Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Reaching Out For Christmas Blessings

What are you blessed with this holiday season? I am sure if you think about it, there are so many things that you can say you are blessed with. I know my family doesn't want for much and we take for granted that our needs are met on a daily basis.

The Ruffled Daisy has blessed me tremdndously this year and I want to give back. My heart goes out to so many famiies that are not able to truly celebrate the Christmas season with joy because the financial strains placed upon them become almost unbearable.  My goal this holiday season is to be able to adopt 2-3 families and provide them with gift cards or Christmas gifts for their family. This is where I am reaching out for your help though.

On my Ruffled Daisy FB page, I have close to 2140 followers. If each of those individuals donated just $5, can you imagine the JOY it would bring!! That's such an amazing amount of money that's literally a drop in the bucket for most of us. Do you have $5 to spare? I want to be able to share with you the amazing way that YOU have helped a family bring joy into their home!!

I have set up a donation link through Paypal where all donations will remain anonymous. In two weeks I will close the donation link and take the monies to purchase what may be needed for each individual family and then share with them the LOVE of the season and hopefully restore some faith and hope in what may be broken homes.  Please know that although these are going to be local families that are adopted, you do not have to be local to donate.

To sweeten the pot a little, I am starting the fund with a $100 donation from The Ruffled Daisy.  I am opening my heart and asking you to give a $5 blessing that will mean the world to one family. Will you join me? Please click the donate button below and to give $5 (or more if you are led to do so) and see how you can be a blessing!

Thank you so much for blessing The Ruffled Daisy enough to give in this way!!  I can't wait to share with you the LOVE and JOY of giving!!!  HAPPY HOLIDAYS to each and every one of you!!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Let Go of YOUR Knives!

Have you ever been promised an easy life?  I know I haven’t!  We live in a sin filled world.  It doesn’t matter if you’re Christian, Catholic, Baptist, Methodist, , you name it.  It doesn't matter if you are following Christ in every part of your life.  Don't let any Christian fool you into thinking that once you "believe" you will never struggle.  We ALL struggle.  EVERYDAY!

I know when I became a Christian I had hopes that all of my life struggles would just fall away from me.  Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case for me and I can almost bet it wasn’t the case for you.  It seems whenever I try to grow in my faith, I feel more pain.  I never understood why until today.
I went for a walk and decided that on my walks I would listen to sermons that tailored to what I was struggling with in my life.  Let me tell ya, my list of sermons is a mile long!  I’ll share those with you another day.  NeedIess to say, I struggle with a lot.  My life is crazy busy, as I’m sure yours is, and so I decided to make my walks my time with the Lord.  During my walk today, the topic was on being a daughter of God.  I’ve never understood that, AT ALL.  Even after my walk, I still don’t understand how to be a daughter of someone I can’t “see”.  That will come in due time though.  I hope.
There was something in the sermon that I could understand though.  It was an analogy that I could relate to my life.

How many times are you struck with FEAR, DISAPPOINTMENT, REJECTION, LONLINESS, HURT, the list could go on and on and on.  I think it’s safe to say that I’m not the only one who has thought:

“If God can do anything, then why can’t he just take this away from me?”

I can’t tell you how many times in my life, I have begged him to just yank stuff out of my life.  Depression, of which I struggle with daily, pain, failure, past hurts, etc…..  But he just WON’T!   I hear, “Oh you have to pray about it and give it to God.”  Well…..I thought I have been doing that!  Turns out I hadn’t. 

Think of it this way.  Imagine yourself standing in the kitchen with little ones under foot “trying” to help out whether it is by cooking or cleaning.   Every home in America owns knives and we all try to teach our children the dangers of them and how to use and care for them.  What would happen if your child took the knife by the blade to hold it with a firm grip?  How would you react??
Would you yank that knife out of their hand?  Of course not!!  Why?  Because it would cause them pain!

You would gently persuade them to give you the knife, willingly.

That is the key word….willingly.

It’s the same with God.  He isn’t just going to yank things from us because he knows it will cause us pain!  He knows taking things from us when we are not ready to give will make us frustrated when we don’t understand why and cause us pain.  We must have a heart willing to give to him when we are ready.  Only then will it not cause us pain. 

One of the MANY things I struggle with is self-centeredness.  I want God to take that negative trait away from me SO BAD!  But he hasn’t because I have been unwilling to give it to him fully.  Can I tell you that I released that to him today?  I wish I could say yes.  I’m still trying to release my grip on why I think that is good for me when I know it’s not what he intended.  When I am ready to release my grip on all of those things, God will take them away from me.

