Fall 2021 Beauty Series – Hair

Our hair is one of the first things people notice. If you are like me, if your hair is not cooperating for the day, you will just feel off. Maybe that’s just a me thing.

My hair is very thick, course and dry. So, I tend to like wearing it on the shorter side and I moisturize it constantly. I so admire people who wake up in the morning and just brush their hair and then style it for the day…..mine, not so much! I’m thinking because my hair is so thick and course, after I sleep on it it looks like I was in a tornado. I’m serious….ask Jim. Many times he laughs when I talking about my plans for the day and he’s looking at my hair in amazement. There is just no helping it. That is why I wash it each morning, so I can start fresh. I’ve learned to be fast in drying and fixing my hair for the day. If I’m too fast, it shows as my hair is just not cooperating for the day.

When I go to the salon I am always wanting to try a new hairstyle. Since my hair grows fast, my style will be outgrown in a couple of weeks. I always say by the time I get the hang of my style, it’s not working any more because it has already grown out. Yes, the struggle is real. But…..I’m not complaining….I’m thankful for my hair.

Are you thankful for your hair? Regardless the color, if it’s thin or thick, dry or oily, long or short; it’s important to love your hair. That doesn’t mean you can’t try new styles or even a new shampoo. Join me in working on not complaining about our hair. By the way, I feel led to share this….if you are going to a stylist and they complain about your hair texture or type….find a new stylist.

I was taught that if you haven’t had a compliment on your hair in a couple of weeks, then it is time to change your style. This could be an issue if you are around people who just don’t ever give compliments or notice anything. But, most women when out and about will notice a great hairstyle and will almost always compliment someones hairstyle. I was in a boutique recently and I walked past a lady that was checking out. She told me she loved my hair. I told her thank you and then she said, “Who is your stylist?” I then told her that I was from out of town and she said, “oh, no!” She was a sweet lady and the funny thing was it was one of those mornings to where I rushed fixing my hair and I didn’t feel up to par. Once she asked me that, I all of the sudden felt different about my hair. Isn’t it crazy how that works? We can really be our own worst enemy sometimes, don’t you think?

Something about this lady who complimented my hair. She was a bit older than me (I think) and her hair didn’t look bad at all. She seemed unhappy with her hair. She may have been having a bad hair day and didn’t feel good about herself. When I left, I was thinking about her and I had wished that I told her that I thought her hair looked great and if she just styled it a bit different, it would look even better. Her hair was flat and if she put some fluff in it and maybe tried some product to separate it, I bet it would have been pretty. I’m not a stylist, I have my own problems and I don’t know if that would go over in telling someone how to fix their hair. All that to say….take a look at your hair, does it just need a little fluff, a little product, using a flat iron or curling iron….just try some things and see how it works out. Speaking of curing irons. I used to always use one and I bought one recently thinking I would try it out again. I never felt so awkward and what a mess I made. It’s funny how you forget something that you used years ago regularly.

Okay, enough about my hair woes. Let’s talk about some things we can do to stay on top of our game where our hair is concerned.

It’s important to have a stylist you trust and who knows your hair and what you like and don’t like. You might need to make a change in that area if you aren’t happy with the results when you leave the hair salon. When you see someone that has a great style and cut, be sure to ask who they go to and maybe you can give them a try. Try to have a regular schedule of going to your stylist; depending on how fast your hair grows it could be 4-6 weeks between visits.

Fall is a great time to try something different or new. Try stepping out of your box a little bit. Have fun with your hair.

Have you ever done any research on your face shape? If you know your face shape, you can find certain styles that would look best on you. This also goes for the frame style of your eye glasses and even hat styles. Knowing your face shape is important.

Your hair color is a big part of your color code. Have you taken your color analysis yet? This determines the colors that look great on you or age you.

There are so many shampoos, conditioners and treatments available. Take some time to research and find something that works perfectly for your hair. Remember, you are worth the extra effort to find just the right products for you. In order to be confident and comfortable in who you are….you need to know all about you. You deserve the extra effort and time. Make yourself a research project!

This is a good time to go through all of your hair products that just aren’t working and get rid of them. Clutter with all of our hair products can make getting ready a struggle sometimes. Can you tell I’m talking to myself right now? I love trying new things, so I always make sure I don’t hang on to things that just clutter up my space.

Try to make it a habit to fix your hair each morning; even if you aren’t going anywhere for the day. It will make a difference in how you feel about yourself. Plus, you never know when someone will drop by! You can ask me how I know this to be true!

This fall season, make it the one that you revive some things you’ve let go. We’ve all been in a strange time over the past year and a half and it’s time to crawl out and find you again and what makes you smile when you look in the mirror.

“I will praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.” Psalm 139:14

If you are on Pinterest; make a board of hairstyles that you would love to try someday. Click here for my hairstyle board for some inspiration.

