Tips on Becoming Fit

As promised, I’m back with some tips and suggestions to help us all become more physically, mentally, and spiritually fit. 

Physically fit: 

Personally, I love spinflex and spin class & do that 3 times a week. The other 2 days I attend another fitness class and each day I workout at least an hour. That’s one hour of the 24 hours in the day that we are given! One hour. No excuses. This wasn’t always me though. I had to decide to make it a priority.

 If you aren’t physically active at this point, you can take that first step and begin. Just aim for 30 minutes to start with. Thirty minutes of some type of physical exercise. Walking, riding your bike, running, jogging, taking a spin class, kickboxing, or even a sport like basketball. Something is better than nothing. Your goal is to get moving. Then, you can increase intensity and time. Don’t compare yourself to someone else. You do what you can do as you get started. 

Mentally fit: 

Now, in my opinion, physically exercising does make me more mentally fit. When I’m spinning or lifting weights, I’m having to use the mind over matter thing. Sometimes my body wants to stop and I have to tell myself “no mam!” And keep going. 

When I used to run and was training for a half marathon, it definitely pushed me mentally. Any exercise if you do it hard enough, will stretch you mentally. Your body is capable of a lot more than you realize. It’s your mind that has to suck it up and push harder and get stronger.         

Also, surround yourself with things and people who lift you up and encourage you. If you are constantly around negativity it will soon rub off.  If you are the one who is negative, think of how you can change to better yourself and encourage those around you. 

Spiritually fit:

The best moments in my day are first thing in the morning. And I’m NOT A MORNING PERSON. However, those first few moments are just for me and Jesus. I get my coffee, sit down at my kitchen table, open my Bible and journal, and I pray and read and listen. 

Those moments fuel me more than coffee ever could. It’s that intentional time that I spend with my Savior that fills me up. My sustenance for the day.

I encourage you to begin your day with Jesus. Whether it’s 5 minutes or 35. Begin it with him.

With praise and worship music, a devotion, scripture, prayer… However you choose. Spend it with Jesus. 

All three aspects of fitness go hand in hand. 

If I want to serve Jesus like he calls his followers to do, then I’ve got to be physically, mentally, and spiritually in shape. 

If you are already there in all three areas then FABULOUS!!

If you are slightly off balance (most of us are), you can do something about it now. 

Take that first step. Then keep going. Don’t stop. Push yourself to be the best that you can be with HIS help. 

See you back soon with tips and ideas for each of the 3 areas. Maybe some healthy recipes, some ideas for your workouts, and suggestions and tips for studying God’s word. 

“Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.” ~‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭6:19-20‬ ‭NLT‬‬
Until Next Time,


Becoming Physically, Mentally, and Spiritually Fit 

31 Days to becoming physically, mentally, and spiritually fit!
⬆️ That’s the title to the series I will be doing here on SHINE ON beginning October 1st, 2015. This is my 2nd year attempting to complete the challenge. I dropped out early last year. I plan on sticking it out this year. Fingers crossed. Here’s to trying!
Most of the time we think of the physical aspect when we hear the word FITNESS. I believe that it’s so important to be physically fit. It’s good for our physical bodies, helps us mentally, and it’s also good for us spiritually. 
You’ve heard the term: My body is a temple. You may laugh when you say it even. But… If you are saved by grace through faith in Christ Jesus, then your body really is a temple.
“We are carefully joined together in him, becoming a holy temple for the Lord.” ~Ephesians‬ ‭2:21‬ ‭NLT
So, I believe that all three aspects go together when being fit.
“Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body.” ~‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭6:19-20‬ ‭NLT‬‬
The purpose of this 31 days of writing challenge will be to help us all become more physically, mentally, and spiritually fit! 
I hope you’ll join me! I’ll be giving a few tips on each aspect of fitness as it relates to each of the three mentioned and hopefully you’ll take away something that helps you!
The actual 31 days will not begin until October 1st 2015, but I’ll be doing some preview posts in between to get ready. See you back here soon!

Until Next Time,
Shine On!

Who Do I Believe 

I wrote a post that I haven’t published yet. It’s not finished. Maybe it’s not even supposed to be published. Maybe it’s just for me. It’s about grief.

I do want to share a little about it. The thing about grief is… You can get so lost in it that you can’t see straight. You can feel so alone. Lonely in your grief.

