Grief, The Ugly Friend

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Grief, The Ugly Friend

There are so many emotions attached to grief. They aren’t felt everyday. It’s a journey.

Grief makes you a liar. Always answering with an “I’m good” smile when you’re far from it.

Grief is a single tear you didn’t know you’ve shed.

Grief is a pack of nabs in Walmart that brings you to your knees with sobs.
Grief is a puppeteer and you are the puppet, always at the mercy of its next move.

Grief is a replay button. You replay the hysteria of that call, everyday. You replay the dread of making that call you know will bring the same pain to someone you love. It’s a replay of sounds, of smells, of things you can’t unsee.

Grief is jealousy. You become jealous of what or who you don’t have.

Grief is a thief. It watches you enjoying a moment. Then it sneaks in and steals your joy and bombards you with a sadness that can knock you off your feet. 

Grief is a smile that’s robbed you of your smile, the one that reaches your eyes and is spread across your face. This smile stops flat. There is no joy in it. 

Grief let’s you remember the good, but will slam you with the bad at the same moment so you’re so confused as to which to remember. 

Then grief becomes anger, because all you want is the good, not the bad. 

Grief is like breaking your great-grandmothers antique vase and frantically trying to glue all the pieces back together, but you always come up short a piece.

Grief is like the elephant in the room. No matter how many times or where you move it, it’s still there, looming over you.

Grief can be so debilitating. It can make you physically not want to move. People who’ve never experienced deep seeded grief only see you as weak or uninterested, aloof. They don’t realize the effort it takes to put one foot in front of the other, to complete everyday menial tasks.

Grief doesn’t care how long it’s been. Grief doesn’t care that others think you should just get over it already, after all, it’s been awhile. There is no time limit to grief. There is no magic number that suddenly excuses you from its presence. Each persons blanket of grief is custom tailored to be just the right size and weight for that person. 

You don’t want people to talk about your grief, to look at it as a plague that brings pity. But you don’t want them to forget it either, to act like it doesn’t exist. It’s a twisted tail.

Grief is the friend you have, but really don’t want. That friend becomes a little more manageable with each passing day, but they’re still really annoying and you want to shake ’em off but you can’t.  

Grief is a liar. Grief will tell you that you can’t be happy, you can’t laugh, you can’t smile. Grief lies to you and tells you to be stuck in that moment forever. 

Grief is a side dish of sadness. You will laugh and be happy, but the sadness will always be there lurking in the shadows.
 
Glory to the highest, I know the old order of things shall pass away and grief will not exist.

“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28



For me, I find great comfort in the Word, in constant prayer and leaning on the arms of the Everlasting. For every solitary sob session in the shower, He is there. For every unrational outburst, He is there. For every silent struggle, He is there. For every fake smile that later results in despair, He is there. He is always there. The Lord is omniscient and omnipresent. He is holding you most when you feel as though your falling into an abyss of total darkness. 

I also find love and comfort in my husband. God holds every tear I’ve cried, my husband has wiped them all away. He lets me be in my sadness, but not too far in that it’s hard to come out. He gives forehead kisses and hugs. He tries so hard to understand. He lets me be angry, but tells me when it’s too much. Most of all, he loves me even when it’s all too much. 

I’m blessed with family I know I can call on and they will love me through it. They will hold my hand through the dark waters. They help to remind me of greater things. There are friends that have helped me carry this unrelenting grief. Ones who have listened to endless rants and why’s and how’s. 

Find your people. Not the ones who rush you. Not the ones who can’t understand you. The ones who let you be. The ones who will walk with you. The ones who will let you rant and rave and scream and cry. 

Most importantly, seek His face. 

“Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always.” 1 Chronicles 16:11

God has not forsaken me. I know this to be true in the depths of my soul. 

“For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worth comparing with the glory that is going to be revealed to us.” Romans 8:18


We will suffer. We will have pain in this life. Praise God that this isn’t our home. His glory will be revealed for our good. One day, all the tears, all the questions, all the pain, will make sense. It will be good. 

Today my Dad has been gone for 2 years. Some days it seems like so much more time has passed. Some days it seems like yesterday. Other days, it doesn’t seem like it happened at all. Sometimes it’s worse when things aren’t neat and tidy as they should be. Say what needs to be said, my friends. Say it even if you know you won’t get the same in return. 

