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Our ultimate goal is to provide ongoing and transparent dialogue to support, enhance, and encourage women in every stage of their life.  Join us as we share our views of the world through faith, family and sisterhood.  

Gift
Lifestyle

At Home Christmas Gift Guide For Every Woman

  It’s the most wonderful time of the year!  Its a time for giving and receiving gifts so I am  joining in on the Gift Guide fun with an At-Home twist. I can’t believe that Christmas is almost here. What a year, right? We’ve experienced so much and the majority of us have been at home managing it all. Ladies we have been working hard all year long so as you begin shopping for others, use the following at-home Christmas Gift Guide for Every Woman to create your wish list. You deserve it! Treat yourself!     This Gift Guide is broken down into categories that Every Woman can relate to  and use right in the comfort of  home Rest And RelaxationSpa DayKitchenWellnessFitnessOrganizationTech Gadgets *All of the gift ideas are linked in this post and can be purchased at Amazon.   Click on each image for additional information:               I hope you found this post useful and that it will help you form your well-deserved wish list!   Interested in additional Christmas content, check out Felicia’s latest blog post:   45 Christmas traditions to do with your family  This post contains great ideas to help you refine, recreate, or adopt new Christmas Traditions.   Merry Christmas!     

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Fear of uncertainty
Faith

How to Let Go of the Fear of Uncertainty

  Hi, my name is Felicia and I am learning how to overcome the fear of uncertainty.  Over the past year, I have been on a journey of valleys, mountains, valleys, and did I mention valleys.  If there is one thing that I have learned it’s that life is full of uncertainties and moments in which you have no clue which way to turn.  Well friend I have learned a few lessons along the way that I hope will help you through life’s certain uncertainties.  I remember it was a Friday in March and I was called into my new boss’s office.  I was feeling pretty confident because I just knew that my work and reputation would speak for itself so my job was safe.  Well as the meeting concluded it finally dawned on me that they were not going to renew my contract.  My new boss wanted to start afresh which meant I was out the door.  I went back to my then office and just stood in the middle of the floor.  I was fired.  I felt helpless, numb and the fear of uncertainty gripped my heart.  This seemingly perfect world that I had built was now crashing and burning.  So I had no job and no clue what was next.  The only thing I knew to do was to call my husband. Prayer For the believer, prayer is a vital part of our relationship with the Father.  Prayer doesn’t have to be complicated or scripted.  My prayer that day was simply, “Lord help me”!  The fear of uncertainty had a grip on my heart, mind, and soul and I needed to be rescued. Remember prayer is simply communication between you and your Heavenly Father.  He wants to hear from you and we need to hear from Him.  As believers, we see that Jesus was always communicating with his Father.  He would sneak away from the disciples and crowds to receive instruction, encouragement, and to be filled up so that he can continue to care for others.  I imagine that they discussed everything!  That is so encouraging because our prayers should be about everything.  Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.  I Peter 5:7 Pray continually.  I Thessalonians 5:17 I believe he tells us this because of l all the ups and downs that life brings.  So whenever a feeling a doubt, uneasiness, or fear tries to grip you get quiet and go directly to your Father.  He’s waiting.  Remove distractions I remember when I was fired from my job, I was so embarrassed and mortified.  I did not want to see anyone or speak to anyone.  That dynamic created an awesome opportunity to remove distractions.  Distractions such as social media, text messages, phone calls, group chats and did I say social media.  Now let me be clear I’m not saying shut yourself off from the world.  I am encouraging you to create space for praying, thinking, decompressing, and breathing.  The fear of the unknown can cloud your ability to make great, rational decisions.  Usually, if I am uncertain about something I want to rectify the situation as soon as possible.  Oftentimes we need to take a step back to reassess before we make a decision.  Many times we do not allow ourselves to do that because of distractions.  Those things vie for our attention when what we really need is laser-sharp wisdom and guidance.  The main thing that we need when facing uncertainty is wisdom from our Heavenly Father.  The only way that we can receive it is through intentional time spent in the Word and prayer.  Decide to put first things first!  Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the in that so easily entangles.  Hebrews 12:1 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.  James 1:5 Continue to dream and plan I remember feeling like my goals, dreams, and aspirations were destroyed when I got fired.  Fear of uncertainty can cause you to stop and feel stuck.  Why?  You are not sure what to do. There might be skepticism or anxiety swirling around your next steps.  Fear hinders forward progression, while faith causes us to move forward.  It was during those days of uncertainty that I had to choose to continue to keep going.  There were moments when I just wanted to hide under the covers but my faith in Christ kept me going.  Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.  Hebrews 11:1 I had to remind myself to revisit my aspirations.  I could not allow one setback combined with fear to prevent me from putting one foot in front of the other.  Dreaming, planning, creating are the antithesis of fear.  Friend if you feel stuck because you are unsure of your next move or fearful of what might happen…..grab a pen and paper.  I want to encourage you to get quiet, remove distractions, pray, and dream.  Dream big and write down where you want to go, who you want to be, and how you’re going to get there.  Don’t stop…keep moving! Put your trust in the Lord Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.  Proverbs 3:5-6   These words are so true and it is one of my life’s mottos.  I thought I was trusting the Lord but it wasn’t until I felt like I hit rock bottom that it was tested.  During those days I found myself questioning why this happened but immediately I was reminded that He was with me.  Christ never left me and because of that my trust and dependence on Him grew.  I had to trust that He had my next steps

