Holiday Blessings

As 2017 comes to a close, I want to reflect on the many blessings that have been bestowed upon me this past year. Here it is just two days from New Year’s Eve and I find myself wondering, where did the time go? I guess thinking this doesn’t really serve me. What matters is what I do with today. Today I am here, I am able to live another day and cherish all that God presents to me in this day.

Christmas looked different this year. I have been so preoccupied with re-branding my business that Christmas was not a priority. Also, my 19-year-old went to spend Christmas with his aunt & uncle, which was weird for me as a mother, but good for him as a young adult flying on his own and making his own choices.

Christmas morning came and I was feeling a bit tired and in a state of “I need a jump-start” really bad. My friend had emailed me info on a YouTube short film titled “The Shepherd” A Story of the First Christmas courtesy of Vidangel Studios. My husband and I decided what a great choice for Christmas Day. It not only moved me but at the same time gave me that boost I was longing for. The rigorous work of the past few months had pretty much depleted my drive & positive attitude. The film helped me re-focus and take stock in what really matters. It gave me the meaning I had been longing for throughout the season of “The Three CCC’s”, (Commercialized Christmas Crap.)

I am committing this weekend to reflection on the wonderful things that have blessed my path this past year. Instead of looking back and feeling as if the year got away and I didn’t accomplish all of what I set out to do, I am choosing to reflect on the things I did accomplish as well as the things that I did learn. I will be thankful for a God who makes me want to be a better me and embrace the struggle that comes with it. Struggle is good, it births change, growth, and renewal.

I will be goal setting and in a totally new way that excites me. I commit to move forward in the New Year with a renewed outlook on all the opportunities that can be obtained, all of the blessings that will be discovered, and all of the blessings I can give to others. I commit to love more, to surrender more, and be present more. Here’s to the close of another year filled with life, and to the birth of a new year full of possibility.

May you have a blessed & prosperous 2018,

Lovin’ Life,

Diane Rogers

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Thanksgiving: Finding Gratitude

The holidays are upon us. And as usual they seem to all of a sudden throw us into a bit of a panic once the candy hangover from Halloween dissipates. Sometimes I think it can become an “Ugh.” feeling instead of a “I’m in the holiday spirit!” one. Partly, I believe this panic and unsettling sentiment manifests from the way that Christmas is stuffed down our throats the day before Halloween.

I recently experienced a dissatisfied mood that overcame me while I was out shopping for Fall candy sprinkles for my leaf cookies I make every year. It was the day after Halloween and I was on a mission to purchase my festive sprinkles. The past 2 years they have been hard to come by and this year ended up being the worst (had I looked at my crystal ball I would have stocked up on the darn things!) I hit every grocery store, Target, Michaels, Hobby Lobby, etc… It used to be I could get these tiny little leaf sprinkles anywhere. Not the case anymore. It seems that Halloween and funky neon sprinkles of every shape and size have taken over the Fall sprinkle slot on the store shelves. While on this futile mission I was inundated with Christmas and it was giving me anxiety, a bah humbug attitude. Anyone who knows me, knows I love Christmas. I love to decorate, bake, throw dinner parties, watch cheesy Hallmark movies. But for some reason this year I was feeling a bit like Scrooge on steroids. BAH HUMMMM BUGGG!

What came to my attention is that Thanksgiving is being sandwiched so tightly in between Halloween & Christmas and pretty much is taking a back seat to the orange, black & purple “Day of the Dead” and retailers want you shopping for Christmas while out buying Halloween candy. I have nothing against Halloween, I loved decorating the yard when my son was young, creating his costumes every year, trick or treating, and handing out candy to all the adorable little ghosts & goblins, but I am disheartened that Thanksgiving is ending up on the clearance shelves at the beginning of November. So, with my mind trying to regroup and put the focus on Thanksgiving before Christmas, I Googled the word thanksgiving:

  1. the expression of gratitude, especially to God.
  2. (in North America) an annual national holiday marked by religious observances and a traditional meal including turkey. The holiday commemorates a harvest festival celebrated by the Pilgrims in 1621….