If you missed previous posts in this series, here are the links.

#1 – Nail Care

Until next time,

Fall 2021 Beauty Series – Nails

Happy Fall! What a beautiful time of year; the changing of the weather, leaves on the trees, pumpkins, cozy blankets, delicious soups, yummy spice candles and…the list could go on and on. I just love it all, don’t you? What’s your favorite thing about fall?

As I was contemplating my new series on Beauty and Fashion, I thought I would just write each day this week on a different topic that hopefully will be of interest to you. To me, fall is like a fresh start. Really each new season is….it’s a good time to make some changes in our wardrobe, our style, freshen up our makeup with a few changes and of course how can we not talk about the beautiful styles and colors for fashion this season. Let’s get started and have some fun.

I’ll be doing the challenges along with you each day as well. I’m always looking for new ideas and trying new things. I never want to stop learning and improving in areas that need improving…….or just something fresh….I love change, can you tell?

How are your nails looking?

A few years ago, I had acrylic nails. I always loved how they looked with such beautiful colors and it would last forever. I wore them medium length. Long enough to still be able to do things around the house and work on my computer. I wore rubber gloves when I cleaned and washed dishes. Which, rubber gloves are always a good idea when cleaning and washing dishes. After a few years, I decided to give them up. I didn’t enjoy the process, I only loved the outcome. Sitting there for an hour or so and having that drill on my nails made a nervous wreck out of me. Not to mention the expense. What a nightmare my real nails were after taking them off. It took a good while to get my nails healthy again. I recently tried the dip on my nails, but, I had grown used to not having to sit for so long having nails done, I just didn’t think I could go back to that. Even the scheduling time at the salon when you are going out of town, etc. was more than I wanted to do. I confirmed it just wasn’t for me anymore.

If you love having your nails done, I am so happy for you. I think they are just beautiful.

After I got my nails back in shape; it took some getting used to being careful in not breaking a nail. My nails aren’t weak and they aren’t super strong. So needless to say, to have them all one length is a miracle. About the time they are all the same length I will break one and I am one of those that has to have all my nails the same length. It’s a never ending process. I keep files around the house everywhere, so when the break happens, I can fix it immediately.

I also keep polish on my nails. I love color and I think it looks so much more put together to have color on my nails.

Fall is a great time to try some darker colors. For me, I don’t like super dark colors on shorter nails, so I go with the lighter shades of a gold, beige or bronze shade of color.

If you know your correct color code for your hair, skin and eye color, you might stay within those shades for your nails. My color code is soft, so I choose softer colors so they go with my clothing colors and skin better. (At the end of this post, I’ll have the link to determine your color code.)

Do you paint your toenails? The fall and winter is a good time to go without polish on our toes in order to let them have a rest and get healthy. But….I don’t like seeing plain toes…I have to have color. I tend to go darker on my toes if I don’t do the same color on my nails.

A good file is important. I like the glass files and an old fashioned emery board works great. Be gentle when filing, you can do some serious damage and lose the shape of your nail. Your toes should be filed straight across and your nails can have an oval or square shape to them. For me, I like the oval.

Since we are talking about our toes, we might as well take care of the bottom of our feet. If you don’t get regular pedicures, you might want to take care of the rough, dry skin on bottom of feet yourself. You will feel much better when your feet are all soft and silky. I put foot cream on my feet every morning after showering. I also have one of those pedi-eggs that takes the dry skin off. Recently, I purchased one of those grate things that the nail salons have, but, I’ve been to scared to use it….it looks pretty dangerous. I guess I could use it to grate cheese because that is exactly what it looks like. It’s been in it’s little bag since the day I got it. Yikes!

“…How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, Who bring glad tidings of good things!” Romans 10:15

Hand cream is so important on your hands. With colder weather coming, it’s very important to lotion your hands on a regular basis. I keep little tubes of lotion around the house and in my purse for a quick treatment. Not to mention with us all washing our hands constantly, they need moisturizing. Hands are one of the first things to show aging, so the younger you are in getting in the habit of applying lotion to your hands the better. Make it a habit for sure.

I discovered a wonderful gel polish a few years ago. Sally Hansen gel polish and top coat is what I’ve been using for a long time now… and it comes in a few shades that I can wear. I also like the polish remover that comes in little packets. They are presoaked in the solution and it just seems easier and much faster than getting it out of the bottle. By the way, this polish will last a week and sometimes longer….depends on how active I am with my hands and if I remember those gloves when I wash dishes. )

As you can see, when it comes to nails, I’m simple, but, I love a beautiful nail color and keeping my nails in shape. I don’t want to spend a lot of time on them and I don’t miss sitting at the salon at all. Every now and then I like to go for a little pampering. I’m always on the lookout for a salon that is clean, peaceful, safe, beautifully decorated and not rushed! Who me? Picky…..yes, I am. I think at 62 I can be picky, right?