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45 Christmas traditions
Lifestyle

45 Christmas traditions to do with your family

In our family, Christmas traditions are a big deal.  We love everything about Christmas and try to cherish every moment of the holiday season.  This is the time of year where spending time with loved ones and making memories become extra special.  We want to help you make this Christmas the best one yet by sharing some of our family’s favorite Christmas traditions. Throw a cookie party. I’m talking cookie cutters, sprinkles, icing, and chocolate chips. Watch all three reversions of the Grinch. Break out Elf on the Shelf!  Make sure you to put him in a Serve an awesome Christmas dinner with a fancy honey ham or roast. Visit a Christmas tree farm to cut down your own Christmas tree. Make homemade hot chocolate, don’t skimp on the marshmallows, whipped cream, and sprinkles. Make a big Christmas morning breakfast, be sure to include French toast casserole. Open one gift on Christmas Eve. Make popcorn and cranberry garland.  Try this it’s super easy: https://www.saltycanary.com/diy-old-fashioned-cranberry-popcorn-garland/ Adopt a family for Christmas and shower them with love. Take the kids to have their pictures taken with Santa Clause. Read the entire Christmas story in Luke. Take a family photo in matching pajamas. Keep a half-gallon of eggnog in the refrigerator. Have a movie night watching Christmas classics with plenty of snacks. Host a fancy Christmas party at your home with an awesome charcuterie tray. Learn about other cultural holidays such as Kwanza and Hanukkah. Watch Home Alone 1, 2, and 3. Find homes decorated with spectacular Christmas lights in your local area. Purchase a collectible ornament for each family member. Attend your city’s tree lighting ceremony. Only play Christmas music while at home, purchase a new album, or play your tried and true favorites. Decorate and put up your tree on December 1. String Christmas lights in your home.  We like to put up lights in the living room, along the fireplace and this year my goal is to put them in the kid’s room. Watch A Christmas Story at least two times during the 24-hour marathon on Christmas Eve. Pucker up under the mistletoe. Wait to wrap all the gifts on Christmas Eve then pass out at 2 am only wake up and open gifts at 6 am. Watch The Preachers Wife with Whitney Houston and sing all the songs out loud. Put up the Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving. Send Christmas cards to your family and friends. Make sure to have the kids sign their names. Visit your local Ángel tree to give the gift of love to a child in your community Visit a local senior living community and spread some Christmas cheer with the residents. Have a gingerbread decorating contest with your family. Purchase a ready-made kit and let your creative juices flow! Read an Advent devotional daily with your family.   The Bible app, You Version, has tons of advent devotionals that are free. Spend time doing a Christmas devotion filled with prayer, singing a Christmas carol, and reading the Christmas story prior to opening gifts on Christmas morning. Find a spot to go ice skating outdoors.  The keyword is outdoors because there is nothing better than bundling up to skate and then enjoying a mug of hot chocolate after a great day on the ice. Pack up and head to the grandparent’s house. Nobody does Christmas better than grandpa and grandma. Purchase at least one poinsettia to decorate your home.  Watch the classics, Miracle on 34th street and It’s a Wonderful Life as a family. Get crafty and make homemade snowflakes and paint ornaments then use them to decorate your house. Bake, bake, bake and then give your homemade bread, cookies, and pies as gifts. Get a tin of triple flavor popcorn. Mix the caramel and cheddar together. You will not be disappointed! Have at least one slice of fruitcake.  I know what you thinking but one slice will not hurt you. Light a candle every night for any loved ones that are no longer with us as a way to cherish their memory. Remember that Christmas is about giving and spending time with those that you love. Each day spend a bit more time with your loved ones. Let us know which Christmas traditions you will be sharing with your family this year.  Merry Christmas and have fun!!

