Important Choices

Lately, I have watched people suffer for reasons that ultimately could have been prevented. Not just lately, this has been happening for forever but lately, it’s been bothering me more and more and I want to talk about it.

I will start off by saying, I am well aware that there are things in our lives that we have absolutely no control over and in those moments, the following does not apply. But in the grand scheme of things and as we go through life day to day, the things that happen to us are a result of the choices that we make. Simply put; we have control over our lives and what happens to us and whether or not we are happy or sad, healthy or unhealthy, rich or poor, kind or not.

choices

Each morning when you wake up you have to make the choice whether to stay in bed or get out of it. For those with jobs, staying in bed could mean missing work and potentially losing your job. The same as choosing to get out of bed would mean that you do go to work and in return keep your job. For those without jobs, staying in bed could mean that you continue to not have a job and suffer the consequences that come with that, whatever it may be. Choosing to get out of bed could mean countless opportunities of productiveness depending on what you choose to or not to do with your time. No matter how you look at it, your end result is defined by a choice that you made.

Now that we have that out of the way, let’s move it up a notch. Making choices applies to everything we do in life. Yes, everything. In addition to making choices, there is a need to take responsibility for the choices that you make. Responsibility? What’s that I say?

The state or fact of being accountable or to blame for something

You heard it here folks. When you make a choice, no matter what that choice is, no matter how great it is or how bad that it is, you are responsible for it. You are responsible for whatever ripples from that choice. i.e. the example given above when choosing not get out of bed when you have a job and you then lose said job, it’s your fault. Just as, if you chose to get out of bed even when you do not have a job and that choice leads to the finding of a new job or a clean house or whatever it is that you decide to do, it’s also your fault.

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Now you are wondering; what’s the point, where I am going with this? The point is that we need to do a better job at taking responsibility for our choices. By doing this that means that you accept the repercussions of your actions, no matter if they are good or if they are bad. In doing so, a lot more foolery would end, because 99% of the time a person does not want to take responsibility for their actions when it gets them in trouble, hurts them, hurts someone else, or ultimately causes harm and not good. Which means, if you took responsibility for your actions 100% of the time, you are a lot less likely to make bad choices.

There’s more.

You are not responsible for someone else’s actions.

This one is undoubtedly the harder one for most people, I believe. For some insane reason, people want to blame themselves or take responsibility for someone else’s actions. Which is crazy, because you cannot. But still, people try and in doing so tire themselves and wonder why good does not come from it, and the reality is; it just does not work that way. Sure, you “can” take responsibility and you can suffer the consequences of their choices, but why would you want to, especially if in doing so causes you harm?

Which brings me to my next point.

You do not owe anyone anything in this life. I am so serious, nothing.

Do not get me wrong again here. Out of love and respect and the desire to make others happy, we want to give what is given to us in return (the good anyhow). But you are not obligated to and there is not some unwritten rule, or written for that matter, that says that you have to keep someone in your life simply because they have been a part of it and have “done something” to deserve it.

Yet again, I tell you truth. If someone is doing more harm than good in your life. You do not have to let them stay there. It does not matter if that person is your mom or dad, your sister or brother, grandmother or grandfather, aunt or uncle, boss or co-worker, or even your best friend. You have the right to choose to have a better life, even if that means one where that person is not in it.

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I get it, making a choice like that is hard. Like really hard. I have been there before and had to make that choice and it was not fun and it really has been hard to live with at times. Not from regret, but because I do not wish for anyone to not be a part of my life, especially family. But sometimes, for the sake of your own well-being and your children’s, if you have them; you have to make hard choices. It is necessary, and in the end, you will be so much better off for it.

Picture it like this; your life is a garden of flowers and everyone in your life (or garden) is a beautiful unique flower. But, just like in any garden, there are weeds that can and will grow. You have to make sure to weed out the bad so that ultimately your garden as a whole will not die, but also by doing so you make way for all of the good flowers and have space for more to grow. Meaning, you have to take care of yourself and weed out the bad people and things in your life so that your life will be beautiful and full of good things and good people. By doing so, you make way for more beautiful things to grow and good people to come into your life.

