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Live, Laugh, Love...

I woke up one morning in July of 2012 and decided I was no longer happy with my job.  While I loved the people that I was working with, the tasks I was completing each day filled me with no joy.  There was no excitement; my professional life was stagnant.  It was then I realized I was much too young to be having these feelings.  In my head I had 3 choices; stick it out and be miserable, find a new job in a new company, or relocate to our company headquarters in California.

Live

"So I recommend having fun, because there is nothing better for people in this world than to eat, drink, and enjoy life.  That way they will experience some happiness along with all the hard work God gives them under the sun."  Ecclesiastes 8:15 (New Living Translation)

Laugh

"So be truly glad. There is wonderful joy ahead, even though you have to endure many trials for a little while."  1 Peter 1:6  (New Living Translation)

Love

"Three things will last forever: faith, hope, and love.  The greatest of these is love."  1 Corinthians 13:13  (New Living Translation)

After much prayer and discussion, my husband & I have decided to LIVE.  I was offered and accepted a job at my corporate office in California.  I've moved ahead of them which isn't nearly as easy as I thought it would be.  A small price to pay; we'll all be together again soon and I can't wait.  Until then, I'm entertained nightly by my family via Facetime, they are a LAUGH a minute!  All of these things are made possible for me because I believe in a God who grants the desires of our hearts and because I have a husband who LOVES me enough to follow me to another new city, and be both Mother & Father to our daughter while I pursue new opportunities for my career.

STOPLIGHT PRAYER:  Father in Heaven, thank you giving me life and for guiding me through it.  Thank you for making your will for my life the desire of my heart and for guiding me through life.  Help me to listen for your voice amidst the static that tries to throw me off course.

My Family This is my beautiful family.  I love them for supporting me in everything I do and can't wait to start this new adventure with them.

A Thankful Heart

This Thanksgiving will be the first holiday I spend away from the hustle and bustle of my extended family.  Life happens, retail is demanding and lets face it, IH 35 is a road created by the devil himself. While I won’t be traveling to my family this year, I can say that my childhood is jam packed with memories of Thanksgiving.  My grandmother waking up early to serve me Post Toasties, the smell of tamales being warmed on the stove, dry turkey (I thought it was a compliment), cranberries, cheesecake, lemon meringue pie and crispy warm and serve Hawaiian rolls.  My father's family knew how to celebrate!

“And with the money get whatever you have a desire for, oxen or sheep or wine or strong drink, whatever your soul's desire may be: and make a feast there before the Lord your God, and be glad, you and all your house.”  Deuteronomy 14:46 (Bible in Basic English)

Those memories warm my heart and remind me of just how much I have to be thankful for.  It’s easy to be thankful for material things, or angry because you lack them; but I challenge you this week to look deeper.  Think about your character, who are you when no one is looking?  Who molded you into the woman you are today?  When was the last time you said thank you?

This week as you download new books, get your playlists ready and charge both work and personal cell phones for your trip remember the most important part about Thanksgiving – giving thanks.

“It is good to give thanks to the LORD, to sing praises to the Most High.”  Psalm 92:1 (New Living Translation)

Seeing is Believing....AFTER You're Obedient

  "For the word of the Lord holds true and we can trust everything he does,"

Psalm 33:4

 

Trusting in the Lord doesn't always look like a bright idea. Hear me out on this. Although we may know deep down inside that it's right, to other people, it may look odd, confusing or even crazy.

Are you willing to look a little crazy to get the best from God?

When the Lord told Noah to build an arc, there wasn't a drop of rain in the sky. It was probably a  picturesque day.

Despite what people thought of him and all the mean things they said both behind his back and to his face, Noah did what God asked him to do.

Time flew by and eventually a great flood came over the Earth. Noah was prepared. Who's laughing now?

Doing what God asks us to do may not be easy, but He always has our best interest at heart.

He gave Jeremiah one of the most popular scriptures to prove it. "For I know the plans I have for you. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you hope and a future."

 

Dear Jesus,

What you're asking of me is not easy and you know it. Although I want to do what  feels right to my flesh, I'm going to make every effort to walk in obedience . Jesus, I'm doing this for you and I thank you in advance for the reward I'll  receive because of it.

Genesis 22:18

Psalm 25:3

Veritas Boutique

Who is she... the girl with a busy schedule,  responsibility  at work, and a heart to do right by others? She's the woman in your carpool. She sits in the cubicle next to you. She's your next door neighbor. In fact, this might be you. You're the woman who loves life and gives life.

Whether struggling to squeeze  in time for yourself describes you or you're already successful in making sure you pamper yourself, Veritas is an easy fit for any lifestyle.

Offering a beautiful selection of natural stones, crystals and Czech glass.

 

 

Who is Veritas Boutique?

Veritas is an online boutique for lovers of accessories.

Handmade by Earthen Treasure

Stones include Moukaite,lapis lazuli, malachite

 

What is Veritas all about?

Twenty-something , Nadia O'Connell Sanchez is  living out the first installment of her lifetime dreams. This young business owner partners with artists in different parts of the country to provide shoppers with the opportunity to purchase one of a kind handcrafted items.

Handcrafted for Veritas Boutique by Just 1.

Nadia has made shopping  a multi-faceted experience. She's incorporated her strong social conscience into the framework of Veritas .

She donates twenty percent of each purchase  to one of her favorite  non-profit organizations. The Magdalene Project, Hubbard House and Fuel.ph are some of the groups that have been supported through her clients'  love for shopping and unique accessories.

