Happy Halloween!

   From the Movie Star

 To the Mariachi Band member 
   To my Little Lamb

 And Super Hero…

Happy Halloween folks!

(Photo credit Meredith Shafer) ©Copyright Meredith Shafer 2015

I would love to connect with you on Instagram and Twitter, swing by and say hi! 

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Storms

I was privileged to speak at a ladies’ staff retreat yesterday. These beautiful ladies were kind and thoughtful, hard working and some were in the midst of the biggest storms they had ever faced.

I can identify.

When in the middle of the storm, often all you can see is the devastation around you. You can’t see a way out, an end, a lifeline. It seems overwhelming and there’s a good chance you may go under.

To those ladies, and to anyone else out there who finds themselves in the midst of the hard or scary or impossible let me offer some encouragement: wait it out. This stormy season is only temporary. Though it feels daunting the storms can’t last forever and soon you will find yourself in a new season. Stronger and braver than you were before.

Wait.

Trust.

You don’t have to face the storms alone. You can reach your hand out to the One who calms the storms with his voice and take refuge. Find his peace and hope, even in the middle of the mess you find yourself in.

  
(Photo credit diaryofabrwneyedgirl.blogspot.com) (©Copyright Meredith Shafer 2015)

I would love to connect with you on Instagram and Twitter, come say hi!

Monday Coffee Quote

  
Seems about right.

It’s upon us again folks: possibility. Mondays are full of the promise of a brand new week. How will you fill yours? 

#coffee #coffeeisforclosers #Mondaycoffee #Mondayagain #Mondaymotivation #encouragement #inspiration

(Photo credit Megan Fless) (©Copyright Meredith Shafer 2015) I would love to connect with you on Instagram and Twitter, swing by and say hi!

Catch Up

So as usual I’m behind. I haven’t posted in way too long because my life is way too exciting and I’m just trying to hold on!

Big Brother broke his growth plate in his hand (who does that?!), turned twelve, and became first chair trombone in band. I’m in denial about the being twelve part. 

 Little Brother is barely surviving second grade. I told his super awesome teacher yesterday that I managed to get through law school but second grade is about to do me in. So much homework and probably undiagnosed ADHD (which we’ve begun the super fun process of testing for) means this year is a challenge for all of us. Good thing nothing gets this kid down. 

 Little Sister is still into tutus and cowgirl boots, mud and mishaps. I love how she dresses super girly to go outside and wreck the neighborhood boys.  

 Baby Brother has been sick, which with asthma makes things interesting. And then he kindly shared with me so I’ve been down for the count as well. But we’re getting better and he’s still just happy to be here. What a kid! 

 We’ve gotten a few things worked out for Mr. Wonderful–his hyperbaric oxygen chamber treatment is back online, and we got some VA Caregiver issues worked out. It’s official, the VA has certified me as a caregiver, which I find ironic. We’ve seen how the VA gives care firsthand so it’s interesting that they have to certify me. Sometimes you just have to laugh! 

 I have gotten to speak at some great organizations lately and this has been the biggest blessing! I love that I’m meeting ladies from all over and getting refreshed and encouraged as I am encouraging–crazy how that works.

It’s the end of October and I haven’t written a lick. My final draft is due in January and I. Am. Behind. But I’m not panicking yet because I need the pressure of a deadline. I’m about to kick it into high gear y’all. Wish me luck!

Hope everyone in the blogosphere is doing well, I’m not even close to caught up on your blogs but will be soon. Y’all have a blessed day wherever you are and whatever’s coming your way today!

Much love,

Meredith

(Photo credit Meredith Shafer) ©Copyright Meredith Shafer 2015

I’d love to connect with you on Instagram and Twitter, come say hi!

Ce-lebrate Good Times, Come On!

This week.

So far we’ve had a trip to the ER (broken growth plate), occupational therapy appointment, ADHD testing, timeouts (theirs), meltdowns (mine) and my new inability to find sleep as easily as I usually do.

Add to this a busy season at work, continued spats with the VA and I have done near lost my ever-loving mind!

Is it Friday yet?

On my Instagram feed I posted a bible verse about the weary needing rest. I’m incredibly weary right now. Turns out, so are a lot of you. I don’t know when things got so complicated, do you?

It’s so hard in the middle of any mess to find the silver lining. Figure out a reason to celebrate. Rush towards generosity of spirit. But I believe that’s a game changer if we do. Instead of waiting to rejoice in the midst of our circumstances, I think extravagantly celebrating in the midst of the muck brings about changes much more important than things going our way.