Life is hard, I know. I live here too. But it does not have to be so bad and you truly do have the power to change it for yourself and those around you. It all starts with the choices that you make and your ability to take responsibility for them. Once you understand that, you are golden, and it is only up from here.

Stay Blessed,

Beautiful Southern Heart

Through Their Eyes

When is the last time you looked at your kids like really looked at them? If you are like me you are probably thinking, I look at my kids every day! But if you are also like me you know what I am saying when I ask you the question, when is the last time you looked at your kids, really looked at them?

I have had the opportunity to really look at my kids quite a few times in the last week or so, the first being when my oldest and I went out to eat after his baseball practice last Thursday, just him and me. He sat across the table from me, so little yet so much older than I remember him being, beautiful in every way, talking to me like a normal adult sitting across from me on a dinner date, except instead of an adult it was my five-year-old son.  I honestly do not remember anything that he said to me during that dinner as horrible as that may sound, except for random chatter about how much he was starving as he shoved another chip into his mouth and how cold he was (because he left his jacket in the car even though I told him to bring it inside), all I could do was stare at him and admire him and think about how much I love him, so much.

He sat across the table from me, so little yet so much older than I remember him being, beautiful in every way, talking to me like a normal adult sitting across from me on a dinner date, except instead of an adult it was my five-year-old son.

The second opportunity was yesterday, I had to take my car to the shop to get new tires put on it because we were lucky enough to get a flat after driving through construction work on the railroad near our house. As sucky as that may have been, I was blessed with the opportunity to spend some more one on one time with my oldest in the waiting room as we waited for the car to be fixed. There was a pile of toys and books in the corner, and he chose to play with the toys first of course, so incredibly happy that he found the coolest toys ever (which I am sure were from McDonald’s) that were so entertaining to him because it was something he had never played with before and he was not having to share it with anyone else, especially his little brother.

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I love watching his imagination, the silly things he comes up with as he plays, but mostly how his eyes sparkle while he does it and then how he looks at me to find enjoyment on my face from all the fun that he is having. After a couple of minutes, he picked up a book and decided he wanted to read to me. Side note; he just learned how to read this year and somewhere in the last month he went from struggling with sight words to reading 60 page Dr. Seuss books without a skip in his step. I enjoy listening to him read. But again, more than the words that he was reading to me, I noticed how magnificently beautiful he is, how long his eyelashes are, how he has little freckles all over his cheeks, his big beautiful blue eyes and how he has the cutest little smile that he will flash at me when I least expect it. This time I decided I had to take a picture and savor him, in that moment, forever.

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The most recent opportunity that I was so incredibly blessed to have although I fought not to, was with my youngest son, last night as he lay in bed next to me as I was struggling to get him to go to bed. He was not supposed to be in bed with me, I originally put him to bed in his own room but fifteen minutes later it was extremely quiet in the house and I knew that he had not fallen asleep that fast so, I sent my husband to check on him and low and behold he had my brand new stick of deodorant in his bed and had smeared it all over himself, thus destroying the entire stick and making a terrible mess in his bed that he now could not sleep in. Perfect.

He smelt lovely, but I was less than thrilled. However, he won the battle and was now lying next to me smelling fresher than ever and so incredibly happy to be next to his momma in her bed where he wanted to be in the first place. I turned to look at him as I told him what a huge turd he was for doing that, and he proceeded to stroke my face and tell me how much he loved me. My heart melted right there. He pulls that card often, doing something that will get him in trouble, usually when he knows better not to and then pouring his love on me just when I am most upset with him. I would like to say that I am strong enough to resist him and continue to be mad at him in those moments. But I am not, and I do not stay that way. Instead, I just lay there while he strokes my face and gazes at me with so much love and admiration, just loving on me his favorite person in the world.

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As I drove to work this morning, I was ruminating on these moments. Thanking God for blessing me and choosing me to be these two amazing little boys mama.  Wondering how I got so lucky and then realizing God feels the same way about me, the exact same way, if not so much more than that. He is constantly in admiration for me and just looking down on me smiling no matter what it is I am doing, and in those moments where I mess up, which is often, he allows me to come to Him and say I am sorry and love on Him and He just soaks it up and loves me back with a love greater than anything I will ever know. He uses my boys more than anything to show me that, He is my daddy and I am His daughter and there is nothing I can ever do to change that.

