Posted by: soulshinemoments | January 4, 2020

“Grief is like an earthquake.  The first one hits you and the world falls apart.  Even after you put the world together again, there are aftershocks and you never really know when those will come.”







Posted by: soulshinemoments | January 3, 2020

Protected: IV’s and Coroner Phone Calls

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Posted by: soulshinemoments | January 2, 2020

Protected: It begins with a lump in the throat

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Posted by: soulshinemoments | October 15, 2016

My Story/My spiritual journey

Hello! Long time, no blog.  I’ve been very busy and not sure what to write nor if anyone really reads this.

I’ve been going to a small group at a new church with my friend, Cassie.  Tomorrow, we have to give our life story/spiritual journey thus far to the group.  I decided to type my thoughts in here to figure out what I am going to speak about for 5-7 minutes.  Many more details need to be added and I don’t think it quite captures my spiritual journey, but I am trying to hit some key points.  So, I wrote the following about myself:

My parents were teenagers when I was born–18 and 19 years old.  They had a “shot gun” wedding while my mom was pregnant with me.  After I was born, my mom worked grave yard shifts at Kroger and my dad worked odd jobs during the day. I’m sure being teenage parents was extremely stressful and by the time I was three, my  mom had remarried my step-dad who I ended up calling “dad” and who ultimately raised me and my half-brother who was 3 1/2 years younger than I was. The last time I saw my biological dad was when I was 5 years old, briefly, and then not again until I was 18 years old.  

In 7th grade, my mom enrolled me into a private Baptist Christian school.  Other than saying The Lord’s Prayer, I really had very basic knowledge of Christianity before this point.  Our family didn’t attend Church.  My step-dad was 16 years older than my mom.  He was also a Vietnam Veteran and was very jaded in a lot of ways–for obvious reasons.  When my parents decided to send me to the Christian school when I was 12 years old, I remember being so anxious the night before I started my first day.  My younger brother had a Children’s Bible that had Bible stories written out for young kids in a story book fashion.  I remember practically reading the entire book, trying to “cram” for Christian school so I wouldn’t be completely clueless before I started my first day! 

We had chapel and Bible classes during school.  I remember sitting at my desk in 7th grade the first week of school and the Bible teacher making a “salvation call” and stating how if we didn’t ask Jesus into our hearts, we would spend eternity into hell. This terrified me, so I quickly prayed silently for my salvation, but really had no idea what I was praying for.  I just knew I didn’t want to go to hell!

My faith throughout my junior high years is pretty much summed up in those experiences–  I was mainly led by fear and legality.  Many of my classmates grew up in church and the Christian school and were “saved” at the young age of three!  I always felt behind and kind of out of place there.

The first person that was nice to me and saved me a seat the first day of school became my best friend.  She was also a preacher’s kid and spent her school day “witnessing” to me and others.  She invited me to attend her non-denominational church and I became I regular there.  This church embraced the more spiritual side of Christianity and less of the legalistic and fear-based teachings.  I met some really amazing friends during my formative teenage years which, in hindsight, probably saved me from a lot of trouble. 

Things at my home life, however, were kind of rocky.  Looking at it now, I am pretty sure my step-dad was suffering from PTSD from being in Vietnam war.  He was very difficult to be around and he and my mom fought a lot while I was growing up.  

Around the age of 18, I had constant feelings of anxiety, depression, and just feeling like something was missing in my life.  I ended up reaching out to my biological father–who I hadn’t heard anything from since I was a small child.  I moved out of my home in Athens and lived with my dad in Florida when I was 18.  He embraced me and was very welcoming of the idea of having a relationship with me.  He said he didn’t have the opportunity to have a relationship with me all these years because my mom and step-dad preferred it that way.  He also had his own demons he was battling when he was younger which included drugs and alcohol. 

A year before I met my dad, he had been diagnosed (at the age of 36) with stage 4 colon cancer.  They had given him six months to live at the time.  I met him a year later and he was in remission.  They ended up having to remove his entire colon, but he was pretty healthy while I was living in Florida with him. 

