Tag Archive for blessings

Thanksgiving…How to Get the Most from the Season

feeling grateful

I LOVE Thanksgiving! I love getting together with family, I love spending time making special food for peeps, I LOVE turkey! I love celebrating the holidays because I don’t see my family a lot and on special holidays, we spend time together.

Around the holiday time, I have a hard time not getting bogged down in sadness because of how people view the holidays. There is so much BLACK FRIDAY craze and now even black THURSDAY??? WHAT? People are actually taking the family time away from retail workers on one of the most family oriented holidays of the year and making them WORK so people can save money on plastic containers or a throw for the couch? Why has GREED taken over our country in such an ugly way? It hurts my feelings that people would actually shop on these days.


I have heard people say, well they are having the sale, I might as well get the bargain. And I have heard people say we go after we eat with the family and the shopping is our family time too. BUT GUESS WHAT? If you ate with your family and then went to the sale, which was prepped earlier that day, guess who didn’t get ANY family time because they were prepping a stupid sale so you could save a dollar on a flashlight? The workers at greedy gut Wal-Mart. If NOONE SHOPPED THESE SALES, THEY WOULD NOT HAVE THEM! We vote with our dollars every day.

Black Friday brings out fights and struggles over who is going to save on that one x-box at best buy, it brings out pushing, and hateful behavior, but over what? Why is it so important to save that money at the expense of treating another human being with contempt? Greed brings out the worst in everyone and I hate it.

By Halloween, the stores are already putting out Christmas stuff everywhere to try to snag your money from your pocket as you get your trick or treat candy. There are big wish books for stores that turn kids into greedy little monsters. We condition our kids these days to think they have to have everything they see and want. By the time they are teenagers or even younger, they can’t be satisfied no matter what.

What I hate about this is that once we are adults, we have to have more and more greed in our life until we are the CEO of a big company who pays their workers minimum wage and sells overpriced products off the sweat of their backs and we have 4 or 5 vacation homes and yachts and it’s still not enough. We can’t even see that giving our employees some dental insurance or another 2 dollars an hour would help them have some quality of life and we really only need one vacation home, we don’t need them all!

Sometimes, if we don’t make a lot of money, we can turn to drugs, alcohol, or other wild living to fulfill our needs of having more and more and more. And we are never satisfied. It’s not good…

Why does this have anything to do with daycare? Because we are the ones influencing the future. We are the ones touching the beginning of someone’s life. The child who’s mom is mad that the new I-phone just came out and a few months ago she got the old one and now hers isn’t the newest. What does it matter? Does the phone not work? Do jeans from k-mart not wear as long as ones from Dillard’s?

If you father had cancer, would you not trade all the coach bags in the world to have him healthy? If your car was heading for an accident, wouldn’t you rather turn around than lose your life? We are headed for disaster here. Our priorities are way out of proportion. We need to get back to what is important. We have to turn things around. The kids we serve are the place to start. We can influence families. We can help.

So, here we are…faced with a huge challenge. How can we make a difference? We can influence those around us. We can focus on what we have instead of what we wish we had. We can look inward and see how many beautiful gifts we have that are FREE!

I watched a video on Facebook a few days ago about some kids. They wrote letters to Santa and their lists were long, front and back. Then they wrote letters to their parents to ask for gifts. They all asked for things like a whole day together, more reading time, snuggles, or more dinners together as a family. None of the kids wanted THINGS from their parents. Then the officiators asked the kids if they could only mail one letter to tell what they wanted, would they mail the letters to Santa or Mom and Dad. They took a while to decide. They said it was a hard decision, but in the end, they all chose to send the letters to their parents instead of Santa.

This speaks volumes. What kids really need and want is actually free.

When November begins and I feel myself getting bogged down with all the greed and materialism that surrounds me, I try to look inward and think of things I am thankful for. I am so grateful for the wonderful life God gave me. I have a really really blessed life.

