Your Ideas Are Smart AND Needed

I read something awhile back that said,

“what kills dreams more than anything is this thought, ‘what will they think of me…’”.

Someone out there needs and is waiting for your idea, your perspective, your plan, your project , etc., you have to believe that! You are being relied on and you don’t even know it yet. The person out there may not even know it yet. But someone or someone’s is waiting for YOU.

You were born here. That’s miraculous in itself. Now show who you are.

Our voices are so powerful. Our ideas are powerful and can influence change in countless, possibly infinite ways!

The world is your oyster has more meaning with age and experience, but how true this statement is.

Whatever it is don’t give up. Welcome any pushback with open arms and use that to fuel your fire that lingers inside your soul.

Share your ideas with trusted individuals and hear their opinions but don’t take everything to heart. Sometimes the ideas in our heads are so tangled up, and be challenging to articulate to others.

Sometimes unweaving them is only something you can do and MUST do by yourself.

So be patient with yourself. Give yourself grace daily. You know your vision and you can’t let others or yourself hold you back.

What are you waiting for? I’m cheering for you. It doesn’t matter what they think. Seek your reason and the nothing else at all will matter.

m.g.

Don’t Spend Too Much Time Trying To Understand, It Will Only Rob You Of Your Peace

So many things happen in this given life. Good and bad.

It’s the hard, unimaginable things that really kick you in your stomach leaving you unable to catch your breath.

Difficult situations/incidents happen around you, to people you know, people you don’t know, and maybe to you. And it doesn’t necessarily need to be categorized as unimaginable.

Things happen where we just ask why? Why?! We have difficulty understanding.

But one thing I know for certain is that we are never alone. When life happens to you, it has also happened to someone else. Probably even a close friend of yours.

Things happen all the time, all around the world, that leave us confused, curious, wondering…..but if we spend too much time thinking about those things, dwelling in our thoughts, THEY WILL, they will imprison you and rob you of your peace. And could possibly steer you onto a very difficult path.

I know this to be true. And if you swim out too far, it can become impossible to swim back.

Time spent questioning will steal precious moments from you. It’s very challenging to focus on work, your children, your spouse, a project, etc, when your mind is elsewhere trying to wrap your brain around something that you can’t change and that you will more then likely never fully understand. At least not in this life.

When something leaves you questioning let this be an opportunity to reflect, to recognize what your true priorities are, and to be grateful no matter the circumstances. Light is always present.

Easier said than done, I do know. But we all have to diligently seek and give it time.

And also know, it’s okay to be upset, it’s okay to be angry, it’s okay to feel however you’re feeling……..feel the emotions. Don’t push them away. Moments do need to be taken to acknowledge how you’re feeling and healthy ways to express them.

But then, you have to allow and challenge yourself to move forward in order to gain your peace back. And moving on does not mean forgetting what happen. It’s those hard moments in life that leave the darkest stains on our hearts.

It’s those hard moments in life that also produce the brightest flowers.

Choosing to accept and move forward is to surrender to what has been done and remain steadfast. Humans seek control, and when life reminds us that we have very little control it terrifies us.

Never loose hope. Pray all the time and never loose hope that one day we will receive all the answers that we seek.

When a child is young there is much they do not understand, especially with their parents. But when they are older a light comes on and everything makes sense.

In this life we are those children who don’t understand and I myself do pray that one day all of us will have our answers and peace and be completely reassured this whole time we truly were loved, even through those hard, difficult times.

m.g.

Soften The Heart: Devotional #18

“I WILL bless the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.

My soul shall make its boast in the Lord; The humble shall hear of it and be glad.

Psalm 34: 1-2

We are surrounded by creation. We marvel at nature and it’s intricate details but sometimes fail to acknowledge the creator of it all.

How we are all so connected and dependent on one another. Creating some type of mysterious puzzle. May our eyes begin to see.

To even be apart of this creation is miraculous. To be conscious of it all is worth praising. We must give gratitude daily. What a gift every moment is.

Acknowledge this plan, pray without ceasing, notice even the smallest of details, and there are many. Hope is alive.

As plants reach and point to the sun, life points to something bigger than ourselves. Thank God for our senses to allow us to fully engulf what God has made for us to enjoy!

Such a power, such a gift, that our God wants to share with us, because He loves us! As a parent loves their child, you are loved very much.

But yet, we forget how amazing the details are. We chase the world. Our attention goes towards greed and power, constantly looking to satisfy what we think we need. We crave control and have a difficult time surrendering to our creator. The flesh is strong, but the spirit is stronger. This I believe. We must never loose sight of the important things in life.

