How To Treasure What Matters Most

My sister who received a double lung transplant eight years ago taught me that every breath matters.
My friends who’ve lost children have taught me that every hug is priceless.
My mentors and die-hard supporters have taught me the power of no-strings-attached giving and paying it forward.
My own journey has taught me that every kind word and deed, and each memorable experience are gifts not to be taken for granted.
Nor are the so-called simple blessings of waking each day, seeing a sunrise or gazing at a full moon; enjoying some favorite music or reading a good book; trading a smile with a stranger’s baby or kisses with your favorite kids; spending time doing nothing with loved ones or taking self-care journeys solo; learning a tough lesson that leaves you wiser or persisting through a test that proves your dream was worth it.
I’m sure you’ve got your own list of simple and significant blessings. Write them down and reflect on them on those days when nothing seems to be going right. Doing so is a game-changer that can reset your attitude and your trajectory.
It all matters, so appreciate it all.

Stacy Hawkins Adams

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Ditch Worry and Dance

This week, don’t waste worry. Show up being your best self. Bring your A game. Trust the process. Enjoy it, too!
Believe you’re worthy, because you absolutely are. Appreciate and celebrate the value others bring.
Know that goodness always triumphs, though it may tarry. Know that you’re a boss, and it starts from the inside out.
Be in it to win it, and do just that.
Stacy Hawkins Adams 

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Why Whether You’re Winning Is Up To You

Hone your perspective and you can change your life.

Where you see an obstacle, someone else may see a chance to persist and win.

What feels like a setback to you could be another’s opportunity to reset and start again, with more innovative ideas.

When it seems to you like all is lost, someone else may view that same “pitstop” as a mere detour, necessary to appreciate the looming victory.

Therefore, going forward, see what you naturally see; then nudge yourself to see more, and better.

If you envision and work toward a brighter future, you can experience one 10 times more marvelous.

Stacy Hawkins Adams 

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Why Divine Timing is Always On Time

When I pause and reflect on my journey, I’m often amazed at how God fits together my life’s puzzle pieces in the just-right way to connect my part of His universal design to someone else’s puzzle:

  •  The brief but powerful encounter I had with a stranger last Tuesday, all because my girlfriends and I just “so happened” to reschedule our dinner date for the 3rd time and randomly choose “that” restaurant
  • The reconnection with a longtime acquaintance at a stage I can guide her through, because I’ve already successfully navigated it and it’s time to pay forward the support I once received
  • The mentors coming into my babies’ lives at just the right time and in just the right way to help them grow and thrive in independence while reminding me of the power of the village
  • The emails from readers about how the words I penned anywhere from last week to 15 years ago have somehow changed their lives for the better, at just the moment they needed the laughter or encouragement or understanding that great love is grace-filled love.

I could go on and on, and I’m sure as I shared my examples, a few well-timed miracles of your own came to mind.

Today, I give thanks for the opportunity to be a blessing while receiving blessings in ways that are simple, profound and often in between.

You matter and I matter, and our puzzle pieces are divinely designed to interconnect with others’ during seasons and in ways that we may never fully understand.

Just keep doing you, being you and loving you, and trust God’s timing. Our masterpieces are in the making, and it’s a bonus when we choose to find hope and joy in that process.

 – Stacy Hawkins Adams

How to Embrace Your Current Season

As you begin your week, here’s a “public service announcement” for whoever needs it. If it’s not you personally, pass it on.
Keep going – your valley is just a pitstop.
Keep dancing – the swirling storm won’t touch you.
Keep believing – beauty can indeed be birthed from ashes.
Keep trusting yourself – you’re a prize worth cherishing, at home, at work and everywhere in between.
Keep paying attention – to your heart, your gut, what people show you rather than what they say, and what you yourself know to be true. This will never lead you wrong.
Keep laughing – it’s medicine for your soul, and everything doesn’t have to be so serious.
Keep on keeping on.
I promise you, your best days are ahead, no matter your age, stage or circumstances.
Your job is to persist in excellence,
love with an open heart,
set appropriate boundaries,
welcome peace and
treasure your joys.
I’m living proof that it’s all doable.
Join me on this #LifeUntapped journey. 

Stacy Hawkins Adams

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Her Story: She Discovered She Was Capable and Soared

By Guest Blogger Angelia White 

From a very young age, I knew that life is filled with hardships. I spent so many years in pain and abuse, though, that for the longest, I never understand it was possible for things to change—that it was possible for me to find complete freedom and learn to survive and soar.

After many years and many tears, I finally realized that I was capable of standing and thriving on my own. I wrapped my mind around the idea of changing for the better, and I let my heart start to embrace this possibility.

