A List of 40 Things I am Most Grateful for at 40

Because it’s Thanksgiving and because I turn FORTY, this Friday to be exact, I’m hand delivering a list of FORTY items I am most grateful for —today.

Whatever life has you busy doing, stop for a few minutes, grab a cup of coffee or your favorite drink and sit right here to chat it up about what makes us grateful. After reading my list be sure to write your own or share your heart of gratitude with a friend or loved one.

Without further ado, and in no particular order, here’s my list of most grateful items from the four decades I’ve been blessed to learn and grow in this place called — earth.

  1. Target. I can randomly find small doses of happiness sprinkled throughout that place

  2. The ability to work hard. Graced with life, I would hate to wake up one day and have wasted it

  3. A good movie

  4. God. He saved me

  5. Lipstick. Cause it just makes me feel a little bit prettier

  6. Sunsets

  7. The mountains. Reminder there is something bigger than me

  8. Rain. Like tears, it’s cleansing to the soul

  9. An entire bottle of wine. Cause life wasn’t meant to be so hard

  10. All four seasons. I compare this to life. It should never remain the same

  11. Pain. It has refined me

  12. Underwear. Cause I just couldn’t imagine life without them

  13. Warm chocolate chip cookies

  14. Real authentic love. Better than a warm cup of joe

  15. My husband’s wisdom

  16. Mercy. For all who have loved me through all my many mistakes

  17. The gift of children. One of the top 3 treasures of this world

  18. Disappointments. They have driven me to be a better woman

  19. In N Out. Cause my family would starve on the many nights I don’t want to cook

  20. Friendships. Sustained me with laughter through many seasons

  21. The ocean. Need I say more?

  22. The story of my family

  23. My hairstylist. Many transformations have taken place in her chair

  24. Trees and their roots. They show me strength and the idea that we too have to dig deep

  25. Colors. Life would be boring without them. Right?

  26. The Bible. I have learned it is a life source

  27. Tears. They are like the cleansing mechanism of the soul

  28. Butterflies. They are so delicate and intricately designed, like us. Like life

  29. A failed marriage. Taught me to fiercely fight for life and family

  30. The present moment

  31. Horses. The strength and passion of a horse inspires me to live life to it’s fullest

  32. New shoes. Because a new pair of shoes brings a dose of happiness to my heart

  33. Debt. Gave me the desire to pursue a life of financial freedom

  34. Music

  35. My blow dryer

  36. Tacos. Happiness for a quick 30 minutes. Enough to reset my heart

  37. Mascara Mascara Mascara

  38. Coffee. I probably don’t need to say anything more

  39. My girls playing in the house. Laughter

  40. My weaknesses

 

That’s it. That’s my forty. For now.

What about you? Is your life at a place where finding gratitude in things is a struggle for you? Or have you come full circle and see the fruit that’s developed from your journey?

I would love to hear and support you in either place you might be sitting in. 

 

 

The Many Gifts of Receiving

“Sometimes, Cassie, in order to fully understand how to give, you have to have received much.” That afternoon, as soon as her words rolled off her tongue and hit my thirsty soul, I knew this carved out sentence would be the beginning of new understanding for me. There are many gifts to receiving.

Because I’ve been abundantly blessed to have been given so much during my single motherhood journey, from finances to favors, to an outpouring of God’s mercy and forgiveness, the words of my friend hit my heart hard. She, too, had been in the same place of great need. Coming all the way from Indonesia, her family was very well taken care of and comfortable in a variety of ways. Upon her arrival to America, life was unfamiliar and incomparable to the life she had known.

Maybe you have experienced this too. The vulnerable place of dependence. A need to receive.

Four Lessons Fear Has Taught Me

Fear. Unfortunately, it exists. I like to think that I am untouchable by its presence but that simply is not the case. And so it is, thus far on this short journey on planet earth, I’ve yet to be convinced fear will ever be eradicated. From my life and yours.

But I also don’t believe we should do things afraid.

So what does that mean for those of us who struggle with fear?

Trust is Often Built in Hard Places

I walked through those doors pretty certain of the outcome. If I had to put money on it, I would’ve bet a win. For me. As I set waiting for the judge to come out to deliver his truth, I wrote this one line, “God, your will be done. Not mine.”

Then our turn came. The request I was asking for would be decided. The peace I was trying to give my daughter would be on the line. And it was in the hands and at the mercy of a Los Angeles County judge.

While on hold for the court’s lunch break, I had hoped while enjoying his pb&j sandwich or milk and cookies, this judge would be hit with the epiphany of truth. I was hoping his stack of cookies would give him the wisdom to ask the right questions and my girl would get an extended break from the emotional rollercoaster that she so desperately needed.

