Grateful for the Challenge: #30DaysofThanks 2017


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Gratitude is the mother of the virtues. ~ Cicero

An icy cold November rain casts its melancholic tune outside my windowpane this afternoon as I ponder my blessings and sip hot tea from an ordinary mug. November is devoted to the #30DaysofThanks challenge, and I’m heeding the call again this year. 

If my focus remains just on this dreary day, I reveal gratitude for my Baby Boy sleeping soundly in his toddler bed, safely tucked away upstairs this afternoon as I write, since he has been phasing out of his naps recently.

My thanks can be given for a late morning mass time on this Holy Day of Obligation that allowed me to give a wave and a smile to The Boy and Baby Girl in attendance with their schoolmates, the rare opportunity for me to be present inside church without chasing around a two-year-old, and the ability to sit with a friend. The mass was scheduled perfectly so that I could arrive soon after preschool drop-off and ended with just enough time for me to run an errand before returning to my Baby Boy at his preschool pick-up time.

Looking forward to this evening, I am grateful to begin the next session of my newfound favorite exercise class.

I call this a win of a day–one filled with recognizable blessings once I stopped to reflect and contemplate, a practice I adhere to by mindfully implementing the elements of intention throughout my daily life.

“When one has a grateful heart, life is so beautiful.” ~ Roy T. Bennett

Please join me over the next thirty days in counting blessings, practicing gratitude, and focusing on giving thanks. To read my past posts reflecting on graciousness and thankfulness, click here.

I’d enjoy hearing from you about how you are learning to cultivate an intentional heart, finding new ways to be thankful, and discovering the joys of gratitude in your own life. Please, comment below, and go forth giving thanks.




Motherhood and Finding the Time to Write and Create


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“…there is nothing you can buy, achieve, own, or rent that can fill up that hunger inside for a sense of fulfillment and wonder. But the good news is that creative expression, whether that means writing, dancing, bird-watching, or cooking, can give a person almost everything that he or she has been searching for: enlivenment, peace, meaning, and the incalculable wealth of time spent quietly in beauty.” ~ Anne Lamott


The local library where I live brings to town many well-known and accomplished authors. A few years ago, I was one of many in the crowded auditorium at the central high school mere miles from my neighborhood where these literary events are held and the author of a favorite novel was the guest speaker. My memory serves that this author’s talk on writing was exceptional, especially the bits about how her stories came to life and how her writing life came to fruition. She was gracious in her answers during the Q & A, one of which I posed, a version of, “How did she find the time to write with children underfoot?” In so many words, she prescribed that you must write any chance you can get, master writing to the background noise and chaos, scrawl away during short spurts of free time, and urged not to wait for the ‘perfect’ conditions conducive to writing because they will rarely appear and the writing will never happen. What I took from her eloquent answer (more precisely delivered than I am reiterating to you) is that if you are a mother longing to write (or create in any artistic endeavor) then you must accept that you must write to the cadence of the season you are in, and weave the craft into the fabric of your daily life, willing to adjust and change your writing tempo as your children change and grow along side of you.

If you are a mother-writer and struggling to find the time to write, here are a few simple suggestions to help you carve out more time for your writing and that have worked for me:

Take a break, and give yourself a break.

There will be days, weeks, and even months that you won’t be able to carve out one minute for writing, and that’s alright. Don’t berate yourself. Embrace the peaks and valleys. Invite the rest in and allow the time off to invigorate your senses. It’s quite allowable to take time off from writing, and preferred, if I might add. After all, living your life and experiencing the world around you will only improve your creative abilities.

Quite by choice, summers are the most challenging time in my writing calendar. Since I don’t employ a daycare facility, a part-time sitter or nanny, the warm summer months around my house are full and well-enjoyed, even on days when camps and classes aren’t on the schedule. Along with my children, I prefer to soak up as much sun as possible while we are blessed with the Vitamin D producer, and the vibrancy of kids enjoying their months of freedom is something I don’t want to miss out on–especially while they are still so young. This is where personal journaling and keeping notebooks nearby come in handy. When there are chunks of time that I don’t feel like powering up the laptop, though want to record my thoughts, ideas, recollections, observations, and experiences, then I journal. I find that the break from typing also helps to refuel my creativity in pertinent ways. Never once have I felt regret for relishing in the days off.

