As you begin your day, take a short moment to gather your thoughts. I have often repeated the following to students for decades to remind them of the power they have within themselves to develop into the individuals they desire to be.

Education is a gift we receive which no one can take from us, if we allow ourselves to continue to learn each day. As we grow and understand, we can see learning is endless.

Our personal habits should be guarded as gold mines and those bad habits we develop are anchors with chains wrapped around our feet, dragging us down each day. Habits dictate our behavior and the choices we make in our lives.

“Watch your thoughts, they become your words; watch your words, they become your actions; watch your actions, they become your habits; watch your habits, they become your character; watch your character, it becomes your destiny.”-Lao Tzu

It is in our power to change any part at any time. We can not go back and change the past. Many people dwell on the past, but those days are gone, and the day we have and the days to come are the ones we can change. If we continue to look back, we can never look forward to getting to the destination we desire. It is in the present and future our focus should be.

Make the changes today and start your path forward. Lots of gold awaits in the moments you create.

Always fill up each day with motivation and positives!

The whole body . . . grows and builds itself up in love. Ephesians 4:16

Ephesians 4:4–16 is a great reference to read to connect with this post.

My youngest grandson is with me Monday - Thursday as a preschool student. He is the youngest student I have had regular and the smallest version of students I have had in upper grades. He is very strong-willed, and we work through many things.

As part of our schedule, he has recess time built into the program, so I give him choices daily on what he would like to do. The weather is still cold and does not allow us to go outside yet. We usually play a game together, or he will build something with Legos. However, he has chosen a movie to watch a few times. One of the movies he selected was The Croods.

The Croods is an animated caveman family, and they believe that the only way to survive is if the family “pack” stays together. They talk about the fears of discovering something “new” and the dangers of the world outside their cave.

When their cave is destroyed, they need to move on to find a different place for safety, and a new person is brought into their lives. They begin to learn, accept and understand through other interactions to embrace all of the situations to live life.

The Croods involves two movies now, and both are filled with understanding relationships and embracing change and differences. My grandson laughs and enjoys these movies a great deal. He will be facing a new place next year, Kindergarten and making new relationships. His educational journey in public school will begin.

Relationships can be risky in our lives—-people can and do hurt us. I think it is important to always talk about relationships and how to work to make them better. Having positive relationships takes work. My husband and I began dating in high school at the age of 16. I was engaged at 19, married at 20 and expecting our first child who was born when I was 21 years old. We will be married 38 years this year. We will both tell you, it took a great deal of work.

We were never to be alone in our journey through life. Each of us has a place, a purpose, and a reason. It is not always clear to us what it is, but it will be one day if you have not found it. We help each other by building up in love rather than tearing down. Surround yourself with those who stand, support, and believe in the way you do. When you have a support system like this, you learn from each other, mature and equip yourself to serve others.

Build up in love and find your relationships with those who build up the same way.


Nothing is better than loving what you do and the people you are able to do it with each day! Make a point to start each day with finding the joy as a team. Gather around and share your joy as you drink up a cup full of love!

Lighten the Load

Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2

As individuals who are a part of the church, believers in Jesus can support others in times of need. Relationships are not based on the length of time in knowing others before you can feel their needs profoundly and personally. We listen, empathize, lend a helping hand where we can, pray, and rely on the strength of God.

The world's weight can, at times, feel as though it is resting on your shoulders. As you listen to the troubles, hear the leaders' dialogue, and handle all the stressors, you look for ways to see hope.

When storm clouds shadow the light of the day, this is when we find joy in the midst. Clouds are pushed aside when we can join together in helping to lighten the load of others. Alone we can not, together we can, but with the combination of all with the strength of God all things are possible.

Today, begin by checking with those you have in your corner of the world to help support their needs. Many times it is having a listening ear, someone to empathize with their situation, and others may need more. Do what you can where you are, and you will find when you provide support for others, you see the comfort you need as well.

Pray, lighten the load, and know the strength you need is not that far away.

As I prepare for the New Year I always select one word to move me forward. My one word for this year is Grit. Take a few days to think of the “One Word” that will move you forward in the new year.

My blog today talks about “Tell stories to change lives.” I have always been the authentic me. Telling your story does not make you less of a leader but an individual who can make a difference in the life of another. People want to know about struggles and they especially want to know they are not alone in them. When we share stories of overcoming, this gives others hope.

Having a life-changing injury did not sit well with me and provided me with the fight to work to regain as much as I could to get back to work! When one battle is won, you may find a new one for fighting, and it is through your passion, grit, and courage you will overcome to continue the work you want to do. It may not be in the way you did it before, and you may need to find different ways, but you will discover the how.

Thank you to Yo Taylor, who began following me and reached out to ask me to be a guest on her Podcast. She is a beautiful soul and is helping to bring positive changes in the work she is doing. We all share space, and learning to help each other in feeling good and safe is the best first step to take.

I apologize for the lighting and connection on my end. I live in the country and am not set up for Podcasts. I hope you can still find words to inspire you.

A story to tell, and The gifts are my stories for today. We have many to share to help others know they are not alone in their struggles. I can; you can; we can be the solution today in a world so thankful you are in it each day!


Oh, the beautiful gifts, all wrapped with care with the perfect bow and tag to know where it goes. Well, the gifts I give are usually tucked in a gift bag with some tissue paper or wrapped with no pattern and so much tape! Wrapping gifts is not one of my talents. I am still working to find my hidden talent, and I know it will show up someday!

We had my husband's sibling's birthday and Christmas celebration this past week. Trying to get all the packages out in the pouring rain was a difficult job, and I was soaked by the time I got through the door. So no one cared about how the bags looked as they saw us all coming to the restaurant.

Reflecting on the previous year, it was the same table we were at, in the same restaurant, and doing the same thing only a week sooner than the year before. My mind flashed back for a moment or two as we approached the table, sitting down all of the gifts.

Last year I asked everyone to listen for a moment as I wanted to tell them something we had just been told. Now, before I share the news, I want to explain we will celebrate just the same.

The doctor called just an hour ago. My test results came in, and I had to be told. I have breast cancer, and I will see several doctors as soon as Christmas is over to determine treatments and the level of cancer I have.

This year we began with the birthday celebration of singing, opening gifts, eating dinner, and then Christmas gifts along with Birthday cake. Two of the gifts I have received so far are very thoughtful and meaningful as we continue to move forward with a new year ahead.

In January, I will complete a bone density test to see the progression of the harm to my bones with the current daily medication I take, and then a new mammogram with ultrasounds to look at the other mass to check for any changes. I am sure a biopsy will be part of the plan.

Currently, I am cancer free. It is the best way to be. I plan to stay this way—Celebrating on Christmas Day! I have rung the bell, I believe, and I know all things are possible with faith and prayer.

Look at these two beautiful gifts I received from my “sisters”-in-laws and one more still to come.

A cancer survivor bell ornament for my dinning room tree where all of our family and friends meet.
An angel ornament to remind me to Believe, her favorite and my favorite word to use especially at Christmas. Added to my little pencil tree in the dinning room.
"I only have 2 rules!"
© 2024 Brenda Yoho
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