The Reason for the Season
The Christmas season is upon us. All the hustle and bustle with shopping, parties, pictures and cards. The kids have made their lists for Santa. Moms and Dads are wrapping gifts for under the tree.
Wait! Stop! Slow Down!
Let’s take a moment, or several, and remember why we celebrate Christmas.
Through prophecy fulfilled, Jesus, the Savior of the World was sent to us so we may live in eternal peace with Him when we leave this world. Christmas – we celebrate Jesus’ birth and God’s love for us.
As a child growing up we celebrated Advent every week, the candles, the scripture, the prayers. Now as a mom, we celebrate each week with our church family and I pray that my children will cherish this tradition and carry on with their families as well.
Advent defined, according to Webster’s Dictionary is the period beginning four Sundays before Christmas and observed by some Christians as a season of prayer and fasting. It also means the coming of Christ at the incarnation and the second coming.
These 4 Sundays each have symbols to help us pray and remember how God loved us to send his Son for the hope and love from God the world had been waiting for.
The Wreath, Candles, and Colors
The wreath is shaped in a perfect circle to symbolize the eternity of God. The greenery used are evergreen branches laid flat to symbolize eternal life.
Four candles (traditionally red) stand in the circle and each one represents one of the four Sundays of Advent. In the center of the circle is a fifth candle (traditionally white), the Christ Candle, which is lit on Christmas Day.
Purple represents the sovereignty of Christ, so for weeks 1, 2 and 4, the purple candles are lit. The pink candle, which represents Joy, is lit for the 3rd week.
This post represents the first week of Advent which starts on the first Sunday of December.
WEEK 1: HOPE
Today, we light one purple candle, the candle of hope. Advent is a time of waiting and hoping. In that time the world had been waiting for the promised messiah, in a dark time when there seemed to be no hope. In God’s perfect time…a promise fulfilled. Things were in motion to make way for the Savior of the world. Our hope is in the Lord, Mary had hope when she heard of her cousin who was barren was 3 months pregnant. With God all things are possible. We have hope in the Lord because Jesus came and died and conquered death so we may have life with him eternal. Advent is not only a time to prepare for the birth of Jesus, but a time to reflect on our hope of what is to come, Jesus return, our eternal rest with Him in heaven, and the fact that we have hope that He always is there, fighting for us, healing us, loving us.
Verses for Hope in the Lord
Psalm 33:20 – We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield.
Isaiah 40:31 – but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.
Luke 1:36-37 – Even Elizabeth your relative is going to have a child in her old age, and she who was said to be unable to conceive is in her sixth month. For no word from God will ever fail.we all
1 Peter 1:3 – Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy, he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
Isaiah 7:14 – Therefore the Lod himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a som, and will call him Immanuel
I pray that God gives you Hope in any circumstance you are in. Being a Christian was never promised to be an easy ride, we all have those valleys in life when all things seem hopeless. God loves you too much to let you down, He will chase you down in the deepest darkest places of your heart. He is always there. He is your Hope!!
Prayer: Heavenly Father, thank you for loving us so much that you made a way…a way of Hope of life, peace, joy, and love. Hope in eternal life with you through your son Jesus, whom you sent for us when we didn’t deserve it. Jesus was the promise of Hope and you fulfilled that promise so we may live with you forever.
MY FARMHOUSE RENO- Part 1 – PAINT
Hey! Hey!! I am so excited to share with you our Renovation of our brand new home – Farmhouse Style. We purchased a beautifully built – brand new home recently, but knew we wanted to put our our mark on it. This is a mulitple post project and I am highlighting a few of the spectacular things we have done!
We had been looking at moving to a larger home and wanted an open floor plan with an island. We saw several homes we liked and even made an offer – or two- and under contract once before we finally bought this one. It was perfect for us – minus the Master on Main that we were hoping for. It was not one we had looked at previously, but it came back on the market and we snatched it up quickly! When we had our first showing we knew it felt like us, this was going to be HOME!
From the Outside it looks like your typical Builder Home, but when we walked in we fell in love with the open floor plan.
HIGHER END BUILDER GRADE HOME
The only thing… THAT PAINT!! Honestly it was not as yellow as this image makes it look, but it was not the neutral we were going for.
Over the past several years of owning homes and our last cute cottage that we totally renovated, we KNEW we could paint this and make it ours. It has to be Gray! It is my favorite neutral color and the base of my Farmhouse style obsession. If you know me, I love me some Chip and Joanna, Fixer Upper, and use their style somewhat on my decor ideas. I always say, Joanna is my muse.