Write at a time of day that works for you.

Although I would love to tell you to set your alarm an hour earlier than your first child wakes up, this has never worked for me. I’m not now, and doubtful ever will be, a morning person. When I was on a writer’s retreat, I insisted I wake up at 5:00 AM every morning to start writing, and I did. However, I did not have the pressing urgency of a child to attend to that week, either. I was there for myself and had only myself to take care of during five, blissful, writing-centered days. It was my opportunity to utilize as much time to write–and I took the gift of being there seriously, not wanting to waste the opportunity. That was three years ago, and I have yet to replicate that early morning habit so easily enacted on an island miles and miles away surrounded by other women-mother-writers. What I have continued is the discipline and confidence earned, and the ability to be flexible with both myself and my writing process.

Please, do not feel obligated to wake an hour earlier than your family does if the extra sleep is vital to your emotional, physical, and mental well-being–especially if you have young toddlers or school-aged children as I do. In this time of my life, it is more important that I sleep in after nursing Baby Boy in the early morning hours. After we rise and ready for the day, eat our breakfast and clear up, then I can think about some writing if our schedule permits. Don’t neglect your health and essential needs, nor those of your children, for the sake of your craft. It’s a recipe for failure. Instead, take care of yourself and children first, and pockets of writing time will appear, I promise. (Just my two cents.)

Let them see you write.  

If you have young children at home able to entertain themselves for a while, take advantage of late morning play time and make that your daily writing time. After I have finished in the kitchen, and perhaps have even started a load of laundry, I set my toddler up nearby with some favorite toys and I write in my journal while sipping my first cup of tea of the day. This has become my almost-daily practice of emptying my head of the noise and clutter inside, or when I may flesh-out ideas for the book I’m working on, conceptualize upcoming blog posts, or even free-write. I keep my journal nearby for reference, and it’s a daily practice I’ll never reject. (By the way, these are my favorite ones.)

Cultivate ideas during their nap time.

If you’re lucky enough to have a child that still naps, I’d love to know your secret! When The Boy was younger, he was a champion napper. It gave me ample time for freelance projects and personal, creative pursuits. Baby Boy is rejecting his nap time most days, I’m sad to say. So for now, I take a midday walk with him and use this time to commune with nature and let my thoughts run free. I highly recommend an afternoon walk for some fresh air and the chance to gather eclectic ideas for your creative endeavors. During most of these walks, my son will doze off for a short time. By the time I return home and transfer him out of the stroller and back inside, I have only a brief time for writing before the older children arrive at their bus stop at the end of the school day. This is the toughest time for me to write. Nevertheless, I strive to utilize that time for me and my writing, if even for thirty minutes, or less. Thirty minutes spent writing is better than writing nothing at all.

Burn the midnight oil, but only if that works for you.

During my younger days, I was a night owl. In my forties, though, I am slowing down in the evening and feel that my writing time is wasted after a certain hour. My wonderful husband will handle baths and the nighttime routine. If given the choice, I honestly choose to exercise most evenings rather than write because a brisk walk or fitness class helps me to decompress in a healthier way. Though, if the weather is uncooperative, or I’ve had ample time to exercise during the day (which is rare), I will plant myself at my desk to scrawl or type away. On the nights I write (like tonight), it’s usually time well-spent. Anymore, I like to have my computer turned off by 8:00 PM so that I can unwind with my husband and rest my mind. I am confident that the writing pieces swirling around my head after hours won’t flitter away into the abyss of forgetfulness, and this schedule helps me to acquire the essential sleep I need to meet, God-willing, another full and challenging day of motherhood.

Designate and schedule one, non-negotiable chunk of time per week for creating.

Lastly, I have declared the mid-week morning that Baby Boy attends nursery school for two-and-a-half-hours as “Sacred Writing Time.” Sacred Writing Time is designated and guaranteed; the only moments in my week that are non-negotiable, set aside for writing and only writing. During these couple of hours, I do not take phone calls (except from my children’s schools), nor do I read, shop, set appointments, clean, etc… Making this time a priority and only for writing has been a gift and game-changer in my life as a mother-writer. Knowing I will write at least two hours a week takes the pressure off during my busiest weeks taking care of all the essential motherhood tasks, caring for sick kids, running to and from appointments, and more. “Sacred Writing Time” is just that, sacred, and I take it quite seriously. Once I return home from preschool drop-off, I am eagerly at my computer without delay.

