What We Want and Need, Part II

Happy Motivational Monday!

I didn’t forget to finish this post, I just took a short break, preparing mentally for some events that I have coming up in August…there’s a wedding, family reunion, trunk party and baby shower, all within 3 weeks of each other. I have no complaints and am grateful for the opportunities, but a girl’s life can get hectic!

So as I acknowledge the happy chaos in my life, here is the remainder of Desiderata, of which I wrote a few weeks ago:

Take kindly to the counsel of years, gracefully surendering to the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars, you have a right to be here, and whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should, therefore be at peace with God. Whatever you conceive Him to be. And whatever your labo(u)rs and aspirations in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul. With all its sham and drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

Make It Awesome!

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You’re So Funny

Just a quick reminder to smile and to try not to take life so seriously. No matter how bad a situation is, it could always be worse…be thankful and grateful that it isn’t! Have a wonderful Monday and Make It Awesome!

Friday the 13th Just Got Scarier…

Ok, I’m aware that it’s Friday and I’ve been trying to find time to get some information together for the new series. I’m trying to not put myself in the slacker category, but there is definitely a thin line between slacker and too busy to think straight…

This is a picture of the coffee mug which I use at work…sorry it’s ginormous, but you gotta see this…

I work with chemicals on a daily basis and know of the implications of getting them onto/into your body. But the mug is so cute! And accurate. It’s a MSDS (material safety data sheet) of the chemical structure of caffeine, the potential effects on your body and warnings against consumption…there’s a lot of technical jargon, but read Section 3. Legalistically, it’s for anhydrous caffeine, but adding water to stuff doesn’t always make it better. Just ask Gizmo.

I know, I know…as I/you/we say “but it’s just so dang good!!”

So in an effort to pay it forward, I just want to pass along this article on quitting coffee/caffeine. I will definitely be researching it more…I have some fairly serious health issues that are only complicated by caffeine, but trying to stop it cold turkey is worse. There’s nothing in the world quite like a 3 day migraine that doesn’t respond to 2000 mg of Tylenol. So in spite of fibrocystic breasts, mitral valve prolapse and preparing to be a mommy, I haven’t been able to let it go. Behind being in love, caffeine is my biggest chemical addiction! I know better and the fears don’t seem to be enough to sway me…

  • The boob issue is complicated by the fact that the more caffeine I ingest, it makes it a little more difficult to be able to tell if the lump is from my daily cup o’ joe or something more sinister…
  • The heart thing just sucks because caffeine increases heart rate and with that condition, if mine gets going fast enough, a chain of events can cause the blood to flow backward in my heart. My cardiologist has been fussing at me about this for years, but she wears the most fabulous shoes, so I’m usually happy to see her…
  • Yes, I’m ready to be a mom! Not in the “I’m looking forward to not sleeping, gaining weight, waddling around and having a hormonal explosion” sort of way, but more in an “I broke the snooze button on my biological alarm clock” sort of fashion. Also, my husband is hot and I want to have his babies…

So overshares and rages against the coffee machine aside, I hope that the article on Mama and Baby Love is helpful for you. I think my hubby may be proud…we are trying to move toward a Pure (r) lifestyle as a family in mind, body and spirit. Or he might be mad that we’ll be packing up the coffee pot soon. Meh.

Make It Awesome!

What We Want and Need, Part I

I have this banner hanging in our bedroom entitled Desiderata. I picked it up in Hawaii a few years ago. I was looking for something else, but I must admit that it turned out to be the right acquisition.

Desideratum (noun): something wanted or needed.

Desiderata, part 1:

Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in the silence. As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly, and listen to others, even the dull and the ignorant, they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexatious to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others you may become vain and bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser person than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your career, however humble, it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time. Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is, many persons strive for ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love, for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is as perennial as the grass.

Reading this again is a good reminder of things I need to take into consideration, comprehesive thought of what should be important and a humble reminder of things that are not…

Make It Awesome!

Freedom Isn’t Free

The Fourth of July is an awesome holiday. I like to watch stuff blow up and I love all things sparkly, so I look forward to having fireworks to show off and play with. Except this year, because we have a burn ban. I’m definitely not enough of a pyromaniac to burn things down, so I’m perfectly fine with watching the shows that the city has set up today…

But today is certainly not about the fireworks. Or the food, even though that is incredibly important…mmm, ribs…

It’s about the independence of our country. Even in fighting to be our own nation independent of England’s rule, we had soldiers who fought and lost their lives to give us freedom. There is a lot of historical detail between now and then (if you don’t know, feel free to do some research) but it all has one thing in common: I appreciate our soldiers. Unless it was my husband or child, I don’t think I could say with full confidence that I’m going to lay down my life for someone, especially a stranger. That probably makes me selfish, right? Our soldiers do this every day. They choose to put their lives in danger so that they can protect the freedoms that we take for granted.

