Practical Tips for a Well-Balanced Life

I think that balance is something we all aspire to have.  But for many of us it can feel so out of reach.  Time races by and we find ourselves asking, “Where has the day gone?”

If you can’t remember that last time you felt truly grounded and peaceful, then this blog post is absolutely for you.  We all need to catch our breath sometimes, look around us and remember to live, not to just survive.

Living a happy life is about enjoying each day.  Even just those brief little moments that make you smile.  They all add up and are so worth being present for.  So here are some practical tips to bring balance back into your life.

Past, Present and Future

Psychologists tell us that most people spend the vast majority of their waking time either re-living the past or anticipating the future.  Very few of us enjoy the present moment fully.

Being present and mindful is a skill; it doesn’t come very naturally to us, trust me, I know.  But I do think it is worth trying to be present when we can.  Especially when we are stressed; stopping and smelling the roses for just a few minutes can really refocus and calm us.  When we are not present and are rushing around, we miss so much of the world!

You can’t take anything from this world with you at the end of your life.  What we have here on earth is to be enjoyed in the present.

Do you have children or any pets?  Children and animals are great mindfulness practitioners.  Have you ever noticed how kids get completely lost in the present moment when they are playing?  Or how about the way a cat or dog just stops and notices things around them?

It looks so peaceful – so have you tried it yourself?  It might sound a bit unlikely in our mile-a-minute society, but if you try it I promise it will not disappoint.

Work and Play

I know people who never give themselves a whole day off.  This is often because they feel guilty when they stop, and sometimes because they don’t even know how to stop.

A well-balanced life calls for a bit of give and take.  When you’ve been giving a lot of yourself to your job or other commitments, it is completely fine to take back some time for yourself and just rest.

And how about play time?  Yes, I’m serious.  Grown ups are allowed to have fun too!  See if you can remember the last time you rode a bike or threw a ball… If you can’t remember then it’s time to book some playtime into your diary.

Fun is a huge stress reliever and so undervalued in our society.  It sometimes seems like the world is telling us to work until we can work no more, and then go into therapy to undo the damage!  Hmm… How about we just look after ourselves a little better now?  Let’s pre-empt the burn out before it happens.

Famine or Feast

Do you enjoy food?  Maybe you rush through meal times, or maybe you feel guilty for breaking your diet.  Let me suggest a little balance in this area too.  Family dinnertime is so much more than refueling our bodies.  It’s about connecting with our loved ones in a shared experience.

When you have been busy all day, you can put that phone down for 30 minutes and be present with your family.  And please don’t beat yourself up for eating something ‘bad for you’.

Moderation means having a bit of both, and enjoying it too.  And as Garfield once pointed out; diet has the word ‘die’ in it. A balanced approach to food is more sustainable long-term than a harsh, restrictive diet.

More often than not, your body tells you what it needs.  We just need to learn to listen.  When our lives are in balance and we are more present, then listening becomes so much easier.

I think that achieving a sense of balance comes down to the old analogy of the oxygen mask in the plane.

You know when you are taking a flight, and the safety announcement tells you that in the event of an emergency you must fasten your own oxygen mask before attempting to help others?

This is a well-used comparison to life in general because it is so relatable.  If you don’t look after yourself, then you can’t take care of your loved ones, or your job for that matter.  Finding balance is really the key here.

Why not come over to my Facebook page for more tips and little reminders.  I would love to see you there!


I can’t believe it’s been five years since my son has passed away. Every year since then on October 31 – the day of his passing, I’ve tried to make sense of it all, but to no avail. This year, my therapist gave me an assignment… instead of focusing on the pain and sadness of the tragedy, take a moment and think of a good memory of your son and allow that memory to get you through the sadness of that day.

After Trevin’s passing, my husband and I made the decision to donate our son’s organs. Later on, we found out that Life Alliance Organ Recovery Agency was able to secure four of his organs for transplant: heart, kidney, pancreas, and his liver…

This past April, as bittersweet as it was, we had the pleasure of meeting the man who now lives with our son’s heart, Papa Don. Since meeting, we have developed an amazing bonding relationship, not just with him, but his family as well. No one will ever be able to take Trevin’s place in my heart, but instead of focusing on his passing, I choose to focus on the lives he saved in his passing.

Renee Jones and Donald Anacker

Prayerfully, I will have the pleasure of meeting the recipients one day soon.

