The holidays are here….
As I think back I have all these memories that flood my mind……Time with family and friends…. Running and playing with my cousins….. The warm food that filled my belly…..The laughs and joyful times but there has also been a few holidays of not so joyful and sick times. I have missed Thanksgiving due to a stomach virus when pregnant and sat alone drinking Gatorade by myself. I have had the sad Christmas where my mom was in the hospital and I got a glimpse of what the holidays are like hearing beeps and seeing medical equipment….and wondering if I will ever have a Christmas with my mom again. I stayed strong for my children but spent much of the holidays in crying spurts in a hospital or in my closet. The holidays can be an AMAZING TIME….everyone is so CHEERY AND GIVING and then the holidays can be the worst of times as well. When you’re supposed to be happy and cheerful and everything isn’t so happy and cheerful….which makes it worse. Remember that during the holidays as you go about your business…remember that not everyone is having a BRIGHT holiday season. Last Christmas I had a few looks when I ran in to get a bite to eat…… no makeup, clothes worn for days, and ragged. When I explained I was grabbing to go to get back to the hospital the hostesses attitude changed towards me. No I don’t always look so rugged and harsh but at that moment I did and I didn’t care. I had people texting me on Christmas last year and I felt so loved to have text or phone calls just checking on me. Take time to spread love to those who aren’t having the best holidays.
I also want to remind you WHAT the holidays are about! We head to our cabin this Thanksgiving week. We don’t watch TV and play devices all day. We eat and drink obviously…. but we bond. We take the time to run in the woods with the kids. We ride the rangers and 4-wheelers. We sit on the front porch rocking chairs chatting over coffee. The kids swing and the guys will hunt. We lay around on the couches telling stories and talking. We play games and stay up late….all sleeping in one big room together. We don’t need a huge cabin, king size beds, TV’s, I-pads, and so forth……we just need each other. Doing all of these things together makes memories that last forever. So forget the glitz and the glam….forget the expense…forget the devices and social media…and FOCUS. FOCUS on what is truly important….and that is TIME. Spending quality time with friends and family. Time passes by incredibly fast…my first baby boy was a BABY…..8 1/2 years have FLOWN by….time is a crazy thing…ENJOY every moment before it slips away and out of your hands and becomes just a memory….
The keys to enjoying the upcoming holidays are easy….
Don’t build them up in your head……Don’t expect the holidays to be a certain way. Just let them be. Be present and enjoy the moment for what it is.
Be grateful for the small moments because the small moments turn into great memories. You don’t have to be on an expensive trip to make awesome memories or give expensive gifts to show people you love them.
Really think when buying and purchasing this year. Don’t send yourself into debt trying to impress or prove your love. Take time to make something for the ones you love. My mom made blankets for all of us last year and little did we know it was almost her last year with us. We all have those blankets to wrap ourselves in now and be comforted by her love. Realize the importance of the time and the day….not the material things.
This could be your last holiday with a loved one and you have no clue. So stay off the phone, iPad or whatever else that pulls you away and CONNECT!
Giving is more important than receiving. So this year when you are giving really try and think about the people and who you are buying for. It is so exciting to buy for others and it feels good but there is something you can do past that……..Buy a turkey for someone, Pay a lay away for someone, hand someone in the grocery store a $20 who is looking like they are in need, DONATE & GIVE because that is the BEST part!
The holidays are here…..my FAVORITE time of year!! Make sure to GIVE to everyone around you…be thoughtful and kind and giving and you will be blessed beyond measure….and LASTLY be THANKFUL…for everything you have. God has blessed you and you may not even realize it. Be sure to give him thanks today and everyday.
Happy Thanksgiving to you all!
I had a lit cigarette thrown at me because of the way I looked……….
People in this world can be cruel and it’s hard to see the good sometimes. No matter the age cruel people exist. Their cruel behavior can be completed in so many different ways at so many different ages. Starting in elementary we all have it. Being on the playground in 6th grade and being told I was fat from one boy and that boys hated boobs from another girl were some of my first memories. BOOBS, yep I got them early and they never went away. I remember being overwhelmingly sad. Am I fat? Do boys really hate boobs? I remember looking right back at her with a friend beside me and saying that boys LOVED boobs and walking off……the entire time not really sure about that but it seemed right. As I am trying to understand do boys hate boobs or do they like them….then I have to ask myself……Am I fat?
You start questioning yourself, your body, who you are because of someones else comments and thoughts towards you. They are making you see something different than what God wants you to see in or about yourself. Looking back at pictures yeah, I was chubby just like every other kid in my class going through the awkward stage of being skinny and ugly or fat and cute. You got a curse…it just depends on which weird growth spurt you go through but we all went through them.