I hope you are inspired to take care of your nails and try out a new beautiful fall color. You are worth it! It’s the little things.

I hope you will give yourself a good pedicure and manicure, either yourself or at the salon.

Choose a nice fall color that goes with your color code.

While you are at it, clean out your polish drawer or however you store your things. I have a drawer that is just for polish and all the tools, etc. I love polish, so I have to go through it every now and then and get rid of what I’m not going to use and take inventory of needed items. Anyone want a foot grater? Ouch!!!

Find a foot and hand lotion you love and keep plenty and get in the habit of using them regularly.

Start using gloves to clean and wash dishes with. I know it feels weird at first, but you will get used to it.

If your nails chip… time to fix it asap. This is one I have to work on a lot!

I found this precious poem!

Her Hands

Her hands held me gently from the day I took my first breath. Her hands helped to guide me as I took my first step. Her hands held me close when the tears would start to fall. Her hands were quick to show me that she would take care of it all. Her hands were there to brush my hair, or straighten a wayward bow. Her hands were often there to comfort the hurt that didn’t always show. Her hands helped hold the stars in place, and encourage me to reach. Her hands would clap and cheer and praise when I captured them at length. Her hands would also push me, though not down or in harm’s way. Her hands would punctuate the words, just do what I say. Her hands sometimes had to discipline, to help bend this young tree. Her hands would shape and mold me into all she knew I could be. Her hands are now twisting with age and years of work, Her hand now needs my gentle touch to rub away the hurt. Her hands are more beautiful than anything can be. Her hands are the reason I am me. – Maggie Pittman

This is me as a little one…..thankful for a mom who who used loving hands to raise me up to be who I am today!

May our hands always be loving hands and our feet always going to share the good news.

Click here for the Color Analysis

Until next time….

70 (And Counting) Years of Labor…

Labor Day, 2021! As I was preparing for today, I got to thinking….”what is Labor Day about, anyway?” I tend to forget as we don’t hear much about it except it is a National Holiday….banks are closed, mail doesn’t run, some businesses are closed or close early and you may see flags flying more than normal. I looked up the actual meaning of Labor Day and this is what I found:

Observed the first Monday in September, Labor Day is an annual celebration of the social and economic achievements of American workers. The holiday is rooted in the late nineteenth century, when labor activists pushed for a federal holiday to recognize the many contributions workers have made to America‚Äôs strength, prosperity, and well-being.

You can read more about Labor Day by clicking here.

I have to share with you the story of my mom who is my hero, by the way. My mom will be 83 this week. She still works to this day. Not because she has to… because she wants to.

I love to hear her stories of her younger years. They were tough and they got tougher as she got older. The sad thing is, it didn’t have to be tough. It was mainly due to choices of people in her life that didn’t see her value and worth. The good news is, it only made her stronger. I could tell you some amazing stories….but for today, I just want to share a tiny bit of her life as a woman who has been in the labor force for 70 years.

Mom began working in a movie theater when she was 13 years old. She worked at the popcorn concession stand for a man named Mr. Moses who owned the local movie theaters in Fort Stockton, Texas. He moved her up to work in the ticket booth selling movie tickets. She worked there until she graduated from high school. I have to share this bit of trivia. A lady came to the theater regularly that had a little girl that my mom describes as so very cute and mannerly. My mom asked the lady what her little girls name was. The lady answered, “Beverly Kay.” She had blonde hair and green eyes. As she walked away, my mom told herself that if she ever had a little girl, she would name her Beverly Kay. And, she did…..and I even had blonde hair and green eyes!

After my mom graduated, she worked for an oil company until she married. After my mom married, she helped my dad manage the movie theaters that Mr. Moses hired my father for in a small West Texas town of Crane and eventually in New Mexico. Shortly after, my mom became a telephone operator. As time went on and with three little ones, she always had a job as a store clerk, desk clerk etc. If you follow me, you know a bit about “my story.” We moved many times as my dad was a surveyor and we moved with a crew of people all over Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma.

My parents divorced when I was 12. We were now on our own and zero money. When I say zero….I really mean it. My mom made it work somehow. I was beginning Jr. High and she began working as a desk clerk at a large hotel in town. Long hours and low pay. She looked for part time work to go along with that job and worked at a country club on weekends at the front desk. She also worked the concession stand at the professional baseball teams park. Yes, I was a babysitter for my two younger brothers. Lot’s of time sitting at baseball games waiting for my mom to get off. Life was busy and a bit hard, but, because of my moms hard work ethic, we made it! Let me just share this. My mom would have loved to have been a stay at home mom and raise us three kiddos. It just never worked out for her.

