Are You Up For A Fashion Challenge?

I’m going to join in on this 3 Day Summer Outfit Challenge and I hope you will too!

Should be lot’s of fun as Shari Braendel of Fashion Meets Faith is always loads of fun wherever and whatever she is doing.

Hot summer months are easy to get in a rut and just wear the easiest thing to put on just to stay cool. Shari will have lot’s of tips of putting some outfits together that may get us out of our box a little bit and try some new ideas in our fashion for the summer.

The challenge is free, so sign up at this link:

https://fashionmeetsfaith.mykajabi.com/a/2147490480/eXtP5Cy3

Did I mention it’s FREE?

I can’t wait to see what we learn over the next three days!

Blessings and stay cool!

We Are Going To Be Okay!

Hi Friends! It’s been awhile. So many things on my heart that I want to share with you and I struggle to not blurt everything out at once as to scare you off. So, I’m taking a deep breath…..breath in through the nose, counting to 6, slowly breathing out through the mouth and counting to 8. Sometimes holding it counting to 4 before breathing out. Trust me, I have learned that trick over the past year to calm my little self down and focus on what is in front of me. My biggest problem with the breathing exercise is I can never remember how many counts for each one. Okay, where was I? Oh….If you have kept up with my blog, then you know what my last year looked like. Never in a million years would I have thought that would happen! But, it did and Praise the Lord….I am so much better. I’m “me” again! Hopefully, that’s a good thing. I like to think I’m “me” again, but, much stronger and wiser. Who knew… I thought I was strong and wise before….surprises in my world as always! Can I tell you a quick little story….I know I’m on a rabbit trail…but, when I was at the tail end of my anxiety trial (I have no idea what to call it) I went to get my hair done. I didn’t want to go, but I knew it would make me feel better about myself. Yes, I cried on the way and I told the Lord, that I needed so badly to hear His voice somehow someway whether it be through someone or something. I told Him I need to hear that I would be strong again; strong mentally and physically. Well, anyway, when I got to the salon, the stylist, patted me and told me I was doing good and then she said, “You are going to be okay, you have always been a strong lady and you will be even stronger in no time!” You have no idea….I knew that was my answer from my Heavenly Father! I could tell you many more stories of ways I knew the Lord let me know He was right by my side and was using some amazing people to help me!

I’ve prayed about my blog for several months and was seriously thinking of stopping and forgetting about it. Which I had a few crying spells over it as I feel like it’s my baby as I began my blog over 10 years ago. I feel like it’s part of me. It’s grown with me and I have met some amazing people through blogging as well as interacted with some very special people! I haven’t had any peace about quitting, so, I’m hanging on. I often wonder what it would be like to be 80 years old and blogging away. Surely, I’ll give it up by then. We will see. I do have thoughts of “who wants to read the thoughts from a 61 year old?” Hold on while I do my breathing exercise again. Whew, 61….words leave me…I just don’t know how that happened. Through my ordeal this past year, I discovered I have some type of aging fears. I would say I’m probably 95% over it….but, that 5% pops up and tells me, your life is over, just go sit down and be quiet and wait until your time is up. Once I get a handle on that 5%, I realize that those are lies straight from the pit of H….E….double hockey sticks as my friend Shelby, always says. Since I was a young wife and mom and even a teen, I read after and listened to women who were in their 60’s and beyond that helped to show me the way through this crazy world of ours. How thankful I am for those women who answered the call to share their wisdom on being a woman after God’s own heart. I think of my sweet mom. She is 82 and going strong. She has always loved life and never sat around and complained about being older. That’s how I want to be.

In our social media culture, we see daily, amazing women who are in their 20’s and 30’s who seem to be doing it all….run a beautifully decorated home, make amazing wreaths for their front doors, organize their entire home in perfectly designed plastic containers, cook homemade meals, sew all their children’s clothes, put in a full garden of flowers, clean their house with homemade cleaning products, have date nights with their husbands and travel the world all the while taking amazing pictures of every detail and they look absolutely perfect. To be honest, I’m a bit glad that when I was raising my kiddos, homeschooling and supporting my husband in full time ministry all the while wondering if our budget was going to hold for the week, that I didn’t have social media to compare myself and my life to.

But, then on the other hand, how amazing is it that you can follow someone on various platforms of social media and be encouraged and inspired to be stronger and wiser as we strive to bring honor and glory to God in our daily lives.

I guess that is where I hope to come in. I so hope that my blog would somehow encourage and inspire you to be stronger and wiser and to let you know that you are not alone. You don’t have to be perfect in every situation of life and when hard times come….hopefully, you will hear me say, “you are going to be okay!” Those very words were a life saver for me this past year.

When I “went down for the count” last year, I made a call to a local natural health doctor. I honestly thought I was done for…..I thought my life was basically over. I was scared out of my mind. The lady who answered the phone had the most kind voice and she said, “Beverly, you are going to be okay, don’t worry.” When she said that I was going to be okay, a feeling of peace came over me and for the first time in a long time, I thought, “maybe I will be okay?”

So, all that to say, let’s get back to blogging and encouraging each other. We have a full life ahead of us regardless of our age. If you are breathing right now, you have a purpose. I learned so much this past year and I’m sure I will be sharing something each time I write, that was life changing for me in hopes that someone needs to hear it. If you don’t and you have life by the tail and all is well, hallelujah! I bet there is someone around you that needs to hear your secrets.