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Worlds best potato salad

The World’s Best Potato Salad Recipe

Growing up in Durham, NC we lived for summer days! We knew that it was grilling season which meant my mom would prepare the world’s best potato salad.  The recipe is her very own.  No cookout, bbq, and gathering is complete without your side dishes and the granddaddy of them all is potato salad. Let me caution you… This is not your grocery store potato salad or pickle free potato salad. No…this is the kind where people will yell out in the middle of eating, “Who made this potato salad”!  It’s the kind where there will only be a quarter left in the corner of your Tupperware dish. It is that good but better than that…it’s super easy to make! The Chef I wish I could take the credit for this awesome recipe but the honor belongs to our mom. Our mother, Regina Dudley-Ford is the eldest child of Amanda and James Dudley. Born and raised in Sumter, SC she has always been opinionated, wise, and super strong. She had to be strong.  She grew up during the Brown vs. Board of Education era and was part of a class that de-segregated her high school. Once she graduated from high she headed to North Carolina to attend North Carolina Central University. While she was there she met our dad and she graduated with honors with her nursing degree. When she arrived in North Carolina she noticed people cooking outdoors. She didn’t experience this in her hometown of Sumter, SC and so she thought these people didn’t have kitchens. She soon learned about the grill and how hot dogs, hamburgers, and ribs are better when prepared over an open flame. Over the years she has become a grill master in her own right, however, she knew that all great main dishes need a complimentary side……introducing the potato salad. Let’s cook! Potato salad 101 For our potato salad, we use white Russet potatoes. When you get home make sure that you thoroughly wash the potatoes. Once they are clean you will place them in a large pot and cover them with water. I like to salt the water to decrease the time to boil and because I put salt in everything. You want to make sure that the potatoes are fork-tender but not falling apart. It will take about 45-55 minutes for the potatoes to cook. A trick that my mom taught me was to boil the eggs in the same pot with the potatoes during the last 20 minutes of cooking. This will cut down on your overall prep time and instead of two pots to clean you only have one! Once the potatoes are ready you will drain them along with the eggs and allow them to completely cool in the refrigerator for 2-3 hours. The purpose of the cooling is that once if you add your mayonnaise to the warm potatoes it will be absorbed and change the texture and taste of your potato salad. If the mayo is absorbed you can risk adding too much because it has absorbed into the potatoes. The purpose of the mayo is to be the binding agent and provide flavor. Now…my mom always allows the potatoes to cool before she peels them but because I’m a rebel I peel them once they are drained. Please be warned! The potatoes and eggs are very hot and you will most likely burn your fingers BUT it is so much easier to peel them while they still have some heat. Potato salad trimmings Now that your potatoes and eggs are cool it is time to build your salad. The first step is to chop up your potatoes and eggs. We like our potato salad with some texture so we do a rough chop. When you begin to stir in the remaining ingredients the potatoes will continue to breakdown. Please keep this in mind because you want potato salad, not mashed potatoes. I like to layer my potato salad ingredients because that is what makes it special. We start with the mayonnaise first. I say mayonnaise but it’s Miracle Whip salad dressing. The recipe calls for 3 tablespoons but it is based upon your taste. The key is to find the sweet spot between not enough and too much mayonnaise. Now we are ready to layer our potato salad with the sweet relish. All great potato salads have a salty and sweet component so do not skimp out on the sweet relish. My husband LOVES sweet relish so I make sure to put in plenty. Once you stir in the relish the next flavor layer is mustard. The mustard adds a bit of spicy kick to the potato salad. The last step is to add salt and pepper to taste. My last step before putting the potato salad on the table is to sprinkle with paprika for a bit of color. We hope that you enjoy it! This is our mom's recipe that is sure to be a hit at your next cookout, bbq or family gathering.

