Life is tough my darling, but so are you

Life is tough my darling, but so are you. Stephanie Bennett-Henry

You never know how tough and strong you can be until you have a sick child. You want to run and hide. You get angry. You scream. You cry. You feel helpless. You feel fear. You don’t understand all the big medical words.

Confusion sets in. You feel small, helpless, weak.

You fall to your knees. You look to the sky. You pray.

You find strength. You find hope. You find understanding. You find peace.

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Am I Living and Enjoying My Life’s Full Potential?

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This morning I started a new devotional reading plan on my Bible app. It is called Giving It All Away and Getting It All Back Again. Apparently, this devotional is from the book, with the same title, written by the founder and CEO of Hobby Lobby, David Green.

Right out of the gate this plan has me thinking already about how I am living my life. I am not just talking about how much I might cuss, or laughing at an inappropriate joke, or asking forgiveness for the road rage I experience from time to time. The part of my life I am thinking about is the legacy of my existence. Do I have the right frame of mind to live my life the way God intended? Happy, loving and giving.

Mr. Green broke out how we think during each stage of our lives. He states we worry about who we will marry or what type of career will we have in our twenties. In our thirties, we ask ourselves how I can grow in my career and will my kids turn out ok? I am in my late thirties, and I would have to agree with Mr. Green because those two items are very top of mind.

When we reach our forties, we start to question if the career we worked so hard for in our twenties and thirties is even the right fit. And wonder why life is so hard? The fifties we start to look backward and forward: “How has my life turned out so far, and what will I do that’s significant in the next twenty-five years?” (David Green)

By our sixties, we began to worry if our bodies will stay healthy and hold up and how often we will see our grandchildren. In the golden years of seventy, we start to look back and ask if everything we’ve done in life so far has been worth it. And more importantly, will anyone remember?

The material things we once held high are no longer relevant in our eighties. We will find our joy in the things you can’t buy.

A phone call from a friend
The touch of your spouse’s hand
A quiet walk observing God’s creation
The presence of your children
The laughter of your grandchildren
(David Green)

What struck me this morning is that the questions we should be asking at the beginning of our lives are the ones we ask at the end. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to be eighty and regret not enjoying life the way God intended. What makes it hard for me to stop and smell the roses is I am always on the go. It is hard for me just to stop and soak in all the blessings around me.

What’s Your Mojo?
How do you live your life to the fullest? Are you like me and struggle to remember to enjoy life instead of always on the go?

A Mother’s Day Thank You

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It’s Mother’s Day. The time of year we lift the women who birthed, fed, wiped, burped, trained, hugged, cared, and loved us.

We sing praises to the incredible one who carried us around for nine months dealing with aches, pains, heartburn, swollen ankles, puking and wearing pants with no flipping buttons.

We salute the women who thought they were signing up to “just be” mom, but also got hit with the role of, doctor, play date, chef, housekeeper, referee, therapist, and entertainer. Oh and let’s not forget Taxi, ATM, and project manager. (Who else keeps everyone’s activities organized?)

We recognize the women who taught us right from wrong and don’t touch that – it’s hot! And told us that kindness, love, and respect are important, and we witnessed it in action as we would watch mom show kindness, love, and respect to others.

We apologize for those few years we thought we knew everything and you were so dumb and stupid and when we stopped giving you hugs and kisses goodnight and never wanted to be around because we thought our friends were more important.

We thank you for always having our backs, allowing us to stay out just a little longer than curfew, and cutting the crust off the bread. Thank you for making sure we had clean underwear, clean sheets, and clean dishes. For not beating us to death when we would get sassy and talk back or “forget” to take out the trash even after you mentioned it a million times.

We are in awe by the incredible force you are. You had loved us before you knew us. You prayed continually and fearlessly for our safety, health, minds, actions and future. You found blessing in our successes and experience sadness in our failures. You were always there.

Please don’t ever think your hard work and dedication was in vain. You are the backbone of ours lives; shaping us into part of the person we are today.

Mom’s are rock stars!

To all the mom’s biological, step, adopted – Happy Mother’s Day!