Our lives changed when I was 14. Jesus came into our lives and talk about a change not only in our personal lives, but our home life as well. My mom found a new job that would replace those three other jobs. She worked for the local newspaper office. She was the one who put the ads in the paper for local businesses. One day as she was measuring an ad for a church, she read about a group that was coming to town to sing. That is how we ended up in this particular church after never really knowing what church was all about and surely never attending as a family.

After attending and growing in our walk with the Lord, the pastor and his assistant came to visit and offered my mom a job as the church secretary. My mom was shocked but told them that she had just gotten this job at the newspaper office and was making enough money to make it. She explained that she couldn’t leave unless she were to make more money that she was. After they asked her how much she needed to make, she said that she was making $100.00/week. They then offered her $125.00/week. She then accepted the offer and worked as the church secretary for 12 years. She loved her job. She never complained and never talked about anything that was going on in the office. The only thing she would tell me is how much she enjoyed her work and the people she served. She also told me that they loved our little family and loved me and I believed her. I grew up always feeling safe where we were. Money was always tight, but, as hard as it is to explain…..we never did without necessities. I believe the Lord took care of my mom because of her hard honest work. She never thought anyone owed her anything. That goes for the government, too. We were never on government assistance of any kind. My mom felt that as long as you can work and have a job, you didn’t need assistance. If you don’t have a job, you get out and find one.

My mom did get a night job once cleaning office buildings for awhile when she left her church secretary job. She worked downtown as a secretary for a secretarial service and she had a friend who had a check cashing store and they asked her to manage that. When my husband and brother began their business they asked her to come work for them as a bookkeeper. That is what she is still doing to this day. Everyone loves my mom because they know she loves them and if they don’t see mom around for a few days, they will always ask, “Where’s Grandmom!”

Well, I could go on forever talking about my mom. I just wanted you to get a glimpse of a lady who has never been afraid of work. She has been working since she was 13 and will be 83 this week. Labor Day is the day to honor women like my mom! She is what makes America great!

May you have a great Labor Day and honor those that work for all that they have! If you ever need someone to teach about work ethic, you might ask my mom!

Until next time….

We Can Win The War of Fear

In my last post, I shared “My Story” of dealing with the virus of 2020/2021. (Click here if you need to read and catch up.) I do know that 2021 is not over and only the Lord knows what is in store for each and every one of us during this crazy upside down time of life. I told you in my last post that I would share my thoughts on how to win the war of fear that is involved with the “pandemic.” You do know that I’m not a medical doctor, right? Oh, I’m not a counselor either. I’m just a regular person who got the virus. I can’t even tell you how fearful of this virus I was. I don’t now how to describe it to share with you how scared I was. The crazy thing about it is…I didn’t know I was as scared as I turned out to be. I thought I had it all together. I had my sprays, my disinfectant wipes, I stayed home, I ordered groceries online, I made my husband change clothes in the garage when he came in from work…….yes, I did that. Did you not do that? I thought everyone was doing that and I thought it was perfectly normal. I’ve come to find out, not so much. I was consumed with the news in trying to hear all the latest and what we were supposed to do and not do, until, I realized how political and not so trustworthy the main stream media was. I was a mess and I crashed hard.

I have thought long and hard how I could have handled things differently. We know now that I had other issues going on from the past that I hadn’t dealt with so I had all that to deal with at the same time so it made my crash doubly bad. Someone told me it was the “Perfect Storm” for me and why I went down hard.

Back to my thinking how I would have handled it differently if I would have known what I know now.

Are you ready for it?

Putting all my trust in my Savior for everything and anything that was to come my way.

I know! Sounds so simple doesn’t it.

See, I had been doing that since I was 14 years old. The day I put my faith and trust in Jesus, I depended on Him for everything. I read the scriptures on fear, faith and trust. I tried to memorize them. I wrote them down and put them places I could see constantly. So why did I not remember to trust when all the craziness in our country and world broke lose? I know why, but, that is for another post soon.

I lost my way. I lost my self worth and my confidence in who I was as a child of God. I was a perfect set up for someone who was about to go down hard. Each day got worse and worse. I wasn’t listening to my Savior, I was listening to the enemy. I was scared. I couldn’t catch my breath enough to calm down and slap myself into reality.

Thankfully, I finally got back up and I fought like crazy to get back to where I should be. I had the help of a couple of people and then some friends who prayed for me and encouraged me each and every day! It took everything I had in me to get there. Guess who was waiting for me the entire time? My Savior! He picked me up, brushed me off and said “You are gong to be okay!”

I was sailing along, working everyday to get my mind back to where it should be and then BAM! The virus! I struggled and thought, “Why? I can’t do this! The thing I feared the most and I was doing so good and now I have it? Is this it? Am I going to go through the horrible things I’ve heard about? I don’t want to!”

So, I’m going to make a little list of some things that I did and what I wish I would have done to win the war on fear of the virus!

