Who Is Your Tribe?

Who are your people? Who do you surround yourself with? Are these people lifting you up, encouraging you?

Your tribe is important. Who you spend time with, who you allow into take up space in your life is critical to where you are headed. If you have goals and dreams, you better have light-givers, encouragers, destiny-builders in your circle. There has to be someone in your world who believes in all you are capable of, someone who sees all the potential inside you.You have a choice. The people in your life will either build you up or tear you down. You can’t force them to do either; what you do have control of is who you allow in.

(photo cred Facebook.com)

Let’s choose our tribes carefully. I’m trying to surround myself with people who pray, love, and bring light into my life and into the lives of everyone around them. People who challenge me to be better, who are challenging themselves as well. I love friends who make me think deeply, laugh uncontrollably, strive greatly. I’m also trying to be that for them. 

Who is with you? 

Who is not? 

To reach your God-given destiny, you need your people to be on your team. Look around: if you’re successful are they clapping? If you fail are they offering a hand up? If the answer is no to either, maybe it’s time to re-evaluate who is in your tribe-

💗❤️💗

©Copyright Meredith Shafer 2016. Swing by Instagram and Twitter to say hi!

#mytribe #mypeople #support #friendship #makeorbreak #success #successbuilders #tribe #friends

Celebrations

I’m procrasrinating my editing deadline (finalized manuscript due one week from today people!) and it feels so right. I’m just not in an editing sort of place right now, I have no focus after the craziness of this week and I think I just need a mental break.

So I’m giving myself permission to do just that.

In the meantime I’m celebrating. This week has been full of some really great family moments at our house, and when we have those, we hold on with both hands because we know how elusive things going well can be at times. I’m always a silver lining kid of gal so I’m usually celebrating anything I can get my hands on. This week, however, has held some really special moments.

My kids enjoyed one other’s company. Sure, they fight like cats and dogs but at their cores, they are all best friends. It’s hard to see in the picture but Baby Houdini is riding Big Brother like a horse and Little Brother and Little Sis are making sure he doesn’t fall off. Charlie the Service Dog is also keeping a watchful eye-

(Photo cred Meredith Shafer 2016)

Little Sister did amazing at the dentist, which isn’t news to you but to our family, when we have another kid who has such bad sensory issues the dentist is torture, this was a good day. 

 (photo cred Meredith Shafer 2016)

This week was also Big Brother’s Gotcha Day-the day he was born into our family through adoption twelve years ago. This pic is the moment he was placed into my arms for the first time. It still makes me teary-eyed!😭

 (photo cred Meredith Shafer 2016)

And finally, the kid who has the most struggles in school got a scholastic award for reading! He won the Thunder Reading Challenge for reading the most minutes at his school-well over 700. He told me he was going to win and he did! He read to anyone who would listen, the dog, his siblings. I even saw him reading to one of the neighbor kids… 

 (photo cred Meredith Shafer 2016)

This has been a week where living in the Shafer household has felt more like thriving instead of surviving. That’s a goooooood feeling, one we don’t take lightly around here. Thanks for celebrating with us, it brings me great joy to look around and see that we do indeed have so much to celebrate!

Blessings, friends!💗❤️💗

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Gifts and Blessings

I’m always amazed when people take time out of their days to bless me. Whether it’s a friend sending a text at exactly the right time or an email checking on me, lunch or meeting for coffee, it always seems to come at the right time. 

 (photo cred the WoW style)

Giving these gifts–big or small–requires a sacrifice of some sort. Maybe time or effort or just looking beyond one’s self to see who needs to be blessed. In a world of selfish behavior and looking out for #1, I find this gift-giving so refreshing. To be on either the giving or recieving end is a blessing.

Every time someone reaches out and does something spectacularly selfless, I not only fill up with squishy gooeyness on the inside, but it spurs me on to do the same. To pass it on and pay it forward. This week I recieved a very personal gift, and it required a sacrifice of time and lots of talent. My friend Linda gave me a portrait of my family that she drew. 