Did You Earn The Dirt On Your Jeans?

One of the first things I do in the morning is hop on my Twitter and see what is trending around the world. I mean so much could have happened in the six hours I was sleeping, right?

Most of the time I enjoy tweeting and drinking my coffee, especially when I read a story like the one from earlier this week. Get this, Nordstrom has designed jeans to look dirty. Like you have been rolling in a pig pen kind of dirty. The kicker, they cost $425, and people are buying them! (Yes, that deserves an explanation point.)

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First, let me point out that I am in no way a fashionista. I am not hip to cool trends. I am in my late 30’s, so I still think wind pants and flip flops are a great combo. And I live in Kansas; we get all fashion trends last. Ok, so my thoughts on these “trendsetting” jeans are, why? Are we so lazy that we want to give the perception we are hard working members of society? It’s like when you take a selfie and put a million filters on it to make your skin look flawless (ain’t gonna lie, I have done this). Or posting a status, on Facebook, talking about how awesome your life is, so others perceive you as having your shit together, but the truth is your spouse just left you, your kid is in jail, and your electricity will be turned off any day now. (Probably because you just spent $425 on a pair of dirty jeans.)

All week I’ve had these jeans on my mind for starters because the marketer in me is kicking myself for not thinking of this idea first. Just kidding (Well maybe). But it just reinforces the point on how we strive to be beautiful, accepted, wealthy, educated, well-groomed, organized, socially active, world traveler and an amazing chef. In real life, being just one of the items on the list of things above just seems to be to much work. However, on social media, you can be whoever you want to be with a simple click of a button.

It is a standard practice just to coast through with an entitlement attitude. Example, I am a marketing professional in the HVAC industry (Sexy work, I know. It’s ok to be jealous.), one of the biggest hurdles our clients have is finding reliable, driven, hard working people. I am not talking about just the iGeneration. It is my generation as well, the millennials.

I am so thankful I had adults in my life growing up who pushed me to become something real. I was taught to not be a lazy sack, work for what I wanted, and the rewards will follow. Now do I lose motivation from time to time, of course, I do. My point is we should be striving to be better people, better employees, better spouses, better parents, better sons and daughters, better neighbors, instead of better liars, better deceivers, better hiders and better cheaters.

The invention of social media, actually the invention of the internet, has made us lazy. (But for the record, online grocery shopping does not make you lazy.) It allows us to get sucked into a world which allows us to be something that in the real world we can’t be or should I say, “work at” to be. I’m telling you, when your mom would tell you that you could be anything you wanted to be when you grew up, she wasn’t pulling your leg. She was serious. If you did not hear that phrase growing up, you are hearing it now. You can be whatever you want to be. All you have to do is work for it. lazy-person

Fun Fact: More than 75% of people lie on social media, ranging from bio information to the photos posted. We read about our friends and followers doing awesome things with awesome people in awesome places. And here we are sitting at home, watching reruns of Cops on a Friday night. No wonder people lie on their statuses. Who wants to look like a loser?

So obviously, social media can make you depressed. It can give you feelings of unworthiness. Make you feel like you are not good enough. The facades need to stop. Back in the day, I can remember this thing called, daydreaming. It was a vision you would think about quietly in your mind, usually when you were doing something that bores you, like sitting in math class or rolling silverware at work. You could dream about anything you wanted from sitting 8cf2df4ae24c443f1e15f27138ba5a6don the beach to riding on a white horse with Fabio. (Google Fabio and you will see who I am talking about.) With the invention of social media, nothing stays in people’s brains anymore. We post about everything even if it is false.

Below is the order of status people post about the most. Just in case you were curious.

1. Attention -seeking
2. Selfies
3. Praising/sharing about kids/grandkids (This is probably one of my top postings.)
4. Secretly dissing people
5. Food Pictures
6. Pregnancy Updates
7. Charties/Donations
8. Pet Photos

Just to be clear, I am not dogging social media. When used for good and not evil, social media is an excellent tool to communicate. However, I am dogging the $425 pair of dirty pants, which brings me back to my original topic.

