Tag: self

Heart Check

Heart Check

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.

Hair slayed

Face beat

Glossy lips

Little black dress, caressing your hips

Nails tipped

Feet pedicured

Eyebrows manicured

Eyelashes fluttering

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

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Happiness For Sale?

Happiness For Sale?

The age-old question is: “can money buy happiness?”

Money cannot buy happiness because happiness is not for sale. 

Have you seen it in a jar, box, or bottle on the grocery store shelves?

Is it hanging on a department store rack?

Can you order it online?

What wholesale vendor can you place an order with?

Money can buy material things, trips, and pay off debt, which may bring a fleeting “sense” of happiness.

In the market for the authentic?  It’s free!

True and lasting happiness comes from within (knowing, accepting, and loving ourselves) and begins with a relationship with our Creator.   

The Other Fruit

The Other Fruit

It is common knowledge that fruit is good for us.  For us to maintain a well-balanced diet it is recommended that we eat four servings of this food group daily.  Weight loss coaches encourage us to replace the chips, cookies, and other less healthy snacks with an apple, orange, or berries.    Studies show that certain fruits are helpful in preventing and minimizing the symptoms of certain ailments such as lemons for digestive tract issues and cherries for inflammatory pain relief.

While it is a proven fact that fruit is indeed good for our bodies, it doesn’t end there.  Fruit is essential for our spirit as well.  “How so?” you ask.  Galatians 5:22-23(NIV) lists the fruit that should be a regular part of every Christian’s diet:  love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

We cannot purchase this fruit in a grocery store or a farmer’s market and although we can find just about everything at Wal-Mart, we won’t find it there either.  The fruit that is spoken of in these Galatian verses, doesn’t come from outside of us but is produced in us by the Holy Spirit.  The key word in the sentence above is produced.  We aren’t born with the “fruit of the Spirit”; It begins to grow in us when we receive salvation and begin to live for Christ.  As we continuously grow in our relationship with God, the fruit continuously grows within us.

When we are driving down the road and see the big yellow “M” we recognize that there’s a McDonald’s nearby.   Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on the situation, our kids recognize it too.  When we see the swoosh symbol we know the shoes or garment is a Nike product.  These logos do what they were designed to do, they make their brand easily identifiable.   Likewise, when others see love, joy, peace and the other six fruits in us, they recognize us as followers of Christ.

Follow the recommended dietary allowance and get your daily four, but while you’re filling up on apples, bananas, and pears, don’t forget about the other fruit.  Make sure you get these nine nutrients too:   love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.  The fruit that feeds our spirit.

12 Branches from the Tree of Life

12 Branches from the Tree of Life

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.

  1. Sometimes life seems unfair, but be just in your actions anyway
  2. Enjoy getting older, after all there’s only one way around it
  3. Everyone isn’t going to like you, love them anyway
  4. Happiness is a choice and so is unhappiness choose wisely
  5. Your feelings are your feelings; Allow yourself to feel what you feel when you feel it
  6. You are the star in your own life movie, choose who fills the supporting roles carefully
  7. No explanations are required, “no is a complete sentence” (Haven’t mastered this one yet)
  8. Yes is a complete sentence too; Say yes to yourself more (Making progress on this one)
  9. Who you are is just as important as What you are, if not more so
  10. It’s okay to be different; It keeps life interesting
  11. “Timing really is everything” so pay attention and wait for your time
  12. It will find You when you’re not looking for it (this applies to everything from love to lost items)

 

Defining Your Happiness

Defining Your Happiness

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.

Plant and Grow in 30 Days Days 24-30

Plant and Grow in 30 Days Days 24-30

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.

Plant and Grow in 30 Days Day 23

Plant and Grow in 30 Days Day 23

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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.

Plant and Grow in 30 Days Day 21 and 22

Plant and Grow in 30 Days Day 21 and 22

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.

Plant and Grow in 30 Days Day 20

Plant and Grow in 30 Days Day 20

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.

Plant and Grow in 30 Days Day 19

Plant and Grow in 30 Days Day 19

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.