My blog is me. I don’t design it to reach millions of people. I don’t study all the stats; I don’t even know how to do that anyway. I don’t make money with my blog, so you won’t find pop ups and ads blinking everywhere. If I promote something, it’s because I believe in it and I’ll do my best to provide a link. Every once in a while, if I provide a link that is able to provide a compensation of some sort, I will donate that to a human trafficking organization that I love to support. (Operation Underground Rescue)

So, breath with me and let’s live life to the fullest….. together!

One last thing….I would be honored if you would subscribe to my blog as to not miss a post. I try to link on social media when I make a new post, but, you never know when I may take a hankering to get off of social media for a break now and then. All you do is go to the link on the right and fill out your name and email address. Each time I make a post it will pop up in your inbox. Also, if you think something I wrote would help someone, feel free to share my blog with someone. Oh, and I love comments, either in the comment section or you can private message me through the email provided. I love hearing how the Lord is working in your life through your daily living.

Remember……We are going to be okay….together!

Here are the links to the posts on my “Anxiety Season.” (in case you missed them)

Who Me? Anxiety?

A Bump In the Road – Dealing with Anxiety

Journaling and Crying Through Anxiety

Friday Fashion – What’s Your Fashion Style?

We all have certain styles we are attracted to. We also are most comfortable in wearing certain styles. Do you know what your’s is? When you get dressed for the day, do you feel comfortable and feel like “you?”

In my training as a stylist, I use 4 styles to determine someones favorite way to dress for the day. Let’s talk a bit about each one and you see which one most represents you.

  1. Pure Natural – Do you love to shop at stores like J Jill, The GAP, Old navy and similar stores. You probably love organic cotton materials and colors in the whites, beiges and more softer colors. You like simple, no fuss, just nice and clean. You are probably a Beautiful Pure Natural.
  2. Classic Modern – Talbots, Ann Taylor might be your go to store for the latest styles. You like to look sharp and crisp when you walk out the door. You probably like adding a touch of feminine touch with your simple strand of pearls or a little ruffle on your sweater. If this sounds like you, you are a Beautiful Classic Modern.
  3. Creative Original – You love shopping anywhere from a thrift shop, department store, boutique to your own closet. You love putting things together that most people would never think of putting together, but, you can put anything together and you have your own unique style. You, my friend, are a Beautiful Creative Original.
  4. Style Fashionista – When you walk into a room, more than likely you have on the latest fashion and everything goes perfectly together. You love fashion and you always want to know what is the latest trend and you make it work. You can spend lot’s of money or hardly any at all and you will still look like a Beautiful Style Fashionista.

Did any of those sound like you? If so, which one?

It’s possible more than one appeals to you, but, I’m sure one of them is your main style.

For me, someone who loves EVERYTHING…..yes, the struggle is real, I am a Style Fashionista. Since the “shut down” and no where to really go, I have noticed I have been attracted to the styles of the Classic Modern. The feminine simple style of the clothes at Talbots seem to be calling my name lately. When the world opens up again and we get to go out more, I will be able to tell more of what I will be more comfortable in.

Leave a comment and tell me which style you feel that you are and where your favorite place to shop is. If you are still struggling with coming up with your style, send me an email and we can talk about it a bit.

This is a perfect time to determine your style and get your closet ready for the upcoming Spring. Each Friday, I’ll share more fashion tips to help you along the way. Have fun!

Who Have You Invited Lately?

This thought has been going through my mind for some time now and I figured the only way to get it out of my head is to…..say it with me……..WRITE ABOUT IT! You are good!

When I became a believer as a teen, I was taught right away to share what I had experienced which is known as “witnessing.” As a very shy girl, I did my best. Many times it was very easy and other times it wasn’t. I learned how to sum up my story in a few words to get the point across. What a joy it was to actually lead someone to Christ. Which means to lead them in a prayer of salvation. I have to stop right here and explain something….terms and life has changed so much over the years. In the church world we have been told that times are a changing and we need to change our lingo in order to reach people with the gospel better. I’ve tried to change my lingo but, I always go back to what I know. What can I say.? I hope what I’m writing about makes sense. If it doesn’t, I’m always here to answer any questions. Now…where was I?

In high school, my mission was to tell as many that would listen about Jesus. Yep, I was teased a few times and put on the spot and in one class I was ostracized for using God’s Word in my speech, etc. In later years, in full time ministry, it was just a natural thing. I was always inviting people to church and Bible study. Leading neighbors and strangers to Christ was always so exciting. Many times we picked people up on the way to church. There were those times someone would say, “Yes, pick me up.” Well, you get there and they don’t answer the door and you get the message that they weren’t interested. That was my world for many years. My favorite story is when we pastored a tiny church and we had one car. My husband would go to the church early on Sunday mornings and get things read and study. Then he would come back and pick me and our two babies up. We would then pick up a lady that lived in government housing on the other side of town. She had I don’t know how many kids…it was a bunch of stair stepped cute little kiddos. Her husband was an alcoholic and we had the privilege of sending him to a home for alcoholics that the late Jerry Falwell started. We would be piled up in our car Sunday after Sunday until they moved on to another town…I have no idea how we all fit!

I miss those days…..sometimes!

While serving as a women’s ministry director for several years….one of my favorite things to do was invite women to everything we had. Every Bible study, every event, every class….it kept me busy because we had a lot going to reach as many women as possible. I met many new friends. I carried cards with all the information on it. When we had an event, it was natural for me to ask everyone I knew to it. I was excited and I wanted everyone to hear and see what was going on. Most of all to be encouraged with what Christ can and will do in our lives. Everyone needs encouragement and I think everyone needs Christ in their lives. So, why wouldn’t I invite everyone I knew and met while out and about?