For further inspiration about how to carve out the time to write while entrenched in the glories of motherhood, or distracted by your presently busy life, please look no further than to these, more seasoned and reliable writers than I: by Anne Lamott by James Clear by Sarah Menkedick  by Marcelle Soviero

If inspired to, please comment on how you carve out time in your week for your creative pursuits. As always, thank you for reading and happy writing!


“We are all carrying so many things in our life and inside ourselves. Often it feels there is no place to put them down. Where do you place the questions you carry” ~ Sabrina Ward Harrison, Spilling Open: The Art of Becoming Yourself


Strength in numbers and my personal #metoo


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“Beauty provokes harassment, the law says, but it looks through men’s eyes when deciding what provokes it.” ~ Naomi Wolf, The Beauty Myth

My father was a traveling salesman for a book publishing company. Part of his compensation package included a leased company vehicle that he would sign for every few years. We had recently moved from Hopkinton, MA to a rural Central Ohio town in the summer of 1986, and I remember the day he picked up his new van like it happened only moments ago. Inside the car dealership, the lights were so bright it hurt my eyes and the air smelled of stale doughnuts, burnt coffee and chemical-laden air freshener. While my father signed paperwork and smoked a few Marlboro Reds with the representative, outside, my siblings and I were restless for being there so long and stayed with my mom waiting in the parking lot for our father to return with the keys and drive the new ride home.

As if they’d know one another their entire lives, my father and the sales representative sauntered outside in the afternoon sun, smiling and laughing, probably sharing stories of the sales trade. My father introduced each one of us and the salesman kept his sideways glance fixed directly on me, when out of his mouth came the words I will never forget, about being a knockout of a redhead, those long legs of mine, advising my father he better watch out with me and the boys that would no doubt be hanging around, and maybe he’d bring me back in a few years for a test drive with him and my own car?

I was ten-years-old when this inappropriate salesman thought it was funny and completely allowable to take note of my young-girl looks and dream of my future physical stature, giving no regard to my blushing face, nor my father beside him. His lingering gaze bore holes of shame through me and his unflinching smile was sinister sweet. Back then, I was too young to understand the implications and innuendos spoken that day. After all, I was only in the fifth grade. Yet, the entire presence of that tasteless salesman–including the outfit he was wearing, his moustached and confident face, smug demeanor, and crushingly detrimental words–have haunted me for over thirty years.

My late father was a good and decent man–absolutely not perfect–but, good, decent, and protective of his children and he handled the embarrassing situation with dignity. And you can be assured that we never saw that salesman again. Though, a few years later, when it was time to exchange company cars, I begged to stay at home and read my book, to which my father did not argue, and I breathed a sigh of relief.

Fueled by the news in Hollywood of harassment and abuse that too many women have sustained, I’m sure you’re aware by now of the hashtag #metoo that’s swirling around social media and inviting women to share their personal stories of sexual harassment and abuse. Within my own circle of friends and family, it is disheartening to learn how much pain has been inflicted and endured in the name of sex. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention, in solidarity with my sister-friends, that at ten-years-old, that sleazy car salesman without filter nor decency nor couth, was not the first male to assert his sexual advances or desires over me, nor would he be the last. Though, there are some stories I am not willing to share, and this is my prerogative, while willingly choosing to not let their egotistical, sick, dominating power clutch hold of me forever. I have forgiven, but it’s difficult to forget.

As a caveat to my story, I feel compelled to write and say to all of my readers, that despite my personal stories, devastating experiences, and real struggles with the type of boys and men that harass and abuse, I have known more boys and men in my lifetime that are good, kind, decent, loving, protective, and respectful. Let’s not forget that for as many abusers there are in the world, there is still abounding love, light, and hope around us, and boys and men who will work with us to fight against the social and moral injustices of sexual harassment and abuse.

If you are struggling with your own story of sexual harassment, abuse, or violence and are in need of help, please contact a local therapist specially trained in this type of trauma. You may also contact RAINN or call the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800.656.HOPE.