 

Stay blessed,

Beautiful Southern Heart

This song says it all.

via Daily Prompt: Ruminate

Accepting Change

A little back story for perspective…

I used to be afraid of change. I grew up in what some might think of as an unstable household with a single mother that worked a lot of hours to provide for our family. It has always been me, my mom, my brother and my sister. We visited our dad when we could and he came to see us at our school functions as often as he was able. Most of our free time was spent at church or at our grandparent’s house, where our cousins became our best friends and being with family was my most favorite thing in the world to do.

Even though the world around me was constantly changing, I barely ever noticed because I was happy with the world that I knew, with my family and in the church. Many seasons would come and go, as time went on we got older and although there were times when we would not see each other, I could always count on the times when we would. Every holiday, most birthdays, an occasional wedding or funeral and our most favorite time of the year, the Yamboree (the Yamboree is a festival in our hometown that our family has oddly always treated as some sort of holiday or family reunion) it truly is the best time of the year.

Each year that went by came with small changes that I barely even noticed, and some that were more apparent than others. A cousin that got married and added a new member to the family, that then had a baby and added another. Birthdays going by and moving on in school where each year brought new opportunities and sometimes new friends. My brother moving off to college and leaving us three girls in the house, which was a huge change, but we saw him a lot and he was close enough where it was like he never left. Then, my sister falling in love, getting married, and having her first child and leaving our home and starting her “new life”.

I actually managed pretty well with change up until my teenage years, when changes were happening what seemed like every second and I could not keep up. Over the next couple of years or pretty much through my entire teenage stint, I stayed on this rollercoaster that I could not wait to get off of and eventually did when I turned twenty. It was not until then that I learned about the different seasons in life and how they contribute to who we are and where we are going. That nothing lasts forever and everything changes with time.

…when changes were happening what seemed like every second and I could not keep up.

I cannot pinpoint exactly when I decided to embrace change for the better, but when I did my perspective on life changed with it. We all have different seasons in our life from our childhood, to our adolescence, then on to being an adult. Before we start school, the twelve years in-between, college, dating, marriage, having children, a career, the list goes on. Each season is different for everyone and no two seasons are the same from one person to the next.

When I was twenty, I walked into a new season in my life, where I met my husband and we had our first child. Then a couple of years later a new season came, where we bought our first home and had our second child. After that, we experienced a season of growth when his hours got cut at work and then in time his company shut down and laid everyone off completely. During this time I left my position as a stay at home mom and ventured out into the work world and into a new season of my own.

As each year has gone by, so many things have changed that I can hardly keep up, but make for a great time sitting back on the porch and reminiscing about with family and friends. Our family has grown into separate directions because we have all made “new” families of our own. We still see each other on certain holidays and if we are lucky and able to, at the Yamboree. As much as I loved the times when we were all together and soak up every minute when we get to now, I understand that this is just the way life goes and with each new season comes inevitable change and new memories.

…but make for a great time sitting back on the porch and reminiscing about with family and friends.

As I said before, seasons are different for everyone. When I was meeting my husband and having our first child, other’s my age were in their second year of college and looking to start their careers. Just as, the time I started my career, others my age were just now settling down to start their families. Each season brings new changes, and if you pay attention will show you the changes that have been made in you. I for one look forward to the new seasons, the changes that come with them, and what God has in store for me as I start a new journey. I will not lie, I still stumble with change from time to time, especially when it hits you out of nowhere and you are not prepared for it. But, I once was afraid of change, and now it’s one of my favorite parts of life and I have learned to embrace it and see what new wonders it brings; because at the end of the day, change is a beautiful thing.

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference. Living one day at a time, enjoying one moment at a time, accepting hardships as a pathway to peace. Taking, as Jesus did, this sinful world as it is, and not as I would have it. Trusting that you will make all things right if I surrender to your will, that I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with you forever in the next. Amen.