I have a feeling you are probably that way, too. You don’t want anyone to miss out on anything that would help someone in their walk with Christ, right?

I have noticed that not everyone thinks like we do. You have no idea how many times I have listened to people talk about their Bible studies they attend, their church group, special events and ministries….and no mention of inviting anyone to join them. They go year after year, week after week and the thought never enters their mind to invite someone to join them or make sure someone doesn’t need to be encouraged somehow.

We might be surprised how many people are looking for a connection. How many women are needing some fellowship (there’s that old fashioned word) or some encouragement and just need an invite to whatever we are doing.

Has someone visited your church, study group or event and you are wondering where they are? Maybe you need to check on them and make sure they felt welcome and are invited back. It takes a big step to walk into a place alone…uninvited. Don’t be the one, who just wonders who someone is and then wonders where they are the next week when they don’t show back up. Do something about it. Even if you have to start your own ministry in reaching out to visitors.

I’ve been in a lot of churches and study groups as a visitor and a new member and I could tell you some crazy stories, but, we will save that for another time.

My challenge for you is to make a list of people that you are in contact with that don’t have a place to study or go to church. Then one by one, do something about it.

Think back to when you became a believer or joined a new church or Bible study group. How did you know about it? Why did you go back?

I believe we have a huge responsibility other than the “us four and no more attitude.” It’s probably one of the most important responsibilities we have. We have no idea who is struggling in their faith, in their walk…..in just life!

Many times we get comfortable in our church and our special groups and we forget the main reason we are even still here. We need to step out of our box and look around. Who needs just a little nudge or a fresh start somewhere. We all have a tendency to get so busy with doing, we don’t stop and look around to what is really important…..reaching out to others!

I can’t wait to hear about you making a difference in someones life by just one simple invitation!

Journaling and Crying Through Anxiety

As they say, “What a ride!”

Yes, this has been the wildest ride I’ve ever been on in a very long time. On this ride, I was very well educated on all things dealing with anxiousness, fear, worry and just being downright scared to death! There is nothing worse than a feeling of “am I losing control of myself?” “is this the end?” “what’s going to happen to me?” “I had so much to live for, I’m not ready to have it all ended yet!” “But, wait, I still have some cleaning out and decluttering to do!” Yes, I actually thought that last one.

So many thoughts went through my mind while not being able to do anything but lay in bed (or is it lie) waiting for the nausea to go away. Waiting for the fearful thoughts and anything negative in my life flooding my mind to go away. They didn’t for 3 long months.

Journaling…

My life line was my sweet DIL. She told me at the very beginning, “Madre, (that’s what she calls me) you need to journal everything you are thinking and work out in your journal all those negative feelings. Even if you have to write things and then tear it up and throw it away. Get it written down and work through it.

I love journals and I pick them up every time I see a cute one at the store. So, I went to my storage cabinet (that needs to be decluttered) and picked my favorite. I began writing and writing and writing….it became a habit. Every anxious thought I had, I ran to my journal and it was the thing that helped me make it through the day. I talked to the Lord just as if I were writing Him a letter. I made lists of things I hoped to do someday, that I honestly thought I would never be able to do due to fear of losing my mind. I wrote about past hurts that had been so far pushed down that it was like a bubbling well of things from years ago. I wrote about things I need to forgive and forget. I also wrote about things I needed to forgive myself for. It goes on and on.

Five journals later… I began a new one this week. I’m excited about this one as it is filled with much hope and thankfulness as I am finally seeing light at the end of this spiraled tunnel. I reach for my journal in the morning and again in the evening to record my day and my thoughts. It’s really my prayer journal because it is all my thoughts that I talk to the Lord about constantly.

There is just something about getting thoughts out of my head onto paper that makes such a difference. I’ve always been that way with my making lists of things to do. Once I get it all on paper, I don’t stress over all that needs to be done.

I may never let up on my journaling as it is now a habit for me. I would encourage you to begin journaling. You don’t even have to do it everyday. Maybe when you have something you are dealing with, it might help you to write it all out in order to think more clear. I realize journaling isn’t for everyone, but, I do know it made a difference for me!

Crying…

I have always been one that holds back my tears. I don’t know why. Every now and then, I can’t hold them back and they just flow. My regular thing to do is leave the room and find a place to cry where no one is around. Pull myself together and act like nothing bothers me.

During the past few months I had many crying out spells. Yes, crying out to God for answers, help, understanding, healing, etc. I often thought, what if I’m hurting myself, causing ulcers or causing myself to not heal due to the stress of crying.

I had a friend tell me that crying was good for me. I read up on crying and was amazed. Evidently, God knew what He was doing when He gave us tear ducts, right? It’s okay to cry, don’t hold back your tears. Tears are a healthy way to express emotion.

Benefits of crying:

*Lowers stress

*Removes toxins

*Kills bacteria

*Releases feelings

*Resolves grief

There are a few more benefits of crying. I encourage you to do a study on the benefits of shedding tears. Until then, don’t be ashamed to cry. Now you know it’s good for you. What isn’t good for you is to hold back tears and stuff those feelings down. It’s time to deal with what’s bothering you and let the tears flow. Blessed is the one who has someone who will sit with you and let you just cry and not judge you for it and tell you to stop crying. By the way, when your child cries..don’t tell them to stop crying, dry it up, etc. Let them cry and help them deal with what is upsetting them. That was just a free thought for you….no charge!

Every tear we shed, God knows all bout it. He cares and hurts when we hurt. In Revelation 21:4 we read that “He will wipe away every tear from our eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

Until then, He has given us a beautiful life to live and live it to the fullest until He comes or our time has ended here on earth. All those tears? Just as David said Psalm 56:8, “You number my wanderings; put my tears in your bottle.” God knows why you have shed every tear and some day we will have the full picture and understand so much more than we do now.