 (photo cred Meredith Shafer 2016)

This wasn’t just something she whipped up. It took time away from her busy schedule as a teacher, mama and grandma. She had to study the original, outline us, color us in. Every detail was tended to, from eye color to the cover of my book– 

 (original-photo cred Meredith Shafer 2016)

So I ask: who can you bless today? Who needs your time or talents or kind words or smile? Who needs some encouragement? I dare say there are several people in your world that could use some of that stuff. Encouragement and hope are powerful seeds to plant inside someone–take a moment today to look around and see who you can bless. 

And if your are in need yourself, see what happens when you encourage someone else. It’s amazing how it will come back to you–

 (photo cred brown-eyed-whimsy.tumblr.com)

Now go, be blessed and be a blessing!

Swing by Instagram and Twitter to say hi!

Finally!

I’m doing my happy dance friends! I finally got my manuscript for my second book, Mad Cow: A PTSD Love Story, to the publisher!! I feel so free…and then I remember I still have four kids and I’m supposed to be working on my third book lol😊

I still love this life though, y’all. I feel like I am doing what I was meant to do all along and even though it’s hard and there are many weeks I get run over by my Traveling Circus, I’m so grateful to be in this place.

I have had a busy and awesome week. Date night with my handsome Mr. Wonderful- 

 (Photo cred random stranger who used my phone to take our pic at dinner!)

We took our Bigs to the #TobyMac concert–it was the best show! Capital Kings, Hollyn, Building 429, and more great bands were there. We partied like rock stars! 

 (photo cred Meredith Shafer 2016)

I also got to go to our first ever Writer’s Club lunch–I’m so blessed to have these ladies to hold me accountable! 

 (photo cred another random stranger who generously agreed to take our pic)

Mr. Wonderful continued being wonderful 

 (photo cred Meredith Shafer 2016💗)

And finally, I capped off the weekend by speaking at a ladies retreat. I was so blessed to be with the beautiful ladies of Lost Creek! Thank you to all of my new friends for opening your doors and hearts to me!!! 

 (photo cred Diann Rudd)  (Photo cred Meredith Shafer 2016-don’t ask, what happens at the retreat stays at the retreat!)

I am enjoying a bit of quiet after church while everyone is either playing outside on this gorgeous day or napping. Hope y’all have a blessed, well-spent Sunday as well!💗❤️💗

Swing by Instagram and Twitter to say hi!

To the One Who Is Struggling:

Dear Friend,

I’m sorry this is all so hard. What you’re going through seems improbable on the best days and impossible on the worst. It’s hard to keep your chin up when life keeps knocking you down over and over again.

Yes, you’re bruised. Your wounds haven’t healed yet. I see your pain, feel it rolling off of you. 

Just when you think you might make it, another wave crashes over you, threatening to pull you under. You’re in over your head and relief seems as far away as the shore.

But friend, I want to tell you that even though you feel like you’re drowning right now, there are plans in the works. Plans to give you hope and a future. I can’t tell you how or when things will change. I just believe with all my heart that they will.

I believe in a good God that goes before us, stands behind us and walks beside us. You’re not sure if you believe, or you haven’t been in close contact with this God I’m talking about? That’s not a problem for him; you can’t do a thing to earn his scandalous grace.

You can have his peace in the midst of the chaos, the crazy, the pain or the grief. You can experience this peace no matter the circumstance. And it’s free.  

 (Photo cred babynameslog.com)

All you have to do is accept it.

Hang in there friend, better days are ahead, and I’m praying for God to hold you in the very palm of his hand.

Blessings,

Meredith

©Copyright Meredith Shafer 2016. Swing by Instagram and Twitter to say hi!

Laundry Truths

  
I got this from my friend over at Life, Kids and a Glass of Red–this is truth! (And you should go check out her blog, it’s hilarious!)

If you’re stuck doing laundry today like me, I’m sorry! Let’s chuck it all and do something irresponsible, like write on our blogs😂

Have a blessed Tuesday, y’all!

(Photo credit NickMom) ©Copyright Meredith Shafer 2015

Swing by Instagram and Twitter to say hi!

A Blessing

So I “met” this lovely woman on Facebook, much how I’ve met many of y’all. We chat and I feel like I’ve found a new friend. Again, much like y’all in this blogosphere.