*Empty yourself before the Lord, give Him your fears, your anxiousness and your questions.

*Be still and quiet. Listen for His voice. Go to your Bible and go to those scriptures that speak on fear and comfort.

*Turn off the news for awhile. Be very selective in what you listen to. Fill your mind with good and happy things. Stay busy with things you love to do.

*Take care of your health. Eat as healthy as possible. Limit sugar! Begin a good regimen of vitamins. I was told to take, Vitamin C, D, Zinc and a Pro-Biotic. I also take a multi and a few other things for immunity building. I would talk to an expert or do some serious research and get a plan together.

*I was also told to take a small dose of aspirin each day. That is to prevent blood clotting which seems to be a serious issue going on.

*While I was sick, I did not want to get pneumonia. It seems you hear of that a lot. So, I made sure I stretched everyday as much as possible and walked. I moved my arms continuously. I tried hard not to lay in bed forever which was a hard one. I didn’t feel like doing anything. My husband also tapped like karate chops on my back each day to loosen up anything that might go wrong in the lungs.

*Calm yourself with deep breathing. When resting, I put my left hand on my tummy and my right hand on my heart and I took a deep slow breath through my nose with mouth closed and let my tummy fill with air to the count of 6 or 8, then I held it for about 4 counts and blew slowly out of my mouth to the count of 6 or 8. I would do this several times until I felt calm and could get my breath.

*The mind is a powerful thing. The breathing exercises helped me to calm down and focus on good things. Someone told me they would breathe in the goodness of God and blow out the fear. You don’t want to lose control of your thoughts and let fear win. You do whatever it takes.

*In order to go to battle, we must be strong spiritually, mentally and physically. That physically part is a hard one for me. Exercise is not my favorite thing to do. But, we need to be fit. Whatever it takes to get there, we must do. Any habits that hinder our health, we need to correct it.

*Scripture is important to me. I have a card case with scriptures on trusting God and not having fear. I had them by my side and read them over and over. When I had a really hard time, I actually held the scripture card and claimed it for myself. Bible study will keep you grounded and close to our Heavenly Father.

*Journaling is huge for me. I now have my journals during that season and it is very interesting to read over and see how the Lord comforted me and the answer to prayers. Not only that, just to get my thoughts on paper and out of my head is very good for me.

*Be prepared for the worst. Have a plan for treatment if you get sick. Remember I’m not a doctor, but, for me, I decided to get a protocol that many doctors are using to treat the virus. I follow and read after a group and they had a listing of doctors that you could do a teleconference with and they would prescribe a protocol for you to take if you need to. We have our protocol and we have it in a bag just in case anything were to happen. It’s a comfort to have a plan and to know what symptoms are before they ever happen. *Its almost like we were just sitting ducks, didn’t know what to expect, where to go, what to do, etc. We were just told to wear a mask, don’t go anywhere, don’t get around any one and if you get sick, chances are you are done for. I believe that we were handed a bundle of fear and told to take it and don’t ask questions. I also believe that is wrong. We are to be responsible for ourselves and our family, do research and be prepared for even the worst so you know what to expect. The unknown is what causes fear. We now know so much more and we also have the choice to listen to others besides the political figures and main stream media who obviously have an agenda. We also should do our own research and be wise in who we listen to.

*Then it gets back to the trust again. It’s a choice. Faith or Fear. They are two separate roads….we have to pick one. You can’t have both; they just don’t work together. The good thing is, God knows our fears and He understands. He wants us to be free from fear. Let Him take it from you. But, you have to give it to Him.

I hope that helps a little. Feel free to leave a comment or email any questions or thoughts. I only know what I know and I can steer you to someone much smarter than me if possible.

Can I pray with you?

Heavenly Father,

Thank you so much for loving us like you do! How thankful I am that I put my faith in you as a young teen. I thank you for each person reading the blog today and oh, how I pray that they know you personally! You know who each one is and I ask that you put your arms of comfort around them, let them know how much you love and care for them.

Lord, we are a fearful people when we don’t put our trust in you. Forgive us for putting our trust in those that don’t have our best interest. We trust you and we are giving you our fears and our anxiousness. We don’t understand all that is going on, but, you do! You know exactly how this is all going to end and we put our hand in yours and we know you will guide and protect us.

Lord, whatever you have in store for each of us, may we humbly and graciously accept it as your will. I pray for a peace that only you can give. I pray for joy that only you can give. We don’t understand all that is going on in our country and in our world, but, we want to walk through it with peace and joy.

We ask for wisdom and discernment to handle all the many voices we hear today and to understand what is right and what is wrong. Help us, Lord!

I ask for healing for those that are reading the blog today that are suffering either with the virus or with that awful thing called fear! Some of us have loved ones that are going through it and we are asking for a miraculous healing for each and everyone of them. You want us to walk in strong faith and courage. You want us to remember that every breath we take is because of your grace and mercy. You also want us to trust you in what is best for each one of us. Lord, whatever comes our way and however you choose for it to all play out, may we accept it with grace and humility.

