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Archive for February, 2016

The Not So Easy Christian Life

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Some say that God won’t give you more than you can handle

But here’s the thing, sometimes it still feels like it’s too much

Sometimes we feel like we’re drowning and like there’s no way out

Sometimes we doubt and sometimes we lose faith

 

Some say that God will always provide a way out of temptation

But guess what, sometimes we don’t see the way out

And sometimes we blatantly wish not to see it

Sometimes we want to give in to it and just dive in head first

 

Some say that it must be so easy to be a Christian

But in truth, sometimes it’s really not so easy

We’re constantly judged, seen as holier than thou

Sometimes people won’t give us the chance they want to be given

 

Some think we don’t struggle the way others do

But that’s not true, we do and sometimes we feel alone

Sometimes we fail, we fall short, and fall down

And sometimes we need understanding, compassion, and forgiveness

 

Those that truly love and follow Christ are not pure rays of sunshine

There is light and dark within all of us

And for as much as non Christians wish to be seen, heard, and not judged

We wish the same thing for ourselves too

 

It’s not just so simple to stay on the path that God has set before us

There are those that call themselves Christian, but then judge harshly

Which makes everyone who wears that title look bad

And it is frustrating to those who are just trying to show His love

 

The life of a Christian is not simply about going to church

It’s not just about giving, donating, and giving of our time

There is so much more to it than people on the outside see

We just want people to open up their eyes and see us for who we are

 

We have flaws, insecurities, doubts, and struggle with life too

What gets us through that is God, prayer, and one another

Though sometimes we don’t just simply get through it

Do you not see that we’re human too?

 

We’re mocked, criticized, put down, and shut out

Some hear the word Christian and turn us away

We have been beaten and killed for our beliefs

And not just in foreign countries, but here at home as well

 

Being a Christian is about more than a title

More than wearing a cross around our necks

More than about the scriptures we quote

And more than just the words we sing in worship

 

It’s about love, mercy, grace, and forgiveness

It’s about being a beacon of light and of hope to others

It’s about that while we know we too fall short

That there is someone that loves us no matter what

 

It’s about showing the same to everyone else

Which includes ourselves, which isn’t always so easy to do

It’s about the chance at salvation He’s given us

And about spreading His word, so that others may believe too

 

It’s not about judgement, for none of us have that right

It’s not about who has the nicest home, clothes, and car

It’s not about your past or how dark it may have been

It’s about your future and how amazing it can be

 

The reality of it all is that we know not everyone will agree

Some will continue to hate us, but we’re still called to try

And as much as you want respect for your beliefs

We want the same from you in return

Daddies Matter Too

Daddy

I had just written a poem about being pregnant and as I gave it some thought, I thought I should write something for the dads out there too. The women are the ones carrying the baby, but it took two to create the beautiful life. And I feel that sometimes the dad’s feelings are overlooked. I wanted to change that a little….

 

She told me that we need to talk

She said that it’s important

I’ve noticed that she’s been acting a little differently

I wonder what is going on inside that head of hers

 

Her moods have been a bit off

And I don’t know what to make of it

Is something wrong? Did I do something?

I wonder, could it be that she’s pregnant?

 

I am on pins and needles waiting to talk to her

I just want to know what’s going on

So we can figure everything out

The not knowing is the hardest part

 

We sit down together in the living room

The look in her eyes is hard to read

As she opens her mouth to speak

I see tears flowing down her cheeks

 

She reaches out for my hand and I clasp hers

She then tells me that she was “late”

And that she’d taken a pregnancy test

The results are in, “We’re having a baby!”

 

My mind is going a mile a minute

I had slightly suspected this could be the case

But I admit I wasn’t entirely prepared for it

I am not even sure how I feel right now

 

There’s so many emotions inside of me

I’m not sure how to make sense of them

A dad, I’m going to be a dad!

This is a lot for me to process

 

I squeeze her hand and smile

And then she drops my hand and leans in

I let her fall into me and I hold her tightly

I feel her body move as she cries

 

We sit like this for awhile and then she pulls back

She looks into my eyes and she asks me how I feel about this

I open my mouth to speak and at first, no words come out

And then I tell her, “I’m scared, but I’m happy too.”