I took out student loans and enrolled myself in college while I lived in Florida.  I ended up getting my own apartment, working multiple jobs, and putting myself through school.  My Christian faith wasn’t the strongest at this time during my life–I was pretty much in survival mode. But, I did meet a lot of very kind and beautiful people with different faith backgrounds.  It really made me question–and perhaps even disengage–from my teenage Christian background.  I was just seeking, and I still am! 

At the age of 22, I made a trip up to Georgia to visit my mom and step-dad (we didn’t have much communication between each other because the were pretty upset that I left home).  During this trip home, my mom called me while I was having lunch with my friends, informing me that my step-dad had committed suicide.  He shot himself.  Why? My mom and brother say because he had really bad health problems (maybe cancer) that he refused to go to the doctor to treat/diagnose.  Maybe from Agent Orange?  I wonder if it was more psychologically based and was related to PTSD.  I’ll probably never know the real answer. 

After I graduated from the University of Florida with my degree in sociology at the age of 26, I ended up moving back to Georgia and got into a relationship with my now husband.  He already had a 10 year old daughter at the time and we got pregnant with our son, Jackson.  He was born August 7, 2011. My husband’s daughter–now our daughter!– lived with him full-time and I was in for quite an awakening being an full-time step-mom and new mother to my son.  It was very tough! 

When my son was one,  I started graduate school at KSU for social work. We were very poor and I was trying to raise our kids while going to school full time.  My biological dad began to get sick again during this time in my life.  He had been doing well for the past 10 years since his original diagnosis, but the cancer came back.  During my second semester of graduate school, he was admitted to hospice services.  And in October of 2012, he died. During this time period, my mom also ended up having a mental breakdown and was homeless for several months.  This was such a difficult period in my life, but I survived, and graduated from grad school with a 3.9!  My husband was so supportive.  We were poor, but rich in love, and that has made all the difference. 

After my dad’s experience on hospice services, I decided I wanted to try being a hospice social worker.  I didn’t really know what else I wanted to do! I graduated in 2014 and have been doing hospice social work ever since while raising my family.  It’s very difficult work and sometimes I wish I could do something less heavy.  But for now, it is the path I am on, so I try to do my best with the cards I’ve been dealt.

I’ve been going to church the past 3 years, but my motivation is really so my children have some spiritual foundation.  My own faith journey has taken somewhat of a backseat until the past year.  Now that I am more settled in my life, I am ready to grow spiritually and figure out my calling and purpose in life.  So, here I am. 

Posted by: soulshinemoments | March 22, 2016

Miracle Morning Finale

Miracle morning 30/30

Whole30 day 9

Good morning! Not sure if I should even say Miracle Morning 30/30 as there were many gaps in my challenge. Whew. But, as previously mentioned, I will keep with it. Figured out some things that worked and don’t work for me. 

My newest challenge is rocking this whole30 thing. I definitely feel hangry when I don’t eat (like this morning, for instance). But I am noticing positive physical changes already.  I am definitely a fan of this program. 

Time to get my day started. Much love!  

Miracle Morning 29/30 (ish…non-consecutively)

Whole30 day 7/30

Good Morning!

On day 29 of my miracle morning, though I’m not sure I should even say day number 29 as I have not been consecutive with my MM as I had hoped.  I don’t mean to make excuses, but life definitely intrudes! If the point is for me to get into the habit of cherishing my quiet morning times and focus on obtaining my goals, my MM challenge has definitely served its purpose.  Also, I plan on making this a life-time habit. So, in that sense, I have succeeded.  I am also digging my Whole30 challenge I am doing.  I didn’t feel the best the first couple of days I started my Whole30 (anxious), but now I am in the flow and feel amazing.  I believe my love for the Miracle Morning somehow led me onto this path.

After tomorrow, I will still continue on with my SAVERS, including scribing, of course.  I will just be writing in my notebook journal.  My entries in here over the last month have been quick and not as thoughtful as I make my journal when I hand-write my entries.  But, I will continue to update in here, it just may not be daily.

