A Love Story

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8.

This past weekend was magical for my family. My oldest daughter, Taylor, became engaged!! This is a moment that she has dreamed of her whole life. From the time I can remember she has always wanted get married and have babies. She loved being the mommy to her baby dolls when she was a little girl and always talked about what her wedding would look like. I will admit even though the engagement led to a day of celebration it also was a little gut-wrenching for me. Not because I wasn’t happy, but because it was just another step closer of her truly being on her own, and not so much in the safety of my arms. Yes, I will always protect her and be there for her, but she is no longer just all mine. Shew, that’s tough for this mom. It is all so bittersweet. It is hard to watch our kids grow up, but at the same time it is an honor to be able to witness these precious moments with them. When I saw her face and the happiness that radiated from it, my heart smiled. My girl was getting her dream, and the prayers that I have prayed for her were coming true.

To understand the importance of these answered prayers for me, I think I need to explain a little bit about Taylor, and her now love story. It will give a little insight on what a celebration this is for her and us. It will also show that in the end, Love Always Wins.

Since Taylor was a little one, she has been very shy and plagued with insecurities. She never really seemed to feel comfortable in her own skin. As a parent, we all always worried and questioned what we had done to cause such issues? Was it hereditary? I, myself have these issues as well. She suffered so much and was even diagnosed with anorexia when she was just in 5th grade. Yes, so young. For years she was riddled with anxiety, depression, and suffering from an eating disorder. She went to therapy, but it did not help that she was severely bullied in school, and even by those who claimed to be her friend. Because of this, as she got older, she chose bad relationship after another. She would settle far from what she deserved. The relationships were abusive and unhealthy and did not help with the inner fight that Taylor was struggling with. 

Year after year I would pray for Taylor to wake up and not have to fight anymore. That God would take the burdens that were on the inside away. That she would look in the mirror and see the beautiful person she was inside and out. I prayed for her to find good friends, and a boyfriend that would ease her troubles, not worsen them. I would say specific prayers to God that he would remove all that was negative. I asked God to place someone in Taylor’s life that would bring light, hope, understanding, patience, and unconditional love. I prayed someone would take her burdens and heal them, and if they couldn’t that would help carry them on their shoulders too just because they loved her.

Last August after the ending of a very bad relationship, Taylor met Clay. After just a few dates, I noticed a change in Taylor. Her eyes looked different. I saw life in them again. She had a genuine smile on her face that I had not seen in a long time. Her shoulders were back and her head was up. She actually seemed to have some confidence. My husband and I both commented that she seemed to be a new person. You see Taylor became a new person. She had someone in her life who didn’t judge her for her insecurities, but held her and protected her when she needed it. He also makes sure to tell her how beautiful she is, and loves her for her. Clay also respects us and loves his family fiercely. Which I respect very much.

Clay came to my husband and I and asked permission to marry Taylor. After the normal back and forth questions I told him my most important thing was for him to protect her heart. With tears in his eyes he looked at me and said “I always will”. At that point my heart knew that Taylor would be in good hands.

So, you see, it is so important to pray for our children. To speak life over them, to pray for their future and even future spouses. Prayers do work. God will take care of our children, even when as a parent it does not seem like it. With God all things are possible. My sweet little insecure baby, has found a very happy ending in her love story with Clay. What a blessing in all of our lives, and I give God the glory in making a broken girl whole again.

Two are better than one, because they have good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10.

God thank you so much for my blessings. I pray each of you are covered with many blessings today.

Love and hugs,

Jennifer

A Dog’s Love

People have many different ways of dealing with stress and anxiety. Exercise, journaling, reading, going on a trip, talking to a friend/counselor, going to church/praying are just a few examples of common activities people take part in to help in times of need. I have done all of these, and they have been very helpful to me. However, we all know everyone is different. One thing may help someone better than another. That’s ok. We are all programmed to deal with difficult things in our own unique way. For some people stress/anxiety/depression may be something that they deal with on a daily basis. Others, it may be something that comes in waves, or when a big event happens. Either way, there are coping mechanisms out there to assist in making things easier for everyone.

One of my favorite coping mechanisms that I have is something that is truly simple. I just hang out with my DOGS!! Ok, I know there are many people out there that are going to say “This lady is crazy!!”. I understand the criticism. However, if you are a dog person like me you will get me. I mean who else wags their tail and wiggles their entire body when I walk through the door? I am lucky sometimes to get my kids off the couch or off their phone sometimes to even say hello. My dogs are always happy to see me. I have never not had them greet me with nothing but pure enthusiasm each time I walk through the door. How can this not instantly make you feel better no matter what type of day you have had?

Winnie
Lola and Penny
My grandpup Ollie(We call him Bean)

A dog’s love is so pure. They do not care what you look like, how you smell, how much money you have, what type of car you drive, or any of the things that some of us classify as important. All they want is to love you and for you to love them in return. They do not ask for much. Just a big belly rub, to throw the ball, take a ride in the car, go on a walk, or just hang out on the couch. The simple things in life is all they need. Would the world not be a better place if we could just think and be like dogs sometimes? If the simple things would be all that we needed? That in itself, would be a giant stress-reduction. To stop worrying about the big things and just enjoy the simplest of things.

The unconditional love of a dog truly just helps me melt away some of the stress I have of everything that is going on around me. When I cry, they lick away my tears are they lay tenderly beside me and never leave my side. When I just need to get out and take a walk, they are happy to join me every step of the way. They notice when I am feeling down, and bring me their toy to play. Just watching them bounce around and play without the weight and worry of the world, truly just brings a smile to my face, and instantly makes me feel better. They live life so carefree, and from moment to moment. They don’t worry about the days ahead, they don’t hold grudges. they live each day with as much excitement as the last. Again, if we could just live life more like they do I believe their would be more joy in all of our hearts. The joy of being CAREFREE!!

No matter what your coping mechanism may be I encourage each of you to utilize those techniques. Be sure to always take care of your mental health. Never neglect it!!! And if you don’t have a dog, I encourage each of you to consider getting one. There are many dogs out there that need homes, and would love to become a part of your family. The love they bring to a home is indescribable and although they are a big responsibility they are more than worth it. I promise they will bring a smile to your face even during the hardest of days.

I pray each of you are safe and healthy today. I pray each of you are smiling, full of joy, and covered in may blessings today.

Love and hugs,

Jennifer