There are so many options with a gray paint. Some are Greige (beige effect), some have blue undertones, and some green undertones. We looked at several samples online and on Pinterest. Since this house has so much light coming in I didn’t want to go too dark. In our last home we chose a darker gray/greige color and loved it. (Filtered Shade by Valspar, and Dolphin Fin by BEHR)
Since I wanted a lighter gray, I did some research on Silver Drop. In the same color family as what we had before, but lighter. I found some great sample pics on Pinterest and blog posts and decided to go with it.
It looks amazing!! Hubs started on the dining room first, and then completed the whole downstairs before the kids and I moved in, they were still in school and we were living with family for a couple weeks. We used the Marquee – Paint and Primer in One, in a Flat/Matte finish. It is super easy to clean, covers in one coat and makes my heart happy!
Here is the after!!
OMG!! WE ARE IN LOVE with this home now. It feels like us. It is amazing how a paint color can change the whole feel of the room. We truly have the farmhouse we of our dreams.
We also added the shiplap to the bar island, and a tile backsplash.
Sectional– deep seating sectional by Cindy Crawford from Rooms To Go.
Oversized Chair – Knoxville Wholesale Furniture.
Ottoman – BigLots,
Rug – Target (on clearance as a return!)
Breakfast Nook Chairs – Amazon ( not an affiliate link, I just love these chairs. So affordable.)
HERE ARE SOME OTHER BLOG POSTS YOU MIGHT BE INTEREST IN:
Stay tuned for Part 2 of our Farmhouse Renovation. We will be tackling the island wall with Shiplap…of course!!
Come follow me on Instagram, FB and Pinterest, THANKS FOR YOUR SUPPORT
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Grieving the Loss of a Parent
If you would have told me 10 days ago, my Mother would no longer be with us. I would have not believed you. I know we are never promised tomorrow, but I had just spoken to her 3 days prior to her death.
My mother lived a long life and a daily battle with Type 1 Juevenile Diabetes. She was diagnosed at the age of 8, and lived until 2 days before her 74th birthday. She survived 2 heart attacks in her later years, and many, many low and high blood sugar days. We knew that her body would give out at some point, but I do not think we were prepared for the suddeness of it.
My Mother- Charlotte
She was born in Boston, MA in 1945 and had 1 sister who preceeded her in death a few years ago. She lived in Marlborough with my Grandparents until she married my father. She was the mother of 3 children, my brother Alan, myself, and my sister Kristen. We lived in Massachusettes until I was 5 and then moved to Ft. Myers, FL, and my mother lived there until all of my siblings and I moved out and began our own lives.
My parents divorced after I graduated high school, and my mother lived on her own and was a very independant lady. So much sometimes, to a fault and would not take help from many people. She struggled for many years with her health, and I remember several times low blood sugar would take over and make her very sick. After her second heart attack, she realized that she was blessed to have lived as long as she did and decided to donate her body to the “university” upon her death. She felt that since she lived so long with T1D, maybe seeing what her body had been through over the years, it could help reasearchers/medical students get closer to a cure.
She was a spunky, woman. Her friends from church said she had a great sense of humor and always cracking jokes. Now as her child, we did not always see that side of her, and took some things she said to heart and I’ll be honest it hurt! I loved my mother but sometimes, i feel as our parents get older those filters just don’t show up in conversation as they did when we were younger. But I know deep down she meant well.
My mother was definately one person that knew EXACTLY where her eternal home was going to be. She loved Jesus and prayed for our family and friends constantly. The last time I spoke with her, the last thing she said to me was, Just Pray!!
Her Heavenly Home
My mother did not show up to an event at Church Thursday, April 11th, 2019. So her friends began to worry, an offficer was called to her apartment and they found her. We are not sure what exactly happened, and we will never really know. Since she was being donated for research, she made this request known for many of the past years, they will send her ashes along to us in a few weeks.
I do know this…I have a vision of Jesus coming in to apartment to walk her to heaven, hand in hand. She is with her heavenly Father and at peace, no more tears, no more pain, no more sickness. She is worshipping with splendor and amazmement that we will not see till we are called home as well.
She celebrated her Birthday in Heaven and will celebrate her 1st Easter in heaven this week. Oh what a glorious day that will be!!
Praying through it all
If you have been following me for awhile, you know my Faith is who I am. I know where my Mom is and totally believe I will see her again on those streets of gold. But, my mind and body have been in overdrive over the last week and just a day ago, I really had a hard time coping with this loss.They say losing a parent is different, and I totally get what that feels like now. It is different than an uncle or grandparent, it just is and I can’t quite explain it. I am sad, weepy and think, gosh I just can’t pick up the phone and call her. So, I pray!! I pray alot! It is comforting and I have a wonderful small group of ladies from my church that I can bounce thoughts off of.
Just this week in small group one of my ladies said she read, when you are stressed, sad or needing something for the Lord to take from you….place your palms up. Hands open and palms up! This was so profound to us, this is the resting pose of recieving and it makes beautiful sense to me.
