Hurricane Dorian Relief Bracelet

Hello Wonderful People!

It’s been a while. I know, I know, that’s the understatement of the year. I have no excuses. Life has been…interesting. Sometimes God hides us in the shadow of his wings and works some things out of us in the secret places. Eventually I’ll return, in his timing. For now, I just wanted to pop in real quick to let you all know about an opportunity to support relief efforts for Hurricane Dorian survivors. As we all know, the Bahamas have been ravished by one of the worst hurricanes in their history. My sister has a faith-based jewelry business and she has designed a bracelet in honor of the beautiful people of the Bahamas. This quality bracelet is engraved with a reminder of God’s faithfulness in hard times. All proceeds will go towards hurricane relief, and you’ll have a tangible reminder to pray for survivors every time you wear this gorgeous bracelet.  So head on over to Christ Jewelry Boutique to make your donation today!

stainless steel adjustable bangle bracelet

When you go through deep waters, I will be with you.

Isaiah 43:2

I love each and every one of you. Whether you are able to donate or not, our prayers are powerful and truly make a difference. Please say a prayer for the hurricane survivors, relief workers, volunteers and our government as we welcome survivors to our country.

 

Until next time, remain in faith and love!

Remember, He is God over the storms of our lives, and we are His…There is no power strong enough to separate us from His love. I hope the video below reminds you of that. 🙂

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With God All Things Are Possible

I watched this show called This Time Next Year, and on it, there was a young man who was wheelchair bound after a car accident. His doctors told him he would never walk again, but he was determined to do it anyway. He confidently stated that with God the impossible is possible.

And you know what? After a year of therapy, he walked out on that stage! It inspired me so much that I had to share it. God’s word says that we can do all things throught Christ which gives us strength. No matter what you’re facing, even if the odds are stacked against you, with God it’s possible to overcome it.

Happy Sunday! ♥

Confessions of Faith: When Time Stands Still

It’s hard to know what to do with yourself in the wait. Time seems to drag and your shoulders rise from the tension of long held anticipation. Wonder has long faded and you’re left with anxiety and doubt at war for space in your mind. This is the kind of waiting that feels like torture. Time seems to stand still, which leads to thoughts questioning the point of it all. Does it really matter? Will it make a difference if I give up? Who am I to think that what I want so desperately is even mine have?

In case you can’t tell, I’m familiar with this kind of waiting. It’s not the kind God would have for us. I can hear some of you asking if there’s any difference in the way we complete the act of waiting. I think there is. Have you ever waited for someone who’s late? Have you noticed that how you feel about the person you’re waiting for changes your attitude towards the situation? When it’s someone whom you perceive as a powerful benefactor, what you want from them may trump your inconvenience. When it’s someone that you’re doing a favor for by meeting with them, you may be indignant and put out. When it’s someone you have affection for, you may shake your head and wait patiently. The amount of time that you spend waiting is the same, but your perception and attitude changes based on who you’re waiting for.

When we’re in a season of waiting for the fulfillment of God’s promises, the best thing we can do is to remember who we’re waiting for. Our trust in God and His timing should make waiting less of a challenge and more of pleasure. Our affection for Him, and our understanding of His towards us, can serve as a comfort in the wait. It’s not all up to us. Once we’ve done our due diligence in preparation, it’s out of our hands, and firmly in His.

Relax in that knowledge. Breathe it in. Allow your shoulders to fall and your jaw to unclench. Choose to serve at His pleasure, and to wait with patience, confidence and peace for His timing.

“But those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31, NIV

 

 

Tuesday Morning #RandomActsofKindness #ShortStory

I thought I’d do something a little different today and share a short story!  I hope you find it entertaining, as well as inspirational. 