For now, count your blessings, give your worries to Jesus and let your tears flow in rejoicing and in the hard times.

Until next time…

A Bump In The Road – Dealing With Anxiety

A few thoughts on what I’m learning in the Anxiety Department:

A little bump in the road is how the natural/holistic doctor described this issue I’ve been dealing with. She made it sound so promising that I would win this battle with time and healing. So thankful for her encouragement and knowledge. I was told by another doctor that I had “situational anxiety.” Due to the covid and crazy culture we have right now.

During this time of healing, I’ve learned many things about myself. You get so focused on self because you are so scared and have no idea what is going on. So you are searching for answers and trying to figure out how and why this has happened to you. Especially, if you are an analyzer as myself. Yep, that’s one of the things that I have learned about Moi!

I analyze everything, to death. I didn’t really notice it before. The good news is, that this can be a good thing. But, when you get focused on the bad, such as what I did, it can be detrimental. As I mentioned in my last post, I was consumed with the news. I was keeping up with the death count, the number of infected people, how many ventilators were being used, if masks really worked, on an on and on…..how much can a person take? Well, obviously, not much as far as I’m concerned. Oh, let’s not forget the riots that broke out. The violence, instead of watching it and saying, “how sad,” I was thinking, “WHY?” “How do people get to that place in their lives to do such destruction and hurt other people?” It consumed me. It hurt to watch.

I have done the same thing in life. When people are cruel and say hurtful things to one another or just down right hateful….especially those that call themselves Christians, I can’t even comprehend it. I try my best to figure it out and try to imagine their lives and why they would be so hateful and cruel….it has boggled my mind for years.

We were in full-time ministry for many years and I have seen the worst of the worst. I have also served in the church as a lay person and still saw things that blew my mind. I’ve had horrible things said to me and about me….from people that don’t even know me. Then you watch these same people get up and sing or speak on love and forgiveness and it just sends me over the top. I can’t figure it out. It’s obviously been going on since the beginning of time. It’s called….sin. *Note….I’ve seen the best of the best and have so many sweet memories of wonderful godly people….so thankful!

Oh wait, unless you think I’m Miss Perfect and never do wrong….wrongo. I have caught myself many times thinking mean things about someone and by the grace of God, I am immediately reminded of who I am and who I represent and I seek forgiveness.

During this time of self examination (nothing else to do while staying in bed for weeks) The Holy Spirit reminded me, “Beverly, you have been harboring unforgiveness for things that happened to you years ago, it’s time….it’s time to let it go and get it settled.” Well, several pages of journaling and prayer, I got many things settled. Lot’s of forgiveness, lot’s of tears, lots of regrets. I could make excuses all day and say, “but, you don’t realize what she/he said to me!” “You don’t realize what a living nightmare they caused our family because of their hypocrisy.” I could go on and on, but, I heard in my heart, “Yes, Beverly, I know all about it and I carried you through all of that, it’s time for you to realize that you don’t need to worry about it anymore….just forgive.”

I can honestly say, that it feels so good to just let it go. I can honestly say, that yes….those thoughts pop up in my head from time to time and I have to remember that it doesn’t matter, I’ve forgiven and I’ve moved on.

I’ve also learned during this time that I am a Highly Sensitive Person. Yes, there is actually a term for it. After reading up on this, I thought, “Oh, so that’s why certain things have been hard for me!” Since I was very young, I take things to heart. I remember being in grade school and if I saw someone being mean to another person, it broke my heart. I could never make fun of anyone. I saw handicap kids be made fun of and cruel jokes made about teachers, other kids, etc…..I couldn’t handle it. It made me very sad. In high school, there was a girl in one of my classes that was constantly picked on by the “cool kids” in the class…..inside, my heart ached for that girl and to this day, I can remember where she sat, how she looked and the things they said and did to her. I often wonder where she is today. I so wish I would have been brave enough to take her by my side and protect her from such hatefulness, but….I didn’t…..as a shy kid, you miss out on doing things like that. But…if I could go back, I would!

When I see a homeless person on the corner begging for money…my heart aches. I wonder, where is his family…..does he have kids…..how did he get to this point in life…..many times I give money even though we aren’t supposed to and then I end up wiping tears away as I drive off. My heart aches for them.

Don’t even get me started on when I see children being mistreated while out and about. I can’t even….let’s move on…

I can get on Facebook just to catch up on everyones life and up pops tragedy….pictures of people in the hospital, pictures of actual wounds, yes, I’ve seen the grossest pictures on Facebook. Don’t understand why people like to share gross pictures, but, for people like me, it sends me over the edge…can’t handle it. I had a dear friend tell me that we weren’t created for so much information being thrown at us. Our minds are constantly overloaded with situations, tragedies, sadness from people all around the world that we don’t even know. Such as you reading this….I so hope that I can be an encouragement to you if you are dealing with any type of anxiety or just trying to figure out our interesting world that we are living in right now. I don’t have all the answers, but, I know who does. I’ve always felt that when we go through things that we are to figure it out and then help someone else…All the while giving all the glory to God for his goodness and mercy.

I have always had a hard time visiting someone in the hospital. When I walk in a hospital or even drive by it, I feel sadness…I hurt for the people suffering and the families dealing with all the issues of caring for someone and watching their loved ones suffer. It hurts me to the core. I actually will get sick to my stomach when I make a hospital visit. Needless to say, I make every excuse possible to not have to visit someone at the hospital. I know….terrible!