 

Over the next few weeks, she’s making calls

Setting up appointments and making plans

In this time, my mind is slowly wrapping itself around it all

Our lives have changed so much and I know it’s only the beginning

 

She’s been getting sick and I don’t know how to deal with it

Nothing I say or do helps her feel any better

I feel like my hands are tied

And I hate seeing her like this

 

Things have been changing for her so much

And in so little time it seems

I rub her back, hold her, and bring her whatever she asks

But I feel like it’s not enough

 

I know this is all hard for her

And I wish I could make things easier

She’s the one carrying our child

While I sit here trying to figure out how to help

 

She’s crying one minute and ready to throw things the next

I feel like I need to walk on eggshells around her sometimes

I admit, it can be a bit frustrating to handle now and then

But then I remember, there’s a life growing inside of her

 

We heard our child’s heartbeat for the first time today

She cried and while I didn’t, I admit that it was hard not to

In this moment, it has become more real than it’s ever been

That sound made things very clear to me

 

We’re figuring out how to rearrange our home

My workout room will become our child’s bedroom

But where will I put everything that’s been in there?

I suppose she’ll want me to repaint the room, I hate painting

 

Her clothes don’t fit anymore and she’s depressed

I reassure her that she’s still the most beautiful woman I know

We talk about baby names and wonder what gender our child will be

We also discuss if we will find out the gender early or wait

 

The sickness has been gone for a little while

But the mood swings have increased

This has been an emotional roller coaster

And not just for her, but for me too

 

Today, she took my hand and placed it on her belly

After a few moments, I felt our baby move

That feeling was intense

I can only imagine how she feels

 

I admit, I am getting a little excited

But, I am also very nervous

I know my partner and our child both need me

I don’t want to fail them and I’m afraid I might

 

I envision our child as a little boy

And I see myself playing ball with him

Teaching him about girls and their crazy ways

And working on the old mustang my dad left me

 

And then I see our child being a girl

I see myself pushing her on the swings at the nearby park

Having tea with her and her favorite stuffed animals

And teaching her about boys and their many flaws

 

As the time draws closer, plans are being made

She’s had her baby shower and we’ve bought a lot more since

For someone so small, they sure need an awful lot

And we begin to baby proof everything

 

Her bag for the hospital is set and now we play the waiting game

Her due date is within days and the anxiety and anxiousness set in

She’s uncomfortable and I can tell just by how she moves

I do what I can to make things easier for her

 

Here it is, the moment of truth

Her contractions have started

As we time them, they begin to get closer together

So we grab her bag, our coats, and we’re out the door

 

The sounds she makes when the contractions hit are intense

I hear the pain in her voice and my heart breaks

I can’t endure this pain for her and there’s nothing I can do to help

I drive as fast as I can to get her to the hospital

 

She’s checked in and in a delivery room

Doctors and nurses seem to be everywhere

And yet no where at the same time

The contractions are so close together now

 

What seems like an eternity later, her water has broken

And they say it won’t be too long now

But, that’s not what it feels like

Watching and listening to my partner as she’s in labor

 

I hold her hand and tell her I love her a million times

She looks so tired, just ready to pass out

But then another wave of pain hits

She squeezes my hand and I feel it go numb

 

And then finally, the doctor tells me the baby is crowning

Before I know it, I hear the sounds of a baby crying

The doctor cuts the umbilical cord and announces, “It’s a girl!”

I feel as if I’m the one who is going to pass out now

 

I watch as they wipe her down and wrap her up

And then place her in my love’s arms

The smile on her face is the brightest I have ever seen

She has never looked more beautiful than she does right now

 

She just stares at her for awhile and then looks at me

She asks me if I want to hold our daughter

Hesitantly, I reach out my arms and take her

This is it, she’s finally here

 

As I look down upon the sleepy little face

Something changes inside me

And then my own tears fall

Right here is my world, my everything

 

I know that from now on our lives will never be the same

And while a part of me is still nervous

The joy I feel overrides that by a million times over

Looking at my partner and my daughter, I feel whole

 

 

 

40 Weeks

40 Weeks

You realize your period is late

The emotions run wild within

Could I be pregnant or is there something else going on?

And if I am pregnant, how do I feel about this?

 

You take the test and in no time, the results are in

That little plus sign tells you what you needed to know

So now where do we go from here?

Tears erupt and your thoughts run wild

 

Your life has changed dramatically within moments

It’s not just about you now, but also about the life within you

What an amazing and frightening thought

A life is growing inside of you!