In these past two years, my husband and I have endured so much grief and pain, unbeknown to most. We have suffered silently. We are suffering patiently. We leave the cloak of our sadness in the corner as to not make those around us uncomfortable. This is another post entirely for another day.

Our precious little town has experienced so much grief and pain. Just yesterday a family laid their 8 year old boy to rest. His little life gone in an instant. He is one of too many children that have gone just in this year. It’s only August. Mamas and Daddys standing beside little caskets. Their grief and pain makes mine feel so insignificant in comparison. My heart turns inside out when I think of each of these families. I pray for them. My goodness do I pray to the Father for their peace. I cry for them. I love on them when I get the chance. I know of grief, not theirs, but mine. I can’t pretend to know how their blanket of grief feels, but I know what the broken heart of grief can do. I also know the Savior carries them and He carries me. 

Grief is the ugly friend. But the Savior is the beautiful light that can bring you out of the darkness. 

Here are just a few of my favorite verses that I find peace in. I urge you to dig into the Word and find ones that bring you comfort.

“He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” Revelation 21:4


“The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:18

“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9


God created everything in this world. We are the only thing He made to be in His image. We are precious in His sight. He loves us and will care for us, even when it seems He isn’t near. 

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Coffee and Christmas

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Coffee and Christmas

I love coffee. Like LOVE coffee.

My daughter had a program at school that was all about good/bad foods, yada, yada. She comes home and tells me that coffee is bad for you. My response is, “No, actually my coffee keeps you and your brothers alive, so it’s good for you.” It’s so bad that my 15 month old stands in front of my Keurig after everyone leaves for school and work knowing Mommy’s gonna do that first.

What can I say, I need my coffee and all those fabulous creamers. If you looked in my fridge right now, I have like 8 different flavors.

Wow. This might be the point where is admit I have a problem.

I’m also a coffee cup snob of sorts. I like fun, pretty coffee cups. Some of my favs are a Cinderella cup, a Masters’ cup, a shoe goddess, and my everyday dinnerware cups have this perfect little lip on it that fits perfectly on your lips as you sip the liquid mana from Heaven. My sweet friend has this great blog/shop ( leslieannjones.com ) and has had a fantastically cute coffee cup made to sell. It says “Dwell” in these fantastic gold foil cursive letters. *Squee* I seriously can’t wait to put some coffee in one of those.

I just like pretty cups. Maybe it’s because at the point I’m drinking my coffee, I am far from pretty. Pretty scary actually.

Sigh, I digress.

So, obviously the cup in which I drink my joe is important to me, but really though, the coffee is what wakes me up and gets my gears moving and de-fogs my brain…some. It’s what’s inside the cup.

I’m sure by now you have heard, read, or seen this debacle that is the red cup from Starbucks.

Oh, you haven’t? Let me enlighten you.

So, some dude has thrown Starbucks under the bus because they removed “Merry Christmas” from their red holiday cups.

Oh, wait. That’s not correct you say? Actually, no it’s not correct. Starbucks removed their “wintery” designs from their holiday cups.

As you can imagine, this guy, a Christian, is all offended by this move which of course he has had an explosion of like-minded Christians join his “I hate Starbucks” team. So that in turn makes non-Christian people all mad and offended because he’s offended. The spiral shall never cease.

Well, dadgummit, I’m offended.

I am offended that as Christians, we are putting more worth in what a stupid cup has on it than what Christmas is about. That we would rather complain about something so small and insignifanct than to share the Gospel with the barista that works at Starbucks.

I’m offended and quiet ashamed, that as Christians we are challenged to share the good news and to love our neighbor as ourselves, yet we turn our noses up at anyone who has a different mind than we do and we turn sinners away because their sin is SOOOO bad. Guess what, your sin, my sin, their sin, his sin, her sin, it’s all the same in the eyes of God. As tough a pill as that is to swallow, it’s true. So quit throwing stones and love on people. Go tell them about the birth of our Lord and Savior, His death, and Resurrection.

No matter how many cups of coffee you have, ultimately your going to get a thirst, or as we say down here in the South, a hankering, for more.

