Inspiration Series 01

Inspiration has been coming at me in a rush this year, so I’m feeling the need to do a blog over the ones that stick. I hope this series has some nuggets of “inspire” in it for you. 

Today’s bit inspired me to keep working on the things the Creator has outlined for me to keep my hands on.

Part of the reason I follow Love and the Outcome is because Jodi does such a beautiful job balancing her life as a Daughter of God, wife, mother, music artist, and master social media encourager. And when she doesn’t, she’s real about it and shares the pathway. The why, how, what, and trust she exudes is worth gold.

So, here’s the bit:

Mmm. So good.

Hit me right in the “Barbie schedule.” (My non-God-directed calendar plans. Pretty, but not up to Daughter Code.)

It was a friendly nudge to return to God weekly and daily to check what He wants going on.

Many hugs, y’all.

 

endkevianaelliot

You, Husband

To: My Mister
From: Forever Yours
Note: Forgive My Rambles on You

Do you remember the first time you saw me? An actress of a receptionist, I wondered if you’d see anything worthy in me, but I was so jaded, I decided later I didn’t care. Months later, your eyes were still on me, wanting to see my heart. Even when I didn’t recognize you as marriage material, you didn’t miss it. You came after me. You tell me I’m worthy, and I finally believe it. Mister, you are good at seeing people. I’m so grateful for that.

Do you recall our first huge fight? We were both so full up with emotional energy I wondered if we would ever come down from orbit. You ended up in the living room, I ended up in the master closet. But not for long. Why? Because you came after me. Carefully, gently. Willing to be wrong. Willing to be broken with me. Willing to forgive. Willing to work through it. Babe, even when you are right, and I’m wrong and being stubborn about it, you never get haughty or puffed—you reach out with love and grace. Who taught you that? I will always be grateful for how you come after me emotionally.

img_2507
My Husband takes pictures of statues of historical figures at the Bible Museum

Do you know the way you do things—simple things, funny things, serious things—it blesses me, all your quirks. How you are a kid with me: my playmate. How you laugh: nerd laugh! How you eat: my man with steak. How you run your fingers through your hair when your mind is a million miles away figuring out the latest puzzle. The way you hold your guitar. How you throw a sheet across the bed to make it: tucking corners in with a vengeance. How you pump the gas, always concerned with if I’m comfortable while you are attending to it. How you can’t stop talking to me when you are excited about something: I’m your closest confidant. How you pet my arm when I’m talking about something and you need to break in and interrupt, but you don’t want to hurt my feelings. Oh, the way you vacuum, load the dishes, throw the trash, sweep a mess! You might as well melt me like butter on a stove.

A thousand special things create you, the real you that I see every day.

I appreciate them all, but I can never seem to say the right thing to convey it. Imagine that. A writer that struggles to find the right words for the one she loves the most.

Maybe that’s the truth of the mess, the heart of the matter?

You are so perfectly suited to being my husband, my best friend, my playmate, that I’m lost in it all.

You’re a dream to me, Mister.

And I value you far beyond all these dreams.

The Creator gave me you, and I freaking love you.

Happy Birthday. 

Here’s to more years for you and I to explore, laugh, love, cry, grow, see, do, and create together.

endkevianaelliot

 

 

Stove-Top Pumpkin Spice Latte Recipe

I posted a pic awhile back on my Insta about homemade pumpkin spice latte, and a dear friend asked for the recipe. Figured a post with all the info would be best for sharing and sharing and sharing… Lol!

Ingredients:

4 c Milk
2 c brewed Sprouts Pumpkin Spice Black Tea; strongly brewed (This tea contains: black tea, rooibos, cinnamon, ginger root, lemon peels, cloves, nutmeg…… If I don’t have the tea on hand, I just put in the above without the rooibos tea, because I much prefer black tea by itself)
4 tbsp Canned Pumpkin (add way more for a heartier pumpkin flavor)
3 tbsp White Sugar (I use straight dark brown sugar)
1 tbsp Brown Sugar (Again, straight dark brown sugar)
2 tsp Vanilla
1 Cinnamon Stick (Powdered cinnamon is fine if you don’t have sticks on hand)
6 Cloves
6 Peppercorns (I smash my peppercorns or add more for more of a kick)

Instructions:

After brewing tea, add tea and milk to large pot.
Begin to warm up to medium heat s-l-o-w-l-y.
Add pumpkin (heat pumpkin in microwave some to make it easier to stir), sugars, and spices to the large pot and stir in using a whisk.
Cover and heat, stirring often often OFTEN until combined and really hot.
Remove any large spices, stir one more time and serve.

This won’t stay good over 6-8 hrs, so drink up!
(And watch for the sludge at the bottom of the cup. That’s the only warning I’ll give you. Lol.)

Yummy pictures can tag me on Instagram or Facebook.
Hope you enjoy!

endkevianaelliot

 

Gratitude Series 04

The focus of this Gratitude Series is simple. I’m turning gratefulness and thankfulness over in my mind and heart, seeing what shakes loose. If you start a Gratitude Series, please let me know on my Facebook Author Page so I can visit it. Carry on.

Thoughts have brought me to the starting and ending places I find myself staring at.

I have lived through a lot…

My sisters being born. My Abuela’s death. A college friend taking his life. The aging of respected elders. The death of a writer friend, who left behind books unpublished. Miscarriages, amid a sea friends having children and raising children…

The cycle of life and death never ends. And it shan’t, until the Great Creator deems it will.

But I see it now. I can be grateful and thankful for this cycle.

I express gratitude over life on Earth.

I express gratitude over death portals. (Death portals is just a nice way to say the spirit departing a person, as is the order of things now until the next age.)

