The Ultimate Gift

Life is how you live it…not how you spend it

One of the highlights of the Christmas season for me is indulging in Christmas movies! There’s something so comforting and peaceful about curling up with my family beside a lit Christmas tree or near the roaring fire of the wood stove, and allowing myself to be whisked away into a good story. This year didn’t leave much time for Christmas specials. Lucky for me, I had picked one up at Wal-Mart on one of my far-too-many excursions. This one was called The Ultimate Gift. You’d never guess it, but I’m a sucker for stories of miracles, love, and inspiration 😉

The Ultimate Gift has become my new all-time favorite Christmas movie. It is a heartwarming drama based on the novel The Ultimate Gift by Jim Stovall. It is an inspirational story about a young man of privilege who, like many of us, takes his life for granted. He is rich, carefree, and careless. Living off a trust fund and having never worked a day in his life, Jason Stevens is spoiled and unmotivated with little regard for anyone or anything. When his Grandfather passes away, Jason inherits a series of gifts that promise to lead him to the ‘ultimate gift’.

Life shouldn’t be spent avoiding problems but welcoming them as challenges that will strengthen us so that we can be victorious in the future

Each gift is a task and is specifically designed to challenge Jason to grow as a man. It is through these tasks that Jason learns the Gift of Problems, the Gift of Work, the Gift of the Value of Money, the Gift of Friends,  the Gift of Family, the Gift of Laughter, the Gift of Giving, the Gift of Gratitude, the Gift of Dreams, the Gift of Love, and the Gift of a Day.

Any process worth going through will get tougher before it gets easier. That’s what makes learning a gift…even if pain is your teacher


For me the true gift in this story is the Gift of Emily. Emily is a young girl Jason meets on his quest for the ultimate gift. Emily is a spitfire of attitude with a heart of gold. Emily suffers from a rare form of leukemia and her only wish is for her Mother’s happiness. She quickly made her way into Jason’s heart … and mine as well.

I’m not sure if it was Emily’s story, or the heartache I felt for the families, the children, and the survivors of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, or perhaps more likely it was both…I’ve decided to write my second book, Letters From Heaven with love from your Child. My hope is that this book will in some small way provide even an ounce of healing to the hearts of parents who’ve suffered the tragedy of losing of a child, as Letters From Heaven Love Mom xo has for ‘children’ – both young and old – who are forced to live without the loving guidance of their Mother.

Come up with a dream and then act on it

Treat yourself to a gift that is sure to nourish your soul this season and find the time to accompany Jason on his quest for The Ultimate Gift ….Don’t forget the tissue!

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanuka, Joyeux Noel, Season’s Greetings,  Happy Holidays!

Thank you for sharing in my love of writing this year 🙂

Embrace your Awesomeness!

The Truth about My Marriage

My husband drives me nuts, and I drive him equally mad. All too often I’ve wondered how it is that we ended up married at all. From what I can gather, our marriage was based on a total misunderstanding. He was under the impression that because I was employed by the government working at a financial institution, I was a secure and stable girl and as an added bonus, I was a financial expert. Boy, was he in for a shocker!

At the time, my husband was doing work he loved as a Sheet Metal Worker. He was a caring father to his son and we always had a blast. We would take off on vacation at the blink of an eye, never making reservations, sometimes not even really being sure about where we would end up. In my eyes, I saw my husband as a carefree risk-taker, someone who took life as it came and had fun with it. Oh, if only I knew!

In our first year of marriage, we were blessed with a baby girl. My husband became the stable and secure provider. I, on the other hand, looked into my baby girls eyes and saw life through a fresh new lens. I vowed to teach my daughter to choose happiness throughout her whole life, and how could I do that without leading by example? I became the carefree risk-taker focused primarily on joy and being the best mother I could be.

My husbands career was stable and secure while mine was virtually non-existent as I bounced from one interest to the next never taking into consideration my husbands dream of a stable and secure life. I had quit my  job to open a home daycare. I took a dozen different courses and trained with best selling authors and spiritual leaders in my quest to find a source of income that would allow me to be the best me I could be while providing me with time for our children. The journey I took in finding myself was anything BUT stable and secure. The more I spread my wings, the more stable my husband became. I took his secure world and turned it completely upside down. As he worked to build stability, I fought to live a bubble of possibility, a beautiful bubble, but a bubble no less.
Every time I lost my keys, he sighed. Every time he talked bills, I rolled my eyes. When I talked memories, he spoke of the future. He sung “tried and true” and I shouted “been there done that”. Home renovations never came to be because we couldn’t agree on anything. I’m not going to lie, some days it was a virtual shit storm! We were throwing each other far outside our comfort zones. I misunderstood his discomfort and unease with my freestyle approach to life as a disappointment in who I was.

