someone else's actions was quite overwhelming. 
      I know many of you reading this have gone through similar situations in your lives where other's actions have changed the course of your life. Many of you have suffered tremendously due to the intentional or unintentional actions of another. Maybe it was abuse or betrayal or maybe it was an unexpected death of a loved one. There are so many things that can happen to us, especially when we least expect them. Life throws us curve balls when we haven't even stepped up to the plate. What do we do when we get knocked down or thrown off course? As I see it, we have two choices: we either let the craziness of life take us out completely or we get back up and start over again.
     As I look back over the past year, there have been many ups and downs. Probably more low points than high points, but I'm still breathing. A major course change at this point in my life, has been a bit more difficult to maneuver. But one thing is for sure; God is STILL in control. None of this has been a surprise to him. He wasn't caught off guard by the situations in my life. Quite the opposite! He knew ahead of time, of the things that were to transpire in my life and he was prepared to guide me through the rough terrain.
     Here's the crazy thing: As I sit here today typing this blog, I realize that I'm right smack dab in the middle of where I want to be! It certainly hasn't been the road I wanted to travel to get here, but I'm here anyway. How does that happen? I don't think it's any secret how it happens. Some may call it coincidence or karma or good luck, but I KNOW that it's MY GOD who causes ALL things to work for good in my life!!
     I want to encourage you today to get back up! Don't let the situations of life or the actions of others take you out. You're still breathing, which means God's not done with you yet! Keep putting one foot in front of the other and before you know it, you'll look around and see that you're right where you wanted to be all along. God has a way of doing that when we trust him and believe that he has our best interest at heart. Your path may have changed............but your destiny hasn't!

Have a great day!


Tuesday, October 13, 2015

When Life Goes Wrong.....God Is There "Through All of It"!

     This is a great video to watch and realize that God is ALWAYS with us...through the good times and especially through the bad times!

Monday, October 12, 2015

Perspective......Everyone's got one!


  It's Monday again! Did you wake up ready to face the day and week, or did you dread getting out of bed?
     No more dreading! It's a new day, a new beginning, a new adventure just waiting for you to grasp hold. Ask any of my friends, and they will tell you that even after my absolute worst days, I will say, "I can't wait to climb into bed and end this day because tomorrow morning will start a brand new day!" 
     God gives us second, and third, and forth chances to start all over again!! The Bible tells us that "His mercies are new every morning". (Lamentations 3:22) He's the God of do-overs and begin-agains. Don't you love that? I sure do!
     Are you carrying around hurts, fears, problems and stresses that keep you from enjoying life? Day after day, the weight of the problems rest heavier and heavier on your shoulders. Life becomes so burdensome that you don't even want to face the day. The focus of life becomes your problems, rather than the blessings that are all around you. All you need is a little change of perspective. What would life look like if you didn't have to worry about all the negative things going on? Wouldn't it feel great? 
     Well, I can't take all your problems away, but I can send you to someone who can! And I can't promise that He'll take all your problems away, but he can change the way you think about your problems. You see, a problem to one is a blessing to another.

A broken a dream to one who walks everywhere
A hyperactive a blessing to a barren woman
An unhappy a fantasy to the unemployed
A fight with your a dream come true to the lonely
An unclean an over the top blessing to the homeless

     Change your thought process, and change your life!! I know it's not easy! But it all starts with CHANGE! And it all starts with YOU! You can't change your life by changing someone else. You have to change YOU! Look deep inside and be honest with yourself. Make the needed changes to your perspective and you'll be amazed how wonderful it will feel to face Monday morning......or any morning! 

Have a great day!


Friday, October 9, 2015

Attitude is Everything!


     Well, here it is Friday and I should be thrilled, but I didn't sleep well last night and I guess you could say, "I got up on the wrong side of the bed". In other words, the woman in the picture pretty much sums up how I'm feeling towards the whole world today. This should be Fabulous Friday, but instead, it's Funky Friday for me! I could blame it on lack of sleep or on menopause or on a bunch of other things, but the bottom line is this....."I AM RESPONSIBLE FOR MY BAD ATTITUDE!" Let's just call it like it is.
     Come on ladies.......we try to blame our bad moods and attitudes on everyone and everything around us. When in reality, we have complete control over how we treat others, including OUR FAMILY! I'm gonna shout "Amen" to that one because I'm preaching to myself!
     Yes, we are emotional creatures and our emotions fluctuate like a car on a roller coaster. But we are the ones who are in the driver's seat and in control of the car, so stomp on those brakes and get off the ride. It's as simple as that!
     As women, we hold a very critical position in our family. With one word, or attitude or simply a look, we control the climate and temperature of our household. When our husband, children, grandchildren or friends enter our home, do they enter into an aroma of love, acceptance, peace and tranquility? Or do they walk into a cold stench of hate, nonacceptance, chaos and turmoil? We have the power to control either one of those atmospheres by our attitudes, words and moods. Personally, I don't want to walk into a house that's filled with tension, and unhappiness. I would probably find any reason I could to stay away as much as possible. If I wouldn't want to live in that atmosphere, why would I think my husband and kids would want to? When we think about it that way, it puts a whole new spin on it, doesn't it? Did you realize that you had that much power and control? 
     I'm not saying to go through life without ever having a bad day, but let's recognize our attitudes quicker and take some steps in working through them in a healthy way.