 

Predominately brass chain joined with copper and silver  Glass pendants

 Swarovski shimmers between beads of coral, unakite, and moonkite.

CW Monthly Giveaway

In just days, you could be wearing the Royal Necklace pictured below. Visit the Created Woman FB Fan Page , name your favorite non-profit organization and your name will go in a drawing for this mother of pearl and coral combo.  Don't forget to mention @veritasboutique & @createdwoman in your post.

Don't wait another moment. Click on Veritas Boutique to see the newest additions. Join  Nadia as she partners to fight domestic violence, human trafficking and support creative outlets that change the world.

A Stuffed Heart

It's that time of the year again - - -a time we set aside on the calendar for "giving thanks for our blessings" and "stuffing the turkey."  It's a time when, no matter what kind of trials we have gone through during the year, we find so many reasons to count our blessings and give thanks.  As for stuffing the big bird, we pull out our recipes and head to the grocery store to buy the necessary items needed for stuffing it. When Thanksgiving Day arrives, families gather together, have a time of thanks, and then carve the stuffed turkey waiting on the platter.  For just a brief moment in time, most Americans capture the true meaning of  "giving thanks unto the Lord in all things."

I have to be honest and say that the day after Thanksgiving, I usually come face to face with myself as I reflect on my heart of thanks.  "Will I stay in this attitude of thanks every day of the year, or will I stuff my heart with other things that rob me of an intimate relationship with Jesus Christ?"

And so I ask you, "if you could actually put your heart on platter like the stuffed turkey, what would you see stuffed inside that might rob you of that intimate relationship?"

Would you see some of the following:

  1. Complaining AttitudeThere is a big difference between a complaint born out of a real need verses a complaining attitude.  Chronic complainers play a game called "Ain't it Awful what has happened to me."  Complaining traps us into seeing ourselves as a perpetual victim, leaving no room in our hearts for thanks.
  2. Low self-esteem:  Low self-esteem says:  I messed up, I failed, I'll never amount to anything, I feel so inadequate, my future is hopeless. I have nothing to be thankful for.
  3. Busy, Busy, BusyBecoming busy with the mundane things of life can crowd out our quiet time of prayer and studying God's Word.  Without prayer and the reading of God's Word, thankfulness falls by the wayside.
  4. Past HurtsSome people keep a tally of all the things that have ever been said or done to them.  It's like they have reserved a room in their hearts with a sign on the door that says:  "Hurts - come on in."  Holding onto hurts and always thinking of self robs our heart of being thankful.
  5. Unforgiveness:  Resentment, bitterness and unforgiveness can grow deep into our spirit, and become like an infectious disease that spreads to others.  For example, you may say you love your children, but if you have bitterness and unforgivenss in your heart for someone, you are loving your children with a contaiminated heart. Unforgiveness and thankfulness cannot reside in the same heart.

So, this Thanskgiving season, I challenge myself first, and then you, to judge our hearts.  Perhaps we need to change our recipe for what we have "stuffed into our hearts" and replace it with a recipe for a heart of thanksgiving all year long.

"Happy Thanksgiving."

Lentils

Although very small, lentils pack a powerful healthy punch.  Lentils are rich in fiber and are a benefit to the digestive system.  They are good for your heart, stabilize blood sugar and provide iron for increased energy. Highly nutritious, lentils are  a great addition to salads and are a staple for vegetarians.  They also provide a wonderful meal for those in need of wheat-free or gluten-free eating.  Lentils require no pre-soaking and cook much quicker than other dried legumes.

Here's a quick and easy recipe: Before cooking, spread the lentils out on a plate or light colored towel and remove small pebbles or debris, then rinse.

Ingredients 2 Cups uncooked green lentils 4-6 cups water or broth (vegetable or chicken) Olive oil 1 large onion, chopped 3 large carrots, chopped 3 cloves garlic, chopped Tex-Joy to taste Salt and pepper to taste

Method: In a large pot, saute onion, carrots and garlic in olive oil Add liquid and bring to boil Add lentils Bring lentels and liquid to boil and simmer for approximately 1 Add Tex-Joy, salt and pepper, cook for approximately 20 minutes and serve.

This robust stew-like soup, or stewp, makes for a wonderful meal.  You can puree your lentels for a smooth meal, store leftovers in the refrigerator or place in a freezer safe container and freeze for another time.

Go with What’s in your Heart

Today I am inspired by SRV- Stevie Ray Vaughn, the soulful blues guitar legend who died too early. He spoke some simple yet profound words and it’s recorded on “Texas Flood”. Song #11. He said,

“Since I can’t read music or anything, I find that I do the best when I just listen to where I am trying to go with it.. where it can go… not trying to rush it, just let it come out. If I start trying to pay attention to where I am on the nick, or, is this the proper way to do this, or that, then I begin thinking that thing through, and instead of playing from my heart, I am playing from my mind and that’s when I find myself getting into trouble. If I just go with what’s in my heart, and let it come out, then I’m OK.”

Living from our hearts. Such a simple yet profound concept. Sounds easy, but… I find it all too easy to listen to the voices in my head most of the time. Is there anything, really, that this concept doesn’t apply to? From getting dressed in the morning to enjoying our work and relationships. I guess the best thing to do is relax… and engage my soul in the moment at hand. mmm… I feel better already.