God can be found in all things. But we must eagerly seek. Stay curious like a child.

Thanks to our Lord, who has provided such a path to draw us to our Heavenly Father. Who has given each of us life. We shall praise, and acknowledge daily. Turn from our ways and follow his.

Soften The Heart: Devotional #17

“Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

John 20:29

I love this scripture. I love this scripture because it’s very relevant today. We are very similar to Thomas or know those like him. We often question what is true or what could be true. We have friends who question the goodness of God. I know many personally. We starve for constant prove and answers until everything aligns to our liking. We need confirmation, and then we can believe. We humans are very curious, and often learn things the hard way.

But as many of us know, it’s reading between the lines. It’s seeking the bigger picture. It’s taking a step back and making connections. It’s getting to the root of the matter.

There are going to be moments where you may question your beliefs. And those moments usually arrive in distress and hard times. Your faith and what you believe to be true will be challenged one way or another.

We live in this type of world where we don’t really believe until we experience it ourselves. And that’s very unfortunate. But it’s true, and happens all the time.

God has a way of humbling us when we believe that we know better. LISTEN, to one another. And pay attention to words that another speaks. Take their word from it. “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” To me this says, in trusting me, your road in this life will be smoother and you will be saved many sorrows.

Blessed is the child who doesn’t touch the stove when their mother says it’s hot. Did you touch the stove to test your mother and see if she was being truthful? Did you touch the stove and burn yourself because you wanted to know if it really was hot? Did you trust your mother and not touch the stove? Ponder this.

Jesus came to offer us freedom, peace, love, forgiveness. Our minds think too literal. These are free gifts that he has provided to us and we are encouraged to give freely to others. Trust in what you cannot see. Trust the Lord and be free. Trust the selflessness, the mercy, the grace, the forgiveness, the love, the peace. If we would all practice these, imagine what the world could be.

I believe in Gods love. I know it’s like the wind, and I cannot fully grasp it. But I can feel it, like the wind. Like the wind, I can see its power. And I do believe that each one of us is loved. This life is confusing and sad things happen. Einstein once said, “evil is the absence of God.” And I do believe that. Those who hurt others don’t know God. Which is why is it extremely important that we be an example to others. That we light others with our light. Love everyone. Love them all. We all make mistakes. We are more similar than different. GOD BLESS.

Softening The Heart: Devotional #16

“If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.”

John 20:23

Forgiveness is so powerful. It’s a weapon to conquer suffering. But it’s not easy to forgive, we know that. And it’s not usually something you do once. You go to battle with it many times, if not everyday.

Forgiving is to let resentment go, against others, against yourself. It’s to release yourself from the pain that you’ve been holding for so long. It’s time to let it go. Let it go.

Jesus gave us this gift of liberation. He took the weight from us. He knew how challenging this life would be. So he dedicated his life to saving people from themselves. He reminded us of Gods love.

How freeing and beautiful is it that God loves us no matter our flaws. No matter what, we are loved. And always have been. He continues to love and forgive us because that is how much God loves us.

We are human, we are flesh. We feel guilt for many things, we hold mistakes over peoples heads never letting them forget the pain they caused, we have a difficult time moving forward because we are still replaying scenarios we wish we could have changed. We beat ourselves up for our choices. And the choices of others.

Unfortunately, the truth is we can’t rewind time, we can’t undo what has been done, and we need to come to accept what is. And trust, trust that God will take our hurt and brokenness and turn it into something that would be impossible without his guiding hands. God will make it great, and He always does.

If God can forgive us and continue to love us despite our flaws, wrong doings, and mistakes then we must provide that same love and forgiveness to others and to the reflection in the mirror.

God does not want us to live a life full of heavy burdens and heavy weight. He wants to free us from ourselves, He wants us to love. And He has shown us the benefits of doing so.

Who do you need forgive? What do you need to let go of?

May God give you the strength to do so.

Soften The Heart: Devotional #15

For he who is called in the Lord while a slave is the Lord’s freedman. Likewise he who is called while free is Christ’s slave.”

1 Corinthians 7:22

Everyone has a designated plan or purpose in this life. We are apart of this miraculous design, yet we do not know quite yet what we are creating. All we know is it’s something beautiful and something we can trust.

God works through each and every one of us everyday. Strengthening us, as well as , using us to strengthen others. In this time or maybe even decades to come. We are the project and the tool. Some are aware and some are oblivious to the way God is working for them. God is on our side though, always.