 

At first the changes are small

Much like the baby growing inside of you

But then they begin to progress

And soon enough, the miracle within you is easy to see

 

40 weeks is the time frame we’re given

Each week, new things happen for both of you

As they grow, so do you

To provide nourishment and room for them

 

When you have your first ultrasound

There’s no more denying how real this is

The doctor has you take a listen to their tiny and rapid heartbeat

This is really happening!

 

And then nearing week 20 or so

You begin to feel them move

It’s a life altering moment

One that can’t be properly described in words alone

 

As the weeks roll on, the doctors run various tests

They feel, measure, and keep tabs on both of you

All the while, you’re hoping nothing goes wrong

Hoping your child is happy and healthy

 

Baby showers and other preparations are being made

For one so tiny, you find you need quite a bit for them

From clothes and diapers to the crib and car seat

You’re trying to make sure you have all they’ll need

 

You’re well into your third trimester now

And hopefully feeling more at ease about their well being

Torn between waiting for them to finish growing

And wanting to hold them in your arms right now

 

Week 40 is nearly here, if you haven’t delivered already

And you’ve gone from counting down the weeks to days

Part of you is so ready to have your baby already

And part of you is scared, even if it’s not your first child

 

But then the day arrives, the day you’re to meet your baby

The pain is intense and you are just ready for it to be over

You wonder how you’ll make it through this

The emotional roller coaster you’re on is pretty wild

 

But then the time arrives, your child is here

You hear their cries and now you’re in tears too

They wipe your baby off and place them in your arms

And suddenly, all is right in the world

 

When it started, 40 weeks felt like years

A period of time that would stretch on for a life age

But then as you look at your child’s precious face

You realize that was only the beginning.

The War on Valentine’s Day

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People have varying opinions about Valentine’s Day and Sweetest Day. Now that we have social media, those opinions are flooded all over the internet. One can’t possibly escape seeing them, unless they choose not to be online.

My own views about such days have changed over the years. I was once one who longed to have someone to celebrate it with and do the cute and romantic things. Usually, I was single and I tended to be bitter about it. The exception to that has been that I would still make it special for my son. Even though a lot of the ads and deals are about couples, those days aren’t only meant for couples to celebrate. It’s supposed to be about celebrating love in general.

My views later changed to feeling that it’s just another way for stores and restaurants to make money. I also felt that so many are just greedy and want another excuse to get more stuff. Whenever I would see someone brag about what their sweetheart did for them or complain because they didn’t do enough, I rolled my eyes. Shouldn’t love be about more than just what we can get from others? Is it really so superficial? Do we really need presents to show love to one another?

I still held onto that view, for the most part, even after I got together with my now husband. I am the hopeless romantic type, but I also felt that I didn’t need grand gestures to know how he felt about me and he most certainly didn’t expect them from me either. For the most part, I felt that the greatest gifts you can give or receive are time, energy, and love. Gifts are nice, but they’re not what’s most important.

While I still feel that way, I have also come to see that putting down those who wish to celebrate it isn’t a healthy way to look at things. Since days like these are supposed to be about celebrating those you love, how can I really tell someone they’re foolish for wanting to celebrate them? I think if you wish to do something nice for those you love, do it and don’t feel shame in doing so.

If you’re one that hates those days simply because you’re single and will feel ignored, I would urge you to remember an earlier point that I made, those days aren’t just about couples. You can still celebrate with friends and family as well and have them be meaningful. There were a few years when I was single that I did just that, bought candy and cute little things that didn’t cost much for people at work, my son, others in my family, and my friends. It’s not about how much you spend or if you even spend anything at all. You can make handmade cards and gifts if you want to do something nice. It’s about the thought behind the gifts, not the gifts themselves.

That is something some forget and I am still highly annoyed with those who feel they’re entitled to amazing gifts and trips for these or any occasions really. My opinion on that sort of attitude is to stop being a spoiled brat and remember what your relationship is really about. If you want to celebrate, great, but don’t make it a competition between you and your partner or you and your friends, who can give or get the better gifts. Attitudes like that tarnish any positive meaning behind the holidays to begin with.

My husband and I don’t personally do much to celebrate them, because we feel that we don’t need those days to tell or show our love for one another. We’ve gone out to dinner a couple of times, but that’s been more or less of an excuse to not cook and do dishes than it is to celebrate the holidays. Some years, I admit that I have gotten a few little things for him. (Though other years, I have done nothing.) I am, as I mentioned, the romantic type. I haven’t done anything out of obligation, but out of a desire to give. I do random things through the year as well, just because. That’s just who I am, a giver. But, it’s about a lot more than that. He’s not been one to buy me anything. Do I feel less loved because he doesn’t buy me flowers or shower me with gifts? No and that’s because he shows me daily that he loves me.

