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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Daily Prompt: Resolved (To Let This One Thing Go…)

Have you ever made a New Year’s Resolution that you kept?

Over the years I’ve set many goals for myself.  Some have been fulfilled, others fell by the wayside, and some are still works in progress.  I’d like to take you back to a resolution I made many moons ago, that has led to me being ostracized and called crazy.  A decision that I’ve almost 100% stuck to in spite of the sideways looks I recieve, and the mouths that drop when I share.  Today, ladies and gentleman, I’d like to tell you a story about the night I gave up chocolate! 🙂

photocredit: fanpop.com
photocredit: fanpop.com

I was a junior in high school, and our hang-out group consisted of those who pretty much walked the path of the straight and narrow.  We didn’t really have drama, but the actions of one of our friends continued to be a source of ridicule and scandal.  You see, there was a young lady we knew who didn’t eat chocolate, and it wasn’t because she was allergicShe simply didn’t like it!  Gasp. Sigh. The horror of it all! 😉  Oh how she was teased, but she stood her ground and a part of me admired that she stuck to her anti-chocolate antics.

To be honest I didn’t think it was that big a deal.  I liked chocolate a lot, but I figured the temptation wouldn’t be too great if I lived without it for a while.  Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed brownies, chocolate cake, chocolate ice cream, candy bars, and especially chewy chocolate chips cookies (the hardest thing to let go), but I wanted to see if it was really all that challenging to just stop eating it. In addition, this classmate of mine would no longer be alone in her disdain for this sweet treat, and I saw myself becoming an ally of sorts.  So there it was.  A decision was made and my New Year’s resolution would be to give up all things chocolate.

The night came and I was at a gathering with many food and dessert options.  Just before midnight I noticed a piece of delectable-looking fudge that seemed to be calling my name.

photocredit: leigh-platesplaces.blogspot.com
photocredit: leigh-platesplaces.blogspot.com

I had to go for it.  I figured that if this was truly going to be it, I should go out with a bang.  I took a bite, mulled it over in my mind as I tasted it’s rich flavor, then threw the rest of it away.  Maybe I’d built myself up for this challenge so much, or maybe I was never as huge of a chocolate fan as I’d once thought (strawberry, caramel, and lemon are really where it’s at ;)) but it didn’t taste as great as I’d hoped.  The countdown came and went, 1998 was here, and chocolate was no longer in my life!

I hadn’t actually determined how long I would go without it, but in a matter of time I no longer had a taste for it.  It was easy to turn down, and with the exception of an ex-boyfriend of mine thoughtfully bringing me cookies ‘n cream ice cream when I was sick in college (I didn’t want to hurt his feelings!), and the cocoa found in mouth-watering and delicious red velvet cupcakes (I’m not entirely looney),

photocredit: allrecipes.com
photocredit: allrecipes.com

I haven’t indulged since that fateful night.  And no I don’t “cheat” with white chocolate either. Lol.

There it is, my little chocolate tale.  What started as a mini challenge to myself, has become a decision I’ve stuck to ever since.  Judge me if you must, but I don’t intend to waiver.  🙂  Don’t worry, I get my sweet tooth fix in many other ways!

Welcome to 2013 everyone!  Blessing to you all in the New Year!!!

Are you a lover of chocolate?  Could you give it up?

Weekly Image of Life: On Christmas Day

Has it really been a week since Christmas?!!  It all happened so fast!  Well, we enjoyed a wonderful holiday season, and had a great time celebrating my daughter’s first Christmas Eve and day.  I hope you all cherished your time with family and friends, and remembered the gift of Jesus Christ in all that you did!!  Here are a few pictures of our day… 🙂

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Good morning my loves!
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Oh boy, is this for me? Thanks Grandma!!
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And these too? Yep, most of this loot belongs to Miss Alexandra. 😉 Thank you to all of our generous family and friends who thought of our little dear.
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Mommy, when will my feet get big enough for me to wear these? They’re so cute!
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What’s Christmas without some homemade mac and cheese?
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Spent the day with one of my best friends and her family. We’ve known each other since the 7th grade, and our babies our only 5.5 weeks apart! Happy times. 🙂
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And of course, all I ever really wanted for Christmas I have in these two! Love, love, LOVE them.

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!

Monday Motivation: It’s Not Over

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Well here we are.  Wow.  In a matter of hours, 2012 will become a thing of the past, and we’ll be at the start of 2013.  It seems that every year flies by faster than the one before, and it can be mind-blowing to think of all that can take place in a span of 12 months.

On this New Year’s Eve, you may be contemplating the goals you set for yourself and the dreams you dared to dream.  Perhaps some of your aspirations were accomplished, while in other areas you fell short.  I know I haven’t accomplished all that I set out to do, and for a brief moment I almost felt discouraged about it.  But then I remembered that the end of the year does not signify the end of every opportunity!!  When the clock strikes at midnight tonight, it doesn’t mean that your chances have been wiped away.  This isn’t the story of Cinderella.  It’s our lives and we can take control of whatever it is we’ve set out to do!!  Whether carrying a goal over from last year, or making a host of new resolutions, think it, speak it, write it, share it, and see what happens in this coming year!

Proverbs 23:7a (AMP)

For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.

Habakkuk 2:2 (AMP)

And the Lord answered me and said, Write the vision and engrave it so plainly upon tablets that everyone who passes may [be able to] read [it easily and quickly] as he hastens by.

Philippians 1:6 (AMP)

And I am convinced and sure of this very thing, that He Who began a good work in you will continue until the day of Jesus Christ [right up to the time of His return], developing [that good work] and perfecting and bringing it to full completion in you.

Take the energy that would’ve otherwise been spent dwelling on what you didn’t do, and put it toward finishing what you’ve started.  Don’t quit, and I’m praying for a safe and happy new year for you all!!! 🙂

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will, When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high, And you want to smile, but you have to sigh, When care is pressing you down a bit, Rest, if you must, but don’t you quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns, As every one of us sometimes learns, And many a failure turns about, When he might have won had he stuck it out; Don’t give up though the pace seems slow– You may succeed with another blow.

Often the goal is nearer than, It seems to a faint and faltering man, Often the struggler has given up, When he might have captured the victor’s cup, And he learned too late when the night slipped down, How close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out– The silver tint of the clouds of doubt, And you never can tell how close you are, It may be near when it seems so far, So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit– It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit.

– Author unknown

photocredit: tntministriesinternational.com

Weekly Image of Life: Children and Their Gifts

Psalm 127:3 (NLT) Children are a gift from the Lord; they are a reward from him.

A little over 9 months ago, my husband and I were blessed with the greatest gift.  A sweet baby girl who makes us wonder how we ever lived life without her.  She is my personal sunshine and every day she lights up my life.  I want to remember every milestone and capture every moment, while sharing the happiness she brings me with the people I love the most.

This year, the majority of the gifts we gave for Christmas were pictures of our little family, with my darling daughter at the center of it all.  Our hope was that her sparkling eyes and infectious smile would bring warmth into the hearts of all who received one, and as I share these pictures I hope they do the same for all of you!

All photo credit goes to our incredibly talented friend and professional photographer, Squint Foto, and I hope you’ll take a moment to visit his website:  www.squintfoto.com

Blessings to you all!!

Taylor Holiday-5 Taylor Holiday-8 Taylor Holiday-9 Taylor Holiday-10 Taylor Holiday-11 Taylor Holiday-13 Taylor Holiday-15 Taylor Holiday-16 Taylor Holiday-18 Taylor Holiday-20 Taylor Holiday-17  And last but not least…

My personal favorite. They have my heart. xoxo
My personal favorite. They have my heart. xoxo

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!