Sometimes we see humans do things that we don’t quite understand. Then we judge. Then we think they need God. But who’s to say they aren’t in the process of receiving God in their life? They have to go through the motions just like anyone else. One could say you were lost before you let God into your heart. If anything we should be giving those who are “in the process” or “lost” more love and compassion. Everyone’s path is a little different. Some smooth and some very rough. A person’s sacrifice and hardship are never in vain.

God will soften their heart, God will liberate those souls, but it takes time like anything else. Certain steps need to be taken the same way certain recipes have to be followed specifically. Have you ever cooked or baked something and forgot a necessary ingredient like salt, or baking soda? God doesn’t forget. He knows the steps that need to be taken for complete liberation.

We can’t see the whole picture. We can see maybe but a small corner. Not the front, back or side, but a tiny, tiny, corner.

This scripture reminds us that we belong to God in whatever state we are in. And those that know God (the slaves of Christ) are to help and encourage those who are in the process of receiving God and accepting His love. If we go back to the scripture it reads “The Lords Freedman”. If we define ‘freedman’ it means an ‘emancipated slave’. And if you define emancipated it means process of being set free. We must be patient the way God has been with us. Each one of us is loved, and God doesn’t love anyone less or more. Nobody is more righteous than another.

The truth is we live in a broken world with much pain and suffering. And Everyone is in need of mercy and grace and we must give it and give it often to one another. We must be that example that many need, we have been given our own power to help liberate others and point them in the right direction. We have been given a gift to encourage others to seek God themselves and find that comfort, peace, and love. And we know in our hearts they will find that mercy and grace that has been given from the very beginning.

God loves us all. He knows this is hard. He reminds us that we are not alone. We are bound together.

Soften The Heart: Devotional #11

“As iron sharpens iron, So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.”

Proverbs: 27:17

I had a really great, thought provoking conversation with a friend of mine that I have only known now for a few months. Our daughters are in class together and we met at one of their classmates birthday parties. Neither one of us knowing a beautiful friendship was about to be born. How grateful we must be for the small moments that lead to something priceless, like an amazing friendship.

We had a conversation on the phone not too long ago, and we had a deep conversation as we normally do. Unfortunately it came to an end due to my children needing my attention, but once we got off the phone I was provoked to find a scripture related to friendship because I felt so grateful to have a friend who I can share my inner thoughts with. We each challenge each other with what we believe in, in a very respectful way.

No offensive is taken, only respect and listening to each other sharing why we feel, believe, or think the way that we do. I believe we humble each other in our discussions and help one another to see more beyond the horizon. We sharpen each other.

How important, and what a gift, friendships are. A friend that is pushing, challenging you, and encouraging you, is going to improve you. Sharpen means improve or cause to improve. Improve means make or become better. Countenance means to admit what is acceptable or possible.

In relation to the scripture above, we strengthen each other’s tolerance and endurance to the sufferings that are experienced in this world. We alleviate burdens and give the gift of perseverance to one another.

To live is to experience suffering, we know this is true, and this scripture tells us how you and I can give strength to one another and endure what to some would be unbearable. This scripture reminds us that we are not alone in our sufferings and how important relationships are with one another.

We are here to uplift one another not to bring down. We must sharpen each other to the best of our capabilities. Because everyone at one time or another will seek or is seeking right now alleviation in what they do not know. We must share our light. We only shine because of those that taught us.

Reach out to your best friends today and remind them how much you cherish their friendship. Explain to them why you choose to have them in your life. Give them love and gratitude. How special to have such friends who develop us and push us to grow.

Love to you all.

Stories To Share: “Spreading Sunshine For Jaylen”

I came across Janes story on Instagram just a few years ago. It’s amazing how fast time flies. I was on Instagram and she popped up in my “similar accounts you follow” I happened to watch her Instagram story and on her story that day she was sharing this loss that she experienced a few years ago. It was so raw and I could feel the emotions. I had no idea who this woman was but I could feel her pain and sorrow. Her story completely pulled at my heart strings. I was instantly pushed into the present. Her strength is admirable and she gives hope to so many who have or will face something difficult in their life. Her story is a reminder on how precious and fragile this life is. And when storms come, the rainbows will guide us.

This story has been shared by given permission.

Stories To Share: “Spreading Sunshine For Jaylen”

It was September 21, 2013, we were headed to my sisters house to celebrate my son Jaylen, second birthday. He was turning 2 on September 25.