Stay blessed,

Beautiful Southern Heart

 

 

From Conception to Birth and How I Ended Up Here

As far back as I can remember, I have always had a love for writing. Sharing my thoughts with others, and dreaming dreams that would one day become my reality, if God willing. I am a Pisces, if you are into astrology at all that would tell you just how deep my emotions run, how much I dream and how important feelings are, to not only myself but others around me. However, astrology does not define who I am. My savior does. I have a deep love for knowledge, how things work and learning to understand the Lord and His purpose for me in my life and our world as a whole.

I have toyed with the idea of starting a blog for many years now. Most of the time when the idea popped into my head, I would laugh and shake it off and go on with my day. In recent weeks, I have felt the Holy Spirit nudging me to take a leap of faith and do something that quite frankly, I have always been too scared to do. This feeling has grown stronger with each passing day and a few weeks ago, it hit me like a ton of bricks. I could not get the idea out of my head and everywhere I turned I was writing a new post in my head on various topics, and then I slowly started to become intrigued by the thought; this is something I could really do.

I then immediately turned to my two best friends for their opinions, like any normal southern girl would do. I got two very similar, but different responses. Which is to be expected because they have two totally different personalities, which I crave and love. One of them told me, “yes, you should totally do it, I think you would be so great at it”! Then the other said, “I could definitely see you doing something like that, but I have a couple of questions that come to mind that worry me and I think you should consider”. Honesty, the good and the bad, is so much a part of who I am and I am incredibly thankful I can find it in the two of them, especially in pivotal moments in my life such as this.

I then took the idea to my husband, kind of backward I know but, I am a girl and I needed my girlfriends to shake me up before I got down to the serious stuff with him. I asked him what his thoughts were, him being the super laid back guy that he is said, “you will never know unless you try. I say go for it, you will either do great or you won’t”. Super helpful. Not. I could see that this decision was going to be up to me, and what I felt that God was telling me to do.

“For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb, all the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.” Excerpts from Psalm 139

You are probably wondering at this point, why didn’t you pray about it first? Oh I did! Many times. I have this way about myself where I will ask God a question, He will give me an answer, I may or may not like it, so then I will wrestle with myself until I finally give in and do what He told me to do in the first place. I am working on this. I find humor in my actions because I get completely frustrated at my kids with not listening to me the first time I tell them to do something, then saying “told you so!” when they finally obey me, and realize things would have gone a lot easier had they just taken my word for it and trusted me in the first place. Sound familiar?

Funny how that works. The complete frustration I get with my children from behaving in a way that I am not pleased with, but then I turn around and do the same thing to my heavenly father, expecting a different outcome in return. Like I said, hilarious. But on a more serious note and back to the story, had I just listened to God in the first place who knows what you might have read from me at this point.

So here I am.

I do not really have a plan for this blog because I have not fully decided what it is that God is wanting to do with me through it. But I do know, I have so much that I want to share with the world, every day. On topics from being a mom, my insane road rage, things going on in the world, and my most favorite; my daily testimonies that bring glory to God.

If I had to choose one topic, that would be it. A never ending testimony of what God is doing in my life and what He is probably doing in yours if you take the time to sit back and examine your world. We all have a testimony, it was started before you were ever born when you were just a baby in your mother’s womb, and it will continue until the day that you die. That is a beautiful thing, folks. It is such a blessing just to be alive, experience the wonders of this earth and God’s will for our lives, and just live waiting for the day that He calls us all home.

I do not know what tomorrow will bring, or if there will be a tomorrow. I am still working on today, and trying to let go of things that happened yesterday. But I hope that through me sharing these things with you, that God will work through me to shake your world up, and mine too. Make you take a step back and really look at yourself, and if I am lucky, help you grow a deep and meaningful relationship with Him. Simply through showing you, that you can. Just like I have, through all my ups and downs, my crazy years and my not so crazy years.

If you have gotten this far, you are a champ and I thank you. For taking the time to read my first post and not giving up half way through it. As for future post, I am going to wait to see what God has planned for you all and try my best to obey Him when the time comes.

Stay blessed,

Beautiful Southern Heart

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