God has put a thirst in us that no coffee, water,  or tea can quench. It can only be quenched by the drinking from His cup. He holds the best cup that flows with the life of the everlasting. It will quench your strongest desires for thirst.

It doesn’t matter what’s on the cup. It’s what’s inside and who’s holding it.

So if the fact that your cup isn’t decorated with snowflakes or “Merry Christmas” (which I do happen to make a point of saying, because I like it) upsets you and offends you, maybe it’s a heart problem, not a cup problem. Even if your cup doesn’t scream Jesus, maybe your mouth should or the way you live should so that when you do share the Gospel, it will have more of a lasting impact than what’s on your cup.

Drink from the cup He holds and thirst no more.

Matthew 28:19-20 “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

Four Seasons

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Four Seasons

There are four seasons.

Spring, Summer, Fall and Winter.

Well, unless you live in Mississippi and then it’s hot or cold. When I say hot, I mean like the depths of hell hot and cold like cccooolllddd.

I’ve often thought of what my favorite season is and I can’t say there is just one.  To me, they each hold a beautiful fascination that appeals to me.

Spring offers a beautiful, fresh awakening and the anticipation of Summer.  Summer brings with it sunscreen and ice cream and children’s laughter throughout the house, with glorious trips to the beach and splash pads. Fall is football and pumpkins and the changing of leaves and sweatshirts and boots and turkey. Winter comes with the celebration of our Saviour and the giving and receiving of gifts, as well as parties and if you’re lucky a snowman or two.

We were taught of these seasons in grade school and we colored pictures that properly depicted each one. Maybe you have a favorite or maybe you are like me and love different things about each one.

As I’ve gotten older, I think there are seasons that we aren’t taught about and that have nothing to do with the weather. They are seasons we live in.

Some you don’t realize until after you’ve been in them, such as childhood or those glorious teenage years.  Those wild and crazy college years (I know some people who don’t even remember that time in their lives let a lone that it was a season).

Then, the kids rhyme comes to mind. “First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes so and so with a baby carriage.”

For me, the “first comes love” came along in my teenage years. I found my happily ever after at 16. To this day, when he holds my hand, he holds my heart. There are so many seasons in marriage and dating. When you are dating, everything is new and cute and fun and you feel like every breathe that is breathed is for them (ok, I pretty much still feel this way, bah I know). You have disagreements and squabbles that are drama filled and may cause you to ignore them walking down the hall is high school, oops, sorry, got off track there. If you’re dating for a while, then things become familiar, but pretty much everything is still so adorable.

Then you decide to change seasons. “With this ring I thee wed…” You plan and plan and cry and plan and freak out and plan. Then you find yourself preparing to walk down the aisle to the most glorious man. That moment time stops as someone slowly opens the doors and the bells toll the hour and the bridal march begins your descent to the one whom your soul loves. You’re aware of the people you are passing by and their oohs and ahhs and smiles, but then it happens. There he is. A light passes over his face and his smile can’t get bigger. He looks at you with so much love and adornment. Then, he reaches for your hand and you know it truly means his hand is the one you’ll hold until the end of your time. You repeat your vows to one another. Our vows meant “together forever” unlike so many today who take it to mean, “until it gets tough”. In sickness and health, in bad moods and good ones, in sick children and no sleep, in the “I don’t really like you right nows”, for richer or poorer, for the love of each other. Your new season as newlyweds is beautiful and fun and new.

Then you decide, with God’s will, to change seasons again. “I’m pregnant” are two words that will change your life forever.  The months of sickness and worry and fear of the unknown could never prepare you for the experience of having a child. There’s your husband, once again holding your hand and encouraging you through the pain and let’s be honest, some pretty embarrassing moments. You’re looking at him and there it is again. That look. The one he gave you as you walked down the aisle. A love so unconditional you’re pretty sure the world is about to explode. Then you are given the gift God so graciously bestowed to you. A child.