Fast forward….lost the baby weight and my boobs kept growing and growing and growing. In Jr. High I went to another school’s football game and girls I didn’t even know threw ice at my back the entire game. Fast forward to high school and people made fun of me because of the car I drove or called me a bitch and I had never even talked to them…..(none of these being people at my own school because they knew the REAL me) The kids at my school were open to me and understanding of me because they knew me, so I thoroughly enjoyed my years with them.
Fast forward to college and guess what….people called me a bitch and they had never even talked to me, they called me dumb sorority girl because I wasn’t dressed in black with no makeup for art class.
Fast forward 6 weeks POSTPARTUM from my first baby boy, age 26 and I went out with a few of my girlfriends to gather my sanity. A girl spit paper from straws at me and then she through a lit cigarette at me. My friends around me went crazy on this girl and the guy with her. She said she was sorry for throwing things and that she was trying to hit me with it. When asked WHY? Simply because…… she is privileged. I don’t like her. After all my friends came to the rescue and got her in her place. I asked them all to calm down. They just stared at me like…….. WHAT IN THE WORLD! WE CAN’T LET THIS GO!
This has been happening to me all my life. I am used to the meanness because of the way I look. People have no clue who the real me is but they take one look and make their assumptions. Because I am blonde I am dumb, because I have large boobs I am promiscuous. Because I am dressed up I am rich. I learned something that night and that is when my outlook began to change.
10 years later and I still have the same assumptions made about me. In fact the original date I wrote this post my husband and I sat down for dinner and I had three women at the table next to us commenting, laughing, and staring at me during our dinner. I can’t change the way people think, I can’t make them be nice and accepting, I can’t make them understand and see that people are different and that’s okay. I can’t control them but I can control me. I learned that night of the lit cigarette that I should stand up for myself on instances like that. No it not right for people to do these things to you and you just keep taking it because that’s how its always been. I have always said you can say I am dumb, I will prove otherwise. You can say whatever you want and I will prove you wrong. Until that day I proved the haters wrong with time, patience, and doing the right thing. I didn’t worry if they liked me or not….. I was me and God made me so I am pretty darn great but I still took pieces of that with me! I knew I wasn’t dumb, I just wasn’t the best at math. I liked using the creative side of my brain more. Over the years I have learned just how differently people see and think. God made me just this way so I either have to love it or sit in this body the rest of my life and hate it.
I chose to love it!
My body has done amazing things for me. I have run 26.2 MILES, I have competed in races and triathlons, I have birthed 3 children, I have danced until my feet hurt so bad that I couldn’t stand, I have laughed so hard and cried so much, I have physically picked up my momma when she was down. My brain has thought through some hard decisions in life, it has helped me obtain a masters degree, and helped me be strong and happy throughout my life. My face isn’t perfect. The boys have hit my nose 1,000 times now and it is a touch crooked. I have wrinkles, sun spots, a messed up eyebrow…you name it. Those wrinkles are mostly from smiling and laughing…a few from worries I have had but mainly joy. That messed up eyebrow is from hitting my head when I was younger. Those sun spots are me spending time in the outdoors with family and friends. That chipped tooth is from me playing with my boys in their room. My face, my brain, and this curvy body that I once hated is now LOVED by me. I am not a stick figure and I am not overweight…I am HAPPY and HEALTHY and I am physically capable and mentally capable of being and doing whatever I want……all thanks to GOD.
I felt I learned another way after that night to deal with this type of person……..
Don’t let what they say affect you even a year down the road. You keep being you. You keep working hard to be the best you! I have a feeling people like that don’t work on being better or doing better. Stand up for yourself but also know when you are doing the right thing that time and patience will prove them wrong.
Most of these critics are jealous or envious of you, not all but yes…some are. They think you are rich and they would die to be rich. They see beautiful and they would die to be as beautiful as you. They see happiness and envy it. What these people don’t understand is that all the money, beauty, and material things in the world will never make you happy unless you are truly happy within yourself first. True happiness doesn’t come from materials, beauty, and money…it comes from within.
Learn from them. Learn what they say and how they do it and memorize it…..because you never want to be like them. You never want to hurt someone or put them in that horrible place of questioning themselves.
Don’t judge a book by its cover. The shirt I had on the night the girl said I was privileged…came from Marshall’s on sale and I had bought it 6 years prior as was the rest of my outfit. Just because I look poor or rich, wholesome or promiscuous, loud or shy, pretty or ugly, fat or skinny or whatever else doesn’t mean that I am not an amazing person! Just because I look rich doesn’t mean I am AND if I was rich would that make a different person than who I was? It wouldn’t. I would be me no matter what. So don’t hate a person because of the outward appearance. Talk to them and really try to understand them. We are all different and we won’t like everyone but we can find something in everyone we like. We don’t have to be best friends and we don’t have to tear people down. We can all coexist together if everyone would be open and not judgmental.