SO, I made a graphic. You can pin it, share it or shoot me an email and I will send you the download.
Don’t you just LOVE IT!!
Thank you for letting me share my story, I hope to look back a year from now and not be so sad. This has helped process what I am going through at the moment!
Remeber to PIN, SHARE, and COMMENT BELOW.
Hey thanks for stopping in! As a fairly new online entrepreneur I never new the whole, What’s your word, thing existed till last November. When you spend years in the traditional 9-5 you just look forward to Christmas Bonuses and yearly 25 cent raises!! Being in the online space and creating a business you love can be amazingly eye opening to things you never knew were a thing.
WORD or RESOLUTION
Instead of making New Year’s resolutions, which you know how those go, choosing one word to focus and refer back to daily can keep you on the path all year. Plus, it will save you money from that gym membership your not going to use after January 15th!
Let’s recap last years word first. FOCUS was my word for 2018. I choose that word because I knew It was going to take all I had to learn and create a business from scratch in a world so new to me. Knowing my personality, I can have serious squirrel moments and be distracted easily.
I had an amazing first year. I dove in head first with trying to learn all the things and stay organized. I found my systems and tools that I love. I took some courses, and stumbled upon some amazing influencers to keep me motivated and focused on building my business.
I am working with some awesome clients and I really enjoy watching them grow and thrive as well. I had no idea this business would boom like it has. I told someone just yesterday that God puts you where you need to be, you may not agree with how He gets you there, but He always has your back.
You can read my journey here.
MY WORD FOR 2019
I am writing this on my last working day or 2018. I am truly blessed to be able to take time away from my business to be completly present with my family this year. With the help of scheduling tools like Tailwind and Planoly, and Facebook, my clients are taken care of hands-free.
When I started praying about what I wanted to do in 2019 for Bloom Virtual Solutions, I just felt that God was pushing me to Grow this thing. I have this platform to help others in there businesses and to give all the glory to Him. I dug a bit deeper to find exaclty what I needed to grow in. Grow in Faith, in Knowledge, and Love.
As you know, my faith is first and foremost and I do not spend enough time in the Word and giving my day to God and let him direct me like I should. Goal #1… Grow in faith.
As a business owner, there is so much information online to teach you how to do all the things and I will never be able to know them all. I love learning and have chosen courses and books to read and keep my brain, workflows, and business in growth mode. I will be growing my team to help Bloom scale into the business I see by the end of 2019. Goal #2… Grow in Knowledge.
Finally, I know this world can be a harsh place and the comparison trap can suck you in. I want to lift others up and become a positive influence to those around me. I want my children to know that becuase God loves us, we must love others. He loves the broken, the lost, the wealthy and the poor. If I do not have love, then all I do is in vain. Goal #3…Grow in Love.
WHAT IS YOUR WORD?
Do you have a word for 2019? How did you decide on that word? Tell me in the comments, it is always interesting and inspiring to hear what you have chosen.
Do you want to know more about “My One Word”? There are books and resiurces online to help guide you through. Check out this Google Play book... or also this link ... to learn more.
Thank you for your support this year and looking forward to an exciting 2019!!
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Let there be Peace – Week 2 of Advent
Welcome to week two of Advent – PEACE.
This week we light the second candle, a purple candle, the candle of peace.
Luke 2:14 – “Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
This verse was spoken to the shepards, in a field at night, after the birth of Jesus. Then they went to see what the Lord told them about.
WHAT IS PEACE?
Peace by definition is freedom from disturbance; quiet and tranquility. or in what we wish for most in this world -freedom from or the cessation of war or violence.
We all hope and pray that this world can come to agreements and get along. No more wars, no more hate, no more violence.
I believe that the only place we will see that is in heaven, or when Jesus returns to defeat the enemy and reclaim the perfection His Father created at the Beginning. We know as Christians we will have troubles and we are always in spiritual warfare with the enemy.
But we can have have reasuurance in the gift of baby Jesus, then in the death and resurrection of Christ, that we have peace of our salvation in Him.
John 14:27 – Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.
Peace is the abscence of fear. In the Bible, Jesus speaks of Peace quite often.
Mark 5:34 – He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering.”
Luke 7:50 – Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”
This He says in regards to having no more worry or fear of their suffering, or fear of this world.
THOUGHTS THIS WEEK
I know in myself, I worry, and have fear of a lot of things. I have always been a worrier, an over protective mom, and a fear of what others will think of me. I have to remember that Jesus came to this world to protect us and save us so we do not have to worry or fear the enemy. Fear is the enemy, and if we stand up for Peace in God the enemy will leave.
As women we can be our own worst enemy, the devil can lie with comparison, and make you fell you are not important, or that what you do will never stop him. LIES LIES LIES!!!