One morning, I looked in the mirror, and I didn’t even recognize the woman I saw. Who was she? Where was the courage she desired to have? Where was the strength I knew she had deep down inside? In that moment, I looked back at her (me) and said, “Ang, the time is now. It’s time to be the brave woman you know you were always meant to be.”

Right then and there, I knew that everything was about to change—which meant that my life was about to get uncomfortable. It’s scary to walk away from what we’ve always known, even when what we’re walking away from includes situations that bring us down and aren’t good for us. Sometimes we become so comfortable with the toxic areas of our lives that the thought of leaving for new and better opportunities seems impossible.

But girl, there is so much more for you out there.

You are capable of being stronger than you ever imagined. You are capable of stepping out of your comfort zone and learning to grow and fearlessly diving into the unknown. You are capable of trusting yourself and believing in yourself. You are capable of so much more, my friend.

We don’t always understand why we must deal with challenges and struggles in life, but they often end up being the reasons we become who we were always meant to be. They’re the reasons we learn to be strong. They’re the reasons we learn to take those leaps of faith. They’re the reasons we finally let fear take the backseat as we step into the changes that we know need to happen.

Don’t be afraid to take a chance on yourself. You’re worth every risk—and you’re worth realizing that you’ve always been strong enough to walk into the light of the unknown.

The more I’ve embraced this truth, the more I’ve learned about myself and come to love myself. You can do the same.

 

42978751_10211797502162337_1735984798465261568_n (1)Angelia White (Stone) is a mother of three and the publisher, president, and CEO of
Hope for Women and Hope By The Book magazines. Motivated by her desire to encourage women and share their inspiring stories, she transformed a simple idea into an empowering endeavor when she started the lifestyle magazine in 2005. Hope for Women magazine is headquartered in Muncie, Indiana and is now read by more than 100,000 women monthly.  Connect with Angelia on social media here:  Twitter and Instagram @angelialwhite or @hopemag and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/hope4women.

Her Story: A Bond with Horses Connected Her To God

By Guest Blogger Katy Pistole

I have loved horses since I could see. I remember being very young, maybe three, when a man came to the door of my family home with a small pinto pony, offering to take pictures for a fee. I still have that picture of myself with that horse, and while I couldn’t have realized it at that young age, it was a pivotal moment in my life. That encounter launched me into a relationship with horses that continues to this day.

When I learned to read, I practically memorized every horse book I could find. Just before my 12th birthday, while living in the southern African country of Botswana, where my father, a career diplomat, had moved our family, I received my first horse.

During our stay in Botswana, my parents met some Anglican missionaries who introduced them to Jesus. My family attended church regularly, and would have called themselves Christians, but had not understood the intimacy of a personal connection with God. My parents dearly wanted me to receive the Lord as well, but my heart was full. I had a horse. What else could I need?

And then my beloved Black Jack became very sick. He was diagnosed with a fatal disease called African Horse Sickness. There was no medicine, no cure, no treatment. Nothing available to save him. Now I had a need.

My mom suggested a prayer meeting. Desperate and without other options, I agreed.

Soon after, 12 adults gathered around me in our home and prayed for Black Jack and for me. The next morning, I raced to the barn to find my horse healthy and eating hay.

The veterinarian had no explanation. He shook his head and muttered to himself.

But I knew in that moment, at age 12, that God is real, and powerful and good. I am convinced that He gave me Black Jack so I could understand the difference between a generic love for horses and a personal connection with someone who is beloved, because Black Jack belonged to me and I loved him – just as we belong to God and He passionately loves us.

My love for horses continued to grow, and in 1992 I started incorporating them into a discipleship program for youth. Horses have helped me understand and share what it means to belong to Someone. Today, I share my stories about my love for this magnificent animal to help others understand God’s love for humanity and for them, personally.

Katy Pistole is an award-winning author of seven books. LittleScooty1 (1652x2010) (4)Her newest release, Jubilee, TheLove Story, won the Genesis Contest in 2011 and is now in the running for the 2019 Author Academy Awards.Katy loves to share her love for horses as a contemporary Shepherd/sheep metaphor by weaving analogies through her stories. Katy’s unique perspective on brokenness has helped her lead thousands of God’s children into a deeper understanding of the Abundant Life and the heart of The Shepherd. Katy is an ordained minister, Bible teacher, crisis counselor, and the Executive Director of Beautiful Brokenness Ministries, a horse-themed discipleship and teaching ministry located in Central Virginia. You can find Katy on the Internet at www.KatyPistole.com and www.BeautifulBrokenness.org