Please embrace yourself….all of it…..your body, mind, soul, and spirit and don’t let anyone EVEN YOURSELF tell you that you need to be different. You just be YOU! You won’t be accepted into all the groups….the cool group doesn’t matter. Find the TRUE group. That is was you surround yourself with. Positive, open, and understanding people. You are beautiful…chipped tooth and all. We all have good and bad qualities about us but don’t let judging others and being cruel be one of your bad qualities. Everyone can be beautiful and have flaws on their body. From the artist in me I can always find something beautiful on each person I see…whether its their long silky hair, their eyebrows, a dimple, the way they smile, the way they talk or their conversation skills…..everyone is beautiful because we were made by a beautiful person. Embrace YOURSELF. Your entire body is at work doing amazing things for you each and every day. And one thing I have learned from it all and been told by my mom……Be grateful and appreciate what all you have been given and what all you are capable at working towards and don’t let anyone make you think differently. You are ENOUGH! You are AMAZING! You are CAPABLE! You are BEAUTIFUL!
Do you believe in the power of passing on helpfulness and optimistic vibes?
I believe God has me here on earth for a few purposes. Of course to be a daughter, wife, and mother, to create in many different ways, to help others and to PASS IT ON.
I am a huge believer in what you put out there is what others will take and carry with them for the rest of the day.
Think about it. When someone has been ill-mannered, offensive, mean, or just plain rude what does it do to you? You may or may not realize it but you are affected by this impolite person. A friend who is being foul may put you in a bad mood for the rest of the day without you realizing how or why you got in that ugly mood. An acquaintance you know says something rude to you and you are now placed on the bad mood list. A person you don’t know gave you an ugly face while checking you out at the grocery store and now that negative energy has passed on to you…..and you are in a foul mood passing it on to others around you.
It is like a virus from hell. Instead of spreading your germs you are spreading negativity and it INFECTS every person HARD and FAST….unless you have the vaccination that is 95 percent effective.
What’s the vaccination?
Are you ready??
You have to learn that you can’t let the people around you place you in an unhealthy and negative energy. BOOM. That’s it. Easier said than done….that’s why I said a 95% rate. When someone puts me in a bad mood I have to work my way out of it. I still get placed in the negative energy area but I have to work my way out of it and back into the positive energy area. Sometimes I can work my way out fast and easy while other times I have to work very hard and it takes a very long time to get out of the funk. I have to know these people and vibes are out there but I can’t let them drag me down.
I have learned in my life to let go of the negative Nellies and the bad energies around me. Those downbeat people aren’t bringing anything good to my life and if I can’t help them get out of their destructive behavior then I must say goodbye. I would love to help every person in the world but some people don’t want help and there is only so much that I can give before I become infected.
Be silly, laugh, smile, and play! Life is too short to live it being pissed off at the world!
I want you to do something this coming weekend or next week.
I want you to pass it on.
What? Pass what on?
Pass on positive vibes, kindness, joy, thoughtfulness, compassion, and love. That means when your cashier gives you an ugly face you smile and tell her you hope she has a better day. Then you move on and don’t let her ugliness make you ugly. She may be dealing with something unspeakable at the moment. When your friend is a negative Nelly you help turn that person into a positive light by showing kindness and love. How can you help turn that person’s day around? Pick up their kids for them from school? Grab him a cup of coffee? How about buying lunch for the person behind you in line? Tipping that waitress extra with a nice note…there are so many things you can do that could cost you nothing or $3 dollars or $100 dollars…it doesn’t matter what you do or if you spend money. Just whatever you do be sure to do it with a smile and a positive vibe. YES it may be hard at first and you may have to constantly say be positive and smile but soon it will just become ingrained in you.
There is enough negative and mean in this world…spreading like bad viruses.
I need you to be a vaccine. I need you to help stop the spreading of the virus. I need you to have a positive energy. So this week when the negative energies start getting shoved on you…take a step back. Put on your gloves and mask and get ready to let the bad vibes bounce off of you. You are made in the likeness of Christ. I don’t believe he has any negative energy in his body what so ever. We weren’t made to be negative. We were made to lift others up….not tear them down.
Go shine your light
PASS IT ON!