I watched a football game with my Jim yesterday and when I see a tackle and they go down hard, I get an actual tightness in my stomach. It’s like I can actually feel the pain they must feel. Makes me hurt!

All that to say, being a Highly Sensitive Person can be good. You have compassion for people, but, it also can hinder things. If you take so many sad things to heart and you stuff it down and don’t deal with them, it only hurts you. On a positive note…. I would rather be a very sensitive person than a cruel uncaring person. I’m thankful for that part.

Well, those are just a couple of the many things I have learned through this interesting situation. If you are like me, you believe that all things work together for good to those that love God….that would be me, so I have seen the good in many things and I can’t wait to share them with you, eventually. For now, I so hope that you will examine yourself and realize who you truly are and how God designed you and don’t let anyone make you feel less important or worthless because of how you are and how you think. Most importantly...You accept who you are. We are to accept how we are and become the best we can be with the gifts that we have and when we see a flaw in ourselves, we correct it and deal with it in a healthy manner. You are a special creation, created by an amazing and loving God. Don’t let anyone take that from you……ever. As a preacher I once knew would always say……”If someone doesn’t lift you up and they tear you down…..mark them and avoid them.” Simple, right? Well, you have to really work on it and be confident in yourself and most of all…………forgiving. We are all sinners saved by Grace… by a forgiving God. I so hope and pray that you know without doubt of this truth. If not, click here to learn how you can meet Him right now.

Until next time,

Who Me? Anxiety?

Again….I’m still here! I think that’s what I said on my last post, right? If you didn’t read my last post on my choking incident, you can click here to see what all transpired. I still can’t believe that happened. After what I’ve been through the last 4 1/2 months makes that seem like a walk in the park….well, sort of.

I have never had an anxiety or panic attack. I’ve never suffered from serious anxiety…..until 5 months ago.

In reading some of my stories on my blog, you know that I was extremely shy growing up and I have worked hard as an adult to overcome my shyness and with shyness comes fearfulness. Fearful of just about everything. I felt like as an older adult, I had a handle on it. I have been able to do things that as a child/teen I would never dream. Never thought about it or worried about it…..so I thought. Getting nervous about things, or deeply hurt by incidents was just a norm that I had learned to handle. How did I handle it? By stuffing it down and not dealing with it. Guess what….that’s not a good thing to do. If you are a stuffer like me, now is the time to stop. You don’t want to make waves, you want peace, so you stuff it down. You don’t want confrontation of any kind, so you stuff, you leave it alone, you forget about it…until something happens and it all bubbles out and what a disaster it will be. We will visit that subject on another post. I’ve learned a lot, trust me! If you look in the dictionary for the word “stuffer,” you will see my picture.

The only way I know how to describe what happened to me is to start from the beginning of this nightmare! In March we were having a wonderful time in Branson at a PraiseFest, which is a Southern Gospel Music Festival that lasts for three days. We’ve gone for the last several years and love it. As you know, in March, the big shut down began. While in a concert along with maybe 2,000 other people I was getting texts from friends and family asking me why we were there while the virus was quickly spreading. I was basically in the dark, I knew something was going on, but, I didn’t know to be in panic mode. I even got some comments on my social media from people telling me how irresponsible I was being for being there.

When the final concert was over, we had plans to stay longer in Branson and take in some shows and shopping. The hotel that we always stay in was starting preparations for shutting down. They told us we could stay through our reservation, though. After one day of being the only ones in the hotel, we decided we might want to head on home. With all the panic and shutdowns starting, I became a bit fearful. I had even wondered if we would get home. I had the thought, “What if they close the border of the various states we drive though and we can’t get home?” I couldn’t get home fast enough. I was worried about stopping at rest stops and restaurants all the way home. I’ve always been sort of a germaphobe, so I always am watchful for germs and I am the one who always has disinfectant wipes for everyone.

We finally made it home! I went into lockdown mode. I didn’t go anywhere. I didn’t even go see my mom as fear of if I had something I would spread it to her. I had a container of disinfectant wipes at the back door for when Jim came in. He even changed clothes in the garage for a while. I ordered our groceries, wiped everything down, etc. etc. As I’m sure you did as well. As you know, my choking incident happened a week after we got home.

I’m a news fan. I’ve always had a love for politics and current events. I had the television on with the news most of the day everyday. I listened as I worked around the house. I also listened to a talk radio program each day. This was during the time of the ventilator talk. Every time I heard the word ventilator, I felt like I couldn’t breathe. My shortness of breath was scaring me. I was having a hard time swallowing. I even stopped taking my vitamins as they wouldn’t go down. I took very small bites when eating. When I laid down at night, I could feel my heart beating. I became fearful of having a heart attack. This went on for another couple of months.

One evening we went to dinner with some friends. I was asked to describe my choking escapade. As I began talking about it, I got very hot and I was having trouble breathing. Of course the joke of having a hot flash was said. Long story short, the next morning I woke up sick to my stomach. I thought maybe food poisoning or something. This went on for a week. I then went to the doctor. Was told I had a stomach virus. I was also told that I was hyperventilating. I was also given something for anxiety to calm me down. I wasn’t able to take the medication as it made me feel worse. I struggled to do anything. I became more and more fearful. I’ll spare you the details but, I did go to the emergency room one night and had a scope done and my esophagus was stretched to help with swallowing. I also had two ulcer like areas in my stomach.