And if you stay in that place. That stuck place. You start believing the lie that you are alone. Lonely. Nobody gets it. 

If you aren’t careful, you can do like I’ve done. You can get so wrapped up in your “funk” that you start withdrawing and then you justify it. You can even call it “rest”. 

You might be saying: “You are in a funk? I wouldn’t have known. You seem so happy.”

And I am joyful. To be joyful is better than to be happy. I’m joyful because I have a relationship with Jesus. I’m joy filled because of Jesus in me. But that doesn’t mean that I am never sad.

My problem was that I was believing the lie that I was alone in my sadness. I kept telling myself those lies.  And then, during the message at church, when my Pastor was speaking truth about when God went to The garden of Eden after Adam and Eve had sinned. The part after God says: “Where are you?”. The second thing God said was : “Who told you that?” {see Genesis 3:9-11}

So who told me that? That lie that I was alone in my grief over my father’s death. Who told me that? Well, it definitely wasn’t my Savior. So today when I felt the whisper in my soul.. That still small voice said: “You’re not alone.”

Did I know that? Sure I did. But did I act like I believed it? Not at all. I was too caught up in self. I listened to the wrong voice. I listened to self and self pity. 

I was so withdrawn that I didn’t want to be around anyone. Not anyone that I had to talk with. I didn’t want to serve anymore. I didn’t want to do a thing but what I wanted to do. 

Some days were better than others. But I kept telling myself that nobody understands and therefore I’m alone. Because that’s what grief can do to a person. And truly, that’s exactly where satan wants us to stay. In the desolate places. The dry places. The withdrawn and lonely places.

And listen. This is all the while that I’m still having my daily time with Jesus. This is still while I’m walking close with God. Look how close Adam and Eve walked with God. Yet they still listened to lies from the enemy. 

It happens. It’s what we do with it that makes the difference. 

I choose to share a piece of my grief story with you because my hope is that you will see that somebody gets it. In fact, God gets it. You are not alone. You can come out of your funk. 

I am not sharing for pity. I’m sharing because I want to to know that you matter. Your hurt matters. Your grief matters. And you are not alone if you know Jesus as Lord and Savior. If you believe otherwise then who are you listening to? Self? 


“For the Lord will not forsake his people; he will not abandon his heritage;” ~Psalm‬ ‭94:14‬ ‭ESV‬‬

“Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.” ~‭‭Deuteronomy‬ ‭31:6‬ ‭ESV‬‬

“Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.” ~‭1 Peter‬ ‭5:7‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Until next time.

Striving to Shine,


The Way

{Below you will find a message that I wrote and shared with the girls at Camp Rock this year. I was given the verses and trusted to share a message or a lesson on the verses John 14:5,6. The children ranged in age from 3rd grade thru 6th grade. However, It is a lesson or a message that any age can learn from..I hope.}

John 14:5,6~ Thomas said to him, “Lord, we don’t know where you are going, so how can we know the way?”

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
Let’s back up a minute. The scene is The Last Supper. You know, The famous supper with Jesus and his 12 disciples. The night before Jesus was crucified. Judas has already left the supper and Jesus has just told Peter that he knew that he would deny that he knew Jesus 3 times before the rooster crows. And then Jesus starts preparing and encouraging the disciples. Telling them that the next day was going to be the day that he was to be crucified. Instead of asking for encouragement from them he gives encouragement. Jesus begins telling them to not be upset or worried. Then he begins to tell them a little about heaven (His Fathers house).

And he tell them that he’s going to prepare a place for them (the believers) and that he would return one day and that if they were Gods children that they would get to go there too one day!

Jesus states that they know the way to the place he is going.

Cue old doubting Thomas… Or curious Thomas or I need to see it to believe it Thomas..
Verse 5
Even His own disciples and closest friends, the ones who witnessed the miracles that he performed and the presence of God, they still had a hard time getting it.

A couple of verses after…

Even Phillip questions Jesus…wanting Jesus to show him the Father and Jesus is like ‘Don’t you know me Phillip??? As long as I’ve been with you?? Don’t you know that if you have seen me that you have seen the father???’ (paraphrasing here)
Faith. It’s a tricky thing. But knowing that even His disciples struggled with it should make you feel a bit better.
So going back to the verses. Thomas acts like he hasn’t a clue where Jesus is going. He’s like “hey Jesus.. Can you draw me a map? Like a really good map?”