Every day, he tells me he loves me. He kisses me every morning before he leaves for work (or going anywhere without me, even the grocery store.) and at night before we go to bed. (and plenty in between) We hold hands when walking somewhere or even when driving sometimes. He rubs my back randomly and now lately with my pregnancy, he’s been rubbing my feet too. He cuddles with me, tells me I am beautiful, and does things like take care of the housework when I am sick or having a very bad day. He worries about me, encourages me, and believes in me. So yeah, sometimes when people brag about the flowers they got on their anniversary or their birthday, I feel a tinge of jealousy. I will say this though, it doesn’t last long because I remember all that he does and how much he cares. He just shows it in different ways than some do.

That, to me, is the key in relationships. Know your partner, your friend, or family member. Don’t expect them to be someone they’re not and find the ways they show their love and loyalty and then cherish those things they do instead of being upset about the ways that they don’t. If you’re the type that celebrates and wants to make a big deal about holidays and other important days, great. But, if your partner isn’t, learn to accept it. Do not try to change them and don’t let them try to change you either. Like I said, for me, sometimes I still do little things because I want to. I know he won’t, but that’s fine. In that way, we’re very different. But, we accept one another as is. If the love isn’t strong enough that it’s too much of an issue, than perhaps it’s not a relationship worth staying in, only you can figure that out. Know your priorities and know theirs and whether they match, whether the bond you share is going to make it through the times when you don’t agree.

All in all, I am going to sum it up this way, Valentine’s Day and the like are days in which we can ignore them or celebrate them. Whatever you decide is your choice and you’re not wrong for whichever side you land on, just don’t try to get others to agree with you. If you want to celebrate, go for it and make it a day to remember. If not and you wish to treat it as any other day, then just make it the best day possible, as we should strive for every single day. Just be respectful of how others feel. 🙂

Beauty defined

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What is beauty? What is happiness? What is love? Many have different definitions for all three and come to their beliefs through various means.

Some simply use the dictionary. Let us start with that. For the word beauty, I chose the first definition listed:

The quality present in a thing or person that gives intense pleasure or deep satisfaction to the mind,whether arising from sensory manifestations (as shape, color, sound, etc.), a meaningful design or pattern, or something else (as a personality in which high spiritual qualities are manifest).

And for the word happiness, I saw two definitions and choose to post them both:

The first one is: The quality or state of being happy and the second one is: Good fortune; pleasure; contentment; joy.
And for love, I chose the second definition:
A feeling of warm personal attachment or deep affection, as for a parent, child, or friend.

 

Others may have been taught by others, such as parents, teachers, or peers what things mean and have adapted to their way of thinking. Others may disregard all teachings and decide for themselves. Today, society seems to have their own interpretations and feed them through various forms of media. But, to be honest, our race has struggled greatly with these since long before t.v., the internet, cell phones, and the like.

I have seen a number of my family members and friends struggle with self-esteem issues a lot over my lifetime and it’s been hard to react properly because I too have struggled with my own. Usually, I have just tried to tell someone who thinks they’re ugly that they’re beautiful or someone who thinks they’re not worth anything just how valuable they are. But, having dealt with this personally, when you truly believe that you’re not good enough, the kind words mean a lot, but they don’t really sink in. Of course there others who will beat themselves down verbally simply to get a reaction out of others, so they can hear how wonderful others think they are. In either case, I have come to find it disheartening and even a bit aggravating when people constantly talk negatively about themselves or worse, others, even celebrities.

Even the most confident person struggles with things we don’t know about, things we don’t understand. Putting anyone down and pointing out their flaws doesn’t make us look better. The memes that say things like, “In a world full of Kardashians, be Princess Diana.” or “If we give you Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus, and Lindsay Lohan, will you give us Robin Williams, Janis Joplin, and Frank Sinatra?” bother me. Posts like that show just how ugly this world can be. They may be just meant to make people laugh, but they honestly disturb me. What right to we have to judge others? If our lives were all over the media like theirs, believe me, a lot of us wouldn’t look so great either.