How grateful I am for your healing of my mind and my body! I know many of the readers can testify to your goodness in their lives. May we be forever thankful and share with others all that you have done for us.

Lord, there may be someone reading this that has never put their faith in you. I pray that whoever it is, they would give their heart to you and you would save them and forgive them of all their sin, just like you did for me and so many others that are reading the blog today.

In Jesus Name,

Amen!

IF….you want to know more about putting your faith and trust in Christ, click here.

My Story …

I’ve had some questions about what it was like when I came down with the virus last October/November. I thought I’d go ahead and share to document what I went through and maybe it will be a help to someone that has some questions or possibly some fear in dealing with all the unknowns of it.

To begin with, if you have kept up with my journey from last year, you know that I was on the tail end of the anxiety issues that I was struggling with when the virus hit. So, my emotions were very heavy as in understanding why I was having to deal with this unknown scary virus while trying to heal my mind from the fear that had consumed me for the past several months. What a journey! Again, in a million years, I would have never thought I would have gone through what I did. I still question it and all I can come up with right now is to deal with things that I pushed down for years and then use what I learned to possibly help someone else. If you haven’t ever gone through something like that, I don’t think you can even imagine the struggle and turmoil you can suffer from it all. Okay…enough of that…let’s talk about the virus!

Last October (2020) on the 30th, we were at our get away home in the Texas Hill Country. Our daughter, son-in -law and all the cutie pies were coming over for a get together. I worked most of the day getting games together, running to the grocery for last minute items and setting up a chocolate fountain with all the treats. I was having fun, but, I had a slight headache. I brushed it off as allergies. I usually don’t struggle with allergies, but I was telling myself it was allergies. I took some Advil and moved on. The evening came and what fun it was. My headache was getting worse. I also had zero appetite….which is good sign something isn’t clicking with me. Everyone left and I cleaned up and I then had a cough. I went to bed and coughed through the night. Every time I coughed, my head felt like it was going to burst open. I would hold my head to cough to ease the pain. I was a bit worried… but, still kept saying it was allergies. I stayed in bed most of the next day. I missed the big party with the kids that night and couldn’t decide if I was more sad about that or the fear that something was up. After all, I had worked hard to get my I Love Lucy costume ready and now it was a bust….no Lucy and Ricky this year! I began taking my temperature that afternoon and I was running a low temp of 99.

I was like you, probably. I had been staying home as much as possible. I ordered my groceries 95% of the time. I can count on one hand how many times I went to the store or anywhere. I had sanitizing wipes with me 24/7. I wiped everything down. I wore my mask everywhere! I’m the queen of germ fighting!

Back to my story…

During that first day, I would have moments where I felt pretty good. I would get up and try to do something around the house, but, within a few minutes I felt horrible again. Back to bed. The next day we had some friends that were in the area and they were coming to visit for the afternoon and the guys were going to golf. I had told them how I was feeling but thought it was “allergies” or something. The guys golfed and I visited with my friend. I felt okay, but not great. I stayed far from her. We picked up lunch and I didn’t touch anything that was hers. In the back of my mind I was scared. After they left late that afternoon, back to bed I went. I began taking some immune builder supplements and I took Tylenol cold and flu to sleep.

We drove back to west Texas the next day. I kept feeling like I couldn’t breathe. I was struggling with more fear. The fear that I had worked so hard on. I was trusting the Lord and at the same time, my mind was telling me that I was going down and I wasn’t going to be able to breathe. Jim knew I was scared and he would assure me I was okay. That 5 hour drive home was hard as I put the air vents on my face and concentrated on breathing. During my time of anxiety and when I got choked during a meal, which is another crazy story, the fear of not being able to breathe was one of the main things that I couldn’t shake!

We made it home and back to bed I went. My temperature would get up to 102 and then go back down. I was a wreck……mainly due to my mind. All the pictures I had seen on television constantly went through my mind. My cough wasn’t too bad, but enough to know it wasn’t normal. I also had a spot in my back that hurt terribly. This went on for the next couple of days. I began telling myself it was a cold, so I hung on not wanting to go get tested. Then Thursday afternoon came.