I can’t write of the love for a child without tears streaming down my face. I’ve typed and retyped words and somehow there just aren’t adequate words. From the moment a baby is placed on your chest, from the moment you hear that first cry, a love so excruciatingly pure and unconditional over takes your soul and I’m pretty sure will never be absent, even if your kids are. This is a beautiful season, but also one of the hardest. Sleepless nights, the need to be perfect for that child, the constant caregiver, then comes birthdays and soccer games. All of the beauty that comes from becoming a parent can often over shadow your marriage and time together with your spouse. It’s hard to have enough left over after all the children are asleep and chores are done (maybe, maybe not). But at the end of the day, his hand once again grabs mine and the stress of being Mommy all day evaporates into the butterflies just like the first time he held my hand. Children are a beautiful gift from God, but it’s important to remember in this season, that so is your spouse and they should not be forgotten. Your time together should not be swept under the rug because there’s just not enough time.

Speaking of not enough time, I’ve been thrust into a season I wasn’t expecting to go through at this stage of life, although I’ve actually been through it before, just thankfully I have no recognition of it. The season of death. Death has been apart of my life since I was almost 2. My father died at the young age of 28. There are no memories only a love and connection not easily explained. I’ve had grandparents pass, aunts and uncles die and even the deaths of my husband’s grandfathers. Over the almost 16 years of being with my love, those two men became just like biological grandparents and I am forever better for having them in my life. In August, my step father unexpectedly passed away. The unexpectedness of it has by far made this the hardest. I wasn’t prepared for this season. I was thrust into the “be strong and make sure everyone is ok” mode, trying to make sure our Mom was going to make it. This season has been hard for a lot of reason that may one day make it into a post, but not today. In this season, I have felt the drowning pull of grief and just when I thought I would drown, once again that hand grabbed mine and held me. My husband let me be crazy and angry and ragged. He held my hand as I have cried and cried and not understood. Sometimes that hand was held at a distance from not knowing when the sure enough crazy was gonna hit, but he held me anyway.

My point being is no matter what season you’re thrust into, the good, the bad, or the ugly, make sure you’ve got a good hand to hold. My main squeeze, my person, my love, isn’t perfect by no means, but he sure is perfect for me.

P. S. He will be completely embarrassed by this post and feel as if he’s not worthy, but he is. His humility is another quality I love.

Search No More

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I’ve been absent awhile and have made several attempts to write, but it just hasn’t been there.  I was pregnant and tired, then came our bouncing bundle of joy that was thrust into our already chaotic life that just seems to get busier and busier every day.So here I am wanting, needing to get back to what makes my heart happy…writing.

Why not jump back in full force with a huge topic that’s been on my heart.  A pink elephant of society, if you will.

It seems as though, as a human race, we are searching for something. Anything to feel good, needed, pretty, appreciated, worthy, numb, or whatever.

In the news lately we’ve seen all about Ashley Madison and her bag of “tricks” (sorry, couldn’t resist).  We’ve seen celebrity after celebrity being treated for all types of addictions and sadly those who have died from those addictions. Maybe we know someone who has struggled or is struggling with those demons. Maybe we see a mom who feels the need to “discuss” another mom and her “perfections” just so she can feel a little better about herself by being ugly. Maybe there’s a mom you know who feels as though she is failing miserably at this parenting thing and she’s pretty sure she is screwing up her kids. Maybe you have a family member who is struggling in their marriage and they seek any source they can find to make it better or to seemingly make it worse, just to get out.  Maybe you sit by someone at work who is a wife and trying to figure out what she has done to make her husband not love her, she is searching for something to make her become better. Maybe you know a person who is tired of being here and being overlooked and they search for that permanent numbness that will carry them from their darkness. After all, who would care?  Maybe you have a friend who just lost a loved one and they spend their days searching for ways it could have been different, so they live in guilt and shame and anger. Maybe your sister is searching for yet another diet that will make her feel beautiful and she can finally fit into that perfect sized pair of jeans that will give her that validation that she’s worthy.  Maybe you know a child who is being abused at home and has no control over his environment, so he chooses to express his power of control over some poor kid at school by being a bully.

Maybe, just maybe one of these is…you.

I can assure you, my sweet friends, my own demons lay darkly in those words. We are all searching for something, someone to make use better, prettier, smarter, happier, etc.. Please hear me when I say from my heart, we can search this world over every day for the reast of our lives and not find the peace or happiness we so long for when we put our hope or worthiness in this world.

Matthew 6:33 says, “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” We are seeking the wrong thing. We have put our hope in man and earthly “majesties” that may bring us the feelings we long for, but only for a minute. We are still left with an emptiness, a void, that will rear it’s ugly head once we come off of our “high”.

