Do you strive to live in Grace or Nature

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Yesterday I was down & decided to put in a movie, The Tree of Life. It was a movie full of imagery, music, thought, story…visually it stirred my soul, but the other aspect of the story line was the way we live our lives. Held within the story walls was an emotional war between the mother (who strived to live in a place of grace) and a father who was driven by human nature.

It made me wonder how to hold onto those directions we strive to live in our life. How do you hold on to the need for grace, for light, for love and not be distracted by the fears, ego, society…

So, I am going to google, “How to hold on to grace in our life” and see what comes up. I will leave you my findings to then sprinkle them into your own life. Peace to you.

ego_search_for_wholeness.jpgSo, I came across a definition by Dallas Willard that says,

“Grace is God acting in our life.”

To me this is EVERYTHING…every detail, every gift we hold, every breath we take, every laughter, every moment. Through all things God is acting in our life. Everywhere you look, the breeze, the colors, the sounds, the scents, the smiles, the majestic mountains, the crashing seas, the hands that hold one another, the babies born, the muscles that walk, the eyes that see, the hopes, the dreams, the challenge, the changes, the soul of life, it is bigger than anything and everything.

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“For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”     We must have faith and a knowing that when challenges occur, there is a bigger plan surrounding us. We must look for the seed in which we can grow in this seemingly dark place.     This makes me think of a dear friend of ours who is in her forties, is in the beginning stages of a late pregnancy, and just had a full blown stroke. I also think of my sister-in-law who has triplets and today is taking one of them in to find out if she has cerebral palsy at the sweet age of two.    My heart weeps for them, my soul is stirred in aching pain, trying to understand the challenges they are facing. I can’t even imagine. BUT, it also makes me see how precious each day is, that life is too short, that we must strive to live, to love, to have faith in tomorrow.

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“And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” (2 Corinthians 9:8)

Look all around you. Have you not been given much? Do your eyes see? Do your legs hold you high? Do you hear a whisper from your child? Do you see the sunlight shine down on you? Do you have hope? Do you have love in your heart? Have hope that you have all you need at this very moment. Have a knowing that He will provide for your every need.

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Always have faith that God can be your refuge & will give you strength in your time of need.  I do find comfort in feeling that when I need Him, He is there. I feel that I am not alone in this world & that I am just a prayer away.  I have been reading a sweet book called, “Where angels walk” by Joan Wester Anderson. It is a book full of beautiful stories of angels who have come to the aid of children who were about to be harmed, protected women in scary situations, carried a young boy home who had been bit by a rattlesnake…heaven is closer than we know. Nothing separates us but ourselves. I believe if we call on heavenly forces to help us, they will do all they can to be there.

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“Nothing can separate us from the Love of God.” -Romans 8

Isn’t that a beautiful idea. NOTHING can come between us, so we must have faith that we can call on Him, call on angels, know that whatever we are going through, whatever we have to face, we are so close to heaven.

I thought this was funny…God has no phone, but I talk to Him. He has no Facebook, but He is still my friend. He does not have Twitter, but I still follow Him.  Nothing can separate us from Him, except us. He longs to be near, He longs to hear your prayers. He is there and nothing can separate us from that love.

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Ask and ye shall receive

According to Lifecoach Cheryl Richardson, “I’ve learned now, in working in partnership [with God] and dancing with grace, that when I need direction, I will ask for it.” Cheryl says she uses this mantra: “Give me direction. Let me see the doors that are open, make sure that I see them and open those doors.Answers are around you all the time, but the question is, how present are you to them? “The more present you become to your life, the more you begin to see that there are signs all around you,” Cheryl says.

Take note when you begin to judge or shut down what someone’s saying to you and try to stay open-minded, Cheryl says. “What if everyone that comes into our life is a spiritual change agent in some way? The more open you can be, the more you allow your life to change and the more you see the influence of grace,” she says. “A closed mind is the barrier to living a grace-filled life.”When you see signs of grace in your life, you’re entering into “the dance,” Cheryl says. The dance of grace represents your psychological growth: You realize there are coincidences that occur in your life and recognize that it is part of this divine intelligence working in your life. “As you begin to see those signs, you realize, ‘Wow, I am co-creating [my life] with some kind of spiritual intelligence here.'”

Cheryl says it’s also important to listen, pay attention and take action. “When you get the messages, you need to act on them,” she says.