I got up and took my immune builder and by the way, it tastes and smells pretty bad. When I crawled back in bed I had the thought. “I didn’t taste that tablet I just took and it usually tastes terrible.” I went back to the kitchen and opened up the bottle and took a sniff of the terrible smelling and tasting tablets. I didn’t smell a thing. I had always heard that peanut butter is a smell you don’t want to lose, so I went to the pantry, opened up the jar and took a big sniff. Nothing! That’s when I thought, “okay, this is serious.” Losing taste and smell was one of the symptoms that I heard was part of the “virus.” Our doctors office was a pretty good drive away and I heard that people were going to a clinic in our neighborhood area. So I called them and they said if I came right then they could get me in before they closed at 5. Jim ran me up there. I could hardly hold my head up as I felt awful. I had to stay in the car until they came and got me. Finally, it was my turn. I was terrified. If you keep up with me, you know I have another one of those fears…doctors! I have never really gone to a doctor unless I had too and this past year, I have seen my share of doctors to make up for the 60 years of not having to go. Anyway, they were so nice and kind and they knew I was scared out of my mind. I know, I’m terrible! They did the little test. They used a long Q Tip type thing that is as long as my face. I thought they were going to just swab the nostril a bit and we’d move on. Oh, NO! She told me to lean my head back and the thing went up to my eyeballs. I was so glad when it was over. Then she said, “now for the other side!” I said, “are you serous?” She said, “Yes, lean your head back!” Lord have mercy. I was so glad when that was over. I had to wait a few minutes for the results. When she came in and said, “Positive,” my mind was going 90 miles a minute wondering what was going to happen. All I could see in my mind were those videos on the news of the over run hospitals and people on ventilators and body bags stacked in the hallways. I asked her what I was supposed to do. She said, “Well, nothing. Go home and rest and I will give you something for your cough, other than that, you might take some Vitamin C, D, Zinc and a Pro-Biotic” I said I was taking most of those and she said, “Good, you will have a head start on it all then.” She also told me that since I had my symptoms for almost a week now, I may be through the worst of it. That made me feel better. She also told me my lungs sounded good and strong. That helped a bit, too. I thought, if this is it, I can handle this. Then as I was leaving she said, “If you can’t breathe, go to the emergency room immediately.” I heard those words over and over in my head for the next three weeks. It took everything in me and with the Lord’s grace and mercy to not think the worst.

My cough was barely there after a couple of days. I didn’t take the cough medication hardly at all. I made sure I exercised and moved around a lot. I didn’t want anything to go wrong with my lungs. I took my supplements faithfully and when my nose got stuffy I would boil water and put peppermint essential oils in the water and breathe in as much as possible. If you do that, close your eyes, trust me. (it will burn your eyes) It helped tremendously. When my nose would get stuffy in both nostrils was when I had a tendency to panic, so I stayed on top of that big time. After a week and a half of dealing with that and with the fever up and down, I finally felt so much better. Just tired was my main complaint. I eventually got my energy back and all was well. I am extremely grateful!

Except for…

It has been 8 months and my smell is still messed up. Most things smell normal. The strange thing is the smells that I loved before, smell terrible right now. The only perfume I’ve ever been able to wear is Pleasures by Estee Lauder. Oh me, it smells terrible. My shampoo and bath gel are hard for me to tolerate. I loved cleaning with Pine-Sol. I always joked that I would wear Pine-Sol as perfume….but….when I smell it now, I get sick to my stomach. Jim’s coffee in the morning smells horrendous. Oh, and the sad one is…Jim’s cologne that I loved….it’s a no! One more weird thing, is I loved drinking a coke every now and then….okay, more than I should. It has the weirdest taste to it that has a smell with it. I can’t even! Which is really a good thing. I did discover that Dr. Pepper doesn’t do that…..which is a bad thing! If you know what I mean!

I know you will think I’m crazy when I say this….which you may already think that but, here it goes….

With my fear and anxiety issue from last summer and into the fall…..the fear of getting the virus was a big part of it. I honestly think the Lord allowed me to get it and get it over with. For the life of me, we can’t figure out where I got it from and no one got it from me. I was around the entire family the day I got sick. Jim didn’t even get it. Very strange. That’s just my thought. He was very merciful to me and for that I am very grateful. I have had the flu a few times and this wasn’t as bad as a couple of flu bugs I’ve had. For me, it was the fear of the unknown. Towards the end, the thing that helped me mentally was talking with a friend who lives far away that was going through the same thing. Her symptoms sounded a lot like mine and it was a comfort to know as I knew I was going to make it by what all she shared. So, all this to say, the FEAR that is spread with this is worse than anything. I’ve been sick many times in my life and you deal with it and you move on. This time it was different due to the information that is out there. I believe most of it is to scare the daylights out of us and keep us in fear! The unknown is scary.

My next post, I will share my thoughts on how to win the war of fear for the “virus.” If I can do it….anyone can! At least I made it anyway. I have a few things to share that I wish I would have known when all this happened. We don’t know what any day holds for us. If we get the virus, we don’t know for sure how it will end up. From what I see and know now….you chances are 99.98 percent that you will be okay and make it through. Those are pretty good odds, don’t you think? I don’t even gamble, but, I know those are good odds! I also know that we can win the war of fear!