  • Find some solitude - whether it's in the bathroom, backyard, or neighborhood park, find some alone time. Read a book, listen to some music, listen to the birds chirp or simply stare at the clouds. Take your focus off of the stress in your life and take some deep breaths. Life is good and you are blessed! You just need to remind yourself sometimes.
  • Phone a friend - once you're able to verbalize what you're feeling, you'd be amazed how quickly your mood will change. A few trusted friends, who will listen to your pity party and not spread it like wildfire, are invaluable! Make sure you return the favor!
  • Say a simple prayer - asking God to help change your mood may sound foreign to some, but you would be amazed at the results! We have a direct line to our heavenly Father, it's called prayer, and he's just waiting to hear from us. Nothing is too small or insignificant to say to him, and he really wants to answer us!
  • When all else fails.....EAT CHOCOLATE! - I really think research has said something about it releasing happy endorphin's or something! I don't know what research has said, I just know that I feel better after eating it, so give it a try!
     Now that I've poured my heart out to you, I'm feeling much better! I think I'll go have dinner with a friend.

Have a great weekend! (Do something fun with your family!)


Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Looking for Happiness

     We've all heard this saying before, usually being mumbled by a husband who has put quite a few years into a marriage and has learned that in order to have peace in his life, he must constantly strive to keep his wife happy, at all costs! I've been married for 30 years and yes, I admit to not being the easiest person to live with, at times. I will also admit that my husband has gone above and beyond to make me feel happy, content, and loved over those 30 years. But I've learned some things that only time and experience can teach you, and one of those things is that we should never rely on a relationship to bring us complete and total happiness. To put that much pressure on another human being will only end in disappointment and destruction. Real happiness has to start within ourselves.

     Let me share some advice on this Woman Wednesday:

  • Love yourself - it all starts with these simple two words. If you don't love yourself, or even like yourself, no one else will. You are beautiful! You are made in the image of God, which is magnificent! Put aside all the negative things anyone has ever said about you and just simply trust that God made a one-of-a-kind masterpiece when he made you!
  • Look inside - the most beautiful person can have the ugliest personality. Who are you when no one is looking? Quit doctoring up the outside and start working on the inside! It's okay that you don't have the perfect model figure, what's on the inside of you is what really matters. Make sure your personality and character outshine your exterior. 
  • Look up - the ONLY thing that will ever bring complete happiness in your life is your relationship with your Heavenly Father - God! When that relationship is right, all will be well within you and the world around you. Have you accepted his invitation for salvation? We are all sinners, in need of a Savior, and Jesus Christ is that Savior. He shed his own blood to save us from ourselves, so that we can live a life of freedom on this earth and spend eternity with him. If you have never asked him to be your Lord and Savior, I encourage you to do that today.....this very moment!
  • Look outward - take the focus off of yourself! We are all born with a selfish nature and constantly want to focus on ourselves and our desires. But to find true happiness and contentment, you need to look outward.You have been placed on this earth for a reason. You're meant to reach out and share the love of Christ with others and to help them in some tangible way. What are you gifts and talents? Look for some tangible ways to help others. There are so many volunteer opportunities all around you, if you will just make yourself available to participate in them. 
     Do you really want to be the "Happy Wife" or "Happy Mom" or simply the "Happy Woman"? Stop relying on others to fulfill that need inside of you and start doing something for yourself. The first step is always the most painful, but the final reward is worth it!

Have a great day!


Monday, October 5, 2015

She is unstoppable!

     I spent a good portion of the weekend feeling discouraged and defeated. To be completely honest, I wanted to "call it quits" on the very dream I have carried in my heart for many years; the very thing I feel God has placed me on this earth to fulfill. Fear and doubt held me back from pursuing this dream for quite a few years and now, at the ripe age of 50, I'm feeling pressed by time to accomplish the task. In spite of all the negative things about getting older, some of the more positive attributes is the confidence and carefree attitude that you gain with each passing year. So, throwing caution to the wind, I spent the last eight months working diligently toward my goal.
     With the birth of my dream right at my fingertip's, something suddenly and unexpectedly happened.........DOUBT and FEAR arrived on the scene!! Not only did it creep up on me, but it hit me like a ton of bricks! After two days of carrying around this uninvited duo, I came to a place where I literally wanted to call it quits and walk away. I wanted to throw away years of dreams, plans and a single moment.
     Call it what you will......fear, doubt, lack of sleep, PMS, bad pizza, a fight with my husband, it all boils down to one thing. As women, we question and doubt our existence, our value, our ability and our worth. It's what holds us back from everything. We don't believe in ourselves. We've been shot down, devalued, and humiliated one too many times and we don't want to put ourselves out there and suffer repeat hurt and pain.
     I GET IT! I'M RIGHT THERE WITH YOU! I WAS THERE THIS WEEKEND! You may ask, "What did you do, Wendy?" 
     Well,I stood still for a few moments, waiting for the tears to come, contemplating whether I should cancel the meeting that was to take place in less than an hour. But then, I looked down at the Bible that lay open on the counter beneath me and I remembered. I remembered WHO I belonged to.....I remembered WHO called me to task in the first place.....I remembered WHERE my value and worth really comes from..... And after God reminded me of all those things, I stopped and prayed and asked Him to help me.Then, with all the confidence of heaven, I tossed aside "fear and doubt" and continued on in spite of them! 
     What was the outcome of the meeting? Well, let's just say......"The dream IS becoming a reality!"
     Keep moving forward today!! Don't let fear, doubt, depression, discouragement, hurt or anything else hold you back from accomplishing the dream that's in your heart. Look to the one who put that dream in your heart to begin with.....GOD! He's all you will ever need!

Have a great day!