This season and throughout the year, my prayer is for you to have peace. You are enough, you can make a difference, never doubt who God made you to be, and be so big in your faith that the enemy will run and hide!!
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As a virtual assistant and a mom, sometimes I just do not take care of ME like I should. I get up early, take them to school. Then I start working with client work. Before I know it, it is time to head off to car pick up! By the end of the week, I have completely exhausted myself, let alone had time to do housework and run errands. Here are 5 Self Care Tips I use as a work at home mom.
1. Morning Devotional Time
When I left my day job, I was worn out. I knew I needed to be home for my family, but I also needed to find myself again. My prayer life was lacking and I knew if I just made the time to stop, read and pray it would make my day seem purposeful. So, I take about 30 minutes in the morning before working and just read my Bible App. It sets my mind right and reminds me that He is in control and has a plan for this business and my life.
I am currently reading a devotional from Jennie Allen called Restless.
Jennie says, “We are called to dream but we’re afraid to. But because we are called, when we don’t act on it we become restless—restless to find purpose, to make a difference in the world, to matter.”
That just hits the nail on the head, doesn’t it! We want purpose, be we are scared.
Maybe you pray, maybe you meditate, it may be music that helps you prepare for your day. I highly recommend a quiet time to reflect and focus on the day ahead.
2. Exercise/Just Move It
I will be honest, some days I just don’t. Over the last couple years, I have been on a weight loss journey. I have lost over 20 pounds, but due to a recent injury to a hip flexor ( darn Burpees!!), I have had some trouble even walking without pain. The weight has started to come back and I have made a commitment to start doing walking videos at home.
Walking is so good for you. It helps reduce the risk of chronic diseases, improves your mood, you could lose some weight, and best of all it gets your brain flowing. Just 30 minutes a day could make a huge impact on your health. As a virtual assistant, I have to schedule my exercise time on my calendar. When you work from home you sit at a computer and the more you sit the more your body wants to sit. SO GET UP AND GET MOVING!!
I currently am doing Leslie Sansone’s 6 week New’s Years Walk Challenge. I am on week 4 (I am a week behind) and I am really feeling the results and this motivates me to keep doing it every working day. My hip pain has decreased and I am getting more flexibility as well. I just love Leslie and her happy spirit and positivity. Such a blessing!
3. Schedule a Time for Lunch
We get so into our work sometimes and we forget to eat or we are eating at our desk. I do not recommend the latter. Take a break, schedule 30 minutes on your calendar and sit down to eat a healthy lunch. Food fuels the brain and you will need that to push through the afternoon.
I usually have some turkey and a salad. Part of my weight loss has been eating healthier, I do not count calories or get on the scaled anymore. It was too stressful. I am just mindful of what I eat and do not beat myself up for having a sweet treat. Have I told you how much I LOVE SWEETS!!
4. Disconnect/ Technology Free Nights
As a mom, I have to tell my kids, no devices after a certain time. So, why shouldn’t I as well? Sit down with your family, have a nice dinner, talk about their day, or play a board game. We get so caught up in social media and checking our email. Here’s a post on how to manage your email and turn off the notifications.
Working hard on your business and taking care of your clients is important. But, we have to set boundaries. When five o’clock rolls around in our house. My work is done. Now, I admit if I have something pressing I need to do with my own business, I will work at a bit past that. My kids are in sports, so I need to disconnect to get them to where they are going. This was one of the whole reasons I left my day job. They are only little once and I want them to know I was there.
5. Girlfriend Time/Date Night
Working from home can be super lonely. It is just us, or we have connected with some online and do chats. There is nothing like getting out of the house and just connecting face to face, though. I just went to my first meeting of our local Rising Tide group. It was a blast!! Met some awesome creative business owners, had good sweets,(did I mention I love sweets), and saw some people I knew. That personal connection, we all need community, it takes a village.
Date night, hmm what? I am guilty of not having enough personal time with my spouse. Our kids are busy, very rarely do both of them go to a friends house to spend the night. Little man is only 8 so that’s not really an option. Occasionally we will get to have lunch together while they are in school. Date night is important and is something I will try to do more of this year. My hubs is my best friend and we have a great time without the kids.
Wrapping it up!
These are my main ways of practicing self-care tips for me. I really wish life was simpler sometimes and stress wasn’t a thing. But, for a growing business, it’s important to take time to take care of you. Following these simple steps, can help you de-stress, feel better, and it will give your business and your family more time to grow. They are only little for a moment, I do not want to say, man, I wish I worked more. Work hard, but LOVE harder!!
What are some things you do to take care of yourself? I would love to hear!! Leave me a comment and let me know.
Thanks all, and have a blessed day!!