What I've Learned Growing Up In A Strong Family

What I've Learned Growing Up In A Strong Family

Family is everything and that's pretty great

Growing up with my incredible parents and siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, and late grandparents that I have has taught me so many things, like how to hold my own or that hard work pays off. I’d like to thank all of you especially you, Mom and Dad, for molding me into this woman that I am. I know that it hasn’t always seemed like it but I am so grateful for having been brought up in this crazy, wonderful family.

I was taught that family comes first. The saying that family is everything has a very special meaning to me, I would not trade this family for anything in the world. There is no greater bond to me than the bond of family, blood or not. Grandpa held all of us together and he instilled in us the need for a supportive and loving family. We don’t tear each other down but rather build one another up and we revel in each others success and are supportive in our failures. We all have those people that have changed our lives and will forever be considered family but there is still something so special, so sacred, about sharing a history with someone that started before you, or even your parents were born.

In a family like ours, we have to be accepting and supportive of others… Even if those cousins are always late or that uncle really gets under your skin. We learn to love each others’ flaws because there is no other choice, we are family and we wouldn’t want it any other way. But yes, we love each other but sometimes you all make me want to rip my hair out!

Life gets loud. Whether it’s Thanksgiving dinner, Christmas, Memorial day, or Labor Day it’s bound to get crazy with this big of a family. I’ve learned to love the craziness, learned to love having ten people staying at my house for Christmas, learned to love the loud. I couldn’t imagine having a quiet Christmas or a small Thanksgiving dinner. The family is growing with all the little kids and people getting married and it’s so very exciting to invite new people into our family.

You have instilled in me a resilience, created in me a strong person. As each of us face a hardship or a loss, we have people to lean on. I am strong enough to handle anything life throws at me because I have such a big support system. We are do it yourselfers and hard workers, built by a drive to achieve more and to achieve it with those that love us.

For family, those that love me and those that I love, I would give anything. Family does not abandon family, whether you are blood or not, and that’s a lesson I’m so grateful to have learned. So thank you all, for shaping my childhood and my future. I don’t take this family for granted, you guys are awesome and I love you.

Cover Image Credit: Barb Piepmeyer

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17 Empowering Bible Verses For Women

You go, girl.

We all have those days where we let the negative thoughts that we're "not good enough," "not pretty enough" or "not smart enough" invade our minds. It's easy to lose hope in these situations and to feel like it would be easier to just give up. However, the Bible reminds us that these things that we tell ourselves are not true and it gives us the affirmations that we need. Let these verses give you the power and motivation that you're lacking.

1. Proverbs 31:25

"She is clothed with strength and dignity and she laughs without fear of the future."

2. Psalm 46:5

"God is within her, she will not fall."

3. Luke 1:45

"Blessed is she who believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises to her."

4. Proverbs 31:17

"She is energetic and strong, a hard worker."

5. Psalm 28:7

"The Lord is my strength and my shield."

6. Proverbs 11:16

"A gracious woman gains respect, but ruthless men gain only wealth."

7. Joshua 1:9

"Be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."

8. Proverbs 31:30

"Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised."

9. 1 Corinthians 15:10

"By the grace of God, I am what I am."

10. Proverbs 31:26

"When she speaks, her words are wise, and she gives instructions with kindness."

11. Psalm 139:14

"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made."

12. 1 Peter 3:3-4

"Don't be concerned about the outward beauty of fancy hairstyles, expensive jewelry, or beautiful clothes. You should clothe yourselves instead with the beauty that comes from within, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is so precious to God."

13. Colossians 2:10

"And in Christ you have been brought to fullness."

14. 2 Timothy 1:7

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline."

15. Jeremiah 29:11

"'For I know the plans I have for you,' says the Lord. 'They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.'"

16. Exodus 14:14

"The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm."

17. Song of Songs 4:7

"You are altogether beautiful, my darling, beautiful in every way."

Next time you're feeling discouraged or weak, come back to these verses and use them to give you the strength and power that you need to conquer your battles.

Cover Image Credit: Julia Waterbury

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The Power Of Journaling

Slowing down in a fast pace world.


In a world where everything is moving so fast pace, I have found comfort in taking small moments to reflect on the blurring images around me. I have always loved to journal, but recently I have found a system that works very well for me.

One habit that I have newly formed is creating a section in my journal that I like to call "Get Out of My Head." Life moves very fast and sometimes my thoughts can't keep up. This causes stress, anxiety, sadness and even the feeling of loneliness. I have created this section in my journal to be a safe place where I can just scribble down whatever is taking over my head, but there is a trick.

Like I stated previously, I have always loved to journal, but I never found ultimate comfort in it because I would go back and read what I wanted to remove from my mind. This was causing me to reexperience what I didn't want to. I highly suggest having a place in your journal that is essentially a flame for all th4e thoughts you want to rid of.

On the contrary, have a section in your journal where you love to look. I try and fill this section with happy thoughts, quotes, verses, and gratitude. This makes journaling and reading your entries something to look forward to, rather than not.

In conclusion, journaling is unique for everyone and it takes some time to figure out exactly the right way. But once you discover the safe place that journaling can be, it can change your life forever.

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