Read more: http://www.oprah.com/spirit/Finding-Grace-in-Your-Life#ixzz3k1s6yBAf


Well, that is all for today. I hope these scriptures and thoughts will give you something to think about. I think just looking for the many ways God is Acting in Your Life each day and finding gratitude in those things will open the doors to grace in your life, which will then mirror into the lives of those around you. Peace to you today.  -H

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Don’t Worry Be Happy

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In recognition of all the nervous kids starting school soon, I wanted to send a well wish of HAPPINESS.

Last night I got together with my brothers and sisters and their kids. We talked about things the kids were nervous about with school starting soon. Many kids jumped in, “I hate school” “Lockers” “Bullies” “Mean teachers” & then the adults shared a few stories from their youth. It was fun to hear from the many generations talk about what made them worry, how they made friends from strangers, nervousness about locker combinations, bullies, if they were going to have nice teachers, why they didn’t like school & why they did…it was fun!!

We then had each family take a helium filled balloon outside & had each member from their family write down any worries or concerns about starting school. Each family then watched as each balloon began to drift away…We were literally watching our worries float away. It was beautiful.

We then had then all watch and dance to the following song—it was a perfect fit!! Enjoy!!

And remember this—feelings are real, so take the time to talk to your kids, see how they are feeling, what they are worried about and do all you can to help take away their worries.  -Peace and Love to you today.

Learning about Love through Loss

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It all began last Thursday during a rain storm in Disneyland. My sweet friend who was taking care of our little dog, Buddy, called to let us know she was worried. My heart sank as every scenario went through my mind, maybe he is just missing us, maybe he has slept so much that his little legs are sore and he can barely walk, maybe…     I had so many emotions fill me: worry of what might happen, denial that he would leave me before I got home, sadness for my friend that she was even having to worry about the burden & situation she was in, frustration that I could not just blink myself home and be there for my little friend…  Within the hour my husband received another call, his face said everything. I was walking off the Pirates of the Caribbean ride when I knew my best friend had died. I began to sob outside. There were people everywhere, but my heart was broken. I looked over at my sweet daughter who never cries & has a hard time showing her emotions, but tears filled her eyes. I grabbed her and we just hugged.  We kept hugging as the rush of people passed by in usual Disney fashion.

My sweet friend continued conversing with my husband over the details of where to bury our little dog. My mind raced of what we could do, I just then realized her husband and oldest son had just left for Sturgis & my dear friend was six months pregnant. I felt immense sorrow that she was in this whole situation. That is where my lesson of love came from. To see my dear friend emotional at the whole situation handle everything with such genuine care was a true testament of unconditional love. She stepped right in and did all she could to not have us worry about anything while we were away. She did all she could to take away the sting of our loss. She was the greatest friend anyone could ask for.

Our trip continued on with my entire family, so we were not able to return home for a few days, but my anxiety began to set in as we got closer to home. I would have to face being home, seeing his bed, seeing the spot on the couch that was his, seeing his dog bowls empty, seeing the many places he would be, the doors he would scratch for my attention, the top of the stairs where we would do our yoga stretches together, his sun spots…but most of all I was worried about missing him as we walked through the door. I would miss his excitement that we were finally home, his loves, his kisses. As we pulled in I noticed his face wasn’t in the dog door, my heart began to sink with sadness. I walked through our garage door and before I could begin to cry, I began to see big, colorful hearts taped throughout our house. They were hand cut hearts that had words like JOY, LOVE, You are Loved, Happy…I smiled and felt the love of dear friends. Then I noticed a beautiful flower arrangement left on our table. My heart welled up with gratitude for such kindness. I looked down at Buddies little bed (the spot where he had peacefully died) and I wanted to go find the spot he was buried. We walked to the back of our yard and looked around. We couldn’t miss the spot because there was a handmade, beautifully stenciled name plate made out of a small cut of tree wood. On the top, the word BUDDY with little paw prints circling it. I couldn’t honestly believe the love that was so freely given to our family. I couldn’t believe how genuine kindness could be so lovingly shared. I instantly called my friend to give her my heartfelt thanks through the tears that wouldn’t stop from such a beautiful gift. My friend said, I knew you would miss your little dog when you got home, so we wanted to fill your home with love. It was so sweet and truly touching.

I truly learned such a beautiful lesson through our loss—LOVE is given freely, especially when you need it most.

Thank you Rasband family for lovingly giving so freely in a time of genuine need. You are all a beautiful example of what we all can give, be, do. Love you so. Thanks for being there for us.

Big LOVES to all, especially my sweet Buddy. Peace to you my Soul Buddy. Love you. -H