I have a husband who after taking some time to grow up, is ALL IN with me. He is 100% on my side, has my back, and I am his priority. He’s not perfect, I’m too grouchy sometimes, but we are happy. He has integrity and stands up for what’s right. That is rare today. He completes me. He cares for me and meets my needs. He loves me unconditionally and takes good care of me. I would not trade that for the world. I know everyone doesn’t have that and I’m grateful for my life.

blessings, thanksgiving

I have a daughter who is amazing. She has grown up to be a wonderful human being. Of course, she is young and still has some growing up to do, but I am so proud that she cares about the world and tries to make a difference where she can. That’s not something that’s easy to teach, but I actually did it. I raised a good human. In this world that is no small feat!

I have a job that I absolutely love! I have fun every day. It’s never boring. It’s not an easy job, and most of what I make runs the business, but wouldn’t trade it for all the yachts in the world. I LOVE what I’m doing, and I’m good at it. I am changing the world through these kids. It’s the most important job in the world. I’m so blessed to get to do it.

the best things in life are free

I have an amazing Savior who made me, loves me and chose me. He has good plans for me. He wants me to have hope and a future. He loves me unconditionally. He will never leave me. As I navigate this life full of pain and disappointments, I know He’s right there by my side making plans for good things for me. He’s a good God and He’s mine!

I try to spend all of the holiday time being grateful for these things and so many other wonderful blessings in my life. I don’t deserve all this goodness, but I have it anyway, and I’m always in awe of that. Thanksgiving is supposed to be a time to reflect on good things. It’s supposed to be spent being grateful for everything God has given us. It’s so much better for my mind, body, and spirit to focus on these things. Things that can’t be bought. Things that don’t come on sale. Things that I REALLY DO NEED, rather than what more I can get get get.

Check out what Thanksgiving means to a few of my friends. Click on the links below. You’ll be blessed!

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The best things in life are free…be thankful!

How to LIVE Your PASSION!-and a celebration of 20 years of doing just that!

 

I am very fortunate to have found my passion and what I am supposed to do with my life at a very early age. I started doing daycare at the age of 24 and I have never wavered from knowing that I know it’s what I’m supposed to do with my life. The majority of people flounder around looking for their purpose in life and trying to find what they are meant to do. When you are not doing something you love and care about, burnout is always on the horizon. Do you dread Mondays? Do you hate getting up each day when you think about what faces you at your job? We are not meant to live that way. You should look forward to your work, at least some of the time.

passion for loving kids

How do you go about figuring it out? Well, first of all, I believe we were not just meant to do one thing only. There could be many variations of what we were meant for that could all fit into God’s plan. I also think when you are reaching for your goals in life, you need to focus on an area of meaning and try to make what you spend your time doing, further that goal. In addition, many times we are meant to do certain things for a season and then meant to do something else at another time. And, I don’t think our calling is always our main 9-5 job. It could be something you participate in outside of work.

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When I was a girl, I wanted to be, well, first, Wonder Woman. I would put on my skates and go down in the basement in my bathing suit (as a third grader, I thought that’s what Lynda Carter was wearing in the show) and put on my homemade bullet deflecting bracelets and tiara, get my little gold belt from my fairy costume mom made me for Halloween for my lasso of truth, and skate around pretending to be her catching all the bad guys.

I also had a passion for writing. My first grade teacher encouraged me to pursue that dream because I was good at it. I lost touch with it when it was discouraged later, but I always loved writing.

Later in my growing up years, when my career goals as a super hero fell through, I wanted to run a big company and be a strong, powerful, woman CEO. I wanted to make lots of money and have lots of power. So I went to business school to learn all I could about business.

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Your life will not go as planned, no one’s does! You don’t just map out all your goals and just check them off one by one, you have to take a path to get there. It’s never a straight one. Have you heard the expression life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans? It is true. I never dreamed in a million years that I would work with children, but here I am having done it for 20 years!

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When I think back on my life, dreams, and passions, I can see every single thing I have been through in my life has prepared me for where I am today. Think about the course of your life and see if you can see it too. I believe God brings us on a path that is best for us, but not always what we expect. Being a childcare provider IS a lot like being a super hero. There is so much expected of this position and not a lot of resources to get you there. Believe me, to do this job, you HAVE to be born to do it. It takes a unique individual to work very long hours for very little profit, balance a family with a business in the same space, open your home to complete strangers and trust them there, run the business side with professionalism and the daycare side with heart, and be rigorously dependable. You also have to support parents and guide them while being their partner in caring for their child, and be able to give the kids what they need for success as well.