“You are stronger than you know.” ~ Lori Osterman


Lighting the way for those children lost too soon, never forgotten, remaining forever in our hearts #waveoflight2017


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“There is, I am convinced, no picture that conveys in all its dreadfulness, a vision of sorrow, despairing, remediless, supreme. If I could paint such a picture, the canvas would show only a woman looking down at her empty arms.” ~ Charlotte Brontë


A flicker of light,

a ray shining through,

cast out the shadow of loss inside my heart

warm the chill of remembrance within me.


Annually on October 15th, grieving parents around the globe light candles that illuminate their homes in solidarity, united by brilliant luminance and the heartbreak entrenched by the grief over the children they have lost prematurely or in early infancy. The seven o’clock hour on this day, Pregnancy and Infant Loss Remembrance Day, ignites the sorrowful hearts and minds of those whose lives have been tragically impacted by the loss of a child from miscarriage, stillborn death, and SIDS.

It’s alarming to read that ten to fifteen percent of all confirmed pregnancies will end in miscarriage. (Source:

Even graver, to learn that over 23,000 babies each year are stillborn. (Source:

A grim report from the CDC states that 3,700 cases of SIDS were confirmed in 2015.(Source:

“Sometimes the smallest things take up the most room in your heart.” ~ A.A. Milne


Most every year, I write about my shared grief on this day. (You can read my past blog posts related to miscarriage here.Miscarriage and baby loss has affected me distinctly and most profoundly, and these incredibly difficult experiences were, in fact, the initial driving force behind starting this blog years ago. Writing through the lingering grief in hope of discovering new sources of joy in motherhood, my intent in offering up these deeply personal stories of mine was, and still remains, rooted in wanting to reach a grieving mother (or father) at the right time in their own journey of grief founded in miscarriage or infant loss out searching for understanding, compassion, and hope. Some brave voices and compelling stories of strangers, comprised a sorrowful circle of mothers who had known loss like I had, were discovered by me in quiet desperation for answers, community, and reason. Through the melancholic melody of their words, these women offered my grieving heart comfort, validation, and most importantly, hope. I only hope my stories will be the same beacon of light for someone in need.

On that note, I would like to recommend a few well-written blogs penned by authors, much like myself, gravely affected by the loss of their own children:

“Write hard and clear about what hurts.” ~ Ernest Hemingway


Tonight at 7:00, my family and I will be lighting a candle to honor and remember the six children we lost in miscarriage, our angels: Agnes, Julian, Max, Catherine, John, and Francis.

“It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness.” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt


Please join me in this special lighting ceremony, from wherever you read, to keep the light of remembrance aflame, and honor the hearts of their grieving parents and families.  #waveoflight


“Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.” ~ Buddha


Seeking joy in the present moment


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“If you carry joy in your heart, you can heal any moment.” ~ Carlos Santana


When you feel anxious waiting for a call from your child’s doctor with his or her test results, what eases your stress? When a family member, living hours away, is sick again with the symptoms of his or her chronic mental illness, what can you do to effectively help them through the trial? When you’re feeling less confident in your abilities to weather the storms of motherhood while the days, weeks, years go by, how do you pick yourself up from your bootstraps and carry on for the good of your family? How do you decide to embrace all the hardships of your life, acknowledging tough days and challenges are here to stay, while attempting to seek joy for yourself in the present moment?


Today, I was overwhelmed by fear. (Rampant fears are the dirty little lies our minds tell us.) No matter what I did nor where I went, this nagging fear tracked me down. I couldn’t be rid of the mountainous despair despite my multitude of attempts to diffuse the lingering smoke surrounding me; I was left gasping and choking for breath. Acknowledging the named fear magnified the cloud; it clung to me. I wrote down the characteristics of my fear, though the words remained locked inside my core. Busying myself with mindless tasks only increased the solitude of my thoughts. Walking it out only intensified with the raciness of my heart, and the fear chained itself to my ankles, slowing my pace. Praying through it all was having ill-effect, opposite of what usually occurs.

Having had enough of this misplaced, ridiculous lingering fear, I ultimately chose to leave my Wednesday routine and unnecessary obligations to see if getting out of my rut would help at all to wander about my hometown for sunny solace and a change of pace. And you know what? Treating myself to an organic smoothie and favorite dish at a hip, local restaurant; writing in my journal amidst the hustle and bustle of other adults meeting and eating; feeling alive to the beat and vibrations of indie music and conversations surrounding me was the exact distraction my worried mind needed to reset and be relieved. Scrawling away while I awaited my delicious food, the entrapped words came out free and fluid, and I was able to write past the illogical thoughts I was harboring. A quick trip to my local library for a heap of new reads and to leisurely browse the stacks at-will only continued my newfound, released, inner-peace and I was overjoyed for the mental break.