But that wasn’t the case. That wasn’t the case at all.

4 Practices to Help You Lean into Discomfort

Part 2

“It’s not about the cards you’re dealt.”

With a gorgeous desert backdrop and rarely hesitating to shovel some of his savory life tips my way,  he leaned back in his patio chair relishing in a favorite cigar.

He continued…

“It’s how you play your hand.”

At thirty-eight, I enjoyed more than ever hearing my dad’s superpower — wisdom. My dad’s always had a sweet way of pouring into my hungry heart.

I know there is pain that I do not know, nor will I ever know all the pain delivered by this worlds heavy hand. I’m a firm believer we all suffer in deep places of discomfort to a degree that is painfully hard for each of us. The point of which we feel that pain arrives at different seasons and ages for each of us.

However…

It is what we choose to do with the cards dealt us that separates, as they say, the wheat from the chaff.

How Well Are You Leaning into Discomfort?

It seems like most recently I’ve had a wave of opportunities piled onto my plate. A warm and savory serving of uncomfortable opportunities.

I’m unsure if this is a sign of how fabulous I will be in the next ten years, love from a God who knows I am in need of His continuous mercy or both.

Both.

I like the idea of both.

Perhaps you know what I mean.

The email you had thoughtfully laid out, fuming with greatness, went to the wrong co-worker. With good intentions, you gave untimely advice on an honest whim that dug deep into a good friend’s heart who really just needed prayer and not your words of ignorant wisdom. Damage control from too many glasses of wine topped with a splash of your favorite mixed drink — at your husband’s work party.

To the Momma Facing a New Truth

Single Motherhood

We all have a distinct path that journeyed us down the worn out road where many have paved the way and never-the-less, we arrived at the same title. Single motherhood. This title, worn as a badge of honor, knows not your income, your social status, your faith background, your ethnicity or the desires of your heart.

 

 Yes, at times, this cold world knows no discrimination to who journeys down its broadening stretch.

4 Tips to Help You Carry Out the Voice of Your Heart with Boldness

Boundaries

Boundary line. Explicitly drawn. Leaving little confusion.

Gulp.

We can talk about boundaries all day.

We can talk about how simple they can be or how difficult they are to identify, then a time comes, a situation occurs, and there’s a pressing demand to voice one.

As uncomfortable as drawing that line in the sand can be for some, it is the key to sanctioning a protective barrier between you and the other party.

Regardless if the topic being addressed is of a professional or personal matter, the ability to voice your line is fundamental to your growth.

I swear to all goodness in the world..

Five Savvy Single Mom Blogs Leading the Pack and Producing BIG Results

Today I’m bringing to you five savvy single mom blogs leading the pack and setting the bar for women who are choosing to launch platforms providing applicable tools and resources to help single mothers navigate their journey.

In 2002 when I became a single mom the ability to connect with other single moms was almost absolutely impossible. Fortunately for me, my best friend since high school got knocked up two years before my — BIG WHOOPS!

She jokes to this day about how sad I was when she got pregnant thinking that she ruined our twenties with children! She is quick to remind me it was just a few short years later —we were rocking the tough journey of single motherhood together. I thank God to this day he gave me her friendship!

But regardless, we had our own lives to live. I moved on and attended college while my friend got busy building her income. It’s been over 15 years since those beginning days of depending on one another and a big reason why I began this journey of loving on single mommas.

It’s almost impossible to do this alone!

Dear Single Mom, Parenting with Crazy Doesn’t Exist

And Don't be Afraid to Let the Kids Know

One of the saddest days for me, as a single mom, was the day my daughter saw her father for who he really is. The day she could no longer lie to her heart. The day she called it for what it was. That was almost 6 years ago. That day, life for us didn’t get any easier. It actually got harder.

Today, I’m speaking to the single moms who are raising their littles with a father who’s been a perpetual heartbreaker to your babies. And you, mom, continue to catch the tears on your shoulders over and over through the years.

I have walked away from too many articles like this one and this one . I’ve come across too many books, like this one and this one. I’ve left one too many front row seats where “professionals” held the mic and delivered the age-old message of the negative impact of “bad mouthing” the other parent. I’ve left those books, articles, and speeches fighting back the shame of my emotions from the truth I have spoken to my daughter through the years about who her father is. Feeling ashamed that I didn’t try hard enough to parent with crazy.

For too many years,  I’ve listened and entertained the idea that my child will be eternally damaged by my words of poor expression.

I call total bull shit on this theory and for the record, parenting with crazy doesn’t exist.