I can’t wait to visit my therapist later this week and share how this assignment has helped me to cope. One day at a time, one day at a time.


No, not Beyonce’s recipe for lemonade, I’m going to give you my recipe…

April 15th was Donate Life Blue & Green Day. During this day, the public is encouraged to wear blue and green, hold events and fundraisers, and partner with local restaurants, malls, media, and community organizations in an effort to promote the success of organ, eye and tissue transplantation and the extreme need for registered donors.

Well let me just tell you, this event was not only to bring awareness to this great cause, it was the answer to my many prayers. On October 18, 2011, my 19 year old son was shot in a drive-by shooting. He survived on life support for two weeks before he passed away on October 31st from his injury.  Everyday of those agonizing two weeks, I recall placing my ear on his chest to listen to his heart beat – It was the only thing that gave me hope. After being declared brain dead and after being stripped of all hope, I made the painful decision to donate his organs. The time came when I found out that one of the organs transplanted from my son was his heart. After months and months of depression, confusion, anger, bitterness and every other painful emotion you can imagine it hit me – And the Beat Goes On.

Now here we are 4 1/2 years and I was able to hear my son’s heart beat again. The human side of me wanted to collapse on the ground, but as I positioned the stethoscope upon Papa Don’s chest, the recipient of my son’s heart, I felt a sense of peace. I felt Trevin’s spirit assuring me that everything was okay. I don’t know why God chose this avenue for me, but through organ donation this devastating tragedy has become a miracle for many including myself. Through organ donation it has created a platform for me to share my story to not only help bring awareness to this great cause, but also to create a much needed dialogue within my community. Most importantly, it has played a major role in my healing process. I feel like I can breathe again.

For more information about organ donation and to register, CLICK HERE

Before you leave, be sure to check out the video below to witness this emotional union. Oh yeah, feel free to share, share, share.


What’s on Your Mind?

Week 1: What’s on Your Mind?

If you’re anything like me, you know that it’s hard to stay focused long enough to pull a single thought together – there’s always something going on. Between the television, radio, social media, or those blasted text message tones (phone calls are rare these days) going off every five minutes, there’s hardly enough time to finish a complete thought. Before you know it, you’re at the end of the day only to realize that a big part of your day was unproductive. Enough already! In order to accomplish the goals you have set for 2016, you will have to focus.

Setting a priority list will help you to accomplish this. At the beginning of each day, spend some quiet time asking yourself a couple of questions: What do I want to accomplish; and what will it take for me to accomplish it? It’s important to do this at the start of the day because trust me; as you head out – distractions will be waiting to greet you. But, here’s a little secret, when you are ahead of your distractions, you maintain control of how you will respond to them.

One of my favorite scriptures is found in 1 Corinthians 10:13 – “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God [is] faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear [it].” It’s important to note that distractions are only temptations to pull you away from the goals you have set out to accomplish in your life.

Here is my challenge to you:
I challenge you to think about what you are thinking about. The next time you’re tempted to waste your precious time on things that are not lined up with the goals you have set to accomplish for your day, resist the temptation.

Journaling assignment:
At the end of each day, journal your progress and take note of anything that interrupted your focus to reach your goal. You cannot conquer what you won’t confront. Don’t forget to leave your comments, I’d love to hear from you!

Until next time…


Merry Christmas!!!

Greetings Fierce Butterfly!

If you celebrate Christmas, I indeed want to use this moment to wish you a VERY Merry Christmas.

Many are sharing gifts, spreading love, and spending time with their families – All of the great things that make this holiday even more special.

As for me, my plans are nice and simple. I’m cooking up some good ole cabbage, yams, yellow rice, and baked chicken… No sweets for me this go round. I’m putting some final touches on a few BIG plans for 2016 and a little relaxation. As always, I do plan on my daughter and grand kids to  stop by to crash the party – no worries, it’s always the highlight of  my day. Wooohooooo!!!!!

Noxmas matter what your plans are, I hope this day bring you lots of love, joy, happiness, and peace. Oh yeah, and some nice gifts too. But remember, at the end of the day the greatest gift of all is His presence.


Thanks for allowing me interrupt your celebration to send you a warm wish of blessings on this Christmas day.

Much love,


Surviving the Holidays without Your Loved One

Hello Fierce Butterfly!

Ever since my 19 year old son passed away on October 31, 2011, life has not been the same. Every year, Trevin found a way to make sure he presented me with a Christmas gift. Rather it was a hand-made Christmas card or a card bought from a store, he took pride in presenting it with love. Even though I know it’s not going to happen, I still look for that card or gift.