On my way back home, refreshed and renewed, I realized it took such little effort to put myself first, for once, yet the benefits were tremendously rewarding and necessary. Especially in the darkened, tumultuous times of our personal lives, giving back to oneself is vital to maintaining the reserve and strength needed to weather the storms of the present day, and to face those unexpected, wrathful patterns no one can predict.


Please, find a concrete way to honor your heart today and you will feel the joy creeping back in–of that, I promise. If you’re going through a tough season, even if you’re feeling a little run-down or stuck in a rut of your own, try to remember to be kind to yourself and offer as much love to yourself as you shower upon those closest to your heart, for, you matterevery bit as much.


“Sorrow prepares you for joy. It violently sweeps everything out of your house, so that new joy can find space to enter. It shakes the yellow leaves from the bough of your heart, so that fresh, green leaves can grow in their place. It pulls up the rotten roots, so that new roots hidden beneath have room to grow.” ~ Rumi

Don’t let the suffering break you


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“If you want a love message to be heard, it has got to be sent out. To keep a lamp burning, we have to keep putting oil in it.” ~ St. Teresa of Calcutta


Needless, senseless, unbelievably gut-wrenching, horrific suffering defines the week we’ve had in America. I think we can all agree on that point. Closer to home, closer to my own heart, it has been a week for terrible and tragic news, as well. A dear friend of The Girl’s was admitted to ICU with pneumonia related to her chronic illness. A family member went into premature labor, just shy of 21 weeks pregnant, knowing her daughter would die in her arms. A child of mine is having seizures, and so a litany of tests loom on the horizon for us at Children’s Hospital, and my resolve is weakening. More suffering, that I’m not at liberty to share, has occurred to others I love, and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to make sense of it all; to endure, to persevere in hope.

Certainly, I cannot be the only person feeling like I have been trudging through a deep, glutinous mud, fighting my way to get beyond this week, reaching out for someone, something to pull me up and out of the mire? So, I pray. I walk. I write. I read. I get outside. I find extra moments of solitude. I pour love into my family. I eat chocolate. I seek joy. Winding myself back down to remember the simple pleasures of life, I can reign in my rising anxiety, and keep calm for the time being.

Though, when enormous, life-shattering events, like Sunday’s massacre happens, how do we keep moving, one foot in front of the other, when our legs are shaking, bodies tense with stress, minds weary with anxiety, and hearts so heavy with anguish for ourselves and our fellow Americans? We question and fear—that’s what we do. We become irate and upset, rightfully so. We recognize the fear we feel for our children and the future of our country. All of these reactions are justifiable and necessary, absolutely so. We must allow ourselves to grieve these great losses, sorrows and sufferings and then find a way, even when innocent lives are taken so dreadfully, to move forward on in love and peace. Or, the lives lost to such an epic crime will have been taken in vain, and moments for healing and forgiveness will be missed. And we can never, ever let Evil break us down, take hold, nor win.

Although heartbreak may linger for quite some time, the cracks can’t define us. It would be easy to lose heart completely, give into despair, and forget all hope that remains. Whether the sufferings we witness are felt near or far, we must try to commit ourselves to the greater good, be a light, offer prayers and assistance, move forward in love and hope, do better for each other, and reach out in sincere kindness. At least, that’s my goal– to continue moving forward knowing that we make our own choices: between hope or fear, light or darkness, evil or love. I know which road I’m constantly seeking and plan to plant my own two feet there, with courage. Please, won’t you join me on the right path?

“Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person.” ~ St. Teresa of Calcutta

Embracing Change with a Joyful Heart


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“Shout out to everyone transcending
a mindset, mentality, desire, belief,
emotion, habit, behavior or vibration,
that no longer serves them.”
― Lalah Delia


Transitions mean change that we are often leery of embracing.  Though, to continue through this lifetime, evolutionary movement is inevitable. In order to truly live our lives to the fullest, we must embrace the modifications before us, and all the meaning interwoven in the possibilities that change brings. We must challenge ourselves to seek joy, even on the unlit pathways strewn before us.