After two days in the hospital, in my mind, I figured I was back to myself…but once I got home, the fearful thoughts and the constant nausea went on for another 2 1/2 months. I didn’t sleep hardly at all for those 2 1/2 months. I tried another medication and it was worse than the first one. I took it for two days and stopped. I had zero appetite. I lost 31 pounds during this time as well. I forced myself to eat applesauce and bananas and would gag each time I ate. I honestly thought I was going to die. I hurt all over. My stomach hurt constantly. No sleep. Fearful thoughts that wouldn’t stop. I could go on, but, I’ll spare you. And then….

I went to a Natural/ Holistic Doctor in our area. She examines your eyes and can see all that is going on in your body. She said that I looked like I had suffered what someone with PTSD goes through. A lot of emotional stress. She put me on a regimen of natural supplements. My body was depleted. Not to mention, she was the most kind and compassionate lady who convinced me that I was going to be fine and it would just take time. She assured me I wasn’t dying. How thankful I am for her.

During this time, my daughter-in-law was my huge encourager. She coached me through this entire ordeal with words of wisdom, love and truth. How thankful I am for her. My Jim has been amazing. I don’t know where I’d be right now if I didn’t have the support from these three amazing people! Not to mention, friends and family who assured me of their love and support.

As of today, I am almost at the end of this nightmare. The nausea finally left almost a month ago. No anxious surges throughout my body. I’m gaining my strength back (hopefully, not the weight) and still working on positive thinking.

Throughout this ordeal at the encouragement of my amazing DIL, I have been journaling about everything. I have realized that I have suppressed many things over the years of hurts and various things that have happened to me in my 61 years. What a journey this has been.

I have been a Christian since I was 14 and have lived my life for Him since then. I’ve read all the verses about worry, fear and trust. I thought I had those down pat! Evidently, I had some work to do in those areas. I have no idea how someone could go through this without the confidence of a loving Heavenly Father right by their side. I have never felt closer to God than I am now. He has carried me all these years through all the ups and downs. All those times when I just couldn’t understand the cruelty of people or when bad things happen, He was always there walking me through it. Having the peace of God is the most important thing to me. How grateful I am to have the confidence in my Savior!

I have learned so much about anxiety and am still learning. It’s very real and very scary. I had never been so scared in all of my life. I had no idea what was happening and how to stop it. I have also never worked so hard for something in my life while climbing out of the spiral of anxiety. I would never wish this on anyone. (Lot’s of I’s in this post…but, it is what it is)

The reason I am sharing is hopefully to help someone reading this. I know we aren’t given a manual for what to expect with anxiety. It’s like we have to figure it out ourselves. I did lot’s of searching and asking and found out that what I was going through was normal. I also found out that many people don’t have a clue what someone goes through. That is when I was the most frightened. It seems there are so many symptoms of anxiety and not everyone has them all. Everyone is different. So it’s encouraging when you read about someone that has the same symptoms as you do. You then, get a little relief in thinking, “Okay, maybe I’m not dying or going as crazy as I think I am.”

I will share more that I have learned on different posts only if I think it will encourage someone that is going through it or knows someone who is suffering from anxiety attacks. You have no idea how comforting words, affirmation, prayer and support helps someone as they are going through this.

So there, you go. I’m trying to keep it short to not overwhelm. I do have a few things to share as to possibly prevent something like this happening to you or someone you love and ways to support those going through it. Let’s just say, my eyes have been opened greatly!

Until next time…..

Here I Am!

I’m still here, I promise. I have so much to share with you since I last posted. I couldn’t believe it when I saw that our last time to visit was January 21st. Where does the time go? Everyday I think to myself, “I must share this on my next post!” Here we are almost a month and a half later.

Today, I’m going to share my crazy evening last night. I still can’t believe it happened.

Tomorrow, I’ll do a post to catch up on what else has been going on and announce the winners of my book give away. Forgive me for taking so long on that little project!

Yesterday was my second day to be under self-quarantine. We just returned from a trip and we were around lot’s of folks, so I thought for safety I would stay in. I have my long list of things to get done that I’m anxious to accomplish during this time. Speaking of…..isn’t this a scary time? We will talk about that tomorrow. Back to my crazy story…

Since I am staying in, I have told myself, “No eating out!” So you know what that means…..back to my cooking mitts. Which, so sorry, isn’t my favorite thing to do. But, I’m positive and I’m going to change my ways.

I was so proud, I put my chicken out to thaw yesterday and then I marinated it and put it on a grill for dinner. By the time my Jim got in, it was ready. I set our little area on the bar where we usually eat when I cook and began eating as we caught up on the day. After I took my first bite of the chicken, I think I was talking at the same time…I can’t remember. All I do remember is getting the hiccups and my chest hurt terribly. I sat there for about 5 minutes trying to breath slowly as Jim was talking away. He then said, “are you okay?” I held my hand up and shook my head yes and got up to walk around thinking that would help my food go on down. Well, it seemed to get worse. It was lodged in my chest and it hurt like crazy. I was getting scared as I have a HUGE fear of not being able to breath. I have nightmares about it a lot. Anyway, Jim kept wanting to help me, but there was nothing he could do and I was trying to stay calm and I thought relaxing would help. It didn’t. After 20-25 minutes, I was thinking, “I’m going to die.” Jim kept telling me I was okay, to just relax and breath. I then was able to say, “Call 911!” My hands were tingling so bad I couldn’t hold on to anything and my face was starting to have that same tingling sensation. I couldn’t swallow. I felt like my air was harder to breath.