A few weeks ago I posted this picture:

My new friend commented that it was a picture of how faith works. That you can’t always see what’s coming around the curve but you trust. And pray. And appreciate the blue skies while you have them, even as storms are approaching.

We met on Facebook because a mutual friend of ours thought we might have lots in common-she suffers from PTSD just like Mr. Wonderful does. And she paints, so she’s Artsy Fartsy like me.

Of course we hit it off.

Then she told me she paints as therapy for her PTSD. And she was painting the picture I had taken a few weeks before when I was at the ladies retreat in Colorado. She had decided she was going to send me her painting as a gift to remind me that PTSD will not win and we aren’t alone.

Isn’t that beautiful?!?

My new friend also drew my attention to a part of my original photograph that I hadn’t even noticed. Up in the upper left hand corner are two trees. She painted those trees in fall colors (because fall is my favorite season) and said that those two trees are like me and Mr. Wonderful–still growing strong even after all we’ve weathered.

My new piece of art came in the mail today: 

 I’m moved to tears that someone that I’ve never even met would take time out of their busy day and paint a gorgeous picture and then take more time and money to mail it to me. As a beautiful reminder about how far we’ve come in our PTSD journey, but also in the kindness and deep humanity of others.

I am so blessed.

You can connect with me on Facebook and Instagram at My Pink Champagne Life or Twitter @MyPinkChampLife. Swing by and say hey!

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

Imaginary Friends

I can’t remember if I’ve mentioned this before (remember I have four kids so my memory is shot! That’s my story and I’m sticking to it) but my now four year old daughter has had an imaginary friend for some time now.

Like, about a year and a half.

And his name is Jake. From State Farm. 

Sidebar: For those of you out of the US, I’m not sure if you have State Farm insurance available but let’s just say this marketing campaign was very successful at out house.)

So the four year old talks to him and about him. He’s been a fairly integral part of our world until lately.

The sentence, “If Jake from State Farm isn’t here in thirty seconds I’m leaving without him!” has actually escaped from my lips.

And then she turned four.

I don’t know if she’s just growing up or if she doesn’t need her security blanket of a pretend friend as much anymore, but she’s letting go of Jake from State Farm.

I asked her if they were still friends and she said yes, except he’s being a butt. 

Maybe this is her way of growing up just a little more right before my very eyes.

I’m so not ready for that. 

(Playing with an actual human, her baby brother. Photo credit Meredith Shafer 2015)

©Copyright Meredith Shafer 2015 

Writing as Procrastination

Do you ever have those days where your To Do List is so long that you’re completely overwhelmed? So instead of tackling the list you find something to do that’s not even on it?

Yeah, me either.

Truthfully, this post is in direct response to the pile of mail on my desk, the pile of laundry that needs attention (oh laundry, why must you vex me so?), the pile of bills that needs paying, and the pile of poo that a Mama of young kids often finds herself up to the elbows in.

Rest assured, the diaper has been changed. As for the laundry, work and bills, no thank you. Maybe if I’m polite enough it will all just go away so I can take a nap.

Some days, like today where I can use writing as a brain dump and a procrastination technique all at once, I love it. I relish it. I crave it like chocolate. Ok, maybe less than chocolate but still. Rats! Now I’ve just convinced myself to procrastinate writing by finding chocolate. 

Sheesh.

Other days I get so angry at writing I could just wring its scrawny little neck. Stop tormenting me already! I just wrote yesterday! I can skip a day, right? Quit flirting with me, calling me like a siren to her sailors. Don’t tease me, offering a reprieve from my daily workload only to turn me away with nothing to show on paper for my efforts.

The writing life is something that’s always followed me around like a little lost pup. I could ignore it for so long before I had to take action. (You can buy the resulting book of my action taking here.) And now that I’m writing and speaking about topics important to me (like adoption and PTSD), it’s become my pet. Writing has become my passion and distraction.

I know there are a thousand other things I should be doing right now, but putting words from my mind to the paper is like meeting an old friend for coffee. It’s time well spent, a relief to pick up where you left off, and a warm fuzzy for the heart.

I really wish this didn’t have to end. 

Copyright Meredith Shafer 2015