Cherished Time

Can we all just say that 2020 is throwing all of us more punches each and every passing day. I honestly feel like I am living in the middle of a scary movie, not real life. Each day I wake up and have this feeling of dread about turning on the TV and watching the news. What possibly could be going on now? There are even some days that I choose not to even turn on the TV. I make this choice for my own mental health, but my families as well. Do we need to stay informed about what is going on? Absolutely!! I am not making the choice to ignore what the reality is. I, of course, want to be educated and knowledgable so that I can keep my family safe and healthy. However, I do think because of the many different things going on in the world that each of us need to also give ourselves a mental break. To not feed our minds with the negativity news and images that is in abundance right now. Constantly feeding yourself with the negativity will not be good for you. One might think that watching the news or scrolling through social media will not have a great psychological effect, but it most definitely can. I would guess, and I am not an expert nor do I have a medical degree, that after all this is over there will be an increase of numbers of people who are diagnosed and have to be treated for depression and anxiety.

Because of all the negativity in order to prevent ourselves from falling into the rut of being depressed or anxious we must turn away from the negative images and find something that will help us take our minds off of the current circumstances of the world. One thing that has helped me is to find a way to cherish each and every moment that I have with my family. The world has changed in drastic ways, and so that means my family has changed also. My husband and my kids are living in this crazy world too, not just me. They have fears, anxiety, missed opportunities, time away from friends and loved ones, changes in their activities, restraint from activities, and the list goes on. Not only that, but we all are getting another year older, getting to new phases in our lives, and adapting to new changes . In fact, I have my oldest, Taylor who will be in her last year of college, Emma will be leaving home and starting her first year in college, Elle will be starting high school as a Freshman, and Abby will begin her journey in junior high as a 7th grader. Lots of big changes for our family!! This is one of the reasons that I try to block away the negativity and take time to cherish every little moment I have with my beautiful family. In a blink of any eye it goes by.

The time together is so important to me. I want to hang on to each minute. I was so thankful that we made the decision to take our girls to the beach a few weeks ago to get a much needed break from the real world. Before I get any hate about our decision to go to the beach, I want everyone to know that we stayed in a private residence, practiced social distancing, and wore masks while we were there. We made sure our daughters were never put in harms way or that we would put ourselves in a position to pass to others. All safety measures were followed!! It was a personal decision we made as a family to spend this quality time together. Like I said in a few short weeks, our lives will look much different because of the stages my girls are entering. Not only that, we have no idea in this ever-changing world what will be thrown at us next. So, I want to take the time to remember today. To see my girls all together smiling, laughing, and making memories. I want to see them enjoy life, despite the fear that may be lingering in the air. I want to cherish the second, the minute, the hour, and the day we have right now. I don’t want to watch the news everyday and feel depressed or weighed down. I want to lift my hands up in the air and thank God for the gifts that are standing in front of me right now.

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:34.

Again, I am not promoting for anyone to ignore the news, or not take the events happening now seriously. I actually feel the total opposite of that. What I am saying is give yourself a pass. It is ok to do what is best for you and your family. Do not feel guilty for missing one day of news reports. Do not feel bad if you have to get away from it all, if done in a safe way. Make sure that your family has the opportunity to have a mental and emotional break from it all. I would even suggest to talk out loud about your fears. The most important message I have is do not ever let what is going on, take away your time as a family. Cherish all of it. Do not let anything steal your joy. Hold on to the precious minutes you have with your kids. I can tell you it seems like yesterday by 21 year old was just a baby. Now, she is a grown woman who dreams of her own family. Do not let these moments slip because you are scared. Take a hold of this season, even though for everyone it is a rocky one, but take a hold of it and turn it into cherished time together. When my 18 year old leaves for college in a few weeks, I certainly do not want to have any regrets that I did not find joy in my last few days with her at home. I do not want to take my time or life for granted. Every breath is a gift, every moment with my girls and husband is a gift. I may worry about the type of future that is ahead for all of us, and I am sure most of are having those thoughts right now, but I want to live in the present. Each new stage my kids enter is bittersweet. I have loved watching them change and grow but it also makes this mommy a little sad too. I will tell you that letting go is so very hard, that is why I want to cherish every second before my hands have to let go.

To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven: A time to be born, And a time to die; A time to plant, And a time to pluck what is planted. Ecclesiastes 3:1-2.

Hope this finds you all safe and healthy and with many blessings. May God bless each of you.

Love and hugs,

Jennifer

A New Day

His mercies never come to an end they are new every morning. Lamentations 3:22-23.

This past weekend my youngest daughter Abby had a Back to the 80’s dance at school. Now, I will admit when she told me the theme I got more than excited!! I mean, I grew up in the 80’s so, of course, it is my absolute favorite decade!! The bright clothes, the big hair, and the totally awesome music makes it a hard decade for anyone not to love, am I right? I had this perfect image in my head for a costume for her to wear. The teased hair, bright makeup, leg warmers, and neon top immediately came to mind. She was going to look totally rad!!! And guess what? She did!!! Even though she did decide her 80’s style was a little bit more toned down then the image in mommy’s head. Hey, like I said I was an 80’s baby so I couldn’t help myself. She totally rocked her look!!

Abby and her cousin Addison at the 80’s dance

Abby had a great time at her dance and made wonderful memories with her friends as they enjoyed the style and music of that decade. It is always fun to see things from a different perspective or experience the way things were at a specific time in history. It really is educational to learn from decade to decade how much things change and evolve. With each new decade comes an array of things that change. Fashion, music, technology, leaders, interests, advancements and the lists goes on. As I sit here today I am amazed at the growth and changes that have occurred just in my lifetime. I remember having a rotary phone as a little girl(most people do not even know what that is) and now I carry a little phone that can do just about anything I want around in my pocket!! WOW!! Look how amazing change can be.

As we all reflect and celebrate all the decades that have passed, it is also important for us to remember to live in today as well. Our past teaches us, our future gives us hope of what is to come, and today, well that is what we are doing now. Therefore, it is important for us to never take one single day for granted. Thank God for the past, pray for the future, and wake up each day realizing that God wakes you up everyday with a fresh start. We get a new day everyday to do whatever we want with it. So what will you do with your fresh start each day? Will you wake up with a negative attitude which may affect your entire day or will you open your eyes and thank God for another day to live, another week, another month, another year, another decade? It is so easy to get so caught up in the everyday routine of life and not see that each and everyday is truly a blessing. We truly need to start celebrating every day, not dreading it. Each day we wake up and take a breath, God has given us a gift. A gift to nurture and cherish, a gift to use wisely to accomplish all that we want in life, and hopefully to help give back in the lives of others as well.

So again, it is fun to celebrate the decades and remember the times that have passed. It is also fun to sit and daydream and plan on what our future holds as well. Both of these are great. We must be careful, however to not live in the past, or stay in a state of dreaming about the future. We must remember to celebrate everyday. Take the time everyday to look around and find the blessing, even if it is in the littlest things. Hey, you may be filling blessed that today you no longer have that big, frizzy 80’s hair!! And guess what? That is ok, blessings come in all forms!! I urge you not to take today for granted, live life to the fullest everyday. Say a prayer everyday thanking God for another day for a fresh start. Thank God for the memories of the past, the great things to come in the future, and most of all thank him for today and go out and make it count.

I pray that all of you are covered in blessings today.

Love and hugs,

Jennifer