Life is full of joyful moments but also full of terrible moments. I am sure a large number of you think my life is PERFECT and that I have no problems nor will I. You my friends are sadly mistaken. Life is hard for every person out there. We all have our trials and tribulations. We all walk this same life together….we walk them in different shoes, on different paths but we all are in this thing called life together. We are all just trying to live our life in the way we want it to be lived or TRY to live it in that way. We don’t make the exact same decisions as each other but I can tell you something. We all have cried. We all have laughed. We have all felt heartache, anger, sadness, and happiness. Yes, at some point in your life you have cried or you have laughed. You may have gotten dealt a shittier hand than the person next to you but I can tell you something…… there is most likely someone else out there that has had it worse than you. My trials and tribulations may seem huge or insignificant to each of you. That’s the point. We all have different worries and we all handle them differently but we ALL have those misfortunes and hardships.
Can I tell you the secret to handling those trials and tribulations better?
I believe this from my inner core but I have also heard firsthand the key to it all. Why can some people go through tough situations a little easier…or let me say it seems they go through them easier? They aren’t going through them easier, it is still an ordeal for them but they my friends have something called positive outlook. When you live your life with a positive outlook and always make the best of situations then when shit hits the fan guess what?! You will find a positive light to it all and make it through. Yes, you may have depression, cry, and be angry just like anyone else but you can stop after a while and really find the good that came from it. The good may be small but you can find that good and focus on it. With God’s help and a positive outlook, you can fight through anything. My mom grew up with a troublesome childhood, of course as an adult with three children multiple trials there…am I right?! She ran over her own self (yes I promise this is the truth…. by accident when she thought a spider was on her and she fell out of the truck which was in reverse…needless to say it ran over her entire body), her entire home was flooded, and she just recently had an aortic aneurysm with a dissection (don’t know what that is??? It’s in your heart area and it’s the worst of the worst) I’m pretty sure she has had a tough life but I bet there are people out there that still can beat her. She doesn’t let all of these things define her in a bad way. She looks to the positive and to God to move on.
I have had a few moments in my life that were troubling (for me). You may or may not find them as troubling but they were for me. These were moments for me that had me distressed. I immediately went to God and asked him to figure it out for me EACH TIME. I asked him for help EACH TIME. I didn’t blame him or ask how he could let this happen. I simply asked for him to help me, just please help me. I cried to him and left it all for him to figure it out. It may not have been the way I wanted it to end but I knew God had my back in each situation and he always will and that gives me peace. I could and still can find the good in each situation. I remember the birth of my third child in the hospital I was left alone for days and nights because everyone in my family had a stomach virus, my middle brother had a wreck that week, and we were in the hospital 5 nights with fever and infections both Grey and I. In the hospital I noticed his head was shaped very oddly but I was alone, sick, and my biggest fear was happening…staying alone in the hospital for not just one night but multiple nights in a row (I know random right?! It was just a fear I had…not anymore..been there done that and conquered it) so I just told myself it was all the pressure on his head from labor. When we got home I kept staring at his head and at our two week check up I talked with our pediatrician and surely enough we had a problem. Days and tests went by not really knowing if he was okay or not. When he was throwing up I was panicked the brain was swelling and just I remember thinking what do I do? Brain surgery….head gear…I’m going to have to quit work to stay home and help him…..and for the first bit I freaked out but then I remained calm. I didn’t get mad or question God ever. I remembering saying this is it Rivers, this is one of those moments to test your faith…how do you react? Do you blame God? No. Do I get mad at God? No. This is life. Welcome to it. Kids have issues, Adults have issues and God doesn’t create it. He is there to help you get THROUGH IT. So, I did what I preach. I got down and just cried and begged and said I am giving this all to you. You take it. I can’t handle it. You just give me the strength to get through this. This problem is now all yours. I knew he would take care of it and he did. Turn around a couple weeks later and we had a problem that solved itself over the next couple of months by keeping his head in a certain direction. It is still raised just barely on that one side but I see it as a reminder that I trusted and gave it to God and it worked out. A reminder that I stood strong in my faith and didn’t allow it to be shaken. If it would have turned out a different way I would still stand strong in my faith. God didn’t create that trial to punish me. Life is full of trials and tribulations that God didn’t create. During those times I have to run to him and look on the positive side as much as possible to get through them.
Can I ask you something?
If we didn’t have trials and tribulations here on earth would we need heaven or God? Would you turn to him and ask him for help if you had nothing going on in your life? I don’t believe so. Trials are just a part of this life and we have to learn how to deal with them. They may be an absolute nightmare but with God beside us we can see the positive side of it all.
I’m just going to leave you with this……
Act as Jesus would act. Shine your light and happiness far and bright and don’t let anyone or anything completely blow your candle out. Go out today, this weekend, this next week/month and work on finding joy, peace, happiness, and a positive light continuously. It is hard work at first, I am not going to lie but that positive vibe will pass on to others around you and it will prep you for the times ahead…because my dear friend they are ahead of us all.