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5 lessons that i have learned from my children

5 Lessons I Learned from my Children

I believe that life lessons can be learned from just about anything or anyone.  Like the majority of Americans, we are sheltering in place due to COVID-19.  During this time many of us have taken on the role of teacher, enhanced nutritionist, daycare provider, referee,  and on-call employee.  As a mom of three, I have been blessed to spend precious and valuable time with my children.  I must admit we have had our sprinklings of tantrums, time outs, and the occasional meltdown but we are in this together.  I have been able to view life through the eyes of my children.  As a result, I would like to share 5 lessons that I have learned from my children.   Lesson 1: Self-Care   I must admit self-care had taken a back seat to the demands of being a good wife, mom, and employee.  I remember the first few days of quarantine I decided that our 4-year old twins could forego their nap so they would be ready for bed around 8:30.  What a huge mistake!  Finally, my dear husband said, “Felicia, they need a nap” and thus my eyes were opened.  When they got up from their nap they were well-rested and somewhat calmer.  Their nap is a simple form of self-care called rest.  Their 4-year old bodies are able to reset physically, mentally, and emotionally.  In a nutshell, that is what self-care means to me.   It is taking care of one’s body to establish a sense of well-being and wholeness.  I knew that my well-being needed to improve for myself and my family.  It is often said that you cannot serve others when your tank is half full or empty. I believe that many of us operate with our tanks either half full or just empty.  Self-care for me means prayer, time in the Word, exercise, and sometimes watching a series on Netflix.  Whatever you need to rest and recover, do it!   Lesson 2: Curiosity   Every morning around 7 am my daughter, Madelyn, walks into our room and the first thing she says is “mom, what are you doing”.    Madelyn is always ready for adventure and her 4-year old eyes are wide open to a world of wonder each and every day.  If I’m in the kitchen she is right beside me asking “what is that”?  I have learned to slow down and include her while I make meals for the family. While curiosity is innate and part of her development it needs to be fostered.   I believe that we could all look at life through a wider lens and our oftentimes are children are the catalyst that we need to try and explore something new.  Mama if you want to try a new course, read a new book, try a new recipe, or just explore who you and are what you are becoming…… I encourage you to go for it!  Those milestones are just markers for new beginnings.  Let’s dive into those new beginnings with great wonder and expectation. Life doesn’t stop when we hit milestones, such as motherhood.  Lesson 3: Ask for help/speak up   Like most moms, we were thrust into the world homeschooling during the pandemic.  One day while we were working on a math assignment, I was distracted and did not provide any instructions on how to complete the assignment.  He immediately said, “Mom, I do not understand this worksheet, you need to explain it to me”.  Probably about two weeks later he said: “I don’t understand what you just explained, can you please explain it again”.  While my ego was hurt, I was super proud that he advocated for himself and voiced his concerns.  I want my children to always speak up and let their voices be heard.  I believe Matthew is on the right path. Full disclosure moment: I do not like to ask for help.  I am a recovering super mom who thinks that she has to do it all even at the expense of my mental and physical health.  I have learned over the years to ask for help and to advocate for myself.  Asking for help can look like my husband doing the grocery shopping or teaching my kids how to clean up the playroom.  I would often wonder why I was doing ALL THE THINGS…..in the words of my husband it was because I did not ask.  “Closed mouths don’t get fed”.   Ask for and receive help!   Lesson 4: Some things take time   Ethan is our 4-year-old twin and he moves to the beat of his own drum.  Matthew was fully potty trained by 3 years old and it took Madelyn a month to master this skill.  Well….insert Ethan Tucker.  When we decided to implement a potty training boot camp during Christmas break, soldier Ethan refused to participate.  While I was discouraged and frustrated that my soon to be 4-year-old refused to use the potty, he didn’t have a care in the world.  Fast forward to March 2020, I am happy to report that in his own timing, he is using the bathroom like a champ.  This does not mean that he doesn’t have accidents or that he occasionally whines when I tell him to sit on the potty but everyday gets easier and easier.  If you have set goals for yourself and it seems as if they are taking longer than you like I want to encourage you to keep moving forward.  Do not be discouraged.  Our children show us every day in small ways that small steps lead to big developments and growth.   Keep taking those small steps… Lesson 5: Adaptability   I am a creature of habit who loves routines and systems.  As moms, we know that routines and systems need to be flexible.  One weekend we decided to grab lunch from Chick-fil-A.   Our parks remain closed but that didn’t stop us from having a picnic out of the trunk of our car.  We were able to get fresh air, eat