When we put our hope in God and His majesties, truly turn it over to him, that is when really peace comes. An everlasting peace, the real McCoy. In the book of John, Jesus says, “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let you hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”(John 14:27) Again in John Jesus says, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”(John 16:33) We can also see the transcending power of peace that God gives in Paul’s letter to the church at Phillippi. “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”(Phil. 4:6-7)

Without God at our helm, we are just riding on a rudderless ship. We are drifting in this sea of life and eventually our boat will sink from all the things the word has offered and we have so hungrily accepted. When we seek the Father, we won’t need the world. We are divinely created to be exactly who we are, not who we are made to believe we need to be.

Matthew Henry wrote, “Christ died He left a will in which He gave His soul to His Father, His body to Joseph of Arimathea, His clothes to the soldiers, and His mother to John. But to His disciples, who had left all to follow Him, He left not silver or gold, but something far better – His PEACE!”

Let us not put our hope in man or man made things, but in Christ and Christ alone.

“God Bless You” Say what?

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“God Bless You” Say what?

While shopping, a man sneezes right beside me…

“Aaachoo”

“God Bless you” I reply.

“Why did you say that?”

“Huh? What? Me?” I totally wanted to say the lady in the brown shirt with the basket full of groceries was the one who said it and she is turning down the bread isle. You should go ask her.

But I didn’t.

The man addresses me again.

“Why did you say ‘God bless you’ when I sneezed?”

I’m not even sure what possessed my mouth.

“Oh, well, you know. Hey do you know that Martin Luther guy? The original one, not Martin Luther King, Jr. This guy was the one who broke away from the Holy Catholic Church umpteen years ago. Caesar may have been alive… No? Oh well that’s okay, it may be irrelevant anyway. You see, researched showed that when you sneeze, that’s as close as you can get to dying without actually dying you know? So they always said ‘God bless you’ in case you like killed over after you sneezed. They wanted you to have been ‘blessed’ if you died…I mean, I’m not Catholic or anything, I’m a Baptist…ummm… Really I guess what it boils down to, I mean, is it’s just polite. You know?”

To this guys credit, he didn’t laugh hysterically or even remotely crack a smile. You could tell he wanted to though.

He replied, “That’s the best answer yet. You have a good day now.”

“Oh yeah, thanks. You have a blessed day!” I say with what I am hoping was a confident, sparkly smile.

He only offers me a half back turn and a smile.

Facepalm times a thousand. Why, oh why did I even bless the guy before he died anyway? Sigh.

I am pretty sure God was either laughing hysterically or had His head in His hands slowly shaking it back and for repeating the Serenity Prayer.

I totally missed that “share the Gospel” moment. Instead of being a “fisher of men”, I basically jumped in the middle of the ocean, without a floatation device and pulled that poor man down with me while spewing broken History facts about Casear and Martin Luther, the original.

Here is what Wikipedia says about the origin of “Bless You”:

“Several possible origins are commonly given. The practice of blessing someone who sneezes, dating as far back as at least AD 77, however, is far older than most specific explanations can account for.[1]

One explanation holds that the custom originally began as an actual blessing. Gregory I became Pope in AD 590 as an outbreak of the bubonic plague was reaching Rome. In hopes of fighting off the disease, he ordered unending prayer and parades of chanters through the streets. At the time, sneezing was thought to be an early symptom of the plague. The blessing (“God bless you!”) became a common effort to halt the disease.[2]

Another explanation suggests that people used to believe that a person’s soul could be thrown from their body when they sneezed,[1] that sneezing otherwise opened the body to invasion by the Devil[2] or evil spirits,[3] or that sneezing was the body’s effort to force out an invading evil presence.[1] In these cases, “bless you” or “God bless you” is used as a sort of shield against evil. The Irish Folk story “Master and Man” by Thomas Crofton Croker, collected by William Butler Yeats, describes this variation.[4]

Another legend holds that the heart stops beating during a sneeze, and that the phrase “bless you” encourages the heart to continue beating.[1][2][3]

In some cultures, sneezing is seen as a sign of good fortune[1] or God’s beneficence.[5] In such cases, “bless you” may be spoken as a recognition of that luck.[1]

Alternatively, it may be possible that the phrase began simply as a response for an event that was not well understood at the time.”

