What Do You Hope For?

In Honor of the 4 year anniversary of those who perished from the tragic events that occurred in

Boston, Massachusetts on April 15, 2013hope-in-focus

“Now faith is being sure of what we HOPE for and certain of what we do not see.” Hebrews 11:1

In one simple question lies the answer that could change your life forever. When I was one, I hoped for attention. When I was 5, I hoped for a new doll. When I was twelve, I hoped to not fail at anything that I tried. When I turned 15, I hoped for my favorite singer to serenade me and sweep me off my feet. When I was 20, I hoped to fit in and be accepted. When I turned 30, I hoped to change the world, but not change myself. Now, having recently stepped into my 40th earth year, I finally have hoped for and received something worthwhile and certain.

I hope that the moments that will end up defining my life will not be the messes that I have made in my lifetime, but the messes that I have overcame! But most of all, my hope is for…..peace, my hope is in peace, my hope has covered my life with peace, and I can only wish the same for the rest of mankind.

So, what do you hope for? Make it something exceptional. Because what I have learned is that, what you hope for is, indeed, what defines how you live. Therefore, throw out everything that keeps you from that hope of all hopes. Be no longer entangled by those things that never really mattered in the first place, and you will be certain to find the you that will give new life to yourself, your family and your world. The Hope of Christ is the greatest hope you could ever introduce into your life and the lives of those you love.

“Lord, make me an instrument of your peace where there is hatred, let me sow love where there is injury, pardon where there is doubt, faith where there is despair, hope where there is darkness, light and where there is sadness, joy.” ~ Anonymous

Opening Today’s Gift Part 2

Love in a Can
Love in a Can (Photo credit: ohsohappytogether)

When I tune in to the latest news headlines and hear stories about a young, successful and promising Olympian killing his girlfriend, towns being paralyzed by mother nature’s merciless outpouring of winter snow storms, and mortar shells exploding and killing innocent bystander in Damascus, Syria, I have to pause because it’s too much to process at one time. The local and world news today is difficult to digest when you have a conscience. Most of all, I shutter at the thought of having to raise my children to some day let go of my hand and enter into this same precarious world on their own accord.

With our children’s hands gently placed in ours for the present time, I created Familymill so that you and I would not easily forget the value and importance of these days. I created Familymill to give others a sense of sanity when sanity has nearly been lost, to give parents, children, husbands and wives, etc. a safe shelter to come to and find something warm, welcoming and soothing to the human spirit awaiting them.

I say all of this because I too experience the demands of days filled with pressure, stress, and everyday obstacles to overcome. However, that has not kept me from enjoying the opening of today’s gift!  I hope that you will try to remember with me that life can still be lovely and every bit of beautiful even when it is not easy. Simply focus on the gift of just having this day which is opening now for you!

I love when I get to hold a brand new baby or when my friend and I can put a smile on each other’s face after experiencing pain, or dedicating an hour to a math assignment with my short-tempered son only to find that it all paid off with a great test grade. We all have to endure the bad, but while we are enduring the bad, let’s agree to never take our eyes off of “the gift”.

Finally, as I’m working through the same struggles and delights as you, one thing that always helps is knowing that today’s gift is made for sharing and not going through these ups and downs alone. So, for now and for later, enjoy your days, keep experiencing life in new ways, and your journey will be one that dreams are made of!!!

~ Cece

40th Birthdays and Balance Go Hand In Hand

interstate 40

Just a few days ago I had the pleasure of celebrating my 40th birthday amongst my beloved family and friends.  I don’t know why, but I have no problem celebrating anyone else’s birthday, but when it comes to my own,  I would much rather pretend like it was just another ordinary day.  Could it be that I’m in denial about getting another year older? No, I don’t think so. Is it that my life is not what I imagined it to be by the time I turned 40? No, it’s actually full of more richness than I ever could have imagined.  It’s not full of richness in money, but in meaning which is the true fabric of happiness! So why do I not want to celebrate glorious, wonderful me on my birthday? I think it has to do with my perspective. For me, birthdays at this age are more of a time to give thanks rather than be showered with gifts and attention! However, those around me see it as both, and I guess I can’t blame them since I love to celebrate others too, just not myself!

I have no problem turning 40. In fact, there is something about it that I absolutely love! There is a certain unstated eloquence about a woman turning 40 that I’m not sure exists quite as strongly with any other age. There is something about 40 that is tailored in class! I believe it’s all of that lovely “beautiful mess” that I went through for 39 years that has brought me to a new and more accurate awareness of the importance of being grateful, graceful and meaningful in life!

Not everyone wears their age well. To wear it well, you have to be willing to embrace your life and all of the calamities within; yes, your calamities and everyone elses! Take time to share a smile, to laugh and to love especially when you are not in the mood to do so! Forcing peace to prevail and loving others in unexpected ways is what it is all about.  I love how Arthur Katz puts it in the book, Ben Israel:

God knows that what may be ultimately right to do is beyond the reach of my wisdom. Every prayer is filled with requests for His guidance and direction. In the months to come I will be alert for His voice. I am learning to make mine not so strident that it would drown His should it come.