And Jesus says I AM THE WAY. In fact The Way was one of the early names for the Christian Faith. See Acts 9:2
Basically there is NO OTHER WAY. No second route.. No bypass.. No detour.. Jesus is The Way.

Like the only way. Not an optional way. Or one of three ways. The way. Basically Jesus is saying.. You don’t need a map to heaven or to The don’t need a gps. You just need me.

“There is salvation in no one else! God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved.” ~Acts of the Apostles‬ ‭4:12‬ ‭NLT
To know Jesus is your golden ticket. The ticket to God, to heaven, to eternal life, is to know Jesus.

Not just know about him. But to know him. The word know is used 141 times in Johns gospel. There are 4 different levels of knowing according to John. The lowest level is simply knowing a fact. The next level is to understand the truth behind that fact. The 3rd level is relationship.. When to know means to believe in a person and become related to him or her.. Be relational.. Hang out with..

The 4th level or use of the word know in John means to have a deeper relationship with that person..

Then he says that I am the truth and I am the life.

He is truth. “And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.””

‭‭John‬ ‭8:32‬ ‭
He is life. The life eternal. The opposite of life is what? Death.

Romans 6:23 says “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

No one comes to the Father except through me.

There is one way and one way only to life eternal. One way and one way only to God.. Heaven.. Salvation.. And that’s Jesus.
“If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved. As the Scriptures tell us, “Anyone who trusts in him will never be disgraced.” Jew and Gentile are the same in this respect. They have the same Lord, who gives generously to all who call on him. For “Everyone who calls on the name of the LORD will be saved.” ~‭‭Romans‬ ‭10:9-13‬ ‭NLT‬‬

The Way– the one way we can access God The Father.. The one way ticket to heaven.. And the way to follow Jesus while still here on earth.. He is the way.
The Truth- The opposite of lies. The Father of lies is Satan. So Jesus is saying that HE is truth and complete opposite of the enemy.
The life- Not a life. Not a type of life. But THE LIFE. Life eternal. Because the opposite of life is death. The opposite of Heaven is hell. Choose Jesus.. Choose life and heaven.

Don’t choose Jesus.. Then you are choosing death.. And hell.

Do you know him?

Do you know THE WAY?

If you do.. Are you living like it?

What level of know are you at? 

What are ways that you can get to know him deeper?

If you are at level 1 guess what? You can move on past that level and on to the next. If you desire to really know Jesus as your Lord and Savior and you want to KNOW that heaven is your home, now is the time. Because the truth is, we aren’t promised tomorrow or even today for that matter. Jesus is the only WAY.

Until Next Time,

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by: Heather Dawkins Mt. CrossPointe (future home of CrossPointe Church)

Peeling and Tossing

It struck me, as  I was thinking on The Mended Heart bible study that I’m doing, and I asked God to peel back the layers.  To show me “me” and to unearth the things that I’ve covered up in order to live “normally”. He wants to heal me completely. To peel back each layer and toss away the hidden junk that keeps me stuck. And he wants to do the same for you.
I think I have a fear of failure. Yes. There. I said it. Or maybe it’s called something else. I get these wild ideas and want to do something great and then feel like I can’t. So I don’t. 

I get asked to do something and turn it down because “who me?” Nobody would show up if it’s me. 
May go all the way back to a 5th grade pool party. I really thought that was no biggie. I invited lots of friends and my mom and I made snacks or bought them.. We had it all set up. And one person came with her mom (a new friend to be at a new school that I would be going to come August) and one of my old faithful childhood best friends. Two people. 2. And me and the mom and my momma.
Now don’t go feeling all sorry for me. I’m serious! Because the three of us had a blast! We swam and played and ate. Lots of snacks for us. And if you know me you know I like to eat. 
And maybe I covered up my sadness then too. I’m sure I did. But I’ve never forgotten that only 2 showed up and one because she had to. Haha!
Who knows why.. Could have been that the kids didn’t tell their parents or could’ve been that they just didn’t want to come. Could have been that I didn’t give them enough notice. 
I still had fun. 

But I’ve never forgotten that day. And when I lead a study or have a get together, in the back of my mind is “I wonder if anyone will come?” 

But they did. All those years ago. There were 2. And they made an impact on me. 