So, as it turns out, I wasn’t too far off. Right?

What I should have done was ask him if he felt blessed. I should have asked him if he knew God would bless him and I should have asked if he knew God.

God presents us with tons of opportunities to spread His word, not only by what we say, but what we do as well. That old saying, “your actions speak louder than words”, still holds true.

My hubs and I teach Bible Buddies to 3rd graders at our church on Wednesday nights. A few weeks ago we were talking about smiles and how much just a simple smile can change a persons day. It’s true. I always try to smile at people. Most people will smile back at you, even if they look grumpy before.

I will never forget a time I wish I would have smiled more or maybe someone would have. When we lived in Georgia, there was a young teenage girl that would stand by the road and wait for the bus. I passed her everyday heading to work. She was always sad looking. Never smiled and seemed to be a lost, dark child. One day she wasn’t waiting for the bus. Day after day she never returned. I found out that she had taken her life. A child. Gone. Since I found that out, I put forth an effort to smile.

So, that being said, even though I totally bombed my, tell-this-guy-about-Jesus, moment, maybe my smile or the fact that I even spoke back, left an impact on him.

Always, carpe diem. even if you are totally winging it. You never know how you can leave an impact.

Am I beautiful?

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Am I beautiful?

Am I enough?

At some point in every, I mean every, woman’s life they have asked these questions. I hope they have been told that they are by someone who meant it.

As I have gotten older, the meaning of beauty has changed. I am sure this is something that continues to evolve with more age.

My almost 6 year old daughter, S, said to me the other day, “Mommy, your make-up makes you so pretty. You are so much more prettier than me. My face isn’t pretty ’cause I don’t have any make-up.” Well, that statement is so far beyond the truth. My child is one of the most beautiful creatures I have ever seen. Not only because she looks beautiful, but because her heart is beautiful.

If there is a bit of life lesson I want to leave with my daughter, that would be one of them. Physical beauty is nice, but it truly is the heart that counts.

I tell her very often how pretty and beautiful she is, that’s she’s the most beautiful girl in the world. I always follow that up by how beautiful her heart is. Her Daddy tells her she’s beautiful (this is SO important Dads), too.

I want her to know she is beautiful, but her beauty doesn’t define her or make her who she is. Her heart does.

I want her to know that not everyone will think she is beautiful, but that’s okay. She doesn’t have to live up to any one else’s standards. God created her in His image, therefore she is beautiful.

I want her to not compromise her morals to feel beautiful. Degrading yourself in an unlady like manner, does not make you beautiful or remotely classy (yeah, that might be a shout out to ole Miley).

She needs to know that what she wears or doesn’t wear, doesn’t make her beautiful or not beautiful.

It’s still her heart.

I want her to be comfortable in her own skin. Even if that skin has acne or she gets a bad scar in a noticeable spot, or she isn’t a size 2 the rest of her life or when she has her own children and gets those pesky stretch marks, I want her to own it and embrace it and still feel beautiful.

I pray that she always has a person that makes her feel beautiful, someone other than her Daddy and me. I pray that person lets her know she is beautiful and how much they love her beautiful soul and heart.

I want we to know she doesn’t have to compare herself with her peers.

I want her to look at other girls and lift them up, not point out flaws. I want her to know that we, as women, have to stop comparing ourselves.

I want her to know she is beautiful, because I know I’m beautiful. This is particularly hard for me, but I want to be that positive influence on her young life; not the one that is never good enough for myself. Kinda hypocritical, really.

I pray she never has to ask the questions, “Am I beautiful?” or “Am I enough?”, because her Daddy and I have laid the foundation for her to know, to feel her beauty from the inside out, no matter what is thrown her way.

I pray she doesn’t have to look to world for her confirmation, because she won’t find it there.

I pray she will look at everything, everyone in the way God created it, beautiful.

“The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart.”
– Helen Keller

“Be a girl with a mind

A woman with a attitude

A lady with class

Be You

You are perfect when you are just being you.”

You are beautiful, my sweet child, inside and out. I pray you always feel this inside and out.

Embracing 30

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” I hurt myself today..”