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Going to business school was immensely helpful to owning my own business from everything to accounting principles to typing and computer skills. This job involves A LOT of paperwork! The computer is an invaluable tool for that.

celebrating 20 years of childcare

 

Video produced by Ever Change Productions. To check them out, click here.
If you are struggling to find your meaning in life, how do you find YOUR calling?

Step 1-Think about your passions.

What do you LOVE doing? What did you always love as a child that you have given up enjoying now? When you look forward to something, what is it? If it’s traveling, why? What about it do you love? If it’s gardening, is there a way you could turn that into more of a full time part of your life? Do you love being with children? Could you incorporate that into a career? Do you love helping people? There are so many jobs where you can do that. Do you love to create things? Organize? What do you wish you were spending your time on? What do you long to do? What makes you feel complete or relaxes you?

Step 2-Think about what steps you would need to get there.

Do you need to take some classes or get a higher degree to reach your goals? Do you just need to spend more of your free time doing what you love on the side? Do you need to adjust your lifestyle and pay off your debt so you can take a lower paying job? Don’t worry about the big picture and fret about how far away you are from your goals, focus on the tiny steps you need to take to get there, what can you do TODAY to change your future?

Step 3-Take the first step.

Put the first step into action, have faith in yourself and the dreams God placed in your heart and trust Him to help you get there. Pray about what needs to happen. Trust Him to lead you on the path you need to take and let Him ignite the passion for it even more in you.

I have been living my purpose for the past 20 years. It has nothing to do with any of my career goals as a child, but I could not have found a more perfect fit for my life. I love giving kids a great place to be. Growing their self-esteem and helping them succeed is so satisfying to me. Is there anything better than catching the eye of a child and watching their face light up and that big smile come over them as they realize you SEE them? Not to me. No, I don’t love cleaning up poopy diapers and barf, and I don’t love when parents pick up late or forget to pay, but I DO love being someone a child can trust as they learn to care for themselves and encouraging them along the way that they can do it. I also love giving parents a chance to work without worry and being a person they can trust and count on.

Today is my 20th anniversary in childcare. A couple of weeks ago we had a party to celebrate it. I invited all 75 of my past kids and their families to come and spend some time remembering things we had done. Many didn’t come, of course. People are busy and have lives to live, but the ones that came were a blessing and I really enjoyed seeing them. I have learned so much over the past 20 years about myself, children, relationships, and people. People always say, you teach the kids so much and give them so much, but I always say, they’re the ones that teach and give to me. My heart is blessed when I pour it into children. My life is changed. My soul is complete.

Here are a few things we did to celebrate and the reasons why we did them. It was a very special day. I hope you enjoy taking a peek into our celebration, and I hope you can take steps toward living the life you were meant to live. If you are there, GREAT! If you need to get there, take one step today in the right direction. We were meant to flourish in our life not just survive every day!

20 years of childcare celebration

We had a greeting table set up with seeds to take home the kids had harvested from our garden last year, some pens for the parents, and Easter eggs for the kids to take home. Those were a nod to one of the favorite family activities we have annually. If you want to check out our garden story, click here.

Over to the left, you can see the poster from our 10 year anniversary party along side our new growth chart for the second ten years. I have a chart in my closet that I have measured all the children on and even teenagers and young adults ask to measure first thing when they come in my house to visit. It’s a lifetime memory for a lot of them. Since our first one was full and overflowing onto the door in the closet, I bought this new one and we broke it in at the party. The kid’s faces lit up when they saw it there.