Seems like celebrating before our circumstances change changes how we even view those circumstances, allowing us to find nuggets of wisdom, gifts of goodness that were placed along our path just for us.

Times are hard. And life moves too fast. And we are all so swamped with business and busyness. But for one glorious moment I encourage you to put all of that to the side and rock your socks off. Party like its 1999. Celebrate your blessings or silver linings or good moments lavishly like the gifts they are.

See what happens. I’m willing to bet you will celebrate yourself right into something truly amazing.

Blessings friends!

(photo credit livelifehappy.com) ©Copyright Meredith Shafer

I would love to connect with you on Instagram  and Twitter, come say hi!

Better

This day is getting better and better! @PaneraBread coffee and a quick walk around the parking lot while waiting for Little Brother at occupational therapy
#coffee #coffeeisforclosers #therapy #Panera #stressrelief #bossbabe #gratitude #lovemyflexibleschedule

Photo credit Meredith Shafer 2015 ©Meredith Shafer 2015

I would love to connect with you in Instagram and Twitter, come say hi!

Reset

  
I already had to give myself a timeout today-a full 75% of my kids weren’t doing what they were supposed to. So I stepped outside. Took a breath. Paused. Prayed. Reset.

Now I’m ready for the rest of this day and all the blessings waiting just for me. 

Pause if you need to. Reset so you don’t miss anything. It’ll be worth it, I promise.

#reset #pause #grownuptimeout

(Photo credit Meredith Shafer 2015) ©Meredith Shafer 2015

I would love to connect with you in Instagram and Twitter, come say hi!

Monday Coffee Quote

  

This is my plan for today. Mondays are tough sometimes, lots of To Dos piling up on your list, stresses or worries getting you down before you even get started.

But I would encourage you to look at this Monday as a clean slate, especially if last week didn’t work out so well. Start over, do better, love harder, smile more. There’s something to be grateful for, now get out there and have a blessed day!

#Mondaymotivation #coffee #coffeeisforclosers #CharlieBrown #Lucy #Linus #motivation #inspiration

I would love to connect with you on Instagram and Twitter, come say hi!

Well Done

Before I was ever an author or a lawyer or a wife or a mama, I was a musician. Being a musician is pretty rad most of the time. Unlike algebra or organization or finance charges, music is one of the few things in this world that I get. It’s a language I speak. It’s so much a part of me that I don’t remember not being able to speak it.

There are times where being a musician is difficult though. Times when only music will do to soothe someone’s pain. As a sensitive musician-type, I already feel the feelings but playing music in this grief scenario is heart-wrenching. Not only do you feel the music but you feel all of the emotion wrapped up in the music, the emotions felt by others, those felt by yourself.

I played at a funeral today for a man taken too soon. He was by all accounts a wonderful husband, father, son, brother, uncle. I’ve known this family for several years and was always impressed with the open love he had for his family, especially for his wife. Truly it’s been a beautiful thing to behold-even after 19 years together they still had that spark.

They are a military family and part of my former church family and this is the week that marks a special birthday of sorts for my own family-both Mr. Wonderful’s sobriety birthday and anniversary of when the bottom fell out of our world. So there was a lot going on in my head and my heart during this service.

From my vantage point at the front, all I could see was the family that was left behind. Trying to celebrate his life well-lived while really just barely hanging on. They were alternating between bewilderment and just raw heartbreak. That is a painful thing to stand in the sidelines of, not being able to do anything to help them or ease their pain.

Two years ago this was almost me. I was moments away from having to plan the funeral with military honors for my Mr. Wonderful, from having to raise four kids on my own, from feeling the absolute devastation that one must feel when their partner is just all of the sudden gone.

That terrible day when I nearly lost my partner and best friend was a rebirth of sorts. It gave me two extra years of memories and time that I am so grateful for. Since tomorrow isn’t promised to anyone, I suggest we all go and tell our loved ones how much we love them. Squeeze them tight and store away as many good times as we can. Take a note from a man who’s family is feeling a tremendous loss but who will be able to lean on memories of his life well lived: live full of love, laughter and celebration. Have faith. Take each sweet moment as it comes, work through the hard times, and love your family with everything you’ve got.

In memory of Casey Joe Bussett (1975-2015).

(Photo credit Meredith Shafer 2015) ©Copyright Meredith Shafer 2015

I would love to connect with you on Instagram and Twitter, come say hi!