I woke up this morning thinking about a group of parents I’ve become a part of called the Miami Dade Parents of Murdered Kids and knowing that some of them are spending their very first Christmas without their loved one. As I reflect on my first Christmas without Trevin, I’m reminded of the dark cloud that hovered over me and the heaviness of my heart which felt as if it was breaking into pieces inside of me – I cried every hour of that day. The overwhelming thoughts of wanting to hear his voice and to hold him in my arms crippled me to the point where I didn’t want to get out of bed. The anger I felt towards those who took the life of someone so dear to me taunted my very being. Depression held me so tight that I couldn’t appreciate those who thought enough to call, text, or to stop by to let me know they were thinking about me. I covered myself so tightly under my covers to the point where it was hard for me to move around in the bed. Here I am four years later – although the sadness of missing him is still there, I am able to cope a lot better with missing him. missing

I would like to share a few tips with you on how I went from crying uncontrollably to coping with the holidays without him.

Allow yourself to miss your loved one – You have experienced a great loss in your life and to have someone who has been a part of your life and is no longer there leaves a huge gap. You have every right to experience every emotion that’s associated with a loss. Cry, be sad, be angry, be depressed, and feel lonely… You have a right to miss your loved one.

Don’t stay stuck in the rut – Would your loved one want you to give up on life? I think not. Allow the memory of your loved one to be your biggest cheerleader! Hear them cheering you on and encouraging you to remember and embrace the times you have shared together. Hear them cheering you to run on and to live a happy life. Hear them giving you permission to smile again.

Embrace the ones that are still here with you – Don’t overlook your loved ones that are still here. You want to show them that they too are just as precious in your life and you are glad to have them around.

Remember, healing takes time and cannot be rushed, so give yourself time to heal and embrace the memories.

Blessings to you during this holiday season!


PS – Hey, check your local listings and tune in on New Year’s Day to watch the 127th Rose Parade where my son, Trevin, along with other organ donor honorees will be honored on the Donate Life Float. Meet all of this year’s Donate Life Rose Parade Float Floragraph honorees at

Sponsored by Life Alliance Organ Recovery Agency


WOOHOOOO!!! Hold on to your seat Fierce Butterfly… I’m headed to the Rose Parade in Pasadena, CA in honor of my son. Yeah baby yeah (in my Austin Powers voice)!

Can you tell how excited I am to have gotten that call? This is huge! Every year, Life Alliance Organ Recovery Agency chooses a Donor Family to be represented in the Parade.  I can’t remember every word of that phone call, but, I hung on to this, “Mrs. Jones, IT’S YOUR TIME!” Yayyyy!!!!! My family and I will be there, no doubt, with tears in our eyes, but also feeling proud that we made a decision to turn our tragedy into purpose. I can’t wait to see his face on the Donate Life Float!

Stay tuned, because I will be sharing my count-down to California as the time approaches.

Oh yeah, did you hear the buzz? My new release, “And the Beat Goes On” will be out on October 31, 2015. Why then? That will be the four year anniversary of Trevin’s passing and what better date to share his amazing story. No worries, you will have a chance to pre-order your copy in just a few weeks.Blacky

Well, until later – Live, Laugh, and Love on purpose!





Happy Wednesday Fierce Butterflies!

If you are not satisfied with the life you live, you can change that by living your life on purpose. When you make a decision to take action and live your life on purpose-you will begin to finally live the life you want to live.

Here are a few tools to help you get started:

1. You get to decide how you want to live your life.

It is up to you to do what you want with the life you want to live. You must set goals and work towards them in order to live the life you envision. If you can dream it, you can have it.

kj2. Learn the lessons life has to offer.

Everything that happens to you is to teach you a lesson. Don’t get caught-up in the experience, rather learn the lesson. Otherwise, the experience just may keep repeating itself.

3. Forgive yourself.

Dwelling on past decisions only stagnates your progress in life. Understand that you cannot change what has already happened – forgive yourself, let it go, and move forward.

4. Don’t give up!

Times will get hard in life, but you are not alone. You must remember that tough times don’t last always, but with a will and determination, you can get past whatever comes your way.


Challenge yourself to live your life on purpose.





21 Days of Inspiration


Hello Fierce Butterflies!

I thought I’d throw in a little twist to how I normally share inspiration to you all. Instead of the day-to-day posts on social media, I am challenging you to participate along with me.