God never wants to be a source of our pain.  All of the pain we feel in this earthly world are put upon ourselves because we are not letting him take those knives from our hands. What knives do you have a firm grip on?? Today, I pray that you lessen your grip on those things that are causing you pain in your life.  I pray that this moves your heart and you get it.  I pray that you listen to his loving words as he tells you that you are holding on to things that cause you pain.  He isn’t going to yank those sharps edges from your hands…you have to willingly give it to him.

Monday, September 23, 2013

What's My Definition?

Just so you know, I like to be real when I write.  I’ve offended many people along the way with that philosophy but it’s who I am.  Some people read what I write and question why I would share my stories with total strangers.  Some of you I know in “real” life and MANY of you I will never know anything about.  For me, that’s ok.  I don’t share any of my stories for accolades.  Many times I am just sharing in the hopes that I touch the heart of someone who needs to “feel” that they are normal.   I like to hope that I am not the only person who struggles in this crazy carnival ride of  “life”.

I’m 37 and am still trying to figure out “who I am”.  Is that crazy or what?  Life circumstances “shape” who you are but it doesn’t need to “define” who you are.  Does that make sense?  I’ll repeat it….

Life circumstances “shape” who we are but they don’t need to “define” who we are. 

SHAPE means to influence the development of something or to help something become what it is.

DEFINE means to state the “precise” meaning of.

Clear as mud, right?!?

Think of it this way…

It’s time for your loved ones to plan your funeral.  You’re gone.  There will be many stories about the life that shaped who you were.  Those stories are simply that - they shaped who you were as a person.

What defines you (your definition) is something so much greater though!  The definition itself says the “precise” meaning.  In its definition “precise” means clearly expressed.

This isn’t a lesson in English so please stay with me.

Look the end of this life do you want to look down and say – this is the life that shaped me.  Take it or leave it.  These are the circumstances that I overcame and these are the circumstances that overcame me. 


Do you want to look down and say, no matter what life threw my way and what circumstances I was faced with, this is the definition of who I am!

Are you deciding who you are or are you letting your circumstances decide that?

I know firsthand it’s so easy to let circumstances dictate how you live your life.  It’s easier than way.  Why can’t I just live my life and deal with what’s thrown my way and move on.  Why does it always have to be so complicated?

No one ever said life was simple.  Almost everywhere I go I hear people say how “hard” this life is.

What’s shaped me?  Lots of things!  Good and bad.

I grew up without my real dad.  My mom struggled to give my brother and I anything that we wanted.  Dancing brought me many years of happiness.  I became a teenage mother (18).  I lost all my childhood friendships due to my selfishness.  I married my high school boyfriend only to be divorced less than two years later.  I had a second child which I lost to SIDS.  I struggled being a single mom.  I lost a grandfather who was very near and dear to my heart.  My mother fought breast cancer (AND WON).  I’ve had financial problems that have made Mt. Everest seem like an ant hill.  I’ve married my best friend.  I’ve been blessed with FOUR beautiful children.  I tragically lost a niece who was like a daughter to me.  I’ve grown in Christ and failed him again.  I’ve lost MANY loving relationships that may be unrepairable.  I’ve made friends who will be there til the end of time.  

The list truly could go on and on.  I could list a million bad circumstances and a million good.

Is that who I am though?  Am I the grief that comes with all the obstacles that I’ve encountered?  Sometimes it sure feels that way.   Am I the reason for some of the obstacles?  SURE!!

So how does that define me??  I’m still trying to figure that out.  You know why?  Because we all do until the day that our time on earth is done.   For anyone that knows me, they know that I am a selfish person.  There is no secret to that.  I could say it’s because I’ve dealt with pain in my life but it's not.  It’s just easier to worry about myself and not get my feelings caught up in getting hurt again.

That’s not what my heart yearns for though.  I want my definition at the end of my life to be this…

BETH: at peace with herself; one who embodied a servant’s heart; a joyful person; a loving and nurturing mother and friend; loyal, faithful and trustworthy; generous and dignified.

That’s a tall order I am holding myself to and it's scary!

I know there are going to be days when my husband leaves the toilet seat up for the umpteenth time and I’m not going to want to be loving.  There will be nights when I’m cleaning up puke from yet another sick kid and I’m not going to want to have a servant’s heart.  Or the times when the world is falling around me and it’s hard to stay faithful.

It is my definition though and what I want my life defined as.  What’s yours?

Friday, August 23, 2013

Love and Commitment

These words go hand in hand when you are talking about marriage.  That doesn’t mean that it all comes easy though.