Gratitude, being grateful I thought. Harvest, reaping and celebrating. Giving thanks, Thanksgiving….O.K, now that I remember what this holiday is all about I want to focus on what it means to me. A day to rest, to reflect and remember all that I am thankful for. I know the holidays can be tough for so many, so I want to place positive energy out into the Universe; I ask God to lay His blessings & comfort on all those who are hurting. I want to enjoy pumpkin muffins, lattes and whatever they can make out of pumpkin because I love pumpkin. I want to bake apple pie and watch football. I want to go for hikes in the crisp Fall air and enjoy the burnt umber colors of the setting sun. I want to give to others in any way I can daily, may it be a warm smile to a stranger or holding the door open for someone when I am in a rush or blessing that person that just cut me off on the road (instead of gesturing at them, I think you know what I mean.)

We can spread blessings in so many ways and these small, daily deeds feed the Universe with positive energy and it will feed our souls too. We can find peace in the chaotic. We can find gratitude in the giving. We can find reflection in the frantic if we slow down and give thought to what we are thankful for. So many others this year will be struggling with finding blessings after all of the tragic things that have unfolded recently. So I ask you all to stop and really think about what you are thankful for and while doing so send out thoughts & prayers to the Universe over all of those who need blessing. Be part of the collective Universe for blessing others. May you have a wonderful Thanksgiving while giving and being thankful… My cup runneth over.      Diane Rogers

collective

  1. done by people acting as a group.
  2. a cooperative enterprise.

When Life Presents You With A Mountain, Put On Your Climbing Shoes And Start Climbing

 

When life gives you a mountain, put on your climbing shoes and start climbing! As a young girl I was adventurous, wanted to bungy jump off a cliff, jump out of a plane, scale a rock wall, etc….Then somewhere along the journey as I entered adulthood I formed a fear of heights. Maybe it was the time my husband, small son and I were hiking in Zion National Park.

We found ourselves on the hiking path high above the ground, entering what I referred to as, “The Point of No Return” zone. In order to continue, you had to hug the cliff wall and carefully slide your feet across the narrow floor space, all while being one step away from becoming the evening’s tragic news story. I DID NOT want to continue. I remember my son who was a mere 5 years old at the time saying, “Come on Mama, you can do it! See its not bad!” as he scooted around the ledge. I thought I was going to hurl breakfast seeing him move. Vertigo set in, I was in “full mode” fear.

When I realized I would be sitting there alone waiting for them to return from the rest of the hike, I sucked it up and moved. Fear had enveloped every single inch of my body, the feeling was intense to say the least. But I did it, I made it around the corner. We all made it out that day without becoming the news, thank God! What strikes me today is what was on the other side. The amazing views, the striking rock formations, the waterfalls, it was by far a trip to forever remember. If you have never experienced Zion, add it to your bucket list. We have been back a few times. I could live there if they would let me, it is so majestic. I feel God’s presence in HD when I am there.

So I write this story today because life places mountains in front of us often. Some big, some small, and whatever the size if we chose to scale these obstacles we will be forever changed by what is revealed on the other side.

This week I had small obstacles blocking my way, discouraging me from moving past them. It felt as if someone was standing high above me and throwing boulders one by one in front of my path saying, “I’ll stop her! What does she think she is trying to do? You can’t do that?” Who do you think you are? (that one AGAIN) It was getting the best of me. I prayed, I journal-ed, I honored my quiet God time. Thank goodness for my wonderful supportive husband, he seems to always know when to encourage me, when to joke with me (and when to not! ha ha!), or when to give me a much needed hug and say “I love you”.

What I discovered about myself through this boulderfest was that sometimes I need to take a step back. Take a breath and slow it down. Look inside and decipher what is creating the fear. What is getting me hung up. In today’s world we expect everything instantly. We live in a world where everything is at your fingertips in warp speed. It can be a positive and a negative. For me, I needed to hit “pause” and stop and look at what I had already accomplished in order to get myself back on track and equipped to overcome the obstacles.

I put on my climbing shoes and my “I will conquer” attitude. I took one step up the mountain, one reach here, one foot there. Like a climber I assessed my options, took careful note of my surroundings and where I would make my very next move. To much amazement I scaled my mountain successfully. I had a very productive AND peaceful day. I allowed myself to step back from the situation and assess. I conquered and what was revealed on the other side gave me hope and a feeling of gratitude for trusting in God’s way and not fear’s way.

So I encourage you today to scale your mountain whatever it may be. Get back up if you have fallen into the pit of discouragement. Put on your climbing shoes and “can do” attitude, for what will be revealed on the other side with take your breath away. It is better to try and discover than worry and wonder.