So, when I have a dream.. And it seems out of reach … I still have to fight that little voice saying ” nobody will care.. Nobody will read it.. Nobody will come..You don’t matter.”

That’s the voice of the enemy. He loves to take our weak places and magnify them with negative thoughts. 
My God says that I matter. He says that you matter. My God says that even just one person can make a lasting impact. 

He says that if HE puts that dream in my head and heart that HE will strengthen me and equip me to carry it out.

Thoughts to ponder:

What dreams are you shoving away and hiding because of fear?

Who can you impact by simply being there?

What are you afraid to do and will you choose to believe that God equips you?

What might you need to peel and toss? 

For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline. (‭2 Timothy‬ ‭1‬:‭7‬ NLT)

One More Thing…

As I continue to ask God to peel back the layers, some of the layers are painful. Some sting a little. But I know it’s for a greater good. To heal. 

I’ve come to realize that covering up things with a bandaid only means that they  will inevitably resurface. 

Got to peel and toss in order to heal. 

Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life. (‭Psalms‬ ‭139‬:‭23-24‬ NLT)

Until Next Time…

Shine On,


Tangled Up Mess


A tangled up mess.

I think of my balls of yarn that get all tangled up when I let them do their own thing. 

Those pretty little balls of yarn can get in a hot mess if I don’t pay attention while I’m crocheting. 

They can also get in a mess of tangles if I just throw them in a bag without any care.

Next news I know, I got a tangle of mess and I just end up cutting it and re-tying it.

That’s what happens when I don’t take the time with most things in life.

Especially with my listening skills or lack thereof with God.

My spirit and soul gets all tangled up in knots. I feel stressed. I feel so many emotions at once. And then I know why.

I’m not listening.

Sure. I’m still soaking up The Word. I’m serving. I’m pouring out. I’m having my bible study and I’m praying. But. I’m not allowing myself to be poured in to like I need to. I’m not Being Still or quiet and listening.

I hear HIS voice in my spirit.. I feel the tapping on my heart. I feel the gentle nudging from The Holy Spirit pulling me back. 

Come to me. Sit still. And LISTEN.

Quit talking. Listen. Rest in my presence.

Let me talk to you. Listen. Just LISTEN.

It’s time to BE STILL more. Listen. Hear from THE ONE who made me and everything. 

His voice is most important. 

His voice and His Word and my undivided attention to it is the only way to untangle my spirit and mind. 

I’m going to start getting up before everyone else again. Like I did a few years ago. Because that’s what works for me. I’ve got to be still. 

Maybe you need to Be Still and let HIM speak to the tangles in you as well. You’ve got to choose to. You may need to schedule it in as well.. Just like a coffee date. 

That’s all I have for now. Maybe something I’ve shared will hit home for you. If it does, it’s all God.. All glory to God. He’s so good. I love him so. And I love how he loves me. Tangled up mess and all. And I want to BE STILL  more often with him.
Until Next Time. Working on Being Still. Every day.

Be still, and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world. ~Psalms‬ ‭46‬:‭10‬ NLT

My soul thirsts for God… ~Psalm 42:2a

Shine On




We say “USE ME” to God. Then we get rattled when he asks us to get up and move.

USE ME GOD… But …. 

Use me how I want to be used.

Heavens no, don’t ask me to do that.

I cannot be inconvenienced.

Use me Lord. But. 

I am not equipped. That would be awkward. Somebody else will do it.

USE ME LORD. SEND ME. What? Me? That might be messy.

USE ME LORD. HERE I AM. SEND ME. Woah. Not there God. That might put me in an uncomfortable position. One that might look strange to everyone else.

Take me deeper. Wait, I didn’t mean that deep.

Lead me where my trust is without borders. Hah. Wait, that means I’m going to really have faith and trust in YOU and YOU alone. And do I really trust in YOU and YOU alone?

We say the words. We sing the songs. We think that we really mean it. Because we sing it and speak it with passion. I mean we really really mean it. Or do we?

When the rubber meets the road, do you really mean it? Do I really mean it?

Do my actions line up with my words? Am I, Are you, really meaning the words that we sing and say?

I want to shine Jesus. Not reflect the world. (And friends I fail. But grace.) And like my Daddy wrote in his bible, “I pray that I am never able to say no to those who need and ask for help.”


And y’all, that is a dangerous prayer to pray. Don’t pray it if you don’t mean it. Because when you come before God with a heart that truly means it, you will be asked to do some things that aren’t easy. There will be times that you will be inconvenienced.