I express gratitude that Yeshua* took the keys of Death and Hell in fair exchange.

When I saw him, I fell at his feet like a dead man. He laid his right hand on me and said, “Don’t be afraid. I am the First and the Last, and the Living One. I was dead, but look ​— ​I am alive forever and ever, and I hold the keys of death and Hades.

Revelation 1:17-18 (Bible reference in the Christian Standard Bible version)

I express gratitude that Yeshua* is the Path to Life.

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me, even if he dies, will live.

John 11:25 (Bible reference in the Christian Standard Bible version)

Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

John 14:6 (Bible reference in the Christian Standard Bible version)

I express gratitude that in these things, I can rest, I can be at peace. One bigger than myself, bigger than all this, handles these things that I can’t control.

And for that, I can smile and say thank you.

 

 

*Yeshua is Christ Jesus’ Hebrew name.

 

Gratitude Series 03

The focus of this Gratitude Series is simple. I’m turning gratefulness and thankfulness over in my mind and heart, seeing what shakes loose. If you start a Gratitude Series, please let me know on my Facebook Author Page so I can visit it. Carry on.

This isn’t much of a thing, but I think it needs to be addressed… I am in love with our Keurig.

The fact that I’m able to make a hot cup of water or hot cup of coffee almost instantly has revolutionized my Working Day and my home life.

I am so incredibly grateful for this little invention and I’m so glad that it exists at this day, and at this time, in Year 2019.

That is all.

 

During Grief: Sharing Chores with My Husband

This is what I wrote on sharing chores with your spouse before the miscarriage.

This is what I’ve learned since the miscarriage.

It’s so different doing life while inside grief… I wish I’d known all this before it hit. I could’ve saved my Husband and I some tearful discussions.

1. Stuff is going to fall

Let it.

When dealing and muddling through grief, the priority is letting out the pain. Don’t hold back a good cry because the kitchen is a mess. Just cry it out beside that sink full. It’s healing a bit of you that’s bleeding inside.

2. Give grace

You and your significant other need some room to be yourself.

You need room to do you.

Whatever your mourning/lamenting style is, whatever your spouse’s mourning/lamenting style is, embrace it and give grace.

He didn’t get the grass cut? Hire a guy to do it and tell your man you love him.
You didn’t get the towels folded? Shove them where they go unfolded and take a relaxing bubble bath while you’re so close to the tub.

Grace.

3. Communicate softly

When speaking to each other, pick the softest time. Maybe not early in the morning before the first, comforting cup of coffee, or late at night when emotions are so near the surface. No one wants to hear about the garbage can before bed when they are sad.

Pick the softest place to communicate. Maybe not over text. Maybe not over the phone.

Pick your soft tone when speaking to your spouse. Be careful with one another while you are both so sensitive.

Pick your words carefully. Be extra soft. You both need it.

Chores don’t go away, but your spouse might leave the room crying if you are harsh. Be sweet. Be kind. Be soft.

4. Give more grace

When you wanted the chore done oh, so badly, and it isn’t done, weigh it in light of the future.

Will this mildewed basket of clothes bother me in a year?

Will this messy car hurt me in a few months?

Sigh and just let it go. (Or shed a tear and walk away.)

5. When you can, ask for help

If you can get a little help with your chores, consider it during the roughest grief period.

A house cleaner, a yard man, a chef service, a drop-off laundry service, etc. are a good decision while you and your spouse are distraught.

A friend or a family member might be willing to pitch in, too.

Ask.

It’s temporary and might ease the burden you both feel so you can focus on you.

6. Understand grieving may take a long time

For our recent miscarriage, one friend said the discombobulation could last 4 months, another friend said years.

My Husband and I determined it varies from person to person, from couple to couple.

If you expect grief to take awhile, it just makes everything… more… okay.

After the first two months, I’m writing this after having another crying spell this afternoon. I have to tell myself to slow down still and not be in such a hurry to “be better.” Guilt is not allowed anymore. Why?

It may take a long time.

And no one can tell me (or you) exactly how much time it will take.

7. It’s temporary

Things will get better. They will not go “back to normal,” but they won’t hurt like death forever…

Just keep saying it: this is temporary.

Feel the feels, sob the pain, cry the anger, lament, grieve, but know it’s not forever.

Take it day-by-day. – Kalla L.

I agree with my friend’s saying so much: take it day-by-day.

For example, on a simple day, no work was needed at my job, just a meeting of a creative writing church group for a few hours. I’d planned all week to go, excited to write with my friends, but, the night before, I cried so hard, I nearly vomited. That morning, I woke up with a stuffy, swollen head, exhausted, my heart as heavy as a rock. My Husband encouraged me to forget it all. Scrub the plans. Scrub the pending chores. He’d go to work, he wanted me to stay in bed or on the couch. He proceeded to check on me every two hours. And I needed it. This was weeks after the miscarriage. Weeks.

Just when I thought I was getting “better,” everything would crash again. Week after week.

When one or both spouses are going through times of “okay” then “not okay,” it’s a scary roller-coaster. All you can do is pray, cry, sing to God, cry, pray, sleep- out of exhaustion, rinse, repeat.

The last thing you need is to be demanding of yourself or your spouse. It just makes the season 400% worse. (Yeah, I know 400% isn’t a thing. I’m married to a data scientist. That’s just how it felt.)

Keep reaching out to good support sources. (You know who they are.)

You’ll get through this.

I’m not even all the way, but I’m seeing some daylight now.

I believe it for both of us. Me and you.

You’ll get through.

Then you and your spouse will toast that sparkly clean toilet. And on that future day, you’ll say it.

I’m going to be okay.

 

endkevianaelliot