In today’s world, it is hard to fit in, to feel accepted, to feel beautiful, to obtain happiness, and just get by without totally losing our sanity. It would be a lot easier if we treated one another better and ourselves as well. So many labor under the pretenses that to be beautiful, you must look, dress, and be a certain way. To be happy, you must have a significant other, nice home, expensive car, great job/money, and the newest and best of everything. To be loved, we must sacrifice all that we are and be someone we’re not to attract someone and then to keep them. If we fail to be the ideal anything, we’re not worth much, if anything, and we’re destined to be unhappy. And how many lash out at others and put them down when they’re not happy? I think a great deal of people can say they’ve been guilty of it from time to time, even without meaning to.

We don’t have to have the perfect body, be within a certain height or weight range, wear make-up and get plastic surgery, have the greatest smile, most lustrous hair, be toned and perfectly in shape, and have the latest and greatest wardrobe to be beautiful. Many think because they’re not as thin as they were 10 years ago, they’re single and have a bad track record when it comes to dating, they don’t look like so and so, etc that they are not beautiful. Now there’s nothing wrong with wanting to be healthy and in shape. In fact, a lot of us struggle with it and self improvement is something we should all work on. But, some go too far and become obsessed.

I, myself, was once very thin. I weighed 105 at most throughout high school and maybe topped 110 before getting pregnant with my son. After I had him, I was able to get down to 104 without trying. Due to medications throughout the years, I have struggled since I was about 26 with weight. I know how it feels to look in the mirror and be upset because I don’t weigh or look like I used to. When my scale started to reach 130, I was mortified. But, it didn’t stop there. I got up to 170 and decided something needed to be done. So, I got off my medication and made a few changes. I went down to 146 and was starting to feel better. But that was short lived, my new medication and depression sent me back up and I reached 180. I again made changes and with an active job, I got myself down to 135. And at that point, I actually felt good about myself. When I was 104 and first reached 130, I felt huge. But after being 180, I saw 130 differently. Since then, medication once again and not eating the best rose me back up, this time I hit 190. I was able to get down to 180-185, but since then struggled. But, it is more than a vanity thing at this point, I knew I was outright overweight. The doctors told me I was reaching a danger zone with having problems like diabetes. There’s a difference between wanting to get in shape and lose a few pounds and needing to lose weight for the sake of your health. I have beaten myself up a lot though over this. So many have told me I am still beautiful, but it’s not always easy to see that. But, I have come to see that while changes need to be made for my health, that doesn’t mean I am ugly. Being overweight should be addressed and taken care of, but it should never be made fun of and it should never diminish who someone is.

We put too much stock into what we look like, plain and simple. We then beat ourselves up when we don’t match what we think being beautiful is. Sometimes that self doubt stems down from being bullied or made fun of growing up, a mate that put us down, society telling us what we should look like, or suffering from a mental health illness. There are others as well and sometimes it’s more than one thing that factors into how we think and how we see ourselves. It can sometimes be very hard to see the beauty within ourselves. It is something I would urge everyone to try to do though. As I have been told a lot since adulthood, confidence is attractive, so long as it doesn’t become arrogance. Negative thinking turns others away from you and that is something I have learned the hard way. It is hard to overcome it and the truth is, I still struggle with it sometimes. But, I am reminded daily that as a child of God and as the love of my husband’s life that I am beautiful. It’s something I am trying to believe too.

I have seen what constant beating myself up does. At first, people feel bad for you and they try to convince you of your worth. But after awhile, people come to believe you’re never going to change your mind and you’re always going to be hard on yourself. So then, they turn their backs and walk away because they simply can’t handle the pessimism anymore. They feel if you’re determined to see only the worst in yourself, then there’s nothing they can to change your mind and don’t want your negativity to drag them down. And when listening to others now, I can see why others had a hard time dealing with me. No one wants to listen to someone who constantly whines and puts themselves down. Negative thinking is simply not an attractive quality.

Something else I have learned, if you want others to see your beauty and your worth, you need to believe it first and you need to let it shine. That confidence goes a long way. I have seen others that look a lot like those who put themselves down be happy with who they are and because of that, they have the lives they want. They don’t whine and complain about who they are and how unfair life is, these people face adversity head on and go for what they want. I have learned a lot from them. You need to see your worth and then, others will too. It’s not always easy and in fact, sometimes it’s very difficult to get over the negative thoughts. But, I know it can make a huge difference when you begin to see yourself in a better light.