I was around a few people a while back and they were talking about all the horrors of the virus and who had it bad. I raised my hand and said, “I had it!” Someone then said, “Yes, but, you didn’t have it that bad!” I just smiled and thought…..”as usual, it doesn’t count if you survived.” We don’t want to hear the good, just the bad! Since I lived, that means I didn’t have it bad? I wish I would have known it wasn’t bad when I was going through it. The damage that has been done to people’s mental health through this is very scary and very sad. It has to end! We need to hear the good and how to survive all the craziness and not bow down to the fears that are being thrown at us every single day.

Well, that’s my story…..I hope it helps relieve some of the unknown fears. If I had to sum it up and if it weren’t 2020 and I had these same symptoms, I would have said, “I”m going to bed with this horrible head cold….maybe a light flu…not sure!” But, since we have been bombarded with horrible disease, death 24/7, etc. etc…..it makes it a horrible thing to go through!

Trusting you are well and will stay well and put all your care and trust in your Savior! He’s right there beside you no matter what you are going through. Put your hand in His and let Him take care of you!

“Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.” I Peter 5:6-8

Fear or Faith…..the choice is ours! Which will you choose?

Until next time,

When All Else Fails…..Design a Tea Room!

When we built our home 12 years ago, we put a door from our dining area onto a gated patio. We called it our breakfast patio. I envisioned having nice morning brunch or breakfast out there on beautiful west Texas mornings. Well, things haven’t gone according to my dreams. If you know anything about west Texas; we have dry hot days with lots of wind and with our wind is lots and lots of dirt. So, needless to say our breakfast patio was always filled with dirt and whatever else the wind would carry with it. The furniture was not really able to be used as it it would be filled with dirt all the time. It was so nice when I would get out and clean it from top to bottom, but, by the next morning….it would be back to it’s old ways.

We decided to come up with some ideas to help us better use the space. We had the thought of making it into a workout room or a sun room. What to do? We knew it would be something, so we went ahead and had a brick wall, door and glass put in. We now had a little square room with lots of windows while we were trying to come up with an idea for it. Then one day it hit me!

As you know, I love Tea Rooms. I have been to many all over the country. When we travel, I always look for one. I’ve been to some that I thought, “oh, my….not good!” Then I’ve been to some that have turned out to be my favorite places to go. (We don’t have any near where I live) I’m sure I will be sharing more of my tea room adventures with you soon. Okay, back to my story…

I decided to make a Tea Room out of our little space. Jim was on board for it and as always (okay, maybe not always) he was willing to do whatever I wanted. I think he was as excited for me as I was. After all, he just finished our screened in patio across the back of our house, which I’m sure made it easier for him to decide this was a good thing.

A tea room screams for a chandelier don’t ya think? I wish I would have gotten a picture of Jim putting the chandelier together. Who knew when you order chandeliers, it comes in one million pieces. He put white washed ship lap on the ceiling. My favorite home decor seamstress made my curtains and recovered my chairs that I ordered. I found a cabinet to store all my teapots and teacups I’ve been collecting forever. While at Hobby Lobby, I found a simple little tea cart. The decorating was easy and fun as I had everything in my dish pantry that needed to be let out. I ordered some art from a favorite artist who is whimsical and uses scripture in her pieces.

I had my first luncheon yesterday with two sweet friends. What was on the menu? Scones of course, you must have scones in a tea room, right. Okay, I bombed on the scones, but, I have a new recipe that I will try next time. They looked cute…I cut them into hearts and I will admit the icing was very good, but, no on the actual scone. I even got the recipe out of a tea recipe book. Maybe I did something wrong, who knows? Oh, then I made a delicious Cheddar Cheese, Ham and Thyme quiche. I could eat quiche all day. I served my favorite Spinach and orange salad. You have to have a croissant with chicken salad at a luncheon, right; so I made those. For dessert, we had a lemon cake. The iced tea choice was Raspberry and Pomegranate Tea.

My friends were a good choice for the kick off of the tea room as they are always so sweet and complimentary. I look forward to having them back and I have on my calendar my next victims…I mean guests to try out Beverly’s Tea Room.

I have a couple of friends who I hope they get to bring their granddaughters for a little tea time. Let me know if you want to make a reservation. I’m teasing…drop by anytime for a cup of tea or a fun little luncheon.

I have always dreamed of having a tea room as a business, but, we decided a long time ago that it was best that I just enjoy tea rooms when we are out traveling and not be tied down to a business of any kind. So, now I have one. So much better than a workout room, don’t you think. Maybe after I indulge in all the tea room treats, I may have to shut it down and turn it into a workout room….we will see what happens!

My mom gave me this cute journal that matched the room decor, so it is now a journal for guests to sign and leave little notes, quotes, scripture or whatever they would like to share. It will be a treasure to keep for sure!

Thanks for visiting Beverly’s Tea Room today!

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!