Let me just stop here and say, If you know me very well, you know that I am terrified of anything to do with a doctor, hospital, needles, etc.! I don’t know, I’m guessing a couple of things when I was a child that happened has made me paranoid. I have trouble breathing when I have to go to the hospital to visit someone…it’s bad. I seriously could have an anxiety attack when in hospitals or doctors offices. I know, I need counseling. I have no idea how I had two children…Anyway…

The paramedics arrived in about 5 minutes. The entire time I was sitting down with my eyes closed. I couldn’t open them. Jim kept saying “look at me.” I could hardly hold my eyes open. I was quoting scripture in my head:

Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
 Give us this day our daily bread.
 And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors.
And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.

My other favorite scripture when I get in a pickle is:

I will never leave you nor forsake you. Hebrews 13:5

I was also saying, “Lord, you know I’m scared of choking and not being able to breath, give me strength for this!”

By then the paramedics were checking my vitals? Is that what they are called? They said I was getting plenty of oxygen and that I needed to get to the emergency room as it was lodged in my esophagus. I could barely stand up as they put me on the stretcher. I felt very safe as I knew if my breathing got blocked they could help.

Of course also going through my mind was the CoronaVirus. As they held my hand they had gloves on and I remember thinking, “Are those gloves clean?” Anyway…

As they pushed the stretcher out on the porch to head to the ambulance…..it happened. I’ve never thrown up like that before. Usually when you have to throw up, you know it and you are waiting for it. Bam! I threw up all over myself and I heard one of the medics say, “There it is!”

Lord have mercy! I was so embarrassed and relieved at the same time. I wanted to just cry. I said, “Hallelujah!” I’m sure they thought, “we’ve got us a real winner here!”

They said “let’s get her back inside so the neighbors don’t have to watch this!” Long story short, I’m in my entry way on a stretcher with throw up all over me and they are taking my “vitals” again. My blood pressure was pretty high but they said that was expected for what I just went through. They were the nicest guys. Did I say that already? I was wearing my leggings with a long sweat shirt type thing. They asked if I could take my sweater off to do the blood pressure, etc. Thank the Lord I had the presence of mind to say, “I don’t have a shirt on under this.” Can you imagine if I said, “Okay!” Which I have a story about that one, but another day!

They left and I got cleaned up and put my jammies on and talked to my kiddos on the phone to let them know that my time was almost up but I made it. They are stuck with me a little longer.

Thankful for my Jim who helped me not panic any more than I did! He was patient, a bit scared and kept me safe! If he wouldn’t have been home, I probably wouldn’t be writing this right now.

One more lesson from this:

As they were taking me to the ambulance another thought went through my head:

“I’m so glad I got up this morning and took my shower, put my make up on, fixed my hair and even put jewelry on as I was hanging around the house for my 2nd day of self-quarantine.” Can I get another Hallelujah!

Let’s hope Day 3 of staying home isn’t as eventful.

FYI….As of Thursday, March 19th, late afternoon, my comments are now working. I know so many left some sweet comments on my FaceBook page, so feel free to leave a comment here as well or you can always email me, too!

The Time Has Come…

Yes, the time has come! I’ve been putting it off long enough and just have to put a stop to it and do something serious and drastic. Oh, yes, I have played around with it and pretended I was serious and “tried” a few things to correct it. On the average all the things that I’ve tried, it probably lasted maybe a day or two.

What am I talking about? The dreaded “D” word! DIET! I know, I know…I’ve read all the articles where you aren’t supposed to say “diet.” The word die is is in it, right, I get it. I also have read where you just be careful in what you eat, etc. Well…something is wrong with me because that isn’t working!

We just returned from a fun trip to Carmel, California. What a beautiful place it was. I knew that when I returned home, I would begin some type of plan to get rid of my extra fluff once and for all. I just wasn’t sure. Yes, I prayed about it. Read several things on losing weight and it was always on my mind. Well…..I’m home now.

The Time Has Come!

I’m one of those people that has tried many different things to lose weight. The word is try. Maybe for a day. I also believe anything will work if you do it. That’s the key phrase….DO IT! (for longer than a day or one week)

I did lose weight a few years ago and oh, my goodness, I felt so good. I felt so good that I didn’t keep doing what I was doing to lose the weight. I got lazy in my walking and watching what I ate. So, here I sit wondering why I was so crazy to let that happen.

I never really had a weight problem growing up. When I got married my wedding dress was a size 8. I think that’s the last time I saw an 8 in my dress size. When we had our first little cutie pie I gained much weight…should I say how much? Okay, I gained almost 60 pounds. I loved Butterfingers and dip cones from Dairy Queen. I treated myself one too many times, evidently. I lost most of the weight after she was born. Three years later we had our next cutie pie. Don’t ask me what happened….I think my favorite treat was… everything….I’m not sure how much I gained etc. because we didn’t have a scale and I never weighed….but….I do know what the nurse told me when I was in the hospital about to deliver our cute little red head. That number will forever be etched on my brain. I can still see the number, too. Nope, I’m not telling what that number is. Maybe when I get over this hurdle I will because….right now, I’m just a few pounds away from that very number. I could say it’s baby weight, but, my baby is 33 years old. Let’s move on…

So, Beverly what in the world are you going to do? So glad you asked!

I’m going to begin the Jenny Craig plan. I’m committing to 2 months of doing the program. I’ve already ordered the materials and food. I cleaned out the pantry and refrigerator and here I sit waiting for the arrival of my life for the next 8 weeks. I know the food is really good because Jenny Craig is one of those things that I tried before for about 3-4 days. I can’t remember what got in my way to stop…but, that was so yesterday. Not thinking about that….

With me sharing my plan for this major hurdle that I have been battling for awhile will help me stay committed. Right? We will see….