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7 dinner theme meal planning

7 Dinner themes for easy meal planning

Meal planning for your family does not have to be complicated or expensive.  As a mom of three hungry kids and a picky husband, I had to learn early on how to plan our meals.  Over the past seven years, I have developed a meal planning system that allows me to be creative, budget-conscious, and appeal to everyone’s taste buds.  Meal planning is all about preparation, implementation, and execution.  Please allow me to share our meal planning strategy that we have adapted for our household.  We use designated days and themes to provide the blueprint for our meals.  You will see that I DO NOT cook every night and that’s ok!  This is about providing meals for your family not running yourself into the ground by being a personal chef seven days a week. Meal planning: Themes Each day of the week has a designated theme and within those themes, you are allowed to be as creative and inventive as possible.  Feel free to switch these day designations for your family as you see fit.  In addition, if you have a crockpot, Instapot or Foodi Ninja be sure to incorporate them into your weekly meal plan. Sunday: Sunday Dinner I grew in in NC and every Sunday after church my mom would prepare a bountiful home-cooked meal complete with a dessert.  Sundays are special because you have fewer obligations and you are able to gather around the table for a special meal.  If you are unfamiliar with Sunday dinner then check out these examples: Fried chicken with collard greens, cornbread and a yellow cake with chocolate icing Roasted chicken with root veggies, dinner rolls, and a key lime pie Roast beef with potatoes, rice, yeast rolls, and peach cobbler These meals may not be light on calories but they are filled with love and great memories Monday: Leftover extravaganza Mom’s treat yourself!!  You have just prepared a wonderful meal the night before.  Your family absolutely loved it…..let’s do it all over again but with a twist.  If you are looking to change it up a bit then make a fried chicken sandwich or a roasted chicken casserole.  Whatever you do make it easy on yourself. Tuesday: Vegetarian or Vegan I know what you’re thinking….no meat!  I have kids!  What are they supposed to eat?  Remember we are in this together and I have a 7-year-old and 4-year-old twins.  Vegetarian and vegan do not have to be complicated.  Check out these options: Homemade cheese pizza Stir-fry veggies with rice or noodles 3 bean chili with cornbread Tomato soup with crusty bread Grilled cheese with granny smith apples (Family favorite) Wednesday: Pasta and rice dishes You have reached the midweek hump and you want something quick, filling, and delicious.  What better option than rice or pasta.  My family knows that once a week we will have rice and/or pasta.  My children can eat spaghetti every day but my husband would go nuts so we try to switch it up throughout the month.  The recipe ideas for pasta and rice dishes are endless so don’t limit yourself to the traditional ones.   Check out a few of our favorites: Chicken sausage with peppers (green and red) and yellow rice Chicken thighs and rice Spaghetti (classic) Chicken Alfredo Thursday: Breakfast for dinner Yup…good old breakfast for dinner.  This meal will never get old and you can spice it up or keep it traditional.  When we have breakfast for dinner I try to make something special such as a smoothie or parfait to go along with the traditional eggs, toast, pancakes, and bacon.  Have fun and keep it simple and easy Friday: Fend for yourself It’s Friday and it is the last day of non-stop busy work and school week.  The last thing that you want to do is cook or prepare a meal.  So in our home on Friday evenings it’s every man for himself….well to a certain degree.  This is when we pick up a meal from our favorite fast food restaurant, Chick-fil-A, or grab some Chinese takeout. Saturday: Quick and easy  If your children are anything like mine then this is their favorite day of the week.  No-fuss, no mess, and all of their favorites.  Here are a few ideas: Hot dogs Tacos Anything from the frozen section of your favorite grocery store Grilled foods Meal planning: Sample menu Now that we have our designated days let’s map out our meals for the next two weeks.  I have included a 2-week grocery list based on the meal options listed below. Week one Sunday: Roasted chicken with roasted root veggies (carrots, red potatoes, red onions) Monday: Leftover redo such as chicken salad or enjoy that meal again Tuesday: Homemade Cheese Pizza Wednesday: Chicken sausage with peppers and yellow rice Thursday: Pancakes, eggs, bacon, smoothie Friday: Your favorite takeout Saturday: Grill day!  Hot dogs, hamburgers, veggies Week two Sunday: Pot roast with veggies (crockpot or Instapot) and rice Monday: Leftover redo or enjoy that meal again Tuesday: Cheese quesadillas Wednesday: Baked chicken thighs and rice, side of broccoli Thursday: Omelets, bacon, parfaits Friday: Your favorite takeout Saturday: Grab a meal from the frozen section of your grocery store and pop it in the oven My hope is that you will be able to take portions or all of the meal-planning guide listed above.  I believe that meal planning themes are a great way to get organized but also allows for creativity in preparing meals for your family.  Happy shopping and eating! Click here to get your 2-week Grocery List! Thank you! You have successfully joined our subscriber list.

