A good chunk of our time and an even greater portion of most women’s budgets is applied to our appearance. Hair, makeup, brows/lashes, nails, and clothing are just a few of the expenses that we contribute to. While there is nothing wrong with this, we also need to step away from the mirror and look at what it doesn’t show. Yes, sometimes a heart check is in order.
Proverbs 4:23 warns us to guard our hearts: “Above all else guard your heart, for it is the well spring of life”. The passage that I share below is based on this verse. As you read it examine your own heart, for your well-being and very life depends on the condition of your heart.
Little black dress, caressing your hips
You keep them stuttering
Wait a minute, let’s bring the heart into it
Do you have a heart condition?
Not the kind that shows up on an echocardiogram,
But the kind that can’t be seen:
Bitterness, unforgiveness, anger, envy, jealousy, manipulation,
Just to name a few, conditions that not only harm you,
But have the power to destroy others too
Life is full of lessons. Lessons are learned, relearned and new ones added daily. From the time we are born to the day we depart, we are in lesson mode. Here are twelve of the many lessons that I’ve picked up along my journey so far.
- Sometimes life seems unfair, but be just in your actions anyway
- Enjoy getting older, after all there’s only one way around it
- Everyone isn’t going to like you, love them anyway
- Happiness is a choice and so is unhappiness choose wisely
- Your feelings are your feelings; Allow yourself to feel what you feel when you feel it
- You are the star in your own life movie, choose who fills the supporting roles carefully
- No explanations are required, “no is a complete sentence” (Haven’t mastered this one yet)
- Yes is a complete sentence too; Say yes to yourself more (Making progress on this one)
- Who you are is just as important as What you are, if not more so
- It’s okay to be different; It keeps life interesting
- “Timing really is everything” so pay attention and wait for your time
- It will find You when you’re not looking for it (this applies to everything from love to lost items)
Do you remember having to look up vocabulary words in English class? For me it involved the use of a large hardcover dictionary, for some of you Dictionary.com or a similar website may have been your source. No matter what source was used, you found that most words were not limited to one definition, but often there were multiple meanings.
Happiness is a trending term. It is a broad word that many try to define narrowly. Many self-help books have been written on it, public speakers hold seminars and conferences about it, life coaches offer their services to help guide you to it…..
What does it mean?
Just like many other words, happiness has more than one definition. Dictionary.com gives two: the quality or state of being happy is the first and most basic meaning and the second is good fortune; pleasure; contentment; joy. So now that we have it defined, how do we reach this state of being happy? How do we obtain good fortune, pleasure, contentment, joy? Is it something to be pursued or do we already have it innately in us?
My Happy/Your Happy
For some happiness is attached to material things and social status. Careers, money, houses, cars, designer clothes, jewelry are the indicators of happiness for them. Relationships are the source of happiness for many: significant others, family, and friends determine whether or not they are happy. Others equate a spiritual connection to happiness. Having a relationship with God or their ascribed higher power defines their happy. I think that happiness is innately within us and that sometimes it gets buried underneath some “stuff” but it still lives. For me God is the main source of my happiness, but I believe that contentment with my relationships, career, and having some of the material things that I desire further contribute to it.
What does happiness mean to you?
How you choose to define your happiness is just that, your choice. Choose it on your own terms and not someone else’s borrowed definition.
This final week of 30 days of growth and “newness” sprouted up different thoughts and revelations and a new breakfast spot.
A couple of days this week I found myself feeling a little down. There was no particular reason, it was “just one of those days” times two. Normally, I would have just gone through it and went about business as usual. Trying to push through it just wasn’t working this time; I couldn’t shake it off. Then God sent me two “angels” to encourage me and I allowed them to do just that. The role of encourager is usually mine, so it was different for me to switch places. I give a lot, fully believing in the words “it is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). I am grateful however, for the lesson that I need to surrender to allowing myself to receive from others as well.
My husband’s birthday was this week. Every year since we have been together I have always sought to make his day special. From “fancy” dinners to Disney World and various things in between I have tried to do something out of his ordinary to honor his birthday. Every year though, he has requested not to do anything special for his birthday. So this year, I did something different and gave him the low-key day that he has wanted. No promises for next year though lol.