For the past fourteen years, The Husband and I have been focused on growing our family. With the onset of aging, and my reproductive abilities most likely behind us, we must transition to this new phase of settling in with the beautiful family we’ve built, and closing the door to adding any additional members to our team. The signs have been there for some time now, and we are learning to accept and move forward with great purpose, dousing the flame of “trying again,” laying all that we were striving for to rest. Always open to life, we would never say, “No” if the miracle of conception occurred once more, though, we believe that the likelihood of pregnancy happening again is slim-to-none.

Together, we move forward in what awaits us, graced to raise and cherish those lives we’ve been entrusted to care for, and joyful for the opportunity to dote on all new beings in our family circle, such as the recent birth of our great-nephew.  Change feels good, welcomed and peaceful, even. To not feel so raced against an hourglass of rushed pursuit every month and year that passes? Grateful rest. Having the sensations of feeling complete and whole as we are? Appreciative contentment. To hold and cherish a deeper respect for myself, my abilities, and the gifts I embody as a woman, wife, and mother? Self-aware confidence. To fathom that our dream was achieved and acknowledging The Husband and I conquered a great feat and won? Triumphant joy.

Some unchartered territory beckons before me that may not be paved in effervescent gold; certainly not. Although the newfound direction may surprise my wildest visions, I absolutely anticipate encountering loose gravel, hilly terrain, and perhaps a boulder or two to either push against with all my might, or climb atop—triumphantly, mightily, and with a strength found only from deep within me, built from all these years ascending mountainous trials I never expected to encounter. The scars and losses that sketch the landscape of my being are pure and organic; a heartbreaking fissure in my forever self. Despite the crosses I’ve been asked to carry, I still delight in the beauty that has emerged–more natural and miraculous than I could have ever envisioned. Life has deepened in meaning and purpose, and I will continue to seek out the joy in all that is left to live.


You are the light of the world


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Let there be peace on earth
And let it begin with me.
~Seymour Miller & Jill Jackson, “Let There Be Peace on Earth,” 1955


It is a policy of mine to be neutral on this little blog, keeping the stories more about how I overcome my personal struggles, my path to a more peaceful and simpler life, and how I seek out joy in little ways. However, I do want to share with you the words that I posted to my personal Facebook account this morning, since it was received with much positive response:

“No matter if you are feeling shocked and saddened, or overjoyed and triumphant about our president-elect, at the end of today, when the strength of our feelings have simmered down a bit, let us reflect on the fact that we are still Americans–free people so privileged and blessed to have all that we do living in this great nation of ours, especially in comparison to most of the world around us. Let’s not forget how we are called to love one another, despite the differences that divide us, and that our children are truly the future. Live your life with joy and integrity, help those less fortunate, be a light in the world, forgive each other, and offer peace and a smile as much as possible.”

 Maybe, the next four years look grim to you, with the bright horizon forever dimmed by the despair for where you think this country is headed. Try not to lose hope, reader friend. Maybe, the next four years looks bright and prosperous to you, defined by a positive change, and hope for what’s to come. My friend, please don’t lose focus of what is truly important. No doubt, America is headed in a new direction. And, we must brace ourselves for the unknown, and pray for a better tomorrow. At the end of the day, my hope is that most Americans still believe in all that holds true in “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” and the inherent goodness found in each of us.

Let’s not forget that peace and change begins with our individual selves. We can choose the good and spread that light between us. If each one of us could do that— make a habit of spreading that kind of light and love throughout our homes and communities—just imagine how beautiful our country would look in the afterglow of peace.

How can you be a light to the world around you? In what ways do you seek out joy in times of despair? 

Steadfast Simplicity


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The sculptor produces the beautiful statue by chipping away such parts of the marble block as are not needed — it is a process of elimination. ~Elbert Hubbard

Striving toward minimalism is finally letting go of everything, and looking forward in anticipation toward all that will be gained in choosing to live and embody a simpler lifestyle. And the choice to become a minimalist is as easy as declaring, “Today is the day!”  Stating, “Enough is enough!” Realizing, “All of this stuff is weighing me down and dragging my health and happiness along with it.” Then you begin. First, by grabbing a trash bag and choosing to conquer one room at a time, or even just the junk drawer for now.