Take some time to sit back, relax, and invest in yourself. That’s right, this challenge is all about you! The goal is to focus on some things that really matter for staying motivated. Focusing on the small stuff each day can be a great way to a lasting change.

Join the challenge and be sure to let us know how you are doing by using #inspirationthroughpurpose.

Day 1. Start a journal.
Day 2. What is your favorite quote? Write it. Read it. Say it out loud.
Day 3. Name seven places you want to visit.
Day 4. Create a bucket list.
Day 5. Post a picture of something that’s on your bucket list.
Day 6. Write a letter to someone.
Day 7. Name at least three of your pet peeves.
Day 8. Think about where you see yourself five years from now, write it down.
Day 9. Smile at a stranger.
Day 10. Set a goal this week and stick to it.
Day 11. Post a picture of something that makes you smile.
Day 12. Post a picture of who or what inspires you.
Day 13. Laugh out loud.
Day 14. Read an inspirational book.
Day 15. Meditate for at least 15 minutes.
Day 16. Name three things you are grateful for.
Day 17. Name a short-term personal goal.
Day 18. Take deep breaths.
Day 19. Do something you know you’ll be great at.
Day 20. Read your bible.
Day 21. Encourage someone.



Don’t Let the Danglers Dangle You!

Hey there Butterflies!

dangler1Sometimes, I find myself sitting back and laughing out loud at the games people play with one another. Well, this latest chuckle has sparked my writing inspiration for today.

What is my definition of a Dangler? Well, I’m glad you asked. A Dangler is someone who pretends to support you, but they really don’t. They know that something big is about to happen in your life and they want to stay close enough so that their names will be added to your A List. So, here and there, they will shout you out and they may even drop in for a chat or two. No worries, they mean you no harm, they just didn’t learn the lesson on keeping it real.

That’s right, you’re in control. Appreciate the shout outs, welcome the chats, but more importantly, learn your lesson. As my mama use to say, every shut eye aint sleep and every good-bye aint gone.

Spread your wings Butterflies and keep it moving. Let them tag along, but with not strings attached.


Reflect! Release! Receive!

reflectionWhat’s up everybody!

It’s a beautiful day and I’m just sitting on the porch relaxing and reflecting on my existence in this world. After all I’ve been through I can honestly say, God is good. God has a word for you, but you must quiet yourself, listen and you would hear Him speaking ever so gently.

Spend some time today in personal worship. Sit down, reflect and reveal yourself to God. Yes, He already knows who we are, but He wants us to be honest to ourselves with who we are and that includes the good, bad and the ugly. When we do that, we give Him permission to heal, deliver and to set us free. When we go to God with an open heart, we can say to Him, rule supreme in my life. That’s when He receives the glory and when we can honestly say, “I let go and I let God”. You are right, God does not need our permission to do anything, but when we give Him permission we are coming into agreement with His will, plan and purpose for our lives.

Life happens to all of us and many times it leaves us broken and bruised. Because of that, we find ourselves changing who we are and stepping outside of the will of God and we take on the residue that our issues left behind. No need for that because there is help at the throne when we ask for help. For The Lord is good, His mercy and loving kindness are everlasting, and His truth endures to every one of us.

Love and Blessings,


Walk By Faith, Not By Sight


2 Corinthians 5:7 (AMP), the Apostle Paul tells us, “For we walk by faith [we regulate our lives and conduct ourselves by our conviction or belief respecting man’s relationship to God and divine things, with trust and holy fervor; thus we walk] not by sight or appearance.” This can be a difficult challenge for us as human beings because we are comfortable with living our lives by what we see.

“Faith is the substance of things that are hoped for and the evidence of things we do not yet see,” according to Hebrews 11:1. Now, if we can see what we are hoping for then there is no need to exercise our faith. But, if there is something we need and we do not yet see or posses it, then we must use our faith in order to grab hold of it.

It is time for us to lean on, trust in, and rely totally on the truth of God’s Word. We make trusting in God more difficult than trusting in man. We drive our cars, sleep in our beds, and we sit in our chairs without testing or questioning if they will function properly. Why? Because we trust that, “Man” has performed their duties well and they knew what they were doing. Yet, we question if God loves us, or if He will come to our rescue. O we of little faith, He knows what we need to sustain us in our everyday lives.  Here is the bottom line…

Pray, Believe, Expect and you will Receive.