Use me God. No ifs ands or buts about it. And when I want to run and hide, keep pulling me back to you Father. May I never be able to say no to what you have truly called me to do. Thank you for that stirring in my soul. Thank you for keeping me straight. Thank you for grace. Amen.

Isaiah 6:8 ~ Here am I, send me.

Until Next Time…


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The Beauty In Different


It’s sad to say, but it’s true.. Too often Christians are known for what we are against.. Not for what we are for. Not all of us.. Not all of the time.. But a lot of the time.

Sometimes people are turned off by the church in general. And hear me when I say that THE CHURCH is not the building. Sometimes it’s because they feel judged by those in the church. Other times it’s because of a past incident in the church where they were treated like an outcast. An outcast. Cast out.. think about it. We, as Authentic Followers of Christ Jesus should not cast someone away just because they are different.

We are called to love like Jesus. Is it always easy? I think you know the answer to that. It is only possible if we let Jesus love through us.

I love my church. One of the reasons I love it is because it is diverse. Diversity is beautiful.. Diversity is a gift.

God made each one of us unique. He didn’t mass produce us in a cookie cutter mold.


We are all different. My different is ok. Your different is ok. And the person who walks in and loves Jesus with all their heart and soul and mind but looks different from me or you is OK. Read the above quote again. The one about cookies. 😉


Just because someone looks the part on the outside does not.. I repeat does not mean that their heart looks the part.


God looks at the heart. Man looks at outward appearances more often than at the heart.


Take time to see the beauty in different.


If we are authentic Christians then we are called to love like Jesus. Without conditions placed on our love.



Love God, Love People, Shine JESUS.


That is what you will see in my bio on my social media pages, that is what I strive to live daily. It is my anthem. My life’s mission. When I write my book, I am pretty sure that my anthem above will be the subtitle. It is what we are called to do.

Jesus is about relationship not religion. Love not law. Sure, we have standards to live up to. As Christians we should look like Christ to others. On the inside and on the outside reflecting JESUS to the world. Our bodies are HIS temple if we are HIS. Reflecting Jesus to the person in line behind us, to the cashier, to the waiter, to the Physician, to the hard to love people, to every single person in our path. We should reflect God in all that we say and do.

It is all about the heart. I keep thinking of that catchy commercial. The one that says “What’s in YOUR wallet?” You know the one I am referring to? An insurance commercial. Well I keep hearing.. “What’s in YOUR heart?”  




Love or Hate?

Un-forgiveness or a sweet spirit?





A Judgemental Spirit?






What is in our heart comes out through our actions and words.


But the good news is….GRACE.


Oh I need that GRACE because the truth is that I have had all the above in my heart at times. The good and the bad. I need that GRACE that God so freely pours out on me every single day. I need to be pouring out that same grace in turn to others. You do too. We all do. Oh that GRACE. It is so beautiful.



Judging others because they are a different skin color, have tattoos, have piercings, don’t have tattoos, don’t have piercings, listen to rock christian instead of old hymns, listen to old hymns instead of contemporary christian music. Maybe it is even judging others because they are quiet and reserved or loud and outgoing.. Maybe it is judging someone because of their choice of education or vocation..The list goes on and on. It is not our job to judge. Can we lovingly in a grace laced way speak biblical truth into someone’s life? Sure, if our motives are pure and we have prayed about it and are prompted by The Holy Spirit to do so. It is about the heart.

Love like Jesus.

Don’t assume.

Take time to love.

Heal not hurt.

Look at ourselves before we look at others.

Check our motives.

Keep it shut.

Love not wound.

Heart check time again.

Grace Time. 

Oh that beautiful GRACE.


~ What’s in my heart?

~ Do I need to declutter and purge some junk that I have been hoarding in my heart?

~ Am I being judgmental and if I am, do I need to rid myself of that way of thinking?

~ Do I truly love others the way that God has commanded me to love?

~ Do I have a relationship with Jesus?

~ Do I look like a Christian on the outside but need to clean up the inside?

~ Do I make others feel welcome in my church or community or place of work or home?

~ Do I shine Jesus?



Proverbs 4:23 ~ Above all else guard your heart for everything you do flows from it.

1 Samuel 16:7b ~ The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.

Psalm 51:10 ~ Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

Matthew 7:2 ~ For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.