Things are rarely as they seem

Thankfully, becoming a published author has allowed me to find a happy medium and prove that I could achieve more than even I thought was possible. I still live in my beautiful bubble, I’ve learned to invite my husband in as well. He seems to like the bubble for the most part, he shares in my dreams, and agrees that what he may have considered impossible at one time, might not be so impossible after all.

The truth is, life is always divinely organized. For who better to teach me to keep my feet on the ground than him? And who better to teach him the beauty of life unexpected and the possibility of achieving the impossible than me?

I owe the life I’ve had the privilege of living to my husband and his stability. Without him, I wouldn’t be me.

Today, I choose to fully embrace my husbands awesomeness and the gifts he has brought to my life.

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The Heart of a Blogger

“Through my words, I give my heart to you”

Baring my heart & soul for anyone and everyone to read is exciting and intimidating. In doing so, I leave myself open for judgement & criticism. There is a vulnerability so pure about the whole process.

As a reader, you play a pivotal role in the experience. Each “like”, each “share”, each comment you take the time to make is received with deep gratitude. It provides us with motivation and encourages us to continue sharing our hearts, our stories, and deepest emotions with you.

I’m sure the process varies for each Blogger. For me personally, the moment I feel a new blog coming on, my entire soul lights up. Motley Crew describes it best; it kick starts my heart, every single blog.

The writing process of the blog compares to slowly unwrapping a gift I’ve been waiting for. I never know what it will look like, what it will feel like or what will come of the idea once it’s complete.

Typing it out is like re-wrapping this newly assembled gift to share it with you. Hitting the “Post” button is a total adrenaline rush. It’s me, sharing the gift of my soul with you…hoping you will like it, not feeling so sure, hoping it will touch your heart in some small way by bringing a smile to your face, making you laugh, giving a voice to a message you needed to hear, or providing you with a new perspective.

It takes all of about 2 seconds after hitting that “post” button for the anxiety to kick in and I hear a familiar voice inside my head . “Oh, I hope they like it.” “What if they don’t?” “What if I wasn’t clear in my message and it gets misread?” “What if I inadvertently insult someone?” “What if they think it’s a waste of their time?”

It’s not until I receive the first comment, “like”, “share”, “follow” or email that I realize I’ve been holding my breath in anticipation of how my gift is being received and I think to myself “Whoo-hoo! What a rush!” Before long, my thoughts return presenting a whole new set of insecurities, and the cycle continues.

The heart of a blogger is one of great vulnerability, however it is strong enough to find the courage to share the deepest part of themselves.

Thank you for being a part of my experience. Thank you for taking the time out of your busy day to read my posts, and thank you for sharing your thoughts. Without you, there would be no motivation,  there would be no blog. It’s your feedback that keeps me moving forward.

Embrace Your Awesomeness!

If you enjoy “Embrace Your Awesomeness”, you are sure to love “Embracing Our True Magnificence“, “Writing For The Love Of It“, “The Hand-Written Life“, and “Holly Hinton

From The Bottom of Our Hearts to The Hearts of Our Soldiers

Thank you to the heroes who gift us with the freedom to live the lives we live. Your courage, your valor and the tremendous sacrifices you continue to make are the heart of this country we are so proud to call Home.

Thank you to our soldiers spouses for the strength you portray in spite of the ache you feel when sending them off, for providing your soldier with strength when they feel they have none, and for the endless sacrifices you make to keep your family strong as you patiently await their safe return.

Thank you to our soldiers’ children. Your strength surely makes you a hero as well. It’s heartbreaking to think of you saying good-bye to your Mom or Dad whose time you cherish so dear.

Thank you to the civilians who leave their families behind to work alongside our soldiers. You and your families are to be commemorated as well.

Lest we forget our fallen soldiers. Thank you to the heroes who have paid the ultimate price for the freedom we enjoy – Soldiers who have given their young lives in service to their country. Let us remember the people behind their heroic sacrifice.

Children have lost Fathers and Mothers. Mothers and Fathers have lost children. Spouses have become widows. Soldiers have lost friends. The world has lost too many heroes.

On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, take a moment to truly honor the thousands of men and women who have sacrificed their lives in military service.

 To all the soldiers and civilians who risk their lives for our freedom,

We thank you for your endless sacrifice and we fully embrace your awesomeness.

It’s your turn! Take a moment and show our soldiers some love! Let them know how much you appreciate them! Leave your comments and thoughts below ❤


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“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.” ― Oscar Wilde

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