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How does Forgiveness bring Freedom

Forgiveness can be tough, but it is necessary.  Forgiving means freedom from an endless cycle of spinning your wheels and getting nowhere.  How can we make sure that our lives are being lived to the fullest?  I believe that oftentimes the one thing that is holding us back from the best that the Lord has for us is bitterness.  If we become stuck and unable to forgive it will take root and cause bitterness to grow.  Bitterness is anger and disappointment for being mistreated.  How many of us have been mistreated?  I will raise my hand and share my story at the same time. Forgiveness is a choice Over the past year I have experienced some trauma that hit me at my core.  I remember for a while I went into hiding because I felt shame, embarrassment and I could not figure out how I was going to make it out with my dignity.  It felt like everyone’s eyes were on me.  After some time I finally started to “resurface” and I left like I was ready to move on. However my actions and especially my thoughts proved otherwise.  I could feel bitterness begin to creep in and as a result I became very cynical and distant.  If you know me then cynicism and isolation are not part of my DNA.  I wish I could point out one particular moment where I snapped out of that funk but the reality is that it took time and effort on my part.   David and Forgiveness One day I was reading Psalm 62, verse six stuck out in my mind. You are alone are my rock and salvation; my fortress I will never be shaken. Psalm 62:2 For some reason that verse really stuck with me, and I immediately thought about David.  When he wrote the Psalms he wrote from a place of good, bad, desperation, uncertainty, joy, and pain.  As I read that passage I thought about how he continued to love and serve a guy who wanted to murder him.  King Saul was obsessed with David, and he would not be content until he was dead.  How was David able to love someone who was hunting him?  I had to find out because I knew I needed to be set free and move forward. Identity crisis I think oftentimes the reason we struggle with unforgiveness is that we allow their words and actions define us.  I allowed those things to seep into my spirit which in turn affected my thoughts.  In turn those thoughts would stop me from venturing out and showing my face for fear that others knew what was said of me.  I had to combat those words with the truth.  The kind of truth that is only found in the word of God. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – if anything is excellent or praiseworthy- think about such things. Philippians 4:8 Who am I? I had to remind myself to think about good things and leave the other stuff in the past.  Also, I had to remind myself of who I am.  In society we oftentimes identify ourselves by our gifts or talents.  I was one of those people, and it took me going through this situation to realize that I was experiencing an identity crisis.  As a believer in Christ my identity is found in Christ alone.  I no longer have to try and prove my worth to anyone.  Scripture is filled with verses that tell us who we are and how much He loves us. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.  Ephesians 2:10 But you are a chose people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who you out of darkness into his wonderful light.  1 Peter 2:9  So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.  John 8:36 See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children God!  And that is what we are?  The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.  1 John 3:1 Do words hurt?  Absolutely!  Should we hold onto those words and allow them to stymy our growth.  No!  Why because those words do not define us.  The Father’s love towards us does and he says that we are His.  So let those words go and be free! Meant for Good I remember someone telling me that it’s all going to work out in the end.  What good can come from this situation? What good can come from David hiding in a cave and running for his life from a madman?  The crazy part is David has opportunities to kill King Saul and take over as king but he knew that the Lord was with him.  I have to remind myself that the Lord is with me. Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.  Hebrews 13:5b During those times when David was in hiding he poured out his devotion to the Lord.  When he was on the battlefield he sang heartfelt prayers.  In victory he gave his best praise and even when he made mistakes he offered up sincere apologies.  David knew that through it all the Lord was doing a work in his life.  What would his life look like If he held had onto unforgiveness and harbored bitterness? One can only imagine but for me I would have forever played the role of a victim and missed out on all the good that can come from bad.  You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.  Genesis 50:20 The tough, uncertain, and UNFAIR times in life are meant to build