♥♥♥

21 cents. That’s exactly how much money…um change, I have in my bank account. The relief I feel at the fact that I’m not in the negative is short lived as I push the button on the side of my phone that makes the screen go black. Thank God for free wi-fi hot spots, or I wouldn’t even have been able to get online. My phone’s been cut off for over a week. I stuff it in my pocket as the bus pulls to a stop in front of me, sending a whoosh of hot air and exhaust fumes my way. I force a smile at Jerry, the kind, always joking bus driver as I climb the steps and slide my pass through the card reader at the top of the stairs.

“G’morning, Jen. Did you hear the one about the donuts?” he booms, with a grin as I clear the final step.

I pause next to his seat. “No, but I guess I’m about to.”

“A pile of donuts went out to the club last night. A fight broke out and when the dust settled, one of them was detained by the police . The cops asked him what happened to his buddies and the donut says, ‘ I do-nut remember a thing!'”

I shake my head and walk away as Jerry bellows with laughter. He’s so corny, I can’t help but chuckle despite how juvenile his jokes are. He did succeed in making me forget about my problems, if only for a second, and I think that was his goal.

I find a window seat and sink down into it as I stare out at the storefronts whizzing by. Most of them are still closed, as night slowly gives way to dawn. It’s gray and dreary, due to the fog rolling in off of the Pacific, which perfectly matches my mood. I try not to nod off, but after being on my feet for the last eight hours stocking shelves at Wal-Mart, I can’t help myself. I never fall asleep on anybody’s bus but Jerry’s. I know he’ll look out for me, so I let my eyes drift shut, succumbing to the bone weary tiredness that only working two full-time jobs can bring.

♥♥♥

I feel something hit my shoulder and jerk awake, my breath catching as my eyelids stick together each time I blink. The woman who shook me retracts her arm and gestures with her head towards the front of the bus. I catch Jerry’s eye in his rear view mirror, offering a smile. He winks and nods, acknowledging my thanks. I gather my purse, an unnecessary accouterment if there ever was one, and hustle down the steps of the exit doors at the rear of the bus. Wind and salt air hit me in the face. The sun is rising over the ocean and I would love the luxury of having enough time to lean over the guard rails lining the cliff, to just take in all that beauty. But I can’t, I have responsibilities that trump admiring the divinity of an ocean sunrise on a foggy morning.

I speed walk the five blocks home, grateful that one perk of getting off work from my second job at 5 AM is that there are no men loitering around waiting to harass me. I guess they’re all somewhere sleeping it off at this hour. I stop in front of a Spanish style adobe house, two stories, with plants and flowers overflowing from the windows and hedges. Two benches flank the front door, and I sit down on one of them. I do this every day. Take a moment to breathe before I step into another role in the full roster of people I have to be in order to survive.

The minute’s up, so I drag to my feet, head up the long driveway, through the huge patio area, around the pool to the converted garage apartment I’ve rented for the last three years. The owner, Mrs. Posada, is a widow who was forced to turn her guest house into a source of income after she learned that her husband left her swimming in debt. It was the only way she could save her home, and I’ve never been so happy for someone else’s misfortune. She’s the reason I’m able to work the hours I do without going insane. She looks in on my girls, and it gives me, if not peace of mind, asylum from constant worry.

I close the door softly behind me. I don’t know why I bother, I’ll have to wake them up in a minute anyway. But those few seconds when I see the three of them all tangled up together on the pull-out sofa bed are what keep me going. Jasmine, my middle girl, sleeps with reckless abandon, arms akimbo, mouth wide open, drooling and snoring softly. Teresa, my oldest, sleeps on her side, her arm draped protectively over her sisters. And my baby, Sienna, sleeps on her stomach, butt in the air, exactly the way she has since she was born.

