Monday Motivation: Thank a Soldier

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This past Saturday, the women’s consortium of our church hosted an event in which we discussed ways to passionately serve our families, church and community.  In order to put what we discussed into action, we ended our event by writing thank you cards to soldiers.  This is something I’ve personally been wanting to do, but never took the time to do it.  It was a wonderful experience to come together with my sisters in the Lord for this common cause, and our prayer is that our simple words of encouragement will not only bring a smile to someone’s face, but remind them of the love of Jesus.

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Weekly Image of Life: Love and Family

Whether it’s creating a lifetime of memories, rekindling my passions, or enjoying some summer fun, the love of my family is at the center of it all.  You’ve met them throughout my blog posts, and here I’d like to share some more of my favorite pictures with you.  From a single gal, to a married woman and mom, I love them all and thank God for choosing me to be a part of their lives.  I thank Him for all my blessings!!

I thought I was destined to always be a bridesmaid, never the bride…

And then he proposed!

Our wedding day was a dream come true…

But we knew our marriage was missing a very special addition!

At last she arrived, and we knew 3 was better than 2. 🙂

This is what love and family means to me!!

The Weekly Image Of Life challenge is issued every Wednesday by The Island Traveler at This Man’s Journey.  If you would like to participate and see other entries please visit here!

Dare to Dream

What happens to a dream deferred?
      Does it dry up
      like a raisin in the sun?
      Or fester like a sore—
      And then run?
      Does it stink like rotten meat?
      Or crust and sugar over—
      like a syrupy sweet?
      Maybe it just sags
      like a heavy load.
Or does it explode?

I thought about my writing today, and how this time last year my passion for the written word was ignited after an excruciatingly long period of dormancy.  I was eager to get re-acquainted with my creative side and share my musings with anyone who would listen.  After posting some sample pieces for my friends on Facebook, my new-found groove was cut short as I experienced extreme illness with my pregnancy.  Just like that writing was kicked to the curb, and my focus made a major shift.  I decided to start again as soon as I felt better, but with every attempt I felt myself sinking deeper and deeper in quicksand.  Writer’s block?  Fear?  Insecurity?  Lack of focus?  Lack of time? Whatever it was I was in my own downward spiral headed to my dream deferred.  I wanted so badly to express myself, but I wasn’t sure if I’d ever be able to gain my footing again.  I allowed the busyness of life to keep me sidetracked, and it took me 9 months and an emotional breakdown to finally take that first step in the right direction.  I sat at the computer and let my fingers do the talking, and The Stranger in the Mirror was born. In that moment I vowed never to let this desire dwindle, and I enlisted my family and friends to keep me accountable.  I didn’t want to have any regrets as a result of not pursuing my own potential.  I wanted to do something that simply gave me joy.

I get so caught up in wanting to achieve some intangible level of output that I often forget to connect with myself.  I forget to check in with Me, and neglect those ideas and visions that were once burning a hole in my head.  I shrug off the passions that once ignited fresh excitement and the reveries take a back seat to my tasks and to-do lists.  It’s easy to let this happen, and before you know it weeks, months and maybe years pass before you stop and say “whatever happened to that plan I had?  I remember how much I used to love to do this…how did I ever let this slip away…”

Does any of this sounds familiar? If so, I don’t blame you.  We live in a society of movers and shakers, and it’s easy succumb to the pressure that dictates our success by how many goals we have and how quickly we accomplish them.  We lock into a routine and before we know it our Mondays blur to Wednesdays, Wednesdays blur to Sundays, and just like that we start the cycle all over again.  “Rush, rush, rush; hurry, hurry, hurry; go, go, go” is the new norm, but happiness is far too easily replaced by productivity.  Looking at the big picture, what have we really acheived if we can’t relax and let our imagination run free?  What discoveries would you make if you allowed yourself to dream

What can you do now to turn that dream into reality?

Need some ideas?  How about creating a Bucket List?  This one certainly inspired me:

Bucket List Publications