Those are the first lyrics to “Hurt” (a very dark and painful song) by Johnny Cash ( if you don’t know who he is, then stop reading this and google the man. Listen to a few songs, read his story and come back. You should be ashamed).

I have a BIG birthday coming up and for some reason this first line of that song always pops into my head. Let’s go ahead and clear the air, I haven’t hurt myself today nor do I plan to. If you know the song (if you don’t, stop and google it, then come back) this lyric is sung in a very low, slow kinda drawl that sets a gloomy, blah mood. So when thinking of my birthday, I always say: I turn 30 today. ( this would be better if you really did stop and listen to the song, not all of it, the first sentence).

For me, turning 30 (when I say that, my mouth gets that feeling of when you put your tongue to both sides of one of those batteries, with the connector thingys. Yeah, I have brothers) has been like a dark, rainy cloud that has attached itself to my back. I tend to look at those around me and play the wonderful let’s compare game.

Most of the 30 year olds I know have these great, blossoming careers that mean something. I don’t (I have the education and diplomas) or at least that’s the way this 30 thing has been making me feel.

Almost six years ago, my hubs and I decided that I would stay at home with our children. This is a decision we made together and one that I am happy we made, every single day.

From as early as I can remember, I have always wanted to be a mother. I would play with my baby dolls and wait for the day I could become a mommy for real. The desire to have a little person love me unconditionally and depend on me has always been present.

I also always wanted to be a teacher, psychiatrist, doctor, nurse, writer, finder of world peace, world renown author, FBI agent, a chef and many other exciting professions. I started working at 11 years old, for a couple cleaning their house. This couple turned out to be one of the greatest blessings and examples in my life. Of course, I have had other jobs since then. Some I loathed and some that were really awesome.

I say all that to show that, although I haven’t fulfilled those professional dreams, (and most of my classmates have)I ultimately I have the greatest job in the world. Seriously.

Someone came to me asking for life advice about looking at friends and how they have this or they have accomplished that and being burnt out.

Of course I’m always willing to give out an opinion!

I went through the stop looking at other people and what they have and be happy with you and where you are, yada, yada. I went on to say I was struggling with that as well, with my birthday coming up. It’s like my own light bulb popped on. Isn’t it funny how that happens? You are trying to help someone else out and end up helping yourself.

I needed to hear myself say all of that. I need a good shakin’, a stop that and get out of that pity party! It’s all about perspective people.

I may never cure cancer, but my kisses can heal even the toughest boo-boos on my kids. My hugs can make a hurt or sad heart feel better. I can help a princess who feels like she has lost her sparkle, shine again with just my words. I get to make a little boy feel like he is the fastest little boy with a smile and applause. I may never win the greatest teacher award, but I have taught and get to teach my children all the things they need to know. I may not be a psychiatrist, but I can solve the best sibling issues there are (which goes along with finder of world peace). I may not get the Noble prize for an extraordinary documentary or book, but seeing my children’s faces light up at the make believe stories that take them to another place, is better. I even get to solve the mystery of where my favorite whatever is and play Santa Clause, Easter Bunny and Tooth Fairy. That makes for a great undercover FBI agent, right? I make the meanest PB&J known to man. I have the ability to cook meals for my family, although some may be epic failures, most are pretty good. I get to see the moment when my babies fall asleep, when their little bodies give up that fight and fall into peaceful slumber. That does a Mommy’s heart good. I get to be in those moments when they do things themselves for the first time and witness them coming into their own little selves.

No matter what birthday you are celebrating, be content. You are where you are for a reason. Don’t focus on what you don’t have or what you haven’t accomplished, embrace your here and now. Celebrate life itself.

No, I may not have accomplished as much as my peers in a professional sense, but I have the ultimate accomplishments. I have so much more than any degree or profession can give me. My accomplishments call me Mommy and right now, that’s exactly what I’m supposed to be.

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My pity party is over and my thankfulness is replacing it. I’m thankful for the job I do have, for my healthy, happy children and a man who loves me despite my flaws (he thinks I’m beautiful, too). I’m thankful for family and the wonderful friends I’ve been blessed with these past 30 years. I have another year under my belt and I pray that I am blessed with many more to come.

Bring it on 30. I’m ready for you now.