I told you that I really enjoy food. So you know I could not end the 30 days without a food “new”. I’m not big on breakfast, I know it’s the most important meal of the day…. It’s just not one of my favorites. When I do eat it though, I like a good spread. I had a breakfast craving earlier this week and answered it with a trip to a local country kitchen restaurant. It offered a cozy, friendly atmosphere and a hearty down home southern breakfast that a girl raised in the south could appreciate.
These 30 days have been interesting, fun, and challenging at the same time. But……. tomorrow it’s back to the regularly scheduled program-weekly posts. Join me to see what May brings.
Today I watched the first two episodes of a Netflix series that I would have normally overlooked. The overwhelming response and reviews from other watchers prompted me to tune into “13 Reasons Why”. I watched the show with my preteen daughter as some viewers suggested. Glad that I gave it a chance. It opened the door to a good dialogue between my daughter and I on some “touchy” subject matters related to middle and high school teens.
I was reminded this weekend that you can find treasures in your own backyard if you look for them. I did a little digging on Friday and Saturday. What did I turn up? I went to the nearby city of Matthews, NC and found a couple of new consignment shops to fuel my obsession. Shopping often makes me hungry; I stumbled upon a 1950’s style diner where I enjoyed friendly service and a good meal.
On Saturday I had planned to attend the Hippie Fest with my family, which would have been a first for me. After waiting in traffic for 20+ minutes to get onto the property on which it was being held, for a possible parking spot, we decided to find something else to do with our day. We ended up in the quaint college town of Davidson. There just happened to be an Earth Day Arts and Crafts Show taking place downtown. We were able to meet some new artists and get introduced to their works of art and crafts, enjoy the sounds of a two-man band (guitar and saxophone), and visit with some friendly residents.
Take some time to explore your city and surrounding areas you never know what you might find.
It took me several attempts (eight to be exact), but today I found out I placed first in a weekly writing contest. In previous entries I’ve had a 2nd place win and an honorable mention. I was determined to get the top prize for two reasons: I’m a little competitive( the good kind, I’m my own main competition) and I strive for excellence in the things that are important to me and writing is my love. The best part of this achievement isn’t about “bragging rights” or checking off another goal, it’s that I didn’t give up. I could have settled for 2nd place, but I knew I had a 1st place in me. So, “I kept my eyes on the prize” until the prize was in my hand.
I am a strong proponent of not living in the past, but it is good to visit there sometimes. So I paid it a visit today. I took a stroll down the proverbial memory lane, with music as my guide. Memories of when my husband and I first started dating, our wedding, and other highlights of our time together, brought both smiles and tears(happy ones). I sung in and out of tune, reminisced, and got that “old feeling” back. That feeling I had when I first fell in love with him resurfaced. Not that it had gone anywhere, but sometimes it gets buried under the complexities of “life”. No, can’t live there, but it felt really good visiting.
On my way out today I saw my neighbor outside working in her flower beds. I waved to her and said hello as I normally do and proceeded to my car. Then I stopped and decided to do something “new”. I’ve waved to and spoken to her in passing countless times since the almost two years we’ve been neighbors; Today I took the time and made the effort to go over and initiate a conversation with her. She’s a lovely lady, friendly and easy to talk to. Turns out we have a lot in common too. So glad I made the effort to find out.
In case you’re wondering, my counting isn’t off. I skipped days 14-16 purposely, deciding instead to take a 3 day weekend off from writing for the Easter holiday. That in itself is a “new” because normally I would have held myself to it. But, that’s one of the beauties of freelance writing, being on my own schedule. Nevertheless, I struggled with the decision to take a break because I committed to doing the 30 days and I don’t like to come up short.
Today’s “new” correlates to what I mentioned above. Initially I wasn’t even going to mention having skipped the three days; I was just going to write today’s post. However, I’m learning that it’s okay to share your shortcomings and fails. It provides for more transparency and may help someone else in the process.