Raising two teenage daughters I see the struggles they face, They would probably argue and say social media doesn’t have anything to do with those issues, but I see what they share and like. I follow some of the people they follow. Social media brings insecurities and drama I could never image dealing with growing up. Why? Social media is always on, always updating and forever changing.

Ok, here is the warm and fuzzy take away. (Because every good blog has a moral or lesson to teach.) Don’t let the fake dirty jean wearers define who you think you should be. Don’t false represent yourself just to fit in. You will be unhappy, and eventually, your lies and deception will filter to the top and be exposed. And 99% of the time people can smell bull shit a mile away. If you want people to think you are a hard worker, then go out and work. Get dirty. If you want people to think you are organized, then buy a planner, show up on time and be prepared. If you want people to think you are wealthy, then go to college, invest in a promising startup or invention, marry into it. (The last one was a joke.) You want people to think you are well-groomed, then take a shower and get a haircut. You want people to think you are socially active, then go outside and talk to people. It is called an action. It is that simple.

Sidenote: However, if you are going to pay high dollar to make yourself look like you’ve been plowing a field all day, hit me up, I can roll your clothes around in the mud for half the price.

The Daily Post: Better

A Message To Madison

As the day gets closer, I find myself thinking back to the days you were stumbling around in your ruby red slippers pretending to be Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz. Now you are a beautiful young adult. Yet these last few days I see you as the little girl who stole my heart.

How did we get here so quickly? I am pretty sure it was yesterday we were snuggled up together watching the Power Puff Girls. You were defiantly my little Bubbles. And I know it was just last week I was walking you into your first day of kindergarten. I remember dropping you off  and crying in my car on the way to work. You were growing up so fast. And look at you now….graduating high school.

I am so proud of you. I am so proud of you I am not sure I can describe it in words. I am excited to see where God leads you in life. But at the same time I am sad. I am sad that my little girl isn’t little anymore. I don’t know if this is normal or not, but the last few days I have found myself crying thinking about your childhood. I cry when I think back and see you playing with your Bratz dolls, dancing to Cheetah Girls or watching Polly Pocket over and over again.

I thought about your first Dip N’ Dots. I don’t know if you remember it or not, but we were at the Starlight Theater in Kansas City. Your dad and I took you to see the Wizard of Oz for your 3rd birthday. We shared a bowl of those delicious little ice cream pebbles. As I type this, I can see your little face holding your basket with Toto in it. I think back to the nights I would be doing my homework and you would be asleep on my chest as I typed my assignments on the computer.

You were my little sidekick. Do you remember when I would pick you up from  Andrea’s house I would take you to Quick Shop and you would get a Bug Juice and a candy lipstick? That was so much fun. I never realized it at the time, but those few minutes out of my day have turn into a lifetime of memories.

I can still see you singing The Climb in the talent show and how confident you were. You amazed me that day. And I was one proud momma. And when you were in CYT and was part of Charlie Brown. Another proud momma moment. You were in your element at the time. I am so glad I was there to witness those moments. I am so glad God made me your mom.

I know not everything was roses and rainbows. There were a lot of things that just plain sucked. What makes you so special is that you were the one that made me a mom. So everything that you did first, I also experienced for the first time. Looking back sometimes I wonder how you or I survived. There were some parenting moves I played that didn’t turn out the way I pictured. At times I honestly didn’t know what to say in some situations. And there were other situations where I said too much.

All I can hope is that I have taught you the following things.

Put God first.
You are beautiful.
Be yourself.
Be kind.
Always know you are loved deeply and have a place to come home to.

I am not sure how the next few weeks are going to go. I am going to try to keep myself composed, but at this moment it is going to be hard. Just bare with me. And I am sure you are a big pile of emotions as well. Like I said earlier, when you experience something for the first time, I am experiencing it for the first time as well.

Thank you for being a kick ass daughter. You are going to do great things in this world. You know when you were little, you would click those ruby red slippers and dream of going on a enchanted adventure, maybe somewhere over the rainbow perhaps. Baby, now you can click those ruby reds and go anywhere you want to go. Nothing can stop you!

I love you Madi.

Love,
Mom