Your life will never feel or look the same once you pledge to make the positive change once and for all. And that’s the beauty in simplified, minimalistic, conscious-living. No longer living this life of yours on auto-pilot, but discerning with purpose, and redefining success, wealth, happiness, and joy—on your own terms.

Gifting—not just giving—yourself the permission to live the life you’ve always dreamed of, answering that call to be your authentic self, being counter-cultural in so many facets, and essentially, finding your own groove will be just a handful of positive outcomes of choosing to simplify your life while you strive toward minimalism. There is freedom in stating a firm “no” to the world, and shouting a resounding, “yes!” to your heart. You’ll wonder why you didn’t start sooner!

I have learned there is joy in making sound, rightful choices that stem from a place of peacefulness. That you’ll breed contentment in making these calm, conscious choices without a senseless environment to distract you, or the mind-clutter and unfounded fear within you obstructing the view. Note, there is humility in taking less for yourself and sharing that excess with others. You will walk, talk, and feel lighter with each new step on this minimalism journey. Simplifying is a satisfying soul cleanser, to say the least.

Take pride in how you define living a simpler life. Own what striving toward minimalism signifies to you in your own way. Don’t lose hope of what you’re starting. Work diligently, but gently and deliberately in all acts of simplifying and de-cluttering. Remind yourself that it’s all about balance—finding what works best for your life and heart. Choose now to live without all those things holding you back so that you can live the life you were meant to enjoy.

Looking ahead toward a New Year, don’t despair if this year’s attempts to redefine your lifestyle look completely different from the steps you plan to make on the journey toward minimalism in 2017. That’s the beauty in the pursuit of simplicity. Go at your own pace and don’t rush the process. It’s all about being intentional, after all. You’ll find your purposeful groove, and one day you’ll realize you’re living a minimalist, simpler way without giving much thought to how you got there.

Live your life simply, let go, follow your calling, forgive trespasses, and be set free. Regard yourself less and think of others more. Live your life in peace so that the light of love shines from within and reaches out to others.  Make your path to minimalism your own, but not without sharing that steadfast joy with others, and being grateful for the chance you’ve been gifted to change for the better.

Will you be striving toward minimalism in 2017? What small acts of simplifying and de-cluttering have yielded great, positive changes in your life?


Grateful, thankful, blessed to be


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“I am grateful for what I am and have. My thanksgiving is perpetual. It is surprising how contented one can be with nothing definite – only a sense of existence. Well, anything for variety. I am ready to try this for the next ten thousand years, and exhaust it. How sweet to think of! my extremities well charred, and my intellectual part too, so that there is no danger of worm or rot for a long while. My breath is sweet to me. O how I laugh when I think of my vague indefinite riches. No run on my bank can drain it, for my wealth is not possession but enjoyment.” ― Henry David Thoreau

Unbelievably, the entire month of October dashed by, and now the first week of November has already ended—just like that! Last month, I had grand plans to post many times here in support of the National Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness campaign, however, my chronic fertility-related health issues decided to flare-up with a vengeance, which left me debilitated for quite some time, and with no option but to take a step back from my writing plans in order to get back on my feet again. Doctor visits, ultrasounds, rest, and self-care were a must for these few weeks, and so I gave in to the retreat. I’m happy to report that although I’m not 100% recovered, I am gaining back my energy levels and the pain has lessened substantially. Those of us with chronic illnesses must account for and accept that there will be wonderfully blessed moments of good health, as well as great downturns and set backs. It’s a great cross to shoulder, though we find the strength to carry on.

The upside to all the extra rest and downtime my doctor ordered? Much time for reading and ruminating!

Now that the month of thanks is upon us, I am choosing joy and to be thankful for my life. And although I may never experience a complete healing, and my current recovery time might feel slow and tedious, painful and upsetting on most days, I am thankful to still be here, able to write when I can (on the good days).

“Discovering joy amid pain” is what I strive for in my life and in the writing I share on this blog. Choosing joy and gratefulness isn’t always easy to do, but the practice surely turns your heart, mind, and soul toward a greater good.

Can you name your blessings today and be grateful for even the tiniest joy? How might you channel your troubles, ailments, and pains into something greater that will strengthen you for the journey?