A few years ago, I had the pleasure of vacationing in Hawaii and visited Pearl Harbor. There were some WWII survivors who volunteered to be tour guides at the memorial. I noticed that some of the people were just passing them by, maybe stopping for a second to take a picture to be able to say they saw a war relic. I was drawn to one of the survivors and walked over, just to talk to him, give him a hug and tell him thank you for his service to his country. I’ll never forget Sgt. Sterling. I began talking to him and he asked where I was from. The ensuing conversation lasted for an hour and is one of my most treasured memories. It turned out we were both from TN and both had grandmothers who made homemade biscuits and knew what sorghum molasses were. I loved and truly cherished the time that I spent with Sgt. Sterling; there is something so precious about sincerely listening to an elder and their life experiences. He was just a sweet and amazing old man. Somewhere in the world, a Japanese tourist has a picture where she’s standing next to a random chick who wouldn’t stop talking to the vet…

Not just talking to this particular vet, I know a lot of them! My grandfather served in WWII. A simple man, his pride and joy was being able to wear that hat with his name and service info to all the parades. I miss him. I have a really large military family, so I understand what it means to love a soldier:

  • Dad (US Navy, retired)
  • Brother (US Marines, active)
  • 11 Uncles (US Navy, Army, Air Force, retired)
  • 1 Great Uncle (US Army, retired)
  • 3 Cousins (US Navy, Army, Air Force, Marines, active and retired)
  • Countless friends, fraternity and sorority members (US Navy, Army, Marines, Air Force, active and retired)

So on today, I just want to say a genuine and sincere THANK YOU! You are loved and appreciated far beyond political lines and personal opinions. Today, and everyday, I acknowlege your sacrifice and will support you. I will pray for you and your families. Just as we celebrate Independence Day and the soldiers who fight for our freedoms, I encourage you to remember the ultimate life that was given for our freedoms. Galatians 5:1 states that “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free…” Heavenly or earthly, remember to be thankful for the life that was given for yours…because freedom has never been, nor will it ever be, free.

Make It Awesome!

This Ain’t Judge Judy

This morning I woke up and realized it was Monday. Monday means that I have to write something motivational/inspirational for everyone, since I decided to start this series. It’s been a busy weekend and I just want to sleep. We sent off one of my dearest friends (who is being deployed soon) with a surprise dinner, which meant driving 4 hours to eat and socialize and then turning around to come back home. Exhausting? Yes. Was it worth it? Absolutely! As I think about her leaving and that it’s preceding Independence Day, I think about our freedoms and the things we take for granted and the things our soldiers sacrifice for them.

But I decided to write about that later.

As I surfed the net this morning, procrastinating on all the things I need to be doing and would rather not, I came across this and it hit me hard:

When I see people making certain choices or not doing the things I think they should be doing, it’s super easy and almost a natural reaction to think “well if she did this…” or “they shouldn’t have said/thought/done…” because we have come through situations and know better. Hopefully we know better…and do better. I’ve made some really dumb choices in life. God’s grace, mercy and compassion are the only things that keep me here and I’ve tried to use those incredibly dumb mistakes and horrible life experiences to try and be a blessing to others, to guide and help them through life.

I try really hard to make that my first reaction to people. It doesn’t always happen that way, but humility finds its way into the equation, whether it be intentional on my part or not.

I’m guilty of being judgmental in a lot of situations and against a lot of people. I’ll admit it. It’s certainly something about which I constantly pray and work to improve. I know that it tends to be human nature to judge a book by its cover, but I have learned, and try to teach others, that by doing so you sometimes miss out on your own blessings. You will also miss out on your opportunity to be a blessing.

I don’t say all of this to give the false illusion that everything and everyone is all sunshine and roses. There are some negative people out there. I do know some of them. But in the grand scheme of things, it’s our responsibility to show compassion and understanding, when possible and appropriate. Be slower to judge and understand that when we say there is a time, reason and season for what we’re going through, that it is occurring in the lives of others as well. We are all indeed going through this experience of life together and for as sure as we need compassion and understanding in our trials, we will at some point be called to give it to others in their time of need.

One of my favorite quotes states simply this:

“Be kinder than necessary, for everyone you meet is facing some kind of battle.” – unknown

Try these gestures: Sincerely smile at a stranger. Give a genuine hug. When you ask “how are you?” at least let the person respond. Be the humbly positive influence that people are seeking. Be slower to judge before you know the circumstances because you may not always know the path on which they have to walk at the time. I’m certainly going to try to do better!

 Make It Awesome!