Feel free to follow along on my Instagram and Facebook as I’ll be sharing the details of my 8 weeks on Jenny Craig. I may write about it once and a while on my blog.

So, to go along with my series of being ready for 2020…..this is the one on getting my self back in shape. 2020 is the year. Okay, I said that about 2019….but, I’m serious now! Really, I am.

If you are wanting to get your weight under control in 2020, hopefully, we can encourage one another.

Here is a before picture! You didn’t think I was going to take one of those where you are standing in a pair of yoga pants and a crop top did you? Nope, not me….this will have to do.

Okay….one more. I think we get the picture….Now Is The Time!

I’m excited to share what the next subject is on Being Ready for 2020! I’ll be back to share in a couple of days. Until then, I will hopefully be shrinking away.

Oh, one more thing….I think I forgot to mention that I will be getting back to my walking program. I know! I do not like exercise at all! Even walking. I don’t like to sweat. I don’t like to wear walking shoes and walking clothes. I always said I would not be one of those people who live in workout clothes….but, NOW IS THE TIME for now anyway. Don’t get me wrong…it’s great for other people.. I just don’t like it for me. As I’ve learned many times….Never Say Never.

Click here to read about Being Thankful in 2020

Click here to read about Letting the Negativity Go in 2020

Click here to read about Being Organized and Clutter Free in 2020

Organized and Clutter Free In 2020….

You knew that the organization post was coming, didn’t you? I love organizing and I work at it all the time. The last couple of years, I have unintentionally let some things pile up in places that are easily hidden. You know the old saying, “out of sight, out of mind.” For me, this is true. So, I’ve been busy weeding out some things and organizing. I am making sure that every nook and cranny (don’t you love that saying?) is completely clutter free and organized.

I began in our bedroom. Every drawer was completely cleaned out and I had a throw away pile, get rid of pile and a pile to put elsewhere. When I finished with that, I cleaned from top to bottom. Then I moved on to the bathroom and closet. This took longer as I love…..”stuff!” Clothes, jewelry, make-up, skin care and just stuff…..woowee! I got it done though and it feels so good to know that everything that is lurking in my closet, cabinets and drawers are exactly what I want, need and use. Everything else is gone.

I’m doing this same process throughout our entire house. It may take me awhile, but, I’ll get it done and oh, how nice it will be to finish. Whenever I get rid of things, I picture in my mind our house raising up a little bit with the weight taken out. 🙂

When I’m clutter free and organized, I think better and I can enjoy life a little bit better. If I know that I have a pile of something that needs to be dealt with, I can’t concentrate on anything else. So for my peace of mind, I have to de-clutter and organize.

Something that I also do is I keep a spiral notebook with me when I work on projects. I have a page for each room of our home. As I am working on a cabinet or drawer or even cleaning and I see something that I need to do in that room at a later time, I write it down. Such as, I want to redecorate one of my rooms, so I made a list of my goals for that room. Another room, a cabinet knob needs replacing. I write it on my list so I’ll be sure and get it ordered. I’m a huge list maker. Once I get something on a list and out of my brain, I think better and I don’t become overwhelmed. If I just remember to read my list, I’ll be good to go!

I help my mom with her house, so I have a journal for her house as well and I have one for our get away home. Hey, it keeps me out of trouble! (sometimes)

I caught a bad cold after Christmas and when I finally got my Christmas decor down, I stacked it in my Christmas closet in our garage and sad to say, not very orderly. I have a large walk-in closet that is just for my Christmas decorations. Well, as time went on I just couldn’t get the energy to finish packing it all away and it seemed overwhelming to me. I knew of two young ladies that help people with organizing and I called them. They came over and it took them about 6 hours to organize all of my Christmas. It is now all color coded and labeled. That was the best gift I have given myself in a long time. I love it and was so thankful for their help!

My main areas that I tend to let get cluttered and messy are:

Books – You would think I was a genius by my book collection!

Magazines – I love magazines and dream of being the perfect cook, seamstress, decorator and stylist.

Clothes – What can I say? I love clothes.

Jewelry – Ditto on jewelry. Sorry, not sorry!

Make-Up/Skincare – Again, you would think I knew what I was doing in this department. Always looking for the magic formula! What can I say?

My Office File Drawers – I’m always writing and doing research on something and I tend to stack a few things here and there.

My Craft Room and Closet – You would think I was Martha Stewart. Not!

I have to stay on top of these areas or it will get out of control very fast. I seem to do pretty good everywhere else.

Did you notice, I don’t have any issues in the kitchen? The most organized room in the house. I wonder why?

Matter of fact, I need to finish this blog post and get started on my kitchen cabinets. ( I probably need to dust the dishes or something.)

If you are decluttering and organizing for the new year, keep on and don’t stop until you are finished. You will be so glad you did.

One more thing in the cleaning department. At the first of the new year I replace all of my mops, buckets, brooms, sponges and toilet bowl brushes. Fresh start for a fresh beginning. I also keep cleaning supplies for each bathroom under the cabinet in each bathroom. I have a main cabinet in my laundry room where I keep supplies as well. I just couldn’t get into carrying a cleaning caddy throughout the house. When my cleaning supplies are in every room, I can clean a bathroom at a moments notice and not have to drag supplies around. I also found that a basket or a lazy susan works great to hold all the cleaning supplies in each bathroom/kitchen.

I love hearing from you on your organizing or cleaning tips. So feel free to share in the comments or an email.

It’s just mid January and look how good we are doing. We’ve covered:

Having a thankful heart and showing it in writing….

Letting the negativity go in 2020…..

and now….decluttering and organizing….

We are doing good! What could possibly be next? Any guesses?