Until Next Time,

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Life On Mission


      Longing For Home


  When on a mission trip in Nola.. I loved it but longed for home. Now that I’m home, I long to be back on mission. Somewhere. I think of the people there every single day. I am a foreigner now when I’m not doing missions.

My home and heart for missions have coincided and it’s like longing for heaven. 


This world is not my home.. I’m just passing through. And I now long to be on mission and that’s where I feel at home while I’m here, in transition, waiting to pass through to my real home. Heaven.

I feel closer to my true home, Heaven, when I’m actively serving. 


 Whether it’s using a weed eater or picking up  trash.Whether it’s leading a Dstudy or just taking the time to listen and counsel. That’s missions. That’s my home away from home.
   {Where’s your home away from home?}

    I’ve realized that I can live life every single day on mission. No, really, I can. You can too.
  There have been times in my life that I felt dead. Those were times when I was living life my way. You know what I mean? You get me?

  {Ever wonder why you feel dead? Maybe that’s why.}
I feel the most alive when I’m serving or active in missions. Makes sense. Jesus… JESUS came to serve and not to be served. If Jesus came to serve, and He did, then it makes perfect sense that I would feel closest to HIM while serving.
 Living life on mission can be as simple as visiting a loved one who is sad or fixing up a building for a mission project. 
Life on mission will look different for each one of us.
 Life on mission is life on purpose. Life with HIS purpose in mind. Eternal purpose. 


~ Do I feel empty?
~ Am I living life my way or HIS way?
~ Am I serving actively?
~ Am I being the hands and feet of Jesus right where I am at?
~ Am I ignoring a specific call that God has placed on my life? 

  While we are here, in our home away from home, we can make a difference. An ETERNAL difference. Choosing to live each day following hard after Jesus.
Life on mission.. Life with purpose. 


John 12:26 ~ Anyone who wants to serve me must follow me, because my servants must be where I am. And the Father will honor anyone who serves me.

Matthew 20:28 ~ just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.

Ephesians 6:7 ~ Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people

Until Next Time,







Psalm 84:10a (NIV) ~ Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere. 

It’s been one year since I’ve seen your face, your smile, and felt your hugs. One year since I have heard you say “I love you”, or been able to ask you for advice, or just sit with you and visit. The longest and shortest year of my life. Time is a funny thing. Seems like just yesterday and at the same time feels like forever.

One whole year that you’ve been in the presence of our Savior Jesus. One year of eternity for you and feels like 100 years for us. But, I rejoice in knowing that even if you could, you wouldn’t want to be on this earth again. Because heaven, it’s so much better. So today I will try to rejoice more than I mourn…I’ll try my hardest for you. Because I know that you lived while you were here. You really lived. Even through struggles and bad health, you lived life to the fullest. You lived fully and loved deeply.

So each day I will choose to honor your memory with living. Even when it is so very hard.

Because really, each day on this earth, we are either living or dying.

I choose joy. I choose life. That’s what you chose. When you suffered deep loss, you still chose to live fully and love deeply.

So as much as I do grieve and mourn and have mourned the loss of you…and watched everyone else mourn too…I hope that I can live the rest of my days the way that you lived yours. Living not Dying. And really, you are more alive now than you ever were here. You are with JESUS. And what better place to be. So while our feelings are real and our hurts are deep, I pray that I honor your life by living and bring glory to God in the process.

Each holiday or birthday or event that is a first without you…we dread those days..and really, I have found that it is the day after that it hits me the hardest. Except this big one. It hit me like a ton of bricks yesterday. The anxiety rolled in on a huge wave yesterday morning, the day before. I didn’t choose joy immediately. I had to remind myself that God was enough at that very moment just as he has been every single moment throughout this journey of grief. And you know what got me through? Remembering that God is my strength. My ever-present help. My refuge. My rock. Thank you for bringing me up in church and modeling Jesus for me.

Psalm 46:1 (NIV) ~ God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.

And I will see you again. Because heaven is my home and I am just passing through. This life is a gift and it can be beautiful and I choose joy. Just like you. Maybe not immediately, but I am trying. As you used to say when I asked you if you were having a good day : “Every day is a good day.” So while the ache is deep and always there, my hope and prayer is to live fully and love deeply and SHINE Jesus while I am here. Living like “Every day is a good day.”

Always ….


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