20 year childcare celebration

childcare celebration 20 years

We had yummy snacks and some fun door prizes to give away. People won lunch boxes, loaves of homemade bread, and packages of cookies from the cookie bar. I have several “world famous” cookie recipes that have been favorites over the years, so I baked some of each of them up for the occasion. To see the recipe for Monster cookies, click here.

gingerbread at childcare celebration

gingerbread

reliving old memories in childcare passion for loving kids

Decorating gingerbread is another parent involvement activity we do annually. Parents come and hang out with their kids and spend time getting to know each other and being creative. Many kids tell me years later how much fun this was and it’s one of my daughter’s favorites. That’s her at 22 in the last gingerbread picture. We’ve been doing this since she was 4. To see more about our gingerbread parties, click here.

memory table, passion for your job

scrapbooks childcare reunion, finding your passion

The memory book table was a favorite among the parents and the kids. We recreated a few of our old photos with the kids now. I had a scrapbook for the first 10 years and one for the second as well as yearly cookbooks we’ve made, garden journals and newspaper clippings. To check out what the cookbooks are all about, click here. I also had the photos from the scrapbooks printed up so families could take a copy of whatever photo they loved.

childcare celebration refreshments

childcare reunion refreshments

kids who still come to childcare

kids who are not so little anymore

Yummy snacks were enjoyed by everyone and people had a great time catching up or meeting other families.

childcare trivia game

The Little Sprouts trivia game was a big hit, here is a family working hard to win. The prize was 20 flowers made of dollar bills for 20 years of fun and learning. We had a tie, so each person got 10 flowers to keep. Some of the answers were a real hoot, but I think everyone had fun trying to figure them out.

So for 20 years, 75 kids, 36 families served, I have been growing and learning along side these kids. I am blessed beyond measure. I am grateful to have been a part of each memory we celebrated. I don’t know what I did to deserve this life, but I do know I am unique, special, and loved. I was born for this. I couldn’t be happier to be staring down the chance at more years like these. My gifts, my talents and my passions are being developed even still as I celebrate my life. I am praying that YOU would find your passion if you aren’t already living it too.

These are a few of the kids who came to the party, some of them had already left when we got a group shot, but there are so many blessings in these faces. I’m amazed every day that I have the privilege of doing this job.

How to Live Your PASSION!

I am blessed!

 

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Bring Life into Focus

How to bring focus to your life

So much of what we see in our life is all about perspective. We can chose to see the glass half full or half empty, it’s up to us what we focus on. Cultivating gratitude for the life you have is an art. Gratitude can bring fulfillment and joy from the same life that can be a total drag if you focus on what you don’t have.

There used to be a song on Sesame Street with a little cartoon ant crawling around singing, “that’s about the size, where you put your eyes, that’s about the size of it.” Here are all the lyrics:

Oh everything comes in its own special size I guess it can be measured by where you put your eyes It looks big when you’re close And it looks smaller back a bit That’s about the size of it.


Oh the big becomes the little When you see it back a bit The huge becomes the dinky Which is just the opposite Of the larger that gets smaller It never seems to fit That’s about the size of it.

That’s about the size It’s where you put your eyes That’s about the size of it.

Isn’t that true for life? If you are looking at your life and it looks off, change how you are looking at it. Get in a different spot. Look at it from a new angle. This is the main thing that has changed my life from miserably forcing myself to put one foot in front of the other, to a life of joy and happiness thriving in what God has called me to do. I am beyond grateful to have learned it.

In church yesterday, our Pastor preached about Fanny Crosby, who was a talented writer of over 8,000 gospel hymns. 8,000? 8,000! Blessed Assurance, Jesus is mine, Oh what a foretaste of glory divine…sound familiar? She was blinded at 6 weeks of age, but used her talents in such a profound way. Would the world have missed her gift if she hasn’t shared it? I believe there is unparalleled beauty and value in what she gave this world.

Pastor Parrish read this poem she wrote at the age of 8:

Oh, what a happy soul am I! Although I cannot see, I am resolved that in this world Contented I will be. How many blessings I enjoy That other people don’t; To weep and sigh because I’m blind, I cannot, and I won’t.

Eight years old? Eight years old! What struck me about this is first, the maturity in her poetry. To me, this does not sound like a poem written by a young child. But secondly, the resolve she had at this very young age to not let her disability encumber her life. She CHOSE to see her life with joy. She chose to not let her affliction be an excuse to feel sorry for herself. And already at the age of 8. This shows maturity beyond her years for sure.

How many of us would make this choice? Would I feel blessed if I could not see? Or would I feel slighted by life and feel like a victim? Truth be told, Fanny felt her blindness was a blessing because the first face she would get to see would be the face of her Savior. That’s a pretty positive thought to fix your perspective on. You can read more about her here.