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Mothers Day

Mother’s Day Gift Ideas: Home Edition

Celebrating Mother’s Day this year will look different but this list of Mother’s Day Gift Ideas will help Mothers get their wish list prepared so that you can celebrate and be celebrated at home.  1. A Day Off Moms use the time to relax and recharge. I know that our jobs are never done but you deserve a few hours behind a closed door.This is the ultimate Mother’s Day Gift Idea. 2. Honey-DO list completion Do you have some projects that you need to finish around the house but you’ve been waiting on your honey to do it? I know I do…put this on your wish list! 3. Car wash/detail This can be done at home and if you struggle with “mom car” like I do, your ride is in need of some TLC. Make sure your children get involved since they are more than likely responsible for the messy state of your car. 4. Picture framing I have tons of photos around the house and I’ve never been a fan of bulky photo albums. Picture frames make great gifts! 5. Organizational tools This can range from planners to cute bins and crates for your room, bathroom, closet, or at-home work area. We can all be a little more organized! 6. Life Hacks Instant Pots, crockpots, or gadgets to make life simpler. Put one OR two on your list that will help you increase your daily productivity and decrease your workload. Anything that can make life simpler is a perfect Mother’s Day Gift Idea. 7. Health and beauty tools Many of us are trying our hands at new skills so it’s a great time to add things like foot spas or facial steamers to your at-home inventory. 8. Books Do you still enjoy having a book in-hand when reading? Add those books you’ve been considering to your wish list. 9. Gift Cards Are you having a difficult time deciding what you want? Ask for gift cards so you can make your purchases when you’re ready! 10. Gardening tools,supplies, or potted plants If you have a green thumb and don’t mind adding another “dependent” to your list, gardening tools, supplies, potted plants, or hanging baskets may be a great addition to your home. 11. Subscription Box Who doesn’t love receiving some of their favorite things at their door? There are so many options in subscription boxes to meet the needs or interest of everyone. Pick a company that offers this service that  is of interest to you and it the subscription service to your wishlist! 12. Courses, Masterminds, Advancement Opportunities Looking to sharpen your skills in a certain area or even learn a new skill? Put the enrollment fee or a percentage of the fee on your wish list. 13. Hobby specific materials Are you a maker or creative looking to replenish your craft stash or add the latest machinery to your collection? You can add these items to the list. Also, if you are looking to start a new hobby, starting at your loved one’s expense is the way to go! 14. Fitness Apparel or Equipment If you prefer to workout from home, you can add some cute workout attire and even functional exercise equipment to your list. 15. “I Owe You” Many of us are still under stay-at-home orders so some of our routines have been put on hold. A monthly house cleaning is one of the things that I typically budget for. I will be requesting an “I owe you” when this can be phased back into our routine. I’m encouraging you to think of something that’s been out on hold in your routine and request an “I owe you” as well! Moms I hope that this list of Mother’s Day Gift Ideas will help you prepare your wish list. If you have additional ideas,  I would love for you to share by commenting below. If you enjoyed this post, you’ll enjoy last year’s Mother’s Day post: Motherhood Chronicles: Year Three

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Hi friends!  I’m Danielle and I’m Felicia….but growing up we were just known as the Ford Girls.  Welcome to our corner of the blogging world.  We hope that you will join us as we journey through life as wives, moms, career woman and woman of faith.  We hope to inspire and encourage you to live in each stage of your life with intention, grace and love!

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