And, indeed, His voice has always been present, but now at the age of 40, I am a much better listener when He speaks!  Children have a better ability to focus as they grow older and their ears become trained to listen! The same holds true with us! Welcoming God’s voice in my life has liberated me to finally be the woman I have always chased after and never quite knew how to become! Now, I can finally say that I have acquired greater wisdom, and it is truly the best birthday gift that I could ever ask for!!

My soul is stretched out in space, in personal commitments, in concepts and ideals, in faith and unbelief, in moral passion and animal hunger and in many other ways. In the process of being drawn taut, I am also being made.

Allowing my entry into the forties to forge me into a new and more fruitful design is where you’ll find me these days! I don’t know how much more living I’ll get to do; but, one thing is for sure, the days won’t be wasted on pleasing and pitying myself. They will be ripened days full of improved balance and increasing bountiful promise!

A great Dr. Seuss book from Amazon.com to try out or put a smile on the face of a dear friend:

Pedicure, Painted Nails and Rosy Lipstick Rules!

English: red nails
English: red nails (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve decided on my own that I’m in the mood for a modern day makeover from the past year’s baggage! However, I’m not going to wait for Project Runway’s Tim Gunn to call and invite me over to the show, nor will I wait for my husband to tell me to pack my bags for a weekend at the spa. I simply marked my calendar and informed all those who need to know that it is my self-proclaimed spa day off. Coffee in one hand, keys in the other, I am off to the mall for starters to claim some good deals on the New Year’s sales and clearance events going on and maybe spice up my wardrobe for half the price. Why let the young and childless have all of the spoils? Moms, it’s time to move in on some fun and excitement of your own making before you go any further into this new year! We have to get the year started off right don’t we?

Even if I wear worn sweats and matching worn tennis shoes 6 out of 7 days of the week because I work from home, today’s where it ends, and I treat myself to luxury by doing something that I know that I will love, giving myself the gift of a little “me time”! After spending the last month loving everyone else and keeping the kids busy and entertained while home on vacation, I think I can spend one day out of the month following the Pedicure, Painted Nails, and Rosy Lipstick Rules, so let’s go for it!

Before I slither back into that custom-made routine of babies, bobos and business as usual, I’m going to bring a sparkle of sunshine into the routine, and I invite you to do the same! If you can’t afford to go out for a pedicure, treat yourself to one at home! Do I wait for my husband to buy me roses? No, not anymore. When I need a pick me up boost before going into the kitchen for the millionth time to make a meal, I simply gaze at the fresh bouquet that I treated myself to; then, I look down to admire my painted piggies, and life is good again. I simply carry on having a merry day!

So let’s not wait for anyone else to make us feel beautiful, brilliant and adored, you know you are anyway! Therefore, lavish yourself today and spend a little “me time” whenever you can, enforcing the Pedicure, Painted Nails and Rosy Lipstick Rules for yourself and you’ll soon discover, it beats hanging around on the shelf waiting to get noticed!!!

Staying Warm with Great Reads for Young and Old Alike

Reading lists come by the dozens, but I fell in love with this list because they are all favorites of mine that have lit up my children’s world, not to mention opening up a world of exploring and enriching dialogue between myself and the growing fabric of my life…..my lovely children!

7 Children’s Books Every Adult Should Own | SMOSH.

It’s been awhile since my return to Familymill.   I’m not sure who may have chosen to hang around in case I did return, but thank you for being here now! Stay warm and snuggle up on this wintry holiday weekend and maybe share one of these tales or two with the kids! The time spent will surely bring about some food for thought conversations and also warm your spirits too!

It’s great to be home!


Uncovering The Key to Discovery

“Always, everywhere God is present, and always He seeks to discover Himself to each one”  ―     A.W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God

I am certain that no man can explain in only a few words the journey that God places us on once we  realize with all of our heart that it is God who holds the key to self discovery! The man or woman who makes this discovery can prepare for an amazing journey ahead! A.W. Tozer gives us a glimpse of light to reveal what God is after. Just like you and I when we birth a masterpiece, whether it’s our children or a literal work of art, we want to perfect it so that it can realize its full worth and potential.  In that same way, God is constantly reaching out to us so that we can be perfected in Him, and finally, see life the way it was meant to be seen without our transgressions fogging up the lens!

For more dynamite discoveries dive into:

Colossians 2:2-4

Attitudes of Gratitude

“There are two wMD_Happy_Mothers_Dayays to  live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” ~ Albert Einstein

I believe that motherhood is definitely one of the most beautiful miracles there is to behold! If you are a mom, I want to wish you a very happy and blessed Mother’s Day!!! ~ Cece

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