I am a fairly grateful person. When I was young, I was very negative and felt like life was not fair, everyone had more than I did, and everyone’s life was better. But as I grew older and wiser, I was able to see and appreciate more of the things that have blessed my life. I have spent a lot of time counting my blessings. I have even made lists of things that were a blessing in my life so I could spend more time focusing on them. Over time I was able to stop looking at myself as a victim of life’s unfairness and see the beauty and love I am blessed with. I also saw many things in my life that were a struggle, I brought on myself.

If you feel like your life is not as blessed as the lives of those you see, take a look at the choices you are making. Are you borrowing money you can’t afford to pay back to have things you really don’t need? Then your financial struggles might be brought on yourself. Are you sowing seeds of love and reaching out to help others? If not, you might not be receiving blessings like others because they are.

One thing I know for sure, you can’t out give God! My last Pastor, Pastor Manley said that all the time. It is truer than true. And not just with money, if you give love, God will heap it on you. If you give clothing, food or shelter, you will always have enough. If you give your time, people will stop and share their time to give you a helping hand. If you appreciate your spouse, parents or children, you will be appreciated back. God returns to you what you give after He multiplies it to increase your blessings. I love that principle and I’ve seen it working in my life for sure.

Do what you can to make the world a better place and your life will overflow with blessings. The more you see and value your blessings, the more blessed you will be. It’s the law of attraction, you get what you give. So think of something you can do today to make the world a better place. You won’t be sorry! And take a look at the blessings in your life. Take some time to think about how wonderful they are. You ARE blessed!

Being Thankful…

This is a week to reflect on what we have to be thankful for. WOW, so many things come to my mind. I couldn’t be more grateful for my Savior giving His life for me so I can have eternal life. What could top that? Nothing…

I am overwhelmed with gratefulness because I am blessed to have found my calling very young in life. I was already doing childcare at the age of 24 and have continued for almost 20 years. I watch as people float around searching and longing for satisfaction. It’s difficult to find your calling and to stay smack in the center of God’s will for your life, but I have been fortunate enough to. A true blessing.

I am thankful I have been able to learn how important what I do is to the world, how I am shaping the future, and how to keep my kids and my daycare family’s very best interests in the front of my heart. I know I am not perfect, I have never claimed to be, but I know the importance of what I hold in my hands here. It’s the hearts of my babies. As I tenderly work with these hearts, I am holding their parent’s hearts, their grandparent’s hearts, their brother’s and sister’s hearts and more importantly the heart of God. Nothing matters to Him more than these children. He’s given me a big job and a lot of responsibility. I do NOT take it lightly. I see providers that don’t realize the greatness of what we do, and many that do, I feel very fortunate to understand what I truly have here. I’m also beyond grateful God helps me be successful and keeps us safe.

Be content…


I am thankful for a content heart. I don’t have a lot. What I have is not fancy. But I don’t need fancy things to be happy. I would be just as happy sitting on an old worn out pillow with my sweetie as I would sitting in a palace. I love that my happiness does not rest on the next thing I’m going to get. I have everything I need. A God who loves me, a great family, amazing friends, a house, clothes to wear, and food to eat. I want to take good care of what I have, but I don’t feel jealous of others that have more than me or want what they have. I am super happy for people to have all of their hopes and dreams. I wish for them to. I love cheering other people on. I hope for other people to see life is not about “things” but about memories, love, and helping others.

I am beyond thankful God gave me THE VERY BEST husband for me. I am hard to live with, and he’s not perfect either, but he was made perfectly for me. He is my biggest supporter. He encourages me in everything I do. He is my partner. He teaches me every day to be a better person and he helped me learn to be able to accept the love God and other people have for me. He rescued me from myself and I am forever grateful.

I am thankful for an amazing daughter who is smart and strong, for the best sister in the world, for a mom who wants the best for me and loves me with all of her heart. I am thankful for my family, all of them. I am just thankful.

My life is blessed beyond measure. I don’t deserve it, but it is. And I am thankful!

thankfulness

Don’t forget to pin for later.

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