Being happy ties in with all of that. We put too much stock into “having” and often feel that if there’s something we want and don’t have, then we can’t be happy. Having doesn’t only refer to inanimate objects. Some feel that without a romantic relationship, a boat load of friends, or close ties to family, that their lives are missing something. So often we let our relationships define our level of happiness. We need others to like ourselves and we need them to be happy.

Something many used to tell me when I was often single and bitter about it is that I needed to learn to be happy with who I was before I could be happy with anyone else. It sounds so cliche sometimes, but I have come to see that it’s very true. We don’t need to be attached to someone to be happy. It is nice to have people in our lives that care for us, want to spend time with us, and make memories with us. I do feel like a big part of why we’re here is to be with others, give joy and love, and get it in return. But, it doesn’t or at least it shouldn’t define who we are. We need to be our own individuals, alone and even when we’re surrounded by loved ones. Losing ourselves within others so that it becomes hard to tell who we are anymore isn’t a good thing.

And if material possessions and money is what we think will make us happy, we’ll never have enough and we’ll never be happy. Having the latest gadgets, driving an awesome car, living in a very nice house, and the like isn’t a bad thing in and of itself. It’s okay to own things, especially when you’ve worked hard to buy them. Enjoy the things we are given and the things we can buy, just don’t let having things become more important than the people around you. Happiness they say can’t be bought and in many ways, I agree with that. Yeah, we can buy things that make us laugh, make life easier, and enjoy life. But, they’re just things. In the end, I feel that there’s a lot more to life than what we have. Sitting outside and enjoying a sunset, feeling the wind on our skin, listening to a bird sing, watching a baby take their first steps, and other things that you can’t put a price tag on are so important. Happiness is not so hard to obtain when you know where to find it. It is something that starts with us and then works its way outward. Trying to find it in others or in things will only leave us frustrated and feeling unhappy.

Love is a word I feel that can’t be readily defined. I also feel that it’s more than a word. It is a word and it has meaning. But, it is also a feeling and an action. There are many forms of love. Again, so many put so much stock into romantic relationships when talking about the word love. That kind of love is real and it is powerful, definitely not a form to be underrated or dismissed. But, it is not the only form of love out there. We feel love towards our family – children, parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. That form of love is also very real and powerful, but it is not the same as the love we’d feel for our spouse/partner. And even within familial love, those forms are different as well. The love one would feel for their child is not the same as the love they’d feel for say their cousin or sibling. There’s also the love felt between friends as well. Let us not forget the love we feel for ourselves, any God we may follow, pets, and even things like our passions. Each form of love is very real and not to be overlooked.

The feelings it leaves with us is intense and it has the power to change our lives. It has the power to heal and to save. Love is an amazing power that some overlook. It’s not just simply shown by giving things on Valentine’s Day, someone’s birthday, an anniversary, etc. It’s not about gifts, gushy sentiments written in cards, or words we say. Yeah, those things are nice and of course, we can participate in those things. It’s not a bad thing to do, but it’s not necessary. Love is shown by how we treat ourselves and others. It is in the kindness we show, the respect we give, by listening, by willing to put another’s needs ahead of your own at times, and by being willing to also to take care of yourself too. It’s shown in the hugs we give, holding one’s hand, by simply being there during for someone during a rough time, by not talking about them behind their back, and by wanting them to be happy.

Love is a noun and it is a verb. It is not devoid of meaning and when saying it, it shouldn’t be used lightly. Do not tell someone you love them if you don’t, not even if you might and aren’t sure yet. When someone believes you love them and you really don’t, it’s a very hard thing to get over. Love is to be respected, even if you don’t feel the same way. Love is honest and it is kind. Love doesn’t deceive. When we have our hearts broken, it’s not love that has harmed us, it is the absence of it that does. And when we fail to love ourselves, we’re harming ourselves too. It’s weird how complex love seems and yet how simple it can be. When I hug my son or feel my daughter kick within my stomach, love seems incredibly easy. It’s not hard to love, even though sometimes it seems like it is. Loving people who are unkind or sometimes just loving ourselves seems likes an impossible thing to do. But, I find the more natural it is for someone to love, the easier it becomes to just do it. Sometimes learning to let love in is hard, very hard in fact. But, it is not impossible and once it takes hold, it can change your life forever and it gets easier from there.

We strive for beauty – to have it and to see it, for happiness – to obtain it and hold onto it, and for love – to find it, receive it, and never lose it. All three seem daunting, but when in the right frame of mind, all three are easier to achieve than thought possible. We just have to look inside ourselves to find all three and then project them outward.

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