In the beginning, it’s all easy.  You meet someone you are attracted to, want to spend all of your time with, and share all of your life dreams with.  It’s easy.  You love this person with your whole being.  You want to commit to making this person the happiest and vice versa.  You envision a life of nothing but happiness because you vow to let nothing keep you from that.
Then it gets hard.  Life gets hard.  You create a family.  You share this oneness but at the same time you see and feel differences.  Money starts getting tight.  It’s harder to put food on the table because there are so many demands that need to be met and there never seems to be enough money at the end of the month.  You start seeing each other with different eyes because your “needs” are not being met.  Maybe you’ve grown a little fluffier around the waist or they’ve grown the facial hair you never liked.  It becomes “easy” to see all that is wrong.

If you’re a mom, then spouses, children and work pull you in several different directions.  Whether you are a homemaker or work outside the home, all of the pulls and strains are the same in some way or another.  You are called to be “Supermom” at so many things and most of the time you’re probably just trying to drink enough coffee to keep the house as normal as possible without becoming insane yourself.  And your reward…you get to do it all again tomorrow with crying babies and ungrateful teenagers.
If you’re a dad providing for your family, the stresses can be unbearable sometimes.  Whether or not you are the sole bread winner or not, it may seem at times like you are on a hamster wheel in a cage that you can’t off of.  It’s the same thing day in and day out and the only reward you get at the end of the day is maybe a “sweet dreams” from the ones you do it all for.  No special medal here.

Then you have outside family.  They can often be a great support but at other times can be difficult to handle at times.  You’re creating the life that you want – as best you can – and that’s all you want to focus on.  You don’t want to be told how to do it or what you should be doing differently.   There is a famous saying that says something to the effect that no matter where you go or who you become family will always be there.  I only believe that to be partly true.  We don’t choose our family and sometimes I bet most of us wish we could.  I also believe the saying about how families are full of nuts!  Trust me….I’m one of those nuts in my family, or the lone black sheep.  Whatever you call it – familial relationships are hard.
Then you have friends.  Friends are great things to have – in times of joy and sorrow.  Friends can offer great support to you at different times and you will come to realize that as you walk through life.  You will have MANY friends throughout this journey.  They are the little pieces of gold that you go digging for in hopes to find someday!  They truly are a dime a dozen.  You also have to realize that friends come and go.  And whether or not it is something that was expected, it’s hurts.

So, there you have it.  It’s hard.  There is no simple way of putting it.  That commitment that you thought would be roses and daydreams…..maybe it’s thorns and nightmares now.  Whatever it is today or will be next week, you have to remind yourself that this is where you are supposed to be.
So how do you make life easier??

Know this – YOU’RE NEVER GOING TO HAVE ENOUGH MONEY!  It’s a hard pill to swallow but it’s the truth.  Think about it.  You get a raise yet you don’t ever “feel” it in your paychecks.  Why?  Because we always spend it before we even get it.  Can you be better with your finances?  SURE!  And it’s a good goal to always have.  BUT, the fact of the matter is that in today’s broken society, it’s hard for everyone financially.
And what about that extended family?  I can tell you with mine, I have to take them all with a grain of salt.  What does that mean?  A grain of salt is TINY!  That’s the thought you should give it.  You will know in your heart when you need to listen more or happily nod your head in agreement to please them.  It’s as simple as that.

And friends – choose them wisely.  They are the people we allow into the quiet spaces of our lives and it’s very important that they are striving for the same things you are.  It should never be a question of choosing between them or loved ones.  It’s couldn’t be any truer that you have some for a reason or a season.
When it’s hard, try to remember what your goal in life and your marriage is.  Maybe you and your spouse have forgotten what that is.  Then it’s definitely time to sit down and reassess what it is and get back on track.  It’s ok to veer off the beaten path sometimes.  We all do!  There are some beautiful things you will stumble upon when you take side roads.  BUT, it’s also the easiest way to get lost.  Remember this life you are creating with your mate and know that as some point in time, when the kids are grown and gone, you will have to look across the room at this person and it’s better to call them your best friend than a stranger.  Too often in today’s society it is the latter.  Remember the love and commitment that you promised on the day you decided to spend your life together.  If you still have that…then you still have everything J

Monday, June 24, 2013

Hey There Stranger

Well...hello there!!  It's been almost two years since my last post!  WOW!!!

I've taken some time off to focus on other things and have added some new things to my life as well.  My business has taken off more than I would have imagined a year ago and I am so thankful for that!!

You are more than welcome to look through my past posts and read about what I was doing two years ago. can stay on board with me and see what is to come!  I have a lot of exciting things!  Some business related which you won't want to miss and other posts that just have to do with my ol' little family.

Either way, I hope you enjoy your visit and I hope you come back :)