Write & Serve Whether You Feel Like it or Not

Today I don’t feel like writing, but I know I should. I’ve tried the daily word count, which I admit has been forgotten multiple days, and I have started the A to Z Challenge, which has not gone as well as I’d hoped. Image

Fortunately, a friend posted something on Facebook this morning that got me to thinking about some things.

I currently live with three men: one is only home on weekends and long holidays, one recently moved in, and the third actually rents the house. The biggest difference in living with the three of them is that one helps me clean when he’s home, one compliments me when I clean, and one ignores me when I clean. Image

Before I say anything else on that I’m gonna have a little side track. That is that for many years I was the perfect people-pleaser. I would bend over backwards to please everyone around me, not realizing that it’s not really possible. I tried all the time, always looking for a way to make everyone but myself happy. In my mind making everyone else happy meant not getting yelled at or stepped on. It meant making my life easier even if it wasn’t happier.

Eventually I stopped people-pleasing merely to make my life easier and everything I did to please others was when it really did make me happy. I like seeing others smile, like being the source of someone else’s happiness, just not at the expense of my own, which brings me back to the present.

The renter of this house has been gracious enough to let all of the other inhabitants live here for a variety of reasons, and I see no problem in helping keep things clean. After all, I have helped with rent and utilities sporadically when I had money, though it’s not my biggest contribution. However, my contributions keeping the house clean and the laundry done has become more and more of an overlooked thing. It is not unusual for me to spend several hours washing dishes or washing and folding laundry and hear nothing about it.download (3)

In the last few weeks it has been increasingly difficult not to become petulant over the matter. I mean, really, no one likes to feel under-appreciated. However, this morning my friend shared a Bible verse that helped me put things in perspective:

“Whoever desires to be great among you, let him be your servant. And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave – just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” Matthew 20: 26, 27

This reminds me that it doesn’t matter how I feel I should always have a servant’s heart. It doesn’t mean let everyone use me or make me a doormat, but I should always be willing to help others even if it goes unnoticed. Christ served everyone. He spent most of his time with those that the majority of society shunned. Likewise, I should serve everyone, not just those I feel like.images (5)

 

B is for Beautiful

My Friends Are Beautiful

I worked at a behavioral health hospital with kids and teenagers for 3 years. During that time I became close friends with one of the managers. He wasn’t my unit manager, but he visited my unit frequently and he took a real interest in the people he worked with. His name was Ernest and I could always count on him to make my day better. download

One of the things that was so endearing about Ernest was his “hello beautiful” greeting. Every time I walked through the door it was the first thing out of his mouth. The definition of beauty is: the quality present in a thing or person that gives intense pleasure or deep satisfaction to the mind, whether arising from sensory manifestations (as shape, color, sound, etc.), a meaningful design or pattern, or something else (as a personality in which high spiritual qualities are manifest).

I have not been good about keeping up with several people I used to work with, Ernest being one of them, but I bet if I walked through the door tomorrow he would look up, smile, and say “hello beautiful” because to him I am. Likewise, my friend Jennifer calls me beautiful when greeting me after a long while.

The people you surround yourself with can either lift you up or bring you down. You must choose your friends wisely because eventually you will reflect their thinking and behavior. I think on my friends Ernest and Jennifer and so many more and know that they are truly beautiful.

I Am Beautiful

Self-esteem has been an issue for me most of my life. Growing up I heard how fat and ugly and worthless I was from my brothers, I was a shy recluse most of high school, and my two serious romantic interests during college only made things worse.

download (1)

It took me a long time to realize that the image these boys and men projected on me were not me at all. I am an independent, intelligent woman. I am Beautiful. I do not need their approval.

Life Is Beautiful

Life is what we choose to make it. You cannot wait for other people to tell you who to be or what to do or how to think. Each person is a unique individual and each person is accountable for their own actions.

(On a side note: If someone doesn’t accept responsibility for their actions you must forgive them and move on. You cannot make them change and it is not your place. You can try to show them a better way, but in the end you are only responsible for you.)

One of the most important life lessons I’ve learned is that life happen whether you shut yourself in a closet every day or you go do something. Life must be lived to the fullest. Do not wait for it to pass you by. Do the things you want to do. Dream big and dare to go after your dreams. 9563

I don’t know about your life, but mine is truly beautiful, not because I don’t make mistakes and not because things don’t go wrong, but because I choose to see it as such.

A is For Acceptance

Today I am beginning my April A to Z challenge. For those of you that didn’t read the post I re-blogged about it a few days ago it means I will blog 26 posts this month as I go through  the alphabet in addition to other posts. Acceptance

Deciding what to blog about today was a bit of a challenge because there are so many good words that start with A and are applicable to my life at the moment. The one I settled on is acceptance because when I woke up this morning that is what I felt: acceptance of God’s love and His plans for my life. It’s difficult to describe, but when I woke up I felt more at peace than I have in a while. I felt like God was reassuring me that I can let go of everything I’m worrying about and stressing over, not just the small stuff.

acceptance-wordle1

I have accepted the peace He is offering and I have accepted that He wants what is best and will guide my life if I let Him. No more drama and worrying about whether I’ll be happy or not in the future. He has promised and He will provide. I accept His gift. I accept the life He wants me to live.

I also accept my life as my own. I accept responsibility for whatever I haven’t taken responsibility for in the past. I accept that I am human and will make mistakes. I will never be perfect though I can strive for perfection every day. I accept this as fact and will conduct myself each day as God asks me to to the best of my ability.acceptance

What are the things in your life you need to accept?

Sunshine & Summertime

summer33

Yesterday I wore a tank top from morning to evening without being cold. Today the sun is shining and I can wear a tank top again if I choose. The weather forecast for tomorrow is sunny and warm. It looks like spring has finally made an appearance and that means summer is just around the corner!

This excites me for multiple reasons, the main one being that it’s my absolute favorite time of year! Being from the coast of Alabama, I grew up in the sweltering heat and high humidity and I dread cold weather.

Anyone can argue why a certain season is their favorite and I could  certainly have a lengthy conversation on the subject, but this post is not for that. I am merely reveling in the warmth and joy of today and hoping that at least one other person is seeing the beauty in the changing season and enjoying the day. However, while I’m at it, I will throw out the top five reasons I think summer is the best season ever and you as readers can discuss it among yourself if you please :

  1. I can wear tank tops and shorts every day
  2. I can take the dogs to the dog park or out on a walk without needing an Eskimo suit
  3. I can play at the pool or the beach and get a tan
  4. There are beautiful colors everywhere in the flowers and trees and butterflies
  5. Sunshine makes your body release endorphins and endorphins make you happy

The main point of today though is: whether you’re from the North or the South and whether you like the cold or the heat, enjoy the beautiful day outside. The world is a beautiful place if you’re looking in the right places.

summer