My heart aches with the love I have for them, but also the shame I feel for what I cannot give them. They deserve so much more than what I have to offer. I shake my head and squeeze my eyes shut to stop the tears from starting. I don’t have the luxury of crying.  I skirt the bed where my sleeping angels rest (they’re only angels when they’re asleep, any mother will tell you that), and step into the kitchen to see what I can make them for breakfast. The pantry holds a few canned goods, some hot dog buns and a box of rice. My shoulders sink. I thought we had a canister of oatmeal to tide us over until I get paid in a couple of days. I check the fridge, knowing that I won’t find much there, either. A chunk of moldy cheese, and a jar of salsa.

I’m a failure as a mother. What kind of person can’t plan ahead enough to make sure they have enough money to feed their kids? It doesn’t matter that I’ve been juggling bills so much that I lost track of an automated draft that came out of my checking account to keep the lights on. Or that the payroll department at the daycare where I work during the day miscalculated my hours, shorting my last paycheck an entire day’s wages; which caused me to incur overdraft fees that ate up my meager funds even though they issued me a check to make up the difference the next day. Or that Sienna caught a bug at pre-school which meant I had to take her to the doctor and pay out-of-pocket for expensive antibiotics.  A responsible person would have a savings account for times like these. How I’m supposed to save when I have to use every penny to survive, I’ll never know.

No time for pity or anger at the fact that I didn’t make these kids by myself, and therefore shouldn’t be taking care of them alone, either. I think fast and decide to toast the hot dog buns and cook some canned peaches on the stove with sugar to make a sort of jelly. Jasmine will complain and I’ll snap at her, even though I won’t mean to. Sienna will refuse to eat at all, and Teresa will not only eat it, but will compliment me on my cooking and clean up, too. No 10-year-old should be that accommodating, but I keep telling myself I’ll worry about that later.

I’ve just turned the flame on under the peaches when I hear Mrs. Posada’s lilting accent over the intercom. The girls stir, rubbing their eyes and yawning as I press my ear to the antiquated intercom. I press the talk button and yell, “What was that, Mrs. Posada?”

Her response comes back crackling through the speaker, “I said, my grandchildren spent the night and I made too much food for breakfast. I saw you just got home. You and the girls come on over.”

The tears I’ve been holding back all morning finally spill over. I’m weak with relief and gratitude. I wipe my eyes and take a deep breath. “We’ll be right up.”

People like Jerry and Mrs. Posada will never know how much their random acts of small kindnesses can make the biggest difference in the lives of those they touch.

♥♥♥

 

My goal with this little story is to cause everyone who reads it to think about the ways that they can make a difference through simple acts of kindness. You never know what the people you see in passing are going through, nor the impact you can make in their lives. 

Also, we may be seeing a little more of Jen and her girls in the future. Stay tuned!

 

 

© Faith Simone 2018

Holding Hope in 2018 #HappyNewYear

Here we are. Day one of 365. I’m sitting here at 3:03 in the A.M., after having braved the cold to ring in the New Year with my family, because you were on my mind. Yes, you. I don’t think you really know how much you mean to me. Every one of you matters. Whether you visit this blog only once, or are a regular guest in my space of creativity.

I’m thinking of you in the wee hours of the morning (not in a creepy way, I promise) because I want you to hold hope in your hands as you arrive in 2018. Open up to the possibility of more than what you see. Reality is only as concrete as our perception.  When we allow ourselves to look to the future with excitement and anticipation, we give ourselves the gift of hope.

I went to church on Christmas Eve last week and the pastor spoke about hope; how we’re left with nothing if we don’t have it. The message echoed the thoughts I’d been having for months as I thought about what I’m left with after losing more than I wanted to. Hope was at the top of my list, and because of it, what wasn’t on the list mattered less than I thought it would. I have hope, therefore what I look to is so much more important than what I see right now.

That’s the gift I want to give to you this brand new year; what we see is not all there is, and what we’ve lost is not all there will ever be. There is always hope. ❤

I’m hoping to maintain joy this year. 

What are you hoping for in 2018?

 

P.S. I’m silly, so here are some pics of my 3 AM shenanigans. She ain’t got no worries, or eyebrows, lol. 🙂