My sister had a swimming pool and we loved to swim, especially living in Texas with the heat, so we planned a pool party. It was just my family (husband and two kids) and my sisters family (husband and three kids) who were there. An intimate party with just family. Everyone was having so much fun, the kids played in the pool for a few hours. It was getting time for dinner so we started getting cleaned up, got the kids out of the pool and headed inside for dinner.

Shortly after dinner, my sister and I started cleaning up so we could sing to Jaylen and have birthday cake. I watched Jaylen walk outside and sit on his dad’s lap. A few moments later I looked outside and saw that Jaylen was not on his dads lap anymore so I immediately walked outside and asked Mike where Jaylen had gone. He mentioned that he had followed his brother Ian, who had just walked by, to the garage.

Our lives changed forever that night because Jaylen had not followed his brother to the garage, instead he found his way to the pool (steps from my husband) and lost his life that night. It was a matter of seconds that he was out of our sight. No splashing or screaming. No crazy loud night with distracted parents. An extremely peaceful, calm, enjoyable night that turned tragic. 

Since that day life has never been the same. Trying to navigate life after losing a child is absolutely the hardest thing I have ever had to do. Many nights I would sob, wondering how I would make it to the next day. I distinctly remember nights pleading to God to help me through to the next day because I didn’t know how I could go on. Miraculously, little by little, day by day, slowly putting one foot in front of the other, life became manageable again, although never the same.

Days after losing Jaylen, a family member had the idea to “Spread Sunshine” on Jaylen’s behalf. It’s started out as family and friends spreading sunshine to our family, which warmed our hearts during such a tragic time. Since then, our family has continued “Spreading Sunshine for Jaylen”. Each September, we do random acts of kindness in honor of our son, sharing a card with his story on it, hoping others will pass the kindness along to others. In a time that can be extremely hard, it has brightened our month by continuing this beautiful act of kindness in honor of Jaylen. 

We are now about to enter our eighth year without our son. It’s hard to believe we have made it this far, but on our journey, we have been blessed to find so much beauty along the road. When you experience something so tragic, you can’t help but see life through a different lens, and what a gift each and every day is. Live life to the fullest, love harder, cherish the moments because we don’t know what tomorrow will bring.

Jane GarnerRodan+Fields Consultant

If you have a story that you would like to share please contact ‘The Wild Gems’ . You can always remain anonymous as well. I believe sharing our stories has the power to not only heal ourselves but others as well. We need to always be reminded and to remind others that we are never alone and that love continues and will continue to push through even the darkest of moments.

God bless.

Soften The Heart: Devotional #6

“For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, And do not return there, But water the earth, And make it bring forth and bud, That it may give seed to the sower, And bread to the eater,

So shall My word be that goes forth, From My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.”

Isaiah 55:10-11

How wonderful is it when it rains after a long, stretched out drought. The animals and plants rejoice and dance together. Farmers thank the heavens. Rivers begin to flow effortlessly. The dust is pressed into the soft ground and what lingers is an incredbily crisp air that cleanses our lungs. The aroma of earth is fresh and ever so craving. When it rains for consecutive days, nature becomes fuller. Do you notice that? That is something you can see, that is something you can feel with your fingers. Life is sprung where you were oblivious to the seeds that were resting. How grateful we must be for the gift of rainfall.

As the scripture says “rain comes down, and does not return from where it came.” Rain comes down with a mission to accomplish and the rain never fails. It fully gives itself to earth. We may not see rain return to the sky but we can see the life of it’s work way after the rainfall has stopped. We look forward to the rain again because it is so pure and refreshing for all that it touches.

Gods word is like rain. It brings forth life, change, renewal, the same way rain does. Like the rain, Gods word has a mission and it will not fail those who ponder and read on it. We know the power of rain but yet, many of us have a difficult time believing in the power of Gods word. And that it can produce so much, just as rain and snow do.

He has left his word with us that it may water and bring forth seeds of love and compassion that reside in all of our hearts. He left His word to fulfill that empty space that we all are constantly trying to fill. Those are the seeds that are so thirsty. Watering those seeds with material and physical things will not clench the thirst of our spirits. They are watered with the things in which we cannot see. They are watered through pondering Gods word, prayer, hope, faith. His word is part of the equation to life. Humans, plants, animals, cannot live without water. We know this is true. To develop peace in our hearts is to study and ponder Gods word. As rain changes nature, Gods word will change our hearts. With His word, there is hope.

Notice what Gods word has accomplished in this world so far. Like the rain, it does not fail what it has been set out to do. Like the rain…

it has a vital purpose.

m.g.