I’ve had a wonderful weekend.  I did my zumba class on Friday and I just love it.  As mentioned before, it is a nice change to my slow, melodic yoga classes.  It is definitely a great balance for me.  I also completed my 5AM workouts at the gym twice last week and was able to spend the rest of the afternoon at the lake and park with my kids.  It was a sweet treat and really helped  my nerves as I was just starting my Whole30 program. I went to the gym 5 days last week and two of those days were AM work-outs.  I want to make it 6 days next week and 3 day AM workouts.  I think now my body is adjusting to my Whole30 program, I should be able to kill it at the gym.

Yesterday, we went to the huge farmer’s market and stocked up on Whole30 products–lots of fresh veggies, fruits, meats, coffee, and teas.  The honey, wine, and pastry section looked so good, but I was a good girl.  Jack had to stock up on his cheese, but I swear, I won’t touch it.  We had so much fun and Jackson got a kick out of the live fish.  We spent two hours there yesterday, and despite the hour long drive, we decided we need to make that a regular monthly/bi-monthly trip. I’m lucky to have an ex-executive chief as my husband because he can hook up the kitchen and also loves his veggies and meats, too. He makes this challenge relatively easy for me! Thank goodness.

If anyone is interested in the Whole30 Program I have been mentioning, check out  I bought the books, too. (It starts with Food & Whole30, by Melissa Hertwig and Dallas Hartwig). I will update my progress and let you know how my next 23 days go.

Peace & Blessings!



Posted by: soulshinemoments | March 17, 2016

“Contemplation is the highest form of activity.” -Aristotle

Miracle morning 28/30

Whole30 4/30

Good morning!

Yes, I missed my miracle morning yesterday. My body is getting used to these diet changes, but I am feeling good. Excellent nutrition along with yoga practice really cures a lot of mind-body ailments!

I’m almost finished with my miracle morning challenge which I feel I completed decently. Not perfect, but the intention is there! Once I’m finished with day 30, i plan to keep going. I just won’t write in here everyday, but i will still write in here and focus on my quality than quanity.

I have noticed with this whole 30 challenge that for some reason every afternoon between 3-5, anxiety starts surfacing in me. When I was eating normally, i would have an afternoon slump. But now, I start to feel anxious. Weird. Sunshine and yoga help but are not always easy to access if I am working! The book says after 15 days of the whole 30, my body should be completely adjusted to this new routine and I will feel as if I have “tiger blood”. 🙂 I will let you know if that’s true!
Ok, time to get the kids to school. More soon!

Posted by: soulshinemoments | March 15, 2016

Rising and Shining

Miracle Morning 27/30


Yeah! I did it…again! At the gym by 5 this morning.  I’m so sluggish in the mornings and I am hoping my new diet changes will eventually help this.

I have a long day in front of me of computer work.  But at least my afternoon is clear after work and I can take the kids to the park again or do whatever I want.  Working out in the morning really is the best!

Day 2 of whole30….wish me luck!

Miracle morning 26/30

Happy Monday!

Up and out the door by 5am and to the gym by 530 am…with time change and everything. The stars were shining so bright, and I was groggy, but I made it! Silence, affirmations, and visualization in the sauna. Lifted some weights and did the elliptical for 15 minutes. Hot tub, pool, and back home. Simple, but I felt great! Since I did my work out in the morning, I now have the afternoon free to enjoy this beautiful day after work!

I also started the whole30 challenge today. Eggs, red pepper, orange, and black coffee for breakfast. Can’t wait to see the changes within myself over the next 30 days!

Posted by: soulshinemoments | March 13, 2016

Miracle Morning 25/30

Happy Sunday! 

I’m enjoying doing my miracle mornings on the porch now as the weather changes. The song of the birds and breeze centers me. 

Time change means I have to awake even earlier now! I really want to start completing my miracle mornings at the gym starting Monday. I will do SAV in the sauna for 15 minutes and reading and scribing at home. Still do yoga on Wednesday and Thurs evenings and Safurday morning at the gym. And Zumba Friday evenings. I think it will be push I need to help me reach my fitness goals! Plus I am going to get the books: it starts with food and Whole 30. I’m ready to reach my fitness goals!!

Time for church. Much love!


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